Good Is The Enemy Of Great

Food for Thought



               Take a minute off your busy schedule and think where you will be in the next two hours of your life. A rather easy question to answer, if you’d ask me. Yet we make use of the words “probably” or “maybe” for calculating the odds of what we’d be doing in an hour or two.

Is life that random? Has it no concretion at all?

It has baffled me for a very long time why people put so much importance on discipline. Discipline, law, order - more like a recipe to make one’s life a chapter from the NCERT textbook. Why do people often have this intense curiousity of knowing about their future? Why this hunger for prediction?

Because we love control and power. And fear the occurrence of the unexpected. Thus “forecast” is the closest one can get to controlling their lives in the future.

Since the beginning of time, people have developed a standard equation for leading an “above standard” life. Education, job, marriage and family … boom! You have the life you never wanted. Note that the above sequence must not be changed under all circumstances, failure of which will lead to disastrous results. India is one such example of a nation in which this fabled equation is regarded with high honour. I think I can fairly deduce the origin of this phenomenon to the fact that our epic population just renders people helpless in their pursuit of opportunities.

Ordinary life

I believe it is safe to compare life with the act of climbing up an escalator which is going down. One has to keep on climbing at a constant speed just to remain at an equilibrium. It is not a myth that remaining at a stable position does require you to keep working.

On the other hand, if you do manage to climb up the latter side of the escalator, a new challenge appears out of nowhere, but the after-effects seem pretty real to everyone.

“Dost fail ho jaye toh dukh hota hai, lekin dost first aa jaye toh zyada dukh hota hai”

Jealousy has played a massive role in the 200,000 years of human history. Right from the assassination of Julius Caesar to the division of Crimea, jealousy has been one of the greatest factors to alter the course of history. Success, I assume, is inversely proportional to social life. More the magnitude of success, less is the number of friends one has. Maybe majority of the demographic reading this article are too young or unqualified to understand.

Those clichéd desk jobs people have in the movies, those unimpressive paycheques, the boring family; to me, all of them are a complete tragedy. But the catch is that giving up is not the easy way out. It has never been. It slowly kills you, your mind, your soul and your future of being something great. Till the time unequal distribution of power remains, there will be anarchy. There will be more and more people trying to sell you your own fortune in the name of your mental and physical wellbeing. There will be fear and success stories will render jealousy rather than inspiration. What if we all see one another on equal terms?

What if a rocket scientist and a sweeper had the same social status in their surroundings? I’m not trying to follow Marx’s point of view but it is true that if the situation arises, then such cases of anarchy may be put to a stop, indefinitely. No fear, no hate, no jealousy, no war and most importantly no competition.

And that’s why I believe that such a reality will be a colossal bullshit as we will be making this world devoid of the chance of discovering the next Einstein, the next Ronaldo and the next Beethoven. And to me, that will be the biggest catastrophe in the history of our society. The absence of competition and fear will make individuals aimless and without motivation. However big an opportunity is, one can’t make the most out of it.

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’…”

The standard formula still remains the base for an overall “above average standard” development but it has been established (unofficially) for a reason. Throughout the years, it has been tried and tested for people doing a “good job” all their lives. If you consider yourself to be the “good job” person all your life then this particular formula can do wonders. You will actually end up having a good life like Raju Rastogi or Farhan Qureshi.

And to those who want to be a part of this anarchy called “life” and achieve true greatness, I have only one thing to say- Never settle for good job, no matter what work you do.

Life is indeed a war, the war you can’t afford to lose.

I feel that this article can’t get a better conclusion than a quote from a poem of one of the most notable Welsh poet in the modern history, Dylan Thomas.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”