“With enough practice—not just any practice but dedicated and intensive practice to perfect—most of us can achieve a level of proficiency that an expert would envy! It is the practice that gives you the perfection in competition and gives you an edge to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to improving one’s ability, researchers have always quantified the importance of practice: practice accounts for more than four times as much as variance. Practice as if you are a novice, exert as if you are an expert. So, be accountable to your work of excellence—you earn the honor of your signature. Never dump the blame on others. Be accountable good or bad, error or blunder! Apply the Pottery Barn rule to yourself: You broke it, you own it. Research reveals that if employees are accountable for their work, they are more likely to perform well, contribute to problem solving, and achieve organizational goals. So, be consistent with what you think, and do what you are supposed to do—both when everybody is watching, and when nobody is watching. It will give you respect, goodwill and integrity. People will be relying on you, and you will be responsible to people. Remove from your head the idea that “while the cat’s away, the rats will play.” Don’t degrade yourself. If your employer asks you to shoulder a little more responsibility, don’t flinch. Go an extra mile. It’s easier to leap in if you’re already dancing.”—an excerpt from the book Life, Living and Lifestyle by Prabhash Karan
Prabhash Karan is an Indian engineer, sociologist, writer, and computer scientist. He has written many books on social engineering and is also the founder of the Indian Social Science Organization in India. Though he was born in a remote village where life consisted mostly of farm animals, blue skies, and freshwater, it did not stop Prabhash Karan from being ambitious. He has worked several engineering jobs where he showed off his skill for the craft. But with time, he decided to take on projects that were apart from being hands-on with plants and machinery. He got a master’s degree in Computer Science from Pace University, New York, with distinction, and he wrote several books in English and Bengali. He speaks a total of four languages, but his writing is always simple and targeted. He stays on topic and distributes much-needed knowledge for the youth and seniors of the society alike.
Karan has had a career that spanned over forty years, but that did not stop him from taking on projects after projects. He has shown an affinity for the challenge and thrives in keeping himself busy. In fact, he writes his books that Mother Nature has intended for us to make full use of our body, mind and soul, and professes his disdain for the youths who want things done the easy way.
In a world that keeps telling us to take a break every so often, with public letters on social media filled with please from scholars to give the mind some time to relax, Karan’s views could be seen as something scandalous. However, they make sense too. Keeping busy projects after projects has allowed the man to keep his mind utilized. When we are using our time productively, we feel important and by the end of the day, sleep with a sense of accomplishment. But it does not end there. New projects call for newer skills. The things that you did in one project don’t need to be the things you would do in the next one. This allows the person to push their limits and really explore themselves. They discover skills contained within them that they did not know had existed. They can further utilize such a skill to better their career prospects.
Staying busy in projects allows the person to stay sane. Have you ever noticed that you might be craving a break as you type away into the computer, but a week into the break and you yearn to start something again. This is especially true for retired senior employees who have now started a long break that might have made them frustrated. Being bored can be toxic in itself, and so taking of newer projects would possibly be a better alternative.