The taste of victory, the laughter of camaraderie, the thrill of exploration—these are the treasures that truly illuminate.
In the vibrant realm of Businessville, a group of enterprising knights embarked on an epic odyssey. Armed with spreadsheets and the power of PowerPoint, their mission was as towering as the grandest castle—to conquer the corporate dominion, amass degrees like arcane scrolls, and gather treasures rivalling the most formidable dragon's hoard. Among these bold adventurers, Sir Ambitious stood out as the boldest. His eyes gleamed like precious sapphire, and he charged forward with an insatiable hunger for success. Educational degrees, promotions, and possessions became his prized possessions. With every achievement unlocked, he proudly added a new gold coin to his collection, forging a constellation in the night sky that bore witness to his triumphs.
Yet, beneath the lustre of his celestial arrangement, a subtle shadow lingered. A whisper of doubt tugged at Sir Ambitious, prompting a question as profound as the kingdom itself: "Are we just in the pursuit of gold coins or the joy of cherished moments? Picture a lavish banquet where Sir Ambitious, amidst the clamour for more, discovered that his heart yearned for life's simpler pleasures. The relentless quest for accolades had obscured the delight of relishing what truly brought him happiness. Amidst the opulent feast, he chuckled at the paradox of his quest.
Enter the wise sage of reflection, the bearer of insight. "Noble knight," she murmured, "while gold coins shimmer with allure, life's true magic resides in moments. The taste of victory, the laughter of camaraderie, the thrill of exploration—these are the treasures that truly illuminate. Are we just chasing a parade of gold coins or composing a symphony of moments?"
The sage's words struck Sir Ambitious like a lightning bolt of revelation. Amidst the pursuit of abundance, he had lost sight of savouring what he already held—a heart brimming with stories, a mind enriched with experiences, and a journey adorned with twists and turns that warranted more than mere tokens. As the sun set over Businessville, a new chapter unfolded for Sir Ambitious. Beyond pursuing gold coins, he sought moments that gleamed like stars in the night sky. He revelled in victories, cherished friendships, and embraced every twist on his path.
In the heart of Businessville, a fresh narrative unfurled. Sir Ambitious, now a seasoned storyteller, shared the tale of the hedonic treadmill—a curious contraption that could transform great victories into mundane routines. "Imagine," he grinned, "a younger, slightly less wise, and (dare I say) sprightlier Sir Ambitious, at the zenith of my career. The world was at my feet, and every goal on my checklist ticked off. Yet, an unsettling question loomed every evening—"Is this it?" That's when I stumbled upon the hedonic treadmill. A treadmill, not in the gym, but in our minds, where life's achievements become mere monotonous steps. It's like running a marathon where the finish line keeps moving farther. It sounds exhausting, right?" Laughter rippled through the crowd as they recognised the treadmill's grip in their own lives. Sir Ambitious asked, "Are we just caught in the treadmill's whir and forgot to pursue joy?" Knowing nods circulated among them, for they, too, had danced upon the treadmill's path. "We chase achievements like rare treasures," he quipped, "but do we pause to savour victories or solely strive for the next milestone?"
Through his tales, Sir Ambitious painted a vivid tapestry of bustling boardrooms and lives where achievements merged into routine. "Imagine," he mused, "if we paused to relish the journey, collecting tokens on a grand adventure while marvelling at the landscapes. Navigating your career without purpose is like using a map with no destination. Sure, you'll visit some interesting spots, but where are you really headed? "
And then the revelation arrived—mindfulness was the 'pause' button, a means to break free from the treadmill's cycle. Knights and townsfolk gathered around the fire, inspired by the story of discovering joy amid the pursuit of more.
In Businessville, two tales converged—a reminder to treasure joyful moments amidst the pursuit of gold coins and to stride with mindfulness to evade the treadmill's pull. The realm resonated with the wisdom that life wasn't solely about amassing gold coins or racing ceaselessly but savouring their adventures' unique, sometimes whimsical tapestry. Amid the chase for gold coins and the snares of the treadmill, they learned to balance their quests, treasure moments, and embrace the true essence of their journey.
So, my budding knights, take a leaf from old Quirk's book. Step off that hedonic treadmill occasionally, savour the scenery, dance a jig, make a difference, and then jog on. Because the joy of the journey is not in reaching the destination but in the stories you gather along the way. Irfan Shamim, PhD Student, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode M Geetha, Professor, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode