Do You Have It All?

When PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi candidly confessed in an interview that women can’t have it all, it sure sparked some intense debates. While it was obvious that career oriented women all across the world would second Nooyi’s opinion, it was heartening to see how some men also agreed with her. Millions of working women make difficult choices in personal and professional lives. As Nooyi rightly points out, no matter at what level a woman is in the corporate hierarchy, when it comes to personal life, she is a mother, a wife or a daughter. And whichever position she adorns in her job, she cannot rebate these jobs on the personal front at any time. agreed. It’s an unfair world for working women or for women in general. But then who said it was easier for career oriented men. If you think the society is harsh towards working women, it is also not easy going for men who want to quit their “secured” jobs and follow their dreams. In fact, ask yourself what you would think about a man who wants to be a stay-at-home father and is ok with the fact that the woman is the bread winner of the family.

The crux of the matter is…can anybody have it all? Is it possible to have it all and not sacrifice at all. The answer is a Yes and a No. Have a definition of “all” for yourself and you will have an answer. I believe it is more about your own perspective rather than the conventional perceptions of what is “all”. In simpler terms, isn’t it about getting your priorities right? And this rule applies to men and women. So at an earlier stage in life, “all” could mean a better grade in college and a well-paid job. But as one progresses in life, “all” could attain a different meaning and become defined as family and kids. In a large part of ones lives, “all” also remains synonymous to a successful career. Family and friends are inseparable part of “all” throughout the life. And your “all” at all times has to have space for “you”. Yes, there are times when your “all” can accommodate either your spouse or your work.  But the key is to strike a balance. The quest to have more is never ending. Not only is “all” very dynamic in nature, it is also expanding as one attains power and position.

So how do you have it all? Or at least reach a point where “all” becomes finite and attainable. My response to this predicament is- control “all”. Go one day at a time. Define “all” for today and strive to attain it. So my “all” for today can be attending parent-teacher meeting in school during office hours and going to a get together with friends in the evening. Tomorrow my “all” can be meeting a deadline in office. If I look at both the situations together, they seem unattainable. But when I split them and address one situation at a time, they become manageable. And I don’t believe in keeping unrealistic goals. Sounds easier said than done? Try it . Satisfaction and submissiveness are two distinct attributes. Satisfaction is self-attained while submissiveness is derived out of helplessness. I am a human and I don’t strive to be super-human. There is “x” things I can do in a day and I would be happy doing that set with diligence rather than doing “x+2” things clumsily. This equation works for me. It gives me the satisfaction of having it “all” for one day which gives me the courage and thrust to face the challenge of achieving “all” tomorrow.

Lastly, my “all” is defined my me, achieved by me, satisfies me and hence I am responsible for shortcomings that come with it. Since everyone’s “all” is different, the response to it is also different. I take blame if I under-estimate the attainable “all” and suffer if I stuff too many things in it. But then it is my “all” and CAN HAVE IT ALL and be happy about it.



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