Individuals like to give their best in order to attain a goal or meet a challenge.
What is it that makes us give our very best that we are capable of and that too willingly and repeatedly, without consideration of any returns or rewards? What is it that drives us to perform exceedingly well, to do something of significance, or to excel. It is a feeling within…an experience… a state of being that makes us do our very best. It is the feeling that we experience within when we do some thing meaningful. The word ‘Meaning’ conjures up in my mind the Sanskrit words, ‘तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय’ (Tamasoma jyotirgamaya), a part of a prayer, which means ‘Lead us from Darkness to Light, or from Ignorance to Enlightenment, or may I say, from Meaninglessness to Meaningfulness…So, what are the conditions, which lead us to this feeling of meaningfulness?
Research has revealed that firstly, in addition to the knowledge and resources, we need to have the right understanding of the goal and the role that we need to play to achieve the same. Secondly, we need to create an environment based on values like trust and respect, in which the team members share the feeling of fellowship and loyalty, or esprit de corps, to resolve conflicts and collaborate together efficiently and effectively. Lastly, we need to have meaningful, exciting, and challenging work that matters to us and, when accomplished, will make a difference.
As teachers, we need to work together, hand-in-hand, to create this feeling, this experience, this mental state of meaningfulness that we are helping in making a great society and a great nation. We need to create a sense of belonging, a caring environment in which we are able to give our best to our students, so as to make a difference in their lives. This would also lead us to those pinnacles of learning and success that would make us feel very proud of ourselves as a good teacher and a nation builder. And, who knows, one of us could be an Albert Einstein tomorrow!
‘Look for meaning in life or whatever work we do as meaningful work motivates us to perform better and leads us to greater satisfaction,’ with these words, I sign off this blog post.