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The winning difference

columns Updated: Apr 22, 2013 23:31 IST
P P Wangchuk

Life gets interesting and meaningful only if one freaks out of the daily routine and the ordinary. True, the routine can’t be ignored but life is not complete without a “little more” everyday. And that “little more” can be called “the difference that clicks”.

It is that little difference that makes you stand out while others are stuck to their routine. The happiest people are those who try to make a difference in life and try to deal with things that are, apparently, challenging and difficult.

‘The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems’ by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, deals with the issue of making a difference to remain happy, productive and ‘hungry for more’.

The writer identifies three ‘Ms’ that can lead one to ‘initiate’ and get going for doing an act that makes a difference: Mastery, Membership and Meaning. Mastery means knowing the art of tackling difficult issues; Membership means complete involvement and participation; and Meaning means purpose of doing a task for a common purpose that benefits mankind at large.

And you are told a lovely story about how Daimler- Benz in South Africa came alive again after the apartheid era. The plant’s general manager went in for a way to kick-start the workers whose morale was down but not out. He inspired the workers to do something they would love to do: A car for their beloved leader ---Nelson Mandela--- who had just been released from prison.

The workers went in for an unusual initiative and they produced the car in a record time and absolutely defect-free. Their pride of giving their beloved leader a Mercedes gave them the high feeling of achievement and that helped the workers maintain a new level of performance thereafter. It was with this point of view in mind that American music journalist Marilyn Manson had to say, “I never said to be like me, I say be yourself and make a difference.”

Promise to yourself that you will live, and live well, with a purpose by being differently useful.