Today, I had the fortune of reading a poem written by some unknown author, which summed up the entire secret of success in life!
“I bargained with life for a penny
and life would pay no more.
However I begged at evening when
I counted my scanty store.
For life is a just employer,
it gives what you ask.
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked hard for a menials hire,
only to learn dismayed,
that any wage I had asked of life,
Life would have willingly paid”.
I know these words need no explanation. However, I can’t resist from writing down my feelings while I imbibe and internalise this profound wisdom!
The poet very beautifully tells us that the Life is not unfair (as most of us had cried one time or other) yet we end up as losers only because we are poor bargainers!
Most of us bargain for very little from our life! Life, being a fair employer readily accepts our demands (even from a fair employer, we can’t expect more than what we have bargained for). Once the contract is finalised, Life shows no mercy. It makes us toil hard irrespective of what we have bargained for!
Had we taken enough care to understand our real value and to demand that from our Life, no doubt we could have got it. However, we often underestimate ourselves and settle for much less than that value. Once we settle our value, whether it is more of less, we will have to do the work that the Employer, our Life, demands from us. It is foolish on our part to expect that less wages means less work!
Like someone had said before, ‘accepting poverty is as tough as aspiring for prosperity’.
Having said that, would it mean we can ask any price and get the same from Life? I don’t think our unknown poet had meant that. According to our poet, Life is a fair employer, but that does not mean a foolish employer. No employer pays more than the worth of a worker. So there is no option to seek the highest wages, irrespective our true worth!
That is a real dilemma, isn’t it? But fortunately, like all other dilemmas, this one is also not without a solution! Between being a loser due to short selling and being rejected due to unfair demands, there is a fine balancing. Finding this balancing line is the secret of attaining success in life!
Now let me explain the art of this fine balancing. When we do not know the real worth of a product or service what do we do? When we do not know the temperature of water, do we plunge into it? Or, do we test the water and find out the temperature?
Same is the case in wage negotiation too. If we do not know the real worth or there is no way to prove it to the employer, we should settle for an acceptable wage, but for a short time. Do not agree to an unreasonably long term contract until we are sure that we are getting our best possible value.
Life is no exception! Do not set lifelong goals unless you are sure of your capabilities. Until then, demand realistic wages from the Life, for your hard work. Slowly, you will realise that you are capable of more and more... Accordingly, keep striking new bargains with the Life.
Have you noticed that in sports, they say records are there to be broken! Ever thought why it is so? Is it that new generation sportspersons have higher level of physical abilities? I do not think so. They had the knowledge of a previous maximum wage, in the form of a record and they just bargained with Life for a better wage. We all know they manage to earn that increased wage by breaking the previous record!
Like a high jumper, raise the bar one inch at a time. Never raise it by multiple feet, but only by inches. Same time ensure that you keep raising the bar all the time, until you are sure that you have reached your optimum. Once you know that you have reached your optimum, stop pushing yourself any further. Remember, greed has no end; but even a fair employer won’t pay you beyond your reasonable wage!
Let us be wise in our dealings with Life and get the best returns for all the hard work that it makes us do!