When You Are High On Work

Have you ever experienced a high while working? Yes, I am talking about you! I have been, and I have enjoyed every bit of it. Why shouldn’t I? I am young; I have all the time and energy to put into my work. Why shouldn’t you do the same, after all that growing up listening to “work is worship” you are still not putting efforts to get that high. After all your work is your legacy and that is what is left behind when you leave the world. The work high I am talking about gives you a rush of ‘chemicals’ inside you which make you feel better; it’s a feeling of euphoria and fulfilment which drives you further into knowing yourself.

I would have laughed on your face if you have said these things to me two months ago. But now, now I am a changed man, and one particular incident changed this behaviour of mine which happened to me while I was interning with Asian Paints. I was in Chennai working on my project and recently things were not working out in my favour and one fine day I did what noobs generally do! I lashed out. I lashed out in front of my unit head there. Like a perfect gentleman, he was listening to me, trying not to give any expressions. Perhaps he didn’t want me to lose my momentum, and he wanted me to let it all out. Turn by turn I unravelled the insecurities, my disappointment with my project with myself for not being serious enough. Good thing that it happened inside his cabin and the cabins are almost soundproof. The accountant sitting just next to his cabin might have noticed me talking loudly but he never mentioned this incident to me. After the flames of anger went away he started opening his mouth.

I could clearly see his lips parting to make a sound and in those fraction of second millions of thought rushed through my mind; “I’m going to get fired today”, “he’s going to report it to my guide and he’s going to fire me”, “I couldn’t even finish my first job, and I’ll be such a shame”……then the sound hit my ears and it began to make sense. “It’s alright, have some water” he said calmly. He passed me the bottle next to him and I took two sips while keeping my eyes fixated on the wall beside him. I was feeling ashamed already. He was a very nice person and I shouted in front of him, not that I was shouting at him, but I recalled talking loudly. He again broke the silence, “It’s alright, you are just a kid, look outside” I looked through the glass walls on the side where all the sales staff was sitting, he continued “they all are of your age, some are two-three years older than you, I saw them and then I see you, and you know what is different?” With a perplexed look on my face, I asked him, “no, what is it”. He said, “you had the courage to accept your fears and disappointments with me while they also feel the same but they will never say that on my face” after a long pause he continued “this doesn’t make you weak, this makes you strong. Now that you have said that to me we can work on these and change them, and make you better” On that night after the office, I did some thinking while sitting at the pond near my house and I came to conclusion that I have to start fresh, what if my plans are not working out? I will start again from the beginning.

The next morning I went with him to market visit, I continued visiting customers with the sales officers for the whole of next week. It was a Friday evening and it was already 6 and the time to leave was getting near, so I went to his cabin to discuss my insights for the whole week. When we looked at the time it was ten minutes past eight, and we laughed at how we were sitting there for the last two hours. On my way home, I was thinking about the things we discussed and was super excited and I was proud of myself. That was the ‘high’ moment for me. Now that I look back, it wasn’t the first time I was having a ‘work high’ moment but it was certainly the first one after coming here. It was a different day when the second moment took place. I was sitting in my room thinking about the discussions I had with my unit head that evening and then one thing led to another and I had an idea about what to do. I penned down my idea and slept. I discussed it with my unit head the next morning and he was also confident like me, “it should work and in fact, I’m sure it will work” he said. Then he asked me, “what do you think, will it work or not?” I told him “Yes it will work, it has to work.

One unique thing I observed about getting this ‘high’ while working is its behavior; it will come to you when you are least expecting them when you think that you should give up and you are about to give up, and if you decide to continue for one last step from there, you will find your ‘high’ for work moment.

Pankaj Mann

Pankaj Mann is a 22 years old electronics and communication engineer and a PGP2 student at IIM Lucknow. He's a huge Harry Potter fan and when he says his hobby is reading, he means reading Harry Potter again and again. He's an avid runner and a marathon enthusiast. His passion lies in teaching!