Keep working on love, my paradoxical tattoo

Keep working on love -Richard Bach , Seagull, Tattoo

Keep working on love -Richard Bach from Jonathan LIvingston Seagull

While saying good bye to full sleeves I got to say hello to my tattoo on the right forearm. On noticing it for the first time last week, my student (8 year old, Arshi) became curious. Keep working on love! What does that mean??, already thinking I must have goofed it up.

Taking on this opportunity to encourage her, I said something like this- Since you love music, you should keep working on it and practice regularly in order to be happy with it.

She countered with a puzzled expression- Why do you need to ‘work’ on something you love? That’s odd!

I don’t think she was convinced at all. Thankfully, the class was almost over, for my mind darted back to two people, my ex-manager, Dhruv Gupta and my new found mentor, Deepak Rai.

Must be over five years ago, when, over a team lunch, we landed up talking about the difference between being in-a-relationship and being in a marriage. I can’t forget the crux of what Dhruv said. It was something like this- To keep a marriage growing, one must keep working at it. It’s a constant effort. It cannot run on auto mode.

Let me clarify :), he sure looked very happy about working on marriage.

I was not married back then, so I couldn’t exactly relate to it but registered it. Sooner, I started getting a sense of what he said, and now I know why he looked happy doing the ‘work’. In fact, that was the inspiration behind my tattoo (inked after four years of marriage 😉 ). The words, Keep working on love, are borrowed from Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Connecting the dots for me last month, my new mentor, Deepak Rai, wrote to me, in response to an assignment that I should have delivered quicker, “Learning is an act of conscious choosing – not a by product of chance”.

It hit me so hard. Excelling at anything requires the same mindset; be it Marriage, Fitness, Music, a Job, a Sport, a Skill-set. Basically, one has to work on not just sustaining the kick-start happiness but to nurture it as well. I guess, sometimes, it pays to generalise.

Clearly, to an 8 year old, this sounds crazy. She must be right on her part because she is happy. Simple!

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