So what’s the first picture that comes to your mind when you hear these words? Most likely, The Joker (played by the legendary Heath Ledger) in the movie “The Dark Knight” who used to say these famous words. Lets park this thought for a little later…

Last to last week I was part of a very interesting Catalyst event in Chennai for my organisation (truly feel privileged to be part of an event which housed some of the best leaders in my organisation) – and the event had a fantastic amalgamation of fun-games coupled with thought-provoking speeches / presentations from the leadership. One thing that really struck my mind, and was again pointed out at the end of the day by one of my favorite leaders, was how this event was aimed, among other things, at how not to take ourselves too seriously as we go about our day-to-day IT lives.

Come to think of it – many of us wake up in the morning thinking about the serious day looming ahead (missing the sunrise and even the morning rays, for the most part), come to office with a grim face (hardly looking at the other person while wishing him/her good morning – unless its someone very pretty  🙂 ), spend the day at work very seriously (at least pretending to) with small pouts of fun thrown around (often worrying about petty things that we have to do once we reach home), and go home thinking about all the things we would need to do tomorrow.

Well, when I think back at some of the very nice triumphant moments of my life and also some of the very inspiring people I have been privileged to know over the years (people who reek of that awesomeness we are attracted to), I tend to notice one unique quality in most, if not all of them… that is the ability to take so-called “SERIOUS” situations lightly. That of course does not mean they are callous about it in any way – that would have surely led to their downfall – its something else… Call it faith in some higher power that everything is going to be okay, or maybe just the belief in themselves that they have the best intentions at heart and only the best things can and will happen to them (albeit through a set of stumbling blocks which others might take too seriously) – there is some power within them that they harness to work things out… both for themselves as well as the individuals / teams who are fortunate to be with them.

I was reading Echart Tolle’s bestselling book “The Power of Now” the other day, and among many other messages I could get from it, there was this essence of accepting the “now” the way it is and give the best to it – because within the set of {past, present, future}, the only element you have any control over is the #2. “the present”. So does it really make sense to take the “present” so seriously and throwing away the true power… I doubt if any of the Gods we all love (and claim) to believe in would ever be impressed with us doing so in any way…

Oops… Now this blog is getting too heavy and SERIOUS, isn’t it? 🙂 Nope, that’s not my intention here. Idea is to share some food for thought with all my fellow folks here. Let’s take a moment to think some of our favorite heroes or even superheroes. The reason we love to watch their movies so much is probably because we revel at their amazing calm demeanor and sense of humor retained even when faced with big time adversities. Talk about the James Bonds, Charlie’s Angels (keeping in mind the lady readers) of this world… Let’s not take this comparison too seriously and think “that’s them, here’s me… and we can’t really do that…” Who says except our minds crushed under the burdens of society and our well-meaning parents / teachers / mentors / friends (who may have been conditioned too seriously by another of the kind)? Point is that the day our so called heroes stop acting cool and act “seriously” like many of us do in our lives, I don’t think we’ll be lining up for the movie theaters or sports auditoriums or pay-per-views or bookstores anymore… Just imagine your favorite fictional character acting very SERIOUSLY like one of us, and you will realize what I am talking about!

I invite my readers to now think for a moment how pathetic many of our lives seem assuming someone is watching us all the time from a higher plane of existence (Sounds Seriously Spiritual, rite?  🙂 ). Maybe we can take cues from our favorite heroes / idols / inspirations and at least try to imbibe some of their cool and calm qualities so that we at least put up a better show for our imaginary audience up there. What say? Not possible… Maybe that would be the answer if we take this very SERIOUSly 🙂

Why so serious

Coming back to The Joker, some may take this very seriously and argue that he was caught at the end and banished in some way (thankfully it was Christopher Nolan and not some other lesser director that he spared the legendary Health Ledger and a legendary character a graceful “open” exit instead of SERIOUS consequences for a classic villain), but if you recall the movie, it is those philosophically rich fun gyan he gives throughout the movie that you will tend to recall rather than everyone else. Maybe that’s how light life is meant to be (of course we can choose to cut down on the brutality part of The Joker a bit, for the sake of humanity 🙂 )… Maybe that’s how sportingly we should handle lives like many of the mega-characters we recall and admire.

Let’s return to our lives, work and play… To close this blog, on a more SERIOUS note 🙂 , I would like to thank my organisation for bringing some very nice initiatives to make us take ourselves a little more lightly (including the event I was talking about earlier). I feel that there are many things in life and work that can be gamified in some way or the other – to make it lighter and not a burden. I had written about one such possibility in my earlier blog – “The Video Game Analogy” posted in the link:


But over and above initiatives, I believe there is a certain amount of work we all can do within ourselves – which might just enable us to enjoy life a little more than we currently do, and also be a charming yet daring superhero to some audience (be it imaginary above or some people down here who look up to us every day). After all, as I read somewhere: “Be SINCERE, Not SERIOUS!”

Thank you ladies and gentlemen for reading this!  Have a great day…

3 Replies to “Why so SERIOUS?”

  1. Wow, what a post – this post is a wake up call to all of us – to leave our serious faces behind and does so brilliantly. I loved the post piyal – including those nuances of humour sprinkled all over..very nice!

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