Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter whether whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.
- Taken from The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman, pp 114.
There are some of us who want to take time off to smell the flowers and relax (after getting a nice, well-paying job as a graduate from some hot-shot, elite university). Some questioned the need to go for further self-improvement (since, he/she presumed he/she has 'arrived' after slogging out for 16+ years in school.)
I wonder how long more before they will fall by the wayside and starve to death. Management consultants, investment bankers, financial analysts notwithstanding.
If there is one thing I am thankful for - it is hanging out with peers who are very focused and driven; never resting on their past laurels. Always pushing for the next opening, the next opportunity that will give them the leg up for excellence. They instilled a sense of fear in me - the fear of being left behind. So I follow them and run.
Some may call this the rat-race, and desperately want to get out of it. Well, unless you come from a family rich enough to survive on your endowments, this is not really an option.
That said, I have been running since age 7 (Primary One). But my philosophy is to try to play fair and square, and to help my potential competitors if possible. Because I believe I gain too when my friends benefit. In one of my business school courses, the prof called it social capital.