Although addressed to everyone, Narayana Murthy’s advice of working 70 hours a week is not for everyone. Not everyone wants to build a brand and take responsibility for taking a company to greater heights. Different people have different priorities. Some are so excited by their work that they choose to work for long hours. A few just need to put in extra hours at work because their profession demands it. But many just want to live a comfortable and balanced life.
Actor Suniel Shetty took to LinkedIn to explain what Mr Narayana Murthy might have meant or his understanding of his 70-hour work week advice.
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“The way I see things, when a man, the size of Mr Narayana Murthy, says something, you listen carefully, analyse for yourself & take the best out of it,” he wrote while starting his long post.
He explained that for him it is not about the hours but about going beyond one’s comfort zone.
“Even though this is a contentious issue, it’s important to stop & think about what he really meant. For me, it really isn’t about the number of hours. It isn’t about 70 or 100 hour weeks. The way I read his thoughts is simple – It’s about going beyond your comfort zone.”
He gave examples of people like Virat Kohli, Amitabh Bachchan, Ratan Tata and APJ Abdul Kalam – all masters in their fields.
“Take Virat Kohli in cricket, Mr Bachchan from the movies, Ratan Tata from business or Mr Kalam from science. All leading examples of individuals who excelled in their respective fields. Do we really think any of these individuals got to where they did in life, by playing within their comfort zones? Do we really think any of these individuals spent the early years of their careers worrying about whether they were striking the right balance between work & life?”
He said professionals should push their boundaries, hon their skills and acquire new ones while learning to deal with pressure.
“Why I see Mr Murthy’s statement for what it was really trying to convey, is because I do believe that young adults should spend their earliest years pushing their boundaries. Honing skills, acquiring new ones, dealing with pressure, learning about other functions, working in collaborative environments & generally making the most of the opportunities, should be top priority for all young adults.”
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He further went on to share what he would want to change about his 20s and that is putting in more hours to learn more.
“If I could change something about my 20s, it’d be putting in more hours on learning more. This coming from someone who was working full time by age 17, didn’t socialise much as I was manning the restaurants on most nights of the week including weekends & especially during festivals, and yet managed to maintain my fitness routines.”
He accepted that there is life beyond work and it is important to make time for one’s family. But it is also important to keep getting better.
“Sure, there is life beyond work. There should be. It is important to have time for your family, your health, nurturing a hobby, your friends & other things that bring us joy & make life richer. But it’s also true that the world is evolving rapidly. Technology & AI are reshaping the world more than we can imagine. And we need to keep getting better.”
Have a look at his full post here:
His post struck a chord with several people online who agreed with what he was trying to say. Here’s how some of them reacted:
Do you agree with what Suniel Shetty has to say?