Personal Interviews

Interview: Dr. Naushad Forbes (Part 1)

Mandar- What keeps you so motivated?

Dr. Naushad Forbes Many years ago, I used to split my year between teaching a course in US and I would teach this course for about three months. I would spend rest of the year working here in the company and people used to ask me then what do you enjoy most? My answer was always, well, if you talk in the terms of the actual content of what I did, the actual minute- to- minute what you do, I really enjoyed the teaching.

Dr. Naushad Forbes
Dr. Naushad Forbes

I had this great group of students who had taken this course as an elective and who were really smart, bright, the young group with whom I spent all my time interacting with; it was a lot of fun.

But, I also felt, if I never went back to Stanford, it would be no worse a university. It will be just as great a university and as a result I felt I did more of a difference here. So in terms of what actually motivates me, it’s a long answer (laughs). It’s this combination; of this actual content of the job, what you do on a day-to-day basis may be not everything that you do but the great bulk of it, the majority of it should be the stuff that you enjoy and you take pleasure in. At the end of the day motivation is intrinsic to the job. No one from outside can motivate you. You have to feel motivated from within. You have to be self motivated. The only sustainable source of this motivation is the content of the job and the sense of making a difference. If you feel that what you are doing is helping to make something better, the something can be the world around you, the something can be an organization, results, something can be anything. The lives of people, because you are teaching them about classical music and I think that’s where motivation comes from. That desire to make a difference to people. And I am not trying to make any comment about making a difference. You can make a difference in an Akanksha sense where you are helping people who come from a disadvantaged background, ensuring that they will get a platform from which they can move ahead much more rapidly. One doesn’t need to make difference only by doing good social projects.

Part 2- Dr. Naushad Forbes commenting on the future scenario of India after ten years. Coming soon. 


Follow your passion!

Dr. Naushad Forbes, while addressing a gathering of students strongly emphasized that one should always do what he likes. He advices that one should change what he is doing if he does not enjoy it.
The first thought which comes to our Mind after reading this, is not very positive. When it is repeated a many times, truth loses its value. I think same has happened with this statement of Dr. Naushad Forbes. At first appearance it appears to be a very common and casual statement. But, when one stops for a while and starts contemplating over this statement, then he realises the true value of the statement. The realization becomes even graver and darker when one starts to think of it keeping his life in front of his eyes. For me, this statement is holier than scriptures because it is more relevant in today’s life. Giving a thought to these words can change one’s life.
It is very surprising to see that very few persons enjoy the work they are doing. The result of this is even graver. In the same speech, Dr. Naushad Forbes mentions that if one likes his work, there are high chances that he will do it in a better way. If we observe around, very few people like what they are doing. The result of this is, they suffocate while doing the work and at the same time, the work is not done in a better way.
The gravity of this issue cannot be realized unless you are constantly in touch with young students and freshly graduated fellows. Hardly anyone knows why he is studying his field. The result is, the passion for one’s work is missing, the involvement is missing. Yes, there are some of them who realize somewhere in between that what they are doing does not appeal them and then change the way. The experience tells, such persons have done better jobs and are happier.
But the issue does not get solved if two or three out of thousands of students find out the way. Ideally, everyone should be able to find out the way of his choice. This ideal situation should be a practicality.
The issue will not be completely solved if we do something when these students are in college. Something should be done from the very birth of these children; or even before that.
I think the awareness about work satisfaction, individual natures of different persons, different priorities is missing. Parents take it for granted that their kid (and they!) will be happy if the kid earns huge lumps of money. Somewhere they are unaware of what the tendencies of the kid are, what matters the most for him.
I guess, it will be a golden day when everyone is doing what he loves to do.