Did you see that video? Mr Jugaadulal is busy trying to be “creative”, finding jugaad solutions.
Jugaad. Short term solution. I first learned this word way back in the 80s when my colleagues at work would often say,”Kuch jugaad kar de yaar” (think up a creative shortcut) especially when emergency solutions were required to tackle a problem.
In most situations in life, jugaad or short term solutions only make things worse, as you can see from the video!
Who paints a damp wall?
Years ago, I remember when my Mom and I moved to a different city as a result of a job transfer and we were busy trying to find an apartment. We finally found one and requested the house owner to give it a fresh coat of paint. He agreed. We moved in a week later. In two days, the paint on one of the walls started to peel. Later we came to know that the wall needed extensive repair, but because a tenant was ready to move in, the landlord thought the fresh coat of paint would solve the problem. What a bad idea! Not only did he lose money on material and labor for painting it, but also ended up having to strip it down and get it repaired.
Oh, how can I forget an incident from my 6th grade when I was stupid enough to seek a quick fix solution! I was in boarding school. Over the weekend we were expected to get our school uniforms washed, pressed and ready, pack our bags with Monday’s time table, wash our white canvas shoes and apply a coat of white liquid polish – and dry them to make them look pristine white.
Now most of us got everything but those white shoes ready. On Sunday night, it wasn’t unusual to see frantic activity with the girls trying to get hold of white chalk, dampen it and try to whiten those dirty white shoes.
As we filed into the dormitory after dinner, we would carry our uniforms over one arm, white shoes in the other so the Sister in charge could inspect and pass us. Of course, she was experienced enough to know which shoes had been cleaned, and which shoes were not. One day, I was dumb enough to apply dry chalk. As luck would have it, when my turn came I was paralyzed with fear and dropped the shoes. They landed with a thud on the floor, sending up a haze of chalk dust.
Cutting a long story short, I was grounded for a week and had penalty chores during play time. Lesson learned.
That day, I decided #NoMoreShortCuts.
I’ve often wondered why we seek shortcuts.
Is it because we’re lazy?
Is it because we couldn’t be bothered about the consequences?
Or is it just that shortcuts are the easy way out?
As a parent, I’ve encountered many instances when it was tempting to resort to jugaad solutions, but I am glad I didn’t. My angelic son, generally easy going and reasonably well-behaved had one weakness. Candy. Since he was prone to wheezing, the doctor had absolutely forbidden it, along with fizzy soft drinks as it would trigger painful coughing bouts. Also, he was on treatment with inhalers.
Few things are harder than saying no to a toddler. It was particularly difficult to take him along shopping as there would be a tantalizing array of various types of chocolates and candy seemingly calling his name. Cotton candy was the worsst. He’d keep cajoling with the hope we’d give in.We would feel terrible about saying no. It might have been easier if he had been the sort who’d throw a tantrum, but no – he’d be sweet and smiling and persistently hope that one of us – my Mom, his Dad or I would give in.
Of course we didn’t. We cared about his long-term health. We wanted him to grow out of that wheezing with disciplined treatment. We cuddled him. We creatively came up with healthier homemade options. We made it a habit to eat fruit and salads together. You know what they say – health is wealth – and our efforts have paid off.
Imagine what would have happened had we given in to his longing for candy! I shudder to even follow that train of thought!
As I said earlier, there are no shortcuts in Life.
Whether it is parenting, maintaining healthy relationships at work or planning for our future and managing our finances, jugaad solutions are not the answer. Who would voluntarily prefer self-sabotage?
Right now I am scheduling my premium payment with Exide Life and find it heartening that my insurance comes from a brand that does not believe in jugaad solutions when it comes to planning for long term financial security and happiness. Adopting the #NoMoreShortcuts policy in all facets of life, especially for long-term financial health is the way to go!