The mercenary in me……..

If I have a diary, I would probably write that 2013 is not an easy year. But, no, I have no diary, and not even the habit to write on such thing.

Yet, that is how I feel about the year that soon about to expire.

It is not a bitter year nor it is a sweet one. There are many good results, indeed. Yet, I fell that they could have been better. It is not that I don’t see those results as achievement. They definitely are. But in light of honesty, I must say that I don’t feel the happiness I thought I would have felt after all the achievement.

Am I not being ungrateful? No, that’s not true. To all good things that happened this year, and to all that has been earned, gratitude is all I can express.

And yet, I must be honest to myself that I also I feel tired, that after I achieved what I aim, I felt like I lose the energy to indulge the champagne and the celebration, you could say. In fact, what I feel was that I’m not entirely sure if the results are enough to be seen as achievement and to be celebrated for.

In contrast to what I feel, those who experiences the result of my work feel that what I have achieved so far in 2013 is impressive. This appreciation makes this year felt as not a bitter one, and yet not the one the I can feel the sweetness either.

Now, what has create such a mixed feeling in me?

I wonder if it was more of the feeling I have about how do things. It is not about the results or the achievements, but more on how I feel about how I get to those results. The results are facts, evidently confirm whether I make a successful effort or not. The results are about the measurement of the victory upon the battle. The feelings about how I fought for it are the one that feed to my emotional satisfaction.

Using the analogy of battle, we have learned from history that there were wars that, despite all the glory in victories, most of those who were involved do not feel proud of. I think in all battle, literally such in warfare, or metaphorically such in many other aspects of life, do not offer any guarantee that victories will bring you happiness and pride.

Why? I guess the answer would be on the fact that we do not always get into a battle of our personal choosing. Many battles we have fought in life is because they are necessary to fight in, but not because we want to. And, for those battle we want to fight in, things sometimes happen not in the way we expect they would have happen.

In life as well as at work, we sometimes have to pick up the battle we might not choose should we have such privilege to choose. In battle, we are soldiers that follow the course of war.

This thought, brought me back to a discussion with a friend few weeks ago. We were discussing about few things, and at some point we talked about how I see myself as a professional. She was intrigued when I say that despite all things I am capable to do in profession, I am a soldier. She, which happened to choose to be an academician, a profession she believes as an independent type of work, was even more shocked when I say that even her is a soldier.

Actually, I would have use mercenary instead of soldier, as I see that word as a better fit.


We all fight for battles we believe in, or at least a battle that give something less than our belief, but still something we believe in.

We claim many reasons for all battles we have picked, and for those we have abandoned. There are many names for those reasons. Passion, ideals, beliefs, concerns, cause, ideology, purposes, faith, principles, results and many more, you name it. Essentially, it is the same. There is something that we see as the reason, be it an idea, or a status, or a person or even a symbolic entity such as brand or organization. It does not matter what it is really, as long it is something we put a high esteem on.

This point of significance, is something we are willing to fight for, and which absence will make the battle no longer worth to fight in. This personal significance, that if we are honest, is not always just and full of nobility. When we have to fight on any battle that does not feed to this personal significance, either in the purpose of the battle nor in the way we have to fight in it; we will then lose the ‘joy’ of it.

For such battle, we fight out of necessity and not personal gravity. Such situation does not lead to deep personal lost when it failed to yield, and will not give us the ultimate joy when victory is at hand.

Despite all the great claims we make, we just a mercenary of our own personal significance. All the great ideals will just become less meaningful when that personal significance no longer there. For mercenaries, what matters is he personal significance, not ideals. While there are mercenaries who fight for money, most of us have become mercenaries for other types of reward. Rewards that comes in many types of non-monetary currencies, but speak to our personal significance. The personal significance for which we are even willing to switch sides or even abandon a battle.

Now, honestly, can you see the mercenary in yourself?


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