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Saturday March 2, 2013

Gen-Y and its pursuit of the sweet life

In a Sense
By CHOONG EN HAN
han@thestar.com.my


RANDOM thoughts about quality of life perked me up from my morning grogginess earlier this week.

For the working adults, most of us may have been entangled in the atrocious nine-to-five cycle as what Dolly Parton aptly described in her famous song.

Could life be more mundane than the four white washed walls and the plain ceiling that I was staring at?

Such thoughts about the vicious working cycle made me ponder over an Italian saying “la dolce vita” that means the sweet life.

The Italian lifestyle in general is definitely easygoing - dining at sidewalk cafe with a glass of wine in hand, smiles on their face and laughter in the air.

I cannot help but feel envious of the Italian way of life, where people sip Campari at noon and have siestas by the patio after lunch on a weekday!

For people from the east, many have been “brainwashed” to believe that the hours you put in at work are reflective of productivity, which is not the case.

If we were to indulge in that kind of Italian “gratifying culture” here, we would probably be given the boot in no time.

Perhaps, this indulgence work culture may have been practised at the expense of Italy's ailing economy.

But we cannot deny that Italy has also given birth to a number of famous individuals that has changed how we view the world.

Among them are Niccol Machiavelli who gave us a new meaning to politics and philosophy; Galileo Galilei opened the skies of astrology; and Enzo Ferrari the man behind the world's most sought after car marque.

For me, a balance between work and pleasure is important but not easy to accomplish.

For employers, they should give employees a fresh perspective in relation to work, especially for Generation Y.

This segment of society, including myself, collectively adds up to about 70 million globally.

What's more pertinent is that we are the fastest growing workforce and a different breed when it comes to work and life, compared with our predecessors.

In a way, we are more result-oriented, challenge-driven and strive to live a meaningful life.

A driven and happy individual will produce quality work.

Alas, the fine line between work and personal space is already crumbling for the better.

Coming back to indulgence, by the time you finished reading this, I am already on the B-roads towards Cameron Highlands on my Vespa, in search of my own version of the sweet life.

But work is never far away with the iPhone around.

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