Article 7: Beyond the Field: Physical-Mechanical Prowess in Modern Careers

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Body Talk

In our previous article we had seen that human potentials could manifest as the Linguistic, Analytical-Logical, Spatial, Personal and Physical-Mechanical. All of us have all five potentials to varying levels. This article speaks about the Physical-Mechanical Potential.

A minute to go before the final whistle in the final match of the inter school hockey tournament. The crowd roared as the ball was passed to Abdul. He trapped it neatly and was off, speeding down the middle of the field. Like quicksilver, Abdul flashed past the first, the second, and swayed around the third defender. Suddenly it was just the goal keeper between him and the goal. Would he score… would his team lift the trophy? Abdul’s body responded in beautiful synchrony, his muscles stretched every fiber, his eyesight cleared, his mind was perfectly concentrated. In supreme control he feinted to the right, and goal…the ball sailed in. It was poetry in motion!

this magical run on the hockey field happened 25 years ago. Today, 40-year-old Abdul works as a computer programmer… but talk to him about sports and a wistful look comes into his eyes. “My career is okay”, he says, “but I do this only because I have to.” What would he really like to do? “Ah… my gift is my body… my muscles, my quick reaction time. If I could do it all over again, I would find a career that pushes me physically.”

Body Talk: What are Physical Skills?

The Physical-Mechanical Potential is what Abdul is referring to. This intelligence is seen in the ability to move and control the body to achieve a target. It is the mastery over the motions and expressions of the body. It is the fluency of movement. It involves sensitivity to the posture and movements of our own bodies. Physical- Mechanical skills are seen in various forms. A fighter pilot, for example, requires a quick reaction time. The surgeon’s “steady hands” require highly efficient eye-hand-coordination. This intelligence, is also seen in the ability to deal with machines, tools, and instruments.

Physical Careers

If Abdul had the opportunity to “do it all over again” what are the careers he could be good at? Are there careers, in addition to professional sport, that are in demand today?

The Protection Services is a family of careers that require a highly developed Physical- Mechanical ability. The most sought after among the protection services are careers in the Army, the Navy and the Airforce. Careers are also open in the various Para Military Forces and the Police Services. The Investigative and Security Services deal with corruption and crime. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Research and Analysis Wing are examples of Government Investigative agencies. Safety Management is a growing field today and these are specialists who provide security in the industrial environment.

The Performing Arts are strongly grounded in the Physical-Mechanical skills. Training in specific forms of the performing arts is available through institutions such as the National School of Drama, New Delhi or Nrithyagram, Bangalore. Dance-Drama Departments function in most Indian Universities and offer degrees in various forms of the Performing Arts. Wild Life Management, Forestry and Plantation Management are examples of other careersthat would suit young people who enjoy using their bodies and keeping themselves physically fit.

Technical Occupations are high growth and high demand careers in the country today. Some of these are occupations such as auto mechanic, turner, fitter, welder, electrician, medical lab technicians, handicraft, carpentry… the list is a long one. These courses are offered through the Industrial Training Institutes and the Polytechnics. Unfortunately, occupations such as these do not occupy a position of prestige in our society and are looked down upon. The factis that the demand for young people who are good with their hands and who are trained in the technical line has doubled and tripled in the last five years. Finally of course, the engineer, particularly those who work with machines would rely to physical-mechanical skills.

Careers in the Physical-Mechanical area require physical exertion. Some of us are averse to physical work. Some of us enjoy throwing our bodies into a task. If you are one of those who enjoys using your physical skills, you would do well to take a closer look at careers in this area.

This article is a part of a series of articles developed especially for parents by The Promise Foundation through its Jiva Career Guidance Programme. For more information please contact Naushad Awadia who is a licensed Jiva Career Counsellor in your area at [email protected] or write to us at [email protected]