People or Things themselves don’t hurt or hinder us. How we view things and people is a different matter. Strange!!
In the World cup match between India and West Indies, Sachin Tendulkar once again walked after given not out because he knew he had nicked it and was out. A debate that has come to haunt this game many a times. Last time it was with Gilchrist in WC 2003 and now this time in 2011 it has already happened with a few top notch batsmen – Sachin, Ponting and Jayawardena – the full story is here.
I see this as something you live you life – do you want to have integrity as a part of your life or not. There are many things you do in life only you know and there is no way someone else can find out. It is for you to decide how you deal with it. You can try and explain your scenario to others, and hope they understand you.
I am going through a similar phase and hope that the ones I love understand that my decisions may lead all of us though a tough patch in our lives, but it about integrity and legacy we want to leave for our child.
Decisions that are right are happy moments but we are defined by the way we stand by our incorrect decisions.
In last few weeks, I have managed to turned my life into a living nightmare of some sorts. I guess it all started when I took up an assignment on July 2010 for a year. I came back into India for a period of 3 weeks to get Aabhya’s admissions in nursery and get her started on her 14 years of educational journey.
Here I am still in India – for a period of 12 weeks; way more than I could have ever thought about. I have canceled my travel plans twice now and I am staring at travel on March 25 – just 3 days away. And once again, I am going through a phase of seeing Preeti sad and will be seeing Aabhya crying when I am leaving for Airport.
Starting Feb 7, 2011 – till date; I have been thinking about going or not going and I have been oscillating back and forth many times and several times in a day. I had to cancel my trip early March because I just could not take the pressure and thought maybe I can stay back. I was risking termination because of my action of canceling at the very last minutes. However, all things turned out well and currently, I do have an option of saying No to travel for this assignment `at least`. But, once again I am inclined to travel.
Preeti says – she can only see one reason which is “Money” – that I want to earn more money. Well here are my reasons:
- Sincerity and Honesty: I have been always sincere in my work – never said something that I could not do and never lied. Until early March when I did lie so that I do not have to travel. And somehow, I have not been at rest since that day. I feel that good things have happened to me in past because I have been honest in what I did; but this time dis-honesty is something that is not cut-out for me. Somehow, inside of me I want to make amends and get done with the assignment that I committed 8 months back
- Complacent and Fear: I have reached a point when I have started to find excuses for my doing challenging work – This project makes me work with some of the worst people; who are very politically influenced. I knew this from the start and never wanted to work with them. Last time around, I was kind of forced by fear of termination into this project and when I reached the ground i did quite OK. But, this time I see a chance of getting out and I was inclined to get out of the mess and do something else.
- Practicality over emotions: Last week my decision changed because I was offered a set of responsibilities that will provide me an opportunity to work in areas where I have not worked before and may lead me to a promotion by end of this year. I told this to Preeti and she asked me – what are the alternatives; if you do not do this, how long will your promotion be delayed? – I think it may be about another 1 – 2 years. Preeti is right in some sense if I can not sacrifice 2 years for a promotion than leave her and Aabhya for a a period of 4 months. I do not wish to do so because I believe in taking decisions on what I see in front of me right now. I can not foresee any part of the future and hence do not know what is going to be offered to me in upcoming next 2 years. I may or may not get what I am getting now. I do not think I can deal very well seeing people around me grow at a rate faster than me because they lick their boss’s ass and I ca not do that. Hence, my options are fairly limited and this is one opportunity that is going to get me to that place – hopefully.
- Career move: After a lot of hunting around in Indian markets, I have realized that there is no future for Architects. That role does not exist in a leadership role – CTO or CIO unless you have your own company or know someone in that position in an Indian company. I have to move over to a Program manager role and the responsibilities I am being offered in my current role, provide me with a very lucrative opportunity to move into that role and still get promoted without loosing any time. If I was to switch into this role now as a PM, it would mean another 2-3 years before I get into a PM stream.
I do see the point that I am going to sacrifice 4 months of my life with my wife and daughter and I am going to loose Aabhya’s early school life. I missed her start of Kindergarten and I am going to miss on her 3 months of Nursery too. I will miss Preeti’s birthday and any other occasions and events that will happen during this time. I will be able to speak to them daily and do video chats as and when possible. I know from past it will not be too frequent given our schedule.
And this is where I get emotional and conflicted. Career over Family? I do not think I am choosing Career or Family. I do feel that I am still choosing my Family over Career because this is step is going to get me to a position in a company where
- I can continue to work just 8 hours in any given day;
- Reach a leadership role where travel is limited to once of twice a year for about 1 week at a stretch and;
- I can not live by a lie and teach my daughter to be of a principle. Although, the lie was for my family but is a lie nevertheless, a breach of my integrity and ethics. A legacy I do not wish to leave for my daughter. I hope when she grows old she understands me and is able to pardon me for not being for her.
It is not about Money; Money is just a bi-product of what is happening. However, it is an important bi-product and can not be taken out of the equation. In all ways, however I look at it – Family always comes first. Nobody gains by leaving their Family behind to become CEO of a company and get lots of money, big houses, fast cars. All those are crap if you do not have your loved ones next to you when you die. And by no imagination do I want to earn that kind of money and give up the opportunity to spend a life with my family. But, then I can not also ignore the part the there are basic needs and we are at a point when those basic needs have found a way of evolving by themselves and we can not control those – Dad is going to get retired some day, Aabhya is growing up and she will have her own demands. Mum, Dad, Preeti and I are getting older and our health will have certain demands too – both time and money. I am not at a place where I can afford to take an average path and still be able to satisfy all those needs. This is one opportunity that will take me to a Sr. Manager position and will put in a place / position where I can move ahead with a slight advantage and deliver what my Family needs from me.
You can have whatever you want so long as it does not matter who gets the credit
It’s so human to crave applause and recognition and acclaim. We all want to be appreciated by our peers. But leadership is a lot more than trying to look good in the eyes of others. It’s about standing for A Cause. It’s about being excellent as you do your work. It’s about leaving people better than how you found them. And it’s about not worrying who gets the credit for a job well done.
People who are brilliant at what they do always get found out.
The cliché is true: The cream always rises to the top. The best always come to light. And The Great Ones amongst us can never be held back.
Scientists reveled that Japan earthquake may have shortened length of days and shifted Earth’s axis. I am not going to talk about this story, bu I am going to relate this to what I wrote about a few days back; The Mayan Prediction.
Did Mayan think that this could have been happen and their so called accurate calendar may already been incorrect?
- Mayan predictions for 2012 – What is it exactly? (kapilvirenahuja.wordpress.com)
The tendency to keep referencing the past is the biggest roadblock that any one hit. We can choose to use the information that we have. We can look at the past experiences to see what we did good and what could we have done better next time. We should not let those past experiences stop you.
Accept the fact that what has happened in the past is simply for information purposes.
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full?
They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar
They agreed it was. The students laughed.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognise that this is your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else, the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”