A Plan that I do not have

I have spent a lot of time pondering “what do I want“, “am I on the right path” and “what is the best thing for me to do“. And, it is when I am asking myself all these questions that I find myself so “unhappy“. I have made many plans with my life, but they all last for a short while because eventually in the end, I find myself loosing interest in the activity – it can be sports, trying a new kind of work style and even television and gaming. It is just that I have not found that one thing that can keep me content with what I got.

And, still I dont know what will?

There are some days, when I dont seem to like anything and I am simply quiet – not speaking and simply looking at the TV aimlessly. And the very next morning, I am back to myself – trying to take a crack at the first person I see. And between these mood swings there is not even a single event. It simply changes over time; and a short period of time as well. However, one thing is common when all that happens is that I do not have enough on my mind; actually my mind is idle of any kind of work for last couple of days and then this happens.  Last week on Friday, I realized through a discussion with Preeti a complex relationship between “What” and “Why”.

Every Why happens before a What.

I believe that I always knew about it, but somehow I was allowing myself to digress too much on the Whys after that What; especially when I had no control over the “what”. In all the cases, when I have allowed myself to tumble down the mood drain, it has always (or mostly) to do with the fact I was troubled with the factors that I can not influence and control.

I know now that I need a plan that keeps me on track to a better me. And this time, I am going to make one

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No end is Good

After working with a friend of mine (who I now choose to refer as an acquaintance) just came back and proved that my instincts right. Anil and I had been engaged in a business for almost 4 months now and he was introduced by a common friend. My initial take on Anil was that we should not include him, but I went ahead not hearing to my instincts. The business came to an end in November 2011, due to another reason. Anil, Babul and I met on Nov 30 to discuss all financial data and close the business. That day we discussed everything and came to 3 decisions:

  1. All revenue till that day will be split equally between the three of us;
  2. There are two projects, which we have to refund money and if that happens, the revenue for those two which have been distributed will be refunded back and;
  3. Anil will continue to support me in the business if i choose to continue

2 days later, we realized that one other project should have not been included because no work has been done and the amount agreed upon in decision#1 was reduced.

After 2 weeks it was evident that the business can not survive and we will stop all existing projects. And, one of the projects as discussed in #2 had to be refunded in full.

Today, Anil drops an email asking me to provide him with:

  • A detailed transaction of our accounts because he received lesser amount that in the email
    • He did not read and forgot the entry where we decided to reduce one other project. That was in the email I sent to them
  • Then he asked if I had added to account the work we did for Pipeline s/w
    • I had to remind him on email that all was discussed openly with all three of in that room, and accounts were settled till them
  • Finally, he said that any profit and loss after 30/11 is mine
    • To which I simply accepted the loss for that project which we had to refund

While we had this email conversation, I was so angry at the fact that he did not trust me with money. Nothing wrong for someone to ask for accounts, but he was questioning my honesty when we had cleared all accounts mutually in front of each other. After 4 months of working I handled the company affairs more that he ever did. And, then after 11/30, he promised to be around which led my decision to try and salvage the situation and then he walked out on me (being self-centered). And, even then when we discussed that very day about those 2 projects if refunded will be born by all three of us, he refused.

It has been a week and I have not spoken to either of them, I hope for the good that it is over sooner than later when it could have been a lot more destructive.

 

A 360 degree turn

Two months back when I came back to India, little I knew that my life would take a U-turn for good. Everything that has happened since July 26 is a welcome surprise. And, it all started with my leadership to decide to allocate me to a project. Next few weeks unfolded very differently

  • I was told that there is a possibility I would be sent on bench if no suitable project was found for me;
  • I was awarded IMPax award which meant I was recognized by the CTO of the organization for my work towards the Java Technology
  • I was told by “the director” who leads Architects in India that I am not skilled enough to be an Architect

On the other side, I was making super-duper progress on my personal front and within a few weeks of my arrival back to India I had achieved:

  • Learnt PHP and WordPress and moved my websites/blogs to self-managed hosted environment;
  • Gave share to my iFramework so that it can be shared with a community bigger than any organization (open source community)
    • I finally released my project to OSS community as a Maven Central Project
  • DZone selected me as one of their Most Valuable Blogger – which meant they would publish my articles on their JavaLobby
  • I started to work on the “Testing Framework” that was Work In Progress for last 3 years and finally I gave it shape that i can be released as a framework
    • Even purchased domain for it: EAMSteps.org
  • Wrote a Multi-threading framework

On personal side, some things started to change and in all this mix I realized one thing – I had lost my touch on technology during last thre years and all this happened because a laid-back attitude that I had developed. Now, that for 6 weeks I was so active which was hard to believe, it seemed appropriate to continue with the momentum and it was time to do things that matter.

Last 3 years made me realize that age is catching up with me and if I do not do something substantial soon, it will be too late. I would have another 2 (maybe 3) years to make a significant impact on my career.

Amongst all of the changes, it became evident that it was time to move on from my current organization and figure out whats next. And, here I am now just looking at another month maybe 5 weeks with my current organization and still figuring out whats the next best thing to do for me to make the very best use of next few years of my professional life.

Another decision

Today I have a meeting with my leadership team to understand and then decide what I am going to do next in my organization. The last year was all working on non-technology stuff for the most part. Last year, I was promised a technical role after I was done with my program management responsibilities, but that did not happen and I realized that I just can not keep myself away from technology at all. I need that as a fuel in my life to keep it exciting. Anything else just makes it too boring.

I am meeting with Harsha today to see what they (Harsha and Krishna) have thought about my role in the company. I know I want something in technology and I am going to ask for that. Time has come when I start seeing myself doing things I want to do and start saying “I want” instead of “I need”.

Wish me luck.

Time to get Priorities right

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
was full.

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.”

 

A new end, a new beginning

I could have never guessed that I would be up at 5.30am on the New Year day; but then I could have never guessed that I would be living in Minnesota for 5 months. Last year has been an year or many things that I never thought could happen to me. But, when I start thinking about the last 10 years of my life, I feel so glad that there are things in there that I had thought of – a good job, loving wife and an adorable daughter are the three things that top my list.

But, last decade was about learning and growth. I moved from early 20s to 30s and it changed my life in many ways. Last few years, I saw myself leaning towards Spirituality and in many ways moving towards to the betterment of my life and my family.

I started the decade hungry of success, and I am starting a new decade still hungry, but of a different kind of success. For starters, I want to follow one of my so many passions that I picked up in years and let them die. I have not decided which one, but it feels like photography is going to be it. So, you can be rest assured that you are going to see quite a few clicks from me in times to come. A lot of those are going to be of my daughter and I try to spend as much time as I possibly can with her.

Living outside of India and my home has never been a thought but it happened in the very end, and I may have to do so again in the beginning too, but something I am not looking forward too very much. However, this decade the goals achieving some higher things in life. Professionally, I consider myself blessed in this last decade. I started off in the year of the dot.com burst, however still I am holding a senior position with a big organization and I think I have earned respect amongst many of my colleagues (if not all). In this new beginning I would like to achieve some more.

Personally, last decade saw me at crossroads many times. Not many would know that, but I went from someone who cant shut up to someone, who does not speaks. I am still uncertain as to if this is for good or not, but introspection tells me something needs a change here – as my mother tells me so affectionately – “you should be more social”. I know she is right but then I am me. I am a different person when I am around my daughter or my friends and I like that person. Maybe, they are not judging me all the time and if they are sometimes I do not care because it is so much fun that way. I believe that for me to be that person all around, I have to do some talking. Something I have done successfully in my professional like in the last decade, and I think I need to so likewise here too.

Friends – wow!! A whole new meaning for me in this decade. Because, in the last decade, I completed a decade long of friendship with a few of my friends and made some new ones. My friends from 90s taught me what friendship really means – it is not about talking a lot, but talking when it makes sense. It is not about having to talk to someone all the time to be friends, but still to be friends when you find it most difficult to be. And, some new ones – when I never thought I would be able to make some new friends in such a hectic life, I actually did. I somehow have started to believe that the word “Best Friends” does not exist. Either we do have friends or we dont. I do not like to name people, but I would do so this time around – Rajat, Deepika, Shallja, Samita, Pankaj sir, Sitija, Babul. And yeah Anurag (even though he is my brother in law) I find myself at ease around him just like I do with friends. When my mother-in-law tells me that she was so afraid given both our nature, we would even tag along, it is surprising that we do go along very well. There are of course some differences and I am the “Jijaji” :), I find myself being very comfortable around him.

Family – I left this one for the last, because this one is never going to end. I started a new decade with just my side of the family and mid-way, I was blessed to have Preeti’s side of the family too. And, it has been wonderful along the way. Preeti herself has been in all ways the “better half” and complimented me in many ways. And when she presented me with Aabhya she just gave me the world. I can not thank her enough for all she has done. Mom and Dad – they have been ever so patient with me all along. They saw me sunk with dot.com, they saw me grow in Sapient and UHG and they saw me change over time and move away from their child to be a father of their grand-daughter and yet they were so patient with me and my attitude (I wish I never had that). Only if I would be half as patient as they have been, I would be a different person. Thank you mom and dad. Aparna – my baby sister and I still call her that even though she is now married and is practicing her medicine in a big hospital. She has been like a daughter to me, but somehow I dont think I ever said those words to her. I think she knows :). Our fights turned out to be some deep talks over the years and then to a silence of respect and love of each other. I cant thank her enough for being their for me and listening however little I talked about. This chapter can go long if I start writing about everyone, so I am going to take a rain-check for now and come back later.

Thank you God, for being there for me all the time and guiding me for the very best. I could not have done any of this without You.

Life is all about sacrifces !

“Life is all about sacrifices” – sometimes you sacrifice your likes for making someone feel happy; but what you actually do is not to sacrifice that love, trust and faith of the other person. You just choose which one is of lesser importance to you and you sacrifice that bit.