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…

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Goodbye 2011

I recently read somewhere – “Nothing really ends when a year ends. But a lot can begin when a new year begins”. But, a beginning without an introspect would be simply be aimless. While this may be okay for some, for me 2012 has to be in perspective of what 2011 was – this is simply a way of trying to improve on things.

2011 for me can easily be categorized in 4 buckets:

  1. Agneepath
  2. Vanvaas (Exile)
  3. Dream
  4. Awakening

Agneepath

As the year started, I had just come back home after a 5 month stay in US away from my family. I had come back for a purpose i.e. Aabhya’s admission in school. And the year 2011 started like a challenge for both Preeti and I where we were working through various schools in almost all parts of Delhi. It was nothing less than an ordeal for us. However, it all went well and out hardwork was rewarded in February when Aabhya was admitted in Maxfort where she will complete her pre-nursery this year.

However, in February as we were done with the admissions the next test was my return back to US for completing the 1 year assignment. I was scheduled to be back in US in February itself until July and this time Preeti had made it clear that she will not visit because of the long journey. This time, I was not looking forward to going abroad, but still there were obligations to my job that made me think otherwise.  It was a true Dhrams-Sankat for me. And, at one time, I did something I would not expect myself to do it. Yet, on March 26, I flew away to wrap up what I started or should I say “clean up my own mess”.

Vanvaas

This is not what Ram did, but I still call is one because I was away from everything that I liked – especially my home and family. Considering that I was alone this visit brought a lot of different challenges than the previous one. This time, I knew the place and how to navigate my way around it – so my troubles were different especially – “How do I spend my time?” The work as I expected was almost non existent. Although, my bosses promised otherwise, but like any their DNA they failed to come through with what they said and it became a mountain out of a molehill for me to spend my time in US. However, this Exile allowed me to think what I need to do with my career and by the time the Exile was over, I knew my time with UHG was up.

This stay saw me do a lot of things – Tennis: Playing, Coached and Coaching; Road trip to Chicago – where the trip to House on the Rock was simply amazing. Finally, when I was going to come back that was an adventure in itself. Eventually, I was home on July 31.

Dream

When I came back, there was debrief of my project and then there was “no work” for me. My bosses kept me sitting idle for like 2 months; and it simply meant that what I was thinking during my “vanvaas” was just getting resolved. and then there came a 360-degree turn in my life. I went from doing nothing to learning PHP, and taking my framework to 90% completion. I was signed up by an online magazine to publich my technical articles which was a huge boost to what I was doing. Around August, I had started to look out for other job opportunities and I landed up a couple of offers, one of which was with Sapient Nitro. I promptly resigned; and ironically it all happened in the week when I was told “I am not technically sound to be an architect”; and then I was presented with an award for my technical contributions to the company by the CTO. But, I had decided and I was going to move on – and I did in October when I left the UHG and moved on to better things in life.

The Dream also included me started a brand new endeavor and try to do some consultation while I was in between jobs and it was all looking up very nice. The phase was a dream because then I woke up

Awakening

Just like a dream, it all started to crumble – there were issues one after another and I was unable to spend any time to my own learning or my framework. The consultancy that I had opened started to dwindle and soon I was left to make a decision. And, I did but that decision meant that it was time to wake up to the reality.  I went about to join Sapient and close the consultancy and to find out that after putting my sweat and my health on the line – it will all end up with friends not trusting me. Yet it happened – and it made me realize something important. Something I knew always, but never took the time to understand how important those things were. Today as I sum-up 2011 for myself, I know what needs to be done.

Overall, 2011 was a good year – it showed me that I can be strong and yet weak enough to know what I nee; I can dream and work hard to make it come true; I do put my family in front of me even if it makes me miserable; I am more practical than emotional – something that my family does not like about me. Goodbye 2011, lets hope your successor allows me to….

 Coming up next is going to be my resolve for 2012 and lets see how well I do that.

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

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.

The best 20 minutes of the day

Ludo skråfoto
Image via Wikipedia

Last few weeks, my kiddo has started a new tradition – playing “Ludo” before we go to bed. And, for last few weeks those 20 minutes has been the best time of the day that I spend – not thinking – just enjoying with my 2 princesses.

Things have not been how I wanted them to be for a long time, but last few weeks that has been changing and things are taking a favorable shape. Yet, I feel myself still being restless. When I am alone – driving or working or doing something alone, I just can not get my “tunnel focus” back. I am just unable to keep the distress signals out of picture and just focus on getting the things done that need doing. I have been spending a lot of energy in trying to keep myself on track (for doing whatever I have to do). For some reason, I don’t know why?

And, this brings me back to introspection and I am trying to relate my entire day, last few weeks to those 20 minutes I spend where I am totally focused and not worried about whats happening around me or with me. All I know that those 20 minutes make me happy like nothing else does and I need to find that love again in what I do. Also, that my family is with me during that time enjoying and supporting me makes a huge difference to me and I look forward to doing that.

It will not be wrong to summarize that both of the following statements are true for me:

My life’s moments are incomplete, they are not in the same vicinity as complete, if I can not share them with my family.

and

There are things I need to do; not for someone else but for myself. My urge to stay hungry is the reason I am alive.

 

I don’t have all the answers. I failed as much as I have succeeded. But, I have not failed enough just as I have not succeeded enough.

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.