Tag Archives: change

Experiences Musings Personal Growth

A change in the direction of my life

About 4 months ago, I wrote about my decision to quit writing full time for now and do it along with a regular day job.

In this while, as you might have noticed, I have posted very infrequently. I have been busy doing quite a handful of things. I recently took up a job in software development. For sometime, I tried to get a job in organization development but that was not working out as soon as I would want it to. So I came back to my old love.

I also decided to move to New Delhi from Bangalore. Making both these changes has been quite demanding.

Before I continue further, I want to say that this post talks entirely of what is going on in my life. Usually, I don’t write such posts but I think I need to keep my readers informed about the direction I am moving in. I feel that you, as a reader of this space, deserve to know what I, the writer of this blog, stand for. So here goes…

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When I started writing, I was fired by the idea of doing something that I deeply connect with, the idea of creating something of my own, of being my own boss, of earning money from my own passion. In the last year and a half, I have seen tremendous growth and I feel like a very different person now.

I am still in love with most of that original idea. There have been some new realizations though that have led to slight changes in my inclination.

What holds

Growth and expansion. With this blog, I got an avenue not only to share my experiences and life lessons with you all, but also to grow as a being and allow myself to expand into my potential. I have gained some rich experiences, like working totally on my own, giving full attention to what I like doing for a whole year and a half, taking this year and a half off from professional work and then getting back at it, looking for a job in a new city of my choice, and I have experienced first hand the effort it takes to make the context switch when you move from one line of work to another…

I still coveat such experiences.

Expression, writing, analysis, observation. This is a place where I feel totally connected with myself and I feel that life force is flowing through me unimpeded. I feel pure and complete. This still holds and keeps me strongly bound to the blog.

I want to continue expressing myself though writing, and other means, I want to continue seeking more knowledge about life, I want to observe this world, and I want to use my mind to analyze and try to make sense of what I see.

Creating things. I still am in love with creating new things, whether they are a piece of software, an article or a book. This I intend to continue.

What gives

Being my own boss. I am not so keen on being my own boss now. According to my current understanding of things, the idea of working alone came out of my habit to keep to myself. I have always avoided connecting with others. But now I feel that, to find deep happiness, one needs to connect deeply, both with one’s own soul and with the souls of those around. There is a deep joy in working with others towards a common goal. With my new job, I see an opportunity to work towards this.

Being a personal development enthusiast. If you have read my About page, which was created towards the beginning of the blog’s life, I call myself a personal development enthusiast. I now realize that my enthusiasm is towards the greater and all encompassing field of life itself. I am more of a life enthusiast! I am an analytical thinker. I am an observer… of life, of people, of myself. I am a seeker… of knowledge, of truth, of wisdom. 

My interest has also started building up in the fields of philosophy, psychology and sociology.

This is causing an expansion in the kind of topics I write on. You might have noticed this in the last few articles already. I am yet to change the About page though. :)

A respite for my cash flow

As far as earning money is concerned, I feel I am OK, for the time being, with getting it from software development. I have always enjoyed software development and it seems to get me money easily. This is not to say that I have abandoned the idea of making money from my writings and my expressions. It is just that I am not too keen on monetizing this persuit for now. For now, I want to just focus on continuing writing from my heart and improving at it.

This move has an added advantage – I just have to write to express myself freely and to create good value. In the past year, whenever my focus was on earning money through my writings, I felt that my writings got a little disconnected from my heart. I wasn’t writing as freely. Whatever was coming out, I wouldn’t feel it truly and clearly reflected my soul.

I feel it is possible to have both but for the time being, I want to focus on just writing and writing well. I want to write from my heart, without much thought to whether the article will attract attention and whether it will turn up on search engines etc.

With this job, the concern about a negative cash flow, that I had while I was writing full time, would be gone. Of course there is the brute force method of just keeping at it until it starts earning me money. I don’t think one way is better than the other, they both probably work. It is just my personal choice and comfort with this particular path right now.

What I expect in the coming days

With this job, and its demanding nature, I see a challenge in managing my writing. I have purposefully pushed myself in this corner. I see a lot of adventure and learning in the days to come and I am excited and eager for it.

Well, this is where I am right now. I am kind of enjoying this uncertainty and feeling very excited and free in the moment. These changes have forced a lot of readjustments and a lot of rethinking about a lot of things. I feel all these changes will spark new realizations, new observations and new insights which I intend to share on this blog. :)

Until next time…

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Relationships

Changing others for the better

In our living room and coffee table discussions, so many of us wonder why people(especially the ones we consider less in stature than us) can’t see what is so obviously good for them. Some of us also strive to change these people for their own good.

Their attitudes and habits often lead to uncomfortable situations that irritate us. We feel an even stronger revulsion to their attitudes and an even stronger urge to change their ways.

And this is not limited to those lesser in stature, so many of us try to control our peers in office, our family members and our friends. We try to change them because we know what we are doing will be for every one’s good. It will make everyone happy in the long run.

What makes people happy?

I think before trying to change others, one needs to decide what really makes people happy. Is it different things for different people? Is it, at it’s core, the same set of things?

It has been my experience that, on the surface at least, different people like and enjoy different things. Different people even have different ideas of right and wrong. In fact, most fights among individuals, or groups, seem to be the result of such differences.

Now, for us as individuals, it is a huge task to understand what makes us happy ourselves. Most of us, if we look back at our lives, will find that we have pursued happiness in different things, only to find later that we were looking in the wrong place. So many of us, at some point in the past, craved for the very job that we so hate now. So many of us wanted to be in a loving relationship. Only now, it is not so loving anymore. So many of us wanted to make money. And today, inspite of making more of it than we ever dreamed of, we don’t seem to be any happier than when we started out.

No, it is not easy for us to find what really makes us happy.

So what is the point in deciding for others what we can’t seem to decide for ourselves? While it is difficult to find our own happiness, it is almost impossible to find what makes someone else happy.

Why don’t people do what is right for them?

How many of us find ourselves guilty of not doing what we know to be right? We know what we have to do to feel better(exercise more, watch less TV, spend less time on the internet and more with friends and family, take less stress at work etc etc), yet we just can’t seem to get ourselves to do all this.

It is so difficult to get our own selves to do what we have decided in our minds to be right. It is difficult to break out of our comfort zones. So what is the point in expecting others to follow what we think is right?

So what is the best we can do?

The best we can strive for, is to look for what makes our own selves happy, and to try regulate and control our own efforts.

Let go of the urge to control others. Just decide your response to what others do. Does someone try to make fun of you? Would you ignore this person? Would you leave their company? Would you fight back? Whatever you decide, understand that it is your own response that you can modulate.

Now here is something interesting – when you focus on finding what makes you happy and change yourself to get there, you motivate others, through your example, to do the same. In other words, when you change yourself, the world around you starts changing.

It doesn’t happen in a controlled way, it doesn’t happen according to what someone may have anticipated. But it happens in a very pleasant way. You start feeling good when you focus on changing yourself. And it gets better when others take a cue from you, on their own, and start making some changes in them selves.

Things start falling in place, you start enjoying the world around you. Note that this change happens in 2 simultaneous ways – first, you stop expecting the world to change, you adapt to it. This kills expectations and the troubles caused due to them, And second, when you stop trying to change the world and focus on yourself, the world takes notice and starts adapting to you!

This is how positive change happens. The world surrounding you starts changing when you focus on improving yourself.

Societies change when individuals in it start looking inwards for change and happiness.

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Letting go off the urge to control others and only focusing on your own response makes things so much easier and simple. When the focus moves away from controlling others, you get to see them for what they are, you can now start connecting with their core self. It is now that you will start sharing happiness with them.

 Image: Salvatore Vuono

Career Experiences

In support of changing plans

My last article on why I am moving away from blogging full time got a lot of response from readers. They commented on the article, wrote personal messages to me and some, who know me personally, called me to inquire.

Some people seem to be disheartened and saddened by the decision, they got the idea that I am giving up on blogging.

I am not giving up, I am not leaving blogging. The change in plans is based on certain beliefs I have. I have discussed these before and I will reiterate them here.

Modification to plans

I am just readjusting my plan, the goal still remains the same. To explain further, here is an example from Steve Pavlina that I have quoted before. A plane is off-course almost 90% of the time during its flight. Yet it reaches its destination. How? Because the focus is on the end goal. They just keep readjusting the route all the time and stay more or less close to the expected path. Not perfect, but close.

The goal is more important than the plan. The plan keeps changing, it has to change. Good plans are the ones that are constantly modified and improved as fresh lessons are gained. That is the reason I did not obsess on a strong plan when I started out on this. I tend to make a decent plan, and then jump in. Then I modify my plan along the way, as I learn.

There is another benefit to this, this ensures a lot of adventure. Things are not fixed and you improvise as you go. When you do this, you live life in the moment. You are more receptive to new inputs, to the lessons your journey has for you.

I find this also analogous to an advice often given for fiction writing, plot loosely. When  you just have a loose plot for a story and start writing, you allow your creative genius to bring in fresh and helpful inputs throughout the task. With a rigid plot, you leave no space for deeper insights you gain as you move ahead. You find writing boring because you have already written the story in your mind and are now just rewriting it. But with a loose plot, you keep the whole process interesting till the end. Why not do the same with you life?

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. -George S. Patton

Pushing myself into a corner

During a boxing class I once attended, a fellow student was careless with keeping his guard(his hands) up. The instructor kept telling him to hold his guard up but he will do that only for a few seconds and then let it down. The instructor then sparred with him for a while, hitting him in the face again and again. The guy got the lesson, his guard never went down for the rest of the class.

Discomfort is often helpful in your growth and improvement.

One intention I have with this change is to push myself into a corner. I have grown a little comfortable writing posts and doing little else, even though most of the writing gets done in 2-3 hours daily. I have accomplished a lot, no doubt. But there seems to be a plateau setting into my performance. So, with this move, I am trying to break out of it. I am creating a sense of urgency, I am making myself uncomfortable.

The thing is, when you are faced with grave danger or extreme discomfort, there usually are no confusions which direction you have to move in, you act impulsively to save yourself or feel better. You don’t think what is the right thing to do, or what will make you happy. You won’t feel lazy and you won’t be slow or lacking in your execution. You will just act, in the best way you can.

But when there is no threat or discomfort in your life, finding a clear, meaningful and motivating goal gets a little difficult. If this is your predicament too, don’t go out to buy a new toy, just make a change that your heart approves but that otherwise makes you feel a little uncomfortable and insecure.

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. -Proverb

*****

While change seems uncomfortable, while it breaks the status quo, it is the only thing certain to happen. If we can come to accept it and embrace it, we come to accept a lot of learning, adventure and joy.

What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he sticks in a rut. -Mark Twain

Image credit: David Castillo Dominici