Rather an obnoxious title for a post. Well its not about reclaiming life from the nadir of disruption and maelstrom, it’s just a reflection on certain things in life which did not go well in the past year compounded my laziness and procrastinating nature.
Professional Life – It was a least satisfying year 2008 in my professional life. Year in which learnability eroded and a sense of complacency set in. The project was rocked by many storms and tsunamis and it was floating like a rudderless ship. Work really dried up and days were spent in office like being spent in browsing center. Hopping from one site to other without any direction and nor adding any value to self, it was just wasted time altogether which cannot be reclaimed. Mired by politics at top level, hampered by technological limitations and lack of good customer feedback and acceptance is a sure recipe for disaster and project failed to take off. It was a bitter experience and it was sort of repeating for the 3rd time in succession – failure, thrashing and finally scrapping of project. Five years of energy, ideas and code getting scrapped repeatedly sapped the enthusiasm, verve and energy. The inquisitiveness to learn new stuff was lost; it was like going to job daily in the morning and a it was like a mirage of being busy and engaged
Learning and Adding Value – Last year (2008) also adversely affected this aspect, virtually stopped reading technical books and were just scratching the surface of tech blogs. Lost the complete energy to learn, experiment and broaden the portfolio. This is really synchronous to the work you do, when work dries up and you have no sense of direction, it’s same with learning new stuff. It was always about what to learn? Why to learn?
Finance – It was getting contagious, lethargy crept in here as well. A good portfolio of equity thoughtfully constructed during the previous years (when Sensex was at 6k-7k levels) was just left idle in the bank and demat accounts. In stock markets it’s all about timing and planning your entry and exit. Now if you just don’t track it regularly it’s just going to be winded away. Yes I left a lot of money in the table and never booked profits/minimal losses in a timely fashion. The net result is blood bath in these bearish times.
Health – Further bad news, eating out, eating in, eating at, all sorts of prepositions you can add with eating, and factor in sedentary life result is bloating up horizontally on all sides. And naturally had to pay the price in the form of intriguing back aches which were diagnosed to be slip disk later. It’s sort of a permanent handicap which I have to carry along whole life.
Enough of bad news, is it not time to take control of life and steer it in the right path rather than leaving it adrift? I started 2009 with the right earnest, hope and energy.
Professional Life – Things had to change, change for good and that trigger happened in November, after I read “The Bonsai Manager”. That lingering feeling and inkling in me to break the comfort zone finally materialized and I finally put the papers in current team and looked for opportunities within the company. Opportunity to face new challenges, don new roles and prove everything from the scratch. So 2009 started with a fresh note, a new team, new role, new challenges, facing customer, feeling the heat of customer issues and a whole new domain. It feels a lot better now, coming home in the evening with a satisfaction of adding value to myself and doing something worth the salt.
Learning and Adding Value – When you have enough work to do, to keep you busy then naturally you get energy to read and explore new stuff. It’s like learning with a sense of purpose to assimilate ideas that you can implement in the current work, innovations which you can envisage in the current way of doing things and technologies and latest fad to be brought up in meetings and be incorporated in work. So its lot more fun now, inspite of being engaged I am able to extract a couple of hour or two to read blogs or e-books and add value to myself.
Finance – I owe this to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. Frankly it changed the perspective with which I viewed money this far. I realized money is all about building assets and making it work for you rather than being left idle in nonchalant savings account. I have shed my lethargy now I track my stocks daily once, re-jigged the portfolio. I read a lot about stock markets, learnt how to read charts, how to trade options and futures (though never got the guts to try it out) and now I am actively shopping for stocks with strong fundamentals each day when the market crashes. It’s all getting tracked in a neat google spreadsheet doc and I plan to invest every month a significant chunk in equity markets.
Health – This I owe it to my Doctor, Dr. Raghav Dutt. He has inspired to me do regular exercise, to bring down the calories. So at least for past 6 odd months I am walking daily in the morning for 1-1.5hrs. And I have lost 9kg in the process and come down to a manageable 89kg now. The aim is to reduce further 3-4kg. But it’s going to be tough because I feel this is the maximum achievable for now, the last 3-4kg is going to difficult unless I can do severe diet modifications and resort to little bit starving. But for now I am going to pamper my stomach with regular food. So things are looking really good now, this year I also joined in Twitter and found it be an amazing source of gathering good stuff from the Net. Let me hope to continue this in the coming years!
PS:- I really love the Title, its used as the tagline by Tata Safari and I love their ads as well. And if ever I change my car I will seriously consider Tata Safari and Reclaim Life!