2017 was a watershed year for me. I was able to shed the baggage of my past, lay the foundation of my future, identify values that speak to me, and finally undertake work that gives me joy and meaning. That sounds awfully positive; yes, but it wasn’t perfect. I failed at many activities, but I learned, I contributed, I travelled and I laughed. Here are some reflections and lessons.
I started most days by taking an hour to read/learn/exercise. It has had a positive impact on my life. Some impactful ideas such as Most Significant Failures, After Action Reviews have emerged from this practice. This curiosity for knowledge and self-improvement has also provided me with a framework for decision making (WRAP), storytelling (SUCCESS), and evaluation (time + resources = quality).
Besides practical knowledge, I learned about the value of having a higher purpose and meaning in life. A fascinating book, Man’s Search for Meaning, taught me that meaning can be created in the worse of human conditions, even as morbid as concentration camps. It’s this meaning that allows us to survive and thrive. That acceptance of our condition allows us develop a sense of equilibrium and lead a more forward-looking life.
I have been able to derive this sense of purpose from creative writing, continuous learning and contributing to my family’s well-being.
An internet-fast once-in-a-week allowed me time to reflect, write and read. The ability to slow down in a fast-paced and ever connected world is precious. It puts me in an environment where I can be creative and mindful. The more I continue on this path; the more creative I will be. Intermittent fasting, too, is a positive lifestyle development. It gives my stomach the rest it deserves.
These habits may seem small, but cumulatively they have made me more energetic and productive. A case in point is that I haven’t suffered any major and few minor sickness this year. I need to continue seeking more of these and mainstreaming them into my lifestyle.
- Mass gain: I was unable to gain body mass this year. Although, I was able to gain some body mass in the first half of they year, they were eventually lost. Back problems, food availability and my habits like intermittent fasting worked against this goal. I guess bulking is not for me because of the investments required. The idea of fitness I have is more comprehensive and includes flexibility and stamina. I need to give up on the dreams of bulking for the sake of more functional fitness.
- Morning bird: Failed to do this for the second year in a row, however, it is a goal work pursuing. Part of the reason is indiscipline and bad habit of late night phone chatting. I need to be more tough with myself on no-internet rule past 11 pm. Perhaps, switch off internet altogether and put the phone in the farthest corner of the house.
- Motivation: Broadly, it’s a deficit of motivation that’s has caused my failures. In order to achieve my goals, I need to tap into a source of greater motivation supported by ease of action and consistent triggers.
None of these ideas and insights came easy, however, they have given me immense confidence. I have had to do my homework, pitch and then slowly build them with persistence and patience. I learned one key lesson in the process:
Leaders are able to see value in an idea no one else can even imagine. It takes a great deal of courage, effort and patience to bring them to life. Its okay if others disregard it. We need to be confident, patient and let them emerge. That’s how you write novels, build companies and make the world a better place. Keep making connections, rope in contributors and turn them into reality. Don’t be afraid to try and fail, Anmol.
There are two separate visions with which I am moving forward. One is of an author. Someone who uses words and stories to inform and inspire. I love the challenge and he excitement of building a storyfrom scratch. As fulfilling as it is, it doesn’t offer financial security as a standalone activity.
The second is of a knowledge/communication manager in social development interventions. It obligates me to do an organisations’ bidding in return for comfort and security. Furthermore, I do learn from my colleagues and enjoy making a difference. However, it is not how I am going to make my mark and change the world.
Thus, I need to give both these endeavours weightage in 2018, until one becomes the obvious choice. I am signing up for another year of learning, writing and laughing #priceless