After sixteen years of decent career graph it feels like I have reached a plateau, or at least it will soon turn out to be one unless I take some hard decisions and make some big changes in life. Looking back its been an amazing journey, never had an opportunity to blink, and now there is more than enough time to sleep. For the past few years if I was complaining about 12 hours work life, weekend commuting to see the family, and absence of work life balance, now I am at the other end of the spectrum, having moved to a new role which pays well to sit and do almost nothing . This coupled with the absence of a clear role profile or career path has pushed me to near depression. The biggest challenge so far has been filling the work hours with something to do other than sitting idle. Which basically means you have become a spare car, which has recently been out of style, high on maintenance, and low on utilization.
The biggest problem with such situation is that you start to lose sense of purpose. Slowly and gradually that bring with it a sense of insecurity as to what’s going to happen next, and such thoughts starts to eat away your sense of self-worth, whereby you steadily lose out on your self-confidence. And then all that comes out of your mind will be negative thoughts, and slowly your outlook towards your life as well start to turn negative. As the saying goes ‘Negative people find a problem for every solution’, and you will get to experience this real time.
Getting out of this vicious cycle is not easy, it requires real effort in positive direction. Rebuilding anything back up takes time and effort, nothing happens without a real sense of need for change. For me the struggle to rebuild and put my life back on the pedestal is on, and I am sharing here some of the famous quotes which helped guide me to make change in the right direction.
Fear is not real, it’s a choice
“Fear is not real, it is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me, Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.” – Will smith
If you look around today, it’s difficult not to notice that ‘Fear’ sells more than anything else. You find more takers for news hour debate which brings out long buried fear in people’s minds on the table. Fear of minorities, fear of lack of leadership of your country, fear of indecisiveness on matters related policies, fear of rouge states leading to end of world, fear of calamities, and many more. It sells. News anchors who brings out these fears in people captures more attention, those who are not talking about it is losing relevance. Corporates are exploiting fears in peoples to sell their product, fear of getting old sells anti-ageing products, fear of being left behind due to your skin color sells more fairness creams, fear of being branded non-successful sells more luxury products. Fear rules, and it is running the world.
But is the fear real or are we making it real in our shared imaginations? If you would have read ‘Sapiens’ by Harari where he explains how through shared imagination mankind has created things like state and borders which doesn’t exist other than people’s shared imagination, you will be able to better relate to what will smith says here about fear. Or you can simply refer to any of your life experience where you have been scared to death due to a fear which never materialized into real danger.
Fear is the byproduct of our imagination, what I have learned is that the moment you realize the truth about fear, you are in better control of your life and the decision you make in life. So dont let fear hold you back from anything in life.
Stop looking for easy way out, focus on growth
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” – Caroline Myss
By nature, we are built to stay away from choices that scares us the most. Everyone prefers comfort of security and predictability. Also, we like life to be easy, but I have learned the hard way that going with the choice that scares you is important to grow. I have recently read an article about a nurse who shared her experience with old people and their regrets in later life. Almost all the people mentioned by her who were in their late years had one regret in common, and that had nothing to do with the things they did in life but was all about the things they didn’t do. The choices they didn’t make
Make those hard decisions, the tough ones, change the course of your life, at least you know you wont regret not doing it in later years of your life.
What you are doing today is critical for your future
“The future depends on what you do today” – Mahatma Gandhi
Probably Gandhi coined this at the backdrop of Independence struggle, but it is so relevant in every aspect of life. The actions you take today, the decisions you make today, the relationships you build today will determine your future. I can sit back and complain about things not going in the right direction for me, but only actions will make a change in that situation. Keeping your money in your safe won’t help it grow on its own, you need to find investment opportunities that will make it grow. Complaining about possibility of job loss wont help save it, taking action to change your situation and steer your career in the right direction will.
Look for the positive side of any situation
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses” – Abraham Lincoln
Finding the negative side of a situation or things comes more natural to humans than the positives. You have to really train your mind hard to look at positives in anything and everything. But this is a necessary training to help yourself not to go off-track and get lost in life. Sometimes negatives overshadow the positives, but it doesn’t mean positives doesn’t exist, the trick is to nurture those positives with care and love that one day it comes out on top. From the psychological perspective those positives are your life line which will save you from drowning.
Clear the EGO
“EGO is just like dust in the eyes… Without clearing the dust, we can’t see anything clearly, so clear the ego and see the world” – Unknown
EGO is the biggest hurdle in the way to make change in your life. It leads people to make wrong decisions which harms themselves. It makes people to hang on to things they don’t need at the expense of things they need. It is the biggest curtain behind which insecurity hides. Clear your ego, to have a clear vision of your life, to make better decisions and choices. And the best way to do that is to develop self-awareness. And one way to develop self-awareness is by watching yourself and your thoughts in action, as if you have a camera pointing inside which is watching all your moves. Every moment the Ego surfaces notice it, understand what it is doing to you and how it is influencing your decisions. The more and more you become aware of it, the more and more you understand it, the easier it gets to clear it.
If you are stuck in a rut and is looking for a breather, then I hope what I shared here helps you to come out of it. Share your thoughts and what you would like to add to this list so I can also benefit from it.