Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Three Month Countdown

I shall start a three month - or let's say 90 days' countdown - starting today. I have done this before, sometimes kept up with it, but often lost track. But, it is slightly different this time. This time, I have a few clear objectives. Besides, this is an interesting time in my life too, when three months, purposefully spent, can change the direction of my life.

So, yes, today is the first day of the rest of my life. I have already used this quote, but this rings very true. I have pursued something with my heart's content for last two years, never pausing to reflect or think whether this is what I wish to do for the rest of my life. That thought has indeed set in, for some time now, and taken a concrete shape since, back in November, I spoke to my employers about my intent to move on and do something else.

But, as I said before, I was never very clear on what I wish to do. I have defined my long term life goals in terms of an ambitious, near improbable goal, something that went well with my dreaming nature, but did not translate very well into practical strategies. Similarly, I have been spoilt with options in the short run, and I have explored different goals at different times. So, as people asked what I want to do post-Rutledge, I seemed confused - which indeed I was - and spoke about a number of options with equal sincerity. The truth indeed is, as I wrote in this blog, I had no plans made, and just knew that it is time for me to move on.

As I start this 90 day period, such uncertainty can not last anymore. I am too close to the point of departure now and I must prepare myself for this transition from now on. Indeed, I chose a very bad time to try jumping ships - the world is currently in the middle of the worst economic crisis in a century - and I was aware, all along, about this. However, the choice of timing was somewhat intentional too, as I always thought I needed a pause in my career, and there was no better time to pause than this.

So, yes, at the very outset, job search is out of question. Unless something interesting comes my way. I have to be indeed very lucky to land up with something by default, but I am a believer and always keep my door open for God to play his little tricks. But, then, I can not sit around thinking something will walk in, and that's exactly what I shall use this 90 days for - to prepare for the next career.Justify Full

Having written this blog as my morning pages over last three years, and I note that I have about 305 entries here, most of which are original, I feel confident that I shall keep this habit of writing. I some times feel that this should form an essential part of my career. I have no pretence that I am a gifted writer, but I have now practised and studied the trade, and I hope to imbibe greater professionalism and purpose in my writing in the coming days. I do think such practise will help me focus my skills and allow me to include this very usable skill in my professional offering. So, indeed, writing, mostly on the blog at this time, but slowly into other medium and format, is central to my 90 day agenda. This will mean that I shall now have an agenda for writing and try to transform my casual, backroom blog writing into a focused exercise. This will indeed be fun as I go along, and it will obviously show up here.

Besides, I am trying to tackle my big problem, time management, head on. My key issue with time is that I try to do too much. I have no proper estimate of what it takes to do some of the work I promise. Besides, I am not properly resourced, spend too much time travelling and lead a very disorganized life. These 90 days, I want to change all of that. I have decided to limit my travel to not more than 36 days among these 90, an uphill task given what I do, but I shall try my best to achieve maximum remotely. This will, obviously, save money for my employers and in the end, allow me to lead a more planned, organized life. I wonder why I could not do it over last two years, and seemed to know why - I was too vain about my work. I tried to do many things myself and did not choose right people to supplement my efforts. This is a crucial mistake, though I did not realize it at the time. I did not complain when I should have, and allowed everyone, including people above me and below me, dump the dirty laundry on my basket most of the time. I need to stop this now and this feeling that I only have a limited number of days to perform the task is most liberating. So, I need to stop running around and start calling a spade a spade. As I keep this public diary, I shall keep talking about how I get along.

I have also ignored three key areas of my life over last several years. First, my health. I have gained weight through incessant travelling and found it difficult to stick to any fitness regime. One of my first goals is to change that, starting today. This is easier in England when I am not travelling, and I possibly have a two week window in front of me when I am not travelling. I have noticed that when I come back from a long trip abroad, I usually take two to three days to fully recover and get back into a normal lifestyle. I am getting there now. So, let's say, I start on this today. Second, I have ignored my studies. I am left with writing the dissertation for my Masters, which I am committed to and must now finish. I shall focus upon this now and get this done asap. The university has been very helpful and supportive and I would hate not to be able to finish this after having come so far. So, this will go up to the top of my agenda and I shall give 2 hours every day from now on, to studies. Feels like college - yes - but this is essential to what I do next and I shall start without delay. Lastly, I shall give time thinking about family and people who love me. I have been all over the place for many years, chasing what I did not know, and lost connect and missed out on possibly the best years of my life. I do not see a pause in that struggle in the coming months, but I must get a normal life back in my frame, with all its sweetness. This, I know, will help me restore the balance in my life and will eventually help me do more.

Finally, to work and to future, a few words. I have committed myself closely to our English training project and its stakeholders. I have so far behaved responsibly, having given enough advance notice to everyone and doing the best I can to sort this out. However, I know that there is no point burning myself out if others do not step in and shoulder their responsibilities. However vain it may sound, I am now restructuring the project fitting it into a post-90 day structure. I have made one original mistake in structuring the project initially: thought this is my project rather than Rutledge's. I behaved accordingly and incurred enormous personal costs; but this did not create a sustainable structure which can run without my intervention. However, this is something which I am correcting now and fast. I hope to have made significant progress over last few months since November, when a new set of Master Licensees have come up in India and a new structure is emerging. I have started realigning the team, getting rid of people who never actually fit in or contributed, and paving the way for a new management to come in. I remain convinced about the revolutionary potential a product like Direct English has in India; but it will probably need a fresh leadership to achieve its full potential.

And, with regard to my future, I am much clearer than I may sound. As I wrote earlier, I have followed what I was required to do for a very long time. I have been repeatedly told, by people who know me well, that while I excel at things that I like to do, I am only mediocre doing things I am doing because I am compelled to. So, in effect, I have lived a very mediocre life. This was the safe thing to do, but in the end, mediocrity is not really an option. I am now trying to focus myself on what I would like to do. I shall sort out the necessary junk in the next 90 days, forcing me into a disciplined life and making every second count, but with the eventual hope of redemption, an window of opportunity to be myself and a free run with my heart rather than with my grumpy old head.


Anonymous said...

Atfirst all the best for yr 90 days countdown. Then congrats for yr 305 blogs. We hope that u will never stop this writing habit and last but not the list yr 3 keys, Health, Study & family, we wish u all the success for that because u have long way to go Supriyo.

Aditi said...

Hi..I am really delighted to learn that finally you are planning to do something with your wonderful writing talent, which comes spontaneously out of you. I believe, Supriyo, you have the award winning ability for this. GO ahead, win the whole world, make us proud for U!!!

Also, great to know that you are going to take care of your health, that's something you should concentrate first & foremost. Wish you all the best to keep yourself focused all the time! Carry on, enjoy life to the fullest and keep enlightening people with your most charming smile ;-)

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