Thursday, June 04, 2009

Planning Ahead

I am now focused on next three months, the period ending 31st August, beyond which a new phase of life will eventually become. Those who know me know that I thrive on these three month periods - something programmed in me by the quarterly cycles of my earlier employers and practised since on my own initiative, in a rounded 100-day review cycles. This comes naturally to me, setting objectives which are medium term and allow a bit of breathing space and my characteristic patience, but not too far that no meaningful effort can not start today.

As I start this, my agenda is more or less set. As I write, my application is being reviewed by the Home Office for an Indefinite Leave to Remain in Britain. If this comes through, and I shall know by today end, this will mark an end of a five year long project, when I stayed in this country, in the middle of various restrictions and meeting various odd and awkward criteria, to go through the process of settlement. Indeed, I wanted to experience how one settles in a different country, and today should be the last day of that process.

I must admit, though, I failed to settle completely, as is my nature. No sooner that I sent my passport in for the review, I have started thinking what I do next. The agenda of setting sail out of India is to see the world and experience various cultures and learn from these. I chose Britain as a starting point because this was culturally most familiar, and wished that I move outward as I become more comfortable in this journey. That day has, almost, come.

The other thing is work. I have worked on a project most of my last five years, initially as a business idea and then in an employed position, and I am almost completing it now. In three months, that is. Indeed, the last few months are going to be busy - I am in the middle of a full-blown restructuring effort, which, if successful, will allow us greater strategic depth and operational flexibility - and I am hopeful that these efforts will help me beget a sense of professional satisfaction which comes with a job well accomplished.

The job, indeed, has given me a significant exposure. Though it may be that I am not where I wished I would be several months back, I am definitely an enriched individual and my international experience has become somewhat real, having strategized and set up businesses in a number of countries. So, while the going was tough most of the time and there is a certain sadness for not being able to reach the promised space, there isn't any regret in my mind. Instead, what I have today, what is prompting me to move, to look forward, is a certain sense of urgency that comes with being old.

So, all change in September - that's what I am moving toward. The economy has started showing the signs of revival, and I have started planning for two fresh initiative for the future. One is a Leadership College, however tacky it may sound, which, I think, is a desperate requirement in India and some of the countries I travel to. I have already talked about this before and now moved forward with its conceptualization quite a bit, and I shall devote my energies in building a model in the coming months. The way I am thinking will have some strands of continuity, but mostly not. This time, I am planning to be hands on rather than my hands off mode during the current assignment, which I know has not paid off.

The second is a more personal project, of acquiring skills and abilities, which will make me a global professional. I still wish to see the world, but not as a tourist but by living in different countries and experiencing the way of life. This is indeed difficult, given my state of life and the various things I am supposed to do. However, wonderment is core to my personality and without this pursuit, I shall not be true to myself. The settlement in Britain, ironically, will free me up from the burden that I put on myself a number of years ago. I shall surely feel free, and I would wish to use this window of opportunity to take risks, cut the anchor and follow my heart. I have a feeling that this will be a wonderful journey. It starts today.

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt

Last Words

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

- T S Eliot

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