Saturday, September 18, 2010

Myself and Other Obsessions

In a way, silence denotes happiness.

I am most talkative when I am unhappy. I mostly am. The point is - those who know me well makes it - that happiness makes me unhappy. I am that compulsive boat-rocker tales seem to talk of - in desperate pursuit of 'un-happyness'.

It is a sort of a cycle: bland happiness makes me unhappy, being unhappy makes me talk and finally, as I love the words - their act of creation and melting into our minds - the talking makes me happy, and therefore, silent. This is why I write the posts compulsively sometimes - sending my sister on a desperate catch-up trail on some mornings - but at other times, slump into procrastinating silence.

Such as in last week. I have this feeling of involvement at my work, after a long time, and the sensation that I can make a difference. I stepped myself up trying to change some of the things that needed changing, and, first time in many years, things have started changing around me. The journey is not without its detractors or its efforts, but the outcome - the act of meaningful change - makes it worth the trouble. In short, that obsessive involvement gave me happiness, leading to a relative silence on these pages.

The other bit is about possibilities: Not just the current happiness, but what it can be, will be. I see a world changing possibility in what we are doing. We are moving in baby steps, agreed, but one can't really hope for big leaps at this stage. The first stage of the process of creation of a truly global education institution is imagination, and we are in that stage still. We are changing what was a largely local, London-based, college into a platform of a globally distributed education provider. The number of steps involved are huge, the challenges enormous and the journey demanding - but all this make the endeavour even more rewarding.

As I said earlier, I associated myself with wrong kind of companies and investors in the past and ended up wasting quite a bit of time in the last few years. However, there were some takeaways still, the most important one is to know what one should not do. I emerged of that experience better in lots of ways: more assertive, hungry for success and more grounded and matured. These are important attributes considering where I come from: I am a dreamer, often living in fairy lands where everything look easy and the rudeness of real life is deeply unwelcome. But, I am quite a different person now: I am dreaming still, but this dreaming is on-demand and grounded.

One more thing is indeed changing. I am definitely thinking more of staying than going back, as I start building something that I always wanted to. This needs a long term commitment and I am quite willing to make it now. Though I am tired of the disconnectedness, this may as well be my life's work and half-heartedness isn't going to help anyway. Increasingly, my thinking is to bring my 'folks' near me rather than going the other way round.

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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."

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