Three cheers for....

Three cheers for....

About Me...

I'm an ex-Capt. (NDA-IMA)...left the army because of an accident (lost right shoulder and of course, the rest of it) hold of life...became a leftie...started driving and writing with left...took CAT & GMAT...joined and left ISB after 20 golden days...joined IIM Ahmedabad from there...PGP 2007 - 2009...currently in Hyderabad... Well, Life is iffy !!

So, I'll make it easy...

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Personal Website

Quotes I live by...

  • Stretch out your limits once a while...lest you lose your elasticity... (recent offhand thought)
  • It's better to burn out, than fade away (Neil Young)
  • This too shall pass...
  • Shit happens...Life Goes on... (adapted from Forrest Gump)
  • Don't be sad, it's glad, it happened !!
  • He Knows not his own strength, who hath not met adversity - Ben Johnson
  • Do whteva you want...Don't get caught !! (NDA)
  • Rules are like rulers...some can be bent, others can be broken :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mindful determination and the other kind

“Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why, why? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why
keep fighting?” asked Agent Smith, in the Matrix series. That intriguing monologue was much longer of course. Almost everyone knows the importance of determination and this note has nothing to do with that. However, while with great determination, an expert biologist might try finding factorial of 100 a hundred times to see if the result differs, is that purposeful?

Mindful determination doesn’t have to benefit the whole of humanity, but more importantly, it leads to purposeful outcomes. Mindless determination, on the contrary, is like a headless chicken running around. There is this inordinate amount of resolve to get “it” done, but there is no meaningful “it”. There is no purpose. 

I’m not saying that one should perpetually follow meaningful goals without a break. That will only burn out the wick. What we need is conscious investing of time into identifying personal and/or professional goals. Goals that add value to—an individual, one’s family, organization, or society, and so on. 

For a leader (at any level), the focus and determination exuded set the path for the team. Now, that leader can choose to layer on the path with aspects that matter the most. Or, the leader can be determined about achieving the goal, but focus on inconsequential asks. 

Let’s talk about a leader, say Mr. Agent Smith. He is a go-getter who is determined to go up the ladder. He leads by example, empowers his team members to deliver—the works. Now, everyone wants their team to be productive. So, Mr. Smith installs sensors to track how much time team members are wasting in the cafeteria every hour. Someone then creates Xcelsius dashboards to report back on 20 metrics. This can go on and on, but you get the point. 

Determination as a superpower is good obviously, but are we pointing it in the right direction? That’s the question we need to ask and answer—both personally and professionally. Is it laser-focused on what truly matters? If yes, then go ahead and do what it takes. If not, then it’s time to get back to the drawing board. Get going... 

Linkedin post

P.S. The morning routine picture above is courtesy my daughter. The weighted vest certainly helps.

Friday, March 25, 2022

#RAFR (/ˈrafə/) break: Where will you go?

Over the lunch table a few days back, I had a realization. Not necessarily an epiphany, but an exciting idea indeed. And after discussing with my better half, drafted my 36-hours #RAFR break plan.

A #RAFR break is a run-away-from-responsibilities break (newly coined acronym). As we start our journey as an adult, the responsibilities keep getting added at every milestone—both professional and personal. Got married? Congrats! Responsibility added. Kid born? Yippee! Responsibilities added multifold. Had another one? You know the drill already.

Across the last two years, there has been a lot of focus on mental wellbeing, which is good. We always needed it, and many of us accepted a façade of, “I don’t want to appear weak, it's fine.” That thought process has changed thankfully, and most of us acknowledge the importance of peace of mind.

So, a #RAFR break includes a pre-defined period of getting away from ALL responsibilities. Irrespective of the life stage you are in, get far away from everything—maybe it's for 24hrs or 48hrs, or whatever you can make work based on your support system.

So, here’s my #RAFR break plan for which I got the in-principle approval from my wife (yippee! 😊). For me, mountains are the one place that I’d love to spend my life in. So, the destination for my 36-hours solo #RAFR break is Ladakh.

Phase 1: Take the early morning flight from Hyderabad to Leh and reach in the afternoon. I still remember the moment I stepped out of the flight a few years back, the picturesque landscape felt like home. Next, I’ll have a good filling of Thukpa, momos, and stuff for lunch, and pack some hot tea (maybe butter tea?) in a thermos. I’ll then hire a cab for a day and go to any of the quiet spots with a view (not that there’s any scarcity of that 😊). And then, I’ll just sit there, admiring the work of nature, at peace, singing with the wind, enjoying the cold weather, connecting with my deep self. Then a cup of tea, and then continue being in the moment.

Phase 2: As part of the second tier of the plan, I’ll need some prior coordination with my NDA/IMA coursemates, juniors, or seniors who might be posted there. The night will be spent in one of the units with brother officers, connecting with my Army roots. Maybe reminisce going for patrols at night and climbing peaks with moonlit sky in the background, and stuff. Of course, there’ll also be update calls to home in between—because I’ll wish they were there too, strictly NOT for the sense of responsibility.

Phase 3: Next day, catch the early morning sunrise and enjoy the moment. Have a nice warm breakfast at the mess and then on the way to the airport, spend some time sitting in the valley areas—absorbing the moment, at peace, and all the works. Catch the afternoon flight after that, and back home rejuvenated.

So there, I’ve said it. Each one of us (all genders, all age groups) needs that moment of freedom to get away from the weight on the shoulders. Let’s see when I put my 36-hours #RAFR break in action. The planning process itself was energizing enough. How about planning yours—where would you go 😊?

PS: I still continue to post on this blog as well, but primarily post thoughts on Linkedin. Here's the link to this one:

Ciao ppl!
Ciao life!