New Horizons

A break in the clouds lets a ray of sunlight shoot down from the murky grey sky, bathing the sea and ground, with warmth and light.

This to me is a sign of hope to come, a respite for the continuous downpour and a source of warmth.

This beautiful sight makes me very introspective, as it tells me that I’ve let myself become lost and used to this downpour in life, and I need to regain my center. I need to know who I am as a person again, and what I want out of this life that I’m leading.

I need to analyze my talents and strengths, then determine the course and actions that’ll be required of me. To ensure that I would be able to do what is necessary, to regain my momentum and move forward again.

This doesn’t require much navel gazing, just a pen and paper. I just list down all my capabilities as a person in one column, and all my professional capabilities in another column. In a third column, I list down my weaknesses. Everyone needs to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, building up on the former two strengths, but not get bogged down by the latter.

Why this exercise? Well, this is to determine what changes will need to be made to my life; personal and professional. These two lives intertwine, co-existing with each other, for some people there are no differences, and they find that it isn’t necessary to separate them. However, this isn’t quite true, as who we are as a person, should not be defined by what we do for a living. A person is defined by their memories, hopes, desires, fears, and dreams. These qualities may overlap in both our personal and professional lives, influencing and directing a person to make a choice in both personal and professional life, in order to meet an immediate or future need and/or desire. However, they may also come into conflict with one another.

A person who makes career choice over their personal life, would consider personal and family time to be only a rest period in between work schedules. Flexible work hours or work from home scenarios allows such a person to reduce this rest period even further. Where time spent working can be extended beyond the average 8-9hrs work day to 12-14hrs, as working from home allows the person to work at their own pace and across different timezones. Alternatively, a person who chooses their personal life over their career, make decisions that revolve around how much time can be spent not working, this may or may not be a good thing. It is dependent on what the individual considers quality of life, and should be satisfied with the choices made to achieve that lifestyle.

All these qualities cumulate into a choice, which an individual will continuously make in their lifetime. Especially when it is time to change how a life is being lived.

I’ve taken several steps in this direction to make changes in my life, 1st by learning discipline – discipline of both mind and body. 2nd by focussing on what is needed (not wanted) to be done in my personal and professional life to ensure that I can sustain a quality of life that I’m willing to accept each day. 3rd by understanding how and where my personal life will intersect with my professional, and ensuring that there is sufficient balance so that I am not overworking or spending too much time on personal agendas.

These steps for change can’t and won’t happen all in a day, but will occur over several weeks, months and years, and is usually an ongoing process of reviewing and making adjustments along the way. Changes may be great in a few weeks and months, but it is the sustainability of the change that is more important than the change itself. After all, what matters if there’s a change now, but a person reverts to their old self in a few months time.

All this may sound like a very long winded process, but I find it necessary as long term habits and practices are hard to break or change, and new ones take time to cultivate and retain. Change that comes quickly, tends to be devastating and cataclysmic in proportions, while changes over time allows a person’s body and mind to adjust and adapt to it.

It will also help me in developing patience, perseverance and compassion, as I’ll need to be patient and forgive myself when I fail part way, but still persevere to pick myself up and work at it again.

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