Happy New Year!
As we bid adieu to the annus horribilis—2020, I reflect on many things. New Year’s Eve is a time for introspection and prospection. I was thinking of a framework and remembered the book “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen(2010) and decided to reminisce on the quarter century (1995-2020) that has gone by. Among other things, couple of key elements (for me) from his book are:
1. Creating a strategy for your life. Quite early in my life, I had created a strategy—we can’t change the cards we are dealt, only how we play the game. Play it right, enjoy the game, and be happy.
2. The moral compass : Playing it right means deliberate on what you stand for and stand for it always. Delineate your boundaries, your personal moral line, and don’t cross it, not even once. For me truth and integrity are the touchstones. And have never ever compromised.
3. Theories are powerful tools. I am not at all religious, but I believe in the Karma theory. Be Good, and Do Good! Ultimately Good Karma triumphs!
4. Family Matters : Family comes first—before everything else, including career or the so called success. Developed and followed a framework of non negotiable and negotiable boundaries and spaces that would help strengthen the relationships. Family is your bulwark for meaning in life and happiness.
The last 25 years have been quite a substantive period of my life and career.
As the first tenet — creating a strategy for life,I had crafted a strategy for balancing our two careers and life together with my dear husband Shrijay. The unwritten deal/understanding was that for the first fifteen years of our married life, he would focus and pursue his career (unfettered by familial duties and responsibilities), while family would be my primary focus. And the next fifteen years would be a kind of reversal. Of course I had also created a very convenient and comfortable support system for the extended family of my parents and mother in law too, in addition to investing in a more than adequate domestic staff. Thus Shrijay finished his PhD first, got ahead in career, and travelled the world on assignments and fellowships. So as we entered the year 1995, and my son was ten year old, I said it is time I shift gears and turbo charge my career and literally took off—flying off to the US to present my research paper at an international conference. Since then I pursued my passion for research projects and programs as if on steroids—writing grant proposals, winning a commendable number of grants and pioneering many academic endeavours— HyperCAL; Sasyasiri; Vidyanidhi; ISiM; WikiGyan;Internet Safari;and finally the MYRA School of Business.
While creativity, commitment, and courage helped me build institutions, I never let go of my moral compass. I guess that gave me confidence to confront adversities. It imbues courage and compassion. A strong moral line perhaps demarcates success and satisfaction. Life throws curve balls and things do get derailed. But doing the right thing and doing it right enables and emboldens. Anchored to the ‘Karma Theory’ I could take everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly in my stride and feel not only happy but on top of the world too!
As I reflect on the year (and the quarter century) gone by, I would say, it has been a meaningful, successful, and satisfactory quarter century of honest life full of hard work and happiness. True to myself and holding to truth. Managed to raise two wonderful children, pioneered many initiatives and built institutions.
While life/success may be measured in diverse ways, happiness can be measured only one way—being happy. As the immortal tale of Santiago ( Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist) tells us the elusive ‘Pot of Gold’ or the Treasures are to be found during the journey and not at the destination or the end of rainbow. I have picked up many a treasures on this journey and of course dodged the bullets of many a demons, with the power of the truths that I have held. As Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State of the US states “Where our interests are clear, our values are at stake, where we can make a difference, we must act and we must lead.” I have tried to follow this dictum in my own little ways.
Like the Mahatma, I believe that Truth Always Wins!
Let us spread Joie de vivre😊