I’m sorry I haven’t answered your questions. I don’t feel ready for them yet – some of us just don’t deal well with our cheese being moved, eh? 😀
I thought I’d shut down this blog that I’ve neglected so long, but I just couldn’t. A moment’s hesitation, a little procrastination and it’s still here. I have nothing earth shaking to say other than that I am back in India for the kids’ summer break. I’ve been working from home but barring that I’ve had a lot of spare time to think. I shall share my earthshaking thoughts with you and you shall be deeply enriched by my wisdom.
1. Wear your own oxygen mask before you help others put theirs on.
I feel like a fool because I come back to this one time and time again. I put others first, I choose others’ enrichment over my own. And then there comes a day when I wonder what I’ve done for me. Very little indeed. So wear your own gas mask incase you haven’t done so yet.
2. The most interesting people have mediocre professional success.
Of course we can get into deep discussions about the definition of success etc, but I think we all know what I mean. The most interesting people I know, seem not to be at the top of the game. I don’t mean nice people, happy people, intelligent people or any of those. I only mean people who interest me. They might not interest you. But the reason, I notice, that they’re unsuccessful, is that they don’t have the single minded focus success calls for. They’re too engaged with too many things. Too many pies. Too many projects. Too many people. An ailing mother in law, a little nephew whose love won’t allow them to move beyond a 40 km radius, the dhobi’s daughter who was raped and left for dead and had no voice to fight for her. And so on. I sit here waiting for them to write books, set up big businesses and so on and I realise they can’t. They’re deeply engaged with a lot of things. And that is what draws me to them. Their ability to juggle two jobs, family, friends, community and so on. That’s what makes them real, interesting, observant, aware and multifaceted, and as a result, attractive to me. This also leads back to point 1. They’ve not worn their own oxygen mask to get to the top of the career ladder – the air up there is rarefied.
3. Be the missing piece.
Explain yourself. As often as you can. This goes against all conventional wisdom. There’s a famous saying that you should never have to explain yourself, because those who love you don’t need an explanation. And those who don’t, won’t care for your explanation. But this is not about what makes you comfortable. This is again one of those larger good arguments. If you’ve had a misunderstanding with someone, explain yourself, even if it is 10 years later. Our lives are not just our lives. I like to think of them as heaps of mixed up jigsaw puzzles. My pile might have a piece that belongs to you. A memory that you need to make sense of your life. To explain why he thought you were not good enough for him. Why she thought she’d been betrayed. All of us have a little something that fits into another’s life and helps them make sense of it. A missing piece. Your reason might be someone’s missing piece. Please help them find it. Even if it hurts for you to do so.