Was I fully prepared before returning?

by Sahadev Komaragiri

abilityThe topic “Before you quit your day job” is a subject of discussion in many books and online forums. Three years prior to returning to India I had on my mind several things that I should do before purchasing our one way ticket to India. My primary focus was on securing financial freedom.  I was able to secure some degree of financial freedom(Related topic: How much is enough?) through minimalism and enforcing a certain ceiling on my desires to possess things. Why do I need financial freedom? That would be a topic for some other day, but in essence I am convinced that the relationship between me and my work will be of highest levels of purity if no monetary benefits are involved. Now I understand that securing financial freedom is just one of the many things that I needed and not the only thing. Here are the things I think, in retrospect, I should have worked on more intensely before returning to India.

Ability to Handle Personal Projects
Here, I am not thinking of the competence that we acquire when we obtain a certain degree or a qualification. I am thinking of something that is more comprehensive and expansive. I think I should have developed the ability to create and complete personal projects on a regular basis. “Regular basis” is the key. I created this blog and completed a series of articles on Vishnu Sahasra Namam and Annamacharya. In fact I completed my series of articles on Annamacharya just a couple of weeks before my return to India. I should have developed a more thorough experience in completing personal projects that have self-imposed deadlines. Technically speaking, not completing our personal projects will have no tangible consequences like losing out on the race to a promotion or hike in a salary or bonus. I should have spent more time on experimenting in the area of completing personal projects. I should have developed the most wonderful habit of creating and executing my projects seamlessly.

In the new life that I chose, there is no difference between a personal project and a professional project. Everything that I do every day is related to my passion and my purpose.  In retrospect, I think I should have worked on gradually moving from working for someone to working on my own with a more definite objective and clarity rather than a “just do it” approach.

I am now into developing the necessary ability to complete my projects in a timely manner.

planThis is one area where I did not spend enough time to better myself. While in the IT field, I worked on some big projects with serious deadlines. However, I was not part of the planning process. I provided my estimates and let the manager decide on how to pad my estimates in the final project plan. I firmly refused all offers in taking up a managerial role. I told my superiors that the only thing that I liked to do is code and my only preference is for the technology track. I joked that I hated project management because I hated excel! Hindsight tells me that I should have gained some project management experience. Nowadays I am getting better at using excel.

I think developing a clarity of vision, creating a realistic plan and sticking to the plan(albeit with some degree of flexibility), are key required components for accomplishing one’s own goals.

EfficiencyMany of the projects that we initiate involve a number of uncertainties. Our efficiency in executing our projects comes a lot from our ability to handle uncertainties.

There are umpteen number of books on efficiency. I read many such books and blogs. Several people suffer from the inability to transform their knowledge into practice. I am no exception. It is certainly our own personal devotion to the causes that we take up that brings in efficiency in our lives. Efficiency is a an unending journey, not a destination. I intend to continue this journey in a more conscious and deliberate manner.

Normal levels of ability, planning, and efficiency are not enough if we plan on taking up extraordinary work. Extraordinary work requires extraordinary levels of preparation and participation.

These are the three key areas that I will continue to work to better myself.

All said and done, the most important thing for me is to stay spiritually connected to my inner self, be happy and keep the sense of humour intact! At the end of the day if I am not happy being myself and doing the work that I intend to do, the very purpose of my work is lost. If the consciously sought goal of keeping myself spiritually grounded is taken care of everything else will fall in its own place.

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