Burnout

I have been reading a lot about stories in the past few months about some professional athletes quitting marquee events in order to focus on mental health. What seemed to be unthinkable of a couple of years back, is now normal. There are some detractors no doubt, but hey, at least it’s a start.

Work is tough. It’s not easy showing up each day and be a 100% productive each and every time. Humans are not machines. We require downtime to be actually perform well the next day.

With the pandemic induced Work From Home(WFH) and some other organisations using this as a chance to downsize, some of my friends have been very stressed and have been working non stop in order to show their utility to their organisations. This would lead to burnout.

Burnout doesn’t make you look any different. It would just bring down you energy levels, your efficiency in any task and you would go into a downward spiral of despair.

Don’t ignore this! Be Aware!

Moving on!

The most often given advice to almost all of the present population of the world. Move on! Easier said than done, isn’t it?

Why am I writing about moving on? No, I am not undergoing any heartbreak, not changing jobs and overall not doing anything that would require some one to say to me to move on. So why am I thinking of moving on?

I am thinking of moving on to a better place mentally. I have noticed that these last few months or last one and a half year to be precise, mentally I have been in a shitty place. The lockdown has reduced options for travel and blowing off steam in general. A mind which has been at work continuously, needs rest. Now that lockdown might still continue in some form or the other for foreseeable future, I have decided to move on.

I have decided not to give any mental real estate to people or things that don’t deserve it. That means only family and friends get in. Nobody and I mean nobody else will get even an inch of space. That’s my half yearly resolution.

PHD

Persistence, Hard work, Discipline. Of all the things I have read about exceling in Sales, this is the one which has always been in my recall list. This is why I thought of writing about it today.

This year, had been a bit slow for me in the start. Deciding to drop a set of clients on my own, I realized my run rate had fallen down way beyond my expectations and I had severely underestimated the impact. I had to build up a new base and yet this had to be quick enough not to get the tongues rolling on my fallen performance levels.

I realized that I had to change my way of doing things. And I got down to doing just that. The fact of the matter remains that if you actually want to be successful, you have to be all 3 simultaneously. Any 2 out of the above 3 won’t work either.

You have to be persistent. Diligently following up on agreed timelines, persistent doing the basics right and then being persistent in showing up, as showing up makes for half the job at hand.

Sales is hard work. B2B sales is harder in my opinion as in B2C, you can push your product through distribution channels and hope that something sticks. Choosing to go on despite hearing many NOs is hard work. And that’s why one must go on, treating each rejection on its merit and learning something from it.

Discipline, is where I lag the most. On a good day, I will makes some 10 calls, fill in my leads, be thorough with my pending paper work. On bad days, which are often, I give up after 2 calls and then no other work gets done. Discipline is getting to do the same stuff over and over again, to improve your accuracy each time you do it.

My story has started changing, here is hoping things change a bit faster from now on.

Self Help

Last month I wrote on Ikigai. This month I am writing on Self Help. What is happening to me? Well, nothing. Fear not, for no alien has abducted me and replaced me with a self-help books loving clone.

I have always found the concept of self help books a bit abhorrent. If you know what’s wrong with you and you want to change yourself, you don’t need the validation of a book to motivate you. If your concern for performance improvement is genuine, the motivation to change will come from within. If not, then I can describe your situation as “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”

Well if you don’t know the answer to the previous question, it’s a paradox, and so is your dependence on self help books.

Here is hoping everyone tons of self improvement minus the psychobabble of these self help books.

Ikigai!

I am not a fan of self-help books and trust me, this post isn’t about a change of heart brought about by this book!

Ikigai asks one to find a reason for being, the purpose of one’s life. Now I am sure that is good to hear and all, but how many of us can actually claim that we are in the jobs that are our reason for being! Most of us are in jobs that provide us with the basic necessities of life.

What I am trying to say is that one should find a purpose in whatever one is doing and give it 100%. Once you do that, you would be happy knowing the fact that I gave my 100% and what I now achieve is what I had worked for. I would rather be known as a diligent worker rather than a philosophical one.

What do you think?

Pivot

So, we have all heard/read this word a lot these days. A lot. Tech firms pivot into unexpected use cases for their existing products. The Excel warriors keep making pivot tables to justify how their inference is the only correct inference and nobody knows data like they do.

Why am I talking about pivots? Am I launching an app? Am I going into data sciences? No, nothing like that. Pivot would also mean the central point, the fulcrum around which things move. I want to be a pivot.

What would make me a pivot? Here are certain things I have observed about people, who I know are pivots in their lives:

  1. They promise and deliver, each time and every time.
  2. They follow through on everything, long after it’s done.
  3. They are people who can be trusted for finding a solution, not just because of their knowledge.
  4. They have amazing clarity of thought that can distil even the most complex of ideas into a simple statement of purpose.
  5. They are good not only in their fields but also add value to others work by their experience.

Hopefully, I plan to change myself. It’s going to take time but surely I will be the pivot.

Blindsided

I was blindsided, that’s it! I screwed up. I kind of knew what was coming but I didn’t think it was this close. Sometimes all of us get this feeling. We know our actions have consequences but the fact that they sometimes are so sudden that we feel blindsided by it all.

No global gyaan here. Just the fact that you can always be prepared for the worst and yet the worst will be so sudden that all that planning would be futile.

That’s what I feel right now. Remedial measures are afoot but they will take time.

Lessons from my Dad

Last week I turned 37. Mind you, neither 35, nor 40. 37.

Why am I writing about it? Or why am I writing about my dad, as the title suggests. No reason. It’s just that this was a birthday I spent alone. The better half, along with the kid was with my parents at the native place. I know, relaxed travel restrictions gave them a chance to go away from me. So I spent my birthday alone and it got me thinking. Am I a good dad? Am I doing things right?

My dad had always been strict, or so I thought. Till I was around 15-16, I lived in his fear. Not that he was a frightening dad, but just that we had never been close and so as I knew him less, I feared him more. Moreover the teen angst in me made me feel that my father just doesn’t get me and I have hurt him with my words a couple of times growing up.

There were then the years 18-25, where there was a new dynamic forming but I wasn’t still clear on how to move ahead with him. We have had disagreements and I remember him asking my cousins to do his bidding when I wouldn’t listen to him. Now that I remember that, it seems funny.

As soon as I turned 25 and started my job, I realized that all things he wanted me to not do was his way of guiding me away from his mistakes. I guess things have turned out to be much better now that I have started listening to him.

So, what did I learn from him?

I learned the one most important thing in my life. If you do the right thing, you will never have to live in fear. Fear of second-guessing every decision of yours. I have seen people take the short cut because it’s easy but then they regret it later. I will say this, the longer route might be painful now, but I know I am going to walk on it with my head held high and that’s what matters.

I hope, growing up, my daughter looks upto me the same way I look upto my dad now. Thank you , Papa!

Do as I do, not as I say!

A few months ago, I wrote about consistency. And then two months hence, I broke that rule. I didn’t write a single post in October. Not that I didn’t have time or ideas, but I wasn’t applying myself enough. I didn’t think missing a month would matter. And then it hit me.

I am writing this post on the last day of November. Procrastination is chronic, it never goes away. I was about to miss the second month in a row. But I am not having that. I have decided to do things differently. I am willing to change things, and change, I will.

I am not talking about new year resolutions, though the time for the same is soon approaching. I am just taking small steps in making myself a better man. I am going for small increments in the right direction. It might start with baby steps, but I know this is a marathon and not a sprint.

To change is the hardest thing to do, to think about change is the easiest.

If!

As Philip II of Macedon was conquering Greek city-states left and right, Sparta was left alone. Philip had achieved a crushing victory, and Sparta was relatively weak and without walls. Philip sent a message to the Spartans saying “If I invade Lakonia you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” The Spartans replied with one word, “If.” Philip eventually decided to bypass Sparta as it was a poor region and not worth the fight. Neither Philip nor Alexander attacked the Spartans while they ruled.

Why am I telling this story? The fact that a strong king didn’t attack a smaller region gives me a new perspective on things every time I get a little bogged down by all that is happening around me. Is this worth it? If I get the idea that the cost of my efforts would far outweigh the benefits I would receive, I am quick to cut my losses and move away.

While others may see that as being a quitter, I would say that I am being a realist and that’s what matters. You can’t win them all and you don’t have to. There are certain fights in life not worth winning. Winning an argument against your wife is a prime example of the kind of fight I am talking about.

Pick your battles well, for if you bleed in a wrong one, you wouldn’t live to see the glory that was waiting for you all along.