Change is indeed Good

Isn’t April that familiar month when most of us are bootstrapping for the new financial year, new business/new vision, strategy /offsite team meets to plan for the new financial year, creating that strategic vision and goal for professional growth. ……What about personal growth?

Are we unbundling this unlimited potential within each one of us ?

We need to be the script writers for our own personal growth.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

— George Bernard Shaw

As an HR professional specializing in Talent Acquisition for more than 15 years I have had the privilege and opportunity to speak with countless professionals seeking  career advise…..among them many eager to decipher that next best career move to beat professional mid life crisis.

Sounds familiar !!…….

It was 2013 and I too was lost in the labyrinth. The surroundings were green, healthy and well kept but I was still feeling lost, incomplete and unable to figure myself out both personally and professionally. I was struggling to get a firm foothold on my  career and life. My life after a sabbatical of 2 years taken to take charge of my kid’s developmental challenges was taking a while to reboot. I was searching for that elusive button to press/the magic wand  that would instantly change everything for the better.

With ever evolving professional environment, business ecosystem, market conditions and disruptive technologies its imperative that we keep recreating ourselves personally to keep up with changing times. Mind you its not easy to change life script and explore new ways to do things but I believe that’s the only way we can keep growing in life.

Professional and Personal growth are absolutely interdependent and both goals support and re-enforce life’s most important pursuit : Joy and Happiness

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new” ….Socrates

Perhaps the most difficult part of changing  our life involves exploring our  inner world. Change means not only understanding who we are, but also why we are ie:  What makes us tick ?

The first step I took was to identify the obstacles that were preventing me from changing. I needed to “look in the mirror” and specify what the baggage, habits, emotions, and environment are that were keeping me from further enriching my life. Understanding and internalizing these obstacles took some time but  it helped to take some part of the mystery out of who I was and what has been holding me back. It also gave me some sense of clarity on what I needed to change and gave me an initial direction to bring about change.

The legendary entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said “ Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development. And yet, as hard-charging business owners, we often sacrifice our personal needs in favor of working that one more hour or one more weekend “.

There are various paths to self improvement. Many times we tend to overlook our interests/passion outside the work realm which indirectly/directly compliments our professional life as well. It could be anything that fulfills our life positively…..

  • Building our knowledge base on any topic of personal interest. It could be as diverse as History of Rock music or knowledge on WWII combat planes. It should be propelled by our own curiosity and deep interest.
  • Music : That childhood desire to play that instrument or sing that never got fulfilled.
  • Travel : Seeing new places, take off for a few weeks every to explore a new part of the world, its culture, heritage.
  • Health : Learn Yoga, enroll into a fitness program, take up running.
  • Hobbies /Skill : Pick up any skill that has always fascinated ,but one never had the courage or felt had the time pocket to pursue. It could be photography or painting.
  • Voluntary service /community welfare activities
  • Engage a life Coach to help you in seeking some clarity.

As for myself the self discovery process kick started towards the end of 2013 and led me to our community Gym one Sunday( coincidently it was the morning  of VijayaDashami, symbolically the Indian festival celebrates victory of good over evil……) . What started as an outlet and a means to discover myself has now turned into a passion after 15 monthsToday I exercise daily because it allows me to feel liberated (with 1 rest day in  a week). I am sort of addicted to endorphins – the brains feel good chemicals.

When I exercise, all of my inhibitions, insecurities, and fears momentarily fade away as I enjoy the adrenaline rush!  I am now a 5 AM’er and have discovered my pocket of time to workout as early morning. I have taken to long distance running and feel more fitter after losing  60 Ibs. I also have gained knowledge on healthy eating habits. I am part of a dynamic Fitness support group on one of the popular social media networks. My friends from the group have been on this self discovery road with me daily. We are now a bunch of soul mates passionate about fitness and life ……come to think I never knew they even existed 15 months back. Do you call this divine providence or what.

Exercise helps me improve my mental and emotional health. I find myself feeling more energized, well rested, and ready to conquer just about anything after I finish my exercise routine! Once my exercises have been done for the day, I feel invincible!

In addition, it helps me look good and maintain good health. Its my daily dose of meditation in motion. Today, I take care of my mind, body and soul by staying fit and eating healthy.

Gardening is another activity I find solace in. The colourful  blooms in my apartment terrace  adds to the positivity.

I have realized that by sticking to this schedule initially for about a month, it has become a habit, and I now have no problem whatsoever maintaining the balance. The key is to  break our own rules a little bit, but not so much that you throw your life out of balance. Let us get out of our comfort zone and enrich our life. Patience, Persistence and Perseverance have been my friends lately. I am still trying to clear some old cobwebs( aren’t  they stubborn J) but I am more happy in my life pursuit. My kid seems to be on the road to discovering those hidden treasures/talents  in him and conquering his phobias. My life partner/husband  has been this constant companion/cheer leader  in my self discovery trip. He has also picked up his musical journey  and earnestly pursuing it on weekends.  Last I overheard he was  talking on phone today morning with the fitness trainer about signing up at the Gym.  

I guess the purpose of personal development is to increase the quality of our life and the lives of the people around us.

“If you want something you never had then you have got to do something you have never done”

By Shyamala Krishnan
Associate Director – IndiHire


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