For many years in the past, particularly during and after a very successful stint in my career, I felt content being seated on a high seat preferring to relate only with people of my choosing, when they came my way. I rarely ventured to go out of my way to cultivate relationships. Words like networking, cultivating relationships etc., did not appeal to me. Neither did I feel the need.
In a no-man island, used to a particular way of life, I found it difficult to see or explore any other way – conditioned to the drab, sameness of existence. New experiences were rare and a vacant feeling was my constant companion.
I attributed my string of mishaps and setbacks to bad luck, but now I know better. I used to be bitter and complained endlessly about the unfairness of life that made good people suffer. Living in a bubble of goodness without stepping out and shaking hands with my neighbour and the world outside is an act of delusion. Underlying the imagined goodness was a good measure of arrogance self-centeredness.
I once quit from Rotary in pique, looking at the gap between the ideal espoused and the reality lived. Confronted with the same situation now, I am not sure whether I would quit. People are not perfect. Neither am I. It is not worth being so high strung. Live and let live, is a philosophy I see the merit of.
Over the past two years, however, I let the fresh air of the outside world blow over me – out of a sense of desperation at the way things then were. It started with a very expensive and extensive training course meant for trainers. I did not become a trainer, but the course did help me to overcome my inhibitions a great deal. And more importantly, I started associating with various types of people. The type of people I associated with influenced me in tangible and not so obvious ways.
The benefit of embarking on those activities were not confined to what I derived from them directly. The real benefit was the rippling effect arising out of the first activity and expanding to other activities and interests, creating newer and better realities all the time. So, the first training course led to others. Though the intention then was to learn to train people, what really happened was that I went into my recesses and examined myself, my world and the way I performed my jobs at office.
The last few years have reshaped me. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that life has tamed me and brought me down from my high pedestal. The hard blows I received in life arose out of my non-alignment with the laws of life, particularly in the field of relationships.
The hard blows I took made me look at the world differently with greater understanding and appreciation. So, I am grateful for the knocks I received. It has turned me more human, unafraid to be with my vulnerabilities, being myself as I am, without masks.
I am more at peace with myself these days and it is also showing in the peaceful co-existence with the world outside. I am gaining confidence in the company of the many runners. Those people have taught me a lot about showing up, comaraderie, courage, sacrifice and paying the price for achieving my goals.
My worldview has changed keeping pace with the way I relate with people outside. I notice too, nowadays when I reread books I have read in the past, I see new meanings and different understanding. It is so true that I see the world as I am.
I feel excited at the prospect of creating an ever expanding world around me. And then finding their resonance within.
This blog is a witness to the things going on. Often, it is the catalyst. I have a lot to be thankful for.