I am a creature of habit. For over 10 years, I chose to live in the same apartment, drove the same car, always stepped out of my home, left foot first, and the list is endless. I never did routine things that many of us don’t think twice about. Here is an example: I never cleaned my car the day before meeting a customer face to face! Don’t ask me why. You may call it superstition, but I call it my inherent resistance to taking risks in life. I like predictability and have ended up doing a lot of things in the hope of making my life a little more predictable.
In the last 10 years, I have also changed my jobs a few time in the hope of finding that perfect role that will align completely with my skills and values. I did meet remarkable people at work that inspired me, molded my thinking, and opened my eyes to new challenges and my limitations. But something was just not right. I was pretty sure that I was missing something in my quest to find professional nirvana. No, I am not talking about money. Money never really was a factor in any of my career related decisions so far. After some serious head scratching, I found the answer I was looking for. Here is how I found out.
After some serious head scratching, I found the answer I was looking for. Here is how I found out.
I have yet another strange morning ritual. Every morning, I heat a cup of milk for exactly 1 minute and 16 seconds on my microwave oven before adding instant coffee powder and sugar. I imagined my coffee tasted best if I follow this recipe.
Then one day the unthinkable happened. My microwave oven stopped working!
Cursing my fate, I heated the milk on the stove and gingerly tasted my coffee. Lo and behold, this was the best coffee I ever tasted. And the dominoes fell one after the other. I deliberately started disrupting my routines and rituals and did not end up upsetting the balance of the universe after all. I started wearing blue shirts to work after years of consigning them to the dark confines of my wardrobe. Nothing changed and nobody cared. Whatever was meant to happen did happen irrespective of what I did. This was a truly liberating experience and made me realize that I should start taking risks and take the road less traveled. In fact, the reward of embracing this rather clichéd thought is truly astounding.
I sold my car, moved out of my apartment, walked out of my house, right foot first, and really had fun doing all of this! Along with these changes, I decided to wind down my career in the US and come back to India, a place that I consider as the wild, wild east. The sheer joy of becoming a pioneer in my own small world suddenly gave me the elusive fulfillment that I always missed! The apprehension and the nervousness of starting my career afresh in India is accompanied by a sense of adventure and excitement.
No matter what the outcome is, I look forward to my new journey.
First published here
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