Introspection & Retrospection

I have taken a pledge to read books this year. I am happy that I just completed the first one. It was a special book since it  was from one of the most inspiring athletes, whom I have looked up to and whom I have also related to, in my tennis playing days: Rafael Nadal. I have written about the book here.

This post is more about what has been my key learning in the last 6 months, the first six months of my post-college professional working life, which this book (quite incidentally well timed) also very well aligns and resonates with. I am glad the validation (although there wasn’t any need for), if it had to come, came in through the tennis story of one of the best player ever.

So, I will sum, the (at times), exciting, amazing, challenging, chaotic, boring, frustrating, but always full of learning experiences of the last six months, with one strong key takeaway (and two supporting ones):-

“We have to endure!”

There is no other way of saying this. There is no other way to look at it.

Whatever we do in life, be it working on our dream project, training to be an elite sportsman or finding where our passion lies, it all requires us to endure. It requires us to not give up easily, to get up each time we fall, to continue on the set goal for as long as the goal deserves. It requires us to see the bigger picture, to not evaluate and judge every little setback.

The strength to endure doesn’t come easy, it requires a lot of practice, but it’s worth to put in the effort to develop and build it.

It is also, that mostly, we are very uncomfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty, but it is highly important to be comfortable, in order to endure. We settle for the sub optimum soon enough, in the lookout for the conventional, certain pathway, without unleashing our own true potential. It’s better to be aware about what couldn’t be than to wonder about what could have been.

I had mentioned in the initial part of this post, about how different I think life is going to be once we are out of college. I can just reiterate the same with much more conviction now. Uptill we are in school and college, things are not just defined by goals (almost) but also by time frame. While in school, the well defined goal is to get best possible marks in 10th & 12th, in college, it’s more diverse (different for every student), but the ultimate time frame is always set, for whatsoever goal. It’s a “4 year” course, or a “4 month” semester or an assignment with a deadline within “1 week”. Never are our limits pushed beyond a certain point (they are definitely pushed, though), and never do we get to decide that point. While it keeps up to a certain type of decorum which is important, it never gives us the feeling of really being in the open, without being aware of what lies ahead. It somehow, sometimes, just gets difficult for us to evaluate things looking at the bigger picture.

We need immediate results, because we are somewhat conditioned to believe that’s how things work. It takes time to realize the importance (and almost necessity) of enduring in whatever we are set to achieve.

I watched this video recently and I truly believed the guy really had a point:

Though I associate myself as a technology enthusiast, the effect of technology and the way we use it, isn’t doing us great. I have discussed and highlighted in the past here.

I have had myself and a lot of my friends discuss about the feeling of confusion about what’s happening on the work front way too often. We have all felt alienated and existential (whatever it really means – tried to define here). And we all really want some freedom too.

Maybe sometimes all we need is to just relax, breath and remember that we have just begun the amazing journey, the quest is on and will be in for a long long time!

*So I am ready to endure*

I love to run marathons, as I have told here, and now when someone asks why,  all this is what I can say.

At this instance I can also remember a very good quote, one of my favorites:-

“Success doesn’t mean the absence of failures. It means the attainment of ultimate objectives. It means winning the war, not every battle.”

-Edwin C Bliss

Two very important supporting ideas & concepts around the key philosophy of enduring, for me, would be the concept of self belief and the gestalt psychology.

Now the former is one of the most cliché saying. We may either simply accept it’s power and importance or use these never ending quotes to feel the same way. On the other end, gestalt psychology says that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s the right perspective that is required to look, evaluate and gauge any scenario.

“I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”

Invictus – By William Ernest Henley

 May the gods be with us, wishing everyone the most and more…


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