A New 100 Days: All Change Please

I am back into 100 day plans. I love them. Indeed, I grew up in India during its various five year plans, and time-restricted plans are therefore in my blood. But there is nothing socialist about the propensity to plan; on the contrary, these are my exercises in fantasy. But whether fantasy or not, these 100 day plans give me focus that I so badly need, and allows me to achieve something in the end. It worked for me before, and I am hopeful that this will work for me now.

Truth be told, I need a bit of a restart. While I have achieved some of the things I intended in the last nine months, but I have lost a bit of momentum in the last couple of months. My brother's untimely death is one of the reasons: It completely unsettled me and left me feeling desperately lonely. Various 'work in progress' items at work add to this feeling: There are things which I wished to complete sooner, but some must invariably wait for some time more. Some of this also pertains to my aspirations, trying to achieve beyond what is readily available. The daily imperfections of real life invariably slow things down, and while I consider infinite patience as one of my key strengths, my limits are being tested now.

So, this feeling, of being in a captive state, of not being able to be free, is what I need to overcome. At the same time, I have started feeling the need to do some 're-branding', of my own self. I have started feeling that since I do not advertise my abilities well - I am actually quite embarrassed to talk about any of my abilities at all - I end up getting a raw deal most of the time. I am struggling at this time to get out of my shell. Shouting about what I am good at is completely out of the way for me; but getting taken as a good-for-nothing is not what I wish to bargain for as well. So, I have to find a middle way: I don't want to change myself into an aggressive self-promoter, but waiting for other people to recognize my abilities isn't a smart thing to do. This adds to my feeling of being bottled, of not being able to play at the level I think I should, but rather getting labeled into something else.

However, despite all the flux, I have made two important decisions that I kept postponed for 2011. First, I have ruled out going back to India anytime soon, if ever. This comes out of the realization that unless I make up my mind, I can't do much. Besides, I have nothing much to go back to. With my brother's death, my links with India are weaker than ever. I have now started thinking about building a life from scratch, looking out to the world rather than one focused on going back.

Next, I have also felt that over the last few months, I have deviated from my own agenda of building strong skills and expertise in a specialized area, in my case, design of learning experiences, and particularly of online learning, and got involved in a number of things. Indeed, I enjoyed and possibly made a difference; but I must get back to what I decided to focus on some time soon. This is one thing I want to be good at, and I can't achieve that without giving up some of the things I am currently pursuing.

All this, though I have spoken about this so many times earlier, need me to make a fresh start. It needs a deliberate attempt to live differently, as well as to imagine what will be with fresh perspectives. As I said, this will also mean that I project myself differently, however artificial this may sound, in alignment with what I want myself to be perceived as. For a start, I have realized that creative pretensions are as much part of the game as any real creativity; it is about imagining oneself to be something and mould one's behaviour in the same cast.

So, then, this is what I wish to write about, over next 100 days, starting tomorrow. My efforts to imagine a completely new self, and moving into one, just as I moved into a new house. I shall attempt to write everyday, may be even the most banal bits if they constitute part of this journey. But I am hopeful that something worthwhile will come out of this journey. Even if it doesn't though, it will be another attempt to change myself, as I did so many times in my life.


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