The first call I received
Few days ago, a man contacted me through my website by scheduling a call with me using my calendar, which, honestly was the first such call, from the time I put this feature on my website.
The man was in his early thirties, sounded worried as he introduced himself to me. As the introduction matured, I came to know that he was working for a reputed company in the tech department. Like most face-to-face conversations, I have had with people regarding their personal productivity, time management or goal setting, people aren’t comfortable talking about it and are hesitant to discuss it, and so was he. We Indians, don’t find it a topic to discuss freely with others and some even deny to acknowledge the importance these topics have on their personal & professional life.
Worriedly & briefly, he asked in a lowered voice, “I’m not feeling good about my job. Can you help me?”. I was taken by surprise initially, as I’m not supposed to be a counselor. I stayed quiet, and then gathered my thoughts to ask him, “Yes, I can. But, can you explain a little about why you feel so?”, in a reassuring tone.
“I don’t know. I read few articles that you wrote and I happened to visit your website. I thought you could help me.”, he replied, without giving me the reason. “I go to work everyday, work for about 9-10 hours, come home to my family, but there’s no passion and it feels like a routine. Sometimes, I work on weekends too, but my life is always chasing deadlines and projects. I think of doing some things I dream to do someday, but I’m so engaged in office & home chores that I never get time. I have read your article on ‘someday-isle’, but all that is good to hear. The fact is that nobody has got time to think about goals, time management and all these concepts, the reality is my job and I’m stuck with it. I have to do it to earn a living.” Finally, I cut in and asked him, “So, what are you doing about it?” By this time, I had understood his state of mind and charted out a skeleton in my mind to respond to him. He was quiet for a second or two, and replied, “I’m hoping for something to change and make me feel better. Maybe, I should take a vacation.”
I then responded, “Ok. But isn’t vacation a short term fix? What I can see is that there are two options that you have. One, change your job. This again is a short term fix, because give another 1 year, you will have the same feeling as you have now. Second, change a thing or two about you so that you address the root cause. And the root cause is within you, it’s not your job. Think for a moment, what are you doing for yourself? For any one thing that you wanted to do and would make you happy, ask yourself now and every night, have you taken any step to achieve it or do something about it? If you have not, then I assure you, you will feel dissatisfied, year on year. I can tell you that everything is interconnected. I’ll give you a starting point. As you said, it is easy to say that we should have goals, but I will help you everyday to set goals. The thing that you said about reading these concepts and actually putting them to work is ‘the problem’ that I am working on. As a fact, we have not been taught, ever, how to set goals. As a result, we even hesitate to talk about it. But this has power, to make you successful, and success here is your inner happiness. Anyway, you are not feeling good. Given another month, you will feel the same way. Bring something new to your life. Give it a try! It is possible that things don’t improve, but what if they improve. What if you feel happy every night and every morning, raring to go to work or return from office with a clear action item to follow your passion or dream. People don’t do this exercise thinking nothing will change, but people who do, experience the change. There’s no risk, you will not lose anything except that one month. So, are you ready?
He replied, “Go on.” and I continued, “We’ll start with a brain-dumping exercise, building a system around you so that the everyday trivial tasks are taken care of, taking care of your goals and dreams, convert them to action plans, managing how you handle any incoming information, be it physical or digital. And let’s try to do something about it, everyday.”
I continued, “Anyway, things are going as they are. And to change the output, you have to change the input. The very fact that you have called me or have read these articles shows that you want to change the input, shows your desire, which is a prerequisite to change the input. But, for the next 30 days, I need you to spend 30 minutes everyday for yourself.
“It is not what you say, or wish, or hope, or intend...It is only what you do that counts"
Curiously, he asked, “And what do you want in return?” to which, I replied, “I want to make an impact on you, this is what makes me feel successful. I just want you to read my book which will help you understand, what we are going to do everyday, with all screenshots and tools in front of you. And spread the word to those who you think, need this exercise!”.
We, then scheduled our next call.
Now, my questions to you are (click here):
1. Have you ever been taught on how to set goals?
2. Have you ever set goals in life?
3. If yes, have you converted them into an actionable to-do list so that you can do something about it everyday?
4. If no, what stops you from setting goals?
Please share your comments and opinion. I’d love to hear them or just click here!
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This article was published on my blog on 11th May 2017.