Life in Simple Steps


In today’s world, life has indeed become very complex.

It appears that every individual not only has the need for an economic strategy, but also a social, political, and in fact, even a “gobalization” strategy to boot.

Life was simple in the past, when the connectivity between people was based on face-to-face talk, and at the most phone talks, and written communication. There was a need to think through everything carefully, due to the incisive impact that one can have in such interactions.

While the need for thinking through has not decreased, it is relegated to second position, as youngsters believe that a rather quick response is far more important than a “considered” but delayed response [we are talking here about a delay of say, 30 minutes !]. Given the rapidity at which the world today values responses of any kind rather than well thought through delays, it has become essential to train our minds to react in a superfast manner, while trying not to make mistakes and trying to think through all relevant angles for a meaningful and impactful response.

Come to think of it, this sounds hilarious. Sometimes, we do not take phone calls, due to various reasons – could be family dinner time, could be movie time, could be that you are at a clinic for a doctor consultation. And, if we do not take calls then it is considered as a “non-response”, even if we try to return the call later on. Text messages are expected to be responded to without any delays. LinkedIn messages are another mode of communication. Of course, the most dominant form of communication today is WhatsApp, and I have elected to make most of it “noise free” meaning my phone will not buzz when the message arrives. I will look at the WhatsApp messages when I get a break. However, business communications are received with a ringer, so that I know that I need to respond almost immediately, if not after my current engagement.

Today’s life is full of such interrupts, intrusions into your current activity, and expectations which sometimes defy logic. Life today also demands that we plan for every eventuality – in business or personal matters. A person who does not actively plan his future and the strategies in every sphere of his/her life, can expect to have shocks and consequences of not planning. Today’s world does not forgive or even forget slackers of any kind. The teenagers of today need to understand that world is demanding and unforgiving and necessitates active planning, like what we do in the corporate world.

One way to overcome the hurdles is to plan the life in simple steps, not in leaps and bounds. While planning is crucial, we need to have the tenacity, grit and determination to handle things as they come. If our planning has been good, these things would have been part of the scenarios which you would have worked on anyway during the planning process. Sometimes, simple thinking would facilitate clarity of mind. Our complex minds lead us to confusion sometimes, as we let our minds plot the tree of actions and counter-actions and deliberate on consequences and results. For simple things in life, it is better to let the mind think in simple steps, and “enjoy” the consequences of our actions !

Attaching heavy seriousness to every simple step in life complicates our lives unnecessarily. I have been the victim of some heavy thinking in most everything major I did in life, and in hindsight, I believe I could have had better results without such heavy interventionist thinking. Mind was not clear.

In any case, my suggestion is two-fold: plan your future well with a strategic approach designed to deliver intended results/outcomes, and run your daily life in simple steps. Sounds contradictory, but it is not. Think carefully !

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

20th February 2016

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