RIDDHI PARIKH MEHTA
Our careers span of over several years, our lives even beyond that. As a young 5, 10 or perhaps a 15-year-old we may have our choices made for us. Then on in life, we make our own choices. How do you make these choices?
My simple mantra is ‘Live this moment’. As you guessed, the implementation of this didn’t come this easy for me.
In the past, I would take a sheet of crisp, white paper and a sharpie (sometimes multiple colours) to make my list of pros and cons. Familiar eh! I moved on to doing scenario planning, the really elaborate ones with so many colours and post it notes as well. I used many more techniques; however, the outcome of that evaluation lacked soul.
While these techniques are hugely helpful and I still use them; I realised that no technique can decide for me what choice to make. Upon reflection, several wrong choices, and errors in judgement; I learnt that
“How well or poorly I had lived in my current moment, helped me make a choice of my liking. How fast I moved, or how stuck I stayed was about how well I embraced my current moment.”
It’s succinctly captured below, while I was in conversation with Mudit Mathur, global leader at Johnson & Johnson Limited:
“The fastest that you can move is by being in the moment. The speed of flow comes from being in the moment. One can either be stuck in the past or wait for the future, both are in action. Being in the past or thinking of the future, are both positions we hold in our head. These are stationary positions. Being in the moment and acting is the fastest route because you actually make progress.”
Here are 2 consistent ways that I have put my learning around choices, in action:
Extra Time: As a consultant, you budget time for each project. There are times when a confirmed project gets cancelled. Bummer!!
Choice Dilemma: Anger, upset, brood or Live in the moment? My learning is to live in the moment; so I use that sudden spare time to either undertake an e-learning course or go out to meet friends that I haven’t seen for long, a spa or if I am extremely lucky then a dinner date with hubby. If there is other pending work like writing, client meetings, mentoring etc then that can be fitted in this extra time, too.
Difficult Client: There are times that the client I encounter is difficult. The assignment is wonderful, an opportunity to learn and contribute both are immense. However, the client was either disorganised, not committed to the purpose, or may compromise on commitments made.
Choice Dilemma: To take the business or not to take it? I rephrased the dilemma & connected my personal values which I live every moment. The outcome: if it’s a value conflict then don’t take the business. If it’s a style difference (less organised, too much last minute etc) then take it on. By connecting a dilemma or decision to my values, which I live every moment; I keep moving forward.
When we make our choices by being in the moment and based on our beliefs, we become an outcome of our choices. We hold no regrets, but learn from our lessons. It’s another way to keep moving forward.
For Kareena Kapoor fans, if you recollect the scene of Jab We Met movie; where she hatches the plan to run away from her house as she ‘chooses’ her beau over the match her family found her; she says something about choices which has bitter truth:
“If I live my life as per my choices, I won’t ever blame anyone else if something goes wrong. Also, I will know for sure that I did all that I wanted to and that I have lived life on my terms (even whims) and that for me is a life lived with full gusto”
As we begin a new year and make new beginnings; make your choices on what is presented to you at the moment.
Riddhi has over 15 years experience in various business roles including talent management, human resources, sales and business development. She is a director of Leaderonomics India, helping organisations develop their leaders as well as support the growth of leaders of all ages across India. She is a trainer, facilitator and leadership development specialist who is passionate about building leaders at every level.
Reposted with permission.