1. Clarity of Vision
I'm clear on what I want in life- right now, this very moment (not just a few years from now). It's about setting the right priorities. If this 'Vision' is clearly defined, it's easier to make decisions on day-to-day basis and work on moving targets. Also, having one's priorities aligned to the end-in-mind, helps strike the right balance between work, family, and stuff like that.
2. Positive Attitude
It all boils down to the way one reacts to a situation- approach to life. I lost just one shoulder in spite of the disastrous impact, things could have been much worse [just see any of the 'Final Destination' movie series for examples :)]. So, how does one 'be positive'? Simply put, it comes naturally when one understands the fact that in the end, everything happens for a reason, and there is hope, light, and free wi-fi at the end of the figurative tunnel.
3. Belief in oneself
Maybe this is more of a subconscious molding towards an objective, but only if 'you' believe you 'can', 'you can'. Back in those days, against all odds, I believed that I have to and 'will' make it happen. Simple fact known to everyone, but as soon as that belief stands on shaking ground, cognitive dissonance starts hampering one's journey to the goal. Of course, this is also core to the Law of Attraction principle, and the belief has to be enabled with "actions".
4. Being Resolute
Life is iffy and it takes but a few seconds for things to go wrong. What then matters is one's resilience and being resolute on the face of adversity- the Finnish word 'Sisu.'
Staunch believer of this necessity. I guess it got ingrained after experiencing the iffy idiosyncrasies of life. It's sad and surprising how there are some, who build up heaps of ego based on facts that do not hold water. Somewhat on the same lines, 'appreciating what we have in hand' is unfortunately something that doesn't come naturally, and typically only through bitter experiences.
6. Work your fingers to the bone
I Worked really hard, really; as if nothing else mattered but my goal. Passion, determination and words to that effect are the cornerstone for success. Also, somebody has rightly said- "Stretch out your limits once a while, lest you lose your elasticity".
7. Keep Track
I keep/kept track of things that I want to improve on- physical fitness, prep during the CAT/GMAT days, or anything. Keeping track (even if you don't end up analyzing afterwards), always helps in retaining focus.
Know what gives you the 'kick'(in a positive way) and brings energy in life; and never let that die. Of course, sometimes one has to adapt or improvise when things change.
9. Greater good
I knew that I would share my thoughts/notes/work with many others, just for the sake of overall greater good ('not-trying-to-be-magnanimous' disclaimer). I believe this is an additional enabler- the fact that it (the effort) will help a larger number than 1.
Music is a very powerful tool. The right kind of music at the right time has the power to lift the morale, infuse energy, and bring one out from the worst of moods. I'm a reasonably 'okay' singer (I guess), and different genres of music have sailed with me through varied times.
When I left the Army in 2006, I started from scratch, wherein even the scratch was more of a farce and I was actually miles behind. I started practicing "A,B,C…" with left hand, got back to the syllabus buried deeply under zillions of stampings on the parade ground and gun shots, chalked out a war room mission plan for 'studying', and toiled my heart out.
Below is an attempt to share the kernels of what worked for me, and what works for me every day. Again, at the cost of immodesty, I'm not preaching any best practices and this is by no means mutually-exclusive-collectively-exhaustive. It's just that this is what helps/ has helped me, and I hope it does the same for many others.
My Secret . . .
So, before getting on to 'what worked/works' for me, a quick update on a couple of things- professionally and personally.
Quick Update . . .
On a personal front, during IIM A days, I fell in love with a beautiful damsel staying in far away land- Richa
and we got married in 2009.
In 2012, we witnessed the best thing to happen in our lives- our daughter Rishika . Life has of course changed dramatically after becoming a parent.
My Dad, an epitome of humility, left for the heavenly abode back in 1997 .
My Mother has been my role model through all the difficult times, and continues to inspire us with her indomitable spirit, positive attitude and resilience. .
My younger Sister, Raksha- my other source of inspiration, who has also surfed through troubled waters at an early age, continues to do the same- inspire me.
On a professional front, I bring out the best in me in the form of - writing, thought leadership, positive impact and creativity (sales/pre-sales); and doing my bit. Life, it goes on...