I am getting consistent with the breaks in my blogging. Almost developing a "competence" in it - a term, some colleagues of mine are very passionate about these days. Their goal is to define boundaries for the terms - skills, competencies, talent, capabilities; in the context of job requirements for employees.
Anyway, retracking back to my own competence of getting consistent with breaks, its one part due to the optimism I have been trying to generate in my mindspace, and another, due to my affinity for being euphemistic (read "satirical"). However, the root cause of getting into these breaks is just lethargy, in a chaste and simple sense. And I believe lethargy has a cyclic dependency on the state of mind (a 'depressing' state of of mind).
Work has been occupying the bulk of my time and mindspace over the last few weeks. And it hasn't been worth diddly to me. Just in terms of learning and living upto to constructive challenges, there has hardly been an opportunity knocking at the window. Quite ironically, the challenge has been to just measure upto expectations (albeit vague expectations) of more experienced individuals. All this has made me look for reasons (and excuses & shortcomings) related to people (and their beliefs), the place and the circumstances - but I have realised the reasons may not be worth nailing down to the detail. Simply because the opportunity cost of such analysis is outweighed by the benefit of finding solutions and making outright changes. The conclusion to me is simply that actions outweigh thoughts.
So the resolution I have made and found to be useful, is rejigging our own effort at the most basic level. I guess thats what many wise persons refer to as going back to the basics. Like in Cricket - when you are out of form, the best way to claw back into form, is to apply yourself and do the basics right - move your feet, watch the ball closely, and play as straight as possible. The analogy for consulting is - ask what is required, agree on deliverables, write down your thoughts, invite feedback, review your output and check if expectations have been met.
I guess the common thread in all comebacks is to generate and exude the mental strength (conviction) that all of us are capable of . It is this pursuit of conviction that probably helps us become better professionals, and in most cases, better individuals. I think reading books or articles from some thoughtful persons (authors, philosophers, leaders) can help this process, as it does for me. The other aspect is to really be able to talk and discuss about your performance (or rather the drop in it) with trusted friends and family. I guess having a confident and trusted partner helps this process a lot - and is also invariably a great opportunity to buttress the bond you already have.
The one benefit of coming out of a trough in the state of mind is that it makes you ready for bigger challenges. You feel more energised to try new things, and to go the extra mile to distinuguish yourself. I guess the redundant question to ask ourselves at such a point, is whether we are capable of achieving any distinction. The goal of doing that is the dignity of our own effort and individualism rather than the achievement it brings. I draw this belif from the grand message from the great "Bhagwad Gita":"You have a right (and responsibility) to perform your prescribed action,but you are not entitled to the fruits of your action.Never consider yourself the cause of the results your activities,and never be associated to not doing your duty."
Without wanting to preach or sound religious, I just want to highlight that the attitude to our work can be an end in itself, just as the attitude to life can be the base of our aspiratons. So,if you are giving yourself a hard time, thinking hard about hard work, just try going back to the basics. My hypothesis is that it is true in all contexts and situations.
To end - want to share this anonymous quote (limited to my knowledge) that I discovered with my wife today. For everything we desire to do, "the time is now, the place is this".