7 years ago, we took the crazy untraveled road...quit everything we had worked hard to create and set off on an unknown journey.
Short journey back to 2013...
I was just 41 with 3 very young kids aged 1, 4 and 7!
I was the Managing Director of a large Multinational Bank with a corner office and 100s working for me!
I was an expatriate living a supersized life in Hong Kong!
And yet the itch to write my next chapter with different words, the pact that I had made as a young man...."I will come back to India when I turn 40" kept bugging me....till it won!!
Many well-wishers were shocked and said
"This isn't going to work"
"You do know that people make the big moves in their careers in their 40s"
"What is wrong with you? You have 3 kids to take care of "
Add to this the fact that my Father in law (60+) was still working. After all, someone has to pay for my kids' education, I joked!!
For the first time, I didn't know what I was going to do...in a working life the options ahead are mapped out...there is that role, that location or that title that is always enticing. None of this exists in this new journey of mine. I told everyone that I was taking a sabbatical but somewhere deep down, I knew this was going to be different!!
Kyu Dare, ki Zindagi Me Kya Hoga, Har Waqt Kyu Soche Ki Bura Hoga, Badhte Rahe Bas Manzilo Ki Aor, Kuchh Nahi To Kya, Tajurba Naya Hoga.
It wasn't easy at first....after all my working life till then, was run by a calendar and a secretary!! Initially, I filled my time with requests that came my way...someone needed help moving, someone was travelling and wondered if I would accompany them, there was always a new place to see and stocks to be traded!!
Slowly but surely, I found my calling!! First, write down my life motto:
20 years of Learning
20 years of Earning & Learning
20 years of Returning, Earning & Learning
Anything beyond 60 is a BONUS!
Today, after 7 years, I'm privileged and grateful that I'm able to spend time with my loved ones doing things that I really enjoy. I couldn't have imagined going on road trips with the family to various remote parts of India, I couldn't have imagined going on driving rallies across a few countries, I couldn't have given myself a chance to bring Ikigai into my life - the chance to return, learn and earn, all at once!!
I thoroughly enjoyed every day of my life as an international banker
I'm enjoying every day of my life as a SLASH (/)
Most of us are defined by what we do....after all for most of us, our identity comes from the work we do...what I have learnt is, it is good to pause and ask...What should YOUR identity be!!
Ensure you are writing the chapters of your book, filling it with things that you LOVE!