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What Color Is My Parachute?

Inspired by the 'Self Inventory' chapter of 'What Color Is Your Parachute?' by Richard N. Bolles, last night I started drawing my thoughts on paper. I wanted to identify my real passion. It turned out to be something else though. Something more important. It gave me a picture of how my life has changed over the last two decades. 

I explored my memory - as far as I could. I tried to think what I used to do when I was in primary school (Grade 1 to 5). Then what happened in high school (Grade 6 to 10), how things changed in college (Grade 11-12), during my Bachelors and Masters, and what impact did 'moving to Canada' have on me. Then the obvious ones - how my life has changed with marriage and parenthood.

Though I was not surprised to look at the outcome, I must admit - I was not very conscious about all the changes that happened over time. Over the last 10 years or so, the changes have been dramatic. I have achieved some important characteristics, but probably at the cost of some others that I loved. I became more productive, more serious about my career. I am now reasonably efficient in managing my time and work-life balance. But now, I travel a lot less, I almost do not hangout with friends anymore as I hardly have any spare time, I rarely spend time on Facebook - which is a good thing. But at the same time, it's causing me to be disconnected from many of my friends with whom I don't have any other medium to communicate with than Facebook. I don't play games (a.k.a. FIFA) as well. Music was very central to my life from late high school years to until my Masters, but it has also disappeared over time.

With little fluctuations, few constants in my life were 'drinking tea', 'spirituality', and my addiction for 'digital creativity', and 'problem solving'.

One of the good things I have re-gained recently is the habit of reading. Instead of fictions, now I am reading non-fiction books, which gives me a sense of 'self improvement' - something that has recently become very important to me.

In brief, I am now more productive and serious about my career and managing my work-life balance efficiently. At the same time, I am less likely to spend time on the stuff that I just love for myself such as hangout with friends ('Adda'), explore music, travelling etc.

This trend tells me one thing - I am doing the things that I think important, and not prioritising the things that I love to do but seems less important on the surface. But when I asked myself 'do I want to travel more?', do I want to hangout with friends?', 'do I want to play Fifa?', 'do I want to listen to music or start taking snaps with my DSLR (which I still have in my closet)?'. The answers to all these questions were 'Yes!' (with the exclamatory sign included). I still want to play Fifa and be productive at the same time. I still want to hangout with friends and find time for professional networking. I still want to read a lot of books and travel to distant towns and villages. I know I cannot have it all - it just means I have to prioritise them and be more efficient. If I only do what I should do, then I am only doing the right things. If I also make time for what I love to do, I am living my life.

It seems I need to do some painting on my 'parachute'. At least I am blogging again...


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