What has life taught me recently…

Well, there is always something or the other you pick up when you reflect. Recently, though, I have realised the true meaning of this life lesson quote:

Your Network is the biggest contributor to your growth trajectory.

Before you race off to those networking lunches/dinners and stash your pockets with a bunch of cards (that I very recently lost while moving cities and had only previously used as rough sheets for noting down Sales pipeline numbers), let me clarify what I mean by Network here.

It is the interactions with people you spend majority of time with.

“You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With”. Of course, I had read it before but never consciously experienced it till recently.

impact of your company on you

Image source: Google Images

I was posted in a remote town in India for a short stint. The city was so small that you could take a tour diagonally and be done in 15 minutes. If you had taken it straight, it’d probably take 12. Obviously, there weren’t too many people in this office and hence, I had a lot of free time once I was done with work. The people were super nice and we immediately hit it off (there were just five of us anyway). We were happy being nice to each other and being casual about things at office.

Initially, I was quite excited – I’d finally have time for myself, I will work on things outside of work, I will travel, I will learn new language(s), I will get over my injuries and be back to playing, etc. etc. etc.

After one year, I was moved to Mumbai – a much bigger and pacier city with a lot more people and a lot more people in the office and much less free time. It’s been four months now but what I have managed to achieve in these four months in terms of putting things into action is far greater than what I managed to achieve in that one year.

Yes, I did spend time working on things outside of work (quite a few but don’t remember exactly which ones), traveled (a fair bit, but not quite), learnt a new language (almost), got over my injuries (not really, even got new ones) and of course, did not meet new people at all.

Why? Because sub-consciously it is the people around you and what they do that rubs off on to you. It is that unsaid social pressure (the healthy one) that keeps you going. Today, if I start putting on weight, there is someone waiting to point it out after the first pint. If I am not dressed up smart, there are people who’d give me complex. If I am not working on my speech, I am unlikely to kill it in those 10 minutes that I have with my skip Manager. And if I don’t learn that language in the next two months, there are people with better credentials waiting to take my position. Suddenly, there are sounding boards and there are threats. There is action unraveling in front of me. In that small town, there was none of that.

Is it just the people though? Certainly not. I could well have been motivated enough to drive all things to conclusion myself. But I wasn’t. And this I realized only when I was leaving that small town. Alas, I did not have the free time for a change this time.

So, the next time you feel you are not motivated enough to take on something, just look around for people who’d push you. People who are hustling harder than you. People you can trust will mock you if you don’t get it right. People who you think are awake when you are going to bed. Be inspired instead of being envious.

P.S. Assuming the shape of that town to be a triangle, I even gave you the third duration if you were planning to do that route.



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