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This is a photo of my ID card from my marine academy, “T.S. Rajendra” back from 1991
T.S. stands for “Training Ship” - it was an actual ship, which was used for training cadets to become officers in merchant marine
After graduating from the academy, I joined my first ship as a deck cadet
And for the next 15 years, I sailed on different types of ships all across the world, working through the ranks and eventually became Captain
High seas taught me so much about life and leadership which I believe no MBA, no corporate job could have ever taught me
In the middle of the ocean, you are on your own
As Captain, you are responsible for the lives of people onboard and millions of dollars of assets you are managing
..From real-time decision making to crisis management
..From working in resource-constrained environment to managing cross-cultural crew
..From chasing off pirates to encountering heavy storms
..From fighting fires to conducting search and rescue missions
It was an amazing career and I thoroughly enjoyed that life !!
A large part of who I am today is due to my experience as a sailor. It defines me
It all began on the high seas
This is what I wanted to talk about today
Sometimes, we worry too much about what we don’t have and what we haven’t achieved in life
You tend to forget how far you have come
You are quick to dismiss your journey and your achievements
You don’t reflect on and celebrate your experiences enough
Look back and reflect..
Where did life begin for you, where did you really come from..
Go back to your childhood, your early days, your growing years as a teenager
Think of the people you grew up with, your community, your social circle, your neighborhood
Trace your journey since then up until today
And without knowing anything personal about you, I can almost guarantee you 2 things :
One – Amongst all those you grew up with, not many people from your initial days would have reached the point of success which you have achieved, where you are today
Two – Back then, you could have never imagined that you would reach this point in your life, achieve so much, right ?
The truth is that there is so much progress you have made since then till now
There is so much you have achieved, both personally and professionally
But you fail to acknowledge that progress
And you also know that it has NOT been easy for you, right ?
All along, you had to deal with so many ups and downs, so many challenges in life – only you know how you managed to survive and thrive
All your life experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly, make up who you are today
So no matter who you are and where you are in life today
Don’t forget where the journey began and how far have you come
Embrace, acknowledge and honor your experiences and your progress
Most importantly, learn to….
Honor and celebrate yourself
So take some time out
Sit in a quiet corner and reflect on these questions
1) What are you most proud of ?
2) What have been some of your biggest achievements ? Think about both personal and professional lives
3) What makes you carry along ?
4) How do you celebrate yourself ? And if you don’t ( which I am guessing will be the case ), how can you start celebrating yourself ?
Complete the following sentences :
1) I am most proud of..............................
2) My 3 biggest achievements are................................
3) What allows me to grow and thrive is my ability to.........................
4) I will celebrate and honor myself by....................................
Do share your thoughts as you engage in this reflection