Mindfulness Training Week 13 – Chasing Targets and Losing Mindfulness

3-months just got over since I have started the journey on mindfulness training. Any mindful reader would have noticed that I have not posted my weekly updates for the last 4 weeks now. Last update I did was about a month back, in which I have promised to write about the item that toppled my mindfulness journey completely. Here I go…

I need to walk you through the story of my entrepreneurship before I get to the meat of the story so that you can appreciate the nuances: I have started up on my own 5 years back in Jan 2013. I had a clear vision then (at least that is what I thought then). However, as with any new journey, I hit a number of unexpected roadblocks and faced a number of interesting diversions. 4.5 years whizzed past and I had a lot of learnings about this whole hyped-up and oversold dream called entrepreneurship. I am not regretting my journey in any way and I am SO grateful for being led into this journey, which helped me to understand myself a lot better – every roadblock taught me about persistence and resilience; Every diversion equipped me with knowledge/skills that I did not know I needed till I acquired them. I am grateful about every step of the journey even though I may not like to relive some of them :).

Every entrepreneur faces these questions many times in his journey: Have I committed a mistake? Did I jump in too early? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Though I have asked these questions many times in these 5 years, it was last August when I decided to do critical self-evaluation and make it or break it test – I gave myself a 3-month time to execute my vision or I get back to a job. Why did I take this decision?

I was quite disappointed with my execution of my venture because I did not really spend time on creating the business my heart was suggesting all along (teaching) but I ended up spending time on what comes to me naturally (consulting). I was blessed to have clients that are on the dream-list of many companies that are 100x the size of my startup. I enjoy problem-solving and helping people – hence the complex problems that came to me through consulting satisfied my both intellectual and emotional needs. Seen from the eyes of others, I can call myself successful but MY heart was NOT satisfied. My heart kept telling me time and again that I should get back to teaching – figuring out a way to simplify all the complexity in my professional area – Analytics.

Also the spiritual training that I have received through my Acupuncture teacher had given me the confidence and strength to finally to leave the consulting and to focus only on teaching – either I make it happen or I quit. So, in September, I started from scratch (for the nth time) to create a new training curriculum. The vision I had was to create a Montessori-style curriculum for teaching Analytics & Data Visualization through the tool Tableau.

In December 2017, I launched a course called ‘Thinking in Tableau’ and had 17 students from 4-5 of my clients. The course was planned for 3 months and every week I had to create a number of videos and materials to not just teach, but to help my students to discover the core principles of BI/Visualization/Analytics. I had spent many week doing detailed planning and started it off well. But the key problem was that I set a tight target for myself unknowingly because I forgot one of the key elements of the process of creation.

By this time, I understood very well that I don’t create or generate new ideas, but I receive them. So, I would do my preparation to receive by planning, writing out scripts and lesson plans and waiting for receiving the inspiration to finally design the lesson. I was very mindful of this process – hence, I was very relaxed despite working very long hours. But somewhere in the process, my heart became attached to the outcome and the tests began – I started increasing my hours, I lost the mindfulness practice routines and more and more, I was living in the ‘world of mind’ – always thinking about my course. I did not realize this until I had fallen ill – for me, illness is a message, a message from my loving Lord that something is wrong with me. A message that something that should be in my hand has gotten into the heart. A message that some material item has taken the place of God in occupying my mind completely, setting my priorities, and dictating my schedule. I got the message, but it took me a few weeks to recover and completely be back – And I am grateful the journey.

From today, I am back to my mindfulness routine – See you back in a week, God willing….


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