Role Playing

I have been under a lot of mental and emotional stress lately, and did not know the reason. But with a lot of introspection and a couple of very good reads, I was able to find the root cause of this and am in a much better state of mind. Ask my wife ;) I will like to share this to spread the good words that helped me.

So, what was wrong?

Personal Mission Statement

When I entered formal work life, my HR helped me frame my personal mission statement, or in fact how would I like to be remembered when I leave the world. It came naturally to me: “The Guy who made a difference.” and I try to live my life towards this goal – “Make a difference in every role I play

Let’s first speak of the roles we play in life. Typically one plays several roles in life. A few play more, a few play less.

  • Individual
  • Family person – Child, Spouse, Parent, Relative
  • Learning – Student, Teacher
  • Working – Sub-ordinate, Co-worker, Boss, Mentor
  • Society – Friends, Community member, Citizen

And the challenge is to maintain a balance between the roles; otherwise one of the roles dominates the others. This is called the ‘Work Life Balance’, which according to me is a misnomer. It is about balancing the importance you accord to each role.

The reason for discontent was that I was doing a good job at work and had been struggling to think of a way to make a difference in the community. I was trying to increase my circle of influence and was having a difficult time doing so. But more importantly, I was neglecting my other roles in pursuit of this singular role, especially the roles which got added after I started my career. I was not making a difference as a husband and later as a father. This caused a lot of internal turmoil and stress but I did not realise the root cause. Which in hindsight is obvious, I was not fulfilling my mission statement, my goal, and my reason for existence. When I realised this and also realised the many things under my control that I can do to make a real difference to my family, I was suddenly at peace.

I now have renewed energy, a renewed sense of purpose and actively looking at ways to justify my role as a family member.

Community will come next; meanwhile I am working at growing my circle of influence to get to a position to be able to make a difference to the community.

So let me ask you this:

  • What roles do you play?
  • Are you justifying all the roles or is one role far bigger than the rest?
  • Would you like to be remembered as?
    • A great worker
    • A great spouse
    • A great parent
    • A great child
    • All of the above – and above all, a great person
  • Are you spending your time to achieve the above?

Related Read:

This article greatly inspired me: http://steveblank.com/2009/06/18/epitaph-for-an-entrepreneur/

Contributed by Hitesh Sarda (Batch 2001, IBS Hyderabad). Find out more about him on Linkedin.

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