My favourite nook at work.

With this week I complete two years in my current job. What a steep learning curve it’s been.

I have not faced something so tough and challenging since I interned (in the hope of bagging a job) at The Indian Express in 1995.

It’s never been about big goals for me, and for a brief while in the past few months I thought I wasn’t good enough because  I shied away from those big goals. Do you HAVE to be a business head? HAVE to be an entrepreneur? HAVE to be a certain ‘title’ and on a certain rung on the shaky ladder? For some, that maybe what gives them joy.

Not for me, a soft voice whispered in my head. And I was told by the self-help books and the ‘gurus’ that that’s my ‘limiting belief’ talking.

Then I went to Bhutan. The whisper became more assertive. Not for me. A job well-done, every day, is all the permanency one can expect in life. It’s to take one step after another, mindfully and ethically. It’s to stop and be aware of the environment I am, be it in this glass tower in West Bay, or the little apartment in Mansoura, or the Smaisma beach I escape to so often.

This is what I know for sure. One doesn’t HAVE to push the limits and measure up to someone else’s benchmark of success.

I don’t HAVE to have to follow a text book career trajectory that’s about climbing a corporate ladder. After all, I am a jungle gym kind of person, ladders are not for me.

The fun is in the movement… in the doing of things, in the meeting of people, in the telling of stories.

It’s one short life where I have to love and enjoy and feel a sense of contentment, if not achievement, on a daily basis. Something I’ve been fortunate enough to have almost all my working life, including the 15 years in Qatar.

So I look back, at 40, and tell myself: Slow down. Enjoy the dance.