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LIVE A LIFE DEFINED BY YOUR CHOICE

Source | LinkedIn | Shraddhanjali Rao | Head HR – SAP, India, Partner to the business, promoter of talent and technology

Mysterious, marvelous, mechanical, muddled, or mundane – we describe people’s lives in so many ways. In a world where things change before the blink of an eye, and choices made faster than the beat of the heart, how many of us in early half of our lives hit the pause button to really reflect on the lives we’re living and what we’re trying to gain from it? Some may argue that this could be a thought I revisit at a later point in time when life has perhaps given me more to experience. But that to me is taking life’s opportunities for granted. I must say, it took me a while to make this retrospective practice a habit, but it brought in a huge shift in perspective that ignited my desire to truly live life and live it well.

I kick-started 2020 with the resolution to take regular time off to reflect and pen down my ‘life lessons’, learn from what they have to teach me and work on them. It’s a discipline I can openly admit is something I thought was too ambitious for a regular exercise, but my first cycle of learning has inspired the me to press on. And by sharing these, I find the sense of personal accountability to continue this practice and explore what I may find within me that I had never discovered before.

I am not one to define my life by my career, but a large portion of my life has been spent at work and thus being the source of most of my life lessons as well as the birth place of my eureka moments. Some of the highlights of my learning are:

  1. It’s your life – be the driver and not the passenger : When I look back and reflect on the choices I’ve made over the years, be it in career or in life, one thing that I feel proud about is that I have lived it on my own terms. Be it the decision to take up a global role that kept me on the road for several years or challenging myself to explore a stint outside of my comfortable HR role and into an unfamiliar sales organization. Every decision taken in this direction gave the adventure hungry traveler in me so much satisfaction. I didn’t follow someone else’s career choices but my own. But I didn’t do it all on my own, I always had role models, leaders and my personal cheerleaders to guide me along the way. They have been my source of strength and courage in rough times and were there to celebrate in my successes. What I’ve learnt is that life doesn’t hand you a compass and map to help you navigate the journey – it’s a dusty, untarred road that’s waiting to be explored head on. Of course, it’s wise to stop once every while to ask directions from mentors, coaches and trusted peers, but never let go of the steering wheel lest somebody else takes charge for you.

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