Friday, 31 October 2008

The Mist and The Magic - A Question of Faith?

There comes a point in each person’s life where there is mist clouding the path ahead, and however hard one tries there is no way forward apparent to the human eye. The tumultuous market environment of the last few weeks has been one such point in the lives of a number of finance professionals. Non-existent revenue generation opportunities, endangered job situations, tanking markets and hence pensions, increased living costs, the ensuing winter – gloom and doom seems to be all around. Government bail outs provided a glimmer hope on one day but the next day the hedge fund redemptions took all joy out of the world that was only beginning to smile. When hopes came crashing down it was a sad world out there..

I was not a happy camper and the black driver who picked me up late last night from work seemed to sense my uneasiness. Adept at conversing with people in myriad moods, these gentlemen sometimes give a perspective on life which can really make one think long and hard. What was my worry I was asked. No visibility on any recent revenue generation – not to worry, many were in a worse position as they did not even have the opportunity to contribute to a P&L. Job security – well for the time being I am in safe hands, so why was I worried about three months hence. Worst case scenario – I could do the PhD I have been contemplating, start working for CNN or BBC (always an option it seems….) or go back to India and work with street children which I have always wanted to do. Tanking markets – I still have a long way to go before I need to really start worrying about my pension it seemed! That made me smile.

I was told that my current problem is that I am trying too hard to second guess God and my problem in the future could be trying to adjust to a lower pay scale maybe. The conversation ended on that note as I had reached home.

Now I am thinking and trying to understand if I am really trying to second guess God (or destiny or fate or Maktub). Yes I am, because I am scared of not achieving what I have set out to. I would like to safeguard myself and my ambitions. I would like to have a set of options available to me if things do not work out as planned. However, the more I think about the worrisome situation, the more negative and anxious I become. Anxiety yields nothing but leads to actions which are not fully thought out and hence can result in dire consequences. The sensible choice thus would be to leave the mist to its own being and wait for it to clear so that the way ahead can be seen.

The difficulty in that is that I would like to have control in the way tomorrow shapes and I would like to have made my choice yesterday. Am I being fair to myself and my ambitions with this lack of patience? I do not know. What I do know though is that it is time for me not to beat myself up for the small things in life that are not in my control. What I also am beginning to realise is that I need to have faith, faith that things will fall into place and I will achieve my ambitions for which I have worked long and hard. It is like Al said when he called last week, “it is when you start to believe that the magic beings to happen”. I hope I can truly start believing in the good as I would love to see the magic happen….Wouldn't you?

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