In April 2019, I went to Bali to listen to my Guru H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speak about Vigyan Bhairav, an ancient Indian Scripture which is understood – without wrong interpretation – by only a handful of people in the world ( < 5 ). On the last day, we all sat by the beach, ready to listen to what he had to say, like excited babies waiting for their birthday gifts to come. Why that is so, in multiple posts in the future.
Gurudev, as he’s fondly called, sat in silence for a few minutes and then said that he’d not speak anything. He asked us to speak about anything we wanted to.
Some time went by in which people expressed their gratitude towards him and how the knowledge and meditation techniques that he has shared with world has been magical in turning around how they live. We were people from more than 40 countries.
After sometime, somebody asked a question on the lines of
Gurudev, how to know if something is really what one should do? Especially when there are choices to be made between the two.
I don’t remember if it was in the context of job or something more general. But I remember what Gurudev said, paraphrasing here from my notes:
Two things will happen:
1. Clarity of thought: things which are unimportant will automatically shed away and pave way for things which are important. Clarity will come automatically.
2. Compulsion will arise as an intense throbbing, wait for it.
I’ve been feeling these two intensely lately.
I quit my job at Goibibo at the end of January 2021. The work had started feeling repetitive and rote. I was underpaid. After months of thinking about it, I quit without having next job in hand.
I wrote a coding article on the first free day – Monday Feb 1, 2021 and it got accepted by Smashing Magazine in the next three days. I got paid for it decently. In the process of writing that article I learnt the things that I didn’t have the compulsion to learn before. As a result, I did what I hadn’t done in a long time – researched and learned purely for the sake of it. But this time as a byproduct two new things came – I could share my learning with the world through this popular coding magazine and I had a solid understanding built of the concept I wrote about.
Yesterday, I sent another pitch to the magazine for another article and it got immediately accepted. This is when I realised that I could make a living out of learning and sharing what I learn. I had had this realisation for a while, but it came to fruition when I started getting paid for doing it.
As an extension to it, if I am able to make this happen – make living out of learning and sharing – I’d have the incentive to finally put to action all the ideas I’ve had for years. I could make products, launch them, open source them, maybe even monetise them and write about the process meanwhile and get paid for that as well.
This clarity of what I want out of my career came after a lot of mental scrubbing and baking, ever since I first thought about quitting my job at Goibibo.
Parallely, since Feb 1, 2021, I started applying for jobs as well. I surprisingly got one very quickly at an Australian startup. I took it for good money, since I anyway needed market correction. Big mistake. The kind of work that was needed was something that I didn’t want to do. More on that later. But during this job, I started feeling extremely compulsive desire to quit. The kind of extent which started making me feel like I had gone mad.
For example I didn’t work at all today, despite the fact that I have a deadline to meet for tomorrow.
As the days are passing by, what Gurudev said about clarity and compulsion is seeming like it’s happening. I’ve clarity that I want to do something of my own. There’s some freedom that clicks finely with me in being able to be my own boss. And there’s this compulsion coming to the brink that I’m not doing work without knowing why exactly.
Let’s see what happens now.