Thinking ahead for the semester made me reflect on the two over arching commitments of TFI - Commitment to Education Equity and Commitment to Personal Transformation.
Commitment to Education Equity
In strange ways, Gandhi's cliched mantra of being the change rings a bell here than in the second commitment. For someone who has had a gradual upbringing from a village to metropolitan life, there has been a residual feeling of inferiority. Of not being good enough, of not having had similar opportunities like my well to do friends, for not having mentorship, not having connected family members etc. I realized how this was a defense mechanism I had built up over the years to justify my shortcomings. I had not been serious enough about excellence. I did not burn every moment, strive hard enough to be excellent. I have been lucky to have got through to where I am right now, with less than optimal effort. Maybe it is time I desired excellence, worked assiduously for it and taste it for once. It is also living the value I tried to inculcate in my children over the two years - to be the best that there is in your field in the whole world. Maybe in that achievement I will finally settle my scores with my inner critic and doubting ghost.
Commitment to Personal Transformation
The progress over the last 3 years has been phenomenal. From being anxious, stressed and confused about where life is taking me I have found my balance, purpose and clarity. I have been able to handle some difficult challenges thrown at me with equanimity. Yet, there is a lot of times I did get overwhelmed by my environment. My defences were just not strong enough. I let the cattle graze my sampling. Maybe, it is time I took excellence in thought and action seriously. It is time to live the life of a monk, like Geet Sethi once remarked.
Still with my TFI hat on, let me try and articulate my SMART BIG GOALS for the next semester:
a) I am happy and grateful that I have achieved a 10 at HKS
b) I am happy and grateful that I have established my 5 habits - [4-ME-2D]