One of the fundamental needs in work and life is the ability to be agile. But at a time when so much competing and conflicting priorities bombard at us we are all overwhelmed at times; in personal lives, at work, within the society we live in. Even those people who exhibit extreme calmness, resilience and success in one aspect of life buckle down in others. Why is that?
We live in a world where everything is accelerating. We know how to address change, but now the ‘pace of change’ is accelerating. Balancing in an accelerating world has become a very important Art.
We can’t solve every problem that is out there. But we can take some part of it and build the ability to bring Clarity to it. Fundamental issues like the difficulty in breaking issues into small pieces. The ability to step out of ourselves and look around us; as ‘things to do’ and emotions feel like uncontrollably piling up. To calm down and come up with a plan. To ask questions, retrospect and act. To improve. To find resolve when analysis paralysis creeps in. To not lose sight of what is important.
When I speak of agile in life situations I am particularly interested in one method of agile called Scrum. One specific role of Scrum to be precise – The Scrum Master, who is the orchestrator of the Scrum team.
a Scrum Master is a servant leader who facilitates, coaches and removes impediments so the team can deliver results
I am a Professional Scrum Master and I want people to be the Scrum masters of their life. You might think that we are not a team in our life, but we are. Not one but several teams. Our friends, our family, our colleagues, our society, our associations and so on, these are all our teams. And we should strive to be a Servant leader to them.
Facilitating their interactions, coaching them to be effective, removing impediments for us and them, being there to serve and in that process leading them.
How do you as a Scrum Master imbibe the principles of Agile into your life and family and society? The first step is to understand the principles of Scrum and how it works in other contexts. The next will be to work towards building that Scrum Master mindset which will allow us to serve and coach. You will be surprised that even those who are trained in it have often not developed the mindset.
It is a very simple framework and a journey of improvement and mastery. Let’s chat, Drop a line.
I would like to say Living Life than use the word ‘Happy’ because it (Happiness) means different things for different people and the world is still figuring what it means and it is never going to have a very conclusive answer acceptable to everyone. Though there is some consensus recently when people have said relationships, community and sharing are fundamental to happiness. But for me Living life is more fundamental. Because even if you are not very happy you need to live life.
Enjoying what you do (your work) to make a living, matters a lot and is one of the areas I focus on. But Living life is more fundamental to me. The fundamental level from where springs everything else. Passion, Relationship, Love, caring, sharing, learning, knowledge, experiences and so on. Over the years I did a few things to Live my life.
I scaled down my work life and I scaled down my personal life. I scaled down my expectations and started looking things from a minimalistic angle. I realized that making huge amounts of money quickly and retiring was not something that was going to happen for me. I wanted a life that was rich but minimal.
In 2017 I did a no shopping year where I did not buy a single thing for myself where I did not ask the question ‘Do I really need it’ 5 times and 99.9% of the time I did not need it and did not buy it. the .1% I bought it. But if I had asked a 6th time I could have gotten to 100% may be.
The realization was I did not need anything, and most of what I needed I already have. But there are a few other things I wanted and that did not cost money, but it cost time. And time was Money in the world we live in.
So making more time in life for what I love to do, made my life richer
Health was one area that I started focusing my mind on. Creativity was the next. Learning was the other and so was reading. I read over 50 books in 2017. I started indulging in cooking and found that there is a meditation in cooking. That feel of rawness touching your fingers before a dish is born is pure bliss. I also started a vegetable Garden, but I am not much into that and figured I was not able to keep going with it. But I have not lost hope and will continue to do it.
I learned there was enjoyment in starting something in it, even if you failed accomplishing it
The bottom line is that when I decided to scale down in some areas my life started scaling up in other areas. When I decided to leave my pursuit for more money, my life became more rich. People started asking me ‘where do I have all this time’ to write and read and spend time lazing.
Some of my enjoyment people equate to lazing. For them, if you are not on a thread mill, you are not living. And for me, I for once in my life refused to get on a thread mill going no where. I decided to quit the rat race.
What I make today is not a lot of money, but enough for me. It helps me pay my bills, and it is much more than what many people make and I have nothing but gratitude. I also share a part of it. And for me now finding time is the most important aspect of Living a life.
I am writing this page at 6:30 in the morning with a fresh brewed coffee after half an hour of moderate working out. I still have one hour to spend slowly making my breakfast and eating it and preparing lunch for my son and dropping him at school and heading to work, listening to some podcast. I will be on time for work. And I love going to work for the people I work.
It is important we take time to Live our Life. I would love to hear your thoughts on living life and even happiness in general. Drop me a Line.
Having fun can mean a lot of different things for different people. But my philosophy has been that if we can have fun in a way that costs us least that would be the best. No wonder some of the best fun times we have had is when we are with family and friends chatting and sharing a laughter.
I remember what one of my friend told me a long time ago. He was at that time married new and was struggling as his business not going well. On one of our meetings he said “It is tough but we find fun things to do as Husband and wife”. I asked him what that was and he replied
“We take a platform ticket and go to a railway station and we sit there and take and watch people get out and into trains”
Just so you know this was in India and we needed platform tickets to get to the platform to see off your loved ones. This stuck with me years later and during my work in the San Francisco City and had the one hour commute one way, I used that time to observe people and started writing a series of stories called ‘Transit Reader” where I would write a story about someone before they boarded the train or after they left the train. It was fun for me.
Movies are a fun event for me. I enjoy my drink, and I don’t need a company for that. I know it is not healthy, but I love it, I don’t judge myself. I (used to but) no more enjoy extravagant parties and lavish dine outs. They seem to me very hollow and baseless delivering nothing of value. It might be just me, I am sure many people have fun in extravagant parties.
I love books, not just reading, but even just visiting the library and browsing and even picking books that I never get time to read. I love poetry, I have fun writing. And every now and then I discover a new thing to have fun. The things I have most fun cost the least for me. I have fun going to work because I have a lot of fun with the people I work with.
I think we all need to explore things for fun. I am not much into trekking, but I have seen many people ritually do that and it is also a very cost effective fun thing to do. If we look around us, we can find that fun is not very expensive, unless your fun thing to do is shopping and buying expensive material stuff and eating out in fancy restaurants. Again, may be thats your thing, just that it’s not for me.
If you like to talk more on ideas and concepts on what fun can really be. Drop me a line