Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vision Strategy Goals Objectives

I was first exposed to the concepts of vision, mission and goals way back in 1997 in NIIT. We went through an exercise that lasted 2-3 days and came up with some statements that didn't really make sense to me (although I must say I enjoyed the whole process). Perhaps I was too new to the system and just not exposed sufficiently to the corporate world. Later, I went through another session on goals and cascading objectives and understood the value of the process and the output.

I recently started reading up about strategy and vision setting and woke up at 3 am one day to attend a webinar (which turned out to be terrible). Setting aside my defensiveness, I worked very hard within myself to find applicability of the concepts at work and reasons for its failure in the past. Suddenly some things became clearer, such as what I need to do at work to align goals and why they were not aligned in the first place. Simple things, great revelations.

Just then, Atreya shared his problem of not being able to meet his study plans because he is constantly distracted by his quest to learn things too deep and clearly. There is just not enough time and resources to do that and also do his A levels well. Instead of repeating what I have been telling him (balance the two needs), I applied what I had just learned.

I asked him what his vision is from his life. After a few seconds of hesitation (just a few seconds can you believe!), he said his vision is to be a REFORMER.

Me: How do you think you will get there? What are the strategies you will employ?

Atreya: I want to work through Soka, want to be a doctor and also an engineer.

All three are needed to become the reformer he wants to be. I do not understand but accept it.

Me: For Buddhism, you are on the right track. You constantly learn and practice. What about becoming a doctor? And an engineer? What do you need to do to get there?

Atreya: I need all As in all subjects. A in Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Economics and General Paper.

Me: So, that is your mid-term goal if you are to achieve your vision. Right? How can you meet it?

Atreya: By being on top of all the subjects, by working very hard, by catching up with what I don't know and then staying with the class.

Me: So those are your objectives for this year. And where does research for the basics of equations and formulae fit in?

Atreya: Its not the most important thing. If it happens quickly, then OK, otherwise I have to set it aside.

He had found the answer himself by focusing on his vision. Now I have to try it at work!

Mother of a special son

I have always known that youngsters in their late teens need a lot of guidance, but don't necessarily accept it. I was 18 once and thought I knew it all. So, naturally, I was a little unsure of how Atreya will relate to me when he turns 18.

Couple of revelations happened.

First, children don't just become 18 one day. It's not a magic number that comes up one day. It is actually a point in the continuum of a child's life. My relationship with him is also part of that continuum. So, 18 is not really a milestone except for logistical reasons (driving license, army service, voting etc) and I need not pay any more attention to it.

Second, Atreya is a very special person. We dont spend a lot of time together nowadays. I am busy with Aloka and he with school. I usually talk to him at length when he is in some sort of trouble and what I have to say is usually not very pleasant (such as his tendency to escape difficult situations and his inability to get over unimportant issues). It surprises me that when I talk about such things, he hangs on to every word I speak.  He listens with his heart and mind, as if what I am saying is the most important thing in the world.

I have no doubt that many mothers talk like that, with as much conviction and love, but their children consider their lectures nagging or not in sync with their reality (e.g. what does she know about my life).

My words become special because he is the listener. My parenting method becomes successful because he allows me to shape his life.  I have the honor of being considered a good mother because I have such a fantastic son.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


These last few weeks have been like purgatory. I have burned and burned. Yet, if I try to talk about what I am going through, my words belittle and trivialize the issues. Words also sound different depending on who I speak with. Sometime, they sound diffident, sometime irrational, sometime fanatic, and often confused. My words, friends for so long, are my adversaries now. I had rather keep quiet than face the uncertainty and disappointment of hearing myself speak.