Preparing For The Dip
January 22, 2020
When I was a student my schedule was something like this.
- Wake up- freshen up- have breakfast- go to school/college.
- At the college, attend the classes, extra curricular activities, spend time with friends.
- After college, play some sport for an hour or so.
- Come back home, freshen up, have dinner.
- Watch TV, study a little- Sleep.
- Weekends- Catching up with cousins, Watch TV, Play Cricket, Movies and some cursory studies.
In my 20’s and 30’s after I got into a job, College got replaced by Office. After Office, Sports got replaced by socializing, networking. My Mom gave way to my wife, helping me manage my life. As my children came into my life, while the 8-12 hours linked to the office and post work socializing remained constant, the other activities slowly became centered around my children.
Life was sorted into a pre-defined routine, where I did not have to try too hard to manage it actively. Life just happened, I felt powerful, alive, productive, infallible.
I was growing at work, in terms of Income , Responsibilities and Titles.
I was growing as a person taking on bigger roles, both as a husband and as a parent.
The period from 20-40 years was the prime of my life.
By the time I got to my 40th year, a lot had happened but somehow, I had lost track of what exactly had happened and I started wondering what might happen. Suddenly , fears developed within me. What happens If I lose my job or I die. What happens to my family. The fear of mortality hit me for the first time. I discovered what a Prostrate is !! I had come face to face with the infamous mid-life crisis.
Physically, I changed. A lean body gave way to a slight potbelly, I did not feel good about that. At work, the rate of growth was slowing down for obvious reasons. It gets crowded at the top. I did not feel good about that. My children were growing and getting to the inflection point of higher education. I felt responsible for their decisions, I was stressed. Suddenly, it felt like life had become a lot more complicated.
All of us go through dips like this in life. This dip is a mental concept that can be easily recognized from the markers of fear, uncertainty, feelings of not being in control, being inadequate. This is a natural part of our evolution. Unfortunately, there is no training that prepares us for dealing with this. I had to figure this out on my own.
- I became introspective. My frame of reference moved from the external world to figuring my inside world.
- I got to know myself better- what are my gifts, strengths, What is my purpose, what do I want for myself in life.
- I came to terms with my mortality.
- I learnt to value the gift of relationships that helped me cope.
- I understood that the only thing I control is my effort, my industriousness.
The good news is that Dips are growth accelerators. They serve as a springboard to help us evolve and grow. Thanks to the Dip I experienced, I evolved as a person, coming out, as a significantly enhanced version of my former self.