The last few days (three weeks or so) have been a whirlwind. I was on a stressful project that needed my attention. Now that it’s behind me, a sense of normalcy has returned. Plus the world is on almost a break for Christmas and New Year and that means there’s little pressure to get things done. And that means I can sit and dream – my most favourite thing to do.
Along with daydreaming, I am thinking a lot about how I’ve spent 2023 and what I hope to do in 2024. I wrote this when we started the year. I don’t think I’ve done even 1% of what I had planned but the year was remarkable in its own way. The three most important things would be (in order)…
- I started paying off the debt I had accumulated around COVID-19. I haven’t paid all of it yet but I have started to repay.
- I was able to build a team of sorts (we at C4E don’t really have any “employees” but each person who calls C4E home is a partner and if not a business owner already, will own some soon). And may I add that EACH person on my team is incredibly special. At times I can’t believe my luck that I’ve been able to find support from so many people.
- I was on the road a lot. And I loved it. And it was a big big win! I took 30+ flights and I was in Dubai, Manila, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa and more. I would’ve loved a lot more travel but as I grow older and go deeper in work and life, I think it’s actually an impediment. More on this in a bit.
Lemme talk of each thing.
This is the largest thing, to be honest. As a 41-year-old, to me, this is the single most important driver of things. I am ok with not having anything that makes my blood boil. I am ok with not having any large why to live. I am ok to vegetate and disappear when my time comes. But I am not ok to have this unpaid debt on my head. COVID-19 was a very interesting period and 3 years after the world was shut, I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Team C4E
If you know me, you would know how much I talk about my people at C4E. What started with Pooja has today become a 10+ people-strong setup. We could get started cos Pooja transformed the lone nut in me into the crowd that we are today. We are still far from our tipping point though. We remain unique – no one is an employee and yet almost everyone believes C4E is their home. The keyword is believe. And home. And while we want to be a good marriage of family and sports team, to me, we’ve had a brilliant start. Now, I need to this setup into a company for the long term. Let’s see how this goes.
So while I love to travel, I am realising that it’s incredibly hard to build things while you are on the road. When you’re travelling, you have no fixed rhythm, routine, desk et al and you are unable to get things done. Yes, I am talking for myself. I know of tons of people who live on planes and yet do grand things.
In fact, I’ve made a conscious decision to not travel anymore for the rest of the year and I will avoid as much as I can. My sis is here from CA and I could be in Delhi but I am not going (that’s another thing that I dont like Delhi so much that I am choosing to not to be with my fam). I am scheduled to be in Bangalore on the 17th of Jan for a few days and then in Dubai towards the end of Jan for a fortnight. I will avoid all other travel as much as I can #in2024.
The other thing with travel is that you are unable to focus, you dont get to eat well, your clothes are always dirty and smelly and piled up. You can’t think even though you are bombarded with so many new things!
So that was the top three thing.
There are quite a few things that I’ve been thinking about the last few days. Lemme
write about dump those.
A/ The unfairness, disparity and stupidity of life
The other day some of my friends went for lunch at a fancy restaurant. They ran a bill of 33K + taxes for a party of 9 (including kids). I realised that 33K is almost the same as what I pay someone who starts working at C4E (we pay 30K).
And I was left with a question – why would I “invest” 33K on a meal when I can pay someone that kind of money to someone to add value?
So henceforth, I will NOT go to a restaurant where the per head bill for a proper meal is more than 1000 bucks. I would like it to be at 500 but the work I do requires me to meet fancy people and thus I need to be more extravagant. So 1000 bucks.
I will also not go to a place where we are consuming alcohol – it’s the best way to run up a fat bill. Last night 4 of us from C4E had dinner and we paid 2700 odd bucks. 1100 of that was for three beers. Sigh.
B/ Suvi Chawla
I’ve written about Suvi a lot. And I can write more about it. Till I get tired. And then still more. He’s had an immeasurable impact on my life. More than anything else he taught me how to produce and direct events. And this knowledge has helped me build C4E. Heck, we were C4 Events before we became C4E.
I recently did an event that went like clockwork (except for three mistakes) and I couldn’t have done that with the training I got under Suvi’s wings. So, been thinking a lot about what I’ve learnt from him and what I can teach others.
I was there last week. I think it’s a place where I can retire.
It is a tiny town with one market that sees all the action there is. Everyone knows everyone else. There is hardly anything to do there except, well, I dont know. The weather is perfect. The hills are not too steep. The distance is a tad more than my liking (about 6 hours from Bom) but that’s ok. I’ve written a lot about it in the past. Must find a way to write more about the place. And the people.
D/ Jigsaw puzzles
On a whim (prompted by BVHK), I bought myself a Jigsaw. And started on it today. I’ve done a few in the past. Let’s see how this one goes.
Here’s how it looks right now…
I will try and upload this as it starts to take shape.
I’ve started to work on my 2024 YearCompass. If you are the kind to think seriously and plan for the year, you must use this tool. Trust me when I say this, this is one of the best structures you can use to reflect on your past and plan for your future.
One part of figuring it to look at the previous years. I found for the last 2 and I flipped through those, I realized that nothing ever seems to change while there is change all around us.
I will write a longer post soon where I talk about my plans for 2024 (including what went right and wrong in 2023). And I will write at least three sets of emails – one to the C4E Village, one to select people who have had a large impact on me and one to the entire world.
F/ This video.
I dont have the words for anything else. Watch it for yourself and decide what you care for more as an Indian.
And that’s that. And the end of this post. Thank you for reading.