#10yearchallenge: 600-800 people, ~4 months

Making this post public took 2 months of brain-storming. Whether it will be too ‘personal’ to share such information? Will it be wise to even utter the word ‘unsuccessful’ in public place? I had to bury all those thoughts in the greater interest of the people who might be benefited from it.

So, what I have in store for you? Failure? Rejuvenation?

A few months of ago, I was on a crossroad. Alone, confuse, clueless on what to do next? After an amazing run in my professional life, I hit a speed-bump-like Newton’s first law of motion. The start-up on which I was working with a couple of people did not materialize leaving me with a lot of questions. A smiling face now riddled with questions, uncertainty on what next? Choices were plenty but not sure which one to take. It was like standing on a remote island with so many boats going and coming, though you are unsure of which on to board? Instead of being stuck into this ‘confusion hole’ for a longer period of time, I decided to do something about it.

Like everyone else, browsing the ‘Internet’ gave some random methods to find some answers. But even after 2 weeks of trying, it was not helpful at all. Finally, with some courage, I revert back to use the skill in which I always excelled, ‘Talking & Communicating’. The objective was to divert attention onto something else by simply talking to friends. Later on, I can get back to my original searching process. Within a few days into it, it became an exploration for me. Finding long-lost friends, lost memories, and missing fun moments. Friends from school, university days, social circles, or individuals who made an impact at some point in my life were all became part of this exploration.

Talking to 5 old friends per day at the start, it soon touched 15 people on a single day hailing from different geographies, time zones. Competitive pricing in Indian telecom sector became a boon. From scanning people’s Facebook friend list to find missing friends from school to using LinkedIn to locate individuals, this activity became a perfect combination of the personal-professional world. The roommate I missed, the person who woke me up many times, and the person who lent me money during the time of crisis, I connected with many of them after a gap of more than 10 years.

After 4 months, I have touched base with approximately 800 people. What started as a way to divert my attention became the best way of reigniting old bonds. It helped me to find a new perspective, showed a path of the future, and a feeling of being bonded in the difficult journey called ‘Life’.
Allow me to share some interesting observation rather than a philosophical boring lecture.

Observations:

– ‘Talking’ helps a lot. Especially with the people who know you since the time, when you actually begin to explore life. They have gone through a few years in their life and you have gone through yours. Even sharing the slightest moment of past bring joy and smile on faces.

– Majority of people were so happy to be reconnected. In the fast pace of life, they became too busy to re-connect with others, even if they wanted to. Everyone was happy that someone made an effort to reach out to them.
Someone started their own company, another entered into family business, one person had a major accident in the past were some of the many updates I got about my old friends. one person sold one company and started another one.

Knowing the struggles, success or others was equally relaxing. It gave a feeling that I am not the only one faced with a bumpy ride in life. Everyone had their own share of roughness.

– Only 3 lines were needed to break the ice.

Hi, How are you doing? It’s been a long time. Let’s talk sometime?

– One of my very close school friends gave me his phone number 10 years ago. I had no other way of reaching out of him other than calling a 10-year-old number. Surprisingly, despite moving to cities and countries, he kept the same number. We both were so happy to be reconnected. We also organized a small reunion party to celebrate this occasion.

– Social media is often cited by many researchers as one of the reasons for rising depression. In my experience, it still serves its original purpose very well. The original purpose was to connect with individuals, to make it easier to find people. In this instance, it did work well.

Conclusion:
If you were able to read so much then you must have realized the power of ‘talking’. It is not necessary to connect with everyone like I did, but it is certainly better than gluing on your computer screen and expecting a machine to show you some path of the future. ‘Talking’ may not help you to find answers, it can certainly make your way much easier. So what are you waiting for? Remember: Sharing is caring!!

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