When I was a child, I had a pretty active imagination. I read a lot. "Played" with those characters in my head and when I had unstructured play time. And best of all, I was never lonely.
As I grew up, this ability manifested in different ways. Being the ambivert, I could get lost into the depths of a book, the pages creating a screenplay of sorts in my mind. Professionally, I could think of different solutions to a single problem (key word is think, not execute). But (now, why is there a 'but'), the downside was that I had to struggle to concentrate on one single train of thought so as to actually take any action. Now this, my friends, was a problem.
This didn't happen all the time. Just during those instances where I applied my mind AND there was an urgency to churn out results as fast as possible. My feelings were all over the map with a bit of anxiety, a bit of stress, some exhilaration and last but not the least, nail-biting tension all thrown into the mix, each one trying to gain the upper hand. Day/night, with/without company, working/at home, I could be miles away, my mind spinning in a million directions (yes, it's an exaggeration but you get the idea, don't you) dissecting the problem at hand and reaching for a solution.
Some might say it's an indication of a brilliant mind. (I admit I a.m. ;)) But, too much of anything is never a good thing. And in this case, it resulted in sleepless nights and constant fretting.
About the future.
Until I joined a class of Organizational Behavior(OB) and my life changed for the better.
Let me explain.
Our professor was a great orator and had an engaging personality (which OB professor doesn't?). He always had excellent relevant feedback after grading our papers/speeches. He used to pair us up such that each member of our team complimented the other in terms of strengths and weaknesses. And that's how I met ChessPlayer (not his real name, of course!).
ChessPlayer was a brilliant guy. Full of fun and brimming with positive energy. He always used to say life is too short to get worried about. A typical live-in-the-moment kind of guy. And, in contrast, a brilliant chess player.
And he changed the course of my life through these lasting words of wisdom.
Imagine you are on the edge of a cliff. You need to be on solid ground (to not die, that goes without saying). But you need to look around you as well because you have that vantage point! In short, you need to be grounded but you can still look at the horizon and take in the views around you. You can either concentrate on being grounded all the time and worry about not dying. Or you can take in the views around you and walk straight off the cliff. Or you can do both.
The key is being grounded. And that, my friends, is the not-so-secret sauce of life.
Being grounded enables you to be firm to your principles and yet learn/do a ton of things.
To hold on to your foundation and build more.
To have a start line and still have the ability to connect the dots to the finish line.
To be a tree that can reach into the sky but with strong, firm roots.
To be inflexible and yet flexible.
To be grounded is a continuous process unto itself to be present.
And this, my friends, is something that cannot be taught by anyone except yourself. You have to go through life and teach yourself. Every mistake. Every success. Every painstaking moment of truth.
So if you are grounded, raise a glass . You have earned every bit of it.