I quit Wipro in 2014. That period of around a year was the lowest point in my life. I had to face a plethora of challenges in my personal and professional spheres. My world had crashed!
However, I did not give up! Infact, I din’t want to! I utilized this particular time not as a failing point but my Ground Zero. With the help of a Professional Life Coach, I started rebuilding my life step by step.
I have achieved quite a little so far but this surely turned many heads in my personal, professional and social circles.
Amidst these challenging situations, I did get to hear several demotivating comments about me from certain people. Afterall, such comments cost nothing … Right?
Good things do take time. Like Eddie Cantor, an American singer, comedian and song writer said,
“It takes 20 years to make an overnight success”
One must have an immense level of patience to become successful.
Think about the time when you were mid-way wrt success in a certain area. Did you ever feel that you are neither reaching your goal nor able to leave it? Its quite possible Right?
- Maybe you want to leave your IT job and start a business of your own … but are not able to
- Maybe you want to improve your health quotient in the best way possible but you are only getting mediocre results
- Maybe you want to be seen as a totally different person altogether but are mid-way in your transformation journey …
The reason why we are not able to get to our desired goals in such situations could probably be not getting to Ground Zero first.
Ground Zero is often mistaken as a period of no-achievement but it is not!
It is only a detailed evaluation phase of what you need to start over afresh in order to enable you to reach your goals.
Going to Ground Zero and starting over might seem risky at times and may result in a loss too to begin with. However, you will be able to pick up speed later on and take your progress to a phenomenal level.
Now, the important point is to recognize where exactly you need to go to Ground Zero. It definitely does not mean you need to go to that state each and every time you fail at something. No, it’s not like that. You need to test yourself first.
Eg . You are in a profession which you are not fond of. Check out the “Why” factor. Is the dislike temporary or is it coming to your mind again and again? If you are not happy in your current profession for the following reasons, DO NOT CHANGE your profession hastily. That is not about going to Ground Zero.
- You had a string of troublesome managers
- Your performance has reached an all-time low
- Your career has reached a plateau
- Your health is suffering because of your profession
- You are not able to achieve your work-life balance
- And so on …
In the above set of situations, you need to go to Ground Zero by changing your reaction to such situations and not by changing your career itself.
You might feel like “Who on earth will change careers just like that?” Well … let me tell you something. A majority won’t but they will consider that option believing that the grass is greener on the other side while it is definitely not!
We had several people coming to us stating that they wanted to change their career stream as they were not happy with their current job. When the root cause for their dislike emerged, it had more to do with their approach to their respective careers which were not very effective. They were brought to Ground Zero in their approach and made to work their way upwards. It helped them transform their careers.
You need to be careful in choosing your area of getting to Ground Zero. Afterall, going to Ground Zero should not raze down your own future to the ground. Right?
The following list might help you. This is not an exhaustive list and it will vary from person to person too. This is just a collection of few areas which you can relate to and work on.
This is a huge challenge in itself and tough to comprehend too. I shall be focusing only on when you need to get to Ground Zero in this aspect.
Take the common example of having a bad manager. We tend to label them as “bad” when something about them is affecting us. It could be their tone, micro-managing habit, purposely making you stay late in office, targeting you for the lowest rating, showing partiality and so on.
True … all the above tend to make us come to such conclusions. However, what is actually in our hands? Can we change others? No … Can we immediately switch jobs? May or may not be possible … Can you bring them to accept your view point? Possible if you are a state-of-the-art negotiator. Can you ignore them? No … you cant! The possibilities are endless.
The only thing which is in our control is how we position ourselves such that we do not become a target for such actions. This is where we need to get to Ground Zero.
Fine-tune your approach to tricky situations involving people. If you do not do it, you will only end up attracting many more so-called bad managers into your professional life.
Get to Ground Zero. Analyse your own reactions, behaviour and thought process. Fine-tune it and the see how your work life changes.
You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure – Zig Ziglar
Failure is one crucial area which many fail to manage and this inturn makes them fail again and again thereby labelling them as a total failure.
What generally happens is … you might go upto some level in achieving your dreams but get stuck mid-way or almost reach your goals. Now, almost reaching it or getting stuck mid-way means you have failed. This will certainly dishearten you and you might try again. However, the thought of the previous failure and it’s consequences may be looming larger than the goal itself. At such times, in all probability you might fail again.
This is because you are tweaking your efforts marginally and not letting go of your previous failure. Going to Ground Zero in this context is to take up the Goal as a brand-new challenge and a revamped approach towards it. The pressure of the previous failure should not play havoc in your mind. It is only then you will be able to achieve what you want to.
Managing Your Lifestyle
When you suffer a major health setback 10-20 years down the line, excuses like not exercising daily, consuming too much junk food, following an unhealthy diet and so on will seem like lame excuses and the truth will hit you really hard!
The above words themselves may seem too harsh just to read. Imagine going through such a situation itself! Tough right?
This is why you need to fine-tune this area before it is too late. Life without good health is not even a life! It is infact a slow death!
Now, get to Ground Zero in this aspect and work your way upwards.
What is actually causing you certain health concerns apart from genuine medical reasons?
- Unhealthy eating habits
- How you spend your first hour every morning
- Negative thought process
- Your erratic sleep cycle
- Other unhealthy habits
- And so on …
You cannot turn into a new leaf overnight. So, do not force yourself to do so. Reduce your unhealthy habits step by step and bring it to a Nil. Then, work your way upwards by inculcating positive habits.
This will help you overcome obstacles in the way of good health and make you stick to your healthy lifestyle permanently.
There will be many such areas right from developing a small habit to achieving the toughest goal in your life. Carefully analyse where it is just enough to increase your efforts and where you actually need to go to Ground Zero. Then, go for it! You will achieve whatever you set your hands on!
Since I have personally experienced it first-hand, I would urge each one of you to identify the area for your Ground Zero and work your way upwards. Remember, if you try to extend an old building further and convert it into an apartment, it will eventually crash. You need to raze down the old building to construct a new apartment. Then, it will stand strong.
Your Ground Zero will set the foundation for that new apartment in your life!
Operation Ground Zero!
Will You Do It?
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Authored by Sushma Krishnan
Co-Founder, High Performance Alchemy