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04 May 2016

The art of being tired....

 In his book 'Five secrets that you must discover before you die' (Read my blog review), author John Izzo, talks about two types of tiredness that people feel. On the one hand, there is 'Good Tired', the tiredness that you feel after putting your heart and soul into a worthwhile objective, working day and night to ensure that your objective is attained. On the other hand, there is 'Bad Tired', the tiredness that most of us feel, after a day of boring work, boring meetings and wasting our days potential.

Both are tired, but one is happy and tired while the other is just tired...

Ever since I heard about the movie 'Yes man', I had decided to do just that, become an 'Yes Man'. For those of you who do not know, this movie portrays Jim Carey in the lead as Carl Allen, who challenges himself to say 'Yes' to any opportunity that comes to him in the next year. Somehow I took a liking to Carl Allen and decided that in my new incarnation as Independent Consultant, I was going to say 'Yes' to any opportunity that came along, we'll see about execution later.

So when an opportunity came across for an assignment in an area totally new to me (I didn't know it then) and was still evolving, without much detailed documentation available, without anyone to guide me on the subject, of course I said 'Yes'.

Because I was stupid. No, because I had become 'Yes Man'.

As I took up the challenge (that is what I projected it as in my mind, then) I told myself that with World Web being as Wide as it was, I was sure to find supporting materials. The assignment was on an evolving area called 'Revenue Recognition and Compliance'. The statutory bodies were expected to set up stringent revenue recognition standards for what was known as 'Bundled Sales' (for more info Start from here). Every industry which undertakes 'Bundled Sales' have to establish standards for recognizing revenue for each of the elements in the Bundle, irrespective of the contract value of each element. The aim was to bring in standardization in revenue recognition across the industries.

Confused? So was I...

Soon I found that the famed Web was just a web of irrelevant, high-level, complex, disparate, complicated, useless and unreliable bits of information. I had to sift through the huge amount of chaff available to sift out few grains of wheat that I could use for the assignment. There was no one, literally no one, out there who could help me.

I was all alone, with an assignment that I had taken on myself.

Pride did not allow me to back out of the assignment. I soldiered on. I read as much as I could, I noted down as much information as I could, I identified the key use cases that I could use for this assignment. It helped that I had some time. I spent days and nights, feverishly trying to make sense of the information that I possessed, filling in each puzzle in the jigsaw of my assignment.

I woke up at 4.00 AM, worked till about 11.00 PM, without any gaps, without any rest, just taking bathroom breaks. I did this for the last two weeks. I never felt tired.

And yesterday, I delivered the assignment. It was well received. I got good overall feedback that told me that 'I had brought the much needed clarity to a very complex subject'. In the area of consulting, that is high praise indeed !!!

Coming out of the presentation, I felt tired, really tired for the first time in two weeks...

My mind was numb. My body had gone weak with tiredness. My hands were limb and I could barely hold the steering wheel of my car. I drove very slowly.

I stopped for a coffee. Sitting relaxed with a cup of coffee, I was tired. But I was happy. It felt very good to be tired.

I was 'Good Tired'.

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