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Being with the Right Company

I have been more of a forethinker about life since my childhood. I still remember my 7th grade, owning a small dairy which my father would get me each year from his several suppliers in the industry. My father was in the construction business, and so I'd always get a diary with a lot of quantitative matrices and numbers. I vividly recall how my diary was a smart book that contained measurements in terms of distance, time, and weight. Overwhelmed with all these numbers and metrics, I’d gaze through them in curiosity and marvel at the beauty of mathematics.

From the time I began scrutinizing 'Anne Frank,' a German-Dutch diarist, her diary became my absolute favorite read. I’d pen down my forthcoming plans in my diary rather than fill it with my mundane life instances. The best part about having a plan is that it helps with having a few decisive things to focus on, so as to cut down on the remaining blunders that become a part of our everyday life. We often tend to spend more time on what we love. But for me, I’d plan things out a little more. I’d planned about my next day’s tasks, about the people I’d need to let go and stick around, the kind of partner I’m looking for, about who I’d make business deals with, and with whom I’d build a business. The list would just go on like there was no end.

Among the many plans I’d made, I realized that no matter the task, our environment and the people in that environment mattered the most. Being with the right company has always been one of the biggest priorities for me. But having a knack to choose these people and having this very mindset of having the right people was a huge mistake I made.

But who was I to decide the people around me? Who did I think I was to select certain people around me and make things work?

I may have been successful in choosing the “right” people, whether it's my friends, my partner, or the ones I work with. I had my checklist complete as per my plan. I was at the peak of happiness and success because as soon as I graduated as an engineer, I had achieved everything I listed and was ready to hop on the wagon of attaining a life of success as an entrepreneur. Happiness was a surplus feeling that drove me to think about all the things I could achieve with the people I had and the resources I accumulated at the time. The chances of failure seemed merely an impossibility.

And then struck reality.

The people I believed in were no more aligned with how I thought they’d be. The people who told me they were ready to sacrifice anything had come to a point where they couldn't express their concerns openly to me and eventually left me to deal with problems as a one-man army. My partner back then who I wished would be my life partner, couldn't give me an explanation for letting me go. Answers, solutions, and expressions during difficult times were as numb as a heart that stopped beating.

This became one of my life’s biggest eye-openers—precisely after 2 years of recovering from all the trauma and experiences I’d faced after this took a toll on me.

During my time of recovery, I learned one of the biggest lessons that I believe will always stick with me. During my glorious days of engineering, I believed that people who you connect with would stick around in the long run. I believed in my circle of people, the ones who supported me at the time and pushed me right from the start. Together, we achieved recognition and laurels, appreciation, and positive feedback, and we felt the silver lining hovering over us for what felt like a brief moment. We felt the constant zest bringing out the very best in us, and we’d always aim to achieve more than we planned. We were either all in or all out, there was no in between. We felt like it was our time to shine, and that was a great time I’ll always cherish.

They say that a good day won’t last long, and that was when our company hit rock bottom. Our startup was failing miserably in terms of team building and operations, and our funds were sinking to a great extent. My team was distressed, and the silver-lining-moment was brushed away. I knew that there was no going back for me because I jumped the cliff with all my dedication and time for this. Despite the shortcomings we anticipated before we decided to give our all because mishaps like these were expected in a growing startup, the biggest moment of despair for me was when my team began losing hope. Amidst this chaos, my team slowly began to drift apart from our vision. People began to quit—the very same people who assured me of their support in the long run. The loss was unbearable, and I couldn’t continue to work the way I used to.

Everything needs closure, and so I had to bring myself together to resolve this situation. I had to take over the company’s operations single-handedly and decided to take responsibility for everything that befell. I recall the times I’d wished I could just end all of this misery and not exist. Clinging on to the tiniest ray of fading hope I had, I needed to commit to resolving the situation. I had to give back to the people who had helped me become what I was back then. Gradually, with the help of some unexpected people who stepped in during my toughest times, I picked up the courage to fight back head-on. These unexpected strangers were those I’d never considered of any relevance in my life, either because they were not professionally competent or they were not my friends.

I recall these moments as though they happened yesterday. I remember a time when there were people who stepped in to support me financially despite their own concerns, the times when the people that I’d put down welcomed me with a hug and cheered me to hang in there, and the people I’d never give my time to, who had given most of their time to support me in any way possible. I sure won’t name these gems in this blog, but I’d like them to know that if they’re reading this, I am grateful. I feel blessed and thankful and I owe them deeply for helping me change my ways and course of action one step at a time. It felt like that silver lining was slowly beginning to show me a way, and that gave me the hope and strength that was much needed for me to walk in the armor of courage in my journey to come.

When I put my mind to something, it’s never with a second thought. When I am working or giving my attention to something important, I focus like a laser beam to reciprocate the time and effort I’ve been given. When I connect with new people, I am able to create stronger bonds because I give them the time and attention required. But the one thing that would deprive me of my focus and time was when people left, without notice, or with intent. The experiences I’ve had so far are something that has helped me understand that it is okay to let them go—without any expectations, and without any sorrowful thoughts. Because it is now that I’ve learned that all this is a course of life. I’ve learned to give more than seeking anything, to engage with people without clinging on emotionally, and to strive in the midst of chaos rather than find ways to give up.

So what’s it to have the right company of people?

It’s the environment you and the people thrive in. It’s the things that excite you and the people. It’s the hardships that you and the people face together. It’s the connections you make with like-minded people. Because there is no one like them, and it truly is a blessing to have those people in your life. So keep them, cherish them, and watch everyone grow together at places you won’t even comprehend.

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