Monday, December 15, 2008

2008 and the Life Beyond...

2008. It has been one of the most eventful years in my life, probably after 1999 / 2001 or 2005. Though apparently it is very different from all these three, because it has been more about learning, than substantial achievements to portray or accolades to demonstrate.

I recall I had written a blog post just at the beginning of the year, jotting down some of my thoughts and targets I wished to fulfill this year. At the end of the day, today on the Dec 15 of the year, I feel this year has been significant and I have been able to work up some of the goals I had put forth for myself then. Learning has been amidst several successes, a few failures - both professionally and personally. I strongly feel I understand myself a little better now. And I know I now see my goals a little more clearly today.

It has been a mix of several successes and some failures. 2008 began on a vacation note; me spending sometime around new year and Christmas on the east coast. It was a sweet and bitter experience - but gave me an opportunity to explore that "snowy" places are not some places I would love to settle! I like Tempe way better! The trip also made a sea change in some of the aspects of my personal life which were yet to come. At the end, probably whatever happens, happens for the better; or we cull out means to make things better. Because the other day I read somewhere: we cannot make a new beginning, but we can write a new end!

When I got back to Tempe, I had several targets in mind. First and foremost, I wanted to ramp up my paper submission rate considerably. I felt I wasn't doing research upto the mark I had the potential to. Though many people argued, it is not the number of publications that matter, but the impact of them, I argued with my inner self, that unless I take several risks and opportunities, how would the probability to make an impact increase? I also felt, I was almost at the verge of completing my third year in PhD, and it was high time that good research, good publications and reasonable impact become my primary targets. I was doing good, but wanted to do better. So I identified some areas which need work. One of them primarily was the math aspect of research. So I spent considerable time in mid of this year to brush up and polish my math skills. And I think I have bettered in it by now!

I planned to set a very challenging schedule in my research this year. I loved the pressure and always kept on the right track, with little times to deviate away and ponder on things which didn't really work out in life: after all, we should focus on things which are good in our lives, which we are personally good at, instead of trying to set straight some other issues which are beyond our control or only leave us unhappy. And time had lent me a big helping hand to me in this regard!

I also took the opportunity to drive and travel quite extensively this year, in the pretext of conferences. I traveled to three conferences this year: Pittsburgh, Denver and Napa Valley - all lending me a scope to explore very different places, topography and lifestyle. I also got to meet very bright people and some of the top researchers in my field - making me realize I have a long-long way to go; but I could do it, if I am planned, focused and committed on my targets.

Here is where I summarize. Some of the big learnings of life and research have happened this year. I know completely what I want from life, more than before. And I also learnt finally that past has to be set aside. There are a lot of mountains and terrains to tide over next year, with another very busy publication schedule coming up, and also likely some fun times with parents visiting me! 2009 I wish to be another little bit better and successful in research, wiser and happier from inside, and keep the people who care about me, happy and jovial!

1 comment:

alok said...

A good insight to life, and I am gladly taking few points from here :)

P.S : Would you please remove the 'word verification' stuff while commenting on a post?