Sounds of bells, spoons, plates, claps, like a complete band baaja baraat, empty streets, baraat in balconies we welcomed the fools day last year. Just short of a few days, in March, we were clanging utensils to thank essential workers and preparing ourselves for April. Last year our perspective of April changed. The fools day got fooled itself and came and stayed with us like any other lockdown day that was filled with anxiety, fear, worry in our hearts and minds. By 5th day of April, we were back in the balcony lighting lamps. That day, the score was less than 4000 infections in the country. Today, there are districts that have crossed that mark. April is here, again.
But this April, unlike last April, which was an extreme, will be a new April. New April because now we know our new working patterns. New because we value healthcare and well being more than ever. New because we are more empathetic and thankful for just being here.
April is the month of a new beginning. Beginning of a new year, a new financial year, a new accounting year for most companies in India. All filings related to annual financial performance have to be completed by March 31st. Accountants, business heads scramble in the last few weeks of March not just to close the year but to also budget for the coming new year. Ideas, big or small, are sown. Budgets are firmed up. April is the month of new year in many religions. April is the month of new year in farming and agriculture. The new year is deep rooted in our culture and with any new year there is hope and aspirations in the air.
April is the month of aspiration. With every new beginning comes hope. There is hope in anticipation of salary raises, hope for new projects, hope for new jobs. Hope brings in energy and we need to learn to use that positive energy. What does one do with the energy decides his or her future. One can invest the energy into learning new things which can bring in more energy in the future. One can let this hopeful energy be spent into a good, happy day and the energy will be lost. It’s how conscious we are and how we chose is what defines our days.
April is a month of performance. “How did you gain that kind of confidence?” is a common question that you will hear in podcast conversations of several successful people. This is in response to something bold or brave that they did in their careers. Their responses show that even if you don’t feel confident, you can still act in a way that manifests confidence. In time, these repeated acts of bravery will build a feeling of confidence. Take action first, confidence will follow.
Courage to take a decision doesn’t mean absence of fear or confidence, but courage means taking the first step of action. Read more about courage and fear in a previous article here.
The first step is to show up. April is the month of performance, the month of just showing up for what we aspire to be.
April is a month of reflection. Reflect, not to improve on misstep but reflect to pat your back on the best deed of the year gone by. Success inspires success. Reflect on the decision that brought some joy, no matter how big or small that decision was. In a recent podcast interview hosted by Rajkumar Singhal, founder Multipie.co , I heard Abhay Pandey, founder A91 Partners, speak about his achievements. He said, “Someone asked me about achievements in life It is not about the IIT or IIM or McKinsey and other jobs, it is about the social work that I have been doing that’s something I feel most proud of. You sit back and think that is what gives you most joy and pride then you should be doing more of it.” Reflection brings clarity.
I – Ideation
April is a month of Ideation. – look for pockets of growth, learning, break, recover, come back. April, not January, is the month of vision. Resolutions born in January mostly disappear in a few months. But like budget planning in the financial year, April, helps in planning of the vision for the year. Athletes before the competition are trained to visualise the entire race day starting with how they walk out of the locker room and to the point of finish. It is a mental exercise that they start training to actualize their goal. April is the best time to ideate for the year ahead. Work processes, growth plans, learning, breaks to rejuvenate and come back to the plan.
April is a month of fools day. It is best to keep it light hearted. Last evening, there was news about multiple cases in our locality. Last evening, some of us in our own bubble, sat around and had a laugh about a few silly things. Laughter somehow is magical in its impact. It never fails. It strengthens bonds and is good for health and heart.
Trevor Smith, who has worked extensively on happiness says, “Humor is a great tool to use in a crisis that helps us look at that situation in a positive way that will help us deal with the crisis. Humor lightens one’s burdens, inspires hopes, and keeps you grounded, focused and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource in confronting any crisis situation.”
Leaders, political and business leaders, use humour in the right manner. I personally like the light heartedness that RPG Chairman’s Harsh Goenka’s timeline brings:
In this week’s edition of Habits for Thinking, bring in APRIL with aspiration, performance, reflection, Ideation and obviously lightheartedness. I was thinking of writing more, but then I came across this one and this joke by Winston Churchill is on me:
“Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”