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The recession, in a quirky way, brought joy to my life……opened up new possibilities, new thoughts.

I was jobless for a while.

Many fantasies and dreams came to life.

1. Wrote parts of my first novel, and sent it out to dozens of publishers & agents world over…. I received no replies and rejections in equal proportion.  But, the process of writing was so satisfying.  A long-cherished dream.  I now know I can write well, and get published.

2. Started my own company.  I still wonder how I did this.  I bumped into somebody who had similar thoughts, we gelled, and, lo, registered a company shortly.  We tried a few ideas, all of which bombed.  But this opened-up new possibilities.  It has been a self-revelation.  I know I can run for the top spot on the Forbes list, if I want to……at least I know how.

3. Health & fitness.  Running has become a part of my life now.  Better diet & more time at the gym have given me fantastic results.  I am younger than before!

4. Books.  I never got enough of these since my school days.  I used to devour books by the dozens in high school & college.  But work and other distractions slowed me down to a just a couple of books a month.  I am a voracious and omnivorous reader.  I read everything – novels, history, science, comics, philosophy, business, mags, brochures, in-flight pamphlets on how to save myself when landing on water, advertisements, and so on.   And boy, I just gobbled books during these days.

Chuckled with Wodehouse, deeply thought with the likes of Seneca & Marcus Aurelius, re-learnt history of all kinds, re-discovered Ruskin Bond, fell head-over-heels  over popular science books…..

5. Friends & family.  I understand & appreciate my family better now, simply because I was able to spend more time with them.  But, friends have been a mixed bag altogether.  So many of my ex-colleagues and friends simply faded away, some of them perhaps recalibrating their opinions about this guy who couldn’t keep his job.

6. Music.  I discovered western classical music.  I started self-learning the piano.  Read books.  Actively pursued music of all kinds –  orchestra, chamber, solo, instrument.   Now, I also appreciate jazz, blues & indian carnatic music better.  Its been a real joy.

7. Investing.  I have been pursuing value investing for sometime now.   This break gave me the time to read, think & analyze better.  In investing, more action doesn’t lead to success.  Patience & temperament are critical.  Scores of pebbles need to be studied to unearth a gem.  The likes of Munger, Buffet & Graham have been willing and generous teachers.

8. Goals & interests.  I now have a better & clearer idea about what my interests are and how I should lead my life.  I had time to think, contemplate.  I was more aware about my thinking and myself during the course of daily life, like when reading, watching tv, talking to people, running, commuting etc.  I was never more aware of myself before.

I would love to afford and resume this lifestyle.