Friday, September 16, 2005

Total Living

Total Living

Another trip to Serendib awaits me. It's one week of sheer hardwork but I look forward to it as an opportunity for me to regain my mental fitness in real-life "match situations".

I've always been asked by people as to how I keep up with the rapid developments in the IT industry. Most IT professionals will tell you that it's a very tough thing to do. After a while they just "give up" or decide to just focus on a very narrow area of the subject.

I would love to do so too but unfortunately my natural instincts rebel against it. Furthermore, doing the kind of work that I do, I simply do not have the luxury to be a specialist in any area. So I've resigned myself to adopt a "total football" philosophy--one has to be willing to play the roles of a defender, mildfielder and attacker when the situation demands it in a match.

Such a role is also reasonably interesting for me because I don't get bored being stuck in one narrow area of specialty. I try my best to acquire sufficient foundation knowledge at least to be able to converse intelligently with any network engineer, systems administrator, storage engineer, database administrator, application developer or IT business manager that I meet during the course of a typical consulting engagment. Often I learn a lot simply from my conversations with them; I get to know what are the areas of importance in their respective fields and I follow up with research on those areas that I'm unfamiliar with.

I always do my homework before every consulting engagement. A good football coach will always ensure that his team has a well thought out game plan before every football match. One must understand the playing style of one's opponent and anticipate their every possible move. Ideally nothing should take you by surprise, but if surprises do come up, you'll know how to tackle them based on some clearly defined principles and strategies.

It's important for the consultant to read every signal coming from the client, to digest all relevant facts related to the problem at hand and never to leave any stones unturned. The only way to ensure quality delivery of one's work is to over-exceed the client's expectations.

I believe one should always stretch oneself in any kind of endeavour. If you don't you'll never grow. I've said it many times before: to learn and to grow is what we all live for. How can one live life to the fullest if one does not expand mentally and spiritually? Keep your waistline in check but let your mind and spirit expand continuously. That is what I call Total Living.

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