Saturday, April 2, 2011

Highlights of the 2011 Cricket World Cup

It's the middle of the night here in Mumbai and and I'm too excited to do anything.. I do want to capture this moment though as it's certainly a once in a lifetime one. watching India win the Cricket World Cup, in India, for the first time in 28 years is quite an experience.

There is a surreal euphoria in the air - along with tons of fireworks and smiling faces wherever you go. I swear, it's as though everybody here has had a tremendous weight lifted off their shoulders - quite incredible really.

I've not blogged at all for the last month and have been totally engrossed with the cricket. I thought it best that I write this now while it's still all fresh in my mind and I'm still on a high from today's final match in Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

So, my top highlights of the tournament are:

1. MS Dhoni - not just for the brilliant captain's innings played this evening but for his measured temperament throughout the tournament. Cool, calm and collected is what Dhoni is (definitely think the IceMan title that the commentators have given him is a bit inappropriate!). I believe the likes of the choking South African cricket team can certainly learn from him. In fact they should seriously consider hiring Gary Kirsten since his winning stint in India is now over - perhaps he can give them the type of life coaching they really need.

2. Strauss and the England cricket team - certainly not for their lousy performance in the quarter-finals against Sri Lanka but definitely for the entertainment value they provided throughout the tournament. Every one of their matches was a nail-biter (again, except for the last 10 wicket loss) - if ever the game needed an advert for the one-day version of the sport, England provided it.

3. Tillakaratne Dilshan - what an absolute pleasure it has been to watch this allrounder on the field. he was excellent with the bat and as a part-time bowler who delivered for his captain when he was most needed to do so. He played with greater consistency than Sehwag, who is equally talented, and that's why he makes my list.

4. Shahid Afridi - it is not often (with the exception of perhaps MS Dhoni) that a captain plays such a critical role in the team. A wicket taker of note, it was inspiring to see how he wore his emotions on his sleeve and motivated the Pakistan team throughout. When Pakistan fell to India, I thought his few words were precious and sincere. If it were not for him, I doubt Pakistan would have reached as far as they did in this tournament.

5. Sachin Tendulkar - not quite sure what more needs to be said about my favourite cricketing genius. Playing in his sixth World Cup, he has finally won one. To see the respect given to the man, by the team and by his country is amazing. And all of it is well-deserved. My only regret is that he did not get to complete his 100 one-day centuries today in the final of the World Cup - now that would have been something - darned commentator's curse (and if there were any low-lights of this tournament I would have to say it would have been some of the awful speculative commentary - cricket commentator's curse indeed!)

Needless to say, India's victory is the greatest highlight of all. If you had asked me to bet on cricket world cup at the start of the tournament, I would likely have placed my money on Sri Lanka. They don't choke like South Africa does and are way more consistent than India. After today's performance though, I would quite gladly have lost that bet - India IS amazing!

Sigh... 4 years to wait now for the next cricket world cup in Australia/ New Zealand - 2015 is a long way away. I do believe this vibe will help carry me through till then though!!

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Be sure to check out my favourite BBC cricket news site, my rated confidence coaching guru and other recommended links.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Job cuts, recession - What to do next

2011 is well off the blocks and it looks like the year is going to be an eventful one for the world. There are changes all around - from the BBC being forced to cut back significantly on its well-known World Service international programming and the natural disasters in Australia to violent political revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

A number of my friends and colleages have been given the axe over the last two years. Some have not managed as well as others - particularly those in the banking industry where the recruitment slump appears to be unhappily stable, and this despite the increase in investment banker bonuses (how does the government still allow them to get away with these one can only wonder). The more successful amongst those, are those that saw the change as an opportunity to take on something new that they always wanted to do. They were too afraid to leave their jobs to actually start it before, and now nothing appeared to hold them back.

Those that did not manage to adopt such a positive attitude did not fare as well. The market is tough and approaching it in the same way as you've done for many years before just doesn't cut the mustard. It is important to have a contingency plan in place and to be prepared to try something new. In this regard it is worth spending time and money on a coach or solutions-focused counsellor. It helps to see the wood from the trees and during these down times it is important to rediscover a more optimistic outlook on what opportunities lay ahead.

My situation is somewhat different from theirs but I found myself in a bit of slump toward the end of last year. Somewhere along the line I had fallen off track. The recession had taken its toll on the small PR business I had started after completing my studies. Add to that some personal relationship setbacks that aggravated matters and I had the perfect ingredients for a depression cocktail.

Following my positive experience with executive coaching in the last quarter of 2010, I decided to go the whole hog and sign up for a series of sessions including a combination of coaching and mentoring. Of course, this wasn't before an overly optimistic attempt at recovery - I had decided to 'invest' a few dollars to play lottery in India first... but - no guessing how that turned out right - unfortunately no quick fixes for Nayna!

Since I had a relatively clear idea in terms of what I wanted to do and it was just the motivation and energy I lacked to pursue it, I got some results surprisingly quickly.

After 2 sessions I had already established a daily routine which I was sticking to like glue (which, by the way, is invaluable for those of you who find yourselves just recently out of work!). A week later I had begun working on a business plan and speaking to people that will help me get my venture off the ground. I am determined that 2011 is my year - I will set up my own venture and persevere with it until it becomes a blazing success. So far so good with my New Year's resolutions and I can safely say 2011 is off to a start like no other!