Savita and I have been published before, but we had never collaborated to write a book. Two years ago, however, while walking on the banks of the Housatonic river in the beautiful Indian Well State Park in Shelton, Connecticut, we realized that we were independently being asked a number of questions by young professionals in the course of our interactions with them- not only when we would meet fact to face, but even on LinkedIn or in emails addressed to us. The questions would typically cover a variety of themes – choosing a vocation, career effectiveness, balancing work and life, competition at work, friendships, Interpersonal relationships, communicating one’s ideas, being able to say ‘no’, cross-cultural issues, business etiquette, staying happy and productive, making money, working for fulfillment and a host of other concerns that people had, and which were obviously weighing on their minds.
Both of us like to use our gifts to be of service to others. In fact, almost twenty years ago, while we lived in the Eastern Indian city of Jamshedpur, we jointly wrote a fortnightly column for the Telegraph newspaper, under the heading, “What You May Not have Learnt at Business School“. In this column we answered the questions sent in by our readers, and gave them simple strategies to tide over their dilemmas. The feedback that we got from our readers then, was heart-warming.
Taking a cue from what we had done two decades ago, we decided to address the most common concerns that young professionals today had about the most important things in their lives. But unlike our column, this time we decided to and put down our interpretation of the most pressing concerns, and any commentary, in the form of a book.
Sachin Sharma at SAGE Publishers was the Commissioning Editor assigned to work with us. In the course of our interactions with him, it became clear that whatever we had to say had to be simple, and yet helpful. And by the time our book had been read, our readers should also have imbibed the needed skills and smarts to navigate through their own predicaments without any help – much like a mariner sailing the oceans, who would rely on his own instruments for guidance.
That’s how “Navigating the Maze” got written. The ‘Maze’ is the complex mesh of the often bewildering quandaries, decisions, interactions, actions and expectations that we all encounter as we go about our lives. Navigating this wonderful smorgasbord in a way that keeps us joyful, productive, effective and centered is what our our book will help you do. Especially since it is lucidly written and relies on anecdotes, examples, stories and simple, smarter strategies to bring home the essentials of living life well.