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Reflections on a Birthday

Originally published in the DesignU Newsletter on Sept 23rd 2020

There is nothing neurosciency about it but it has everything to do with self care for a happy brain + heart.

Here is a birthday special: 42, a reflection

When I turned 40 in 2018, I made some amazing changes to my life deliberately. I called this process as Designing Life. Using the timeless principles of design (which helps solving wicked problems), I started designing life so that we can care for ourselves deeply.

Among many changes, one was to remove myself from the directorship of all companies that i was a part of (It was about 8 of them). I wrote off a lot of investment mistakes I made. My friends thought i was nuts. Don't ask me why (I don't know), but I felt that is the right thing to do. I started my life afresh with no baggage of the past or fear of the future. It felt free inside and it still does. Naval says wealth, health and happiness. I am going in the reverse direction. Happiness first, everything else can come later. By the by you don't need much to be happy. Honestly!

Year 1: I removed my name from everything for profit and I created one not for profit that I can take care this entire life. I named it Xperian Foundation.

Year 2: We ensured the company had the right paperwork (it took many months 😜). It was made as a Section 8. It felt even better when I saw the government seal on my desire-less desire. After I got the paper I didn't know what to do. There is intent but I wasn't sure about the action.

Year 1

removed my name from everything for profit and I created one not for profit that I can take care this entire life. I named it Xperian Foundation.

Year 2

We ensured the company had the right paperwork (it took many months 😜). It was made as a Section 8. It felt even better when I saw the government seal on my desire-less desire. After I got the paper I didn't know what to do. There is intent but I wasn't sure about the action. (See the paperwork here)

Year 3

Did a few experiments within my circle. I started taking up the education expenses of all folks who work in our home. It was 3 of them and each had 2 children. That made it 6 kids. The feeling of accountability is priceless.

6 Months Ago...

A colleague went through a severe distress as his child had a congenital condition where the ventricles did not open by birth. This time we needed more that i could not manage just by myself. I broke a few mutual funds from my side and when still needed more, we went ahead and raised funds in Facebook (just asked my friends and that is all). I am forever indebted to all my friends who did not even ask me a question but supported immensely. We raised 5.8 lakhs + my personal funds we were able to help the child and the family. That incident left a permanent change inside me. It was so hard to break ego and ask for money and yet respect the privacy of the child. It took me 6 months to recover from everything I went through inside me. The child is doing really well. Alive and Kicking. What more do we want 🤗

Reflection

I needed that break for me to handle everything inside and around me. Xperian was having its own growth spurts and it was important to pay attention. All said and done the longing to give was getting higher day by day. I realised we need to have a niche positioning to go and get donations from CSR funds. The thought of creating a pigeon hole made me tired and fatigued. Again i pushed things to back burner. Recently the resilience in me woke me up and said let us do something small and meaningful. Let's not worry about big things. Let us start small and simple.

So I started doing my bit everyday. The point has come that I am ready. Little did I know that giving also needed readiness. There is no niche positioning statement for Xperian Foundation and will never have one. My intent is to make human lives better using all things design. That is all I know this lifetime.

So this birthday (22 Sep), I decided to give some structure to the Section 8 company that I initiated a year ago. Now that I am entering a destiny year it feels just right. Generally for a birthday, we receive gifts. This birthday I wanted to give a gift of life design to the rest of the world. Design has helped me shape myself and many around me in ways that i could not imagine. I always wondered what could one person do to create impact. I got my answer last week. Be YOU and give YOU and that is more than enough. If we all did our bit, I guess the world will surely be a better place to live.

Why Xperian Foundation ?

Makers can change the world and our current world needs them. Makers are highly paid for their sensibilities, ingenious problem solving abilities and understanding complexities of any system out there and turn an abstract idea into tangible, usable, pleasurable realities called products, services, systems, etc.
We need more of these skills for the future world and to nurture them is a lot of hard work. The funds generated by Xperian foundation will be used in the making of the makers for India 🇮🇳

We have too many problems and all we need is great problem solvers. The needed ability, ingenuity, agency is flowing in our blood in the form of Jugaad. Time to up the game and solve some of the looming wicked problems.

This needs a lot of heads, hands and deep pockets. Here is a simple attempt to give immense value, generate funds and make ingenious problem solvers from all corners of India 🇮🇳

Support the vision

By buying products, memberships or sponsor our newsletters or a simple filter coffee ☕️

The foundation financials will be updated every quarter and you will see how your support has helped a maker in India 🇮🇳

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