Posted: 16 May 2019

By: Diva Shrestha

The excitement of running a new organization, especially when you believe that the work that you are doing is fundamental to bringing the necessary mindset change for growth and progress, is exhilarating. You see the potential of your work and are ready to expand it so that everyone can benefit from it. You and your team put hours into the work and generate many new ideas that you think are just fantastic. But before you know it, you have spent the majority of your resources – time and energy – into many different projects and have lost focus of what you are actually doing, which is to begin with a key population and start this process of behavior change, an idea that is  already a new and nuanced concept, especially in Nepal’s context.

A revisit to the strategic plan and realignment of the team’s as well as the organization’s goals was the first step to realign our energy into manageable goals, and possibilities such that we began to then think about what we have and what we could do with what we had to produce real impact. Looking back, we realized that we needed to practice managing our hungers. Yes, we are young and ambitious and have the desire to do many things at once. But it is important to regroup your action plans and understand where you are in terms of the values that you are bringing to the table. Just like building a house, brick by brick, floor by floor, design by design – that is also how you build an organization, a team, a product, and an enabling environment. This sounds cliche, true, but when you put these thoughts into practice, that is when challenges begin to unravel, especially for the impatient ones who want to see changes immediately. That is another matter, how do you then keep the aspirations and excitement real and alive?

As I reflect upon the last few months, especially in the heels of the Nepalese New year, I am reminded that this journey is long and tedious.  Just like in a marathon, it is all about pacing yourself for consistent results that will ultimately build to create the impact that you believe is important and fundamental to seeing positive changes in communities.

Perhaps one of the biggest lessons has been to scale down the expectations that you have of yourself and re-distribute your energy to the most important matters that will generate important outputs and ultimately the outcomes leading to positive impact. It is, afterall, all about managing your hungers for effective results.

– Diva Shrestha is the Director of Nepal Leadership Academy (NLA)