Today we headed for a couple of days rest and recuperation from the hectic work schedule that we have to follow whilst out here in India. We've rented a couple of small cottages in a fairly tourist-oriented town, but far enough off the beaten track to provide a perfect opportunity for quiet reflection, and to catch up with our reading.

One of the things that I'm really enjoying about my trip out to India is the time I get for personal reflection. In the past, I was very much engrossed in getting myself through University, which I considered a simple rite of passage, and into a 9 to 5 so I could pay my bills and get on with living. Having done that for nearly two years, I'm glad I was able to get out of it when I could and take the time to reflect on what I actually wanted out of life.

Although a few weeks ago I had my first appraisal, and really enjoyed it. I don't think I actually sat down and thought deeply about it. Sure, I did 'think' - it would be rude not to; as it was a one-on-one review I was completely engaged. However, tonight we had a frank discussion about the direction of my life - where it had been and where I wanted it to go. On reflection I've not really had much of a target for my life, no big aims or dreams, and this has potentially hindered me. When I realised that my results and grades were slipping, rather than get them in check I seem to have simply tried to speed through them, hoping that when I came out on the other side that I'd leave them behind me. What I didn't realise was that when I reached the other side I would become what I have gone through, not what I had the potential to become.

It's quite a liberating feeling finally admitting openly, not just to myself, that my life has gone in completely the wrong direction. That decisions were made unwisely, and though I may have to live with the repercussions of those decisions for many years to come, I am now able to address the problems and move to check them, rather than continually run away from them and have them hold me back. I've let people down, made many mistakes, ignored my moral compass and accepted my lot as a penance for my actions. It was stupid, in hindsight.

With the benefit of this wonderful gift, as well as a newfound confidence in being able to offer myself to a worthy cause with the work I'm currently doing - I'm starting to look at potential career paths in a more long-term light. Whilst never having before really had an aim, a vision, a dream to fulfil - now I feel as though I can help discover one - rather than having one simply appear on my lap. What am I passionate about? What are my best attributes? What are my worst attributes? What don't I like?