Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Keep's us going.......

I have always challenged myself about one thing, and its always the same thing: What should i do differently to keep me going? i still have not found the answer to my question(s) but, i draw tons of inspiration from the life's of great men and women who have been an epitome of success/failure in the past who set examples for their future generation. One such inspiration that i derived and also that drove me towards drafting this post was the life of Mark Twain( A well known Writer,Inventor, Innovator,Leader). My recent visit to a museum at Hartford,CT called the Mark Twain (Samuel L Clemens) House & Museum was a pleasant surprise for two reason's:
  • A museum that i expected to be much lifeless with just a collection of valuable artifacts was so full of life and memories that i could relate to and could actually visualize the moments when the tour guide explained the lifestyle and other stories of success and failure of a man. A museum that is in downtown hartford, CT still retains the Victorian architecture yet customized to include a fine blend of other cultures.
  • Every person has two sides to his fame: the popular side that gets published and the unpopular one's that die with the person. Mark Twain was a well known writer and the manuscripts and books that he publised were extremely popular but, little did anyone know that he was a scientist and an inventor(in his mind). He has worked on multiple innovations with Nicolas Tesla in his labs and that gave him inspiration to invent the new typesetting machine which got sacrificed to disruptive innovation of modern science. well! Clemence could not get the timing right but, that does not make him less than a genius!
So what my inspiration from this visit? Even though Mark Twain was a successful writer and made money out of his profession, that did not stop him from investing time and money on new innovations in science and technology. His innovation was more inclined towards innovative ideas that could give him an edge in the field of creative writing. last but not the least, he was a loving father, caring husband and a leader! Hats off to you!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happiness - I am all ears!!!
With a shaky voice and her eyes filled with tears... She said... “I lost everything…I don’t care and It doesn’t matter anymore…I am old now” and she continued to clean the dishes and later made my bed. I was sitting at my work desk in Manchester, United States listening to this old lady from Albania who was once a carpet designer in her country. She classified herself among the upper middle class who lived in a small city called Fier along the coast of Albania.
She migrated to the US as a refugee in late 1996 after the outbreak of the civil war. She claimed that she lost all her wealth during that period and she along with her husband decided to migrate to the US as living in the her hometown had become too risky. I did not delve further because that would have only made her feel worse. Instead, I decided to show her some pictures of Albania that I had pulled out from Wikipedia and various other websites as we were speaking.
When I showed her the pictures, she exclaimed with joy! She quickly started talking about many historical sites and their importance. Some of the things she referred to were Ali pasha’s castle, the traditional folk music called the “Skrapar” and the Butrint [A UNESCO world heritage site]. She proudly acclaimed that she had been to many places in Albania as a kid and later travelled across the country with her husband.
While we were talking about various places, she also introduced me to the upcoming albanian pop star called “Anila mimani”. She started dancing when I played some songs from the youtube. Later, she quietly thanked me and left the place.
it was such an amazing feeling and a sense of completion that I derived out of this small incident. It was just an attempt from my side to make her happy and I knew I could not solve all her problems….but I am glad that I was all ears!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

* What makes you special?

IBM chose this powerful line to reinforce their brand equity. When I first saw this advertisement I was totally captured by the profound depth of this verse. This simple question opens many doors when you extend it to individuals and “individuality”. I am trying to nail down the single unique factor that makes me special in this world….


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just a random thought....

A recent article in the newspaper about a schoolgirl, who was subjected to brutal rape by a group of men, drove me towards writing this piece. When I read the article, several thoughts passed my mind and one of them were “why do people behave differently?” Why do a small proportion of us indulge in such barbaric acts? What drives them towards such instinctive provocation, which causes more damage than just physical abuse?
At the risk of digression, lets think about the statements we make to describe people’s behavior. Some of them I can think of are: He’s heartless! He’s a nice guy! He’s a liar! He’s a nerd! He’s an animal! He’s a sadist! He’s so cool! He understands! He is weird! The bottom-line here is that our expression of human behavior differs from one person to another. Why? The simple answer to this question may be attributed to the DNA of the person or the external environment, which determines his actions at that point in time.
However, I have tried answering this question differently; I believe Humans are driven by three factors:

1. Animal instinct – Animal instinct forms the core of a human’s behavior. The three characteristics that govern animal instinct are Fear, Sex and hunger.

2. Human Instinct – The next layer comprises of human instinct that is governed by logical reasoning, intuition, love (not sex)

3. Spiritual instinct - The spiritual instinct is very abstract, this layer is highly subjective and is governed by three factors again Belief, Persistence & patience

Every human being will have all the three instincts as part of his behavior.

Human behavior = function (AI, HI, SI)

Let me try building a simple mathematical model now assuming a linear function

Human Behavior = X * (AI) + Y * (HI) + Z * (SI)

Where X, Y, Z are integers and signifies external environment variables that takes different values at different times for different people.
AI – Animal Instinct
HI – Human Instinct
SI – Spiritual instinct

This model* according to me explains why people behave differently at different situations. A different value gets applied against AI, HI & SI and hence gets multiplied in the respective proportion that determines human behavior at that point.

* I have no data to back this model; it’s just a random thought expressed in mathematical form.

PS: I have used “He” throughout this article for my convenience. Please replace with “she” as appropriate

Friday, May 19, 2006

People do lots of things to impress others but, what matters is how they behave when they don't have to.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Walking on the path of life…

Walking on the path of life, I experienced an unusual scene
“Mr. success” and “Mr. failure” greeted me with a smile so pristine
“Mr. Success” shook my hand and gave a gentle bow
“Mr. Failure” shrugged and said, “Goodbye, it’s time for me to go”

I exclaimed and asked Mr. Success if, he could walk by me forever
He said it was difficult, as he had to move from one person to another
I bent over him and whispered in his ears, “ How do I escape failure”
He laughed and said: “ we are twins”; and I was surprised to hear

I was taken aback suddenly to see two identical men standing in front
They looked similar in every aspect and were looking no different
I wondered and asked myself “ how is success different from failure?”
One of them stepped forward to explain; I was eager to hear

He explained, “Success and failure lies in the eyes of the beholder”
Failure gives you agony and pain; but it also makes you bolder
It’s your attitude that decides whether you walk with me or my brother
We are just your state of mind; we can be replaced by one another

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Discover the donkey within u….

Have you ever felt lazy parting with your bed on a Monday morning? Or on a Tuesday morning and on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning? Have you ever stood in the balcony and thought about your life or any situation and wondered about, how things have changed around you and at the same time expressed your inability to control it? Have you ever sat late night for an exam preparation with an intention of burning midnight oil? But on the contrary, ended up happily sleeping beside the lamp and wasting the midnight oil. If the answer is yes, then you are entangled in the vicious circle called the “donkey factor”. There is a donkey within each one of us that raises its ugly head at the moments when we are expected to Achieve, Think, Perform, Motivate, Slog, change and Execute.
I have always wondered if I would have been in a better position if I had regularly studied everyday and had prioritized things in a better fashion. I even feel that sometimes I had shamelessly surrendered myself to the donkey factor and yielded to its ugly tricks that masked my thought process at the moments when I had to act.
There are a few symptoms that I have recorded to diagnose the donkey factor.

  • Tendency to run away from a difficult situation hoping that somebody would solve it
  • Procrastinating things and reassuring yourselves that you would act tomorrow and you can just relax today.
  • Blaming it on others and not taking any ownership of the problems
  • Starting off a project in full excitement but later losing the heat in between and taking things for granted
  • Wrong assumptions; unnecessary arguments even after knowing that you are wrong.
  • Resistance to change

So, how do we overcome the donkey factor? Can we kill the donkey once for all and become a perfect human being? According to me, it is very difficult to kill the donkey as it is inbuilt in our system and all we can do is to MANAGE IT by diverting its attention to something inconsequential and also by developing the habit of positive thinking and self-motivation. Doing too many things at a time also motivates the donkey. It starts jumping and kicking and doesn’t allow you to concentrate. It also builds laziness and a huge resistance to change.
Few things you could do to manage the donkey factor:

  • Maintain good health by doing exercise regularly
  • Feel confident and be frank in expressing opinions
  • Believe in yourselves
  • Develop the habit of positive thinking
  • Constantly motivate yourself and others
  • Make short term achievable goals than a big long term goal
  • Smile as much as you can and be happy
  • Prioritize and stand up during difficult situations
  • TALK to people- that’s the mantra of success
  • Seek advice- within limits
  • Keep yourselves busy with extracurricular activities
  • Listen to Music- a refresher
  • Be open to change
  • Make good friends