Friday, December 31, 2010

Two O Eleven

Dear Friendly Fiends, Flimsy Friends and other Fundu Folks, (You are allowed to mix and match if you no like. Heh Heh. :-)) 


Wish you a meaningfully hyperactive, happy, healthy and peaceful new year 2011!  


Google Images


Here's perhaps my best ever (borrowed & shared) gift to all of you - A rare, profound and yet entertaining article. http://bit.ly/4bRk2P  (I'd earlier written a post on this article but I want to make sure that those who did not read the previous post discover the article at least now!)


PS: Read One. Read All. Read or Perish. If there's one thing you must read immediately after you are born, then it is this article. Read it to your children, dog, cat and neighborhood crow etc. Read it again and again. R.E.A.D it.


PPS: Sing with me. 

Two Thousand Eleven is Heaven. 
Tra la la. La la la. Boom Boom. (Chorus)
Let's learn to wake up before Seven. 
Tra la la. La la la. Boom Boom. (Chorus)
Let's be labeled odd rather than want to get even. 
Tra la la. La la la. Boom Boom. (Chorus)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Apologies!

Dear Aa..ha! Friends, 


A thousand apologies. I just discovered that all comments left on this blog for the past few weeks (or perhaps even 1-2 months) had been pushed into the SPAM folder by default! I had complained to Blogspot (many weeks ago) that I was getting too many SPAM comments and it looks like they used the spam-stick a little too liberally and whacked away even the valid comments into the Trash folder. 


I am extremely happy that I have - at least now - been able to discover and recover most of your comments (I might have, however, possibly missed a few as there were 100s of other SPAM comments that I had to bulk-delete). 


Sorry. Sorry. S.o.r.r.y. :-S


I can only hope that this (the fact that your comments were not published) did not prevent you from leaving further comments. Next time you leave a comment, please leave another comment to let me know you left a valid comment prior to that. Err. Sorry, just a silly joke. 8-) But please do warn me (via email) that your comments are not getting published in case such an incident is repeated. Would appreciate that. What?


Regards
N



Things to Remember

Rules for Humans - http://bit.ly/8ZNqqM

One of the Best

Awesome strip this. The concept, the pictures, the expressions and all that sort of thing. What would we do without C&H to cheer us up when everything else in life seems a bit - temporarily, given that we are all optimists in the long run - dismal? Uh?

Source: gocomics.com

The Art of Living

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's doing both." - James A. Michener

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gary Hamel: Who are the Most Innovative Companies?

  • Notes:

    • Fourth are the cyborgs, companies like Google, Amazon and Apple that have been purpose-built to achieve super-human feats of innovation.  You won’t find much industrial age DNA in these organizations. These companies have been built around principles like freedom, meritocracy, transparency and experimentation. They are so endlessly inventive and strategically flexible they seem to have come from another solar system—one where accountants are treated as servants rather than gods.
    • If you work in a company that’s merely human—one that’s riddled with stale, conformance-inducing management practices—another chirpy anecdote about Google or Apple may make you puke.
    • Most of our management rituals were designed (a very long time ago) to promote discipline, control, alignment and predictability—all laudable goals. But to outrun change or head off a newcomer at the pass, these processes have to be re-engineered so they facilitate rather than frustrate bold thinking and radical doing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to Focus on Something...

Arrange your desktop as follows. 






Note: Today is Friday. Long time no jolly silly posts. Fridays demand a minimum of one. Eh?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lucky?

Why you should not assume someone is lucky or declare to someone he is lucky!


1) Luck is, most of the time, a consequence of hard work and effort or a good/thoughtful decision and the person hearing it is not going to like it if the situation he is in is attributed to just coincidence (which is what luck mostly means)


2) Calling someone lucky typically, err, hints at jealousy (even if just a little) whether we like it or not. Or like one of my friends said, it means you probably don't deserve what you got!

3) You may be commenting on one particular aspect of his life but there may be a lot of other problems in his life that may not even be compensated for by this apparent "stroke of luck"


4) There are so many better ways of responding when someone is going through a nice phase or a good thing has happened to them - You can say "That is great!", "This is cool!", "Happy for you!" or even "You are blessed" etc but of course you must mean it. ;-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

KM India Summit 2010-Observations

Last time around (during KM India Summit 2009) I ended up writing one of my longest ever posts and attempted to cover too many things in it. Some people did come back and appreciate it but I suspect, for many, it must have been daunting to read such a lot. This time, I plan to share my key observations and interpretations rather than cover the whole event as if I were a journalist.


KM India Summit 2010 lasted 2 days and there were three master classes (covered in one day) before the conference. I was fortunate enough to attend all of it as I got a free invite in return for speaking at the event (My topic was KM and Social Networking).


@MadanRao has done a great job of live-tweeting in case you're interested. He also has a blog post here. Atul Rai (Wipro Infotech) covered a lot of stuff through his FB updates. I think there were a few random tweets from many other participants as well. Search for #KMIndia (on Twitter) to check them out.


Meanwhile, for me personally, here are key thoughts and discoveries from the Master Classes:


  • Mindtree undoubtedly has a super-exhaustive KM initiative to boast of and they've attempted to give equal attention to all forms of KM (culture, process, tech, ideas management, knowledge creation, collective intelligence mechanisms and tools, KM embedded in projects etc)
  • The Millers' work on innovation and the role of spiritualistic thinking/human values is extraordinary. I was completely tuned into their session and it felt wonderful to listen to them though I think the time period we are looking at for the whole world to move to thoughts that combine spiritualism with business is, well, very huge
  • The Millers conducted a very sincere workshop with a lot of exercises to help participants understand their level and styles of thinking. They had a wonderful exercise that brought out some interesting facts for me personally. It helped me understand I am an "intention" person more than a "connection" or "action" person. (Intention people look for a meaningful contribution and tend to look for a purpose before getting down to actually doing things. Connection people are those that value relationships above everything else and Action people don't like to waste time thinking any more than they can help it :-)). The exercises also helped participants analyze whether they are short-term or long-term oriented
  • Verna Allee's workshop was very interesting and brought to light the advantages of Value Network maps as opposed to social network maps or process flow charts. Her website will give you most of the details that she covered during the workshop. I believe this is a concept that is worth the time and energy and you never know what it may lead to. I hope to be able to apply this somewhere

****************  The conference talks  **********************

  • One aspect that disappointed folks who have been in touch with KM in the Indian IT industry was the presentation of familiar - same old - case studies (without any significant changes from the previous versions) 
  • Infy's Suresh delivered a sophisticated presentation that urged us to bring together multiple disciplines, related to KM, for better results
  • Ron Young explained the four dimensions of KM (Creativity, Collaboration, Innovation and Knowledge) and reiterated that we need to bring eastern and western thinking together to be able to make the best of knowledge
  • William Miller (in his talk) brought out the relationships between and importance of combining spiritualistic thinking, innovation and KM - the first time I have ever heard such a talk at a KM conference. It goes some way to prove that KM could perhaps be the pathway to such a business (r)evolution!
  • In general, presenters from non-KM fields made a greater impact on the audience because of the freshness in their perspectives. Vinita Bali from Britannia spoke about knowledge of the customers' needs as one of the superior dimensions of KM. She had some intriguing examples from the domain of medicine. She spoke about holistic thinking and treatment of symptoms in the context of knowledge and the importance of cross-learning between sub-fields. She had a simple definition of innovation that everyone appreciated after it followed a knowledge cafe that resulted in sophisticated perspectives ;-). Innovation, she said, in simple terms is "something that creates new value"
  • Anil Menon, Pradeep Kar and Sadagopan spent some humorous, inspiring and thought-provoking minutes on innovation in the context of countries and dwelt upon the culture in India vs that in China. One of the interesting things that stuck on to my mind was Anil's emphasis that knowledge of theory was essential for business leaders :-)
  • Dr.Sandhya from IIT Madras Research shared the results of an interesting study she had conducted that revealed that organizational learning support systems can turn around the innovation ecosystem. Her study revealed that innovation increases from 13 percent (with just availability of knowledge) to 66 percent if the organization has a good org. learning support system. She also mentioned that co-location of the concerned entities was found to be very important for innovation
  • Mr. Trivedi representing the Govt. of India shared an impressive performance management model that has been implemented for assessing the performance of Indian ministries! 
  • There was a debate on whether KM has fulfilled its potential or not and arguments were justified on both sides. It seems like the lack of concrete measurement techniques for KM will remain a pet peeve amongst those who like to say KM has not reached its potential. It would be interesting indeed to see if KM crosses this limitation in a convincing manner. Also, it later occurred to me that we are perhaps talking about the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly but things don't end there....the butterfly then needs to fly, collect food, "get" its colours and what not
  • The knowledge cafe on KM and innovation brought out familiar thoughts on the two subjects as well as proved that people are still confused and unsure when it comes to categorically defining intangible concepts
After-thoughts:
  1. We need to have more specific and detailed case studies on KM process improvements and cultural endeavors which probably means more workshops that are targeted at a specific audience, surveys before the conference is planned, and finally, more non-IT companies in the fray
  2. We need to spend more time on creating and using frameworks rather than simply rattling off a laundry list of things that companies do. We need more sessions that help people understand principles so they can then act on their own
  3. Also, another idea that I recently mentioned in a previous post is to include a session that presents ideas that are completely against the topic and the flow of the conference. That would be funny, provoke creative thinking and result in some unusual combinations of concepts etc

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Knowledge and Human Stupidity

I came across this article - The basic laws of human stupidity - many weeks ago via Twitter (apologies, but I forgot who had tweeted about it. I think it might have been @beastoftraal). It took me a while to find some time to read the entire article as it is a pretty longish one. But believe me, once I started reading it, I just couldn't stop till I was done. It engaged me as much as a ball of thread might engage a curious cat - the whole experience was playful, interesting and thought-provoking. It delighted me, excited me, made me think, reintroduced me to the element of fun in Economics, and had me grinning ear to ear for quite a while. The article has flavours of social economics, psychology, human behaviour and humor. Obviously, I also attempted to relate these laws to the field of knowledge management. More on that later ;-) 


I immediately wanted to share it on this blog but then I kept procrastinating on the pretext of writing something around it rather than just sharing the raw link (for which we anyway have Twitter and FB). But I think I overestimated my creative potential. The more I think of it, the more I am convinced that nothing I can ever say will add value to the brilliance, constructive sarcasm and the subtle joy that the article exudes. It is a perfect essay that leaves no point unexplored and, what's more, every bit of the exploration that the author -  Carlo M. Cipolla - engages in is a total delight to read and contemplate. Trying to interpret or comment on it would be like commenting on, say, the Himalayas. Not easy at all, uh? 


I've become as big a fan of Cipolla as of Wodehouse! :-) It's a pity Cipolla doesn't seem to have capitalized on his sense of humor and awesome thinking to write as many books or 'stories' as Plum did.


From the article link....


********************


I cannot, of course, avoid saying how I relate this to KM. No, you can't kill me! Shut your eyes if you don't want to read anything on KM. Here's the thing - I think knowledge management's objectives are (or should be) to get people to see the merit of remaining in or moving into the "intelligent" quadrant (you must read the article to understand what I mean) and looking for mutual benefits as both a taker and giver of knowledge.  I think it is a good example of the intention to exhibit human intelligence, as referred to in the article, because it is about yielding a gain to yourself while causing a gain to others as well and, as we know, KM revolves around the combination of sharing, learning and collaborating (working together to achieve something). 


At the risk of sounding somewhat obsessed, pursuing Knowledge Management in its truest sense, I believe, will put us all - in due course of time - in the I (Intelligent) block and help the organization and society as a whole (even though sometimes it may seem like we are in the Helpless block whenever we come across Bandits who only want to use our material but not share anything that they may have created or discovered). :-)

Corruption as Usual

What's new? - India is at it, as usual. Sigh.


When I come across people who continuously complain, criticize, comment, and consider things like corruption (especially in politics), I feel a tinge of guilt because I myself rarely focus on such aspects of life. But, to my credit, I have at least wondered if my, well, indifference is a good thing.  I shouldn't perhaps call it complete indifference because it does make me feel sad, angry and annoyed when it stares me in the face. But I never find myself craving to study or aggressively studying the situation, reading press articles, watching interviews, reports etc to understand the intricacies of the scam or the complaint as the case may be. (Maybe I'm too result-oriented and perhaps averse to being affected by negative news in the case of areas outside my control)


I think there are many ways in which one can react or respond to problems in the world of politics (which is, according to many, one of the most abused occupations/services ever). 


1. Ignore most of it and go about our regular work in a sincere manner, knowing (or assuming) that we cannot change things (or even get to the full truth!) but can, instead, make a difference to what is under our own control - our own life. (Note: I think all this talk about voting for the right person or party is a farce because you will find only one honest and sincere politician amongst many thousands and that person is either crushed into inaction by the system or widely recognized for being different and therefore known to even those who do not 'follow' politics)


2. Complain about it or criticize everyone involved till the next scam surfaces or something else distracts them and, well, waste a lot of energy accomplishing, arguably, nothing much except creating temporary unrest and angst amongst the members of the circles we move in


3. Comment on it in an informed and intelligent manner (based on extensive and reliable research) and influence people (preferably those who can pull some strings and change things or those who might have an indirect impact on the situation if not a direct one) to think about potential solutions 


4. Comment on it armed with half-baked ideas, incomplete information and declare things based on a highly biased and subjective analysis and pretty much add to the confusion and chaos around us 


5. Comment on it in a humorous (and hopefully sensitive) manner and get a few people to see the funny side of the whole thing and laugh even as they suffer the implications (it's only those who understand the situation who will also be able to fully relate to the humor and therefore enjoy it) 


6. Consider it seriously from various angles (a bit of type 3.) and actually act on it with the intention of changing things for the better - either by joining politics and bravely taking corruption head-on or, for that matter, creating an informal community that passionately finds solutions and implements them


It's anybody's guess under which category most of the population falls. Having said that, I am not proposing that everyone must fall into a particular category. After all, it is society's mixed reaction and response that will hopefully add up to prevent corrupt elements from surviving and succeeding. I rest my case.
  

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Conference Paradox

I've had a somewhat philosophical and broody - and inexplicably so - start to the day and it's not even the beginning of the work-week or something! :-) Half the week is yet to be covered. Not to forget, a weekend that one is typically forced to use in a constructive manner (which however rarely happens) is also waiting around the corner. Putting all these so-called 'troubles' aside, I'd like to rely on some craziness and humor to end the current state of affairs. ;-)


I had a sudden crazy thought yesterday as I pondered over a couple of recent conferences I participated in. I think one way to make conferences exciting and unusual (apart from having a smart plan/format, witty speakers, intriguing topics etc)  is to do something paradoxical. I haven't heard of this happening anywhere, so I am guessing it is a fresh idea (though it has been employed in a different form in other situations). Why not invite a good and unconventional speaker to present something totally against the topic - wait till I finish - something ridiculously and absurdly against the topic! 


I have a feeling this will not just be major fun but also provoke participants to actually think of some radical ideas as counter arguments. So, in the case of KM, for example, the presenter could say something like "KM makes absolutely no sense because in the long run we are all dead and the future generation will anyway find no use for the pathetic stuff we have learned!". 


Think about it.... ;-)

Tranquility Doesn't Exist

Have you ever felt that the need for tranquility - in today's world - is actually more than the need for happiness? Happiness is indeed within and can be tapped into by doing and thinking the "right" things. Isn't tranquility, on the other hand, based on what's happening "outside" even as you happen to be looking inward?


A pond that's left to its natural state deals with its moss, sharks, weeds, reflections, and what not. It can remain happy AND tranquil despite the weeds, the mud underneath and its other natural challenges. But what happens when there are external disturbances like someone throwing a stone and causing unnecessary interruptions (the ripples and the noise)? It can still choose to be happy and find happiness within but there is no denying the fact that - in reality - there is no tranquility. Happiness is possible but Tranquility seems like an unachievable goal.....even worse, happiness that is achieved without tranquility in the outside world almost seems artificial. Frightening. 


Source: Google Images

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Individuality, Freedom, Human Potential

I am extremely passionate about the subject of parenting and believe it is a very critical thing to be understood and practiced if we are looking to ensure a wonderful future for our world. (Children, after all, are the future of this world). I also associate this topic with nurturing one's individuality, fulfilling one's mission and potential and, finally, leading a happy and peaceful life. Parents who do not understand any of this are hampering a growing human's individuality, freedom and potential. So, it is not surprising that I like this post from DailyOm, on parenting. 




*********************************** Extract ***************************************


Living for Ourselves
Trying to Please Others


We don't need to live seeking approval from our parents or others; this can be overcome no matter what your age.


Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are doing what we are doing, and many of us come to realize that we may be living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization can dawn when we are in our 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations

One of the most common reasons we are so tied into making our parents, or others, happy, is that we were not properly mirrored when we were children. We were not honored as individuals in our own right, with a will and purpose of our own, to be determined by our own unfolding. As a result, we learned to look outside of ourselves for approval, support, and direction rather than look within. The good news is that the part of us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to provide ourselves with what we need to awaken this inner being. 



There are many ways to create a safe container for ourselves so that we can turn within and shine the light of awareness there. We may join a support group, go to therapy, or start a practice of journaling every day for half an hour. This experience of becoming is well worth the difficult work that may be required of us to get there. In whatever process we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make ourselves happy.


**************************************************************************************


If you have any experiences to share, please do leave a comment. I'd be thrilled to share this post and the comments with people who need to understand this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

ICKM - October 2010

My key observations from the ICKM conference this year (October, 2010) - A mindmap summary. Hope some of it, at least, is self-explanatory!





Thursday, November 25, 2010

Birth of Ideas

Seth Godin's post on a topic that you thought you knew everything about leaves you thinking again.


My favorites from Seth's list:


*************************************************

  • Ideas don't come from watching television (Is everyone listening? ;-))
  • Ideas often come while reading a book (Of course!)
  • Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide (Always!)
  • Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do (Love this!)
  • Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they're generous and selfless (Aww!)
  • Ideas come from nature (These are bound to be great!)
  • An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone. (KM...what else?)

Friday, November 19, 2010

You are How your Brain is Wired



This is actually stuff some of us have already read about and are familiar with. But, nevertheless, this person is a great speaker and the experiment they're engaged in is fascinating. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Perspectives

What was Sherlock's purpose in life?
To solve mysteries or save lives?
What was Mozart's purpose in life?
To make music or mesmerize people?
What was Picasso's purpose in life?
To paint pictures or present perspectives?
What was Wodehouse's purpose in life?
To write well or wallop us with his wit and words of joy?
What was Einstein's purpose in life?
To elucidate the Universe or excite us with God's secrets?
What was Gandhi's purpose in life?
To go the unconventional way or gain freedom for a nation?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big Mouth

This one makes me guffaw.

Source: gocomics.com

Guest Posts on the Cognitive Edge Blog

I had the opportunity to guest post for a couple of weeks on the Cognitive Edge blog. Here are the links to my guest posts. Please note that many of these are repeat posts from this blog.


Some ideas from ICKM


Talent Reality Shows and Organizational Learning (repeat post)


Knowledge Management Gaps (ICKM)


Basic Laws of Human Stupidity


Hiring a CKO (repeat post)


KM Strategies (repeat post)


KM and Murder Mysteries  (repeat post)

S h a r e

I bet the world's progress as well as miseries - both - can be easily linked to the sharing of thoughts and ideas. Sharing is essential and noble but it must be a highly conscious and thoughtful effort. The people who don't share are perhaps not thinking enough or, simply, don't care enough. On second thoughts, they may be so distracted by the potential consequences of sharing - brickbats or bouquets - that they forget to share.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Analyze Less...Annoy Less

I bet that analyzing and judging people* is almost always an un-worthwhile (is it still cool to prefix an un to the words you know and use it wherever you need the opposite of that word? :-)) and more importantly a disastrous endeavor. I am convinced that either your conclusions (impulsive or otherwise) will turn out to be wrong or your starting point(s) itself will be wrong, which again will lead you astray. People are simply meant to be trusted and respected...and understood*. At worst, perhaps ignored when they turn out to be consistently mysterious in a way you are unable (that's a valid "un" word) to appreciate. Give what you can. Control, nevertheless, your own expectations. Complain less.


*To analyze and judge a person is a process that does not really involve her. To understand a person is a process that actively involves her.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Theory of Truth

Here I am....er...with another weird theory.  This one though is, ironically, called the theory of truth. Not sure if western philosophy and religion emphasize on the search for and discovery of the truth but eastern religions, literature and manuscripts have, I think, numerous references to the concept of 'looking for the truth' (think Buddha and Enlightenment or Nirvana).

Here is my take on the reflection of this in society at large. I reckon you can decipher a person's approach towards the concept of truth from her 'overall' (what can be consistently observed in the majority of situations) behavior. One's approach towards the concept of truth, I think, has enormous (& critically so) implications on behavior in terms of values and ethical thoughts, personal and professional decisions, relationships and learning.

Here are some approaches (to truth) that may be the cause for certain common or uncommon (useful or useless, appreciated or unappreciated, successful or unsuccessful etc) traits in people.

a) An approach that involves constantly going in search of the truth but never seeming to reach it (fickle minded and indecisive but open-minded people?)

b) Belief that we already know the 'permanent' truth (supreme exhibitors of confidence and rigid/inflexible thinkers?)

c) Belief that there is no such thing as the 'truth' and that everything is perception (happy-go-lucky, adjusting and somewhat frivolous characters?)

d) Conviction that the truth is constantly evolving and is therefore not actually chase-able (open-minded, humble and intense listeners who never criticize anything?) 

Having proposed my theory of truth, I'd like to stray a bit into a related area. I think truth (irrespective of whether it is permanent or temporary) becomes elusive and hard to get to because of the following fallacies that almost every human shows.

1. Assumptions: How much ever we are asked and trained to not assume things, we will continue to assume things based on our knowledge (or rather ignorance), beliefs, intentions etc and this will keep us away from the truth (eg: assuming a particular thing to be the purpose of an activity)

2. Face value acceptance: How much ever we are taught to look deeper, question everything and analyze things from a neutral standpoint, we will continue to arrive at  conclusions based on face value and thus be mislead to a place far away from the truth (eg: believing what someone says without probing further and studying other sides or aspects of the story)

3. Ignoring differences in definitions: How much ever we are reminded that each person's definition (understanding and interpretation) of a term or concept is likely to be different from others' definitions, we plunge into things with the blind belief that we are all on the same page and have a common understanding and interpretation of the aspects under discussion  

Righto. I am perhaps done with my quota of pure and meaningless philosophy for the next one year. But if you want to ramble along, go ahead and assume things, accept this at face value and ignore our definition differences and rattle off your thoughts. Har har. :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Travel



A day for getting lost
A day for finding your way
A day for enjoying the sights
A day for absorbing the culture
A day for photographs
A day for 'new' silence
A day for getting back
A week's experience, one day at a time

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Purpose. Bell the Purrrrrpose Cat.

Something I think about often is the reason why we exist. I've come across and considered (at least superficially)  multiple philosophies ranging from 


Google Images


a1) we all have a clear purpose in life and must find it......... or 


a2)......... we will end up achieving our purpose come what may............. to 


b) ........we exist because we have sinned in our previous lives and will continue to exist till we are 'good' enough to go back to the Universal power (this being our purpose) we all came from.... to 


c) .......there is no purpose in life as such; we must just learn to live every moment and take things as they come because there is very little under our control and the world is a random and dynamic place where nothing is predictable. 


My mind is however inclined to believe that we all have a purpose or a mission that may be predetermined or perhaps a purpose/mission that secretly evolves with our own growth (character, ambitions dictated by the situation etc). I am not sure why every single thing that happens to us happens the way it does but I do believe in the so-called coincidences that seem to know just what we need, help us understand what is important and take us closer to what we - deep in our heart - believe we must be doing and so forth. 


I think it takes a lot to NOT 'see' and 'pursue' this purpose. Though, I have no concrete ideas on what these 'bad' influences pulling us away from our actual purposes could be. (The symptoms could be lack of confidence, failure to grab and hold on to excellent opportunities etc). 


Oops. I'm on the verge of forgetting what I started out to write this post for. My message - I have a strong suspicion that identifying our purpose is very easy if we just pay a little more attention. The purpose is more often than not...


a) Staring us right in our face and is as obvious as the reflection in our mirror. Almost everything we do is adding up and leading to that obvious purpose/mission.


b) Lurking just beneath the surface of our lives and all it takes may be one or more consecutive or spaced out events/incidents for it to bob up and get all our attention. Seen from another angle, all it needs is perhaps a little coincidental tap for it to emerge and show up in all its glory. In retrospect, most of the events and situations we were involved in becomes an obvious link to the newly recognized purpose.  


c) Perhaps embedded slightly lower down, somewhere in the recesses of your life but it could be easily nudged out with a little bit of external help/support from the 'important' people around you (your role models, parents, teachers, friends etc. People who have the wisdom to see what's hidden within you even though it may not be visible to you)


If there are people who are convinced, during the last leg of their lives, that they seemed to have lived their lives without any clear purpose whatsoever, then maybe that was their very purpose - to simply flow along the river of life and enjoy its various currents minus a single or key destinations. 


Notes: I have a couple of books that talk about identifying one's purpose in life but I'm yet to read them. Once I read them, I'll perhaps come back to this post and find out what I would 'still' agree with or disagree with. ;-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N

This post occurred to me out of the blue. Funnily enough, I am even unable to recall whether it came to me when I was about to drowse off yesterday night or this morning when I was trying to sit still for a while. Parenting is a topic that is very close to my heart and I believe if we focus on and know how to bring up children and (as a result) every family in the nation is a happy family, it might be the end of most problems our society faces today. 


Google Images
C - Coach the child (Being a coach is not the same thing as being a teacher)


H - Help when you're needed or Hold her hand as she walks her path


I - Inspire the child through your own actions and through other mediums like books, stories etc


L - Love the child irrespective of her flaws and faults. Laugh (share humorous moments) with the child as often as possible. 


D - Demonstrate things rather than just resorting to rhetoric (very stale piece of advice in parenting)

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R - Reward and Recognize the child appropriately (drawing a balance between over-rewarding and under-rewarding may be extremely difficult)


E - rElease the child from your grip and let her lead her own life except in situations that need you to be protective 


N - Nudge the child when nothing else works (Use tactics that are provoking but subtle. Note that Nudging is very different from Pushing or Forcing). But DO NOT Judge the child! As Mother Theresa said, where there is judgement, there can be no place for love (not reproduced verbatim)




I love acronyms or rather actual words that are given the form of an acronym. More often than not, I believe it is possible to creatively expand actual words into alphabetical pieces that make meaning independently and then as a whole. I have no idea what this technique is called (I'm sure someone must have coined a term for it) but I love it as it is one of the best ways to remember things.


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Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Nature of Life

A quiet walk down the beach at sunrise 
A slow ride across the sea at low tide
A trip through fields of tall grass and bright flowers
A silent hour opposite the tall mountain
A frozen moment beside the roaring waterfall 
Soothing music at the foot of the motherly tree
Ears tuned into the melodious songs of birds galore
A journey that follows the flock of gliding birds
A celestial nap under the star-lit sky
A stealthy glance at the full moon
A brilliant book in the middle of nowhere 
Is what packs life with its ultimate punch  

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Enemy In-me

I could kill my enemy
I could simply contemplate killing my enemy
I might hate my enemy
I might tolerate my enemy
I might ignore my enemy
I might forgive my enemy
I might not even know my enemy
The decision or ability is mine
Because the enemy, also, is within me

Parent - No Ideas for Rent

One of the most important things a parent can perhaps coach the child on is to not find comfort in someone else's agreement/approval but to go in search of her own mind.....in search of her own version of the truth and enjoy a 'personal' learning experience.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Habitat Day

Reproduced in good faith - Post for "Habitat for Humanity". Please consider lending your support!


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This Monday, Oct. 4, Habitat for Humanity will join efforts around the world to mark World Habitat Day. I'm reaching out to ask if you would help spread the word by posting about it on Aa..Ha [Thinking Inside The Blog!].  World Habitat Day is a day the United Nations has set aside to call attention to the dire need for affordable, adequate housing. I've put together a site with facts, videos, photos, banners and even a way to submit your own photo to the World Habitat Day Photo Wall, so please feel free to repost any of it:

http://worldhabitatdaynews.org

If you are able to post about this, it would really help spread the message of the housing need around the world and ways to help improve many lives. Please let me know if you have any questions and if you are able to help. Thank you so much.


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