Monday, December 31, 2012

Voices



It's always a cacophony of voices
The voice looking for someone to blame
The voice lurking around for fame

The voice that loses the heart of the problem
The voice that focuses only on 'they' and 'them'
The voice that is obsessed with the cause
The voice that screams without a pause

The voice that brims with sympathy and sorrow 
The voice that is not itself but borrowed
The voice that calls for instant action
The voice that craves for a permanent solution


The voice that forgets the flaws of the soul within
The voice that just wants revenge for sin
The voice that is suppressed and silent
The voice that reacts to the herd and is compelled to vent


The voice that, despite the despair, wants to dominate
The voice that, meanwhile, meekly subscribes to fate
The voice that knows no reality
The voice that is recorded for posterity 


It's always a cacophony of voices
(Why not?) After all, it's a world full of choices

Friday, December 21, 2012

Zero to Ten


The writing is on the wall. The evidence is more than obvious. There are NO exceptions. Take every single field that you can think of. Media, Health, Education, Economics, Commerce, Arts.....

Recognition and returns that are tied to quantitative targets lead to death, destruction and despair in the long run if not the short. People will be people. They will run after what they want even if and after they notice they are dragging all the good things away from their rightful place. Rant over.

Purpose


One of the biggest and most powerful forces in life can be the discovery of a purpose that is designed to undo wrongs that you have been subjected to, for the benefit of society as a whole. Petty men and women will want to kick the cat and subject others to the same misery. People led by the divine will sacrifice their lives trying to save others from the misery.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tidbits


There is surely a STRONG link between childhood memories & happiness as an adult. Re-experiencing things that once gave you comfort perhaps reconnects the nodes in your brain to bring you deja vu Happiness.

(Think of that nice song you heard plenty of times as a kid. The walk you had with Grandma in your village. The movie you watched with cousins and laughed your head off. I am sure this is the case even with the not-so-nice memories. Childhood experiences are so so critical.)

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

We must invent a body sensor+audio device that'll boom out a context-sensitive quote or two when one begins to get angry. :-)

Imagine: You are about to scream at someone because they are slow on the uptake and this device immediately says in a deep and strong voice "Be kind to everyone - Dalai Lama" or something to that effect.

###################

What fills the huge gap between education and attitude or behavior? The gap that we rarely fill......! Inspiration, introspection, insight AND extreme effort! Sigh. E.x.t.r.e.m.e E.f.f.o.r.t indeed.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Life sometimes delivers gifts that seem wonderful until you spot the hidden price tag that it has forgotten to remove......and your attention shifts elsewhere. ;-) 

======================

Simplicity is not how easy it is for the TECHIES to IMPLEMENT the solution! It is how easy it is for the USER to understand and USE the solution! A TV may have a million circuits embedded inside it, but at the end of the day, the knobs outside must be just enough and easy to operate. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Solitude and Truth

Solitude and truth are lead characters in the same story. Solitude is equipped with a strong sieve that does not let a single grain of truth escape unfiltered. Somewhat like being able to hear even a pin drop amidst silence.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hero Worship


Reading about Lance Armstrong reminds me of something that occurred to me in June....earlier this year (but I don't recall the context).


"When companies or people are almost worshiped, they either die trying to justify the reputation or resort to unbelievable tactics"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hold On or Let Go?


Unintelligent & inconsiderate people (or communities or systems) who are associated with you can undo what you've done. It is bunkum to say everything is under your control. We live in an interdependent world & need to face the consequences of things we may not be responsible for. What matters is how you deal with your luck and get up every time you are knocked off, whilst understanding you may fall more frequently than you think (and accepting it). What ultimately matters is how long you are not willing to give up. What ultimately matters is how much of the fight is left within you and how much energy you can muster and re-build every time you fall or fail. 

When it is said that Life is not what happens to you but how you react to it, there is more to it than what meets the eye. It does not mean that you can still decide every single thing and get exactly what you want despite other external influences. It actually indicates that your life could be drastically different from what you intend it to be like and you better be prepared for it. You may not get what you want at times. You may have to change your plan and approach at times. You may have to adapt yourself to a new situation almost every time something external changes it. It may still mean lost opportunities. It may still mean a change of ideas. It may still mean a change of desires. 

There is a time when you can be obstinate and chase whatever you wanted to all your life, till you achieve it, despite a million set-backs and there are times when you must go with what emerges and be ready to change your own mind or desire. You must be in a position to decide what you cannot compromise on and what you will never ever give up on and what you will have to let go of in order to accommodate for the uncertainties of life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Dance of Life


Note: Made some updates - added a few more lines (5th Oct)

With due apologies to the Bard of Avon, all the world is a stage and we are all dancers on it. We can't help but dance in order to balance the paradoxes, see two sides of the same coin, experience moderation rather than extremes, manage perceptions and so much more. (Each of the following pairs of words could be seen as paradoxes, perceptions, extremes or two sides of the same coin!) 


The dance of the unique and the un-understood,
The dance of victory and vulnerability.

The dance of bliss and bewilderment,
The dance of humor and hope.

The dance of spontaneity and strategy,
The dance of seriousness and silliness.

The dance of silence and sharing,
The dance of solitude and society.

The dance of dignity and determination,
The dance of dearness and distance.

The dance of freedom and familiarity,
The dance of forgiveness and the future.

The dance of the constant and change,
The dance of the creative and the crazy,

The dance of the cool and the casual,
The dance of confidence and confusion

The dance of insight and indulgence,
The dance of inertia and inspiration.

The dance of risk and routine,
The dance of rejuvenation and resurrection.

The dance of the mundane and the miraculous, 
The dance of the mighty and the minuscule. 

The dance of the past and the present,
The dance of peace and perseverance.

The dance of the given and greed,
The dance of growth and governance. 

He stood up on one leg and reached for the crutch,
It was a poor substitute, but something he would, nevertheless, clutch. 
His dance would look awkward all right,
But his very attempts would make life less of a plight.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mobile-Mania

Pinned Image
(C) Bill Watterson - Calvin and Hobbes


This...is exactly why it is dangerous to rely on mobile phones for building nascent relationships. The imagined accountability of the person being called tends to infinity. Even amongst well-established relationships, if the people involved are unreasonable, highly demanding, psychologically challenged (unable to understand others' priorities, pressures, preferences etc) or paranoid, it leads to more misunderstandings than it leads to the strengthening of bonds. Not to forget, the icing on the cake of confusion are network issues, incorrect service provider messages, the mysterious reachability question, audio break-downs, over-reliance on the tone of the voice and no visibility of expressions and gestures. Ha ha ha. Did someone say we are better connected after the mass adoption of mobile phones? Tsk. Tsk. :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Informal Learning

Why content and formal training is not everything!

Objectivism, Collective Liberation

Food for thought.

Ayn Rand and how her thoughts have apparently impacted the world economy. But my fascination for Howard Roark's philosophy may never die.

The Dawn of Realization


Pinned Image
(C) - Bill Watterson


Knowledge is indeed paralyzing. You know anything that can change will change and that means you can rarely declare anything in a dead-sure way. You know there is no single truth and that means you can rarely anything in a dead-sure way. You know people can change their minds any minute with or without reason and that means you can rarely declare anything in a dead-sure way. You know what is meat for one man is poison for another and that means you can rarely declare anything in a dead-sure way.

If you zoom out for a bit and catch the world's compressed timeline, I guarantee (paradox, eh?) that you'll discover a clear pattern of people swinging from one extreme to the other at irregular intervals. What is inevitable change for some is annoying inconsistency for others because each of us thinks and operates at a different level and is in a different context. At any given point of time, there is a school of thought that believes deeply in something and another school of thought that dismisses the very same idea as absurd and impossible to accept. This holds good for almost every idea out there, be it religious, psychological, political, economical, commercial, social, medical and even the so-called scientific and mathematical ones.

In the last few days, for example, I have seen different people argue passionately for and against the same ideas. A leading business publication has two contradictory articles in the same edition, one that proposes leadership is replaceable and another that says it may be indispensable. With a lot of people arguing in favor of leading passionate lives, someone suddenly pops up and says passion may be dangerous. While many people believe that meditation is good for the mind and body, out comes someone, with data, to prove it can be dangerous. A scientific research proves that a particular food is good for health and another research says the same food can have harmful effects. A section of people believes a man is determined by his thoughts and another section believes it is better to just be.

For those holding on to both sides and playing a confusing tug-of-war on themselves, things are likely to be stressful after a while, unless they are crystal clear about the criteria to use for eventually adopting one of the views. Picking up one view and using it in moderation is a good strategy. Individual experimentation and openness to what emerges is a good strategy.

If you are a leader, being able to communicate your moderated approach and criteria may be critical. Not categorically declaring things means people may not take you seriously or may believe you are clueless. Therefore, they may not align themselves with what you need them to contribute to. However, let's not forget that these are dilemmas that arise only when talking about a certain category of perceptions, ideas and approaches. A leader would be expected, at the same time, to provide invariable and dependable support and commitment to a well-considered goal or value.

PS: I, honestly, did not start out with the intention of making this a dizzy-sounding article. I planned to stop after the first paragraph and look for something humorous to end it with. Look what I ended up writing! I'd rather settle for some ignorance and action.....for it is a blissful combination, uh? ;-)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Learning


Tidbits

Tidbits:

“An odd thing, life. You never know where you are with it, do you?” #Wodehouse

For a perfect relationship: It takes a lot of practice, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of love, a lot of pain, a lot of regrets, a lot of honesty and truth... but most of all - a lot of respect. - Pravsworld

Remember what King Julien says: You must take the music inside of you, swish it around and spit it out of your tail. - Madagascar 

RT @Gauravonomics: When we become mindful of impermanence & interdependence, cause & consequence, it becomes difficult to get angry & stay angry at others

Self-quote:

Accelerated growth causes chaos because its origin = Greed + Desire to prove supremacy in speed + Unsorted disharmony of stakeholders (because such a disharmony can never be resolved in a short period of time) #Business

Words to remember - To cope with a multitasking, random, chaotic life-style. Slow. Conscious. Deliberate. Deep. Silence. Focus. Refocus.  #Peace

Sometimes, every single cell in your body might want to protest and scream out "Do you think I have traded my brain with a reptile?" but you must grit your teeth, take a deep breath, summon your better senses and muster all the energy within to smile and say something that you'd say to a gurgling baby. #People

In some imaginary worlds there is only one, solitary, unchangeable, fixed, immovable and obvious answer to every question. I'd hate to be a part of such a world. #People

In a large organization, the only way to be truly happy at work and make profound progress every year is to find a Mentor who is committed to help you succeed. Only way. #Organization #Success 

For a family to be happy, healthy and enthusiastic, it, arguably, needs a minimum of one humorist, one nutritionist and more than 50% optimists. #Family #People 

When a strong belief is not inter-spaced with the right amount of introspection, honesty, humility and respect for others' freedom and right to learn through experimentation, we have seemingly intelligent jerks..... #People 


Mark Twain

Friday, August 24, 2012

Merlin-Sid-Buck-Dory

This is the utterly butterly Friday of the Nonsense. Warning: If you don't watch animation movies or watch them but cannot relate to any of the characters therein, you may not understand a single word of this post and may also, as a bonus, face the risk of experiencing permanently temporary (or temporarily permanent in certain cases) insanity.

Imagine a character like Merlin the Magician (Shrek) who was fired from his school, who fumbles and blunders but says all sorts of profound things related to soul-searching, truth and introspection.


Now imagine how it would be for him to go on a vacation with the following characters.

The extremely lazy, ignorant but kind and lovable Sloth, Sid (Ice Age)



The flamboyant, brave, clever and crazy Weasel, Buckminister (Madagascar - Ice Age!)



The entertaining, forgetful, helpful and funny Fish, Dory (Finding Nemo)



Any idea how awesome that would be? Rocks you to the soles, uh? Why....even I would love to go on a vacation with these quirky and unique characters. Actually, I have a brilliant idea. An idea that normally strikes you only once in a life time. How would it be to make a movie with all these characters together....on a vacation? If you decide to make it, make sure you mention your source of inspiration. That's all. 

PS: I thought of Bugs Bunny as well, but, hey, he would steal the entire show and people would find it difficult to shift their attention to any of the other characters except perhaps Buck. 

======

PS2: I made an unforgivable omission. I forgot to add King Julien to this list.

Lunatic, narcissistic, talkative and talented Lemur (Madagascar)




Tuesday, August 14, 2012

5Cs of Social Technology


There are 5 key ways in which one can participate in the Social technology movement. Create, Co-Create, Collate and Curate, Comment, Consume

Disclaimer: I have a vague feeling I read something on these lines more than a year ago in a blog, but don't recall the details. I am using this idea because it is an easy way to explain how one can be a part of the Social movement.


So, when you consider leveraging on the social technology platforms, it would be a good idea to consider what you are good at what you could possibly do more of based on your expertise and role.

Do you want to:

1) Create: Create white papers, PPTs, blog posts, tweets etc (Tools: Repositories, Blogs, Microblogs)

2) Co-Create: Create a bigger and collective body of knowledge via Wikis or Conversations (Tools: Wiki, Networking Tools, Workspaces)

3) Collate and Curate: Combine things you read from various sources, analyze, filter, add value and put them together for your own as well as others' benefit (Tools: Blogs, Repositories)


4) Comment: Leave your comments on others' blog posts, conversations, documents and tweets (Tools: Blogs, Workspaces, Repositories, Microblogs)

5) Consume: Simple! Just be open to content and knowledge from others and acknowledge it whenever you can! :-) 

Conversations vs Road Traffic


After spending a lot of time thinking about the complexities and intricacies of social enterprise, helping teams use sophisticated platforms for collaboration and community building and the like, one tends to forget about the most basic of things - Conversations. Plain and simple.

How many of us are actually good at having conversations? Are they as simple as they seem to be? What happens when our conversations are not clear, focused, adaptive and result-oriented? What is the difference between written conversations vs spoken? How many of our conversations lead somewhere? How many of them bring up optimal solutions to challenges? How many of us walk away from conversations with the satisfaction of having learned something or accomplished something?

Here are some things that came to my mind in the form of a metaphor (favorite thinking tool). Road Traffic vs Conversations! ;-) I am just going to touch upon the different dimensions without putting too many things in here.

1. Pace - Speed of thought and speech. How do we manage having conversations with people who think faster or slower? How do we manage having conversations with people who also talk faster or slower? (Think about how you deal with drivers who overtake you or prevent you from speeding ;-))

2. Direction - What are we expecting from the conversation? Where do we want to go? What shortcuts are we willing to take? What rules are we ready to break? (Think about what you would do to get to your destination based on the traffic. Change roads? Break rules? Take a U-turn and go back home? ;-))

3. Vehicle - What is the context that the other person is in? How does it impact her thinking? What would she be able to understand or relate to based on the context she is in? How can you understand that context as well as communicate your own and arrive at a mutual understanding? (Do you what it feels like to drive a small electric vehicle if you are in a BMW or vice versa? ;-))

4. Left-Hand Drive vs Right-Hand Drive - What are the principles and rules that the person operates from? How well does it match with your own? What are the glaring differences and how does it impact the outcome of the conversation? (How easy is it to drive a car with the steering wheel on the right hand side in a country that mandates you have to be on the right hand side of the road or face its wrath?)

5. Self-Driven vs Chauffeur-Driven - Do we have our own goals and thoughts that we chase or are we more focused on goals and ambitions related to the collective or bigger entity (team/organization)? How do we balance the two whilst having our conversations and what do we look for? What is the other person looking for? (Do you sit back and relax while someone else drives the car for you while at the same time looking out for challenges and things that will have an impact on you? Do you drive the car yourself and decide which route to take and what not to do?)

6. Diversions - How good are we at handling diversions in the topic and finding a new route back to our destination or how do we enjoy the new route and let serendipity take over? (Do you curse and swear when you need to take a sudden diversion in your regular route or does it have almost zero impact on you because you have the time and the space to experience something new?)

7. Honkers - How do you handle disturbances and interruptions in the conversation? Do you honk (threaten) your way through or do you patiently wait for things to be sorted out or do you yourself tackle the disturbance head to head? (Is honking at the risk of annoying everyone else on the road a good approach to resolving the disturbance. Does it lead to accidents?)

So, what do you think? :-)

PS: Input from a reader: What about Traffic Cops and Signals? - Moderated conversations!?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Leadership and the Gita

When we focus on the fruits of our effort, we are anxious and eager to see things happening and we want our ideas to materialize sooner than later. When we want things to happen quickly, we may be forced to preserve the status quo (instead of changing things or transforming things) because that is what meets with quick acceptance and approval. 

Leaders are those who do anything but preserve the status quo. "Leaders are NOT those who achieve within or despite the system but those who transform the system" (HT: Steve Denning). 

Krishna wants us to be Leaders....no wonder He asks us not to focus on the fruits of our effort but just do our duty! :-)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Collective Learning

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to change the way children learn into a more collaborative experience. At the end of the decade, for them to grow up and be good members of the society and achieve something meaningful, they must learn to listen deeply, appreciate others' views and let each person express himself while still arriving at independent conclusions. Eventually, though, it is about posing the right questions as a collective, putting everything together and filtering the noise. 


Update: So, why do you think this is funny? :-P Because it sounds contradictory and paradoxical? However, I do think I have not articulated what's in my head well enough.... 

I am not saying we must not think independently. Just saying we must learn the art of arriving at independent conclusions and at the same time learn to appreciate that others may have different views due to their own perceptions, experiences and background. We need to be able to see why they think the way they think! 

If we can then put various ideas together and filter out what the collective thinks is noise, it may lead to a good decision in corporate environments. Lone artists or innovators can still go ahead and do their own thing without checking with anyone ;-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cafeteria Hilaria



I rush off the Cafeteria as usual so I can avoid all the queues at the counters and crowds at the table and be quickly done with my share of carbohydrates and vegetables. 

I find five men standing near the cash counter in a haphazard manner. Not knowing whether it is meant to be a queue or one person paying for the remaining four people (who probably want to give him moral support while he pays for everyone), I patiently wait at the periphery of the, err, unusually shaped human formation. 

Finally, after a lot of careful mental calculations by the cashier and the customer(s), they collect their coupons and make their way to the Food counter and are joined by two other people who just emerge from somewhere.

I get my coupon and join the Food queue. It seems like these men are new to the Cafeteria going by their somewhat lost expressions and funny behavior in the queue. It takes quite a while for them to get their plates filled and I continue to wait while I attempt to clean my plate which looks like it is nearing the end of its association with mortals. 

Meanwhile, to my utter joy, I discover that three of the men have come out of the queue with their plates filled. But they realize that they have forgotten the spoons and need to disrupt the queue in order to get them.
They approach the spoons with outstretched hands and I take a step backward, impulsively, to give them enough space (the spoons are on my right). As I take a step backward, I discover that I have stepped on something soft. The lady who was standing behind me did not apparently feel the need to stand more than a few inches away. Unable to bear the pain, she gestures with her hands and hits me in the process. I apologize, the last man who came to pick up the spoon apologizes and the lady pretends to be fine. 


Google Images


I move on to get some food whilst shaking my stupid head and notice that the last person in front of me is almost done. Suddenly he starts gesturing wildly with his hands, in my direction - I am saved only by a narrow distance. He has apparently paid for another new entrant and wants him to come over to the Food counter. This new bloke who enters the scene comes rushing and gets in between me and the guy at the front and stretches out in various directions to get a plate and a bowl and starts demanding that he be served some food. I am surprised that he never thought about all of us already waiting in the queue but I decide it is OK as he might get lost in the Cafeteria otherwise. 

While I wait again for my turn, this guy gets his rice and then realizes he does not have a spoon. He quickly looks around, sees my plate and spoons next to his and picks up one of my spoons. I stare at him open-mouthed and then loudly declare "That's my spoon!". He hesitantly puts it back while avoiding looking at me. After a few seconds, I start laughing and feel embarrassed at the same time. I continue laughing for a while and then realize I need to say something to make the guy feel better. "Sorry, I did not mean to scare you, but I was a bit shocked". To which he says "I am new to this place...." 

I laugh all the way to the table, all the way through lunch and all the way back to my desk. Here I am now, ready to face the rest of the day. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Individual Destiny

The world is full of wonder. There are endless opportunities. There is a lot more we can do if only we don't focus so much on financial safety (or is it mostly greed?) all the time. Parents & teachers must try hard not to narrow their child's vision and lead him/her to where *they* think the treasure is. There's so much yet to be discovered. There's so much yet to be done. There are so many new and unexplored ideas and paths. 


Why create an unnecessarily competitive world that focuses on what everybody else wants to focus on, loses track of true humanity, chases something blindly and knows not what meaning there is to life? Why can't we each choose our own niche areas and complement and collaborate with each other to build a rich, meaningful, creative, cooperative, happy and sustainable world? 


Enough of the 'mass production' of individuals who think and work alike and chase the same things without believing in it. We need to preserve the uniqueness in each of us and celebrate that for life. We need to seek what fits us as individuals and learn to ignore many of the things that the world, for some strange reason, thinks is essential to lead a good life. 


Is the urban man who eats exotic and exquisite food once a week and commutes in an expensive car necessarily happier than the rural man who eats a simple meal of rice and vegetable all through the year and spends time relaxing in the natural breeze from the magnificent trees he has planted? Aren't they both happy as long as they leverage on their skills and ideas, identify and pursue a cause and vision that is important and meaningful to them and continuously expand their capacity to think, learn and act?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Perspective, Perception, Reality

http://www.ted.com/talks/rory_sutherland_perspective_is_everything.html



Must-watch video. Good businesses and ideas find the sweet spot between technology, economics and psychology. 


Extract: I think it's because there's an imbalance, an asymmetry, in the way we treat creative, emotionally-driven psychological ideas versus the way we treat rational, numerical, spreadsheet-driven ideas. If you're a creative person, I think quite rightly, you have to share all your ideas for approval with people much more rational than you. You have to go in and you have to have a cost-benefit analysis, a feasibility study, an ROI study and so forth. And I think that's probably right. But this does not apply the other way around. People who have an existing framework, an economic framework, an engineering framework, feel that actually logic is its own answer. What they don't say is, "Well the numbers all seem to add up, but before I present this idea, I'll go and show it to some really crazy people to see if they can come up with something better." And so we, artificially I think, prioritize what I'd call mechanistic ideas over psychological ideas.




Extract: One of the great mistakes, I think, of economics is it fails to understand that what something is, whether it's retirement, unemployment, cost, is a function, not only of its amount, but also its meaning.


Extract: Now von Mises said that modern economists make exactly the same mistake with regard to advertising and marketing. He says, if you run a restaurant, there is no healthy distinction to be made between the value you create by cooking the food and the value you create by sweeping the floor. One of them creates, perhaps, the primary product -- the thing we think we're paying for -- the other one creates a context within which we can enjoy and appreciate that product. And the idea that one of them should actually have priority over the other is fundamentally wrong.

Yet another year passes by

*Click* When it is so easy to lose sense of your own direction because of constant external influences (people who are not necessarily aware of or focused on what's important for you), it is critical to spend time on soul searching. It is critical to discover what you really are inspired by and believe in and remind yourself to do that constantly. One of the worst regrets to have is the inability to remain true to the self. At the same time, you need to ensure your mind is not so lost that it does not realize its own flaws and quirks. *Click*

Friday, June 29, 2012

Creative Endeavor?

If one spends most of one's life trying to understand (and manipulate, if one is capable of) complicated, meaningless, selfish & tiresome systems, then where is the space and energy for creative and entrepreneurial ventures? No wonder an entrepreneur must devote her entire life to bring her idea alive. Nothing else works. Period.

If you want to chase an idea till it becomes reality, then you must spend your entire life on it or at least many many years (if it is anything worthwhile). And, you have just one life. So, you must choose the idea very carefully. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ponderrrr

Some patterns in human behaviour. 


Some people ponder over their own lives more often than not, some ponder and worry about slightly bigger environments that they have some control over and some ponder over country or world issues (or celebrities) that they may not necessarily be able to change. Finally, some worry about the abstract and un-understood - spiritual or otherwise. 

And, of course, there are those who combine two or three of these categories and those who say nothing about anything. 

Nothing good or bad about it but what makes us ponder about what we ponder about?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How you can win and yet lose...


Wanting to do something that others rarely believe in or are rarely interested in can be draining and upsetting - more so, if you need their support and blessings. Being the odd one out is an awkward experience, to say the least. You must be ready to accept failure despite ^winning^.....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bliss & Learning


I wonder if there is any other cartoonist on Earth who can say it so well. :-) Three cheers to short-term stupid self-interest. None of us need to be trained on that. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Secret

Ok. I think I've found the ultimate secret of life. Please don't get me wrong, dear Kung Fu Panda. If you're able to muster every ounce of the ambidexterity within you to apply perfectly equal control on the two extreme and opposite forces that manifest themselves in each of the million odd dimensions of life, then you're unconquerable. There. Now that you know, just go do it. You're welcome.




Google Images




***


Think Buddha. "Stay in the middle path".

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cloudy Thoughts

Three thought-related tidbits from my timeline


Methinks:


If you're ready to spread the most insecure, vague and ambiguous of your thoughts in front of someone without any fear of being judged, ridiculed or rejected, it is likely that this person will also bring the best out of you.


Some wise people pointed out to me that it could, however, cost the relationship in some cases - if the person listening is not ready to accept your thoughts or the fact that they came from you or if the relationship is still nascent for him/her to understand you fully. The second point made was that there may be a difference in the way the person listening reacts if he/she is a strong stakeholder and thus takes things personally or is afraid of being affected. 


***

True in quite a lot of situations even though we may never agree:


Anthony De Mello - "People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head. It is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it." 


                                                                                   ***

Sad but true:


Recently witnessed how a person with great intentions & high result-orientation can still commit blunders because of getting carried away


                                                                                  ***

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Fluttering Within




Fluttering Within

Act 1: Square one

Unknown purpose, a random & empty life, uncertainty was the king
The bird knew not what the next day would bring
Nothing unique or special to hum, tweet or sing
Nothing to hang on to and yet happy not to cling
Stuck in a bare cage, she almost had no idea she had wings 

Act 2: Change of scene

Wonderful dreams of many soothing colours
Soft and fluffy clouds that beckoned the bird to rest 
Rows and rows of bright and happy flowers
Everything seemed to be safe and right in its nest 

The bird had been finally let out of her dreaded cage
She flew with her wings stretched in freedom and joy
Only to suddenly find herself being chased back in a rage
Destiny had worn a deceptive mask and dropped it as if only a toy   

There came a sudden storm that swept everything away 
And left nothing but destruction, dust and dirt for miles 
The clouds had turned dark and night had replaced day
The sky had lost its splendid colours and twinkling smiles  

Act 3: Back to Square one

The bird crawled back into the cage in sheer disbelief
The dream had been so cruelly tempting and painfully brief 
It was all short-lived, the so-called freedom and relief
It would forever be a confusing memory tinged with grief
But the bird shook herself yet again, mustered strength and turned a new leaf 

Google Images.
The Bird Shall Fly Again

Friday, May 04, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Life can be hell

The biggest mistake by most human beings: 'Listening half, understanding quarter, telling double'. 


Hat-Tip: Pravs World

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Nonsense of Laughter

Calvin and Hobbes - (C) by Bill Watterson 

There's something profound about this cartoon strip (like many others by the brilliant Watterson). 

Friday, April 13, 2012

One Truth



I'd never disagree with this, even if my life depended on it. :-) (And, if the person being subjected to such a phenomena also has a categorical view on what is right/wrong, nothing on Earth can possibly save the people associated with him/her!). 


When I looked up Born on Wikipedia, I found something amusing and interesting. He is supposed to have contributed significantly to the field of quantum mechanics. Now, whether he was able to discover the secrets of quantum mechanics because he did not believe in one single truth or vice versa is something we may never find out. ;-)


A supplementary caveat to this quote may, arguably, be that it should not matter as long as people keep their beliefs to themselves and do not try to manipulate others (directly or indirectly) to tow their line. So, if, for example, I believed that there is no God but made no attempts to brainwash or ridicule others (who believed that there is a God), I should not be considered an evil entity in society. But does my belief remain within me, in reality?


Not necessarily. Even if I made no conscious effort to change the mental make-up of others, if my belief is strong enough, it is likely to be reflected in my actions (if not via words of advice) and that may in turn influence someone to suddenly become a skeptic (sticking to the example above). Am I an evil entity in such a situation? 


I think not. After all, my genuine and embedded thoughts will naturally emerge via my actions, choices, behavior etc. What others are influenced by because of their self-motivated observations and introspective conclusions cannot be attributed to me. (A charismatic and inward looking leader or author may easily influence hundreds of people without even intending to)


What is, however, a deciding factor in concluding whether I am potentially an evil entity or not is whether, in spite of my strong convictions, I have the attitude and the ability to be open to listening to people who have opposite views and consider their views sincerely. The key point here is to not be casually dismissive of opinions different from one's own. The need is to be mature enough to understand that a different view is a result of different and deeply embedded experiences, contexts, mental abilities and so forth. I may not be convinced by an opposite view, ultimately, because of being married to my own thoughts or because of being unable to relate to foreign examples or values of the other party. But that is fine as long as I continue to be ready to listen to the same or a variation of the view in future and untiringly reconsider my views, inspect it from unexplored angles and see it from various distances. (Unfortunately, it is also, apparently, important to retain one's sanity during such situations ;-). While the nicer lot have to focus on not losing their own sanity, the, er, rowdy lot will have to focus on not driving the other person up the wall). 

In certain cases, it may be slightly simpler and involve letting go of a situation (by avoiding the exploration of alternative views till a more conducive situation comes up in the future) because you clearly see that the other person may never understand your point of view and accept the simultaneous existence of two views because of not having gone through an essential experience (that you, however, went through). 

More food for thought: 

RT @freedomsway: "Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem." ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

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No idea where I went with this post. :-) Whew. Let me know if I drove you up the wall, but for reasons different from those mentioned above. ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Croak....croak....croak.....R.O.A.R


Time for some inspiration




When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you‘re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit— 
Rest if you must, but don‘t you quit.

Life is odd with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about
When they might have won had they stuck it out.
Don ‘t give up though the pace seems slow— 
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
So stick to the fight when you‘re hardest hit,— 
It's when things seem worst that you mustn‘t quit.


Note: Source: Internet. No idea who wrote this poem.