Energy drainers

Our chief resource is not our time, but our energy.

I wonder if we give as much importance to staying in high spirits as we do to ‘staying busy’.

Today, I had an encounter with an ‘energy drainer‘. Now, energy drainers come in various forms – sometimes they are people, other times they are places but more often than not, they are a combination of people and the wrong place, leading to an environment that tends to constantly suck all positivity and energy.

(It’s not fair to say today. I felt it yesterday but didn’t act on it!)

In my case, I just decided to shift my environment and voila, everything changed. I had to make a few excuses of course, but it was well worth it. My day started looking up, I started feeling more energized and positive and already cannot wait for the day tomorrow!

Do you feel ‘drained‘ everyday? Run through the list of people you spend time with, and places you spend time in. And maybe you’ll find what you need to do differently.


We always have less time than we think.

This might seem ‘to the contrary’ if you are stuck with something that you don’t like doing, or going through an ordeal (like exams, a tough personal situation) but either way, you and I have much lesser time than we think.

Because a year later, we will wonder how the time we had seemed to slip us by.

Add a few more years and we will look back at these days and say with a sigh ‘Ah! Those days..’

I just hope many years down the line, we won’t look back at these days and wonder if we did enough, if we lived life as we believe it should be lived. Most importantly, I hope we don’t look at these days with the harsh tone of regret.

So, let’s go out, learn, grow and have fun; for the time we have to define our lives is limited and very often, we let it flit by without realizing it. Let’s not let it flip by – let’s ‘live’ every moment.

Happy Sunday everyone. I’m amazed as to how soon my time with close friends and colleagues has flitted past. It’s time now to start packing and get set for a time zone switch, and very soon, it’ll be over to the hectic realities of an intense project. And as with most things that tend to change/define your thinking and perspective, I’m looking forward to it!

Why your real estate agent does not bother with the 10,000 dollar increase when you sell your house

On aligning incentives: Let us take a common scenario:

Situation: Jake is trying to sell his house. The real estate agent has told him that a good price for the house would be 300,000 dollars.

Complication: Jake, like, any normal human being, would love to get a little more value out of the deal. And he constantly pushes the real estate agent who refuses to budge. At this point, Jake wonders why the real estate agent is not lapping up the deal in glee! It may be tougher to sell the house, but wouldn’t the extra 10,000 dollars be good for everyone?

Question: Would it really leave Jake’s agent better off?

Analysis: Let’s take a look at the numbers. For the extra $10,000 – the agent fee amounts to 5% or $500. This is split 50% with the buyer’s agent which brings the number down to $250. The agent then splits another 50% with his agency meaning he pockets $125 in return for the extra $9500 he has helped Jake earn. Hence, Jake’s real estate agent is much better off pricing Jake’s house such that the deal is done quickly so he can move on to the next.

This tends to sound common sense but I’ve found myself wondering (in many instances) as to why a friend/colleague doesn’t agree with me on the extra push or effort especially when the benefits seem ‘obvious’ to me.

So, the next time we feel friction or annoyance when asking a colleague or a friend for a favor, let’s make sure we check if our incentives are aligned.

Source: ‘Freakonomics‘ by Steven D. Lewitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Where do ideas come from? – Seth Godin

1. Ideas don’t come from watching television

2. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture

3. Ideas often come while reading a book

4. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them

5. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom

6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide

7. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do

8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner’s mind. A little awareness is a good thing

9. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week

10. Ideas come from trouble

11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they’re generous and selfless

12. Ideas come from nature

13. Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence

14. Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice

15. Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we’re asleep and too numb to be afraid

16. Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we’re not trying

17. Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute

18. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones

19. Ideas don’t need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity

20. 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.

Loved this. Genius!

Don’t do work you love

This was the discussion I had with a colleague as he was discussing some interesting points from a book you read.

I find the argument pretty valid – ‘What if your passion was juggling? And what if you weren’t all that skilled in juggling?’

Would you still quit your day job as an IT analyst in an investment bank and pursue juggling?

Like all things, I think the ‘pursue your passion’ requires some perspective. To begin with, it probably requires your passion and skills to match (for eg: I have a real passion at football but I’m just about average at the game => I don’t dream of being a professional footballer). And secondly, even if passion and skills match, I think it also matters as to what your goals are, and how happiness at work fits in with the bigger picture.

For eg: if you are a manager at GE and are also married with 3 kids, you may want to just continue being a manager till you have enough in your bank account to sustain yourself and your family before becoming a professional juggler.

Pretty obvious, you say? Yes, absolutely. We tend to do this more often than not but the sad part is that we always romanticize about the ‘ideal job’ and the ‘ideal situation’. In my limited experience, there hardly ever is the ‘ideal job’ or ‘ideal situation‘.

Decide to make it ‘ideal’, decide to have ‘fun’, make enough money to make sure your parents (and/or spouse and kids) are okay, then quit everything and do what you love.

(If you are going to argue that all entrepreneurs are doing what they love, I would disagree. Entrepreneurship involves a LOT of dirty work which nobody would enjoy – what entrepreneurs enjoy is the thought of realizing their vision/their dream.
Is cleaning the office ideal? Probably not. But the dream makes it so..
And nobody stops you or me from dreaming.)