Its amazing how even negative popularity..

can be very good popularity. Its like after getting through a book that described 100 great businesses and the minds behind them – which by the way, had great stories about Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Sergey Brin & Page of Google etc.. I still tend to remember Charles Revson of Revlon(mentioned below..) for his notoriety!

Interesting..

‘Successful people build homes out of the bricks others throw on them’ – So, its about using the negative publicity to our advantage..

With Lots of Passion..

comes an intensity that results in us taking things personally! It suddenly feels like its a personal dispute etc. That feeling is all too common where I’m concerned and more often than not, leads to varying degrees of conflict.

How do we avoid something like this? Something that I feel that may help is to think. Literally, THINK! Stop and think and do nothing else. Don’t talk – just think! till the other person asks whats up. Try and convey a feeling. eg: Feeling uncomfortable because of this agreement and I’m actively thinking as to how to solve this! Now, both you and the person/people who were locked in combat are together solving a problem together.

Well, this is just something that helped today but again, there are multiple ways of doing this. However, the common trend that I’ve observed is that it does help unite them towards something else..

For the last minute people..

learning for the day is to get an idea how much time it might take to get what needs to be done done! what that means is that if am pushing and pushing..then atleast I shouldn’t push below the threshold limit like I always do..

Difficult to explain..perhaps a fellow last minuter would understand.. and hopefully remember to atleast estimate how much time it would take before pushing to understand the time limit.. probably the most complex of all the blogs I’ve written and complex is generally not too good..

But – its the need of the moment!

Its not about getting work done..

but about getting done efficiently. As I learnt when I was scanning some sheets today. A 2 hr job was reduced to 10 minutes by using the feeder tray and reducing the ‘dpi’ of the scanned issue. Sounds like common sense but given my inexperience, I always tend to take the not so straight longer route to a particular point. Sadly, to rub salt to our wounds, this not-so-straight way is littered with bumps and has anything but bumps.

So, how do we learn this? Well, firstly I guess we try to learn.. and then hopefully, some day – we’d be high up on the IQ scale as well.. ;)

If work is not getting done..

then it has something to do with your task list.

As I have discovered of late, Task lists, in terms of functionality, are binary – they either work, or they just don’t. And sometimes there are seasons i.e. there was a time post its worked, now its good old notepad. One Note 2007, for instance, never worked for me – despite it looking very cool etc. And neither does the really cool looking task list on my palm..!

But I guess the most important thing I have realized is that work gets done really fast if you have a task list that I like. For instance, we all have our styles and moods. I’ve realized there are times when scratching makes me feel good, other times when just erasing the task feels good.. but again, whatever is functional is fine!

Also, the other big learning is that it does get a bit daunting when the task list is way too long. Helps sort them into a long term and another daily.. but again – that would depend on whether I am in a killer visionary mood or a less motivated worker mood.. ha ha..

Anyway, amidst all the talk, the all important learning – if work is refusing to get done, modify the task list!

Most successful people..

look fit! We keep hearing of them being daily swimmers/regular golfers/tennis players and the like. No matter how busy the schedule, the fitness regime is maintained..

And I couldn’t ‘find time’ to play in my 1st year..

Cultural Differences – Food

A friend commented, while at dinner – ‘You get very stiff when you eat.. don’t worry(on the bemused look on the other companions face and mine) – you’ll get less stiff in 10-15 years when you get used to eating..ha ha)’. Well, it is true that I get very stiff when eating..in public. Well, maybe not ‘very’ stiff..but well..that’s beside the point..

Food and eating habits can be really interesting and the lack of awareness and sensitivity can cost us a lot more than dirty looks as well – so I have learnt. For instance, the region I come from – we eat our rice using our hands(yes! for all the chopstick and spoon users – thats true! :)) Now, lets imagine I’ve been playing soccer from when I was 5 years old vs a friend who is learning at 19. What are the chances that at 21- he would be a better soccer player? Well, it is similar odds with eating habits as well..

Now, its not like my mother didn’t warn me about this. Lets face it – we realize the depth of our parents constant badgering about this and that as we move out. Well, if you haven’t – I tell you – its about time! As always, I had the – ‘don’t worry! I only do this at home..’. Yeah right! Another learning that I am coming to terms with is that, while it is true that good manners begin at home, bad manners do – as well. (Home – being close circle – family, friends etc)

Anyway, there is no end to cultural differences. What is right in the east is often unthinkable in the west etc. But, it does help to know where we want to go.. because disaster at the dinner table is disaster all around..

And well.. If the price to look decent(till I actually get used to being a classy eater) is being stiff and conscious for a few years, sounds like a fair bargain!

PS: I am an insensitive brute – when it comes to environments etc and also tend to be very clumsy. So, the situation may not be all that commonplace.. but who knows? :D

There is no right or wrong about most things..

I guess this may seem plain obvious to most but again, something that I’ve been realizing more so than ever. The more I read about people like you and me who have done great things – the more I realize that there is no specific thing that remains constant. Of course, there are the basics of hard work, grit like determination, an ability to bounce back from adversity etc – which is a common pattern, but in terms of style – well, there doesnt seem to be anything common. I mean that, you have Apple on one side and a Microsoft on the other. Thats like ‘perfection'(in the words of Steve Jobs) on one side and anything but perfection on the other but it equals to less than 4% of the world on one side and the remaining 96% on the other!

I guess..the bottom line is that there is really no ‘right’ per se except its really up to us to find out what works. What amazed me was the story of an obsessive entrepreneur by name Charles Revson – who started Revlon, which is pretty big in the cosmetics industry. This guy was crazy enough to encourage employers to unscrew lids competitor lip sticks/gloss in super markets so customers who bought them would be pissed off! And then of course, you have loads of other great examples like Warren Buffet. And this pretty much translates to all fields – and it would be like drawing a comparison between a Maradona and a Pele, a Warne and a Tendulkar among many others..

So, the biggest learning personally is really where dealing with criticism and adversity are concerned(when the going gets tough..), the good news, it seems is that we can choose to get going whichever way we want. Of course, there are underlying rules like ‘never react emotionally or get unduly pissed etc..’ which prevent you from thinking rationally. Apart from all this, we can choose to lay low or not for that matter.. as long as we are consistent in reactions of course..

Message for the day – Lose it on someone today if you have to! ;) Quoting a great pal – ‘Its not wrong to lose your temper, except try and lose it often so people understand that you CAN lose it..’..ha ha..

Accepting responsibility..

I think – by now, I’m losing count of my previous learnings and I guess there is a definite possibility that learnings may be repeated.. if that does happen.. then I can be sure that that’s one learning thats really sunk in! ha ha..

Anyway, my learning for the day comes from a book called ‘Goals’ – by Brian Tracy. He starts the book by making a profound statement – he says(paraphrased and not exact..) – if you are to start on a journey of setting goals and achieving something in life, it has to begin by accepting responsibility. He talks about the many adults he’s met who are still blaming their life and present conditions on bad upbringing, parents who didn’t do a great job, poor teachers etc. And he said that the moment he hears that, he know that that’s the end of the story..

There are so many things that may go wrong.. lets substitute the ‘may’ with ‘will’. It is inevitable! If something goes right on one side, there is definitely going to be something wrong in the other. It is also known that it is our reaction to it that makes the difference. But, the point to understand in my limited understanding is that, it only begins when we truly accept that it is OUR fault.. and nobody elses. No parent, no teacher, no friend.. nobody!

To me, it took ages to even comprehend the meaning of this since I was someone who was perennially running to a wiser mentor when I had issues. These ranged from bad finances, bad grades to absolutely everything. And now I’m just beginning to comprehend what I’ve been doing all along.. and that there’s no point looking at the past now either – instead, to accept it and move on… and hopefully do better on all fronts..

As always..what will really count.. is the effort!

Simple? or Complex?

‘Simple’ question – refers to anything. When we talk – or explain – or in a simple case, design a system for people to use. Do we just make something extremely simple and intuitive? or try and think of every need the user might face?

What I’ve learnt is that the goal is for it to be very very simple! It so happens that it eventually does end up being complex. And by some chance, if more than a billion people are using it and it still is as simple as typing whatever you want in a plain white text box and still getting results – then you’re going to make billions – just like google!