Coffee Shops and Bill Gates..

I was catching up with a friend who was describing the joys of university life and a big part of life in the evening was spending time at coffee shops. We were discussing generation gap at that point and she mentioned that she found it very difficult to describe her life as it was to her mom as he mom would never be able to understand why/how people spend a lot of time in coffee shops doing nothing..

I was reminded of ‘ Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.’ – an excerpt from a book called ‘Dumbing down our kids’ about everything kids do not learn at school. It has been confused as an excerpt from a high school speech by Bill Gates. Nevertheless, the learning is amusing..and it stands.. ;)

Variation of ‘cool’..

Haven’t we all wanted to be ‘cool’ at some point of time? Herein, I take a look at what I used to think was cool..
10 years back – I used to think cool was dressing and talking like a rap star. Lots of chains, tattoos and a cool afro american accent and there you go..
5 years back – I realized that it was important that we were passionate and really good at something. So, when I took up soccer(for example), guys like Cristiano Ronaldo, Jay jay Okocha(remember him?) etc were cool. Cool skills that fooled all opponents was the criterion..
Now – The coolest guys is the guy who puts the ball in the back of the net, time after time, after time..

Basically, cool, to me is no longer cool tricks and showbiz, just the guy who does what he s supposed to do and does it again and again..and again…

If we want people to be their best..

we have to let them be.. free..

Few will misuse it.. a few will bloom.. but what really matters is that each would know that they chose their path and would learn responsibility quicker than most..

Remember the United States(pre George Bush..) and the benefits of such a system would be obvious..

When near and dear ones give us strong negative feedback..

generally, there is something up. There’s something else within.
Probably, my biggest learning from a book titled ‘Difficult Conversations’ was that there are times when people give you feedback and instead of starting with positive feedback and then moving on to the negatives, start with the negatives and bombard you with them and finally say a few nice things. Both cases may be genuine but it does sting in the 2nd case. Now, the learning basically says that we might be very tempted to give the person feedback on how to give feedback; however, we shouldn’t do it as it would be the wrong thing to do. The reason being that feedback is all about feeling and behind the negative feedback(in most cases), there is genuine care and concern and by giving them feedback is like us trying to even it out..

Anyway, I had the opportunity to implement this(finally!) and I was long waiting for this because I had committed the earlier mistake once too often before I learnt this from the book. And it turned out fine, there was a reason why the feedback was so structured and I was happy that I avoided an unnecessary confrontation..

Patience pays! :D

Internet Connectivity..

These days.. we are always connected. Its not a question of ‘whether we like it or not’ anymore, is it? There was a time when I used to plan for a trip and think of my essentials just before leaving and these would be clothes to books to other knick knacks. These days, I travel in peace when I know I have my laptop, phone and respective chargers. And am sure this is the case for so many others!

Well, I missed a learning yesterday and the big reason was that I was in the middle of nowhere where connectivity is concerned. I could almost picture myself trudging through a 100 new emails the next day and the fact that I had indeed missed my learning for the day..

So, again, the big learning for the day is that we need these breaks – once in a while. It gets tougher for us to be disconnected as we grow older, have more to do, more responsibilities. So, while we can enjoy it, we should – once a while..!

When you feel stressed..

This one’s tricky! There are times when there is really nothing going wrong. Yet, we feel stressed! These stresses can really vary – from work to personal issues to finances and the like.. And this stress sucks the life out of us. We stop enjoying everything we do, sleep less and try to solve the problem by working harder! And what do you know.. its never solved!

Something that may help is if we sat down and wrote out everything thats happening. Some of the things which we think is stressing us out may not actually be and maybe we will actually find something that helps. I’m just trying it out.. lets hope it helps!


No real time to let go..

There are times when we have to let people go, sometimes its people at work, sometimes friends and close relatives..
We can try, try real hard – at times never give up and be of help. There are just times when we have to let go, and let people find their way much as we’d like to help them. Can anyone define a lost cause? In my limited experience, there is no specific time.. its a feeling thing!

Always listen to experience..


We were casually talking about going to buy some electronic goods on a different side of town. Immediately, my grandpa quipped that we better take care of our pockets and guard against pickpockets. So, we just nodded and went ahead.. and it did turn out that the first piece of advice we got from a common friend was to guard against pickpockets.

Difficult to explain this learning but its just that my grandfather’s quip was probably coming from his experience 20 years or so ago and his common sense just told him that it d still be the same. As youngsters, we often tend to scoff this advice with the ‘things aren’t how they used to be..’ but it was one of 2 similar experiences today when the experience really showed..

Even if we dont agree, it is definitely good to listen!