New youtube video released – Understanding knowledge areas and process groups


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Wish you sleepless nights!

Have you ever thought about the effort behind writing a book and publishing it?. What about the effort that goes into the creation of a cinema?. How much effort goes into grooming a young boy/girl into a productive youth?. I am always amazed by the focus and dedication of those writers, directors, teachers, builders….. Reading a book is easy, ad the creation of that is not that easy. Do we call it as dedication?. Or is it sheer addiction to what one create?. If there is a difference between dedication and addiction, what is that?. Which one is better for creativity?. Dedication always reminds me of painful journey. When it comes to ‘dedication”, I say ‘No’to many other things I like, to concentrate on ‘something’ I want to achieve. When it is addiction ” I just indulge in something, and enjoy it”‘. Do creators get ”addicted” or ”dedicated”. I always wonder and admire someone like ”Salman Rushdie” for his persistent ”addictiveness” to writing great books, which sells across the globe. We see then only during the publishing ceremonies or award nights. What do they do beyond that is what triggers my curiosity. Addiction always indicates willful embracing of a skewed lifestyle, with pleasure, where as ‘dedication’ indicates a kind of ‘painful’ embracing of a skewed life style by forcibly saying ‘no’ to many other priorities to focus on certain goals. Both leads to imbalances in life style. Is that the reason why many writers have multiple broken marriages. Some of them are chronic bachelors.

When I ‘fix’a time to write, I am unable to. I have to write, when the writing happens. So a ‘time table’based creative writing is impossible for me. I remember the APJ Abdulkalam quote “” A dream is not something you see when you sleep, but a dream is something which will not let you sleep””. He is definitely one of the most creative persons, and he is a bachelor :-). Wish you sleepless nights!.

Blogger’s Block

Recently a couple of friends of mine gave me a very honest feedback about the deterioration in quality of my blog posts. I did agree with them?. What could be the possible reasons?. One of the reasons could be a condition called ‘Writer’s block’.

Writer’s block is a condition, associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite.

Causes of writer’s block

Writer’s block may have many or several causes. Some are essentially creative problems that originate within an author’s work itself. A writer may run out of inspiration. The writer may be greatly distracted and feel they may have something that needs to be done before hand. A project may be fundamentally misconceived, or beyond the author’s experience or ability. A fictional example can be found in George Orwell’s novel Keep The Aspidistra Flying, in which the protagonist Gordon Comstock struggles in vain to complete an epic poem describing a day in London: “It was too big for him, that was the truth. It had never really progressed, it had simply fallen apart into a series of fragments.”

Other blocks, especially the more serious kind, may be produced by adverse circumstances in a writer’s life or career: physical illness, depression, the end of a relationship, financial pressures, a sense of failure. The pressure to produce work may in itself contribute to a writer’s block, especially if they are compelled to work in ways that are against their natural inclination, i.e. too fast or in some unsuitable style or genre. In some cases, writer’s block may also come from feeling intimidated by a previous big success, the creator putting on themselves a paralyzing pressure to find something to equate that same success again. The writer Elizabeth Gilbert, reflecting on her post-bestseller prospects, proposes that such a pressure might be released by interpreting creative writers as “having” genius rather than “being” a genius. In George Gissing’s New Grub Street, one of the first novels to take writer’s block as a main theme, the novelist Edwin Reardon becomes completely unable to write and is shown as suffering from all those problems.

In her 2004 book The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain (ISBN 9780618230655), the writer and neurologist Alice W. Flaherty has argued that literary creativity is a function of specific areas of the brain, and that block may be the result of brain activity being disrupted in those areas.

Writer’s Block is mentioned on various occasions in the 2006 film, Stranger Than Fiction. The character of Karen Eiffel admits to suffering from Writer’s Block when she is having difficulty envisioning how to kill her book’s hero, Harold Crick.
It is also featured in the game Alan Wake, where the main character, Alan Wake, is suffering from a form of writer’s block for years on end which leaves him unable to write and nearly ends his marriage because of it. In the 2004 psychological thriller Secret Window, which is based on the novella “Secret Window, Secret Garden” by Stephen King, the main character is a writer by the name of Mort Rainey played by Johnny Depp, who portrays a man who is going through a divorce and as a result is suffering from writer’s block.

Courtesy Wikipedia

Sporting a mask, and mistaking it for real :-)

In project management terminology, they call it as stage gate or phase gate. When a project passes through different phases, they go through these gates, and the senior management decides whether to allow the project to progress into subsequent phases or not.

A gate always denote change. A movement from one to the other. Bible talks about the wide gate to hell, and the narrow gate to heaven. When one enter through the gate of a hospital, one enter the world of illness and pain. When one enter through the gates of a night club, it is a different world out there. When one enters through the gates of a religious place, the ambience inside is different. When one enters an office it is different. When one enters this world from the mothers womb, this world is different. When one gets out of the womb of this world, it must be different. That is the hope for us.

Gates exists every where. Movements from worse to better, better to best, best to worse. Change for the better or worse is inevitable. We change, our cells change, our thoughts change, our relationships change, others perception about us change, our perception about us change. Life is all about change. Are we taking the narrow gate to a positive world, or the wider gate and easier gate to nagatives is the question. Criticising someone is easy, where as doing something creative is not that easy. A movement from the problem side to the solution side is a must for a useful life, else it will culminate as a life of desperation – ‘desperate’ life, instead of a useful and rich life. Choice is ours.

When one enters through the gate, the stage changes. Once one remains in a stage, the state changes. When a sinner enters through the gate of spiritual life, he moves from the materialistic stage to the spiritual stage, and once he spends some time at the spritual stage, he reaches the spiritual state. This is not very profound thinking. This happens to a person who enters a pub as well. He enters the pub, through the main door, where the guard even greets and welcomes you. When you enter the pub from a hot bright afternoon sun, suddenly it is a dim lit, air conditioned, music blasting place. The stage has changed. Once you spend some time at this stage, then your state changes. This is applicable for any stage change. Child to teenager to married to parent to middle age to old to materialistic to spiritual to materialistic. Now there is a pattern. It is up to us to use it to our advantage or disadvantage. Some stages of life are mandatory stages, where as some others are discretionary. On the mandatory stages, one do not have any control, where as on the discretionary stages, one has control. We can decide which gtes to take, which gates not to take, when to get out of a stage and when to get into a stage. It is within our control.

A word of caution. One cannot skip mandatory stages. Without completing childhood one cannot get into adolescence and teenage. If one skip any of the mandatory stages, it becomes very awkward and results in failure, like a child pretending to be a teenager by drawing a mustache or by fixing an artificial mustache. I see this in business as well. Suddenly I have seen some of my business partners trying to elevate themselves professionally, by mere mis-positioning, when they have not completed some of the mandatory preliminary stages. They just act as if, they are professionally outgrown their current state, and try to delegate important things where they themselves lack mastery to their subordinates who lack the skills and knowledge to do the job. This is bound to end in failure, and looks as silly as the young boy acting as a young man, by sporting an artificial mustache :-). Before becoming an architect, one must code. Before becoming a specialist doctor one must complete house surgency and higher studies. Before flying a passenger aircraft one should have gained enough hours of flying experience, else a crash is inevitable. So please dont skip any mandatory stages, before completing them successfully. Every stage is a preparation for the next stage.

Have a nice day!
God bless you.

A cake for the teacher!

One of my students gave this delicious cake on the last day of the program, and I carried it all the way to India, to the delight of my family. Thank you friend for this great gesture of  love and respect, which helps me to add more meaning to what I do, than considering it as just corporate training, where the participants pay money and I just share whatever I know. In India, there exists (supposed to) a guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationship, and the teacher is given the same status as parents and God. It need not go to that extent in a corporate scenario, and a word encouragement would do. Remember, the best way to get the best out of someone is appreciation (genuine appreciation).  Thank you once again dear student for this thoughtful gesture of yours.


Unlearning QWERTY

This week, I am confined to the silence of my hotel room during the day time, because my work starts only at 4.p.m. I dont have the motivation to read the non-starter anti-corruption stories related to the organizing of the common wealth games (indeed the wealth is shared :-)), which are meant to be forgotten within a short span, hence I did not read the news paper, and did not watch the news channels, who are just struggling to gain attention, without any swetting and risk taking, which the investigative journalism calls for. 3 days back only, i deleted my facebook account, hence there is no company from the faceless friends from the facebook community (sorry real friends on facebook….actually we met outside facebook and used facebook to be in touch. By faceless, I meant those virtual friends I made at facebook, orkut and, by spending valuable hours, at the cost of spending a few hours with my ailing and lonely mother, who is no more now (just an example….there are many others who got deprived of many many things because of my internet addiction). So, today, I am at my creative best, because of this compulsive silence derived out of  shutting myself off to digital junk.

The result, I got the time to lay my hands again on  my forgotten music lessons, to realize that computer key board is not the only key board that exists, and there exists even more melodious key boards like the key board of an electronic music key board. So Iam unlerning qwerty to start walking in this new path. In the longer run, this cross pollination may help me to create music with QWERTY as well.

There are other creative pursuits in the offing as well. Taking a cue from the TED video, which states ‘Talking about your goals’ will reduce the probability of their achievement, I am not sharing them here. Lets talk about the ‘Done’, than the ‘Will be done’ 🙂

Tempted to delete my facebook account…

s ready for the big 1st (co) birthday party tomorrow! Wish us luck!. Award winning Indian ad, Whats in a name?, CWG opening ceremony was great, and closing ceremony was a diaster, Soorya festivel, Vinod Raman and Sunil raj are friends, For those that would like to donate funds for medical usage, we want to keep it all transparent. Please read the notes and PLEASE SHARE this with your friends, It is thoughts that determine action, ….this is how my News feed at facebook looks like, and most of these are irrelevant….Mostly it provides me junk and it is addictive. I am seriously thinking of deleting my facebook account.