Peace be with you..

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Dreaming of simplicity in a complex world

Recently, during one of those divine moments, I felt like giving something back to the society in which I lived almost half a century. In another words, the guilty feeling of concentrating only on me and my ‘kith and kin’ acted as a positive driver, to give something back to the society. Even though my finances were not so bright, I dared to pull out some money from the ATM and went to the local church to entrust my donation to a a pair of trustworthy hands, who will ensure that it reaches the needy. I met the priest, and he explained to me some very complicated procedures, one for giving it to the sick, another for helping people to build their homes, another for education of the poor…for each intent, there was a different procedure, which made even the donors life miserable. All that was required was to keep a box to accept the money along with the intent. Then I met the senior priest and asked for an opportunity to give a formal talk to the young parish community on career planning. The priest made a phone call to the nearby school and nothing happened. I gave him my phone numbers, hoping him to contact me, and i am not very optimistic about it now. There is no money involved. The intent is only giving back to the society, yet it is so difficult. Our backyard is all green, and is home to many seasonal birds. I want to preserve the greenery, and I am not getting the local labour to maintain it. So, with great hesitation and pain, I may have to either sell it to the real estate mafia to convert that place into a concrete garden, not because I take delight in it, but I do not have any other choices right now. I always feel bad about my bothers and sisters in Africa who are suffering due to famine. How can I help them?. I really do not know. I am not talking about huge amounts. I am talking about a few dollars every month from a middle class citizen of India. May be, I could collect some used clothes as well for them. Who to give it…is the biggest question I am facing. Whenever I walk on through the local streets here, every where I see ‘no litter’ and ‘stick no bills’ signs. I am yet to see ‘throw waste here’ or ‘stick bills here’ to help those who do not want to litter or make public property dirty by sticking bills. Always i struggle when it comes to paying my bills at the airtel site. Every month, when i go there, they keep asking me the password to my account, and i do not remember them. i always wonder why they are asking for password to make a payment against my mobile number. i do not mind if others credit my account with some money. I am living, or we are living in a restrictive world, which keeps telling me, what not to do, rather than what to do. Despite these, my quest for what to do continues…have a wonderful day, Ab.

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Ways of the cross..

Many used the cross to explain many things. The cross always creates quadrants. In other words it cuts the medium on which it is drawn into four squares. Stephen covey in his seven habits of highly effective people uses it to explain time management. He divides our activities into quadrants like urgent and not important, urgent and important, not urgent and not important, not urgent and important, in order to drive the point that it is the not urgent and important stuff in our lives produces the maximum benefits.

The Boston consulting groups quadrants of the product life cycle; question mark, star, cash cow and dog explains the product life cycle very effectively. This can explain the stages of human life as well. When a child is born, she is the question mark. Everyone is anxious of her future. When the child starts performing well at school, a star is born. Once employed, all of us become cash cow, followed by end of life, which is the dog state. When in dog stage, we take care of the house, when all others go out. The book crossing the chasm, uses the cross to explain product launch strategies. If my memory is right, either Kotler or Drucker used the cross to explain marketing strategies like known product to known market, known product to new market, new product to known market, new product to new markets. Then I saw Robert Kayasaki using the four quadrants to explain the ESBI concept. He says that all of us are either employees, self employed, business men or investors, or we are all of these. He states that if eighty percent of our income is coming from employment and self employment, and if only twenty percent is coming from business and investment, then we will remain as poor, and when we reverse the equation, we get richer.

I use the cross or the four quadrants to explain career planning. The skill set which make you and me employable is the cash cow. Before the cash cow become a dog or end of life, we must groom newer skill sets through the question mark and the star categories to the cash cow quadrant. This calls for lot of proactive planning and commitment from our side.

The last but not the least is the cross as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, which is explaining love thy neighbor as the sole strategy to be successful. I am fascinated by the magical power of it, and  still an apprentice in my understanding of the tremendous possibilities and the hidden power of it. When I feel that I have understood it to a level where I can explain it without diluting it, I will attempt to write about it. Wish me good luck. Have a wonderful day.

Be the change you want to see in this world…

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Do I really know my neighbor?. The answer is a pathetic ‘No’. I very often know the people far away, better than the neighbor. Thanks to the social media. Sometimes, my brain is faked to believe that I am in the company of lot of people, where as in reality, there are only a very few. Even if I want to know my neighbor first, Do they really want to be known?, that is another question to be answered. Even within the common lift of our apartments, I shrink into my own world, without even saying ‘Hello’ to the next person. They are also like that, except Dr.Chandy. Whenever I meet him inside the lift, he greets with a cheerful face, and that is a very consistent behavior of his. Someone told me that he is very spiritual. Is that the differentiator?. Love one another cannot happen if one does not have that blessed feeling deep within. Is establishing a deep personal relationship with God, the beginning of knowing my neighbor or is it in the reverse order. Unfortunately I have only questions without any answers. I want to begin the change now. Thanks to Mahatma Gandi, for the famous quote of his “Be the change you want to see in the world”. He thought about it very early, that is why he is Mahatma (super soul).

Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. To ”Why am I here?” To uselessness. It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus. ~ Enid Bagnold (October 27, 1889 – March 31, 1981)

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Blackberry breakfasts..

Three decades back when I started working for a living, there was  clear demarcation between work and life, hence they called it as work life balance. Then came internet, which allowed us to do a great deal of our work from outside the office. This erased the boundary between work and life and I got into a multitasking mode throughout, resulting in imbalances. Now I am on vacation, and I could see this phenomena among most of the tourists as well. Even while sharing the table with family members, many are busy with their smart phones. I am no exception. Had to send a couple of emails and attend half a dozen phone calls during the past three days. I think this is inevitable and that is going to be the way of life. Started agreeing to the fact that work is an integral part of life, and a journey into the wild with the family reminds me that work is only part of life and there is much more to life than work alone.

Turbo charging project teams

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Its all existing there already. I am just sharpening it and presenting it in a usable form for the project teams so that they can excel in their work and life. Today is the second such program.