Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Context..

It's like the old saying -

20 dollars seems to be too big a donation at a place of worship, but seems like absolutely nothing when we enter a bar..

6-7 hours a day in an office in my start up days were SO exciting and so were 6-7 hours spent planning Sparkz.. the feeling is different for my final year project lab, I assure you..

2 things that I see -

1) It's all in the mind..
2) There are some who are born to do research and some others who aren't. I definitely fall in the latter category..

Can't wait to finish..

So, what happens if we are direction-less on a written project?

We take a sample/draft of previous work, copy it and start editing it..

It feels better than staring at an empty document seemingly bereft of ideas.

Good to try I think!

'Copy, and then find your own style' - was the advice from a mentor when asked about what's the best way to learn leadership..

Maybe it'll work here as well? Time will tell..

In the last analysis, it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions that life puts to us. Dag Hammarskjold

Good morning. Have a nice day! :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bad results, good day..

Today brought together a couple of not-so-good results from the past.

But, work wise, was as productive as I could have hoped for.

What I have realized is that things take time and the results were a result of a not-so-good day a week ago or so. So, the results from today should flow in too..

The good happens when we don't let the bad result feeling spill and spoil the on-going good day. I think I managed to avoid that.. just.

Once again, some things take time.. sowing seeds is the best option for today! :)

If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer. - Dag Hammarskjold

This is Dag Hammeskjold week. :)

Good morning have a great day! :)

The Hug..

For the next time we hug someone..

Let's just hug..

Forget the worries - life is full of them, and just hug..

Full on, hold tight and not let go.. (till the person on the receiving end says - Hey, you're strangling me.. That'd be a start..)

Not the quick 2 second timed touch-and-go hug..

Not the 1 sided put-arm-around-the-other-person's-shoulder hug..

Not the acknowledgement of oh-yes-we-need-to-touch-other kind of hug..

But, the give-myself-completely-to-the-other-person kind of hug..

What are we afraid or wary of?

That our vulnerability is going to be touched?

That the people watching will take a photo and put it on facebook? or gossip about it?

For the same sex, that is it is gay? What about our macho footballers then, who hug and kiss each other when they celebrate a goal? Is that gay?

..
Hug..

Let's leave a small piece of ourselves with others..

Because we never know when we'll need it back..

and besides, it's our ability to love that makes us humane - not just human, but humane

and most importantly, when we look at our life's defining moments, it's little things like this that change the course of our short stay on this planet..

--

Over to FYP (a.k.a final year project for the uninitiated) now. Pity it isn't human and pity hugs don't work.. :)

Some things take time..

9 women can't make a baby in a month..

And this applies all the more with big decisions we take. When we do take these big decisions, it often takes some time to digest them and let them sync in.

I guess the most important learning is - 'Let it!'

With people - fast is slow and slow is fast..

A lot boils down to acceptance..

Some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue..

Do we like to accept it though?

A nice framework I've heard about when it comes to accepting tragedy is DABDA

i.e.

Denial - Obviously it didn't happen..

Anger - Generally, with the world..

Bargaining - Obviously, things can be the same again..

Depression - Realization and sadness..

Acceptance - Finally.. only now comes solution..

This could be applied to making big mistakes as well. However, 'denial' can always be misused as even a person telling the truth can be mistaken as someone denying it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses. Dag Hammarskjold

Good morning.. Have a great day! :)

And an even better week hopefully.. :)

Don't take it personally, it's just me..

Ha ha ha..

I said this to a friend and I found it rather hilarious..

Guess it's good to crack up at your own (poor) jokes once a while. :D

Happy Monday early morning everyone! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Book Learning - The 8th Habit..

I try sending out a weekend book learning email to close family and friends. It is a way for me to remember the learnings from books (i.e. non academic) read during the week and to make sure I do read as well.. Here is the edition for this week. :)

1) Sparkz fly when insecurities meet: This means that insecurity is at the root of every resistance/argument/issue. For example, if we find ourselves resisting or taking a stand and refusing to compromise on something, it just means we are insecure about the issue and it is time to recognize it.. This can be one sided or 2 sided.. A one sided example is when we get frustrated like when we try to help someone and they refuse to be helped and in fact, oppose what we do.

A two sided example is a typical argument between a kid who thinks differently and a more conventional parent. The reason this can go wild is because the kid definitely has insecurities about his identity and place in the world while the parent may have insecurities about whether he/she has been a good dad/mom.

So, the next time we see ourselves losing it - let's try to pinpoint what we are insecure about..

2) When in an emotional argument, use the (red) Indian walking stick strategy: The basic principle here is that when in an emotionally tough conversation, the person speaking has a stick and the person who wants to go next will first have to clearly describe what he/she felt the first person talked about and only when the person feels understood does he or she pass the stick to the next person for their point of view. This is one way to ensure everyone is listening empathetically..

3) With people, fast is slow and slow is fast: Basically, the efficiency vs effectiveness paradigm. There is NO point being efficient with people…

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A chat about values and beliefs..

Disclaimer: This is going to be a long post

I had a great chat with a very close friend who I rarely manage to spend time with - due to a long list of reasons. That aside, when we do, our chats NEVER get over with a half hour or an hour.. there have been many many times when we've just started chatting over dinner all the way till the next morning.. And today was similar.. 5 hours flew!

We began discussing various things about university life till our talk fixated on values.. He was playing devil's advocate on my frequent insistence to base things on principles/values. Maybe it is the fact that I have mentors who do the same or maybe I'm a very loyal student of Stephen Covey or maybe it is the importance my grandfather places on these things.. but he was out to question it and his question was simple -

'Is it practical? What if you are faced with 5 people out to screw you tomorrow at work? What if you undertake a project where all around you are corrupt.. where you are the only white pawn in a black box? What about your values then?'


After going back and forth on this, what I concluded from my point of view (I learn by talking.. so I was gaining clarity on my beliefs as well..) was that it really depends on what we define as success. As we both agreed, there are very few billionaires out there who (in our humble points of view) have never compromised. A lot of success has been achieved with dealings that we'd prefer not to speak about..

Having said that, not all success works that way. It is my belief that the ones who go out there to succeed with self confidence have no need to prove a point.. and hence have no need to compromise on their belief for the sake of extra bucks(even if we are talking about big extra bucks). It is just my belief that it works out better in the long run.. most importantly, people are then whole or integrated and not a sum of parts (i.e. office face + friends face + family face etc).

I've seen my big dream of becoming a big multi millionaire fade over the years. I guess it means a lot less now than it used to mean few years ago. What I've also seen happening is a lot of what I thought I wanted doesn't hold true anymore.. at this point, I think I'd be very happy being a very good family person with (hopefully more than) enough to get by.. but making a difference even if it means just reaching out to people with this blog, for example. I guess a lot depends on our definition of success, why we want what we want and what we are ready to sacrifice to do it..

It was a wonderful experience because these things are among those we hold very close to our hearts and almost never discuss - our plans, our aspirations, our dreams.. I learnt a lot in the process. I also had a tough time trying to live up to my own expectations during the year in my trysts with Sparkz, ArtVibe and the like. I do however think I gave it my best shot and was happy - in terms of running these in full alignment to my beliefs.

Let's not forget I'm still a stupid student, a (now) 21 year old kid whose seen very little and is in all likelihood getting ahead of himself. And probably a lot will change in the next 15 years about these beliefs and value system.. nevertheless, I'd like to wait and see, I guess..

I am always inspired by this little story -

A reporter was interviewing Ayn Rand (who wrote the Fountainhead, The Atlas Shrugged - legendary books and had a very strong belief in her philosophy of objectivism.

He said - 'Ms.Rand, I see you are a very strong believer in your philosophy and values. Are you willing to die for them?'

To which, Rand replied - 'I am willing to do something far more difficult, I am willing to live by them!'

What more can I say?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers. - Homer Simpson..

Ha ha ha...

Have a nice day! :)

An unexpected call..

Varun - my school + bench mate who's currently studying at IIT in Chennai was one of the big saving graces at DAV Gopalapuram in my 2 years. While Eli, Adi and I (the 4 of us sat next to each other for 2 years) were constantly bunking classes on the pretext of inter-dav games, culturals etc, Varun was our savior in terms of notes, explanations of what was going on in class. Not only because he was a superb student, also because the sciences were his domain!

Anyway, we've pretty successfully kept in touch over these years, more so in the last year. I went to check out his room etc with Mom when I was home this time and he gave me an unexpected call on Gtalk today and we were catching up on general stuff for about 20 mins.

It made my day..

I think I should give someone else an unexpected gtalk call and (hopefully) make their day as well.. :D

Remembering RCS Sir..

This is something I have always wanted to do - remember the spirit of individuals who have had an impact on my life. It may sound a bit like eulogizing about someone dead and gone or something, but I actually feel it is about remembering the spirit of the person and remembering the learnings..

RCS Sir or Ramachandrasekhar sir was my Sanskrit teacher for 3 years at DAV Mogappair (I switched schools 8 times.. so there are going to be many). I was fortunate to be taught by many an exceptional teacher and RCS sir was right up there on that list..

He had a deep impact over those years. A few of the most memorable ones are -

1) The Mahabharata - The Mahabharata is a Hindu epic story. Very basically put, it is a story where 5 brothers are wronged by their cousins time after time and finally decide to fight for their right and against all odds, triumph in an 18 day battle. We once had a lesson about an incident in the war and I can still remember the way he brought it to life with his many stories. He inspired me to buy a 850 page version of the Mahabharata (by Kamala Subramaniam). That is a book I've read many many times despite the large size and learnt so much from it..

2) Talking in stories: Sir's classes were lots and lots of fun because of his ability to talk in stories. This is a lesson that is basic in every presentation skill lesson.. yet I had the privelege of seeing it in action for 3 years. Sudarshan (also a student of Sir's and friend here) and I still recall the fascinating tales.. Years since, I've forgotten the Sanskrit.. but I still remember the stories. :)

3) Treating us as adults: RCS sir was very feared in the early days because he wholly believed in 'Spare the rod and spoil the child'.. but as we grew up and reached our 9th grade(/Sec4 I think..), he began treating us as adults with no policing whatsoever. He was probably the only teacher who trusted us. And sure, there may have been times when the trust was misplaced (as we were a crazy bunch of 30 boys), but I sure am better for it..

I visit all my 3 schools at home every time I visit and it is a pleasure to go back and just catch up with Sir. And of course, being very modern, we are obviously in touch via email. I just felt today should be a day I remember the many things I learnt from RCS sir. The 3 listed above are just the tip of the iceberg..

Phenomenal teacher, wonderful person.. Our RCS Sir.. I know this little note probably doesn't do him enough justice, still, it's an attempt. And with every attempt I'll get better I guess..haha

Thank you Sir.. I shalt never forget.. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.' - Pablo Picasso

Good morning..

Reminds me of the Dumbledore saying - 'The biggest mistakes adults make is that they forget what it is like to be young' ..

Have a nice day! :)

ES2007S Proposal Peer Review

4.Problem Statement

In a recent interview conducted with Mrs. Corrine Ong, Director of the NUS Career Centre, it was revealed that NUS fresh graduates have a lower employment rate as compared to SMU fresh graduates in the banking and consulting sector. Relatively weaker oral communication skills could be a major contributing factor to this statistic. Additionally, we could also be looking at a factor that could possibly stall careers of students aspiring to build their careers in such firms.

This study aims to determine the cause of NUS students having weak oral communication skills and investigate possible curriculum changes to improve these skills in students, specifically applicable in the banking and consulting sector.

5. Purpose Statement

This proposal aims to convince the NUSEU that the current faculties’ curriculums are insufficient in equipping NUS students with the essential oral communication skills to compete in the banking and consulting sector. And that an improvement in the curriculum must be made.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." ~Henry Thoreau

Good morning.. Have a nice day!! :)

Midnight walk and top of the table..



Just took a midnight walk thanks to calls from my ArtVibe team to check out their cool completed masterpiece. I was tempted not to go with FYP and work generally looming but hey.. given I wrote the line about letting ourselves being influenced first, there was no way I was saying no..

And boy, isn't their work a master-piece?

Some Facts -
1,600 sq feet..
Handpainted largely by 5 incredible people (with help from a few others as well..)
They are hoping 2,000 NUS students will sign on this work of art..

Oh, And I think they deserve an award if they manage to pull it off and survive the week! Here's to them.. Very proud! :D

--

On a side note, United beat Liverpool 2-1 today.. and Chelsea drew meaning United are now top of the table..

Trophies are only handed out in May, but we ought to celebrate small wins, right? :D

Small thank you's..

To Nishanth - for the video in the post below - Learning leadership from the naked dancing guy.

I love the part about leadership being overrated! It is true.. every one of us are leaders - atleast leaders of our own lives if not others..

To Shubhangi and Archana - Shubhangi slipped in a 'Good job with your blog' wall post on facebook. Nice to hear.. :) And nice of her to take the extra stuff.. :)

Thanks guys! :)

Leadership lessons from the shirtless dancing guy.. (link below)

http://mydd.com/2010/2/12/the-shirtless-dani

Incredible! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What is about emotions that frightens us..

What is about being vulnerable that makes us step away?

Why is it so hard for us to let ourselves be influenced?

Is it so hard for us to trust another?

Is it the fear of our trust being misplaced?

Or have the demons of a past failure come to haunt us?

..

We can only influence if we can be influenced..

If we have to touch lives, we have to allow lives to touch us..

Are we putting ourselves out there enough?

Not 'all the time', but 'enough'?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Your Song..

It's a little bit funny this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

--

Take a bow Elton John!

ArtVibe's Olympic Art - An example of 'Tough to let go'..





NUS ArtVibe is on its way to breaking records with a 1600 square feet hand painted banner.. As you can, see it is HUGE and the project itself is massive and being supported by the Singapore Youth Olympic Games committee as well as top level NUS management.

The wonderful part is that the team is doing a great job in managing this! Led by Snigdha, and ably assisted by Ching Siong a.k.a CS, Dhanya, Abishek, Madhurima and He Yun.. the team has successfully managed to finish painting this mammoth campus and yes, hand paint it! The painting looks fantastic.. the next step is to raise awareness about it by leaving it at the 'Lovers Park' behind Central Forum, NUS and to atleast get 1,000 signatures from NUS student as a show of support to the Youth Olympic Games..

Oh, and there is also a competition where-in the most creative sign/contribution will earn $300..

All well, except for me, I think.. haha. I joined the team yesterday during a work session for the first time. So far, I've only been their 'consultant'.. where I've only helped them when they've had problems. This is primarily because of all the time that has gone into Sparkz..

The fight inside my head as of yesterday was 'Should I step in or not?' If I did, a few things would change (for good or bad, we cannot tell..) but I was wondering if it would be a good idea. And, as luck would have it, the book I was listening to (The 8th habit - Stephen Covey) narrated the story from the life of the famous WWII general George Patton. He said -

'I was trying to tell my commanding officer, who was somewhat reluctant to attack, that I had full confidence in him. To show it, I went home..'

Enough said, I think..

It's a tough one for someone who loves the taste of action, but I think I'll take a leaf out of George Patton's book.. :)

--

Background: I am technically the President of the NUS ArtVibe interest group. Despite being a person who is not artistic inclined by any means. It was a big dream of a close friend that this interest group should do well and be a place for art enthusiasts to get together and it looked like it was going to die out last year.

Having decided to get back to student life, I was looking for something to do as well. And that's how the ArtVibe love-in happened.. :)

Sparkz just got 1st priority as it was my baby right from the start(i.e. with the history with ExpressionHappens).. haha

Learning lots along the way.. and if I can learn to 'let go', then that would be worth more than I can even imagine!

Take baby steps - 1 at a time. First the right, then the left..

That's the mantra when things seem to be spinning out of control! :)

United Bayern.. Le Arse Barca.. Wow!

Now, that's what the Champions league is about isn't it?

Arsenal vs Barcelona - The 2 teams that play the most beautiful football on the planet.. (United probably come a close 3rd. For us, it's about the goals and the attack mindedness necessary to win, not so much about the beauty..)

And United vs Bayern.. heavyweights again!

Waaa! Can't wait..

Friday, March 19, 2010

Leadership is simply about caring more than the next person - Jack Welch..

Simple, succinct but so very true and powerful..

Dismisses the myth that we are leaders only when we are given a position. :)

And also proves that the greatest leadership position is that of a parent.. :)

Good morning.. have a great day! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Question to organizations - are your people treated as expenses or assets/investments?

A normal balance sheet marks salaries of employees in the expense section and machines under the assets section..

Now, isn't that an irony?

'The problems we face cannot be solved at the same level we were at when we created them' - Einstein

So, firstly we need to put in thought thought.. and secondly, we cannot solve it if we are in a hurry/stress that created it! ..

Have a nice day! :)

Thoughts while sitting down and waiting for a shuttle bus..

Disclaimer: This was written a month or so ago and was stuck in my phone.. thought I should put it up as a reminder to 'take time to smell the roses'.. :)

--
1) There's a pleasant breeze blowing..

2) I can hear the beautiful sound of birds

3) There's the pleasant thought of some fun hard court football coming up..

Sitting down and doing nothing n a fine sunday.. There are a few worrying items in life as always but that's for later.. now for some football..

* I write this as this wait for the bus is in stark contrast to all other times when I am generally running late for a class/writing an email/listening to a book/wondering about what's going to happen with my fyp and the like..

Nice to do something difference once a while..

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tribute to the Sparkz Team..




Top Row - From Left:

Magdeline: To an incredible execution person. She was our person for high-stress jobs like the logistic movement of all finale participants and the slotting of audition performers

Wei Han: The funny guy. Very smart and made it despite being sick.. source of humor in so many many meetings!

Chan Way: Humility and sweetness personified. If there was ever an errand we did not want to run, Chan Way would willingly volunteer..

Chandni: To a person who survived a tough test in these past months with a great attitude and strong character.

Shakthi: Very smart, caring and disciplined. We decided to call her 'stress free' Shakthi so as to remind her that it's important to let go of worry once a while.. :)

Liang Zhu: To the 'ice man'.. a cool dude who is unfazed under all pressure. Expecting big things in the day ahead from our man, Liang Zhu..

Look down(starting from the right) :)

Payodh: Another 'ice man'. Our stage manager and most recent entrant to our team. Payodh was exceptional in the value he added in just 2 days alone that he made it to the honors role. Great guy!

Shweta: Survived the last few days 'commando training'. So passionate about her ideas, open about her feelings and expression - Shweta was great to have on the way - a sibling of sorts. :)

Ramees a.k.a Superman: And what a superman he would have been. He was saving us with no x-ray vision! Incredible attention to detail, stunning organization skills - Ramees is a gem in every sense. Our next objective is that he begins to put this into use for some much needed monetary gain..

EB : Elayabharath Elango by day, EB by night. ;) Our publicity genius.. so calm and cool that he was trusted to handle the entire IT of the event entirely. And what a great job he's done over the past few months. He's been indispensable!

Valerie: Lucky are those who are Val's friends. Immensely caring and dependable. It was almost a joke that whenever we needed an important job done and we didn't know who was in-charge, we had to just say 'Valerie' and she'd nod and get it done. I miss having her around!

Bottom Row - Extreme Right

Nishanth: I have known Nishanth for 3 years and he never ceases to amaze me. Incredibly smart with anything that involves technology and algorithms. Wonderful with handling tough situations and most importantly, a person who fills the room with his geek humor and laughter..

Bottom Row - Extremely Left

Tejasvi: Chop chop queen. Was the brain behind all logistics. That dependable engine hardly ever stops for a rest. Very caring, sweet, very humorous with wise cracks and just extremely extremely dependable..

Center

That would be me.. :)

The whirlwind that was the past week..

So much happened.. and there were so many learnings as a result.. Here is a glimpse

1) We had an explosive 2nd briefing for our finalists on Wednesday. Suddenly, with 1 day to go for the dry run, mid terms and un-cancellable labs came up all over the place. I was particularly open about my feelings (can be harsh if you aren't used to me) and while one claimed to feel 'attacked', I stood by being transparent about how we were feeling about the surprise.

The good news is that things calmed down in a bit and things went as per control in the last 2 days. It was explosive nevertheless..

2) Our team sat working over-night and ended up watching the Man Utd vs AC Milan game. It was a real bonding experience.. We had LOTS of fun. Ramees (Superman) amazed us with his eye for detail and by taking care of us like we would be taken care of by our own Mom's..

3) The next day was the day of the dry run. We just realized the magnitude of the problem that lay ahead. An all nighter was beckoning..

4) And what an all nighter it was.. with lots of singing aloud, a frenetic game of football in the lounge and lots of fun pulling Ramees' leg. It was a night that would not be forgotten in a long long time..

Bonding happens not when we work, but when we de-stress after work. It's a big learning never to miss out social outings with colleagues, work-mates. That's when the bonding really happens..

5) Tired as we were, the time before the show went as per plan. We had lots of fun discussing the night before and we were caught in the activity..

6) Aand the show came - we had lots of drama from a judge who was hell-bent on abusing us. One teammate had already been nearly reduced to tears trying to give her directions in the afternoon. I took over..

And she was very disrespectful because I didn't give her the district code. I didn't feel she had to turn up if she didn't feel so.. 'Respect' was after all our top value at Sparkz. And she took to abusing me and Ramy, the wonderful OAR events head.. and didn't turn up eventually. Some things are just for the best..

I also learnt that its much harder to live by your values.. than it is possibly to fight for them..

7) The show wasn't what I would have ideally liked it to be - let me admit. I had visualized perfection. It wasn't perfect for sure - there were lots of small blips.. but having said that, I would be over-ly critical if I said it wasn't damn good. The very fact that we got 10 different kinds of performers together and put them on a stage without blips was quite the achievement..

It was nice to get positive feedback from everyone who attended. We had given them their money's worth..

8) My team had given the show their all and it showed. There was a lot of heart in it.. we had all tried. The show was what it was thanks to their effort.. they were absolutely fantastic..

I respect triers.. I have never been the smartest person around but I do not particularly like giving up.. :)

9) After the show, it was family time.. and time with Mom itself was a learning experience..

I am blessed to have my Mom around..

10) We had delicious Chilli crab at ECP for dinner on Saturday with friends. It was a lovely evening by the sea.. a good celebration.

11) I completely lost my cool at a PGP guard who was being disrespectful in her behavior to my Mom when were talking late in the night at the blocks in PGP. She claimed it was against the rules to have visitors and having lived here 4 years and seen 3 sets of guards come and go.. I knew she was bluffing.

At one point, I just completely lost it. It's the first time that has happened in a few years.. but I learnt a lot.

Firstly, it's completely ok to lose your call when people deserve it.(The Alex Ferguson philosophy). She was being irrational and got quite a wake up call. Anyway, he superiors settled the issue..

12) Emails about Sparkz came pouring in. I guess I was left with a bitter-sweet feeling thanks to the judge incident and the blips I spotted. I truly realized the meaning behind - 'Happiness does not mean everything is perfect, it means we have decided to look beyond the imperfections'

13) We had a lovely short de-brief after the event. It was great to hear what the team had to say about each other.

14) I was shocked at the amount of flak our emcees took during the event. Especially Adela, who had to sportingly take some rather unpleasant comments. I was saddened further that it came from the Indian section of the crowd..

Many don't understand what it takes to go on stage and keep an audience of 300 awake. If you want proof of how difficult that is, ask a lecturer!

15) United beat Fulham 3-0. And Dimitar Berbatov.. what a player!!

16) I read Football365 way too much.. they always do 16 conclusions. And apparently, so do I..

Give it all you've got because you never know if there's going to be a next time. - Danielle Ingrum

Good morning.. have a great day! :)

Back to my laptop after a great 3 days..

112 emails to clear..

Tons of Sparkz follow up to do..

Bit of Sparkz crisis cleaning up to do..

LOTS of FYP planning and work to be done..

LOTS of EE4307 and EE3701 and ES2007S work to be done..

Lots of learnings to write. :)

And finally.. over to ArtVibe for Olympic Art.. more on that coming soon. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

25 pieces of work advice..

Thanks to a 'very young' uncle Rajesh.. :)

1. Always take time out to talk to juniors and guide them - remember someone spent time with you to guide you too
2. Answer all calls or return the calls if you were busy and make sure you take time out to reply to all mails as soon as possible
3. Build long lasting relationships right from your doorman all the way to the top and even contacts outside - keep in touch with them as and when you can
4. Make sure you have fun doing your job (self motivate yourself) and treat everyday as fun so others watch you and your energy and they too start having fun doing their work
5. Surround yourself with good people with a positive attitude
6. Observe everything - most of all pay ATTENTION and LISTEN when others speak
7. Take timeout at the end of every day to assess yourself and also to see whether you have achieved your goals you had set out to for that day
8. Plan ahead - make sure you have in sight what and where would you want to be in 5 years and so on
9. Keep some time out EVERYDAY day for your personal work and passions too.
10. Dont hesitate in making mistakes - only then will you learn and not repeat them
11. Stand up and ask if you dont know or didnt understand something
12. Be honest and let people remember you for your honesty, integrity and the straightforwardness in the way you approach and deal with everything and also TELL THE TRUTH even if it hurts.
13. Always think before you talk
14. Constantly update your self with matters happening in your field of work and also with matters happening around the world - its a boon to know a little about everything atleast, for a good conversation - read on diverse topics whenever you can
15. Never burn your bridges
16. Always dress smart and according to the occassion - be classy in choosing your wardrobe (dont cringe on it), the best perfumes and everday deos and the right footwear
17. Manage different sets of friends and acquaintances circle - you need to have different sets of friends and acquaintances which will help you to a balanced personal life and also give you different perspectives to thinking and life
18. Honour your commitments and if you have given your word stick to it - come what may
19. Never Bullshit
20. Maintain a steady mix of official and personal pleasures
21. AND also keep an eye out for the winning horse in the system - maybe you can piggy ride on him / her later
22. Help others, be it anyone, even within your support staff (talk to them once in a while make an effort to understand them and their lives, remember they are the soldiers) and upwards - only when it is required and you are completely sure its the right time and they need help
23. Keep your mobile in silent mode when at a meeting and return all the calls post that
24. Refuse to let your mind grow old
25. Laugh a lot and make others laugh too if you can!!

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. - Jesse Jackson

Good morning.. have a nice day! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

4 days to go for Sparkz and we are sold out..

and boy, isn't it exciting!!

We've worked 8 months on this project and it's already the final lap! :)

If you haven't checked out the related links, do check -

Our Website

Videos of our 10 finalists

Our Facebook Page

Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and sickness, to riches and poverty, to freedom and to slavery...

It is we who control these, and not another.- Richard Bach (Illusions)

Good day! Wishing you a great start to a great week!

Form is temporary, class is permanent..

To Paul Scholes - who notched his 100th premier league goal yesterday. How many mid-fielders are capable of such a feat?

I've been amazed as to how old legends like Ryan Giggs, Sachin Tendulkar, Paul Scholes are able to constantly re-invent themselves..

The answer is that while they may go through patches of bad form, their basics are so strong that it doesn't really matter in the long run.. :)

Let's see how Michael Schumacher does on his return..

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thanks Joshua..

This one is a thanks to Joshua - our tennis coach. We(a group of 5-6) played tennis on Saturdays pretty regularly last semester. And when I thought I could play a few rallies together, decided to call Bharath - a friend on the varsity team and get some pointers. And one of his suggestions was to learn tennis from his teammate Joshua..

Racket sports are very technique based and while we can get by playing football without too much coaching, the same cannot be said of tennis and table tennis(for example)...

Anyway, we had 5 classes with Josh working on our forehands. During this while, we had completely stopped playing our usual doubles games(which used to be LOTS of fun) and we got back to playing 3 sets today and boy.. it was amazing! We used to barely be able to play a 3 or 4 shot rally. Today, the rallies flowed beautifully, our services were in place and everything seemed so easy..

I am so energized that feel like I can give Federer a shot now.. haha :P

Jokes aside, thanks to our coach Joshua. If anyone wants to learn tennis, you know where to go! :)

And thanks to Bharath for suggesting him and following up as well!

When we learn something, it's good to learn something right!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The 'Seek to understand' story..

Suppose you've been having trouble with your eyes and you decide to go to an optometrist for help.

After briefly listening to your complaint, he takes off his glasses and hands them to you.

"Put these on," he says.
"I've worn this pair of glasses for 10 years now and they've really helped me. I have an extra pair at home; you can wear these."

So you put them on, but it only makes the problem worse
"This is terrible!" you exclaim. "I can't see a thing!"

"Well, what's wrong?" he asks.
"They work great for me. Try harder."

"I am trying," you insist. "Everything is a blur."

"Well, what's the matter with you? Think positively."

"Okay. I positively can't see a thing."

"Boy, you are ungrateful!" he chides. "And after all I've done to help you!"

What are the chances you'd go back to that optometrist the next time you need help? Not very good, I would imagine.


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I guess we have all been guilty of this at some time! Loved the story..

To think, re-think and act..

How many times have we been caught doing something futile?

It's a bit like this - Imagine a person who owned a car running on petrol/gas. Let's also imagine he's used to taking car of his car very well and cleans the exhaust pipe every single day so his car lets off no exhausts.

One day, he replaces his petroleum driven car with a diesel one.

Obviously, his exhaust pipe cleaning exercise will have no real impact, will it?

Often times though, he would possibly just continue with it because of the comfort it provides. Mentally, it re-assures him that his car is being taken care of (when it actually isn't). It's just that he's too old now to change his ways..

We associate this people who age, but I feel it is when we are young that we are probably more guilty of doing this - guilty of choosing convenience over reality..

---

The reason for this post is that I've been following a daily routine for a long while but I see today that, over the past 3 days, it has become redundant due to some changes and I'm still laboring under the old system without sensing purpose. The reason is that changing it would mean mental effort..

And that's when I realized that most of what we do could just be absolutely redundant if we don't 'Think, re-think and act'

After all, what is a day without purpose?

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. - Mahatma Gandhi ..

Good morning! Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Little productivity boosters - Texter, Mouse, Launchy and the like..(Predominantly Windows)


'Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think, there are no little things at all.'


A few such things that came to my mind when considering laptop productivity are the following -

1) My Mckal mouse: For 3 years, I lived off an IBM mouse as I did not want to waste cash on buying a new one. Yes, the IBM mouse gave dozens of problems especially after the 1st 6 months but no, I did not feel spending cash on something as stupid as a mouse was worth it.. And boy - was that a mistake. The mouse has saved many many hours of time which could have been lost fiddling on a touch pad/ correcting the issues caused by a bad one. Here's a pic of the mouse available for only 20 bucks @ Challenger @ Funan.

2) Texter: Texter is a brilliant little tool created by Lifehacker that saves tons of time especially for those who have emails streaming in by the 100s. This is a text replacement tool. A simple example is -

Most emails require a greeting like 'Hope you are doing well.' or 'Thank you for your email! :)'

Texter enables you to configure keystrokes for these sentences. In my set up, I've got hyd for hope you are.., tyf for Thank you.., brg for Best Regards, Rohan etc..

3) Launchy: Another time-saver. Launchy helps open up any application. After a simple download and installation, launchy can be opened up with alt-enter and typing 'word' and pressing enter would open up microsoft word instead of going through the process of going to the start bar and searching etc.

Launchy can also open up favorited/book mark websites on your browser and can also be configured to open music files among others.

4) Ninite: Ninite brings them all together. Going through the ninite list itself would give you a list of some great free software.

4) X1 - For those who use outlook as their email client, there's no better way to search and find email as fast as you type.

Other small windows utility that tend to add a lot of value in the background are -
Wizmouse
Taskbar Shuffle
Quickmonth calender

**For more advanced users, OneNote is a wonderful addition to your toolkit. And when combined with Dropbox, makes for a killer combination.

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There's a LOT more when it comes to productivity boosters but I thought I'd start with a basic list first. I love looking out for new additions myself. A very good list is Lifehacker's 46 apps we are thankful for.

Happy productivity boosting! And if you do have any interesting software/apps to recommend, please do leave it in the comments..

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

The tough part is not coming up with an innovative idea, the tough part is getting rid of the old one.'

As my friend and RealAcader Alan put it, our only focus should be to 'Learn, unlearn and relearn'! ...

Easy as it may sound, practice is obviously nowhere as simple!

Good morning and have a great day! :)