Tuesday, January 31, 2006

…...and here is the answer.

This is dedicated to my friend - whom I call the
'Monday Morning Angel'.
Someone, who has an amazing inquisitiveness, and somehow,
always nailed me with the 'right' question.

Hold the answer please!….that's the biggest problem. We seem to have answers for every thing…. (well almost), and not just one answer, but multiple answers.

The head pounds, the mind works overtime, goes full throttle on the fertile thought, and every single second we seem to be ‘providing’ ourselves with more and more answers!.
Answers! Answers! Answers!

Somewhere deep in the still found calmness of the ‘original’ self, is the silent knock – What is the question for which all these answers are being made? Adrift, lost and pounded by so many answers (ala solutions), what is THAT SINGLE QUESTION that defines ‘me’? What is THAT SINGLE QUESTION that makes us churn every available brain power to come with a new answer? What is THAT SINGLE QUESTION that controls the fulcrum of every thought?

Every time I think along these lines, there are a million questions that come to my mind, to justify what I am doing, and why I am doing, and in what way I am doing! Sadly though I realize that each of them were more answers than a pure question in its untainted form. Every time, this happens, each one of us is filled with a sense of delusion, feel a space that needs to be filled and I guess that’s where either despair or determination germinates. That’s beside the point, but what is THAT SINGLE QUESTION?

To me, surprisingly, it was something so simple, it was too common, that I chose to never see at it. Rather surprised, that it was THAT SINGLE QUESTION that very calmly but sturdily shaped all the answers, shaped further questions, transformed me over time, and now when I look back, at this hour – It’s quite a far distance that I have traveled gathering so much baggage, so many answers, so many ‘compexified’ questions, that somewhere, the THAT real SINGLE QUESTION was lost. Was the end justifying the means?

A little introspection – and something that really battles my thoughts - what were the factors, what were the situations, what were the dreams that let to THAT SINGLE QUESTION, where the journey of transformation began? The question that baffles even more, is, have all my great answers (seemingly which gave lots of success) answered those situations, those factors?

I feel no regret, of losing THAT SINGLE QUESTION.

Reason 1:
Had I not lost it, I might not have had this moment today; to learn so much.

Reason 2: It’s worth the ride to rediscover THAT SINGLE QUESTION.

As time grows, we have those SINGLE QUESTIONs that at specific periods of time transform us. I only hope that I can keep finding THAT SINGLE QUESTION time and again.

I sign off on this note: It’s the WHEN that is more important, than WHY? Get the facts and answers around WHEN, all the WHYs get answered automatically.

Extended thoughts @ http://thatsthinking.blogspot.com/2006/10/culture-of-good-news.html

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Brand Fatigue in Relationships

This is dedicated to my dear friend – Arjun – Thanks pal

"It's like [being] a freighter at sea - it takes a little while to know that you're in trouble and then to turn the beast around." So says Karl Moore, professor of marketing strategy at the Faculty of Management, McGill University
Hold on for a minute! Brand fatigue is a Marketing / Strategy term, what has it got to do with ‘Relationships?”. Well let me take you through the “brand” ride.

What exactly is Brand Fatigue? – blah..blah..blah.. and the answer I remember copying from who ever sitting before me in my Marketing Exam (oh, I was the first guy in the row ..whatever) – everyone has some brand that they cherish, wanted to always sport or own the brand, use it so long, and irrespective of the fact that there is no other to replace, you just get tired and.. voila you switch brands.

How close does this come to us, looking at relationships!There is that one special person you cherish, admire so much, that you end up spending all the possible time with him/her, not necessarily in physical proximity, but they can take up a BIG lion’s share of your mind - that’s what it really matters – a Mind Share !

Over a period of time, we eventually get used (meaning accustomed) to our “dear relationship brand”, and assume that it always has been there ever since the beginning of time, and will be ever so remaining till all the ages to come – doesn’t it sound like an extract out of a fairy tale – Exactly – Life ain’t a fairy tale, so some where, a sense of boredom or ‘brand fatigue’ sets in - and naturally – our cerebellum starts craving for change – and yes- that’s when the relationship starts rocking (pun intended).

I am not saying that spice is bad in one’s life, but life ain’t like a product I suppose – that we can just switch a brand, and come back – there are emotions that get ruptured, and I suppose the path to switch back to the relationship-brand we cherished all along is really as hard as capturing an extremely saturated market space.

Some of the Signs that a Relationship Brand Fatigue is setting in: (for obvious reasons, I am not speaking about married couples – I have only theory and Zero Practical experience)
  1. There is this one fella/felle that you can’t but have to talk 5 times a day, but once you start talking – don’t know what to talk – or get bored - or see the elapsed time on your cell. (Ya there was a time when you thought what is elapsed time?)
  2. You see the number flashing on your cell and you immediately process a million possible conversations –and have made answers ready – and will be surprised to know that- it was a guessable conversation
  3. You go out for a coffee / dinner, and then you start speaking about all the good times you have had a few light years ago - come on… what the hell.. I am still here.. I am not extinct – you get the message
  4. Then it dawns on you, may be I should just take some time off – not call for sometime – and suddenly you dial the number and have a Long conversations like:

    You : Hello
    Other Person: Oh! …………………. Hi!... uhmmmmm…..ya.. Hello…..

    You: ………………….Uh!...nothing….generally called…..so tell me wassup?
    Other Person: Good!... tell me whats happening?

    You: ….so? aur kya ? how things going?
    Other Person: You tell me…………….loooooooooooooooong time…..

    An suddenly your lil head knocks on you saying – Idiot – both of you are asking questions only –not really answering any of them – and ….processing possibilities..

    You: …………..

    And depending on who got the better processing speed…says:

    Hey, you know what, I am kinda lil tied up, you know…like… (They are writing their next blog..or fantasizing about they being the role cast in the next Spielberg film)….. let’s meeeeeet up sometime… coffee …dinner….. pukka… Bye..

Now that’s quite a beating to take. I guess some of the remedies to the possible Relationship Brand Fatigue are:

  1. Speak out openly to your dear friend – Hey you know what, I am feeling like this – what do you think we should do?
  2. Indulge in some fun activities with each other – Go out for a holiday – You always have some undiscovered facet in your mate - and that will kindle a new interest – Keep discovering!
  3. Stay away from each other – from the traditional forms of communicating (if you were always using a phone to speak, or always meeting in person) try something different – Write a snail mail – Send a Bouquet…do something that is not the norm
  4. Go – hug your friend, give a lil peck on the cheek and say – how much you mean to them
  5. Send a small surprise Gift – remember – no costly BIG grand things – something that really means to them- EX: If your friend has a broken lace, and never found time to buy a new one – just send a nicely packed lace – it will make such a difference
  6. Tell your mate of the things you no longer cherish - maybe the same wicked PJ no more makes you laugh
  7. Last of all – Trust yourself and trust your friend – The greater you delay – The greater will be the rift.

There is nothing like “We drifted apart” – There is always a cause!

All the above seven points are standard mechanisms – marketing wizards adopt to regain “Brand Footing”. .. need more? – read up any good marketing book –a s much as my books are concerned - they were shredded 12 hours before the exam.

I end on the same note:"It's like [being] a freighter at sea - it takes a little while to know that you're in trouble and then to turn the beast around."

Monday, January 16, 2006

The 'right' kiss

Onur Gunturkun (A German researcher,), after spying on kissing couples in US, Germany and Turkey, found that when couples kissing, 65% tilt their head to the right, while 35% went left.

Here is the explanation from Onur Gunturkun: before born, we as fetuses in the womb begin to tilt heads, usually to the right. Most of us the grow to favor the right hand, foot, eye and ear.

He found that most couples lean to the right when kissing; he interpreted this as evidence of genetic asymmetries of motor and sensory functions. However, he also noted that cultural identity affects the way that couples kissed. Hunturkun's findings give more insight into kissing's mysterious parents, yet we are still left at an uncomfortable place. Most couples lean right, which implies a genetic pre-disposition for kissing to the right. However, whatever codes for this asymmetry probably codes for all motor functions (e.g. right handedness); kissing just happen fall under its jurisdiction. Hunturkun also mentions the effect of culture patterns on kissing. This is further evidence that kissing probably comes from a mostly "nurture" background. Yet, to not exclude the theories of origin previous mentioned, it is possible that the "nurture" act may have stemmed from a "nature" need. Yet, without conclusive evidence, philematology continues to be a study of near leads and suggestion

Read the whole article at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro04/web2/gkelly.html

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

At the peak of Achievement

That’s one state- every soul on earth longs to achieve or even better subsist in that state. What’s so much about achievement? – be it a professional goal like getting the most coveted job in the Market, or be it making a billion bucks, or sometimes, just winning over the heart of the most resistant person, or just about being at a personal sense of ease with the self, and breathe a deep sigh and say – Yes I did it – and enjoy the warm feeling in the blood of adrenalin pumping!

I guess, it all starts with a sense of void – somewhere deep within the realms of heart, cerebellum and ambition, an absolute sense of void - a void ness that has restricted one from being accepted as they are – which quickly in a nano second translates, that somewhere you are not able to come with terms with yourself – “I, Me, Myself” cannot accept myself as is, and hence start defining parameters of acceptance levels - hence the start of a race to achieve something.

Once this sense of achievement sets in, there are many weeks that we slog before it, building a sense of expectancy and anticipation. It's usually not hard to find something to look forward to, but then, once a while, a sense of despair sets in, unable to find something to set hopes on.

And finally, the one moment that we slogged for arrives, and at the peak of this great success, at the point of big puffed up chests, and when we for a moment stand and revel with a sense of achievement – after the warmth of the adrenalin sets in, the cold reality stares back – a Sense of void – This time a little more different – a question – What next and ….voila at the peak of achievement, you realize, there is more void than with what you started with – and yes, I run the same ritual all over again.

It’s at moments like this, I think back searching for that one thing that can fill that sense of void – and against all rationale mind - I believe – that it’s the one feeling of being loved; for what you are and as a person that you make up someone’s world – and for the mutual feeling of feeling wanted – the same sense of achievement turns from “I, Me, Myself” to …what can I give, and in giving, and work to give, a new peak of achievement is achieved. – Just his time around, you start feeling fuller, than feeling void.

I look for the same.. Just that one someone who can fill that void – unfortunately – the peaks of achievements over time more look like some hurdle between deep valleys. Is there Love?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Of Wisdom & Humility

This is an exact reprint of the article by Dr.Ravi Zacharias - An article that I really Liked.

There is a story told about the one-time heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali. Ali was flying to one of his engagements, and during the flight the aircraft ran into foul weather. Moderate turbulence began to toss the plane about. All nervous fliers well know that when a pilot signals “moderate turbulence,” he is implying, “If you have any religious beliefs, it is time to start expressing them.” The passengers were instructed to fasten their seatbelts immediately, and all complied but Ali. So the flight attendant approached him and requested that he observe the captain’s order, only to hear Ali audaciously respond, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” The flight attendant did not miss a beat and replied, “Superman don’t need no airplane either!”

I draw attention to that story because I would like to consider the larger context in which many of us find ourselves. Unquestionably, we live in a nation of immense wealth and are offered an array of possibilities for material and educational success. Some of us will be granted access to the finest education available anywhere, thus positioning ourselves for extraordinary success in a rapidly-changing world and engendering a sense of invincibility—regardless of what measure of turbulence may lie ahead.

Yet unfortunately, academic or material advancement does not necessarily confer wisdom. How foolish it would be for us to take what generations preceding us have valued in coping with life’s turbulence and cast it all aside because we are “modern.”

G.K. Chesterton once said, “Before you pull any fence down, always pause long enough to find out why it was put there in the first place.”

King Crimson, the rock group, once sang: “Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules.” In other words, we need wisdom as we process and distill all knowledge. But where does one find it?

In one of his Proverbs, King Solomon writes: “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding, for they are more profitable than silver and yield better returns than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with it.” This is the same Solomon who said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”—meaning reverence for God. That is where you start.

May you remember that falsely posing as a Superman will certainly ensure a crash landing, yet humbly seeking wisdom and following it will lift you to glorious heights.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Dearth for leadership

What is it that makes Leadership so Critical to an organization? Why does it demand so much importance and why does the dictum of business so delicately hang on one or a couple of peoples’ leadership skills?

Over the past 8-10 months, these questions have been taking a bulk share in my lil head, and managed to grey out a lil more or my remaining black hair.
Let’s define this leader specimen… “Specimen” for they cannot be a species and are rare to find. Apart for the plethora of various leadership definitions from the out-right harassed Dilbert to the BIG Gurus of Management, one common thread among all their definitions is - A leader should be made to sustain – sustain him/herself against all odds, exceed and rule over his normal demands of human life, and then be able to have still extra stuff left to pass on to team, businesses..etc..etc… that’s quite a demanding thing.
At this time, I am still not classifying whether, the leader is good – Good or Bad, the leader still has to be the above – else he cannot be. Good or bad is only a matter of judgment in a given context, against a plausible result. (Was Sourav a good leader or a bad leader - that’s the point – it’s a point-in-time question)

The dearth for leadership comes from the following points I suppose:

Appreciate the wide spectrum of business –
one cannot easily appreciate the spectrum of nitigrity of a complex business – in simple terms, change can only be injected and effective, when one can understand the nitigrities of a system, but the vision should be far beyond the nitigrities– For example – how the productivity and contribution to a business in impacted by a process change at a micro level, can escalate to a impact on a macro business level. How the Macro and micro are understood simultaneously is a challenge, leave alone driving it.

Trans-fixing employee aspirations to defined business goals –
Something that is hard to believe; People change and can be changed – somehow somewhere deep inside, most of us believe the contrary though we see numerous example of this change. For a moment – how much have you and I changed in the last 1 yr?!!!A leader enables this change in people by trans-fixing employee aspirations to defined business goals. Note: Trans-fix and not MATCH! It means that a leader will enable a thriving of different thoughts and people, foster Heterogeneous(ity) contrary to popular notions of “Homogenous ness”. This is an absolute rarity to find. Most often we have people who only drive the contrary.

Not be a dreamer!
All that huge jargon about having a vision, dreams is not really what goes a leader. A leader is one who enables a thousand others to dreams, help realize the dreams, and converts a few of those dreams into reality ! Phew .. Let me explain – Which business was all the dream of one single man – some of the biggest businesses were built by the absurd dreams of the most simple people in an organization – Somewhere its assumed that, it’s not the work of employees to dream and a leader is paid to dream (sleep?) .. BUT…the leader has to have a absolute belief and clarity of what, how and where his company needs to head in 5 yrs now, all against the single backdrop of Industry and changing demands. He as an individual is allowed to dream, but not allowed to drive his one point dream as a motto. Why, one point dream companies become a hot successful venture and get acquired before they can fully realize the dream or were there more dreams at all?

Respect Thyself!
Another hard to find trait – It’s human to demand respect – A leader should enable every person to come to a state to respect him/herself and feel proud of themselves. Once an individual / business can do this, it automatically fosters respect and appreciation for the other point of view.
That’s where teams start getting built, where business starts growing – when I understand what I as a business unit can do, and then appreciate competition, client needs…and voila …solution and growth of business.

Rigid and fliud!
Yes, that’s right – need to be as hard as ice, to take down a Titanic, but yet be able to be a fluid to take any necessary shape that you are cast into. (Does this sound like accommodating - absolutely NO!).
Leaders don’t accommodate, they create spaces initially for people and business to grow, and one they/ it matures, the spaces should disappear, as both should be of the same – Rigid and fluid

That’s what makes a true leader – The dearth exists not because these qualities are in lacking, but because, the combination of these qualities together lack.

I hope to be one of those leaders, and hope to see many more – the newest economy needs leaders - any one for the taking ?

Monday, January 02, 2006

It's now finally official.........

Well, I never thought that the timing would be this new year’s night… well..let me not jump the gun..

Lots of you should have always wondered, ah this Guy … no Girl Friend…Impossible…and blah blah… and Dear Arjun, quite many a times seriously contemplated to give me lectures on, why I should have a relationship… girl friend..but somewhere he gave me the benefit of doubt..may be John has a GF but is not willing to share…and hmm…. Sarbani, who always wondered that this Fatso, ever flirting and ogling at all the petite girls, some how restrains himself from going further…may be he is after all a nice good guy, but have some raging hormones…

It’s all happened this way, and well – I am happy …infact…bubling with that amazing feeling…. Hmmm..

Prakash, my old pal hosted a new year night party at his house, and all the friends of yester years came along…..Big Camp fire, lots of music, had our own DJ (again old pal)…and ..I arrived there at a lil after mid night after the church service…

Since, I was the last comer, I was the Mr. Attention and…some thing, that really caught my eye…..there a lil far from the noisy friends in a corner ..some one I have been courting (well..now I can say that)….for last 5 yrs…..just a simple smile…

Just one glimpse..and some many thoughts…of all the last 5 yrs…and suddenly .. I was thinking…about the year ahead….infact ..the mind racing…so fast…time seemed to fly…..and after a few..”quiet” reflective moments…..

I got up…played the guitar and sang…(well it sounded good too..as I was singing from the heart..)….the song that just seemed so perfect for the moment……

You fill up my senses…..”…….

and 5 mins later, just announced…..

Guys – “It’s now official – 2005 (after courting with the Y2K for 5 years, is NOW in the annals of history – Happy New Year – 2006

Wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2006.

- John
P.S: What GF ?