Posted in Random thots..

On Growing Up..


Calvin and Hobbes cartoon

There is this seemingly innocent question which has popped up in my mind:

“At what time and age do we feel all grown up and without temptation?!”

I mean, all care and caution is abandoned in the heady enthusiasm of youth. I get that.. But do we really grow up and lose that thrill of risk and adventure. Do we grow up and become model citizens and parents and hmm..well.. Grown ups!

Who knows ? Sometimes it might feel that we’ve never grown up. Or never will. There are moments when you want to slip back into the stage of life when you do everything as you wished to. To live your life without any fear. To have to answer to no one.. To be free of all the cares and responsibilities which being a grown up brings..

But then, these are ephemeral wants.

Because in the end, we wish to be tied up by our relationships. We desire to be wanted, loved and cared. We secretly hope things fall apart when we’re not around, so that we’re missed. We want someone to fall back on us.

Otherwise if I were a free bird, and no one’s life depended on me then I imagine I’d feel far worse  – thinking that I have wasted my life!

Yes. How paradoxical are these things we want. Sometimes our wishes attempt to set us free, and other times they only serve to bind us in the most irreversible ways. We are so utterly conflicted – but frankly its a bit too difficult to decide. Maybe because we are selfish and want a bit of both.

Perhaps that is what Growing Up is all about – knowing about your conflicts and developing defense mechanisms to survive them with minimum collateral damage.

What do you think?

Posted in Random thots..

5 things I discovered about myself today


through_the_chaos_of_life_by_helale-d5svr6x

I’m certain Google is turning my brain into mush. Its shaping the way I think – putting ideas in my head and making me imagine that all of them were my own. So, every time I have to process a question that will take more than a few microseconds of thinking time, I’m tempted to turn to Google for answers. Now that’s an evil genius!

My laptop is now an extended part of my self.  Long periods of absence without using it make me anxious, and I see myself increasingly shoving mine in the back seat even on short trips. And yet ironically, we have a deep unfaithful relationship – wouldn’t mind leaving my current love if a better one comes by.

Solving problems helps me thrive. When I’m frustrated , I go solve a problem – clean the dishes, go fix the cracked dresser. That makes me feel better, every-time!

I have lost my capability to monotask.  Doing just one thing at one time makes me paranoid, with a voice screaming in my head that I’m missing something urgent. Even driving alone without the radio on makes me uncomfortable  – I’d rather not be left to my own thoughts. I’m certainly doomed. Sigh.

Sunday nights always make me think about what I’m doing with my life. And trigger random unrelated discoveries and existential questions.  Which are also entirely meaningless.

Thank you if you’ve read them so far though.  Have a rocking week ahead! 🙂
Posted in My World View, Random thots..

Going with the Flow..


Go-With-The-Flow

Everywhere you go, you see people ..and places.. Houses and roads and means of transportation. People going somewhere. Everyone trying to be someplace else, different from where they are now..

And that’s how life is in every part of the world. Everyone trying to do something. Reach someplace where they are not right now..on a constant journey. Which is what makes the wheels turn and our blood flow. Or whatever is the term for making things seem normal and routine..

And the moment you wake up somewhere someday with no place you feel inspired enough to go – life comes to a whirring uncomfortable halt. If you do not have any purpose for yourself – however mundane and insignificant it might be, then there is this evil question which creeps up – Am I doing anything worthwhile at all?

And a gnawing question this is – which follows you around like a hungry puppy and bites you in the hand when you try to feed it with inconsequential answers.

So what can you do to tame this ugly thought?

Go with the flow. Do something that makes sense in that moment. Follow a trail – or create a new one.

Because a river is always more interesting than a pond. New experiences always enrich your life’s perspective and because .. “A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.”!

Image Credits: http://ohksocial.com/small-business-growth-go-with-the-flow/

Posted in Random thots..

Less is More


326.strip

Its a greedy world out there. Unimaginable data being accumulated every second.

And so much information thrown at us – it’s like being drenched with a fire hose.

So like intelligent evolving creatures, we are slowly programming ourselves to consume and digest the tiniest nuggets of useful stuff.

Long winded stories are out. 140 character tweets are in.
Complex is no longer cool. Simplicity is the new sophistication. Less is More.

So does that bother you ? Well yes, it might. Because simple is so much more difficult to do!

You can no longer hide behind words. Or befuddle with ambiguity .
Simplicity demands clarity of thought , and that’s pretty tough to get without skill or practice.

Ok then buddy. What’s the ideal modus operandi ?

Well – one obvious answer is , you gotta be good at what you do.

And even when you are , stifle your instincts to unleash your infinite knowledge and enthusiasm on your audience.

Just answer the question or solve the problem at hand. Don’t try to do more.

As William Blake gently put it – “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” And we don’t want to be too wise too early, do we? 😛

Image Credits: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2003-11-22/

Posted in Random thots..

Idea #9: Never Regret


Meaningful-Picture-Quotes-Never-regret-anything

Do not regret anything that happens in your life. “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way”.

It is the past. Swallowed in the black hole of time. Get over it!.

And quite possibly whatever happened might be for the best. Perhaps it will bring out something good in the future. Perhaps it will make you see things in a different light. Perhaps it will help you live life to the fullest. Perhaps it will help you avoid the mistakes you made in the past. So…

Its OK if you were wrong. Some of the most brilliant things have happened in life when people made mistakes. And then, you couldn’t have been right all the time, could you ? ( unless you are Sheldon Cooper, of course! )

It is OK if you left some things to chance. After all, decision making is much more complex than a binary yes or no. And under the circumstances , if you made some decisions based on information you have at hand, and few others based on chance – you needn’t regret if the chance factor didn’t work out as desired. That’s why they call it chance, don’t they?!

It is OK to change your course mid flight. That’s why in flight navigation systems are there in place! That’s why corporations hold strategic planning exercises.. That’s why management consultants are paid such hefty salaries.

The point is – regret is a non productive emotion. It doesn’t give you any solutions , and can only spawn more non productive negative emotions like helplessness and despair. So if you replace regret with something positive like – Hmm…determination. motivation . experience… enlightenment.. 🙂 ,  you will have something much better to work with!

And now. if you think of it.. The more you analyse, the more you will realize the futility of it all..

“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.” ! ― Søren Kierkegaard

Posted in Random thots..

A Small Lesson in Sales


 Lesson in Sales

To cut a long story short- I recently moved to another country with my family and had to sell off all the stuff at my house  before the move.

So I took nice pictures of everything and put up ads in the classifieds. And started getting flooded with  calls – “Is the Computer table still available?”, “Is the price negotiable?” etc etc..

And although this might seem a cumbersome task, which it was in the beginning, I slowly began to get fascinated by all of it. It was like my own tiny social experiment on C2C sales – selling stuff to people who would actually use it!

And with a well intention-ed scientific curiosity, I went haywire designing my experiment, bundling offers to see how people respond to different options. – “Coffee table free with King size bed”  vs “20% discount on king size bed if picked in next 12 hours”  I even had a pipeline for every item I was selling , trying to find some pattern in the madness!

Here are my observations  – some not-so-random findings from this totally random experiment.

People buy for their own reasons:  “So you’ve liked the sofa. Would you like to take the dining table also with it . I’ll give you 20% off on the bundled price on both” – I used this dialogue on many unsuspecting subjects. Well, they will smile politely, and go see whatever else  you offered them.. Engage in small talk.. Phone a friend.. Take an audience poll.. And then politely decline due to reasons entirely beyond their control- “Err, wish I had more space in my flat”.. “Oh no, I just bought a new dining table!”. Bottom line is – do what you may, people buy for their own reasons. You can’t change that!

Buyers always look for Trust:  Nobody will ever tell you on the face (hopefully!)  that -“You look real shady to me”. But before getting into any transaction , people will always want to know if they can trust you. So they ask questions like – how old is your Refrigerator, did you ever need to get any repairs done on it? And they will believe what you say. So although you might not have any papers to prove any of this- if they trust you then they will still go ahead and buy it from you. And the weird thing is – you really cannot define where this trust comes from. Perhaps it’s a gut feeling, perhaps it’s about your body language, or just a culture where people trust each other. But earning Trust is the foundation of any successful sale.

Bargaining is good for any Negotiation:  Everyone feels good after a bit of haggling. Don’t agree with me? Well.. On the last day of my social  experiment on selling stuff  (adding  an academic zing to it!), a guy turned up for my TV Table. He named half the price I had quoted. Since I was on a deadline to clear everything off,  I agreed immediately . And the expression on his face was that of extreme disappointment. He seemed so upset , as if he had been cheated!.. Which is why – if a negotiation happens and you easily agree to the other party’s terms, then they will always  feel that they didn’t  get a good enough deal.  Ergo,  unless it is grossly appropriate – haggle away! 

But then, generalizations are generalizations after all. Every sale is different, as Sales gurus might say – The deal is in the details!.

Posted in Random thots..

Idea #6: Pause, but don’t Stop!


Pause if you must, but don't stop

 

  • Because you will come across events beyond your control that change the course of your life . Things happen, and life suddenly spirals out of control. So knowing that you can take a pause and continue later helps you reaffirm your faith and confidence in yourself. You can focus on other things that come up in priority.

 

  • Because everything you have done before matters.  The things you have learnt, the people you met, the experiences you’ve had. All of them count towards making you who you are. And stopping after failure is equivalent to throwing it all away. So don’t give up. Count your cards.. sum up your losses and move on!

 

  • Because taking a pause is sometimes great strategy. It’s gives you time to reassess your coordinates and  plan alternate strategies for attack . And “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ― Carl Bard

 

  • Because time changes us – not in a weird mysterious way, but in a very gradual matter of fact way. And taking a pause will let you assimilate the changes in yourself and help you understand who you really are. What do you really want ?

 

OK. You might be wondering why do all my sentences begin with the grammatically awkward and inappropriate ‘Because’?..

Because, that’s how you can start again after taking a pause 🙂