Independence Day and Freedom

Today – 15th August, we celebrate our Great Nations Independence Day. 

Freedom means different things for different people.

For our forefathers who won the independence from the British, it was a dream of a free nation and the desire of Swaraj that lead them to lay down their lives and make unimaginable sacrifices in their quest for freedom.


For some, it is freedom from hunger, freedom from poverty and the list goes on. Each individual has different notions of freedom.

1. Freedom is a state of mind.
2. Freedom is a seed that needs to be cherished and nurtured
3. Freedom means being free of our personal prejudices and treating each person as an individual without any consideration of his or her social standing and religious beliefs.
4. Freedom means using your education to learn about the world and broaden your horizons and not be shackled by the rigid norms we as a society try to enforce.
5. Freedom means to stand up for what is right
6. Freedom means believing in something and being passionate about it.
7. Freedom means choosing a path which is long term and for the greater good. Short cuts are well short term.
8. Freedom gives us choices and our mind should be free to evaluate and make a decision based on merit
9. Freedom means letting each person speak even though they might be negative and not agree with you. Society needs a healthy dialogue and speaking and listening goes both ways.
10. Freedom needs commitment and dedication and will demand sacrifices. Be prepared.

 

So let’s celebrate Freedom and cherish our Independence.

Our forefathers gave us a clean slate and a great platform for nation building and we need to keep working hard to nurture the Freedom. 

 

False sense of entitlement

I have seen a number of issues / conflicts arising due to the false  sense of entitlement that we as a Nation suffer from.
 
We are a pampered lot right from childhood with parents giving in to our demands and supporting us till late in lives. So, we become used to demanding service and assuming that we are entitled to it. 
 
This makes us believe that everybody is there to serve us. 
So my job becomes the responsibility of the college, my growth is the responsibility of the company, my education is the responsibility of my parents and in the end I can blame them all for my failures.
 
Why don’t we introspect ? 
 
We are not entitled to anything. 
 
It is MY responsibility to make a failure or success of the platform that our parents, college or company provides.
It is my life and my ownership, responsibility is the only thing that matters. The sooner we realize this TRUTH, the sooner we can get to the path of SUCCESS.
 
YOU only need yourself to make a MESS or a SUCCESS of YOUR LIFE. 

Earn It

Yesterday while watching the Epic movie “Saving Private Ryan” the dying words of Tom Hanks character, Capt. Miller “James… earn this. Earn it.” kept ringing in my ears for a long time.

 

These look very simple words but can be a very life changing experience if the true meaning and the depth behind the words is understood.

 

If one understands the true meaning of them, once can achieve great success and would also be in a better position to understand and accept any situation.

Let’s review some interesting cases where this can be applied:

Love : When we meet somebody from the opposite sex, we present our best picture. What happens when our true selves come out. It becomes a wasteland of broken dreams, promises and messy relationships.

What we should be actually doing is working each day to EARN the love and respect of each other . Initially attraction might be a chemical reaction but you got to keep the fires burning to sustain the relationship.

Relationships : In a family, we have multiple relationships – with our parents, our siblings and cousins. We normally take them from granted and don’t value them as we are caught up in our web of life. But we need to EARN them and keep them fresh so a relationship does not become a ship with no relations.

Work : An employee joins an organization by passing the rigorous interview test and then for the first 3 – 6 months or even one year till the first increment, he works his heart out and gets a promotion and a nice raise or even a moderate raise. Then the performance goes downhill or stagnates. He thinks he has EARNED it but stops looking at the constant EARNING that is required to maintain and improve his performance. He blames everyone but himself and does not consider that he is still getting a salary which he needs to EARN and needs to EARN his increments as well.

Same goes for the organization. A company hires the best resources, gives them a nice raise from the previous jobs but fails to maintain and EARN their trust and challenge and reward them later on. The organization will not rise if it stops EARNING its employees.

Business: A business signs up a client by promising the moon, delivers for a few months and things go downhill. The business needs to constantly EARN his client to improve performance and profitability.

In all the above cases, we find that when we stop EARNING and become complacent and demand something as a birthright, we start to lose the plot.

 

Let’s EARN it to ENJOY it.

What is your work ethic ?

Listening to Will Smith speak about his work ethic where he says that he is not afraid to die on the treadmill.

How right he is .

Most of the times, we just tend to give up or shirk work or try the easy way out when staying at the task and getting it delivered is the best approach always.

If you are able to work hard , you will never lose and will be successful.

Nowadays , we hear a lot about Smart work. People tend to forget that the Smart work needs to be combined with hard work to get results. Talent can only take you upto a point and it has to be combined with skills which are developed by hard work to make you really successful and great.

 

So let’s get on the treadmill and stay at it.  

Stress and how to reduce it

Stress is a major part of our current lives and despite trying hard to curtail it , we still remain stressed.

Let’s stress on a few basic points that the experts advise on how to reduce stress.

 

  1. Letting go and accepting the things : Your kids are not listening , your team members are playing hardball , your maid has not turned up. Basically nothing is happening as you wanted or planned, just take a step back and accept the situation. The best solution at that moment will be to refine / lower your expectations and accept instead of fussing about things that are beyond your control. Sometimes it is easier to let go.

 

  1. Live a simpler life and reduce clutter : We need to de-clutter our lives and make them simpler. The desk, house, mobile phone, laptop , your relationships need to de-cluttered . I have seen some people keeping all their files on the desktop screen instead of keeping them in separate orderly folders. They are just cluttering up and it is a mirror of how we live. Just look at your wardrobe – If it is messed up and full of things that you have not even worn for a long time, you need to let go and reduce and organize the wardrobe. Clutter causes stress.

 

  1. Get a hobby: What do you like doing. It can be anything like photography, bird watching, blogging. Develop a hobby that you are passionate about. Reduces stress considerably.

 

  1. Listen to music or develop a reading habit – Music provides a soothing experience and reading helps in increasing knowledge and widening your thoughts and horizon. Great stress busters.

 

  1. Do some voluntary / charity work – Join an NGO or even teach your maid’s kids for free. Do something worthwhile free for someone else. Will give you tremendous satisfaction and happiness and will reduce stress.

 

  1. Attend a funeral – Funerals make you realize the eventuality of the circle of life and you start seeing life from a different perspective. Funerals make you realize that stressing on the client, team member, kids, maid is just a small speck in the life cycle and nothing is permanent.

Basic Qualities that Owners and Managers desire in their team members

We normally think that business is about money but BUSINESS is about PEOPLE and their management and one of the most critical factors for the success of any company or business are the team members /employees.

Having been involved with a number of start-ups, MNC’s, SME’s and having first-hand experience of the people management issues that occur, I would like to list down some very basic qualities that owners / managers want from their team members but are hard to find.

• Reliability – This is the core aspect of any team and you need reliable , dependable people who will stand with you through thick and thin. You need team members who will work with you when the going is tough and are not afraid of rolling up their sleeves and slogging when the situation demands.

• Honesty and Transparency – You want people that are honest with you. You don’t want people that fluff around or present a rosy picture and hide things which can lead to huge mess-ups later. You also don’t want people that lie about their abilities and then are unable to deliver. Be clear about what can be done and deliver it as expected . You want people that will provide you the correct picture no matter how bleak it might be.

• Leadership and Solution providers – Normally we are trained to think and act individually to grow our careers, which might not be in the interests of the group or the team. You want leaders that can organize the team and solve problems with the team. You want people around whom other team members can rally to solve an issue. People that provide solutions to problems and not highlight them only are very essential.

• Grammar and communication – This point is normally ignored but you want people that have good grammar and communication skills so that basic mistakes are avoided.

These are the basic skills which are desired by the owners and managers. So does YOUR TEAM or YOU have them ?

Can you Afford your lifestyle ?

We believe in instant consumption and gratification.

That is the theory nowadays which is totally different from our parents who used to think about the future and save and invest and live comparatively simpler lives.

But with the television and peer pressure and a lot of other factors, instant consumption has made the current generation financially sick which can take a long time to recover.

Most of the times we earn well as salaries are very high nowadays but there is very little wealth and no savings and if the earnings dry up or some medical emergency happens , then what ?

Then we are screwed and need the support of our parents and in-laws to fall back on.

Take a step back and think before making that latest smartphone buy which is the second one in six months even when the last one is absolutely fine. This is just an example of unjustified consumption. There can be more examples like the fancy bike that you bought.

Always need to question if you Can you afford your current lifestyle  ? If your parents support you in financial crisis , then I am afraid you are not the one who can afford but it is the parents wealth that maintains you.

We tend to forget that lifestyle creep happens and it is very difficult to let go of the lifestyle and comfort once you are used to it.

Learning to Say No

Many times at work or even at home , we get caught up in complex situations with the attitude of pleasing and saying “Yes” to everybody and to each extra work, request or expenditure. 

We say “Yes” to our bosses, our colleagues and to our children as we don’t want to offend anyone. 

It is good saying “Yes” when you job or relationship depends on it. But we normally tend to overlook that saying a small “Yes” will impact the other tasks on the project or will upset our monthly budget and you will regret it later. We need to think it through which we tend to ignore. 

We as an individual and as a society as a whole need to learn to say “No” to things or acts which we know will have repercussions or will snowball into huge nightmares and mishaps later on. 

Saying “No” does not mean that you say “No” to everything but always think and try to put across your point in a polite manner without being offensive. 

9 times out of 10, the other party would understand your valid reason for saying “No”.