Positive Stimuli

Hello Sunshine!! 🙂

Ever noticed that when someone posts a message on Facebook saying “Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!”, a lot of people start replying by saying “Happy birthday” on that same chain. Did the person request a greeting? No, not really but expression of gratitude often tends to create a emotional liability on many of those connected, so some of them just want to be part of the group you just thanked to. Also notice, some people just realize they missed the train, and didn’t greet you before and end up doing that on the chain.

Former need positive stimuli and the latter group often prefer reminders – it’s not a good or bad thing, but understanding this simple fact of life can help you manage yourselves and your affairs better.

Being positive makes you look attractive, and people want to connect to you in the hope that you would in the end shed some of your positivity on them and this is partially true as well. Regardless of what people think or say about you, if you’re consistently positive and focused on the way you live, you’d slowly change the way others around you start to feel.


Trying Again…


I read an inspirational story somewhere that I would like to share for everyone’s benefit:

As I was passing  by  the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not.

I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Moral of the Story: Try, try and try again, until you succeed

Be Yourself


What should you rather do?

Know who you are, or try to be someone else all the time?

What is more important?

Accept the given or seek the truth behind things.

What would you rather do?

Just breath, or Live?

Be yourself
Be Yourself

Would you always accept what others tell about you, or would you rather take opinion of someone who knows you better than most others, i.e, yourself?

The answer to many things in life is in being oneself, and for that one has to start believing in himself/herself first.

Lessons from Life


Here are few of the lessons that I learnt over the years about life:

  1. You can never make everyone happy, and you’ll be far happier not even trying for that.
  2. Family is not just a group of people you live with, it’s much more.
  3. Friends are an integral part of your life and good friends are often realized after testing times.
  4. Education and literacy are two different concepts. Classrooms won’t teach you everything to become educated.
  5. Life is not in the magnanimous goals, but the little moments that one often takes for granted.
  6. You would miss your school life as soon as you get out of school, and the yearning would only increase.
  7. Money can’t buy everything, but many people that come in your life would struggle to understand this concept.
  8. No matter how much you care about them, few people will be ungrateful and unfaithful – you would have to move on.
  9. The two most important words in any language are ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’.
  10. If you want true happiness, give someone your genuine help without thinking about any reward.
  11. You have to keep your business/profession separate from your personal/social life – and know when it’s either.
  12. Compromise may not be a beautiful concept, but it isn’t as ugly as people tell you it is. It helps you remain humble while keeping your aim high.
  13. If you want wisdom, an easy route is to talk to people under the age of 7 or over the age of 70.
  14. The art of asking the right questions is half the knowledge.
  15. Moderation is the path of safety.
  16. When you’re a ‘nobody’, most people would almost always ignore you; as soon as you’re on your way to growth, success or prosperity, most people would almost always give you more attention than you would expect. Don’t think too much about them – just learn from their behavior. That’s how the world works.
  17. Always be thankful to God for both what He gave you, and what He didn’t.
  18. Get on terms with ‘failure’ – if you accept it faster, learn from it and move forward, you’d be better off.
  19. Long run is not always so long. So keep investing some time, energy and money for the long run.
  20. The ability to keep things in perspective will take you places. Most of the things that happen to you won’t matter in a decade’s time or at least in the perspective of an entire lifetime.
  21. You should gel in with all kinds of people, but never lose your own color because if do the latter, you are no longer you, but just another one of them.
  22. Accept your mistakes. Correct them and apologize quickly, if needed.
  23. Learn from wherever and whomever it is possible.
  24. Travel would broaden your mind, but only if it’s open in the first place.
  25. Don’t accept what everyone tells you at ‘face value’ – most things you hear would need a discount factor before they come near reality.

Sometimes the only option is to let go


Life comes with a great deal of variety: variety of people, places, things, activities, etc. etc. and sometimes it is mind boggling how attached one becomes to certain things or people that it’s very difficult to let go. In businesses as well, there are instances where founders or product innovators or brand managers have seen their company/product grow over the years and face the different winds of all the different seasons. It is these ups-and-downs that make the person so much attached to the product that he cannot imagine letting it go, even after the product lifecycle is far beyond over.

Unlike life, businesses need emotions to the extent they push overall growth and in some circumstances, the only option is to let go of the product. To sum up, for life’s major decisions, one should mostly think beyond brains and for business’ major decisions, one should always think with brains!

Entertainment per Capita


Economists and thinkers often talk about GDP/GNP per capita as their discussion parameter when talking about national happiness. FT reported last week of Bhutan’s efforts in finding the the true Gross National Happiness (GNH). It also noted that most of the developed world is now bent on finding ways to maximize not the GDP, but GNH!  It’s amazing to note that possibly, money can’t buy happiness.

Some years ago the economist Richard Easterlin showed that, just as would be expected, wealthier people in any given country are more likely to tell a survey-taker that they are happy with their lives than are poorer people in the same country. However, Easterlin also found two other things that don’t fit so well with the economic perspective. First, he found that as countries get richer, beyond the level where basic needs such as food and shelter are met, people don’t report being any happier. For example, although today most Americans surveyed will tell you they are happy with their lives, the fraction of those who say that they are happy is not any higher than it was 40 years ago, when average incomes in the United States were considerably lower and few could even imagine developments like mobile phones or the Internet. Second, he found that–again, once you get above a basic sustenance level–on average, people in rich countries don’t report being all that much happier than people in lower-income countries. The finding that people in rich countries don’t report much greater happiness than those in lower-income countries–even though, in any given country, the rich say they are happier than the poor do–is called the Easterlin paradox, after its discoverer.

Funny – isn’t it, when we put this in perspective where most people seem to be running after getting richer on one hand have always wanted to be satisfied and happy on the other?

There is no denying to the fact that money is very important, however, entertainment per capita is a relevant new benchmark in this economy where we are not totally over with the ripple effects of the depression cycle worse than the Great Depression of 1929. Entertainment has to be associated with a hard form as well as a soft form. Economies and governments have to provide ways for their people to find an easy, inexpensive catharsis to their feelings to let the balance be.

Food for thought: How often do you measure life by the moments that take your breath away?

Importance of volunteering

In this day and age where everyone seems to be busy with their lives so much that none of us find enough time for everything that we would like to. In many ways, we have overcomplicated many facets of our lives so much that we sometimes lose that touch with reality.

People who are privileged to go through the education system are also trained to prepare themselves for the corporate work life, where no one has time for no one. In this rush, people tend to develop an indifference to many things around them. They tend to develop a sort of one-track mind on most of the issues they are surrounded with.

During this rush, many people don’t recognize the exact opportunity volunteer work offers. The very skills and traits that most people run after to develop – interpersonal skills, confidence, passion and compassion, audacity, vision and a sense of connection with the audience – are all very well developed through volunteering. Some people I have met tell me that it’s such a waste of time that it should be avoided or that we’re always so busy that we can’t just volunteer now. On asking further, I have mostly come to know it is usually those people who have never volunteered themselves for any cause.

When we volunteer for the first time, we have different views on it depending on at which age we start to volunteer, the volunteer opportunity being in our area of interest and our other responsibilities. In my opinion, one should start volunteering with the leading organizations at an early age. Scouting could also be a great start for young ones, as this exposes you the real world in a protected environment. People who have volunteered a lot know about the range of different organization types, organizational hierarchies and functions and they get to connect with people in the same area of interest who also have an urge to share their time and abilities without any commercial end in mind. I would say you could get very good friends and contacts by volunteering since you would meet people from all walks of life and unlike commercial organizations where hierarchies dictate who’s senior, dedication, commitment and hard work differentiates volunteers from the rest in the club. Moreover, one can learn a lot of managerial abilities by volunteering their time – the earlier you start doing it, you would realize the better it turns out to be.

Beyond all these reasons, the most important reason is that the experience where you get to help people, develop compassion and learn to appreciate the diversity and problems of others around you. This is a very humbling experience in itself and I think, it’s a reason enough to volunteer!

The basis of trust

Relationships are often based on trust. In some cultures, mutual trust is of utmost importance, to the extent of even economic loss in the short term. For instance, generally Japanese companies look for mutual trust and put relationships at the forefront of financial matters. Whereas financial numbers are very important, however, they would like to do business joint ventures and partnerships based on compatible relationships. In other cultures, relationships, especially commercial ones develop mostly through economics of the projects.

The question, however, remains what is trust based on?

It is based on performance vis-a-vis expectations. I ask you to do a certain thing and you over-deliver to the extent that I am impressed. The very moment I nurture some more trust on you. So, it would not impress me to the similar extent if you really performed exactly the same task the same way but my expectations were aligned higher there. People love positive surprises, it just sends in an adrenaline rush through the brain that amplifies excitement and happiness together.

How do you make the most out of this simple human psychology? You can benefit out of it by under-committing and over-delivering. This is a daunting task and might look foolish to the short-sighted, but this is the only sure-shot approach to succeeding. Going an extra mile all the time assures competence, professionalism, enthusiasm, drive and commitment all at the same time. So, in the longer term view, such people are sought after – and as per the basic law of demand and supply, the scarce commodity is priced higher than the readily available ones; therefore, you get to charge premium and clients still love to work with you.

Look at the big picture and keep outperforming. Dazzle everyone with your performance to win trust, to nurture relationships that last.