Get going


No one is gonna help you.

The ones who do, will always have a motive.

Stop whining. Stop blaming people and circumstances for what you can’t get. Did you give your best? Or rather did you exceeds even your best expectations when going all out to get somewhere?

Stop looking for a Godfather in professional world. You be the Godfather.

Stop looking for an emotional anchor in your personal life. Everyone is looking at you to be an emotional anchor.

Stop saying I will do from tomorrow.

Stop saying the year I wanted to do so many things has already come and I haven’t.

It’s just three days into 2018. There are still 362 days left to achieve what you want (is this a leap year??).

Just get off your butt and get going! Let this be the year!

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How far will you go


Utterly random.

How far will you go to get what you want?

What will you do if all your efforts are not getting you what you want?

How much will you give up to get the one thing you want?

How much will you compromise on your principles to get what you want?

How many toes will you step on, people you will hurt to achieve what you want?

Will you cheat, will you lie, will you bribe, will you let go of your morality, will you kill yourself inside every minute… just so you get that one thing.

Once you get what you wanted, will it make you happy, will you cherish it, will it be worth everything you had to do and give up.

 

The Big Variable


When we embark on a plan, we strategise for everything. We take everything into account. Every possible factor that can impact the plan and our lives.

However, there is one variable we do not account for. The one variable we do not know anything about. The one variable that can make us a success, make us happy OR it can lead to a complete disaster.

The variable is linked to us being humans. Humans who have emotions. More often than not, our decisions are driven by emotions. We all like to be called rational beings but it is far removed from truth. Gut feel. Instinct. Like. Dislike. Fear. Exciting. Emotions come in various forms which make us who we are. Make us choose or not choose.

Imagine a scenario. A VC has five proposals in front of him. Every proposal is well thought out. The ideas are excellent. Every proposal almost on par when it comes to a sound business proposition. But he can only fund one start up. How does he choose? It boils down to personalities. People he will feel comfortable giving money to. His judgement of a person. His instinct. Now most will say the plan must have been better and therefore the funding. That isn’t the truth.

When we are hiring somebody, while qualification and experience is fine, we are focused on our interaction with the person. Likeable personality comes into play.

Same goes for relationships. We like a person. We hate a person. We love a person. It is all emotion.

Our love for brands is also in the same category. Yes we do rationalise purchasing a particular brand but it ultimately is about how the brand makes us feel.

We can never account for this variable. We have no way of knowing how the person will react. What are his motivations. What are his barriers. Did he get up from the right side of the bed when he was taking a decision. Is he under some kind of intense stress. Is there something happening in his life that might impact his decision. Maybe he doesn’t like people in beard. Maybe he is short and doesn’t want tall people around him. You never know. And you are left wondering what went wrong. Similarly, there can be pleasant surprises too.

The point is that your success or failure is not about whether you planned right or not. It is not about whether you were good or bad. It is a function of somebody out there making a decision based on his emotion. How he feels about you. Yes being good at what you do matters but only up to a point. After that, emotions come into play.

And the truth is, it all happens in first two minutes. The first two minutes usually decide what is going to be the outcome. So look for the signs. You will know.

 

Songs


Ok Ok so I had said I will not post for a while but this came to my mind and I just had to post.

Songs are such an integral part of our lives. Usually they fill in a void. When you are doing nothing. When you are driving. Or even when you want to silence the world around you.

In my profession, jingle always played an important role. It became the audio identifier for a piece of communication. Sadly though, now a jingle is just a piece of cacophony. the soul has gone missing.

Similarly, the soul had gone missing from songs for past couple of decade or so (my personal view).

Of late though, it seems to be back. There seems to be a focus on lyrics rather than music created through electronic crap. Over the last 6 months I have heard the songs that teens of today are listening to (having teens in the house is an advantage). While I will not mention songs (avoid getting judged), there definitely is a trend towards putting more into every song than trying to ensure that it gets sold and heard.

Through time immemorial, songs have always associated with the mood we are in. Or is it the other way round? Mood dictating the playlist. There are happy moments, melancholic moments, party, being with friends, road trip. We have playlists for occasions.

Songs and emotions, they go hand in hand. You hear someone listening to a particular song and you can probably figure out the mood of a person. Except if the song is special to that person… something only he/she identifies with.

We all have such songs in our playlist. They remind you of a person, of an occasion with that person, a special moment that was truly yours. Songs that make you yearn for the person. Or a song that you hear and you just want to share. More than photographs, I think songs are what make our memories.

Sometimes the same song can make you feel elated or melancholic. It is all a function of what point you are in a relationship.

For me, songs have always been about nostalgia for a long time. I had stopped listening to new crap. It used to be all about rock (I had written about this in a post called ‘Sunday Evening’). But I have dabbled with some of the new music and I like it (much to the consternation of my daughter. She thinks my generation shouldn’t be listening to these songs!)

Generation. Songs and bands have always identified a generation or a decade. They are a window into the environment that existed in that decade. One can actually travel back in time by just listening to songs from the past decade.

The funny thing about this post is that there was a thought in my head when I started with the post but it totally went missing from my head.

So how about this. Replyย  with title of one song that you think is truly you. Symbolises you. Resonates with your current mindset. Anything.

For people on LinkedIn who actually reached this point in the post, it will be a break from all the drivel that you been going through by way of posts ๐Ÿ™‚

Words


From the time that human beings moved from sign language to speaking, words have become the most important form of expression. Communication has been the key to the process of human evolution. Sure there have been other factors that have also led to the evolution but communication has been the most important. Most of the inventions would have failed if there was not a communication channel to help reach out to masses.

When it is about communication, can the conversation about advertising be far behind? ๐Ÿ™‚

Advertising helped the masses in getting to know new products, new technologies, new ideas. Stuff that was relevant for them. Of course advertising moved from mere information dissemination to more evolved approach of plugging a need gap, creating a desire, making people buy something which had lot more attached to it than pure functionality.

But this post is not about advertising or communication. It is about words. Words that string together to form a sentence. A sentence that communicates what we feel, what we like, what we don’t life, express our point of view.

Long back when there was no internet, no social media, no communication apps, we relied on speaking face to face. For long distance, there was post – Inland letters for regular updates, written pages in an envelope about detailed stuff, love letters, fights, breakups. Everything had a ritual to it. Everything had anticipation. That waiting for the postman to arrive or checking the mailbox as soon as you got home. That first reading of the letter quickly. Then taking time to read it the second time. Pondering over words on the page. Trying to visualise what the person at the other end was feeling when writing. Lovers treasured the letters and visited them over and over. When a break up happened, a bonfire was made of the letters. The letters were burnt but memories remained.

Cut to 21st century. We still communicate. More rapidly than ever before. We type and hit send. And the fact that it is all instant (try this sometime. How long do you wait, how often do you go over what you have typed before pressing send), has meant that we don’t much bother about what the words can do. We don’t pay attention to the language or even to specific words. Words that may cause hurt, anger, love, misunderstanding. There is no crossing out once ‘send’ button has been pressed (of course apps are looking at building a recall feature – high time). The problem is that receiver too reads the messages instantly and reacts instantly. We say people have become more expressive today with all the fancy stuff they can do with emoticons and emojis. I say we have lost the art of communicating. Art of using the right words. Art of pondering over what we really want to communicate.

Back when we used to write, we would go over what we had written again and again. At times tear the sheet if we felt it sounded wrong. There was a clarity of thought. For the sender and for receiver. Not anymore.

Considering that we now ‘talk’ less and text more – love happens on text, proposing happens on text, sex happens on text, break up happens on text… we don’t think too much before typing and sending the message. We do not think of the impact words can have on the person who gets the message. Even when we read the message, we read the words. We do not try to read the intent behind the words. We do not visualise person’s state of mind when he/she was typing out the message.

It is a pity though. For someone who loves words, loves what they can do, it saddens me to see what we are doing to them. Not just in personal communication, but even in the profession I am in. The art of writing. The art of persuasive words has disappeared. It has disappeared because we don’t have the craft. The client doesn’t want too many words. The evolved consumer thinks in terms of number of characters rather than sentences. Thinks in terms of emojis. So we also need to communicate the same way.

We don’t read enough therefore we do not have the vocabulary to express well enough.

This though doesn’t matter so much. We get what we deserve. Of special concern is breakdown of communication between two individuals and that really is the sad part of being in the digital era.

Comfort Zone


We all have our comfort zones and we love them. They provide a sense of security and a walls that keep us away from all the supposed stress and bad things.

We fall in love with our comfort zones so much that we turn it into a fortress. We believe we are protecting ourselves but what we are doing essentially is saying no to a whole lot of things. We are rationalising our behaviour. Stepping out, bringing the walls down takes a lot of courage. We look for reasons not to do so. If we were to toss a coin, we will go through “best of three”, “best of five”…

What is a comfort zone really? The obvious answer of course is everything that makes us comfortable. People, things, products, service, our habits, our culture. You can add or delete to the list but this list essentially forms our comfort zone. We do try once in a while to push the wall on one of the things. Test ourself out. If it works, we will push further. But if it doesn’t, the barriers are raised.

But enough has been said and written about this, so wont go on and on.

Coming to the reason for this post. I have decided to test its limits. I am going to give up on smoking, drinking, non vegetarian food and sweets. People who have read my blog regularly would now my complete love for nicotine and how I look at it. The ones who know me well enough, they know what a big foodie I am and how non vegetarian food is such an integral part of me being foodie! And I do like my beer too. Sweets I have always been partial to desi sweets. Four things in one go. I am really going to test myself. And test the patience of people around me!

So lets see how it goes. I am going to work on the quarter principle. One quarter at a time. Forever sounds like a huge task and I don’t want forever. So breaking it down into smaller goals.

That’s a life lesson by the way. Do not aim for something really big and plan for it. Yes that is the ultimate goal but focus on smaller steps that will get you there. We usually do not do that. We aim for the big goal and create stress for ourselves when it takes time to reach there.

So here goes with my experiment of stepping out of the comfort zone. If this succeeds, there are more things to do. ๐Ÿ™‚