I am very certain that our actions define our future and our destiny but looking at the past sometimes, it’s very difficult to say that our destiny is only the function our actions (the math geeks would understand what I am talking about here).
There are a lot of other variables which have defined our life and has given the shape that it has right now. It’s true that our actions play a very significant role in defining our future, and that is also the only thing which is in our control. With that said, there are many other factors which are perhaps invisible to us but constantly defining our future.
Today I met one of my friends after a very long time, who was also my roommate while I was in senior secondary school, in Jamia Millia Islamia. He was a very shy and introvert person back then and it’s difficult to believe that he is roaming all around the world right now because of the kind of job he has. Yes, it’s true that it was his decision to accept the job that he has but there were a lot more other factors which led him to choose that job which is perhaps invisible to him too.
There is a joy in helping other people decide that they have to choose themselves in order to be happy. It’s a lesson I have learned the hard way and whenever possible I make sure that my friends also choose their happiness as the top priority.
In the daily rush and fulfilling everyone else’s dream, we often forget to fulfill ourselves and sacrifice our own happiness in order to see our folks happy. Of course, it’s important to make your family happy but if you are not happy you would have a hard time making your family happy.
Many of us are blessed with a good life, a good family, a very supportive environment, and all the basic necessities life can provide but not all of us. Every day we watch on the news that many countries are suffering from prolonged wars but since those news has become so common that it has stopped affecting us the way it used to do in the past. We are more informed than ever but far less emotional, maybe it’s a good thing since we are bombarded with bad news every single day.
With that said, if anything happens in your neighborhood you can’t ignore. It sticks with you and left a scar on you. Something like that happened today. Irfan, the guy who brings RO purified water bottles in my locality had a 12 years old girl. She was complaining of the stomach ache for about 1-month, and every time she was given a painkiller after consulting local pharmacists. This morning she died in Safdarjang Hospital and the doctor said that she could have been saved if she would have started taking the right medicines on time.
There are thousands and thousands of stories like that where because of the negligence of the parents the child can not be saved. I am sorry for sharing a bad news to you but I could not think of anything else today.
Remember the time when I shared that I had to work on physical documents in my current project in order to get the things done(click here to recollect your memory). Turns out that there was a digital copy of everything all along that we didn’t know about. Since searching in physical documents was very hectic and time-consuming I was checking with everyone in the office about that digital copy and finally, I found all of it(I was so happy..!).
It sounds way too easy as I am writing this down but trust me finding something like this where nobody is co-operating is really difficult and that is exactly what I’ll talk about here in this article.
Here is a quote from Dale Carnegie on human engineering and negotiation skills.
“Even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15% of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85% is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people.”
Yes, there were a lot of technical challenges that I had to face in order to make that database dump useful but again I got that piece of information not from my technical abilities but rather from my non-technical abilities. It’s very easy to complain in a hostile environment where nobody is co-operating but then these are the places where we get to use our negotiation and human engineering skills into play.
There’s always a way out, a better way to do the mundane and repetitious tasks that we have to do at work. Some people like to do it the way they have been doing it since ages, repetitions never bothered them. Some people are the opposite of that nature, they like to minimize the repetition, they value their time, they know how important it is to save time and do something else with their saved time.
There’s one problem though, finding ways to shorten the repetitious tasks is not easy, it takes “out of the box thinking” and we have to talk to people and take help in order to understand the whole process. The funny thing is that for some people these steps are fun and they are more than willing to take action on them, on the other hand, it’s very uncomfortable for the people who don’t like change.
Improving the process is change, some people don’t like it and they like the old way of doing things. They are the people who would be left behind in this ever changing world. Every process can be improved and with the advent of digital age, these improvements are very frequent.
Deadline is one of the many words managers abuse in order to get the shit done. Yes, they are very useful but only when set keeping the realities of the project in mind.
Deadline being missed every single time means something is really wrong with either the people who are setting it or the people who are working on it. It means it’s time to brainstorm the reasons why we are missing it on the regular basis. It’s the responsibility of the manager to have that conversation where everyone is in the same room so that no one can play hide and seek anymore.
Some managers know that they are creating unrealistic goals for their people and just go on with it, if that’s the situation they are really crappy managers because they don’t know that if they keep their people happy, they will manage themselves without needing much assistance.
John, a Seattle-based architect who was unemployed at that time started a small shop and with the name, “5 Cent Architecture Advice”. It may sound too obvious that it was for lead generation and was to entice new clients but he was genuinely helping many people, from homeowners to real estate agents. The word spread and he was featured in many local newspapers, even in CNN and BBC. He is running his firm successfully and has plenty of clients.
The key feature of all these stories is that most of the entrepreneurs mentioned in the book are accidental. Some of them are hobbyists, some of them do it just because it’s fun and so on. It has been a very interesting book so far.
Yes, we are celebrating our independence tomorrow and we are very proud of the fact that we declared ourselves independent 69 years ago. Millions of people died and gave their life in the name of our country and eventually kicked the Britishers out of our country.
Onsite is the most awaited place for an IT engineer, it’s typically a place outside India. The funny thing is that everyone in IT wants to go there. One of my best friends has completed MS from Germany and has already decided to move there. One of my mentors at TCS is in Canada and he has decided to settle there. I have several other stories which I am sure you must have too, where a close friend of yours is leaving India in order to have a good life outside.
We watch Hollywood movies, we know most of the cities in the US, we love their lifestyles and most of us psychologically live there, which again make me think what exactly we love about our country? Why are we celebrating the Britisher leaving India since we will also leave if given a chance?
“The Devil Wears Prada” is a Hollywood feature film based on a novel of the same name. Last night I watched this movie as it was suggested as a must watch for all aspiring entrepreneurs, you can find the full list here.
It reminded me of my first job and how I used to do all it takes to give my best and to please my supervisor in every circumstance, except that I realized it sooner than the protagonist that my happiness is the first priority.
In the pursuit of pleasing the boss we go out of ways and change ourselves altogether, and we think we don’t have a choice but in reality, we always do. It’s just we think our own happiness is not that important and in order to please others, we do the things we would never have done if it were up to our own choice. In the end, as the protagonist realize that she had the power to choose all along, it’s very fulfilling to watch her go from the glamorous world of fashion to the thing she always wanted to do.
Last night I watched the movie “Wall Street (1987)”, one of the best movies of all time on the crazy lifestyle of wall street maniacs. “Money never sleeps”, “there is no nobility in poverty”, “greed is good”, “it’s all about bucks”, “what’s worth doing is worth doing for money” and several other one-liners that have been used numerous times in various other movies are perhaps taken from here only.
It’s a dirty game, everyone knows it but no one can do anything about it, that’s the way it has been since the very beginning. One thing which struck me most though was when the protagonist father told him to stay away from the wall street he remarked by saying, “Create, instead of living off the buying and selling of others”. A very powerful message has been embodied here in this line which I will never forget.
The wall street never creates anything of its own, and in reality, it’s all paper money and it has no real value. Creating something out of scratch is huge, it requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice and it’s sustainable in the long run.