Change before you have to (or before it becomes too late)

All through my life, I knew what was right but I could not engage in it. All through my life, I knew what was wrong, but I could not abstain from it.” – King Duryodhan on his deathbed, in the great Indian epic Mahabharata (3102 BC)

Story Line:
This series about change covers the beliefs and forces that cause people to resist change.

What are some of the things that hinder or prevent positive change?
1. My way is the only way and others can take the highway. King Duryodhan, the most powerful and intelligent man of his era, knew that failure to change his behaviors and techniques could lead to his downfall and the demise of his empire. However, his blind ambition (with added ego) prevented him from changing his behaviors to what he knew was right.

2. You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was aka “The Way We Were Syndrome” i.e., resting on past glories of their culture, family and company history. What matters is what you do NOW. Past is history, tomorrow is mystery, TODAY is REALITY.

3. As long as the others change it will be good i.e., Expecting others to change while refusing to change our own behavior. Change begins with you and it does not begin until you do. The best way to inspire people to change is by our actions and results.

4. Your successful path will block your vision to the future i.e., clinging to the practices that have made us successful and not recognizing the environmental forces dictating fundamental changes.

5. Old habits die hard or you die with them. Dennis Waitley, in “Psychology of Winning”, narrates a story about a tribe in one country. Research showed that high premature death rate in that tribe was due to the disease created by some kind of insects in the area where they lived. But they refused to move to better place offered by the government and continued dying. There are many similar examples all around us.

6. Failure to recognize the “Web of Life”. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. These words represent the wisdom of the ages from every culture: “As we sow, so shall we reap.” Just look at the root causes of the recent global economic collapse, wars, natural disasters, spread of diseases, crimes and all kinds of excursions.

7. Those who never learn from history are forever condemned to repeat it. No further words needed for this.

Reflection: There is an age old saying “Only thing constant in life is change.” Then by resisting change, one is going against the very process that keeps them alive (Life).

CREAM OR SUGAR?

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anaïs Nin.

STORYLINE:
A few years ago, a fellow received a message from a well-wisher: “Congratulations on a well deserved promotion. The cream always rises to the top. Best Wishes.”
The newly promoted fellow replied, “Thanks for your confidence and well wishes. As far as being the cream, I’d rather be the sugar instead. It is easy to scrape off the cream, but the sugar mixes with milk and makes it sweeter.”
I guess the promoted fellow was sharing something from a story he had learned in his childhood.
In the 7th century, a fleet of ships consisting of people who had fled Persia due to the change of regime arrived at the western shores of India. They were looking for a place to migrate and make their new home.
Since they spoke a different language, the king of a small state in India sent his emissary with a glass full of milk to communicate to the visitors that he had no space in his kingdom for more people.
The head of the fleet poured a spoon full of sugar in the glass of milk and sent it back to the king of the Indian state.
The king was first amused at the returned glass of milk but then he tasted it. His face lit up realizing that the message from the visitors was, “We will mix with your people and integrate into your community just like sugar mixes in milk and makes it sweeter.”
And how true were they to their word? Zoroastrians or Parsis as they are known in India, is a community of 100,000 in a country of 1 Billion people. Their contributions in industry, art, science and literature are disproportionately tremendous. Just to mention a few Parsis: Zubin Mehta world famous conductor, Tata family- founder of many industries and Air India, Homi Bhabha the founder of India’s Nuclear Program, Dadabhoy Navroji- a co-founder of modern India in Gandhi’s team, Godrej family- large industrialist, and so many more…
I guess it takes only a small amount of sugar (.01% of the population) to add a lot of sweetness to the large pot of milk.

REFLECTION:
When you go to a new environment: whether it is a country or a company or an organization, mix with the local culture and use your talents in such a way that it enhances the capabilities of your new organization.

The ever increasing to-do list

Just to add some stuff to my otherwise-empty blog, I put this “things to do before I die” list that I had prepared sometime back. Flicked some points from web and added some of my own. Read this and let me know if we have something in common. This list seems to be increasing in magnitude at a very fast rate. It will soon become infinite.

1. Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the U.S. Open. (National Football- NFL)
2. Swim with a dolphin, for that I have to learn Swimming first.
3. Have your portrait painted.
4. Learn to speak a foreign language and make sure you use it(Even I tried with French..:P)
5. Watch the launch of a space shuttle.
6. Spend a whole day eating junk food without feeling guilty.
7. Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details.
8. Own a room with a view.
9. Fall deeply in love, helplessly and unconditionally with someone who loves you equally.
10. Learn how to take a compliment.
11. Buy a round-the-world air ticket and a rucksack, and run away.
12. Be a member of the audience in a TV show.
13. Ride a camel into the desert.
14. Plant a tree.
15. Be the Boss.
16. At least watch one world cup final in which India would be one team.I know I know I didn’t do this time.
17. Write the novel you know you have inside you.
18. Be someone’s mentor.
19. Shower in a waterfall. (Niagara Falls)
20. Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill.(Again Hard luck with Guitar).
21. Teach someone illiterate to read.
22. See a lunar/solar eclipse.
23. Spend New Year’s in an exotic location. (At the Times Square Ball drop, NY)
24. Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it.
25. Experience weightlessness. (on a water ride in Disneyland)
26. Learn dancing (preferably Salsa or Belly Dancing).
27. Sleep under the stars,(Started doing it,as my new house is having stars at the roof top.:P)
28. Donate blood (I m ready to give, none are ready to take).
29. Find a job you love.
30. Overcome your fear of failure.
31. Travel in a ship.
32. Donate money and put your name on something: a college scholarship, a bench in the park.
33. Buy your own house and then spend time making it into exactly what you want.
34. Drive a convertible with the top down and music blaring. (Does being a passenger count here?)
35. Learn to use a microphone and give a speech in public.
36. Scuba dive off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
37. Attend one really huge rock concert.
38. Give to a charity — anonymously.
39. Create your own web site.
40. Skiing on Alps in Switzerland. ( Going on 22nd April 2011).
41. Set foot on each of the seven continents. (Just 2 covered India and Europe..:P)
42. Trek Himalayas.
43. Take African Safari.
44. Visit the source of one of the world’s great rivers like Amazon or Nile.
45. Climb an active volcano.
46. Photograph an endangered species.
47. Lose your way in a Forest/Jungle and then meet wild animals.
48. Kiss in rain.
49. Stand at the North or South Pole.
50. Ride a military fighter plane. (Have just seen them)
51. Climb the Great Pyramid of Egypt and shout.
52. Visit Disneyland.
53. Play Roulette in Las Vegas.
54. Visit Hollywood and the studios there
55. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
56. Have your picture in the newspaper (for being a best student in my 12th)
57. Attend a school/college reunion.
58. Go to a film premiere.
59. Invent or discover something that changes the world for the better.
60. Spend a romantic evening with someone special in Paris.
61. Learn how to fix my own electronics gadgets.
62. Get a photograph taken by me published in some reputed magazine.
63. Own my own Island.
64. See a real missile/rocket/space shuttle
65. Get a tattoo.
66. Watch the sunset on a beach
67. Smile at strangers.
68. Become a pro at Cricket/Tennis or any sport.
69. Meet a childhood favorite actor/singer.
70. Write an article for a national newspaper.
71. Convert a room at home into a library and collect at least 10000 books.
72. Vote for someone on a TV reality show.
73. Get married to girl of my dreams and have a happy family with her.

Will add more to the list. What is on your must-do list? Suggest me more items to add to this list 🙂

Beauty Vs Brain

Why does it happen in real life that people with beauty are given more attention and importance than that given to the ones who are not good looking enough? People usually don’t look for brains.. the first thing that impresses others is the beauty of a person.. I have seen people fawning good looking people even if the other person is harsh, rude and insensitive…Is beauty everything??.. The first thing about a person that impresses me is the intelligence and of course, the attitude….

I have commonly noticed (it need not be always true) that people who are good looking are arrogant, proud and disrespectful. But, beauty doesn’t last for long… it fades with the age.. A person should understand that what really matters in the long run is intelligence and the person’s attitude towards others; maybe, friends, colleagues, classmates or relatives..

Software Engineers never die. They just go offline.

I read this line sometime and loved it! And I totally agree. Even though I want to switched my profile, the software engineer in me is still alive and does kick sometimes 😛 😆 The four years in which we engineers acquire the degree (that’s what we do, that’s it), are so unbelievably powerful and memorable, that those years remain with us all our lives. Maybe, as it is frequently said, we hardly are taught anything in colleges which will be applicable in the industry, we still are very different from the rest!

It goes without saying that four years in an engineering college is probably the best time of anyone’s life. The best experience ever.

Cheers to us software engineers! 🙂

Software Enginner