Monday, November 28, 2011

I am with you!

Neither ahead nor behind
Not higher up or down below
but WITH you! I am with you.

Walking alongside on your journey, holding you when you need help, being there when something goes wrong, pulling you up when the chips are down, nudging you to be better than you already are, caring for you, sharing with you the joys and laughter, smiling and showing that little gesture to say "You really are special" and "I am with you"

Now, who wouldn't want people like that around (or should I say WITH) us. It's only when we get into these shoes that we see how difficult this 'seemingly simple' thing to do actually is. It's easy to give an opinion, pass a judgement, form a bias, comment and criticise than being WITH people.

Most of us are so lost in being ahead or above each other, that we don't actually be WITH each other. There is this mad race, the one upmanship, the ego wars, the personality clashes, the power struggles, the "what's in it for me?", jealousy, indifference, the desire to win 'at any cost'; that clouds judgement and blurs the vision of 'purpose in life'.

Whenever someone is WITH their friend, their spouse, their neighbour, their leader or for that matter, anyone; the results have been phenomenal, beyond logic or math, and can show how people come together to make forces much beyond the arithmetic sum of all constituents. Efficiencies multiply, productivity increases dramatically, the belief system is in place and NO goal beyond reach. I am with you.

The world would just magically transform itself to a different and better place if most of us think and do like that. Consider, I'm not suggesting all of us being like that always with everyone; it may not be possible. Also, consider, people are different from each other, sometimes very much so in how they think and live. Your values and belief systems should allow you for this to happen, but let's agree to be WITH the ones we can be WITH. I am with you.

Starting with you and me, how many people can we be WITH? Let's challenge ourselves to be WITH ten people each (a number that we can count on our fingers and yet something that would take a special effort). No hurry, as long as we can stand and walk with them in our lifetime. Not for feeling good, not for the hope that someday they will repay, not with any deal or condition, but, just like that - I AM WITH YOU, come what may!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Potential i-phone/ android app

It is common knowledge that "what-if" analysis can be done using data to show the various possible results by changing variables, for business or otherwise.

What would be interesting to see whether "what-if" could be applied to something very personal like our photographs. Imagine the everyday applications of an app like that - which could take a sampling of your photographs since childhood to recent past, use the facial features and the development seen, to predict say, how you'd look like in 10 or 20 years from now. What if you went on a diet and lost 5 or 10kg, what if your complexion is 2 shades lighter or darker and the like. Also, it could also be very useful for people under the knife of a plastic surgeon.

Given, we have face recognition tools and editing software availabe these days, this should be possible and may sell as a cool i-phone or android app. "What if" someone really gets inspired and turns this into reality!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What's your sucess criteria?

What's your success criteria? Or would you rather call it SLA's, metrics, benchmarks, goals, targets, end state and the like? And who defines it for you?

We typically use any of the above terms at work, and while at work the boss decides these (or atleast is supposed to) for you in your role and capacity. And then, most of us would do our best (the others would do better than best) to get closer to these high standards and sometimes exceed them. These are cherished times, the performance appraisals are smooth, smiles are around and money finds its way to the bank. Now, that's clear; documented, signed off, agreed by both parties, and checked at regular frequencies to keep you on track.

What some of us may not have is the same rigour and diligence with other facets of life, which may be of equal importance, if not more. Lets talk about a few - family, friends, society at large, country, religion all have set us 'de-facto' or 'de-jure' criteria for success. Depending on when and where you're born, which community you belong to and what religion you do or don't practise, there are a few stated and a lot of implied expectations from you. These translate into your success criteria, in their eyes. Now, living upto these expectations can never be easy, primarily because what we have called family and society is really a collection of individuals with a diverse perspective. So, even if your life revolves around say 50 people that really matter to you, you still have 50 success criteria to live upto. And remember, these criteria itself change based on situation, the challenge you're facing and generally from time to time (generation to generation, era to era) with all possible combinations. Whoa!

Finally, then there's the teeny-weeny little voice from inside once in a while (although most of us would have trained it not to speak up) that adds to the porridge, making it dangerously explosive. Well, that's the burden each of us carry on "our shoulders" every living day, with or without knowledge. Now, did someone say they (or their porridge) feel burnt out?

Each of us (not counting the enlightened ones here) is living several lives and trying to fit in even more in ONE LIFE, now that's where it get's complicated. Life is not meant to be complicated, it is supposed to be simple and serene, happy and joyful, with meaning and purpose. While each life has in it abundant space for one life (and one wife :-), we got to figure whose life we want to live.

If only we could cut through this clutter and drown the noise, we may hear this voice, feeble in the beginning, but distinct nevertheless. Chances are that you may have already have heard this, but have either ignored it, riduculed it as being childish, or have fought it valiantly. If, and only if, we could listen again, this time with the right intent and belief, one could live HIS LIFE at last, and before last.

The best practice, ofcourse, is to set "your success criteria", document it, measure against it, track progress and, well, you know the drill...please don't forget "CELEBRATE" though.