Monday, August 5, 2013

What Inspires Me

A recent series of articles by different people on LinkedIn put me to think about what inspires me.

Well when thinking of things that inspire me there is a long list that comes to my mind. A deeper thought brings in a conclusion that every bit of my surrounding is an inspiration; it is just the state of mind, at the time, conjuring whether to absorb the inspiration in that space or not.

To share an example, this is the most unsuitable time for me to write (as I ever think) when the house chores are whirring for my attention, when the sun is at its peak for anyone to beat the heat, when my son is all awake, up on his mischiefs to distract me and when what not…yet I am here writing intoxicated with inspiration spilling in the space. Each day when I sat at this time nothing came as an inspiration and there were countless reasons for me not to be inspired to write but today seemed a magical day. And the reason is a fresh state of mind.

Like I said there is limitless availability of inspiration around me, one of them is the silence of the night. In my teenage years it was this silence which filled me with inspiration and a paper and a pencil accompanied best to unfold that inspiration into creativity. To this day that silence brings in inspiration.

Another thing that inspires me is a good read. And in today’s Wi-Fi generation there are numerous sources for a good read. They culminate in me inspiring ideas for creativity.

A beautiful weather outside the window inspires me and fills energy within.

An artistic piece pours in thoughts of creativity and inspires me.

A walk or a drive is often a source of inspiration. Infact sometimes a conversation strikes inspiration for me. It fills me with ideas and a bucket full of creativity.

Do you think I need to add more to the list that inspire me? Just this small list can lighten the expanse of the floor of inspiration. It is just a state of mind which is ready to go around and pick these tits and bits of inspiration and put them into creative piece of art, thought or whatever. So think about and let me know does it work the same way for you. And are you also surrounded by tits and bits of inspirational sources.

And to conclude I would only say next time you are working on something but the energy is low…you are not getting the result, take a break. Pick one from the list of things that inspires you and give that source of inspiration five minutes of your time. Then get back to that work, you will find yourself with the energy to finish the task…you will be all inspired.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Most of the times, we find our friends and colleagues unhappy as employees in a company, over a period of time. Have you ever wondered what change in working environment contributed to this changeover from a happy employee to an unhappy one? Is it the boss that has made the place unsatisfactory for you?

Often the bosses play an important role in our satisfaction level in a company. If they have the convincing power, understand when to stand by their team members, the scenario changes to quite an extent. Great bosses are remarkable and with their leadership abilities they make the organisation a remarkable place to work for.

So what are the qualities that we are looking for in the ‘remarkable boss’?

  1. Decision Making – One of my friends is full of praises when she speaks about her boss because he is a good decision maker. In calls where there have been unending discussions and arguments, his interruptions and decisions have been remarkable and applauded by everyone. And when you work with such decision makers, you tend to be satisfied with work as you know your time will not be wasted in unresolved scenarios.

  1. Taking the initiative and leading – This quality quite overlaps with the one of making decision. A manager with the ability to take decision can step forth and take initiatives. A very good example of an initiative taker can be displayed in this video where the coach risked his reputation and came forward to help the singer. The situation is - young Natalie Gilbert stumbles over Star-Spangled Banner (national anthem of United States of America) before the start of professional basket ball game. The coach of one of the teams Maurice “Mo” Cheeks comes forth to help. He takes the initiative setting an example of what leadership demands. It makes it so very clear, where there are leaders like Maurice, people are happy to follow.

  1. Development and Mentoring at a practical pace - When I resigned from my company, my replacement had a team of 10 to mentor. In our knowledge transition process I had a hard time convincing him that the pace of mentoring the team needs to be slower than what he was planning for. He wanted to load his decades of experience and knowledge on fresh starters. After I left the company I received e-mails from almost all my team members and each of them reflected the unhappy state.

  1.  Solutions and Fixing things – When we look at our managers we are expecting them to find solutions for our problems and get things fixed. A remarkable manager has the capacity to provide solution when a team member approaches. When the problems are not addressed then the dissatisfaction grows. I am lucky to have worked with such a manager who always had a way out of the problems I approached him with. He always provided alternatives as well. An employee is happy working if he knows there will be a very small period of ambiguity before his manager provides him a solution or alternative for a problem that is in his manager’s or senior authorities control.

  1. Using Correct Words – A fact but hard to accept, managers need to be good with words they use. Whether dealing with clients or team mates there are situations when you need to commend them and there are times when you need to censure. Commending a team member is quiet easy task but reprimanding needs skill. It is a situation where you need to be good with words to show the team member his mistake but still give him a scope to improve - using words that are not disheartening.

  1. Rescuer in the hard times - If you know your boss can take a stand for you when time needs, you will be willing to put extra efforts for your part of job to get it accomplished. Each of us have our bad times and a good boss can only be the one to show up for you in those times – whether it is standing by you against the odds or guiding and reassuring you.

All in all, the boss can contribute a lot to your happiness in an organisation because they are the medium of communication to the organisation for you. From my own experience I can say your performance can be directly affected by the kind of boss you have. Do you think so?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Lobby of Fear

The Nurse opened the door and as the four of us (whose name the nurse had called) entered, we saw a long lane lighted with dim lights. Walking down the lanes, I realized I had never perspired their quietness ever before – quietness that entails a fear ‘What’s wrong with me?’ and a hope ‘Everything’s gonna be alright.’ Though the illness might not be serious but when it comes to walking past the lobbies of medical test centers it always conspires a fear within us.

And as I walked down the lobby, my eyes went searching each room that I passed by, looking at each person around and keeping my ears open for every word that went in the air – all of it to really understand what was in there. I came across an old man asking for water from another nurse because in his words he was ‘scared to death’ with all those tests being performed on him. Then I realized that one of the four of us was an old woman. She slowly walked supporting herself with a stick and holding her man’s hand. Their grip was tight as it would have been all these years of togetherness. We walked a few more steps and then one by one, we were all shown changing rooms to dress into the blue patient gowns. It appeared in the next second I would be laid on a stretcher and taken to OT, a mask on my face as the stretcher would move, a light from the ceiling would go past my eyes almost blinding me, and then several human figures would appear with masks and blue gowns, the only difference between me and them – I lay on the stretcher, they stand next to me with each carrying a pair of scissor and forceps and all other medical instruments. No nothing as such happened, though I’ll take the glory in dramatizing it highly.

After I changed I waited in the dark and grim lobby sitting at the end of it and watching people go and come (I used ‘go and come’ because you felt relaxed when you left these dim, fearful lobbies) and of course wearing the Blue Gown. I watched people come in, each one with fear hidden or uncovered which I saw through Mr. India glasses. As I waited there I tapped through the quietness of these lobbies and they served a prelusion to my fear (and where this title/story came from).

Each face unfurled a different story. And as I said, each face had a fear and a hope. I saw it in the face of the limping woman who found her confidante in the nurse accompanying her and whined about the leg that troubled her all the time. A little later I found it in the man who had entered the lobby with me. Though he carried a smile, yet the eyes could not accompany the smile well to make a perfect ‘nothing to worry’ man in him. And the most obvious story was on the face of the lady who came in with kids. She had her mouth covered with both hands and then she looked at her kids, probably aged 1 and 3, with no one to accompany them while she underwent the tests. She made them sit on the bench in the lobby and spoke to them convincingly probably asking them to wait there. Though she spoke convincingly to those little fellows, she herself did not appear convinced. She seemed so very scared.

I wondered how the employees work there all the time relaxing patients with their pleasant smiles and composed conversation. At all these places even if the doctor wasn’t wordy but just the regular questions came from them in such a comforting voice that all the fear you gathered in the lobby went running back and hide in the lobby corners saying ‘Sorry, I guess I caught the wrong person.’

Also there is one thing that I need to mention essentially. There’s a lady at the reception of one of these centers. When you speak to her you find certain calmness and the fear lying within you escapes as if she had just asked it ‘Please leave right away.’ I wish to strike a conversation with her and hear her talk for eternity. Whenever I have visited the center, I have always felt like telling her about it and add to it that the job suits her so much. Someday I will gather the audacity to say it to her.

Though I am not sure about others but I have come out of the lobby with clear reports that accompanied my persevering hope that everything’s just fine. I wish never to peep into those lobbies again and never to perspire the quietness.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holi U in Color

A gun shot of water peppering the dust
A fistful of color painting the world
Ravishing a season knocking on door
Menacing negativities shooing far off
A day of resolutions
A day of planning
Revamp a year ahead in life
Fill the gaps of loath
A stranger hugged just on the road
Who’s gonna identify  the Holi U in Color’
Making much of ‘Bura na mano holi hai’
Springing a bundle of color to the world

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Women's Day

Recently I had been to a shopping plaza and I had an experience worth sharing. My friend and I had walked through the plaza, checked out every store for whatever we did not want and now we were hungry. So we sat down in a cafeteria and I was fulfilling my son’s tantrums while eating that I realized that an old lady, around 75 years of age, was eyeing me. Being in a foreign country I’ll admit I am very conscious about my son’s as well as my manners. It is like both of us have to be in best of manners but with a 3 year old it seems impossible (even for me leave alone my boy)!

Anyways as she looked at me I wondered what was odd in me that she was staring at. Or maybe she wasn’t liking the way my son was behaving (though I know it wasn’t that bad a situation with my son) I thought and in vain tried to ignore her. For a few moments when I did forget her, concentrating on my son, somebody tapped on my shoulder. Turning back to look I saw it was the same lady and she said to me “I was admiring the mother magic in you. Don’t take it otherwise. You are doing great and keep going.” And she went. But she made my day.

And why did I share this story with you? Because it’s Women’s day and probably we have forgotten to commend the woman just next to us.  Each of us might be busy posting a Happy Women’s Day post or reading an article on most influential women in the world but we have forgotten the lady next to us. Have we ever thought just to go out and pat a woman’s back and say to her ‘You are the most influential house maker. Keep going.” Or have we ever thought of reaching out to a not-so-popular working woman who is giving her best shot to balance between home and work and said to her “You are doing just great. You are the most influential women in my life.” No right? So may be today just do it and it will really be a ‘Happy Women’s Day’ for that gal out there.

Feel free to leave your comment and tell me your story…how did you make a woman feel special today or may be any other day…or You Lady how did somebody make you feel special.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Lost Winner

How does it feel when you lose something? This question poked my mind when I discovered some days back that I did not win a contest. Initially I submerged into feeling dejected filling myself with all of those negative thoughts I could really count on and feel sympathetic with. And the most common one - ‘Oh! This happens with me only. I don’t get the good things in life.’

And then probably something struck me in a moment to analyze this loss in a positive direction. So now how does it feel when I put it in most simple words that a loss gives a chance to improve. Even if I lost the competition I am a winner because I got a chance to learn something new.

We always endeavor a failure into building boundaries for ourselves. We look at it as the end of the world or an end to our attempt in the direction – an attempt to learn and give it a shot again. But this time my failure gave me a turning point and awakened me from the feeling of dejection. I looked at all my competitors and their submissions. It turned out to be a learning phase for me – to learn what I lacked in my attempt, what others had put in their attempt, the style the winners presented their attempts. Had I won the competition, I wouldn't have even looked at other competitors’ submissions, failing to give me chance to learn from all those competitors and their experiences.

More than failing in an attempt, a bigger aspect is not attempting due to a fear to failure. You look at that eagle flying leisurely in the sky on bright-sunny-quiet day. It doesn't have the fear of failure in its flight because it has not created the boundaries to fly. It is a symbol of freedom. The freedom of a bird with no boundaries set to fly…our attempts should be such. Win or fail, we need to learn, we need to fly. And if in any case we do fail, there’s an instant ‘win’ sitting right at the corner if we look at it - learning from our failure, learning to flap the wings correctly. In our young ages we had aspirations. As we grew big those aspirations were surrounded by boundaries of fear…slowing down our leaps of imaginations and giving them a try.

Then there was a different perspective that JK Rowling gave in one of her speeches I heard a few days back and she spoke about the benefits of failure. She said the failure in her life gave her a realization to turn into the direction which she had always believed in “…So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential…. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive...”

And we all are still alive from our past failures. Yes it do has some pain attached to it but we need to rip off that pain and see ourselves as a winner to learn something new from the failure.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Imagine Aspire Create

Though I haven’t finished reading this one, but ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ made me ponder over our brains that are so much systematic and functioned. The limit over which it is engaged in a calculation or any other activity is so much defined. We can proximately answer to what ‘2+2’ is but when we need to answer a bulky calculation like ‘34*673/52’, our brain prompts us to run for a paper and pen. How those instincts work as to give an answer or run for a paper and pen, is amazing.

Further a deeper thought into this functioning is how it has brought so much creativity into the world, and keep bringing in, contributed by each individual; perhaps a story like Da Vinci Code, a melodrama like Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi, a technology like e-reader… (Note – I am not advertising for any of the above listings. It is just what came to my mind instantly). Each thing around us has so much creativity involved – a clock on the wall, a house outside your window and furniture on which you are sitting – you name it and ponder over the creativity. Somebody imagined it, aspired for it and created it. It is such a vast experience to dive and explore.

And to be more precise this work of mine is contemplation over this book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ and my first visit to Disney Land. The creativity has been put to its best at Disney Land (and no stone unturned to advertise it).

Long before we introduced this word we had it in our inner-selves, each one of us contributing to creativity, bringing into existence a beautiful world. Somehow creativity and beautiful world pictures a Bonsai plant to me. It is a wonderful creation into existence. How could somebody visualize a miniature tree and bring it into existence.
And a further musing into it makes harder for me to separate out innovation from creativity. I can always figure innovation as part of creativity. I feel the creativity in itself can visualize the so called innovation. Had Einstein been not creative (in addition to the curiosity), he would not have deciphered anything from a falling apple. How many times in a day do we perceive a falling thing as a subject of center of gravity?

As I mentioned Disney earlier, I wondered how those imaginations of people have been put to work there. Those rides are an innovation, merging the concept of a ride and a story of a cartoon character. And then there are street shows or parades. Those are really simple shows you might come across each day but the effects of creativity in the colors, music and characters make the children (even the adults) go crazy for it. A thin line between the fantasy world of a lil girl and reality; they imagined it and created it.

So let us all get our minds to work – imagine ’it’ today, aspire for ’it’ tomorrow and create ’it’ day after. And no doubt when God could be creative in creating a wonderful world why not us, His creations.