Thursday, 21 July 2011


It is funny how the very epitome of talent in the present is a hindrance to the ‘progress’ of mankind. The reason – ‘INERTIA’. If you were to ask a doctor his/her opinion on a device which would prevent people from falling ill, it would be discarded into the bin, in front of your eyes as utopian thought process. What could be the reason for such behaviour from humans, in our present example – the doctor.

While at one end the reason could very simply be that this ‘device’ is nothing but placebo, a phenomenon in which the mind is fooled to believe the end result is happening through a phoney medicine/approach. BUT it still brings out a debate – do we as humans discard futuristic, progressive and new methods due to our own inertia and thereby elongate our miseries and prolong our progress. The desire to hold on, resist change, could go on to become the very reason for the disappearance for the species one day.

In the case in point, the doctor may be acting on sheer lack on information to him, but instead of probing a better possibility it is straight away discarded. Reasons:
·       One reason for such behaviour is sheer lack of time or rather interest by the doctor. But then don’t  the professional ethics of every field demand as a matter of duty that you should be updated about the latest in your profession. And updating yourself demand a constant endeavour to learn by trying the ‘new’.
·        Another reason, which to my observation, seems befitting our conduct, is our resistance to change. Because change is a lot of hardwork, a lot of unlearning followed by re-learning. A lot of risk taking, cultivating the nature of a child like curiosity, managing the fear of being ridiculed. All of which can be avoided, by simply discarding anything that tries to change status quo.
To make matters worse, it is when the so-called experts of present times (I call them ‘so-called’ because anyone who is not updated with the latest in not really an expert in my meaning of the word) who are the leaders of this pro status quo movement. These pseudo experts would be so hung on to their present, that they would go to the extent of figuring out more of their species and form a cartel to oppose. In the backdrop of this hypothesis, is it not obvious that anyone who stands apart, and choses to walk a different path is highly likely to succeed. The only requirement being to break your inertia!!!

Friday, 8 July 2011

The Balance of Life in the Internet Age

Evolution: Towards a LONELIER future? Or a future ALONE!!
As evolution takes mankind further and further away from being a social animal and  makes mankind move towards households which are self-contained, economies which are self-sustaining and as the internet spreads far and wide to the remotest locations, Mankind’s urge to be part of a social setup and to have co-humans physically present closeby slowly and gradually diminishes. It is this action whose equal and opposite reaction ensures that we are moving into a cycle and investing into a phenomenon which feeds ‘loneliness’. However, we need to strongly bring about a distinction here between Lonely and Alone, because the two terms are used inter changeably a lot of times, without really understanding the distinction. People in New York are not alone – they just stay lonely. People in Mumbai are not lonely – they just stay alone.
The term Evolution has been defined first and foremost by Darwin to connote a process where transformation happens from one state of being to another, the latter being more suitable to not just survive but nearly dominate the set of circumstances that prevail at that time. Taking the same logic ahead hereon, it will depend on how we evolve our future social and capitalist structures that will decide the fate of our so called Evolution. If there is anything that will play the most important part in this journey of ours, it will be the internet.
Today a child needs a micro-processor enabled device before he even knows the importance of education. Socialization has taken a digital form, and children probably get to know a lot more about their facebook buddies than they know about their next door neighbour. What does all this mean for us? As carpenters and electricians are fixed an appointment for on the internet what results is that today’s  average human being ends up spending a lot more time on the internet than he does anywhere else. And therefore we need to somewhere remember: too much of anything is bad. The Ying-Yang rules and balance is the key!

Are we "Living" or "Existing"?

I still remember the days when I was a kid, eager to start earning. Why? Because that would mean that whatever I earned will be ‘my money’. I will have it completely at MY disposal and would buy whatever I wished to. Time never stopped, and I kept growing. Now, I earn ‘my money’. A six figure salary!!!  That should be a happy ending, right? WRONG.
We all went to some amazing schools, studied hard, graduated from the choicest universities, a whole lot of us went ahead and did our post graduation, and doubled maybe tripled, our otherwise paltry annual package.  I still remember the ‘joy’ and the ‘relief’ that pulsated through me, when the Human Resource Personnel from one of the world’s largest financial institution called out my name. I was ‘hired’.
Little did I realize that along with ‘hired’ came his ugly, insensitive, illogical brother called ‘fired’ or more importantly the fact that ‘MY FATE’ is now linked to the efforts and mishaps of this organization and that my life actually depended on how good had the ‘ex’-CEO done the job. For those of you who are based out of USA, or who were closely associated with the financial industry in the recent past, I’m certain you would have seen this ugly brother ‘fired’ from close distance. At times, this ugly brother comes with family members called recession and layoffs, and at other’s in the form of boss’ ego and insecurity.
Moving on, after working day and night for 6 months, comes the second joy of my life. I got ‘confirmed’. Well!!! Putting my blood & sweat, 18 hours a day, having nightmares of excel spreadsheets and just enough money to meet my expenses, the cherry on the cake was the confirmation that I could continue to do so for the next 30 years. Thank You So Much!!!
Something somewhere was not making sense. I must have missed out something really BIG for the world around me to be so different from what I expected or from what it logically should’ve been. How can there be so many inconsistencies. 
Examples (These are real life cases)
 Example 1: Bank X has the highest profit per employee; however, if we were to do a survey of the average salary of its employees, they would not rank even in the top 5. Guess, this is one of the primary reasons why their profit per employee is so high.
Example 2: Employee A, worked in an organization for 10 continuous years, morning 9AM to evening 10PM (the usual work hours for most companies in the Indian sub-continent). He was heading the marketing department at the end of ten years and was a satisfied with his achievement. Like a schoolbook story, one fine day the company’s ‘management’ realized that the ways and means of the new world require a change of approach in the company’s marketing initiatives. Not surprisingly, a new person was hired and a new division called Innovation Marketing was created. Slowly and gradually 80% of the team and with it 95% of the assignments were transferred to this new department. This mid 30s man with a family, had no option but to suffer in disgrace, as he was ostracized and made redundant. A man with a family of wife and two kids was stuck. The reason: because he devoted himself totally to the company. Foolishly, this extreme devotion ensured that he did not even have time to keep himself updated or acquire new skills.
Now ….. these examples bring out some important things to watch out for:
1.       If you are an employee, always be aware of what are the options in your industry (may be you can earn better).
2.       Statistics like ‘highest profit per employee’ etc. are not the best benchmarks to look at, when choosing a company to work for.
3.       Always ensure you keep yourself updated with latest trends. Be ahead of the time.
4.       Keep your curriculum vitae updated. It does not hurt to remain in the habit of appearing for interviews. Plus it only helps if you know your real worth in the market.

The problem however is that the system in which we are plugged into on a daily basis (leaving Sundays – maybe), does not allow us the bandwidth to undertake anything apart from the core deliverables assigned to us by our employers. Worse - our deliverables themselves may change at any given point of time. Thus, you end up mastering a system and becoming over efficient for a particular way or work, which becomes redundant and obsolete one day, and with that happening, your value for the organization trickles down like a house of cards. And the final nail in the coffin follows, when you’re slowly and gradually alienated and eventually resign.
Isn’t that something to think about?
Isn’t that something to worry about?
Well, if reading the above few paragraphs did make you think. Rather, if reading them made you WORRIED, Congratulations!!!!!!.........
And the reason why I congratulate you is because you still have the will to ‘live’. The system has not corrupted you completely, and you need to congratulate yourself for keeping mankind’s biggest nature ALIVE.
This biggest trait of human nature which has ensured our development over the centuries and ensured that humankind is the most ‘progressive’ race on the planet, is our affinity for disobedience. It is this affinity for disobedience fuelled by our gut feeling for what is right that has sown the seeds for some of the most significant steps in our civilization. The questions remains, are we going to take that STEP or just continue existing!