Luxury … of thought

I was reading about ‘Luxury’ in a magazine during one of my return flights from Europe. One of the article in this magazine, very aptly defined ‘Luxury’ as the power of exclusivity. The best reference in a column was what Dan Ariely made by describing the distinction of luxury as ‘external & internal signaling’  which was very appealing to me. It made me ponder as to what does a luxury brand do to us when we wear it or connect ourselves to it – yes, it makes us feel different, probably elated & satisfied. Imagine the last time you bought a luxury product – be it a watch or a car, a branded shirt or a bag….and the feeling. I do remember the last time I wore a watch of a leading brand and how it transformed my thoughts in form of unleashing the inherent potential thereby giving me an impetus. Similarly, I have seen people transform in their stature and form of thoughts after starting to ride a new luxury branded car. All this nurtures into us a feeling of warmth, that in turn allows us to get a ‘feel-good’ factor thereby allowing us to think better & raise our self-confidence & so on. 

Now, what if we can apply the same logic of luxury to what we read &what we think – it could probably be true that thinking about some very luxurious elements & reading authors who are rare & unique like a luxury, may also influence us to think positive. If we read about authors who have a very elevated taste of writing, it may help us to get our thoughts molded in an enhanced manner that could then influence our life for good. Thoughts then weave into action, which in turn translates to habit and eventually our culture or heritage. It is very important to help our thoughts shape up thereby transmitting a vibration upstream into all these elements. We all know that actions speak louder than words. If we could work on the process of enhancing the quality of our actions by shaping up our thoughts by this luxury-approach, I am sure we would be able to communicate better and make the world a better place to live. After all, each one of us has a duty to perform so as to make our society improve & excel. 


Think Positive

The chores across the day often make you feel low, thereby spoiling your mood and bringing darkness to your life. Although you may want to think positive, the circumstances within your mind do not allow you to do so. This is where the downfall begins. What is needed is for you to kindle just one ray of light to drive away the darkness.
Think Positive. This is the buzzword, that I have been propagating after I read about Candor in Jack Welch’s book titled “Winning”. It talks about being positive in attitude and speech. It is tough but contagious. Hence, the need of pursuing it relentlessly till success.  We live in a society, work as teams and have unique roles vis-à-vis our peers. If we decide to spread Candor around us, the entire atmosphere would become vibrant and positive, thereby helping us to curb negativity within the system.   It is not easy, but is worth the effort.
Candor in addition to becoming a habit, should become a cultural behaviour within our society. If it becomes such a generally accepted behaviour encouraged by society, it would be followed without conscious efforts. Synergy would then evolve and success would be easy. Satisfaction and Happiness will follow.

An Evening at NID

It was about one and half years back when a thought cane to my mind that would be nice to give an exposure of an institute like NID to my children for them to get an understanding of the kind of courses available at such premium institutes. In my mind, this could help them to allow their mind to flow & identify their right taste. It took me some time to co-ordinate this visit with NID and match it up with my family and friends. Finally, 7 of us visited the R & D campus of NID, Bangalore yesterday. It was an amazing & rich experience for both the children and adults alike. 

Mr.Ghosal from NID was kind enough to facilitate the visit to NID yesterday evening. This is one of the finest experiences that we have had in the past. When you get a chance to take a tour of an institute alongwith a person, who has been the mastermind behind creating it, you get to appreciate it much better. The tour commenced with Mr.Ghosal giving all of us a background of the Design intent of each and every student, when he / she enters this institute. He also explained the rationale behind setting up such an institute. Moving on, he took us to show the profiles of various alumni students displayed in the lobby of the institute explaining to the children what it took for these students to reach this distinction. He was very critical in his explanation to let the children not have a feeling that may get them bogged down by all his inputs. We then went inside the Digital Hampi Lab  to get an experience of a rare combination of history and digital capability. It was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see how could a digitization and software create something today using the historical data. This was, in my mind,  a fantastic tool to revive the past….

Mr.Ghosal had planned our visit well in advance, by also getting us a chance to be able to interact with two of his new students who had joined NID just about six months back. Ankit & Lalit, both from Maharashtra, were kind enough to narrate us their individual stories of how they got into NID, giving us a brief about their background as well. It was certainly a very inspiring story for the children. Ankit showed a photo of the current state of his workshop and then showed us his vision of how it could be from a “designer’s eye” – transformation so vivid, that  it brought a “Vow” from each one of us. He shared his experience, elaborating how he used simple techniques to generate inexpensive creations using day-to-day articles utilizing his creative instinct. All his efforts and creations were adorable. Lalit, a Fine Art student, then took us through his set of achievements. A very simple person, Lalit has innumerable talent in him, as was evident from his intelligent work. He showed us some of his work, that he made himself with hours of dedicated efforts to bring out exquisite creativity and style. His work on Ganesh festival décor was wonderful. Knowing that he himself made it all alone after toiling for four days, each one of us was amazed.

Using the examples of his students, Mr.Ghosal candidly put across certain important facts in front of the children :

Dedication : He gave examples to elaborate the dedication required by each child when pursuing a career at NID.

Communication : His explanation of how communication skills can be enhanced by representing using sketches simple objects, was very unique and thought provoking.

Proportion : Each one of us has a visualizing skill, which we need to enhance, using proportion techniques. He nicely explained how simple  domestic exercises could help in improving the ability of proportion and learn from it.

Imagination : Mr.Ghosal gave to us, very good examples from his yester-years, as to how  his students came up with innovative ideas to form structures such as Cubes, Spectacle using a straight rod of steel, by using their imagination skills.

Overall, an evening at NID, was a great learning, in addition to getting an exposure to one of the finest institutions in India. I am sure this will kindle into our children a desire to excel in their academics and skills, thereby helping them nurture a desire to get into such an institution. 

– Manoj Kabre

Long live the Japanese culture

Its been a while, since I have been traveling to Japan – always fascinated by the people of Japan. It is truly a country depicting discipline and consistency with longevity in every walk of life – be it the crossing of road on the zebra crossing or the queue in front of the subway train door, or near the elevator….it is always perfect and consistent. A small child holding hand of his father,  while crossing the road, takes the lessons of awaiting the green light signal and following the queue. I have always been wondering as to what goes in making this possible. It can definitely not been taught and verified time and again, but I could see, that this comes by far from the culture that has been imbibed into the people of Japan. Kudos to this culture !

I have always been fascinated by the discipline followed in Japan in every walk of life – it has been an inspiration and a learning. A thought preceeds every action, and this could be always the reason that the habit of discipline is sustained. The patience and perseverance that a Japanese exhibits seems to be his heritage. We all are aware of the history of Japan, as to how it revived from the Hiroshima-Nagasaki massacre ! The country had to begin its life from scratch…which is not easy. Inspite of the difficulties and trouble, Japan proved to the world that it could do it ! They did it. 

The simplicity of people in Japan and respect for each other is another main reason of their success. Their humility and dignity is beyond compare. The bow in lieu of greeting each other at entry and exit of an interaction or visit, is truly amazing. I have practiced it myself, and found that it is not an easy task to do so all the time. The stance of a person while greeting with a polite “Gozaimaas” is serene and pure. This transmits politeness and calmness in the entire conversation, I guess. There are rarely any hard talks amongst the Japanese, and this could also be a principal reason, why the crime rate in Japan is low. 

Japanese are loyal. Once a friend, always a friend. I have seen business relationships with Japanese last for decades, not just years. They go all out to help their counterparts, if in trouble, to sustain their relationship and its continuity. When I sit back and think about the roots of all such behaviour, I can relate it with their culture and habits. 

The principle they follow is ‘leave nothing to assumption – gain as much clarity as possible upfront’. Just for instance, I saw at the boarding gates at airport, they display the boarding sequence for passengers on the LCD monitor, which is so obvious but not being done at any other airport. Additionally, they display a placard for the same information. This helps avoiding the need of a repetitive announcement of the same (as is being done at all other airports) thereby maintaining silence. Moreover, it uses the fact that eyes are sharper than ears !
The people are quite hardworking, alert & pro-active. Needless to say, it is aptly called the Land of Rising Sun. 

Long live the Japanese culture !

Taiwan Tale

Ten unknown people meet in a foreign land and get along so well within a span of three days, as though they knew each other for ages – thanks to CII to enable this happen !
I am narrating the incidence of  Taipei – the Mumbai of Taiwan, where eight of us from various parts of India, got together alongwith two CII individuals, who helped us come together in a India Mission to Taiwan. The objective of this mission was to let Taiwan know of the opportunity in India, and understand more about the available opportunity for Indian industry in Taiwan. A very hospitable country, Taiwan greeted us all with abundant courtesy and brotherhood. It was truly an excellent and eye-opening experience by visiting the select Taiwanese industry, that gave us an opportunity to understand and appreciate the honesty and greatness of these countrymen. Having ruled by Japanese about 70 years back, and with a current influence of Republic of China, Taiwan has the “best of both the worlds” to make it a great influence on the developing and developed economies equally. With an abundant SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) sector having been nurtured in the midst of various eminent Universities, the industrial economy at Taiwan is a great strategic advantage for the country. In the semiconductor field,  there should be little surprise to the global citizens, should 70 % of their country’s  imports on this commodity not be from Taiwan influenced suppliers either based in Taiwan or China. Over the period of last two decades, the people of Taiwan have learned one thing very precisely, and this is “ramp-up of a design or product to millions within a span of 4 weeks”. This feature of theirs is liked by the producers of mobile devices be it a phone or a tablet, enabling  global consumers get their taste before they could forget it – flat 4 weeks ! Truly amazing, isn’t it ! Taiwan is the world’s largest supplier of contract computer chip manufacturing (foundry services) and is a leading LCD panel manufacturer, DRAM computer memory, networking equipment, and consumer electronics designer and manufacturer.
Getting into detail…is probably the mantra amongst the Taiwanese, which makes them perfectionists. They have aggression but with a pinch of (salt) patience, that makes them true winners. With a meagre population of 23 million people,  Taiwan is the 50th largest country in the world, with a GDP ranking of 21st in the world. It has a inflation rate of little over one percent and an unemployment of four percent, which are some of the strengths of this small country.

4 P’s of Successs

Patience, Persistence and Perseverance make an unbeatable combination for success, says Napolean Hill. I would like to add one more P, i.e. Passion to this trio, to make them 4 P’s of success. Passion is in fact, the soul that brings one’s dream to reality. It is a force within. It is often a common question in the minds of most of us, as to what is the secret to success. These 4 P’s have the Power to grant you success. Although, the interpretation of each of these P’s may have some common elements, all of them need to co-exist to enable success. 

Accomplishment of predetermined task is Success. In simpler terms, it is achievement of goal, or the opposite of failure. It is usual for us to catch attention of, or remember the term failure – this is a common phenomenon of all human beings. And, hence the term, opposite of failure, to define success. It always needs an extra effort to remember success or define success, whereas failure has an effortless mention – be it media or a talk or a discussion. And, this probably, is also the reason that the methodology to succeed needs to be taught, whereas there is no school to teach failure. Nevertheless, failure is the stepping stone to success. It is only by doing that you get to know what it means to “do”. Action is one of the principal elements of the path to success. 

Mother Teresa has been an epitome of Patience and Persistence. She, through her noble act, set an example for all of us what it means to service the society.  Sachin Tendulkar is one of the best example of Perseverance and Passion. He has the commitment to the game of Cricket and was indeed successful in it. Having a Role Model in life, who has been successful is one of the most popular ways of emulating “best practices” that enables success. A Role Model is someone you cherish in your walk of life, and look upon in moments of despair, thereby helping you regain confidence and zeal to revert to the path of success. (S)He offers motivation and the required push for you to ‘stretch’ yourself and go that extra mile. This is quite important, especially in today’s competitive world, where the average intelligent quotient (IQ) is far superior than the yester years and the need of the hour is for an enhanced quality of Action. Therefore, the amount and quality of effort that could bring Success to your doorstep a couple of decades back, could not do so today.  This demands an additional effort and superior wisdom in comparison to the past. The best example is the pre-requisite for a Box Office hit of a Bollywood film – be it the investment in making of the film or the content of it. 

A holistic approach to all the 4 P’s will help us accomplish success..and then, the next step is to practice, since Practice makes a Man Perfect !

Convert Stress to Rest

Each day begins for all of us with travel, traffic and tension. Added to this is the fourth “T” of Time. The scheduled tasks at hand every day take away the time and we continue to run against it, thereby developing a syndrome of “I do not have time…”. It is very amusing to realize that the day has been of 24 hours since ages, however, we have started feeling that it is shrinking day by day, owing to a series of additional activities that we have added to our daily routine, and the way we execute them.

As a result of this realization of shortage of time, we start taming a dangerous animal called “Stress”, which is never loyal to us. It only causes harm and trouble to us…hence, it is very important to convert this “Stress” to “Rest”. How do we this …?

Every action has equal and opposite reaction. Similarly, every action of running against time, has an equal and opposite reaction of “Stress”. It is very important for us to manage this stress very creatively and pragmatically.

Plan : Plan your work and work out your plan. If we all continue to plan our day’s work, in advance, considering all the available attributes known to us, and getting to accumulate advance information of all the variables, we could definitely execute this action of “Planning”. It only needs a discipline and punctuality.

Pause : Practise Pause at regular intervals in your speech as well as actions, so that there is some de-stressing phenomenon as a habit. This could be used while delivering presentations, solving problems, speaking over phone, or conducting group discussions/ meetings. This enables the listeners to get aligned to you and also allow you to have moments of relaxation within the framework of your activity.

Pray : All of us are God fearing people, and often follow a routine of daily worship. If we could incorporate an element of “pray” in the midst of our daily routine, at regular intervals, this can act as a good departure from monotony, thereby relieving us of the incoming stress and also reminding us of the Almighty God, bringing a smile on our face and in our heart.

Preach : A very simple method of learn any subject better is to teach it. When we teach any subject to others, we take additional care to prepare it well, and gain complete knowledge of it. Further, preaching (or teaching) can be done only when we follow it ourselves – hence, it puts a positive pressure on us to execute what we preach before we do so.

The 4P’s listed above could very well help us to convert Stress to Rest. Even in the alphabetical order, “R” comes before “S”, which denotes that we should allow Rest to precede Stress. In fact, if we follow the above referred 4P’s, we could allow Rest to prevent Stress from becoming our pet animal.

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