Monday, November 26, 2007

A better New Me!

What’s the meaning of my life?

I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to behonorable, and to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.-- Leo C. Rosten (1908-1977) American Writer

But I would say it’s all about my values, my goals, my relationship with myself and with others. It’s about where I was & where I am going!

So many people try to influence our lives for some benefit of theirs or for no reason at all. Try to give our life their meaning and also make us believe it as ours! Though it is a positive or negative influence, the ultimate decision should be ours. Only we can give our life a meaning.

Then there is comparison. Everyone tries to compare one with other. I believe the comparison should always be with oneself. If you are comparing yourself with a person who is better than you, it can depress you. If you are better than someone, it can give you a false impression of feel good factor which may be pleasing at present but not in the long run.

It simply doesn’t matter if you are doing better or worse than your neighbor, your friend, or your colleague. Always check how you were last year or sometime back? How you are now? Are you being the better you or the worse you? At least that’s what each one of us should try to be 'The Better Me'. Better than previous every minute, every day, every week and every year. The Better ME! Be the very best you can be, be the best you have ever been!

Everyone gets almost similar circumstances, but why does one person gets through and another a victim of it? Circumstances must never be an excuse.

I guess it’s the response or the choices that you make, the decision that you take, The Attitude...The Positive Attitude that makes the difference.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I dont want to be a Perfectionist!!

I have received innumerable emails and comments on as to why I haven’t been blogging for so long. Few messages were very sweet and some were compelling me to write. Thanks for all your Love and Affection friends. I apologize for coming up with this after SUCH a long time. Though I was compelled to write something…I simply couldn’t. I blame it all on ‘myself’ for that.

I was into a deep introspection and it was very much necessary at this point of time. What is and who are very important in my life?
Who are the people I need disassociate with who suck all the energy out of you? And associate more with who can add value into your life? Ultimately the time and again asked question … how can anyone forget this question when one is into the introspection?? : P What is the ultimate goal or purpose of my life? What is the strongest ambition that I have?

We all do something or anything for that matter to make ourselves or someone happy. And if someone is a perfectionist like me, he or she will suffer big-time. I never do things which I am not too good at.

I feel singing is something I would love to pursue but I feel I am not competent enough for tha
t! Hence I never sing…except to sing for myself or my friends.

I only realize when my friends tell me that I am good at something …otherwise I think I am futile or no good. That doesn’t mean I enforce things upon my friends and keep asking them to tell me what I am good at and what I am not good at. The least I expect from them is to praise me for what am good at…I am not obsessed with what I have nor I am cribbing for what I don’t have. I feel I have enough and I don’t make use of what I have. Yes, you got it right. I am not tapping my energy and potential right .I don’t start things on my own… I need that initial push as to the momentum that can get me started or even try things which I am not very confident about. But that may not be the case always. I have to understand myself better and be confident, which I lack sometimes due to the compelling nature of being a perfectionist.

I am not boasting about myself at all …These are some of the short-comings of mine that I have realized and I need to work upon. I don’t want to keep this into my heart and crib anymore. I can completely feel that I am not using my potential to the maximum. I am either suppressing it or not letting “myself” out and provide myself the opportunities which can make me realize my potential…wait, wait, wait…opportunities???

But don’t you think there are many opportunities in what ever you want to do?
I am afraid that I will be lost in the competition. There should be some way to kill this competition and the only way is to be perfect in what you do. Back to square one. I am stuck in this vicious cycle of being a perfectionist in whatever I do.

Can someone tell me that “It’s OK. You are a human. You have the right to err.”? Of course yes, but not to repeat those mistakes again!

I thank myself for having few motivating people around me to tell me that it’s OK. Participation is important than being good. Few months ago my company conducted a SuDoKu Championship. I had no plans of participating. One of my colleagues had seen me solving puzzles sometime. He casually suggested me to take part in the SuDoKu Championship. I was hesitant. I always thought I am a Novice. But somehow convinced that participating is no bad I took part in it. I got through the first screening after solving 5 puzzles. 2 were very hard but it had no time limit so I could solve them. Second round had some 15 people short listed. This time there was a time limit and who ever solved first was to win the prize. The competition started, after a while I saw 3-4 people handing over the papers and leaving. I thought I have lost it. There is no need to solve this let me just leave… I am not going to win anyways. But a subtle voice in me told me …so what if you don’t win…there is a challenge here …I want you to solve these puzzles. It had 5 SuDoKu, 2 hard 3 very hard. Somehow I did it at last. I was the 5th or 6th one to leave the room. With the satisfaction that at least I solved the puzzles I left the room. To my surprise I got the 3rd place.

It’s not necessary to be perfect or excellent in whatever you do to WIN. I believe its persistence that gets you a WIN almost ALWAYS. SuDoKu is something that I practice not very often than I practice chess…I guess my passion is more towards Logic (SuDoKu numbers) than is towards strategy (Chess) :P (Practice more?)

I feel like a caged pigeon. I want to fly. Fly like “The Seagull – Jonathan Livingston”. Not to be a perfectionist but to love and enjoy each and every bit of my journey towards being a perfectionist. Love and enjoy each and every bit of my journey from perfectionist to excellence. I hope I will never reach that state of perfectionism or excellence. There is always room for improvement and plenty of room for learning.

This is no END. I have found an alternate way out. Identify all the energy drains…close the caps forever! Do things little by little. Step by step. Enjoy the journey. And the Journey Never Ends… At least not until I am Gone!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yes, I am in Love!

Yes, for the first time in my life I am wanting to going back to 1960’s. I wish I were born at that time. Is it too late? Or is it not?? I am not sure!!

When I picked up this book “Icon: Steve Jobs” from a friend, I hardly knew who this person is. Though I was faintly remembering that he is The Apple CEO, at that point when I had that book in my hand, all information about him had sunken deep down in the layers of my memory. I simply couldn’t recall who this guy is. I had to find who he is from the cover of that book!

It was almost a week that I got the book; I didn’t bother to read it in the impression that it is going to be another biography giving the management fundaes. But then to my surprise it turned out to be quite different giving the real picture of a person as he is. After all it is an unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs. I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it. I also got the other book about steve the very next day "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs". It only propelled my love for Steve!

From the time I started reading the book till I finished, I simply felt I have crossed few decades, as if his entire life till now crossed in my presence. I now feel that I am connected to him in so many ways.

I have changed my company before also. But never felt a feeling of greatness when I joined this company. Well this is where Steve got his summer job experience.

When I was in my graduation, I was interested only in participating in singing and not into writing stuff. One of friends forced me to take part in Creative Writing just to give her company. Well I just took it up impromptu. I wrote about two pages on some topic which was given and my friend was writing on and on… don’t know what she could write so much on that. Guess what! I got a second price for that Impromptu Creative writing. I was amazed I could write. That’s when I realized that I have a flair for writing …for Creative writing! This is just one part of my creativity.
I believe everybody would agree on the amount of creativity that Steve carries in his little brain and his products prove them! He is The Ultimate Manifestaion & Definition of Creativity!

I was born on the day of Buddha Pournima. I always use to think there should be some reason why I was born on that day. This curiosity always drove my interest towards learning more about Buddha, Buddhism and hence Zen Meditation. I absolutely believe that “enlightenment can be attained through meditation and direct intuitive insight rather than faith”. And so does Steve!

I can just go on with so many other trivial things that connect me to him.

I was tagged sometime before which asked me about my
perfect lover.
I thought my perfect lover can exist only in fairy tales with so many adjectives.
But then Steve is simply far, far more than what I expected. The sheer determination, the never, never, never, never, never give up attitude; and I can go on and on writing about him and it is endless…

Well, there are lots of rich people on the block, but why Steve? It’s not about richness or money; it’s about how rich a person is after all the money is set apart! Whether he has the ability to create, to generate!

Anyone but Him is going to be a Compromise in my Life. I know the impact I am creating by making this statement. I am slashing down the whole mass of egoist guys who might want to be a part of my life but not a compromise. But what the heck! I can’t turn down The Truth that I have realized.

P.S. My Today’s Horoscope: Love is in the air now, whether you are in it or want it. Either way, the romantic dream may feel so close that you cannot even tell it apart from reality. The biggest problem with having these fantasies is that the actual situation cannot match up to your vision. Don't set up a potentially wonderful experience for failure before you give it a proper chance to develop.
Just for the people who want to read further!

You've Got To Find What You Love!

This is text of a speech by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. I'm sharing it here and hoping that few young souls might find it enlightening... (I was thinking whether I should apply to Stanford or not! But now I guess I will)

"I am honoured to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumour on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumour. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalogue, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalogue, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much."

Ok……. Note on Self or High on Life!!?? :)

It’s been an amazing year... I so strongly feel I want take up writing or blogging once again…Yes I had a blog which was rocking (lol ...