Next month:
November 2003

October 2003

What is the purpose of life?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I believe that the purpose of life is twofold:

  • First, we have a human duty to discover who we truly are and access our highest abilities.
  • Second, once we discover who we truly are I believe we have an obligation to present our gifts to the world in a way that adds value to the human beings around us.

So, step one in fulfilling your life’s purpose is to understand that the doorway to success does not open outward but inward. In other words, the first step to claiming your destiny is to begin the journey of discovering your best self.

I believe every human being has to do the inner work called to do. I invite you to press the pause button on your life and to consider whether you are taking steps on a regular basis to access your highest abilities, your best talents and your authentic self. I know life is busy and it is difficult to make time to reflect and ponder in this day and age but life slips away very quickly and it is easy to get caught up in an unconscious life. The elite performers on the planet and the most fulfilled people have the same quality: they pay attention to life and are very awake. They make time on a daily basis to keep deepening themselves and moving through their fears. They know their weaknesses better than their strengths. And rather than running away from all the things that they are resisting, they run towards them and in doing so they transcend them.

Here are 3 practices that I offer you to help you claim your destiny by discovering your best self:

1. Keep asking yourself the following question: “What am I resisting most in my life?”. We all have blocks that limit us. At our core, we are infinite potential, ideal health, unconditional love and pure fearlessness. In other words, everything that we want to be we already are. We are simply blocked to accessing our highest potential. Just as an artery to the heart can become blocked, our access to our greatness can become blocked as we pick up other people’s limiting beliefs and the fears taught to us by our early teachers. By doing the inner work, we become conscious of our blocks. And the more we pay attention to them, the more we can make choices around transcending them.

2. Practice solitude, silence, and stillness on a daily basis. All of the deepest answers to your biggest questions already lie within you. Science is starting to show that the heart’s intelligence is extraordinarily powerful. In the past, we have believed that the brain holds all our intelligence but this is no longer the case as proven by the new field known as Neurocardiology. Five thousand years ago the mystics were already inviting us to listen to the heart's wisdom and to govern ourselves accordingly. When we go into silence, we can still hear the mental chatter that dominates our days and connect with the deepest part of ourselves.

The more we can go into silence, the more we can let our hearts guide us to living a truly authentic and inspiring life. Make your positive affirmations about where you want to go and practice your self-talk.

3. Connect to a Crusade. It is essential, in claiming your destiny, to connect to something higher than yourself. Every great leader who has ever walked the planet before us discovered a Cause. Discovering your “big vision” will serve to motivate you, give you more energy than you have ever experienced and help you to stay focused and inspired through the difficult times that every human being must face sometime along the journey. Discovering your Crusade will help you shift from a focus on success to a commitment to significance. It will help you step out of your current life and step into your highest possibilities so that you feel a deep sense of mission about everything that you do. And remember, for a Crusade to be effective and to truly engage you at your core level, it must ultimately be something that adds value to human lives and makes a difference in the world. When you shift from a compulsion to survive toward a commitment to serve, your life cannot help but explode into success.


Struggle and Victory

-Karthik Gurumurthy

For some people, life is miserable and marriage does not work thus leading to impatience and misery.

I would like to say that if your marriage has failed, can one not treat failure as a learning experience? Failure is a fertilizer for success. Failure is God’s or nature’s purpose to teach us something profound. Many times relationships do not work because men and women are not sensitive to each other’s comfort and discomfort zones. This unawareness leads one to tread into the other’s discomfort zone. Once this happens, one is unhappy and feels that the other is responsible for it. Then each one is busy maintaining a score of one’s hurt and settling accounts with each other. To be aware of each other’s sensitive zones helps in understanding each other very well. But, some people will say that there are so much struggle in their lives. Struggle is a part and parcel of life. Make the struggles sacred, give them eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to feel, legs to walk.

Then one would have implanted sacredness in one’s struggle, which in turn will lead one up the ladder of success. Of course, this will take time. One should learn to wait with understanding and commitment.

The following story gives the insight of how to see things in a proper perspective.

A man went to a shop, picked up a beautiful cup. The cup started talking to him. “I was not lovely before the pot-maker made me so?”. “I felt wreathed in pain while being separated from earth. But the potter said, ‘Just wait.’ “Then he put me into an oven and heated me up. I felt completely burnt. He said ‘Just wait.’

He poured hot paint on me. I felt the fumes and irritation. And finally he took me to a mirror and said ‘Now look at yourself.’ Oh, what a change! I found myself so beautiful”.

We have to wait; our struggles have a cosmic purpose. When our agenda is not fulfilled, it gives us pain. But the universe has its own plans. We just have to learn from experiences, make some changes in our plans, thought process, be consistent and persistent, stay steady. We have to wait and make our struggles sacred.


What I want my kids to learn

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What are the things you didn’t learn in school that have proven most value to you in life?

I’ve asked myself that question. I’ve learned much over the years and but am most interested in those things that have provided the greatest benefit; those things that have improved the quality of my life.

Currently we do not have kids, but I know once  we have them, these are the same lessons I want my kids to learn. While they could learn them on their own, I feel responsible for guiding them in these lessons. What follows is a short list (in no way exhaustive or in any particular order) of those life lessons I believe will most benefit them.

Being able to talk to anyone.

The ability to engage a stranger in conversation is not only an important life skill but the gateway to rewarding relationships.

The power of a simple daily plan.

Know at the outset of each day the two or three important things you desire to accomplish.

The rewards of work.

Many divorce the monetary compensation of work from the discipline and reward it instills. Work should be more than transactional. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a job well done regardless of the pay or lack thereof.

The undependability of luck.

Life isn’t a lottery ticket. You can’t depend on happenstance and fortune to make your way. The only luck you can count on is the luck you make with your wit and hard work.

The value of lots of experiences.

Those who try little limit themselves severely. The more things you attempt, the more quickly you learn what you really value.

The ability to extract lessons from whatever happens.

No teacher will follow you through life to tell you what you should have learned from what happened. Reflection about what can be learned from anything that happens is the key to lifelong learning.

The willingness to confront facts and take responsibility.

You only get full credit when you take responsibility. Facing harsh facts is never easy by always essential. The question always reduces to “What can I do to positively affect this situation?”

How to handle money.

Money provides means but it doesn’t provide skills. While earning money is something almost everyone learns, learning how to handle it is too often neglected. The ability to save, manage and invest money is necessary for the accumulation and effective use of money earned.

How to be bigger than circumstances or the limitations of others.

Petty people are never an adequate excuse to be petty. The noble are those who can maintain composure and act with dignity regardless of their situation.

Resilience.

That is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and defeats, and to do so as quickly as possible. The ability to get back on your feet when you’ve been knocked down by life is crucial.

These are all lesson taught directly in word and indirectly in deed. The latter is most powerful.


Don't Give Up

Dear Friend,
If you are here and you are tired of the struggle; if you seen more pain than gain and you've been working hard for little or no perceivable progress; you've been weary for so long that you've forgotten what it feels like to be rested; it's taking longer than you ever thought it would take and you see those around seeming to succeed with the success you wish you had...

Yes, you are well aware that the road to glory is narrow and yes, you understand the road is not straight, but of late it 's so winding that you wonder if you're just running around in circles. You've been beaten up, knocked to the ground and kicked, and that's just by your own inadequacy and you just hope that you are able to conceal it with a brave face so that no one notices your discouragement. More than once, you have wondered if it's worth the effort. And you have lost count of how many times you've wanted to give up and drop out.

Well, I have been sent to tell you that if your goal is not just be a decent father, but to be a great one; if your goal is to be a mother who inspires and teaches her children to do something beautiful with their lives; if your goal is to be husband who exemplifies the definition of love and courage; to be a wife who by her grace and countenance brings out the best in others; if your goal is to be a parent who sets a tone in the home of peace and security, a parent who leaves a legacy of faith and prosperity for generations to come; if your goal is to a brother who is dependable, a sister who is trustworthy; if your goal is to be a person who overcomes fears, failures and self-criticisms; to be a person who rises above all disappointments to make a positive contribution to the lives of others...

If your goal is to complete the mission; to stay true to what is right; to be a leader who inspires others to do the same; if your goal is to one day stand before God and hear him say, " Well done good and faithful servant," then by all means, look up, get up, shape up but don't give up. The best things in life happens to those who DON'T GIVE UP!

-Karthik Gurumurthy


The Why?

"As long as one keeps searching, the answers come."
-- Joan Baez

Why? Why? Why?

Asking ourselves 'why?' helps us delve deeply into our main motives -- why we do what we do. This process helps us go deeper into our reasoning, habits and unconscious beliefs. Once we become aware of our underlying motives, we can choose to change them, if we wish.

Regularly ask yourself, "Why am I ...?" Listen closely for the answer that surfaces in your mind, and write it down. Now look at your answer and ask why again. Continue with this process to reach the true source of your motivation.

"Men are more accountable for their motives, than for anything else ...."

-- Archibald Alexander


What are you focussing on?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

One of my friends I was speaking with wanted to share his concern for the upbringing of his children in America. How was he to keep them away from drugs, alcohol and glamor? He was terrified with all the news and media. He said “My life is miserable whenever I think of my children in this permissiveness. What should be my approach to the bringing up of my children?”

Often I question the very genesis of such an enquiry. When we operate out of fear, we transmit the energy of fear to our children; in a subtle way, of course. If we were to operate out of trust, we would transmit trust to our children.

We have to realize that our actions are born from our thoughts. Our thoughts are the products of our values, and values come from our own belief system. If we believe life is miserable, we attract misery; if we believe life is beautiful, we attract happiness. This is called the ‘Law of Attraction’.

We get what we focus on; so focus on the fact that good things will happen to our children. This is one of the strong variables, which would impact our children.

But the parent asks lovingly, “Why do children detest advice?”

The question is, are they really against advice or the way we administer it? Every parent should be sensitive to this aspect.

Reflect on this story: A money-minded son after having his lunch wrote a note to his mother that she owed him $25 and he gave a detailed account- $ 5 for cleaning the house, $ 5 for washing the dishes, $ 15 for mowing the lawn. The mother was shocked on reading the note. She however decided to educate her son.

In turn she kept a note on the dining table, which read- “Oh! Son, you owe me nothing.” My account runs like this:

$ 0 for cooking your food

$ 0 for washing your clothes

$ 0 for ironing them

$ 0 for cleaning your bathroom

$ 0 for taking you to the doctor

$ 0 for the present on your birthday

$ 0 for taking you to the school and bringing you back

Finally, dear son, you owe me nothing; because I love you.

The son read this note and was deeply touched.

Children are not against advice; but they are very sensitive to the way it is administered. The heart of education is the education of the heart.

“How can I learn to advise in this manner?” asks the parent.

Reflect on this: Have you observed birds building nests? They build in such a way that when it rains, not a drop of water falls in the nest.

How did the mother bird learn the art of such an engineering feat? It is said that when the mother bird is pregnant, intuitively this knowledge arises. Love for the offspring brings out this latent wisdom to build the nest.

Let your love guide you and not fear.

Love will show you the way.

My friend nods in affirmation that love is the supreme power. He further asked, “How to deal with children’s boredom despite the variety in entertainment through media?”

Reflect on this story:

A boy complained to his grandmother, “No one likes me at school and life is bitter. My teachers reprimand me, friends are better than me in sports, some friends are better than me in studies and I feel bitter about life”.

“Shall I make a cake for you?,” asked the grandmother.

“Good, I badly need to sweeten my life,” said the boy.

After some time, she gave him flour. “This is not cake, it is so bitter,” screamed the boy. Then she gave him little baking powder.Again the boy screamed, “This is not cake, it is so bitter.” Then she gave him an egg. “This is not cake, it is not tasty,” screamed the boy.

Then the grandmother lovingly told the boy, “Individually each one of them is not tasty but when put together; it becomes a cake”.

“In the same way,” she said, “Individually your experiences are bitter; but join them together with commitment and transformation. Add the sugar of your being and make it a cake. Life is like cooking, you should just make it happen.”


Nuggets from Eat that Frog

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I have been reading "Eat the Frog" by Brian Tracy. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to work effectively..If you can commit to yourself about practicing the principles Brian talks about on a regular basis, you will definitely see great results in your work. Some words of wisdom from Brian are as follows:

  • Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
  • Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.
  • You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile.
  • The more credit you give away, the more will come back to you. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.
  • Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.
  • People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.
  • Your self-confidence is directly connected to how much you feel you are making a difference in your world.
  • Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
  • Perhaps the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and over, is, "What is the most valuable use of my time right now?"

Leadership begins from home

-Karthik Gurumurthy

“If we have to lead, we need to learn” most of us know that our first lessons were learnt at home and mother is our first teacher. As we grew up, we started learning new things from different sources, we feel we have graduated from the initial classes and move on from our parents - our initial teachers. Unfortunately what we miss is the learning what we can gain from these initial teachers about leadership.

Is it not true that mother thinks from the heart and not from her brain when it comes to do anything whit the child? Is it not true that when she loves, it is unconditional?Good leaders are no different, even if they get ideas in their brain, when it comes to execution, which requires people; it is done through the heart.

I recall a wonderful quote - “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. We might be genius, but people don’t care and will not follow until they know we care for them.

The most important thing in good leadership is truly caring. The best leaders in any profession care about the people they lead, and the people who are being led know when the caring is genuine and when it’s faked or not there at all. When it comes to caring, who could be a better teacher than mother? By learning to care we learn to lead.

It is like searching for peace externally all around us and many of us even travel long distance in the quest and in reality it is so easy to find it if we travel few inches internally to our heart. Same way, we have the best teacher to teach leadership at home, let us start learning leadership from home.

 Leadership
Thanks to mom and dad for a great example.


Pay it forward

-Karthik Gurumurthy

When hardship hits most people instinctively react with “what will happen to me? My family? My stock?” Our first instinct is to pull in, protect, and preserve our domains. It’s human nature. However, if we act only upon this line of thinking we end up following fear down an extremely narrow street, setting limitations on our lives.

 

In the new world we live in, the leaders who put people before profit will have the greatest impact. Those who believe in caring for the people first will win. Life has a very fair accounting system. Your return equals your investment. As much as it flies in the face of instinct, the difficult times are the exact times to be generous. Be generous with your time. Give away your gifts. Be philanthropic with your attention.  Now is the time to pay it forward – to reinvest those acts of kindness done for you back into the social accounting system.

 Karsho


Here’s your opportunity for impact:
 
1. Look around, who needs a hand? It might be a teammate, peer or a customer. Show some real leadership.

2. What action can you take immediately to influence their situation? What would make a difference? A coffee and a heart to heart talk. The afternoon off. A hand written note. Money in their parking meter.

3. Remember small acts carry deep meaning. Paying it forward only needs to cost you creativity and good will. The monetary value is not the point.

Paying it forward is an invaluable investment hiding in plain sight.  Look for your daily opportunity for impact.

 

 

Reputation

-Karthik Gurumurthy

My father always tells me that it could take several years to build your reputation and yet it can be lost in few seconds. I truly believe that few things are as important as your good name. You can not put a price tag on getting your phone calls returned. And yet, so many people on the planet today suffer from short term thinking. They go for the cash grab in order to get the quick win. But, business success is all about relationship success. And that takes time. By under promising and over delivering, finishing what you start, being a great listener and delivering outrageous value for you clients, you will win their trust as well as their respect. That will promote your personal brand: your reputation. Guard your good name as one of your most cherished assets. Be impeccably honest and never do anything that will tarnish what you stand for. This will lead to a long career in business as well as a highly fulfilling life.


When you disappoint someone, what do you have to do?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Do you know what it feels like to disappoint someone?

Have you ever disappointed someone at work?

We probably all know what it feels like to disappoint someone. It’s not a good feeling. “I’m disappointed in you” are painful words for anyone to hear, whether you’re a child, employee, or spouse.

And when those words come from someone you work for (or work with), it may cause you to fear the repercussions, or even doubt if you are a good fit for the role. Thinking this way only does more harm than good, which is why it is important to know what to do when you disappoint someone at work.

Disappointment is one of the most unpleasant things to experience. So how do we deal with it?

What to Do When You Disappoint Someone At Work

When you disappoint someone at work (it is inevitable for us all – we are all only human, after all), how can you address disappointment to rectify the situation in the quickest and most productive way?

Here are 4 things you can do when you disappoint someone at work.

1. Apologize

If you made a mistake, or are responsible for the error that occurred, apologize for the disappointing behavior. Do not get defensive. You should also be sure to not overthink it.

Try to think about why the person is disappointed in you.

If someone is disappointed, they are upset.

Getting defensive will only cause the situation to get worse. Apologize for your role in the shortfall of expectations and look for ways to address the situation.

When I talk with senior leaders,  I explain that by trying to find a solution or having open communication about the mistake that was made, you can avoid confrontation and deal with it in a respectful and professional manner.

2. Understand it

What happened to cause disappointment? Why is the person disappointed? What did you do or what did the other person perceive? Was it a simple misunderstanding?

Could it be something simple, like you rushed through a project or forgot to check a detail of the project that made a significant impact later?

Maybe you took on more than you could handle and this is a wake-up call to scale things back.

Use this as an opportunity to find areas of improvement that you can work on. And always remember to use problems as opportunities to grow.

Find the cause so you can understand how to go forward in a positive way.

3. Identify a fix

Once you understand what caused the disappointment, it will be time to come to the table with possible solutions to prevent a repeat of the disappointment in the future.

This is a great way to do “damage control” and show your employer that you are proactive and that you actively want to find a solution to the problem.

This has the potential to immediately reduce the disappointment and negative emotions. The person you are working with will be relieved to know that you are taking them seriously and willing to prevent future disappointment.

4. Accept

Remember: nobody is perfect.

It is perfectly normal to feel bad about the mistake you made. Remember that everyone makes mistakes.

The fact that you feel bad about disappointing someone is a sign of maturity.

You are the kind of person who is intentional about keeping commitments and doing a good job.

No one wants to intentionally disappoint someone, especially if that person is someone they work for or work with. But there will still be situations where it occurs.

Pave the Way for Future Improvement

How will you react the next time you disappoint someone at work? Use the above recommendations to help solve the problem. You can also use the above tips in other aspects of your life. If you disappoint a friend or family member, these tips can help minimize the damage.


Time Management 101

-Karthik Gurumurthy

It's difficult to lead effectively if you're not managing your time well. Interestingly, our inability to be as efficient as possible often has more to do with what we're not doing than what we are doing, according to time management expert Donald E. Wetmore, author of Beat the Clock and Organizing Your Life.

In a recent article on darwinmag.com, Whetmore outlines several mistakes that can keep you from achieving peak productivity each day. Here are a few:

• Neglecting to clean up your work area. "Studies have shown that the person who works with a messy desk spends, on average, one-and-a-half hours per day looking for things or being distracted by things," Whetmore says. "That's seven-and-a-half hours per week."

• Starting the day without a plan. This causes you to "begin yourday by responding to the loudest voice … and spend it in a defensive mode, responding to other people's and events' demands," he writes. "You will have worked hard but may not have done enough of the right things. Time management is not doing the wrong things quicker. That just gets us nowhere faster. Time management is doing the right things."

• Skipping lunch breaks. Contrary to popular belief, habitually working through lunch will not give you more time to accomplish your work. "After doing what we do for several hours, we start to dull out," Whetmore explains. "A lunch break, even a short 15-minute break, gives us a chance to get our batteries all charged up again to more effectively handle the afternoon's challenges."


Born to fly

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The weak manager bemoans low budgets and constraints. Great leaders sees possibilities in what they do have. We often spend too much time on what we are not good at, or comparing ourselves to others. Shift the focus- understand the things you are good at and passionate about, and make them force multipliers, unlocking success defined in a way that uniquely fulfils you. You’ll think having wings is useless if you see them as dead weight, holding you back in a race in the dirt. You may think otherwise when you realise you were born to fly.


Put the glass down today

-Karthik Gurumurthy

A professor began his class by holding up a glass  with some water in it. He held it up for all to see & asked the students,' How much do you think  this glass weighs?'


'50gms!' .... '100gms!' ......'125gms' ......the students answered.


'I really don't know unless I weigh it,' said the professor, 'but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?'

'Nothing' the students said.

'Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?' the professor asked.

'Your arm would begin to ache' said one of the students.

'You're right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?'

'Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis &have to go to hospital for sure!' ventured another student & all the students laughed.

'Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?' asked the professor.

'No'

'Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?' The students were puzzled.

'Put the glass down!' said one of the students.

'Exactly!' said the professor.' Life's problems are something like  this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK. Think of them for a long time & they begin to ache. Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.

It's important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to 'put them down' at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh & strong & can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!'
Remember  to 'PUT THE GLASS DOWN TODAY!


What motivates you?

by Karthik Gurumurthy


You know what it’s like to feel unmotivated. You sit and stare at your to-do list, and nothing on it inspires you at all. It’s just a string of tasks that you wish you didn’t have to do. Simply getting started seems to take an unfathomable amount of effort.

Yet, you don’t always feel that way. You know what motivation feels like, too. You have times when you can’t wait to get started on something – a much-anticipated trip, a big project that you’ve been looking forward to sinking your teeth into, a new course that you’re taking, or a job which is going to be so satisfying when it’s done.

So how can you make sure that you are motivated, whatever the task at hand?

 Motivation

Psychologists distinguish between two forms of motivation, internal and external. The effects of each might feel the same – excitement, being keen to “get on with it” – but the two types of motivation arise from different places.

Internal Motivation
Internal motivation comes from within. It’s the sort of motivation that you get when you’re doing something you enjoy; when the task itself is its own reward. Think of something you love – perhaps computer games, playing the guitar, cooking, painting … any activity you enjoy. You never procrastinate over it, do you? It seems almost silly to ask that – of course you don’t, if anything, you put off other tasks in order to do the ones you enjoy!

One way to make your to-do list easier is to put as many tasks on it as possible which are things you love. Sometimes they might be hard, or you might feel a little resistance to getting started – but once you’re doing them, you find them fun.

In some cases, that might mean rethinking your career choice or your lifestyle. If your life is made up of a whole string of unexciting or unpleasant tasks, how did you get into that situation? What can you do to change it?

When you’re engaged on something which makes you internally motivated, you’ll find that:

  • It’s fairly easy to maintain your concentration
  • You’re keen to do well because the task deserves your best effort
  • You’d do it whether or not you were paid or rewarded in any way

Intrinsic motivation can be a powerful force – but it can also be subject to your moods; when you’re feeling cheerful and upbeat, you’re more likely to enjoy what you’re working on than when you’re feeling low. And for some tasks, there’s simply no way you’re going to enjoy them. That’s where extrinsic motivation comes in.

External Motivation


External motivation comes from outside. This is the motivation which gets you to plough on with something you don’t like all that much … because you know there will be a reward at the end. Think of a time in your life when you stuck with something in order to reach a particular goal: maybe you studied hard in college not because you loved studying, but because you wanted to get your degree. Or perhaps you worked in a job that bored you because you needed the paycheck. On a day to day level, you probably clean your house because you want it to be a pleasant place to live – not because you really love cleaning.

Sometimes, people think that extrinsic motivation is shallow or false – but it can be a very powerful force. Most difficult things become more bearable when you’ve got something to look forward to at the end.

With external motivation, you’ll find that:

  • It might be hard to concentrate – you may be tempted to procrastinate
  • You want to do the task to a high enough standard to get the reward or achieve the goal at the end, but you don’t care much about it being perfect or excellent.
  • You’d be much more reluctant to do it if there was no reward.

External motivation is easier to manufacture than intrinsic motivation. If you have a string of tasks which need to be done, but which don’t interest or excite you in any way, can you find extrinsic motivation? That might mean:

  • Promising yourself a reward at the end (e.g. a cookie, a new DVD, some “me time” to indulge)
  • Focusing on the goal rather than on the process – the finished result
  • Finding a way for the completed task to give you public acknowledgment or acclaim (easier said than done – taking a qualification would be one way, or joining an organization focused on that particular area)

What works for you? Are most of your activities intrinsically or extrinsically motivated – or is it a bit of both?


Accountability

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Possibly the best definition of Accountability I have come across anywhere.


“I think that without owning something, over an extended period of time, like a few years, where one has a chance to take responsibility for one’s recommendations, where one has to see all recommendations through all action stages and accumulate scar tissues for the mistakes and pick oneself off the ground, dust oneself off, one just learns a fraction of what one can. Coming in and making recommendations and not owning the results, not owning the implementation, I think is a fraction of the value and a fraction of the opportunity of learning to get better.”


- Steve Jobs, addressing the students of MIT Sloan School of Management in the spring of 1992.


Work in progress

-Karthik Gurumurthy

My writing is my own road map – it shows me the way forward.

It lets me tell my stories and share my beliefs with the world at large.

When I write, I belong in the here and the now

Writing helps me discover myself, my innermost world of thoughts that often lies trapped under the layers of duties, daily chores and responsibilities that sum up my day.

I write to connect with myself.

Writing is a way of clarifying my thoughts, reflections and beliefs to myself first and then, to the world.

Writing to me is about finding meaning and then sharing it with the world.

I write to be fully alive and free, to find contentment because I’ve always wanted to do so for a very long time, not knowing why.

Writing helps us make art out of everyday, ordinary moments.

I write because it allows me to create something through words and then, at the press of a button, gives me that indefinable joy of sharing it with others across the world.

We all go through experiences that teach us some difficult life lessons. I write because it pushes me beyond the barriers of everyday existence into a world of possibilities. The path may not always be smooth and predictable, but there are new horizons to explore always, which add to more adventure in life, away from the staid and the ordinary.

Writing makes one view life with a multi-coloured lens to be able to present the myriad hues of the human condition to the reader. Each moment of anticipation is full of excitement about what could happen in the next.

As I said earlier, my writing is still a work in progress. It is not about the destination, but all about the journey!