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September 2009

Your Why?

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Sometimes I find it hard to write a blog. I really feel that I need to write something that has a real point, one that will make my readers and myself think.

I have attended lots of business conferences and have seen lot of people succeed and I have noticed the common denominator in all of them. It really hit me… there is one single GIANT idea that makes it all work… having a reason. You need to find your reason.

I would like to call these Life Altering Goals. These are such great goals that once you decide and commit to them it makes getting there simple. If you know what you want, if you know how bad you want it, then nothing, and I mean nothing will stand in your path.

Once you announce this reason even to yourself (preferably written down) you become more aware of it and more passionate about getting there. You can either achieve a life of significance by having a reason or a why to make your reason happen!

I have a strong reason… I actually have about four of them flying high right now. !

Here is your question for the day...

What are your life altering goals? What are your reasons for accomplishing them?

Nitty Gritty about Integrity

  by Karthik Gurumurthy

Couple of months back, I drove to San Jose to show the business marketing plan to few of my prospects who live in the bay area. Irvine to Fremont is about 390 miles.. very long. As long as the weather is ok I really enjoy these drives. They give me time to think… and do I ever think:)  I take this time to reflect and take a mental inventory of my life. Where I have been, where I am and most importantly where I want to go.

During my very long drive I try and use the time to better myself. I am a firm believer in always trying to improve the leader that I am. I read many books on leadership and success, because of my business I am able to hear many different speakers and listen to many different messages.

I picked up my CD case consisting of about 25 CDs.  During my drive back and forth I listened to about 12 CD’s, 10 different speakers, different approaches to leadership. They all talked about one common characteristic of any successful leader… any long term leader. Can you guess what it was? Integrity… the ability to be honest and sincere. To have the ability to follow through and stand up for your beliefs…. integrity.

Earlier in the day I was listening to one CD by Joel Osteen and he was sharing about a recently released study that said the average person will lie 3 times every ten minutes. That is 18 times and hour, that is 252 times per day (based on being awake for 14 hours), that is an alarming 91,980 times a year… almost 100,000 times per year we are dishonest, we lack integrity. Here is the most alarming number… if you live for 80 years and we take out the first five years of your life, you will lie… are you sitting down… 8,898,500 times. That is almost NINE MILLION times in our life.

Now you might say… not me, I don’t lie… ever! Really? Are you sure? This study included those little white lies, lies to “save” people’s feelings, lies to get ahead, lies to look better at an interview or on an application. Lies that may “impress” a girl or a guy, lies to embellish accomplishments or simply to “fit in”. That doesn’t even include blatant hurtful lies.

Take one day… someday soon and make a list of every time you may have lied… even the little tiny ones. Can you stop? Did you really need to? Let’s all try and lead with integrity!

My dad  always used to quote Mark Twain who said…

“If you are always honest, you have nothing to remember.”


Are you getting the job done?

by Karthik Gurumurthy

I am currently reading a book Focal Point by Brian Tracy. The author talks about the crucial need for leaders to create results. The road to failure is paved with good intentions. The road to success is paved with results.

Nearly fifty years ago Clement Stone and Napolean Hill said, “Too often what we read and profess becomes a part of our libraries and our vocabularies, instead of becoming a part of our lives.” I express it differently: the difference between excellence and mediocrity is the difference between common knowledge and consistent application.

There is a trait I have discussed countless times to my business prospects, and I call it “drive to completion.” I  am always on the lookout for internally motivated people who has the drive to completion. While I value it in an associate, it is absolutely essential for a leader.  That is the ability to do whatever it takes to complete a project or task. I have noticed that few of my associates has the desire to set goals but not the ddiscipline to get the job done. Don’t tell me you haven’t been able to get the information I requested because someone didn’t return your phone call. Drive to completion means you kept pursuing the needed information by other means.

As leaders we need to continually hone this trait in ourselves and teach it to our team members. Drive to completion is the ratio between what you started and what you finished. It requires persistence and creativity; determination without skill is annoying and ineffective.


Your Why

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Over the years as I have watched and listened to successful people, I have discovered a common thread: They know why they’re here. Knowing their purpose in life gives them stability. And when others around them start abandoning their causes and jumping ship when life gets tough, these people use this assurance to steady the boat, to ride out the storm because they have a true North Star. It becomes an anchor in their life—a confidence based upon knowledge of purpose. Someone once said there are two great days in life—the day you are born and the day you discover why. I’m here to tell you, highly successful people have discovered why.

Passion, the Great Energizer

I think there are two paths we can take to discover our purpose. The first is passion. What are you passionate about? What do you really care about? What would you live for? What would you die for?

Passion is not 100 percent foolproof, but it will get you into what I call the location, the area, the neighborhood of what your purpose really is. Passion is a wonderful thing; it’s what I call the great energizer. It’s no secret that passionate people have a lot of energy. That’s why when you see successful people, they are loving what they’re doing and they’re doing what they love. They never run out of energy and they can’t wait to get going. If you find a person who has passion, you find a person who has energy. Conversely, if you find a person who lacks passion, normally they will lack energy.

People who are highly successful love the journey as much as the destination. And even though they haven’t arrived at their goal, that doesn’t mean they’re discouraged; it just means that they’re still encouraged because they still have fuel in their tank, because they have this incredible amount of passion.

It’s also possible to be very passionate about something you’re not good at, and that’s not a good thing. If you don’t believe me, just watch the singing tryouts at American Idol. Bless their hearts, these kids are extremely passionate about their singing but when the sound comes out of their mouths, it’s a train wreck. Everybody—the judges, the audience—is sitting there cringing, listening to this person who has great passion about what he or she is doing. Everybody knows it’s horrible. Everybody except the person singing.
Now when I see passionate people singing with all of the off-key gusto that they can muster, I always ask myself, where are their friends? Shouldn’t somebody step up and say, “ Excuse me, my friend, you don’t have what it takes.”

So passion can only get you so far. It will get you into the location but it’s only about 80 percent accurate. But the next path you take to discover your purpose is 100 percent accurate, I guarantee it.


by Karthik Gurumurthy

Change is inevitable except from vending machines.

Have you ever thought about change? I mean, have you ever contemplated the significance of change? I do all the time, right now I am thinking about the change all around me. Within myself, my friends, associates and even the world around me. There is so much change happening and it can happen so rapidly that if you blink you can miss it. Are you in tune with the latest trends in leadership, success, health, technology or even your own needs and desires?

I really believe that is if you want to be successful you need to be aware of change and embrace it. The great and very simple book “Who Moved the Cheese” is a great read. It demonstrates how if you resist change or if you are ignorant to it you can miss the boat. The problem is that as the world changes around us we need to be able and open to changing ourselves. Many people feel a need to spend days, weeks, and months even years preparing for change. No matter how much preparation that you take the change still happens in an instant. The ability to change is something that can be the difference between success and failure.

Are you a procrastinator? Is there a habit that you want to change? The choice to change is as simple as making the decision to say no to whatever it is that you want to stop. I was one big procrastinator and decided to quit that habit. I did that by deciding I that I was no longer a procrastinator. There is no in-between… you are either a NOW person or lazy procrastinator… decide which one you are and be that.

Take a few moments to think about what it is you would, if you could change about yourself that would make a positive change in your life. What is it? Decide NOW what it is and make that change!

Attitude of Gratitude

by Karthik Gurumurthy

When you squeeze a Banana, does orange juice come out? When you squeeze a tomato do you find apple juice? Of course not. When you squeeze something, the real thing comes out. That is, what's really inside really comes out. Amazing isn't it? Well, here's a better question: When you are squeezed, what comes out? ... Let the question just sit for a moment... When you are squeezed, what comes out?

You see, adversity doesn't develop character, it reveals it. Does your answer put a smile on your face or is it concerning? When squeezed, does love come out? Anger? Compassion? What are you so filled with that it is what must come out? Okay, some of you may not like the answer. But, no worries, if you want something different to come out, then simply start filling yourself up with something new.

There is a story told by author John Maxwell in his book, Think on These Things--Meditations for Leaders, that illustrates this point. In his own words:

    "Several years ago I read a true story...For four decades East Berlin was controlled by the Communists. West Berlin was free. One day some people who lived in East Berlin took a truckload of garbage and dumped it on the West Berlin side. The people of West Berlin could have retaliated by doing the same thing. But instead they took a truckload of canned goods, bread, and milk and neatly stacked it on the East Berlin side. On top of this stack of food they placed the sign: 'Each gives what he has.'"

One of the most important things you can choose to fill up with is Gratitude. Gratitude will show up as patience, peace, love, compassion and humility. It will change the way you see the world and everything in it. Gratitude begins with faith and is obtained by reframing the way you see things. One perspective may lead to pride while another perspective regarding the same situation can lead to gratitude. It's all a matter of your perspective and it is your choice to decide.

"There but for the grace of God, go I." This quotation, expressing that someone's misfortune could easily have happened to oneself or anyone at all, is commonly traced back to the British Protestant reformer John Bradford (b. 1510 - d. 1555). He is said to have made the remark, "There but for the grace of God, go John Bradford," upon seeing criminals on their way to execution. He chose not to be prideful but rather humble due to his perspective that if it wasn't for the grace of God, it could well have been himself on his way to execution. Can you get there mentally or are you certain that if you lived their life it still wouldn’t be you? It is difficult to be arrogant when you are grateful for grace. He also understood that he can still stand up for the principles he believes in while feeling humble rather than prideful towards those who have fallen short of the mark. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “He who you will change, you must first love.” Have discord with actions but love people. Be grateful for God’s grace.

Be grateful for what you have been given rather than upset over what you don't have or feel has been taken from you. What you have has been gifted to you. Count your blessings. Be grateful. All too often people complain: "I don't have enough money." "My home is a mess." "My kids are tiring." "There's nothing to eat in this house." "I'm not in good enough shape." Have you ever heard people say these things? I'm sure they are all true and, therefore, the feelings behind them are valid. However, if we want things to be better in our life we must learn to reframe them; put things into a different context. Don't try to "stuff" your feelings but rather change the perspective and your feelings will follow. To feel gratitude, change the perspective from looking at your situation from someone who is worse off than you. "I don't have enough money." Consider: Some people don't have any money at all. "My home is a mess." Consider: Millions of people are homeless. "My kids are tiring." Consider: Countless number of people want kids but can't have any. They would gladly be a tired parent. "There's nothing good to eat in this house." Consider: Millions of people are starving to death and could only dream of your last meal. "I'm not in good enough shape." Consider: Millions of people are battling cancer, AIDS, and other bodily diseases.

If you truly focus on this new perspective even when you "don't feel like it," you will notice the release of tension and a new attitude of gratitude will come over you. I know it can be hard because when we don't feel happy we don't feel like changing a perspective on anything. But, remember, your victory comes from growing through your struggles. Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not advocating not caring about improving your situation. However, I am suggesting that all the while you can always choose a perspective that fosters an attitude of gratitude. Will it make a difference in your life and in your pursuit towards fulfilling your Life Mission? Absolutely! Watch how an attitude of gratitude will draw key people closer to you along with more things for which to be grateful.

Consider if you have kids, what do you feel when they are complaining that they don't have this or that? Do you feel a sense of urgency to get it for them or do you feel frustrated or unappreciated for what you have provided? How do you suppose God feels about you? Your life and everything in it has been a gift to you. But, you have worked hard for everything? I'm sure you have. But, where did your ambition come from? It's all a gift. Be grateful even for the little things. A man was running late to a job interview and trying to park his car. He prayed, "God please give me a parking spot so I can make this interview." Just then, a car starts to pull out. Immediately the man says, "Oh, never mind God, I just found one." Yes, it is easy not to credit our gifts. Live with an attitude of gratitude and see if it is not true that more good comes your way.


Nuggets from Kulin and Mina Desai

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Had a fantastic time last weekend with Kulin and Mina Desai at Cal State Fullerton. I also got a chance to rub shoulders with this simple, down-to-earth empowering self made entrepreneur from New Jersey at the India Gate restaurant where we had a nite owl session with him.

One of the main areas of his discussion was about Self talk.

The power of words - to shape the way you feel. And to form your reality. Use world-class words and you'll get closer to your world-class life.

He gave instance of the guy who was chatting with his mentor. Mentor asked him how he was doing. Like he just got an arrow through the heart with a victim mentality came the answer," I do not have enough money.  Classic Victimspeak: "I do not have this."

Kulin said,  "No matter what life sends us - from a raging customer to a heartbreaking disappointment to depressing financial situation, we are responsible". Yup. We are. We can own our reaction. We can own what we do with the situation. We can be bitter or show up better. Tons of choices. Starting with our words.