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January 2011
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March 2011

February 2011

Man in the mirror

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I believe it’s strikingly important to remember that when you know better, you can do better. With higher levels of awareness, you can make smarter choices. And the more clarity you get as to who you want to become, the quicker you can start making the choices need to get you there.
A simple tool for you today.  Look into the mirror and ask yourself the following question: "What one thing could I do today that if I did it, my professional and personal life would get me to next level?" Then think about that One Thing. Reflect on executing that step superbly. Act from courage. And go out and do it NOW!


Is your past=future?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Sometimes life throws curve balls at you where you are not sure how it is going to be. Past=Future only if you do not change.

The philosopher Schopenhauer once observed: “most people take the limits of their vision to be the limits of the world. A few do not. Join them.” Great Statement. The life you see this very moment isn’t necessarily the life of your future. You might be viewing things through the eyes of your fears, limitations and false assumptions. Once you clean up the stained glass window you see the world through, guess what? A whole new set of possibilities appear. Remember, we see the world not as it is but as we are. That idea changed my life. Whenever I go through stuff or when I am going through stuff, that is what I remind myself that this won't be permanent.

Years ago, it was believed that no human being could ever break the 4 minute mile barrier. But after Roger Bannister broke it, many more replicated his feat within weeks. Why? Because he showed people what was possible. And then armed with that belief, people did the impossible.

What’s going to be your “4 minute mile”? What bill of goods have you sold yourself as to what’s impossible? What false assumptions are you making in terms of what you cannot have, do and be? Your thinking creates your reality. If you think something cannot occur in your life, then there’s no way you will take the action required to make that goal a reality. Your “impossibility thinking” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your perceived limitations become the chains that keep you from the greatness you were meant to be. The difference between somebody who gets it done and somebody who is a victim of circumstances is the possibility thinking and the action to get it done. Let us get it done so that past does not equal future.

Power of writing your goals

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Yesterday, I had a chance to listen to Olympic star Michael Phelps. Whatever he said goes well with other star performers I have interacted until this point of time.  Shobana and I discussed about how doing a simple act can make a night and day difference in accomplishing any major goals you have set for yourself. What am I talking about?

Lots of time is being spent articulating a clear and detailed vision for what the key areas of their lives will look like (if you have accomplished your goals). Then a written plan with the vision is broken down into sequenced goals so that the vision isn’t so overwhelming and so the big picture is neatly chunked into manageable steps to drive daily action.

One of the best effects of planning that I’ve discovered is what it does to my mind. Let me put it this way: few things focus the mind as well as setting plans on to paper and then sequencing them into goals. The very act of doing it heightens your awareness as to what’s most important. And with better awareness, you will make better choices. And as you make better choices, you are certain to experience better results.

So today, give yourself a gift: take out a nice white sheet of paper. Get a pen. And then start writing about the life you want to create. It’s a lot easier than you may think.



Sense of Urgency

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The last blog was basically dedicated to my aunt whom I had tremendous respect. When I heard about her demise, it struck me like a thunderbolt few things which I would have missed to appreciate in day-to-day rut.

What was the realization?

It’s the people we love most that we take most for granted? Odd isn’t it. It’s easy to spend less time with your family because they will always be there for you (or so you assume). It’s easy to put off expressing your love to your loved ones because there seems to be no urgency at play. It’s easy to let home relationships slip because you assume there are more pressing things to deal with. But what could possibly be more important than your family? Is there any wisdom in being successful yet alone?

So pick up the phone and tell your parents that you love them. Before you leave to work, give your spouse a kiss-like you mean it. And please please please-hug your kids. Enjoy them while you can-they’ll only be young once. And once that window of opportunity closes-it will be gone forever.

Do everything in your day with a sense of urgency as if it is the last day of your life and you won't regret it.

Remembering Kalyani Athai

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am extremely blessed with a wonderful family whom I cherish. Who I am is shaped up predominantly as a result of interactions with the family and friends. One of the people whom I admire, adore is Kalyani Athai (KA). Athai in my language means Aunt. Kalyani Athai is my dad's older sister. KA lived in Nagpur right from the time she got married. As a matter of fact, she was the one who named me as  ' Karthik'. On Feb 18, KA went to be with God. Since I was born and raised in Chennai, my interaction with her was very limited.

In the limited opportunity I had to interact with her, I found her simply amazing GO- Giver. She was very soft-spoken and kind. I have been to Nagpur couple of times during the summer vacation. It was lot of fun and she always used to make different kinds of delicious food and she always went the extra mile to make you feel special. When my uncle and aunt visit, I always wanted to spend more time with them. She makes one of the best Chhole I have ever tasted ('Chhole means Garbanzo beans'). She used to narrate lot of stories about all the pranks my dad did when he was little. I have never seen her gossip or put other people down. It is amazing how much you learn by watching older people behave and interact. She was perfect example of practicing unconditional love, loving every person she comes in contact with and being amazingly kind. The last time I saw her was during my wedding. Last few years she was suffering from Alzheimers before she went to the Lord.

It is sad when we lose one of our close family member, it is a life that was given & yet taken away. What we must always remember is the worth of the life given and by remembering everything that this lady contributed to our world means she has only fallen asleep. She won’t die as in real terms but will live on in the hearts and minds of those she left behind. We definitely miss her physical presence but she did leave a legacy. Legacy of being kind, caring and being a Go- Giver. And as we bid farewell another life, we can pray and hope one day we will all be together again. We can practice what she stood for and that is the best way to honor her to treat everyone with respect, unconditional love and kindness. Thanks Athai for who you are and what you represented. You will be missed for sure.


What makes your performance outstanding?

Whatever work you do, or whatever product or service you provide. What makes you better than those who also do what you do? What makes your performance outstanding?

Think about this: can you give three reasons why someone should hire you, or follow you, or  choose your service? If you cannot answer this clearly, then few changes have to be made for someone to choose you over some other candidate.  People are given slew of options to choose from and they would choose someone whose performance stands out.

Let’s say your senior associate is having lunch with a colleague today and your name comes up—what does he or she say about you? Adjectives like “nice,” “capable” and “pleasant” are certainly positive, but you can do better than that. Consistently great performance conjures up words like “fantastic,” “exceptional” and “extraordinary.”

If you decide to take another job one day, it would be reaffirming to hear your boss say, “What can we do to keep you here?” and not, “Bon Voyage!” To develop this kind of reputation—remember it doesn’t happen automatically—aim to always do a great performance but know when a remarkable performance is called for.

If you want to gain a really remarkable reputation, stay on your toes. Like a professional athlete or a famous rock star, you are only as good as your last game or your last hit. Your fans (or, in most everyday cases, your coworkers or clients) won’t love you unconditionally: they will continue to judge you based on your work and the results and benefits they enjoy from it.

It can be difficult to have an objective view of your own performance. It is easy to assume that you are doing a good or even great job and be content with that illusion. To avoid a rude awakening at a performance review, you need to maintain a clear view on how strong—or weak—your performance actually is.

The best way to do this is to actively seek ongoing feedback. Listen impartially, without defending yourself, and your ‘audience’ will offer insights you can use to improve. If you really want to know, ask this simple question, “What could I do to make my performance outstanding?” Even if this feedback isn’t the pat on the back you’d hoped for; it will be something valuable – clear direction on how you can become a better performer. The feedbacks I have received from Shobana and my coaches have helped me tremendously and I value them big time.

The goal in whatever important work you do isn’t to be good; the goal is to be outstanding like my coaches TD and Suparna Dutta.