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January 2022

Asking Questions

-Karthik Gurumurthy

“The fool wonders, the wise man asks”

The above quote is from former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. For me, its closest modern equivalent is, “The only stupid question is an unasked question.”

While I prefer the more elegant phrasing of Mr. Disraeli, I applaud the sentiment behind both. Even though at times it can be brutally difficult to admit you don’t know who someone is, what something is, how to pronounce something, how to do something, etc, you stand a far better chance of being well thought of—and, more importantly, learning something new—if you’re willing to ask the question.

Given this, what are some things you can do to feel more comfortable asking questions?

• First: Don’t confuse ignorance with stupidity. Just because you don’t know how to conjugate French verbs or tie a half hitch slipknot doesn’t mean you don’t have mastery of numerous other skill sets and bodies of information.

• Second: Point two flows naturally from point one: don’t apologize for your ignorance. We all tend to do this and it doesn’t serve us, or our listener. Instead, it diverts attention from getting the question answered into massaging one another’s egos. Stay on task; just ask the question. If your listener expresses surprise at your not knowing, don’t feed into it. Agree and add, “Yes, I don’t know. Can you tell me?”

• Third: Remember that everyone loves being an authority. While your boss or your colleague or your date may be surprised by your not knowing something in the moment, this will quickly be superseded by the satisfaction of getting to be the authority.

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The image build-up

-Karthik Gurumurthy

As a kid you were enjoying life as you did not associate ourselves with any  image or identity. As you grew you started enjoying the image that you created. Later you wanted more of it. In the pursuit of the identity you lost all the enjoyment in life.

Lose your image. Become null in your head. Enjoy life. The heavy lifting that you are doing right now is temporary and you will retire. People will forget you. Don't look back and feel bad.

You can do your job with 100% efficiency without mentally associating yourself with stuff that boosts your ego. Do and move on.

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Good news!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Found out  today that Amita Satish (who got an outstanding score in SAT last year) got accepted in Purdue and UTexas, Austin for Electrical Engineering (Fall 2022)...Always driven, setting high standards of excellence this is no surprise at all. Wishing her outstanding success and more good news to follow from Amita..Watch out for Amita! She has not only big dreams but an amazing work ethic to make her dreams happen! Fortunate, Blessed and honored to work with these kids!!


Happy News to start the New Year 2022

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What a way to start the New Year !!Found out that my student Joshua Oommen (who aced the  MCATs last year) got accepted at Loma Linda University for Med School. So happy for him!! It is wonderful to observe this kid from high school days to take the journey of Med School student. I can already visualize him extremely successful in his chosen field and lead a  life of significance. 

I am extremely thankful to work with lot of talented kids over the last 20 + years  but there are few who stand out and make you feel like million bucks because your paths crossed. That's the kind of feeling you get when you work with Joshua. I wish him outstanding success in his chosen journey.


Finishing meeting early

-Karthik Gurumurthy


In a world when you can be anything, be the person who ends the meeting early. Whatever you want to say it, say it quickly like a twitter message. Like my dad always used to quote "Brevity is the soul of wit"..Shorter the meeting, sweeter and happier everyone is..


What's your worth?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

A father, before he died, said to his son:

“This is the watch your grandfather gave me and this is more than 200 years old.

Before I give it to you go to the watch shop on the first street, and tell him I want to sell it, and ask how much they offer”.

The son went and after several minutes, he came back to his father and said, "The watchmaker offers to pay $5 because it's old and has a lot of scratches.” He then asked him to go to the coffee shop.

The son went and after an hour or so, he came back and said: “The coffee shop owner offers $5, father.”

“Go to the antique museum estimator and show that watch”. He went ahead and then came back happily. “They offered me a million dollars for this piece.”

The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values your value in a way right, don't put yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you get treated like crap. Those who know your value are the ones who appreciate you, don't ever stay in a place that doesn't suit you."

Make sure you know your worth and don't sell yourself short.


Bring your A game

-Karthik Gurumurthy

If you are dull all the time, your talent will be forgotten and people won't collaborate with you. In a professional environment the accountabilities are handed over to only those who are high on energy and extremely active. You are measured based on the rate at which you bring positive ambience to your surrounding. So put back yourself together before entering your workspace no matter what is happening in your life.


Collaboration

-Karthik Gurumurthy

If someone reaches out to you for guidance, it doesn't mean they don't know and you know. It is more of thought partnering. Set the tone right. Don't allow scenarios to boost your ego. Collaboration and progress is the key to happy life.


Learning from mistakes

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Everyone makes mistakes; it would be small-minded to think you can’t make one. We learn more from screwing up than we do from anything else. When you think (or you know) you have failed, take some time to think. What did I learn? What will I do differently next time? How can I make better decisions in the future.


Rookie Mentality

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The one thing that kept me going all these years is to begin everyday like it’s my first day at work and never stop learning!

‘Every individual I meet is an inspiration and Everyday is a new opportunity, to try something new, to learn, to evolve…’

It has been a great journey so far and it’s time for the clock to reset and start all over again!


Habit of reading books

-Karthik Gurumurthy

How to get good at reading books?

Start one page a day. Yes only one page not two even if you could. Then make it two pages a day in a week's time. Then three pages a day after three more days. Then four pages a day. At this point of time, increase it by additional page every day. Eventually you will end up reading 50 to 100 pages a day in less than 6 months.

Habit stacking works.  Make reading paired with any existing habit. Like I'll read before going to bed or immediately after waking up, or after breakfast etc.


Happy New Year 2022

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Happy New Year! As we adapt to the possibilities that the coming months may bring, let’s make 2022 the best year of the decade thus far. Thankful to all of you who have been reading/commenting to me in person with your thoughts for the last 20 years. Please continue to share your views. #Thankful #Grateful