104 posts categorized "Goal setting"

Law of Sowing and Reaping

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Today I want to talk about something which is very vital and is the difference maker between being successful and not.  It’s a concept based on the realization that life is a lot like “planting apple seeds.”  If you can understand this concept, then you can certainly understand life.


You see, there are four things that happen when you plant apple seeds:


#1: You get apple (not bananas)

# 2: You get the apple later than you planted it.

# 3: You get more apple than you planted.

# 4: You get the apple in proportion to how much apple you planted.

So let’s see how this relates to life…

#1 : You get Apple

This is to say that the results that you’re getting in your life are the results that you’ve planted seeds for.  This is why you should never complain about your life.  You are the one who created it.  You, and you alone, are the creator of your life.

Wouldn’t it be something if you saw an artist complaining about his latest painting; blaming others for how it came out, blaming his mother, “If only she had been more talented, then I would be a better artist.”

…At some point you have to grow-up and take responsibility for your life!

You are the creator of your results, you are reaping the sweet or bitter fruits from the seeds that you have planted. If you don’t like apple, quit planting apple seeds!

# 2: You get the apple later than you planted it

In other words, it takes time to see results.  I have said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it a thousand more, there are no overnight successes, so quit looking for something in exchange for nothing. 
You’re not going to plant apple seeds today, and enjoy apple pie tomorrow.  You work now, you get the results later.  You must sow, before you can reap.

But rest assured, whatever you plant, will produce a harvest.  It will take time, it won’t happen tomorrow, but it will happen.

# 3: You get more apple than you planted

What’s the lesson?  Be careful what you plant, because you will receive more than you planted.  This is a reminder that you shouldn’t go around planting “bad” seeds, because you’re going to reap more bad than you bargained for.

Sow good seeds, treat your neighbor as you would have them treat you, and you will surely bring in a wonderful harvest, a harvest fit for a king.

# 4: You get the apple in proportion to how much apple you planted

Planting two apple seeds will not yield the same results as planting 10,000 apple seeds.  A little work equals little results; a lot of work equals lots of results.

How many seeds are you planting, are you planting enough seeds to receive the harvest that you desire? 

Remember you will only receive a harvest in proportion to what you’ve sown for.  So sow “big,” sow plenty, sow well, and your harvest will surely satisfy your soul with sweet fruit.

If I am starting all over, what will I change?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

We always want to start our life with a clean slate and wish we didn't commit the blunders we have done in the past. If I am starting all over, the following would be list of choices, things I would have made knowing what I know now.

  • You have a choice whether you want to focus on the positive or the negative in any situation. It is vital to exercise that right and live a happier life for doing so. It makes you more responsible or accountable for your actions.
  • If you keep doing what you have always done and you will keep the same results. Einstein said, " the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." You might say this is common sense, but common sense is uncommon sometimes.
  • If you are holding a grudge against someone, it  harms you far more than it will ever harm someone else. They probably might never know about it. The best thing is to find a better use for your time and energy.
  • Success is in your journey towards your goals. If you aren’t enjoying the process, it is quite likely that you are in the wrong lane. Don’t be afraid to go back to square one and refocus your efforts. It’s much better to do it now than further down the road.
  • You might have heard about the saying “What you resist, persists”. Sometimes the best thing is to let go, rather than needing all the answers. You’ll never have all the answers.
  • One of the people who have had tremendous influence on me was my research advisor @ IGCAR., Dr. K.S. Viswanathan. He always used to say "Question everything you read or hear". Do question even the points I have shared with you today. Often it is our ‘failures’ that allow us to see the real truth in sayings.
  • View  all hurdles in your path from a new perspective, a new mindset. Instead of seeing them as a stop sign, see them as an opportunity to show how badly you want something.
  • Whatever 'hurdles’ you have, i s very much possible that someone else has had the same issue and already provided a solution. Find comfort in knowing you are not alone, not in the results.
  • Never let your ego get in the way. Whether it is going for the things you want in life or simply telling people how much they mean to you. Life is too short to miss the opportunity, if people judge you for it, once again, that is their problem, not yours.
  • Sometimes, no matter how positive or encouraging your advice is, people are not ready to hear it.  Just accept this and don’t see someone’s resistance to change as a reflection on you.
  • What people say about you is not your business. People will talk about you unfavorably whether you are there to witness it or not.
  • Right now, this is life, make the most of it. What you do today could affect millions of people in a positive light, or you could bring down the mood of those around you. Which would you like to achieve?


Time drainers

-Karthik Gurumurthy


One thing that God doesn't distinguish between a ditchdigger and a Multimillionaire is he gave everyone an account of 24 hours. Steve Jobs has 24 hours, you and I have 24 hours. What makes one person more efficient than others is how the 24 hours are spent. Take some time to figure out how much of your time is spent in activities which are going to help you in your goals you have set for yourself.

The three major time drainers would be the following:

#1: Not having a to-do list

Not having a to-do list for your day, month or year can cause you to waste lots of time.  Why?  Because you will probably attempt too many taskd and get very little done; the key is to focus your days, months and or years solely on your priorities.

The Lion Tamer at the circus uses a pistol, a whip, and a chair to control the lion.  The chair is said to be the most efficient at controlling the lion.

Why do they use a chair?

The bottom of a chair has four legs, and when pointed in the direction of the lion, the lion becomes unsure as to which leg to focus its attention on, and thereby loses his or her train of thought.

Don’t be like the lion, with so many things to focus on that you get off track; while nothing gets accomplished.

Maybe you want to take a day and focus on organizing your house, or take a year and focus primarily on getting in shape or creating a prosperous mind, but keep your focus single.  You will accomplish more when you have singleness of purpose.

#2: Chatting on the telephone during your productive zone time.

I have specific times that I will answer my phone. If someone calls outside of those hours, I will return their call when it’s most convenient for me.  You can waste a lot of valuable time just “shooting the breeze” at times where you could have done more productive things.

There’s nothing wrong with “chatting on the phone,” as long as it doesn’t conflict with your other priorities.  It’s important to preserve the times when you are most productive, and dedicate those hours to producing your best results uninterrupted.

Don’t become the victim of someone else’s boredom.  In other words, when someone has an hour to kill, don’t let them kill your hour too.  Take control of your telephone time, and it will help you take control of your day.

#3: Watching the News

How many people spend hours a day watching the news, or reading about the news on the Internet?  A lot.

Why should you avoid watching the news?

It steals your time from doing more important things; things that will actually enhance your life and make you feel good about yourself (such as working out, communication with your spouse, or making strides towards achieving your personal and professional goals).

Unless your job requires it, there’s no real need to know about all of the murders that are taking place, not to mention every single theft…it is ridiculous waste of time.

While they are telling you about all the murders, they are murdering your time and killing your productivity.

I once heard someonesay (something to the effect of) instead of showing the news, they should just flash, “Things Are Getting Worse!!!” across the screen.

Now, I don’t believe things are getting worse, I believe things are getting better (society is evolving for the better, no matter what the stock market says).  However, the picture that the media portrays is that things are getting much worse, and really fast.

I don’t want to fill my mind with such rubbish. We never have cable in our place and we don't regret that decision. I would rather choose to focus on the good, thereby increasing the good in my own life.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you become a hermit, and find a rock to hide under. It’s OK to find out things which might help through the Internet because I can click and choose what enters my mind.  I don’t want to be bombarded with the negativity from the media (I usually give myself a time limit, such as 5-10 minutes).

What if World is coming to an end or what if something major happens and I Miss it.

Don’t be concerned that you are going to miss the next great tragedy if you’re not tuned in. If something big happens, you’ll find out about it, trust me ;) .

A majority of the time there is virtually nothing you can do with the bad news from the media, except to become more afraid, lowering your consciousness and the collective consciousness of the entire population; increasing the chance of this negativity re-occurring.  This is a huge waste of time; you should take this precious time and do something that enhances your life.

What is the solution then?

My coach TD and Suparna recommends having a to-do list and not-to-do list which covers it all.

For some people, watching the news (or surfing the web for the news) is just a daily habit.  Try replacing that habit with reading a good book or material which will help you achieve your goals.

Instead of taking in bad news, take in some positive news, because you are the summation of the information you take in. 

Most people have several anti-virus programs to protect their computers. How about protecting your brain which is lot more valuable?

I definitely know that you are engineered for greatness.

When are you going to Succeed?

-Karthik Gurumurthy


Has someone asked you when are you going to succeed in whatever you have started? It can be a business or it can be any endeavor which you deeply wanted to pursue towards which gives you complete fulfilment of your existence in this great planet. Lot of people have asked me and even to this day they ask me how things are looking. I have been working on business endeavors over last few years and is going very well. I am still in the active pursuit of accomplishing my goals which I have set for myself through my business opportunity.

What is the time limit you give yourself in order for you to succeed in anything worthwhile? Do you want to know what’s stopping you back from success?

To answer that, I would like to share couple of stories.

…Steve was excited; he had just finished his first book.  He had dreams of becoming a best-selling author after pouring his heart and soul into his first thriller.  Now it was just a matter of time before he found a publisher…

Unfortunately Steve was declined by the first publisher he submitted his book to, however he didn’t get distressed.  He knew that in order to succeed he would probably encounter several obstacles.  He happily submitted his book to another publisher. 

Yet he received another rejection.  And another rejection, and another, and another, he received a total of 29 rejections.  Down-and-out, Steve agreed to try one last time!  He anxiously waited he get the results, he knew this time things would be different; he was excited.

But alas…he was rejected once more.

At this point Steve was depressed; his dreams of becoming a great writer had been crushed!  He hung his head low, and threw his book in the trash, at least this way he would never have to be reminded of the book again.


Somebody say, “But!” …But Steve’s wife went into the trash and retrieved the book…she encouraged him and motivated him to resubmit the book, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Steve also known as Stephen King whose book, “Carrie,” became an iconic thriller, and he has become one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Another story

Walter worked hard at his job; he worked for the local newspaper.  One day while Walter was working, his boss told him that he was fired!  His boss said that “he lacked imagination, and had no good ideas.”

Walter was depressed…yet he picked himself up.  He decided to go into business for himself, but that didn’t last too long, soon he was bankrupt.


But he was only bankrupt financially; he was not out of courage, not out of strength, and not out of faith.

Walter went on to start one of the most imaginative companies in history, the “Walt Disney” company, which today is responsible for $35 billion dollars in sales annually; so much for lacking imagination.

What is the time limit I should give myself to succeed?

So the question remains, “How long does it take to succeed?”  For most people it takes about ten- twenty years of focused and determined living.  It could happen sooner, or it could take longer, either way you’ll have to be determined like Stephen and Walter in order to succeed.

Why so many years?  When I look at people who’ve succeeded, it generally took them about lot of years of focused living to do so.  Ten-twenty years is enough time to discover your passion, to become a master; it’s enough time to fail, and enough time to re-gain your focus.

Why do I even mention this? We live in a microwave world. We want instant noodles, instant coffee, instant popcorn, instant results.. The moment it takes longer, we think it is probably not worth it. Just because you don't get the results which you wanted, you don’t need to think you’re “dysfunctional”.For all of you who are working towards your goals and dreams I want you to be mentally prepared, so that you can understand that success is a science, and that it takes years of work to go from an apprentice to a master. I have worked in pharmaceutical industry. It takes several years and several million $ to go from a research lab discovery to FDA approved drug. That is exactly how any worthwhile endeavor takes.

What about kids who succeed when their only ten years old?  Their parents probably put in a majority of the requisite years for them.  Some years are transferable, that’s why it’s important to keep good company, and to associate with people who are going where you want to go.

Karthik, but why does it take long time?

Success takes time because the requisite for success is that you provide value.  It takes a lot of work to become a person who provides significant value to others.  People pay for value, valuable people succeed.

So how many years have you put in?  You may have more years than you know; you may have fewer years than you think.

It’s kind of like college credits; when you “graduate” depends on how many credits you have towards your major.  If your life goal is to be a successful writer, then those years you spent reading novels everyday probably count significantly towards your experience. It’s possible that the years you spent with the right kind of people will help you to get their faster.  One way or another, you’ll probably need a good time of learning and applying in order to succeed.

If you don’t value the task enough to push until you succeed, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.  You have to remind yourself that there will be setbacks, your success is not based on your ability to avoid setbacks, but you ability to push through those setbacks until you get the requisite years you need to succeed.  If you remain focused, if you put in the time, success will surely be yours!

Taking action

by Karthik Gurumurthy

I'm a firm believer of good personal development books, audio CDs, seminars and so on. A great writer or speaker can open your eyes up to new ideas, give you just the advice you need, and genuinely change your life.

The problem is, most people don't get as much as they should out of the material they read.

Lot of times I have had students who listen to my Math lectures as if they are listening to rap song.

It's very easy to nod along in agreement with a writer or speaker. You might feel inspired or even determined while you're reading – only to end up forgetting all about those insights you had. The only way to really get max from the above is to put them into practice by being in the action mode.

To take action:

    * Get clear about what you want to learn or change. You're probably not just reading a book or blog post out of general interest: there's a specific situation in your life where you want to improve something. What's your goal?

    * Choose good material. Ask friends to recommend their favorite blogs or books, or check out reviews on Amazon. You want solid content and a style which makes it easy for you to read.

    * Read with a notebook in hand. Jot down questions which occur while you're reading, or any new ideas or insights. Make a particular note of anything you want to try out for yourself – a new way of managing your time, for instance.

    * Set aside time not just to read but to act. Try writing down one to three steps to take every single week, based on what you've been reading.

So now that you've just read this post. Don't let it be yet another piece of good advice that you promptly forget: instead, take a minute now to figure out what you're going to do differently next time you pick up a personal development book.

Power of Association Part -1

-by Karthik Gurumurthy

A Chinese proverb says, “Lie down with a dog, wake up with fleas.” You cannot long escape the effects of the people you associate with. If you insist on associating with a bunch of felons and immoral individuals, you’ll eventually be in trouble with the law or their victim or both. If you hang out at the pool hall every night knocking down a bunch of beers, you can pretty much forget about your dreams of succeeding in life. And if you spend your time with negative, un-happy, do-nothing complainers, that is what you will become.
The flip side is that you can do wondrous things for yourself just by picking the right folks to hang around with. One idea, one suggestion can change your business and your entire life.


Caption for photo: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding and Harvey C. Firestone, 1921
It is well-known that Henry Ford began his business career under the handicap of poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance. It is equally well-known that, within the inconceivably short period of ten years, Mr. Ford mastered these three handicaps, and that within 25 years he turned himself into one of the richest men in America. Add to these facts the additional knowledge that Mr. Ford’s most rapid strides became noticeable at the same time he became a personal friend of Thomas A. Edison, and you will begin to understand what the influence of one mind upon another can accomplish.

I barely passed my final exam in Math when I was in IX grade and I was promoted to my X grade (sophomore) with warning. I am thankful to all my friends who were smarter than me and pushed me to perform better.  I am particularly thankful to Susi (Dr. Sudarsanam) who really stretched me to do well. I have always valued power of association and have always surrounded people who are smarter than me. I heard from someone," the person you will be five years from now depends on the people you meet (on a regular basis) and the good books you read".

From Making Cabinets to Making Millions: How Harrison Ford Grew into a Star

Quoted from Leadership Wired by Dr. John C.  Maxwell

As a college junior, Harrison Ford decided to take a drama course in the hopes of meeting girls. Sure enough, a love affair ensued, only not of the variety Ford had envisioned. Rather than falling for a beautiful woman, he fell in love with acting.

Like so many aspiring actors before and after him, Ford traveled to Los Angeles in the hopes of launching a career in Hollywood. However, he found the industry difficult to enter. While he was hired for acting jobs, he appeared only in small, often unaccredited roles and seldom received a speaking part.

After five or six years, Harrison Ford was tired of performing in obscurity and in need of more steady income to support his family. Having ability as a craftsman, he took up carpentry. He worked as a stagehand for rock group, The Doors, and did odd jobs for many of the people he had met while acting in Los Angeles. One day, a man named George hired him to build cabinets. While making the cabinets Ford became acquainted with his customer who turned out to be movie director, George Lucas. Upon learning that Ford was an actor, Lucas gave him the opportunity to audition for a role in his upcoming film American Graffiti. Ford won the part, a prominent supporting role and his biggest performance to date.

After acting in American Graffiti, Ford parlayed his carpentry skill into more on-screen opportunities. Francis Ford Coppola (director of The Godfather) cast Harrison Ford in a minor role in his 1974 film, The Conversation, after Ford had helped him with an office expansion project. However, it was Ford's relationship with George Lucas that opened the door to stardom. In 1975, Lucas hired him to read lines for a space adventure screenplay. Impressed by Ford's talent Lucas cast him as major character Han Solo in Star Wars (1977). The movie, one of the highest grossing films of all-time, was a smashing success and Harrison Ford's performance was a big reason why.

Collaboration between Ford and Lucas continued in future years with the production of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983). The duo also worked together on three installments of the widely popular Indiana Jones movies in the 1980s. Amazingly, what had begun as an arrangement to build cabinets turned into one of the most lucrative partnerships in American film history!

Personal Growth Lessons from the Life Story of Harrison Ford

1) Be Open to Acquiring New Skills

When Harrison Ford wasn't going anywhere as an actor, he found another avenue to exercise his talents-carpentry. Although he didn't have formal training as a carpenter, Ford diligently worked to gain competence at his new craft. His success in acquiring a new skill not only helped him provide for his family, it positioned him to meet George Lucas.

2) Keep Growing Because You Never Know When Your Opportunity Will Appear

One would assume that Harrison Ford battled feelings of failure when he put his acting career on hold to make cabinets. His dream wasn't to be woodworking in the shop; it was to be performing on stage. Yet despite his disappointment, Ford kept hope alive and stayed sharp as an actor. When George Lucas gave him the opportunity to audition for American Graffiti, Ford was ready, and he won the part.

3) Honing Your People Skills Can Reap Big Dividends

Something about Harrison Ford caught the eye for George Lucas. I'm not sure if it was Ford's charisma, his passion for acting, or his skill as a craftsman. Whatever the reason, the key lesson is that Harrison Ford forged a relational connection with George Lucas. He conducted himself in such a way that George Lucas wanted to see him succeed and decided to give him a shot. Whether you're on the doorstep of your dream or a million miles off course from where you'd hoped to be, improving your people skills is a wise move that will attract opportunities to you.

Power of Pushing and having an Version update

-Karthik Gurumurthy

From time to time, when we start our computer, we are prompted to update the software. A software update provides bug fixes and minor software enhancements and is made available by free download. Software updates sometimes include new drivers to support the latest hardware such as printers, CD drives and DVD drives. Lot of times when we don't follow these, some of the programs come to a stand-still. Same thing applies to our life. It is very vital to make the changes we need to make in order to move on in life.

I interact with lot of young children almost on a day-to-day basis. They are famous for asking "Why?". And our initial answer does not suffice. "Why are we doing this way, Why not that way?" is usually followed up with a second and third "why?"."Why" is the motivator. Continually asking "why" is the way we cut through the clutter of our existence and drill down deep enough to move from great to best and transform into right.

One of my favorite movies is Miracle. This is a true story based on how young US hockey team won the experienced tough Russian team at the Olympics in 1980. When the young team won, Herb Brooks, the coach of the team was asked why they were able to beat the odds and go all the way. He said, "The ones who said we weren't good enough- that we were too small, not strong enough, not fast enough, and couldn't learn the European style of play in such a short period of time- were proved wrong. Wrong, not because they misjusdged our abilities. Our  abilities deserved seventh place. They were wrong because of the 'intangibles.' How can you measure desire, commitment, faith, passion and courage? They weren't able to measure those 'whys.' You ask why we won. We asked ourselves, "why not?"

If we refuse to change we become obsolete. I don't know anyone whom I know and admire who really wants to be an obsolete entrepreneur, coach, parent or friend. No one I know and respect wants to be stagnant or remain ignorant.  I have had chance to interact with lot of entrepreneurs and teachers. Many of these are guilty of this. Lot of times it is easier to change the audience than to change the speech. Some educators know they change students, so why change lessons or teaching techniques they've used since they were student teachers? We have people forget the Native American adage, "Short time alive, long time dead."

Too many people think that if they could just change jobs, get a raise, change neighborhoods, change their body, or change their significant other, they would finally be happy. Maybe, maybe not. But if we wait for change, it might not come. We need to take change into our own hands. What I learned from my coaches is that change from the inside out is proactive and creates power that allows us to improve and become more of who already are. What we haven't accentuated is the reason it gives us power.

What your role model cannot do..

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I was reading the book " 8th habit" by Steven Covey.  It is a must-read book where Steven Covey talks about Character and Competence.  General Schwarzkopf address at the US Military academy says it all.


 “I've met a lot of leaders in the Army who were competent, but they didn't have character. And for every job they did well, they sought reward in the form of promotions, in the form of awards and decorations, in the form of getting ahead at the expense of someone else, in the form of another piece of paper that awarded them another degree, a sure road to the top.

You see, these were competent people, but they lacked character. I've also met a lot of leaders who had superb character but who lacked competence. They weren't willing to pay the price of leadership, to go the extra mile because that’s what it took to be a great leader.

And that’s sort of what it’s all about. To lead in the 21st century – to take soldiers, sailors, airmen into battle, you will be required to have both character and competence.” And this is the challenge for leaders today.

A leader is a person with a magnet in his heart and a compass in his head.
- Vance Hainer

Developing leaders can read the latest books, attend trendy conferences, and attend seminars, but at the end of the day, the great leadership speakers and writers cannot do anything for you until you take action for yourself. I have identified five specific things your role models cannot do for you and why this is good.

Role Models can’t speak with your voice. And this is the challenge for emerging leaders - to speak in their own voice. For years I have looked to and benefited from leadership role models. And as influential as they have been, I would never be fulfilled as a leader if I lost my own voice in the process.

As you develop your leadership skills it is imperative not to lose your voice. Benjamin Disraeli said, “There is no index of character so sure as the voice.” Great leaders don’t speak with your voice nor do they speak with your passion. Own it. Develop it. And speak it.

Role Models can’t pay your dues. Role Models/Mentors can challenge you, motivate you, inspire you, and help you renew your sense of purpose. They can impart hope and encourage you to fight another day. And as wonderful as these things are, you still have to take your personal journey in the school of leadership.

Your development as a leader evolves the way it does for all of us – through life experiences and paying your dues. Albert Einstein said, “There is only one road to true human greatness: through the school of hard knocks.” Take solace from the great leaders who have walked the trail before you, but understand that their dues are not transferable.

Role Models can’t see your dreams. Your mentors/Role models can motivate and encourage you to pursue your dreams. They can give you formulas based on their successes and failures that can give you wisdom in your daily decisions. But you alone are the guardian of your dreams and what is required to turn them into reality.

Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” You see what the great leaders cannot. Hold true to your dreams and valiantly pursue them.

Role Models can’t feel with your heart. Personal leadership is not just a product of what is in your head, but what is in your heart. Your leadership is manifest in ways that heal, inspire, build, promote, and touch your world in ways unknown to great leaders. Your mentors/role models can show you the tools, but you are the one who must use them to create a masterpiece.

Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” And this is the power of your dreams and who will be touched by your leadership.

Role models can’t reach your potential. Your influence as a leader exists by maximizing your gifts and abilities where you are planted. To the extent that there are things your mentors cannot do for you, you are in the driver’s seat as you fulfill your purpose as a leader.

As you speak with your own voice, pay your dues, see with your eyes, feel with your heart, and reach your potential, you will achieve a level of success that is worthy of distinction. This is where all great leaders begin.

Feed the flame

-Karthik  Gurumurthy

Success doesn’t come to the most intelligent/gifted/strong. The world is filled with geniuses who did zero with their talent. So no. Sustained success comes to the person with the biggest fire inside of them. Burning desire, unreasonable passion and massive beliefs in the importance of one’s dreams are what creates genuine leaders. And people who reach their mountaintops.

You can make the decision right now to upgrade every area and element of your life. From health to wealth. From relationships to career. It’s all yours for the taking. This can be the time you turn it all around and take it to a whole new level of wow.

So find your fire. Look in the mirror. Remember who you are. And all that you’ve dreamed of being. And then act. And when you get knocked down or discouraged or afraid. Get back up. Light up the fire. And stoke it until it blazes.

Problems or Opportunities

-Karthik Gurumurthy


Spotting problems is easy. Almost everybody can do that.

Solving problems is much more difficult. Not everyone seems up to that task. Problematically, more people are content to spot a problem (also known as moaning, groaning and complaining) than they are contributing to the solution.

But even solving problems isn’t the highest art. Spotting and exploiting opportunities is a personal and organizational leadership skill.

(By the way, “exploiting” is the correct word for seizing and taking advantage of an opportunity or situation. Exploitation becomes negative when it is done to people. Because exploitation has a potential negative connotation it is important to understand the difference.)

Why are spotting opportunities hard?

First, it requires a conscious effort. Rarely do we stumble upon opportunities, and even if we do we won’t recognize them if we aren’t paying attention.

Second, it requires a contrary focus. Today most people are focused on their problems and not their opportunities. Our natural focus seems to be on what’s wrong rather than what’s right or what could be better.

Third, opportunities are often subtle rather than obvious. Furthermore, they often come disguised as a problem and then you have to look hard to find the opportunity hidden in the problem. (Most people just see a problem as a problem.)

Once you’re spotted an opportunity you must take action to exploit it. Opportunities not acted upon are nothing more than possibilities. Leaders are those who turn possibilities into reality. But that takes work, not wishful thinking.

Are you looking for and acting on opportunities?

Traits of Great Leaders

-Karthik Gurumurthy

A great man is always willing to be little.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the arena of conventional wisdom much has been said and written on how to go from good to great as a leader. While much has been penned about how to get to the top it is important to understand how leaders stay there.

John Maxwell said, “Great people have little use for fame or notoriety; they are consumed with productivity, not image. They are content when the moment calls for them to be little, ordinary, or common – as long as the goal is achieved.” While many look to unlock the deep secrets and mysteries of leadership; is it possible to overlook simple characteristics that propel leaders to the top and keep them there? I believe it is, and here are a few observations on how great leaders do it.

Great leaders are comfortable in their own skin; they are authentic. Authentic leadership has a vested interest in the lives and well-being of others. In the life of your organization and the credibility of your leadership style, is there anything more important?

Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” This is at the heart of leaders who make it to the top. Hang around any great leader long enough and you will soon find that you feel right at home around them. Why? When the leader is at ease others around him will be also and productivity will flourish. Great leaders have nothing to prove and care deeply for those near them.

Great leaders are content to ride shotgun; they delegate. By and large, great leaders did not get to where they are by going it alone. Neither will they remain there without being surrounded by a devoted group of leaders with a shared vision.

Jim Collins said, “The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake. The best people don’t need to be managed. Guided, taught, led – yes. But not tightly managed.” A great leader is great because he gives adequate space to those around him to achieve their full potential.

Great leaders understand the greater purpose of riding shotgun. The leader understands that he will not sit atop his perch forever. Success calls for a successor and riding shotgun is merely driver training for a seamless transition. Leaders delegate for the greater good.

Great leaders are careful to share the limelight; they are humble. All that matters to the leader is that the goals are achieved. Robert Woodruff said, “There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” If achieving goals requires the leader to be little, ordinary, or common, then look for the leader to step up for the greater good.

Thomas Merton said, “A humble man can do great things with an uncommon perfection because he is no longer concerned about accidentals, like his own interests and his own reputation, and therefore he no longer needs to waste his efforts in defending them.”

A great leader demonstrates strength in allowing the light to shine on others. For in understanding the big picture he accurately understands his small role.

Great leaders stay on top not by acts of vanity but rather by acts of mercy. Great leaders dare to be authentic, delegate responsibility, and walk in humility. The secret to understanding how great leaders stay on top is found in the discovery that these were the habits formed from the beginning and have been practiced ever since.

Thoughts on Goal Setting

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Here’s some thoughts on goal setting from Shad Helmstetter.  I believe they go right along with the message from Habakkuk 2:2-3…. “ write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.  For the vision is for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.  Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come.”  Notice the formula:  (1) Write the vision down.  The act of putting it on paper makes it more concrete for you.  (2) Clarify the vision, make it plain.  I suggest at least a 100-word essay on your most inspiring vision.  (3)  Read the vision.   This imprints the vision in your heart and in your mind.  We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Put copies of your vision everywhere; in your car, on your mirrors, on the refrigerator, in your wallet, etc. We naturally move toward what is in front of us.  Every time you read the vision it’s like stoking the embers in a fire.  Keep stoking it until the flame soars brightly and your adrenaline starts pumping.  This will attract others to you that can help you realize your dreams.  (4) Run with it.  Move purposefully toward its fulfillment.  God may at times refine and redesign the visions that He gives you, but seldom does He remove them.  He refines the dreams and the dreamer; He tampers with the dreams while He tempers the dreamer.

1.  Set goals now!  Write them down.   If you do not write your goals down on paper, you are missing the single most important step in reaching your full potential.   Don’t wait until everything is clear in your mind, start now and clarify things as you go.

2.  Never listen to the people who tell you what you cannot do.  They are small-minded, closed-minded, weak in spirit or programmed for failure themselves.  People sometimes forecast for others what they have forecasted for themselves.

3.  Improve your “self-talk.”  The self-talk that you learn, and practice right now will control your present and future chances for success.

4.  Practice having a good attitude everyday.  Start with thanking and praise the Lord for another day to be a blessing to someone. Your attitude will do more for you than you can ever imagine.  It sets things in motion that we could never even begin to plan for ourselves.

5.  Spend as much time as possible with people who believe in you and build you up.   Your time is a precious gift from God, use it wisely.

6.  Turn off the television.  Television can be the most destructive, time-wasting, negative programming force in the world.   Break the habit of idly watching television.   Read a good book instead.

7.  Do something constructive.  Take action.   Write your plan, take action, go for it, tackle it and get it done.  Any action is better than no action.

8.  Never stop.  Never give up.   Keep going.  Don’t quit.  Get up, start again and never, ever give up on your dreams.  When you think it’s over it’s actually a new start.  Every day is a new beginning!

Leaders Develop Daily, Not In a Day

-By Dr. John C. Maxwell

A group of American tourists walked through a quaint English village in wonderment. They were enamored by the town's winding cobblestone streets, the beauty of its courtyards and plazas, and the sense of history emanating from its ancient churches. While strolling through the local park, the tourists struck up conversation with an elderly gentleman and found out that he had lived in the town for his entire life. One of the Americas, eager to hear more about the town's history, asked, "Sir, have any great men been born in this village?" "Nope," said the old man, "only babies."

Personal Growth Is a Process

In our twenties, we think ahead to when we'll be ideally situated in our career, positioned to do exactly what we enjoy, and enjoying immense influence in our occupation. Like children on the way to Disneyland, we impatiently await arrival at our destination instead of appreciating the journey there. However, as we age we encounter an uncomfortable truth: growth doesn't happen automatically. We cannot coast through life hoping one day to stumble across our dreams. Unless we set aside time to grow into the person we desire to be, we'll not reach our potential.

Leaders develop daily, not in a day. They commit themselves to the process of growth, and over time they reap the rewards of daily investments in their development. In this lesson, I'd like to share five principles to encourage you to adopt a lifestyle of personal growth.

#1 Growth is the great separator of those who succeed and those who do not.

When I went to college, there was no gap between my peers and me-none at all. We started on the same level. However, at the age of 17, I made a commitment to spend an hour a day on my personal growth. I studied and read, filing the lessons I learned along the way. Now, in most cases, the gap between my former classmates and me is pretty wide. Am I smarter than they are? Absolutely not. Many of them got better grades than I did in college. It's the growth factor-my commitment to the process of personal growth-that has made the difference.

#2 Growth takes time, and only time can teach us some things.

When it comes to personal growth, you cannot substitute for time. Yet, the mere passage of time doesn't make you wise. Experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is the best teacher. To gain insights from your experience, you have to engage in reflective thinking. I have a habit of taking ten minutes every evening to look back on the day. As I reflect on what happened, lessons emerge, and I capture them in my notebook so that I can learn from them.

#3 Growth inside fuels growth outside.

The highest reward of our toil is not what we get for it, but who we become by it. At the age of 17, I decided that I would read, file, and begin to prepare lessons. From that simple discipline I accumulated a wealth of content that fueled my speaking and writing. I never set out to be a leadership specialist; I was simply diligent about reading, filing, and studying. With respect to personal growth, take the long view on results. The most important question to ask is not "What am I getting?" from the discipline of personal growth, the most important question is, "Who am I becoming?"

#4 Take responsibility for your own growth.

For 15 to 20 years, the school system holds us responsible for growth. Educational curriculum clearly spells out, "here's what you do next," and "here's the next step." Then we graduate with diplomas and certificates, and we no one longer have anyone to map out the next step for us. If we want to continuing growing, we have to do it ourselves. We have to put together a game plan so that we become students of life who are always expanding our minds and drawing upon our experiences.

#5 Determine the areas of your life in which you need to grow.

You've probably heard someone say, "You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it." Sadly, as nice as that sounds, it simply isn't true. In watching people grow, I have discovered that, on a scale of 1-10, people can only improve about two notches. For instance, I love to sing; that's the good news. The bad news is that I can't carry a tune. Now, let's be generous and say that, as a singer, I'm a "two." If I put lots of money, effort, and energy into developing my voice, perhaps I can grow into a "four." News flash: on a ten-point scale, four is still below average. With regards to my career, it would be foolish for me to focus my personal growth on my voice. At best, I'd only become an average singer, and no one pays for average.

Don't work on your weaknesses. Devote yourself to fine-tuning your strengths. I work exceptionally hard on personal growth in four areas of my life. Why only four? Because I'm only good at four things. I lead, communicate, create, and network. That's it. Outside of those areas, I'm not very valuable. However, within those areas of strength I have incredible potential to make a difference


- Karthik Gurumurthy

Most people would rather work on their personality than on their character. Personality development brings more immediate rewards, is less rewarding and, in most cases, involves little sacrifice on our part. Personality development involves learning new conversational skills, style or  developing a speaking ability.

Character development often involves making changes that are at least temporarily uncomfortable and often very demanding. The development of good virtues requires more times because it means we must discipline some of our appetities and passions. Keeping promises and being sensitive to the feelings and convictions of others are not things that most of us do naturally. We have to work at them.  Development of character is the best indicator of maturity.

It is true that it is difficult to develop character than personality and and rewards are not as immediate. However, the long-term rewards are infinitely greater. In today's world, the need for character and leadership outweighs the need for more people with better personality. The good news is, when you develop the character, the personality develops far more easily and naturally.

How does one’s journey to success begin?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I’m fascinated by the concept of success. Of course, success can be defined in many different ways, depending upon the context. From Earl Nightingale’s “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. When someone had asked a very successful entrepreneur what changes he made in order to succeed.

He responded,

I changed. I changed my thoughts. I changed the people I paid attention to. I changed my mind. I changed my habits. I changed my attitude. I changed my clothes. I changed my opinions about me and about you. I changed what I read, I changed what I watched on television, and what I listened to. I changed those deep-rooted decisions about who I was and who I would become.

At some point in their lives, people who advance from average to successful recognized that there was something about them that had to change. Life didn’t have to change. Other people didn’t have to change. Circumstances didn’t have to change. They had to change. They made the decision to do so. And, they did it. No exceptions, no excuses. They simply did it.

Notes from Leadership Mastery

Here are some notes from this phenomenal Book:


  • The only way to differentiate yourself and your business is to become exceptionally skilled at leading and persuading others.
  • A couple of simple tests that you can make to prove yourself how easy it is to make people like you instantly:
  • Starting tomorrow morning, you smile at the first five people you see at work every day for a week. A good, broad, genuine smile and a hearty good morning.
  • Pick out just one person every day for a week, one person who has never meant very much to you, and become genuinely interested in him/her and show that you are interested in him/her with a smile and some friendly comment.
  • If you want to be liked instantly, do as the puppy does: Become genuinely interested in other people and show it.
  • Principles will never change; it is how they are applied that will change.
  • In the past, an order from the boss may have given the employee enough want.  Today leaders must create that want by engaging others in the mission with same goals but by different processes.
  • Leadership, like any other skill, is not something you are born with; it must be learned.
  • Leadership is no longer for the Chief Executive Officer, the President, the General, the Boss or the Mom and Dad.  Leadership is available to each and every one of us at every level or Organization, be that Society, Business, Government or Family.
  • Keep your mind Open to Change all the time.  Welcome it.  Court it  -  Dale Carnegie
  • In today’s world, the quality of leadership is both respected and revered, but it is also subtly devalued.  We celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln, great leaders of the past, yet we are deeply suspicious of those who occupy leadership positions in the present day.  Perhaps it is because we know too much about them in our present media-dominated environment.
  • We usually evaluate leaders in terms of how much they do, not how they transition to doing less.  There is a lesson here: What Leaders mean to us changes with time just as the leaders themselves change.
  • Leadership masters goes a step further by transforming followers into other Leaders.  For true leadership masters, this process includes not just everyone in an Organization, but literally everyone they meet.
  • It requires personal qualities beyond traditional leadership virtues: Qualities like toughness and Decision-making ability, Flexibility, Innovation and the ability to Accommodate sudden change.
  • The purpose of Leadership Mastery is not to show you how to order people around, or to manipulate them with fear of failure or promise of reward.  Instead you will focus on giving people the tools to lead themselves in the direction of what they do best

Urgent & Important

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I got a chance to listen  to a successful entrepreneur and what  he shared during the training is extremely important and vital and can make a big difference between being successful and an average mediocre person. He asked us to do a matrix of urgent and important.



  Everything you do fits into one of four categories determined by your own values and circumstances:

  •     Important and urgent — fighting daily fires. Most people spend here much of their time. What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. Try to minimize the amount of tasks here and complete them as soon as possible.
  •     Important but not urgent — this is the "big picture", strategic plans. This is where you need to spend quality time.
  •      Not important but urgent — these are the tasks with near deadlines but not relevant to your own goals. Delegate them and give them as little time as possible.
  •      Not important and not urgent — this is where you waste your time. Try to minimize, or trash them. Examples: Web browsing.

The difference between someone who is successful and the one is not depends on which quadrant they spend most of their time in.

Let us focus on WIN.

WIN stands for What’s Important Now? Not what was important…last week, last month, last quarter or last year.

Use your best thinking and intuition to determine and then implement the things you should be doing now.


I always understood this intuitively and if you examine your day you usually will find all 4 quadrants at work. But even if you understand it and recognize your tasks as important and urgent, how do I profit from the matrix? ;) How can I make practical changes to get better in my productivity?

The value lies mainly in the awareness of what is important and what not. And then in moving more and more into Quadrant 1 (important and urgent) and with all the rest into "The Zone" (Quadrant 2): into what is important but not yet urgent.

If you do this, you will master time-management and produce not only good results but also balance. Success will be much likelier and seem more natural and effortless. Someone who is good in time-management is not someone who is constantly managing the tasks in stress. In fact that is definitely a bad time-manager, since he is constantly in quadrant 1 and possibly 3. It may be important, but it is urgent for sure. That is bad time-management and the "cure" is in quadrant 2 – The Zone . Let us focus more of our activities towards Quadrant-2.

Four steps for learning better

-Karthik Gurumurthy

As leaders we live in a learning rich environment…

…but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are learning.

It is easy to think that we’re learning as we go, but in reality we are often just gathering experiences and extracting little in the way of lessons. Learning requires intentionality, and if you don’t make it an overt objective in your journey, it probably won’t happen consistently.

To be a better, faster learner you need to do these things:

1. Slow down. If you are moving too fast, information is getting passed over or filtered out.

2. Reflect. That means contemplating not just on what happened, but what it means.

3. Record. Keeping a journal will help you capture lessons to review or reconsider in the future.

4. Share. You’ll gain additional insights and notice nuances when you share what you’ve learned with others, whether your team or someone you mentor.

So what have you learned this week?

Share it with someone who needs to know.


Thinking right

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Probably one of the most powerful words in the English language is the word THINK. What happens to us in life will largely be determined by our ability to use our minds and learn how to properly think about matters and reason through situations.


Consider for a moment: What you do for a living, as well as how you handle your money, is a result of the way you think. Who you married and how many children you have are the results of your thinking (or in some cases, perhaps a lack of thinking)! In any case, our thinking process is paramount to almost every area of life. It affects how we act, how we live and how we treat other people.

Thinking can be both positive and negative; it can be both proactive and reactive. If I think things through, I will always be in a better position to make wiser choices or decisions. If I choose not to think things through for myself, then I will be left subject to whatever transpires in my life by the choices of others. In other words, if I do not learn to think properly and then act on my wise choices, I have no one to blame but myself.

Lodovico Buonarroti was the father of Michelangelo. He was a very wealthy man. He had no real understanding of the incredible, unique gifts and talents of his young son. Whenever Michelangelo tried to do manual labor with his hands, his father would beat him. No child of his was going to be a mere laborer who soiled his hands with work! So, incredible as it may seem, Michelangelo learned from childhood to primarily use his mind rather than his hands.

Years later, a visiting prince came to Michelangelo’s studio to watch the master at work and found him sitting in front of an eighteen foot block of solid marble just staring at it. The prince had heard rumors and now found them to be true. Every day for four months, the great artist and sculptor had sat and stared at the marble all day and then gone home for supper.

The prince asked the obvious question, “What are you doing?”

Michelangelo turned to look at him and whispered, “I’m working.”

Three years later, that block of marble was the statue of DAVID.

Growing up, Michelangelo had been forced to learn a secret - to use his mind, to think things through, to see with his inner mind and heart what he could not yet see with his eyes or touch with his hands. It all began on the inside of him before it worked its way outside of him.

Why not begin to raise the bar for yourself? Begin to see the direct correlation between how you think and the results that are currently transpiring in your life. If you like what is taking place perhaps it is the result of good thinking. If you do not like what is taking place, maybe it is the result of bad thinking, or worse yet, no thinking at all!

I am painfully aware of the consequences that not thinking things through can bring into a person’s life. I have had to work on this quality for many years and I still feel like I am just a beginner. Some of you are already great thinkers and I admire you for that quality. I am discovering that it can be learned.

Wherever you are on life’s journey, let me encourage you to use your mind to help you see the “DAVID” that could become a masterpiece in your own life.

Have a great week!

Cause and Mission

-by Karthik Gurumurthy

What we observed from people who lead a life of significance is their mission/cause passion in helping people. I strongly feel that the real secret to immortality and longevity is to find a cause that's larger than yourself and then have the courage to donate your life to it. That cause might be being an extraordinary leader who creates an extraordinary organization that creates extraordinary value for it's customers. That cause might be to be a person devoted to leaving everyone you meet better than you found them. That cause might mean being a leader that develops the highest potential of his people and evokes their greatness. My Dad shared an Indian saying with me as I grew up that still lives within my imagination: "When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cried while you rejoice." 

Self Mastery


Stephen R. Covey once wrote, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”. And in the longer term, the undisciplined lack the freedom that comes with possessing particular skills and abilities – e.g. to start a new habit.

Self-Mastery involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often it involves sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to:

    * Work on a worthwhile idea after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away
    * Go to the gym when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV
    * Wake early to work on yourself
    * Say “no” when tempted to break your diet
    * Only check your email a few of times per day at particular times

In the past self-discipline has been a weakness of mine, and as a result today I find myself lacking the ability to do a number of things which I would like – e.g. to update my weblog three times a week. But I have improved, and I can say that it is self-discipline that got me out of bed this morning at 5am to do my reading for half an hour and then write this article. Believe me, I would love to be curled up in bed right now, but this desire is subordinated by my inner sense of purpose.

If you struggle with self-discipline, the good news is that it can be developed. For example, it is only in the past  year that I have trained myself to workout three times a week. The following are what I have found to be the five traits of self-discipline:

1. Self-Knowledge

Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge. You need to decide what behavior best reflects your goals and values. This process requires introspection and self-analysis, and is most effective when tied to written expression. I highly recommend taking the time to write out your goals, dreams and ambitions. Even better, write out a personal mission statement. I found that writing such a statement gave me a greater understanding of who I am, what I am about and what I value. Dr. Covey has an excellent Mission Statement Builder on his site.

2. Conscious Awareness

Self-discipline depends upon conscious awareness as to both what you are doing and what you are not doing. Think about it. If you aren’t aware your behavior is undisciplined, how will you know to act otherwise?

As you begin to build self-discipline, you may catch yourself being in the act of being undisciplined – e.g. biting your nails, avoiding the gym, eating a piece of cake or checking your email constantly. Developing self-discipline takes time, and the key here is you are aware of your undisciplined behavior. With time this awareness will come earlier, meaning rather than catching yourself in the act of being undisciplined you will have awareness before you act in this way. This gives you the opportunity to make a decision that is in better alignment with your goals and values.

3. Commitment to Self-Discipline

It is not enough to simply write out your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 6am you will see no harm in hitting the snooze button for “just another 5 minutes….” Or, when initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion. My senior associate TD always mentions that "commitment to continuity leads to emotional stability."

If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it. Then, I highly recommend putting in place a system to track these commitments. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved”.

4. Courage

Make no mistake, self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetites and passions can be powerful forces to go against. Therefore self-discipline is highly dependent on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful. Instead, find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. As you begin to accumulate small private victories, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.

5. Internal Coaching

Self-talk is often and by default negative, but it can also be extremely beneficial if you have control of it. When you find yourself being tested, I suggest you talk to yourself, encourage yourself and reassure yourself. After all, it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your goals, call up courage, reinforce your commitment and keep you conscious of the task at hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”. Burn this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.

Nuggets from "Eat that Frog" by Brian Tracy

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I have read this book several times before. It is always a good book to revisit as it has great stuff which we can internalize it in our schedule. Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. Your ability to plan and organize your work, in advance, so you are always working on your highest value tasks determines your success as much as any other factor.

Brian Tracy suggests a method called ABCDE method of priorities.

The process of setting short-term priorities begins with a pad of paper and a pen. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by too many things to do and too little time in which to do them, sit down, take a deep breath, and list all those tasks you need to accomplish. Although there is never enough time to do everything, there is always enough time to do the most important things, and to stay with them until they are done right.

The best method for setting priorities on your list, once you have determined your major goals or objectives, is the A-B-C-D-E method. You place one of those letters in the margin before each of the tasks on your list before you begin.

"A" stands for "very important;" something you must do. There can be serious negative consequences if you don't do it.

"B" stands for "important;" something you should do. This is not as important as your 'A' tasks. There are only minor negative consequences if it is not completed.

"C" stands for things that are "nice to do;" but which are not as important as 'A' or 'B,' tasks. There are no negative consequences for not completing it.

"D" stands for "delegate." You can assign this task to someone else who can do the job instead of you.

"E" stands for "eliminate, whenever possible." You should eliminate every single activity you possibly can, to free up your time.

When you use the A-B-C-D-E method, you can very easily sort out what is important and unimportant. This then will focus your time and attention on those items on your list that are most essential for you to do.

Just Say No
Once you can clearly determine the one or two things that you should be doing, above all others, just say no to all diversions and distractions and focus single-mindedly on accomplishing those priorities.

Much stress that you experience in your work life comes from working on low-priority tasks. The amazing discovery is that as soon as you start working on your highest-value activity, all your stress disappears. You feel a continuous stream of energy and enthusiasm. As you work toward the completion of something that is really important, you feel an increased sense of personal value and inner satisfaction. You experience a sensation of self-mastery and self-control. You feel calm, confident and capable.

Here are three ideas that you can use, every day, to help you set priorities and to keep you working at your best:

First, take the time to be clear about your goals and objectives so that the priorities you set are moving you in the direction of something that is of real value to you.

Second, remember that what counts is not the amount of time that you put in overall; rather, it's the amount of time that you spend working on high-priority tasks.

Third, understand that the most important factor in setting priorities is your ability to make wise choices. You are always free to choose to engage in one activity or another.

Resolve today to set clear priorities in every area of your life, and always choose the activities that will assure you the greatest health, happiness and prosperity in the long term.

Measure of Success

-Karthik Gurumurthy


Why does life throw challenges and crisis at us, like the crisis we have all been dealing with for the last year with the recession and all?

Because that is the only way we will change. It is the only way we will rid ourselves of evil, bad habits, greed, ego and the wrong priorities.  It’s human nature wanting to stay the course, not to rock the boat, and usually the only way we will change is if we are forced into it by some outside influence, i.e. financial crisis,  illness, catastrophe.  We have to look at the challenges as an opportunity and as a way to re-prioritize what is important.

What has happened with most people last year is they are consumed, by what has been taken away and not focused on being thankful for what they have and the opportunities of tomorrow.  Step back for a moment – the reason things get taken away, the reason life throws us challenges and crisis is because it is the only way we will wake up and quit overlooking those things which are really most important in life – our family, our friends, our health, our spirituality, balance, etc.  Challenge and crisis gets thrown at us because it is the only thing that will slap us in the face hard enough to get our attention. Think back in our life to a time of crisis – yes we may have lost something. There may have been a scare in our life of some kind, and with that crisis a door opened. A new person appeared when you looked in the mirror, usually a better person, a more thankful person, a more humble person, a more caring person, and a person with better priorities.

In every crisis and in every challenge there is an opportunity. We just have to find it.  But, until we let go of the pain and anger of what we have lost, and focus on all that we have which is really most important, the agony will not stop.  And, once we do focus on what we have, life will be even better than it was before. This week and beyond, let us all make a commitment EVERYDAY to give thanks and be grateful for everything and everyone we have in our life.   If we can do this on a day-to-day basis, not only will the pain stop, but life will be better and we will be more at peace than ever before.

Remember, life is about who we become and how we grow when faced with challenge, with crisis, and with pain.  It is what life is all about. It is why we are here.  So let us step back and look in the mirror, who are we becoming?

Sense of urgency

-Karthik Gurumurthy

For people from India, I wish you all a very Happy Pongal:Makara Sankranti: Baisakhi Greetings.

These festivals symbolize the destruction of evil (in the form of burning of junk). From time to time, we also need to slow down to reflect what we have learned from the past experiences and take some time to clearly identify where we are going and identify and burn the activities which might slow us in our mission.


Last weekend, Shobana and I took sometime to do that and it really clarified few of our focal points. These focal points really helped in changing the priorities and also gave a sense of urgency to the goals we both set for this year. All achievers take some time to do this "action orientation."

It really helps to take the time to think, plan and set priorities. Once we do that, we can launch quickly and strongly toward the goals and objectives. It is not a one-day show but achievers work on the priorities steadily, smoothly and continuously and seem to go through enormous amounts of work in the same time period that the average person spends socializing, frittering time and working on low value things.  Once we work on high value tasks at a high and continuous level of activity, we can actually enter into state of flow. We feel elated and clear.  Once we get into that flow we also feel happy and energized. We also experience a tremendous sense of calm and personal effectiveness.  I am sure everyone has experienced this feeling at some point of time.

The best way we can trigger this state is by developing a "sense of urgency". This is the inner drive and desire to get on with the job quickly and get it done fast. This inner drive is an impatience that motivates us to get going and to keep going. A sense of urgency feels very much like racing against ourself. If I feel like I have all day to do something, I’ll take all day to do it – it’s Parkinson’s Law (“Work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion”)

With the sense of urgency, we become action oriented rather than talking continually about what we are going to do. We focus on specific steps we can take immediately. We concentrate on the things we can do right now to get the results you want and achieve the goals you desire.

Ideas are useless

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Controversial title for my entry today? Perhaps. But I think it's true.

I have heard so many people say that ideas are the currency of success and we become what we consider all day long.

Sid Ganguly shared in FED that, ideas without execution is mere delusion. 


In other words, an idea - no matter how big - only assumes value when it's acted upon and brought to life.

This world of ours is full of great thinkers who never realized their greatness. They were strong on the thinking piece but weak on the execution side. And they suffered as a result of that constraint.  Achievers get both right. They are superb strategically and brilliant tactically. Really creative and really good at getting things done.

So jump start your commitment around execution. Yes, capture your ideas and bask in the glow of a brilliant thought. And then reach deep into your inner power and have the discipline to do whatever it takes on a daily basis to make the idea a reality.

Sid and Rup Ganguly: FED 2009

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Had an outstanding weekend in Sacramento. It was really powerful listening to New <>s Sid and Rup from Toronto. When they were getting recognized, all I could see in his eyes were FOCUS. You can see that his work ethic speaks so loud that he doesn't have to say much. I really liked what he said about game planning. He said, " I would rather play the game than spend hours and hours game planning". Thanks Sid, your message is well received.

Sometimes to accomplish something, one need to have the biggest desire to get it done, never mind the hard work, never mind the inconveniences, never mind the lack of sleep, never mind being tired, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Do not underestimate the power of your mind.

I pray for the courage to lead, the heart to care, the strength to rise up above the ordinary.

All distractions will fail against me because I am focused.

Where is your heart?

by Karthik Gurumurthy

My coach shared this video during his training and this video really shows what one is capable of once you have the heart in it.

Tears roll down my face as I watch this video clip from the movie, "Facing the giants."  I love watching someone go beyond what they were ever able to do before. I love seeing someone pull the best out of someone else. I love witnessing the power of a passionate heart. I deeply want people to see this and understand

You can do so much more than you "think" you can. If you really understood your own potential, it would give you goose-bumps. Don't buy into the limited thinking that is all around you. Don't listen to the negative voice in your head. Don't wimp out. Don't give up. You have greatness within you that is aching to burst out! Tap into it. Let your heart lead your life. Pursue your true passion and purpose with everything you have! Please watch this clip through to the end before reading this post.



Are you busy being active or busy being productive?

-Karthik Gurumurthy


Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter wanted to work in a lumberyard and since he is physically well built, he got the job offer. His salary was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to cut the trees.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 15 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Carry on with your work!” Highly motivated by the words of his boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 10 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he was only able to bring 7 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength,” the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

This story sounds very logical, but how many times have we asked these very relevant questions. Most of us never update our skills. We think that whatever we have learned is very much enough. But good is not good when better is expected. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success.

Bringing out the Best in People

by Karthik Gurumurthy


Today morning I got up around 4 AM to change diapers for little Ashwin. After feeding him and trying to get a burp from him,  I got sometime to read one of my favorite books of all time. I would like to share what I got from it..

In his excellent book, "Bringing Out The Best In People", Dr. Alan Loy McGinnis cites a quote from Thomas Aquinas: "When you want to convert a man to your view, you go over to where he is standing, take him by the hand and guide him. You don't stand across the room and shout at him; you don't call him a dummy; you don't order him to come over to where you are. You start where he is, and work from that position. That's the only way to get him to budge."

Apparently, people haven't changed much since the 13th century, when that statement was made. And, the chances are, people won't change much in that regard over the 'next' eight centuries, either. Attempting to change a person's views by telling them how wrong they - or how right we - are is perhaps the most counter-productive "persuasion" method there is. Yet, how many times have we done that? (How many times have 'I' done that?....more than I'd like to admit.)

 In teaching us how to lead and persuade more effectively, Dr. McGinnis relates the story of one of the country's top salesmen of the early 1900's, J. Elliot Hall. Hall said he'd first been a failure at selling because he had been making "too many positive statements." That sounds a bit silly, doesn't it? But, according to the author, Hall explained that his mistake had been "to spend too much time trying to extol the product and too little time asking questions of the prospective customer." He eventually changed his style from "telling" to asking questions that would "help the other people to recognize what they want, then {I could} help them decide how to get it."

Wow! How profound. And, please keep in mind that, in the persuasion process, the other person is our prospect for whatever it is we are selling (idea, concept, plans for dinner, political preference, etc.). What McGinnis suggests then is, rather than tell a person why they are wrong, or why we are right, "to make a thorough study of the other person's needs." And he makes a lot of sense. After all, only by first understanding their feelings, their belief system, their view of the world - and the specific issue at hand - are we in a position to move them to our side of an issue.

Remember what Dale Carnegie, author of the classic, "How to Win Friends And Influence People" said, "People do things for 'their' reasons, not ours. So find their reasons." Do this, and I can practically guarantee your positive persuasion rate will shoot through the roof.

See you at the top!

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?

Power of written goals

Today's reading was mainly about the power of written goals.

 It was recommended to write on a card what it is you would like to accomplish the next day. Rank them in order of importance and work on it until you get it done. Then you start the next day evening.

With regards to your goals, write down on your card specifically what it is you want. Make sure it's a single goal and clearly defined. You needn't show it to anyone, but carry it with you so that you can look at it several times a day. Think about it in a cheerful, relaxed, positive way each morning when you get up, and immediately you have something to work for — something to get out of bed for, something to live for.

Look at it every chance you get during the day and just before going to bed at night. As you look at it, remember that you must become what you think about, and since you're thinking about your goal, you realize that soon it will be yours. In fact, it's really yours the moment you write it down and begin to think about it. The more you look at what you need to do, your work ethic aligns with dominant thought process.

Asking for help is also important So many of us lead our lives like we drive cars. Sometimes it’s smooth and then sometimes we find ourselves spinning in a deep mud. We are in a car (living a life), we are going somewhere (we have a destination in the distant future), we are pressing down the gas (moving forward slowly), spinning and spitting up dirt (making mistakes whilst moving in some direction). Eventually without persistence and dedication we give up, call a tow truck to pull us out (turn to quitting, sleeping, depression or plain anger). If we are lucky a car will stop and people will help push you out (friends, family, mentors).

Why is it that some people never seem to get stuck in the “mud”? Why do some people drive 10 times more then we do and yet never seem to use their CAA/AAA card?

Simple, they have more clarity. They have a clear and precise destination in mind. They have taken methodical steps to achieve their goals one at a time. Each time they get a little stuck they pull out their journal and reflect on the path they started from, the achievements that got them to where they are now. They look at the goal (end destination) and see if a course correction is needed. They ask the tough questions. They realize that to succeed in any part of life the more time you take to plan (journal, ask questions, adjust the course, become problem solvers rather then life blamers), the better the journey will be. What are the steps you take each day/week/month/year to take responsibility for your life?

If the answer is none, you may want to reconsider the next thing you do or step you take. It can start now. Get more clarity.

Get a journal, write the date and this statement… “At the end of my life I want to have accomplished these ten things…”

Write the list, if more then ten, great! If less then ten keep asking yourself for more. This could be the first step in a beautiful adventure.

I am really noticing a difference in focus/ results by doing the to-do list everyday before I go to bed. To-do list and power of written goals goes hand-in-hand.

 Start now and Just do it!

Are you getting closer to your goals?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What did you do today that is getting you closer to your goals?

As you live your days, you are creating your life. What you do today is actually creating your future. The words you speak, the thoughts you think, the food you eat and the actions you take are defining your destiny – shaping who you are becoming and what your life will stand for. There's no such thing as an unimportant day.

Each of us is called to greatness. Each of us has an exquisite power within us. But for this power to grow, we need to use it. The more you exercise it each day, the stronger it gets. The more this power gets tapped, the more confident you grow.

The best among us are not more gifted than the rest. They just take small steps each day as they march towards their biggest life. And the days slip into weeks, the weeks into months and before they know it, they arrive at a place called X- Tra Ordinary.

What is your plan?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

 It is quite difficult to get somewhere if you don't know where you are headed. Yet a huge percentage of us have no plan. Some of us do not really know where we're going or how we're going to get there. It is easy to look and feel extremely busy when we don't have a plan, but in reality, we're just spinning our wheels, putting our fires and chasing our tails.

Last week, I was interviewing a guy to qualify for my team. I asked him, 'Where would you like to be and what would you like to have accomplished a year from now/ five years from now?" His answer was somewhat typical. He said in a confused tone, 'I can't think that far ahead. I guess I'd just like to get through this mess." His "mess" of course, was his "in basket," his list of things to do. Unfortunately, getting through our daily task list does not necessarily lead us anywhere. In fact, it often leads us in circles. The very nature of an in-basket is that it is supposed to be full; items that are taken care of are constantly being replaced with new ones.

A plan is like a road map. It tells us where we are and points in a direction. It helps us strategize about how we are going to get from Point A to Point B. Game planning and setting a goal would act as a daily reminder of the steps necessary to achieve that goal. Without that, we would be just putting our daily fires. We'd keep thinking, "I'll get to it later". But somehow we never will.

When we have a predetermined plan, something magical happens: our plan helps you to draw out our inner strength, creativity and discipline. In some mysterious way, we are usually able to stick to our plan, once we have one in place.

With a plan in mind, sky's the limit. As long as we can visualize a way to implement our plan, our dreams-however big-can become a reality. Plan may be to become a multimillionaire, to run a marathon, to play in US Open. It doesn't matter what your plan is, but it does matter that you have one. Make a plan today.

Success and Complacency

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Robin Sharma speaks about the need to fight the dangers success brings such as arrogance, complacency and inefficiency. All too often when a person or an organizations reaches lofty success, they stop doing the very things that made them successful. And therefore, success introduces them to the beginning of their end.

Just read these words of author Po Bronson that I wanted to share with you:

"Failure's hard but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever."

Accountability: Honoring your commitments

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Successful people not only live up to the expectations they set for themselves, they also honor the commitments they make. For them word is their bond.

I know unforeseen circumstances can crop up, and sometimes we have to cancel out on things, but unless you have a genuinely valid reason for canceling, always do what you say you are going to do. That could mean keeping a dinner engagement with a associate, going to a movie with your spouse, meeting a friend for a coffee or a drink. It could be something of major significance in your life or just a social occasion, but unless there is emergency or something seriously unavoidable that comes up, keep up your promises!

It is quite a revelation to discover the number of people who are genuinely surprised and honored when others make a commitment to them and actually stick to it. Being treated with such integrity always makes people feel special and important.

Willingness to apply and change

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Attended a great seminar and training by Raju and Nisha. The plan was simple and smooth, training was great and nite owl was fantastic. The training mainly focussed on change. All of us get soaked up in the knowledge but the only ones who move on to the next level are the ones who apply those knowledge accumulated over a period of time. We have learned so many times that applied knowledge is power. One of the things we have to make a decision to determine what is holding us back? What are all the things that stops us from moving forward. Once we take some time to identify these barriers it is easy to overcome those and move on further. There are two key parameters to doing this: Making a decision to take some time to identify these factors (by being honest to ourselves) and acting on those changes.

Whatever situation we are in, we are in it because we have lessons to learn from it. That is why we are there!
Asking God to change our situation makes absolutely no sense. Until we changed we still need the situation!

When we say: " God, please change my circumstances and save me the trouble of changing myself", we demonstrate a lack of understanding. The request needs to be: "Change me, change my thoughts about this." As our thoughts about circumstances alter, the circumstances alter.

Lesson(s) from Kung Fu Panda: Power of Believing

Couple of weeks back, after a productive day, Shobana and I went to Kung Fu Panda. The movie was full of laughter, adventure and a really great message. Basically, the point was that (I am sorry if this gives anything away) if you believe in yourself you can do anything.

There was a BIG scene in the movie where the Panda (Jack Black) realizes that he has the power to do what he needs to do. Hemang and Purvi last week also gave the same message when they got recognized for their new accomplishment.

We all need to find the power with ourselves. It is incredible what I can do, what you can do, what we can do… think about it.

Only you

A person can make you feel high,
A person can make you feel low.
But only you can decide,
Which way you want to go.

A person can hurt you mentally,
A person can hurt you physically.
But only you can place,
A limit on your abilities.

A person can cause drama,
A person can cause a situation.
But only you can create,
Your own reputation.

A person can make you laugh,
A person can make you cry.
But only you can make,
Decisions for your life.

I guess what I'm trying to say,
That when you're living day to day.
Don't live by what people do,
But live by what you know is true.

George Washington's Rules of Civility

  1. Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.
  2. Show nothing to your friend that may frighten him.
  3. In the presence of others sing not to yourself with a humming noise, nor drum with your fingers or feet.
  4. Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when your should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
  5. Let your countenance be pleasant but in serious matters somewhat grave.
  6. Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another through he were your enemy.
  7. Use no reproachful language against anyone, neither curse nor revile.
  8. Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be along than in bad company.
  9. Speak not injurious words neither in jest nor earnest at none although they give occasion.
  10. Think before you speak, pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your words too hastily but orderly and distinctly.
  11. Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.
  12. Speak not evil of the absent for it is unjust.
  13. When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence.
  14. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Leadership Glitches

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I constantly read about the leadership qualities that can take you to the top. It is good to work on those and develop those and add to your personality trait portfolio to develop a strong you. At the same time while we are moving up there are few traits which we have to watch out for and if we are not careful can bring you to the bottom. I am guilty of making some of these mistakes, some of them I have seen other people doing the same. The best way to learn is to learn from other people's mistakes. My dad always used to say, "Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself."

Some of these mistakes may be obvious; some may be a bit more obscure. They are all critical.

  • Pride and Arrogance.The downfall of many leaders is that their early successes begin to inflate their egos. Never forget your roots, don’t think you are invincible or infallible, and don’t put yourself above anything or anyone. An ancient script says, “Pride goes before destruction,” and it behooves leaders to tattoo that on their forehead.The trappings and power of the office can give a false sense of security. It is easy to get the thinking that you are  superior to other people and institutions, and that you could do no wrong.
  • Negative Influences.There is no lack of advice in this world. Some voices offer valuable counsel that can help keep you on track. Other voices will nudge you ever so slightly until one day you wake up and find yourself way off course. Tune in to the voices of value and tune the others out.I had plenty of people surrounding me, all eager to give advice. My challenge was, sifting through the ones worth listening to, and ignoring the others. How can you tell the difference? Listen to different perspectives from divergent sets of people, and then pay attention to the still small voice inside of you. The longer you listen, the better listener and discerner you will become.
  •  Lacking Integrity.There are many things one can lack and still steer clear of danger. Integrity is not one of them. It is important to establish a set of sound ethics policies, integrate them into all business processes, communicate them broadly to people around us. We have to make it clear that we will not tolerate any deviation from any of them. Then live by them.We have to carve out time to set the “integrity agenda,” for our own edification, and then to make it clear to the organization. The important thing is, it always starts from us.
  • Majoring in Minors. There are a handful of things that are important enough to account for the greatest impact. Take a cue from Steve Jobs and get rid of the distractions. Tie your vision and strategy to the truly impactful things and execute those to the best of your ability. Lot of us try to do it all. You can’t. You will hit the wall, and so will your mission. I became mediocre at a large number of things. 
  • Lacking Values. Core values are principles without which life (or business) wouldn’t be worth living. . Establish a set of Core Values that can unite the organization, and then create resonance around them.I am now convinced that Core Values become the foundation of a well-oiled, world-class, customer friendly, ethical organization. 
  • Short-Term Focus.Lot of us are focused on short term gains.  Don’t cannibalize future results to satisfy the present. If your strategy is solid, stick to your guns, let it work, and remind everyone that you are in it for the long run.We became so obsessed with making the immediate quarter, that we severely impacted future business. As a result, we started the following quarter already behind. This continued to compound until we dug such a hole for ourselves, it was impossible to climb out.

Greatest things

Karthik Gurumurthy

  • What is greatest puzzle? Life
  • What is greatest mystery? Death
  • What is the best work? The work that you will be doing in the future
  • What is the best day? Today
  • Most ridiculous asset? Pride
  • Most important asset to have? Common sense
  • Most expensive indulgence? Hate
  •  Most disagreeable person? Complainer
  • Who is the best teacher? The one who makes you want to learn
  • Who is the greatest deceiver? The one who deceives himself.
  • Who is most bankrupt? The soul who has lost enthusiasm
  • What is the easiest, cheapest stupidest thing to do?  Finding fault in others.
  • What is the greatest comfort? The knowledge that you have done your work  well.
  • What is the meanest feeling? Being envious of another's success.
  • What is the Greatest thing in the world? Love - for family, friends and the country.

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.


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.

Character of a leader

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I was browsing this amazing book "21 indispensable qualities of a leader" by John Maxwell. One chapter a day really makes you a leader if you follow that chapter & implement it. It begins with chapter 1 as character. He talks about a guy who manufactured small planes & successfully sold over 50 planes to companies. In that 50 planes he sold to, couple of planes crashed! So he asked every customer of his to ground their planes till they fix the problem.. After 2 years of investigation & zero business, he simulates the case where the planes could crash.. Now to try this he himself takes the flight & nearly crashes before he manages to escape & ground the plane. This is what the author calls as character.. He risked his life to make sure his customers are safe. That is really a test of character!