60 posts categorized "NotestoMyself"

Hanging out with people who are positive

-Karthik Gurumurthy


We just got back from a trip to Chandler, AZ. 

The older I get, the more convinced I am that there is something to positive and negative energy.  When I wake up every morning, before I get out of bed, I remind myself of what I'm grateful for. It starts my day off right  and makes me feel good about what's in front of me. I think about my son and our close family and all the love I have in my life. However hard we try to surround ourselves with people who are good and who care about us, though, there will always be those who, for some reason, have negative energy. They can be hurtful and cause you sadness or pain.

My grandmother  (Chitti Patti) used to say, " Immerse them with kindness".  Another strategy is: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." There is a lot of wisdom in these two old sayings. Instead of trying to get revenge, take the high road. Let it go. Instead of trying to get back at someone because he/  she has hurt you, think of one nice thing about that person and put that out into the universe instead. If you don't let it go, that person's negativity will stay inside you, and that is exactly where you don't want that energy to be. 

So the next time you're hurt by someone, wish that person well in your heart and tell your brain  to move on and think about something else that matters.  You will be amazed at how it releases your negative energy. People can't control you if you won't let them. 


What's the root cause?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am fortunate to work with young adults in helping them in Prep for SAT/ACT / MCAT tests.  I am also work with organizations in their Agile transformation efforts as an Enterprise Agile Coach. Even though the work involved is totally different, I see a parallel in both the roles.

Sometimes when the results are different from what's expected, we pause and find out what is the root cause of the issue?

Why don’t people perform? It is almost always for one of these reasons:

1. They don’t know what to do.

2. They don’t know how to do it.

3. They don’t want to do it.

4. They can’t do it.

Expectation without proper education equals frustration. Good leaders have the ability to assess abilities. An effective leader knows both what a person is capable of and what training and the education they need to succeed.

But training and development aren’t a panacea. If you’ve got the right person in the wrong role they won’t succeed.

Specifically, it is a matter of fit. The person fits the role. It isn’t an exact science, an either/or. However, when someone who is conscientious struggles performing even after they’ve receive the necessary training, it is likely a fit problem.

Are the right students in the right classrooms and even in the right seats? Are you assuming a student is a poor performer when in reality, her or she is just in the wrong classroom?

Willingness and ability aren’t the same thing. Understanding the nuances of people and performance are an important skill for leaders.

Before the game is over

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Before the game of life is over,  I want to know I have done someting truly great, that I have made a positive impact of people who worked with me. I do not aspire to become as wealthy as Jeff Bezos, as famous as Napoleon and conquer many nations, but I do want above all else, to feel that I have been an addition to this world of ours. I should like the world, or at least my native land, to be proud of me and to sit up and take notice when my name is pronounced and say, "There is a man who had done a great thing." I do not want to have passed through life as just another speck of humanity, just another cog in this amazing world. I want to be something greater, far greater, than that. My desire is not so much for immortality as for distinction while I am alive. When I I leave this world, I want to know that my life has not been in vain, but that I have, in the course of my existence, done something of which I am rightfully proud. Success to me is how many people are better off because I lived (quoting Bill Britt).

Before the game is over, I want to know that during my life I have brought great happiness to others. Friendship is one of the best things to the world, and I want to have many friends. But I could never die fully contented unless I knew that those with whom I had been intimate had gained real happiness from their friendship with me.  We all want much happiness in our lives, and giving it to others is one of the surest ways to achieve it for ourselves.

Before the game is over I want to have visited a large portion of the globe and to have actually lived with several foreign races in their own environment. By traveling in countries other than my own I hope to broaden and improve my outlook on life so that I can get a deeper and more complete satisfaction from living. 

Before the game is over, I would like to live life to the fullest giving my best everyday.

1:1 Conversations

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Whenever we meet friends or family, we make it a point to meet one family at a time. We try our best not to meet many families at the same time.Sometimes due to time constraints we might have done it but we try not to do that anymore. We seldom invite anyone for the sake of meeting them but we always wanted to give them undivided attention.

There’s nothing quite like it to unburden yourself. To know that you are being listened to. To feel that you are special. Many a memory is made up of meaningful conversations with significant others.Everyone has a special story to tell and I have learned a lot from the 1:1 conversations as opposed to having many extroverts completely take over the conversation and you never get to hear from the quieter people who wanted to share a useful nugget or a funny situation.

It is at these times that we learn to still ourselves to listen to the other. To give him/ her the gift of our undivided attention. It is when we learn how our lives can make a difference to other lives.

If we pay more attention to others, someday, in the future, someone will tell us how our attention and words made a difference.


Greatness, Competitiveness and Friendship

-Karthik Gurumurthy


I love this picture not just they are tennis fiercest rivals of all time. To see your greatest rival cry tears of sadness is the ultimate respect. There will never be another rivalry like this duo.Two men demonstrating the strength to be authentic. To be truly as you are, where you are. It's so obvious what this moment means to these two. Their powerful emotions clearly, courageously on display for all to see. How often do we hold ourselves back from being our authentic selves because we feel "it's not allowed." When was the last time you felt strong enough to be authentic?  It disrupts and destroys all myths about masculinity, competition and vulnerability.Being vulnerable in front of others always shows one's inner strength and character. 

Men are expected not to cry.
Men are expected to be tough.
Men are expected to destroy the competition.

Nothing about the raw emotion of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal follows any of those outdated, damaging and dangerous rules of toxic masculinity.

They are openly crying.
They are holding hands.
They are competitors on the court and compassionate comrades who respect and revere one another.

Possessing both masculine and feminine traits is the sign of an evolved person. This really warms my heart.

And I hope that we are continuing to move towards a world that evolves beyond the gender binary "masculine" and "feminine"; one that isn't so desperately set on putting people into boxes and telling them that who they are, what they feel, who they love and how they live is "wrong" or "right" based on how the world has gendered them.

Until then, I implore more and more leaders to show up fully in all of their *human* traits — regardless of gender — so we can embrace, learn from and love them wholly.  Bow and respect to both Federer and Nadal..


-Karthik Gurumurthy

When you focus on the "Problems", your "Goal" will stop appearing, and

when you focus on the "Goal", your "problems" will stop appearing.

The Sun is shining on the day so brightly so your day is  also going to shine the same way. Let us focus on the right stuff.


Let go

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Continuing where I left off yesterday, I feel so many of us spend countless hours or weeks, in some sad cases, years, trying to make someone who want  them to be or to do what we think  is in their own best interests, only to repeatedly fail in our attempts. This is a tragedy as well as misspent life. It's time to let go.

One of the close family members was not taking time to take care of their parents.  They were so much obsessed  with their own life and health and didn't see that it is their duty to take care of them. My wife and I tried our best to convey this  message last year to take this as priority and act on it.  What happened? One of their parents unfortunately passed away few months back. 

Wasn't it my job to guide a close family 's decisions and actions? I always thought not doing so was so selfish and uncaring. 

Thankfully what I finally learning slowly is, be it a close family member, be it your own spouse or strangers crossing our paths, must be who they are, not who we they think they should be. 

They must make their own mistakes and through what they learn, have reason to celebrate their own successes.

There are many reasons for letting go of this futile behavior, but the most important ones are they we will never succeed in controlling others and never experience peace in our own lives if we are always focussed on how other people are living or how we think they should be living. If we want to be peaceful, we must let go of how others choose to live and take care of business in one life only: our own.

Just as no one else can productively be the total focus of our lives, we cannot waste precious time thinking we are or should be the center of someone else's life either. This may come as a blow to our ego, but it is time to learn this important truth. 

This does not mean we should quit interacting with people or shut them out in order to preempt being shut out. Nor does it mean we should ignore how other people are thinking and behaving for fear we will seeek an unhealthy dependency on them.

I find observing others can be edifying and enlightening. It simply means getting perspective on our role  in all interactions and understanding  where our responsibility ends and the other person's begins. Becoming entangled in other people's actions, dreams, or dramas binds us to them in emotionally unhealthy ways and prevents the growth we deserve. 

We want people around us who will pay us constant attention, who will make no plans that don't include us, have no thoughts that aren't shared. But that's not relationship, that's dependence; it is unholy connection. Relationships that truly bring us to peace are interdependent.  As we are celebrating the independence day of USA, it is time to let go of the dependence of our happiness with other entities. Happy July 4th, USA




Control the controllables

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Lot of us have acquired the habit of interfering in other's people affairs.  When I observe close family members not taking care of parents, spouses, and going totally in the wrong direction, I feel tempted to call and give them advice as if they are going to listen to me and make changes.  Obsessively watching the behavior of friends, siblings, family members or even complete strangers and longing to change or control their behavior, is a great catalyst for inner turmoil. This goes hand in hand with the misguided idea that we can change anyone but ourselves. One can spend years trying to change a spouse or some other friend, but what a relief to finally learn that the affairs of others are not ours to control or even to judge. 

I am realizing that the child we parent have their own journey to make, and our so-called  control over them is, in fact, an illusion. We can set  an example  for them, we can suggest a set of behaviors , we can demonstrate a code of ethics, we can even require that they live by a certain "house rules" while under our roof, but finally  it is they who will decide who they want to be and what they want to do, regardless of our efforts.  And for that we will become grateful in time. 

I say: Let's celebrate the fact that we are in charge of noone but ourselves. It relieves us of a heavy burden, and a thankless job, one that never blesses us. Taking control of every thought we have and every action we take, and being willing to relinquish the past while savoring the present, will assuredly keep us as busy as we need to be. Doing these things, and only these things is why we are here. It's only when we live our own lives and manage our own business, freeing others to do the same, that we will find the peace we seek and so deserve.

Leadership Culture

-Karthik Gurumurthy

In my twenty plus work experience, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing organizations and great leaders. What I have observed with the top leaders is they focus primarily on the growth and well being of the team and the communities to which they belong.  They always put the needs of others first and help their people develop and perform at a very high level. 

I have also witnessed  so called  average positional leaders sharing lofty big dreams but doesn't necessarily back it up with the action/ strategy to make that happen. To develop leaders, one needs to start from the ground-up.  What separates average companies from the great ones is their ability to build a leadership culture through out their organization that cultivates great leaders.

"a true leader is not the one with the most followers but the one who creates the most leaders."

-Neale Donald Walsch




Employee Engagement

-Karthik Gurumurthy

CFO asks CEO:  "What happens if  we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?"

CEO: "What happens if we don't and they stay?"

"Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don't want to."- Sir Richard Branson



Job market trends

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Current generation job market is better than what it used to be a decade ago.

If you are ready to learn and present yourself truly, you will get a job. No one questions your gap, or relevant experience. All people see is the attitude towards work and people. Most companies evaluate people at mindset level than skill set.

Upskill, build network, truly learn and stay humble. You will end up being relevant your whole life.


Asking Questions

-Karthik Gurumurthy

“The fool wonders, the wise man asks”

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

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

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

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

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

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


Notes to Myself Part 9

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"You are the only one that can do what only you were meant to do to be a change for good in the world so go out there and shine your light and do it! Don’t let the norm stand in the way of making a difference, dream big (because you can do anything you set your mind to) and accomplish much with your unique gifts."

Notes to Myself Part 8

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Try not to worry much. Whatever is happening is happening for a reason & it will teach you something. Trust your instincts, believe in your values & keep going. It's all building you up. And you can take it. Fall down but keep getting up.

No one is permanent in life. But everyone has a role to play. People come, teach you something & leave when they are meant to. Treat them well to your capacity & be honest. Don't bear any hard feelings.

Learn, gain experience, share, be generous but don't buildup a bad attitude. Use your ego wisely.

Try to stay in touch with your friends. They are true gems.

Life is a marathon, don't look at it like a sprint.

Stay happy, nothing is more important."

--your older self with greying hair 😊

Notes to Myself Part 6

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"It’s better to work in a positive work environment that is inclusive and psychologically safe than to work on really cool stuff in a hostile environment…It’s more about who you work with than what you work on. Culture is everything. You’re the kind of person who can identify interesting opportunities that are good for the bottom line anywhere you are. So, don’t waste your energy and time in toxic environments, but instead find creative, inclusive, collaborative company/department cultures. The sky is the limit when you’re in the right place working with the right people!"

Notes to Myself Part 1

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Starting today, I am going to start writing a series everyday which I would like to call it "Notes to Myself"  If I have to start all over..What work advice will I give my younger self? 

For today,

"You are stronger than you think and never think less of yourself, you are made to shine so go and be the best you can be"

Book reading: Reflections

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I love reading books but sometimes I get too carried away and I buy way  too many at the same time when I go to India or at the Friends of the Library shop.

I am realizing it is better to buy one book, complete reading it and then buy the next book.  When I buy books in bulk, I end up reading none. It gives a great sense of satisfaction and security if we hold a large amount of resource. The thought behind that being, "It is mine, I can refer it anytime." Actually the resource that is not utilized is not a resource. If unutilized,  it is just bunch of papers. I am realizing I need to make best use of resource, one by one. Read, Grow, Repeat...


-Karthik Gurumurthy

When I wake up every morning, before I get out of bed, I remind myself of what I'm grateful for. It starts my day off right and makes me feel good about what's in front of me. I think about my family and our health and all the love I have been showered in my life. However hard we try to surround ourselves with people who are good and who care about us, though, there will always be those who, for some reason, have negative energy. They can be hurtful and cause you sadness or pain.  At that time, I always try to remember what my grandmother used to say, "irrespective of who they are, you spray them with kindness and positivity." My mother has been treated unfairly but she never took it to hard and has grudges about the people who illtreated her. Instead she says keep your friends close and your not so good friends (enemies) closer.  There is so much wisdom in both my mother and grand mother.

Instead of trying to get back at someone because he/she has hurt you, think of one thing about that person and put that out into the universe instead.  If you don't let it go, that person's negative will stay inside you and that's exactly where you don't want that energy to be.  Next time you are hurt by someone, wish that person well in your heart and tell your brain to move on and think about something else that matters. You will amazed at how it releases your negative energy. People can't control you if you won't let them. One thing I have always tried to do is to surround myself with people who like/loves me and wants me to be happy. I strongly recommend it. I avoid people who are not genuine and whose energy is toxic. Instead of internalizing the negative emotions of thse people, forgive them for being unhappy souls. That goes for a friend, family member, colleague or even the guy who stole the parking space you were waiting  so patiently for. Any frustration you can guard your body from, do it. Forgive, let go, breathe,  and respond to thse negative energies with kindness and love. You will be amazed at how much lighter, happier and healthier you feel.

Thought for today: Understanding people

-Karthik Gurumurthy

" Every problem is a people problem. Someone made it, Someone is upset of it, Someone is enjoying it, Someone is  not acting on it and it is someone in someway. Understanding people is an essential skill to run life. If we give importance  to improve our ability to understand people without getting influenced by the situation, we will see the growth. Leadership is all about understanding people and making their life better."

Nothing much to say..

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Some days, the words go missing,

while I go seeking everywhere,

only to find them curled up at my feet.


Unsure and riddled by doubts,

I wonder, then—

is it their fault or mine,

that I am fumbling?



Silence—stands askance,

and casts me a look,

as if trying to measure

the weight of my unspoken words

against its’ power.


When they come asking

if I’ve conceded defeat,

I pause.

And re-tracing my steps,

I say to them—

some answers are meant to be elusive,

only to hang in mid air,

suspended across the chasms,

for Time alone has the answer.

Lessons from the Captain

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Last month, we got a chance to witness an act of bravery and skillfulness by the pilot of US airways. which saved hundreds of passengers lives.

For the people who didn't read the news, US Airways flight 1549 took off from New York on its way to Seattle with 155 people on board.

The co-pilot was in command when the flight took off.

Within two minutes, a flock of geese had hit the engines which led to both engine failures.

The captain took control of the plane immediately.

He sensed there was not enough power left in the plane to land back in LaGuardia Airport.

Captain Sullenberger, a pilot with three decades of experience took the wise decision of landing a flight in the Hudson River.

He saved the lives of 155 people. The news media refers this incident as the “Miracle of Hudson”.

Nuggets from this incident:

When the plane took off copilot was in charge. The moment the Bird hit happened, Captain took charge and said “My airplane” and Copilot said “Your Aeroplane”

Leaders don’t blame the situation and pass the buck. They take ownership.

After the incident, Captain Sully addressed the press by saying “Credit goes to the copilot, cabin crew, operators, and choppers”. He added “They did it”

“My airplane” and “They did it” attitude is a must-have qualities for leaders. Hats-off to the captain.

Happy Birthday, Richard P Feynman

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite Scientists of all time. Dr. Richard P. Feynman. (Nobel Laureate: Physics: 1965)

Richard Feynman, the man of science,
Whose mind was vast and his wit was quick.
He could see the world in a different light,
And he could make us laugh with his jokes.

He was a brilliant physicist,
Who made many important discoveries.
He helped us to understand the universe,
And he made our lives better.

He was also a great teacher,
Who loved to share his knowledge.
He could explain complex ideas in a simple way,
And he made us all want to learn more.

Richard Feynman was a true genius,
Whose work will continue to inspire us for generations to come.
He was a man of many talents,
And he made the world a better place.


-Karthik Gurumurthy

Everything that happens in life is perfectly aligned by a divine force,. Once you start believing in the higher power you realize that control is an illusion. This does not mean that you don't take any action and just sit on your couch all day long. It simply means you accept life as it is, you don't try to force things to happen. You don't flow against the current of  the river, you flow with the river. You start living life effortlessly with awareness of each moment because you realize everything is connected. There may be something that may appear bad right now but in the future you will realize it made you a stronger person. So trust God's timing as nothing is a coincidence in this Universe. Everything is aligned and connected.


-Karthik Gurumurthy

Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation
For the good things in life.
It is a way of acknowledging
The blessings we have been given.

Gratitude can be expressed
In many different ways.
It can be shown through words,
Actions, or even just a smile.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion
That can have a positive impact on our lives.
It can help us to appreciate the good things we have,
To be more optimistic,
And to feel more connected to others.

So let us all make an effort to be more grateful.
Let us take the time to appreciate the good things in our lives,
And to show our gratitude to those who have helped us along the way.

Gratitude is a gift that we can give to ourselves,
And it is a gift that we can give to others.
So let us all make the most of it.

Action cures fear

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Are you taking action or thinking of taking action? A lot of the time what happens is that we make excuses or we find reasons not to do things. And we rationalize it. It’s an emotional decision to not follow through and take action and it's one we backfill with logic. We tell ourselves it wasn’t the right time, or we’re not quite ready, or it’s for later, or we skip over it. There is no way to ignore it though because that knowing, nagging feeling doesn’t go away. We didn’t follow through. We wanted to do the thing, whatever it was, but we sabotaged it. This is the hard reality.

Better to do something. It feels better to make some progress.  Inch by inch life is a cinch..Go ahead.

Judging and Comparing others

-Karthik Gurumurthy

We are each unique, so comparing ourselves to others serves no purpose. Even comparing myself to how I was a while back is not usually helpful. Typically, comparison just brings the ego a false sense of either superiority or inferiority.

If we let go of comparison and choose instead to completely accept where we are, we can enjoy both peace and growth.

"Do not judge and you will never be mistaken."
-- Jean Jacques Rousseau

Thank you God

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Thank you God for all your blessings, starting with wonderful parents, teachers, brother , wife, friends and family.

God, who art the maker of the stars,
And of the earth, and all that's in between,
We praise thy name for all thy works,
And for thy love that never ends.

Thou art the one who gives us life,
And who sustains us day by day.
We thank thee for thy many blessings,
And for thy grace that sets us free.

We pray that thou wouldst guide our steps,
And that thou wouldst help us to do thy will.
We ask that thou wouldst bless our loved ones,
And that thou wouldst protect us from harm.

We know that thou art always with us,
And that thou wilt never leave us.
We trust in thee, and we love thee,
And we praise thy name forevermore

What choices do you make?

The great benefit of heightened awareness is that we have more choice in how we live our lives. At any moment, we can purposefully choose a new experience for ourselves. We can choose to pay attention, breathe more deeply, laugh, rest, play, appreciate, do something different - the possibilities are endless.

Whenever you remember, TAKE YOURSELF OFF AUTO-PILOT and really examine your situation. Take charge and make a choice that will enrich your experience. At the end of the day, reflect on what happened and how you felt when you chose a new line of thought, feeling or action.

"We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us -- how we can take it, what we do with it -- and that is what really counts in the end."

-- Joseph Fort Newton

"When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you."

-- Tin Cup (the movie)

Be a good listener

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Most people fail to make a favorable impression on others because they do not listen attentively. Big men, who matter, prefer good listeners to good talkers. Everyone is dying to air his views, pour out his heart, talk about his problems, speaks about his accomplishments, share his sorrows and joys. Even the dumb or tongue-tied individual is eager to unburden himself. There is, therefore, a constant and pressing demand for sympathetic, sincere, keen, enthusiastic and intelligent audience. When people talk about themselves, their great need for importance is being satisfied. At the same time, it helps them to solve their problems, mitigate their distress and multiply their happiness.

Many people call for a doctor when all they went is an audience. Next to their names, all people want to hear is their own voices. When you want to create the right impact, when you want to influence and motivate them, you should encourage them to talk about themselves. Even the busiest individual who charges millions of $ for each second of his time, will readily spend hours together talking to you, when you get him start talking about himself. There is literally no exception to this rule. To be interesting, you have to be interested. Ask questions. Draw him out. Make him talk about himself. Pay rapt attention. Never be impatient. Do not start looking at your watch and then start shaking it and putting on to your ear to make sure it hs not stopped. Do not yawn. Do not interrupt. Do not tell him that you have heard it all before or that you know about them long before he learnt about.

You may be smart. You may be clever. You may know a lot more than the other chap. That is very good indeed and you must do everything possible to get into the lead and stay in the lead. But never tell anyone you are cleverer or smarter than him/her. If you are really smart, you will not try to appear smarter than him. If you are really smart,you will not try to appear smarter than the other fellow. You should not give the impression that you are a "know all" and the other party is nitwit. If you can help it, avoid talking about yourself and that about your strong points. But it is different in an informal conversation. If at all you are made to talk about yourself, be brief, modest and tactful. Do not go about dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's. If you speak highly of yourself, others will conclude that you are boasting and if you are speaking ill of yourself, they might believe it and spread it. Therefore, it is wiser not to talk about yourself.

There are few sentences or phrases which at once set the other person talking. They are truly magic phrases or magic words. Ask anyone-your friend, teacher, spouse, doctor, baker, boss, anybody-just what is his/her opinion on the subject that he specializes or claims superior knowledge. See how at once he/she feels elevated, how his/her eyes brighten, how he coughs importantly and proceeds to elucidate his opinion on the matter. "If you please,", "May I ask you a favor?" "Can you kindly spare me a second?", or other such magic phrases at once get you a favorable response from the other person. To keep the conversation going just ask "and then what did you do?" And first watch how he proceeds to explain how he/she proceeds to explain with renewed vigor, gusto and self-satisfaction.If you want to be regarded as a reputed and interesting conversationalist, if you want a royal and ready welcome from any and everyone, no matter at what time of day or night it might be, first remember to put this all important question: "And then what did you do?" or "And then what did you say?" or "And then what happened?"

Disraeli, the famous English statesman and favorite of mighty Queen Victoria, was beset with two serious handicaps when he wanted to get the recognition and acceptance from the British royal and high society. He was a nobody and his meteoric rise many extremely jealous. But very soon he was not only accepted but was in great demand. He became the most charming and sought-after person. His secret, which he himself wrote in his diary was "Don't talk too much. Never argue." Remember that you cannot learn when you are talking and your mouth is open. To hear and learn more, you must keep your ears and eyes open and not the mouth. The average individual wantes to talk and not to listen. Hence, a good listener is most welcome,anywhere, anytime. If you listen, you have the advantage. If you speak, others have the advantage. A fish dies by an open mouth and the frog attracts the snake, its mortal enemy because of its constant yelling. When the great Einstein was approached to provide the mathematical equation for success, he said: "If 'A' represents success in life, the formula is 'A' equal'X'plus'Y'plus'Z', 'X' being work and 'Y' being play." The impatient one could not wait, butted in and quipped, "And what does'Z' stand for, Mr. Einstein?" "Z", the great scientist replied, "is keeping your mouth shut." You must, therefore, listen your way to success and not try to talk your way to it. If you listen your way in, you do not have to talk your way out. We have two ears and one mouth. We must, therefore, use our ears twice as much as your mouth. The person you are talking to is one thousand times more interested in himself or herself than in you. That individual is bursting to talk about his hopes, wants, wishes, problems, achievements, family, friends, children, pets, possessions and what not. He/she has not time or inclination to listen what you have to say unless it concerns him/her or affects him/her in some way. He/she is certainly not interested whether you become a leader or stay as a follower. He/she is not bothered about your problems or what you want. His headache or tummy upset means more to him than Tsunami in the South-East asia. You must remember his cardinal, basic, all important and embracing fact, when you set out to motivate people and master the art of leadership.

Listen again to what Disraeli says:'Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours." Find out, therefore,his interests and lead him on to talk on those matters. Whenever you get the urge to talk, force yourself to listen. You can never impress people bragging about yourself. If, on the other hand, you listen with interest, enthusiasm and imagination, the other person will soon broadcast and televise your greatness. When you listen attentively and eagerly, it makes others like you immediately. It creates such a nice and favorable impression of yourself on them. Since they must talk and air their views and discoveries, they will everyone what a great and wonderful chap you are. They will become the strongest advocates to champion your cause. Therefore listen your way to leadership and success.

14 tips to a happier life

-Karthik Gurumurthy

1) Endeavor to change the way you look at things. Always look at the bright side. The mind may drag you to think about negativity and difficulties. Don't let it. Look at the good side of every situation.

2) Think of solutions, not problems.

3) Listen to self-improvement CDs where you can identify your blindspots.

4) Each day devote about half-an hour and 1 hour reading some self improvement book which changes your default setting in your mind.

5) Watch your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop them, and try to think of pleasant things.

6) Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven't. Sometimes you start a day planning to do several things. At the end of the day you feel frustrated that you haven't been able to do all of those things, and you become unhappy.Instead do something about how can prioritize things in such a way that you become more efficient in finishing things that are most important for you.

Look at what you have done, not at what you have not been able to do. You may have accomplished a lot during the day, and yet you let yourself become frustrated because of some small things that you did not do. You have spent all day carrying out successfully many plans, and instead of being happy and satisfied you look at what was not done and you feel unhappy. It is unfair towards yourself.

7) Each day do at least one thing to make others happy. This can be a kind word, helping your colleagues, stopping your car at the crossroad to let people cross, giving your seat in a bus to someone else, or giving a small present to someone you love. The possibilities are infinite. When you make someone happy, you become happy.

8) Always make a decision to be happy throughout.

9) Do not envy people who are happy. On the contrary, be happy for their happiness.

10) Be where happy people are and try to learn from them to be happy. Remember, happiness is contagious.

11) When things do not proceed as intended and desired, do your best to stay detached. Detachment will help you to stay calm and control your moods and reactions. Detachment is not indifference. It is a completely different thing. Detachment has much to do with inner peace, and inner peace is conductive to happiness.

14) Smile more often.


-Karthik Gurumurthy

The best advice I ever got was from my Uncle (LM Krishnan Athimber). He was the first South Indian to study and graduate from prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I always used  to stop by at his place once a week while I am biking home. He said one time, "Karthik , whenever you get into a conversation with people and they ask you a question, don't just respond back what you have in mind, pause, digest it for a while, then come out with a statement. This way you can give a better evaluation of what they're asking, " And I listened to that."

Getting out of comfort zone

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek- "

-Joseph Campbell

I came across this quote recently and I found it profound.

For many years, I failed to take many actions because of the fear of what might go wrong. I made what I considered "safe choices" and was less daring. I couldn't afford to take certain risks. But as each year passed, I learnt more about how my fears have been a limiting factor. Something had to change.

I started to demand more from myself. I learnt how to master my fears and act on the opportunities that came my way.

It has been a transformative experience..I am still not where I wanted to be but I am happy that I took the first step. It is a constant battle of being complacent vs. moving out of the comfort zone but action cures fear. Let us take one step at a time.

Success is the journey

-Karthik Gurumurthy

My definition of success is truly based on the level of satisfaction I get at what I do. The level of satisfaction I get from setting goals and achieving them, and setting goals and seeing the progress, setting goals and stumbling sometimes, but have to reevaluate or restructure goals. Success is always measured in my journey. It is staying true to yourself. Defining who you are. Living to your higher power, encouraging and empowering other people to do the same.