Happy and Thankful

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Happy and thankful to hear Arjun Malik ( who got 1540 SAT score) got admitted to NYU Stern Business school for Fall 2022.  I am not surprised though. He  constantly worked hard on improving himself (be it Math or Golf!). Hardwork never fails. Wishing him outstanding success in his new journey.


No Credits

-Karthik Gurumurthy

For peaceful life, accept that you are not permanent; in the job, in the mood, in the status.  Moreover in life. you will leave. Never try to create a name tagged to a legacy. Create legacy if you wish to, but work without credits. We still don't know the person who invented wheel. Stay away from name and credits. If it is forced upon you, accept it with grace and move on. Never link yourself with any awards, designations, rewards or anything.


High Performing Teams

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What is the one thing that you can focus on fixing in an Agile team to start your journey towards an high performing team?

Fix the attitude of "My way or the Highway". Identify who has this attitude in the team and fix that first. This includes Scrum Master as well.

Encourage an environment where collaboration becomes a culture. Every thing with respect to product must be discussed as a team; get this into the team agreement. Things will start to take shape in the right direction.


Happy Thanksgiving!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Dear God,
We thank you for this day. You have done so much for us and blessed us abundantly. Please help us start everyday with an attitude of gratitude. Please broaden our minds that we can accept all things and not whine and whimper over things we have no control over. We pray for all our friends and families. We pray for peace, love and joy in their homes. Very Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

 

Guruww_Thanksgiving


Happy Birthday Coach Wooden!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

CoachW

Today is the Birthday of legendary Coach Wooden. I am reflecting what he shared.

  • Being authentic and vulnerable is foundational to leadership. The only gift I have to offer the world is me and what I have within.
  • It took me a while to recognize that I’m more than enough for what I want to accomplish. Once I stopped being ashamed of myself I could start being my best version every day than trying to copy some and end up being a bad duplicate.
  • Each of us is a walking billboard, advertising ourself. Our words and actions are our real time commercial. How we represent ourselves is very important.

John Wooden’s dedication and commitment to excellence resulted in a an incredible framework to develop leaders.


Product owner: Mindset preparation

-Karthik Gurumurthy

As a Product Owner your 5 min. before starting the daily stand-up:

Think about:

1. What role you want to play in the meeting?
2. What to avoid discussing in the meeting?
3. What’s the one thing you want the team to take away?
4. What do you want people to “feel” by the end of the meeting?

The emotion you send them with determine the amount of energy your team is willing to spend.

Choose carefully.


Get in the game

-Karthik Gurumurthy

You cannot build anything without getting your hands dirty. Theoretical knowledge without actual implementation will create pseudo success at mindset level. It is more toxic than not having the knowledge. Get out and do the actual work.


Happy Birthday Dr. KSV (Dr. KS Viswanathan)

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Dr. KSV_99

Today is my Prof. K.S. Viswanathan's Birthday. It is no coincidence that it is also celebrated as Teacher's day. One of the best things Dr. KS Viswanathan did for me was say " I don't know the answer to that but I'll do some research." It modeled a more honest intellectual discourse. You don't have to pretend like you know everything and you don't always need to have or share an immediate opinion. Thanks Dr. KSV for your amazing example.


Books

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Buy one book, complete it, then buy the next book. Many order books in bulk and end up reading none. It gives a sense of satisfaction and security if we hold a large amount of resource. The thought behind that being "It's mine, I can refer it anytime". Actually the resource unused is not a resource. In this case it's just bunch of papers. Make use of your resource, one by one. Read. Grow. Repeat.


Using experience to the advantage

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Years of experience allows you to make more mistakes through the course of time and learn what is the best way to do something. If you are unable to gather this experience and constantly focusing on being right, your years of experience just turns out to be another number. Might fall into the trap of guided execution with 100% assured success. It won't help you on a longer run.


Reading

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Don’t set your goal of reading a specific number of books per year and keep Mortimer J. Adler’s words in mind: “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”  I set aside some time to reflecting what I read and see how I can apply it to upgrade myself.


Time for action

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Overthinking in decision making causes us to spend too much time thinking and getting stuck in a loop of inaction. You can't read the future and you can't know everything. So do know that thinking harder doesn't activate the crystal ball. and overthinking and problem solving aren't the same thing . Being a leader requires confidence, decisiveness, and quick thinking--none of which are served by overthinking every decision or scenario or worrying about every move you make.

There's a time to think, a time to act, a time to reflect, and a time to move forward.


Growth mindset

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Your growth mindset, or lack thereof, is critically important to achieving or not achieving goals. There is nothing wrong with realistic optimism. And don't let someone tell you otherwise.

Over my career, I've witnessed those with growth mindsets are realistically optimistic and achieve their professional and personal goals consistently.

They have ability to work through adversity. They realize by working smart, hard, together, with focus and doing so with consistency, they will achieve their goals.

They don't get too high or too low. They are team players and give recognition to others. They are coachable and often seek out coaching. They realize they themselves don't have all the answers. They most often are self and situationally aware; and bring positive energy to situations, even challenging situations. They might fail, but they learn, and consequently grow and achieve goals.

Conversely, I've also observed those who lack a growth mindset. They might take convenient accountability in positive situations; but lack accountability/responsibility in challenging situations.

They often bring negative energy to situations. They themselves don't admit fault or failure....In their mind "someone else fails them and causes them to not achieve their goals". They often are inconsistent in achieving goals.


Get going

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The doubts that we have in our minds are the ones that others have put in.

If we believe in those doubts, we will stop believing in ourselves

As we journey through life, there is a chance we might fail.

But if we don't begin that journey at all, then the failure is real.


Do I have to be MS Dhoni?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Having high emotional intelligence doesn't mean that you remain calm and undisturbed in every situation. That is called Sainthood. You have your anger under control and can use it as a tool to showcase your displeasure. Never stop being yourself because of wrong understanding of concepts. Self awareness is the key. We have to use it wisely..

MSD


Prayer for Today

I release my partner
from the obligation to complete me.
I release my parents
from the feeling they failed with me.
I release my children
from the need to bring me pride,
so they can write their own paths
to the rhythm of their hearts.
I don't lack anything.
I cherish my essence,
my way of expressing it,
even if not everyone can understand me.
I learn from all beings,
all the time.
I honor
the divinity
in me
and you.
- Shamanic Blessing ✨💕🙏
Author unknown

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 4

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Chase as many exciting experiences as you can and remember to be observant/reflective in those moments...both personally and professionally. Everything else will come as a product of those experiences."


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"


Gratitude

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Gratitude shifts perspective from:

  • Don’t have to have.
  • Past to present.
  • Can’t to might.
  • Narrow to wide.
  • Lack to generosity.
  • Burden to energy.
  • Complaint to enjoyment.
  • Problem to opportunity.
  • Pain to potential.
  • Obligation to freedom.

Insecurity

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Leaders who don't listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say" -Andy Stanley

Today I got a chance to listen in to a leader about the upcoming project.  I always start with ground zero and after going through the documentation, I got a chance to ask my questions sorted. The leader wasn't too happy. I  was extremely careful with my questions making sure it is not putting anybody in a spot but to understand the upcoming project. The leader was constantly making gestures to shush me. I tried to schedule a 1:1 to see if I can get the questions sorted out.

The leaders who don't listen or allow themselves to be questioned are usually fearful. They won't say that, but their actions indicate fear is a driver.

The leader who doesn't listen believes they are the only one with the answers or the way forward. Their ego fears others to have better ideas than them. Or they fear they will fail if other's ideas get implemented over theirs because they have taken personal ownership instead of team ownership.

The leader who can't be questioned usually stems from insecurity or not feeling worthy. They may have bravado that makes you think they feel worthy, but in actuality arrogance requires someone to feel above another to feel safe. A confident leader is curious.

The great news is having awareness of how fear causes behavior different that how most leaders intend to show up helps them adjust!


Helpful 2 minute exercise to start the day

-Karthik Gurumurthy

While I’m typically known as positive, energetic, and optimistic, the past few weeks have definitely worn me down.

Tony Robbins says we cannot be angry and grateful at the same time. Focusing on gratitude shifts so much. When we are hurt and frustrated, it create our fear based reactions of fight, flight, or freeze which narrows are thinking and creativity. Gratitude breaks that cycle.

I found this little exercise from Harvard Business Review to be a helpful motivator. Perhaps you will, too:

“It can be hard to muster the positive outlook that fuels motivation and creativity. When we lose that positivity, burnout and fatigue can quickly follow.

How can you inject some optimism into your day? This two-minute exercise can help. Each morning, finish the following three sentences (either on paper, out loud, or even in your head) before you turn on your computer or start your commute:

Today, I will focus on _____.

Today, I am grateful for _____.

Today, I will let go of _____.”


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...


Happy Holidays

Wishing you all a wonderful holidays.
May the spirit of the season embrace you.
The year that tested us all in many ways, that tested our faith, hope, resilience give way to a deep sense of hope, peace, joy and positivity.

I trust you take some time to relax, reflect, recharge.

-Karthik Gurumurthy


Listening

-Karthik Gurumurthy

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” - Andy Stanley

Isn't that true?

Listening is such a powerful and yet such an undervalued tool. Listening cannot only help us resolve discrepancies, listening can make sure that challenges do not even turn into issues.Leaders need to surround themselves with people who say what needs to be said, not what the leader wants to hear


Do you take life for granted?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Are you grateful for the life that you have? Or do you take things for granted? Maybe you haven’t thought about it for a while. Did you ever fail to appreciate someone you care about? Was that because you were too busy putting out fires or focusing on other things? Or perhaps you assumed they’d just hang around forever.

The problem is, when you take people or things for granted, you put them in jeopardy. It’s not enough to make up for neglect after they’ve slipped away. It’s important to be grateful every day for the wonderful things in your life. Think of this as a wake-up call.

What Do You Take for Granted?

Parents. You have parents who offer their unconditional love. They’ve given a lot of themselves to ensure that you have a better life. Show some gratitude. If you’re not one already, you’ll probably be a parent one day.

Country we live in. We can share our thought process openly and have the choice and freedom which you wouldn't witness in so many parts of the world. Unless we step out, we do not remember this. Every time I step out of the country I remember how thankful I am to be living here.

Loyalty. People remain faithful to us through good times and bad. When was the last time you showed your appreciation?

Love of your life.Your spouse may be the most important person in your life. Do you take his or her love for granted?

Students. I have had connection with student familes who’ve been with us for years. Am I thankful for the loyalty and the Blessings?

Health. We don’t appreciate good health until we feel lousy. When we get better, we take our health for granted again. (So much for learning from our mistakes.)

Freedom. We have: the right to privacy, the freedom to speak our mind, and the privilege to practice the religion of our choice. It wasn’t always that way. People gave their lives to protect those freedoms.

Variety. We have so many travel options, food choices, and retail alternatives available to us. Not everyone has that luxury.

Trust. Your faith in those who are close to you enables you to share your deepest secrets with them. Do you realize how special that trust is?

Dedicated team. We have an amazing team who do everything we ask of them — and more. Do you acknowledge their value —or take it for granted?

Security. We have reasonable weather, access to healthy food, and can walk the streets safely at night. Be thankful that we don’t live our life in fear.

Basic necessities. We have three meals a day, a warm bed to sleep in, and a shelter over our head. To some people, that’s a luxury.

Nature. After days of bad weather, we appreciate the sunshine. Maybe we shouldn’t take clean air or water for granted.

Life. Everyday we see someone in the obituary column and our name is not featured there. Do you take that for granted?

Appreciate What You Have Before It Becomes What You Had

One day we should take a moment and listen to ourselves. We complain about not having enough while we lose sight of the wonderful things that we have. That happens because we get restless, things become too routine, or perhaps because we enjoy the hunt for something new.

The problem is, when we take stuff for granted, things eventually go south . . . the relationship goes sour, the team member jumps ship etc.. And, of course — then we react with panic. As the saying goes, “People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew exactly what you had . . . you just never thought you’d lose it.”

So . . . think how you’d react if those things “walked” out of your life. Why wait for that to happen? If you’d care a lot if you lost them, find the time to show appreciation for them today. As the saying goes, “You should appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.”

Happy Thanksgiving!


Expectations

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have."
-Stephen Hawking

Love this quote. Not in a sad way, and I suppose it depends on how you read it.

Lot of times we tell ourselves that “no one cares what I think” or “this is just the way it is or there’s nothing I can do”

When we realize that those are just stories and we learn to not expect what people might be thinking, or how a situation should be then it opens up a whole new way of seeing the world and appreciating what’s really there.

Because people will care what you think and want to hear what you have to say and there’s always something you can do.

Always.

When you learn not to expect a certain result, people surprise you and Life surprises you.


Rewind or Fast forward

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Lot of times I encounter people who wished that they can go back in time and alter the course. I don’t believe in living with regret but there are some things that I would definitely have done differently in my life. Obviously I can only know that now with hindsight so it would be impossible to know how some things would play out at the time. I’m a big believer that we do what is right at the time, using the information we have.

What is helpful now though is having the benefit of that knowledge to know that that thing, person or job isn’t for you.

It helps us to make future decisions and navigate our way through any new options that present themselves.

One of my friends asked me the question  the other day if f it was possible, would I go back in time and change anything? Probably not. All those decisions (good and bad) led me to where I am today, and all the people I now know and love. Better to focus on now and appreciate all the positives rather than dwelling on a past you can't change. Easier said than done sometimes.


Why is being Grateful important?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Gratitude can make you feel calmer, content and relaxed. Each time we reflect on what we have and what we are grateful for, our brains release Serotonin.Serotonin is the key hormone to stabilise our mood and happiness – it promotes our wellbeing. It also helps with sleeping and digestion.

Practice daily gratitude at the start of your day and notice how you feel happier, calmer and relaxed. I spend 5 minutes as part of my morning routine to be thankful for all I have.

I ask myself - what am I most grateful for today?

Each day my response includes:

· For my amazing family, colleagues, students

· I get to serve the world each day working with favorite people.

· My deep network of incredible souls (family and friends)

· I get to choose how I react and respond to each and every situation I find myself

· I get to choose how I nurture my mind, body and health

When we SERVE ourselves and show gratitude - we in turn SERVE all those we touch, see and interact with.

👉🏽 What are you most grateful for today and how will you embed the practice of daily gratitude into your routine?

Wishing you all a fabulous start to the week.


Struggle to Sensation(al): Lessons from Rahul Tewatia

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I follow IPL (India Premier League) Cricket tournament which happens every year during March-May where Cricketers all over the World participate for different franchises and  is exciting and entertaining to watch. Because of Covid-19 pandemic, this year it moved March-May to Sep-Nov time period and was scheduled to happen in Dubai..

One of the games I watched today was between Rajasthan and Punjab teams. Punjab played first and posted a  big total of 223 funs and Rajasthan was given an opportunity to chase this mammoth total. Even though Rajasthan had the potential to cross the line, one of the players Rahul Tewatia  was struggling in the middle and was taking lot of time to score runs. His batting partner (Sanju Samson) was however fluent and was scoring runs with ease. At one point the way Rahul was paying everybody was feeling sorry for the Rajasthan team and felt that Rahul needs to exit as  he was taking time and if someone else comes,  at least they can take a chance of winning the game. That was the impression every body had (including myself).
Then, without the slightest warning, he broke free. Rahul who is in the team more for his leg-spin bowling started hitting sixes all over the ground. It was not a flicker of hope, but an all-consuming fire. He scored 53 runs of 31 balls and helped Rajasthan team win the game against Punjab almost from an impossible position.

RahulT

 

Lesson#1 We all make mistakes, but the way we approach mistakes defines our relationship with them. For some of us, we are intrinsically terrified of mistakes and failure, and we refuse to even try or freeze  in the fear of doing something worse. However, Rahul Tewatia diid not let his mistakes define him. He quickly learned it and moved on. 

Lesson#2: Following was the tweet from Rahul back in 2017.  What is there to learn from this tweet? He has pre-played his success. Everything is created twice: First in mind, then in reality.

 

RahulTewatia

 

Great work Rahul! Such a great inspiration!

 


Happy Independence Day, India

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Happy Independence day, India. The  poem "Where the mind is without fear" was written by one of the greatest poets of India, Rabindranath Tagore. This was written during the period when India was struggling for freedom from the British rule. It was a part of ‘Gitanjali’, a compilation of all his poems which was published in English in 1912.

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of the truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."

-From Gitanjali (aka Song Offering) by Rabindranath Tagore


In this poem, Rabindranath Tagore expresses his love for his country and prays to the Almighty for its well being. In his prayer, the poet says that his countrymen should not live in fear anymore and must do away with the evils of society. They must live with respect, dignity, honesty and perfection.  The poet envisions India as a country where the people live without any kind of fear or oppression and hold their head high with pride, dignity and self reliance. He also says that knowledge should be attained without any restriction. There should be no discrimination based on caste, creed, race or religion. India must reach towards its goal of attaining freedom and being an ideal nation. The countrymen must possess noble thoughts and do away with all the superstitious beliefs that defy logic and reason.The poet prays to God, seeking his support and guidance for his countrymen to have noble thoughts and actions. He asks God to awaken them into this heaven like place of an independent nation.