19 posts categorized "Reflections"


-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."

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..

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




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.



-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.

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!"

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...

How I Built This by Guy Raz

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I have been listening to the most amazing Podcast,  "How I Built this ". Guy Raz does the most phenomenal job interviewing some of the most successful entrepreneurs of recent times. Guy has a real talent for interviewing entrepreneurs and engaging his listeners, which is what make this intriguing.  The selection of stories are from some of the best and most entertaining episodes, from Away bags and AirBnB (and their Obama Os) to FUBU and Allbirds. This isn't a bunch of "overcoming all adversity and winning" tales. It's honest, true stories about the work, the practice, and the insights that sparked many of our most loved innovations. I can't get enough of it!!!

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."

Reflections: Questions to ponder?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

As 2008 is coming to an end, it is a good time to pause and reflect.

  • What are your top priorities? (Do you treat them accordingly?)
  • What are the most valuable lessons that you’ve learned this year?
  • Are you a giver or a taker?
  • Do you think for yourself or follow the pack?
  • What mistakes have you made more than once this year?
  • Are you more likely to accept responsibility or to blame others for your disappointments?
  • Who are your role models? What makes them special?
  • Are you proud of the way you live your life?
  • What’s holding you back?
  • What do you wish others knew about you?
  • If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?
  • How do you want to be remembered?



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

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.

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.


-Karthik Gurumurthy

First of all- you have to define your definition of success. Success to me is having accomplished something, then going and accomplishing something else, and then when you do that, you accomplish something else. But each time you try to have more success, you go to zones of life that people only dream of.  There is always going to be somebody who thinks that you could do it better or differently.

Success is continued success, meaning along the way you're gonna have ups and downs, but over time, the pendulum keeps going up and up and up.  I think it is finding happiness and how many people you impact positively along the way. How many people you can leave your impression on. To me, that's a successful person-someone who can be part of someone else's development, is happy with what they are doing, and have a passion for what they are doing.  Success is the satisfaction of knowing that I have been prepared. I have done absolutely everything I could do that is in my control to be prepared.

Increase your Goodness Quotient

Here are a few simple ideas to help you continue to raise your “Goodness Quotient”:

1. Be the most polite person that you know.

2. Be honest to a fault.

3. Deeply commit yourself to being a world-class listener.

4. Send handwritten thank you notes on a regular basis.

5. Seek out opportunities to do random acts of kindness.

6. Commit yourself to being the most positive and passionate person that you know.

7. Be impeccable with your punctuality.