Sunday, January 04, 2009

Never give unsolicited advice (Wk #01)

Mr. X said cheerfully, 'Happy New Year!'
I replied 'Thanks! Wishing you the same. Have a great year ahead!'
X continued 'So, what are your new year resolutions?'
I replied 'Nope, I didn't make any'
X immediately said, as if he is Columbus' Akka Purushan (Bro-in-law), "Yeah, right. What's the point? People eventually break all resolutions!"

World full of 'X'es! ;)

I have inherited a bit of do-it-when-people-say-you-can't attitude from my dear friend P. Yes, I am going to make a resolution! Weekly blog! (that's why the title "Wk #01"!) - The resolution is to get an unbeaten half-century i.e. "Wk #50" by end of 2009.

It's a resolution trying to prove wrong that resolutions are invariably broken. I wanted concrete answers for the 'What If I ..' questions viz: (1) Am not in a mood to blog (2) Am really busy (3) Run of topics (4) Feel that it is completely useless to blog (to me and others) (5) End up in an eventuality like getting ill

Out of the above four, personally, I found #1 is the most difficult to handle - Just reminded of what my friend K says "Be committed to your word, not mood". The answer to solve #2 & #3 came as: Have 2 sections in every post - @ReelNReal (like the current posts - any Random topic under sun), @Regular - very brief update on what/whom Saw, Read, Visited, Met during the week. #4 is ensured, since I resolve to write only interesting / useful / funny stuff. The regularity helps me to be more disciplined and do more of meaningful things. No point discussing #5 - Make-up posts if required.

Ok, time to get into the post..

Lets get to the topic of the post: Advice! Something people find it easy to give, tough to listen to, tougher to accept and toughest to practise. But it's absolutely interesting to read what advices inspired the most successful people, the words of wisdom which made them keep going irrespective of all odds. Business Today (Jan 11 issue) has a nice cover story titled 'The Best Advice I ever Got' for 60 successful Indians (mostly business-men). Here is a summary of the most interesting advices:
  1. Son, One of every 10 men who are born in this world, 9 men work for the tenth. Prepare yourself to be the tenth - Jamshed Irani, Tata Sons
  2. Reach for the stars, but always keep one on the ground - L N Mittal, ArcelorMittal
  3. Whichever decision that will give you peace of mind and help you to go to sleep peacefully in the night is the right decision. Listen to your conscience - Seshasayee, Ashok Leyland
  4. Results matter, efforts don't - Jignesh Shah, MCX
  5. Shreya Marg & Preya Marg (Beautiful & Difficult path) - Choose the difficult path, since it leads to your desiny, while beautiful path is a destiny in itself; Believe in the present and do justice to it - Prasoon Joshi, McCann
  6. Follow Your heart. It's better to go wrong on your instincts than on someone's else's - Aamir Khan
  7. Never take more than 1 risk at a time - Venu Srinivasan, TVS
  8. Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously - Piyush Pandey, O&M
  9. Ultimately, management is common sense - N Sankar, Sanmar
  10. Invest in people, empower them - Harsh Mariwala, Marico
  11. Every problem can be traced back to failure of Management & Leadership - Akhil Gupta, Blackstone
  12. The most important principle in life is humility and conservatism - Uday Kotak, Kotak Mahindra
  13. Understand your true strength - M V Subbiah, Murugappa
  14. Poor know a lot more than us - Vikram Akula, SKS Microfinance
  15. Live and Let Live - Venugopal Dhoot, Videocon
  16. Go with your Gut - Malvinder Singh, Ranbaxy
  17. Be fair in life, work and relationships - Deepak Puri, Moser Baer
  18. When you allow yourself no choices and risk everything, the survival instinct in you will bulid up an obsessive passion. It'll give you the courage to be successful - Dilip Chabbria, DC Design
  19. Share the credit for success, take responsibilty for trouble - Madhavan Nair, ISRO
  20. First know what you really want from life - Aditya Puri, HDFC
  21. Every failure opens up a new Vista. Learn to fight failure with a spirit of challenge that will make you stronger - Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon
  22. Have total Shraddha (involvement, devotion) - Gopinath, KingFisher / Deccan
  23. Do what you really love doing, and nothing less than 200% - Chetan Maini, Reva
  24. You have the right to the actions, not the fruits of it (from Gita) - Harsha Goenka, RPG
  25. Trust your intuition - Gautam Adani, Adani
  26. Reinvent the wheel - Sivakumar, ITC
  27. Remain focussed in times of crisis and use it as an opportunity to become stronger - Shantanu Prakash, Educomp
  28. Surround yourself with the best people and set them free - Raghav Bahl, Network 18
  29. And finally, the title quote - Vinita Bali, Britannia
I tried to group these. The winning categories are 'Facing Reality' and 'Knowing & Following your heart'

Ultimately what makes the difference is not knowing, rather practicing. :)

  • Saw: Ghajini, Slumdog Millionaire - Both are must-watches
  • Read(ing): The Theory of Everything, Stephen Hawking - Collection of his lectures on the orgin and probably the fate of Universe - Good for anyone interested even a bit in Physics / Astronomy
  • Visited: (a) Newyorker Restaurant in Chowpaty, Mumbai - Isn't my personal favorite, but good for people who love pizzas but getting bored of Dominos and Pizza Hut (b) Kurla, Mumbai - Got to witness some of what I saw in Slumdog
  • Met: 2 New people, each with an interesting conversation
Bye, Have a good week ahead! See you next week.

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