Archive for the ‘Quotes_n_Facts’ Category

Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.

– Jiro Ono (from Jiro Dreams of Sushi – a must watch documentary)

“Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.” – Pablo Picasso

‘One should do (work) what he really loves to do’
This we have heard very often… but the thing is that we love so many things. So, how to be sure of what we actually love and what we would actually love to do?

I have read many pointers on arriving at the answer. Just sharing few of them.
1) What things would you do if you have billions of dollars?
2) What things would you do if you know that you wouldn’t fail?
3) Listen to your heart. (This one is a bit ambiguous)

Now, I have been through these pointers couple of times and they are helpful. I would like to add a few practical ones to the list to add the confusion 😉

4) What takes you to the flow state (‘Flow’ psychology – where a person gets intensely immersed into the work at hand and loses the sense of space and time. People can work for long hours in this state)
5) What are the things you would love to learn more and more about. Things that you want to learn all by yourself and keep improving. In such things you are very positively involved out of your own interest. In such things you take all the feedback and comments sportingly and want to improve with every given opportunity.

Last two must be doing rounds but I somehow couldn’t find them when I needed. And I feel that they are really important and practical pointers. At least I found my affirmations using them.

Find out that one thing and strive for excellence! Success ensues!

While going through ‘Complete works of Swami Vivekananda’ on wikisource, I came across this conversation between him and one of his disciple. Found it really interesting to share and to keep handy for future reference.


Disciple: How is it, Swamiji, that you do not lecture in this country? You have stirred Europe and America with your lectures, but coming back here you have kept silence.
Swamiji: In this country, the ground should be prepared first; then if the seed is sown, the plant will come out best. The ground in the West, in Europe and America is very fertile and fit for sowing seeds. There they have reached the climax of Bhoga (enjoyment). Being satiated with Bhoga to the full, their minds are not getting peace now even in those enjoyments, and they feel as if they wanted something else. In this country you have neither Bhoga nor Yoga (renunciation). When one is satiated with Bhoga, then it is that one will listen to and understand the teachings on Yoga. What good will lectures do in a country like India which has become the birthplace of disease, sorrow, and affliction, and where men are emaciated through starvation, and weak in mind?
Disciple: How is that? Do you not say that ours is the land of religion and that here the people understand religion as they do nowhere else? Why then will not this country be animated by your inspiring eloquence and reap to the full the fruits thereof?
Swamiji: Now understand what religion means. The first thing required is the worship of the Kurma (tortoise) Incarnation, and the belly-god is this Kurma, as it were. Until you pacify this, no one will welcome your words about religion. India is restless with the thought of how to face this spectre of hunger. The draining of the best resources of the country by the foreigners, the unrestricted exports of merchandise, and, above all, the abominable jealousy natural to slaves are eating into the vitals of India. First of all, you must remove this evil of hunger and starvation, this constant anxiety for bare existence, from those to whom you want to preach religion; otherwise, lectures and such things will be of no benefit.
Disciple: What should we do then to remove that evil ?
Swamiji: First, some young men full of the spirit of renunciation are needed —those who will be ready to sacrifice their lives for others, instead of devoting themselves to their own happiness. With this object in view I shall establish a Math to train young Sannyâsins, who will go from door to door and make the people realise their pitiable condition by means of facts and reasoning, and instruct them in the ways and means for their welfare, and at the same time will explain to them as clearly as possible, in very simple and easy language, the higher truths of religion. The masses in our country are like the sleeping Leviathan. The education imparted by the present university system reaches one or two per cent of the masses only. And even those who get that do not succeed in their endeavours of doing any good to their country. But it is not their fault, poor fellows! As soon as they come out of their college, they find themselves fathers of several children! Somehow or other they manage to secure the position of a clerk, or at the most, a deputy magistrate. This is the finale of education! With the burden of a family on their backs, they find no time to do anything great or think anything high. They do not find means enough to fulfil their personal wants and interests; so what can be expected of them in the way of doing anything for others ?
Disciple: Is there then no way out for us?
Swamiji: Certainly there is. This is the land of Religion Eternal. The country has fallen, no doubt, but will as surely rise again, and that upheaval will astound the world. The lower the hollows the billows make, the higher and with greater force will they rise again.
Disciple: How will India rise again?
Swamiji: Do you not see? The dawn has already appeared in the eastern sky, and there is little delay in the sun’s rising. You all set your shoulders to the wheel! What is there in making the world all in all, and thinking of “My Samsâra (family and property), my Samsâra”? Your duty at present is to go from one part of the country to another, from village to village, and make the people understand that mere sitting idly won’t do any more. Make them understand their real condition and say, “O ye brothers, arise! Awake! How much longer would you remain asleep!” Go and advise them how to improve their own condition, and make them comprehend the sublime truths of the Shâstras (scriptures), by presenting them in a lucid and popular way. So long the Brahmins have monopolised religion; but since they cannot hold their ground against the strong tide of time, go and take steps so that one and all in the land may get that religion. Impress upon their minds that they have the same right to religion as the Brahmins. Initiate all, even down to the Chandâlas (people of the lowest castes), in these fiery Mantras. Also instruct them, in simple words, about the necessities of life, and in trade, commerce, agriculture, etc. If you cannot do this then lie upon your education and culture, and lie upon your studying the Vedas and Vedanta!
Disciple: But where is that strength in us? I should have felt myself blessed if I had a hundredth part of your powers, Swamiji.
Swamiji: How foolish! Power and things like that will come by themselves. Put yourself to work, and you will find such tremendous power coming to you that you will feel it hard to bear. Even the least work done for others awakens the power within; even thinking the least good of others gradually instils into the heart the strength of a lion. I lore you all ever so much, but I wish you all to die working for others—I should rather be glad to see you do that!
Disciple: What will become of those, then, who depend on me?
Swamiji: If you are ready to sacrifice your life for others, God will certainly provide some means for them. Have you not read in the Gita (VI. 40) the words of Shri Krishna, “ हि कल्याणकृत्कश्चित् दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति —Never does a doer of good, O my beloved, come to grief”?
Disciple: I see, sir.
Swamiji: The essential thing is renunciation. With out renunciation none can pour out his whole heart in working for others. The man of renunciation sees all with an equal eye and devotes himself to the service of all. Does not our Vedanta also teach us to see all with an equal eye? Why then do you cherish the idea that the wife and children are your own, more than others? At your very threshold, Nârâyana Himself in the form of a poor beggar is dying of starvation! Instead of giving him anything, would you only satisfy the appetites of your wife and children with delicacies? Why, that is beastly!
Disciple: To work for others requires a good deal of money at times, and where shall I get that?
Swamiji: Why not do as much as lies within your power? Even if you cannot give to others for want of money, surely you can at least breathe into their ears some good words or impart some good instruction, can’t you? Or does that also require money?
Disciple: Yes, sir, that I can do.
Swamiji: But saying, “I can”, won’t do. Show me through action what you can do, and then only I shall know that your coming to me is turned to some good account. Get up, and put your shoulders to the wheel—how long is this life for? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the trees and stones? They, too, come into existence, decay and die. If you like to be born and to die like them, you are at liberty to do so. Show me by your actions that your reading the Vedanta has been fruitful of the highest good. Go and tell all, “In every one of you lies that Eternal Power”, and try to wake It up. What will you do with individual salvation? That is sheer selfishness. Throw aside your meditation, throw away your salvation and such things! Put your whole heart and soul in the work to which I have consecrated myself.
With bated breath the disciple heard these inspiring words, and Swamiji went on with his usual fire and eloquence.
Swamiji: First of all, make the soil ready, and thousands of Vivekanandas will in time be born into this world to deliver lectures on religion. You needn’t worry yourself about that! Don’t you see why I am starting orphanages, famine-relief works, etc.? Don’t you see how Sister Nivedita, a British lady, has learnt to serve Indians so well, by doing even menial work for them? And can’t you, being Indians, similarly serve your own fellow-countrymen? Go, all of you, wherever there is an outbreak of plague or famine, or wherever the people are in distress, and mitigate their sufferings. At the most you may die in the attempt—what of that? How many like you are being born and dying like worms every day? What difference does that make to the world at large? Die you must, but have a great ideal to die for, and it is better to die with a great ideal in life. Preach this ideal from door to door, and you will yourselves be benefited by it at the same time that you are doing good to your country. On you lie the future hopes of our country. I feel extreme pain to see you leading a life of inaction. Set yourselves to work—to work! Do not tarry—the time of death is approaching day by day! Do not sit idle, thinking that everything will be done in time, later on! Mind—nothing will be done that way!

“The only way to get smarter is by playing a smarter opponent.”
Fundamentals of Chess, 1883
‘Revolver’ movie, 2005

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it livingsomeone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living withthe results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’sopinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have thecourage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already knowwhat you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Reference: 01 Oct 08
Each time you read something Peter Drucker has said, there’s the sensation that a flash bulb has gone off inside your head. This is because the Drucker-isms, as the legendary management gurus’s mantras as known, are something you’ve always known; but rarely heard put so succinctly.

Born on November 19, 1909, Drucker was the giant who defined management and aided in the rise of the modern corporations. Over the last few decades, new gurus may have replaced Drucker, but his books and his management principles continue to be a steadfast bedrock of the corporate world.

Among the other hats he donned included that of a finance reporter in Germany early stages of his career. Drucker, who was born in Vienna, moved to England — where he had studied — to escape Hitler. He took up a job as a securities analyst for an insurance firm. Four years later, he moved to the United States, where he began his academic career.
Drucker, who has authored numerous books on the principles that should govern the corporate world, helped develop the US’s first executive MBA programme at the Claremont Graduate University; the university’s management school is known as the Peter F Drucker School of Management (it was named in his honour in 1987).

He died on November 11, 2005, disillusioned with the increasingly capitalistic trend being displayed by the business world. His principles, however, stand rock-steady and continue to inspire millions of employees, employers and entrepreneurs across the world.

·Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.

·The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

·Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

·No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organised in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

·The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

·Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.

·Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

·All one has to do is to learn to say ‘no’ if an activity contributes nothing.

·What is the first duty — and the continuing responsibility — of the business manager? To strive for the best possible economic results from the resources currently employed or available.

· People do not know that you cannot successfully innovate in an existing organisation unless you systematically abandon. As long as you eliminate, you’ll eat again. But if you stop eliminating, you don’t last long.

· Leaders shouldn’t attach moral significance to their ideas: Do that, and you can’t compromise.

· The only things that evolve by themselves in an organisation are disorder, friction, and malperformance.

· One cannot buy, rent or hire more time. The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it. Time is totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday’s time is gone forever, and will never come back. Time is always in short supply. There is no substitute for time. Everything requires time. All work takes place in, and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable and necessary resource.

· The really important things are said over cocktails and are never done.

· Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.

· Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principles of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration.

· Long range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.

· Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.

· What gets measured, gets managed.

· No decision has been made unless carrying it out in specific steps has become someone’s work assignment and responsibility

· Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

· Meetings are a symptom of bad organisation. The fewer meetings the better.

· The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

· Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.

· Objectives are not fate; they are direction. They are not commands; they are commitments. They do not determine the future; they are means to mobilise the resources and energies of the business for the making of the future

· Any organisation develops people: It has no choice. It either helps them grow or stunts them.

· Don’t take on things you don’t believe in and that you yourself are not good at. Learn to say no.

· If you can’t establish clear career priorities by yourself, use friends and business acquaintances as a sounding board. They will want to help. Ask them to help you determine your ‘first things’ and ‘second things.’ Or seek an outside coach or advisor to help you focus. Because if you don’t know what your ‘first things’ are, you simply can’t do them FIRST.

· Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the �naturals’, the ones who somehow know how to teach.

· Don’t travel too much. Organise your travel. It is important that you see people and that you are seen by people maybe once or twice a year. Otherwise, don’t travel. Make them come to see you.

· The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I’. And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I’. They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’. They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit… This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.

· Too many leaders try to do a little bit of 25 things and get nothing done. They are very popular because they always say yes. But they get nothing done.

· Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

· The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.

· Again, let’s start out discussing what not to do. Don’t try to be somebody else. By now you have your style. This is how you get things done.

· Leaders communicate in the sense that people around them know what they are trying to do. They are purpose driven — yes, mission driven. They know how to establish a mission.

· I tell all my clients that it is absolutely imperative that they spend a few weeks each year outside their own business and actively working in the marketplace, or in a university lab in the case of technical people. The best way is for the chief executive officer to take the place of a salesman twice a year for two weeks.

· Few top executives can even imagine the hatred, contempt and fury that has been created — not primarily among blue-collar workers who never had an exalted opinion of the ‘bosses’ — but among their middle management and professional people.

· When you are the chief executive, you’re the prisoner of your organisation. The moment you’re in the office, everybody comes to you and wants something, and it is useless to lock the door. They’ll break in. So, you have to get outside the office. But still, that isn’t travelling. That’s being at home or having a secret office elsewhere. When you’re alone, in your secret office, ask the question, ‘What needs to be done?’ Develop your priorities and don’t have more than two. I don’t know anybody who can do three things at the same time and do them well. Do one task at a time or two tasks at a time. That’s it. OK, two works better for most. Most people need the change of pace. But, when you are finished with two jobs or reach the point where it’s futile, make the list again. Don’t go back to priority three. At that point, it’s obsolete.

· We suffer from over-choice: 67 varieties of toothpaste, 487 styles of shoes, 186 brands of cell phones with 137 telephone companies. We demand more variety than we could possibly need or want; and as a result, we get lost in options, opportunities, and choices. There are 87 varieties of lawyers, and 75 specialties inside medicine. The world of work can be a confusing landscape.

· That people even in well paid jobs choose ever earlier retirement is a severe indictment of our organisations — not just business, but government service, the universities. These people don’t find their jobs interesting.

· A critical question for leaders is: ‘When do you stop pouring resources into things that have achieved their purpose?’

· Morale in an organisation does not mean that ‘people get along together’; the test is performance not conformance.

· An employer has no business with a man’s personality. Employment is a specific contract calling for a specific performance… Any attempt to go beyond that is usurpation. It is immoral as well as an illegal intrusion of privacy. It is abuse of power. An employee owes no ‘loyalty,’ he owes no ‘love’ and no ‘attitudes’ — he owes performance and nothing else.

· Ideas are somewhat like babies — they are born small, immature, and shapeless. They are promise rather than fulfillment. In the innovative company, executives do not say, ‘This is a damn-fool idea.’ Instead they ask, ‘What would be needed to make this embryonic, half-baked, foolish idea into something that makes sense, that is an opportunity for us?’· Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship… the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

· Once a year ask the boss, ‘What do I or my people do that helps you to do your job?’ and ‘What do I or my people do that hampers you?’

· Great leaders find out whether they picked the truly important things to do. I’ve seen a great many people who are exceedingly good at execution, but exceedingly poor at picking the important things. They are magnificent at getting the unimportant things done. They have an impressive record of achievement on trivial matters.

· How does one display integrity? ‘By asking, especially when taking on office: What is the foremost need of the institution�and therefore my first task and duty?’

· Ask yourself: What major change in the economy, market or knowledge would enable our company to conduct business the way we really would like to do it, the way we would really obtain economic results?

· Ask yourself: What would happen if this were not done at all?

· So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.

· The subordinate’s job is not to reform or re-educate the boss, not to make him conform to what the business schools or the management book say bosses should be like. It is to enable a particular boss to perform as a unique individual.

· Effective leaders check their performance. They write down, �What do I hope to achieve if I take on this assignment?’ They put away their goals for six months and then come back and check their performance against goals. This way, they find out what they do well and what they do poorly.

· The individual is the central, rarest, most precious capital resource of our society

· The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.

· The computer is a moron.

· Successful leaders make sure that they succeed! They are not afraid of strength in others.

· The CEO needs to ask of his associates, ‘What are you focusing on?’ Ask your associates, ‘You put this on top of your priority list — why?’ The reason may be the right one, but it may also be that this associate of yours is a salesman who persuades you that his priorities are correct when they are not.

· Free enterprise cannot be justified as being good for business. It can be justified only as being good for society.

· Executives owe it to the organisation and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.

· A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.

· Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.

· Business, that’s easily defined — it’s other people’s money.

· Few companies that installed computers to reduce the employment of clerks have realised their expectations… They now need more and more expensive clerks even though they call them ‘operators’ or ‘programmers.

· What’s absolutely unforgivable is the financial benefit top management people get for laying off people. There is no excuse for it. No justification. This is morally and socially unforgivable, and we will pay a heavy price for it.

· Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

· A man should never be appointed into a managerial position if his vision focuses on people’s weaknesses rather than on their strengths.

· Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.

· Performing organisations enjoy what they’re doing

Top 50 places before you die…

Posted: October 24, 2007 in Quotes_n_Facts

Reference: BBC

Top 50 places before you die:

1. The Grand Canyon

2. Great Barrier Reef

3. Florida

4. South Island

5. Cape Town

6. Golden Temple

7. Las Vegas

8. Sydney

9. New York

10. Taj Mahal

11. Canadian Rockies

12. Uluru

13. Chichen Itza – Mexico

14. Machu Picchu – Peru

15. Niagara Falls

16. Petra – Jordan

17. The Pyramids – Egypt

18. Venice

19. Maldives

20. Great Wall of China

21. Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

22. Hong Kong

23. Yosemite National Park

24. Hawaii

25. Auckland – New Zealand

26. Iguassu Falls

27. Paris

28. Alaska

29. Angkor Wat – Cambodia

30. Himalayas – Nepal

31. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

32. Masai Mara – Kenya

33. Galapagos Islands – Ecuador

34. Luxor – Egypt

35. Rome

36. San Francisco

37. Barcelona

38. Dubai

39. Singapore

40. La Digue – Seychelles

41. Sri Lanka

42. Bangkok

43. Barbados

44. Iceland

45. Terracotta Army – China

46. Zermatt – Switzerland

47. Angel Falls – Venezuela

48. Abu Simbel – Egypt

49. Bali

50. French Polynesia