Archive | July, 2016

Good completion

30 Jul

” A good completion takes a long time; a bad completion cannot be changed later.”

― Zhuangzi, The complete works of Chuang Tzu

I realized off late have been studying too many psychologists and their evidence based strategies and prescriptions for growth . Gabriele Oettingen, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Brene Brown and others. My notebook is filled with assessments. Then there are B school professors and their articles. At heart a researcher and like to learn and verify with  evidence for everything from my little experience of life.  The bottom line is this ” Every one is right. Every one is always right from their perspective.”  It doesn’t matter your focus group or sample size.  Life is vast, heterogeneous and nuanced. Every one has a different experience of life. Every one is right. Till they realize may be .. we should pursue another truth..

I have a deep urge to study. I have a strong desire to pursue academics along with my day job. Is it a pipe dream? Am I too much of a rebel to conform to rule based learning? psychology and economics interest me. Public health interests me. Life sciences interest me.  Since never focused on rule based learning and got involved in a orgy of masters, philosophy, sciences and music when young. Can I start from scratch? Do I have the patience for pursuing it for ten years ? How old I will be after ten years?  Never mind.

A great lesson of my life has been ” We must complete whatever we pursue. There must be a completion. A good completion.”

Life may have different plans for us. That is not in our control. We must control the controllables. We must try to take everything to its logical end.  I have too many in-completions. Am much more aware now  than was at seventeen or twenty five..

I realized spend time in three places – office, hospital and home.

Can I study?

Or am just good learner?

Can I conform to a syllabus?

Or am good in the self learning mode of masters ?

Do I have time?

I must decide soon one way or the other..

So I went for a walk in university campus after a long time and for some reason they have closed the gates from my side of town. How ridiculous is that…

Some pictures from today morning..

006

One more..

007

I ask the security guard to take pictures..

I look for my friends. I see none. I am not regular. I look for my professor friend, every time see him, first check if his left trousers is of same size as right trousers, never mind my friend is a  genius and sometimes carries a umbrella bigger than himself. Both of us had once gone for a walk and  got lost behind his own home and ended up seeing a peacock… Imagine that. My friend is a academic. I must meet him soon. I went to college with him. He teaches  mathematics in university.

What is easy for my friend is such a matter of deliberation for me, what is easy for me,  is difficult for him…such is life.

“What I’m not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.”

― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

I did meet a husband – wife, had gone to school with  boy, my senior in school and a family friend. I ask them about children. They ask about my family. We live totally different lives. The wife to my surprise generously says ” You have done all you can…  god does not give everything to every one.” I say Good bye and continue my run…

So I must decide..

I seek a good completion. I will keep posted.

Have a good day dear friends! I head to hospital with my mother.

Love, Suresh

 

 

 

 

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Quote 28 Jul

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

―  Helen Keller

I opened my notebook and wondered where did all my friends go, is it the process of getting older and is it just time or is it my own contribution…human existence is not simple for even the simplest, it’s layered, nuanced and more…

So take refuge in this Helen Keller insight and carry all the energies of wonderful people met in life, so even though am alone, am never lonely…

I am good only because of them, am better only by them…

Have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh

Milas Raonic

26 Jul

” Milos Raonic is swiping through his phone. We’re in a booth at a Miami steak house, picking at shrimp-and-quinoa salads, talking about athletes and writing, when he finds Kobe Bryant’s retirement poem, a love letter to basketball. “You’re a writer,” he says to me. “I want to hear your literary take.” This is typical. Not so much the poetry part as the seeking-out opinions. Last year, while recovering from back spasms, the 25-year-old Canadian asked himself, “What is the stuff I like to do the least and can it help me?” One answer? Writing. Now every night Raonic, currently ranked seventh, jots down “ideas, emotions” in a leather notebook. He’s been reading books like The Art of Learning, by the chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin. Tennis is a game of slim margins, especially at the top. Every player is looking for that something to close the gap. Commentator Justin Gimelstob believes one of Raonic’s strengths is “he isn’t afraid to be great.” ”

Source: http://www.vogue.com/13459636/athlete-milos-raonic-tennis-player-profile/

What is the stuff I like to do the least and can it help me? Excel, visual power points..

What is the stuff I like to do most and can it help me? Reading, writing, walking..

I think it is a good question. These are my answers.

Actually things which  like doing the least perhaps hold the key for success.

I read this Vogue profile on Milos Raonic. Milos has had a super Wimbledon and will definitely win Grand slams. He has champions  John McEnroe and Carlos  Moya in his team. They are going to do what Lendl has done for Murray.  And as Patrick McEnroe says in the Vogue piece ” He’s going to maximize everything he’s got.For any athlete—or any person—that’s all you can ask ” Very true that’s all you can ask for…

Hope you like this Vogue aticle ” Milos Raonnic is on a quest to be the Best Tennis player in the world.”

I like sports for inspiration. There is something transparent about sports, effort you put in is more or less equal to results you get. I like that. There is nothing stage managed. I also like teachers. They have your best interest.

This for today. Hope you have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh

 

 

Zygmunt Bauman: Behind the world’s ‘crisis of humanity’ – Talk to Al Jazeera

24 Jul

” One of the most prominent philosophers of our time is Zygmunt Bauman.

Born in Poland 90 years ago, he has thought and written extensively about the modern era, and what it is doing to us, coining the phrase, “liquid fear” – a tangible feeling of anxiety that has only vague contours but is still acutely present everywhere.

“Liquid fear,” Bauman explains, “means fear flowing on our own court, not staying in one place but diffuse. And the trouble with liquid fear, unlike the concrete specific danger which you know and are familiar with is that you don’t know where from it will strike. We are walking, that’s my favorite metaphor, as if on a minefield. We are aware that the field is full of explosives, but we can’t tell where there will be an explosion and when. There are no solid structures around us all on which we can rely, in which we can invest our hopes and expectations. Even most powerful governments, very often, cannot deliver on their promise. They don’t have enough power to do so.”

Bauman discusses different relational structures – the personal, the employer-employee dynamic and people and their governments – and the precariousness which defines them today.

“On every level of human life, you have the same situation. Uncertainty,” he says.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2016/07/zygmunt-bauman-world-crisis-humanity-160722085342260.html

I decided to visit temple with my mother and brother. Am sad with my mother’s suffering and wanted to do ever thing possible to alleviate little bit of her afflictions.  On way back home my mother wanted to visit her dear friend. Me and my brother ended up watching Al Jazeera . We were both hooked to this brilliant and engaging conversation with Polish Philosopher and academic Zygmunt Bauman. This is a great interview from ” Talk to Al Jazeera.”  What struck me was at ninety, how contemporary the views are of the great philosopher and it’s sweeping and erudite take on many issues of Influx of refugees, multiculturalism, an all encompassing uncertainty which he calls ” Liquid fear” and why happiness is not  just one big pleasurable trip but it’s about overcoming unhappiness and troubles. This interview is  wonderful in it’s sweep. It’s also credit to the interviewer.

Given every  day horrific incidents once can’t help but share the philosopher’s ” short term pessimism and long term optimism”

Zygmunt Bauman is quite right on Donald Trump ” People want politicians who assert: “Give me the power and I will take responsibility for your future.”

Am personally no votary of such politics.  There are learning’s from this interview and it is instructive..

“There are two crucial values without which human life is simply inconceivable. One is security, a measure of security, feeling safe. The other is freedom, ability to self-assert, to do what you really would like to do and so on. They are both necessary. Security without freedom is slavery. Freedom without security is complete chaos where you are lost, abandoned, you don’t know what to do .So you need measure of one and the other. We are incredibly more free than our grandfathers or great grandfathers were. But we paid the price. We had to exchange it for security. ”

( Zygmunt Bauman)

Think about that….

We perhaps need a fluid  structure or a structure which adapts and makes sense of these uncertain times…there are no easy answers.

Good night dear friends!  Hope you like this Al Jazeera interview with Zygmunt Bauman.

Have a good day!

Love, Suresh

 

Ricardo Kaká

23 Jul

“Defeat is part of our careers. It’s what we make of it that matters.

“Kaká, you may no longer be able to play football.”

When this was said to me, I was only 18 and already a featured player in the São Paulo base team. I had just injured a vertebra in an accident at a water slide. I didn’t know it back then, but I was about to learn one of the biggest lessons I could ever learn in life.

But let us go back a bit.

I was born in the city of Brasilia, where I spent the first four years of my life. However, it was in the city of Cuiabá, where I lived the three following years, that I handled a football for the first time. I was only a child, but I was already showing signs that I was gifted in this regard. My physical education teacher saw my talent and encouraged me to go and look for a club where I could train. When I was seven, my family and I moved to São Paulo. For the first time, I had to put up a fight with my body just to be able to do the thing I most loved doing. With two years of delay in bone age, it was tough for me to compete with the other boys.

Imagine the following scenario: I was 14 years old, but my size was that of a 12 year-old.

Even so, I didn’t give up. I had this single dream: To become a professional player at SPFC and play at least one single match as a member of the Brazilian national football team. Now, when I put this longing in perspective with my career, it seems to me that I was thinking too little. How many people dream of becoming a soccer player in our country? And how many of wearing the yellow jersey?!

By the age of 15, with the help of nutritional supplementation and hard training with physical exercises, I was determined to pursue my goal with all my mind and heart.

An athlete’s career is very demanding. We need to leave our families, deprive ourselves of our freedom, of our weekends, and so much more. What motivated me to play football was the love I had for the sport and my dream of becoming a great player, as well as the the fun I had playing with my friends and doing something I loved. But those who only have an external perspective are unable to realize how painful it is to be a professional player.

Two months after hearing that I may never be able to play football again, I began my career in the São Paulo professional team. Not long after that, I scored the two goals that earned my team the Rio-São Paulo Tournament’s title. What was the lesson learned? There are no final defeats in our careers. Each fall brings with it a big lesson to be learned. It is up to us to grow as much as possible with the falls that we experience, just to keep getting back on our feet as better people.

My final understanding regarding how to deal with the unavoidable ups and downs came with time. You may know that we got to the final match of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League when we played against Liverpool. In the first half, we lead with a 3-0 score. After the break, our game went down the drain. The British tied the match and won the trophy in the penalty shoot-outs. No one seemed to understand what had just happened. Do you know why? Because there was nothing to understand.

All I knew is that I had to prepare myself better. I had to focus to increase my chances of winning. It meant improving how I worked on my physical and mental skills, my technique, my tactics and my spirituality, too.

In 2007, we once again got to the final match of that tournament. Liverpool was, once again, our rival. We beat them 2 to 1 and, at the end of that year, I was chosen by FIFA as the World’s Best Player.

Winning or losing, both in life and in sports, is out of our control. I learned that losing is part of the game and that all we need to do is to learn the great lessons hidden behind it. Indeed, this is the only way through which we can improve ourselves.”

― Ricardo Kaká, Defeat is part of our careers. It’s what we make of it that matters, July 21, 2016

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/defeat-part-our-career-we-have-learn-how-improve-ourselves-kak%C3%A1

Can you believe Kaká in Linkedin?  I was delighted to read this  piece from a favorite footballer. Every one knows Kaká.  I will not write more about the great soccer star who is still active in MLS ( Orlando City) and Brazil national team. I though wondered why in recent times he was not played in Brazil national team like the other great  AC Milan player Andrea Pirlo who kept playing  with distinction for Italy. He could have given so much leadership.

I will stick to the message. The great star shares in this Linkedin piece  and let me quote:

” Two months after hearing that I may never be able to play football again, I began my career in the São Paulo professional team. Not long after that, I scored the two goals that earned my team the Rio-São Paulo Tournament’s title. What was the lesson learned? There are no final defeats in our careers. Each fall brings with it a big lesson to be learned. It is up to us to grow as much as possible with the falls that we experience, just to keep getting back on our feet as better people.”

” Winning or losing, both in life and in sports, is out of our control. I learned that losing is part of the game and that all we need to do is to learn the great lessons hidden behind it. Indeed, this is the only way through which we can improve ourselves.”

I think this is a great message. There are no final defeats and we must learn and keep striving to be the best we can. I tried to share my experiences in this context in many a posts and let me think through from humble journey..

I once went to meet a school mate after twenty plus years, some one whom was fond of and with vivid memories, he said ” I have done three companies….”  Two successful exits and  in a remarkable third venture. I have nothing but admiration for my class mate.

I once read a interview of a CEO whom met once and he had said same ” I have done three companies…”  In his third CEO role now…

Those are excellent credentials and remarkable success stories..

Mine has been failure + failure +  failure + start up  success +  Corporate path

I have written about this in many posts and will refresh some of the learning:

– You succeed only with right effort.

– You succeed only when you are prepared for failure.

– You succeed only with right people.

– You succeed only with right attitude.

Life is not just about success or failure in a a field of study or chosen profession. We all do not have the same challenges. The same circumstances. That’s why we make different choices and foster a different path.

A professor once told me you need to remember three people always : Gandhi, Marx and Buddha. I think Gandhi and Buddha are very good.  I read Gandhi, Helen Keller and Eckhart Tolle when am in a spot..

My friends late father had said ” He is wise..” I had no choice. I had no mentors. I had no support. I had two friends. I had a family.  I had to learn.

Some of the other leanings have been ” good vibes” and ” seeing positive side of every one” and ” giving up anger”  am 80 percent better than before, though do worry if have lost some of the early drive and courage, you see Satan is more passionate..

Spirituality is a function of self awareness. I decided on mindfulness. “Religion is cheap Psychiatry”  a guru said as he laughed himself. If I become a Guru would like to become like him. Throw a Frisbee and laugh.  Enough of me.

I think  the great Kaká is very right ” All I knew is that I had to prepare myself better. I had to focus to increase my chances of winning. It meant improving how I worked on my physical and mental skills, my technique, my tactics and my spirituality, too.”

We must do the same and try getting better at every aspect of our lives. I wish to leave you with another favorite of mine, Malcolm Gladwell..

“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.”

―  Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success 

Think about that…

My current lesson is patience.  Please do remember the great Kaká’. As for the  Brazilian superstar..

” I remember how badly we took it as a team when Kaka left Milan. For two or three years he was the best player in the world. There was a point when teams just had no idea how to stop him.’

— Milan teammate and Italian legend Andrea Pirlo

Have a good day dear friends!

Love, suresh

Quote 22 Jul

” In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence. I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted, I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I have always kept. I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding. But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say:

“That is a hat.”

Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars. I would bring myself down to his level. I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties. And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.

So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to… ”

― Antoine de Saint – Exupery, The Little Prince

The painting number one is a a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. I also like drawing boa constrictors swallowing troubles for next six months and writing. The other day was writing in my notebook when some one made a shallow remark. I had a flash of anger and let it go. I have since learnt not to indulge grown- ups, especially the mediocre types…

Then there is a big guy fixation ” Am a big guy, you are a small fish…”

I have always deeply loved and  revered America for its meritocracy and excellence, am stupefied that Donald Trump is the choice for many…

I guess will never understand politics and grown ups…

I will draw a boa constrictor now…

Have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh

A to Zen

19 Jul

“Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I’ll tell you who you are.”

― Anton Chekhov, Selected Stories

angela

This is a good checklist. My friend shared this with me and am struck how wonderful well wisher’s are..

It is indeed one of the great gifts of life. So rare. So are you my well wisher? As me and my blog are yours 🙂

And tell me your wishes and we will have a conversation…

Hope you have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh