Sunday, March 28, 2010

Juggler, Juggling, Balls of Rubber and Glass

Imagine yourself to be a juggler juggling in bare foot. Keep in mind - bare foot on a hard cement floor. You got 5 balls to juggle. They are - work, family, friends, health and spirit.

Of the 5 balls, work is made up of rubber. Rest of the 4 balls - family, friends, health and spirit  - are all made up of glass.

While juggling these balls, if you miss the work, it will hit the ground. Since it is made of up of rubber, it will bounce right back. But, if you miss any of the balls made of glass, they break into pieces and it won't be fun to juggle while stepping on the broken glass on a hard floor. Once any of the glass ball is broken and starts hurting your feet, even if the rubber ball (i.e. work) keeps bouncing back, you can not pick that up again and continue juggling.

Moral of the story is take care of the glass balls carefully and the rubber ball can take care of itself. It will keep bouncing back up all the time. If you need more time, give it one good smack and it will keep bouncing back up again and again till you finish juggling other balls. This is not to say that you should ignore your work. Work smart not just hard.

Another possibility is to get out of the juggling game. Or keep lesser number of balls in air at any given time. Delegate a lot of work so that you only have to juggle 4 glass balls. Looking at 4 glass balls, actually only one is really unpredictable. That is family. Rest three - friends, health, spirit are actually easy to juggle if you keep plugging along. Unpredictable things happen mainly with family stuff. With friends, we have a good understanding and protocol. So, you can manage friends well. Health is the easiest to juggle if you stick to basics and firmly believe that prevention is better than cure. Spirit is also easy. It will come on its own when time is right. So, basically you have two major balls to juggle - one is work and the other is family. With only two balls, it should be simple enough.

Many times we do not see all the five balls this way and start juggling mindlessly even when they do not need to be all juggled at the same time. In the process, we drop work. Worse is we worry as though we dropped one of the glass balls even when we know that work, being made of rubber, will bounce back.

Key take always  - ball made up of rubber will bounce back. All glass balls are not equally hard to juggle. Family is probably the hardest. Health is probably the second hardest. Friends are easy if you have good ones. Anyway, you do not want to have bad ones. Spirit is the easiest. Do not even worry about it. When the divine grace smiles on you, you will know how to juggle the ball of spirit without even  worrying about it.

Cheers to juggling!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010


"You can know how clever a person by his answers. You can know how wise a person is by his questions."

"Statements get resentments. Questions get answers."

"When in doubt, ask."

"Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups."

Cheers to asking questions!

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"When alligators are up to your ass, it is hard to remember that your original intent was to drain the swamp."

How true? Example - Yes, quality matters. When it's end of the quarter and that most important customer is screaming at the top of his voice, improving quality is the last thing on anyone's mind even if they preached that mantra all along. At that point, it's a matter of survival. So, let's give it to the customer and deal with the consequences later.

What to do when this happens? What can you possibly do? Nothing much. Forgive yourself. Do not beat yourself up very much. Pray more. Generate more positive karma and be happy. You are not the cause and not the effect. When you know that, all your worries disappear.


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"There are no strangers in this world. Just the friends that we have not met yet."

Very beautiful. If we keep this quote in mind, how easy it becomes to warm up to new people. They are not strangers at all but just the friends that we have not met before.

There may not be strangers but there are indeed strange people. One may be you (and everyone else). :)

Cheers to meeting new strange friends!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010


"Discovery is seeing that everyone sees but thinking no one has thought." Makes sense? Yes. Everybody saw apple falling to the ground and not going up. Very few bothered to ask why. Even fewer bothered to find out the reason behind apples falling down. Newton was one and for that reason he became immortal.

"Successful people see something and ask why. Genius imagine what does not exist and ask why not."

"Ask not speculate."

"Ask and thou shall be given."

Cheers to creative imagination and asking more why!

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What we do with our PRESENT?

"With one foot on the past and other foot on the future, what ELSE we can do with/on the PRESENT?"

Well, if you think you are unhappy, then you can guess what you may be doing with or on the present. May be with one foot on the past and one on the future, you may be PISSING on the present.

"Past is history. Future is mystery. Only present is certainty. It's a gift. That's why it's called PRESENT."

One of the important aspects Dale Carnegie's "Stop worrying and start living" is to "live in day tight compartments." Stop worrying about the future. Stop having resentments about the past. Live fully in the present savoring every moment.

Cheers to happy PRESENT!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010


"The only degree that matters is the degree to which you help others."

So, all those bachelor, master, doctorate, post-doctorate degrees won't get you anywhere unless you have the degree to help others.

"When you are good to others, you are best to yourself."

"If you help enough people get what they want, they will, in turn, help you get ALL that you want."

"If you want something you never had before, you need to do something you have never done before."

"Successful people don't do different things. They just do things differently."

Not asking others for help is like owning a gold mine and deciding to mine the gold all by yourself. By the time, you get even an ounce of gold, you will be long gone. Success, even at individual level, is a team sport.

Success is nothing but finding a problem, solving it and sharing the learning.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are all in harmony. - Gandhi.


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Monday, March 01, 2010

Chisel it out

Chisel - the tool.

When I said chisel, remembered famous (or notorious) Indian fashion guru Prasad Bidappa. Prasad Bidappa used to call himself as the chiseler. Meaning -  he would get raw models from the street and chisel out all imperfections out of them and make them super models. Let's give him the credit due. It's no exaggeration that Prasad Bidappa identified some really smart (but not very-modely) girls right off the streets and made them top models and in some cases super models.

That's not the point here. Chisel and chiseler...two terms - stuck in mind.

How's a statue made? Do you really make a statue? Not really. You get a big block of stone and chisel AWAY everything that is not statue. Suppose you want to make a statue of an elephant. In some rough strokes of heavy hammer and big chisel, you get the outline. Then the real precise and fine grain work starts. That part is certainly as complex and as involved as brain surgery. Takes a lot of time and effort.

This is exactly the way people make them god-like. God-like qualities are already there in all of us. We just need to chisel out those ungodly qualities. Our scriptures provide all the tools we need. Meditation is the universal tool. It chisels away everything that is ungodly from our personality. You can see yourself chipping away day after day.

It's possible that when we end this life, we may not be done with making a real complete statue of whatever we started. It may not look very close to the statue of an elephant. It may be missing several aspects. But, we will get an opportunity to start exactly at the place where we left off. That's the assurance of Sri Krishna in Gita. Our final state in this life if preserved and restored in the next life. We will get right tools to continue chipping away.

All that is godly is within us. It is covered by lust, greed, anger, fear and what not. We just need to clear it all as much as we can. It's like house dust. As you clean, it accumulates. We just need to keep cleaning it off everyday. We can not say I will do a major cleaning once every week even if it takes 10 hours at a time. Our gurus say why undergo all that pain and kill yourself? Do little by little every day and just watch how you excel at chipping away to glory.

Another case in point to illustrate that all that is godly is right within us and many times we do not know it. Musk deer is very famous for its fragrance. Once a very little musk deer calf was intrigued by where that haunting fragrance came from. It was puzzled and baffled. It went all around the forest, smelling every tree, every bush and every other animal. It could not find out where that smell was coming from. After it was tired of endless roaming in the search of fragrance, it returned to its mother and described its ordeal. Young calf told its mother that it has been smelling every animal and tree in thee forest but can not find out where that beautiful smell came from. Mother musk deer asked its calf to do one simple thing. It asked the young calf to smell itself. There it was 'ah ha' moment for the musk deer calf. The wonderful fragrance was coming right from itself. This is a beautiful story to illustrate that all that is beautiful and good is right within us. Without knowing, we go round and round looking for it everywhere except within ourselves.

Sri Eknath Easwaran used above metaphors to drive home his points. I felt he did a masterful job once again. Thought of sharing with you.


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"Share a smile" day

March 1st is "Share a smile day". Hope we all smile little more today.

Smile is contagious. Smile is not irritating like sarcastic smirk or untimely laughter. Smile just indicates genuine happiness. So, smile a lot.

Always keep a smile on your face. It's the least you can do to others who have the good (mis) fortune of seeing your face.

If you do not see smile on other people's face, give them one of yours. Nothing to lose. A candle used to light up another candle has nothing to lose. Pass on  smiles freely.

Fake it till you make it. Even in the direst of dire circumstances, smile and be happy. The very fact of relaxing those creases around lips to smile start relaxing you.

If you do not feel good, at least try to look good. Smile helps.


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