Sunday, July 31, 2011


To listen well, pay full attention to what the other person is saying.

When the letters in the word 'listen' are interchanged, we get 'silent'.

Silence is what we need if we want to listen well to other people.

Many times when the other person starts talking, we stop listening and start formulating our response. It's too early to formulate a response before listening fully. Waste of time and energy and disrespect for the other party.

Listen to understand. Reflect. Understand. Clarify. Confirm. Then respond. If we follow this process,then we are more likely to do justice to the person we are listening to.

Sometimes response is not needed at all. The other person just wants someone to listen to. As most of us have experienced, the very fact of being able to find someone who is willing to listen to us and listens without any prejudice proves to be very beneficial. When we explain our thoughts to someone else, many times we ourselves become clearer about them. Solutions emerge on their own. All we needed was someone who was willing to listen.

Listen not merely hear. Observe not merely see. Communicate not merely speak.

WAIT - Why Am I Talking? Always remember this FLA before you speak.


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Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine.

Research has proven that laughing relaxes us and helps reduce the stress.

One, who laughs longer, lasts longer.

I was thinking something else about laughter.

Ajahn Brahm is a Buddhist monk. Originally British. Now settled in Australia.

He has a written a best selling book – “Who ordered this truckload of dung?”

He made an interesting reference to laughter in his book.

The most important medicine that God wants us to take is the “pill of wisdom”.

God always has a ‘pill of wisdom’ ready to give it to us. We are not ready most of the time.

When we laugh, it becomes easy for the Lord to toss in a pill or two of wisdom.

Sometimes we are so stubborn that we give God no opportunity at all to give us his pill of wisdom. When we act like that, God has no other way left than to use that another way of delivering the medicine.

When parents have to make their young children take some bitter medication, they try to coax them in a variety of ways. When everything fails, dad just clips the nostrils and automatically the child opens the mouth. Mom pours the potion and the business finished. What all the pampering did not accomplish, one simple act of closing the nose got the work done.

God has to do something similar to holding the nose to get us take our pill. When somebody closes and holds our nose, it does not feel good. In fact, it is very uncomfortable.

When we do not learn to live properly in easy ways, God has to close and hold our nose that we open our mouths so that he can give us the pill of wisdom.

That’s what the suffering is. When we do not learn the easy way, it has to be come hard. Smart people learn at the very first instance of pain. They suffer little. Some obstinate people take longer.

Smartest people are always laughing at everything around them and they are the easiest for God to deliver his pill of wisdom.

Laughing all the time about everything means we accept the world and life as it is and do not fret about not getting our way all the time. When we start accepting the life as it is, a lot of opportunities open up to grow up and grow wiser.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011


"Joblessness is not uselessness. Uselessness is not meaninglessness."

If we let our jobs / careers determine our identity completely, then our lives may become meaningless when become jobless and feel useless.

Jobs have ceased being full-time and permanent for a long time. Everyone is more or less  a freelancer these days. Go to work in the morning, do your job and come back in the evening after collecting that day's pay. You do not know when your job is gone for whatever reasons.

For whatever reasons, there is so much   change in the business environment that hiring and firing is done very rapidly. Many times it does not make much sense at all. That makes it even more important to ensure that we do not let our jobs determine our identity.

Sometimes when we do not have a job and do not have skills for the jobs that are available, it is natural to feel useless. That's what is the reality at that time. Once you had acquired some good skills, they served you well and now those skills are not useful anymore. That does not make your life meaningless. As you had learnt the skills in the past, you can learn new skills and get a new career.

A bend in the road is not the END in the road.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

Opinions are like....

Opinions are like a$$****. Everybody has one.

We have all heard it. Used it.

Anything new?

Yes. What can be done to better this hard-hitting quote?

How about a modified version of the quote?

"Opinions should be like armpits. Everybody should have a couple of them."

Wonderful. I thought.

Who came up with this one? Very creative.

Beyond the sheer artistry of words, there is plenty of wisdom if we care to look deep into the modified version of the quote.

What makes one so obnoxious? IMO, way too much attachment to his or her opinions. I have mine. I can not see any other way. So do you. My way or your way or highway. No wonder people will, very gladly, tell such a person to go and jump off a cliff.

So, we can not avoid having one dominant opinion. But, how about a few fallback ones too? You know just in case. Stand-by, extras, spare ones..

Colin Powell said - "do not have your ego  attached your position because when your position falls your ego falls with it."

Opinions are meant to be shot down. Sure, fly your opinions but be ready to jump out of it if somebody else's pure logic shoots it down. Smart pilots let go of their planes and take the parachute, rather than meeting a fiery grave.

My apologies if the quote is somewhat offensive. If not for wisdom in it, I would not have found it reasonable to use it. So, sometimes we have to look at many unusual things for wisdom.

A$$**** is not totally out of respectable usage. Stanford business school's reputed professor Bob Sutton wrote a book titled 'No A$$**** rule' a few years back. That book is a very good book. That book looks at a$$**** at workplaces and the tremendous damage they cause. Great read. I  wrote about it a few years back. You can read that post at -

Another creative way to look at the modified version of the quote (i.e. armpit version) is to start thinking about deodorants.

Thank you, you say. I shall stop.

But, armpits, Bo, deodorant and the difference the deodorant makes in civilized world will give you some ideas about tempering the stench of our pet opinions with some sort of a deodorant called open-mindedness.

Mind is like parachute. Works best when open.

Cheers. Hope our opinions smell fresh.

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