There are No Free Lunches, and of course No Free Deliveries Either

Covid-19 is a bane to humanity, and we positive people are still trying to look for a sunshine. Specially positive book lovers like me are finding time to read more books. 
What’s next book is always a challange. How about Basic Statistics? Sounds boring. Is there any interesting title around it? Statistics Without Tears- wow that seems my kind of book, atleast from the title. 
You think of the category first( buying book online) and later brand name (mostly Amazon). 
So as I logged into my Non-Prime Amazon account, I found a great bargain. The book MRP was INR 499, and it was available for 409 Rs (with Save Rs 90 – in red ink) and a Rs 65 delivery charged (not in red ink), costing Rs 474 with Rs 65 as delivery charge.
Why not use my wife’s Amazon Prime account for a free delivery? I was actually feeling proud of using my smart analytical brain, buying books on basic statistics and actually using some stats to save some delivery charges. 
A little persuation ( actually stealing her phone) and my wife’s mobile was on my hand. Next minute it was her Amazon Prime account, and type in search,’ Statistics Without Tears”.
And  it was there again – same book, same design and same MRP but something was different. Like how Neo realizes after seeing the cat in movie Matrix, Deja Vu –  It was exact replica but actually  was a planned placement to look alike. 
The same book, same MRP of 499 but discount here was only Rs 40 with free delivery, costing Rs 459 in total with free delivery. 
I became more of a Deja Chu ( now a closer to home Bollywood movie reference), thinking a bargain of Rs 65 with additional Rs 999 investment with prime subscription by my wife. But as I was still thinking in terms of stats, I realised a Rs 50 is charged here for delivery and I could still save Rs 15. 
Quoting Morpheus from movie Matrix again here, first, you never trust anyone in the matrix and second, unfortunately no one can be told what matrix is, you have to see it yourself. 
Amazon was always the most trusted and most customer centric organization for me till now. Is it for you as well? Wait until you become The One. 

Why to make Goals & How it Works

I personally struggle with idea of Goal setting. Goal setting word in itself seems giant and scary, making one to think about their entire future in a few words. A future which is always unknown, which is always elusive, and which always changes with every certainty you rely on. No one historically predicted it accurately, though many claim they did, otherwise there would be no wars & no financial crises. Then why there is so much emphasis on setting goals, most for future albeit rarely for present and none for past, with hysteric enthusiasm mostly termed as new year resolutions, birthday dreams , couples goals etc.

Sometimes eureka moment strikes in simplest of activities, perhaps reminding that inspirations are always around us, like fish is unaware of water surrounding all around it. The profound clarity about importance of goal came to me, neatly packed as a daily ritual, while taking an auto ride for work. Auto driver’s unawareness regarding route to my workplace was like a blessing in disguise. On any normal day auto ride, with driver knowing the route like his second hand, prides itself in taking tricky shortcuts, cunning diverts and a speedy passenger delivery. But like many adventure trips that starts dull, my ride was slow, hesitant and in no rush with eternal waits. Auto driver , like a young bloke in a new job, was hesitant to drive fast, was cautiously driving in right most lane, and had to wait for other vehicles to  take a right turn in crossroads. Realizing his dilemma I pointed that the task was to ride straight for 4 kilometers on same road without any turns for my work place. Hearing those golden words it seems he got certain courage, to a lesser extent like in an advertisement for Visa it happens with auto driver seeing Pierce Brosnan boarding his auto, he changed his lane to a slight left to avoid awaiting vehicle for right turn, got his speed and perhaps his mojo for a usual, and a bit scary, auto ride. 

On my part what I did was I gave a small 10 minutes 4 kilometer goal to auto driver, and next 10 minutes and 4 kilometers converted from an unknown trekking expedition to a well guided expressway route. Recalling a joke on what technology like Google map has done while availing cab services, “Earlier while riding a cab we had our struggles explaining where to go and now with Uber & Ola cabs we have our struggles with where to come” This joke succinctly captures knowing your destinations or your goals does help you ride well all along. 

But what about most dreaded goals of all time? Its time to tackle the elephant in the room, New Year Resolutions. I have had my tough times making and following New Year Revolutions. But 2019 is becoming different, while I was able to make my New Year Resolution which is much more relevant to me, and the same time I am able to follow it as well . My favorite podcast host & author Tim Ferriss suggested not to make new year resolutions instead make “pastyear reviews” (PYR) which is more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions. He, in his own words:

  1. Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
  2. Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
  3. For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
  4. Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
  5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

An enthusiastic and budding entrepreneur posted a question on Quora,”I want to become as successful entrepreneur as Elon Musk & Steve Jobs. Looking forward for your suggestions, comments and guidance.” As his luck would have it, It was answered by a person who is most qualified to answer this question about how Elon Musk became entreprenuer, it was Justine Musk, Elon Musk’s wife. She wrote, “First of all Elon will never ask such a question in a forum like Quora.” What she meant was Elon will already be working on his Goal to become one.

The Second Mover Advantage

What is something peculiar about our sense of Smell that is different among 5 Senses? We humans become accustomed to sense of smell (Don’t realize the smell after some time) without giving a conscious thought to it. Other senses like Taste, Sight, Touch and Sound are generally more vivid and don’t disappear without any notice. Especially India being a land of diverse multicultural society with 1.3 billion people, makes it a strong and diverse olfactory land.
These 2 realities become very important while developing any olfactory product especially designed for Indian bathrooms. While the First Mover Advantage went to a company which introduced a modern pocket size trendy bathroom freshener with a brand name Air Pocket. It targeted to significantly enhance the way our bathroom feels (yes their advertisement tagline focused on bathroom more with tagline of Happy Bathrooms. Later they changed it to happy you). As it happens in any competitive industry, the incumbent player jumped into the band wagon of Pocket Bathroom Freshener category and launched a brand called Zipper with message of Powerful Smell in your bathroom.
Diverting a little bit from present to past, there is a famous story of how P&G developed their multi billion dollar product, a room freshener called Fabreze and also interesting is why it tanked after the launch and what simple realization and a tweak in brand positioning made it a huge success. After initial failure of Fabreze P&G marketers realized that there concept of Fabreze removing bad smell from rooms was not appealing enough for consumers as they became accustomed to bad smell n house and it din’t affected them. However by chance they discovered that consumers were seeking a fresh and strong smell after cleaning the room which according to them “Made Clean Room Actually Feel Clean With a Strong Smell of Freshness”. This one powerful insight helped P&G to tweak the same offering with a different message of Powerful Smell to make your room actually feel clean.

The other success story belongs to home grown company with brand Wild Stone. Its promoter N K Daga very well knew that existing deodorants positioned and sold with a lot of imagery to posh, college going rich population. Adding to this insight with another layer of reality that Indian sensibilities appreciates stronger perfume and it equates it with a “better” product and Daga’s deo had just that.

Coming back to our story of bathroom freshener, while Air Pocket initially started with and continues to provide a pleasant and mild smells in bathrooms, it claims that the smell will last for 30 days. Unfortunately as I have experienced personally and also dozens of online product review reveals the good smell form bathroom is gone in a week’s time and a premium product costing with a false promise is too much to ask for.
Recently I bought the incumbent product called Zipper with a claim of 30 days of powerful smell and results are encouraging. From more than 2 weeks there is a very strong fresh smell in entire bathroom. I am happy and I have decided that this is the product I am going to use it going forward.
However It baffles me how come Air Pocket developed by leader in bathroom freshener business is caught itself in wrong foot. I assume that their product must be evaporating mild fresh smell but it seems that they din’t factor the two realities. First, Sense of Smell is different from other senses and we become accustomed to light smells very soon with a feeling of no smell at all. Second, the reality of India with its strong smells across the land and because of it perhaps our eroded olfactory sense.
Another factor might be lab testing of product, which merely provides twisted reality of the market. The case in point is a leader in Laundry detergent bar segment was struggling against an incumbent player. Consumers were choosing the incumbent as they experienced similar quality of cleaning albeit with economically priced product which gave them better value. Leader’s R&D team came into action and in every lab test they were finding quality of cleaning was almost same as both removed dirt equally well. R&D team was confused as why consumers were suddenly switching to incumbent? The R&D team then decided to test the product in actual market condition and collected clothes worn by target consumes of taxi drivers, auto mechanic, manual laborer etc. When they washed the product using their own and incumbent product they realized while working outside in actual conditions the clothes developed odor and there was a foul smell which their own product was unable to remove while incumbent product was able to do that. the team developed a detergent bar focusing significantly on fresh smell in clothes and with a relaunch it again gain the lot market. Is lab test of Air Pocket causing them to miss the real scenarios of usage?  

Six Life Lessons from a Cooking Competition

MasterChef Australia season 10 was full of surprises and it had a surprising winner, an Indian-Malaysian origin Sashi Cheliah. MasterChef Australia is a tough competition and it takes almost 3 months among 24 contestants with 1000s of dishes to decide on a winner. Like a very long & demanding test match in Cricket, stamina, patience, expertise & perseverance pays at the end. And from this human endeavour to achieve something extraordinary some extraordinary lessons come out. Here they are:

1.    Your One Great Expertise Takes You Sky High: Sashi was expert in Indian flavours and this one super expertise single handed contributed most to his winning the competition. Jack of All & Master of None, That’s the sorry state of affair for many individuals. Sometimes I also wonder what is that one thing that I am so good at? As societies started moving from Agriculture to Industrial state many scholars pointed out this “specialization” of jobs will make adopting societies more prosperous & successful however people may lose overall big picture. So, if you could develop a world class expertise and have a sense of big picture (Why of it) then you will go very far in your chosen field. (A world class expertise takes 10,000 hours to develop or 2.44 hours/day of progressive learning for 10 years. If it’s too long, follow author Tim Ferriss who expertise in becoming World Class within 6 months or less)

2.    Know Your Weakness & Learn to Work Around It: Sashi & Ben were very clear that Desserts was their weak point & Jess was clear that savoury was hers. As the competition progressed many a times contestants had to go out of their comfort zone & had to cook either Desserts or Savoury. Knowing their weakness and becoming highly focused to do good in those situations helped these contestants to good on those situations. It seemed that they knew these situations may arrive and they had prepared a work around with 2-3 simple but effective dishes. We generally don’t think about our weaknesses but rather only during job interviews perhaps when out of blue there is a question, “Do you have any weaknesses?” It is very important to think what your weaknesses are and estimate which situations it may cause you in fix and what are the turnarounds you should be prepared with.

3.    Never Fail Twice in Succession: As top 24 contestants fought their way become top 10 there were many favourites like Hoda, Aldo, Jess, Reece etc but many a shocking exists happened because these consistent cooks failed twice in succession. As the nature of competition goes bottom 3 dishes goes to an elimination and faces Pressure Test and in there the cook of worst dish gets eliminated. Life also teaches us a lesson and as we fail first time it generally gives us an opportunity to bounce back. But another failure and life kick us in butt and throws us out. To remain in game, never fail twice & if it happens and you are down and out, I suppose it will require a countless big win to come back. 

4.    It’s Not the End: Winning MasterChef is a big achievement but what about others who could not win and were eliminated? In an episode Matt Sinclair and Raynold Poernomo were invited as guest cum professional chef to complete with contestant for an Immunity Challenge (A challenge where guess Chef’s reputation & contestant’s chance to win a trump card from elimination round in on the line). Who is Matt & Reynold? They are not winner of previous MasterChef Australia seasons, but they became successful later in perusing their food dream after they got eliminated. Surprisingly it’s not the winners but rather eliminated contestants who are doing better with their food dreams. It is not the end until you decided that it is the end. It doesn’t matter if you win the competition or not, if you have passion and perseverance for your dream goal for very long time, you will succeed. Maybe life can immediately give a chance as Brendan got to get back to competition via one rare chance after beating rest of eliminated contestant. So, when you fail and want to get back remember to win big.

5. Age is Just a Number: Jess is 19 years old & Sashi is twice his size, both made it to top 5. MasterChef Australia is a competition participated by Amateur cooks. Someone really get it fast as what they want to do with their life like Jess and someone takes time and when opportunity comes doesn’t mind taking a plunge at whatever age they might be. Colonel Sanders started KFC when he was 62 years old and Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook when he was 20 years old. Whatever your passion is, keep on it. Sometimes your current job or responsibility might not let you pursue it as freely as you wanted but let that fire burning, someday it will light your day.

6.    5. Courage is More Important for Success than Confidence: In 9-year history of MasterChef no contestant was eliminated who held an Immunity Pin, but Loki did get eliminated while holding an Immunity Pin. For many what Loki did was unexpected and some thought it was a not a wise decision to not use Immunity Pin to safeguard himself. But what Loki did was courageous. He may have failed here in the competition, but this reinforced courage will surely help him in future when he will be in crossroad of safe versus challenging. Many of us lack courage to take that bold move and give into fear of unknown. While first time driving a car you don’t have confidence, it was your courage that ultimately let you learn to drive car. Always remember to have more voluntarily discomfort and be more courageous and your chances of getting it right will be higher than normal.

One Word Solution

Mehandi ceremony is one of the important functions for both Groom/Bride side in any Indian Wedding. This function involves carving beautiful design in palm using henna paste which leaves a pattern & aroma, kind of a temporarily tattoo. Mehandi (henna) as a material is cooler in nature and it gives a chill feeling to body. During winter it becomes uneasy with Mehandi in hand in already a chilly winter. For my younger brother’s wedding, as my family member were putting Mehandi they wanted that Mehandi becomes dry as soon possible to relieve them of chill feeling in harsh winter. Switching on a ceiling fan was out of question as it would have made situation even worse.

While we were communicating in Hindi language and wondered how to make Mehandi “Sukha” (Dry). No one was able to come up with a solution and only option seems long waiting time and natural drying. As my another cousin came home later that day for Mehandi function, she happened to use English word “Dry” instead of word “Sukha” to ponder for a solution. And then suddenly the word “Dry” connected some neurons in my head and I immediately reminded of using Hair Dryer with its warm air to dry out Mehandi and give relief to my family members.

In an another story my mom recalls a funny incident that happened with my father. Long back when he was in college, he visited my state’s capital and wanted to go to University for some work. He boarded a cycle rickshaw and considering the rickshaw driver comfort in local Hindi language used the word “Vishwa Vidyalaya” (University in English) as a destination. After roaming for half an hour and arriving at the same place where he started, my father argued why the heck after half an hour they arrived at same place. Rickshaw driver was clueless about “Vishwa Vidyalaya” and upon inquiring from passer by someone suggested the word “University”. Rickshaw driver blurred out his anger to my father and said,”Are Hindi me bolo na University” (Tell me in Hindi language as University why you are saying Vishwa Vidyalaya?) The word “University” was so entrenched despite being an English language word that even Rickshaw driver thought its a Hindi language word.

Both stories above signifies power of “One Word” that actually helped arrive at correct solution. It is not only in personal encounters that “One Word” solution works. I vividly remember receiving a call from an important client around Mar’17 when I was working with a research firm. We talked about how client wanted to use our research data to forecast category growth and their demand planning. My entire team went into hurdle and we came up with a few solutions. In next call with the client we presented our solutions considering long term trends for category. Client got confused and she said, “I don’t want to see long term data. I want to see how “Demonetization” has affected sales and to plan a short term solution”. (Demonetization of currency in India happened just 4 months back in Nov’16 which temporarily affected FMCG sales).

It was again “One Word”, this time “Demonetization” that client did not use and our entire exercise went haywire. Father of Data Visualization John Tukey rightly observed,”An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a good deal more than an exact answer to an approximate problem.” In this case we went ahead with exact answer for an approximate problem of long term demand planning rather than for a problem worth solving, all because that One Word was missing.

These days as I am running behind my 11 month old daughter as she is crawling around home, to bring her to eat or sit at a safe place. While catching her, I am reminded of a word “CHHORRAA” (means little boy) used in advertisement by Fevicol. In the advertisement a lady struggles to keep her crawling boy to sit at safe place. That One Word (CHHORI, a small girl) and my situation to hold baby is same that the lady experience in that advertisement, which makes me recall that advertisement so vividly. I feel as a marketer it is a great personal learning for me to undersatand power of replicating exact customers situations and giving them “One Word” which will act as a connector to brand.

There are many brand names (again One Word) which have became a symbol for a phenomenon or category, like “Surf” is used for detergent powder and “AllOut” is used for mosquito repellent in India. But how hard it is to create a One Word magic? Winston Churchill said,”If it is a 10-minute speech, it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half hour speech, it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to, it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.” Certainly that magical One Word for connecting to your brand and this One Word acting as a best solution to your problems will require much time and a lot of thought. Incidentally in Mehandi design One Word (name of groom/bride) is written obscurely and the other person has to find his/her name. It takes time to locate, look for it in lot of tricky designs patterns but its worth it for a lifetime.

“beta, tumse hi ho payega”​

Perhaps the second most famous bollywood hindi dialogue after “Ja Simran Ja, Jee Le Apni Zindagi” (Go Simran Go, Live your life) is “Beta, Tumse Na Ho Payega” (In a Sarcastic tone- Son leave it, you are not capable enough!). But here I am taking about “beta”, the work in progress version. My title means, “beta version, only you can do it” 

Which is the most famous and world wide used email server? Probably you guessed it right, Gmail. Gmail was launched with “beta” version and for next 5 years it was a beta version and continue to incorporate user inputs and improvements. 

“beta” version is like a growth mindset. You continue to learn and continue to grow. However most of us are blind sided when it comes to thinking our self as a fully grown and developed version of ourselves. 

What has significantly differentiated achievers is their growth mindset and considering themselves a “beta” version of a software, who continues to learn from each user interactions (perhaps each day from each conversations). Charles Munger is the greatest example of continuous learning. His children love to call him a walking book with hands & legs hanging from it.

In my previous organisation I got a chance to be part of a wonderful initiative to be part of select few individuals who as a group of 5 could spend half an hour each with 4 of our top leaders from different functions. I remember what differentiated president of the organization was his emphasis on learning. He said you should leave any function/organization in 3 years but make sure in those 3 years whatever you learned, even after 10 years you could still chair a meeting on that particular subject. He said I don’t mind seating with an new hired and learning something which I don’t know. He was very clear, be humble, keep learning & keep growing. 

In how many fields we are not acting as a beta version of ourselves? Is it the your relationship as son or father, as a wife or mother, as a boss or as a colleague? Do we think we are the best colleagues, we don’t need to work become a better at it still? There are somethings that we need to unlearn about ourselves as a fully developed version and start making case new operating system with beta version coming for an update. 

Books are the best & fastest way to learn anything new that an established author/expert has learned and experienced. You don’t have to turn the wheel and spend years of you life to reinvent the same thing. It is said that “Readers are Leaders”.

There are some the quotes that reminds me of the advantages that we have in our lives and how we stop acting with those gifts. “There is no difference in the person who won’t read one the person who can’t read.” By Mark Twain. Or take for example, “There is nothing educated about person who thinks that his/her education has stopped after graduations.”

 An average adult reads 12 books a year, mostly dominated by avid readers. If you discard avid readers the average comes down to 4. How many books you read in last 12 months? Are you in non-avid readers average or average including avid readers? 

You don’t have to start big, start with 10 pages a day which will account 3650 pages or roughly 12 books to be part of avid readers average group. So type a “beta” superscript in front of your name, let it hang there till eternity and start making your life better, one update at a time.

Single Cheese or Double?

I reluctantly went to McDonalds to order McVeggie meal. Health is always a worry but time cost was pressing in that particular situation. I saw that the meal cost was INR 205 which was reasonable. As I ordered by my meal the waiter asked, whether I wanted Single Cheese or Double. My immediate reply was single cheese p(why to stuff more cheese on already full of fat meal). I suddenly saw in customer facing panel that my order was McVeggie meal + Single cheese and bill was inflated to INR 230. I was kind of confuse and suddenly realized that the meal option with INR 205 was without cheese and single cheese or double cheese option was an add on. I went furious as why there was only 2 option given to me? I dint want it any extra fat cheese. I protested the trickery of and said your question should be you want cheese? Single or Double? The waiter apologized and revert to a normal order of without cheese.
I was also surprised by my behavior of protesting as  I am usually calm and try to ignore such small incidences or keep mum and digest my anger sometimes. What was so different about this particular incidence? The difference was, I was already a bit agitated because of difficulty of getting to shopping mall because of Ola/Uber cab strike, crowded shopping mall because of shopping for Diwali festival and constant delays in waiting for lifts etc. Whenever my mind is not in usual calm state I sometime usually do things which in my sane mind I would like to avoid.
In the case of McDonald’s it worked for my betterment. But sometimes when I am agitated I could give a dry reply to my wife or try to argue with someone in silly issues. 
Can we be like Dr Robert Bruce Banner and who can control to become Hulk at the need off the hour to fend our enemies do good for humanity? Can we control our anger or emotion to shadow our sanity and go out of way to act for our own betterment?
I have mostly believed that we can not have 2 personalities, one very good and caring at home and suddenly become this all time angry boss in office or vice versa. May be not this complete transformation but are there any shade of grey that we can explore for a positive benefits of ours? 
Can I be in complete control and still act against my natural instinct? If needed can I raise my voice and have an angry verbal spat if needed to protect an innocent from getting blamed? Can I act against my shyness to speak to group of youngsters who are littering the place?
I have not yet accomplished this feat but I feel it will require an excellent control of mind, a great understanding of the situation and a dynamic understanding of consequence to act against the natural instinct and how self or a beneficially is benefiting should be crystal clear.  
Another learning facet from this small incidence is, in what all other occasions these small trickery making fool of us? Have you checked over time if your mobile postpaid plan ha remained the same while wold is going gaga about cheap data availability? Most often your mobile operator will never tell you that a lower priced and even better plan is now available. Did you checked why suddenly after your electricity supplier board changed your electricity bills is 20% higher? Or why your friend is getting all the benefits from your bank credit card while you are not. These small questions will open plenty of options to not get fooled and save time cost and money for longer run.

How to survive a new job!

Performance reviews can both suck as well fuel the energy. It can suck if reviewer thinks only carrot and a stick works while it refuel if your reviewer thinks your carrot is his carrot. 
A bad review is not bad at that particular hour of review, you will have an indication of it long ago. As you join a firm, if your boss is not giving her time to explain the things which are important, if she is letting you learn while you earn and there is no structured approach, then there could be a serious indication that things will get tough during review. 
As it happened with me, I was doing the job at normal speed, was trying to learn operational work and was in normal learning curve. After 3 months of joining there was a first review. It was a shocker as my boss’s boss had a great expectation and I was not at all aware of the things I was supposed to do. 
My title is surviving and not thriving because most often firms have not designed their training program for new joiners and god forbid if you are a lateral hire you are supposed to board a running train. There is no harm in fast pace learning and you would ideally want to board a fast running train, however if the previously boarded passengers not help you with where the train is going and where you supposed to sit it can be a painful journey, until of-course you figure it out later. 
So first things first, what to do if you are a new joiner. Summarizing in bullet points below:

  • Figure out who your colleagues are and what they are doing and if you have also to do the same work, make a good relationship with them. They are your daily guardians.
  • Don’t wait for your boss to tell you what are the big objectives. Some really good bosses who really care will be proactive and take your time and explain things others will not. So quickly  figure out your big goals for year. Don’t delay it. As you may be already be missing our train at no fault of yours
  •  Apply Pareto principle and find out what are those 20% of goals that will really tell your bosses that you are doing 80% of your job perfectly, Make sure they know that you are doing the job and not only supplementing with colleagues. They should trust you with giving new work.
  • If you really want to get going from surviving to really great going, apart from your normal work pick something important for your boss. Put extra effort and complete them with great efficiency. This will also give you a chance to spend more time with your boss and make a better relationship.
  • No need to mention that coming on time and going equally late with your boss an impression that you are trying hard. 

This are not all exhaustive but this is what must-dos that you have to do and do as early as possible in your new job to get going. 

Access Panel Personalities!!!

Sometimes you have to bow down in respect, like a Japanese, to use your ID access card hanging in your neck which needs to stretched to reach to access panel for entrance. The other time you may have to pull yourself up like a patriot saluting country’s flag like using retractable ID card holder hanging in your belt to reach for access. There are various little cues that reminds me of various personality types  that these office access doors posses.

The North Indian Type: Entrance to my office’s block is like a North Indian Punjabi. You really need to touch your Access ID card to access panel to open its door, like a Punjabi opening their heart wholeheartedly after a tight touchy hug.

The Militaristic Type: Some access card follow a military rule. They judge your entrance from a distance and open the door before hand like a soldier saluting senior officer, no action is required from your end, just walk like a boss.

The Government Pass Type: Some access requires you to take your ID access card near to panel and from a little distance they work. Like in a Govt office after securing your token entry pass you just need to flash in face of peon to let you go.

The Professional Hand Shake Type: Recent access panel have bio-metric finger sensors installed and they behave like a professional,  who greets you with a hand shake for your formal welcome.

The Babu Types: Access panel using eye mapping and finally a beep sound to let you enter is like a lazy attitude driven babu or admin guy with Paan in his mouth. Who without uttering a word will guide you from eye movements  and a “hmm” sound, as to where to put files or when to enter boss’s cabin.

The Medical Examiner: New age techs using facial recognition and matching various features like contours to identify and provide you access. They are like the medical examiner you will examine certain traits and categorizes you as pass and ready to be accepted or rejected.

The Number Cruncher: To get pass some guys like a venture capitalist and win over them you have to work out your numbers, it may be viability of your idea or expected returns, you have to run your fingers over a calculator  and get the right numbers in. Like a pass code enabled  access panel for entrance.

The Maze Runner: Some people really have short attention span. They will jump from thing to other and to get along with them you have to follow the maze. Like an Android Mobile Access panels jump the maze to get along and get access.

The Teacher Types: Some teachers loves taking tests and judge you pass or fail. The usual pen and paper answer sheet checking and marking a correct answer like swap using a pen, similar to finger swiping in your mobile to get access.

Bus Conductor Personalities: If you have traveled in government buses  in India you get tickets and it gets punched a hole to validate it, just like an hotel access cards you have to punch your access card to get access.

I am sure in near future exploring more personality types may help more advance access panel developments. For example heated angry type may guide for new access types measuring body heat maps for access, the action biased and always pumped type for using heart beats and blood flows and very expressive face types may help develop emotion enabled access panels, for example to allow only happy customers during happy hours in a bar.

Inner Voice!!!

I do not think it is something sacred or always right or it is a voice from inner soul or your heart speaking. It seems more like an inner chatter of fickle mind which always has some opinion about things. It is vagabond which is a companion to chit-chat in otherwise quiet world.

Sometime I wonder how it differs so much from the perception of self that I have created for myself. Those inappropriate remarks or crude joke on situations that it has, the laugh out loud to awkward situations of others contrarily sometimes as saintly with value systems to bring  discomfort following it.

Its fearful, its daring, its jealous and it is true altruist. Is this is me? The real me? So flickering? Does it defines me? Answers is both yes and me. Yes in a sense that I do follow appropriate advice from it. The motivations it gives me to push hard, learn new things, do good for others. No as well, because I suppress its childish behaviors, LOLs and jealousy.

Palmistry has proclaimed that so much lines in my palm indicates too much thinking that I do. So there is this physical evidence.  I am confused as to so much chit-chat inside my head is a good thing or not so good?

What is focus? Focus is when your inner voice only talks about something that is really important and urgent at present. Out of focus is when your inner voice distracts you to near future or distant past. So the reality is there will be inner voice, no getting rid of it. Is it something like a “proof” of things working or not working for us? How we will judge of success or failure at something if there is no proof by outsider? How will I get that internal satisfaction of doing good or mental agony of bad at something?

Sifu tried teaching Kung Fu Panda about inner peace.  As my greatest learning has always been from animation movies, that taught me you can not suppress your inner voice but make it happy. You can make it quieter, you can make it realize that your opinions on everything is not needed, you can make it relax. What is helping me to a certain  extent is having those mental models. Mental model for various situations that we encounter in life, for traffic jams, for too much work load, from your child’s cry to as many situations you can experience and thought through your actions (or I would say intentions) that you will take.

Your belief in a “just world” also helps. Your belief in god that he will take care of you and your family, to not to fear and fret over small stuff and believe in continue to doing good will reap positive rewards.

Practicing meditations clears out environment noise and in that calm of only you, makes you realize that how hard it is to calm down your inner chit-chats. My teacher told me to not to suppress your thoughts as it a kind of repository, the more you free it the less of it you will have.

To be frank, my inner voice is writing this article, is your inner voice reading it?