Sunday, June 19, 2011

Food For Thought and Reflection: Three Nice Quotes from Confucius

You have to be responsible for your sorrows and your happiness. If you yourself are the cause of your suffering, no one can help. And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Do You Believe In Miracles?

(Based on learning from book: Creative Visualization)

If you have never seen a gorgeous flower in full bloom; or a spectacular sunset before, and someone described one to you, you might consider it to be a miraculous thing (which it truly is!). Once you saw a few yourself, and began to learn something about the natural laws involved, you would begin to understand how they are formed and it would seem natural to you and not particularly mysterious.

The same is true about power of concepts like positive thinking, optimistic visualization & joyful living with Laughter Yoga. What at first might seem amazing or impossible to the very limited type of education our rational minds have received, becomes perfectly understandable once we learn and practice with the underlying concepts involved. You have to practice with open mind, and your experiential learning will develop the trust.

Once you do so, it may seem that you are working miracles in your life... and you truly will be!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Choose Joyful Living...

There are a lot of definitions for Joy and Happiness on the web; and many creating a contrast between the two. Happiness, according to the Oxford English dictionary, is based on luck or good fortune. Joy on the other hand, is described as a vivid emotion of pleasure. I think happiness depends on circumstance; joy - on our emotional well-being.  
We are happy when we get something we desire e.g. winning a lottery, or getting good marks. Hence, happiness is conditional. We feel Joy when we appreciate life, when we contemplate nature, and when we dwell on our successful relationships with other people. Hence, Joy for me is state of mind that invokes positive emotions. 
Happiness is a temporary circumstance of elation. Conversely, Joy is comparatively something a person carries continually. It is a state of being rather than just a fleeting emotion.
I find many common traits in joyful people. Joyful people are often both physically and mentally healthy; they value strong positive relationships; and they don’t allow the extremes of life-sudden highs or sudden lows-to influence them easily. Joyful people often lead an exemplary life. But these abilities do not just appear; they have to be cultivated.
I have chosen to live joyfully and started practicing the art of ‘Joyful Living’. For that I have come up with the idea of ‘Joy Level’ or 'Joy Threshold'. This is the basic level of happiness and joy that I can maintain without any external help. I have made commitment to myself that I will maintain my Joy Threshold without and despite of external factors or happenings. I will let circumstances or people add to my Joyful Living Level but not let anyone or anything bring it down. I will only see positives in others; and strive to unlock human potential in myself and others so we all can achieve best of what we all are capable of.  
<updated based on Idea's comment> 
Joyful Living is not about becoming insensitive to emotions of others, rather it is about being empathetic without acquiring that state e.g. It is about experiencing Sorrow without being sorrowful. External events do make me angry, but the anger does not become my state of mind any more. Same goes for other emotions.

It is important to understand that joy is an emotion that arises from within us and is not affected by what happens to us. Instead of looking for external things to provide happiness in our lives, we must strive to find the joy within. 
I choose Joyful Living, I hope you do too.

Mantra to Meet Great People....

As I wrote in one of my previous blogs that last one year was like a blessing, because divinity has given me opportunity to meet many amazing people. But today a new thought (triggered by a book I was reading) gave me a new perspective - I think great people always existed around me, but I was unable to observe their goodness.

In last one year, a lot of introspection and words of wisdom from great mentors have helped to dissolve my internal barriers to natural harmony and self realization -  allowing everyone I met to manifest in their most positive aspect. As I am fighting years of mental conditioning of finding faults rather than finding greatness in people; my new outlook is definitely helping me discover great people all around me. I am finding life to be more enriched and satisfying. I wish all of you the same too.     

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

ME versus WE: Leadership Lessons from Animal Kingdom

Did you know that Cheetah, the fastest animal with a speed of up to 75miles per hour, has a hunting success rate of 50%. Since Cheetah depends on its speed to hunt, which it can only maintain for 450 meters or so; it can not afford to get injured. Hence even hyena steals the kill from Cheetah without much contest as Cheetah does not want to get into a conflict. Similarly, lion has a hunting success rate of 30%. As strange it might sound, Cheetah and Lion are not he greatest hunters in the animal kingdom.

On the other hand African wild dogs have a hunting success rate of 80%. They work in a team and communicate effectively to surround their prey. Their teamwork and well coordinated attack makes them more effective than the king of the jungle. That is the power of a TEAM i.e. Together Everyone Achieves More. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Transforming Learning to Wisdom

When we acquire information; it stays in our short-term memory (we will forget in next one hour). When we understand the application along with benefit of the information - it goes to our mid-term memory (we may remember if for a few days). When we internalize and start practicing something, it goes into our long term memory. When we refine and improve upon the internalized and practiced information; the wisdom so created becomes part of us and comes natural. Remember, this is true for both Good & Bad information processed through this cycle.

The flow can be depicted as [World Around Us] > Observation & Gathering Information > Learning Application and Benefits > Internalizing Information > Practicing > Experiencing and refining > Accumulating Wisdom > Sharing and Continuing Observing and Learning.   

Doing Your Best !

When someone suggests something that you find awkward, and you want to say "You are being Unreasonable"; think if you have reached edge of your creativity and someone is suggesting a better idea beyond your realm of creative thinking. Someone might inspire you to do better than your best :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

IT and Governance: Role of Technology in Winning Elections in India

IT and Governance: Role of Technology in Winning Elections in India
Arun Bhardwaj - Bangalore
(Arun Bhardwaj is Director of Marketing with a MNC in Bangalore; and very passionate about encouraging competency based governance. You can find more about him at or by writing to him at
India is becoming increasingly e-connected. Internet connectivity has increased from 5.5M in 2004 to 22M in 2010. Wireless Internet connectivity via mobile devices has increased from 31M in 2007 to 120M in 2010. In India, 61% of total population now has telephone connectivity; and by 2013, 75% of the population is expected to be tele-connected. Added to these statistics is the fact that 35% of India's population is between the age of 15 and 35 i.e. age when people are better adopter of latest trends and technology. That means a large electorate is already e-connected or would be connected soon. It is important to monitor this changing face of e-India because this transformation may establish efficient usage of Information Technology (IT) as a crucial factor in winning future elections.

Looking at these statistics in the light of multi-dimensional capabilities IT tools and services can provide; it is reasonable to believe that IT will play a crucial role in any future election at the panchayat, district, state or national level.

Like any other tool with immense power, IT also can help those who understand how to effectively use it in politics; and hurt those who mishandle or ignore IT. The effect either way can get magnified during the election times.

First, let us see how IT can provide significant advantage in winning elections:

It is becoming increasingly important to maximize resource utilization i.e. to enhance & maximize favorable electoral response to our sincere efforts with reasonable spent in the given time constraint. For that, we need effective communication of achievements and progress in a timely manner. We also need capability to do targeted campaigns. Considering the growing emphasis on connecting every Panchayat via Internet, and mobile phones becoming a modern necessity, it would be critical to have a well thought IT-Strategy to win future elections.

When we think of IT, sometimes many of us constrain our thinking to sending emails or SMSs; or launching web pages. Recent trends in various countries have shown very effective use of IT in e-fundraising at the grass-root level; communicating party's stand uniformly, centralized control over data and information, uniform branding and targeted invites for rallies etc. Think of a scenario where some controversy gets triggered at a national level when a state is going through elections, and someone asks you about your party’s stand on the controversy; everyone will have their own parochial views. But with the IT communication infrastructure in place, top leaders can communicate a united stand to even grass root leaders in a very short time.

Social media sites can be utilized by party supporters to grow sympathizers. E-campaigning stays active even during the last 24 hours of elections when no other mode of campaigning is allowed. YouTube and podcasts are very effective methods of delivering direct personalized messages by the leaders very quickly. Even if initially all this is relevant to the urban population, at least party leadership can communicate with key people effectively. All these techniques improve a party's brand image, increases effectiveness / efficiency of operations; and the best part is - at a reduced cost. 

Now let us look at the side-effect of growing IT popularity in cyber-campaigning.

What you say or said against you spreads very fast & stays on net for years. So if someone changes a stand or his / her values; it can haunt candidates for years. People can spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about candidates very quickly; and it has influenced election results in many places in the world.

Therefore, in the future elections, it would be essential to have a well thought of IT-strategy part of the election win planning. It is also very important that candidates and party leaders at all levels are familiar with the "WHY, HOW, WHEN & WHAT" of utilizing IT tools in politics – especially in cyber-campaigning.

As the world is becoming e-connected; and India is catching up with the trend - IT will have a major role to play so that political parties are able to tame the power of technology by utilizing all potential benefits; along with avoiding all pitfalls or harmful effects by employing well thought cyber-strategy. 

In the future, those who avoid technology will miss out on its benefits YET not stay immune to its side effects.

As a citizen, my hope is that cyber-campaigning will enhance information transparency and eventually reduce cost of contesting elections. If that happens, we might be able to nip the corruption evil in the bud, which takes its first breath with election fund raising.   

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Art of Joyful Living

God has been very kind in 2010. I have met and made friends with more fantastic like minded people this year than I met in my entire life. I feel joyful, content, almost stress-free and in total peace with myself.  
Following is my attempt to transform my experiences into a mantra, which I call "Art of Joyful Living" 
When the purpose is noble, Intentions are selfless, thoughts are pure, and efforts are sincere; THEN mysterious coincidences happen and MAGIC is created with effortless ease.
We can discuss every world of this mantra for one day and still feel we haven't done justice to this subject. If you are curious to know more or would like to send your inputs / comment; please feel free to write to me at

The Saraswati, Ganesha & Lakshmi Paradigm of Consulting Business

I have been using this paradigm for a while with my friends and today I thought let me make it immortal by capturing it in this blog :) 

When you start a consulting business, you will try hard to connect with people. For that you will do a lot of engagements without thinking of return. I call those engagements as "Saraswati Engagements". They do not provide any monitory return but you gain experience to interact with the audience and test your skill. In the second phase of "Saraswati Engagements", you approach people and offer them your services for lectures or workshops and people will start knowing more about you and your skills. This phase is "Network Expansion"state of "Saraswati Engagements". Eventually, if you are good, people will start inviting you for events and will usually (in India) give you "Ganesha"Idol. I term these engagements as "Ganesha Engagements". These engagements help you gradually eliminate obstacles from your path towards being a professional. Slowly the size of "Ganesha" idol increase and you become from one of the speakers to "Guest of Honor", "Program Chair" or when you get lucky "Chief Guest". As you gain maturity and your brand name spreads, people start asking you about your remuneration to speak in their programs. That my friends I call as "Lakshmi Engagements". 

So next time when someone asks you to do something - now you can smilingly ask: "Is this is a Saraswati (S), Ganesha (G), or Lakshmi (L) Engagement?"And based on the response and your state in the SGL hierarchy, you can decide the priority of serving the request.

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I was born in the lap of Himalayas (Himachal Pradesh) in the home of educationalists. I grew up in an environment where asking questions was encouraged; and curiosity was considered foundation to enlightenment. I dedicate all my learning in life to those who encouraged me in my quest to “figure things out” and responded to my curiosities. Spiritual orientation helps me to accept possibilities beyond the realm of logic.