Sunday, July 09, 2006

Shifting to Wordpress

Thanks to the authorities for creating such a wondeful platform. I am now shifting to wordpress. The new location is Make your passion your profession

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Students “Aspire”, should the rest perspire ?

India today magazine has come out with a new special magazine called Aspire with the purpose of guiding students in their choice of careers. It is a much needed handsome initiative. I had already subscribed to the main magazine for 10 years a few years ago and have not been disappointed. What was disappointing however was their attitude when I met a young lady at India today’s editorial office who informed me quite curtly that India today does not accept articles from outsiders. I found that attitude a little out of synch with today’s world if not a little snobbish.

Today , we are in the era of interactive media. Television is pulling out all stops to make TV more interactive than ever before. In more and more programs, priority is given to audience preferences because nobody can be absolutely sure what the audience will accept or reject.. Even well established film producers concede the fact. That apart, I feel that a magazine can be enriched by the real life experiences of people which can also enable other people to learn.

Coming to the main point now. Its all right to guide the students but what about the people who are trapped in the wrong jobs?. I read an American article recently which stated that a survey indicated that as many as 87% people hated their daily jobs. The incidence of heart attacks too wason Monday mornings. I have heard this 80% bit several times i.e 80% of the people are stuck in the wrong jobs and stuff like that. Considering the fact that work occupies most of our waking hours, if 80 percent of the people are miserable 80 percent of the time, isn’t that life a kind of mental Aids or mental Cancer? What kind of life is this? Should they rot for the rest of their lives because they made the wrong decision once?

In the book “Karma, Destiny and Career” , author Jenette Hucknall states that some people in the United States have to go back to school after they choose a wrong career. Except for high-tech issues like surgery or piloting, I feel that that is an impractical solution. The author explains in detail how much family and friends suffer because of this shifting of careers and how much adjustment it entails on behalf of the individual and his family. Would not quick, short term courses be a more practical solution. If somebody has the talent for something, he or she requires only fine tuning and not blind thrusting of knowledge.

The problem is that what you are really suited for is determined only after actually attempting different kinds of work in the practical world. To some lucky people, it can be at first attempt. Otherwise even a lifetime is not enough. No wonder Thomas Carlyle said “ The person who has found his vocation in life is a blessed human being. Let him ask for no other blessedness” .

If the real life stories of such people were told in detail, the students would understand the implications of choosing a wrong career. I have stated earlier that despite reading in Dale Carnegie’s books in which sufficient warning was given, I still went the wrong way because of strong pre conceived notions about money and qualifications and suffered profusely. What is needed is depth understanding (the deeper the water, the calmer the surface, still waters run deep etc) and that can be provided only by real life stories.

That apart, in the last three years, I have come across so many websites and books written by Americans(displayed on the links on the right) that I wonder how grave the situation in India must be with its huge population. Some American experts have conceded that it can sometimes take years to determine what exactly you are suited for by going through various parameters such as hobbies, social work preferences, work ambience etc etc and not qualifications or knowledge alone.

The only really good Indian book I have come across on the subject is by former billiards World champion Geet Sethi’s “Success v/s Joy” . It is a wonderful book, a fact conceded by no less than Superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

A day after I wrote this I came across this interesting link in the times of India

Follow your dreams

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Even Mahatma Gandhi believed in it

These are some excerpts from Gandhi’s Autobiography “The story of my experiments with truth”:-

“Finally, it is better that one do

His own task as he may, even though he fail

Then take tasks not his own, though they seem good

To die performing duty is no ill

But who seeks other roads shall wander still”

“My aptitude for nursing gradually developed into a passion, so much so that it often led me to neglect my work and on occasions I engaged not only my wife but the whole household in such service. Such service has no meaning unless one takes pleasure in it. When it it done for show or fear of public opinion, it turns the man and crushes his spirit. Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant not the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”

In the context of the Zulu war in South Africa, Gandhi ” At any rate my heart was with the Zulus, and I was delighted on reaching headquarters, to hear that our main work was to be on the nursing of the wounded Zulus”

At the kumbh mela in Hardwar, when Gandhi was not left alone by the people even during meals and baths, he concluded. “Thus it was in Hardwar that I realized what a deep impression my services in South Africa had made throughout the whole of India.”

It can be concluded from all this that it was his passion for nursing and public service that queered the pitch for his being the Mahatma. Even fifty years after India’s independence, there has not been an encore because some of the powers that be have made politics a profession and put the cart before the horse.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Do the students lack skill sets or something more profound-who educates the educationists?

The lead story of Sunday times of India of January 29 , “ Hiring headache for corporates-firms ,colleges tie up to tackle skill deficit” . In the editorial that follows “The great Indian talent hunt” some excerpts

“In absolute numbers, the workforce pool may look impressive but only 20% of this is good enough for India Inc. After the top few educational institutions, the quality drops sharply.” –Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom.

“The 1400 engineering colleges in the country produce 4.5 lakh graduates annually . But since world class talent is limited to only about 20000-40000 graduates, there is stiff competition for this pool”- MS Krshnamoorthy.

In another article “A matter of degree? Not quite”, it is stated how courses are refurbished to meet the demands of the industry and make the graduates employable.

Here too the focus seems to be more on the courses than the individual concerned. As given in one of the links on this blog, many students after passing out discover that they simply do not have the mindset for the job or their heart lies somewhere else. Since one has to work for 10-12 hours daily, it implies half of life and if that is spent in an occupation not of one’s liking, it can truly be a life of frustration and misery as one human resources professional pointed out. It is not for nothing that it is said that choose your career not on the basis of what you know but who you are. That also depends on where the heart lies and whether that passion pays of commercially as well; so it could be a combination of both head and heart. In the book “Karma, Destiny and Career”, the author describes how people in United states go back to school after discovering that they are in the wrong profession and how it effects their friends and family adversely.Sometimes one can not afford to be even in the wrong sub-occupation as elucidated in another post on this blog.

Issue is “When will the education system be geared to the needs of the individual” as our shastras have the word “Swadharma” and some of our intellectual and spiritual greats- Osho, Krishnamurthy, Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekanand have spoken of the right vocation for the right man. The focus has to be on the individual; not a degree or a course alone. Even the caste system was originally conceptualised on the basis of qualities of an individual and not birth.

One should at least attempt to ensure that the individual is attempting the right degree instead of acting on some whim or fancy or peer pressure or false lure of money or qualification. A stitch in time saves nine and it would be good both for the student and the organization he works for.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Can any student/others even afford to be in the wrong sub-occupation?

The stock market has been used to explain this theme.

Mr Parag Parikh, Indian stock market professional says in his latest book that contarary to common perception, speculators in the stock marked could have made more money than long term investors. He says” It is difficult to say which strategy is good and which is bad. It depends upon the individual’s mental attitude, discipline, risk taking ability and patience.”

This clearly shows that in addition to one’s occupation, even the sub-occupation has to be right. These are extracts from three good books of world reknowned traders. The author of the third book, Mr Alexander Elder also happens to be a psychiatrist.:-

By Norman Halett

Every trader (you, included) has his or her own agenda. Only you know what works for you, system-wise and emotion-wise. Trust in your tested trading system.

There are many systems that can generate nice profits over time. To settle on a trading sthat’s right for you: First, you have to believe in the process by which the system generates trades.Does it make SENSE to YOU?

There are plenty of winning trading systems, of all types, that can be very successful.You are more likely to follow your trading signals if the system “agrees with you. You must win the BATTLE WITHIN YOURSELF first, before you can win in the markets

By Van thorpe

Most importantly, you must ask yourself; does the method fit you? Does it fit your personality?

I don’t know many people who have made money consistently following other people’s advise-be it the advice of brokers or investment advisors.

Money is made by developing your own ideas and following a method that is designed to fit you.

People make money in the markets by finding themselves, achieving their potential and getting with tune with the market.

One of the secrets of successful trading is finding a trading system that fits you.

The most important characteristic of all good traders is that they found a system or methodology that was right for them.They need to assess themselves for strengths and weaknesses, for time, resources, capital and skills and for what they are trying to accomplish.

Psychology is the most important(60%), position sizing is the next most important(30 percent) and systems development is the least important(10 percent)

He said that it was ridiculous to assume that any sort of system was possible-instead, it was all about luck and individual psychology.

By Alexander Elder

As an intelligent trader, you must realize that no guru is going to make you rich. You have to work on that yourself.

To be a winner in the market, you must know yourself and act coolly and responsibly.

A trader especially needs to understand how market crowd influence his or her mind.

When you let others influence your trading decisions, you lose your chance of success
You can succeed in trading only when you think and act as an individual.

Conclusion- World famous author Dale Carnegie had said that “Find yourself and be yourself. You can’t be any other person than the one you are in body and mind”

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Schizophrenic existence in the prime(youth)of life?

Hindustan times publication "Brunch" December 18,2005. has come out with an interesting article, "Life of passage" on people who were trapped in the wrong jobs and living a dual existence. Some excerpts:-

Writers from professions you wouldn’t think of having the literary urge.Doctors, lawyers physicists , bankers are joining the field of Indian writers. Writing in English has found an expressive “coming out”.:-

A doctor who has attended gunshot wounds in rural parts is now writing a love story about a health worker coming to terms with the unitedness of her and her profession.

A former policeman is using all that experience to write Noir.

The full time writer is a rare breed anywhere”, says Sashi Tharoor,who works for the united nations and is author of the acclaimed "The great Indian Novel" .

Mumbai based Armin Wandrewala author of The Turning and a lawyer by training “ Its not so much an inner need to be a writer as an inner need to write”

A software engineer told me he couldn’t bear the life he was leading. He spent a lot of time with that pain himself and his fiction came out of that.

Balaji Venkateswaran who debuted with the Novel, Rage studied Technology because of peer pressure, “Unfortunately it was never out of interest or love,” he admits. Lately, he has become increasingly reconciled to the Schizophrenic and sometimes varying co-existence of his life as a technologist and his life as a writer

A surgeon, Kavery Nambian, author of The hills at Angori “ My profession offers me endless opportunities for rich emotional experiences which I have used in my writing.

Rajiv Dogra a Diplomat has written the heartburns and difficulties for diplomats than most people realize

This is not a part of the article but since we are discussing writers, . The great Indian actor Balraj Sahni who was a businessman’ son was a career dabbler- his father’s business, a printing press, Sevagram with Gandhiji, Shantiniketan with Rabindranath Tagore, London as a Radio broadcaster , Actor in the Hindi film Industry and when still unfulfilled, he went to his native Punjab to write in Punjabi.

It would not be out of place to mention here that former Lintas Chairman, Mr Alyque Padamsee has written a novel “ A double life” where he explains how Advertisements financed his real passion, which was theatre.

Some famous writers-Horis-karl Huysmans, Henry Miller , Herman Melville, Sir Arthur Conann Doyle, Anthony Trollope ,Anton Chekov , Somerset Maugham all lived dual lives.

The thing is what happens if there is an extreme case who is not able to do a job efficiently. I suffered from various mental ailments(I could have lost my life thrice) for 20 years when a chance reading in a magazine article I realized that I suffered from a depression common to writers and poets. This implied that there was nothing wrong with me except that I was in the wrong job. The psychiatrist did her best to hide the fact and said that my poetry was not real poetry and that I was just rhyming. However, after some days there was a coincidence- I had written a poem on “Nuclear Energy v/s Spiritual Energy” which I had sent to a publisher some days ago. He wrote back that if I could write twenty five poems like that, he would publish them. The doctor sheepishly then admitted that I had the problem and even seven years later there is no real solution because I am still not in the right profession. What happens to extreme cases-those who are not able to do the wrong job with a reasonable degree of efficiency? Also those writers who are not able to write Novels which alone has big money.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sports Encounters for budding sportsmen

This is an interesting encounter that I had with former national coach and member of the world cup winning cricket team, Madan lal. I was elated to learn that he was going to coach my son at Delhi’s Siri fort ground. He warmed up to me when I reminded him of a catch he had taken in Australia.

He then said, “ I shall be absolutely frank with you. If there is one thing that so many years of playing international cricket has taught me, it is that cricket is a god given gift. There are so many parents who want to turn their children into cricketers. However I tell them that only if I see the potential in the child I will take interest. Otherwise it is better that the child is directed to where his real talent lies. It will avoid wasting my and the child’s time”. Madan lal did not know it but he spoke like a vocational psychologist. There are many parents who try to make their children attend all kinds of classes without a clear aim of what they want or what is good for the child.

Another test cricketer, Kapil Dev never tires of saying that one should always enjoy one’s cricket.

Tennis Ace Vijay Amritraj in his autobiography says that his worst nightmare would be if he were forced to do a business that he did not enjoy just to support his family.

Former World Billiards Champion Geet Sethi explains in his book “Success v/s Joy” how he had fared badly whenever he played for success and played much better when he played for sheer joy. The whole book is about how one should never sacrifice joy for the trappings of success.He also explains how sportmen could go to any extent to sacrifice for the sport they love. He also expalains the misery of some of his intelligent friends trapped in corporate life.

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