Subhashita 3 – Mother And Motherland

Api Svarnamayi Lanka Na Me Lakshmana Rochate/
Janani Janmabhumischa Svargadapi Gariyasi//

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

O Lakshmana! I wouldn’t like this city of Lanka, though it is full of gold, because the mother and the birthplace are always greater than even the heavens.

This is a very famous saying of sage Valmiki, after the battle, Lakshmana liked the city of Lanka which was abundant in riches and full of golden structures. Sri Rama advised Lakshmana like this –

O Lakshamana! I consider the mother and the birthplace are greater than the heavens. Indeed nothing can occupy the place of a mother or birthplace, they are matchless.

in Life | 123 Words

Lessons From People No Smarter Than You

“Don’t worry about reputation but about character. You should build character by practicing empathy, practicing moral courage, practicing determination.”

Jacqueline Novogratz

“The revolution is going to happen without us. We were sure that software was going to change the world, and we worried that if we didn’t join the digital revolution soon, it would pass us by.”

Bill Gates

“We sometimes fall flat on our face. But people don’t mind people who try things and fall.”

Richard Branson

“Nobody’s job was to say, ‘I think it’s wonderful.”. Instead, I insisted on everyone coming together to analyze potential problems that could lose investor money”

Stephen Schwarzman

“I was fired from Salomon Brothers in 1981 in part because no one at the firm thought much of my idea for computerizing financial data and analysis and presenting it in real time….Organizations resist innovation- and those that do inevitably fail -because people are more comfortable with what they know than with what they don’t….innovation requires hiring smart, creative and driven people, empowering them to take risks and standing behind them…”

Michael Bloomberg

“Don’t think of a specific job, so to speak, or a specific career, like “I’d like to be this” or “I’d like to be that”. You should find an area that interests you and just get on the highway, and it will lead you wherever you lead it.”

Barry Diller

“Making other people happy is a super-happiness….We believe all human beings are entrepreneurs. They are not born to work for somebody else. Their early history is about being hunters, gatherers and problem-solvers. It remained as an essential part of our DNA; we are not job-seekers, we are job creators. Job seeking is a wrong turn in our history.”

Muhammad Yunus

“In a world of unlimited choices and voices, those who can bring people together and tell a good story have power”

Shonda Rhimes

“First 20 years of my career I worked hard to make money. Second 20 years I worked for my ideals. Next 20 years I will work for issues that are my passion…to nurture the next generation so they can make their own contribution to building a better world”

Terry Gou

Don’t Move The Way Fear Makes You Move

“Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to. Don’t try to see through the distances. That’s not for human beings. Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.” —Rumi

Any decision is better than no decision, if you are making them fast enough and course correcting. Action is generally better than inaction, as Rumi points out, just keep walking even when you don’t see where the road is taking you. Many times we get paralyzed by our rational mind and that leads to much inaction.

Dont try to see through distances, I know this very well, having run a few marathons. I’ve found it discouraging to see how far away I was from 26.2 mile marker, instead putting one foot in front of the other was a lot more encouraging. I can do it, any of us can do it, just one step in front of the other.

Instead of looking out for those external mile markers, we can make much more progress looking internally, we can feel more satisfied looking within.

Lastly, fear and love cannot co-exist. If we are driven by fear, our actions, thoughts and words cannot be loving and kind. We cannot be happy or satisfied and we cannot be authentic.

Bikeshedding

“Number of opinions on a topic is exponentially directly proportional to the triviality of the topic”

Source for this blog idea: http://bikeshed.com, I heard about this profound idea from Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame.

Should we use technology X or Y to land the first spaceship carrying humans to Mars?

Opinion 1: Yes

Opinion 2: No

Opinion 3: May be we should do a combination of X with a small variation on Y.

We are DONE, really no more opinions?

Should we paint this bike shed red or blue?

Opinion 1: Red would be great

Opinion 2: Red sucks

Opinion 3: Red might work but blue would be better

……

Opinion Million: Let’s not paint it

Opinion Million + 1: Do we need a bike shed?

Subhashita 2 – Tomorrow’s Work Today

“Svah Karyam Adya Kurvita”

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

The work to be attended tomorrow, should be done today itself. Generally the human mind postpones important activities indefinitely. Chanakya the author of Arthasastra advises like this –

Don’t postpone anything. Do attend the work planned for tomorrow, today itself.

This type of strategy is more necessary for rulers. They should announce the program for tomorrow and do it in advance today itself, so that there may be no chance for their enemies to spoil it.

in Life | 101 Words

Veena, Why Not?

Bantureethi Koluvu on Veena by Rajesh Vaidya

Veena is such a melodious string instrument but is it not part of the common accompaniment in a Carnatic concert?

Listen to the Veena rendition of Sai Bhajans by Dhurjati, you will have to agree that this instrument can be and should be used more often in concerts. Has anyone tried using it in some kind of Fusion?

Is there a smaller “guitar like” version of Veena that is portable?

Subhashita 1 – Who Is A Friend?

“Dadati pratigrnhati guhyam akhyati prcchati /
Bhunkte bhojayate caiva shdvdham mitralakshanam //”

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

He is a real friend who gives to others first and then takes anything from others, first reveals personal secrets to others and then enquires about their personal things and lastly accepts food from others and happily offers it to others as well. This is the definition of a real friend.

Lessons From People No Smarter Than You

Listen to the audio of this blog.

“Don’t take ‘no’ when your gut tells you ‘yes'”

James Patterson

“Whatever drives us, we all derive happiness from finding purpose. We find joy in thinking, doing and discovering – in improving people’s lives and catalyzing positive change in the world.”

Robert Smith

“I should have done this a long time ago”

Lou Gerstner

“Truly great artists, they always get better”

Jeff Koons

“I read. I listen. I try to surround myself with smart people of all ages and backgrounds. Wednesday nights me and my wife host college students for dinner to share their world-views and work, they inspire me with their potential and passion to change the world.”

John Doerr

“Be a voice that is respected and abreast of developments”

Ratan Tata

“By the end of the day, I’ve learned something that shows how dumb I was yesterday”

Bernard Marcus

“I believe in telling like it is and not worrying about it”

Vinod Khosla

“I believe in work and being connected to the world we live in”

Miuccia Prada

The Art of Breaking Things Down To Bite-Sized Chunks

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”

Listen to the audio of this blog.

Let’s say you want to be a Designer, if you are just starting out on that path, that goal is very daunting, it seems out of reach, how can we make it tangible, bite-sized and easily chewable?

It is a regular experience, we have a big pizza in front of us, we want to eat it but we don’t take the whole pizza and shove it into the mouth. We cut it down into 6 or 8 slices, not only it becomes easier to hold and bite into a slice but also lets others take a slice of their own. Furthermore, we don’t try and shove the entire slice of pizza into our mouth, we take smaller bites and enjoy it. Similarly, we can and should break down a hard problem into smaller slices and further into bite-sized chunks to understand and solve better and have fun doing it.

source: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-pizza/

Second part of the quote above “but not simpler” is important. One can go down the path of chunking problems into smaller pieces but after a certain point there are diminishing returns. We should know when to stop, just as we adjust how much of a slice of pizza we need to bite off so that it can fit in the mouth and it’s easy to chew. We could slice the pizza into 100 slices instead of 6 or 8, is that necessary? In most cases, not only it’s unnecessary, it’s counterproductive.

In my experience, breaking down the hard problem into 6 chunks or 6 questions and repeating that to 4 – 6 levels deep is usually enough to get to that bite-sized chunks that can be tackled easily. Not only small problems are easier to solve, they also give us ammo, motivation from completing a task is the best motivation there is. That power propels us to finish even more smaller problems and before we know it, we have eaten the whole pizza and now it’s time to burn those calories, put on your shoes, let’s go for a 6 mile run!

I understand the pizza analogy only goes so far, I already know to eat a pizza, all pizza slices are more or less the same. What if I don’t know what to eat? What if I don’t know that I need to eat? What if I chose the second slice and not the fifth slice, things could be completely different in a real life situation!