August 20, 2014
I came across this quote once again, after a long time.
“ IT industry is very strange, it doesn’t care what you did or what you were in the past, you are as good as yesterday”.
It is so true. Our industry is so fast moving that we can not continue the journey on our past laurels, we have to constantly keep doing better and better if we want to succeed. This is applicable in every field – coding, product designing, sales, marketing or back office work. Gone are the days when one would continue to be hero based on one master stroke delivered once upon a time. We have to push ourselves, we have to re-invent ourselves to move forward successfully. And this means we have to learn new things by keeping our minds open, by making conscious efforts.
I am totally connected and in sync with this thought.
And this is so true in our personal life as well, isn’t it? We need to constantly learn, absorb and grow if we want to be a better person. We can not afford to be a good person just once, we have to be better every time. And how can we do it without constantly improving when world, people, relationships around us are constantly evolving.
I feel life is a journey and only if we continue to learn do we get permission to go to next destination and enjoy the places, the moment we stop learning, life passes by without taking us.
June 6, 2014
Have you ever paused and read / listen the thoughts that pop up in your subconscious mind? Most of the time we are not even aware that something is happening in our mind that is much deeper than we think. But if we train ourselves, we can listen to the thoughts that pop up in our deeper mind. In a simplistic way it needs us to look at ourselves like a third person and almost act like eavesdropping on our our own mind.
Once we get used to listening to it, it is fun. At times it is scary, at times it is entertaining. But it requires real courage to assimilate those thoughts, analyse and channelise our mind, for thoughts leads to action. Many times it happens that we don’t let some thoughts come to the surface because we don’t want them to influence our actions. But it is important that we acknowledge these deep thoughts and do something about it – either take some action or work towards totally removing these thoughts.
Many times these thoughts are motivating but we are afraid of their influence on our life. We don’t want to break the status quo, we don’t want to come out of our mould.
Some times these thoughts are depressing, at times they are totally unacceptable. And we simply brush them aside. Actually they don’t go away, they remain somewhere or even if they go away what is the guarantee they won’t come back? If we really want them to go away and never to come closer to our mind we need to acknowledge them and then understand why did they come in first place. If we can identify the root cause and act upon it, we would never have to spend our energies in pushing away negativities.
There is another very interesting game we can play with our mind i.e. to train our mind to generate positive thoughts naturally, without having to work for it. As we learn to listen to our thoughts, understand how they occur, it is not difficult to create our own system of making our mind a factory of positive / stimulating thoughts.
April 3, 2014
Imagine this :
You were the world champion in a particular sport for over 6 years, you lost that title to someone almost half of your age, your performance declines further and people have started writing you off. There are comments with a near cetainity that you were finished and your days were over. Next year you enter into the tournament, winner of the which would be challenging the world champion. Before the event you are not even amongst top 3 favourites. And you emerge as a winner with a thumping victory.
This is the real story of Vishwanathan Anand who just won the candidates tournament, undefeated, earning the right to challenge the current world champion – who defeated him in 2013, in November 2014.
On his return to Chennai on April 2, in an interview on NDTV among other thing, Vishwanathan Anand talked about “what it felt like playing with his young son, Akhil” The response to that question had a great insight and a message. I have enclosed the audio clip of that response here. For me it had three insights :
1. Change of context : When you can not control what has happened or what is happening, you need to find a way out by changing the context or getting into another situation – mentally or physically. This is what he said he did when it was a tough time to accept that he was no longer a world champion. He spent time playing with his son. Which basically relaxed him, helped him forget what had happened and most importantly helped him prepare for the next phase.
2. Playing with your son (or kids) : This is another important aspect. Spending time with your son is so much relaxing, it is such a stress buster. It gives so much happiness that it makes us mentally strong to face the world.
3. When I was listening to the interview, I thought his son might be 8 or 9 years old, old enough to play chess with world champion dad. But when I googled, I found that he is just 3 years old. And if a world champion dad feels good about playing a 3 years old boy, he must be really really good, another world champion in the making? Lets wait and watch.
March 23, 2013
Long after I delivered my talk on “Psychology and Science of selling” various issues are still ringing in my head. While watching this Ted Talk by Amanda Palmer I could instantly connect it with the job of a sales person.
I didn’t know about Amanda Palmer till I watched the Ted Talks and then I briefly read about her.
Her Ted Talk about ‘The art of Asking’ took me back to my thoughts on ‘Psychology and Science of selling’. I wanted to address the question on why people are afraid of selling, what are those fears and how can I help people become better at sales. Among the things that I had heard from people who are afraid of selling was this huge resistance to ‘asking something’ from people.
I could instantly connect with Amanda’s view that if we ask we get it. I realized how effectively she has leveraged crowdsourcing. How she is able to organize gigs in less than 24 hours ( read about it on her blog here) just by asking.
It is so important in sales role to be asking – asking for information, asking for purchase order, asking for referrals. At the same time we have to approach it very confidently. We need to remove the notion that asking is akin to begging. We need to be clear that we are also giving something in return so it is absolutely fair – the point Amanda has highlighted in her experience with the family in Miami neighborhood. Same thing in sales cycle – as a sales person we are brining something valuable to the table and we are asking their money in return, so it is absolutely a fair thing to do.
I found people are more comfortable when they have this feeling of ‘giving’ (at least in Asian culture). We need to realized that sales is not just about asking we are also giving something in return but unless we ask we will not get an opportunity to ‘give’.