Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shortage of time is shortage of energy... to dream, do and deliver.


It's time to understand one simple thing that 'time' is a 'definite resource'. Because, time is 24 hours a day for everyone in this world. However, your energy is not. It's basically stretchable and infinite. 

So, what takes a toll on you is not time, but it's your 'energy' that depletes. 

In physics, as you know, energy is defined as the capacity to work... that means, your capacity to work is at risk while you complain of time often. 

For that, the need of the hour for you is to 'regain energy and reclaim yourself'. 

Energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: Body, Mind, Emotion and Spirit. When any of the four is disturbed or stressed, or does malfunction, energy level automatically reduces. As a result, you are bound to feel the heat and, in the process, things will start to take a toll on you. 

Apparently, it seems everything is cool and awesome; you have been doing fabulously well; things are happening and falling in place at a jet-setting speed, but is it so? 

Frankly, I have my reservation, because going with the flow, even at a lightning speed, is not necessarily surging ahead. And there, somewhat I guess, you do compromise on different situations in the name of adjustment.

If my guess was right, even in percentage, then, owing to that compromise, three of your four wellsprings - mind, emotion and spirit - get unfavourably affected. Therefore, the energy you draw from yourself almost always remains lesser than required. 

The moment, the capacity to work begins to quiver, obviously, the productivity gets reduced, and once that happens, reeling under time pressure becomes inevitable. 

Which is why, I earnestly request you to take care of yourself first and foremost, leveraging 'ESA: Emotional Self-awareness', for, that's the most important thing to do before dreaming, doing and delivering anything.


Frankly, without that ESA, the value of time could never be realised. Time is never an expenditure. It's rather a fixed capital or deposit for an assured return of interest per day until you die. 

After all, don't blame time for the shortage of it because time is never short but you are not long enough to outgrow yourself, everyday.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How Mumbai based NGO, APNALAYA India, can leverage its logo better.

APNALAYA India - is a Mumbai based NGO that has been working relentlessly for the betterment of lives... "Building self-sustaining communities since 1973."

Their activities are governed by the principle and philosophy of encouraging ordinary men and women to believe in themselves and in their abilities to change their life (lives) for the better. 

To know more about them and their operation, you can visit their website: http://apnalaya.org/ 

In case this little piece of information helps, then for your kind knowledge, Ms. Annabel Mehta - who is none other than Sachin Tendulkar's mother-in-law - is the President of APNALAYA. 

Now, coming back to the crux of the matter, in light of marketing communication, I think they are doing pretty good, but not going overboard to use social work as a PR trumpet for that matter. 

If I consider this NGO as a Social Brand, certainly, its tone and content of communication draws respect rather naturally. Whatever they are communicating, they are doing that very smoothly with a touch of sophistication, dignity, integrity and ease that is neither heavy on mind nor coming across as bragging. All through, the poise and balance is very well maintained by them. 

However, I am not very convinced with their existing and new logo unveiled by Ms. Anjali Tendulkar. 



No doubt, visually this logo is very good, so are its colour connotations, but, when it boils down to complementing the payoff: "Building self-sustaining communities since 1973", in my humble opinion, it's failing and falling short. 

From the said logo, the essence of neither Apna(pan) nor Communities is really coming out. Though, yes, it's duly and aptly substantiating the words: 'Alaya' (Home / Asylum / Shelter / Refuge) and 'self-sustaining'. Somewhat, to me at least, the warmth, the resilience, the sweetness of sweat and the perseverance are missing in the logo. Basically, those are the virtues that make 'rags to riches' possible. Hence, the logo of a Social Brand that heralds a change for the better in and across society should ideally be more promising, direct and communicative. 

Give this, I have prepared a logo, so as to convey the entire value proposition of APNALAYA. Please look below where I have shared the scratch version of it:



In this logo, I have created the honeycomb in yellow in the form of a flower to establish a direct relation between APNALAYA and Slums on the basis of transformation that APNALAYA wants to happen and makes sure it does through hope, optimism, positivism, mind and intellect. The honeybees, I have used to express how 'self-sustaining communities' are built by the warmth, the resilience, the sweetness of sweat and the perseverance. I wrote APNALAYA in blue to denote trust and peace, which also suggests loyalty and integrity. I introduced the green line and stretched it both ways more than necessary to offer balance and growth based on self-reliance. Then I wrote the payoff text in grey to communicate impartiality and adjusting nature of APNALAYA.

Frankly, I am not sure whether it's possible for them to change their current logo. Nevertheless, I thought it's my duty to try to support them the way I can. 

So, I tried. 

If that helps them, I would be very happy and delighted!

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten things one can learn from Sachin Tendulkar and his farewell speech.

Well, the world is filled with Gurus. Who preach but hardly teach because preaching is more fashionable than teaching. In this scenario, when leadership, precisely 'thought leadership' is so scarce everywhere, the growth of leadership coaches is mushrooming. Additionally, best-selling books and blogs on motivation and performance are all around, and everyone knows how to be or make others successful in a flash. And, since all those books and blogs are becoming best-sellers, continuously, it proves the point success is basically nowhere... apart from mistaking the chase for success as success.

What to do then? How to achieve success? 

Frankly, I don't know. I don't have even the slightest of idea... how to manufacture success. All I can say is, success is Sachin Tendulkar, and if you can learn and follow 10 simple things from his life on the basis of his farewell speech at Wankhede, you might succeed in your life as well. 

   
The things which I reckon one must not dare to miss in Sachin's magic potion are: 

1. Love. I have not used the word 'passion' for love because, with love, comes responsibility and, with responsibility, comes greatness. And that's what required for one to excel in his profession, as well as in personal life.  

2. Dreams. If you can't think big, you can't do big. At the same time, thinking big doesn't mean thinking of big things only all the time. Instead, it's more about thinking of small things also in an extraordinary way. A pinch of salt makes a huge difference in the taste of palatable, mind it. 

3. Deed. A dream - small, medium, big - is nothing without doing things in the direction of realizing it. In dream, 'nothing is impossible' or 'impossible is nothing', but in reality, 'everything is impossible' or 'impossible is everything' and there lies in the challenge. Travelling from Mumbai to Delhi is a dream unless someone travels the distance. Simple. 

4. Practice. No deed would be good enough to be great, eventually, if it's not practiced for umpteen times. Homework sets the tone of classwork and good performance in classwork builds up the confidence for exams. Talent is a privilege, a gift, hence, it's nothing and can't be called own or to be proud of. 

5. Patience. Nothing is real-time in real life. Even the sun takes 12 long hours to reappear. A baby takes 9 months to appear. Hence patience is the key, even while it depresses and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Basically, in those situations, patience is what that helps one adjust his vision in the darkness and see through instead of banging head for lights.

6. Perseverance. It's very difficult to do and achieve anything minus persistence. Flash in the pan activity, or even thinking is of no use. In fact, one way, perseverance helps to dream and do the same thing again and again without being bored. Honestly, even when practice and patience fail short, it's perseverance that helps one sail through. Being in a situation to hang around in spite of adversity is what really counts. Plus, it leaves no room for complacency. 

7. Values. Price is what you pay and value is what you get. But, values are what you create for generations. You may buy a watch at a certain price and get the right time on it as value, but, unless you realize and help your next generation realize the essence of punctuality, well, then no values got created by you. Then it's a big issue because there's no legacy to be taken forward.

8. Gratitude. You are made by your parents. Yes, technically. Thanks to their love making. For that, it's wise to accept from the word go, you are not self-made. Then there are many people: teacher, mentor, coach, and many things, who and what help you to be made, even if you are an orphan. That's why, it's prudent to remain grateful all the time for whatever you get or achieve. Without a loser, you can't be a winner, so never ignore and underestimate the power of gratitude.


9. Family. The influence of family and extended family is massive. For, we are social beings after all. The contribution of family and extended family to your growth is certainly not in your hand but, in case you get that, never ever deprive yourself of the good-luck bestowed upon you. 

10. Friends. Nobody can give you more hopes even in no hope situations than friends do. They are your punching bags, hit-me dolls. So invest in friendship, because the return you will get, you might not even think of. Unlucky is the person who has no good friend. A friend in need is not a friend indeed; rather a good friend is your need.  

The full version of Sachin's speech is right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQejvPuOgwE   

Friday, November 8, 2013

MBlaze: MTS India's broken promise and egg shells on customers' face



MTS India, India’s one of the leading Mobile and Internet Service providers does basically thrive on three factors:

(1) Lies 
(2) Deception
(3) Procrastination 

In the business, this Brand is actually the egg shell operating as a boiled egg right under the nose of the Government of India, as well as many State Governments.

How they are doing so, asking that question is of no use, since, it’s an open secret by now how such dubious Mobile and Internet Service providers work across India.

With their Unlimited Recharge Plans that come with MBlaze, they make sure people fall into the trap and then become the victim of the ‘speed-cap’ and thereby get robbed of their precious time and money.

Read on… to know how it works:

a)      Say, you have recharged your Internet account with Rs. 798/- for your unlimited usage. Of course, you know beforehand that after 5GB of usage the normal speed of 3.1 Mbps (maximum) will come down to the ‘capped’ 144Kbps (maximum). Please note, neither 3.1Mbps nor 144Kbps speed does give you the guarantee that it’s an assured speed which you will get, constantly. No, it’s not the case, instead, it’s a hope (against hope) that you might get ‘up to’ 3.1 Mbps or 144 Kbps of speed – like a donkey chasing the dangling carrot.

b)      Once you are done with the unlimited recharge, you won’t get any information on your Data usage even if you bang your head on screen to check your balance. Then, all of a sudden, you will get to know, your 5GB Data limit is over and therefore the dreaded ‘speed cap’ of 144Kbps (maximum) is getting inflicted upon your usage until the 30-days validity period finishes.

c)      Under the ‘speed-cap’, all you can afford to do is log in and then keep watching the white screen in front of you. You can definitely get to see a webpage, if you have the patience to welcome Ram after he comes back home from his exile. Otherwise, you can consult a psychologist in case the prevalent frustration pushes you to depression... losing out invaluably valuable time and money – if your business or study is information dependent.

d)     Inevitably, in order to get rid of the devilish ‘speed-cap’, you will try to recharge your Internet account with another recharge option, being fully unaware of the fact that you can’t benefit from that unless and until the agonising validity period of 30-days of the unlimited recharge is over. Rather intentionally, MTS India doesn’t provide you with this IMPORTANT INFORMATION. As a result, you do another recharge but to no avail, so MTS India gets the money but you won’t get the speed you require.

e)      That means, MTS India manages to ensure you recharge twice within 30-days while, in reality, you will be able to use the net for 10 days maximum.

f)       You will try to lodge a complaint against this deceit by calling up the customer care and/or by emailing to the same. While you do so, more often than not, you will get to know the toll-free number doesn’t exist, so you will have no choice but to call up the chargeable number. Means, you have to waste more money.

g)      By the stroke of luck and wasting more than enough time and money on the ridiculous IVR, if you manage to reach a customer care executive, you have to lodge your complaint ideally in Hebrew. For, neither your English nor your Hindi can complement their unique comprehension and communication.

h)      After 5-7 minutes of interaction (read verbal duel), you will get to know the customer care executive is thankful because you called up MTS and you must clean and clear temporary internet files, history, cookies, etc.
 
i)        Bleeding through your mouth and sweating out profusely, if you manage to get your complaint registered for a technical assistance, you will receive a call from a technical person, generally after 48 hours, who will offer you a solution which has nothing to do with your complaint, or is bizarre enough to forget your original complaint or a blatant lie that the issue is resolved whereas nothing is done.

j)        In case you email to the customer care department, you will receive some templated and scripted replies full of inane lines but good enough to frustrate you so much that you will stop writing back. Because it’s really tough to beat an idiot with intelligence.

k)      Once you give up and surrender, you receive either a call or an email from MTS India proclaiming your problem is resolved, so the case is closed.

l)        Being dejected, if you wish to escalate the issue to the Appellate Authority or the Chief Customer Service Delivery Officer, you might experience no better result because corruption happens from top to bottom and unless the senior allows no junior has the audacity to do a mischief.  

m)    Finally, either you have to concede the switching cost and take another service provider’s connection, hoping (against hoping) again that it might be better. However, there is no guarantee, so, as a customer, you get ready to be ‘hanged unto death’ unless of course you are moving to consumer court because you have plenty of time and resources to follow up and stick to your case, religiously.

In a nutshell: If you are willing to be robbed by MTS India of your time and money, use its MBlaze connection. Otherwise, simply drop it and let MTS India face the consequence on the balance-sheet.

To know more about customer experience and how MTS India throws egg shells at customers' face with MBlaze, open this link of reviews: http://www.mouthshut.com/internet-service-providers/MTS-MBlaze-reviews-925592844

Thursday, November 7, 2013

No culture can protect Indian Classical Music unless it helps culture.


On November 04, 2013, Kaushiki Chakraborty – one of the prodigies of Indian Classical Music, who’s been known and admired for her outstanding vocal prowess – tweeted to gauge whether Kolkata – the cultural capital of India has lost its passion for Indian Classical Music (ICM).

Post her concert at Nashik where she witnessed unprecedented involvement of people with ICM, she realised the same kind of yearning is not prevalent anymore in Kolkata.

Not surprising that she floated her concern on the social media. It’s good that she did so unlike many others who sulk and brood in their own circle but feel it’s not politically correct to worry in public because that might give the impression they are regressive and not ready to embrace the professed modernity in line with the digital era where even cacophonies like Kolaveri Di, Lungi Dance, Pyar Ki Pungi Baja Kar, etc. are considered as songs topping the list of favourites on different FM channels; on several TV channels; and at various events on ground.  

The moot question that Kaushiki asked was, if not Indian Classical Music then what Kolkata is passionate about at present!

The question definitely has merit in it and certainly deserves an answer. Not just an answer as a mere reaction but rather an answer which got to be thoughtful for an action.

Though Kaushiki’s question provides with a loose end to jump into the conclusion… as if she meant unless one is passionate about ICM in Kolkata then chances are remote that s/he can’t be passionate about anything else in the city of joy.

But, in my humble opinion, surely, she didn’t mean that.

For a while, if ICM is put aside and the word ‘passion’ is allowed to take the centre stage, it would be much easier to understand that the word ‘passion’ has actually lost and is rapidly losing its meaning in every walk of life to ‘infatuation’ and ‘reaction’. And needless to point out, it’s not the case happening only in Kolkata, in isolation, but it’s the trend almost everywhere across India with a few exceptions here and there, perhaps.

In any society, a cultural change for the better or for the worse doesn’t occur overnight. Such changes go through a process on the basis of socio-economic condition; education; employment; and, last but not least, the value-system – both inherited and imbibed. More than inherited, it’s imbibed values that influence culture and cultural changes in a big way.

Though there has always been a tendency, and still is, to believe that a cultural change takes place suddenly in one generation or culture is the privilege of the elite class, but that’s not true.

Every culture has a heritage and the adaptability to change complementing time in order to be not outdated or ultra-modern.

No culture should ideally be evaluated in light of only music, movie, literature, fashion, etc, instead, ‘day to day behaviour of people’ – involving every class, predominantly the middle-class – in their private life as well as in public needs to be taken into consideration as the yardstick to evaluate culture and its shift or transformation.

Notwithstanding the notion that one’s behaviour depends on his gene, numerous research papers have proven and published that one’s behaviour is mainly governed by his ‘thinking process’ and that thinking process is almost entirely dependent on his ‘personality traits’.

And the biggest challenge is almost nobody knows what their personality traits are, and even if they know they are reluctant to accept, understand and realise that – especially the Neuroticism i.e the ‘emotional instability’ part which affects behaviour rather negatively turning things worse, culturally.

The moment uncultured and unethical behaviour of people at large takes place as a socially acceptable form of protest, performance, communication, education, emotion or entertainment, duly backed up by mainstream and new age media, the decay and decomposition of culture is inevitable irrespective of people’s penchant for a particular genre of music or movie.  

Simply put, such behaviour can hardly be controlled, reduced and eliminated unless people are aware of their personality traits to be and remain ‘emotionally self-aware’, so as to leverage ESA: EMOTIONAL SELF-AWARENESS, without which ‘Self-management’; ‘Social awareness’ and ‘Relationship management’ are simply impossible to create and establish an ecology of culture for excellence and growth.

As a matter of fact, minus ESA, one is always likely to be the victim of ‘psychological pressure’ – as inflicted by family, peers, media, society, nation and the world. Once that starts to happen, it becomes impossible to guard own ground and, since, none can live alone in a human society, willingly or otherwise, a person begins to succumb; his behaviour begins to change, mostly for the worse, so does his culture.

However, it’s a ‘catch 22’ situation, for, one’s ‘personality traits’, which are the basis of his ESA, depend on the factors like morals, ethics, values, beliefs and, of course, gene. Nevertheless, the effect or impact of gene can become insignificant – and rightly so, because none is responsible for his own birth – if the other factors are developed and keep evolving for the better, continuously. This can only be possible, if the socio-economic condition is good; there is the right education (besides and beyond mere literacy and certification); there are enough employment options; and there are enough people who are ‘emotionally self-aware’ to create good values and share them with peers and the next generation.

It means, even if the people of Kolkata turn passionate about ICM that doesn’t necessarily mean they will become culturally rich, automatically.

In fact, it’s the other way round. That is, if the people from a particular place are not culturally rich, it’s tough for them to get passionate about ICM or any other good thing in life.

Hence, the need of the hour is not to make people passionate about just ICM or anything else, which is perceived as good, but to help them realise what culture is all about and, in the process, turn them passionate about it, so they keep improving the same to ensure richness and finesse without compromising on the quality for cheap popularity or any short-term gain.

To do that, what it requires to be done is, develop and evolve ‘Thought Leadership’ in people, so they can ‘lead from within’ without letting their brains get picked up by fundamentalists, clergies, politicians, celebrities, media, brands and technology (but science).

The development and evolution of thought leadership should ideally be instrumented from the nascent stage. That is from schools.

Here, music, precisely Indian Classical Music, could basically be the game changer that can change one’s life and thereby people’s life and culture, for that matter, for the better.

The spatial memory of a child, which boosts his cognitive skills that facilitate his workable memory, comprehension, analysis, creativity, calculation, language, communication and behaviour, could be improved like anything through music.

And if that music is ICM, nothing like it, given its uncompromising ‘Philosophy and Principle’ constructed by ‘Discipline’, ‘Devotion’, ‘Practice’ and ‘Perseverance’ – the four main factors that never let anyone take his talent for granted, or settle for less in case there is not much talent in the first place.

The ground reality is, as long as ICM will remain just a form of music to entertain and enthrall a selective set of people or people at large, it can never unleash its immense power to change things or culture for an productive outcome.

But, if it’s ready to get out of its comfort zone and reach the grassroots level – class, section, caste, creed, community, religion and language inconsequential – things could be totally different and look very promising and positive, gradually.

For that, it’s high time Indian Classical Music maestros and practitioners come forward and get down to the basics of sociology and economics, if they are really willing to protect ICM and create a rich culture for and around it.

Maintaining a safe distance and complaining about the corrosion of culture on the mainstream media or on the social media, frankly, will change nothing. At the most that might be good for PR (Public Relations) because, today, public can very easily relate to someone who helps them indulge in a blame game... believing they are saints but everyone else is a devil spreading evil. 

“We must do something” has long become a clich├ęd phrase of no use – where nobody knows who are we and what needs to be done.

After all, if someone is seriously keen to leverage Indian Classical Music (ICM) for the enrichment of culture across India for socio-economic growth, may feel free to contact us at QESEQ International to be an integral part of a big dream being fully awake and aware before it’s too late.

Our email id is: qeseq.international@gmail.com and my personal id is: rana12feb@gmail.com