Monday, April 30, 2007

Thought of the day - 30th April 2007

Don't ever say that you don't have enough time.

You have exactly the same number of hours in a day

That were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur,
Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

Make best use of all the time you have.

Once lost, you will never get it again........

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thought of the day - 27th April 2007

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked
through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of
bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof
that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the
human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of
circumstances, to choose one's own way.

-Victor Frankl

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thought of the day - 25th April 2007

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
- John Powell quotes

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thought of the day - 24th April 2007

Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines,
but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.
-Buddha

Monday, April 23, 2007

You burnt it, you eat it!

Okay, so after eating pizza for almost every meal at home for so many
months I finally decided to be more open to change. Actually, it was
less to do with the fact that I was getting bored with pizza and more
about the same question by my friend on chat, "What are you eating
today?" which she had started to follow up with, "Please don't say
pizza!".

Well, since hunting for and getting basmati rice around here might be a
project too big for my lazy bones I decided on the next best thing, to
try and make an omelette. Now, my friend is similarly challenged in the
culinary department (as everybody knows) but she knows how to make an
omelette and she was ready to guide me.

I even made a trip to the grocery store which I never do on the
weekends, but I had no eggs.

Ok, so the adventure started with her telling me on Yahoo messenger how
to break an egg and how to separate the yolk. For a strict vegetarian,
(other than eating omelette which I have learnt in the last few years),
it was a gross job, but I did it and survived it. Step-by-step she
guided me and I, like a good student, followed the directions.

But there's just so much you can do on Yahoo messenger, and I still
managed to burn the omelette. Not to a crisp, but part of it and the
salt was excessively exceeding the expectations....but hey, you made it,
you eat it. Those are the rules. If it's your own creation, you can't
just throw it into the bin, unless it's beyond consumption. Kind of like
the code of the ship's captain to stick with the ship. Kind of like the
fact that you can't learn to ride a bike until you fall a few times.
Kind of like you go home with your wife no matter how many prettier
women you see in the party..(hehe, I know I am bad!).

When I told my friend about the results her only response was an
exasperated, "Pah!" but she also agreed that when you burn it you gotta
eat it. Noblisse oblige and whatnot.

Well, the next day I made another one, less burning, less
excessive-salt, more eatable. Who knows, maybe third time lucky? ...

Thought of the day - 23rd April 2007

The mark of a real man, one who would rise to the challenges of life,
is not how much he knows or he can do, but how much he is willing to
learn.
-Sunil Goswami

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thought of the day - 20th April 2007

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed
ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to
function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are
hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What's the news?

Most people look at me like I am a criminal the first time they hear
that I don't watch the news. "YOU ARE KIDDIN' ME!?" is the first
reaction, the second one being, "How can you NOT watch the news?" Well,
I just don't watch it so that accomplishes the not watching part of it!

My logic is very simple, if I watch the news I'll get to read or watch
about one of two types of things generally - good or bad. If it's good
then it happened to someone else (if it had happened to me, I'd know,
right?), then I'd feel a desire, a longing, or even envy that it didn't
happen to me. If it's bad, then being a sensitive guy, I'd feel really
sorry for the unfortunate victims - like the Virginia Tech victims, and
it'll get me down, bringing down my productivity levels. In none of the
cases does it make me feel good. So why should I invest my time and
money in something that is sure to make me feel bad?

Another argument is - to stay abreast of current affairs. I don't need
to watch news for that. If it's big enough I'll hear it soon enough,
from some source. I was in office when 9/11 happened and NOT watching
news, but I heard it before the 2nd plane hit.

If it's relevant, I'll hear it quick enough. I was not watching news
when the US H1B visa quota got overapplied on the first day in India,
but I heard it within a couple of hours of the embassy closing. So
there's no chance that they'll propose my name for the Nobel Peace Prize
and I won't hear of it because I was not watching news.

There was a time when I was meddling in the stock market. During that
phase I used to keep tab of stock prices and related news. But I never
had to pick up a newspaper for that. It all came to me, from various
sources.

Time and again, under the tremendous pressure of the news-reading
community, I have tried to get into the habit of reading a newspaper,
but it has always bored the hell out of me. So I went back to my
original practice of turning to the comic page as soon as I picked up
the paper, then reading the jokes if any, and if I still had nothing
better to do, skimming through the paper to look at ads featuring
beautiful girls.

In this day and age, when information is the most important and most
expensive commodity, the news channels as well as print media exists
only to sensationalize anything they can find in order to promote their
own business. I'd much rather watch the re-runs of the re-runs of the
same episodes of the same comedy TV shows than waste an hour watching a
news-discussion of why Prince William dumped Kate Middleton. If the
former can make me laugh once in the half-hour, it's a good investment.

Laute, Laute, Laute!

This is what my QA manager, Peter, used to say when I was working with
him in Germany. In English it means, "People, People,People!" and he
used to say it in an exasperated or mock-exasperated tone, normally
accompanied with a sigh! He would not say people are good or bad but
just repeat this one word with that tone and expression particular to
him. I mention this because it is a good indication of what I think
about people. People are funny. People are good. People are bad. People
are interesting and people are boring. But people is what this world is
made of.

Look at pleasure, if you go with the right kind of people, you can have
a lot of fun no matter where you go for vacation. Even if you don't go
on a holiday but are surrounded by cheerful, mature people who
understand that life is all about fun, office can be a fun place to be.
On the other hand if you are with grouches, complainers, victims and
bores then a vacation in paradise can just easily depress you.

Look at business, if you know the right people, you can get things going
and be a success. Starting or running a business is almost all about
finding and employing the right people. With the wrong kind of people,
you can not only ruin your business, lose all your money but also lose
your health, your peace of mind and your sanity.

A businessman who handles the demands of running a big corporation day
in and day out, knows the value of a good secretary. A good manager is
one who can manage people not computers. Mature companies, even the ones
in technology, look for managers with managing experience and not
technical knowledge. People is why the HR firms have a job.

Or look anywhere. If you are married, finding the right divorce lawyer
can mean the difference between keeping your house or living in a pipe.
If you are not married, finding the right girl can mean the difference
between a happy marriage or looking for a divorce lawyer in 2 years.

I am sure, just like in my life, there must be people in your life who
bring a smile to your lips when you think about them. And similarly,
there'd be people you'd cross the road to avoid when you see them
coming. There would be people you'd call across the ocean to talk to,
and there'd be people when they call, you immediately start thinking of
an excuse to hang up.

My personal target is that I should have more people who would want to
take the time and expense of calling me and fewer people who would let
the machine pick it up when they see my number on the caller id.

Thought of the day - 19th April 2007

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances,
but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
-Hugh Downs

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thought of the day - 18th April 2007

Become a possibilitarian.
No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are,
raise your sights and see possibilities
- always see them, for they're always there.
-Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thought of the day - 17th April 2007

"Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success;
for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles."
- Samuel Smiles

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thought of the day - 16th April 2007

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks.
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the
miracle.

- Phillips Brooks

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thought of the day - 13th April 2007

"He who angers you conquers you."
- Elizabeth Kenny

*Happy Friday the 13th to everyone! :-)
*Happy Baisakhi to all Indians! :-)

NOT the thought of the day

I keep sharing great thoughts, today too I will share one, but first
this stupid thought from Jay Leno about how to find who are your true
friends.

"Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to
the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest
aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances."

- Jay Leno

This is such a crock of BS! There maybe restricting circumstances in the
case of some of the people who refuse to drive you and in the case of
those who do drive you there maybe other motivation than true
friendship. For example, an agent who is involved in a big deal you are
in the middle of negotiating, he'll drive you to the moon just to earn
points with you. Same can be said of numerous people who would love to
place you under their obligation. Then there are people who love to help
other humans out, even if they are just acquaintances or even strangers.
And how about your mother-in-law? She'll drive you just so she can have
you for 2 hours in a place where she can bite your ear about how you
should run your life. Too many possibilities.

My best friend, a true friend, is in India, I am in the UK, if either of
us need a ride to the airport, we'll just have to say no. Does that make
us acquaintances?

All I would say is that if you have to use this technique to find out
who your true friends are then either you are really really stupid or
you have spent most of your life in a cave. I am surprised this useless
thought comes from Jay Leno, I thought him to be a very smart man. Maybe
somebody has misquoted it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thought of the day 12th April 2007

"When I hear somebody sigh, "Life is hard!"
I am always tempted to ask, "Compared to what?""
- Sydney Harris

It is a fantastic thought! I never thought of things this way. At
times, we all find life quite hard to cope with. But according to Sydney
when we complain about it we are not being realistic. Was there any
particular reason we believed that life should be easy? There is no
frame of reference to say how life should be. So, the best we can do is
play the cards we are dealt and try to cope with it as best as we can
while trying to help make others' life easy or not so hard for them if
we can.

As a programmer who has to play with abstracts in order to earn his
living and as an analytical person who loves to split hairs on a variety
of topics, this thought hit me right between the eyes and made me first
smile and then admire the insight of the person who said it. I hope my
readers like it, too.

It not only shows us why it's futile to complain about life but also,
since this is the only life we have, no comparisons, it encourages us to
experiment, have courage, take chances and make it the best life we can!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

To quote or not to quote

To the annoyance of some of my listeners I quote extensively from
different sources. I have been asked the question, "He says this and she
says that, that's fine, but what do you say?". Well, to be honest, I am
prone to overdo a good thing.

Having said that, I find that quoting from a good source is like
borrowing wisdom which you don't have yourself. There are people, and
there have been people who have been great thinkers, they conceived
things and ideas that we cannot. But by reading them or hearing them we
are imbued with that idea and while that does not become our idea, it
does expand our mind. In someone else's words (forgot whose), "A mind
that's stretched by a new experience will never go back to its old
dimensions." So, even borrowed wisdom can be good for developing our
mind.

There are people who have something so beautifully that I cannot help
but quote that. I am not a poet, okay I do write poems when struck by
the mood, but I am not a fraction as great as these people. So, when I
want to say something that can easily and most beautifully be described
by borrowing their words, I do that.

To quote from Atharvaveda, "Let noble thoughts come to us from all
sides!". So basically, when I am reading quotes, I am in a receptive
frame of mind, I am listening... and we all know that listening is a
good habit that can be very enriching. According to Frank Tyger - "Be a
good listener. Your ears will never get you into trouble."

So, in my defense, I quote the masters in order to learn from them and
grow as a person! That's all, your honor! (I am reading Perry Mason
these days :) )

Thought of the day - 11th April 2007

"If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success;
if you don't, you have achieved half your failure."
- David Ambrose

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thought of the day - 10th April 2007

He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestow should
never remember it.
- Pierre Charron

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The way of the words

Emperor Akbar received a lot of people of various talents coming to
see him in the hopes of getting a reward. One day a palmist came to
his court and offered to see the Emperor's hand and tell his future.
Looking at Akbar's hand he said, "Bad news, Sire! It seems that all
your relatives will die before your eyes!"

The Emperor had a short temper in such matters and immediate the poor
palmist was sent to the prison. Birbal felt sorry for the poor Pandit
and went to see him in jail. On Birbal's advice the Pandit appealed to
be allowed to see the Emperor's hand one more time.

He was allowed this second chance and this time while looking at the
same hand he said, "I beg forgiveness for my previous mistake, Sire!
It clearly shows that you will have a long life, longer than any of
your family members or relatives."

This time the Emperor rewarded him and sent him on way.

What changed in both instances?

Moral of the story: Not just the content but the way of presentation
also matters. We should always be careful how we use our words.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thought of the day - 5th April 2007

Every moment of one's existence one is growing into more or retreating
into less.
- Norman Mailer

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thought of the day - 4th April 2007

Your life ends the day when you refuse to make a new start because it's
"too late".
- Sunil Goswami

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Thought of the day - 3rd April 2007

Being powerful is like being a lady.
If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
- Margaret Thatcher

Monday, April 02, 2007

The meaning of "Success"

Recently, I have been thinking quite a lot about the meaning of
'success'. What is success? Is it defined by the soceity or the
individual? Are both these definitions the same? If not then which one
is right? Is my definition of success the same as yours?

I found the answer when selecting a thought for today, I think Emerson
does a pretty good job defining it. I agree to it wholeheartedly.


Thought of the day - 2nd April 2007
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and
the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find
the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a
healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know
even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is the meaning of success."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


And I am happy to note that I am well on my way to be successful. :-)

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