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A good lesson to learn during Bachelors program

10/10/2006 : The day our classes officially started for Bachelor of Technology at CU ( Calicut University). Information pours in slowly but definitely, in that time, when mobile internet was slowly penetrating the serenity of Malabar.

We had plenty of time to expend on a rather long vacation after +2 (higher secondary school). That was the best months of vacation, waiting on something unknown, uncertain, and having nothing else to do. The months before the tests/exams of +2 was had a  sense of war-time emergency at personal level for my batch. Hence, the vacation was a special invitation for some, who particularly put up with the stress of studies and prepared rigorously.

October approached, and we were in for some initial foothold in the next steps of study. Everyone wanted to get into engineering. This was understood for the return of investments and the scope of an engineering degree rather than the personal interests as such. This could not be elaborated further because what were some of the career explorations students at that time did? I had no clue. Newspapers, family, and their extensions were the go to source of information. Internet was available, but information? I do not know. With limitations in sources of information, it was a blessing in disguise, helping to eliminate unwanted distractions and stick to guaranteed investments of 3-4 years in college. It is easy to choose when we have the complete picture of valid available sources.  The long wait was closing in and we were in the process of enrolling in the colleges for whatever we have picked. This waiting period taught one valuable lesson to wait to get. Unlike the current times (year 2017) of clicking and getting whatever you want. Waiting to get something was a lesson. And later, as time progressed, for our batch, Calicut University wanted to give us a definite time for first year examinations (2007). Moreover, some students went to CU. Some striking, some to see what a strike is like for the first time, some to see what CU looks like. It was first time outside home and hostel for a solid mission. To be there. Later, as situation was handled excellently by CU administration, it was learned that there were no physical strike, not a single person had the madness to through a stone at the windows of the windows, for fun or seriously, this would have caused chaos. Their combined dignified demeanour saved the day. Period of uncertainty cast a shadow on the academics. What will be the actual dates of examinations? On what basis are the studies to be planned with an uncertain date? What possible distractions could be avoided? There were truckloads of uncertainties and unknowns! When it came to passing backlogs for some that was another avatar of uncertainty. In addition, at the dusk of the program recession hit, thanks to Lehman Bros. The Indian system of campus placements to get job re-assured that it was not worthwhile for companies to visit campuses for placement. In sum, the cumulative uncertainties prepared everyone in our batch to mentally prepare ourselves to face the yet incoming uncertainties of the bigger world, called ‘Life’. That 4 years of preparation toward life was the most valuable course in the program never advertised or assumed in those years.

 

PS:

My batchmates may or may not agree to all these. These are my personal opinion.

 

 

 

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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Lesson, Uncategorized

 

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To , or not to ?

To think over the mind and matters that matter the mind is not very mindful matter. However, the matter of mind is such that mind still minds about mind and matters. Mind thinks without the thought to provoke it intentionally. It keeps at the task of pondering over the wonders and gossips of the world. And once this question came up.

How do I see a person.

As a person who minds, I do not have to think too much on how I behave when I am with people I am accustomed to . Like small kids who are free to cry or be happy or be wild in the presence of their best human contact, mostly mother and father bear the brunt. They seem to act more polished and  controlled in the presence of strangers. This, I see as  a sense to be naturally defensive. Keeping the own nature to the near and dear ones, while be secretive or hide the total character from others, who may or may not be well-wishers. Is it for the same reason that the human mind gets stuck at the thought of a public presentation or to speak up at interviews and public forums. May be Yes. There is a time when the mind is experienced enough to pull in socially acceptable standards of putting thoughts into words. This may backfire in case of people who are honest and frank about telling the inconvenient truth.  Do I perceive them differently ?

If it is a public personality, a politician or a popular person. There is a reason to keep a distance at the thoughts promoted by that individual. The influence of this individual may be limited by the sense of overall character perceived by the viewers, followers or fans in case of sports and movie starts. If an actor says about social responsibility rather than films and movie related matters, I do not feel that the person is authentic because of lack of experience shown by that person in social responsibility initiatives.

Say, I heard something about a close friend. How does the mind analyse it. Initially, it is the thought as to should I share what I learned about the person just now ? Is she/he open to hearing the same. Does it benefit either of us in sharing this information/gossip. Is it true ? Should I check if it is true ? Does it matter ? This process very closely uses the Aristotle’s filter of truth.

If the mind decides through the filter that it may be true, but not beneficial in material terms, except that the growing empathetic concern to see my friend in a better light would be  personally satisfying. This holds no material benefits and can be truly classified into the category of gossip.  Because this really does not bring in the positive enthusiasm, nor is it could in bringing about a sense of calm. It is just like some of the Indian roads. You see the cattle shit, sometime you do not. You step on it. Some people may feel it funny, some feel it may be funnier when you step, slip and fall. Nevertheless, for the self, it is the back-pain and the resulting dirty footwear that matter. And like Mark Twain said about age.

“Age is a matter of mind. If you do not mind, it doesn’t matter”

Can be applied to anything and feel free to fill the blank.

“_____ is a matter of mind. If you do not mind, it doesn’t matter”

To judge whatever comes to me, to analyze and to categorize as good bad, beneficial , not beneficial, instigating action or not, is for the mind to decide. That is where it really matters.Because at the end of the story, if there is no lessons learned, there is no point.  And it goes to resemble the Socrates’ question and let me ask the self  when something comes to me. Is it for me to take action, scrutinize, propagate, promulgate or pejorate. The next step “to, or not to____?” remains with me.

And Buddha’s story helps here. A person came to Buddha and shouted huge profanity at him. Buddha remained silent. After some time the person left the place. And one of the disciples asked Buddha. ” That person, was outrageous and too heated up. Why did you remain silent all this time ?”

And then Buddha replied ” If someone comes to you with a gift and you do not take. What happens to the gift ?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Incomplete, me!

Once, I went to an office to sign up for my paperwork due for an employment. Being in USA, I like the way they present the tax forms upfront, so we know that we are part of something bigger and tax is being paid directly, there is nothing illegal about the job offer, etc.  This happiness is short-lived by the amount of confusion innate in any Government forms. And after multiple questions, filling up portion of the forms and going back and forth, I made a friend out of the front desk clerk. Then comes the part which asks for my status in the country. I say without any expression, but surety to know the answer “I am an alien”. That lady held my hand in a semi-sympathizing manner. I was startled, for a moment, because I never expected such a reaction. The movie “Independence Day” (US American English movie) came to mind. I did not dwell myself too much into the implications of the movie, in this context, for I have a job at hand. A job to complete. As I continued, more spaces stood out blank “says aliens to read instructions”, I read out. This time the lady had come to terms with my kind of reading. So, we were back to the content, directly.

Sometimes, in life, when confused, I feel that I live to fill up the blanks in the forms presented at various stages of my life. Except for the space for family, parents, I used to wonder all the humongous amount of information that we had to put into paper to get various benefits from the Government, or even in the case of employment. This continues into online applications, tax filing and almost every place I end up being me. And then this funny incident happened.

In my last visit to the health services I was told there was nothing to do, except the chores. The freedom of the country, I am in, gives the practitioner a complete picture of my previous medical cases. Only, whatever I chose to reveal in the beginning, of course. This is a routine in USA, where you are asked the history of your health, about your parent’s health, so the complete case history is at the fingertips of the doc. This time I only had to verbally fill the form that they had in their system. It is mandatory for them to remind me of all the background I had. Especially allergy and surgery. I have been asked in India, my home country, too, about allergy to medicines. This may be standard across the board. However, surgery was something new. So, I am told ” You had no major surgeries except removal of wisdom tooth”. I ask back, curious to know if it is really that important ” Is it a real surgery?”. Doc replies ” Yes! because they gave you anaesthesia, opened your body and a part of your body is removed “.  I retorted “I am incomplete!”. She in a surprise said “I have never heard someone say like that”.

That realization that I had left something of my body back from where I came from, I had lost it to the modern medicine. A part of my body is removed, therefore I am incomplete. Nevertheless, it helps fill the form, where there is space to fill up with any surgeries I had.  Cynically, I had lost something to gain something. And the insight struck that I do not have to be confused enough to do something to fill up some random blank space in some equally arbitrary event in this life.

 

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The Cockroach Approach

For the Cockroach Theory you should be checking the video below.

Otherwise read on for the Cockroach Approach

cockroach free images എന്നതിനുള്ള ചിത്രം

Cockroach approach is an existing time tested socially relevant, culturally insensitive and popular way to find the best and leave the rest.

In my +2 (Indian System-  that is 12th grade elsewhere- approximately) in all the Kerala state run schools we had this biology experiment as final laboratory examination question. I have see my sister’s great lament in verses on death of a cockroach she killed. She never became a surgeon. I heard from an American friend that they had rats to dissect for exam. That is more cruel than a “lesser” creature such as the cockroach. While some may also go to the extent to idolize and sanctify the creation. Near immortality of cockroach is very well depicted in the movie Wall E (Trailer below)

Cockroach is apparently the only creature that can survive even nuclear disasters, it is said that cockroach can decide when it wishes to die. Just like Bheeshma from Mahabhaaratha.

The question to address is why ? Why we were told to dissect a cockroach ?

This was one main reason why I changed my syllabus to CBSE from Kerala State Board since there is no dissection in CBSE. So much for ahimsa. On enquiry, I get this cockroach approach to education. This applies to all competitive fields in life too. The reasoning is that among all the student who dissect a cockroach there may arise one or two doctors/surgeons who may in future help serve humanity by saving human lives. For this reason, endless number of cockroaches were caught, fed, petted and brought to lab to score marks and get cremated. No activist will mourn over a killed cockroach. Because they are available in plenty. No shortage at all. This is what happens to all the equally educated/skilled students. There are so many of them. Why should anyone care about them. If they wish they can find their means to make sense of their life. The cockroach approach teaches the students these two important lessons. Quality and greatness can be sparked by working out in large numbers, here large number of student perform the same procedure, from where two great sparks may lead to produce two great doctors. This is exactly what I heard about the Chinese badminton team. Since there are so many players, the best among them. If you see the list on the BWF world ranking. You can easily find many Chinese players. It would be very easy for them to win many more matches than a lone wolf from another nation, since they may have faced tough competition in the Chinese national and local matches itself. Similar is the case in many other sports. Quality comes out from large numbers. The famed Edison is said to have discovered umpteen ways not to make an electric bulb before he did make a working one. Numbers play a major role. This is also illustrated in the book Outliers in terms of 10,000 hours rule for mastery. Hence, we can safely assume, that cockroach approach helps humanity to excel. Nevertheless, the cockroaches need to find elevation in being petted before dissection, before salvation by death.

 

Updates:

I found some interesting cockroach approaches which are somewhat different from what is written above.

Analogy of approaching (attacking) a cockroach 

When a real cockroach approached 

How to Invest like  a cockroach

Cockroach portfolio in Investments

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in Lesson, Uncategorized

 

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One Year in USA and studies

Today marks my one year in USA. A different country, but not too different now. Thanks to the summer extension. It is not too different.

This one year and its realization has strengthened the motivation to come here, to learn and to experience, the most sought after environment of the world. The melting pot may still be hot but what kept the momentum going is the abundance of natives, Indian Indians here. So, there is this common connect, stories of the past, glorified for the present, at occasions not so welcoming for a story but passes without a pause to occupy the same. This is wonderful where we discover the art of telling stories. Pieces of life bottled and well rounded to present to native speakers in native tongue. This is cool. Besides, there is this awe-some stories of the other land presented to the native native, US Americans and other internationals who came here to Buffalo, to study and to achieve their goals. This is fun.

Let me now focus on Buffalo for the time. I joined University at Buffalo one year back for Masters in electrical engineering. And there were too many things to think about in the first few weeks.

Regarding courses, I did not know much on how to choose. I had a very broad general idea, whereas in the offering there were so many special courses available. So, I had to attend all the interesting classes, schedule myself in Google Calendar and try and attend atleast  one of the possible two classes for sampling it and talking to professors. Some professors were crude, some odd, some smart, some great, some eloquent, some very helpful.  I had no clue about the scheme of Individual Problem/Study/Project. This is a 3 credit alternative to a course. This helps to work in the lab of the professor on some topic and get closer to the subject and possible reference and thesis option from professor.

It was tough to keep up with the events in the campus. There were so many that I had to put that up in calendar and choose wisely to get the most out of each. There were lot of free food especially pizza, which back home is considered to be kinda food for rich. but essentially junk. For a vegetarian you always get Cheese Pizza if your stars are not in great position. Week-ful of pizza and events makes one tired, the focus may even shift away from the job at hand , which is course selection and professor interaction , than free stuff and part time on campus employment.

The primary aim of part time on campus employment is to get some money in exchange of time, this is not going to give any thing great other than first hand experience in customer service, food preparation and a bunch of good friends to work with and talk with that alleviates the work load in the form of friendly conversations. There is this chicken an egg problem to be solved. To get a job, you need SSN , some jobs ask for NY state license. But to get SSN you need job. So it is natural to go to the easiest method to get SSN , job and money. That was Campus Dining job at the time of my orientation. There were more than 100 people waiting to get a job. The managers here are great in satisfying the crowd who came seeking job. They are very helpful and understanding. This helps in getting along with unfamiliar environment. In fact, in UB Campus dining there is a referral program that existing employees can refer new employees to get referral bonus. My friend had declined for he did not want that that bonus. I do not know why. Then there is this option of UB bullseye career services which posts many campus jobs. Also, talking to people in different offices helps to start useful conversations.

As an average Indian, I went for the budget options of Lycamobile $29 for mobile. Had the handset from home. Went to the local credit union for banking. Relied on the roommates for wholesaling shopping prices and stuck with cooking to reduce the cost of living. On top of this I needed a laptop. I would suggest bringing the laptop , whatever condition it is in, to be used for atleast the bare necessities of checking the  courses and email-ing the professors, because the library facilities would be crowded. The mobile has a small screen to accommodate such comforts.

Before long, I was grinding for the assignments and part time jobs and the household work. This in the beginning was the usual student stuff , that resembled that of a typical Indian student in India. But, here the addition is part time job, the compromise of which can be calculated in dollars. Even if you are not used to quick arithmetic of USD to INR conversion, money is money. It can push you, pull you and break you, if you are not careful. The focus on studies was built by studying with friends and maintaining a calendar. This gives some kind of focus which is incrementally refined till all the exams appear to collapse it. This happens just after the week-long break that can break you for another two weeks if the break is not properly utilized.

Slowly, it dawned upon me that people do not meaning anything more than “Hi” when they say “Hi”, ” How is it going?”, “What’s Up?”, ” How are you doing today?”, “How are you?”. The person who starts this esp US Americans, will be gone a mile as you try to answer/ reply. That was strange. Outright crazy. But in time I came to terms with it.

Regarding Electrical Engineering. We were given option to take two courses outside the department. Tempting courses are available all across the departments, ranging from Introduction to VLSI , Robotic Algorithms, Computer Architecture – CS department; High Performance Computing – Physics Dept.,  BioMEMS fabrication lab – BME dept., Six Sigma – IE dept. this will enable you to apply for UB TCIE internship in summer.

VLSI guys that I know went for:

Analog electronics,Introduction to VLSI, Analog IC Layout – 3 subject to learn Cadence Virtuoso; Embedded systems – experience ARM Cortex M3, VHDL,  Computer Architecture – Basys 2 and Verilog; Digital Communication System design – gives Mentor Graphics tools and teaches Verilog . Dr. Albert Titus has Analog and VLSI lab in BME dept.

DSP specialists get to learn 3 courses from the great Dr. Adly Fam, with many options to take Individual study with him. There is application of DSP in Power electronics courses too.

This fall 2016 there is Quantum mechanics for engineers which seems to be a great course.

last fall there was this awesome course on fundamentals of solid state devices a prerequisite for magnetic materials for this fall. This is not for the light-hearted in math.

MEMS lovers go for – MEMS, BioMEMS and lab on a chip, Wearable and implantable systems, RF1 and RF2 – not for the light – hearted. Optofluidics – which has a project. Microfabrication lab – an awesome lab facility you can see from outside in Davis hall and from inside if you taken the course.

Photonic and Optics group is very strong in UB. With many nice professors and courses of variety. There is plenty to discuss among Non- linear optics, Optofluidics, Photonic devices, nanophotonics, photonics lab, consumer optoelectronics and lasers.

With all these great courses, it is common for students to audit some courses to learn the stuff but not to earn credit. That said, any course you take more than 4 courses (12 credits) is free. you do not have to pay. I personally know a person who took 6 courses in final semester. This is a good strategy. Like Football formation you have to split the 10 courses (30 credits required for MS) into some format. 4-4-2 is a no-brainer; 5-4-1 and 4-5-1 is to save money from a course. Applying for reduced course load is permitted, but only once in the complete program, where international student can take minimum of 3 courses in a semester. People use it in different ways :- 4-3-3 , 3-4-3. People who want to finish fast take 5-5, bang for bucks and save almost 6k$. Another option is to get a Co-Op in third semester. This depends on your job application. And then the lesser pursued path is 4-3+thesis-thesis . A thesis credit could range from 1-6 , people use it wisely.

Ideally by end of Fall you have good projects and some GPA in hand which enable one to apply for summer internship. Application of which starts from fall. This may be seemingly too long , but no. And people who did not get internship here went to India and did Internship. People went home just to be home. Also, people achieved fall internship in the second fall, but you need to manage your courses accordingly.

 

(May be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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In the currents of Pokemon

The last I checked I am unable to get my Pokemon Trainer Club account to authenticate me into the Pokemon Go app. It is july 15, 2016 evening in USA. By night I can imagine how many souls will be roaming the streets to de-bug and catch the pokemons. I played it with my friend yesterday for two hours into the night. University at Buffalo, north campus was much infested by Pokemon trainers as the pokemons themselves. We could catch some understanding smiles at the supermarket sometime back, and here in the campus we were getting tips on the go. We were new to it, but cracked open 2 levels in 2 hours. We were catching pokeballs and pokemon left , right and center, thanks to the good network that he has and the car. Yes! we used the car.

I grew up playing single player games in multiplayer mode. Like me and my sister used to play age of empires together ( single player in the PC) but multi-player in real. This was more fun than the lone wolf regime. Once I had played FIFA football single player with me and 2 other friends. This was the time when gaming centers were popular as the internet swept through India. So, we three boys were sitting at a PC. My friends wanted to play FIFA and one of them took his pocket money of 20 Rupees ( which will pay for one hour of gaming). We got the FIFA running. There was a steering wheel bang in the middle of the PC. That would give shooting and left and right movement. if what I remember is true, I was at the arrow keys and the funding sponsor took the advanced controls of dribbling, juggling and shooting. That was some crazy fun.

We had organized playing of Farmville when it was integrated and very popular in Facebook. Me and my extended family would plan to do Co-ops and grow the required plants in a scheduled manner. This was physically over 700kms away in radius and completely done online and very efficiently. I remember those days where we had a scheduled harvest and I was jobless guy doing the harvest and fertilizing. There were professionals with job doing it with me. I never felt I was wasting resources or time. In fact, it was a learning experience about team spirit and agriculture.

And here I am 10+ years after what happened at a memorable time, in a different country playing with an equally old friend getting tips from some random undergrads in school on Pokemon and being childishly happy about it.

My phone with Android 4.2 Jelly bean does not support Pokemon Go.  I tried some APK files but to no success. So I was satisfying the curiosity by playing Ingress. A pretty neat game due to its simplicity. It draws directly on the two party system of USA. This game from Niantic was supposedly popular and I could feel it by playing it and seeing the intel map worldwide. That was really awesome. But then there is no fun if you cannot get to a team, organize, plan and schedule your movements. It is really massively online gaming that requires a team or team support. There is no real point in doing it alone. Because the portals captured and control areas created on day 1 would be broken that day itself without proper support.

The good thing about Pokemon Go is that you can do it alone for some levels and still be happy about your Pokedex (collection of pokemons). In this process of leveling up it is quite natural that you would team up with some people that you meet on the road. by level 5 , I believe there is access to gym. And the choice here is, to join one of the three factions, unlike Ingress where it is two. It is yellow , blue and red here compared to green and blue in Ingress. If you do not have a good internet connectivity or phone that does not support the games or features then you will be like me, trying to connect to every available free wi-fi. It is still possible to work within this limits. But in ingress, I found this very limiting, because we need to capture area. While in pokemon we can still be happy about a little weedle or rattata that always appears on your doorstep. Pokemon is more about being happy about what you have, while Ingress makes you greedy to go about and capture like (some country) which wants it influence over larger and larger area, fire something and destroy enemy resonators. The ingress fans who dislike pokemons are either not having the app supported in their devices, hatred due to unavailability, or they are acting like grown ups who are like the accountant in the little prince.

There are crazy people everywhere, in both the games. But what is the character of the players. Consider you are using the latest of technologies. Camera, augmented reality, signal processing, networking technology, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, MEMS sensors, gyros, and adaptive light sensitive displays just to have fun. It better be good enough to promote good character. Pokemon though meant to fight in the gym and win battles are not that violent enough to destroy or make enemy or degrade the morale of co-players. In that sense I appreciate pokemon a lot. As I write this I am starting to like Pokemons more and more. As a child I used to watch the pokemon series in the TV. Though I would not understand many things that they said, it was fun to watch. I was called “Pokk mon” ( “Gone son!” in malayalam) by my mom. It was fun. Then as I landed in USA I was playing Pokemon training cards of which I had to learn everything from my nephew. From him I learned that the world is richer because there are more pokemons than just kanto ones. Again 9 months hence I am into gaming with Pokemons. Thanks to my friend who has a spare phone, I ditched ingress from my own phone , and started on pokemon in this spare phone which supports the app. Now! that I have the power, I can make a choice.

This leads me to the thought that occurred when I quit watching formula one. But for now, for  a few more days the Pokemon is not going anywhere.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Great reference for life and sales

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in SellingHow I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” by Frank Bettger truly does justice to the common conversations, which more or less involves selling. Yes, selling is the single most important activity that no one in this world can escape from. Not just as a consumer, but as a salesperson. Everyone in this world has in one way or another sold something. The success of the common person is so much depended on this skill. But the skill is not very common. Proper training is often not given. This involved selling ourselves through resumes and interviews and applications. It also involves selling our idea for a group to agree upon. Selling to give and take respect. Selling to be heard and be given, to be forgiven and to be helped. An unassuming person goes through these activities throughout their life. This is however, not realized in its true sense and sales is often a skill that is looked down upon. Just imagine a world without sales. No. It is beyond imagination. In fact, such a world without sales does not exist.

The things that we sell include idea, material, design, equipment, the self, opinion, religion, customs, belief, medicine and illusions. There may be some categorization of the market such as socialist and capitalist, either way sales happen. Life and sales are so close that they cannot be distinguished from one another. This makes the omnipresence of sales and apparent neglect of which leads to a class of people called salespeople who are looked down upon for no reason of theirs.

Here is the video of a student selling himself at a career fair through rap

This faintly resembles me of the legendary Malayalam movie Daya. Where a slave sells herself to save her Master. If you have attended any salary negotiation workshops, then this becomes more evident.

 

Now! if you still think that selling stinks that is because you have not read this book.  Every single page is a lesson for sales, for life.  One among the many things that the book prompts the reader is to read about Benjamin Franklin. The book sells itself in the beginning by quoting Dale Carnegie and the author’s interaction with this legend.

 

Effective sales happen when

  • You are enthusiastic, act enthusiastic, feel enthusiastic
  • Track your failures and that will lead to success, when you take corrective actions
  • To make a sale you need an order, which needs an interview which does not happen until you make the call
  • Speak before groups , get courage and self confidence
  • Serve the need of the customer.
  • Make appointment, be prepared , focus on a point, ask questions, have a winning attitude.
  • Find the hidden objection, by asking “Why?”, see that these objections vanish from prospect.
  • Know your business
  • Praise competitors
  • Get direct witness or testimony.
  • Remember names, make friends
  • When you are scared admit it
  • Immediately after the pitch write what could be improved
  • Take care of customers and appreciate their property
  • Sell your appointment, sell your interview, then make the sales.

The book then urges one to know more about the magic method of Benjamin Franklin to improve the self.

 

Frank Bettger’s book is worth multiple re-reads.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Book Review, Lesson

 

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Being Rich: Richest Man in Babylon

In all classes to richness and courses to richness, business building seminars and rich friends and rich relatives, the base attraction is to know the ways to rich. Unlike some other self-help book to richness. This book “The Richest Man in Babylon” narrates a story. A story in its real sense because except for first few pages, it dwells deep into the story, with the style of writing and conversations. It is perfectly readable once you read through first few pages which are written in old style English, to give a feel of the olden times of Rich Babylon.

From the wikipedia, the place is in Iraq

 

Since we do not know the language, it does not matter. It is in Old English in new form, not Arabic.

And the major portion of the story goes from rags to riches. It is not a moderate guy getting rich. It is mostly, a person who spend beyond measure or got into ill fortune and then got dragged down to the level of slaves and how they work their way back based on the following points , which are mentioned in the beginning of the book.

Points to note

  • Mind your expenses
  • Save money
  • Invest money
  • Work, earn, be willing to explore
  • Get a house which is a profitable investment

So, everyone knows this. Then how much do you save? and how much do you live on?

The formula given is

save 1/10 th of earning

live on 7/10 th

pay off the debt using 2/10 th

invest the saved money. make the money work.

 

The author George Clason is from USA, so the comparison and the onus of saving is targeted at the lifestyle of USA.

As anyone knows you should not live beyond your earnings. And saving money is second nature in many oriental cultures (like Babylon!). This book may reassure this nature for people who flocked to the land of opportunities.

Good luck in getting rich.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Book Review, Review, Uncategorized

 

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Reading: The Monk who sold his Ferrari

I had taken the book in hand twice before. But, both the times I was not happy with the way it was written. The beginning of the book seemed to try and build a background on which to put all the philosophy. I tended to ignore the story in my third time. The background story is just to show the philosophy. It is like some old Bruce Lee movies were a story is build just to show off Bruce Lee’s martial arts and skills rather than the story it self. But this mode of approach may have been the fashion style when the book was first published , 1999. However, I finished the book, finally. It was easy once I focused on what I wanted out of the book. Not the story of Julian, the character in the book, but the philosophy.

There are a few points worth remembering. Most of them reinforcing the practices of Indian culture of meditation and mantra. This may work as a boost for the Indians abroad who tend to confuse the cultures and end up nowhere. The addition of Japanese words and sumo wrestler adds spice to the story. Easily disregarded.

 

“Never set a goal without attaching a timeline to it…commit a goal to  paper.. create a dream book”

 

“Power of ritual”

“No man is free who is not a master of himself” – Epictetus

“kaizen = never ending improvement”

“Limits on your life are those that you set yourself”

 

“Not improving your mind or nourishing your spirit, is like , not having time to stop for gas because you are busy in driving”

 

The book refers to

1.The Story of My Experiments With Truth

2. Siddhartha

3.Think and Grow Rich

There is a small section where Robin Sharma discusses the contradiction of ” living with simplicity ” and “happiness through achievement”. But what invokes a book of discussion on the topic itself is dealt less and mostly with digression.

My take on the topic that achievement is based on the goal you set. The goals when achieved gives happiness. If the goals are great but involves simplicity in action. Many greats have achieved the greatness by being simple in life. No pride, no jealousy, no pretension, perseverance on job at hand .

The book also says

“Man” = mind, “tra” = freeing, Mantras free the mind.

Talk to yourself, how you would like to see yourself as. Repeat the mantra everyday.

Busy , productive people are very efficient with their time.

“Time is a non-renewable resource”

In all, it was an achievement to read this book. Nevertheless, the content of the book is valuable.
View all my reviews

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Book Review, Review

 

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Fuel of life : ATP – A Targeted Plan

If you want to achieve something. Plan.

This is THE MOST important and first step to achieve your goals.

It is mentioned in all possible self help books that you can find.

Listing some

Think and grow Rich

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny

Jumpstart Your Business: 10 Jolts to Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
Even “root” once said about PhD advisor’s motto

Decide what you want. Go get it

 

And Les Brown says that too.

Ambition is the most desired character in any field. That is in one way a natural trait of humans. “Ambitions unlimited” seem to be the genetic motto of humans. But by some circumstances people tend to be mediocre. Ambition boosts once self confidence. The end result of ambition, called “Success” is what people envy about. Never once have I heard people say that I envy someone’s ambition. The mediocre guy pretends ignorance to ambitions or act like a jealous Indian, forgetting conveniently that there is no limit to excel.  They overreact when someone says Plans can fail. They do not see that at the end of a failure there is success.  Thus, in a sequence not planning lead to non-failure, planning is often never done due to fear of failure. Even if texts which are centuries old, Bhagavad Gita, and later literature urge one that fear of failure should not be a deterrent to success.

Knowing this the very next best step to do is to decide. Though indecision, is also a decision. (Remembering Narasimha Rao‘s famous ” inaction is also action”). Some spritual schools may definitely believe in indecision as decision. Also, decision can be reached by this sort of elimination method.

Let us think what a decision can do.

We know that ambitious people have a plan, a focus , a decision. This decision leads to A Targeted Plan = ATP . Like the ATP molecules which are the energy units of the human body cells. A Targeted Plan can change the way of life. As the Inventor Charles Kettering said ” A Problem well stated in a problem half solved” . The decision leads to well stated target. This target leads to single-minded focus. Which helps us to stay organized around this central idea or theme. Focus is essential , as in cameras, to get the clear picture. The decision to follow the target plan, with persistence of effort naturally lead to the desired success. Some people are brilliant at multi-tasking, some are brilliant in coming to a decision fast, some are slow, some are great at choosing the right decision, some are excellent in analyzing the available choices to arrive at the decision. All the further activities are determined by the decided mind.

Ambitious people know their weakness. And work towards bettering it. Decision lets you prioritize and rearrange the tasks at hand. Decisions by ambitious keeps them moving.

Like the great Taxi driver who told about his son’s life.

“A motor without load will burn”

His son, he said, started like him, as a driver. He took bike on loan, paid it off, got a car on loan, paid the loan through his rides; took house on loan and paid it off by hard work. Because of this all banks are happy to lend him money. Because they know he has proven record of repayment on time. He said whatever his son has made is through his own hardwork and persistence, without anybody’s help. The load that he took upon himself , the ambition, made him a successful person that his father is proud of. Without that load of ambition the talents as a human would have burned and become useless.

The ambition of  person can be limitless. In fact, ambition should drive one towards a positive life, made possible by decisions and actions. No wonder truly ambitious people stay focused and achieve what they want.

Ten years back, when I wrote the Kerala Engineering , Agricultural and Medical Entrance Exam, I scored mediocre marks. A family friend asked me why you are not on the top. As was my track record in his perception. I said I was not decided on what I wanted. It reflects directly on the results. This is a fact. This is an experience. At the same time, I have achieved stuff on which I was ambitious, decided what I wanted and stood focused. Come what may, that ends up in success. The good thing about being ambition is same as that of education.

More education paves way for more venues to learn. As ambitions leads to success, that success paves way for more success. It is all a matter of persistence. And all we need is to keep the fuel of life or ATP well stocked in our tanks.

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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