Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lessons From Life

Life in the past two years has taught me many small but invaluable lessons. They undoubtedly form the most valuable of my possessions and the most prized component of my take-home from my two years of professional life.

The most profound of them is this one
Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans

Time and over I have planned out life meticulously to the last detail, laid out detailed plans, made room for contingencies and felt confident that this ‘finalized’ revision will finally and at last sail through.

Every one of those times and I really mean Every Single One of those times, I have this searing belief that the last debacle of my plans crashing down was because I forgot to take care of all eventualities and effecting factors.

The realization never dawns that the whole act of ‘Planning and Execution’ is fundamentally against the law of nature, that of ‘Chaos’. Nature wants us to keep working on plans, if at all we choose to make some. Though complete lack of it would mean mindless directionless meanderings, but one should expect to do constant revisions and improvisations as the situation changes and newer challenges keep cropping up.

What's funny is that the moment I start getting complacent thinking that I have got the idea of the game, the very next moment I am in a neck deep pothole; reminding me of my ignorance and my lunatic innocence.

It seems that “The harder you plan out life, the more it kicks you straight at your face”. For now I have taken a change in strategy, I intend to live each moment to its fullest, live my this ‘One Life’. While contemplating any action the two things that I will keep in mind are

  1. The foreseeable consequences: just the ones that are plainly visible with a clear line of though. No Reading between the lines or Ghost Hunting.
  2. Follow My Heart: Something I learnt from the wonderful books ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘Jonathan Livingstone – A Seagull story’. After all you get only one life of which you get to see only one snapshot to see at a time, Rewind and Fast Forward facilities are not available, so what better than to use your intuitive capabilities and count on the forces that be, or follow your heart so to say.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Personal MBA

Josh Kaufman: Inside My Bald Head | The Personal MBA

Got this really intriguing article as a recommendation from some B-School friends.

This article talks about getting an education equivalent of an MBA sitting right at home and continuing with our professional commitments by leveraging the power of books.

Josh Kauffman, mentions some very valid points to bolster his case to someone who is skeptical of the idea, but before that he takes great pains to set the expectations right. This is something which can really make all the difference between a happy and a sad ending to a prolonged and arduous endeavor.

While I would undoubtedly agree with the general idea that books indeed can contribute marvelously to the learning of an individual, there are definitely contentions which cannot simply be discarded. A people oriented course like MBA could do with dollops of people to people interaction. Was discussing this with a dear friend of mine who is passing out this year from ISB and will be joining a dream Consulting firm. He concurred with my views, regarding the fact that in an MBA you probably learn only 10% of your lessons from the course curriculum per se. The cocktail of the arduous grind and the intense collaborative teamwork in form of assignments and presentations bring about an attitudinal reformation, transforming man, an inherently lone worker by nature to someone who is absolutely at home ijn a team working environment.

Josh of course, is not under any illusions and he makes quick to clear up the loads that needs to be done in order to practice in life whatever is read from the books so as to make it a part of our day to day life, only then does reading all that stuff really make sense.