‘3 Idiots’ and its lesson

‘3 Idiots’ is a movie about the education system. It was a very enlightening experience as it brought back some memories of the past. Some good ones, and some not so good ones. It made me realize that through this whole process of ‘growing up’, maturing and building my career, I had forgotten the true nature of life and the things that we do in life. It made me realize that my perception of reality had drastically altered from the time I was in high school to now, and that I needed to fuse my experiences of my past and present to have true growth by re-realizing purpose.

The movie is about a brilliant young lad and the journey of him and his friends through engineering college. The main character is fun loving, brilliant and a person who is passionate about learning. The movie teaches us that the whole purpose of a school system is to teach and nurture young minds. But schools and students have fallen into this tangle of results, grades and achievement and a popularity contest among friends which ultimately has become a meaningless phase of our lives which instead of enlightening us has become a burden of requirements. Requirement to achieve grades, requirements to be agreeable to professors, requirements of future expectations from employers, from parents, from friends and from the individual students themselves.

No one really thinks about true purpose. What drives me, what empowers me, what is my true passion in life, what can I learn and experience to have a greater value of life? These are quality questions, but instead our lives are ruled by ‘Which university is more popular? What are my friends doing? Which degree is marketable? Will I get a job? What do I need to do to get these grades? How much money will I earn with this degree?

When you truly come to think about this, you will realize that it’s not just the education system. Even after graduating and going out in the field we are always trying to answer these meaningless questions. How many people are doing what they truly love doing, what they are truly passionate about and what in their gut feels to them like their true nature? I would guess not many – whether it be art, business or their profession.

Realizing true purpose gives meaning to our lives and everything that we do. Purpose is really the life force of our existence, and without it we might as well all be dead.

Why not to Set a new Year’s resolution!

If you haven't read the title of this post, I suggest you read it, or read it again if you already have. How many of you have set targets and made new year's resolution? I can safely say that majority of you must have at least tried twice, and almost all of you have failed! Now, now,…I am not trying to put you down.

But let's really face the fact. Coming up with a new year's resolution is like setting up a plan to fail. The amazing thing about new year's resolution is that it's a collaborative effort of mass failure, because everyone is setting goals and almost everyone is failing to follow through. Hey… I was one of them. (The key is I was)

Why then do we do it over and over and over again? I don't quite know the answer to that haha,.. but I am an observer and all I know for sure is that its there and its very evident. I'll tell you how I escaped this mass murder of goals(sorry for sounding too graphic).

Now for those who know me, know that there is always a story behind what I say or do. So here it goes. It was last year of high school in algebra class and my teacher, Mr. Stewart, a person who I'm sure has inspired many, told the class something that has stayed with me ever since. I don't remember his exact words, but the idea goes like this: common sense will get you no where. It may get you through, but it won't create change, and it won't create progress.

Uncommon sense will! If everyone does the same thing, and the same thing over and over again, nothing really big will happen, because we will experience the same things over and over again. History has told us that it was attitude of uncommon sense, things out of the ordinary that created break throughs and created leaps in progress. I have used this way of thinking many times in my life, and this time I am sharing it. I did not set a new year's resolution! But what I did was I  set my goals in November 2009. Why?

  1. Because of uncommon sense and the hope of progress tied to it.
  2. And another thing I learned in high school: Newtons laws of motion.
  3. Building Resistance – something I realized later.

Reason 1: Everyone sets new year's resolutions and almost everyone fails at it. I did not want to be part of it, and I thought uncommon and decided that I will set my goals away from the time everyone sets them to pull myself away from the collective efforts of failure.

Reason 2: I'll try to simplify this. Imagine you're sitting in your car and press on the gas paddle full tilt. For the first few seconds you're struggling to get your car to full speed, but a few more seconds go and you realize that small amount of force is required for every little change in acceleration, i.e. then it becomes easier to accelerate. And the faster you are moving the harder it will be to stop!

So I started off in November, and by the time it was January I already had momentum, so the parties, food, drinks and the fun-filled holiday spirit in December did not stop me – slowed me down at most. Also, here's why New year's resolution is a bad idea. You've already partied too hard, eaten too much and probably drank too much too and you've had so much fun that it becomes seriously difficult to seriously look at your goals in January.

Forces are already acting against you, so you need to apply more force to have little acceleration towards your goals and slow progress dampens your spirits and sooner or later BLAAHH!! You give up!

Reason 3: Building Resistance. If you set your goals in November, like I did, you have already gone through the parties, the fun, the food and drinks and you realize that you still have momentum  in January. This boosts your confidence and increases your resistance to your outside world. It's like building muscles or getting flu shots. This is something that I realized later and oh yes it feels amazing!

So here's why you should NOT set a new year's resolution!

Collaborators of Success

Who are Customers? Have you heard of the saying, ‘Customers are always right”? Why does this saying have a huge importance in business? Well, customers are the people who pay for the products or services that you produce or provide. It is their money that ultimately fuels the growth of any business.

Customers and businesses are really two sides of the same coin. I even dare to take it one step further. Customers really are partners in business and collaborators of success.

Leaving out customers in important decisions of business is like tossing one wheel out of your 4×4 while going up the hill. The law of nature is that what does not grow gets eliminated. Businesses must grow and customers are becoming more and more important.

I am not a master businessman(not yet) and I have no degree in business. The closest I come is having 2 courses in economics and 1 in administrative studies and I am self employed. But what I am is an observer and I am observing that businesses are moving away from shareholder’s game to a stakeholders game. Although this shift has been happening for quite a long time now, there are few businesses that have taken this game to heart and these are the ones that truly seem to be pulling away from and ahead of the rest.

Ultimately everyone is playing their part. The workers are playing their part, the businessmen are playing theirs and customers are playing their part. The world is becoming smaller and smaller by the minute. A product or service is no longer made or provided by one party or even one part of the world. Collaboration is in a big part the soul of progress in our world today. What’s really making it happen is technology – the Internet to be very specific and to be even more specific – Web 2.0!

If the parties involved in providing products and services are working together, then why not take things a little further. Why not let the customers or the end users play a big role in  it as well. Because ultimately this work, whether it be some product or a service, is for the customers. Make customers your partners in business and collaborators of your success!