Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mission Statement

Friends, let me make this clear at the beginning itself. The topic of this post is not originally mine. This is idea from one of the books I am reading these days (as like projects, I generally have many books, movies in open state for many days, till I finish with them). The book is very popular one; it’s called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. It is a bestseller self help book, and full of such superb ideas. 

I felt this particular idea really important and worth sharing with you guys, hence writing this blog.

If you’ve grasped this idea well, I am sure you’ll find it useful everywhere. In success, failure, happiness, sorrows, and entire life.

When you think of success, or you try to decide success of a particular thing, or yourself, how do you decide it? We generally have tendency to decide success, by comparing the thing with the similar ones, when it is about people, or us, we compare between persons. So, if I am trying to measure my success, I may start thinking like, do I score more than Mr. X, do I earn as much as Mr. Y, do I have more possessions than Mr. Z , etc.

But, that is unfair. In mathematics, there is a simple rule, to compare between similar entities. Amount in rupees can be compared to another amount in rupees only, never with an amount in any other currency. When you compare two cars of same model, it is fair directly to draw conclusion on statistics like average, maintenance expenditure, etc. because, both the cars have been manufactured with identical methods. And only performance is sufficient to compare between them. (Here also, the driver’s technique, the kind of road that the car has mostly travelled on plays some significant role)

In case of any two persons, it is not possible to have this kind of comparison. Every individual has a unique background, upbringing conditions, environment, friends circle, thought patterns, etc. So how can it be justified, to decide one’s success with respect to other person(s)? As the conditions of any person are unique, so unique has to be the criterion to decide his success. And who better than the person himself decide this criterion?

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Enter the idea “Mission Statement”. If a person identifies his own unique conditions, his desires, and realistic potential of his dreams, he can combine all this to set a bunch of goals, to decide what he wants to achieve in short term, in long term, and in life. He can combine all these to form a unique “Mission Statement”. 

So whenever later in his life, he will think about success, accomplishments, he’ll only have to go through this mission statement, and decide how much he has achieved, and whether or not he is successful in his mission. If he has served the purpose he himself had set for his life, he is successful, otherwise not. No other definition of success will matter.

Most of my audience, (:-D, which is quite small yet) are youngsters, who are about to start living on their own. It makes sense, if we start thinking about the purpose of our life, at this phase. We are starting the life tour, and this is like deciding our route and destinations.

Imagine you are travelling, and you don’t know where you are heading to. How much of the distance you’ve travelled, how long you’ve been travelling matters, if you don’t know where you need to go? When you know about your destination, then only you can estimate how far you are from it, how much you still need to go.

And most important, you can make use of milestones to decide whether you are in right direction only when you know your destination.

Because reaching to any destinations is not worthy, reaching the right destination can only count.

That’s what I am trying to share with you. Start thinking about it. Please don’t be vague about your direction, route, stops, and final destination. Life is only once, you get to travel through it only once. Do it with a sense.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Having Nothing To Do

I have nothing to do right now... Except for this blog. But I started to write this, just because I had nothing else to do.
I am passed out of college. I have been selected for a job. The only thing I am doing right now, is waiting for a call letter from company.

Just to make some exceptions, I have some tasks like bill payments, little shopping for home. But that tasks take only about half an hour, and again I am free, empty... and have nothing to do. Now I know, these of-course are some things to do, but I mean to say, they are just tasks, you do them, n finish. I am speaking of things which you can keep doing.

From all the past years of schooling and education, I and may be all of us, have been habituated to be doing something always. We've been attending school/college, studying (or skipping it, but at least we had something to skip, now what can i skip???). All our activities were centered around the institution we belong to. Like, school, college, coaching class. We admit to such place, and center our life around it. We make friends, form groups, with group comes loyalties. We plan movies, picnics with the same group. We pass the most of our time with this group, be it bunking classes, endless discussions about films, gadgets, cars, college, girls/boys, gossip.......... etc.

We keep cursing the college/class. I remember, most of the discussion in my group used to be the useless Indian Education System. We cursed everything syllabus, outdated subjects, nonsense teachers, fruitless practicals, worst policies in college etc.

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Now, I realize, though I tend to deny the credit to the college, for the skills and knowledge I believe I have earned. I must give full credit to the college, for being the place where I met my friends, I formed my group, and where I spent my "Happy days". All the allegations about college I mentioned before, are still valid. But the fact I am facing now, is that with all its faults college provided me my identity, and my friends. I am thanking to the phenomenon of college or institution, I cant help it if by default, some part of my thanks goes to the instance of that phenomenon, i.e. my college.

Remember all those situations where you were asked to introduce yourself. How many times you remember, that it finished only with your name? "What do you do?" is the FAQ after you tell your name. Or it could be "Which standard" when you were small. The point I am trying to make is, our name and our personality is just our personal identity. When you try to introduce yourself, you are also asked for your "Social Identity". Reasons for this.. revise some of the civics lessons, "Man is a social animal. .. blah blah blah."

So, the answer to that second intro question could be
A. "I study in _ standard in _ school/college"
B. "I work for _ company"
C. "I am in _ profession"
D. Similar to above

Have you ever mentioned your hobby in the first place, when somebody asks "What do you do?". I don't think anybody could've answered it like
A. "I collect stamps."
B. "I take photographs."
C. "I read books."
D. Similar to above

They are supposed to be hobbies, i.e. leisure time activities. Neither us, nor the people can expect that as an answer to "What do you do?".

I guess, now you get what I mean when I say, I have nothing to do. Even now, I watch movies, I read books, I have many such hobbies. But I am not associated with any profession, or any institution as on the moment. I have no place where I can say I belong to, or where I can channel my loyalties.

Leisure time, another problem. We always postpone our ideas, and plans to do in leisure time, but when we have it we simply don't recognize it. Imagine, you have a problem with something or someone. Not a serious one, not even urgent one. You plan to seriously think about it when you are free. You are traveling for some reason, you get to the Railway Station. And the train is delayed by some hours, and you can't return to the home/hotel. Now, you have the free time, you have nothing else to do. What is the probability that, you'll identify this situation and start thinking about that serious thing? Your mind will be full of thoughts about train, delay, travel, crowd,.. etc.

I have faced that problem. From the past month, I am stuck in house, for the sake of being available, when the company communicates with me. The joining letter is in "Can arrive anytime" status since many days. I can't plan long duration trips, I can't start with long term activities. I have less options with the small time activities (in which I am interested). So even if I had free time, leisure time, I couldn't identify it and utilize for things I intended to do in leisure time.

Elder people say, "use this time to grow, to earn more skills...." I am doing things, that will help me grow up as a person. I am taking cooking lessons from my mom, I am reading books, etc. I am using the time well for such things. But again, does that make the answer for "What do you do?". I wonder, what one will think, if he asks "What do you do?" and I answer "I am growing up as a person."

I have found one more thing to do. To write this blog. Let's see if i can boast about my blog, when I am hit with the question again, "What do you do?", I'll try answering "I am author of skyposts.".

I am finished with this post, and have again nothing to do. :-D

I just hope, I have made some point, a little sense. All I can say is, my name is Akash (means Sky). My mind is like sky, all thoughts in it are clouds, stars. They don't necessarily form shapes. It needs vision to identify shapes among them. Visionaries observed stars, and discovered the zodiacs, and enriched the mankind.

So, if you had a nice experience with this blog, keep watching this space for more. ;-). If you clearly missed the point, try next skypost, another bunch of clouds will be ready very soon. :-)