Don’t stand on your oxygen pipe

Don’t stand on your oxygen pipe

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Raja Jamalamadaka
Thought leader- Org effectiveness and NeuroLeadership | Country Head | Start-up Mentor | Leadership Coach

Two brothers, Tim and Dave, had just earned a fortune in inheritance after the death of their father – the proceeds were kept in a special locker, which could be opened only by using two keys simultaneously. To avoid any chance of cheating, the father gave the brothers one key each. This way, the locker could be opened only if Tim and Dave presented their keys together. Both were happy with this arrangement. The brothers stored their keys at locations known only to them.

A day came when Tim needed his share of the money. As Dave walked towards the location where he had stored his key, he was hit by a car and had to be rushed to a hospital in critical condition. Days became weeks and Dave’s condition wasn’t getting any better, making Tim progressively worried about his brother’s health and their fortune.

Weeks after the accident, Tim received news that Dave had regained consciousness. Tim rushed to the hospital full of hope and excitement only to find Dave still completely bandaged from head to toe. As Tim went closer, Dave opened his eyes and everyone was thrilled. But Dave said nothing: he merely made some funny signs with the pen in his hands. Neither the doctors nor Tim followed what was going on – though Tim guessed that Dave was trying to tell him the location of his key. As seconds passed by, Dave appeared even more desperate and frantically scribbled something on a piece of paper. The scribbling was unreadable. Tim shouted even louder into Dave’s ears, asking him about the location of his key – Dave continued to scribble. Seconds later, Dave died.

Tim was disturbed and kept the paper scribbling in his wallet as the last sign of his brother. Tim had lost all his inheritance.

A few days later, in a calm state, Tim opened his wallet to read the paper. The gibberish now appeared much clearer to him. It said “You are standing on my oxygen pipe.”

So many of us are like Tim. The opportunities of life are always close enough yet tucked away in lockers of challenges. However, life is always cautiously kind: it tosses keys to us in the form of Dave’s paper scribbling. Our challenge? In the mad rush to grab the opportunity, we are often found standing on the oxygen pipe of the keys to our challenges, killing the opportunity in the process.

Not so sure? Check these out.

1.Family comes first: In the rush to reach the corporate totem pole, you are totally focused on your work to the point of ignoring your family altogether. No family events, no birthdays or special occasions, low to no quality time with family. You ignore scribbled warnings- frustrated family, fights and prolonged communication breakdown with partner, broken relations with children.

You are standing on the oxygen pipe of your personal success.

2. Health is vital: In the mad rush to make more money, you change over to a high-paying job with excessive pressures, work even longer hours under tremendous stress and indulge in taking up aggressive targets – in the process missing workouts and compromising on your health. Eventually, you might succeed, albeit at the cost of a permanent damage to your health. All along, your health is scribbling warnings – tiredness, stress, fatigue and perhaps even elevated blood pressure.

You are standing on the oxygen pipe of your own health.

3. Emotions cause demotions: You face challenges in life. Instead of containing them, you bring your work challenges to your family and vice versa. You are angry, grumpy, frustrated and show an array of negative emotions vitiating the part of life that’s doing well.

You are standing on the oxygen pipe of the solution to the very problems you are facing.

4. Assumptions makes you an ASS: At work, you are presented a new challenge. You make negative assumptions about the challenge, spread rumors, indulge in loose talk about the organization and the management or worse, create conspiracy theories ignoring scribbled warnings – dis-enchanted management and being passed up for new opportunities.

You are standing on the oxygen pipe of your job longevity and positivity.

5. Competition shows your mettle: You lose something to a competitor: a major business contract, an important sports match, a promotion, recognition for work done, an award or anything else that valuable to you. Instead of congratulating your competitor and realizing you have areas of self-improvement, you indulge in open mud-slinging and character assassination on your competitor, indulge in verbal duels, fabricate stories of nepotism to demean your opponent’s reputation in your industry and broadcast this to everyone who cares to listen to you. You ignore scribbled warnings telling you the more negative the tongue, the narrower the oxygen pile of professional success.

You are standing on the oxygen pipe of your industry standing, sportsmanship, integrity and professionalism.

Almost all perceived challenges faced in life come bundled with their solutions like the scribbled paper in the story – just that in our emotions and rush, we face to notice them or worse, snuff life out of the solutions.

Here are four R’s that can help prevent you from unknowingly standing on your oxygen pipe:

Relax: The human brain is a busy organ with too many things competing for its attention. Stress and other emotions usually play at high frequencies, whereas rational understanding of challenges play at very low frequencies in the brain – similar to whispers in a loud room. Not surprisingly, loud useless noise trumps feeble valuable ones when it comes to grabbing brain’s attention. You need to calm your brain down to hear these inner feeble voices.

Yoga, prayer and mindfulness meditation now start making a lot of sense.

2. Rejuvenate: Rejuvenation is the art of balancing time among important entities: self, significant others (family etc), higher powers and everyday work, without allowing life events to get in the way. Each entity in your life activates different parts of the brain (and deactivates the overactive parts) leading to feeling of fulfillment in life.

3. Realize: Realization is the wisdom of appreciating two important universal truths:

a. Emotions play spoilsport while handling any challenge or change.

Nothing remains permanent, neither your challenges nor your happiness.

Such a perspective helps you to stay grounded during your success knowing this too shall pass and maintain positive attitude during your darkest hours knowing that this too shall pass.

4. Reassess: A relaxed, rejuvenated and wise mind is the perfect place to reassess opportunities, challenges and changes from a fresh perspective to unscramble the solutions.

Provided you put efforts in the first 3 R’s right, the 4th R usually shows up effortlessly as luck, insight, miracle or revelation. Most people fail to put in efforts in the first 3 R’s and instead go straight to the last R, resulting in wasted efforts and tremendous stress. The human brain is simply not designed to work that way.

Life a simple ecosystem and its success depends on individual elements fitting together effortlessly like a jig-saw puzzle. The oxygen pipe of life runs through these seemingly unlinked elements. A calm, wise and rejuvenated mind is the crucial requirement to reassess life holistically so we don’t accidentally stand on the vital oxygen pipe of your life.

Have you experienced a situation where you unknowingly stood on your own oxygen pipe? How did you cope up with it? How did you see others handle these?

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By Amar S
Author, Stand-up Comedian, Motivational Speaker, Public Speaking Coach, Qualitative Research Consultant

I didn’t do much work today. I generally get a decent amount of work done in a day to be able to look at myself with respect at the day of the day. However, I have deliberately tried to slow down over the years.

It wasn’t always so. During my undergraduate life, I tried to be a chartered accountant, a journalist, an MBA and many other things. I was desperate to learn something which will get me a job-ANY JOB. I didn’t care why I needed that job, besides that jobs pay. But I wanted a job. That’s what I was told to do. My father once famously said, to me, that he would have been happy if I got 10000 bucks a month.

I rushed through my college life. I rushed through my 20’s. I finally got an MBA. I took the CAT exam 5 times. I hated it. But I was in a rush. So, I didn’t ask myself the why’s.

I rushed through most of my life. At some point, when I had a decent job, I realized that I wasn’t quite happy. Happiness somewhere got sacrificed in the rush. I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing and I had just rushed through 3 decades of my life.

At some point, I decided not to rush anymore, when the speed is within my control. Sometimes, I still do it unconsciously, but again, I remind myself not to rush. I want to smell the flowers. I want to leave a legacy. I want to know why I am doing what I am doing. And I want to do work that matters, with people who matter.

Think about Rudyard Kipling for a minute. What is he famous for? He is famous for a poem called “If”. How many people left something after they died which the world values? Only a few. Even if we don’t care what Rudyard Kipling did for most of his life, but he left a poem which has inspired millions. That’s leaving a legacy.

We cannot leave a legacy if we don’t know where we are headed. Most of us, at least in India, don’t know what we are passionate about. We don’t know why we do what we do, besides mercenary reasons. It is a sad way to live life. A mercenary life is not a worthy life.

The society looks down on prostitutes because they sell their bodies for money. Many of us are selling our souls for money and we want to be respected for that.

We need to slow down. We need to take a break and think who we are. We need to understand what we are passionate about. I am no authority on the subject but I have had my own journey and struggles to understand who I am. Since I am writing this piece, I would love to propose a few questions that probably could help us in connecting us with our true selves:

What is the key reason that drives me to do what I do?
If nobody paid me anything, what would I be willing to do for free?
If I had all the money, how would I spend my time?
What do I love?
Who do I love? Why do I love this person?
Who do I admire? Why do I admire this person?
What am I passionate about?
If I could live an idealistic life, what might it look like?
What is one thing about me that’s unique?
Who am I at the core?
Well, I could go on. These are just some of the questions that could perhaps begin to unravel for us the mystery of who we are. As Indians, there is tremendous pressure on our lives to move from one milestone to another:

Birth→Education→Job→Marriage→Kids→Grand kids→Death

I am not saying there is anything wrong with the sequence. However, it is important that there is meaning at every step. After all, life without meaning is a worthless life. We can only create meaning when know who we are and why we do what we do.

So, may be, take it slow.
Take a year off.
Take a few months off.
Take a week off.
Take a day off.
Thank you for reading.

Ros guy
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@Alpha.Barood wrote:

——
By Amar S
Author, Stand-up Comedian, Motivational Speaker, Public Speaking Coach, Qualitative Research Consultant

I didn’t do much work today. I generally get a decent amount of work done in a day to be able to look at myself with respect at the day of the day. However, I have deliberately tried to slow down over the years.

It wasn’t always so. During my undergraduate life, I tried to be a chartered accountant, a journalist, an MBA and many other things. I was desperate to learn something which will get me a job-ANY JOB. I didn’t care why I needed that job, besides that jobs pay. But I wanted a job. That’s what I was told to do. My father once famously said, to me, that he would have been happy if I got 10000 bucks a month.

I rushed through my college life. I rushed through my 20’s. I finally got an MBA. I took the CAT exam 5 times. I hated it. But I was in a rush. So, I didn’t ask myself the why’s.

I rushed through most of my life. At some point, when I had a decent job, I realized that I wasn’t quite happy. Happiness somewhere got sacrificed in the rush. I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing and I had just rushed through 3 decades of my life.

At some point, I decided not to rush anymore, when the speed is within my control. Sometimes, I still do it unconsciously, but again, I remind myself not to rush. I want to smell the flowers. I want to leave a legacy. I want to know why I am doing what I am doing. And I want to do work that matters, with people who matter.

Think about Rudyard Kipling for a minute. What is he famous for? He is famous for a poem called “If”. How many people left something after they died which the world values? Only a few. Even if we don’t care what Rudyard Kipling did for most of his life, but he left a poem which has inspired millions. That’s leaving a legacy.

We cannot leave a legacy if we don’t know where we are headed. Most of us, at least in India, don’t know what we are passionate about. We don’t know why we do what we do, besides mercenary reasons. It is a sad way to live life. A mercenary life is not a worthy life.

The society looks down on prostitutes because they sell their bodies for money. Many of us are selling our souls for money and we want to be respected for that.

We need to slow down. We need to take a break and think who we are. We need to understand what we are passionate about. I am no authority on the subject but I have had my own journey and struggles to understand who I am. Since I am writing this piece, I would love to propose a few questions that probably could help us in connecting us with our true selves:

What is the key reason that drives me to do what I do?
If nobody paid me anything, what would I be willing to do for free?
If I had all the money, how would I spend my time?
What do I love?
Who do I love? Why do I love this person?
Who do I admire? Why do I admire this person?
What am I passionate about?
If I could live an idealistic life, what might it look like?
What is one thing about me that’s unique?
Who am I at the core?
Well, I could go on. These are just some of the questions that could perhaps begin to unravel for us the mystery of who we are. As Indians, there is tremendous pressure on our lives to move from one milestone to another:

Birth→Education→Job→Marriage→Kids→Grand kids→Death

I am not saying there is anything wrong with the sequence. However, it is important that there is meaning at every step. After all, life without meaning is a worthless life. We can only create meaning when know who we are and why we do what we do.

So, may be, take it slow.
Take a year off.
Take a few months off.
Take a week off.
Take a day off.
Thank you for reading.

Yeah it’s true…there is work to do almost all the time even though you don’t like it!

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जरा तमीज़ से बटोरना, बुझे दियों को दोस्तों,

इन्होंने अमावस की अन्धेरी रात में हमें रौशनी दी थी…

किसी और को जलाकर खुश होना अलग बात है,

इन्होंने तो खुद को जलाकर हमें खुशी दी थी…
🙏 🙏

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The difference between the poor and rich nations is not the age of the Nation.

This can be demonstrated by countries like India and Egypt, which are more than 2000 years old, and are still poor countries.

On the other hand, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, which 150 years back were insignificant, are today developed and rich countries.

The difference between the poor and rich nation does not also depend on the available natural resources.

Japan has limited territory, 80% mountainous, unsuitable for agriculture or farming, but is the third in worlds economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw material from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.

Second example is Switzerland, it does not grow cocoa but produces the best chocolates in the world. In her small territory she rears animals and cultivates the land only for four month in a year, nevertheless manufactures the best milk products. A small country which is an image of security which has made it the strongest world bank.

Executives from rich countries who interact with their counterparts from poor countries show no significant intellectual differences.

The racial or colour factors also do not evince importance: migrants heavy in laziness in their country of origin are forcefully productive in rich European countries.

What then is the difference?

The difference is the attitude of the people, moulded for many years by education and culture.

When we analyse the conduct of the people from the rich and developed countries, it is observed that a majority abide by the following principles of life:
1. Ethics, as basic principles.
2. Integrity.
3. Responsibility.
4. The respect for Laws and Regulations.
5. The respect from majority of citizens by right.
6. The love for work.
7. The effort to save and invest.
8. The will to be productive.
9. Punctuality.

In the poor countries a small minority follow these basic principles in their daily life.

We are not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel towards us.

We are poor because we lack attitude. We lack the will to follow and teach these principles of working of rich and developed societies.

WE ARE IN THIS STATE BECAUSE WE WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OVER
EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

WE ARE IN THIS STATE BECAUSE WE SEE SOMETHING DONE WRONG AND SAY – “LET IT BE”!

WE SHOULD HAVE A SPIRITED MEMORY AND ATTITUDEONLY THEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO CHANGE OUR PRESENT STATE.

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Can’t resist sharing. Feel it’s
a nice way to draw away from the daily bickering happening in the Country.
Trust you all will understand why.

Forwarded as received. ……..

Today 18 Nov is Rezang La day on ……

This is the epic battle of Rezang la. As a child I had heard the story many times. The epic battle of Rezang La. The name had a zing to it. Rezang La. A battle fought at an altitude of 18,000 feet in Ladakh.

120 soldiers of the Indian army against 5,000 soldiers of the Chinese army. The Chinese also had Artillery support. The 120 soldiers of 13th battalion of Kumaon Regt had no artillery support.

Rezang la is the story of unparalleled valour, raw courage and victory buried in the overall humiliation of the crushing defeat at the hands of China in 1962.

The story always brought tears in the eyes but filled the heart with immense pride. Perhaps it was the way my father, then a young major in the Army and a commentator at Republic Day parade and Rashtrapati Bhavan citation ceremonies, narrated it after dinner as he put us to bed. The date is still etched in my mind – 18 November 1962.

It was icy cold on the peaks around Chushul in Ladakh. Rezang La, Gurung Hill and Spanggur Gap, my father would say as he drew an imaginary hill with his hands.

The Chinese artillery was advancing. Major Shaitan Singh was the Company
Commander of Charlie Company of 13 Kumaon. His company was on Rezang La. He was a Rajput commanding an Ahir Company. Around four in the morning the scouts alerted Maj Shaitan Singh about advancing Chinese troops. They were advancing through the gullies not in ones or twos but in hundreds, heading for the peak.

The Major told his men to remain alert but not open fire until he gave the command. As the Chinese troops advanced, the light machine guns opened fire with menacing accuracy. The first wave retreated. But the Chinese were numerically far superior. Before dawn the second wave advanced. This too was beaten back.

By now at least a 100 Chinese troops lay dead or injured but even before the Indian soldiers could replenish their stocks and reload the machine guns, at three platoon posts
Chinese soldiers kept advancing wave after wave. Major Shaitan Singh and his Ahir boys kept firing even though they were under a constant barrage of artillery. There was no hope and no way of replenishing their ammunition.

Major Shaitan Singh had two options:

Fight to the last man and last bullet, OR
Abandon Post.

The soldiers were tired and bleeding. But their morale was high. They chose to fight on. Not a single man abandoned his post. Not a single man fled the battle. But how long could 120 men fight more than 5,000 Chinese troops? But they did, to the last man and last bullet.

My father told us stories of how one soldier, a wrestler, crushed the heads of two Chinese soldiers with his bare hands, when he ran out of ammunition. Another soldier flung himself on two Chinese soldiers and took them down with him as they climbed towards the peak. All this is a part of the military folklore.

Major Shaitan Singh did not want the Chinese army to take control of his body or mutilate it. He was mortally wounded in combat. He ordered his jawans to hide his body behind boulders. One of his buddies unslung his rifle, used the sling to tie Major Shaitan Singh’s body to his and rolled down the hill. As the brave Major Shaitan Singh breathed his last, his body was hidden behind boulders. Only six of the 120 soldiers survived. Five were taken as prisoners of war. One slipped back to Leh and narrated the story to the army.

As the folklore goes, the Chinese stopped at Rezang La to count their dead and tend to the injured. They lost their will to move forward and retreated. The battlefield was covered in snow.

In 1963 when the snow had melted and a new battalion returned to Rezang La, they found the brave soldiers of 13 Kumaon still in their trenches……Frozen. Finger still on the trigger.

This was bravery beyond
the call of duty, in the line of fire. 114 bodies were cremated with full military honours in 1963 at those icy heights.

Bravery that continues to inspire generations of soldiers.

At the Rezang La memorial are etched eternal lines of Thomas B Macaulay…….

“How can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his Gods.”

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What I learnt from Samanatha Fox – Its not what you think !

 

What I learnt from Samanatha Fox – Its not what you think ! 

 

Touch me, touch me now ! 

 

This popular song made me think about the importance of touch in marketing goods & services . Yes it sounds creepy but is not . And Yes it does makes a difference 

 

People that touch a product are more likely to buy the product , than people who do not touch the product ( The Small Big by Bob Cialdini , Noah Goldstein & Steve Martin ) 

 

The implications of this Invisible Selling strategy are obvious :

 

Get your products & services to say “ touch me “ 

 

Eg : Paper Mate pens allow you to touch the pen while it is in a properly packed state 

 

Ok you get the message about offline stuff 

 

What about online ?

 

Peck & Shu ’s research shows merely getting prospects to imagine touching your product increases their desire to buy it 

 

Caveat : 

 

Getting people to touch your products is only good if they are neutral or beneficial to touch 

 

So if you are selling razor blades , maybe you want to pass 

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In my many years I have come to a conclusion, … that one useless man is a shame, two [useless men] is a law firm and three or more [useless men] is a government."
~John Adams


“If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do
read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

~Mark Twain


“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

~George Bernard Shaw
*******

“Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor
people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.”

~ Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University


“Giving money and power to government is like giving
whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

~P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian


“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean
politics won’t take an interest in you!”

~Pericles (430 B.C.)

*^

“What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.”

~Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)
*

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”

~Aesop
********
“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!”

~P.J. O’Rourke

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Can you sleep when the wind blows?"

The following story is – a superb metaphorical exposition of the level of preparedness.

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast.
He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic.

They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. ‘Are you a good farm hand?’ the farmer asked him.

‘Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,’ answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.

The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.

Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, ’Get up! A storm is coming!

Tie things down before they blow away!’ The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, ‘No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.’

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?

The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.

The above story goes on to talk about trials and tribulations in life and if we do our best to understand, accept, and implement the principles learnt by us we will experience a deep sense of security, peace, and joy from within. We will then be able to ‘sleep when the wind blows.’

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आहिस्ता से पढना मेरे दोस्त,एक वाक्य भी दिल में बैठ गया तो कविता सार्थक हो जायेगी:-

मैं रूठा ,
तुम भी रूठ गए
फिर मनाएगा कौन ?

आज दरार है ,
कल खाई होगी
फिर भरेगा कौन ?

मैं चुप ,
तुम भी चुप
इस चुप्पी को फिर तोडे़गा कौन ?

छोटी बात को लगा लोगे दिल से ,
तो रिश्ता फिर निभाएगा कौन ?

दुखी मैं भी और तुम भी बिछड़कर ,
सोचो हाथ फिर बढ़ाएगा कौन ?

न मैं राजी ,
न तुम राजी ,
फिर माफ़ करने का बड़प्पन
दिखाएगा कौन ?

डूब जाएगा यादों में दिल कभी ,
तो फिर धैर्य बंधायेगा कौन ?

एक अहम् मेरे ,
एक तेरे भीतर भी ,
इस अहम् को फिर हराएगा कौन ?

ज़िंदगी किसको मिली है सदा के लिए ?
फिर इन लम्हों में अकेला
रह जाएगा कौन ?

मूंद ली दोनों में से गर किसी दिन
एक ने आँखें….
तो कल इस बात पर फिर
पछतायेगा कौन ?

Respect Each Other
Ignore Mistakes

Missing