Some of the most useful skills to know.

The other day I asked an old friend of mine, “Why did everyone hate me at that job?”
He said, “everyone thought you were an arrogant jerk.”
Then they fired me.
I had forgotten how to communicate. I had forgotten the basic premise that allowed for the survival of our species. The ability to communicate far better than any other species.
RIght now there is writing, instagramming, tweeting, status updates, youtube videos, quora answers, podcasting, and basic one-one communication.
We have to learn the basic tenets of communication so that in this world where we receive up to 20,000 messages a day in all of it’s varieties, our communications can rise to the top. Our message can be heard. Our MEANING can have an impact.
Here’s what I do now to help myself communicate better.
A) IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
I’m one person out of seven billion. There are so many problems on the Earth: war, poverty, sickness.
There are also many ways to solve these problems. There’s innovation every day. There are cures invented every day. There’s people who want to help and have the resources.
The pain in the world is caused by the gap between the problems and the solutions: corruption, bad education, fear.
Having “Meaning” in life is when you can stake out your own small little way to close that gap. That is the gift your existence brings to history.
When I made a lot of money, I forgot to create Meaning in my life.
This left me with no “next step” in my life. Nothing worth saying to anybody. Having a vision had helped me make the money. But suddenly I no longer had any vision.
So I went straight down.
I forgot to ask at the end of every night, “Who did I help today?”
B) LISTEN
Listening is the underpinnings of communicating.
You can’t solve a person’s problems by giving them money (although that sometimes is a solution).
We are all constantly trying to tell our story. We wear masks, put on appearances, dance the dance.
The gap occurs when the story we tell is different from the story we are trying to tell. The story of who we are inside.
The one who listens is the one who can figure out that story. This is the first step at communicating to that baby child inside that wants to come out and play.
C) QUESTIONS
Without the right question, you’ll never get the right answer.
We’re not really smart enough to come up with the right answers. But if we listen carefully, we can ask the right questions.
One question leads to another. 1000 questions might lead to one answer. One solution.
I’ve done 100s of interviews. A bad interview is when you have pre-canned questions and you already know the answers.
A good interview is driven by curiosity. Dig a little deep. Get someone to take off the masks a little but so you can see who they really are.
People love people who ASK them. People don’t like people who TELL them.
D) STORIES
When my daughters were real little they wouldn’t go to sleep until I told them a story about when I was a kid. I had to tell them a new story every day.
They didn’t want a lecture on why you shouldn’t steal. They wanted to know about the time I stole and got caught.

Between you and me there is a vast river. A story is a boat. An idea is a passenger on that boat.
Only when you put the idea in the boat and send it in the right direction, when the wind is blowing just so, and the weather is the right temperature, does it have a chance of reaching the other side. At reaching you.
E) LAUGHTER
Laughter is before language. It’s primal communication.
If there was a rustling in the bush: could it be a lion? Or is it just the wind?
Once a mammal discovered it was just the wind, an instinctive laugh would come out, informing the other members of it’s tribe that there is nothing to worry about.
Danger transforming into relief is communicated via laughter. This is true for at least the last 2 million years. Everyone is in danger constantly. How many people around the world woke up at three in the morning today, scared of something that will probably never happen. I know I did.
Getting people to laugh tells people the danger is ok. You’re safe here. In this spot, right now. With me.
F) VULNERABILITY
I used to go on a lot of news TV shows. I’d be on these panels and they’d tell us when to argue with each other. I’d be sitting in a dark room in the studio with a camera facing me and an earpiece in my ear and ever now and then a voice would say, “Ok, argue now!”  And we all had to be perfect. Nobody was allowed to say, “I don’t know”.  I was always so scared because I never knew. But I foolishly felt like being on TV was a good thing. So, like everyone else (although that’s not an excuse), I’d pretend to know. And then we’d all go home. Great job! But when I took a shower I felt like I could never get clean.
So many things I got wrong. So many times I tried to be perfect and couldn’t handle it unless I was perfect. To the point that perfectionism almost led to a very imperfect suicide.
Deep down, we’re all trying to figure this out. Why are we here? Why did this happen to me? How can I do better? When we admit it, share it, question it – we can communicate with that primal emptiness inside of everyone that just needs to be heard. It’s in those moments of vulnerability that we become the best communicators.
G) SILENCE
How can silence be a way to communicate? We all think about 60,000 thoughts a day.
The only problem is: 95% of those thoughts are the same thoughts as yesterday. Silencing some of those thoughts would result in less stress, less anxiety, fear, regret. We speak about 10,000 words a day. What if we spoke one half of that?  Whenever I write a book I try to go on a silent retreat. Not to get rid of distractions. To get rid of me! When you speak, you spill your energy everywhere. It disperses into the sky. Into nothingness. Here’s a good trick to try: When someone is talking to you, if you are already thinking of a response while they are still talking, then you aren’t listening.  Let them finish. They have something to say to you.  There’s other skills of course: sales, languages, building things…I don’t know.
I’m not really good at most things that people consider valuable skills. I’m shy and like to sit in my room and I’m afraid to meet new people. But I force myself to because I think, “this will take me out of my comfort zone.” And then I will have something new to say. Then I can maybe help someone.
Then I will have an answer to the only question that is ever important. At the end of the night, when the lights are out, when there’s nothing left to say or do or think, to just wonder, even if there is no answer:
“Who did I help today?”

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Thinking Out of the Box.

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant’s debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender’s wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

“Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.” Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.

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MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way.

King and his four Wives.

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

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He loved the 4th wife the most and adored her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

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He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was alway showing her off to neighbouring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.
He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him.
Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.
The King’s 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!
One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short.
He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.”

Thus, he asked the 4th wife , “I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”
“No way!”, replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word.
Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.
The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, “I loved you all my
life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”
“No!”, replied the 3rd wife. “Life is too good!
When you die, I’m going to remarry!”
His heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd wife, “I have always  turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me.
When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!”, replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.”
Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated. Then a voice called out: “I’ll go with you.
I’ll follow you no matter where you go.”

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The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect.
Greatly grieved, the King said, “I should have taken much
better care of you when I had the chance!”
In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives:
Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.
Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.
Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the farthest they can stay  by us is up to the grave.
And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power pleasures of the world.
However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us where ever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity.

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Good Mini Habits to practice Everyday

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In no particular order:

  • Floss before going to bed.To ensure that you don’t have junk stewing in your teeth for 8 hours.
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Perform kegels every day.
  • “Eat the frog”.Write down 1 task that you must absolutely perform in order for the day to be a success, and do it first when you get to work.
  • Send 1 call/text/email to an old friend or colleague that you haven’t spoken with in a while.Over one year, that adds up to 365 reignited relationships (or 61 relationships reignited six times apiece).
  • End the day with less emails in your inbox than you started with.Repeat until you get to inbox zero.
  • Give away / donate one item in your household every single day.Repeat until you have an uncluttered, restful home.
  • Answer one question on Quora per day.Work on your writing ability while contributing to the organization of the world’s knowledge.
  • Walk to and from work, if possible.Exercise! Sunshine!habits-and-changes
  • Eat at least one fruit or vegetable each day.Sure, you should probably eat a half-dozen servings of each. But things can get really screwed up when you are eating zero fruits and veggies. Start small and be consistent.
  • Express gratitude.My days go so much smoother when I remind myself: “dude, you could just as easily have been born in a Sudanese refugee camp. You’re one lucky mo-fo.”
  • Spend at least 20 minutes reading something that is completely unrelated to your career (or “personal development”).Creative thinking requires varied inputs. If you have monofocus (e.g. only read about startups all day), you’re severely limiting the amount of interesting ideas you can come up with.
  • Get uncomfortable at least 1x per day (ideally 3x or 5x).By “get uncomfortable” I mean “summon the courage to do something that makes you anxious”. Speak up during the work conference call. Say hi to the pretty girl or fella standing next to you in line. Run 4 miles instead of 3. Et cetera. A-journey-of-a-thousand-miles-must-begin-with-a-single-step.--e1418705681761Remember: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

Living life to the fullest at the age 22

  1. Get off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These are places for people with attention whoring disorder.happy-birthday-to-me-22-years-old-2
  2. Get a gym membership. Go 4x a week.
  3. Read a book on a practical subject matter, once a month, if you’re not committed to other intensive academic studies.
  4. Don’t buy the bullshit that doing what you love brings you money in the end. Doing what you’re good at,  is what brings you the money and time to do what you love.
  5. Save half your income and invest wisely. Avoid derivatives unless you’re a pro. In time you will have the money to do whatever you want.
  6. If at all possible live and work in a foreign country for a few years.
  7. Be willing to meet people from different cultures and belief systems.  Be open minded about how they approach life and refrain from judging initially until you have gained enough perspective.
  8. Accept reality for what it is.  There is nothing wrong with having ideals to aspire for, but you must accept reality for what it currently is, before you can go about changing it.  There are plenty of people who live in their dreams and fantasies and amount to nothing, because they can’t accept the harshness of reality.  Sometimes, your life will just suck and you have to face it before you can make it better.
  9. Date wisely.
  10. Use leverage only to buy appreciating assets that generate income.  Buy without leverage assets that only appreciate via capital gains.  Lease anything that depreciates or generates negative cash flow because you generally only pay for the depreciation.

Standard Puzzles.

1. The Calendar Problem: A man has two cubes at his desk. Every day he arranges both cubes so that the front faces show the current day of the month. What numbers are on the faces of the cubes to allow this?

2. A 100 doors: You have 100 doors in a row that are all initially closed. You make 100 passes by the doors starting with the first door every time. First time through you visit every door and toggle the door (if the door is closed, you open it, if it’s open, you close it). The second time you only visit every 2nd door (door #2, #4, #6). The third time, every 3rd door (door #3, #6, #9), etc, until you only visit the 100th door. What state are the doors in after the last pass or in general after n pass?

3. 100 Jars: There are 100 jars containing infinite number of marbles each of 10 grams except one jar which contains all marbles of 9 grams. How would you find out which jar it is in exactly one weighing? For the same problem what would be your approach if more than one jars had 9 gram marbles?

4. Racing horses: There are 25 horses in a racing competition. You can have race among 5 horses in a particular race. What would be the minimum number of races that will be required to determine the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest horses?

5. Two persons: one always speaks truth other always speaks false. You don’t know who is what, You are new to the city, you are allowed to ask exactly one question to find out the direction (for e.g. south or north), what question would you ask?

6. Three persons: one always speaks the truth, second always lies and third randomly speaks the truth or lies. You are allowed to ask each entity one or more yes-no questions. You are allowed to ask three such questions. You must deduce the identities of the three entities with the answers you get. How should you ask the three questions?

7. Cake cutting: There is a rectangular shaped cake of arbitrary size; we cut a rectangular piece (any size or orientation) from the original cake. Question is how would you cut the remaining cake into two equal halves in a straight cut of a knife. And obviously you can’t cut the cake by its cross section.

8. The light bulb problem: You have three light bulbs in a sealed room. You know that initially, all three light bulbs are off. Outside the room there are three switches with a one-to-one correspondence to the light bulbs. You may flip the switches however you like and you may enter the room once. How should you flip the switches to determine which switch controls which light bulb?

9. You have a cylindrical glass with 100% full of water. You have to make it 50% (half). Condition: You are not supposed to use any scale or any type of measuring instrument.

10. A problem of probability: You are a prisoner sentenced to death. The Emperor offers you a chance to live by playing a simple game. He gives you 50 black marbles, 50 white marbles and 2 empty bowls. He then says, “Divide these 100 marbles into these 2 bowls. You can divide them any way you like as long as you use all the marbles. Then I will blindfold you and shuffle the bowls. You then may choose one bowl randomly and remove ONE marble from it. If the marble is WHITE you will live, but if the marble is BLACK… you will die.” How do you divide the marbles up so that you have the greatest probability of choosing a WHITE marble?

11. Pirates on deck: Five pirates discover a chest full of 100 gold coins. The pirates are ranked by their years of service, Pirate 5 having five years of service, Pirate 4 four years, and so on down to Pirate 1 with only one year of deck scrubbing under his belt. To divide up the loot, they agree on the following:
The most senior pirate will propose a distribution of the booty. All pirates will then vote, including the most senior pirate, and if at least 50% of the pirates on board accept the proposal, the gold is divided as proposed. If not, the most senior pirate is forced to walk the plank. Then the process starts over with the next most senior pirate until a plan is approved.          The pirate’s preference is first to remain alive, and next to get as much gold as possible. The most senior pirate thinks for a moment and then proposes a plan that maximizes his gold, and which he knows the others will accept. How does he divide up the coins?
What plan would the most senior pirate propose on a boat full of 15 pirates?

12. What is next number in the series:                                                                                                         a> 1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, 312211…                                                                                                              b> 1, 20, 33, 400, 505, 660, 777,8000, 9009…

13. Sneaking Spider:  A rectangular room measures 7.5 meters in length and 3 meters in width. The room has a height of 3 meters. A spider sits 25 centimeters down from the ceiling at the middle of one of the short walls. A sleeping fly sits 25 centimeters up from the floor at the middle of the opposite wall. The spider wants to walk (i.e., move along the walls, floor, and ceiling only) to the fly to catch it. How can the spider reach the fly, walking just 10 meters? Is it even possible?

14. The Fuse Problem: I have a box of one hour fuses. If I set one end of a fuse on fire, I know that the fuse will burn all the way to the other end in EXACTLY one hour. However, the fuses may burn unevenly [ie – it may take 59 minutes to burn the first half of a fuse, but only 1 minute to burn the other half]. Furthermore, all of the fuses may burn unevenly at a different rate. The only thing we know for sure is that each one takes 1 HOUR to burn completely. The Question: Given 2 of these fuses and a lighter, how can I time out 45 minutes precisely?
15. Dropping eggs: There is a building of 100 floors If an egg drops from the Nth floor or above it will break If it’s dropped from any floor below, it will not break You’re given 2 eggs Find N, while minimizing the number of drops for the worst case.

16. MIT Mathematicians:  Two MIT math grads bump into each other while shopping. They haven’t seen each other in over 20 years.                                                                                                                     First grad to the second: “How have you been?”
Second: “Great! I got married and I have three daughters now.”
First: “Really? How old are they?”
Second: “Well, the product of their ages is 72, and the sum of their ages is the same as the number on that building over there…”
First: “Right, ok… Oh wait… Hmm, I still don’t know.”
Second: “Oh sorry, the oldest one just started to play the piano.”
First: “Wonderful! My oldest is the same age!”
How old was the first grad’s daughter?

17. Crazy guy on the plane: A line of 100 airline passengers is waiting to board a plane. They each hold a ticket to one of the 100 seats on that flight. (For convenience, let’s say that the nth passenger in line has a ticket for the seat number n.) Unfortunately, the first person in line is crazy, and will ignore the seat number on their ticket, picking a random seat to occupy. All of the other passengers are quite normal, and will go to their proper seat unless it is already occupied. If it is occupied, they will then find a free seat to sit in, at random. What is the probability that the last (100th) person to board the plane will sit in their proper seat (#100)?

18. Escape from Alcatraz: A prisoner stays at the maximum security prisonon Alcatraz Island. The prison is in shape of 4X4 cells, the prisoner stays at top right cell with all other cell having a guard, only escape from prison is from bottom left cell (see diagram for further clarification). Here are the rules for a successful escape from the prison.
·        The prisoner has to escape from the prison overnight by killing all the guards.
·        He can only move vertically or horizontally, no diagonal movement is allowed.
·        As soon as the prisoner enters a cell he has to kill the guard.
·        If he sees the dead guard again he will go mad for 24 hrs out of guilt, i.e he can’t go to same cell twice.
Provide an escape route.
19. Transporting bananas: You are standing at point A with 3000 bananas and a faithful camel. Your destination is point B which is exactly 1000 kms away. The objective is to transport as many bananas as possible to point B, under the following conditions.
1. Only the camel can carry bananas.
2. The maximum load that the camel can carry at a time is 1000 bananas.
3. The camel consumes 1 banana for every km that it travels. (Irrespective of direction of travel or load)

20. There are 10 marbles of equal weight except for one which weighs a little more. Given a balance how many weighing are required to deduce the heavier marble. What would be the answer for N marbles? Your answer should consider the worst case.

21. Imagine a disk spinning like a record player turn table. Half of the disk is black and the other is white. Assume you have an unlimited number of color sensors. How many sensors would you have to place around the disk to determine the direction the disk is spinning? Where would they be placed?

22. There are 3 baskets. One of them has apples, one has oranges only and the other has mixture of apples and oranges. The labels on their baskets always lie. (i.e. if the label says oranges, you are sure that it doesn’t have oranges only, it could be a mixture) The task is to pick one basket and pick only one fruit from it and then correctly label all the three baskets. How do you do it?

23. Prime pairs: Pairs of primes separated by a single number are called prime pairs. Examples are 17 and 19, 5 and 7 etc. Prove that the number between a prime pair is always divisible by 6 (assuming both numbers in the pair are greater than 6). Now prove that there are no ‘prime triples’.

24. Suicidal Monks: There is a group of monks in a monastery. These monks have all taken a vow of silence. They cannot communicate with each other, and all they do is pray in a common room during the day and sleep at night. As well, they have no mirrors in the compound. One day, the head monk calls them all together and says “Tonight while you sleep, I will place a black X on some of your foreheads. When you awaken, continue your normal activities. But once you determine that you have an X, you must wait until night, and then kill yourself”. So from then on, they pray together by day, and each night some may commit suicide. The question: if there are N monks with Xes, how many days does it take for the N monks to commit suicide?

25. The Monty Hall problem:  You are given a choice between three doors — 1, 2, and 3. One of them contains a trip to Hawaii, and the other 2 are empty. You pick one. Then he opens one that you didn’t pick, and it’s empty. He gives you the chance to switch your choice to the other door you did not choose. Should you change your original selection?

Life at age 27 in India.

From a girl’s point of view.
CONS:
1. The only question that my office colleagues or my friends or even my family friends or relatives keep asking is “Shaadi kab karogi… ache ladke nikal jaayenge haath se?” (When are you getting married, good guys will become scarce). And I am like “Give me a break!!”.

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2. The next annoying thing is when u go on facebook and all your friends are putting life events on facebook as “got engaged”, “Got married” “had baby”. Check-ins which show they are on honeymoon makes me go green. Oh no no, not because they are with a guy in that amazing place, because a girl of my age got an entire trip sponsored by a “stranger” in an exotic place. :P. (I was kidding here. Ppl please dont get offended and kill me for this)
3. This is exactly the same time, when the closest or the childhood friends may also start talking about marriage, because this is what they are also subjected to at their homes. So, u generally run out of topics and everything boils down to the topic of “Marriage”
4. U dont feel like dating new guys, the reason is – you need a stability in your life and so you want that perfect guy now. No more of flings and attractions seem to excite you like before.
5. Whenever, i talk about visiting a new place, my parents come up with an immediate reply “Go with your husband!!!”
6. The thing that honestly scares the shit out of me is that my father is going to spend his half the life savings in one day on my wedding. He might do it out of his will, but most of it is peer pressure. A girl’s marriage is what runs in everybody’s mind in India (When I say everybody, I mean everybody – parents, relatives, friends, milk man, laundry, etc)
7. Professionally too, you have been working for around 5 years now, and you start feeling the job to be monotonous. And when movies like “Yeh jawani hai Deewani” and “Barfi” release, you feel like “I could done much better in my life, had I Listened to my heart and not become an engineer”
8. Even if you want to study further, your parents dont support it generally and refuse to fund it, because they are saving money for the greater good called marriage.

PROS:
9. You have become more mature and by this age of 27 you really know what you want and who are the BFF’s in your life. I have taken 3 solo trips in the last two years and it is keeping me more motivated and happy than ever. I know who and what can keep me happy and I no longer crave for happiness in others 🙂
10. Although, so many skeptical thoughts are running in your mind, their is a voice in your heart that keeps repeating the same stuff ” You are a good girl and an amazing person, things will definitely turn out good for you” 🙂

Weakness or Strength?

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”
“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,”the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.

Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches.
The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his only move to win the match.
Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger and stronger. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out.
He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him.
The boy had won the match and the tournament.
“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”
“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defence for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
“Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame the circumstances and ourselves for it but we never know that our weakness can become our strength one day.”

THE HARE & TORTOISE STORY.

Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on a route and started off the race.
The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he’d sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ.
The hare woke up and realized that he’d lost the race.
The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

This is the version of the story that we’ve all grown up with.

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some Defect Prevention (Root Cause Analysis). He realized that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax.

If he had not taken things for granted, there’s no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed.

This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.
The moral of the story? Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.

So it’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable.

But the story doesn’t end here.

The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there’s no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted.
He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route.

The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometers on the other side of the river.

The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral of the story? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.

The story still hasn’t ended.

The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better.

So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time.

They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back.
On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together.

They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they’d felt earlier.

The moral of the story?
It’s good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you’re able to work in a team and harness each other’s core competencies, you’ll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you’ll do poorly and someone else does well.

Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership.

There are more lessons to be learnt from this story.
– Neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure.
– The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could. In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort.
– Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.
– The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.

Wonderful Facts.

  1. Wal-Mart averages a profit of $1.8 million every hour.
  2. “Yahoo” is an backronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
  3. Starbucks’ round tables were created specifically so customers would feel less alone.
  4. Apple’s iPad retina display is actually manufactured by Samsung.
  5. Marvel Comics once owned the rights to the word “zombie.”
  6. The red and white Coca-Cola logo is recognized by 94% of the world’s population.
  7. Taco Bell has proved to be a huge flop in Mexico, as Mexicans were confused by the Americanization of their traditional cuisine.
  8. Adding /4 to the end of Facebook’s URL will take you to Mark Zuckerberg’s profile.
  9. Cereal is the second-largest advertiser on television today, behind automobiles.
  10. Google was originally called BackRub.
  11. Pepsi got its name from the digestive enzyme pepsin.
  12. AMAZON  Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more employees spend two days every two years working at the customer service desk — even the CEO — in order to help all workers understand the customer service process.
  13. Everything you say to Siri is sent to Apple, analyzed, and stored.
  14. Candy Crush brings in a reported $633,000 a day in revenue.
  15. Warner Music owns the copyrights to “Happy Birthday,” so it’s technically owed royalties every time you sing it to someone on their big day.
  16. Apple had a third founder, Ronald Wayne, who had a 10% stake in the company. He left the fledgling company after 12 days and forfeited his shares for $2,300 (its worth $60 billion now [informed by Vishal Manohar Parte 🙂 ]
  17. In iPhone ads, the time is always 9:42 a.m. or 9:41 a.m., because Apple events start at 9 a.m. and big product reveals generally happen 40 minutes into the presentation.
  18. The Volkswagen group owns Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Audi, Ducati, and Porsche.
  19. The average smartphone user checks Facebook 14 times a day.
  20. Gambling generates more revenue than movies, spectator sports, theme parks, cruise ships, and recorded music combined.