Is it a fair explanation to continue to put efforts?

In my last blog, about a day back, I shared my views on importance of continuous learning. Today, during lunch time I was discussing it with my colleagues. One of them raised a query which I believe is worth discussing with a larger forum…. What better than WordPress. I feel that the question raised is relevant for so many like me.  He said, “Sachin, while I agree that continuous learning is important; but at times I feel exhausted, drained & useless; and it happens when even after my best of efforts I fail to understand some algorithms, key concepts etc”

My initial reaction to his comment was, “Hang on! This is a little off-track to what I am discussing.” But then I thought, “So what, even if this is off-track the query raised is relatable”. Even I feel the same so many times. About 4 months back I picked a book on VBA macros, reading about 12 pages daily of 400 page long book, and I think after 200 pages I myself felt drained, exhausted, consumed. I just stopped reading it. This is just one of umpteen such incidents.

Let me share another such incident. The other day I was reading Chetan Khosla’s blog title “RSS Feed” (for his blog please visit ). I found it quite intriguing. And hence I tried subscribing for some RSS feeds directly to my MS-Outlook. After about 60 min of effort; I must say failed effort/attempt, I just gave it a pass.

Today evening, I shared my colleague’s comments with my mom. She like me is a big fan of Hindu Mythology. Like me she, more or less every time, takes reference from our mystic stories to find out most practical solution to difficult problems. This time was no different, she said,

“Sachin, I think right answer is very simple. Let me tell you a story”

An old farmer and his grandson lived on a farm. One day the grandson said, “I try to read the Bhagavad-Gita just like you but I don’t understand it much. And whatever little I understand, I forget it very soon. What is the use of reading this book?”

The old farmer quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.”

The young boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back home. The farmer asked him to try again, and again. But every single time, the water leaked out of the basket before he got back to the house. Finally, he said exhausted, “See Grandpa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it’s useless?” the old farmer said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket to a new clean one, inside and out.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read a book like the Bhagavad-Gita. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it again and again, you will realize the benefit one day.”

Is it a fair explanation to continue to put efforts? Thoughts!

To Share or not to Share.. what should I tell my Daughter

One big plus of working with a big organization is that you get a chance to interact, work & learn from larger number of co-workers; Co-workers that come from different social, economical, financial & educational background. The finest thing about this is that one tends to experience completely different perspective on varied situations. At times other’s perspective challenges your life long beliefs; especially when the other party not just vehemently argues about it but practice it day in day out. More so when you see that the other party is also as successful as you are, in being adored by as many as you are being loved by… and so on and so forth… I hope you can relate to what I am trying to articulate!

So to avoid all gobbledygook, in a nutshell I have found that that there is always a group, more or less balanced with equal numbers for both views/perspective. That leaves you with an inner confrontation.

I still remember one such experience, though it was about 3 years old, where a co-worker had a completely different view on sharing self-designed excel template with other departments for solving key supply-chain problems.

The story goes like this:-

My good friend, an excel geek & a co-worker in WFM department had developed an MS-Excel based algorithm which could solve key supply-chain problems with a click of a button. That one algorithm helped us to increase our efficiency & accuracy significantly. The rewards followed; my friend got promoted, our department got recognition & organization was benefited. My friend always kept his algorithm password protected and was not ready to share it with anyone.

If you would ask me whether he was right in not sharing it with anyone I would say, oh yes. The algorithm was his baby, his creation.

But then there’s another story which I read in my elder daughter’s bedtime story book last night. And it goes like this:-

There was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

So here’s the conflict, what should I tell my daughter, share or not to share, be aware of the connectedness of life or not.

One of my mentors says, those who choose to live well must help others to live well. Another mentor of mine repeats daily that for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. Should I tell my daughter that share even if the stakes are high, even at the risk of loss.


but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to ‘put them down’

Throughout last week, I was out on vacation along with my family. What a blessing it was. I say this because it gave me an opportunity to spend time with my mother; my spiritual guide & mentor. On our way from Srinagar to Gulmarg, we were having a discussion on the quality of life that I am living. She was concerned about the amount of stress that I take on daily basis. I was giving her reasons, reasons that I know were genuine& issues that are simply non-avoidable.

She was listening with patience, nodding in agreement. Her only argument was, “Do you think we did not have these issues when we were of your age ?” and then in her own unique style she told us a story, a story about why it is important to put our day-to-day challenges down at the end of every day before going to sleep. I hereby share it with you all.

Once, a Guru began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, ‘How much do you think this glass weighs?’ ‘1 liter!’ ….’2 liter!’ …..’3 liter!’ ……the students answered.

‘I really don’t know unless I weigh it,’ said the Guru, ‘but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?’

‘Nothing’ the students said.

‘OK what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the Guru asked.

‘Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the students.

‘You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?’

‘Your arm could go numb” said the student.

‘Very good, But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?’ asked the Guru.

‘No,’ replied the students.’

‘Then what caused the arm ache; the muscle stress? Instead, what should I do?’

The students were puzzled. ‘Put the glass down’ said one of the students.

‘Exactly!’ said the Guru. ‘Life’s problems are something like this. Hold them for a few minutes in your head; they seem OK. Think of them for a long time; they begin to ache. Hold them even longer; they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.’
It is important to think of the challenges in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to ‘put them down’ at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh, strong, can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!