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Journey Begins.

This is the post excerpt.

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I start with the hope that this journey will continue till my journey ends. 

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Away from a routine life where you are judged by what you say, look, wear, talk and behave…I am here in my little world of WordPress which in itself is a huge world. I write this to thank everyone who had and those who will support my beautiful journey called Writing. 

I write for the love of writing and for the fact that thoughts travel faster than light. I am sure i will interact with best minds during my journey in the form of Friends, Critics andMentors. 

Thank You All.

RKJ…..Perfectly Imperfect.

Birds Born in a Cage

‘Point of View’, a simple set of words with deepest impact on any individual or entire society. People either speak out of their knowledge or their perception which in turn comes from their respective altitudes of thoughts. I have been to many places and was part of many discussions, I have seen some people working towards bringing that positive change in the society and few just limiting their efforts till a photo opportunity or to appeasement of thier seniors.

What is right in this? Well, nothing is right or wrong here. People are bound to the shackles of their beliefs, their need and their level of maturity. A right thing for one may be absolutely wrong for another. There is a famous saying ‘ A bird born in a Cage believe that flying is a crime’, similarly there are many such cages in everyone’s life which limits them to a level and they start believing that they cannot go beyond this point.

We see such cages everywhere around us, be it home, schools, colleges, outdoors or workplaces. We all live a different life and try to excel everywhere by adopting various techniques of survival. A junior staff working day in and out for appeasement of thier seniors without focusing on self development has already found his/her cage at office, A person compromising everyday with a life partner for smaller things has already found their cage at home.

Why don’t many break these cages, why don’t many think beyond just survival? The only answer I can think of is ‘They have seen these things working this way only and never dared to challenge the routine”. We all are bound to one cage or the another and our priorities and behavior are controlled by the laws of the cage we are in. Everyone appears to be in a race to appease someone else but not themselves.

What if these cages are gone someday? Will we be able to fly or we are just used to them that we would never know what needs to be done without these cages. Our spirits are actually like birds which were meant to fly and achieve the unimaginable but these cages of our limited thoughts have bound our will to go beyond.

Let’s set our spirits free from such bondage and allow them to do wonders for you and the society. Let’s face the demons within us first and then fight the ones outside. Let’s bring a small change around us and inspire others to do so. I stand by you in your journey of transformation as you stand by me for mine. I may be weak alone but with help, my weaknesses would turn to strenghts for others. Let’s teach each other to fly.

Yes, I am the Change.

Ever wanted to change the way things around you but never did or did not go far with it? I am sure most of us have been there and believe that we did our best we could have but things didn’t turned up as expected. If you are still alive, that means you have survived the biggest challenges or difficulties in your life so far (just think about it). This means that you either have good surviving skills or you are a fighter. If you are a survivor, you must have seen and survived the change but if you are a fighter, you did bring the change. We all feel motivated to do great things but get mixed up by picking thoughts from others around us. We all believe that things would be great with few changes around but never bother to be the person to bring that change. We hide behind our excuses like “I am not incharge”, “I am too pretty/handsome for this” and what not. All you have to say and believe is “Yes, I am the Change”.People around you may see you as a competitor, friend, mentor, mentee or nothing but you should focus on that change which you wish to bring in for the larger good. When you start believing that you are the change, it becomes easier for you to align yourself to that goal. You will face many challenges while you are taking this journey but if the you stick to it, you will see the results.There are many excuses to skip the challenges but only one reason to face them is ‘I achieve my goal only after I face this’. You will be judged, loved, hated and gossiped but deep inside those feelings they would know that it is not easy to be like this. You refine yourself every single day and march forward towards your goal. Every day morning, get up and look at yourself in the mirror and say ” I am the change, I will make things better no matter what and whom I have to face”. Your actions should inspire others to achieve their goals. You can either be a passenger in the train or you can be that train carrying many passengers to their destination. A small changes everyday at home, office or business would lead to bigger and better results. Let’s strive to be that change.

Responsibility less day in a office – A bad dream

It was 4 am in the morning and I woke up terrified after a very bad dream. I seriously wanted to ensure that it was just a dream and I ended up pinching myself to gain 100% cautiousness. I would try to present my dream as accurate as i can remember.

” It was March 30th 2018 (in my dreams), I went to my office and on the main gate, security guard did not greet me nor did he ask for my Id card and I was totally puzzled when he would not open gate for my vehicle to pass. He called him thrice but he would not listen. I went out took the access machine and went in. First thing first, went straight in to men’s room and was surprised to see dirty toilets and stinking smell all over the bathroom. I saw few maintenance staff chatting around the corner and I asked them to take some action. They just rolled their eyes over and walked away. I was furious by now and decided to complain to logistic head after drinking some water but to add to the my misery there was no water in the pooler. I thought, I had enough and I went straight to my floor and saw everyone and thought that something is normal at least.

After sometime I was feeling suffocated and realized that central air conditioner was not working, i called up controller’s desk but no response. Then I noticed something weird, everybody in our team were just sitting on their chairs and had not logged in to their systems yet and I was the only one available online. I went and asked everybody if their systems were not working but they were giving a careless sighs.

I decided to ignore all of this and started working on my deliverables, few hours passed by and every single client started sending me IMs and calling my desk asking for other team members. I was hesitant to say that they all are here but are not logging in and not answering their calls. I went to them again and requested them to respond but they replied that they are least bothered. I wanted to go and complain it to my seniors but they would not even listen to me.

I then quickly ran towards exit door only to realize that my access out is not working, Emergency exits were locked too. No logistic team members would respond and on other side clients are asking for the status on critical reports. I explained them the situation and asked them to help me but they said that they are worried only about their work and nothing else.I was now worried about my life now and decided to break the exit door with chair. I took a heavy chair and was about to break the glass but suddenly heard my wife’s voice asking me if I was ok. I was confused as to what my wife is doing in my office but few seconds later I felt few gentle slaps on my shoulder and woke up to find it was just a dream”.

Later in the morning after completing my 2nd cup of hot black coffee, I thought that we show our aggression on maids if they don’t perform their job properly, criticize government, complain about each and every area where we see lack of responsibility but when it comes about self-reflection we try to justify every instance where we are lagging to take responsibility. Most common reasons I hear day to day in my life are:
* I am not paid enough to take extra work
* It’s beyond my level
* Why should I be doing this why not who is getting more salary
* I am already overloaded with (Nothing) work
* Management is responsible for this mess
* I have my personal life too
There is a long list for avoiding but only one reason to take full responsibility and that is “Why not me?”.
Responsibility is simply a decision and which side of that decision you stand defines you as a person.

Circle of Trust

I am sometimes amazed by the power of a group or a team and how different people with different strengths and weaknesses complete each other. I have been lucky throughout that I have always been part of a group where people would encourage me to expand my thinking. 

My recent movement to western India on a job rotation had been nothing less than amazing. It’s just 8 months I have moved to Jaipur (Rajasthan) and I am lucky enough to find my Circle of Trust. I see that how my short comings are covered by the strengths of other members of this small group. We always need partner, friends and co-workers whom we can trust. We feel alive with good company and that very set of people gives you a reason to always show up to the work, school, college, gym, library and most importantly on internet 😁. 

Your circle is as strong as the weakest person in the group, there will be difference of opinions, arguments, egos and confronting views but never distrust. If we are doing something wrong, we need someone to say that it is wrong before it is too late and the best ones to do so are the people we trust.

We might tackle biggest issues together but things become sensitive if bonding starts loosening up, that’s when jackals attack tigers. Few material things might be delayed, diverted or lost but one would for sure learn the most important aspect of a team work during difficult times if they stick around. 

As they say ” Birds with similar feathers, Always flock together” and that increases the responsibility of each member of the group to represent the entire circle with best of their ability. I would say that, one should be very careful before deciding the people they trust. Select the group which has most unlike minded people because that clearly indicates that this group complement the difference of opinions and shortfalls of each other.

It is very important to remember that we are giving each other the most precious thing called TIME which cannot be earned back. Groups spend their quality time together as they get a sense of belonging with certain people. If you are in a group of friends, try to be a unconditional support for the group. If you are in a group of colleagues, try to be a team player rather than opportunistic. If you are in a group of family members, try to be the most welcoming person.

Ultimately, your care and honesty with your circle defines you as a person for the outsiders. Moreover, it is never about impressing others, its about impressing yourself first. Keep connecting with many and selecting a few. 

Horizontal Growth – In to the Corporate Jungle

Does “You better be in the good books of your manager”, “Boss is always right”, “Follow whatever is told to you by your boss blindly”, ” They can make or break your career”  and many other such one liners sounds familiar to you? Or even worst, has that been your principle as well? If answer to any of that is yes, then please lets look at the other dimension as well. 

Everybody in their career want to move up the ladder and always keen on their vertical growth. The time gap between the two levels is what all we (or should) get to learn and develop the required skills before we level up. In my experience, I have seen 95% of the people focusing on Vertical growth only and they use the available time in trying to impress, sugar coat or at worst becoming Yes Men/Women of their bosses. They move up if their boss encourages such behaviour but if not, such people fail miserably. Today we would talk about those other 5% category.

In this 5% category, you will find people who clearly understand two things:

1. That they have limited time to upgrade their skills to reach to their next level and they start working towards their goal. 

2. They understand their boss if he/she would understand and encourage talent or not. If not, they will change the process.

This group is focused on constant upskilling. They look like stagnant but they are growing horizontally by becoming subject matter experts. Their aim is to be future ready. This group is mostly hated by many but deep down are idolized. As the famous quote describe such groups “They hate us in public but they come to us for notes in private”. When anyone from this 5% group reaches the higher positions, she/he is not “like a Leader” but  the Leader.

Vertical growth is controlled by many factors like position availability, right skill set match, Manager feedback and lot of other things. On other hand, horizontal growth is independent of all such things. It purely depends upon your will alone. You can upskill yourself every single day and prepare yourself for a better version of you. In horizontal growth, competition is healthy and you will learn everyday.

I myself, try to grow horizontally everyday (No, I am not talking about my waist) in my career and with great leaders around me throughout my little corporate career of 17 years, I have learned that:

* You learn more while you share your knowledge as you gain more perspectives. – Always try to share your knowledge.

* Discourage the undue flattery by you and for you. – Ground yourself in a team where skills are held up then drama

* Spend some time on future technology like robotics, people currency and service models. – Crawl if you have to but don’t be stagnant

* Spend more time with the people who have a different vision than yours and always encourage their criticism – If you surround yourself with 3 innovators, you will be the 4th automatically

* If you are positive that you made an incorrect career move, do not hesitate to rectify at the right time. Even if it comes with some risk. – Accepting your mistake is the first step in the remediation plan

* Being out and out assertive is the only way to avoid mediocre career. Leave diplomacy for Politicians. – Be bold not Italic (You know what I mean)

* Its very important to relax, hence develop a hobby which will squeeze the stress out of you

Every day offers you a new opportunity to learn something new. Your role models change at every level and who knows somebody for some corner is looking up to you as their role model. Give your best everyday without seeking attention.

The “Personalities”

Our thoughts guide our actions, our actions define our character and our character defines what we really are. We see that a wealthy man going on accumulating wealth till his last breath and some of them donating 99% of their wealth for the needy; a doctor somewhere charge loads of money for a surgery whereas many doctors are serving poor people in a foreign country free of cost; a teacher raising the tuition fees to a level where only super rich can afford the expertise and there are teachers travelling village to village for a educating tribal students; and most importantly a writer sitting in a corner writes hate speeches which creates chaos in the society and few writers inspire, motivates and guide the society to deal with their life better.

You will see many type of people in the society and if you know how to deal with them, you can be more focused on your goals. People around us impact our life in someway without we realizing it. Try to keep your circle with the people with reasonable mind-set. Everyday  You will deal with,

 Attention seekers: They always want to be in a limelight without putting enough efforts. As rightly mentioned in the  game of thrones ” A king who says he is the king, is no king at all”. Best way to avoid them is to ignore their drama and if they lock horns with you, show them their place without hesitation.

Bossy – without a cause 😀: These type of people are the ones who always want to be in charge, they would not take “No” for an answer however reasonable. These people are attracts and encourage submissive people. If you come across any such personality, best way to tackle them is by challenging their authority. It feeds their ego if you ignore them, you should take them head on. These people are still stuck in 18th century with master-slave mind-set.

“Cry-Babies”: These kind of people blame society, government, boss, organization, friends, familiy for their situation. For them, any bad thing in their life is due to somebody else. They think they are the ones who work most but are least recognized. Try to help such people but expect that they may blame you too very soon 😀.

Misfits: Such people might be good at something else than what they are currently doing. Such people brag about what they will do if they are in-charge and how good they are with things. Providing feedback to such people is very difficult as they feel none of others are right fit. At the end, skills and right attitude beats all. Acknowledge their area of expertise but ensure they know what is currently required.

Changing the world may not be in everyone’s list but living peacefully is everyone’s right. Always be careful and keep assessing yourself regularly to avoid creating mess around your and other’s life.

God bless sanity.

Torn Blankets – Life Savers

“Winter is coming”, remember this famous line from “Game of Thrones”, the most celebrated television series from America? Well, winters do bring unique problems for people from every walk if life. Somebody is unable to wear short dresses due to winter, somebody unable to enjoy their favourite ice cream and somebody unable to arrange proper food, clothing or shelter to survive the winter. 

The winters always reminds me of a small group back in Hyderabad (Southern India) and I am lucky to be associated with them who sends out a word across their friends, relatives, office team members and neighbourhood that they can donate any old blankets, woollen clothes and shoes if they want to and can join when distribution starts during. Every time the response is huge and this makes me believe that everyone is good at heart and willing to help but not everyone wants to take initiative. Few believe that what they can do alone but when they see a group taking initiative the come forward. 

Last winter, this group collected more than 130 plus old blankets, 12 plus pairs of old shoes and few woollen clothing. One of my friend got a deal for 200 blankets @ 80 Rs ($1.2) per blanket and he sponsored them from his family side. We then sent out a thank you note to all the contributors asked if they would be coming for distribution (answer from 98% people is “No” or they do not reply at all but we are thankful for their contribution)

The most satisfying work begins after all this, a day (mostly Saturday midnight) is finalized and the group starts their journey around 1 am so that we can find actual needy people rather than donating all this to a particular institution. It was 2 cars, 7 people and the flashing streets of Hyderabad. First we all went at a tea stall (available round the clock as Hyderabadis are tea lovers) and had a hot tea, then we went to Wesley Church where many homeless people sleep at night just outside the church. What we saw their was a heart melting scene where a small baby maybe a year old was just caved between parents to keep warm with one thin torn sheet to cover, few guys sleeping putting their footwear as their pillow and few of them having proper blankets. Here, it was appearing as if having a blanket during sleep is the paramount luxury. After distributing enough blankets there we went to many temples, mosques, public gardens and bus stands.

 Around 3 am, we were done only to realize that we ran out of supplies and many more needy people to serve. However we knew our limits and the leader of our group thanked the entire group and she became emotional during her closing remarks. We all left with our hearts filled with satisfaction and with a will to do more whenever we can. We knew that we all will be busy again from Monday in our respective offices worrying about quarter closing and revenue targets.

Now I have moved to Jaipur (Western India) and have seen many other places where winters are extreme, I am sure that many such small groups are working or planning to help out those who are out there praying for survival. I small act of kindness goes very far impacting many lives directly or indirectly. This write-up is my salute to all those individuals across the globe who are helping people to survive, come-up and face the challenges imposed by circumstances in their life. I also encourage the people who have the willing heart to help but don’t know where to start, I suggest start at whatever scale you can, it can be as small as giving a new pencil or a pen to a needy student.