Saturday, June 30, 2007

Facing fears - essence of optimism for entrepreneurs

Growing up watching the likes of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf play great tennis in their hay days, the curiosity about the game in my mind only grew with me. While I wanted to try my hand at it in my childhood, I was always afraid of a remark from my friend. He said "If you play at a wrong angle, the game has the potential to break your nerves." God, did I believe that. Perhaps it's true and perhaps it's not. But that stayed in my mind and I never even attempted it. But seeing many people in my apartments playing it, I thought why would I be the only one to break my nerves. I played tennis for the first time yesterday, and boy, did it feel good. I felt I had more exercise than my daily walk on a treadmill burning 450 cals gave me. And also playing a game does makes the difference, because you are not doing it for the sake of doing it (like walking), you are doing it because you love to do it. And what great way to love some physical exercise other than a game like tennis.

The point here is not playing tennis or doing some daily physical exercise. The point is breaking the long associated fears in a person. if I did not take up a racket and stepped on the court, I would have died some 50 years later still thinking I would break my nerves if I played at the wrong angle. Or probably I would have done it some other time in these 50 years but I would have lost all the time in between. So I guess the right thing for a person to do is to actually go there and do it. Many of us hear many a thing from childhood which have such strong thoughts implanted in our minds that we should not do 'this' for this might happen. Until we do not try it once, we will have no idea or proof to base that upon. No, that doesn't absolutely mean that you should try jumping off a roof to clear your fear of heights :) I am only mentioning about smaller fears in life.

Many a time you hear many people say 'This idea will not work out' or that idea has no scope. Never believe them. Approaching any situation with blatant optimism is the right way. I once saw a guy wearing a T-Shirt which said 'I haven't failed. I only found 1000 ways that don;t work. That's the spirit we need to possess. Fear of failure should not stop one from actually attempting something. If we don't have optimism and belief in ourselves, we have nothing. You want to be an entrepreneur, ignore those thousand guys who tell you the idea you have won't work. Try it and check it, you might fail a hundred times, but the 101th time, you have an idea of 100 ways how not to fail. It was definitely not an idiot who said 'Try and try till you succeed.' Faith in yourself, your idea and your capacity to implement can only make you a successful entrepreneur. It's not just about entrepreneurship. It's about anything that appears daunting to you at the first look. Until you try it yourself don't let others' opinions dictate what you want to do. Time to break some fears isn't it!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

An Amazing Conversation - Is God there? - Atheist Professor vs. Theist Student

I cam across this forwarded email which had this amazing conversation between an atheist professor and theist student. Searched about it on net and found several interesting versions and discussions about it on online forums. The conversation is as below:


An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.
He asks one of his new students to stand and.....

Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.

Prof: Is God good?
Student: Sure.

Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Student: Yes.

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him.
Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm?
Student: (Student is silent.)

Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?
Student: Yes.

Prof: Is Satan good?
Student: No.

Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From...God...

Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.

Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.

Prof: So who created evil?
Student: (Student does not answer.)

Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.

Prof: So, who created them?
Student: (Student has no answer.)

Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.

Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No , sir.

Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.

Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.

Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.

Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.

Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold.
We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that.
There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.
We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something.
You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it?
In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?

Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God.
You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can
Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.
To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor.
Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
Prof: (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize
where the argument is going.)

Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir?
Are you not a scientist but a
Prof: (The class is in uproar.)

Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?
Prof: (The class breaks out into laughter.)

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?.....No one appears to have done so.
So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable
protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir.
With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

Prof: (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.

Student: That is it sir.. The link between man & God is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.


Pretty interesting conversation isn't it.. Click below to find some interesting comments on the above conversation that I picked up from an online forum from some atheist vs Theist guys..


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Presenting India - for those who think it is a land of snake charmers !!

Here's an interesting conversation from the movie Namasthey London in which Akshay Kumar replies to an English man who writes off India as a land of snake charmers

"Namasthey, Sir my name is Arjun Singh. Because of 5000 year old culture, we Indians bow and say Namasthey like this and say Pranaam. When we greet one another we fold our hands in namastey because we believe that God resides in the heart of every human being. The kind of culture in which a lady of catholic origin gives up the chair of Prime Minister for a Sikh, and a Sikh takes the oath of Prime Minister from a Muslim President to hold the chains of a nation in which over 80 percent of the people are Hindus. Your mother tongue English is more spoken in India than anywhere else in the world. And probably you do not know that a lot of words in English have their origins from Sanskrit. Sanskrit's word 'Maatr' became Mother in English, 'Bhratr' became brother, 'Giamiti' became Geometry and 'Trikonnithi' became Trigonometry. It may interest you to know that in our land, we have 5600 news papers, 3500 magazines in over twenty one different languages with a combined readership of over 120 million. It is pretty large when compared to your nation. We have reached the moon and back, but yet you people still feel that we have only reached as far as the Indian rope trick and you care to still see a snake on our hands. In the count of doctors, engineers and scientists, Gentleman, we are only behind two other nations in the world. This was a talk of the brains, now let's talk of strength. The world's third largest army is ours. What is yours. And even then I fold my hands in humility before you and bow and say namasthey to you because we don't consider anyone to be smaller or weaker than us and we don't believe we are above or beneath any individual. Namsthey. "

Jai Hind. Jai Bhaarat..

If interested, check out other facts about India which are from a forwarded email by clicking below

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

iGoogle lets you add more than 6 tabs - screws up on moving content from 1 tab to another

Earlier Google Home, now known as iGoogle added a feature quietly, that lets you have more than 6 tabs on your iGoogle page. Earlier there was a restriction on the maximum number of tabs you could have - 6. After creating 6 tabs, you would not find the linke for "Add a tab". I just noticed that in iGoogle, even after having 6 tabs, you can find the link for Add a tab. Moreover, iGoogle also has a new feature, that now adds content automatically to the tab based on the tab name you give. You can do this by checking the check box "I'm feeling lucky. Automatically add stuff based on the tab name". These are indeed very good features. Because earlier I wanted to add more than 6 tabs for a variety of feeds and I couldn't. Also I needed to hand pick my feeds, but now the tab name gives an indication to iGoogle on the kind of content I want.

But there is one place where I would say iGoogle screwed up. Earlier it was very easy to move a particular feed from one tab to another. Just hold the title of the feed and drag it to the next tab, and the feed moves from the old tab to the new tab. Now, I don't know if they removed that inadvertently or screwed up something in the code, but I can no longer move that. This is very irritating because, when you have a tab and feel that it has too much content, you would feel to move some specific feeds to another more specifically named tab. But now you will have to remove the feed from the older tab, add it again in the new tab. If the drag and drop feature from one tab to another wasn't there before, it would have been ok but I don't get the logic in offering a nice feature and later removing it...

Any guesses anybody??

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gandhi/Nehrus - when will the dynasty rule end?

As a child I always liked Rajiv Gandhi, I don't know why, may be he looked like a prince though he was bald, or may be he had that charisma that children would fall for!! I still don't know..

Call it Indira or call it Nehru or now call it Sonia, or now even Rahul, the country has to go through this family, never really understood why, looks like this is a monarchy in rule voted by OUR own people. Does India lack in individuals who hold the caliber of any of these?? Nope, absolutely not, its just that Gandhi or Nehru tag at the end which makes them win the elections and rule the country!! Am I a supporter of BJP. Absolutely not!! I am a supporter of intellectuals taking the country ahead..
But isn't it high time to come out of the notion as to what Indira or Rajiv have done... In a country in which you have to go through such difficult exam as IAS to rule a district, the entire country is ruled by people who come from a DYNASTY.. does anyone really know what Rajiv Gandhi studied or now even Rahul Gandhi has? That clearly is masqueraded in the sympathetic wave created for the family.

As long as people vote looking at the PERSONS rather than POLICIES, as long as people vote for CASTE rather than REMOVAL OF PROBLEMS the country will remian the same. So the question is how do we show the progress that we have. Thanks to able intellectuals like Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram the country is making progress, but alas they still have to lie in the shadows of these GANDHI's and carry on their WHIMS.
Way to go India, my MOTHERLAND....

Can't Rahul Gandhi learn about the lives of people in the rural areas by becoming an IAS officer instead of becoming an MP. Can he become one ever? Oh, I forgot, why does he have to, when he is a Gandhi. Now, one may say, the PAs and Secretaries offering advice to them and other ministers are all officers of IAS cadre. Now, let's say an officer X does offer some good advice for the progress of the country, how many ministers would come forward to implement the same, when they are busy doing 'collections' during the short tenure that they have..

It is high time, we have graduates as MLAs and MPs and Ministers. Without minimum education level set for the 'people's representatives' how do you expect them to solve the problems of the country, when they can never come up with a solution. I am tired of hearing the argument, that a common man, aam junta, cannot become a MLA or a MP then, why not? most of the educated people are common people too, they come from these areas of poverty too, at least they will have a minimum knowledge of what can be done for the country. It is time that intellects become leaders and rule the country towards progress. It is time that parties like Lok Paritran get their fair share in elections and become representatives of the people. Watching movies like Rang De Basanti and forming yahoo groups is not just enough. It is time people start 'thinking' before they vote. The vote should not be for Gandhi or Nehru or for Congress or BJP. The vote should be for progress and development of the nation. Will we ever see the light of that day ever? One can only hope..

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Learning from egos in the online world

Ever wonder, why people go crazy in the online world, swearing at one another in the online forums, abusing someone to an extent that they would change their user names and going against the sites' moderators and admins to such an extent that they would be banned, and a lot of times it doesn't make much sense to a neutral reader. Though this seems to be a very good topic of research for a grad student in Psychology, the logic behind it is pretty simple. Every body needs a feeling of importance. Call it ego, call it self-respect or call it any thing that you would like when attributed to you. The bottom line is people want to feel important. They want appreciation of their work. They want someone to assert the fact that they know, that they are an important part of this society and they are good.

It is only this fact of feeling important, that makes many people post thousands of pictures and posts in online forums and communities. It is this, that makes people take creative and weird videos and post them on Youtube. It is this, that makes many people get dvds, rip movies and post pictures and clippings from these movies to movies forums ignoring what could happen to them if they are caught of piracy. It is this feeling that makes people carry thousands of posts in online forums. And what do they ask for. They want you to thank them for what they are doing. They want you to tell them that they are creative, and that their work is the best. If you don't believe me, check it out yourself by joining in one of these forums and watch out for the so-called "Senior Members" or the biggies in those forums. Check out how far can people go in wasting their personal time to get that feeling of being important.

You might have a feeling that these guys are a bunch of losers. Of course they are not. These are people with families', great jobs in IT or other fields, who spend some time very frequently to get that feeling of importance in the virtual world. It doesn't matter that the other person hasn't seen them, it doesn't matter that if the other person is actually typing the truth, it doesn't matter if their online name has nothing to do with their real name and that the praise is for their virtual id. All that matters is the fact that what they had done is important and that someone else asserted that they are good and creative.

So, what does all this prove to us. If an unknown person with a virtual id could do so much for you in an online forum for your enjoyment, so that you would appreciate their efforts, what does it tell us of the people in the real world. You need not read Dale Carnegie's How to win friends and influence people to understand that people need a feeling of importance. Things like the online forums and many things around you teach this very effectively and practically to us. The next time you feel that a colleague in your office has done a decent job on something, go ahead and appreciate them. You do not need to flatter them, just tell them honestly what you feel about it. If you are a manager, tell some one who works for you, once in a while, how much you appreciate their work. Send them an email of appreciation. Most people quit jobs not because of the money or the challenges but because their work is not appreciated. Give people honest appreciation, and make them feel important. A person with a satisfied ego is bound to stay lot longer than a person who is substantially overpaid.

Also, you can use the same in your family relations. The next time your wife makes a good meal, tell her how good it is, tell her once in a while that you appreciate all that she is doing. This is also equally applicable to kids. When your kid ace in a course or do something good, tell them you are proud of them. In an effort to keep you proud, they will do what you want them to do even without your telling them. If you observe, all that is needed is honest appreciation, which takes you probably a couple of minutes, the effects can only be experienced than explained..