Tag Archives: Learning

Zero Ground Philosophy

I wrote something on this self developed philosophy on my older blog (now private) around some 5 years back. It was during the time when I found myself standing on the same ground after an year of hard work for CAT. On my first attempt I scored 76 percentile and on my consecutive attempt reached to 98 percentile but still no luck with getting into top notch colleges. I was still standing on Ground Zero. That made me realize how it is true with almost everything in life. College is a passe now, I have no regrets as far as my education is concerned but that got me thinking. That time I vowed to define my own life rules and not fall for the rat race. 

Your peers change, your competitors change and somehow you are always on Ground Zero. First you compete to get a good college. Once you get it you compete to get best possible placement. If you get that, you compete with your colleagues for promotions, to go up the ranks and life goes on in circles. Similarly in personal life, once you get married you somehow start looking for people who have a better life than yours, a better home, a adorable kid, a happening social life, better in-laws, better financial condition etc etc. The vicious circle of life never ends. We remain on the same ground comparing ourselves with people who are better than us or if you are not that shallow, setting goals and aspirations to start off again. To go to the next level. Next level will still be the starting point as you would have new set of dreams by then.

I think this is nothing but human nature. We tend to see ourselves against people who are better off, that too based on our assumption. Reality might not be the same. Probably this is the way society moves towards progression. But the question is how much discontent it adds in our day to day life. Ain’t we suppose to find our own pace? Define our own rules? Be happy with what we have. Isn’t happiness is the ultimate goal? And don’t we keep forgetting it all the time allowing ourselves to be caught up in the rat race called life? 

I did it before, and I am doing it again, vowing to enjoy being on MY GROUND ZERO – what ever it is. Being happy and content with my life right now. No more cribbing and comparing. 

And Yay to completing the blogging challenge :). Happy Me. 

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KISS

No No….Not the romantic – mushy version of it. But KISS as a principal of engineering and management. KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid! You can read the details about it here.

I was introduced to it during my MBA. As much as this concept is applied to designs and other engineering processes, it is equally applicable in communication and marketing. During my MBA, I endorsed it completely. I have never been a big fan of highly complicated communication structures, those jazzy presentations, or those uber dynamic way of conveying a rather simple thing. I believed marketing messages are best transferred to the target audience if put directly and simply. Ain’t all of us adore the simple, neat and clutter free designs of Google and Apple products?

But this post is not about that also, it is about how this concept can be applied to real life too. Yesterday I met a couple and witnessing their current situation made me realize that how adapting this concept would make a difference in our life on day to day basis. If only they would have talked more before taking the big decision. 

If only we would be more open and direct in our communication. If only we will not wait for that phone call from someone close to us, and just dial his/her number. If only we will not entertain our useless egos and have a face to face conversation. If only we will start accepting that at the end a simple home made meal of dal-chawal is more satisfying than a 5 course meal in a 7 star property. If only we will stop collecting that technical junk and live with the basics. If only we could be more transparent, open and direct a lot of our complications would automatically vanish. If only we can stop assuming and living in presumptions. IF ONLY. 

I know keeping it simple is not as simple as it sounds. But I am surely gonna give it a try, I know I will end up being more happier, less cluttered and definitely more satisfied. 

Jobs and more

It’s funny how I am not working in an official setup now. I could have been the near perfect employee, in fact I was one in the brief period of time I worked in a corporate setup. My team lead and manager trusted me to no bounds, gave me opportunities which were not given even to colleagues senior to me. I have always been good with jobs and tasks when delegated with a proper deadline rather than building something from scratch or taking complete initiatives on my one. I need that extra push or external pressure to do deliver my best.

Since college I have always worked, not for money though, but mostly to learn. I have always believed that working makes you learn a great deal, makes you confident and you learn how to handle timelines and different kind of people. It gives you practical learning which books and formal education cannot.

Before the other aspects of life get hold of me and I completely forgot all my odd jobs period, I would like to pen it down here and reread at some later stage.

I was a media student and from my first year itself I started assisting my seniors in shoots and other projects. I used to leave home at 8.30 and come back only by 7-8 in the evening. I learned no job is a small job.

By the end of first year I wrote and produced couple of features program for all India Radio, and got my first official pay. In that 2000 Rs. I planned my whole life ahead :). That’s the magic of getting your first pay.

By third year I and my group started producing small videos for private setups in our city and for personal portfolios . We learnt to negotiate, to network, to ask for money (which was the toughest part and I was pretty bad at it).

During this time we also became a part of core branding team of two investors who were planning to bring a totally new concept college/education in our city. And made our first official trip to Delhi to take part in an education fair to get first hand response from visitors. It’s unfortunate that it never materialized after that. We learnt how lack of initial planning and research hampers your plans.

For official internship me and my two college buddies became a part of a creative team of a software company, me basically handling the content.  I wrote few pieces in Hindi for a hospital website especially for its maternity wing and some of those still hangs on the hospital wall that makes me so proud.

We kept on having discussions on opening up our own setup but college ended and all of us took different paths and got busy. I took a break for higher studies and even that time I used to handle the front desk of my coaching center for few hours/day. Counselling students and sharing first had experience why I chose my center.

Meanwhile I got admission and there were few months before my MBA started, I got an opportunity to join the first lifestyle magazine from our area and started working there. I loved my work, and the editor was highly impressed by it, he continued paying me full salary even when I reduced my work hours after college. He planned to promote me within 4 months of joining and I planned to leave to concentrate on my college.

I wanted to get some experience which would help me in my MBA, that’s when I joined yet another firm as a Marketing lead in a very niche service category.  And got a chance to meet a lot of industry big shots during this period. Also my first stint of handling a team. That improved my presentation and communication skills tremendously.

Once that ended I also kept on taking few freelancing market research projects for private firms and for my seniors. Making questionnaires is something I love and got quite good at it.

And I was the only one who had two very impressive job offers from two biggest firms of the country. I still can’t forget that golden period :). I ended up joining both in due course of time because of certain unforeseen situations that will be covered later covering what I learnt from a company where I dint work.

Wow, it feels so good recalling all those moments of jobs/working when money/promotion/proving was not the only thing. It was for sheer fun of learning. And all those small stints have made me a better professional in many ways.