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Habits Die Hard

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Habits die hard is commonly known. But forming new habits is equally hard. In the fast changing world that we are in today, we need ‘change’ more than anything else. Change in attitude and change in habits need to be priorities. Someone told me that if you do something at the same time daily, it becomes your habit. I have motivated some of my students, but the results are far from satisfactory. To form a new habit or to ward of the old one needs the following:

                                i.            Develop a strong desire to bring in the change.

                              ii.            Set a valid reminder system.

                            iii.            Define the milestones and the timeline.

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St. Valentine’s Day!

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The popularity of St. Valentine’s day is increasing by the day. Unfortunately, the ignorance about the origin of St. Valentine’s day persists.

St. Valentine was a priest who lost his life because of his convictions. King Claudius of Rome wanted soldiers not to marry. His reason was that if they are married they would not want to fight battles. St. Valentine started marrying couples secretly. He was arrested. King Claudius thought that he was a well-meaning priest and therefore gave him an opportunity to change his activity and become a true Roman. He wanted him to propagate patriotism.

However, St. Valentine followed his conviction and did not listen to the King. He was executed on 14th February in the year 269 or 270 AD. We celebrate the day on 14th February. We celebrate with candies and bands, but we fail to remember the sacrifice of St. Valentine.

Appraisals

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On 8th of this month I had to conduct a training programme for a small organization of less than 100 people.

Appraisals are difficult to conduct, by are necessary for the organisation. This is when you sit in judgment on people you have to deal on day-to-day basis. This is when you, as a manager have to perform this arduous task. You naturally become extra careful. You don’t want to annoy a person who is an integral member of your small team.

The biggest problem is whatever you do on that day of judgment sits as a permanent mark in the file of the person appraised.

In 50s & 60s there used to be large families in our country. It was not uncommon to find 6 and 7 and 8 children in a house. Parents were expected to treat them alike but could they ever do. Here, children were also expected to contribute to the growth and development of the family. But were they treated alike?  Same love and affection of father and of mother? Not really! Some would become favorite of their mother, others of their father. Often the father would hardly have the time to make any favorites.

In an organization, too, personal bias is bound to creep in. An Appraisal is expected to bring in differentiation. But in order that the objective of the appraisal is achieved, the Manager needs to rise above the personal likes and dislikes. The more arduous problem is the hesitation of the Manager. Hesitation to articulate what he/she objectively considers the correct comments on the person being appraised.

Songs that continue to shine!

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In the absence of regular classical music concerts and the peoples’ declining love of the classical music, I’ll refer to Hindi film songs as the popular form of music.

Some sings have stood the test of time. Even though composed in 50s & 60s they are a pleasure to listen to. What are the qualities that distinguish from the ‘happening’ songs of today? One is the poetry; two, the simplicity of the tune; and three, the singer is given importance rather than the ‘inorganic’ electronic instruments. These days, a variety of sounds can be manipulated with the help of these instruments. Besides, the recording technology of ‘cut & paste’ music, the great original talent of the composer and the music arranger is no longer that important.

 The sad reality is that the modernity of the instruments, the advancement of recording technology and the concept of ‘hat ke’ (being different) in the field of films are all responsible for the decadence in the modern era. This seems so far removed from the golden era of unforgettable ‘film songs’.

‘Stithpragye purush’

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The Bhagwad Gita, which an excellent treatise on human life emphasizes the importance of remaining calm and composed in happy situations as well as in most challenging ones. In Chapter two, on the request of Arjuna; Lord Krishna defines the Stithpragya Purush’. He is the one who maintains equanimity in all circumstances. This definition encompasses the following qualities of a human being which may be difficult to develop but become. The greatest asserts of an individual.

  1. Developing an ability to remain unperturbed amid sorrows. It gives strength to fight the daily battles of life effectively.
  2. The thirst for pleasure needs to be eradicated altogether. Pleasure will elude the pleasure seeker.
  3. The human being who is never upset because of fear of any kind. He is the one who can practice a positive attitude.
  4. The person who does not get lost in activities of any nature bust performs the same with an ardent sense of duty.
  5. The person may be likened to a tortoise which draws in its limbs from all directions and remains protected by the solid dome of its back.

 It may difficult to imbibe these qualities in one’s personality, but with consistent practice the same can be achieved.

Television Today

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After TV invaded the Indian household radio was pushed in the background. It became insignificant. But I had read long ago that radio is the medium of imagination. TV is an idiot which makes people tired. At first I did not agree with the statement.

TV was considered a great source of agreement. Every house was considered incomplete till there was a TV of the size that the room deserved. To begin with we had a limited number of black & white TV Programmes. This included The News and some educational programmes for children & farmers.  The real sought-after programmes were – the weekly film & ‘Chaya Geet’. I had a small advertising agency. So I was particularly interested in the viewership versus the cost. There was a programme that would inform viewers about the weekly schedule of programmes. Advertising was not expensive. But the viewership was reasonable. My small agency had smaller clients – for most of whom the Ad-spend was critical.

Then TV was thrown open to private players. Programmes were thoroughly screened by the authorities before these could be produced. This increased the interest of the people. The first continuously running serial was Hum log. Quite popular. But soon it was overshadowed by ‘Ramayan’ produced by veteran film produced Ramanand Sagar. But then came the most popular even “Mahabharat” produced the greatest film producer BR. Chopra. If you had an important family, social or society meeting people would ask “before Mahabharat or after Mahabharat?” Mumbai roads would be empty during the telecast of Mahabharat. The greatest India epic was a classic creation.

Today’s we have too many channels, offering mostly regular type of programmes. Religious programmes still score.

Magnifying Glass

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Except for the watch maker, palmist or others who use it professionally, a magnifying glass reminds you of your childhood. I was particularly fond off burning paper or creating heat on a summer day.We friends would compete on the duration of time one could tolerate the focused energy produced by sun rays on hand.

But today, the name magnifying glass symbolizes far greater importance in an individual’s life. It signifies ‘focus’. Focus that we often miss. Focus that can kindle a fire of desire in our minds. Desire when converted into a passion can bring about a total change in one’s life and its purpose. Success is bound to follow in anything that you do!