Saturday, January 31, 2015

Trust your experience

Thoughts are just signposts. Just because a signpost shows the way to California, it does not mean that you have reached California. Only your actions can take you there. You may have done enough research on how to get there. But these are just maps. It’s all in your imagination. Only when you travel, will you find the actual route. Imagination is a powerful thing. But to turn it into reality, it takes action on your part. The best teacher in the world is experience. Your path is different from others. But you have to have the courage to walk. A ship that is anchored to the port is incomplete. Only when it sails and encounters the sea, will it have any meaning. The road in front of you is unknown. It has it’s own mysteries and miseries too. You have to dare to walk and this is the best lesson of experience that you will ever have.

Do not blindly believe all that has gotten into you since childhood. You may have opinions and views on several matters which are not your own. Either parents, neighbours, relatives, friends etc. You have been carrying this luggage for long. Shed it. There are no rights and wrongs. Only your opinion about them makes them so. For example, you may think that terrorists are bad. Ask a terrorist. He / She doesn’t feel so. Just two different viewpoints. When you travel from country to country you have to carry an adapter which plugs into the right socket. In the same way, carry an adapter for all your needs. Be context sensitive. Know what works and what doesn’t. Read up all you can and then go out there and experience it. You will learn the truth.

God is only a concept, till you experience it. Scientists talk about the God particle. There has been enormous amount of propaganda around this. Is God really a particle, a strand of DNA or an old man with a beard looking at all of us from the sky ? None of them. The problem is with our approach. Science cannot answer concepts like why the Sunset or a rose feels the way it does. Science believes in reductionism. By that I mean splitting everything into finer parts. This way we lose the beauty of the whole. Can science explain beauty ? Maybe it’s a pattern in the brain. But what about the feeling that we get ? Scientists will go further that it’s a release of oxytocin and dopamine in our system. But why does a rose trigger that and why not a bowl of cereal ? The point I’m trying to make is that there are many things we do not know and the best thing to do is admit it.

Have you ever seen a photon or a DNA ? The light that is there consists of photons and your very body contains the DNA. You believe it without even questioning the premise behind it. For most of us, we have accumulated this kind of knowledge. And we are even proud of that. If we believe the scientists, why don’t we believe the spiritualists who say that God is everywhere ? The reason is because God is a subjective experience. The spiritualists have just felt it and have no means of reproducing the same for you. If you want to experience God, only you can do that. Whereas science is an experiment in objectivity. It can be reproduced by anyone. It is only through your own experience that you can find God. There is no need to read the texts or go for a sermon. Call him and you will know he is there. Ask him for guidance and he will guide you. Smile and he will smile back. Unconditional.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Will you make a difference ?

Many companies still live in the old ‘command and control’ paradigm. By this I mean that the top people strategize and the bottom people just carry out their orders. There typically is a middle management also which facilitates this process. This structure is on it’s way to extinction. The reason is simple: You have to address human beings as people and not machines which carry out some operations mechanically. The people at the bottom are not only beings but those with dignity. You can’t just order them to do something coming from a fear angle. They are not just bags of bones and flesh, but real beings and you have to treat them that way. I think women will probably more congruent with what I say, and that is probably the reason that we find them more in the HR department.

Every one of us desires to have a meaning in everything that we do. Robbed of this, we fall short of our own expectations. The management has to sell their meaning to every one concerned and opt-in the people who resound to it. These people who have a reason why they are doing the thing that they do, will excel. And after all what is work if people are not being productive. Now meaning can also come from the bottom, not just always from the top. Hence what we require is a participative form of management where everyone can contribute his ideas. But ideas alone don’s suffice. If it were so, we would be seeing diamonds paved across every street. What matters is the execution. And the top management should play an active role in this also.

Look at a tree. The top management is the roots of the tree. While the roots give a strong support and foundation, they also facilitate the water absorption and pass it along to the tree. The root doesn’t order the tree to grow this way or that way. They just let it. This is the same model to be imbibed in our organizations. The top management should give a strong foundation (infrastructure and facilities) to the people working below. The water (essentials) should be passed on to those below and let them loose. Now, here comes the question of micromanagement and feedback. While the latter is useful, the former leads to tensions. Where you micromanage, the trust factor goes down. You must follow your intuition and keep those below you happy.

A sense of belonging for everyone is essential in the organization. People should be happy where they work. This makes them productive and in turn the customers delighted. I read somewhere that about 80% of the people working are not happy and the maximum number of heart attacks happens on Monday mornings between 9-10 AM. Stress is created when you don’t enjoy what you do. In turn that leads to maladies. If you look at science today, the deterministic Newtonian model no longer suffices. The quantum model works at a level of participation. We are all connected together in a network and what the other person does affects us in some ways. Quantum entanglement (how particles behave when they are separated) also shows that the distance doesn’t matter. What simply matters is acknowledgement and empathy deep down. Treat people with respect and they will shower their innards for you. Trust them and you will get back trust. Love them and you will have left a message behind. And this shall be written for you : Yes, he made a difference.

To your best,


Friday, January 23, 2015

Embracing change

Change is the only constant. Like it or not, every single moment we are undergoing change. Our body, our mind and everything around us is a verb. We may abhor change as we are shackled to our comfort zone. But the only way to proceed ahead is to embrace change. Imagine yourself having a different experience every day. Walk to your car in a new way. Take a new route. Wish a new person everyday. Open yourself to infinite possibilities, new experiences. Go ahead and be willing to encounter the unknown. What’s preventing you from doing this ? Only one reason – your fear of the unknown. You may be comfortable in your life, the way it is. Maybe you really don’t want things to change. This is a sign of getting old. Break that habit before it manifests as a disease.

If you are like me who spends most of his time on computers, do something differently ever day. For example, if you are in the habit of checking your mails first thing when you wake up, make a change. Read the news first and then get to the mail. Try new websites and apps. Download a program and give it a whirl. Surprise yourself. Some time back I wanted to make a change to my Gmail and I did not know how to do it. So I did some reading and found that there is a feature called Labs available in Gmail which allows to tweak settings. Problem solved and I learnt something new. Although I have bookmarked the websites which I visit on a daily basis, I make sure that I visit some new ones also. Try Stumbleupon if you are not sure of which websites to visit.

Your computer (desktop / laptop / tablet / phone) also enjoys new experiences. Use it like a horse that it is, rather than a mule. There is a whole world of unknown and interesting things that is awaiting you our there. Familiarize yourself and have that extra worm in you that allows you to taste all this. Treat everyday like that last vacation you had. When you decided to go, there was no way to have known that you would enjoy it as much as you later, did. Shake your innards vigorously everyday and live it to the fullest. Enjoy every new experience and reflect on it, in the moments of solitude. Try a new song everyday. If you are habituated to listening the same track everyday, change it. I listened to some Arabic songs today.

All I want to say is that change is good. Out of chaos, comes order. If you go the minutest levels of subatomic particles, they behave in a chaotic way. But in the holistic view, there is order. When these particles interrelate with other particles, a pattern emerges. Some people try to understand the chaos though deterministic chaotic theory. It’s an oxymoron and doesn’t make sense. Look at the macro view. Do not overanalyse. Like that Buddha story. Once Buddha came to a sermon and did not speak anything. He simply showed a rose and smiled. His disciple Ananda smiled back. Everyone else who did not understand the meaning asked Ananda, what did he see ? Ananda replied that within that rose he saw the universe, the seas, the trees, the wind and everything. So be like Ananda, learn to see with your soul and not the mind. You will find that a whole world is awaiting out there for your glimpse and all the things are just saying one thing :

Welcome !


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Live It = Love It = Let It

There is a song that popped up in my mind. It goes something like ‘What are you searching for in those strange places, what you thought was far away is so near to you’ and this caught me as the crux of it all. We keep looking; but we don’t see that, what we are looking for is within ourselves. Actually, what we search for is neither money nor fame. It’s also not things which supposedly should be making us happy. Our search in one word is for love – the holy grail. We are looking for that which will make us happy. And that one reality which is never changing can be called God. While we spend our time looking here and there, the more we see the outer world, the more confusing it gets. Know that this world is temporary in nature. Everything within it, is on the path of destruction. The only thing that will remain is God. And when we have found God, there is nothing else we will need.

People visit religious places, some pray to idols and some to angels, not knowing that the very person they are searching for is within themselves. We are all children of God and contain the same molecules as our Father / Mother is made of. We are the seeds of creation arising from the creator him/herself. He/She has gifted us with various capabilities and our only task in life is to realize that and live up to our talents. Although we may not be able to perceive him/her, every moment we are in communion with him/her. Maybe through our thoughts or better yet, feelings. Any moment is a complete moment. It’s perfect. Because the world that God has created cannot be imperfect. He/She has gifted us with so many things that we don’t have words enough to express our gratitude. This world that we see is a reflection of his/her greatness.

Scientists are still trying to figure out the world. Quantum Mechanics is spooky. Newton’s world works well at macroscopic scales. This duality in everything is mysterious. But look at it this way. In order for a river to flow, there needs to be two banks. In order to appreciate something, there has to be two people – the observer and the observed. In order for a balance sheet to be true, there has to be assets as well as liabilities. If we just knew one side of reality, we wouldn’t really be able to gauge it’s depths, because we have nothing to compare it with. Thus emotions also come in two flavours.                                           1 + 1 = Completeness. We can understand this by simply reasoning. But beyond reason, if we look at the depths of our soul, we will know that these are all temporary. And there is just one thing that is permanent – God.

The first step towards God is our awareness of him/her. This can be simply in our thoughts or our feelings. We all know that something is out there, that beckons us. And we are also in search of that something. Let the twain meet. Because in that union, the heart will melt away into the true realm of God. No more confusion about this or that. Be internally focussed because external things can give us pleasure not love. In this very moment, we are created perfect and all we have to do is realize that truth. No two people are alike. Neither two trees or two oceans. The dissimilarities are what makes this world an interesting place. So enjoy this moment. There is nothing like it.  The search has come to an end. All we have to do is

Live It = Love It = Let It



Friday, January 16, 2015

Keep Walking

Never go against yourself. Do only things where your conviction is clear. The greatest gift that you can give yourself and this world is by being yourself. Know that you are unique. Your gifts and talents are awaiting to be unleashed upon this world. Get your values figured out and then live by them. No matter what people say, keep marching on towards your dreams. Your present situation may be tough. That is about to change. Live this present moment well. And the future will automatically be taken care of. Forget the past. Just obliterate it. There is no use of it. Life is flowering every day, everywhere. Be a participant in the game. But you have to know the games that you want to play. And then simply tee off. You can find love all around. That’s what the universe is made of.

Maybe you have problems. Just notice your problems disappear when you live in the moment. Be honest with yourself. What are your problems now in this very moment ? None. Your problems or your situation is so because of yourself. Do not blame others or things. You are the only person who is responsible and you are the only one who can change it. Smile and take deep breaths. Just before an important meeting, you may be getting butterflies in your stomach. Face it as you would face your favourite moment. When life knocks you down, you have to be wiling to take the hits. And stronger, you will get up till such time that your dreams come true.

This world is not just about shooting stars and rainbows. There are so many things happening of which you can be a part. All the people in this world are like you only. They also have aspirations and dreams. Everyone has a story to tell. So be nice to them on your way to the top. Every day, we come across so much information, it’s becoming difficult to cope with it. Do not believe anyone who says that life isn’t fair. It is, in its own way. In this century, the big question is of speed. How fast can you respond to an event ? Can you keep up with the technological changes and other upheavals that happen on a day to day basis ? Do not lose focus. A scattered mind will de-focus you.

Finally, have a dream bigger than yourself. Everyday take a step towards it. The destination is not the journey. A map won’t tell you what you are going to encounter on the way. So be ready to trod the path and learn in the process, of what works, and what doesn’t. Do not be afraid. God is by your side, caring for you and showing you the way, every second. Let him show you the way. You have been destined to do something great. That is your mission. You just have to find out what it is, and if you haven’t found out till now; keep looking; don’t settle. You are a born soldier. Not just a somebody. So pick up that gun of yours and if you are down, it’s time that you get up and face life again, head-on.

Keep walking …


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Why is my computer crying ?


There are many languages in the world. By and far, the most common language that we all humans understand is the language of emotions. There are about 6000 different kinds of emotions of which we predominantly feel only 12 of them on a day to day basis. The body is the caricature of these emotions. For example, when we keep our arms wide and open we are probably feeling peace and acceptance. When we cross our legs or arms we are probably in a defensive mode. These emotions which are  by product of thought keep chugging us along. For example, we may have a thought of a hurtful scenario in our life and we see anger welling up. Or we may remember that last trip to the beach with family, and we may experience happiness. In short, it’s what we think that makes us. Did you know that on an average day, we have more than 12,000 thoughts ? We have no idea from where these thoughts arise, yet we can control them. By relaxation techniques like Yoga and Meditation. Also we can obliterate a thought by focussing consciousness on it (by being aware) or simply shifting the mind to another thought.

Computers also have many ways in which the bi-directional communication with humans happen. Although these denizens only understand machine languages, we have built abstractions called programming languages to converse with them. Every programming language has it’s own plethora of protocols, but clearly they do 3 simple things:

  • Something is received by the computer (Input)
  • Something is processed by the computer (Processing)
  • Something is sent out by the computer (Output)

All the programming languages make the computer do the above 3 things in many different ways. For example, in Assembly Language, to add 2 values (processing) we may write code like this :

ADD AX, BX (where AX and BX are registers)

In ‘C’ language to output some values, we may write something like this

printf(“%d”, variable) (where %d is called a format specifier and variable is the output value)

In Java language to obtain the input from a user we may write:

Scanner a = new Scanner ( (where Scanner is a Class and ‘a’ is an instantiation of the same, new is creating the object ‘a’ and is the input – most likely keyboard)

If you look at all of the above, one thing is clear. These instructions, make the computer do something. These instructions are similar to our thoughts. And the outcome is what we see (such as in input and output) or don’t see (such as in processing) in the computer. The emotions are missing. But wait a minute, can you see the emotions embedded within the language itself ?

The overall state of a computer changes by these three kind of instructions. After all what is an emotion, but that which changes our state of being. From being sad to happy, is like getting an input from the user and then modifying some memory or printing something on the display. We really can’t say that a computer experiences happiness. In our terms. But it does, in it’s own way.

Our emotions are dual in nature. For every single emotion, there is an opposite. For the computer this is input and output. By varying what we input and output to a computer, we can have a range of different patterns (states) for it to experience. The processing (concentration) is that part which assists I / O (Input / Output). Basically, an input or an output is just the things for which a machine is existing. An emotion like awe which we feel when we look at the sea or the sunset, is just a pattern inside our human brain. Or is it ? If it is just felt by Consciousness, we are running out of luck. Because, then we will not be able to trace a pattern for the computer to emulate.

If everything that we feel is a pattern in our brain (which I’m not sure it is) then the computer will be able to replicate it. Which means in the near future we will have computers that say ‘Wow’ looking at sunset or the magnificence of the sea.

But if this is not the case, if feelings are a subset of our consciousness, then we will have to wait. The reason I’m saying this is because, consciousness is infinite and there is no matrix in which it can be studied logically.

There is one more state besides the 3 states mentioned above. And that is when your machine is not doing anything. It’s idle. In computer parlance it’s a NOP (No Operation) This could be the state when the consciousness of the Computer is communicating with the Divine.

All of this will be clear, once we grasp the way Consciousness works. There is just one problem. It works in Silence.

To the future,


Thursday, January 01, 2015

What to expect in Tech for 2015

Looking into the crystal ball again, here are my 10 bets for 2015 :

1. From websites to apps to experience. Consumers to value the experience that they get in any product or service. This may be running an app or talking to a call centre person. Overall, people to value a good experience and needless to say, willing to pay for it.

2. More applications to migrate to the Cloud. We have seen ecommerce and travel applications. Education and Healthcare will be transformed by applications running on the Cloud. Governments world over will also move towards it.

3. Cloud to get containerized. By that I mean the whole dev-ops scenario to be dominated by companies like Docker, Core OS and wannabe’s. Why not ? After leaving a clean and tight footprint is better than the traditional approach of clubbing everything together and maintaining it.

4. If there is a gap that will be felt in this year, that would be of interoperability. To seek a solution that works on all platforms, still remains a pipedream. Companies like Microsoft and Apple who have taken first steps, will go further.

5. Number of internet connections in countries like India, Brazil, Russia etc to explode in millions, connecting a whole set of new user profiles. Mobiles would have more internet usage than Desktops.

6. ECommerce to be more accessible and meaningful to the internetaratti. This means more business for all players. Lots of new entrants with vertical specializations to enter this riding market.

7. Big Data will make it’s stride with Machine Learning (Artificial Intelligence). Hadoop based systems and NoSQL systems finally call it a day. The question here is not what Big Data can do, but who is it meant for: medium and large companies.

8. Content Management Systems (CMS) will finally be integrated with Hadoop and NoSQL systems. They in turn will power the craving of the people for more content. Plagiarized content will constitute a majority of the sites.

9. Wearables make a reappearance in a better Avatar. Also look for 3-D printers which will be cheap, internet TV’s to debut in developing countries (services like NetFlix) and the rise of the hacking community. Security will be the topmost concern for any suite.

10. Consciousness to be studied under a microscope. As we realize that the soul is the one having the experience, why not try to understand it? New information theory of consciousness will get formulated this year.