Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time for a fresh start - 2013 is here!

How do you plan to enter 2013? Right from Sydney's Opera House to New York's Time Square people will gather and wait for the count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1... What a way to start the year in the company of wonderful people! But you know what, this company will soon leave. After all, they need to mind their own businesses just as you need to. So lets get personal.

How do YOU plan to enter 2013? You have got 2 options - either ENTER FORWARD or ENTER BACKWARD. That reminds me of a humourous ad which I have inserted below. As a teacher, I have enjoyed watching this ad. Remember, those who can laugh at themselves will never have end of fun in life!


Let us get back to those 2 options. In option-1, you can enter 2013 FORWARD. That means, you choose to leave behind all the disappointments of 2012 and take a step forward. You leave the regrets behind to embrace the possibilities ahead. What is your 2012 inventory? We're good at accumulating junk - not just physical, but mental too. If your 2012 inventory has too many mental junks, just discard them. Its time for new priorities and  new resolve. 2013 is here and let us face it! Though people say history repeats itself or life is a cycle, I have a different perspective. No 2 days are alike, no 2 years are alike. 2013 will be different and your time has come. Are you ready?

In option-2, you can enter 2013 BACKWARD. That means, your focus is still on the past and it is a wave of time that takes you into 2013. Nostalgia is good but only for reflection and not for action. Interestingly, many people start the year with a hangover - not the sort that you're thinking about :-) A mental hangover characterized by regrets of the past, worries of the present and fear of the future. Don't let your 2012 failures to ruin your 2013 prospects. Another reason for entering backwards is the fear of 2013. Yes, it will have its share of challenges to throw at you. Who knows, this is the year that will make or break your career. But the best way to face the future is to face it.

I am ready to enter 2013 FORWARD. How about you?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Starting well

A new academic year (2012-13) is here. This blog post is dedicated to my new students - the freshers at the Department of Management Studies, Pondicherry University.

I like starts, that too, good starts. A start offers you a clean slate, a fresh hope, a level-playing field and a world of opportunities. No matter how your past looks like, a start is a great opportunity to re-write history! No matter how your records stand, a start is a time to make amends. No matter who is running alongside, you start off as equals.
Though a finish (especially, a podium-finish like what will see in London 2012 Olympics in a few weeks from now) is what counts, nevertheless, starting well is important - be it at school, work or in a relationship. To a large extent, good starts end up in good finishes (unless, you're South African cricket team in a world cup! Oh, I feel sorry for them!).
A good start is important because of the following reasons:
1. A good start lays a solid foundation for what you want to do further (I'm sure, you've seen it in cricket)
2. A good start gives you tremendous confidence to face what lies ahead (imagine, having to catch up or make up for the lost time)
3. A good start puts a lot of things in proper place - be it priorities, principles or people in life.
4. A good start keeps you focused on where you want to go. People lose sight of their destination, yield to distractions and fail to finish, when they scramble after a bad start, and
5. More importantly, you get only one opportunity to make the first impression. (Did you notice anyone talking about second or third impression?)
So a good start really counts!

Good start is a fine art! Have you heard the line - Begin with the end in mind? Steven Covey popularized it as habit #2 in his famous 7-habits book. Watch this fish in order to understand why you need to start with the finish in mind.

Even as you have walked into a B-School, can you imagine how you will walk out, sometime in May 2014? That is beginning with the end in mind. Did you realize that you would have got an MBA which will take you far in life? Did you realize that you would have, in these two years, made good friends who will stick for life? Did you realize you would have faced teachers who would take pride in you years from now? Many of you had come on the admission day with your parents. I saw expectations and anxiety written all over their faces. Did you realize that you would have made them proud? I am refering to a day in Summer 2014. But for now, make a great start.
This print ad from Microsoft is one of my favourites. As a teacher, this is how I see you - Not as you who are, but as who you can be. This is how I begin with the end in mind. Your potential is my passion. You will see it in action when I see you in class next week :-)

God bless you!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to drop a comment. Thanks.