A Bad Economy Is a Great Opportunity

Instead of fearing the waves ,we should learn to navigate through it

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty —Winston Churchill

As we continue to face the worst economic times since the Great Depression along with the Pandemic it is only natural to be worried. Sometimes it feels like the challenging financial times are never-ending. Despite the gloom, I know that the glory days will be back soon. History and experience tell me so.

Many companies in history and smaller ones too thrived during a bad economy. For example, Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, was started during a recession in 1975. During that time, unemployment was high and gas prices were through the roof due to OPEC’s decision to increase prices drastically. A few other companies founded during difficult economic times are Disney, IBM, and General Motors. Similarly, many companies already in existence have made comebacks during challenging financial periods. Perhaps the most familiar and recent example is Apple, which began its resurgence in 2001 during the dotcom bust and the effects of the September 11, 2001, tragedy. As I reflect on companies that weathered the storm, I want to remind myself that 2020 is also no different.

Despite the bad signs, I am fortunate that my youth(?!?)and temerity enables me to see the world through a positive lens. I know that hard work would pay off, no matter what the circumstances. It certainly would. In short, entrepreneurs do not allow a bad economy to hold them back from accomplishing their goals. Ironically, poor economic conditions often have the opposite effect; they motivate entrepreneurs more and propel them to success even faster.

Times are not so great as I write, but entrepreneurs ignore the zeitgeist and create positive circumstances. They roll up their sleeves and get to work, anticipating the next growth period. That’s where I want you to be: ready to grab the bull by its horns and ride.

Indeed unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions.

Why “learn, unlearn, relearn”?

Adult education experts estimate that up to 40% of what tertiary students are learning will be obsolete a decade from now when they will be working in jobs that have yet to be created. Indeed, the top 10 most in-demand jobs today didn’t even exist 10 years ago. To say that we live in a changing world understates the speed of both the pace and the scope of ongoing change.

In this perspective, the education system is undergoing a major overhaul.

Illiterate of the 21st Century will not those who cannot read and write, but those cannot learn, unlearn and relearn – Alvin Toffler

How does our brain work in the encoding of long-term knowledge?

Unlike babies who do not have any prior knowledge (concepts, beliefs, ideas, values, theories,…), we learn new knowledge by reference to those we already know. We focus on the points of similarity between them to select the information that reaches the brain.

At this stage, it is necessary to know how to differentiate between short-term memory and long-term memory. The first is part of the memory system where limited bits or simple chunks of information that have attended to are held a brief amount of time (5–20 seconds) for processing then lost. So let’s say “use it or lose it! ». On the other hand, long-term memory is the part of the memory system where processed information is stored, managed, and retrieved for later use.

The first step to creating a memory is called “encoding”. It’s when you notice an event or come across a piece of information and your brain consciously perceives the sounds, images, physical feeling, or other sensory details involved.

It is, therefore, necessary to actively review the information we have noted or heard through training to enhance, reorganize, strengthen, and making them easier to retrieve: passive proofreading with highlighting is of no use here. It is preferable to use practical scenarios, quizzes, or even conversations with peers about the concepts discussed. The visualization of learning supports such as graphs and images also improves the anchoring during the rehearsal.

The more consolidated the memory subsequently becomes and the easier it will be retrieve later. Likewise if the learner is made aware of organizational relationships during memory formation, the easier it will likely be to retrieve the memories.

Of course, you have surely heard some people say that he was not good enough in mathematics, in studies in general. Yet Albert Einstein was the worst of the dunces in class, many dyslexics like Steve Jobs did not follow the university path at all, and yet they became true “geniuses”, or rather visionaries.

2. It’s all about the Mindset

We will not stumble upon reading Dr. Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” to understand that:

  • Those called fixed-mindset are people who have limiting beliefs that prevent them from evolving in the acquisition of skills as long as they are outside their comfort zone. They feel unable to overcome certain problems and lack flexibility in managing their emotions.
  • On the other hand, the so-called growth-mindset is characterized by a certain amount of curiosity, ease, and perseverance in solving difficult problems. They have better stress management. It’s a sort of mental attitude about critical thinking and curiosity. It’s about the mindset of looking at the world in a playful and curious, creative way.

In terms of skills acquisition, from a psychological point of view, we will have to use certain strategies to motivate fixed-mindset people to leave their comfort zone, by restoring their confidence in their ability to succeed step by step and to put them in confidence during the learning process with:

  • relevant and encouraging feedback allowing them to work on their weak points. Success will depend on what the learner does with his or her feedback, giving the learner the opportunity to progress and challenge his or her own disabling beliefs.

“When people express opinions that differ from yours, take it as a chance to grow. Be curious, not defensive. The only way to disarm another human being is by listening”. Glennon Doyle Helton

  • a small win and sometimes reinforce their sense of self-efficacy, confidence in moving forward.
  • joint work to be done with peers at a slightly more sustained level to receive further feedback, feel a sense of belonging to a group and persevere, or even challenge with them while avoiding unnecessary pressure.
  • work to be carried out with increasingly increasing difficulties over time that they can achieve in such a way that they understand the meaning of the effort, purpose and in fine let them know that struggle is an integral part of the learning process. Each small step they achieve leads to a small win and sometimes reinforce their sense of self-efficacy, confidence in moving forward.

This so-called heuristic method makes it possible not to separate the least efficient from the most “intelligent”, providing opportunities for choice, control, a collaboration which are good strategies to increase the “academic” level if it is the education system. This is a far cry from the elitist method, but it is no less interesting.

Scientific research has also shown that, in terms of motivation, the stronger the feeling of belonging to a group, the higher the results of assessments. Students, learners who have negative stereotypes (historically marginalized groups including women who enter quantitative fields) associated with their identities (gender, race, cultures, beliefs, socio-economical level) worry about their teacher, instructor/coach, expect them. They can increase stress, anxiety, undermine student motivation which is a source of failure, of abandonment for the learner. This is why it is important to create a climate of trust. By promoting the idea that critical, constructive feedback is a sign of a teacher’s confidence in a learner’s potential to reach high standards and skills.

More than two centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “You tell me, I forget. You teach me, I remember. You involve me, I learn”. It’s always so true!

But Hiring is discrimination

Let’s not jump to conclusions!

Don’t get all worked up reading the title! All the George Floyd discussions on racism, discrimination, and biases got me thinking that we as HR professionals or any human being for that matter,” Are we devoid of that?” I want to ask you all “Can we really get rid of discrimination?

As a hiring manager I have discriminated candidates based on their education, location, and maybe overall personality (Though I do not want to disclose it even to myself let alone to the world on my blog) and I am sure you are no different. In return, I am also discriminated against as a woman and as a job-seeking candidate. Maybe because the recruiter doesn’t like my face or my qualification (what is a Dentist doing in HR? Another confused kid?). The Dentists on the other hand discriminate against me because I was a fool to leave a noble profession (how dare she disrespect the profession by wasting one precious seat?!?) totally forgetting that I am actually doing them a favor by not adding to the competition!

And then there is discrimination as a Woman. Not long ago a Manager reprimanded me for considering a pregnant woman for a role which I seriously thought she was fit for. “But Anuya, why don’t you see that she will head for her Maternity Leave within 6 Months? Why do you want to hire someone who wouldn’t come to the office as soon as they join?” With “work from home” becoming a norm I hope to see some positive changes for women wanting to go on Maternity Leave, they shouldn’t be forced to choose between two loves. Moreover, it’s no secret that women often are employed at lower-paid positions, and if the position is the same as men, the salary will be lower at least.

She has to do so and so because she is a woman.” That so and so can range from doing the dishes to doing babies. And I am neither against doing dishes or babies but can I really escape me being a woman? I revel in me being a woman but could I escape it if I didn’t like being one? Do we really have a choice of what defines us and what doesn’t?

Research says that a woman is a more undesirable employee (?) than a man. Oh, can she stay late? Or travel to that far away office all on her own? It is proved that most employers (and they, as a rule, are represented by men) prefer to hire men and show prejudice against women workers (Jerenberg R. and Smith R., 2014).

Let’s not forget that recruiters are technical Buyers. Their performance is judged on how well candidate/s match the given requirement.

If you aren’t a 90-100% match on paper, you won’t get called. And you can’t be more than 100% match either (talk about impossible standards!)  Studies show that discrimination in employment can be categorized into four types: taste discrimination model; statistical discrimination; discrimination on the basis of monopsony power, discrimination on the basis of occupational segregation.

  1. Taste discrimination model (Becker’s ‘employer taste’ model) is based on the work of Gary Becker and develops the idea that some workers, employers or customers do not want to work with or come into contact with members of other racial groups or with women. In India that racial discrimination can be categorised as religious or caste-based discrimination. No explanation is given as to why this prejudice exists, rather it is simply assumed that there is a ‘taste’ or preference against people from disadvantaged groups and that this taste can be treated in exactly the same way that economists would analyse individual preferences between goods and services(!?!)
  2. Statistical discrimination is the orientation of the employer on his/her predictions about the possible performance of a particular group, for example, men and women. The applicant in the selection of a job will set the wage that corresponds to the value of the average productivity, although the individual performance of the applicant will be different from its value in this group.
  3. Discrimination on the basis of a monopsony power of the employer is based on the idea of a single buyer, a monopsonist, who sets wages below marginal revenue product. The more inelastic the Labour supply, the lower are wages relative to productivity. By differentiating wages between groups with different elasticities of Labour supply, the monopsonist may obtain higher profits. Gender is one of the dimensions along which the employer may discriminate. If female Labour supply is more inelastic than male Labour supply, women will earn less than men relative to their productivity, and thus face a higher level of exploitation in the Labour market.
  4. Occupational segregation is a very dangerous form of discrimination in society, as representatives of different groups of workers have unequal access to the different kinds of Labour activity. Occupations are locked between men and women, between the newcomers and locals and so on.

So, when you are saying “Yes” to something you are saying “No” to something else, and let’s not deny that. When Darwin said “Survival of the fittest” he didn’t know his concept was so widely relatable not just to Science but to all walks of life.If you go looking for discrimination, you’ll find it! While criticizing discrimination let’s also look at shifting perspectives.

Let Rejections be just improvement areas disguised as roadblocks. None of us like rejection but that is the part of the process and necessary so. Our perspective should be, “Was that discrimination justified? Was I not hired because there was a better suitable candidate or Was, I rejected because something in me triggered the recruiter and he/she acted out of their sub/unconscious bias?” are the questions we need to ask not only as interviewees but also as interviewers.

All in all, I am against biases or any discrimination which is demoralizing, dehumanizing, and downright ridiculous. I want to raise my opinion about how any selection process is in fact discrimination albeit indirect. You are discriminating when you are buying groceries, selecting a mate, or deciding which work to do first. Let’s be conscious of our biases and act better. Let’s take discrimination positively and also let’s discriminate only on the basis of quality. Let’s be generous in our outlook and be open to thought processes that are not similar to our own.

Let “the best” Man, Woman, Idea, process, policy, rule, habit (and the list goes on) win and may we also strive to discriminate our older versions against our not so good versions and be on a continuous process of reinventing ourselves. While we cannot completely remove discrimination, we can definitely make better use of it.

References:

*Discrimination issues in the process of personnel selection Krinitcyna Z.V. a *, Menshikova E.V.

Dream Job Anyone?

Source : Andy Art @trojantry

In the grand scheme of things, the concept of a “dream job” of a job as more than a means to an end is a relatively recent phenomenon. It’s always been a notion steeped in privilege, requiring a certain level of security as a worker to dive in.

Now, as the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped so much of what we took for granted, will be a privilege afforded to even fewer whether through layoffs or sweeping changes to their industries, many people who have been fortunate enough to work toward their professional dreams have now hit a hard stop. And as we look to the unfamiliar future of work, it may be time to reconsider not only whether the dream job is a feasible thing to aim for, but whether aiming for it serves us well at all.

While the questions may seem simple, it’s all too easy to leave them unanswered as we adopt the one-size-fits-all definition of success. But the answers matter especially now when so many people are being forced to look elsewhere to find the fulfilment they once sought through work.

The loss of a job or a career path that you believed was right for you, the evaporation of this kind of dream, may seem like a small sadness in contrast with the deep grief that so many people have suffered during the pandemic. But it’s still grief in its own right. In time, however, it can also feel like an opportunity, or at least a chance to reset: If you have no choice but to create a new path for yourself, what can that path be? Does your job itself need to be a major source of emotional satisfaction, or could you focus on finding something that helps you achieve other things in your life that make you happy stability, time with your family, the opportunity to live somewhere you like, a chance to connect with your community, the space to be creative without needing your creativity to drive your income?

For many, working life will never be the same. People working on the front lines in essential services are risking their lives in ways that their job descriptions never entailed, and they may live with the trauma of that forever. Millions of people have lost jobs that they loved because they can’t do them from home, or because their employers couldn’t sustain businesses without serving customers in person, or because the domino effect of the economic crisis has required their organizations to restructure in order to survive. Others, lucky enough to hang on to their jobs, have found themselves questioning whether their employers will expect their physical presence in their offices ever again.

Would love to know your thoughts on this 🙂

The Remote Toolbox

Source: www.kinsta.com
#remotework #productivitytools #teleworkers

There have never been more tools to help make remote working possible. Here’s what I am in the process of experimenting with.

Basecamp. No matter where you are, or where you work, Basecamp is available in your web browser or on your mobile phone (and it even works with plain old email!). On any given day we’re running nearly thirty separate projects on Basecamp. Check out Basecamp at http://basecamp.com.

 WebEx. WebEx is a go-to tool when you want to share a screen, give a product demo to someone who isn’t in the office, and set up show and tell conference calls. Check out WebEx at http://webex.com.Great alternatives we sometimes use include Go-To-Meeting (http://gotomeeting.com) & Join.Me (http://join.me).

 Know Your Company. If you’re CEO or owner of a company with between twenty-five to seventy-five people, and you’re having a hard time staying current on how your employees feel about your company, culture, leadership, management, workplace, decision making, etc., then Know Your Company is a must. This is especially important if your company is remote , since you see people less often and remote cultures are trickier to manage. Check out Know Your Company at http://knowyourcompany.com.

Skype. Excellent for international calling, conference calls, video conferences, and even basic screen sharing, it’s hard to go wrong with Skype when you need to talk to people who aren’t nearby. Extremely reliable, and widely adopted, and available for just about every platform under the sun. Check it out at http://skype.com.

Instant Messaging. For quick text-based chats with one other person, it’s hard to beat Instant Messaging. If you’re a Mac shop, iChat/Messages is a good option. If you’re a Google shop, Gchat works really well. Or if you’re technically inclined, you can set up a Jabber server (ask your IT guys).

Campfire. It’s a great place to ask a question when you just don’t know who has the answer. You can even set up rooms for specific projects or teams inside your company. Check out Campfire at http://campfirenow.com.

Google Hangouts. The new kid on the block packs quite a punch. Google Hangouts is an incredibly easy way to fire up a private video conference with up to ten people. People can use their webcams on their laptops or cameras on their phones to jump in. The technology is top-notch, and it has some great features that highlight the person talking so someone “has the floor.” It really does a great job simulating being in a room together. Check it out at http://google.com/hangouts.

Dropbox. If you need to keep a trusted set of company files in one central place, and you want multiple people to have access to those files from their own computer, no matter where they live Dropbox your ally. Add a file to Dropbox and it’ll be saved in the cloud and also on any computer, phone, or tablet you have where Dropbox is installed. It works across teams, across countries, across continents. Check it out at http://dropbox.com.If you’re a Microsoft shop, Skydrive may be a good option for you (http://skydrive.live.com).

 Google Docs. If you need to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or PowerPoint-like presentations in real time, or if you just want to have a trusted spot for the latest version of a specific document, Google Docs is a great option. Check it out at http://docs.google.com.

 Coworking spaces. One of the great remote-work movements in recent years has been the proliferation of “coworking spaces.” We are all familiar with https://www.wework.com/. Here are some more predominantly in the US: Regus (http://regus.com) has more locations around the world than anyone else.LiquidSpace https://liquidspace.com/ is predominantly in the US, so is Desktime (http://www.desktimeapp.com) and the Coworking Wiki https://coworking.com/

Productivity Tools:

1. OneTab

It’s a browser extension that takes all your hundreds of open tabs and puts them on a single page in one tab. You go from lots of windows to one window with one tab, overnight.

2. New Tab Draft

New Tab Draft makes it so every new tab you open by default becomes a beautiful blank page that you can write down thoughts on.It’s minimalist by design and can be used to scribble ideas or to-do lists on.

3. Trello

One can see to do (not started), in progress (doing), and done.By seeing everything visually on a Trello Board, I could set due dates and see red for items that were overdue. It was better than any notes app or CRM for making me productive.

4. ConvertKit

It’s easy to use for people who hate sending an email (like me) and it’s straightforward to build email audiences and create some simple funnels.

5. Notes App

The brilliance of the Notes App is that it syncs with all of your devices. Now, this may seem stock standard but it’s not. The simplicity of the Notes App and the speed in which it opens and allows you to quickly write a note is brilliant. The speed is crucial because when you’re dying to take a note, you don’t want syncing or app updates to spoil your day and rob you of a good idea.

That’s all for now. Will keep updating this post as now we can be sure that more such tools will be coming and thriving in the market.

Why Delay Gratification?

Source: www.Thelollipopeffect.com

Studies show that delayed gratification is one of the most effective personal traits of successful people. People who learn how to manage their need to be satisfied in the moment thrive more in their careers, relationships, health, and finances than people who give in to it.

The way I see it, there are two paths we can take in any given situation: one is the path of avoiding pain in the moment, and the other is the more difficult path of delaying pleasure for a bigger purpose. Our cultural norms encourage us to seek Band-Aid solutions and temporary comforts. Basically, whatever it takes to ease our discomfort now. This is apparent in the prevalence of casinos, commercials for psychiatric medications, and get rich quick schemes in our culture.

Some people don’t see the value in having patience during difficult times or working toward a goal; they want to lose the weight now and would rather buy the latest, greatest cell phone than save for retirement. We often make our life choices according to how we can avoid pain in the moment and, in doing so, fail to see that the path of delayed gratification is sometimes where the real solutions to our problems lie.

Pleasure Principle

There’s a term in Freudian psychoanalysis known as the pleasure principle, which is the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoidance of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs. According to Freud, the pleasure principle is the driving force guiding the id, the most basic part of ourselves.

Freud compared the pleasure principle to the concept of the reality principle, which explains the ability to delay gratification when a situation doesn’t call for immediate gratification. Whether it’s saving for that future dream house, choosing a healthy lifestyle now to stay healthy as you age, or putting up with a difficult job to help boost your career for the long-term, delayed gratification can yield tremendous returns while helping you develop a tolerance for waiting.

According to Freud, the id rules the behaviour of infants and children by only satisfying the pleasure principle; there is no thinking ahead for the greater purpose. Children seek immediate gratification, aiming to satisfy cravings such as hunger and thirst, and seeking whatever they want in the moment to ease their discomfort.

Pleasure is central to our survival. We need things like food, water, and sex in order to survive and pass our genetic material on to the next generation. However, as we get older and mature, we must learn to tolerate the discomfort of delayed gratification if we have a greater purpose or goal in mind.

Unlike infants and young children, adults are characterized by their ability to delay gratification and tolerate hard work, discipline, and occasional unpleasantness in order to fulfill responsibilities and achieve goals. Mature adults don’t expect others to meet their needs. They understand and accept that they won’t always be gratified.

Regardless of what our developmental stages dictate, most adults have a complicated relationship with pleasure. We spend considerable time and money pursuing pleasure now instead of delaying gratification for a greater reward later. It’s complicated, because certain types of pleasure are accorded special status, such as wearing the latest fashion or driving a limited edition car.

Some of our most important rituals such as praying, listening to music, dancing, and meditating produce a kind of transcendent pleasure that’s become part of our culture. In this way, feeling good in the immediate term isn’t such a bad thing. It’s provided us with an opportunity to survive and experience some relief from our stress.

But what happens when you want to be instantly satisfied in all areas of your life? What happens when you only avoid pain? What results from needing to have the newest and most expensive car, even though you’re in horrible credit card debt?

Living for a purpose becomes impossible at that point, because a life spent avoiding pain doesn’t result in goals getting accomplished. It might be an easier life in the short term, but it won’t necessarily be a better life in the long run. When we live in pursuit of immediate pleasure, needing to have the newest gadget or accessories the moment they’re available, or wanting the perfect job without getting an education or working our way up from the bottom; we become just like toddlers again, completely incapable of delaying gratification. 

Being able to delay satisfaction isn’t the easiest skill to acquire. It involves feeling dissatisfied, which is why it seems impossible for people who haven’t learned to control their impulses. Choosing to have something now might feel good, but making the effort to have discipline and manage your impulses can result in bigger or better rewards in the future.

Over time, delaying gratification will improve your self-control and ultimately help you achieve your long-term goals faster.

Skills that will pay off- Day 8

Source: https://www.humanresourcesonline.net

So my virtual Quaranteam, how are you updating yourself? Here is the list of all the things I am working on. Also I have nothing else to speak today, grrh..

Any suggestions or additions, please let me know by commenting

  1. Learning how to Learn: The most under rated competency but nonetheless the Holy grail of all skills.
  2. Ability to Adapt, improvise and overcome obstacles: Thanks to the recession and Corona hard times are ahead. You will be put down on ground or you already are so these skill needs to  be looked upon.
  3. Meditation: You are your mind and what better time to calm your mind when the world is in frenzy.
  4. Ability to verbalize what you think and feel: Relationships are born and maintained by this important skill and I need to work on it. Am thinking of joining the toastmasters after the lockdown ends anyone wants to join me?
  5. Ability to Sell and negotiate: Life is a series of negotiations and selling yourself and your ideas is a big part of it. Read “To Sell is human” by Daniel Pink to understand what I am talking about.
  6. Art of Listening and responding not reacting: With the world becoming noisier, listening selectively and making sense of it all is a survival skill if you ask me.
  7. Ability to self- motivate: Like I am pushing myself to write an article everyday.
  8. Discipline: Play the game small but daily like me writing this. I can’t believe I took 1 full day to write these 500 words and let this inspire you and me  
  9. Time Management: Time is the most precious resource
  10. Speed reading: Read for self-development as well as entertainment. Read, read, read, you will never regret it. The average CEO reads 50 books in a year,  we should at least read 10.
  11. Self-Analysis: You can only improve that which you measure and knowing where you stand is so crucial.
  12. Emotional intelligence and empathy: As an introvert I don’t like to get out of my cave but unfortunately, we all have to deal with people so high time to gear up for this necessary soft skill.
  13. Self-respect with a backbone: Stand your ground.
  14. Generate ideas that have value than just imitate: Your mind is a fertile land and its value depends on how many ideas it can grow. A string of ideas can make not only yours but everyone’s life better. That’s what the likes of Steve Jobs,Bill Gates and Elon Musk do and we respect them for that, so why not give it a try?
  15. Ability to simulate outcomes: Simulate the end outcome for both personal and professional decisions and hence make better.
  16. Gear for post traumatic growth: We are recovering from this pandemic collectively and as a escapism are diving in deep into our passion projects and learning new things and this period will also be our learning benchmark for the years to come.

Now, let’s get cracking.

Takeaways from Seth Godin -Part 1_Day 4

Seth’s remarkable. Be like Seth.

Good Morning!

Hope you are doing well in this Quarantine. I definitely am thanks to Seth Godin.

Yeah looks like I am going to write about him till I am fed up. So here we go:

  1. Do it your way: Do what you want to do, the way you want to do it
  2. Tell your story: Stories connect us. We watch Netflix because we like stories, we read books because we like stories. We love telling stories and we love listening to stories. We bond over stories. So tell your story
  3. Be patiently impatient: Don’t leave things before you conclude that they are not working out
  4. Who picks mediocre? Nobody. Refuse to settle for Average. Be remarkable to create positive buzz.
  5. The Product is the Marketing. Stop wasting money, time and energy on Marketing. If what you do is good enough, people will notice it.
  6. Spread your ideas: Be generous with your knowledge and opinion, you never know who will need what you have to say.
  7. Decide Carefully: Decide carefully what you decide to do because you have limited time and energy and you have the most important thing at stake when you decide to do something
  8. Life is a series of Dips: Failures are a sure thing. Don’t stop because you might fail, persevere despite it.
  9. Navigate without a Map: Nobody knows how a situation will turn out, except if you are an Astrologer or Donald Trump. Take steps towards what you love and improvise as you go.
  10. Create something remarkable: Create a purple cow. You can ignore a cow but you can’t ignore a Purple or a yellow cow.

Training my Lizard- Day 1



I have always enjoyed writing but somehow never practiced it. And now, after the Lockdown started often flirted with the idea.

My last post was in 2017 and then there is nothing to show despite knowing well that I am only as good as my last gig. In my list of procrastinations, writing still tops and I have been desperately trying to get out of this rut. An encouraging mentor and my maternal uncle have been telling me to write something at the beginning of the lockdown however I have still let a Month go by telling myself “Oh Maybe it a Writer’s Block”. So instead, I resorted to some soul searching and do you know what I stumbled upon? This:

Do more of what makes you happy and finish what you start”

That got me wondering why I am such a jackass.Why is it so difficult to do what I say I am going to do? I say I want one thing  and then I do another.I really want to do something and then I never start. I want a lot of things but I also limit it to wishful thinking.I want to be thin but nonetheless take the 2nd (actual 4th) serving of the biryani and gulp the 7th Gulab jamun and sleep afterwards to ensure I stay fatulous. Yes I have just invented this word from Fat plus fabulous,I don’t want my Lizard to smirk at me you see.

Yes, you read it right, my Lizard. To know Lizard you should first know who Seth Godin is. To those of you who are not aware of Seth Godin, please invest a min to google him. To me right now he is a pro Lizard slayer and someone who is inspiring me to slay my own Lizard. In an interview that l was not expecting to be provoked, he said,” A writer’s block is a Myth”. And to explain it further he mentioned the Lizard Brain.

Seth’s “lizard brain” is inspired from Steven Pressfield’s “Resistance”. The lizard is a physical part of your brain, the pre-historic lump near the brain stem that is responsible for fear, rage and the reproductive drive. It is called the amygdala. This amygdala or “The lizard” hates change. It also hates risk and therefore achievement. So it sits in our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow and compromise. If we continue to listen to this Lizard and mind you it was pretty dominant in my case then God save us. Day by day the lizard grows till we ourselves become Lizards, just devouring and chilling. All dreams stay on our to do list but never materialize.

Explaining more on why a block of any kind is a Myth, he says that a Plumber has no choice to not do his job. He can’t say that he will not unclog the pipes because he just doesn’t feel like it. And same goes for anything that needs to be done. If you really are passionate about writing, then you can’t let it be at the whims and fancies of your hormones.

So now after being enlightened by Seth, what would he expect of me?

Off course to contradict my Lizard brain and publish this.

Office “Loudspeaker” Galore

Every office has an office loudspeaker. There is at least one, if not many. By “loudspeaker” I mean by the virtue of their loud voice/muscular throat or attitude they keep on speaking loudly on the phone from time to time. No, no, why should they bother that you are being disturbed, after all they are doing their job and you are idling your time coming to office every day. You should mind your own Business and let them not mind their tongue.

I think, speaking clearly on the phone so that you are audible is definitely understood but shouting at the top of your voice to attract attention is totally uncool. I mean others are working too and you as a coworker need to respect others “Right to Work”. I agree you are not our Constitution to respect that but don’t you have any mercy?

I personally have a lot to thank these Loudspeakers. As a student of TISS HRM & LR (To those perplexed by the acronym: Tata Institute of Social Sciences Master’s in Human Resource Management & Labor Relations), I got the opportunity to Intern in 5 Organizations. I am currently Interning in my Fifth Fieldwork Organization so I do believe I have some authority to talk on the topic. By their “virtue” I often get accidentally entertained. I get to know what is happening in their Personal /Professional lives even if I do not know their name. Because out of the five offices that I Interned in; “Loudspeakers” were present in three. The reason why these people are nonchalant to the nuisance caused to other people can be many. But some which I can think of are summarized as below:

1. Their Vocal Chords are Muscular

In this case I have nothing to complain against. In fact I offer my sympathy to you because I know I might not be the first person to point it out and hey, who likes being mocked for something one doesn’t have any control over?

2. They are genuinely dedicated

Yes, and that shows. Or hears should I say?

3. They want to showoff

(Hearing) Seeing is believing right? So I might show all those concerned before they announce my mid-year performance appraisal.

4. They just don’t care

5 Blame it on the office setup

In the era of space crunching and time crunching, people have no space to waste. And that leads us to one of the two things:

· Stare uncomfortably at the person sitting in front of the desk (Or pretend you are engrossed in work despite being distracted by those eyes and that Dimple) and/or

· Listen to what they were doing on the weekend being narrated to their friend.

6 Attention seeking behavior

I really want to see that sweet lady sitting in the corner cubicle to be impressed by my impeccable knowledge in Marketing which comes directly from one of windows that I hide behind my so called Excel sheet. So what do I do? Yes, Loudspeaker off course! When she seems unimpressed by my intelligence, I assume that she is the extrovert type. So I shift my gears to the wild night I had in the Andaman’s and the Scuba Diving in Pattaya. The only outcome is that she shifts her desk.

Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore them.

About the Author

Anuya Thorat is a Dentist by Training and a HR professional by sheer luck. She enjoys singing while cooking. And yes she does cook up a lot of things. Everything except Tarot.