3 things that helped me in this week.

  • I went on a 48 hour social media vacation thanks to www.appblock.app on mobile and www.selfcontrolapp.com on laptop. I do this often and the outcome is a very contended peaceful Isura. It’s like hitting reset button of my mind.
  • Podcasts are an interesting way to digest information. Avoided reading articles from mobile and started listening to select podcasts during my daily walk. It has been a welcome addition to my knowledge extraction, especially on AI. I also found out NOT all walks need a podcast through my earphones. I can just walk, if I need more peace.
  • Meditation, at anytime of the day is fine. I do it more often now. All the information turbulence needs a time to settle down.

It seems the world is on fire.

Image result for put out a fire

In the first week of 2020, social media feeds and news were fueled by Australian bush fires, US gunning down of a senior leader of Iran, and the aircraft crash that cost 4 Air force personnel in Sri Lanka. All with vivid images of fire.

The feeds and news were fanning down on the flames of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, despair and an anger for …

I don’t know I felt angry for many things, for things which are out of my control.

I guess this is what happens when you spend more time in social media and consume regular news. I want the things to be better when I check in next time. After like an hour ? 🙂

No these things don’t get better that easy. This is pain in manifestation. And there is almost nothing I can do.

It reminded me of Sri Lankan war days, tsunami and Easter bombings. When they were upon us, it seemed the world was falling apart, there will be no hope. And then survivors found the ways to tolerate, pick up the pieces and move on. We go through the same thing when we lose a family member. And then it’s time for us to move on. Pain is the only constant in our lives. It lurks underneath until it manifests it self. All we can do is manage the pain. Everybody in the world is feeling the pain each day. Yet the only pain we can relate well is our pain. Our pain is generated, nurtured and recycled in our minds. It’s not out there.

Here is a selfish thing I do. Whenever I am overwhelmed with pain from the world, I close down the screens, go out and take a walk through the busy roads.

There I see a different world: people rushing around to get their daily groceries, merchants calling out for customers, City cleaners cleaning our messes, beggars, police officers, buses, honks. This street chaos I hate, in an instant becomes a spectacle I adore. The world is so much more. There’s happiness, there’s pain and sometimes with none of them.

Ajahn Brahm says ” When you see a cancer patient, do not look at the place where her cancer is at, look for rest of places cancer is not.  When there’s a dengue epidemic, look at people who’s not affected. When there is war, look at places where there is no war. When you are angry look at people who are not angry.

He goes on ” We create our pain in our minds.  To take care of others, first you need to take care of your mind”.

First things first.

Image result for savings first.The world’s best brains are recruited to create wealth in lucrative industries. Banking, insurance, stock market, information technology, medical, nuclear, retail and so on.

They make it so lucrative for their shareholders with complex models and systems that we seem to be at loss of faith and words to explain what we get in to .

Look no further than insurance and banking systems that celebrate super rich, piling more and more capital on to them . Not only do they get the tilted coffers in to their pockets, they are the ones who get bailed out first when the economy crashes. Economy crashed because of insatiable greed in the finance sector. Look what happened in 2009.

It’s evil yet it is very important to get somewhat clear understanding how money works, how insurance works before we make decisions. Everybody has to take loans and  insurances, so there’s no escape. But always google first and ask few experts around to get a clear picture of what you are getting in to.

It’s sticky and uncomfortable I know, but it is way better to get uncomfortable now than getting uncomfortable when you are in deep trouble.

Gig workers are humans

76887270_427796744602617_8353540948901982961_n(1)One day, after receiving the food from UberEats driver, I was puzzled to see this 50 maybe years old man shaking my hand with a curvy smile on his face.

I asked why ?

“Thank you for been out of your home, thank you for looking at the map and been there for me the moment I arrived, thank you for smiling and thanking me”

I mean, that is what we ( receivers) are supposed to do, right ?

“No sir, lot of people do not come down from their offices . I have to go to their floor, sometimes get in to their offices and find him/her in their seats. Sometimes they do not answer. It takes much time to find them than it takes to drive from restaurant to the recipient location. They seems to think we are part of the app. Click of a button people with food will appear at their desk.”

His curvy smile back again.

 

New year wishes = *Send to all* ?

Image result for send to all whatsappThe messages comes in different forms (Text, GIF, JPEG, videos), sizes(short, medium, long) and languages.

They get deposited in email inbox, chats, chat groups, SMS.

And in my social media feed, everybody has a generic wish in different forms, sizes and languages. A few hours in to the day, the messages dissolve in to the background, the mind does the trick, no more recognition even.

Then somewhere in between, I get a chat addressed to me, saying how much my relationship meant to that person in the year. Bam, I am already pecking on my key board, reliving the good times and also may be the challenges. A wholesome conversation. This reminds me, I should do the same for the people who supported me.

A phone call comes in, with a wish, and also checking on me, how well I am doing. A real conversation about real things that matters to me. Time stays still. I seems to have all the time in the world.

In digital world we have plenty of options to be seen and heard. But it is now ever the more difficult to make an impact in this ocean of digital noise. Think about your work. The campaign that you design, the product that you make. Will it make a personal impact on the person you are targeting ? If it is another SEND TO ALL, what can you do to make it stand out ?

I wish you a wonderful custom made 2020 !

 

Time is the real important factor in internet. 

Image result for real time Internet has all the information you need. It’s with in a click or few clicks.

Yet, why we seem to be increasingly confused about our decisions ?

Most of information is now available for free, bottlenecks for information is less. It also means there will be more and more players coming in to the field. It is now easier to get heard, for free. Options galore.

One day I was at a supermarket. I went to the jam shelf. There were more than 10 options of mixed fruit jam. I spent 10 minutes looking over all of them, and then out of frustration, I picked the same old jam I was using for 10 years.

More options seems good on theory, makes the customer king, but in actual usage , sometimes it can drive me insane.

Imaging how crowded the internet is. How real time the internet is. I was heart broken to see a 10% off deal I got in October is now at 30% in December. I was happy with 10%, but not anymore when I saw that the same is now 30%. Internet made me happy for few days only.

Now I realized internet is a flowing river. What I saw last week is not the same this week. It’s beaten and molded in to a new thing. So everything is time stamped. What was good a week back is not so cool now.

So I got my lesson. Internet is a river. What I see now is not what I see few minutes later.

Time is all we have, they say. For internet, time is always on its’ side.

I hope you had a wonderful time stamp, which was 2019.

Here’s to a wonderful 2020. Cheers !

 

Fear of Missing out ?

Image result for Fear of Missing out ?You buy popcorn at cinema, not because you are hungry, but because others are in queue to get it. It must be feeling good.

You click on the #1 trending youtube video, not because you know what it is about, but because hundred thousand people have already watched it, it should be good.

You buy best selling novels, because you want to feel good that you are reading something lots of people are reading. Then you can relate to them. You are not missing out.

You watch Netflix movies because there are so many recommendations on social media, it must be good.

You see many videos and photos of a hotel on your social feeds. Everybody seems to be going there, it should be good.

This is what social media influencers are doing. This is what celebrities, TV, radio and newspapers are doing. There are endless streams of content feeds vying for your attention. The more you watch, the more it seems real.  In 2019, everything can travel in speed of light.

In ancient times this was the role of books. Knowledge traveled very slowly.

This is how world works. It has been like this all along. It will get more stealth and more speedier tomorrow. There’s no stopping. World needs to spin its yarn.

What we chose to focus on, is our decision. There’s no stoppage or scarcity of things to come.

Killing competition

Image result for killing competition

Uber comes to market with cheap rates for riders and incentives for drivers.

One Galle Face opens with 3 months rent free for shops and parking free for shoppers for 3 weeks.

Both think by getting all the people to use them once will get customers lured to them forever. Uber and One Galle Face think they can kill competition. They seems to think that is the only way to survive. Go mass market at any cost. Good for you until you have cash burning gods ( investors) by your side. But then what happened to Uber Eats in India.? They sold their operation to Zomato to cut their global operational costs. Why Uber is still to make a profit? Their losses are colossal, in billions of dollars per annum.

While Uber and Pickme sent many traditional taxi services out of business, Kangaroo held its ground and is thriving. They served a niche customer segment who liked a personalized clean cars with professional drivers. They are expensive than other options. Yet most of the customers stayed with kangaroo. Then they created their own ride hailing app. The app can be so much better, but they kept with the new trends and acquired a different set of customers too.

So, no one should think they have to go All out and declare war on a sector to win it. There are so many ways to win. There are so many cutomer segments.

5 reasons you’d love doing online courses.

Image result for online learning mobile phone

  1. They are really interactive: videos, online quiz, QnA sessions and online community makes it more intense than traditional classes or just reading a book or an article.
  2. You can learn from world authorities of that domain.
  3. You can learn at your own pace, at the time you want, from anyplace in the world. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.
  4. They are concise and to the point. You can even skip and go only to a particular section if you want to acquire knowledge fast, and you can move on. You can come back later.
  5. It’s way more cheaper than going to a college, and most of the courses are free ! ( Ex: Coursera)

I have completed 2 more courses in last two weeks. That saved me a lot of time and future errors and made me confident in new areas I am waking through.

My previous post on how to enter online learning. 

Entrepreneur Vs Employee. Father vs Son.

Employee vs EntrepreneurI have followed some heated arguments in social media about entrepreneurship. It’s all good, until we kind of weigh in into judge what is best. For example thoughts like,

Been an entrepreneur is way better than been an employee

If someone’s father is rich and influential, then son’s achievements are obvious.

Well on the surface these thoughts seems to be true. But life and business are not that simple.

There are good performers who wants to thrive on things they are good at, but they do not want to get the burden of running a business on their own. For an outsider it can be seen like a waste of talent, but for me that person is someone who’s self aware. He knows what’s good for him. He knows it’s better to avoid his weaknesses.So do we condemn him as a failure ? a wasted opportunity ? I guess we should not.  For example, I have seen great COO’s who thrive in their roles. They take the burden of operations off from the owners, so that owners can do more.

There are wonderful entrepreneurs who build up upon their family business and sometimes diverse in to new businesses and be successful. Do we see her as an ‘obvious’?. I guess we should not. Because there are plenty of businesses that go under when children take over. Those children were not disciplined to manage finances and they did not see they have anything to prove. So they plundered away with family inheritances and made the staff go home, and sell assets to pay the debts they dragged the business in to, or worse, because of their personal finance blunders.

Shah Rukh Khan was asked why his son is pursuing a career in film direction, and not in acting.

The answer from Shah Rukh is fascinating. I asked from my son, he said, “if I am successful people will say it’s because of my father’s influence, and if I fail, people would say he could not make it even with his father’s influence, So I should make my own path”

 

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