Life is good, if…

Life is Good Rocket Innertube Vintage Crusher Tee

Life is good,
If we throw away the need to be right all the time
If we unburden our selves from the titles and knowledge
If we reflect that I have a fair chance of dying today
If we can do things just because we can
If we can get away from the obsession to make things perfect, and expect things to be perfect
If we acknowledge we will always have haters, we can let them be
If we reflect everything that is good in life will pass. Also bad things will pass
If we ponder that happiness/peace is right here right now for us to grab. That no one need to give us permission. Yet why we do not give us the permission ?
If we realise that my success does not come at the expense of others’, and vice versa.

Careers are dead. What to do?

496 Dead Career Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Career is defined as a series of upward moves with steadily increasing income, power, status and security.
Perks, corner office, company maintained vehicle, insurance and pension were the things people looked up to.
Not that they will lose their attraction in our minds, but both employers and employees had to make lot of adjustments.
And it will never go back to what it was.

Losing jobs is bad on paper. But there are thousands of new jobs created with less supply. You can lose a job just because that is how jobs are now. It was not your fault. Likewise finding a new job at regular intervals is becoming a norm.

The new jobs are revolving around ‘customer needs’. Advances in technology and society are frequent, pandemics happen, and our skills need to be upgraded and aligned.
The safety of work now has to come from inside of a person, not from his office, because there’s no such thing as a secured job.

Getting a degree, then adding qualifications to your resume every 5 years not going to cut it . Even public sector is acknowledging this, but will take more time for their wheels to move.

People are supposed to learn on the go now. No time to sit and learn for few months and come back. If you do, there will be no job for you.

If things are changing so frequently how a person is supposed to align ?

1) Getting out of the career mind set. Knowing that you cannot ask for everything from the employer. There will be no such thing as dream job, or follow your passion with in the job. If you have one, you are extremely lucky, but don’t be naive that it will last until you retire.

2) To acknowledge and explore new opportunities created outside of our comfort zones. Get on internet to learn the new skills and attitudes. You can do that at zero cost. Yeah, except for the data bill.

3) Work in multiple projects at one time. To check what works and what not. Do side hustles in your spare time to test drive your ideas. Have a mindset to provide a valuable service people want, and deliver it consistently.

4) Get mentored by people who are doing well.
By doing well I mean, who are genuinely happy and contented, plus have created wealth for them and others.
Find what you are good at. A good mentor can see what you cannot see. It’s life changing.

5) Make a security safety net for you and your family by your self.
Getting a good life and health insurance early in your life, so that you don’t hang on to employers handouts.
Save money for rainy days.
This gives a peaceful mind for you to explore the unknown and get rewarded. because in places where skills are in high demand and in short supply, the reward is usually 10X higher.

‘Career’ thing for GenZ

10 Things You Need to Know About Gen Z – Karen McCullough

I think we need to discuss the ‘career’ thing. Because many young people ask me ‘career’ advise. I know you get these requests too.

I am very careful in dispensing advise to young people, especially when I do not know them enough.

There are few reasons

1) Youth, especially Gen Z ( born after 1997) have placed mental health problems and bullying at the top of their issues list, according to the economist.
They are exam obsessed, spend lot of time on social media.
This is what the world they were born offered them. Parents want their children to have the best. They grow up with abundance. Many options in life. That just confuses them a lot. Attention is a scarce resource.

2) Jobs are changing. It will change at a rapid rate. It will never slow down. Our education system has no clue about what is happening in real world. We are stuck in 1940’s. industry 4.0 is upon us, but we are still doing stuff needed for second industrial revolution. This is on us, the adults. We will fail miserably if we do not change this system.

3) Gen Z is creative and smart. I am amazed by their performances. Workplaces and schools are not equipped to serve them. Yeah, that’s on us too.

So what is the solution ?

There are many, but these solutions need patience and attention in to individual aspirations. We need to get the basics right.

First place to start is there no such thing as a ‘career’.
It’s gone.
Yeah, that might seem a radical place to start. But it is the truth we are trying to avoid.

I am creating a framework for a module to help find purpose at an individual level through a workshop for GenZ. If you are interested to jump in with your ideas, energy, leads, or anything at all, drop a comment or email me at isura@isura.biz

Corona updates.

Sri Lanka is doing pretty well on COVID19.
People are back on to everything, going back to what it was like before. Masks are fast disappearing, social distancing…well what is that ?

Good thing is people hit hard by the lockdown can now get back on their feet.
Bad thing is going back to what it was, negate our learnings of the pandemic. Because…

IT IS NOT OVER.

Today’s ( Sep 15) Covid update:

USA, India and Brazil are hotspots. Global deaths are closing on that ominous number of 1 million.
Just let that sink in.
1,000,000 lives lost.
We are now immune to numbers. Numbers do not move us. The severity of the pandemic is like a bygone.

Our ways of living and trading have changed. What if there’s another wave ?

Which is why we need to get in to digital ways of life, with care.

If companies need to stay relevant in this VUCA world you need to get your business models digital, not just the marketing.

Universities, you need to get your courses online, fast.

Governments, there’s no better moment than this to make your e-gov services accessible to all.

There are good examples. But it should not stop there. It needs to get better.

Solving someone else’s problem

hey listen... - not-my-problem

In a SPRINT workshop I facilitated, there was a group that had participants with in the same domain but coming from different organisations. So the group had to select a real problem of only one organisation and design solutions for it. So there was just one problem owner and I requested others to work like consultants, consultants with fresh pair of eyes.

That did go well.

I saw the problem owner struggle with his emotions, judgments, attitude and trying to defend old ways of work patterns. The heaviness of him ‘owning’ the problem was a burden to move forward.

Others, with their consultant hats on, were doing really well coming up with creative solutions and persuading those ideas with the team.

Those fresh perspectives were very helpful for the problem owner. I was glad to see he was able to make good use of the team effort.

This is why it is easy for us to give someone else a life advise, but we cannot do what we told them when the exact same thing is required of us in our lives. The difference is the ownership of the problem.

“It is easy for you to say”

is actually true. :). It is indeed easy to solve someone else’s problem, but painfully hard when it’s our problem.

A simple way to solve my problem is to remove my self from it. Approach the situation as if I am solving someone else’s problem. Sounds ridiculous. I have practiced this approach nevertheless and happy to say it works most of the time.

How to do that step by step?
Will write soon.

More on ‘the social dilemma’

It is ironic that I am watching a documentary about social media addiction on netflix, which is again an addiction platform.

Of course Netflix is different from social media.
1) Netflix is a paid service. Netflix is not serving users with third party ads or recommendations.
2) We make a decision to see Netflix by paying for subscription. Hence user is not the product unlike in free social media services. You stop paying, you lose access to the service.

‘if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product’

Many say ‘I am different, I am not addicted’. You will be surprised to see how much time you spend on social media, if you actually measure time with tools like rescue time. (I measured few years back. I was shocked)

You will understand how deep the social media companies go to “extract your attention”. These companies are in the business of “mining your attention”

Also in the documentary at the start of the credits the creators mocks us by saying ” follow us on social media. We are kidding ! “

But when I went to their website, they are using social media channels anyway.


They have their reason.

Why is ‘The Social Dilemma’ on social media?

While we hope The Social Dilemma will inspire people to spark conversations “IRL”, we believe it is especially important to reach people where they need to hear it most – on social media.

In service of that goal, we plan to use social media to advance our impact campaign while adopting and modeling the principles of humane technology. Our focus will be on getting the film out to new audiences that might not otherwise seek it out, increasing the public’s understanding of the dilemma faced by our increased reliance on technologies that have become exploitative and extractive, and providing tools and resources to realign our relationship with these platforms.

For what is worth ‘the social dilemma’ is a must watch. It makes you think, reflect and adjust.

The social dilemma

‘The social dilemma’ is a must watch.
It left me shaking my head on a Saturday. I already made steps to scrape whatever time spent on social media.
In fact it got me thinking about deleting some accounts for good.

The attention extraction business model is not a healthy way for humanity.
You need to watch this amazingly curated documentary.

Also they have a nice website to reflect more on the dilemma.

A question about working from home.

Well in Sri Lanka countryside | Water well, Wellness, Off grid living

A true story.

A social service organisation dug up a drinking water well right in the middle of a very remote village.The team was so happy they could provide clean water to villagers. Before this new well, villagers used to travel 5 kilometres to fetch water.
Donor agency was happy too. They came, launched the well with a ceremony, took smiling pictures with villagers and left.
A month later the team was baffled to witness that no one is using the well. They found why.
Husbands of the village used to paddle early in the morning in their cycles to fetch water. Not just water, but also to fetch the daily dose of village gossip. The well 5 kilometres away was the meeting point for husbands of neighbouring villages.
Social interaction trumped convenience.

Question: Did the social service organisation fail to do the community needs assessment right ?

Another question : Why employees in 2020 spectacularly misuse the opportunity given by their employers to work from home. ?

Why youth won’t be able to grab new jobs created in industry 4.0?

Simio's 8 Reasons to Adopt Industry 4.0

There were 4 stages of industrial revolution.
1765 – First Industrial Revolution – because of steam engine.
1870 – Second Industrial Revolution – because of new sources of energy: electricity, gas, and oil, and inventions: internal combustion engine, telegraph and telephone.
1969 – Third Industrial Revolution – because of electronics, telecommunications and computers.
after 2000 – Fourth Industrial revolution ( Industry 4.0) because of high speed internet driving innovations in artificial intelligence, internet of things, smart phones and many many advances in tech every month. Industry 4.0 defines how we live, trade and work in a way we fail to understand. It’s changing too fast.

Industry 4.0 is mostly digital. Digital laughs at the world long gone in analog. Industry 4.0 creates millions of jobs, while eating up existing jobs.

See below video and reflect whether your child is learning the skills explained in this video. Those skills are already in demand, not in future.

Now the biggest issue is our education systems: starting from school to university. We are still feeding youth to an education system introduced in 1940’s which produced employees able to work in Second Industrial Revolution. In Plain speak, that education system produced people good for work in factories and admin work in 1940’s !

Isn’t it crazy to think that we are still using a 100 years old methodology to educate our youth?
Why do you want your child to be caged in 1940’s when you can easily give him access to education that will help him thrive in new jobs created ?

The sticky obstacles: It’s a mind game.
-Getting your child to a reputed school is a status update. New jobs laugh at our obsession with the status play.
– Getting A’s in exams is still a sign of intelligence. Artificially Intelligent machines are laughing at your obsession. Your child is obsolete, even before he steps in to the school.

Follow your passion. But…

We Need To Rethink Encouraging Our Kids To "Follow Your Passion"

We want to follow our passion through our jobs.
My passion is not your passion. It’s an individual unique feature. And passion changes and evolves with our age.
How can an organization cater for this ever changing needs of each and every individual? Organisations simply can’t do that. Not even Google.
So then how can you follow your passion?

Job is there to make you safe and sound. To give you some worth and financial safety.

Develop your passion beyond your job. Don’t expect your passion to be filled with in your job. Especially in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times like this. That is a steep ask, an impossible one.

Find your passion in your own time. Make time for it.
(Cut time from social media scrolling, binging TV series, games, anything that is an addiction in your life).

Not having time for your passion is a lie we tell our selves over and over.
The excitement and energy generated through spending time on your passion trickles in to work and family. Vice versa.
That’s a good deal.