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Monday, May 27, 2013

Success Theories: Success in Life

Additional Success Theories
Success has been and will remain an intriguing phenomenon. That's the reason why a good number of scholars time and again have studied and researched it. Particularly the researchers have probed into the reasons that make a person a successful person.
Various theories have been put forth for success. The scholars and researchers  make their own hypotheses and scoop out the data and information to prove their points fairly convincingly though the inferences and conclusions may or may not be statistically valid or scientific. However they do guide the people who read them provided the people being guided by them do not use them as gospel truths and use them just as some good indicators.
Success has been attributed to many factors, some of them being sheer personal talent and determination, extremely long hours of practice (practice make a man and woman perfect), support of a favorable period of technological or economical or other types of opportunities during which one's career took off, born with a silver spoon in mouth etc. I wish to add three more reasons of my own understanding here. Again these reasons may or may not be statistically correct or scientific. These are purely based on my studied observations of a good number of successful people.
First I offer the reason for the rags to riches stories. It is often the fact that the persons who rose from the ashes had nothing to lose. They were already at the bottom of the pit. If at all, their any action, at worst, would keep them at the same low level. But some of these people had determination, hunger (for success, money, recognition, name and fame), ambition, willpower, grit, readiness to do hard work, no fear of losing any prestige or suffering the identity crisis (they had no identity to talk about). So they could try their hand at several things. Failures did not bother them. They could start very small things, they could toil day and night, they wouldn't lose face if made to wait long hours by their business associates, egos had no place in their daily routines.  But all these small actions they took made way to additional actions that kept them going to taste early successes. Then they went on building on those small bouts of successes to one day achieve the large scale successes. On the other hand the people who are educated and start off pretty decently have a lot to lose if they fail. So they go ahead cautiously. They dare not take even the calculated risks. So their progression is pretty luke warm over their entire life span- they remain 'also ran'.
My second theory about the success is that the people who have no alternative options in life and but have to make their living on just one option can make it big. The people with options may have tendency to put less of their heart and soul in their existing career because they know that if they do not do well there they can continue with their lives fairly squarely with the other options in which also they are so good.  However, the person who has just about one option or one skill-set is aware that if he has to do well in life he has to put himself lock, stock and barrel on that one option or he will get nothing. He will be out of job since he is no good with other options of life. This compelling and driving force motivates him to excel in his only option available to him and he is likely to be more successful than the persons with more options.
Persons with outright unscrupulous behavior, cunningness, scheming, no qualms for ethical values and exploiting others may land up amassing tremendous wealth and power and therefore perceived as highly successful by almost everyone. Such people have an uncanny grasp over even the media and the media paints them in that light for their own selfish reasons. Large numbers of such people don't even get caught for their misdeeds as they have the ways and means of silencing those who try to expose them. However in rare cases when few of these people get exposed for their misdeeds and brought to justice, they land up behind the bars or executed by the masses- they then turn from heroes to zeroes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Political Management: Government Deficit

Any elementary literature or mere common sense is good enough to tell us that when the expenses are within the revenues it results in surplus and its opposite, when expenses exceed revenues it results in deficit or shortage.

These days a large number of countries of our world are suffering from the fiscal or financial deficit. The responsible governments of these countries are obviously not able to manage the country's financial health. Either the revenue is not adequate enough to fully take care of the expenses or the expenses are way above the revenues.

Revenues are earned  for running the country's common programs that should benefit the citizens of that country. These common programs are: security and safety, health, education, justice, essential amenities, infrastructure, research, maintenance of common facilities etc. These common programs and people responsible for executing these programs (governmental employees and the contracted employees at all the levels including bureaucrats, ministers and politicians etc) use the revenues for this purpose. 

Revenues come from various means: professional fees, service charges, money earned from the organizations and companies directly run by the government, all kinds of taxes like income tax, sales tax, excise, customs duty, VAT, capital gains tax, wealth tax, vehicle/road tax and what have you.

Government cannot run a country properly if fiscal deficits become perennial. The top and senior officials of the government must take actions to get out of this kind of problem. So they take some actions that come obviously to their minds  (even a child will get those ideas) to cut down the expenditures. So they take some actions and the expedient ones are: 

1. Downsize the government employees at various levels (except at the senior and top levels i.e. the bureaucrats, ministers, politicians etc- we don't see them being fired).

2. Clamp the austerity measures on the government employees at various levels (except at the senior and top levels i.e. the bureaucrats, ministers, politicians etc- they keep continuing with their obnoxious king size/type pay packets and perquisites). 

The other expedient action is towards earning more revenues and the first idea that comes to the minds of the top and senior governmental officials (even a child will get that idea) is to increase the taxes (putting the whole burden of mismanaging the finances on the people).

And many of the so called financial geniuses and experts in the government try for both the above mentioned  expedient measures simultaneously troubling everyone around (except themselves).

The question to ask is: are these the only two measures available to tide over the fiscal deficit or fiscal cliff (or any other fancy name for it)? Can't the officials and politicians think of the following actions and implement them on the top most priority:

1. Stop and eliminate for ever the corruption at the top/senior levels and as a resultant at lower levels (the biggest drain on revenues). The huge chunk of revenues get siphoned off to the coffers of the corrupt governmental people at all the levels from top to bottom. Punish severely the people guilty of corruption. The severity of the punishment should set an example for others.

2. Stop and eliminate for ever the stashing of the unaccounted illegal black money by the unscrupulous people of the country in the foreign banks that allow such an atrocious activity. Bring this money back in the country and punish severely these unscrupulous people. The severity of the punishment should set an example for others.

3. Stop and eliminate for ever the practice of these foreign banks (in whichever countries they are) accepting the unaccounted black money from the unscrupulous people of the world. If they don't tow the line, the countries should boycott them.

4. Infuse effectiveness. efficiency and overall productivity and accountability in all the government and associated departments at every level of hierarchy. This is also one most important measure that must be implemented very seriously.

5. Stop and eliminate for ever the wastage of all kinds in all the government and associated departments. This is vital.

6. The salaries and perquisites of the top/senior level bureaucrats, ministers, politicians (members of parliament) should be controlled (that forms a big chunk of expenditure).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life Management: Approval Addiction

A large number of people do things for others' approval. They feel good when others give affirmation to what they do or about their appearance. They are out to please others. They think they are good or appear nice or are successful only if others say so.
Their success criteria is that others should put a stamp on their succes. Without it they feel like a failure. If others do not approve of them, they feel that they are not up to it. They feel bad about themselves. They feel inferior.
So such people are out to do things that look good in the eyes of others even if to self many of those things may look outright incorrect or inappropriate or not self-pleasing. They even do those things that they do not want to do at all.
These approval addicts cannot appreciate their own selves even if they are sure that what they did or how they appeared was worthy of being appreciated or praised. Even after achieving what they could call as their success in their own eyes or in their own assessment they constantly keep eliciting the approvals from others. If they don't receive recognition of their succes from others they start believing they are losers.
This behavior may be an outcome of doubts about the self, low self-worth, inferiority complex, insecurity, loneliness etc. It also comes because of a thinking that if others start saying that I am successful and more is the number of people saying so, I get brought into limelight. So I keep pleasing more and more people whose approval will benefit me in putting me on the pedestal.
All of such behavior will never allow you to become what you really are or what you are really capable of becoming one. You will stop doing things that are important to you. You will never please yourself. You will remain dejected and downcast most part of your life.
A day will come when looking backwards you may feel as if you got exploited by others all these years. That feeing would be terrible. It will hurt your conscience. The hollowness of not having achieved will haunt you. And by that time it will be too late.
If you wish to correct this tendency, do it now. Start today. There is no need to do things to seek others' approval. Improve your capabilities and do things that you think are right even if those may or may not attract others' affirmation or praise. This is the only way to stop getting into approval addiction. Stop your approval addiction now as it is a psychological killer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Screwed up Global Economy

Current Fundamentally Defective Economy Model

The boost in economy in any country or at the global level definitely gives rise to employment and in turn to the well being of the human beings on this planet earth. That's the whole essence.

The economic growth follows a positive or negative spiral pattern. But since 2008 onwards the positive spiral pattern has almost ended and it has taken a reversal to the negative spiral pattern.

In economy one thing leads to the other but fueling this interdependency in a fundamentally wrong manner screws up the whole positive growth process.

The present model of boosting the economy is largely based on more consumption, more sales, higher prices, more profit margins per sale and overall very high profits to the producer and the seller. The seller gets motivated to sell still more at still higher prices and makes still more higher overall profits. In doing so, he does expand his business and gives employment to many more people.

People (the consumers of goods and services), either from their savings or by taking loans in a reckless manner start buying things even at the higher prices even on those items of consumption that are really not required or needed by him. Also they start buying even the really needed items in disproportionately large quantities or large sizes. A stage soon arrives when their savings get depleted and they are not in a position to repay the loans- the interest burden itself kills them, forget about repaying the principal amount.

The loan sharks (the banks and other financial joints) go on distributing the loans in this mad racket of artificial economic boom to make more and more money out of their greed and lose track of the soundness of the repayment capacities of people and the companies whom they have advanced the loans. They also boost their business by resorting to many unethical and business-wise unsound practices.

One fine morning, the consumers find no money in their coffers for repayment of loans. The banks and other financial outfits are not in a position to realize the money loaned out. The consumption falls down, sales fall down, prices can't be held at artificially inflated levels for a long period, profit per sale drops and total overall profits of the producers and sellers start diminishing at a fast rate. They stop their expansions and growth. They go on a cost cutting drive. The only thing they know under such conditions is to downsize and retrench their employees. Thus many more people who are the actual consumers of the goods and services stop earning the money because of this kind of increased unemployment. They stop buying. The economic activity comes to a grinding halt.

Many producing and selling companies go bankrupt or wind up their shops, others start limping. None of them are in any sound position to repay the loans borrowed by them from the banks and financial institutions. The banks and financial institutions are not able to recover these loans either from such companies or from the individuals whom they had advanced the loans. The banks and financial outfits too declare their sickness and bankruptcy.

The recession goes on and on because even after getting the bail-out money from the governments (actually from the people of the country- because they have been paying enormous taxes), the banks, financial joints and the producing and selling companies keep chasing the same fundamentally defective economic model of consumption, inflation, loan, higher sales volume, higher profit margin per sales and higher overall profit.

This model will always ultimately lead to perennial economic downtrend cyclically.

Also in this consumption oriented model we are depleting the environmental resources of this planet at a very aggressive rate. That is horribly dangerous to any kind of sustainability we are talking about so much these days.

Proposed Fundamentally Prudent Economy Model

To attain a continuous positive spiral of economic growth, for ever increasing prosperity of all the stake holders and for a prolonged sustainability of the environment of earth, the following model of economy needs to be adopted:

1. Consumption should be real- it need not be artificially inflated. Consume what is really needed. It will help not to waste the planet's resources recklessly.

2. Profit per unit sale should be increased not by increasing the prices (by inflation) but by keeping the prices lower and lower and by reducing the costs of production and sale by adopting creativity and innovations, eliminating wastage of all kinds, reduction of overall costs and improved productivity every where.

3. Overall profits should be an outcome of the above-mentioned two points and not an outcome of wrong and corrupt practices often followed by the corporations and financial bodies.

4. Downsizing and retrenchment in effect cut out on the buying capacities of the people and it is detrimental to economic activities and economic growth. Rather than resorting to increasing the unemployment, adopt all those policies and practices that will boost the employment potential and increase the number of employed people.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Has the Country Done the Root Cause Analysis of "Why Corruption"?

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Introducing Legislation and Creating Gigantic Organizations to Deal With the Chronic Disease "Corruption" Will be Only Marginally Effective Without Prior Diagnosis of the Deadly Disease

The current case in point is the "Lokpal" (legislation to fight corruption) exercise undertaken in India. Entire self proclaiming intelligent crowd of India from all the conceivable segments of the society is busy with it. "Lokpal" is being seen as the major medicine to cure the worst disease of humanity i.e. "corruption".

Now the problem is nobody can give any guarantee that passing this legislation (and its expensive implementation, if it is done the way it should be done) will eradicate or even contain corruption. And it is true because who has ever done any serious and deeper diagnostic studies to honestly understand and accept the real causes of corruption?

There is a dire need to first carry out detailed studies (using the scientific models) to pin down the reasons for the widespread corruption in the country in each and every public and private organizations (most of all, including the government, the political parties and the politicians). The root cause analysis is very vital.

The root cause analysis will spill out the real reasons of corruption. Then the real problems will be understood correctly. It will be a worthwhile investment to go deeper into the cases of frauds, scams and corruption that have taken place. Such case studies will be very useful if they are undertaken fearlessly and truthfully.

Therefore, the self proclaiming intelligent crowd of the country should get busy with this all important exercise immediately. Based on the outcome of such studies most appropriate, correct and effective solutions can be designed and implemented. With the right kind of such preventive and curative medicines, the disease "corruption" can be contained and eradicated. Without such an approach, its only a blind shot in the dark.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Democracy Who Is the Ultimate Decision Maker: Citizens of the Country or Their Elected Representatives?

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In Democracy Citizens of the Country Are the Ultimate Decision Makers and Not Their Elected Representatives Whom They Return to the Parliament of the Country

Democracy is the form of government in which all citizens of a country have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. So, ideally, this includes equal and direct participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. By this process they choose the social, economic and cultural conditions within which all of them will function and live.

A convenient and practical model to achieve this kind of government of people, for people and by people of a country is to elect peoiples' representatives through open, free and fair election process. The most important part of this kind of election is to elect only the competent people and reject the incompetent people.

And then send such elected representatives to the parliament to run the country's business on their behalf and under their constant supervision and vigilance.

However the fallacy is that no country in the world can claim that it has the flawless and ideal electoral system. Almost all the prevailing systems in every country in the world have serious faults. Therefore, invariably the elections are  not open, fair and free and the persons who get elected through this system are not necessarily competent enough to run the country.

And if the citizens of the country give full and final autonomy to such a body of their elected representatives to decide on the matters that affect the country and its people, they can never be sure of decisions and laws that are always beneficial to the country and its people. If they do not give their guidance, suggestions and recommendations, from time to time, to this body of people and turn a blind eye on them, this body may dish out incompetent and harmful decisions and laws. So the citizens have to be careful all the time.

Before taking final decisions on any important matters of the country and turning them into the laws, all such matters must be debated in the house(s) of parliament by the elected representatives (those in the government and also those in opposition). Then those matters should be placed in the form of a draft by this body of the elected people (the members of the parliament) in front of the people of the country for their consensus and approval. They should have made the draft in consultation with the people so that the draft is a good draft needing minimum revisions. The draft should be fully examined by the people for its overall quality. The citizens should give their additional comments, suggestions and recommendations to improve upon the draft if necessary. Only after a consensus is developed among the people of the country, the draft should be taken up by the members of the parliament to give it the shape of a law.

The essence of the above-mentioned discussion is that the people of the country should play a proactive role and they should remain in the picture well before the matters of importance are decided in the parliament by their elected  representatives. Delegating the matters fully to the elected people will never be a good idea and at times it may be disastrous because the elected representatives may not necessarily be the competent people.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why Should the Members of Parliament of Any Country be Paid if They Don't Work?

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"No Work, No Pay" is Followed in Every Organization for Everyone and Members of Parliament Can't Get Scot Free if They Don't Work

Members of Parliament (MPs) can't be exception to the rule "no work, no pay".

The case in point is the recent happenings (December 2011) in Indian parliament. Similar happenings took place even in the washed out winter session last year.  It must be happening in other parts of the world too some time or other.

In India, almost half of its parliament's winter session was wasted with no work done till December 2, 2011. Why should MPs get their salaries and allowances for the days parliament did not conduct its business due to continued disruption? The parliament was totally paralysed for nine successive days over the issues (corruption, black money, inflation, foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail) that were the creation of the same MPs.

The two houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) lost 96 hours of work. They worked for merely 3 hours over all these days. A huge sum of Indian Rupees 2.5 crore is spent on both the houses every day. So the nine days of no work amounted to loss of Indian Rupees 22.5 crore of public money.

A simple worker in a factory does not get his salary if he does not work. Then why should highly paid (MPs get fat salaries, perquisites and daily allowances) and more responsible MPs be paid when they do not work.

Any sane person of little logic will say, "Not only daily allowance but salary and perquisites of such MPs should also be deducted."

Such actions alone will compel the MPs to behave and work. Such an action will certainly send a strong message across. Some wiser people will even suggest that the non-working MPs should in fact be penalized heavily for wasting public money.

However some people may argue with tongue in cheek, "Whether you pay them or don't pay them does not matter much to them since they earn more than that from some other sources. They do not solely depend on their salaries, perquisites and allowances."

But seriously, the MPs should be paid only based on their true contribution to the society. We talk of result orientation everywhere. Start with the MPs to set an example to the rest of the citizens of the country.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Will You Like to be Happy or Right?

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Either You Can be Right or You Can be Happy: Its Less Likely that You Can be Both

One of the less thought about and talked about reason (but very important one) for feeling stressed from time to time is one’s desire to be “right” or “perfect” all the time. And what is “right” is cooked up by the same person who is trying to be right. Agreed that he/she might have thought about it pretty seriously within the ambit of his own cerebral capabilities and after having read lots of literature on it or by being very observant of the people who seem to be right to him/her etc. Yet, finally, it is solely his/her own perception.

So, despite much of such research, the question is: can he/she be absolutely sure that what he defined as perfect or right was really right or perfect? No one can be too sure about it. It definitely is not sacrosanct or the ultimate truth. Yet some people pursue these mirages of being right and perfect all the time with missionary vengeance. In addition, such tribes do not want to fail or be seen as failing against the benchmarks set by them.

And see below what they try to achieve in pursuit of meeting this perfectness! They seriously practice it in most trivial things of life as well as things of medium and high importance. Here are some classic examples:
  • Pronounce each and every word of each and every language correctly.
  • Being dressed prim and proper every minute and every hour of all the days of an year.
  • Never squeeze the tooth paste tube or shaving cream tube or moisturizer tube or for that matter any such other tube in its middle.
  • Following each and every dining table manner and telephone etiquette and every other social etiquette to the letter as described in numerous etiquette and manners manuals authored by all kinds of self proclaiming experts.
  • Never leave the clothes on the beds of the bedrooms or on the floors of bathrooms even for a second.
  • Make sure that toilet seat is always covered without fail and flush at least twice after having done the thing in the toilet.
  • Always eat the perfectly nutritious food in every meal everywhere. Never ever exceed the calorie and other specifications set out by the numerous nutrition experts.
  • Always sleep on the right side of the bed and let the spouse sleep always on the left side of the bed.
  • Sticking to punctuality in each and every situation.
  • Loading the washing machine or dish washer in the right way- as thought out as right by self.
  • All the time trying to set out goals of all kinds and trying to meet those goals and getting upset when not meeting them.
  • Pushing the son(s)/daughter(s) to become champions in many things right around their age of 5 or 6 and feeling upset when they fail to meet such expectations.
  • Presenting self, spouse and children as the most mannerly creatures of the earth.
  • Never miss the deadlines in professional or any other type of jobs.
and the list can go on and on.

Trying to be reasonably effective and efficient is understandable because that can be met within your capabilities and within your other resources. But then excess of anything is bad. When you set out some crazy ideals for self and are likely to expect them from your spouse, children, parents, subordinates and colleagues, it becomes too much for yourself and everyone else around you. And then stresses and strains develop because such tall expectations are beyond the available capabilities and resources. That leaves you and others not only stressed but it is likely to disrupt the human relations from time to time. That further adds to your and others’ woes.

Many times what is right or wrong is never very clear. Different people do things differently and to each one that may be right. So, on trivial and many other issues, insistence on achieving a particular “right way” may be inviting unnecessary stresses. Yet, on some important issues of life what is realistic and achievable must definitely be discussed and what capabilities and other resources of self and others will be required to achieve them must be assessed.

The whole discussion here does not promote accepting a compromising or sloppy attitude towards life but warns all of us against being obsessed about being “right” or “perfect” (as defined by self or others) all the time.

Being flexible and setting realistic and achievable goals within the means of capabilities and resources is the golden path traversing on which will be least stressful and yet meaningfully fulfilling.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Should Only 1% of the World's People Should Have All the 99% World's Wealth (Blatant Social Injustice)?

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All People Together Create Wealth for the Organizations (and Nations) and They Should be Given a Just and Proportionate Share of the Created Wealth

Vilfredo Pareto was a 19th century economist who observed in 1906 that 80% of Italy's land and wealth was owned by 20% of the population (refer or

Over past 100 years, the situation has worsened. It may not be an exaggeration to say (figuratively) that presently just about only 1% of the people have grabbed around all of 99% of the world's wealth. And definitely not necessarily by ethical practices or by honest hard work.

Utter economic inequality and blatant social injustice, isn't it? Yes, it is.

In every organization (whatsoever nature of organization it may be), many people work. Together they create wealth for that organization (and nation). But the distribution of that wealth is quite lopsided. The lion's share is grabbed (by hook or crook) by extremely small number of people who are at the helm of that organization (including the nation). They do it by drawing disproportionately and extraordinarily high salaries, perquisites and profit-share. Obscenely and vulgarly high indeed (at times 1000 times or 10,000 times or so more than the lowly paid other people of the same organization)! The balance minuscule amount of wealth is thrown at the rest of the people (as if obliging them, as if they are slaves or beggars).

Does it mean that those few people at the top single-handedly contribute 1000 times or 10,000 more towards creation of wealth of that organization? Remove the rest of the people and see if these few people (at the top) can create the same wealth that the organization (and nation) is currently creating. It's inconceivable and practically impossible. You need other people (other than those top few) to create wealth.  

It only goes to show that other people too contribute hell of a lot in creating the wealth for that organization. Their contribution is as significant as the contribution of the top few. 

Then it does not make sense in having such a big yawning gap between the emoluments of the CEOs and few other people of these organizations and the rest of the people of the same organizations.
Therefore, the highest emolument paid to any person in an organization should not be more than say, ten times that of the lowest emolument in any organization. That's all.

Just because an organization is providing the employment does not mean that the top few of that organization can get away by exploiting hundreds and thousands of people who give their brain, mind, talents, skills and sweat to these organizations.

Some serious thinking and movement are necessary to kill this kind of day-light exploitation of people. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shouldn't Some Minimum Formal Education Level be Prescribed for Becoming CEO of a Country?

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If You Need a Clerk in an Office to be a High School Pass, then a Prime Minister or President of a Country Should at least be a College Graduate in Some Professional Discipline if Not a PhD or a Postgraduate

It is interesting and funny to note that while for every job from a sweeper to the highest level of professional in any private or government organization,  minimum formal educational qualifications are a must, no such minimum formal educational qualification are prescribed for becoming a member of parliament or minister or prime minister and president of a country.

A manager who manages a small office is expected to be an MBA but you can become member of parliament or minister or prime minister and president of a country responsible for managing the larger affairs of a country without going to even a primary school.

Shouldn't the people of the country start insisting that their representatives in the parliament should be formally highly educated in some  related professional discipline or otherwise they wouldn't vote for them?