This new year, as usual, there were a series of emails from friends, family and acquaintances wishing a very Happy New Year 2013. In the deluge of impersonal emails and social media messages, there are a few which stood out for their messages, many for the thoughtfulness of the senders and a few which were great call to action for the new year.
R Sriram sent his greetings with one of the most inspiring quotes i have read and quoted earlier. Turns out that its wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. A Texas A&M site has some proof and also how this could have happened. Nevertheless, its still a favourite.
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.
Someone i dont know well enough but connected through mutual friends sent me this incredible survey which asks friends and professional contacts to give feedback on what are his strengths and weaknesses. I found that to be a great way to start the year. Apparently, there is a tool for that, online.
Nilanjana Roy wrote an extremely moving post about the delhi rape, highlighting the fact that sometimes our memories are so short, we really forget the real world out there. Till incidents which capture our collective attention and make us feel ashamed of ourselves.
This year, compared to any other year, people seem to be talking more about their family, friends and children in their greetings. Many emails that i received have updates about their spouses, children and family, and how grateful are they to their immediate families. Everyone seems to be trying to be a better parent and learn from their kids, echoing what Abhijit Bhaduri has beautifully captured in his 13 resolutions for the new year
Read an incredibly insightful article on how rules of persuasion have changed for entrepreneurs. Particularly like this quote
Master listening to learn where other people live. To discover where they are coming from, you need to get to the fourth level of listening – not listening while ignoring, not defensive listening, not even problem-solving listening, but connective listening into other people’s world. It’s listening from “their there,” instead of “your here.”
A new year blog post on Amateurs vs Professionals by Shanthi Mathur was equally thought provoking. While the quote by Dave Barry (who by the way is hilarious, read his year in review here) is factually incorrect, it does make you think about the value attributed to entrepreneurs who stir things up and kick things started vs professionals who make sure all the systems are in place and working as planned.
I think the key difference is how your decisions are made, what drives you and what you value. Entrepreneurs are comfortable making decisions, right or wrong, with very little information and a lot of ambiguity. Some call it gut feeling, but i think its more to do with the ability to take the risk and say, let me figure this out as we go along. Most professionals would rather gather all the data they can to make the right call. Both of them can turn out to be equally wrong. Second key difference is what drives them. Entrepreneurs are driven by purpose, professionals are driven by process. Both have their importance, and its the right mix of both which might be the key to success. Finally what do you value? Speed vs Perfection. Particularly in early stages, entrepreneurs would choose speed. Professionals prefer perfection. While there is no denying the need for professionalism in everything we do, its just that Entrepreneurs find a new and faster way to power the trains and experts/professionals make sure that the trains keep running on time.
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
– J.K. Rowling
Finally, another funny quote about success, which i came across while reading Emerson. Not its not by him.
At age 4, success is…not peeing in your pants.
At age 12, success is…having friends.
At age 16, success is…having a driver’s license.
At age 20, success is…having sex.
At age 35, success is…having money.
At age 40, success is…finding meaning & purpose to life.
At age 45, success is…finding meaning & purpose to life.
At age 50, success is…having money.
At age 60, success is…having sex.
At age 70, success is…having a driver’s license.
At age 75, success is…having friends.
At age 80, success is…not peeing in your pants.
Wish you a very happy new year!