Setting high standards

How much sub-standard performance will you tolerate before you make a protest? You will protest only if you have a standard in the first place. Tolerating poor/mediocre performance at work could be a clue that you do the same in other areas of life.

There are many areas in life where we need to set high standards, but we rarely do so.

We allow poor performance to continue till we cannot tolerate it anymore. We allow our house to get messy till we cannot tolerate it anymore. We allow a person to misbehave till we cannot stand it anymore. We allow ourselves to get stuck in a job that no more interests us till we cannot continue anymore.

Very few people think through the standards in different areas of life and set them for themselves. This is dangerous. Without preset standards, you will go through life, accepting trash, as it comes along.

It is time now, to draw the lines and set the standards in different areas of your life.

The quicker you do this, the better it is for you, your family, your co-workers and everyone else you may come across.

Common Mistakes

In every endeavour we do, there is ample scope for us to commit mistakes. Just because we have been doing a specific activity for years doesn't mean we have mastered it.

This is the observation, I made, when I witnessed the "mock presentation" of my colleague.

He committed the same blunders I have seen time and again in many presentation I have witnessed, over a period of years. What is more disconcerting, is that my colleague is not new to making presentations.

Why does this happen?
Every activity can be performed the right/effective way or the wrong/ineffective way. This is true for making presentations, surgical operations, raising children, gardening, exercising---.

Identifying and learning the correct way of doing something and being aware of the common mistakes, that are usually commited during such an activity, will help us to be effective and successful.

Scan through the various activities you do. How many of them have gone into an auto pilot mode with built in mistakes you are not even aware of.

My colleague had made that presentation after 3 hours of practice. However, his practice did not help him at all, as he had paid scant attention to what constitutes an effective presentation and what are the major pitfalls he must avoid while making a presentation.

If you perfect imperfection the end result is still imperfection.

You end up perfectly imperfect!

Laugh time schedule in your calendar

Last night we watched a funny movie. We laughed and laughed till there were tears in our eyes and our stomachs began to ache. OH! it felt so good. It is after a long time, I have laughed so much.

It is important to periodically have these kinds of laughs.

Planning to see fun movies, watching cartoons, and reading comics must become an integral part of our lives. We have to build these activities into our busy schedules, otherwise months/years may go by, and we would still have not laughed, the way we need to laugh, to stay healthy.

Have you scheduled a "laugh time" in your calendar? Try it out. It may prove to be one of the most productive activities you have ever scheduled


I recently made a surprising discovery. I am spending most of the time indoors, with very little or no activities outdoors. This is so, despite the weather being good most of the year. Analyzing a little further, made me realize the reasons for this imbalance:

  1. Home-car-office-car-home- week in, week out, with no attempt to go outdoors, even after I get back home.

  2. Too much time in front of the laptop, and TV .

  3. Going to malls on weekends or movies, which are, again indoors.

How easily we fall into routines, without even realizing it.

I think spending outdoors will bring in a breath of fresh air and all of us definitely need that "breath of fresh air."

What about you? When was the last time you spent outdoors?

On the flip side, those who spend too much time outdoors, should ask themselves, when was the last time they spent indoors.

Ratatouille-What a movie!-Messages

I saw this great movie on the New Year's day. I think this is one of the best movies of Disney-Pixar. It is all about a lowly rat called Remy, who happens to have a great talent for cooking. In fact, he discovers this, when, he accidental watches one of the great chef's of France, talking on the TV about his book - Anyone can cook.

Remy is truly inspired---. He and his human friend set out on a journey of adventure in one of the finest hotels in Paris.The animation and the cartoon is so good, that you can even correlate the location in Paris depicted in the movie to the actual location of this great city.

However, what is more important is the theme and the moral of the story.

I found the following messages:

  1. Go after your talents, even if you have to break your societal/familial norms.
  2. Great talent will get noticed immediately
  3. "Anyone can cook" can be changes to Anyone can paint/draw/sing/invent/lead/be rich/succeed/--- the list can go on an on.
  4. The difference between good (cooking) and great (cooking) is the courage to try new ingredients in established recipes.
  5. You can pull it off only if you are honest and have integrity.
  6. Every critic, even the meanest one, has a child in him/her and appealing to the child is the key to win his accolade in addition to your excellence in the product or service.
  7. Genius and talent can spring from any strata of the society.

It takes courage to go after a career, that, is aligned to your talent. This is a path taken by few. Your decision about this will determine whether you will have a mediocre life or attain star status.

What have you become?

Recently my wife and I listened to some old Hindi songs (Movie). These were the songs, I grew up with. It was a very nostalgic experience. We felt good.

It is good to look back, especially, in this time of the year. Listening to old songs brought me old memories. What was my state-of-mind those days as compared to my state-of-mind now? How have I changed? What good values or attitudes I held did I lose over a period of time?

Another good way is to look at your old photographs. How did you look then? How do you look now?

What have you become? Do you like it?

What areas must you introspect on the last day of the year?

Today is the last day of 2007. This is the best time to look at the year that is ending. However, this has to be done in a systematic manner.

What areas will you focus upon?

  • What health enhancing activities did you do this year?
  • What health deteriorating activities/habits did you acquire this year?


  • What new knowledge did you acquire this year?
  • What books did you read this year?
  • How many books did you read completely this year?


  • How many new friends did you make this year?
  • How many friends did you lose touch this year?
  • How many friends do you have today?-current count
  • How much time did you spend with them?
  • How did you give back/contribute to the society?


  • How much time did you spend with your spouse this year?
  • How much time did you spend with your children this year?
  • How stronger is the bonding in you family this year?


  • What new skills did you learn today?
  • How many new contacts did you add to your network this year?
  • How well did you perform this year?


  • How is your bank balance?
  • How is your debt?
  • How much have you increased your earning to?
  • What alternative sources of income did you add?


  • How close are you to your spiritual goals?
  • How much time did you spend in prayer, meditation, etc.
  • How much time did you spend in helping others

Looking back, what would you have done better?

Looking back, what would you have avoided?

What action steps do I need to take and in which areas do I need to take them?

Being Arrogant and/or Judgemental

How do you look at people? Do you look at them with contempt or with a neutral outlook or with admiration? I have seen arrogance/contempt written all over their face, in many people, I have met.

"Contempt ---Neutral---Admiration" scale is a very useful scale.

Another scale that is very useful, is the one, that checks how judgemental you are.


Some people are arrogant and some people are judgemental. However, if you are arrogant and judgemental, then you will be walking alone, all the way, through out life.

We need to be aware, how we affect others.