Career thoughts

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Points from the book Mastery

Five keys to Mastery:

* Instruction

* Practice
Practice is the goal itself , not the means. Its a noun for a master. Practice alone can give satisfaction, not craving for the end result.

* Surrender

* intentionality

The essential importance of imaging before any activity. Will power is secondary. E.g. of Jack Nicklaus :" a succesful shot , was 50 percent visualization, 40 percent setup, and only 10 percent swing"

What is really real ? What is most abstract is most fundamental and often most persistent over time.

"All I know," said Arnold, is that the first step is to create the vision, because when you see the vision there - the beautiful vision - that creates "want power" . For example, my wanting to be Mr. Universe came about because I saw myself so clearly, being up there on the stage and winning.

Every master is a master of vision

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Idea: Keeping track of links where you clicked before in search results

This will be a client side tool and very useful for research.

The idea is that it is very irritating that after doing repeated searches it is difficult to isolate links which are new to those which you have seen before. A plugin which keeps track of where you are clicking and then colors the links to indicate you have visited them before would be very useful.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Interesting quote by Manmohan singh , PM of India

“Those who have power do not give it up easily. We have aspirations all of which cannot be realised in one day. We will persevere and we will overcome"

From are you a star at work

A good insightful article at

What do people think differentiates stars from avg: 45 beliefs. Some are :
  • raw intelligence,
  • social skills : they are born leaders,
  • personality: they are driven , will to succeed, self-confident.
  • Also environmental factors: right job and the right boss

The tests: none of this differentiate ? Then what matters ?

"Back of the T-shirt theory" : Its not what people bring to the part that makes them a star, its what they do with what they bring.


The work which doesn't get done unless someone tackles it on his own. Doing stuff outside one's job description is the secret. But what is initiative ? It has four elements:

1. Outside job description

2. Helping other people

3. Element of risk-taking

4. seeing the activity through completion

Other points:

Make sure you are doing the assigned job well.

Initiatives that matter are those which relate to the company's critical path. What promotes the company's core mission ? Initiative should be tied to that.


Use networks to multiply producitivity.
Start by recognizing: what you need to know, but don't know. Then figure out who can give that knowledge.
Stars are on lookout for people all the time.

Economics of networking: its a barter system. You have to have expertise that people need but don't have.

Be prepared to help a lot of people out before you ask anyone for help in return.

Correct self-management

Its not just about time management. Expected to manage projects well, your relationships, career and your career asset over time.

Star performer looks around 6 months before project is finished: What experiences do I have in my portfolio ? What assignments should I tackle next, which will make me more valuable in the market place or for the company ?

They select their next project , before they finish their current one !

Core Skills

Understand the company. What is its critical path ? Contribute more directly to its larger purpose.

Recognize how you work and turn that into an advantage. What times suit you ? What schedule ? Environment ? Food ? System of time and project management ? Quotes which guide you ? Principles which guide you ?

Pattern recognition

different perpectives : how do my competitors think about it ? my boss ? my customers? my colleagues ?

After each project, ask yourself, what did I learn ? Seek out assignments which will give you different kind of experience.

Example: Software testing.

Star follower ?

Very good at helping other people succeed. Know how to pitch in.
Don't just think about your own needs and ambitions. Focus on the project's needs and the leader's needs. Try to make wins happen for the team, not just a record for yourself.

You should figure out what to do , before you're told. Be a good fact-finder , find out as much as you can without bothering the leader.

Leadership with a small "l"

Have three components:

1. They are knowledgeable.

2. Bring energy to job and create energy in other people.

3. Pay attention to everyone in the team : attract followers

Show your intent towards your team.


How your company really works?

They are "organizational savvy" or street smarts. Understanding the law of the land. Who to avoid and whom to trust.

Keep your eyes open. Get the boss's views. Talk to star performers and get their sense of how things work. There will be different persepectives, not one. Take them into account in your work with others.

Understand what works and what doesn't work in your environment.

Show and Tell

How to be creative : first 10 points

This book is increadibly well written and inspiring.
Some important points from the book.

1. Ignore everybody : Don't seek other's advice. No one knows (including you) how good the idea is the moment it is created.

Good ideas come with heavy burden : relationships change, need initiative etc. So few people have them

2. Don't fight for BIG. Fight for change and sovereignty.
It is liberating doing something which is not to impress, to feel complete soveignity, to feel complete freedom for a change.

And the world respects that. World respects more your sovereignity and freedom than the BIGNESS of the idea or the actual content.

Doesn't have to be big. It should be your individual idea and amazing. More it belongs to you and amazing, more it will click.

3. Put the hours in

What seperates successful people from failures ? Time , effort and stamina.
Don't quit the day job. You don't feel pressured and money pressured to be market friendly. You can carry on with Calm.

Stamina is Utterly Important. Needs to be managed properly. Not crazy intense creative bursts but pacing it with calm.

Being good at anything is not easy. Takes effort and time.

Best way: Find that extra hour or two in the day and make it productive.

Put the hours in; do it for long enough and magical , life transforming things happen eventually.
Less time for going out etc. But is worth it.

4. No big shot success, but genuine , fought for well deserved success.

Nobody discovers anything suddenly. Things are made slowly and in pain.
Don't get lured by those middlemen, who treat you like a noodle in a pasta bowl.

5. The BIg idea ?

You never come up with the big idea in the first shot. You takes those ideas which look crazy, moronic but do them anyway.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone has access to crayons in KG (the best point)

They take away the crayons at puberty and hand you a bunch of algebra books. duh. welcome to the real world.
Then years after, this voice inside you fights for those crayons back

What can kill this voice ?
That destructive greedy itch for making it a business from the beginning, the fear that the idea might fail, that things won't work out in th end. This is your Adult outer voice, a boring and tedious voice and its goal is to kill your inner creative voice. always worked hard your whole life; you.ll be damned if you.ll put all
that e.ort into something if there ain.t no pot of gold at the end of this
dumb-ass rainbow..

Your wee voice doesn't want you to sell something, it wants you to create something. That's the big difference.

Go ahead and make something, something special , something which blows away the mind of who sees it.

Your wee voice didn't show up because it wanted to make money. It showed up because somehow your soul depends on it. There is some light which needs to be swithed on . NOW

If you try to make something just to .t your uninformed view of some
hypothetical market, you will fail. If you make something special and
powerful and honest and true, you will succeed.

You have to listen to the wee voice or it will die....taking a big chunk of you with it.

They are only crayons. You didn't fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now?

Brilliant line from Hugh MacLeod

That.s the thing about some big publishers. They want 110% from you, but they don.t to
do likewise in return. To them, the artist is just one more noodle in a big bowl of pasta.

Their business model is to basically throw the pasta against the wall, and see which one
sticks. The ones that fall to the floor are just forgotten.

If creative, if you can think independently, if you can articulate passion, if you can
override the fear of being wrong, then your company needs you now more than it ever did.
And now your company can no longer a.ord to pretend that isn.t the case.

Friday, July 15, 2005

quote from sabeer bhatia

“Excel at whatever it is that you do and do whatever makes you happy. Don’t chase money, chase satisfaction.”