Friday, June 25, 2010


One of the ironies of daily living is that we crave to have choices but when given a CHOICE we are confused and indecisive because although we Can Have Options Including Candid Evaluation all alternatives look attractive and sacrificing one for another is anathema to our rational. Perhaps emotions have a big part to play in us being unsure of the right choice or it is possible that we suffer from the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ syndrome.
The beauty of choice is in the fact that we have alternatives from which we can choose. This is critical because each of us has our own unique tastes, thought process and yardsticks to come to a conclusion and make a decision. The mobile hand set boom for example has triggered a revolution simply because it incorporates style and features that can be customized to be as distinctive as the individual who owns it. Choices also ensure that there is no monopoly, control or domination and at the same time ensures that there is vigorous competition that ups the quality antennae, expands the range and keeps the price competitive.

However too much of choice poses a new dilemma; one of selection rationale. To commit to a choice implies that one has made an informed decision but as is often seen in the market place regarding investment choices for example, we have to seek professional help and hope the advice is without any vested interest. This however is a minor price to pay for we can attempt to educate ourselves and at the same time give deep thought and have greater clarity about our end goals. The real benefit of choices is the freedom that we as individuals enjoy for we are free to choose and also free not to choose. There are times though when we are left only with a Hobson’s choice where the alternatives are equally poor and yet we have to make a decision. If there is no choice then we would be forced to make a half hearted commitment as we do for example when we cast our vote at election time. Yet one would agree that the imperfections of choice provided by democracy are far superior to the tyranny and suppression by a tinpot dictatorship.

Choices enable us to exercise our personal power and express our individuality. While many a decision we take are often unduly influenced by our emotions and feelings, if we have a focused goal and clarity of purpose we Can Have Options Including Candid Evaluation. We can then be proud of our decisions when they turn out perfect and we will have to manfully accept our error of judgment if we exercise a wrong choice. Remember the series ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire or the Indian version of it Kaun Banega Crorepati’!

Action Points:
  1. Clarity of our end goals is the key to choosing the right options. Attempt to write down your goals for the following aspects of your life. Long term financial goals at retirement. Short term goals to pursue an interest or passion. The kind of assets you want to create over the next 10 years.
  2. Based on your goals work out the action plan with specific timelines and milestone activities clearly identified. Keep reviewing your goals and also your choices made from the various options available to you to attain those goals. 
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Saturday, June 19, 2010


One of the buzz words that marketing thrives on is CLASSY. Most products experiences and style trends are projected as Cool Latest Aesthetic Stylish Stunning & Youthful and the world laps it up for they are sold on that idea. There is no doubt that what is classy is open to debate for tastes vary as do affordability and suitability. While the younger generation prefers glitz, glamour colorfulness and techwiz, the older generation is more clued into functionality, sobriety and value for money.

Many a time classy products are perceived as something very special because they are priced high and have exclusivity because very few can afford it. No doubt these products have a major qualitative superiority and possibly very exclusive features and so appeal to a certain class of people who can both appreciate the exclusivity and have the financial wherewithal to afford these products. Classy products and services set benchmarks and could also spark of fashion trends. Style statements are often made by a classy display and fusion of fashion and personalities that are highlighted by the media and reinforced by a mass fan following.

Technology is a key trigger that is at the heart of the new age classy products. Where once we just worse canvas shoes to run with, today’s running shoes are equipped with little chips that capture and analyze data and give real time updates about the users health and vital parameters. Telecommunication has provided ample scope to innovate and the classy equipment and features that are prominently highlighted tempt even the most astute individual to fall for its lure and invest in it. In modern times the interplay between technology, personalization and exclusivity provides the perfect platform for marketers to pitch a classy product for each person. This ramps up sales, sets cash registers ringing and sets of mass hysteria among the gullible public.

The new age economy is now being transformed by the new mantra of creating needs out of luxuries. In effect we are attempting to bridge the generation gap and make every potential customer see everything as Cool Latest Aesthetic Stylish Stunning & Youthful; for the youth a shaven head is a CLASSY style statement while for the aging generation hair transplantation and silicon implants provide them the with the CLASSY image.

Action Points:

  1. Jot down 3 exclusive features that you would definitely want in your new mobile phone which are not there in your current mobile phone. Now rationally analyze if there are better alternatives to these features and how did you mange without these features so far?

  2. Assuming you had the money what will be the three items on which you will splurge on. Now examine if the 3 choices are because it helps to make life easier for you or is it for your personal pleasure or is it for you to make a CLASSY style statement in your social circle.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The craze for POWER is perhaps at the center of Machiavellian activities espoused by ruthless leaders in general and politicians in particular. However real power is all about commanding respect and not demanding obedience, as is commonly understood by those, who are power hungry. One automatically gets POWER when one takes on Personal Ownership With Empowered Rights 
In the first place any with who has the power takes on command and responsibility. There can never be any power without responsibility. In taking ownership of not just the activities but the team and the output of the team a person gains the respect and the support of all those whom he/ she interacts with. Consequentially people follow orders, take on challenges and place their implicit trust in the leader for they also know that the leader will stand by them and give them the freedom to operate. By and large they are also sure that the person having power will also give credit where it is due, correct and rectify mistakes and if need be punish mistakes and penalize the guilty. 
No one can just usurp power and think they are in charge. Real power comes from being empowered with rights by those who anoint a person with power. Empowerment emphasizes legitimizing the role, action and consequences of those who are given the power. Both success and failure will then be the full responsibility of those assuming power. E.g. In a coalition government the party who heads the coalition takes on ownership of the actions of the coalition partners and is also empowered to act on behalf of the coalition. In most dictatorships the problem starts with those usurping power holding on to Personal agendas and worse still, lacking the empowerment required from the majority who are under their power.

To differentiate between real power and usurped power do this litmus test – check if POWER means 
Pulverize Opposition Withhold Every Right or it reflects Personal Ownership With Empowered Rights

 Action Points:
  1. Look back at those who were your class monitors/ leaders in school and college. Were they elected or chosen by a fair process. Did they use their power judiciously? How could they have done a better job?
  2. List out 5 leaders whom you have come across in your life whom you respect very much. Ensure that at least one politician and one industrialist figures in that list. Enumerate those qualities or action demonstrated by them that endear them to you as a leader. Do you think you can emulate them?
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Friday, June 4, 2010


One of the challenges people in general and teachers in particular grapple with is to make their communciation SIMPLE. The key here is to ensure that Something Informative is Made Plain Lucid and Easy. No doubt it is easier said than done for it takes a special effort to ensure that things can be made simple. However if we have closely studied the more popular teachers in school or some of the exceptional tuition teachers in coaching classes, we would observe that it is their ability to simplify the complicated, the difficult made to look easy and their lucid explanations that endear them to us.

We must take a cue from them and develop our own style to ensure that our communication, interaction, explanations are SIMPLE, for then it can be quickly grasped, understood and acted upon by the receiver. One of the difficulties that impede our ability to be simple is our obsessive need to sound intelligent and articulate. In this process, we end up using jargon, buzzwords and acronyms to show off our superiority. Most times we end up alienating our audience, confusing them and making them feel inadequate, which ultimately leads them to abandon the interaction lest they make a fool of themselves.

The most common problem in simplifying matters is our own lack of preparation and effort. If we want to ensure understanding, it is critical that we understand our audience their abilities and their grasp of the subject. This understanding should be put in perspective when we draw up our communication so as to ensure that we do not alienate them during the process of communication. All this takes effort and we need to ask ourselves if we have that kind of zeal and motivation. Our inability to put the receiver of the communication first, invariably leads to a situation where we assume too much about the receiver. Consequentially we alienate them because they find us too high flown and perhaps a wee bit too intellectual for their tastes.

Using all the forms of communication available appropriately, be it visual, audio, verbal, non verbal, olfactory will ensure simple and effective communication. Equally important is the use of appropriate words and visuals to reinforce the communication and ensure it is understood in the correct context. Thus simplifying communication is quite a challenge but there is great sense of satisfaction when Something Informative is Made Plain Lucid and Easy and they respond with enthusiasm and glee.

Action Points:
  1. Identify the various words in this write up that you are not familiar with and look up their meanings in the dictionary. Also try to find out the synonyms of those words. This will be one way you can improve your vocabulary.
  2. Make a team of 3 persons. Now attempt to play a game called ‘What is the right word?’ The rules are simple. Person 1 will write a word on a chit and give it to Person 2, who will then get three chances to say a word that is closest in meaning to the word on the chit. Person 3 has to guess the word on the chit using the hints given by Person 2. You can decide how many clues Person 2 can give. Ideally the word is to be identified in three tries. eg. Word given is RUSH. Clues could be Haste, Run, Urgent, Speed etc.
If you have more people then make teams of twos and nominate one person to be the person giving the original word to each team of two. 

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Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.
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