Let’s not do it better , Let’s do it different


“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

― Albert Einstein

Recently I started paying attention to connect different comments posted on Facebook to see if I can come up with a different insight and experiences that are different than routine. On Facebook I saw postings of joy and relief when exams are completed and students planning different activities to enjoy holidays before next semester starts. One was excited to go to Mumbai and some going back to their native cities and towns to hit the malls and cinema theaters. I saw posts from professionals who are planning of having trips to exotic places. I watch comments and likes  on the  photos posted on the face book. One of my friend posts about the songs he likes, another posts photos with beer cup in his hand.

My observations is that when we go to a farmers market we ask our mind questions related to food and when we are watching a game in a stadium we ask questions about the game. We don’t usually think of asking our mind  how to cool our tension with a nice and fresh fruit from a vegetable market when we are in a crowded  stadium.

Our mind is processing thoughts and giving us answers to questions that we ask. The questions that we are asking are what drives our behavior and is the key for our success in getting better at everything we love to do. By combining the fun and excitement of game with a healthy drink of fruit juice instead of junk food makes our experience more memorable and keeps us healthy  but that needs us to  ask  ourselves better questions to maximize the benefits from every action of ours.

We can maximize our fun, experiences, find new possibilities and enrich our lives if we can think of different things that can be done by asking the right question to our mind.  So if you are having holidays and want to have a greater level of satisfaction and experience,   ask your mind what are the new options you have other than the predictable things you do during a holiday.   we all need to have a  innovative mind set and we should be mindful of this. This kind of asking the mind, the right questions enriches  life with better experiences and may lead to more opportunities that we have never imagined possible. I always ask this question myself at the end of the day “What is that one thing that you did differently today?”  The key to innovation is to connect unrelated dots from different things, experiences  to come up with new experiences, new possibilities and new opportunities.  Good luck for a “ better life with best practices” (My company’s tag Line and vision)

Why you need to fail?


“Success is a lousy teacher”. Bill Gates   the richest man on the planet said once.

Success does not teach you so much as failure; in moments of success there is celebration, whereas in moments of failure there is learning,

Once upon a time in a village there was a wrestler with strong body. He feels happy and proud whenever the villagers praise him for his muscles and that made him to go into comfort zone and he stopped practicing regularly. He always expected every passerby to acknowledge his strength.  One day a guru was passing thru the village and he did not notice this wrestler and the wrestler was upset. He stopped the guru in his tracks and caught him by the hand trying to push the guru to ground. In a shift reaction the guru was able to twist the arm of the wrestler and pushed him down.  Suddenly the wrestler felt weak and came down to his knees and asked the guru what is wrong with him. The guru replied that he did not fail till now and he avoided refining his wrestling skills since he went into a comfort zone. “Without sweating and fighting fit to improve new skills every day you possibly won’t learn anything new except what you already know”  said the guru. 

What is the lesson we can learn from this? Most of us put a tremendous effort trying to avoid the possibility of failure by not even trying once.

According to Dr. Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford University, we have a mindset problem. Dweck has done a tremendous amount of research to understand what makes someone give up in the face of adversity (difficulty) versus strive to overcome it.

It turns out the answer is deceptively simple. It’s all in your head.

If you believe that you cannot do a thing then you won’t even try.  If you believe that your talents are fixed, then you will try to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. We all go thru a routine that we are used to everyday and never challenge or use our brains to improve upon some of the things we do on  daily basis. Just try a different routine today and learn what is the new results you got.

Students with fixed mindsets would rather not learn new language such as English and adjust to low life or jobs that come their way.   

Some company owners or heads of some institutes with fixed mindsets will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right. It reinforces their sense of competence and they feel comfortable that way.
But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mindset feel smart when they’re learning, not when they’re flawless.
Ask any national or international sports person or any successful person how he reached that levels. You will surely get to know that they failed several times before succeeding but they kept learning from the failures so they can do better next time.
A growth mindset is the secret to maximizing potential. At skills nest trainings I give my students tasks above their ability to bring them out of the comfort zone and make them learn things that enable them to adjust to corporate world.

Want to increase your own performance? Set high goals where you have a 50-70% chance of success.. Then, when you fail half the time, figure out what you should do differently and try again. That’s practice. And according to recent studies, 10,000 hours of that kind of practice will make you an expert in anything. No matter where you start.

I set a goal of transforming the mind set of students in Godavari districts and bring them at par to national and later international competency levels.  That is a high goal for me now. I’m realizing the pain of the inefficient systems/resource crunch surrounding the students and how that is not allowing them to learn new things.   Hey, but I’m trying out methods to overcome the problems for my students. Are you with me? Let me know your thoughts.