Are you Original?

– less than 3 min

In my last week post ‘Imagination’, I mentioned about creativity with the following “Creativity lies within the imagination. When you pay attention to your imagination, your creativity sparks.”  And, in the post ‘The nerd’s guide to evolve’, I have mentioned that if you want to be a leader, you need to think like a leader and I wrote about joining communities. Now that we are talking about creativity, a question arises how does creative people think? How can they come up with so many ideas just out of spark?

Creativity has a close connection to the question ‘Are you original?’ and I ask this question after  listening to a thought provoking speech by Organizational Psychologists, Adam Grant. He calls the thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world as ‘Originals’.

So, Are you original?…..

Adam Grant answers to the question how creative people come up with great ideas? with additional bonus answer listing 3 unexpected habits of the creative people. He says that “Originals are nonconformists, people who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They are people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people you want to bet on. And they look nothing like I expected.”

First, he talks about procrastination. People who procrastinate their task end up goofing up and on the other side, people who are in race to get things done sooner does it with frenzy of anxiety that leaves with no original ideas. People who are neither of them are the originals, does that mean originals have bad work habits? Grant explains more about procrastination with the results from his experiments and points out that procrastinating is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it can be a virtue for creativity.

Second, he talks about doubts. If you have self-doubts it leads to paralyzing your thoughts, while if you doubt your ideas, the ideas will evolve. 

Third, he talks about fear. Creative people will have lot of bad ideas and they make mistakes. They are afraid of failing however they proceed and they are more afraid of failing to try. How true!

It’s so clear that all these sets them apart from the rest. The three habits that are mentioned by Grant are so reasonable and when you think about it, you can’t disagree. They are real and well! he has conducted lot of research and experiments before talking about it.

If you ask me, I would say that I can’t agree more! I was so glad that I listened to his speech and learned about how creative people think? And how they stand out in the crowd?

Here is the link to his TED Talk, it’s very much worth listening to. Not to forget, he has a good sense humor which you will notice in his talk.

Enjoy the TED Talk and Have a great week!

Thank you for reading! See you next Tuesday!
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Photo Credit: Original

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Imagination

-4 min Read

Today I am going to share something really interesting and it might change the way you pursue your imagination. We often don’t notice how our imagination takes us through the journey of life. Whether you are artistic or not, you are always driven by imagination. Creativity lies within the imagination. When you pay attention to your imagination, your creativity sparks.

I believe that inventions are drawn by the needs, while the creativity is by nature. I was so amazed to listen to the speech of an artist who ran out of choices as her art work did not arrive on time for the art show. Yet she came up with brilliant, incredible and marvelous creation only because she followed her imagination.

She starts by saying that a simple material that was always been there for a purpose has now been used to showcase the choreography by wind because of her imagination (picture shown below).

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That simple material she was referring to was fish net. She went to India to exhibit her paintings in an art show, but her paintings did not arrive on time for the show. She stayed in a place called ‘Mahabalipuram’ which is an ancient historical town and one of the beautiful places in south India at the shore of Bay of Bengal. They also refer this place as the land between mountain and sea. She goes for walk on the beach watching fishermen bundling the fishnets on the sand.  She watched them doing this everyday however when she found out that she will have to figure out a way to model a sculpture, she saw them different. Her imagination took her to a whole new level and enabled her to develop a new approach to sculpture which is a way to make volumetric form without heavy solid materials.

She collaborated with the fisherman and created the first sculpture and she named that as ‘Wide Hips’.

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She was mesmerized by the soft surfaces revealing the ripples of wind in consistently changing patterns. She continued this journey and started studying the craft traditions and collaborated with artisans and next one was with Lace makers. She enjoyed the fine details and she wanted to make them larger. She returned to India and worked with the fishermen, made a net of a million and a half hand-tied knots and installed it briefly in Madrid. Thousands of people witnessed her work and she was asked to build a permanent piece for the city of Portugal. She researched for 2 years to figure out a way to make the sculpture durable, engineered and at the same time permanent. She did come up with a solution of a particular fiber that helped her in building one that will survive ultraviolet rays, salt, air, pollution, and at the same time remain soft enough to move fluidly in the wind. She also worked with aeronautical engineers to help her with the engineering to move gracefully in an average breeze and survive in hurricane winds. It was very difficult to build one with hand tied knots, so she collaborated with the industrial fishnet factory and created a way to make lace with them.

“She believed she could and she did”

This artist lived up to it completely. It was hard for her to believe what she had imagined was now built and its permanent. Her imagination and creativity doubled and she is keep on moving forward and working on projects with more advancements.
You will find one of her sculptures at Philadelphia city, and this time the material is much softer than the net. She experimented with tiny atomized particles to create a dry mist that is shaped by the wind and in testing, discovered that it can be shaped by people who can interact and move through it without getting wet. She is using this to trace the paths of subway trains. How brilliant it is!!!!!!

Would you believe that this artist was rejected by 7 art schools where she applied after her college? She started learning art on her own and she ended up following her imagination. And her imagination is now seen on the skyscrapers by everyone.

She is none other than Janet Echelman. She is an inspiration and this story would urges us to pay attention to our imagination!!

Thank you for reading friends! Have a great week. See you next Tuesday!
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Are you being busy?

-Less than 4 min read

Since my Masters graduation my life has been busy. During my school days, I always wanted to be busy by doing lot of things in a day, but all I did was studying, studying and studying. It was monotonous but that was what I could do during that time. It so happened that right after the week I was done with my exams, I had so many things on my plate to do. My sister was working on opening up a small business. I was completely indulged in helping my sister with that. Since I have technology background, I was also able to do things that could help her with website, designing, Inventory system and related computer works. Not just that, we also had to labor like moving, arranging, organizing and so on. I was doing may be very little when compared to what my sister was doing for the business set up. Starting a business is not at all easy and my most sincere salute to all the small business owners out there. While this was going, I also had to find a job. Fortunately I found a job within weeks after the exams. I work my full time day job and then go home to do sister’s business related work. I am happy that I am busy except that I had to cut down some hours from the favorite part of my life, sleeping which is sad :-p

Amidst all these I also manage to find time to read, workout, meditate and do prayer. Ahh! It is supposed to make me proud right? Nope, not at all; Also, I am not saying all this to boast about me.  May be I am busy, May be I am doing many things in life now which is exactly what I wished for, however at the end of the day when I question how efficient and productive my day was, my answer would be not satisfactory. Because I deliver very little in a day compared to what I wanted. There should be some output either pass or fail, in my case it was mostly work in progress which means it’s not a productive day. There is something missing right? I was so glad I realized it sooner and started working on it. I started looking out for techniques so that I stay focused and at the same time it is effective as well as efficient.

Again I do not want to spend more time on just looking for ways to improve but not applying them in life to see the result. That would be sadly stupid thing to do. I came across this technique of visualization. Athletes use this technique for game preparation and results are significant that it improved their focus and they performed better.

This is working for me since I started trying. I visualize how I am going to perform each day and go through my ‘To-do” list to make sure I visualize them as well.  This way I can let my brain know on what to pay attention and what to ignore. So far it is helping me and I am really doing better and happy with the results. If I come across more working techniques, I will sure share with you all.

Thank You for reading! See you on next Tuesday. Have a great week!
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See things different

– less than 3 min read
In today’s post, I am going to share something about seeing victory in tragedy.

Well it’s not easy to react positive when we are in that moment of tragedy, and we call that as being human. But how is that some people are able to see triumph in tragedy?

Are they not human? Huh I know I tend to ask questions. I always derive my solutions by asking questions. Raising doubts will pave my way to the world of answers. Yet again choosing the right answer is the key . I have flunked at it many times :-p

So back to my question, how is that some people could see triumph in tragedy.

I was hit by the story of a very famous person.

In the year 1914, a factory in New Jersey was completely destroyed by fire and the damage added up to more than $2 million worth. The insurance did not cover up much and the man’s work in that factory went up in smoke that night.

The man watched all his works going up in flames calmly while his white hair was blown by wind. His son told that ‘my heart ached for my dad’ and that he was 67 years old and not young any more to reproduce his lifelong work.The man told his son to find his mother and bring her to him before she sees it and he didn’t want her to see it as long as she lives and the son abided.

The next morning, the man looked over the ruined place and said,

“There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” 

Just 3 weeks after this incident, he delivered the first phonograph. Yes, that man is none other than Thomas Edison.

You might have heard this story or read this in million places. How powerful this story is?
Edison saw things differently, very differently. He not only looked for positives but very much attempted to instill that attitude in his fellow followers. Seeing things differently is essence of life.

I will always try to remember this story when I am sinking into my tragedies. I hope you do too if you are not able to react positive.

Thank you for reading friends! See you next Tuesday! Have a great week!
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Photo Credit: hang upside down

Life sucks!

-less than 5 min Read

Everyone’s life sucks at one point, there I said it and often we see an elephant in the room, don’t we? Eventually as and when time passes, your life will be in different state. While the transition happens, you can either choose to hold on to the pain or let the transition happen on its own, either way the transition happens with or without you and will reach a different phase in life. This transition is something out of our control. All we could do is live the moment and be truthful and loyal to ourselves.

There was a woman who by profession a TV/Advertising producer and by life a mother, have battled several challenges in her life. She has gone through transitions that was painful and had occurred multiple times in her life.  She is also a woman who fights cancer. This wonderful woman’s name is Monali.

As a child she was shy and introvert who always find herself bullied by elders and end up in her own shell finding it comfortable. She grew up with her grandparents and enjoyed her childhood with her relatives and friends. When she was in 6th grade she moved to stay with her parents and experienced whole lot of different world. Her father’s job required him to transfer every 6 months. As a family they moved to different places every 6 months. She never celebrated holidays or festivals with her dad as he always ends up working but she had her mom doing everything for her all alone. Monali got married when she was 21 years old and after 3 years she became a mother of a girl baby and her name was Ruhi. Life was good for her until 2006, then everything started to fall apart.  She lost her dad and relationship with her husband. They got divorced due to incompatibility in their marriage and Monali moved to a metropolitan city with her daughter. She had no idea on how to survive as she was a housewife who never worried about her career until then. However, she requested with one of her friends who lives in that city for stay in her apartment and also, she managed to find a job in the Television production company. Post 15 days of her work, they confirmed her the job. She was worried who would take care of her baby girl who was only 2 and half years old. Here comes battle of her life. The apartment where she stayed had other roommates. She spoke to them and came to an agreement that she will do all the household chores for them like cleaning, cooking, laundry, and in return their house maid should take care of Ruhi when she was off for work.

She would finish all the chores by 5:30 AM and get ready for her shooting job at the production house. The house maid took care of Ruhi. It was tough and heart wrenching for her to see her child sleeping on the floor. She did not give up. She started saving money by walking 10 miles a day and by skipping meals. After seven months she was able to afford to rent a studio apartment and her life slowly progressed to be a better one.

She met a man later and they both were dating for 2 years. She also moved in with him and they planned to get married. However, the guy changed his mind not to marry a divorcee and got married to another girl without her knowledge.

Next battle, she lost everything what she had including her job after the break up and back to zero life. Again she battled to find another job, by this time, Ruhi was 9 years old. She was very understanding and responsible that Monali did not have to worry a lot about her and focused in saving money for their living.

One day when she was getting ready to work, she felt a lump near her underarm and she ignored it. She began to get mild fever but she would just pop a pill and go to bed. One day her friend forced her to consult with the doctor. Next battle, After all the tests and biopsy, she found out that it is. She underwent chemotherapy but never gave up in her life, she lost appetite and became skinny, however followed the instructions from the doctor. Meanwhile she met a guy and they both fell in love and got married after being convinced that she is not going to die. She is happy with her family now.

The amount of transition she has gone through in her life is not an easy one. It is easy for us to complain about life for silly reasons, but there are many like Monali who survive by battling mammoth challenges in life. 

Like I said in the beginning, life sucks for everyone at some stages. Its upto you how you see it! Overcoming those challenges what life throws at you makes you stronger and greater.

Remember, nothing is permanent in life and transition happens with time.

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles” – Charlie Chaplin

Have a great week friends! See you next Tuesday!
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Photo Credit: QuoteFancy

Never Too Late – ‘4 min Read’

 

I’m not sure if you all have heard of Mr. Wang Deshun.

He is the man who became sensational overnight by doing catwalk at the Beijing fashion show last year. If you know about him then this post is a reminder and for those who don’t know, here is a little background about him.

I know you may be asking, ‘Why was it sensational?’ It was because he was 79-year-old and the oldest man in the fashion world to do the catwalk last year. Wang is by trade an actor, in featuring movies like ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’ and ‘Warriors of Heaven and Earth’, but his walk at the show became his prowess.  Now he is 80-year-old!

He may not have got all this attention from us from featuring films, but it was his quick few seconds walk that got him famous. The fierce and confidence he showcased during that few seconds walk was the best of all. Many people called him internet sensation and some people said that he is the hottest grandpa but Wang says that he was getting ready for 60 years for that day. Like he mentioned, it’s true that success does not happen overnight. Your hard work pays off, it may be now or later, but it does. Believe in what you do and continue doing it. It all begins in you and only if you want to. You will realize that you always learned more.

You may not like the job you do, you may regret the major you took in school, you may hate the way your life is now, all you gotta do is push the reset button. This man did not do the same thing over for 60 years, he had so many transitions in life that involved risks. When I talk about changing the life including risks, I remember one of my favorite quotes from the book, ‘The Pursuit of happiness’, and it goes as –

“Others may question your credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room, that can’t be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have to feel legit inside first.”

We should not be scared to take a turn in our life. It may be risky but we should not turn away. There is no limit in terms of age. There is no rules that you should be either young or old enough. If you think you need to change something, you just gotta get on to it.  If you find yourself committed to something fearing to quit, then you are going to see your life passing by year after year.

Again, can you believe that he was getting ready for 60 years? It just got me thinking how quickly I give up on something fearing failure. He is definitely an inspiration. He also reminds us that it’s never too late to make an impact, to change or improve something in life and be what you want to be. It doesn’t matter how old are you, but it matters how willing are you.

Here is a short video from him talking about his life.

I hope this helps you to stay inspired and don’t stop yourself from pushing that reset button in life. Remember, it’s never too late.

Thank you for reading friends. See you next Tuesday!
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What’s your favorite hobby? ‘3 min Read’

What’s your favorite hobby?

Were you able to quickly answer that question?

If you had asked me this question, I would have thought a lot before answering one, although I have many hobbies.

This is a serious topic and the next question is something you need to be really honest.

What do you do, when you are sad?

There can be numerous reasons for you to be sad. It may be break-up, divorce, loss of someone, business failure, bankrupt, not selected for the soccer team, failed at the exam, and so on. We are not going to see if those reasons are justifiable for you to be sad. After all, Life is a drama and it is full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, joys and sorrows, etc.

Voiding sadness is not something in our control. But what you do when you are sad is up to you.

You could wait until time pass, by being in that moment or fight that sad phase internally and lose your energy to focus in life or act crazy and vent out your feelings. I have also known people becoming violent when they are sad. All these are some ways!

If you go for advice, the first advice you listen to is to distract your mind and keep yourself occupied. This is the most challenging task to me. I have been sad in my life too. I have been hurt a lot. To me, distracting my mind when I’m deeply hurt was something impossible. My way was to sleep a lot or fight it which pulls me away from life. Somehow I learnt that my favorite hobby helps me better when I am sad to distract my mind. Well that’s the only thing that helped me to get out of the pain filled failures in my life that includes break up in my past. It is extremely important to have a hobby. It helps you to disconnect from your worries and connect with yourself. It can be making jewelry, painting, wood carving, remodeling your room, running, reading, gardening, web designing, playing video games, dancing, etc.

You cannot find yourself in learning a new hobby when you are not actually in the mood, because it’s an extra effort. But if you have a favorite hobby, you could just simply start doing that and if it’s your favorite, you would not have second thoughts.

I try to help people who are going through tough times in life and mostly I see myself in a position to help them get out of their sadness. I always try to get them do something that keeps their mind off worries, which becomes challenging when they can’t think of a hobby at that moment. Because they have been busy all their life only working and living the routine. We need to remember that taking a break from the routine is nothing but recharging yourself. It is good to take that break often and do something that you like that is not related to your routine.

Hobbies nurture your mind and soul. It rejuvenates your energy. Trust me, even when you are sad, hobbies inspire those ‘aha’ moments.  If you don’t have one, it’s time to enter the world of possibilities and discover some new hobbies.

Thank you for reading! Have a great week friends. See you next Tuesday!
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