What Matters Now

This is the name of the free e-book by Seth Godin.  For those of you who don’t know who Seth Godin is  – he is considered as a marketing genius, an author of over 10 books on what he calls permission marketing.  He also writes about work and change. A graduate of Tufts and Stanford Business School – when he talks, people definitely listen.

I have already downloaded my copy and it is quite inspiring.  A collection of 70 thinkers giving you ideas on what you should focus on in the new year.  From Ariana Huffington to Tim O’Reilley, from what poker can teach you about life to what women want, from Ph.D’s to authors, this collection is an awesome way to start the new year.

Download it here to read it.  Let me know what you think.

What is retirement?

Everyone seems to be talking about i t- here in the US every election and every president talks about social security and how it is going to affect people when they retire.  But I guess no one really thinks about it unless it hits them – right?

It is a noble thought – you pay your employees for working their whole life – so when you are too old to work – you get paid – not bad, yeah? Except, how many companies still do that?  If you did not work for the government or a brick and mortar company that has been around for a 100 years, (well, even they went bankrupt and laid off people), can you still retire?  I guess you can retire – but can you survive with what you get?

The reason for my tirade is I learned that I better make a ton of money now or else I will make piddly sum when I grow old (which I refuse to).  I could die early enough so that I don’t have to deal with it- but knowing my luck, the longevity of past  generation and the all the medical miracle drugs in the present time – I just might live up to be a 100. Dang!  Can you tell all this is freaking me out?

Honestly, there is no such thing as retirement – there is the DINKS – double income no kids and the DITK – double income two kids, and the empty nesters, there is the job that you do to establish your career and the job that you do to pay the bills and the stuff that you do for fun – but if it does not pay then you better find something that does.  So you are always working, it is just the job and the pay that is different.

The mind has to remain active – so you have to keep doing things to make it so.  The smart ones are those who love what they do and make a living doing it so for them it is fun all the time – and they never have to retire.  And that is exactly what I plan to do.

Know your strengths

That seems to be the message I have been receiving the last couple weeks.  Talk about it hitting you in the face.  Clue number 1 – If you have not read Strengthfinders 2.0 – I think it is worth a read.  The book is written by Tom Rath and has been on the bestseller list for the last 5 years.  What made me sit up and take notice is that it talks about focusing on your strengths and it gives you 34 different themes that you could fall under.  I have to finish doing the assessment but I just realized I have been wasting my time trying to excel at something I will never be a natural at.  A hard lesson to learn but that is the reality.

Clue number 2 – a movie – a Hindi movie – 3 Idiots – well made that talks about the lessons you learn while in college.  For those of you reading this that are not familiar with Indian culture – you should know that Indians value and respect education, the more the education, the more the respect.  Hence – an engineer and doctor are the most highly respected and any parent will do anything to make sure that their kids will become engineers or doctors.

I know, it is kind of difficult to comprehend – but the system works – and they do have brilliant minds.  So now try telling your parent you don’t want to become an engineer – when your dad has already mapped out and saved for your future from the day you were born. That journey is what the movie was all about.  I loved the way the story line basically showed you how you can be successful if you follow your passion – which automatically happens to be your strength.

This year seems to be a lot of new perspectives – so another one that I have been hanging on to dear life – I have to let go.  Its a tough call – but change is the only thing that is constant – yes?

Don’t take life seriously

The above is a quote from a speech given by Chetan Bhagat at Symbiois – a friend forwarded it to me and I loved the simplicity of the message – Its okay.

I went to see the George Clooney movie – Up in the Air – chick flick as the guys say – but I wanted to see it for the way they approached laying off people and how people reacted.  You can tell it hit close to home – (when they showed Detroit and everyone clapped) – they captured the emotions and the thought process well.

While most people look at it as a death in the family – the ‘termination engineers’ look at it as an opportunity to build an  empire and become heroes in the eyes of their children.  When asked how the laid off coped – they said they looked at their family and saw purpose.  So when Chetan Bhagat said ‘ Life is one of those races in nursery school where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same is with life where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die. ……………….’ – he was right.

Look around you and see all the things you have – friends, family, health – and look up and be happy instead of looking down and being unhappy.  ‘Life is like a prepaid credit card’,  says  Chetan ‘with a limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up?’

So its okay not to take life seriously – Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile….after all Life is short, No?

Happy New Year – Welcome 2010


Image by kgrz

As this year draws to a close – I just wanted to wish everyone a Very Happy New Year!

2009 was a year of firsts – and a steep learning curve. I am hoping 2010 will be just as productive, lots of fun and lot more readers.

2010 is going to be awesome!!!