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Location: Hong Kong, China

Hi! I like to call myself a work-in-progress. Not sure when the end-product will be ready. Hopefully NEVER! I love to be different. I believe in living every moment of my life fully and try not to waste time. Aim is to maximise the 24hrs granted to us every day of our life. Life is for the living, so live it! Every so often I have reality checks and actually think about what my existence is, but I get over that soon enough!! Before I die I want to have lived a life that experienced everything! I want people to remember me as someone who enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. Happily married with 2 kids, my life revolves around my family and my job. Not too many friends but the few I have, I can fall back on anytime of the day or night. Since 1995, I started emailing famous quotes to my friends, instead of the jokes and porn which are more popular email topics. Even though, it started just as a pass-time, currently, when I don’t email for a few days, I am taken to task by some of the recipients of the ‘Food for Thought’ series. This Blog is a compilation of the various anecdotes, stories, quotes, etc. circulated during the last 10+ years. Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Great things begin with a Dream

extracts of an inspiring address by Azim Premji delivered at IIM Kolkata, early this month.

Here are "...Based on my own experience, I would like to share with you my thoughts on how to make continuous transformation possible.

"First, you have got to have a dream. Great achievements are created twice - first in the mind and then in a concrete form. The most exhilarating part of being young is the ability to dream.

As one grows, one may realise that not all of them are achievable. But never turn cynical. I cannot think of a single transformation or achievement, individual or social that did not begin with a dream. Dreams not only help us in seeing things before they happen, but they also give us the passion and energy to make them happen.

"Second, stay on course even if you stumble. When everything seems to go wrong, you can either give up or you can let misfortune transform you into something stronger. In 1972, a chartered plane, carrying a Rugby team crashed in the Andes. After a week long futile search, the rescue team gave up thinking that all of them must be dead. The passengers after waiting for many days to be rescued decided to help themselves since nobody else was going to do it. Two of them volunteered to cross the mountains on foot to reach the green valleys of Chile and bring back help. It was a walk of more than 50 miles. But they did it and came back to rescue their fellow passengers who managed to survive in the mountain 70 days after the crash. The core of heroism lies in the ability to walk that extra mile. As long as you can do that, you will never be defeated.

"Third, do not be afraid to admit your ignorance. While it is important to project what we are good at, we must be equally candid about areas we do not know enough about. Today, knowledge is multiplying at such a rapid rate that it is impossible for anyone to know everything. The important thing is not to hide behind a false front. People will respect us for our honesty, if not our wisdom.

"Fourth, think about what you will take on next rather than about what you may be letting go. If we linger too long on past success, we will miss out on the opportunities that lie ahead of us. We must learn to look at change as an exciting adventure rather than a disruption. New avenues for learning always lie just beyond the shade of our comfort zone.

"Fifth, contribute in every situation. You do not have to be the leader every time. When a formation of birds flies over long distances, each bird takes its turn in leading. This ensures that no bird gets too tired and yet the formation keeps moving at a certain pace. Every person is important. Leadership is not about exercising power as much as it is about contributing. This will happen when we realise that leadership is not a privilege but a responsibility.

"Sixth, pursue excellence in whatever you do. Excellence cannot be forced through a process nor guaranteed by a certificate. It comes from an all consuming passion to do one's best. Excellence is a habit not an act.

"Seventh, you have to laugh and find humour everyday. This will help you to keep issues in their perspective. Not only will it help you to reduce your own stress, but a positive attitude is contagious. It can do a lot to elevate the moods of people around you and recharge you to take one more shot at the problems facing you.

"Eighth, you must know what you are really good at. A talent can be defined as that skill which we not only enjoy learning but which we can also learn rapidly. We need to work at honing our talent and smoothening the rough edges. But exceptional performance usually comes from doing what comes naturally to us.

"Ninth, always welcome feedback even if it comes in the guise of criticism. Criticism may actually be an expression of faith in us rather than a put down. We must learn to take it constructively because it will show us what more we can learn.

"Finally, always play to win. Winning is not about making the other person lose. It is about stretching yourself to your own limits. Once so stretched, you will realise the true extent of your potential. Ultimately, transformation is about reaching and utilising not only your potential but those of others who work with you. ..."