Exercise for Intellectuals

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The caption suggest, i am referring to some mental exercise. If you are thinking along the line, you are wrong. Just don’t read further.

 

Exercise is boring. You require a strong will and motivation to do some physical exercise. If you are intellectual or pseudo intellectual (like me), you ought to be giving more focus on mental health, compared to physical health. But, a small 3 minutes video from The School of Life will open up your thinking.

 

 

To me exercise, nutrition and food science is most complex issue, riddled with N numbers of myths. Frankly, no one knows, what is optimum or ideal exercise or diet. Before you move forward, I must warn you, do not take what I am writing as Seriously. And taking advice from CA on any subject other than Accounts/Taxation is injurious to the health.

 

I am no expert at anything, and least a role model on fitness. Still, if you want to take a ride, read it. These are the main reason, why you should exercise.

 

Core : Core is our back, to put it simply, if your core muscles are not strong, in old age, you tend to have arch like body. Think of old lady.

Flexibility : Ability to strengthen your muscle. Just like mind, if it is not stretched, it will result into atrophy.

Strength : Body’s ability to do a heavy lifting. Without strength, you become feeble. Strength both physically and mentally demonstrates resilience, a core trait for well being.

Weight : I do not advice, its a major cause of injury. Unless, you are trained by expert.

Cardio : Popular way of breathing oxygen and making it reach parts of body. Think of pranayam.

 

If you are interested, sworkit lite is a good app, available on iOS, to start. Its free.

When Advice sound best: When giving it.

Behavioral Science

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Behavioural Economics, as we all know deals with the hidden motives and debunk the classic economic theory, the premises being each individual/rational human being tries to maximise its reward. So, how does it plays any important role in public policy? Surely, you have heard about nudging people in taking a right decision, thats again is a subset of behavioural economics. Essentially, removing jargon, worldwide every one, starting from Android/ios games maker, software developers, marketers, economist to policy makers are exploiting our vulnerability. Indirectly controlling our behaviours and instincts. If you know, even Facebook or Google Analytics does the same thing but not in so subtle way. Based on our post, they can influence our behaviour by manipulating our actions, by presenting us with alternatives chosen by them. The list can go endless…

 

All this means, we do not have free Will.

 

What if, by an executive order, government get right to use the behaviour science in public policy. This is what US government has done. Though, intentions are noble, finally, its execution power is with bureaucrats. Just think of a situation, when your religion, political, social, economical, welfare choices are guided by Behavioural Science.

 

Does it sound scary. Okay, Check This.

 

Even, otherwise, its interesting to know, how US Government Function, even look at the beauty of drafting.

Your Strategy needs Strategy.

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Every day begins with some routine staff, peppered with some surprises and unexpected crisis, requiring immediate response. That’s normal day for all of us.

What we do : We adopt some working method to deal with each situation, a time tested formula to deal with each set of challenges. We can also call it “Strategy” Though, its sound like a Buzz Word, but the truth is : we need Short Term, Near Term and Long Term Strategy.

 

Your reaction, every one does, whats big deal. Unfortunately, we are not taught about Strategy. Mostly, our strategy or defence or action plan, what ever you call, depends upon heuristic or at the best, few learned techniques mostly by trial and error methods, that seamlessly integrated into your work routine. Are we missing something? Does my strategy is relevant in the context of the work I do. That’s both personal and official question, we grapple everyday, albeit without realising.

If you agree: Read the below excerpt from the HBR book, I am referring in the post.

 

You think you have a winning strategy. But do you? Executives are bombarded with bestselling ideas and best practices for achieving competitive advantage, but many of these ideas and practices contradict each other. Should you aim to be big or fast? Should you create a blue ocean, be adaptive, play to win–or forget about a sustainable competitive advantage altogether? In a business environment that is changing faster and becoming more uncertain and complex almost by the day, it’s never been more important–or more difficult–to choose the right approach to strategy. In this book, The Boston Consulting Group’s Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes, and Janmejaya Sinha offer a proven method to determine the strategy approach that is best for your company. They start by helping you assess your business environment–how unpredictable it is, how much power you have to change it, and how harsh it is–a critical component of getting strategy right. They show how existing strategy approaches sort into five categories–Be Big, Be Fast, Be First, Be the Orchestrator, or simply Be Viable–depending on the extent of predictability, malleability, and harshness. In-depth explanations of each of these approaches will provide critical insight to help you match your approach to strategy to your environment, determine when and how to execute each one, and avoid a potentially fatal mismatch. Addressing your most pressing strategic challenges, you’ll be able to answer questions such as: What replaces planning when the annual cycle is obsolete?; When can we–and when should we–shape the game to our advantage?; How do we simultaneously implement different strategic approaches for different business units?; How do we manage the inherent contradictions in formulating and executing different strategies across multiple businesses and geographies? Until now, no book brings it all together and offers a practical tool for understanding which strategic approach to apply. Get started today.

Courtesy : HBR

Very interesting read. The books is very short. Probably, first time, I have come across a book that deals with the issue hands on with such simplicity, and without any pretence.

 

Best Investment, Ever.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Idea, Interesting Idea, Investment, Learning, Self Improvement, Uncategorized

Below is the best Investment Advice by Mr. Warren Buffet.

“Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.” — Warren Buffett

Very True.

Sounds very cliched, heard many times. Some how, when we read quotes, watch inspiring video, read essay or some other inspiring materials, we know what it is or what should be Done. Intuitively, we connect to it, but that means, our automatic thinking, or system-1 as Mr. Daniel Kahneman succinctly puts into his brilliant book, Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow. To understand the meaning behind the words, we must engage – System – 2 or measured thinking. If you do not know about the two system of thinking,  read the book, I have referred or do some google search, its a first step towards, what I am writing hereinafter.

The difficult part of  reading all these life altering philosophy  is “How to do / How to Invest in One’ Self”.

Let us understand, How to Invest in Yourself.

I have no Idea about How, nor I gave serious consideration, so I am as much in game with you, as explorer and certainly not as sooth sayer. Most of us have completed 5, 10, 15 years or more of Employment Schooling after we obtained our “Graduation/Post Graduation or Degree”. Mostly, we have graduated in our Choosen Vocation/Profession. In school, we have grades, exams; In real life, we have challenges, promotion, earnings. In school, we are taught by teacher, whereas we are required to Learn by Self. So answer is simple, LEARN.

Thats where we could find Answer to HOW?

We can not take coaching, tuition or classes. If you are lucky, once in a while, you attend a conference. We do not have concept of Mentor. To me, its a primary step; looking forward to some one, who could guide us in taking right decision. Its an important but only Half of How to Learn.

Second half, depends upon; looking the work you are doing very objectively. Even if its mundane, automated, monotonous, you can still learn from it, Learn to improve your multiple skill sets.

The skills that comes immediately to mind;

@ Business Writing.

@ Basics of Finance, Accounts, Investment.

@ Comprehension.

@ Judgement and Decision Making.

@ Elementary Technology.

@ Elementary Economics.

@ Tenets of Management. Getting Things Done.

@ Sharpening Leadership.

@ Reading on diverse subject.

These all does not require any special attention or time. If one integrate all these in day to day Work Flow, learning is automated. I am sure, you are doing something or other thing to keep learning. Hence, question of How to Learn can be found in day to day work life. Iam not referring to  a structured learning, that does not mean, its not important or relevant. If you work demands constant updation of knowledge/skills it automatically forces you on the path of learning. Unfortunately, for most of us, including yours truly, it requires some effort. And thats where the Answer to HOW can be found. Doing everything with fresh perspective, trying to move beyond obvious, thinking why it is done and why can’t it be done differently, how to improve, can I draft a letter bit better? Am I using various mental tools available in my day to day decision making, can new techniques be learned, can I Improve on what I am doing… I am not giving lecture, its the natural question that popped into my conscious thinking, while drafting. So yes, its completely unedited version..In fact, it also opened up my thinking…

Thus, Mr Buffett’s Wisdom is clear: Learn as much as You can, thats best Investment you can make in Yourself.  Investment also to be done in Health, Relationship, Deep Habits, Financial Health…But thats topic for some other day.

1,2 …..4 Rule of Presentation

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We generally do make presentation every day. No one can escape from the drudgery of making presentation. If you are Boss, Leader, Middle level manager, I am sure you are making presentation every day. Death by Power Point (‘PPT’) is known acronym. So do you agree. “Presentation is integral part of your daily life?’

I am sure you don’t, why?

Because, I just primed you. Presentation to your mind reflects only PPT (Power Point Presentation) or Prezi etc. But did I say, I am talking about Electronic/Digital Presentation, you just simply assumed. Because of image, when in last line, I wrote Power Point, you completely believed that I am talking about PPT and you are about to dismiss the whole Idea. Hold On.

Presentation with its grammatical variations means;

“a speech or talk in which a new product, idea, or piece of work is shown and explained to an audience: a sales presentation.

the manner or style in which something is given, offered, or displayed: the presentation of foods is designed to stimulate your appetite.”

In business world, it has attained too a generic meaning. When I write a blog entry, or pitch my idea to my team or making a sale deal or negotiate, all I am doing is presentation.

Now, How would you make it Interesting. I just stumbled upon interesting idea.

Fundamental rules is to brake monotony, rhythm or routinness. Comedians or standup artist bring an element of surprise to make us laugh. That vividness, makes joke memorable. Comedian Rajiv Satyal explains, Good presenters use the “1, 2… 4! rule” of comedy to keep things interesting:

1…

2…

4…

They look like they’re about to establish a pattern but then break it just when it’s about to become one. In this example, you think I’m counting but, when you hear “4,” you realize I was doubling the numbers. It makes sense in retrospect. (But they’re not 1, 2, 7! That would just be random.) Jokes work due to the element of surprise. Too many business presentations are stuff people already know (1, 2… 3!) or stuff people don’t know what to do with (1, 2… 7!). Give ‘em something both memorable and fun.

The rule is adopted by Comedian, to make Jokes interesting. Its surprise element that makes an idea Sticky. Makes your presentation memorable and Fun.

I hope I just succeeded in doing it.

Meaning of “Power”

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Robert Greene is the author of the book “48 Laws of Power”. The book details the various Forms of Power, how to achieve it, maintain it and use it. Its a very interesting read. He has written many books on power/attraction/seduction. All are must read. If you desire to cut down the unnecessary reading, the author himself describes the power in very simple, yet elegant way. It has much deeper meaning than what appears from superfluous reading. He say, and I quote;

“Power is the measure of the degree of control you have over circumstances in your life and the actions of the people around you. It is a skill that is developed by a deep understanding of human nature, of what truly motivates people, and of the manipulations necessary for advancement and protection. Power works best when it is indirect — never coercing people; instead, getting them to voluntarily align with your interests.

Ultimately, Greene describes power as having influence, over your environment and the people around you.”

Freedom to deal with your time, coupled with perceived power to influence people around you, denotes the ultimate power.

Look at Chinese Market to understand Dalal Street

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Economics, Interesting Idea

DO you wish to know, why Stock Market in India is going up and down. Read this.

“BULL market” does not adequately describe the frenzied buying of Chinese shares in the past two weeks, so local media have started calling it a “super-bull”. China’s stockmarket has surged 21% in the last ten trading days, and that is building on a 20% rally over the previous four months. One of the world’s worst performers for three consecutive years, China has suddenly shot to the top of the table for all major markets in 2014. The rally has also propelled China ahead of Japan as the world’s second-biggest equity market by value, with a total capitalisation of more than $4.5 trillion.

Courtesy : Economist.com. Read full story.

Today (9.12.2014) Indian Stock Market fell by 300 points..Look at Shanghai Index. Its down by 5%.

Though, correlation does not mean causation, in the stock market parlance, its a high beta phenomena.

I desist from making any final comments, or I may be completely wrong in drawing the parallel, suffice to say, far more complex events shape the Stock Market, and we naively assume its got to do with Macro Economic Fundamentals.

Crude Price is very low..There are N numbers of theories, yet I am unable to find reasons for such sharp decline and why no one predicted it happening. With every reduction in CAD (Current Account Deficit) our economy should improve, yet CAD is very high, may be due to lifting of Gold Import Ban in the last few months, despite dwindling crude price. Take your pick, choose whatever reasons to suit your prediction.

All this leads me to believe that Not to Believe in Macro Economics Indicator. In any case, mostly with complex financial world, it’s nearly impossible to collate macro economic data. So, maybe it’s time to look at new indicators.

Art of Negotiations BJP V/s Sena – Final Post

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If you have read my blog post published few days back, you would recall, I predicted, the reconciliation could be on the way between erstwhile partners, provided Mr. Modi flags go ahead and that Sena accepts the fact that they are no more big brother in the state of Maharashtra.

This was subject to caveat that both parties realize the compromise is the only way forward. This assumption was based on the events unfolded in the last few months.

Now that Sena has joined the Government, it seems finally common sense has prevailed at both the ends. Each gains equally, for BJP, a stable government and for Sena, control at BMC, minister at the Center and can certainly call the shots in Maharashtra Government.

A win/win formula. Isn’t it obvious? But unfortunately, common wisdom does not follow, when each one tries to outsmart other by bluffing or by false bravado, ignoring the basics. At times, it requires tenacity and art of waiting to achieve ultimate victory.

In the final analysis, BJP played to its strength and got what it wanted. Sena acted like a brat, and became happy with a pacifier in the mouth.