When social media becomes a menace

The following two videos of Simon are truly inspiring to the core.



Social media and dopamine

On social media and its harmful influence on millennials the following were my key takeaways:

Any kind of addiction e.g. drinking, smoking or even gambling releases the selfish chemical known as dopamine which gives us a sense of short term happiness. All of these addictions have an age restriction associated with them violation of which is considered as an offence.

Very little do we realize that social media in its various avatars like FB , Snapchat , Instagram with the kind of profound influence it is having in our society is nothing less than addiction in its most severe form without any age restriction.

Social media addiction releases dopamine just like any other addiction e.g. alcohol, gambling etc.

Social media is an amazing platform to connect with an audience when the purpose is noble enough but unfortunately when used in an uncensored fashion can cause havoc in society especially to juveniles.

By means of a virtual platform, with absolutely no human touch, social media entices individuals to enhance expectations of getting results really quick without having to go through toil to arrive at a destination. Parameters like “number of likes”, “number of connections” are misleading since they do not involve any face to face human involvement. When we get results without much of a toil, the expectations increase and along with that impatience.

Impatience leads to signs of depression, anger, agitation and this is a very common sign in millennials when results don’t seem to be easily gettable.

In this age of smartphones, tabs, mobile apps and all possible social media platform, I think the time has come to take a call as to how to go back to the good old days when human touch used to the central theme of all interactions without using means of connecting through any virtual platform.

Even though we live in an age of digital disruption we should all remember that we humans are all social animals who need a society to thrive in.The bottom line is that we all love to be loved by people who believe in us and who care for us. This sense of belonging and togetherness is not possible to achieve through virtual platforms and can only happen when we are able to connect with others at a personal level.

Sense of fulfillment releases a chemical known as oxytocin and comes out of creation of true bonds as against false virtual friendship and connections that social media promises.

Though virtual platforms and social media have brought in revolution in this modern era, the degree to which we need to make use of them needs to be judiciously decided by us without which this can create havoc in our society.

Pile on motivation!!!!

Can work and play co-exist?

The following two videos of Simon are truly inspiring to the core.



My take on how to choose where to work and invest our valuable effort and energy

The correlation of game theory with business is something that fascinated me about the video.

Game theory has a concept of finite & infinite games.

Finite games have rules that are designed to generate finite results whereas infinite games are not designed to generate finite results.

Creative, innovative workplaces focus on the journey rather than short term results. This is the reason in these workplaces not many get a chance to work in.Those who get a chance get a sense of fulfillment because these are places wherein the work culture lacks micro management and gives a sense of accountability to the employees.

Sense of fulfillment that comes from serving others without expecting anything in return is something very commonly seen in these kind of workplaces resulting in a number of role models for others to follow. For that to happen comparison should be done with oneself without thinking about short term gains. Such workplaces create such a conducive environment wherein social animals adapt and learn to engage in the bigger scheme of things.

Companies engaged in infinite games like Apple, SWA, HD do not believe in short terms gains and do not believing in competing with anyone other than themselves that is why they are able to create the unimaginable and unthinkable since for them excellence is a journey. Any work culture like that of Four Seasons Las Vegas, inspire creativity by giving the requisite freedom and respect to encourage and motivate employees to be part of the family and give off their best.

On the other hand workplaces wherein just about any tom , dick or harry are welcomed , are ones who for caring about short term goals and results are filled with micro management and become a pain in the neck after sometime. These are work places wherein people are not able to trust each other and lack a spirit of togetherness.

When such is the case it is but natural to say that work is done only in run mode (for earning a daily living) without any sense of fulfillment.

All those who are indulged in finite games are mired in environments wherein you find a lot of micromanagement blame games since that is the only way to survive is in finding a scape goat. These are work places who focus on ME rather than US and can never make realize the joy of giving in order to get a sense of fulfillment.

So choice of workplace can help us enjoy work while at the same time giving a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

Pile on motivation!!!!

Vision v/s Goal – Sense of Fulfillment

The following two videos of Simon are truly inspiring to the core.



All of the messages that come out of the videos relate to the concept of WHY which has by now become an iconic concept.

These are my take on the interpretation of the messages and relate to the concept of WHY.

Serving those who serve others gives a sense of fulfillment the feeling of which is insanely different. If you have read FISH one of the fish philosophy relates to something known as “Make it Their Day”.

We are so engrossed at meeting our personal targets at work that the short term goals compel us to behave differently at work and home.

In our day to day lives, as part of the rat race we are so engrossed in our own personal gains that we fail to realize that we could have made a huge difference in the lives of others who may be needing our help. In this fast paced life, being of help to others who serve others would for sure give a sense of fulfillment the feeling of which would be insanely different.

This can happen in profession as well as personal life of any individual. The more we preach and practice this inside out, the more our professional and personal lives would be uniform and we need not have to behave differently at work and with our family members.

Success is a feeling of having taken the next step towards realization of your vision.

Vision and goal both have a finish line, for goal this finish line is crystal clear but for vision this finish line is hazy.

All those who have a vision hardly ever realize when they hit the finish line since achieving your vision is a journey which cannot be compared with experiences of others.

There are loads of Type A personalities who are goal oriented and can sense a flow of dopamine on realization of each and every goal, but unfortunately never ever realize that do not have a vision to serve others and hence never ever can achieve fulfillment in life.

Realization of your WHY in life day to day is like take a next step towards the finishing line of your vision. Completion of each logical step would give a sense of fulfillment that we would fail to realize in case we are short term goal oriented.

Pile on motivation!!!!

Taming your Adaptive Unconscious to unleash your true power

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell like all his other books is again another gem.

The myriad concepts backed by scientific truths and data points would surely be an eye opener for the readers.

The power of thin slicing to gauge and come to conclusions real fast needs connecting of dots and hence cannot be done in thin air. It needs having prior experiences and being passionate about a topic to thin slice else conclusions can lead to devastating results.

Without having had prior experiences and without having prior subject matter knowledge concluding can lead to disastrous consequences.

Unlocking the power of adaptive conscious by unlocking the door takes several years of practice, subject matter knowledge to connect the dots and thin slice. This unique power not only saves a lot of time but becomes very handy when it becomes a habit.

Power of thin slicing to quick understand the nature of a person can go a long way in helping win business deals, motivate people or take pre-emptive action.

This is why people who can connect dots and are known as industry specialists can analyze situations and see patterns with the bare minimum of data rather than trying to dump them with needless content and going into granular details.

This is more to do with psychology as well since once we achieve success in thin slicing after realizing a pattern it somehow becomes a habit that is hard to let go.

Concepts like fusiform gyrus, temporal gyrus and the use of them in terms of thin slicing come out like magic.

On the other hand trying to take quick decisions on the basis of faulty thin slicing can spell doomsday especially in terms of recruiting the right fit for a company, teams and can cause detrimental consequences.

For those who are already aware of Johari window, thin slicing by means of usage of adaptive unconscious would add more meat to the usage of this framework for solving practical problems.

Pile on motivation….

Small fish in big pond v/s big fish in small pond

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath is an awesome book and highlights all concepts in a very scientific manner.

The ideal of Small fish in big pond, remote misses, fact that sometimes our weakness can become our greatest strength is sure to motivate a lot of people who consider themselves as underdogs.

In terms of professional career and our real lives it also gives a lesson not to compare ourselves with anyone and try to unleash our unique talent in a unique way.

By not choosing to be part of the rat race and trying to carve out our own niche in the way that’s suits us the best in an inside out manner is the biggest lesson the book is sure to give.

We frequently fall in the trap of big brands without even recognizing whether the brand is the right fit for us. Look at IT professionals flocking big companies without even realizing whether they will ever be able to carve out their niche or not. All this results is in frustration after a certain period of time when we realize we were not a strategic fit in the first place.

As regards remote misses, it is all about letting your self- confidence reach such heights that make you realize that you are invincible. It is not difficult to touch the ceiling in case we have the requisite amount of self-confidence. A lot of individuals give off their best when they know they have nothing to lose and their backs are to the wall.

Look at the number of people from lower class backgrounds making it big in the field of arts , cinema whereas middle class people for fear of security have to settle for a middle class life and career without giving themselves a chance.

David and Goliath and the myriad scientific truths mentioned in the book are a true eye opener.

A must read…

 Pile on motivation…..

Controlling stress in our lives via flow of selfless biological chemicals

Very recently I had the honor of reading “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek, the author of the hugely popular “Start with Why”. This book is an amazing read for the simple fact that by means of biology the author has explained how to beat stress in our fast paced lives by sticking to ethics. Stress as well as happiness stimulating hormones we all would be aware of but the mental mapping of these is something we rarely think of. Had we done the same our actions would have been more often than not directed towards enhancing the flow of happiness stimulating selfless chemicals to beat stress and duress in our stress filled lives.

Stress which is part and parcel of our modern fast paced lives results in a chemical named “Cortisol” flowing through our veins. As against this when we are happy for ourselves say for e.g. when we have had a very tiring but fulfilling day in office may be for e.g. by being able to deliver something critical by stretching late in office a selfish happiness stimulating chemical named “Endosprin” flows through our veins. When people try to beat stress by working out extra time in gyms, the same chemical flows through our veins and keeps us happy for the time being.

Any kind of work done by us that gives us an appreciation to satisfy our self-ego but which does not give us any sense of belonging results in “Dopamine” flowing through our veins. With the proliferation of social media penetration that “one buzz” in our phones to indicate one more like for our posts on FB or Twitter results in the flow of this selfish happiness stimulating chemical that acts as a quick fix to keep our subconscious mind happy.

When we feel happy and feel a sense of belonging especially when a co-worker thanks us or when we feel happy by doing something for the family/near or dear ones/society and that too ethically it does us the most good by allowing the flow of selfless and happiness stimulating chemicals named “Serotonin” and “Oxytocin” through or veins.

The challenge in life , to beat stress , is not to chase short term quick fix driven “Dopamine happiness” but look to do or achieve something ethically that would give us a sense of belonging and a good night’s sleep by allowing sufficient flow of “Oxytocin” through our veins.

Thus the mathematical equation involving biological chemicals to help us lead a balanced and truly happy life with a sense of belonging is:

(Serotonin + Oxytocin) >>>> Cortisol

With this simple equation in mind let us all pledge to act in ways to fight stress by doing things in our day to day lives that give us a sense of belonging that have far reaching impacts beyond mere self-satisfaction. The other advantage of this would be that since this formula to beat stress is scientifically proven we can form a mental map and preempt our behavior patterns to act in ways that help us achieve selfless truly fulfilling satisfaction rather than meeting our selfish short term goals.

Unleash the flow of selfless chemicals through your veins!!!!!

Enhancing user engagement with IBM z series in the age of digital innovation

For businesses around the world at least 60 to 70% of business critical transactional data still resides on Mainframes and Midrange commonly known as legacy servers. When it comes to mainframes, licensing cost as well as user experience serve as the major hindrances to growth in the age of digital innovation. Since UX is the first touch point of an end user with an application this has proved to be the bane of legacy systems and hence businesses the world over the trying to find solutions to modernize the look and feel of these servers and enabling them with digital technologies. Let us have a look at some of the most common solutions to modernize UX of IBM z series applications along with reduction of licensing costs, in this age of digital innovation.

Listed below are some of the very common solutions provided by different vendors to modernize IBM z (Mainframes) applications to be used with web and mobiles along with ways to reduce licensing costs, the way to go in this age of digital innovation. Some of the notable vendors and their products.

It must be noted that IBM on its part has come up with a number of solutions which can be used to expose data trapped in IBM z series systems to the external world in enabling the data to be used to digital analytics purposes.

  • Keeping in mind the growing popularity of HADOOP as a framework for big data, IBM has introduced IBM’s version of HADOOP on Mainframes i.e. zDoop to support analytics on transactional data within Mainframes. (Refer link http://www-304.ibm.com/partnerworld/gsd/solutiondetails.do?solution=49589&expand=true)
    • IBM Mainframes and Spark – This year 2017, keeping in mind the growing popularity of Spark, IBM has started shipping Spark on Mainframes. This would mean that now analytics can be run on the transactional data itself rather than having to worry about moving the data to an off premise site to run data analytics.
  • IBM Bluemix: For on premise IBM z applications IBM Bluemix cloud provides the facility to connect the on premises apps with the cloud based IBM Bluemix solutions hosted off premise through RestFul API calls.(Refer link – https://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/solutions/hybrid-cloud/)
    • This way there is seamless integration between SOR (systems of record sensitive data residing on mainframes servers) and SOE (systems of engagement on cloud) to draw valuable business insights.
    • IBM Watson solutions with support for digital analytics, NLP etc. can then be built on top of the off premise part hosted on IBM Bluemix.
  • IBM Rational HATS in yet another solution that enables hosting of legacy applications to web/mobile without doing any changes to the underlying applications.

Please refer to the URL – https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSXKAY_9.5.0/com.ibm.hats.doc/gsintro.htm

Why Understanding the working of our brain matters

Reading and understanding iconic books like Start with Why, Find your why by Simon Sinek, Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry, Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo would go a long way in helping understand the very complex human brain.

Leading, managing, networking in professional as well as personal lives

Neo cortex is the part of brain that helps us in rational thinking while limbic brain is responsible for emotions. Understanding the orientation of the human brain is a key to developing and honing emotional intelligence related skills, which is the backbone to survive and make it big in this knowledge worker age. This when done can help us act smartly in ways to get desired impact in family life as well as professional life and change our day to day life to help us achieve the desired effect.

When an instinct comes then it is an interplay between neo-cortex and emotions, emotional intelligence does the balancing act, when to use emotion and when to be rational. Responding to a stimulus where the outcome is an action, how we choose our action to produce the desired outcome can be chosen based on understanding of the working of the brain.

Being high in IQ would help us with tasks to do with neo-cortex but it is emotional intelligence that would let us put in the shoes of a receiver to tune our message and attitude in a way that would reach and impact the emotional behavior resulting out of limbic of a receiver. In a modern day for problem solving IQ matters , rational thinking and neo-cortex dominates but to gel with people in order to make them achieve desired effect emotional intelligence becomes important to guide us which part of the brain of a target to reach out to whether neo-cortex or limbic.

For accepting change, message has to reach limbic brain and influence the same. Rigidity to change is guided by limbic since even though neo cortex invokes rational thinking and asks for a corrective action, limbic comes in the way of acting constructive behavior in the way of being fearless and taking risks.

Amygdala in the limbic brain is responsible for generation of emotions and stimulating it is necessary for influencing the behavior to ensure team members of a leader give their blood, sweat and tear for the achievement of objectives. Proper balance between emotions and rational thinking is critical to act right work in teams, gel well and achieve desired results in this age.

Memorable and novel ideas/messages have the power to traverse to the limbic part of the brain and generate emotionally triggered responses way beyond the realms of rational thinking. Hence the toughest thing and a major focus in today’s world for persuasion is story-telling to trigger emotional responses by reaching the limbic brain.