Notes to Myself



Lost In Life?



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For example,

I am NOT OK. You are NOT OK.

Our Professor of Organizational Behavior at IIM-A one day asked:

So, how are you feeling now?

Some people said that they were feeling OK. I think the Professor was expecting someone to say that so that she could pick up on that and go on.

Professor told us that we often use words that don’t mean anything. Don’t convey emotions. “I am OK” is not a feeling, she said. Then she asked the persons to elaborate on the “I am OK” response and describe more. Some said they were sad, some irritated, some were joyful, and few relaxed. All these ARE emotions. OK is not!

What Professor was referring to was Theory of Emotion developed by eminent psychologist Robert Plutchik.

Plutchik conducted the initial research which later became full domain of study called “Emotional Intelligence”. He created a “wheel of emotions” consisting of 8 primary emotions. Those emotions can be further broken down into more granular ones which have subtle differences – more like shades of basic colors. Here is the Wheel of Emotions.


While attending the class I realized two things about understanding own emotion or state of mind:

  1. Our ability to perceive and understand own emotion in finer shades
  2. Our ability to describe it in precise word

First is the function of how well you can see through the finer shades of emotions and distinguish one from the other. For example, I might use words “frustrated” and “irritated” interchangeably without knowing the subtle difference from above wheel that “frustrated” is an extension of “angry” and “irritated” is an extension of “hateful”, both of which belong to primary emotion called “mad”.

Does this even matter? Well, it may matter if the recipient can understand subtle difference and interpret your differently. You may tell him that you are irritated(when actually you wanted to say “frustrated”, and the recipient would take it as a shade of “hateful”. In most scenarios such subtle difference wouldn’t matter; but when it does, it would really cause some trouble.

The second aspect of understanding own emotion or set of mind is ability to describe in precise word. The vocabulary – which is a function of your grasp over language.

I feel that is where a lot of people (including myself) would face challenges. It is one thing to express my emotion or state of mind in my native language/mother tongue – very convenient up to 4 or 5 layers of depth. However, if I am doing the same in a foreign language, I would be less confident. So instead of going to 2nd or 3rd layer of emotion I would stick to the first or primary emotion layer – even if I know all words for shades of emotions. And that may lead to unimaginable consequences, especially on Social Media.

Case in point is Shashi Tharoor’s eloquent tweet few months ago:


Exasperating = intensely irritating; infuriating

Farrago = confused mixture

So Tharoor took the emotion layer beyond the wheel and made it “intensely irritated”! The public, however, found most of the words incomprehensible and trolled him on Twitter for many days.

Anyways, coming back to main topic, I am OK is not a true emotion, state of mind. You should understand and express true feeling.

So, how are your feeling now? 🙂

P.S.: I am pretending to be “delightfully skeptical”!

P.P.S: There is a popular self-help book called “I’m OK, You’re OK”. I also came across another book titled “I’m OK, You’re NOT OK”.

I think I should write a new book titled “I’m NOT OK, You’re NOT OK” 🙂


Going “viral”

When I was a kid, “viral” referred to a type of infection/disease/health issue. Something caused due to a “virus”.

However, in last few years since the advent of Social Media, “viral” has a new meaning. Today, “going viral” refers to the sharing of something — often a video or a website link — via email or social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, which picks up exponentially!

It can be explained by a combination of concepts in psychology such as Social Proof, or Heard mentality,  or another concept in Economics called Bandwagon effect

Most popular example of this was a Korean song called “Gangnam style” which went viral on YouTube and has so far got 2.95 Billion views! If you check multiple versions of the song it would have got well over 5 Billion views!

Closer to home, you might remember the song “Kolavari Di” song sung by Dhanush. This song went viral few years ago and it has so far received 128 Million hits! Not bad!

When something goes viral in social media, more people watch it, or follow it just because it has gone “viral”. It creates a Flywheel Effect and the trend further grows momentum. Nobody knows what is that tipping point or that flash which makes something viral. There are Digital Marketing companies which try to make something go “viral” – through hashtag or simulated hits, links etc.

But why am I saying all this now? Well, my blog was never read by more than a few hits (maybe 2-3) per day – most likely new people everyday, since nobody would (willingly) revisit my blog to read 🙂

And a couple of days back I posted something on “Infosys” – related to tussle between Narayana Murthy and Vishal Sikka. The blog quoted Peter Drucker’s line: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast everyday”.

I don’t know why but suddenly the blog post saw a manifold jump in hits yesterday. Instead of 2-3 views per day it suddenly shot up to 63 or so! I don’t know why…I thought it was probably some random event. However, today when I woke up, I got following alerts from WordPress:


So I looked up the analytics page and found that for the second consecutive day, the same blog post had received 80+ hits! (130 as I write this post…)


The Infosys article alone got 70 hits! Clearly the post (and thus the blog) has gone “viral” – compared to its “abysmal” levels earlier…and the flywheel effect is evident, since the trend sustained for the second day.

I am not claiming that the article was good or deserved the hits/views it got. I was just amused by the “Going viral” trend as it happened with me.

Now that I have got your eyeballs, I better churn out some more posts to keep you engaged! Some motivation to clear some of my long pending drafts/blog ideas…


श्री. शि. द. फडणीस /S.D. Phadnis

These cartoons are by famous Indian cartoonist S.D.Phadnis.

Awesome work…he doesn’t use caption or speech bubble. His illustration are good enough.

सुप्रसिद्ध व्यंगचित्रकार (किंवा अर्कचित्रकार) श्री. शि. द. फडणीस यांची काही चित्रे


Today is 8th August. It reminded me of the inauguration of Beijing Olympics 2008. I was in the UK then pursuing MBA and was surrounded by several Chinese students. I remember what a great moment it was for them and how the event was celebrated and promoted on campus.

8 is very auspicious number in Chinese culture. So China not only bid for and won 2008 Olympics hosting rights, they planned to host it on 8th August 2008 i.e. 8/8/8!

Considering the amount of time it takes to plan and execute Olympics Games you can imagine how long ago they must have prepared themselves. Beijing was awarded the Games over four competitors on 13 July 2001. So it took them just about 7 years to build the massive Sporting infrastructure – including the Bird’s Nest stadium.

It was China’s moment to announce their arrival on world stage. And they did it really well. Many of my Chinese classmates had arranged events in the UK University to promote and spread awareness of the Olympics venue infrastructure, preparedness, and also progress made by China, in general. Not sure if it was funded by some Chinese body; but I could really witness the pride my Chinese classmates felt in talking about the Games.

It’s been 9 years since the Beijing Olympics 2008 began and China created “permanent” ripples in World arena.

The Games spurred huge debate about China’s human rights violation, and uneconomical spending. China also subsequently destroyed or dismantled many Sports venues, as if they were created only to make a point – a show of strength by hosting the Games.

Anyways, I remember the day 8/8/8 vividly because I got the first hand perspective of the Games from many of my Chinese friends and also the significance of choosing that particular day.

Elon Musk – 1 Page Resume

This resume for Elon Musk proves you never, ever need to use more than one page.

Let’s say your accomplishments vary and range from creating an electronic payments industry to invigorating the solar energy market to inventing high-performance electric cars to launching a commercial space and rocket industry.

You may think that all of that would surely need a couple of pages to explain on a resume, right?

Not at all, say the experts at online resume-writing firm Novorésumé , who believe in the less-is-more concept for writing resumes.

They created a sample resume for Musk to prove ” even a highly successful career like his can be presented in a one page resume,” cofounder Andrei Kurtuy tells Business Insider

Musk is famous for his high standards, and he has a reputation as a rough guy to work for. He once described himself as a “nano-manager,” a play-on-words meaning he’s even more controlling than a micro-manager. ( “I have OCD on product-related issues. I only see what’s wrong. I never see what’s right. It’s not a recipe for happiness,” was how he explained his management style).

Still, it proves that with the right design, you never, ever, need more than one page for a resume.

#RightResume #1PageResume #Careerists

Credits: Business Insider (from LinkedIn article)


Fun games/ puzzles…

Here are some of the puzzles/games that you can (rather should!) try during office hours…in fact from my personal experience I can tell you that these are more fun if tried during office hours!!! 😀

~ Kaustubh

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