The Temporary Nature of Permanence!


Happiness is understanding and accepting impermanence.

That said, even happiness is impermanent, like everything else. Without impermanence, there can be no life. Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. Asserting that all conditioned existence is transient, evanescent, and inconstant, impermanence is a concept found in various aspects of Hinduism and Jainism.

Cutting edge technology becomes obsolete. Medical breakthroughs avert certain disasters. Music goes from futuristic to contemporary to nostalgia. Idols and celebrities whom we revered but never met die young.

The Time Machine is a recent phenomena(of the 1800s). A thousand years ago people had no inkling of what today would have been like, Just like, we, the present generation, will have no inkling of what it would be a few hundred years from now. Except some crystal ball gazing or educated guesses.

Impermanence is the law of the universe. Our experience and relationship with time keeps changing. The concept of time zones was a derivative of clocks. (As an aside, Sir Sanford Fleming, a Canadian engineer, was the first person to propose the use of worldwide time zones back in 1878. His idea was to divide the world into 24 time zones that were each 15 degrees of longitude apart. The reason for this is that the earth rotates 15 degrees every hour, or 360 degrees in 24 hours). And mind you we didn’t have clocks till such time we invented cities.

Our idea of history is vague(what has been told to us- the concept of some people walked the earth some aeons ago)…and probably it is the same with our future. Whether we have a role in it, and will it shape up in the manner we envisage.

If the future were to be looked upon as an ‘ impressionist painting in landscape mode ‘, a couple of things will come to fore:

– The future will never stop surprising us and any control of it is only a myth in our heads.

– That said, we can have a greater role to play in the future and endeavor to make and leave an impact. Change is a culture thing and culture( and the way we can change it and therefore our future) can be only be changed by us, we, the people.

We will never have a stop watch to switch on and switch off the future, as and when we desire to. Nor can we request the future to lie still and wait for our nudge to get moving. Future is not an obedient toddler, unfortunately.

What definitely is in our control is the work we do, the stories we tell ourselves, the connections we establish, the paths we follow, the art we ship out- all of it determines our culture. And culture will echo what’s next!





Goodbyes are good buys!


As the saying goes(by Moira Rogers), the two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last.


That said, saying goodbye also means looking forward to new encounters. In a few years from now, you will have new skills, a new title, a new profession or business, new customers and a different level of influence.


All of this forward ratchet requires that you celebrate less – all the things that you are not doing any longer. Things that you have left behind. Let go. Disengaged with. Walked away from. Said ‘goodbye‘ to. In a sense. Past.


To land a new job, you leave behind your old one. The adult emerges upon the child being said goodbye to.

Much as we would like to believe that growth comes with no goodbyes, but it does. It is better to reconcile to the fact that what we begin will likely come to an end. Every beginning has an ending and every ending has a new beginning. When we go into it with eyes wide open, plan for it, then we will do it better.


Even book titles go by the names like Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason, which while charming and lacerating in its humor but is also studded with all these moments of small-scale tragedy that make it feel hard to breathe. The price of being awake to life is being also awake to mortality. 


” Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


What will you leave behind? What will you embrace?








Going b(u)y the book !

In the ever dynamic world of click and having things delivered in a jiffy, the one question that any marketer or retailer in physical locations need to ask themself is: Are We Worth A Special Trip?
Now that more and more are ordered or experienced online, the only trips we make are special trips.
If your brand or your service or your place is not worth a special visit, it is unlikely that the customer is going to come anytime soon.
Exceptional customer experiences are the only sustainable platform for competitive differentiation. In an in increasingly commoditised world, riddled by a SOS(Sea of Sameness), your best product or service is CeX(Customer Experience).
You enter a bookstore by design in a mall or as you get to your gate at an airport, what you will see are prominent displays of books which are ‘ bestsellers ‘. Books which are not booksellers(or were old bestsellers) occupy shelf space in an alphabetical order that go by the authors’ second name.
This is creating an experience for that almost extinct category of readers or buyers who come to a book shop knowing fully well the name of the author and the book|s she or he has written.
There is a scant regard for making things memorable, quirky, inspiring. Nothing that says ‘ Weekend Must Reads ‘, ‘ Fiction For The Young (that adults would enjoy) ‘, ‘ Must Read Books You Have Never Heard of Let Alone Read ‘, ‘ Page Turners From A Different Era ‘ , ‘ Great Reading for Non Readers ‘…
There is no attempt at personalising the experience. The thinking seems to be that shelf space has some shelf life and nothing more needs to be done to add life to the store experience. In such a scenario, why would you give up the convenience and frictionless experience of shopping on Amazon and haul your way to a physical bookstore? There is no special incentive.
Sticking to a mindset that helped you flourish a couple of decades ago is a sure fire way to go out of business. Re-imagining is not a choice, it is a compelling necessity.
Enough of going by the book. Time to turn the page and begin a new chapter!

Breaking the Myth: Productivity by Undoing!


Sorry to sound contrarian here. As the defaults in our culture have made out that productivity is all about doing. And that is a big big lie! And our undoing.


The co relation here is NOT about inaction and undoing. “Sometimes sitting and doing nothing is the best thing you can do,” reminds Karen Salmansohn, best selling author of THINK HAPPY. Take some time each day to sit and just be present with yourself and your thoughts and feelings.


Slack is not taboo, it’s a good thing. Our best thoughts and ideas come from moments of slack, not from a flurry of activity and busyness. Instead of your phone, put yourself in airplane mode. Wander, drift, escape, discover, resolve..step into nothingness, the proverbial void, because that is where things that didn’t or don’t exist get created. There has to be a void so that we can create. So, don’t avoid the void.


The subconscious mind is where we store our strongest emotions. That is where life’s script gets written. As we calibrate our state of mind and body into doing nothing, we release the subconscious into the beyond where it blends the old and the new, stitches up unexplored associations and calibrates the new arithmetic to the old to discover unexpected positive outcomes.


Slowing down is a hack to go faster. Using less energy. And to go deeper. Never mind the naysayers. The rubber needing to hit the road( the default expectation) at all times, actually is a speed breaker and slows down if not stops the creation of original thought.

We are neither robots nor a manufacturing plant. Creativity isn’t run into it, you discover it. And that happens during moments of slack, not hard labour.


Lounge, stare into nothingness, interrupt set patterns. Permit your interior silence to take over contemporary chaos. Ideas don’t come with an ETA attached.


Contrary to what we have been brainwashed about, our best work will come from undoing– by slowing down, by giving ourselves space and time. Morabor(Latin for slow down). The Japanese call this intentional vacuum ‘ ma ‘.


In the perennial quest to conform and comply, and trying to beat everyone else doing the same, we happily concede defeat and give up on blazing our own trails. Running the ‘ also ran ‘ race. You might be doing okay by normal standards, but you still feel restless, bored, and limited. True success is playing by your own rules, creating work that no one can replicate. Trying to be the best will limit you to someone else’s definition of success. Don’t be the best, be the onlyOnly is much better than being the bestWhether you are Mark or Taylor, tailor your own mark. Make competition irrelevant.

Give into ONLYNESS. It’s next to GODLINESS!


The best way to accelerate is to take the foot off the pedal.



GPS Signal lost?


The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Preferring to hang onto its coat tails. And happy to play victim.


Grievance as the crutch to making things better is a disaster. Because if that is the preferred status quo, exploring possibilities and therefore resolution and progress becomes a non starter.


As Booker Washington put it ” Let our opportunities overshadow our grievances “.


Holding onto a distant past to justify a present grievance is baseless. Possibility rides on the bedrock of uncertainty. Because nothing in life is ever sure.


The assertion here, however, is that there really is no creativity without uncertainty. Put another way: dubito ergo creo. This is Latin for, I doubt therefore I create.

The outside world provokes, persists and insists that we change the story we tell ourselves. Our attitude doesn’t have to be driven by the outside world, but sometimes they overlap.


Specifically, when we experience uncertainty – no matter how uncomfortable and unsettling and destabilizing it can feel – the good news is that it opens vistas of possibility for new thought and action.


Organizations are created, powered, and led by people. To lead organizations well, we train people in disciplines such as marketing, finance, and leadership. But uncertainty presents a special challenge since few of us have received training in how to deal with it. As a result, although we may call for innovation, transformation, and change, most people back down at even the hint of risk, falling into a series of behavioral traps that limit organizations’ ability to grow and adapt. The challenge is that all growth, change, and transformation inevitably come paired with uncertainty. We have to go through the uncertainty to get to the possibility.


“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.” ~ Deepak Chopra.


As a possibilitarian ( its possible to create new vocabulary, you see!), may I direct you to this article from BrandKnew which talks about unlocking your inner futurist?



Branding is Not Equal To Marketing!


Branding shapes. Marketing sells.


And yes, there is a gray zone. The shape is essential to the sale.


Let’s face it. Brands define who we are.




Think of branding as expressing yourself.


What do you wear to a job interview? A suit? A dress? Do you want to appear professional or casual? Sneakers? Heels ? Perfume ? Cologne? Do you shave? Put on makeup? What kind of lipstick? Red? Burgundy? Gloss?




Think of marketing as making your case.


Why me? How do I fit into the organisation? What’s my experience? How do I make your life easier, better? How can I help you? What can I learn from you? What can you learn from me?


Branding is Not Equal To Marketing!


Without doubt it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between these two disciplines.


The way to see it is that brands need marketing just like a fish needing water. Without the crutch of marketing, brands simply will not get the eyeballs it need for survival.


Yes, marketing has changed the world. Billboards alter our skylines, and commercials disrupt our entertainment experiences. But, it is not marketing that shapes humanity in such fundamental ways.


Like it or not. It is brands that do.


Branding is Expecting; Marketing is Parenting. More on this can be accessed at BrandKnew.



How about a New School Of Taught?


The education industrial complex pays little or no heed to Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence. The theory claims that human beings have different ways in which they process data, each being independent. Gardner’s theory argues that students will be better served by a broader vision of education, wherein teachers use different methodologies, exercises and activities to reach all students, not just those who excel at linguistic and logical intelligence.


Because humans excel in different areas, Gardner’s multiple intelligences’ theory can provide students with a better understanding of how they learn. When students are able to identify which type of multiple intelligence they use to learn material, they can adapt the information to their learning (Bilash, 2009).


“What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning.” —Chuck Grassley.


10 is the new 20; 20 is the new 40. Age is an obsolete default.


The predominant rote method of learning | teaching is actually a signal that you could do just enough work to persuade an overwhelmed teacher that you were compliant.

The opportunity going forward remains the same: Bringing insight and guts to interesting problems.


There is a high possibility that you get ahead in life for years and years because you got dealt good cards. But, very soon you realise that in the real world, attitude and effort, taking initiative and responsibility, showing up and shipping out consistently are what lands you a senior VP role, or a Broadway part or a Nobel Prize. Because these are the people who have put in the hard yards, showed up, understood, cared, and remained open to new experiences.


We live in a culture, unfortunately, that is highly biased towards connections and charisma.


What if we wear a different hat? Start celebrating the students who work the hardest, help others the most, lead by example, explore possibilities? Sending out clear signals to those on the sidelines that if you are willing to do all of that, you will be celebrated as well. Grades, marks, shiny trophies can wait!


If education is life itself, then we be better prepared. Or, we prepare better!


As I conclude I lead you to an article from BrandKnew on This high school that is designed for the jobs of the future.



A Selfless Act Called…Branding!


Ideally, yes! And mind you, selfless doesn’t mean private.


Lets look at the importance of selflessness..


Selflessness improves relationships, Selflessness can keep you healthy, Selflessness gives us a new perspective, Selflessness forms connection, Selflessness gives you a sense of peace, Selflessness can be a form of therapy.


Typically brands spend millions of dollars to realise some of the above, if not all.


A great brand naturally flows out of the product or service. Graciously. Optimistically. With the singular focus of making it successful.


Yes, it needs shaping. Crafting. Articulating. Calibrating. But, the underlying shape- the bones of whatever it is- are present from its inception.


And the role of the brand builders is to help it find the appropriate outfit, to coach it on how to walk and talk, mentor it and set it free into the real world. So, when it finally goes out into the world, its appearance matches its personality.


Selfless, really?


Isn’t branding all about yourself? Looking inward? A transcendently selfish act?


Well, a brand is part of the society. As it steps into the world, it has to signal very clearly what it stands for.


That said, a brand cannot live in isolation. Like the fish in water, which are dependent on the ecosystem around it, a brand on its own is pretty much a useless entity.


A mobile phone needs a cellular network, an electrical infrastructure. It needs a marketplace, it needs software, it needs applications, it needs accessories. And each one of these ecosystems breaks down into smaller and smaller subsystems. Without all this, a cell phone is a useless brick of metal, plastic and glass.


With a logo on its back.


If a brand lives by itself in the forest, will anyone know it’s a brand?


You just maybe tempted to take a look at this article from BrandKnew about Personal Values and the Need for a Purpose Led Brand Culture.



Sooner than Sooner or Later than Later ?

Crystal ball gazing can be a good hobby. And a better one would be actually seeing the future. A present forward to a scenario that will come about in a few years time. Ohh..ptimism !


William Pen once famously quoted ” Time is what we want most but what we use worst.”


What is history but a fable agreed upon? And the future happens slowly and then all of a sudden. History is a recent concept, the future even more so.


An impressionist painting of the future may not look rosy, but at least we are having them. With a possibility of doing something to change(for the better) what is on the anvil. On the flip side, the great strides in medicine, technology, energy production etc are sure salve for our nerves.


Of course, future generations will be mature enough to think even further ahead.



Fables and storytelling started off with ” once upon a time…”. The past was as much a mystery as was history. ” When I grow up, I want to be…” was the indoctrination that most of us received as kids. The fact that very rarely do our past and future align is a different matter altogether.


But, once you have made up your mind to create, construct, collaborate, contribute, to make art or do work that impacts, then how you look at time becomes sacrosanct. Time is either your friend or your opponent. Time is either something you use as a tool or something that works against you.


It is often used as an adage – time flies – that may not be exactly true, but it does move along. And a lot depends on whether you are using it as a tail wind or a head wind.


Small drops..make an ocean. Drip by drip by drip…show up, ship out. I started blogging ten years ago with no idea that I would be doing it a decade later. But here I am. And hoping to continue, learning, unlearning and striving to get better.


I am taking the liberty of directing you to what I feel would be a relevant read from the blog at ISD Global on ” 20% time ” – the most valuable time you can spend.



It’s an ever & over connected economy, but, we have never been more lonely!

The barrage is non-stop. Requests for connections. Another feather in the cap. Another vanilla metric to flaunt your social standing. Another ‘virtual friend’.


The legendary Greek Philosopher Aristotle once said, “Man is by nature a social animal, an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual.” He said this because human beings live in groups whether they are smaller like a family or larger like a city or country.


And that precisely is the reason why societal interventions seem to be dominating the discourse when it comes to offering solutions to foster connection, often to the exclusion of more individual ones. There are myriad theories about why we are struggling to connect, and just as many proposed solutions.



According to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the United States is in the throes of what he recently labeled a loneliness “epidemic”, with nearly one in four Americans over 18 say they often or always feel lonely. Things may not be very different in other countries.


Findings at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology suggest that feelings of loneliness are a biological signal, a clarion call to remind us that we need other people. That being said, there is a theory that runs counter to the default. Without the crutch of social connection, what we, as individuals can do to alleviate the situation- most of them are frictionless and non controversial- like engaging with nature or woods( if our modern day cities have them), physical exercise, one on one cognitive intervention and such like.


Mind you that this is not a prescription asking you to plough a lone furrow but a reconciliation to the fact that we need the best of both worlds to fight this ‘ epidemic ‘ via a personal as well as collective approach.


As we all know, it takes nothing to join the crowd, but, you also have to go ahead, even if no one goes with you.


” Alone is a state of being or body, whereas loneliness is state of mind “- Invajy


As I conclude, may I tempt fate and ask you to take a look at this article in BrandKnew about the power of emotions.