Month: January 2018

Ask your children the right question

Father: What do you want to become in future?

Daughter: I want to become a Doctor!

What is wrong with this discussion? Well, the question itself. Human beings are social animal, we tend to follow the trails of another human. This is one of the most popular questions often asked to children. The question itself leads to answer a self-thinking paradox and most times it ends up with a profession like engineer, doctor, lawyer or even politician. It fails to lead children to a “sense of purpose” . It fails to question their purpose of existence in this world.

However if the question is modified to “What do you want to do for our society/community/humanity in future?”, it changes everything. This inquisition will make them realize that they have to do something for the society. It will make them think about others rather than themselves. Now the answers you get will be different.

“I want to help the needy”,

“I want to protect the country”

“I want to save lives”.

Plant the selflessness seed at an early age. This world is filled with  lots of hate, selfish and greed. Children can change it. Today innovations are at its peak than ever. SpaceX is building a mission to move people to Mars. This is all about continuum of humanity.Make them realize their “Sense of Purpose” before its too late. Ask them the right questions!

 

What do you advice you children the most, “Do NOT cheat anyone, be loyal.. blah blah”

 

If you are teaching or I should say lecturing your kids why not to cheat and do good to others, think again. What is the difference between humans and all other species? Here are some of the fallacies around this:

“Humans can think, other species cannot?” – Really? Ravens or Crows have higher IQ than many humans.

“Humans have the 5th sense i.e feelings, others don’t” – This is insane, ask your pet lovers about this

“Humans evolve” – Animals and other species evolve too, Scientists are discovering 100’s of new species every single day.

So what is the real difference? Humans can imagine and their survival instinct is  “Thandiram” or TRICKS. Humans are the only species capable of this. Humans tricked dogs to guard them, elephants, bulls to work from them and even tamed the ferocious lion for entertainment. The problem arises when humans start tricking other humans. Cheating is a part of human psychology. Kids as young as 2 years old learn how to trick and cheat. So teaching them not to cheat or trick is just inhumane and doesn’t make sense.

I am not asking you to teach your kids how to cheat, we don’t have to do that. The right thing to do is teach them how not to get cheated, the defending mechanism. Its a controversial debate, but from experience you will eventually come to a conclusion that being cheated is worst than cheating. Teach them the right thing.

An easy 3 step guide to Creative Thinking

How often have you been asked to think outside the box? I have been asked to do that in every single meeting and every single design session. It took me a while to realize that the term “outside the box” is misleading. In fact idea’s doesn’t get spawn from thin air. If the brain does not enough exposure to information and knowledge, it could create only noise and not innovation.

Here is an easy 3 step guide that you can follow to explore your creative potential.

Step 1: Exposure to anything and everything

Unless there is information stored in your sub-conscience , your brain cannot fully assemble an Idea that would work. And if you believe that great inventors and successful entrepreneurs got their idea just by luck or chance, No is the answer.  Exposure is the first step towards creative. There are different ways to expose your self to information. But the best ways are People, Books and Experience.

People are the most powerful source of knowledge. Expand your network with the right people, talk to them, learn what they know. Its totally fine if you forget what you learn. Remember you just need to expose your self. You might ask what is the purpose of learning and forget. Wait till you read step 2.

Till date there are 130 million books published according Wikipedia as of 2016. What your academic books teach you is a drop in the ocean. So leave your academics in your class room. Elon Musk as a teenager had read all the books in his local library that he started reading encyclopedia. Make reading a practice, a part of life. The day you stop reading and learning, your creativity ends there!

 

Step 2: Mindfulness 

“What are you thinking right now? ” How would you react to this question? Some say “nothing” or “just random thoughts”. But some can clearly tell what they were thinking. They might say things like “I was wondering what to have for dinner” or “Thinking about my first day in Office tomorrow”. In reality “nothing” is not an answer, our inner conscience keeps talking to you all the time. As a matter of fact we don’t listen to it very often.

Sometimes while you are playing a game like cricket, in fraction of a thought you duck your self and end up realizing that you just missed a hit of the ball by an inch. Or while driving a bike, in a split second you apply breaks avoiding an accident. What would you say? “Thank God! that was just a miss.” How many of us have been in similar situation? I am sure you have. Many of us believe that is just a coincidence and keep moving. However that is not true. Look at the diagram below:

 

If your consider the circle to be your conscious, the red circle is self-awareness. That is what you are aware of. Your subconscious is much bigger than you can imagine. It tries to talk to us but tend to ignore it most of the time. Some of the actions you do, like ducking yourself from a ball or applying a break to save an accident are the events handled by your subconscious. It takes control of you to save you. Believe me, that is your GOD.

Everything you get exposed to as in Step 1 is stored your sub-conscious. Mindfulness is a tactic to listen to it. If you consider your brain to a database, mindfulness is like indexing it. following simple techniques like yoga or meditation will help you listen to your senses.  Dedicate atleast 15 mins of your daily schedule to this. You will see a huge difference overtime.

 

Step 3:  Deductive & Divergent Thinking

Now you have information and exposure. You also have a indexed database. Nice! Its time to put it to work.

 

If I ask you to write a list of things that you can do with a piece of paper how big would the list be? Some might come up with 5-10 and some might have a bigger list like ~25. But some can even make a list of 100 ideas. This is called divergent thinking, expanding your ideas. For a every problem you face try to come up with many possible solutions. Think from within and not out-side-the-box.

Deductive reasoning is when you start from things you assume to be true, and draw a conclusion that must be true if your assumptions true. it might sound confusing, but let me give you an example

“All Dogs have tail, Scooby is a dog and so Scooby has a tail”

You can apply this logical reasoning to any scenario you come across. In my upcoming posts I will explore more about these creative techniques which you can apply in Real life.

In summary, by changing simple things in your lifestyle like talking to people, expanding your network, reading books, practicing mindfulness and techniques like Deductive reasoning and Divergent Thinking, you are preparing yourself for building a creative mindset. By being creative, you can reach you potential of success and that takes you places.

 

 

Sivanandha Rajadurai

I – Innovate, Inspire, Invigorate

I was 12, I created my first website. There were no mentors or tutors, all I had was a book on HTML and JavaScript it was a self-learning exercise. It was a huge feat, back then we did not have advanced tools like WordPress, blogger and tons of other software that are available today. My curiosity towards computer and creativity started right there. I had an inclination towards self-learning since my early age.

I would always question the purpose of academic education. Does it really help someone to be successful? I published 100s of websites for colleges, schools, symposiums since then. Later I started publishing white papers during my engineering days. Being poor at academics, there was always someone to ridicule me. But I did what I loved. I was creative and innovative. Within 6 years of Diploma and Engineering combined I had read and published more white papers than the semester exams.

Today, I am an IT Leader with a decade of experience in Retail, Technology, and Branding. Through MindsBeyond, I wanted to share learn to inspire and coach and help entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses innovate and sustain in today’s competitive marketplace. Hence I started MindsBeyond. Join me, together, lets innovate, inspire and invigorate.

Success Based on Academic Education is a Myth!

Yes you read that right. How many times have you been told that you can be a successful person if you do you homework well, take good score and get a degree? Well, that is not true.  Academic education system is based on an industrial age practice to cultivate an employee or a labor mindset.  It was designed to take orders, follow orders and execute tasks assigned by your boss, in this case teachers.

Have you every thought why we are not able to create great leaders in our country? Have you ever realized why our educational system has not changed in time? Did you ever question why  Music, Sports, Painting and other Arts are not a part of our educational system? If not, this is the time to ask.

Why does a software programmer uses high-level languages like Java, Ruby & Python and not the underlying machine level language? Because that is not efficient. Hundred lines of code can be written in simple 5 liner programs in a high level language. But why are you not allowed to use tools like a calculator, instead do maths in pen and paper?

Unless you ask these questions, the academic educational system will not change! I will uncover more stores about false claims about our educational system in future posts. But in the mean time, take your time to think!