Hey! B-School has happened. How to make best of next two months!!

I am sure most of you have landed in one premium B-school or other. Of course, a few of you are thrilled and a few are a little disappointed. Nevertheless, the future is in front of you. I have time and again seen many of those who go to so called not-so-top-notch B-schools outperforming those who have been to, in their journey of careers and life. So just look ahead and give your best.

This is the time, friends and family are as excited as you are and you ended up throwing a party for all well wishers and then-on wait for the D-day to board your train or flight to reach the campus. Yes, you do go out shopping to buttress your wardrobe as much as for essentials for the next two years at the hostel.

Hey I got into my dream B-School! Lets party

We will soon meet for the PARTY. Apart from shaking your legs, you will meet your seniors as well as your co-travelers and may wish to get an insight into what happens at the B-School you are heading to and how to put your best foot forward. Not a bad idea, for sure.

“The ill-prepared are in for a SHOCKER at the end of the first term! And most of them will never recover in the next two years! Sigh!!

One question that should spring into your head is that – “Can I do a few things from now till the date of my journey that can have a positive impact at least on my first term, if not the next two years!!” Is this an important question to address? Yes, indeed.

You should be very keen that you gain maximum from your two years at B-School. Having been a facilitator to B-School aspirants over the last two decades and also as an alumnus of an IIM myself, I have a few things to ask you to work upon –

Working on your General Awareness, writing and presentation skills
It is very important that you work on your ability to think, organize and articulate your thoughts. Whether you are already good at it or you feel challenged, you need to work on it. I am sure you gained a lot during the last three months of PDP and interview process. No doubt, you can be even better.  It needs a constant endeavour from each one of us every day.

India Immersion - Hitachi middle level executives from Japan

Make reading your best friend. Kindly read a good newspaper – The Hindu / Indian Express / A Business daily every day, especially the features and editorial pages. Listen to 9pm news on DD and Day’s round up on one of the business channels every evening. Study the graphs and data to understand the situation depicted.

Work on your ability to express

The moment you enter, you need to study, prepare and present on a variety of topics, participate in case discussions etc. Better work on it right away.

Make sure you write an article every day – If you have not created a blog already, kindly do, to express yourself (you can check my website http://www.sreeni.org for any ideas). Alternatively, take a topic and speak in front of the mirror while recording it using your mobile. Play it to listen and introspect – where you got stuck and why? How can you overcome the shortcomings? Take action to be better.

Watch the best speakers on Youtube, TED and see how they work on their ideas and present crisply in front of the public.

Build your fundamentals before you reach the campus

Three subjects that would form the core for any business education and thereby your performance during the MBA programme are – quanititative ability (statistics), economics and accounting; I strongly urge you to pick a basic book on these to familiarize yourself even before you reach your campus for the pre-term / first term. The best place to start is CBSE Class XI and XII books.

Disruptions galore, future shall throw surprises – Are you ready?

During the PDP process, I always shared with you to look at the future. The next ten years disruptive technologies will impact every industry. Automation can lay off over 50% of the employed. Industries may metamorphose; else they may be on the verge of vanishing. I am sure quite a few of you have worked on it to respond to the question, “Why MBA?”  If you have, then keep reading more and more that shall help you to refine or adapt to the shifts. Those who have not, quickly start reading. Go to twitter and follow the accounts of bets of newspapers, periodical, journals, thinkers, world leaders, technologists, CEOs etc. Follow religiously, read the write ups, articles; So much to gain from doing so.

A couple of short predictive, disruptive timelines…. just indicative!


First figure out what you really want to do in life. I suggest you spend some time to introspect about this question ‘What I would be remembered for when I leave this world?’

Kindly read the article that I wrote on IKIGAI – purpose and meaning of life!

A few questions to help you start off –

  • What do you really enjoy doing? What are you good at? Which industry or company will benefit maximum from your passion.
  • Once you short list the company / industry, start reading about them through various available data and feature sources
  • Are there any personalities you admire and why? Is there and values they espouse or abilities that they have that you want to inculcate? Work on them consciously.

Once you are able to write this note for yourself, I am sure you will get to know what you need to do from now on to achieve your ultimate goals, and how you would like to make maximum of your next two years at the B-School of your choice. Put all these in a note for yourself. I hope this will be a great exercise for your journey.

What more can I do in the next two months?

I sincerely advise everyone to take time off before you head to the business school. A few of the working kind rush to the business school the very next week after their last day at the office. You will be lacking energy to take off! You should have done a lot of things in a relaxed way in the previous four to six weeks that you should be fresh and eager on the first day of the business school.

A few ideas…..

Class of 2012 - Knowing thyself..

    1. Travel. Travel….. Travel is the best enabler. Add adventure trails, even better. Get hold of a few of your friends from the past, or even those who are heading to the same business school with you and plan the trip. Do it now!!
    2. Contribute to any cause close to your heart. I have been hearing from many of you that there are causes very dear to you. Why not associate with an organization or a movement that espouses a cause very close to your heart for a few weeks and contribute there. This will help you understand a whole lot about yourself, working of an organization and also can give ideas about what all you could do during your two years of B-School and after.
    3. Start learning something that you have been longing for – playing a guitar, tap-dance, salsa….
    4. Get yourself physically fit – get going on your bicycle, hit the gym… etc.

CHIRAAGs

    A few movements that I have been involved actively are as follows and in the next two months there are amazing opportunities to explore, if you are really interested in. Click on the links and discover–
    1. NIF and its Shodhyatras at www.sristi.orgKindly check this site for the next shodhyatra 39th in Odisha scheduled this MAY, that will open your eyes to grassroot-innovation
    2. SPICMACAY’s (http://www.spicmacay.com) promotion of culture and art forms among youth etc – Kindly do a quick registration for the international convention scheduled for June 05-11 at IIT Delhi. Last date for registration is April 15th.
    3. ITIHAAS – a movement to acquaint children and youth with the heritage of India.(http://www.itihaas.net)
    4. Working with a few young entrepreneurs and their start ups
    5. Of course mentoring or doing workshops for teachers and students.

SPICMACAY 3rd International Convention, IIT Mumbai days 3-5 407

I am sure you too can identify a cause and contribute during your free time to gain something that can be significant for your journey of life.

Before winding up, I would like to just say that, at the B-school –

  • Kindly be hungry for learning, devour magazines, journals and books;
  • Do not hesitate to interact with professors beyond your class requirements,
  • Plunge into all activities that are happening around you,
  • Take additional responsibilities on the campus that can build your personality.
  • Create great bonds and thought alignments. Who knows, you may find your co-founders for a killer business happening there. We did for CL Educate !

I am sure you would have got enough ideas to build upon whatever I have stated here that can be invaluable for your journey ahead.

Wishing you the very best. Enjoy your B-school life.

Sreeni

Indian Education Congress 2017 : The Digital Transformation in Education & Training

Session Highlights:

  • Is Digital Transformation only for the big institutions
  • Should we transform a Training Organisation in totality or only the skill learning component
  • Are schools ready for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
  • Should we integrate Student Management with LMS in Higher Education

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Session Moderator: Mr. Aditya Malik, CEO & MD-Talent Edge & Senior Partner-Lumis Partners

  • Dr. Antriksh Johri, Director-IT & CISO, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
  • Prof. Dr. Dwarika Uniyal, Assistant Dean, & Executive-Education, IIM Kashipur
  • Mr. Gopal Devanahalli, Senior Vice President, Manipal Global Education
  • Mr. Sreenivasan Ramakrishnan, Co-Founder, CL Educate (Career Launcher)

As an introduction to the session, a short film about a toddler playing with an IPad thrown among a few print magazines, was shown; and naturally the toddler liked the response of the icons on the IPAD that open new windows when pressed upon and not the print media that was passive and did nothing on pressing the photos on it! And was told that child of future will naturally make his choices….

I was not in consonance to this way of looking at digitization of education. It is very important to really understand a human being first, to know where to introduce, what to introduce and when to…

About a decade or two, children were branded as couch potatoes addicted to television. A family had one television and every one fought for the remote. Circa 2017, there are as many personalized entertainment gadgets in hand, as as many people in the home !! Children do not want to move out to play….. on the other hand, a young doctor of 24 complains about 72 hours of non-stop duty in the hospital. Imagine the fitness needed from a young doctor ! Will you get that if you thrust the Ipad to a 7-month old?

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The human being is the most creative and intelligent being that has ever been created by the almighty. A child has so many intelligences and we intend to confine the child to playing with icons? One of the popular theory of Multiple intelligences propounded by Mr. Howard Gardener, talks about eight of them that a human being is naturally born with –

  • musical-rhythmic,
  • visual-spatial,
  • verbal-linguistic,
  • logical-mathematical,
  • bodily-kinesthetic,
  • naturalistic
  • interpersonal,
  • intrapersonal

Unless we do not facilitate the child to blossom in all these intelligences, we lose out on of the greatest creation that god has bestowed on this world – creative, thinking human being.

Of course, digitization can help in personalization of learning, but we should know when we should introduce and what quantum and which features.

A FEW FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS you need to ask yourself, to understand underlying principles of learning-

  • What percent of what we have been taught we apply? What do we apply?
    • The audience responded …less than 20%
    • We apply more of what we learnt in the playgrounds and other arenas where we were involved in action and learnt a great deal.
  • What percentage we learnt from teacher, what percentage we learn from friends?
    • Here again, majority of what we learnt is from discussions and interactions, not from a lecture that is made boring by most teachers. Of course, there are brilliant exceptions
  • How many teachers do we remember fondly and why?
    • We were very good in those subjects where teacher showed affection and compassion.
    • We naturally want to perform well in those subjects and took interest

And HOW MUCH do we retain or recall of what we have been exposed to?

  • What we hear….10% retained
  • What we read….30% retained
  • What we see…..40% retained
  • What we do……70-80% retained

So whatever we create in the learning process, we need to lay emphasis on hard-core hands-on experience that the learner will retain for his life-time.

Why do we need Digitization of Education?

  1. To learn at your own TIME and SPACE
  2. To reach the best of the faculty and learning process to the remotest learner
  3. Revisiting the important or to understand, as many times as you want
  4. Engaging the learner enough to help him understand and imbibe
  5. Ability to create a variety of resources at the learners disposal

As CL Educate what has been your experience?

  • 2000 AD: compasscom : The supplementary and complementary web-based facilitation for school education beyond class VI
  • synchronous and asynchronous modes
  • 2001 AD Facilitated Live sessions on various subjects . …even biology, with a lot of animation and graphical representation of processes was used then
  • engaging content, desktop/laptop

In 2005 created even a virtual chemistry lab – catering to the US schools under no child left behind program

Over the years mobility has come to play a central role

  • Over the last two decades the digitization processes in CL Educate has helped to
    • Create enough resources online to engage every learner
      • conceptual learning, demonstrating the concept
      • applying to understand
      • practice to master
      • engaging with fellow learners to feel good and also share and learn
        – discussion rooms, forums,
        – gaming!
    • Ability to facilitate upward of 3000 students in a single session, at times
    • Enough Success stories created
      – across the segments
      – study at home students CAT/ LST…
      – schools …using

What is the Role of a teacher in the digitized world? One has to be a
– An eager learner all the time;
– courage to fail as he pushes his boundaries
– Have humility to unlearn and learn, even from students
– Ability to be an ideator, generate ideas and implement them
– Of course a facilitator to even those who are learning from huge geographical distances
– Create MOOCs
What sort of Impact on learners in CL Educate endeavours
– test prep … Night classes, huge numbers attend to these classes every day from comfort of home
– any time anywhere… having mobile resident modules as well as ability to log into live sessions even while on the move

What Future trends do you see…..

Disruptive technologies will bring huge shifts in the entire learning cycle. We will see the impact of a few of the following technologies very soon..
– virtual reality, augmented reality
– machine learning
– deep learning

H H Dalai Lama – ‘Love and Compassion make all the difference’

It has always been a pleasure contributing to the spaces where children observe, introspect, participate, engage, discuss, debate and learn. One such movement that I have been part of as a volunteer, contributor and advisor has been ITIHAAS, an endeavor by a team of strong-willed and highly capable youth lead by Smita Vats and Shivani, has been doing a yeoman service for over 15 years now, in the space of Heritage Education for children. The movement now addresses children and institutions in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh while children from across the country travel to these states to soak in and also learn the heritage of our rich, composite nation.

dalai_lama_25

There are many initiatives by ITIHAAS, year around, that engage the children, schools and the entire education community not only through their walks but also through facilitation of research in literature, music, traditions, livelihoods that are integral to Heritage.

As part of the latest initiative, first in the series of Changemakers talk, His Holiness Dalai Lama delivered the ITIHAAS ANNUAL ADDRESS to the school fraternity… What an interaction, it was !!  Always a pleasure listening to His Holiness. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with him too. Just observing him silently is good enough to absorb so much about purposefulness towards humanity…

As he was addressing the children, teachers and education community, laced with his inimitable humour, I made it point to tweet whatever I could gather. Here I collate my tweets and share for posterity. Each of the points that he shares are invaluable –

  • Every #child receiving #love, affection, hugs of #parents in #childhood, will grow to be a confident and compassionate adult
  • we, generation of 20th century created a lot of problems, your gen of 21st century, has to solve. Solve Disagreement by talking
  • Young generation, #brothers and #sisters, think how to build a happy and compassionate world, through education and learning
  • Through warm heartedness you will be able to resolve every issue in the world; love, forgiveness will help you to bring peace
  • Anger brings violence; conflicts need to be solved through dialogue; love others and respect them to facilitate. Create peace
  • Non violence, peaceful dialogue by you will create a peaceful and happy family, society and world228
  • #Secular #education needs to include moral #values, ethics; value of warm heartedness makes the difference to humanity
  • fear is part of human being; I train my mind through analytical #meditation; analyse the source of anger; you will solve
  • Positivity begets positivity, creates peace; work towards eliminating negativity; Ahimsa and Karuna can solve all problems
  • without inner #peace we cannot develop world peace? #Trust & #affection will beget happiness & peace at home and society
  • As an youngster, I can contribute to solving every problem with my small actions with awareness; environmental issues, example
  • People’s movement – I must think, I must talk, I must work – our vision, on sharing, can gather mass to bring change
  • All religions, all traditions talk of love, harmony. #India needs to take lead in promoting tolerance, forgiveness and peace
  • Different #religions may have different approaches for different people, but the final purpose is #oneness and #love
  • Be a kind-hearted and #compassionate person. #Education needs to just contribute for this one purpose. That is the basic value
  • I never saw my mother angry. Not just me, she cared for every child ….First teacher of love and compassion is my mother
  • Every teacher has responsibility towards every child.Yr love helps every child understand whatever U impart. Infuses Happiness
  • Secret of my youth. 9 hrs of sleep and rest of 15 hours with peaceful thoughts. Have healthy mind. Smile adds to handsomeness

He also interacted with students by taking their questions and responding. I shall get the complete video across soon…

I have not done justice to this event if I do not speak about the Live painting by Artist Vilas Nayak that mesmerized His Holiness The Dalai Lama Dalai Lama. I consciously did not do, as I felt I need to write a separate story on it. I shall.

 

Acceptance

I came across this beautiful note on acceptance, that reminded me of soulfulness.. thought of sharing and having in my notes here.

When we don’t accept an undesired event, it becomes *Anger*;
when we accept it, it becomes *Tolerance.*

When we don’t accept uncertainty,
it becomes *Fear*;
when we accept it,
it becomes *Adventure.*

When we don’t accept other’s bad behaviour towards us,
it becomes *Hatred;*
when we accept it,
it becomes *Forgiveness.*

When we don’t accept other’s Success, it becomes *Jealousy;* when we accept it,
it becomes *Inspiration.*

Acceptance is the key to handling life well.
……… Have a beautiful day.

Building Self, Creating Impact, Enriching Profile

Most of us, in our youth, are enamored of the world around us that is always enticing with its glitters and sparkles. We have so much within! We hardly invest time to think about our self, not to talk of action. It is time each one of us starts doing.

We are all powerful. We can be winners. We can impact big time. We have enough examples around us – from the Prime Minister of the country to very many inspiring people from all walks of life, who are in a continuous pursuit of realizing their purpose, chasing every goal of theirs, passionately. Each one of us can be one such. The last article, ‘Ikigai’, initiates the exercise of finding our purpose and meaning of life. In this article, I am going to share about building our ‘Self’, while contributing to the context we are in, which in turn enriches our profile.

Let us look at the Abraham Maslow’s seminal work on ‘self’, hierarchy of needs. John Antonio brought it into social media context. I am creating a framework that is built upon these.

maslows-heirarchy-building-your-profile-in-real-world-and-social-world-v2-1

 

Every being goes through these phases, termed as hierarchy of human needs –

  1. Physiological needs – Oxygen(air), sleep, quenching thirst and hunger, clothing
  2. Safety and Security needs – Shelter, Protection from vagaries of weather, to safety and stability in life
  3. Belonging – love, affection, relationships and family provide the emotional needs
  4. Esteem – Enhancing and demonstrating Capabilities that builds self-esteem, reputation and status
  5. Self-actualization – Personal fulfillment, in the process contributing to larger good

Physiological and Safety needs are termed as basic needs – that of survival; while the needs of Belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization are termed as social needs. As one quenches the lower level needs, one starts thinking about the next higher level need. The journey is un-ending while it is incredibly enriching too. We grow in the process, while we keep pushing our boundaries, discovering our unknown self. More we push, greater is the realization and impact we cause and higher is the enrichment.

Each one of us, educated, is fortunate to have our basic needs – especially the physiological needs and to a great extent, the safety needs, fulfilled by our family and well wishers. Yes, with self-doubts that question our own capabilities, we may fall short on career or emotional stability. We can equip ourselves to overcome these shortcomings with positivity. Believe in our own selves, have confidence in our abilities and have conviction in our actions. We need to work on our state of mind, constantly, to be positive and purposeful.

Cycle of Excellence

excellence-cycle

Our thoughts are all powerful. Our positive thoughts influence the language, the words we use. Repeated use of the energizing words brings about the compelling action. Compelling actions will result in impactful outcomes, which reinforce the confidence and positive frame of mind. This cycle of excellence is unending. It is transformational. This fuels our journey to realize the infinite potential within.

[In this frame of positivity, it makes imminent sense to establish our profile in the social space – social media – the presence in the virtual space of this ever evolving connected world. Most of us are present in a few of these destinations like Facebook or Instagram to name a few, for fun mostly by sharing some interesting happenings in the form of stories or photos or videos. It is time we think of being in each of these spaces, with all the purposefulness that shall add to our ever evolving self, to aid our realization of the larger picture and public good ]

Once we get on to the cycle of excellence, fuelled by our purposefulness, the social context that we are in, can add that much more. Our family, friends and relationships can give the strength and confidence to head towards our larger vision. In this pursuit, we can connect with people or groups, bodies who work in our space of interest. The engaging conversations with people who share our beliefs and passions builds our community affiliations, that can further reinforce our purposeful and our journey. List out our passions and interests, and look out for people or bodies with whom we can engage to build your journey. Stretch yourselves and reach out, get involved. We need to consciously build these connects and affiliations.

[These affiliations and connects can be further fuelled by being alive and kicking on the social media, in the current context. The social media has the power to make connects in an unimaginable way. It is a double edged sword, and certainly depends on how we put it to use. If used wisely, it can make a big difference to our journey, in the process enriching our profile.

 Think of building your own website or a blog on one of the platforms like wordpress, which is very easy to handle. Be on Linkedin that enables you to connect with professionals in your area of work. Get onto Twitter to follow people, institutions and journals of eminence while sharing your thoughts too. Start engaging and interacting with the connects in a purposeful way. Slowly build your web presence that can build your community and affiliations.]

As you become active in various spaces, engaging with people and involved in activities, voicing your thoughts and opinions while helping others also to grow in the process of your growing, the journey will start becoming more meaningful. This brings more opportunities, more doors open to push your boundaries and to realize greater possibilities and potentials. In the process, knowingly or unknowingly, your brand building is happening.

[Continue to share your learning on your website or blog as a regular process of self-growth. In the connected world, you will be surprised how you create new connections with strangers and friends, who are on their path of excellence; who feel that you resonate with their thoughts and journey. It adds the domino effect to your growth, evolution and excellence. Many an entrepreneurial journey thus began]

As you continue on this journey, you will reach new heights, of course not without a lot of struggles. The struggles are part of every success story. As someone said, “Overnight success is a result of twenty years of slogging.” The struggles actually help you realize that you are more capable and you are on the path to realize the higher goals that you have set for yourself, the big picture will continue to refine itself. Your mission of realizing your potential and goals, will certainly be aided by the profile that you have been building on the social media in more ways than you had ever imagined.

4P FRAMEWORK for showcasing your PROFILE

I shall wind up this article with my 4P framework to share your profile. Kindly dig deep and explore on each of these dimensions to give insights into who you are and will be. Work towards enriching each of these dimensions, by creating opportunities or taking advantage of one. Identify the leadership roles and activities that you have done in each of these dimensions to highlight.

Purpose

 Sharing of your larger vision and purpose conveys your outlook towards life. It conveys the direction you are heading and how your past or present connects to the future.

·         Institutions, employers and employees alike will enjoy seeing what goals a person has. Let these goals be both career oriented and personally oriented, such as scuba dive, rock climbing, music or blogging, shayari…

Professional

 ·   Learning/knowledge – Share the schools that you have attended and every degree or certification that you may have; other courses that you might have pursued beyond your graduation or academic requirements

·   Skills are important because they show Institutions / Employers and networking connections why they should connect with you. They showcase why you would be an asset to the institution/company and to the person. Skills can include leadership, management, organization, communication, hard work and interpersonal skills.

Passions

·         Interests and passions give people a feel of who you are as an individual. This makes people connect to you as a person on a personal level.

·         This also shows you being a keen learner who is not afraid of exploring the unknown;

·         As a very balanced individual with avenues to reduce stress and rejuvenate oneself to be on the path of purposefulness.

Public Good

 This is an opportunity for you to stand apart from other candidates because many people overlook this dimension.

  • Share personally meaningful values, important ones – such as innovation, health, fitness, responsibility, success, challenges or intellect, and share instances of demonstration

·         List your experience and contribution to any form charity work or public good.

Believe in yourselves. Build your profile. Enjoy the journey of realizing your larger purpose.

Why do I exist? Finding purpose and meaning in life – IKIGAI

Every year, for the last couple of decades, I have been meeting youth at CL Educate as well as across the country on my travels, while working with various institutions; most of the youth keep wondering what they want to do in life, while a few are enamored of a particular career, course or institution for what they have heard about these as “holds promise”, “Zindagi banjayegi” etc. The thought process or plan, of most of the youth is usually short term, on the basis of ‘financial returns – salary’ or lifestyle it affords.

The real mozo happens only when one finds his purpose for existence. As Late Dr. Abdul Kalam said, “Dreams are not those one sees in his sleep, but those that do not allow one to sleep.” Indeed, when one knows his purpose and meaning of life, it is a celebration. You live, breathe, eat, drink, think and sleep for that very purpose.

I have been pre-occupied with this thought of – How do I facilitate the youth to arrive at their purpose – thinking purposeful and doing purposeful. While I created a framework on facilitating the youth to think through, I came across this concept from a Japanese philosophy – IKIGAI! In this short note, I am bringing various interesting frameworks that could be of value in finding one’s own purpose for life and working towards realizing that infinite potential that exists within. This will also enable you to work on making your profile compelling, that reflects in your thoughts and actions, helps you to leave lasting impression in any face to face interaction.

IKIGAI – Purpose and Meaning of Life

Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life. Examples include work, hobbies and raising children.

The term ikigai compounds two Japanese words: iki meaning “life; alive” and kai (sequentially voiced as gai),  “(an) effect; (a) result; (a) fruit; (a) worth; (a) use; (a) benefit; (no, little) avail” “a reason for living [being alive]; a meaning for [to] life; what [something which] makes life worth living; a raison d’etre”.

In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner suggested ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives.

The word ikigai is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Secondly, the word is used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It’s not necessarily linked to one’s economic status or the present state of society. Even if a person feels that the present is dark, but they have a goal in mind, they may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are not actions which we are forced to take—these are natural and spontaneous actions.

In the article named Ikigai — jibun no kanosei, kaikasaseru katei (“Ikigai: the process of allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom”) Kobayashi Tsukasa says that “people can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization.” The very self-actualization that Abraham Maslow also spoke about in his seminal work “Hierarchy of needs”, that we will talk about later or in another article, as a frame work to build ones profile.

We’re trying to find our passion; Our purpose; What makes our lives worthwhile and will give us that joy on a daily basis.

An important distinction is that Ikigai doesn’t strictly mean your career or your economic status, but it is representative of all aspects of your life: physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, social, professional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational and so on. It is the culmination of your life as a whole.

Moreover, Ikigai is not forced; rather it is something that emerges from within and that we are willing to do. These are natural actions and behaviors. We’re not trying to become something we are not.

ikigai-sreeni

How Do You Achieve Ikigai?

Ikigai can be achieved by answering four distinct questions.

1.What do you love?

Irrespective of all other factors, what are the things you love to do, without limiting by telling yourself how trivial it is. You probably are aware of these already, though you may not know what to do with them quite yet. If you’re not sure, try asking yourself, “What can you not ‘not do’? ”

This question is getting to the heart of who you are and what you’re all about. What are the things that you love, that you do repeatedly, that you always come back to? What is the thing that you can get lost in for hours on end, without even noticing, without even having food and sleep? The thing that doesn’t feel like work; The thing that infuses infinite energy; thing that makes you feel alive.

The thing you can not ‘not do’?

We may not have taken the time to notice these parts of our life before, but when you ask these sorts of questions, they come to the fore. You may be staring that skill or idea or field in the face, but simply never thought of it in that way. You just have to notice.

Let me bring my dear friend Dina Ralte as an example here. Dina was my classmate at IIM Bangalore and has been crazy about music since childhood. She could not ‘not do’ without music every day. That passion, like a powerful tsunami found its destination. Found a soulmate in Sonam Sherpa and thus formed one of the most popular musical band of South-Asia. You will see her in the first visuals here, crooning with her guitar and also Sonam.

2. What are you good at?

Everyone typically has some traits or skills that they excel at. They may not like it or want to pursue it, but if you look at yourself, you have inherent strengths, as well as weaknesses.

If you don’t enjoy your talents, it may be a matter of applying them differently. If that doesn’t work, the beautiful thing is that you can become good, if not great, at a lot of things. Putting in the time and effort is key and can even be easy, when you’re working to get good at the things you love.

As I travel, I document stories of people who are pursuing their lives with gumption, who asked “What am I good at.” Enough stories here, on this very website of mine about UNSUNG Heroes – Ponnuchammy and others

Ponnuchammy, The Madurai soupman
Ponnuchammy, The Madurai soupman

These first two questions I think are the core of finding Ikigai. They build the foundation for you to find many avenues with the help of the next two questions.

3. What does the world need?

A lot when you think about it. In our own cities and countryside in India, to half way across the world, there are a lot of problems to be solved – clean air, food, housing, energy, water conservation, sanitation, waste management, transportation, connectivity, financial access, education, skills, livelihood, human excellence etc. If you can find one that interests you, then explore the advances in that domain, where is the world heading, how a few people are making a big difference – read about it, watch on Youtube, TED and other sources to be aware and to guide you.

I bring in here, two inspiring individuals, who have been students in my/our classrooms – Nirmal Kumar, an MBA aspirant in 2005 in the classrooms at CL Educate and Jaydeep Mandal, a student who did his MBA at our business school, Indus World School of Business in 2008-10  IWSB

Nirmal Kumar introducing G-Auto concept (2013)

Jaydeep Mandal talking about Aakar innovations‘ ANANDI (low cost sanitary napkin)

4. What can you be paid for?

Anything that you are good at! You just need to find people who need what are you capable of, what good are you good at, passionate about or what are you selling. You may have to get a bit creative, but there’s something of value within the things you love and what the world needs. You just have to seek it out.

Putting these together allow you to find different parts of yourself. Understanding what you love and what you’re good at leads you to passion.  On the other hand, finding what the world needs and what you can be paid for identifies your vocation.

Here I bring in an inspiring friend, Arun Pai, who is the initiator Bangalore Walks.

Also checkout what Anamik Nagrik behind “The Ugly Indian” is doing.

The intersection of all of these is where you achieve Ikigai. Of course this isn’t something that happens over night. It takes many of us years or our entire lifetime just to realize our passion, so I can only imagine finding your Ikigai would be that much more difficult.

Even so, it’s the ultimate form of self-actualization and a worthy one at that. Hopefully these questions can help you start to discover where you should be going to achieve your own reason for being.

So the question is, are you excited to wake up tomorrow?

Visit www.sreeni.org for a detailed article on Ikigai

Happy Ikigai-ying! 😉

Ref: Wiki, Youtube and various articles by thinkers on the net. Thanks to each one.

VCCircle conference on Edu-Investments, November 18, Gurgaon, India – My notes as a Panelist

I was part of two sessions, one as a panelist and the other as a special invitee… Here is my notes – Pre-event, during Event and post thoughts…

PANEL

Edupreneurs: Revolutionising the Effectiveness of Education Delivery Systems (How can edupreneurs work in a dichotomic market like India to merge the chasms between the organized and highly unorganized education sector in the country, mainly higher education? Building sustainable businesses is the key to being a successful entrepreneur. How should entrepreneurs and institutes walk away from working in silos and leverage each other’s strength in creating a robust education system?

Panel Members –

– Manjula Pooja Shroff, Chairperson, Kalorex – Moderator
– Bindu Rana, Director, Millenium schools
– Prachi Windlass, Director, Michael and Susan Dell foundation, INDIA
– Gopal Devanahalli, VP, Manipal Global Education, Manipal Group
– R. Sreenvasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate

cxsotorxeaanhw6-jpg-large

Each one planned to introduce oneself and ones work, in short….

My Pre-Event NOTES of CL Educate Intro…

Career Launcher is a leader in –
– Test Prep
– K-12 education – Indus world schools
– Skill education – skill schools

Also through the following entities, CL does capacity building of University and Corporate

– CL Media – Digital Presence
– GK Publications – Curricula and Pedagogy; Curriculum Support & Publishing
– 361 degree – On Demand  Learning
– Accendere – Research Incubator
– Bilakes – Business Incubation & Seed Funding
– Kestone – Corporate empowerment and building institutional Partnerships

Statistics in Numbers

CL – 265 locations, 1.5 million engaged, over 1.5 lakhs more than 50 hours
Accendere – Research incubation, Patenting, Journal publishing
CL Media – 163 institutions trust with us for branding, outreach and awareness building
Kestone – integrated marketing,events, customer activation, training, staffing; 100 corporates, 500 events – wipron nokia, microsoft, snapdeal, PayTM
G K P – 1.5 million books.. career and education
361 degree – largest in India – online enabling partner for University and corporates over 20K learners

Footprint – 20K schools and colleges; 1.5 lakh students > 18,200 hours on our web offerings per week

What CL does at UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTIONS

Academic Thought Leadership, International Presence, Institution Credibility

– Capacity building of universities and institutions, learning institutions
– Consulting Visioning Strategic Thinking
– Faculty, Academic development, Research and innovation
– Admissions: Outreach and Application – TAAF Services
– MARTECHING
– skill education
– Incubation and entrepreneurship
– Career Development Center – Employability, Higher studies facilitation

—CONTEXT——- current market scenario —–challenges for the nation

Only 18% graduates are employable in India
91% software professionals lack programming and algorithm skills while 60% lack domain skills
71% lack soft and cognitive skills while 73% lack English speaking and comprehension skills
57.96% have poor analytical and quantitative skills
For core jobs in mechanical, electronics/electrical and civil jobs, only a mere 7.49% are employable


The session was supposed to be on higher-education, but the panel felt that the continuum from school to university has similar challenges and reforms are needed across the segments. Also opportunities and investment needs do exist across. So the pre-session discussion covered the entire spectrum.

Pre-event notes of each of the panelists..

Issues I noted down ..

– Democratization of Learning and its access
– Contestability of markets, access to Universities
– Digital technologies and creating impact
– Mobility and the influence in learning; Global Mobility
– Integration with industry; Industry funding research
– Opportunities for entrepreneurs and Funding possibilities

– Life-long LEARNERS, COURAGE, HUMILITY : Key, How to instill?

Gopal Devanahalli wanted to talk about

– I would like to focus on higher education and continuing education for working professionals.
– Changing learning needs of working professionals – esp in certain industries like IT
– Online courses & types of courses that are relevant to the learners
– The effectiveness of the online delivery model and how to make it more effective.
– Regulatory issues

Prachi Jain Windlass  wanted to talk about the following –

– Opportunity areas in K12 education, college entrance and career readiness.
– Opportunities for collaboration and leveraging the ecosystem. Many of our portfolio companies: Avanti, Convegenius and OnlineTyari are taking this approach. understanding their core and leveraging the ecosystem for non core areas.
– Our experience in breaking down the silos in the govt education system, and the role that private sector players can play, risks involved.

Manjula Pooja Shroff of Kalorex wanted to focus upon
– Changing scenarios
– Integration of k-12 to Higher Ed
– Teaching Learning delivery process

Bindu Rana’s concerns included

– Challenges in running schools – to deliver the intended
– Regulations stifling the effectiveness
– Challenges in setting up rural schools – quality, price point, training, delivery

– Why cannot the government see education as any other industry? With challenges of access and quality existing all across..

  • Promote PPP models across
  • Engage and bring in private partners to collaborate in school and university systems
  • Use technology to improve training of teachers in enriching content, pedagogy and all processes
  • ….

Other Issues discussed across panels – My notes

Is the nation ready for only digital? Is that trend every where?
– hybrid model is the most successful one
– engaging is the key, mentoring, giving the confidence

Lessons from failures? Key to success
– Team with vision
– sustainable relationship within and with customer
– respect with disagreements in board room and among the team members

Skill education went through cycles.. now we are in the third..
A. IT education – 80s and 90s
B. Sales upgradation – 2000 onwards..
C. now vocational? Entrepreneurship
– quality of higher education is lacking
– rote to conceptual learning, how will we make it happen
– concept of job, loyalty shifting
– nature of learning will have to shift
– propensity to entrepreneurship
– learning to learn paradigm

How do we enable learners to face VUCA?

– VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
– learning, calling passion from within, help others raise their capabilities

Public education….how to revive?
– policy enablement

– Rote to Conceptual learning?
– edtech – retrain teachers, students,
– appraising teachers, reward them, being discipline,monitor

Home schooling
– becoming popular
– investment opportunities?
– work-life, work-home balancing

Key to succeed in Education space

Quality first, then scale
Be prepared for long haul, then scale
Then comes franchising

—————————————————– As a special invitee..

AKAMAI Presentation – Digital delivery platform, especially Video that will be 80% of the content on-line in the near future..

– formats : 5 min and 20 min content
– launch has to be fast, else you lose the client/subscriber

High quality
– no stalling/no buffering;
– always available, relevant,
– no data plan restrictions

Education on mobility? what are the trends, and what will be challenges of the future..

Instant user experience – FB provides
Consume as much as possible
Offline content goes online – you tube
Download during nights, local content play while travel
Challenges about space on device
Battery running out – delete the app

Here is the link to a set of photographs of the event uploaded by VCCircle on their FB page https://www.facebook.com/VCC-Events-1176152369113449/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1355409131187771

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