Posts Tagged With: Opinion

What culture are we talking about??

The use of the word ‘culture’ to sustain social standards really amazes me, because culture is what’s happening in the now.

What happened 500 years ago is culturally different from what happened 5000 years ago and you can’t really pin any of it as a benchmark.

What culture are we choosing to enforce? Only fair then that all men discard western clothing and work in fields for cultural preservation.

Why should only women practice culture in their clothing and profession? We should all race backwards to the medieval age to follow culture.

By this argument, Indian men have destroyed culture more than anyone, by wearing trousers, shirts and doing 21st century jobs.

So even if you factor conservative thinking, it is the Indian man who led us all into a “ruined” western module of life, women only adapted.

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

I didn’t hear ya…

For New Year, WordPress presented us with the annual report of our blog. As much as I was happy to see the fireworks I created in year 2013, I was intrigued with the fact that number of likes on my posts is not even remotely proportional to the comments I received. While the Likes increased, the comments decreased to the extent of being extinct.

How should I interpret that? You read it. But you didn’t say what it was exactly that you read. Or if you liked it. Or hated it. Or if it made sense. Or if you connected with it at all. Probably you just nodded and ran away, thinking that whatever it was that you read was ridiculous and/or boring.

WordPress Stats feature allows us to see how many people read our posts (Visits v/s Views), but we can’t tell who, unless there are Likes or Comments. It caused me to pause and seriously think about why I do or don’t post comments. I truly enjoy skimming various blogs each day and gleaning bits of info and perspective. Dawns on me that it is a disservice to follow a blog and never let the author know that I enjoy their posts except simply Liking it to let them know I stopped by and partaken of their offering.comment-vs-like

I do realize that it just isn’t everyone’s “thing” to comment on blog posts. Yes, I am guilty of this too. If it’s well-written, well-expressed, thought-provoking, that’s reason enough for me to show appreciation even without a comment. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything of value to say or am unable to break out of reader mode. Sometimes when I have all the intention of commenting, someone’s already posted a similar comment I intended to make. I just don’t want to repeat an idea that’s been presented…other than the occasional “I agree”. I have given thumbs-ups and likes to several really tricky blog topics over the years even if I didn’t necessarily agree with the subject itself as they spoke of other side of the coin. I do enjoy commenting as much as I enjoy reading comments of posts which I enjoyed reading and sometimes, I skim it through, if they are pretty long and straight to the comments for a summary. Guilty as charged!!!

Please-CommentWe invest so much time and effort in sharing our views to a virtual world and are often left wondering if we are really connecting. We don’t realize the value of engaging in this “online conversation” as it were. This is Internet. Its mean for open exchange of information and ideas.

Sure, there are the naysayers, and those whose only pleasure in life is to harass others just for the sake of harassment. They derail conversations with raving accusations of bias, attacking other people for not knowing as much as they do, criticizing the content for not being good enough, overly critical, offensive and sometimes very personal but for the most part they disappear into the background of the good stuff. It’s getting to the stage where people may become afraid of expressing a personal opinion just in case they upset others or are branded a troll. There are polite ways for someone to comment or voicing his/her bit of view on anything published. Comments are equally beneficial and equally destructive. Of course it’s very hard not to take some of it personally. But, lets respect the fact that it’s an opinion after all.

Comments give a different perspective to the post, shows another side of the coin because of the diverse audience from all around the world. I have stumbled across other interesting blogs because of either the comments left by another blogger, or by me “bumping” into a commenter on one blog after another. The same way I occasionally trek through my friends Facebook posts or pictures just because I saw one post and then I just keep on looking.

I am just hard-pressed to think it could be just plain laziness at my end. I would try to shrug this laziness and will be better at letting others know that I read. It goes back to one of my favorite sayings: “What goes around comes around!”

So much for free speech. If you don’t have time to comment, just click the Like button down there and to the left. I just want know you were here sometimes. LOL!

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Smile & Nod; Shut up & Listen!!

Word of caution to my male friends before you start reading further: “I need you to be a girlfriend right now” 🙂

Everyone has their own way of dealing with problems in their daily life. Personally, I find it much more beneficial to attack the problem together by listening, asking questions, not assuming, and made the decision based on the information we have at hand.  I like to talk things out as a means to get my brain churning for a solution/ideas. If if it doesn’t work…while it may be frustrating we have to accept that we did the best we can so let’s regroup and try again.  After all, neither of us knows everything…otherwise we wouldn’t be referred to as “humans”.

The problem is most likely rooted more in HOW the advice is given, not that it’s actually offered or not. People don’t necessarily want to be told what to do – it’s a common human trait to question obvious commands, however, when related in the context of an applicable anecdote the person in distress can still feel as if they are extrapolating information from the story to apply to their own life (thus feeling more in control of the own personal choices).

We, women, sometimes just want to vent. Maybe getting the problem of our chest and confiding in someone we trust is more important than imagesCA3M9XXOtrying to find a solution. I think one of the hardest thing for people to understand is that it’s essentially an emotion vs logic conflict issue. The ‘logical’ party can’t understand why, even with the problem fixed (or unfixable) or the solution within reach, that the other party is feeling ’emotional’. Emotional party should be able to exchange advice, ideas, and overall conversation freely without feeling offended, but then again, the logical party should also know each other well enough to understand HOW each person best receives said advisement.

I think it’s always important to emphasize that some emotions cannot be “logic-ked” away (at least not instantly) and simply cannot be helped at times probably because of the voice in our head which might be saying “I know this is the answer, I just don’t look forward to doing it,” or “What you are saying makes sense, but I still feel upset by the situation even occurring”.

But sometimes people have no real understanding of what your situation is and yet feel compelled to burden you with guidance that is irrelevant, unhelpful, and sometimes insulting (Don’t you think I thought of that?). First make sure whether the emotional party is asking (or not asking) for it. Do I really want us to solve the problem together (which means, yes, I will have to listen and be willing to ask questions), do I want to always be the “problem solver”, or would I rather get someone else to solve the problem so I don’t have to be responsible if it doesn’t work…the other person is? And what about the solution…is our expectation that it has to be perfect or am I willing to accept that mistakes can be made and what is more important is to learn from it and try again.

At time, it is a challenge to be a good listener. I’ve had friends (more often than not, women) who go on and on about the same stuff with seemingly little insight and no growth.  In some cases, I’ve ended friendships because it was too draining.  But good friends owe each other the duty of attention.  Most people have continuing life issues that will never be completely resolved.

Therefore, rants are just expressions of frustration about whatever, you just want to be understood. Being offered advice is an implication that what you’re doing or did is wrong and… to be broadly told you’re wrong when all you’re trying to do is be understood, and you’re already clearly imagesfrustrated, can be more frustrating than the original problem.

We, women, have a brain (I think everyone have had this revelation) and just need someone to bounce thoughts off. Men do it as well but theycall it “Brainstorming”. When woman want to talk – Listen! (Don’t talk, except to ask for clarification) When they ask a question, answer it. It’s not rocket science guys.

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Life As-Is

At night, I run through my day in my mind – my interactions with my colleagues, missed deadlines,  etc. Often I have realized that my happy and sad moments are reflective of what happened at work. But what about other moments which affect my life outside of that space??

To be honest, not every day is sunshine and roses, but would we trade some on the happiest days of our life for not having to experience some of the saddest? do you think it would be as much fun?

Hmm…I do not think there would be any hands up!

Yes, there have been times when I thought that the not-so-happy moments should be wiped off or if I can wake up to believe that it never happened. But as the time passes me by, I realize that I have grown to be wiser and a stronger person, and have learnt what I should not have done.

Life is full of happy and sad moments, smiling and moody faces, rights and wrongs, loves and hates. But what a wonderful LIFE it is!!

Remember: Life is a game in which we are juggling some five balls in the air: Work – Family – Health – Friends – Character, and we are keeping all of these in the air. We soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If we drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and character are made of glass. If we drop one of these, they will be irrevocably marked, damaged or even shattered for life. Sadly, we realize that just when we are old…and sometimes it is too late.

Ups and Downs

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brain Pickers!!

Being someone who is pumped for ideas and answers, talking and advising people gives me an adrenaline rush! I am flattered when someone wants to pick my brains – and even more so when they implement the ideas we have shared. All of our brains are a gift; and if we decide that they’re not available for picking, we do so at our own risk of social isolation, let alone loss of compassion for someone whose life we may change for the better if we just stop thinking about ourselves for a few minutes and instead invest that time in another human being.

But I hate the “brain pickers” who want to get as much as free advice as they can to solve their problem without having to do the math themselves i.e. the actual work. Worse still, to use the discussion session to vet what they have already read or heard many times before they make a decision. Typical brain pickers are not looking for a friendly guidance or advice. They are looking for the other person to solve their problem. But hey, you need to pay a fee for that!! BP1

We are a part of Social Media all around us. We post, follow, comment, reply, like something, etc. but the social media interaction is mostly binary in nature than analog. I wonder if we can add real meaning to the social media based relationships. The world and individuals are looking for faster ways of communications far more than the better ways. I personally enjoy a quick and meaningful chat much more than a series of fragmented communications through Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

We all have many acquaintances who have knowledge we can apply to our work or life. One needs to be sufficiently able to differentiate between seeking advice and solving problems. Granted everyone doesn’t know how to approach others but when you do get lucky, be prepared with your research so that they can actually guide you instead of solve your problem. Respecting the person’s time and talents are key fundamentals not to be overlooked. True leaders like to give back and do so willingly. You have to know how and where to draw the line. I am not sure why but the internet and social media seems to have made people think basic manners are no longer necessary.

Plus, a little courtesy goes a long way. All too often the “may I pick your brains” question is stated not as a question but as a statement of expectation, as in “I want to pick your brains and I can’t imagine any reason that you wouldn’t give me all the time that I want to do that.” Even in our deeply impersonal age, that feels just a bit self-serving and arrogant. If you want to impose on a busy person’s time, don’t make cold calls and do make it worth their while. Offer them something in return. That something doesn’t have to be (probably shouldn’t be) money. It should be something even more valuable, an opportunity for them to learn too.

P.S.- Remember, courtesy is cultural. Some people are more direct than others – in their culture, that doesn’t mean that they are rude. Now, if in a planet of this size we expect everybody to know what our own personal rules of courtesy are before they approach us, we’re asking for a little bit too much.

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Fit to the Search!!

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My initial reaction upon seeing this picture was just like yours – I laughed (LOL!!), but then my brain, super-active that it is, started to ponder if anyone can go to any extend to search for a right job. Or should I simply say, a job?

Do Companies not want to hire? Well, why would they? Profits are at the highest, employee body is at its lowest. Sometimes I feel that the only reason we are even being interviewed is to show the few remaining employees, the company is trying to fill open ‘invisible’ positions.

The traditional trend of Cover letters is also diminishing as they are rarely read. When it comes to cover letters, there are three types of hiring managers: 1) don’t read it 2) reads before résumé 3) reads after résumé. A cover letter can show additional facts that are not in the résumé, as it is customized to the position one is applying for. But more importantly, it demonstrates the person’s communication skills.

The internet has changed the landscape. Most resumes do not get through the glance of a hiring managers. They go in a dark hole – a computer algorithm – a match-maker between employers and potential employees, which pre-scans your resume for key words to match their needs, very specific terms, qualifications and experience. Now, the search terms are only as good as the hiring manager or HR who selected the terms to search for in the first place. Of all the resumes received, perhaps only 10% actually get a second glance. One would be lucky if their resume gets through 10% but there might be few good candidates in the remaining 90% that didn’t get through the search system. Thus the computer algorithm said not a single one of those even qualified for the job.

90% are include a high number of those candidates who might have simply applied to try their luck despite not fulfilling the requirements criteria as well. They are playing the numbers game by applying to anything and everything where they “MAY” have some experience in. That minimizes the chances of being seen by recruiters from tracking someone who is targeting a specific field/role.

However, like it or not social media is a reality and if a recruiter is interested in hiring you there is a strong chance that you name will be searched on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Past couple of times, I happen to notice that my LinkedIn profile was visited before an interview by, guess who, my interviewer. I would rather give reasons to hire me rather than reasons to dismiss me!!

Unfortunately, job hunting is a dehumanizing, discouraging and most disingenuous fact of our times. Integrity in the work world has been kicked to the curb in the name of greed.

Staying positive and not letting self-debilitating thoughts take over is a struggle (but achievable!!) when there is little opportunity for an interview. All I say is – Know your worth, say positive things everyday and LAUGH.

Finding a job is a job in itself..And a damn hard one at that!

Categories: Work/ Career | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE Bell Curve

What is bell curve? It is the ultimate tool of comparing employees, used by the companies itself. So comparison is here to stay. Now the question is, how to make this inevitable game, beneficial for us ? Always compare yourself with best of the best, try to improve yourself continuously, once you have surpassed them, move your bar little higher and so on. Meanwhile, be aware of your innate strengths and weaknesses, and work accordingly. Never try to play with your innate nature. Fish should never try to fly.

I wish to only compete against my self. Comparing myself to others can be toxic. Heck, I still did it and it was a miserable situation to be in. While the management was comparing me to other employees, which made me feel increasing amounts of pressure to try to beat the other employee in performance. The reality was, that the other employees had significant advantages over me (due to their skillset), and I came into the game with significant disadvantages (expertise in a different space) thus a misfit. Although I didn’t see anything beneficial from it and worth the frustration and aggravation, but I still blamed myself.

However, I try to learn from both “upward” and “downward” comparisons, but it is important to be smart while comparing oneself, either “upward” or “downward” and try not to judge myself or others. Past achievements are my benchmarks. My progression towards my goals should gauge my results. I should not compare myself with my colleagues because as their motivation fluctuates, so would my standard of comparison. My own objectives and drive should determine my work success.

But, I am very guilty of this myself.  The anxiety that is caused by constantly comparing yourself to others and their successes, ironically never seems to be lessened when you see them fail. I have been on both ends and it actually got to the point where people’s integrity was taken into consideration. No one’s path is your own and it is hard to judge this totally by numbers.

We tend to always assume that “the grass is always greener on the other side”….or the glass is “half empty.” It’s how we see ourselves and others, our perception that creates the “reality” we live in. We are the benchmarks for ourselves and our future. But low adjustment ability to change, social convergeance behaviors  and need for recognition and prizes taught for years in the schools and traditional families, create obvious mind traps and compromise our resilience.

When in a position of evaluating your team members, it must be done very discreetly and should I mention objectivity?

And so often, it’s an inaccurate picture. It’s so helpful to open up to feedback from the others in order to get a broader view. Personally, I strive for excellence…trying to avoid the often unachievable “perfection,” and that’s my personal  benchmark.

Comparison is a tool which must be used with caution. Not too much not too little!!

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Glasses of Gender

Couple of my married girlfriends have been told during their hiring process of their job interview that as woman they might probably need time for maternity leave or if they have children, they might need time to take care of their emotional needs and others. More to the point, in a very different conversation, the same employer told them that women are more committed and more dedicated to their jobs. Argghh!! What is the discussion point, you might wonder…

Having a family *does* put a huge damper on a woman’s ability to progress in her career and it has a direct impact on everything from salary to responsibilities. Few of my married girlfriends/colleagues, I am afraid, have accepted less salary just to get the opportunity. They didn’t feel like they had to do that, but at that point they just wanted to so be back in the game without feeling that they have completely sacrificed their career. Make sense…!!

There is an underlying assumption that men work to support their families and in contrast, women, especially married women, are often viewed as working for the sake of working or for “extra” money. The idea that a woman is not financially independent and simply working for “extra” money is ludicrous. Looking into history, tribal women who were the primary providers. The way people live their lives hasn’t changed that much, but it is time for “the powers that be” to adapt and start treating people as individuals, rather than representations of their gender. On contrary, a break in career on a woman’s resume for wanting some time away for her kids is accepted without speculation, while for a man this seems difficult to explain on his resume.

Glasses of Equality1

Before we can change the mindset of society, we have to change our mindset first as we form the society. Women, in most cases consider themselves secondary income earners. To some degree women, even as entrepreneurs, don’t focus on growing revenue if they have a partner that makes the largest income. Let’s face it we will always be the primary care takers, as long as that is the case. However, we must realize it’s OUR Glasses of Equalitychoice and not the man’s fault.

Not all women put salary or climbing the corporate/business ladder as a top priority. For most women it’s ‘family first’ so they are prepared to trade-off the top jobs and salaries for their family (I might do so too). However, in heart, most of us want job flexibility with reduced hours and to get that, we might have to take the status and financial hit! Frankly speaking, women choose to prioritize life outside of work ahead of career frequently whereas men prioritize career ahead of personal life. Do both have trade-offs? Absolutely and sometimes that equates to less pay, career setbacks or missing growing years of their child. Many of my friends were sad when they heard from day-care that their child took their first-step while they were struggling to work their ass off at work. Not worth it, is what your heart tells you until your mind over-powers you reminding you of your mortgage.

It will be great if we remove the invisible “glasses of gender” from our eyes. Equality has to be accepted for both genders to see the changes we keep saying we want in society. The balance of family and work needs to be negotiated with your life partner and your compensation with your employer.

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Infidelity…!!!

I never saw the signs, at least if I did, I denied they were there. I just thought they were friends. After I found out and confronted him, he confirmed what I heard.

Husband of one of my close friend cheated her with another woman. Everyone “thought” they knew…but she did not, although they were having trouble. For her spouse, deep regret, shame, remorse, and humiliation set in. For her, anger, grief, disbelief, and a ‘avalanche of losses’, including the sweet memories of their marriage ceremony…gone.

While not a bad marriage, I wouldn’t call their marriage good either. It certainly isn’t what I want in a marriage. Some where along the way, they stopped really communicating and meeting each other’s emotional needs…though she never stopped loving my husband, and hasn’t still. “Did I nag too much? Did I do something wrong?” are the constant topics which she speculates often to gauge the reason behind the mistake which her husband made. She lingers on all the reasons he might have had an affair – the circumstances that created it, what’s missing inside her and in their relationship, etc.

Being an independent female, I wonder what makes her stay in a relationship and still wishing to be together until the end. Yes, she does BUT because they have a child together. Is that a big enough reason to make yourself suffer and re-living the moments of betrayal each day. No matter what the betrayal, it can gradually erode the relationship. She confesses that it’s not the betrayal by itself that caused most of the damage. It’s the poor way he handled the aftermath. My friend believes in handling betrayal is more important than the betrayal itself.

She is drowning in grief, engulfed in a sadness and emptiness I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. He has no regrets for his actions, but plenty of regrets to the reactions of being found out.Infidelity

It is believed that 70% of all marriages are touched by infidelity. Therapists have rated it one of the most common and devastating problems faced by their patients. They believes that sometimes, it takes this kind of life-changing event for couples to determine the real value of their marriage. It often becomes a catalyst for important and permanent changes – both in the relationship and for every person involved.

I understand that betrayals happen only after a spouse has been trying and trying to reach the other spouse who is unable or unwilling to be empathetic or nurturing. I am a big advocate of trying to fix relationships. But Infidelity of any sorts is out of question for me. Restoring trust in relationships after betrayal takes serious work- honesty, transparency and building a new foundation.

Seeing my friend struggling to keep her marriage alive and pretending to be happy so that her son respects his father as an ideal one, she gives me hope that there is a marital future after an infidelity. I don’t know how to deal with trust issues in a relationship, let alone find the courage to begin the process of forgiveness. Because for me that would be an exit from a relationship. Nothing can chart a new path — the path of trust.

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Categories: Muddled Thoughts, Relationship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tall, Dark and Handsome? Nah…

I more or less had a list of traits I NEEDED in a man (things I was not willing to compromise on). More often than not, it is a painful process to realize the man you think is right is so fundamentally wrong for you – one can identify with that struggle, right? And few of my married girlfriends – they make excuses to stay in a bad relationship.

From a tall, dark and handsome in my teenage years to now wanting someone faithful and honest. Click here to read a blog post to know that not all tall, dark and handsome are the right ones neither are they the wrong ones. We just want someone to understand what we enjoy, and let us be.

Imperfectly_Perfect

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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