June 2009


“Oh… It takes money to make money!” I have heard this over and over from many!  Broke people always have a way to justify why they are broke and they do a good job of it here too and justify why they are broke.

The unfortunate story is, most people in today’s world are either money broke or time broke and sometime broke at both aspects! Since this post is only related to money broke attitude, I will take my focus off from the people who are so called “Busy”. We will catch up on this topic may be next time…

The first principle to be understood here is, nobody was born with money.  So, where did the rich people get the money in the first place to create more money for them? Has anyone heard anywhere something that said, “Healthy child born, 7 pound 5 ounce and handful of Hundreds!” ?? Has anyone witnessed it? It never happened so far at least !!

But, many “Professionals” do believe in this major misconception and they work in their offices for days and nights, save money in many ways and then use that saved money to invest in anticipation to make money and become rich. Some invest in stock markets and end up loosing the saving itself and some others invest in real estate and hope to get rich one day.. well… some make some money out of it too!

But those who made it, made because they got the thought process that is required for making money.  Not because they had money !

Sure, making money is not very easy, but it really doesn’t take money to make it.  Rather, it does take an idea, it does take a desire to succeed and on top of all, it does takes consistent and persistent attitude to work on it step by step. As the Chinese saying “The journey of thousand miles starts with a single step”, one must take baby steps to explore the possibilities with a dream to achieve something in life.

It requires vision to succeed in anything or achieve anything in life, let alone the money.

Charles “Tremendous” Jones said in his famous quote, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read”

So, I truly believe, if we want to have success, we must disassociate with negative and discouraging environment and put our time and energy in a positive environment. Associating in a positive environment with positive people does take effort, but it’s worth the effort !

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Henry Ford said once “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t… you are right!”

Well,  he didn’t say it just like that. He wouldn’t say something he didn’t mean ! People who believe they can, they really do achieve their goals and dreams. So do the people who believe they can’t and the successfully accomplish nothing!

Many people claim to be happy and satisfied with their rut jobs. But they don’t realize who they compare themselves with… usually with those who are broke and busted financially. Most professionals are either time broke or money broke in today’s world.

Most people don’t even realize what they are training their own future generation. The moment a thought about future of their own children comes in mind, they know deep inside what is wrong… but they choose to ignore in most cases because of the same “Fear of Failure” and most people do not want to get out of their comfort zone and take action to do something about it. What a tragedy!

Now the question comes, is an average life okay ? What’s wrong with being average ?

Well, nothing wrong in being average… but average people don’t live the kind of life they want.. And nor they can make much of a different to this world.

I read in a book that said “Somewhere near you is the greatest source of natural resources the world has ever known. It doesn’t matter where you live, this place is just few minutes from you – your local cemetery. It holds ideas that will never be shared, inventions that will never improve the quality of life, art that will never be viewed, music that will never be heard. It holds the future generations that will never be born”
Cemeteries are filled mostly with people who just wanted to fit in. They went with the flow, and faded into obscurity without contributing much. You can almost hear them saying “What difference could I have made? I’m only one person.”

Now I am thinking, how many of us lead lives of desperation… how many of us purposefully agree and plan to fail in life just because we don’t ever have a dream to succeed??

Is there any way out?

Absolutely there is ! If anybody is willing to learn, is willing to make changes, is willing to put efforts for it, success if absolutely inevitable. People who decide to succeed are ordinary people with extraordinary dreams and a willingness to work hard to achieve their dreams. Success is no more a secret, these success principles are well documented, but unfortunately average people choose not to follow these!

After writing about “Why we do what we do” post, I decided to write some thoughts again on similar topic little differently and make the article on little bit more interesting continuing from the last one…

I got this idea recently and liked it so much that decided to publish on my Blog. This idea is about how a typical employee lifecycle looks like in corporate world. Let’s see how the life of typical engineers looks like in a corporate when compared to circus.

The life of any typical engineer goes through three major phases:

In first phase of the career around their 20s to 40s approximately, it’s just like the chimpanzees in the circus. Chimpanzees do all sorts of jumping up and down, doing different things, doing a lot of activities only for a Banana or two. Similar is the life of an engineer in the early days of their careers, full of energy doing everything possible to please their employer, but settles for very little with hope to make it BIG one day…

In second phase of the career, approximately between the ages of 40s to late 50s, little progress is made. Little promotions, little salary increases (of course these come with extra work load on daily basis. Nothing is free in life), now the engineer is like Project Manager, Supervisor or so… Gained little status as compared to juniors, gained little weight, feels settled too. Now, let’s look at the Lions/Tigers of the circus… Well, Tigers in circus get little bit better treatment than the chimpanzees because they pull more crowd the chimpanzees. Thus, instead of Banana, they get to eat meat now!!! They get to roar a little bit too!! They have little bit status than the chimpanzees. Great!!! But at the end, they are in the cage too they do realize! Similar is the life of a typical Project Manager at their personal level.

In the last phase of corporate career, the same engineer having gone through previous two phases, now looks like the old big elephant that comes in circus at the end. Tired… exhausted… can’t move much…. not too much to do… just is kept to wrap up the show… may be asked to show a trick of two at the end.. and that’s all

How funny is it? Hmm… but so true it is. A typical employee who feels settled in their life after getting their first job is eventually headed towards this very cycle… how many of people we know are in this trap? How many of us have ever thought of coming out of this rat race ?

We all have the capabilities to break the system and get something bigger in life… but the question always is, are we willing to do what it takes! That is the key.

“Why do we do what we do?”

I asked this to myself many times when I saw myself and many other professionals around having this unhappy feeling around life and our respective jobs, our supervisors, our managers and our companies.

Coming from IT background, I had many friends from the same field. I asked this question to some of my colleagues and contemporaries and got different answers at different times. However, one type of answer that caught my attention and made me explore more was “Because, I love what I do”, or “I love my job” or “I love software development or the technology”, etc. Yet all of them felt unsecured, all of them had this uncertainty about their careers, all these people were worried about their technology and their companies…

I spent time, read several books to explore why we do what we do. One thing I realized was my job was a temporary solution to all the permanent financial problems of life which in turn injected other emotional and relationship problems as it’s side effects. and many of us settle for that hoping that life will be just fine hopefully! I decided not to settle for a job alone and started exploring more about better ways of leading life and why we do what we do.

While I continue to explore the life, I thought of putting this questions to all of the readers of my Blog as my first post:

  1. What if your company decides to cut 10% of their work force and you are one among those who are being let go ? Would you still go to the management and say, “ I just love my job. If you don’t have a problem, I will keep coming and keep working for free. It’s okay if you don’t pay me” Would your love for your company and your job remain unaffected?
  1. What happens when your technology becomes outdated like it does for many people every now and then? Would you still say, “Oh I love this technology, I will stick to it. Doesn’t matter whether or not somebody pays me for it” Would you say that? Would you, really?

In my exploration and association with successful people who have made things happen for them and their families, I found that we give these excuses to satisfy our ego and remain in our comfort zone and blame others for our own miseries when opportunity comes.

Many of us probably do what we do because we don’t think we have a choice. Many of us do think that we are constrained by certain outside forces to do what we do. But the matter of the fact is, we are constrained by our own attitude. Our fear of failure stops us from exploring for more…