Archives for Sep,2016

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Take it on your EGO!

Every teacher was once a student. Every professional was once an amateur. Every champion was once a novice. And every winner was once a loser.

 

Loss, failure and rejection are all part and parcel of life. All inevitable. But staying down and bouncing back is not. Every successful personality knows that you fail a lot more times that you succeed. And during times of failure people take a decision. A very important unconscious decision of either staying down or getting back up and fighting. But some people take this decision to a whole new level… of not just overcoming the failure but completely turning things around for themselves:

 

Amitabh Bacchan, for example, a man who is loved for his voice was once rejected by an All India Radio Station because they did not like his voice. Today he holds a Trademarked Sound to his voice.

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Michael Jordan, who didn’t make it to his high school basketball team ended up becoming the greatest player of all time. Today he’s not only the greatest, but also a self made Billionaire.

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The Beatles, who were rejected by a recording studio because the studio believed their music was “not in time” ended up selling over a 100 million copies of their music. Today they’re considered the best band to have existed.

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All these people failed initially. Some of which might have been major setbacks or even breaking points for some people. But these guys all had something common that made them who they are in our minds today… EGO. Each one of them had a certain attitude to deal with what was flung at them. Without this attitude, none of these winners would’ve become winners in the first place, they would’ve stayed as losers. Their ego is what set them apart and helped them rise from the ashes and conquer the world.

 

Now call it arrogance or attitude… it is all at the end of the day linked to ego. And if these leaders hadn’t taken their losses, rejections or failures to their egos, we wouldn’t have even heard of their names.

 

So next time life throws something unexpected  at you, shove it all back with your ego. Because it’s one of the best boosts available. And remember… it is not a bad thing taking losses to your ego. It’s exactly what will set you apart from the rest.

 

Maanav Kapai – Adventure Coach

 

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Leadership – The Badass Way

Leadership is often associated with the protagonist in any story. These traits are developed by getting inspired by various ‘Heroes’ if I may call them. However, after thinking about this for a long time, something crossed my mind, “Is being a Leader only about being on ‘the good side?’ Is it always inspired by positive stuff? Can only ‘Heroes’ have the spark of leadership within one?”….Maybe not!

So it’s time we re-look at a few badass villains – who though were defeated, did have something that kept them going! Yes, that’s what I want to pick up from them; ‘Being Badass!’ Here’s a list of the villains that I learnt from:

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  1. Cruella de Vil – Dalmatians: She was indeed a mean witch and did a lot of bad stuff to the dogs there but on the flip side what I admire about her is her urge, her obsession and the rush she had to be the best one and get the best things in life. Her craving for Dalmatian fur coat, though weird, is interesting. I think this is one quality all leaders must have – the rush and the urge to get the best.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Megamind – Megamind: Apparently an intelligent alien super-villain, Megamind continuously kept being defeated by Metro Man, time and again, but not once did he give up! He comes up with idea after idea and determinant, he fought against Metro Man. Now that isn’t the actual point here. What I picked up from Megamind was actually over a conversation with my mentor about how important it is to have Flair! And hands down, one of the best villains to model for flair has to be Megamind. According to him, what separated a Super Villain from any other lay villain was…..Presentation! Have you developed your own flair? If not, give this a thought!

 

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  1. Mother Gothel – Tangled: An exceptional influencer is what I see in her. How easily she is able to influence her adopted daughter, Rapunzel, just by singing her the song “Mother knows best”. In my opinion, leaders must have this ability to understand and influence peoples’ thoughts and the situations around to get the best possible results.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Maleficent – Maleficent: Even after delivering a curse on Princess Aurora, she herself freed her from the curse, and at the end of the day, someone who Aurora thought was the ‘good guy’ turned out to be the actual ‘bad guy’ (King Stefan). In Leadership, there are always two sides to the coin; there’s always another point-of-view. Your perception of the truth cannot be the absolute. As a Leader, it is important to be aware of both or rather all the possibilities.

 

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  1. Felonius Gru – Despicable Me: Gru, the most loved Villain heads the entire troop of the Minions, to whom, he is God! Everything Gru did, right from adopting the girls, to stealing the moon and even battling out Vector; the Minions were by his side whenever he required so. As Leaders, one thing that stands out is the ability to ask for support whenever necessary. Gru never shied away from doing so and thus was able to gain tremendous support from his Team; and in doing so not only did he achieve a lot, but also had great fun!

 

 

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  1. Sher Khan – The Jungle Book: Despite being born with a crippled leg, Sher Khan has pride and regards himself as the rightful Lord of the Jungle. In my opinion, this pride and ego is required to a large extent to be successful! He would’ve never got so close to Mowgli if he wasn’t that proud. Having pride is often misunderstood as a negative quality. Pride isn’t negative, misuse of it is. Pride helps a great deal in shaping what you think about yourself.

 

 

 

  1. Hopper – A Bug’s Life: This guy is truly interesting. He plans ahead. He knew very well that the ants would easily out number all grasshoppers in the colony. He had already taken into consideration everything that could possibly go wrong. He planned ahead. This is what I admire about him. A leader must plan ahead. Have various ideas in mind and explore all possibilities. Every one of them might not work but that’s where your flexibility comes into force! Plan ahead but be flexible in the plans!

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These were just a few of the defining qualities of these villains that inspire me and the list just goes on to include Scar from the Lion King, Kaa from The Jungle Book and so on!

Leadership is about experimenting and that is best seen in these villains. Yes, those who try to be Badass! Pick on the one quality that they obsess about that makes them who they are. Makes them a leader that has others falling in line. That’s what got them at the top of the pack !

 

Learn it …the badass way!

Sagar R Gangwani

Ideation Coach

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The Importance of Visual Content in Business Today

A few days back my external hard drive containing important data relating to my scripts crashed. All I did was just see a video – ‘HOW TO RECOVER DATA FROM HARD DISK’ on YouTube and easily recovered my data from hard disk in no time!

That’s just a simple example of the power of visual content in our day to day life.

Even in the business marketing world, visual content plays a major role in the success of one’s business. No business today can be successful without involving visual content as their major marketing strategy.

So why should we align ourselves to visual content?

To answer, we need to know that there are 3 types of learners :

  • Visual learners – learn by seeing
  • Auditory learners – learn by hearing
  • A mix of styles

Research has shown that we remember visual images much easier and better than just words and hence, the largest portion of learners are Visual Learners.

So in this digital world, visual content is dominating over text in marketing one’s business or product.

What are the kinds of visual content used in marketing?

1.IMAGE

2.VIDEO

3.INFOGRAPHICS and Comics

4.COMBINATION of all above

Popular social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine play a great role in visual content marketing strategies. It can be seen that an image or video on these social media platforms get more attention (likes, comments, shares) than that of text.

Its easier to reach a large number of people with these simple social media tools, but to create an impact, the quality of the content always matters. So the business owner has to choose the right people /agency to visually market their content as it makes their fortunes or lose it.

 

Here are the few visual content statistics proving that its the boss of marketing in today’s world:

  • 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.

 

  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

 

  • 39% of marketers believe that more of their budget should be allocated to the acquisition or creation of compelling visual assets.

 

  • Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers.

 

  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.

 

  • Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion.

 

  • Syndacast predicts 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.

 

  • Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.

 

  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.

 

Seeing is believing. Get into visual content marketing to leverage maximum benefit out of it.

 

Santosh G

Creative Director

Avyakta Films

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How Beliefs Shape who we are

If there is one thing I’ve realised in my journey as a coach, it is that sometimes the best learning is found in the most unexpected place.

There is one particular topic that has been very intriguing to me from the past few months and it all started in the middle of a heated debate.  The debate was a result of a conversation with my mentor about how everything was going wrong with the world. While I kept talking about all the things that are horrible, my mentor kept talking about things that are going great. Determined to prove my point, I kept coming up with example after example of the awful things we witness on a daily basis. And that is when it happened – he stopped me right in the middle of the conversation and asked “There are two things you can believe in – Either that everything around you is awful and leading nowhere or that great things are happening or just about to happen – What do you want to believe in? because what you believe in is what you will receive.”

As ideal and utopian as it sounded to me at that point, I decided to give it a try. The next time I was in a conversation about how we as humans are destroying nature to the point of our own extinction (Yes, we have such conversations!) , I firmly held my ground and expressed that there would never be a point in time where we would completely destroy what’s around us. We’re a species with immeasurable intelligence and we’ll evolve to make things better for us. Today, my facebook timeline stands testimony to the number of articles and pieces of information I’ve come across after that day about how technology has evolved to create better environmental and living conditions!  I received what I believed in!

My faith in this theory was further confirmed by two real – life incidents I heard from Mr. Muniallappa, an army survival trainer who helps with our Adventure Leadership camps.  On one of Mr. Muniallappa’s expeditions, a trekker unfortunately was bitten by a completely harmless, non venomous snake. The  trekker was extremely petrified about the snake bite even though he was reassured multiple times that it was harmless. The trekker passed away in the next few hours.

The second story I heard from him was also about a trekker but on a different expedition. A man from Russia had come down to India to explore the adventure sports available here. On the trek, the man was bitten by a King Cobra which is an extremely venomous snake. The instructors knew full well that they had very little time to act. They gave him first aid and rushed him to the hospital.  The man not only made it to the hospital alive, he lives today, 6 months after the incident. Such is the power of belief!

The more you believe in the results that you want to see, the more likely are you to find those results. When you want to succeed, you need to take your focus away from stories of failure, politics and corruption and focus instead on how people faced challenges and succeeded. If you want to make a relationship work, stop dreading about things that can go wrong and think about experiences you want to go through together and grow. If you want to be rich, move your focus away from the dwindling bank account to the ways in which money is coming your way!

Like my story began, you have two choices – What do you choose to believe in? What you believe, you receive.

 

Shiksha K Sharma

Communication Strategist

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5 Life Lessons From Tom And Jerry!

One of the most iconic cartoon television series has got be Tom And Jerry, which has made not just my generation but my parents as well as my grandparents laugh until our stomachs have hurt.

We thoroughly enjoyed the antics of Tom And Jerry, which always left us in splits during our childhood days. It was almost a daily routine to watch the two characters run after each other for their lives but ironically at the same time were also best friends.The fight took us through a roller-coaster of a joy ride. However, amidst all the fun we might have missed out on important life lessons which the series taught us. Here are some more reasons for you to love the series even more:

  1. Size Doesn’t Matter : The first thing this show ever taught me was that size doesn’t matter. It is merely a number. Strength and power do not correlate with physical size but come from our minds. Jerry who is almost 10 times smaller would always come out on top irrespective of what Tom threw at him. How? Because he utilised his genius to come out with some really kick-ass comeback ideas. Despite being just a tiny mouse, Jerry would always take Tom to school.
  2. Attitude Is The Key : Tom made me realise that no matter how many times Jerry ‘hit a six to his googly’, Tom always had another trick up his sleeve, and another, and another, and an… You get my point. The fact that these googlies never worked is a different story all together, but the point is Tom never gave up. Because he had a superb never-say-no attitude which made him rise up ONE MORE TIME. He rose up more times than he fell. ATTITUDE is key!
  3. Look At The Bigger Picture : A lot of times Tom And Jerry had to keep their rivalry at bay to team up against a bigger opponent, which was the only way of emerging victorious. Sometimes, one can’t always choose the person he/she wants to work with. In such situations it’s vital to keep one’s emotions in check and know the overall outcome that needs to be achieved. Tom And Jerry fought only when they were alone but when they had to face a common enemy they clubbed together to become a strong team.
  4. Learn From Your Experiences : If you notice closely, Tom will never use the same technique twice to trap Jerry. He failed many times, but he only came to the conclusion that these tricks didn’t work and scrapped them. He never came back with the same trick twice. He did not allow it limit his thinking. As Thomas Edison said, “I came to know about 999 ways which won’t work.” Hence next time you make a mistake, learn from it and make sure you don’t repeat it, because the 2nd time will be out of choice, not chance.
  5. Enjoy! : The most important thing I learnt from the series is to enjoy every moment. No matter how bad the circumstances or how horrible the experiences, both Tom And Jerry were always content. All it took for them to be happy in life was a roof above their heads, food in their bellies and one true friend/nemesis! And oh yes…one last prank still to play !Here’s to one of the best cartoon series to have ever been created which not only made us all roll on the floor with laughter but gave us great learnings about life too!

Maanav R Kapai

Adventure Coach

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Learning through Experiences

Every experience is sure to teach you something or the other, you just have to be aware enough to pick that learning. It once so happened, I was riding back home later in the night, when the traffic generally doesn’t follow the signal rules; I on the other hand don’t like to do so. At a signal, I stopped when the red light flashed whereas a few other vehicles zoomed past me, some even closely missing accidents with passers-by. While all this was happening, someone on a super-bike came by and stopped at the same signal. Both of us just stared at the vehicles that didn’t show any respect for the rules. A few seconds later, the signal turned green and he zoomed away on his bike. On the same route, we happened to meet each other at the next signal, and it was the same situation, vehicles just didn’t seem to care about the rules. I went up to him and showed him the thumbs-up in appreciation of following rules, to which he responded saying, “As bikers, the experience teaches us a lot, including traffic discipline.”

Both of us then went our ways, and this left me in thought about how this experience of biking taught me a lot. This blog is dedicated to many such experiences that have imparted great learnings in me over the last few years that have helped me grow in various ways:

  1. Photography:

As an amateur photographer, one of my favorite things to do is play around with the lens, try different frames and focuses, understand different light settings and various modes in the camera. This experience of being able to capture anything and everything indeed is fun.

A lot of times, photos I click may not be perfect; in all honesty, those imperfect photos tend to become my favorite ones. Photography, as an experience has taught me how important imperfections are, because these imperfections are what you work on and make the photo look better. In experience, I have understood and accepted the fact that growth or development is available only when you are imperfect! Here, I ask, “Are you accessing your right to imperfection?”

        2. Learning to play the keyboard:

When it came to learning the instrument, I was self-taught. I didn’t have a teacher, I didn’t use a book or an application, but I just played around with the keys and notes on the instrument. What really made the experience of learning the Keyboard fun was the amount of freedom I had. It may have taken me longer than usual to learn it, but the time that I took to learn, helped me actually understand the instrument better. This really helped me break through the structures that were in place when it came to learning a lot of other things. I knew my instrument in and out and thus could jam up new tunes and I would know for a fact that those were perfect in terms of harmony and rhythm.

Many of us miss out on those small experiences that help us understand the importance of freedom and breaking out of those ‘traditional’ structures that are in place!

        3. Art & Craft:

Being very creative and artsy since my childhood, I never backed away from an opportunity to learn Arts and creative crafts. Right from Origami, decoration and clay modeling to playing with colors, painting and drawing, everything creative I did was out of sheer curiosity and passion. Arts & Crafts taught me what I could do if I set out with a specific goal in my head, with all the resources I had in my Art Box or kit! Nothing really went to waste, not even a small bit of paper or cloth, I used them in some way or another.

Generating Idea after Idea, I even took it to a level where for a small duration I sold a few of my pieces to make small money! Well, like the famous saying goes, if you’re good at something, never do it for free; I sure did make a quick buck out of it!

        4. Microlight Flying:

As someone who really likes adventure and the adrenalin rush that comes out of it, I really looked forward to activities and experiences where I could let loose and have a lot of fun. I looked at flying the microlight jet too, in the same way. As soon as I stepped into the flight, I was really excited about the experience. Out of excitement, I didn’t notice that my knee brushed against the throttle of the jet. Immediately, the Captain of the jet announced, “Sagar, unlike other adventures you’ve been to, that require movement and letting yourself loose, flying a plane requires an equal amount of discipline and focus on the minutest of things like the altitude, lift and throttle. Watch where you keep your fingers as anything you do may affect the flight and your experience.”

Little did I know that not all adventures were alike, what I took back in terms of learning from the flight was that some adventures really required greater focus and a sort of discipline along with it. Not many experiences really show you the importance of something, until you mess up and make a small mistake; in my opinion, it is worth taking a small risk sooner as these have smaller consequences and bigger learning!

        5. Learning a language:

Languages are indeed fun when taught to you by someone who is equally passionate about the language. My experience of learning French and Spanish was a great experience considering I got to learn them through interactions with native speakers. What was really a task was to actually walk up to a random stranger and make a small conversation with my limited vocabulary. The experience taught me the importance of networking and the importance of being able to strike a conversation with anyone. And the best part, they really didn’t mind if you made a mistake!

What helped me further was being aware of others’ conversations. How this helped me was in understanding their use of tonality, verbs, expressions and even the colloquial bit of the language! Not just this, but also in terms of understanding Cultures, and how languages have influenced people’s’ cultures. Because when it comes to connecting with people, one thing that helps apart from language is their culture!

That being shared, what I have learnt has had an immense impact on the way I understand and perceive things. Learning from these experiences has changed the way I look at things. No wonder they say experiences are the best way to learn. Give yourself such experiences and and don’t just experience, but learn out of them, you never know, they may take you a long way forward!

 

Sagar R Gangwani

Ideation Coach

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