Read the poems at your leisure

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Miles to Go

The path you have chosen is rough and steep
You will have to travel through fire and sleet
But don't be afraid to take one long leap
Because the chasm can't be crossed in 2 small leaps

There is miles to go before you sleep.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

3 Pieces of Cake

This was the speech I gave for my 3rd Project in ToastMasters procceding towards my CC Certificate.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become your words,
Watch your words, for they become your actions,
Watch your actions, for they become your habits,
Watch your habits, for they become your character,
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Once upon a time(this is not a fairy tale []), my sister was baking some sponge cake. Everyone in my family loves the sponge cakes she makes. Sometimes she covers them with chocolate and something she makes a double layer, with a layer of strawberry jam inbetween. Yummy.

So one day I “thought”[hand gestures], let me try my hand at baking as well. Hearing this,my sister laughed and said “You, and bake? You’re only good at eating them, not baking them.”(Actually she was right) but I “said”...” yeahhaaa, I can do it.Whats the big deal in baking a cake”, and then gave some feeble argument about how the best chefs in the word are all guys.

Deciding to prove her wrong, I walked away in a huff, pulled off the apron, shooed everyone out of the kitchen , pulled out the baking recipes manual, selected what looked like me to be the most easiest cake to make and started making it.

I did not know the B about baking and yet there I was baking a Christmas fruit cake.After a lot of chopping and peeling and kneeding and cooking and measuring and .. sweating, I pulled out a cake from the oven. Surprisingly(for my sister and family), and proudly for me, it turned out to be AWESOME. Fullstop. Success.Mission accomplished.

Fellow toastmasters, many of us like eating the cake, not baking it. We would prefer to go to Sangeetha and have the same coffee, which we could have made at home. But I think we like paying 20 bucks for a Kuppa.

Many of us lack the most essential part of making anything a success.


Your actions speak louder than your words.

Had I just told my sister, “I can bake.”, she would have looked at me and said “If you say so”.But when I actually baked the cake, she had no choice but to believe me. And you know what, till date, every christmas time, I bake the same cake, and everytime it turns out to be better. It has become a “Habit”.

It was all possible because of one thing. Execution.

An idea written on paper, is worth less that the cost of the paper itself. An idea put into execution is what will get your name in the papers.

The act of executing a task successfully can be compared to the act of baking the cake.

Let me tell you the 3 P’s which will help you in effectively executing anything you may wish to achieve. They are:

1)Plan-Collect the ingredients
2)Prioritize-Arrage them in an order.
3)Perform-Chop, peal, smash, bake and sweat.

First of all, you have to sit down, calm your mind, organise your thoughts and put down on paper the list of things that needs to be done in order to achieve the goals. This is the first and the most important step of all, because if you don’t plan well, you’re planning to fail. The nitty gritty details of each and every item on the to-do list needs to be taken into account. Leave nothing to chance.

Think of this phase as collecting all the ingredients together. Even if one is missing, ur cake cannot be baked. Think of this phase as measuring the right amount of baking soda , otherwise your cake will either have a hole in the middle or it would be over-puffed.

It has been scientifically proven that the things we write down, we will remember even when we don’t have the list in front of us. It also acts as a record of the things we had planned to do, and which we actually did. This would help later when you reflect on what you did right and what you did wrong and help you improve your rate of success.

The second P: Prioritize. You have 1 min and 10 things to do.You have 7 minutes and lots of things to say.... you need to prioritize. Take a look at the list and try to arrange them in an order. It may be logical, chronological ,legal, causal et cetera. This will help you to focus your thoughts on the things that need to be done first, things that would be affected by these actions and things that need to be done later.

Compare this to the act of arranging the ingredients. Do you need the baking tin now or later? Should you bring out the cream from the fridge now? Should you bake the cake first or eat it first?[]. Arrange them in a way that the order and ease of access is present.

The third and final P: Perform. Execute your planned and prioritized activity. Perform the goals that were planned for the day and time. This is difficult, but with the right amount of planning and prioritizing it is ... well...”a piece of cake”[].

Compare this to the act of actually mixing all the ingredients and baking the cake. Pull the cake out of the oven.Completed.Perfect.A Masterpiece

Everyone will admire the works of michaelangelo and da vinci. But imagine, had they not been successful in the execution of their masterpieces we would not have the Sistine chapel or an “enigmatic smile”.

Cultivate the “Habit” of executing the tasks. It will slowly be ingrained in you. It will become your “Character”. And with this great feather in your hat of character, “Destiny” awaits you with open arms.

I urge everyone of you who is interested in inculcating the habit of execution to read the book called “Execution:The art of getting things done.Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.”

As for those who like a bit more of an adventure, I urge you to read
“Baking without eggs.”

Thank you.