Saturday Oct 06, 2007

Do re-invent the wheel ... when appropriate !

The oft repeated cliche exhorts us to not re-invent the wheel. While there exist valid reasons to not re-invent the wheel, there are situations when it might be a good idea to do just the opposite. If everyone literally abided by the diktat to not re-invent the wheel, would we today have the myriad types of wheels we encounter and use in our everyday lives ... think of how the wheels we know of today have evolved, aided by scores of re-inventions of the wheel so to speak; from stone, wood, iron, steel to John Dunlop's pneumatic tyre and further enhanced versions such as radials, tubeless, etc. 


Re-inventions can also be helpful in aiding learners to better learn their subjects in-depth, especially when there is the time & inclination to do their own explorations. Of course, as is evident ... no rule is an exception to the rule which states that There's an Exception to every Rule. 


There's little thats truly sacrosanct and unchangeable or would not benefit from a touch of re-invention. In most circumstances, a process of continuous improvement like Kaizen & a relentless pursuit of perfection, could be more beneficial than acceptance of the status-quo. At this juncture, i am reminded of one of my favorite quotes, this one by Jack Kerouac ... 


"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. "


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Sunday Sep 30, 2007

To change things ...

... change the way you look at them.



"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."


Sometimes, "paradigm shifts" in the way we think and approach things, circumstances and people, is the need of the hour especially when we desperately seek after change. Oftentimes, we labor hard and long trying to change the outside world & other people, trying to get "them" to conform to our views and ways. In many instances the results of our endeavors are not spectacular either. What else do we need to do to get the "other party" to change ... why does it seem so hard to "change others" ? How about trying to change someone over whom we just might have some extra bit of control ?

"If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth", said Anthony De Mello whose words seem apt in this context. Albert Einstein brings more clarity by saying, "The world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." Rightly so, each of us perceives and sees the world through our own lens and filters mapped to our "model" of the world we've created and refine as a product of our life experiences and information acquired over a lifetime.

Re-affirming the need for personal change, Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world". It is sometimes more effective to "Lead by example" ... and a point that is worth remembering - Your life is the canvas you have at your disposal.


Are you creating your own masterpiece or are you busy trying to change another's picture ? At the end of the day, how many of us can echo the words of Suzuki who said, "I am an artist at living — my work of art is my life".


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John Morrison

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