A Warrior’s search for Synchronicity

personal blog of Jan Joshi

Results of your choices

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Every single day of your life is a result of the curation that you did in the past,the choices you made, actively taking a life its own, creating a world for you to inhabit
Jerry Maguire, the movie, discusses what truly connects the players with their self. Above the multimillion dollar contracts, celebrity status and attention, it is the love of the game. It is the love of the game and the joy they experience in spending thousands of hours in practice, in perfecting their skills, mastering their art. It is like the “mountain experience” of Moses, Jesus and Muhammed, away from the masses, in solitude, in perfect synchrony with their selves and nature, seeking out the true meaning of their existence. They chose to spend their lives doing that act of joy, above everything else. They may have given up hours of TV, time with friends, family, school , books to chose that act of joy
Vailopplilly, a malayalam poet wrote, like the children who come to get a piece of the magical coloured paper, please don’t come into our lives to cut and take pieces of it with you. But the poet gave away his poems. He was seeking to be left alone in order to create them for humanity. You can call that selfishness, but that selfish motive enabled him to make endless choices, which resulted in sublime poetry. Solitude may be only one among the endless choices he made. Choices are an integral part of turning pro

Written by janjoshi

May 12, 2013 at 6:20 am

Apple Revolution

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Apple Revolution is a great read. The story of counter culture enthusiasts and hippies writing the future of the world, Apple’s positioning of its products to resonate with the rebels, people who want to rock the boat and declare themselves different (Think Different Campaign)

The book is not just about Steve. It is about a group of people coming together for a larger than life mission, at times even to negotiate and influence Steve to take the right direction and eventually what started as a counter culture becoming the culture.

It takes you into the details of product development, passionate people, their frustrations and celebrations and an amazing will to transform the world around them.

The art of not accepting life as it is and co-creating the future you want to live in and thus shape yourself and history…the calling all of us have but few listen to.

Written by janjoshi

May 1, 2013 at 2:40 am

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Curators of our future

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Recently I re-watched Raghava KK’s TED talk on his 200 year plan and his concept of becoming the curator of his future and pulling it towards him as an artist. I remembered the saying by John. H. Schaar “The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”

Looking back at history, you come across all the crazy one’s who made the future by poking into their present – Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Einstein , Steve Jobs. We may not be any match to these giants, but in our own way we can curate our future and control our present physically and digitally.
The sound bytes you throw into a conversation, the ideas you float, the vision you paint, the character you emanate all conjures up an aura around you, a reality distortion field, as some calls it, which you yourself are immersed in and make others want to join. It does not happen in a day, it took almost 20 years for Steve Jobs to establish his vision as a synthesiser of technology and liberal arts. It may have sounded a joke when he first spoke about it, but after iPod,iPhone and iPad he did not have to convince anyone of it.

When you are embarking on such a journey, you make big choices in life, as to what you stand for, what you seek, what you fight for, what you say no to and what is meaningful. Saying yes also is equally important, but saying yes to TED talks while saying no to toast masters, saying yes to experiences and stories of technology and business, while saying no to academic credentials, saying yes to possibilities that you saw in companies like Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn, which influenced your life by integrating content, recommending meaningful books by looking at your reading history, helping you build a professional profile beyond the walls of your employer and be in demand.

Choosing to celebrate the present, listening to it fully and improvising, like only an empty cup can do, who is not worried about the destination but is encapsulated by the thrill and immersion, the act of improvisation brings. Man is an improviser by nature, a hunter-gatherer had to be a master of improvisation, the planning animal appeared when he started relying on agriculture for livelihood and followed on through industrial era. Now when our emotional palette is craving for marriage of technology and liberal arts, improvisation and immersion is very much in demand

Curation of our future is very much dependent on we realising our distinct voice,our true calling, what do we stand for. In Indian epic,’ Mahabharata’, while teaching archery, Drona the teacher, asked all the little princes to aim at a bird in a tree, and he asked them ‘what do you see’. All sorts of replies came, like, they see the tree, their fellow students, the teacher, the sun etc . Only one of them said, ” I see only the bird’s eye.’ That was Arjuna, the greatest archer in the epic. The teacher immediately sensed the gravity of the reply,the synchrony that little boy felt with the bow and arrow, the oneness he felt with the wind, the lightness he felt when every distraction, every piece of unwanted flesh fell out of his being, the assurance he felt in calculating the angle needed and moreover the joy he felt in discovering his true calling was evident in that reply and the teacher said, ” release the arrow.” The arrow found its way to the bird’s eye. That was an instance where the goal and the seeker dissolved into one and the start of an eternal love affair, which would embark Arjuna on the journey of 10,000 hours of practice or more to become a maestro as Malcom Gadwell puts it and as George Leonard calls it “loving the plateau”
Those 10,000 hours for Arjuna would not have been gruelling practice, it would have been pure joy, act of immersion, feeling of transcendence.

Later on there is a follow up story, where Arjuna’ brother Bheema wakes up during the night hearing sound of arrows piercing the wind. When he went out and looked he saw Arjuna practising in the dark and Bheema asked “what are you doing?” Arjuna replied, ” I am learning to aim with my ears.” A master does not stop at being great, he aims at being insanely great. He cannibalises his own best invention, he want to beat his own best accomplishment, even if he is the best.

Blessed are the one’s who find a true calling in the established forms. More blessed are the one’s who are able to carve a genre of their own. As Steve said “the world that we live in was built by people no smarter than you or me. The truth is, you don’t have to accept it as it is, you can poke it and something else would come out” It is this knowledge that we can be the curators of our story, a story that we tell ourselves and will it into existence, that makes us powerful beyond measure

Written by janjoshi

April 26, 2013 at 5:55 am

Knowing our truth

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Today morning listening to TED spoken word fireworks playlist talks of Sarah Kay and Shane Koyzcan, I stumbled upon the thought of making choices again. Society asks you to chose what you want to be at the age of 14 and shape a career path around it. If you say some thing off track like I want to be a monk or I want to travel around the world, society asks you to be realistic and picks an approved choice for you. When you behave according to the norms of the society it gives you the tag of a matured person. If you chose to go by the road less travelled by you are labelled as immature

Now looking back I am pretty sure how unprepared I was to make a choice at the age of 14 and I made the right choice of not choosing. By choosing to study philosophy, I was buying time. When choosing to study something that would land me a livelihood, I was choosing to buy time again till I find the right choice. Over the course of a career also, I was waiting for the project that would consume my heart and soul and leave me wanting more. But during the wait, I kept on adding skills and visions and continued the search, and still do.

At the age of 35 I still can’t say I have made a final choice, but I can say I have a built a brand, a personal brand that people value and trust, a brand that has the promise of challenging the status quo and delivery, a brand that stands for continuous learning, a brand that stands for meaning and depth, a brand with strength of character.

A brand that adores Steve Jobs, Seth Godin, Bernadette Jiwa, Economist, Amazon, TED and Google.
A brand that promises itself, self-renewal every year
A brand that seeks out life changing experiences in any shape or form
A brand that is not afraid to be afraid
A brand that would stay hungry and stay foolish
A brand that is quick at decision making and making it work
A brand that recognises its limitations and collaborates to form a melting pot of possibilities
A brand that enjoys exploring itself for meaning and
A brand that enjoys exploring new markets for itself

Written by janjoshi

April 8, 2013 at 4:42 am

Loving the Plateau

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George Leonard wrote about learning to love the plateau in his book Mastery.
Every learner goes through a progression followed by a plateau before the next progression.
There is never continuous progression, whether you are playing tennis or learning piano or progressing your career. There is always a plateau, which can be frustrating if you are ambitious.
The whole education system and commercials celebrates the shortest path to glory, very rarely do they celebrate the hours and hours of gruelling practice.

Written by janjoshi

March 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

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Holding back and Letting the flowers bloom

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Trusting that every single human being is capable of finding solutions
Holding back on the instinct to show the way
Yet to pose the questions that would trigger a series of thoughts and actions
Knowing when to join the conversation and when to shut up and watch
There is no more powerful influencer than “Silence”
When your progeny is dancing on the lips and actions of others
And letting them believe it’s theirs.
Who cares about the glory,
What you care is about is the next big gig
Is the pain and ambiguity and search
With no certainty in sight,
But only “the belief”
Only the belief in you and
The interconnectedness by which the whole world
“Conspires to make your endeavours come to fruition”

Written by janjoshi

March 9, 2013 at 5:09 am

I see You

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While returning from Bangkok after a duty trip, as I was rushing through the immigration to catch a flight that had started boarding, I almost bumped into an old lady, who gave me way and said “I see you.” I only got a quick glance of her and she almost looked Jake Sully’s scientist friend, a much shorter version. Then it struck me while I was running to catch my plane, it was the greeting from Pandora…”I see you”, probably had its roots in Zen Buddhism.

As I am reading the Art of Immersion by Frank Rose, about the more immersive technologies used to tell stories from 3D to video games to real life games where viewers collaborate to find answers to problems posed in the story or to discuss and understand more deep meanings and often redefine characters by posing as their twitter-selves.

Creating an alternate world of Pandora, with its topography, biology, genealogy, language, people and future, Cameron was creating such an immersive experience, whereby after seeing the movie you wanted to go back into that magical reality, be part of it, enjoy its flora and fauna, fall in love and find a new meaning for your existence. I consider myself a level headed, no nonsense individual, who gets caught in every bit of such romantic possibilities for a while and then dismisses it for the next or this worldly realities. However the old woman whom I met at the airport may have been a more sensitive and sensible individual who was smitten by the beauty and fulfilment that world offered and chose to make it a part of her life. She might have been on a mission to bring that beauty into this world and hence the remark ” I see You “

Written by janjoshi

March 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

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