Archive for the ‘wisdom’ Category

Some facts of Thomas Jefferson’s life  from a forwarded email.  Strongly felt these facts and some quotable quotes need to be captured for future reference.

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wyth.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America ” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions which became the basis of ‘States Rights’

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation’s size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello.

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams.

Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws, and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today.Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future:

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

“When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” — ThomasJefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” — Thomas Jefferson

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” — Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them.” — ThomasJefferson

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — ThomasJefferson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”– Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

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Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Steve Jobs

I am a great admirer, fan and disciple of Steve Jobs. In 2003,  Thanks to Intel, I had the opportunity to see him present in person. He was not once in a life time, but a rare, one of a kind individual, mankind has ever produced.  It was not intelligence or knowledge, but his perception and intuition that set him a class apart.

I had just started blogging, a blogpost, “Generation Gap in Media Consumption” , was  motivated by Steve’s speech at the Intel Sales Conferece. This was before Ipod, Itunes, etc. He did give hints about upcoming iTunes, since Napster was dying because of lawsuits. Still remember a comment from our then country manager, our execs needs a team to do a speech, demos etc this guy does it all all by himself. InAug 2005,  a month after leaving Intel, I did buy my first Apple, until then, my allegiance to Intel, a 15 year career,  never gave me the opportunity to buy one. 15 days after I left Intel, Apple announced they were moving to use Intel  processor to drive  their computers.  A lesser known fact,  Steve  squeezed nearly a billion dollars in goodies from the Intel board,  for the switch. I did buy my first Apple computer after the announcement, even though it was on the IBM processor.  Apple was the only Intel customer that showed it’s middle finger to the Intel Inside program. Jobs always lived life his way and on his own terms.  Some of his great quotes, speeches and articles inspired by him are all listed below.

Stanford Commencement Speech 2005  >>>

Quotes from WSJ >>>

Quotes from Huffington Post >>>

Interview that highlighted Values and not sell outs, at the height of the dot-com frenzy >>>

Remembering Steve Jobs and a Life Lived on His Terms >>>

The Steve Jobs I knew by Walt Mossbery >>>

The Tao of Steve >>>

The Real Genius of Steve Jobs by  Malcolm Gladwell >>>

More links as I find and like them.

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(via Schumpeter Column  in Economist) Everyone wants to be associated with innovation. Innovation remains the competitive advantage for countries, social movements, companies and individuals. Rich-world governments see it as a way of staving off stagnation. Poor governments see it as a way of speeding up growth. And businesspeople everywhere see it as the key to survival.

Inside the mind of successful innovators we find the following, innovators keep associating, questioning, observing, networking and experimenting. IDEO, an innovation consultancy, argues that the best innovators are “T-shaped”—they need to have depth in one area as well as breadth in lots.    read more >>>>

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The rise of Gandhi and his role in the independence struggle against the British is not a one man story. Mahatma Gandhi was a HR genius. Behind him was a little known team he carefully recruited. Gandhi was actually an energetic and effective director of one of the 20th century’s most innovative social enterprises. He was, in essence, an exceptional entrepreneur who relied on a tight-knit community of coworkers—and an extensive store of intellectual resources—to support him and his work.

One of his team members was a man named Mahadev Desai. Desai’s daily routine was grueling. He woke before Gandhi arose at 4 am in order to work on the Mahatma’s schedule and make other preparations. He was by Gandhi’s side throughout the day, taking notes on his meetings and various activities and helping him draft correspondence and articles. Finally, after Gandhi had retired, Desai wrote a diary account of the Mahatma’s day so that no important detail went unrecorded.

Can you get an assistant like Madadev today. Very difficult!

Read more via Gandhi’s Invisible Hands by Ian Desai in The Wilson Quarterly >>>

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Source of Happiness

(via an email) Khushwant Singh talks about 8 clues to Happiness. For a change unlike most fundas this one is very practical.

Having lived a reasonably contented life, I was musing over what a person should strive for to achieve happiness. I drew up a list of a few essentials which I put forward for the readers’ appraisal.

1. First and foremost is GOOD HEALTH. If you do not enjoy good health you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct from your happiness.

2. Second, a HEALTHY BANK BALANCE. It need not run into crores but should be enough to provide for creature comforts and something to spare for recreation, like eating out, going to the pictures, travelling or going on holidays on the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be only demoralizing. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in one’s own eyes.

3. Third, a HOME OF YOUR OWN.. Rented premises can never give you the snug feeling of a nest which is yours for keeps that a home provides: if it has a garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

4. Fourth, an UNDERSTANDING COMPANION, be it your spouse or a friend. If there are too many misunderstandings, they will rob you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to bicker all the time.

5. Fifth, LACK OF ENVY towards those who have done better than you in life; risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be very corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others.

6. Sixth, DO NOT ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE to descend on you for gup-shup. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.

7. Seventh, CULTIVATE SOME HOBBIES which can bring you a sense of fulfilment, such as gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks or to meet celebrities is criminal waste of time..

8. Eighth, every morning and evening, devote 15 minutes to INTROSPECTION. In the morning, 10 minutes should be spent on stilling the mind and then five in listing things you have to do that day. In the evening, five minutes to still the mind again, and ten to go over what you had undertaken to do.

Nathaniel Cotton (1721-1788) summed up my views on the subject in one verse:

If solid happiness we prize.

Within our breast this jewel lies

And they are fools who roam

The world has nothing to bestow

From our own selves our joys must flow

And that dear hut, our home.

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(via Santosh Desai) I am a great admirer of Atal Behari Vajpayee. Santosh writes why he continues to be an enigma is well described in his blog post.

Vajpayee was an arbiter of circumstances who had an instinctive grasp of large issues set in large canvases. We associate him with wisdom rather than intelligence, and value his intention over his action. His strength lay what he could absorb, rather than what he could transform. He understood power as the ability to mediate between interests and sought to find a balance that might be imperfect but was viable. Perhaps his greatest ability was to understand the power of time, and its ability to provide resolutions that the current set of options were simply incapable of doing.

To the voters, it was as if Vajpayee was the delta produced after millennia of flowing of the river called India, the deposit of alluvial wisdom steeped in time and memory. Everyone could find a bit of themselves in him when they saw him, and we recognized in him what we wanted to be, not in narrow material or ideological terms but terms of a the person he was.. He was what an Indian leader given the history and complexity of our civilisation, should have looked like. A man of a million refractions, in him we could see a statesman, a poet, a humanist, a sage  and above all a very likeable human being. >>>

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If I have any merit, it is getting along with individuals according to their ways and characteristics. At times it involves suppressing yourself. It is painful but necessary… to be a leader you have got to lead human beings with affection…. JRD Tata

It is not down in any map; true places never are…. Herman Melville

Material conditions do not drive history. People live in a compact between the dead, the living and the unborn… David Brooks

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you have to keep moving…. Albert Einstein

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