Monthly Archives: March 2015

Selling Ice To An Eskimo!

  • People Buy From People They Trust Reminder Message

I get at least 100 emails every day. Most of them try to hard-sell me things which I do not want or need. The only thing it does is serve to annoy me. As I have stated sometimes in the past, my email often seems like a roll of toilet paper. Anyone can come and spin and spam it. Same thing is often true for my office phone, though most of the calls are picked up and handled by my team rather than me.

Whenever our marketing team suggests to me to start an email blast campaign, I shoot it down. I am sure it works for a lot of people, but I do not want potential customers to have to experience the same email spam annoyance I experience. Nor experience it from my company InfoObjects.

This brings up the question of companies spending millions of dollars on sales strategies which translate to trying to sell ice to an Eskimo. We have spent years trying to build sales teams and have failed miserably every time. Business did continue to grow but that was not because we were trying to sell something. But because our customers and their referrals had and have a need. When someone needed an IT service and asked around, one of our customers who was happy with our service (which is true with all of our customers!) would tell them about InfoObjects and connect us with them.

Looking at our past experience, this year we decided to have a “no sales strategy” as our sales strategy. At the same time, we doubled our marketing budget. Marketing is just making people aware about your presence in the market. So if an Eskimo needs to buy a heater, he or she thinks of the heater company he/she has mostly heard about. Eskimos cannot dream of your company’s existence if they had never even heard of it while awake!

I cannot suggest that all marketing is good. In fact, I think that a lot of online ad spending is of no good use and but serves to deplete a company’s marketing budget. But well-targeted marketing to make customers aware of your offerings so that you come up well in a Google search and are only a phone call away, is a good investment and worth spending money upon.

Procrastination

  • Pomodoro technique

Let me make a confession here. I am suffering from a disease, and that disease is called procrastination. I have known about it since my early childhood or as far back as I can remember. For the last 17 years, I have been actively trying to fight it and I have achieved some considerable success. That being said, there is a long way to go. For it catches you by surprise when you are not paying attention.  The reason I am writing this blog is that while I am going through a minor episode of procrastination, this is one way of confronting and overcoming it. I thought also of taking it by the horns and see what different tricks procrastination uses against you and which tricks I can employ to beat it.

So let us look at what different things have worked so far for me to beat procrastination.

  • Dividing tasks into small parts
  • Employing a sense of urgency

Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time

This is my favorite line which I use at least once every day. The idea is that a project looks big when you look at it as one huge, whole enchilada. If you divide it into smaller pieces, however, it becomes easier to deal with and digest.

Sense of Urgency

One of the tricks procrastination uses is to make you believe that things can wait. But if you pull out weapons like a sense of urgency this trick by Mr. Procrastination loses its power. So a sense of urgency should be made part of anything and everything you do in life.

Let us now look at what causes it and how symptoms show up.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.             –Charles Dickens

The Internet age has introduced the best of times and worst of times at the same time. While it helps productive people become more productive, it makes unproductive people remain unproductive.

Twenty years back, if you wanted to waste time, there was a cost to it. For me, it was a ordeal just to go and watch a movie at a movie theater. Plus, there were very few sources available for leisure reading, and it did not take long to exhaust them.

I remember in India the virtually unlimited source of leisure reading was the newspaper. Everyone would read a newspaper in the morning as a ritual. Folks who did not have something better to do would spend hours and hours together munching on every appetizing section. It did have a silver lining, though. In India, if you go to a remote village and ask where America is or who Obama is, they will tell you. They track international events including foreign affairs on a daily basis.

I was surprised at the lack of general knowledge when I came to America 15 years ago. Here, drinking beer and watching football has been a favorite pastime of the lazy for a long while, as opposed to reading newspapers.

What the Internet has done is it has given many more options to folks who seek to waste their time consciously or unconsciously. While the most unproductive class of people may be spending most of their time playing games, the most productive class may be spending hours surfing Wikipedia pages while important projects are sitting on their desk awaiting their needful attention.

Everyone having an Internet connection in their office made it even worse. Then smart phones with unlimited data came along and put a death knell to any hope of getting productivity out of employees. Add instant messaging to the mix and its addition is worse than drug addiction, not to mention it is so much more widespread. Heck, it’s an epidemic.

There is a bright side to the Internet era obviously, though. I run a high-tech company and know it inside and out. I use both the smartphone and Internet to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of every minute I have in a day. Even while driving I listen to tech videos which are helpful for the topic I am working on. I also clean out my mailbox while waiting in line at the supermarket or bank and while waiting for take-out food at a restaurant.

So, for me, after so many years of fighting with procrastination, it has lost its momentum, although it certainly has not given up. Now it shows up during those times when I am overworked. It disguises itself as disinterest. That disguise, however, does not last for long, as I do very interesting and exciting work for a living.

I am sure I am not alone in this fight against procrastination. It is a cancer which needs a long treatment and a lot of patience before a permanent cure arrives. And I’m looking forward to its arrival. The cure, that is!

Metaphysics and movement of planets

  • Man and the Universe

This blog is about metaphysical concepts. So, if it interferes with your religious, personal or pseudo-scientific beliefs, then I would not advise to read this blog.

As it is, a few days back I saw a YouTube video regarding Yugas by mystic Sadhguru. I am not a follower of Sadhguru, but I listen to his talks every now and then and am impressed with his command on various subjects.

Since you are not a pseudo-scientist (otherwise you would have stopped reading this post by now!), let me tell you that my life is all about scientific inquiry. I have been psychic for almost three decades now and I only tend to agree with theories which are compatible with my own life experience.

Let me clarify the meaning of psychic here. I am not a healer, mind-reader or fortune teller. I simply have a better sense of the present than the average human being does. I can feel the energy around me and which surrounds me. I can feel astral matter. I can feel the aether.

The metaphysical substance which Sadhguru is calling aether is explained by various names and descriptions in different places. In the meditation tradition I follow, it is called Anityabodh or Anicca (the feeling of impermanence). The reason for this is that when you are observing the impermanence of all phenomenon, the experience of this non-physical matter dominates. There is a higher feeling of Anatma, or Anatta, in which this experience comes much faster. Anatta, which means non-self, entails realizing that this body, mind and even consciousness is not you. When you realize this at the experience level, your consciousness rises to a universal level, and that is aether.

Jay Alfred, in a few of his books, takes a deeper dive into the nature of astral matter which he claims is based on plasma, as opposed to living physical matter based on carbon. Astral matter does not block light and also does not interfere with physical matter (if you love to speculate call it dark matter).

This does not mean it does not interfere with humans. I remember from two episodes in my life how experience with it can be almost like an electric shock. The reason for this being that though your brain is a physical organ, the mind is metaphysical. In simpler terms, it is made of electrons. Now let’s get back to the video.

In the aforementioned video, Sadhguru suggests that precession of the axis of earth is caused by our solar system’s revolution around a super-sun in elliptical orbit. You can read about this interesting theory in detail at http://www.binaryresearchinstitute.org.

In simple words, precession of the axis, which is technically called precession of the equinox, means that an observer finds after one year he is not in the same position relative to a distant star. About two to four thousand years ago observers on Earth noticed that the sun on the vernal equinox aligned with the constellation Aries, and in the last few thousand years with Pisces. Now as many know, we are at the “dawning of the age of Aquarius,” meaning that the sun on the vernal equinox is close to aligning with the constellation of Aquarius.

The explanation of this is that it is simply the geometric effect of a solar system that curves through space. As the solar system curves through space it gently changes the orientation of the Earth relative to the fixed stars (but not relative to objects within the moving solar system such as the sun or moon).

Now mixing this with our solar system’s elliptical orbit around this massive body explains the cycle of Yugas. The center of mass of the solar system is located at one focus of the ellipse. When the sun is closer to this, it slows down. And when it’s further away from this, it speeds up. From all indications, it appears that this star is a dark star; whether it’s a black hole or a dwarf star, it is composed of aether.

The yuga closest to this star is Sat Yuga, and then Treta, Dwapar and Kali Yuga. Sat Yuga and Kali Yuga come in pairs. Inversely proportional to the distance to this dark star–which Sadhguru is calling super-sun–is the density of aether.

Now this aether density is the one which rules the human race. As I said earlier, our mind is made of this metaphysical material. So, in Sat Yuga, where the density of this matter is high, it’s easier for humans to elevate to higher possibilities. While on the other extreme, in Kali Yuga, the density is so low that spiritual pursuits are at a minimum.

Let me add another angle to this, which is that both spiritual and intellectual pursuits go hand in hand. Where this higher density helps spiritual conquests, so does it also help intellectual conquests. Most scientific innovations, for example, happen on the astral plane. Yes, the physical apparatus helps in observations, which helps these theories; but theories are mental creation. You can also look at it from the perspective of right brain vs left brain. All innovations are right brain products which use left brain just as a tool.

Do you think humans in the Dark Ages were any less capable? No. It’s just that there was not enough aetheric density for them to bring their intellectual pursuits to fruition. As per Sadhguru, we are 70 years away from Treta Yuga. His calculation is based on the end of the Mahabharata War as the end of Dwapar. Most people consider the death of Krishna, which was 3102 BC, as the end of Dwapar and the start of Kali Yuga. At the time of that war Krishna was 90 years old and he died at age 125, so there is this 35-year gap.

There are a few more points where actual numbers may differ. As per Sadhguru, the whole cycle is 25,920 years while some people consider it to be 24,000 years, considering the variable speed of revolution around this super-sun.

Let us break down the Yugas based on the 25,920 year cycle and see if this makes sense.

Sat Yuga – 5,184
Treta Yuga – 3,888
Dwapar Yuga – 2,592
Kali Yuga – 1,296
Total – 12,960 years half cycle

Death of Krishna – 3102 BC
Adding two back to back Kali Yugas to it: 3102 BC – 2592 = 510 BC
Adding One Dwaper to it: 2592 – 510 = 2082 AD
Current Year 2014: 2015 – 2082 = 67 (which means we are 67 years away from Treta)

One thing to observe (and remember is that interesting things always happen at the cusp): The cusp of Dwapra to Kali was Mahabharata (originally called Jaya) and Krishna’s reign.

The cusp of Kali to Dwapra was Buddha’s reign.

Let’s look at the cusp of Treta-Dwapara. Dwapar ended 3102 BC, so Treta ended 3102 + 3888: 7000 BC. What is interesting that happened during this cusp? Well, if you look at the astronomical dating of Ramayana, it comes around 7200 BC. So it was during Rama’s reign. Very interesting, yes?

I did another thing to check the validity of this cycle of yugas. There are two types of years: solar year and sidereal year. Solar year is the time it takes earth to complete one revolution around the sun. Sidereal year is the time it takes earth to complete one revolution around the sun relative to a distant star.

One sidereal year is equal to 1.00003878 solar years. So there is a 0.00003878 year shift per solar year. How long will it take for this shift to become zero (after full circle) = 1/.00003878 = 25786.48 years. Very close to 25792 years.