Thursday, August 27, 2009

4.8 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling!!!

Hi Laura,

Thanks for trusting me with this Noble job of utilising your late husbands 4.8 Million GBP. I have always wanted to help the less privileged and destiny kicked fellow humans in my life. Although I never had money to help them financially I always include them in my daily prayers before sleeping. I request you not to die before you transfer me the money. I am not a bad person you can ask my wife and my mother also. Recently my country is hit by Swine flu as well and people are dying like swine or killing swine. I also want to help people suffering from swine flu and poor pigs who just cant help shitting flu. So once you die after transferring the money to me I can assure you not only these people but the animals also whom I will save will include you in their prayers.

Let me know how soon can you send me the money.

Very sincerely

From: Laura J. Carvon []
Sent: 20 August 2009 18:45
To: undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

I hope that this e-mail reached you in the right frame of Mind.

I am Mrs laura j Carvon , I am suffering from cancerous ailment,When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 4.8 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank here in UK. Presently, this money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from. Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family and me, I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.

Please contact me on the email below for further clarifications:

laura j Carvon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Being Creative Elephant

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it. – Dee Hock

When still a baby, the elephant is tethered by a very thick rope to a stake firmly hammered into the ground. The elephant tries several times to get free, but it lacks the strength to do so. After some time, the animal gives up trying, believing that it cannot be free.

At this point, the trainer changes the thick rope to a thin one but the elephant makes no attempt to run away. Even when the elephant reaches adulthood, it continues to be tethered by a thin rope, reconciled to its captivity.

As we grow up and gain experience, we absorb assumptions which then drive our life and limit our choices. They are similar to the elephant’s thin rope tied to a post. We can break away from them with a simple tug if we want to but we don’t.
As we acquire more and more experience, our repertoire of blind assumptions grows too, correspondingly limiting our choices. Our experience becomes a hindrance in our being creative.

I have identified few of such tethers of elephant size which more than often holds me back from being creative. Questions is am I willing to break free... I am not sure... what do you think?

What will people think?
My self-consciousness is one big hurdle in my being creative. I don’t even try to do so many things in life because I am afraid of making a fool of myself. We waste a lot of our energy in protecting ourself and presenting a ‘good’ image.
We had no such inhibitions as a child and therefore we were naturally creative. It is perhaps the fear of the unknown and what might happen that makes us self-conscious. It holds us back and hinders our creativity.

When we walk into something in spite of the fear, it simply vanishes because by then the unknown turns into the known. The trick is not to think in terms of conquering fear but being with it.

That’s what I did lately when cupid struck me... I got my life partner...not saying every time you do that you will get your life partner but it will be worthwhile...try can check Mrs.Ashraf’s snap to boost your morale :)

But I’ve never had any great ideas!
Most people don’t have enough opportunities to bring out their creativity. So their creative abilities remain untapped. It seems to make no difference because not being creative is not too inconvenient.

Being creative is actually a search for a better way and in today’s world most solutions come ready-made. Most of the things that you do have been researched and the ‘best’ ways to do them have been arrived at.

Most people follow the standard ‘best’ ways without questioning – how to clean teeth, how to reach office, etc. They do a great number of tasks automatically.
Trying a ‘different way’ may in fact be inconvenient in most situations – driving speed, the route to office, how to tie your shoe knots, standing in the queues, etc.
Most of these automatic ways are perhaps good. By sticking with them, you are able to accomplish many tasks without thinking. They save time but you end up with the habit of not thinking afresh.

Over time, you develop attitudes and assumptions which prevent you from thinking creatively, locking you into the existing ways of thinking and doing things. You become a prisoner of familiarity. You never have great ideas.
As a result, even when the need arises for you to think differently and generate new ideas, you are unable to do so.

I somehow am unable to break this shackle. If you can, share the trick.

What is the right answer?
One of the worst aspects of formal education is the focus on the correct answer to a question or problem. When somebody asks a question, you generally give an acceptable answer instead of an original one fearing it might be wrong.

While this approach helps you to function smoothly in society, it hurts creative thinking. Real-life issues are ambiguous. There is no one single answer to any problem. There can be several answers if only you think about them. They may all be contradictory and yet correct. Women are great in that. My wife at the risk of being stupid ends up making me feel stupid, rigid and uni-focused.

I don’t want to fail.
The fear of failure is something that you learn in school…and it never just goes away. All through school, you perhaps take hundreds of tests, exams, assignments, etc. You are in one big trouble if you fail even once. You are scared of failure.
By the time you finish school, the fear of failure has seeped into your system and you avoid situations which could result in failure. You are extra-careful about whatever you take up. You learn the art of playing safe.

The fear of failure does not let us try new things, crippling our creativity. If you look back and if you are someone like me perhaps you will find more failures than triumphs. Makes you wonder what did that fear actually result in actual?

That’s not my area.
Creativity requires finding connections between unrelated things. The diversity of your interests and experiences enhances your ability to find connections.

When you explore completely unrelated areas, you are pleasantly surprised by the interrelatedness of almost everything. You start seeing new possibilities when you discover new connections.

In an era of hyper-specialization, the scope of work is getting narrower and narrower. Loss of creativity is the immediate casualty.

Sticking to ones area is bound to takes it toll on being Creative

I don’t like uncertainty.
If you are not confused, you are not thinking clearly – Tom Peters
Till few months I didn’t know what the above shit means...

When people are confused, they feel compelled to resolve the situation quickly, making it systematic and orderly again. They are likely to miss the key issues in their haste to do so.

There is something in our culture or perhaps in the education system, which makes us want to be ‘knowers’ rather than ‘find-outers’.

This attachment to ‘knowing’ makes you feel jittery and inept when you ‘don’t know’. This tendency is so engrained that even small kids begin to lose their curiosity in order to become ‘knowers’.

However, when it comes to creative thinking, not knowing is a good thing and ambiguity is a great thing. Certainty is the enemy of creativity.
If you are certain about something, you don’t have much leeway to generate new ideas to solve problems.

That’s the way it is done!
The need for standard ways of doing things is perfectly legitimate. But then it gives rise to an ever increasing number of rules that govern people’s lives.

While some of the rules are legitimate, some are totally unfounded. They are not very different from the thin rope that tethers the elephant. This is bane of our Indian society which I am the byproduct. Maybe in next post I will tell you more about what a fool I make of myself most of the time when I talk with my wife on the way things should be done.

Everyone says so.
When all think alike, then no one is thinking. — Walter Lippman

The desire to belong is a powerful one and at times it leads to ‘groupthink’. This herd approach is probably a relic from the cave age. It is important to have a mind of your own in order to be creative. I can say I came out of the cave but unfortunately I still reside on the trees.

I feel safe when I am like everyone else.
People start off as unique beings. They are very different from each other as children and young adults with their very own likes and dislikes.

Yet, as if by magic, they get into a common mould after they reach their thirties. Their likes, dislikes, wants, needs and goals somehow begin to converge. They seem to become more and more like one another.

As a result, their creative abilities suffer. I am still few years away from reaching my thirties. What age are you?

I have strong views and firm opinions.
There are people who pride themselves for having firm stands and being inflexible. They have strong views and unshakable opinions. They are too judgmental.

Being judgmental means blocking or ignoring other points of views. It means reducing your options and leaving your mind with much less to work with. It is then reflected in your ability to generate ideas and solutions.

When you are nonjudgmental, you have an open mind. You have more choices. Being nonjudgmental reduces the surface functioning of your mind, stimulating its deeper functioning.

The trick is to allow ones unconscious mind to throw up more ideas into his conscious mind.

Why keep thinking unnecessarily when I have found the answer?
Such is the hurry to find a solution that people are satisfied with the first one that comes to their mind. They stop thinking further.

However, if you don’t share your ‘first’ idea and keep thinking more and more, the subsequent ones are sure to be better.
The more you think, the more the chances to find better solutions. You never know when you will hit the jackpot.