Mind is like an inductor

Mind is like an inductor, it resists a sudden change. Later slowly it shifts to a state where the same change appears to be regular, as if there was no resistance.

What is an inductor?
An inductor is simply a device which, when connected in an electrical circuit, resists the change in current (flow of electrons) through it, just like our mind.

How an inductor works?
This video made by MAKE magazine represents a simple and practical view of an inductor. Click on the question above, to read more about it from HowStuffWorks.com.

For detailed understanding, watch MIT OCW video below,
which is a part of Electricity and Magnetism course at MIT, USA.

Now, let’s go back to the fact that our mind resists a sudden change.
See this article from Harvard Business Review.

Inspiring actions, one quote at a time

What you can’t solve today is no excuse to not solve what you can.

Do what is right, consequences are no excuse.

Experience time, build memories, enable replay.

Nothing is original, everything is inspired.

Get rid of the fear first only then shall you progress.

How well you define what is good enough determines how fast and confident you move.

Time first, people second, and money last.

Only transparency can decentralize trust.

This is never it till it is.

What’s not fair isn’t an opportunity.

A place to dump questions you’re not supposed to ask does not exist, they’ll stay with you until asked, but you can always bury them unimportant.

Not all books can be read as reference books, some require you to finish a chapter before you read the next.

Most wait for commands, but few choose to take initiative and lead instead.

Never risk success to avoid failure.

The only way to make your luck irrelevant is to never stop trying.

What takes you from 0 to 1 today shall take you from 99 to 100 someday.

Make time to keep people who care informed, not because they would stop otherwise, but to value that they do.

Be patient enough to seek success and not assume failure.

When commitment to act and learn becomes the measure of success, the fear of failure fades away to make way for the courage to take risks.
Extraordinary is only human.
Small things you do and small things you observe matter most, rest is just about getting better.

Confidence is a by-product of efforts.

Experiences are only lenses, not eyes.

To only move on and never run away takes courage.

Always keep ego buried, but never let respect be optional.

Minimize the turnaround time between failures, it costs the most.

Potential has no value until it delivers.

Where emotions might get in the way, let intelligence take over.

Listen, clarify and then say yes, pace is no reward, if you don’t understand the ask.

Honesty is no crime, don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.

To focus is to first suspend.

Being ignorant is not being busy.

Listen to the only problem you have picked to solve first.

Limit simplicity and speed before things break.

Consistently take initiative and listen, only then would you end up leading.

Let little joys handle little pains while you focus on little tries.

Crossing all hurdles it shall arrive – a solution to this problem.

To do this tomorrow, what is that needs to be done today.

Only consistent failure to give up leads to success.

Walk away from idle potential.

When to keep aside the questions unanswered and when to persist is a choice that defines you.

To get things done, get rid of the excuses first.

Initiative empowers. Small steps deliver.

Realize that the world will try to fit you in, but you can also fit the world to you otherwise.

Creativity spills over, use it that way.

When you’re right, no one can turn you wrong.
There may never be time for what you are deciding to put on hold right now.

A way to do the right thing emerges, all you need to do is to look hard enough.

First understand the game, only then you can play it well.

Speaking without listening first is an own goal.

Where the reflection ends, a journey begins.

If you’re machine efficient at something, don’t let others turn you human.

Almost always lack of either intent, effort or courage gets in the way of words translating into action.

Never create expectations you don’t intend to meet.

Time is precious, don’t consume it until you have a reason to do so.

An opportunity will not wait for people to assemble, neither should you.

When failing seems to have become the norm, expect success till you fail again.

Doing what needs to done is often a journey of pain and meaning.

Priorities make time.

Never let reciprocity be a filter to your kindness.

Not everything that is, needs to be said.

Abstractions bring growth whereas roots make it sustainable.

Time flies, but memories hover.

Plans don’t always work and then you must plan again.

‘Have been’ and ‘should be’ are not the same.

‘I did’ is always easier to handle than ‘I should have’ and you may even get a bonus.

Not giving up every single time you feel like is what takes you from a problem to the solution.

Always do enough and failures would bring wisdom, not regret.

There’s only one thing that can stop you, your inertia, literally.

A great idea, not implemented, is a responsibility.

There’s no other way, but courage, hard work and patience.

How you approach education is where it will take you!

Hear my dreams as I speak, see them realized in my eyes!

Do forgive, never forget.

Mistakes will happen, irrespective of how careful you are, it’s the courage to accept them and willingness to correct, is what matters.

Who am I does not matter, what I intend to do, does!

One of the shortest time spans of your life may trigger one of the biggest changes to the way you approach life. And may leave you in a confused state. These would be the times, when you would want to think the most to assimilate these sudden changes.

The ones, who lead the way today, are the ones, who learnt from their mistakes, yesterday.

Distortion of history plays a major role in retention of power.

Be courageous enough to go beyond ordinary, when you know deep down, that you are not meant to be other way round.

Problems can remain unresolved only till the time, we insist, that they do not exist.

Passion + patience + persistence = dreams realized.

Sustain the hitting of the waves, then you will see things clearly.

There would be times, when you do some senseless things in a sequence and at the end they all make sense somehow.

At the end, it’s always about the choices and not about the circumstances.

Be open to redefine your values, always, whenever you arrive at a reason to do so, analytically, but never do it, just because, others do not seem to be on the same page.

The freedom of speech does not mean the license to irresponsibly influence a larger mass, which does not even have right to quality education.

The most difficult questions are the ones, which never get answered.

An individual is defined by the society
and the society is defined by the individuals, it defined.
It’s a closed loop process
and what we need is a catalyst called education!

Perception is relative and may not always be the reality.
And the only way we can see reality is through perception.
So do not allow your perception to be static.
Let it evolve with time continuously and they will surely match.

Sometimes, suddenly everything starts going wrong for you, just everything and that’s the time, when you learn the most.

Mind is like an inductor , it resists a sudden change.

Sometimes, it is better to accept facts rather than being optimistic.

Coexistence is sometimes impossible and the right choice at the right time is what matters the most.

With your dreams clear in your mind,
and with the passion to see them realized,
the only thing, that you need,
is to motivate yourself, to be unstoppable.

The probability, of occurrence of unwanted events, peaks to the maximum when you want it to be the lowest, but remember, you are still the sole controller of your actions to minimize their impact.

It’s always about standing up again, no matter, how many times you fall down.

Always remember, people do forget, what you want them to remember.
Sometimes, you can keep reminding, but sometimes, you just have to forget as well.

The first step in learning is to make a mistake.
And the second, but important step is to accept it.

Unfortunately, most of the times, absence leads to appreciation and not presence.

Learn, out of everything that happens around you.
Think, before everything you do.
Dream, for anything that did not exist before.
Act, for everything that you want to realize.
And it will happen for sure.

Sometimes, you have to take a path, that you would have never wished to take, just because there’s no other option that leads to the destination. What matters is the time taken for this self-realization that there’s actually no other option available, be quick, the clock is ticking.

Not every question can be of multiple choice type. Be aware of the type of the question before you answer it.

Mistakes are no harm, but if you are not willing to correct them, then that’s the problem.

Time is running out for each and everyone here, but it’s choice of where to invest it in, that makes all the difference.

Sometimes, it’s better to let things go with the flow, rather trying to direct them.

Nothing’s impossible, but it’s the time that matters the most.

Never limit your dreams due to today’s reality, as dreams are the ones which extend the limits of reality everyday.

A person’s true nature is revealed by how they treat those they have no reason to be nice to.

Life’s a journey which begins in your mind, but ends in the minds of people you met.

Keep thinking, share your thoughts with others, that’s the way to stay alive forever, as our thoughts are so powerful, that they can make us immortal, in the minds of people, we shared them with.

Sometimes you are bound to hope for something to happen, though you have a strong feeling that it’s not going to, and that’s what makes it special.

You don’t meet good people often, hence when you do so, make sure you remain connected.

The most beautiful person in the world is the one who loves you the most.

Never give something better to people, than they deserve or need, otherwise expect nothing better than disappointment.

Sometimes it’s better to remain silent, even if you have something to say.

Time is the most wonderful cure-all medicine. It’s always available to both the rich and the poor, but the side-effects are always there, so consume it well.

It’s strange, but reality. Human behavior is so confusing, we tend to ignore the people who consider us important and keep paying attention to those who don’t.

Sometimes, it’s really good to wait for the best, but when you actually have it, make sure that you recognize it; don’t just keep waiting.

Mistakes are bound to happen, but ‘being quick to recognize them, and making sure that you never repeat them again’ is something that makes you a better person.

Some things are hard to remember, but some are even harder to forget.

Expecting yourself to be perfect to analyze your mistake, is again a mistake.

Some mistakes are such that you will always want to correct them, though you know you can’t.

It’s always up to us, whether we want to keep asking ’ why? ‘ and stay away or just say, ’ why not? ‘ and get involved.

The biggest conflict in the world is when your brain and your mind fight! And the more you try to resolve it, the more complex it gets.

When you stand for what you believe in, your dreams start turning into realities.

Great ideas are useless, if we don’t have the courage to implement them.

You see things and you say ’ why? ‘, but I dream things that never were, and I say ’ why not? ‘.

Never run behind someone who does not love you, but more importantly, never make someone who loves you, run behind you.

Sometimes you feel like you have everything, but the very next moment you realize that there’s still something missing and that’s what keeps you alive.

Mistakes are just the receipt of the fact that you are alive, so never be afraid of them.

It’s not that good to be too good.

Basically life is tough.
It’s people who you listen to make it easy.

Why not being responsive is a serious pitfall than you think

We’re living in a world of information overload. ‘I’m too busy to respond’ is the most common excuse many of us hide behind to justify our ignorance. Prioritization is essential more than ever with digital workspaces, but not being responsive is not the way to prioritize. It’s a serious pitfall than you think. In this post, I have tried to explain why you should care, what’s in it for you, and how one can improve.

Why should you care?

Do people have to constantly remind you to get your inputs or follow up to get updates on tasks you own?

If this sounds familiar then you should care, because just being responsive in person is not enough. Ignoring other channels of communication except for face-to-face interaction signals disrespect.

This may lead people to believe that either you’re not organized enough to keep track of personal/professional requests you receive or you’re ignorant and simply don’t care. In both the cases, it means that you’re not doing your job that of a co-worker, friend or relative well and that people can’t rely on you. I always encourage people to never let reciprocity be a filter to their kindness, but you would observe that most people behave in a reciprocal way and that means you can’t rely on them either. You should care to avoid this trust deficit.

What’s in it for you?

Responsiveness has always been one of the key attributes of a customer-centric organization and an excellent article on this topic by Srinivasa Addepalli can be found here. It is also the first step towards a people-centric self.

Digital work/personal spaces are a reality today and these are helping organizations/individuals to be more responsive to their customers/others than ever. By being aware of this reality and adapting to embrace it, you can acquire the most important asset – trust. Lack of trust, on the other hand, leads systemic inefficiencies and as you know even states of war. Responsiveness is thus directly linked to growth and prosperity of an organization/community that you are a part of as an individual.

How can you improve?

Look around and you’re most likely to find few people who are good at it. Ask them what they do to manage multiple channels of communication, information overload, prioritization, and motivation to be responsive.

Here are some things that I would recommend.

  • Set few minutes of time aside to acknowledge requests received daily. You don’t have to provide your inputs immediately, but inform the sender that you’ll get back to them soon and preferably specify when. If it is to take long, briefly explain why. You may also set up an auto-reply.
  • Understand how chat, telephone, email, and face-to-face communication affect your work/life habits. Choose a preferred channel of communication and inform others of the same. Be considerate about the availability of this channel.
  • Use digital reminders to help yourself stay on track of tasks you own and requests that are pending with you. It’s your job not that of requesters. Apologize for delays and thank requesters for sending reminders. If you find yourself being reminded too often, convey clearly when the requester can expect a response and request for an extension if there be a need.

Welcome your responsive self, today. Feel free to comment and provide additional insights or feedback.

EdTech 101 Series : Inversion of selection

Imagine, you have a product or a service to sell. Would you select your customers or your customers would select your product or service? Employers select their employees because employees offer a service and employers are customers. Now, when this selection is outsourced to universities, it creates a situation where as service providers, universities have the power to select students who are in fact their customers.

Education is the only industry today perhaps, which selects its customers. This has implications on the nature of competition and in turn, quality of services offered, operational efficiency and value creation. I believe, educational technology has a potential to invert this and make this industry customer centric again.

Traditionally, universities have had constrained reach due to limited availability of physical resources for matching supply with multi-fold demand. Using technology, MOOC platform providers like edX, Coursera and Udacity have offered universities a solution to enhance their constrained reach and even provide open access to a set of services to anyone, anywhere and anytime.

Especially, a business model, that edX follows, of making courses available for free and provide verified certificates for a fee, with optional on-campus modules that use a selection process, when becomes mainstream, shall help catalyze inversion of selection in education. Free market forces would then apply and would lead to a rapid digital transformation with enhanced customer centricity.

There are challenges that prevent the edX model from being mainstream. Due to which, Coursera and Udacity who started with a similar model have had to partially deviate from it. I have addressed those in a separate post here. What do you think about the inversion of selection in education? Let me know.

EdTech 101 Series : Why don’t you teach that!

In this series, EdTech 101, using the most basic form of educational technology, which is web based text publishing, I hope to highlight some simple ideas about how each and everyone of us can make use of technology to enable open access to quality education.

This first post is about something that you really do well, it may be anything – painting, project management, software designing or story telling to name a few. Someone may have even casually said to you – why don’t you teach that! I believe, each and every one of us should teach something that we like to do or care about. Take a moment to think about what is it that you can share to make someone, you don’t even know, feel positive and thankful.

You may or may not use technology to do this. You can just start offline with your friends or family and then gradually figure out a way to make it available to masses using technology. However, the situation today, with internet and especially social media, is that, how to publish is not a problem any more – all you need is a browser and an internet connection. You can #TeachWithATweet and you can reach @anyone.

Obviously, there’s Wikipedia, but it has struggled to get more and more people to contribute due to the missing social aspect. I have myself tried to convince people to create content online, but then I always found that there’s lack of incentive and motivation. There are some who create content of some form or the other (blog post, tweets, articles, videos and even courses) without looking for an incentive, but it is also fair that many look for one instead. Twitter, Facebook and now even more effectively, LinkedIn Publishing brings that incentive for us to create and publish content.

On such web publishing platforms, you can not only make your experiences, opinions and research, accessible to others, but also strengthen your social presence through improved network interaction, keywords search index and unique content portfolio.

These platforms are increasingly being used in digital learning as well as blended classrooms to improve participation as well as to make use of the fact that we learn the most when we teach.

Here are a few tips for creating content on the web.

  • Just like this post, keep it short and byte-sized.
  • Make it a series, if you want to move deeper or lateral with the topic.

Both of these are well-researched and commonly used techniques in digital learning and also address short attention spans that are observed on social media.

  • Do think about why, before thinking about how to convey your message.
  • Make use of # and @ tags, if you’re creating short content and special tags field for a medium content format like this post.
  • Stay in touch and make it a habit.

That’s about the first post of EdTech 101 Series. How can we encourage more professionals to teach, at-least via web publishing? Let me know.

EdTech 101 Series : Why only bundled pricing works in digital learning today?

On April 9, 2015, LinkedIn announced its purchase of lynda.com for $1.5 billion, a company that generates $100 million+ in revenue and has been profitable since 1997.

Pluralsight, another privately held, subscription-based, online education company is valued at $1 billion+ and has been ranked #42 by Forbes on America’s Most Promising Companies List. In 2013, author Scott Allen became the first of its authors to earn over US$1 million in royalties from his courses.

On the other hand, Coursera and edX that offer access to individual courses for free, but request a fee for verified certificates from rather reputed universities, have found it difficult to sustain this model. edX, being a non-profit, has been able to sustain this model through donations, whereas Coursera, has moved away from its initial promise of open access to content offered, by reserving parts of it only to paid users.

From the customer perspective, it is important to understand, what are the jobs that they want to get done. Learning is obviously a common objective, but apart from that, I would categorize them into two groups.

  • Industry users
  • Academic users

Industry users have a problem to solve and they prefer to have a subscription, to the entire offering, from which they could refer to any section of interest. A learning platform is then used as a reference and user switches back to work, without bothering about course completion.

Instead, academic users want to acquire a credential, which may be a stepping stone for their next career progression. Course completion and verified certificates are important to these users, but only if their industry values these certificates as well.

In digital learning, industry users are generating most of the revenue, either through personal subscriptions or business funding, because there’s no verification bottleneck, that forces a trust deficit like that between academic users and their target industries.

Recently, Coursera has started offering monthly subscriptions to various specializations. LinkedIn Learning is trying to combine subscriptions with credentials. This is just the beginning, but only bundled pricing will work till verification bottleneck is resolved and digital learning becomes mainstream.

What defines quality in education?

Quality education means enabling young minds to think and decide on their own, rather than just following what is being told to them. And yes, this can be taught. It’s more important to teach this than just teaching thoughts. Obviously, we should reuse the work that has been done in the past, but along with that we must teach individuals to analyse it and to think about anything presented to them from different perspectives.

We must teach them to have open mind and courage to accept mistakes and learn from them. Let’s teach how to apply what we learn – in schools – in real life and remove the content that is not relevant anymore. Remembering information is a limited requirement now, whereas learning application is still essential and will always remain so.

Education does not mean passing exams. The way we define an educated person in the current social setting is also a problem. Quality education must lead to open minds, better decisions when subjected to a situation and a better life in turn.

Schools need to be treated as laboratories for life, where one can carry out experiments on how to improve the way we live, then may it be science and technology, arts, learning from history, understanding our surroundings or something else. Teachers must ensure that these experiments are monitored and required expertise is provided to the young participants. Teachers must encourage students to make mistakes, because that’s when they learn to how to learn.