Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Being Naked - Where to draw the line...

I have always wondered - how much openness is enough in a relationship, at work or in any other situation that involves other people. Is there a fine line, which once crossed can make you look like a fool or a nut case. If we are completely open there will be only 2 opinions people can have -
1. Either they love us for being so honest and forthright.
2. They hate us for not being a part of the herd!
But mind you being naked or being very honest can have serious implications too. It makes you very vulnerable, it is a kind of vulnerability that comes from
being completely open and honest with no sense of pretense or cover.

The side effects include:
a. Being Judged all the time.
b. Being Embarrassed - Since u r open, its inevitable not to make mistakes or ask some dumb question or even give a stupid suggestion. So its a great chance that we may be embarrassed in front of people.

At the same time being
naked is not for weak people and those who employ this approach need to be prepared for the implications. People behaving in such a manner leave themselves exposed to criticism and rejection, and may lose popularity amongst the group. It requires a certain self-esteem, humility and courage that many people do not have. However, anyone who is willing to set their ego and fear aside can practice the approach successfully. And they will benefit both in terms of the success of their professional as well as personal lives. This is one of the ways to build deep lasting relationships as you are projecting your true self - with no veil.

But again how much openness is enough --- That I leave on your intelligence...-:).

P.S: Corporate world has started realizing this model and recently there was a book "Getting Naked" by Patrik Lencioni. The model of this approach as written by Mr. Lencioni is summarized in the diagram below.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If the world were a village of 100 people....

Just came across this beautiful post, it helps to see things in perspective and what exactly is going on in the world.

" If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:

* The village would have 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 8 Latin Americans, 5 from the USA and Canada, and 1 from the South Pacific.

* 51 would be male, 49 would be female.

* 82 would be non-white; 18 white.

* 67 would be non-Christian; 33 would be Christian.

* 80 would live in substandard housing.

* 67 would be unable to read.

* 50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation.

* 33 would be without access to a safe water supply.

* 39 would lack access to improved sanitation.

* 24 would not have any electricity (And of the 76 that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
* 7 people would have access to the Internet.

* 1 would have a college education.

* 1 would have HIV.

* 2 would be near birth; 1 near death.

* 5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth; all 5 would be US citizens.

* 33 would be receiving—and attempting to live on—only 3% of the income of “the village”."

For a nice video, please visit

Miniature Earth


Monday, February 15, 2010

Born to Run......


Recently, I read a book - " Born to Run" by Chris McDougall. It is a book about how we as humans have been engineered to run - BARE FOOT. Yes, bare foot!! Humans have been known to kill animals, before weapons for hunting were made. Did you ever think how they did it?? They used to chase the animal until it was tired and finally passed out, isn't it strange? Sounds funny but is actually true. What it really means is; that if you are hunting a deer, you chase it and just keep the poor bambi in your sight and after a few miles the deer will no longer be able to run fast and finally die. Wonder why!!! The answer is simple - to prevent overheating the body we need to have a very efficient cooling system. Animals just have only one way to cool themselves, most of them pant with their tongue out. But the great human body has an excellent cooling system. We can maintain a state of homeostasis by regulating the body temperature through sweat glands (present throughout the body). So in short animals can run faster for a shorter distance but if they are made to run for longer distance ultimately they will pass out.

Another interesting observation made in the book was it is very unlikely for us to injure our self while running barefoot vis a vis running with nice, expensive, cushioned shoes. I will not go in the physics as to how it happens, see the video below and you will understand it. The bottom line the impact on the feet is much less when we run barefoot as compared to running with cushioned shoes.

Of course to make the book exciting, Chris goes on telling us the story of Mexican tribe (Tarahumara/Raramuri) who have been running barefoot for 100's of years now. And how they run more than 100 miles a day without getting injured. The book ends in a race between ultra marathon runners in U.S and the Raramuris.

The bottom line is - we can run barefoot without injuries and in long-run the practice is better for the muscles and body. So taking Chris's advice too seriously I started running barefoot and was surprised to see the benefits. First, I noticed my speed increased, second I was able to run more efficiently i.e. getting less tired and running for a long time and last but not the least it felt great. Initially, there may be little pain in the shin muscles but eventually the feet get accustomed.

Incidentally, I found to run barefoot outdoors and protect our feet, Vibram has come out with cool shoes/sandals or whatever. These are called FIVE FINGERS ($85 dollars for a pair - kinda expensive though).

So just try running barefoot and enjoy your workout. Let me know how it feels.