Saturday, March 17, 2007

7 ways to stay motivated

You know what it's like. You set yourself a goal,
something you want to achieve. You are excited and
ready to take on the world, and then a few months
later you can't even be bothered to spend 10 minutes
working towards achieving it. Well welcome to being
human! It is so easy to go from excitement to complete
apathy but there are things you can do to ensure you
stay motivated towards your goal and following are
seven great ones!

1. Is Your Reason WHY Large Enough?

When I wanted to lose weight setting a goal to look
great in clothes was not big enough, what didn't help
was the fact that I loved who I was and what I looked
like, but my health had begun to show signs of being
affected by my excess weight and this is the WHY I
used to ensure I stayed on track. I started with 6
weeks of no diary, no wheat and red meat only once a
week. Do you think I needed a big why to stay
committed to such a regime??!! I knew that health is
my true wealth. Having been unwell for 6 months and
hardly able to walk had taught me that without my
health my goals were useless. So maintaining a healthy
body that would allow me to enjoy the fulfillment of
my goals was the big WHY that kept me on track.

Stop and think about your reason WHY? What reason is
big enough to keep you motivated at times when you
want to give up and/or give in?

2. Create a visual and emotional image of what you

Writing your goals down is an essential tool but not
always enough to keep focused. Writing your goals down
and having a visual image of you completing that goal
adds fuel to the motivational fire. Writing goals
down, having a visual image of your completed goal AND
connecting this image with your emotions is the power
of 3 that will ensure your motivation remains high. At
any point during the day, or at any time when you are
feeling in need of encouragement, you can simply stop,
close your eyes, see your goal and evoke all the
emotions achieving that goal holds for you. Nothing is
more powerful!

3. Questions to ask before, during and after!

It is important to know not only why you are doing
something but also WHAT. What achieving this goal will
provide for yourself and your family. It is easy to
believe that what you want is to make a million, but
for many it is the lifestyle and the time freedom that
this money has the potential to provide that will be
the real motivation.

Spend time asking yourself questions that will help
you identify what achieving your goal will provide.
Questions such as:

•What will it bring me?

•What will it do for me, my family, and/or friends?

•What kind of lifestyle will I be able to have?

•What sacrifices will I need to make?

•What will be the impact on my current routine?

•What will be the impact on my family?

•What outcome do I want to achieve?

•What contributions will I be able to make

Motivation and staying motivated is easy when you know
what the achievement of your goal will provide for you
and we only really lose motivation when we lose sight
of our goal or end result.

4. Creating a visual representation of what you want

Keep the motivational fires burning by creating a
collage with the family of what your end result will
look like, or paint a picture, write a poem, sing a
song, or whatever creative endeavor excites you enough
to complete it.

Whatever you create keep it in a place where you can
see it constantly, I remember listening to someone
talk about sticking a poster of making their first
100,000 on their ceiling so that as they woke up it
was the first thing they saw each morning, and the
last image in their mind before falling asleep.

Leave yourself reminders on your fridge door, on your
bathroom mirror, in your car. The more places you are
able to leave yourself little notes and reminders
about what you want to achieve the better. Doing this
will help your unconscious mind bring you the results
you desire, whilst also supporting you in staying
focused and motivated towards achieving your goal.

5.Get Support from people around you

Support from family and friends is important but also
consider what other support is available to you.
Books, mentoring, work colleagues, life coaching,
forums – these are all things that can support you as
you work towards achieving your goal. Also think about
WHO can support you in staying motivated, can you
buddy up with someone, do you have a boss or lecturer
who will be happy to help you keep accountable.

One thing I recommend is that you tell as many people
as you know about what you want to achieve, this has
the effect of keeping you motivated to complete your
goal because you have told so many people. However, a
word of caution is needed here because it is easy for
people to trample your dreams and fail to support you.
You must first pick and choose carefully those people
you know will want to support you, but also you must
gain enough inner personal strength to be able to
continue no matter what negative comments may come
your way.

6.Develop Inner Personal Strength

Ultimately, the person who will determine whether you
stay motivated and achieve your goal will be you. Your
thoughts will determine your behavior which determines
your results. Developing a strong inner personal
strength about your ability to achieve and your
ability to motivate yourself when you are in an
unproductive state of mind is essential. Being able to
see setbacks and failures as opportunities for
continued growth and upset and emotional turmoil as
opportunities to discover what you want and need, will
determine how you view life. One of the best ways to
inner personal strength is to read and listen to
audios that inspire and motivate you. Continued
learning is an essential part of being able to stay

7. Support from Continued Learning

If you are going to need to learn new skills to ensure
you complete your goal then you it is a good idea to
identify what learning you will need to undertake as
early as possible. If you have planned out how you
will achieve your outcome then you will already be
aware of any areas where you need to strengthen your
skills or out source to others who will be able to
fulfill what you need.

There is nothing worse than getting halfway towards
the completion of a goal and to be stopped because you
are not able to complete something because of lack of
knowledge and/or skills. This is a surefire way of
dampening your excitement and your motivation.

Make a list of what you can and can't do and who might
be able to help you. Knowing this in advance can help
you avoid getting frustrated because things aren't
getting done. If you are serious about developing your
personal and professional life then I recommend
getting yourself a Mentor or Life Coach, to ensure you
stay on track.

You should also look at continued learning as it
relates to your own personal development, continuing
with your own personal development will ensure you are
able to work through set backs quickly and stay

Staying motivated when you are looking to achieve your
goals is essential for ultimate success. I have
provided you with seven practical ways to achieve
continued motivation and I recommend you use them all.
Some of them such as creating a collage will be
activities you perform occasionally, but others, such
as continuing your personal development will be a
continuous learning process. There is not one single
thing that will determine your success in staying
motivated but a combination of many, finding the
combination that is right for you will change from
goal to goal and will be an ongoing (fun filled)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The new face of SOA

Here is the link

BTW, this is a very good site to size up your technology skills.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What is the best way to compensate IT folks?

What is the best way to compensate IT folks? (Indian Context and can be extrapolated to other countries)

Before I suggest... think about this...

Lots of people talk of ESOPs and the value it generates, while fixing the IT salary package for a new hire.

Recently I had a nice chat with on HR guy, who was explaining that the notional gain is also included on the ESOPs provided over the vesting year in the annual salary.

The logic does not hold good at all.

Say for example the option is provided at Rs 40 and the current market price is 200, the notional gain is Rs 160, looks nice that after one year you are sure to get it. But think this, the market is in a high and taking example of HFCL dropping from Rs 2000 to Rs 20 in 3 months, you should not include.

Nothing is guaranteed other than the real salary!


So here are the thumb rules of an IT package.. say the take home first, annual benefit next.


HRA (plus any housing benefit)
City Compensatory Allowance
Special Allowance
Transport Allowance (Max as per tax benefits 800 without vehicle & 2000 with vehicle)
Variable Bonus (and any other form of Org Bonus, and mention the minimum guarantee sum on acceptable performance - written in clear terms, and whether payable Bi-Annual)
Retirals (PF, Guaranteed Superannuation irrespective of no of years of service)

Dont include----

Gratuity = as this notional, can be written back in books, if a person leaves before 5 years.
Lunch and transport subsidy == as you might have the company in a far of place, and this is to motivate
Annual Gift - upto Rs 5000/- is allowed as expense, not FBT'ed.
ESOPs = notional gains are not guaranteed, what if the stock falls/nosedives? (Imagine this, Microsoft gave more options (doubled) once their stocks fell in 2001)
Annual vacation - this is the benefit of hard work and helps recharge
Sick Leave = unknown (family issues)
Personal Leave = urgent matters.


So if you are offering someone from a fresher to a Senior level person, please ensure that the best take home salary in a month is provided. (including the relocation benefits fully - house shifting costs, with 2 trips with family to see house and then to move with stuff, 3-4 weeks hotel stay with food (cut HRA, if need be), school donations if any = can be added into joining bonus)

So make a spreadsheet comparing one item of the current salary got to what you can provide, and the industry norm is 30% hike easily on the monthly take home (after taxes). Also if you have "not used a IT service provider/consultant" to hire (direct from a jobsite) that person, then that 10% package benefit to be added on to this. Also if you feel that person is the "right fit", you can add 10% more... all after tax only.

Also the very important factor, "Joining bonus", a person might use his vacation to serve notice... so rather than just paying that, give a handsome joining bonus, equal to 2 - 3 months salary. (initial expenses are always big, you know, when you shift to a new place)

The annual package can be played around a bit, showing additional guaranteed benefits at the "Met Expectations level". Here both parties should agree on what they expect from each other. (if a small company expects the turnaround of a bigger co. in terms of technology and process, it goes hand in hand with clients, will not suit well, with a typical IT work time 9 to 9 on weekdays, and on call on weekends).

You can also mention based on the performance of the company, and the growth, the ESOPs (if provided) are to grow to a certain level, but not guaranteed!

Note, a person might feel very comfortable to join and all are happy.

But what if things don't work out, like he had actually replaced someone in the job, and the shortfalls by that person was not listed, being very vague, so an "exit option" also to be provided (HR folks know well about this card - putting the fear of fear of loosing a job in one person). Like 3 months notice, either side, after the first 6 months review/probation. Serious efforts to be made by both sides for first 6 months to fit well on the job. So a person will have had the chance to accustom to the job, and try to fit well in that time, with periodic reviews. Both have invested well enough, so make sure, all parties are happy. No hasty decisions, as it will affect both. 6 to 9 months would be a reasonable time, but may not look good on the resume of the candidate. So it is imperative that the employer helps him to succeed.

This stops jumping.... the decisions are made from family side, and trouble should not be given in any form. It is always the family first principle.

What is AJAX?

What is Ajax?

Ajax is a set of technologies being used together, just as "LAMP" is a shorthand referring to Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. But back to Ajax!

Ajax, which stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML, is comprised of the following technologies:

* HTML + CSS for presenting information
* JavaScript for dynamically interacting with the information presented
* XML, XSLT and the puzzlingly-named XMLHttpRequest object to manipulate data asynchronously with the Web server.

That sure doesn't make much sense to me, since HTML + CSS + JavaScript, at least, have been around since forever -- they're even the basis of my popular book Creating Cool Web Sites with HTML, XHTML and CSS.

The difference therefore is with the XML, eXtensible Markup Language, side of things, so let's focus on that. But first, if you've checked out and marveled at the drag-and-pan capabilities of Google Maps or the speedy self-contained table sorting capabilities of Gmail, you've seen Ajax in action.

So. So XML is the eXtensible Markup Language, an environment for consistently tagging and identifying information buried within Web pages, XSLT is basically a version of XML that's intended for transforming XML documents in-place (e.g., through database-type queries), and XMLHttpRequestor is the gracefully named set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow Web applications to transfer data with a Web server using the standard HTTP protocol. In a nutshell, this alphabet soup works together to allow JavaScript scripts to send data requests to the server and receive responses, all without having to load or reload a page. It's as if there's a hidden web browser / server interaction going on behind the scenes on a Web page you're viewing.

Want to learn more? Check out Ajax Matters, which is one of the primary reference sites for this rethinking of how users interact with Web sites.

My two cents on Ajax? The name may be rather goofy, but the result of applying the methodology is a quantum leap in Web interactivity. If you're a serious Web developer, Ajax is well worth studying and learning.

Different position in different companies

Different position in different companies, the social designation always varies.

The country head of IBM is called VP & GM

HSBC has a GM for this region

That doesnt mean the CEO designation is not equivalent to that job = it matters locally - equally and above.

In IT smaller the company, bigger the designation

I moved from a MNC in Bangalore to a small startup in Hyderabad, at two levels above, and was to become the CTO later.

Then I become the CEO of my own company Sharon Software Systems (My wife just with a DEEE was the Chairperson, gave very good presentations than me for the VC's), when I shut shop, I joined back as a PM only, to take the opportunity that came along, but I started paying the role of an Account Manager.

Even in the latest company, the designation might be looking simple, but it is equivalent to VP level of most of the small size IT co's. ( less than 300).

Most of my friends working abroad, have designation of Development Manager, thats it. But when they come to India, they can sure get a VP designation, should be the right fit, with the 15+ years of experience with onsite exposure. (but within the same company designation might be different). Also when I moved from USA, they just matched the designation, as SSA, which prompted me to quit in 6 months, while seeing 1 or 2 years juniors, at one level above...

Yardstick, the number of people handled, along with the social designation, with the right take home pay after taxes, plus the usual very good annual bonus and the best stock options are important.... I will discuss on compensation later on how to provide etc.

Sure, at times designation does matter....... (with the right pay)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

All About Devanga Chettiars

Still to be explored, the connection to Jews and customs. One sect has been (Padamsalis/Telugu Devanga) found to contain the traces of Jews relocated to South India while the North Indian settlers have been identified. This is 900 years history!

Rich folks do not help poor (I know even the gold medal to honour 12th Std prize winners were taken back in 1986 at Tirupur), Willful neglect of Vegetarianism, mingling with the Dravidian community for marraige, even though claiming to be close knit (I am not against it at all!) etc.. are the current issues.