5 Lessons from the movie Jab We Met

Jab We Met is a break from the normal movies we get year after year. It is a refreshing take on love and how to live life powered by sparkling performances by Shahid and Kareena. I think this is the best role Kareena has ever portrayed, and that has breathed life into the movie. Jab We Met is not only entertaining, it also has deep lessons about how to live our lives and has close resemblance to many of the problems we face in our daily lives and how we react to them. It is cute yet sensible, stupid yet enjoyable, and silly yet leaves a impression on you.

It is a break from vulgarity, senseless comedies and rona-dhona type movies that we are being fed these days, and some scenes and dialogues are just superb. This movie appealed to movie goers of all age groups and left a deep impression on many of them. Many of my friends (and I myself) have watched it multiple times. Like I have done with Peaceful Warrior and GroundHog Day, I am listing 5 big takeaways from Jab We Met…

Choose your decisions

Many times it happens that some decisions are forced upon us, or we are obliged to take them either to look good, or just to follow some norms or patterns. What this movie shows is how important it is to ‘choose‘ and accept these decisions at ours and devote ourselves and our energy fully into it. There is no point in doing something half heartedly only because that ‘you were pushed into it‘. Give yourself fully to what you are doing, or don’t do it at all. Period

Every decision has a consequence, accept that

Every decision you take (or choose not to take) will have its consequences. They could be good in case of success or bad (unexpected) in case of failures or unforeseen circumstances. We should always take full responsibility of our actions, whether positive or negative, and never run away from them. Running away is never a solution, like our adorable couple finds out in the movie. And accepting negative results doesn’t mean feeling sorry or guilty about that, it means learning our lessons and moving on with living life. Every moment spent repenting a past mistake is another mistake. So take full responsibility of your actions, and continue moving ahead and doing what you do best.

Enjoy every moment

I see life as one short journey on this earth, which has a start and an end. And we don’t know when the end will happen. So there is no point dying before the end (as Shahid Kapoor was shown living in the beginning of the movie). We all have only limited moments, and life is too short to waste even one moment on any kind of negative emotion like hate, guilt or anger. Kareena’s role in the first half of the movie is the best example of ‘Enjoying Every Moment‘ philosophy. She does what she likes to do, and in her own way. It might make her look stupid (being a complete chatterbox) sometimes, but who cares, as she is enjoying every moment and having real fun in life. I remember one dialogue – “Main Apni Favorite Hoo” (I am my favorite) which is the perfect example of loving yourself.

Don't PASS through life, LIVE it

Don't PASS through life, LIVE it

Enjoy Loving Someone

When you love someone, it is not always necessary that they love you back. But if you turn off your love because of it, then I guess it was not even love in the first place. You can still enjoy loving the other person and doing / giving your best. Shahid Kapoor’s role in the movie is ample demonstration of that. After all, what could be better than seeing the one you love happy. They might not love you back, but that’s okay, as everyone is not so lucky. But that is no reason to stop loving someone and being deprived of that wonderful feeling. If you feel that it is not easy, then you just have to get bigger than your fears, insecurities and selfishness.

Don’t just PASS through life, LIVE it

Life will pass by even if we don’t do anything. We can either PASS through a smooth plane ride, or we can go out, take risks, breathe fully, maybe get some injuries in the process, and have one hell of a ride. Do what you LOVE, or don’t do it at all. Don’t say YES when you mean NO. Don’t do something and dream something else. I call this self-torture. Don’t put yourself to living this life of torture. I will summarize this point and end by this quote –

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!

7 Lessons from SaleRaja and other start-ups I have been associated with

When I joined my first job, work was on full swing to launch 99acres.com . I was part of the team which did all the technical work and the site was launched one month after I joined. Thereafter, I launched Sukip.com in Jan 2007 and Saleraja.com in Aug 2007. After moving to Bangalore, I worked with Jivox.com for 18 months. Recently I started PickaFight.in, this time as a non-profit initiative. In all these endeavors over the last six years, I got a good exposure to starting up and scaling up websites, both from a technical, product and business point of view.

There have been many lessons along the way, most of them learned the hard way. Here are seven important points I would like to share with one and all who might be interested in starting a web based business. UpdateHere are eight more lessons which I wrote as a follow up article 🙂

1. Passion in what you are doing

Always do what you are passionate about. If you are starting a new website based business, it will keep you awake at nights and make you work on weekends. So it is very important that it is something you are really excited about.

2. Prioritize

In my first job, my boss gave me a valuable lesson, “In a startup, you will always have thousand things to do but not the resources to do all of them. The key is to prioritize among them and then keep your focus on doing the selected tasks to the best”. I have never forgotten this. You will always have more than your plate can hold. So prioritize, prioritize and prioritize.

Working in a startup can be totally fun and 'not like' work

Working in a startup can be totally fun and 'not like' work

3. Release regularly

We launched sukip.com after 6 months of development, and then SaleRaja.com was launched after just 11 days of coding. Release early, release often is the idea. Rather than planning and building a Taj Mahal after months or years of work, start with a basic model and then make changes based on market feedback. Because the customer is the best judge of your product. Period.

4. Understand technology driving your product

As a founder, you might not do all the coding for your product, but it is very important to understand the technology behind it. By doing so, you will be better prepared to perform your job when you step in the shoes of your sales guy or the product manager. In short, it will allow you to make better business decisions.

5. Work like a family

Starting a company is like raising a baby, and hence it is very important the atmosphere is very cordial and like a family. People need to trust each other, care for each other and treat the work as their baby. This family like work culture could be the difference between success and failure later on.

6. Hire people smarter than you or who fill your gaps

You might be smart, talented and hard working, but nobody can know or do everything. Hence it becomes very important to hire people smarter or more talented than you are, or who are talented in the areas where you have a skill gap. Many times people don’t do this for personal and ego reasons, but this is a valuable lesson which I have learned the hard way.

7. Work with people who share your value system

Although your work might not require you to deal with your moral and ethical values very often, it is better to work with people who share your value system. In times of crises, or in times of extreme excitement and growth, these value systems can sometimes prevent us from making big mistakes. At the same time, a difference in the value system can cause rift between the team as both parties might consider their beliefs as right and blame the other party for not understanding.

5 Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life

There are a few movies which you can watch any number of times. Groundhog Day and Peaceful Warrior makes the list, as does “It’s a Wonderful Life“, which I watched again yesterday. It is specially good to watch these movies when you are feeling a little low or demotivated. It is a movie about a man’s life, of his struggles with his responsibilities and his dreams. It is full of passion, despair and joy. The last half hour of the movie really touches and moves you and makes you feel grateful for your life. I am going to list out five lessons from it below –

1. Be a hero where you stand

Right from his childhood when he saves his brother, keeping Mr Gower from poisoning a child or helping the local citizens of the town, George Bailey shows how to be a hero in doing the little things. Giving your best to every person and making the best out of any situation is a common trait among all great achievers in history. Whether it is doing a sacrifice for the dreams of your parents, or taking a step back to allow your brother to pursue his dream, this movie shows these acts and their importance in the impact they make on others.

2. Relationships more important than money

This movie amply demonstrates the value of people over money and other material things. Money is only an artificial thing created by us, and it should be used in the welfare and happiness of all, it should never be the reason to hate or disregard someone. George Bailey, the main character in the movie, proves this time and again by giving loans to the needy even if they don’t seem to be able to pay back. If a little money can buy someone happiness, then it should be put to this noble use. Simple.

Our lives are indeed wonderful

Our lives are indeed wonderful

3. Invest in people

We invest in property, companies, stocks and other form of investments with an aim of increasing them over time. But the biggest investment is people. This movie shows that people never forget and are touched if you sincerely help them and care about them. Investing in people is one investment which never goes bad, and it comes back to you many times invested. This is demonstrated in the movie in the way the whole town comes ahead to help George Bailey when he finds himself in a crisis.

4. Fight for what is right

We all have a deep inner voice which always tells us what is right and what is wrong. In our daily lives as we go about taking decisions, we should always pay heed to this inner voice. We should not compromise even if everyone seems to be doing so. Fighting for what we feel is right will lead us to a life filled of happiness and joy. It takes leadership and courage to stand, often alone, for what you feel is right, and that is what distinguishes the hero from the crowd.

5. You are not a failure

No man is a failure who has friends, is the underlying message in the movie. We do a lot of good in this world, and a lot of people are living off better lives because of us. Most of the time we don’t even realize how many people smile daily because of us. So if we ever start to doubt ourselves, we should take a step back and ponder over our lives and see how many lives we have touched. We might have done something which we don’t even recall now, but we should always remember that the good we do during our lifetime can return to us in many unexpected and beautiful ways.

The storyline gives a very clear message and shows the importance of community, love and faith. Each viewer will see some reflection of his life after watching this movie. The Angel Clarence makes George Bailey realise that every human life is precious, and must be cherished. And that each one of us can MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

Life Lessons from Sachin Tendulkar

Most players come as rookies, show their talents and skills, have their ups and downs and after performing consistently well over many years they are termed as legends by the critics and the media. But the case of Sachin Tendulkar is unique. Right from the first time he burst on the cricketing scene as a 16 year old, everybody knew this boy was special and there was something legendary about him. And the way he has been performing over the last 22 years, he has left all those expectations behind and rose tall among legends themselves. As a cricketer, and as a person, there are many life lessons to be learned from Sachin Tendulkar, and I am listing five of them below –

1. Humility

He has the most runs in both forms of the game, the most centuries in both tests and ODIs, the maximum man of the match awards, the highest ODI score and numerous other records to his name. He is called GOD in India. He has been called the world’s best batsman continuously over the last 15 years, and Sir Donald Bradman saw himself in his batting. Perhaps there is no one else in world cricket today who can take all this praise with the grace and humility that he embodies. Carrying the expectations of a billion people, and constantly improving the benchmarks he sets for himself has been his hallmark. When asked about being termed a GOD, he humbly says, “I don’t think it is possible for anyone to become GOD

Still the same smile and enthusiasm

Still the same smile and enthusiasm

2. Always a Student

Despite having all the records to his name, and after consistently performing well for the last 20+ years, he is still a student of the game. He believes that there is always room for improvement. He says he is always keen to improve his game and wants to focus on the next game rather than celebrating his records and achievements. The same holds true for life too, as we must strive to be its students always and take whatever lessons and learnings life has to offer daily.

3. Continuous Hard Work

He is one man in the team who many would argue doesn’t need to practice. But still he is the one who always works very hard before every series and match. He is always punctual in team practice sessions and makes sure to practice more before an important series. His asking leg spinners to bowl in the rough outside leg stump to prepare for Shane Warne before the 2001 series is well known. He has never sat on his laurels but always look to work hard on his technique and fitness, and that is the reason he is still one of the fittest players at 38 years of age.

Enjoy life like he enjoys cricket

Enjoy life like he enjoys cricket

4. Never ending hunger of the game

“I am happy with my performance, but not satisfied”, he has said many times. This after having almost all batting records to his name. His hunger for the game is something which makes his game worth watching. He still has the same smile as he had as a 16 year kid when he plays the game. He still considers every game important and the joy on his face after winning a match or scoring a century tells of his never ending hunger. The hunger to keep scoring runs, to keep his fans happy, and to prolong the misery of the opposition bowlers. If we all live our lives with the same hunger, would there be anything not possible.

5. Discipline

His greatest talent is not to pick up a ball early or hit it through the gaps, but to do it consistently for over 20 years, and constantly improving the standards which he himself has set for the world. His discipline in the nets is well known, where he sometimes bats even after the younger players wind up. Tendulkar shows that talent without discipline is useless. His preparation before every game, and his decision making at crucial times as a batsman is for all to see and marvel at. And when everybody else calls him a perfectionist at many shots, he is continuously improving at them for the last two decades with enormous hard work and discipline.

Lessons from the movie “Peaceful Warrior”

Peaceful Warrior is one of the most simple movie with a lot of deep lessons in it. It is based on the book “The way of the Peaceful Warrior” (buy from Flipkart or Amazon) by Dan Millman and recollects his story as an athlete. Nick Nolte gives one of his best performance ever in the movie. After watching this movie, you will get the feeling of wanting to enjoy every moment, something which we don’t feel very often. This movie will leave you thinking about how you run your lives, and if you are open to these lessons, you will get a lot more than just inspiration from this movie. Some of the most important lessons I learned from this movie are listed below –

No Ordinary Moments

There are no ordinary moments in life. Every moment is special, and it is your choice to make the best of it or let it go. The movie also has a quote that “There is never nothing going on“, which signifies the fact that there is always a lot going on around you, and in each moment actually lies our life. Moment after moment, that is how life passes by, and the only moment we have is this one, and this one, and so on. So it tells you to experience every moment by being fully engaged in that moment.

A Warrior Acts, Only a Fool Reacts

Life presents us with many different people and situations, and there is only thing we can control about it – our response. Work on mastering your response to different situations. Don’t let other people and situations decide how you react and feel. Be aware of your emotions, of love, hatred, frustration when they come, but rise over them, and respond in a way you want to, rather than reacting in impulse at that moment and regretting later on.

Where are you?  Here, What time is it?  Now,  What are you?  This moment

Where are you? Here, What time is it? Now, What are you? This moment

Take out the Trash

We all need to take out the trash which is in our mind. Trash refers to everything which you don’t need or which is not in the current moment. It might be doubt about your abilities, fear from your past failures, worries about the future, and so on. All this trash keeps you from doing the only thing that matters which is focussing on the current moment. The current moment is the only moment you have, and all past and future thoughts in our mind are trash.

You will Never be Better, Neither be any Less

You will never be better than anybody else, and in the same way you will never be any less. Irrespective of the kind of lives you live, practices you follow, or whatever you do or don’t do, there is no higher ground where you stand compared to others. Treating every other human being with respect and compassion shows more about you than the other person. The same way you are also not less than anybody else, not based on money, resources, thought or anything else.

Service is the Highest Purpose

Service to others is the highest purpose in life. There is no greater thing to do in life than to serve or help others. Service means unselfish kindness without expecting anything in return. We all have various talents and skills, and it is our obligation to use them to teach others and serve them. Service to others gives meaning to your life. Everybody’s life has a purpose, and you will find your purpose in service. Service to something bigger than yourselves.

This is one of the best movies I have watched, and I watch it often when I feel confused or I know I am not living in the present. And believe me, every time I get something new out of watching it. There are a lot of important lessons to be learnt from this movie, and I will be writing another post soon to cover those.