Maintaining an inventory will always cost money. Millions of wealth is spent in optimizing supply chain and some have earned billions by cutting down warehouses or having zero inventory policies. New technologies, online presence, faster shipping has made people make more money by optimizing their supply chain. In my school days owning a knowledge bank like encylopedia, tell me why, how stuff works were considered to be prestigious. The advantage of large inventory of knowledge was very evident in General Knowledge exams and quiz competitions. School curriculum also relied on the application of knowledge especially in mathematics, physics and chemistry. All those days, I was relying largely on access to printed books with little or no exposure to computers. My dad’s workplace (manufacturing and engineering) also had a similar environment with little access to knowledge when immediately needed.

Technology for sure evolves at an exponential pace. In two decades internet and communication technologies has revolutionized data access such that a great amount of knowledge is available at finger tips. Does this make our process of learning and keeping ourselves up to date an expensive time consuming activity? If knowledge is available in a handheld device at any time, is it worth going through lengthy college courses for performing day to day technical jobs?

Knowledge is a basis for a thorough understanding of the fundamentals. A strong foundation of fundamentals is a prerequisite for great productivity. The more the understanding, the more is the creativity. The ability to deal with higher levels of abstraction also increases which in turn helps to deal better with our limited working memory (refer to Miller’s law). Access to knowledge/information is a boon to us to increase our ability to learn more, not just to help us remember less. Let us keep learning everyday.

My first visit to the US was little disorienting. My trip was unplanned and it was the first time that I am traveling on two 11 hour flights consecutively. Adding the jet lag for 11.30 hrs time difference and standards in America for orientation of switches, driving directions, portion sizes contributed significantly to the disorientation I had on the first day.

The very next night I landed, I had dinner with the client’s board members and their families. They were very considerate and arranged for a large range of vegetarian food in the middle of Texas. One of the ladies at the dinner made sure that we are doing well and adjusting to the new place, she kept us occupied so that we don’t feel left alone at the dinner. She was curious to know how I felt being in America, I immediately blurted out that “people drive on the other side of the road, that is disorienting.”. She burst into laughter and then replied “I like your attitude, if I were you; I would have said people drive on the wrong side of the road. It shows that you are open to experience new cultures and accept other standards. Whenever I go to London I always comment that we drive on the right side of the road and the English drive on the wrong side of the road.”

I was surprised to know the fact that subconsciously I was open to many things even though it pushed me out of comfort zone which helped me to learn and experience a lot of new things. I suppose it is partly due the work environment as well. Most part of my work life, I have been working without cubicles (dining table setup) and the companies I had worked practiced openness as its core value. This has made me feel that everyone are at the same playing field; standards, rules & conventions are fine tuned for individual and societal needs. I am right from my perspective, but for someone else it could be wrong from their perspective.

If we get into an argument about something is right or wrong, may be trying to find which way we would express the driving side (right or wrong side?) will show how we are inclined to accept other standards.

Every muscle in the body is able to communicate back to us about what its state is. It is easy to figure out where our hands are placed, it is called proprioception. Every one who has been through personal training would be very familiar with this word. It is one of the key factors in creating a proper sense of balance in the body so that we don’t injure our body. The first time I tried it, I was asked to stand in front of the mirror in the pose shown in the illustration below.

It was way too easy for me to stand that way for more than a minute. Then I was asked to close my eyes and try the same, this time I could not hold for more than 10-15 seconds. Which meant that I was solely relying on the feedback from the eyes but not from the muscles, so I had been ignoring the signals from them as I did not know how to read them. Getting those proprioception exercises helped me in getting trained better than when I did without one.

The situation is very similar when it comes to thoughts, perceptions and impressions. In today’s fast paced world with information overload and ample communication, less time is spent for the individual self. Every one of us rely on the feedback, performance evaluation done by others to assess where we stand and what we do.

We are capable to know more about ourselves than be evaluated by others. All we need is some personal time, good readings and reflections. Feedback from outside world is necessary but it only tells us more about the giver than the one who receives it. We need to learn to listen to our inner voices, understand our priorities, reflect on past and take corrective actions that will propel us forward.