Friday, 22 October 2010

Slow Down Culture

Author unknown:

An interesting reflection: Slow Down Culture………

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

Said in another words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm , has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think so?" Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week. Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the quality of being".

French people, even though they work only 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 29 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!". This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, perfection, with more attention to detail and less stress. It means reducing rejects and wastage. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous future. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment.

As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world.

Sunday, 1 August 2010


Last week I a saw movie named Invictus. So the first question comes is whats so great about it, I have already seen lots of movies but never wrote anything about them.

To start with....this movie is little different. It start with Nelson Mandela release from prison and ends with Rugby match. Like usual motivational sport movie, this South African Rugby team roses from Ash and proved their mantle. This movie appears more like documentary rather than any commercial one, because it depicts the real story of Nelson Mandela and his great vision to reduce the gap between white and black color people. Through rugby game Nelson wants to unite both races people to accomplish common goal.

In movie, Mandela repeatedly recite following two lines to keep himself motivated and also rugby team captain [and obviously me :) ]:

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus, meaning Unconquerable/Undefeated in Latin, is a poem by British poet William Ernest Henley. The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for Bone tuberculosis. He was being told worst of prognosis, that his foot would have to be amputated. This poem comes as a statement of what is important in the face of the horrors of life. Henley survived that medical crisis and led normal and active life until his death.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Refer following two links to know more about Poem and Movie:

Invictus [Poem]

Invictus [Movie]

Monday, 1 February 2010

Few Good Lines of Shantaram

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

We are helpless, usually, in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn't always help us to love the world, but it does prevent us from hating the world.

'I want everything,' she replied with a faint, wry smile. 'You know, I said that once, to a friend of mine, and he told me that the real trick in life is to want nothing, and to succeed in getting it.'

'Tomorrow,' she said, 'when you go to Prabaker's village, try to relax completely, and go with the experience. Just .... let yourself go. Sometimes, in India, you have to surrender before you win.'

I'd rather be clever that wise, any day. .... If I was giving wise advice ---- which I'm not ---- I'd say don't get drunk, don't spend all your money, and don't fall in love with a pretty village girl. That would be wise. That's the difference between clever and wise. I prefer to be clever, and that's why I told you to surrender, when you get to the village, no matter what you find when you get there.

We can compel men not to be bad, but we cannot compel them to be good.

A politician is someone who promise you a bridge, even when there's no river.

'Nothing, my old friend. Only, is it not true that some of our strength comes from suffering? That suffering hardship makes us stronger? That those of us who have never known a real hardship, and true suffering cannot have the same strength as others, who have suffered much? And if that is true, does that not mean that your argument is the same thing as saying that we have to weak to suffer, and we have to suffer to be strong, so we have to weak to be strong?

You are not a man until you give your love, truly and freely, to a child. And you are not a good man until you earn the love, truly and freely, of a child in return.

You know the difference between news and gossip, don't you? News tells you what people did. Gossip tells you how much they enjoyed it.

Some of the worst wrongs, were caused by people who tried to change things.

It isn't a secret, unless keeping it hurts.'

A man trusts another man when he sees enough of himself in him OR may be when he sees the things he wishes he had in himself.

'These Afghans may not be the best men in the world to live with, but they are certainly the best men in the world to die with!'

A strong men make the luck to happen. A strong man makes his own luck.

Luck is what happens to you when fate gets tired of waiting.