Google+ Consumer Psyche: May 2020


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The art of being frugal

If there is one thing that Covid19 taught me personally, that is frugality. I am still getting accustomed to the fact that we could survive with so little! I am talking not only about money but also about the use of various resources. Let me explain.

Since lockdown got announced, we haven't ordered food from outside, used only what is here, and in fact, almost stopped wasting food. Not that we were bad before but we could feel the difference. We actually are using our resources very carefully. Right from water, vegetables, fruits, dal, rice, wheat, ghee, or even snacks for children. Amazing that we could actually eat healthy, tasty food, thanks to the superior cooking skills of the home minister, and loved what we are eating. Along with drastically changing our habits, we are able to actually enjoy food, love a better healthy meal. 

Something similar has happened to our dressing. We used very few. Same with the car - almost never took it out, bike - sparingly used and so on. Our waste output has come down drastically. We are actually giving out dry waste only once in a week!

When we look out and see heartwrenching images of people walking miles and miles, most of the time barefoot, and carrying all their possessions on their shoulders, it is really humbling to see how much we have and how less they do. We are a generation of hoarders (for the lack of better term). And we need so little to live. Wify has been telling me not to waste that last tomato piece on my plate, eat that curry leaf, and so on. In fact, it is literally respecting what we have and are blessed with. 

Thankfully we have enough and probably more and it is important to look at life with the positive eyes and see how we can be happy and use less. I realized that most of the things I take for granted are not so easy to get anymore. With so much job loss, economic crash, health issues, and financial losses being projected, it is always better to learn to live frugal, even if you have everything. 

As an organization, learn to spend less on things you don't need and try to add more value to your employees, to your customers, and deliver delight. Support a cause that is close to your heart and aligns to our calling. Don't add to the baggage but lighten it. 

As a family spend more on things that add to your skills, experience and knowledge than material comforts. Being frugal is in. Appreciate what you have. Hug your family, thank your parents, pray, and thank God that he made you more fortunate than many. Be kind, be humble, and be frugal. God bless.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The importance of being humble

Are you humble enough? They say you can't teach humility overnight. It is true. It is something you imbibe in you over a long period of time. 

I remember what one of my very educated professors at Nizam college said about research. When I asked him what lies beyond his post doctoral research, he replied that he now knows that there is so much more to learn and that he had just wet his feet in the waves of the ocean. I understand that now. After reading so much we know that there is so much more that humans have written down, documented, catalogued in the last few thousand years and we don't even unwrap the gift box yet. May be we just know a minuscule amount of things as a humanity yet.

When you are growing up in life, in knowledge, in career, learn to grow with wisdom too. As we grow we need to remember to cultivate the ultimate knowledge that the best among us are just a speck of dust on the scales of time. Jawaharlal Nehru described Napoleon was a comma in the history of mankind. Just a comma. Not even a full stop. It meant that the history of mankind pauses to observe the greatness, the passion and the great heights this puny French man achieved and yet moved on. When I had a chance to see the life-size bust of Napoleon in the famous Salarjung museum in Hyderabad, I was blown not see the face of a man, who made history pause, actually had a face smaller than mine!

As we grow, expand, learn, increase in power, never forget the less-privileged, helpless, lost souls, I implore you to remember to be humble. to be kind, to be gracious and act sensibly. Behave like you would want the other person to behave if your roles are switched. Empathise and have gratitude. If you do that you will be an angel with wings and will be blessed. Be humble despite what is the fashion as of today. Be humble as if you don't bother. Like Socrates. Like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Like Ratan Tata. Like Mother Teresa. Like Mahatma Gandhi. Like Jesus. Be what your soul with wings of an angel would behave like. Be what your child, father, mother would be proud of. Or else your millions won't matter, your awards, your achievements, your influence, your life, your name - won't just matter and will disappear.

But if you choose to be humble, things change. Because it is easy to be humble, you would actually matter more. You wouldn't have to pretend, if you grow to be a humble person. Your work would talk more. Your actions would stand out. You would grow as a person, gain respect, influence others, change lives, deliver blessings. You would be the real deal, the real hustle and the real angel. Can we all try and do that? Can we make being humble fashionable again? I hope you do! Share a story with me about anyone you have seen be humble.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday Blues: Be a promise keeper

You would be known be the promises you keep. As simple as that. The words you say will carry more weight and people will hang on to them if they know you are someone who can keep up with the promises. As a brand, it is about the things you stand by. The existence of anyone, a person or a brand is dependent upon how much value people give you. They need not be your customers and can be just observers.

Take the packet of lays for example. When I buy the pack, I am expecting the chips to be nicer, cleaner cuts and have a lot of 'air' too. When I buy the discounted packs or the ones with offers, I know that they have been second quality chips - broken, burnt, cut into odd pieces or even rejects from the batch. So my expectation is set accordingly. The same happens to Good Day biscuits and many such snacks. Organisations push these subpar, low quality products through the 'lower'/'cheaper' markets to help sell. So my expectations when I am buying these discounted or offer packs giving me more for less is always like that. I am okay with this model actually as it sets the story right, addresses the customers right.

When I buy a box of Pringles, I don't expect the chips to be broken, burnt or misshapen. In fact, it would really upset me when I find it is not up to the mark when I get a pack like that. Same applies to all our communication. The you set out to say you are the best, be the best or strive with everything you have to be the best. Without that you are not going the right way I setting up my expectations. Be a promise maker and promise keeper. If not, what is the use of just saying things anyway.

As a brand or as an individual, what are the promises you can afford to make and keep? Stick to those. In times of crisis, if you are downsized and cannot respond to my queries in  a certain time, tell me before. If you cannot be at 100% make the same promise - the one you can keep. Or else all the trust you built all this while is simply lost.

Damn! Now I am craving for chips. Pringles or Lays... bring it on!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Do more, with love

Being stressed with extra work is always hurting - physical and emotionally. One of the things we tend to do in situations like that would be to see the quickest way to get out of the work. Being able to finish things on time is awesome. When extra work crops up, we all crib (Okay, some of us). But some people do take it up as a challenge and make it a point to sail through the extra bits as if they are enjoying the work. This happens when you have a very strong work ethic and take this up as a challenge. Sometimes they even do it to perfection.

Let me give you an example. Most of the mothers in this lock down are stressed out with the extra cleaning, cooking, caring and it has been really tough on them. Most of them have been able to dish out everything they can with a smile on their face and without cribbing or complaining. Isn't that amazing? Some of them went out of their way and created amazing snacks, dishes with whatever is available to keep children and family happy. That is simply outrageously positive.

Let us take this scenario to work place. While most of us are working from home and are handling our tasks, I am sure that there would be few people in your organisation who outdid themselves in their work. They might have taken up additional duties, tasks, been creative, tried out something new, learnt a new skill or something else. Make a list of them. Appreciate them and let them know they are valued. When we are pushed to uncertainty, some of us embrace fear and defeat it. These are the guys you would want on your team, to fight for your firm, for your family.

Also take some time appreciating the ones who are working at home without breaks, holidays, lockdowns or should I call working from home all the time. Give them a week off, take over the kitchen, clean the house, homeschool children, make that coffee, watch a movie or just given them a break. They are the real heroes of this crisis.

When you have a chance to do more, DO MORE, with love. That is what makes us better leaders, better people and better souls. Thank you!

Pic is of the special peas pakora made by wife. Yum it was! Made with love.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The wealth that compassion is!

Be compassionate. Despite what is happening with people around you, regardless of what people say, or what situations demand, just be compassionate.

Most of are compassionate by compulsion. When it suits us. While there is nothing wrong in that but when you see how things are going on around you, once cannot keep quiet. There are many people who are suffering. Even animals, birds are suffering. Most of them silently. I am sure you are doing your bit and I want to thank you for that. If you are not, anyway is a good day. Even if it is really small, kindly start.

Being compassionate makes us a more emotionally stable, strong, even improves our mental and physical health. It makes us a better human being. One of the many things that we learn during situations like the Covid-19 is the discovery of our character, the inner one. What is yours depends on how you treat people around you, how you respond to someone who needs your help. It also means that you are given an important opportunity to keep up humanity and what you do is your choice.

Some of my friends argue that they need to take photographs and videos while helping out. While I don't see anything wrong as long as it doesn't hurt the receiver, I would hate it when someone does it to me. So be compassionate again.

When it comes to our children, they look at us and are absorbing everything like sponges. When we behave with dignity, respect and compassion, it echoes in them and creates a foundation for better fulfilled living.

This is what you and I should be proud of sharing and teaching our children. I hope you are a compassionate person and will continue to be one. More power to you. If you have a story/experience your would like to share, I am just an email or call away!

#TalktoTiger #Consumerpsyche #Compassioniswealth 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Hey Dad, be a MOM

In my travels overseas, I am sometimes pleasantly surprised when I see things like this. This was a baby changing station in the mens washroom in Singapore. I was super happy to see it. Always, we see mom as a caregiver and we plan things like these in womens washrooms. Never have I seen a dad take a child comfortably to the men's room (many reasons why). 

As a parent, I always believed being available for every important thing and every point possible for your children. Be it the scans when we were expecting or an injection or a doctor visit. I was there when my little ones were born, literally. This is a bit strange in India but yes, thanks to good doctors, our convincing skills and thanks to my beautiful wife. 

When you are in a situation where you can help, do it. Be there more than you can. Be a parent who is always there. Be a caring, loving, available on demand parent. Be available to appreciate the soap bubble, a fleeting butterfly, the beautiful art on the rented house wall, the pen art on your clothes. Be there to blow over that bruise, touch up the make up, wipe away those little tears, give that hug. Hug more often, reassure and be there to show you care. 

If there is anything that we are lacking in our children, that would be empathy, caring, being kind and being an emotionally healthy human being. Make sure you teach your children that you are there for the right things and you don't let the wrong things happen. Be there and lead by example. In other words, there is no more gender role rigidity. Change that and every day can and must be a mom and every mom can and must be a dad. Be a role model.

If you have examples of dads who are awesome or moms who remind you of being a caring, kind parent, tag them here and thank them. Have a great day.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Monday Blues: Sew it up with care

If you are a giver and enjoy taking care of others, if you spend most of your time and energy just in being there to help, this post if for you. Emotional investment is the most underrated investments ever.

We all know the famous line that you can't give when you are not full and you if you are not recharging. When you are taking care of others, you end up being drained. It is essential to practice self care. What we don't understand is that we keep on giving and think we are strong. Actually you are strong for others but you end up being emotionally invested and lose a bit if yourself very often. Here is a request for you. Being invested in your work, family children, parents, relationships is good but being there means a lot is being drained from you! Let us not let this be the norm.

Practice self care. Actively do that so you don't have to drain yourself. Life is tough my friend, and it is essential to recharge yourself every once in a while. I always encourage my partner to read a book, eat something nice, sleep and rest, take ME-time seriously, very often. If these are not your mojo, then do what you like. But do it. In my wife's case, she loves cleaning, sorting, mending, cooking and what not! Keep yourselves full and overflowing, so you can share your gifts with someone else who might need it.

Sew that gap, reclaim you happiness. Mend our relationships, close the gaps you left open long enough. Heal the wounds. Closure helps sometimes. Today, I encourage you to move forward in a positive way. May God give you the strength for doing that. More power to you.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Being positive when things don't go your way

This little stingray was vying for attention from us all and responding to people with phones. Locked up in the spacious aquarium in Singapore's water park, this was very heartening yet painful to see. The similar situation is what our children are going through. We are not letting them step out fearing the virus and they love going outdoors. So looking through the bars on the balcony, my little ones are trying to call out to the children on the street. So sad situation. 

What did we learn being in locked spaces to protect our families, our health and our future? We learnt that things might not go well every time. We all go through these tough situations at work, in life, in relationships and we might not have a solution or a magic potion to that. But what we have is resilience. What we have is the option to push forward, to protect ourselves, our dignity and our family's chance at having a safe life. Strive to make things better.

More than the children, moms all across are going through a lot. Wify has to do extra work, handle bored kids, irritating husband, family responsibilities and no private time. How can we even measure that? If Corona lock down has taught us anything, then let it be this.

  • We underestimate the contribution, love our parents, partner and family gives us
  • We should, must build memories that we can rely on, relive and use them as our strengths. 
  • Spend time reading stories to your children
  • Talk to your parents regularly
  • Catch up with friends and build friendships that last
  • Read, watch a movie, sing a song, cook, clean, be engaged
  • Be strong, be positive. Don't let the negativity set in
  • Pray. Pray a lot. We need prayers.
Have a good day.

#MakeInMay #ConsumerPsyche #

Friday, May 1, 2020

10 ways you can be the Hero when going gets tough

I am writing this post a day after May Day but I believe the spirit is still there. We are witnessing something very unusual around us and this is due to the Corona virus threat. All the people who could get things beforehand have done so and have holed themselves up in homes as is the expectation. However, many people who are less privileged have no other option but to fend for themselves. It is really painful to see them struggle for few things which are considered given if you have money and can afford to step out. What is heartening is to see many people come forward and volunteer. Whether it comes to food, groceries, money or just being kind, many people have come forward. This shows that we as a society are capable of many great things and one of them is being grateful.Here are few things you can do to help others.

  1. Be kind to anyone you can reach out to. Help in whatever way you can.
  2. Share a call. Listen to someone and see how they are doing. Friends, family and anyone else.
  3. Empathise and don't pass comments unnecessarily. Everyone is going through something or the other. The least we can do is being nice.
  4. Appreciate small things in life. Food, family, safety, children, life...
  5. Rekindle your relationships and build on them. Spend time with your partner, children, yourself.
  6. Learn something new. Anything. Let there be a good memory for you to remember this tough situation.
  7. Save money - By now you know that matters. So smart now if not doing already.
  8. Having a healthy life depends on how happy you are and focus on that. Be happy with what we have, what we can do and how much you have been blessed.
  9. Life is no a race but a survival in times like this and you can do it better with family and friends. Build on that. Make sure your children do that too.
  10. Pray. Meditate. Read. Laugh. Celebrate life.
Be the hero you family deserves. Have a great month ahead.