When Problems are opportunities in disguise

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes! ~ Henry J. Kaiser.

This comment from Kokila on my post ‘Being Unreasonable may lead to Innovation’ triggered the thought for this writeup.

We often whine about the no of problems that surround us and the difficulties that we face in our day to day lives. But then there are those who persevere under trying circumstance and turn the constraints into opportunities.

Here’s the story of Toyota, a business that emerged successfully out of severe constraints during its formative years, guided by people who sought new perspectives to look at problems and  worked around the constraints.

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A Mission in Mizoram

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By Bhudeb Chakrabarti

The monsoon set in quite early this time in the high hills of Mizoram. It was raining incessantly throughout the day and night in the middle of July 1986. Zemabawk, on the outskirt of Aizawl, was the location of CRPF headquarters. I was posted as DIG CRPF, responsible for overseeing the operations of all CRPF battalions deployed in Mizoram.

 

The Mission

On 30 June, 1986, the Govt of India had signed a “Peace Accord” with the Mizo National Front (MNF) ending the two-decade old insurgency in the ”Land of the Highlanders”.

CRPF was assigned the mission to receive MNF cadres at designated places and take over their arms and ammunitions for handing over to the Army. Subsequently the MNF cadres were to be escorted to a Peace Camp “Remna Run” on a high ridge near Tui- Vamit-Tlang, a windy village, at one extreme end of Aizawl.

Parva and Marpara were the two earmarked places through which the MNF returnees were to enter Mizoram from Bangladesh and lay down their arms and ammunitions.

 

The Terrain

Aizawl, set on the ridges of steep hills is flanked by the lofty peaks of the beautiful Durtlang Hills.

Durtalang Hills , Mizoram
Durtalang Hills , Mizoram | Image Source : misual.com

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Jana Gana Mana – From Morning Song to India’s National Anthem

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Thou Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny,
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat & Maratha, of Dravida, Orissa and Bengal,
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges,
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny,
Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.

English translation of India’s National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” by Rabindranath Tagore

In the year 1911, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote a hymn in in Sanskritised Bengali “Jana Gana Mana” that was to be sung for the first time at the 26th annual session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta.

 

The Morning Song of India

James H Cousins, an Irish poet and the principal of Besant Theosophical College at Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh had heard of the song. He invited Rabindranath Tagore to spend a few days at the college. At his behest, Tagore sang Jana Gana Mana in Bengali before a gathering of students.

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4 Lessons from the Life of Louis Zamperini

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.

– Bern William

The life of Louis Zamperini, is a tale of unbroken human spirit.

Louis Zamperini, a US Olympic runner, who became a fighter in the World War II, was marooned in the Pacific ocean for 46 days, survived the ordeal of a Prisoner Of War (POW) in Japanese camps, and later turned into an inspirational speaker, exemplifies resilience.

A wayward child, Louis had taken to smoking and drinking, early on in life, and was often picked up by the local police for getting into brawls. His parents were first generation Italian immigrants who had moved to Torrance, California, in 1919. Their repeated efforts to discipline Louis were discounted by the defiant kid; but the constant encouragement of his brother Pete, influenced Louis and he started taking an interest in sports.

His racing abilities soon came to be noticed, as he started improving and winning races, including the national high school race, in which he broke the record set during World War I.

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Louis Zamperini   Image Source : veteransadvantage.com

Louis went on to participate in the 5000 metres race in 1936 Olympics, where he finished the final lap so fast (in 56 seconds beating the previous Olympic record of 69.2 seconds) that it caught the eye of Adolf Hitler, who personally came up to Zamperini and shook his hand.

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10 Quotes on how Nature inspires Creativity

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

Nature is the best designer

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Nature has been a perennial source of inspiration for many! Artists, architects, designers imitate the design patterns of nature; poets describe its beauty and scientists try to unravel the mysteries of nature. A deep look into nature unlocks imagination, and inspires creativity.

Nature paints the most wonderful pictures that can take your breath away and engulf you in their majestic beauty.

One can not stop marveling at the designs of nature. The spiral of sea- shells, the swirl of rose petals, and the arrangement of sunflower seeds, air vortex created by the flapping of wings of insects, the galaxy spirals and even the eye of a hurricane follow a geometrical pattern that is represented by the Fibonacci series.

Here is a collection of quotes that highlight the connection between nature and creativity and the creative inspiration that you can draw from Nature.

 
Nature is Art quote

What is Art, monsieur, but Nature concentrated? ~ Honore de Balzac


Nature design quote

There is no better designer than nature. ~ Alexander McQueen

Designs of Nature quote

Some of nature’s most exquisite handiwork is on a miniature scale, as anyone knows who has applied a magnifying glass to  a snowflake. ~ Rachel Carson

 

Nature and Imagination quote

It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination. ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

Nature is a powerful teacher

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Nature teaches us many valuable lessons of life. As we discover our connection with nature, it renews our senses, rejuvenates and revitalizes us. Nature never hurries and yet it accomplishes everything.

Through its repeated patterns, nature reminds us of the things that remain constant over time, while also teaching us to be optimistic and to remain open to the unknown.

 
Look deep into Nature quote

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein

Nature rejuvenates quote

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.  ~ John Burroughs

 

Nature Walk quote

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir

Nature does not hurry quote

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

 

Nature heals quote

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. ~ Rachel Carson

 

Nature quote by Tagore

 Trees are the Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Images by : Ratna Banerjee 

 

Lei: A wreath for your soul  is a collection of short poems that combine elements of nature, philosophy, culture, science and spirituality. Take a peek here on Kindle Store.
Lei

 

 

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8 Inspirational Quotes on Teachers

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

If it is true that the future of a country lies in the hands of its youth, then it is equally true that the future of the youth is shaped by their teachers.

5th September is the day dedicated to the teachers.

A great teacher is like a great artist, who ignites the minds, makes a subject interesting and engrossing, and inspires students to explore the subject and its application in greater details.

Like a potter shapes the clay, good teachers have the ability to mould students and shape up their personality by influencing their thinking.

Here are 8 inspirational quotes on teachers.

Quote on Teacher

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. ~ Albert Einstein

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10 Inspirational Quotes for Managing Change

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Change is inevitable and one must learn to adapt to it.

In a world that is changing continuously, one must learn how to deal with change. Change is not always easy and transitions are not always smooth. The most successful are the ones who perceive the changes quickly and adapt themselves to those changes.

Here are 10  inspirational quotes for ‘Managing Change’, which serve as a reminder that the best way to adapt to change is by changing your own outlook.

There are three constants in life: Change, Choice and Principles . ~ Steven Covey
Change, choice, principles

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change. ~ Charles Darwin

Managing Change quote by Charles Darwin

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Ten inspiring thoughts to begin 2014 with

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Talk to yourself once in a day. Otherwise you may miss an excellent person in this world.”  –  Swami Vivekananda.

 

Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein

 

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” –  Mohandas K Gandhi

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Leadership lessons from the life of Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela
Illustration by Manas Maisnam courtesy Kanglaonline.com

On 18th of July, in the year 1918,  Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo in South Africa, who grew up to be anti apartheid revolutionary, served as the President  of South Africa and became a great champion of humanity for the world.

Here are some quotes from Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations

 

On life

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

On death

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.

On determination

Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.

On time 

I never think of the time I have lost. I just carry out a programme because it’s there. It’s mapped out for me. Read more

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