Trotting on your high horse?

Headed to Buckingham Palace? Chances are you’re more than likely not going anywhere near there. Then why this compulsion to speak the Queen’s English, eh?  Here’s what I think the issue is…

It’s an instant giveaway that although you’re a product of independent India, you haven’t quite broken away those shackles of your colonial past – even if you were born two generations later. See this invisible long chain… your parents’ thinking influenced your childhood. They in turn were a product of parents amid an entire generation who believed that speaking English with the appropriate vocabulary, specific diction, pronunciation – ‘a command of the language’ would get them in high places. What does ‘high places’ really translate into? It meant a better paid job, access to an ‘elite’ inner circle, a membership into a club reserved for those not just with the means, i.e. wealthy, but also with a certain ‘polished’ look and feel about them. In other words, knowing which spoon to ‘not slurp’ that mulligatawny soup with, which fork to jab the paper thin phulka roti, or dosa with… and which knife to stab the steak with. No… you can’t pretend to be shocked! This was hurtful… because it’s true…

Well, in a desperate effort to give their kids a head-start parents work even harder in urban metros, I hear, paying an arm and a leg to see their kids sail through an International Baccalaureate program offered by a school that may even be tens of kilometers away from their residence — which is hard on young kids. Ostensibly, there’s the  ultimate payoff i.e. easier access to an Ivy League School, or at least better chances of admission to a good university in the US; or even to Cambridge, Manchester, Stirling, Oxford in the UK; or even down under in Australia! Isn’t that true? On the other hand millions of kids and youth strive, struggle and must elbow their way to come out ahead through education at poorly-funded municipal schools (not ‘Public Schools’ since those in India are the elite schools), or ordinary primary, middle school and high schools that are  close to home. In rural areas, they have to walk miles and overcome challenges to get anywhere near a school.  And that’s another story. I’ve digressed.

What crossed my mind is the following. Remember Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam? 11th President of India? Ever listened to him speak, whether he addressed the nation, or in an interview on Knowledge at Wharton? He spoke in English, but with an accent that is construed as ‘thick’, not just in the western world, but among his own people – the ones from elite schools. Listen to him, and say you don’t think so… but wait, pay attention to the content and his line of thinking? Amazing…

The point is, with the spread of languages we are exposed to routinely, we are at such a huge advantage (as compared to those who speak only one language — English)! Even the Eastern Bloc folks learn English, but foremost each one speaks their own language, may be even a different dialect. We know that the Japanese, Chinese, in the Philippines, natives of numerous African nations, the French, Spanish, Greeks, Hungarians, Scandinavians, Portuguese… they all are proud of their respective languages. As Indians, to express ourself, if we don’t find an appropriate word in English, there’s always another language we can borrow from… I often do. Just dip into your ‘mother tongue’ – no, chances are English is not your mother tongue, even if your entire family speaks in English! The joy of sprinkling your everyday parlance with your native lingo is immense… it’s so satisfying. It’s like having a complete meal – tangy, salty, spicy, sweet, and oh, with even with some bitterness in the mix! It’s all made so very flavorful…

When I hear Indians say with a hint of pride, “Oh, I only speak English, and am unable to read or write in any other language”, it makes me sad. What if one day, our human race turns into a homogeneous society where everyone speaks and thinks in just one language… how boring will it get! Science, math, technology is all boiling down to zero and one (0,1, 0, 1, 0, 1…) If all the languages of this world are reduced to just one, society, I’m afraid may be reduced to zero. They world may feel, “Know thy English“, but all I would like to say is, “No, to thy English.” “Ride, no?” 😉
QE On Horse_archive_hourseandhound_CO_UK

On 11th June 2016, Happy Birthday to Queen Elizabeth II… Her Majesty turns 90! 🙂
Photo Courtesy: Horse and Hound

Book Review: Directors’ Diaries. Author: Rakesh Anand Bakshi

Asking a film director the right questions is key. The doors opened. 🙂

Until you’ve written a book, published it, (and hopefully a few have read it) you are not an author. You’re not a film director until you have directed at least one film, it has been viewed by a spectrum of audiences and perhaps a few critics – if you’re both, worthy and fortunate (indifference and silence are worse). Rakesh Anand Bakshi has shared through his Directors’ Diaries, not just one story but he has brought to us the stories of 12 film directors from Indian Cinema. These men and women who walked the walk and talked the talk. Yes, that phrase may sound clichéed, but every film has not just its fictional story, but together, it also takes forward the collective hopes and aspirations of its entire cast and crew. The film’s director, through his/her focus & point of view transports the audience into another realm – all with the synergistic efforts of this entire team.

Now, if you wanted to be a film actor, editor, a cinematographer, a story/screenplay writer, or even another crew member working with film directors, this book is for you. If you just enjoy reading stories about real people, here are 12 who may inspire you. For some of the directors, their journeys were distinctly uncertain, for some it was a gradual progression towards a hazy goal. But for each of them, the ride towards their dream was long, never a straight line; it was strewn with unforeseen events, or serendipity shrouded at times in disappointments. They made films that are purely entertaining, or even deep and thought provoking. But who, or what inspired these 12 successful film directors to venture into cinema? I haven’t finished reading all 12 stories, but even after reading seven, I felt compelled to post this review. I look forward to reading this author’s next book, because through this all, his personal passion and understanding of the landscape are visible. Four stars for Directors’ Diaries — three for the author’s sheer effort; + fourth for the research, putting it all together, and giving it a coherent structure.The 5th star I will reserve, because isn’t there always room for improvement? 🙂

(Also posted under Amazon Reviews)

Back in New York City: Urban Registry, A Journey Back In Time

UrbanRegistryProofOfConcept

Posted originally on June 02 2006.

Look at the apartments in New York City! Check out http://www.urbanregistry.com, if you live in Manhattan or Brooklyn, or are looking to rent or buy a home in Gotham city. They’ve opened their doors to thousands of apartments and houses available for rent across the entire city. You know another good thing, there’s no service fee!

Ever searched for Housing or Apartments online? Well, I have searched for real estate and/or apartments in recent years – using Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia and such… but that’s now.

Way back, in 2006, Urban Registry was also in the same space (pun intended) i.e. in the domain of aggregated real estate search. We were building this vertical search engine, and in my role as Marketing Director, was looking for every which avenue to market our virtual product. Initially I had zero marketing $$$ at my disposal… but went ahead to create a page on Wikipedia with a ‘neutral pov’. (Soon after it was deleted.) Later, with just a $1,000 as my budget, I liaised with the Gothamist, Curbed.com, and many such New York centric online publications to figure out the how to for promoting our brand. Trulia, Redfin, Zillow, PropertyShark and a whole bunch of other sites were in the running.

I learned a bit about ‘aggregation’, and earned just enough to keep head above high water.  I wrote copy for banner ads that would run sporadically on the online websites… measurement of the effectiveness of ads, hits, eyeballs, conversions, was hard to gauge. SEO was in its nascent stages (no matter what anyone will say). Before you knew it, in a blink, the princely thousand dollars had vanished in cyberspace. Zillow went public, then acquired Trulia, Redfin is around I believe… but Urban Registry… no marks for guessing about its whereabouts. My contract with them had ended. Oddly, what could have been a great brand in the real estate search space… became another me-too, a forgotten internet company in cyberspace. Why did they let it go, I’m still baffled!  Did I post about lost kingdoms a short while back? Well, those who own parking garages and real estate in Manhattan needn’t to worry about loose change, eh? 😉

Our failures stem from fear… but surely someone succeeds?

Yesterday, I blogged about the basis of our fears. Today I’m thinking of other issues related to fear. Think of the personal consequences, and think of who benefits from one’s personal fears. You and I may not even consciously view these as fears or as the demons you must battle against.

When danger looms ahead, we are alarmed, filled with fear, dread the consequences e.g. in an exam for which you did not do quite as well as you should have, you dread the results – that sense of anticipated failure. Now if the exam is critical, the fear gets compounded. Think of it, if you fared poorly, and your job promotion had depended upon it, you will be anxious. But if   you were without a job for months, and if this exam was your singular ray of hope, the consequences of failure may be even more severe. Anxiety, worry, tension aside, you may actually stand in cold sweat, fearing the worst consequences, while you await the results.

Fear also causes:

angst, anxiety, concern

despair, dismay, doubt, dread

horror, jitters, panic

scare, suspicion, terror, unease

worry, abhorrence, agitation

aversion, awe, consternation

cowardice, creeps, discomposure

disquietude, distress

faint-heartedness, foreboding, fright

funk, misgiving, nightmare

phobia, pre-sentiment

qualm, reverence, revulsion

timidity, trembling, tremor, trepidation

bête noire, chicken-heartedness

cold feet, cold sweat

recreancy or defection

Why so many words? Well, there are subtle differences. Some of these are more pronounced than others, depending on the cause and/or consequence.

Have you ever considered that much to their own advantage, companies across the board feed off customers’ fears. In direct contrast to the variants of fear, they offer “value additions” along with their products. We, as their customers, buy into their reassuring ad campaigns, which more often than not offer a combination of these:

calmness, cheer, confidence, contentment

ease, encouragement

faith, happiness, joy

trust, comfort

like, love

bravery, courage

heroism, unconcern,

fearlessness

Through their social media marketing, or advertising messages, when brand or corporate ad campaigns do not reinforce these positive emotions in their audiences, the campaigns are deemed to have failed. Little or zero impact on customers’ psyche leads to fewer conversions, and thereby a failed media campaign. All the hi-flying numbers, communication strategy etc means nada, if social media marketers or corporate leaders do not get this basic idea right.

In closing, think of all the insurance companies, beauty products, health-related brands/services, funeral services, real estate, transportation, education, political campaigns, or then even social media… Beneath all the sweet words of wisdom is an underlying message – If you don’t buy into our brand, the chances are you will lose out. They subliminally evoke latent fear.

Lose out from being part of a larger social circle, or a club, or a group, or from your family… the “affiliation to something desirable” or sought after. That causes fear, which could then lead to personal failure; “If I don’t buy into this pricey club membership, my circle of friends will think I’m uncool and folks may begin to alienate me.”  This notion of failure is daunting for all of us… hence this business strategy propagates, companies funnel their offerings through the media you and I are likely to use; and we feed through it consuming their whole nine yards.

Who are you? A Sobbing Sucker, or a Stoic Writer?

In either case, you’re the one losing out. If you’re crying out aloud because you’re being exploited, thereby letting the world hear about those who exploit you, you’re soon out of work. If you silently suffer the hurt, but keep writing for those who’ll suck you dry for pennies, you’re helping them make money with your talents, while you get squeezed out of your apartment! Yeah, when will you ever make enough moolah – yeah, yeah that’s $$$$ (not the ‘mullah’ you reach out to when ‘Allah’ refuses to listen to your woes). Now, in case you’re wondering, and just to get the record straight –  I’m neither an Allah worshipper, nor am I a fanatic mullah-follower… even when I’m in dire straits. For that matter, I don’t lean towards any priests, pundits nor power-healers for health or holistic support. This is just a statement of fact – neither right, nor wrong.

So… why this rant? Well, here’s why… because all is not well. Here I am, away from WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or any social networking site, but busy seeking positions (a.k.a. job search) in Social Media Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content Writer, Marketing Coordinator, so on, so forth… yes, from entry level positions to mid-level to senior; from on-site real jobs, to remotely-employed sort of positions.

For every job, the requirements are getting not just stringent, but downright ridiculous, and for obscenely low $. Here’s an example of one that takes the cake… and I’m not sure if this is the last one I’ve seen on this elusive job market scene. Those with jobs are unlikely to read this post; those seeking jobs may — every now and again — peek to read this post that speaks about the plight of those in a similar situation as theirs. Terrible sentence construct… yes, I’m aware. Do I care?

Here’s what I received in my mailbox yesterday in response to an application for ‘freelance copywriter’. I received  a PDF file that is nine-pages long. It details the company background referring to its partnership with the Who’s Who in residential and commercial real estate, nationwide (and even internationally). It also raves about its business association with premier luxury car brands. Furthermore, there’s an element of latent pride in that their articles have featured on trade publications, or leading vertical search engines. A list of types of work one can expect to write about is also enumerated. All good thus far. In fact, even the list of expectations (from potential copywriters) seems reasonable on the face of it… well-researched, grammatically accurate, error-free writing… fair enough.

But now, when it comes to money, or the credit for your writing, expect to be paid peanuts — around $15 for a 500 words article, and this includes one round of revisions at least! As for the credit, you aren’t allowed to even feature an article written by you in your personal portfolio — sorry, the nature of ghostwriting. Then again, zero credit for your article when it is published. Somebody else takes credit for your hard work. Oh yeah, the company will be kind enough to put in a good word for you, should you ever make a request for a reference.

I’m very curious – are all these A-rated auto makers, and A-rated realtors so cheap, that they will even suck the copywriters dry? Or are creative service providers headed by greedy (and lazy) chieftains, who, under the guise of creative genius just out to scam both, their clients, as well as those who write for them? Which of these is true?  In case you thought, my post ends here, I’m sorry.

There’s another attachment – a three-page document a.k.a. a sample of writing. Based on the style of this article, the potential copywriter/ghostwriter is required to write and submit a new article (500 words) for a given topic. This will demonstrate writing style, command over language, research skills, timely delivery etc. Of course, plagiarism is disallowed (No self-respecting writer would stoop low in any case).

If this was not enough, another article is required. In 500 words again, write from a selection of topic options. One glance will indicate that it is research intensive. No, for neither of these articles will the applicant be paid.

In my mind, these are like shell companies reeking of scams. I searched for a legit website for the company. There was none to be found across the web. It is important to remember… we are writers, not suckers. I believe in my ability. I won’t succumb to crappy scams like these. I’d rather spend time writing this post for myself. Cheers.

P.S.: To write a decent, well-researched article (500 words)… to proof-read, revise, submit and provide at least one revision to the client will take at least 3-5 solid hours of work. That’s more than half a day’s work. If you write even 10 articles over a 5-day week, that’s plenty. People claim that writers submit 100 articles… can anyone believe this?

This Blog is worth… how many $$$$?

Ever done a search for your own blog? I did… just yesterday. I tried, in vain, to find the log in button on this page, so later I Googled for wordpress login along with user name. What do you know? There was a site that stated what this blog is worth. I was aghast! Not by the $$$$ number displayed, but by the idea that some random no-name company is using some vague algorithm (algorithm being a rather fancy term for something basic we learned in middle school – “the step by step procedure to calculate e.g. to solve an equation, etc.”) to determine the value of my thoughts and the written words.

Now, can anyone explain to me – step by step – why anyone should attempt to calculate the worth of my personal diary – my web log? What business is it of anyone but myself, as to what the value of what I jot down here is. Do I go out to estimate the value of some random house on this planet? I don’t need to unless I’m in the buyer-seller market for real estate, and interested in buying or gauging the worth of my own house. Or am I out searching for information on what the true worth of that company is – the one that’s trying to put a $$$ value on my blog?

This is the problem… why can’t folks just mind their own business? Have I assigned anyone the task of estimating this blog’s worth? No, I have not., and I can bet that most of us have not done so. One can understand that companies, corporations, non-profits, others who receive funding from others to run their business (apart from their own monies in the venture) need to estimate the goodwill, or brand value to put it on their annual reports as their asset/s. Just in case they wish to liquidate them, or have intentions of selling their business, or perhaps need more financing to expand or manage their current business. I have none of these intentions!

When businesses attempt to gauge the value of someone’s assets, when they have not been assigned to do so, it should be deemed as encroaching on someone’s privacy. I have my own reasons to write, blog, fill the space here – whether it’s trite, useful, serious, helpful, nonsense, humorous…  is not anybody’s concern, but my own… as long as I’m not encroaching on anyone else, or anyone’s privacy. How many visitors this blog has, how many likes, how many followers, how many…,  how many…, how many…! How many times and for how long will we be subjected to this marketing madness or social media mania of gauging popularity? Does everything have to be converted to indices, measurement and minutae for even further dissection? So companies, please stop your nonsense of determining “What is your personal blog worth”!

Had trouble finding followers?

That’s the trouble… why do we even think of this as trouble. Are we Pied Pipers driving the art of writing to its death?

Those who truly think independently, don’t quite care about a fan following. The real independent thinkers and philosophers wrote their ideas or expressed them. Because they made sense we read about such people, read their books, or follow their ideas, believe in their philosophies, or ponder over their thoughts.

Writing can be triggered by something you saw, read, or experienced… anything could serve as a stimulus. The idea about having platforms like wordpress, or twitter or blogspot or even facebook… if each of us did our own thing, write our own ‘think’, create content that we actually believe in, it would be so much more fun than just circulating ‘forwards’ from hotmail to gmail, or worse, re-posting it as your own content (aka plagiarizing).

How much of all that we read, or is written is truly meaningful? What I write today on my blog (web log i.e. my diary) here, will the words sound dated five years from today, or five months away, or say in five days? Recall, blogs first started out as digital diaries that you could revisit someday. These diaries were personal, not items and writings that others could pry into. If someone laid even a little finger on it, leave alone leaf through its pages, the diarist would be hopping mad. But a page in a diary gives a glimpse of the person who wrote the words. It may give a hint into a person’s character. What interests me are human relations, how the mind thinks… why it thinks the way it does, what transpired in the person’s life to bring about such thoughts? You can weave an entire story… stories are telling. We will forget products but if there was a story around it, we tend to remember it more.

Today, though, many of us tend to clamor for a large fan following. Just the other day, I recall either tweeting (or blogging) about why anyone should care how many followers I have on Twitter, or how many tweets I posted… or for that matter should it matter to anyone but myself how many folks I follow? What does matter is whether or not my content, words, tweets, chirps hold meaning, have some interesting take or twist on a subject that I read, or found interesting. e.g. on Twitter, I’d be more eager to see a tab that displays counts of re-tweets, or favorite-d strings of 140 characters. But all we do is post link after link without giving our take on it, without expressing our views or what it was that piqued our interest, or held your attention if even for just a moment. We’re in such a grand rush to move to the next subject… all in a hurry, rushing to nowhere in particular.

So here’s what I believe… you can create your own content, or you can curate content that others have created. Yeah, someone will likely turn around and say this is jargon, old hat, content curation is a term used for years now. But my point is, even if it’s been used for years, have we all learned how to do it? Whether as companies, or as individuals, how succinctly can we summarize what we read and present it in a coherent, or more interesting manner, or more pertinently, can we add our two cents to it?

Every platform that is built – either as an app or web tool – is sort of latched on to by marketing departments to promote their brands, products etc. What started off as a space for ‘you, me  and us types of individuals’ now turns into an overcrowded platform used by professional corporate bloggers, content providers, content curators. There’s just so much information out there about everything and nothing. If there’s any particular topic or subject of interest, sift through it to find what interests you, present your views, and create a fabric that appears interesting when you look at it as a whole. If it is linear it won’t be quite interesting, but add dimension, give it depth, add color, bring in elements to enhance the entire picture. But as in any picture or photograph, if there’s a singular focus it will appeal to many. Some may like the picture for the color, others may enjoy it for its texture, but most will enjoy it as a whole, unable to quite pinpoint what it was they liked about it, nevertheless they do like it. Well, in a nutshell, that’s what I think is the purpose of content creation, and content curation.

Who skips the sex scenes… while e-Reading?

What someone enjoys as bedtime reading, or what twisted tale a storyteller wishes to spin, matters little to me. But out there, like Peeping Tom, loads of companies are snooping on you to note whether you’re a diehard romantic, or whether racy violence is your page-turner. Do you speed-read, or is pausing after every paragraph your scene. Whether you play, re-play, or ponder over the written word… or perhaps pause to grab that bag of popcorn. (Pardon me, but that last bit of popcorn was a stretch of my imagination!)

Now, do reviews on Amazon tell the real story of how many folks truly enjoyed a book, or do start ups have a better handle on the true facts about real reader interest in all fiction. A new war seems to be looming, one that’s more than likely to draw writers away from their desks or out of the wood-works, to battle on virtual grounds. Data, collected by tracking reader habits, and made available by companies, may steer astute writers towards domains that seem to sustain reader interest. Those who enjoy writing may have put pen to paper, or clicked away on a typewriter, or keyboard… for the sheer pleasure of writing. Deep within, most writers seeks readers, yearn for their feedback, their appreciation and if that’s a critical essay, could one ask for more? (No, not everyone is Naipaul.)

In an era of e-books and self-publishing, competition is not only from other authors in the genre, but is also from blog-writers, advertisers, endless Facebook time, tweet time, YouTube viewing, TedTalk, reality shows, extreme everything… to get that rush of adrenaline. With this continual battle to grab a moment of quality reader time, it’s time to morph a veritable passion for the pen and turn it into a killer sword. Your hard-bound novels are likely to be pirated to be made available on Scribd; your paperbacks may be sold in wholesale… a dime for a dozen. Dreaming of the Pulitzer, or are you of Pearl S. Buck caliber?  Beware, or at least be cognizant of the Oyster tracking your work, which follows readers, to determine which of the pages are skipped, or which make for a thriller. As readers, or authors… we will all be manipulated, one way or another. Now the question is, as a writer, will you survive by the skin of your teeth, or do you have that killer instinct that will allow you to thrive in the deep jungles of the vast Amazon?

The Wisdom Tree film… a spiritual journey that traverses farther yonder!

On a dark, stormy night, driving on an empty road in Northern California, Steve Hamilton, a self-conflicted quantum physicist meets with an implausibly bizarre car accident! Dr. Trisha Rao, a compassionate but unwavering neurologist attending to Steve’s injuries, and an anguished FBI Agent, Mike Parker, attempt to untangle this baffling accident. The mystery deepens as the trio stumbles upon clues rooted in fine art, music, mysticism, spirituality, and science. The confounding clues trigger a cascade of questions; before long, the troika foresees the inevitable — the human race is at risk! With twists in the plot, this sci-fi drama progresses to avert a looming catastrophe.  A haunting background score with ethereal vocals, integral to the story, lends to the timeless dimension of The Wisdom Tree film, essentially a fiction story.

The Wisdom Tree melds quantum physics with eastern mysticism in a riveting mystery that swirls around human desires and their latent fears. The knotted plot of this sci-fi drama tangles around an exquisite backdrop of fine art paintings, Indian classical music, and new age elements, alluding that the universe is multidimensional, strange, and harmonic; and, as some eastern spiritual traditions have long maintained, “All is One”. Amidst this harmonious confluence of colors, shapes, shadows, light, space, time, mystery, math, music, and the mystical, lurks a profound question, “Could this be true?”

Recently, did you watch the film première at AMC Metreon in San Francisco? Or, their next screening in Orinda, East Bay, California? Well, if mysticism, mystery, sci-fi, spirituality, art, music are your scene, you may not want to miss this film. Ever since its private screenings earlier in 2013 at Emory University, Atlanta, and at the Science and Non-Duality Conference, San Jose, audiences and invitees have been intrigued by this indie. Here’s the small catch… it isn’t mass-distributed. Hence, you may want to sign up to request a screening in your town. If this subject excites you, you may even want to volunteer and get your friends, family, like-minded folks near you at your Meet Ups or Groups to sign up. The sooner you all sign up, and the more number of folks express interest, the sooner it will be screened in a town near you. Well, I’ll make this easy… watch The Wisdom Tree film trailer. 😉

Oh, I almost forgot to mention… the ravishing Sheetal Sheth is in the key role as neurologist, and Patrick Alparone, a fine theater actor you may know of already, plays his first film role as quantum physicist. Check them out. There are many fine actors this film has drawn. The crew also includes some eminent Oscar winners and other award nominees. Personally, it all speaks well of Writer/Director Sunil Shah, and the co-producers of the film, Laura Techera Francia and Renu Vora. There are many names you may recognize. Visit their facebook page, or join their growing number of followers on twitter… indeed, they’re active.

Downtime rejuvenates the working body… and mind.

Mind you, if anyone caused pangs of guilt in your head, ’cause you took a short nap in the middle of a work day, erase those negative feelings, pronto!

Downtime is not a waste of time… repeat these words in your head, until you feel free of guilt… not because I’m suggesting that you feel so, but because you will truly feel liberated from that nagging feeling that somehow made you feel you’d committed some major crime.

Mid-afternoon can take its toll on you, in more ways than one. Perhaps it’s the hottest part of the day. May be you’ve had a series of meetings all morning, and concentration during those meetings was imperative – – even if you were not the speaker (in fact, more reason to have been concentrating on those ‘need to increase productivity’ speeches from your boss, and his/her boss) – – because your annual bonus depends on what they said this morning! It is also possible that what you’d planned and hoped for as a productive sales call turned out to be a ‘hit by a bolt of lightning’ nightmare… your junior had just botched up, and you spent precious time troubleshooting, mollifying the irate customer or prospect. One could put this down as an occupational hazard… but remember, although the blow was hard to handle, and you somehow succeeded to salvage that business, the entire process and effort took an immense toll on you – not quite quantifiable.

At every juncture, each one of us is making decisions… numerous decisions… some impact us in small, trivial ways (but they all add up, nevertheless); others, have a bearing on our lives. It’s e.g. the difference between keeping – or losing – your job; or, whether or not your kid will be able to go on a camping vacation with buddies in the spring… your bonus would pay for that eagerly-awaited vacation and the much-deserved new pair of boots you will buy for the child, to not simply show off, but to bring some comfort to those little feet. Isn’t that what you’re wearing out your soles for (without having to sell your soul for the extra bucks)?

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Decisions such as these take their toll on us as working individuals. Your short nap will not break your company’s bottom-line, but without the twenty minutes’ shut-eye, you may, at some point, reach your breaking point! Think of it as a mini vacation from work… from having to look at a gazillion emails, a respite from the incessant stream of phone calls, but most important, it’s a few minutes off, from having to ‘make a decision’. Your productivity is bound to improve and you’ll more than make up for the ‘lost’ twenty odd minutes, ‘slacking off’. Try it out.

Reams of research by psychologists, scientists, and even global businesses have arrived at one common conclusion that we, as human beings, in today’s mad pace of work, technology, and media impact, are inundated by information overload that takes a toll on us. With the numerous points of decision making imposed upon us each day, it is not unreasonable that our body and mind require rest and rejuvenation at a mid point during our waking hours… separate from the deep sleep we normally go into, for 6-8 hours each day of our life. A quick internet search within scholarly articles for query phrase (keyword search) “mid-afternoon nap productivity” generated numerous results… the pix here is a screenshot of page 1 of the SERPs.

A recent article in The New York Times also evoked numerous thought-provoking reader responses.