A fellow alumnus Prakash Iyer, has written a management book worth its weight in gold. Here is an extract which I remember often and which came back to me earlier today.
“……………And another motivational guru. As I watched him pull out a five hundred rupee note and hold it up for all to see, I thought I knew what he was going to do next.
But he just asked a simple question. “How much is this worth?”
“Five Hundred rupees!” the crowd yelled in unison.
“Right,” said the speaker. He then took the note and crumpled it into a ball and asked “How much is it worth now?”
“Five Hundred rupees!” screamed the audience.
He then threw the note on the ground, stamped all over it and picked up the note and asked one more time: “And how much is it worth now?”
“Five Hundred rupees!” was the response.
“I want you to remember this,” said the speaker.
“Just because someone crumples it, or stamps on it, the value of the note does not diminish.
We should all be like the five hundred rupee note. In our lives, there will be times when we feel crushed, stamped over, beaten. But never let your self-worth diminish. Just because someone chooses to crush you — that doesn’t change your worth one bit! Don’t allow your self-worth to diminish because someone says something nasty — or does something dirty — to you.”
I went to see a movie, War Horse, this morning. I ended up seeing a remake of a Hindi movie that I had seen many years ago. Before the movie, I went to the Cafe Coffee Day for an espresso and though I expected to be alone at that time of the morning, there was this young lady already there sitting all by herself. I smiled at her and bid her good morning while I waited for the barista to come up to the counter. I ordered for the coffee which the barista said would be delivered to my table considering my elbow crutches, and went to a corner table to sit. The young lady, promptly moved over to the table where I sat and to cut a long story short, we became friends.
What has this got to do with a crumpled currency note?
Before I was forced to see the Hindi movie, I was given a run around by the staff at the multiplex who had changed the timings of the movies to different ones from what was advertised in the local papers in the morning. Since I was quite disappointed, having walked over a kilometer to see the movie, I was feeling quite low having depleted my emotional reservoir arguing with the staff. They were almost condescending in their attitude and passing the buck to some body in the management that I settled for an alternative that I normally would not have.
At the cafe, old habits die hard and the good morning to a stranger and her response and subsequent conversation with me, boosted my ego back up to what it must have been like twenty years ago!
On my way back after the movie, I went to the local chemist to get some medicines. I had forgotten to take my id card issued by that chain that entails me to a senior citizen discount and informed the clerk about that. She asked for my telephone number and got it crosschecked that I was indeed registered with them as a senior citizen. She then made me jump up with joy by asking for some other identification like a driving license to prove that I was over 60! When I asked her if my looks were not enough, she gave me a million rupee smile and said “No Sir!”, You look to be about 50!
I floated out of the shop and decided to cast my vote for the local municipal elections before heading for home for lunch. Nearer the election booth, I was mobbed by two candidates and one candidate’s wife, all wanting my precious vote!
Self worth? By this time I was feeling like the hero of the Bollywood film that I had seen in the morning.