A Styrofoam Cup

A former Under Secretary of Defense once was giving a speech at a large conference. He took his place on the stage and began talking, sharing his prepared remarks with the audience. In between he paused to take a sip of coffee from the Styrofoam cup he’d brought on stage with him. He took another sip, looked down at the cup and smiled at the audience sitting in front of him early hearing the message.

“You know,” he said, interrupting his own speech, “I spoke here last year. I actually presented at this same conference on this same stage. But last year, I was still an Under Secretary,” he said.

“I flew here in business class and when I landed, there was someone waiting for me at the airport to take me to my hotel. Upon arriving at my hotel,” he continued, “there was someone else waiting for me. They had already checked me into the hotel, so they handed me my key and escorted me up to my room. The next morning, when I came down, again there was someone waiting for me in the lobby to drive me to this same venue that we are in today. I was taken through a back entrance, shown to the greenroom and handed a cup of coffee in a beautiful ceramic cup.”

“But this year, as I stand here to speak to you, I am no longer the Under Secretary,” he continued. “I flew here coach class and when I arrived at the airport yesterday there was no one there to meet me. I took a taxi to the hotel, and when I got there, I checked myself in and went by myself to my room. This morning, I came down to the lobby and caught another taxi to come here. I came in the front door and found my way backstage. Once there, I asked one of the techs if there was any coffee. He pointed to a coffee machine on a table against the wall. So I walked over and poured myself a cup of coffee into this here Styrofoam cup,” he said as he raised the cup to show the audience.

“It occurs to me,” he continued, “the ceramic cup they gave me last year . . . it was never meant for me at all. It was meant for the position I held. I deserve a Styrofoam cup.

“This is the most important lesson I can impart to all of you,” he offered.

“All the perks, all the benefits and advantages you may get for the rank or position you hold, they aren’t meant for you. They are meant for the role you fill. And when you leave your role, which eventually you will, they will give the ceramic cup to the person who replaces you. Because you only ever deserved a Styrofoam cup.”

Source: Simon Sinek

A Casual Question

Once a noble aged surgeon went to his regular neighborhood mechanic to service his car. The mechanic took his time and made sure the vehicle is handed back without any defects to his esteemed customer.
When the doctor came back to take his car the mechanic casually asked a question, “Sir you and me, we both do the same kind of work. Checking all the valves, changing the worn-out parts, removing the blocks, etc. Then why is that you get all the good things, respect and money and I do not get any of the same”.
The doctor paused for a moment and with a smile on his face said, “Son all the things you said you do now, try to do it when the vehicle is running, you will get your answer”

Render Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God that are God’s…

Once there lived a rich noble man. He was very generous and helpful in nature and lived his life along with God. He had the desire to see God and used to pray daily asking God to meet him once. Hearing his repeated request and seeing his generous gesture, God finally decided to pay him a visit.
One day when he was praying, God appeared before him. Seeing God he couldn’t believe his eyes. God said to him, Son here I am finally before you, ask me anything you want. This man thought for a while and said, God I know we human are mortal and cannot take anything from this world to heaven when we die. But I want to take my wealth along with me after my death. It is all my hardwork and I want it with me.

God was in a dilemma as what to say. But seeing all the good thing this man had done in his lifetime, God also couldn’t reject his request. God said to him, ok Son you can take your wealth along with you. But you can only bring one bag of the wealth you have.

Man was very happy and could not control his joy. He melted the best metals a man could buy on earth and made ready the bag for his journey to heaven.

Few years passed and the man died and his good deeds brought him to heaven. Now at the entrance to the gate of heaven was Peter. He stopped the man at the entrance and asked, what he is taking in with him. The man replied, it is the wealth he created during his time on earth. Peter refused him to take the bag with him. But the man insisted and replied, God had given permission to take this with him.

Hearing this Peter laughed and said to the man, Son I don’t have any problem in you taking this inside heaven. But we already have a lot of these metals in heaven. Infact the stones, floors, walls and roof of heaven itself  is made of precious metals and you don’t need these from earth as its already plenty here.

Someone rightly said,

We strive for the things not knowing it’s true value

Elephant and Piggie!!!

In today’s world voicing your opinion is considered a crime. More specifically if it does not side with the masses. People who voice their views overcoming this hurdle are then tarnished in the modern world. Constructive opinions and views are the necessity of the time for the growth of a society. It may seem easier to regurgitate your views and play to the mass appeal, but there is something to be said for developing your own convictions and sticking to them. Whether you’re afraid to speak out about your political stances or personal preferences, comfortably and speaking your mind does makes the difference.

On the contrary, many times we intentionally tend to keep away from the noise. We do have our views but feel not relevant to put forward the same in the respective forum. But is it the right way to deviate from your conviction. And the answer is “Yes”. And why is it so can be gracefully summed up in the below sketch I happen to read.

Once an elephant went to take a bath in a river and thereafter was walking on the road. When it neared a bridge, it saw a pig fully soaked in mud coming from the opposite direction. The elephant quietly moved to one side, allowed the dirty pig to pass and then continued its onward journey.

The unclean pig later spoke to its friends in arrogance, “See how big I am; even the elephant was afraid of me and moved to one side to let me pass”.

On hearing this, some elephants questioned their friend, the reason for its action. Was it out of fear?

The elephant gracefully smiled and replied, “I could have easily crushed the pig under my leg, but I was clean and the pig was very dirty. By crushing it, my leg would have become dirty and I just wanted to avoid it. Hence, I moved aside.”

Realized souls will avoid contact with negativity not out of fear, but out of desire to keep away from impurity though they are strong enough to destroy the impurity.

You need not react to every opinion, every comment, or every situation. Choose your battles wisely… Not everything deserves your time and attention.

Once George Bernard Shaw’s said, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it”.

Have a fabulous day!

​What’s​ the size of God?


A boy asked his father, “What’s the size of God?”

Father looked up to the sky and seeing an airplane asked the son,” What’s the size of that airplane?”

The boy answered,” It’s very small. I can barely see it”

So the father took him to the airport and as they approached an airplane he asked,”And now, what is the size of this one?”

The boy answered,” Wow daddy, this is huge!”

Then the father told him: God, is like this, His size depends on the distance between you and Him.

The closer you are to Him, the greater He will be in your life!

Source: Whats-app


WTF is this Design Thinking!

I was getting this mailers in office from last four months to attend the design thinking workshop. Initially I tried to ignore those but the number of mails eventually increase recently and explanations were now even asked as to why I am still unable to attend the same. Furious with the stuff I asked the Content Manager as to why is this so important. The answer most likely used to be the same as to it is mandated by the CEO’s office. But never felt the need of doing the same. But yesterday got a reply to one of the earlier mail sent to the event moderator. It just had the below incident, which answered all my queries and eventually leading me to attend the workshop. Sharing the same below….

Doug Dietz an earnest, soft-spoken Midwesterner with a wry, endearing smile and eyes that are quick to well up with tears at an emotional moment was an old GE veteran. He was the lead of the team which came up with the modern day MRI machines.

A few years back, Doug wrapped up a project on an MRI machine that he had spent two and a half years working on. When he got the opportunity to see it installed in a hospital’s scanning suite, he jumped at the chance. Standing next to his new machine, Doug talked with the technician who was operating it that day. He told her that the MRI scanner had been submitted for an International Design Excellence Award—the “Oscars of design”—and asked her how she liked its new features.

Doug was prepared to come away patting himself on the back for a job well done. But then the technician asked him to step out into the hall for a moment because a patient needed to get a scan. When he did, he saw a frail young girl walking toward him, tightly holding her parents hands. The parents looked worried, and their young daughter was clearly scared, all in anticipation of what lay ahead—Doug’s MRI machine. As the family passed by, Doug could hear their hushed conversation: “We’ve talked about this. You can be brave,” urged the dad, the strain showing in his own voice.

As Doug watched, the little girl’s tears rolled down her cheeks. To Doug’s alarm, the technician picked up the phone to call for an anesthesiologist. And that was when Doug learned that hospitals routinely sedate pediatric patients for their scans because they are so scared that they can’t lie still long enough. As many as 80 percent of pediatric patients have to be sedated. And if an anesthesiologist isn’t available, the scan has to be postponed, causing families to go through their cycle of worry all over again.

When Doug witnessed the anxiety and fear his machine caused among the most vulnerable patients, the experience triggered a personal crisis for him that forever changed his perspective. Rather than an elegant, sleek piece of technology, worthy of accolades and admiration, he now saw that—through the eyes of a young child—the MRI looked more like a big scary machine you have to go inside. Pride in his design was replaced with feelings of failure for letting down the very patients he was trying to help. Doug could have quit his job, or simply resigned himself to the situation and moved on. But he didn’t. He returned home and told his wife that he had to make a change.

So Doug sought advice on this deep personal and professional challenge from friends and colleagues. His boss at GE, who had encountered Stanford’s d.school while at Procter & Gamble, suggested he try out an executive education class. Searching for a fresh perspective and a different approach to his work, Doug flew to California for a week long workshop. He didn’t know quite what to expect, but he was eager to embrace any new methodology that would help him in his quest to make MRI’s less frightening for young children.

The workshop offered Doug new tools that ignited his creative confidence: He learned about a human-centered approach to design and innovation. By applying human-centered design methods in his own work, Doug believed he could come up with a better solution for children—and he was determined to make it happen. He returned to Milwaukee knowing what he wanted to do. Without significant resources, funding, or support from his own company, Doug knew he couldn’t launch a big R&D project to redesign an MRI machine from scratch. So he focused on redesigning the experience.

He started by observing and gaining empathy for young children at a day care center. He talked to child life specialists to understand what pediatric patients went through. He reached out for help from people around him, including a small volunteer team from GE, experts from a local children’s museum, and doctors and staff from two hospitals. Next, he created the first prototype of what would become the “Adventure Series” scanner and was able to get it installed as a pilot program in the children’s hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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By thinking holistically about how children experienced and interacted with the technology, Doug helped transform the MRI suite into a kid’s adventure story, with the patient in a starring role. Making no changes to the complex technology inside the scanner, Doug and his ad hoc team applied colorful decals to the outside of the machine and to every surface in the room, covering the floor, ceilings, walls, and all of the equipment. They also created a script for machine operators so they could lead their young patients through the adventure.

One of the prototypes is a pirate ship worthy of an amusement park ride. The ship comes complete with a big wooden captain’s wheel that surrounds the round opening of the chamber—a sea-faring detail that also makes the small circumference seem less claustrophobic. The operator tells kids that they will be sailing inside the pirate ship and they have to stay completely still while on the boat. After their “voyage,” they get to pick a small treasure from the pirate’s chest on the other side of the room. In another story, the MRI is a cylindrical spaceship transporting the patient into a space adventure. Just before the whirring and banging of the machine gets louder, the operator encourages young patients to listen closely for the moment that the craft “shifts into hyper-drive.” This reframing transforms a normally terrifying “BOOM-BOOM-BOOM” sound into just another part of the adventure. Including the pirate experience and the rocket ship, there are now nine different “adventures.”

With Doug’s new MRI redesign for kids, the number of pediatric patients needing to be sedated was reduced dramatically. The hospital and GE were happy too because less need for anesthesiologists meant more patients could get scanned each day. Meanwhile, patient satisfaction scores went up 90 percent.

But the biggest satisfaction for Doug lies not in the numbers, nor in GE Healthcare improved bottom line (although these were important for gaining internal support). His greatest reward came while talking with a mother whose six-year-old daughter had just been scanned in the MRI “pirate ship.” The little girl came over and tugged on her mother’s skirt.

“Mommy” she asked, “Can we come back tomorrow?”

That simple question made all his effort worthwhile.