Saturday, April 7, 2007


It's interesting actually to see just how the same things affect different people, differently. There is the folklore example of two kids having an abusive father. One grew up to be just like him and the other grew up to be the exact opposite. For he realised the error of his fathers ways.

This "realisation" bit has always puzzled me. It flies in the face of the old adage "you are the company you keep".You aren't. Everything around you affects you for sure. It is for the individual to channel it in one direction or another. I don't know why some get it right and some go the wrong way. Maybe its the genetic makeup and prominent tendencies. Scores of shrinks have made millions on this alone. But I believe everyone is born with an inherent outlook. Some are born pessimists, some incorrigible optimists and some are cynically indifferent.

This is who they are, and while you can coach someone to change their outlook to an extent, the change is never complete. An inherent pessimist will never automatically look at brighter side of things. He just wont. Sure, give him 2 hours and he will come around but the initial reaction will be varying degrees of "oh god!! this is soooooo baaaaad!! We are allll gonna die!!!!"

Below is a list of people who have inspired me to be everything that I am. I have learnt from them whether they were teaching me or not.

1. My Dad: He taught me responsibility, the sheer benefits of asking fundamental questions (amazing how many people DON'T do it) and most definitely, patience. If you think I am impatient and short tempered now, you should've seen me before dad went to work on me!!

2. Shah Rukh Khan: Energy. Never say die and that Impossible is Nothing.

3. Hitler: He taught me to challenge things as you know it. He taught me to be unreasonable. He taught me that if you have the balls, the world is yours to take.

4. Michael Schumacher: The unbelievable ability to be humble, arrogant, cocky and confident in the same freakin' sentence. Honestly, I'm still working on this one.

5. Amitabh Bacchan: Sheer grit. I hope I am as committed and energetic as he is when I reach his age. This guy deserves every bit of success that has come his way and lots more that hasn't

6. Bill Gates: Business is business. You have to stay ahead. Period. Despite all the flak that Microsoft gets, I know this guy can truly change the world with his ideas which he isn't scared of pursuing.

7. Warren Buffet: Self belief and the ability to think with simplicity through the most complex problems. The ability to cut through the jargon and devise simple elegant solutions to the most complex problems.

8. Stephen Hawking: "I am wrong" He accepted he was wrong, and had been for 30 years in a room full of the brightest minds in science today. He risked his name, and his professional fame to bring forth the truth. Of course, he also inspires me with the fact that he has the determination to be the foremost scientific thinker despite his unbelievable disabilities.

9. Lakshmi Mittal: The ability to spot opportunities where others miss out. To again cut quickly through what is nonsense and see the core value propositions of every opportunity.

10. Dhirubhai Ambani: The difference between being educated and "qualified" and the ability to get things done. Come what may. Sure, the jury is still out on his ways and people complain he bribed everyone from Peon to God but everyone had the same opportunities. He saw them first, and got things done the way he wanted.


  1. If I had to make a similar list I would mostly have people in my life on it. People like my mother, some of my colleagues and so forth. I am not sure I would put Mother Theresa in there- I guess I find it too impersonal. Which would obviously mean I am missing out on quite some inspiration. How do you get inspired by these people- I am not sure if I am making myself clear- how do you sort of see them as real people?

    1. Oh wow. this is an old post! actually, the single biggest influence of my life isn't even listed here - Steve Jobs!

      To your point, I dont really see them as 'real people' i mean, i dont really know them (sadly :)) but what inspires me is what they have been able to achieve - their actions, their thoughts - those are things that inspire me. These are really great people who have done extraordinary things :)