How I improved my GRE score from 295 to 317 (part 1)

If you are reading this blog you are most likely preparing for the GRE, considering it or contemplating if a second attempt is worthwhile. Before we go ahead and explore these options let me give you a little background about myself. I studied Bachelors in Business Management in India and MBA in the USA. The Business school I graduated from in the US did not require a GRE or GMAT (there were other parameters like work experience, strong SOP, letter of recommendation, and, under graduate GPA) however, now that I aspire to do a PhD it is mandatory to attempt either GMAT or GRE. I am going to bifurcate this blog into two parts; here, I will tell you what went wrong in my initial attempt (you must avoid my mistakes!) and in part two of this blog I will share tips and tricks of what worked out for me and resources I used for preparation.

Following are factors that contributed to my poor initial performance (V 142, Q 153; Total 295)

Poor Scheduling: while I did start planning ahead of time to apply for a PhD program I focused majorly on shortlisting schools and going through class profiles. In due process I skipped checking for the application deadlines assuming that there might be seasonal intakes like it is for a Master’s program. Only few months before the deadline I realized that fully funded PhD programs only offer one application window annually (mostly between October and January) following which,  I started my GRE preparation by hitting the panic button. I gave the GRE in December and had less than fifteen days to prepare a SOP and arrange for letters of recommendation and transcripts. Luckily, my former professors were available though it was the holiday season but never the less it was a big risk. I was able to apply only to one university and obviously, got rejected. I did not set my expectation high knowing that I had a very low GRE score (295) and a poorly curated SOP. I applied anyways, to experience the application process so that I would be able to better organize timelines the next time I apply. My sincere advice to you is to allow at least two to three months before your application deadline. ETS takes about ten days to upload and send your score to the Universities and also, ETS has a freeze period of 21 days before you retake the exam (if you decide to).

Lack of Confidence: after going through tons of videos and blogs by successful test takers I found that majority of them were from an engineering background and that intimidated me. I have always been an above average student but this would be my first competitive exam of this nature (that too with only one month of preparation time available) So I joined a coaching institute thinking it will help me organize my time and help me prepare more effectively. I am not going to comment whether or not I recommend going to a coaching institute but it certainly did not help me. It was not only expensive but quite digressive from the learning requirements. They did share plenty of reading material but I found out later that there are ways to obtain these materials online at minimum to no cost. For Verbal we practiced many sample questions in the class but the logic behind identifying the correct answer was not rightly shared. Similarly, in quant only problems of a certain difficulty level was discussed and learning formulas was greatly emphasized while ignoring discussing basic concepts and different ways of approaching a problem. In my opinion one does not require a coaching institute. Self-learning might be frustrating if you are stuck with a certain concept or problem but with the plethora of information and resource available online this can be overcome. Also, self-learning will enable you to study at your own phase as long as you stay focused and disciplined. After my first attempt I erased everything I learned from the institute and started anew; preparing by myself I scored a 317 (V: 154, Q: 163).

Underestimation: I was influenced by the popular consensus on the internet and from friends that the GRE verbal is more challenging than the quantitative section (this is not entirely misleading but it is subjective to one’s strengths) I invested 80 percent of my time on the verbal section learning at least 50 words every day and would revise them on the weekends. By doing this I did learn a lot of vocabulary which is essential for the exam but I did not practice enough to make myself aware of the usage of these words. Just like in quant how there are many ways to arrive at the solution similarly in verbal a word can be used in different contexts. On test day there wasn’t a single word I did not know the meaning of but I ended up scoring poorly because I failed to recognize the logic behind using a word in the given context. For example in text completion you might be bias towards a certain word because it “sounds” right but the correct answer might be the one that is logically appropriate (based on clues given in the sentence) though it is not commonly found in such a context in our everyday language.

I am an avid reader and got overconfident thinking that reading comprehension should be a piece of cake (surprise! surprise!) undoubtedly, the RC section can be very unforgiving especially for those who are not fond of reading. RCs in the GRE are comprised of various topics from arts to science. Fifty percent of the verbal section is based on RCs with at least one long passage, one short passage, and, few logic based passages. Everyone has different approaches towards answering the RC questions; many students like to read the question first and then fetch for the answers in the passage. While, others like to read the entire passage first and then answer the questions. There is no proven method that is superior or more effective but whatever approach you decide to follow it is important you make up your mind before the exam. Being totally oblivious to how crooked and sinuous the answer choices are on the exam I kept changing my approach with every question. For the longer passages I would read the question first and vice versa for the shorter passages. This confusion and poor planning reflected on my score as I was overwhelmed during the exam and was not able to attempt all questions within time.

It is true that being familiar with formulae is helpful for saving time in the quant section but one should still budget enough time to practice quant. On the exam most of the questions can be solved using a formula but they do not give you all the information you need directly. Also, there are quite a few real time scenario based questions and questions without multiple choices (hence cannot completely depend on trial and error method) had I invested 60/40 on verbal and quant preparation instead of 80/20 of my time I would have been more familiar with different types of questions and shortcuts to arrive at a solution. You can run out of time in quant even if you know how to attempt the questions if time saving strategies to solve them are not applied. Also, while giving practice tests at home I always used the calculator on the phone; I recommend you use an on-screen calculator even during practice to get used to moving the mouse around. Using the on-screen calculator takes more time so it is better to do simpler calculations on paper instead of being completely reliant on the calculator.

Poor endurance: there is no guarantee that someone who performs well in the GRE will perform well in graduate school too. The GRE only tests how well one can take the exam. It is a test of endurance more than a test of aptitude. It is not easy to sit in front of a computer screen for about four hours with only one ten minutes break and intermittent sixty seconds break between sections. During the practice tests at home I would skip the AWA section thinking that I will have to sit for an extra hour on test day anyways so why stress myself prior. On test day I was not only mentally exhausted by the end of section three but also I was physically uncomfortable and sore. I strongly recommend that you give the AWA section at least for two practice tests; if you are not able to convince yourself to write an essay on your practice tests at least make it a point that you remain seated throughout the section. It is imperative that you take the ten minutes break during your exam to grab a snack or drink some water. On my first attempt I did not take the break thinking that it was only ten minutes and I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to return to my seat in time. So I took the break at my desk but watching the clock did not ease my stress and made me more anxious if not anything.

In retrospect I realize that a lot of these mistakes could have been avoided and I would probably have achieved a much better score on my first attempt itself. Never the less, I hope you are able to learn from my mistakes just like I was able to. I will soon publish part 2 of this blog discussing how I planned my preparation strategy for my next attempt and improved my score from 295 to 317.

Please feel free to ask any questions or let me know if there is anything in specific you would like to discuss in more detail.

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Curiosity killed the Cat, or not?

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Most of us at some situation have used the idiom “curiosity killed the cat” I don’t know about you but I always believed it and used it on others many times. Why not? It sounds grammatically right and I am not a cat fan so I really don’t care about who killed the cat. But now that I am older and wiser (at least I like to believe so) I am beginning to question the authenticity of this famous idiom.

This really charming man and I were beginning to converse a lot and just like how dating has traditionally worked we were in our discovery phase, where we kept asking each other questions trying to learn more about our likes, dislikes and you know the usual. It was all great until he started asking too many questions. And mostly personal. I am a modern woman and I do not get judgmental about people easily but there is something about us women and topics regarding our weight, past relationships and personal hygiene that makes us extremely conscious. Even though if the other person meant to ask us something in the most casual manner when it comes to topics like these we hit the panic button and start judging in the most creative way possible. Guess we are just wired that way, at least I am.

So when this guy started asking me questions about my past relations, what I liked and disliked, how and where I shared moments with my partners and you know all that jazz, I realized that I did not find him charming anymore. I was rather annoyed. I like talking to men about their deepest fears, their life stories, their dreams and all that beautiful things that constitutes to our existence. I was bound to be turned off and disappointed by his questions.  So I finally broke the ice and asked him why he was getting too tangential to the topic and how it mattered. His response was then “oh, I was just curious”

There! Like an explosion in my mind, I spaced out into a thought process. Curious! This is an interesting adjective. Just like any other matured adult, I googled the word.

curious

Cu.ri.ous (adj.)

1) eager to know or learn something

2) strange; unusual

The synonyms that caught my attention: bizarre, queer, unorthodox.

Okay, so it makes sense he was eager to know about my preferences which by the way are subjected to change. He was probably just trying to observe a pattern, understand my preferences and probably re-create the same to make me feel comfortable. Though I would like certain things to remain in the dark and be discovered as we progress in a relationship naturally, Id still give him the credit for the attempt – wish he was better articulate though. So then is curiosity bad? Sounds like it could do good stuff for you. Why did it kill the cat?

No one really knows for sure who and in what context cited the quote originally. But the most famously referred to story is about how this cat called Blackie attempted to leave home and climb a wall for the first time, panicked and died. So now this brings me to the conclusion that it was not really curiosity it was a lack of preparation, planning, and resources that killed silly Blackie. If Blackie was prepared, climbed its way up gradually, then he/she could possibly have enjoyed the new discovered capability and would have gotten a great reward for its curiosity. It could have been – Curiosity rewarded the Cat!

Now that I made the short story long for you, here is your takeaway, if you are really interested in discovering something/someone better watch out for the possible outcomes and be prepared for the unexpected. Observe how someone reacts to certain questions, gauge their responses by their voice, body language and other physical cues. Study previous outcomes, calculate your probabilities and then make your move. It is good to be curious but only if you are prepared for it. Also, why be curios about something that will add absolutely no value to you, why not instead invest your time and energy on something more substantial to you. Curiosity demands certain preparation too, genius!

“Curiosity is one of the lowest of the human faculties. You will have noticed in daily life that when people are inquisitive they nearly always have bad memories and are usually stupid at bottom” – E Morgan Forster.

Pay attention to what Forster said, the next time you are “curious” about something / someone hold your horses, take a deep breath, do not jump into the situation. Prepare, Plan, and then Pursue. Don’t screw it up like my Mr. Charming and don’t die like Blackie!

#cat, #curiosity, #emotions, #lifestyle, #planning, #relationships

Me the Sapiosexual

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After my previous blog Sex – pleasure or pressure I received several phone calls, emails, and text messages regarding the blog and the voice of it. Surprisingly – or not – most of them agreed to what the blog said. Many readers and friends told me that they were in situations in their relationships when sex became the only unifying factor and the sole purpose of the relationship. Sounds unfair, doesn’t it? What about all those who have a lower sexual desire and are yet maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with their partners. There must be a determinant stronger than physical intimacy.

I am sure that most of us agree when I say our choice of men change significantly as we grow older and ideally with a proportionate increase in our maturity as well. However, there are certain traits we like about men that will always make us weak in the knee. I have girlfriends I grew up with for many years and I see their choice of men as the years pass, although, every new man has something different about him compared to the previous, there is yet always that one unique quality which remains constant. Could be humor, height, complexion, voice or even a smile with dimples maybe. So for me it was always the intelligence in a man that remained constant.

I won’t tell you that every man I have been attracted to was a genius and god’s gift to mankind – yes they were all geniuses in their areas of interest. I got the opportunity to better know men at a very personal level, who were gold medalists, entrepreneurs, strategic leaders at their workplace and even literature experts. Unfortunately, with lot of intelligence these men also brought self-pride, superiority complexes, personality disorders, isolation, dominance, and every day was an ego trip.

There were however few men who were very accommodating and received feedback in a great manner. Though, these men had loud personalities they never failed to pamper me and make me feel special. So that raises two questions 1) why intelligence 2) why all the breakups?

Why is intelligence the new sexy?

In my school of thoughts intelligence is synonymous to creativity, it is the art of telling someone what they exactly want to hear, the ability to influence in a very subtle and graceful manner. I met men who were extremely attractive and could be great providers but they could never keep a good conversation and when it came to keeping a conversation alive and two-way, my genius men were always ahead in the game. I do not confuse intelligence with being informative. I have been with the so called “intelligent men” who try their best to respond with something absolutely irrelevant just to prove their mettle in the conversation and satisfy their alpha-male alter ego – this is when I think in my head “Dear Men, narcissism does not compliment intelligence” Instead, if I were with a man who responded with a simple “isn’t that interesting” or “give me an example” that’s enough for me to realize that he is paying attention and is not looking for an IQ battle and of course, I reciprocate the same way with him as well.  This spirit of keeping a conversation alive, and making me want to look forward to talking to him again and not just seeing him, is a big turn on!

Why all the breakups?

I will cut this short cause I don’t want to sound melodramatic, when you are a sapiosexual like me, intelligence becomes a boon and a curse at the same time. It is unacceptable to me if my man under performs at his work. If he does not talk to me about something that will keep my interest level high – the romance is out of the window. When the emotional connect fades we tend to start showing our negative traits to our partner. So in my case, there would be a surprise anxiety, unpredictable mood swings and lots of drama. So yes for all the breakups put the blame on me.

Being a sapiosexual is not easy, especially for the counterpart. Sapiosexuals don’t  just need a boyfriend or a companion, we need an achiever and someone to look-up to. We need to be inspired and constantly challenged intellectually. There is no foreplay better than a good conversation and there is never a scarcity for words. A relationship with a sapiosexual has  its own insecurities and if not anything you are definitely doing better at school and work than you ever did before. Be mindful with your choice ladies, that boring guy/girl you see at the bookstore might not be that boring after all. The muscle might lean but the brains are here to stay!


This blog is part-1 to a series of two blogs, in collaboration with Thoughts Of The Third Eye Part-2 of this blog is now available on the link above.

#love, #relationships, #sapiosexuality, #sex

SEX – Pleasure or Pressure?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA If you hear someone say “I don’t enjoy sex” or “I don’t feel like it” we all know that it’s a lie! But then, there is some amount of truth behind every lie. I am amongst those fancy people who can’t just have sex but have to involve in the process of making love, and there is definitely a lot of difference between the two. In-fact I believe one can make love to their partner without having sex at all. Sounds pretty darn insane and ridiculous, huh? Well let’s talk about it….

Why do people have sex with their partners, is it just to satisfy their biological necessity or is it beyond – like a way of communicating with your partner to show trust, loyalty, and dependence. Unity between two bodies can establish a celestial connection and absolute bliss. Instead, what happens in reality is a thud from the dream of that divine experience and being woken up to the harsh reality of performance pressure and matching expectations.

We are raised with this constant dose of values that teaches us to respect our fellow-humans, to be sensitive and understanding. But what is it about sex that makes many of us judgmental, selfish, and disrespectful. For a very long time I have struggled in keeping a good relationship because the man has always dropped the big “are you ready” question, and in all honesty it freaks me out, still does. This might sound very un-usual to a lot of people, but there are many out there like me who have a very low sexual desire and might turn out to become asexual too. Isn’t it unfair how a person can be amazing at all levels and satisfy every requirement to become an ideal partner, but the moment he/she fails to perform in the act the relationship is called off!

Case-in-point sex has made our relationships very fragile, it is easier to break up with someone today than it was earlier. People involve in crime, cause domestic violence and restore to all sorts of crazy practices in-order to satisfy their needs. Sex is no longer special, or important it has been evolved to a point of becoming routine, mechanical, and to a great extent even experimental. The number of physically and mentally assaulted victims waiting in line for a treatment is alarmingly increasing by the day. People criticize, judge and humiliate their partners for not matching their expectations – how is this making us any different from animals? So is sex really for pleasure or just an ego boost at the cost of potentially crushing your partner’s self-esteem.

Our sexual preferences are changing like nobody’s business. Our needs have become so specific that we have evolved from being a person to being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual. Our level of patience has gone down so drastically, we want our coffee in seconds, food in minutes, get new body parts within days and similarly we want sex immediately. Not many believe in waiting anymore because a quickie is better than a no quickie, right? Who cares about finding that one person who can make it worth the wait – the poor soulmate must be stuck in a tree somewhere.

I have friends who are asexual and are absolutely happy. They do not need sex to sustain their relationship, neither are they any less happy if compared to a traditional couple. I am not intending to say that sex is bad and that it should be kept out of a relationship, but the relationship itself deserves to be given a chance. To be able to fall in love with a person and to understand their deepest fears, regrets and to be able to romance a person and treat them in all equality is what makes the experience truly pleasurable and maybe-just-maybe magical.

 

 

#adulthood, #lifestyle, #love, #sex

India: The fastest growing country in the world – or not?

rupee-casinosGrowing up in a family of accountants, I learned the word tax before cartoons, played monopoly more than snakes and ladders, and watched the news channels more than regional serials. Just like millions of other women, I grew up as a daddy’s girl (still am), everything he did was of utmost importance to me. I wanted to walk like him, talk smart like him and even watch the same shows he did. While January is New Year for rest of the world, we wait until March. The Indian Budget has always been the most intriguing, entertaining and important reality show for my father and I.

Although, I got older and do not follow as much current affairs as my father would like me to, the budget is something I never miss. Not because I am a commerce student, but, because I am a stakeholder of the country, and every decision made, every bill passed, and every reform introduced during the budget has a major impact on me.

I follow the budget from multiple sources, but, ET now is my favorite. If you know me well, you probably know that I am a big Arnab Goswami fan. Yes, he is over the top, contradicts his statements, and can get very annoying at times. Having said that, the TRPs and countless excellence in journalism awards he received, cannot be ignored. Most of the content on this blog is from the big budget debate on ET now.

In business school, most of the times we discuss about how India is a probable threat to most of the current super powers and why not, we are the only fastest growing country in the world, with a growth rate of 7%, we are growing faster than China (yeaiy!)

Now that we rejoiced at that, it is important to acknowledge the fact that India has also been witnessing a major low in industrial production, with very little movement in manufacturing. This past period the ruling government has experience tremendous fortune because of the fall in the crude prices, however, the big question remains – why did you and I not benefit from it? Ignoring the fact that the consumers have not reaped any benefit, what raises eyebrows further up is the fact that the excise duty has been increased to an extent that, the ruling government earned an extra 17K Cr on increased excise duty!

In the governments defense against the increase in the excise duty, evidence have been put forth that the additional revenue earned is being invested into the crop insurance, social security scheme and other on-going projects to satisfy the per capita farming deficit of 47K Rupees per person.

Although, automation has been a boost to the countries intellectual property, it is also one of the biggest contributors towards the current 14.5% rate of un-employment among skilled ITES trained candidates. With about 12-14 million annually getting ready for the workforce – is the government putting enough efforts to meet the goal of creating an additional 119 million jobs in 24 sectors by 2022?

Okay, even if we consider the efforts being put into clearing the farming deficit, how about the other rural assets that has potential employment opportunities? How about dis-investing the capital assets to invest into higher education, low cost housing, irrigation and other public sector jobs?

The probabilities are endless, but again, the ruling party has time to prove its worth, yes, it is an old country, with bureaucracy over powering democracy, sentiments over powering economics and yes “acche din” is a process, but, as stakeholders when are we going to get our share of the pie?

Like Arnab said – the opportunity is not lost, threat persists, understand strengths and be aware of weaknesses. Perhaps, a little patience and lot of capital and FDI later, we shall all witness a better story, until then, pay your taxes in time.

#2016, #budget, #economics, #india

The Good, The Bad & The Healthcare Industry

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I got the opportunity to converse with a former administrator for a hospital. I am restraining from citing my source, because of the nature of the questions asked and information shared. This is by far the most thought provoking and intriguing interview I have been able to record.

My interviewee is an MBA graduate with a major in accounts and holds 10 + years of experience in the Indian health care industry. Our conversation went as follows –

Do you look at the hospital as a business or a social commitment?
In my opinion, the basic purpose of healthcare is to provide services to all those in need of medical attention, using the most affordable and available resources. Unfortunately, be it private or public as an organization the industry cannot be self-sustainable and has the necessity to generate profits. Also, on an average many medical providers invest a lot in training to become a provider and work for a hospital, hence a return on their investment is justified.

How prevalent is the problem of counterfeit drugs? 201036wbd001
Most of the hospitals have their own quality check. However, because of the commission offered to individual consultants and pharmacists by drug companies and medical sales representatives, there are institutes and providers willing to compromise their ethics to mint additional income. In rural areas of many states, although, government provides free drugs, patients still do not have accessibility to these drugs, neither do they receive sufficient quantity. On the contrary, quacks are accessible even in the rural, and are able to serve to the patients. Unfortunately, patients are not educated enough and rest their belief in the quacks and fail to differentiate between a quack and an authorized doctor.

Every hospital has a continued medical education (CME), but there is no implementation on grass root level and also it’s not taken that seriously by hospital management. There are no teachers, there aren’t enough doctors teaching new techniques. Recruiting teachers is not prioritized. They do not see it being productive. Training programs are provided only when there is an up-gradation. Very few hospitals have on-going training.

Government always purchases authentic drugs because of the auditing board, but they fail to disperse these in time. Often fifty percent are expired and remain in the inventory. The government does not have enough manpower to make these drugs available to medical practitioners in time. Because of which, the quacks and counterfeiting still exist.

How can the government regulate counterfeit of drugs?
Regulatory bodies have all power to stop quacks from practicing, but fail to do so. Although, there is a regulatory body, there isn’t enough manpower and the regulators enjoy mutual benefits from these quacks which include medical and political benefits.

What can change?
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) is a great concept, but many hospitals are not willing to register. RSBY supports free treatment to the needy, having said that, government also fails to reimburse the claim amount to the providers for years. Because of which, individual hospitals are forced into using their reserve amounts to pay the consulting medical providers – piling up a heavy backlog under accounts receivable for RSBY. Hence, many hospitals are withdrawing from the scheme. If this scheme is given the importance it deserves and if a dedicated team is provided to clear backlogs, it has the potential to become a game changer for the Indian health care industry.

Is there a mechanism in place to control counterfeit drugs?
Every state has a central drug standard control organization (CDSCO), they conduct periodical checks in pharmacies and hospitals. They check if the drugs are authentic and if they are stored and dispersed as prescribed. They also audit the drug committee in hospitals. Pharmacists have replacement drugs which are inexpensive compared to the prescribed ones. The CDSCO does not have knowledge about these replacement drugs, because they are never on display. This is mostly practiced by pharmacies which are out sourced by individuals or companies. Hence, the pharmacies in the hospital are expensive, because hospitals prefer purchasing drugs from reputed makers and as per the industry standards. Doctors en-cash on this opportunity, by referring patients to the pharmacies which offer these replacement drugs. Although, there is a mechanism in place it is not efficient enough.

3309888339_3d45cee4f8Why is healthcare not an attractive employer?
Doctors are presented as an entity larger than reality, and they overshadow all the other workers. As an organization, a hospital is no different to any other business. Doctors are key players but there are other personnel’s involved in running hospitals and their contribution to the success of a hospital is very important. There is more to a hospital than the doctors, there is finance, procurement, stock and inventory, HR, housekeeping, sales and marketing, public relations, project development, publicity and advertisement, liaison and the legal department. Without the support from all these departments, a smooth transaction between a doctor and a patient cannot be achieved. It’s a very challenging job to accept – both physically and emotionally, and I always encourage aspiring applicants, if given an opportunity one should go through this experience – it’s simply awesome!

How effective is marketing in the healthcare industry?
Healthcare is no different from any other business, marketing and sales play a key role in
establishing a successful facility. Hum do humare do and the AIDS campaign was such a big hit, government should work on many such campaigns and educate the community. It is a very complex and sensitive process, but we need more of these.

Which of your strategies have proven to be most effective?
My priority is always the patient wait time, it is important to keep the patient wait time very low, doctors should always be available. We try to maintain an average of 3minutes as the wait period, in case we fail, we offer our patients a complimentary food coupon. The coupon could be redeemed in the hospitals dietary. With this strategy we were able to build our good-will by establishing a rapport with the patients. My team tries to make every patient feel important. We recruited interns from hotel management, and learned from them how to make every patient (visitor) feel important and special. We conduct a market research on every recruit before making an offer. We conduct an intensive and highly detailed background verification on our doctors. I also, had to take the best doctors out for dinner, to convince them to serve at our facility.

Is treatment in government hospitals really free of cost?
Government hospitals might have all the materials required for an operation or treatment, irrespective, most of the doctor’s order patients to purchase materials from a private – independent pharmacy. Surgeons conduct surgeries late night. On the surface they claim free treatment but make a commission from the pharmacist. The doctor gets the stock issued from the hospital, and shows it as utilized for the patient. And sells the stock to the pharmacies. By the end patients end up paying as much as they would in a private hospital.

What motivates you to work in this environment?
I got the opportunity to work with few providers who are truly dedicated towards servicing patients and provide to the best of their capacity. There are medical providers who work to make money, there is nothing wrong in this, but one should maintain a certain honesty. Even if I am able to serve a single patient and am able to see one say good bye with a smile – it is worth the crazy ride. I take immense pride in my industry.

              Although, my interview ended in two hours, I kept thinking about our conversation for rest of the evening. It is fascinating to me how ultimately business can take over humanity. Will the industry ever be able to establish and follow a standardized ethical code of conduct, or, will we continue to barter commerce for life?

Commodity With A Blank Price Tag

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To forecast is science or an art? How does our instinct to determine the future of any relationship work, and do we have a constant set of parameters? We all have that one or more special person in our lives we are dearly fond of, so much so that, one wrong move between the two and in a flip second we dishonor the time we cherished with that person and easily break ties. This person could be your best friend, mentor, business partner, colleague, crush, companion, anyone, even a dog maybe. Why is it that we get so judgmental about people and situations? Because of an argument we might have with someone once, or because of something he/she said that might have been hurtful, how is it that it is so easy for us to say “enough” and “to move on” and why is it so tough to take the initiative to break the ice? are we beginning to procrastinate people and relationships as well?

From my years of management experience my mind is only filled with targets, numbers and ways to become more productive, my job has consumed me so much that I begin to look at relationships also from an analytical perspective and people as the subject to my case study. Gone are those innocent days when I would feel a weird sensation in my stomach and skip heart beats while spending time with my date. Well I still do feel that weird sensation in my stomach (and occasional skipping of heartbeats frequently because of Tom Hanks or Eminem) but mostly because of hunger, I prefer meeting a date for dinner or lunch instead of hanging out at the mall or playing arcade. Because, if the date does not match expectations – the meal will. If the meal does not – dessert will. The odds of a bad cheesecake on a bad day is probably one in infinity.

I find it extremely fascinating how we are all so well programmed to thinking in a certain way once we begin to experience adulthood. We hate our best friend because he/she gets more attention, we hate that cousin because he/she earns more, we hate our job because the boss is a joke on humanity. But how many of us sit back and reminisce about the good times we spent with that friend, so what if he/she is now getting more attention, aren’t you still tagged along? Why do we hate that cousin in spite of how much we love the food? and wait aren’t we supposed to be thankful to our employer for providing to us? the dough with which we pay off for all our monthly luxuries, but instead we abuse our employers. Yes, the boss is always cranky, yes the lead is bias and yes there are times when you are not paid in-time or are not appreciated for a good job. But isn’t there a reason why we all have choices? We have the choice to leave that employer and part ways. Instead, we like to stick around and crib, because we know it is “good for the resume” probably that is why we take quick, hasty and often impulsive decisions with regards to our relationships because our friends, lovers and family do not get us that million-dollar job, hence why work on something that is not a resume builder.

I take a minute and think about my day before I go to sleep or while I am still on bed when I wake up. I think and smile and feel thankful for all that I experience, the people I met and places I see – good and bad. Just to think positive and let go of the negativity towards a person can not only save you a relationship but I believe is time saving too. We spend hours texting, emailing and writing on social media of how someone hurt you so bad, and of how upset you are, instead of just trying to recollect all the good the person has done for you and the good the job enables you to do, instead of writing all that jazz to people only if you wrote a simple thank you to that person it will take you lesser than a minute – unless the person was really a jerk then all powers to you!

If today gratitude was sold in a store, I am sure it would be amongst the most niche products. If school taught gratitude, students would love taking this class because it is an easy subject. As a lover of economics I would say gratitude is that commodity you know can easily be imitated and even substituted against, with a demand way higher than the supply. Perhaps, a commodity with a blank price tag.

#adulthood, #emotions, #gratitude, #lifestyle, #sociallife, #thankyou