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- 07/24/13--10:57: _Optimism’s Role in ...
- 07/24/13--18:39: _Bhagwati versus Sen...
- 07/24/13--19:25: _Biden for further o...
- 07/26/13--07:05: _Capgemini looks at ...
- 07/26/13--10:43: _Social Business: Sh...
- 07/26/13--10:58: _Snapshot: The State...
- 07/26/13--19:37: _Focus on Business C...
- 07/26/13--19:53: _Shifting Out of Sec...
- 07/27/13--01:04: _WHO MOVED MY CHEESE...
- 07/27/13--01:22: _JNTU signs pact wit...
- 07/27/13--06:57: _Snow Falling around...
- 07/27/13--19:38: _Building a Strategy...
- 07/27/13--19:55: _Start-Ups Need to F...
- 07/27/13--20:04: _3 Honest Ways to Ra...
- 07/27/13--20:16: _How to Value Your S...
- 07/27/13--20:23: _The First Step to R...
- 07/27/13--20:55: _8 Tips to Get More ...
- 07/27/13--23:48: _Expanding your circ...
- 07/28/13--01:23: _Compassion Can Be C...
- 07/28/13--01:37: _The profound Journe...
(showing articles 201 to 220 of 1626)
Best content from the best source handpicked by Shyam. The source include The Harvard University, MIT, Mckinsey & Co, Wharton, Stanford,and other top educational institutions. domains include Cybersecurity, Machine learning, Deep Learning, Bigdata, Education, Information Technology, Management, others.
- 07/24/13--10:57: Optimism’s Role in Employee Motivation 07-24
- 07/24/13--18:39: Bhagwati versus Sen: What's going on? 07-25
- 07/24/13--19:25: Biden for further opening of the Indian economy 07-25
- 07/26/13--07:05: Capgemini looks at life beyond outsourcing 07-26
- 07/26/13--10:43: Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear
- 07/26/13--10:58: Snapshot: The State of Play 07-26
- 07/26/13--19:37: Focus on Business Challenges 07-27
- 07/26/13--19:53: Shifting Out of Second: Spur the Effort 07-27
- 07/27/13--01:04: WHO MOVED MY CHEESE 07-27
- 07/27/13--01:22: JNTU signs pact with AISFM 07-27
- 07/27/13--06:57: Snow Falling around Infant Solar System 07-27
- 07/27/13--19:38: Building a Strategy Pyramid 07-28
- 07/27/13--19:55: Start-Ups Need to Focus on Two Kinds of Growth 07-28
- 07/27/13--20:04: 3 Honest Ways to Raise Startup Money 07-28
- 07/27/13--20:16: How to Value Your Start-up 07-28
- 07/27/13--20:23: The First Step to Real Growth 07-28
- 07/27/13--20:55: 8 Tips to Get More From Your Investors and Board 07-28
- Spend time building investor relationship long before you raise money.
- By spending more time educating your board on your business you get more valuable advice from them.
- Your goal should be to turn your VCs into extended members of your team to get real value from them.
- Understanding where your VC partner sits in their respective fund and where their fund is in the cycle of its investment lifecycle will help you understand your VCs behavior.
- 07/27/13--23:48: Expanding your circle of compassion 07-28
- 07/28/13--01:23: Compassion Can Be Cultivated In The Brain, Study Finds 07-28
- 07/28/13--01:37: The profound Journey of Compassion 07-28
Capgemini looks at life beyond outsourcing
Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear
More Industries Are Getting On Board
Struggles With Social Business
Snapshot: The State of Play
Divergent Paths to Social MaturityThere is no single path that leads to social business maturity. Company size plays a key role in determining the purpose of social business as well as how it matures. Among small companies (less than $250 million annual revenue), more socially mature organizations focus their social efforts on providing customer support, managing projects and accelerating innovation. According to our research, respondents from small companies that used social for any of these purposes rated their companies’ social maturity nearly half a point higher (on a 10-point maturity scale) than those that didn’t.
Dell’s Path to Social Maturity
Focus on Business Challenges
Marketing and Sales — A Sharper Edge
Customer Service — A Step Change
Operations — Precision and Visibility
Recruitment — Advantage in the Talent War
Innovation — Accelerating Top Management Buy-in
Plugging Into Other Technologies
Shifting Out of Second: Spur the Effort
Leading a Social Culture
Measuring What Matters
Creating and Curating Meaningful Content
Changing the Way Work Gets DoneFrom responding to markets to fostering internal knowledge sharing, achieving social’s impact means changing the way work gets done. “Social is about using technology in a more thoughtful and broad-based way to meets business needs in a social context,” says Hagel. “It is front and center to the question: How can and should people connect to advance business objectives?”
JNTU signs pact with AISFM
Snow Falling around Infant Solar System
Cambridge, MA - The sight of a snowfall can thrill children, but the first-ever snow line seen around a distant star gives astronomers an even greater thrill because of what it reveals about the formation of planets and our solar system's history.
Astronomers using the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have taken the first-ever image of a snow line in an infant solar system. This frosty landmark is thought to play in an essential role in the formation and chemical make-up of planets around a young star.
On Earth, snow lines typically form at high elevations where falling temperatures turn atmospheric moisture to snow. In much the same way, snow lines are thought to form around young stars in the distant, colder reaches of the disks from which solar systems form. Depending on the distance from the star, however, other more exotic molecules can freeze and turn to snow.
Familiar water ice freezes out first, then moving outward in concentric circles other abundant gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and carbon monoxide (CO) freeze, forming a frost on dust grains, which are the building blocks of planets and comets.
ALMA spotted a never-before-seen CO snow line around TW Hydrae, a young star 175 light-years away from Earth. Astronomers believe this nascent solar system has many of the same characteristics that our own Solar System had when it was just a few million years old. The results were published in Science Express.
"ALMA has given us the first real picture of a snow line around a young star, which is extremely exciting because of what it tells us about the very early period in the history of our own Solar System," said Chunhua "Charlie" Qi, a researcher with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., who led the international research team with Karin Oberg, a researcher with Harvard University and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
"We can now see previously hidden details about the frozen outer reaches of another solar system, one that has much in common with our own when it was less than 10 million years old," said Qi.
Snow lines have, until now, only been detected by their spectral signatures; they have never been imaged directly, so their precise location and extent could not be determined.
This is because snow lines form exclusively in the relatively narrow central plane of a protoplanetary disk. Above and below this region, stellar radiation keeps the gases warm, preventing them from forming ice. Only with the insulating effect of the concentrated dust and gas in the central plane of the disk can temperatures drop sufficiently for CO and other gases to cool and freeze.
Normally, this outer cocoon of hot gas would prevent astronomers from peering inside the disk where the gas had frozen out. "It would be like trying to find a small, sunny patch hidden within a dense fogbank," said Oberg.
The astronomers were able to pierce the intervening CO fog by instead hunting for a different molecule known as diazenylium (N2H+). This fragile molecule is easily destroyed in the presence of CO gas, so would only appear in detectable amounts in regions where CO had frozen out, and is hence a proxy for CO ice.
Diazenylium shines brightly in the millimeter portion of the spectrum, which can be detected by radio telescope like ALMA here on Earth.
ALMA's unique sensitivity and resolution allowed the astronomers to trace the presence and distribution of diazenylium, finding a clearly defined boundary approximately 30 astronomical units (AU) from TW Hydrae (one AU is the Sun-Earth distance).
"Using this technique, we were able to create, in effect, a photonegative of the CO snow in the disk surrounding TW Hydrae," said Oberg. "With this we could see the CO snow line precisely where theory predicts it should be -- the inner rim of the diazenylium ring."
Snow lines, astronomers believe, serve a vital role in the formation of a solar system. They help dust grains overcome their normal tendency to collide and self-destruct by giving the grains a stickier outer coating.
They also increase the amount of solids available and may dramatically speed up the planet formation process. Since there are multiple snow lines, each may be linked to the formation of specific kinds of planets.
Around a Sun-like star, the water snow line would correspond approximately to the orbit of Jupiter and the CO snow line would roughly correspond to the orbit of Neptune. The transition to CO ice could also mark the starting point where smaller icy bodies like comets and dwarf planets like Pluto would form.
Oberg also points out that the CO snow line is particularly interesting since CO ice is needed to form methanol, which is a building block of more complex organic molecules that are essential for life. Comets and asteroids could then ferry these molecules to newly forming Earth-like planets, seeding them with the ingredients for life.
These observations were made with only a portion of ALMA's eventual full complement of 66 antennas. The researchers hope future observations with the full array will reveal other snow lines and provide additional insights into the formation and evolution of planets.
This release is being issued jointly with NRAO.
ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc..
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.
Building a Strategy Pyramid
Need help implementing your ideas? This approach may provide you with the structure you need.
Marketing guru Seth Godin addressed alignment in a piece about iTunes falling over its own words and intentions. After reading it, I did a quick Google search on "strategic alignment," which brought up a lot of results and a lot of different meanings.
To me, strategic alignment means lining up the details on the ground with the strategy up in the sky. For example, suppose a retail computer business says it focuses on "service seeker" small businesses. Revamping the physical location to create a long and inviting service counter is strategic alignment. Staffing it with friendly technicians in white service coats, like the auto dealers, is strategic alignment. Buying a white van with a huge sign on the side saying, "Installing Another System," is strategic alignment. Doing nothing but talking about it at meetings is not strategic alignment.
It was strategic alignment, or the lack of it, that led me to develop the strategy pyramid back in the mid-'80s. I was consulting with the Latin American group of Apple Computer, led by Hector Saldana. I had done the group's annual business plan for three years when Saldana issued a challenge: "We want you to manage our annual plan again this year, but with a difference. This year we want you to sit with us the rest of the year and make sure we actually implement it."
The repeat business was, of course, good news, but there was a catch. The Apple Latin America group at that time was a collection of a couple dozen young, well educated, brilliant people. Saldana and I were the only ones over 30 years old. It was hard to keep that group focused. Strategy takes boring consistency to implement. The strategy was desktop publishing, but we'd been working with that for so long that multimedia was much more interesting--to the managers, but not to the market.
So I came up with the strategy pyramid, which made it possible to track implementation and work on strategic alignment. We used it to build a database of business activities that we called "programs" and track them back up through tactics and strategy. One strategy, for example, was to emphasize desktop publishing. Tactics used included advertising, pricing of bundles and distribution channels.
The detailed programs were things like advertising insertions, seminar marketing, bundling of hardware and software, and distributor pricing. Each program had a manager responsible, a start date, an end date and a budget. Sometimes the budget was zero, but there was room in the database for the amount.
The result was strategic alignment. The next year we were able to sort and manage programs according to strategies and tactics. We could show a spending pie divided into pieces representing each of our strategic priorities. We could also track implementation to the level of specific tasks assigned to specific managers, with performance on start date, finish date and budget. In some cases we could even track sales back to projections in the plan. So seminar programs that began with sales projections had to live with sales results.
You can use the strategy pyramid in your own planning. Focus on three or four main strategic priorities and build a conceptual pyramid for each one. Don't sweat the details like definitions of strategies and tactics; just make it work for you, in your business, with your pyramid. Do sweat the details like making programs with specific responsibilities, budgets and projected outputs when possible.
You don't have to be a big company. Apple was a huge company to me in the mid-'80s, because it had more than 1,000 employees; yet the Latin American group had less than two dozen people. We made the pyramid work because we wanted to make it work; we wanted to build strategy, not just great parties.
Remember, good business planning is nine parts implementation for every one part strategy.
Start-Ups Need to Focus on Two Kinds of Growth
Do you know how to scale your start-up? Chances are you're not focused on the right kind of growth.
When it comes to growth, start-ups need to think more precisely.
Growth is such a vague term, said Donna Boyer, chief product officer atBlurb, an ebook start-up, during the Dell Women's Entrepreneurs Network conference on Tuesday.
"There are really two types of growth--one is the more type of growth, which is really about scale. And you need to add countries, customers, call centers. How do you make what you are doing, just bigger?
And the other side of growth is really new. We need to get into new market, into newbusiness units."
Many start-ups don't identify what kind of growth they're working toward. Instead, they just aim for "growth."
But Boyer says you have to call it what it is. In Blurb's case, that's meant focusing on new growth in the ebook market, which in turn meant adjusting their metrics.
"As the industry changes, you need to keep up with what your metrics are, and make sure you are measuring the right thing because behaviors follow," she said.
Be forwarned, this can hamper a founder. As companies move through stages of growth, there might be a need for a turn-around, or what Boyer calls "a second wind."
"You get to the scale stage, and you start doing these unnatural acts, because you have to grow and scale," she said. "And little by little, you start to depart. And when little by little you depart, you end up in a situation where the owner is misaligned with the company."
But taking the time to understand their vision will make that transition easier. "If you can keep a founder in, your growth will actually be faster, as long as you can keep it aligned."
Her strategy's worked: Blurb's founder, Eileen Gittins, is still in charge of the company.
3 Honest Ways to Raise Startup Money
Create a healthy foundation for your business by combining enthusiasm with honesty.
Develop financial projections that are rooted in verifiable assumptions
Venture capital firms and angel investors typically want to see financial projections that shoot up like a hockey stick.
Entrepreneurs often feel compelled to exaggerate projections to look like their businesses can reach a billion dollars of market value in a few years. There's no point in just fabricating a set of projections that aren't based on reality. One way to build a set of realistic projections is to start with business drivers that can be discussed and debated with investors.
For example, if you're selling widgets that depend on the cost of oil, develop a set of financial projections that link market value to the number of widgets you plan to sell and the changing price of oil. This will show billion-dollar market value and allow investors to understand what assumptions you're basing your growth on.
Write paychecks that don't bounce, but increase as the business grows
One of the most difficult tasks for entrepreneurs is to convince talented employees to join the team and stay on the team before their company is profitable or stable. As a startup business owner, you're faced with a choice: Pay your employee a market salary (say $150,000 per year) and take a bet that you can grow the business to justify the salary, or share risk with your employee by paying a below-market salary (say, $75,000 per year) plus equity incentives (worth $75,000 or more).
Most experienced entrepreneurs will tell you that it makes more sense to share risk with your employees until you have funding or until your product line gets market traction. While this makes sense, it often puts the entrepreneur in the precarious position of having to recruit employees by exaggerating how likely the prospects of venture funding are, how developed the company's strategy is, or how popular the company's products are.
Employees are usually the first to know when funding prospects dry up, strategies fail and products don't sell, so it's better to be upfront about the risks of joining a young company. But enable new recruits to share in the rewards of business success immediately rather than waiting for their equity to appreciate.
For example, one clever way to share risk with your new recruits is to outline a path to increase their base salaries as the business grows. For example, offer to increase a base salary from $75,000 to $100,000 when the company hits certain milestones, then again to $150,000 when profitability is attained. Put this in writing in the offer letter. This compensation plan will cost less than promising to pay out bonuses, which get spent then forgotten, or subsequent equity grants, which get expensive for the company if they are granted many times.
Get your clients to compete to be first
Successful entrepreneurs love to tell stories about how they got their first client. While working out of a closet or a garage, they print up business cards with a prestigious address and fancy logo and close the deal. That's what it takes to sell. Exaggerating the stability or size of your enterprise to secure your first client is the stuff of legend. Even if your product isn't ready, you can use a similar approach to raise money for your business by getting investors and business partners--who can provide financial support--to compete to be first.
There's a certain prestige in being part of the first group of investors, partners or customers to help launch a business. Create the feeling of exclusivity. Require an invitation to use your beta product. Generate buzz about your product plans and your team among blogs that investors read. There's less need to exaggerate if you can set expectations that your product is still being tested among early adopters.
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How to Value Your Start-up
These three steps will help you determine what your new business is worth.
BY ASHEESH ADVANI
It's commonly said that business valuation is more art than science. If this is true, then the practice of valuing a startup business is squarely in the domain of the artist.
Nevertheless, entrepreneurs need to put a value on their startups in order to raise money, and investors need to put a value on their investments to generate liquidity. Since neither entrepreneurs nor investors are known for right-brain artistic thinking, this article aims to provide some tips for left-brain thinkers to make sense of startup valuation.
1. You are what the market says you are. If investors are telling you that your startup is worth $1 million, then that's what it's worth. You might think it's worth more. You might even know it's worth more because your company may have more than $1 million is liquid assets, or more than $1 million in receivables, or more than $1 million in sweat equity. But if you're unable to raise money for your startup with a valuation above $1 million, then you'll have to accept the market valuation.
However, this isn't always true. If you raise money from relatives and friends rather than professional investors, it's possible that your company has been overvalued or undervalued (more likely, overvalued). For example, if you persuade your father and your rich aunt to purchase shares in your business at $20 per share, it doesn't mean that future investors will pay more than $20 per share-even if your business grows and prospers.
2. But you can also tell the market what you're worth. Although this might seem to contradict the point made above, it's possible to tell the market how to value your company. After all, if investors think your startup is worth $1 million, it's usually because of something you've told them. By definition, startups don't have a history of financial performance on which to base a valuation. Therefore, it's up to the entrepreneur to develop a process for valuing the company based on comparables and financial projections.
3. You're not really worth anything until you're profitable. If you're not profitable, your business probably isn't worth very much. That is, it doesn't have as much liquidity as it would have if it were profitable. Many businesses cannot be sold, since there aren't enough business buyers for every seller. Almost all unprofitable businesses cannot be sold for the same reason.
This makes valuation particularly challenging for a startup. Since young businesses take time to become profitable, the trick of valuing startups is to focus on the future. First, determine how many years it will take to be profitable. A business with a long road to profitability will usually be worth less than one with a quick path to profitability.
Next, determine how much comparable companies have been valued at when they reached profitability. A company that could be worth $5 million at profitability will be worth some fraction of that number at the startup stage, based on factors such as the likelihood of success, the time frame to exit and the quality of the management team.
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of valuing your company at the highest amount possible and forget that you'll one day have to deliver on the expectations of investors. It's also tempting to adapt your business model to maximize startup valuation. Be careful about overvaluing your startup with faulty assumptions; it will only make your life more difficult-particularly if your investors have governance rights, such as positions on the company's board.
Much like artists, entrepreneurs need to use creativity in valuing their startup businesses. Traditional approaches to valuation based on book values and P/E ratios are akin to painting by numbers. If you want your startup to be a masterpiece, you'll need to use the right side of your brain as much as your left to determine value.
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One notion that can really slam the brakes on any business venture is to think that you, the owner, must handle every aspect of your business. In her article at Small Business Computing, small business owner Shari Gould refers to this condition as a mom-and-pop mentality. Running a modern business requires a multitude of skill sets and knowledge that one person cannot reasonably expect to possess.
Not only will that mom-and-pop thinking keep your business from flourishing, it can exhaust you and put your business at risk of going under altogether. If you’re able (and willing) to ease up on the controls,learning to delegate some of the basics tasks that take up your workday can reduce stress and increase efficiency.
More important, you’ll likely find that outsourcing certain functions—bookkeeping, monthly financial reporting, payroll services, and staffing come to mind—is an even more practical and effective way to move your business forward. Why? By off-loading those responsibilities, you free up time that’s better spent on revenue-generating activities.
Budgeting is the key to avoiding the mom-and-pop trap. Focus on what you do best, and budget carefully—and generously—so that you can contract third-party resources for tasks that lie outside of your business’ main area of expertise. “If you’re in the middle of the fiscal year, it’s time to plan your budget for the next fiscal year so that you can incorporate resources that ultimately help you operate more effectively,” writes Gould.
Next, bid farewell to cash-basis accounting and embrace accrual accounting instead. By using accrual accounting, you’ll have a much more accurate picture of your company’s financial status. Gould explains it thusly: “Let’s say you own a multi-family property, and someone pays May rent on April 30. In accrual accounting, you book the income when it is due (the first of the month), not when it is received. This yields a clear picture of your monthly cash flow. If you book it when you actually received it, it inflates the April rent on the books and May’s cash flow suffers by the rental amount.”
Another option: use a small business accounting software package to help you see the long-term financial picture. Of course, you might just take our budgeting advice and contract a bookkeeper, in which case, you can let him or her worry about the accounts while you get back to doing what you do best.
Finally, don’t cheap out by hiring the least expensive, entry-level people you can find. Yes, money is tight and you need to be fiscally responsible. But you’ll never regret hiring people who are better at their jobs than you ever were and who can outwit your competitors.
8 Tips to Get More From Your Investors and Board
If you don't ask, you won't get, says Mark Suster.
Rob Bailey is the CEO of Data Sift. He wrote a post this long weekend on how he manages the board of Data Sift.
More importantly if you don't know Data Sift but have the need to process real-time social data or historic data it's worth checking them out. It's valuable to any business for marketing, customer research, product development, market analysis, etc.
In his post, Rob asserts, "You get the VCs you deserve" and the corollary, "You get the performance out of your board that you deserve."
His argument is as follows:
What Rob wrote in his post is right.
Rob is one of the most driven and successful CEOs I work with.
In his tenure as CEO of DataSift, we have never missed a monthly revenue figure. He has grown our US operations from one employee (him) to a global organization of 75 employees that will finish the year with 8-digit revenues (90 plus percent recurring) and more than 350 percent year-over-year growth.
Growth like this, this early in a company's lifecycle rarely happens.
In this period (less than two years), he has brought on incredibly talented senior execs in sales, marketing, product management, client services, finance, VP engineering and more. In his spare time, he raised nearly $30 million.
But the thing I am most proud of about Rob is that he has taken a company with a uniquely talented founder and CTO--Nick Halstead--and managed to build a very tight working relationship with Nick where we drive world-class product development without having the usual founder / CEO conflicts. Oh, and did I mention--Rob is in SF and Nick is in the UK. Rob has taken more than 15 trips to England and Nick even more to the US. It is really working.
I point this out partly out of pride. Partly out of the fact that in one week I depart for England to speak at LeWeb, attend our DataSift board meeting and generally make myself available to the DataSift team to meet their customers, partners and employees.
But mostly as I read Rob's post, I didn't think it did justice to the superlative job he has done at managing his rather boisterous board.
It consists of a highly intelligent and opinionated founder--Nick Halstead, a wallflower--yours truly, quiet-as-a-mouse Roger Ehrenberg of IA Ventures, true-to-his-heritage Rory O’Driscoll from Scale Ventures, and then there is the one true gentleman of the bunch--Chris Smart, who is non-exec chairman. In addition to helping manage the board, Chris also helps represent the interests of the angel investors / common stock holders.
Oh, and did I mention:
Roger is in NYC. Rob and Rory are in NorCal. Nick and Chris are in London. And I am in Los Angeles. That in itself is quite a challenge.
So what are Rob's secret hacks that he didn't spill in his blog post?
Here is what I imagine Rob would say were his most effective tools. Sincerely, he is better at managing his board than any exec I have worked with.
Compassion Can Be Cultivated In The Brain, Study Finds
The Profound Journey of Compassion
A human child is born, and for quite a long time is a consumer. It cannot be consciously a contributor. It is helpless. It doesn't know how to survive, even though it is endowed with an instinct to survive. It needs the help of mother, or a foster mother, to survive. It can't afford to doubt the person who tends the child. It has to totally surrender, as one surrenders to an anesthesiologist.
It has to totally surrender. That implies a lot of trust. That implies the trusted person won't violate the trust. As the child grows, it begins to discover that the person trusted is violating the trust. It doesn't know even the word "violation." Therefore, it has to blame itself, a wordless blame, which is more difficult to really resolve -- the wordless self-blame.
As the child grows to become an adult: so far, it has been a consumer, but the growth of a human being lies in his or her capacity to contribute, to be a contributor. One cannot contribute unless one feels secure, one feels big, one feels: I have enough.
To be compassionate is not a joke. It's not that simple. One has to discover a certain bigness in oneself. That bigness should be centered on oneself, not in terms of money, not in terms of power you wield, not in terms of any status that you can command in the society, but it should be centered on oneself. The self: you are self-aware. On that self, it should be centered -- a bigness, a wholeness. Otherwise, compassion is just a word and a dream.
You can be compassionate occasionally, more moved by empathy than by compassion.Thank God we are empathetic. When somebody's in pain, we pick up the pain.
In a Wimbledon final match, these two guys fight it out. Each one has got two games. It can be anybody's game. What they have sweated so far has no meaning. One person wins. The tennis etiquette is, both the players have to come to the net and shake hands. The winner boxes the air and kisses the ground, throws his shirt as though somebody is waiting for it.(Laughter) And this guy has to come to the net. When he comes to the net, you see, his whole face changes. It looks as though he's wishing that he didn't win. Why? Empathy.
That's human heart. No human heart is denied of that empathy. No religion can demolish that by indoctrination. No culture, no nation and nationalism -- nothing can touch it because it is empathy. And that capacity to empathize is the window through which you reach out to people, you do something that makes a difference in somebody's life -- even words, even time.
Compassion is not defined in one form. There's no Indian compassion. There's no American compassion. It transcends nation, the gender, the age. Why? Because it is there in everybody. It's experienced by people occasionally.
Then this occasional compassion, we are not talking about -- it will never remain occasional.By mandate, you cannot make a person compassionate. You can't say, "Please love me."Love is something you discover. It's not an action, but in the English language, it is also an action. I will come to it later.
So one has got to discover a certain wholeness. I am going to cite the possibility of being whole, which is within our experience, everybody's experience. In spite of a very tragic life,one is happy in moments which are very few and far between. And the one who is happy,even for a slapstick joke, accepts himself and also the scheme of things in which one finds oneself.
That means the whole universe, known things and unknown things. All of them are totally accepted because you discover your wholeness in yourself. The subject -- "me" -- and the object -- the scheme of things -- fuse into oneness, an experience nobody can say, "I am denied of," an experience common to all and sundry.
That experience confirms that, in spite of all your limitations -- all your wants, desires, unfulfilled, and the credit cards and layoffs and, finally, baldness -- you can be happy. But the extension of the logic is that you don't need to fulfill your desire to be happy. You are the very happiness, the wholeness that you want to be.
There's no choice in this: that only confirms the reality that the wholeness cannot be different from you, cannot be minus you. It has got to be you. You cannot be a part of wholeness and still be whole. Your moment of happiness reveals that reality, that realization, that recognition: "Maybe I am the whole. Maybe the swami is right.
Maybe the swami is right." You start your new life. Then everything becomes meaningful. I have no more reason to blame myself. If one has to blame oneself, one has a million reasons plus many. But if I say, in spite of my body being limited -- if it is black it is not white, if it is white it is not black: body is limited any which way you look at it. Limited.
Your knowledge is limited, health is limited, and power is therefore limited, and the cheerfulness is going to be limited. Compassion is going to be limited. Everything is going to be limitless. You cannot command compassion unless you become limitless, and nobody can become limitless, either you are or you are not. Period. And there is no way of your being not limitless too.
Your own experience reveals, in spite of all limitations, you are the whole. And the wholeness is the reality of you when you relate to the world. It is love first. When you relate to the world, the dynamic manifestation of the wholeness is, what we say, love. And itself becomes compassion if the object that you relate to evokes that emotion. Then that again transforms into giving, into sharing. You express yourself because you have compassion.
To discover compassion, you need to be compassionate. To discover the capacity to give and share, you need to be giving and sharing. There is no shortcut: it is like swimming by swimming. You learn swimming by swimming. You cannot learn swimming on a foam mattress and enter into water. (Laughter) You learn swimming by swimming. You learn cycling by cycling. You learn cooking by cooking, having some sympathetic people around you to eat what you cook. (Laughter)
And, therefore, what I say, you have to fake it and make it. (Laughter) You need to. My predecessor meant that. You have to act it out. You have to act compassionately.
There is no verb for compassion, but you have an adverb for compassion. That's interesting to me. You act compassionately. But then, how to act compassionately if you don't have compassion? That is where you fake. You fake it and make it. This is the mantra of the United States of America. (Laughter)
You fake it and make it. You act compassionately as though you have compassion: grind your teeth, take all the support system. If you know how to pray, pray. Ask for compassion.Let me act compassionately. Do it. You'll discover compassion and also slowly a relative compassion, and slowly, perhaps if you get the right teaching, you'll discover compassion is a dynamic manifestation of the reality of yourself, which is oneness, wholeness, and that's what you are.
With these words, thank you very much. (Applause)
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