Where The Puck? — Quotidian — 012

(Transcript of video originally posted 12 Jan 2021)

Namaste!

Many many years ago, at the junction point between South America and North America, in a country named Honduras, there used to be this incessant problem of heavy rains, hurricanes, and floods. Really ridden with hurricanes all the time. A particular place in that country — named Choluteca… So, they wanted to build a bridge so traffic an move very easily over the River Choluteca. So, they sent out tenders, and a company from Japan got the order, and we know about Japanese quality…! They executed it exceptionally well! And they worked on it for three years, it was an architectural marvel… A beautiful masterpiece!

But, like I told you, this was a place frequented by hurricanes. And it so happened that just three months after the completion of the beautiful bridge, Hurricane Mitch decided to pay a visit. It killed thousands of people.. Eleven thousand people lost their lives around the country, and it blew full force on the bridge over the river Choluteca.

But, this is Japanese architecture, high quality, and so, what happened? The bridge won the war, against the hurricane! It stood unmoving, unmoved. But… wait. Two unexpected things happened too.

The road that led to the bridge, and the road that led off the bridge… were swept away in the floods that ensued. So, the bridge is standing, all by itself, alone and defiant. The road that comes in is missing. The road that leads off is missing. And, even worse, the hurricane was so powerful, it changed the course of the river. It changed the path the river was flowing in! So, a bridge that looked like this, so beautiful and amazing, became like this. The bridge is standing all by itself, and the river is flowing, somewhere else, nearby. Sometimes, in fact, too many times, this is how we prepare for life. We learn some skill, we pick up some degree, we think some domain is going to be really hot and enter it, but before we finish studying it and before we graduate, the world has changed. What is hot now is not hot when you are coming out. Instead of preparing ourselves for the future, we just seem to hop on to the current trend, and try riding the horse. As if wanting to make hay while the sun shines. So, you have to be very careful how you pick what you want to spend your time on.

In fact, take my own case. For the past two weeks, intent on spreading news about my videos on Whatsapp, I created lists, learned how to create broadcast lists, learned much about automation, sent off messages at seven in the morning on the dot, I did all that. What happened? The Bridge of Choluteca was left useless.

Why? Whatsapp had its privacy horror moment. One person says jump to Telegram. Another says get Signal. A guy even says there is this thing called Arattai. That’s what happened. I had to relearn everything! So, we have to be careful what we pick to spend our time on.

Because, … this is what we think. In college, in school, we think, okay, they are giving us keys. With these keys I can open all the locks that we will want, we will face… is what we think.

But, these are the keys we are given, but somebody comes along and changes the locks…! When you are going to be seeing new kinds of locks, old keys… there’s not even a keyhole these days! It is all thumbprint driven! It is cellphone enabled! What are you going to do? So, is it important to collect a lot of keys? Or… is it more important to learn Keymaking? That should be your thought.

In fact, Steve Jobs, quite frequently, he would refer to this amazing sportsman, this ice-hockey player by name Wayne Gretzky. Probably more famous than Sachin Tendulkar is in cricket, this man, for twenty years, he played for Canada, he played ice hockey. Set so many records that still stand unbroken. So, this man used to say, when asked what his secret was, … Very simple. Very simple secret. Everybody goes to where the puck is. (The puck is the disc-like ball in ice-hockey. That is the ‘ball’ used in ice hockey. Looks like a disc. Floats along on the ice surface). Everybody goes to where the puck is. But I, I go to where the puck will be. If you wonder why Jonty Rhodes is such an amazing fielder in cricket, well, that’s because he had that uncanny sense. He will go to where the ball will be when he is in that curved path. That is his amazing skill. So, when you are investing time and money in a course you want to subscribe for, in a degree you want to invest time and money in, be very very careful! If everybody is saying this is the hot field, this is what we need to do, this is what will be the future, it is probably, already, a little too late. So, discuss around freely, think deeply, and skate to where the puck will be! Thank you!

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​Welcome to Quotidians — a humble attempt to bring a smile to your face… as I connect the commonplace everyday nuggets into meaningfully connected insights.

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Rajendran Dandapani

Rajendran Dandapani

Business Solutions Evangelist at Zoho Corp. President at The Zoho Schools Of Learning.

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