Kung Fu Lessons To Panda On

panda-3The son dragged me to see KFP III last weekend. The story was predictable from the first 5 minutes onwards and the antics of a food loving warrior panda are becoming a bit of tripe trope. The film, however, repaid its ticket price in form of a couple of leadership and life lessons that  it dispensed. Sure, there are many other films dripping with heavy thoughts but the following dialogues remain in the mind and have survived the subsequent Monday morning shock to the system!

  • Self-Recalibration: Continuous learning and humility. Learning never ends.

Shifu: There is always something more to learn. Even for a master.

  • Self-Discovery

Shifu: If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are now

Po: But I like who I am!

Shifu: You don’t even know who you are!

  • Self-Confidence

Po: There’s no way I’m ever gonna be like you.

Shifu: I’m not trying to turn you into me. I’m trying to turn you into you.

  • Self-Propagation

Shifu: You must take the next step from warrior to teacher

I guess teaching is the best route to achieve each of the four self actualization objectives mentioned above. The best way to learn is indeed to teach. It is by teaching others does one really discover who he really is and gains true mastery and confidence on whatever tricks he is a master at.

[Spolier alert (for those who don’t know much about the KFP series): Shifu – He is a red panda and trains warriors; Po – the Panda]

The Dashboard of Your Life

life circles RAGThe average life expectancy in India is now 67.3 years for males and 69.6 for females. Each passing decade seems to add 5 years to the average life expectancy. In a couple of decades, we could have Indians living to be three quarters of a century on an average. While it would normally mean that the working age also moves outward but that is unlikely to happen in India since there is a wave of youngsters getting introduced to the working classes each year effectively pushing out the older workers out into their retirement. The average retirement age may therefore continue to be around 58 years in India in the next 10 – 20 years to come.

So what we do we with so much time at our disposal? I am not talking about retirement and finances etc. I am talking about the discord between one view of our life where time just seems to flit by making us think that we never have time for the good stuff and the other view of life which emerges only when you step out of the day to day and look at the vaudeville of our life in total. 67.3 years is a lot of time. There’s loads and loads of time to accomplish lots and lots, provided our health remains our friend.

I created the picture below to depict the expanse of opportunity available with an average Indian male from a temporal perspective. Imagine each circle to be a week in a typical life where one starts earning at the age of 21 and stops doing so around the age of 58. Imagine also that you are filling up each circle with a RAG palette of colours to indicate the quality of that week. Perhaps we can also include a blue colour to depict a relaxing vacation where you don’t do much. You are the sole judge of whether a circle is to be filled in with red or green or amber. You do so on parameters of your choice, balancing your work and your life priorities. The purple bordered circles show each week of your childhood and student life,  the green ones are where the greenback flows in and golden yellow is the colour of your retired life.

For the weeks that you have lived, how does your dashboard look like as at today? Could it have been different? How would it look like at the end of your life’s book when the credits start rolling? 🙂

Life Circles v2


Ran off to the Himalayas for a holiday and now back after a recharge. What a beautiful place lived in by such good and simple people.

Sikkim Boy Pelling

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