Goal vs Process

In this post, I’ll elaborate on the two kinds of approaches we can have while working on any task– goal oriented approach and process oriented approach. We’ll see what do we mean by these approaches, how these are characteristically different, some interesting examples of both these approaches for the same task and finally if one of this approach is better than the other.

Goal oriented approach primarily focuses on the end goal of the task. With this approach, we try to reach that aim in the easiest possible way. No wonder, we optimize and do whatever least is required to reach the goal using this approach. How something is done– is not as significant as long as we finally obtain the goal. Also two people who have achieved the same goal are similar from this point of view although they might have taken different paths to reach that goal.

On the other hand, process oriented approach focuses on the way of achieving a goal rather than the goal itself. With this approach, we care about how things are done. There is an inherent motivation to do things well rather than just getting things done. With this approach, we are okay if it takes longer to get something done if we are able to improve the process. And when we look at two people who might be at same level, we focus on how they reached where they are instead of where they are.

Let’s take an example, consider a student who is learning a new course. A goal oriented student who aims for an A grade will do what it takes to get that grade. He might not focus on aspects of the course which will not contribute in adding to the grade. On the other hand, a process oriented student will focus on learning all the skills he can from that course. There is an intrinsic motivation to actually learn and know more about a variety of aspects of the course.

Similarly, take a person working on a project at his workplace. A goal oriented person will do whatever he has been told to do, and nothing more. On the other hand, a process oriented person cares about the work he is doing and takes ownership of the project. He does not just stop at doing what he has been told. But goes a step forward and thinks of ways in which the project can be improved by maybe automating something, updating the algorithm of a module etc.

Also, it’s not the case that goal oriented people don’t care about the process and process oriented people don’t care about the goal. It is not just possible but likely, that a goal oriented person follows a process and a process oriented person has some goal. Thus both these aspects go hand in hand. But the approaches tell what we primarily care about while working on anything– is it the end-goal or is it the process of achieving a goal?

In my opinion, mostly it is lot more fun to do things in a process oriented way instead of goal oriented way. In goal oriented approach, we think that we will be happy when we achieve the goal. It is indeed true that we are happy on achieving a goal, but that happiness and satisfaction is short-lasted and pretty soon we are ready to go after another goal. On the other hand, following a process oriented approach, one can be happy of following a particular process and there is also great satisfaction is improving a process. If we quantify the total satisfaction, I’m sure we are lot more happy and satisfied following process oriented approaches rather than goal oriented approaches.

Failures strike much harder in a goal oriented approach. There can be a variety of reasons due to which we might not be able to achieve a goal we planned to achieve. And a goal oriented approach makes it much harder to accept failures, and it is likely that instead of learning from the failures, we might take these failures personally due to our inability to achieve a goal. On the other hand, failures are very different in a process oriented approach. Failures are about a particular process not working well for the task at hand. And there are always other alternate ways to try and different lessons to learn. Thus it is easier to understand, accept and learn from failures this way!

Goal oriented approach is useful in situations where it is urgent to get something done. Sometimes the intense pressure can be useful to innovate and optimize the way of achieving a goal. It can be productive and useful in the short run. However it might be difficult to sustain this approach during the long run.

Goal oriented — Stepping stones || Process oriented — Steering ship

I thought of an interesting analogy of these two approaches. A goal oriented approach is like jumping on stepping stones. We are completely focused on landing firmly on the next stone and then on the next stone and then on the next stone. All our efforts and vision is focused and directed on the stepping stones and everything else in the background is a blur. On the other hand, process oriented approach is like steering a ship. Ofcourse one has a goal to reach but in this case, the primary focus is on how the ship is steered. Also on the journey, one can look at the scenery around, spot birds and fishes and enjoy. It is not a distraction from reaching the goal, but overall a more satisfying experience.

Thus, we can approach the things we want to do in life using either of these approaches. And the same thing can be done very differently using either of these approaches and in turn it can be a very different experience for us. Process oriented approach can let us enjoy and learn during the journey while goal oriented approach can make us strongly pursue the desired outcomes! Finally the choice lies in our hands regarding which approach we choose!

Image Credits:
1. Stepping stones – Background photo created by kjpargeter – www.freepik.com
2. Steering ship – Vintage photo created by v.ivash – www.freepik.com

One year in the “Real” World

Today marks the completion of one full year in the “real” world for me. I mean since the time i can remember, i was busy with academics… pre-school, school, graduation, post graduation… I was used to my academic life. And its obvious, if we do something for so long then it becomes a habit, a routine, a way of life.

But exactly one year ago, it all came to an end (for now 😉 ). On this day, one year ago, masters convocation was celebrated, graduate degrees were awarded, caps were thrown high in the sky and then suddenly it was time to change… It was not a gradual change. It was a drastic change. Today we were students and tomorrow professionals. It was almost like throwing a fish which had always stayed in the small protective bowl into the huge ocean.  It was known long before, that this would happen, but then, knowing and finally experiencing is a lot different!

This change brought a lot of changes in life… From casual/informal clothes to formals, from night-outs to waking up early, from group studies to group meeting, from classroom to boardroom, from meeting friends daily to meeting them after a lot of planning, from daily chit-chat with friends to infrequent messages on Watsapp, from random project groups to random people in office teams, from grades and spi to ratings, from stipend to salary, from profs and deans to bosses and managers, from parties with friends to team lunches and outings, from walks in college to chai breaks in office, from project meetings to office calls, from daily attendance to filling time-sheet, from real classes to classes and trainings online, from reading 1-2 papers in a semester to reading 1 paper every week. Things have changed, yet they have remained  same…

Life has changed. It was bound to happen. This one year has been like a roller coaster for me! Full of up and downs. More appropriately, downs and ups (in the correct sequence). Faced worse times.. Understood the importance of the area and type of work which i wanted to do, the hard way. Worked hard to bring the change… I am happy, atleast later on, things changed for good for me. In this one year, i have met so many people.. Colleagues and friends. Learnt to handle difficult people and then met some of the the most humble and down to earth people.  Learnt many new cool things! Discovered myself in ways, i myself didn’t know. Understood things i like, things i value. Discovered and worked in areas which i find interesting. Met people, whom i can look up to. “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” ~P.B. Shelly I am happy that for me, spring came when i could wait no more 🙂

I am nostalgic about the previous part of my life. But i am also happy to have experienced the change. It has made me a lot more mature. It has shown me that one needs to put in lots of efforts to fulfil one’s dreams. Also funnily and strangely, its more satisfying to learn life lessons the hard way. I also learnt, that it helps if one knows what one wants. And with what intensity. What things are we ready to give up, in order to get the things we want? Probably, then its easy to take decisions in life. This year has taught me how to prioritize the things that matter the most to me.

Change can be both good and bad,
A person may be both happy and sad.
Its best to learn something new everyday,
Striving ahead, no matter what others say.
Life is not a race, to win or compete,
But to follow one’s dreams, however offbeat.
Creating new music and silencing the din.
Balancing between angels & demons within.

Hoping for happier times ahead, with new lessons and new challenges! 🙂

A Piece of Puzzle

puzzle

I am a piece of puzzle,
Having my own choices and preferences,
I am trying to find the place where i fit,
Where my interests align with others.
Its difficult to survive around mismatching pieces,
Every now and then, their edges hurt,
When they forcefully want you to realign,
As per their whims and fancies,
So as to somehow complete the puzzle around them.

I understand its a huge world,
With innumerable things which can be done,
Its not ever possible to try them all…
The only feasible way is to choose a subset,
Of areas that resemble my interest,
And then see how things work out,
It may be difficult to try many different areas,
As change is always unwelcome and unwanted,
But without this change how will i know,
Where i belong, where i should be…

Sometimes pieces of puzzles compromise,
With their own choices as well as their surroundings
They adjust with whichever pieces they get,
They find it cumbersome to change for the better,
Or to find their own perfect match.
But i have that faith and hope,
That someday, i will surely find my place,
The place where i belong,
They place where i perfectly fit in,
The place where i am truly happy,
The place and people who let me be me.
Myself, as a puzzle piece, will complete the puzzle,
Atleast in the area around me !
And that will be my sweet success…
That’s all i want, that’s all i dream
That’s all i hope and that’s why i live!

Image credits : inspiretalent.co.uk/images/resources.gif?637

Road of Life

One may wish a road to go on and on,
And to keep moving ahead smoothly,
Singing all the way along,
Enjoying every moment spent,
But in reality, life is different,
Road is unpredictable and ever-changing,
Having both smooth and bumpy patches,
It may be lined with green shady forests,
And sometimes it may be dry, hot and dusty,
Or slippery after the heavy rains,
It may be a fast multi-lane highway,
Or just a steep narrow pathway.
There are no maps or GPS to guide,
Just stride forward or enjoy the ride.

Sometimes a road may diverge into multiple roads,
Whether you like it or not,
Whether you want it or not,
It is the time to make a choice,
To stand at the cross-roads and decide,
To choose one road and reject others aside,
This decision however hard needs to be made,
Turning back is not an option,
Moving ahead is the only solution.

The current choice may affect the choices ahead,
Opening new ways and closing some doors,
This may further complicate the decision,
But this is the way how things are,
So think coolly and take your time,
Ask others, read the signboards,
And then just choose the road which seems best,
Opt for the one which your instinct tells you,
Past experiences and lessons may help,
But then nothing is guaranteed anyway,
The decision has to be taken,
However risky and insecure it may be,
Hoping for the best ahead.

One may sometimes regret past decisions,
But remember it was the best road that you had chosen,
So instead of repenting on past choices,
Foresee and listen to inner voices,
One may recall roads traveled in past,
And dream of the roads ahead,
But then one can just move along the road,
Enjoying and learning from each moment spent,
If you are lucky, the road may connect to your dream road,
Till then, don’t stop, anticipate & just move ahead.

the-road-ahead

 

Road to Success

Idea Credit : Weekly Writing Challenge: Clicking Through the Pages

Road to Success
Image:Stockphoto.com

“Success” has a different meaning for different people. It might mean wisdom, money, recognition, fame and so on. In my opinion success denotes achieving one’s goals. Thus anyone can be successful. Anyone can achieve their aim. Anyone can walk on the road to success. There is no secret of success. Nobody is born successful. Its the qualities and skills which make a person successful.

Now here is a test to check your direction on your road to success. In the end it will also suggest where to improve, in order to increase your chances of being successful. So lets begin –

1. Are you passionate about something ?

Do you like doing something, without which your existence is meaningless ? Is there some skill or hobby which you love doing ? Do you have a goal to achieve in life ? Is there something which you would happily do even if you are woken at midnight ?

If yes goto page 2 otherwise goto page 3.

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name – Jayati

Jayati : Winner

My parents decided to name me Jayati when i won the first battle of my life. I was an underweight,  premature baby. By God’s grace and care of my parents and elders i survived and thus won that battle. That’s how i was named “Jayati”. My parents wanted me to successfully win all the battles of my life ahead, to face the challenges bravely and to stand out as a winner. I have tried to do my best to achieve this aim till now. Everyone faces challenges and crossroads in life and i started facing them since the day i was born. So i guess i have more experience now than my peers 😀

Although Shakespeare said that What is there in a name ? i believe that a lot is there in a name. Name is our identity. It is how we are known to others. I have also analyzed that in most cases one can find the traits of characteristics of name in people. For e.g. people whose names are related to music are usually good musicians or singers, people who are named after gods or goddesses are usually successful, people whose names mean beautiful are usually pretty. This is not the case all the time but as per my interaction its mostly true.

I just love my name. Actually speaking i am proud of it. I love my parents for giving me this name. I have tens of nicknames but my actual first name “Jayati” is my favorite. I like its sound. I like its spelling. I like it in every possible way. I like that it begins with the letter 10th letter J. Thus i will never change my name !

Is Internet making us poor ?

These days we are so used to looking for culprits of our problems. We just focus on the problems and highlight their causes. It’s high time that we change our attitude. Being professionals we must look for solutions and not for problems. On these lines I will say that Internet is a technology. We have ourselves built it and it completely depends on us as to how we use it. We can use it the way we want. So I don’t feel that we can put the blame on Internet for any of our problems. Thus in my opinion Internet is not making us poor in any way.

Let us firstly look at poverty from different perspectives:

1.      Financially

If we see the world GDP it has increased from 1.36 trillion dollars in 1960 (around the time when Internet came into picture) to 69.98 trillion dollars in 2011. Even from India’s perspectives the GDP has increased from 37.68 billion dollars to 1.85 trillion dollars.

The World Bank, which defines poverty as survival on less than $1.25 per day, says India reduced poverty from 60% of the population to 42% between 1981 and 2005.

Even though the figures are large, we need to look for solutions of financial poverty instead of focusing on the causes of the problem. And secondly atleast we are on a progressing trend.

On a brighter side, a report says that Internet i.e. e-commerce contributes 3.2% of Indian GDP.

2.      Psychologically

Earlier when internet was not there it was very difficult and time-consuming to connect with people. But internet has completely changed the picture. At the click of a button we can find like minded people having similar interests across the globe. We can easily share our ideas with each other over the internet. We can connect with long lost friends. We can make our own network of people as per our interests.  According to the theory of 6 degree of connection we are atmost 6 hops away from any person in this world !

It is said that all this has decreased the actual interaction between people. People are so happy in the virtual world that they ignore the real world. But we know that excess of anything can be dangerous. This is true with internet as well. It is our decision as to how to use and how much to use the Internet. Internet is just there, available as a big sea of everything. It is in our hands how to use it in the best possible way.

3.      Spiritually

Spiritually also we are much better off as compared to earlier days. Earlier people had on one to clarify their doubts. But today all types of questions from rebirth to reasons behind beliefs have an answer on the Internet. So today people need not live in the darkness of the unknown.

Thus I feel that it completely depends on us as to how we use the Internet. It is like a magical wand that is capable of doing both good and bad.

Image credits : Wikipedia

Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House

My Top 5
My Top 5

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

  1. Laptop
    All my study material and projects are in my laptop. So it gets the first priority. I will also take the HDD along :).
  2. Books
    I just love my books and novels. At any cost i cannot imagine getting them burned down to ashes.
  3. Autograph Book
    I have the autograph of my teaches and dignitaries whom i have personally met. Its an instant trigger to the past sweet memories.
  4. Mobile
    How else will i contact my parents and near and dear ones to inform that i am OK ???
  5. Certificates + Trophies + Medals
    I just don’t want to lose these precious things as well.

What do you think ? What would you chose ??? Quite difficult ! Right 😀

College vs Branch

Again it’s that time of the year when all are busy preparing for IIT-JEE and AIEEE. After around two years of hard work the D-day comes. After the exam the question that lingers on the minds of all (students and their parents :)) is What should be given preference College or Branch ?

There are a few brilliant ones who get their favorite branch in the college of their choice. But all are not so lucky. Others have to decide what to choose ?? College or Branch ?? And it is a big question and its result will have a huge effect on the future !

In my opinion if you are clear about the branch you want to choose then please give preference to the branch. Otherwise if you are not sure of the branch then try to get admission in the best college you can get.

College plays a major role in shaping our lives. The faculty, the atmosphere, the facilities and our friends, all are important. We get placed for the first time through campus placements. So college is important. But branch will decide the type of work you will do. For example if you want to do computer engineering and you get chemical engineering in a good college what will you do ? I suggest that if you really love computer engineering then choose branch over college. Because such a chemical engineer may regret his decision all his life and there is no way out.

On the other hand if you choose your branch in a not so good college atleast you will be able to do something you really love. You will enjoy your studies. Also if you work hard and do well you will be successful.

This was one of the biggest questions i have faced in my life. I wanted guidance and i got it which helped me making the correct decision. Hope that all are able to do so. I have seen many people who suffer all their lives doing things they do not love doing. You make the right decision. All the best !