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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Getting shit done - The art of shutting up your mouth



இதனை இதனால் இவன் முடிப்பான் என்றாய்ந்து
அதனை அவன் கண் விடல்.

Well, a lot of people in the world know about Kamasutra from India, but many don’t know about thirukural, a book with short advices for every aspect of life (not to say that Kamasutra is any less important).

The fact is that we ask too much questions instead of just doing and getting shit done. The thirukural which was quoted above says the following:
Find a person, who can do the work,
Leave the work to him.

Now, this reminds me of an Essay named, “A letter to Garcia”. Read the essay from somewhere in the internet, but I’ll put some excerpts from the essay, to explain the context I’m talking about.

“Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopaedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".
Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?
On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:
Who was he?
Which encyclopaedia?
Where is the encyclopaedia?
Was I hired for that?
Don’t you mean Bismarck?
What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?
Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man.”

“Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.”

“And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future.”

“If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?”

The essay is written from an industrial view point, from an employee – employer perspective, but that is none of my concern.

My concern is to just do whatever you want to do, without asking too many questions. Just letting go of all the doubts and insecurities and getting shit done. Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.

It is not that questions are always stupid. The right kind of questions, help us a lot, but the bad kind of questions, make us worse off.  The right kind of questions has answers. The bad kinds of questions do not.

Examples of good questions:
What do I have to do to start playing guitar?
Which model shall I buy?
 - They have pretty solid answers.

Example of a bad question:
When should I stop being an idiot?
Why was I born in this world?
 - Abstract questions do not have answers!

Finally, Elbert Hubbard concludes in the letter to Garcia,
“My heart goes out to the man… …when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it…”

“Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You got to check this video :)

http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

Ranjith said...

I've already seen this video, but I watched it once more, thanks to you. Biology, not psychology, but biology! Simply done. One must put information on a flow within the head, else it gets stagnant and you forget what you see and hear.

Anonymous said...

ohhhhh :P