Category Archives: inspirational

Time to Spread Some Holiday Cheer

Here’s Wishing you All the Best for 2017!   

Goodbye to 2016

Goodbye, 2016!

We wish all of you all the best in 2017! May this new year bring lots of success and happiness in your life.

As we say Goodbye to 2016, let us remember the positives and try to not dwell too much on the negatives. In the USA here, we have gone through a nasty election season which saw the country more divided than ever! However, we and those in parts of the world which are conflict free have been fortunate to see peace and prosperity. We hope and pray that 2017 brings peace to more parts of the world and pray for those who have been affected by war and tragedy.

Let us all pull together and do our part for making this world a better place for all of us.

Here’s to all or our friends!

Your friends at

So Long Steve Jobs ….

"Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP" by Matthew Yohe. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP” by Matthew Yohe. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Steve Jobs – Inspirational Teacher
Connect the Dots … Don’t Settle …Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish ..

As the world mourns the death of Steve Jobs, I listened to his now famous 2005 commencement address again .. and again.

This is perhaps the most inspirational and spell-binding 15-minute speech ever delivered. Three powerful messages .. in three touching stories. The message was so authentic because he was essentially telling the stories from his life.

This 15-minutes talk gives you more lessons in how to live your life and how to be creative than all of the business books combined.

Connect the Dots …

Steve Jobs talked about how his casually taking interest in calligraphy and taking a class at Reed College, a class which apparently had no practical use, proved to be critical ten years latter when this knowledge became a key in Macintosh  having a great typography. Much later, when he was fired from Apple, the very company that he himself had founded, it was devastating at first, but proved to be the best thing that happened to him because it rekindled his passion and creativity and laid the foundation for his brilliant and pioneering innovations.

 “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. “ 

 I am sure, as many of us look back in our careers and lives, we can find instances where we can now see why certain things, that at the time looked devastating, or did not make sense, happened for a reason. Now we can see why. We can now connect some of these dots in our own life when we look back.

 Don’t Settle …

This is probably the best advice. We hear it often but it takes an awful lot of courage to follow. We, in general, are programmed to follow a safe career path. Many of us encourage our children to become doctors, lawyers, or professionals, so that they can make good money and live comfortably. When someone decides to walk away from a lucrative Wall Street career to follow his (or her) dreams, family and friends often think that person is making a big mistake and try to talk him out of it.

Steve Jobs followed his passions and his heart. He was passionate about his work, he loved what he did, and that is why he could come up with amazing creations.

 “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. 

 Do you love what you are doing? Do you do the type of work so that you can’t wait to get to your office or your lab? If not, do you have the courage to change your course and look for something different? Do you encourage your children to follow their own passions and their hearts? Change is hard – but let us not settle just because it is convenient. Keep looking.

One of the books that made a deep impression on me was “The Alchemist”, an international best-seller by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The book resonated with me because it talked about omens and messages that we encounter in our lives, trying to guide us to the right path that will follow our dreams. It kind of comnbines both of the above lessons that Steve Job talked about – “Connecting the Dots” and “Don’t Settle”.

 Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish …

The last message of Steve Jobs was just as important. We start our life as kids, full of curiosity and eager to try out new things. But slowly we tend to get comfortable in our lives and our careers and somewhere along the way, we sometimes lose the hunger for knowledge. We are afraid to try out some outlandish, big ideas or follow our big dreams – so that we do not appear foolish to others. However, big achievements are not possible unless you are not curious, not hungry for knowledge, not afraid to try out what may seem initially as some absurd experiments. I can vouch from my personal experience that some of my best accomplishments in my professional life were when I was trying out completely new fields and not afraid to try something totally different and something that would seem silly to someone in the field. It is also a fact that many breakthroughs in science come when researchers from a different field look at the problem with fresh perspective. For example, Francis Crick was a physicist who was able to bring some fresh perspectives to the field of biology to deduce the double helix structure of DNA with James Watson.

 Great things will happen if you stay hungry, stay foolish and follow your dreams.

 “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

 Steve Jobs – Thank You For Inspiring Us to Be Better

There is an old stanza by a famous Indian poet and philosphopher of the fifteenth Century, Sant Kabir, that roughly translates into:

 “When you are born,
World Laughs and You Cry,
Do Such Deeds so when you die,
You Laugh and the World Cries” 

Yes, Steve Jobs, the whold world is crying today.  And you must be smiling today at what you have achieved. You lived your life well. So long!

– Yatin Thakore

Live Like There is no Tomorrow – Lessons of 9/11


twin tower lights

two light beams where twin towers were

It is a somber day today – 10th anniversary of 9/11 and my eyes are tearing up as I listen to family members reciting the names of loved ones they lost that fateful day and giving brief tributes to them. They lost fathers and sons and grandsons, grand-daughters, daughters and mothers, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues.

I still remember that day vividly. I was on my way to work in Brooklyn and as our subway train A passed by the World Trade Center stop just after 8:45 am on its way to Brooklyn, me and my fellow passengers were blissfully ignorant that at around the same time, a plane had just hit the North Tower. I was still day-dreaming about the Sunday evening two days ago, where our family and our relatives had all gotten together to celebrate my wife’s birthday at one of our favorite vegeterian Chinese restaurants in Brooklyn Heights. Afterwards, we had spent a leisurely Sunday evening, strolling by the promenade on the waterfront there, enjoying the mimes, watching a shooting going on for a film, and mostly soaking in the breath-taking views of the Manhattan skyline against the setting sun, with the two WTC towers defining the NY skyline. Little did we realize that this is the last time that we will be able to see these towers from this spot.

Life seemed perfect then!

As our train came to our Brooklyn MetroTech station, I sanpped out of my day-dream, and hurriedly made my way to our building. I was surprised to see a crowd of people staring at a bank of TV monitors that were in the lobby. They were showing smoke coming out of one of the WTC towers, with the report that a small plane had crashed into it. I made my way to the office on 11th floor where we had a clear view of the WTC towers and NY skyline. We were alternating between watching the TV and looking at the WTC towers when some of my colleagues came running after they saw a second plane plow through the second tower.

Suddenly everything changed.

And as we watched the events unfold throught the day, everybody seemed shell-shocked. The Brooklyn-bridge was chock-full of people walking towards Brooklyn from Manhattan with a dazed look on their faces. Late in the evening, after train services resumed and I could take the train back to NJ, I remember how quiet the train-ride was. We were blankly staring outside – as our train passed by the area from where we should have been seeing the WTC buildings, we only saw lot of smoldering smoke. There was an eerie silence in the train as we were absorbing the enormity of what had happened. We were all crying silently inside, thinking of friends or relatives we might never see.

Luckily, we were spared from loss amongst our immediate family, friends or relatives. But you always knew someone who lost someone dear, and although you did not know them, you felt a heavy heart and got teary eyed as you heard or read about their stories. For the next month or two, during commuting to work, I would read NY Times’s special feature, Portrait of Grief, where they had briefly chronicled short biographies of the victims (see This series, beautifully chronicled, gave you much better understanding of the victims and their families. It provided me with a way to grieve, knowing a littlle bit more about the background and lives of some of these people. They had so much life, so much talent, so much to give to the society, so much love for their family and community.

 Lessons From Survivors

The stories of survivors was also gripping. Recently NPR radio had a show, talking to some of the survivors about the experience. And it was just as moving and inspiring.
And so today, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as we pause for a few minutes to remember those who perished, and salute the sacrifices made and the heroism shown by our first responders and many other heroes of the day, let us make a few pledges:

  • Let us make sure that we urge Congress to give full health benefits to our first responders, many of whom have contracted cancers which are not covered currently by health insurances. Our first responders do not have to fight to get the health benefits.
  • Let us salute the sacrifices made by our troops fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, and if we have businesses where we are hiring, let us see if we can help returning troops a chance to make a decent living.
  • Let us also learn the lesson from survivors. One of the messages resonating through this is that life is precious. It is a gift. You do not know whether you will have tomorrow. So make the most of the present. Sieze the Moment. Live it to the fullest as if there may not be tomorrow.  Give it your best – in your work, towards for your family and friends, and to your employees and co-workers
  • Let us also work together to make America strong again. It is still the country where most people want to come to – a melting pot of cultures and religions, tolerant to contrasting view and ideas. But we cannot rely just on Government to turn around the economy. We all have to do our part. In JFK’s words – “Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country”. If you are an employer, put emphasis more on hiring people and expanding business rather than firing people and cutting cost. 
  • Let us manufacture / outsource services in the US when we can, buy American when we can, and have an optimistic attitude that tomorrow will be better. Beleive in that, take some chances, and hire for tomorrow’s growth. If everyone starts believing that tomorrow will be better, it will be better.

God Bless America.

Thank you and so long till later!

Yatin Thakore