I Give Up!

My Blog

Over 5 years, 104 countries, thousands of visitors, we have enjoyed it all. But there comes a time when certain things have to be changed, the new ways have to be brought in and here I have decided to do the same. There are days when I feel that I have failed to innovate and got stuck with the old ways. So, I want to give up the old ways and take sometime off to put together the content that you guys would love to read.

For sometime there will be no new posts uploaded(don’t know how long!) but as and when it will be back.. be sure, it will be a different content.

I leave you with a quote form Steve Jobs – Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right”.

Will miss you….

Love,

Paul

You are a LION and you are meant to ROAR!

Inspiration, Motivation, My Blog

You are not born for the ordinary. You are born to go beyond. Beyond boundaries, beyond your own restrictions, beyond your own comfort. You are meant to break the shackles of your fear.You are meant to be great. Coz you can. At times you may feel you are nothing, that you can do nothing, I do feel that too. There is this strange fear of failure, of being embarrassed, of being ashamed, of regret and failure.

You will struggle, we all do, its fine, its ok, its part of a long journey. That fear will be there, it will grow, it will grow on you even more, that fear of not being able to achieve everything, that life will not be enough to achieve everything you ever want. But that’s ok, life is a learning journey, you will get somethings, some will be a struggle, but at the end wouldn’t it all be worth living. “Life happens” and yours will happen too.

You will make it to the top, you will some day, some day soon. Keep hoping, keep working, keep struggling, coz that struggle is life.. that struggle is “Life Happening”. Fight for it, make it a struggle worth fighting, coz you are a Lion and you are meant to ROAR!

FROM A CURRENTLY INSPIRED SOUL.

– (anonymous )

No more groggy mondays if you do this..

My Blog, Work

Photo by Rawpixel

Ya, we think going back to work on Monday is difficult and after spending a relax sunday it’s natural to feel that way.

Tell me one thing you like doing and you won’t mind doing it again and again… Why is that- because you enjoy doing it and secondly you look forward to it.

We humans need something to look forward to and if we don’t get it we feel groggy or uncommitted etc etc…

If you don’t have anything to look forward to in your job-

1. Consider changing it.

2. Or Find something to look forward to in that job.

Once we find something to look forward to, we will enjoy what we do and we will no longer have to drag our feet on Monday.

-Paul Fernandes

5 Things you did not know about 2019.

My Blog

While some of us are making our New Years resolutions – we have entered into the New Year. In this post I am going to tell you about 5 things you did not know about 2019.

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Photo by Ethan Robertson

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1. If you don’t take action, this year will not be any different.

You may have decided to do certain things, achieve certain results and live your dream life. This won’t be possible if you don’t take any action on those decisions. I like the Nike tag line – just do it. So let’s take some concrete actions on our desires to achieve higher results.

2. No one is going to help you more than you can help yourself.

We need people around us, no doubt about it. But if we only depend on people to help us reach our destination, we will never reach there. People have their own sh*t to deal with. So, you do all you can to achieve your goals and depend less on others doing it for you.

3. Health is wealth.

Last year I have seen too many young people dying due to health problems. There is no use of trying and getting millions, if your not there to enjoy it. This year let’s keep the balance between work and time to look after our body.

4. You don’t read, you don’t lead.

So many things are happening in our world today, that keeping a pace with what’s happening around us becomes very important. Let’s make a commitment to read more this year, because I believe reading and leading is directly associated with each other.

5. You are awesome.

I believe you are beautiful, handsome, hot, sexy, intelligent, successful and whatever you wish to be. Deep down I know you want to be that. Believe you are beautiful or handsome or successful and I am sure confidence, hardwork and belief in yourself will take you just where you want to be.

May be all of these 5 things were just a reminder to start this year with right mindset and positive attitude..

Have a wonderful year 2019.😀

-Paul Fernandes

Bigger the crisis, bigger the opportunities…

My Blog

The words of Napoleon Hill are ringing in my ears.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit”.

If you are not experiencing crisis or have never experienced crisis in your life than this post is not meant for you. But for those who are or have experienced crisis in your life, let’s make this reading journey together.

Hey, by no means I wanna say that I am an expert at crisis handling, I am in crisis most of the time but there are things that have helped me to come out of crisis and that is exactly what I am gonna share, and may be you can use some of these methods…

One of my good friend committed suicide some time back and no one even knew he was going through crisis or problems, because he never expressed it or showed any signs of it. May be you are going through some crisis in your life or may be someone who you know may be going through one, but never shows it. This post may be just something that you may need or someone else may need. So, don’t forget to share it….

Do you remember when you were a child small things such as electricity going out before your favourite TV show would be so disheartening that we would feel our whole life had collapsed. Time when your best friend did not give you the chocolate and gave it to someone else we would be so hurt that – thoughts like why;what; how would emerge in our head and would not talk to them for days, just because of a chocolate. Today when we have grown up a little we look back and find all those small small tensions = something to laugh at… like wise I feel Half the crisis or tensions go away when we talk to someone with a little bit of more experience in our life than we have, so that brings me to my first point..

1.Find a mentor: Here the person should have seen a little more life than you have, should be professional at mentoring and someone who you can trust and of course who has to be a good listener, no body likes advices, people like people who can be their guide and not advisers.

2.Books: Books(self help) according to me are a great source of support. So always have a good self help book by your side.

3.Don’t tell your problems to everyone: Truth is nobody cares about your complaining and problems. They are rapped in their own world, all don’t really care, they may feel sorry for you. Tell me, what are you gonna do with their feeling sorry?

4.Write down 2 things : Everyday write down 2 ways in which your life can be better. Believe me I tried this for 30 days few years back and let me tell you, it worked and worked in ways I couldn’t fathom. I can’t tell you the science behind it..but it works.. try it..

5.You are in that situation for a reason: You can allow your situation to make you or break you. There is a reason for it all.. wait, it will unfold itself.

I will leave you with few lines…

May be...

If Steve jobs had got stuck in the crisis after he was fired from the company he started, May be, we wouldn’t have PIXAR animation studio.

If J.K.Rowling got stuck in the back of her car thinking of all the problems in her life and never starting to write something, may be, we wouldn’t have HARRY POTTER.

I can go on and on with may be.. but what’s more important is

If ……………………(your name) prevailed through my crisis then may be the world will be able to witness……………….

Remember, Sometimes making opportunities for yourself is better than waiting for one….

-Paul Fernandes

If I did it my way and failed, it’s OK, An extra step changes everything. -Anil Singh.

marathon, Motivation, My Blog

If I did it my way and failed, it’s ok. These words came out of Anil Singh’s mouth and most of the audience had an immediate connection with him. This article is my take on Anil Singh’s TEDX, Panchgani talk, which at a personal level did move me a lot. His journey with marathon started with the London marathon. The difference between participatory sports and spectator sports was crystal clear in his talk.

He said, “When over 40,000 plus people participate in the marathon run, there are 40,000 plus winners and with it 40,000 stories.” These were golden words, because isn’t our life about stories ?

He spoke about getting Standard Chartered to back up his dream of having a marathon and how he made people understand the fabric of sports. Two things which stood out were perseverance and love for sports. I think we all need to have both, love and perseverance no matter what field we are into.

I am paraphrasing the words of Anil Singh – ‘If I did it my way and failed it was ok, I would get a good sleep, imagine I did it your way and failed, I would never get sleep’. May be this is what we need sometimes, to believe in our dream and to know that in the end it will workout.

Anil Singh introduced India to “Dream run”. And this year(2018) it’s called as TATA Mumbai marathon.

Anil Singh is the founder and Managing Director of Procam International – the company that promotes the iconic TATA Mumbai Marathon, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, TCS World 10k Bengaluru and the Tata Steel Kolkata 25k.

Imagination Breathing wishes him all the best for his future endeavours. Let’s all as he says, “Keep plunging away”.

Let’s play again – Reviving our forgotten childhood games! Dr. Sandeep Kate

Games, My Blog

MAGIC !!!

The mere mention of word is sure to arouse some interest !

Well, let me tell you that this writeup is NOT about Magic, at least not of the kind we usually mean when we think of the word.

I’m talking about the long lost and nearly “magical” period of our lives that we all fondly remember & cherish as our “Childhood days”….

Let’s have a bit of a fun quiz  –

Question –

Did you play any of the following games as a child ??

Spinning tops ( Lattoo/Bhavra ),  Marbles ( Kanche/Gotya ) , Gilli danda ( Viti dandu ) , Lagori, flying Kites, Chor Police, Aandhali Koshimbir (blind man’s buff ), Jiblya/Thikrya, Aba dubi, Sagargote, and so on …

If your answer is “yes” and if the mere mention of these games and play things brings a sensation of nostalgia or “deja vu” to you, then I can safely (magically ) tell you that you were born in the early half of the 1990’s or earlier.

Okay Okay … I know this wasn’t really a demonstration of magic but a simple guesstimate here….

My point is that these and dozens of other such games and activities have been played traditionally by children for hundreds or rather thousands of years. Not only in India but all over the world. However, the advent of technology and the sweeping changes in our culture and lifestyle, brought about by the rapid digitisation of our world, has put these games at a real risk of getting lost forever.

Is it important at all to sweat over this ” trivial ” issue ? How does it matter if the kids of the present and future generations stop playing these games ? Isn’t change the reality and rule of life ??

Is it even our business to get involved as adults ?

The answer is both easy and very difficult at the same time.

For my part, I have chosen to say –

” YES ”

Yes, it is important to ensure that our children are introduced to these wonderful pastimes and that they develop and sustain an interest in these games and activities.

It’s not like we tell them to start playing  these games to the exclusion of their  computers and televisions. I think we need to help them (and ourselves) achieve a healthy balance between the “Real” and “Virtual” games !

There is something wonderful and important about these traditional games that cannot be simply brushed away as rose tinted & sepia toned nostalgia.

Adults or Kids – we all need our regular dose of “Fun” & “Play” to keep our sanity intact in our fast paced and “constantly connected” world !

We need to connect on a more basic, simple and human level with each other and with our own selves. There is no better way to do this than through simple and plain old fashioned games – the games that we all played as children and that we still ought to play with each other AND with our children.

Simple games, simple fun, simple and joyful lives….

If this thought excites you, & if you would actually like to do something about this,  please visit our website http://soilgames.co.in to find out more.

Get in touch with us if you wish to contribute to the movement to revive our long lost / forgotten / traditional childhood games…

चलो, फिरसे खेलते हैं ..

Let’s Play Again!!!

Dr. Sandeep S Kate

Democratised Disruptive Innovation- What could it mean for the individual? Hirander Misra

Finance, My Blog

To learn lessons for the future we have to look at the past.

A few thousand years ago, when money never existed, a transaction happened only by exchanging agreed commodities by barter. E.g. Panchgani in Maharashtra where I recently held a TEDx talk on the subject I am writing about now is famous for strawberries – if you had strawberries and someone had cows to produce cream you could exchange a given amount of milk for a given amount of strawberries based on a discussion to determine the value of each and you both now could happily eat strawberries and cream. Life was simple and easy to understand.

A few centuries ago, with an inception of globalisation and increase in population the trade happened by exchanging commodities with rare materials like gold and silver.

Moneylenders in the past filled the gaps left by banks and still exist today. The Venetians were key players in the 1300s. For example moneylenders keep your gold and lend you money and charge you interest but if you did not pay it back they keep your gold

Around 16thcentury, the current banking system started evolving. Banks started to print paper currency. They were printed on the basis of gold reserve but from 1973 this backing by gold was removed as part of the Breton Woods Agreement as backing by gold was expensive. From then on faith in currency is based on trust. This is not different to Bitcoin, a virtual currency today, whose value is based on expectations and hence trust.

At the time of the 16th century exchanges also came into being. An exchange is a central meeting place for buyers and sellers and came because in era before computers more buying and selling could be conducted in a concentrated location. This was really the start of the evolution of an exchange and money as we understand it. In 1602 a central place for buyers and sellers to trade with each other was established in Amsterdam which became known as Amsterdam Stock Exchange albeit the Belgians claim the first exchange since 1531.

From the 1990’s stock markets become more electronic gradually in the most part replacing trading that was done on the open outcry floor of a stock exchange to computer based trading. Then the financial crisis happened in 2018 and many individuals and companies were impacted by the reckless greed of a few.

This financial system has made individuals reliant on middlemen be it a bank or a broker and even in cases, exchanges with dominant position. Financial markets have became complex to understand and expensive in many cases with a never ending era of products available to the unassuming consumer. The system the rough the centuries has become unfairly priced and complex. For example you may only receive 50% of the value of your gold as a loan and 20 percent interest may be paid for it. Is it fair?

Banks do the same with assets but one can argue in this era of technology the value of the services provided is too expensive relative to the overhead to deliver those services. Greed has led to a complex financial system that few understand with lots of vested interest. Every day people are exploited by the system and I am not saying the system is not needed but it needs to change. How can we bring fair level playing field to eradicate disparity – but also with social reform, which is impactful and sustainable? This niggling thought really hit home to me in 2008 when I was COO of an innovative electronic stock exchange called Chi-X Europe, which I had co-founded. Lehman one of our clients went bust in front of my very eyes and Fortis Bank our clearing bank nearly went the same way until the Dutch Government bailed it out. Global financial meltdown ensued. I realised that the system was flawed and there must be a better way. Yes the system had to exist with better controls but it had to reach back to grass roots level as it had become so far removed from reality.

We at GMEX Group have personal experience of this as a company. In 2015 we started working with the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) in Malawi after a fortuitous meeting with Kristian Shach Moller in a hotel bar at a conference in Switzerland. This exchange, which deals with grains and pulses but was struggling to reach the end smallholder farmer that it was set up to facilitate in a meaningful way as only 5% of its activity was farmers selling their crop direct to market. Middleman which at the time added no value were giving smallholder farmers 10% of what their commodity was worth and the banks despite having the commodity as security much like a money lender keeps gold still lent at 30-40% interest rates and that too to only 60% of the value. The farmer took all the risk but was left struggling to feed his or her family. By introducing prices on their mobile phones to farmers and educating them as well as making the banks compete online to lend in addition to brining in cheaper finance through mobile/ electronic banking coupled with making the exchange more accessible for them to sell their produce directly, in one year in 2016 the incomes of 47,000 smallholder farmers went up 31%. $10mn worth of finance was provided and that would have been $110mn if there had been better access to finance. This would have then benefitted nearly 500,000 smallholder farmers.

This lead us to realise that technology instead of being exclusive could become more inclusive and transparent. More income leads to social welfare, women’s empowerment, children’s nutrition as we saw in Malawi. Value add now can move from being farmers growing tomatoes to produce tomato paste (add value) and then have demand for financial services personally like mortgages and loans that are priced right. The unbanked start to become banked.

We further realised that this issue was prevalent across all other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Latin America and South East Asia. Take coffee as an example, we in a fancy coffee shop were paying £2.50 a cup yet the end farmer was lucky if he got £0.10. As such positive change in a sustainable manner where we made people reliant on commercial enterprise not charity hand outs could lead to a massive positive impact on a global scale

This led to the creation in 2017 of a dedicated initiative by us to facilitate this called FinComEco (Financial and Commodities Ecosystem). This has led to engagement in 21 African countries as well as 3 outside the continent but with lots of work to be done to fully convince governments and stakeholders in many of these to not only do this but also do it in a proper fashion involving all key areas fully linking farming to the end value chain of demand. A middleman for agriculture still has a role to play much like they do in financial services but it was those who could add value be it by making the smallholder farmer bigger and influential by grouping/ aggregating production or offering convenience such as transport to get it from the farm gate to the warehouse were the ones which would now prevail in this new world. The farmers in the case of ACE can now choose how they sell, when and how they got a fair loan to buy fertiliser and seeds when they needed it at the outset. The exchange now enabled by technology is at the heart of that to ensure that technology is used for good. This is applicable to many different sectors and we are also now starting to do the same through a separate India based initiative we announced in December 2017 for rag pickers and others who generate waste to creating an exchange for waste such as cow dung, etc to bring valuable incomes to those who need them most. Not to also mention the positive environmental impact this will have. This also supports the Indian Government’s Clean Ganga and Swach Bharat initiatives but is not just an India problem it is a global one as rich and poor countries all produce waste and most of it ends up in our oceans destroying marine life.

Malawi-image

Ultimately billions people can benefit if these types of initiatives are rolled out more widely leading to positive change by other organisations be they public or private. Corporate Social Responsibility is not just about meeting targets for CSR budget spend any which way as it has to be more than that. Equally executives at development finance institutions have to galvanise their organisation as many are acting like private equity houses and not looking at a 10 year view for sustainable socio economic reform no matter what the PR ad rhetoric lends us to believe. The number of times we have knocked on such doors and been told that we should come back when we have a track record and profitable on such ventures for funding so we can scale further and that we should be three years old as an enterprise. If that was the case why would we need them at that stage? We are not the only ones that face this predicament.

We as the individual are the ones that have to drive this change. So it’s no surprise that we find ourselves in an era “Democratised Disruptive Innovation” (DDI as I term it) enabled by technology, where 1 month is like living 10 months in terms of opportunity and development and it is not inconceivable that in 5 years time organisations not only such as Google could be a bank and banks as we know it would be different as even we individuals could lend and borrow more and more from each other as we have seen with some tech initiatives with peer to peer lending emerging. In the last few weeks two large company CEOs have approached me that are successful as they reflected over the holiday period and said we make lots of money now but we can see that either we change or someone eats our lunch. Look at what digital cameras did to Kodak which is a shadow of its former self.

Now we can trade with each other direct by technology whereas in the past you had to be in local area and Now national and international. Anyone will be able to trade with anyone with transparent in an open manner with more consideration to just financial services. We are in an era of “Anyone to Anyone trading .“ The intermediary (middleman) is now technology and this means massive opportunities not only for companies like Google who can from nothing in 20 years to become a giant worth about $700bn USD but also for us as the individual as anything is possible. I am not saying that there is not a need for a middleman, but this match making is needed at a better price and continually needs to evolve.

We have come back full circle to the new age of barter between all of us but with online convenience to coexist with the current exchange and financial services ecosystem but technological enabled change is making it more practical, more efficient and more accessible. So we can now all embrace change and use it to empower ourselves in any manner we choose, when we choose. Whether change is the only constant (the overall theme of TEDx Panchgani) or there needs to be constant change in the way you do things is now for you to decide how best to democratise.

-Hirander Misra

CEO, GMEX

http://www.gmex-group.com/

Tell your story to the world and be a part of this Global platform.

My Blog

This is what drives me out of bed every morning. I always wanted to make my mark in this world and when you realise that your work is viewed in so many countries listed above, the feeling is unfathomable. I am grateful to all the people who have written for “imagination breathing”. I still remember the day vividly how I wrote my first post knowing nothing about the blogging world and today “imagination breathing” has been a platform for writers, entrepreneurs, adventurist, artists, social activists etc etc and continues to inspire thousands of lives around the world. Just want to say thank you to all those who believed in me and thanks to those who laughed at my ideas because you’ll helped me to work hard and persevere. Without you’ll this success would have not been possible. And to all those out there having big dreams and ideas, your dreams are never too small, you just have to DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

Thank you WordPress for the stats, you have made me and all those who contributed their articles on Imagination Breathing, SMILE.

If you too want to be part of this venture for inspiring lives, if you want me to cover your story or if you know anyone whose story is worth sharing on a global platform, kindly write to me at paulib005@gmail.com

Follow us on Facebook – Imagination Breathing

Best wishes,

Paul Fernandes
Founder
Imagination Breathing

“CHOCOLATE – The best chapter of my life”. by: Joyla Fernandes. Goa, India.

Inspiration, Motivation, My Blog, Uncategorized

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“CHOCOLATE – The best chapter of my life”.

Getting a 3 months old puppy home from an animal shelter seemed just fun to me, I was a 12 years old girl then. Little did I know that this tiny little watchdog would turn out to be the most important part of my life.
“Chocolate”- that’s what we named him. As the name suggests he was a dark brown mix breed of a local and a boxer, he had beautiful yet fierce hazel eyes. He was like a combo of milk and chocolate – brown on top with a creamy white chest. His cute tail turned around like a question mark.
Chocolate soon filled my house with joy and laughter and as I grew up, I truly understood what it meant my unconditional love. We bonded very well. We played together for hours, sat around together, went for walks, he wasn’t just a dog to me, he was my companion . Though he couldn’t speak, I knew he could understand everything I said. I could share my worries, my sorrows with him and he would listen with those compassionate eyes towards me as if to speak a language  of its own. Somehow our souls connected so deeply. .
We grew up together, me and my buddy. From a tiny sweet little puppy Choco grew up to be a rough manly watch dog, fierce and strong and yet a gentle soul. I was so proud to have this beauty in my life. The way he would stand on our parapet, his chest so broad and wide – with pride and majesty. Unlike his sweet chocolaty name, his nature was that of strength and roughness. People passing by would tremble with fear at his sight, something I enjoyed watching. He was the ‘Don’ of my locality and nobody dared to stand before him. I wouldn’t be afraid to walk around late in the evenings with my Choco by my side as I knew nobody would dare harm me. His mighty presence assured me that I was safe.

Choco passed away on 31st of March 2015 after being around for 10 years, leaving a big gap in my life which no one can ever fill up. How I miss his loud voice, those eyes when he looked at me with all that love and understanding, his tail wagging with happiness at my sight, the joy in his eyes, when I returned back home. I miss his presence around me.
I just wish he could be with me forever and never leave my side. I have no words to express the pain I feel, something only a pet lover who has lost a pet would understand. Though it may be a common thing for all of us, each one knows how much it hurts.
He is one dog nobody will ever forget, He is still missed deeply by this heart.
“Chocolate” – that sweetness that has filled my heart lingers on”.

 

“Cool”and “Awesome” is just not good enough. By:Paul Fernandes.

My Blog, Uncategorized

 

wpid-WP4Phone_20140615235136.jpg PaulFernandes.
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“Cool”and  “Awesome” is just not good enough .

“Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there,you can move mountains”. Steve Jobs.

I once met a young kid in a train and in a casual conversation with him in a local language I asked him. Do you speak   English? The reply he gave me brought a great laughter out of me. He said with an innocent tone.  “I know when to say the words ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ – and I think  people think that I know English”. Ha ha.
Its strange but so true that some of us want themselves to be  called  cool and awesome .The question here is do you just want to  be called cool and awesome for what you wear or do you want to be called for the way you  make others feel. Some how I feel just being  ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ on the outside  is just not going to be good enough for us to take us through life in  this 21 century. You being called cool and awesome for external reasons, will fade away with time. What will remain with the other person who called you cool and awesome is – How you made them feel while you were with them. We all like to be remembered for the good we do,and not for something that is just passing. So what’s stopping us? Are we so stuck in a rut of wanting to be called cool and awesome for external reasons that we have forgotten to be good humans.
Continue being cool and awesome but  lets also be good humans who are remembered for how we make others feel.
I’ll like to end today’s blog with a quote from Charles Dickens..-
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another”.

Have a great week ahead of you.

Thank you.
Love:
Paul.
Imagination Breathing
(Inspiring Lives)
“Your insight may be just what someone else needs to have a break through”.