About Navin Muruga

Managing Director at Talenpac

Work, Rest, Work, Rest, Repeat

The key to getting things done is focus.

The ‘Ding’ on WhatsApp,
Coffee from the hipster cafe downstairs,
A quick 5 minute chat with a colleague;

These are the little thieves that steal from our focus. They creep up on us and take us away from the work that needs to be done.

However, the reality is we need our breaks. It’s unrealistic to be fully focused all throughout the working day. Breaks help us clear the clutter in our brain, gives us perspective and help us refocus on what’s important.

The problem is, responding to a WhatsApp message every 10 minutes while you’re trying […]

Work, Rest, Work, Rest, Repeat 2017-07-11T10:37:28+00:00

We’re Pursuing Passion All Wrong

Do what you love
Love what you do

The same four words rearranged may sound alike but upon closer inspection you’ll notice a subtle but important difference.

‘Do what you love’ implies you should first know what you love. The focus is on first finding your passion and then having the courage to pursue it.

‘Love what you do’ implies you should learn to love what you do. The focus is on finding meaning in your current work.

Popular advice has been to ‘Do what you love’. Steve Job’s popular Stanford Commencement speech is one such piece of advice. The problem is, most […]

We’re Pursuing Passion All Wrong 2017-07-12T11:56:59+00:00

The Recipe for Pasta and Life

The other day I emailed my wife for her pasta recipe. Here was her reply.

___________________________________________

Subject: Pasta Recipe

There is no recipe. I just wing it.

Fry onions if you want, else just crushed garlic and chilies (optional)

Add passata sauce, season with pepper, salt and oregano

Add grated cheese (in fridge)

Add anything else you can find in kitchen 🙂

___________________________________________

It’s pretty much like life. There is no recipe. Try this and that. Or don’t try – it’s up to you.

The Recipe for Pasta and Life 2017-07-05T22:12:09+00:00

True Scarcity vs. Scarcity Thinking

There’s a wonderful book by Rosamund Stone and Benjamin Zander titled The Art of Possibility which differentiates between true scarcity and scarcity thinking. For those of us who lack the basic necessities to survive, our focus really should be on addressing the scarcity in our lives.

However, most of us don’t actually experience ‘true scarcity’. Instead, we adopt a ‘scarcity thinking’ mindset. We worry about potential scarcity and we work to mitigate our exposure to any chance of future scarcity.

It’s ‘survival thinking’ on steroids – most likely a remnant psychological artefact from our hunter gatherer days.

By living in this scarcity […]

True Scarcity vs. Scarcity Thinking 2017-07-05T22:10:19+00:00

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

We check Facebook every hour, subscribe to a gazillion newsletters and have more WhatsApp groups than we can count with two hands.

FOMO (The Fear of Missing Out) is real. And to be fair, it’s a legitimate fear. The world around us moves so fast that it’s hard to keep up. With so much happening and so many ways to stay updated, the key is in curation.

There simply isn’t enough time to meaningfully keep a tab on everything. The question then is, what’s useful to you?

Which social media sites, newsletters and WhatsApp groups add value?

Useful doesn’t simply refer to work. […]

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) 2017-07-05T07:12:54+00:00

Boring ol’ Consistency

Whether it’s a new job, project or business, success will require you to apply consistent effort. At first, the thrill of starting something new is exhilarating. It provides all the motivation you need to get things done. But soon, the novelty of it wears out. What was once new and exhilarating becomes old and mundane.

To overcome the mundane we need a sustainable source of internal motivation. Something to keep us going even when we’re bored of repeatedly doing the same thing. That source of internal motivation is purpose. Knowing that our effort (no matter how mundane) is in service […]

Boring ol’ Consistency 2017-07-03T07:10:15+00:00

Rethinking the hour long meeting

Few meetings justify us blocking off an entire hour of our time.

Most meetings can be quick but our default is to set aside an entire hour. The problem with allocating more time than needed is that it dilutes the quality of the meeting.

What if we only did 15 minute meetings? How differently would we behave?

To start with, we’d be on time.
We’d skip all unnecessary small talk and get to the point.
We’d be more selective about who we invited to the meeting.
We’d be more engaging with the people we meet since we’d be more present.
We’d be more efficient with our words.
We wouldn’t […]

Rethinking the hour long meeting 2017-07-03T07:08:39+00:00

Fake Work

Unnecessary Friday afternoon project meetings
Post lunch online ‘research’
Out of town meetings when a phone call would have sufficed
Catch up sessions (gossip) in the office pantry

The list of ‘fake work’ is long and we’re all guilty of it.

To be honest, we need fake work. We need it because it’s just not possible to be a hundred percent all of the time. Fake Work helps us  appear like we’re working when we need our crucial mental breaks.

It’s a necessary charade because bosses don’t want to see employees resting and employees don’t want to be seen resting. Most work environments glorify working […]

Fake Work 2017-06-30T12:53:23+00:00

Like it or not, you’re a brand.

When people think of you, they feel a certain way towards you.

Maybe they think of you as ‘the smart one’ or ‘the one who gets stuff done’ or ‘the one who’s always challenging the status quo’. Alternatively, maybe they think of you as ‘the one who’s always moody’ or ‘the one who only does it his way’ or ‘the one who’s all talk and no action’.

Your brand is a reflection of how you turn up everyday. It’s the accumulation of all your small actions such as how you respond to emails, the frequency you keep to your word and […]

Like it or not, you’re a brand. 2017-06-29T07:31:13+00:00

The Measuring Stick 

The measuring stick is society’s way of measuring success according to the current status quo. As society’s measurement of success changes, the measuring stick changes with it. For instance, twenty years ago being a doctor, lawyer or engineer used to be society’s measuring stick for career success. Today the stick has changed. It now includes tech founders, social entrepreneurs and a variety of job titles that didn’t even exist twenty years ago.

If leadership is about challenging the status quo, it implies leaders are responsible for creating new measuring sticks. To create new sticks, leaders must be willing to go against […]

The Measuring Stick  2017-06-28T10:11:56+00:00