Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Meaning of Life!

'What is the meaning of life?'
or 'Is there any purpose to it?'

Such a boring and hackneyed question yet such an important one!
My Life!!
The 65 years of time (considering the average life time of an ordinary Indian) I breath and respond in someway on this planet.
A single life form among 7 billion such life forms of homo-sapiens species which walks around on this planet with an ability to respond to things.

Is a mere 65 years of life is all that you have? Does it matter??

It feels greatly humble to look at the journey of 2,00,000 years of our species since it's origin  - let alone the 3.5 billion years journey of the life since it's origin  - and our minuscule life time of a mere 65 years!

You ask me the meaning of life when I think of the gigantic spaciousness of the universe and the immense depths of the 14 billion years old time - my life is, frankly, less than negligible. 

But interestingly - when I think at this level and the feel the very humbleness of a life that I possess/represent - it doesn't make me feel less important. Rather it makes me feel awe! Awe at the stupendous scale of the things around me.

It makes me only wonder - how great the things are around us!?

Coming back to the purpose of my life - first question to be asked is - Is what I call my life is truly or entirely mine? Do others lives have no impact on my life?

Am I an island of a being without any connection to other beings of my species or in a broader perspective - without any connection to the other life forms in general?

Answer to this is so obvious!

Absolutely No.

As my favorite Telugu poet and lyricist Sirivennela says in a song - 'We are all the waves of the ocean called humanity. Each wave is different in it's own way but is part of the ocean'
And here the ocean is not even the single species we named homo-sapiens. The ocean is the 'life form' that is so rare (and so precious) in the known universe.

(How much of my today's life is influenced by my forefathers?

Millions and millions of lives have an impact on each other causing me to do what I am doing right now - thinking about the purpose of life and writing it down in my laptop.
Electricity - Internet - Computer Technology - English Language and grammar - Evolution theory ........... each one is the result of a life time work or some life-times work. And each of those lives were again influenced by other lives - stretching right back into the origin of life!)

Yes - today's human being has a direct connection extending till the very first life form fledgling on the planet earth some 3.5 billion years ago. 

We are the manifestation of the universe extending back to 3.5 billion years of life chain which tries to understand itself!
We have evolved in these 3500 million years - faced strict odds, ate each other (still doing! :) ), fought deadly wars among ourselves, faced the wrath of the elements - the chill of the ice ages, the ferocity of the volcanoes, and the blasting of the neutron stars in distant galaxies, got extincted many times ..... and in each step evolved slowly to adapt better to the circumstances around us.

In this process - after a period of 3.5 billion years - we reached the current form of life - homo-sapiens. Lucky enough - this monkey form has become the dominant life-form on the only planet in the known universe to be containing life. And as a leader of the whole range of life-forms, we have have a responsibility to protect not only our own species but also the very life form (single celled or multi-celled) on this planet or elsewhere in the universe. Not just protect life form but we have a much larger goal/purpose to make an impact on the universal scale.

Think about it - first time in our history of 14 billion years of universe - a life form - a manifestation of the universe itself - can determine to travel from the planet of it's origin with its own willingness and can try to understand itself!

To push the humanity further - a small step - however small it might be - in an attempt to contribute to the advancement and protection of this precious form of the universe we name - life - and to treat myself as a manifestation of a great, continuous chain of life extending back to 3.5 billion year old - this could be the meaning of life!

Monday, 18 January 2016

iRise - a Personal Perspective!

(On this day - the 16th January, 2016 - I feel really happy and positive. I feel alive and engaged with my life. 
I feel some connection to the stuff I am involved in today.  I think it's an extremely important thing for me to put my perspective about the work I do at iRise into words so that I won't feel so lost during those tough times. And I can start the process of defining my best future or vision for myself or my ideas of success.

I know the degree of usefulness of this content here - about the vision for my life or the perspective for it - is directly proportional to or is extremely dependent on the degree of its truthfulness. So I try to be as much truthful as my wisdom allows me to be.) 

So, here is the big question.
what's the point?  
What's the point in working at iRise? 
What's the idea/ideas that drive me?  
What's the destination and/or intention?  
What's in it for me? 

The point in working at iRise is in its name - I RISE. 
(And that's what I want - I WANT TO RISE. 
I damn sure want to rise. 
I f**king want to rise) 
I Rise. 
I Rise. 

I learn, I grow, I become capable and empowered, I gain wisdom, I gain resources.................. 
And I realize my values and my full potential through the work I do at iRise. 

What are those values? 
Happiness and prosperity, progress and contribution, kindness and compassion, purpose and meaning, creativity and learning, humor and friendship........................................ 
And if allowed to be a bit grander (and not consider taking the inspiring lines of my hero here as plagiarism) - I want to put a dent to the universe. 

Why only iRise? 
Because 'this' is it. 
This is the path. It is. 
It's my life, my ambition, my quest, my thirst, my triumph, my strength and weakness. 
This is it. 

Did I ever ask the question that why 'Ravi Garlapati' - who is born in Koppolu and studied in the government school there till 6th class and then in VBHS in Suryapet - is 'Ravi Garlapati' ? 
It would have really helped me  to realize all of my present values, if I were born into a wealthy  and educated family somewhere in the city or even better still - in a rich and prosperous country where there are inspiring teachers in schools, whose countries have produced far more number of Nobel prizes than my country and where I would truly have made a mark on global scale........ 

The answer is - I did not.  
I might have mused about it - I don’t remember.  
But if I think about it - had anything happened different from the way it had happened, I wouldn't have been myself. It would have been a different person. (Interesting idea, I might blog about it some other time.) 

Coming back to the question of 'why iRise' I think  in every way possible - philosophically, practically, ethically, and most importantly aesthetically (yeah, I see a lot of beauty in it!) - this is the most appropriate match that I have in my hands right now. 
Show me another better path to my values -any other better answer to the question of what should I do with my life right now? Or in the near future of say 4 to 6 years? 

iRise is an open book. 
It's a canvass to my imaginations and initiatives. 
It's a platform. 

iRise is a coaching centre. It gives classroom coaching to people who are preparing for the exam called SSC CGLE through which they can get a very good central government job. For offering a quality service to it's customers it charges them some fee. And that fee sustains it's actions by paying for the salaries of the people who are working for it and the materials that are needed to run it's operations. 

This is what iRise is about now. 
And I - Ravi Kumar Garlapati - am at the helm of this organization. 
I am it's LEADER. 
I am the person who is leading this organization which is giving coaching to around 670+ students currently at 4 different locations in Hyderabad with 20+ employees in admin works and another 20+ teaching faculties and a number of other service providers. 
I am the person who is to ensure its survival in the short term, face the challenges it faces time to time, plan for it's future and make sure that it flourishes as much as possible, as and when possible, by taking actions in order to reach that goal - flourishing. 
I am the one who is to provide it the direction, the sense of purpose, the values, the drive for it's resources to work, the inspiration. 

This is what I am supposed to do. 

I need to take care of it's immediate needs in the present - so that it survives today and tomorrow. 
And with the resources that I have in my disposal I need to try and make sure that it reaches it's best potential - FLOURISHES - and benefits myself and my team who put in the efforts for it, the customers who make us do the things that we do by blessing us with their hard earned money, the service providers on whom we are dependent to run our operations, and the entire eco-system and society at large - which makes it possible for us to exist. 


Survive. And Thrive. And let others Thrive.  
Progress and Contribution. 
Purpose and the meaning. 
Kindness and Compassion. 
Learning and Growth. 

Whose values are these? 
iRise values or your values? 

Because your job is to set the values for iRise. 

iRise is not something out there that you are working inside. 
iRise is something that you are building. 
iRise is something that you are struggling along with. 
iRise is something that are fighting with and fighting for. 
iRise is a means for some ends.  
And iRise is the representation of those ends. 

It's the journey and the destination.