Is it in my control?

I ordered groceries from a store on a delivery app. 99% of the time the app stay true to its’ promise. But this day, it was different. World rarely turns to my wishes, and here was another proof.

Store calls me : “The item X is unavailable. We have removed it from the system, we do not know how you were able to order it”

That item X was the whole motivator to order rest of the items as well. The store wanted me to like order other goodies, which I did not want. I asked for a cancelation. Store said they cannot cancel, I have to do it. Knowing so well I cannot do it in the app, I educated them about it. Then they asked me to call the app hotline and hung up. I checked the app, no phone number. Checked the web, nothing. I called the store back and after 10 minutes of explanation got a number. Called that number, no answer.

During this baton exchange, I received a call. It was the delivery guy: “Sir, the store told me you did not want the order. Can you cancel the order, because until you cancel I will not get another hire for the rest of the day”. I said “I’d love to cancel, but I can’t, and the hotline is not picking, let me see what I can do”

The delivery guy has spent good 40 minutes of his time doing nothing. Of course I am not responsible for all these, store acted clueless and the app hotline is not picking.

On a typical day, I would call the hotline repeatedly until they picked up, roast them up good for not taking responsibility etc. May be go on social media, tag the app and rant.

I reflected. 99% of the time, app is delivering. This 1% is out of my control. I should let it go. Yet I felt bad for the delivery guy. Those guys are our life savers in a lockdown and they keep going despite taking shit from everybody.

“I will send a 150/- reload to your phone”, I said to delivery guy, he refused of course, and I did a reload. That response was in my control. I wanted to appreciate and compensate for his lost time.

After 10 minutes got a call from the app hotline. They have refunded me. I said “ok” and hang up. Wanted to lecture them, but I let go of that thought. These things are not in my control.

Finally received a text from the delivery guy . End of story.

Obsession with assurance

Humans are obsessed with people who instil stability, assurance and reliability.

If that is based on action, then it is good.

But in the age of abundant real time content explosion – a person, even hiding behind a fake account can manufacture content that humans want to hear: Stability, assurance, reliability.

Content giving options is not what the crowd wants. They want to hear things will be fantastic if you chose this, vote that and hate these.

” Stock market is bullish for sure” – People rally.

“Stock market is rubbish, it’s a gamble.” – Another set of people rally.

“You can make good investments in stock market if you do your analysis right. Here are few things you need to study.” – That takes time and thinking. Most people pass that. Those who want to explore on their own, they can do well.

Click baits

Pin on Lighten Up!
Picture courtesy

Humans crave attention from childhood. At first children want their mother and father to care about them, then they go after teachers, friends and work colleagues. And now with social media they want the whole world to like them.

It is good to be liked. It is dopamine, it is a nice feeling, until people crave more and more of it. What felt good yesterday has no potential to quench the thirst today.

Ultimately people end up in an attention seeking pyramid scheme. There’s only so many people who can like you or your stuff. Doesn’t feel true seeing thousands of posts with millions of likes. Studies of celebrities and influencers show that they have a price to pay. Attention is good, but rarely stays. Progress that is healthy is a combination of consistency and been transparent with your true self.

Media write click bait headlines for news. Bloggers write attention seeking blog post titles. Youtubers create unrelated video thumbnails. Because it has a high chance audience will click it. More clicking, more reach. Sometimes the title has nothing to do with the content. Increasingly movie titles also becoming click bait-ish. There is a list of netflix ‘trending’ movies I started watching, and clicked ‘exit’ before reaching 10 minutes.

Audience is now struggling at the surface. They rarely have time or intention to go deep in. Audience make assumptions and move on to next best thing.

It is no surprise, in an era, where quality journalism hides behind paywalls and fake news machines are operating at full throttle for free.

The free stuff, the click baits run wild and we wonder how come we do not appreciate the good things.

For a creator, it is very hard to keep up with the hype every single time they publish something.

Everybody want everything to go viral, but it can’t.

And if we focus on our content and be true to what we want to say, audience will understand someday.

This is the battle between instant noodles and home cooked meal. Both answer hunger, yet with different outcomes. You have the power to chose which one.

Why financial literacy efforts do not work well ?

pink pig figurine on white surface
Picture by Fabian Blank

In big picture, if you really look at it, the power/money structures do not want the general public to be good at finances. Look at our society- we are awkward, ashamed and it is a taboo to talk about money in our families.

Why? because we think money is secondary -the money can’t buy happiness crap.

But truth is, unconsciously we believe money is evil. We despise wealthy people as corrupt. We do not let ourselves be wealthy. So when our unconscious minds work against money, even though we want to do well, our minds won’t let us succeed, because we feel guilty.

There are many financial literacy curriculums, workshops and awareness programs running in Sri Lanka. They are run by corporates to make their staff do well, in apparel factories to help low wage earners to better manage their lives, by NGOs for disadvantages communities and in some schools as an extra curricular thing.

Middle class swear by their credit cards. Lower class pawn their gold and recycle ‘seettu’. Many are squeezed by micro credit legitimate sharks, pyramid scammers and “game poli mudalali.”

Financial literacy should help us take better decisions. But why it isn’t ?

  1. By definition literacy is knowledge. Not application. So having knowledge about finance and practicing good financial habits are worlds apart. Practice require patience and planning.
  2. These programs are mostly delivered to a person, not to the whole family. He gets knowledge and disappears in to the family and society. He has no leverage. He’s alone and fights the battle in his mind. He keeps financials as a secret. Most spouses do not know what is happening with their family finances.


Involve families.

Get the family members to talk about money. Plan together. Grow and sometimes crash together.

Our school education fragment the family, the society.

We play down real practitioners for illusion of certificate knowledge.

It’s time to get back to family, involve all of them, if you are interested in making people financially strong.

This is on each and everyone of us.

5G, iphone12 and trade wars.

iPhone 12 Lineup's mmWave 5G Support Limited to the United States -  MacRumors

In this blog post, I will take a full circle around the current situation of global 5G roll out, what apple’s iPhone 12 will do for adoption of 5G and back to USA Govt’s ban on Huawei.  

But first,  what is actually 5G ? 

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies launched in 2019. It’s the next step from 4G which provide connectivity to most current cellphones.

The main advantage of 5G is that they have greater bandwidth, giving higher download speeds.

Telecom operators say that 5G offers download speeds up to 20 times faster than existing 4G, though coverage remains very limited for now.

The increased speed is achieved partly by using higher-frequency radio waves than current cellular networks. However, higher-frequency radio waves have a shorter range than the frequencies used by 4G or 3G cell phone towers.

Current 4G cellphones will not be able to use the 5G networks, which will require new 5G enabled wireless devices.

So, 5G. Is it available as yet?

The pandemic has kept consumers at home more this year, where they can use their own WiFi networks, and away from city-centre areas that often have the best 5G coverage. In Sri Lanka, only few spots have 5G in Colombo, which means I have to be in those spots to enjoy 5G. 

I am using a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 right now. Will I upgrade to a note 20 ? Not a chance. 

If you want to buy a new device so that you want to connect to 5G, that is not a good idea as of now. 

5G will be pivotal to advancements in industrial automation, driverless cars and the “internet of things”

5G promises faster download speeds and lower latency, opening the door to entirely new kinds of applications, from self-driving cars to holographic video calls. 

Which means, 5G will be more suitable for corporate and industrial market than among consumers

According to GSMA, the mobile trade body, operators are expected to spend 80 per cent of their mobile capital expenditure, or nearly $890 bn, on 5G networks in the next five years, driving  unto 1.8bn 5G connections by 2025. 

Meanwhile, the huge amount of capital needed for 5G, and a collapse in the share prices of some of the largest telecom operators in the industry, has put pressure on telecoms companies to justify their capital expenditure.

Should you buy a iphone 12 or any 5G enabled phone?

Even though Samsung and LG launched their first 5G handsets in mid-2019, telecom operators say that no one has yet offered the attraction of the iPhone 12. 

before iPhone 12, Just 13 per cent of smartphones shipped globally in the first six months of 2020 were 5G-capable.

While the iPhone 12’s features would be not enough for a “yes” for an upgrade, telecom operators believe and pray Apple’s marketing trend and its’ fan base will make a stronger case for 5G.

Telecoms companies are pinning their hopes on Apple and its new iPhone 12 to kickstart the long-promised shift to 5G, after slow adoption of 5G among consumers over the past 18 months.

Also there is no “killer app” that will immediately attract the consumers to switch to 5G enabled smartphones. 

Here’s an interesting fact: When Apple introduced their first iPhone in 2007, it did not even support 3G, this was five years after Nokia launched its first device to use what was then the fastest network available. 

But iphone in 2007 had loads of killer apps and features for people to turn to iPhone and then create the android smart phone explosion. 

Apple has mentioned mobile gaming as one key use case for 5G, introducing a new iPhone version of the popular multiplayer game League of Legends. But confusions over the Apple App Store’s commercial terms have prevented popular games streaming services such as Microsoft’s xCloud, Google’s Stadia and Facebook Gaming from launching on the iPhone so far. This further reduces the iPhone 12’s attraction even for gamers. 

The war on 5G

The launch of global 5G networks is becoming a massive trade war with increased pressure from USA officials to governments around the world  to block Huawei because of lingering fears over the company’s links with the Chinese government and military, and concerns that its technology could be used for spying. Huawei has denied such allegations.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier. 

This slowed 5G roll outs in some countries, including the UK. 

Here’s a another statistic: In Europe,a major prospect for 5G, in JULY, just under 2 million 5G devices were sold. 

That is a higher percentage than earlier in the year but, it is still just 11 per cent of total smartphone sale in Europe. It is slow adoption. 

Apple might be looking to app developers to produce new experiences, such as augmented-reality games, that can take full advantage of 5G.

The current state of 5G globally is in introductory stage, with only 24 countries globally is live with 5G.


5G will come and change the way we live, work and basically everything. 

But it will not be in this year, it will take until 2025 to see wider adoption. But rest assured we will get 5G slowly. 

As consumers, at this moment you will have limited utility by purchasing a 5G enabled phone at a very high price tag. 

But for industrial automation and corporates this will be a wonderful opportunity to get on the next wave of technology and be an early adopter to explore new value additions. 

Life is good, if…

Life is Good Rocket Innertube Vintage Crusher Tee

Life is good,
If we throw away the need to be right all the time
If we unburden our selves from the titles and knowledge
If we reflect that I have a fair chance of dying today
If we can do things just because we can
If we can get away from the obsession to make things perfect, and expect things to be perfect
If we acknowledge we will always have haters, we can let them be
If we reflect everything that is good in life will pass. Also bad things will pass
If we ponder that happiness/peace is right here right now for us to grab. That no one need to give us permission. Yet why we do not give us the permission ?
If we realise that my success does not come at the expense of others’, and vice versa.

Careers are dead. What to do?

496 Dead Career Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Career is defined as a series of upward moves with steadily increasing income, power, status and security.
Perks, corner office, company maintained vehicle, insurance and pension were the things people looked up to.
Not that they will lose their attraction in our minds, but both employers and employees had to make lot of adjustments.
And it will never go back to what it was.

Losing jobs is bad on paper. But there are thousands of new jobs created with less supply. You can lose a job just because that is how jobs are now. It was not your fault. Likewise finding a new job at regular intervals is becoming a norm.

The new jobs are revolving around ‘customer needs’. Advances in technology and society are frequent, pandemics happen, and our skills need to be upgraded and aligned.
The safety of work now has to come from inside of a person, not from his office, because there’s no such thing as a secured job.

Getting a degree, then adding qualifications to your resume every 5 years not going to cut it . Even public sector is acknowledging this, but will take more time for their wheels to move.

People are supposed to learn on the go now. No time to sit and learn for few months and come back. If you do, there will be no job for you.

If things are changing so frequently how a person is supposed to align ?

1) Getting out of the career mind set. Knowing that you cannot ask for everything from the employer. There will be no such thing as dream job, or follow your passion with in the job. If you have one, you are extremely lucky, but don’t be naive that it will last until you retire.

2) To acknowledge and explore new opportunities created outside of our comfort zones. Get on internet to learn the new skills and attitudes. You can do that at zero cost. Yeah, except for the data bill.

3) Work in multiple projects at one time. To check what works and what not. Do side hustles in your spare time to test drive your ideas. Have a mindset to provide a valuable service people want, and deliver it consistently.

4) Get mentored by people who are doing well.
By doing well I mean, who are genuinely happy and contented, plus have created wealth for them and others.
Find what you are good at. A good mentor can see what you cannot see. It’s life changing.

5) Make a security safety net for you and your family by your self.
Getting a good life and health insurance early in your life, so that you don’t hang on to employers handouts.
Save money for rainy days.
This gives a peaceful mind for you to explore the unknown and get rewarded. because in places where skills are in high demand and in short supply, the reward is usually 10X higher.

‘Career’ thing for GenZ

10 Things You Need to Know About Gen Z – Karen McCullough

I think we need to discuss the ‘career’ thing. Because many young people ask me ‘career’ advise. I know you get these requests too.

I am very careful in dispensing advise to young people, especially when I do not know them enough.

There are few reasons

1) Youth, especially Gen Z ( born after 1997) have placed mental health problems and bullying at the top of their issues list, according to the economist.
They are exam obsessed, spend lot of time on social media.
This is what the world they were born offered them. Parents want their children to have the best. They grow up with abundance. Many options in life. That just confuses them a lot. Attention is a scarce resource.

2) Jobs are changing. It will change at a rapid rate. It will never slow down. Our education system has no clue about what is happening in real world. We are stuck in 1940’s. industry 4.0 is upon us, but we are still doing stuff needed for second industrial revolution. This is on us, the adults. We will fail miserably if we do not change this system.

3) Gen Z is creative and smart. I am amazed by their performances. Workplaces and schools are not equipped to serve them. Yeah, that’s on us too.

So what is the solution ?

There are many, but these solutions need patience and attention in to individual aspirations. We need to get the basics right.

First place to start is there no such thing as a ‘career’.
It’s gone.
Yeah, that might seem a radical place to start. But it is the truth we are trying to avoid.

I am creating a framework for a module to help find purpose at an individual level through a workshop for GenZ. If you are interested to jump in with your ideas, energy, leads, or anything at all, drop a comment or email me at

Corona updates.

Sri Lanka is doing pretty well on COVID19.
People are back on to everything, going back to what it was like before. Masks are fast disappearing, social distancing…well what is that ?

Good thing is people hit hard by the lockdown can now get back on their feet.
Bad thing is going back to what it was, negate our learnings of the pandemic. Because…


Today’s ( Sep 15) Covid update:

USA, India and Brazil are hotspots. Global deaths are closing on that ominous number of 1 million.
Just let that sink in.
1,000,000 lives lost.
We are now immune to numbers. Numbers do not move us. The severity of the pandemic is like a bygone.

Our ways of living and trading have changed. What if there’s another wave ?

Which is why we need to get in to digital ways of life, with care.

If companies need to stay relevant in this VUCA world you need to get your business models digital, not just the marketing.

Universities, you need to get your courses online, fast.

Governments, there’s no better moment than this to make your e-gov services accessible to all.

There are good examples. But it should not stop there. It needs to get better.

Solving someone else’s problem

hey listen... - not-my-problem

In a SPRINT workshop I facilitated, there was a group that had participants with in the same domain but coming from different organisations. So the group had to select a real problem of only one organisation and design solutions for it. So there was just one problem owner and I requested others to work like consultants, consultants with fresh pair of eyes.

That did go well.

I saw the problem owner struggle with his emotions, judgments, attitude and trying to defend old ways of work patterns. The heaviness of him ‘owning’ the problem was a burden to move forward.

Others, with their consultant hats on, were doing really well coming up with creative solutions and persuading those ideas with the team.

Those fresh perspectives were very helpful for the problem owner. I was glad to see he was able to make good use of the team effort.

This is why it is easy for us to give someone else a life advise, but we cannot do what we told them when the exact same thing is required of us in our lives. The difference is the ownership of the problem.

“It is easy for you to say”

is actually true. :). It is indeed easy to solve someone else’s problem, but painfully hard when it’s our problem.

A simple way to solve my problem is to remove my self from it. Approach the situation as if I am solving someone else’s problem. Sounds ridiculous. I have practiced this approach nevertheless and happy to say it works most of the time.

How to do that step by step?
Will write soon.

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