November 2021


The best lack all conviction, while the worst. Are full of passionate intensity. – W.B.Yeats, The Second Coming

The Lake Wobegon Effect is the human tendency to over estimate one’s abilities or capabilities such as intelligence, sense of humour, driving skills, listening skills and other similar traits. The Lake Wagon Effect was introduced by American Physician and anti-smoking activist John Jacob Cannell, M.D. in a 1988 Educational Measurement (EM) summer issue. Cannell observed that most American states schools were scoring above average on nationally normed scoring achievement tests.

The Lake Wobegon reference is based on a fictional town created by American writer Garrison Keillor whose radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” had a segment called “News from Lake Wobegon”. In his Novel Lake Wobegon Day (1985), Keillor describes a fictional town called Lake Wobegon : A place where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

The Lake Wobegon Effect is similar to the Dunning–Kruger effect, which is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. Both are cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. 

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. – Bertrand Russell

In her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin Kristin Neff, Ph.D. writes about this human tendency to Feel Better Than Others. She writes:

Garrison Keillor famously describes the fictional town of Lake Wobegon as a place where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” For this reason, psychologists sometimes use the phrase “Lake Wobegon effect” to describe the common tendency to think of oneself as superior to others on a long list of desirable personality traits. ”

“Research has shown that fully 85 percent of students think that they’re above average in terms of getting along with others, for instance. Ninety-four percent of college faculty members think they’re better teachers than their colleagues, and 90 percent of drivers think they’re more skilled than their road mates. Even people who’ve recently caused a car accident think they’re superior drivers! ”

“Research shows that people tend to think they’re funnier, more logical, more popular, better looking, nicer, more trustworthy, wiser, and more intelligent than others. Ironically, most people also think they’re above average in the ability to view themselves objectively.

 Logically speaking, of course, if our self-perceptions were accurate, only half of all people would say they’re above average on any particular trait, the other half admitting they were below average. But this almost never happens. It’s unacceptable to be average in our society, so pretty much everyone wears a pair of rose-colored glasses, at least when they’re looking in the mirror. How else can we explain all those American Idol contestants with marginal talent who seem so genuinely shocked when they’re booted off the show?

It’s unacceptable to be average in our society, so pretty much everyone wears a pair of rose-colored glasses, at least when they’re looking in the mirror.

Former president of the University of Southern California, Steven B. Sample commented in his book The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership:

The average person suffers from three delusions: that he/she is a good driver, that he/she has a good sense of humor, and that he/she is a good listener.

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

In Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kristin Neff asserted that people who are more self-compassionate lead healthier, more productive lives than those who are self-critical. 

Self-Compassion doesn’t mean that I think my problems are more important than yours, it just means I think that my problems are also important and worthy of being attended to.”

Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. 1 Exercising is one of my favourite daily activity for maintaining equanimity, focus and my mood in general. I run (11 Marathons), started swimming, box, daily stretch and have come to realize that exercising is great for withstanding the trying times.

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt 

Here are 30 great quotes on exercising:

We live in a fake it until you make it, a world where perception is everything. A world full of talkers than doers, we confuse motion for movement, a world where an entrepreneurial coach does not have or have never started a business, a lifeguard who has never swam, a Netflix-binging father imploring his son to read. Leadership is a verb, not a noun; leaders are doers. They say, “Do as I do, not do as I say.” They lead from the front; they are at the forefront of the battles, challenges and tribulations; they make the tough decisions and show courage during trials. They get their hands dirtied and noses bloodied.

One of my favourite lessons learned from listening to and reading books by author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell is the analogy of being a tour guide instead of a travel agent. He writes about the concept in a couple of his books.

“Nothing is more confusing than people who give good advice but set a bad example.” – Norman Vincent Peale

In The 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership, John Maxwell observed:

“ Too many leaders are like bad travel agents. They send people places they have never been. Instead, they should be more like tour guides, taking people places they have gone and sharing the wisdom of their own experiences.”


In his book Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership, author John C. Maxwell noted that leaders lead from the front. He writes:

“Leaders, by definition, are out front. They take new territory and others follow them. Great leaders don’t merely send others out. They lead the charge. They’re more like tour guides than travel agents. They see opportunities, prepare to move forward, and then say, “Follow me.” When you see someone who is able to see opportunities and is willing to take good risks, pay attention. You may be looking at a leader.”


In Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading, John Maxwell writes

“There are a lot of people in the world who are willing to give advice on things they’ve never experienced. They are like bad travel agents: they sell you an expensive ticket and say, “I hope you enjoy the trip.” Then you never see them again. In contrast, good leaders are like tour guides. They know the territory because they’ve made the trip before, and they do what they can to make the trip enjoyable and successful for everybody.”

A leader’s credibility begins with personal success. It ends with helping others achieve personal success. To gain credibility, you must consistently demonstrate three things:

  1. Initiative: You have to get up to go up.
  2. Sacrifice: You have to give up to go up.
  3. Maturity: You have to grow up to go up.

“If you show the way, people will want to follow you. The higher you go, the greater the number of people who will be willing to travel with you.”

Leadership is a Verb

Leaders are dealers in hope, they lead from the front, they believe in showing not telling.

Leadership builds up, not down.
It is active, not passive,
Leadership brings a smile, not a frown.

Leadership gives credit, not blame.
It casts vision, not doubt,
Leadership drives change, not same.

 Leadership adds value, not clutter.
It sees causes, not symptoms,
Leadership ignites passion, not a sputter.

Leadership helps you swim, not drown.
It is inspiring, not expiring,
Leadership is a verb, not a noun.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Good people are found, not changed. They can change themselves, but you can’t change them

You can’t send a duck to eagle school is a metaphor for the truism: You can not give what you don’t have. A duck can try but it can never soar as high as the eagle. It is not in the DNA of the duck to soar that high, even if you send the duck to an eagle school. The same is true for humans, we all have limitless potential but until we nurture it, push our boundaries, leave our comfort zone(s), take risks continuously, and fail forward. We would continue to be ducks unless we unleash the eagle in us.

 Just like dynamites, the power’s on the inside and nothing happens until the fuse gets detonated. The same goes for us all. We obey Newton’s first law of motion which states that a body at remains at rest or if in motion, remains in motion at a constant velocity unless acted upon by a net external force. Our human natural tendency is Homeostasis.

In “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life“, musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Benjamin Zander and psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander presents twelve practices for bringing creativity and a sense of possibility into our professional and personal lives.

Books Premise

Many of the circumstances that seem to block us in our daily lives may only appear to do so based on a framework of assumptions we carry with us. Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view. Find the right framework and extraordinary accomplishment becomes an everyday experience.

This life is a wonderful gift .. accept it, embrace it. 
It starts with a new day .. wake up and greet it.
Life is a challenge .. take it head on and meet it.
Full of opportunity .. use it, don’t waste it.

This life is a mystery .. unfold it, solve it.
It starts with meaning .. wake up and understand it.
Life is a goal .. take it head on and achieve it.
Full of promise .. fulfill it but keep it.

This life is a tragedy .. face it, accept it.
It starts with pain .. wake up and help numb it.
Life is a struggle .. take it head on and fight it.
Full of sorrow .. sorry, just overcome it.

This life is precious .. hold it, treasure it,
It starts with hope .. wake up and feel it.
Life is a choice .. take it head on and make it.
Full of knowledge .. use it, don’t abuse it.

This life is adventurous .. enjoy it, explore it.
It starts with a duty .. wake up and perform it.
Life is love .. take it full on and love it.
Full of beauty .. praise it and behold it.

That life is life .. live it, learn and grow
Life is good .. be good with all that you know.

As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot. – Ray Kroc

For most of us, our education stops the moment we finish formal schooling. From age 2 to probably 25, we attend various citadels of learning such as elementary, primary, secondary, higher institution, graduate school, vocational training school, etc. We get indoctrinated, instructed, programmed, our worldview gets shaped, we form lifelong relationships, even meet our future life partners or business partners in these institutions. But sadly for a lot of us, our learning atrophies because we confuse schooling with education.

Education is supposed to be lifelong, from cradle to death. The word “education” is derived from the Latin words ēducō, educate, educere and educatum. It means to bring forth, to draw out, to nourish. education is supposed to draw out our hidden talent which is latent in us. As American writer Mark Twain noted, “Don’t let your boy’s schooling interfere with his education.”

“Don’t let your boy’s schooling interfere with his education.” – Mark Twain

You Can Heal Your Life is one of the best-selling non-fiction book of all time with 35 million copies sold worldwide in over 30 languages.  Louise explains how limiting beliefs and ideas are often the cause of illness, and how you can change your thinking…and improve the quality of your life!  Louise was raped an old wino neighbour and the man was sentenced to 15 years in prison. At 15, she dropped out of University High School in Los Angeles without a diploma, became pregnant and, on her 16th birthday, gave up her newborn baby girl for adoption.

Sometimes what seems to be a big tragedy turns out to become the greatest good in our lives.

For the first time ever on MasterClass, a diverse range of our instructors come together to talk about the power of empathy and how it can transform the way you view the world. Join Pharrell Williams, Robin Arzón, Roxane Gay, Walter Mosley, Robert Reffkin, Gloria Steinem, and Cornel West as they share their experiences with empathy and its importance in their lives and careers. Learn how to exercise, cultivate, and promote empathy to connect with others on a deeper, more human level.

The middle is messy, but it yields the unexpected bounty that makes all the difference.

In The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture, bestselling author of Making Ideas Happen and co-founder of Behance Scott Belsky describes the Messy Middle in every project, the behind the scene roller coaster, the sleepless nights, and also shares strategies for navigating the volatility of new ventures and leading bold creative projects, teams, products and ultimately yourself.

The book is a great read about the messy middle encountered in most projects. Scott shares his experience, lessons learned, anecdotes and insights gained as the co-founder of Behance and later Chief Product Officer at Adobe. It covers insights witnessed and realized in boardrooms, on midnight calls with teams solving a crisis, during sleepless nights fretting difficult decisions, in brainstorming sessions with entrepreneurs, and often in the reflective haze of long-haul plane flights.

Martha Stout, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice and a foremost authority on the subject matter of sociopathy. She served on the faculty in psychology in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for twenty-five years. Stout specializes in recovery from psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide.

Dr. Stout has written the following books:

In Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality, American Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Behance, Scott Belsky writes about the principles and techniques for effectively executing on ideas. He presents a systematic approach to overcoming the obstacles between crafting the vision for an idea and the reality of executing on the idea. Making Ideas happen involves:

Making Ideas Happen = (The Idea) + Organization & Execution + Communal Forces + Leadership Capability

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison