I am a big fan of Prakash Aiyer’s books and videos. I had read ” The secret of leadership”, “Habit of winning”. I enjoyed seeing him on stage a couple of years back. What stood out to me was his iconic analogy of comparing a leader to a teabag. Prakash in Hindi means bright light and a role model. So I call this a Bright Light moment. His blog on how a leader is like a teabag caught my attention.
- What counts is what’s inside the tea bag
- A tea bag must be porous
- The real flavour comes through only when the tea bag gets into hot water
- Good tea bags look forward to hot water
So when his short video series started there was no guessing the title. It had to be, ” Chai with Pai“. Having subscribed I get the weekly updates and in one such episode, he introduced the concept of the “Temin Effect.” The Temin effect shows the benefit of synthesising knowledge from across disparate areas and is named after Howard Temin, a Nobel Prize winner who practised this habit of polymathic thinking. When I heard this new concept ” Temin Effect” I didn’t get it. But a little bit of research on the Internet gave me this below:
There was a study conducted that involved 36 medical students from the University of Pennsylvania. They were first-year medical students who were sent to a local museum to be trained in the art of observing art. Half of them were assigned to attend a series of six 90-minute art observation sessions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Using a teaching framework called Artful Thinking, they were taught how to describe, observe, compare, and interpret images. The punchline: after this training, they became better medical trainees, with superior powers of observation, as assessed by blinded medical experts.
In that article, people delved into two interesting themes…
- Running a marathon or climbing a peak will make you a better scientist or businessperson…
- In an era of specialization, a new study argues for diversifying your interests.
I tried to map how my skills in disparate areas like public speaking, running/walking, reading, writing and now meditation is helping me to become a teabag. Sales situations are like hot water and with my knowledge of the situation I have to be like a sponge (porous) to absorb a lot of data. The flavours could be the signals which I read and I miss reading to take decisions. Finally, how do you process all the data with the situation? The context inside matters. That is where I believe running resilience, writing discipline and calming senses using meditation can help you navigate through a lens to see the world as it is. So that was my bright light moment connection drawing from Prakash’s tea bag as a metaphor professionally.
How do you feel good about yourself when you are all by yourself?
I enjoy some of the best bright light moments when I am in coffee shops reading or writing.
The other day I was in the coffee shop and was sipping Americano. I was typing my blog on my favourite keyboard which has a “clickety-clack ” sound. That’s what my wife calls that sound. I discovered that the sound of a computer keyboard typing can be ticking, clicking, clacking, rattling, or clattering. In that state, I experience a state of flow or call it a bright light moment. I test bright light moments this way now. Am I am able to answer this question “how do you feel good about yourself when you are all by yourself?” at a particular point in time in the day in a positive way?
Professionally If I get a challenging situation, I get excited. That’s when I remember the teabag example. During weekends I practice writing and reading. That has made me reflect on the Temin effect on my life. I understand that the Temin effect has been my answer to the question about how I feel good about myself when I am with myself. So we can create Bright Light moments in our lives by combining work and hobbies. Robert Frost said it best: