Profession of accounting -- a somewhat equivocal trade?

“The profession of accounting is itself a somewhat equivocal trade. Sure, there are some clear-cut rules. But then there is a vaguely titled body of suggestions – known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) – that accountants are supposed to follow. These guidelines afford substantial leeway; they are so general that there’s considerable variation in how accountants can interpret financial statements. And often there are financial incentives to ‘bend’ the guidelines to some degree.

For instance, one of the rules, 'the principle of sincerity’, states that the accountant’s report should reflect the company’s financial status ‘in good faith’. That’s all well and good, but ‘in good faith’ is both excessively vague and extremely subjective. Of course, not everything (in life or accounting) is precisely quantifiable, but ‘in good faith’ begs a few questions: Does it mean that accountants can act in bad faith? And toward whom is this good faith directed? The people who run the company? This who would like the books to look impressive and profitable (which would increase their bonuses and compensation)? Or should it directed toward the people who have invested in the company? Or is it about those who want a clear idea of the company’s financial condition?

Another fuzzy rule is the quaint-sounding 'principle of prudence,' according to which accountants should not make things appear rosier than they actually are."

-- By Dan Ariely, an eminent behavioral economist in his book “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty: How we lie to everyone especially ourselves

Pluralism ? or Discipline? -- Which matters?

“Disciplined pluralism could also be a credo for a successful and fulfilling life. Pluralism matters because life is not worth living without experiences – new people, new places, new challenges. But, discipline matters too: we cannot simply treat life as a psychedelic trip through a random series of novel sensations. We must sometimes commit to what is working: to decide that the hobby we are pursuing is worth mastering. ………… Equally important: sometimes we need to make the opposite kind of commitment and decide that the toxic job ……. are simply not worth the amount of life they cost.

…… Evolution explores this landscape with a serendipitous mixture of wild leaps and small steps. The wild leaps usually end up at the bottom of some chasm, but sometimes they land in the foothills of some totally new range of mountains. The small steps lead uphill rather than down, but perhaps only to the top of a molehill. ………………………….. Whatever our personal endeavours, for most of us it’s worth trying to combine both approaches.

The ability to adapt requires ………………………….. an inner confidence that the cost of failure is a cost we will be able to bear. Sometimes that takes real courage; at other times all that is needed is the happy self-delusion of a lost three-year-old. Whatever its source, we need that willingness to risk failure. Without it, we will never truly succeed.”

-- By “Tim Harford” in his book ‘Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure’.

When missing a train is painless?

“I once received another piece of life-changing advice, which……… I find applicable, wise and empirically valid. My classmate in Paris, the novelist-to-be Jean-Olivier Tedesco pronounced, as he prevented me from running to catch a subway, ‘I don’t run for trains.’

Snub your destiny. I have taught myself to resist running to keep on schedule. This may seem a very small piece of advice, but it registered. In refusing to run to catch trains, I have felt the true value if elegance and aesthetics in behavior, a sense of being in control of my time, my schedule and my life. Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.

You stand above the rat race and the pecking order, not outside of it, if you do so by choice……………….. You have far more control over life if you decide on your criterion by yourself. ……………… It is more difficult to be a loser in a game you set up yourself.”

-- By “Nassim Nicholas Taleb” in his book ‘The Black Swan’.

What defines you?

“Like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”

-- By ‘Satya Nadella’ in his first letter to employees of Microsoft after he become it’s CEO on 04 February 2014

Thrusting our own low roof between us and the sky.........

“I hardly know an intellectual man, even, who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society. Most with whom you endeavor to talk soon come to a stand against some institution in which they appear to hold stock,—that is, some particular, not universal, way of viewing things. They will continually thrust their own low roof, with its narrow skylight, between you and the sky, when it is the unobstructed heavens you would view. Get out of the way with your cobwebs, wash your windows, I say!”

-- By "Henry David Thoreau", 19th Century American philosopher

100 percent or 98 percent?

“It’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal cost analysis, as some of my former classmates have done, you’ll regret where you end up. You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place.”

-- by ‘Clayton M. Christensen’, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, in his book “How Will You Measure Your Life?

Appreciating our leadership!!!

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

-- by Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid leader and President of South Africa during 1994 - 1999

How selfish soever man may be.........


"How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it."

-- By 'Adam Smith' an Eighteenth century economist in "The Theory Of Moral Sentiments"

No end to the adventures?

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

-- By 'Jawaharlal Nehru' the first Prime Pinister of India during 1947 - 1964