Let your knowledge, niche or expertise not become your enemy!

When niche becomes nightmare! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

“I know enough” is enough to pull you down in very area, you believe you know enough! Statistics show that cause of eventual failure of most experts is their expertise!! Is it difficult to believe? But you can’t disbelieve the numbers – my analysis shows it is 8 out of 10!

There are very effective marriage counselors, I have heard about, saving lot of marriages but are unable to save their own! Well known cardiologists eventually suffered from cardiac problems and lost life at an age, it should have not happened. There are legal luminaries and media whistle blowers engaged in eliminating immorality or infidelity in societies across the world; but they ignore what they do in their own backyard! A highly disciplined father would normally be blessed with rebellious children. You are more prone to accidents on the road you have traveled most!

All leadership, moral or spiritual materials exhort you in abundance to be expert or excellent in what you do; then why is that excellence brings you adversity; that expertise elicits extinction? What is it that promotes irony or double standards especially among those, who have acquired prominence, passion or par excellence?

It is like darkness under the lamp!

Everyone needs light and a lamp gives it. But lamp suffers from darkness underneath!However, nature also requires that there be a cause for every effect!!

So, here below is what happens, when you become very knowledgeable, known, expert or highly engaged:

  1. It makes you dedicated.
    But, high dedication leads to addiction to what you do!
  2. It encourages high degree of ownership.
    But, you don’t notice when your ownership becomes excessive. Excessive ownership promotes obsession!
  3. In-depth information on your subject makes you expert.
    But, when you are not conscious, expertise encourages egoism and even arrogance!
  4. More you know, more focused you become!
    But, high focus is invariably fraught with loss of flexibility.
  5. Expertise and excellence can only come, when you converge on areas you operate.
    More you converge on your activities; more close becomes your mind! So, you fail to take cognizance of what and how you do outside of your areas of expertise or knowledge.
  6. You are consumed by your passion.
    What you are highly consumed with, would create contradictions, which you are generally averse to manage! You become indifferent to anything outside of your area!!
  7. When you know it all, it comes very easy.
    But, it also means you start taking things as granted. This is when you would make worse gaffe!
  8. You fly high!
    So, you lose ground and humility!!

How to remove darkness under the lamp!

Our traditional thoughts would find it difficult to do it. So, go untraditional; go offbeat.

If light from the lamp can be reflected back to dark area/s, it would become illuminated!

Experts lose habit to look at reflections, which they receive from others; that is how darkness exists under their nose; their expertise becomes their own enemy!! They are unable to realize when their knowledge – an asset also works as a liability.

So, at no stage of our evolution and progress, we should ever stop or ignore to reflect and contemplate. Reflect on what we do; what others reflect about us and be aware about larger purpose beyond us and ramifications of what we are engaged with. That alone can keep us grounded and ensure that our expertise remains an asset through and through.

Another important fact is that nature demands balancing; neither left nor right! Just be around the center!! It is in this context that balancing between work and life, money and morals, spiritualism and materialism assume paramount importance!

Having said that, would you ever like to allow your knowledge to become your liability; your expertise to become your own enemy?

Why majority fails at finishing lines!

Frustration of failing! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Higher the stakes, higher are the possibilities of failing to strike! Increase the expectations, increased would be the probabilities of exceptions and errors!!

World Cup 2014 for football is over; but regrets for missed chances of Lionel Messi, one of the top most rated players in the world, to strike against Germany in the final match are not over. Imagine the burden of extremely high expectations not only of his own country Argentina but whole of Latin America Messi was carrying on his shoulders, when the final was kicked off! Look at the hype and high pitch, which are raised for players and their preparations in the preceding stages of any important sport’s event!! But, when the D-day  or D-line comes, dreams of many don’t come through!!!

I have witnessed several projects and initiatives in corporate world, where team manager and members make a great beginning; but bugger it up towards the end. My observation is that errors which are found in any work normally are introduced during last 10 to 20% part of such work! “Finale fatigue syndrome” seems to bug nearly whole world.

So, despite best of intentions and implementation, it is usually difficult for most to cross finishing lines free from faults! However, let us not forget there is always one winner among many losers!

Faults at the finishing lines

Phrase that “Way you start would also be the way you would finish” does not seem to be true at least in present age. Both phases of start and end are crucial to emerge winner.

Here below is what seems to happen to most during finishing stages:

  1. Complacency
    When the end is in sight, we think relaxing a bit is right! We start to take things as granted. Some become over-confident that it is now bound to pass through successfully. This is when most mistakes are committed.
  2. Cold feet
    Many projects, initiatives or competitions are accorded high priority, top importance and are closely monitored. Performers and new faces are generally more under pressure to perform.
    Often, people develop nervousness or cold feet during concluding stage either thinking about consequences of failure or missing the deadline or day-dreaming of rewards from their success.
  3. Hypocrisy from hype
    What is hyped invariably invites hypocrisy!
    There are programs or events, which are highly publicized and hyped by media. It has been seen that such attention and coverage swing minds of participants or performers towards either under confidence or over confidence and even arrogance. This does result in accidental but fatal flaws.
  4. Loss of focus
    When the work is arduous, repetitive, long or high profile, people develop fatigue especially towards final stages and hence lose focus. Their performance deteriorates and is nowhere near how they began.
  5. Lack of awareness
    It has been observed that lot of people don’t appreciate the importance of finishing or concluding well. There are many, who plan execution well but are casual or callous on testing, checking, documentation or finesse in finishing!
  6. An element of quantum theory, strangely though, at work!
    There is one of the elements of quantum theory and its remarkable Copenhagen Interpretation advanced by famous scientist Neil Bohr and 2 others, which states that any process or event gets disturbed from its original state, when it is under observation.
    So, if there are many eyes watching an event or work at the finishing lines (it can also be other stage of event or work; but we are normally more excited about finishing lines), the ability of participants or players would get impacted and results would alter compared to what it would have been, in case it were not be observed or watched by those many minds! This may sound weird; but it is very subtle, solid and sacrosanct!! Nature indeed works that way.

Overcoming stigma of finishing

As mentioned before, there is always one winner among many losers. It is best to emulate what he/she does. A winner obviously does it differently; that is why he/she wins.

  1. Though every stage of work or event is important and should be well thought and planned, put maximum emphasis on finishing. You need to detail out what all you would do during finishing, visualize possible surprises at that stage and your strategy to tackle. Don’t ignore your weaknesses or limitations while at crucial stages and resolve to overcome the same.
    Once you have done planning on finishing, simply focus on same.
  2. Though you should be motivated at all stages of work or play, save your extra energy, euphoria and enthusiasm especially towards end.
  3. Regardless of publicity, prestige or price at stake, it should be life as usual for you! Never flow with the pitch of external sources. Focus on your job to deliver a fault free performance.
  4. Very important to remember is – “work is worth doing, only if you are able to deliver satisfactorily and you can do that only if you conclude or close it right”.
  5. Believe that winning is not an end; but a stepping stone for subsequent wins! Make winning as an obvious and not an option for you!!

So, what do you think? Would above not make you to always finish first, without fault but with flavor?

Burden of being beautiful!

The Beauty! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Is it not true that “Beauty is bliss”, “Beauty is blast” and “Beauty signifies the good”?

Being beautiful is undoubtedly fascinating and a positive aspect – be it beautiful personality, physique, product, place to visit, phenomena of nature, characteristic or any other body/being! Look at advertisements of any product or service in print or social media; pictures of beautiful models or to a lesser extent handsome men are indispensable for glamorizing and catchy campaigns to a large extent. If a model is more appealing, the advertisement would correspondingly attract more views, likes and higher sale of products. It is unthinkable that a new model of car can be launched without attractive models beautifying it from its sides. Be it cheer leaders say for soccer or cricket or be it front desks of hotels, beautiful looks and physique are prerequisites! If you are upset and calling a service center to register your complain, a beautiful voice coming from other end would soothe your anger!

So, a beauty is alluring and seductive. It attracts attention of most, brings in revenue, popularity and publicity. However, it can also break peace of mind, create controversies and even wreak havoc. History shows that beautiful piece of land or looks culminated into wars in olden time. On the other hands, present times bring worries for beautiful things of different kinds.

So, reality is that being beautiful is a blessing as well as a burden!

Universal effects of a beauty

What is beautiful would always bear following effects, be it a person, place or product:

  1. It attracts too much attention.
  2. It evokes emotions among observers.
  3. It creates illusion in minds of onlookers.
  4. It instigates feeling to get involved or indulge.
  5. It encourages rivalries and/or competitions.
  6. It is pricey; at the same time not easy to maintain.
  7. It loses its freedom and security to an extent.
  8. It becomes gullible.
  9. It gets too exposed to remain free from errors or cracks.
  10. It converts the biggest strength into the biggest weakness.

Beauty and balancing act of nature!

When beauty stands out, it runs the risk of succumbing to nuances of nature. The way it is difficult to sustain the spree of successes, it is also not easy to preserve beauty in its original form. Anything at elevated level requires extra efforts, in absence of which, it would be denigrate to a lower and sustainable level. It is often termed as balancing act of nature; but, truly speaking it is set of our acts only!

Here below is how beauty evolves or devolves:

  1. A beautiful person would tend to become:
    1. Difficult, because of popularity, praises, publicity and premium that person commands
    2. Sensitive or short tempered, because of emerging ego or arrogance
    3. Demanding, since the person becomes passionate for distinction and differentiation
    4. Emotional, since it is difficult for a beauty to be rational
    5. Insecure and vulnerable, because of high image and exposure
    6. Obsessed with beauty of self, which can lead to depression or even recourse to rehabilitation center
  2. A beautiful place is likely to be:
    1. Difficult in access like Fly Geyser, Nevada in USA, Mount Roraima near border of Brazil and Venezuela or many other amazing places
    2. Secluded
    3. Serene, unless it is a water fall
    4. Expensive, until it is commercialized; but then it starts to lose its beauty
    5. Risky
      Beauty of such place would degenerate, if accessibility and affordability increases!
  3. A beautiful product loses its sheen, when it becomes immensely popular like it has happened with iPhone of Apple. Its beauty inspired lot of competitors, main one being Samsung with its Galaxy range. Implications are – premium drops, margin diminishes and whole organization could face unbelievable challenges, like Apple Inc. is facing now. To sustain beautiful products, you have to be truly innovative as well as creative.

Beauty of the message

To be extraordinary requires extraordinary set of contradictions to be managed. So, message that emerges for beautiful things or persons is:

Remain grounded, while flying high in minds of people! Be humble, while harboring high ambitions. Be firm but flexible with the fans. Keep the eyes on; but, hands off. Remain glued to your goals, while being greedy for getting attention.

Very significant is also to make your choice between “skin deep beauty” and “beauty in depth”. Former may not be in your hands but latter is; former can fail but latter always flourishes!

If you follow the above, then a beauty can be less of a burden and more of bliss!

A miraculous quality – Focus, which is most misunderstood & misused!

Great Focus! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Most people understand what Focus is; but, misunderstand its meaning, power and use! If focus is correctly understood, we would become very different in our style and strength. Focus is one human quality, which has far reaching impact on our mind, body, soul, success, health and happiness!! All successful leaders to legends, businessmen to celebrities use this quality as main contributor to their success.

Focus can bring radical changes in your character and class. What you need is to fathom it right and follow it faithfully!

How focus is misinterpreted and misrepresented!

This is mostly because of lack of awareness. Though focus is talked about in all walks of life, including corporate, its correct meaning is hardly emphasized.

Focus does not mean:

  1. Having a concerted thought for desired object or activity, while allowing all other kinds of thoughts crossing your mind.
  2. Doing a single physical activity, for which you believe you are focused, while all types of thoughts are wandering your mind.
  3. Carrying a train of similar thoughts for desired object or activity but with interruptions.
  4. Multi-tasking, even if you believe you are fully concentrating on multiple tasks!
  5. Having more than one type of thoughts, though connected with same subject or object e.g., kicking football for penalty shoot-out, feeling nervous and thinking that everyone expects you to net a goal. Though there is one subject, there are 3 types of thoughts – to hit ball right, fear of failure and expectation of others! This is no focus and most probably, you would miss your target!!
  6. Headstrong or blind run for your objective/s.

True meaning of Focus

Focus means “your mind has a single type of thoughts, which is also driving your body in sync!” As an example, Focus on breathing means mind is having thought of breath going in and out and you are also breathing exactly at same time and sequence. Another example – you are at the goal post and your mind and body are fully in tune for hitting ball at right spot, with no other thought. Then, it would surely be a goal! Even if goal keeper tries to intercept you, you would miraculously deflect the ball past him!!

So, focus is mind and body getting fully synchronized to perform one and only one activity – “a thought or thought + physical action” at a time, when past and future lose their meaning to you.

When you continue to remain focused for a period of time, then either you would have same type of thought repeating in your mind or have a train of thoughts but each one aligned towards achieving your aim or goal. Let us term such train of thoughts as “Same type of thoughts”.

In practical life, it is difficult to remain truly focused all the time. What is important is high degree of focus, which can be defined as:

Degree of Focus = 2 ⁄ x

Where x is no. of same type of thoughts in mind per minute.

This is a simple formula, but has solid implications:

  • x can never be zero, because mind can never be blank, unless dead.
  • If x is 1, then it means that your mind has only single type of thoughts, which could be dangerous as it would go in a loop of same thought and can’t come out of same.
  • Ideal degree of focus in 1, when you have 2 types of thoughts – 1st for the object or activity you are concentrating at and 2nd to monitor its start to finish and take it forward to repeat or make only such variation adequate to reach your aim.
  • Practical degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3, where 3rd type of thought is for observing your body/surroundings.
  • If degree of focus falls below 2 ⁄ 4 = 0.5, you are no longer focused.
  • Distraction means other type/s of incoming thoughts, which interfere with single types of thoughts on which you are concentrating.
    Best way to deal with distraction is not to react or forcefully remove such incoming thoughts, but ignore; don’t give importance. Your mind would restore its focus.

Startling results of being focused

When degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3 and under no case below 0.5, you would observe that:

  1. Several of key your functions merge:
    1. Mind and soul or conscious and sub-conscious parts of mind
    2. Brain and Body
    3. Inner voice and Inspiration
  2. You would feel energetic and motivated.
  3. All negative emotions – fear, frustration, anxiety, anger, aversion or delusion would vanish.
  4. Anything that is feasible comes within your reach.
  5. You feel supremely confident and courageous.
  6. You won’t and can’t do anything wrong!
    In other words, degree of focus of ill meaning people is always below 0.5!
  7. You become amazingly effective.
  8. It brings a rare combination in you – being innovative and creative at same time!
  9. If you remain focused most time, your vitality and virtues multiply.
    It makes you happy and healthy.
    You may have observed that unhappy or unhealthy people are not focused. Conversely, focus can address your ailments in many ways!

So, if you wish to end your weaknesses and enhance wisdom, please start practicing “Focus” properly and prudently. You would then unlock real power and potential of this magnificent quality, which you possess!

Why profit or power pushes you near God; but loss pulls you down near grave!

Inherent strength makes Fall & Rise equally invigorating! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Is not it ironical that inherently all leadership laurels, saintly sermons, pious preaching and quotable quotes revolve around values, virtues and quality; yet our addiction and admiration for profit and power always reign supreme? If a CEO of a company takes fat salary and bonus, a promoter garners millions of dollars of fund in initial public offering of his start-up, top boss manages his company to make handsome profit or a political leader ascends to high power, media, press and general public would adore and elevate him next to the God, go gaga for what he speaks, wears or eats. Have you not observed that such persons, who sit on profit and/or power, are being made by media and press heroes of nation, saviors of societies and even visionaries of Universe? Are such sycophancies justified simply for reasons of money and muscles of power? May be that media and press are unable to sell their stories to common public without bringing profit and power in limelight! But then, same media or press would raise flag against sycophancy and be seen as upholder of moral values!! So, there is a big contradiction!!!

Let us assume that some of above leaders or bosses are indeed deserving but unable to deliver in difficult time, what happens then? Everyone would simply dump them! Most of personal growth materials, motivational discourses or moral essays talk of success and failure as two sides of the same coin i.e. life; but it goes for a toss, when it comes to exhibiting or executing it in open. We seem to be only concerned with what would sell to fraternity and get us profit and publicity! Is that not true?

We always love to talk and read about story of a successful person when he or she has got success after failure. However, we write off same person, when he/she fails after success! Is not it an intellectual bankruptcy that we term failure an opportunity; but fight shy of welcoming it or at least talk of how that person is fighting a failure and surviving to get success?

Look at events of charity held in most countries. These are generally presided over by who are popular or powerful, but not charitable! It seems it is public, which supports cause of who holds chair or cosmetic charisma; rest is secondary and is good for lip service!

Further, you can observe some of leaders, who have lost power. They appear dejected and disillusioned. They seem to have forgotten that loss is meant to revitalize and resurge. They might be the ones, who orchestrated that power is poison! So what is the deal, if power is lost? Contradiction is also true of employees in most organizations – if their bête noire becomes their boss, suddenly they would not only like to become his blue eyed boys/girls, but also idolize him! Present generation of employees believes in high standards of conduct but would not hesitate to clap for sub-standard expressions or writings, if coming from bosses!!

Research shows that what you support would also swarm you! So, if you are a party to contradiction like above, it would also become part of your life taking you through cycles of success and setback, highs and lows!!

Points to ponder!

Shake your conscience; most likely you would not like the above state, which our society has come to. Please challenge yourself with following questions:

  1. Unknowingly, have you started following double standards?
  2. Though you talk of virtues; do you walk with vices?
  3. Has “living in contradiction” become part of your character?

How about trashing any or all on the above, if true? Take a constructive and consistent view of every situation and you would turn a new leaf in your life! You would usher in change the way you think and do things, like never before!!