It’s the purpose “beyond you” that alone can make your life par excellence!

A Purpose brings Par Excellence! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

If you believe that your profession, pursuit or passion by itself matters most for your career or personal life, then you are most probably mistaken! What really matters is the purpose, for which you are doing it!!

I have come across several employees in the organizations I have served, who after few years’ of experience, want to quit and pursue full time MBA degree course. When I used to enquire why they want to do that, when they are developing well in their current profile, some would reply that they see MBA degree as a vehicle for their personal growth and others wanted to do it because their college mates have done it. If I now look at those MBA degree holders, more than 95% of them have not grown better than ones, who opted to stay put; rather, some of them are lagging behind their peers. Only less than 5% grew well; but was it because of MBA degree or competence and qualities they are already possessed? One thing, I have found strikingly similar with said 95% employees – they did not have a clear purpose or vision!

In corporate, private or public lives, what is missing is the coaching and correct emphasis on how to set the purpose or vision of your life and then align everything to that. Choosing a profession or passion without purpose is like a journey without destination. You are then destined to come on crossroads, where you would face confusion or crisis.

So, a clear purpose for your pursuit is of paramount importance; at the same time, you also need to understand its larger implications.

Understand larger impact of what you do!

Whether you chose to do something or not, you are bound to create a larger impact, which you seldom imagine. Remember, you are not alone in world; you exist, because of existence of others and everything around you. You influence what is around you and what is surrounding you influences you. Look at some real life examples below:

  1. Your happiness and health make your friends happy, when they see you! Your foes may become unhappy; but then, that is also an influence you have triggered!
  2. If you smile when you see a stranger, may be that it would cheer her up or at least it would strike good impression on her!
  3. If you render help to a needy happily, you are part of that section in society who likes to help others. May be tomorrow, you would need help and this way, there would be many hands willing to help you!
  4. If you become an engineer, doctor or any other professional, you are increasing potential of your community and country to improve!
  5. If you are able to help your company to reduce cost or increase earning, however small, you are contributing to boost GDP of your country and government’s ability to upgrade public life!

Whatever big or small, private or public work you do, you are serving a purpose, much larger than you normally imagine. If you become conscious of the same, it would enhance your self-confidence; make you feel more important; you would feel more responsible and accountable; it would energize you; change and charge you up. One thing is absolutely certain that it bring significant paradigm shift and you would start to see life in a new light!

So, what is behind such dramatic change? Erstwhile, you were seeing things up to you; but now through same things, you are looking beyond you!

Why purpose of your pursuit should be “beyond you”!

Most of us consider it fair to set our purpose “up to us”. Fair enough; but then we do face the following:

  • By setting limit up to us, we limit the height we can scale.
    It takes us through cycles of good and bad times. It is more probable that duration of difficult phases would be longer than decent ones!
  • It encourages us to become egotist and emotional.
  • It would not allow us to beat our biases.
  • We would tend to be self-serving and encounter more conflicts.

On other hand, some in the name of benevolence, sacrifice or service, dedicate their lives only for others! God men, fundamentalists or like, whose purpose is only to impact others, fall in this category. It looks very holy; but look at how hollow and harmful is that:

  • They believe they have reached end of their beliefs; there is no need to change or improve!
  • They are not accountable for their acts; what they do is sacrosanct and above any sin!
  • They promote blind faith and followings.
  • Their real life is a closely guarded secret!

So, there is fatal flaw in making your purpose purely for others!

Only when you make your purpose “beyond you” or “beyond I”, it includes you as well as others. It makes a magical difference! 

How to a set purpose “Beyond you”

  1. Evaluate and understand larger implications of whatever you do, as mentioned above. Go as far as you can to see these implications. If need be, take help of your mentor or discuss it with your well-wisher/s.
  2. Select a goal, as per your dream, desire or competence.
  3. Imagine and investigate larger impact and implication of this goal on you and those around you. As examples – if you are an engineer, you are able to develop X no. or Y % of your team members, so that they become capable of heading a business unit or whole organization. Now, if such could be impact of your goal, then you would be the first to become capable to perform the said function and most likely get an opportunity to do so! If you are an artist, your work could create awe in at least 51% of people, who would witness it. It would mean that your work has to be par excellence to bring that kind of effect!!
  4. Then, chose that larger impact or effect as the purpose of your life or career.

It is that purpose “beyond you”, which becomes your vision and that vision is what makes you visionary. It is bound to bring par excellence in various facets of your life!

How to beat age to acquire maturity and tenacity!

Matured by age or virtue? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Young people, however dashing and dreamy they may be, are saddled with one limitation – lack of maturity and at times tenacity, which time alone can teach in normal case. At younger age, you have energy, motivation, drive, initiative and fresher mind. However, paradox is that when you have energy, you lack experience and when you gain experience, you lack energy!

Experience comes when you go through various phases of life, face a variety of situations and encounter real life examples. It is invaluable in learning lessons, making you sober and seasoned and teaching you tenacity, especially to face and manage the contradictions and crisis with candor and calm.

Take instance of Satya Nadella, 47 year old current CEO of Microsoft. Recently, he triggered a major controversy in a conference at Phoenix, Arizona by stating that women should trust “karma”, instead of asking for pay raises. I am sure that Mr. Nadella was not unaware of sensitivities around discrimination in pay packages of female and male employees in USA and elsewhere! Then, what prompted him to make such unsavory remark? How come earlier CEOs of same organization – Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, who is known for his flamboyant personality, never got into such controversy? Has that something to do with maturity, which comes of age? May be that this episode has given a good ground to Mr. Nadella to be more matured in public communication!

I must mention here that age or experience is not a guarantee for maturity or tenacity. Several experienced leaders or celebrities around the world have been seen to put their foot in mouth. What really matters is the quality of experience and its application. Yes statistically, younger ones take more beating by getting involved in controversial or catastrophic decisions, expressions or behaviors, as compared to their senior peers.

Bright and blind spots of young age!

Substantial research findings are documented below, with bright spots on left and blind spots on right side at young age. Please bear in mind that some individuals may be different; but overall scenario at corporate or community level for young executives or leaders is as follows:

  1. Plenty of prompt actions; but paucity of prudential thoughts
  2. Good salesmanship; but grim entrepreneurship
  3. Active as a boss; but passive as a leader
  4. High ambitions; but with heavy emotions
  5. Lot of energy; but also lot of ego
  6. Broad on short term outlook; but narrow on long term objectives
  7. Great at communication; but poor in content and conviction
  8. Loud talks; but little to walk
  9. Significant breadth of information; but shallow depth of knowledge/wisdom

Above are few salient blind spots, which can be attributed to lack or absence of maturity and tenacity. These fade away with age or experience for who have bent of mind to observe, learn and imbibe.

What does age or experience actually bring!

Now, this is an important revelation:

On an average, beyond age of 26 years which includes 4 to 5 years of professional experience, future age or experience does not bring any additional knowledge or wisdom. What it brings is wealth of information!

What really happens beyond around 26 years of age is that it consolidates your knowledge, refines and structures your ideas, firms up your conviction, removes self-doubts, validates or rectifies your notions or perceptions through examples, incidences and images!! There are vague thoughts or theories in your conscious or sub-conscious mind from earlier time; these either get vindicated or vanish, as you pass through time!!! All of these teach you how to respond to a given situation. One may learn a right response and others may capture a wrong one; but when many of them face heat of wrong response, they revise their earlier perception or practice.”

This process is what precisely world has come to call as experience. The resultant qualities are called as maturity and tenacity. I can vouch for the above by recounting what last 40 years have given me!

Now, how to beat age or time!

If you have understood that you have hidden treasure – knowledge and wisdom, then it is not difficult to defeat age and time. Few people are able to do it at an early age; we call them genius, intellectual, talented or extra-ordinary. Some don’t do it despite age; we term them weak, dumb, immature and so forth.

Here are the keys to beat time and unlock talent, hidden in you:

  1. Develop focus and consciousness.
  2. Don’t judge; just observe!
  3. No action on 1st reaction.
    Pause and chose your response only after contemplation.
  4. Dismantle your preconceived notions.
  5. Drop your ego and biases.
    That would make you open and flexible.
  6. Develop attitude for gratitude.
    It would make you humble.
  7. Choose company of persistent and consistent people or a coach.

I am sure, you don’t want to create a mess or face music, despite your mastery on several subjects and skills. Only way to avoid that is to be matured and tenacious and you have now seven keys to acquire the same, breaking free from barriers of time and age! 

How serious you are, when you say sorry?

Sorry indeed? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

One of English words most extensively used by most people is “Sorry”. This word does a great job in deflecting problems faced by them, albeit temporarily!

People use “Sorry” for a variety of reasons:

  1. To express regret or remorse for a mistake committed.
  2. To convey repentance for what you don’t think is a mistake; but other person sees it as a mistake!
  3. To pacify an angry or agitated person, you are facing.
  4. To avoid an argument or further discussion.
  5. To justify what you have done e.g. sorry, I did that; but I did not mean it or wanted to do it!
  6. To intentionally hurt someone (usually verbally) first; but use sorry to soothe his/her wound!
  7. To show helplessness e.g. sorry, I got delayed or I could not do that.
  8. To solicit a favor, help or consideration e.g. sorry to give you trouble; but could you do that for me?

Are people really serious, when they say sorry or they do it for serving self? A study shows that 8 out of 10 persons are not serious while saying “sorry”, merrily though!

Amazing rule of “1-2-3 & Go” applies very well to “Sorry”

I have come across several instances, when a person has said sorry for same gaffe or slip consecutively 3 times and on 4th instance i.e. Go, invariably he/she has stopped saying sorry! Such incidences vary widely in degree of importance like responding to an important e mail to delivering what is promised; but result of the rule “1-2-3 & Go” has been consistently same! I am sure, if you observe closely, your experience would not be any different i.e. after saying sorry 3 consecutive times, person does not feel sorry at all! He/she stops even communicating to you!! At the 4th incidence, person goes in reverse gear. Rather than feeling sorry, one starts to feel sour!

So, watch out this rule attentively; it can have colossal impact on your character and charisma!

Start to worry, if sorry is not accompanied with seriousness!

Absence of seriousness speaks poorly of your persona. If a person does not mean his/her words, then it implies that:

  • He/she is casual by character.
  • He/she lacks attention to details.
  • He/she is insincere.
  • He/she would not inspire confidence of others.
  • His/her credibility would be poor.

Those, who do not take their words seriously, are usually mediocre or conversely, mediocre people tend to speak casually.

Strong people have to use “Sorry” sparingly!

You would observe that effective, impressive or strong people would always weigh their words and convey same with a purpose. This habit is part of their DNA. If they have to say sorry for a reason, they would say it spontaneously; but they would follow it up to make amends or correction, so that they do not have to say sorry again for the same mistake or situation.

History has witnessed several wars, triggered by spoken words. On other hands, calibrated and well-crafted words have brought-in several negotiated settlements and peace.

Weighing your words has another great advantage. When you weigh your words, your mind starts to witness “Now”! It brings consciousness and makes you cool!! You may then speak the word/s or may skip same.

So, conscious silence and calibrated speaking can make you very congenial person! On other hand, casually spoken words or sorry can cause at times irreparable damage!! 

Why on becoming wealthy, you tend to work either for Greed or God!

Is greed good? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Let us first understand meaning of wealthy here. It means anything which is in excess of your needs – be it money, means, wisdom, talent or skills.

There are very few, who inherit wealth in all forms. If someone inherits lot of money, he/she could be short of wisdom or skills, or vice versa. Dearth of wisdom would make him/her to squander the inherited money. Therefore, most of us race in our life to reach and acquire what we don’t have in adequate quantity. But, once we get that, do we stop racing? No, we don’t! We tend to raise the bar of our needs and consider it as new normal! We feel justified in doing so, forgetting that it is nothing but greed!!

So, majority of wealthy people is in race of greed and there are a small percentage of people, who are indeed engaged in godly acts like philanthropy, empathy, uplifting under privileged, helping others to become better and grow. In this small population of such people, there are 2 categories – (a) Those who consider it as their obligation to society and have no expectation in return (b) Those who do it for their gains like enhancing their business interests, saving of taxes through charity, becoming more visible and/or gaining popularity and publicity. Category (b) is actually nothing but greed, though shrouded under godly acts. It is only people in category (a) who are truly honest, god like and asset for the society.

World history shows long list of famous names as philanthropists, some of whom are Mother Teresa, Bill Gates – chairman of Microsoft, Michael Jackson and Jon Bon Jovi – both famous American rock stars, Warren Buffett – legendry US investor, George Clooney – Hollywood film star, Larry Ellison of Oracle Inc., Lady Gaga and Shahrukh Khan of Bollywood Films. It is up to you to judge who falls in category (a) and who in (b).

Greed comes in since our goals don’t go “beyond I”!

I have observed lot of people leading goalless life! They are often frustrated without knowing the cause!! It is because they lack direction and purpose in what they do in absence of goals. There are some, who just follow others without defining what is their passion and what they want to accomplish. Another set of people fixes goals, but not firmly and keep changing those without any rational reasons. Then there are others, who contemplate and consciously set the goals, what they want to pursue with passion.

In good companies, there is lot of emphasis, training and coaching for goal setting. But, there is one major flaw. It is all about setting goal around you but not beyond you! This is where greed kicks in.

Goal around you sets a limited purpose. Once you get it, then what? You become wealthy and you start raising bar of your needs. This is when maladies start to malign you. It enhances your ego and creates constant conflicts of interests.

If your goals go beyond you like grow my department or company by x%, build y no. of sub-ordinate as my back up or better than me etc., it brings enthralling and exclusive experience. With such goals, you don’t have worry about own your growth and rewards; these are guaranteed automatically! Look at the fine difference between “goal around you” and “goal beyond you”:

“I want to happy and healthy, so that I don’t have to depend upon anyone!”

Versus

“I want to be happy and healthy, to give happiness and help to ones, who are dependent on me!”

Going “beyond I” brings amazing advantages. Normally, it is difficult to visualize its virtues, unless you actually do it sincerely. Your vision touches new horizon; you discover a unique sense of purpose in your life and your confidence reaches a new climax!

Drawing a distinction between Greed and God-like!

Threshold in everyone’s life comes, when his/her essential needs are fulfilled. Beyond that, there are only two choices – greed or godly acts.

The distinction between the two choices is simple – greed is “all about I” and god-like is “all about others”!

Many tend to swing between the two, believing that latter would compensate for the former. That is not true. Fact is swinging or switching between the two in nothing but greed and often it brings more conflicts than comforts!

By greed, you go down. By grace of god-like acts, you only gain; gain what you have never dreamt!

By greed, you would collect more of what you already have. It would decay and degenerate. But, by engaging in god-like acts like love, compassion, sharing your wealth, wisdom, experience or skills with others, you would constantly renew, revitalize and rediscover what you have and add immense values!

Your connection to others is stark local as well as remote reality in scientific sense. Ignoring it is a worst ignorance of nature.

So, it is a 2 step decree to divine:

  1. Go “beyond I”!
  2. Give excess of what you have, to be God-like!!

What drives you – Incentive or Inspiration?

When you are inspired! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Instantaneous response of majority would be that Inspiration is at the back of their drive; but in reality, it is Incentive!

Lot of people loves game of tambola (housie). If prizes of cash money are taken away, who would then like to play this game? Probably, none! So, is it liking for tambola or love for prizes?

I have seen lot of employees claiming that they are inspired to build their careers and competencies. But, that claim goes for a toss, if they don’t receive expected raise in salary and/or promotion. Fat variable pays or bonuses linked to performance have become a common practice with most companies across world. It is a key driver to achieve performance targets by employees, which is good! But, does that change the character and competence of an employee? It does not!

There are many powerful and pushy CEOs, under whose pressure employees lose sleep to strive and improve top and bottom lines of their companies! If employees perform, balance sheets of companies improve and so is shareholders’ value. That also results into increase in value of CEOs’ shareholding and bonuses!! It is difficult to figure out, how much interest in their own incentives encourages CEOs to push their employees or they do it out of their sacrosanct intentions or inspiration for good and growth of employees and company!

Few years back, I checked into a hotel of well-known international chain at Pittsburgh, USA. I was very pleased to see a slogan at reception – “Customer service is our inspiration”. It was a severe winter. In the middle of night, heating system of my room stopped working. Hotel front desk staff expressed their helplessness to repair it, as there was no technician available at that time nor they had any portable room heater. To my dismay, no vacant room was available. Next morning, I went to hotel general manager. He was very apologetic and tried to pacify me by waving off room charge for one night. I asked him is it how they are inspired by offering incentive to customers or do they really improve their services? He had no convincing answer to offer!

So, most of us tend to confuse drive due to incentive/s as inspiration!

How Incentive helps!

Incentive drives nearly whole world! Naturally, people see merits in incentives, some of which are:

  1. Incentive sets an objective target.
    It is the objective nature of incentive, which people are able to relate easily.
  2. Objective targets develop a desire to achieve.
    It is this desire, which creates a drive!
  3. It creates sense of purpose, though limited, and its direction.
    This brings great clarity in efforts required to get there.
  4. It promotes competitive spirit.
  5. It encourages team work, if target or incentive demands so.
  6. It induces hard work and faster learning.

How Incentive hurts!

But, drive by incentive has its down sides:

  1. Incentive is always aimed at you and hence, it creates paradigm of self-serving!
  2. When you get used to drive by incentive, then you lose self-drive.
    In practical life, all work cannot be incentive oriented. So, when incentive is absent, you tend to lay back or find your work monotonous.
  3. Incentive creates a limited purpose and hence your vision also becomes limited!
  4. For the risk of losing, you would be tempted to take known routes in your work and hence, your competencies would not broaden.
  5. If you lose incentive, despite your drive, your disappointment and disillusionment would be drastic and draining!
  6. It promotes total materialism!
  7. When you work for incentive, you have to brace for hope and despair, win and loss! Many times, quantum of incentive may not be commensurate with quantum of efforts required and you may then lose drive!!

How Inspiration changes the game!

There is copious confusion over what inspiration is! Many think it is motivation; some believe it is drive generated by emotions or incentives. It is none of these. Inspiration is a state of mind triggered by a singular thought to perform an activity or achieve a goal, which is beyond you. This state translates into unique focus and force with total dedication, decisiveness without any doubt, dithering or conflict of thoughts/interest!

Look at how inspiration makes a difference:

  1. Inspiration is a driving as well as a guiding force!
  2. It is impossible that inspiration can ever fail you to reach your goal!!
  3. It makes you supremely confident and conscious.
  4. Inspiration makes you highly innovative.
  5. It creates self-drive and makes you man of initiatives.
  6. Inspiration has positive influence on results of your efforts!
  7. When you are inspired, you don’t have to chase incentives; they chase you.
  8. As inspiration takes you “beyond you”, your vision becomes very broad.
  9. Your learning becomes very broad and solid.
  10. Inspiration invariably excels you in every endeavor you make!

World has plenty of motivational speakers and writers. But, the real need is for inspirational speakers and preachers. That would make our society very different and decent.

Inspiration is a true game changer! So, why not go for it and learn how to get inspired?