Why history repeats by itself at professional and personal levels!

Reminiscent of history! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

A survey shows that about two third people around the world believe that history always repeats by itself; but one third not!

Fact is history does repeat time and again at micro and macro levels, albeit it does not replicate exactly. Its tendencies and trends, types and turn of events are similar in nature.

Famous US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a theater by a man, who fled to a warehouse. Another well-known US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a man from a warehouse, who then fled to a theater! Turn the pages of history of several battles fought; it repeatedly shows that one side in the battles was generally outmanned and outgunned, but it always managed to win the battle because it had better leadership! Every era of peace and prosperity has been followed by era of turmoil and troubles and vice versa. Countries, companies and individuals – leaders or preachers alike look invincible during their hay days; but become vulnerable and gullible soon thereafter. Inflation is followed by deflation in country economics and then inflation raises its head again. Cycles of historical highs and lows keep repeating unabated!

You feel hungry at 5 p.m. and treat yourself with junky food. Next morning, you read in newspaper how junk food junks your health and you decide not to eat it again. But again that afternoon, at 5 p.m., you end up eating junk food.

As per famous American author Mark Twain, no occurrence is sole and solitary, but a mere repetition of a thing which has happened before and perhaps more often!

Negative historical events seem to repeat more frequently than positive ones!

Have you notices that? Historical records point to same – wars, accidents, natural calamities, rebellions, deaths, setbacks and sicknesses!

My great grandfather died before my great grandmother. Someone had told my grandfather that history would repeat with him. It got stuck in his mind as worry for remainder of his life and he did die before my grandmother!

If a father became bankrupt in his business, one of his children in business would also become bankrupt in future!!

Reasons why history repeats!

Where do events, which occur, get stored? Are heavenly hands responsible to recall history? Astrology would dispose it is repeat positioning of planets that makes a given event to repeat!

Don’t be surprised to know – every day you repeat more than 90% of things that you did yesterday like getting up in the morning around the same time, brushing teeth and having breakfast in hurry, driving on the road with similar frame of mind – agitated or assuaged to your behavior at work. If this is the case, nearly 90% of things that happen to you would be a repeat of past.

Now, when large number of people do the similar things as above, then lot of events that are likely to happen at larger levels would also be same – simplest examples are cleanliness, traffic congestion, temperament or culture of public etc.!

Logically, repetition of history is not metaphysical or mysterious phenomena. History or past is not stored anywhere in nature or universe but in your own mind. It repeats, simply because consciously or unconsciously you repeat your thoughts and actions, regardless these are positive, negative or neutral, to the extent of 90%!

When you repeatedly think same, you are bound to attract similar events or environments that you have witnessed in past. Conversely, similar events would revive your memory or thoughts. That is why some scenes always tend to instill fear or some faces or faiths invoke prejudices in you!

Why we tend to repeat, more so what is negative or wrong!

  1. Inertia
    Like gravitational force, inertia is prevalent in every object, leave alone humans. So what we start, we tend to continue, unless we decidedly act against it.
  2. Comfort zones
    We have strong tendency to develop our comfort zones and then, feel cozy in same, since we start to like those and feel secured.
  3. Habits, traits and beliefs
    Above 2 points give birth to our habits, traits and beliefs. These 3 attributes have great influence on our repeat thinking and behavior.
  4. Falling prey to negatives
    We are more emotional than rational. Therefore, we are vulnerable to negativity and that makes us very conscious of same. Negativity at individual or mass level is the precise reason, why negative historical events occur more than positive ones, as mentioned above!
  5. Ego and biases
    All of above points promote ego and biases in us, which in turn prompt contradictions and conflicts.
  6. Ideas and images at the back of our mind
    This is a major revelation – you can’t estimate enormity of things at back of your mind! Call it back of your mind, memory storage or subconscious mind; what reside there regulate your moves. You decide to keep only positive memories and discard the rest; but you would realize soon that negative memories still reside and those become active, when you see anything negative. Your drive against what you don’t like keeps same very thing live and lingering.
    Mind knows only to store or ignore; would not differentiate good or bad, positive or negative, when it comes to storing! So, decision to keep only right things does not help; only ignoring does!! Is not amazing?
    What resides at back of your mind is single biggest factor behind your repeat behavior and stimulates history to repeat. 

This brings us to very striking conclusion – what you repeat is not a Change and hence Change is only one that can repel events, you don’t relish! And if you want to reverse the history, work on above 6 points relentlessly!!

Why we forget what we want to remember; but remember more which we want to forget!

Difficult to remember or fear to forget! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Does it not happen to you often what you want to remember for sure, you are more likely to forget; but the opposite does not happen for what you really want to forget – it haunts you more?

There are countless real life examples. You suddenly cannot remember name of known persons or places. You forget some words or spellings at a time, you need most! Minds of students become blank, while answering a question in examination, which they had precisely prepared well for.

Your boss has called you for annual review and you put down on a piece of paper all points of your accomplishments. When you come out after meeting with boss, you realize that you had overlooked half of those points! You have to deliver a speech in a conference and work hard to prepare. Harder you prepare, easier would you forget key points to speak.

On other hand, one fine morning before leaving for work, you have argument with your spouse for spending too much money on shopping. You would not be able get over the duel while driving on road, making it unsafe. On reaching office, you decide firmly to forget morning incidence; but you would lose your cool with your sub-ordinates, since morning duel keeps playing at back of your mind.

Why our memory fails at right moment but serves extra well at wrong one!

When we first memorize what we want to remember is in its pure form. See, what generally happens subsequently when we don’t want to forget it:

  1. Our first suggestion to mind to remember and not to forget is registered in our memory as “same information again with emphasis”.
  2. 2nd reminder registers it with a kind of stress.
  3. 3rd reminder accompanies usually with our perception of consequences for not remembering it.
  4. Then, we start to fear for possible consequences.
  5. So, when time comes to recall that information, our mind is loaded or preoccupied, making retrieval more difficult!

This is how purity of original information degrades.

Now, look at what we do to “What we want to forget”:

  1. What is that we want to forget – bad incidences, bad dream, wrong thought, worse scene, random ideas, irrelevant information and so forth!
    By the time we come to a stage of wanting to forget any of above, it takes full circle and make its firm mark in our mind.
  2. Having decided to forget, it is rare that a person would not remember it again. Most people recall often to check whether they have forgotten it! Moment they do this, it dives deeper in their memory!! 
  3. All of above incidences or information are associated with our anger, anxiety, disappointment, denial, obsession, repulsion or irritation, which are essentially past negative emotions.
    Emotions are like cache memory of a computer in our brain. When our mental state is negative, the said emotions also pop-up and refresh that we want to forget.
  4. Normally, things that you want to forget fade over time, when your older biases i.e. emotions get superseded by new ones. But, you have to then struggle with new ones. 

From above, you can observe that spontaneous response of our mind is reverse of what you should be doing and hence, struggle in remembering or forgetting!

Managing to forget is far more challenging than mastering to remember!

Ability to consciously forget, though more complex, makes mind and memory far sharper than capacity to remember!

We have lot of options to remember – memorize by practicing, making hard or soft notes. But, options to forget – nothing! 

You frequently read about – to let go and forgiveness. These are flimsy or even fake, unless you have the ability to forget! Another extremely important thing every leader or preacher advocates is to live in present! People are hardly able to do that, because they are unable to forget past!!

How best to remember and forget, when you want to

To remember on time, here below is what you can do:

  • Make hand written legible notes.
    Note, writing by own hands creates stronger impression in mind. Chances are you may not even have to see your notes again. But, beware and be wary of making notes of too many things!
  • Alternatively, you can make soft notes on your mobile, notepad or computer.
  • Best option is to make mental note only once and link to the image of object, with which it is directly related. May be supplement it by abbreviated hand written note. And then, just don’t worry whether you would remember or forget; believe that heaven will not fall on earth, if you don’t.

To forget what you have to is much trickier and require thoughtfulness. Effective clues:

  • Easiest is to do what you love or engage yourself gainfully.
    However, this would give you temporary respite; not resolve it for good!
  • You would be much better off, if you become broad minded.
  • Real step is – come to terms with what you have to live without and believe that thing is no longer important. Losing importance of what you want to forget is the key to “Forgetting”!
    You would soon realize there is a catch in above – you can lose importance or making the thing insignificant only when you drop your past emotions at least for things you want to forget! 

Now, the most valuable information – what you want to actually forget is all out of your past memories, which have 2 parts – (a) Knowledge or information (b) emotions i.e. biases, obsession, pleasure, pain, fear or frustration. Usually, you latch on to past for fear of losing knowledge or information, which you actually don’t need to! 

So, if you keep dropping your past emotions, you have nothing to lose but only to gain great ability to remember and forget what you need to. That would take you to the top of your life!

Fine dividing line between Passion and Obsession or Dogma/Doctrine!

Passion to live in a home! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

On the face of it, this topic may not be very interesting to you. But hang on a bit and think it over – you want to do what you love or you want to love what you do? Which of the 2 options you choose can make a difference of day and night! If you believe that, you must know the following:

In modern corporate life, time and again you would hear – you must be passionate about what you do; in other words, you must love what you do. How does that differ from desire to do? What happens, if your love changes to lust? Is it not the same as passion changing to obsession?

No leader had ever become laudable, unless he/she had passion for what he/she pursued! Look at some examples – Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos of Amazon Inc.

But, then there are also very successful personalities like Michelangelo, Michael Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham or Donald Trump – Republican Party hopeful for 2016 US Presidential election. They have been adjudged by many as obsessive. Even Charles Darwin was known to suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). How about Vladimir Putin – current Russian President, who is a real hero in the eyes of his countryman? He is dogmatic!

Now, see the effect of fine line between passion versus obsession or dogma. According to author Joshua Kendall, Steve Jobs was obsessive. Though he made Apple as the most imaginative successful company in the world, his obsession costed him happiness, health and family! Though Winston Churchill has been acclaimed as a passionate statesman, he had visibly showed signs of being dogmatic!!

Distinguishing passion from obsession or dogma/doctrine

Here below are the key differences among the three:

  1. Passion is consequence of consciousness; whereas obsession is an emotion and dogma/doctrine is driven by strong biases.
  2. Passion means mindfulness; on other hands, obsession is mindlessness and d/d is rashness or even madness.
  3. Passion is backed up by rationale; but the base of other two is rigidity.
  4. Passion thrives on reasonableness; obsession on recklessness and d/d on ruthlessness.
  5. Passion is coupled with consideration and kindness; however, the other two are devoid of concerns and cultivate cruelty.
  6. Foundation of passion is wisdom; but obsession is weird and d/d is vindictive.
  7. Passion allows freedom to focus on all aspects of what you are passionate about; other two generate fear as well as focus on single aspect of what you are obsessed or dogmatic about.
  8. Passion has peace! Obsession or dogma/doctrine has noise and turbulence!!
  9. Passion is what you implement for self; obsession and d/d are what you impose on others.
  10. An impartial observer would love you for your passion but hate you for your obsession and dogma/doctrine! 

Notwithstanding the above, a very common and confusing element in three of these is very intense feeling, though in 3 different shades, for a person, object, idea or activity; only the method to execute the same and attitude underneath change! 

Preventing to cross-over from passion to obsession or dogma/doctrine!

When you become passionate, you come on a slippery slope and can easily slip into obsession or dogma/doctrine and hence, always be aware of perils of the latter two illustrated in ten points above!

Catch the phrase mentioned in the beginning of this article once more – “What works - Do what you love or love what you do”. There is an extra-ordinary meaning behind this ordinary phrase! 

If you do only what you love or like, you would run eminent risk of converting your love into lust; make a maniac. If your passion for beauty migrates to love for body, you would fall prey to obsession. If you love or respect only God or godmen, and not godly messages and acts, it would generate in you religious fanatic. Your focus or passion for your duties is what would turn into great performance and ownership; however, doing it for love or attracting attention of employer/s would no doubt brand you loyal but make you laggard!

If you only do what you like or love, you would tend to overlook or omit what you ought to do, because you may not love that. This is what seemed to have troubled Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and several famous leaders. 

True passion is to love what you do and not love for whom you do! Love your objectives and not the objects to achieve same! If you put your trust in this, you can never transgress into obsession or dogma or doctrine!!

Passion is always positive! Apart from bringing to you what is elaborated in above points, it makes you highly focused and dedicated, brings you tremendous purpose and ownership and promotes innovation and creativity at the same time. It is in your hands to develop your passions. Never carry false notion of passion being necessarily a gift of your genes. To be passionate for what all you do should be your top agenda!

Best option is to determine and develop passion after setting your goals. Whereas passion and goals are individually golden, alignment of the two together is what makes it platinum and that also helps you to prevent crossing the fine dividing line between what is desired and what is to be damned!

Thinking for others’ good actually does much good to you; vice versa if it is bad!

Thinking well beyond self! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

When you wish well for your near and dear or pray for someone’s recovery from poor state of health, you always imagine or wish that it reaches that person, however remote she or he may be!

Lot of research has been conducted whether wishing or praying for someone’s wellbeing helps her/him or not. Praying for something good to happen or someone’s good health is practiced in one form or another in all races and religions in the world. Remote prayer is classically known as Intercessory Prayer (IP).

In 2006, Harvard professor Herbert Bensen had conducted systematic study of therapeutic effect of IP on more than 1,800 people; but no conclusive proof could be found. Work done by other researchers – Dr. Charles Bethea, Richard Dawkins, Jeffery Dusek etc. did not bring out consistent effect of IP or existence of any divine intervention consequent to IP. Such research over last several decades has been done in several permutations and combinations:

  1. Prayers (or good wishes) by strangers remotely
  2. Prayers by strangers locally
  3. Prayers by known people remotely
  4. Prayers by known people locally

Above 4 combinations gets multiplied by 8 times, considering that people praying had belief or no belief in prayers, prayer was offered with or without knowledge of concerned person, concerned person had belief in prayers or not and prayer was offered in anticipation of an event or post event. That brings a total of 32 types of prayers and there can possibly be more! 

In many societies, there are rituals for inviting divine powers to bestow good things like peace, prosperity or rains, in case of famine.

What is striking in all of above examples is that the biggest beneficiary is stranger, who holds strong belief that her/his (sincere) prayers or wishes do work and next is that recipient of good wishes, who feels good or grateful to the people, who prayed for her/him, regardless whether she or he is benefited or not!

Do thoughts travel from one to another point or person?

There is no scientific evidence yet; it remains a conjecture! Also, far cry is whether divine intervenes upon invitation through holy words or chanting!!

Yes; your thoughts or prayers affect you directly and that is what all studies prove! If the recipient’s sensory system is triggered by your expressions (on account of your thoughts or prayers), then resultant thoughts in mind of the recipient would impact him. Key is the kind of thought that gets developed in the mind of recipient. In exactly same situation, it is quite common that different recipients develop different thoughts. It is for this reason that above mentioned research on IP has shown varying results!

Why your good thoughts for others bring you more glorious results!

No doubt, you must think good about self. However, you run one risk, when you focus only on yourself – it can expand your ego, while enhancing your confidence; it may drive you into comfort zone, while compromising your efforts to excel!

On other hand, there are umpteen number of upsides in thinking good for others, regardless what they are:

  1. It is impossible to think good about others sincerely, without first feeling good about self. 
  2. When you think good for others, you go beyond self! This is a real trigger for many good things to come to you!!
    A manager, who thinks good for his/her customers and employees, would automatically be greatly benefited.
  3. You become humble and honest.
  4. You become open minded and optimistic.
  5. You are compelled to drop your ego and biases!
  6. Your vision broadens and wisdom deepens!
  7. It gives birth to empathy and you start to reap rich dividend from same.
  8. It instantly increases your competence to manage conflicts and allow you to deal with good and bad with same candor!
    If you have a difficult boss and go to meet him with decent feelings for him accepting what he is, you would have no difficult to deal with him. Even if he throws toxicity at you, you would automatically refrain yourself to get engaged with or escalate it. This can only help change behavior of boss towards you.
  9. Seeds of a true leadership is sown, when you rise above self and think about others and their good!

So far so good; look at the opposite side!

It is seldom that we think bad about ourselves; but we are ever ready to think bad about others out of envy, rivalry, bias, anger or fear! But, we rarely realize or analyze, if thinking good for others can bring us so much good as above, then thinking bad for others can also multiply into too much bad for us!

Above is what you can watch or I can vouch that it is rampant in our daily rigmarole!

It is impossible that our bad behavior, in any form, can ever bring us success or glory. Some people claim that they get pleasure; but that is sadistic and shameful! It is not possible to have good time with bad mind! 

If you are negative inside, you can never create positive outside (for others) or get positive results. Likewise, if you are genuinely positive inside, it is not possible that you can ever create negativity for others.

Very often, I hear people saying “To survive in this cruel world, you can’t be kind; look at that crook – how destiny is kind to him!” This is nothing but our illusion. Most probably, we don’t know real sufferings of the crook.

So, if you want great life, be genuinely good to others. Life would be without luster, if you flick between good and bad (which most do) or without light, if you stick to bad!

How to emerge magnanimous after making mistakes!

Mistake after a mistake! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Dev (name changed) was a very smart and sincere employee of a US multinational organization. One fine afternoon, he was summoned by his departmental head. The head was very furious and told him that he was very unhappy with him, as he had to cut a very sorry figure with an important customer, who phoned him to get latest status of a project led by Dev. Head thundered “what happened to project status report, which I had asked you yesterday to furnish me within 4 hours?” Dev said there seems to be some disconnect; he had very much sent the report yesterday itself by e mail to him. Head then called Dev’s supervisor to tell her how careless her sub-ordinate (Dev) was. The supervisor tried to convince him that Dev had very much sent the report and she had a copy of his e mail. The head became even more upset and shouted “I can’t understand what is then happening to e mail system. Our IT group seems to have collected lot of fat!”

Later, the head realized that Dev’s e mail was very much in his inbox; but he missed to check it. Head then called Dev and tried to compliment him that he was doing his job well; it was some network issue but fact remains that our customer is very angry with me and company. Dev knew that he was only making up for his mistake, without admitting it. From that day, Dev and his supervisor lost confidence in their boss!

Dev’s kind of story is being repeated innumerable times every second in public, professional and private lives world over!

Why mistake is a natural necessity!

Making mistake is both natural and human. Mankind has evolved through mistakes.
Most of mistakes are committed under influence of:

  1. Reactions or emotions
    As a matter of fact, reaction is nothing but an act accompanied with emotions like anger, arrogance, disgust or disbelief.
  2. Error of judgment
  3. Choosing a wrong option – ignorantly or intentionally

Biggest misery of man comes through mistakes, so is the best learning!

Making issue of a mistake, misinterpreting or misunderstanding it leads to a bigger mistake. So, there is necessity of managing a committed mistake well to get the best mileage out of it, rather than allow it to become a monster!

Why man has tendency to mismanage a mistake

Most maladies of mistakes come from the fact that majority of people consider it a taboo. It makes people very conscious or nervous of being right or flawless all times; in that process, they are more prone to go wrong or falter!

Here below are reasons, why mismanagement happens post making of mistakes:

  1. Most of us are image conscious, without giving proper thoughts on what uplifts our image. Therefore, we tend to hide or cover a mistake.
  2. All of us have traces to tower of ego within us and that spontaneously overpowers our sincerity to admit a mistake and look at it objectively.
  3. Fear to lose credibility refrains our mind to be rational.
  4. Mistake always brings more mistakes, unless we consciously resist.
    If a person commits same mistake 3 times over time, he/she would be tempted to make more and feel merry about it! Refer to the rule of 1-2-3-Go.
  5. Over-confidence or arrogance prevent people to learn from mistakes.
    “So what, if I committed a gaffe. Can’t I”, is the usual refrain of these people.
  6. Celebrities (Wardrobe malfunction), politicians (Off –the-cuff remarks or responses) and those in power (Sarcasm or cynicism) tend to monopolize their mistakes and media helps them to make a virtue out of it. And that becomes a trend setter for masses

In the run-up of mistake/s, how people react or respond!

  1. Some become vociferous or vocal after committing a mistake.
    They attempt to create fear psychosis in who can go against them.
  2. Few become vindictive after mistake is caught.
    Such people never have remorse for their acts!
  3. Majority justifies its mistakes.
  4. Masses hide or deny their mistakes.
    You can’t do it indefinitely; when it surfaces, it would sink you. Celebrated former US top military commander and ex-CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus tried for years to hide his mistake of having affairs with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Finally, it surfaced to his utter frustration and humiliation!
  5. Some morons would keep mum after making mistakes.
  6. Many play smart to make-up for their mistakes; that way they commit a bigger mistake and mess it up!
  7. Sincere ones admit their mistakes.
  8. Sober ones admit and also correct the mistakes.
  9. Savvy and smart ones, though few, not only admit and correct but also learn from mistakes!

So, mandate is clear – be magnanimous after making mistakes!

Never be coward or shy of making mistakes; but be courageous to admit it, correct it and learn from it. Don’t make deliberate mistake/s; but allow it, if you can’t help it. Sometimes, you are implicated falsely or blamed for what is not your mistake. Then, stand up and strive against it.

Never blame or belittle yourself for having committed mistakes. Be resilient and swing back to admit and analyze why that happened and how to avoid its reoccurrence.

When you admit a mistake in seriousness, it opens up your mind and heart; gives a new lease of confidence and new light of consciousness! 

How you become great? Either your great work or absence of any guilt makes you great! Either you have no guilt (which is impossible) or get rid of one by admitting, correcting and learning!!

So, now you know what can make you graceful as being, great in mind and grand by heart!