Category : Nature & Life

Our Life is full of Paradoxes! Why is that?

Look at your life closely and you would be amazed to find plethora of paradoxes and clusters of contradictions, which you might have come across. But, wonder how much you have noticed; so please ponder the following:

  1. Nature has given right things in the wrong hands or places and wrong things in the right hands or places.
    There are innumerable examples – Roses among thorns, Lotus in muddy waters, Energy resources – oil, gas & coal and rich minerals in difficult terrains and territories. Usually, very intelligent people have family and/or health issues and very healthy people are short of head. Look at your own body anatomy; you may discover weird combinations, which you may wish could have been different!
  2. In our drive of Pollution control, we have completely lost our way of Population control. No one has clue or clear data, how much this is painting black on green (initiatives).
  3. Governments and Industries lay emphasis and empathy on consumption for growth; but apathy on conservation.
  4. Balancing act of nature is through bestowing Fury n Favor; seldom does it through fair deal to the most!
  5. In pursuit of promoting Freedom and Democracies, some have promoted only Frightened and Fearful.
  6. The Worst tends to take grip, when people are at their Best.
    In 1923, eight of the wealthiest people in the world met. Their combined estimated wealth exceeded wealth of US Government at that time.
    25 years later:
    1. President of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died bankrupt.
    2. President of the largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.
    3. One of the greatest commodity traders, Arthur Cutton, died insolvent.
    4. President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.
    5. A member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail.
    6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jessie Livermore, committed suicide.
    7. President of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.
    8. President, Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.
      People make either a living (money) or life; rarely both!
  7. In IT era, illustrious idiom like “Ignorance is Bliss” has lost meaning to “Information is Blast”.
  8.  With unlimited info a click away, people are confused what to do with it.
  9. Social media receives so much of our time that we are left with no time for who cares and cries for us.
  10. Two gifts of our great time – “Say Sorry” and “Make Excuses”! People keep giving these so graciously that they go for third one “Why deliver what they promised”.
  11. When you have energy (young age), you do not know to channel it and when you know to channel it (matured age), you are left with little.
  12. When you like someone, you get closer and closer, only to find cracks and then, you repel farther and farther.
  13. When you want to get rid of assets, their values often rise!
  14. You do not realize relevance and value of what you have or virtues of others, until these start to diminish or vanish.
  15. When you are hollow, shallow or new (to a function), you tend to shout; but sober down, when you become solid and can afford to shout!

So much is for now; more in my next post and so also, why our life is that way?

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What makes you to Excel in Adversity!

After World War 2, economic and living conditions in Germany and Japan were in shambles. People and some leaders of these 2 countries excelled in the face of extreme challenges and achieved what is labeled as mystical and miraculous recovery. That catapulted both countries to be among top 5 economic power houses of world then.

Gentleman, who founded Apple Company in 1976, Steve Jobs was himself booted out in 1985. He defied human weaknesses and history, came back in 1997 stronger, only to lift Apple from ashes to make it the most valuable company of world!

Towards end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was nearly written off by most of its founding family members, when it decided to spurn US Congress offer for its bail- out and instead save itself through own efforts, a huge risk though! Its courage paid off. The iconic company achieved what is labeled as Epic Turn-around!

History has witnessed time and again that several path-breaking inventions, discoveries and revolutionary ideas became realities at the time battles or wars or crisis and that too in record time!

So, what are the secrets behind astonishing excellence in the face of adversities? 

The Secrets

Crisis or conflict, especially if of major nature, drives you to the brink. It brings worms out of the can, dirty linens out of the cupboards and hidden agendas out in open. It clears clouds and hence, clarity emerges on horizon for you with only binary options

“You can rise again or fall further, you can go good or burry in bad, you can swim or sink”.

If you push for the plus side, adversity would prompt and promote the following:

  1. Appetite for risk; because aversion to risk is even riskier at that point
  2. Boldness and buoyancy
  3. Courage to take challenges
  4. Determination and desire
  5. Eschew conflicts in interests
  6. Focused mind, as your singular motto is to come out of crisis
  7. Good team spirit and cohesion at work, if it is company or community or country with common goal/s and vision
  8. Hopes
  9. Inspire imagination and innovation

Some or all of above 9 elements “A–>I” enable you to excel as individual or group.

Why everyone does not excel in adversity?

There are 2 sides of everything, nature has created. Adversity can trigger either positivism or negativism. If an individual or a group is struck with negative side, then following elements would descend and dominate:

  1. Delusion
  2. Disbelief and despondency
  3. Desperation
  4. Depressive feelings
  5. Dogmatic ideas
  6. Disparate approach
  7. Defeatist thoughts
  8. Dictatorial leanings
  9. Directionless mind

This scenario and 9 Ds would be a drag, drain or even devastating. History is privy to the fact that when a person, company, community or country did not dare to remain positive, follow wiser counsel, adversity only brought crippling and debilitating impact!

Do you need adversity to excel?

No! Not all!!

Look at A–>I elements. These are real and relevant without adversity. Adversity only prompts and presents these very prominently to you. You have a clear choice to learn and live, embrace and execute these any time anywhere without waiting for adversities to befall and trouble you initially. Many successful persons and companies do this proactively all the time and keep crisis or conflicts at bay.

Real problem with most people is the inertia and inhibition to implement what they know as good. During normal life, they like to be busy with routine ruts and rituals, flick between good and bad, right and wrong and do not decide, which way to go, until they are hit with adversity. Some would then wake up and win by excelling and others would sleep or suffer.

So, what are your Choices?

Advent of adversity invariably brings binary options for you.

Note, no situation in human life is as clear and conspicuous as adversity! You have 50% chances to go on right side and balance 50% on wrong side. So, your choices are clear:

  1. Keep away adversity consciously and proactively by adopting “9 A–>I elements” as your singular choice, without compromise. Your performance would be Par Excellence. 
  2. Rule over adversity, if it comes, by choosing the right side. Pick one or more of 9 A–>I elements, you are comfortable with and stick around. You would be amazed to see how remaining elements would be automatically attracted towards you, make you to Excel and Dazzle.
  3. Get ruled by adversity. It would drive you to one or more of 9Ds above and then, you would be disgusted to see how balance of these would drag you deep down.

It is never too late to make Choice 1 or otherwise 2!

 

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When the Best in you starts to bite, then….

Everyone wants to excel, in what one is engaged and be the Best. Sooner or later, one does move to the peak of his/her performance. Beyond then, what? This is when you find yourself at cross-roads. “You dream, dare, design, drive and get there with diligence” only to face “dilemma like never before?” It is a paradox, which humans have been facing all along.

Why?

In my last week’s post (click to refer), I have dwelt on a number of examples to demonstrate that how ordinary to extra-ordinary people have got into Worst, when they were at their Best; how “winning qualities” turned into “not merely losing” but “damaging” ones.

Let us understand this paradox.

While you are at your Best, why you invite the worst?

This applies to every individual for his/her one or more qualities, talent or competence. Status or size of his/her role does not matter!

  1. Your journey to the peak
    Your journey from normal performance to peak is like climbing a hill or mountain, depending upon degree of efforts required. When I am referring to the peak of performance, it can be by your own belief or it could be by the standards of your company, community, country or globe.
    When you reach the peak, it is like standing on the crest of a hill. 3 scenarios emerge at that stage:
    a) You are ecstatic. You look up and feel; now sky is the only limit. When you look down, you feel or find you are being looked at by the most.
    Above makes you over-confident, tempts you to break your limits and attempts to go further up, which is not feasible or sustainable and puts you into trouble.
    b) You feel out of the world and proud of the height you have attained. But, you are also very likely to feel nervous and at risk. You discover there is nothing more to go up to.
    This would shake your confidence and pull you down.
    c) You feel enchanted and endear the height you have attained. You want to remain there.
    This makes you complacent. Soon, you would discover, you are stagnating and losing the thrill, you enjoyed during your journey up. This would be start of your downfall.
    Above also proves – what goes up, ultimately comes down; but, what matters most “how and from what height one comes down!”
  2. Your being under people’s eyes and pressure
    Your accession to the best would be acclaimed by your seniors, peers, sub-ordinates, society and/or media. They would like you to remain there or push you to go beyond! It induces pressure and stress inside you. This is when you lose your strength and become gullible.
    There are several examples; but, I would cite very recent one:
    When one of the greatest Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar scored 99th century in year 2011, tremendous hype and hysteria was built by media and Indian society for him to score next one. But, he took unusually long – more than a year, to score his 100th! Apparently, the pressure built on him must have taken its toll.
  3. Your new found love and lust for repeat success
    In majority of cases, taste for being on top is too tempting and you do not want to lose this position. That brings conflict of thoughts in you – your focus on endeavors versus your fear to lose your position. This is when repeat success starts to haunt you.
  4. Your self-portrayal and self-treat
    When success is at your feet, suddenly you tend to portray yourself differently. Having got this credit, you like to debit it with a break, indulgence, even self-treat throwing prudential norms to the wind. To add fuel to your desires, people and media surrounding you would sympathize – “after all you are a human with natural weaknesses”, albeit initially.
  5. Perils of your precision and passion
    When you are very focused, passionate or dedicated on one or more areas of your activities, styles, traits or talent, it is very common that you would ignore or become weak in canonically connected areas or quality. For example, if you focus on quality hard, you would lose speed; if you are too decent, you cannot be tough and so on. So, on one hand you gain from your strengths, on the other hand you’re ignoring the canonically connected parameters or areas would start to hurt you!

How to manage, when you are at your Best

  1. Get governed by your Top Line
    There are certain rules, which should be on top of your mind, regardless of “time, space, status or significance of what you do”:
    1. Hide nothing
      If you feel like hiding what you do; there is bound to be something wrong! “Do what you don’t have to hide” is the most beautiful and simple rule as deterrent to do something knowingly or unknowingly wrong. It would make you automatically ethical, eloquent and elegant!!
    2. Hurt no one
      Avoid all such actions, which can hurt someone. Otherwise, it is costly and complicated for you.
    3. Help everyone
      Within your possibilities, make sure that your work would help as many people as possible.
    4. Happiness for self and others
      Do not do anything, which does not make you happy or conversely, what you ought to do, feel happy doing it. Also, see that your actions make others happy as reasonably as possible.
    5. Health – never ignore
      You need to be healthy to accomplish what you want or aim at. It is unwise to ever assume that you can compromise health and still get there.
    6. Holistic in approach
      Be very cautious about canonic connection between what you do and what you tend to ignore, as mentioned above. Do not overlook surrounding parameters or areas, while you focus on mainstream. This would help you not only manage your strengths; but also emerging weaknesses!!
    7. History must not haunt
      Assess or evaluate upfront whatever you plan to do, should not come back to haunt you. It is again a great self-deterrent to not to break prudential norms of society you live in.
                       – Above constitutes your “7H Top Line”-
  2. Step down
    Once you have reached your best or peak level, continue only till you are able to create values and/or growth or fulfill remaining objectives. After that, step down and choose another course or journey to climb up. It means to abandon the same position and not what you have learnt and experienced.
    Our memories work best for the last instance/s. So, there is a grace in stepping down at right time. Everyone would cherish all the more! Stepping down opens new opportunity for you to choose another course and excel again and more importantly, keeping the Worst away.

So, before you do anything, always remember and follow your “7H Top Line”. Once done, remember and implement 1 Step Bottom (Down) Line! You would be the Winner all way!!

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Why the Best in you can potentially bring the Worst for you…

Are you surprised at the caption of this article? It is a bitter pill of our life. It is better to recognize that “the Best in you can often bring the Worst for you” and then, learn how to manage the Best in you. The best could be your quality or qualification, talent or trait, competence or compassion, beauty or personality.

Familiar living examples

  1. Tiger Woods
    He became legendary, popular and wealthy, during peak of his career in golf. These also made him far more out-going, overlooking social norms, which led to his down fall. History could have, otherwise, been written differently for him.
  2. Diego Maradona
    His rise and successes in soccer games was phenomenal and he became one of the most loved stars of his country – Argentina. He was not able to handle conflicts and fame, which had led him to drug abuse and serious health issues.
  3. Britney Spears
    She is a celebrated singing talent and iconic performer. Her successes and controversies have gone literally hand in hand. Her genius has made her different and difficult.
  4. Former US President Bill Clinton
    He came to White House for 2nd term with thumping victory. His power and persona made him vulnerable and fell into highly criticized affair with young intern. He failed to draw a line between sanctity and sensuality.
  5. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
    He is globally acclaimed economist and the most qualified Prime Minister of a country in world. He is noble and decent. These great qualities apparently have come in his way to become an effective and assertive leader. He is clean; yet he is not able to put his foot down, when people try to tarnish his image!

Famous past examples

  1. Albert Einstein
    He was the greatest genius of 20th Century. He was highly focused and determined for what he was pursuing in physics. This made him uncompromising. He produced ground breaking theories; but he could not prevent breaking of his married life, which did trouble him for years.
  2. Steve Jobs
    It is well known how brilliant and iconic technology business leader, he was. His ruthless passion for innovation and drive to market also made him egoistical, defiant and uncompromising. He was ferociously critical of anyone, whom he perceived as coming in the way of his mission, be it Bill Gates or Google founders. His very strong belief in “himself and his ideas” might have led to his late decision to treat his cancer with surgery.
  3. Cleopatra VII
    She was astonishingly beautiful and amazingly intelligent; but history shows those contributed to controversies and connivance, deceit and destruction.

There are hundreds of such examples of well-known people. But, it is very much true for ordinary and majority.

When you step into your “Best”, which “Worst” can trap you?

You aspire and work to acquire several qualities to become a better professional or individual or leader. Some or all of these may unleash the best in you. I would list below some of these qualities at their best and what worst, these can pull you into:

  • Your strong mission and/or passion would drive you to be uncompromising and unrelenting. This can invite trouble with your health and family life.
  • Your sharp focus and precision would make you inflexible and close minded.
  • Your power and/or persona would make you popular leader, attract people. This is when you become vulnerable to people and give sanctity a miss.
  • Your high confidence level could invariably bring in you arrogance.
  • Your high ownership on your functions would prompt you to work in a silo, be solo (not a team player) and defensive.
  • Your high communication skills could lend you love for your own voice and make you a poor listener.
  • If you enjoy great managerial courage, you may risk great conflicts.
  • If you are very strategic and shrewd, you would be tempted to play politics and games.
  • If you are compassionate and decent, you would be on edge of losing assertiveness and decisiveness.
  • If you are polite and lenient, it would be difficult for you to gather managerial courage.
  • If you are very bold and outspoken, you would be on verge of being rude and lack empathy.
  • If you are highly charged or fast action oriented, you would be on brink of tripping and making mistakes.
  • If you are too intelligent, you could be too difficult.
  • If you are a genius, probability runs high for you being insane.
  • Not the last; yet Best of Beauties bring Worst of Perils.

So, how to be the Best and avoid getting into Worst?

  1. Read again the above carefully, which would make you conscious of which Best in you can bring what Worst to you? This would help you a lot to manage when you are at your Best.
  2. Wait for my next Post next Week.
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Does this happen with you and your dear ones?

You may find this different; but, this is 1st of several steps that I propose to take you through to create understanding about science /facts behind your life. Read through and make your judgment close to what actually happens with you and people close to you.

  1. If you receive a call from a relative early in morning – 1st thought that comes to your mind, something has gone wrong at his/her end!
  2. Call from customer or boss breaks your sleep – 1st thing you remember is your most (negatively) used word and then, what is it?
  3. Got a tip from morning newspaper how to be more supportive? Your immediate reaction is “this is what my spouse should do” and next in line is your boss and then, adversaries.
  4. Getting late? Compromise on prayers (if you do) and breakfast.
  5. Running late? Find more red traffic signals, more barriers in reaching faster.
  6. In a rush? Forget more, err more, only to be in greater rush.
  7. Not in good mood? Mood of boss or spouse is also not good!
  8. Get into an argument with boss or spouse – you suddenly feel the distance, isolation.
  9. If you commit a mistake, 1st thought comes on how to defend it.
  10. If you face some problem with your customer or colleague or health or so and get upset or nervous, you find more problems waiting in queue. These start to wane, when you gather courage and composure or sleep overnight.
  11. If you like something, you want to have more of it – money, power, beauty, popularity or so and you also start to worry more that you would lose it.
  12. Your nearer ones look better to you, when they are not near (physically) or gone at a distance.
  13. When you wait and watch (counting time) for a thing to happen – a friend to arrive, a good news to come etc., often your wait only appears longer and may not even come through. If you ignore or let it take its own time, it often arrives faster.
  14. At least 1/3rd of your life goes in guessing (a) what would others think of you, when you do something and (b) what is happening to others!
  15. You remember the devil (unlikeable), devil is there often; if you remember saint (likeable), saint often is not there.
    At last, you go to sleep, thinking tomorrow would be better!

Please make an honest attempt to judge each point. Copy and paste the following in “Comment space below” and fill your score at 2 places:

  • Count from above that happens with me …………….. (xx)
  • Count from above that happens to one dear to me ….. (yy)

Please state, if you want to know more of such points in your daily life?

When I get your response, I shall take you to next step of “Science behind Your Life”.

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