Baggage that you carry at the back of your mind is your biggest bottleneck!

Baggage at back of mind! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

One fine morning you get up with bad feelings and start to wonder what has happened to you today! You feel tired or lazy; things look hopeless and you witness lot of things going wrong. You are unable to figure out what has really gone wrong. Your health, blood pressure and everything around you are otherwise as good as previous days.

Some leaders are great communicators. However, you would notice that on some occasions, they are extra-ordinarily effective and inspiring; but there are instances when they do a lousy job. Why? Females are known to have mood swings. Medical sciences surmise that it is because of hormonal changes. Do the swings of what is at the back of their mind swing their hormone levels or hormones swing what is going on in their mind is really not known to science.

There are several star sportsmen like Roger Federer in tennis, Lionel Messi in soccer etc. Sometimes, they are in the best form and other times, they can’t keep with their track records. Why?

The reason behind each of above examples is “What is at the back of his/her mind”, which holds concerned person back; impairs his/her performance; does not allow to do what one attempts to do!

What we mean by “What is at the back of mind”

Though it is a very common term, people seldom know its complete meaning and colossal effect.

Thoughts, information and/or images from your past memory, which are passively present in your mind constitute what is at the back of your mind. Your mind might be actively witnessing an action or making you to perform an action; but these Thoughts, Information and/or Images (TII) constantly influence or rather get mixed up with what you are actively engage with – thoughts or tasks. Sometimes you are aware about it and sometimes you don’t even realize this!

Your beliefs, faith, habits, biases, ego, obsession, fear, anger, anxiety liking or disliking are always part of TII!

Now is the key information hitherto little known – what is at the back of our mind (passively present) has been termed for centuries as “Subconscious mind”! On other hand, what is being witnessed now (actively present) is our “Conscious mind”!!

“What is at the back of mind” is more a bane than blessing!

If you believe that having things at the back of your mind i.e. in subconscious mind do good to you, then start to rethink.

Things that can reside at the back of your mind are countless. Some of the significant ones are:

  1. Love or respect for someone
    If it is balanced, it is bound show up for a right reason and at a right time. Then, it works well. But if you are overwhelmed, then it resides at the back of your mind. You would tend to overdo and in that process, mess it up.
  2. Past performance or incidences
    When you are able to pull from your memory only lessons learnt, it would help. Instead, if you keep images of past incidences at the back of your mind, it would lead to over or under confidence and that would impair your performance, rather than improving it!
  3. Anger, anxiety, fear or stress
    These rampantly reside at the back of mind of everyone, cause most issues and mood swings. These lead to pessimism and hopelessness.
  4. Attention deficit and absent mindedness
    These are the prime causes of mistakes and mishaps.
  5. Prejudices and ego
    These are foundation stones for arrogance, split personality, irritation and tendency to blame or pass on buck to others!
  6. Multitasking
    Only when you keep several tasks or items at the back of your mind that you would multitask. Although most people defend merits of multitasking, it actually messes up their efficiency.
  7. Feeling pain in the body
    When feeling of body pain remains at back of your mind, it is frustrating and nagging. If you divert your mind i.e. take it away from back of your mind, then pain decreases or disappears. 
  8. Feeling lethargic or inertia
    There are days, when you feel withdrawn or lackluster; enthusiasm in you is missing and initiative lacking. You are at loss to understand, what has happened to you. These symptoms are because you are passively struggling with your thoughts at the back of your mind, leading to confusion and reaction and that alters levels of mainly 3 hormones in your body – Adrenaline, Cortisol and Norepinephrine.

What is at the back of mind is a burden, you must get rid of!

Right from childhood, mind gets so used to keeping thoughts, images and information (TII) at the back of mind that we start to believe that it is a necessity and we can’t live without same. This belief has been further reinforced by innumerable books and articles on importance of subconscious mind, which as a matter of fact promotes keeping things at the back of mind, albeit only positive ones. What one forgets – if you keep positive things at the back of mind, it is impossible to prevent negative things to also creep in! 

My research for years has revealed that whatever is at the back of your mind – good or bad – it does not do anything good to you! It is a burden worth dumping it away!! Some of you may then start to wonder what would happen to your knowledge, notions, traits or beliefs. 

It is too simple to believe what can work wonders:

  • Practice to keep knowledge/information, ideas and images in your memory but not at the back of your mind.
    Let it not be passively present in your mind; allow it to sleep in your memory. 
  • Do your things unmindful of your past; don’t prejudge or predefine; just witness whatever is happening.
  • Allow your conscious mind to take control and respond to what you witness.
    You would be amazed to see how your mind would automatically fetch knowledge or information from your memory right at nick of time or as needed.
    Most innovations, creativity, breakthroughs and successes have come to people, when their mind was functioning like this!!!

So, a mind without any baggage at its back is amazingly powerful, peaceful and progressive! Any elaboration further would only belittle its phenomenal effects; you need to experience it by doing it!!

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Hints to identify your hidden talent and core competencies!

Making match of talent and opportunity! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

If you wish to excel in what you choose to do, than it is critical to identify your built-in talent, trait or core competencies early on in your life. However, it is no less important to know that it is never too late to discover same at any stage of your life or make corrections in the ones identified and pursued earlier!

Normally, people don’t make conscious efforts or there is lack awareness on how to identify their hidden taste, tendencies and competencies, in which they could shine. There are also cases, where some people are capable of finding out what their hidden talent is; but, they are unable to map or match it correctly to the career path. Therefore, often they end up following advice of friends, father or fraternity in selecting their career or brain, Beauty, profession. Some may still develop well; but most fail to do a good job. There are wiser ones, who rather than living a frustrated life, change their pursuit mid-stream and come out then with flying colors in the new profession.

Lot of school going students tend to follow hype created by their friend circle. They are cut to be artists or architects, but go for engineering and then struggle for success. Children of business families are inherently pushed by their parents to pursue family business, regardless of their capabilities or choices. I have come across host of employees, who were doing very well in their career as engineers but opted to pursue MBAs only because that would give them better career opportunities and salaries, even though they hardly had any flair for managing businesses! There is a kind of fear in minds of most young professionals to follow their hidden talent, lest they should fail and miss the bus of opportunities that their peers are enjoying by following text book rules.

Look at hidden talent of some well-known personalities – Hedy Lamarr, “Bombshell” beautiful actress of 1940s used to experiment at home for automated control of musical instruments and also received a patent for invention in this field. She wanted to be better known for her innovative brain than her skin beauty. Famed suspense movie director Alfred Hitchcock was a graduate from London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation. An engineer’s mind often gave his movies a cutting edge! Former US President Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer and engineer, before he catapulted to become top political leader. Super and successful model Cindy Crawford was nearing her graduation in chemical engineering when she firmed up her mind to fire into entirely unrelated field of modelling!

Where does your talent and tendencies hide?

What we can’t identify, we declare it invisible (hidden)!” As a matter of fact, core talent and tendencies of anyone are never hidden. These are visible through one’s behavior and responses all the time. Real challenge for most is lack of adequate knowledge on how to co-relate and collate these in a structured manner, as same surface in a random manner and moreover, these can undergo some variation over a period of time depending upon experience made by the person and his/her beliefs having undergone a change.

There are 3 aspects, through which hidden talent or tendencies come out –

  1. Type of original or primary thoughts
  2. What you do with those thoughts
  3. How you respond to a given situation

What you consistently or repetitively do nearly 80% of time in above 3 aspects is your talent or tendency.

Type of your primary thoughts is the seed for your talent!

Most important thing to know is that primary thoughts are the ones, which come on their own and come effortlessly. Please ignore thoughts, which are secondary, provoked or induced.

Categorize your primary thoughts as follows:

  1. Conventional or unconventional
  2. Positive or negative
  3. Old (repeat) or new
  4. Abstract, object, people or transaction related

What you do with your primary thoughts is how you nurture your talent!

This is a key to build your core competency. Watch out how you handle your primary thoughts:

  1. Ignore or discard
    This does not help in building any competency! 
  2. Investigate (analyze) and implement
  3. Implement straightaway 
  4. Improve and implement
  5. Innovate new ideas based on primary thoughts

How you respond to a situation determines your trait or characteristic!

It shows what kind of person you are or you would become:

  1. React
    This would take your talent in wrong direction.
  2. Accept but no further action
  3. Accept and offer help
  4. Define or understand it, decide on path forward or seek a solution
  5. Develop it further
  6. Dissect and debate

These 3 aspects can help you unleash your true potential

Understanding these 3 aspects in you can indeed boost your decision making power at any stage of life, since these clearly guide you to shoot it right – be it decision to plan a new career or change the existing one.

Don’t believe that your talent is hidden only in your DNA and that it can’t be changed. DNA only determines basic tendencies; but by practice, same can be altered. 

Once you know your current hidden talent, it empowers you to alter if you discover that better opportunities lie elsewhere. But, before you embark upon any opportunity, you must make sure that your core talent is aligned to it.

Hiring manager can take advantage from knowledge of these 3 aspects how to frame their questions and understand the talent of candidates being interviewed from answers given by them.

Examples of matrix for areas, you would score the best

Remember you need to pick only what you tend to repeat most of times, ideally 80% of instances:

Matrix to identify areas where you can excel!

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Whom to listen and follow – your heart or head?

Follow head or heart? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Your spontaneous response probably would be – I should follow my heart! This is what you have heard, read or been told time and again by your role models, mentors, teachers or gurus, well known authors or leaders!! But, can you exactly pin point – this is the voice or thought from my heart and that one is from my head? Everyone agrees that head speaks to you all the time; but does heart also do so or it speaks selectively?

Let us take examples of goons, gurus and gods. Do goons have heart as well as head? Off course they do! If you read real stories of goons or gangsters, they do have compassion, albeit for certain class of people – their dear ones or those for whose cause they have become trouble makers or cruel. So, when they show compassion, our conventional wisdom would say they are driven by their heart. But, what happens when they demonstrate cruelty or terror? It may be convenient for most of us to think that it’s because of their head! What happens to their heart at that time? Does it go sleeping; it does not prevent them to perpetrate pains to others? There seems to be a contradiction! Can heart or head switch off and on, depending upon one’s comfort or convenience?

Now, take example of gurus or even successful corporate leaders. A good guru or leader is supposed to be highly balanced and treat all of his followers or fellows on equal footing. He or she would reject any advance by his/her follower/s to come closer; otherwise, he/she runs the risk of falling from grace like it happened with Bill Clinton former US President, Tiger Woods famous golfer or David Petraeus former CIA Director in US. So, a successful guru or leader would never be drawn into emotions! Does that mean gurus or leaders don’t have heart? If no, then from where come their kind and congenial behavior? Yet; most believe that gurus and leaders work through only their heads; that is why they are dispassionate and even desert their comforts and families for their pursuits.

Now for god; in all religions, Gods have been projected to operate through their meta-physical powers or enlightened mind like Buddha. There is nothing like separate voices of their heads or hearts!

How do we differentiate what comes from heart and one from head?

What we tend to relate to heart!

Most consider following feelings and functions belong only to heart:

  1. Love
    We connect every form of love to our heart; but not respect!
  2. Kindness and compassion
    We believe an act of kindness can only come from heart. Only heart is capable of being compassionate; but being considerate, inconsiderate or impersonate is handiwork of our head.
  3. Empathy and sympathy
    Same as in point 2 above; supposed to ooze out of our heart!
  4. Passion and devotion
    We don’t believe that passion for a person or profession, devotion for god, nature, nation or duties can come from head; it is heart!
  5. Positive emotions
    All positive emotions as above and others like happiness, fun, fervor or excitement have been perceived by us as regime of heart!

So, coming from heart, everything is considered right! Heart can’t commit any crime or mistake!!

The rest goes to head!

That seems to be a blatant truth!!

  1. Rationale and reasoning
    Only our head has competence to rationalize and understand the realities – this is what all believe!
  2. Judgement and justice
    That is the job reserved for our head.
  3. Anticipation and analysis
    We believe these functions exclusively belong to our head!
  4. Knowledge and niches
    Our head or brain is the repository of our knowledge, specialties, talents, traits, information, intelligence and habits!
  5. Duties and discipline
    All ideas about our duties and discipline are comprehended by our head.
  6. Convictions
    All of our beliefs, faith and principles get developed and executed by our head.
  7. Negative emotions
    Our brain (head) also takes the brunt of every negative feelings and/or actions – reactions, obsession, anger, anxiety, greed, gaffe and more!

Does our heart function independent of our head?
Remember that we are not talking of our biological heart here! So, what do we mean when we say our heart talking and we listening? 

Factually speaking, we experience the functions of head and heart only through our mind. Then, how a line gets drawn between voices of heart and head?

If you carefully look at above points, you would soon discover that:

  • We relate all of our positive emotions to heart; but negative emotions to head!
  • We perceive that all “spontaneous but right” thoughts emanate from heart; however, “systematic but right” thoughts and “spontaneous or systematic but wrong” thoughts come from head! 
  • Our heart has only virtues; but head can have both virtues and vices!
  • Our heart operates randomly; but head works on rationale, reasoning or realities!
  • Our heart receives only compliments and credits; but head receives both credit and discredit!

Secret of how heart differs from head!

Whatever you want to call it – scientific, material or spiritual fact is both heart (emotional not biological) and head resides in one and same mind!

There is only one and singular situation, when your thoughts are very appealing to you; those are positive and right and that situation comes “When you are thinking purely in present time forgetting the past”. 

When you think in present but keeping reference to past memory however old or fresh (like a second before), then you can go either right or wrong! This is what all of us do all the time and that is actually our head speaking. But thinking is just present, when our mind merge with current moment, is what we have accidentally come to understand – “That’s my heart speaking”! 

So, it is correct to follow your heart. But, you now have a new perspective – what exactly it means when your heart speaks. It can speak as often as you try! Remember, it is very subtle but gives you superlative power for correct decision making and revolutionizing your life/career!

 

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Nature demands balancing; else we end up paying through our nose!

Would you ever like to mess up with Mother Nature? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

US was recently hit by one of the severest snow storms, affecting 80 Million people across 20 states and causing serious disruptions and damages. On 26-December- 2004, world was shaken by great Indian Ocean tsunami, which had released energy equivalent of 23,000 Hiroshima type atomic bombs, as per U.S. geological Survey and killing more than 150,000 people! Giant forces, which had been building up deep in the earth apparently for years suddenly got busted on that day, unleashing killer water waves in Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner!!

Are such catastrophes actually retaliations by nature against excessive tempering by man?

Nature has gifted enormous energy reservoirs of oil and gas in extreme terrains and environments in Middle East, Russia and elsewhere, as if hardships are being rewarded with high returns. It seems often common that right things are found at the wrong places and wrong things are found at the right places. Boom in oil and gas production led to unprecedented economic and industrial growth in last 2 decades and its price peaked at US $ 145 per barrel in July, 2008. On one hand, it led to lot of innovations in explorations and extractions like oil/gas from sea using floating platforms, sand containing bitumen and shale gas and stimulated huge investments to build additional production capacities. On other hand, easy money generated by oil and gas business found its conduit to political rivalries, unrests, wars and terror, which has slowly sucked world economies into turmoil and tumbled oil prices to around US $ 30, as of now. No one knows how much of ecological and geological imbalances that we are witnessing are on account of extraction of this commodity in huge quantity from underground and sea!

Look at countries or regions, which have population in excess of available resources. When we look at their history of calamities, it seems to support economic ideas advanced by noted Thomas Robert Malthus in 1798 that unchecked population growth would be countered and compensated by deaths, diseases, wars etc.

Is it that nature refuses to entertain the extremes for too long and endeavors to balance?

Answer is yes; it appears not only true at global or macro level but also at personal or micro level! Look at following examples:

  1. If we hold any item in excess, we tend to consume more and also waste more.
  2. When quantity of anything goes up, quality comes down and invariably, there are more rejections.
  3. When you have wealth in excess of what you can manage, you are more likely to deploy it for wrong or loss making use or it would lie dormant, losing its value significantly over time.
  4. If you have too much knowledge, you develop lot of differences with others, make bad experiences and eventually, it becomes your liability.
  5. If you are too beautiful, you would get too exposed; get into wrong acts only to make beauty your bane.

Nature seems to be overly against overindulgence of any kind!

Excess of anything is bad; but excess of no-thing is also bad!

We all know that anything in excess is bad; but what is very interesting is to know that excess of not doing anything is worse.

If you communicate with people too less, you would be isolated; deprived of opportunities; get in depression inviting clinical advice to mix with people.

If you spend too sedentary a life, you would be sucked into health issues forcing you to change your life style.

So, message of nature is – do little (moderate) of everything that it has provided to you or else face its fury!

Why nature brings down “excess” to “enough”!

There are 2 main reasons –

  1. Nature excels and allow you to excel under state of equilibrium.
    Whenever nature’s equilibrium is disturbed, it would react to restore it. Depending upon type and extent of such disturbance in short or long term, nature’s corrective action can be mild or massive.
    Corporate gurus go gaga over disruptive technologies; but they seem to fall short on their vision of nature’s balancing act!
  2. Law of least chaos demands that each object or area be charge neutral.
    Whether we take atom or universe, it is charge neutral and that is what gives it stability. If any object or part/whole area becomes polarized – positive or negative, it would become chaotic until it gets neutralized again.
    Anger or anxiety, ferocity or fundamentalism of an individual comes, when he becomes net negative; likewise, ecstasy comes when one is highly positive. What is war on terror? It is a struggle between highly negative and positive minds or people! It is not divine driven!!
    Eventually, everyone has to come to normal (neutralized) state, if he/she has to survive!

Drawing a line between what is excess and what is enough!

Common perception is that it is difficult! Difficulty is really with our unwillingness to draw the line itself! Most people like to keep it vague; not realizing that brings serious problems. Then, they derive consolation by blaming their fate or consider it fait-accompli!

“Enough” is always efficient; but “Excess” is invariably extraneous and waste of energy and money!
World leaders and thinkers have so far failed to define importance of such distinction – excess vs enough – and create correct understanding of nature’s demand for balancing or moderation. They are clueless on how crises and conflicts develop, when no thoughts are given to balancing population vs resources, technological advancements vs moral advancements, industrial development vs nature’s development, quantity vs quality.

It is a very simple mantra: 

Line between enough and excess is best drawn, when you differentiate your needs from wants or desires; distinguish your goals from your greed! 

So, for all levels – individual to international – message of Mother Nature is clear – moderation; balancing; stay in center; don’t lean on left or right. You would then surely secure your future and that of future generations!

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Simple but unique n universal rules no one can escape or evade!

When you don't resist the rules! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Our day to day life is governed by very simple but strong rules, which apply to the most powerful – US President – to the poorest person on this planet! Very few have noticed these rules. These are as if framed by the creator of universe; but one thing is certain – these rules are apparently iron cut and do not alter a bit in any situation! If you ever conclude it otherwise, it is nothing but your illusion!!

Often you observe that despite your smart and sincere efforts, you don’t get desired results; you struggle to get peace of mind despite sustained prayers; you are doing what others have done – they got it but not you! What is behind these? The reason for more than 90% of time is that you are violating these rules, while still expecting that things would work out for you.

There seems to be no document, where such rules have been documented for benefit of all. Here below are top ten rules:

  1. You get what you give
    It is all pervading rule! You give respect, you would get respect; you hurt someone verbally or physically, you would be hurt. You give smile to someone, she/he would smile back. Someone is always smiling and hence you may wonder this rule does not work; no, it does! Your smile is bound to bring corresponding incremental smile on that smiling face; that incremental is what matters and is real!
  2. You become what you believe
    You can’t be other than what you choose to be! If you believe in dynamism, you would become a dynamic person; but if you don’t believe that you can be dynamic, you would then be docile. Note the key point – by not choosing one attribute, you automatically opt for its opposite or you can also choose the opposite consciously e.g. you want to be docile and you would then be so!
  3. What you share swells
    If you share love, it would soar; if you share grief, it would spread! Likewise, if your share wealth, it would multiply; if you share wisdom, you would master more!!
  4. Bad karmas can’t be offset by good karmas and vice versa
    We often think that having done something good, we can go easy and do what is not good. But we can’t escape paying a price. Good and bad karmas are like 2 separate accounts – there is no cross debit or credit – you get prize or penalty for each account respectively. 
  5. Very thought that you have reached a climax is onset of your climb down
    This is true from bed room to board room or community to country!
    Corollary of this rule is what we often say what goes up has to come down. Being up and down have relative positions; crucial is the thought where am I. Once you become conscious of your high position, you lose your hold on same. Try not to think sincerely how high you have reached, then height would never matter for you and you can keep going higher! 
  6. You are always be bitten and beaten by your own biases
    You develop your biases for a person to beat him/her through your dislike/s; but the fact is those biases would not bite him/her but you!
    You have no clue how much energy and time you lose courtesy your biases!!
  7. Sanctity of an act starts to fracture, when masses start following it
    We always feel comfortable being in a crowd and blindly put our belief in what masses do, forgetting that masses mostly make mistakes.
    Just take one burning example – mass hysteria worldwide against terror; can it be tackled like that? Instead, it has only helped it to mushroom!
  8. Regardless of how well you organize, things would go out of order
    This does not mean you should not organize yourself or your things. It means get your expectations right and take corrective measures in time!
    Nature does not allow sustained state of equilibrium. This is consistent with famous 2nd law of thermodynamics and hence also scientific.
  9. Cluttered space or schedule clutters your mind
    This is a key to your efficiency and elegance!
    Cluttered work place, home or your routine is what gives birth to lot of banes. You lose clarity and hence confidence.
  10. Realities are meant to be accepted, else you get rejected and dejected
    We expend too much of extraneous efforts in resisting or contesting the realities. Eventually, everyone comes to term; but lost time and opportunities don’t return!

So, how about flowing with above rules to make your life and career ever flourishing and frolic?

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