Tag Archives: Consciousness

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!

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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!

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Me, my heart and mind – how different these are!

Amazing power of your mind! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

This topic touches everyone’s heart and/or mind. Very frequently, we say “Oh, my mind created this mess! What can I do?”; “My mind says don’t love this person; but, my heart says, I should!”; “I want to let it go; however, my mind does not allow me to do so”. In these statements, we separate I or me from our heart and mind. We also treat heart (not biological or physical heart but one as a source of spirit or feelings) being separate from mind.

Majority of people relate I or me to our physical being like what we see ourselves in a mirror; when it comes to spiritual being, we think of our mind. We mostly consider our mind as a source of thoughts or ideas and inspiration; on other hands, we perceive heart as metaphysical entity which gives us emotions, compassion or what many think as “inner voice”!

What exists physiologically or scientifically is “our body including brain”; but we can only experience presence of mind and heart, although we are unable to see them physically.

Are I or Me, Mind and Heart separate entities?

A lot has been said or written by sages, saints, spiritual or religious leaders, scientists and scholars on this aspect. But, as of date, there is remarkable inconsistency in the understanding of mind and heart as opposed to “I”!

Several thinkers and authors don’t see I or me as a mere physical being but have landed a much larger meaning by terming it as “Self”! This “Self” is supposed to control all of your thoughts, actions, good and bad karmas and has linkage to God and universe. Though they don’t say explicitly but seem to encompass mind, heart and soul into “Self”!

There is also ironical aspect of why we tend to treat these as separate entities. If we go wrong somewhere or commit a gaffe, it is very handy to blame it on our mind or heart; it is very egotistical though!

Then, we routinely experience several phases or states, which seem to suggest that there are many more entities connected with us, apart from “I”, mind and heart, of which main ones are:

  1. Inner voice, gut feel, intuition, instinct or 6th sense
  2. Consciousness, intellect or wisdom
    Most people relate these to mind; but, some relate the same to soul.
  3. Conscious and subconscious minds
    Some theories have postulated that subconscious mind does not reside in your body. Universe has only one subconscious mind which is connected with all conscious minds!
  4. Bliss and enlightenment
  5. Soul, maya and nirvana

Not knowing or unable to discover what exactly above states or phases are, scholars, thinkers and religious leaders in the past have concluded that there must exist more entities like soul, self, subconscious mind and prana in Indian context (i.e. life or consciousness). Masses have found it expeditious to accept idea of different entities. It is a fact that when an unknown or intangible is given identity by a name, over a period of time we start to perceive it as real, though in reality it is still an illusion. Worse still is when science is clueless and it becomes part of faiths! Lack of right understanding of what is fundamental to our life has been instrumental for our constant struggle with cycles of good and bad!

Can you experience or express any of the above without your mind? The answer is “No”! Are you able to identify I or me without mind? That is not possible. What we relate to heart, can that be experienced without mind?

Then, how these can be separate entities?

Mind is the only candidate for eventual reality!

Here are concrete evidences:

  • For ages, there has been no direct evidence of any other entity; whatever has been described above are indirect or inferred!
  • Mind loses its meaning, if you want to see it as a physical entity!
  • How can you ever observe very entity, by help of which you make that observation?
    It would never be possible to find mind directly in observable form! 
  • Memory of our mind works like that of a computer. Please see a previous post on Notions and Perceptions.
    Every idea (or thought) and image of an observed object are broken by mind into 2 main files – Knowledge (pure information or information analyzed by mind) and Emotions i.e reactions. Starting point of both files is “I” or me as knowledge i.e. self-awareness and ego as emotion! It is because of this, “I” or me are always associated with mind.
    Emotions are further broken down into sub files (a) positive emotions or experiences and (b) negative ones. Pleasure, compassion, empathy, ecstasy and like get stored as sub sets of file (a). Anger, anxiety, distress, disappointment and like are stored as sub sets of file (b).
    All of these files and their sub sets get interlinked via main memory of mind like RAM of computers.
  • Now very crucial information – when your mind goes into “No conflict of thoughts” mode i.e. when you have single thoughts in the present time and you evoke a decision say I love it, your mind connects to knowledge sub file of your like and emotion sub file of pleasure. Next moment, when this combination becomes your memory, you realize “Oh, it was from my heart!”
    I have to be brief here. But, I can explain to you on receiving your query, how above process gives you feeling of inner voice, bliss, enlightenment, subconscious mind or soul! 

The most important message is – whatever you experience is all interlinked and resides in your mind. That you must nurture your mind positively to tap its amazing potential!

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Can Artificial Intelligence ever match Human Intelligence?

Applying Artificial Intelligence! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

You can no longer brush aside subject of artificial intelligence (AI), since you might already be a heavy user of the same routinely through mobile phones, computers, internet search engines, digital calculators and GPS. It is extremely important for you to understand relevance of your own intelligence versus what future gadgets are going to provide or pinch from you.

Researchers, developers and protagonists of AI believe that one day, they would not only replicate human intelligence but exceed it to create super intelligence! You can find applications of AI beyond human calculations and comprehensions in areas like aircraft flight monitoring and control system, unmanned satellites, unmanned military aircrafts like Drone, factory robots and sophisticated medical diagnostic systems.

One of the latest advancements in AI is artificial neural networks (ANN), inspired by the hypothesis that human/animal brain or central nervous system is essentially biological neural networks. ANNs are essentially a family of statistical learning algorithms. We can say that AI is superb combination of computational and cognitive sciences, along with host of sensing devices, massive data processing and storage.

Debate whether AI can beat eventually human intelligence has been raging for decades among scientists, researchers, developers, philosophers and faith leaders with no clear conclusion or direction as yet.

How do you define human intelligence?

If you google “Intelligence”, you would find plethora of information. Read 1st few paras of Wikipedia on “Intelligence”. It talks of at least 11 parameters from logic to problem solving, which constitute intelligence. If you would look at Wikipedia on “Human intelligence”, you would discover that intelligence is directly proportional to birth weight but inversely proportional to sexual frequency! As per Howard Gardner, there are 7 types of intelligences – from linguistic to intrapersonal intelligence!! There is no unanimity of views on definition of intelligence!!!

Now, you can try your bit from the following:

  1. Is Intelligence your ability to answer a question?
  2. Is it your capability to comprehend and respond?
  3. Is it your power to sense dangers and save yourself (or others)?
  4. Is it your skill to analyze, memorize and recall at will?
  5. Is it your emotional expression?

Probability is high that you would never get a good definition or end up pumping too many words and versions into a single word “Intelligence”!

Do not be disappointed! Intelligence is nothing but “Our ability to exactly (it implies speed and accuracy) do what we chose to do”!! So, if we are given a question and we chose to answer, then we should be able to answer; if we have a problem, we should be able to find a solution and so forth. If you are able to do it accurately and/or quicker than others, then you are supposed to be more intelligent. Fact is whatever you do in your life is part of “Intelligence” and is borne out of your “Consciousness”! This is also what “Freewill” is all about!!

Barriers and boundaries of AI

Now, key question is – are researchers and developers of AI working towards above definition of human intelligence? Most likely answer is “no”, because you can clearly observe that understanding of human intelligence (HI) has been so far vague. HI is actually linked to what we are able to do in our life time – eat, evolve, indulge, imagine, innovate, sleep, smile, succeed, fail, cry, redeem and regenerate!

If we talk of specific ability, then lot of non-humans would surpass HI. For example, birds from Siberia migrate to exactly same far off places in particular season of the year without any navigation system which humans can never do on their own! Dogs’ smelling sense can catch missing culprits, which no other living being is able to do!!

Eventual run of AI is likely to face following barriers and boundaries:

  1. Capabilities of AI would be limited by limits of what researchers and developers together can think and program.
    They are humans and hence AI would always end below HI.
  2. Some scientists of AI have advanced hypothesis that there is possibility of reaching Singularity situation, which means that AI can refine and improve by itself to a level beyond definition.
    Firstly, Singularities spell end of the game, whether it is boom or doom. Nothing exists beyond a Singularity.
    Secondly much before possibility of such development, Government authorities would take control because of social, moral and ethical issues.
  3. To match human intelligence, AI would need to simulate all abilities of humans in one body or system, not distributed over several bodies! It is then nothing but a kind of human cloning, which is already banned in most countries.
    The most catastrophic thing is to artificially create “Freewill”. Imagine its use and misuse!
  4. History shows that scientific and technological advancements would always be limited by “Regional, religious, political, social and economic biases”. Beyond that would only be in Hollywood or Bollywood fiction movies.
  5. Last but not the least, if we were to get right grip on human mind and its intelligence, we would drop any thought of matching it artificially!

Great promise and potential of AI are in fields of diagnostics, computing and specific cognitive functions to improve quality of our lives. This is where we also see tremendous progress.

So friends, rejoice; your intelligence would remain insurmountable!

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Prerequisite to hold power should be commitment to empower!

Power of Empowerment! Source:http://www.flickr.com/

Those, who cannot empower their team, sub-ordinates or juniors, do not deserve to hold power, whether in companies, communities, countries or even in their personal lives! Power corrupts, when concentrated!! Power becomes a poison, when one revolves around power and does not devolve it to concerned people or participants.

What do people do, when they have power?

  • Use
    or
  • Misuse

If you are putting your power to good or right use, what would you do? You would not believe in asserting it, as your senses would suggest to you that people around you understand your power. If you have your own vision, imagination or ideas, you would take pains to make people aware of the same. You would cajole or coax them to be part of a team to help accomplish those. But you would never coerce them to do it, as that would tantamount to misuse of power! You would not command or demand either; instead you would motivate them and show the way to do it! If they succeed, you would speak well of them; but you would not like to fire, if they fail! What do these actions amount to? It is Empowerment!

On other hand, if you misuse your power, you would become autocratic; you would dictate or impose your ideas. You would go by your whims, likes and dislikes. You would be tempted to play politics. You would hold the hands of whom you like, regardless of merit. You may be able to produce results by forcing your team to perform; but that performance would not last for long. You would take credit by discrediting others!

Remember, in most organizations or institutions, power is misused in the name of leadership, albeit very subtly! There are only 10 to 15% of organizations in industrial sector, where management indeed puts power to correct use and that is one of the key reasons, responsible for their excellent performance. So, right use of power can only reside in empowerment!

Empowerment has enviable virtues and enormous power; yet very few actually understand those in corporate circles or public platforms. Therefore, it is more used as a jargon and given lip service by most bosses.

Let us first understand essence of empowerment.

Essential elements of empowerment

  1. Trust
    It is most critical to put clear and complete trust on people to be empowered.
  2. Respect
    Only through respect, you can motivate the people and induce ownership in them.
  3. Freedom
    Without freedom to operate and take routine decisions, empowerment would be a fiasco.
  4. Laying down explicit expectations and goals
    Most leaders and management miss on this, sending empowerment for a toss.
  5. Giving credit and withholding discredit
    If empowered team delivers good result, head or boss must give them due credit. But, if team fails, head or boss must abstain from decrying or discrediting the team. Instead he/she should initiate corrective and improvement actions.
  6. Training
    Appropriate training for people is a prerequisite, so that they understand how to perform and deliver.
  7. Coaching
    Regular coaching by supervisors or seniors is necessary to keep people on course to produce the expected results.

If you carefully evaluate above 7 elements, you would conclude that these are imperatives for any leader or boss to be successful.

One, who empowers, excels!

Leader, who swears by empowerment, stands to gain terrific advantages:

  1. Effective and efficient management
  2. Transparency and consistency in organization’s performance
  3. Loyalty and infallible commitment of team members
  4. Availability of adequate time to plan and strategize business and its healthy growth
  5. Ease in driving and managing changes
  6. Develops consciousness and selflessness

One, who is empowered, enjoys!

Those, who are empowered, reap rich rewards in terms of:

  1. High degree of job satisfaction and personal accomplishment
  2. Sense of pride at work place
  3. High level of ownership and stewardship
  4. Talent/competency development
  5. Clear career path and bright prospects to grow
  6. Inculcating initiative, ethics and team spirit

A power pack mandate

Above gives a clear mandate – those, who are not committed by choice to use their power to empower employees or people down the line, should not qualify for getting power at first very place. If you find ills in private or public organizations, chief culprit is holding the power (which, in fact, is a misuse) to the chest by who are given power. Manipulation, malice, malpractices, poor performance, lack of talent development and failed business strategies emanate from concentrating power by those at the helm. It also gives rise to arrogance and ego, which organizations can ill afford!

If organizations have to be managed in a clean, credible and charismatic manner, “commitment to empowerment” should be made an essential prerequisite to select or promote anyone to the position of power, supervision or management. If this is done, then power of one pair of hands would multiply by number of pairs of hands empowered! Imagine the formidable energy, your company would have then, which can indeed help make it iconic and imaginative! 

How about implementing this inference in full earnest and essence?

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