Tag Archives: Constraint

Why Worst brings the Best in us!

Turn the pages of history from yester years to yesterday, we would find that when individuals, families, communities or countries face the worst, they take the best foot forward! Take examples of Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs. They faced a number of setbacks during their career and emerged stronger every time. After World War II, Germany (West) was in ruins and that united its people to put in exemplary efforts and turned the country into a major economic power house at a speed no one imagined.

It is strange but true that crisis brings courage, ideas, focus and unity. It creates a purpose, which has power to drive one and all!

Does that mean we need worst to become best, setbacks in order to shine or crisis to create common vision?

If we look at statistics, the answer would come out as Yes! It would only prove that in every aspect of our life, without going through pain, we cannot get pleasure!!

In reality, nearly all of nature’s rules apply both ways. In other words, if worst brings the best, then best would bring the worst, success would bring the failure and good would bring the bad. It appears scary; is not it? Would it not demotivate people to be better, be accomplished and strive to be successful? Research and experience show that we, most of times, go through cycles of up and down, rise and fall, comfort and constraint.

The silver lining

Cycle of “positive and negative” is a reality; but not a nature’s rule!

It is actually man’s making!! If we have a closer look, we would find that length and intensity of positive and negative parts are not exactly same. It varies case by case. Sometimes positive part of cycle lasts longer and stronger than the negative one or vice versa. People with right and disciplined approach face lesser troubles than those who lack that. This applies to all societies and countries as well!

How we goof, when going is good!

There are very common mistakes, people commit, when situations are favorable, time is opportune, results are showing up and success is on horizon:

  1. We become complacent or arrogant.
  2. We become over-confident and over-enthusiastic.
  3. With better possibilities and resources at disposal, we go high on consumption and low on conservation.
  4. We get addicted to power, position and/or popularity.
  5. We focus more on what gives success and less on what causes failure.
  6. We turn our passion into obsession, ambition into greed and virtues into vices!
  7. We ignore small issues, forgetting that big ones were small to start with.
  8. We tend to be less respectful and grateful.
  9. We start to neglect lessons learnt and rules, which have made current going as good!

These are the gaffes, which attract Worst to take over from Best!

How we act differently, when we face worst and stage a comeback!

When crisis, setback or worst overtakes us, there are 2 possibilities. We may keep going down or we are able to halt it, reverse the trend and stage a comeback. When we start doing the following, we do take a U turn and comeback:

  1. We gather courage and discover a purpose to restore or regain what we have lost!
  2. We are far more focused.
  3. Having gone down or lost, we shade fear of losing.
  4. Our ego ebbs.
  5. We start to put our strong faith in value system.
  6. We feel compelled to implement all what we knew as good and prudent, which were earlier mere intentions.
  7. Sobriety descends on us.
  8. Wiser counsel overtakes our weak or vicious thoughts.
  9. Since fear of losing has disappeared, we are willing to take on challenges and risks.

Look at above 9 points. There is nothing that we cannot do when going is good or we can do these only when we counter crisis. If we keep going through cycles of good and bad, it is because crisis drives us to do what is right and we do what we should not, when going is good.

So, do not wait for worst to inspire you to do what you know as good; do it even otherwise and most of the times. You can then retain and sustain the Best in your professional and personal life!

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Our Comfort Zones not only create Inertia; but also inhibit Efficiency & Growth!

Psychologically and biologically, we are always tempted to create comfort zones at work as well as in personal life and our natural tendency is then to live in those! Our comfort zones are actually the cause of our inertia, inefficiency and inadequate growth.

When individuals, management included, in companies start creating comfort zones, the result is unwieldy systems, structure and processes, rendering them uncompetitive. That is when companies have to go for costly ways of restructuring, reorganization or reinventing themselves!

Why we fall prey to inertia created by comfort zones

  1. We like path of least resistance.
  2. We talk of challenges; but hesitate to walk the same.
  3. We have implied liking for gap between our desires and drive.
  4. We relish things on a platter; that’s what comfort levels can provide.
  5. We are mostly risk averse and hence like to wander on roads most traveled.
  6. We carry false notion for developing expertise by only doing repetitive activities over a long period of time, which is devoid of challenges and instead develops comforts.
  7. We like Change; but don’t like to change ourselves!

What we crave and create, we own and don’t want to abandon i.e. comfort zones; this is what invites “inertia in our thoughts and actions”.

How inefficiency and stagnancy creep in

Comfort zones are big barriers to achieving higher efficiency and growth.

  1. Comfort levels are invariably coupled with complacency. So, people like to perform same function or work same way, they are used to do. They do not seek or even see areas to improve.
  2. Every activity or function has 2 parts – (a) what needs to be performed on a repeat basis and (b) what can be changed and done differently.
    Part (a) has possibility to execute faster through use of tools, methods and/or experience. But, if one is in comfort zone, he/she would be averse to apply the same, as mentioned under point 1 above.
    What is far more damaging is reluctance, which comfort zones create against implementation of part (b)! It is this part, which brings new ideas, innovation and usher in real change.
    When part (b) remains dormant, it drowns companies or individuals into gross inefficiency and ineffective growth and development!
  3. Rut of routine and repetition make leaders to lose their luster!
  4. Comfort zones are like cancer, which would only spread, unless cut away.
  5. Comfort zones are the cause of illusion that direction is right and drive is smooth.
  6. Companies and cadres lose momentum and rhythm; therefore, they are no longer vibrant and agile.
  7. Being devoid of Change and Innovations, all stakeholders would go downhill and degenerate.

When we are aware of consequences, why we still crave for comfort zones!

There are two main causes:

a. We constantly live in fear of known or unknown. It is because of this that we humans have become habituated to save our skin, seek safe routes and create secured environments!
Above succumbs most of us to tested and tried things. We start to relish things, which are routine and repetitive! That is how we develop inherent inertia and invariably resistance to Change!

b. This is strange; but true! It is easy for us to be complicated; but difficult to be simple. Therefore, we tend to complicate matters, methods or means, rather than simplify the same!

This is rampant across the globe. Such complexities make us to spend more time and energy in doing our things, test our patience and create fatigue. Feeling of comfort comes in when we gain experience by doing or executing these over number of times or we discover some steps to do these faster (which is actually not a simplification; but using familiarity for faster actions).

Comfort zones are nothing but emotions of ease in execution, which arise from past experience; but these are not necessarily efficient and are barriers to new Ideas and Innovations!

How to kill or come out of comfort zones

  • Contrary to your belief, comfort zones provide only temporary relief. It is the constant drive for Change, which provides continuous thrill. So, you have a clear and only one choice – cut out comfort zones!
  • Comfort zones would eventually kill or throttle your career.
  • These can enhance your experience; but not efficiency.
  • Preference for little constraint over comfort would always pay you.
  • Shed away your emotions for comfort; just capture experience or knowledge, which past instances have created. Your inertia would vanish, if you truly do that!
  • Very important to know is that it is easy to complicate matters; but difficult to make those simple.
  • Simplification brings elegance and efficiency.
  • When we reinvent, we actually convert complicated things into simple ones; not other way around.
  • Put stress on simple thoughts and approach, actions and executions. That would bring you out of your comfort zones and make you:
    • Agile
    • Vibrant
    • Innovative
    • Courageous to traverse on roads less traveled and discover how your dreams become realities!
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Most failures come from first looking Forward and then Back; reverse sequence n see magic!

You often wonder why some people get successes after successes and others failures, despite putting same degree of efforts? Why some are very different and efficient than others, irrespective of having same intents and talents? Extensive study and observations show that there is a very fine dividing line; split second’s difference in the directions and decisions being made by those who succeed and those who fail! What is that, which makes such a dramatic difference?

It is “Looking/seeing first Forward and then Backward” as opposed to

“Looking/seeing first Backward and then Forward”

Former brings failure; whereas latter sequence brings success, even though both sets of people may have same core competences! May be it is difficult for you to believe; but it is true. Here below is “why”:

When you are mostly looking forward

Look at what happens, when you focus more on looking forward:

  1. You tend to ignore your current position or state.
  2. You are likely to overlook your limitations or constraints.
  3. You would pay less attention to what others have done or are doing.
  4. You would dilute importance of lessons learnt from your past experience and observations.
  5. You would get new or fresh ideas, which is a positive aspect. However, some would be workable or practical and some may be only good in theory and devoid of realities.
  6. You tend to be very optimistic; but a day dreamer.
  7. You might think out of box, trade on new paths, create something new and different or promote radically different ideas.

On the plus side of scale, people looking mostly forward, would be bold, imaginative, radical thinker, believer of metaphysical phenomenon and theoreticians. Depending upon the core qualities of such people, they may further branch out to be artists, painters, philosophers, path breaking or fiction writers, gurus and preachers in new fields.

On the negative side of the scale, people can be excessively self-believers, arrogant, argumentative, egoists, impractical, rude or too much out-going!

When you are mostly looking backward

  1. You would tend to focus more on past and your current position.
  2. You would be conservative and traditional.
  3. You would thrive on experience; but not on ideas.
  4. You tend to analyze a lot.
  5. You would believe excessively in realism.
  6. You are likely to lag in initiatives and have more of a pessimistic approach.
  7. You would pick more of what is not there, as opposed to what is there.

On the positive side for this kind of approach, people would be more disciplined, learn lot of lessons, respect rules and be God fearing. Based upon their core competencies, such people could turn out to be very good analysts, historians, doctors, mathematicians or priests. Negative side would make people inflexible, introvert, nagging, negative, laid-back and fundamentalists.

When you are looking forward and then backward in sequence

On the face of it, people would believe this is the right way to think or do. Actually it is not! Paradox is that most people tend to follow this sequence under the premise of being progressive! Regretfully, it is retrograding and regressive!!

Here below is what happens:

  1. When you are looking forward, you are having a new idea, new observation, fresh action or taking a new position. But, for a while you ignore or forget, what is behind, what has already happened or are there limitations?
  2. By the time, you are ready to look back; new idea/observation/action/position has already got fixed in your mind or memory.
  3. When you are now looking back, you would realize the realities of present and past. If these fit in your new perspective from point 1 above, it is good. If not, your troubles start:
    1. You may refuse to accept the realities and thereby react and rebel.
    2. You may gloss over or hide these realities or put problems under carpet and pursue what you already decided to do, while looking forward before.
    3. You may buckle down under pressure of these realities, get dejected and despondent.
    4. You may rig-up a solution, which would rile you later.
    5. It may evoke your emotions and evade learning lessons.
  4. In practical life, what has been observed time and again is that there is higher chance of your ideas or actions falling away from realities!
  5. In this category, you tend to have lot of ideas, so also illusions!
  6. You build new hopes on a routine basis; but when these fracture more often, you foster your faith in meta-physical forces and rituals.
  7. You swing between “Faith” for success and “Fate” for failure!!!

Majority of people live their lives in such sequence of thoughts/category. Some swim; but more sink. Hence, it makes them more spiritual, religious, ritualistic and conservative. Their productivity is on lower side. They survive more on hopes than holistic and realistic approach.

Now a turning point in first looking backward and then forward

Most successful people in the world follow this sequence, apparently unconsciously! My extensive search and research show that “human behavioral or medical” science or psychology or other branches of science have not been able to discover why performance of two persons equally qualified, experienced and exposed to equal opportunities would differ and deviate as much as by 180 degree! Finding no clue, people relate it to luck or genes or God’s hands!

So, you now have highly prolific secret behind successes –

“Split second’s difference in the sequence, in which you “think or do”, leads you to a sublime consequence – a key to success!”

Important points to note:

  1. In this sequence, it is crucial that while looking backward, you are just looking at information of “Now” and what has been done by others and just “Become Aware” without recourse to any emotional aspects.
  2. You need to switch from backward to forward, no sooner you accomplish point 1 above. If you hang around, you would run the risk of getting lost.
  3. This backward looking gives you all inputs, to make your ideas or action in forward looking phase practical and progressive.
  4. You not only learn lessons from backward looking; but live with those in forward phase! You can never do that, if this order is reversed!
  5. It could be beyond comprehension of many, how such a small step on a sustained basis has created famous Leaders and Legends!
  6. It is this sequence, which sows seeds for developing superlative properties and personalities in persons.
  7. You have a chance to be radically different and refined, if you have will to practice and wisdom to understand intricacies behind such a simple sequence of thoughts and actions.

In the last post, I have enunciated the rationale of why “western hemisphere compared to eastern hemisphere of globe at macro scale” and “opposite sides – west and east of a railway track in Mumbai at micro scale” are so different in their degree of development until date. I can now elaborate that this has directly to do with the above 2 sequences of thoughts and actions, with “Forward to Backward” in East and “Backward to Forward” in West, which have been prompted not by individual people’s choices; but by time zone differential and zero time line for a new day’s cycle! The effect, which we witness, has come about thru collective actions mainly in line with above sequence by large no. of people in large areas over a long period of time!

So, above fact corroborates what actually works for success is –

“Create consciousness by looking back and then look forward, move and continue with this cycle”!!

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