Tag Archives: Culture

We seldom reap benefits of our real strengths, since we think in “Compartments”!

One of the major drawbacks, which we humans face, is our tendency to think in compartments. We constantly create virtual compartments or boxes for each set of our thoughts, ideas or perception of a given situation and keep struggling or dealing within that compartment. In this process, we rarely can get a wholesome view and deprive ourselves of using great synergy among these compartments or boxes! We have a false notion that things happen to us in isolation. As a matter of fact, these are inter-related; either we don’t see this or refuse to see. It is a scientific fact that everything that we observe are interconnected or entangled. If we understand this fact, our paradigm would shift and can comprehend and deal with various people or events far more effectively and with ease!

A glance of how we think in compartments in real life!

  1. Relationships with spouse and customer
    Our spontaneous reaction would be what relationship with spouse has got to do with customer! No, it has. The essential elements are same; only emotions differ.
    Don’t we need in both relationships – satisfying the requirements, to be nice and considerate, exhibit politeness and spontaneity in response, communication without gap and understanding where shoe pinches? Imagine, if we use these elements in both relationships, how sweet would these turn to be!
    Now, think it over, don’t you need same elements for your colleagues?
  2. Ownership of children and team
    We often flounder in understanding ownership on team, since we never relate that it is no different than how good we exhibit it on our children at home on our own!
    We need for both the same attributes – taking responsibility, feeling accountable, creating comfort levels…without anyone telling us to do that!
    Likewise, are attributes of safeguarding company asset is any different than that of family assets?
  3. One box for boss and another for sub-ordinates
    This is perennial! People show split behavior for higher and lower levels. For bosses, we would show respect, high degree of sensitivity, demonstrate good behavior and be least argumentative. When it comes to dealing with sub-ordinates, we dilute or even reverse these qualities, since what we do to our bosses, we like our deputies to follow same, when we are the bosses. This is hogwash! Our corporate world would change completely, if we use one box of qualities, when it comes to dealing with people. We need to add some roles as a boss – like lay direction, be decisive and give guidance and coaching.
  4. Contrasting thoughts to deal with customers and contractors
    Like it or not, this is driven by our perception that customer is a source of revenue and contractor is a drain on revenue. This makes nothing but a mess. Whole scenario could change for good, if we understand the reality that contractors actually help us earn revenue.
  5. Hard versus soft skills
    There is complete misconception about relevance of hard and soft skills. Most believe hard skills are a must; soft skills are optional and hence, treat them in 2 separate compartments! In real terms, both have to be applied simultaneously for your survival and success.
  6. Quality and Ethics
    General understanding is that these are meant for compliance and certification. Rarely people make these a part of their character and culture, work and life. Therefore, people, companies and societies are not able to accrue great fruits of quality and ethics.
  7. Mind, Intellect, Heart and Soul as 4 pieces of 1 puzzle!
    Neither medical science nor any philosophy or faith has been able to correctly fathom and define what exactly Mind, Intellect, Heart (emotional; not biological) and Soul of human beings are and where exactly are these located in the body! These terms are evoked frequently by us as we like, without having any clue of their exact meanings.
  8. Biggest challenge of science – highly compartmentalized!
    Thinking and working in compartments in most branches of science especially physics have deprived the best of Human brains like Einstein, Neil Bohr, Schrödinger etc. to discover unified theory of quantum and gravity, 4 natural forces or particles; leave alone relating these to human mind and life! Billions of Dollars are chasing unseen particles; but we fail to see simple realities right under our nose, since scientists fail to relate what they see and discover in different compartments!
  9. Compartmentalizing even God
    We stretch this way too far! Our piecemeal thoughts restrict God at the place of worship; but in terms of belief God is everywhere. Then, why we commit cruelty or crime at one place and seek shelter of God at another place? Our thoughts are so fragmented and fractured that what we perceive as clear is actually a confusion!

Toll taken by our thinking in compartments!

  • Our convictions getting fractured.
  • Our thoughts becoming fragmented.
  • Our beliefs bringing fallacies.
  • Our relations becoming fragile.
  • Fun and fantasy becoming foremost.
  • Values and morals becoming frivolous.
  • Our work–life getting imbalanced.
  • Behavior getting guided by whims and fancies of top.
  • Dual personalities becoming an accepted norm.
  • More shells and silos at work place than before.
  • Our confidence and courage becoming shallow.
  • Humans and science not getting grip of Realities.

Breaking “Compartment Syndrome”

  1. It is a fact that everything in our world or universe is interconnected. Nothing exists by itself or in isolation.
    In our rut of routine life, we do not realize or see this and therefore, we don’t believe it. If we can drop our preconceived notions and emotions, we will start to see this.
  2. We constantly create virtual compartments of thoughts, most of which are mix of positive and negative ideas or notions. Very few would be all positive or all negative.
    If we observe dispassionately, we would discover that positive ones work always; negative ones never. Superb semblance and synergy exist among big % of positive thoughts/ideas. On the other hand, negative ones would not even nail together.
  3. Shake off your inhibitions and shatter all compartments, pull all of above positive thoughts/ideas together in just one compartment or box, which would give you immense strength and motivation to deal with every situation very successfully and efficiently.
  4. To your sweet surprise:
    1. You would incrementally start to have holistic view of how things happen or don’t happen!
    2. You would find that rules for dealing with good or bad, simple or difficult, famous or fraud, rich or poor are no different!
    3. What others can achieve, you can also!!


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Nature’s untold secret – Why West of most places is more developed than East!

Look at western hemisphere of the globe; you would find that most of it is more developed, in terms of being modern and advanced, than eastern hemisphere (leave Japan and Australia out of the discussions for the time being). Go down to Continental level say Europe. Western European countries are more developed than East European countries. Now, move down to country levels. Take United States – western states like California, Washington etc. have been the first to bring scientific and technological advancements not only in USA; but also in the world. West of Russia is far more advanced than its eastern side. Western India is much more developed than its eastern counterpart.

Now, I want you to take you through amazing coincidence – western side of Mumbai Local railways had been strikingly richer, more advanced and developed than east side! It is only because of saturation and rising costs in western suburbs in Mumbai, that attention now is getting focused to develop east side.

A caution in this analysis – please do not split the hairs. Look at the overall scenario and trends at levels of masses and major areas, to understand the synthesis of this article. The notion of east relative to west just comes from the direction of rotation of earth and how “zero or starting time line (arbitrary) for a new calendar day was fixed somewhere on right side of New Zealand on 2-Nov-1868”. By that token, New Zealand (NZ) becomes the first eastern country; but if the same zero time line was to be fixed on left side of NZ, then NZ would have become last western country on earth! So, these notions of east and west are just human made; not absolute in any sense.

In short, every place, which we call as “eastern” could be west of “western” in one rotation of earth. So, please do not be surprised that at many places, east part is more developed than west!

Now, you would also notice a diagonally opposite feature of east. Eastern side is generally richer in culture, art, literature, traditions and spirituality. It beholds old values. On the other hand, west is more modern, materialistic, rationalist, propagator of new values, which may not have linkage to traditions, culture or spiritual values!

What is beneath such a great contrast between two hemispheres of globe to two opposite sides of a railway track – East & West? Is it a mere coincidence or a causal phenomenon?

It is not a coincidence!

Did you watch spectacular millennium celebrations in NZ and at Sydney Harbor in Australia at 12 midnight of 31-Dec-1999? They were among first to celebrate! Now, authorities or group of individuals watching these in San Francisco, USA could have improved upon and done even better, as they had nearly 24 hours in hands for their millennium night to come!

Moral of the story is West has got at least more than 52,000 opportunity days per person till date since year 1868, compared to East to improve upon ideas and develop more in relative terms. But, it is not that East was completely blind to what West was doing during that period. So, we can say West had better possibilities to develop on net-net basis.

What is the Secret?

Have weather, geography and natural resources i.e. natural factors in general helped West as opposed to East? It does not seem to be the case. Moreover, these would be frivolous, when we consider this phenomenon for the same city or state!

Evaluate the following:

Note – we are talking below of overall behavior of large section of population at a given place and not individuals yet!

  1. Psychologically, when we start a new calendar day, we tend to focus fresh on new or older ideas/thoughts.
  2. As the calendar day progresses, our focus shifts to things, issues or events, that have occurred in immediate past or just before.
  3. Towards end of the calendar day, we usually get time to brood over things of previous day and prior time! But, by then most people run out of time or energy or both. Even if new information or events occur at that time, on an average, people tend to lie low, as the day is getting over.
  4. What has been happening in East –
    1. Behavior pattern in East has been predominantly centered on point 1 above, as it sees and is subject to calendar day first. It is like a fresh start with less recourse to prior info!
    2. Above, over decades and centuries, has led to development of new and consolidation of old culture, art, traditions, spirituality etc.
    3. Modernization and rationalization took a relative back seat, because of split focus on point 3 above. Point 2 has kept East engaged with current and on-going problems.
  5. What has been going on with West –
    1. West has a unique opportunity of knowing longer history of a calendar day during their part of the day! For example, USA is able to see and evaluate events of the whole day in East as well as witness their own on the same very date; Europe and U.K. do it partly.
      It is like a start with substantial prior info!
    2. Therefore, actions of West shifts more to point 2 as compared to 1 and towards end of its day, West has the possibility of knowing new and early events in East for the next Calendar day!!
    3. Above has enabled West to learn better lessons from what had happened in East, better prepared to make improvements, innovations and add new values. This also resulted in their shunning older order, seeking new and making them more rationalists.
      This is one single biggest factor for scientific and technological advancements coming from West!

Note – One could always counter argue against above by saying in East, one or several individuals can or actually do work very long and in night to beat the effect of a calendar day. But, we are talking of behavioral pattern and efforts of several million people over decades and centuries, which have impacted development of countries and regions!

What needs to be recognized is how an Arbitrary Line for start of a calendar day on right side of NZ and effect of day’s cycle on human psychology has made all the difference in different regions of our planet!!

Now, coming to why above secret has not applied to Japan and to some extent to Australia/NZ. Do not be surprised, if I say the Secret does apply to them also. Look at closely the behavior and work culture of Japanese people. They have been functioning as West side of West, even if it has meant to be one day’s cycle latter. They have stuck to it; working harder, longer and disciplined to reach 2nd top position, even after ruins of World War II. Australia and NZ have followed Japanese example; but only partly.

So, what is the Message?

Contrast between West and East clearly proves that if you can learn from the past in every day’s cycle and then, make efforts to improve and innovate, you would bring terrific technological and scientific advancements. If you like to look fresh at new or older ideas at the start of every day cycle, you may not discover new or get stuck with old ones.

And, this becomes a precursor to redoubtable and reassuring revelation of a new subject of the next post on CYI!

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