Tag Archives: Denial

Why best of partners part their ways in worst manners!

abcGeorge Clooney, famed Hollywood actor was adjudged as one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, until he decided to tie the knot with Amal Alamuddin, an international and human rights lawyer, in September 2014. Press has written lot of love stories and quotes for the couple; but, it has now reported that their marriage is on the rocks. A more than decade old fairy tale like relationship of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has completely fractured few months back. All the fanfare behind courtship and marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West seems to be in doldrums.

Stories of Bollywood or Indian celebrities are no different – break-up of industrialist Nes Wadia and actress Preity Zinta, tennis player Leander Paes and actress Mahima Chaudhary, Sarika and Kamal Hasaan – both from film industry, actor Hrithik Roshan and interior designer Sussanne and so on.

Forget the celebrities, look at common people as partners, whom you believe as best in your neighborhood and you may discover that their partnership is not easy.

It seems to a very common feature that what ensue on the best nod ends on a worst note. What was prominent to start with, equally or more painful is to end with a relationship. It appears as if it is an order arranged by nature.

Our notion or definition for what makes it best is much fractured

Two very attractive faces, two equally and highly qualified spouses, two strong or influential personalities or pair from two famous families are perceived as best partners. But, history shows that such pairs cease to live at ease sooner and eventually break up sordidly.

Do you believe that two equally intelligent spouses, two tall partners or two accomplished persons in same profession co-exist congenially? They don’t; they face more disagreements than agreements since each one has his/her own ideas, which he/she would like to prevail with. Arguments fly high and disenchantment grows. It is like two identical polarities repelling each other.

Two best together cannot make best-square or ideal pair. Only when two persons complement each other by their characters and attributes, they make ideal combination. It means that if one is strong headed, other should be mild; if first one is extrovert, other one be introvert. If one is bright; other should be dull. And you would soon realize that it is not very appealing!

So, what is ideal?

The best pair or combination is what is individually balanced!

This is true of any form of relationship. If you want your honeymoon with a customer to last long, you on your part have to be balanced in your dealing – neither too cozy nor too curt.

Popularity or prominence is prone to prejudices

Everyone wants to be popular and be in public eyes. You soon start to enjoy your image and prestige. And, greed goes in your head and you get addicted to have more and more of prominence. This is the starting point of driving a divide between the pair. In initial period, one or both would not even realize or acknowledge that anything wrong is developing; this is stage of denial. By the time one or both wake up, it is already too late normally to normalize back.

So, too much public glare could be gloomy; your high image can lower intimacy with your partner; lot of fanfare about your relationship can turn into source of frustration.

One thing is very clear – if your choice is to build a relationship, you have to choose to banish your biases at all costs!

Partnership is more a game of compromises and not gaining command over each other.

Therefore, your private as well as professional life is at its best if you are balanced and free from biases!

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Why we forget what we want to remember; but remember more which we want to forget!

Difficult to remember or fear to forget! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Does it not happen to you often what you want to remember for sure, you are more likely to forget; but the opposite does not happen for what you really want to forget – it haunts you more?

There are countless real life examples. You suddenly cannot remember name of known persons or places. You forget some words or spellings at a time, you need most! Minds of students become blank, while answering a question in examination, which they had precisely prepared well for.

Your boss has called you for annual review and you put down on a piece of paper all points of your accomplishments. When you come out after meeting with boss, you realize that you had overlooked half of those points! You have to deliver a speech in a conference and work hard to prepare. Harder you prepare, easier would you forget key points to speak.

On other hand, one fine morning before leaving for work, you have argument with your spouse for spending too much money on shopping. You would not be able get over the duel while driving on road, making it unsafe. On reaching office, you decide firmly to forget morning incidence; but you would lose your cool with your sub-ordinates, since morning duel keeps playing at back of your mind.

Why our memory fails at right moment but serves extra well at wrong one!

When we first memorize what we want to remember is in its pure form. See, what generally happens subsequently when we don’t want to forget it:

  1. Our first suggestion to mind to remember and not to forget is registered in our memory as “same information again with emphasis”.
  2. 2nd reminder registers it with a kind of stress.
  3. 3rd reminder accompanies usually with our perception of consequences for not remembering it.
  4. Then, we start to fear for possible consequences.
  5. So, when time comes to recall that information, our mind is loaded or preoccupied, making retrieval more difficult!

This is how purity of original information degrades.

Now, look at what we do to “What we want to forget”:

  1. What is that we want to forget – bad incidences, bad dream, wrong thought, worse scene, random ideas, irrelevant information and so forth!
    By the time we come to a stage of wanting to forget any of above, it takes full circle and make its firm mark in our mind.
  2. Having decided to forget, it is rare that a person would not remember it again. Most people recall often to check whether they have forgotten it! Moment they do this, it dives deeper in their memory!! 
  3. All of above incidences or information are associated with our anger, anxiety, disappointment, denial, obsession, repulsion or irritation, which are essentially past negative emotions.
    Emotions are like cache memory of a computer in our brain. When our mental state is negative, the said emotions also pop-up and refresh that we want to forget.
  4. Normally, things that you want to forget fade over time, when your older biases i.e. emotions get superseded by new ones. But, you have to then struggle with new ones. 

From above, you can observe that spontaneous response of our mind is reverse of what you should be doing and hence, struggle in remembering or forgetting!

Managing to forget is far more challenging than mastering to remember!

Ability to consciously forget, though more complex, makes mind and memory far sharper than capacity to remember!

We have lot of options to remember – memorize by practicing, making hard or soft notes. But, options to forget – nothing! 

You frequently read about – to let go and forgiveness. These are flimsy or even fake, unless you have the ability to forget! Another extremely important thing every leader or preacher advocates is to live in present! People are hardly able to do that, because they are unable to forget past!!

How best to remember and forget, when you want to

To remember on time, here below is what you can do:

  • Make hand written legible notes.
    Note, writing by own hands creates stronger impression in mind. Chances are you may not even have to see your notes again. But, beware and be wary of making notes of too many things!
  • Alternatively, you can make soft notes on your mobile, notepad or computer.
  • Best option is to make mental note only once and link to the image of object, with which it is directly related. May be supplement it by abbreviated hand written note. And then, just don’t worry whether you would remember or forget; believe that heaven will not fall on earth, if you don’t.

To forget what you have to is much trickier and require thoughtfulness. Effective clues:

  • Easiest is to do what you love or engage yourself gainfully.
    However, this would give you temporary respite; not resolve it for good!
  • You would be much better off, if you become broad minded.
  • Real step is – come to terms with what you have to live without and believe that thing is no longer important. Losing importance of what you want to forget is the key to “Forgetting”!
    You would soon realize there is a catch in above – you can lose importance or making the thing insignificant only when you drop your past emotions at least for things you want to forget! 

Now, the most valuable information – what you want to actually forget is all out of your past memories, which have 2 parts – (a) Knowledge or information (b) emotions i.e. biases, obsession, pleasure, pain, fear or frustration. Usually, you latch on to past for fear of losing knowledge or information, which you actually don’t need to! 

So, if you keep dropping your past emotions, you have nothing to lose but only to gain great ability to remember and forget what you need to. That would take you to the top of your life!

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Do Companies bring Change by choice or under compulsion of a crisis?

Is Change not Charismatic? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

“Change” is the most celebrated word across the world – from individuals to communities, corporates and countries! But, how serious are we, when we say “Change”?

Change encompasses innovations, ideas, redefining, reviewing, restructuring and redeeming! Change represents a dynamic state and breathes new and fresh. Catch phrase of nearly every celebrity is “Change is the only constant in universe!” Such splendid is the significance of change; but unfortunately it is seldom understood in its entirety!!

If companies are not changing proactively, then they face decline in 5 stages, as per Jim Collins, author of best seller “Good to Great”:

  1. Hubris born of success
    Great enterprises get insulated by success, though momentum already set in carry them forward while their leaders lose discipline and make poor decisions. This stage kicks in when people of these companies become arrogant and believe that success is their entitlement!
  2. Undisciplined pursuit of more
    This stage comes, when companies start to think we are great and we can do anything! They go for more scale, more growth, more acclaim and all what bring pat on their back from those in power. All these happen in undisciplined and reckless manner.
  3. Denial of risks and peril
    At this stage, internal warning signals begin to mount but external results of the company remain strong. Management explains away disturbing data or declares difficulties as temporary.
  4. Grasping for salvation
    Now, decline of the company becomes visible to all and talks of salvaging begins.
  5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death
    At this point, enterprises start to face threat of extinction. They struggle to survive.

Paradoxically, most companies are unaware of their decline that creeps in during 1st three stages! By the time crisis is visible at 4th stage, they are already deep into the same!!

General Electric and Toyota Motors of Japan are some of very few companies, who have been proactively changing and hence ever thriving. Apple Inc., Intel and Samsung are among those, who did dip to stage 1 or 2; but bounced back by quickly by adopting changes. IBM, HP, Xerox, Merck and Numec were iconic companies at one stage but fell to stage 4; however their leadership showed courage to stage a comeback. However, one time icons like General Motors, Ford and BlackBerry are among those, who have been languishing at stage 4 for substantial time and no one knows whether they would ever be able restore their old glory. On the other hand, one time gems – Arthur Anderson, MCI WorldCom, Pan Am, General Foods Corp., Compaq, RCA etc. went down to stage 5 and became extinct!

It is apparent that most company may clamor and claim for change proactively, but they actually change only when they are in crisis and hence, run risk of not reaping fruits of change and chance of their success is odd.

It would be highly interesting to know that even decline of a successful individual happens over 5 stages:

  1. Getting overwhelmed by success and becoming opaque to realities – superiority complex!
  2. Clamoring for more successes, ignoring steps followed to climb initial success – overconfidence!
  3. Denial for presence of defects and difficulties – arrogance!
  4. Start to worry about increasing woes – anxiety!
  5. Loss of identity – condemned!

What does above scenario reveal?

Change under crisis is compressed but quick!

A crisis brings do or die situation! At any scale from nations to natives, under crisis, one either swims or sinks!!

It is ironical but true that the brink brings out the best or worst. Changes under crisis are costly but very quick. History shows that great innovations, ideas, courage, cohesion and all what we call as Change came about during wars or setbacks.

Here below are pros and cons of bringing change under crisis:

  • Crisis presents a binary situation – bounce back or get banished.
  • Changes, which happen, are costly, compressed and concentrated, since focus is on coming out of crisis. These changes are often not wide spread.
  • A by-product can often be good momentum to progress, which continues beyond a crisis. That is good.
  • But all of above may not be good enough to change character or DNA of country, company or individual.
    This poses high risk for entity or individual to go into cycles of successes and setbacks.
  • One of the most serious implications is while in crisis people tend to lose balance and belief in good. Prudential principles and practice can take a back seat or beating! 

So, crisis is a great initiator or destroyer, but not a creator! Creation of new or different comes only post extinction!!

Changes by choice are expansive and elite!

Changes by choice means changing proactively through contemplation, self-evolvement and self-drive! Doing it by choice brings ownership and motivation.

Change by choice is no longer a change by charter, as happens under crisis; instead it becomes a change of character and culture!

Often companies or individuals, despite good intention to change by choice, trip midway because their attempts to change is non-inclusive. Look at some examples, which are doomed to failure:

  • Change in favor of empowerment; but not having trust on who to be empowered!
  • Resolving to be sensitive to employees, but with lack of empathy!
  • Promising fairness; but not being free from biases!

So, when change happens by choice and is inclusive and expansive, then it is sustainable and supremely beneficial from all aspects!

So, why not change by choice, instead of waiting for crisis to coerce us?

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Silver Linings of being Second (2nd)

Stop having regrets or remorse, being diffident or defeatist, if you did not get to the top by your position, ranking, score or else! If you are 2nd or lower in your position, do you know that you have several silver linings beneath and opportunities on the horizon now to race for the top with greater competence and capabilities? I have observed the most people instead of accepting the realities, they get disappointed and demoralized and in the process, they fail to see never-seen–before possibilities emerging and benefit from brighter prospects unveiled now!

What can you lose, when you are on the Top

  1. When you reach to the top (of an organization, competition, accomplishments, passion or pursuit), your mind set changes. You have new found excitement and expectations; so also ego and emotions. Once you are there, you need to manage such new scenario for self. There are umpteen examples, say in Corporates, where top performers were recognized by elevating them to top position; but they could not perform. They were besieged by pressure to perform, fear of failure or nervousness for having nothing above (or below) to fall back!
    Often, people at the top see end of the road ahead, after sometimes, when euphoria dies and hard realities descend; rather than seeing or creating opportunities ahead. This, inevitably throw them into defensive and denial mode.
    And that is the start of their downward journey.
  2. Your success to the top or be first can make you over-confident and then, arrogant. You lose, at that point, sense of sound judgment, sanity and empathy.
  3. By virtue of your success, if you shoot into fame and fortune, power and popularity, you are dumbfounded or dazed how to manage the same. History has shown that many leaders, sportsmen, writers, artists and celebrities got into dejection and depression mode.
    Famous author JK Rowling of Harry Potter books has revealed recently how she could not handle her success and shine, and had to undergo therapy due to clinical depression! There are many such live examples of singers and leaders.
  4. You can become poor listener.
  5. You tend to be autocratic and slip down in respecting other’s opinions and expectations.
  6. In all likelihood, you would ignore your family, friends and health.
  7. You can lose your peace and sleep.
  8. Position that you now possess, can make you obsessed.

The above attracts Adversity, after your Advent to the Top.

What do you gain, when you fail to reach to the Top!

  1. Best opportunities for learning lessons on how others get success and what causes failure.
  2. When you are trailing, you are always looking ahead, get inspired to pull out your energy, efforts and enthusiasm unprecedentedly to accelerate and advance. You are trying to convert impossible into possible! This is the occasion, which you need to catch and analyze carefully. It can bring a major paradigm shift in your perceptions and help you to understand your hidden talent and energy.
  3. You can learn to accept realities and appreciate others’ strengths.
  4. You have possibility to identify your weak spots and convert these into your strengths, adversity into opportunity and despair into delight.
  5. You learn to be patient.
  6. You have unique privilege to be privy to:
    1. How a successful person sustains his success and could continue being at top.
    2. How a successful person could succumb to stress and situational complications.
    3. How to manage challenges, conflicts and contradictions.
    4. How to develop courage and convictions.
    5. How to seek opportunities to create another peak.
    6. How you can lose your command and control to adversities and fall prey to insinuations and instigations.
    7. How complexities could work; yet simplicities not!
  7. You do not have to necessarily invent the wheel and be prone to failures; you can rather consolidate and improve upon, what is already invented.

Now, your march towards the Top

If you have gone through the rigmarole of “what is there in losing and winning” and  indeed understood, you would mature, leave past behind and move forward. You would discover that:

  • Success now does not go into your head and failure into your heart!
  • Successes and failures go concurrently like 2 sides of same coin; depending upon your attitude and approach, both could be equally bright or equally dull.
  • You are better prepared and polished.
  • You are ready, robust and rugged to take off.
  • You have versatility and vitality to march to the top, sustain and seek higher top!

At the end, an untold secret of Nature the one, who saw the day later, could learn and leap more! So never ever mind to “play a second fiddle”.

Amused? See the upcoming posts!

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When your taste is for Success, why your recipe is for Failure?

Everyone wants to be successful at work, career, professional or personal life; but few get it and others not, despite their best intentions and efforts. Often, we relate success and failure to stroke of luck or destiny. We have innumerable examples of many CEOs or top managers riding high and then gliding down. We tend to believe that as inevitable.

So what is behind such bizarre situation, most of us face? Why do we face varying degree of wins and losses?

Here are blatant facts:

Your recipe is seldom compatible to your taste

Your focus is always on the end result; but hardly on the route to get there. How many of you plan and choose your ways, mend your methods mid-way and change your course to come on the road which leads to what you want? I have not come across more than 3 to 5% of people, who would really take this seriously.

It is not that what you select initially would give you necessarily intended results. Therefore, you must constantly evaluate, talk to your seniors or well-wishers and be flexible to mend mid-course anything that is needed, rather than clinging on.

So, never be afraid of making mistake; but be agile to make amends or even take a U-turn.

You concentrate more on spices than recipes

Your natural leanings are for thrilling and glamorous yet easy jobs. You often suffer from “neighbor’s syndrome” or “follow friends” and believe that others have it easy and exciting, having no clue of their real story. In the process, you unsettle your mind and find it difficult to enjoy what you have in your hands and translate into a success.

You believe that having being qualified (and experienced), your path to success should be simple, straight forward as well as spicy, which is rare and hence you resent, rather than being resilient!

Your patience could be poor or pathetic

What are fashionable now are fast fixes and fruits! If you do not get these, you would be quick to throw the towel. Your thin patience is a sure source of your troubles.

Unless you go through drilling and building your fundamentals, knowledge and insight, be tenacious and toil at work, you cannot get success or even if you get it, same would not be worth it!

You may have Wishes; not Will Power

When it comes to wishes, you would have a plenty; but your will to execute these is scanty!

Is not a simple plain fact that unless your Doings match your Desires and Dreams, how would those become realities? It is unfortunate that more than 90% of people have too wide a gap between Wishes and Will. Their intentions are sacrosanct; but implementation is sordid!

You have loads of Perceptions; but lack of Convictions

Most of us have lot of ideas on what we should be, what can be done, what would make us click, what is good, what others should do…. and all sorts of opinions, based upon our perceptions. But, we are generally empty in conviction and courage to carry these forward, convert into execution and deliver results.

Many of us are painfully poor to deliver what we perceive and promise. We tastefully think that things would come on a platter to us.

Your Mind can drive you Mad

Our mind tends to react spontaneously, when something goes wrong or awry. Decisions based upon 1st reaction of mind are normally negative. At the time of crisis, we mistake such mental reaction as our gut feeling or instinct. This can lead to problems. Journey to success would always have ups and downs, pleasures and pains. People often fall prey to their mental reaction and that messes up what you have accomplished that far.

So, whenever you face an issue or a barrier, just observe reaction of mind; but do not act. Take a pause and analyze – is that a part of process or an error of your earlier judgment. If it is former, counter and if it is latter, correct.

Also, your mind would always drive you on road of least resistance and most comfort. Beware; it can indeed be a bad road and hence, shun it, if your consciousness says so. Do not be afraid of hardship and hard landings; these may eventually land you on healthy success.

Your role may differ; but most rules to success not!

Except for local irregularities, our world is flat. So, do not think that what applies to successful personalities like Bill Gates, Carlos Slim or Michael Dell will not apply to you and vice versa. Rules for securing success are same universally to the tune of 90 to 95%. Learn what is the recipe of theirs or others, including your boss or leader, if they are successful. This is very crucial for you. You cannot fail, if your recipe is right.

Therefore, you need to be daring n doer and don’t be in defeatist or denial mode or mood.

You be the Master (Chef)

You can follow your role models, idols and learn; but remember, you have to eventually cook your own recipe for success; no one else can! While you follow others, avoid temptation to become slave and not master. One of the most serious problems with us is that we know we should drive and we perceive also that we are driving; we are actually not! We are slave to our habits, notions and traits. We will allow events to overtake and overwhelm us; perceive that we are dolls in the hands of destiny and refuse to understand that actually destroys us!

So, you need to be your own Master!

To conclude, nature has given man only 2 choices – Succeed or Fail in whatever you do. No one sensible would like failure. That leaves you with only one option – Learn the recipe and cook your success to relish n rejoice!

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