Tag Archives: Life

Change under crisis or constraint is compelling; but it is costly n chaotic!

abc“Change” is the most celebrated term in corporate life, leadership circles, professional and personal lives and even in country governance across the globe. Most people take pride in speaking for change, but fall short is imbibing and implementing it. Many talk about it but don’t know what to do with it.

An aspirant gets a new job of his choice and hence he loves it and puts in hard work. Years pass by and his conviction gets consolidated that he would never like to leave such a job. His management starts to perceive him as a liability; but he believes in his loyalty and one fateful day, he faces termination.

You develop a taste for sugar coated donuts and get hooked to eating couple of them every morning. You believe you are young with no family history of blood sugar problem; so, why not enjoy it. In time to come, you discover alarmingly high level of blood sugar and then you start spending time and money on medical experts and medicines; at the same time, you find it painful to miss taste of donuts.

Look at the iconic companies like General Motors, Ford, Siemens, BlackBerry and many more. These organizations did not change in or with time and hence faced blow to their businesses or serious crisis, resulting into painful restructuring, sell offs or even closure of several of their units.

Rise of right wing voices or parties in USA, Europe and Brexit are clear indications of ruling parties giving a cold shoulder to changing their policies in time and now their people are forcing them to change albeit in wrong direction.

Is it not a clear indication that waiting for crisis to come and then change is very costly and complex? Very often, changing under constraints may not be a blessing but a bane.

Why “Change” receives more of lip service than living examples

It has become a fashion to talk about change; but hardly anyone is willing to walk for a change. Celebrities proudly pronounce “Change is the only constant in Universe”, not knowing what exactly it means. Change is a continuum; not a constant. Universe actually has no constant.

Then, we are ever ready to pass our sermons how and why others should change, forgetting that if we want to change others, that change has to first originate from us. A step ahead, people talk about grand changes in systems at company, community or country level; but most prefer to be spectators and fight shy of becoming part of system. Unless you become part of change, bringing change is only a pipe dream.

In more than 90% of cases, it is a decorative word in speeches and essays, until crisis descends.

Biggest confusion is “Why and what change”

Homilies aside, herds hardly understand correct definition of change!

Nothing is static around us. We and our environments are continuously changing. So, change is nothing but adjusting to changes happening internally and externally to us with time, so that we can accomplish our short and long term goals in least time and resistance.

So first of all, to talk of change without your goals in mind is foolhardy. Then comes, identifying what incremental changes have happened in and around you, followed by planned steps to effect the change.

Crisis comes out, when accumulated changes crash the system

By and large, people like to be inert to changes, because of inertia that they develop from their comfort zones.

Changes not made but accumulated over time burst out in form of crisis or even conflicts. You or people at large than have no choice or time but brace or face changes thrust upon you. You like it or not, such forced changes are bound to be painful; some of these may be right but a lot would not be. You would react against such forced changes; but would have no recourse left and hence, these become chaotic.

Changing by choice is indeed chaste

Very fact that change is continuum tells us that we must live side by side of changes that are arising and align with them in time. This alone can make us very efficient, ebullient and agile.

Changing by choice makes the Change a pleasure and not pain; it can be a nice asset but never liability.

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Are modern day science n stress making us more sick or superstitious?

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True image or illusion?

Current US President Barack Obama has revealed in a recent interview that he always carries in his pocket a statuette of Lord Hanuman, small Buddha, silver poker chip etc. and seeks inspiration from same when he feels tired or discouraged. But, he has said that he is not that superstitious.

He is not alone; he has millions of followers!

How gifts and gadgets of science are making you more superstitious

You would find celebrities, artists, leaders, especially from political polity and gen. next more than ever before wearing rings containing specific stones, colorful bands or sacred threads on their wrists or lucky charms to attract good omens. Advancements in multimedia enable millions to watch them like never before and entice them to emulate such practices.

Scientific advancements have given advent to social media and social media have brought together not only colleagues, cultures, traditions, beliefs and rituals from every corner of our planet but also voices of faith healers and fortune tellers. Every other day, I get text message on my cell phone about forecast for my future and what I should do to make it lucky. One day while under duress, one is bound to fall prey to same.

All kinds of wearable devices are now available to monitor nearly all parameters of your body. Everything looks hunky-dory as long as these parameters are within prescribed limits. But what is if some of those go out of limits? You land on the lap of stress, superstition or god for quick fixes. Hardly anyone would run to doctors for every tit and bit; but if someone does it, he/she would create another set of psychological problems.

When you are stressed, you fall either sick or prey to superstitions

Stress has long list of its byproducts – insomnia, IBS, cardio disorder, lever dysfunction, diabetes… and now new research studies including one conducted by Ohio State University have added cancer, as it gets accentuated by stress.

In modern age, there are many more media available to invite stress, leading among which is social media and mobile phones. Social media is a great boon as well as a gruesome bane. It is a classic example of how plus and minus go hand in hand. Thirty years back, we were surviving very well without having even a line of remote communication at home; today we can’t sustain a minute without cell phone in hand.

No one notices, rather dislikes to notice silent stress of taking selfies, posting images supposedly better than previous day, racing to get more likes and repenting if buddies or beloved did not like it.

Untold story of how science has been misused by man

In its original form, science is secular and secures everyone; but depending upon how it is used or applied, it can create values and virtues or vices and viruses; it can develop faith or fear; surprisingly, its positive use promotes spiritualism and negative use prompts materialism.

Though the taste of man or masses is for positive, their recipe is for exactly opposite – negative. That is why scientific facts have been twisted by most people into their fractured faiths i.e. illusions or superstitions and turned on more far right and left wing ideas and ideologies leaving little space for the center or balanced ones. Discoveries of atom and subatomic particles should have consolidated our conviction that god is everywhere but we have pushed him elsewhere – deeper into isolation and places of worship. We have used these discoveries more for destruction than for construction, creating more stress on our system. We have misused stress to create more medicines and manipulated the fact that it is more a matter of mind control.

We hardly know who we are; but we want to jump into bandwagon of knowing who and where aliens are. We are unable to arrest decay of our world colony; but billions of dollars are being spent on race for colonizing Mars and Moons.

But, all is not lost yet, if we can still realize that it is a bad idea to misuse or overuse science, its gifts and gadgets and that it is a bane to drift away from core principles of nature and life!

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Our day to day dilemma or delusion – Schrödinger’s cat is dead or alive?

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Yes, Nein or Yein? Image source – flickr.com

My wife is a cleaning freak and is currently on house cleaning spree because of upcoming major Indian festival. I had been expecting that any day my bedroom cupboard would be upside down, albeit organized as is where basis by her standard. But, it had not happened.

Today morning, I walked down to my cupboard to fetch some article expecting least what I witnessed – it was cleaned up, reorganized and I found it hard to lay my hands of what I wanted. I began to feel upset. But, I said to myself – hang on; this is nothing new. It is just my dilemma or delusion whether I would find Schrödinger’s cat dead or alive. Cat is dead; just accept the reality that cupboard has been reorganized regardless of my comfort or discomfort.

You must be facing likes of above situation a number of times every day. If your cell phone rings when you don’t want to be disturbed, your mind would instantly suspect caller to be one, you don’t want to talk to; but majority of times it would be another person, whom you won’t refuse to talk. Your spouse insists upon you to accompany for shopping and you put extra money not for spending but for not cutting a sorry figure. More often, you would find whole money gets spent, as if your spouse or shopkeepers had prior knowledge of extra money in your pocket.

So, your mind is constantly engaged in tossing the coin – would it be this or that?

Splendid substance behind story of Schrödinger’s cat!

I won’t go into technical or experimental aspects of this story; if you are interested, please go on Google. It is very easy and interesting to understand. What is very important here is to know that such simple idea has led to monumental advancements in every field – technology to physiology. Schrödinger stated that there is no way to know in advance whether the cat, which has been placed in safe part of a chamber but facing threat from unsafe part, is dead or alive unless you observe or open the chamber. If you don’t observe, then cat is neither dead nor alive; it is in state of superposition – a term which Schrödinger or science does not know till today what exactly it is – call it metaphysical. Ironically, many argue that there is unseen force or mechanism in our universe that has prior knowledge.

What Schrödinger or science could not fathom till today is – this idea has great relevance in our day to day life. Most refuse to believe there is science behind our life and there is always life behind science.

Sum and substance of this story

Things, which are in our thoughts or are unseen, have equal probability of actually being alive or dead, this or that, right or wrong, great or gory, successful or setback. Only when things surface or become reality, then we see them in one or another form.

So, game of guessing or tossing the coin that we continuously play is actually futile. There is equal chance that things would turn out to be positive or negative. Your wishing that they be positive does not make you positive; actually it is negative contrary to popular perceptions as that indicates your obsession or addiction to positive. And, if you want it be negative even for a positive reason, it is negative as it indicates your bias or prejudice.

Now comes important link from last week’s post, which is not only proven in life but also by science’s famous law of Complementarity. This law states – you would get result as per type of set up to measure it. Such set up is physical in science but mental in life.

Therefore, if you guess or toss the coin, you are negative and that increases chances of negative results or disappointments. But, if you don’t guess, you are positive (which actually implies you are prepared to accept the reality) and you have higher chances of getting delightful results.

Try above game without cheating; you would be astonished with astounding results!

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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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