Tag Archives: Myth

Is Murphy’s Law a Myth, as it reveals one side of Reality; but not the opposite?

Murphy’s is one law, which has very simple statement; but with profound implications and interpretations! In its initial form (there are various versions introduced later), it states that “If anything can go wrong — it will”. This law has deep rooted impact on corporate and common lives. Unfortunate part is that most of us tend to use this law as a phrase, rather than making good use of it.

This Law is quoted extensively all over the world; but no one has questioned one crucial aspect – if things have to go wrong, they do; then why not if things have go right, these would! Nature by itself does not differentiate or discriminate between wrongs and rights!! So, Murphy’s Law reveals only one side of the reality – when things go wrong; but does not unveil the opposite, what happens when things have to go right.

Implications of Murphy’s Law

The upsides

  • It advocates acceptance of the fact that things can and do go wrong!
    It is a very important lesson; but very few understand its tremendous relevance in professional and personal lives!! Tendency of most is to see “Glass of water being half empty”.
  • It brings consciousness when 1st thing go wrong, to make efforts not to allow next to go wrong and bring correction sooner than later.
  • Once things have in any case gone wrong, it consoles/cools your mind that it’s because of a law, provided you feel determined to take a lesson and leaf out of it for the next time.

The down sides

  • When things start to go wrong, it can trigger despondency and dejection!
  • People tend to resign to the fate and get in inactive mode, rather than being combative.
    In 1948/49, Murphy was doing an experiment and it became apparent that his assistant has installed the sensors incorrectly and therefore, were giving wrong result. Murphy made his pronouncement, despite being offered the time and chance to calibrate and test the sensor installation prior to the test proper, which he declined somewhat irritably, getting off on the wrong foot with the MX981 team of US Air Force. Later, an interviewer stated that Murphy blamed the failure on his assistant after the failed test, saying, “If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will.
  • Many tend to react in anticipation and frustration of more things going wrong. So, what need not go wrong at that time would also start to go wrong!
  • It sows the seeds of complacency and kills the drive to look at the opposite side of the Law. This is what seems to have happened to whole world!

Who controls things to go wrong in any case or it’s by mere accidents or coincidences?

To my understanding, God has no interest to control the things to go wrong or right for individuals. Nor, any super natural forces or destiny exist somewhere to monitor and control!

Nothing actually happens in our universe by accident or coincidence either! It is always that there is a cause and what we see is the effect!! It is a different matter that we may not be aware or seeing the causes.

One of my colleagues from USA was traveling from Pune to New Delhi on her way to Austin. Her domestic flight got delayed from Pune leaving very little time to check into international flight at Delhi. As luck would have it, due to some problem her aircraft from Pune did not land at the same terminal in Delhi as that of her international flight. So, she was told on arrival that automatic transfer of her baggage would not be possible and she has to pick it manually and take it to check in counter of flight to USA. She did that without losing her calm only to find by the time she was at security counter that US Airline announced it is closing gates of aircraft. At this time, she tried to bypass long queue for security checking but to no avail. An airport staff was watching her struggle and rushed to her with a wheel chair. With that, the staff could bypass everyone to get security check done and informed pilot that he has a lady on wheel chair. Finally, my colleague did arrive Austin as scheduled and got her baggage too.

So, Mr. Murphy was right? Not 100%; she still managed to reach Austin as scheduled. The Law should have not permitted airport staff to appear and allow a creative idea to use wheel chair to get things done! What helped her apparently is another Law of State of Mind!

Why things would go only wrong and not right?

Left to itself, Nature follows the rule of 50% things going right and balance 50% wrong! If we experience a bias towards wrong or right in a given situation, it has a lot to do with frame of our mind!

There is no mechanism, method or theory that allows Nature to discriminate. Nature plays truly complementary!

We remember things having gone wrong more than what have gone right!

Reality is that whole world falls prey more to Negatives than Positives! These is no rational behind; it is just emotional!!

Emotions make everyone to remember negative or wrong things more than right things. So, the count of wrong things is on our finger tips; but we fail to recount right ones!

So, illusion of more things going wrong sways and swarms our memories!

Moral of Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law is a half Myth! The truth is that by themselves, things go as much right as wrong! Since we throw our emotions at stake, we watch, whine, count and focus more on things, which are against our wishes and whims.

So, you have every reason to rejoice. True Law is “If anything that can go wrong – it will; so also what can go right – it will”. And ability to create a bias for right or wrong things to happen is in your mind!

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We live life searching Truths; but end up struggling with Myths! Why?

Our mind is most of the time preoccupied with “Why”, “What”, “When” or “How”, searching answers or seeking truths to solve our problems. Are truths hard to find or our approach makes it hard to fathom?

Fact is that most truths are right under our nose; but we fail to see. We experience them routinely; but we fail to elicit, comprehend or collate! Instead, we fall prey to the myths!

Look at the most common questions, through which most seek answers or truths:

Why things go wrong for me?

This is a hot question, which does haunt a lot!

Failing to get an answer or solution, if you go to a god man, he would defer it to desire of God. If you approach fortune teller, he would prove it on account of the position of your stars and may prescribe wearing of precious stone rings. Someone may recommend rituals and so on. Some would counsel you to accept it as matter of fate! This is all myths.

But, there is small truth, which surfaces, when you follow any of above advises. It gives you a sudden kick of confidence or conviction and that’s when the wrong thing starts to change to right for you! However, you tend to believe it is happening because you are following the said advice. When things go wrong again, you would go through same cycle again, only to get deeper into myths!

What is if you get the same kick of confidence or conviction in the face of wrong or problematic situations on your own strength rather than going through route of myths? The result would be exactly same – wrong turning to right! I have been testing and getting results for years! And if you keep that confidence and conviction most of the time, you would delay or dilute wrong things to happen!!

Another issue is that we don’t ask or want to figure out why things go right for us! The factors, which come in play for things go right, would also be the factors to drive things to go wrong!!

Hence, the truth is

We focus more and keep a count of things which go wrong; but not of what go right. Nature’s secret is that left to itself, number of things that go wrong would be the same as what go right!

There are things that you can control. If such things go wrong, they are purely because your intentions, efforts or execution are wrong or not good enough. These would become worse, if you lay blame elsewhere. Solution purely lies with you by observing your shortcomings and correcting same.

But, there are things, which you cannot control. These are the ones, which can go right or wrong. Your state of mind has a lot to do with the timing and occurrences of right or wrong. If you keep it positive, you certainly would avoid or delay the wrong things to happen or dilute their impact! This is how positive qualities like confidence, conviction, courage and hopes help!

What can change my luck for better?

This strikes you, when you are not happy with what you have or get. More you brood, more you get bogged down. When nothing works for you, you narrow down to your luck! You begin to think that your luck is pre-defined, which unforeseen or divine forces alone can alter it or it is fixed through say the lines on your palm or forehead. You then develop your faith in a variety of myths.

The facts – there is nothing like luck or fortune predefined or written for you somewhere in universe and no one has interest in it except you! If you are not contended with your state or possessions, it is you and only you, who have to trigger a change through ideas and efforts to change the perceived luck for better.

How to create ideal conditions at Work and Life?

You crave to have ideal or great boss, team, job, business, compensation package and on the top of all an ideal spouse! Why not? But, then you would live a life with great instability, changing place to place, partner to partner. You would confuse your obsession as passion, mistake your greed as your goal and interpret your confusion as vision!

The truth – There is no absolute or universal definition of what is Ideal. Ideal things exist in your imagination and you feel eager and ecstatic to get the same! But, when you get it, you would discover disappointment! Ideal conditions mean 2 aspects – nothing would go wrong and it would satisfy all your needs. First thing is not allowed by nature, as mentioned before. In second thing lies a big illusion – ideals needs alone can bring ideal satisfaction to you! And Ideals needs cannot be anything in fact but Nil needs!!

So, if you chase ideal things, insanity would chase you! Just chase what is good, then good work and life would automatically get carved out for you!!

What can drive me to the top?

It is perfectly in order to aspire and aim to go the top. Often, you believe it can be done by you leading but leaving others behind like in athletic race. Or you think it can be done by dictating and dominating, discrediting and disregarding others. Many would do it by seeking favoritism or playing games. People do go to the top through these methods; but come down much more miserably! The sole reason is they sit on top of a hierarchy; but not on the top of mind and heart of their people and customers!!

The facts – Myths are always based on one or other material or physical activity and that is what is in the above. Material gains look magical; but can never be magnificent. And what is not magnificent is nothing but a mistake!

It is your moral character and mental characteristics/abilities (positive ones), which not only lift you to the top of anything that you can imagine – organization, society or country, but more importantly help you to sustain and shine there!

So, truth always comes right in front of you; but you don’t see it, because it is behind the curtain of your (mis)conceptions and myths!

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Paradigm shift needed in Roles & Responsibilities of Bosses for better employee relationship

Bosses or supervisors are usually bête noire or disliked class in eyes of most employees. Everywhere you would come across phrases like – an employee does not leave a company; but leaves because of boss or supervisor! On the other hand, there is lot of material, training, coaching and development programs across world to improve quality of supervision (or bossism); yet it continues to be a perennial problem and poorly perceived.

Are bosses getting well prepared before taking up responsibilities?

Most organizations and their HR departments claim to have good learning and development programs to prepare future leaders (in real terms, future bosses); but these programs are more aimed at imparting information rather than bringing a change in character or behavior of potential candidates! Organizations do not have any process in place to evaluate the change, which such programs are able to bring about in the concerned candidate to make him/her a better supervisor. Usual refrain is once one undergoes the program/s, he/she is deemed to be qualified. This is a myth; but most organizations have been living with it!

Another issue is that selection process for supervisors is not sound. Very often selection criteria or compulsions are:

  • Length of experience.
  • Seniority by age.
  • Vacant slot has to be filled.
  • Desire to retain a resigning employee and hence, under constraint he/she is promoted.
  • Employee is a blue eyed boy of management, regardless of merit.

Above criteria don’t bear merit, so would be the class of boss or supervisor in these cases, considered for promotion.

If such bosses/supervisors perform badly, there is no point blaming them. It is actually a failure of higher management and systems.

It is imperative that organizations institute an effective program to prepare employees and promote desired changes in their behavior, before they take-up position of a supervisor/boss.

Need of paradigm shift!

Roles and responsibilities of bosses are oriented towards functions (physical) and figures in most companies. Focus really needs to shift to people and performance! When this is done, a radical shift can come in performance of bosses and perceptions, which employees carry about them.

Here below are 7x “Must-to-Do” points for bosses and top management to implement:

  1. Knowing correct definition of Empowerment
    To state that “this is one area, very poorly understood” is an understatement. It is not about assigning work or responsibilities to sub-ordinates. It is that + authorizing them to take decisions, giving guidance and direction how to do that, laying down expectations of end results, allowing them to make mistakes and help them to learn from same, rather than holding them guilty.
  2. Be of Help; not Hurt
    It is common for bosses to shout, sulk and issue sermons to sub-ordinates, when they are not meeting their expectations, despite good efforts! That never helps anyone – neither boss nor employees.
    Worst thing that many bosses do is to pick prejudices against employee/s and resort to reprisal openly or subtly. Nothing can justify such actions!
    Bosses must don “Can I help you?” attitude towards employees. It would make wonders!
  3. Replace Ego by Empathy
    When employee goes up to become a boss, what is most likely to go up is his/her Ego! This happens due to lack of proper learning or mentoring.
    Ego would not allow bosses to align with employees; instead alienate!!
    Empathy does not come overnight! It has to be harnessed.
  4. Be a role Model!
    For employees, Boss is a role model. But, when Boss is not able to play role of a model, employees would react and rebel – may not be vocally but at least in their mind and behavior. That’s when a boss becomes their bête noire!
    It is amazing to know how bosses impact behavior of their employees! I have witnessed in several companies that if a boss is reasonable, employees tend to be congenial and co-operative. Reverse happens, if boss is toxic. It is incredible to see how employees, who work closely with their boss, follow his/her style to say Hello or greet people!
    As role model, a boss really needs to shun all negativities.
  5. Keeping a close Eye on those holding promise and potential; but don’t make them blue Eyed
    A boss can do irreparable damage to his/her relationship with employees, if differentiation and discrimination is done based upon his/her liking or disliking.
  6. Hold hands of weaker
    Bosses normally resort to bashing employees having weaker performance. Once an employee is hired through a conscious decision, companies must consider it obligatory to do all what it should to make that employee perform, before writing him/her off! The only way it can happen is when bosses would encourage holding hands of the weaker and work out a program to make them stronger.
    Those, who are already strong, would swim in any case and don’t require kind of support, weaker ones need!
  7. “Taking decisions on career” are like “shaping destiny” of employees!
    It is very crucial for a boss to reckon that when he/she sits on annual appraisal/consideration or taking decision on career path of employees, he/she is actually shaping their destiny, carving hopes and happiness or despair and disappointment of their families. I am not advocating pacifist approach; but “pure prudency and no partiality”!

A boss can bet for the best from employees, if he/she bats for the paradigm shifts!

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A Dozen Facts that can Dramatically Change Your Life in 2013 for Good!

May be you already know these; but did not do anything. Then, do it now. Or you do not know these, then know now and act! Time is today. If you wait for tomorrow, you may only keep waiting!!

Here below are the facts, which can truly revolutionize the way you have been living your life; add glitter and glamour  freedom and fragrance! Factually, these apply in all seasons and all time. Since, we humans look for special occasions to kick start, let us use today, 01-01-2013 as an opportunity to imbibe and implement these!

  1. Your world starts from you and would end with you.
    So, only you are responsible for what you do and its consequences; not your gene, zodiac sign, stars, forefathers or luck! Your heaven and hell exist in your world, nowhere else. So you get what your doings are worthy of.
  2. Your world is exactly the way, you want to see.
    You want to see glass of water half full, you would see it that way (positive way); you insist on seeing it half empty, nobody can stop you (your negative way). You believe your world is beautiful; you would find thousands things that would make you blissful. You think it is ugly; there would be hundreds incidences to unnerve you.
  3. If God is everywhere, then God has to be inside you too.
    When would you realize your infinite godly power? If you don’t even now, you would be eventually nothing but goddamned.
  4. Your fortune is not fixed at any place in universe, by any of prior events that would make things happen to you in a predetermined way.
    It is a myth that it gets fixed by date and time of your birth or any sign or star. Never allow your confidence that “it is you, who is continuously shaping your destiny by what and how you do” gets shaken, regardless of crisis or conflicts, you may face.
  5. You get = what you give.
    This is the greatest equation of nature; you can’t defy it whatever you do. You often tend to misunderstand this and hence miserable. If you make someone happy, happiness would chase you. But, if you hurt, you would also get hurt. It applies to every aspect of your life.
  6. Rules of Nature are exactly same, regardless of your status.
    Nature can only identify “plus (+)” and “minus (-)” and it cannot differentiate or discriminate between strong or weak, rich or poor, famous or failed etc. Formers in each of these pairs do right or positive things and hence, Nature helps and latter ones generally do negative things, so nature hurts. The rules that apply to Bill Gates or Barack Obama, also apply to you.
  7. Unlike micro level (particle or sub-particle), at macro level positive thoughts or karmas attract positive ones and repel negative ones. Vice versa is also true.
    Therefore, hopes would bring you happiness; worry would only bring you woes. Why you often hear “love for all”, because then you would be liked and loved by all. Hate would only increase hatred.
  8. Our very existence is contingent to presence of positive and negative, good and bad, right and wrong.
    These would always co-exist in pairs. Importance of pleasure does not come without pain; relevance of day light comes from darkness in night. Crucial is to hold positives and keep negatives away. You can manage this well, when you accept this fact, respect positives and don’t react against negatives.
  9. Your past memories consist of 2 components – information and emotions. It is past emotions, which is cause of your pains or problems.
    Past information is important to build your knowledge and intellect. Past emotions bring you envy, ego, anger, anxiety, lust, greed…
    A morning newspaper has tremendous value till you gather information and your emotions get evoked. You would retain information, since it is valuable; but you would trash newspaper after reading and that is what you need to do with your earlier emotions! Emotions are relevant only in the present!!
  10. Path, by which you go up, is always different than the path by which you come down or fall.
    Therefore, make sure that you are worthy, before you take upward journey. Choose your steps mindfully; otherwise your fall could be very steep.
  11. Your technical or hard skills are no more than computer hardware, which is only run by software of “your consciousness and character, moral and ethical values”.
    Normally, we focus on hardware, making software frail. So, most end up with keep applying patches and make it pathetic! Both needs to be equally strong, but with a bias towards latter and have to go hand in hand.
  12. When you excel, you get exposed to adversity! If you become gullible, adversity would grip you.
    History is privy to innumerable instances. Bill Clinton, at his peak during 2nd US Presidential term, Tiger Woods or Rajat Gupta could not escape this.
    But, you CAN, if you follow these dozen facts with all fervor and force!

So, life in 2013…

  • Presents to you infinite possibilities.
  • Helps you to make a real difference.
  • Tells you are uniquely empowered by nature.

Whether you believe or not, these facts are verified and re-verified and hence would stand tall. You make a Choice – whether you want to believe these and add life in year 2013 and beyond or otherwise, just add another calendar year to your life!

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Cause of your main Confusions – your mind being mired with Myths & Mythologies!

It is myth to believe, a person however sane and sober he/she is, would not become or be seen as crook in the company of crook/s! The fall of Rajat Gupta, former Managing Director of Mckinsey and Board Member of Goldman Sachs USA, vindicates.

Look at long revered legend – Lance Armstrong. He believed that he can succeed and survive on doping and deception. Until few weeks back, he might have thought his belief as sacrosanct. It was a myth! He took number of years to build his reputation and respect and then, enjoyed the returns. These, now, lay in ruins and replaced in no time by pricks and pains!

Most influential and impressive leaders believe that they are not vulnerable and therefore, feel tempted to indulge in immoral acts, believing their power and persona would save them. History has shown that such beliefs always proved to be myths and messed up not only their private life; but also public image! To site some examples – former US president Bill Clinton, NASDAQ chairman Bernard Madoff, IMF president D. Strauss-Kahn etc.

When myths and mythologies mingle with mind and life, you would not be able to even comprehend how these could contribute to your dilemmas and damages.

Roots of Myths and Mythologies

Myths and Mythologies get mired with your mind and make their way into your life, generally when you are innocent, ignorant, indecisive or insecure. Following are very typical situations, when these tend to take roots:

  1. When you face crisis.
  2. When you lack confidence or conviction.
  3. When you are confused or at cross-roads.
  4. When all possible efforts by you do not yield results.
  5. When you carry guilt.
  6. When you are unaware.
  7. When some incident impacts you or an idea is drilled in your mind during tender age.

I know of 2 business men – one dealing in white goods and other one in shares and securities as broker. Both were facing issues of declining business and margins. When it became worst, one of their common friends suggested taking advice of Vastu Shashtra (analogues to Feng Shui) expert to help revive their business. The expert suggested in 1st case changing the entrance and layout of the business premise and for 2nd case, he pointed out the business premise is very ominous; the business man should abandon it and go for another, for which he would advise its layout. Both business men followed Vastu expert’s advices and incurred substantial expenses. 1st person gained lot of confidence after making the changes and started pursuing his business aggressively. Business improved and he became a strong advocate of Vastu! 2nd person ran in financial troubles due to heavy investment and hence had to scale down his business, only to add to his woes.

There is no answer why Vastu helped one and not another? Did the new found confidence and conviction help 1st business man and whether he could have got these even without Vastu? Or Vastu just kicked up his confidence…?

World’s most expensive house built in Mumbai few years back by one of top 20 world’s wealthiest persons ranked by Forbes as of date – Mukesh Ambani was reportedly lying vacant, because his belief that it would bring him bad luck!

So, in above 7 situations, most people have difficulty to hold the ground and become gullible to seek solace in myths.

Forms of Myths

These could exist in 3 forms:

  1. As part of perceptions
  2. As part of rituals
  3. As part of faith

Myths thru rituals and faith are not as damaging as perceptions with myths. The rituals and faith laced with myths do lead to spending unproductive time and hanging on hopes, until dragged in disappointments and dubious decisions!

Your perceptions, which are myths, are real problems, push you for pesky behavior or dicey decisions and put you into dire straits.

Common perceptions, which are myths

  1. You can compensate bad karmas with goods ones.
    This is not possible! You may become extra good; visit holy place or take a holy dip! But, you cannot escape paying a price for wrong karmas.
  2. Through punishment or punitive actions, people can be made to learn their lessons.
    People actually earn fear or rebellion; be it a child or adult.
  3. Offence is the best form of defense or defense can save you from offence!
    Either is a myth. You do not need offence or defense, if you are sincere and sacrosanct.
  4. You need power and position for employees to listen and respect you.
    This in bunk! You can never command or compel respect; respect needs to be earned through your character and credibility.
  5. Quality comes at a cost.
    Quality saves cost and improve productivity. If not, people have mistaken understanding and approach.
  6. Killing competition is a good business strategy.
    You would only kill yourself!
  7. By helping a customer, you do a favor.
    Actually, you do a favor to yourself; customer, in any case, needs to be helped.
  8. Hard skills are immediate necessities; soft skills can wait or treated optional.
    Hard skills are incomplete without soft ones.
  9. Performance of an organization depends on how it is driven from top.
    It actually depends on how top makes it bottom driven and how good middle order employees, who are most crucial, are made to perform!

How to master Myths and Mythologies

  • Ponder or prepare list of your perceptions and do 3 reality checks on which of these (a) make you happy, (b) do not hurt others and (c) help you to get what you aim at or match with realities which you experience, on a repetitive basis.
    Keep only those in your mind, which pass the above checks; push out all of the rest. It would not be easy, if you have lived too long with those; but do not throw your towel.
  • As regards your rituals and faith, retain only those, which give you peace for self and love for others. Relinquish those, which trigger your negative emotions and hatred; discard those ruthlessly, irrespective of your doctrine.
    This can also tackle terrorism and fundamentalism.
  • When you are at cross roads or crisis, never allow 1st set of reactions to set in your mind. Stay firmly on your feet, sit back and then steer forward by following principles of above 2 bullets.

If you can embed above 3 steps in your mind, Myths and Mythologies cannot mess up your life!!!

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