Tag Archives: Prejudice

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

yes-nein-or-yein

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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Can Intuitions or Instincts make our judgments free from errors?

Everyone relies on what we call as our intuition, instinct, inner voice or gut feel and act on same. But, is that a right thing to do or there is better way to make judgments or decisions? This is the question, which impacts everyone in everyday life!

Critical moments and crucial decisions put everyone on cross roads and throes of dilemma. There is more than one decision possible; each of those has its pros and cons, equal chances of success and failure. Analysis of situation states something, logic may support same; so, our mind is unsure which way to go!

This reflects reality in everyone’s life. Look at history. Famous decisions were taken by leaders on a flick of a second, while at stake were lives of millions – survive or slain! John F. Kennedy, popular US President was facing such situation in October 1962 on Cuban missile crisis. His military commanders were insisting on air attacks on missile bases, which had eminent danger of triggering nuclear war with USSR. Instead, he chose to stand firm on USSR dismantling missiles and take them away from Cuba. The decision worked and saved mankind of a major disaster! Look at another case of decision by Soviet Union leader Vladimir Lenin, which gave communism to world, cold war with West and costly arms race. As opposed to him was Mikhail Gorbachev, another Soviet leader between 1985 to 90, who showed courage to exactly do the opposite. Historians highly acclaim Gorbachev of his historical decision; but why he was the one and not others to do it? No one is able to say!

Demystifying Intuitions and Instincts

There are several terms in vogue – intuition, instinct, inner voice, gut feel, hunch or divine call. Do these mean different things or aspects? Many believe yes; but these are actually not. Each of these terms relates to an idea or thought suddenly popping up in one and same mind. Feeling of suddenness is very individual. Those who are conscious would see it coming. Most are unclear of suddenness, because their mind is normally in semi-conscious state.

Intuition or instinct is essentially a thought, which you get when your mind is free from any conflict, prejudice or presumption! May be it would not sound very convincing to you; but, that is the truth!

Do Intuitions or Instincts represent future reality?

Not necessarily!

Real intuition or instinct does take you towards what is actually going to happen. But believe me, it is not easy to judge whether what you feel as intuition is really real; everyone tends to misjudge it. Occasionally, you do judge correctly.

Following are broad categories of thoughts, which people get, when they sit on a judgment or decision, however small or big:

  1. Thoughts based upon perceptions
    These include prior information, anticipation, suspicion or fear.
  2. Thoughts driven by convictions
    These include one’s faith, beliefs or doctrines.
  3. Thoughts driven by pure consciousness or mindfulness

Normally, our thoughts are a mix of all 3 categories with type 1 or 2 being prominent, depending upon our occupation. For example, a technocrat, scientist or IT data analyst would have on an average 70% of type 1, approximately 20% of type 2 and balance 10% of type 3 thoughts. When he or she believes to get an intuition or instinct, % of type 3 goes higher at that time – say 15 or 20% mainly at the expense of type 1 and little of type 2. Those with strong flavor for religion or ism would have nearly 70 % of type 2 thoughts.

When convictions or perceptions supersede your consciousness, your decision or judgment could go either way – good or bad! Only when degree of your consciousness at a particular point of time increases to more than 50%, your decision or judgment start to go mostly right!! When your consciousness is predominant, then you would find following things happening:

  • You become more focused.
  • Your mind would distract less and number of thoughts crossing your mind at a time would be restricted to 2 or 3.
  • You suddenly feel more confident.
  • You experience new energy level.
  • You feel at ease and peace with yourself.

An intuition or instinct is real, when more than 50% of your thoughts are driven by your consciousness. Duration of such intuition or instinct would depend upon how long you sustain elevated degree of consciousness! Remember, if you become conscious, you would lose it.

Eliminating errors of judgment

No tools or technology can eliminate errors of your judgment and decision; your consciousness can!

We tend to make errors even in understanding what consciousness is. Becoming conscious does not amount to “having consciousness”. As mentioned above, consciousness or mindfulness is state of your mind, which is free from any conflict, prejudice or presumption! More you practice this state of mind; higher would be degree of your consciousness.

If you want your judgments be free from errors, it is the consciousness you need to crave and craft. If 50% or more of your thoughts are not driven by your consciousness, your gut feel or inner voice can fail you!

You can’t imagine how high degree of your consciousness can completely reshape your paradigm and make most of your judgments or decisions accurate!

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Like to be a real Leader? Create Contemporaries & not Followers!

Not sure, which subject is as extensively covered worldwide as “Leadership”. There are floods of articles by acclaimed to amateur people, development programs by management gurus, spate of theories, case studies and jargons on leadership. That shows its enormous importance and emphasis of top order. However, all of these have only created euphoria and excitement; but not leaders. It is a fact that world is hopelessly short of real leaders!

World of leadership could be very lopsided. This is the dilemma and delusion, most companies and communities have been facing. One of main reasons why leadership of many fails to cut ice is their inability to create contemporaries. It is hardly known to them that whole face of leadership radically changes, if its focus shifts to acquire competence to create contemporaries.

What tempts Leaders to create followers

Many think that demand and duty of a leader is to lead. In other words, others should follow. This defeats the very essence of leadership! It may be surprising to many that many qualities, which are essential for a leader, if not practiced properly, would trigger the temptation to create followers and resulting flaws. Here are some out of many:

  1. Strong personality of leaders (could lead to) –> Tendency to bulldoze their way and force others to follow their commands.
  2. Powerful communication –> Vice to hear own voice and discouraging others to voice their views.
  3. Passion to perform and show results –> Ruthless drive and walk over others’ concerns.
  4. Delivering commitments –> Coercing employees or people to perform and meet targets, without addressing their difficulties or barriers.
  5. Creating common vision –> Dictum for a common agenda; rather than working for a Change and creating consensus for a set of ideas.
  6. Drive to achieve goals –> Crushing resistance, friction or dissension in order not to lose the race and face.
  7. Believing in Self –> Disbelief in others, giving rise to arrogance and autocracy.
  8. Creating solid organization –> Carving hierarchy of followers, who then become leader’s favorite and blue eyed.
  9. Ethics and Ethos –> Showing stick for non-compliances without encouraging doing it by choice.
  10. Fostering company values –> Promoting values of self and in turn, own dogmas and doctrines, drilled in minds of people.
  11. Popular appeal –> Hooking audience to self through frenzy, fear or favor.
  12. Moral values –> Desire for going down in history with unique identity.

On left hand side above are the great values and qualities, which good leaders need to imbibe and endure. However, when they taste power and position, then under garb of leadership role, what they actually practice implicitly or explicitly are what is shown on the right side. They would do anything to get success and the best bet people find is to create followers through every mean available – fear, favor, frenzy or ferocity. Most leaders consider such approach justified, if they have to accomplish their objectives! This is how leadership degenerates and loses the luster!

Creating Contemporaries is a Game Changer!

If the focus of every leader changes to “Create Contemporaries”, it can bring a complete paradigm shift. It is an amazing game changer!

If ability, idea and intent of a leader are to create contemporaries, then he/she would automatically be driven to do the following:

  1. Respect everyone, regardless of competence, character, performance or experience.
  2. Inspire through ideas and persona.
  3. Motivate through empowerment and encouragement.
  4. Drive everyone to learn how to drive and not be driven.
    Often, leaders talk about “drive”; but their action has exactly opposite tenor, if they create followers.
  5. Credit be given, not taken.
  6. Fairness to reign supreme and “liking or disliking, whims and fancy, biases and prejudices” to relegate.
    Leaders take pride in talking about non-discrimination, equal opportunities and fair decisions; but when it comes to doing it, most have gap between what they preach and practice. Simple reason – their actual intention is to lead and not to create leaders!
  7. Empathy by lending ear and support to employees’ or people’s concern and issues.
  8. Leading by examples, leaving no gap between what one thinks, speaks and acts.
  9. True knowledge of Self & Self-awareness, including strengths and weaknesses.
  10. Courage & Consciousness to own and correct mistakes.
  11. Acceptance of good & bad, right & wrong in same breath.
  12. Mentoring as masterstroke to create Contemporaries!

If one action exposes Ugly Side, the opposite expounds Up Side!

It is funny, but a fact that most masters, leaders, preachers, teachers or gurus in every field believe in creating followers and tag them along (or followers hang around them). They have massive illusion of doing a great job; it’s not!

It severely limits the ability of followers to go beyond the boundaries of perception and perspective created by their leaders or masters, to bring radical or revolutionary changes and to discover realities of life.

Most leaders lead on familiar lines, encourage status quo (may be unknowingly) and have fractured belief of being a Change Agent!

The need is to do the opposite, shatter conventional methods and concentrate on competence to create contemporaries. That would be an auto-pilot to unleash the Change.

So, we need to leave a legacy of our own; not live on legacy of others!! 

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Why Common man to Companies go into Cycles of Success & Failure, Rise & Fall…!

One of the most common phenomena, which common man to companies and countries all over the world encounter is cycles of success and failure, rise and fall, economic upturn and downturn, high and low in growth/business/personal life or even moods, good and bad, comfort and discomfort. Duration and intensity of such cycles may vary; but nobody seems to be free from facing these.

Are these cycles inevitable? Can we manage to prolong good part of cycles and postpone and shorten bad part? Fact of our life is that no one wants to go through bad patch or part.

Why we swing in opposite cycles

There are essentially 3 rules, which demand things to drive in opposing directions:

  1. Law of pairing of opposite properties
    Every human quality, characteristic, feeling or thought has 2 opposite properties or polarities (+ and -) and relevance of one is because of its opposite!
    For example, significance of good behavior is because of bad one; pleasure loses its meaning without pain; win has relevance only because of defeat or loss and vice versa.
  2. Law of attraction of identical properties and repulsion of opposite
    Unlike micro or particle level, at macro or human level, positive or good would attract positive or good qualities or thoughts. Likewise, negative thoughts or event would attract similar thoughts or events.
    Nothing actually remains in steady state or equilibrium; every parameter is constantly undergoing a change. This is analogous to 2nd law of thermodynamics, which states that heat energy or entropy of a system is continuously increasing and nothing can remain in equilibrium.
  3. Law of Conflict (or Collision) of Thoughts and Action (CoT & CoA)
    Whenever there is conflict of thoughts or interest with self or others, it would give rise to negative character. Same applies to actions through voice or body! This is analogous to Newton’s 3rd law of motion i.e. for every action, there is equal and opposite reaction.

The 3 rules create a range for each quality, whose 2 extreme ends are negative!

Are you surprised by above caption? It is absolutely true! Let me give 2 real life examples:

  • A new employee A in an organization is shy and shaky. He (no gender bias) would soon discover that such qualities are barrier to his growth. He would also observe that other employees, who are doing well, are generally confident and communicative. This would give him realization that positive parts of these qualities i.e. being confident and extrovert are essential. Possibly, he would evolve and learn positive parts of these qualities. If not, there would be potential conflict with expectations of his supervisor or management. So, he would be under compulsion to bring a change or bring himself down.
    Once employee A is confident and extrovert, he would attract similar thoughts to make himself more and more confident (rule 2). This trend could make him arrogant, when he would invite conflicting situations with colleagues or customers or company (rule 3)! This would lead him to setback or failure.
    In short, he goes through –ive to +ive to –ive cycles!
  • A supervisor B is laid back and docile; but feels very hurt when he hears adverse comments from his peers and see them rising. He swears to change or get mentored to become dynamic. He does accomplish that. Now, whenever he encounters those peers, he feels repulsive and become aggressive. As a result, his management again starts to rate him as poorly as before he became dynamic!

It also applies to Companies or Countries, as these are headed by individuals. If successes get into heads these Heads, they would lose heart (for people); whereas their failures would invariably get into their heart, whereby they would lose their heads and job too, triggering a change!

It is very important to understand that we tend to define a number of qualities as stand-alone; but factually, many of these are +ive or –ive version of same quality. To cite some examples:

  1. Shaky, confident and arrogant are not three different qualities; 1st and last are –ive versions of confidence. One could also term these as under and over confident. These 3 form a range:
    Shaky –> Confident –> Arrogant
  2. Likewise, Docile –> Dynamic –> Aggressive
  3. Reserved –> Communicative –> Over-communicative
  4. Weak or Frail –> Firm –> Ferocious or Fierce
  5. Passive (or detached) –> Passion –> Possessive (or fanatic)

From above, it is clear each human quality or character has a range, say 0 to 100%, where:

0 and 100% represent extreme ends of negative quality or character.

0 to 30% is approx. range, over which degree of negativity goes down incrementally.

30 to 70% is approx. band width; over which positive part incrementally move up.

70 to 100% is range, when negative part again reigns in increasing order and becomes most damaging.

It is invariably CoT or CoA as per rule 3, which is the cause behind 0 to 30% and 70 to 100% range of negativity!

Famous opposite cycles

  1. Acceleration of growth would eventually bring deceleration.
  2. Lots of learning leans towards liability.
  3. Perfection would rob you off flexibility.
  4. When your popularity rises, your vulnerability rises as well.
  5. Excellence would attract adversity.
  6. What goes up has to come down.
  7. When you come too close to someone, it either develops cracks or craze.

Our un-mindful drive to perform puts us into perils of opposite cycles

Our pursuit to continuously grow, do better without break, improvise our qualities incessantly or chase wins ceaselessly is bound to bring us onto dividing line between right and wrong, positive and negative.

The only solution is conscious passion and pursuits!

Our prejudices push us from positive to negative

Most of us are not able to help prevent prejudices, biases, ego and emotions to shadow our mind and we pay heavy price without realizing reasons underneath!

We perceive that we are in the positive range of our qualities – true; but when we get reminded of our prejudices, we would switch from positive to negative range. No doubt, we would revert back to positive range later; however, we have started the ball rolling for swinging in opposite cycles. Next incidence of ego getting evoked would again do similar damage.

How to prolong positive part of cycles and postpone/shrink negative!

  • We have been given jargon – “Sky is the limit for growth and goodness”! Junk it, as it is intellectual bankruptcy!
    Most important is to realize earthly realities.
  • Be mindful of your passion or pursuits; left and right hand sides of middle (which is positive) range, is invariably negative!
    Strive to remain in middle range – 30 to 70% of the scale.
  • Most eminent sign or signal that we have come to edges of middle range is “Conflict of Thoughts (CoT) or Actions (CoA) emerging with self or others”. Avoid these as far as possible.
    When we do this, we would automatically start dropping prejudices or other vices!
  • It would, then, enlighten and enrich our lives!!
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