Tag Archives: Sermons

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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Answer to often asked question – Why I am here?

Discovering "I"; Source: http://www.flickr.com/

This question does trouble minds of most people often, however, more painfully or prominently when they are either full of troubles or free from all troubles!

If you look at any faith or religion, you would find that there is direct or indirect mention of “why you are here and for what purpose”! However, my talks with several people, state in which our societies are and innumerable writings do not suggest that majority of people are satisfied with the answers given thus far for “Why I am here”.

So, let us try and find out the most logical answer to this significant question. A right answer can indeed revolutionize your life!

To start with, let us speak about unspoken reality worldwide. We have arbitrarily earmarked some areas and reserved same for God or God men. But no where you can ever find that such a reservation is done at the instance of God! Unwritten sermons are that these areas are prohibited for common public to even think about, leave alone a discussion. It is this reality that has given rise to false practices and perceptions about God. To get a right answer, we have no option but to peep into some part of these areas.

Next question then pops up – who decides that you should be here? There are only 4 possibilities:

  1. You are here by wish of God
    This is by far the most popular belief! In one of my previous articles “Two third cancer cases on a/c of luck..”, we have deliberated whether God is located somewhere in our universe in his heavenly abode or he is everywhere and hence resides in us also. Conclusion is clearly in favor of the latter i.e. God resides in us also.
    Now, it is very important to know that though God resides in trillions of trillions particles or living beings, he is one and only one. It is a different matter that mythology shows him in different images and forms. Why would God exercise his wishes on such a huge number of living beings?
    It also means that there is no space without God. So, to think that God would bring you “from somewhere to here” does not stand to any logic! 
  2. You are here due to nature’s cycle of birth and death
    This automatically implies that concept of rebirth or reincarnation is valid. Till date, it has remained only a conjecture, in absence of any scientific evidence.
  3. You are here by your choice
    All of us are familiar with biological process for conceiving a life prior to birth. Nothing like “I” or brain exists to make a choice. So, this option looks farfetched!
  4. You are here by chance
    Scientists in field of quantum mechanics, which is the basis of birth of all modern gadgets and artificial intelligence, would happily agree to this. There is randomness or uncertainty in saying that you are here by chance, which is what quantum theory advocates! But, there is no real scientific research conducted so far on what is life and hence it does not hold any water!!
    On other hand, spiritual leaders would be prompt to defer “chance” to heavenly hands, which is same as point 1 above!

You can see from above that all 4 possibilities fall flat on one count or another and leave you confused.

Demystifying and comprehending “I”

To understand “I” is most significant aspect of our life.

All of us know who we are and what we do. We recognize ourselves through our body and thoughts. Yet, we hardly know what exactly is “Self” or “I”!

Look at a child up to age of 4 years or so. She or he observes, recognizes and responds; but, does not know what I is! For her/him, “I” does not even exist, except for verbal use of this letter!! “I” takes birth in her/him, the day child learns to think or focus on her/his body.

It is absolutely important for us to know that it is journey from childhood to adulthood that we discover and then discuss “I” or “Self”! Before that “I” or question “Why I am here” is non-existent!! Once we start to recognize “I”, then we acquire analytical abilities. If we are too attached to “I”, it turns into ego and if we are just aware of “I”, it turns into esteem or pride!

More we are focused on external objects in terms of actions or thoughts for same, farther we go from “I” or self. We come closest to self, when we focus on our body or breath! But, it is a real paradox that you can never ever experience “I” by itself. “I” is essentially your consciousness, which you require to observe or experience anything! So, how can you experience the thing (i.e. I), which you need for that very experiencing?

To conclude, the question “Why I am here?” is totally irrelevant; ill conceived! If we are asking this question, it is only because we have not realized true meaning of “I”, which is now possible through this article.

“I” i.e. your consciousness is there (like you say God is there); but you can never say it is here!!

So, just be aware that (your)Self is there and see your world through this Self! Then your ego would wane automatically and your vision would widen dramatically!!

As regards “Purpose for which we are here”, please see 2.0 version of this title in the coming weeks.

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Unique relevance of Unclear and Uncertain Areas in setting and netting your goals!

If Lionel Messi of Barcelona club, who has been rated as the best soccer player today in the world, knows exactly how to break defense of opposite teams and score a goal, he would no longer be the best nor would he have thrill to play. If his tactics are clear and definable, he can be beaten easily by his opponents. Worst would be spectators losing charm to watch him, because they would know how would he move and score! So, it is the unclear area or undefined move that Messi or any other player makes to break the defense and net the goal, and that is what keeps him and audience glued to game!

Another thing we don’t realize that to say “I have nothing to do” is meaningless! Your mind always does something. You get a feeling of nothing to do, only when you are searching for something and don’t pick one. You are, then, actually in an uncertain zone and eventually, come out of it when you start doing something, which no one but you resisted earlier.

Nearly everyone realizes that having goals, short and long terms, are critical for a meaningful life; but what is new here is that it is unclear and uncertain areas, which bring excitement and motivation! When things become black and white, curiosity dies, so also the drive!!

Paradox is we die to know things clearly; but our motivation to live comes from unknown. No sooner clarity and certainty come, life becomes lifeless!!

Here are interesting findings from my research that a good life revolves around:

60 % clear areas

These are ones, which you know or are able to perceive what to do and what can happen by not doing same. For example – to save your teeth, you need to brush; punctuality is demanded by your company (whether you follow that or not is a different matter) or you step on a ditch, no one but you would be hurt!

There is a threshold for how much you should know and follow, beyond which it is detrimental. I know of a multinational corporation, whose top boss was highly organized and disciplined. His sermons to whole organization were that be fully system oriented and every employee should know how to perform duties. Over a period of time, this organization rolled out processes for every activity, it could imagine. After a couple of years, when “employee opinion survey” was ordered by the boss, he was shocked at the outcome – motivation and excitement levels of employees were very low! Later, he also learned from his HR that there was alarming rise in spouses deserting the company employees. He could relate the reason later, when in a company party, an employee narrated to him proudly how he always plans his weekends on hour to hour basis in advance!!

So, to operate in areas where you have nearly 100% information or knowledge is really no brainer and hurts over time. Threshold appears around 60%.

30 to 33% undefined areas

Believe it or not; we have 30 to 33% areas, which we follow; but we don’t or are unable to define or understand the reality or rationale behind!

Boss of above company developed the trait of being highly organized and disciplined; but could not figure out whether it is good to impose that on employees.

A life size example is the faith you follow! Faith beckons when it is blind!! If you try to find rationale behind your faith, it would only fracture or even disappear.

Another important example is talent/s, which people have whether technocrats, singers, sportsmen or artists. They demonstrate their talents; but don’t know how and why! Perhaps this is where their secret lies. What exactly makes Beyoncé Knowles to mesmerize her audience? If she tries to know, she would risk losing that!

7 to 10% uncertain areas

Everyone has at least 7% of areas, which are completely uncertain or unknown; but at same time the most unique by opportunity!

These areas should be used to set your goal/s – you want to be CEO of a Billion Dollar Company or want to own asset worth 10 Million Dollars and you don’t know how to get there, set that as your goal! Direct your efforts and make continual correction in that direction, without getting desperate. You would have a chance to get there.

Moral of story

  • Knowing and following too much is troublesome!
  • Don’t tread on the path most traveled, as it is going to be chaotic and congested.
  • Be ritualistic but not more than 60% of your life and time.
  • Demonstrate your talent, creativity and/or beliefs to the extent of 30 to 33% in your space and time. If you do more, you would invite problem with your beloved or buddies! Seek to know what is it; but not why it is!!
  • Determine your goal/s from what you don’t know how to get! You have 7 to 10% of areas, which are uncertain for you and your success eventually comes from those!

If you do the above, your story would certainly be exquisite and excellent!

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