Tag Archives: Virtues

Does phenomenal rise invariably rings in pathetic fall in max. of 4 years?

abcIndian iconic industrialist Ratan Tata retired at the age of 75 years from chairmanship of Tata group and appointed 46 years old Cyprus Mistry as his successor. This was indeed phenomenal rise of young Mistry. But recently, 4 years later, Cyprus Mistry has been sacked from chairmanship of the group for several reasons, one of the main being allegedly not following ethos of the group.

Is the fall of Cyprus Mistry attributable to his young age, inexperience or being a non-conformist?

John F. Kennedy rode to climax of his popularity and became US president at young age of about 44 years. But, less than 3 years later he was assassinated. Dark patches in his private life and assassination still remain a mystery. Bill Clinton became US president at the age of 46 years and rose to the crest of his popular appeal in about 4 years’ time and got reelected; but within 2 years thereafter, he was impeached by house of US representatives for a sex scandal. Barack Obama came to power as President at the age of 47 years and he seems to have sailed thru choppy waters during his 2 terms totaling 8 years but did not do anything phenomenal. Now, Donald Trump, despite a trail of scandals, has risen to peak of his popularity and been elected as US president at the age of 70 years. It remains to be seen how long he is able to sustain this peak.

Phenomenal boom of dot-com companies occurred in 1995 and lasted 4 years. Dot-com bubble started to bust from 1999 and it collapsed completely by 2001. US housing bubble peaked in 2004 and it busted in year 2007/2008, shattering financial markets worldwide. Iconic PC manufacturer Dell Inc. saw peak of its performance during period 1999 to 2003. From year 2004, Dell Inc. started its downward journey.

Do the above examples suggest that a rise, if phenomenal, has a limited period – perhaps a maximum of 4 years and then pathetic fall invariably follows?Non-conformist,

4 stages of phenomenal rise

Be it an individual, industry or institution, generally there are 4 stages of evolution of an exponential rise:

  1. Revolutionary idea or step
    It starts with a dramatically different but decent idea or step (like appointing or electing a very young person as leader) to address a formidable situation, crisis or an ambition.
    This can see a radical change at the top level in an organization, business model, product mix or disrupting existing practice/s.
    This stage brings lot of hopes and optimism at individual or collective level.
  2. Raising pitch
    In order to take all stake holders, customers or public in general together, an euphoria is generated by proponent/s of stage 1. Giving new vision, nice slogan/s or high sales pitches are very normal at this stage to sway the opinion of people.
  3. Razing partly or fully the old order
    Soon, realization comes that some or whole part of existing system is a stumbling block to implementation of stage 1 and only option is to dislodge it partly or fully.
    This is the stage that brings more pains than pleasure and gives birth to bête noire. Legacies and old ethos have to be bypassed.
  4. Rise
    Original idea now starts to show results. This stage also sows the seeds of greed for growth; but no one likes to look back until a climax comes.

Phenomenal rise would always prove to be premature!

Very idea of phenomenal rise is fraught with possibilities of pathetic fall.

At no stage of such speedy rise, there is enough time to broaden the base and strengthen qualities or support structure.

When you drive for height, you lose breadth in proportion. If you are young, you have energy but lack experience; you may be tough in your targets but slip on tenacity; you have to manage conflicts but with missing maturity.

During upwards journey, you are oblivious of fact that velocity and virtues, quantity and quality are mutually exclusive.

Sharp rise is only a short cut to growth and works for a short time – may be a max. of 4 years.

So, put your faith in something steady and solid in forward direction.

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Why likes of Trump would not only survive but always thrive

Portrait of angry boss shouting at his secretary through megaphone who is indifferent to it

How not to get bulldozed by bully! Image source – flickr.com

Look at any country, company, community or family – difficult person or people always dominate and decent ones lie low. In a school classroom, naughty students are always noticeable and receive teachers’ most attention; but nice ones find themselves neglected.

In just concluded US Presidential race, it is widely believed that both of main contenders were difficult personalities; but then what made Donald to trump Hillary?

Few days back, a respectable Indian newspaper carried an article penned by a well-known writer about 2 drug lords – Pablo Escobar of Colombia in real life and Walter White in reel life. She narrated how impressed she was by their sheer dynamism and determination, sharp minds and wished that such unmatched talent could be channelized for good cause of our society. She is not alone in her thoughts of compassion and sympathy. Most of us are very fascinated by villain-heroes, who are on relentless pursuit and ruthless run for a cause they believe as fair but by flouting every law. What most or masses always mistake in understanding that massive energy and enigma of such heroes exist only because they are villains!

The seed for power and popularity

The seed for power, position and publicity is in man’s Ego. If level of ego in a person is above certain threshold, it creates uncontrolled desire and drive for name and fame, nurtures blind belief – “I am the one, who alone can be right and can do it.” Mind of such person gets shut from realities and respect for others.

If you have watched Donald Trump, he enjoys extra high level of ego, much beyond the threshold, when compared with his rival/s.

By-products of ego are arrogance and reckless run for one-upmanship and showmanship. On a larger platform in a country or company, ego and its by-products are often misunderstood – ego is perceived as esteem or pride; arrogance is projected as great confidence and reckless pursuit is pronounced as passion. It is more prevalent in developed societies, who like to gloss over qualities in preference to quantities. I have been privy to host of such incidences during my tenure with a US multinational company.

Spreading negativity and then making positive promises

It is very easy to declare things are bad; but it is difficult to say things are good since that would need intelligence and patience to substantiate. People easily get alarmed when they are told that things are going to be bad. It evokes their emotions and creates confusion.

Likes of Trump master the art of painting a dismal picture of present even if it is rosy, exploiting people’s emotions and manipulating those with positive promises. Therefore, the slogan “I would make America great again” has gone down pretty well with public, not knowing by which account USA has indeed gone down!

People sympathize with who they perceive as victim or powerless

We often misunderstand mindset of masses.

If you have noticed, throughout election campaign in USA (and that happens even elsewhere), rivals and media were busy exposing (bad) truths about Trump but never brought his myths in focus. He was smart enough to project himself as victim in the hands of media and party in power. He could translate it into public sympathy. On other hand, Hillary could never be seen as victim of allegations by her rivals, as she was once in powerful position and now backed up party in power.

Virtues of one in power can easily be translated into vices by the one who is powerless.

So, as long as we succumb to our ego and negativity especially fears, likes of Trump would always succeed and we will not be able to wield our true strength!

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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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Can Real World ever be an Ideal World?

Ideal Life is your Ideal World! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

All of us dream of an ideal world! Can it ever become a reality? Or what we consider as ideal is only a dream, a piece of fiction or imagination? Is it that our definition of ideal world needs to undergo a change?

These are valid and natural questions, which do come in the minds of most people. These are prompted by the fact that quality of our life, in general, has been steadily degenerating; it is incrementally becoming complex by passage of every day.

Look at a single event of 9/11. It has created impact of such magnitude that one wonders whether that we would be ever safe like before. World has been drastically polarized by faiths and politics. Amazing technological advancements have empowered well and ill meaning people alike. Well-meaning people would always have automatic limits for what they do; but ill-meaning people would act with no limits!

Above are global issues. If you have your personal issues like a good career, high expenses compared to earnings, peace of mind or relationship, you would care the least about issues which you see as beyond you. But you have no clue, how those are impacting you silently. One fine morning, you would wake up to face those. May be by then it is too late. So, wishing any issue away is bound to make you worse off!

Many faiths or societies talk of golden era of the past. Even if that was not a myth but a reality, fact is we have steadily gone down from that era. So, something is definitely missing; otherwise why that era, if it was truly golden, should have not sustained?

So, are we at point of no return?

Contradictions seem to be normal way of life!

Look at the following how we live on throes of contradictions:

  1. We strive hard to gain power. When we get it, it goes into our head and poison it, rather than entering into our heart and making us humble!
  2. What we don’t have, we worry about and when we have a lot, then also we worry e.g. money, position or popularity. So, we hardly enjoy what we have!
  3. When we have energy, we lack experience to reap the fruits; but when we have experience, we are low in energy to enjoy the ripe fruits.
  4. We enamor those who can manipulate our emotions; but hardly show interest in ones who stimulate our imagination!
  5. We advocate virtues; but, end up adoring or adopting vices!
  6. What we dislike always dominates our mind; but what we like disappears fast.
  7. What is tasty is seldom healthy and what is healthy is hardly tasty.
  8. What we stress to remember, we surely tend to forget.
  9. We find simple things are hard to do; but hard things easy to do.
  10. When we should keep our head cool, we make it hot. Where we should exercise restraint, we end up reacting or rebelling!

There are innumerable other examples, all of which point to the plain fact that contradictions are normal part of our life.

Need to redefine what is Ideal!

Our life exists because of pluses and minuses. Every plus produces its mirror image – minus and vice versa. Therefore, contradictions that we face are very natural. More we accept this fact, more would we be able to understand and manage.

Contradictions always create physical, mental or spiritual conflicts. Mental conflict here means conflict of our thoughts. If we can minimize such conflicts, real life would improve. So, an ideal life is the one which embodies no or minimum physical and mental conflicts! It is not peace, prosperity or luxury, which makes an ideal life. Of course, love or happiness is the state, which represents no conflicts and therefore, we construe that as ideal! But in practical life, we cannot be all the time in state of love or happiness. What is very well feasible to do is to minimize conflicts.

You don’t need money, power or position to make your real life as ideal, if you show will to do 2 things:

  1. Flow with nature and life!
    Don’t resist, don’t react or don’t question; just flow along the currents of nature and life. Accept what it is! Embrace the realities you face!!
  2. Don’t view 2 opposite aspects of any contradiction at the same time!
    Collision or conflict occurs when 2 opposite things fall together. When you look at each aspect separately by itself, you can understand it well and that would automatically stimulate your ideas and strength to deal with it.

These 2 are very powerful tools having deep meaning. These together work like auto-brake; if you understand and do right, it would automatically put brake on wrong or reckless doings including irrational innovations or advancements!

Moral sum is that if we can live with minimum conflicts, we would individually make our life ideal and together we will make it an ideal world!

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A miraculous quality – Focus, which is most misunderstood & misused!

Great Focus! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Most people understand what Focus is; but, misunderstand its meaning, power and use! If focus is correctly understood, we would become very different in our style and strength. Focus is one human quality, which has far reaching impact on our mind, body, soul, success, health and happiness!! All successful leaders to legends, businessmen to celebrities use this quality as main contributor to their success.

Focus can bring radical changes in your character and class. What you need is to fathom it right and follow it faithfully!

How focus is misinterpreted and misrepresented!

This is mostly because of lack of awareness. Though focus is talked about in all walks of life, including corporate, its correct meaning is hardly emphasized.

Focus does not mean:

  1. Having a concerted thought for desired object or activity, while allowing all other kinds of thoughts crossing your mind.
  2. Doing a single physical activity, for which you believe you are focused, while all types of thoughts are wandering your mind.
  3. Carrying a train of similar thoughts for desired object or activity but with interruptions.
  4. Multi-tasking, even if you believe you are fully concentrating on multiple tasks!
  5. Having more than one type of thoughts, though connected with same subject or object e.g., kicking football for penalty shoot-out, feeling nervous and thinking that everyone expects you to net a goal. Though there is one subject, there are 3 types of thoughts – to hit ball right, fear of failure and expectation of others! This is no focus and most probably, you would miss your target!!
  6. Headstrong or blind run for your objective/s.

True meaning of Focus

Focus means “your mind has a single type of thoughts, which is also driving your body in sync!” As an example, Focus on breathing means mind is having thought of breath going in and out and you are also breathing exactly at same time and sequence. Another example – you are at the goal post and your mind and body are fully in tune for hitting ball at right spot, with no other thought. Then, it would surely be a goal! Even if goal keeper tries to intercept you, you would miraculously deflect the ball past him!!

So, focus is mind and body getting fully synchronized to perform one and only one activity – “a thought or thought + physical action” at a time, when past and future lose their meaning to you.

When you continue to remain focused for a period of time, then either you would have same type of thought repeating in your mind or have a train of thoughts but each one aligned towards achieving your aim or goal. Let us term such train of thoughts as “Same type of thoughts”.

In practical life, it is difficult to remain truly focused all the time. What is important is high degree of focus, which can be defined as:

Degree of Focus = 2 ⁄ x

Where x is no. of same type of thoughts in mind per minute.

This is a simple formula, but has solid implications:

  • x can never be zero, because mind can never be blank, unless dead.
  • If x is 1, then it means that your mind has only single type of thoughts, which could be dangerous as it would go in a loop of same thought and can’t come out of same.
  • Ideal degree of focus in 1, when you have 2 types of thoughts – 1st for the object or activity you are concentrating at and 2nd to monitor its start to finish and take it forward to repeat or make only such variation adequate to reach your aim.
  • Practical degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3, where 3rd type of thought is for observing your body/surroundings.
  • If degree of focus falls below 2 ⁄ 4 = 0.5, you are no longer focused.
  • Distraction means other type/s of incoming thoughts, which interfere with single types of thoughts on which you are concentrating.
    Best way to deal with distraction is not to react or forcefully remove such incoming thoughts, but ignore; don’t give importance. Your mind would restore its focus.

Startling results of being focused

When degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3 and under no case below 0.5, you would observe that:

  1. Several of key your functions merge:
    1. Mind and soul or conscious and sub-conscious parts of mind
    2. Brain and Body
    3. Inner voice and Inspiration
  2. You would feel energetic and motivated.
  3. All negative emotions – fear, frustration, anxiety, anger, aversion or delusion would vanish.
  4. Anything that is feasible comes within your reach.
  5. You feel supremely confident and courageous.
  6. You won’t and can’t do anything wrong!
    In other words, degree of focus of ill meaning people is always below 0.5!
  7. You become amazingly effective.
  8. It brings a rare combination in you – being innovative and creative at same time!
  9. If you remain focused most time, your vitality and virtues multiply.
    It makes you happy and healthy.
    You may have observed that unhappy or unhealthy people are not focused. Conversely, focus can address your ailments in many ways!

So, if you wish to end your weaknesses and enhance wisdom, please start practicing “Focus” properly and prudently. You would then unlock real power and potential of this magnificent quality, which you possess!

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