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:
- When you face crisis.
- When you lack confidence or conviction.
- When you are confused or at cross-roads.
- When all possible efforts by you do not yield results.
- When you carry guilt.
- When you are unaware.
- 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:
- As part of perceptions
- As part of rituals
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Quality comes at a cost.
Quality saves cost and improve productivity. If not, people have mistaken understanding and approach.
- Killing competition is a good business strategy.
You would only kill yourself!
- By helping a customer, you do a favor.
Actually, you do a favor to yourself; customer, in any case, needs to be helped.
- Hard skills are immediate necessities; soft skills can wait or treated optional.
Hard skills are incomplete without soft ones.
- 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!!!