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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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
- Likewise, Docile –> Dynamic –> Aggressive
- Reserved –> Communicative –> Over-communicative
- Weak or Frail –> Firm –> Ferocious or Fierce
- 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
- Acceleration of growth would eventually bring deceleration.
- Lots of learning leans towards liability.
- Perfection would rob you off flexibility.
- When your popularity rises, your vulnerability rises as well.
- Excellence would attract adversity.
- What goes up has to come down.
- 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!!