The essence of Calm: Before, through & after a storm

At a time when I write this, we have a hurricane creating widespread damage along the South East coast of USA, this after having ripped through the nation of Cuba. Somewhere else in the world, there are massive protests and agitations owing to mishaps, political oversights, societal assertion of heir rights, at times with an overwhelming note that says, “enough is enough”! If you thought this was enough for a day on the planet Earth! Well, try to dig a bit deeper and you will find many unfolding events- seemingly isolated at the start- but as you begin to see the emerging pattern all these seemingly isolated incidents soon enough begin to throw up an interconnected and intertwined pattern that weaves the fate and future of the planet and humanity at large! Join me here as we try to decipher a way around the seemingly fluid conditions that arrive to greet us every morning- whether that’s the co-worker who has decided to move out, the business that wants to shut down or grow fast or a nation that wants to re-write it’s perception- the singular answer that humanity seeks is “How do we stay calm- anchored” with all or any of these playing out around us! So here we go!

To begin with, the reality is, storms are ever present and everywhere- at times visible, at times hidden in lain sight, at times expressed and yet at some other times subtly parked away- only to be sensed by those attuned with the contexts around! Whether it’a massive natural calamity that’s heading your way, a society (of which you are a part of) or perhaps a witness to the unfolding’s around, the only real way to grasp and act or decide not to, will all be achieved and remain effective only as long as you have a quick thinking, flexible, fluid and calm mind at work- a mind that knows too well, that no time is ever right for an emotive response- no matter what the situation is- what really makes sense and matters is a rational and collected calm mind which can open up locked challenges with or without a key- but for sure will always ensure that you as an individual will embrace the least damage in whatever you choose to engage with!

The Calm mind before the storm: A calm mind is able to foresee and anticipate the storm as it begins to gather pace- you may want to argue- why can’t it stop it- that’s where a lot of pre-emptive follies take place- when emotive anxiety overtakes rational and wise observations, many a times we need to act in a rush to solve a problem (which we think is arriving), we actually end up creating more grave and more intense problems which are far more real and damaging and pale in comparison to what would have actually come your way! You see, a calm mind is not about inaction or inertial resistance- it’s more about being able to stay collected, observant and pragmatically thinking to estimate two relevant parameters- how much of what is being gauged- is real and what is the probability of that reality coming to life! It’s only when a correct assessment of a perceived problem is done through this lens, that you will be able to hold a steady hand as you ride through choppy waters of a fierce storm! Like every chef knows too well, great food becomes possible only when ingredients are well picked and uncertainties are dealt with through the process of cooking- all of these requiring a focussed and calm mind!

The Calm through the storm: Whether or not you were able to prep your mind, before storm that came your way, you still have a decent amount of hope on your side if you are able to improvise and stay calm as the storm dawns upon you! Whether it is that tough deadline at work, those spreadsheets and presentations taking a toll, or it’s that number crunching that’s driving you insane or that eternal worry about a perspective client- will they or won’t they sign the dotted line! All of these and many other instances can actually arrive with little or no warning, throwing your minds straight into the proverbial boiling water! When this happens, and it will some or the other time- through your long and illustrious life- you will be gladly surprised that at times, doing nothing at all can be a wonderful thing to do! A calm mind has the potency and power to discern with laser sharp focus and no matter how cluttered the subject on hand- or how ambiguous things may seem to be- as longa s you have a calm and focussed mind- you will be able to firstly decide whether you need to act or not and if you need to, you will be able to calibrate the intensity, force and direction of your action- ensuring you are acting in the right way and the right direction to realize the right results! There’s never anything achieved by burning down your house to kill a rat! Right force- to the right space at the right time, is what translates into great results- don’t believe- talk to the paramedic or the fire fighter in your neighbourhood- they are the finest artists who have mastery on this art of staying calm through a crisis- always and each time!

The Calm after the storm: Now that the worst has passed by (for the moment), a clam mind helps assess the damage/benefit more accurately. Getting emotive, hyper reactive will end up damaging all and any benefit or lessons learnt through the journey, a calm mind will help you assess, articulate and formulate with finesse what works and what doesn’t, so that the next time you face a challenge you have a storm- you know what you should certainly not do! Sure enough not all storms are the same, neither in intensity, nor in their form, but the fact is, as long as you have learnt to harness the power of your mind by staying calm, chances are you will ensure that your damages are lessened with every passing storm, making you more prompt, wise and strong with each passing milestone of your life! Ins’t this the simple and foundational story and fact of our lives- no matter who we are, what we do and the different definition of success that we pursue- as long as we have a great ability of refined discernment- you will almost always be able to wriggle out of complex situations with as minimal damage as possible- the essence also lies in the fact, that to begin with try and avoid getting into those odd spaces (the area where the storms take birth!). This works well when it comes to deal with linear storms, that are unidirectional, but when individuals are confronted with multidimensional storms that have the potency to take down and impact one more more aspects of life definitions, that is when the real test of being “calm” is realized and if you ever happen to get into this space and walk out- perhaps even bruised and battered- but not bitter- trust me you will be completely newer version of yourself – as they say version upgrade2.0 or 3.0 whatever you may think fits well!

I leave you here with these thoughts for now, take some time to connect with that calm within and see the difference it makes for you- to choose your battles, check the storms and then ride ahead with more control and more resilience to emerge on the other side better, even though you may be a bit battered!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then the key word- “Calm”- realize, practise and cultivate it!

Tricked by your brain.

We live in an era, which is just that our brains need! Whether you struggle to take simple decisions or end up taking complex decisions on an impulse, whether it is signing up for the wrong vocation or whether it is taking the wrong bus- you can simply put the blame on your seemingly innocent brain- seemingly, because, no matter what your IQ is when the brain decides to call the shots, even the best of minds can go haywire! Join me here we take a sneak peek into this space and try to unravel what perhaps is happening here! So here we go!

There are many wise books out there, written by eminent neuro-scientists, psychologists, medical professionals, psychiatrists, behavioural experts; more or less all of them agree to one simple truth that the human brain is one fascinating machine that can throw all your theories and scientific analysis out of the mind and present situations that one has never thought of! Sure enough, through the last 100 years, as technological advancements have made it possible to assess and experiment the working of the brain- it has simultaneously thrown up more new questions than answers that it has found! Perhaps that explains why more and more medical professionals have started to agree that they don’t have answers to all questions and there is a point where even the best of scientific enquiry will fail and falter!

We dwell in times where instant gratification has got hard wired into us. One primary reason for that is essentially how we have kept evolving as collective societies- some places this aspect has played out more than elsewhere. The reason why instant gratification is so empowering is that, your brain’s love for inertia begins to blossom! Whether it is that communication about a remedy for looking fit, a chocolate that you can binge without worrying about sugar, or that air purifier which promises air as clean as whatever, fruits, apartments, job offers too? well our brains are always seeking to optimize the energy balance of our physical bodies- that implies effort / benefit analysis! So wherever and whenever your brain is able to decipher a decent trade off over effort and benefit- you are tricked! So what’s it’s about eating away that chocolate in the dead of the night, or finishing off those finger crisps while no one is watching, it’s all the part of the game! yes, sure enough office delegation techniques- both upward and downward too are a factor of this albeit with the compounding effect of the ever diminishing intelligence! So what’s the deal here? (another gratification question, I must agree!)

Simply put, our brain’s ability to decipher accurately the effort/ benefit space is what makes us as a species so unique and successful, no doubt around that. The problems start when the brain begins to deploy this while being influenced by inaccurate/misleading/ half-baked content that it receives! This is perhaps what throws even our poor brain off-guard- for beyond a point analysis will give into intermittent analytical paralysis and which will eventually grow into chronic indifference and apathy and end up changing your brain- from being an active -active discerning tool into a passive-passive reactive tool! You’ve heard about that phrase right, “Listen to Act, not to react” well, something like that, but sadly with more long lasting and damaging consequences!

An easy way to guard our brain, from reaching such a seemingly painful and unwarranted stage is to begin to filter what comes it’s way- the old adage “The company you keep!” Well, it works , whether you like it or not, be surrounded by people who are inspiring, more driven to specific causes, pursuing thoughts and ideas those are empowering and aimed for the larger good, looking outwards and upwards through sunshine and storm- this one simple trick will bring in a refreshing change and begin to re-wire and correct the lethargy and inertia over time as these more meaningful impressions begin to over-ride the cobwebs of the less serving and closed loop instances of the bygone time! As with people so with everything else, your choice of residence, it’s upkeep, the hobbies that you pursue, the vocation you choose (importantly the people you choose to work alongside or work for or have them work for you!), the books you read, the information that you soak in- what you allow to assimilate and what is that you filter and delete immediately- all this matters- even as much of this happens in an ongoing manner subconsciously, once you try to apply a focussed and directed effort to fine tune with some effort the results can be far more rewarding and enriching!

More often than not, you will also see that when it’s a fatigued brain, your ability to discern on a topic or task at hand, will seem to sway more towards an emotional response rather then being a calibrated rational discernment which is more logic and facts driven! This is another fall out a tired brain as it tries to strive a balance between the effort/ benefit space, the only undoing being that it’s perhaps not in the best of it’s health to do so! Something similar to wanting to lead when you are not ready for it, or trying to hit the asphalt when you are kind of a little tipsy, if not all sloshed! A tired brain, is in a simple mode- “If this doesn’t kill me, whatever action follows I am good!” so whether it is that meaningless shopping, only to come back and find out you have the same dress back home, or eating to realise, you actually have to rush to the washroom- because you lost track on the amount you binged! or many other such instances, which are almost always followed up with statements like “I should have, could have or would have” acted, done things differently!”

The trick to ensure that the brain is all wired right and is able to discern (and not emote) on the effort/benefit space is to keep it nourished and alert- as you may have guessed it a lot of that depends on what you consume and what is consuming you! Whether it is the food, the ambience, the people, the books, the social fabric around you- as long as you are able to soak in that adds value and empowers you to create lasting value- you will find your brain is as alert as that of a baby and is ready to usher in an eternal bounty of creativity/art and scientific enquiry based on the fundamental trait of a healthy brain- Inquisitiveness! A healthy brain, is always seeking, learning, un-learning, re-learning, adapting, adopting and building on what is meaningful and beneficial on the basis of rational and pragmatic discernment rather than an impulsive emotional response! I am no way suggesting that emoting is of secondary importance, rather when your brain is nourished you will find a greater degree of alignment between your rational discernment and your emotional responses and that’s when you hear the statements like “I love this life as I get to follow my passion and be successful through that!”

I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to nourish your brain, as you must so that when you have a geared up brain, the tricks that it plays, empower and surprise you in a more welcoming and pleasant way, ensuring you follow a path of empowered thinking, creating more empowered actions for an empowered life!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another topic, until then stay wise, stay nourished and consume what empowers you, not what consumes you!

Taming ambiguity.

If the bygone years and months have brought to us any worthwhile learning, it is about a singular fact- uncertainty and ambiguity are on the rise and whether we have signed up for it or not, they will come vising us, every now and then! Ironically what makes ambiguity, what it seems to be is, how we receive it, why we do so and what we do about it! Join me here as we try to explore how we can remain sane in an ever increasing insane world around us! So here we go!

To begin with ambiguity manifests in all it’s entirety, when it chooses an individual, organization or a society at large! You may often find islands of peace and control when evaluating ambiguity on a social or collective plane, however that fine line (which is so very important) seems to blur or get lost when it comes to dealing with ambiguity at an individual level!

Unlike conventional thought, ambiguity, chaos, uncertainty are not necessarily regressive or negative- need not be- it’s almost always how we react and prevail over them is what makes them seem to what they eventually end up becoming! Case in point, nations across the world face issues with regards to natural disasters, every now and then, at times with cyclical and predictable accuracy of occurrence,even as the intensity varies- floods, hurricanes, land slides, forest fires, ponder about the region 200 kms around you and I am sure, there is an element of uncertainty that lingers out there from nature’s perspective- but rarely does any of that scare or bother us- because through the evolution and development of the collective society, ways and means have been thought through to deal and engage with these events and instances- at times the methodology is evasive and that of avoidance and at times it is about deploying modern technology and pushing for a calibrated co-existence with its usual trade-offs!

When ambiguity visits us at an individual level, the stakes are often much higher for they leave us fortified or scarred for life or at least for a longer duration of our seemingly shorter life! The reason why this happens is that, in the rush of the life that we have embraced and lead, we often get that moment of isolation (the fabled “me” time) which is the foundation needed for effectively engaging and dealing with ambiguity! In the endless hurry of wanting to deal and deliver with everything that comes our way- we end up using the same yard-stick for every unique event that comes our way! To begin with rarely do we even bother to think, if we even need to respond to what is knocking at our door! You see, for making that choice to act/react or ignore one needs enough space and time (proportional) to what the ambiguity seems like to begin with! Act in a hurry, chances are you will end up complicating further a seemingly simple scout knot, decide not to act and chances are you may allow a simple problem amplify with time to assume a monster like proportion, causing you to lead a war which could have been completely avoidable! So what’s the way around this?

The foremost step, for effectively dealing with ambiguity/chaos is to take a step back and hover above and over what seems to be arriving at you! A bird’s eye-view- should Is ay an Eagle’s Eye-view is what is needed when dealing with pressing uncertain issues cropping up and racing at you! Whether it’s about you, an organization that you lead or a society that you are a guardian for- as long as you are able to rise and hover above what seems to be coming your way- chances are you will be able to take decisive steps and actions to quell and tame the seemingly ambiguous situation and make it more meaningful and actionable and ensure that a repeat of those same instances are avoided going further! Once this has been done, the next steps all boil down to the contextual realities and the least damaging option that one has at hand!

A lot unwarranted sweat and blood gets lost while dealing with ambiguity also because we tend to act/ react on an emotional note rather then applying the power of a discerning mind! There’s nothing right or wrong about this- because the story of human lives and societies has always been about the follies and failures of emotional overreach when what was required was a simple rational approach based on “I think” rather then “I feel”!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, giving you that intentional moment to reflect and plan on what you think your next approach will be like to engage and deal with ambiguity that either has already on your hand or perhaps just around the corner! Last but not the least, no ambiguity or chaos is bad as long as you learn to tame it! It’s not about what comes your way, it’s always how you deal with what’s coming you way! The human brain has infinite tricks tucked within to make monsters appear when there are none and also provide a false sense of security even as the ground beneath is sinking! About that- some other time! Until then, stay safe, stay sane and yes, “Practise the Pause” before you hit the button on your device to embrace or ignore what’s staring at you!

Ciao for now! Will be back soon with another piece- Some facet about The Human Brain seems an interesting aspect to write next about!

Lost in Transit!

2022 has been what it seems to be! Exhilarating, Stagnant, Challenging, Uncertain, Ambiguous and certainly much more then all of this, perhaps even something else to many of us! As I keep saying, Truth may be absolute, but realities of life are always contextual! Join me here (after a long hiatus!) to decipher this space were individuals and organizations alike seem to loose their way even as they dwell on the perception of being in control and are racing full speed ahead to reach a place- the only challenge being, the vectors to the direction are all over the place! What unfolds from these journeys, needless to say is a space of further dis-ease and chaos which only continues to fuel people ,societies and nations into the never ending downward spiral of misplaced priorities and lost battles (which are nothing more but grave miscalculations based on perceptions, more then anything else!) So here we go!

Sure enough the last few years, through the global slow down owing to the pandemic, upheavals in political priorities and social realignments the world over, pockets of fluidity have crept up all over the world with varying intensities making those areas that much sensitive or should I say Insensitive to what is really that matters and what is being perceived as important! This in turn has ended up creating the apt context wherein it is much more easier for individuals and societies as a whole to loose their way and end up arriving at a point in the future which they had never planned to be or opted-in for! This is the real essence of getting “Lost in Transit” and this is (whether you agree or think differently) what resides beneath every failed or failing decision that we act upon either as individuals or collectively as societies in general. At a societal level, at times inaction is gravely detrimental and more unforgiving then action with errors! But why do we land up this way, what really is happening here and what is that we can do about it, is there anything really that can be done?

No one, absolutely no one (irrespective of access to opulence) would choose a complex way of life where every moment seems to be a test of survival! Each one of us, all of us each day, begin with a healthy spoonful of hope and direction but by the time the day has gone by, we at times find the day was controlling and directing us more, even as we then thought we are the ones’ who were in control! Let me break this down for you! Let’s take this scenario which is so familiar and simple, you decide to be on time, reach the office, deliver that assignment (which you have already re-read a dozen times) and win that appreciation and put a check on your to-do-list for the day! Now the chances are either it plays out exactly as you scripted it should in your eager and anxious mind (even as you have a ton of confidence) or the chances are that among all the other elements that are passive to this event- the people, the place and the technology- either one or few or all of them could fail and sabotage the whole thing! It is not about your intention or effort going amiss, it is about the readiness of the context around to embrace and implement what you script!

If this could cause so much of angst for a simple office presentation for an individual, imagine the chaos and ambiguity that multiple events and varying scenarios can beget collectively for societies and nations and it is these compounding set of endless individual events that shape the large macrocosm of a society which eventually end up short serving the wider collective- which could be an establishment providing livelihood to a few thousand, a society of a few million or even a nation of a billion people! This lack of synergy between the ability to provide/ act and assimilation of it within the relevant spaces of a society is what derails and throws off track the whole direction and soon enough misplaced priorities begin to over ride and whatever little sanity is remaining for a meaningful voice shouting out right directions is silenced in the ever increasing noise and chaos of ambiguity all around! So how do we go abut this?

Answers to complex issues are never easy, and when it comes to ensuring that what is relevant overrides all that isn’t , the resistance to change and progress (which is inbuilt within individuals and societies) does all that it can to derail and lead astray even the most noblest of intentions! Perhaps one way of looking at this is, simply devise a plan or strategy to act to the contexts around and build answers to what the wider challenge seems to be (whether or not that is relevant and then seed in the real solution within it and deploy!) A kind of Trojan approach where the recipients get to witness the arriving solution as what they want/desire it to be and as they are drowned in the excitement that they have been victorious, allow the real intent to play it’s part and complete what it is meant to- even before the excitement of victory is settled, the job would be done and the society or the collective cohort would have been left with no choice but to align as they only had welcomed what came their way with all pomp and gaiety! Seems unfair, but in a world that is ready to tear down every shred of fairness, nothing gets more equal then this approach! Sure enough, this is what is used all the time by governments and businesses all the time, offering lip service of discounts, amnesties, rebates and then hiking taxation so what you got is eventually taken away!

On a more smaller scale- the space of personal and individual interactions, it becomes far more easier to avoid being lost in transit- for you have control to stay or move away as soon as you notice things are not aligned to what they should be and begin to assume forms for which you never signed in! To gauge this though, moment to moment awareness and alertness is absolutely required. Often people are too drowned into an emotional twilight zone where the only hue is different and varying shades of ambiguity and grey! Constant ignorance and disregard to what doesn’t fit so well by filtering everything through the lens of emotions, is more often then not what leads to individuals being missing the real direction, journey and eventually the destination and end up arriving at places and with people that they never signed up for! Whether its is about your personal space or the work area- this inability to think and discern on a rational and pragmatic scale often leads people short changing their approach and eventually the story of their lives often begins with, “I could have, should have…but!”

Sure enough, there is no standard operating life-manual for each one of us is wired differently inside out, but guess that’s what makes the world a wonderful place to be in, it’s only when these amazing wonderful and intelligent beings wire with each other in less meaningful and dumber ways that regression overtakes progress and we end up creating a future that no one signed up for! This is the real story of being Lost in Transit! To avoid, stay authentic and know when to move away from what doesn’t seem to be what it is meant to be or says it is!

I leave you with these thoughts to ponder over, as you arrive at your much earned weekend! Ciao for now and will be back soon with another piece and yes, let’s stay wired in the right earnest to empower and uplift all those whom we can as much as we can and as many times as we can!

Bye!

A mutating virus, a changing climate and stuck-on habits!

It has been a long hiatus since the last article, and has been for a good reason! No, nothing to worry, have been spared from the virus (as yet!), neither have I been been caught in the changing lines of raging forest fires or drowning streets or vanishing ocean coasts, what I was busy with was actually a deep observation and note taking of what’s unfolding on a macro scale all around us, whether its unfolding in the USA, some Latin American nation or some location within Asia, there are common threads that bind us in moments of triumph and despair and this short piece is all about navigating through these areas and try to realize the coded meaning that resides therein! So here we go!

It now seems like another life to even think and remember what normal social behaviour was and how it was to be “human” and to engage with fellow humans! Sure enough the virus did what it was meant to do (and continues to do so even as of now), sure enough there have been meaningless loss of lives all over the world and even more damaging has been the economic mayhem that has ensued- lost livelihoods, altered futures and what not, but within all of this chaos and ambiguity resides a singular fact and that is “We alone allow to be impacted by what comes our way, not because of what comes our way, but because of how we choose to respond or react to what is coming our way”!

The virus is a classic case, no one is taking away the potency and threat that it brought along with it, but what is equally important is the regard or should I say dis-regard that we as a society chose to offer it, which went on to empower the virus and allow it do what it did and continues to do! Stay on with this thought as I open the next unfolding challenge that plagues us on a routine basis- Climate Change!

I have written earlier on as well, to blame the Earth or to blame a changing climate is perhaps the dumbest thing to do! What we need to do and accept is that, we make choices which are in direct conflict with what nature wants to play out and if you build your home on a rail track, sooner or later you are going to be run over- you build it over a hundred times, you will be hit a hundred times! Like with the Virus, the problem with climate or rather the changing space around climate has more to do with what we have accepted and decided to pursue- call it development, greed or pursuit of the unknown- based on what suits the local narrative – stories are spun and sold day in and day out- the Earth really doesn’t care, when the next storm comes calling or the Earth begins to move and give away- it will not make a difference based on which political party is in rule over a given region- it will come down heavily as it desires to and will be indifferent on what side of the “argument on climate change” you decide to be on- as long as you stay in company of societies that violate basic and fundamental respect of nature- you too will be hit- more or less depending on how close or far away form the epicentre you happen to be!

Whether it is the story of virus or climate change, the common thread here is more to with the choices that we exercise and how they go on to shape our today and the oncoming tomorrow! The virus can and could have been halted by a simple act of “distance”, the issues of climate change could have been simply allowed to play out by providing nature the space that it needs and halting the senseless encroachment into nature especially in pockets where it has held it’s sway through eons.

Easier said, then done right, well sure that’s what it seems like, but that is the fact. The most complex problems almost always have simple and fundamental solutions; it is the unfounded belief and bias that we have developed as societies to come up with complex solutions to big issues, that leads us to create more complexity, rather then resolving the existing ones’ . This is perhaps the greatest paradox of the times that we live in! So you may now ask, so what next!

Well, real trick and the perhaps the only way is to shun away with the habits and behaviours that have “stuck-on” to us as individuals and as societies. It is these prejudiced dispositions which end up leading us to our own accelerated demise, as individuals, as failing thoughts or as failing societies and faltering governments’! Unless we resolve to bring about a fundamental and lasting change in what we seek, how we re-define success and failures, as Individuals and collectively as societies we will end up experiencing hits every now and then, each time our pursuits cross the delicate line between need and greed!

It is easy to blame a raging fire, a torrential downpour, those endless nervous landslides and earthquakes on climate change, flip channels and thank the heavens that your family and you are safe, but unless you do not adopt a behavioural change in consumption and way of living, you will continue to contribute to the effects of climate change and will only end up being a mute spectator to the ever increasing events. So what is that you can change as an Individual or a Society?

Well as an Individual, small choices, could be expensive, may not be can bring in a lot of change! Simple acts of prolonging the life of your clothes in the wardrobe, limiting your travel to meaningful pursuits, calibrating your consumption to what is necessary rather than what all that you can have an access to (simply because of who you are) can go a long way to make things a shade easier. Sure enough no one is asking you not to enjoy or live your life to the fullest, the only modification is to make that quest a bit more responsible and aligned to the right side of the line which nature wants you to abide by!

As societies, collective choices done with greater intent, focus and purpose can have a rapid and amplifying impact to bring about visible changes in a few years, doesn’t’ matter which is the next pandemic that wants to pay you a visit, or which weather condition is about to throw up a surprise at you, as long as you have built a robust social framework of value adhered existence for the holistic wealth of all the constituents and you have ensured you are well clear off the nature’s highways’ of change (the fire valleys and flood plains) you will be spared and more importantly the progress that you go on to make will be more sustained and more robust- simply because you will not have to walk into the trap of walking ten paces ahead every year, just to be pushed back by 100 paces every decade!

This fundamental acceptance to believe in meaningful and sustainable change at an Individual and societal level is the key and foundation on which resilience can be built to overcome the next challenges that may come our way either by the intriguing organism or by the splendid display of nature in all it’s glory!

I leave you here with these thoughts for you to reflect and decide on what singular change you would like to embrace to contribute and make the world around you and for you a shade better then what it was yesterday! Remember, it doesn’t have to be complex could be as simple as choosing your next cup of coffee with a little more responsibility!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and stay connected!

Your fail-proof plan to a fragile future.

The ongoing pandemic has united the world like never before- united in similarities and through sharp contrasts; it’s a pity that it took so many lives and a pandemic to realise what we have collectively as a society have, nevertheless this is the time to sharpen and ensure that you empower yourself through a plan- a plan which is as fail proof as the contexts that it is going to meet head on and as fail proof as it can be in the face of the next challenge that comes its way! Join me here, as we take a walk around this space and try to make sense of what it is to be really fail proof- and why that really matters! So here we go!

There have been innumerable best sellers, articles and scientific papers elucidating the value and importance of being able to plan. Whether its a plan needed for a nation, a society, an organization or simply a plan for self-improvement, we need them and our choice of acceptance and walking through one, eventually decides how great or how dumb that plan was! You see, like an aeroplane pilot, once you cross the take off threshold velocity, you have no choice but to stay committed to the decision and you alone are the one who has the ability to keep choosing more meaningful choices as they keep coming up every few seconds to ensure that you stay in flight and even if you face a problem, you are able to deal with them , by deploying the most potent solutions and choices that you can make in that context of time!

Sans the unwanted and unwarranted jargons and overly complicated suggested methods that tend to crowd the fashionable space of solutions for problems; in reality, the choices that we need to make as individuals can very often be very simple and it is their simplicity that makes them so empowering and meaningful! Whether the choices are about simple mundane things related to what we consume or if those are related to one-off important decisions pertaining to life- choices, as long as they are kept simple, rational & aligned they will almost always be effective and potent and good enough to keep you on your flight path to arrive at the destination of your choice.

The real trick to make these simple and effective choices fail proof and future proof is by allowing them to be intrinsic and aligned to who you are and what you are, rather then what you can do and what you cannot do! The reason why choices turn out to be bad in the long run and often tend to create more challenges then solutions, is not because you would have intentionally raced ahead to make a bad choice, but it has more to do with the dependability of the choices that you make on factors that are beyond your control and external. The more your choices are dependent on external factors, greater are the chances that at some or the other time in the future they will fail or falter, sooner or later they will! irrespective of how good that choice would have been in the context of time when it was made!

Once you have made this fundamental change to your planning approach by making your plans more intrinsic to you, the next equally important aspect is about putting your plan to test and see if stands true to the contextual settings in which it is supposed to operate. Many great ideas have failed even before they could be carefully considered simply because they cam in at the wrong contextual setting.

You may want to argue that how can we have plans those are intrinsic, contextually mapped and aligned, well the answer to that is, if you fail to do this and embark on following the popular methods and approaches, when the odd reset hit, you will also have to take the hit and whether you are responsible for that or not, will really not matter, because you made a choice to be on a wrong ride even after knowing the odds! If you are wondering about a good example for this, well if you are employed, you know what I am talking about here- remember the last time you did not get the raise that you wanted, even after all you did was right and simply because the management said, the company was not doing well, so you could not be given more! Or worse still, even when you did everything right, one fine day the business is sold off and with that your future! Even when it is about business and entrepreneurial pursuits, as long as you stay dependent on that vendor, supplier, market, you will one fine day, sooner or later stall and falter, irrespective of how right or wrong you have been! This is simply because the choices and the whole approach to your planning in all these scenarios is dependent on others, external attributes with absolutely no space for you to leverage on your strength that you may have at an intrinsic level!

The only and really sustainable way to have or devise a fail proof plan for your life, is by leveraging that around what you as an individual can do- irrespective of the external factors and the next important step is to ensure that you get placed in a context or environment where the surroundings begin to favour you or at best remain neutral to what you propose to achieve so that you have minimum resistance and you can accelerate at a speed that you are comfortable with none of the unwanted obstacles and road blocks that people normally face as they begin their business pursuits. Sure enough, business and wealth creation doesn’t happen in isolation or in vacuum, but there is no need to always climb a mountain, you always have a choice to navigate around it, if not totally avoid it!

A fail-proof plan has to essentially be your story, your unique approach to a solutions or a challenge which can be driven only by you and be controlled as much as possible by you! Something like being a chef, you knows how to craft that perfect signature recipe, the only requirement being- being available and in an environment where one is allowed to exercise that intrinsic skill! As long as you use your skill to be your pivot, no matter how choppy the future gets, you will still stand a good chance to ride the storm and reach a harbour safe enough to re-boot your life, but if you embark on a voyage, strapped in all kind of popular belief’s and biases, if a storm hits and the ship sinks, you will go down with it as well, simply because you are too invested in the ship rather then yourself!

I have intentionally avoided a typical management approach to this pieces, because when we speak about simplicity, the essence of driving that point resides in using as simple and as few as words as possible to install that faith and confidence in you that, life doesn’t have to be complex or complicated and yes, simplified living and simplicity is a choice which you can make and rest assured, even if you don’t hit the jackpot every now and them, you will never keep running in circles, trying to achieve the same elusive goals year on year!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, grab your coffee and think around, what is that singular intrinsic pivot upon which you can lead, create and sustain all that you want to plan and manifest in the times ahead and just to be sure, how insular it can be from what can get thrown at it- by the contexts that you move around in!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and stay connected within!

The journey from shock to indifference.

Humanity and the human mind have a strong intrinsic ability to flex and stretch, depending on what direction this flex and stretch takes and what purpose it serves or not, the space around and within that churn will either comfortable or simply daunting! Join me here as we take a look at a simple space which explains, why, whether it is about the pandemic or something routine about our lives- the phases that we go through will always remain the same, albeit the intensity and the impression may be stronger or lighter on us! So here we go!

Through history, if there has been a singular constant about humanity and the human spirit, it has been its ability to overcome all that nature or fellow humans can throw at them! The way of coping up with a new order almost always begins with a state of shock. The state of shock, which is more of, “what is this happening”, “I don’t believe this to be real”, “Why me”, “Is this for real”, “Is this the end” and so on and so forth. How long this stage lasts, determines how well and when a given society and individuals therein will be able to bounce back! The shock in itself has stages, the arrival, the onset and the subsidence. Often the arrival of shock , it’s onset leaves people confused, overwhelmed and hence many a times even after the shock subsides, people still continue to linger under the overbearing cloud of uncertain thoughts, which if not checked in time tend to become unfound fears or meaningless presumptions which go on to take the shape of limiting beliefs and thereby severely limiting the horizons of individual and collective possibilities for the society!

The way to overcome these limiting beliefs is more to do with the swiftness of acceptance and appreciating that the shock will subside. Acceptance is a midway beacon between shock and indifference. It is in this space that individuals and societies make a choice and that choice post acceptance of the shock and deciphering of the shock determines whether the society will move towards compassion, cohesiveness or embrace an unqualified and unwarranted indifference to everything that comes their way in the times ahead!

As long as acceptance is cohesive and progressive, societies and people are able to build themselves back and recalibrate the new terms of engagement and go on to create a meaningful life one more time all over again! But when this gets fragmented and societies emerge from the shock societies are more torn and race away to the final destination of indifference which then starts the timer tracking the imminent collapse!

Indifference is the hallmark of societies that are fragmented and divided in their attitudes and belief systems. The more the fragmentation , greater the indifference and when a challenge arrives, unless it is an existential one, almost all the time you will find one section looking towards a problem and another section looking away from it! This indifference then sooner or later creeps into the very nature of individuals and then you end up in a real time risk where no one really cares what is happening to anyone else, unless they face a similar and greater threat!

But then why is all this so important, how does it matter? Well if you have been awake through the last year and have been a witness to the unfolding events around you, is should be fairly easy for you to notice and identify societies that have been together and that drifted away and how that singular factor altered the future of the societies therein! Each one of us as individuals, soak in what we can, from what’s around us, if we are part of a fiercely cohesive social construct the whole approach towards a problem and the oncoming shock will be radically different, had we to tackle the same shock being fragmented and disconnected. It is in this journey from Shock to Indifference that, individually and collectively we end up making choices which either keep us aligned to the progressive path or at times we get thrown off guard and take a detour which comes at it’s own cost! So is there a meaningful way to stall and avoid indifference and should indifference not be allowed at all?

Like with anything else, what you decide to be Indifferent to and how, matters. Whether things are important or not is a very subjective area and what may be one person’s nectar could very well be someone else’s poison! How long that indifference is, and how that is impacting you in return is what will actually go on to decide how emerge out of a problem, whether you allow that shock to sink in more then it is required to or whether you deal and engage with it at a level where you should, and dissolve it completely!

As societies grow and emerging challenges continue to shock us, how we accept them and how we shape our indifference- whether on the pivot of wisdom or ignorance will determine the collective fate of a society.

I leave you with these thoughts for now, grab that coffee and think- what shocked you, how you accepted it and how did you emerge on the other side- indifference that helped or harmed! When you see this unfold in your individual space and are able to co-relate to the developments within the society, that you will know how aligned you are to the society you are in and if there is no alignment what you must do to ensure you can protect your sanity, around the chaos that you get caught in!

Ciao for now, stay connected and stay safe, will be back soon with another one!

Navigating the turbulence of uncertainty.

The time may not be apt to throw a piece of positivity and hope when you have all valid negative and unwelcome news floating around, but this is certainly the time to decipher the approach that promises resilience and helps us anchor to our sanity so that we can take small steps or stay put, but never get nudged away form the chosen path that we have given to ourselves! So join me here as we take this journey and appreciate the finer aspects around this space.

Among the many things that I learnt – each time I have taken a flight, has been about the art and science of flying through turbulence. You see, every flight, each time is constantly aided by weather charts, reports and onboard navigation tools to help the flight commanders to steer away from possible inclement weather- which could have the potential to spill your favourite coffee or the well curated breakfast that you so much look forward to! Well the essence here relies around two areas- planning and training.

As with the science of flight, so is it about our lives, with ample or adequate amount of preparation and forecast, often one is able to navigate the odd patches that one may come across through learning from experience and observation, but this stands true only for scenarios where you have been kind of trained to watch out for and have some understanding of the probability of such events unfolding, when turbulence is caused by uncertainty, the stakes get even higher and needless to say, the rules of the game to ride over the situation also change.

When uncertainty comes visiting, there is simply nothing in your experience that will help you to begin with, for a simple reason that you have never experienced it before, the only thing that can sail you through and keep you stay afloat is your intrinsic construct of who you are and how well you deploy that space to manage,deflect and direct what is coming your way.

Anchor to your intrinsic attributes: When uncertainty comes in, the one thing and perhaps the only thing within you that can save the say for you, is your intrinsic construct- which of course is a factor of many things things that go on to make you- who you are! It is your intrinsic construct that has the the most robust wiring within you to help you stay calm and act when it is important to do so! Many a times it is not the problem, but our impulsive reaction to the problem that lands us in a more complicated space and we end up struggling with secondary issues with ever often people end more lesser focus and resources to deal with the real challenge at hand.

Seek Clarity: No matter how ambiguous the situation may seem, there is always a speck of clarity even in the most fogged out challenges that may come towards you. The trick lies in deciphering these in time and then using these unravel the entire challenge that you are dealing with. Often people end up fighting and dealing with the wrong elements within a problem and from thereon begins a deviation which leads to more new scenarios without solving anything in particular. Unless clarity is not there, no mater how well equipped you are, you will never be able to achieve anything worthwhile. You may have the weapon, but without a meaningful target, that’s hardly of any value!

Loose a few battles: As ironic it may seem, but this is the only way ahead! To win wars, a few battles need to be given up, often people get distracted by every other unfolding event or situation around them and end up loosing focus on what must be solved essentially and thereby even when battles are won, the war is lost and all that effort seems to go away in vain! Uncertainty feeds off such distractions and the only way to tame it, is by knowing where to strike, among the many moving targets in sight!

Don’t forget your destination: The turbulence associated with uncertainty is often intense, rapid and comes win with a formidable force, good enough to intimidate, threaten or even make you wonder, whether you will live to see another day, no matter what it is, how it manifests in front of you, as long as you know the destination where you want to be, a calm mind, some rational thinking and a generous dose of common sense can almost always see you through this cramped up space, the only reason why people seem to struggles is that, very often , all that is needed doesn’t become available in the measure that is needed and yet at other times, they come in when the timing is not right!

Everything has an expiry date: Whether it is the highs of life or the lows that you hit, everything and each area of your life has a finite shelf life, no tow days are ever the same and likewise uncertainty too, has an expiry date, the sooner you are able to gauge it, decipher it and approach it- it becomes a certainty and therein lies the solution to end it comprehensively and once for all! Hence the whole space and effort to decipher what you perceive accurately and in a time;y manner, often people end up being entrapped either in the space of over-thinking or of procrastination and either of those two ends can be harmful for you to gain control on an evolving situation that demands urgent attention to the pocket which is important!

Stay in the moment: One of the most important reason why uncertainty seems to be so overbearing is, that often we are not in-sync with our Now! As we go about our daily lives, we are constantly thinking about the future or reflecting about the past rarely being able to stay in the Now and siew the best tat the present brings to us and this is why uncertainty seems to be more ambiguous then it actually can be! Sure enough there would be cases when uncertainty is real and compel but even to know that difference, it is vital that we are able to stay in the moment to experience what is unfolding and discern well enough to arrive at a finite and rational conclusion so that we can tackle what’s emerging!

You don’t have to solve everything, all the time: In a rapidly developing situation it is often too complex and hazy to ascertain that at times doing nothing or not acting upon a situation is also an act! many a times, unfolding uncertainty tend to dissolve away as suddenly as they emerge and reasons for that could be many, but each of them are in a way reflective of the fact that, the control to the problem and the solution is much beyond your realm of action or thought and at times it is better to stay passive and embrace inertia, for time does solve , what you and I can perhaps can’t do much about in that moment of fleeting time! Whether you call this inaction by some name, attribute it some universal energy or simply to your intuition, it doesn’t matter, but staying steady and unshaken even as things around you seem to fall apart is a sure way of knowing that you will be able to engage meaningfully should that engagement be forced upon you!

Stay Realistic: Unlike the conventional stress around being optimistic and shunning away pessimism, the real trick (especially while dealing with uncertain scenarios) is all about staying rational and staying realistic! Hopeless optimism and too much of binding pessimism eitehrways is counter productive for that robs you away off all flexibility and adaptability that you can develop in a proportionate manner to address the challenge at hand. It could be the question of intellectual flexing or physical flexing depending on what the problem at hand is and hence the vital need to balance and stay aligned to what is really out there- rather then reacting to your presumptions and perceptions of what is that you are dealing with!

There could be many more attributes depending on what your uncertainty is, but these are the core areas which you need to know and deal with if you want to tame uncertainty and stall the oncoming turbulence in a meaningful way!

I leave you with these thoughts for today, will be back soon with another one soon, until then stay wise, stay safe and yes unlock your uncertainties and address them on the scale of simplicity, rationality and common sense!

(Painful and Lasting) Lessons from a virus.

No matter what we think about the virus, from where it came how it came and who can be blamed or not, all of that really pales when you try to assess what is that the Virus has taught us the real hard way and ironically enough, these are the same lessons that all earlier calamities and challenges faced by humanity on a global scale have brought along with them, and like every time, history is forgotten in the greed for creating new economics and geography, putting us all in the direct path of oncoming peril- which then becomes a question of not, if such an incident will happen , but rather more about how and when it will happen!

Arrogance is vain: Human history is replete with examples where arrogance has been proven time and again to be as vain as it can be. Y:et our own choice to selectively delete important lessons from history often ends up leading us to repeat the same mistakes and that’s why History repeats itself! Whether it is the arrogance of an individual about not wanting to mask up or that of a government to claim everything is under control- the virus doesn’t care a damn and given an opportunity it will do what is is supposed to do- unlike humans, the virus’s choice and approach is singular and focussed- that of to infect. We ironically entangle ourselves into this space not realizing the potency of a microscopic organism and our mountain high ego’s and arrogance is the last thing that can ever help us! Whether to mask or not, you may want to debate, you may want to debate about the jabs, but for doing any of that, you need to be alive and that you can be- only when you shun the unrewarding arrogance around the virus and learn to accept a few things with a pinch of salt even though you run the risk of burning your ego!

Quality of Leadership matters: Every society is a reflection of the broader collection of it’s constituents. The quality of choices we make as individuals, translates collectively and this collective quality throws up leaders who we deserve. The one thing that the pandemic has exposed in a very uncomfortable way is the gradient of incompetence when it comes to leadership across levels and across segments of the society. The gross mis-management, wrong people at the right places and misplaced priorities and actions are all but a reflection of the quality of leadership! Whether it is about dealing with a virus or sending a spaceship into heavens above, as long as an Incompetent, myopic and faltering leadership leads, the results almost always will be disastrous.

Collaborative Trust: Whether you are a nation, the dozens of different agencies or local bodies, unless you decide to work together with focus and intent to stall the progress and onslaught of a common challenge, nothing meaningful will ever be achieved and you will sooner or later end up revisiting your past form time ti time as you try to fix the loose ends with no end in sight! The lack of this collaborative trust or the lack of its effectiveness is a direct consequence of the first point that we discussed earlier- Arrogance! At one end in this pandemic at a bio-molecular level we have viral mutations and progress wherein the virus seems to know how to make the most through infected host bodies and cells, even as we end up struggling to collaborate and share our resources to deal with and defeat this menace! The more worrisome part is that, the absence or presence of this collaborative trust is going to go a long way in showing future human societies engage and interact with each other and how effective that engagement will be!

Quality Resources are limited: As a geologist, coming across quartz samples was perhaps the most exciting thing for me during my growing up days, but with time and better understanding the whole aspect around quality, gradation and value of a crystal began to become clear and son enough even when many samples were placed around, the trained eye would almost always get locked on the most clear and pristine piece within the lot and this is what the human fascination with quality is perhaps all about- the flipside being- these high quality pieces are few and far in between among the vast ocean of resources that one may come across in a quartz mine! Likewise when you are hit by a challenge at a grand scale- needless to say- your resources, especially the high quality ones’ and the most promising ones will max out more quickly the you can ever realise and unless you have the dynamic ability to grow wings in flight and ramp up the quality circle of the resources and approach across the teams and stations, you will be left with more and more chaos eventually burning out and exhausting all of the limited high quality resources that you may have around you! Ins’t this what the pandemic has actually ended up doing? whether it be human or material resources, the very aspect of having sustained supply of high quality resources has got challenged and compromised like never before and even the best of technological interventions have seemed to pale every now and then as the infection spike keeps moving up and down across the continents!

Collateral Damage is real: As is the case in any warfare, when you are in midst of a pandemic, which is nothing short of a bio-war, collateral damage which goes beyond the immediate loss of lives is almost certain. How well you are able to minimise this depends on the points we discussed above and this collateral damage is in direct proportion to the intelligence or lack of it as people deal with the challenge at hand! What we have witnessed around the world, unfortunately has been a story of excessive collateral damage- broken families, shattered businesses and despair seemingly beyond hope!

Rational mind is the only potent force: A thinking (not overthinking) , rational and alert mind at both an individual and collective societal level is the only master key to deal with a challenge that tends to be larger then what you can deal with.Death by over-analysis and policy paralysis are well known terms and when you are up against a fast moving virus, the last thing you need is getting stuck in your mind games and staying entrapped within. The only meaningful and effective approach to deal with an overbearing situation resides in the ability to decipher whats unfolding and then act swiftly and decisively to minimise and mitigate the risks coming your was as much as you can. Confrontation of a problem coming from a wide scale event is perhaps not a sane way, even though it brings along a charisma of being a heroic effort, true heroism lies in staying low and waiting for the tide to wash over and rising again when the time is more conducive and when the opportunity to strike back is more realistic and the probability of a decisive counter strike are more!

You are responsible for your Life: Irrespective of who says what, how rich or poor you are, how well to do or not you are, nothing of that will ever matter unless you are able to take total ownership and responsibility of your own life! Over the last year, across the world society after society, as it got overwhelmed by the pandemic, the citizens were simply left to fight at their own level with what they had and what they didn’t! This is bound to happen each time and every time a systemic collapse occurs in face of a sever challenge and this is something that can happen more often then you think and hence the whole importance resides in being able to take stock of things around you and always be responsible for your own self- when each one begins to do this, the burden of collective responsibility reduces and immediately bounce back becomes more easy for a society.

I leave you here with these thoughts, given this is a blog, I stop here with these thoughts and you may want to add and curate your won list further, based on how you have experienced and felt the things around you, based on where in the world you are.The fact is, it is a pretty lonely place to get entrapped into- should you ever land up here, well you will have to throw everything that you have got to overcome the challenge and reclaim your rightful life back!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe and stay wise!

Unmasking our times.

Amid the grim realities that the world seems to wake up these days, irrespective where you are, in the connected world that we live in- one nation in distress has the ability to halt the progress of many others in one way or the other and when that nation is powerful, influential and large- the impact and ramifications are, needless to say, long lasting, deep and cascading! but within these spaces of hectic and chaotic unfolding resides the promise of a wiser way. There is an opportunity to get more clarity on whats’ around, why it is the way it is and what is that you and I can do to ensure, that next time around- we remain as sane as we can! Join me here we take a quick journey around our today, to know how we arrived here, what could have been done better and what is that we can do even now to ensure we don’t let some unwelcome parts of history repeat themselves! So here we go!

Much of our world is dominated today with the developments and news around nations on how they are coping up to the pandemic, needless to say, the first area to unmask is to understand what really is happening around you! Based on your luck- not about being whether your are rich or poor, but about how dumb and clever your leaders are, you would have either by now overcome the brunt of this pandemic or would be still grappling with it! Sure enough as this pandemic unfolded, and people were still trying to figure out what hit them, many lives were untimely lost, and the whole world ended up being into one big clinical trial lab, with everything being thrown at the sick with an effort to save them, not knowing when, what will work! Yes, we did get the medicines which did buy us more time and eventually the vaccine, but the real unmasking that needs to be done is not about all of this, you too know all this too well, how well it played out in your neighbourhood, what needs unmasking is the understanding of what led to this mayhem in the first space!

Whether it was accidental or intentional is now purely of academic interest because, now after millions of lives lost and many more millions completely shattered economically, there will never be any sense of complete compensation or apology from anyone, even if anyone wanted to go ahead and offer one! The whole point in the pandemic space is more about, what was done, not done and how leaderships the world over reacted, making an already complex problem more easy or more complicated! The allowance of the pandemic to run riot the way it did across societies, also highlights the importance of having able, wise and mature leadership- whose ability to take timely and decisive decisions based on rational and scientific thinking could have made the real difference and saved many more lives then what we have collectively accomplished as humanity! This, is perhaps the first layer of unmasking- unmasking the fragility of failing and faltering leadership across societies- essentially having all the right people doing all the wrong jobs!

Irrespective what people say, the fact is that leaders and governments failed their people by being unable to provide what was needed when it was needed! This goes on to stress the point why public policy and politics is so vital and critical and why every vote matters and importantly what and whom you should vote for! It is this realization which will usher in change as and when the time comes for societies to make choices and correct their mistakes- whether they choose to forgive, forget and live to a dumb future or usher in change with a high accountability will vary from society to society and depend more on the other geo-political pressures that tick off at the very moment of decisive elections.

Apart from this broad level screw up on the public policy and administrative space- the pandemic also has created a deep impact on the way we work- I have earlier written about the Work From Home Pandemic which is yet another unfolding disaster in many ways! Add to this the layer of increasing levels of mental and personal disconnect and disengagement (which already was a menace in a connected world) we are staring at times in the future where we begin to wonder how to say a “hello” or perhaps start taking classes to know the right way to “shake hands” all over again!

For few, even the pandemic has presented opportunity to create wealth and profit, well no one can complain, if people start to seek warmth at the funeral pyres and death of other citizens, but this whole space of profit making, under cutting care and simultaneously making existing people slog over extended hours and at times fold up and shut down well working organisations under the garb of an pandemic -things like these are just adding up to the undercurrent of distrust and confusion that is already playing in the minds of the people! This just goes on to to show the amount of deterioration that a given society has undergone and the extent of indifference that has set in with regards to the well being of one another in a real genuine manner!

What the pandemic has done is, it has for once made a clear unmasking of the facts that, whether it be the political leadership, the business community or the so called fabled network circle that people tend to hold so close and dear all the time- when the crunch time comes, there is no assurance that any or all of them will stand by what they belief in and if not all, some of them will fail and depending upon how high your dependence is on what fails around you- the impact you feel and witness around you will be intense or mild! That is the singular reality that this unfolding pandemic has presented humanity with- it has gone beyond borders, to unmask the real abilities, orientations and preferences around societal leadership and depending on the quality of that leadership quotient, societies will stay afloat or sink rapidly!

The pandemic sure enough, has brought in a lot of pain, suffering and intense change which has altered the very core around the space of -who people were used to be and how they used to engage and connect with each other- going forward that will remain a psychological scar on every ones mind! The psychological scares of those who survived , those who witnessed the events unfold at close quarters and those who lost everything will create societies which are broken and fractured deep within and that is the next biggest risk that humanity faces- the challenge to heal the wounds and the scars of this global event! Unless a genuine and human approach is taken to address this space- social divisions and the emerging behavior from divided societies will go on to add more scars even as people struggle to heal the bygone ones’ .

The problem was never the virus- we were always going to find a cure- humanity always has- when it has been challenged to a grand scale- the real problem has been and continues to be the response and the reaction that we offer to solve a problem at hand- based on that defining choice that we make- either we simplify the problem or end up complicating it further and the latter is what has happened in case of the pandemic and we continue to suffer owing to the incompetence of the few who took the wrong turn to embed us more deeper into a corner rather then getting us out of the woods!

The pandemic has in fact brought into limelight glaring shortcomings all around us, Incompetence of Leadership, Collaboration, Trust, Failure to implement values that bind humanity across the world, the ugly face of opportunism, one upmanship, aid disguised as a favour, the real value of meaningful relations, social connects and for one time knowing well, that social media likes and dislikes have nothing at all to do when it comes to picking up the falling and faltering on the ground in flesh and blood! The real pandemic that will follow is the one, which will emerge from these cracked crevices of society- where every person will want to quickly and swiftly calibrate attitudes, pre-dispositions and approach to their own life and for those around them- as these readjustments happen- the world will set itself up for other subtler pandemics from time to time- which are more to to do with human behaviour and expression of all thats bright and all that’s dark!

I leave you here with these thoughts, take a moment in all this chaos around you to figure out what has the pandemic unmasked for you and what it that you are going to do about it- in the times ahead- so that you can create a better version of what you are today- just as I will and everyone of us should- to ensure that we are more resilient and prepared for the net wave that comes- not of the virus but of churning human thoughts and approaches rewired to a new context! Whether you like it or not, the fact is the world that we live in today is drenched in the blood of millions of innocent lives lost- not because a cure was not found- but rather humanity failed to come together when it mattered the most- to act with focus, intent and generosity!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay safe, stay wise and take care of all those, you can!

Simplifylives is offering a dedicated window to offer free coaching/Listening session for those who are seeking emotional support in these challenging times- It is our way to help people re-collect themselves and recover quick from the scars of this pandemic. For more details please write to us at simplify@simplifylives.com and we will reply to your requests as we receive them.

The leadership pandemic.

If you thought or still think, that the virus is the problem, well think about it one more time! Sure enough the Virus does what it does and brings along, all the unpleasantness and unwanted scenarios, but what really allows all of that to manifest and emerge is the quality and quantity of Leadership that you have around you! The story unfolding around us, this very moment is a story of “Leadership Pandemic”- An emerging challenge of sorts which brings us simply back to fundamental spaces of how societies are built, operate and progress! Join me here as we take a look around this space and understand, what really is happening around us and what is that you and I can do or not do in this fluid state! So here we go!

History and even the present times are a testimony to a very powerful reality, which is a simple fact that “The problem rarely is the real problem”, the way we choose to respond to a situation is what either resolves it or ends up complicating it further, making the problem more menacing and complicated to deal with! The current context of the pandemic around the world is perhaps a glaring example of this! So now the real question, why would this happen, or rather why would we allow this to happen? Well the answer to that resides in the whole social space around “expert worship” and “conformation bias” orientation!

Even as the pandemic travelled across the world, taking down one nation after the other, the inherent inertia, ignorance and colossal refusal to act in a timely and decisive manner, failed one nation after the other and what perhaps could have been a managed and controlled health risk, was overnight transferred into a global health emergency. All of this boils down to the simple one question, “who was taking the decisions- For the resulting success or failures are nothing but a manifestation of the wisdom or stupidity of the leader’s mind- the ability to gauge, analyze and think ahead! This is from where the real problem begins and this is the space where the leadership pandemic begins to take shape! With that simple act of taking or not taking a meaningful action!

What really unfolds in a leadership pandemic is that, a problem at hand ends up being more complicated and what could have been easily or with less hardship overcome, tends to just keep getting bigger and bigger with no end in sight! The current spread of the pandemic is a classic example here, sure enough when the menace started everyone was taken by surprise (which as a thought itself, is too good to believe!), so needless to say, we can overlook and say everyone did what they could do best with the limitations and access to resources that they had, but when you see the same problem persists over a longer period of time and returning in a more menacing manner, well then what you need to look at is- what was done or not done in the in-between period of perceived calm and this uptick of the second, third resurgence! It is in the crucial months and days in-between the calm that the fostering of false sense of complacency , the “everything is fine” and the usual self-centred, self-glorifying approaches of establishments have led their societies straight into the path of an even more bigger disaster! So what do we do about this? Well read on!

Sure enough by now, many leaders both public and private are pretty much exposed with regards to their proven ability to deliver and inability to rise to the occasion, this brings us to the vital space that deals with the quality of leadership! The world right now is stocked up with leaders who are accidental at their best and have ended up being where they are simply because they happen to be better then those around them- not necessarily because they bring with them some defining vison or charismatic skill to lead or be a leader! Sure enough, there are a few original and authentic leaders across the political and corporate world, but there are few and far in between; given the kind of mess that humanity has got into- it just goes to exemplify what happens when few wise whispers are overlooked by the noise and chatter of proclaimed experts and leaders! Fair enough, you may argue, but what is that we can do about this?

Well, to begin with no one is asking you to hold a protest or get on to the digital world and express your opinion, emotion and bring about a change- well these may be valuable ways as long as you want to push in some constructive and creative element for a positive way to tackle a problem and bring about the necessary empowering alignment, but the whole point here is, “what is that you are doing about a problem at hand, at an individual level? How are you leading yourself?” Very often when it comes to compelling questions that a society engages or deals with, people tend to perceive those questions to be “they” as in the society versus “me” as in the individual, the fact is that all social challenges , whether global or local start at an individual level and depending on how powerful that individual is and what position and power equation are at that individuals disposition, the challenges will either accelerate, get complex , assume a larger and widespread scale or end up being limited and localised to a pocket withing the community or even perhaps to a few units in the community or just perhaps that individual! This is the foundational bedrock that needs to be visited and addressed if any society wants to being about even an aorta of meaningful and progressive change for a few or the many!

Unlike what gets played out on the TV screens day in and day out, depicting people in important positions as success stories of failures, the whole gamut of meaningful and purpose oriented leadership begins with each individual. Unless each one of us doesn’t take responsibility of who we are and what we do, it becomes impossible to check the quality of what someone else may offer- simply because we ourselves don’t behold the flavour and essence of meaningful and directed leadership. Unless this changes and we assume charge to lead ourselves to begin with, every and any attempt to deal and engage with social or community wide issues will almost always end up being a stop gap arrangement with no enduring or long lasting solution or approach! How we treat ourselves, is how society will end up treating us!

An empowered society is not about one magical leader dictating what others must do, on the contrary it is the ability to empowered individuals to keep their chosen, qualified leadership on the toes to achieve and foster what they have as individuals for the wider audience of a society or a community. This is how and when meaningful and progressive change and development happens! The real problem is and was never the problem, it has always been and will always be the response to the problem, which either simplifies it or complicates it! That well, depends on how bad the leadership pandemic has set into a given society and within the individuals who go on to make that society!

I leave you here with these thoughts, take a pause and do think about it, what is the real problem and what is a more failing pandemic, the one on our hands now or the one that always has been! Ciao for now will be back soon with another one until then, stay safe, stay wise and think!

A strong government and a weak opposition.

Well if thought, what this title has to do with the world of business or even individual empowerment, think again! At the end of it all of us, each one of us come from the same social set, whether we choose a private job, run for government employment or wear uniforms or perhaps lead the nation as policy and public matters, end of it all, things will eventually come back to a singular truth, which is not about how strong the government has been, but rather how weak an opposition we have earned! Join me here, we we take a look to decipher this dynamic, see how it can empower and perhaps how things can go wrong and what is that you and I can do in our limited way to adopt and practise a way of life which enables us to create a dynamic equilibrium for all engagement points within the society that we live! So here we go!

Masters and specialists of the political world have always thrived and furthered one singular goal- the never ending desire to hold power to never relinquish it! The bygone age of Kingdoms and Empires- almost always ensured smooth transition within dynastic rulers always survived irrespective of the cost at what it came. This lunatic obsession of blood lines leading the future of empires and kingdoms coupled with the diminishing incompetence and rising impatience within the ruled areas- created a prudent environment either for bringing in a radical change of governance models- from a Crown led- autocracy to People led democracy- which again could have multiple variations based on what the thirst for power and control is! Needless to say you always have the element where the uniform too wants to be part of the hustle- simply because either they don’t really have something to defend and fight against or perhaps because their approach and orientation is in that way- because someone wants it that way!

Irrespective what the reason is and what the variation is, the fundamental goal of any government or governing body is always about control and power! There is nothing to complain about this, why would you, I mean who would want their nation’s government to be weak and submissive, end of the day every member of a given society thrives on a sense of national pride, no matter how big or small your nation is! This is what makes the pursuit for power and control so intoxicating and endless. This is the space where everything right or wrong begins to emerge and when it pertains to the matters of a government, it all depends on which side of an invisible social divide you are viewing it from! If you observe close and long enough more often then not, what unfolds- irrespective of who rules or governs is the debate and competition on whose approach to things (read ideologies) is better even as the end result that is always aspired remains the same- seeking national interest!

The only way to tackle, deal with and engage with a government is by having a potent opposition which can discuss, deliberate and audit the progress being made or not as promised by the government of the day! Sure enough, the government will do what it can and always will- deflect questions on what it has not done and seek attention only to what it has done, unless the opposition is not coherent, congruent and focussed enough, sieving through this maze of conflicting narratives shared by a ruling government can be simply overwhelming and many a times weakened opposition succumb to this, resulting in further weakening and erosion of meaningful presence to even engage with a government, let along debate or audit! You see the real problem with any nation is not that it has a strong government, but rather a fragmented and perhaps weakened opposition. This, is not only the cause of worry for the people but ironically enough enough a problem for the government! Let me explain!

For a government to stay strong is needs two basic things, one an intrinsic strength and sense of direction through policy and action and secondly- perhaps the most important one- a competitive, focussed and constructive opposition which has an adequate representation to ensure meaningful and directed debate and audit around what the government does or not! When this opposition is missing, the government ends up being lost under its own spot light, unable to see it’s own shadows, which a working and focussed opposition can do it with much ease and partner towards ironing out finer aspects of what’s not working and make better what’s working! When the opposition goes missing, with it the government ends up having to do double the work- first carry on the works that it needs to and then, because the opposition is nonfunctional- also get into the space of introspection and self-critique to find out yet better ways and means of working and serving the society! This is where the major problems begin to occur! The government not only ends up doing it’s bit but also begins to take up the responsibilities of the opposition- not because it wants to – but perhaps because there is no real meaningful choice left to engage and deal with in a constructive manner! This is why when a strong government faces a weakened or fragmented opposition, it ends up having to do two jobs, one that it does and the other which the opposition doesn’t!

But why is this bad, well simply put, as long as the purpose and chosen direction of a powerful government aligns to the greater good, fosters humanity and gives common-sense a chance- everything will be just fine, the moment experimentation begins to border on unwarranted risks and respect given is misread as a license to start bullying everyone and anyone around- chaos is slowly but surely unleashed! This also then, is a factor of how weak really the opposition has got, because beyond a point you and I as members of the society will not give a damn to an opposition which has lost it’s relevance political or otherwise! Once this stage is reached and if the government decides to behave like a run away train, you have only one option, either be on that train or get out of the way- nothing and no one will be able to stop it! An opposition that is considerably weakened, at the best is given some compensatory presence by government giving attention now and then, just to have the record maintained that there is an opposition (at least on paper if not in spirit).

A weakened opposition not only fails to hold the government of the day accountable but also fails to draw attention to things that are important and this fleeting loss of focus and action goes on to further compound the problem of an already diminishing opposition. It is not always about the opposition being right or the government being wrong, it is also about being able to deliberate and debate with intent focus and direction on things that matter, which is essentially all but lost. With a weak opposition any discussion just goes on to solicit academic value more then any meaningful political or social engagement or drive! So, by now you may want to ask, how does all of this matter you and me and why should you care for it? Well read on!

Just as a strong and functional government is vital for the progress of any society, equally importance is the presence of a thriving and active opposition. An opposition which has the requisite numbers and more importantly a plan to ensure that the government of the day adheres to what it must and conform to the broader outlines of what the society stands for, beyond these fundamental spaces everything else can be negotiated, constructed and build upon – for that is the real essence of democracy- the rule of the people! A collaborative space of engagement and debate with intent and purpose is critical and essential for any government to perform irrespective of how strong it is; a measured and calibrated opposition is also necessary and important!

If you thought this is limited only to the space of politics, well, think again! If you see what unfolds in the corporate offices you will perhaps know what I mean here. You see the social construct remains the same, irrespective of what vocation we choose and once you have succumbed to the concept of consolidation of power in a unipolar manner in any one segment of the society, sooner or later that will transpire and be witnessed the way society conducts itself across all the other facets that go one to make it! Observe the business leaders around, see the sector leaders around you will be then able to relate how unipolar consolidation of power is so infectious , dangerous and a matter of concern- especially when you have the problem of diminishing incompetence looming over the horizon!

Well there is nothing right and wrong as I said earlier, the important point here is that skewed consolidation of power any side of a line should have any progressive society worried and alarmed for sooner or later as the power intoxicated government begins to erode, most of the times it doesn’t make a pretty picture and when power is given away reluctantly, well we have seen enough examples across the world what unfolds and how the new chapters begin to get re-written!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, take your time off and do reflect! Life is beautiful when there is a dynamic equilibrium and a reversible equilibrium within the spaces of power and control, whether you want to lead a society, an organization or yourself- try too hard one or the other- sooner or later- failure alone will be your enduring legacy!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until the stay safe sand stay wise!

We have opened up time slots for April 2022 for virtual coaching, for more details drop in a mail to us at simplify@simplifylives.com

Empowerment through Inaction.

Contrary to popular belief and what our minds are almost always trained to do- in one way or the other- not everything that comes your way- calls you to act and not everything that comes you way requires you to act! Join me here as we take a quick look around this intriguing space- where Inaction- Stillness and mere Presence can create more empowering pathways which build clarity and direction and how this can eventually help you stop the habit of unwanted and unwarranted pre-empting behaviour which at times can work potently to disempower you and short change you- in the short and long term! So here we go!

We live in an era where “hustle” is perhaps the key word- whether required or not- we see millions of people day in and day out racing to their work desks and places of work to accomplish something that will be life changing, only to realize by evening that they have to go on with it for another day, then another and then another…the endless tomorrow simply sticks like super glue and the never ending hustle seems to live on! It is certainly good to set measurements, metrics, achievable goals and so on and so forth, for that is how human progress is made and monitored, but when the hustle keeps on going on endlessly with no real rhyme or reasons- eventually the only person who gets hustled is the hustler! You see, you don’t call for an earthquake to shift the furniture in your house- that is not how it works and that is as simple and straight an explanation why endless and meaningless hustle is not good and in fact is very much counterproductive- a major reason for may burnt out minds, failed hearts and lost-in- travel-personalities! A lot of chaos and complexity that we end up giving to ourselves originates from these rushed spaces of hustle which often are accompanied by bouts of instinctive and impulsive decision making- while that may work well for a few most of the time, for the many, it almost always ends up into manifesting even more chaos and begins a chain reaction wherein the individual is left with no other choice, but visiting one problem after the other and this newly found hustle of their lives, soon enough becomes all consuming!

A lot of hustle that we witness around simply evaporates with time, in weeks, months or perhaps a few years, but it will and it does- the real area of concern here is the damage that we end up doing at an intrinsic level to be part of facilitate hustle which is agenda driven to get something in the now, with no real essence or application for the long run- well that is the real story in most of the cases! You see, you may be a hustler and hitting your business targets year after year, but the question is at what cost and at the expense of what! The day you walk out of that business or office, you are only left with scars which tend to damage you at an intrinsic level more then anything else and that is the real and lasting price that one ends up paying for being caught up in mindless hustle of the world! Whether you are a victor or a survivor really doesn’t matter, because by the time the mindless hustle ends, you would have lost perhaps the most valuable thing- Your Time! Which, no matter what you do will never be back! SO does this mean, that hustle is not relevant? Or does it mean that we become passive and take things as they are and stop the effort to usher in change and a better tomorrow? Well none of that, the problem is not about the hustle itself, the problem is with the hustle for things that don’t deserve it for one or the reason! This could be different for different people and it is within these specific contextual realities that one needs to find the real mindful hustle that one needs to pay attention to! This only become possible through Inaction! The primary step before you decide to do something! Empowerment through Inaction is perhaps the only meaningful way to harness and manage purposeful hustle that creates an impact the way you want it to!

Inaction is not about being lazy, neither is it about being passive, Inaction is rather the ability to make a deliberate choice – a choice of not doing anything – because there are many instances, when you allow things to untie themselves they do and it all becomes relatively painless and more importantly when you do decide to act, you actions are empowering and potent enough to bring in a change or shift as you want them to! Inaction is an effective tool and approach because it allows you to observe, monitor and record- patterns, behaviours, impacts and allows you to create a meaningful cause and effect association of things that are unfolding in front of you, if you were to rush in and try to solve something, chances are that even as you try to solve one aspect of a perceived problem, other things will seem cropping up and then the cycle goes on endlessly with no end in sight! When you apply the approach of Inaction, what you immediately end up doing is you stop feeding into perceptions, unfound fears, rushed conclusions and skewed observations that would have been shared with you. You are able to see the dynamics of things as they unfold, people, processes and everything that goes along with it. It is only when you have captured enough of the depth and width of this unfolding drama and you decide to finally act and take a stand- your actions will almost always be decisive, clinical and laser shape- which is normal parlance of the working world spell out effectiveness or productivity!

Inaction is not the inability to act, rather it is the choice made not to act- simply because more needs to be known and understood before taking steps and moving ahead! Like I have mentioned earlier in my other articles, the pause is perhaps the greatest enabler that we have- whether it is the chat that you need to have with yourself or whether you want to assimilate the learnings coming your way and make an impact outwardly to the world. The next time you want to do something, like that in a snap of your finger, hit the inaction brake and take a walk- spend the time that you must in proportion to that impact that your decision will have- it is only when this practise becomes natural that you will be able to shift and sieve through rapid decisions and choices as your mind develops an ability to be in the state of inaction over one area even as it is engaged and implementing action for some other area once that has passed the space of inaction! Meaningful Inaction is always proportional to the probable impact of the ensuing action!

Even as communicators’ we have always been told the value of silence- which conveys so much more- then the spoken words- what silence is to verbal communication, Inaction is to the world of Action and Implementation! It is the vital space within the noise and rhythm that goes along with any implementation and any action, but it is within this pocket that a great sense of clarity and purpose can be derived and many a times the predestined course of impeding actions goes through a radical and decisive change to serve a greater cause and for the greater good!

I leave you with these thoughts for now and urge you to seek your meaningful Inaction to create an even more empowering actionable presence!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe and yes, embrace the silence in your action!

The many facets of poverty.

If you thought anything and everything to do with poverty is all about access to money, food, shelter and varying degrees of opulence, well think again! Sure enough, these are important indicators and perhaps the most visible signs and displays of abject poverty the world over, but the real essence of poverty resides in everything and anything that allows these sad and inhuman scenarios to manifest! Join me here as we try to decipher what poverty is all about and what is that we can do and perhaps not do to manage this, the way we can!

Perhaps the most compelling and vivid memory or a nightmare to call it rightly about poverty is all the visually disturbing imagery, social struggle and strife that we come across through our daily lives. The whole concept of money linked poverty- in terms of ability to access or not access resources and opulence is perhaps just one way of deciphering and inferring about poverty based on broadly agreed social parameters. But this, if you ask me is no real meaningful measure to deal with poverty! The real and perhaps the only meaningful way of dealing with poverty, it’s definition, spread, control and mitigation is all about striking the very root of all that causes and allows this menace of poverty to manifest to begin with!

The whole idea and manifestation of poverty begins from impoverished thinking and acting! The never ending greed and desires to have more and more and all of it only for a few, is what hijacks and steers away any meaningful human essence for a social construct. Once societies agree to create rules that propagate variance and divide resources in a way that tends to serve a few and create dis-service to the many the stage is set for poverty to arrive! Sure enough, I am not promoting or advocating a social or a communist approach either, where- everything belongs to the state and there will be equality in distribution whether someone deserves that or not- no way- the point here is that we create rules and social markers in a way that people are simply left feeling and thinking uncomfortable about how and who they are- and this creates many a times unwanted and unwarranted self imposed pressure to race ahead and surge ahead- irrespective of whether anyone around really cares for it or not! No one is arguing over the ingenuity and the human spirit to progress and make their lives better and more comfortable- the whole issue is with the new age definitions of comfort and opulence and this is where the root of all modern day poverty resides!

If you closely observe, the commonality about being associated with varying levels or poverty or opulence the world over almost always is a conversation about, “where you study”, “where your parents works”, “where do you live”, and “how and where you spend”. This is all about it! All it takes is these few seemingly innocent enquiries and our socially conformed minds are more the happy to quickly start creating buckets and mental brackets to slot in the acquaintance and then either create a sense of happiness on how you are better then the other person in a few areas or start to sulk- because the other person has access to what you are yet to achieve and perhaps have always aspired for! So in a matter of few conversations- a connect with a fellow human- which could have been so many other things and facets of enrichment and exchange of ideas- almost ends up being a transactional encounter aimed at calibrating your own myopic approach and thinking on the world that you have given to yourself- due to the limitation of your perceptions! There are hundreds of examples around us and needless to say, no matter ho well we try, we too can succumb and we do, at some or the other point of time! Whether it is the chatter among growing kids, the grapevine and gossip in the offices or the monitoring of evolving opulence among the business and political class, each one of these instances are an example of impoverished mindset at play- which is the real radical and fundamental root and facilitator for all other visible manifestations of poverty!

No one is saying comparing is bad, no one is saying growing and making progress is bad- the challenge really is within the motive behind all the hustle that gets played out! You may have a great and long successful run- but if the fundamentals of your motive are pivoted over the mistaken understanding about poverty and an impoverished mind is at work- all that achievement and success will eventually all come apart- at some or the other time- simply because all that you build and do will have nothing to offer to the many and as long as that remains- you will be vulnerable and constantly working out of this insecurity to ensure you don’t have to “go back” which again is another fallacy of the over-thinking mind!

The vivid and repulsive play of poverty; really speaking is a measure and indicator of the impoverished thinking within a society and how myopic the leadership thought is as far as the approach to the subject and the chosen solution for it! These leaders could be the mass leaders from the political class or even the community leaders, but another grim and intriguing reality to this is, also about the space of “self drive” or the ability to lead oneself meaningfully by calibrating to the social confirmation, wisely and deliberately by choosing a trim level so that one does not get sucked into the endless and meaningless rat race to seek “socially conformed narratives for not being opulent or being one”!

The real issue around poverty is more to do about impoverished minds trying to create imagery and narratives that limit the many and liberate the few! Only once this is changed and thinking transcends form being impoverished to empowered thinking, will people be really able to see with impeccable clarity- their true value, worth and perhaps carve out a purpose which is more meaningful, enduring and sustaining, irrespective of where they stand- based on what social conformation narratives! The real problem around poverty the world over is not about varying resources and inequality of access- rather it is the minds who go on to create these and foster these to facilitate the agenda of a few while dis-serving the many! The only hope for humanity with regards to doing away with the menace of poverty of all kinds- intellectual, materialistic, social, psychological and spiritual is by allowing fellow humans to have enough time and space to experiment, fail learn and develop themselves on an ongoing basis, for that alone can provide empowered thinking and it is only empowered minds that can create empowered actions to bring about enduring and sustainable lives and livelihoods! Until this happens, each one of us is living an impoverished life in some or the other area and more often then not- the control dynamics will be with someone else!

I leave you with thoughts for now, urging you to take a pause and reflect upon the kind of approach that you would want to embark upon to at least end the pattern of impoverished thinking for yourself- it is only when you are empowered that you can share the spirit of empowerment with someone else!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and stay empowered with empowering thoughts!

Your real priority.

Half way around the world, either you are planning to spend a calm Sunday or you are perhaps already preparing for the approaching Monday- well irrespective of that bit, no matter what you do or not, whether you are opulent or not and whether life has been fair or not, the game really is all about your real priority! Join me here as we take a quick paced walk down this route and decipher why most of us run the risk of running into and carrying further conversations which are more about “what could have been” rather then allowing it to be about “what can be”! So here we go!

Whether it is through the upbringing years at school, the formative years at college or the years spent through the corridors of the corporate world- we almost always end up leading a life – knowingly or unknowingly that is run and directed based on the priority listing methodology of someone else- who ever that could be and this is where the divergence commences!

If you are able to step back and embrace the pause, you will observe that many a things that “were high priority”, “so called defining moments” all tend to fade away and become meaningless or irrelevant with time as contexts change and things move ahead. Sure enough you may argue that, this is what hold true for almost everything and anything around us! Sure it is, but we don’t end up sabotaging ourselves the way we normally end up doing while we pursue the “so called priority” which almost allays is a case of someone else’s dream, requirement or necessity! It is this disconnect that ends up creating students graduating each year with ever more confusion about what they want to do next, with companies re-visiting their corporate strategies every now and then and wondering whether they should continue a product or service or not and governments who end up delivering what is not promised and never seem to deliver what has been promised. The whole social maze around strife and struggle is a whole lot because of this space of misplaced priorities and conformation narratives!

Through the student days, marks and grades are a priority – for that bit is sold to you- as the only assurance for an opulent life and only way to beat the race and stay ahead- well I am not saying this is not correct, the problem is this is not entirely true! You see if there are top 10 students across the thousands of universities then there are the next 20 from each one of them- so even for that visibly small variance of percentage or grades – as far as marking goes -which will never be beyond 10%, to believe that , this 10% difference can create such a wide and un-breakable barrier to earn and live an opulent life- simply doesn’t make sense and neither is that true! You have back benchers leading firms, business and doing exceptionally well, by the simple fact that they are able to hire the top performers at the price that they demand! So if the priority while being a student was only to get good grades or marks- why does this logic fail to deliver beyond an eclectic top 10-15% of the millions of students that exist at any given time?

If this was not enough, see what unfolds in the corporate world- you walk into that grand office each morning- or in today’s context, you hit your WFH desk to open up emails each morning only to find that “new priorities” have come in and as the week and month’s go by- if you ever reflect on what actually has happened- the corporate world end sup being a scene of accidental priorities and misplaced strategy- which often ends up achieving quite less when what could have been- simply by the latent power of the human potential that exists within each organization! You may want to say, that as organizations respond and react to market conditions things are bound to change- sure- but what is the meaningful variance- what’s the whole point of calling something “a priority” if the next market situation is going to ask you to throw all of that into a dustbin and sack half of your team? What does this speak about the whole approach to setting up and defining what a priority is, should be or can be? Think around this!

If you thought, this is limited to only the world of corporate and things that impact socially, think again, just see what has unfolded closer to you- your inner circle- your relations, ideals, mentors, coaches and what not! If you think that anyone or any of them were a priority for you- the essence of the word priority would imply that irrespective of what has unfolded or not- whether things have worked for you or not- you would still stand by them, their guidance and so would they too! But is that how it really gets played out? Well chances are they will not get played out that way and if they do, trust me and count yourself to be the luckiest among the lucky people to have some support system like that going around for you! So what is real priority then? Why is it vital and what makes it so encompassing and omnipresent? Read on!

Well, the real and perhaps the only meaningful and enduring priority that you will ever have in your life is “You”. Unless you make it a practise and a directed effort to place yourself and your core priorities first, no matter how successful you are or not, how rich you get to be or not, end of the day, all of that will be hollow and things will crumble at some or the other time sooner or later- simply because you have no control as you keep working and slogging for external priorities which are perhaps of core importance for someone else- a person or an organization and the trick in that space is, if you are not willing to stay enslaved for that, there will always be someone else to get that done and hence whether you like it, hate it or are good or bad,no one really cares a damn and irrespective of what you gain through that association, you will always end up loosing yourself from the context of failing to give priority to yourself!

Giving yourself priority is not about being self-centred, selfish or being disrespectful or disconnected or disengaged to working for others, with others or anything around that! On the contrary, once you are able to give priority to yourself, you know the value that you carry at an intrinsic level and that becomes a formidable push to achieve more in less time- especially when you are engaged to fulfil something for someone else- simply because you know that- only once that is done, will you be able to act upon what really matters to you at an intrinsic level – that is to work on your priorities! This is the real essence of moving ahead with a meaningful existence- being able to strike a balance between your real priorities- your intrinsic priorities and the external tasks and assignments that you race ahead to complete by virtue of your worldly engagements!

It is only when you begin to arrange the world around you by placing your priorities- which need to be aligned to your urge for expression, creativity and brilliance will you be able to contribute in any meaningful and uplifting manner to anyone else! You see, all of us want to be leaders and lead, but before we do that, what we must first and always do is lead ourselves! Unless you decide to lead yourself- why would anyone else even want to follow you, let alone being lead by you! No one likes to be lead by leaders who don’t have stories to share or who don’t have a compelling narrative and clarity- and for the leader in you to behold these aspects- you need to first put yourself at the highest priority. It is only when you act with clarity, decisiveness and meaningful directed purpose- will the others around you begin to trust and believe in your abilities and willingly surrender to follow you! Unless you don’t chart a course for your own life, you will not be able to make a great headway to lead a business, a nation or anyone else for that matter- simply because you too would be as lost as the person whom you are supposed to lead- only because you failed to recognise your real priority- which is no one else and nothing else but “You”!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to think around this and do take some time off and think around”what is your real priority?” Shouldn’t it always be you? The world is replete with examples where people keep racing ahead in a straight line along a circular track, to reach the same point where they started year after year, instance after instance- all simply because of missing the essence of who they really are!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe and stay wise! Remember, it all begins and ends with “You”!

Touched by Inertia.

As ironical it may seem to be, the world keeps going the way it does, not only because of what we do or the way we act, but more because of what we do not do and what we don’t act upon! Join me here as we take a fleeting look at how this omnipresent problem and facet of Inertia- tends to serve us a world that we perhaps end up earning for ourselves- simply by deciding what not to do or by not acting when we ought to have acted! So here we go!

Our modern lives are nothing more then the play of Inertia, for a few of us it comes in as a blessing and yet for a few of us it comes in like an intertwined curse! Whether we like it or not, accept it or not, it persists and it very much pulls and pushes us- by simply through the nature of it’s existence around and within us! Whether it is the measure of success in the corporate world, the desire to create a new narrative for tomorrow or perhaps as simple as getting out of your bed and making it- each of these and many such day to day instances are replete with how Inertia influences what we are able to do, get done or not!

Whether it is the school kid that doesn’t seem to listen to you, or the grown up teen up or your boss at the workplace or the relationships that you deal with- each and every person that you connect and engage with, for whatever the reason there could be, is at all times either being what they seem to be working along their inertial construct- for some it could be about not doing anything and wanting to be the way they always have been and for yet others it could be about transforming on an ongoing basis based on what the surrounding developing contexts are simply to either consolidate their presence, grow it or at times just plain- survive!

There is nothing right or wrong about how you want to deploy your meaningful existence- whether you want to seem meaningful to a few or to the many- all depends on how compelling that drive is- something which is a story of your intrinsic love or hate for inertia. We have all known someone who got run over by change and then we almost always know someone who crated their lives because of change- so if you closely see what has actually transpired- in one instance it is the case of hugging inertia to stay where you are in the other instance it is about embracing it and partnering to take a leap of faith banking on what seems to be coming your way- hoping you will develop all that it takes to manage that bit on the journey to the new hazy destination!

The world of corporate houses and the corridors of political leadership that influence public lives and alter the way people live or can live is no different! You have leaders who want to stick to the ways of the tried and tested not wanting to rock the boat or even take it to some place and yet you come across Captains’ who are driven by an intrinsic urge of wanting to challenge what there is and want to chart a new compelling course which hold the promise of a better tomorrow. It is not that one approach is better then the other, the reality is that a little both of both is required to make an meaningful progress at optimum costs, go a bit too long either-ways- the chances are you would end up doing more damage then progress to whatever you are setting out to achieve! So what really is Inertia all about?

To put it simply it is that mind game that your brain is constantly playing with you- a function of our primitive mind- which only cared about one thing- not getting you killed! So when it comes to complex thinking and challenges of the modern day world that we have come to be- no matter how great or superb the brain is as a thinking organ- it too tires and fatigue sets in- when you a tired thinking mind- chances are it will push the button to hold on to what there is and follow the one simple rule- if doing what is being done and what has been done has not as yet got you killed- chances are you will survive going ahead! This is how students say “yes” when they are asked “if they understood or not” – simply because their mind has read it- if the teacher has not been able to explain three times- the fourth time is likely going to be a waste of time and energy- the teacher may have- but your tired and hungry brain has lost its interest to infer, deduce and compute so that’s when you cling to what there is! Likewise when you grow up and start walking the office corridors- “the boss is always right” because why would you care- if shit does happen- it is at the bosses’ table! Well when you have politicians and administrator’s who are given the task to create, sustain and develop the social framework-bitten by the inertia effect- well you see societies either stalling and stagnating or getting stripped and layered all the time on different parameters- looking statistically vibrant but completely wrecked at the human level!

The real point here is that, whether we act as individuals or as a society or a group- it is our disposition and orientation towards inertia that either makes us surge ahead or compels us to keep on repeating the same cycle over and over again! There is no truth in seeking continual change, just as there is no truth about never changing! The reality and essence of meaningful change resides somewhere in between- that space is empowering meaningful change aligned to what is required in the now and the arriving tomorrow! Needless to say not all of us can go on to decipher that bit and lead the many- the irony of the issue is that followers often have the ability and quite a few leaders are stuck to the earlier stories of the good old days and this fundamental difference of having to work for a myopic leader or a myopic leadership is at the heart of people leaving organizations and people failing to relate to the countries and societies that they live in! So what can be done? Well read on!

To being with you, can do something, only if you are able to agree and concur to the reality that something needs to be done- it is only when this compelling intellectual thought has been verified and has been able to successfully over-ride the pressures of your intrinsic inertial state is that you will be able to act decisively – either as an individual or as a leader of a group! Unless this step is not completed- it will almost always be the a case of few steps ahead and a few steps back! It is only when you are able to make your Intrinsic Inertia your friend that you will be able to decipher exactly when it is time to act and when it is time to wait and that is the secret and essence of being successful or not in the view of the world as it measures success, from your stand point- acting on the pivot of known inertia will empower you to make choices which are an expression of your identity and help you stamp your authority on whatever you choose to do- irrespective how big to small that act is!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, guess my Inertial urge for a coffee to think the next idea, is calling me in a quite compelling way! Until then stay wise, stay connected and yes, do strike a connect with your Inertial connect and decipher what tick you and what ticks you off- for there resides the secret to your empowerment!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay safe, stay wise and stay connected! Yes, before I go, A Big Big Thank You for being a part of this journey of ours- this is our 250th Blog! Thank You and Keep sending in those mails and ideas on what you want to hear next!

Fucked up nations and a screwed up world.

If you have woken up each day to tune into the news and discover that not much has changed (which empowers you or your life) and if you have gone to that much cherished office desk of yours’ whether based out of your home or at your real office and always thought about the meaningless banter that you end up through the enslaved long hours (for tasks which you too know could have been done in a few hours, sans the melodrama of the “socially accepted way of working” , that insatiable addiction to meetings, gossip and throwing up meaningless words and ideas which go on to serve very little at the end of the day, leaving you more sapped and disempowered rather then uplifting you; well this is all in a day’s work scenario for the millions of us and the best part is, we don’t even relate this to the wider menace of, how misplaced ideations, policies at national level ends up screwing up the communities within the nation and furthermore rubs off all that it should not to the global space! Join me here as we try to decipher this space and perhaps think around why and what it is, that has led us- as humanity to a point where we are happy to accept what comes our way even without an intelligent or focussed discussion or deliberation. So here we go!

The world seems to be a kind of aggregation of dumb places and over countless cups of tea and coffee ! The world over, every person has a point of view on what the people managing the affairs of their nation should be doing, but the real problem are not the leaders or their ability to manage- the real problem that the nations and the world in general has reached a dismal bend in terms of what could have been better, has more to do with the more innocent and inconspicuous looking elements within the society- which by design or accident end up creating a social conformation of mediocre standards and when societies thrive and propagate on this foundation, needless to say, nations are messed up and the world in general!

Someone rightly said, it is not about decisions, being taken or not- it is about the quality of decisions being taken or not that are the real game changers! The world needs stoic silence as much as it needs vibrance and noise! The real trick is about knowing when to pump up the noise and when to embrace quiet and unless this essence is understood and held on to by the majority, the few that run or ruin the nations and the world will continue to thrive and progress at the expense of directed ambiguity and chaos unleashed towards the majority!

We live in times where societies are more and more closing and folding unto themselves for one or the other reason and all the righteous space of enquiry, deliberation and progressive ideation is being short changed to drive home the narratives of a a few- increasingly our societies are turning into reality show labs playing out to the scripts directed by the few who can do so! As original thinking and genuine enquiry is lost in the race to serve fast food solutions to an ever restless society, we are managing the chaos of today, with no idea on how to engage and deal with the future that is just around the corner! The more humanity keeps digging into its’ heels and obeying the Law of Inertia- it will do nothing else but get further complicated and paralysed to create any meaningful social frameworks that empower individuals to progress and influence! By now, you may want to ask, why this banter? How does this even start? Well read on!

Like with everything good or bad, societal deterioration and the ensuing mess emerging from it always starts small; how small? Well at the very foundational levels in a society- at the level of families- irrespective of whatever the serious and challenging situations that a family may have- whether being affluent or not, more often then not it is within these microscopic spaces on a societal context that we end up promoting disempowerment, myopic outlooks and narrowed down narratives- whether it is about feeding in ways of life or the holy grail of the supposed to be modern education systems that are rampant around us- what each family more often then not ends up doing is destroying the core value of human curiosity and power to enquire and once this is done and the drill to accept what is being preached is set in then we end up having generations and generations that thrive on accumulated information mistaken as knowledge and needless to say- every now and then as that pile of informative garbage fails us- societies across the world are left to fend for themselves as they can- because that is when all the so called experts begin to fail and each one has a point of view which is contradictory and undeserving to find a real meaningful solution to a problem at hand- sounds familiar- well the present pandemic right? yes- well thats how it has been even before the pandemic and will always be!

Disempowerment at an individual level when multiplied and amplified many times over, is what sets back societies and when that is done at a societal level, you end up having a messed up nation! It is from these confines of restricted and challenged spaces that the world leadership emerges and when they too are a byproduct of such beginnings, needless to say hardly anything substantial for the greater good is ever realized! The problems that we see around us and leave us wondering why they don’t get ever solved is not the real issue;the real issue is about trying to solve a problem a hundred times in an exactly same way, which never worked in the first place!

The whole journey of messing up societies and nations begins with placing embarrassing, stupid and dumb goals and targets for the lives of young kids and as they begin to grow and explore the world around, all the innate curiosity and originality is rapidly destroyed and what we end up creating instead is a generation of think alike, feel alike and sink alike people! Everything from parenting to schooling to the way jobs are offered, business is conducted speaks volumes about the intrinsic orientation of the societal fabric and the individual constituents within. Unless this space is altered, you will witness, politicians and policy makers playing out the same narrative year after year, without really achieving anything worthwhile and even when something is achieved, it looses its essence and meaning for the time has already flown by! Unless people stop the intentional deliberate attempt to label human life based on “job”, “relation”, “perception”, or “skewed success definitions”, humanity is all but a hopeless case, racing ahead on the edge of a circle to come back to bygone milestones and fated to repeat mistakes of the past!

Perhaps the only way to untangle, stall or mitigate this seemingly unsolvable mess of humanity, is by going back to the basics and learn not to mend what is not broken- that is what it is all about! No complicated solutions, complex strategies, it is just about being rational, discerning and giving common-sense and human ingenuity and curiosity space and time to breather, thrive and execute. The moment this is done ground up, you will witness transformation unfolding which increasingly comes up solutions and innovation to serve the greater good of humanity. Sure enough, not everything can be charity and there has to be a price to be paid for research and scalability of solutions, but that can’t be an excuse to make the spirit of being human redundant! Senseless automation is a classic example where humans ended up being redundant! technology and automation sure enough are great enablers and game changers, but unless that every moving dynamic balance between people and process is not made, things will end up, with one trying to annihilate the other! Unless people realise this and pledge to build social framework that serve human rather then the other way around, the ever faltering and failing world around us will go on the way it does, banking on the pivot of generous dumbness and sparing intelligence!

Take the step today and make a pledge to yourself to try and connect with the intrinsic and innate human quality that you have within, sans what society says, what your business card says and so on and so forth, once people begin to practise this simple act of self-empowerment and mindful approach to their pwn life and begin to believe that their own lives are much beyond the business cards and the relationships that they build and destroy on an ongoing basis! It is only when empowered and anchored individuals begin to direct and associate at community and societal levels that change will be experienced as it should be and it is then that un-serving and nonsensical rhetoric of the so called leaders and policy makers will begin to get calibrated- for they too would have evolved from the same space of empowered thinking and staying curious for the greater good!

No matter who says what, unless humans are empowered and liberated in their approach to think and stay curious, we are destined to deal with the garbage that gets played out on the screens all day long and we end up trying to define ourselves to what best suits us- from what gets thrown at us! The saddest part of our times is about many people living and dying away not ever realizing what they were capable of and perhaps could have done amazingly well- all because of the overbearing rhetoric of fucked up nations and a screwed up world!

Ciao for now, will be back with anther one, until then stay safe, stay wise and unshackle yourself to embrace empowerment and nourish your curiosity- that is where the magic happens and that is where you find yourself and your purpose; rest all is as simple as a rocket engine!

The problem with “equality”.

Before you even want to jump the gun and try to start racing ahead with suppositions, presumptions and prejudiced thoughts about what this piece is likely to be about, I would simply say that none of that will help or is even required, because the fact of our times is that, no matter how much “equality” is showered from the roof tops and through the societal touch points, we endure only one thing at the end of it all- an equally unequal world in whatever way you choose to study and decipher it! Join me here as we try to unravel why equality is perhaps not what it seems or should be and why the obsessive fallacy of promoting “equality” has led humanity to a point where we are now! So here we go!

You don’t need to study advanced rocket science to learn or observe that the story of humanity is all about societies dotted with individuals and these individuals who go on to make the framework and all working, thriving, not so thriving elements of the social construct are never equal- no matter what measure or metric you choose to compare! You may have two individuals doing the same thing and getting rewarded in exactly the same manner for the work they do- whether in cash or kind- but that in no way is any real authentic or sensible reflection to use the term of “equality”! Simply because individuals, each one us are different and as unique as the last extinct plant or animal! We may have similarities in terms of feeling, thinking and approach on a few fundamental spaces that govern our survival, universally, but that is where the common ground ends and beyond that it is almost always about who we are as an individual and all the blown up garbage around “equality” is nothing more but a glorified publicised rant to drive some or other unequal agenda!

We all studied the grand equality sign (=) as students of elementary maths and we all know and agree that only when the variables or numbers across that sign are the same is when this sign or equality carries any meaning! Likewise when it is about our lives, two sides of the equality sign that are vital are the ones’ that signify who we are as an intrinsic construct and the what are the contextual settings that go on to influence us, as we evolve and go on to engage with the society and the world around us! Needless to say, even the same contextual settings will influence differently individuals as they have different intrinsic construct and, yes, even if you wanted to argue about identical twins and all that space, well, do tell me how much percentage do these gifted identical twins make up of the global human population! So this much for now, as far as the foundation of the concept of equality goes- as humans each one of us are unique, in one way or the other and no matter who says what- equality doesn’t travel beyond the definition about us as a species! So, if this is true, why the global hue and cry about this concept?

Well, the human mind has this habit of wanting to be incentivised and urge to feel good first before thinking good or thinking right- so when you have these utopian concepts thrown at it- it acts like an ice cream given on a hot summers day and soon enough all rational guards of the thinking mind are lowered and the emoting mind takes over- not realizing what it ends up signing up for! This is why most of the time everything related to equality, more or less ends up in a grand public spectacle of office access, conferences, workshops or high tea conversations and that’s where they get buried as well! The real and perhaps the only meaningful attribution to equality only comes from ability have a definite metric which is independent of the person performing a given operation! You see, all apples are sure sweet and the way they ought to be, but they are not equal! They may be similar, but similar never means equal! So what’s the point you may ask? What is this raking up the hay all about…

Well, it is all about grounding your intelligence, wisdom and common-sense to one fundamental aspect of life that, it is our uniqueness which brings in vibrance and variety to the world that we have created and if at all there has to be any meaningful measure or discussion around equality- it has to be not only about equality of access or employment or gender neutrality or any of these (you may still want to root for them), but rather it has to be about equality in terms of human expression based on skills and competence whether that be a field of arts or science or any of their applied fields! Blue blood innovation doesn’t happen in incubation labs and confined corridors and sealed windows, it happens where liberated minds are able to breather, and express freely whether that space is a pent house or a garage and that is the whole essence of human progress and development! The ability to provide a fair and just platform for human expression irrespective of who they are and from where they are, is what is the real essence of equality- It has to be only about equality of expression and the ability to share and improvise on those fleeting expressions and breakthroughs which alone can go on to add meaningful and enriching experiences to the lives of people all around!

If you understand this core aspect and are able to further the same, your immediate community, society, nation and the world will be forever much indebted to you- simply because you allowed the human spirit to remain equal in the real essence of it, by allowing it to flower and flourish on the pivot of human expression rather then any other modern day banter- which is nothing else but an agenda driven narrative-almost always!

I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to take a pause and reflect; what is the equality narrative that you ever got sold to and what is the real essence of equality mean to you! Can there ever be anything greater and further then equality of human expression? Think around it!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise, stay safe and yes, don’t get sold into all the crap that comes your way, some is fine!

Connected to disengagement.

Even before the fabled pandemic came visiting, human societies the world over have been and continue to grapple with an even more subtler and far more dangerous issue and health emergency and that is about, humans loosing the essence of what it is to be human! Join me here as we take a look around this space and try to understand what is unfolding and what is that we can do and not do about it, to preserve our limited sanity! So here we go!

Societies across the world are increasingly becoming a reflection of technological enslavement either by design or by default- this has further gone to result into loss of human engagement and the very essence of it! result? Well you have a family that sits together engaged and connected with their different world’s and not for a moment realizing what is amiss! We are increasing creating societies where short abbreviations and “yes”, “no” or “idk” are becoming the acceptable norm! Instead of protracted ideations, sharing of thoughts, debating over them, refining them or junking them which always created an uplifting and enriching space for the human mind and fueled the endeavor and enterprise that a human mind is known for. This sort of meaningless self imposed isolation and lack or urgency to connect and engage with fellow humans is making us more and more dangerously dumb and enslaved to structured protocols and ways of life- which almost always are designed to serve and profit the few who want to rule over the many! Sure enough there are many facets to this space and there is nothing about being morally right and to take up one point of view over the other, but as long as this evolving and sub-serving ecosystem of disconnected behavioral dispositions exists, meaningful pursuits which can cater to the greater good of humanity will always stand stalled and lost in unknown fogged corridors of the worldly ways!

The problem of disconnected humans and engaged gadgets is not new per say, sure enough technology has been a great tool and instrument for change, however the million dollar question is whether it has changed what it should have or what is shouldn’t have! At the end of the day, whether you call it Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning or whatever the next thing you want to call technological advancement, behind each of those developments are potent human minds who have now deciphered the power and vulnerabilities of what has been unleashed and it is now a simple bidding game where the highest bidder gets access to unleash what one chooses to do- whether to influence and market a product or service or whether to change the social narrative. This is the danger- real and present which threatens to hijack all original and human centric essence of humanity to enquire, answer and progress and this is why whether it be family tables or office work stations, you will find more and more people who are glued to an electronic screen searching something or the other- either mandated or required- which often really does not make any long term impact in terms of value creation and enrichment to an individual’s presence!

I had written sometime back about our disconnected times, but the only reason I was compelled to take this up against, was not because I am technologically challenged or despise technical advancements, but rather to share the fact that humans are becoming more and more enslaved to the developing technological advancements rather then being liberated by them! This is what is perhaps will be the next biggest pandemic- a pandemic of enslaved societies and community spaces that drive and further the agenda of an eclectic few, even as the many stand the risk to suffer and be lost into the oblivion not only in the modern terms of definition of the word “success” but also in the context of the ability to behold the human spirit of questioning and progressing in a manner that nourishes the human soul. By now, you may wondering, what is this rant, all about and what is that I am trying to say? Well plain simple words, societies need to decipher the clear and present risk and danger that our modern day adapted “social hashtags” driven lives bring along with them! For now they are busy robbing away the concept of original thinking and meaningful innovation, the next stage will be where, humans will end up having to prove their worth to a machine, to get access to any service or social benefit that they may require! So what is the plan, what can be done to manage this space well and in a purpose driven way?

It’s pretty simple, as Individuals, as long as we give common-sense, rational thinking and clear headed prioritization a chance, we are most likely to harness the power of automation and artificial intelligence (or dumbness) to impact, influence and serve the intrinsic attributes that make us who as are as humans and that alone is the foundation to achieve any meaningful greatness in the times ahead! For this to happen, people need to practise deliberate, directed disconnect from meaningless engagements over the # world and circle back to the original way of people to people dialogue for it is only when this happens that any automation can be really developed and brought in to serve the people in a more engaging and meaningful way! No one is saying automation is bad, or meaningless, the whole point is as more and more people spend more and more time doing meaningless acts over the # world, they are robbing away valuable time either from their personal space or their professional settings, both of which promise to give in a lot more if nourishes and catered to- unlike the likes, hashtags and shares over the digital world arena!

The time has arrived to say “no” to undeserving digital presence, which does only one thing, pushes in your face a string of algorithm built menu, suggesting you every now and then what is that you should do, shop or consume! The real problems here is two fold; societies are rapidly getting templated to resemble a broader sense of similarity- no matter which part of the world you are in- as good as this seems to be- within that goodness resides the problem of possibly loosing out on the nascent flavour and originality of a social space and what it stands for- call cultural dilution or cultural alteration based on driven and directed agenda of a few! Well, to give you a case in point, good until three decades back, packaged drinking water was an option and today- well it has become almost the new normal! The world- over the menace of web searching experts and their expert solutions (derived from these protracted- unverified searches) are yet another league of chaos creators! Every second you take time to be online, you are doing that at the cost of not being available offline- and trust me, as yet, at least- we are all born offline and guess that’s the medium of communication that we are meant for- else we would have lived and died online like any other portal or web service!

The essence of human progress, both as Individuals and as a society, is not only about being technologically advanced but more importantly being able to stay fundamentally anchored to the core values that a society represents and embrace the identity of who you are and engage with other people around proactively in a progressive way! Sure enough sounds great to send an digital invite to your next door neighbor, but when you are traveling through the same elevator, makes more sense to share a warm smile rather then texting a smiley!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, take your time and do reflect on what is that you are connected with and what is that you are disengaged with and do check if the priorities are right the way they should be!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise, stay safe and yes, speaking to another human being is completely legal and you don’t need to send an email or a digital text before you do that!

Limited by Thoughts and Liberated by Action.

We live in a world, where we are constantly bombarded with some data point- relevant or irrelevant, meaningful or meaningless, true or not, really doesn’t matter! We are in effect becoming what we are consuming, perhaps less about food and more about the data bits that are being served to us whether we willingly seek them or not! Join me here as we take a look into this space and try to understand what this is all about and what is that you and I can really do about it to create a meaningful and engaging outcome around our existence on an ongoing basis! So here we go!

Societies have always been known for their potency of ideation and original works, the more original and greater the contribution that societies have been able to offer, more have they developed, progressed and thrived. if you were to flip the books of history the period of 1700s onwards has been more or less a saga of success by virtue of individualistic and collective brilliance and this paved the way for what a wonderful place the world can be- science, arts, innovation all that we see and experience around us are nothing more but the seeds of yesteryears which are now bearing fruits! The only reason why the fruits that we harvest today are so uplifting, is solely because of the empowering thoughts that lead to their creation in the first place! The bygone area was of limitless ideation and a consistent strife and struggle about not wanting to accept status quo and keep moving ahead, sure enough, you may argue so what is so different about that, it is unfolding even now- well the only difference and the most impacting one is that- today’s pursuits are more and more a story of application of limiting thoughts to seek calibrated outcomes, rather then creating an open canvas that allows collaboration and a more lasting contribution!

The problem with these limited thoughts resulting into calibrated outcomes is not limited to the closed lab doors or political powerhouses, but rather every segment of a society ends up getting entrapped, the moment you limit your thinking to address issues or create new innovations to meet what is unfolding in the now or to alter the way what is being consumed in the now and this is perhaps one of the greatest fallacies of our modern age! If you have ever wondered why despite so much of breakthrough, very often a lot of it means so little, well this is the answer- the trap of limited thinking!

Needless to say, as thinking and ideation begins to get limited and narrowed down in its focus and purpose, the resulting actions too will end up manifesting half baked solutions and recurring problems which keep coming to haunt you with a predictable schedule! Well climate change, save nature, plant more tress, go green, recycle- all of these (important or not) keep coming every year, at a scheduled time, every year announcements are made for new breakthroughs, solutions and technologies to address the problems, but the problem simply continues to be where it is and what just goes on is more conferences, meetings and more solutions for a never ending problem! Think! This is why limited thinking ends up entrapping and societies keep finding solutions for problems that are not there and real problems remain as they are, going nowhere! This is what brings us to the critical importance of knowing what liberating action is all about!

The translation of ideas into action, execution, operations has been the core of all management education for a long time and perhaps the corporate world has been the best testimony to see first hand how limited thinking creates more problems rather then solving the existing ones’ let alone come up with something awesome for tomorrow! You see, the problem with limited thinking or that of, limited circulation of thoughts is that it ends up being a death spiral for any innovative and original thought for an existing challenge or any new challenge with each passing moment. This deadly entrapment of human intelligence by virtue of short sighted and myopic definition and deployment of intelligence and intellect through thought and corresponding flawed actions ends up short serving our future and screws up our today as well! We end up being a society nothing to celebrate today, nor having a party planned for tomorrow, just being survivors for today and the tomorrow which always seems to be a continuation of the bygone yesterday! So what must be done and can be possibly done?

Sure enough, this is not a public policy document, to come up with fine print strategies for arresting the problems related to myopic intelligence and the resulting feeble ideation and thoughts from that space, however one thing that can be done and must be done, is encourage and propagate original and unconventional thinking and ideation as much as any society can! For the real essence of the future and the ability of creating empowering and life changing narratives only will be upheld when space is made available to allow limitless yet directed thinking which is aimed at the greater good! So what’s the way ahead?

Well, as a first step, to come out of this endless spiral of self-consuming and self-centred construct of pursuits at individual and social levels is all about incentivizing thinking and ideation that is selfless and for the greater good and the next crucial step is allowing a platform to sustain and propagate that thought- not by force but by compelling choices that are able to narrate with clarity the benefits and promise of those ideas. It is only when this stage is achieved, that any meaningful action will emerge and that action will be empowering and liberating as it stands on the solid bed rock of empowering ideation which is meant for the many!

Liberated action when unleashed has the power to embrace all those who believe in it and even those who are skeptical about it! Just as the Sun doesn’t make any discrimination as it spreads its’ light, the ability to progress on the power of liberated action too rests on what is being perceived, how well and whats is being done with what has been imbibed! The essence of empowering lives doesn’t reside in the self-help books or motivational workshops or leade4rship games, those things perhaps do help for that fleeting moment, but for enduring and sustaining shift in an approach for being able to receive and share something empowering all the time, we all need to be surrounded by limitless thoughts and liberating actions, all the time or should I say, as much as possible! The progress and growth of societies and individuals will be directly proportional to the exposure and acceptance that they display to adapt these new age, relevant ways of empowering ideas and allowing them to breathe and live through equally accommodate execution and deployment spaces in the social construct!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to take a moment from your life and strive to make a habit of creating limitless thoughts and liberating actions- whether that is a seed that you plant or a corporation that you lead!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and stay empowered!