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!

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!

Obedient slaves and Bad masters.

The first time I cam across this concept was when I underwent a Health and Security training with a high profile organization around two decades back! The trainer was sure enough referring to various technical nuances of providing security detail to VVIPS that we may have to engage with, but as part of the training when he came to the vital part of dealing with “Fire” is when this statement (which I later understood is of foundational value!) came to the forefront! Since that day, it has remained stuck and continues to remain so for a simple reason that it is so fundamental and pivotal that everything around us and everyone around us knowingly or unknowingly is operating through these very attributes! Join me here as we explore this further and understand what is that we can do to make this space more meaningful and to begin with, why does it have to be so? So here we go!

Nature is perhaps the greatest and the eternal teacher. If you have been observant enough and ever had the opportunity to tame the elements of nature (if not all, perhaps a few) you will know what I am referring to! We all have known about the large massive dams that stand a testimony of humanity’s stamp of authority on wild and free flowing rivers, but every now and then when nature comes up with a trick up its’ sleeve, even the most seemingly formidable dams end up being just mere objects as they witness the massive amounts of water which they must allow to flow through and perhaps even flood downstream, simply to ensure that the dam doesn’t fail completely and collapse!

As with water, so with fire, wind and the earth itself- for when the elements on which we stand decide to take matters their way- humanity has almost always ended up paying the price for being reckless and disrespectful- remember the word “climate change” good! This is perhaps what is the simplest explanation for the whole construct of it! As humanity plays dangerously with the elements- what is manageable in no time becomes unmanageable and begins to create problems directly or indirectly of monstrous proportions! This is when the “bad” part of being a master begins to come alive and irrespective where in the world you live, sure enough you have got a taste of it in some or the other form! If you are wondering if this is all about nature and its ways, what does it have to do with us? Well, the truth is, no matter how much we would like to have nature out of our way, it seldom leaves us, and the way we behave with ourselves and people around us, is nothing but a reflection of nature itself!

Through ages, as humanity has learnt and emerged from the shadows of nature, it has learnt one skill and that is of being obedient when it is unsure/ vulnerable and being monstrous when its reeking with confidence/ certainty (more often then not, riding high on overconfidence and some times, arrogance!). This hardwired aspect of the human brain and way of connecting with fellow humans often manifests through the modern day dram that we see unfolding in homes, offices and across the social spaces! This is the reason why you see, overworked corporate slavery (because the vulnerability of being jobless is often too big a mountain to climb for the majority!), next to get around it, the usual tools and aides of sly and non-conforming approaches and behaviours, that is how the seed of corruption gets placed- because a way is found to get around and once you do it for one aspect, certainly you can and you will deploy that art for the next thing that seems to be an insurmountable wall! In case you happen to be the Master in the equation, you will be more aware of the sly ways of your corporate slaves (for Every Master some time has been a Salve!) and that ends up being the bedrock for you to deploy your monstrous approach to get work done!

Sure enough, I am not suggesting this is how everyone is, or everyone operates this way, but if you take a pause and reflect upon the behaviours that you have always seen around you and perhaps even your behaviour- you will always see that people are always oscillating between these two vivid extremes of being a dependable slave to being a ruthless master! The reality of our lives resides in between and as Individuals stack up societies tend to get a broader character of being either more obedient or rebellious both indicative a higher shade of one or the other manifestation!

The times that we are entrapped in, are reflective of this eternally conflict of “Wanting to control” and “Wanting to be controlled” as long as people are naturally aligned to what suits their innate and intrinsic nature, things are fine, but the moment you switch them into the wrong quadrant or they tend to outgrow their quadrant, chaos ensues and as that proportion increases, whether that be in our homes, offices or in the society in general! The compelling question here is, why do obedient slaves or why does obedience transform into brashness and harshness as one rises or work their way to become Masters at some or the other time?

Well part of an answer to that question resides in the space which is related to the nature of enslavement, quality and tenure! As long as that experience of being enslaved is within the flex and stretch of a thinking human mind and is rewarded and corrected within those meaningful limits, as people outgrow their learning and enslavement to become masters, they will retain their attributes and value systems to become meaningful and engaged masters, but when the enslavement space is riddled with conflict zones and confrontational narratives, as they grow and rise, they serve back the their distasteful experience in a more amplified manner and the story goes on! This is how individuals get entangled in never ending comparisons, jealousy, tactical slyness to derail the other, corporate bitching and back stabbing and societal unrest and mistrust, all of these are nothing else but a manifestation of enslavement gone wrong and obedience turned into anguish and aggression! So what’s next?

Well, the real essence is in the fact to accept these compelling realities of our lives and surrender to what comes your way and also ensure that all that is created by virtue of what you do remains meaningful! Perhaps the only way to sieve through this paradox within and around us is to remain rooted deeply within to the values and belief’s that are empowering and liberating! As we go about our lives, there will be times when we have to stay enslaved- perhaps not to anyone but perhaps to an idea, a thought, a belief and even as we do so, ensure we retain the character and flavour of who we are and don’t end up carrying the excesses of our entrapment through our journey of empowerment and liberation! The most dangerous way to emerge is ending up being a leader who is entrapped and enslaved within- in their beliefs, thoughts, fears and anxieties!

It is only when a moving fine, dynamic balance is reached as we go about living our lives between being a wishful slave and a leader by choice, will it empower us as Individuals who can then further go on to influence others sans the negativity of being a bad master and ensure that the enslavement or followership that emerges is not tied to something regressive but rather to some liberating thought which empowers even those who are enslaved to the cause of rising ahead and moving further!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to take some time to reflect the enslavement that you seek and the leader that you want to be when your time comes so that you stay an obedient slave to your liberated mind but never a bad master while driving your ambitions!

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

Deciphering ” The Radical Thinking” mind.

If you are left wondering about what happened at the Capitol Hill on January the 6th and are feeling anguished, angry, dejected, proud or sad or perhaps little bit of everything, this piece is for you; simply because what happened at the Capitol Hill is not an isolated incident as it may seem and is played out across societies all over the world for one or the other reason and depending on which side you view what’s unfolding, either you will be elated or sad and either ways- what unfolds seldom serves you or the society in terms of moving it closer to the larger and greater good! So join me here, as we go further to understand what the so called, “radical thinking” is all about, from where does it emerge and what is that can be done about it- does it only harm or is it helpful too? So here we go!

The dynamism that human societies have witnessed in the last century have laid the foundation to what we witness and experience as our societies around us! Societies which have typically witnessed oppression, war, strife, struggle, more often than not tend to become more mellowed, humble and accommodative with time and as people in those societies begin to get equitable access to opportunities of growth and learning! On the other hand, societies which have always had a very intrinsic and unipolar view of the world and about everything and everyone around them tend to live and die in their own unwarranted over confidence or lack of it!

The challenge that societies have always faced and continue to is about being able to share the dividends of progress in a proportional manner- no one is suggesting socialism here, neither am I suggesting Capitalism is bad, what is relevant and contextually important is the fact that, unless the fruits of labour of progress are not shared in a proportionate manner (whatever that proportion is), societies will feel moving at different speeds within the sub-segments and thereby- you will witness people racing ahead and people being left behind and it is from these extreme scenarios of societies that radical thoughts begin to emerge- the ones’ who are racing ahead feel right about what they do because they are enjoying what the aspire and those who are being left behind, tend to feel right about what they do, thinking that is their way and approach to reach their unfulfilled aspirations! So you see in a sum total way, the essence of radical thinking emerges from the extreme ends of societies hinging on their association with their aspirations- at one end- being enjoyed and wanting more and at the other end wanting the basic ones’ first! Based on what society you live in, you will have different standards for aspirations and different levels of volumes at the extreme end and in the middle of the given society.

As long as societies have the majority of their constituents around the centre, the few on the extreme ends can be managed, but as polarization sets and more and more people start to feel compelled to take extreme stands (as part of the larger social conformation bias) the societal balance is thrown away and what you are left is with few people standing in between of two extremely polarized sections who have a large volume as well! This is what the story of many societies across the nations is today! The cause of that polarization could be anything from, political ideologies, personality worship, religious belief’s, genuine like or despise of available quality of leaders’ , whatever other hundred reasons that you can think about- the fact remains that no human is ever born with a polarized mind or heart and it is the society which goes on to indoctrinate that aspect and whether that helps or harms largely depends on what is injected into the impressionable minds of the people through their forming years and this is perhaps the on stage where societies can strive to check the run away polarization that only comes back to bite them at the end! But how and why do people get sold into extreme views or end up taking a radical stand?

As people begin to race ahead or begin to get left behind, despite and inspite of everything, the ones’ ahead are ready to do anything it takes to stay ahead and the ones’ left behind are ready to do anything that it takes to make that move ahead! For achieving this, whatever comes to their rescue works! This could be taking hardstands on political ideologies, personalities or perhaps even using matters of faith as deemed appropriate, all of this- just as tools or instruments to achieve something that is totally different and what’s worse is that, scoities which allow this to develop and get strong- do so with unwritten laws and incentivization based on how far to an extreme a person leans to! More often then not the heady cocktail of the political class and the people from the society and tool used for the hard-line stand ends up destroying and ripping away whatever would have been the unique identity of the society itself!

Before the rampant industrialization, societies had time and space and were more accommodative and allowing for people to pursue without the fear of getting left behind nagging anywhere around their minds! Today’s world is a different place altogether, trust me if Picasso or Gustav Eiffel or Einstein would have been present today, they would have at the most ended up leading the design or science lab at one of the large corporate houses and that would be their limited claim to fame! They too would have ended up being enslaved to fit into the social frame either as leaders racing ahead or as oddity left to struggle and sink in their own corner- which again are the same positions of the two extreme ends of todays’ world! It is almost easy to go on to a television debate show and claim that there should be no space for extreme thoughts in the society, well the problem with that statement is that all great discoveries and innovations have always had when extreme and radically different thinking was applied to something that can serve humanity and hence the problem is not with the space of radical thinking but rather the deployment of that ability for the serving or unnerving causes! So what’s the plan?

The plan is simple and straightforward, it is about creating enough space within societies to accommodate all the voices, feelings and thoughts that are there and try to resolve and address them the way it should be done! The maddening race to be ahead and the unwanted fear and anxiety of being left behind has to be done away with in totality- sure enough a tall and utopian order, but unless that happens, societies will keep drifting away from humanities foremost agenda of meaningful and purpose driven progress and end up sub-serving ourselves and the generations that rely upon us! If you though this is just a civic problem or the ones’ that politicians should be left to deal with it, think again!

The elements of societies are all of us, You and Me included, as we walk in and out of our offices, get driven in the cabs, are taking trains, buses, co-workers, vendors, clients, visiting stores and going about our social community engagement- we are knowingly and unknowingly touching and connecting with various segments of our society and the way we carry ourselves, behave and speak we are sending out a signal not only about the society around us but importantly also about who and what we have ended up becoming as Individuals while we have been either busy either racing ahead- to stay ahead or we have been striving and struggling to catch up as we have got left behind!

It is only when societies are able to create enough space for all constituents within its frame and enough scope for them to express and explore that we will see the beginning of the end of radical thinking and radicalization! may sound utopian, but that is the only way, human progress has been a story of the ingenious ability of the human mind to come up with new thinking and new solutions for perplexing problems at hand, with time sure enough, even this problem of radical thinking will be addressed- once the root causes that accelerate and provoke it are taken care of!

I leave you here with these thoughts for now, not pushing you to either edges of your thinking mind, and just sharing a final thought with you that, the problem is not about the human mind that thinks, neither it is the problem of the mind that thinks radically, the real problems is about what is the contextual truth around that mind which makes it to think the way it does! Fix that and you have fixed all the minds around you -fixed for good!

Remember, average thinking always produces average results, great thinking produces great results and all great thinking happens at the very edge of the thinking process and that is what Radical Thinking is all about- use it wisely and humanity will be endowed with gifts and bliss unlike ever before!

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

Being Mindful is also about being Creative.

Hello there! Now that you have changed the calendar, settled down on to the new countdown for a new year, what better then to begin the year by taking a shot at what matters and what can create value to you and me alike! Join me here for a quick journey to understand the whole space around being mindful (which you will hear quite often through 2021) and why it matters and how it propagates creativity and why individual creativity is of paramount importance for all of us in the times ahead! So here we go!

Unlike what is presumed, being mindful is not about being passive or trying to escape or avoid challenges coming ones’ way, rather on the contrary it is being able to offer the best that one can moment to moment in whatever is been dealt with so that the very possibility of emergence of problems or challenges is halted right in the bud! The daily chaos of the corporate world has offered this vague presumption around mindfulness that it is for creative people or for those who work on their own pace and aren’t governed by the laws of pressure and corporate dynamics! The easiest way to understand this is that, many a times book stores will have books on Mindfulness not in the Business Management or Wellness or Health section but rather in something called as “Self Help” a section, which by the convention of it’s name itself discourages people from walking close by, let alone going through the titles and trying to make the sense of the contents presented! The creative human mind is always seeking and trying to create new realities and rationalize observed facts around it, this continuing subconscious act of the human mind only is empowered when the mind is trained to be mindful and anchored where it should be! So what is being Mindful really about? Well, read on!

Mindfulness, if you ask me is the ability to rationalize, accept and work through, around and over compelling and favorable contextual settings alike! You see, mindfulness can’t and never works in vacuum! It needs the relevant audience, the task or simply put something to be worked upon by someone and when we understand this bit, we then now why it is so elusive; well the moment you have “the others” in the sterile contexts of your life, you will feel the push and pull of all that gets around you and it is within these spaces and confines of our everyday world that mindfulness gets reduced to fleeting moments of temporary attention and is almost always lost and disconnected at the drop of a hat! You may be tempted to ask, don’t meditation and allied techniques foster and promote mindfulness? Well they do but that space of mindfulness, it is all related to introspective enquiry aimed to empower the vibrance of intellect and sharpness of awareness.

The nature of day to day mindfulness that is required for us to “stay in the moment” is all about being able to give our best in the fleeting moment on hand for the task undertaken- nothing more nothing less! Whether it is the talk that you give, that meeting you conduct or the orders that you pay attention to, when each f these and many such tasks are dine with utmost deployment of directed mindfulness you will find, your day change dramatically in the sense that- you will always seem to get more clarity than earlier and this will empower you to take wise decisions and this cycle of empowered thinking and empowered action will go on as long as you are able to apply your mind holistically in the fleeting moment that you are in! This,if you ask me is the real essence of begin mindful in the context of the type of daily lives we lead and are part of! So what about the Creative part of it?

Well, as the mind becomes aligned and focussed to being “In the Now”, needless to say, it always is seeking to decipher recognizable patterns (that is what it always does to reduce the burden of re-wiring and re-recording observations!) and as long it manages to come up with some intrinsic and unique ways for doing that bit, rest assured even routine tasks and days will begin to become awesome and you will be able to find something new and meaningful even in a seemingly “same day, all day long” situation! The creative mind is perhaps the most potent tool on the planet, from tooth picks to nuclear weapons all have been but a manifestation of the creative abilities of the human mind and when this is coupled with the power of being mindful, all that you can expects is magic and the magic felt is all about bringing in newness, opulence and a continuing differentiating value to life on an ongoing basis!

The creative mind has this innate advantage to decipher a challenge in multiple ways and more importantly wrap the solution as aptly as it can to the contextual settings of the problem, thereby making it look better then what it is (if it’s not really good enough!) and when it’s a real doo one, it simply empowers it to shimmer and provide a newly laid pathway to address the compelling problems! you add mindfulness to this space and you have a state of intellectual bliss! You can harness the best of what your mind has to offer- being focussed like a laser and at the same time being able to work out meaningful alternatives (solutions) at a rapid pace- with each one trying to be the better then the last- thereby ensuring that the task at hand is dealt with a high level of applied intelligence so that outcomes are almost always best in class!

If mindfulness is the space that allows your mind to stretch, creative approach adds that, much needed flex to it and together they are able to manifest innovation, breakthrough’s and answer problems of humanity like nothing else can!

I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to harness your trim level by deploying your creativity in the mindfulness that you are able to touch! Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article soon! Stay safe, Stay wise and Yes, have a great 2021 – the mindful way!

Be In the “Now”.

You have had books written, best sellers written, seminars, team games, outbound programs, workshops and what not around this concept, yet so much of humanity continues to struggle to stay “in the now”! Join me here as we take a fleeting look around this subject and try to decipher if this is really a meaningful approach and if it is so, why and when does it work and when does it fail! So here we go!

To begin with, we must understand and try to decipher from where do the references to the whole concept of “Be in the Now” some in to play! Well there are two broad areas, one is that this concept is not as modern as it seems and there are references to the value and attribute of “being in the now” across different forms of faith, religious writings and belief systems in one or the other way across societies all the time, in fact all the great progress that societies have made have been when “they have been in their now” and whenever they have lost focus and raced far too ahead or regressed far too back, societies have faced problems! But I will leave this ancient civilizational aspect here for now, simply because all modern day approach to this concept banks of this old wisdom albeit with a twist to suit the modern times and societies that exist and needless to say adding a touch of further improvisation or confusion based on who is communicating this message! But what is the real content and message of this space?

As humanity evolved, societies realized through their way of living, what worked and what did not- there have been wise philosopher’s through the ages who went on to endlessly observe and record of how human behavior impacts the surroundings and when does work become meaningful and meaningless, when does it create value and when it doesn’t, when does thinking change into day dreaming and when does ambitions become mindless hallucination! As the wise people kept getting better and better through their observations around humanity and human enterprise, as kingdoms and empire got built and destroyed,as societies became opulent and bereft of opulence, one thing that stood out singularly was the fact that- all intelligence, wisdom, thinking and enterprise will be wasted unless and until it is executed- even if the result is failure- for from there alone will it be possible to improvise further again and again until success- that is- the desired result can manifest and see the light of the day! For this to happen, it was important to not only bank of knowledge (which basically is all but the past) and be able to apply that to the current context of people and resources for a thought to fructify into something meaningful (read intelligence). This is indeed the simple and real essence of being “In the Now”, the ability to apply Intelligence on the acquired knowledge to solve a challenge that provides a solution to alter something that is there in the “NOW”!

So, you see, “Being in the Now” is more about being connected with the realities and truths around, needless to say each one’s is going to be different and meaningful and the inability to decipher that bit leads to perceptions and more often than not we take those snap decisions/ judgements in all that we do paying heed to these perceptions- which are not always what the truth is and this is where the divergence commences and people begin to struggle to remain in the “now”! Human societies the world over whenever have portrayed creative excellence through art or science- always were slow and not as fast paced as we have them today and if you look carefully the quality of creative excellence (which is supposed to be the epitome of human expressions) has all but deteriorated inversely proportional to the acquired pace that a society or individual has got hooked up to! More faster you go, the less you are able to think right and that is why, so many “experts” wanting you to attend their workshops/ seminars and basically tell you to “slow down” , unless that is not done, neither can you meaningfully connect your acquired knowledge to the available intelligence that you have and nor will you be able to pursue anything meaningful with any contextual clarity! So what next?

Well, simple, don’t waste your money attending “Be in the Now” workshops and seminars unless you know what you are getting into! You will emerge just as you went in! Unless an individual or societies make a directed effort to attain a specific goal and unless they deploy their intelligence while engaging it with the available knowledge- staying in the now- will become fruitless and the mind will have no other option but aimlessly either wander into the bygone’s or get consumed into some futuristic hallucinatory thought process!

For “Be in the Now” to work effectively and on an ongoing basis, it calls for much discipline and effort until it becomes your natural orientation. It is only when you begin to get ample clarity of what serves you and what does not, does magic begin to happen! It is an exercise in de-cluttering your life like nothing else, doing away with meaningless and un-serving family, friends, talks, thoughts, aspirations, desires each and every of them, some are easier said than done, but this is critical, unless you free your mind from the accumulated garbage of life around you, it will almost always function at sub optimal levels, leaving you always struggling between your past- present and future and hence your wanting to be “In the now” will always seem to be elusive and stressful!

The “now” can be empowering only if it is deployed and worked upon in the way that takes you closer to your meaningful aspirations! Once you have decently de-cluttered your life, your mind will have more band width to deal with what is around you- your ability to observe and inference in the “present” will acquire a completely new level of potency and that is how you will begin to know that you have arrived “in your now”. You will start to see meaningful patterns- that nourish you and at the same time you will be able to identify patterns that seem helpful but are actually robbing you off vital time and energy for no real reason! As you continue to work and move ahead with this kind of awareness and ability to sieve through fleeting moments with a sharp focus- you will be able to stay more and more in the moments that you behold and deploy the best you can at all that you do- whether it is your office desk job, the novel that you are writing, the painting that you are at or perhaps just the travel you are embarking upon or even may be that meaningful dialogue at business or that time with qualified friends and family each of these elements will begin to create more value and in return you will be to create more lasting value!

I leave you here with these thoughts for now, so that as you race ahead for your much awaited weekend, perhaps you will be able to think about “how you want to be in the Now” and for what and in case you are the lucky one who already has been practising and thinks is “in the now” , well make it more potent, is all that I can say! Human lives are nothing more than fleeting moments- what we are able to create through them goes on to signify many different things at many different times in different contexts- there is nothing right or wrong about how you choose to live- what is wrong- is not correcting when you know you can and you should- especially when you have options around you that can amplify your creative excellence further, and one such potent approach is being meaningfully and intentionally, “IN THE NOW”!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece, until then stay wise and stay plugged into your today!

The Gate-Keeper.

The humble gate-keeper’s are the root cause for all the progress and problems that we see all the time as they manifest and play out around us! Whether its is about writing the story of political success or disasters or it is about organisations doing well at one point and then going down the drain in a few years, among the many other contributing factors, the silent passive role of the gate-keeper is almost always one of the reasons for all that manifests- it is the space when “too much” or “too little” from the gate-keepers goes on to create and manifest realities that no one want’s to embrace! Join me here as we undertake this journey to understand what really happens when gate-keepers misfire and what is that we can do to plug that bit so that we don’t end up fighting battles which are best avoided!

Unlike popular belief, gate-keepers are everywhere and every level, whether you want to start with your home, the community you live in, the work place that you go to or the business engagements that you are part of or if you are lucky enough to witness the building up and falling down of political fortunes of politicians and nations, each and every space around these aspects of our life are driven by gate-keepers- their effectiveness and balanced thinking is what propels societies collectively further and ahead and when they get mentally fatigued or confused, well, yes the social segment impacted begins to seem like a part of a zombie apocalypse movie! So what do these people really do, or should I say what is that they are really to do and why and how that helps to begin with?

Well, the easiest example of gate-keepers that you and I would have come across would be those fabled folks from the “HR” departments or from those “secretarial” areas where we spend much of our corporate life either hiring/firing people, dealing with them and their real and apparent skills (those mentioned on the papers) and trying to make that sale (once we are able to get appointments!) respectively! But it is is spaces like these of the corporate world oblivious to the C”X”O’s team and the so called “A” Teams or “Strategic Thinkers” a lot of talent gets wasted and a lot of incompetence gets added even as the higher ups continue to keep writing theories and attend conferences and networking events speaking about how they and their organization is ready for the future! We all have come across the normal painful and dumb practise of the “HR” wanting to know how long an individual will last, if selected and so on and so forth, not realizing that they are in fact hiring because a person who has left the organization was the one they had selected because that person was going to hang around for a long time! Then you have other instances when “empowered groups” are asked to validate new ideas (even as they suffer from some severe intellectual incomprehensibility) and many great ideas are either then killed before they come alive, or the people with great ideas leave and start on their own or worse still this educated evaluation body ends up selecting the worst idea (which is in line with their limited understanding and intelligence) thereby setting up the organization for its own slow and systematic demise.

The problems with the gate-keepers begins as soon as you end up having the wrong people to keep the gates! You see, over critical, over anxious people are really never too dependable when it’s crunch time, for they will screw up for sure and the magnitude of their stupidity can cause damages worth millions- which at times are even not realized unless that new competition comes up and that’s when the people say, “Oh that person used to be working here, next to me!”. Organizations end up paying the price for having the wrong gate-keepers and at times this folly can be fatal to the enterprise’s existence! But then why would anyone in their right mind end up deputing the wrong or an intellectually stagnated gate-keeper?

Well the, answer to this question we must realize that intelligence as a currency is worthless if it is not updated and fine tuned to what the contextual reality is in the moment and needs to be validated and certified on an ongoing basis, this is what makes intelligence so fragile and both- useful and useless at the same time! Don’t believe it ask your friend who had to deal with a salesperson for an hour on a Monday morning, simply because the secretary got outwitted to end up giving that appointment! As far as inability to comprehend the “next big idea” well the whole world is full of examples of how erstwhile colleagues ended up being business competition, simply because someone did not pay heed and attention when it mattered the most! In all probability because someone said, investing that time on an idea- whose time had not arrived- was not worthwhile- all this as “they thought”!

If you thought, corporate gate-keeping was damaging enough (when not practiced the right way), imagine or should I say don’t imagine the kind of mess it can lead societies and nations into when governments of the day end up having intellectually starved officials/ bureaucrats as gate-keepers and policy collaborators for them! This is what empowers corruption, slyness, chaos and ambiguity and whether you are a developed nation or an emerging one or a small nation- doesn’t matter- each nation and society on this planet has this rare breed of failing and faltering governmental gate-keepers in equal measure to the level of political incompetence and societal indifference that is played out! The only aspect (where it differs from the corporate world) about governmental or political gate-keeping going wrong is not about another nation picking up an idea- but ending up providing other nations with multiple opportunities on account of one mistake at gate-keeping related to one subject matter! So if you run a nation, now you know why a lot of politicians end up ruining the nation rather then running it! When multiple gate-keepers fail one after the other even if the political outfit or the government of the day has the best intentions to provide great governance can come to a nought and fail miserably!

By now if you are thanking your stars and thinking that gate-keeping and problems arising from improper or reckless gate-keeping are limited to the corporate world and the political universe, well think again- with like everything else that is human- believe it or not- this gate-keeping begins at home- like charity does and the innocent looking approaches of “not this”, “do this and not that”, go on to often calibrate potential of individuals and end of the day, before you realsie you have already ended up walking on a path which is nothing what you would have really wanted to – had you got a choice- which is what great gate-keeping always does provide!

Great gate-keeping and great Gate-Keepers are often iconic simply because the value that they are able to create by what they effectively do is astronomical- whether it is the ability to get the right candidate to lead a community or a society, or the ability to spot a fine talent who can be then molded into a visionary corporate leader or that finesse to know the next solutions and services that society eagerly awaits- each and every space around factors like these and beyond is often dotted around with some fine gate-keepers who are constantly sieving and evaluating the “next best story” over the horizon. It is their ability to tap into the idea whose time has come at the time that one should- is what makes them truly iconic and a blessing for humanity the world over! So what sets these iconic gate-keepers apart from the mediocre ones’?

Intent and Interest- Iconic gate-keepers are like those curiosity driven babies who want to constantly explore, evaluate and understand what the surroundings are communicating- through people and through objects and through patterns that come and go! This ability of wanting to know more alongside a laser sharp focus on what is that they are hunting for- whether it is talent, Corporate leaders, a Political successor, a great takeover, whatever that is on their agenda- is what makes them so potent and successful- sure enough being human and the fact that they deal with humans- they too will fail at times – but what matters is that their success rate and success magnitude far outweigh their losses and hence what stand out almost always are the stories of the wars that they have won and not about the battles that they have lost!

I leave you here with these thoughts for now, allowing you to practise and reflect upon your own individual style of gate-keeping and do ponder about the times of your life when gate-keeping helped you and when it backfired and how all of that has helped you become who you have become until now! The story of gate-keepers and gate-keeping is a story of humankind’s endless pursuit to reach their aspirations and doing it in the most effective and efficient manner!

Ciao for now, will be back son with another one! Until then be the gate-keeper you want to meet when you knock on the gates- that you desire to be opened for you!