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!

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!

Making sense through shifting narratives.

What a year it has been! A lot of us would be glad that the year is drawing to a close, albeit even as each one of us pauses for a few moments to check our losses and come to terms with the collateral damage that we have all got into; even as we do so, we are staring with confidence and doubt, anxiety and hope into the new year that seems to be a few days ahead, yet seems to be so far away! Join me here for a short trip, to know, why I went silent for over a month, what is it with the shifting narratives and finally, what is that you and I can do, to stay sane, even as we race full speed ahead another seemingly fogged out welcome to yet another new year! So let’s roll…

If 2020 was about all the crying, wailing and screaming about a new virus- accidental or intentional, 2021 was all about allowing “Vulturism” to take centre stage! 2021 was dotted with ample instances of shifting narratives- be it the pandemic itself, the conflicting stories about the vaccines, their efficacy, politics, business corrections and what not! Every few weeks, our online screens have been successful in diverting our attention from one “so called matter of life and death” to another, every few weeks, you and I were told, “If we didn’t get it right and if we missed what was been told, we won’t live to see the end of the year” Sadly for these folks, you and I are still here and the bad news around this is, so are they and their factories that churn out these dumb shifting narratives! So you may, by now want to understand, what is that you and I can do about it and is there anything that we can really implement- even at a personal level to regain our lost sanity and basic attributes of humanity- well yes, we can do a lot, bit by bit, even as the mad circus on town gets played over and over again even through 2022, simply by choosing not to walk into that lane leading to the circus! So how do we do it? Well here we go!

To begin with, create your personal sovereign space- both physical and intellectual- this is like drawing lines which are non-negotiable and defined to ensure your physical and mental well-being is never compromised.To do this effectively, you need to come up with clear plans about knowing who your sources are and how credible they are- whether they ask you to take the next jab, the next pill or even about moving your house or exploring a new job, only once you have secured the first line of Influence that can alter or modify your decisions sufficiently and weighed them practically for their accuracy and neutrality- will you be able to have access to quality knowledge/ information and it is only when you have authentic and neutral information that you will always be able to come up with empowering decisions! May seem difficult to do, sure it is, good things and great events are never easy, only disasters and accidents happen fast and quick!

Once you begin to treat yourself like a sovereign nation and take the onus of a protecting your well being, trust me you will see a lot of unwanted noise getting filtered away in no time! The next thing is about knowing what you want to do with the information that you have! The world is constantly shifting- that is one side of the story, the other more not so visible side of the story is- what part and how much of meaningful change is brought to your notice or is available for your to decipher and what is really important and hidden away (either intentionally or otherwise!). This is another important aspect that adds fuel to the fire of shifting narratives! You go to bed, happy about your investment portfolio only to wake up the next day morning to realise you have lost 30% of value simply because some shit hit the roof in some Asian market- which you probably have never even heard about! Have your ever noticed, no matter how high or low markets hit- the companies listed always are safer then the retail investors who almost always have their wealth eroded after a finite time, in one way or the other! Sure, people do make gains, make profits and also earn millions- but, for that to manifest there’s always more then meets the eye playing out right in your blind spot! It is imperative that one needs to have or rather develop a great skill to sieve through meaningful context to decipher what’s missing rather then what’s available- for the missing links almost always set the tome for the next unexpected hair-pin bend on the road to your success!

Know the distraction, demonstrate acceptance to deviate and deflect! You see, whether it is the politicians, the screens that keep blaring information/ content at you, all of them are doing so with an intent and purpose and as long as you keep visibly defying them by word or action, they will just keep coming at you with all the power that they have or have grabbed and keep hammering away what they want you to accept/agree (at least until they are sure you have done so!) So, if you want to stop that unending onslaught, go back to your childhood days and deploy that ace trick- say yes and do nothing and keep repeating that in a loop, and that’s something for which there’s no answer!

As the world moves ahead to change calendar years, the upcoming years are going to be anything but ordinary or reassuring! What 2020 has shown is that nations will go to any extent to alter the course of human progress and that they will take any risk to alter the global power equations! No one will accept, neither will anyone be ever able to conclusively decipher whether the whole act of the setting off the pandemic was accidental or intentional- but one thing that has certainly emerged from this episode is that, nations can get away with mass murder- if they plan and deploy those strategies with finesse and a soft art of fluid diplomacy which swings between extremes of softness and borders on the edge of war mongering! No, this is not about fear mongering or about selling a possible doomsday story, but it is about encouraging you to think on the pivot of your intelligence and common-sense to decipher what;s hidden in your plain sight on an ongoing basis- for that alone is the only hope and way to stay clear of shifting narratives which show no signs of abetting in then near future as humanity keeps it’s onward march in pursuits of progress (or is it something else disguised within the definition of the word progress- think! you will know!)

I leave you with these thoughts for now, will be back with another one soon and yes a promise to keep, you will see more frequent and more varied topics coming up as we journey through 2022!

Stay safe, stay wise and decipher what’s hidden in plain sight!

PS: Beginning 2022, one-on-one coaching/counseling calls will be available through zoom! For more details please feel free to write to me at parimal.aluri@simplifylives.com

Maverick minds for maverick times.

If there has been any commonality of all thats unfolded around the world in the last two years, it has been stitched by the fabric of maverick thinking- at times it has helped and yet at other times it has harmed. Join me here as we try to decipher, the what and why around this space and understand what makes being a maverick so potent! So here we go!

Contrary to popular assumption (which by itself is another pandemic of sorts!) being a maverick doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is or wants to be reckless, alternatively the converse may be more accurate! you see, when this whole virus episode cam visiting us, all the normal ways of thinking had to be pulled off and away and societies which did that, saw a slightly better result in terms of ability to save lives and ride the storm out with as much little damage- if we have to say it that way. Sure enough there have been lapses and there have been those systemic failures regarding infrastructure and people not being around when it mattered the most and that point itself is another validation of why we need people around who are and can think like mavericks!

Normal human behaviour, reasoning and logic works well and evolves when there is a linear disruption- where changes happen over a period of time; consider the fuel price rise or the rise in cost of living- over a period of few weeks or months you will be able to come up with a plan and method to sustain or adjust to the new realities that have walked in to impact your way of living. But when there is a mega event like what we have been witnessing in the recent past- whether it was the pandemic, the natural events- flash floods, forest fires, other natural calamities- the human mind simply is overwhelmed and as your emotional response begins to kick in to stay safe and stay alive- you stand a a greater chance of missing out on an opportunity to come to terms with what’s unfolding on the lever of rational thinking and logical thought process.

It is precisely in these environments, that maverick minds rise up to the occasion and provide a way out which seems like a terrible thing, but as it unfolds, in hindsight, that is the only thing that could have been the answer is what eventually it gets to be! So what is maverick thinking and how is it that you and I can tap into this space?

As I said in the beginning, it’s not about being reckless, it is rather about being observant, aware and resilient. It is about knowing the gravity of what’s unfolding and the ability to respond in a calibrated manner where the measures are just enough to tilt the moment in time in your favour but never in excess- which can go on to set loose a whole set of unwanted side effects and create solutions with more subsidiary and long lasting problems!

Maverick thinking, if you ask me is, being able to think fast, dealing with multiple variables and running simulations of varying degrees to choose a path among the many that are available in which the trade off is minima. You may say, but this is how we also normally think- don’t we? Evaluating multiple options and then taking an informed choice, well the difference here is that in the normal course of evaluations and solution deployment, we are executing a linear approach of negating or shooting down one option and then moving to the next one to analyse; in the case of the maverick mind- one needs to run concurrent evaluations under a confined time and changing situation and this is why maverick thinking is what excites a few and scares yet others! So how do you get one?

Each one of us has the ability to deploy our minds in a maverick manner, we have done it- at times we have realized it and sometimes we have just not taken note of it! Whether it was a sly trick at school or some amazing performance in sports or academics, none of that would have been possible with the conventional linear approach- which thrives on incremental progress and benchamrking- it is only when the definition of experienced comfort and perceived discomfort gets clearer and the contrast gets sharper are we able to deploy our wildest way of thinking and imagination- this is what sets the tone to deploy our minds in a maverick manner!

Whether it was about the fearless fire-fighters battling ferocious fires for months together or the management of the pandemic- it is only when the people responding to these emergencies have deployed weird executions and non-conventional approaches to the problem at hand, that humanity has got a long pause to re-collect, re-group and wage a more planned out and well laid out defence to the nemesis playing out!

To begin with a maverick mind, is swift and is aware- moment to moment- it has an ability to see what is visible and also what is hidden away- small pockets and aberrations which are quickly picked up, for it is within these that the next escalation or emergency can manifest from! Once the maverick mind has sized up or got an edge to be over the crest of an emerging situation, all that is left is to decide on the action that needs to be taken- more often then not- the maverick mind resorts to unconventional execution- which matches every word of the solution in speed, intensity and direction! If you go back to a very famous case around the end of the first Gulf War- around 1991-1992 when the oil fields across Kuwait were set ablaze with no real conventional solution providing an answer, it was a sheer genius and a maverick mind which thought of dousing fire with more fire (controlled explosions at the mouth of the burning oil wells!) The solution worked, worked well so much that now there is a whole science and progressive research around dealing with highly dangerous fire hazards within the oil and gas industry – all of which started with only one maverick thought!

The solutions of a maverick mind are not limited only to situations of emergency, you can see the effects play out as governments come up with some crazy rules, regulations – which seem to be something, but actually are a camouflage to help the government meet some other end result! Consider this, the recent few years has seen volatility of fossil fuel prices across the world, even as this is playing out every few months nations and societies are adding up to the electric mobility eco-system- in few societies that is the accepted and adopted policy position and while in few others, knowing the kind of complex resolution that may be need the governments, are simply holding on to the price rise of fossil fuel so that eventually when comparisons are made charging an electric battery may tend to seem cheaper then have a fuel thirsty old age vehicle! Not only does it help on this one front- but with the onset of electric mobility what you have is controlled movement and calibrated management of available units for mobility in the private and public ecosystem and needles to say each of these units would be end-to-end traceable. With all of this maverick approach, we are ushering in a new age of meaningful and purpose led mobility – so the days of throwing up the key and going in for an aimless long drive as we now experience will be a all but a tale from some other life time in the decades ahead!

Like with everything else, the harnessing of a maverick approach largely depends on who the owner of that mind is and how sane or insane that is! As humanity we have witnessed maverick’s make and break our world with precision and impunity- end of the day a maverick mind is perhaps one of the most potent tools, how you want to deploy it and how deploys it- is what eventually determines whether we rise with it or sink with it!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, grab your cup , try and reflect on your own frame of maverick success and failures and within them you will find latent seeds of promise and fears, what you choose to nourish is what then will grow and manifest as a cloak to your emerging personality!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise, keep thinking and be a maverick!

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 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!

Making sense of the “climate change” nonsense.

Well, don’t even bother to write me off here, thinking this article is for or against the issue of climate change. Like all our other engaging write up’s this one too is about what the topic is and what is being made out of it! Join me here as we re-discover this space of the fabled “climate change” and trust me by the time you end up reading this piece you will also perhaps begin to think what is the real emergency here, is it the climate or is it the ability and need of dealing and managing human greed and dumbness! So here we go!

If you study the documented modern history of humanity, lets stay focussed to the period post 1700, what it has ended up doing is creating automation (increased production and loss of livelihoods then, altering the livelihood space), connectivity and accessibility. All of this made sense as long as there was a balanced calibration for the local manufacturing, produce and what came in from neighboring states or towns. But as the dynamic shift began and towns and cities began to get flooded with products and services (read people migration) from different states, towns and cities, soon enough the struggle became rampant and that level of mass market size capture called for ever expanding thirst for machinery, process, industries, fuel and as this initial burst somewhere in the mid 1800’s began unchecked with “give a damn” to polluted stream , land or farm, or that reckless clearing of forest and shrub land for growing crops- all of this began to set the foundation to what what going to follow! This is how ecological and environmental began- the nascent stage of human greed and dominance.

Come 19th century, rapid modernization and ever increasing connectivity have ended up creating a global foot print like never before, land has been reclaimed from seas, dry areas turned into oasis, marshes disappeared to provide grounds and mountains cleared to create eclectic properties, industries becoming innovatively destructive and reckless at the least!

Sure enough the last century saw all hell break loose when it came to the planet to make a point, natural calamities have increased and will go on to do so, not because only of what we have done to the planet, by what we do and what we continue to do and will do, but also because the planet is alive! It is not merely a piece of land or body of water that is there like you find in playground where you can create a mess, and leave it for someone else to correct it- the planet is as alive as you and I are and I am not too sure about whether it has a discerning mind, but when it comes to sustaining a dynamic equilibrium about the physical process and the chemistry of life- it does do what it must to safeguard what all it can!

No one is questioning whether human activities have impacted or not,the real problem is that, the whole global melodrama around “climate change” is riddled with self-serving agendas and political tug of war that suits to address the few at the cost of many- it has become a cliche term of choice for everyone and anyone to blame it on “climate change” whether it is about going for the latest electronic gadget or whether they want to donate to some charity simply to lessen the guilt of contribution that they may have! Whether humanity chooses to or not, doesn’t matter the earth is alive and it knows it’s shelf-life. This third rock form the Sun, ash been there for around 4.5 billion years and will remain for another equal amount of time, the million dollar question is how long will humanity be able to do what it can to outpace and survive as the planet begins to come alive more vividly over the next three to four hundred years from now!

Whether you discourage plastic, use cloth bags, reduce “carbon foot print” (another iconic jargon, this one is!) all your contribution pales in front of what the earth is capable of doing and undoing! Consider this, you ensure and actually bring down pollution and people also adhere, and you have no more grey skies at twilight, and now mother Earth decides to have fireworks and spews tons and tons of volcanic ash laces smoke high up into the stratosphere which lingers on and ushers in what it can and will- so what happens to all that years or perhaps decades of work gone into bringing in controls, standards and ways of life? Up in the smoke right? Sure enough this can’t be an argument for not acting or doing anything, and that’s what the whole point is- create and encourage common sense based meaningful efforts to add value to the planet, but the whole corporatized and politicized campaign of “climate changes” is the last thing you really need!

Well, to cut the long story short, this fallacy of human thinking that “we know all” and this is the only way” is perhaps the greatest unscientific approaches that scientists have ever taken! This is also perhaps a reflection of the depleting human competence, intelligence and wisdom among the societies that exists today! Unless the meaningless consumerism with a fabled global supply chain is not brought down and scaled back to serve and work for local integrated communities- nothing meaningful will ever come out! This circus called “climate change” with agenda driven actors and artists disguised as corporate CSR, political stalwarts and the much hyped activists will go on doing what their limited wisdom and intelligence allows them to – for at times many of them too, never understand what they part they are playing and what really is unfolding and who is getting benefited by what they are doing! A classic case of one person’s poison another’s cure! So you may now be tempted, to ask , then what is the real way- what is a simple way ahead?

Well, to tell you, it is all about going local, fresh produce for the local communities and calibrated consumerism, where you don’t need 40 pairs of footwear or 80 pieces of cloths through a year! There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the thought of being globally connected- it helps and empowers communities, but when you want to export cabbages and apples across half the world- especially when they are grown there too- well you have a problem and this is not about climate change- it is about human intelligence and the lack of it!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to make an attempt to know more then what meets the eye and yes, the earth is alive and knows more then what all the 7 billion of us would know- for the Earth has been here and will be here long after human race ceases to be!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, stay wise and stay sane! yes, Climate is changing but the story sold to you is incomplete, no matter who is selling it to you!

Colors through the Prism.

We live in times, where the war of narratives simply refuses to die down and no sooner that one fire of warring narratives is doused we have some other narrative rising up some where else, given the connected global collective future that we all share as humanity, what more can be more important then to take a pause and try to understand how did and why did we arrive where we have today, and why have narratives become so driven, compelling and sacrosanct, that without a daily does of “breaking news” we simply refuse to recognize that a new day has arrived and there can be a day without a “breaking news”! Join me here as we explore this space and try to make sense of the gross nonsense floating around us and take a moment to think what is that we can do to stay on the right side- or should I say, the sane side, as much as we can! So here we go!

Never before have societies across the world, found themselves to be dodged and challenged each day on some or the other issue, whether that is a social problem confined to a limited area, society or a nation, or whether it is a global challenge which touches areas of international trade, commerce, public policy, diplomacy or the so-called space of the new-age climate change fanatics! All these arenas have one thing in common and that is the compelling urge for the whole of humanity to take a position on each and every issue that comes their way- either you are for something or against something, even when you think that you would like to stay neutral and not join the fools’ bandwagon for meaningless pursuits, you are soon labelled by both ends as being a coward, incompetent or still worse a human wreck!

Humanity, as it evolved always had to battle and put forth one new age thought over the other and that is what the essence of progress and development has always been and will always be, but never before was anyone compelled to take a position like each one of us are required to do so- call it social conformation bias, societal pressures or simply a social model, if you don’t belong to something or someone, you belong to no one, that is what the human race has sadly come to be! But how did we reach this place? Why has it become so necessary and qualifying to take stands and demonstrate ones’ likes’ dislikes’ ideological affiliations such a pronounced way? What is really unfolding in all this space? Read on!

Our disconnected world, was perhaps more unifying and collaborative in the sense of being able to bring together the finest of human minds across varying fields- arts, sciences, innovation and that is what has been the hallmark of the modern age renaissance across the world through the 16th century onwards! Unique thinking was debated, discussed and either adopted or left alone, but never was the beholder of that thought vilified and neither were the people who rallied around exponents of different thoughts were made to pledge their allegiance and choose one of the many or the choices that lay in front of them! This is what empowered the free spirited and unabashed, care free thinking and experimentation!- A foundation on which all human development and progress- even until this day stands on! The fact remains that, the fabric of stretched space and time and space between developments gave enough time for people to think through a much required calibrated pause and that further went on to enrich the original ideas and made them stick like nothing else ever has! In fact many of the modern day marvels of engineering, appliances, gadgetry are nothing but an example of in depth pursuit of an original idea, followed up by continuing improvisation as the changing times would have called for!

Paradoxically enough as this boom of ideas began to get more and more predictable and routine, through the 18th century and the earlier part of the 19th century and as humanity began to exhaust, the meaningful pursuit of ideation breakthrough’s for “need to have” aspects of our lives and began to move towards “good to have” spaces, things soon began to get complicated! This complication stemmed from “the rewards that were being offered to come up with a new way at looking towards old things!” Well, needless to say in no time, narratives, competing statements and ambiguity began to replace- simplicity and clarity and once this approach starts to take a strangle hold on the ways of working of societies, all your intellectual ammunition thrown at it to bring in some much needed sanity, is almost always misused and thrown back at you, further aggravating an already worsening problem and in no time- the ground is set to create two powerful sections and segments within a society “With” or “Against”. This is the very moment which gave birth to what we see manifest around us, every now and then with an ever increasing instance, this compelling greed of wanting to control, wanting to belong to “x’ or “y” or “z” and wanting to just rant off “it’s only mu way” all the time is what sets the tone to further drive the divide even more further and at times make it wide enough, so that no meaningful bridges can ever be built, even if someone later would want to!

It is this modern day, madness that urges people to see things in the binary, or of either being black or white, for or against them, and situations like these is what makes humanity really color blind in the real essence of the definition of being color blind! It is this modern day approach of wanting to push through a specific narrative, direction, way of life, way of existence, way of belief, way of going about is what really ends up creating a sharp divide among humans- within families, friends, societies and nations- add to this a layer of “intelligence gone berserk” and on a trajectory of “wanting to control” and you have a recipe for disaster- which is what our modern world is more or less all about!

This menace of wanting people to see the world around them in a “black or white”, “my way or your way” kind of binary set up is perhaps the most un serving aspect of humanity as it stands today! If the digital age has done something to this space, it ahs gone further to add to the chaos and ensured that the dumb become more dumber and the wise become more sly- enough to ensure that the ambiguity and confusion is spread and sustained more rapidly and with more driven intentions, to further shirt serve people, societies and humanity at large! The digital age has indeed become one potent weapon of mass destruction- which if harnessed meaningfully can add colors and vibrancy to the lives of millions around the world, but as the few strive to retain control over the many- needless to say- this magical digital world- often ends up being an extension of compelling narratives and a larger then life intellectual graveyard in its own sense! So what is the way forward, is there something that you and I can do about this? If yes, what is that we can do? Read on!

Sure enough, there is no one size fits all solution to this overhanging menace of our modern times, simply because all situations and contextual realities are almost always different even though they seem to be similar enough, they are never the same. Having said that, the only meaningful way to deal with this compelling pressure of living in a binary world is by allowing yourself to see your life through a prism! Just like the prism splits white light and leaves us awestruck with the array of the rainbow colors, we too can arrive at meaningful inferences, rejecting the compelling binaries that are thrown our way! There certainly will be times when binaries may be true and correct, but unless things around you are made to pass the test of the prism, you can never be certain about what colors are hidden in the plain light that is shining your way! Now you may be wondering, what is this magical prism all about!

Well that magical prism is the prism of your intelligence which is anchored on the pivots of wisdom, rationality and humanistic realities! You see, no matter who says what, unless science develops to a very advanced level, this third rock from the Sun is all that we have got and if you think escaping a situation was a great act, you will be gravely mistaken, for some other contextual settings may soon entrap you and compel you to solve some problem which is not even yours’ to begin with! This is the truth of our connected world, problems come from some odd pocket, created by few actors residing some where else and the consequences being faced by yet another society!

Unless you and I don’t make that extra effort to behold the sights and sounds of our fleeting world through the prism of discernment anchored on values and attributes that serve the greater good of the society that we are in, everything that you and I try to do will always be seen to be either “for” or “against” and we risk being entrapped into the binary world and end up being the unwitting contributors furthering a meaningless pursuit!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to bring in your prism to behold the life around you so that you see the colors hidden away in the ordinary looking light that comes your way! Life is certainly beyond binaries and the competing narratives that we are always left to play around with! The real essence of life and meaningful narratives only thrive once you are able to see beyond the binaries and are able to take a stand which does not necessarily mean a choice between “for” or “against”!

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

The essence of timing.

We have all come across instances when our trains have arrived early or late and that flight we have boarded has either come in early or late! Although as these seem to the routine realities of our busy connected lives, but in a way if you see, that is what is also the story of our lives! A story that is all about trying to be in-step with the times, most of the times, like that train which comes in early or late, we tend to fall back or race ahead and needless to say, that is what reflects in all that manifests in and around our lives! Join me here as we decipher this space and decode what “timing” is all about and how this one element goes on to create a reality which either uplifts or limits us! So here we go!

Whether you want to be successful or want to embrace failure as your first stepping stone or many to lead you to that enduring definition of what you call and know as success is all about this magical, mystical and elusive space around “timing your time” well! So what is timing really all about? Well if you have ever gone through what is mentioned about people who have touched success and also about those who have just missed it, you will know that all of it is a story of either being there or not being there, “in that moment of space and time”! So how do we decipher this right time and space?

The story of human development, progress and innovative excellence has always been about being able to decode compelling problems and find solutions when it mattered the most! This is in fact the very essence of how potent products and services come alive and stick around with us for a long time! When the manifestation of the solutions through a breakthrough gets altered- either bringing it in too early or realizing it too late- the whole concept/ idea tends to loose its relevance and ability to influence, engage and weave in within the social construct- this is what makes products and services fail (irrespective of how relevant they are or not!). If you have been lucky enough or happen to belong to the generation which saw and knew what a pager was- well then you will know exactly what I am trying to tell you! You see, the pager was a great breakthrough and a hallmark of human thinking brilliance, but when the next great idea emerged almost simultaneous, the pager ended up having its future curtailed by an unceremonious and premature death sentence not because as a product it was bad or a failure, but simply because the next great idea- was coming in fast- and too early- which simply wiped off the remaining relevance of the pager and ushered in the mobile era that we live in as of today!

The essence of timing is not only limited to what human mind can achieve or not, but also influences and alters the very nature and core of human values and human engagement! You would have worked long enough with organizations, irrespective of your experience or the size of the organization, the one thing that you will almost always notice is the fact that you almost always happen to be where you are simply either you timed your arrival well or mistimed your arrival that further goes on to put you either on the escalator of success or the never ending upward ascent through the staircase and depending on what comes your way- you sure enough reach the destination that you are out to reach- albeit with a differing ability to enjoy once you reach there. So what is the that you can do to ensure that you arrive well in time at the place where you want to be?

To begin with, it could be as simple and as defining as where is that you really want to be! You see, the whole hustle of your life, is almost always of wanting to be there, when the moment is right! For that to manifest, what one needs is utmost clarity and focus so that a pre-defined destination or goal is locked on and once you have done that bit, you will know pretty sure why, how and when you want to reach there! Sure enough, things are certainly more complex and easier said then actually done, not because there is an element of doubt about the competence of the individual, but simply because enduring and sustainable success is always a factor of many things and people conspiring for you to succeed, even if one element of that vital cohort were to fail, for whatever reason, that will be more then enough to stall your success story and the slight slip of time will ensure that you are going back to the drawing board to re-start all over again either for the same thing or something new altogether, depending on how bad the damage has been!

When you read all the success stories of people, organizations and nations, more often then not what is hidden away as the fairy told is shared is the fact that there are always many more than who you see on the stage and unless those invisible actors and contextual settings would not have aligned to the people on the stage, life would be just a saga of more or less of mistimed adventures! Human progress is all a story of timed interventions that align to create a new pathway which promises advancement in the field under consideration! So what’s the key here?

Pretty simple! Timing is everything! People who make their mark are case studies of converging timed interventions of people, processes, technology and contexts, unless that happens, no matter what you want to usher in and how brilliant that idea is- it will stay confined to the realms of who and what you are and more often then not end up with you in your grave! If anyone has ever told you that “Success is Individualistic” , it is a blatant lie! Sure enough, Success is Intrinsic, Original and Reflective of who you are as an Individual, but for that to come to life and create any meaningful impact for you and others around you, there have to be collaborative and converging interventions coming in and accelerating the spread and growth of that fledgling idea, unless this occurs in an orchestrated manner- success will either be elusive or will be erratic with turbulent pockets hitting it every now and then!

The whole essence of timing is about being able to deploy and sustain the seeds of success through timing them well and for that timing to be flawless and effective you do need a great lot of experimentation, failure and what is normally called as “luck”! This is the only reason why even though we may have millions and millions of people who are good or great at what they choose to do, when the scales of relative success are measured, the handful few who tend to lead the pack are almost always those who have been able to time their timing well enough, perhaps in a more superior way then the others!

I leave you with these thoughts for now; as the definition of success is specific and aligned to what an individual idea is all about, needless to say the finer aspects around the wise way to time ones’ time will also be very very niche, thereby doing away the fallacy of requiring to compare and calibrate against someone else; that really never works, simply because each one of us at any given time is dealing with a challenge that is as unique as who we are simply because the way we choose to deal with it!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then, whatever you choose to do, just remember to check if what you plan to do is being timed well!

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!

Defining your essence!

As deceptively simple it may seem, but this seemingly unimportant task of knowing and connecting within and knowing what your essence is perhaps the most valuable “one thing” that anyone could ever do! For this is the bedrock from where you can align your pursuits, ambitions and virtually anything and everything that is around you and once aligned, engage in a meaningful manner that ushers in empowerment for yourself and everything and everyone around you! Join me here, we take a look into this space and understand why our lives are much more than we think it is and why you are never what your business card says or your last name signifies! So here we go!

We often end up living our lives and perhaps even defining who we are, only based on a singular fact- “what is that we do”, “what our business card say about us” or at times, “defining ourselves in the context of the societal opulence that has come our way”. The fact remains that even as these aspects may have their own merit, their whole context is relative and calibrated to things and people around! You see, working as what you do, does not anyway help to understand how you teat your family , friends, your pets or let alone anyone else, even yourself! You may have more opulence compared to then remainder of the other 80%, but that neither guarantees that you have the taste to enjoy it or the class to display it! The greatest fallacy of our times is that people often end up living a life- based on what they have got “sold into ” understanding what their life is!

You see, if the case had to be that each one of us was to be defined by the mere space around calibrated success and failure and the materialistic enjoyment that comes our way- we would have been a different personality construct altogether by birth! But that is not how it is, Isn’t it? Irrespective of what we work we do, how we are known and perhaps not known (normally referred to as misunderstood) there is yet another layer to our own self and that layer is about getting connected to who you are and what is that your soul’s urge! Perhaps sounds too preachy, spiritual or even condescending, but that is the very important and subtle aspect of our lives and believe it or not, every one of us, stands on this foundation of what our innermost desires and essence is all about- whether you like it or not- you will always gravitate towards that- perhaps it may help you or at times it may not- but all our life stories are a collection of moments when we we are aligned to this space and when we had deviated away from our won essence! Nothing more, nothing less! So how do we stay connected to our essence and how can we encash that space to put this foundation to good use? Read on!

The real magic to work along the pivot of your essence is by first being able to define it- and define it well! Your essence has to be something that you behold uniquely as your own- could be as unique as your innovative thinking or your fertile research oriented mind or could be the innate ability to see uncommon realities i the everyday common things around! One easy way of knowing your essence is that while you are engaged with an activity or a thought- it comes in natural, makes you feel empowered even as it seems comfortable, irrespective of the fact how complicated or easy it may seem to the others viewing that space! You know you are in your elements (your essence) when you act with confidence, direction and purpose on issues with even the most limited insights or details and come out enriched with a new dimension for the whole topic- something that ushers in a new pathway for the existing challenges or opens up a new challenge for humanity to tests their competency against- simply through your power of innovative thinking- which perhaps is then your essence!

Sure enough, you may want to ask, but if that is true for one, it will be for everyone so how does it work? Well, say your essence is around culinary skills, sure enough there would be many with similar skills, perhaps even for the same segment of cuisine, but if you are really connected by the pivot of your essence in what you do, you will be able to add a twist to all that you do,like no one else, even as others continue to do the same- what we then have is a world around us of empowered individuals working and deploying their expression of life through their essence that they have connected with! paradoxically enough, this is also the reason that limits people from connecting with their true essence and more often than not majority of us are happy with that job, that business or simply by doing what we have got into doing and even happy to repeat the same thing year after year- with nothing really changing for us or for the others in a meaningful or empowering way!

When you continue moving through your life disconnected with your essence, sure enough you will live well, thrive and perhaps even surge ahead earning and enjoying all that you desire- but all of that will always keep you very malnourished and deprived at your soul level- and well if you think – that’s alright- that too is fair- because the world that we get to experience and see around is a factor of majority of humankind working themselves for the heck of it- not being connected to their essence- hence mediocre solutions are ok and “just enough” principles take precedence over “what is right” or “the right way to do it”! There is no right way to experience life and share that with others or even with yourself- else all of us would have been born with a manual or handbook to live our lives- driven down to the last detail! It is a deliberate choice that one must make to pivot around their essence even as social compulsions and echoes of insecurity tend to tempt and push us away from what we should be to who we end up becoming! So what next?

Well, the meaningful way and perhaps the only way as I see it, is to stay connected with your essence- the very essence of who you are, what drives you and what is that you want to contribute further to- that has to be something to do with the urge of your soul- it is something purely intrinsic and essentially which define who and what you are and will be- irrespective of the socially accepted and prevailing definitions of success and failures! Your essence does not have to be certified by anyone else but yourself and your essence does not have to be about limiting yourself to be working with “XYZ firm” or “ABC designation” or making $$$ of money, it is beyond and above all of this, sure enough, I am not suggesting the other aspects are irrelevant- but to connect them to be your essence and wanting those things around you to be your definition- is a fatal fallacy- simply because business will rise and fall, jobs will come and go and so will your fortune- but the only thing that will ever remain is what your essence is- unless you realize this bit and learn to pivot on the foundation of your essence you will almost always find yourselves as crossroads- every time any one external variable that you use to define you is taken away from you!

It may be possible that your essence may not serve a materialistic goal that you have given to yourself- nothing wrong with it- but if you are able to reach that goal tapping through the pivot of your essence- which by it’s very nature- defines your value construct- all the journeys in life that you undertake to achieve some or the other goals- you will find them to be more easy and welcoming and the struggle quotient will greatly be reduced! Each one of us, are on this planet- not to only learn- unlearn- relearn-pay the bills- travel and die- for as long as you limit yourself to these aspects of the routine- you will end up creating a life as common as the next stranger you walk past by! It is only when you begin to script the story of your life through the power of who you are and what your soul’s urge is to express that is when real magic will happen- that urge could be a creative expression through arts, science, technology or could be as simple as being a humanist- who strives to empower others around- you may have a philosophical or a cut throat business like approach- doesn’t matter- as long as you pivot your journey of life on the real essence of who you are and what your soul’s urge is- rest assured you will behold peace within and share warmth around even as you lead an empowering presence for yourself and others around you! This is the essence of leading a meaningful life and by being rooted to who you really are and deciphering that secret!

I leave you with these thoughts here, take that break, grab a coffee and do reflect and try to fathom, what your essence really is and what is that you are doing now- which further or stalls the same! Magic and miracles are rare because they only manifest through the urge from within and for that you need to be anchored pretty well intrinsically!

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

Vaccinated Minds and a Vaccinated Future.

If there was one defining statement that 2020 made about humanity, then it had to be the pandemic- not the pandemic itself but very importantly how humanity responded to it and eventually ended up making the solutions to deal with it even more complicated and hard! Sure enough, no one is arguing whether the pandemic was real or not and there is no reason to take away or doubt the selfless service provided by a few to save the many, but one fact can never be overlooked and that is – collectively, as human societies the world over we had our windows to course correct and stall the nightmare- which we missed – at times owing to irrational thoughts and at times owing to brazen oversight- whatever that was- all of these incidents have now pushed humanity is a tight corner- where we are now making the next blunder of trying to live a vaccinated future through the dis-empowered thoughts originating from vaccinated minds! Join me here as we take a look around this space and try to decipher why, perhaps the pandemic was the least of all the problems and how dealing with it, has ended up complicating our today and the future, and is there anything that we can really do about it- today for a better and meaningful tomorrow. So here we go!

Even as the pandemic began to make it’s presence felt, even those initial weeks (what now in hindsight seem to be the most critical) were squandered by a misplaced bravado- coming from the decision makers for nations and societies across the world- the best part- the world was waiting for decisions from people who were never ever qualified to make a sane, scientific and a rational assessment of what was unfolding- so no surprise when the decisions came- they were late, all over the place and completely irrational! You see, the virus does not really make any sense between a night curfew or a day curfew or a lockdown or whatever you call- the only thing that it is bothered about is infecting a host and moving on to the next one- if it gets lucky enough to find one! So if even the most basic thought around propagating physical distance at all places (this is important- all the places) would have been implemented in a scientific way- things would have been much better, then what they eventually unfolded to be!

The problem, was the whole concept of requiring to promote physical distance went on to become a BIG TECH agenda and a corporate agendas to make good of what could perhaps never been corrected the world over- the new ushering in of the Work From Home (pandemic) – saving corporate dollars at the expense of health and domestic peace of employees! As all of this unwanted drama began to fast take over the real issue, the virus got to do what it was always good to do, so whether you wore a mask or not, if you were stupid enough to get into a close encounter with strangers for no reasons- you were all set to pay the price! Needless to say the conversion of requirement of “physical distancing” to “social distancing” has ushered in a new extent of human to human communication break down (which anyways was fast deteriorating and average) and rest assured the costs of this new illness is yet to be factored in- no matter which part of the world you live in!

You see, science and many of the wise things and people around, really don’t care- what your individual tastes, political preferences or ideological hallucinations are, all organisms and the earth in general follow the laws of science and wherever they are flouted, some shit is bound to hit the roof – somewhere or everywhere! Sure enough, I am not suggesting, humanity did not do anything, but the whole point is all of that would have not been required in the first place, had people given science a chance over unwanted bravado and hasty decisions which simply went on to complicate a problem, leaving humanity wondering- which of the prevailing ones’ are better over the other! If you ask me, the pandemic , was a screaming example highlighting why the world needs meaningful leaders and meaningful leadership! Leadership Pandemic by virtue of Leadership Incompetence is more fatal and dangerous then the virus we found in the year bygone! So now, the million dollar question, fair enough, we screwed up, so next is what? Well, read on!

Well, the clear and present danger going forward is not about the last pandemic or even about, what if that happens again, more importantly it is about, how fundamentally humanity has been altered and how that will unfold! You see, viruses are still predictable once you study them, humans, no matter how much you study them , almost always have the ability and potency to spring up a surprise! This is the real unfolding turbulence and what makes it so fluid, is the fact that humanity (with regards to the people who call the shots) will do so by applying their vaccinate minds- a vaccinated approach to thinking!

The challenge around this development, is that, as a case of once bitten twice shy, even the most routine decision making and calibrated risk (which is so vital and has been a hallmark of humanities progress) is severely compromised and embracing inaction over action tends to become the new normal! You will begin to see decisions unfold which aim to fix what the apparent problem seems to be rather than fixing the real root of the issues cropping up! This is similar to building a bridge with no roads at either ends! The reason why this will develop is that, when you begin to limit human thinking to confines of comfortable and predictable templated outcomes- you end up creating a status quo for humanity and the playground for creative and scientific experimentation begins to shrink! Vaccinated thinking may be very good, perhaps excellent to provide a sterile, isolated social construct to alter a narrative and drive the society in a pre meditated direction, the real issue will start once people reach the destination and realize there is nothing worthwhile to cherish about and the whole journey was a wild trek with no real essence of discovery – internal or external!

The real issue of living a vaccinate future empowered through vaccinated minds is not only about limiting or constricting human expression and discovery, it is also about creating new rules, regulations and norms- written and unwritten that suit a few, drive the agenda of a few and the majority are left with no choice but to comply simply because every small breath of expressive freedom that humans will want to portray will come at a cost- either directly or indirectly and that will go on unless some next big humanist approach sets in to correct the balance! You may ask, but why should this happen, why would people and societies allow this? Well, simply because the nightmare that was created and allowed to manifest was too much too handle for many constituents of the societies world over- so like the small school kid in you, when you mess up with your home assignment and your teacher begins to set a new way of working for you to put you ion a course correction- you listen to all this is said- this is very much like that- and even as that is done- the teacher is completely indemnified and discounted from any element of doubt or incompetence- from the context of “how well was the teacher able to teach to begin with ti reprimand the student!”

Having said this, let me tell you there is still hope, no we will not end up being biometric zombies anytime sooner, but unless societies don’t begin to stand up to stupidity, dumbness and everything that defies science and common-sense, things will keep getting worse and worse! The only way to deal around with the space of vaccinated minds and ensuring our future doesn’t end up being sterile and clinically disconnected or disengaged- is by overpowering meaningless narrative by sensible and meaningful- human centric approaches and anchor on a singular pivot- that all human social progress and development has only been a story of people coming together and collaborating or working together with inspired, meaningful and sane leaders and leadership! You see, you may have a great leader, but if the leader has gone nuts and is aiming to jump down a high cliff, it’s upto you to either stop that leader or at least stop your jump!

The human story, always has and will ever remain to be of creative expression- through individuals, collectively through societies by choosing different mediums of arts and sciences- this is the fundamental bed rock on which human civilizations have thrived, survived and made meaningful progress. As long as you and I know this, assimilate this and act empowered by this thought, we will be able to deal with the dumb vaccinated minds, their un-serving thoughts and disempowering actions and will be able to change and alter the human narrative once again to stories of human empowerment- individual and collective! All that is needed is human centric leader and their humanistic leadership with a generous serving of rationality and common-sense!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to keep believing in the wisdom of science, rationality and common sense and no matter who says what, no human greatness was ever achieved by limiting human thoughts or expression and the proponents and followers of the vaccinated thinking- will stall sooner than later!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and yes give common-sense a chance, always!

Are you lost in your wonderland?

As you go about your busy lives, what is that you are actually engaged in? Are you by any chance a victim of being lost in your own wonderland? Join me here as we take a short walk in this interesting space and try to understand why a major part of humanity almost always ends up living a life entrapped in their own perceptions and hallucinations and what is that we can do about this to break free of these limiting shackles and propel ahead! So here we go!

No matter where you have grown up, all of us have some or the other time read about, “Alice in Wonderland”- that sublime story of adventures of a young girl – something that even to this day brings a smile to any face- just by thinking about it- perhaps one of the most potent examples of great writing and story telling! Coming back to the real world, each one of us too, are entrapped into this “wonderland concept”. You see, you and I included all of us end up living our lives in our small or big wonderland- ever checking into something new, getting excited with something that goes as we plan and getting sad when things don’t measure up as we expect them to- well nothing to complaint about this, because this how human life is supposed to be- the regular journey between achievements and near misses! But the important aspect that we tend to miss is that, we almost always end up limiting our lives within our own found wonderlands!

Now if you have started to wonder about, what kind of wonderlands I am speaking about here, well yes, these are made up of all the perceptions, hallucinations and unfound realities that you tend to stay engaged with on an ongoing basis! What’s more funny is that, often people end up living their full lives running after their limited pursuits confined within their wonderland. So what is really happening here? Well, people are more often then not tricked by their minds and sold into believing what they think with regards to their view and approach is just fine and this is where the “wonderland effect” commences! You see, unless the mind has a ceaseless ability to question, enquire and re-validate whats around and what is being observed on an ongoing basis, people end up calibrating themselves to some metric or standard, which may or may not be relevant and thereby begin to set all their pursuits against this flawed calibration of their own abilities and competencies!

The wonderland effect is operational all around us, all the time, it goes by how we define our life, our approach and what we set out to achieve, the only problem here is that as we succumb to this effect and we tend to forego what we can be really capable of and end up short serving ourselves and others around! You see when you begin to get comfortable with all that is around you- whether it be that job or business you are engaged in, that apartment that you stay in or any other facet for the matter- you are actually ending up short serving yourself- if you tend to say quite often , “I would do this, if only…” for all that is around you! You see the wonderland effect, is all about getting lost into the maze that you have created around you by accumulating unwarranted clutter of people and things- which don’t serve you in any manner and on the contrary tend to drain you to the last drop of sanity that you are left with!

Your wonderland, rather each of our’s wonderland is a reflection of the horizon of our minds where it limits ourselves! This is the zone wherein we become comfortable about who we are, what we can achieve and how we are set on the path of our journey, the reality, sure enough is something altogether different, the reality is all about, going beyond and further then what is apparent and this is exactly why the wonderful effect is so dangerous and damaging- it holds your mind captive to its own imagination! Human minds, are almost always limited by their ability to think and that thinking is limited by the wonderland that we end up gifting ourselves, which, of course again is a product of our thinking, with a touch of our life’s learnings and experiences! If you have observed, I have not said, what is the right way, or the wrong way around this space, simply because there is none and that is what is so wonderful about humanity! It is only when people begin to accept the realities of their wonderland over the truth of their existence and ability, is that problems begin to manifest!

These wonderlands can be a thousand different things to a thousand people and more often then not the hallmark of the wonderlands stems from the foundation of insecurity, missed opportunities and mediocre acceptance before giving a worthy enough fight and attempt! You see, if you take a step back and try to rethink just around who you are, what you could have or can be and what you are currently doing, you will know the essence of what I am saying here! Sure enough there is nothing to sulk, complain or stay pessimistic about whatever life you have chosen or what has come your way- in the case where life ends up choosing you; the million dollar question is, whether you have the realization of the fact that, the life that you have given unto yourself is a sliver of what it actually could be and can be, simply because you are entrapped within your wonderland! So what’s the real story?

Well, as you stay locked into your own self-propagated wonderland, you will run a risk of not achieving what your true potential is, because that always will reside beyond the confines of your wonderland! This is the reason why you find so many people lost and confused each time whether they don’t get that promotion that they desired or when their business does not proceed the way they thought it would! People often end up living a confused life confined by their wonderland, never ever realizing what their real potential is or could have been and only if, they would have taken that one step to move beyond that comfort and predictable zones of their lives- which gives them an enduring sense of surety and safety- both of which are an enduring illusion which melt away as soon as the first major crisis emerges!

How big or small that entrapping wonderland is well largely depends on who and what you are, but more often than not it is proportional to the fears, anxiety and self-doubt and inversely proportional to the intrinsic wisdom and courage that a person may hold! So what’s the ahead?

Well, the only and perhaps the only meaningful way ahead is all about being able to know your wonderland, live through it and while doing so, stay ever aware about the greater world that resides beyond it’s entrapment! It is about developing enough intrinsic courage and leading yourself when the time is apt to move beyond and away form your wonderland to create a new reality for yourself and those around you! Enduring success becomes a lifestyle when you begin to make your wonderland a place of recreation and ensure that you come to visit it once in a while and don’t get trapped within it’s convenient and appealing comforts! The real essence of creating a meaningful life almost always resides beyond your wonderland , unless you are Alice!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and get going for your real life beyond your wonderland!

Ciao, take care!

Thinking-Default, Design or Unique.

Human societies the world over are a reflection of the potency and efficacy of their collective thinking which again is a factor of how empowered Individual thinking is! Join me here as we take a walk down the path of the very essence of thinking and try to understand what makes us think the way we do and what is that we can do to sustain and walk the path of empowered thinking! So here we go!

Needless to say the human mind has been at the centre of all medical research and even till this day, we learn new things about it on an ongoing basis. Not going into the space of the clinical aspects of the brain, but staying aligned to the other aspect of it- that is the Thinking Mind- is what seduces Psychologists and Psychiatrists the world over! It is the sheer number of approaches that a Thinking Mind can take to events and triggers that baffles the professionals and even for someone like me who has been engaged in observation and study through behaviour, it is really an engaging discovery!

Through evolution, humanity has been able to harness the power that the brain has been equipped to first secure the “need to have” and then move further to secure and pursue “the good to have”. The essence of human development is the ability to Think! It is when this thinking begins to serve or stall that we experience progress or regress even for Individual, which ultimately ends up becoming the story of the society, simply because thinking too is infectious and contagious! No matter who you are, what you do and how well off you are or not, Thinking typically, if you ask me is either by Default, Design or Unique and based on the extent of mix that an Individual embraces around these three attributes, the space around original Individualistic Thinking is born!

Thinking by Default is pretty simple as it sounds, within this realm, Individual thinking approaches are reined in by set “acceptable” and “conformation” norms (which may or may not be relevant) and furthermore as time progresses, reinforcement of this approach creates compelling patterns- which are picked up by others (as they require) and what we are left with is a society that Thinks in a methodical and directed way (even as the reasons may or may not be valid!). This is the space where emphasis is given more to the process rather then experimentation. When genius stumbles across this space, they have only two options, be a rebel- create a great disruption and alter the narrative of the social construct or simply move away and out and pursue what their Thinking Mind calls for at another place, another society where their thinking is adequately rewarded and not bound to the chains of templated and default thinking!

Default thinking is a great equalizer, that is- it gives everyone a chance to trim at a level and as long as Individuals are ok to accept their trim they will seem to be ultra comfortable at the place where they are. The only risk with Default Thinking is that, it is predictable and can be read with great ease to a greater detail! So when you have Individuals and societies practising this method and approach, all it takes for the other person or a society to create an imbalance is to seed in a conflicting narrative or disruption (big or small- doesn’t matter!). When there are continuing small disruptions, that makes the journey of Default Thinking, tiring and testing. When disruptions are larger, it only makes the approach of Default Thinking that much more difficult pushing it back to a limited Defensive Thinking- simply because the Mind has never been conditioned to deal with what it has come face to face!

When you walk into the space of Thinking by Design or Design Lead Thinking, the whole narrative and approach towards Thinking changes and this is the birth place of Empowered Thinking- Thinking that is empowered by the elements of Design and ushers in a new dimension and potency to Human Thinking- both at Individual and Collective levels! When you begin to think by virtue of the design around you and the one that you behold within, you are directing your thinking in a powerful way to manifest what the design aims for! This is not to be mistaken for “Design Thinking” this is the space where Human mind begins to think and accelerate owing to a trigger from an omnipresent design space- which nudges the brain that can decipher it to work upon it and create new solutions for perplexing problems at macro as well as micro levels! Great innovations and discoveries are indeed a result of the human mind nudged by some compelling contextual design in the space around it! It is confluence of a fertile mind and a contextually empowering design around it, that great marvels of humanity come to see the light of the day! However there is one more higher stage wherein the human mind stays empowered and vibrant like nowhere else and that power emerges from the depths of original or unique thinking- that power is harnessed by diving deep within and coming up with solutions and answers to perplexing questions that plague humanity and when the answers are found, they have the power to alter the course of human history on a massive scale!

You see, original or unique thinking and the ability to do so is deep rooted into the very fabric and essence of the Individual and carries a vibrant stamp of Individual brilliance! This brilliance then waits for no one and has the power to create complimenting contexts and at times even change or alter conflicting settings to become helping or neutral so that the manifestation of the idea (which is held within the empowered original thought) lives to see the light of day! This is the space where iconic business tycoons are born, award wining researchers, scientists, technologists, bureaucrats and politicians all of them are to be found!

In fact if you were to turn back to any page of human history and see narrative altering spaces along that history, you will almost always stumble upon the empowering and original thought or an idea of one individual which had the potency to align everything around itself and set a new path for the society at large! This is where seeds of great revolution are set and this is the path where humanity begins to rally each time it seems to hit a wall or ends up loosing traction for some or the other reason! Hence you see, when nations seem to fail, the population almost always rallies behind a powerful leader who think different and are original and not one among the many templated solutions available and when societies elect templated leaders who are predictable- be assured that society will have a predictable future for both growth and regress- simply because everyone knows when what is coming and how to encash that time and space!

Another way of looking at this space, is that as a fact, each one of us are a combination of all these three approaches and whenever we apply our unique and original approach to what we are dealing with, you will almost always notice that you surge ahead- whether that is a positive or a negative aspect largely depends on what you end up doing with your originality- when you deploy your strengths to serve only you alone- the world is likely to take that as a negative trait, when you display an intent to serve many (that’s what normal societal norms are all about!) automatically what you choose to do, sounds humanistic and is taken as a great deed or idea! Have doubts? Well, just observe the business landscape around you right now and the political leaders of your choice, you will know what I meant here!

There is a good reason why Thinking is so vital (all of which is visible around us as it begins to get manifested!) and the path that you choose to take- rather the segment that you allow to dominate as your natural approach to think and manifest, is what will bring to life- what you manifest for yourselves and those around you!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, keep thinking and think as you must and as you can and as often you may! Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one soon!

Stay safe, stay wise and yes Think!

Empowered by Alignment.

Whether you want to be the President of the USA or head that major business global conglomerate or perhaps let alone everything around aside, just plain survive and live another day, each of these scenarios have one thing in common, which is that, all of them are empowered by alignment- alignment to the contexts, people and places which play a vital role after you have encashed your intrinsic attributes! Join me here as we explore this space and understand how alignment empowers and what is that You and I can do to ensure we have an endless supply of this potent empowerment! So here we go!

Books written around success and failures are more often about specific instances and stories that are meant to share some insights about the times and places that went on to contribute to either make the people who they became or not! Importantly what they often miss out or perhaps intentionally leave out is this vital piece (may be a small sliver of information) which primarily provides clarity on the space around the alignment which went on to create what has eventually manifested! You see, the food used in the kitchens of our homes is almost the same, but the magic happens only when a chef touches it! Not that we end up cooking bad, but it is simply about the ability of the chef to excel and surge ahead, making even our best efforts ending up looking average! So what is alignment all about and how does it empower?

To understand alignment, you need to imagine left in a room with everything that you probably need in life, strewn across the floor, sounds overwhelming and challenging? Well, yes it is and that’s what perhaps life is all about! Sieving through challenges and being able to get answers in the nick of time as and when they are most needed! All of us know, a sorry doesn’t make a dead person come back to life! But at the same time, merely having all that we require through our life around us, doesn’t assure progress or success! This is the space where alignment steps in- by default for some and by design for yet few others and by accident for yet others; it is only when alignment takes charge that things around- people , places and contexts included- each one of these begin to make sense and as these are deployed with intent and purpose magic begins to get created and people find their lives turning in the direction that they wish it to and that’s when you begin to hear the phrases, “Success has been magical, I just had this thought and then everything seemed to conspire for it’s success!” This is why and how alignment empowers and accelerates an individual’s life journey!

Alignment can mean different things for different people! People may have challenges with the very fundamental aspect of aligning their life to a meaningful purpose to begin with, if that is sorted then there can be a challenge to find alignment to the right path to take them ahead on the chosen path, and if that was not enough, there are the ever going alignment issues that are dynamic- which deal with the people and the contextual surroundings around! It is only when people are able to decipher these fine areas and apply their pursuit consistently in a way that it traverse these questions that, alignment is felt and experiences, that is when you begin to meet all the right people, at the right time and at the right places and when this is empowered by your intrinsic intelligence, drive, purpose and intent- success is more or less assured- how big or small that will be, whether it will be momentary or a long term one- that depends on the dynamic elements of people and contextual settings all through the cherished journey that has been undertaken!

So does it mean that without alignment, you and I are destined to fail and falter? Not at all, in fact depending on what your intrinsic construct is, if you are the type that enjoys more challenges and have mastered the art and science of enduing sustained pain and challenge- a misaligned contextual setting of life around you may actually make you work with a more fierce focus and intent thereby not only assuring your success, but making you someone- about whom mentions are etched in the books of history and human excellence! Alignment only ensures that you can reach and achieve what you set out for, in the most optimal way as it should be! Deviation from alignment is an indicator that one of your elements that contribute for alignment is not firing well enough and in fact, creating divergence rather then congruence within the finer spaces of an integrated pursuit of your goals!

For alignment to work for you, it all begins by tidying up your room! It all starts by putting in that first step of having your resources well marked and well identified at the right places- seems selfish, but that is how it is supposed to be, something as elementary as identifying the scholarship that you wish to have during high school to the city where you would like to pursue your research or those mentors under whose guidance you would like to appreciate the subject of your choice- choices like these and many more- are what go on to make alignment become real, meaningful and something that serves your pursuits so that you not only achieve what you have set out for , but do so with optimal ease and maximum efficiency! This is the very essence of having an aligned approach to your life! Once you have taken that extra effort of the first step, rest assured as time flows, a lot that doesn’t serve you will be washed away and what needs to stay gets cemented and reinforced and at times acquires the flavour of your personality and thereby help you to stamp that iconic style that you eventually become- simply because you led an aligned life which has empowered you!

Sure enough, based on who you are, what you do and where you want to be, alignment, it’s nature, effort and variables will change, some will be easy, some difficult, but irrespective of all that, one singular fact always remains and that is; alignment has the power to empower and for that to happen the first step begins with You, tidying up your life and then pursuing meaningfulness, designed along the journey and the destination that you choose to undertake!

I leave you with these thoughts for today, urging you to take some time off and run a “C” check on your alignment space, who knows, it may just accelerate your empowerment in the year ahead!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise, stay active and align to empower!

The Influence collective.

Every second of our lives, either we are being influenced by someone or something or we are the ones’ who are influencing someone! Join me here as we travel down this route and understand how Influence plays such a acritical role and what are the aspects that make it work for us or against us! So here we go!

Humanity is but a story of Human Influence! Whether the influence is a positive reinforcement or a regressive one, that is not really the question- simply because a singular event can mean a thousand different things to the different people who are witnessing it or are part of it! Influence perhaps is what has empowered human thinking more then anything else ever! It has enabled humans settle across continents, innovate and experiment, fail and succeed within reasonable margins.Influence can operate at different levels- Individually we are influencing every member of our family and friend circle that we have around us and those who seek us, when we expand that radius of influence a further outward- we are then in company of the chosen professional or creative pursuits which pull us, push us and eventually play a great role in shaping us- to become who we become and come to be known as with regards to – not the person who we are- but rather by virtue of what we are good or great at doing and undoing! Move a step further out and now you have expanded your radius far and wide enough to Influence and get Influenced by the major headwinds that shape aspects of the society that you are a part of- whether as a constituent- as an enabler or as the one who wields the power to alter the narrative and usher in a new chapter! So you see, from your own individual self to the big broad world all around you- everything is but a sum total of Influence- how much and who is pulling and pushing around and about what- is what the connected stories of the world really are all about!

Influence is by nature contagious- infectious if that’s the word you like more! Something really sublime and people will fall for it- how much and for how long- that depends on what is at stake, who is influencing, and whom and for what – what is there in it for everyone who is a part of it! the human mind is always seeking the elixir to an easy life and one way that the mind has come to think of as an answer around this – is lapping up Influence and for some reason- more vocal the Influence is- the easier it gets sold! Think around it- se the examples around the world- even as we know and would pretty much agree upon- religious heads, pastors, evangelists have far more less followers and practitioners- then politicians, bureaucrats and corporate founders! What does this tell you about Influence itself? Whether you are a believer or an atheist- you are bound to be Influenced by something that urges you to take a stand between those two extremes- but even that Influence pales in front of the Influence that Leaders (Political and Corporate) have- this is simply because what they do and undo- straightway impacts on how well you live or survive or exist! You see, when it comes to crunch time where your mind is making fast and rapid decisions to ensure you live to stay another day- it is also calibrating the Influence that you must receive and what is that you should do with it, This space around dealing with the diverse Influence that our lives are subject to is the essence of the Influence Collective and our Lives more often then not resemble, reflect and eventually end up becoming what they do based on which of the prevailing Influences get an upper hand over our mind!

There is nothing like a grading system or a ranking system when it comes to Influence- you see, you don’t get sold to be influenced by a Pastor or a Writer- simply because their marketing collateral says that they have touched a million lives and a million best sellers have been sold! You buy into their influence, only and only If , that Influence stays meaningful, relevant and of value to you in the contextual settings that you are in, as long as an Influence promises to provide answers for the questions of your today and fast approaching tomorrow, you will tag along- the moment you sense that the potency of the Influence is waning and it is unable to provide you clarity on the bends ahead, you will begin to seek alternative sources to stay Influenced, Inspired and to ensure that you stay aligned to your chosen path to achieve what you have set out for!

The journey of Influence begins with our childhood and ends up with us in our graves! Our lives are modelled and shaped by forces of competing and perhaps at times of conflicting Influences- when people are able to soak them up and improvise them to serve them- these people often end up as magical beings, seemingly rock solid and with amazing clarity of mind and soul, and yet at other times when people tend to succumb to Influences- they end up just living a life at their lowest potential- completely broken or faltered for no fault of theirs!

Influence is what has moulded, shaped and nourished human minds through time in memorial, whether it is about the potent minds of the scientists, engineers, creative wizards or whether it is the case of minds gone wrong-who have shown others- the not so accepted path to achieve fame, all of them have been stories of Influence- stories where conflicting and competing Influences have come to shape human minds- their thinking and what’s more interesting is that, what Influences the mind today, may not necessarily Influence the mind the next time around- hence the mad scramble to sustain and uphold one ideology- one thought- no matter what it takes- just to ensure that the fleeting mind does not get even a tiny window to explore or taste some other Influence- which may end up creating new and more racemic outcomes- which may or may not be helpful!

Another interesting facet of Influence is that it shows up the way we You and I behave and engage with the world- all those serving and un-serving Influences whether played out openly (like Politicians do) or shared like a select deck of cards (like what the corporate world does) all go to reflect and make a statement about who and what we have ended up becoming as a net result of the Influences that we have been exposed to or in some cases what others and people around us end up becoming because of what we end up serving to them as part of the Influence legacy that we wish to further!

You have all seen the flowing waters of a river- the name of the river never changes, but the waters are never the same! Likewise the concept of Influence is paramount and fundamental to the story of humanity- all the highs and lows included- what is worthwhile to remember is the fact that every Influence, no matter how similar it may seem, is always new, fresh and original simply because the minds that are engaged with are dynamic, ever evolving and the contextual stories around too are always on the move! This is what makes Influence even more trickier in that context! Just think- religions and belief systems have persisted for close to 10-20,000 years for now- across different cultures, civilizations by one name or the other , yet even till this day- there are divergent views, converging ideas, conflicting assertions and competing narratives for almost every space around these subjects! Add to this the cladding of Influence- the greater the Influence, better it gets for a specific narrative to be furthers over the others and the journey goes on!

Sure enough, this does not have to be the realm of philosophers and seers, even when it comes to the routines of our mundane lives, you will almost feel the pressures of conflicting and competing Influence and how that goes on to play havoc with your mind and as your mind gets more and more compelled to make those choices day in and day out on an ongoing basis- it eventually starts to act bizarre and begins to choose what suits it and what is convenient – completely overriding and overlooking the contents part of the Influences coming its way- the result- you have nations wondering, “how the hell they ended up electing the people they did and how did they end up being the society they have become!”

So what’s the wise way? Well it all starts and ends with You! As long as you are able to use and deploy your self-awareness as a pivot to discern the world around you and know what your pursuit is and then go on to align the Influences in a way that they provide required value to your pursuits; you will be safe, wise and well on your way empowered by the meaningful and serving Influences, even if they are competing or conflicting! The moment you fail to know yourself and what is the purpose of your life’s journey- even the most potent of Influences will become completely meaningless and un-serving!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to take some time off, grab that coffee and try to appreciate the two fundamental aspects of your life- what is Influencing you and what is that you Influence and in all of this what is that you are ending up becoming for better or worse!

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

Calm within the Storm.

All of us have heard about the saying, “The Calm before the Storm”, but humanity and it’s modern advancement also brings us face to face with something called as “The Calm within the Storm”. Join me here as we travel down this space and understand how this can help us and why each one us- irrespective of who we are, is a story of holding greater calms within the storms that brew! So here we go!

The old known way of the calm before the storm arrives, is pretty well known, that is how nations makes their presence felt, that is how societies react and that also is how Individuals act and react. But when it comes to the matters of holding the Calm within the storm- things change completely and this change is what goes on define the event as a normal one or an iconic one depending on how well you embrace the calm within the storm that you are engaged with!

Human lives, today, are as complex as one can think about! At one end the ever present challenges of managing and dealing with the human elements of the stories that surround you and at the other end is the completely enslaved lifestyle- enslaved to your work or the technological dependence (which has been sold to each one us as Independence). What this ends up doing is that, irrespective what we pursue as individuals or collectively as a society, we end up fighting battles at different times for different reasons- with or without provocation and even as we do that in a particular area- we tend to be at absolute calm or bliss in yet some other facets of our life! This is what is the real essence of the clam within the storm- why is this so important- simply because, if we are able to shift the calm within to the sectors where the storm is brewing as transiently as we end up being in a storm, we would be able to manage a major part of our “real and apparent problems” more effectively and in a timely manner!

You see, as we end up living the many lives and the roles that we have to play, given the life that we have and who we are to whom and how many around- it is simply impossible to be all fine, all the time with everyone around- the reality of life is that we will end up being fine with a few, not so great with a few and in between with yet other things and people- it is within these spaces that many a times we end up stirring up the storms in the tea-cup for trivial issues and often neglect the real issues and when they come biting back- we are almost always lost with the “why me” phase and more often than not we end up misdirecting the calm quotient that we have to areas where we don’t need to stay clam and end up burning up ore intensely situations where a momentary calm would have eased up the situation and provided the much required breathing space.

The whole idea of appreciating and reaching “the calm within the storm” is also about being able to practise restraint and continue with a calm composed working mind even as you are fighting a battle or waging a meaningful war! Many a conflicts that people face or end up raking up is all about not being able to harness this internal oasis of clam even as they venture to deal with emerging challenges. irrespective whether these challenges are intrinsic, contextually propagated or manifested by virtue of who you are and what you are supposed to do and enact- as long as you are able to tap into the space of your internal calm, you will be able to prevail whatever comes your way! This also is another hallmark of iconic leadership- something that great international leaders display- even as they are maligned, misquoted, misrepresented or sold out by other of being something different from who they really are- it is their intrinsic ability to tap into the depths of their calmness that empowers them to overlook all and any provocation coming their way. Problems become irreparable only when they fail at this ability to overlooks and run short of their intrinsic calm and that’s when rapid actions are manifested and at times they tend to be detrimental to all that has ever got built or achieved earlier on! So how do we cultivate this space of inner calm- it it is so vital and of core value to our ability to stay engaged with worldly affairs? Read on!

It all starts by developing a high level of self-awareness and a deliberate approach by practising the pause, as that initiates you to embrace the calm withing even as you are in the thick of things! Even as you are trying to figure out solutions for compelling problems, once you have reached the calm within- rest assured you will be able to take a better and holistic path to solve what you are dealing with and more often than not your quality of decisions will greatly improve thereby resulting in fewer problems on hand as times progresses! This provides you greater clarity as well and this ensues that you can pick and choose your battles well and once you are in midst of one of them, you are able to decisively take them and end them at a place and time of your choice! Great political leaders have mastered this art and as you sieve through pages of history, you will find many such examples where- despite great odds, a calm and resolute approach has helped to turn the tide of time and created new history and at times even drawn new geographical lines on the face of the earth!

Apart from the intrinsic greatness, what also is needed is the appropriate contextual setting and the apt audience without which even the deepest oasis of calm will be misread as being passive, inert or incompetent- for when it comes to the virtue of perseverance or resilience often people are mistaken to be weak or inapt to act decisively fast!

As long as you are able to hold your calm and tap into that reserve when it matters the most and are able to time it well and to the extent that it must be- you will almost always end up surprising your detractors and be able to grow your team, no matter what the overbearing circumstance around you! “John C Maxwell has always said- Leadership is Influence- Nothing more, nothing less” and if you want to know about one powerhouse that provides that vital source of dynamism and momentum- it is the depth and spread of the calm that you hold within- all the while as you are engaged with and dealing with the routine worldly battles to foster what serves the greater good. Making routine choices between choosing battles which either represent the “need to have ” or “good to have” becomes easier when they are done by tapping through the intrinsic calm and more often then not the decisions taken then are more meaningful and long lasting!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to tap and maintain that inner reservoir of your calm, for that alone will empower and assist you when the crunch time arrives as you keep shifting your focus from one battle to the next as you keep moving towards your life aspirations!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay safe and stay wise! Remember, all greatness is held within and for the same to manifest externally it has to draw the power from your oasis of calm!