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!

A strong government and a weak opposition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be the person you seek!

One fundamental challenge with books that are written all over the world, classified as “Self-Help” which by itself is a little ambiguous section is the fact that, these books more often than not pick up stories of success- either failure overcome to script a success or a the story of toil that eventually ends up manifesting as success, there is noting beyond this! Then you have the few titles which go on to bring in the elements of the network, social parameters and the essence of timing things and actions, well so far so good! What all of these end up doing importantly (which is real of great essence) is that they simply tend to overlook the most critical aspect and the crucial person in all this haste to narrate stories that appeal to them- they simply forget about the reader- “You” who is reading that book, who really is seeking an answer from within and couldn’t really care enough how “x” became a billionaire after doing “abc”! Join me here as we take a quick look into this core space and understand why seeking the person you want to be from within is so vital and life changing and why this is the only thing that will even appeal to you or make sense to you! So here we go!

Right from the beginning, even as we are toddlers, we begin to undergo social conditioning which is really all flawed and dangerous as it tries to dampen our core identity (of who we really are and what we can thereby achieve). Let me explain!Have you ever experienced that family get together over the holiday’s when you were in school or in college and how every relative that walked into the room had an opinion about what you should do with your life -academics, profession, settling down and all that? It was painful right? To the point you felt like asking the person to just f**k off and get a life! Well and if that was not enough you see these behavioral intrusions continuing all the time , your work place, your friends, your colleagues, even that odd stranger who met you on the last flight or that train ride! So what’s really happening here? Why do “educated” people behave in such a condescending and intrusive way when it comes to others, even as the reality and chances are they themselves would have achieved much less that what they would have set out for, when they started to walk on the road to their aspirations? Read on!

We humans are really one of a kind! You see, within us we have that fundamental sense of being belonging to a community or a group or an identity and that’s never going to move away! This is an evolutionary mechanism that is meant to protect us if ever as a species we feel threatened- this is the emergency button – when activated ensures that humans are able to keep their individual and community based differences at bay and rally behind defending the larger community- haven’t we seen this unfold the world over as we deal with the pandemic! How effective this is or not and what is the effective way to harness this space is a different matter! So this habit of continually looking out for the other person subconsciously with time has changed into looking into the lives’ of the other person- warranted or not! This slight change has ended up us collectively wasting valuable human talent and resources the world over- doesn’t matter what society, what ethnicity or how much access one has to resources or not- this behavioral intrusion has led to the failing of many dreams and aspirations even before they saw the light of the day!

In the wild too, very often you find animal parents guiding their offspring to varying levels of intelligence as necessary for the species to survive, likewise in humans too this intrinsic value persist and is all meant to ensure that kids survive and emerge as “successful”, things begin to get complicated as the perception and reality between the definition of “success” as seen by the kid or the person in question and the others start to deviate ans this is the point from where all human hustle of life and for the aspirational life commences! So is this good or bad? Well, depends, on whether it empowers you or robs you off the very essence of who you are!

Human Intelligence is the only parameter that continues to bring about the changes that we see around, that constant urge to have something new, better and more efficient to be created to empower humanity is perhaps the singular frame from where all innovation, invention and development is pursued! The flip side of this has been that, expectations of humans among themselves have gone to take a hit!Parents expect intelligent children, when their own intelligence could be hardly average! You have bosses who want great juniors, when they themselves have been great corporate disasters! You have that company who want’s to be number 1 and knows that they are not even in the consideration set of the competition! It is this kind of distorted and hallucinatory approach that ends up shattering whatever remaining intelligence an individual may have and more often than not what you come across is human zombies- all around you- people who are doing things, because they have been told to, asked to, instructed to without batting an eyelid- for they know (sometimes) it is futile to wrestle with dumbness and at times peace is more valuable than an unintelligent and unending conflict! But why does all this play out like this?

It all starts with what is being done with an individual- Are the people entrusted with the development and progress of this individual (and in that way of humanity) empowering this person or taking away the empowerment and creating dependent zombies for the future? What is that frame that is being applied to usher in progress and growth? If you take a quick look into the the recent human history and try and find streaks of geniuses of human intelligence, chances are that many of them and most of them have been in the period between 1700 and 1950. These 250 years have witnessed advancements in human societies the world over unlike ever before and laid down the foundation of what the societies have ended up becoming today! The flaws and challenges of “followership modelling” which gained wide momentum in the last 40-50 years has systematically wiped off any and all of original thinking that a human being can be capable of and the onslaught of requiring to be complaint to social biases continues to haunt advancements of our lives across spheres to this day! So how does one escape this trap and seek originality of thought and practise?

The simple trick to stay authentic is by being the person who you always want to be, by trying to become the future self that you seek for yourself- it’s be modelling your life on the future version of yourself that you want to be rather than anyone else! This is critical because, your frame of context is unique to you and the ability to apply intelligence in that frame is what makes you who you are! This is where the magic happens and this also the reason why “self-help” books don’t help- the only people that they help are the publishers! Unfortunately the social biases and the belief systems more often than not shun the propagation of original thought and space- at times because the social context is too risky and yet at other times the challenges- financial and personal are simply too much- at times this is valid, but many a times, this fleeting judgement erodes away a possible magical future for the person in question and in a way not only robs the individual of a great future but also does great dis-service to humanity as a whole! Even as we celebrate the new gadgets, innovations, inventions and discoveries and breakthroughs, rarely we know about the people and the experiments which were crucial and meaningful, but simply were not taken ahead- because they don’t make profitable sense! Who knows what great dis-service we have already done to humanity until now, by this one simple narrowed approach to thinking!

Staying original and contextually relevant is perhaps the most important thing that humanity requires today! It is this paucity of original thinking that ends up killing innovation, invention and creative thinking which can go a long way to empower individuals and people around by simplifying the complexities of the life that they have either created for themselves or have inherited! As Individuals start to shun leadership worship and pay attention to the latent leader within them and align themselves to the purpose that they can sense within- magic will manifest and as long as that purpose holds the promise for serving the greater good for people- in no time- the results of that original approach will be rewarded! Want proof? Think about the best book you ever read, think about the medicine that helped you overcome common cold faster, think about that car which gave you better mileage or more ease of driving through automation! This is how original thinking manifests- it simplifies lives for others and for the owner of that thought as well! For all and any of this to start, the first step is to decide to pursue a future/purpose by seeking your won future self! There is nothing wrong to be inspired, by others and appreciate what they have done, what is wrong is allowing inertia to build within and begin to think that someone else will solve something that you are thinking about! It simply doesn’t happen that way- even if thoughts are the same, approaches are unique and it is within these unique approaches that the stories of success and failures get written and it all starts by getting aligned to the leader within you- who can lead you to be the person that you seek within other around and ensure that you are able to be the future self of what you want to become by pursuing what you must! Think around this! There must be a reason why you are, who you are in the frame that you are in, seek that by connecting with the leader within and empower yourself by becoming the person that you always sought to be!

I leave you with these thoughts, here, take a pause and try connecting to the leader within you and sense where that leader wants to lead you to and what is that definitive purpose that you can get aligned to, so that you end up being in the times ahead the person you always sought to be! Your greatest powers come from within- contemplate and execute!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then think and think and sure enough, apply that thinking!

The antidote to mindless pursuits.

Much of humanity loses its breath and time pursuing a thousand of acts for one or the other justified reasons to eventually achieve nothing! Whether it is about the career that you want to pursue, that college you want to be in or that big corporate brand that you want to be associated with or whether it is the eccentric dream that you are caught up with to create something great and awesome or perhaps none of these and you just want to be doing what pleases you in the moment that you are, without giving a second thought for the next moment- well each of these aspects have been one of us at some or the other time in our lives and many of us end up realizing that- whatever that pursuit was, it was a colossal waste of time and energy, because you never ended up where you wanted to be, by pursuing what you did! So what’s unfolding here actually? Read on!

The human mind is at the forefront creating this overbearing drive to pursue! Well, there is nothing wrong to seek enquiry and then go on to pursue to find the solutions; problems begin when the whole pursuit not because of what it should be, rather it is because of the created simulations of the mind which fog out clarity of thought and purpose! Let me explain!

Like with anything else, the mind works exceptionally well as long as it is nourished and is utilized to pursue what makes practical and realistic sense, sure enough taking risks is a part and parcel of life (without which nothing great would have ever seen the light of the day), but the key word when it comes to risks is calibrated and measured risks- risks from which you can walk away- should your attempts fail! It is when people remain stuck with ever failing attempts and simply refuse to budge is when the pursuits start to become mindless! Yes, there are stories about scientists and innovators who failed and failed and failed only to succeed after the 10th, 50th or perhaps the 100th time, but the only factor- albeit a slender one which stands between their pursuits still being meaningful rather than being mindless is that – their risks were fundamental to alter the course of history and thy knew about it, even as they embarked upon it! You see, once people become clear what is at stake, then it becomes easier to know what is that must be pursued and what is that must be left alone and when it is the time to walk back to seek a new frontier! But then what is it that makes the human mind go berserk and get off-course in the first place?

The trim level of any machine is not always determined by at what point it fails (sure enough that is a key parameter), but rather what does it do- how does it react when it is made to stretch to a point beyond normal and the scenario of failure is eliminated! This is precisely what fails the human mind and makes it wander into spaces which yield nothing more than an intellectual experience that can be either rewarding or a nightmare! Once the option to fail, breakdown or stall is done away with, the human brain, pressed on and on- like a machine whose stop switch has gone wrong- will simply keep wandering in the universe of thoughts and self-reflection (bordering on either self-doubt or unwarranted over confidence) and this the moment from where that journey into nothingness commences!

The human mind as potent as it seems, has this feature to take you to long never ending scenario simulations- which at times are like a free movie premiere- for a movie which only you can see and experience- simply because it has in all probability got to do something with you! More importantly it has got everything to do with what you have achieved and not achieved and it’s often the things that you have not achieved that trigger your mind to carry you along into that mindless journey with no end and no result in sight! Let me explain this

Consider this, you have been a good doctor- you have treated people well and you have not ended up killing someone due to wrong diagnosis-but despite years put into this, you have never received the recognition or that position where you could influence many and address the crowds! So in this backdrop- although psychologically you are fit and fine, these unrealized desires, when the time comes take shape and they can shoot off in any of the two ways!

One- either by your involvement and proactive management of your mind- you can ensure that you get more busy doing what you are good at and make peace with what the fact is- that your social recognition for service is not coming now or anytime soon or may never come!

Alternatively you can allow your mind to take control and start to create simulations of forced thought which essentially all begin to provide creative solutions on how you may get that elusive recognition, which you logical and rational thinking has said you can’t! It is fine until this point too! A whole part of creative reflection, contemplation, over passed detours and challenges is what makes people wise to deal with their approaching times in a more progressive and directed manner- the problems start as soon as people start to act on these simulations, without thinking whether it is really meaningful, sensible and practical to take that route!

As long as that odd eccentric scientist, continues on the path of pursuing what is a figment of imagination of the mind, with no current science to back up or no rational thinking to cover the actions, the only possible outcomes that will ever play out are either a ground breaking invention which will alter the course of humanity or the deafening silence of lost hopes and misplaced expectations that will play out privately, leaving the scientists all alone to defend oneself and either course correct or walk into a trap of yet another mindless pursuit!

You may now be tempted to ask, if these are indeed the two levers on which the human mind operates then why sweat? Choose one over the other and keep going and when one fails, go back to the other, well sure enough that’s the only way around dealing with the mind, but that’s easier said than done, for the simple reason that, the judgement to know when to use which facet of the human mind is the key to keep a check on the mindless wandering and yet harness the creative genius that it has to offer and this is the only antidote to stay away from mindless pursuits!

The ability to harness the potency of the mind effectively and in a timely manner between the flex and the rigid stand is the only antidote to keep that urge to mindlessly wander under check! The mind works well and in fact very well, when it is given its own space and time to stretch and limit- stretch is important to allow it to create simulations- wayward- meaningless and out of the world- for it is in this realm that magic and new age solutions appear seemingly from no-where, limiting the mind on the other hand has the power to make it answerable to the faculties of logic and rationality- whatever the thought is, has to abide by the laws that govern the universe! Say you even wanted to imagine a spaceship or a faster than the speed of light craft- it has to adhere to the principles of physics and astronomy to even get to the equation board!

Given, the limitations of a blog, I will leave it here, urging you to experience for yourself-how were the times when your mind wandered away in pursuits- that perhaps yielded nothing of what you have now with you or perhaps that wandering itself has provided you with everything that you have with you now! Whatever, the outcome would have been, sure enough that has gone a long way to make you more wise and progressive when it comes to choosing your pursuits and perhaps has kept you aligned to your goals despite the detours and situations that would have arisen owing to the pursuits of your free mind!

Tame your mind- to stretch and flex, limit and expand as you demand and not the other way around! Once you have developed the ability to sustain this ability, you will be able to tap into the vast reservoir of imaginative and creative brilliance that your mind has to offer you, and trust me you too will be surprised with the way solutions begin to present themselves, only because you have learnt the art and science to tame the waywardness and limit those mindless pursuits!

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

Fight Fear with Fear.

As paradoxical it may seem, the fact remains that only fear can be used to quell fear! Join me here for a breezy read through on how this works and why it works and when it works to your advantage and when it doesn’t work to help you!

As part of the evolution of the human race, the element of fear has helped us to survive and dominate, the slender difference between what to survive and what to dominate is what comes only by embracing and understanding the very nature of the fear that you come face to face with! Let me explain, this quick! The evolution of humans from small dispersed populations, fighting to survive the elements of nature, to being able to establish structured societies is noting short of a miracle of human intelligence and the milestones on the way have been knowing when to tame which fear and when to surrender and stay away from the one’s that are simply overbearing and all powerful! You see through the thousands of years, we learnt to defeat and overcome the wild animals and tame much of what the wilds had to throw at us, however few aspects like natural calamities have been ever challenging and even to this day, with the best resources at hand, still we often end up getting caught on the wrong foot! Sure enough there is no “fear” as in the “fear” of dealing with a wild animal while you deal with a flood, but that again will end up depending already on where exactly you are stuck in a flood! On high ground you can click your photos and thank your stars that you are safe, but if you are the one trapped in between fast flowing flash flood streams, the whole dimension changes! So you see, like everything else, fear too has a contextual framework and the first step of overpowering fear is gauging this contextual framework right!

Once you have learnt this bit, you know what you are dealing with, whether you can tame it or not and based on how that unfolds, you have the path ahead to decide how you want to fight the fear that you face, with nothing else, but fear that looks more menacing then the one that you face! You may want to now, ask why should I do that, whys should I deal with fear by deploying a larger fear? Well the answer to that is pretty simple, the only thing that can halt the menace of fear is an opposing and more powerful fear equation, don’t believe, well just look around the world and observe what the governments of the day are deploying to manage their affairs! Yes, fear one over the other, disguised and camouflaged as a rhetoric that blends into the contextual settings of the society that they govern! Well, even if you were to ignore what the government wants to do or not, the fact is that the reason why only fear can tackle fear is because there is nothing else can match the speed, surprise and intensity that fear brings along with it!

Consider this, you are taking a walk and suddenly you are attacked by a dog, that very moment as fear hits you, you have two choices, escape (if you really think you can outrun a dog! good luck on that!) or then with the same intensity try and instill a bigger fear in the dog’s mind!You may ask, want a peaceful way work, well when an animal is about to attack you try talking peace! The essence of dealing fear with fear is more of a mind game, stratagem and being able to accurately gauge the pulse of the fear that is coming your way and devise a counter strategy to overpower and quell the same.

The reason why fear works is because fear is formless, sure enough you know what’s arriving, you may also know how, when and where, but you will never be able to know how and why will you react the way you do when it hits you and this element of fear is what makes it so unpredictable and difficult to deal with unless and until you too have a similar counter strategy with an equal or more overpowering stance! So how do you develop the right amount of fear and how do you know when to deploy it?

The whole world works on the currency of fear equilibrium, small nations fear bigger ones, tycoons scare off mid size businesses , bigger corner offices instill that fear within mid-level workers and that’s how things work- well they do work as long as the amount and quantum of fear- intensity and frequency is calibrated.The moment this calibration goes haywire, fear loses its potency and becomes nothing! Let me explain!

You would have come across that boss or that teacher or that parent, who kept on yelling, threatening, shouting on an ongoing basis, how was your reaction? Well, sure enough the first time you would have got worried, but as you learnt to study and decipher what was unfolding, you would have started to ignore and disregard! That’s because you now have deciphered the intensity, authenticity and intent of that seemingly menacing fear in its reality and discovered it to be really nothing! This is why fear is so over rated! So how does fear quell fear?

When you are able to deploy fear as a counter measure effectively what it does is, it not only stalls the advance of what’s coming your way, but it also reasserts your position on an issue from a place of strength and ensures you get that vital seat at the table when its time for negotiations!

Embracing fear is the first step for being able to deploy fear effectively! As long as you are able to deploy fear in a calibrated measure with visible manifestations, fear will be your slave and work for you, on the other hand if you were to end up using it just as a propaganda tool, sooner or later that bluff will get blown away and you will be left with no defence when serious stuff hits you!

Like with anything else, once you have known how to manage, fear, it no longer baffles or creates that overwhelming mirage, but rather accelerates your journey to reassert yourself and helps you stay aligned on the course to face challenges, overcome them without being fearful about fear!

I leave you with these thoughts, urging you to develop your approach to deal with the fears that come your way, you never know you may be fearing just a large shadow to a small problem!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article! Until then take care and stay safe!

Why Inspiration and Motivation stalls.

Being an author, rather being into writing, speaking and coaching, one striking thing that I have always come across is that people are just as fine as they should be and each one is good at a few things and great at few others and a genius at one thing! More often than not majority of us, end up wandering away from that unique “one thing” that holds the key for us to realize that zenith of who we can be from who we are. Somewhere around all this hectic and urgent business of trying to know oneself, people begin to get flooded with a sea of books, talks, podcasts, workshops and what not all promising to bring about radical change, promise that they will feel inspired and will gain a new sense of motivation and so on and so forth, but the fact remains that only a tiny fraction ends up being where they ever wanted to be- without any of these tools and techniques- some trained some not-so-trained and few inspired, few motivated but all of them driven by purpose and an objective! So the question here is does inspiration/ motivation really work? If yes, why do they weave the magic only on a few? Why isn’t every person in that workshop proportionally successful, if all of them got the same tools, wisdom and opportunity? What makes motivation click for a few and why do some people succeed even if they are uninspired? Join me here as we try to unravel, how and why this whole business of inspiration, motivation works and doesn’t!

Since time in memorial, people have always looked up to someone- either it was their Gods’, their spiritual leaders, their protectors ( Rulers, Kings, Queens, Emperors), as the new age arrived, people of eminence too started to be looked upon, studied & admired for they seemed to have answers for questions that plagued humanity in the contexts of those times! The more recent modern times have seen people seek stories from the field of sports, arts, theater, music, films and many other diverse areas- choose an area that you can think about and you will find this space of people wanting to be inspired and who are either in the process or already aligned to that one source! In all this pursuit of looking up to people, there’s only one real mission, that of seeking a common ground with regards to something related to either skills, competencies, abilities, aspirations or craft which provide that ray of hope to drive through the challenging times that an individual must overcome to surge ahead and make their mark!

The whole process of Inspiration is a fallacy of the prevailing social biases and social compulsions, sure enough there would be genuine contenders, I am not denying that any bit, but if you see what drives or what majority of humanity uses the word “inspiration” for is to either relate to someone, feel a sense of belonging for someone or thing or just try to align their social acceptability by falling in line with what the majority of social behaviour seems to be! In the context of the recent times, people all over the world, say they feel inspired by healthcare workers, well that’s fine only to that extent, because half of this inspired world, doesn’t give a damn to the guidelines issued by their inspirational health care workers and end up jeopardize everyone in the game that is being played out now!

The other immediate cousin of inspiration, called motivation too faces the same challenge, you see, people are always (as they claim) motivated and self-driven about themselves ( that is a good part) , the real problematic area is, “motivated about what or by whom and for what?” A lot of human tragedies are nothing else but a result of these misplaced motivations and uninspiring inspirational stuff! So you may, now want to ask me, so what’s the point? Well, the point is really simple, Inspiration and Motivation, stall, become ineffective , not because they have a problem or the beholders who personify it have a problem, the problem lies within each one of us, who end up getting inspired and motivated by the right things at the wrong times or the wrong things at the even more wrong times! Let me explain!

Let me take you back to your early childhood! Remember, “Twinkle Twinkle little stars..” that wonderful nursery rhyme! Believe it or not, that perhaps has been the very nascent seed that has propelled many careers of people in the areas of aerospace! This is what pure and unadulterated Inspiration is like! It connects with you at the level of your soul and nudges your mind to follow that essence and undertake that journey, no matter how easy or difficult to achieve what it must to live that moment of being among the stars either seeing them out of an airline cockpit window or seeing them through the space modules high above the earth’s atmosphere!

Likewise if you think about that school sports competition that you won for the first time, someone or something nudged you and your team mates that day, and for that reason you played the game of your life (until that moment) and ensured each one of your team mates did and thereby translating those moments into a memorable victory! That is what puritan motivation looks like, no prejudice, no information overload, just a nudge, perhaps that motivation was a treat by a group of friends or the name of your team mates being called out during the school assembly, or perhaps receiving that shiny medal- whatever that it could have been, it was just a nudge- at the right time, at the right place for the right thing!

So you, see whether it is that inspiration that you seek or that urge to be motivated that you have- as long as you try to seek that by looking at others, the chances are you will end up complicating your matters more, then solving them- especially when you tend to start focusing on the person, and not on the content!

In a lot of cases when people go to workshops, seminars, events buying those valuable tickets and tables at the show, waiting anxiously to be drenched in the seeming elixir of truth that the presenter is about to share, what they end up actually doing is that, they end up buying some hope and optimism instead of inspiration or motivation!

The reason why inspiration/motivation stalls and fails to work its magic is not because it doesn’t work, but rather because that piece is simply not aligned to the contextual reality of who you are! Let me explain! You may sure enough get lucky to witness some “A” grade speaker, who is renowned to motivate speak, but the fact is unless the speech, the examples and the proportionality of the challenges that you face are not aligned, neither that talk will motivate you nor will you know something that you weren’t aware of! It will all end up being the first row ticket to a one act play! It is vital that you find a common ground, a connect which is based on proportionality of contexts for inspiration/motivation to work its magic upon you, else you will either be left indifferent, ignorant or confused more than ever before!

Another factor is the construct of who you are and what the contextual realities of your world are! You may get lucky and you may really get that vital inspiration or motivation, perhaps that great speech, or that great book, or that sudden incident, something right may just cross your path and also the timing could be as great as you ever desired, but unless and until, you aren’t constructed to embrace all that coming your way and unless your contextual settings – the kind of society, the social norms, social viability aren’t in place, even the greatest of opportunity will slip away from your grasp and in many cases, you may actually end up passing that idea to someone less inspired and less motivated, perhaps less deserving, simply because there was a framework available to deploy and act upon once that seed was made available! Say you always had a vision to provide education for the economically challenged kids- but if your local laws don’t allow you to raise the funds and run the show the way you want to run and manage it, chances are your idea will eventually get picked upon and played upon in some other society where there is a favorable climate to implement and execute! Needless to say the execution may not be that impactful or effective as you would have planned simply because the other person may not be even as half inspired or motivated to do! This is a classic case where the right motivation/inspiration comes at the right time but in the wrong frame and you have perhaps no other choice but to let it pass!

Finally you have those instances where these very rare and gifted individuals who never give a damn to anything that’s unfolding around them! The reasons could vary, at one end of the spectrum you may have that eccentric artist, who likes to lock away and keep doing what pleases irrespective of who says what, or that politician who likes to ruin a nation under the garb of running it! This space is the pinnacle of human behaviour and intent, above and beyond all inspiration and motivation, simply because this is the impregnable fortress of the self and this is the area where only one maxim works- “My way or the Highway”! It is in these by-lanes of self serving, self-centered personalities and human attributes that a lot of inspiration and motivation is wasted and what’s more damaging is that this time around the people who come forward to share and care end up going back with bruises and small patched of self-doubt no matter how inspirational of motivational they are!

My final words, well, inspiration and motivation like everything else will work only when there is a human connect to it, nothing that has progressed humanity has ever worked in isolation! As long as there is a conformity of alignment between the inspired, the being inspired and the contextual settings around both of them, things will work and work remarkably well, nudge one element in that equation and you may end up the Motivators and the Internationalists of today needing a master class on their craft!

I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to nudge yourself and know whether you Inspire, get inspired or are you indifferent?

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

Score through moving goal posts.

We have always heard about people complaining and expressing their inability to achieve something simply because the goal post (owing to the conditions/situations/circumstantial realities) changed even as they took their shot! Join me here, as we try to decipher this and possibly ensure that no matter where the post moves, you always are able to take your shot and celebrate that elusive accomplishment! So here we go!

Needless to say, we come across a majority of people who are living a life that they never wanted in the first place! Well, this is not to be confused with whether someone is rich or poor , happy or sad, well off or struggling, no, none of all that! The plain truth is that majority of humanity ends up doing what they don’t want to and that’s at the very foundation of the whole aspect of the moving goal post! Well, not to take a prejudiced view about anything, never helps, the fact remains that majority of us get bogged down by the failures and challenges that we face, at some point! Based on who we are, what our construct is, what our approach is and what resources we have , that point in our lives will arrive sooner or later! Hence, if you see, you can find people settling for doing something which they never wanted to, simply because they don’t want to go on waging that battle with the overbearing circumstances that surround them- it may be a good thing to do or not a good thing to do, because that depends alone on what you are set out to do! What your original goal post is! Let me explain!

Consider this, you are a scientist and you want to find that pressing cure for a dreaded disease, now as you research through those long years, in obscurity, with no fame, recognition, perhaps investing your fortune for furthering that cause, unless you reach that goal post of finding that solution, you will not quit and this is where magic happens and this is that space wherein the goal post doesn’t move, irrespective what the challenges are! Now take another example, say you are designing a writing instrument and you reach a point where you find that a crucial resource for that device is not available or even if it is, your initial cost estimates are all over the place! So what do you do next, well you have two options, just junk everything and let go (normally what people do!) or, see what you best you can do with, where you have arrived and this too is a vital element of scoring through moving goal posts!

Go back to your childhood and try remembering what you wanted to be when you would be grown up, 9 out of 10 of us are not what we said we will be when we were in our schools, graduating and perhaps even when we did that specialization later! So what happens here? Why do things unfold the way they do? Why do people end up doing what they never wanted to and what can be done about this, can anything be done?

Well, it starts with the intention and desire, yes the very basic of all attributes that one can think of, as long as that intention and desire is not focused like a laser beam to back up what words you say or write, everything stays fluid and then, even at the slightest nudge, you run for cover and are happy to alter the course of your whole journey and never tread that path for whatever the reasons might have been- this is why 8 times out of 10 you will come across people settled and content- because anyways they are doing or pursuing what they don’t care about and their quality of work too then reflects that space! These are the people who you find in the “one size fits all” industries wherein the emphasis is more on processes, mechanized, semi robotic working environments, don’t mistake thinking that the people here are any less intelligence or qualified or able- they have simply at some point in time, resigned themselves form the pursuit of the shifting goals posts that they were trying to hit, either they aimed for the wrong one or they did not or could not give their best when it mattered the most and things would have all been but against them! So how does one really go about scoring through moving goal posts, what’s the approach?

Well if you ask me, it’s simple, first, have that desire and intention and next calibrate all that to who you are! You see, even I want to be on top of Mount Everest, but well when reality comes vising through your medical reports, you know how far you can stretch! So it starts with stetting and evaluating the right goals and sure enough, given the times that we live in, no goal post is static in the sense of the term, whether it is the routine job you want or that excellent career you want to pursue, everyday is a new day, as things change, rules change, software’s change, rules of engagement change and all these dynamic variables in the work areas go on to make the seemingly achievable goals of routine work life as elusive as being on Mount Everest! Consider this, everyone in your team wants that promotion, there is only one slot, not all will get in, only one- and what do you think will still differentiate between all of them,if competencies, experience, qualifications and skills, performance are all equal and personalities are alike?

The critical differentiating factor is the unfailing ability to decipher what is likely to unfold once the chair/position is acquired! You see, you will be only able to hit a moving target when you can predict where it is likely to move next, when and how fast an for you to know that, you will need to know your target too well and sure enough you will not necessarily get it right all the time, that never is the point, the point is the early acceptance and acknowledgement that all that you aspire and aim for is a moving target and will not be what it seems to be when you acquire or reach it! The earlier you understand and unlock this dynamism about what you aim, you will also start to realise whether you really want to pursue that target to begin with and then if you still answer yes, you will automatically come up with plans and strategies to ensure that your hit ratio is higher then the average so that you begin to excel at what you do and what you aim next and that is the secret of growing and touching success even as your goals and targets keep shifting and moving all the time!

The whole idea about being able to hit and score as your goal post keeps moving is aligning yourself to what your desires are (not wishful thinking), calibrated to who you are and then all it boils down to is being able to decipher the goal post itself, what it is, what it seems to be and what it is not, being able to relate the way it is, how it may move, how fast and what is that you are going to develop within yourself to ensure that you match that speed and maneuverability to present yourself to the goal in the space of dynamic equilibrium -a moment where your movements nullify each others and you arrive at the right moment, at the right place and with the right preparation to embrace and control the goals and targets that you had set out to achieve and once you are there, the goal posts seems to be stationary as long as you are able to be in-sync with its’ movements.

The essence of scoring through moving goal posts, is much of who you are, and who you want to be and separating that from who you think you are and you you wish to be! Once you have anchored well, you are more equipped to evaluate and choose the goal post that you want to hit. Any goal post that you evaluate and decide to hit, once you have anchored yourself is almost always within reach, as long as you are also able to decipher the whispers that the goal talks back to you!

I leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to reflect upon the goal posts that you hit and missed, which moved and what did you do as they moved, did you resign yourself or did you get going! If you did resign, why was it then, and if you did hit, how was it then? Grab that coffee and think!

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

The Knowledge overload.

In the crazy times that we exist, surely it feels like the Heavens above must have been in an overdrive while planning to lead humanity to the place we are, no I am not going to talk about the pandemic, already have shared a lot! I am referring to possibly a greater pandemic, which is perhaps more dangerous than the one that we are facing now! This is about dealing with the knowledge overload- a knowledge pandemic; if you want to look at it that way! Join me here as we take a quick look at what this is and what does it mean to us and what is that we can do to survive this challenge, collectively or individually as the case may be! So here we go!

This is not only about cribbing about the invasion of the digital screens into our lives (although they do) this is not about the grueling efforts that go into pursuing higher & specialized education, in terms of money and opportunities around, this isn’t only about how many books, research materials, manuscripts are available or not, this is simply about the maddening pace at which knowledge gets consumed, gets outdated and leaves us ever famished and wanting more and more of it, even as we are aware that there is only so much that we can achieve in the life time that we have and there is only so much that one can really apply and bring into action, irrespective of how much knowledge one holds within!

This mad race to soak in as much as knowledge on can, irrespective of how much of that is validated or relevant has led to chaos and ambiguity more than what natural confusion would have provided! Ever heard about, “All the experts who came together to agree that nothing can be done” well that’s a classic case of knowledge overload! What knowledge overload does is, that it begins to make you pace up against yourself and that by the very definition of it is a very self-defeating approach! But why does this happen in the first place, why do people fall into this senseless trap of wanting to behold all and know all kind of stuff (knowing very well that, it doesn’t work that way!) The reason for this, is the contextual framing that we have allowed to seep in, across societies wherein knowledge has become a tool to achieve something further and not a destination in itself! Let me explain!

If you observe around, what do you see, parents, teachers and almost everyone who has this ability to give free advise to a teen, is going to just say one thing, “study this, go to that university, get that degree” so on and so forth- not because that will enrich the individual or make that person wiser, but because that assures well off life and a sustained source of income- nothing wrong with it – sure enough, well that’s what is needed, what do we do with knowledge if money doesn’t come in- plain, simple, effective, but the big point missed out here is that- no one asked you not to get wiser even as you make your money! This is where the knowledge overload problem begins and how does this manifest? Well, read on!

Have you ever dealt with that boss of your’s who always said just do it this way- and don’t ask me why? or that boss who came to you rushing ten minutes before the presentation and asking you to change 15 slides immediately? Did you ever come across a person who knew everything and was sought after by everyone for some listening but not for any action? I am sure you would have come across multiple such instances wherein people have been glued to the pivot of the knowledge that they hold and are in process of applying- few of them seem to be in control of it (like the judges, the doctors, the law enforcement people- most of the times!) and at times, you will come across people who seem to be just struggling to cope up with the dynamism of the knowledge that they hold, every next day that challenge to update just seems to get insurmountable for them. So why do people react to knowledge in completely two different ways- one while being in supreme control and at other times being completely run over by it?

They do so because in one case they are able to tame knowledge and shape it to the way they want to action through it and in the second case, knowledge is nothing but a fast moving rapid and it will knock you over your feet, if you don’t know where you are putting your feet next! So what’s the right way to engage with knowledge?

The real essence of engaging with knowledge is about soaking it only until it enables and empower you to apply it to create some meaningful value for you or for others! Anything done half way through that in a rush or anything done long after you have soaked yourself beyond repair- is all counterproductive- because knowledge too, like everything else is sensitive to time and context! Let me explain!

Consider you are a new doctor, and heading to the first surgery in the ER, what’s your frame of mind? are you trying to yet mug up, Grey’s Anatomy- page 456 or are you planing to go ahead with what is presented in front of you and pursue your line of treatment based on what you see in front of you? You don’t open up a person and say, “hey, I read it in the book, this pieces, is not supposed to be here, can we move it by a few inches?” This is what the context and time element of knowledge is all about! In that contextual setting of the ER, it would have really not mattered how much of medical know how you have or not, as long as you were able to understand what is in front of you and as long as you are able to provide the recourse as science would require you too! This is real essence of working with knowledge, no matter what field you pursue, unless you develop this approach of being pragmatic, in the now and being able to what it is that you are dealing with, you may have all the gold medals in the world, but you will get drowned by the same overload of knowledge that keeps moving around within your mind like a lost ghost! So what’s the takeaway?

Simple and to the point, Knowledge works only as long as you work upon it and you don’t get worked up because of it! Understanding, updating and staying relevant is one thing and being able to think on your feet in the now and deliver to a perplexing problem in front of you applying the principle of the knowledge that you hold is the real essence of being able to manage and overcome knowledge overload! Once you are able to this, rest assured scaling up your learnings and applying them as fluidly as you want to are all but a part of simple design. Too much of anything and everything is not helpful, simply because it creates an imbalance and when it comes to knowledge, an imbalance leads to unwanted eccentricity- individually it looks funny- but when that gets extrapolated to a society as whole- you end up heaving polarized and radicalized views which don’t go to help anyone on anything, no matter how knowledgeable people are or how wise the society is! Balance- dynamic balance is the key to tame knowledge- soaking in it, just enough to create and share value and not getting drowned into it to create more chaos or ambiguity!

I leave you here, hoping that you are always as soaked up in knowledge only as much is relevant to what you do and you are always able to work upon the knowledge that you behold and never get run over by it!

Ciao for now, will be back with another one! Until then, stay wise, and keep learning and keep sharing!

Go from “Had I” to “What If”

I know its a Monday, and Mondays’ wherever you are and whatever you do are what they are, notorious and unpredictable! Well, this short piece may just perhaps help you to ensure that your next Monday doesn’t end up being the one that you are facing now and probably it may just help to bring about a radical change the way you await for the next day to arrive! Certainly I am not suggesting that all days will be Fridays’ or all days are Sundays’ but the shift of your mindset from “Had I” to “What if” is the real game changer! Join me here as we try to understand what this is and how it may turn out to be just the key that you were looking out for to unlock your potential! So here we go!

We have a lot of those strange conversations, (especially when we have that odd free time to ourselves) which start to play within our minds and more often than not they start with, “Had I”, yes, that never ending eternal excuse, reason, fact, fiction, perception, truth- it could be almost any of these and there is nothing right or wrong about this- sure enough as one contemplates, a person will take this route to think and begin to reflect & it is here that getting a right balance of “Had I” thinking becomes critical. If this is not checked in the right time it can unleash chaos of unimaginable proportions! Let me explain!

Remember the last time you got your “me time”, if you have not got one, make an allowance for one now, and then continue to read further! In all probability that “me time” of your’s would have gone into the past and as you started to reflected what worked and what didn’t, almost always you would have ended up saying or thinking-“Had I then done it that way, or that instead of what I did, things could have been different Now! Had that been done, this would have happened and then because of this, that would would have happened! See your thoughts pretty soon, begin to encircle into a tight spiral almost crushing you and burying you into the past, irrespective whether that was a dream or a nightmare and what is unfolding here is- that your flirting with “Had I” is holding you onto a patterned approach of thinking to your life and you are reinforcing belief’s which may no longer serve you or your new realities! This is why most of the people are so scared about their “me time” and always crave for the companionship either with people- irrespective whether that adds value or not, with pets or with those tormenting digital screens- which recently have become far worse the world over than what they were earlier- instead of dissemination of knowledge or puritan information, have ended up becoming nothing more than propaganda tools! A majority of us hence come out more tired, confused and craving for sugar as we are done with our “me time” which when not used aptly ends up being not only waste of time, but starts to chip away slowly but surely whatever remaining resilience and perseverance that you would have built upon to safeguard and move ahead in life! So what do we do? Well, read on!

To begin with, a genuine hand shake with the “Had I” way is not bad, in fact it’s healthy, that’s an opportunity to explore omissions and mistakes and certainly avoid repeating what has gone by, but the problems start as people instead of having a conversation with themselves using this route, start to embrace it and begin to conclude that, because they had not done”ABC” or “XYZ”, they are fated to what they are in the now and this current fate is what will lead them to “PQR” irrespective whether they want to be there or not! This is perhaps the biggest hurdle, danger and problem with the “Had I” approach gone wrong! It not only short changes your present based on the inadequacies of your past, but also seeds in the unwanted and unwarranted thoughts about how vulnerable you are and why you should move ahead in a resigned to fate manner, rather than be a challenger in life! This is the space where majority of us get entrapped for a longer period of our lives and this is called by few others as the “mindset problem- rather the problem of mindset coming through limiting your beliefs- based on the out of control and un-managed “Had I” route! So what’s the cure to this?

Well, there are only two options, either you manage the “Had I” thinking and keep it under check and have it directing you in a purposeful way or do a radical shift in your mindset and move into the “now space”! You see, the whole idea of “Had I” hinges on what has happened to you or has been done by you in the past, but when you move the pivot of your reflective thinking to your present, you make a big shift in mindset and the way to do that is by replacing your “Had I” with “What If” more often! Once you have embraced “What If” in your today, it will empower and propel you to evaluate multiple scenarios for your oncoming tomorrow and the best part is, it starts with the moment you are in- the Now of your time! Let me explain you this very quickly!

Consider you are in one of the usual contemplative “me time”, now with the “Had I” approach you would slip away rather easily- almost dreaming away into your past and then begin to play upon what would have happened had you then done that- in a different manner than what you actually did! But the problem with this approach is that, it will very rarely help you to address something that you are dealing with in the present (unless and until you are on the verge of committing the same mistake again!) and that trip to your past serves you with no value- other then some light free entertainment or revisit to a horror story! The questions of your past don’t and very rarely can provide answers to your present- simply because you are a different person (from the competence and mind part of you) and the contextual settings too would have radically changed!

Now, to this contemplative zen of your “me time” when you decide to approach with the “What If” approach- you are actually expanding the horizons of your thinking pivoting on your now and with a greater chance to transform and shape your tomorrow! The “What If” question, unlike “Had I” doesn’t allow you to dream smoothly or slip away into the softness of your bygone times, rather it forces you really hard to think, think and think in the now of your moment to evaluate the competing approaches and solutions and furthermore extrapolate them ahead to see which of the may serve you more better in the times ahead as well! This powerful and simple shift is what makes”What if” thing so potent and when your “me time” is loaded with this, you are surely going to experience that much needed mindset shit. The shift in mindset originating out of “What if” thinking is powerful, potent and almost always gets you amazing clarity and elasticity for your thinking which serves you all the way along! “What if” thinking forces you to make choices and these choices when acted upon have the power to transform you- to meet the new reality that’s fast approaching you in the future and this future ready approach gives you that edge when it comes to beating the odds that may come your way!

If “Had I” gives you a reckoner to avoid the mistakes of the past, “What if” opens up limitless future possibilities and importantly empowers you to take the challenges head on by aligning your thinking to the new realities coming your way! Each of them have their strengths and place when we want to share our “me time” with either of them, but the more you spend your “me time” around “What If”, the more empowered will you be, for taking actions and leading yourself in the now and the approaching future!

I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to move on from “Had I” to “What If” and experience a changed you who can lead you and create value for the times ahead, for the ones’ bygone can’t be revisited!

Ciao for now and will be back soon with another one! Stay safe and stay wise!

Lose battles to win wars!

As strange it may seem, but ask any military commander and you will have plethora of stories that go on to prove the point, why at times loosing a few battles, irrespective how hard or easy they are is in the larger interest to win the final war! No, I am not a military strategist, but this principle perhaps fits aptly to the lives and times that we are going by and more than ever before, it has now become more important to identify which aspect of your life is you war and which one is a battle! Which is the one that you can let go and which is the one that you must engage with day in and day out until you accomplish that ever elusive objective! Join me here as we explore this space and understand why loosing at time is the final step to a magnificent victory!

If you have read any of the authentic memoirs on World War I or World War II, you will perhaps get a quick understanding about what, “The fog of war” means! When you have military action unleashed across many theaters, and with military strategy at work between both sides, as the war ensues each side will try to deviate, distract, dodge, trap, escape and beat down the other side, even for that to occur these multiple theaters of war though acting independently at first glance necessarily need to deliver results at the right time and place to tilt the balance of the war in their favour and this is the essence of loosing a few battles to win the war (the main battle- to put it in another choice of words!)

As in war, so in life, irrespective whether you are a young student trying to make your mark in the world of academics, or a young professional racing ahead that corporate ladder or a seasoned professional trying to create the next set of industry wide benchmarks- across each of them lies a common thread- that commonality pertains to the fact that irrespective of whoever you are and whatever you choose to do- unless you have identified what is equivalent of war in your life and what is the equivalent to the many battles that you must wage (albeit winning some and loosing a few), you will always seem to be challenged in an ever increasing complex pattern both externally and as well as within yourself!

Each day, we are compelled to make choices and as I had written in my earlier article, choices are what eventually make us but, largely dependent on other aspects associated with it! It is from here that as we begin to decide and check out what aspect of our life is the war that we must win and what aspects are the battles- which we are fine wining some and loosing some as long as the War is won.- So what are these battles and what is this war all about? Read on!

The battles that we need to pick and choose as we go about our daily lives can crop up from any area of our life and are related to our value system and beliefs that we end up anchoring upon as we grow. If the value and belief systems remain congruent to the ones given to us and the ones that we experience around- the number of battles to be fought reduces considerably! The moment there is disconnect between what we have been given to believe, follow and aspire to be and what we experience as individuals, conflict commences and like any conflict there is only one side that can win- either what you have been given to believe or the ones’ that you have experienced first hand! Depending on which side wins- that etched moment will further add a layer of foundational belief and character to who you are. If that new acquired character serves you to win the big war that awaits you- this battle was worthy enough of a victory- else a defeat here- by giving up your new acquired beliefs over the older ones’ would have been more valuable! Think about this! Let me explain this!

Consider, you are aspiring to be a cop, now as you grow you are going to be exposed to all the right and wrong that exists with any law enforcement society- this is your battle front and the aspiration that you want to be a cop is the war that you must win! Now if you start to despise all the negative aspects of being a cop- corruption, political pressure, seemingly in-efficient judicial recourse- and start thinking that none of this can be changed and you begin to ignore and start to act recklessly by trying to course correct people and situations assuming you are the law- by beating up people- you will perhaps win the battle of being right in that moment- but all and any chances of you being a cop will be dashed beyond repair- in a few societies permanently! This is a classic case of winning a battle emphatically, myopically and loosing the all important war altogether!

In another scenario, you see all this negative- understand why it is what it is, and wait for your time when you have the power to change that from the legal stand point! So here even if you seem to be submissive in the shorter time line over a period of time as you harness the power of the uniform that you wear, you are able to make more lasting impact with changes that you always wanted to do and more importantly winning the war by becoming a cop that you always wanted to be even if you would have lost a few battles on the way before becoming ready to have the power to change their outcome in your favour!

I can give you similar examples from virtually all arenas of the lives that we live, corporate, theater, art, politics, you name it and there will be stories having uncanny similarities but the singular point will be the fact that, people who are able to win the war of their lives are the ones’ who have learnt to lose their battles and more importantly know which to loose and which to win so that the balance of war is always tilted in their favour! So what’s the key here!

It all boils down to this simple truth of life, sounds a bit philosophical, but then truths are truths, once you have identified that golden purpose, objective of your life- that accomplishment of that desire/aspiration becomes the only and all important war that you must pursue and win- win because that moment of victory is what will go on to define who you are and what your life has been and what is the legacy that you will leave behind! With so much at stake, it’s but obvious one needs to apply time, patience and intelligence to decide what that war will be and time it right! Once you have identified the War that you must win, needless to say, like ghosts from nowhere you will find scenarios and challenges coming towards you, multiple of them a few times, feeble sometimes and strong at other times, these are all those battles which you need to weigh carefully every passing day/ hour to understand which to fight, which to delay, which to ignore and when you do fight, when and whether you fight to win or fight to loose- all these decisions need to be aligned in a manner that ensures that you are always congruent to your final objective of winning the war!

Battles that sap your energy, drive you crazy, take you away in opposite journeys and directions from the direction where your final war zone is serve no purpose and these are better ignored, delayed or if necessary lost! Battles that mark your presence like a milestone and which keep you aligned to the trajectory of your war zone are the ones that you need to win, because each victory on the way is a statement- a statement of your arrival on the war theater and ask any military commander, they will tell you, apart from the loud noises that the guns and machines make, if there’s anything else that melts the resolve and minds of the enemies it is the courage and achievements of the people in command.

Once you reach the war zone of your life empowered by your won battles and humbled by the ones’ you have lost- you have a finer judgement to time your move and ensure that no matter what the odds you will be able to achieve your objective- whether that is a job as a cop, that corporate CEO chair, that leadership position in an office, starting your own enterprise, serving the people- whatever is your war cry- all of that can be realized once you arrive at the war zone as a battle hardened soldier whose vision is focused and glued to the victory of the final war!

Learning what to let go, learning what to hang on to and choosing to loose a few and never loose some, is an art and science which gets perfected not in any school, but in the lab of your life! As unique as we are, so will be our battles and wars- each one cut out to mold us, shape us and push us ahead- willingly or unwillingly so that we are able to reach the war zone to win and achieve what we have set out for and while doing so we are able to give up on things and people that don’t serve us in the context that they tend to drag us down rather then propel us ahead! It is certainly not a call for being selfish, rather it is the interest of selflessness of serving the greater good for the people around you that you must lead, by loosing some and winning what you must- it is only then that as individuals and societies we will continue to have real life everyday heroes who make the difference by doing ordinary tasks in an extraordinary way and thereby keep the human spirits high and hold that promise which says, as long as you know where you want to be- you will get there once you have made up your mind- and as long as you are wiling to pay the price that it may cost! Whether that cost is justified or not is another story because success is finally something that has to be shared with the community and in isolation nothing works, neither happiness, nor leadership nothing!

I leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to take some time this weekend that you have, think deep within and decide what is the war of your life which you want to get into- which is that war that will define you, to create a lasting legacy of values and beliefs that you stand for and what are the battles that you are ready to win and loose to tilt the balance of this grand war in your favour!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until than stay wise, keep thinking and yes breathe!

The story about choices.

This article is not about, the old wisdom about how choices make us and break us and how we end up becoming what we do because of the choices that we make, this is more about understanding how do choices present themselves, the way they do- and once we are bound to make a choice- that is what happens- we become who we are! Join me here, as we sieve through this aspect and perhaps, your choice of reading this empowers you to choose something!

Let’s begin from the start! How do choices manifest? Remember growing up? As a toddler, how did you go about choosing? Well difficult to remember? In all probability the choices would have been made for you- simply because you were not that equipped to make that choice between whether oats is better than cheese and bread! Hence your parents or whoever raised you, stepped in- their power came from their wisdom and knowledge about you to nourish you right- not because they knew it since they were a toddler- but rather because they began to learn all about it as they knew you would arrive! If they are wise enough and sane enough, their choices will nourish you well, giving you a great chance to stand firm in the life that you plan for yourself as a foundation to begin with! Your foundation of Health is a perhaps the first choice that your parents make for you and believe it or not that goes a long way to contribute to your potential and success in life! Sure enough as you grow, whether you decide to add to it or screw it up, entirely depends on you and that’s a set of choices that you make- to which we will visit in a moment!

The next important decision or rather choice that impacts your life is the school that you go- not I am not talking about you post grad schools, the very basic- and this does play a vital role- because the values that we choose to follow and choose to let go, the initial social communication and engagement steps are all formulated here and based on the choice of the school you will have the potential to emerge either as a flamboyant extrovert or a researching, probing , introvert or anything in between those two extremes- but any of this will manifest on the choice of the school you make! How much control you would have- well, depends on how many schools you got to change what the process of deliberation over choices is followed at one’s home- some case it could be a simple one liner- in few other cases it could be a get together of all relatives to make a consensus based call and there may also be those eclectic few- who would want to host a community lunch to learn the latest developments around the schools in the neighborhood and then take a call! Irrespective of what method is chosen, the fact remains that a choice is made and this one goes on to build, mold and shape the foundation of your approach to the world in pursuit of knowledge, learning and applying your imagination- how this gets played out, goes a long way to determine what vocation you choose and “who” as a label of work that you eventually become!

The fun begins now, by the time you have completed lapping up your knowledge, you are also more or less getting into the space where you commence to make active choices, unlike the earlier ones’ which were largely passive, from now on you are in control and you make the choice- what shirt, which trouser, which perfume, what party venue..so on and so forth and as you start with these seemingly trivial choices, you soon begin to get dragged into the more complex, few necessary and few completely unwanted (which arise because of some of your active choices gone bad!) choices and before you realize you are living a life of your own choices, made in rapid speed, with or without thought applied and the consequences are well, there for everyone to see and only for you to experience and live through!

Choices, surely go a long way to make who you are, but it’s importantly the quality of choices and the quality of leadership that you have applied to lead yourself, once you have committed to the choices made by you is what sets successful people apart from exceptional people! Let me explain! Say, you made it to the MIT and are graduating in Finance, a choice which you made, now the score with what you graduate will go to speak volumes about the depth of the choice you made and the application that you brought to it- you see, you could be a business tycoons heir so getting admission perhaps would have been easy and if end of the day you are going to head back to your family business and add dollars to it, nothing wrong with it- but then for that you never needed a MIT to begin with! Sure enough, you would have learnt a few tricks and secrets being there and made some great friends for the future, but hey! That would have been anyways possible given you are stinking rich and can afford to connect as you wish! This is how “choices gone wrong” look! Don’t be surprised, but the intellectual degeneration that we see around the world is because, people who care less for the cutting edge knowledge and application of that end up getting the front row seat to the show and those who really need it are often somewhere in the back rows trying hard to understand and make sense of what’s unfolding- eventually resigned to work and be enslaved to the front row guests! If end of the day the whole idea is to run your own business, the way your family has been running- then why waste valuable hours of others time- because end of the day, no principles that are learnt will ever get applied- for one reason or the other. The teachers and the institutes may be great, the students too based on who they are- but no one ends up helping anyone in the real context of it! Think about it! How many business heirs have gone to the top 10 colleges in the world and won a Nobel Prize for outstanding contribution to their chosen field? Let me know if you come across any! If you see the profiles of the people who have a made a difference to humanity and have served it exercising a choice that they had- their approach, selection and application of their choices is always consistent right from the start and even if that means- being an unsung hero, a failure (in the eyes of the corporate world) they are just fine with it- because they have made a choice to stay who they are and serve the way they have chosen to!

Likewise when it comes to the world of corporate chaos, of start ups, innovators’ and what you have, people make choices and not all of them succeed, the success stories of a few hundred start ups the world over are celebrated in the elite unicorn group- but beyond that glitz and glamour lie the ruins and graveyards of wrong choices that have buried themselves and also sometimes the people who lived and swore by them! Sure enough, not all those choices would have been bad, neither all of them would have been wrong, what makes the difference again is the quality and application of the choice that is made! When it comes to the big bad world of the corporate, why do you think, everyone doesn’t become a CEO, why doesn’t everyone in the Stock market become a billionaire? You will find people with similar qualifications and competing intelligence and experience everywhere, but there are only a few who last, endure and are able to make it to that coveted chair- so what is so different about the choice, that they would have made- same school, same college, same degree, similar experience and growth trajectories- so what is this slight difference that makes everything else fade away? Read on….

The slight difference which makes a world of difference is all about the Application and Implementation of the choices made topped with a layer of ones’ intrinsic intelligence and persona! This is what goes to give the slight wafer thin edge to pip others who are almost always very similar- but this intrinsic value holds the sway and does its bit when the time for those hard choices come in to play! Want proof- browse through the details of any management team/ board of directors of any large organisation and compare them with the current Managing Director or the Chairperson as the case may be- you will see my point clear and bright! If this is what it is, you may want to know, how can we harness the suitableness within us to make our choices more align and empowering?

The trick begins and ends by knowing yourself well and intentionally well as you grow- the trick is to force choices on yourself- that suit and align you on a daily basis to keep you on the path that you have chalked out for yourself- in terms of the gain that you have envisioned for yourself as part of the choice making process! The reason why, I say, this has to be about forced choices is because, unless you aren’t aligning yourself to these forced choices, you will be drawn to make other optional choices all the time and that will not only deviate and distract you from your core objectives but also sap your energies by allowing you waste your breath on things that really don’t serve you in any manner! It is only once that empowering choices become your second skin, is that you will find dramatic shifts coming in your life- where- everything that doesn’t hold value for you will vaporize and all that is required for you to keep moving ahead keeps arriving as you need it! You call it the, “Law of Attraction”, call it “Harnessing the Universal Energies to align the universe with your desires”, whatever you find fit- that’s you choice!

The essence here is the singular fact that sharp self-awareness, quality and intent driven application and implementation of choices made alone is the way to stand out even at the very top! Sure enough one must guard to ensure you don’t end up being a psycho at the top- the world has too many for now- choose any field you wish to see! As long as the objective is of achieving that defining success through high quality choices made with an focused intent, flawless implementation and intense application, the journey always remains to be one hell of an experience and yes it is again your choices alone through the journey which will ensure that this dream like journey and the final destination remain as pristine as they must and don’t turn into a nightmare because of one bad choice somewhere along!

I leave you here with these thoughts! The weekend is almost here, grab that inspiring book, hold that coffee and soak yourself into something that makes you choose something today for a wonderful tomorrow that you so badly want!

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

Thinking on the go!

Sometime back, I had written about dealing with job losses, this article is a slight extension to the earlier one, in the sense that it calls for individuals to develop the skill of being able to think on the go! For the given fallacy of the collective intelligence that humanity has now, it’s now clear than ever before that the pandemic has become a challenge not because of the virus, but rather the way it was handled, by the people who handled it! This goes on to reinforce the fact, that it’s not only important to have wisdom in your own house, but you also need to have wise neighbors and a social set with more wise people than fools around! Because you may do all it takes to safeguard your house, but it only takes one random foll somewhere to bring down your house, for no fault of yours! So join me here and let’s explore what Thinking on the go, looks like and what is it, that makes it tick!

Whether it is the job that you have lost or that steep fall in your business which is making it difficult by the hour to even stay sane, all of this, whether you believe it or not, is not a problem outside of us, it is something that we have ended up creating within us! Yes, as they say, as we die to point that index finger to someone or someplace, the fact is we have more fingers pointing back us and that is the truth of life! Let me explain!

Sure enough, you did not have any role in allowing the virus to get loose or have it come into your society, but even as that was unfolding, early Jan- mid-Jan depending on where you are in the world, the warnings had been put up- some places had them orange and some societies were figuring out which shade of orange would be fine, until all hell broke loose and pretty much the whole world was in a deep red by March-April! You may ask, so what is that you could have done? How can you be accountable for the place you are stuck in! Well for the simple reason, you simply failed to assess what was unfolding in the context of how that would impact you!

Perhaps you did not read well enough into what is the organisation, that you signed up for- which at the slightest nudge from the market conditions, would be ready to have you sent home to worse still halve your income and ask you to work twice as hard and as if that was not enough you continue to manage your normal or even more increased expenses with a lesser source! You see, irrespective of which organisation you are in, how old or new it is, you would have got an opportunity to assess the settings for your firm, in the backdrop of the unfolding pandemic and evaluate if it was going to sail or float- but instead of doing this, if you would have applied your generous opinion to never ending suggestions and talks on what the government should be doing, you would have all but missed that window!

Similarly, if you have been in business, you will find that, we have witnessed all over the world, overnight manufacturers shoot up, from face masks to the PPEs, to the sanitizers and all that paraphernalia that goes with our times today, sure enough, I do understand that not all manufacturers would have had the opportunity to be so lucky to have the suppliers/ vendors and machinery all ready to throw out these new products- but the fact is that a few of them did eventually have it and that has possibly saved some sanity for them, unlike for the vast majority of others, who have been stuck only for one reason- being a specialist- You see like an endangered species in the animal list, being a specialist is great- but that greatness itself ends up becoming the strongest weakness and once that is altered- you are reduced to nothingness! So what’s the point- Well the point is very simple- only when you are able to develop an ability to keep thinking, observing and running simulations in your mind of what’s happening around and importantly about all that can and will impact you with a scale of probability and intensity of the impact- you will be better prepared to deal with this kind of shit, better the next time around!

Early Jan, mid-Jan of February as the market place started to come apart, the writing was pretty much on the wall, the world over, instead of debating and discussing what the government must and mustn’t do, it would have been far better, to assess your work place and see what you need to do or not and understand if your workplace is going to stay warm to you or give you a cold shoulder at a time when you needed the warmth the most! Some firms have done one or the other and well, not to be judgmental, even at their levels would have had a good enough reason to shut shop, lay off, offer pay cuts- because they too did not assess themselves- possibly they too ended up being busy about something which was inconsequential to them at their level!

Thinking on the go, is all about assessing all that can impact you, it’s about being aware of what’s unfolding around and then running simulations in your mind, so that if push comes to shove, you are more ready than ever before! The firms that changed their products and got into manufacturing masks and PPE gear instead of garments, sure enough, they were blessed by the availability of the same machinery and with a few tweaks they were able to deliver- but even for that too happen, it would have taken some team and few people who saw the tragedy as an opportunity to bank upon and end of the day- these firms have made their moolah, even as the product changed and as sad it may look, sure they have profited from creating these products!

Even at an individual level, if you are able to continually assess and monitor the way your industry/ sector is moving and where your firm sits in the relevance of the value chain ecosystem for that industry, you know whether you will be sailing through or sinking staying on that boat- it is observations and analysis done in this space which can help one decide, explore and attempt alternatives- whether that alternative is to go to a more stable firm, with a pay cut or start an enterprise or pursue something new altogether; you will be able to take a shot at these options only if you are aligned to think on the go and don’t fall into the entrapment of security and safety of your current workplace or business model!

Thinking on the go, is being aware- about yourself, about what’s unfolding and how and where you want to be and seeing what are the current options that help you stay on that trajectory and route plan! It is about creating a great level of self-awareness, some cutting edge observations and ability to analyse flawlessly. Sure enough it also calls for running hundreds “What if” simulations in your mind so that you are able to choose from what seems to be the best option available in the contextual settings that are presented to you! It is not about getting anxious or paranoid about what you see around, it is rather about, understanding and deciphering what you see around so that you are able to avoid and do away with that unwanted paranoia and anxiety at the very beginning. Self- awareness enables one to empower oneself and actions resulting from empowered thinking almost always translate into manifestation of success and accomplishment of objectives!

I leave you here with these thoughts, asking you to reflect- when was the last time you deployed something like this- when was the last time that you were forced into a corner and had to think hard and straight to come out and move ahead of a situation? How helpful was that and how helpful do you think the ability to think as you move, will be to you- considering all that you do or plan to do!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! By the way, we have commenced our Personal Coaching sessions for one-on-one paid coaching. Feel free to write in to us at simplify@simplifylives.com for more details around that bit!

Stay Authentic.

At a time when everyone wants to end up being someone, the real secret is embedded in a very simple fact- that is of staying authentic- staying and being who you are and who you are comfortable being! Join me here as we explore, what does it take to stay authentic and how does this small shift alter the entire narrative of your purpose enriching it with greater value, depth and direction.

Irrespective of where we are and what part of the social fabric we contribute to, the singular fact remains, that each one of us is Influenced- by someone or the other- now there is nothing to be judgmental or prejudiced about being influenced. Since the dawn of civilizations, humans have been long programmed to seek- leaders and have been benefited by able leaders and have been broken by terrible ones’ and these erstwhile experiences have gone a long way to create the different societies as we witness them around us today! It is these Influences that we receive, which further go on to create an ability within a few of us from the society to continue that Influence- which could be pertaining to an ideology, a belief system or simply an agreed framework of how the society would like to function.

The whole issue with this whole process of Influencing and being Influenced, leaving aside the context and the content what is being shared deals with the subtle aspect of altering the real essence of personalities as who they are and who they should be- unless people are careful- you will witness that Influencer’s and those being Influenced tend to rapidly loose a vital connect with themselves and thereby begin to wear off the charm of who they really are and begin to assume imagery which is nothing close to who they are and what that ends up doing is, you have an entire social fabric that is made of mirrored, fabricated and shallow personalities and ideas. This unwanted outcome of Influence comes to exist, once the true self- the authentic self- is lost- both from the side of the person who is the Influencer and also the audience who are being influenced.

If you were to analyse the global horizon for great Leaders and great Influencer’s , you will see one commonality- As long as Leaders or People of Influence tend to stay true to who they are and share that truth with the audiences that they connect- they are not only effective, impactful and motivational but they also empower their audiences as well to be the same and thereby urging them to, embrace their truth and rise and live by it even as they overcome the challenges that they may be facing at their levels! This is the real essence of Authentic Leadership- or should I say, Leading by staying Authentic! It is only when Leaders lead from this intensely private space, which brings forth who they are their personalities, their vulnerabilities that, they gain the trust and connect which is so vital to lead and influence- this is one way of the leader saying, “This is Who I am and this is where I want to take you along, this is how we are going to get there- Are you coming along?”

When leaders fail to create this foundation of authenticity as they lead or engage, they end up adding veils and layers to their leadership- the whole value around it and the process around it- this goes on to create pseudo value systems and as opacity ensues, one can then witness the rapidly diminishing connect between the leader and the community. The question you may ask, what is so difficult about staying authentic, sound simple? The fact is, there can be nothing more difficult than doing that! Let me explain!

Staying authentic, or bringing authenticity- to the forefront requires more courage than one can imagine, because in this space, whether you are a leader, a follower or a leader in the making- you need some real divine courage to accept – firstly who you are (that calls for some insane levels of self-awareness) and next being able to share that with the community that you are part of – the society, the nation or whatever that group may be! This style of leadership by being authentic, exposing your vulnerabilities is a potent tool to connect, engage and empower everyone around in perhaps the fastest way- the only catch being that you mus be dead sure that the audience or the contextual settings are what they seem to be and aren’t a trojan horse designed to defeat you! How does being authentic help? Read on!

Once you have this incredible sell-awareness about who you are and once you have found out the purpose and how you are going to approach, what remains is merely knowing what serves you and what doesn’t! What serves your cause, your journey and what doesn’t- for all that aligns alongside you empowers you and all that creates a blockade- saps you of that vital energy that you need so badly to keep going to achieve the purpose that you have set out for – not only because you want it- but because the whole process and the journey is nothing more but the personification of your authentic self- and your existence. Anything ambiguous here, will end up creating fogs of doubt, defeating your purpose and also of those who rally around you!

Embracing Authenticity is perhaps the easiest way to let the world know that you are connected within, you know your stuff and hence you are in a better position to tell others how to find their stuff, as you have already done that journey! Authenticity provides adequate empowerment for an individual to have a voice, share, lead or follow, no matter what is the choice made, as long as an authentic approach is applied every role taken up seems to align with the purpose and direction of serving and achieving the greater good for all of those who have embarked upon the journey!

Being authentic, is saying no to a lot of things around and agreeing to a few, because as unique as we are, should we want to hold on to our valid authenticity, it only suggests that there would be few and far in between possibilities to experience the same around us! The journey surely calls for a lot of turbulence within and externally for not everyone will be pleased and neither will everyone be dejected!

The essence of applying authenticity lies in the fact that, through self-awareness, knowing oneself, being true to who you are and the purpose that drives you, can you influence, collaborate, share or follow and navigate across the social fabric around you urging every member to be who they are! Progressive societies are all but a collection of authentic Individuals who have connected and engaged themselves with each other for a common purpose that achieves some greater good for each member of the society even as they retain their authentic self and touch their individual aspirations as they accomplish the larger goals!

I leave you here, with these thoughts for now, urging you to seek your authenticity lever and use that as a pivot to empower yourself and the society around you! Societies that are united even through the diversity experienced by virtue of the authentic constituents thrive and progress each time and every time!

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

Marketing through fear.

Through evolution, if there has been a singular thread that the human mind has been able to hold on to apart from being creative it has been the thread of respecting and taming fear! Join me here as we take a quick look on how this space of fear- has gone to shape us, what we do as individuals and societies and why the marketing of fear is not limited only to companies that sell products and services, but runs beyond that and is much deeper than you can think! So here we go!

Fear- the most basic of human emotions and something that has gone a long way to make who we are today. Fear certainly played it’s part to ensure that as a species we survived and thrived. Experts have written books upon books on how fear helps and how it harms, so I am not going to go ahead and more to that bit, but this is the base point that we will have our piece anchored upon- the singular fact that fear works and perhaps works too well to ensure that we survive and we thrive.This is why people who do market through the angle of fear- almost always get what they set out to achieve! Let me explain!

The pandemic sure enough has brought the entire humanity face to face with a situation that even by standards of pure science and scientific research is mind boggling and giving a tough time even to the renowned experts in the respective fields of study- but what do we observe as we look around? You have anti-viral clothing- formal wear, you suddenly have anti-viral “x”,”y”, “z” and almost everything from the ball pen that you hold in your hand to the mobile cover that you may have or the humble body wash/ hand soaps all of them have been suddenly transformed into oversight anti-viral heroes sure enough with that golden sly condition of 99.99%*** written and said all over as the choreographed visual sleight is played out! Not to forget the sudden wonder foods that have cropped up which are supposed to keep you safe by boosting your immunity even as you smoke and drink and load cholesterol in your system! I mean really? The marketing through fear angle when it comes to what we consume as humans is not limited to this pandemic alone! Let us jog down the memory lane!

If you have been observant, try and recollect how food was marketed to you- whether it was that milk- for protein and health or those humble oats, that white meat, that steak, that vegan movement, that fish with supposedly the most potent pack of Omega 3 fatty acids or those canned shrimps, to the whole narrative of micro plastics in sea food, antibiotics in meat, pesticides in plants and fruits , to chemicals in formulation…so if you actually walked through this who;e circle- by now- you would have checked out almost everything that you can think of eating or drinking simply because for every one narrative that says you should have it else you will get “abc” problems, there are competing narratives which suggest exactly the opposite which say, if you have this, you will certainly get “pqr”. So finally people do what they can, ignore as much as they can, apply science if they have the time and energy and if it is available with them try to apply age old granny’s wisdom and common sense and get moving ahead in life! The people who get sold into these narratives are the ones’ who are entrapped for ever and it is these masses that are than played over by people who want to sell to them whatever they please to, whenever they choose to and at a price that they command! If you thought this fear led communication is only limited to marketing of products and services or the world of communication, think about it- there is virtually not one sector which is untouched by this malaise! Even Governments play out the same strategy, the only difference being that their playbook gets camouflaged into visual-less,boring and printed pointers (change of rules you see) which are often ignored and missed until the IRS or the tax man in your nation comes home paying a visit to you! Let me explain this space too quickly!

Governments the world over have the big task of managing societies- societies which are at times diverse, cohesive, divisive, polarized, idealistic, plural, liberal, accommodating, welcoming, closed..so on and so forth. The matter here is not about what is right or what is not so right, you need to see in this space, how is your government (if you have one!) working on the entire social fabric that you exist in- what is the story that is has been selling to you- do you or rather did you ever or maybe – do you always get a sense that the government is always trying to reach out to you and tell you something that is not right! Think about it, when was the last time that a leader of a society/ nation took to the stage and said, you had given me “x” time and I had 10 things to provide and this is what I have accomplished! Well, hardly any right? So humans, being humans- it doesn’t matter whether you are just who you are or you lead a nation- when you have nothing to say, they spin a story and since being in politics, crime won’t help, neither will any of the other vices, fear is the only instrument of choice to distract, divert and draw people to a non-issue that either doesn’t exist and if it does, blow it so much out of proportion that, by the time everyone is consumed by it- people are left wondering and saying to themselves, ” What was all that about, anyway”!

Whether they tell you stories of the enemy within or around, whether they paint the picture of climate change (even as they themselves clear forests- unknown to you!) or whether they talk about eradicating poverty- while they sustain and increase their personal wealth- all that approach is to instill fear and sell fear- aggressively or subtly to ensure they are able to manipulate and control and get what they want the society to do and allowing only permissible flexibility to resist/divert or stay non-committal- anytime that percentage threatens to wreck the balance of the social balance- an incident will come to the limelight and very often that just goes on to reinforce the stories earlier sold by marketing fear!

Final words, well, whether it is the promise of that tooth paste in your hands about being anti- whatever or that apparel which assures you 99.99%** of whatever that makes sense or it;s that news about that bad country, or bad people or those Vs Us kind of a narrative- all and each of these nudges are to make you feel vulnerable, unsafe and anxious- because it is only when you are vulnerable, opened up and exposed with a mind filled with self-doubt and confusion- that a marketeer or a government will be able to plant the seed of fear and if you make the mistake of allowing that to happen and you go on to nourish it- well you just end up writing a blank cheque to your life- some call it loyalty, I call that ignorant slavery! So what’s the way around, is there any? If everyone seems to be hell bent on manipulating and conspiring all the time! Read on!

Individual awareness, access to multiple verified sources of information and education are the essential ingredients for empowering people to compare, contrast and discern of what is actually unfolding! Debate, discussion in a directed manner to address an issue or a challenge or a developing problem are all but the next steps followed by proactive implementation of legislative steps to safeguard and govern the society with transparency and clarity! Sure enough seems to be a fairy tale, because the moment this happens, what we have is distributed ownership of society where no one member of the society is more important than the other and everyone is as equal and as important as the other person and this is what a few will never want the many to have access to and hence the story of marketing and selling through fear will go on and on unless you are able to discern at your own level and share that insight around your sphere of influence so that at least a section of the society is able to see clearly what lies ahead and is able to save the day for the many- should the time ever arise! This is the space where new leaders are born and new orders are created!

Remember, fear must be respected to be overcome, but not surrendered to! No one overcame fear by surrendering, people have always conquered fear by embracing it!

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

The crossroad challenge.

Whether you take the beaten path or are one of those explorers who believe in creating your won way, there will be a time when you will hit the cross road and when you do arrive there, the choices that you make either will make you keep moving ahead or you will end up coming back to the crossroad over and over again, until you are able to choose the right path and say a final bye to the crossroad! Join me here, we we try to understand what is this crossroad really communicating to you, how do you make a choice when you are there, and what do you do when you get looped back in or are able to race ahead! So here we go!

As we go about our lives, each one of us passes through the crossroad- at different developmental stages- when we are studying, as we build and destroy relations and as we succeed and fail in our worldly pursuits of success. Few of us are very blessed, in the sense that whether they rise higher or perish, they have no other option to take a pause at the crossroad and evaluate their next move- say you are born in a politicians family, you are born as a heir to a business empire of few billion dollars- and frankly in those kind of scenarios why should you really care about the signboards on the path of life- I mean who would- because just by the virtue of the context that you have got- you are already way ahead in the race- and if you succeed- no one gives you the personal credit- unless you do something radically different and if you fail- you are still let go- with a minor warp because everyplace knows you can still live the way you want to- whether you do or don’t do anything! So if this the kind of unimportance that the crossroad attracts from these few blessed souls, why does much of humanity struggle when they arrive here? Read on!

For the large majority of humanity, our arrival at the crossroad is as certain and as fatal and final as are the chances of living and dying without anyone knowing we were here on this planet and we did make a difference! The only issue that pops up here is that, most of us are really unprepared when we reach this point, and unless and until you have your personal progress checklist handy and ready- no matter what you do- every time you arrive at a crossroad you will be taking a chance and as the rule is with the game of chances- you have to be very very lucky indeed to get it right the very first time and if you don’t then the never ending looping back to the cross road commences! This never ending loop is what makes our life a wonderful engaging story or a nightmare based on not only what the choices we make, but importantly also how we respond and deal with the choices that we make- how well we are able to stand by, face and tame them- irrespective whether they are working in our favor or conspiring against us! Let me explain…

For the blessed few, who happen to be in the settings where they should be, the crossroads are just an intersection where the light is always green for them, so they just whizz past hardly ever bothered about what is around, for their purpose and goal is etched and they are on the way given the foundation that they have to bank on. When it to come sot the majority of us, like you and I , the crossroads that we come across seem something like these- what field should I study , or perhaps now that I have studied, what should I further specialize in, now that’s done, should I work or be on my own, if work, where, if on my own, how….so on and so forth! Don’t even think that these are normal decisions that you are supposed to take- these are decisions where you are forcing on a choice comparing a few alternative. This is surely not that kind of a pizza question- with cheese or without- this is more with so many pizza’s around me, which one should I go for! The crossroad is not about what you do with a given option, it is about choosing an option from what is around you- based on how and where you have arrived! Think about it! So how can we make the most out of it when we are at a crossroad? Read on!

Like with everything else, your ability to make most of it when you arrive at a crossroad- will depend largely on how prepared are you when you arrive at that point! Consider this, you join an organisation at an X level and you have this finite aspiration of one day being at the corner office.You arrive at this day when you are been told that – you are not enough for that office- what do you? You have options- smack that person- ask him to get lost and you seek a new place that gives you that corner office- next week or you listen, assimilate and work around to become eligible for it in some more time, or you just jump out of the window, whining you are finished, or you just hit the bar! How you react will depend on what your readiness, preparations have been as you were working towards your aspiration of being in that corner office. You see, you can dream- that’s the easy part- working upon it- is the difficult part and what’s where shit happens to 95% people! The reason for that is not that you are incompetent- but the the process- you see the goal/the aspiration- of the corner office or being able to win over the person of your dreams is the easy part- the difficult one is work- know- learn and apply yourself to all the non glorious part that goes on to sustain and manage what your aspiration or desire is!

As long as you arrive prepared with the necessary hard work, have few thoughts and plans about what you really want to with your life; each time a question is poised to you, either by the people or the circumstances that you come to face, you will be able to evaluate, decide and move ahead by an empowering choice and that’s when the crossroad will end up being more helpful than you think! A lot of us, would have heard about- “I had a choice, I thought about it….but than I did this, or that happened and than life took a turn…..away….form what….I aspired!. Well these are nothing more or nothing less but the confessions of people who were at the crossroad- perhaps unprepared or perhaps they faced the odds where they had no other choice but to take a detour! This seems bad- don’t think that way- because- may success stories are ever indebted to these forced/unplanned detours- as people than became more cautious, alert and observant as they walked a path that they had not intended to- and that powerful learning on a new path- made a whole new person out of them- which rewarded not only them but as they shared their learning with the worlds- helped us all- you know these people- this is more or less the story of all the great people who have offered to us the world as we see today! Innovators, Scientists, Business disruptors, Statesmen who lead nations(in the real sense of the words), you think about all the magic you see around that goes to make your life easy- it’s already because of the direct or indirect detours that a few souls had to undertake when they were at the crossroads of their life! So when do crossroads really hurt bad?

When people arrive at crossroads, less prepared, take detours and still not learn, coming back to the same crossroad and going on and on in that loop, that’s where the life giving magical crossroads seem to become a nightmare and simply don’t go away even in broad daylight! Why does this happen- well- the person- you see unless you don’t change-your approach doesn’t change- whether the problem is the same or the problem is a new one- you will end up taking the same action owing to your limited thoughts and that will end up bring you back to the same point! So you basically end up travelling a lot in the same place! The only way, if you ask me to over come this vice like grip of the crossroad- is to bring in a new you to the point- by altering your thinking and approach- unless that is done no matter what your choices look like and what your crossroad is- you will just spend away your whole life in this meaningless loop taking everyone who you care about along with you- adding to their confusion and irritation!

Final words, embrace the crossroads and keep an eye out for them, because as long as you are prepared, you have a goal, a destination, an aspiration, no matter how blurred that may be- the crossroad will be the best direction board that you will ever have come across in life and you will remain ever grateful to that- every second of your coming tomorrow! The best part – not all crossroads are lifeless- few of them also assume human forms- they are your teachers- your coaches, your guides, your friends, your allies- who tell you all the time about the options and consequences and help you by being a reflective board that amplifies your thoughts by weeding out the ambiguity and provindg you clarity- that is so vital for you to set out and achieve what you aspire!

I leave you here, for bow, grab that coffee and think about the crossroad you are now at , or you had been and what was that time like and what did you do, was it an informed decision, an enforced detour that helped you or are you in that loop and want to move out of it now! Think about it and stay prepared- you never know, the next crossroad may be arriving soon- to usher in a wonderful tomorrow just for you!

Ciao for now, stay safe and stay wise and yes be prepared- It helps- always!

Listening > Speaking.

I actually wanted to write the title urging people to “Listen to shut up” then I felt, perhaps everyone may not like it that way! But hang on, this article is certainly not that cliche,on why you must listen and speak less and all that crap around that Victorian model. I say, scream when you must speak and yell when you must whisper, but the whole point is that, you will not have to do any of this, if and only if you are able to develop your listening and this is absolutely not about only listening to the words! Join me here to explore what is that, we can go on to listen each moment, beyond words and why not paying attention necessitates us to spend so much of energy, time and words to just have the simplest of the things done or how we end up screwing up things because of this! So here we go!

Often, when people are talk about listening- they refer to the spoken word- what they hear- sure enough that is what it is and what it should imply- but what if I told you that you also need to see to listen, yes see- observe and gauge what is not been said through the spoken word but also through the cues of non verbal communication- the tense posture, the relaxed demeanor- whatever the context could be- the point here is that- when we focus only on what is spoken and don’t factor in the totality around the spoken word- we miss the point in a big way! I mean, if you happen to be by any chance a person who has been trained in the areas of security, intelligence etc. you know what I am saying- and yes- it does not have to be that high end as well- even your kindergarten teachers or the psychologists that you perhaps visit- are well equipped to figure out what is actually being communicated by listening into what is not been said alongside what is been said!

Now you may ask, fair deal- so what’s so difficult around this- well, the problem is that we are natural bad listeners, all of us- you and I included- you see the human brain the way we have evolved- is attuned to pick up distress, emergency and crazy moments over stable, steady, happy moments as a default- that’s our survival ticket- so don’t even bother complaining about it! Hence, we have so many experts always offering guidance and teachings around what is now fashionably called- directed/focused listening- well they are basically asking you to pay attention- nothing more and nothing less. The fact remains that, you pay attention during that training, because either you or your office has paid for that session and post that it’s again back to default settings in no time!

So why do we always slip back to default settings of only listening to emergency/urgency and just wander around our imaginary world as people keep on speaking, blabbering- well there are two parts to this- one- believe it or not- over 90% of what is spoken is pure garbage- you see what the neighbor’s cat did, how that dog bit the delivery guy, who eloped with whom, which President is dumber than who else, who wore which dress, who tripped, who fell, who won the lottery- now all of this rhetoric, the moment it begins- your brains is smarter than you think- it just asks one simple question- is any of this shit- a cause of concern for me- am I under threat- do I need to take any action- if the answers are no- than your brain allows that to play on like some gibberish background noise and hence when you are often asked in the middle- what did I say- you are actually trying to save your self!

The second important part is the fact that your brain is so smart than you can think that it uses sight/ your eyes to make out what the body language of the person is- is there a state of urgency, is that all to what is been said- is there anything that needs to be sought further- only when that space raises a concern of a veiled threat because something is been hidden, that you will get a signal, be prompted to ask more questions and that engagement of focused listening and an engaged conversation will continue until the brain looses its interest either it has got all what it needs or has concluded that this all too was a waste of time! So what about the listening part and why does Listening end up being greater than speaking?

When we practise what I call as directed/ focused listening , we end up helping our brain in multiple ways- see you are not going to cut the other person off, as the person is speaking- so you save time off your brain to rearrange those words, that logical flow and everything that will help you to throw your point of view even before the other one has completed theirs! So as a deliberate effort, once you stop cutting people- you get to hear their complete point of view, more than half of the times (unless you are the odd one- being the right person in the wrong place or the wrong person in the right place) if you listen, to the other person completely, you will be left with only few limited options- one could be asking that person to get lost as what was said has nothing to do with you, or now that you have heard the person and now you will act or take some action or you will seek more information/ more clarity and propose next steps. So in effect, you have hardly had to talk! You just saved yourself from wasting so much of energy that could have gone in- had you not listened with intent and focus- no more long meetings, no more reviews, no more, long emails, no more conference calls, all done with a few sessions of directed listening and being in the now when it matters the most! See when you really listen, you also learn and when you learn you can act, when you act- the task is done! Remember your school days, why do you think you have all that stuff packed in your brain- well back then you listened because you knew that only if you listened, you will understand and only if you have that crucial understanding , will you be able to apply and only when you apply what you have learnt, will you be able to sustain your success and live a life that you cherish and plan for! So this is why listening is always more potent and greater than speaking! Now, you may want to ask, me, whatever happened to that listening to what has not been spoken? Sure, read on…

Even as your would have factored that directed and applied listening is so effective, the fact remains, that is easier said than done! See our brain is constantly scanning our environments, with only one agenda to keep us safe- safe as in not that anyone is coming to take you out- just to ensure that the setting that you have chosen- is not being breached. Let me explain- say you are having an exit interview of a colleague- known or unknown to you- the brains of the person with whom you are speaking and your brain will be by default scanning for visible presence of either your manager or the manager of the person who is leaving- because both of them would be curious to know what is been said! The more toxic and dramatic the place- the higher will be the alertness of your brain and just as for this instance- every second you spend in your office, speaking with friends, family in a group setting, your brain is constantly working around the possible threats that may come your way- when you cracked a joke- who laughed and who shrugged- you see not everyone is going to be vocal enough- like I normally am- to walk into your face and say- boss- you’ve had enough of your shit, now move on or stay quiet! As people develop body language cues to express their emotions when words get drowned, your brain switches its scanner on and picks up these and that’s how communication is floating and is nudged around in a group setting! It is in settings like these, training classes, meetings – whether you are discussing critical details about something important with an individual or you are discussing something with many- your brain’s ability to scan the unspoken word- will help you know exactly what you need to speak next, with whim and possibly also when!

If you ever want to make a difference to your life or the lives of others, by your work, art, influence, the first step that you must embrace is to develop an unlimited amount to patience to listen- it’s only when you allow people to connect, express and feel safe that you will be able to understand them completely and only when that happens will they pay heed to what your spoken word is- for the simple reason that- they now know that you know them well enough to guide, counsel or advise them as the case may be! Only once you have arrived at a level of desirable competence of being able to practise directed and active listening, will you be able to deploy your abilities to train your mind to pick up the non-verbal cues with increasing finesse and accuracy! What all of this eventually will do is – the person speaking to you will have to use even fewer words than earlier and you too will possibly have nothing to say- just perhaps act based on what was told to you, because you would have also learnt to listen to, what was not said and your action is the spoken word that the other person actually waits to listen into!

I will leave you here, with these thoughts for now and yes, listen,listen and listen so that you you to speak less and when you do- you will be sure it matters!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Stay safe and stay wise! Nothing more to say for now, hope you listened to yourself as you read this!

Buried by memories.

Hello there! Does your present life look like a burial ground of your memories every time you speak or do something? Well whether it is or it isn’t this article is just for you! As we age, no matter how fine tuned your brains is, it will start to play these magic tricks which take you along a guided tour of your memories- whether you want it or not and whether these memories are sweet or not! Join me here to understand how this impacts us and what is there that we can do about this, if there’s really anything that we can do and how can we use our memories to create an empowering present rather than be knocked down by them!

Each one of us has our own unique superpower and in the case of a few, that superpower happens to be the astonishing feats that their brain can achieve by replaying incidents and images from the past- with vivid details bordering on being outright spooky in a few cases! Any psychologist or a psychiatrist will be more qualified than me to share with you how memory helps and harms and what role it plays in constructing the person who we become- both in reality and in perception, but this piece is slightly of a different take on the same subject, it is about how even in day to day conversations and approach that we take- we relentlessly keep on going back to this memory bank (many times for no real reason) and that in fact ends up going more damage to us- especially when it doesn’t serve any purpose on our today or the fact approaching tomorrow! Let me explain!

What does your normal day look like? how many times during your day do you end up conversations referring to, “it was good then”, “this is what was done then”. “this is how it should, because that’s how I had seen it or done it”, “that vacation was great”, “that person is an idiot”, “those people are awesome”, “that family, that colleague, that friend, that cousin and so on and so forth”! You see, through the day at least once you will end up touching one of these chords- well there’s nothing wrong and right about it as long as it starts to interfere into what you are doing today! Sure enough if you are relying on your experience or learning to accomplish something, that still makes sense because here you are tapping into your memory cells to empower your today, the problems start to manifest, when you pluck the chords that don’t serve your present and neither seem to serve your future any time soon!

Sure enough, you would have had a great vacation, sure enough you would have had great colleagues and friends in life- but the only valid and golden questions is – how is any of that empowering your today? or how does any of it hold a promise to empower your future? If you have an answer- that they do- than hold on to those memories like your life depended on them- because these are not only your memories but, the tools that have the power and influence to shape your today and tomorrow. Everything else that you have stored in your brain and what you are able to recall- is pure waste of energy! Trust me, given the size that your brain is and the amount of tasks that it needs to get done- to just ensure you stay safe in a dumb world that we are living about it, it will only help the brain if you make a choice to weed out all that unwanted clutter from your memory bank and allow your brain to be that bit free to ensure it doesn’t get exhausted thinking about matters that really don’t matter!

Like with all else, the quality of memories that are recalled and that are stuck with you, go on to define the quality of your today and the arriving tomorrow! As long as you have un-serving, self-centric memories from your past (which perhaps stir up cautious to self-doubting tendencies) you will find those memories which border on being nightmares impact and dictate your ability to embrace the world as it really is- simply because your ability to perceive the world accurately gets fogged out by the overbearing presence of these nightmarish memories of the past! How many times have you said, “People from”xyz” are “abc” because you had a bad experience some time back?”, How many times you have made generalized, sweeping statements about people, religion, culture, vocation, orientation and what not- without really being bothered to know what the reality really is- just because your one experience made you feel that way!

Similarly, when you have empowering memories that added value to your in the past and show the promise to do the same in your today- those memory tires than constitute to add that vital touch of magic to further your shine in the world that you live in your today! Consider this, if you remember how you made a great mock-tail when you were in college and when you are able to spin the same magic at your daughter’s wedding reception- how does it feel for you and everyone- WOW right! That’s what meaningful memories are all about! This is how the magic of memories should be put to use, by not allowing them to bury you into your past but by rather allowing you to stay liberated in your present and by keeping you hopeful about your future!

As long as your memories are harnessed with the thought that they serve some purpose in your present or in the future, it’s best to have them buried away lest they come back to bury you in the present that you exist! Many problems manifest from this space of harnessing misplaced memories and these haunting memories in no time turn into nightmares and eventually begin to consume all the islands of calm that you may have within you and around you, because frankly no one really cares what happened in you past- you see even your boss doesn’t care of you were the beast employer last year or five years ago, if you are screwing up now and making it embarrassing for your boss “in the now”- that’s a good enough reason to fire you and get some peaceful sleep!

Perhaps the biggest mistake that people end up doing with their memories is that- they think others will be as excited as they themselves are and nothing could ever be farther from the truth! You see human memories are completely intimate and virtually second skin! They are only and only meant for consumption by the beholder of those memories. Thankfully, the way our brains are physiologically structured- it is often very difficult to narrate a memory without help of an external visual cue- consider this, say you want to describe that splendid Florida beach to your friend who has never been there- you can go on and on and even sing a song or write a poem- the other person is just going to end up thinking what an idiot you have been- it is only when you are able to share a snap or a video form that locale – will that person be able to relate, like, dislike, share a thought or an opinion and that if the person has a liking for the beach!- If the other person is a mountain or a plains lover- well you are toast and you can say bye bye to whatever fragile bond that you hold! This is what the magic of memories really is! They belong to the beholder and are for the beholder of the memories and do not call for participation of anyone else- unless they have been co-created by people with a singular thought for a purpose!

As one taps into their memories, sieves through them in the context of what empowers them and what harms them, it empowers an individual’s present once they are able to tap into the meaningful memories. This also helps to develop a sustainable charisma that goes a long way to help them navigate their world and better equips them to face their tomorrow!

I leave you here, for now, urging you to do a deep cleaning of your memory bank, weed out all that doesn’t serve you anymore, arrange what does and apply what helps so that you can empower your today on the foundation of your memories and not ever get worried about getting buried under their overbearing past from the past!

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

Redefine failure to succeed.

You failed at something? Great! Failed at it again? Awesome! Still at it and going to try one more time? Splendid! Well, if you think, I am out of my mind, this is what the life of a crazy innovator, scientist or explorer looks like and if you ever wondered from where does humanity get it’s answers to complex and new challenges that keep popping up- it is this space of learning from failures by redefining as them as they happen! Join me here as we explore what failure really is, why it is good and why failure alone can prepare you for success and when it does that- why that success almost always is enduring and self-sustaining!

The next time you get a chance to visit a library, I urge you to go to a section that tells you stories between the 1800’s and until 1970’s! That is the period where all the magic that we see around today happened- sure enough we did not have the computers than in the way we have, neither did we have the internet nor the so-called smart phones- but what was built during that period in the history of mankind across the continents- remains to be the foundation that has made everything else to stand up eventually! This is also the period that was marked by intense and successive failures, one after the other, day in and day out only to eventually allow someone to keep working on the earlier omissions to come up with the required adjustments to get the answers that were been sought and thereby touch success and create something that would open up a new world altogether! If you ever wondered why few nations are more technologically advanced than some others, the reason again lies in the study of those 170 odd years, the nations which have struggled, failed, got beaten, broken and have risen up are the ones’ who today lead the world and that is perhaps the biggest visible lesson in front of us to understand that Failure does not and it never has limited or stalled success, rather it is the one that has forced humanity out of their comfort zone to search further, look beyond and reach for something new, establish the new normal’s of life almost every 20 years- all of this- we owe to the the bygone failures- its is on those foundations that we have got all of our today built! So why is failure so intense? Why does it get so deep inside and sting so bad? Why do we shy away now, from failure if it is what it is- a motivator in disguise? Well, read on!

The human brain is perhaps the most awesome machine that we have ever come across, even after thousands of years of evolution, every other moment it tends to keep throwing up surprises and we are all but compelled to say, “Well I didn’t know this about you!” Through our evolution, our brains have had to be hard wired for tough conditions, before we established permanent settlements and cradles of civilization. In those formative stages of humanity, failure was equal to death. you see, you went ton hunt a wild boar, the chances would be if you missed the boar, you would be back with some serious injuries (with no remedy at that time) spelling slow and sure death! Likewise if you were a farmer, watching out for pests, and keeping a check meant ensuring food to survive and failure on that bit meant seriously bad news! So this from where the story of why “failure is fatal” became so hard coded and even as humanity started to thrive and prosper the new age sins of gluttony, greed and all their cousins, embedded a sick idea into some person’s mind, “If I don’t do “XYZ” , I fail and If I fail, I am finished”, well sure enough that kind of statement makes sense as long as you are one of those troopers, law enforcement agents, critical member of the society, saving lives and keeping community safe, you don’t hear about a bank teller shooting themselves in their foot , because they misplaced the 50 cent coin right! This is the reason why that wrong notion of “failure is bad” , “failure is the end” and “failure is fatal” got stuck like an unwanted excess postage stamp on the dashboards of our mind and every time we go out to do something, we end up unnecessarily putting ourselves into more scrutiny than what is required, sure enough there are some vocations where one must never throw caution to the wind- you, see you always want your co-pilot doing the checks even as you command the plane, but that’s about it, what you need to know to begin with is that, if there is something really that important, it will come in with its own set of checks and balances either in human form or through the interface of technology that we use and if that doesn’t happen, there are only two inferences, wither what you do- is not important or you have just set yourself up for the greatest learning of your life through failure- for failure is always a step closer to you than success! So what next, how do we know when to keep going and when to stop and choose a different path? Sure enough you don’t want someone to be martyred at the alter of failure pursuing success- it was fashionable back then in the olden times, now a days that’s called being stupid!

The best part is that, like with everything else, failure starts and ends with you- your thinking and your approach, change any of these one variables and you will either alter the type of failure experience or you will hit the jack pot and touch success right away! Let me explain! If you study the life of inventors, scientists and innovators, the singular aspect that you will come across is that they relied on some founding principles of science and observation and persisted until they perfected what should manifest as an outcome to support what science told them in theory! They changed processes, steps, catalysts, ingredients, conditions of the experiment and everything that could have, except the pursuit of the finality of the experiment. Sure enough many scientists ended up inventing, discovering something else alongside what they were pursuing , that became a double cherry in many a case! When it comes to other creative facets likes, arts, literature, visual arts, etc, we all know how many times a writer would have trashed away a copy, a few pages at times the whole book! So what is getting played here? You would heard about why a painter just tore down a brilliant piece- this is the space wherein the finality doesn’t come to live with the imagery that the creator has in mind! This perhaps is the finest point of human exuberance and excellence in terms of pursuing an abstract value to be called successful! I mean a painter could be just fine, leaving the painting the way it is, the art connoisseur would have interpreted the way they would have wanted to and given the dollars and moved on, but that is exactly how it doesn’t work and that’s what separates the masters from the ordinary mortals and the only thing that these masters do differently with their failures is that they use it as their springboard to propel themselves even higher and farther to work on the next idea- as they use the current failure to touch the eluding success that they pursue! By now you must be wondering, if this is all about failures than why do we not fail that often now a days and why aren’t we able to realise the success as we aspire for? Read on!

The fact of life is that the modern corporate circus is all about risk avoidance, sure enough you want some critical aspects of business to work like that, makes sense- but this has all got to do with technological aspects! The human approach and attitude necessarily needs to be the one that embraces failure, if one wants to taste real success! You see most of our corporate work methods are more based on cherishing success and demeaning and looking down upon failure, so the human mind- being what it is, does what it should- mimic- yes- mimic- because it has seen “X” doing “ABC” to get that result which has the reward attached, so it will just do that so it too can get a chance to get rewarded- sounds familiar- yes, “corporate sales training” is a close resemblance for this! Then why aren’t everyone successful equally- why few fly and others fall, well that is simply because the ones’ who fail, learn, improvise and re-apply their learning- fly, the ones’ who face the wall and are only hanging by the structured corporate gospel, will fall every time they are faced with a negating experience unless they too learn to embrace failure as the first step to reach success!

As organisations become more and more risk averse and want to stay within an allowable band of human ingenuity and creativity- failures are far and few in between and so are the chances to improvise, re-learn and re-apply virgin human thought and that’s why we end up creating newness within what is there- but rarely coming up with something completely new as the earlier pioneers and inventors could! Sure enough, we have a few exceptional minds even now who world on complex problems and are able to come up with something that is path breaking- but again these are those geniuses- who have known to value failure and have always thrived on risking to venture into areas where normally no one would want to- you see, magic and success happens beyond failure and in a zone which is far uncomfortable and alien- a space within the human mind where dreams come alive and ideas take birth through some awesome persistence and application of wisdom!

My final take, seriously, do a retake on the whole concept of failing and failure. Do yourself a favour- just redefine your failure and from there allow the foundation of your success to be built! You will be simply amazed at the new areas that light up, the new pathways that open up and how you begin to see the same age old problems and challenges in a newer and brighter perspective- certainly I am not saying, you will have all the answers to your perplexing problems, but what you will be now armed with will be the right questions that you must ask yourself so that those right questions, bring to you the right answer which align you to the path of your success by digging deep into the learning’s from your failures! If you ever wondered why great things take time, this is one of them, great things and people both take time, for they are required to be forged by the forces of time, people and above all failures that they must experience to bring out the best of what lies hidden within them to serve the greater good of humanity around them even as they go about their lives being ordinary mortals doing some extraordinary service to humanity!

I leave you here, with these thoughts, urging you to embrace your failures and reach your success by building upon the foundation of your learnings through your failures!

Ciao for now, stay wise and stay safe! Will be back soon with another one!

Don’t stress(for nothing!).

This is not a pep talk article, about trying to give you ten tips to wish away your stress, rather this is about trying to simplify what stress really is, rather than what is ts thought to be and possibly explore what can we do about it, if we can really do something about it! So join me here and let’s simplify the formless shadow of stress!

Have you ever had the privilege of being part of a group of kids discussing their challenges? yes kids- those 3-4-5-6 year old who discuss amongst themselves and figure their way around either by themselves or with help from their buddies! Have you ever seen them talk to each other using words like “stress”? Consider this, you have this bunch of kids who are given a new jig-saw puzzle to fix, with no context and no background- what happens- well kids being kids- they will try for sometime, eventually as it makes no sense and if there’s no reward for what they are doing, they will simply put those jig-saw blocks to some other creative use and that’s where that will end! None of those kids are going to bed sulking and thinking about what that was, why it could not be done and so on and so forth! But these very kids, as they start to grow, they come under the influence of directed thinking (you see directed thinking is not about helping them think- it is about making kids thinking in a particular way that suits the broader social fabric of a society) and this is where the problems begin to manifest!

Humanity has always been lead and rewarded by curiosity and that innate value gets wiped off as modern day societies start to enforce directed thinking principles which conform to social biases and standards and don’t allow any kind of eccentric attributes, sure enough the ones’ that pose a threat to the social fabric should be curbed and managed, but with that approach we also end up loosing all hope of developing geniuses around us!– If you ever thought that great geniuses of any field were not eccentric- well it’s time you picked up and read one of those biographies to know the facts! The essence there was that their curiosity and eccentricity to a specific pursuit was always upheld and encouraged and that what led to innovation and discovery, which has gone a long way to share who we are today- as Individuals and collectively as societies the world over!

Once kids are programmed to think the way society wants, these kids loose all resilience that childhood would have naturally given to them. As they grow up they keep getting pushed from one scenarios of “what you must do and not” to the next and that shit also continues even as they begin to work and keep moving up the corporate world as they keep getting successful! You may be wondering how come they keep getting successful if they lack curiosity and ingenuity- well you see 95% of corporate world is all about directed work- the Big Boss shares the big plan and we have an army of all other smaller bosses and laborers working on that- while each one of them thinking that it is their thought!- If there was ever a personification of a hypnotized work force- that is the era that we are living in! This is why , when you see how things get played around, they rise and fall every time “The Big Boss” gets it right or screws up! So where is the stress coming in all of this?

Well the invisible stress is always there, as the born intelligent kids get to high schools and colleges, where they are again and again battered down to stop being creative and think the way they are ought to and furthermore as they land “The job” of their dreams they are further indoctrinated through the fabled ” corporate induction” which is nothing more than a kinder way of saying, “This is what we do, This is the way we do it, Either take it or leave it”! So, when does this stress begin to show up? Well it shows up every now and then when life throws questions in your face, where you don’t have templated responses- like the times when you are asked to go ahead with your first surgery , or that first assault if you are a cop, or that first fire rescue, the first time you asked someone out for date! See, stress starts to build and this stress is not building because you aren’t able or you are incompetent, but this stress builds up because for the first time you are in direct conflict between the way you have been hammered down to think and how you naturally think and feel about the reality that is staring right down back to you! In that moment of truth- you are evaluating your choices of being safe, alive and making it back in one piece with a result that works in your favour or in the favour of greater good! Since this is something that no business school or practise teaches- stress creeps in and this is how it starts to play havoc with you, each time from your first time! Whenever you come to the cross road where you don’t have a templated solution- you will start to feel that stress race up to you- not because you are dumb or can’t handle a situation developing in front- but the years of “programmed thinking” has been made your default thinking style to seek answers from around and not within and unless you don’t switch back your default to within- like you always did when you were a kid- stress is going to get the better of you- it doesn’t matter whether you make a few hundred dollars or a few millions dollars, unless you don’t begin to think and feel from within and learn to junk away programmed and directed thinking escaping stress is going to remain a very tough thing to do! So how doe we go about it?

Stress is not the absence of competence, rather it is the presence of it and importantly the inability to be able to deploy it- in the contextual settings that an individual finds themselves in! Each one of us are magicians in or own way- we are gifted at something to ensure that a task assigned to us, gets done the natural way which comes to us easily- unfortunately that is not how the real world works- from the call centre to the White House press briefing everything is scripted- some for the right reason and few others for the most stupid reasons! Consider this, how simple it would be to empower people to greet and speak to customers who call in the natural way which allows people to spread their personality and warmth as they speak- rather make them narrate the script written- the way it has been- even as the callers and the narrator have no clue what that is and than you have the timer to mark you off that call, simply because you were too slow or fast- I mean who really works that way! It is instances like this and many more- that go on to add stress to the people at all ends of that kind of a scripted approach- which does nothing more than taking away form our true strengths and puts us in a territory where we are completely disadvantaged and we are supposed to switch our thinking to a lower level of “do this and than that and do it this way” kind of a lever!

Given, this is a blog, will share a few final words before we wrap this piece up, stress is not about your competence, abilities and who you are, stress is nothing more or less than your inability to cope with the ways of directed thinking- the more creative you are as person- the chances are that you will always tend to experience higher levels of stress no matter what vocation you choose to pursue! Some areas of work do have in built stress associated with the kind of work- but people are trained about that- again not through directed thinking but rather by providing clarity and support to do away with that space- I am sure you don’t want to be in an ER where the Doctor is sweating more than you and wondering what to do next! The unwanted stress that gets added up to you, only robs you away of whatever creativity, ingenuity and intrinsic genius that you have and tries to align you to be normal as defined by the compulsions of your work place or society!

The only way and the real way to deal with stress, as I see it, is to be connected within and lead yourself as you always did when you were a kid- through curiosity, persistence and intellect- as long as you continue to do this, you will be able to sieve through everything around you with amazing clarity and immediately know when its time to act, which way and when it’s time to exit a place- simply because it threatens to steal the gifts within you and try to make your extraordinary story an ordinary one!

Well, think about it and trust me, don’t get stressed for nothing! You see when you have a situation, the realities are only two- Either you can do something about it or you can’t- this irrespective of whether they impact you or not. So when you can make a change- Lead yourself and get that done by being who you are- there is no social template for that! and when you can’t do anything, use all your gifts to ensure that you are able to stand the storm and emerge on the other side with as little as collateral damage as possible! Stress really makes no sense and has no place- junk directed thinking, social biases, read through the agendas and keep yourself intact and stress free!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then relax and be yourself! Always!

Conflict of Values.

The title is what we were, are and will ever and always be! Three words but humanity is encapsulated into this frame, try it the way you want to! Join me for a short piece as we try to explore and understand what is this conflict of values all about and why does it play a vital role that it does!

Ever since we are able to make sense and through our formative years, we are always told about values, beliefs and way of life which is supposed to be “the way” and perhaps in a few extreme cases , “the only way” to live and go about our lives! Well so far so good, as long as you see this concept in isolation, one person’s truth remains to be with that person in the confines that the person is going about their lives! The fun really starts as people begin to cross your path and if you are blessed even with an average working brain- you are all set for the proverbial, “conflict of values” and this is where people are formed and destroyed, rise up or are buried into the oblivion, because when it comes to the conflict of values, it is never about whose value is better over the other, rather it is about how well is an individual’s value able to stand the test of time and competing values to keep your persona steady and on the chosen path that you have set out to tread upon! Let me explain this space for you!

You see, as individuals, we are indoctrinated with the values that are handed over to us from our family or the immediate impacting surroundings that may be surrounding us, as we make progress and begin to meet others, we become more and more familiar with what the other person’s values are, we do, what I call is a “value trade off”- remember the school days- something like those play dates, sharing of cup cakes kind of thing- ya, real cute bits like that- we basically start to gravitate to values which make our life easy- easy to manage, progress and maneuver and that’s how it is with each one of us- trust me there is nothing wrong and right about this bit. By now, you may want to ask, if we are all a mixture of traded values in terms of personality- why do we then end up being so different from each other- so much of individuality? Well, the answer is that depends on how you apply the values to what you do as you go about your life! You see values are like the proverbial double edged sword- it can cut the veggies for you and it can cut you as food for someone else! So our individualistic discerning mind, applied to the values that we hold in a context that we god about living our lives, is what we are- as a sum total of all of these variables! Each time either the value, the mind or the contextual settings are altered – you will no longer tend to remain who you are and you will experience a personality shift and that is how we come to the next bit of Value types!

If you ask me, knowing that I really like to keep things simple, I see Values only of two types- Negotiable and Non-Negotiable. Primarily negotiable values are those where you are ready to cross that line of social behaviour or approach to ensure something gets done- without inviting collateral damage or harm and whatever that is is manageable. Non-Negotiable Values are basically your personification- you in Action- and these are something that you are not ready under any amount of pressure to give up – even if that were to cause danger to your very existence! Consider this, say you imbibe the value of liberty and security of your nation- would you be ready to die, if asked to? Well, if that’s your non-negotiable value- you would certainly go all the way to be remembered as a fallen hero than rather live like a hopeless and coward member of an enslaved society. Consider another example, you believe that you will not pay bribes if found violating traffic signals and just as you had it, you are racing for that all important meeting and now, you have a choice, either follow the rule, leave your vehicle, miss that million dollar deal meeting, perhaps loose your job and walk your way home, or slide in that dollar, apologize a hundred times (be honest about that!) and get to that meeting and as you end your day, thank the Lord for being kind, you cracked the deal, made your money, still have your job and have your vehicle! You perhaps still feel guilty about paying that bribe- but than you see the entire context around it and settle down promising yourself never to anything like that ever again! So what do you think you would have done- something similar right? Well, sure enough- see as humans we are hardwired to ensure that we survive and in the modern day context our survival is no longer the wild animals and mad race to tame the world- it is about ensuring that we are able to sustain and progress the lifestyle that we have chosen or aspire to have and for doing that we utilize our value system as an internal gyroscope. Every time our values are challenged or end up in a conflict with another person’s (as it will normally be that way- unless you are that crazy scientist or that gifted surgeon- working away individually) we have life changing events and manifestations coming to the fore and these either form us or break us either-ways redefining who we are!

A lot of politics, conflicts and corporate bitching that goes on in this world , is nothing but the cloaked presence of these conflicting values! You see you have a manager that you report into who believes to that Tea is better than Coffee and hence all Tea drinkers are better than Coffee and you just mentioned to him the other day – how much you love your Coffee and how you are ready to even kill someone for that! (well this is just an example!). So, what you have now done is opened up a Pandora’s box to compete and pit values against each other and this is where the funnier part begins to get dangerous! Offices are replete with examples how, conflicts ensues from reasons ranging from email drafting, to picking up the phone in three rings , to wearing the ID in a particular manner and so on and so forth- these are all nothing more but manifestation of Value Conflicts- where the one who can impose their values on to other s always seems to be getting the upper hand! Well there is nothing wrong and right about this, as I said earlier, many organisations have this whole space around storming, norming an forming to being in congruence and alignment among people of a team. That works well only and only if there is enough space allowed for individual non-negotiable values to co-exist alongside non-negotiable values of the team or the organisation as the case may be! Let me explain!

Consider you run a design studio and have a bunch of design geeks with you, as crazy as they would be- not to forget each strong and rooted in their own individual design philosophy- so now if this organisation has to make any progress even for an inch ahead- it has always to remember to value the intrinsic value systems that these strong individuals hold and always work to ensure that these individual values align , co-exist and are applied to meet the organisational value systems that it may have etched itself with as far as design sensibilities and approach to design goes! As long as this is done and every individual gets that freedom around , there will be magic coming through their work, on the contrary if that individual value st system is stiffed and people are made to work to corporate templates and design manuals- in not time- whether you work for a burger company or an automobile company everything will begin to look the same! So should conflict of values be avoided? Certainly not!

In fact conflict of values is something that should be embraced and encouraged (but not intentionally planted or created for the heck of it). As we grow, not all values that we hold remain dear to us with the same intensity! You may have negotiable ones’ becoming non-negotiable, few may fade away, new ones’ would come in, that is what is reflected the way we mature and grow and how much of maturity, sanity and wisdom we bring to life is nothing but the aggregation of the values that we hold within us in that movement of time! We are constantly forming, day in, day out at times consciously and yet at other times unconsciously, we are receiving and giving away our feelers to the universe and everyone around us that’s how we begin to like whom we hate, dislike whom we adored and so on and so forth, that dynamism is the essence of human progress and growth! As long as you are able to create competition among values that individuals bring with them in a manner that helps these values compete and align to a greater cause and eventually either become something else which benefits all, everything is fine and helpful! However when these very values embark upon dangerous ego rides and get hitched on the wrong shoulders, disasters happen and that is when you have organisations folding up, nations going to war and society getting ripped apart! So what’s the final word? Here you go!

All of us, You, and I included are nothing but an act of our values within- how we present ourselves to the world personifies what we have within and who we are, sure enough not everyone will be able to see as we want them to look at us and that is a different challenge of perception (will talk about that some other time!). More importantly we are constantly changing as far as peripheral values are concerned- core perhaps will not change (unless you have really survived something nasty!) and that dynamism of values is vital to keep your presence as vibrant as it should be so that relevance and acceptance go hand in hand wherever you choose to project yourself! When your values get into conflict, You will always be the winner irrespective if your values stay, get altered or you acquire news ones’ for the older ones’ you had , as long as your mind is aligned to utilize those values for the causes that serve the greater good! You see copper sulfate is a great insecticide but if you forget to wash your fruits coated with it, you will end up having home runs to the washroom for a day at least!

Values are absolute, no two values are ever equal, because no two people holding them are ever the same! Once you have known this secret, you have aligned your life for the greater good, with a soul that yearns to embrace the conflict of values to form and forge you ever more, one moment unto the next so that you continue to be who you are, adding up what serves you and doing away with all that threatens to harm you or weigh you down!

I will leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to get in touch with the values that you hold within- which are negotiable, which aren’t, how do they make you- who you are in the now that you exist and how you plan to embrace the conflict of values as your venture out to meet new people, friends sand colleagues to make the world a shade better than what it was yesterday!

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