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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tricked by your brain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming ambiguity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lost in Transit!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bye!

Making sense through shifting narratives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maverick minds for maverick times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your fail-proof plan to a fragile future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Touched by Inertia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Limited by Thoughts and Liberated by Action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Influence collective.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calm within the Storm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surviving the “New Year syndrome”

Each year, come 31st December or 1st January, humanity seems to just want to drown into all kind of utopian commitments to the world, society and unto themselves, the result, well we have more stories of resolution failures and a more screwed up year than the previous one! Join me here, to understand what this “New Year Syndrome” is all about and what is that you and I can do to survive it and ensure that we cling on to sanity and rational pathways irrespective ho strong the temptation is to believe and try to follow meaningless promises of the utopian kind! So here we go!

The New Year is among the many reasons to celebrate for actually no real reason and perhaps one of the most compelling ones’! This is the time when uploading that picture, being on that trip, being at that venue and all those kind of crazy things tend to over ride any remaining sense of rationality and people go to no end to ensure that they have their annual post cards ready- even as they know well withing- all of this is just unwanted spectacle played out to the social audience sheer out of social conformation bias, compulsion and just to ensure that they are not seen and isolated as “the odd” ones’ and to feel that false sense of comfort being part of a larger social construct who all “believe in celebrating” something that has no real essence or relevance!

Well, no is denying or suggesting a sadist way of saying that there should be no celebrations- but the point here is what is that is being celebrated? I mean every nation on the planet, sure enough has their own “new years” aligned to religious and belief systems that they follow, a nation like India has over a dozen new years’ that are celebrated through the sections of the diverse society. Not to forget your own personal new year- yes- your “birth day”, actually if you ask me- that should be the most important one- simply because that is something against which you can benchmark you won personal growth- your rise and fall and there can be no dispute around that absolute space- because you know when you were born and even if the nation doesn’t join to celebrate and even if your family hates you, at least you have yourself to celebrate what you achieve or promise to and trust me doing even this much can add great and continuing value to your life then the countless birthdays and new years you would have ended up celebrating by now, for no real rhyme or reason! So what is it really about the “New Year Syndrome”?

Well “The New Year Syndrome” as the name suggests develops and emerges mid of December every year and lingers on until mid-Jan or in some rare case until end of Jan every year (that is the time till reality presents itself back and all utopian pledges and wishes bite the dust and people are brought back to their senses!). Why does this happen and recur every year with such accuracy and predictability if this such a wasteful and pointless experience? Well, the fact is that it is within these crashing utopian dreams and hallucinations that thread of the next big thing are woven and often then not these threads are picked up by watchers, bystanders and observers of humanity as they go about dabbling in the “New Year Circus” of humanity and once the party is over- these bystanders get a first seat insight into the emerging though process, behavioral patterns and can then move for the kill knowing which way and what direction humanity is probably going to move ahead!

You see, the social conformation bias , that eternal human urge for the sense of belonging, go a long way into getting the sea of humanity celebrate meaninglessly on the date every year- with nothing really ever changing in a meaningful or potent way either for them or the society that they move about in! Knowing well that there is nothing more that we can do about this space and accepting that this dumb way of celebrating nothing will go on as long as humanity exists and as long as people agree to this calendar date as being the one to adhere to , this mega-scale celebration of stupidity will go on with people celebrating and gong back to doing exactly the same dumb, un-serving ways and means to cling on to their lives what they have given to themselves without any direction or purpose to even wanting to make to that bit incrementally better! Well at least that is what the story will be, whether you agree to not and that is a fact- whether you like it that way or not! So what is the way to deal with this space and can this be avoided?

Well, if you really think you want to avoid the “New Year Syndrome” it will take a one-two punch approach, the first punch ironically enough will be about participating in the social dumbness- yes hitting the party floor- so that you get a first hand ticket to observe and record the levels of progress and regress that society around you has made and the second punch is about knowing what you need to do next to ensure that your next year part arena and list or people around you is a shade better than what you would have experienced! Sure no one is asking you to help everyone around you, in fact the whole idea is that you help yourself enough all through the next year so that you know exactly what you want to avoid the year next and that alone can help you create that essential operational manual for 2021 so that you hit the floor running doing everything that matters so that you end up with the party that you aspire for and not that you get stuck with!

Sure enough, there is no golden pill or “the way” to surviving the “New Year Syndrome” which gives you a high for the day and leaves you battered for the whole year that follows. But what you can do about it to survive is, simple and quick, as long as you are able to tag a purpose, meaning and direction to the celebration that you want to dive into, trust me you will be just fine as you emerge out of it and importantly probably you will be more focussed, rejuvenated and re-dedicated to the purpose and direction that you have set for yourself- perhaps it is a task, goal or a business objective- whatever that may be- rest assured you will excel and hit that goal only because you knew well about that bit even as you went into celebrating the new year and unlike the majority around you- you stay unique by this singular definition and this is what puts you in a small set of people who know why they are enjoying, what they will do post this break and when they will come back to enjoy further and what is that they will have on their mind then!

The essence of surviving the “New Year Syndrome” wherein you risk to end up creating similar experiences, face similar problems and encounter similar pathways in a never ending loop is all about being able to shift the control of the narratives that come towards you; to you rather than allowing that power to reside with those who serve you those narratives! Like someone has said it before, Life is more about how you choose to react to what Life throws at you rather than what and how you think and feel it should be! You see, Life has it’s won weird ways and whether we like it or not that is how it is going to always be! As long as you are able to understand this space and ensure that you will stay aligned and rooted to your purpose, goal with a directed intent, rest assured you will survive the “New Year Syndrome” well enough and will be able to connect with and create new meaningful pathways for the times ahead and escape the trap of ending up doing the same thing again and again (expecting a different outcome) and then calling that a life well lived! I mean seriously, sure enough a chef who cooks the same dish will end up doing the same thing again and again- but even while the chef does that, a different experience is created in the context- simply because the customer is almost always different! This is what is yet another important aspect to always remember and take note of! It is not about whether your approach to life has repetition or not, it is not about whether you are always doing new tasks and there is more vibrancy in what you do or not, it is more about how do you create and further value in what you choose to do, whether that is the only thing you choose to do in 2021 or whether it is the only thing that you want to do each day through 2021!

Each one of us is unique and it is the unfailing ability to harness that intrinsic uniqueness within which will empower each one of us to pursue and achieve what we seek and this is the way to ensure that we are away and over the “New Year Syndrome” because once we take this route; we are able to keep walking on a path that is aligned to our core belief systems and aspirations which are as meaningful as our aspirations are and as long as these are not utopian or some hallucinations, you will never find yourself in a loop and will never be bothered or preyed upon by the fatalistic and fabled, “New Year Syndrome”!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, even as you are gearing up to embrace 2021, the best possible way you can, just remember, make that bear hug memorable, inspiring and meaningful for yourself and others around you so that you don’t end up becoming another casualty of the “New Year Syndrome”!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise and take a path that propels you ahead!

Every “New Year” is the same! Unless…

We are now racing towards the very end of the whatever is remining of 2020 and needless to say, like all the other bygone years, 2020 too would have been no different- the exception being that people would have had and borne the brunt of amplified experiences and learnings, irrespective whether they were happy stories or grim reminders! This article is not about this space, rather it starts from here, this is all about, what is that you and I can possibly do and not to ensure that 2021, doesn’t seem like the year bygone and what is that we can do to ensure that we don’t end up walking into the trap where “Every New Year” begins to seem the same! So join me here as we decipher this space and try to figure out what is that can be done and how much of it- to ensure that 2021 is more meaningful in an absolute sense, not banking or calibrating on 2020 which I believe would have been an intellectually exploitative year for all us irrespective what we did , or not!

To begin with, we need to accept and understand, “why do all new years’ almost always end up the same way!” You see, you need to be really honest with this space, think and reflect around yourself, see what has been unfolding around you and within you, are you getting a sense of moving around in circles (so big that, you actually think and feel that you are walking straight only to realize around every December, that you ended up walking a whole year, to come back to from where you started? Whether it is your job, the business that you, or the art that you pursue or whether it is about the people that you engage with, what has been your story, year after year? Are you actually living the same year, multiple times through your lifetime? or are you at least putting up that vital effort to create and make a difference for yourself to begin with and then for others, so that the year that you live and goes by, actually begins to stand out as something radically different and meaningful over the previous one? What do you think is really unfolding within and around you? take your time and read further as you get a perspective on this question, for that is really important for anything else to make sense and help you with! As long as humans end up living the same year, again and again and keep celebrating the change of calendar; with nothing meaningful or worthwhile done or accomplished, humanity will suffer- simply because as more and more individuals tend to accept mediocre approaches- sooner or later societies and nations begin to pay the price for that mass level idiocracy and journey to nowhere!

You see, all of us, each one of us, take a pledge whenever we hit the new calendar year- whichever calendar that you may want to choose, the problems begin as we start to fail and falter very much on own own set intentions and aspirations, why does that happen, well there could be many reasons- intrinsic and externa- I have written about this in detail, recently- you can find that over here. As people falter, they do only one thing that everyone should and can- revert back to what was safe and what has been time tested! This is the “on mode” of your mind to keep you safe from damage beyond repair and for ensuring that you re-group and rejuvenate well enough to fight your chosen battle yet another day! Once this is done, you are automatically going back to what you are familiar with, what you feel safe and comfortable with and with all that- any bit of risk taking, enterprise is all but taken away! Well at times in life this is fair enough, but when this is the only things that keeps happening over and over again, you basically end up living the same experiences and same problems with variations in intensity, thereby living that same year all your life! So what does it really take to create something meaningful and really have a “new year”, well read on!

Unless, you make an effort and rather a very serious one at that, to create value and meaningfulness aligned to the purpose that you seek to achieve, everything else that you propose to do will eventually fade away bringing you endlessly back to the beginning each and every time! A careful observation of the few who end up really creating meaningful “new years'” every year will let you know that, the only way that is possible is by doing and trying what was never done before and trying to accomplish something that has never been! Sure enough, not all of us need to fight with the polar bear or climb the Mount Everest, it is simply about creating a sense of purpose and direction within us, just enough so that we are able to focus with clarity and drive on what “new” we want to create or reach out for! It could be as simple as trying the new ice cream flavor or as complicated as building the next rocket engine which will make space travel simple and uncomplicated for humanity!

There is no rule book on who one can achieve or find their concept and space of trying or doing the “new” simply because each one of us is as unique as we get to be and when it is about the stories of our life- who else can be better than ourselves to write, re-write and manifest something that is inspiring and lingering! This is the strength and the weakness at the same time, simply because, it takes a lot of grit and determination to prevail and overcome the intellectual inertia (which always makes us so comfortable- simply because it is safe-tried and tested). When people succumb to this inertia, they end up allowing their uniqueness to become their greatest weakness, but when they are able to thwart the ongoing onslaught of their inertia and move ahead- irrespective of the pace- they go on to make incremental progress which when done consistently and repeatedly over time- compounds into creating a completely new person, a new journey and needles to say the manifestation of a new destination altogether! It is this intrinsic ability to overcome the internal inertia which alone can help people create a real “new year” and pursue meaningful objectives to add some purpose and meaning to their limited lives!

I leave you here with thoughts on a busy Monday, even as we race ahead to Christmas and want to catch the once in 800 years celestial spectacle of Jupiter and Saturn coming together; urging you to do what it takes and devise the way that suits you fine, to ensure that 2021 is meaningfully enough a real “new year” in every essence of what it should be for you!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then keep moving and stay unique for that’s when magic happens!

Managing your Intellectual Graveyard.

The human mind is the birth place and the reason for all that is around us and within us and it also is the eternal graveyard for all those things that didn’t manifest (for good or worse) and for all that we didn’t become! Join me here as take a quick trip to understand what this graveyard of our mind seems like and how it nourishes us even through the power of seemingly dormant ideas and experiences! Sounds creepy, but that is what humanity has arrived to be- in some or the other form- facts being stranger then fiction! So here we go!

Philosophers for long have stressed on the value and the potency of the human mind- whether to create lingering masterpieces of art, to raise kingdoms that seemed eternal or the aspect of bringing in utter destruction and misery to humanity- each of these facets have been nothing more but the coming alive of human mind and more importantly the human intellect held within the mind being deployed to manifest what it aspires! This is the space of living ones’ dream, ambitions, so on and so forth and being able to make that indelible mark in pursuit of immortality- the reasons could be right or wrong- again that remains to be at the mercy of the viewers lens and frame of context about what is being studied! But our story really starts as this episode ends!

As long as people are able to flush out what they think either by their expressions or by acting them out, the mind tends to remain dynamic, engaged and productive (which can be a matter of debate, simply because the aspect of “productivity” is a function of the contextual frame and who you are, as you witness the same!). The problems start as the minds begin to get stuck and drowned in their own ideas and thoughts as they get pushed deep within the confines of the mind and soon enough the mind begins to resemble an intellectual graveyard! You see, every human being is constantly abuzz with a hundred thoughts each day and within these few stick on and within that bucket, yet a few get experimented upon and if the idea is really a contextually relevant one than it goes into execution and thereafter it’s measured by defined metrics to be called as a success or a debacle! As the rejected or unused ideas and thoughts begin to stall and stagnate they get moved to the graveyard within your mind and unless they are able to be re-designed or resurrected in some way- their final resting place here is final and if this graveyard is not tended to aptly, it can unleash havoc to wreck even the most potent and brilliant ideas and thoughts and end up creating more chaos and anxiety rather then allowing one to bask in the glory of their potent idea or thought! So what is really happening around here?

The human mind and it’s efficacy is all about having a dynamic forward balance between the ideas that work and the ideas that have stalled (for whatever reason it could be!). As long as the mind is able to keep progressing ahead, things are fine and like the case of many of our lives- it is the instance of daily struggle and strife to overcome what we must to reach where we ought to! It is only when the dynamic of moving ahead is much much greater is that magic happens and great ideas give birth to great actions and thereby equally great manifestations! But when this does not go this route and as minds falter and fail owing to the pressure of more and more failures or stagnation of ideas (rather inability to deploy them as intended) these redundant ideas and thought begin to flood the mind and drown the mind from within leading to more chaos and turbulence. This in turn goes a long way to adulterate the quality and character of the emerging potent thoughts and thereby begins to skew the very originality of an individual and thereby with every idea, every thought the individual begins to move away from what really is the essence of the individual and begins to embrace acquired circumstantial relevance! This is why the size and depth of the intellectual graveyard matters!

As the mind begins to get cluttered and strewn with the corpses of the failed and faltered past-ideas and thoughts, it soon starts to loose it’s potency and efficacy on what it can achieve as it’s approach begins to get fogged out and this is what makes the intellectual graveyard so interrupting and dangerous- it simply stalls or tries to stall efforts made by an individual to re-focus and rejuvenate each and every time an attempt is made! So what’s the way ahead around this? What can be done?

Well, the only meaningful way to do something around this is to ensure that the graveyard is managed to a size and depth so that it doesn’t develop the power to interrupt the ongoing progressive intellectual pursuits. For this to happen it is very important to practise complete burial of thoughts and ideas and practise detachment (like so many belief systems do!), unless this complete surgical clean cut from the failed and faltered efforts and past is not done completely every effort and every attempt to move ahead and latch on to progressive and forward thinking will be blocked and challenged by the un-serving bygone spaces residing within the graveyard of the mind!

How this is achieved,well that will depend individual to individual and context to context since, each one of us is as unique as we can be and hence there is no real text book or one size fits all solution to solving the challenges poised by the intellectual graveyards!

I leave you here with these thoughts for now, urging you to practise what you must and can to manage your own little graveyard well enough so that it doesn’t overpower your today to dictate your tomorrow!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise and keep thinking to manage your own little graveyard well!

The 2020 Masterclass.

Whether you liked 2020 or not,whether it helped you or harmed you, irrespective of all that space, 2020 has undoubtedly one of the years from modern history- which I call as “A great leveller” 2020 has been a year whether you had money or not, whether you were rich or not, whether you came from a developed nation or the third world- humanity for once has been humbled and brought to face with with what nature can do and undo for all the right and wrong reasons! Join me here we take a quick look on, what I believe have been the foundational elements of 2020- the fundamental aspects of the masterclass that the year has been about- in ways more than one! So here we go!

Humility: As I said earlier, 2020, has been a masterclass on humility, whether you were a proud nation, with the most technological advancement at your disposal or whether you were a struggling nation already battling some existing challenge- as the pandemic took it’s grip and began to sweep nation after nation- it only became clear that the pandemic was dishing out a lesson in “humility”. Humility about knowing that human life is fragile as it can be, Humility about the fact that no matter how smart you think you are, when nature begins to play it’s tricks, you really don’t want to be there!, Humility about the space that having money was no guarantee of access to life and Humility brought to leaders in different areas – from Politics to Science- letting them know- once and for all- why weighing their words matter and how people see the bluff more too often then they think they do!

Re-calibration of the concept of work: People for once came face to face the real value that they hold and share in areas of their work and for once felt the impact of being value deficit either by being let off, having being asked to go or simply by the whole organization folding up! No one is suggesting that people caught up in these spaces of lay offs and pay cuts were worthless or having less value’s , but 2020, brought the singular fact to the forefront that you may be an exceptional talent, but when the corporate world begins to count it’s own vulnerabilities, you happen to be the first one that will be corrected either through a wage cut or by that golden hand shake! This has made thousands and thousands of minds across the world think for once, “was all that struggle, day in and day out to reach the so called “work place” after all really worth it- at the cost of personal relations, family time and self-development time! 2020, has indeed paved the way for a new definition of meaningful work engagement and the onset has just begun with re-calibration of the compensation being offered to the expected work in a new light, few people, fewer pay outs and far higher deliverables- new age slavery- well you may think it that way- more son simply because- whatever remaining creative space was available has now been completely taken away and at least for the next few years work spaces will be more of “I say, so have this done” kind of environments- simply because there is nothing to stretch and flex withing the organisation. 2020 has gone to make a fundamental change to a fundamental aspect of humanity, that pertains to “how humanity works and works for what”!

The human equation: 2020 brought forth human emotions, like no year ever before had possibly been able to do! The stories of families facing stress and tribulations owing to the hyped “work from home” methodology- which just went onto add further to the corporate slavery; stories pertaining to the lack of space and genuine challenges which people faced to get that so called “sterile office” kind of feeling within the limitation of their homes or in some other cases the rapid loss of employment followed by loss of shelter- leading to fragmentation and destruction of the family in a comprehensive manner- each of these and many other instances within these extremities are a testimony to what 2020 was all about it! Perhaps no other year in the recent past would have seen such a wide range of human emotion at play- and if you thought this happened only at the individual level, think again, entire societies and nations have been a witness to human sentiments and emotions played out from the highest offices of the land like never before! At some places societies have got together more cohesively and few other places societies have been fragmented even further and more deeper, likewise are the stories of individuals and the families that they are a part of!

A portrait of resilience: 2020 will also go down as the year which was indeed a significant display and application of resilience. Patience, Perseverance and Hope all served in bountiful measures and those who lapped these up, were able to tide over the challenge a shade better than those who were neglected, left around or simply refused to believe in something and resigned themselves into nothingness!

The face of Leadership: 2020 brought the world face to face some great leadership stories, few which elucidated success and few which facilitated failure! If ever there was a masterclass on leading through crisis, I believe 2020, had it all! National leaders, subject matter experts, individuals, societies at large, pick and choose any group that you would want to analyze, chances are you too are aware of some sharp stories of success and failures in the same contextual setting that you see your life through and this whole episode just goes on to amplify the urgency and need of having meaningful leaders and meaningful leadership being practised at all levels for a society to work and stay progressive despite and Inspite of what may come towards it as a challenge!

The spirit of human ingenuity: This one aspect also has stood tall all through 2020 and perhaps this is one of the pivotal reasons why and how societies have been able to turn the tide of the challenge that humanity faced this year and more importantly this is what upholds the promise and also points to the fragility of human kind for the times ahead!

The law of uncertainty: 2020 taught the world one thing, you may plan, you may plan blind, but end of it what rules the day will be the eternal dice of “uncertainty” and what goes on to define what you become further all boils down to the singular fact about how well you have been at dealing with the uncertainty that came your way- as an Individual, a society or as nation! As long as humanity appreciates this space, it can be assured about its progress and existence, irrespective of how big or deep the challenge may seem to be! As I say, Life is all about being an “Always on test mode”

Think and Feel: 2020 also brought forth the relevance and importance of requiring to have a balance between thinking and feeling, simply because every time this space went skewed people have ended up paying with their lives, especially this year and it really didn’t matter whether these people were mute witness, part of the problem or were the problem themselves, the fact remains they paid the price for the imbalance between thinking and feeling and needless to say even though thinking and feeling is intrinsic to the human kind, a balance is vital and critical!

Shifting narratives: 2020 presented fast paced, ever shifting narratives with absolutely little or no space to decipher, apply or manage what the narrative said or meant! This ended up nudging a vast majority of humanity to the edge and people- individuals to leaders were left with no choice but to make choices on an ongoing basis, based on what the shifting narratives were, only to rejoice or repent later as the outcomes of those decisions began to get played out! In these war of the narratives, the louder and noisier emerged out as the winner, nudging out everything around irrespective whether that was right or meaningful! As people soak into these narratives, needless to say they stay entrapped to the present with no clue about the arriving future, anxiously waiting to be served by the next narrative!

Given the fact this is a blog, I leave you here with these thoughts and reflections, for you to add further and build upon these observations and possibly embrace what 2020 has really meant to you and what is that you wish to take along with you in the times ahead and what is that you would rather have left buried in this very year itself! Humanity comes across inflections points in it’s story every few centuries and 2020 was one such point that has made each one of us re-think, re-assess and re-calibrate all that we do and aspire to do and perhaps even the way we want to do it!

If you ask me, 2020’s message was loud and clear, there is a solution to every problem and every solution can be the next problem!

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

Social Divergence: A story of our times.

The wealth of nations’ must never be about and can never really be about how opulent the opulent have become- rather it has to be a story of how richer poverty has got and how much higher as it climbed up the ladder to sustainable quality of life and aspirational meaningful opulence! Join me here as take a fleeting look into this space and try to decipher what really drives nations’, who are the powerhouses and what is that is right and so wrong about this space! So here we go!

Irrespective which nation you live in, chances are that as soon as you cross, what I call as the “Circle of Opulence” you will be struck by abject contradictions and challenges that seem to land up in front of you from some bygone era! The holidays are around the corner, if you can move (if it is safe, and allowed to move around), do try to move away from your radius of opulence (I presume that’s where you are), and observe what greets you! This circle of opulence can mean different things across different societies and even the very definition of opulence can range from as simple as being alive to enjoying the latest eclectic wine or having that latest gadget or business jet to fly around in! So how does one come to know that they are within the circle of opulence and and how does one know as they move out of it?

Well, it’s really simple, if you have the five things that are “good to have” and already have access to “the need to have”, chances are you are living “the opulent life”. What these “good to have” and “need to have” are will vary from society to society, but importantly- they will help you know how deep within the Circle of Opulence you are in and how far the edge of that is. You see, when you hear people speaking about the “up’s and down’s of their financial fortunes they are basically getting moved around – still within the circle of opulence- the only thing being as their fortunes deplete they begin to drift towards the edge of that circle and as they begin to amass wealth they begin to re-assert and plant themselves firmly towards the center and sure enough, each society will have their own definition of the center and highest manifestation of opulence and so also about the edge! This is from where all struggle, strife emerges in a society, the ones’ outside the radius want to get in, the ones’ inside want to gravitate towards the center and amass the most for themselves- what is right and wrong, is all contextual, what is absolute within this frame is the fact that, each society has just so much space at the center of the circle, within it and around it and as struggles ensues, you witness the victors and the defeated strewn all across this landscape. This is the very essence of humanity’s existential paradox, where everyone wishes good for the other but seldom facilitates that bit! Think around it!

All this ends up creating divergence within the society and although having diversity within societal blocks may be a good thing, but add to that a dash of divergence and if your further allow that too run amok, you will start to see issues emerge! What this does is, it further reinforces thoughts and feelings (which may not be always be true) among different people within a given society the feeling of being left back, neglected, intentionally side tracked and so on and so forth and when that happens, the human mind begins to look for patterns and tries to develop reasoning for what it experiences and this is how false narratives and incorrect assumptions begin to take birth. If this was not enough, people at the center of the radius, within and around it do what they can do build narratives majorly to stop people getting into that radius and at at times to shed off the exceed within the radius and this is the playground of politicians and policy makers who do what they- at times to help and some other times to harm- but each time they do what they do- they almost always end up helping few and harming few- who gets helped and who gets harmed- well that again is a contextual story! So what next?

Well, as long as societies go about doing what they do, oblivious to what is really playing out, the why and the who, the daily struggle and strife that we witness, will remain, intensity may vary society to society- but this ongoing discontent and chaos will ensue. Sure enough, I am not urging you to believe in any utopian or hallucinatory concept of a perfect place, society or nation, simply because imperfection is the hallmark of humanity and nature alike! So as long as the struggle is to correct what must be and what needs to be- it’s I presume a fair game- but the society must too think alike and a majority of it- when that happens- you have what we call a revolution, the arriving of a new age! When there is a disconnect among the various elements and narratives end up being competing and conflicting rather than being unifying and reinforcing- you have a society which is stationary yet travelling in all directions at the same time with a net result of being regressive rather being progressive! So what’s the plan?

The onus of course correcting a society resides with each one of us, however small that effort may seem, it is only when every element within a society aligns itself for the larger belief and direction that societies will commence to move in a decided direction with commonality of vison and purpose, sure enough this is a tall order and that’s the reason why mass movements that usher in change are so few and far in between! Societies do take time to arrive at a consensus!

What we must not forget is the abject paradox of the lives of humans around us- it is not only the opulence of material wealth, but it also is about the opulence related to the creative expression of the human mind- because that too is a benchmark of humanities progress! What hampers human progress is this paradox, you see, like I said in my previous article, we all come from the same bucket and the more complicated the bucket gets, the more chaotic, yet colorful our lives end up becoming! The human dexterity and ability to prevail over this space and put it to some sane use, is what actually defines what we are, collectively and individually and that further spells out where we will be and as what in the times to come!

The next time, you come across someone less fortunate then yourself, know a few things well, you too are part responsible for allowing that to manifest around you,simply because you are all part of the same social framework- you may not have intended for that to play out- but whatever you did intend for has manifested what you see around! I have for long believed that charity is a way to reduce the burden of guilt to a limited extent and that is what unfortunately it seems to be; as we witness,the way things emerge across societies in the world today! I leave you with these thoughts for today, urging you to take some time to reflect and figure out where do you reside as far as the circle of opulence is concerned and where are you heading- towards the center or are you getting edged out!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece! Until then stay wise and stay anchored as you are meant to be!

Failing is natural and Success should be too!

Before you want to jump in try to tell me that “I sound like I have lost it”, well do go through my earlier piece which talked about failure by design! In the mad race that we get ourselves into- for all the valid reasons that you and I may have, what we fundamentally tend to forget is how we got to the point where we are and why do we tend to stagnate after sometime at a point we are- whether that’s we here we rise and stay or whether it is a point where we come back to after rising and racing ahead- each of these aspects conveys one singular message- that message is about- failure being natural and success being something that we have to strive for! No one is urging you not to succeed, but the fact remains, unless you don’t fail safely enough and timely enough, you will never be able to gauge and arrive at the point which defines what success is meant for you! So here we go!

The story of human evolution has been a story of many failures and few successes, and for the reason who we are, we are naturally programmed to latch on to what works and do away with what doesn’t- well that is safe and fine until you reach a point of trying to “reinvent the wheel” and this is where problems begin to manifest! Walk into any bookshop or a library that you are allowed to visit, choose any subject area- what do you see, tons and tons of books written about success, how to get there, who got there, how did they get there, when and why- thats is what is – when you go back to history-m even within those books that speak or embrace success- very rarely do they talk in depth on the human aspect of failure that those individuals would have dealt with before touching success- whether they were great scientists,army strategists, innovators, creative souls- whatever they would have been- no where will you ever easily find the fragility of the human side to who they were written and documented in detail especially when it comes to moments of failure and distraught they faced. What this goes to do with our minds- is that we begin to believe on a few “captured” and “observed” instances of these success stories and as we try to extrapolate them to our contextual realities- we start to believe that we will be successful, because they were, altogether forgetting the individuality aspect of the person involved and the realities of their world when they walked the planet!

The observant human mind can get easily tricked, remember your school days when friends said they may get a B for the project work and land up with an A+ and you are left wondering what you failed to read! Well this is what keeps playing out through and around your life- whether it is your high school, college, work place, business, service unto society or just being plain yourself- the human mind simply cannot always capture what it observes holistically and is default to reinforce pleasure and delete pain (as long as it is not a threat to existence) and this is from where divergence begins and failure begins to become “the bad thing” and success anyhow begins to become “the only thing”!

As time has flown through civilizations, the reason why success has been given the crown and failure a back seat could have different reasons! These could be as simple- people around would not have been keen to know about the failing part, it would not have got recorded the way it should have been or simply for the fact (which is evident even today) that what ever mattered was “getting things done” whoever they came by! Sure enough, humanity has made great strides, but what this has led to is having the burden to lead and create pathways for human kinds progress on the shoulders of a few to dictate the lives of the many! Look around you, chances are that the society you live in is a chronicle of a few who have written the fate of the many within it and this is exactly what happens when people don’t give the time they should to learn from failures well enough by knowing the human story within!

Needless to say, we all are witness to the maxim, “Reaching the top, is easy, being there is the real essence of success”; what does this tell you, well, the plain truth that if success that isn’t as natural as what failure is, it always will be a struggle to hold onto it and a lot energy will simply get sapped up for being there! Let me explain, we have villages after villages at the foot hills of the Himalayas, having the formidable Sherpas living there- that is natural- they are acclimatized through the centuries to live and exits at altitude above 18,000 feet, but when they go climbing the great Himalayan peaks, which are basically a definition of “success” for the mountaineers, but for them are nothing else but a walk in their back yard- albeit a harsh one! So you see what is a great achievement- read as “success” for the mountaineer is a routine walk in the park for the Sherpa- that is what happens when success is not natural and this is why it becomes so difficult to retain it, even if you achieve it- simply because it isn’t natural!

Now, if you were to see the other stories of success, like the great works of art, creative expression through writing, building and innovating- these are the examples which are the real essence of success- but if you were to measure these by the myopic yardsticks that govern our lives today, all of these would seem to be nothing! Unless success too is natural and blends into who you are, you will always have to witness a never ending struggle to retain and manage it- whether it is the position you have at your workplace, whether it is getting your targets, whether it is completing a set of paintings- unless what you choose to do is not naturally aligned to who you are, you will always end up being limited as far as who you could have been and who eventually end up becoming! So is there something called natural success? A state of being successful sans being stressful or insecure of loosing it! Well read on!

Natural success, like failure, is silent, potent and lingers on- whether it is recognised or not and the individual who lives it- knows that well enough- irrespective of what others perceive about it! Have you ever heard about a surgeon who threw party after every successful surgeon? Have you ever heard about a Teacher- who got depressed when few students didn’t achieve the grades- well probable not! The reason for this is that both the surgeon and teacher know very well that essence of natural and real success resides in the simple space of doing what is being undertaken to the best of ones’ ability and knowing that people will continue to perceive to the best of their abilities to perceive and nothing clouds reality like perceptions do! The surgeon or the teacher doesn’t have to take an effort to save every life or send every kid to The White House (all though they may like it that way!); all that they need to stay glued upon is the fact that, they are deploying their skill to the best of what they can and hence they remain unflustered, calm and composed not being insecure or worried about their “success”quotient”!

The modern day narrative and definition has taken the whole essence of success and everything that goes along with it to a very limited and time sensitive space- the yardsticks, metrics to measure also go on to ensure that there is always a hunger for more and more with no real meaningful end in sight and this makes even what has been achieved meaningless in the future! The only people who are immune and are able to stay safe from this maddening and unwise spatial orientation are those who are able to define and calibrate their stories of success and failures built on the bedrock of their own intrinsic attributes and on the individuality that they bring along!

It is these rare eclectic species of humans in the nooks and corners of the society who go on to define the essence and meaningfulness of real success- the natural way and this is why when you visit that art gallery, that fine-dine heaven or read through those well written stories- you feel elevated- because each of those creative expressions arise from the inner solitudes of who these people are and with every story they weave, they are able to shed a bit of themselves into every bit of what it is! If you thought this is limited only to creative people-well humans are creative in what they choose to do, scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, writers, you think of it and each one of them is- the only catch being each one of them can deploy or will deploy their individuality and intrinsic essence to a limited extent for different reasons and this what goes on to differentiate the ordinary form the extra-ordinary and some stories fade away in months and few linger on for centuries as personification of success- the natural way!

I leave you here with thoughts, urging you to connect with your essence of meaningful success which is measured not on the yardsticks given around to you, but rather on the yardsticks that you think they ought to be measured upon- only when you do that- you will be comfortable being successful and will you be able to enjoy the success the way you are meant to!

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

Stand Singularly, Fall Collectively!

Well, if you are surprised by the title, so am I! Unlike the age old adage of Together we are stronger and by ourselves we are a lot weaker, this is not to contradict that bit by any way! Sure enough, strong societies and nations are always and will always be built on the concept of a unifying cohesion within the elements of the society, but if you are not into public service or politics and if you are one of those who have landed on the planet just to make enough sense of where you are and where you are heading to and where you actually head to, this piece is for you! Join me here as we try to understand, what makes a diametrically opposite idea work for us as Individuals and is this why our societies are almost always a conflicting picture of who we Individually are? So here we go!

Since times of folklore and ever since books have got written, humanity everywhere around the world has been directed into thinking around value of “Together is Better”, “All is Stronger than U and ME” so on and so forth! Well there is nothing right and wrong around it, for the simple reason that these statements and narratives are more contextual, take them out of context and quote them for something else, they loose their potency completely and instantly becoming meaningless all the way! Let me explain, say if you had a million dollars of amassed wealth and simply because “Together is Stronger”, will you be glad to just share that wealth and distribute simply because everyone should have access and there must be a socialist approach to share all the riches and all the problems equally? I am sure you will not ever want that to happen, not because you are a miser or you have some kind of insensitivity, simply because you would want to extend charity as ling as it remains so- you see, charity gone overboard increases dependency and instead of people looking at it as a gift, people begin to look at it as some kind of a right- wherein others slog day in and day out to earn and make some money only to give away- for ensuring they seem human enough within the social lens!

Now if you consider that a society is going to be hit by a natural incident or is threatened by an act of war- what do you think will happen- well, as expected every member will race ahead to help one another simply because they know unless that is done- their future- the short term and long term both are gone and they are heading to a existential crisis- because in times like these- the money of the rich is as equally useless as the poverty of the poor- it is only when elements of the society come ahead and offer what they can- whether that be excess wealth or offer of in-person service all of that eventually tides the situation and ensures that when the challenge is done and dusted the society has something to go back to commence re-building! This is where “Together” wins over “Being alone”, This is the space of existential challenges and inflection points in a society which ask the question, “You may have what you have- is it worth it- given the society that you are in- should “a” or “b” incident happen!”

This is what this piece is all about, given the times that we are in, what matters is the ability to realize and realize well enough that individuality matters over collective group think! Sure enough, you may not be successful all the time, but as long as you are aware about this simple fact, you will be just as fine! You may want to yet argue, but how can this be, when a group signifies strength, sure it does but only as long as the “purpose” of the group and the “objective” that it seeks is clear and etched for the members of the group to know and follow! When you observe your engagements around the social arena that you float around, what do you see? What is that you witness?

Possibly you work in a place where you aren’t even sure how the rewards work and you always hope and pray you get those 10 $ more than your peers for the same work, or perhaps if you are trying to sell your services or products in the market place, you will leave no stone unturned to get that big order, come what may- simply because your business is what make you who you are and these are the fundamental aspects that define your existence or end up throwing you into an existential crisis, should you not be careful enough and think about sharing your riches with everyone around for no real and meaningful reason- these riches could be wealth or the potency of your mind! How many times have you felt let down when your idea or thought was improvised and someone else got the credit, how did you feel when you got few dollars less despite and inspite of having recorded the very best of what you could have done- simply because the other person was “someone to someone”! Well it is precisely in scenarios like these which manifest so rapidly around us in todays’ world that standing up for who you are and what you believe in” becomes so compelling and that will help you, as long as you don’t end up wanting everyone else around you become like you!

This is not about taking a moral high ground and calling anyone to be self-serving or selfish, it is rather about realizing that you alone are responsible for what you achieve- whether that’s a million dollars or a hundred millions dollars, all of that will pivot only and only around your individualistic and original approach and as long as you believe and continue to tread that path, you will do just fine as long as the idea is sane enough; the moment you involve others- who have no potential to think- as you do- or comprehend – as you can (simply because the idea and the thought is yours’), you will actually end up complicating things for yourself as you begin to get weird inputs that really make no sense but you then end up into an obligation to listen to others, simply because you have invited them to the party- not defining well enough, what is and how much is their role there! So, what’s the plan?

Plain and simple, know very well what are the things where you want to be and require to be all by yourself- because not that your are selfish, self-serving or unkind or inhuman, but because others will simply not be able to embrace what you think and feel to the last details as you do and that will go on to ruin all that you would have planned as soon as you begin to pay heed to inputs from people who don’t know what you are aiming for to begin with! You see, you never learnt to swim from a coach who never was a swimmer! More importantly, as you walk through the path of your life, there will be moments when you will require to be a part of a larger group simply to propagate what you are and what you offer, or to amplify what has been achieved or just to be sure that in times of great crisis your existential crisis are managed and that you live the day to be sure that you will emerge on the other side of a storm, perhaps a little bruised, but you will be alive and that’s what is more important when times become what they do and will from time to time!

I leave you with these thoughts here, for you to reflect and think around what were the times of your life when you hit the targets being by yourself, how you ended up complicating when you got others’ around into that and what were those times when being with the larger group saved you enough to live and fight for another day, another dream!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece, until then stay wise and stay safe- by yourself and in the group that you choose!

The secret of resolutions that work.

Finally we move closer to that time of the year, when all of us either by choice or by accident end up making resolutions, which hardly a few of us are ever able to stick through even the first month let alone the year! Join me here as we try to understand what makes some people realize what they set out for and why is that many of us get stuck, or hijacked into pursuing and doing things on the list which were never there even in the top 10 to begin with! So here we go!

If we were to assume, that each person always wants to be good, do good and share good and if that was to be the first line in everyone’s resolution- what a wonderful place the world would be! Isn’t it? But you and I know it very well that, this is something that never happens and whether you like it or hate it, in a way is good that things don’t go that way, else the world would be a hue of shades of one singular color or thought! Well coming back to why people falter and fail with resolutions, well one of the most fundamental things about this is the fact that, all of us are designed to fail, some sooner others later! You see, the whole aspect of success is not about never failing or faltering, it is always about that single instance which stands ahead of all your failing and faltering which goes on to become your definition of success. No one remembers, how many times a scientist failed (except the scientist), but all remember that one time when things went well and something amazing resulted out of it. So how does it go?

Simplicity: Most often people who are able to achieve anything meaningful in the context of the frame through resolutions always aim for simplicity. Simplicity of objective, or what they aspire to achieve. So you, see once you have a straightforward clarity around what is that you want to achieve- that thought itself helps you to de-clutter and stay focussed. The space around simplicity of goal or objective goes on to provide and empower and individual’s clarity of action and focus on the task. Don’t mistake these to be a easy goals, they could be as challenging as you may want them to be, but what remains at the foundation is the fact that they are always simple in the essence of the objective or what needs to be achieved.

Intrinsic Orientation: More often than not people who have achieved anything meaningful are the ones’ who have been self-driven, basically what that means is a mindset, an approach to life in general and all the things that matter, which is uplifting and propelling forward. This intrinsic orientation is vital, simply because you may have the most amazing thought around you, but unless you don’t defeat your inertia and make that first step, even the best of ideas will fade away with time as lost opportunities or missed chances!

Compelling Need: The human mind being what it is, only makes the effort when it is vital and to tell it that what you aspire or seek to achieve is vital , you need to either have a plain talk by tricking it with a gratification model, or incentivize the rewards staggered in proportion to the milestones achieved! Unless the mind doesn’t get the answer to “What am I to gain”? nothing will ever happen! You may argue, that isn’t the mind, the same very person? Well, sure enough, but this is what uplifting self-talk and wise mental conditioning is all about! It’s only when you reinforce your thought and belief systems and make them a natural default for your mind that you will be able to approach the whole space of wanting to complete your resolutions not because only you have to do them, but rather now you want to do them!

Influence: The chances of your resolutions’ success directly depends on what the area of influence will be! The more greater the influence you think, your achievement will have, higher are the chances that you will be able to deliver and succeed! You see, when you set up yourself for easy wins and easy gains and when no one’s watching or going to know about it, unless you are one those rare species of authors, philosophers or scientists, who keep doing what they do without caring a bit for anything or anyone else, I bet you will always want the world to know what you are upto and where have you reached on that journey! The primitive desire and hard wired human mind always seeks to show off what has been achieved, whether you hunted a wild boar five centuries back or achieved the sales target three years ago, you want to narrate stories and brag about what you achieved- same goes with resolutions, the more opportunity that your resolution provides you for bragging, greater are the chances that it will be pursued empathetically till you succeed, simply because that urge to narrate that story is simply too high tom let go off!

Challenge Level: Another factor which goes on to determine whether your resolution will come alive or not, is the challenge level. Each one of us sets up resolutions to the level where our competence trims off or our Incompetence begins to appear! Like everything is life, all of us are good to a point and there is a differential when it comes to do this. You see no two people can do the same thing exactly the same way, even if all things around are the same and this small incremental difference too plays a big role in determining how we will finish what we set out to achieve! As long as your resolutions make you stretch and flex your competence and abilities you will be just fine and you will be in all probability able to hit your goals! The moment you aim too low or aim too high, your resolutions soon begin to become meaningless either for the lack of challenge and the “x” factor that comes along with it or because it is simply too overwhelming and seems like a mountain simply impossible to get around, over or through! The damage is more severe and long lasting especially when resolutions are aimed at something which is completely utopian and even rationally impossible to attain!

The Art of Finishing: The chances that your resolutions will succeed increase as you begin to visualise and plan the finishing of the achievement. Basically as long as you are able to see how you are going to conclude and finish and it that bit seems doable and rational chances are you will complete them, but if the last mile seems fogged out, chances are you will want to abort your journey the moment that happens, either because you have lost the game plane or now that you don’t seem to know how the end will manifest, you want to simply move away! you may call this also as the “cold feet syndrome” but it happens, often people start with something to achieve and as they progress they begin to realize they have chewed off more than what they can swallow and well needless to say they have to decide either to force feed themselves to spit it out- eitehrways a not very helpful situation, especially when it comes to setting up business goals!

Meaningfulness: Well not to sound philosophical, but the chances of a resolution seeing the light of the day increase when they are meaningful in the context of not being rational or sane, but in the context of being able to add meaning and value to what you choose to do, are doing and what is that you will want to do as you achieve what you have set out for! You see, many resolutions simply fail because not the effort was lacking but rather the controlling factors which govern them to be manifested are almost always external and beyond the individual’s control! You see a goal or resolution of having less than 1% defect in deliveries done by you is meaningful, but if you add to that a clause that by doing so you will earn a 10% raise, the whole idea gets defeated simply because whether you get that 10% is something that you simply can’t control!

I leave you here with these thoughts, the list could have been longer or perhaps even could have been a book, but than each one has their won idea of heaven and hell so I leave you here to explore that part for yourself!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one soon! Make a resolution that is as meaningful as who you are!