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!

Empowerment through Inaction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your real priority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Touched by Inertia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fucked up nations and a screwed up world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The problem with “equality”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connected to disengagement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colors through the Prism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The essence of timing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obedient slaves and Bad masters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defining your essence!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The real miracle.

If you have been wondering what the world has ended up becoming and if you have been wondering if miracles do exist and how does one embrace them; join me here we we take a quick trip down this space and decipher the real essence of miracles and what is that we can do, to harness them and have them within and around us! So here we go!

Each one of us wake up every morning seeking, hoping or praying for a miracle, whether the definition of that miracle is wining that odd lottery, that lucky hand at poker or just being able to survive a day at a crazy workplace or perhaps even plain simple staying alive- whatever that means to you, the fact remains that human lives are an expression of this mad obsession to seek and hold the miracle that one pursues!

Humanity has always been a story of hope and within that space resides the compelling belief for a miracle to break free and manifest to address some pressing challenges, whether they are for an individual or for a collective society. But what are thee miracles really? Why are they so rare and infrequent? Why do they seem to favour a few and disregard the many? Why do they manifest when they do and why do they stay elusive at some other times? Well if you too have been plagued by these questions and others as well, read on as we take a step to understand these “miracles” more aptly!

Based on what it means to you or a society, the miracle could be a factor of either of the two fundamental blocks- they can either be intrinsic or extrinsic and each one of these will almost always have a rational and scientific explanation- which more often than not is either hidden in plain sight or for some reasons (best known to the people who do so)- is just overlooked! Whether it is about that sudden spell of rain (or should I say rain when you were not expecting it – for your lack of knowledge of the weather around you!) or that winning of lottery or game of chance (as you came closer and higher in the probability space) everything that the human mind has attributed to being a “miracle” almost always has been a story of manifestation of efforts whose count has been lost! This is the space where so much of labour has gone in and for so long that when the seed begins to finally emerge from the shadows as a tree laden with fruits- very often in the daily hustle of life we have lost track of that seed and all the fruits coming our way seem to be simply magical and a miracle- the real essence here is that the seed may not have been planted by you- but by someone else- either intentionally or unwittingly- you just end up being there to enjoy the fruits of labour (perhaps connected or not to you!)

When it comes to the bounties of nature and the miracles that happen as we engage with nature- they follow the rule of nature! We expect pleasant weather- where none is possible and end up creating a template around what to expect and not- this even as we know that the whole of modern science of appreciating and deciphering nature has evolved only in the last 300 years and the planet has been here longer than that and as humans we too have evolved through the eons! So when storms dissipate, we are thankful, when we sense that earthquake – we are on the edge and as we get to tame the waves, note the rain and decipher the snow around us- we begin to read the cryptic messages of nature and in no time- miracles seem to dwindle away as regular occurrences and it is then left to only a handful rarest of the rare weather manifestations which are left to qualify for being a miracle and more often then not these are a direct impact of a localized geographical phenomenon which binds the elements of nature in a strange manner!

Miracles are nothing more or nothing less, but the last remaining frontiers of time and space for which the rational thought and explanation is yet to arrive! However when it comes to the intrinsic space, the real miracle has been very accurately identified and deciphered- that space of the miracle is really who you are! The real miracle is you! Each one of us are a living example and an unfailing citation of being a miracle- by simply being who we are and what we are- whether that helps us to pursue what we strive for is a different story- but the fact remains that each one of us is a miracle unto ourselves and that is the real essence of humanity! This is what makes the world what it is- a diverse, complex and yet unifying mix of pursuits and passion which help us propel human societies a step ahead from where they were earlier! Then why is it that there is so much strife and struggle?

Well, the strife and struggle emerges as we begin to pursue and seek what is not meant for us – not because we can’t or we shouldn’t, simply because that is not what is meant for us to seek! Ships look grand in the harbour and aeroplanes look beautiful by the hangars, but that is not where they are meant to be! This is what is applicable to us as well, we may be good perhaps, too good being what we are, doing what we do, but the million dollar question is, whether that is what we are supposed to be doing? If you have ever wondered, why nothing miraculous has ever come your way, perhaps the answer resides in this space, your pursuits are in the wrong direction and perhaps for the wrong intent! Miracles will emerge only once you align yourself, your life and pursuits to do what you are meant to do and for you or me to understand and decipher that code- could be a day’s job or at times a lifelong pursuit that comes calling only when we have perhaps few extra months or hours to spare! This is the essence of relation that humanity has with miracles and perhaps that is what makes them seemingly so rare and elusive- as a large chunk of humanity keeps pursuing what is not meant for them, they simply keep moving farther and farther away from realizing their true potential to touch and experience the miracle that they are entitled to and this is what makes miracles seem so unrealistic and elusive!

The miracles are as real as your efforts, intent and pursuits are in the right direction and if there is any real meaningful miracle- that is about being able to find that right direction, at the right time and in a right way- for unless this happens- everything that is about to manifest- gets either vibrant and enduring or tends to get complicated and ambiguous- however in either of those scenarios- there will be a strong prevailing case for the onset of the miracle with a different timeline as far as the enduring value that it will bring along with it!

Miracles are only as real as your ability to decipher and behold them, timing is of essential value and alongside that unless the miracle doesn’t serve the greater good- rest assured it will lie buried or at it’s very best manifest as some half-done job by a great master!

Do take some time off and do ponder around the miracle that has come your way- if nothing has ever come your way- chances are- you- yourself perhaps are the miracle manifesting in the lives of the people around you- simply by doing what you do!

Ciao for now, will be back soon, until then stay safe and stay wise- yes miracles are real- as real as your ability to dream, behold and manifest them!

Thinking-Default, Design or Unique.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe, stay wise and yes Think!

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!

Shaping the future of our Future!

We all know this too well, that the future of humanity is not in the workplaces or the offices as I type this, but rather it is across the different grades of lower school, middle school and high school across societies at this very moment! Join me here as we try to take a look into what is unfolding around that space and why we must be so concerned and what is that we can do to influence our future, just enough to nudge it in the right direction so that they have a wonderful future! So here we go!

If you are able to take that necessary pause and just observe around you, what you will see is that, unlike the earlier times (perhaps when you were a kid) there was a enough space and content for you to imagine, research and innovate. The current lifestyles that societies have embraced have simply ended up the free space and time for introspection, reflection and enquiry. No one is suggesting you to pursue philosophy, but the fact remains that unless the human mind is able to perform directed and focussed enquiry, nothing worthwhile or meaningful can ever be achieved or realized, individually or collectively as a society!

Societies around the world, even right upto the early 90’s were spaced out in the sense that, there was a choice that people could exercise, with regards to what they wanted to pursue and how they wanted to pursue it! Societies then had the space to accommodate and facilitate much of the diversity that society had to offer. If you have some doubt around this bit- just study the great organizations and icons who have made their names in the last 10-15 years, chances are they were a product of the societies of the bygone era and what they were able to create was a direct consequence of the society that they moved around in and that’s how magic and an enduring foundation for human progress has always been built!

Human imagination and creative pursuits require space and time, both of which have become a rarity- given the way societies have gone ahead and embraced the lifestyles in the last two decades. If global connectivity has been a great asset for accelerating progress and development of human societies, the same has robbed away societies of valuable space and stretched time which are so vital for ensuring that innovation and pace of progress is managed and furthered on an ongoing basis! This is why it becomes so important to understand what is unfolding around today, because all of that influences the young minds and since they are the future- the ability to create their future becomes easy or difficult depending upon what is happening in the now!

Our todays’ are invariably unforgivingly compressed and intense which leave little or not time for that much needed spaced out enquiry and that is the real danger that the current young minds face across societies all throughout the world! What this is invariably resulting into is a world where everyone is just thinking and solving apparent problems which they may have to face as long as they are and hence nothing enduring or worthwhile is ever made or come to life! Whether it is the arena of science, creative arts or even perhaps commerce- all equations and strategies are aimed to solve the problem of this year and perhaps the next few years or may be at the most of a decade but no one is really focussing enough for what resides beyond that horizon and this is what needs to be changed and that too pretty urgently- unless we want to end up handing over the world complete with myopic solutions to the future generations who in turn end up creating further such myopic visions and that eternal short changed world keeps moving on! So what needs to be done?

The first step to get humanity and the youngsters out of the rut of boxed and good-to-have thinking is all about ensuring that they have access to adequate time to think and observe what there is- rather than being asked to observe “few things around”. This small yet fundamental change can go a long way in empowering young minds to see beyond and observe aspects that surround their lives in a more holistic manner so that when the time comes to apply their thoughts, innovation or action, they are able to discern well enough and now how pulling the chord at one end of a social fabric can unleash cascading impacts not only within their society but also perhaps across societies around the globe! The only way that young minds today can insure and safeguard their future is by being able to direct their thinking and observation more towards what will be and what is that they want there to be, rather then focussing on what is and what can be- that is what happens as young minds take the first few steps of the corporate world!

Sure enough there are great organizations which allow their work force to innovate and possibly develop solutions that seem to be the promise of the future ahead, these manifestations only happen in organizations whose founders have appreciated the value of the human mind, its potency to seek solutions through stretched space and slowed time! What we can do today is that we can create that much needed stretch of time and space for the young minds around us. This can be the first and foundational step wherein we begin to encourage enquiry of all that is around us an prompt these young minds to seek advancements that outlast their lifetimes and go beyond! This change of approach to thinking wherein Individuals and collectively societies are urged to seek solutions and answers to what is around for a long hauls, is what will go on to make the big change and difference in the young minds and empower them enough to pursue a future that they will be proud to behold and pass on!

Humanity’s progress has been a testimony to the fact that great advancements have been made possible only when the most gifted human minds were free from oppressions, directed thinking and boxed-in settings! All great discovery and meaningful greatness which has lingered on for centuries and beyond was only possibly when the human mind was given that critical space and time to ponder, observe and infer in a way that serves the larger good for a longer time for everyone around!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to get that free space and slowed time for yourself to begin with to hold that meaningful enquiry which can set you on to the path of enquiry and once that happens you can go on to influence the young minds around you, so that they are able to emulate what is more potent, dynamic and answers the challenges of their tomorrow and not of our today!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay safe and keep pondering about what could be the great idea of your life!

Being Mindful is also about being Creative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome 2021 the 2020 way!

As ironical it may seem, the fact remains that what did not kill you probably nourishes you! Join me here as we take a quick look through this last blog on 31st December 2020 about what 2020 really signified, what were it’s whispers (which were heard and which went unheard) and what is that 2021 is already signalling even as you eagerly await for it’s embrace- which either could be a warm hug or a deathly embrace! So here we go!

Sure enough, each one of us would have had many small stories of personal victories and success and all of that went down the drain- literally in 2020 and pretty much rapidly everything and all that seemed to be humanistic and normal began to seem absurd and all things strange and stupid began to become the new bright thought of new age thinking! Remember those endless meetings in the office meeting rooms before the lock downs and then the ensuing disaster that followed for you to having to deal with the same ordeal with an added layer of technological complexity compounded by your technological incompetence and ignorance! Well this perhaps would have been one of the many such moments that 2020 brought to all of us where the singular message was , “If you think you know it All, Life always has a plan B and that plan B has the potency to uncomplicate what you complicate and complicate what you strive to simplify!”

Each one of us began 2020, the way we usually did all our lives and when the spanner was thrown it showed us the fragility and the momentous existence that all of us hang by! Needless to say, few of us have been humbled, few destroyed, yet few counting their lucky stars and yet others who did feel nothing much- but all in all humanity has been impacted and what we have seen unfold and what we will see unfold will all be but a testimony about what happened to us in 2020! People and their disposition in 2021 will all be but stories about what happened to them in 2020 and how they dealt with them! Furthermore it will be a test of human resilience and fortitude to keep battling what 2021 keeps throwing at you, day in and day out- sometimes as extensions of the prevailing pandemic and yet at other times nudging people into a tight corner- require them to re-calibrate and re-assess – promoting the new onslaught of innovation!

If there is something else too that helped people survive if not thrive, it was their ability to fall back on their intrinsic abilities- basically living their lives and finding a way through their lives- for one time- by being who they really were! You see, until the pandemic arrived, everyone always had the liberty to cloak their reality and move around the world pulling over suitable attire that could match an occasion and thereby successfully hiding away the real and creating more and more compelling illusions and camouflage around them, just like everyone else did! No sooner the virus came calling, these mansions built on created and apparent illusions and hallucinations owing to societal compulsions cam crashing down like a pack of cards and soon enough societies across the globe soon began to find their new definitions across the strata and these newly established definitions will linger on for a good time to come- because the new founded world order within the social strata has just begin to form and it will take some time to formalize the agreed ways of engagement once again and 2021 will be a story which will capture this essence of humanity in great detail! People will see societies simplifying, expanding, contracting and getting more wrapped in or vocal based on what is being played out on the home turf within those pockets across the world! People within societies who successfully align to these dynamics will be safe- those who choose to take a different route either will emerge as lighthouses or perish as unsung sand bars- depending on how well they choose, what they do and how they time what they choose to to!

Given the fact that 2021 will have lingering shadows of 2020 and haunting visits of the year bygone, intrinsic abilities will be tested like never before and individuals will have to bank upon them to begin re-connecting and re-engaging with fellow members of the society in a more meaningful and purpose driven manner. It is just a matter of time, in 2021 that so called “experts” will come to the foray and start writing articles and papers on the “horrors of work from home” and begin stressing for people to engage and communicate, well, I had actually talked about this much earlier! The ability of individuals to see and sieve through conflicting narratives (as they did in 2020) too will be of paramount importance to ensure that they don’t end up entrapping themselves in some illusionary challenge and end up fighting a war that no one cares about and nobody is watching!

Similarities for all the years begin and end with the societal set that will be influenced and that will influence it and this is why it becomes easy as well as difficult in the same breath to navigate changing calendars! You see, the rational part of the mind says, that same problems have similar approaches and solutions that would have previously worked, while in the same instant, the mind desperately seeking some “kick” want to experiment and try out and at times this unwanted and unnecessary indulgence ends up screwing up even the most noble of intentions and efforts!

Finally what will remain at the foundation of what you and I do, will be the humanistic construct that we behold within ourselves and how we plan to deploy that to serve others and take a persuasive stand to ensure it goes that way! 2020 was all about being in gratitude and being grateful for what we had, have and what we aspire to have and this practise is what must and will continue in 2021 as well. As long as this approach to life enshrined with gratitude and humility prevails even the challenges thrown by 2021 will seem to fade away rapidly then before and importantly will accelerate the pathways to create new approaches and solutions for a more meaningful interconnected cohesive human existence with shared experiences and values which go a long way to nourish the essence of being human!

I leave you here with these fleeting thoughts for this last day of 2020 and hold each one of you in my prayers and thoughts- for the journey together will certainly continue with a fresh promise, new hope and unfailing human resilience- that is the way which saw humanity through 2020 and that is what will also empower humanity to see through 2021 and enables you and I to come up with compelling stories and narratives of hope, success and humility in all that we achieve and also in things where we fall short to achieve! Always remember, there is a reason, what you and I have come this far and the onus is now upon us- each one of us to ensure that with the Life that we have, we make sure that the reason why we came this far- creates something meaningful and purposeful- something that serves not only us but to the many around us who reach out to us and perhaps even those – to whom we need to reach out to!

What worked to overpower 2020, sure enough will help you and me to prevail over 2021 as well, should the need arise, but that is where the similarities end and it is beyond this space, when we apply who we are to what we choose to do is that we will begin creating differentiating value and empower ourselves and others around us to surge ahead and stay ahead in the race to carve out meaningful existence in an ever changing dynamic and chaotic world that we own!

Before I sign off, Here’s Wishing Each One of You, A Very Happy New Year and hope you are able to weave your magic the way you aspire to do so in the year that promises to be both same and different in the same construct of time and space! Stay Wise and Stay Blessed! Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article- in the new year and our journey, goes on unveiling a new sunrise for a new pursuit!

Leadership nuggets for a new world order.

Well, sure enough you may be busy right now, packing your bags or navigating your travel for that much needed and required escape from the realities of the life that you have been blessed with; here’s a quick share with you on what is that the rejigged onset of leadership will possibly seem like as you arrive back to your workstations! So join me here and let’s take a quick sneak peek into what promise the corporate world holds and what is that you and I can do when it comes to leadership and deploying the same!

Well, if 2020 was what and how it turned out to be, it just goes on to stress the importance and relevance of leaders and leadership! Whether the space is about being a leader in the public domain, whether it is about leading a corporate house or whether it is just about leading yourself, irrespective of what is the mandate that you are accountable for, 2021 will be more of a benchmark timeline wherein new leaders will emerge and current leaders will have to reinvent themselves and their leadership styles to meet with the changing dynamics of the social construct around them and the evolving contextual realities! Importantly, whether you just choose to lead yourself or others as well, there will be few fundamental aspects that will have to be met with and which will go on to set up the narrative for leaders and their leadership in the times ahead! These fundamental spaces are what will go on to make leaders and leadership relevant or obsolete depending on how well these are either assimilated and deployed or ignored and forgotten! So what are these aspects? Well,read on!

Empathy: Empathy perhaps is the biggest pivot that will have to be deployed and leveraged upon in the times ahead! As humanity begins to take baby steps to re-connect and re-engage trying to establish the new normal or in-person connect, empathy will be the foundation on which everything else will reside. Leaders who are able to sense this aspect and demonstrate adequate amount of empathy will find it easier to collaborate, lead and inspire fellow members and thereby paving the way for an accelerated growth or that of a rapid pursuit of what has been set as an objective.

Intentional Listening: The times ahead will demand a new age of focussed and directed listening, what I call as “Intentional Listening” wherein the whole approach to listen is not to respond or react but to understand the contexts around what is being discussed and said and analyse the content with a holistic lens of what the matter is, who is delivering the message and sure enough, what the ecosystem is within which the impacts will be experienced and improvised. Leaders who invest more time in this space of “Intentional Listening” will be better equipped about the real over the apparent and thereby will be able to take empowered and decisive decisions based on a holistic detail that they will be be able to decipher through this space!

Simplified and Focussed objectives: The times ahead will demand leaders to provide ongoing clarity and demonstrate a continuing ability to uncomplicate complexities. With majority of humanity already tested to their limit of mental resilience in 2020 through the pandemic, before it and now after it, the last thing that co-workers, colleagues and members of the society want will be any remaining element of ambiguity or chaos – especially when it comes to areas of work and societal equity. Leaders who are able to uphold simplicity and clarity will be able to race ahead and make significant impact over others as they engage and work alongside teams to create magic like they did in the good old days!

Intrinsic Leadership: Sure enough effectiveness through leadership can be achieved by leaders emulating different styles and approaches, but the times ahead will demand a new way and that is the way of the “Intrinsic Leader”. You see, given the contexts from where societies are emerging and the challenges that they face, leaders who are able to share, display a strong intrinsic, unflinching and unwavering leadership approach in areas that they represent will see a surge of followers and leaders alike simply because “Intrinsic Leadership” is highly contagious and it is that super glue which empowers societies to move mountains, should the need arise. This enormous power comes from the fact that Intrinsic Leaders, lead from within and as they do so, they rely on their superpowers and their uniqueness to create unparalleled approaches which go a long way to address compelling challenges on hand!

Automating Human Intelligence: Leaders who will be smart enough to focus on the aspect of automating the available human intelligence within their teams and around them, will be the ones’ who will be able to make the most optimum use of any technological automation that happens around them to further their business objectives! You see, you may have the bets dashboards, the greatest MIS tool, or the simplest automated diagnostic tools at your disposal to propel your business or social experiment, but if the “people” who are entrusted with their management and design are handicapped in their ability to think the human way- well even the best automation will go waste and will end up being another piece of glorified digital garbage! Leaders who are able to fine tune their technological automation in line with the human intelligence at their disposal, will be able to take significant advantage and there by create an innovator’s edge to provide unique solutions and niche approaches to problems on hand! Global Leaders know this space too well and hence if there’s one thing that happens all the time behind the scenes with regards to artificial intelligence is the effective and resourceful deployment of human intelligence behind the scenes to ensure that what unfolds in services stays relevant, meaningful and viable! Leaders who are able to create an ongoing handshake between human kind and automated technological interfaces will be the ones’ who will be at a significant advantage and will also hold the key to create new bed rock for subsequent innovations!

The Humanistic approach: Leaders who embrace the humanistic approach will stand tall to reap the benefits of their approach, especially in the arena of public and societal leadership. If 2020, has done one thing, it has been a great leveller and a great teacher for humility! Leaders who continue with this belief will be able to see beyond the routine people engagement and will be able to carve out meaningful and directed interventions to serve humanity in the context of their span and reign of influence and control.

More the Leaders Greater the Influence: Leaders who recognize and are able to deploy their Leadership through others- by creating more leaders (as opposed to followers) too will define the Leadership style and success stories of the future! Humanity has learnt through 2020, that the same work can be done through different ways and even as that is been done- the efficiency or effectiveness would have more or less remained in the same broad range (else you would have either shut your shop or would have begin to hate the color pink- because of the slip provided!). This has created opportunities to devise new definitions of success for leaders and leadership alike and one such compelling metric involves the ability to influence so as to create more leaders and and thereby enhance influence through more leaders- rather than followers! Companies of the future that are able to identify and encourage more leaders will stand to gain as more leaders will go on to create a larger circle of influence overlapping among the leaders in an organization and externally create a more positive story for the services through their leaders and their leadership style!

Being Authentic: Finally this is one aspect that will matter in a big way, simply because the disruption of 2020 has brought home a vital lesson that templates don’t necessarily always work and that uncertain times call for unconventional solutions and answers! This can only be realized and delivered as long as Leaders and their leadership style empowers people to stay authentic and have their original ways of thinking working alongside the routine “work to order” set of thinking! It is the power of original thinking that has always empowered and rescued humanity from calamities time and again and history is replete with such miracle of human mind, especially when they were allowed to think independently, unconventionally and by being who they were, that is encouraging thinking in an authentic manner!

I leave you with these thoughts for now; sure enough this is not a limited list and you would want to expand it further and develop it in a more aligned matter to all that you pursue. Be the Leader that you always sought and deploy the Leadership that you always wished for and then you will be surprised to see the change and empowerment that you bring along for yourself and the ones’ around you!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one soon, until then get that much needed break and gear up to face another impressionable day!

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!

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!