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!

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!

Failing is natural and Success should be too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The crossroad challenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conflict of Values.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three steps to sanity!

Given the kind of crazy times that we are all living by, whether be it our work, homes or the social nonsense played out on the news channels every day, there could be no no better time, to get our hands on the master key to sanity and try to move away from what doesn’t serve us and stay aligned to what helps us become the better version of ourselves with each passing moment! Join me here as we try to understand why sanity is, almost always just three steps away form you, no matter what the situation!

A lot of what, unfolds around us is simply unimportant and whatever little around is important, most of the time doesn’t pass the test of the context! So you wake up in the morning, go on to grab your cup and switch on the television just to realise how dumb society has got and how glorified nonsense can be played out on millions of screens, just because someone is ready to pay for that kind of shit! Although, one may argue, so what’s the big deal, you can always go ahead and switch the idiot box off, but given the way our brains play the fool with us, this option is deceptively tough to implement! Social compulsions, confirmation biases and that aspect of self-imposed non-productive small talk forces people to switch on the idiot box- like a drug addict high on their favorite drug- these enslaved people go on to consume the garbage played out on the screens, because that is what grabs social entertainment value- kind of talk needed to get going in those social encounters when you are keen to impress! Sure enough this also speaks about the kind of social circle you are a part of, but to be very honest when we have the very battle of existence going about- no matter where you are and how high or low you are in the socioeconomic fabric, there will be this damaged aspect of society which you will always have to come to face- what remains in your control- the amount of exposure you want to have and that will go on to determine- the extent of progress or regress you encounter! The truth about societies is that, each one of them are playing out what the master demand and who these masters are- whether many or few- goes to create the script, direction and length of what gets played out and how much nonsense will be allowed or checked! You may be wondering if this is what it is, and this is how societies eventually are, is there anything that you can do? anything at all to gain some relative control to dodge this minefield of under-serving scenarios which add little value to you and on the contrary end up sapping away every ounce of what you have and who you are- to try and end up making you one of the many- rather allowing you to be one of a kind – an unique jewel embedded in the crown of a flourishing society! What is that can be done?

Well, there are three basic and simple steps, if you choose to walk upon, irrespective of what the temptation, you will almost always be able to hold on to yourself and stay clear of the corrosive influences that seem to always come your way!

Awareness- Creating an awesome amount of awareness about yourself to begin with and of what’s around you alongside an innate ability to observe- not see- is what will help you to sieve what matters from the clutter that’s coming your way! Awareness works only when you are assertive about who you are, you know what you seek and you are firmly in control of what you think and feel- this certainly like everything good and nice will come at a price- not every person will like you and neither will you be comfortable being around everyone that comes your way- what is important here is unlike the ignorant earlier self- once your awareness levels are fine tuned- you will have a strong reasoning and belief system to stand by you for all the decision that you take- whether to engage with a person or not, whether you want to take up that assignment or not, almost everything that you do or plan to do-will come from your alignment to your core beliefs, values and awareness that you go on to build and sustain on an ongoing basis!

Lens of Context- Once you have reached a decent understanding about who you are and what drives you fine and what drives you crazy-not to forget the who’s- the next step is about applying the Lens of Context! As you increase your awareness you will realise, that not everything that you see around, serve you now, later or anytime and a lot of it, really a lot of it- is always something about which you can do nothing- not now- not tomorrow- the only thing that you can do is- if that aspect begins to be an existential crisis for your personal self- is leave the place and get out of the way- unless your life is aligned to the the very cause of fighting this out! Say, you live in nation wherein you don’t agree with the political narrative- your ignorant self- will get into the bitching mode- which is what the majority of less aware people would do- does that serve you or the society- absolutely not- what do you gain? A few more beers, few more smokes, occasional heart burn, arguments, raised blood pressure and everything that doesn’t seem to help you! So how would a person who displays awareness behave- well simple- see what the facts are and make sense of what it really is and what it is been shown to be- next- analyse what is that you can do or not do- and by doing or not doing how will the unfolding events impact you? So once you begin to deploy your awareness and frame it to the lens of your context- you will know exactly how much attention each aspect that comes your way deserves and you get a choice to act- and how you act- is the final step which ensures you stay sane! read on!

Act with Calibrated Ownership- “Calibrated Ownership” is one word here, as long as you you deploy your awareness, through your lens of context and act with calibrated ownership- you will begin to rapidly evolve- disconnecting away all that is clutter and adding up and building upon all that empowers you to provide and share what your awareness brings forth! Calibrated ownership is different by the sense that you need to have ownership in the right proportion to the context and the level of awareness you may have developed around it! Consider you come to know that there is a need of an animal sanctuary around your place- that is awareness- you may have the place and fund for that- thats the part of understanding the context-calibration comes when you know how much of what you are doing is enough- that is when to stop- at what animal types and how many!

Only when individuals learn to know you they are- It is this collection of aware individuals that goes on to create an aware society/ nation and that helps everyone to focus on what serves the community and also helps them act with necessary prudence- collaboratively, with a purpose that creates and adds value!

If you ask me, the best way to know the health of any society is to study who the recent philosophers have been in the last two hundreds years and if there are any living legends around who have the ability to show the way but stop short of directing what to see!

Awareness, context and ability to act with calibrated ownership will ensure that you spend your valuable seconds on what creates value for the next one and will count your breath to give life to some great cause that serves you, the society around in a way that remains as your signature when you are long gone by- do it well and you end up being an icon- you decide not to enact and do anything- you will fade away in the crowd of humanity. Nothing is right neither is anything wrong- its your life and its your choice and its the choices that at the end of it make us who we are and will always be!

I leave your here with these thoughts, urging you to start working on your awareness, your contextual settings and that managed ownership drive!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article, stay wise and stay connected!

Mindset of a Coach.

The word “coach” has touched us at some or the point in our lives. Whether it was a sport that you wanted to take up or learn to play some music or wanted to prepare for some tough competitive exam- very often we have been advised to get in touch with “abc” to be coached by them because they are the best! Join me here, as we try to unravel what is that makes coaches unique and so awesome and what is it about their approach to situations that sets them apart which enables them to empower their clients in no time and turn around a situation to their advantage!

Before we move ahead, let me clarify that coaching is not mentoring, you see mentoring is almost always a work setting and aligned to specific tasks or goals to be achieved pertaining to a goal that the work team or the individual needs to reach to either ensure their survival or their team’s existence or for their progress as the case may be! Coaching is about empowering the individuals, not because the coach knows everything and knows all, but because the coach knows that only you have the power to bring about a real change within you and the only thing that the coach does is, tells you how to unlock that untapped potential that resides within you and each one of us! This is the essence of real and meaningful coaching- bringing about extraordinary results from ordinary people by empowering them to take courageous actions and thinking so that they know where to look next and what to see as they surge ahead in life! So how do coaches arrive at this space and can anyone of us practice this too?

Coaches too are forged by time, knowledge, experiences, observations and the social construct around them, something very similar to what you and I are, the only thing differently that coaches (someone like me) do is, scan the ecosystem around frequently, rapidly and connect unconnected data points, observations and indicators to weave a meaningful imagery of what is really unfolding for the client! Unlike the mentor- mentee association, coaching or the approach of the coach doesn’t get designed to solve a problem with a full stop, it certainly starts with a pressing issue but as that issue is been resolves what really unfolds is a subtle empowering change within the client- which enables the client themselves to rectify what needs to be, so that they are back on track to what they aspire for! The coach is not the expert to solve the client’s problem, the expert is always the client and the solution too comes from the client, the coach only helps the client to find the solution for the pressing problem by altering the approach to the problem and if required bring about certain fundamental attitudinal changes in behaviour and approach to life in general so that, not only is this problem solved, but also there is enough firmness and resolve intrinsically developed to address and prevail over any such incident should it arise again!

If you want to build that formidable mindset of a coach, you too can, you will possibly first need to throw away your ego- literally vaporize it, if you can! Next you will have to come to terms to the eternal reality that no matter how much you know, you will almost always perhaps know nothing each time a new problem crops up or an old problem comes up in a new setting! Furthermore you will have to realise that you are not a sounding board, but rather a sink- which takes away all that does not serve the client and help unclutter your client’s mind so that once the cup of his mind is half empty- that can be filled with thoughts and ideas that can empower them and help them see clearly and move ahead! As deceptively as all this seems, its a tall order, to throw away the very fundamental of human attributes that all of us have, stay aligned to the centre-line and with every word that is shared with the client to know that what has been said , will serve the purpose of the client and is been done without any prejudice or any personal intent of the coach mixed up with it!

Do you remember, your school or college days and possibly you were coached for some sport? Let’s say you were coached for football, what were you then told- how to move every metre on the ground or just where the goal is and what position you are playing at? Chances are you would have been coached the second way- that is what empowerment is- you are made accountable and so that you can relish your success and embrace your failures in equal measure and this is what true coaches do- they help their client reflect inwards to once again shake hands with selves and their abilities and competencies and that’s about it- once they have re-connected within and are more clear about their goal post- the job of the coach is done! Sure enough if there are some tricky patches and some strategic challenges to overcome the coach is always there, but coaching is never about asking people to do something the way the coach would have done it or getting it done in a particular manner! It is always about how the client wants it to be done and the way that is empowering for the client and serves the greater good for all of those who are involved in it! Because the heart of the matter is that the Coach is not the expert of the Client’s Life- The Client is! The coach just has the expertise to help them de-clutter and use the search light effectively and help them focus where they must and help them stay aligned at all times!

The mind of a coach is ever fluid and is receptive to new situations, challenges and every coach knows that every challenge is unique even as the problem may be similar because the people who are dealing with it are unique and it is their uniqueness which directs them to take steps differently which either ends up simplifying things for them or ends up complicating the problem even further more for them! This is where the coach steps in and save the day for the client! The coaching mindset is also about having phenomenal levels of compassion, empathy and endless energy to have focused and directed listening to really connect and not only listen to what is been said but also to capture the unspoken words through non-verbal cues and statements which are presented with cryptic yes & no both intertwined within each other!

More importantly the coach always presents solutions which are specific, unique and tailor made to fit specific challenges by helping the client to breakdown, prioritize (kind of make a hit list) in accordance of urgency and importance so that they remain on the chosen path of progress! This step and process is repeated for every separate factor that a client may want help with and want it sorted!

The mindset of a coach is all about service orientation, enabling empowerment and creating value by aligning the client to their aspirations as long as they make genuine sense and serve the greater good for everyone involved! Sure enough, there are a lot of technical skills, tools and models that coaches use as they go about working with their clients, but the fundamental thing that every coach has, is the mindset of a coach- which is empowering, liberating and serving the client at all times and never even for a second suggesting anything, but waiting patiently to hear the softest whispers of the client and read the unspoken words to really understand what the trues aspirations are and then helping them achieve it!

I wrap it up here, given the limitation of a blog, guess these fundamental thought starters should be much helpful for now! Think hard, think deep and think long about whether you need a coach or you can be a good coach with the mindset that you have and if you seek that liberation and empowerment for yourself or wish to provide it to someone!

Ciao for now, stay safe and stay wise!

The religion of GOD.

Before you jump to any conclusion, no this is not about taking a stand on any religious ideas or faith systems, this is not about creating an opinion or directing the reader to move in a planned manner to any inference. This article is about reflecting what we see around us, possibly make some sense of what we see, or rather should I say, perceive what a religion is and If it is indeed what it is then, what is or what could be the religion of GOD? Join me here as we take this sneak peek into an area that touches our lives, irrespective of what faith system or belief system we choose to follow or not!

Religion-Faith- Belief system- Value system- you could come up with a hundred more similar words and all of them would eventually come to one final reality that religion has been, is and will always remain to be a defined pathway to reach, seek, sense and surrender to the supreme power- the universal energy- the almighty- again known by different names as defined by the religious pathways, but all coming to the final reality and recognition that there is nothing above or beyond that supreme manifestation. This is the essence of all the religions of the world and all the pathways that humanity has ever been aligned to for retaining our sanity and virtuosity! So the question why does GOD need so many multiple pathways and systems of eventually there is singularity of the supreme manifestation? As someone said, GOD never created any religion, it is Humanity that has created the pathways that we know today as religions, faiths and belief systems and this is at the very root of everything! Then why does everything that is divine and serene at times gets lost into the muddy waters and frightening darkness that human societies end up presenting themselves with every now or then! So where did all this possibly begin?

Sure enough, I am not making any tall claims to be an expert on Theology or the world of spirituality, this is a blog and keeping it that way, a thought starter so that you people- get your grey cells working to seek the truth that makes peace with you- any which way as humans we aren’t going to be around forever, so the truths that you and I hold with us so dearly, at the most will live for another 100 years (that too if you are lucky and have done that much of quality work for the society that you move around in! Else – you know the rows and rows of unnamed graves and tombstones which are perhaps never even visited- forget about people imbibing their value systems and belief systems!

As we race back into human history we come across the richness and vastness of establishment of religious systems, belief systems and values where there is a mention of reverence to a singular super power- a supreme manifestation which is formless and omnipresent- which has the power to provide divine grace and unleash unthinkable fury with equal ease, provide or take away what has been given in a moment- so on and so forth- access any holy book that faithfuls follows across any religion that you choose, these singularities of ideas are all the same. People often lead others into arguing to create contradicting narratives; and more then ever before, the times that we live in are ripe with this kind of social behaviour- which is not only unnecessary but out rightly stupid and dumb! To know what is the religion of GOD , we must know what GOD is, isn’t it? So here we go!

As a student of science and being realistically rational, every belief system, value system that I ever came across, had to pass questions like, the test of science, does it serve the greater good, does it makes sense, is that reproducible, can it be tamed, so on and so forth! What I share with you here are my personal reflections and experiences in this area and as I said earlier, each one of us has a different truth, bound by the contextual settings that we are confined to, all may be right, all may be wrong, few may be right, few may be wrong, eventually it all boils down to the belief of the individual for that is what leads that individual to their final resting place!

If you want to understand and want to know GOD, the only accepted way is following what is written down in the holy texts of various belief systems. Surely a right thing to do, because they have been pretty much written at a time when human societies were forming and gaining critical mass and as they expanded rapidly and shared the richness, it became more than necessary that alongside the allegiance to the rulers, there had to be a central binding force and that force was realized through these valuable texts which personified the divine engagement and that till day is a cornerstone of human society! As long as this power was harnessed for the greater good and to serve fellow humans it always rewarded by enriching the society and to this day the same is visible- where societies are anchored to the true belief systems of the faith that they choose- you will see a reflection of that among the members of the society- their approach, attitude and behavior unto others! This is where the real strength of GOD really is! But what about GOD?

Well the thought of GOD across the belief systems almost always speaks about super human abilities and an omnipresent stance. One needs to understand that these texts which recorded, documented and created the rule book for various path ways were- eventually written by some human being and then that is where we have the writer’s error that can creep in (error as in not a mistake- but error as in the inability to comprehend the vastness and the power in the absolute context of it!). Let me explain, say you are a nerd and I ask you to write an essay about the world’s fastest super computer- sure enough you will throw your knowledge into it and have a paper with intricate details about that fabulous machine, now if I were to ask an Arts student or a language student to do the same, sure enough they will research and they too will come up with the same article, but their approach and treatment will be different and this is where GOD becomes more mystical, magical, and universal! So if the recording gets tweaked a bit, needless to say that tweaking can get amplified by the people who listen, reproduce and present and so the classical communicative gaps play their role and then we have amplification at crazy proportions- not every thing is fiction, but neither everything then is a fact too! So finally human societies arrive at this middle ground agreed upon by all the pathways or belief systems- where you agree to things and principles to a particular point of mass consensus and beyond that it becomes voluntary and then there is that tiny little space where you are never allowed to enter- by questioning or challenging – for that will invoke the wrath of the those who would want to keep what is the way it is as that serves humanity in a more meaningful manner!

Irrespective which system you choose, the singularity of power, formlessness and omnipresence with a veto on everything and everyone that your cognitive mind can connects with, is all but the domain of the supreme manifestation defined as GOD- so if you see GOD being universal and being the way as described by the different pathways- by itself is above and beyond any religious bondage! The religious pathways or approaches have largely been a result of the ups and downs that societies have seen as they evolved through the last 10,000 years! Now, if you ask, if GOD doesn’t have a religion as a supreme universal formless force- why do humans follow and why do they lead to friction at times?

Here again, you need to understand that the social settings are critical and as long as societies are steady, you will always find examples of multiple faiths co-existing and thriving with none intruding into the others space! The need to compete or intrude arises when the interpretation of the pathways get altered & a few select individuals (for whatever their motive would be) go ahead and distort the established facts with modern day fiction, giving a complete twist to the whole definition of that particular religion or pathway and thereby as one does it so does the other and in no time, there is literally no GOD left in what humans begin to follow- because what they really end up following are not those holy ancient texts of divine grace and bliss, but rather altered, twisted and moderated modern day interpretations by so called “gurus” who rant off what they feel like to achieve what they personally have set out to achieve at the cost of the gullible masses who actually look upto them with complete faith in their hearts!

It is when societies deviate from the true essence of what the universality of GOD is and what the real manifestations of the supreme and omnipresent can be, is when problems begin- then the whole show of spiritual and religious upmanship begins!– One pathway suddenly becomes the star (or rather is made the star) for some time, then the other, then the next and that cycle goes on, seemingly forever! But the fact remains that unless you really connect as an individual to the GOD that is – the Universal Energy, Supreme manifestation the way you ought to- by walking on the original pathways or religious teachings of compassion, love, sharing , collaboration, discipline, equality and brotherhood, everything else is but a conveniently altered version of the original hence, we may have thousands and thousands of places of worship across the religious pathways that we choose to follow; but then the worshiped may never be really residing in there! This happens because humanity as come to the point where it has forgotten the most fundamental truth that GOD resides not at a place or point- rather being omnipresent resides in every speck that you can think of and have ever thought of! This is not what I say, this is what all the great religions and pathways of the world say and this is the singularity of the essence of GOD!

GOD, doesn’t need, neither ever had nor will ever have a religion or a pathway, for the simple reason GOD is the destination and not the pathway! The universal omnipresent force is beyond and above all human possibilities and that’s why the authentic texts, and religious books, irrespective of the faith system you choose all begin with a salute and bowing down to the magnificence of GOD! So why did humans create multiple pathways and why do they cut across?

As I said earlier, societies, their sociological construct, belief system largely reflected how the ancient rulers shaped the unit and that’s how it is to this day, with a few changes here and there! It serves a few who rule the many and that is almost with every other vocation that humans do and this is how it has been since the dawn of the civilization and the rise and fall of every civilization has been a factor of this dissonance and allied reasons! The pathways even as different as they could be, the fact is they never competed nor did they ever cut each others path, they evolved to different societies at different times and served different purposes and aligned those societies to serve the greater good and made them human unlike ever before! It has largely been the curse of modern history when so-called politicians and rulers, and people who could use their influence to alter the narrative did so and that has been the unwarranted price that societies have ended up paying almost across the globe!

So you, see neither GOD was ever a point of debate, neither were the pathways, the religions or the belief systems, it has been the directed, sabotaging and unwarranted human creation which created a smokescreen- a fog of illusion- which has left modern societies divisive and more chaotic then ever, it doesn’t help GOD neither does it help the few who are aligned to HIM, but it serves the ones’ who want to be intoxicated in the arrogant belief that they are powerful enough to create chaos and rule and direct societies to the direction that they want- the truth is that nothing could be more fictitious then this hallucination which ultimately leads to societies rising up against these megalomaniac few and a new order is re-established when the time for the same arrives!

My final few words before I wrap this blog, If you ask me, I think GOD has no religion and I also think no religion or faith is a problem, all of them did co-exist and do and will always do! The challenges for modern day societies is to stall the societal sabotage that happens around us lead by the few who want to do anything that they want to just to ensure that they do not loose control on the many and these few are the real danger to humanity!

But rest assured, I will ask GOD his religion when that meeting happens, not sure though if I will be able to relay that message back, not sure if laptops work there!

I will leave you here for now, urging you to think and reflect! No matter what your belief system, no matter what your religion is, as long as you are anchored to the truth (that is the real truth) of singularity of a supreme energy and the thought of severing everyone around so that the greater good is always realized- you are fine and you will find GOD around in everything and everyone and most importantly within you! Remember GOD is more important than religion, just as the destination is always more important than the route taken!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article!

Risks of personality worship.

Societies have their own life-cycles, and every society learns what its life- cycle is, usually the hard way! Through modern history, we have seen the demise of the erstwhile kingdoms- whether that was because of experiments in different types of governance models like democracy, communism, dictatorship, autocracy or the hybrid models which picked elements of different governance models (while becoming none); normally societies ended up accelerating their social collapse, but in a few cases retained their character, intrinsic value to survive, reforge and rise again and this space where societies collapse and rise again is the space of personality worships- because the whole social drama that unfolds- no matter where you live, it is almost always about personality or the competing personalities that are offered the platform to lead and provide direction to the masses! Join me here as we try to understand why personality worship could be or rather is a risk that every society must weigh well before limiting it’s exposure to the same!

As Individuals, we like it when we get ready solutions for the problems that we are facing, irrespective of the fact whether these are chronic or one off cases. Very often the people who have the ability to wield this power are the ones’ who provide us with solutions and make our lives easy (at least that is what it looks like to begin with!). This is where the game starts and this is the grand stage of personality worship! Whether it is the politician that you like or despise, that boos you adore or that team mate you can count upon- or anyone for that matter whom you count on- you are knowingly or unknowingly getting into the trap of personality worship, and while this looks innocent and divine, it could end up being quite the opposite and many nations around the world have lived to tell those horrible stories of personality worship gone too wrong! So how does this all start…well here we go!

As we go about our daily chores, we often want to leave a few vital decisions to someone above us! If you are working with an organisation, you are looking forward to your boss- he is looking forward to his until you reach the CEO through the chain of command and the CEO too looks up to the board to whom he is answerable who basically have the stakeholders- which includes you too! So you see, even in a corporate set up as we work, at the levels of competence that we have been entrusted with, every now and then we will leave out that odd blank to be filled up by our bosses, not because we can’t do it, but rather that’s a fail safe mechanism to ensure everyone doesn’t end up doing everything causing chaos that can ruin the organisation or ends up creating more competition from within! It also ensures progressive development of competence and thereby assures survival and growth for all those involved in the creative process. Likewise when it comes to the larger social fabric, it is the domain of the politicians, the bureaucrats and the whole official machinery of a state/ nation that goes in to make our societies progressive and safe. When we start allowing personality worship to creep into this space, we end up creating unprecedented situations and eventually have no one else, but ourselves to blame at the end! You see, if you ask clowns to lead then… you are part of the circus and no longer an audience! So why is this so damaging how can we change this or rather balance this?

Since time in memorial, right from the times of the Kings and Queens, personality worship has been the order of the day! Certainly it made sense because all power was concentrated there and with no other way around, it made sense! So based on the personality worships Kingdoms progressed and regressed, each time the worship was offered to a right person- the Kingdom flourished and at other times if the worship was offered to a nut case who had become a King by possibly killing his own people- well the Kingdoms regressed and failed on their own weight! Sure enough, there are no more kingdoms to be managed, but if you carefully observe the whole ecosystem around you, it is nothing but the aggregation of kingdoms (leaders) in almost every field that you choose – whether it be business, politics, security, work areas, the arena of sport, medicine, scientists, each of these sectors- what I call as little kingdoms- all have their own “worship” models and as these are worshiped the societies arrive at worshiping a taller and unifying personality who is worshiped even by those who are worshiped below him! So where’s the problem you may ask? All looks fine right? People having role models and those role models having theirs and then all these role models choose a grand role model? So all should be great and in-sync right? Well, sadly it doesn’t work that way and that is what sets up this space of “personality worship” for failure! Read on!

The word here is “personality” and “worship” and knowing humans the way they are these personalities are something else as they start to plot their individual paths to progress and by the time they arrive at that position where they are being worshiped they have already transformed into something else which none of the people worshiping below are aware of at any level! So this is like you meet your college friend 20 years down the line and expect him to be the same person who kept asking you for your notes or drink! Well that never is the case, is it ever? With time, people change and personalities transform, in fact they are continually forming and evolving each day, moment to moment! Sure enough the intrinsic value systems seldom undergo a rapid or intense transformation, so a principle of non-violence will almost always stay unless a radical event has come visiting an individual, but beyond that all and everything will change! This is where the problem of personality worship begins and manifests into a complex problem based on how deep the worship model has entrenched, the quality and severity of its impact! Let me explain!

Consider, you lead a nation, you have the power, influence and needless to say you have your followers and the model for your personality worship is intact and working- now if something were to happen to you- you will see the whole model coming crashing down- even if there’s a replacement and someone else takes the place to fill in the void left by you- as the whole model is based on personality specific element- specific to you-the moment the personality is gone, the whole model collapses and unless the next person is available to step in with an equal or perhaps even a more powerful personality worship model which is already working, the nation risks to be throw into anarchy and chaos! Because as stakes increase, complexities do and with that the desire to get the intended results irrespective of the cost! If you are thinking, this must be happening only in politics and what has that to do with office and individual lives, well think again! Do you remember the last time a whole unit was thrown out or resigned or left to join the competition or start something of their own? Well yes, isn’t it- so this is how it manifests at the corporate level and of course not that everyone has to leave and go, even as they stay within the organisations that “personality worship model” tends to impose push and pull effect on an ongoing basis- which manifests in different ways- way of working, corporate bitching all of that gets influenced and directed by the nature and quality of ongoing tussle between the competing personalities and their worshipers in the confines of the corporate world!

This personality worship also plays its role in our homes, too- whose the favorite uncle?, which grandparent, Mum or Dad- whose your favorite so on and so forth! Sure enough the contextual settings of this space are more rewarding, positive and safe then another discussed and actually provide a foundation for individuals to pivot and keep the hustle on in the other realms! Now if you have psychopaths in your personal space- well dude, then you really need some help! So how do we stop this personality workshop from consuming us, becoming a threat or wiping us off and what can we do about it?

Well the only deceptively simple and perhaps the only way to stop and stall any and all kind of personality worship is about celebrating the action more than the actor, it is more about empowering actions and the process rather then the people! The moment you do this, you do great service for one and all, you take off that unwanted load to be at all times awaiting for a consent, approval and secondly you create a powerful stance to send out a signal that what is being evaluated is the work, the task and the impact and not necessarily how it has been done by whom? No, I am not saying disregard the process, I am saying discount the personal touch- like if you are applying jam to the bread, you have only two surfaces and you can do it as many times as you want- but the end result will be jam speared on two sides of a bread piece- there can’t be any other outcome so the empowerment is about applying the jam and not who applied the jam! Think about it! The more your empower processes over people you ensure that you can stall and arrest unwanted personality worship and the nuisance that it brings along with it at the right time!

Of course, great leaders and pioneers in every field and every space must be celebrated and worshiped but that has to be done aligned to the work and the actions that they took when it mattered the most and not just worship because you have been asked to do so! You may get a tiger cub and treat it like a cat, but as it grows, it will only treat you as a tiger should!

I will leave you here, think if you have been worshiped or you worship and eitehrways what is that whole worship about, is it about that person’s work, actions, courage, innovation, resilience, some virtue or is it just that plain vanilla fan following of the college days- so that the cherry on your cake looks a little bit more red!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then keep thinking and worship what matters and not who matters!

Be formless to create form.

Learning from the elements around us is perhaps the biggest and the brightest classroom that we can ever walk into and it is in these open classrooms that the greatest and the most richest of learnings happen! Join me here as we explore to understand how by being formless, we can create within ourselves formidable power to bring to life the manifestations and dreams that we hold within!

If you have been ever inspired by nature- say, the great beach fronts or the lofty mountains that are sprinkled around the planet- it’s always worthwhile to remember that each of these magnificent and beautiful works of nature have only been possible through the power and perseverance of the elements who have remained formless for long stretches of time (continue to be so always) and have chipped away bit by bit what came in their way to create what inspires us today! This perhaps is the most fundamental of all learnings that we can ever collect and follow as humanity! It is this simple yet powerful fact that- it’s never about that great act done on one fine day- rather it is the efforts and smaller contributing acts that have gone to create that one big day- when the order was changed or the narrative was changed in a way that created a new lens to look at the same things in a different manner!

Even the great warriors of medieval times, knew this secret and often, nature and the terrain played a vital role when it came to devising strategies of war- when kings got them right- nature rewarded them by being on their side and ensuring a victory for them and when they got it wrong- nature became as ruthless as it can be and lessons learnt even by those costly mistakes went on to make permanent amends in the way wars were fought later! Such is the power of the formless forces of nature- water, light, wind and thunder. It’s no wonder that humanity has always been fascinated by them- their power and the pursuit to tame them to ones’ advantage is even today the centerpiece of all conflict across the world! So what is formlessness all about? What is there that we can learn from all this?

The word, “formlessness” is deceptive, the reason being that the moment we hear the “less” part of the word- our brain automatically gets programmed to discount the first part of the word and that’s where many of us end up doing a fatal mistake! We don’t understand the word “form” in its entirety to begin with and thereby completely miss out on gauging the depth and importance of the power that ” being formless” can bring along with it!

Form- as the word implies gives definite structure and dimension and this is what always makes us comfortable- as humans we are hardwired to deal with the finite that comes our way and depending upon our individual or collective capacity decide how to tame the finite or the form that stands in front of us – whether its about encountering a big animal or a small hostile group or its about taking upon an enemy group at a war theatre- the moment we are able to determine the “form” as humans we are equipped to devise strategies to defeat, delay or divert the challenge in front of us – all with one motive of “we” being the survivor at all costs! The moment this definite “form” gets ambiguous all hell breaks loose and this is where “formlessness” assumes proportions that baffle humanity even today! Consider this, we are more relaxed as we deal with dogs and cats- even if they are untamed- now suddenly you come across a snake- what happens- it still has form- it still is definite- but yet- the instant reaction (and in most of the cases the best one to have) is to move away as quickly as possible and just get into a zone of complete avoidance and fight only if no other option exists! So what just happened here- even when there was form- just because it is an “unknown” and completely new form to deal with- our brain takes us straight to the primordial, flight or fight response and this survival technique works well and has been perhaps the only reason why humans have been successful and survivors until now!

It is when the unknown becomes- formless that the real test begins and that is where the power- the ultimate power to create lies! If you have ever seen water flow down a stream and then see it grow as you hiked along to see it changing form from a serene mountain stream to a fast flowing stream then onto become a roaring river- complete with rapids and then descending down dramatically through waterfalls, gorges cutting across valleys and finally making itself as vast and as deep it can as it flows through the flood plains onwards to merge onto the Sea or an Ocean- what is happening here- well at every stage- water- which is finite- assumes radical formlessness by altering the way it behaves given the kind of obstacles and challenges that it faces enroute through its flow! This is what empowers formlessness- the strength of formlessness comes not from being formless but rather being able to alter oneself to meet the challenge head on and overcome it by becoming a completely new version of oneself! This is the essence and soul of the concept of formlessness- the ability to alter- stay dynamic and being able to prevail in face of the adversity that stands in front of you in the path that you have chosen to walk upon!

As with water, so with wind, so with fire- as long as we know the finiteness and the dimension of these entities we are comfortable to deal with them, the moment they present themselves as something which we are unsure how to deal with, these very elements become menacing problems and have the potential to etch new order simply by the power that their formlessness brings along with them! Think about it! The fire that you see bruning softly in the fireplace or the flame on the stove is the same element as what constitutes the forest fire! The fires erupting in the forests are no way techncially different then the ones’ that you have tamed and which have provided you life with are- yet the moment the element of fire- gets loose- it becomes one formidable entity which you really want to get away from- as far as possible! What does this all say about us and what is there for us to learn and take away from this space?

If you analyse the worldly problems that you face, day in and day out- you will see a similar trend- as long as you seem to have the ability to tame, deal, manage the problem that you are dealing with, everything seems to be just fine- this is the space where you are still holding the water in the jug on the table and this is the moment wherein your lighter still obeys you and lights the cigar when you command it! The moment you start to run out of ideas ort deal with your existing problems and as they start to transform into something else that what you have anticipated them to be- their finite forms quickly start to transform into something unknown and something far formless, then what you have earlier bargained for and this is where the water in the jug is threatening to run off as a flash flood and that lighter is threatening to set you ablaze, even without you trying to turn it on! So now the million dollar question what do you do? How do you deal with everyday fluidity and formlessness around you? Well the answer is deceptively simple, yet powerful! You attain formlessness in an equal measure to mitigate the power of the problems that you face! This alone is the wise way ahead- attain formlessness and create form- once you have mastered this element, no matter what the challenges that you come across- you will always find a way to stay a step ahead, over or above what the challenge seems to be and eventually will be able to create a definition for that problem so that it loses its potency of being a formless headache and this can be achieved only by you becoming formless and formidable! but how exactly do you attain formlessness? What’s the trick here?

Being formless, or becoming formless is all about being fluid, adaptable and responsive (not reactive) to the what’s happening around! It’s about changing your currencies, your priorities and being able to take those quick seemingly unworthy detours to ensure that you stay away form the grips of the problems that plague you, but you are always within striking distance to hit back at the problems and challenges and more importantly you get to choose when you hit back, how and with what intensity! This is the power that formlessness alone can bring to you- the power to choose when you deal with the challenge at hand and how exactly you deal with it! Once you have reached this space of being able to remain or stay formless- you will realise that it is this very space where you can co-create magic- you can create forms- alter narratives and create lasting impact by giving new directions to societies and individuals- on how they gho about dealing with what they face and suddenly your formless energies have acquired form by new acquired behavioral patterns that the society now adapts to and adheres to! In a way, the formlessness of an individual which gives vital power to deal with seemingly overbearing challenges creates and directs form to be developed within chaos and ambiguity which further empowers societies and communities at large! This is the true power and way to create form by assuming formlessness on an ongoing basis and when leaders do this- magic happens and you have responsive and vibrant societies that thrive on the power of individuals to steer them away from harm no matter how high or how deep the challenge that they face- individually and collectively!

The real essence of formlessness is being able to remain fluid and focussed to create forms and outcomes that serve the greater good and serve them well in time, so that the formless leaders are ready for the next challenge and today’s challenges are converted to routine tasks which people are left to manage with- to grow- learn and progress!

I leave you here with these thoughts for now; think about the last time when you acquired formlessness, what was it like! What purpose did it serve and how did that help you as an individual and how has that impacted the society that you work for? If not yet, when do you propose to assume formlessness and for what purpose? What is the form that you want to create by being formless yourself!

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

Staying sane through insane times!

Humanity, never disappoints! The moment you go to bed thinking all is fine with the world- No one is threatening anyone with a war, growth stories are being written around the nations- few true, few fictional ; the next morning, you wake up  to your living nightmare in the form of the news of a pandemic and worldwide economic melt down! Well, this article is more about trying to isolate the real problem from the apparent one (the perceived one) and try to ensure we stay sane and don’t get done by our own dumbness by keeping the reason and behavior blaming the virus aside for some time (unless of course you have tested positive!).

One of the ever perplexing issues with the human mind has been that, it always tries to rush into finding solutions to a challenge that is been put to it!- It simply wants to get that task done and relax! Well, this part is normal; the fun begins it, when it starts to operate the way it has been conditioned to operate by the person who is the owner of this wonder-machine- that is you! Going by the “Who the majority of us actually are!”(Irrespective what our social media handles projects who we want to be or we want to be perceived to be); The way we have programmed ourselves to think; by wanting to be or being at times, fast- quick- rational- irrational- impulsive- brash- well, these and many more decision types come in all colors and hues of the personality that we hold;  which again is another byproduct of the way we have conditioned our thinking! Well- wait- read this sentence again- don’t get confused- but that is a fact! More often then not our actions driven through our thought processes are nothing but an extension of our personality statements which have been conditioned by our brain- based on what we have fed into it as experiences- memories- shades of pleasantness, fear, disgust, avoidance and affection etc. etc! So how do we tame and learn to debug a mind that has the potential to run away with it’s own unfound areas of fear and gross disregard- which can actually make you history in no time!

To begin with, you can try a simple technique- Whenever you are presented with a scenario- try to evaluate and ascertain- what is expected out of you!– Whether you need to do something- if yes, are you supposed to lead someone or follow someone or be doing it all alone, what are options available- which is the one that offers the least harm to you (read risk mitigation) and finally going ahead with the chosen step! The irony here is- this kind of level headed and process oriented thinking needs space, peace and time to arrive at wise decisions- and normally when push comes to shove- normally we end up making bad quality decisions – which are a result of why we tend to be where we are in our lives! Many a times- the best decision is about doing nothing and just letting things be the way are- “There’s never a point trying to fix something that’s not broken!”

Another important thing to remember is to do a PRA (Personal Risk Assessment) whenever you are hit by uncertain situations- whether at home or at work- or in general wherever you are on the map of the world- doing whatever you choose to pursue! This PRA technique has to be simple and operational. This is something that you will have to design for yourself!- As I keep saying each one of us- is fundamentally a different being- we may be similar and aligned to common goals of larger good to humanity in many ways- but the way we can engage and contribute is a value of the Intrinsic ability that we have within us by virtue of many things that go on to make who we are! This ability to come up with a correct, consistent and accurate PRA on an ongoing basis for the small events and large unforeseen events largely determines how we ride the waves and ensure that our ship holds good in stormy weather and calm seas with equal ease! The ability to come up with a refined and good quality PRA, again loops back to how well our cognitive and thinking ability has evolved and what kind of sensible and critical data points we have shared with it to ensure the outputs that we get are actionable sane and safe enough!

Finally, using common-sense along with the supply of intelligence that you may have- is the last line of defence that you have in times of extreme pressure- like the one that we are facing right now!– At a time when the media seems to be in an overdrive- and everything around you seems to be sending out signals of things around failing and falling- It is your generous use of intelligence and common-sense alone which will help you stay away from unnecessary hysteria, melodrama and ensure you do not end up being victim or a contributor to mass hysteria (which more often then not is completely useless, unverified, unproven and unfound!). Make it a practice- to always weigh what you get as an information input- weigh it against the source from where it comes- weigh it for credibility- authority and validity-and finally do check if it really, genuinely makes a difference in your life! Even as we have the virus outbreak across all the nations unfolding- if you happen to be one of those astronauts right now aboard the International Space Station- it will do humanity a lot good if you remained focused on your experiments up there- 440 kms above us- rather then trying to dole out sympathetic verses or worrying about things- on which you have literally no control! The trick then is to control and manage what you can and ignore and leave out, what does not impact you and certainly what remains beyond your effective control!

I leave you with these thoughts for you to think and come up with your own little nuggets of wisdom and value, so that you ensure your safety and sanity and thereby ensure the mental health of others around you!

Ciao for now! Grab your drink, stay sane and stay safe!



Overcoming corporate slavery.

Irrespective of whether you agree to the aspect of “corporate slavery” or not doesn’t matter, because that argument is equal to not believing in the existence of the Sun because at night you can’t see it! This piece is about accepting the problems around,understanding how far reaching and deeply impacting the consequences are and what can we possibly do about it (as individuals- because according to capitalists theories they would want this to go on forever and ever!)

As students’ complete graduation or post-graduation; their aspirations are about getting a “good job”, decent salaries (to pay of liabilities accumulated by virtue of trying to get educated to that level) and race ahead to reach the top of the corporate pyramid to impact businesses, industries and policies- well there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of these aspirations- perfectly legal and sane. The only challenge is in the deception of the term “good job” this deception almost always turns fatal and catches up with these young aspirants sometimes sooner then later. Global indicators (if you access some readily available data online from valid sources) indicate that the so called mid-life crisis (which I simply see as manifestation of the “good job” syndrome) is happening pretty earlier (around late 20s’ to early 30s’ unlike the earlier times (when it used to actually begin to hit around mid 30s’ to early 40s’)

Now to the million dollar question, “How do we negate or at the best manage this to at least have realistic mid-life crisis years which correspond to real mid-life years of a human being rather then reflecting mid-life for some other animal species! The root of the problem is in the belief and value systems that societies the world over have. The fundamental premise that the entire effort of studying and gaining wisdom (remember wisdom is different from knowledge- knowledge makes you intelligent, wisdom makes you wise- these are two entirely different things!). Essentially these need to compliment each other and an imbalance in these impacts our life quality on an ongoing basis as that reflects the decisions that we end up taking!

The fact remains that education; has a lot to do with helping build understanding about the world around you. When education is used as a tool to fetch you a job, crack an exam to get a job or get a “certification” to establish societal legitimacy about your grey matter- things start to go wrong! Flip the pages of history, you will find that among the many reasons why companies collapsed, political parties withered away, businesses houses went bankrupt- these simply happened because you had “qualified” and “highly paid” people managing and leading teams which at times had “wise” people (whom they did not listen to, well in time- to avoid the melt down) or had “idiots” who accelerated the demise of these corporations! This,my friend is the ugly face and impact of “corporate slavery- the modern day replacement of slaves working fields or plantations- now working out of glass walled air conditioned prisons”

Corporate slavery starts innocently; things like utopian value and mission statements of organisations , a few weird statements could mean or sound like these -“we never loose”, “we never delay”, “We are champions” or even better, “we have no competition”, “the competition is me”. These look as innocent and senseless as they are but when you have dumb wits who are told to act on them and they go about acting with limited number of people to deliver and have targets (which are not targets but manifestations of greed- yes one of those cardinal sins) that’s how the slavery starts. Greed (corporate greed) is deceptive, all the comforts tend to blind the mind and make people do what they do- the result- a meaningless job profile ( no personal development to tell to yourself or your kids) and preparing ground for the mid-life criss even before you have lived a quarter of your life time on the planet!

A simple test to know whether you are actually a victim or engaged in “corporate slavery”- Try and see if you get a “yes” for the following questions (and yes don’t connect your designation, career growth and money that you make when you try to answer):

  1. Has your experience enriched you as a person and developed and shaped your personality positively
  2. From your experience have you been able to suggest and create (original ideas) ideas that could add value that lasts after you leave the place or the earth (which ever happens first)
  3. Has your experience been different with each day rather then being predictable routine that resonates with months/ seasons’/ business cycles’
  4. Do you have a story to tell yourself or others that your life has been fulfilling

Well, if you answered “yes” great, you are one of the few lucky ones’ who has possibly escaped “corporate slavery” and has been contributing to ensure others are also free of those dreaded shackles- In that case you would be that corporate icon with whom everyone wants to work with!

So what do you do if you are not sure and are possibly stuck with this- well the good news is- it’s never too;ate to course correct as long as you are alive, the bad news- it takes effort- directed effort to get into this space of being a rebel and saying no to slavery like the good old days!

Unlike the real world problems- corporate slavery is very easy to predict and a good start would be by being able to apply your mind to the job profile (that has been shared with you)- If it’s a well articulated one, you know what exactly is expected and you can very well come to a conclusion whether you are signing up for a job or a term as a corporate slave! This is the point where you negotiate to your advantage (knowing what your aspirations from life are (about which you need to have clarity) or simply walk away and don’t engage any further. In other scenarios wherein you are already working and overnight some maniac has been handed over the reins to marshal the company, well this is where you, “practice the pause”, take a moment, stay away- gauge the benefits against the foreseeable problems and take a call. In life you must walk away- no matter what the initial pain or uncertainty- in the long run- it will pay off- but for this to happen you need to have a string internal beacon which is able to keep you honed on to the per-determined aspirations of your life at all times! Lastly, wherein organisations do not have a job profile and any formal structure- well you need to use your wisdom and navigate to know “How much is Enough” and you need to be aware when to say “Enough is Enough” and walk away!

Slavery of the mind or any kind, by it’s very intrinsic meaning of the word is about being bound to something to someone. Human beings are not hard wired to being bound- we have been wanderers, travelers and warriors and that’s something that we aspire for deep within- no, not all of us can be in the defense forces, or cabin crews or hippies; but what we can do and what each one of us can do is to set our aspirations and value systems to a notch that let’s us navigate with a considerable degree of freedom in what we choose to do and practice for passion or for monetary gains– N matter what it is and this notch will always blink red and let you know when your space is being invaded- the you have a choice to course correct- either by limiting your space, defending and fighting for it or simply walking away!

Leaving you with thoughts, for a wonderful weekend ahead, remember -A free mind and a energized soul can enjoy weekends through the week even as you work- as long as you are not enslaved! It’s not about passion it is about space to grow, express and wisdom to apply and share!

Grab that coffee and liberate yourself! Will catch up soon with another piece, keep writing in to me at and suggest what else you would like me to pen about and yes, we are available for tailor-made meaningful training’s and workshops to empower individuals and organisations as always!

And the future belongs to…

No this is not a prophetical piece; but rather based on observations, readings, conversations and engagement with people whose opinions matter (and are taken into account for good or bad reasons) and go into shaping the fate of over 95% of humankind!

Irrespective of who you are , how rich or poor you are, where you are and what your likes and dislikes are, what kind of biases and challenges that you face, irrespective of everything and almost any statistical data point that you can think of or will ever be presented with- one thing and the only thing that will ensure you have a future (a future of your choice) will only and only depend on the factor of skill and competence that you imbibe intrinsically and apply it to your advantage!

So is this really this simple? Well, yes it is. Don’t get fooled by the chaos of multiple inputs and triggers that you are being bombarded day in and day out- whether it is an evaluation of a career choice that you are considering, the next move, or something as simple as what you want to cook tonight for dinner or where your next vacation should be- all of these and answers to any questions that you will ever have will always loop back to a singular granularity of “Who you are” and “What is that U want to do with what U have”. Extend this principle a little further, ” What U do, with what U have,the way U do it, to get what U want; will only be possible by what U have and Who U are”. No book, no motivational speaker will ever tell you this (for obvious reasons), it is not only about your aspirations, rather it is about the quality of your aspirations and this quality driven aspirational thinking only comes from your unique way of thinking- it comes from your strong Individuality about who U are – Always!

The above two paragraphs- read them over and over as many times as you want to – for here lies the secret to the future – future that impacts each one of us. The future of mankind will only be records of people who were able to make the difference by doing things differently- read “uniquely”- doing both the routine- already established mundane things in a new way and the new breed of innovators and scientists who will devise ingenuous ways of doing something new in a very unique manner- which will go on to impact each one of us to alter the way we live about our lives.

The reason why this is important, well in the race to carve out a niche and come up with something new- every day, month and year the race will test the limits of human imagination and science application to help wired ideas come to life!

The future will belong to those who are able to decipher the times using unique ways through their intrinsic personalities (Who they are and What they have to offer!) The future will largely resemble the bygone great age of renaissance that Europe and America had witnessed, albeit it will be with a twist of the new age tools and methods that will accelerate frontiers of art and science like never before.

If you are anywhere a kid now, or a young professional (still with your intellect intact) this possibly is the best time to be around- to soak in important nuggets of crucial information and data that’s floating around the information universe and see which of these elements can provide you with necessary tools to unleash the next big enabler for your generation and for subsequent generations– This you will be able to do only if you know intrinsically what is that you have to offer and how you want to go about it! That sense of purpose of creating something that is owned by you and created by you has to be fierce enough to withstand competing ideas and also leans enough for easy adoption and scalability!

The future will not belong to diligent workers, smart workers or people who charm the board rooms or say “yes” and “no” with assertion or respite, nothing of all this will matter anymore in the next ten years from now. The only things that matter will be what value can you create and what is the value that you bring to the tableThis will be a function of who you are and on a very larger way a function of being educated (good schooling and higher education with emphasis on research- no matter what field you choose to be in). This alone my friends will be the secret to enjoy control and impact control in the societies of the future, your individual contributions that will only flow if you are empowered enough to believe in Who you are, What you have to offer and possibly know How you want to go about it (of course there is space to build on this last aspect as you go figuring out pathways in your life), but having said this, the future belongs only and only to those Who are Individuals with A Purpose- A purpose that rises from within and which aims to collaborate and create value for the larger good”

I leave you with your thoughts here, and hope you get some time to plot your journey and know where exactly you stand. Perhaps this is the moment to re-calibrate and re-draw your plans for the time ahead!

Will be back soon with another article that helps us take our fascinating journey further!

When Talent Deficit becomes a curse!

Well the last time we discussed about leadership, but the fact remains that to lead “someone or something” it needs to have intrinsic talent within itself to begin with! This article takes a look at a few shades and manifestations of talent deficit and how it impacts all of us- in one way or the other- whether we realise it or not!

I firmly believe in the principle of something what I call as “Where’s your river?” If you closely analyse about “human intelligence dysfunction” it has a lot to do with the crucial touch points during the formative years of one’s life (the place of birth, how many cities changed, in case of a country like India- what kind of regional nuances have been picked up and have been let go off etc.). Everything that everyone becomes is nothing more but a function of distillation of the experiences that one has been able to hold on to during their formative years– if you argue that you are still forming- well- no issues- keep going- you are a masterpiece in the works! ( Well I guess each one of us- that may be the reason why we are unique!) Now coming back to the fundamental aspect of all this- “The River”- well needless to say- every society will draw it’s best and worst from the very foundations that it stands upon!

Once you have observed enough and understood this simple engaging truth- you will begin to relate to all types of dysfunctions that you see around with greater ease, pace and more importantly learn to make peace with what the world (your world) offers you and you are left with only one choice- to do whatever best you can do- with what you have- improvise upon what you have- or keep sulking and cursing your fate for the time that you exist- it’s all about the choices that you are ready to make- whether to look up into the dark skies and seek stars for navigation or search for pits and dirt in the bright daylight that shines around you as you keep apace with the cycle of clarity and ambiguity as you seek to move ahead!

Now think about a school where teachers’ are complaining about brat students’- change the lens and see the parents’ complaining about dumb teachers’, dive a bit deeper and see the disconnect increase further as you reach college and universities- wherein the growing disconnect manifests into dangerous things- below average research, below average development of research values, below average future for able minds and stunted future for a society as research is stifled and truncated briskly- all of this because of the intrinsic challenges that arise from being part of a system that is constantly depleted of its ability to rejuvenate or innovate!

As these dysfunctions transcend into more serious areas of the society- jobs in firms, power positions in government, politics- nothing but chaos is unleashed and the depletion and complete destruction of the fragile fabric that enables a society to be proactive and intuition driven is simply ripped away!

Talent deficit is an end-product of a very complex societal dysfunction (some of which we touched in the paras above- albeit in a slightly different way) and the effects are far reaching- that is how regions, states, nations get labelled in the circles of business and politics- largely defined by the crispness or the blatant absence of meaningful minds that know when to solve an issue and when to avoid it and when to ignore it!

The greatest myth that people tend to pursue with talent development (based on it’s perceived absence or presence) is that it can be developed beyond the limits of the immediate societal contexts (socio- eco-political). Talent at any level- whether that’s a kindergarten kid that you are evaluating or a CEO level hire- is always a function of the society that it is coming from- values, beliefs, attitudes, aspirations, opportunities and all that goes into creating that individualistic identity. No one ever fished out a whale out of a bucket of water and no one ever landed on the moon by wishful thinking- that is the essence and underlying fundamental problem of not experiencing talent enough as we would want to.

The ways and means to resolve this and solve this- well that would be an apt topic for another write up- but until then spend some time and do reflect to see how you have experienced talent deficit around you- are you also one with it or are you the one who has suffered because of it!

Finally, before I leave you a little unsettled to figure out your thoughts- if you still are wondering what this write up was all about- try trusting your doctor or engineer who does not want to show you their academic credentials- and then think about someone like that to run or ruin nation!

Will be back soon with another piece- and possibly with some solutions to manage your nightmarish talent deficit!

Thriving through chaos!

As mythical it may seem, this is the fact, many a great discoveries, inventions and examples of unparalleled creativity have originated during moments and times that we now a days normally refer to as “chaos”.

What is chaos? Well the fact will always remain that chaos will always be different things for different people,this is not about choosing one definition over the other,but rather appreciating how these things and aspects are intertwined with us directly or indirectly and irrespective of your stand on this- all this shit will impact you on an ongoing basis- it is not a question of, “does it impact you?”, the question here is rather “how much does impact you?”

Well picking up a plain dictionary meaning of this five letter menace would provide us with straightforward interpretation of what it means and this is from where we can move ahead. For sake of simplicity and to ensure I complete this article crisply (before you decide to not read any further),I have approached chaos in a few major spheres of our lives- that impact us and shape us!

The first level is your personal zone and this provides you with replete examples of chaos around the two sub-spheres of your life- personal and professional. This in turn provides you with a templated approach on how you would like to go ahead managing this. Normally people would go in for a trade-off to balance and mitigate chaos across the two areas or spend considerable time and energy on an on-going basis to keep a shifting focus between the two sequentially. Neglecting chaos in any one of the fields will almost always lead to an irreversible damage which becomes all the more difficult to overcome as time progresses and eventually necessitates the individual to re-create a completely new identity in the sphere that has been wiped off from it’s foundations!

Next come an area of your immediate connections around the society space- as long as you have an access to a wise doctor, good education, water and air, entertainment you are alive and kicking- just imagine if one of these elements is touched adversely- now re-imagine the level of comfort you are likely to have- what happens if the medical charges suddenly increased by 200%? What would you do if educational expenses increased by 50%? Will that force you to rethink – “What are you doing with your life” and “Why you have landed up in a society, where you are” , well it almost always will and the interesting part is at this stage when chaos sets in- around your first level of contact with society- you are already unnerved and hopelessly, helplessly seeking out for leaders or someone to look up to, so that actions of the majority are emulated with a hope that things will change! This my friend is the first step of active action commonly known as “protest” when immediate aspects of societies that directly impact you go haywire for some or the other reasons. Again these reasons may or may not be completely in control of the ruling governments of the day- which in that context sets up another layer of chaos related to the resolution time-frame for the problems!

The final layer transcends over to the largest social unit that we experience on a daily basis – as a nation (unless you head the UN wherein you would experience all the 196 member states as one large society that looks as crazy as it is!) When we sense growing chaos or uncertainty (that’s how things start and run away into deeper chaotic shades unless checked in time) at a national level things suddenly change and trivial matters become sensitive and often dangerous issues which can be manipulated by multiple people or organisations and agendas get driven across- depending on who you are and each agenda tries to re-define the problem statement to suit a solution statement that is being manufactured. The competing narratives then get played out into the society at a national level and based on the number game (more often then not) the most loud, the most bloodiest or the most aggressive narrative gets to see the light of the day- from thereon it changes into a game of political strategy, bargaining and maneuvering on an ongoing basis!

So now , that we have seen how chaos manifests from the personal level to the level of a nation- the million dollar question- how do we navigate through it? Well the answers are simple at the individual level- often the strategy to trade-off between what can be and should be around professional and personal spaces manages to win the day in majority of the cases at that level and chaos can be bottled up tight and good for a long time! But as we start engaging and feeling chaos at larger levels of the society then decisions begin to emerge – which can start at the very basic level- like- “Why the hell am I here?” to “What did I do to deserve this from my society/ government?” It is in the answers to these fundamental questions around the growing level of engagement that one plays around with in the society that one is able to navigate and chart a course of least discomfort and relative harm- both physical and psychological so as to ensure that survival of the society continues. More the number of individuals make sane decisions- easier and quicker it becomes for societies to gain back traction and re-align to paths of agreed and new-found rejuvenation- and if you are wondering how societies do this, well democratic societies have something called as elections and elected representatives and in other societies that are controlled and managed you often see new change of guard to drive home the new doctrine that needs to be administered to the people of that society!

All in all chaos is good as long as you learn from it and apply enough to ensure that the next round of chaos is not a repeat of an earlier one or is not caused by the earlier one!

I will leave you with theses thoughts for now, go ahead have your coffee and think about the times when you faced chaos and overcame it- what was it?- Was it at your level or were you a witness to a nation being reborn!

The story of dissent.

What better time then now, to discuss this! Dissent- the very essence of democratic societies the world over- wherein each individual has the the given right to lawfully express his/her opinion without fear and without any unwarranted angst being directed towards them for having expressed what they have! Well of course if you do not live in a democratic society, this may not make sense at all- because even the thought of dissent in those clamped down absurd places is enough to put you into existential crisis and in grave danger.

To begin with, why does dissent happen- why do people go against an idea- reasons could be many- some right- some not so right. But when the majority (who can influence, direct or dictate) the way of living of a society go ahead with something important (irrespective whether it is a wise decision or not) not inclusion of all constituents of the society is the first step where the seeds for dissent get sown! Irrespective of what the constituents of a society are- from the point of view of their economic status or religious beliefs, non-inclusion never helped anyone and all societies that have played across this line have eventually found that out sooner or later either through easy ways or difficult times!

The next thing that shapes dissent post non-inclusion is the method of communication adopted to drive the idea- the way it is done- seems so innocent at the first impression- but this aspect when not dealt appropriately can look a great idea absolutely stupid and a very dangerous step look divine! Governments/Rulers across the world have known this for long and have used it to their calculated advantage or unforeseen disadvantage with equal measure to stir up societies and nations to go with an idea that the rulers of the day thought was wise- when the society they governed thought otherwise!

The earlier two paragraphs have told you how dissent stems- irrespective what the idea is- now is the real thing- there are and always will be different manifestations of dissent as a direct response to the idea- the more an idea deviates from core foundation values of a human society- liberty and equal opportunity irrespective of economic and religious disposition- the more direct and stronger will be the reaction! It is an these junctions which I term as “Inflection Points” that the fate of nations and societies gets decided.

As long as there is hope form the core pillars of the society (whether they be media, judiciary, thinkers, luminaries from creative fields) these protests and dissents are able to largely confirm to the universal principles of lawful and peaceful dissent and protest. More interestingly, the more apolitical these protests are , the more powerful they seem to get- they simply do not allow the shades of grey- that come in with political affiliations to snatch away the focus from the core areas of concern to some other political point (which is a very likely event and that is what the state would like to see happen- deflection and implosion of the dissent on it’s own!)

Now the question what happens- beyond this- well friends- to be honest- no one wants things to go beyond the holy “Point of Inflection” for every time that a society or a nation has traversed ahead, it has jeopardized the very fabric of the society under consideration and put it under grave threats both intrinsic and external. That’s a place where none of us must venture or even dream of to be in! Societies where youth are a major force to be reckoned with- are fragile and sensitive- they are “baby adults”- who want to be heard to- explained to and listened to- when they have something to contribute for the larger good of the society.

It’s about time that the world awakens and makes way and mends it’s business in the larger interest of the society, nation and world order in general. People in power can and will always cloak a problem to suit their objectives- there is nothing right and wrong in this- this is politics. But it gets dangerous once it starts to rip off the fabric of societies and begins to take away unique identities that represent these societies and nations by their coercive and arrogant approaches. So what do we do?

The answer to this is being honest- being honest on all sides of a square table (I have mentioned a square table for a reason- because circular tables do not yield anything in these set ups and in fact end up making matters worse!). Societies need to make peace with learnings to tread along a path that is just under the point of inflection- but keep asserting lawfully as allowed to make their voice heard- there will be eventuality be respite-sooner or later and history is replete with multiple examples wherein the deadly cocktail of power and ego has finished off political personalities, parties and ideologies right from their very foundation, as they say Time is the greatest master of us all, as along as we allow Time to take it’s time!

A dissent that’s true is like coal burning underground stays alive for ages- until the objective is achieved- only if it assures the larger good of the society. Oppression like a sledge hammer keeps hitting as long as it is given an external political environment- the day pillars of democracy stand up for what is right for the society- the sledge hammer of oppression will cease to operate!

Until next time- keep speaking- wisely, softly and firmly and stay lawful whichever side of an idea you are, no matter what the provocation! Someone said this, “An Idea whose time has arrived cannot be stopped”, likewise ” A society that is awake can never be destroyed- Stay alive, keep speaking and stay lawful”.

Signing off, until next time- stay safe, stay calm and keep your voice- soft and firm!