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Monday, December 7, 2015

Thought, Word, Action Alignment

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.   
Mahatma Gandhi

I don't know what has been your experiences but the thoughts, words and action alignment is not easy. In fact it takes lots of conscientious efforts to make them aligned.

For any thing useful to be achieved there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved. In order to pass through that and still sustain oneself, plenty of will power is required. Will power is controlled by your conscience. Your conscience at subconscious level is always watching you. Every time you cheat yourself, you are loosing confidence of your own conscience.

The easiest person to cheat is yourself. I am sure most would have experienced it some time. You would set some goals for yourself and then did not put honest efforts required to achieve them. There on you convinced yourself with some reasons  as to why you could not achieve them.

Every instance where you think one thing and talk differently the confidence is lost in the eyes of your own conscience.

Every time you think and align your words to your thoughts you are gaining confidence of your conscience.

Every time you think something, align your words to your thought and act in-line with your words you are winning full confidence of none other than your own conscience.

This comes handy when you really want to achieve something and you need your full will power to give you support. Your conscience will be more than willing to support you with your highest will power, provided you have practiced the thought, word and action alignment in the past.

Not for any one else but to win confidence of our own conscience, let's practice thought, word, action alignment.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sense of proportions

All of us at some point:
  • Heard a great advices from friends & relatives
  • Read inspirational or self help books
  • Listened to some motivational talk
It gave you a mental high for few days and then the excitement slowly vanished. Has this happened to you?

Did you dismiss such incidence saying, well that was too ideal hence I could not implement it in my life. That was impractical in real world and hence dropped it. Yet internally, some where you felt you should had have given it shot or tried to hold on to it for little longer. But yet there was this mysterious force preventing you from doing that.

Why does this happen and happens repeatedly? Have you thought about it?

I know, it’s brings up some painful memories. It’s disturbing. So, forget about it for a moment.

Now think of your most favorite dish. The memories of which makes your mouth water.  Now try to imagine how it was prepared. While preparing recipe for that dish, different ingredients were mixed in right order and right proportions. That’s when you get the delicious and mouth-watering dish.

Just imagine what would happen if you added only salt to your favorite dish because some one told you salt gives the great taste. It’s not very hard to imagine that dish would be ruined. At the same time its true that salt does provide a great taste.

Life also needs to be lived like recipe, mixing different advices and what we learn from others in different proportions matching our taste. Finding the right proportion is like discovering ones taste. One might have taste for spicy food while other might prefer it little sweet. It’s an individual choice.   Advices, self help books, inspirational talks are all like pure ingredients. Taking them as is like making dish full of salt.

To successfully adopt anything from the external world one needs to understand what one is looking for and then utilize it in right proportion.

Be it a weight reduction, be it diet or be it advice from Peter Drucker on how to be effective executive. Whatever it might be figuring out the right proportion is key to success.

This is easier said than done. Life is a journey of building right sense of proportions in everything.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Intensity: Key to discovering your passion

One of the most important things in life is finding out what you love to do. All the greatest achievers have emphasized this fact of finding what you love and finding what you are passionate about. Its the only way to do some great work.

Lucky are the ones, who find it out much early in their life what they loved to do. Many of us are not so lucky. Many get molded in to do regular boring things in life. These are also the people who did not have courage or conviction to explore and find out what they were passionate about. The wind just carried them along.

That does not mean they were not good at what they did. With hard work they achieve initial success in the area where wind has carried them and they have built some status quo. This is a dangerous start. There on life takes a disastrous path of maintaining that status quo. This path might provide some level of worldly success but not an inner happiness and fulfillment. It leads to a dead end where an eternal boredom sets in eventually. Mediocrity and counting days to pay becomes routine. If you are stuck in such loop its time to break that dark circle and come out.

What one needs to do find out what is his or her passion?

Ones passion is in the deepest part of oneself covered with several layers of delusions. All those delusions need to be burned away to let the passion emerge. First step is getting ready to meet your passion. It requires you to overcome the fear of failure. Courage to let go of status quo of whatever that has been achieved. To let go of the baggage of so-called success which is nothing but dead weight riding on your shoulders and tiring you down every moment.

Key to realizing your passion is intensity.

Whatever you are doing, wherever you are doing, just start doing it with very high intensity, Intensity of highest order possible. Its only this intensity that has capacity to burn down the layers of delusions hiding your passion from you.

This intensity will do two things, either produce positive peaks or negative peaks.  These resonance peaks will guide you towards your passion.

Positive Resonance: Peaks in results and achievements
There are some chances that what you are already doing or part of what you are doing is what you are passionate about without even knowing about it.

If you are not doing it with intensity then peak in results will not show up. When you start doing it with the full intensity, it increases the odds of peak in the results and achievements. This would be positive resonance due to alignment to your natural talents. Thus leading to your achievements recognized and encouraged leading to further growth. Thus taking you closer to your destiny.

For example a person who has body cut out for swimming in the field of armature swimming. When such person puts in the intensity in his swimming area the results will start speaking very quickly.

Negative Resonance: Burnout and quitting
Now, what you are doing is not something you are passionate about but somehow you are able to hold it up. You are able to produce some mediocre results. This is leading to dilemma of whether it's something you should pursue or quit.

Doing intensely something, which you are not good at or dislike will lead to lot of friction and heat. If you can keep at it, in spite of all the heat it will lead to you to totally burning out. This burn out will signal clearly that you are not cut out for it. It will force you to quit what you are doing. Failing fast is a good sign when you are on your journey to discovering your passion. It will force you to move on and find something where you belong.

Even if one cannot quit, it will become at least clear that this is not the path to passion. Thus instead of fooling oneself that things will become clear in future, one can start planning to going towards the right path.

Danger of low intensity: Regret
The biggest risk of low intensity at what you are doing is loss of precious time and not going anywhere. The time that’s lost is never ever going to come back. Often if one keeps at it, the delay can practically lead to path of no return.

Low intensity is very dangerous. Neither it will lead to positive resonance nor burn out forcing you to switch the path. Low intensity at something you don’t like or good at will lead to slow erosion of your mojo. This slow erosion will eventually lead to hollowness inside. This hollowness will haunt you and take you to route of deep regrets.


So even if you don’t know what is it that you want or doubtful of what you are doing, just keep one thing in mind. Do it with highest intensity. Have faith it will produce peaks that will give visibility to guide you in the right direction.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Optimizing Stress and Anxiety

Do you suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety? Or are you in denial about it?

Do you wonder if stress and anxiety is real or is it just mental or combination of both?

Any way, I am not going to suggest you some medication or yoga. I will not give you a magic solution that will make it go away. What I do promise is a way to reduce it, to level that’s optimum by cutting the excess.  Lets engage in set of dialogues. Idea is to think through as you read this and see if it aligns with your own experiences.

What are we fundamentally doing?

We are in constant struggle to change the reality of life.

Reality of life is, its uncontrollable, uncertain and evolving or changing continuously. Nature, which is big symbol of life, has all these characteristics.  As a mankind, we are in a continuous struggle to make it look exactly opposite. We want it to be controllable, certain and constant. We are in continuous struggle to adapt the nature to suit us.  Do you agree?

How System shields us from reality?

How many us living in the comfort of modern world have consciously experienced this reality of nature first hand? Rewind your life.  What comes to your mind? For many it might be, memories of school days. As soon as our memories of schooling starts we remember a system that is perfected. Get up early, school bus arrives, there are classes on different subjects, come back home do your homework go back to bed. Repeat the same till weekend. On weekend do some extra homework and play with friends. Close the year or semester with rituals of exam, where we broadly get results matching our efforts.  We think this is life. We get shielded from many realities of life. If you are lucky (or unlucky) you score the campus interview after graduation and get in to a job. Settle in to a similar rhythm again. One might feel this is all good but if this has been your story of life then you are set for one hell of ride later.

What happens when reality of life starts unfolding?

Life bites you, in one-way or another. It’s inevitable as we continue to live and expand our world. Like the way we would look for full entrainment from movie experience, life experience would be incomplete if you aren’t bitten by it yet. When it starts biting you start experiencing the reality of life.

It could as simple experience as getting stuck in traffic jam while you have important meeting or your unstable Internet connection during conference call. You realize there is very little control you have over it. You realize the efforts and results don’t match any more, there is an uncertainty. Many relations, you took it for granted are no longer the same. They are evolving and changing all the time. There are no teachers who always thought in your best interest and inspired you to achieve more. Instead there is a harsh world that would bite you if you don’t achieve and puts the hurdles when you are on you are on your way to achieve.

No, this is not to demotivate. This is to make you realize there is a lot of pain and discomfort in the struggle of life. The comfort we are experiencing today is a result of pain and discomfort, endured by many others.  This pain and discomfort coupled with uncontrolled, uncertain and evolving nature of life can make one experience feeling of stress and anxiety.

Can we overcome stress and anxiety?

Please note the pain is real. Discomfort is real. This is real because the reality of life is uncontrolled, uncertain and evolving. It’s we who want it other way. That’s going to take effort. That effort will require one to endure the pain and discomfort. The level of pain and discomfort will be proportional to level of shift we want from reality, with no guarantees of it happening in spite of all efforts.

So, what is solution? Is there a way to get rid of stress and anxiety completely? It can only become zero, if you would accept the reality as it is and stop making any efforts to change it. That would be like, accepting the darkness and not making any attempt to find the light. Would that be good? Just continuing to live in darkness even when you don’t like darkness? I don’t know but you have a choice.

How to optimize the level of stress and anxiety?

Any practically meaningful life would need certain shifts from reality. It would take effort. That effort will be filled with pain and discomfort. Now what can be reduced is our resistance to that pain and discomfort. Our natural choice would be to have no pain and no discomfort. So whenever we see that we need to endure the pain & discomfort it can fill you with stress and anxiety. Now this stress and anxiety will just make enduring the pain and discomfort more difficult than what is needed to change the reality.

So when you realize what is reality, when you choose to make an attempt to change it, stop worrying about the pain and discomfort that’s there in part of the effort. It’s a good pain and discomfort. Endure it.

Now you may say, I am fine with pain and discomfort. Can you at least guarantee results for my efforts? Well friend go back to basics. Reality is uncertain, uncontrolled and evolving. There aren’t any guarantees. So, Buckle up.

Again, this would not make stress and anxiety go away but it will keep it to level that is really required. It reduces excess stress and anxiety in two parts. First reducing stress and anxiety for enduring the good pain and discomfort. Second reducing stress and anxiety of results not matching our efforts.

Beyond this it takes certain level of experience to understand where reality cannot be changed. There is no point in picking those battles. Those battles are going to be loosing battles and would only lead to increased level of stress and anxiety. It’s also important to pick the right battles for investing your energy and understanding the minimum level of effort involved in it.

Accepting and enduring the good pain and discomfort is first step towards reduction in stress and anxiety. Realize the reality and focus on efforts while enduring the good pain and discomfort. I know, easier said than done, but at least let’s start!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Leader vs Expert

Often we hear of career choices of technical or managerial roles.

Which one should you choose?

I would say be a "Leader".

What leaders do?
Leaders find and help in achieving a meaningful purpose.

Is it necessary for leader to be expert of area before he can start leading in that area?
Not necessarily. What drives leaders is purpose. Leaders work with other leaders to get the necessary information or expertise. Wherever there is gap in information or expertise, leaders will go out and chase it themselves. Even when they chase expertise, what matters and drives them is purpose and not mere building expertise.

Can an expert in area become a leader naturally?
He can, if one wishes for but its not natural. It can happen only when he starts focusing on the broader purpose to be achieved and not merely on expertise in a area of interest. He would need to take interest in many more areas beyond what interested him intrinsically to succeed as a leader.

Who is more important - Expert or Leader?
It takes a combo to succeed but its leader who scores over the expert. A leader with the strong drive towards purpose can become expert himself, if he sees the need. Leaders connect the expertise of an expert to purpose. Without that mere expertise may not be of much use.

Just building expertise in popular area might seem like low risk but in long run it is high risk. Most of the types of expertise becomes commodity eventually. Work on leading to purpose, not merely focusing on building expertise. Even if it means just leading yourself to a purpose.

Be a Leader not mere expert !