Friday, December 13, 2013
An elephant chained in its growing years continues to remain in check throughout its adult life for it thinks the chain is unbreakable.
Remarkable as it may seem the strength of chain is no match for the mighty elephant yet the huge beast remains contained always. No questions asked.
This is common for us humans as well. We remain confined, limited without questioning the validity of the chain which contains us.
In the name of rules, rituals, practices, traditions, dogmas. We remain held, captive for our entire life or generations which follow through us.
This proverbial chain is an unique collection of our past experiences both good and bad, individual and collective across the humankind almost ingrained or imprinted on our DNA. It keeps us safe and away from risk, neatly cocooned in our comfort zone.
It also keeps the huge mammoth of potential dreams, unlimited creative possibilities and life changing decisions blissfully asleep unaware or on a screen saver mode for major part of our life.
There are few instances when life throws challenges which awaken the beast who then tugs at the chains wanting to break free, alas the instances are few and far away from each other to make a shattering impact on the vast majority of individuals who after a small bit of struggle go back to the snooze mode almost immediately, and sadly life continues as usual …
To make individual progress and collective impact we need to change this 'Chalta hai’ mindset.
Now is the time to examine the chains which contain us.
Now is the time to awaken the untapped potential within.
Now is the time to get out of our comfort zone.
To challenge the possibilities within!
Pick your cause, be it health, fitness, quality time with family, enhancing career by taking extra education, social causes, personal journeys.
All are relevant and make perfect sense to the awakened.
The mighty 'Elephant' within is called to the dance of Life. No strings attached…
Friday, December 6, 2013
An ancient sage slept and dreamt he was a fish, when he woke up he was enlightened, free from the worldly bondage…
Now he doesn’t know if he is a human who dreamt being a fish, or a fish dreaming a human existence…
Sleep those magical hours of our daily lives where we have no control over our actions or consciousness to understand all that happens to us. It is that part of our alive experience which is on an automatic mode. Fascinating as it is, in those hours of our time we don’t argue, fight, cry, crib, complain, worry, resent, grab, rape, kill, bribe or plot devious strategies. We simply sleep…
Every day we experience a period of 6 to 8 hours, restful, rejuvenating sleep.
It is a miraculous phase of our daily existence where the body recharges itself. Millions of cells in the body repair, reorganize, and restore themselves to take on the challenges of the daily living.
It the most honest phase of self development. The only time of the day when we only, truly, build to improve, self improve. It is one part of our time when we don’t criticize or ridicule or put ourselves down in any conscious way.
It a time when the mind dreams beautiful pictures, throws vivid imagination to keeps us engaged, gather ideas, spiritual insights and radical thinking. It also throws in a good dose of nightmares which terrifies, makes us break into cold sweats and have a palpating heart a racing pulse, with a near no recollections of the terror when we wake up.
Amusing as it may sound, all of us including the rich or powerful men and women on this planet have zero mastery on this silent phenomenon called sleep. We are at the mercy of it, with no guarantee that if we sleep tonight we will wake up the next morning. It is truly the time when the divine works in us.
Restful sleep is a great equalizer in the awake world of social, financial, political inequalities. It seldom discriminates, if you are at peace with yourself you sleep well and if you sleep well you are at peace with your world.
or restful, peaceful, rejuvenated, in communion and harmony with the universe?
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
In order to supply fresh fish caught far into the oceans, a long distance of many days from the coastlines; fishermen in Japan have water tanks built in their ships to store the catch alive. In addition they put a few sharks into the pool which keeps the fish alive, agile and tasting fresh.
Connecting this to our daily lives what are those things which keeps us alive agile and kicking?
Years ago a very close family friend of mine in a casual conversation about settling down in our respective professional and personal lives said to me ‘Deepak Only Mud Settles’. Her statement has stayed with me since then.
Only Mud Settles! This is my mantra to kick start myself when faced with complacency.
Life has a very uncanny way of throwing challenges at us, we finish school , get into college, complete graduation, go into post graduation , get a job , start climbing the career ladder, get married, have kids and cycle starts all over again for our kids. Somewhere along the line routine sets in…the mud starts to settle.
Things which gave us a high earlier now no more interest us. We kind of slow down, think of retiring early and lead a peaceful life, if there is such thing as a peaceful life…
How can each of us NOT let the proverbial mud settle?
How can the unique life experiences which we have so painstakingly gathered over the years be used to our collective advantage.
What kind of sharks we need to inject into our daily routines to keep us alive, agile and tasting fresh.
There are no set answers or a book of guidelines, each one has to keep searching, exploring, reinventing.
In the words of Richard Bach from the book ‘Illusions- Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.
“Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive it isn’t…”
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
A spiritual teacher was preaching under a tree to a mass gathering quoting various stories parables and texts from the holy books.
Amongst the crowd was a young man seeking directions to life. The teacher uttered his favorite quote “Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find…….”
The young lad was deeply moved and devoted his life for seeking the truth.
Many years later the boy returned to the same place as an Enlightened One and inquired with an old man sitting there about the teacher who preached years ago sharing how his teachings had put him on the path for seeking truth.
The old man looked at the Enlightened One and said “Please bless me and take me in your fold, I am the same man who for years has kept on repeating the same stories to over thousands of people, it didn’t change me or them, but it made a difference to you.”
Each of us speak to share, to direct, to motivate, to seek counsel, to give counsel, to reprimand, to communicate, to garner support, to be a part of the group, or to lead a group.
Every word spoken has its own weight, trajectory and purpose.
In a world where noise levels are rising, having deep profound life changing communication is a gift and an art to practice.
Especially in work place the words we speak or the tone has a lasting impact on people who look up to us. They have the power to shape high performing teams or create a poor bunch of scattered individuals. They have the power to make every action a resounding success or shatter someone’s self confidence to a million bits.
Our words have the power to put a soul on the path to enlightenment or spiral him towards misery of personal failure or life of regret.
Have we really paid careful attention to how we speak? And what impact it has on our significant world? If not, now could be the beginning...........
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
A monkey on a tree hurled a coconut at the head of a Sage.
The Sage picked it up, drank the milk, ate the flesh, made a bowl from the shell and continued on his onward journey……
Many a times in work life we get a continuous feed of ‘Criticism’ from people around us which is critical information about us, our working styles, gaps in process and ways to improve them.
The astonishing part is that this information comes as personalized attacks or statements ridiculing the way things were handled by us and the distress or perceived loss it caused.
The immediate reaction is to defend ourselves and our team and push the blame on someone else, in the bargain the information, its essence, its intelligence, its richness is completely lost to us.
Criticism is Critical information about us, our work in a clumsy wrapping.
What we do about it is entirely up to us. We may choose to accept and improvise our gaps, or simply keep it aside.
In either case we need to have the grace to thank the individual who has risked sharing the information with us. The most important aspect is to manage our body language while doing so, and show genuine gratitude to the person who has criticized us. This is easier said than done, because as individuals we have this irreparable urge to be right all the time and when someone points our failings justify it tooth and nail.
It takes a thorough professional (Sage) to use all parts of the Coconut (Criticism) hurled at him and continue his onward journey …….
Can you aspire to be that Sage?
Monday, November 11, 2013
In a story from the life and times of Gautama Buddha. A mother pleaded with the Enlightened One to bring her dead son to life. Gautama Buddha asked her to get a hand full of mustard seeds from a house where no near and dear one was dead.........
Strangely many a time in life and specifically workplace we expect to have only happy experiences or pleasant moments. Every feedback to be polite and given in a way not to hurt us.
Even if we fail at a particular deliverable the team leader/manager should be magnanimous and ignore our short comings and praise us highly for every small act we accomplish. Every employee wants a Silver Lining, however does not want the Dark Cloud.
Work life is full of challenges, with failed targets, lofty project plans and missed deadlines all leading to anxious moments, heighten stress, feeling of profound loss, helplessness and lack of energy or motivation to jump up again with fresh vigor and seize the day.
The Cloud is real so is the Silver Lining.
If you want the Silver lining the Dark Cloud is complimentary, this simple yet profound truth puts a lot of things into perspective. Every passing success or failure makes us strong to take on the new challenges in life, especially work life. This only happens if we bounce back into the ring (work place) with full dedication irrespective of the earlier outcomes.
I guess the other name for a person who stays focused on ones work through the ups and downs of work life and accepts both the cloud and silver lining is " A Professional".
The question is: Are you one of that Tribe?
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Different Strokes For Different Folks -
What Motivates Us Truly …….
What Motivates Us Truly …….
The amusing part of motivation is that it does not come in as standard best practices which can be followed across the board. It is a custom made to order activity.
As a young working professional it becomes a challenge to motivate oneself over and over again to do the same repetitive tasks with a new fervor every time.
It is a matter of perspective, self evaluation of capabilities and deep understanding of what truly motivates us to do our daily tasks with enthusiasm, passion and dedication.
I am truly touched by the following story on motivational truth ….
A mother was waking her child up in the morning, urging him to get ready for school. The child lovingly curls into his mother’s lap and says, “Mommy, I don’t want to go to school any more, the teachers are teaching the same syllabus over and over, the students tease me and call me names behind my back, and no one really appreciates me”. The mother replies “ I understand you my son, the teachers are doing their work, the children at school will tease you all the time and call you names behind your back, Yet you have to endure and go to school every day , because you are the Principal of the School, Your responsibility is to Mould Minds and Shape Futures. You may not feel appreciated now, but your daily work is a reward in itself”.
Every action however insignificant it may seem at the moment, if undertaken with full dedication is going to bring fruits in the near future. So one has to choose and keep on doing their bit in full awareness of this simple reality.
If you have a task at hand, do it to the best of your ability and then leave it to the Universe to respond.
Motivation is not an easy exercise, one has to spend time, creative effort, and above all keep rock solid faith that all right things will happen in due course.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
One day a young married HIV infected person shared with me that she was depressed and wanted to end her life as people around her thought that she was unfaithful to her spouse. The real reason we found out later was that she had undergone multiple surgical procedures in the last 4 years to conceive a baby.
Her Depression was real.
The same evening, I met a young working adult who also shared being depressed and wanted to end his life. The reason being his team lead did not like him and spoke sternly to him as he had missed meeting his target consistently for the last 3 days.
His Depression was also real.
A little paradoxical as it may sound the reasons may be diverse however the manifestation is real. Being Sad, Unhappy or Depressed especially in young working adults is very a common complaint with phraseology “I am depressed because……… Sometimes the reasons are manageable and sometimes they are not.
As a mental health expert, I can vouch that the symptoms of this modern day epidemic called Depression impacts the person suffering from it, his family members and indirectly his workplace.
Scientifically speaking a person is considered clinically depressed if he/she has lost interest in activities which were previously pleasurable like watching movies, socializing, clubbing, shopping, surfing, outdoor sports or simply watching nature etc, Other important signs are loss of appetite for food or sex, lack of self care, personal hygiene, disturbed sleep, weight loss or weight gain, persistent low mood or feeling blue, a feeling of helpless in the current life situation or hopelessness for the personal future lasting for a period of more than 3 weeks, The associated symptoms are irritability, crying spells and an increased consumption of alcohol,smoking or drugs.
Additionally in young working adults the probable early symptoms of depression could be lack of attention to details and persistent errors at work in spite of repeated reminders, constantly speaking negative about self and others, irritable, argumentative,being late for meetings, distracted during important conversations , complaining of exhaustion all the time. These take a toll on the young person’s morale, self-esteem, performance rating and ultimately his career progress.
The amazing part about this psychological problem in the context of work place is it can be corrected by simply getting back your earlier rhythm ie a regular schedule to eating, sleeping and exercising. By sharing emotional concerns or talking with significant people in one’s life, talking to a senior at work, or a counselor, a spiritual guru or an elder also does wonders in a few cases if complicated by other illness or life event meeting a health expert for therapy will be prudent.
An Emotionally Healthy Life is a gift of a responsible individual to himself.
The Grass Is Green On The Other Side- Are We Cows!
I felt kind of strange when I overheard this phrase at an airport where a fellow passenger was giving this advice to someone on the phone that it was better to move on to another job as they were offering a better pay and other benefits like good work life balance.
It set me thinking, why we crave for a better condition, better pay, better life style, less stress and more free time to spend with our significant people. Do we really want that or are we doing this because there are herds of people speaking the same, wishing the same, complaining the same, not doing enough to change their present.
Grass (here it refers to work) is of the same color everywhere on this planet (Corporate World), everywhere we would have targets to meet, perform better then the last time , cost less , save more , bring in efficiency.
A Cow in the Indian context is a life saver, because it gives milk and sustains a family. A working individual to certain extent behaves in a similar way, meek, humble and obeying what is told to do. Once the pasture dries up, he/she moves on to a different location and continues grass eating behavior only this time the pasture is different.
But wait a minute if we ruminate a bit more (a Cow behavior) and think we are Not Cows, a paradigm shift is bound to occur, instead of seeing our work place as patch of green grass, the canvas opens up to imagination, to limitless opportunities, making Work/Life an enjoyable experience every minute of the day.
One may like it or not, no two minutes over lap each other, every minute has to be lived fully before the next minute arrives though there is full possibility that we are completely unaware of the minutes passing by. All of us are gifted with the same time irrespective of how we spend it, with whom we spend it and for what activity we spend it. Happiness/Unhappiness thus derived is an internal business. Work or Life are not 2 ends of a spectrum but are in continuum like a zero forever.
The choice is ours, to run behind a greener patch of grass or nothing which paradoxically is a canvas full of opportunities to create……
A n elephant chained in its growing years continues to remain in check throughout its adult life for it thinks the chain is unbreakable. ...
A monkey on a tree hurled a coconut at the head of a Sage. The Sage picked it up, drank the milk, ate the flesh, made a bowl from the sh...
One day a young married HIV infected person shared with me that she was depressed and wanted to end her life as people around her thought ...
I n order to supply fresh fish caught far into the oceans, a long distance of many days from the coastlines; fishermen in Japan have w...