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

Criticism Is A Wrapped Gift: Focus On The Content Not The Wrapping

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

Every Silver Lining Has A Dark Cloud Complimentary

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?       


A n elephant chained in its growing years continues to remain in check throughout its adult life for it thinks the chain is unbreakable. ...