December 25, 2007

Have a Complete Holiday

I am currently holidaying with family in the tea estates on some beautiful hills. Holidaying during this time of the year is very peaceful since a large part of the world is holidaying. Almost everyone is away from work. So there are no phone calls, no pending work and no stress. It seems like a complete holiday.

My next post will come after the holidays. My best wishes for happy holidays to all my readers.

December 23, 2007

Happiness is Your Natural State of Being

You are happy when you are nothing else. To be happy, stop trying to be happy, and start trying to be nothing else.

Here I am not talking about temporary phases of happiness that come from specific achievements or events, such as winning an important deal, or a close friend’s marriage. These phases do not last very long since we have a tendency to quickly shift our focus to what we have not achieved, and events that have not happened.

I am talking about happiness as a state of mind that makes you feel at peace and calm inside. You feel positive and have the inner confidence to meet any challenges that life throws at you. You live in the present while continuously creating a more powerful future.

This happy state of mind is your natural way of being. This is how you were born. You can be happy, if you can stop being stressed, worried or negative. Meditate daily for ten minutes to identify thoughts that create stress, worry or negativity. Consciously ignore these thoughts. They will keep coming back. Keep ignoring them.

December 21, 2007

Secret of Leading a Great Life

Choose a big problem, stand up for a cause, or set high goals for yourself and dedicate yourself to them.

Most of us avoid problems, set achievable goals, and are fence-sitters for the causes that affect us. This may help us lead a good life, but it cannot make us feel great.

To lead a great life you need to pick up a big problem, set impossible goals for yourself, stand up for a difficult cause, and work towards achieving them. The bigger the problem you choose, the more difficult the cause you stand up for, or the more impossible the goals you set yourself, the greater would be your life. Look at everyone who you think is leading a great life and notice the problems, causes or goals that they have dedicated themselves to. Mahatma Gandhi picked up the problem of India's independence. Martin Luther King picked up the cause of racial discrimination, and Alexander set himself the goal of conquering the world.

It is your life. Be satisfied with a good life, or choose to lead a great life.

December 18, 2007

Come Out Of Your Comfort Zone

For any significant achievements in life, you need to come out of your comfort zone and embrace change.

Our comfort zone is the environment that we are familiar with. Irrespective of how good or bad it is, we have a natural tendency to stick to our familiar environment, and resist change. Familiarity makes the environment seem predictable. In a predictable environment you can prepare for the worst and feel in control. A change in environment makes us feel helpless, as we do not know what to expect.

This discomfort is a natural feeling and it cannot be wished away. So whenever you plan to achieve something you need to consciously accept being uncomfortable during the initial phases. Instead of struggling with your discomfort you need to focus your energies on your achievements and in getting comfortable in the new environment.

Make Your Dream-Map. And Believe In It.

Normally our dreams are lost in the thousands of thoughts that pass through our mind everyday. Creating a Dream-Map, makes your goals clear to your mind and your belief in the same puts your being in action for achieving it.

Your Dream-Map is your list of top 5 dreams (or less, or more) that you want to achieve over the next few months or years. You do not have to put in too many details; however do try to be as specific as possible. Put up your Dream-Map at a place where you can see it from time to time. It is natural for some items on the list to change with time. However, it would be a challenge to achieve anything if you find yourself changing your Dream-Map frequently.

The Dream-Map would provide focus to your mind. As long as you regularly review the Dream-Map, this would happen without any conscious efforts. Similarly, if you strongly believe in your dreams, then your each decision and each move would be favorable to achieving your dreams. This is because decisions are always based on gut feel, which, in turn, is strongly influenced by what you believe.

December 17, 2007

Get Your Good Luck Charm

Next time you go for a walk, find a small round pebble that you can carry around with you always.

This pebble will be your good luck charm. It would bring you good luck as long as you carry it with you. In good times it would remind you to be grateful for your good luck. During bad times it will keep you aware that things could have been much worse, if not for your good luck.

The only condition is that you have to have complete faith in your good luck charm. If you doubt the power of your little pebble, it cannot work as your good luck charm.

Don't believe me?......Try it out. Get your good luck charm.

December 15, 2007

Play to Win

Some people lose. Some win. Rest live in mediocrity.

We are careful in whatever we do. We tread cautiously to ensure nothing goes wrong. Most of us succeed in not losing. And we live happily ever after in mediocrity.

Reducing caution increases your chances of losing. But you have no other option. You cannot win a football game by just defending your goal. You can, at best, stop the other side from scoring, and hence not lose. If you want to win, you need to play to win. You need to weaken your defence in order to improve your offence and score goals.

Reduce caution and take risks. Play to win instead of playing to not lose.

Some Yet-To-Be-Fulfilled Dreams

I requested a few people to share their 'yet to be fulfilled' dreams. Here are some of the responses.

Tali: Can i ever! It seems like in everything I do there's an incompleteness, waiting to be completed. My latest dream is to see my business, The Pinup Shop, grow into a world-wide success! Wish me luck...

Midwest: Hmm, that's a good question..We do have a lot of dreams and for me it's a bit challenging now to look for one that I really want to be fulfilled. But let's see..I think one of the dreams that is yet to be fulfilled is having a better life, a happy family and being less worried about life's little drawbacks..
MarkDykeman: I dream of writing a book and having it become a best seller.

elf_fu: I would love to sell my first piece of art. Not for the money, surprisingly. It's the thought that something I have made moved someone enough to know that they HAD to own it, to have it. That would be an amazing thing to happen.

powered by Peopleized!

December 14, 2007

Stop Imagining Things

Live in the present. Imagining negative events infects your feelings and moods.

Our brain does not distinguish between real and imagined events. It uses the same mechanism to manage both real as well as imagined events. Thus, they have similar effect on our mind and body. If this seems difficult to believe, try this exercise. Think of a very close friend who you have not met recently. Close your eyes and imagine meeting your friend. Both of you are spending time together and doing what you like best in each other's company. Imagine this scenario, in full details, for a few minutes. Most of you would experience similar feelings as you are likely to feel in actually meeting that friend. Similarly, if you imagine something unpleasant, it generates associated negative feeling.

Whenever you are doing something, your brain is busy imagining all kind of outcomes. Imagining negative outcomes is likely to generate fear of failure. On the other hand imagining positive outcomes is likely to make you overlook actual risks. The best strategy is to focus your mind and efforts on the work that you are doing, without imagining outcomes.

Imagining positive outcomes occasionally is okay, since it motivates you. However, imagining negative outcomes should be avoided at all costs.

December 13, 2007

Make a Decision Today

Often you do not have what you want simply because you have not yet made a decision to get it.

Make a decision today, and be very specific. e.g. "I have decided that I will not smoke any more, no matter what". Or, I have decided to double my income in one year, no matter what. Or, I have decided I would spend at least 3 hrs daily with my family, no matter what.

Make a firm decision and speak it out loud to yourself with conviction and sincerity. Speaking it out loud forces you to overcome your internal resistance and commit yourself to the decision. It forces you to come out of your comfort zone and actually make the efforts to get what you want to have.

Treat your decision with respect. Repeat it to yourself regularly. Tell others about your decision. Print it out and pin it up where you can see it often. Do what is required to keep your decision fresh and alive in your mind. This is the first step to making your dreams come true.

December 12, 2007

Fear of Failure is a Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Are you afraid you will fail?... Yes?... You will fail.

Fear of failure puts you in a negative loop that generates self doubt and reduces your confidence and belief in success. This in turn reduces your commitment and efforts, leading to actual failure.

Very often the reduction in your own commitment and efforts are the primary reasons that cause you to fail.

Ref: Strong Belief is the Key to Success

December 10, 2007

Practice Using Your Subconscious Mind

Using your subconscious mind can substantially increase your productivity and your multitasking abilities.

We have two minds, the Conscious and the Subconscious. The conscious mind acts within our awareness. It works under instructions and/or approval from ‘Self’. The subconscious mind acts in the background. We become aware of its activities, if at all, only after the activity has been executed, hence it is spontaneous and fast. Our 'Self' does not interfere with the actions of the subconscious mind. There is no self doubt, no dilly dallying, and no instruction or approval delay.

We use our conscious mind for activities that we are not used to. With practice and experience, the sub-conscious mind can take over most activities. For a new driver, stopping the car requires him to consciously step on the brake pedal, look into the rear-view mirror and steer the car to a side. An experienced driver can stop the car, without consciously stepping on the pedal. His subconscious mind would take care of all the necessary steps. Similarly, if a writer is experienced at typing, his conscious mind can concentrate on the article, while the subconscious mind can do the typing.

You can increase your productivity and multitasking abilities dramatically by letting your subconscious mind take care of more and more activities. In addition to practice, it would also require conscious efforts to develop the confidence of leaving things to your subconscious mind.

December 9, 2007

Knowledge, Wisdom and Skills

Knowledge helps you understand. Wisdom helps you decide. Skills help you execute.

Knowledge is your ability to analyze and understand all aspects of any situation. It helps you identify the possible alternatives with their associated risks and benefits. Knowledge is your repository of information and learning. Knowledge comes from conscious mind and is based on logic. Knowledge is limited to your memory. What is forgotten is not known.

Wisdom is your ability to choose an alternative from possible alternatives. Wisdom comes from subconscious learning and is built based on all your experiences since birth and your natural instincts that came with birth. Wisdom is not based on logic, and is not limited by memory. It is not isolated by events or happenings. It comes from a consolidated subconscious experience of life and the natural instincts for survival.

Skill is your ability to execute and it comes from practice. Once your knowledge has identified the possible alternatives, and your wisdom has chosen one of the alternatives. Your skills help you move forward on the alternative.

December 7, 2007

Life is Like a Game of Cards

You need to play at your best, irrespective of the cards that got dealt to you.

The outcome of the game depends on the cards that got dealt to you, and the way you play your cards. It also depends on the cards that got dealt to others, and the way they play their cards.

You cannot do anything about the cards that got dealt to you or to others. You also cannot do anything about the way others play their cards. The only thing in your control is how you play your cards.

Playing your cards well is necessary if you want a positive outcome. But it is not a guarantee since others may be playing better. However, not playing your cards well almost guarantees a negative outcome, because at least some of the others would be playing their cards well.

December 6, 2007

Understanding Stock Market Behaviour

[Prior Reading: The Concept of Groups]

The Stock Market is a perfect representation of group behaviour.

Millions of individuals (and Financial Institutions – run by individuals) participate in the buying and selling of stocks. Each individual takes a buy, sell or hold decision for each security based on his/her perception of the expected price movement. The actual price movement, in turn, depends on the sum total of the buy, sell, or hold decision taken by each individual. In a cyclic process the individual decisions are influenced by price movements, and the price movements are influenced by individual decisions.

Despite the Stock Market behaviour being a reflection of the consolidated individual behaviours, no individual or entity is able to consistently and correctly predict the price movement. People form perceptions on the price movement with all kind of analysis, but no one can be sure. There are heavy weight opinion leaders in the industry, e.g. large fund managers, historically successful investors, etc. They can influence the perception and behaviour of a large number of investors. Yet they are not able to predict or influence the actual price movement.

Sometimes positive sentiments create a self reinforcing cycle, often termed as the Bull Market. The prices of stocks keep on rising despite no major fundamental change. The Stock Market moves up. The investors feel that it would move up further, and hence they are willing to trade at higher prices. This in turn, further pushes up the stock market. The reverse is termed as the Bear Market, when the prices start falling without any fundamental change. This happens when the negative sentiments get triggered. The trigger may be something completely unrelated.

Despite all expertise, analysis and experience, the Stock Market behaves like an independent entity with a life of its own. Each and every individual influences the behaviour of the Stock Market, yet no single individual can understand, control or predict its behaviour.

December 5, 2007

Group Character is Unique

[Prior Reading: The Concept of Groups]
Individuals in a group are influenced by their perception of the group character. The sum total of this influenced individual behaviour gives the group its character.

Individuals rarely behave as themselves in a group. In most cases they try to fit in with the group and/or try to impress the group. They do this based on their perception of the character of the group. Very often, more than one groups are dominant on an individual, hence his (her) behaviour is simultaneously influenced by multiple groups. The character of the group is sum total of the character being demonstrated by each member in the group.

The perception of the character of the group, that influences individual behaviour, normally arises from the actions of a very small number of individuals. It spreads very quickly through the group as more and more individuals perceive that behaviour as the group behaviour. Sometimes a small action of just one individual is enough to spread a fire across the entire group.

In the initial stages of a football match, the "Lawyer Group" and the "Spectators Group" is dominant on a lawyer in the stadium. At the same time, the "Celebrity Group" and the "Spectators Group" is dominant on a film-star in the same stadium. Both of them are likely to be cheering their teams, as expected from spectators. The lawyer may be doing it in a subtle manner that befits a lawyer. And the film-star may be doing it in a flashy and dramatic way as expected from celebrities. However, as the match becomes exciting, and draws towards a nail biting finish, the "Spectators Group" becomes more dominant on both the lawyer and the film-star. They now behave very similar in the way the cheer and shout in support of their teams. As the match is only 5 minutes from finish some spectators get very excited and stand on their seat, within moments almost the entire stadium, including the lawyer and the film-star are standing and shouting excitedly at the supporters of the other side. Outside the group, the lawyer or the film-star could not have imagined being the way they were during the last 5 minutes of the match.

December 3, 2007

The Concept of Groups

Understanding the concept of groups is required to be able to appreciate the insights on group behaviour that I would be posting over the next few days. The insights on group behaviour are important because our behaviour is almost always masked by the perceived group behaviour.

Groups are a set of people with some common characteristics. A group can be as broad as "All Men on earth" or it may be much smaller such as "The Class of 1997, Harvard". Groups may be temporary, e.g "people on Times Square on 31st Dec 1999". Or they may be permanent, "All women born in the year 1985". All of us are part of many groups. We may be part of a group by choice (e.g friend circle, work group, club); by birth (religion, ethnic group); by situation (e.g. At Times Square on 31st Dec 1999); by force (e.g. passengers on board a hijacked flight); or by many other criteria.

Some groups are almost always dominant on us, e.g. family. Other groups are dominant for a brief period, e.g. the diners in a restaurant. At any given time our behaviour is heavily influenced by the groups that are dominant on us at that time. The behaviour of the group, in turn, is the sum total of the actions of each individual in the group. This is a self reinforcing cycle. On one hand it can lead a group to lay down their lives for a cause; and on the other, it can lead to violent mob behaviour that can shame mankind.

December 2, 2007

Be Confident – Support your Gut Feel

Confidence is the faith and respect that you have for your gut feel.

You make hundreds of conscious or subconscious choices every day. Many of these choices result from decisions. As discussed in an earlier post, a decision is choosing an alternative from logically similar alternatives, based on your gut feel. Each alternative is equally good or bad, intelligent or stupid, safe or risky.

You appear and feel confident when you support your gut feel and focus fully towards achieving the objective of your decisions. Your focus and commitment helps you achieve the objective, which in turn increase your faith in your gut feel, and hence increases your confidence. This is a positive confidence building cycle.

When you do not support your gut feel. You start doubting your decisions from the very beginning and attempt your objectives with fear, apprehension and concern. Your lack of support for your decisions often leads to failure which further reduces your faith in your gut feel, and hence decreases the confidence. This is a negative confidence destroying cycle.

To increase your confidence, start supporting your gut feel. Your gut feel cannot be wrong because the outcome of your decision depends more on the support and respect that you have for your decision, and less on the decision itself.

December 1, 2007

Honesty is Not Always the Best Policy

Honest intentions are more important than honesty itself.

Here I am equating honesty with telling the truth. Often in life we are faced with situations, mostly with our loved ones, where telling the truth does not seem to be the best thing. In such situations, check your intentions. If your intentions are honest, then go ahead and do what seems right to you, even if it requires you to be dishonest, i.e. tall a lie.

I recently met someone whose life got saved because by someone who lied about his identity to a mob during some riots. Had the mob realised the truth, both of them would have been killed. This someone, who saved his life, told a lie, put his own life at risk, and saved his life.

November 29, 2007

Respect Your Decisions

Respect for your own decisions is the foundation of your confidence.

Your decision is the choice you make when faced with alternatives that have logically similar risks and benefits. Decisions are always based on gut feel. When you make a decision you choose an alternative together with its benefits as well as risks.

However, once the decision is made, many of you start getting uncomfortable with the risks associated with your own choice. You also start regretting the benefits (of other alternatives) that you gave up as a result of your decision. This is normal and expected since the alternatives were logically similar in risks and benefits. This leads to post decision dissonance and the associated discomfort and lack of confidence.

You need to respect your decision once you have chosen the alternative and avoid thinking about the other alternatives. Don't forget that the other alternatives had their own risks, as evaluted by you before taking the decision.

Have faith in your gut feel and respect your own decisions. Don't look back once the decision is made. This simple practice will dramatically improve your confidence and effectiveness.

November 28, 2007

Decisions Are Always Based On Gut-Feel

Decisions can never be made logically. Logic can, at best, help you identify the obvious choice.

When any alternative in decision making seems logically better than the others, the choice is obvious. E.g. the alternative ways of going up to the 15th floor of a building is to take the elevator or the stairs. Taking the elevator definitely seems to have more logic, hence the choice is obvious and no decision is required.

Real decision making is required when the alternatives are logically similar. Consider that you are getting late for your flight, and there are two routes that you can take to the airport. Route A is much longer but is likely to have less traffic, whereas Route B is shorter but is likely to have much more traffic. Both routes have their positives and negatives. Whichever route you choose, there is a risk of missing the flight, either due to distance, or due to traffic. It is not possible to make a logical decision on the routes as both routes seem equally risky.

Clearly, decision making is required only when all alternatives have logically equal risk and/or benefit. Hence you always have to rely on your Gut Feel to make the decisions.

November 27, 2007

Notice Your Own Progress

Progress is normally invisible to self but visible to others.

Did you ever realise that you have grown up from an infant who could not even control his/her hand movements to what you are today? The daily incremental progress of most things in life is negligible. We as humans are highly adaptable, and our ability to adjust to the daily progress is much more than the change itself.

The change is your life is very visible to those who observe you at significant intervals. E.g. someone who saw you as an infant and then saw you as a toddler a year later would really notice your progress.

To really evaluate the progress you are making. Take a pause and look back at how things were a year back (or more, or less, depending on which area of life you are evaluating). You will be surprised at the amount of progress you have made in most areas of your life. And if you ask around, you will be even more surprised at how many people are already aware of your progress, which so far, was invisible to you.

November 25, 2007

Obvious way to make your dreams come true

Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

What is the most important step in making any of your dream come true? The first step.
What is the second most important step in making any of your dream come true? The second step.

and so on...

Taking the first step is very difficult since it forces you to come out of your comfort zone, shake out your inertia, open yourself to risk of failure, expose yourself, deal with the uncertainty around future steps, etc. Many of your dreams have not come true simply because you have not yet taken the first step towards it. If you take the first step, it would become possible to take the next step, and the next...

Make your dreams come true. Take the first step.

November 24, 2007

Make space for Conflicts

Conflicts are not only inevitable, they are necessary.

As long as there are people, there would be different point of views. It is important to realize that each point of view is correct from its own perspective. I am sure you would have noticed that the other person, in the conflict, is as convinced about his point of view as you are about yours.

Make space for conflicts. Accept them as an inevitable part of life. In a conflict, try to see the other person's point of view, and also welcome the person to see your point of view. Even if you are not able to see the other point of view, accept it to be as true as yours. It may be because the other perspective is not visible to you. Conflicts are necessary, because they force you to look at other perspectives.

The only way to avoid conflict is to live in isolation.

Your Point of View is Yours

Your point of view is your version of truth, which is one of the many acceptable perceptions of reality. Reality is unknown.

If your point of view is different from someone else's point of view, you may choose to argue in favour of your point of view. Or, you can try and understand each other's point of view. Argument will only lead to disagreement because each point of view is correct from its own perspective. If you understand each other's point of view, both of you will end up with a much richer common point of view. Even if you are not able to see each other's point of view, then simply accept the other point of view to be as valid as your own,and move ahead.

The story of "6 Blind Men and the Elephant" illustrates this beautifully.
6 blind men go to a zoo to form an idea of the elephant
One touched the tail and found it similar to a Rope
Second touched the leg and found it similar to a Tree
Third touched the side and found it similar to a Wall
Fourth touched the ear and found it similar to a Fan
Fifth touched the tusk and found it similar to a Spear
Sixth touched the trunk and found it similar to a Snake
The six blind men argued endlessly to support their own point of view but could not reach any conclusion on what an elephant is like

Can you imagine the common point of view that would have emerged if the 6 blind men decided to understand and/or accept each other's point of view?

Allow Yourself to Get Cheated

Stop protecting yourself from family, friends or colleagues.

We spend a lot of energy in protecting ourselves from getting cheated financially or emotionally. We are normally on our guard, and our alert mind is tuned to look out for anything fishy. We feel deep discomfort in the feeling of being cheated.

Most people in your life are not going to cheat you. A few may cheat you slightly. And very rarely will someone cheat you in any significant way. If you are open to being cheated slightly, and are willing to take the risk of being cheated significantly sometime, you can save a lot of energy, be more at peace, and have much better relationships. It’s not worth being careful all the time.

November 23, 2007

What is most precious?

If you were to die tomorrow, which of the following would you like to have at your bedside?

1. Your Bank Statement (s)
2. Your Spouse
3. Your Children
4. Your Car Keys
5. Your Parents
6. Your Laptop
7. Your Friends
8. Your Golf Clubs
9. Your Life Insurance papers
10. Your Driving License

Respect yourself. Respect your words.

If you do not honour your words, no one else would.

Honour your words means treating what you say with respect and putting in sincere effort to achieve what you say. Being a leader would force you to think ahead and create a future. You may create a future that looks difficult. You may make promises that you don't know how to keep. And you may fail. However failure doesn't matter, as long as your intentions were honest and your efforts were sincere.

If you do not honour your words, no one else would. This is probably the most important criteria of being a leader.

Leadership is a way of being

Anyone can choose Leadership as the way of being.

Leaders need not be winners. Winning or losing is the outcome of an attempt. Leaders have higher chance of winning, however winning or losing does not define the leader. Even if India had not gained independence, Gandhi would still have been one of the greatest leaders in history.

Leaders are not always right. There have been some great leaders in history, who were a curse on mankind. They led their followers into killing and looting. They led their followers to even their own deaths.

Leadership is neither a title nor an award. Leadership is a way of being. Leaders are people who honour their word. Who are committed to their cause. Who can generate passion in others for the cause. Who exude trust and confidence through their actions. It is people like these who are given the privilege of being leaders.

November 22, 2007

Impossible is Impossible

The very existance of this universe is so impossible, that nothing is impossible.

Look around you - can you see the birds, the trees, people, water, sky
Read up on astrology - are you aware of the stars, the planets, the galaxies, the milky ways

If all this is possible, then how can anything be impossible?

Cocktail of Emotions

Humans are a confused concoction of mixed emotions

When the going is good, and you are achieving one success after another, you become very positive about the future. Sky is the limit, and the goals that you set are high. With each achievement and success, your goals become even higher. Your achievements always fall short of the goals. You try harder, achieve more and push your goals even higher. This cycle continues till you either burn out or give up. You feel powerful and confident due to all your successes, but you feel frustrated and unsuccessful as you are not able to achieve your high goals.

When things are not so good, and you have not met with much success, you feel low and disappointed. Your expectations are low and you set very low goals for yourself, always fearing the worst. Your achievements are almost always better than the worst possible. And hence there is always a feeling of relief and happiness at each achievement. You do not feel powerful or confident due to lack of major successes, but you feel happy and successful as you are able to achieve all your low goals.

Tired by doing Nothing

We often tire ourselves out through continuous flow of useless thoughts.

Sit comfortably in a quiet place with your eyes closed. Notice the thoughts that are flowing past in your mind. Do not try to block or alter anything. Just sit quietly and observe your thoughts like a third person. Avoid getting judgemental about what you are thinking. Just let the thoughts flow. Do it for as long as you feel comfortable - 2, 5 or even 10 minutes.

While a few of you will notice a peaceful calm mind, the majority would notice completely useless thoughts, memories, concerns, opinions randomly floating through the mind.

Are you surprised at why you feel so exhausted all the time?

Being a Leader is a Privilege

You can be a leader only when others grant you this privilege.

You are a leader when there are people who;
trust you,
get inspired by you,
feel positive in your presence,
have faith in what you are saying, and
are willing to take the risk of accepting your opinions and views

You can, at best, strive to have these qualities. You will become a leader only when others perceive these qualities in you.

November 21, 2007

Feeling Successful

A true and lasting feeling of being successful can only come from acknowledging and respecting your achievements.

However, you can easily fool yourself in feeling successful by simply comparing yourself to less successful people with similar background as yours.

Similarly, you can easily fool yourself in feeling unsuccessful by simply comparing yourself to more successful people with similar background as yours.

Most people fool themselves into feeling unsuccessful.

Success cannot make you feel Successful

Feeling Successful is an emotion that is not really related to Success.

Consider that everyone in this world is running a race. Everyone is somewhere in the race. The beggars and homeless are somewhere towards the end, whereas the likes of Bill Gates and Ophra Winfrey are somewhere towards the front. You are also somewhere in the race, running and trying to move ahead of those in front of you.

Also, consider that everyone is suffering from myopia. Therefore, no matter where you are in the race, you can only see 5 people ahead of you and 5 people behind you. A small shop owner somewhere in the line can only see and compare with similar 5 people ahead, and 5 people behind. This shop owner cannot even see Bill Gates or Ophra Winfrey. If the shop owner moves ahead, he would have a different set of 5 people ahead and 5 people behind to compare with. Similarly, a multi-millionaire somewhere in the race can see and compare himself only with 5 similar multi-millionaires ahead and 5 behind.

People continuously move ahead or behind in the race. Their position keeps changing with successes and failures in their own lives and in the lives of others. However, no matter where they are, their position remains the same from their own perspective. There are always 5 more successful people ahead, and 5 less successful people behind.

Satisfaction is in your Imagination

Extrapolating further from Luck is Relative Part 1 & 2

Satisfaction felt from any event does not depend on the actual event at all. It depends solely on how the actual event was, as compared to the expected event. Expectation is often a result of imagination. Thus,

Your satisfaction from any event depends on the actual event, only as compared to your imagined event

You feel happy if you are able to catch a flight that you expected to miss. (Ref. Are you Happy when you should be Sad?) Catching the flight has nothing to do with your happiness. You wouldn't have given it a second thought if you had reached the airport comfortably before time.

You feel sad if you have to travel in economy section when you expected to travel in Business Section. (Ref. Are you Sad when you should be happy) You wouldn't have thought twice about travelling in the economy section, had the attendant not created the expectation of your getting upgraded to the Business Section.

The same event can make you feel satisfied or dissatisfied based on what you were expecting.

November 20, 2007

How to be Successful?

To be Successful, you need to acknowledge and respect your achievements.

Success is the achievement of something consciously attempted.

There are many things that we attempt in life, like, trying to control our hand movements as an infant. Each achievement, however big or small is success. At any point in life, there are many things that we have achieved (Successful), and there are many things that we have not achieved (Unsuccessful).

Most of us normally feel unsuccessful, since we are tuned to focus only on what we have not achieved (Do Achievements make you Happy?). To us Success is a moving target, because with each achievement our focus shifts to the next desired achievement.

Success is relative. We feel someone else is successful if he/she has achieved what we have not achieved. However that someone else also feels unsuccessful, since there are things that he has not achieved, and others have achieved.

Success is a feeling, emotion or a state of mind, similar to happiness. You can feel successful at any point in life if you are willing to acknowledge what you have achieved. All of us have made significant achievements in life. We simply refuse to acknowledge them.

Do Achievements make you Happy?

Most for us are tuned to ignore whatever we have achieved and to feel unhappy about whatever we have not achieved.

In the last stage of Miss Universe beauty pageant there are three finalists left on stage. The judges announce the name of the Second Runner-up. Now there are two finalists left, one of them would be crowned Miss Universe. The judges announce the name of the First Runner-up. Now there is only one finalist remaining, and she is crowned Miss Universe.

While walking away from the stage should the First Runner-up feel Happy or Sad?

Surprisingly most people tell me that she should be feeling sad at losing the crown. But shouldn't she be feeling happy for being the second most beautiful woman in the Universe?

Luck is Relative - Part 2

Click here to read Luck is Relative - Part 1

Are you sad when you should be happy?

Consider that while checking in for your flight, you are informed that due to some system malfunction they may upgrade you to Business Class, at no extra cost. You are also given access to the Luxurious Business Lounge while waiting for your flight.

When boarding, you are ready to walk into the business section, when the attendant directs you to your economy section seat, informing you that the malfunction has been corrected. That's lousy luck. You could have been sitting in the business class. How unlucky.

Think again...

You got to wait for your flight in the luxurious business lounge instead of the common area. Everything else remained the same --- and you think you are unlucky?

November 19, 2007

The Truth about Truth

Truth is one of the many acceptable perceptions of Reality. Truth is often mistaken as Reality. Reality is unknown.

There was a time when everyone believed that the Earth is round, and the Sun and the Moon go around the Earth. This Truth was the perception of reality at that time. Only a madman could say that the Earth is round and it rotates like a top and goes around the sun. It took many great thinkers and scientists many years to change the perception and make everyone believe that the Earth is round and goes around the Sun. This is the Truth today. However this is not Reality. We have no idea what reality is.

For those who are not convinced, allow me to offer another perspective of Reality - “The Earth is stationary and is at the centre of the Universe. Everything else, including the Sun, the moon, all stars, galaxies etc. go around the Earth.” I challenge you to prove that my statement is not true.

Power to Create...

Could the prehistoric human ever foresee that their persistent efforts at improving life, by continuously improving their hunting stones, would one day create New York !!!

Even without being consciously aware, each one of us plays an important role in the future that is getting created. I welcome everyone to create a future that empowers humanity.

Luck is Relative - Part 1

Are you Happy when you should be Sad?

Consider that your cab breaks down on the way to the airport. You have to catch an important international flight in 30 minutes. You are truly stuck as no replacement cab can reach you before 2 hours. Walking down to the airport (1 KM away) seems to be the only option. So you try and make it on foot, lugging your suitcase and hand baggage. You try your best, but by the time you reach the airport, it is already 10 minutes late. Feeling very upset and tired, you make your way to the airlines authorities to find out about the next available flight that day, if any.

And voila, they tell you that your flight was delayed due to some technical snag, and you still have 15 mins to check in, so rush.... You move fast, all tiredness disappears, you complete the check in formalities, reach the aircraft and sink in your seat, tired but happy, thanking your lucky stars.

Lucky and happy, aren't you? Your good luck saved your day.

Think again.

Your cab broke down, you had to lug your suitcase for a KM and your flight got delayed --- and you still think you are lucky?

Click here to read Luck is Relative - Part 2

November 16, 2007

Design the Future you live into

At each moment in life, there is a PAST (that was) and there is a FUTURE (that can be). You are free to choose your being in PRESENT based on the past (that was), or the future (that can be).

Your being in Present based on the Past (that was), will ensure that your Future would be a continuation of the Past.

Your being in Present based on the Future (that can be), will ensure that your Future would be as designed by you, unconstrained by the Past.

November 15, 2007

Surviving Tough Times

"Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do!"

This is a book authored by Robert Schuller. I haven't read the book, but this title is what keeps me going whenever I am passing through rough patches in my life.

November 8, 2007

What is the Best Gift?

Listening Sincerely.

Listening sincerely is the best gift you can give anyone.... your spouse, kids, parents, family, boss, colleagues, friends etc.

How to improve Communication dramatically?

Stop Speaking. Start Listening.

Don't just 'lend an ear'. Try to really understand what the other person is saying. Try to see the other person's point of view. Speak only after the other person has been quite for at least 10 seconds.

Strong Belief is the Key to Success

Only if you truly believe that you can learn cycling, will you get up after each fall and persist till you are able to cycle...

November 6, 2007

Why Kids Learn Faster...

Simply because Kids look at entry barriers as an interesting challenge....whereas, grownups look at them as pain.

So next time something appears difficult, check your interest levels.

Entry Barriers to Anything New

For most of us "lack of habit" is the biggest entry barrier to adoption of anything new. However, the 'habit' can only be formed by adoption and practice. Clearly there is no alternative but to go through the pain of crossing the entry barrier.

Recall the effort required to learning cycling, swimming, driving, typing.... how much effort does it take now?

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