…Reading a book on Buddha by Karen Armstrong, and one on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Over the years, I have had a habit of reading two books at a time, and that too from different genres… Before you imagine a funny picture of me holding one book in each of my hands and each of my eyes rolling in opposite side, let me clarify that I meant ‘toggling between them’…
The reason behind it is that a book is a dangerous species! It has all the power of hijacking one’s mindset, making one think entirely unidirectional (Hitler got obsessed with Friedrich Nietzsche’s writing and Jinnah with Iqbal’s thoughts, to become what they eventually did.)
So unless I deliberately want that to happen (there are times when I genuinely want a worthy idea to overpower me so that I obsess myself into a particular action), I normally read two in tandem, so that I retain enough objectivity to mull over the content and have ample chance to connect the seemingly unconnected dots.
They did it for me yesterday!
Last night, both the protagonists got disillusioned with life! While Buddha left everything at the age of 29 years (after he realized that the attachment to any worldly thing eventually gives only grief), Jobs got disillusioned at the age of 13 (when he held a magazine in hand – with a photograph of kids in Africa dying foodless – and asked the Pastor in the Church that if God knows this then why doesn’t he do something about it.)…
From there…they both embarked on a journey to seek a meaning for their lives. One paved the highest path of introspection (in spirituality) and other set the highest benchmarks of innovation (in technology)…
So different! And yet so same!
Well! Disillusionment is good…as long as it initiates us towards searching a meaning for our lives!
After all, we human beings are the only animals who live each day of our lives knowing that…we are not gonna stay forever!
One can only be defined by the choices he makes!
Over the years, I have realized that one thing that most people avoid doing is…‘taking decisions’! They would postpone, delegate, discuss, consult and do everything but would not ‘decide’ on their own!
Well! Shouldn’t be surprising…
Taking decision is a lonely job! It suddenly reminds you of how ‘standalone’ you are in a seemingly networked world. What makes it worse is that the moment you take decision, it solicits a series of unattractive to-dos and attracts a series of unsolicited consequences. And if you are the one who put his foot down then they all come on your head!
So the best decision people take is…not to take one!
Well! But they forget that the loneliness of taking a decision and the burden of bearing ‘what comes in the wake of it’ is the only way to initiate, create, contribute, and above-all…build that all-important sense of ‘Self’ that helps us evolve.
Make the decision! …because then…it’ll make you!
Dr. Sandeep Atre
“If an emotion comes and goes then its reason is outside you; but whenever an emotion stays for long then its reason lies inside you”.
Anger can be of two types! First type is the one that comes intensely and goes. It is normally directed towards events, and it is only just a side-effect that a part of it spills over to the people involved in that event. Second type is the one that stays. It boils inside at a temperature that lets you neither vent it out nor gulp it. Such anger is normally directed towards people.
But what helps it stay inside? Well! The answer is ‘you’. You provide it the energy needed for its sustenance. And you do it because such anger constantly pumps your ego and after some time, you unknowingly start enjoying the perk of the ‘sense of importance’ that comes with it. And then begins the masochistic pleasure of fueling the very fire that is burning you…
Yes! The fact is that “nothing is more pleasurable than a ‘simmering anger’ inside. It makes you feel alive, strong and an object of significance”.
So, stop blaming others for what you are going through; because it began as a chance but…has now turned into a choice.
“Any creation in life starts with a ‘moment of passion’, but then requires ‘movement with patience’”…
It is a fact of nature that while the fruit-bearing branches get all the spotlight, below the ground lay roots that nurture those branches… doing an unglamorous job, deep-down, in a muddy terrain. And through this, the nature reveals one of its biggest secrets…
Whenever you want to build anything worthwhile – be it relationship, career, or even ‘self’ – it is important to remember that passion is a catalyst. It should come at opportune times and then give way to its old-fashioned mate – patience.
It then takes up the drudgery of mashing up potatoes, singing lullabies and changing diapers for the brainchild that was born in a moment of passion…
Well! With passion, only conception happens. For creation to take place…patience has to parent it.
Whenever someone talks to me about passion in context of profession, my words are – “Passion is not what you feel or talk passionately about…it is what you are willing to work and wait for!”…
The most clichéd point I have heard from people I have ‘worked with’ and ‘worked on’ in close to one and a half decade is “I want to make my passion as my profession”. Then they mention all kinds of words like music, theatre, writing, sports, designing, and even motivating or ‘helping people’.
And in most cases, I can see the hollowness because what ‘they wish to do’ weighs far heavier than what ‘they have done or are doing’ for it.
In a similar context, many people say about me that I am fortunate to be doing what I love to do. But the fact is that one has to put in a lot of effort to ‘stay in love’. Well! Everyone feels the occasional impulse to ‘stray’ due to exhaustion, boredom, charm of something new, lack of rewards, or because a patch of grass looks greener on the other side.
But while you flirt with the idea of straying towards ‘entirely new’, you have to make a conscious effort to explore, experiment, redefine and rediscover to ‘stay in love’. And you do so because you remind yourself that profession is not just about what you would love to do. It is about what you are prepared to give your ‘one and only’ life to.
Well! If this post on career sounded as if it could very well be about relationships then you are not wrong. And let me top-up the analogy by saying that “It can be seen as the difference between infatuation and love – while former stirs you up, the latter sorts you out”
“You cannot create what you don’t get attached to…and you cannot enjoy what you get too attached to”...has been my advice to people for long, in both personal and professional domain.
Yes! Most people maximize or minimize. As a result, around us, we get to see either of the two types…
The minimizers! They live on the surface. For them, everything is a task. Be it in relationships or at work, they maintain objectivity. They don’t relate to things, they simply get connected to them. They go through the motion, without immersing themselves in the act or the purpose. They simply plug-in and plug-out! But alas! They seldom create anything…they pass through life ‘mostly successfully’, but without fulfillment or significance.
And then there are maximizers! They get deeply involved. They don’t just participate, they lose themselves in the act. They can’t ‘eject’, and thus keep going through the highs and lows. They are often heartbroken, exhausted or weighed down by their own expectations. They attach their self-worth to what they relate to, and so it keeps dwindling. But alas! They neither experience the joy of the journey nor enjoy the feel of the destination.
Well! The keyword is ‘Optimum’.
Optimizers…the ones who get attached, but never too attached…the ones who get detached, but never too detached! :)
“Stay Simply Sorted!” has often been my suggestion to management professionals, when they ask me for one.
I have always believed that the wisdom lies not in making things complex but in simplifying them to the extent that they seem almost commonsensical; specially, when it comes to managing people. Often, in the name of men-management, managers try a tad too many things than required. Even when possibly the most effective way is just to stay a “Sorted human being”…
…someone who is not perfect, and who is neither proud of this fact nor apologetic of it! One who has flaws and is aware of them, who has limitations and knows them. One who says “Oh! I didn’t understand that. Could you please explain!” or “Guys! We are stuck. Suggest a way out”! One, who is staying true to who he is and continuously trying to be a better version of it.
So, when I come across people who try to hide behind the jargon, quote buzzwords out of context, fake a baritone or resort to the inevitable namedropping, I get reminded of one of my favorite anecdotes, that of Gandhi (Ye! Now I also get a chance to flaunt) and I can’t tell you how much I wish I could tell that to them.
Gandhi once spoke before House of Commons in England and got a standing ovation from an audience which was understandably skeptic to start with. After the speech, people approached his secretary Mahadev Desai and asked how Gandhi mesmerized the audience for two hours, and that too without any notes!
Desai said “He is Gandhi! What he thinks, feels, says and does are all the same. He does not need notes. Notes are for you and me. We think one thing, feel another, say a third, and do a fourth. So we need notes to keep track.”
Thus, if you ask me for one fundamental quality that is required to be a good manager or leader, it would be… “Authenticity”!
Disclaimer Sitemap Contact Us
© Indore Management Association