MindYourBusyNess: December 2009

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War or peace?



Army
is meant for war. It is designed for that purpose. It is a very costly affair because here you don’t want to compromise on any account. You want the best people working with best resources and maintain their best position in worst conditions and motivated to commit the highest sacrifice in the interest of their nation.

The big question before any Head of Nation and his team is ‘how much of the total available resources are to be allocated for this purpose?’ According to their circumstances and understanding, mostly people settle between 4 to 10 % of GDP as an answer to this question. This expenditure otherwise might have been utilized on development /progress of the nation.

We all are peace-loving souls (most of us claims so).Therefore we don’t want wars. (These are thrust upon us as the last painful choice).War is an extraordinary event for any nation and generally it doesn’t last very long in comparison to peaceful living tenure.

So what does army do in the rest of times-when there is no war? Well, the answer is, it prepares for war and the process is known as ‘training’. Training for war means -‘working in simulated conditions of war’. So the soldier always lives his/her life ‘as if there is war-it may be real or simulated. The event of war does not make a material difference to a soldier. In peacetime, some governments utilize their armies in policing or production role.

Regardless of absolute reality we all cherish a strong desire that ‘our army should be the best’. It is like desire by every mother that her son/daughter should be the best in all circumstances. Since it is not possible to compete with everyone else with limited resources in hand, we create an image of our army through propaganda and deception plans (the two big tools used by Adolf Hitler during World War II) and project it to be the best. This image is not real, but for others, sometimes more effective than real itself. It is like an image created by media and business associates of a celebrity, which is not the absolute reality for that person himself/herself. But works for all others, and generate business and money.
The other critical question a nation faces often in its lifetime is, ‘continue to live with problems with other nations or declare a war for one time permanent solution to the problems? Going to war is not an easy solution. It costs lives and money. The after effects are devastating. War means colossal loss to production and development.
Still wars are declared (and sometime undeclared or cold wars are fought with low intensity.)The worst is fear of invisible enemy like terrorism where the threat is common to all nations.

The similar analogy can be found in the life of a healthy person and peaceful citizen. We work in the direction of progress and development (of self in particular and society in general) and also build relationship. We also develop capability to fight others in ourselves and use a portion of energies for this purpose depending upon our mental makeup. Sometimes triggered by some event, provocation or compulsion we decide to fight with some (individual or group) of our friends/acquaintances/relatives.

The critical questions to be analyzed by any individual remain the same-

How much energy to be spent on developing capability to fight others?
When to fight? Are the grounds of fighting with others real and deserves merit?
How often we fight with others? Is it our normal life or the peaceful living prevails most of the time?
Who is the real enemy? What damage it can do to us?
Is any alternative to the fight left unused?
Have you used any deception plan to your advantage?
Is it worth to fight?

These questions are basic questions but sometimes we tend to forget these basics due to hurries and worries of life.

Well, nations can be left to politicians, but what about yourself? Do you handle these questions to lead to a logical conclusion or leave unanswered to be answered by others?

What is your present state? What is your natural state?
Are you a wartime soldier dying to live in peace or a peaceful individual preparing for war?

War and peace are two faces of same coin like life and death. We cannot just focus on one side and completely forget about the other. We live and die in our daily lives with these realities.

Keeping the institution of army alive is the compulsion of our society but we can always turn it to a healthy choice.

Pleasure Gait Farms

VALUABLE




Think of something you like very much. It may be anything –a mobile, laptop, car, house, job, hobby, person etc.

Whatever is the entity in focus, the balance sheet of your relationship with that will show something like this-

• The entity gives you better quality of service than others.
• The operating or maintenance costs of that entity are much lower than others.

This is how we value others.

We look for more value of service and less operating costs. If the value of operating costs is more than the value of service provided, the item is considered useless. (Who is interested in a loss making business?)

Same is true for ‘how others value us’.

Therefore, to become valuable, we have to focus on- improving our quality of work and reducing our own expenses.

In this ever growing and evolving world, this can not be a ‘one time affair’. It has to be a continuous (never ending) effort.

Every moment, we have to think and act to achieve this goal. That is how we evolve and stay in tune with nature- becoming a better worker and reducing the overheads attached to us – (every) next time.

The winning combination (part II)


In the tuning up process, we realize our true position which is between one of these extremes-
• The top position in our dream organization, it means that you just decide everything and do not do anything.
• Best worker in your dream organization. Ideally it is a robot, not human. Employer chooses human because they cannot afford costly robots or machines.

Do you feel the need of this ‘tune up’ process? A 4 step process is suggested here-

Step-1 Identify the problem areas- The first stage of the process is to check that everything is working satisfactorily or not. You identify the problem areas in this process. There are no universal standards. You are the best judge of your capability and situations. So list out the problem areas where mismatch of action and thoughts is noticed in your life.
Two common type of problems are-
Confusion - act or think? You think where action is required and/or act where thinking is required. You tend to forget our and selects a wrong role
Delay in changing role Doing/thinking things to somebody which was meant for someone else .A common example of this may be that ‘your boss has insulted you’. Since you can not reciprocate to your boss you pass on that insult to your subordinates (doing the same mistake for which you are criticizing you boss?).

Step 2 –Find out root cause-
After the problem(s) are identified, try to go to the root cause(s) behind each problem. Analyze all aspects of the problem cool mindedly. Answer to following questions may help you in this process-

Is this problem happening to me or many other people of my class/type?
Does this problem happen in some special set of circumstances only?
How real/critical is the problem?
Who is responsible for this problem?

Step 3 –Find your bottom-line – After you are aware of the problems and causes behind those, think of actions you can take if the similar problem happens again in future. Be very practical and realistic in your thinking. Find out what factors are in your control and what are outside your ‘area of influence’. Can you somehow increase your ‘area of influence’? (be prepared for additional responsibilities also). If you are unable to answer any question, take the help of experts’. Be aware at this point that mind works very fast. It generates about 60000 thoughts in a day. Unless you have very effective and efficient body and support system, it is very difficult to act on all of those thoughts. This situation is a common situation which most of us face. There are two ways to handle this situation-
(a) Prioritize your thoughts -according to importance in your life and focus on high priority and critical thoughts first.
(b) Calm down - You can calm down your mind through meditation.

Step4-Accept or reject totally- This is the final but most critical step. Most of the time, we are able to identify the problem, analyze it properly but fail to honor our analysis. Accepting reality is not very easy, especially if it not of our liking. So even after a healthy analysis, mostly we neither accept it nor able to dismiss it completely. This hanged state is very damaging. In this situation, we work like a government, who has got the recommendation of some ‘enquiry commission’ but it is neither willing to work on those recommendations not discard completely. The inaction prevails, report is not made public. It finds dust with other similar reports and next time another commission is set up to find facts. And the government thinks it had acted in best manner.

You have to carry each one of your decision to one of these final destination-
• Accept in totality and do best possible in that regard
• Reject in totality and forget about it.

Keeping tuned up- The job does not ends after tuning up. It is better to keep tuning up periodically (or when required).The real life situations are never as perfect as designed environment in our minds. After knowing our true positions we have to constantly improve from there.
Some tips in this regard are-

More focus on thoughts which lead to workable solution.
Act promptly on your own thoughts, else someone else may do the same.
Have more human angle in work rather working like machines.
Be cost effective.
Try doing more efficiently each ‘next time’


Image -->Pleasure Gait Farms

The winning combination (part-I)




At any workplace, there are two extreme types of working persons-

Action oriented - One who works on already decided jobs or policies. Work is mostly done on physical level. His/her decision making powers are very limited. He /she are generally referred as worker.

Thought oriented- He/she is the one who takes decision about what is to be done. The work is mostly done on mental level. He /she is generally also labeled as manager /officer / director /commander / leader etc.

Mostly our role is a hybrid of above two extremes. At each point of time, we operate from a role or position which is mixture of these two extremes. Depending upon the ‘task in hand’ we decide what is to be done and what is to be thought (for actions by self or others).


Making a perfect blend of action and thought dynamically (a perfect blend for every situation we encounter in life) is an art. Nature has provided us powers to make perfect combination of action and thought for each unique situation. We can ‘tuning up’ ourselves for all situations in life. But many times our tuning gets disturbed in this regard. And the effect is that we get distorted results, as you get blurry/out of focus pictures from a TV set which is out of tune. Don’t loose heart. It is a common occurrence of human machines. It can be attended and corrected just like you correct your ‘out of tune gadget’ (TV/computer/mobile etc).
(..........rest in next post)
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THE POWER OF SURPRISE




• Are your activities easily predictable?
• Do you always follow a pre defined route or timing?
• Are your preferences very rigid?
• Are you strongly biased or allergic to something?

If you are a well known person for your subordinates in terms of your behavior or preferences, then watch out! You can be an easy target of manipulation by others. You can be easily given a false impression of reality.

Can you remember a scene from any movie/TV show or your experience when the workplace turns to be a picnic ground once it is known that the boss had left and there is no possibility of his/her coming back?

I do not mean to say that all subordinates make game plans and try to project them differently. There are plenty of sincere workers and nice souls around.
But you as a boss limit your powers by behaving in a fixed manner.

Intelligent and occasional use of surprise will give you rich dividends, although it may cost you a bit of comfort. Once it is known to your subordinates that the boss is not easily predictable, their behavior is likely to change. The fear will act like hidden camera(s) placed in reality shows. The knowledge that they can be monitored from unknown angles will do the trick. Although for some determined souls this alone may not be enough.

So use the power of surprise, do some unexpected things and see the results.

GIVE YOUR BEST SERVICES FIRST….




Nature is a perfect balance. (There are no manipulations or hidden interests.) To go along smoothly with this perfect scheme, all we have to do is, ‘honor some basic laws’.

One such law is-

“Give your best services first….’.
We all work .Even millionaires and celebrities do work. Work is spending /using your energies available. When we spend our energies, the environment sends us something back to keep the balance- it may not be necessarily a salary check or money credited in your bank account. It may be some message, an opportunity or a surprise gift, if we care to realize this.

But our parents (or whosoever brought you up) have taught us the opposite way-

‘Ensure/calculate first what you get will in return of your services. Then offer your services commensurate to this ‘return amount’.

The idea is fine from the limited financial prospective of maximizing profit. But life is much more than mere finance. Moreover, this message was given to us as training in childhood by people who were worried and concerned about our protection.

When we grow up, we have to learn the bitter & better facts of life. But some of us refuse to grow. This is because some of the myths they carry from their childhood as realities .Some of such myths are analyzed here-


Myth 1-You should receive first to give something in exchange- The facts of life are just opposite. Businessman invests first and the profit comes much after as a consequence of services provided. A salaried person works first and the pay check comes much after as a consequence of work. So the rule of life is ‘give first and you will receive something back as a consequence of your services provided’.

Myth 2-My resources will dry up if I only believe in giving first- As far as your services are concerned, your resources are your capability of work. And this will only finish with your life. In fact this resource gets refined every time you do some work /provide service. You become more expert of that work.

Myth 3 – Work only when profit is guaranteed – The fact of life is that there is no universal formula which can calculate profit with 100% guarantee in all circumstances. There are uncertainties in life and you have to take some risk anyway. So an assessment of profit is only one part of decision making, it should not become the sole criterion to decide. Future is unknown and every thing can not be pre decided even after advancements of technology. So focus on ‘quality of work’ rather than ‘quantity of profit’.

Myth 4 -My value will reduce, if I provide service first without a payment tag attached to it- You can only offer some value tag for your products/services in a market. If the offer is accepted by the customer, then only the value becomes a reality. Your value is decided by others –your customers in a market situation. You have very limited control over deciding your value. It is based on the judgment of others. Give them more opportunity to judge by offering best of your services.

So why not give it a try-

‘Give your best service first every time …………….. And see the difference.’

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Image courtsey bigfoto

Aggressive marketing


Technology has given us tremendous power today. With that power, it seems, everyone is busy selling something or other. If you see someone in action, most of the time, either he/she is trying to sell/promoting something to others or tackling others who are promoting /selling something.

There is an old saying ‘everything is allowed in love and war’. Nowadays it appears that it should be modified to ‘everything is allowed in marketing’. (Marketing is the first love for many and a war to win over the competitors.)

We realize it or not, the aggressive marketing hurts us.
Do we swallow this abuse also as accepted norms of society? Do we have to live with it? (After all we are living happily with terrorism, wars, price fluctuations and what not.)

A lot can be done in this regard, if we adopt a healthier prospective towards marketing.
In place of being aggressive in our marketing approach and hurt others, we can take a cool disciplined approach to our marketing jobs. For initiating this change in mindset, some suggestions are given below-

1. Introduce yourself and your motive to the client and wait for his/her choice. If the client is not willing to communicate with you for any reason, honor the free will of client

2. Your job is to informing the client about your services /products. Don’t judge after that. It’s not your job. Act like a player and have ‘sportsman spirit’. Judgment is the job of referee. Honor the referee’s decision even if it appears wrong to you for the larger interest of the game.

3. Sale and promote the products and services for which you are convinced as being genuine. Switching ‘the products you sell’ is not very difficult nowadays. Your immediate commission should not become the sole criterion to choose products. You may turn out to be looser in long term.

4. Don’t exploit client’s ignorance or overload him/her with information. The tactics of confusing or forcing choices may work in some cases but it is not a profitable strategy for all situations.

5. Find the right client. There may be plenty.

………wish you a happy marketing experience in life.

Image courtsey Gifanimations

FALSE REPORTING




Report means offering facts as collected by you to someone else.

In our professional lives, each one of us reports to someone. This holds true even if you hold the top position in your organization or running your business all by yourself. In such a situation ‘someone else’ is replaced by you and one person plays two roles of collecting and receiving the information.

Since it is a routine activity for most of us, we take it lightly and due to many compulsions and provocations, the dilution in this ordinary job sets in, sometime unknowingly. The effects of these tiny causes may not be visible to the door immediately and if the tendency is not corrected, it turns into habit and you start following it to remain in your comfort zone.

It is like watering a plant. If your water is polluted, than the plant will start weakening and will slip into state of disease from a healthy one. You may not notice the results immediately.

Areas more liable to false reporting are those which are difficult to monitor or cross check and where your report is taken for granted.

Many of us do not realize the importance of small piece of information given by them which is later used for decision making of our institution for the benefit of all.

Decision making in institutions is not based on absolute facts, it is based on facts as brought by means of reports by its contributory members at all levels. Due to hierarchal system of reporting, small dilution at every level/point accumulates to a very large amount. This gives a distorted picture at highest level of hierarchy, which is normally the decision making body. The decision taken on such distorted facts have devastating effects. These lead to lead to framing of impractical rules and policies.

There is a saying, ‘You reap what you’. In this context I wish to say that, ‘you or someone else in the family will saw what you reap.’

What can we do to improve the situation?

Well, the answer is very simple. Be as honest as possible in your reporting. You may have to take some pains in the process.

Whether these pains are worth taking in the larger interests of the community?

The decision rests with you.

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FEEL POSITIVE FOR BEST RESULTS


COMPLEMENTARY VALUES

Darkness & light are not two different things but two complementary values of same property. Existence of one ensures the absence of other. Absence of light is called darkness. When we say ‘there is light’, it automatically means ‘it is not dark’ and similarly when we say ‘it is dark’ it implies ‘light is absent’
The positive value (light) helps us to do what ever we are doing (moral/immoral, legal/illegal, right/wrong) with ease. Its negative value (darkness) makes simple thing difficult. So it becomes very difficult to do what we want to do.
It doesn’t matter as to what is the source (of light); it may be a tube light, lamp or sun. As long as the light is available, we are comfortable.
The absence of light (darkness) makes us handicapped. We become blind and behave like blind persons. Sometimes when light is not enough, we are able to perform our jobs but not very comfortably. So we require light in enough quantity. The meaning of enough may be different for different people/situations.
The importance of light (the positive side) is fine, but this does not mean that we discard the darkness (negative value) altogether. Darkness has also its value & place in life. We require darkness when we rest & sleep.

The above mentioned fact about light (& darkness) holds good for some other properties also which are in the category of our feelings. These are –

POSITIVE / NEGATIVE

Faith / Fear, incompleteness, complaint

Love / hate, anger

Acceptance
/ Lust, fixation illusion

Faith – As presence of light makes our life comfortable in doing whatever we are doing, in the same way presence of faith is also required. Mere presence of faith is needed to make our life a celebration. It does not matter on what object our faith is based. One may have faith on his/her ‘mother’, other on ‘law of land’ and some one on ‘God’, ‘The system’, ‘ability’ ….(the list can be very long).The object on which the faith is based may be abstract or non-real.
As long as you are in the state of ‘faith’, it ensures that its negative value (Fear, incompleteness, complaint and variants) are absent. Moreover you are relaxed, comfortable and protected so you give your best to whatever you are doing/trying to do.

Love- Same is true for love. If you love something (it may be your fiancé, mother, your country, your job, your locality or so on), it is ensured that you are not in the state of hate, anger or its variants. Our ‘capability to work’ enhances tremendously when we are in love. We are more focused, in harmony with our self and the environment and can accept bigger challenges.

Acceptance- Willing acceptance of reality makes you realize your present position, capability and limitations. Therefore action initiated after such a realization are more practical and generate goodwill.


NEED TO CHANGE ?

Those of us, who often find themselves in the grip of any of the negative feelings, should analyze their situation .If the intensity or impact of (negative) feeling is making their lives miserable/uncomfortable, they are in need of change.

HOW TO CHANGE ?


Feeling can be induced by the company or situations. It means that if you involve yourself with a person who is in the habit of becoming angry or you land up in a situation (and choose to stay there) which is uncomfortable, there are fair amount of chances that you also become angry.
So to make your life happy (irrespective of what you are doing or what you want to do), just find a situation, person or object which can inspire you to have faith, love and acceptance (of reality). Even if you are unable to locate such an object in your present situation just create it in your imagination and start loving it, have faith in it and accept it.
You can soon see the changes in your life.


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