Thursday, October 29, 2015

WoW - The Wisdom of Wellness!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Leadership Crisis!

Is the loss of enthusiasm in graduating students a systemic failure of Leadership in Organizations!

Recently after a very long time, I was facilitating a program on Transition from Campus to Corporate for young graduating Turks!

Programs for the mid, senior management take their own time to evolve in terms of energy in the room for learning. Often the group is reserved, keeping to themselves and it takes a lot to break the pattern. This age group probably comes into the program with a goal to complete the mandated training hours for the quarter, half yearly or yearly requirements and or their promotion cycles. I often call it the ‘tick in the box’ need!

What needs to be looked at with caution is that this energy is contagious, just like any other.

The young group that I worked with had tremendous enthusiasm, made a lot of noise, was eager to learn and had a million questions. All the traits of an eager mind and body to make a difference. The energy in the room was palpable and it rubbed off onto me!

It then dawned on me on how this energy gets depleted, almost wiped out in a very short time, at the most a year and dread of the work world sets-in. These willing and able bodied group suddenly become lethargic, dis-interested, just go about doing what is told, maybe not even that and very soon fall into the emotional pollution trap that is existent all around them!

Why does this happen? I really do not know the answer, but I am willing to hazard a guess and my assessment is, it is because of the team that they are currently involved with and more so their current existing Leadership.

Leaders in teams give a clarion call for collaboration, but recognize and praise individual performance, they ask for creativity and innovation, but beat down new ideas, there is talk of empowerment but often micro-manage, emphasis is on flat structures but leaders expect positional respect, leaders talk of work-life balance as a culture and ask for unreasonable work hours.

Over a period of time, in fact a very short period of time, the reality vis a vis practice starts to drift apart and it becomes apparent to the intelligent mind that the youngsters possess, and then the disillusionment dawns!

In the race for what is urgently important in terms of deadlines, bottom-lines and what not, what is fundamentally important with regard to individual personal development, shared vision, empathy and compassion is sacrificed by the Leadership.

And then we complain that the new Gen Y are not predictable and cannot be trusted!

We need to ask, ‘Where does the blame lie?’.

Reverse the order: Look at their personal development, give them a road map, allow freedom at the work place and become a part of the transformation! These are the traits of a Emotionally Competent Leader.

That’s the legacy of a true leader.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reclaim your Sense of Self through Emotional Intelligence!

‘You are just like that, He is just like his father, and this is how this college is!’

Typical clichéd terms that we use in our everyday conversations, without realizing the need to make a validation for such statements! We unconsciously say things for which we have no evidential back up.

Why is this so? It is because we are all victims of the basic fabric of our social structure that today is influencing every aspect of our being.

We live in an era of information overload through the various mediums that we have, all at our fingertips. Be it the Television, print, the Internet or any other medium we are now hijacked by their power so much so that we no longer have our own identity. We have surrendered our ability to think and act. The influence of the various mediums is so powerful that we have become a ‘copy-cat’ civilization and it could not have been better for the czars of this creation. We need not second guess who they are.

We are told what to eat, drink, when we will fall sick, what medicine to take, how to dance, walk, talk; in fact every domain our life-styles is now invaded. We are even dictated as to when we should be sad, glad, mad et all. If this not hypnosis, what is?

We are so influenced by this that we slowly start talking, walking and so much so go all the way in conducting ourselves as per their influences. We become the unconscious ‘brand ambassadors’. We have no original identity. If you think I am wrong, look around you and pick at least one buying decision in your environment that has not been influenced by the all-powerful mediums!

Eldon Taylor says, ‘we are no longer our original selves, we are products of what is being foisted on us’, how true!

Emotional Intelligence has tools that can help you reclaim that original self, the competencies of Self-Regard, Self-Perception, Independence, Empathy, Optimism and Decision Making are among a few that can help us on this path.

They can empower you with the power of personal choice above any other choice. We are the only species on the planet with the choice of discrimination and sadly are the only species that does not use it. It is so because we are being led to choices being made by others!

We can gain all the knowledge that we can at the click of a button; we don’t have the wisdom of applying that knowledge. We are all literate but not educated.

STOP right now and reclaim that power of self-choice, tap into the wisdom of the self that is abundant and available before we are consumed by the powers that be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yoga - The Holistic Practice!

As we approach the world Yoga day on 21st June 2015, here is an excerpt from my Co-Authored book on Yoga, which I am sure will dispel quite a few misconceptions about the practice!

Yoga is one of the most ancient cultural heritages of India. The word yoga in Sanskrit means "to unite” and so yoga can be said to mean a unitive discipline. In this sense it is an exercise in moral and mental cultivation that generates good health (arogya), contributes to longevity (chirayu), and the total intrinsic discipline culminates into positive and perennial happiness and peace. In its spiritual sense, it is the process by which the uniqueness of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is realized by the Yogi. It is the union of all aspects of an individual: body, mind and soul

Yoga is an all-encompassing way of life, a science of self-culture and mental discipline that ensures the purgation of the ignoble in man and brings forth what is most noble in him. It is relevant to all people irrespective of their caste, creed, sex, and religion. Yoga is for all. Yoga is universal. It is not a sectarian affair. The practice of Yoga is not conflicting to any religion. It is purely spiritual and universal. It does not contradict anyone's sincere faith. It can be beneficial to all - the good and the bad, the sick and the healthy, the believer and the non-believer, the literate and the ignorant, the young and the old. 

There are too many misconceptions confusing the science of Yoga. People perceive it to be some kind of black or white magic, sorcery, physical or mental wickedness through which miraculous feats can be performed. For some it is an extremely dangerous practice, which should be limited to only those who have renounced the world. 

The real meaning of Yoga: Yogash chita vritti nirodha
Yoga is the termination of mental fragmentation.

Yoga: Oneness, yoga. Chitta: mind. Vritti: wave, the action of rolling, modification, way of being. Nirodha: cessation.
All about Yoga is said in the four words Yogah,Chitta, Vritti, nirodha. The four words of the second sutra define the “discipline” in a practical way. But then one should know their meaning and mostly what they signal to us. Chitta is the mind field, which is the ocean of perception and reflection. Even deep sleep is included in that world of perception, or cognitive activity. 

The meaning of vritti exceeds what we normally mean by thought. The idea of something rolling, of a wave in motion, is the first meaning. It is a more basic procedure than the solitary conscious thinking. We can say mental activity of form of consciousness, and that’s how we will translate it most of the time.

The word nirodha carries in itself the complete core of spiritual understanding, the full grace dawning on the open soul. It is the cessation, the silence. But what is silence? Silence imposed by thought —“what we often designate by the word “control”— is not silence”, It is an effort, a struggle, and uneasiness: in other words, it is still a troublesome thought: there is still someone looking after a goal. On the contrary, the discipline of yoga is the cessation of something that has hardly ceased until now and which we evoke by the expression chitta vritti.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Elementary Living!

‘Simplicity is no longer a convention, it is an invention’

As soon as I read this, it sat deeply within me. So true I thought. We now live in a world that is getting more and more complicated and in the midst of information overload on how we can make it even more so!

In every dire situation, there is the proverbial silver lining and that became the case with the family and me. We discovered the components of elementary living!

Though the awareness drifted in the fringes of my own consciousness, it never was mainstream. So what’s this elementary living? I call it living in balance with the elements of nature, that is Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Ether or space! Do we have a balance of these in our day-to-day living? Do we use the tremendous healing properties that these elements have to bring a sense of sanity in the mad rush that we are all in?

Do we use the element of air, our very own life force in accordance to the need for ourselves? Remember, life force is the only thing that we carry with ourselves everywhere we go! Are we even aware of our breath or have we taken it for granted? To balance Air, we need to cleanse and energize ourselves. Cleansing can be through the various Pranayama techniques and the Breath Energy Technique to energize.

Fire is that element which defies gravity! Think about it! It is so light! Fire meditation helps burn and lighten burdens of every day life, it has the power to cleanse deep. Just observing this element burn instills warmth and power, so very essential in today’s world!

Water is the universal cleanser! Do we cleanse ourselves with this divine element as a healing component or do we use it automatic, without giving it a deeper thought? Having a bath twice everyday is mandatory in this polluted environment, both emotional pollution as well as the physical pollution. It can wash away the negative energy that we build around and within us during the course of the day!

Mother Earth is the provider of our energy through food, and how we have abused her is beyond imagination! Research now shows that the topsoil in our country is way beyond repair because of the rampant and un-regulated use of pesticides. We are also victims of the junk food, fast food culture that has percolated so deep down that it is no longer occasional food but daily diet! How balanced is our diet? Do we ‘eat to live, or live to eat?’ Are we the victims of the corporations that are making their millions at our cost?  Rampant spread of deadly diseases is proof enough of the poisoning that has happened in our environment by the elites.

Space is that element that is necessary to balance all others! Renewal practices like Yoga, Meditation, and Prayer are necessary to survive in this rat race! We binge renew on weekends, which does more harm than good! What is your daily renewal practice?

Our living being the planet earth or giai is the universal possessor and provider of all five without discrimination! Should we not be grateful?

Think about it! As Sherlock Holmes famously said, ‘elementary my dear Watson’!

Ask yourself, ‘How elementary is my living’?

A friend once asked me, what is the use? Do you want to live longer by doing all this? My internal reply was, ‘Add life to years, not years to life’!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Life and Life-Style!

We are frequently faced with the question “What is this life?” To understand this question we need to first distinguish between Life and ‘Life - style’. There is an distinction that between the two. Most of the time we think that life style and life are one and the same, when they are not! Life-style is associated with the external while Life is associated with the internal, which is within one.

We often are in the quest of looking to make our lives happy, and seek external sources to quench our thirst. In wanting to make life happy we seek from our material surroundings. We think we will be happy when we have a secure job, we will be comfortable when we have a shelter above our head.
When we achieve that, we are not satisfied and we look for enhancing what we have got, thinking “this will make us happy”. We look for promotions within the job, are it in position or monetary increment and we look to renovate our houses thinking the extra room or a better kitchen is what we need.
Thus this spiral of wanting more which we conveniently term need, leads to greed, while all the time we are still in search of that elusive happiness, which is within. Thus we need to understand that what we think will make us happy in life, is actually our ‘Life-style’ which only provides a temporary illusion of happiness till we start wanting more.

Life on the other hand requires one to go within and live in the moment, in complete faith that one will be provided for without wanting or asking, it prompts one to learn that happiness is not a destination that we seek but the stations that you get along the path. Being present in the moment and appreciating the thoughts in the present thereby freeing us from the thoughts of the past or the future.

Life teaches simplicity which no longer is a convention but an invention! ‘Life-style’ is getting caught in the outer noise!, While life is listening to the inner voice. ‘Life-style’ recognizes the one who has the most, while life supports one who needs the least.
Looking outside we dream, looking within we awaken, looking outside we analyze, looking inside we realize. We need to understand that the eyes offer sight while the heart offers insight.

The next time that you are faced with the question “What is this life”? Distinguish between ‘life – style’ and ‘life’ before looking for the answer, and seek answers from within rather than from the outside.