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Showing posts from February, 2011

Are You Greedy for Fame, Money and Power?

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A student of mine recently told me, “I want all the three-fame, money and power.” This gave rise to a question in my mind, "Is there something wrong in desiring fame, money and power?" In my opinion, it is very human to desire fame (to differentiate ourselves from the crowds around us), money (to live a comfortable life) and power (to control people rather than be controlled)
But fame makes us heady, money makes us proud and power corrupts us. It happens because our intentions to get fame, money and power are often selfish and sometimes devilish. But if a person desires fame (I should be famous for my good deeds and positivity), money (to serve self as well as society) and power (to feel strong and capable of taking care of family as well as the needy) with noble intentions, there is nothing wrong with the desire for fame, money and power. As they say fame, money and power are good servants and bad masters.
Dr Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist Leader says, “The glory and magnificence of…

Dirty Games People Play...Na na na...

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Abraham Lincoln

Often my super intelligent students come to me and say ‘Sir I can’t handle the politics. There is too much politics’. And I tell them, politics is a game and treat it like a game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Do not initiate it, but learn to defend yourself. I believe people play politics fundamentally because of insecurities and that’s why one should forgive such people. In any case resentment only harms the one who resents. One of my favourite quotes is, “We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions.” That is why we can forgive huge sins committed by ourselves and justify it while small mistakes by others seem difficult to pardon.
Power and politics are inseparable because all books on ‘Organisational Behaviour’ discuss them together. But I feel, the chapter should be titled ‘Power, Politics and Moral Right.’ In politics, we often see, while c…

My Battles with God.and Self - A story of my life

In some ways the worst thing you ever did was the best thing you ever did. In some ways the best thing you ever did was the worst thing you ever did. Life is topsy turvy like that. You can forgive yourself. You can accept yourself. You can love yourself. Nithya Shanti
I was a teacher by birth probably. When I was in Class VII, I remember my classfellows coming to me to ask queries and take help and I used to thoroughly enjoy the process. They would also ask for ‘important questions for exams’ and what I would tell would often be part of the question paper.
Childhood memories-Early lessons in humility I was always a school topper as far as academics were concerned. Besides academics, I had a huge range of accomplishments ranging from debates, writing election speeches, skits, poetry, compering and so on. I achieved too much too fast which made me full of pride. At the tender age of 12 I saw my name appearing in leading newspapers as ‘Balkavi’ (child poet) with selections from my poetry. I…

Learning through Business Games

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I often play a business game with trainees, which is actually a type of psychological test which tests their subconscious priorities in life. The five key elements of our life are ‘Character/Helpfulness, Love/Emotion, Money, Ambition/Career and Duty (Family, country etc). And life is all about tradeoffs, and we have to lose one to get another.
I narrate them a short story and then tell them to write which character impressed them the most and tell them to accordingly rank them from most impressive to least impressive. The story begins with the situation that A and L are in love with each other but A is not settled in his career. L’s parents are pressurising her to get married while A wants to settle down first. Because of this confusion L goes to D (a friend of A & L) and seeks his advice. D says I am going for a war and hence I have no time to give you advice.
She wants to meet C (another mutual friend of A & L) who stays across the river. To cross the river she needs the help…

How to Boost Your Creativity?

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

Today I will discuss exercises on how to boost your creativity.
Like I wrote previously, creativity is fundamentally about emotions and sensitivity to nuances. These nuances can be words, colours, shades, motion, shapes, sounds, patterns and so on.
As we know there are 3 types of learning styles viz auditory, kinaesthetic and visual. Hence creativity can also be fundamentally of 3 types relating to sounds, visuals and motions and of course their permutations and combinations.
Let us look at the exercises. Let’s say, you are a musician and you want to improve your creativity. What you need to do is listen to variety of music, observe & hear natural sounds and notice the patterns, beats etc. It is important to listen with concentration and if closing your eyes improves your concentration level, do that. In life, we need to be open minded to learning because often it comes from much unexpected sources. Your creative en…

Why Leaders/Managers must be Good Actors?

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I believe, a manager must be a good actor. Readers must be surprised or may be shocked, on what is the relationship between managing and acting!
A manager is a human being too and will go through his own ups and downs of life. He will have his share of good and bad moods. He will be highly motivated at times and demotivated at times, because he also expects a pat from the boss, increments and promotions, which may come late or sometimes, not come at all.
Can he afford to show all these feelings and sentiments to his subordinates? Will it not create a chaos and the entire team being affected by the manager’s moods and motivation levels? Of course, it will and that is why a manager must be a good actor.
It is said, “If you are guided by mood, you will be guided to the doom.” And it applies a lot to managers. A manager must hide his true emotions, so that he can do his duty. In case, he cannot act anymore and things have crossed his tolerance levels, he must quit the job silently, rather th…

The Innovator from Harvard

From Teaching to Training to Co-Learning


"I started with learning to teach,
Then I was teaching to learn
Now I am just learning to learn
I remain a lifelong seeker.
(Dr Amit Nagpal)


During my recent visit to Udaipur, I met an interesting person, Mr Manish Jain, who runs an NGO called Shikshantar and is trying to bring a change in education through innovative and at times, radical concepts like 'Unschooling'. His philosophy can be summed up through the poster on his library wall, which says, “Learning is Natural, Schooling is Optional”

During my discussions with him he shared many unique and interesting ideas which I would like to share. He says that for true learning to happen, the three generations must be present (children, parents and grandparents). In a way the past experiences, the present struggles and future hopes will come together, and then we can brainstorm and look for feasible ideas for development of human race.
Mansih told me that her daughter does not go to any sch…

God Give me any Problem but Empower me with Right Attitude

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“The choice is yours, With a bad attitude, you can never have a good day, With a good attitude, you can never have a bad day.”

Attitude is more important than aptitude to reach altitude. Heated gold becomes ornaments. beaten copper becomes wires, depleted stone becomes statue, so the more pain you get in your life the more valuable you become, provided you take it with the right attitude.. The major attitudes include attitude towards people, relationships, learning, new ideas, religions and God.
“You can complain that roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” Ziggy
One of the best role models in terms of attitude are military people. They learn to enjoy every day of life as they are forever prepared for war and have realised it might be the last day of life. Why are human beings so foolish, why do we need fear of war to act wise? A friend of mine met with a serious accident in Mauritius and had a close shave with death. Immediately after that accident his attitude to…

As if I am a Puppet...You Pull me so Hard

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Human Attractions-The Matching of Frequencies
All of us have been through an experience when suddenly your frequencies match with someone and you feel a strange connection difficult to justify. What makes these frequencies match, what creates this unreasonable attraction?
There are four elements of our personality viz. • Physical-Includes looks, grooming, body language and vibes • Emotional-Includes sensitivity, emotional stability, emotional strength and empathy • Mental-Includes Intelligence, Knowledge, State of mind (relaxed/stressed) and innocence/shrewdness • Spiritual-Godliness (Spiritual maturity), life force (positivity) and faith (in any higher power/god)
Two human beings feel attracted to each other due to any one or combination of the elements. Imagine if two people feel attracted to each other and have all four types of attraction viz. Physical, emotional, spiritual and mental, it can create a very powerful human relationship. Attraction is not always to the opposite gender thoug…

International Peace Day Rally, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi (September 2009)

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How I Regained My Lost Creativity?

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How I got back my lost creativity through Meditation

I was a very creative person in my childhood and wrote both poetry and prose. At the tender age of 14, my poetry was published in national Hindi newspapers and the media gave me the title of Baalkavi (child poet). Those creative days came to an end when I got into the career, MBA or rat race whatever you may call it.
The stress and pressures of career almost killed my creativity. Or maybe my mind was too clouded to create anything extraordinary. Two years back I started practicing meditation and I slowly started feeling the clouded thinking changing to creative thinking. My creative skills started coming back. Very often creativity is inspired by seeing relationships and interrelationships between objects and people. How can a cluttered mind see much? 

During the six months of regular one hour meditation plus attitudinal shift, the creativity in me reached its peak. I am not saying, meditation can convert a completely non-creative per…

Humour, Leadership and Spirituality

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Should a leader have good sense of humor? Debatable, people would say. How can you be a strong administrator, no nonsense person, if you joke and smile? People will get too relaxed, take you lightly and loose seriousness towards work. Actually true when you are young, too gentle or have immature subordinates. As managers we all would have experienced this problem at some point of time. I remember my ex-boss would stop laughing and give a serious look; when he was having a chat with his peers and a subordinate entered his office.
So you will tell me, “As it is humor is difficult with the kind of pressures we work in and you are further adding the complication of spirituality.” But have all of us not learned this lesson, “If it is easy, it wouldn't be worth much” All good things come at a heavy cost. Giving your style a touch of humor and being a no nonsense person either comes with lot of experience or with the aid of wisdom of balance (gained through spiritual tools.)
To read more c…

Appearances are Often Deceptive

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This is dedicated to my favourite little cousin sister Bhumika. She suggested me to write on this topic. I truly believe”A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” But the way I define beauty is a little different. “My heart does go to all things beautiful, but it includes beautiful faces, beautiful minds and beautiful souls.” Beauty for me also includes peace written all over your face and the beautiful face being the index of a beautiful mind.
Seeing beyond surfaces requires a spiritual maturity which most of the people don’t have. At one point of time in life I sympathised with the physically handicapped. But now I believe we are all handicapped in different ways; some physically, some mentally and some spiritually. As a marketer I always say that “All that glitters may not be gold but all that glitters is easily sold”.
We judge everything by the appearances not just people. Why we find western countries so attractive is because of external glamor. I feel if we have physical and visible …