Saturday, December 12, 2009

Be easy it is?

This is probably the punch dialogue of most motivational speakers "Stay Positive" "Attitude is everything" etc. The question is how easy it is to stay positive given the fact Human evolution is closely linked to monkeys (I mean the animal instinct remains with offense..stay positive as this is just the beginning).
There can different reasons why we can become negative-circumstances, previous experience, our image of a person/country/culture etc. Assuming that we are neutral how easy is it to swing to positive or negative direction is the moot question. If we answer this, we have answered the subject (no I will not be subjective this time..stay positive). There are some basic premises we should acknowledge that makes staying negative easier than staying positive..the most important of those is it avoids more efforts and probably is consistent with our other paradoxical thinking of seeking disproportionate reward for efforts. Philosophy apart it is very natural to seek rewards in monetary or recognition (cash or kind)for everyone of us.
How tuned we become to this starts from how we are brought up. If our parents pander us a lot more than we deserve then we become more attuned to seeking rewards more than efforts. Probably we do the same to our can be time for entertainment (watching TV/Computer games etc) or it can be amount of icecreams or chocolates. Coming back to the topic-responsibility comes with age but how much responsibility one willing takes and delivers defines how much positive one can be. Usually the responsibility is implicit but demanding right is explicit. The more the gap is the more staying positive is difficult. Not many think of the Responsibility/right gap as a reason why staying positive is difficult. People usually look at outside for solutions-comparing self with others who have been treated worse in life, pride in being part of some great effort, seeking to stay positive by tutoring the mind of jargon's of motivation. Nothing will stay unless we take responsibility for our actions, take responsibility for our thoughts and take responsibility for efforts. Positive is a state of mind and I hear a lot of medical journals talk about the electrical circuits in our nerve wires..yes body is charged by thoughts and there are both positive and negative ions. So despite of wiring carrying positive and negative ions the only way to charge ourselves to stay positive is to make it a Direct Current and not alternate current. We can make it a direct current only when we decide that staying positive under all circumstances makes me different and I like being in that state. So it is not easy but it is possible.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Self Realization-how long it can take?

It is long time since sharing thoughts on Philosophy...this was triggered by a chance meeting of a school teacher of my son who has given up teaching to take up Aikido (a Japanese self realization program which begins as self defense training).
The more I reflect about the meeting the more I start to believe nothing is by chance but by choice. Being an inquisitive personality I started to probe into what made him make this sudden decision (in fact I made a comparison to the book "The monk who sold his Ferrari"-he had not read that book but nothing bothered him). He said it is the normal feeling of emptiness and unknown dissatisfaction of the mind. I always thought he enjoyed teaching as the feedback from my kid was one of joy to be in his class. He did mention that he enjoyed teaching and was quite content but had this small vacuum which snow balled last 3 years into driving him to look inwards.
As I was talking I noticed him more closely -he was glowing, become younger by at-least 5 years and his eyes were smiling. Unbelievable changes in such a short time. Something stuck me that probably I am near a Guru. I bowed in respect before him and said "Please guide me to self realization". He laughed and said " I don't think I am there but I think I have taken the first right step in that direction".
What changes has he had in life-He does not get up in a hurry in the morning, does not compete with his wife to go to office not even looking at her face, does not feel that a statement of his wife is not to prove her ego and has all the time in the world to reflect on goodness of everyone. Simple-focus on good things within you and others, stand in your comfort position and don't attack which are the basics of Aikido. Giving up ego is not easy but accepting limitations is part of this giving up. If we accept our limitations and take life as it is then 80% of tensions on our mind are less. He says to realize that we are part of the whole is a life time process but the first step to acknowledge the strengths of others. To be like a child and accepting that I make mistakes, I can loose but still smile and to be living in this moment are keys to this. He talked from his heart and smiling eyes-without trying to preach. His positive experience was touching my soul/
All of it is reflected maybe in a lot of books. But I see this person who has changed for better by taking the right first step. I am not sure when I will take this first step but to realize that we need to look inwards in a more conscious way is the path to self realization has stuck to me. How long can the whole process take is for the motivation in me to decide like all of us...but this is the path all should take for peace of self and society is clearly the fact written in stone.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Restructuring and moving with market-pains and gains

With some serious signs of recovery of economy visible already a lot of companies are planning for scaling up productions/activities. A lot of line and staff managers are happy that there is not much follow up on the long term viability and restructuring questions. The situation is one of cautious optimism so the relief symptoms are natural. But underlying fact remains that the World will not be the same the next few years as the changes are permanent. Economic balance is tilting in favor of new economies much faster than earlier years (as the recession did not hit them-India, China, Brazil continued to grow while Europe and US shrank). The overcapacities in Developed economies will surely hit their long term survival though most companies think the pressures will be lesser. The pains of restructuring need not be elaborated as indeed to remove people from employment and moving to a new location is never easy. Knowledge and loyalty is lost, so is the public image. But the fact remains that without economic justification it is not possible to sustain a business. This means that while timing a restructuring is important, so is the willingness of management to take the acid test proactively rather than waiting for acid to come to nose levels.
Every restructuring has unique aspects. I don't believe that there are a few blessed people who can foresee all issues and claim to be called as Restructuring experts. The sensitivities of communication (the extent/content/timing) and ability to get stakeholder confidence is different in different countries. In US it is quite normal to be out of job in short notice but in certain other countries it takes months to move one small step. Most important aspect for success is having the person on ground with most credibility-who does the right things and won't project himself as know it all person-balances emotional and rational decisions.
Gains of restructuring is for the organization but does not start the next month of completion. Usually there are pangs for atleast one to two years especially if it involves moving manufacturing capacity to a new economy. Quality, productivity, consistency, learning curve-all of it takes time as knowledge is still not a commodity that can be transferred as easily as manufacturing capacity. The earlier one harmonizes the capacities to align to demands of market the more quick they are to become leaders. If we delay restructuring and thereby also delay new capacities in right markets we loose at both ends. Sure, companies are learning that and so are shareholders!!

About Me

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Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!