Archive for November 17, 2012
Super Cell Tornadic Storm
Avoidance is not a solution. Withdrawal is not a solution. Whenever life puts a violent crisis in front of you, live it. Be there, do your thing. Not only you will emerge stronger and wiser than before, but, most of the time, you’ll realize the crisis was much easier than you expected it. It is not really such a big deal, as long as you deal with it.
Don’t make assumptions. Be clear. Your book of life may sound okay for you, but other people may not get it. You got to be sure everybody understands your message. Every time you experience some misunderstandings in your life, check your message first. Your message may be just a row of gibberish to the other person. Do your best to translate your message accordingly.
You have only friends. Some of them may teach you something in a very harsh way but they are still your friends. When somebody attacks you, don’t fall for your first reaction: defending yourself, excusing or even accusing the other part. This may mean you’re powerful beyond what you perceive and you must have scared the other person. Either way, the whole concept of enemy disappears in this approach.
Our thoughts control our emotions. Planning is essential if we want to succeed. Happiness is an internal emotion. Instead of looking for happiness outside of ourselves, we should look inside. Visualization is powerful and helps us attract what we really want. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables are good for the human body and important if you want to create healthy eating habits. Mistakes are no more than experiences and we shouldn’t put ourselves down if we make some, instead, we should view our mistakes as experiences and opportunities. We can achieve everything we want in life if we believe we can. Learning many languages is important to be able to communicate with many different people. Life is sweet; we should enjoy it to the maximum. Creative thinking is a major key to success. Money is something good, not something evil as many people think. We can’t change people, we only can affect them. Never worry about the future, live in the present. Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Life is a choice that we make.
Do you know that only 3% of the world’s population manages to plan and reach their goals? Strive to become the top 3% of the world’s population who know how to achieve any goal you desire in all areas of life.
The linear, one-at-a-time character of speech and thought is particularly noticeable in all languages using alphabets, representing experience in long strings of letters. It is not easy to say why we must communicate with others (speak) and with ourselves (think) by this one-at-a-time method. Life itself does not proceed in this cumbersome, linear fashion, and our own organisms proceed in this cumbersome, linear fashion, and our own organisms could hardly live for a moment if they had to control themselves by taking thought of every breath, every beat of the heart, and every neural impulse. If we are to find some explanation for this characteristic of thought, the sense of sight offers a suggestive analogy. For we have two types of vision–central and peripheral, not unlike the spotlight and the floodlight. Central vision is used for accurate work like reading, in which our eyes are focused on one small area after another like spotlights. Peripheral vision is less conscious, less bright than the intense ray of the spotlight. We use it for seeing at night, and for taking “subconscious” notice of objects and movements not in the direct line of central vision. Unlike the spotlight, it can take in very many things at a time.
There is, then, an analogy and perhaps more than mere analogy between central vision and conscious, one-at-a-time thinking, and between peripheral vision and the rather mysterious process which enables us to regulate the incredible complexity of our bodies without thinking at all. It should be noted, further, that we call our bodies complex as a result of trying to understand them in terms of linear thought, of words and concepts. But the complexity is not so much in our bodies as in the task of trying to understand them by this means of thinking. It is like trying to make out the features of a large room with no other light than a single bright ray. It is as complicated as trying to drink water with a fork instead of a cup. In this respect, the Chinese written language has a slight advantage over our own, and is perhaps symptomatic of a different way of thinking. It is still linear, still a series of abstractions taken in one at a time. But its written signs are a little closer to life than spelled words because they are essentially pictures, and, as a Chinese proverb puts it, “one showing is worth a hundred sayings.” Compare, for example, the ease of showing someone how to tie a complex knot with the difficulty of telling him how to do it in words alone.
The general tendency of the Western mind is to feel that they do not really understand what they cannot represent, what they cannot communicate by linear signs: by thinking. It is like the “wallflower” who cannot learn a dance unless someone draws him a diagram of the steps, who cannot “get it by the feel.” For some reason, Western mind do not trust and do not fully use the “peripheral vision” of their minds. They learn music, for example, by restricting the whole range of tone and rhythm to a notation of fixed tonal and rhythmic intervals; a notation which is incapable of representing Oriental music. But the Oriental musician has a rough notation which he uses only as a reminder of a melody. He learns music, not by reading notes, but by listening to the performance of a teacher, getting the “feel” of it, and copying him and this enables him to acquire rhythmic and tonal sophistications matched only by those Western jazz artists who use the same approach.
This is not to suggest that Westerners simply do not use the “peripheral mind.” Being human, they use it all the time, and every artist, every workman, every athlete calls into play some special development of its powers; but it is not academically and philosophically respectable. They have hardly begun to realize its possibilities, and it seldom, if ever, occurs to them that one of its most important uses is for that “knowledge of reality” which they try to attain by the cumbersome calculations of theology, metaphysics, and logical inference.
When we turn to ancient Chinese society, we find two philosophical traditions playing complementary parts: Confucianism and Taoism. Generally speaking, the former concerns itself with the linguistic, ethical, legal, and ritual conventions which provide the society with its system of communication. Confucianism, in other words, preoccupies itself with conventional knowledge, and under its auspices children are brought up so that their originally wayward and whimsical natures are made to fit the Procrustean bed of the social order. The individual defines himself and his place in society in terms of the Confucian formulae. Taoism, on the other hand, is generally a pursuit of older men, and especially of men who are retiring from active life in the community. Their retirement from society is a kind of outward symbol of an inward liberation from the bounds of conventional patterns of thought and conduct. For Taoism concerns itself with unconventional knowledge, with the understanding of life directly, instead of in the abstract, linear terms of representational thinking. Confucianism presides, then, over the socially necessary task of forcing the original spontaneity of life into the rigid rules of convention; a task which involves not only conflict and pain, but also the loss of that peculiar naturalness and un-self-consciousness for which little children are so much loved, and which is sometimes regained by saints and sages. The function of Taoism is to undo the inevitable damage of this discipline, and not only to restore but also to develop the original spontaneity, which is termed tzu-jan b or “self-so-ness.” For the spontaneity of a child is still childish, like everything else about him. His education fosters his rigidity but not his spontaneity. In certain natures, the conflict between social convention and repressed spontaneity is so violent that it manifests itself in crime, insanity, and neurosis, which are the prices they pay for the otherwise undoubted benefits of order.
Taoism must on no account be understood as a revolution against convention, although it has sometimes been used as a pretext for revolution. Taoism is a way of liberation, which never comes by means of revolution, since it is notorious that most revolutions establish worse tyrannies than they destroy. To be free from convention is not to spurn it but not to be deceived by it. It is to be able to use it as an instrument instead of being used by it. The West has no recognized institution corresponding to Taoism because the Hebrew-Christian spiritual tradition identifies the Absolute–God–with the moral and logical order of convention. This might almost be called a major cultural catastrophe, because it weights the social order with excessive authority, inviting just those revolutions against religion and tradition which have been so characteristic of Western history. It is one thing to feel oneself in conflict with socially sanctioned conventions, but quite another to feel at odds with the very root and ground of life, with the Absolute itself. The latter feeling nurtures a sense of guilt so preposterous that it must issue either in denying one’s own nature or in rejecting God. Because the first of these alternatives is ultimately impossible; like chewing off one’s own teeth–the second becomes inevitable, where such palliatives as the confessional are no longer effective. As is the nature of revolutions, the revolution against God gives place to the worse tyranny of the absolutist state; worse because it cannot even forgive, and because it recognizes nothing outside the powers of its jurisdiction. For while the latter was theoretically true of God, his earthly representative the Church was always prepared to admit that though the laws of God were immutable, no one could presume to name the limits of his mercy. When the throne of the Absolute is left vacant, the relative usurps it and commits the real idolatry, the real indignity against God; the absolutizing of a concept, a conventional abstraction. But it is unlikely that the throne would have become vacant if, in a sense, it had not been so already if the Western tradition had had some way of apprehending the Absolute directly, outside the terms of the conventional order.
We turn our nose up at when we read that the most common, hackable passwords are “password” or “123456.” Who would possibly think that using “password” as your password is a good idea? You feel good and secure knowing that your 7-20 character passwords have plenty of numbers, symbols, and uppercase letters. Plus, you always get a “very strong” password strength rating when you create a new one. You’re online identity is locked down, Fort Knox style. Then you read about Mat Honan. He’s a senior writer at Wired who, despite having “robust” alphanumeric passwords of seven, 10, and 19 characters long for his Apple, Twitter, and Gmail accounts, had them all hacked and lost years of stored documents and photos because they were linked together. Since being hacked, Honan has been looking into online security and what he discovered about our password-centric web is terrifying, to say the least. No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.
Look around the leaks and dumps—hackers breaking into computer systems and releasing lists of usernames and passwords on the open web—are now regular occurrences. The way we daisy-chain accounts, with our email address doubling as a universal username, creates a single point of failure that can be exploited with devastating results. Thanks to an explosion of personal information being stored in the cloud, tricking customer service agents into resetting passwords has never been easier. All a hacker has to do is use personal information that’s publicly available on one service to gain entry into another.
Of course, it’s easy to make online security more secure but nobody can remember an insanely long, random password and nobody wants to encounter difficulties recovering your password when you forget it. That’s one of the many problems with password-based online security: these systems need to be convenient enough so that people keep using them. You might not be addicted to Facebook, for example, if logging into the site were onerous and recovering your password was a chore.
Biometric approaches to security like fingerprint readers and iris scanners does well, but it shows how those could easily be compromised. Google is moving in the right direction with its two-factor authentication system where a password is sent to your phone if someone tries to log into your Google account from another computer. But, again, that can be compromised by hacking into your cell phone account. The only way forward is real identity verification: to allow our movements and metrics to be tracked in all sorts of ways and to have those movements and metrics tied to our actual identity. We are not going to retreat from the cloud—to bring our photos and email back onto our hard drives. We live there now. So we need a system that makes use of what the cloud already knows: who we are and who we talk to, where we go and what we do there, what we own and what we look like, what we say and how we sound, and maybe even what we think.
That shift will involve significant investment and inconvenience, and it will likely make privacy advocates deeply wary. It sounds creepy. But the alternative is chaos and theft and yet more pleas from “friends” in London who have just been mugged. Times have changed. We’ve entrusted everything we have to a fundamentally broken system. The first step is to acknowledge that fact. The second is to fix it.
With so much of our lives protected by easily hackable passwords, I’d say yes, it’s time we figure out a better way; even if that means navigating the Internet of the future is a little more complicated.
Anybody who is in a leadership role is shaped by his or her history and culture and in turn also creates the culture. It’s not an either or process. Someone who evolves out of a certain milieu carries the nuances of that milieu or that culture and, in turn, he will trans-create, he will impact the culture. In an increasingly globalized world, how does one reconcile the different attitudes — shaped by history, culture, economics and other factors — toward leadership and justice?
This is looking at globalization largely from the American economic perspective. There are many different kinds of globalization. There was a globalized world when there was no demarcation between countries and when there were no passports. Ideas have no geographies. Jagdish Chandra Bose in India invented the radio around the same time or even before Guglielmo Marconi invented it in Italy, but Bose did not get the credit for it while Marconi did. Just because the motor car was first put in motion in America doesn’t mean that the technology belongs to America. It belongs to the world. Or take gravity, which was discovered by Isaac Newton….Any discovery process is just putting a name to what already is.
If anybody wants to do business in India, they have to study The Gita because most Indian CEOs swear by Gita. Starting from Mukesh Ambani [chairman and managing director of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries] down to virtually any CEO, if you ask them what is the one leadership book that has made the deepest impact; they will say it is The Gita.
Do they actually follow the principles of The Gita? Why there is so much corruption that one sees in the corporate world?
Well, there is counter question: The Ten Commandments have been around for such a long time. Do people follow them? The Gita is the deep structure of any Indian corporate leader, whether he follows it or not. One expression from The Gita — be committed to your work and not the results — is universally accepted in India. Every household in the country has read about it and while the terminology may be specific to India, the principles are universal.
There is an extraordinary amount of information overload that we carry in our heads today. Never before has the swarm of information hit us so badly. And alongside that, there is emotional turmoil. We are constantly in the "watch" mode. As a result, the pressure on the human psyche is huge. For leaders to make sense of this overload and see what is critical becomes the number one global skill. You also need to look at the rapid discontinuities that are taking place in technology. Leaders need greater adaptability skills to gear up and change themselves and their organizations. The corporate CEO, who is taking on turmoil of the proportions of a battle and is not able to handle the pressure, requires another kind of consciousness. So, leaders of today need to adapt to another kind of consciousness where they are able to take in a lot more. Their neural architecture has to be reshaped differently. This means that their consciousness of their world has to amplify. This requires another stage of evolution and I think The Gita is a book of evolution. People should look at this book again very closely.
The point is that there is nothing called ‘work versus life’. Life does not present itself in compartments, as the mind does. The mind is constantly preoccupied. So when we talk of work-life balance, you are fundamentally talking about your preoccupation with work when you are at home and your preoccupation with home when you are at work. The solution is that if your occupation is clouded by your preoccupation, you are not really doing your work — whatever work it may be. The challenge is how you deal with your preoccupations. Take away your preoccupation from your occupation, which means that you deal with your emotional overload and integrate your life well. Then the balance will be automatically restored in your life. One needs to see life in its unity and not compartments.
Anyone who has a block against the Hindu religion or India should not find it preventing him from appreciating the principles that cross geographies, cultural frontiers and also time barriers.
Here though ‘he’ is used; leader maps are pertinent to ‘she’ also to succeed in what he or she chooses. Hence, disclaimer for being a male chauvinist pig. Please read on.
Stories don’t just entertain us–they also teach and inspire us. Here’s how to parse your kids’ bedtime stories for modern leadership advice. Once upon a time…Even now, as adults, there’s something in most of us that perks up and starts to listen when we hear those words. We love stories and stories have always served important functions for us. They bring us together and reinforce our sense of community. They engage, amuse, enthrall, and titillate and they teach throughout history, before most people could read and write, stories, told by firesides and in village gatherings, were the mechanism by which we handed down laws and values, religions and taboos, knowledge and wisdom.
Think of stories as the cultural DNA of a pre-literate society. The stories of a group of people provided a map that, if followed, would guide someone to be a successful member of that group, and over the centuries, some of those maps seem to have transcended culture and geography to offer guidance for being successful humans. This seems especially true for one type of story: The hero’s tale. Joseph Campbell explored this theme in religious mythology with brilliance and depth in his Hero with a Thousand Faces, and I’m indebted to his work. However, in exploring these story maps for clues to the characteristics that define leadership, I looked to more humble sources like folktales and fairy tales of many cultures. Campbell’s work focused on our highest aspirations; what we expect of gods and godlike heroes. I wish to know practicality of how folktales tell us what to look for and accept in those who lead us day-to-day.
Think of folktales as maps of success–how to live as safely and happily as possible, how to avoid making fatal mistakes of belief or action. Until recently in our history, choosing a leader was a life-or-death decision. A good leader could guide you to find food, overcome enemies, and keep peace within the society. A bad leader could lead you into starvation or to death through war or lawlessness, and although the stakes may not be as high today, we’re still wired to accept as leaders only those who line up with our centuries-old map of leadership attributes.
By finding and extracting these leader maps, I could learn not only what people look for in leaders; but the corollary of that, what it takes to be the kind of leader whom others would follow. After reading several of leader stories from all over the world, here’s what I see and accept that a leader is farsighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous, trustworthy.
In leader folktales, the leader-to-be can see beyond his current situation young, poor, despised to his ultimate goal like save his father, win the princess, kill the monster and can express that vision in a compelling and inclusive way, especially to those whose help he needs to achieve it. He can hold to that vision and share it clearly even when others lose sight of it, believe it’s impossible, or ridicule him for trying. He is farsighted.
Moreover, the leader-in-training doesn’t just go through the motions. He is deeply committed to his quest, with his every action is directed toward achieving it. Nothing dissuades him, even the inevitable setbacks and disappointments attendant on any quest. He may not be loud about it, but is relentless. He is passionate.
Throughout the story, he is confronted with difficult situations. He may be afraid and lonely; he may feel like running away, longing for the comfort and safety of home. He often faces situations that are particularly trying for him personally. But he doesn’t turn aside; he doesn’t unlike his brothers or others who attempt the same journey make the safe and easy choices. He doesn’t wimp out and takes the path of least resistance. He is courageous.
He’s not a cardboard action hero, though. His brain is tested, and he must be able to learn from his mistakes. In many versions of the story, he doesn’t initially follow the advice given to him “don’t look back”; “don’t let go”; “don’t touch this or that on your way out” and his mistakes create more complexity and danger. The next time a similar situation arises, though, he behaves differently and succeeds at his task. He doesn’t deny or whine or blame; he improves. He also often comes up with clever solutions to seemingly insoluble problems. Finally, he uses his powers of discrimination to think through difficult choices and arrive at the best and most moral solution, for example, long-term happiness versus current riches; the greater good versus pure self-interest. He is thoughtful, appropriately humble, clear-headed, and curious. He is wise.
Along the way, the future leader meets people or creatures in need, and he helps them or shares with them. He does so even though his own supplies are low; even though helping them takes him out of his way or slows him down. In some versions of the story, he has to sacrifice his life for those he loves or to whom he owes his loyalty and this always turns out okay in the end and later, when he is king, his people are prosperous and happy because he rules with an open hand. The leader is not stingy, miserly or selfish. He is generous.
Finally, and perhaps most important, his word is his bond. If he tells his dying father that he will find the magic potion to cure him, you know that he will. If he tells the princess that he will come back to marry her, she can send out the invitations. When some creature says to him, “If I help you, boy, you must free me,” you know the creature is as good as free. The hero does not equivocate or exaggerate. He is trustworthy.
This tale survives and thrives in almost infinite permutations because it is satisfying; it feels right to us. We are hardwired to expect our chieftains to be farsighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous, and trustworthy. If we don’t see these qualities clearly demonstrated, we won’t follow at all; it is dangerous to do so.
Success is not defined by external factors; it is from within. One major life lesson I have learned is that no one can define success for me. I must do it myself. Regardless of what society, the media, family, friends, co-workers, or colleagues say, I am the one who has the final word. When I learned to own my identity and control my words, thoughts, actions, behaviors, attitude, and beliefs, I experienced a major life shift that was more powerful than anything I could ever imagine. For many years, I was validated by things. But when I released the hold external "things" had on my life, I learned why I am here. I was not born by accident. There is an assignment that belongs to me and only I can carry it out.
We are all born with assignments, and when we discover what it is, our entire life will shift, change, and re-arrange. Our mindset will no longer focus on superficial tangible things. Our attitude, outlook, perspective, and energy level will shift. We no longer have the victim mentality. We suddenly realize why all the painful life experiences happened in their sequential order. The puzzle pieces will begin to align and the image and vision for your life will become clear. As you begin to see the vision, you will embrace it, embody it, and become it. As you become one with the vision, your wisdom will begin to align with your beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Then you will begin to go about your business of carrying out your own unique life assignment.
Living your purpose is the most powerful and successful accomplishment you could ever have. It gives your life meaning, fulfillment, joy, peace, and happiness that you cannot get from any external source. You shift from being self-conscious to self-confident. The light that shines within you will align with the universe, and everything you need will be supplied. As obstacles enter life, you will connect to your inner voice and receive the answers. You will never be alone. This is when you begin to know that success happens IN you before it happens TO you.
Once you’ve made this life-changing discovery, you can now help others along the critical life journey of self-discovery. This is a journey we must all travel alone. There will be mentors, coaches, visionaries, and luminaries along the way to inspire, motivate, and elevate, but the journey belongs to you. As we continue on our journey, there will be naysayers, obstacles, and even failures. But failure isn’t final – it is feedback. You will strive to be better each day along your journey. Don’t allow fear to control you, because F.E.A.R is simply Failure Expected and Received.