Perseverance – Catalyst for Total Transformation…

You make a New Year resolution with all enthusiasm, follow it for a week or 10 days… You end up making the same resolution the next New Year.

You resolve to develop a particular skill… take a few steps… suddenly the enthusiasm drops, the effort fades out.

Does this sound familiar? Do you identify with such experiences?

What stops you from pursuing through the effort? What helps you stay focussed and follow through?

Did you ever observed the ants build an anthill? An ant makes tireless efforts to build an anthill and store the food to survive through the bad times.

A bird takes consistent and continuous effort to build the perfect nest so that it can lay and hatch its eggs safely.

A honeybee builds a geometrically perfect beehive which acts as a store house of the nectar it collects and where their community thrives.

An ant, a bird or a honeybee takes constant and long-term effort to accomplish what they have set out for. They are programmed so… for survival.

Even humans demonstrate the quality of perseverance, when survival is at stake. Is that all a human being is capable of? What differentiates humans from other animals… A point to ponder…

The caterpillar undergoes transformation and emerges as a vibrant butterfly overcoming all challenges.

Turning Point

Small steps taken over a long period help achieve great heights braving all odds.

What motivates us to follow through the process? What helps us to persevere?

  • Survival – is a prime motivating factor for perseverance. One draws immense strength to persevere when survival is at stake.
  • Right knowledge – is the food for perseverance for achieving greater things in life. Success in any field requires perseverance. When one is aware of the likely outcome of their perseverance; when there is a role model who has tread the path and succeeded; when the passion for the goal is intense… perseverance becomes a joyful activity. All challenges coming along the way would become learning experiences to grow, to evolve. Perseverance can then be a catalyst for total transformation.

The caterpillar need not know that by going through the hard pupa stage it can transform into a beautiful butterfly.

A child need not know what he can achieve in life by learning to talk or walk. He is instinctively driven; the very act of seeing people around him walk or talk is the best motivating factor for him to take consistent efforts to walk or talk.

As we grow up the intellect develops. Thanks to the modern education system, one is not motivated to take a step forward until one has a clear scientific answer about the likely benefits of the effort taken.

We are also loaded with personal experiences and information from around about… why and how people fail; at the first stroke of failure we tend to let go of the effort.

Right knowledge from the right source helps one to overcome the mental barriers that are built over time. For example, if you are learning to play a musical instrument on your own, after a few efforts you may drop it if you are not able to play correctly. An experienced teacher, however can guide you through a series of steps… correct mistakes, motivate and help you persevere to bring perfection to your skill.

  • Guna balance – is the third ingredient influencing perseverance. We are all a combination of three basic gunas – Sattva (thinking, contemplative, etc.,), Rajas (active and on the move kind of attitude), and Tamas (dull and lazy). Rajas peps up energy and keeps us on the move. However appropriate proportion of Sattva and Tamas is required to direct our rajasic actions on the right path.

Rajas is a quality and driving force behind all actions. However, when Rajas is in excess, one loses the ability to follow through, would like to experience many things, gets easily bored with the same action, always in search of variety. This is a big hindrance to perseverance which is characterised by consistent efforts over a long time period.

Rajasic quality can be controlled through right food, being creative (as this will quench the thirst for variety) in following-through efforts, etc.,

While tamasic quality gives stability and firmness to our goals, excessive tamas makes one dull. After the initial efforts one may drop the effort to follow through.  When tamasic quality is high, right knowledge will also not work as one is not receptive to inputs. Taking care of the diet, small consistent efforts to overcome tamas, going an extra mile with the help of push from well-wishers, sankalpa during yoga nidra, practice of dynamic asanas, etc., are some of the ways which can help overcome dullness and laziness.

SCAN YOUR DAY

Do you want to improve the quality of your life on a day-to-day basis?  Do you want your today to be better than yesterday?  Here is a simple technique which can help you achieve that.

Every day before going to bed, scan the events that happen during the day in half an hour intervals.  For eg:  If you are doing this at 9 pm, recollect what has happened from 8.30 – 9 pm, then 8 – 8.30 pm, then 7.30 – 8 pm.  Like this go on till the time you woke up that morning.

Note:

  1. You are just being a witness watching the events of the day like you are watching a movie.
  1. You may initially doze off to sleep without scanning the day. But it is OK.  Over time you will be able to scan the day completely before sleeping off.

2 Approaches to Career Planning

Success means different things to different people.  What does it mean to you?

Ramesh wanted to be successful like his cousins and other relatives.  He constantly saw them exhibiting latest gadgets, travel a lot, party, etc.  He believed once he gets enough money he will also be able to have that kind of lifestyle.

On completing 12th Std, most of his friends took up engineering, as they found better prospects. Strongly influenced by his friends he also took up the course and came out with flying colours.

While in his final year, in a career counselling session he attended, the counsellor mentioned that pursuing a management degree after engineering will give added advantage in pursuit of well-paid jobs and higher growth prospects. He found the suggestion interesting… that was something different. He completed a post-graduate program in management from a reputed management institute.

As anticipated he was among the few sought after graduates by the visiting companies during campus placement.  He was extremely happy for making the right moves at the right time.  With a starting salary package of whopping Rs. 25 lakhs per annum he considered himself well settled in life.

Ramesh is going to celebrate his 5th anniversary in the company next week.  He did not switch jobs.  He gave his 100% in the company and achieved all the financial goals he had for the 5th year of career.  But Ramesh isn’t excited about the progress.  He feels a sense of vacuüm.

This is not something uncommon today.  Despite achieving heights in career and financial goals many are left dis-satisfied.  Not to mention the status of those who have not been able to reach their goals.

Like Ramesh, many people chose their career based on the influence of the environment, peers, parents and relatives, giving limited attention to what they actually want to do in their life.  They are hardly aware of what they are good at, what are their strengths and their weaknesses, what do they really value in life.

As it is nicely put in the movie, 3 Idiots, Lata Mangeshkar wouldn’t have been successful in cricket or Sachin Tendulkar would have been a failure had his father insisted him to be a musician or engineer. Each one has a unique strength and a value they would like to stand by at all costs. Hence, there are two possible approaches towards career planning.

Vision or Goal based approach

  1. In this approach one identifies what one values the most – money, relationship, name and fame or any other value? What one aspires to be five or ten years down the line?
  2. Then identify current strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis what one aspires to be. This may be nowhere near to the qualities or strengths required to become what one aspires for…
  3. However, it is not a doomed situation. One can always start from where they are and work towards building the strengths required to achieve their coveted goal.

Strength or Bottom-up approach

  1. In this approach one would first identify their current strengths and weaknesses; likes and dislikes; and inclinations.
  2. Then look out for career options that gel with the above.
  3. Build on the strengths and work on weaknesses to achieve greater heights in the chosen career path.

What is the cost you are willing to pay to SUCCEED?

Having achieved what you want to achieve, when you look back…

Are you like a lone pillar standing tall but your near and dear ones left behind? Are you successful like a pyramid where the fruits of your success trickles down till the bottom of the pyramid taking cognizance of the contribution of your well-wishers?

You see your children are asleep by the time you reach home. They are off to school by the time you are up in the morning. You see your children grow tall in their bed…

What is the cost you are willing to pay in terms of your relationships while building a successful career?

It is said that most people run all their life in pursuit of money at the cost of their health and in the end spend all the money to take care of their health. Irregular eating habits, poor diet, emotional imbalances, stress-filled life, sleepless nights and sleeping pills… Do these define your lifestyle?

What is the cost you are paying in terms of your health to build a Successful Career? Is it worth?

Imagine…

Your home is clean and hygienic.  The moment you step out you see a huge pile of garbage. You establish a highly successful industry. The wastage from your factory pollutes the land and water bodies around. Put all the gold and money on one side of a weighing scale and the earth on the other. Can all the gold over-weigh the earth?

Industrial revolution, technological advancements, gadgets, etc., have affected the environment to a great extent today. Global warming is posing a serious threat to the existence of many life forms and well established coastal cities and townships across the globe.

What is the cost you are paying in terms of your environment in pursuit of your financial goals?

Financial success, name and fame achieved at the cost of relationships, health and environment… Is this closer to your definition of Success?

Have you defined what success means to you?

What is your definition of success?

To know how we at Ankur define success, please click the linkThe story called Success

Value Added Success

A mobile app or mobile model that is developed today lose significance in a few months.

Technology platforms for mobile applications may last slightly longer.

The concept of mobiles has still longer life-line.

Discovery of fire, wheel, time, numbers, etc., probably has longest and widest relevance.

Thinking deeper… we can infer two essential aspects of an achievement/discovery.

  • Its relevance over a time period
  • Its relevance for wider population

More generic an achievement much wider and long-lasting is the relevance. With specialisation, the relevance diminishes. Of course, we are not advocating against specialisation. Specialisation should be inbuilt within generalisation.

You come first in your class, it is a proud moment for you.

You take care of the needs of your family members, your family will be proud of you.

You build enough wealth that will last several generations, your lineage will be proud of you.

You contribute something significant in the field you are involved in, people in the field will be proud of you. All great influencers in different fields like business, sports, music, arts, etc., come under this category.

You contribute something significant to change the face of the society or humanity as a whole, humanity will be proud of your success. Great influencers like Gandhi, Lincoln, Mandela, etc., are examples of such great achievers.

Success and achievement will always begin at the personal level. As one shares the fruits of such success and achievement with more people, their circle of influence expands. By expanding the definition of “I” to include more people from the family, locality and humanity as a whole, one can think bigger, expand their goals and add more value to their success.

Let’s look at a contemporary example… Facebook was initially started for friends in a college to keep in touch. When they realised that the need to keep in touch has much wider applicability, they made continuous and progressive improvisations to become one of the largest used social networking forums globally. Attention is drawn to the fact that founders of facebook were aware and conscious of the needs of the people around. As they quickly adapted, stayed relevant and fulfilled the needs of more people around, value of their success enhanced.

Does this mean that facebook will last forever. May be not… It depends on its ability to adapt, innovate and stay relevant.

Change is the essence. Neither success nor failure is permanent. Whatever you develop or achieve, loses value over a time. As things around changes, the needs also change. For decades typewriter was a very useful tool. Shorthand and typewriting were necessary skills for employment and growth. Today they are no more relevant.

An individual/organisation/discovery should be agile and adaptable to the changing needs to stay relevant and successful for longer time period. Ability to let go is a necessary skill. One need to let go of earlier learnings, beliefs / successful products; be aware of the changing trends; relearn and adapt according to the changing situations to stay successful.

Cultures, religions and civilisations that had this attribute survived the test of time while others perished.

Where do you, your goals and achievements stand?

Envision Your Success…

Kunti with clarity in vision mothers and nurtures Pandavas, while Gandhari lacking that vision could not provide right guidance to Kauravas. Kauravas, hundred in number had to ultimately face defeat in the hands of five Pandavas.

A clear vision of what you want to be in life, an awareness of what you really value in life will help you pursue the same and plan a successful career.

An idea of where you want to reach, direction of the wind and your current location will help you steer the boat in the direction of your destination. Lack of either of the above would leave you in the midst of the ocean direction-less.

When we talk of vision there are three elements involved

  1. clear sight – the ability to see what is obvious, visible to the eyes
  2. insight – the ability to read between the lines and understand more than what is obvious
  3. foresight – the ability to see what is non-existent today. It is being imaginative and creative.

Envisioning one’s success is dependent on clarity of one’s vision.

Clarity of one’s strengths and weaknesses (clear sight); an insight into the means of building on the strengths and overcoming weaknesses are likened to being aware of one’s current location.

One’s aspirations and goals are likened to the destination one wants to steer the boat towards. In this context, foresight is extended to the ability to envision the likely direction of winds and making alternate plans (paths) to be implemented based on arising circumstances.

Agility, perseverance and endurance guided by intelligence help one to steer the boat successfully towards the destination.

Daily SWAN habit with periodic analysis helps one to develop clear sight and insight.

Visualization meditations, trataka, etc., help to develop foresight.

Creative intelligence fostered with the strength of yamas and niyamas; a clear understanding of the five forces which keep us going; consistent updation of one’s knowledge; and awareness of the changing situations around provides the required agility, perseverance and endurance.

Young adults explore making Passion, a Profession

Are you pushing your child to become an engineer or a doctor or an MBA graduate so that they can lead a happy life.

While these professions are needed in the society and cannot be termed as bad career paths, they are not the only career paths available.

These days we come across more career paths like RJs, DJs, acting, performing arts, sports, training etc., gain more popularity and acceptability. Society needs professionals and experts in all walks of life.

Passion, satisfaction and happiness in pursuing a career is more important to lead a stress-free and meaningful life than the career choice itself, claim experts.

It is glad to note that increasing number of young adults are exploring to make their passion a profession.

Is this a call for the parents to recognise this trend and support their child excel in their chosen path and be happy in life…?!?!?

Is this a call to reduce suicidal deaths of children in IITs, IIMs and the likes…?!?!?

Is this a call for parents and guardians to LISTEN to their wards and THEIR CHOICES before advising them on their career option…?!?!?

What happened to 8 wealthiest people in the world?

In 1923, eight of the wealthiest people in the world met. Their combined wealth, estimated, exceeded the wealth of the government of the United States. These men knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. 25 years later.

1. President of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died bankrupt.
2. President of the largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.
3. One of the greatest commodity traders, Arthur Cutton, died insolvent.
4. President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.
5. A member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail.
6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jessie Livermore, committed suicide.
7. President of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.
8. President, Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.

They forgot to make a life! They just made Money!

Money provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy, but is only a medium of exchange.

Yes… Money is one of the most important factor needed in life. But, it is just that… one of the important factor and not the only important factor. This distinction is being missed by most and we have a staring example in the above observation…

What is the difference between Money and Wealth?

How should one manage them?

How can one be in control of Money and not get under the control of money?

Chanakya’s Arthashastra gives a detailed account of managing the wealth of an individual/society/enterprise/nation. Role of each and corrective measures to be taken in case of violation is also detailed.

The Mauryas nurtured and guided by this great teacher followed the principles in this doctrine and established a model society. What’s our take?

There are enough resources in this world to meet the needs of all, but not enough to meet the greed of one…

– Anonymous

 

THINK… Build YOUR OWN UNIQUE Brand…

Milestones of a successful brand…Think_Smiley

Open quotes!

Wipro, one of the world’s most trusted brands, is a name with a long history. Here’s a snapshot of our journey to date:

  • Established in 1945 as Western India Vegetable Products Limited in Amalner, Maharashtra
  • IPO for capital in February 1946
  • Ventured in to the fledgling IT industry in 1981
  • Established software products and exports subsidiary, Wipro Systems Ltd. in 1983
  • Pioneers in marketing indigenous Personal Computers in 1985
  • Established a Joint venture with GE in 1989
    • Entered IT services in the 1990s – we were among the pioneers in developing the ODC (Offshore Development Center) concept
  • Software business assessed at SEI-CMM Level 5 in 1998
  • Listed on NYSE in 2000 (NYSE:WIT)
  • The first company in the world to be assessed at PCMM Level 5 in 2001
  • Entered the BPO business in 2002
  • Entered the Eco-energy business in 2008

Close quotes!

–          What do you think helped WIPRO evolve and change its identity as the situation around changed?

–          What characteristics does an organisation/individual need to possess to evolve?

–          How can one nurture/develop those characteristics?

–          What are the tools available to us to develop those characteristics?

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The milestones may differ. The level of achievements may differ. But the underlying principle remains the same in the journey of any successful company or individual. People, things and situations around undergo change continuously. These lead to disappointments, insecurities and fears. Successful are those who tread this journey carefully with maturity and poise. What characteristics determine maturity? What is a poise behavior?

Ancient Indians thought so much about nothing they gifted zero to the world. No need to mention the role zero has played in making the world that is today.

ThoughtEnergy_2

We can attempt to get answers to the above questions from internet or some book or from the person next to us. That’s what we generally tend to do, search for the answers outside.

Instead, can we take the road less travelled? Can we spare some time to find answers to the above questions, by searching within?

Think2

The Story called “SUCCESS”

Rajesh (name changed), an IIM graduate, six digit earning per month, having absolute clarity about where he wants to be in life, 27 years of age, things going quite well… What else does one aspire for? Wouldn’t the parents be happy for having nurtured such an individual? This is success indeed.

Alas! Not.

This guy is facing severe stress these days. Not due to work load at office, but due to health reasons. He complains of bleeding each time he passes out feces. On diagnosis, it was identified that there are ulcers in his colon and it has been damaged very badly. He had very poor eating habits for close to a decade – to achieve academic excellence. While in college he frequently gave long gap between meals apart from regularly skipping breakfast and/or meals. Sleep also has been a casuality. A successful and sought after professional is afraid to get into the toilet. What a Paradox ?!?

This is a common denominator for most youngsters of the current generation – a lifestyle prevalent among children once they enter class nine. The same intensifies on entering prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs and the likes. They get so much used to that kind of life-style, the trend is carried to their professional life as well. Select few are fortunate enough to not fall into this kind of lifestyle trap. The effect of poor lifestyle on physical and hence mental and emotional health is very trivial in the initial stages. The compounding power of money is taught in the school, but they fail to mention that the same principle applies to health as well.

Is academic excellence alone the deciding factor for success in life ?!?

Fill the following grid to verify the truth behind this notion. Some are done for you…

 

Successful

Un-Successful

   Educated 

Abdul Kalam

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—————–

—————–

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Osama Bin Laden

—————–

—————–

—————–

—————–

School/College

drop outs

or Uneducated

Rajni Kanth

—————–

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—————–

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Who notes them?

This exercise is not to undermine the importance of academic education. The idea is to give academic excellence its right position, in the overall excellence and balance that needs to be achieved. It also is intended to give an appropriate definition to education – which should be man making and life-fulfilling. It is definitely not simply literary or intellectual understanding about scientific facts and figures.

In pursuit of success (Read: money) people increasingly ignore one or more of the following – health, relationships, ethics, values, environment, etc., It was shared in an earlier post, how eight wealthiest individuals ended their life in a pathetic manner. Instances like Rajesh, which we come across more commonly these days, also stand testimony to the fact – financial success is not true success.

Ancient Indian Wisdom prescribes that, at the worldly level, goal of life is to achieve wealth and security (Artha), enjoy rightful pleasures (Kama) in a harmonious manner (Dharma) and remain free from pain and stress (Moksha). The focus here is on the term harmonious manner – Dharma. It is only when we earn wealth and enjoy pleasures in harmony, do we find peace and happiness in life.

Harmony should first be achieved at the individual level and then extended to the societal level. Individual victory can only lead one to collective or inter-personal victory. At the individual level there needs to be harmony between intentions, thoughts, words and actions. The head, heart and hands need to integrate. One way to achieve this is to use the vital force (Prana) to regulate the physical, mental, psychic and intellectual domains of an individual.

Like the cells in a physical body are harmoniously and organically integrated, the members of a society need to be organically integrated to achieve harmony in the society. At the outset, this may seem Utopian or philosophical statement. But, a close observation of the history of civilizations will reveal the truth.

One cell in the body may or may not decide the functioning of its neighbor cell. But it definitely can and does respond in an appropriate manner based on the functioning of the neighbouring cells. Such response alone helps a physical body to remain fit and healthy.

Similarly, we may or may not be able to decide the actions of other elements around us. But we definitely have the ability to make a choice, to prevail upon the choice and decide our response to every situation we are faced with. These choices determine our level of happiness and hence our level of success.

This is the unique blessing of humans… the power to prevail over a choice with the help of WILL.

What are the choices we are making?

How informed are we in making our choices?

How discrete are we in making our choices?

A Happily Successful person is one who makes the RIGHT CHOICES, before exercising his WILL over the choices.

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