Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beat recession @ the mind level

The other day I met an old friend on my morning walk. He greeted me asking, “How is the recession treating you?’’

On the same day I stopped at a petrol station to fuel my car. The owner of the bunk, who knows me, asked me how is the recession.

A couple of hours later in a hotel, I was asked the same question, soon after a presentation.

It seems the normally asked “how are you?’’ has given way for a “recession related query.’’

From a psychological angle, this is a negative trend. When everyone starts strongly thinking of recession or economic depression, such scenarios grow and spread exponentially.

It may sound quite illogical, but see how it works. There is a universal principle called ‘Thadaastu’ which means, you will get whatever you think or ask for. Hence by thinking/talking about scarcity or by taking measures to counter recession, we are only infusing more recession into the system. So, it is important for us to think of things and situations we want to have around us. By the way, the Universe vibrates with abundance, love, light and warmth and there is nothing called scarcity or poverty in this universe.

The following tips can help individuals/entrepreneurs to beat recession at the mind level.

Do not panic, as worry is the prayer for what you do not want. Accept the situation and start believing that it is a cycle that takes you to a bigger growth. Do not create an air of apprehension amongst employees/stake holders. Spreading fear can de-motivate colleagues and snap the enthusiasm of stake holders/partners. Do not engage in obvious cost cutting measures. Creating wealth is the only antidote for poverty. Take employees/stake holders into confidence. Be genuinely optimistic. Avoid exposure to negative media. Thoughts generated by our brain are based on the inputs we feed the brain. So be very select in what you feed your kind and soul. Avoid discussions/forums on recession. If you happened to be part of one, try to focus on what one can do during unfavourable times. Think of abundance. The money everyone of us making is only growing, compared to what was say 10/20 years ago. Explore opportunity in every adversity. Many of the successful global business houses are born during tough times. Set your goals and hold them tight, as at times of challenges, we often tend to lose focus. Create a vision/mission statement and share that with employees. Display positive posters, banners, stickers, labels, and screen savers at work place and at home. Leave all communication channels open, as an entrepreneur/CEO of a company. Invest in people, to keep their morale up. Look out for a mentor/coach, who can inspire even during challenging times Reach out to inspiring books like “Magic of Thinking Big’’ by David Shwartz, “Power of Positive Thinking’’ by Norman Vincent Pale or “Power of Sub-Conscious Mind’’ by Dr Joseph Murphy. Re-engineer your thoughts for success. Learn to control your thoughts/emotions. Meditate and indulge in creative imagination. The thumb rule is, everything in this universe is being created twice; once in someone’s mind and then in real.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How to Win the Game of Frustration

Let me share with you a fact; in the Positive Kickoff columns, I received the maximum response for the last week’s article. Most of it because of the curiosity; to know what techniques I told the gentleman who won the battle of frustration against his boss. I think whenever the topic is about boss and how to manage your boss, we are all very keen!

When you felt like frustrated by your boss the question you need to ask is, “Am I getting frustrated or is my boss making me frustrated?” Though both may look the same, these are two different situations, because the person who is in action, is different. Or rather, you can take these two incidents as two separate events. One is where you are getting frustrated and your boss is only a reason for that. In this situation you are in control, as it is you who is getting frustrated. The second scenario is where your boss is frustrating you. Here you are not in control. But my question is, can anyone control you and your emotions without your permission. Never! That means the problem is not the boss making you frustrated, but it is, you are getting frustrated.

Now the solution is simple, isn’t it? Don’t get frustrated! Easily said than done. Look at frustration as a game like chess; Game of Frustration! You are playing this game with your boss. Rule of the game is simple; the one who makes the other person frustrated wins the game. I am sure none of us will ever play a game to lose. That means your boss’s objective is to get you frustrated and your goal is to make him frustrated or at least not getting frustrated by him. Will you play to win or lose? To win, right? How will you win? By not getting frustrated.

You cannot give something to others if you don’t possess it, right? The same way, if your are getting lot of frustration from your boss, that shows that he has got lot of it with him. He must be having a horrible frustrating life. That is why he could transfer to you all that so easily. Just have sympathy towards him. When he is angry with you and shouts at you, look at his face, look into his eyes with sympathy. You can see his face turning red and the eyes popping out. As his anger grows, you can see his body shivering, and you may even think for a while whether his face will burst like an atom bomb. You may think that he may collapse because of his hypertension and may be that he may get a paralytic stroke. Just sympathize and pray to God to save him.

Remember, you are not ridiculing your boss or making fun of him. You are just sympathizing him in your mind. And your objective is not to get yourself frustrated. Telling you very frankly, this is a tested program and it works. Remember the thumb rule, “Nobody can make you frustrated without your permission.” Whenever you are saying that she made me frustrated, you are stating, “I am such an idiot, who doesn’t have any control even on himself.” Hence never say that, “he is frustrating me,” instead the maximum you could say is,” I am getting frustrated.” In the second statement, you are accepting the responsibility. You can only make corrections in yourself, not in others. And these corrections are possible only if you realize that you are responsible for your life.

This week, play the game of frustration to win; whenever someone challenges you in the game.

Your Boss Cannot Frustrate You

A tale is told about the Buddha, Gautama (563-483BC), the Indian prince and spiritual leader whose teachings founded Buddhism. This short story illustrates that every one of us has the choice whether or not to take personal offence from another person's behavior.

It is said that on an occasion when the Buddha was teaching a group of people, he found himself on the receiving end of a fierce outburst of abuse from a bystander, who was for some reason very angry.

The Buddha listened patiently while the stranger vented his rage, and then the Buddha said to the group and to the stranger, "If someone gives a gift to another person, who then chooses to decline it, tell me, who would then own the gift? The giver or the person who refuses to accept the gift?"

"The giver," said the group after a little thought. "Any fool can see that," added the angry stranger.

"Then it follows, does it not," said the Buddha, "Whenever a person tries to abuse us, or to unload their anger on us, we can each choose to decline or to accept the abuse; whether to make it ours or not. By our personal response to the abuse from another, we can choose who owns and keeps the bad feelings."

Once a gentleman came to me and shared a major challenge he is facing in his life. He was going through an absolute turmoil in life, because of his boss. He said that his boss used to belittle him and insult him in front of others. His boss used to make him feel inferior by making statements like “you are an absolute waste, you have no idea about the job, there is no point in having an MBA,” so on and so forth. “Every day was horrible. Every morning, especially Monday mornings, I woke up to the worst day. It looked as if every thing in this world is working against me,” he said. All the frustrations at the work place were profusely getting transferred to his subordinates and to his family.

After listening to him, I asked, “is your boss making you frustrated or are you getting frustrated?” He was a bit confused. He asked “what is the difference; which ever way I am getting frustrated.” So now the issue is no more his boss or boss’s behavior; but the issue is our friend is getting frustrated. In short it is not his boss’s bad behavior; but it is his response to the bad attitude shown by his boss. It is always easier to make changes within you rather than making changes in others. Hence I asked him to stay cool and take charge of his responses. “Next time when your boss is trying to frustrate to you, you tell yourself that, I am not going to get frustrated.”

I suggested some practical steps for that, which I will discuss next week. However, after that day, his boss could never make him frustrated.

This week, practice to have control on your responses. Have a wonderful week ahead

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nobody Can Frustrate Me…

How can we have control on our responses while we are receiving impulses from outside world every moment? Imagine you are in a traffic block, what kind of frustration you must be going through during those moments? As a result you reached the office late and your boss became totally upset with you. Which way you are going to respond? When you reached back home late after a tiring a day, your wife showed her anger for reaching late. What is going to be your response here? In short every moment you are getting tested by one impulse or the other. That is where it says, you should be more internally driven than externally driven.

Here is a story. Once, a lady was doing shopping in a mall. She was accompanied by her 6 year old daughter. The child was very naughty. While they were walking through the corridors, the girl was grabbing things from the shops and disturbing the people around and was creating such intolerable nuisance. The lady was managing her somehow or other. When ever the girl does some nasty thing, the lady would say ‘Christy, cool down.” As they were going around the shops this lady was repeatedly saying ‘Christy, cool down.’ One gentleman was observing all these and he got amazed about the lady. He was thinking, “How cool this lady is. Even after the girl doing all the mischievous things the lady is only telling her to cool down. Had it been my wife, she should have finished that girl and torn her into two pieces.” He couldn’t stop himself from appreciating that lady for her patience. He said, “Madam, you are unbelievable. I truly appreciate your patience and tolerance. I will bring my wife to you one day, you need to teach her how to be so patient,” then he asked “By the way how old is Christy?” “35 years” the lady said. The gentleman got amazed, “what are you saying? this child is 35 years old. What is the problem with you?” The lady laughed and said, “Christy is my name and I am 35 year old.” For a moment the gentleman couldn’t understand what she was telling, then he realized that what he saw there was an Internally Driven person.

It may not be easy to practice this. However in this fast paced world, where stress is built into everything, you are going to have so many situations, which test your patience and your character. If you start getting driven by all these external factors, you will have nothing but stress in your life. You think that situations and people are frustrating you. But it is the other way around. You are getting frustrated by the situations and people. In fact the decision is yours; to get frustrated or not. Yes, of course the people and situations may be trying to frustrate you, but it is you who is getting frustrated. By getting frustrated, are you gaining anything? Only stress and tension! Do you want those? No. Then decide not to get frustrated. It may look simple on paper and tough to practice. Yes, I agree. Let it be tough, but still you can practice. Remember, Practice may not make things perfect; but Practice makes things permanent.

At least try to practice for this week and let me know the difference. Have a wonderful week ahead

Saturday, July 5, 2008


In our everyday life, we go through continuous impulse-response mechanism. Every moment we get some impulses from outside and we respond to those impulses; some times voluntarily some times involuntarily. These impulses could be anything. It could be verbal or non-verbal. Your brain responds to the smell you receive in your nostrils, the taste you get on your tongue and also to the verbal and physical impulses you receive every moment. Unfortunately most of us don’t have any control on the responses. We are like puppets; where we respond to each and every impulse we receive. For some people the response is so fast that they even think the response has come without their knowledge. They call themselves as ‘short-tempered’ and they believe that it is a character which cannot be changed. There are some other people who take pride in having this quality (or bad quality), whereby they say, “whatever comes in my mind I say it. I am not bothered in which way the other person is going to take it. I am a Straight forward person.” There are so many people around you who are in this state. They take pride in being ‘straight forward’. In fact to a greater extent this ‘straight forwardness’ has become an excuse for their uncontrollable responses. When you come across such a person ask him, “I appreciate your straight forwardness, but tell me how many friends you have? How are your relationships in the family?” The response would be, “I don’t have any friends. In fact I don’t care about family relationships; all these are drama. I don’t know how to act like an artist. I am very natural. Whatever comes in mind, I will speak out.” Though he is making all these bold statements, just imagine what kind of a horrible life he must be leading. But even for the horrible life he is having, he has justifications.

Once I spoke about this subject in one of my seminars and immediately one gentleman stood up. He was quite angry and upset. He shouted, “What do you mean. Are you telling that we should not be straight forward? That is stupidity. I cannot accept your statement. I have served the Indian Army I capacity of Captain for more than a decade. One of the qualities I always boast off about myself is straight forwardness.” I said, “I am not against straight forwardness. Most of the people take straight forwardness as an excuse to cover up their incapability to control their responses to the impulses they receive. You can be and should be straight forward, but in the process you have no right to hurt some one’s emotions.” Hence when you respond to situations and people, make sure that you are not hurting anyone. At the end of the day, what matters is how many people felt good because of you.

Go an extra mile do something to make others feel good. Have a wonderful week ahead