What leadership lessons could you possibly learn from a president widely underrated for a long time and perceived to be a ‘do nothing’ president who simply happened to ride the wave of economic prosperity. Well to begin with the perception itself.
March 27th, 2011 — Discovering Yourself
“I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding, they learn by some other way — by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!” — Richard P. Feynman, Noted Physicist and Author
First let me clarify, this self help article is not about metaphysical concepts such as the meaning of life. Nor is it about concepts that you understand but don’t do for any reason, maybe because they are hard or inconvenient. This article is about the importance of acquiring a true understanding of what we learn and a few tips from my personal experience on how to do just that. What I have to say here will help you acquire a true understanding of whatever you learn at work, school and in life itself.
How wonderful it would be to get a true understanding of everything you learn (sic!) versus just knowing it superficially. For me it is the difference between being aware of concepts in the mind but not in the heart. A concept is simply the way we organize and interpret our experiences. The problem is most of us are not aware that we hold concepts in our mind. Whether we understand them or not our concepts reveal to ourself in our daily actions. Once we understand this, our daily actions become explainable. It is like seeing with an additional eye.
Take for example the concept of death.My father died in front of my eyes when I was about 6 or 8. I knew he was dead. I knew he was never going to be a part of my life from there on. I knew it. But I did not get it. Only years later when I was a teenager did it finally dawn on me what it meant and felt to have no father. A river of emotions swelled in my heart and I grieved for him. I relived the precious few memories of him and of our once complete family. Memories obscured in the mists of time.
He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
However it is also said that when the student is ready the teacher will come. So if you find yourself gravitating towards something it could be that you are finally ready. A teacher need not be a wizened old person carrying a beatific smile and wearing white clothes. It could be anyone, anything, even your own past experiences if you are prone to reflection.
One funny thing is that you may not even realize you are ready.
March 13th, 2011 — Success Strategies
We all have an important power within ourselves. The spark that sets fire to the tinder of good intentions, plans, dreams … all of which are of no value unless acted upon. Marshall Goldsmith calls this the Mojo or the ‘spirit’. Seth Godin calls this ‘instigation capital’ a play of words on the traditionally accepted definitions of economic capital such as ‘capital’ itself, ‘social capital’ and so on. In his powerfully motivating books “Rhinoceros Success” and “Advanced Rhinocerology” Scott Alexander provides the metaphor of a 6000 pound hulking rhinoceros with its 2 inch thick armor plated skin charging through the jungle intent only on capturing its prey, obstacles be dammed. Anthony Robbins, the original motivational super star, urges us to take massive action.
March 6th, 2011 — Self Help Books
‘The Art of War- Sun Tzu” is a military classic that has important lessons in every area of our life provided we assume the right attitude. And what is the right attitude – life is not a game to be played and enjoyed but a war to be won. Your opponents are enemies that need to be ruthlessly eliminated by all means including direct confrontation and subterfuge.
In essence this classic teaches