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Paradise is no heaven


Published in Corporate Dossier, ET, July 29, 2011 by Devdutt Pattanaik

In Hindu mythology, there are two types of heaven: there is heaven (spelt without capitals) and there is Heaven (spelt with capitals). The smaller heaven is also called paradise, to distinguish it from Heaven. Of course, this complex denotations emerge because of the limitations of the English language that was designed to serve the needs of the Bible that has only one Heaven. Belief in one life that underlies Christianity results in faith in one heaven. Belief in many lives that underlies Hinduism results in faith in many heavens, and Heavens.

Paradise or heaven is called Swarga and is ruled by Indra, king of the gods. He is surrounded by wealth and beauty and fame, but he is always insecure, fearful that another king or sage or demon may topple him anytime. Then there is Heaven, the Vaikuntha of Vishnu or Kailasa of Shiva, where there is no threat; there is peace forever. But here time stills, there is no ebb and flow of things, no hunger hence no quest for satisfaction, no thirst hence no satiety. In the case of paradise, there is prosperity but no peace, while in Heaven there is peace but complete indifference to prosperity.

Thirty years ago, David and Jacob, after completing their engineering degree, took up two very different jobs for two different reasons. David joined a private engineering firm that offered him no job guarantees but a lot of opportunities.Jacob joined a Public Sector Enterprise that offered him job security but not many opportunities.

David spent years moving from city to city, from job to job, changing roles and domains, fighting office politics, struggling for appreciation, making his presence felt, battling recession, and is today Vice President of a Dubai-based company with major investments in India. Needless to say he is doing very well financially. He has bought three houses in India. But he looks stressed. The job has very high demands. The shareholders want results and the auditors are strict about governance. Every day he has to take tough decisions and every day he has to answer tough questions from people upstream and downstream. The customers are difficult to acquire and difficult to retain. David spends all day thinking about the job and this has seriously affected his work-life balance. He envies Jacob.

Jacob joined a Public Sector Company. He finds his job boring. Every thing is decided by policies. He knows he can do a better job but the organization makes no demands of him. He is expected to behave as per his grade. His remuneration is as per his grade. If he wants to attend a conference abroad he has to take permission from superiors. He has hardly any autonomy. Even if the chair in his office is broken, the requisition has to go to some senior who will sign a document in triplicate. His colleagues, he feels, have lost all enthusiasm. Even the fire in his belly has started to ebb. He does enough work so that he is not seen as a slacker. He reaches office on time and comes home on time. He gets to spend a lot of time with his family. For that he is grateful, especially when David calls him and tells him how he was unable to attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony in a fancy Singapore University. He knows that boom time or bust, he job is secure, and if he is patient, eventually, he will get his promotion. He may not have bought three houses, but his company quarters are huge and located in the best suburbs of Mumbai and Delhi. He is content but occasionally he does feel his life lacks the thrill of David’s private sector job.

David is in paradise; Jacob in Heaven. David enjoys growth; Jacob enjoys stability. David is blessed with prosperity; Jacob has peace. We yearn for both, but often one comes at the price of the other.

The best ANTIDOTE to gossip!


Gita Negi

TEDx Speaker / Writer / Independent Trainer

We all have been either a victim or a witness to malicious gossip, at least once in our professional lives. 

What may seem as a harmless rumor to others can actually harass the target enough to make him leave the job.

Before we analyse how we can safeguard ourselves from lame conversation it is interesting to know why some organisations seem to have a rampant culture of gossip and backbiting than others.

Is the management responsible for promoting loose talks?

Well, the role of immediate bosses cannot be completely denied. I have seen managers promote groupism and give out preferential treatment on the basis of who gets the most juiciest information for them.Therefore, the subordinates do not find anything wrong when they share or reveal details that should be best kept to themselves.

Having said that, it cannot be ignored that certain individuals have a tendency to participate in such activities, with or without any support.

What may begin as a casual joke or remark during coffee breaks, most of the time spirals out of hands, as it rapidly moves from one person to another. It not only threatens to tarnish the image of the target but it also affects everybody involved, when the rumor becomes a Frankenstein's monster.

So how do you save yourself, from all the negativity at workplace?

Most of the time a gossip monger will strike a conversation  by saying, " I have a lot to tell you."

This is just their way of testing your interest and whether you would make for a good partner in crime.

So if you happen to be a mere listener, then the best possible thing is to distract the gossip monger and find ways to change the topic.The fact that  stating your disinterest upfront, will have almost no effect on him, makes its inevitable to employ such indirect means. In fact, one danger of being direct with these people is that, you might end up becoming their next target.

 But if you happen to be the target of gossip , then the best thing to combat it is, through your work. Only your work can prove all the allegations about you wrong.When people see that how contradictory your performance is against what is said about you, they are likely to believe in your work than in the rumors about you.As they would trust what they see than what they hear.

 Therefore, work and only work is the best antidote to gossip as it defeats your detractors and destroys all the gossip around you, one by one.

Courtesy - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/best-antidote-gossip-gita-negi?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like


What differentiates people who are successful from the rest, explains mystic Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev


As far as mystics go, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev defies every preconceived notion you might hold about spiritual leaders. He admits to being as comfortable walking barefoot in the Himalayas to riding a BMW bike on the highway. So it's not unusual to see him spend lunch hour playing a game of Frisbee with the Isha Foundation volunteers.

Or, writing a poem on the nature of money in the handmade paper journal he carries around. Corporate Dossier got in the way of one such Frisbee session and caught up with the man behind Isha Yoga at the Isha Insight Seminar held at their centre just outside Coimbatore.

The four-day programme, conducted by uber-guru Ram Charan, was aimed at helping small and medium enterprises address the pain points in scaling up.

While industry leaders like Infosys and ICICI Bank Chairman KV Kamath and GMR's GM Rao talked about their journey to get to where they are, others, including IBM's Shankar Annaswamy, Murugappa Group's Vellayan Subbiah and Pramod Chaudhari of Praj Industries were also at hand to help the participants.

Talking about how this programme came about, Sadhguru says, "I've been closely associated with various businesses and have found that many entrepreneurial and familyrun concerns tend to grow to a certain point and then get stuck. One major reason for that is the mindset.

Apart from that, there are practical aspects, like access to international finance and markets. These are fundamentally good businesses and have a certain prudence, which many major international companies don't. If Indian business needs to burst out, we need to support and encourage these businesses to grow." He likens the process of moving from a proprietary concern to a larger corporate structure to being on a trapeze.

"No matter how much I tell you to let go of the bar, till you can't see the other bar in front of you and know you can catch it, you won't be able to jump," he says. Sadhguru first grabbed the people's attention when he spoke about inner engineering, or a 'technology for wellbeing' that has its roots in yoga. Since it's lunch time and we can smell the rotis as they are cooked, he uses that to illustrate his point.

"There is another dimension to human beings, which isn't all through and analysis. A few hours after you eat this roti, it becomes a part of the human body. There is phenomenal intelligence in every cell in the human body, which is the source of your creation. Inner engineering is about tapping into this. Right now, it's completely out of your conscious mind. Now think even if a single drop of this became accessible to you, how it would impact the way you think and do things," he explains.

His schedule is an eclectic mix, which could range from addressing a gathering at the World Economic Forum to conducting an Inner Engineering programme in London. He recollects how some people were resentful the first time he was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum.

"I met a few people who questioned what a mystic was doing there. I told them, that whether you make computers or software, the most essential business in human wellbeing, and that's my business too," he says.

According to him, what differentiates people who are successful from the rest is that they aren't completely wired to their memory. "If you are wired to your memory, repetitions will happen and redundancy will come; but if you are paying attention, that changes your ability to look at things," he says.

Some people by nature have a better level of attention. "Spirituality cannot be taught from a book and the only thing you have is your perception. It's essentially about how deep you can take your attention. A tree can represent so many things depending on who is looking at it. It can even become divine depending on the level of attention," he says.

Closely attuned to the business world, he is critical of the growing CSR efforts by companies. "CSR has becoming a guilt washing process. Instead, why can't companies structure their businesses such that it benefits the world and its people?" he asks. His logic is simple. Rather than have money idle in a bank account, use it to set up a new business with lower profit margins but offering more widespread services. If you are good at it, it will expand and more people would benefit from it, doing away with the need for charity.

"Nobody likes receiving a dole-out; it's not in the human dignity to do so. People will accept it because they are desperate, but nobody is happy to be at the receiving end of charity," he says. He'd like to see another change. He wants companies to focus on the individual rather than only his work. Drawing a simile with a plant, he says that if the focus is only on how to get more flowers out of it and not on nourishing it, it will serve no purpose. Similarly, if you start thinking about your employees as people and nourish them as individuals, then you don't have to worry about how they are performing.

"Once you nourish it, you don't have to worry about what it will create because it will blossom all over the place, whether you like it or not," he says. As we wind up, he invites CD to a charity golf event he is organising for Isha Vidhya, their rural children's education initiative. Does he play golf as well, we can't help but ask, half knowing the answer. "Of course, I do," says the mystic.

Don't worry, Be happy


Chetan Bhagat

Alright, this is not cool at all. A recent survey by Nielsen has revealed that Indian women are the most stressed out in the world: 87% of our women feel stressed out most of the time. This statistic alone has caused me to stress out. Even in workaholic America, only 53% women feel stressed.

What are we doing to our women? I'm biased, but Indian women are the most beautiful in the world. As mothers, sisters, daughters, colleagues, wives and girlfriends - we love them. Can you imagine life without the ladies?

It would be a universe full of messy, aggressive and egomaniacal males running the world, trying to outdo each other for no particular reason. There would be body odour, socks on the floor and nothing in the fridge to eat. The entertainment industry would die. Who wants to watch movies without actresses?

Kids would be neglected and turn into drug addicts or psychopaths by age 10. Soon, all-male world leaders would lose their tempers at the slightest provocation, and bomb the guts out of each other's countries. In short, without women and their sanity, the world would perish.

Yet, look at how we Indians, a land of spiritual people, treat them. At an extreme, we abort girls before they are born, neglect them in their upbringing, torture them, molest them, sell them, rape them and honour-kill them. Of course, these criminal acts are performed by a tiny minority.

However, a majority of us are involved in lesser crimes. We judge, expect too much, don't give space and suffocate our women's individuality. Imagine if you did this to men - won't they be stressed out?

At a broader level, this isn't just about our women. We Indians have a habit of exploiting anyone without power. As a flip side, we are suckers for anyone with power.

We look up to corrupt politicians, keep voting them back, and feel they have an entitlement to loot us silly, because they are in power. In fact, we love power so much that when power comes to a woman, we automatically begin to regard her well too. Goddesses, female politicians, senior mothers in a household with a firm grip on family power - they all get our respect. Anyone else doesn't.

This kind of society, which values power above equality and justice, doesn't achieve too much. These societies remain like backward tribes, because they do not allow people without power to come up, even though they may have many talents. When we don't allow our women to come up, or create stress for them if they do, we are not allowing half of India to come up. When we abuse our power, we kill the exploited person's will to contribute to society. When we believe powerful people are always right, and the less powerful should be crushed, we resemble a jungle of animals. And animals don't progress, humans do.

These regressive attitudes will take a while to change. For now, i want to give Indian women five suggestions to reduce their stress levels. One, don't ever think you are without power. Give it back to that mother-in-law. Be who you are, not someone she wished you would be. She doesn't like you? That's her problem.

Two, if you are doing a good job at work and your boss doesn't value you - tell him that, or quit. Talented, hard-working people are much in demand. Three, educate yourself, learn skills, network - figure out ways to be economically independent. So next time your husband tells you that you are not a good enough wife, mother or daughter-in-law, you can tell him to take a hike.

Four, do not ever feel stressed about having a dual responsibility of family and work. It is difficult, but not impossible. The trick is not to expect an A+ in every aspect of your life. You are not taking an exam, and you frankly can't score cent per cent (unless you are in SRCC, of course). It is okay if you don't make four dishes for lunch, one can fill their stomach with one. It is okay if you don't work until midnight and don't get a promotion. Nobody remembers their job designation on their dying day.

Five, most important, don't get competitive with other women. Someone will make a better scrapbook for her school project than you. Another will lose more weight with a better diet. Your neighbour may make a six-dabba tiffin for her husband, you don't - big deal. Do your best, but don't keep looking out for the report card, and definitely don't expect to top the class. There is no ideal woman in this world, and if you strive to become one, there will be only one thing you will achieve for certain - stress.

So breathe, chill, relax. Tell yourself you are beautiful, do your best and deserve a peaceful life. Anybody trying to take that away from you is making a mistake, not you. Your purpose of coming to this earth is not to please everyone. Your purpose is to offer what you have to the world, and have a good life in return. The next time this survey comes, i don't want to see Indian women on top of the list. I want them to be the happiest women in the world. Now smile, before your mother-in-law shouts at you for wasting your time reading the newspaper.

Curtsey - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/edit-page/Dont-worry-Be-happy/articleshow/9237496.cms

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