Month: January 2014

Don’t look, we are changing.

Change is the time for changeonly constant’ – sounds clichéd, right? Overuse may have robbed it of its aura  but the underlying truth remains powerful as ever. Change can change you!

Despite hundreds of aphorisms & quotes, thousands of books and ever increasing number of conferences & courses on change, has anything really changed?books

All of us continue to live our lives as if nothing ever is going to change. Who are we fooling? Let’s face it. We  abhor change. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and hey! Who likes it? Hence we are most often caught totally unawares & unprepared for it.

What could be the reason for this?

In my (not so divine) opinion our positive-change bias is one major cause. Simply put-  when things change for the better we hardly notice. We take the good for granted,  This dulls & lulls us.

However  when suddenly a negative change happens we get all rustled. As if the positive change was well deserved but we surely don’t deserve a negative one. Fate has cheated us when it sent a negative change  our way.life changes

In short it is the ‘changes’ job to keep us happy and content. Always.

Come to think of it. it can be extrapolated that the very existence of God can be attributed to change.

Imagine a world where nothing changed at all; everything remained as it was. Forever. No old age, no illnesses, no bankruptcies, no famines, no floods, no earthquakes & not even death. Would we believe in a God then?

Another interesting fact (which probably will contradict everything I’ve said till now), if there is anything at all common to all religions, it is the belief that God is immutable. He will not grow old, His attributes will remain the same & nothing about Him will ever change. For eternity & beyond.

In other words God is the very anti-thesis of change

What an interesting paradox; There would be no belief in God if there were no change and yet that God himself shall never change.

I hope I have managed to tie you up in knots.

So is there a way out of our inertia. Can we still reconcile with change (better than be caught unawares) despite a deep seated aversion for it?

The most interesting way out is to proactively create change. Resist the status quo. Welcome change! Be happy to see a diversion in the usual road you take, both figuratively and literally. Take that different route to the office, eat at the ramshackle rundown place you always ignored, smile at that fella playing politics in your office, shave the other cheek first. In short do every small thing a little differently. Take that chance, believe that doubt, listen to that small voice and you’ll be surprised to see yourself  feel more alive.  And nothing will take you by surprise anymore.

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Happy New Year. Really?

I stare at the blank page in front of me, both literally as well as metaphorically. It is the first day of a New Year.Image I know pretty well I am not going to write another set of resolutions, having long realised the futility of this exercise. But I do want to scribble a few thoughts, which would be more than ephemeral & fleeting. Thoughts, which could serve as a reference point, a lighthouse through the year ahead. And may be beyond.

“Happy New Year” isn’t that the most common greeting that we begin the year with? And despite all the hoopla we’ve created around it, is the world a happier place? Are we happier as individuals? I am afraid an honest answer would be a resounding no. The most natural thing would be to look for reasons why it is so and how we can be happier.

The most important reason for our unhappiness to my mind is imbalance. Our life is made up of three major components: physical, emotional and spiritual. They are like the legs of a tripod, each playing its critical role in making the entire structure stable. If, as often happens, we neglect any one of them life becomes shaky and insecure.Image

Imagine using the best wood, polish etc in making one of the legs very strong while the other is in a state of utter neglect, would such a structure be stable? How then do we expect our lives to be happy and contended while as generally is the case overemphasising the physical aspect of it. We pay the greatest attention to the superficial; our clothes, looks, cars, homes, vacations etc while paying little attention to the emotional and probably completely ignoring the spiritual dimension of our lives.

Balance doesn’t happen by accident, it can only be achieved by design. One has to consciously keep all three in focus and work on them. Two words consistency and discipline make sure we do that. If our wish of a happy year is to come true we need to focus on these three dimensions in a disciplined way and consistently – one day at time. The result; when we look back on the 365th day, we see our happiness has increased incrementally and accumulated bringing the greeting alive. Happy New Year.