Thursday, August 30, 2012

ReTHINK : What makes you think you can teach us to lead?

It was a perfect morning weather with clear sky. Here i am to start off with a new leadership training. Just as i about to start Kelvin's hand went up unexpectedly. I had barely begun introducing the leadership course. " Sir, I have a question." I gave him the floor.
And then he came out with a question." What makes you think you can teach us to lead?" I looked around. Roomful managers looked back. Barely 3 minutes into the first class, i was asked on the leadership. Nevertheless it was a good question. Undoubtly as managers flock to courses that promise to transform them into leaders, Kelvin's question lingers in many business school classrooms and corporate world.
I am not the founder of e-bay, amazon or some politician.Some lecturer or spreaker pre-empt it by emphasizing their corporate experience or casually dropping names of CEOs they have met.
The first thing that cross our mind is that leading means occupying a senior managerial position. The fallacy of this equation is apparent when you look back to managers or executives you have met. Were they all leaders? Were they all leaders who could teach, and that you would eagerly learn from? Leaders are not in the title but in your attitude. This is when Robin Sharma struck my mind. You need not title to be a leader: Success (business and personal) is something that’s consciously created. To lead without a title “you will have to be unrealistically persistent and wildly courageous.”
Point i'm trying to make is, " Everyone is a leader and i'm not here to teach you leadership. It's already in there, I'm trying bring the leadership in you. Cause the reason is simple," You are paralysed by your fear. Fear of admitting you are GOOD. You are a LEADER."

It doesnt matter what you do within your organization and the current circumstances of your life, the single most important fact is that you have the power to show leadership where you are planted and play at peak in all you do.
Robin Sharma, one of the top leadership experts in the world and the author of global bestsellers The Leader Who Had No Title. Leadership isn't just for CEOs, heads of state or millionaires. Taxi drivers can lead. Teachers can lead. Farmers can lead. True leader won't need title. I picked it up as a book to explain on leadership and yet while it definitely provides tools and attitude shifts that will lead to better leadership in the workplace, the lessons in this book are about taking ownership of your life. 
These are some of the great works by Robin Sharma which had been always part of my reference.
All those things we believed were so important, things like titles, net worth and social position turn out to be so very unimportant.
And once we all truly get that-no matter what we do, we can step into leadership, the whole game will change. We need you to lead without a title. More than ever before, the world needs real leaders. "If everyone would only sweep their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean," said one of the greatest leaders without a title, Mother Teresa.
“The time to think about your legacy and how you want to be remembered is not on your last day, but now. That way you can live your life backward and make certain that you have a good ending.”.....The Leader Who Had No Title
If you’re like most people, you rarely think about the day you’ll die. In fact it’s a topic most of us take great pains to avoid, and for good reason. Who wants to think about “the end”? Well, Sharma suggests, those who want to do great things with their lives think about the end. But, rather than a point of worry or negativity, they use it as a starting point.

Think about it – if you were to jump in your car and head out on the open road with a full tank of gas, who would be responsible for where you ended up when the tank finally ran dry? The car? The road? Maybe the other drivers? The example is simple for a reason – I doubt anyone could argue that anyone other than you is responsible for where you ended up. So how is it any different in the journey you call life?

There’s an old saying that most people spend more time planning their vacations than planning their lives. I propose that you at least get a feel for your life destination, if not the route to get there. Think about how you want to be remembered, and the legacy you want to leave. Regardless of the details, chances are you share the virtually universal ambition of wanting your life to count for something; to have made a positive impact on those who crossed your path. This is leadership – a positive influence on those around you, inspiring them to live just a little better than they did before they met you. Leadership – true leadership – has nothing to do with title, stature or wealth. It has to do with being a person that people want to look up to. In The Leader Who Had No Title, Sharma shares some very practical tools on how to be that person.

“They don’t gossip. They don’t complain. They don’t condemn. And they never swear. The only words they try their best to use each day are those that inspire, engage, and elevate.” .............The Leader Who Had No Title
I love this part.
How many people in your life do you respect or want to follow who gossip, complain or swear? We all do it – we let the cracks in our armor show through frustrated venting or verbalized worry.
Leaders though – those we look up to – consciously work at limiting the number of such occurrences. Complaining and negative speak provide no value. And leaders are all about providing value. As often as they can, with whomever they can, leaders inspire, engage and elevate. What percentage of your “outbound communication” (verbal or written) is having positive change? How much of it is negative?
A sales professional friend of mine once told me that “everything you say in front of a prospect is taking you one step closer to, or further from a sale.” I would argue the same is true with leadership. Every word that comes out of your mouth is impacting the people around you. It’s up to you to choose the words and messages for which you’re remembered.
What the society thinks is of no interest to me. All that's important is how I see myself. I know who who I am. I know the value of my work.”
― Robin S. Sharma

Here are some great quotes that i include in my training for my explaination to the group.

“Be so good that people cannot ignore you” – Steve Martin
“Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations” – Ralph Charell
“We need to be reminded more than we need to be instructed” – G. K. Chesterton
“…become more connected to those moments where your natural genius most fully presents itself. Live for those moments and you’ll begin to experience more of them.” (pg 69) – see Marcus Buckingham for lots more on Playing To Your Strengths.

“He never caught a glimpse of the leader he could have been. So he kept on working and living exactly the same way. No reaching. No venturing. No expanding….All because he just wouldn’t dare to leave his comfort zone.” (pg 100)

“…spending even five minutes during that first hour of your day celebrating all the good things in your life will put you into an acute state of happiness.” (pg 183)

"......The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership: “Leave every single person who intersects your path better, happier, and more engaged than you found them.” Time spent forming deep relationships–in all aspects of life–will pay dividends down the road.

"....To be a great leader, first become a great person: Training and strengthening your inner leader will help you perform at extraordinary levels. The key is learning to lead yourself. In our world we define success by the things we have, not by the people we’ve become. The more self-awareness we develop the more likely we are to grow and help others."

Thank you, Robin, for such a life changing work.



ReTHINK: Leader within

Every one is born genius and i always believe that we are here for a reason. We are here with innate talent, nicely packaged by lord as a gift to be uncovered. But it's always seems to be hard to make people believe in themselves.
People rather live in blind obedience than to lead. We tend to let let the noise of other people opinion to press down your inner voice. As time passed by, you don't listen to yourself. You choose to be normal. You choose to let others to define you. Question now, are we leading our life or we are just the by-product of other people opinions. Surprisingly in my recent training not many participants able to answer as they don't have the time to slow down and listen to their heart.
I would like to share some of the interesting points brought up during the training. 
Even Mahatma Gandhi wrote once on the importance of believing yourself.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” 
Here are some explaination by Anthony Robbins.
After all, what is procrastination? It's when you know you should do something, but you still don't do it. Why not? The answer is simple: at some level you believe that taking action in this moment would be more painful than just putting it off. Yet, have you ever had the experience of putting something off for so long that suddenly you felt pressure to just do it, to get it done7 What happened? You changed what you linked pain and pleasure to. Suddenly, not taking action became more painful than putting it off.
For most people, the fear of loss is much greater than the desire for gain. Which would drive you more: keeping someone from stealing the $100,000 you've earned over the last five years, or the potential of earning $100,000 in the next five? The fact is that most people would work much harder to hang on to what they have than they would to take the risks necessary to get what they really want from their lives.
“When we're able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So, a revision to the "You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be" maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”  ...Tom Rath
So, that's a quick one on few of my top interesting points that i managed to extract.  Looking forward to reconnecting with the tribes when i'm back with more stuff.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ReThink: “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

We have heard it all. Ralph Waldo Emerson said "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso said by Picasso.

But it seems to be so difficult to be ourselves in the world that constantly trying to change us. To be yourself had always been my first topic before I go deep further into the leadership training. Reason? Simple. We dying to blend in when we are born to standout.

We so much wanna become the next Jack Welch, when there is already a leader in you. We wanna become the next Steve Jobs without realising the innate talent in you. We tend to overestimate what we are not and underestimate what we already have.

To make it different this time, I choose to deliver the speech by quoting the words from the Master.... Osho

Awesome stuff by Robin Sharma

This time,I will let the pictures do the talking.

Rethink : Be positive even it's not your blood group

I remembered i read a story about a man who sold hotdogs the roadside. He never read newspapers as he was illiterate He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His have some problem with his eyesight,so he never watched television. But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdogs. His sales and profit went up. He ordered more meat and got himself a bigger and a better stove. As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from college, joined his father.

Then something strange happened. The son asked, "Dad, aren't you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?" The father replied, "No, but tell me about it."

The son said, "The international situation is terrible. The domestic is even worse. We should be prepared for the coming bad time." The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, and listened to the radio, he ought to know and his advice should not be taken lightly. So the next day, the father cut down his order for the meat and buns, took down the sign and was no longer enthusiastic. Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hot dog stand.

And his sales started coming down rapidly. The father said to his son, "Son, you were right. We are in the middle of a recession. I am glad you warned me ahead of time."

I would like dedicate Ourselves to what Vincent Van Gogh wrote once that

"If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."

I hold this to be a truth that it doesn't count as much of what others are telling us comparing to what are we whispering to ourself.

I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. and while we are accepting their negativity we are creating our believes.

All great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.Do not let others to kill your small steps.Do not let what others believe to be your reality.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Question now : Are we living or just breathing

Above saying slow me down to ReTHINK about our fast pace life.Life flies by so quickly it seems almost crazy how we seem to just try to speed things up by rushing through our daily routines and tasks. Let alone taking time to break from what we are doing to ReTHINK into innovative way of doing things. But, the ironically we don't even have time to live our life.

Undoubtly, the technological advances have resulted in labour saving devices from home up to our office. Communication has become so simple, so fast through the internet, with wireless connections, laptops, mobile phones and all the other devices we have close at hand.

But instead of all this technology making our lives easier, giving us more time to enjoy life, we have used them to make our lives even busier than we were before, and made it possible to never escape from our work or its responsibilities. We are now finding ourselves rushing from one job to another, stressed to high heaven.

In fact most people seem to be slaves to their to-do lists, only being happy when they accomplish tasks on their lists, then focusing on getting more things done. They rush through life trying to just get ahead, failing to experience the magic of each moment, of life itself. Eventually they begin to sense an existence that is unfulfilled, empty, lacking purpose, and devoid of fun.

Then there is another consequence of our hectic working schedule. We are so engrossed in satisfying our job requirements we end up spending way less time with our family than we should. The reality of the situation is it has made our life more busy and automatic. Early morning till night we are working like robots. We are so occupied with our work and getting more done we are not giving ourselves the time to live.

We are having to move at breakneck speed just to keep up. We are busy, busy, busy. Even when we finally escape to our homes there is still so much to do, that you have to avoid putting your feet up, otherwise you would just crash out, and keep on going.

We are working so hard to secure a better life. The hard truth is that there is no security in life. Not even the next minutes. Each seconds open up for possibilities.

 I would like to share below stories and some words from Osho.

About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh was traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his new, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and - WHUMP! - it smashed Into the Jag's shiny black side door! SCREECH..!!!! Brakes slammed!

Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car.

He shouted at the kid, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!" Building up a head of steam, he went on.

"That's my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?"

"Please, mister, please. . . I'm sorry! I didn't know what else to do!" Pleaded the youngster. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop!" Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car.

"It's my brother, mister," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE -a long and slow walk. Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar.

He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention. .


Life is not a mechanical process; it cannot be certain. It is an unpredictable mystery. Nobody knows what is going to happen the next moment. Not even God that you think resides somewhere in the seventh heaven, not even he - if he is there - not even he knows what is going to happen! . . . because if he knows what going to happen then life is just bogus, then everything is written beforehand, then everything is destined beforehand.

How can he know what is going to happen next, if the future is open? If God knows what is going to happen the next moment, then life is just a dead, mechanical process. Then there is no freedom, and how can life exist without freedom? Then there is no possibility to grow or not to grow. If everything is predestined, then there is no glory, no grandeur. Then you are just robots.

No, nothing is secure. That is my message. Nothing can be secure, because a secure life will be worse than death. Nothing is certain. Life is full of uncertainties, full of surprises, that is its beauty! You can never come to a moment when you can say, "Now I am certain ". When you say you are certain, you simply declare your death; you have committed suicide.

Life goes on moving with a thousand and one uncertainties. That's its freedom. Don't call it insecurity. I can understand why mind calls freedom "insecurity”. Have you lived in a jail for a few
months or a few years? If you have lived in a jail for a few years, when the day of release comes, the prisoner starts feeling uncertain about the future. Everything was certain in the jail, everything was dead routine. His food was supplied, protection was given to him; there was no fear that he would be hungry next day and there would be no food - nothing like that, everything was certain. Now, suddenly, after many years the jailer comes and says to him, "Now you are going to be released." He starts trembling. Outside the walls of the prison, again there will be uncertainties; again he will have to seek, search; again he will have to live in freedom.

When death knocks on your door, all your certainties will be riddles and foolish. Don't cling to any certainty. Life is uncertain—its very nature is uncertain. And an intelligent man remains uncertain.

This very readiness to remain in uncertainty is courage. This very readiness to remain in
uncertainty is trust. An intelligent persons is one who remains alert whatsoever the situation and responds to it with his whole heart. Not that he knows what is going to happens. Not that he knows, "Do this and that will happen." Life is not a Science; it is not a cause-and-effect chain. Heat the water to a hundred degrees and it evaporates - it is a certainty. But in real life nothing is certain like that. Each individual is a freedom, an unknown freedom. It is impossible to predict, impossible to expect. One has to live in awareness and in understanding.


Osho: Points to ponder

"Experience life in all possible ways --
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.Don't be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become."
— Osho

"If a man is crossing a river and an empty boat collides with his own skiff, even though he be a bad-tempered man he will not become very angry. But if he sees a man in the boat, he will shout at him to steer clear. If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing. And all because there is somebody in the boat. Yet if the boat were empty, he would not be shouting, and not angry. If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world, no one will oppose you, no one will seek to harm you…. Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost amid the masses of men? He will flow like Tao, unseen, he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home. Simple is he, without distinction. To all appearances he is a fool. His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation. Since he judges no one, no one judges him. Such is the perfect man: His boat is empty."
— Osho

"Be — don't try to become" — Osho

"Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that's what maturity is all about."
— Osho

"Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny--he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally--you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you." — Osho

"Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving." — Osho

"Be realistic: Plan for a miracle"
— Osho

"You feel good, you feel bad, and these feelings are bubbling from your own unconsciousness, from your own past. Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy."
— Osho

"One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don't leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind."
— Osho

"Falling in love you remain a child; rising in love you mature. By and by love becomes not a relationship, it becomes a state of your being. Not that you are in love - now you are love."
— Osho

"Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.— Osho

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live... so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die."
— Osho

"With me, illusions are bound to be shattered. I am here to shatter all illusions. Yes, it will irritate you, it will annoy you - that's my way of functioning and working. I will sabotage you from your very roots! Unless you are totally destroyed as a mind, there is no hope for you."
— Osho

"Many people have come and left, and it has been always good because they emptied some space for better people. It is a strange experience, that those who have left me have always left places for a better quality of people. I have never been a loser..."
— Osho

"Intelligence is dangerous. Intelligence means you will start thinking on your own; you will start looking around on your own. You will not believe in the scriptures; you will believe only in your own experience."
— Osho

"Nobody has the power to take two steps together; you can take only one step at a time."
— Osho

"Take hold of your own life.
See that the whole existence is celebrating.These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious.The rivers and the oceans are wild,and everywhere there is fun,everywhere there is joy and delight.Watch existence,listen to the existence and become part of it."
— Osho

"My meditation is simple. It does not require any complex practices. It is simple. It is singing. It is dancing. It is sitting silently"
— Osho

"I love this world because it is imperfect. It is imperfect, and that's why it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead. Growth is possible only if there is imperfection. I would like you to remember again and again, I am imperfect, the whole universe is imperfect, and to love this imperfection, to rejoice in this imperfection is my whole message." — Osho

"That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life."
— Osho

"Energy can have two dimensions. One is motivated, going somewhere, a goal somewhere, this moment is only a means and the goal is going to be the dimension of activity, goal oriented--then everything is a means, somehow it has to be done and you have to reach the goal, then you will relax. But for this type of energy the goal never comes because this type of energy goes on changing every present moment into a means for something else, into the future. The goal always remains on the horizon. You go on running, but the distance remains the same.

No, there is another dimension of energy: that dimension is unmotivated celebration. The goal is here, now; the goal is not somewhere else. In fact, you are the goal. In fact there is no other fulfillment than that of this moment--consider the lilies. When you are the goal and when the goal is not in the future, when there is nothing to be achieved, rather you are just celebrating it, then you have already achieved it, it is there. This is relaxation, unmotivated energy."
— Osho (Tantra: The Supreme Understanding: Discourses on the Tantric Way of Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra)

"Be less of a judge and you will be surprised that when you become a witness and you don't judge yourself, you stop judging others too. And that makes you more human, more compassionate, more understanding."
— Osho

Osho :Society that prefer human machines

All my life I try to live up with what Abraham Lincoln said once "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

But perhaps the society prefer someone who don't standout to speak what is right, Someone being machine than the human who think.The society prefer someone with blind obedience. I would like to share with the Tribes with what Osho said once on why society prefer blind machines.Here it goes...


Just think: the man who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, if he had been intelligent he would have simply said "No!" Even at the risk of his own life he would have said no.

He would have said, "If you want to kill me, kill me, but I am not going to kill one hundred thousand people. They have not committed any sin. They are innocent civilians - small children, old people.... They have no responsibility for the war! They have not  caused it. Why should I drop the atom bomb?

It is better to die than to kill one hundred thousand people."  If the man had been intelligent, he would have immediately said no. But he must have been utterly stupid: he dropped the atom bomb, and had a good night's sleep. His sleep  was not disturbed.

In the morning when he was asked, "Could you sleep in the night?" he said, "Certainly, I slept well! I did my duty, I finished my job, and then I had a good night's sleep. Whenever I do my duty perfectly well, I always sleep well."

One hundred thousand people burnt within five seconds, and not even a nightmare came to this man?

Just think: we must have destroyed his intelligence totally; we must have reduced him to a machine. Machines don't have any conscience, machines don't have any consciousness, machines don't have any heart. And the society needs machines, more and more efficient machines. Hence the universities go on reducing people to efficient machines.

If you are a BA it means you have a certificate that you have lost much of your intelligence. If you are an MA, even more; if you are a PhD, finished! No hope for you.

It is said that when Henry Thoreau came back from the university, an old man of his village came to see him and was very much surprised. Seeing the old man very much puzzled and surprised, Thoreau asked him, "Why do you look so puzzled? Why are you so much surprised?"

He said, "I am surprised because you have really done a great job: you have saved your intelligence, although you have been to the university. You still look intelligent! This very rarely happens: to escape from the university and still remain intelligent -- because  the whole machinery of education is to make you mechanical."

A new education is needed in the world, which will make you more conscious, not more
knowledgeable, which will make you more loving, not more logical. Logic is good -- if love remains the master, then logic is a good servant; but logic should not be the master, and love should not be the servant.

Knowledge is good if consciousness remains in control. But if knowledge is in control, if the head is in control, then the heart is killed, destroyed.

The society does not need intelligent people, hence it has created conditionings -- social, religious, political, educational -- great psychological strategies have been invented down the ages to reduce you to a thing, to reduce you to something pseudo, to reduce you so that you can become a commodity in the marketplace.

You have to be aware, because you exist in a society which is against your intelligence.

My sannyasins are trying to do... what the society has destroyed in them, they are trying to revive. What the society has done, they are trying to undo it. That's the whole work of sannyas -- and that has ALWAYS been the work of a real true religion.


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

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April 2012
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The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson

His saga is the entrepreneurial creation myth writ large: Steve Jobs cofounded Apple in his parents’ garage in 1976, was ousted in 1985, returned to rescue it from near bankruptcy in 1997, and by the time he died, in October 2011, had built it into the world’s most valuable company. Along the way he helped to transform seven industries: personal computing, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, retail stores, and digital publishing. He thus belongs in the pantheon of America’s great innovators, along with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney. None of these men was a saint, but long after their personalities are forgotten, history will remember how they applied imagination to technology and business.

In the months since my biography of Jobs came out, countless commentators have tried to draw management lessons from it. Some of those readers have been insightful, but I think that many of them (especially those with no experience in entrepreneurship) fixate too much on the rough edges of his personality. The essence of Jobs, I think, is that his personality was integral to his way of doing business. He acted as if the normal rules didn’t apply to him, and the passion, intensity, and extreme emotionalism he brought to everyday life were things he also poured into the products he made. His petulance and impatience were part and parcel of his perfectionism.

One of the last times I saw him, after I had finished writing most of the book, I asked him again about his tendency to be rough on people. “Look at the results,” he replied. “These are all smart people I work with, and any of them could get a top job at another place if they were truly feeling brutalized. But they don’t.” Then he paused for a few moments and said, almost wistfully, “And we got some amazing things done.” Indeed, he and Apple had had a string of hits over the past dozen years that was greater than that of any other innovative company in modern times: iMac, iPod, iPod nano, iTunes Store, Apple Stores, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, App Store, OS X Lion—not to mention every Pixar film. And as he battled his final illness, Jobs was surrounded by an intensely loyal cadre of colleagues who had been inspired by him for years and a very loving wife, sister, and four children.

So I think the real lessons from Steve Jobs have to be drawn from looking at what he actually accomplished. I once asked him what he thought was his most important creation, thinking he would answer the iPad or the Macintosh. Instead he said it was Apple the company. Making an enduring company, he said, was both far harder and more important than making a great product. How did he do it? Business schools will be studying that question a century from now. Here are what I consider the keys to his success.

When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, it was producing a random array of computers and peripherals, including a dozen different versions of the Macintosh. After a few weeks of product review sessions, he’d finally had enough. “Stop!” he shouted. “This is crazy.” He grabbed a Magic Marker, padded in his bare feet to a whiteboard, and drew a two-by-two grid. “Here’s what we need,” he declared. Atop the two columns, he wrote “Consumer” and “Pro.” He labeled the two rows “Desktop” and “Portable.” Their job, he told his team members, was to focus on four great products, one for each quadrant. All other products should be canceled. There was a stunned silence. But by getting Apple to focus on making just four computers, he saved the company. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he told me. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”

After he righted the company, Jobs began taking his “top 100” people on a retreat each year. On the last day, he would stand in front of a whiteboard (he loved whiteboards, because they gave him complete control of a situation and they engendered focus) and ask, “What are the 10 things we should be doing next?” People would fight to get their suggestions on the list. Jobs would write them down—and then cross off the ones he decreed dumb. After much jockeying, the group would come up with a list of 10. Then Jobs would slash the bottom seven and announce, “We can only do three.”

Focus was ingrained in Jobs’s personality and had been honed by his Zen training. He relentlessly filtered out what he considered distractions. Colleagues and family members would at times be exasperated as they tried to get him to deal with issues—a legal problem, a medical diagnosis—they considered important. But he would give a cold stare and refuse to shift his laserlike focus until he was ready.

Near the end of his life, Jobs was visited at home by Larry Page, who was about to resume control of Google, the company he had cofounded. Even though their companies were feuding, Jobs was willing to give some advice. “The main thing I stressed was focus,” he recalled. Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up, he told Page. “It’s now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.” Page followed the advice. In January 2012 he told employees to focus on just a few priorities, such as Android and Google+, and to make them “beautiful,” the way Jobs would have done.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

66 Famous Failures Of People Who Never Give Up

Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, we end up doing something else or producing something else. You have not failed; you have produced some other result. The two most important questions to ask are: “What have I learned?” and “What have I done?”

Failure is only a word that human beings use to judge a given situation. Instead of fearing failure, we should learn that failures, mistakes and errors are the way we learn and the way we grow. Many of the world’s greatest successes have learned how to fail their way to success. Some of the more famous are:

Whoopi Goldberg was a high school dropout and survived on welfare. To make ends meet, she worked as a bricklayer, bank teller and makeup artist, applying makeup & dressing the hair of corpses in a mortuary.

Fredrick Smith got a C for his term paper proposing “an express delivery service” when he was studying in Yale university. He started Federal Express Corp in 1971 but only managed to deliver 6 packages – 4 were from the operations testing its system and 2 from real customers – in its first run.

Simon Cowell was expelled at 16 with just two O-level passes. He eventually dropped out of high school and worked as a mailroom boy at his dad’s employer, EMI.

Charles Dickens once worked in a London factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish.

Brad Pitt dropped out of university, just 2 credits short of a journalism degree, went to Hollywood where he worked outside a fast food restaurant in a giant chicken costume.

Li Ka Shing, one of the world’s richest tycoons once sold plastic flowers for a living.

Akio Morita & Masaru Ibuka, founders of Sony first released a rice cooker through their company in 1945. This was how it looked like. Yes, a complete disaster. The cooker burnt rice instead of cooking it and sold less than 100 units.

George Orwell went to Paris, eager to make a living from freelance writing. He barely survived by teaching English, eventually pawning his possessions and working in a hotel as a janitor.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything” and he was also fired from his first 2 jobs for not being productive enough. Perhaps that’s why he failed 2,000 times before inventing the light bulb.

Tom Hanks dropped out of Sacramento State University and worked as a bellhop at a Hilton Hotel.

Michael Bloomberg was fired as a partner from Salomon Brothers in 1981 when it merged with another company. He took the merger proceeds to startup Bloomberg financial information network and became the New York mayor in 1991.

Colonel Sanders, founder of the world renowned Kentucky Fried Chicken chain got his first social security check of $99 at age 65. He had a small house, a worn out car and was pretty much broke. But that didn’t stop him from approaching restaurant owners, offering his popular chicken recipe free, in exchange for a percentage of the pieces of chicken sold. 1,009 restaurant owners rejected him before he got his first yes.

Eminem failed 9th grade 3 times and dropped out of high school at 17. When his girlfriend broke up with him and took their newborn away, he attempted suicide.

Soichiro Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a engineering job. He was jobless for a while and started making his own scooters at home. Encouraged by his neighbours, he later setup his own company – Honda Motor Corporation.

Salvador Dali was expelled from an art academy in Spain for not letting his professors critique his paintings.

Jackie Chan dropped out from grade school after the 1st year and was sent to the China Drama Academy where he trained for 19 hours a day. He used to be a stuntman in Bruce Lee’s movies.

Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout but was clever enough to buy someone’s product for $50,000, rebrand & licensed it to IBM & other computer companies for billions.

Albert Einstein started speaking when he was 4 and only learnt to read at 7. His teachers and parents thought he was intellectually challenged, slow witted and anti-social. He was also expelled from school and couldn’t get into the Swiss Polytechnic Institute in Zurich.

Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as an on-air evening news anchor and was told she wasn’t fit for television.

John Grisham‘s first novel was rejected by 16 agents and 12 publishing houses.
Dr Seuss’s first book was turned down by 27 publishers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger went for “The Incredible Hulk” TV series audition, but lost the lead role to Lou Ferrigno because he was “too short and too thin”.

Charles Darwin failed a medical course in University of Edinburgh and was often criticised by his dad for being lazy and too dreamy. He wrote “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.”

Ralph Lauren dropped out of college after his sophomore year and worked as a part-time stock boy in a department store.

Isaac Newton was an average student. When he was put in charge of running his family’s farm, he let sheep escape and fences to fall down. In the end, his uncle took over and sent him off to Cambridge.

Vincent Van Gogh only sold 1 painting in his lifetime for just 400 francs. But that didn’t stop him from completing 800 works worth millions today.

Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union used to work in the fields of a Russian village.

Michael J Fox dropped out of high school and went to Hollywood to venture into TV acting. But instead, he was $30,000 in debt and had to live in a garage without a telephone & furniture.

Winston Churchill failed 6th grade and only passed the entrance exams to Royal Military Academy on his 3rd try. He was defeated in every election until he finally became UK’s Prime Minister at 62.

Amitabh Bachchan, an award winning Indian actor known for his rich voice was rejected for an announcer’s job with All India Radio because his voice was “unsuitable”.

Charlie Chaplin was a street urchin, danced for money and was sent to an orphange for destitute kids. Hollywood studio chiefs rejected his act, thinking that it was a little too nonsensical to ever sell.

Sidney Poitier was told to “stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something” during an audition. He went on to win an Oscar and became one of the most respected actors ever.

Stephen King’s first book was rejected 30 times. He threw the manuscript away and almost gave up. His wife retrieved the script from the trash and encouraged him to resubmit.

Abraham Lincoln fiance died. He suffered a nervous breakdown. He also failed in business twice and was also defeated in 8 elections. But all that didn’t stop him from before becoming the 16th president of United States.

Tom Cruise was denied a role on the TV show “Fame” because he wasn’t “handsome enough”.

Steven Spielberg was rejected by the a famous film school 3 times. Years later, he was conferred a honorary doctorate and seat on the board of trustees of the same school for his achievements.

J.K Rowling divorced less than a year into her first marriage, moved with her baby to Edinburgh, Scotland. She survived on welfare in an apartment infested with mice and wrote in cafes to help her baby fall asleep. Oh yeah, her novel “Harry Potter” was rejected by 12 publishing houses.

Claude Monet suffered from nasty cateracts but still came up with beautiful paintings. Unfortunately, his impressionist painting style was mocked by the then artistic elite, the Paris Salon.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He was also made bankrupt many times.

Mozart was dismissed as a court musician in Salzberg with “a kick in the pants”.

Charles Schultz, the cartoonist behind the Peanuts comic strip had every cartoon he submitted for his school yearbook rejected. Even Walt Disney said “no” to his application for a job.

Marilyn Monroe’s modeling agents thought she should consider being a secretary instead.

Rabindranath Tagore, the 1st non-european Nobel Laureate for literature, was home schooled. He was later sent to England for formal schooling at 17 but didn’t complete his studies.

Elvis Presley’s high school teacher gave him a C & told him he couldn’t sing! That’s not all. He was also told by the manager of the Grand Ole Opry that he “ain’t goin’ nowhere” and “ought to go back to drivin’ a truck” before being fired from one of his earliest performances.

Mark Victor Hansen & Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for The Soul was rejected a total of 140 times.

Harrison Ford was told by a vice president of Columbia pictures that he wouldn’t make it in the business. 15 years later while Ford was having lunch at a Columbia pictures’ commissary, he received a namecard from the same guy, with the words “I missed my bet” written on the reverse.

Elizabeth Arden dropped out of nursing school. Her first attempt to sell face cream was a flop too. But she held on, changed her name and founded a new beauty brand.

The Beatles were told by a recording company that they “don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out”.

Beethoven’s teachers thought he was hopeless on the violin and would never succeed in composing. But he went on to compose some of the best symphonies while being completely deaf.

Dustin Hoffman couldn’t get acting jobs in New York and ended up as a janitor and an attendant in a mental hospital.

Luciano Pavarotti couldn’t read music but still became one of the world’s greatest tenors.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

George Lucas’ first film in 1971 was a flop.

Henry Ford was bankrupt 5 times before he founded the Ford Motor Company.

Mahatma Gandhi fled the courtroom due to stage fright in his first law case.

Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage due to stage fright at a comedy club. He went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and thunderous applause.

Babe Ruth had 1,330 strikeouts – ironically a major league record – almost double of his home runs of 714.

Hillary Clinton failed the Washington D.C. bar exam. Undeterred, she took the Arkansas bar exam in the same year and passed.

Wilma Rudolph was paralyzed in 1 leg due to polio and told by doctors she would never walk again. She later won 3 olympic gold medals in track and fields.

Ulysses S. Grant used to be a farmer, real estate agent, customs official and store clerk. His last 2 occupations? A general and 18th president of United States.

Sylvester Stallone was expelled from 14 schools in 11 years. His university professors discouraged him from an acting career and his screenplay for “Rocky” was also rejected by all but one company who would only buy it on condition he would not act in it.

Martin Luther King was once ostracized by his family for not pursuing a merchant career.

Pierce Brosnan dropped out from school at 16, ran away from home to work as a fire eater in a circus.

Barbra Streisand’s first broadway performance was opened and closed on the same night.

Billy Joel, disillusioned by the failure of his first album, spent 6 months playing bar piano in a lounge under a different name.

Cynidi Lauper was told by doctors in 1977 she couldn’t sing again because of her badly damaged vocals. In 1984, she won a Grammy.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Ideas are never weird, just different.

Ideas are never weird, just different. You will share the same notion with me that you had heard so many typical phrases in committee, discussion and other supposed “brainstorming” sessions that end up going awry. They eventually stifle any creative thinking effort in a group, because they destroy the part of brainstorming that allows good ideas to sprout from the offbeat or “bad” idea. Ideas was labelled as weird and gunned down.

Eventually people end up thinking alike,and usually stop contributing to the group because they can’t be free to come up with ideas that don’t get shot down. I read once that if all of us are thinking alike then no one is thinking. In the effort to please the management or senior staff, many of us choose to reserve the "weird idea" which is just a different idea and surrender to the similarity of the group.
As tribes always says why fit in when you can stand out. As time goes i realised the bitter truth.One of the foundational principles in organizations is the notion of the hierarchy. You can run away from it as it was there since centuries ago.An Efficient organizations need an efficient chain of command. Well-managed organizations require the supervision of trained managers running their departments and reporting upward to more senior decision makers. An it had always been the case.

The problem is that the chain of command works well for issuing orders and making decisions. It works so well that creative ideas stand little chance of being utilized unless they’re being shared from the top downward. Creative ideas that come from the middle or lower levels of a hierarchy have to work their way up through a series of managers, each with the power to veto but each lacking the power to implement. Managers often reject innovative ideas because the individuals who developed theses ideas understand the novelty and applicability of them better than their managers.
As an idea moves through the different levels, the likelihood of rejection increases, since those managers are further from the domain the idea applies to and less likely to understand its true value in that domain. This turns a chain of command into what Vanderbilt professor Dave Owens wrote as a “hierarchy of no.” Owens, who worked as a designer for IDEO before joining the academy, asserts that the standard organizational structure contains natural constraints that kill innovative ideas.While the tendency for hierarchies to kill creativity is serious, it’s impossible to make a case for abandoning a chain of command entirely.

It’s difficult for current hierarchies to self-destruct in the service of creativity alone. One company has developed a system to leave the traditional chain of command in place, while still building a culture where creative ideas are given room to grow. The company, Rite-Solutions, did it by giving everyone in the organization $10,000. The money isn’t for spending; it’s not even real. The money is for investing on the company’s internal idea stock market. Rite-Solutions developed a system where anyone in the company can propose their idea by listing it as a stock and soliciting investment. No one needs to get approval from management before listing an idea. For every idea listed, the idea’s champion creates an “ExpectUs” (a pun on “prospectus”) which describes the idea and its potential. Each stock also has a “Budge-It” (a more obvious pun) which outlines the steps the ideas champion believes must be taken to move (or budge) forward. The new stock is given a starting price of $10 and even assigned a ticker symbol. As mentioned, each employee is also given $10,000 in virtual currency to invest in whatever ideas intrigue them. In addition to receiving investment money, each stock listing also has a comments thread for discussion on the merits of the idea and any next steps that need to be considered.

Just like in a real market, investment money flows unevenly to the ideas that investors favor and feel has the best chance of becoming a viable project. But employees don’t just invest money, they also volunteer their time and expertise to help the potential project. Once a week, a “market maker” logs into the system and revalues each stock based on the money invested and the time committed. Ideas that fail to attract enough interest are eventually removed. Ideas that gain momentum are given actual funding to help develop them into real projects. When a stock moves from an idea to a money making project, those who have invested their time get to share in the proceeds through bonuses or actual stock options. Anyone who lists an idea, even if it generates no investment, is given credit for doing so on their annual performance evaluation. In its relatively short lifespan, the system has already been a huge success. In its first year alone, the idea stock market accounted for 50 percent of the company’s new business growth.

What Rite-Solutions has created is a system for managing the flow of creative ideas without needing those ideas to make a death march through the hierarchy of no. The decision to green light a project doesn’t rest on any one manager or senior leader. Instead that power is distributed throughout the organization to people who are more likely to understand the ideas utility in its domain. If enough people, regardless of their level in the hierarchy, feel the idea has merit, than it is acted upon. This keeps the hierarchy in place, but democratizes the process of innovation. While the chain of command stays efficient, the creative process becomes efficient too.

Leadership : Inspiring Speech

In the book, Lessons From the Top: The Search for America's Best Business Leaders, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, made the following observation:

"I think it's very difficult to lead today when people are not really truly participating in the decision. You won't be able to attract and retain great people if they don't feel like they are part of the authorship of the strategy and the authorship of the really critical issues. If you don't give people an opportunity to really be engaged, they won't stay."

As an entrepreneur with employees, one of your primary goals is most likely to attract and keep motivated workers. And to keep a motivated workers you must be able to INSPIRE.

An Inspirational leader has a vision in which he strongly believes. He will become an effective leader if he is able to communicate this vision to his followers. He must be able to articulate clearly the needs of his people and visualise their future and communicate guidelines and limits so that they are able to reach their goals.

Inspiration does not come easily to everyone but when you are responsible as a leader, it becomes necessary for you inspire others.

Neil Paulsen is a senior management lecturer at the University of Queensland. One of the modules he teaches is ‘inspirational leadership’. When someone asked him what it takes to achieve that status.
“A person cannot inspire others unless they are clear about who they are, what they value, and what they are trying to achieve in the world,” he said. “This type of leadership requires courage, tolerance, authenticity, humility, and a significant degree of self-awareness.”
If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” (Simon Sinek)

On that note, i would like to share with the Tribes on one of the video that i used as a case study with my audience. An inspiring speech by Charlie Chaplin

I'm sorry. But I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business.

I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible - Jew, Gentile, Black Man, White. We all want to help one another - human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone - the way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate. Has goosed us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities life would be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together - the very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world. Millions of despairing men, women and little children; victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. For those who can hear me I say - do not despair - the misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed. The bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

The hate of men will pass and dictator's die. And the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers - don't give yourselves to brutes! Men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives - tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel. Who drill you, dives you, treat you like cattle, use you as canon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men. Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate. Only the unloved hate. The unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Lucas it is written, the kingdom of God is within man - not one man, not a group of men, but in all men - in you! You the people have the power - the power to create machines, to create happiness. You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. And in the name of democracy, let us use that power, let us all unite.

Let us fight for a new world; a decent world, that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise. They never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world.

 To do away with national barriers. To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason. A world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers in the name of democracy, let us all unite!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


In order to realize our full potential, we must embrace the style that makes us unique -- whatever it might be.

So let us tag the inspirational clouds....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ReTHINk : Never give up

Passion won’t protect you against setbacks, but it will ensure that no failure is ever final.” Setbacks become learning experiences, giving you the chance to refine your vision and to rethink your approach. Most important, setbacks remind you of how much your dreams mean to you.

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself the be

According to Walt Disney, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

If you’ve ever failed (or you feel like you’re failing right now), it means you’re in good company… and it’s something that you should actually be thankful for. Most, if not all, successful people have failed (often many times), before they reached their dreams. So don’t think you’re going to be any different.

All of us fail. It’s perfectly normal and it teaches us what NOT to do. Sometimes, failure is the only way to get to the next great idea. So don’t judge failure by its cover, and remember the words of Napoleon Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich) who said: “Opportunity often comes in disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.”

Be fearless, steadfast and resilient. Stop thinking about short-term failures and stay focused on the long-term journey of success. In other words, think like Donald Trump who says: “I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. Defeat is not in my vocabulary.”

Be bolder and more daring, like Winston Churchill who said: ”Refuse to give up or give in.”

Maybe the biggest lesson that we all need to learn on this topic is that failure is not the opposite of success; it is part of success. I remembered what Michael Jordan said once "I’ve failed over and over again… that is why I succeeded.”
You will get where you want to go… if you learn how to deal with failure as well as you already know how to deal with success,

Here are seven famous failures to inspire you on your journey:
Sir Richard Branson - Did you know that he’s lost more on failed ventures than most people earn in their entire lives (yet he is still one of the richest people on earth). In his own words: ”You fail if you don’t try. If you try and you fail, yes, you’ll have a few articles saying you’ve failed at something. But if you look at the history of American entrepreneurs, one thing I do know about them: An awful lot of them have tried and failed in the past and gone on to great things.”

Mary Kay Ash - Did you know that the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics (with more than 1.7 million consultants worldwide and more than 2.2 billion in sales each year) was forced to give up on her dream of going to college, for financial reasons? In her own words: “Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is’ failure turned inside out.”

Winston Churchill – Did you know that he failed 6th grade and then lost every election of public office, until he won and became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War? In his own words: “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”

Donald Trump - Did you know that he was $1 billion in debt at one point in the early 1990’s, and that The Guinness Book of Records lists him as having the biggest financial turnaround in history? In his own words: “I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. Defeat is not in my vocabulary.”

Michael Jordan - Did you know that this former professional basketball player, known around the world as they undisputed greatest basketball player of all time was cut from his high school basketball team? In his own words: “I’ve failed over and over again in life. That is why I succeeded.”

J.K. Rowling – Did you know that this author of the Harry Potter phenomenon (which has sold more than 400 million copies), was rejected by twelve publishers? In her own words: “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable.”

Walt Disney - Did you know that this founder of Walt Disney Productions (with current annual revenues of approximately $35 billion) was once fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”? In his own words: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rethink: queer without fear

We think that the absence of fear is fearlessness; this is a mistake. Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. In the presence of fear, fearlessness is a totally different thing which happens within. It is not the absence of fear. Fearlessness is the total presence of fear, with the courage to face it.

Life does not listen to your logic, it goes on its own way, undisturbed. You have to listen to life, life will not listen to your logic, it does not bother about your logic. Lao Tzu is one of the keenest, and he is keen because he is very innocent -- with childlike eyes he has observed life. He has not put any of his own ideas into it, he has simply observed whatsoever is the case, and reported it.

When you move into life, what do you see? A great storm comes, and big trees fall. They should survive, according to Charles Darwin, because they are the fittest, strongest, most powerful. Look at an ancient tree, three hundred feet high, three thousand years old. The very presence of the tree creates strength, gives a feeling of strength and power. Millions of roots have spread inside the earth, gone deep, and the tree is standing with power. Of course the tree fights -- it doesn't want to yield, to surrender -- but after the storm it has fallen, it is dead, it is no longer alive and all that strength has gone. The storm was too much -- the storm is always too much, because the storm comes from the whole and a tree is just an individual.

Then there are small plants and ordinary grass -- when the storm comes, the grass yields, and the storm cannot do any harm to it. At the most it can give it a good cleansing, that's all; all the dirt that has gathered on it is washed away. The storm gives it a good bath, and when the storm has gone the small plants and the grass are again dancing high. The grass has almost no roots, it can be pulled out by a small child, but the storm was defeated. What happened?

The grass followed Lao Tzu and the big tree followed Charles Darwin. The big tree was very logical, it tried to resist, it tried to show its strength. If you try to show your strength you will be defeated. All Hitlers, all Napoleons, all Alexanders are big trees, strong trees. They will all be defeated. Lao Tzus are just like small plants, nobody can defeat them because they are always ready to yield. How can you defeat a person who yields, who says: 'I am already defeated,' who says: 'Sir, you enjoy your victory, there is no need to create any trouble. I'm defeated'? Even an Alexander will feel that he is futile before a Lao Tzu, he cannot do anything. It happened, it happened exactly like that....

A sannyasin by the name of Dandani existed in the days of Alexander, in the days when Alexander was in India. His friends had told Alexander when he was coming towards India that when he came back he should bring a sannyasin, because that rare flower flowered only in India. They said: Bring a sannyasin. You will bring many things but don't forget to bring a sannyasin; we would like to see the phenomenon of sannyas, what it is, what exactly a sannyasin is.

He was so engaged in war and struggle and fight that he almost forgot about it, but when he was going back, just on the boundary of India, he suddenly remembered. He was leaving the last village so he asked his soldiers to go into the village and inquire if there was a Sannyasin around there somewhere. By accident Dandani was there in the village, by the riverside, and the people said: You have asked at the right time and you have come at the right time. There are many sannyasins but a real sannyasin is always rare, but he is here now. You can have darshan, you can go and visit him. Alexander laughed. He said: I'm not here to have darshan, my soldiers will go and fetch him. I will take him back to my capital, to my country. The villagers said: It won't be so easy.

Alexander could not believe it -- what difficulty could there be? He had conquered emperors, great kings, so with a beggar, a sannyasin, what difficulty could there be? His soldiers went to see this dandani who was standing naked on the bank of the river. They said: Great Alexander invites you to accompany him to his country. All comforts will be provided, whatsoever you need will be provided. You will be a royal guest. The naked fakir laughed and said: You go and tell your master that a man who calls himself great cannot be great. And nobody can take me anywhere -- a sannyasin moves like a cloud, in total freedom. I am not enslaved to anybody. They said: You must have heard about Alexander, he is a dangerous man. If you say no to him, he won t listen, he will simply cut your head off. The sannyasin said: You had better bring your master here, maybe he can understand what I am saying.

Alexander had to go, because the soldiers who had come back. said: He is a rare man, luminous, there is something of the unknown around him. He is naked, but you don't feel in his presence that he is naked -- later on you remember. He is so powerful that in his presence you simply forget the whole world. He is magnetic, and a great silence surrounds him and the whole area feels as if it is delighting in the man. He is worth seeing, but there seems to be trouble ahead for him, the poor man, because he says that nobody can take him anywhere, that he is nobody's slave.

Alexander came to see him with a naked sword in his hand. The sannyasin laughed and said: Put down your sword, it is useless here. Put it back in the sheath, it is useless here because you can cut only my body, and that I left long ago. Your sword cannot cut me, so put it back, don't be childish. And it is said that that was the first time that Alexander followed somebody else's order; just because of the very presence of the man he couldn't remember who he was. He put his sword back in the sheath and said: I have never come across such a beautiful man. And when he was back home he said: It is difficult to kill a man who is ready to die, it is meaningless to kill him. You can kill a person who fights, then there is some meaning in killing, but you can't kill a man who is ready and who is saying: This is my head, you can cut it off. And dandani actually said: This is my head, you can cut it off. When the head falls, you will see it falling on the sand and I will also see it falling on the sand, because I am not my body. I am a witness.

Alexander had to report to his friends: There were sannyasins that I could have brought but they were not sannyasins. Then I came across a man who was really something rare, and you have heard rightly, this flower is rare, but nobody can force him, because he is not afraid of death. When a person is not afraid of death how can you force him to do anything?

It is your fear that makes you a slave -- it is your fear. When you are fearless you are no longer a slave; in fact, it is your fear that forces you to make others slaves before they try to make a slave out of you.

A man who is fearless is neither afraid of anybody nor makes anybody afraid of him. Fear totally disappears.

Rethink:Life is not a riddle to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived

Once it happened, a great prime minister of a very great emperor died. The prime minister was rare, very intelligent, almost wise, very cunning, shrewd, a great diplomat, and it was very difficult to find a substitute. The whole kingdom was searched. All the ministers were sent to find at least three people; then the final decision will be taken and one of them will be chosen.

For months the search was on. The whole kingdom was searched; every nook and corner was searched. Then three persons were found. One was a great scientist, a great mathematician. He could solve any mathematical problem, and mathematics is really the only positive science — all sciences are its branches — so he was at the root.

Another was a great philosopher, he was a great system-maker: out of nothing he could create all. Just out of words, he could create such beautiful systems — it is a miracle, only philosophers can do it. They have nothing in their hands; they are the greatest magicians. They create God, they create the theory of creation, they create everything — and nothing is there in their hands. But they are clever artisans of words: they join words together in such a way that they give you a feeling of substance — and nothing is there.

And the third one was a religious man, a man of faith, prayer, devotion. And the people who were searching for these three men must have been very wise, because they had found three.

These three represent the three dimensions of consciousness. These are the only possibilities: a man of science, a man of philosophy and a man of religion — these are the basis. A man of science is concerned with experiments: unless something is proved through experiment, it is not proved. He is empirical, experimental; his truth is the truth of experiment.

A man of philosophy is a man of logic, not of experiments. Experiment is not the question; just through logic he proves, disproves. He is a pure man, purer than the scientist, because the scientist has to bring experiments in, then the laboratory comes in. A man of philosophy works without a lab — just in the mind, with logic, with mathematics. His whole lab is in his mind. He can prove and disprove just through logical arguments. He can solve any riddle or he can create any type of riddle.

And the third is the religious dimension. This man does not look at life as a problem. Life is not a problem for a religious man. It is nothing to be solved, it is something to be lived.

The religious man is the man of experience, the scientist is the man of experiment, the philosopher is the man of thinking. The religious is the man of experience, he looks at life as something to be lived. If there is any solution, it will come through experience, it will come through living. Nothing can be decided beforehand through logic, because life is greater than logic. Logic is just a bubble in the vast ocean of life, so it cannot explain all. And experiments can be done only when you are detached, experiments can be done only with objects.

Life is not an object, it is the very core of subjectivity. When you experiment you are different; when you live you are one. So the religious man says, "Unless you are one with life, you can never know it." How can you know it from the outside? You may go about and about, around and around, but you will never hit the target. So neither experiment, nor thinking, but experience; simple, trusting — a man of faith.

They searched and they found these three men, and then they were called to the capital for the final judgment. The king said, "For three days you rest and get ready. On the morning of the fourth day will be the examination, the final. One of you will be chosen and he will become my prime minister — the one who is proved to be the most wise."

They started working in their own ways. Three days were not enough! The scientist had to think of many experiments, and work it out — who knows what type of examination there is going to be? So he couldn't sleep for three days, there was no time: and there was his whole life to sleep once he was chosen, so why bother about sleep? He would not sleep, he would not eat — there was not time enough, and many things were to be done before the examination.

The philosopher started thinking, many problems were to be solved: "Who knows what type of problem is going to be asked?" Only the religious man was at ease. He ate, and ate well. Only a religious man can eat well, because eating is an offering, it is something sacred. He slept well. He would pray, sit outside, go for a walk, look at the trees, and be thankful to God; because for a religious man there is no future and there is no final examination. Every moment is the examination, so how can you prepare for it? If something is in the future you can prepare; but if something is right now, here, how can you prepare for it? You have to face it. And there was no future.

Sometimes the scientist said, "What are you doing? Wasting time — eating, sleeping, prayer. You can do your prayers later on." But he would laugh and he would not argue, he was not a man of argument.

The philosopher would say, "You go on sleeping, you go on sitting outside in the garden, you go on looking at the trees. This is not going to help. Examination is not a child's play, you have to be ready for it." But he would laugh. He believed more in laughter than in logic.

And on the morning of the fourth day, when they started for the palace for the final examination, the scientist was not even in a position to walk. He was so tired with his experiments, as if his whole life had oozed out. He was dead tired, as if any moment he would fall and go to sleep. His eyes were sleepy and his mind was troubled. He was almost crazy.

And the philosopher? He was not so tired, but he was more uncertain than ever, because he had thought and thought and argued and argued, and no argument can become the conclusion. He was muddled, in a mess, he was a chaos. The day he had arrived he could have answered many things, but now, no. Even his certain answers had become uncertain. The more you think, the more philosophy becomes useless. Only fools can believe in certainties. The more you think, the more intelligence comes to you, you can see these are all just words, there is no substance. Many times he wanted to go back because this was not going to be of any use. He was not in the right shape. But the scientist said, "Come on! Let us try. What are we going to lose? If we win, it is okay. If we don't win, it is okay. But let us try. Don't be so discouraged."

Only the religious man was walking happily, singing. He could hear the birds in the trees, he could see the sun rising, he could see the sunrays on the dewdrops. The whole life was such a miracle. He was not worried because there was no examination — he would go and face the thing, he would simply go and see what happens. And he was not asking for anything, he was not expecting, he was fresh, young, alive — and that's all. That's how one should approach God; not with readymade formulas, not with readymade theories, not with many experimental research works, not with many PhD's. No, it is not going to help. This is the way one should go — singing and dancing to the temple. And if you are alive, then whatsoever comes you can respond to it, because response is through life, it is through the heart, and the heart is ready when it is singing, when it is dancing.

They arrived. The emperor had made a very special device. They were taken into a room where he had fixed a lock, a mathematical puzzle. Many figures were on the lock, but there was no key. Those figures were to be fixed in a certain way: the secret was there, but one had to search for it and find it. If those figures were fixed in a certain way the door would open. The emperor took them in and said, "This is a mathematical puzzle, one of the greatest ever known. Now you have to find the clue — there is no key. If you can find the clue, the answer to this mathematical problem, the lock will open. And the person who comes out of this room first will be chosen. So now start." He closed the door and went out.

Immediately the scientist started working out many experiments, many things, many problems on paper. He looked — observed the figures on the lock. There was no time to lose, it was a question of life and death. The philosopher closed his eyes, started thinking in mathematical terms what to do, how this puzzle can be solved. The puzzle was absolutely new.

That is the problem with the mind: if something is old the answer can be found, but if something is absolutely new, how can you work it out through the mind? The mind is quite efficient with the old, the known, the routine. Mind is absolutely inefficient when the unknown faces it.

The religious man never went to the lock, because what can he do? He does not know any mathematics, he does not know any experimental science. What can he do? He just sat in a corner. He sang a little, prayed to God, closed his eyes. Those two others were thinking that he is not a competitor at all. "In a way it is good, because the thing has to be decided between us two." Then suddenly they became aware that he had left the room, he was not there. The door was open.

The emperor came in and he said, "What are you doing now? It is finished. The third man is out."

But they asked, "How?… because he never did anything."

So they asked the religious man. He said, "I was just sitting. I prayed and I was just sitting and a voice said within me, 'You fool. Just go and see. The door is not locked.' And I just went to the door; it was not locked. There was no problem at all to be solved, so I went out."

Life is not a problem. If you are trying to solve it you will miss it. The door is open, it has never been locked. If the door was locked, then scientists would find the solution. If the door was locked, then philosophers may find a system to open it. But the door is not locked, so only faith can go — without any solution, without any readymade answer. Push the door open and get out.

Life is not a riddle to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived. It is a deep mystery, so trust and allow yourself to enter into it. No debate can be of any help — with somebody else, or with yourself inside the mind — no debate. All debates are futile and stupid.