“ Aukaat “ Apani – Apani

  • The (Hindi) word ‘Aukaat ‘is a very useful word – though currently much maligned, due its usage in a derogatory way.
    • Many use it specifically to ‘ remind ‘ some one of his / her low standing , to denigrate , to humiliate – to express self , relative hierarchical superiority
  • To me, whatever ‘meaning ‘– is what we attach to a word. Words by themselves are only neutral carriers – we load a meaning on them ; hence a word per say is neither good or bad , it’s only an obedient tool to express what the master wants to
  • Aukaat, actually is a very beautiful concept. To me , it is indicative of a ‘ Boundary ‘ … boundary in itself being neither good nor bad , it just defines the ‘ expanse ‘ & where it ends
  • In life , to progress ; it is not much about what you don’t have it is more about we knowing what we have , how much does it stretch & consequentially therefore , where does it end – exactly like little kingdoms we had earlier , each having its boundary ( Nations being little kjngdoms of today ) or ‘ territory ‘ of an animal in a jungle !
    • For Peace & Progress, size was not as important as to know the boundary, so that there is at least no intentional encroachment into someone else’s territory. Within each’s own / independent territory each had enormous scope to create own ‘Heavens ‘….. Didn’t people in Singapore transformed, what was a small marshy land?
  • The same is true for an individual, to know ‘what is there ‘& ‘where it ends ‘. To excel in life it is not about what you don’t have which is a barrier , but not knowing about it – which leads to misadventure & hence a disaster
  • In fact it is my conviction that only when you (or only those who) know your ‘play area ‘ & where it ends, is when you really excel. Those who lack this knowledge ( actual word – ‘ Awareness ‘ ) remain directionless , dabble in many things , often clueless ( like playing Darts in the dark with eyes closed ) and end up at much suboptimal levels , topped up with frustration — not because they lacked in ability , but because they did not know about their abilities & their limitations
  • That is where I come back to the beautiful concept of “ Aukaat “ , which makes us aware of out\r boundaries / our limitations , so that we can play, within our play area maximizing on our strengths and thereby excel in whatever we do
  • There are examples & examples of successful application of this concept – both Positive & Negative
    • Sachin Tendulkar is a Glorious example of excelling in his strength area & not venturing beyond that boundary – it was wise for him to give up Captaincy to focus on & excel in Batting – Hundred 100s .
    • On the other hand there is an example in Ramayana & Mahabharat of crossing Boundary & failing … Seeta Maiya crossed the boundary Lakshman drew for her ( Lakshman Rekha ) …. She would have been invincible by playing from within that boundary
    • Abhimanyu — glorious example of valour , knew how to get into a Chakravyuh , did not know of how to get out – got killed ‘ crossing the line ‘
  • In sum therefore, I have grown fond of & convinced about the Power of the concept of “Aukaat “…. It is a beautiful, potent word / concept.
  • So I would encourage you to , instead of reminding someone else of his / her aukaat , it is more productive to get to know your own aukaat , because I am convinced that , only then you have a greater opportunity to excel , by playing within own aukaat . I have started practicing this.
  • For those , still skeptical about ‘ playing within aukaat ‘ , let me hasten to clarify the trade off , between the Short term & Long term in pursuit of excellence is that : In the short term , best shot at excellence is playing within the boundary ; while simultaneously working on stretching boundaries for long term excellence
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Life Cycle : Sequence of events post an Achievement

I believe that every moment in our life has a reason to exist . Each moment needs to be recognised , acknowledged , respectfully received , cherished -while in it & when the momentary life of the moment is passed , it must be let go . The essence of a moment is to add Momentum , when it does that , its role is to move on . Hence while we should live each moment fully , we should leave it when it is over — not get stuck in it , simply because there is another moment knocking at our door . The problem is not ‘ immersing ‘ into a moment , but in not coming out of it !

Essentially therefore every moment must be full of Life ; Life needs to move on , beyond the moment . This is particularly true for moments of Highs & Lows , Exhilaration & Exasperation — we need to be conscious to move beyond the moment . I believe the cycle of ‘ Achievement ‘ has a sequence of  4 successive moments : Moments of Glory , Humility , Gratitude & Action  . I created this for my Daughter -Aditi , when she cleared her CA final – one of the most challenging exams . Sharing with you for a larger good !  

  • Moment of Glory
    • Experience an unadulterated happiness , be in the moment of Glory for a day or two . You must enjoy the achievement and feel truly happy . Don’t let any other thought , person or event interfere in your thus feeling
  • Moment of Humility
    • Once soaking in the Glory is complete , come out of it completely without a trace . Now touch down on ground and have your feet firmly there . Become normal , humble about success , know that regardless of what you have achieved , there are miles yet to go . Recognise that you are neither the only one , nor the first one nor the best one yet …. and many more have achieved much more ahead of you . Unless you shed your arrogance , air , you will not be able to focus on the task selflessly with 100 % concentration
  • Moment of Gratitude
    • Realise that you alone could not have achieved so much . Surely there is a contribution of some ( if not many ) to your success – directly or indirectly . You need to remember them and recognize their role in your achievement , give everybody his / her due
  • Moment of Action
    • Once above three stages are over , you need to swing into action … get your focus right & get 100 % into what should be ‘ your next ‘

WHAT DID I LEAVE BEHIND

 It all began with me asking myself this routine question , before leaving a place . I did not understand the POWER of this innocuous sounding question , till when I paused to reflect on it . I realized , apart from an obvious physicality , it has many more dimensions if you care to hear what it means …. “ What did I leave behind “, or rather “ What am I leaving behind “ can be such an anchoring thought – if you really listen to what it means , that can help keep us / our behavior in check
 If we go deeper , it can help unravel what ALL can we possibly leave behind on different dimensions ; like :
o Impression
 Everything we do ( or don’t do ) has our invisible quality signature . ‘Advertant ‘ or inadvertent – we always leave an impression behind & it is important for us to know / realise as to ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Performance
 We may not , but what we achieve ( or fail to achieve ) will remain on public memory & will remind them of us – positively or negatively , that is why we need to be conscious of ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘
o Demonstration / example What are we leaving behind
 We may or may not be conscious , but by our behavior – which people can see – we can be a role model to follow / not follow for those ‘ behind ‘ . It is our choice to be aware of ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Reputation
 So is the case of Reputation , which is the ‘ Sum Effect ‘ of our thoughts , words & deeds If we want people to remember for what we are , I guess , it is important for us to know – ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Legacy
 I have shared in my earlier blogs , psychographically there are two types of people : Trader type or Businessman types .Traders are focused on creation of material wealth ( which can be faceless and transient ) ; Businessmen want to make a difference , they are desirous of leaving Legacy behind ; it is our choice – ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Memories , history
 History is created by those who are on a mission , who are conscious of their purpose & reason for their existence ; They are aware and on a directed efforts ; we don’t need to alert them on , ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘
o Mess / orderliness
 Do I need to elaborate on what is happening here & why . This is a largely prevalent behavior of majority who is less self ware and much less socially conscious — They will not do what they are doing ( probably innocently ) if only they become aware of – ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘
o Creations : Product , Process , Progeny , Ideas , Innovations , Tools , Formats , Art
 Whatever we do or choose to pursue in life , the message is clear & universal — ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘ ; if only we know this , we will be very different , optimally leveraged & hugely fulfilling !
 Thus , ‘ What did you ( or I ) leave behind , is such a guiding thought , it helps realization in us on what is appropriate, what is not ; so that we are well equipped to make a right behavior choice
 On one hand , this question can humble us with a realization of enormous potential we have in what / how much are we able to ( create & ) leave behind ; on the other hand it can create a high sense of urgency , realizing that vis-à-vis our capacity , how much we are underleveraged – how much more that we can , but how much less are we leaving behind !
 When now that you realise the enormity of potential and possibilities , for what your actions in the moment can leave behind ; there is a possibility that you can be more aware , alert in the moment you act , to think & design to leave behind what you will , looking back , feel proud about , both quantitatively – but more importantly , Qualitatively !

Get Beyond Self

( Just back from Engagement ceremony of our dear Daughter ADITI  today , which also happens to be her Birthday . Chose this auspicious occasion to post this profound note which can bring in deep enlightenment and impact )  

There is a Sanskrit Subhashit ,which says that You are your Best Friend , as also your Worst Enemy . In effect on one hand all the ingredients to reach pinnacle are within us & on the other hand ; enormous power to hold us back from what we can be , also resides within us .
It has been conjectured , hypothesized and documented in study literature that most of us die underleveraged to an extent of up to 95 % — living up to just about 5 % of what we are capable of ! There are obviously some strong ‘ Gravity ‘ factors , an inner inertia , which holds us back . If only we can recognize & break these ( internal ) barriers , it can take us from a 5 % level to a potentially 100 % level .
Our Values , Beliefs , Thoughts , Judgments , Opinions , Biases bind us to what we think we know than explore what we do not know – we don’t know. This are the limiting walls , beyond which we can’t grow . These not only limit our options , but typecasts us into a pattern – almost like ‘ locking in ‘ ;unable to move with flexibility to explore what we can .
Qualitatively , the framework of our Beliefs , Values etc becomes a reference point from which we assess / ascertain or judge ‘ others’ position . This makes us a ‘ relative ‘ ( to ourselves ) thinker , robbing our access to absolute ( unbiased ) thinking
Though we are innocently unaware of this ; considering the gravity of the situation breaking these constraining shackles is not easy … it is not just ‘ opening up ; it is more like breaking the Sound Barrier . It is about liberating the ‘ soul ‘ from the ( constraining ) body – It is about “ Getting beyond Self “
Since the biggest barrier for us in life is our self , once we succeed getting past this barrier ( self ) , by definition , there is nothing more to conquer & nothing can stop you – this is where you unleash your fullest potential – unhindered ; that is why it is a ‘ Liberation ‘ stage
“Getting beyond Self ”– is about ‘ defying the gravity ‘ which pulls us down on – at each of the 3 components / levels . We will have to ‘ free ‘ our self on each level .
o Body
o Mind
o Soul
Body – getting fitter , health & energy ahead of your edge
Mind – Choose & make your Work , your Cause , higher than yourself . You can be ordinary( Who You are ) ; but don’t let your work ( What You do ) anything less than extraordinary !
Soul – getting rid of your bondages : Fear , Insecurities , Guilt , Shame , Beliefs , Biases — anything which can hold you back
How do we reach , ‘ beyond self ‘ ?
o Develop Self awareness – Get to know yourself better — Get to know & feel the Elephant you are , so that you develop / see perspectives beyond that of only ‘ One Blind Man ‘ – which is you currently
 Know what you are / are not ; what can liberate you / what can hold you back
o Build Powerful Perspectives – hold a larger perspective to life than just around yourself ; a perspective like “ Win-within-Win “, which helps you to see yourself as a part of a Larger Whole . It tells you to contribute to larger good , with the conviction that your part of the larger good will be larger than good ( better )
Getting beyond yourself is real Nirvana — a Spiritual Journey of real liberation from all Physical , Psychological bondages – You will feel light , you will ‘ flow ‘ ; being in fluidic state will be easy also for you to ‘ connect ‘ / ‘ reach ‘ with the world around . On one hand you can assimilate as much as you want ( with no barrier ) or on the other hand or you can choose to dissolve , surrender & be a part of the larger Being .
Since in this state , you are ‘ outside you’ , you will be amorphous – not bound by a contour / ‘ geography ‘ – you can take the shape you want .
As a corollary , you will no longer be in a ‘ relative ‘ ( to yourself ) frame of mind , when looking at others – there is no question of ‘ judging ‘ anyone since there is no ( Cartesian system of Coordinate Axes with you at the ( 0,0 ) origin ) framework to judge against . You will hence be in an ‘ absolute ‘ stage – which is the form of Truth , Purity — this is the stage perfectly amenable to assimilate or dissolve into the larger Purity ( In Hindu Philosophy , this is a process of Aatma uniting Paramaatma – being a part of the larger whole )
Liberating self from clutches of self , is Real Nirvana !

Two Tenets of Ownership : Custodian , Possession

  • I always thought Ownership — means OWNERSHIP , complete commitment ! Like a Mother to a child or a driven person to a cause
  • However my understanding matured & expanded through what I observed around me & learnt through them . It gave me so much clarity on two extremes of shades of ‘ Ownership ‘ as is being understood & practiced – I take it as my obligation to bring to you the same enlightenment
  • I have now come to realise that in practice there are two tenets of Ownership ( one intended & one mistaken ) which form the two extreme ends of an ‘ Ownership Spectrum ‘
    • One is the “ Custodianship “ end – which is what is implicit in the concept of Ownership , &
    • The other end is “ Possession “ which is a mistaken notion of ownership
  • Custodianship
    • This is the true & larger meaning of ownership
    • It invokes a sense of belonging & is about caring about what you ‘ own’ – be it a cause , your child , your country , your community
    • It generally involves a ‘ surrender to a cause ‘ ; a selfless disposition to what you are doing / intend to do . The focus is not on self , but on the cause – which is always bigger than yourself
    • It is about focus & uncontaminated attention . It is about nurturing . You will do everything possible to ensure safety & fulfilment of the cause — often unprompted !
    • The purpose & commitment here is long sustained & approach is ‘ relationship ‘ oriented
  • Possession
    • This is grown through popular / oversimplified misconception of meaning of ownership
    • It is about ‘ owning ‘ something as your ‘ possession — as your ‘ property ‘ … This can go beyond material possessions ; can even extend to your own child !
    • Quite contrary to a ‘ surrender ‘ ; it is about ‘ subservience ‘ – about clearly establishing hierarchy & concept of supremacy / subjugation .
    • The focus is clearly & unquestionably on self , everything else is subsidiary to self interest . It is fueled by Ego & smacks of arrogance .
    • Contrary to concept of attention and care ; it is about ‘ exploitation ‘ — it is like “ I have every right over something , because I paid for it “ ( typical feel of a “ Malik “ , in Hindi )
    • The approach is logically , very transactional and opportunistic .
  • Clarity , Insight & Perspective is what I bring to the table , always – so in this case . As a committed & experienced Coach I felt it my obligation to bring you this clarity , with which you can choose the path you want to take on the ‘ Ownership Spectrum ‘ , since you take accountability for your decision ; just that you are well informed & well equipped to make a careful choice
  • I have made my choice ; for me ‘ Custodianship ‘ is not just the better & more inclusive concept ; it is the ONLY way of taking and exercising Ownership ! You need to decide for yourself , independently – It is Your Choice , because it is Your Life !

Disappointment is less disappointing than Frustration

  • Disappointment , Frustration are very commonly used words ; especially in the context of Performance management or Stress management . Probably we use them interchangeably without much bothering to think what does each mean & if they both mean the same
  • Before I do my ‘ sense making ‘ on this , I searched dictionary , to find following :
    • Disappointment : “ Sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.”
    • Frustration : “ The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.”
  • In the least I note from dictionary that while Disappointment is to do with ‘ non fulfillment ‘ ; Frustration is to do more with one ‘ inability ‘ to achieve something .While I agree with this ‘ reading between the lines ‘ ; to me there is a vast and fundamental difference between what is disappointment & what is frustration . Here is my take , my Sense making
  • Disappointment v/s Frustration
    • I agree that disappointment is about not achieving something ( result / outcome ) ; frustration is about one’s inability to be able to achieve
    • Disappointment is related to an event , a transaction , whereas frustration is about a person’s state of mind
    • Therefore disappointment is a transient phenomenon , frustration is likely to be relatively permanent state of mind . If we ( rather loosely ) use analogy of Change & Transformation , where a change is transient & reversible ; transformation is permanent – similarly in case of disappointment , frustration
    • They are also likely to be ‘ sequential ‘ … it probably takes a series of disappointing events to reach a state of frustration
    • Consequentially disappointment ( hopefully ) leads to action ; frustration is a dead end ; it leads to inaction
    • You can overcome stage of disappointment ; frustration turns you into permanent ‘ negativity ‘ … you tend to speak only negatively & link everything to your frustration .
  • Reason for me to seek this clarity for you is not just for your Knowledge . If you recollect my earlier post on KURI …. I want you / more & more people get a better understanding of this fundamental difference between the two terms & importantly reach your ‘ Realisation ‘ , which will prompt an action .
    • Understanding here is that Disappointment & Frustration are two fundamentally different states ; one takes you to action , other to inaction
    • Realisation from this can be : Since Frustration is sequential to Disappointment & it is a Dead-End , once reached that — it is almost non reversible ‘ disability ‘ of mind ; one needs to be alert at any Disappointment to address it quickly – not let it simmer & set into Frustration , which will be a  Point of NO Return ; hence one should proactively never allow him/ herself to reach that stage
  • Before I sign off , I thus urge you to not just sit on this useful Knowledge , but pick your Realisation & move into Action , so that you never become frustrated in life !

Human  Resonance

  • Resonance as a word , is better understood than defined in a dictionary . The very dry & restricted definition in a dictionary does not do justice to this beautiful & potent concept — so here is my sense making on ‘ Resonance ‘
    • Resonance is a state of matter where it feels abundance of energy – free flow at will , for attaining fulfillment
  • We probably first heard it in our Physics Lab in school in the context of a metal . In an experiment we were given a metal tong / fork to strike on a hard surface & watch vibrations ( & the amplitude of vibration ) created in that metal . We were told ( which is true ) that each metal has its own ‘ natural frequency ‘ of vibration . If you make the metal vibrate at its natural frequency , the amplitude of vibration is the maximum / double . This means that at its ‘ natural frequency ‘ the metal produces ‘ higher output ‘ and ‘ willingly ‘
  • This ‘ natural frequency ‘ for a metal is a characteristic of that metal , just as its density , specific gravity or melting point & other properties – which defines the metal & these properties of a metal are different from that of another metal – just like nature of human beings.
  • You can feel it happening in Music . If you pull / strike a string of a stringed musical instrument in just the right way you see the string buzzing & feel the melodious , longer lasting musical vibrations . You can hear this resonance in the sound of a ball being hit by a cricket bat , just at the right spot & at the right time ( timing )
  • I have come to believe that the concept of Resonance is also very intrinsic to Human beings . Each of us can , need to & do resonate towards attaining our fulfillment
    • I therefore believe that each of us have our own unique ‘ natural frequency ‘ if struck at that we resonate . Each one can & will , if only we can find that ‘ natural frequency ‘ for that person .
    • You can feel ( for self ) & see ( for others ) this resonance happening …this is a state of exhilaration , where you experience ecstasy & joy ‘ for nothing ‘ , in anything you do . This is a state where ‘ things happen ‘ , you don’t need to try to hard … nothing you do is a burden for you – the more you do what you do , you feel more happy ( & not tired ) ; you kind of ‘ float ‘ smoothly , everything seems to make sense to you , you have a purpose to exist , you feel life is too short for ALL that you want to do . You have a Great sense of self worth & feel immensely fulfilled . It is a very desired state of mind to be in – should become the ‘ Natural ‘ state to be in for each of us .
  • I also believe for human beings , there exists : Individual Resonance & also Collective Resonance ( like the Bees humming & working in perfect harmony )
  • When resonance happens in an Organisation set up , you see ( not just better but )outstanding results , high energy levels – almost contagious – in employees , a ‘ buzz’ around , you feel the vibrance in the ambience ; it’s a whole lot of positivity which shows not just in measurable results but also in individual fulfillment / happiness and higher employee engagement leading to high retentions .
    • When collective resonance happens , we see a multiplier effect – these organisations may even reach a stage of ‘ Collective Consciousness ‘ …. Where things ‘ happen ‘ , everyone ‘ knows ‘ – nothing needs to be told or explained or asked .
  • So Human Resonance seems to be a very desired state of being ; question is HOW ? Do we know what it takes & Do we know how do we help unfold
  • I don’t think I have a ready answer – a proven formula . But I do have a good understanding of what – why – how it works . Simply it is about ‘ striking a chord ‘ with another person . Various initiatives that we can undertake for human resonance , can be categorized into two ‘ buckets ‘ : Alignment , Ambience
    • Alignment : Each of us has a natural tendency – an inherent strength to do something very well . While a person may be average in many things , there will always be that ‘ one thing ‘ where that person can really to excel . This is what Gallup organization calls ‘ Talent ‘ . All we need to do is to know / understand an employee’s talent & align it with right role . When some one does when he/ she is naturally inclined to do , he/she will reach excellence & thereby a greater sense of fulfillment
    • Ambience : We do not need to resonate anybody , that each individual will do , all we need to do is to provide facilitative ambience for each to blossom . There are many ways / mechanisms / tools one can use to root the employee in Trust & Comfort , with the organization . Tools like : (i) Creating outstanding on boarding experience , (ii) Buddy system , (iii) KYE – Know your employee ( beyond CV & identify value you can add ) , (iv) EVP – Employee Value Proposition ( non monetary promise an organization holds to make an employee ‘ long to belong ‘ )
  • I hope above is adequate enlightenment –Of course if you need further connect or clarity on the subject , you can always reach me @ +91 99860 34443 or yatinsamant@yahoo.co.uk . All the best to all of us !