Archive for June, 2009

GET UP AND GET GOING -6

In my last write up   I had made a reference to presence of Elphi in our heart and mind that prevent us from shedding the fears inherited by our past misfortunes and negative experiences. The fear of losing gets steeped into our inner psyche and inhibits us from acting boldly. I had actually met Elphi in my city while it was walking on the roads. The huge pachyderm with its massive built and bulk had been ridden by a frail and emaciated looking mahout, who would once in a while poke the animal with his ankus as he prodded him to behave in the midst of chaotic traffic on the road.

More recently, these same methods were also witnessed by me in a circus where the trainer had  traumatized the captured  big wild predator lion  to perform certain acts, which otherwise this Panthera Leo would have made a man to perform before it actually ate him up. Any how we were discussing about the Elphi, our dear friend and representative of the great lord. My animal lovers’ instinct told me to speak to Elphi and ask him as to what he had been doing in a town and why he was  not in a jungle uprooting  trees with his trunk or getting into any other kind of elephantine game to entertain himself because that is what a young elephant is  supposed to do .

The massive mammal   stopped by for a while, looked at me as if he had been sizing me up and then he glanced at the mahout who had been riding him. The elephant assured that the mahout did not have the ankus in his hands, spoke in a conspiratorial tone to me, “you seem to be a man with a very low wisdom.  Do you not see that this man who is sitting on top of me carries a weapon that is mighty powerful than my entire bulk. Will he not kill me if I try to save myself and run away to jungle? Please do not ask me to do anything that could be detrimental to my health”.

“But you are so powerful, strongly built and muscular looking. This man who is riding you is only a small creature. you can throw him off your  back with one little push of your trunk and may be crush him if he tries to stop you from running away to the jungle”‘, I had told the elephant while at the same time I had been motivating him to get free from the slavery of labor and toil in the town. I had wanted him to regain his lost freedom and respectability. The elephant who had been behaving in a very   meek fashion under the mahout looked at me very apologetically as if he had been trying to feel sorry for his own condition.

“You can share your story with me if you want to”, I told him, and “it is possible I may be able to help you”.

“Well if you are keen to “, said the elephant to me, “but you will have to crawl along with me through this grueling traffic.  I find it difficult to raise my voice for the fear of the punishment that will be awarded to me for blowing my natural trumpet in this town inhabited by humans”.

“Of course I will walk along “, I encouraged him.

“you see when I was a very small and innocent baby elephant I used to be a free bird oops sorry ….a free elephant like any other of my brethren in a jungle. I used to enjoy my pranks and baby elephant games with mud and water. I would sprinkle water over my body and then lie down into mud to again cover myself with dust so that my mother could shower more water on me with her trunk. I just loved all such mischiefs as it gave me a chance to listen to sweet admonishments of my elephant parents. But life had not been such kind to me for long. One day    some friends of this mahout had come to jungle hunting for the ivory teeth and trunks of elephants. They killed lots of my relatives to gather huge catch of ivory and elephant bones.  I really do not know why you humans like the bones and teeth of dead animals. Any how I really never will never understand. Perhaps someday my bones will also be  ……” he left the sentence midway.

“but we were discussing about your parents “, I had wanted him to continue.

“Yes, yes, let me speak”, “My parents were also amongst those killed by the gun tottering friends of this mahout. My life however had been spared by them as I did not carry enough bones in my body and teeth in my mouth. They just bundled me into a van, after they had put me into strong iron chains, and brought me to your town. Thereafter whenever I had raised my trumpet to tell them that I wanted to go back to, my own home in the forest, they would beat me with this ankus on my forehead. This thing really hurts. Even the thought reminds me of the pain that this ankus can inflict. In addition the iron fetters that these people had tied to my tiny elephantine feet would hurt me whenever I had tried to free myself from the pole to which I had been secured.

‘Yes that happened when you were very young. Today when you have grown so big and you have a massive body and built, you can certainly get yourself freed from this slavery and go back to the place where you belong”, I talked to him in a very sympathetic mode.

“My friends from jungle also say so. But you have to understand that the fear of the ankus and the iron fetters hurting my ankles   had settled deep into my heart and mind during my childhood days. The horror so settled in my brain has altered my very basic personality. I am no more an elephant even though I do look like one to you.  I am happy with the state in which I had been forced to live from my enslaved childhood. Please do not disturb me any further ‘, Elphi had been trying to hide his tears of pain and sufferings.

“But let me share a secret with you”, he brought his trunk closer to my ears, as if he did not want anyone else to become privy to this secret. “I am not alone in this town. I find many of my creeds living into the very heart and minds of all the human beings in this town”.

“Well but that is impossible. I do not see any other of your creed in here and then how is it possible that such enormous living beings can get into the hearts and minds of us humans without anyone ever noticing them. You must be just befooling me”, I laughed aloud at the statement recently uttered by Elphi.

“NO I am serious. You humans carry the symbolic self created Elphis in your minds, the same way I have adopted my terror of fetters and ankus from my   childhood. You get befuddled by one negative experience in your life and give up trying the same thing further. You too have taken to all kinds of negativity and self denial from the early childhood. The ghosts of past bad experiences always haunt your mankind with the result that the humans are never able to disassociate themselves from the fearful complexes .These apprehensions and doubts on your own capability given to you during your childhood and parentage, become colossal Elphis when you grow up physically ,  though mentally you still remain steeped in your self- woven anxieties . I think you should first try to emancipate your own creed from the massive elephants that occupy their thinking and doing faculty and then possibly I should also move out of this town and go back to my forest abode, till then let me enjoy the company of the Elphis  living within all of you’.

I obviously had no reason to further cajole the biggest mammal living on the land. I knew the urgency was to ask my fellow beings to throw away the elephants of self doubt,   the   elephants of past bad baggage’s, the elephants of some negativity experienced in life earlier and get up and get goingwith a renewed vigor and self determination to follow and realize the dreams of their lifetimes.

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GET UP AND GET GOING -5

Everest is not a mountain you climb in a day” said Krushna Patil second youngest Indian woman who had summitted  the highest peak. She had said this   in her interview to HT on last Sunday. And we got to trust and believe her because she has achieved  what many cannot even dream of. Similar sentiments can be echoed for any other project that we want to achieve  in our life.  Our  dreams and desires ,our  aspirations and ambitions can be achieved provided we know what we want and how do we  approach life to go  for it . It may not happen in a day certainly but if and when we are  able to achieve this,  it  will give us a great high as it must have given to Krushna when she had summitted the peak for the first time .

It is an agreed fact  that a positive and objective mind set is the prerequisite to high achievements in life  but besides the positivity of the mind it is also the preparation of the spirit and body to put in our  best of toil, sweat  and tears in the achievement of any task that we set out to do for ourselves in our lives.

They say that  Rome was not built in a day but they should also say that Rome was built by intelligent planning and foresight , by deploying men and material who had toiled for years together to build a town we commemorate  as Rome today. The beauty of Rome obviously attracts all of the mankind today also to utter such epithets for its praise.

I am tempted here to borrow another sentence from the article of Colleen Braganza ( the article appeared in Hindustan Times June14, 2009) where the  author writes about the summitters of the Mount Everest , ” You do not conquer Mount Everest .The mountain allows you to climb her “. Life too allows us to live it the way we want to live . A good , healthy, peaceful life full of happiness and mirth for all. However as the mountain does not allow any climber   to take to it lightly , same way the life expects  some seriousness from us . The mountain wants climbers to have respect for its highs and lows , the peaks and slopes and walk over them with a climbers’  discipline;  same way life too tells us to develop a healthy attitude towards the ups  and downs, the stills and the   movements that our day to day living brings into our folds. It wants us to adopt a   salubrious attitude that displays neither overt exhilaration and jubilation over the minor achievements nor a depressing passivity  and submission to the major upheavals . The life will then expect us to get into the nascent hope of climbing yet another of its peak after coming out of the previous palate of  high or low served by it to us on the platter. The climbers many a times have to strategically assess their position on  way to the peak of the mountain and decide whether to stay put at one place , to move forward, or even take a step backward to let the weather clear up before they start climbing again . The same way   we too have to devise our strategies to meet our  career and  life’s ambitions. Moving forward appears   good and keeps everyone associated with us happy except possibly our  healthy rivals. But  it is always the stagnation or the  need to take a step backward that causes ripples into the society in which we live and spend our 24 hours everyday. It could either have raised eyebrows or the depressive sounds of false  sympathy.

But the warriors of life and the climbers of the peaks should not pay heed to such sounds  and ripples . They should rather  rededicate themselves to  the task of building up bridges and tunnels again  to clear up their road to success and glory that life allows them to achieve .And to do   that we will have to first of all take out the fear of losing out.We must not allow our minds to get coloured by the elephis of suspicions and doubts on our own capabilities .We must  clear all kinds of cobwebs of non achievements from our mindsets by believing that we and only we are capable of bringing  magnificence and greatness back into our lives by the solemn commitment to build up our lives again.

GET UP AND GET GOING -4

Practically there is no one who has not been hit hard by the recession. Its vagaries can be seen from the  dwindling crowds  on the shop floors of shopping malls, to the  shortening of the  queues on the airlines check-in counters, to the shrinking of the kitchen and household shopping of many families  on account of  their  reduced incomes.  The economies of not only the businesses but even the common families have  gone hay wire. The salary slips suddenly vanishing  lead to bank balances and savings vanishing in no time , but giving in to the pressures and adopting a passive attitude can further aggravate the problem and one can get into depression. So what do we do ? Many of us will obviously pose  this question .

The best thing that we can do is to take it in the correct perspective that it is time to either  upgrade or to diversify our skills . There must be  many things  we had not done in life before but have always talked about  doing , to  our friends and families.  It could be expanding on some hobby, taking to some other  profession related to our skills or it could be even upgrading our academics . But that can be organised only if we remain positive and objective in our approach towards every thing in our life.

I have always spoken about getting into teaching in a business  school to my family and friends during my long career of 28 years in  marketing.   Yet  I did not have the courage to quit  the well heeled and oiled job.Though I had been adding my own bit to the education field by writing three books on Marketing and getting them published by the best publishers of the world ,  as a hobby . All this had been done during my tenure as a corporate manager. I had also picked up an additional  degree in management almost ten years ago more to satisfy my curiosity about new concepts in management rather than anything else.

Recently when I had faced challenges  in my  corporate career, I looked at this juncture in my life as a God sent opportunity to convert my talks into practical action. I had prepared myself to take life head on  and fight back  the negativity of a depressing  recession. The first thing that I have done is to adopt  a positive attitude. This  positive attitude is all prevading . I do not allow my family   also to get into any kind of negative reminiscensing of the life that we have just had and left behind. The result is that I have got a great opening for myself   into   a profession that I had always wanted to get into i.e. teaching in a good business school.  I also have another book of mine ready for release withing a week or so. It is obvious life has turned better once again.  It is  definitely the positive thinking that has activated the law of attraction in my life. I wish all of us get inot the positive thinking and attract the best things of our choice into our lives.

Think positive , get up and get going is all I can wish all my friends . Believe me  that every good  thing that you have ever wanted will start materialising the moment you turn positive. Just get going.

GET UP AND GET GOING – Part 3

Mankind has always courageously and fearlessly faced all kinds of extremities, annihilation, natural calamities and man-made disasters. Many a civilizations have gone down the mounds of earth or into the annals of fire on account of atrocities committed by one tribe over the other. Many a nations have been virtually eliminated from the surface of this earth by the cruel hands of time.  Yet man has existed and grown from the pre-stone age to the modern jet age due to his resilience, the stronger willpower, steely determination and the fortitude   to get back yet stronger and more powerful. The human minds have been made all the more potent and effective by each stroke of adversity. In this entire game of playing hide and seek with death and destruction man has never stopped empowering himself with the inbuilt armament of resolve and tenacity. The recent upheavals of financial misfortune are nothing when we all think of the wealth each nation possesses today. We today have in abundance the wealth of young and inquisitive minds, the wealth of shared knowledge and the wealth of international cooperation in construction and rebuilding of the disintegrating institutions. What we need to have is the faith in humanity, the love for individual and the respect for human capacity to put back in place the lost kingdoms.

I am reminded of a small incident of my early childhood days when we used to live in houses with lots of half open ventilators in each room. Young birds and sparrows will find it very convenient to build their nests in small nooks and corners of the rooms in our home flying in and out of the half open ventilators. Their chirping and singing the bird tunes always sounded like a sweet music to our adolescent ears. But these birds were also creating a nuisance for our mother who used to be very meticulous and fastidious in maintaining cleanliness all around the house.  Each season it used to be a constant fight ensuing between the young birds and our mother. Our mother will direct the servants almost once a week to throw away many kind of tidbits, the cloth cuttings, the broomsticks   and the small paper shreds that the birds would collect to build their nests behind the curtain rods, the ceiling fans’ canopies and the top of the  wooden cupboards. The poor birds will look at my mother and her retinue of servants pitiably and sadly asking for some kind of mercy to spare their small worlds so that they could lay their eggs and bring into this world their inheritors. But to no avail. Does that mean that the birds will fly away? No way, these birds will stay put in our house and with a re-determination will begin bringing in more material   discarded by the denizens of the man’s land to build with it their nests again. Within a few hours, next morning these birds would build their shell again and look chidingly at our mother. Eventually mother had to give in and allow them to stay in there till their youngest ones were hatched out of the eggs and had grown strong enough to fly out of the windows. She would in due course start the same exercise all over again with other pairs of birds the next season.

But what message my immature mind could understand and imbibe was that a small frail bird had more firmness, persistence and tenacity than many of the humans. It did not get discouraged. It would not get disheartened and depressed even when her or his entire world had been destroyed. It would simply get up and get going without giving the catastrophe a second thought, because it knew that the life is too short and beautiful to be allowed to be destroyed in dismay and despair. One must just get up and get going …………..