Personal Excellence

Why do we need leaders?

A probable question that mostly we don’t ask. Do we really need leaders? How does one differentiate from the other in terms of leadership?

The leader is the one who takes his people from the valley of known to the dream peak

A leader is none other than a common man. A man who has the same tissues and brain, same sort of feelings, shows vulnerability and has the same emotions like any of us. A leader is never born. There is no one with born leadership trait. It’s all in the permission one gives to a thought to follow. A thought of so called known vision. The reason it’s called a know vision is of the reason one believes in it at a certain point in time. Then puts the action in place and works tirelessly to reach that vision.

The leader is the one who shows vitality and vigor to reach the vision. Goals are part of the vision for the leader. That’s the not the end result. Every leader’s vision is always not specific but wide in its view. They device an approach which they feel is right to reach the vision. One of the challenge is in bringing the consensus amongst the people to follow the vision.

This leads to a question, when I follow a vision, can I be a leader? Why not? For a simple man or woman, like manager at work, or coffee seller at a coffee shop or a student who dreams of getting a high paid job or the sweeper etc. Let’s take the example of the sweeper. A sweeper’s purposeful vision would be to ensure his family is able to have the minimum commitment of food, cloth and shelter in place; to provide education for his children and to lead a calm life.

When the sweeper works tirelessly towards the vision of building and nurturing this, he or she is a purposeful human in its own right. Then when does he or she become the leader? When the same sweeper adheres to the integrity of life as its core principle and starts to think, that it’s not only a necessity of calm life for himself or herself but also for the peers in his work needs to be established. When one starts to think this way and act upon it, in their circle of influence, he or she become a leader.

When such a transition happens, within oneself to support the fellow humans with the best of his or her capability, a leader is in place. Now assume, when every one starts to think this way and acts, it brings a massive change in oneself. A change within the community. That change leads to the fundamental question – When such a change happens,

Do we need leaders?

Basically, what has happened is that, the moment we see someone with a thought process for a larger cause, we start to acknowledge their views. We start to follow and support their opinions. We start to believe. This belief is the culprit. Because, once you start to believe, you don’t start to think. Belief leads to blind follow. That’s where we have this term blind faith. Faith is nothing but a strong belief on to something.

Let’s take a pause and allow this thought to digest in you. Isn’t that we can also think? Can’t we also try to expand the core purpose of us to support a human? When we start to build this cycle of support for one human, we are building the real human chain. A chain we know, that we are linked by similarities of physical and emotional appearances and needs. When we start to think and act on this, where is the necessity for the leaders?

We all have the capability to think. A thought becomes powerful, when you allow it catch a link. The link is the action. A thought becomes thinking, when it catches one’s mind. A host. A host on which it can influence upon and make one to act. The one who caught on to that influence acts. While others, just dump their thoughts. We perceive the thoughts through his or her action. Because action easily influences a mind than a powerful thought.

For example, as you read this blog, when it creates a spark of thought, then that’s something you need to catchup on. That’s kindling of one’s own mind. When I record this and deliver as a speech or as an enactment, then it becomes an action. An action didn’t kindle your own thought. A thought that projects me in your mind based upon your perception and created a thought that, whatever he said seems right. This action influenced your thought to follow mine. The more action I do, then it becomes a belief. A belief that eventually turns into blind faith.

Thus, it’s a thought that you had allowed, to project another thought of belief. The principles that you had acknowledged at your first go as the rightful ones. The principles which we never questioned. As to why?

Relating back to the quote mentioned above, a leader is the one who takes his people from the valley of known to the dream peak. Isn’t that we actually gave the power to a common man to become a leader?. Isn’t that we believed in the vision set by someone as the probable best one and started to follow it?. Isn’t that we then blindly started to build the faith and trust on these leaders?

Well, if that’s the case why did we leave our thoughts?. Our own thoughts that guides us to build us for our family. Our own thoughts that navigates us through tough times. It’s because not everyone is brought up in the same way. Though everyone is born in the same way not everyone builds themself up in the same way. A person, who had seen the plight of her people, her society, her community gives the power to her thought. How can I change this? That powerful thought leads to thinking. A thinking that results in actions. Actions that are hardship to her. But she carries with the vigor and vitality to endure. This makes her a leader, because we are not prepared for this. We feel, that we cannot endure. We fear, we fail. We constraint ourselves by the boundary of societal standards and norms.

Assume, you are in the middle of a city. In a city in the midnight. There is not much traffic around. There is also not much people around. You are lost in the city to reach your destination. You have the route, google maps in hand but you can’t figure it out. You get a thought to ask someone. You figure out by searching and reaching the nearest shop or a taxi driver to get the guidance. A thought to ask. A brave step to start. That’s how a leader is born. Taking the first step. Not large steps. Small step of bravery. But continuously.

When you acknowledge that you can give power to the thought, then you can become a leader. When everyone gives power to the thought, they start their thinking process. A process that can lead to action. When such an action of embracing a vision for the betterment of fellow human happens, you become a leader.

Thus, it leads to our first question.

Why do we need leaders?

Sunday Reverie

Meditation and thinking

Most of the times, we think about meditation as state of blissfulness. The one which we want to achieve by an act of self control. A state in which, we are meant to feel serenity and calmness. An abode of peacefulness. The way we follow to attain the same is through various methods. But this topic isn’t about the steps that we follow to achieve the state of meditation. The topic is about what is meditation and how it relates to our thinking.

Meditation is a state of focus. A state where in an individual follows a certain activity with focus. A focus in which his attention, awareness becomes one and is singular. That state is the state of meditation. A state in which everything is calm and stable.

When you work on a subject or task, it can always lead to a meditative state. Meditation is not only by practicing a certain practice and breathing technique to reach. It’s present always around us and with in us. When you visit a serene beautiful blue lake surrounded by beautiful colorful plateau, and the lake reflecting a mountain. This view as you see in front of you and the moment you relish it as a presence, you have entered the meditative state. Because in the meditative state there are no thoughts. A state of feeling one with the state itself, while there are no thoughts. A state where in actuality, you have merged with the one to become singular for that moment in time. Thus meditative state is one in which you are thoughtless.

Then why you do we relate meditation to thinking. Thinking by far for majority of us is purely by empirical thoughts. A relation of experience that had happened or visualized. A sensory perception. The moment we are thinking about meditation we equate it to serenity, peaceful, calmness, white and etc. Can a woodcutter or blacksmith or sharpshooter or a sweeper can be in a meditative state as they work?

Yes! Everyone can reach the state of meditation in their work. None requires a separate meditation as a practice to reach. Meditation as said earlier is all about singularity. A state in which you become one. You become your task. You become your own practice. You become your work. A sweeper, becomes effective in his sweeping by repetition of the work. The repetition of work, with observation helps him to adopt better. This practice of repetition of work, makes him effective. The moment he becomes effective, he reaches close to a state of singularity. In this state, his body, his actions everything flows with a certain pattern, an artistic movement. It’s like the dance steps smoothly and graciously flowing on the floor as he moves sweeping the floor. His hands tuned to some music, where in we can see a pattern of flow aligned with his movement of his steps.

His whole body understands and embodies the work in that sequence of activities. In that finer moment of work, he becomes his work. His work is nothing but himself. That’s when he is in the meditative state. In that state, he would be thinking anything and he would be completely immersed in his actions. His eyes, his mind, his fingers, his feet everything aligned to one purpose and the purpose is sweeping the floor. To keep it clean and shining. This is the state of meditation.

The goal of being in a meditative state is not to create a flow. Is to be the flow

Most of us can easily achieve the state of meditation by the nature of your work. But basically we try hard to reach it by other ways of practice. Where in we force ourselves to focus or visit places of practice to reach the meditative state. The reason, we are tuned to this is, because of empirical thoughts. We read, we heard, we visualized, we watched about meditation in this way. The moment we think about meditation we relate to the following. A serene music. An environment with fresh air or fragrance around. A hall or room in complete silence. A retreat surrounded by beautiful nature. These empirical thoughts have led meditation to be a subject of elusiveness. In order to attain, it we try to practice based upon these empirical reference.

In a meditative state its being thoughtless. Can someone be thoughtless? Is it possible to be thoughtless? Well, when you are in the singular nature, you become one. The one which is what you do. As mentioned above a sweeper, when his work becomes his rhythm he is singular. In the state of singularity, the mind is fully focused on to the work. A work of sweeping the floor, to look for any dust and cleaning it properly to make the floor shining. A thought shall pop in when there is disturbance, or you find an interference to the work you do. The interference can be external and rarely internal when you are in a meditative state of work. The control of senses to the external environment helps you to swing back to the work and easily get into the state of meditation.

The meditative state is always attained by every great worker. Generally we refer this state of attainment to artists, be it the musician, a painter or dancer. When we watch a ballet dancer smoothly flowing as a swan on the dance floor, that moment of exuberance in us, is due to the fact that the ballet dancer is performing the dance in a state of meditation. A dance where in she and her movements are the one. A singularity of body, mind and motion. It’s the same case with respect to any work. Be it a craftsman, a regular accountant, a clerk, a receptionist, a sales guy. We rarely acknowledge their excellence in work. The best excellence in work is achieved, when you enter the state of meditation. This can be attained by every one.

So, when you work, how can be one thoughless? How is it possible for the one in the state of meditation during his work to be thoughtless? To understand thoughtless, we need to understand about thinking. A thought.

A thought is a relative cohesion from an event. The moment you delve into that it’s called as thinking. When you work and suddenly you get a thought about donuts, its because there was an event or color or smell or back of mind process that made you to think about donuts. The occurrence of donut is the thought. The moment it occurred in your mind, you started to think about the donut, the donut shop, the varieties of donuts, the color of donuts, the taste of donuts, and probably you started to think, who you would like to eat the donuts with, to whom you want to buy and further you went on to, when you would buy the donuts, where would you buy it from; from here you moved on to planning it as a complete step. As you were reading this, if you have started to think about donuts and started to plan for the same, then this writing is an influence creator of a thought which had led you into thinking.

A simple thought of donut had led you into thinking. In this scenario, when you work, how can be one thoughtless?. Let’s go back to the example of sweeper. A sweeper when he starts to clean the floor, then wets the mob in the liquid/detergent water and starts to mob the floor. As he continues to do his work, he comes across a dirt which is hard enough to remove. There can be only two options. In option 1, where he tries to clean the dirt and as it is hard enough, he starts to think why it is not getting cleaned. Stops, analyses and then takes an acid base and mixes with his liquid as a small sample to clean the floor. In this course of action, his tactical time to understand and to think, would actually distract him to thinking and then he tries to get to his work of cleaning. That’s where it’s mentioned earlier, that any distraction to the state of meditation can only be extrinsic.

In option 2, as he cleans and gets struck with a dirt, he immediately makes a sample with an acid base and water in the same state of flow. Then wets his mob again and wipes its clean. This method of smooth transitionary flow without any hurdle of stop over is attained by experience. An experience, where in his mind is tuned for every action or hurdle with a build in solution approach. The approach that’s stitched so well. When this happens, you don’t find a surprise or stopover in his action. He smoothly switches/pauses to make the acid base liquid and then sweeps the floor. You can literally see that, he is a same state of flow even though with external interference in his work.

In such a state of option 1, where one is wired to tasks in singularity is always thoughtless. Being in this state of thoughtless, is attained by deep understanding of the state of work. Can a writer be thoughtless? Yes obviously. A writer who knows the subject which he wants to share, and has a deep understanding of its flow, will be thoughtless as he scripts his work. The scripts flows like a perennial river. In its smoothness and elegance. Thus, in the state of meditation one is always thoughtless. When we approach meditation through thinking, then it becomes tough. It’s cumbersome. Suddenly so elusive, that we find it as forsaken fruit. The one which can be attained only by priests and yogis.

The presence of being in the current moment of work and being deep into it by focus can easily help one to be meditative enough. This state of meditation can bring the calmness amongst the chaos, the silence amongst the storms, the smile amongst the anxiety in oneself.

Touch your inner space, which is nothingness, as silent and empty as the sky; it is your inner sky. Once you settle down in your inner sky, you have come home, and a great maturity arises in your actions, in your behavior. Then whatever you do has grace in it. Then whatever you do is a poetry in itself. You live poetry; your walking becomes dancing, your silence becomes music.

The one who is in the meditative state of work always in a spacious place. A place wide open as wide as a universe.