Love your life

A spate of suicides reported recently makes us wonder: What drives an individual to take his own life The drastic action is perhaps due to intense despair and a feeling of helplessness . The question then arises: What is life and what sustains it No doubt the physical frame is sustained and supported by air, food and water. But at the psychological level it is hope, the perception of self-worth and moral strength that affirm the will to live. All excuses like loneliness, loss of wealth, humiliation, shame and guilt that might force the decision to give up on life midstream could be traced to the loss of the will to live.

Hope is the springboard of all activity. A new hour, a new dawn and a new year, all hold out hope. Hope can also spring forth in a manner that is unconnected with us. A good turn of events for someone else can kindle hope in us. However , hope could turn out to be a double-edged sword. Unfulfilled hope can be devastating, as in business , love and competitive situations . Grief might blur ones vision but the flicker of hope helps us navigate the darkness of despair.

In contrast, death is total darkness . One way of handling this is to hope realistically rather than reach for something that is unattainable . There will be less chance, then, of falling so short of the goal that everything seems out of reach and hence, life will not lose all meaning. To act and not be distracted by the fruit of action is a good way to avoid such situations. The Gita advises us to remain detached from fruit of action.

Self-criticism and introspection are useful exercises to appraise ones strengths and weaknesses so that one can understand ones potential. This is not to sit in judgement and find fault. Any assessment of ones worth can only be relative and so is not absolute. Comparisons are odious, wrote a poet. So when we desist from making comparisons, it helps us overcome a great many problems.

Everything in the world is there because it is of some worth. Every person likes to be loved, to receive compassion and kindness. No one would like to be hurt, deceived or offended in any way. So the universal moral code is clear: Do unto others what you would have them do to you. A convicted criminal appeals for mercy or clemency hoping that the very moral code he violated will somehow pull him out of the dire situation he has put himself in. In some cases a one-off moral transgression may make it difficult to justify the continuance of life. Speaking a lie while being aware of the truth and doing wrong intentionally even while knowing what is right could lead to dilemmas that erode selfworth . A fractured mind, like a broken mirror, does not reflect reality . It leads to misconceptions and creates confusion, leading one to jump to conclusions. When one is unable to reconcile contradictions in perception, hasty decisions are made and when translated into action, these can have disastrous, and maybe irreversible consequences. Such as the decision to take ones life.

A unified mind is the key to peace, happiness and fullness. It can help us see the whole picture rather then get trapped in ephemeral details. Not everyone might turn out to be a Beethoven or Stephen Hawking. However, by not getting disheartened by setbacks and by finding ways to overcome difficulties, we can learn to appreciate and enjoy whatever we have instead of calling it quits.

Are you ready to lead

While everyone aspires to take on a leadership position, not many evaluate the challenges it entails and are in for a not-so-pleasant surprise.

All of us like to believe that we deserve a promotion for the excellent performance rendered through the year. While some are lucky to get recognised, there are many who are not. Nevertheless, in this whole mad race to climb the success ladder, we often forget about the challenges the new position will bring. In other words, none of us really plan our promotions, and are in for a shock soon after stepping into the new role!

TALKING BUSINESS

Of course every position comes with its share of challenges, In todays scenario a position leap is very rare. So as you climb each step you learn the nuances of the job. Therefore,  there is a need to prepare oneself per se. Its a gradual growth and learning will happen once you are in the pool because until then you will never know how cold the water is.
While young professionals are confident of their abilities to take on new challenges, the reasons are bizarre as this confidence is not rooted in their abilities or domain knowledge. In other words, most young executives feel that they can or rather they must pull off a challenging leadership role effectively because they need to be in a better position in society and have a fancy pay package. Not many, however, seem to be aware of the importance of understanding the responsibilities that it entails as most young executives justify their stand.
As long as you are going to hold yourself back because of the fear of failure, you are not going to succeed. Believe in the go-get-it mantra, and have Success. Dont think much before taking up any responsibility because, the more you think, the more you get confused and consequently the fear factor increases, reducing productivity. Every failure is a learning process, so why fear

PICTURE PERFECT

While there is no denying the fact that confidence can take you a long way, the criterion for donning a leaders hat cannot be limited to just that as it requires much more. To begin with, answer this question: What does leadership mean to you? Most people are blinded by the fancy designation and remuneration. The usual presumption is that its a fancy position that entitles them to certain powers which in turn places them in a superior position than others. You get certain powers, but with that comes the responsibility of empowering team members and facilitating growth as an individual, a team and an organisation. Therefore, you need to strike the right balance. The question then is: are you ready for action Great leaders have had to grow to reach the stage they have. Its important to have a vision and a hard core plan to achieve it. This requires commitment, compromises and sacrifices; be prepared. No one becomes a great leader overnight. Building trust among team members and keeping them motivated is a continual process. In the bargain, you may have to sacrifice certain personal preferences.

GET SET

As stated earlier, while confidence can keep you going, before you take on the position of a leader its best to reflect on your abilities and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Set your priorities straight, and analyse your impediments. These could range from time constraints to domestic obligations. Evaluate yourself. It demands more work hours, more commitment, more domain knowledge, people management skills, time management skills, motivational skills, the ability to manage your personal life along with additional corporate responsibilities and the list just goes on! While its true that you will never know how cold the water is unless you get into it, it is important to know if the water is indeed cold oris it warm! warns Parekh as she winds up.