Monday, November 28, 2016

The Power of Constant Realization of the Inevitability of Death and the Finiteness of Life

All of us know these two ultimate truths of our lives.

First, death is inevitable.

And second, life is finite.

Contant realization of these two ultimate truths bestows upon us some kind of a philosophical power, the power to live life with contentment and to embrace our death, when it comes, with deep humility.

Such a realization also has a profound philosophical value.

After one drops dead and is forever gone, nothing that happens in this world has any relevance for the departed. The trials and tribulations of living through life is relevant only till the time one is not dead.

Knowing it fully well that one would be gone is a powerful tool for living a life full of contentment.

In some sense, life's purpose is not really just to live a happy life but rather to constantly prepare oneself to eventually die a happy death.

Death serves a very useful purpose. It makes one adopt a philosophical outlook about life.

One may think why to try to do better tomorrow than what one did today because one would be dead, in any case, the day after if not tomorrow.

But that doesn't help.

Living as long as it is possible and as good a manner as is possible should be one's real motto in life.

Realization that death is inevitable and life is finite should give one a sense of philosophical nothingness.

One should keep on trying to do better and better and not let setbacks and bad experiences hold one from action habit. One should try to live one's life with passion and as if there is no tomorrow.

Death is a beautiful culmination of what one calls as life. Remember, life is finite and death is inevtable.

Let death come tomorrow, or when it has to, even if it happens all of a sudden.

So get ready to welcome death when it appears at the door!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

When Relation With Your Wife Becomes Meaningless?

If you are a married man, it is quite important for a truly fulfilling life that you have a wife with whom your relation remains ever vibrant and ever meaningful, till the very end.

For such a relation to really be meaningful it must be strong not only on legal, social and economic aspects but also on physical, mental and spiritual aspects.

Here are some details on what these aspects mean (or should mean).

Legal - the marriage is formalized through legal procedures as specified in the marriage act governing the marriage. This has significance in respect of divorce proceedings, child custody, property matters, etc.

Social - the marriage is accepted by the others in the society as a valid contract for the husband and wife to live together. This has significance in respect of attending social gatherings and family functions.

Economic - the marriage is necessitated by the economic well-being of the married persons and their kids, if there are any. This has significance in respect of raising kids, paying bills and financial security.

Physical - the marriage provides physical support and way to meet sexual needs for both the husband and wife within their marriage. This has significance in respect of sexual health, physical oneness, sickness care, food and physical well-being.

Mental - the marriage provides a sense of security and belonging for both the husband and wife within their marriage.  This has significance in respect of love and intimacy, mental oneness, care and concern.

Spiritual - the marriage becomes yet another source for achieving the greater purpose of life and the consciousness of the inevitability of death makes the physical and mental bonding of the husband and wife transcend to another plane. This has significance in respect of spiritual oneness, philosophical outlook towards life as well as death and the husband and wife seeing each other as inseparable partners in the journey of life towards its final destination of death.

Sadly, for many married man having such a wife is just a nice thing in dream but not in reality.

Many marriages remain simply a matter of legal, social and economic relation between the husband and wife. There is no physical, mental and spiritual relation in such marriages.

In a true sense, such marriages are dysfunctional and cease to be a marriage in the real sense.

In case you are trapped in such a marriage, it is important that you do not loose your sense of responsibility for your own well-being.

It is easy for your wife to make her marriage to you successful on legal, social and economic aspects.

However, if she makes no attempt to make her marriage to you successful on physical, mental and spiritual aspects or rather works to make matters worse then you must realize that you are in a failed marriage.

If you a person who expects your wife to understand the importance of physical, mental and spiritual aspects and find her response negative, you may get frustrated.

This frustration should be channelized in a positive manner and transformed into strengthening your outlook towards life.

Remember, you came into this world all alone and you will leave it as well all alone. Life is not forever. One day you will drop dead. So if you are in bad marriage just become positive and philosophical. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Signs that Tell You that the Organization You are Working with has a Third Grade Culture

Culture is everything.

In the words of Lou Gerstner, the famus former chairman and CEO of IBM:

"The thing I have learned at IBM is that culture is everything."

So very true.

When culture is everything, working in an organization with a third grade culture can be as bad as it can ever get. Or probably even worse.

So what are the signs that tell you that the organization you are working with has a third grade culture?

Here are some such signs:
  • The organization is led by a pack of jokers who lack the essential leadership competences and are nothing but a close-knit coterie of loyalists
  • Competence. fairness and transparency are words that are simply irrelevant for the pack of jokers leading such an organiztion
  • The term "open culture" is a way used by the pack of jokers to keep unsettled the competent and professional people working down under
  • The pack of jokers (who are long-timers) as well as the other long timers (who are good for nothing) in such organizations carry a chip on their shoulders and are arrogant to the core. They believe and behave as if the organization is there only because of them.
  • The pack of jokers are thoroughly incompetent but survive and thrive since they are "yes sir" henchmen of the the top joker and seek their rent from the organization as result of their devotion to the top joker.
  • The top joker and the pack of jokers reporting into him use the resource of the organization for personal use. And sadly, this happens in quite a naked manner.
  • The pack of jokers are immature and unprofessional to the core. They keep on doing silly stuff constantly like hiding information, writing stupid emails.
  • More often that not, the pack of jokers also indugle in toxic behaviours at the workplace like writing negative emails, spreading negativity, playing dirty games, holding behind-the-back meetings.
  • Worst of all, in such organizations, the top joker and the pack of jokers not only perform third grade acts but also sponsor it blatantly by choosing to ignore it or supporting it actively.
Working in a organization with a third grade culture can be pretty challening.

It can stress test your wits and your ability to remain collected, positive and professional in the wake of negeativity created by the pack of jokers.

So how can you go about handling this situation?

You must look at the your job and you life with a bigger picture approach and not feel down due to the fact that you work in an organization with a third grade culture.

You should first quickly assess whether the pack of jokers are going to do anything about it and how bad the situation has become (naturally as a result of the damage brought in by the pack of jokers themselves).

If the situation is really bad you must decide to move on immediately. There is no point in wasting your energies on something that is hopeless.

Also it may soon turn dangerous causing serious harm to you mental and physical health.

Moving out, and that too fast, is the best thing you can do in most of such situations. Otherwise you can turn into a corporate martyr in no time.

Sadly, such an organization will gradually veer towards a stage where it will have to eventually "shut the shop" putting your career in grave jeopardy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How the Problem Subordinate in Your Team is Like that Bad Apple in the Fruit Basket?

Have you come across a problem subordinate in your team?

If you have done people management even for a while, you would have a strong "Yes" as your answer. And that's not really surprising.

A problem subordinate is like a bad apple in the fruit basket. They need to be confronted and corrected.

There would typically be one problem subordinate in your team (or at times more than one, if you are plain unlucky). That is sadly and mostly the case for most people managers.

The analogy to bad apple is a thought out analogy since like a bad apple would rot other apples in the fruit basket, a problem subordinate would influence others in the team in a negative way.

If you are a people manager who generally trusts those who report into you, in no time you will come in for a nasty surprise if you do not handle the problem employee in good time.

Once, you get the nasty surprise (or rather shock) it is important to not allow a problem subordinate to linger on with his tendency to create problems.

Looking at the problem subordinate as the bad apple is the first step and the most important one a people manage should take immediately.

How to know who is the bad apple in your team? Here are some tell-tale signs:
  • The problem subordinate is a work shirker. He will push his ownership and activities on to others, including to the person he reports into.
  • The problem subordinate pushes things he should be doing to the junior folks in the team, at times in a coercive manner.
  • The problem subordinate is a master of avoiding work by abusing "work from home". If he doesn't feel like working on a certain day, he will apply for "work from home".
  • The problem  subordinate will copy others left, right and center without bothering about why someone is being copied.
  • The problem subordinate will try to show that he is the only one who is working and that too very hard. It is, however, easy to see through these lies of a problem subordinate.
  • The problem subordinate will go and tell lies to others including those in the chain of reporting of the person he reports into. His main concern is to make sure his misdeeds and lack of work ethics do not get exposed.
  • The problem subordinate has no interest in work and is only focused on creating noise around the work he is doing. Rather than doing, showing that he is doing is what the problem subordinate spends his energies on.
It is not easy to handle a problem subordinate, especially the ones who display chameleon-like character (they tell you something and tell others something else about the same thing).

The problem gets compounded multiple times, in case the people manager reports into a problem  boss (someone who is incompetent but is in that position due to loyalty only).

In case you are surrounded by a problem subordinate and a problem boss, then you have had it.

Keeping the points in this post and an earlier post on Stuck in a Toxic Workplace and Reporting into an Unprofessional, Incompetent and Toxic Person might help to a certain extent.

And yes, good luck to you for the tough ride you are going to have!

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