Dec 19, 2019
GRATEFUL TO YOU, MUM & DAD
“Life is available only in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh…
TEAM COMPASSION FROM “E”
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke…
A WOMAN’S TRUE ESSENCE
“Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings?…
YOUR TEDX TALK WAS STUPID
Excellence in public speaking is something a number of my clients strive…
EXECUTIVE PRESENCE LIES & MYTHS
“A bicycle and Ferrari will run at the same pace at 20…
FAILURE TO SUCCESS MASTERY
“…it’s more important to praise the people for the nine times they…
GRATEFUL TO YOU, MUM & DAD
“Life is available only in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
From my younger years to date, in my head, I still can hear and listen to a most amazing song called The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics.
The first verse to the last one is extremely profound and creates a deeper awareness that transforms your perception of life. For me personally, it imbibes compassion, the true path of life. Let me clarify, life consists of work, love, career, finance and much more.
So, it no mumbo jumbo or philosophy, life is all that you do and compassion allows it to set a strong foundation for peace, love, and joy. And thus one passes through failure and attains true success.
When hearing and listening to the song I feel a great sense of gratitude towards my mum and dad. My parents and I do not see eye to eye. Our relationship is one of a distant relationship but at the same time, I am extremely thankful to them for what I am today.
In the song, the first verse:
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door”
It summons up many people’s frustration towards their parents. With all due respect, their elders, society, circumstances, and many other things have conditioned our parents. In a similar manner, we to have been conditioned just as our parents and we are conditioning our young ones in a similar manner.
Many of the beliefs/norms, meanings and values used to condition you are deadly viruses that destructively consume you in terms of your thoughts, health, career, finance, relationships, growth and much more. Then you wonder how did I mess up my life and many of us end up blaming our parents, circumstances, society and other things.
In all these years of my existence, I have come to realise no matter what, there is one thing that amplifies your compassion thus allows you to forgive yourself and others. That one important miracle ingredient is gratitude, being thankful.
An article in Forbes.com stated in “A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”.
My dear friend and coach, Ray Jacobs, continues to reinforce in me, the power of gratitude. Ray has been empowering people at all levels for over 40 years now. No matter what adversity he goes through his attitude of gratitude is heartfelt which is evident by his smile and his actions of compassion are immeasurable.
In the true sense I am grateful to my parents, a heartfelt thank you goes out to them every moment of my life. All human beings have weaknesses and faults, including you and me. There endless things I am grateful to my parent for yet I would like to mention nine things that makes me want to hug, kiss and say I love you to them infinity times.
In the Quran there is a verse in Surah Al-Luqman that says: 31:12 “…Anywho is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul…”
The nine things I am grateful to them for are:
Saying thank you to all that has happened to you, all that is happening to you and all that will happen to you allows you to be a more humble person.
Saying thank you to all that you have received, all that you are receiving and all that you will receive allows you to become more abundant in life.
Saying thank you to all the events that have happened to you, all the events that are happening to you and all the events that will happen to you allow you to amplify your awareness of compassion.
The truth is that genuine gratitude is often ignored by most of us on a day-to-day basis. Ancient Cultures, Spirituality and Morden Science promotes the cultivation of gratitude. Its beauty is such that it does not cost anything in terms of time, money and resources. Research from across the globe reveals gratitude has several benefits for you and the people around you.
“The creatures that inhabit this earth – be they human beings or animals – are here to contribute to the beauty and prosperity of the world. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, have not just dropped from the sky. This is why we should be grateful to all our fellow creatures.” – Dalai Lama
TEAM COMPASSION FROM “E”
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro
For many years and till date there is a buzz in the air to work as a team, to get things done as a team or to make it happen as a team. Team building, teamwork or team development is talks are always in the air.
Team could be defined as an organised effort to improve team effectiveness. It is simply about creating MAGIC through trust:
Conflict is very common within any team. Conflict is a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect something that the first party cares about. A high-performance team is able to minimise conflict by the implementation of the CIDER effect:
Personality plays a great part in how you interact within a team. Your personality includes your beliefs and values thus your self-development is crucial in working as a team. The personality of you and anyone you know is based on SUE:
Team building, teamwork or team development you hear it everywhere yet who actually actions it. You may let your ego, status and other sabotaging acts damage the essence of teamwork. Many times during discussions, strategic meetings, emails or conversations this word is used as a rag with no respect to the true spirit of teamwork.
A number of organizations feel by doing a team building or team development workshop, problems that a team faces will be resolved. Wake up and smell the coffee, this is just the beginning. Jumping or scaling a wall could be great fun for some as a team activity, but how does this relate to the actual context of the work carried out by the team. Better still what kind of emotional state is the individual in at work?
Our emotional state stems from our personality. The real work starts with individuals improving their emotional state and this no organization can afford to ignore. No amount of theory, assessments, training or reading books will resolve the matter. It is about thinking about the problems the individual faces, taking action to resolve them and then evaluating what has been achieved. In other words think, act and achieve an emotional state that is high in positive energy.
This is where we need to give respect to Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence. He emphasizes the importance of the emotional state of people in all aspects of life. In other words, you could say it boils down compassion in a team. In his extensive work with His Holiness Dalai Lama, you learn how emotions can either lead to compassion, collaboration, and productivity or simply to destruction.
“In teamwork, emotional intelligence is the crucial social lubricant, providing the capacity to settle disputes well, brainstorm creatively, and work harmoniously.” – Daniel Goleman
In other words:
What are you doing to uplift the emotional state of the individuals in your team?
Is there compassion in your team building, teamwork or team development?
Is there “E” (emotions, productive emotions) in your team?
A WOMAN’S TRUE ESSENCE
“Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her.” – Guru Nanak Jee
Recently, I was sent this write up about the essence of a woman. After reading it I felt I would like to share it with you. Please, do to read it completely… it’s worth it!!
WOMAN. . . . . . . . .
When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day…….
An Angel came by and asked.” Why spend so much time on her?”
The Lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her. She must function in all kinds of situations. She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time. Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart, She must do all this with only two hands. She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day”
The Angel was impressed “Just two hands…..impossible! And this is the standard model?”
The Angel came closer and touched the woman “But you have made her so soft, Lord”. “She is soft”, said the Lord”, but I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome”.
“Can she think?” The Angel asked…The Lord answered. “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate”
The Angel touched her cheeks….”Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her”. “She is not leaking…it is a tear” The Lord corrected the Angel. “What’s it for?” asked the Angel…..The Lord said. “Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.”
This made a big impression on the Angel, “Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything. A woman is indeed marvellous”
Lord said. “Indeed she is. She has the strength that amazes a man. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love, and opinions. She smiles when she feels like screaming. She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid. She fights for what she believes in. Her love is unconditional. Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies but she finds the strength to get on with life”
The Angel asked, “So she is a perfect being?”. The Lord replies “No. She has just one drawback. She often forgets what she is worth.”
YOUR TEDX TALK WAS STUPID
Excellence in public speaking is something a number of my clients strive for. And when it comes to developing executive presence having great public speaking skills certainly shows you to be a great communicator. Delivering any kind of presentations can be terrifying for many, as it involves conveying an idea or ideas to an astute audience.
To be on the TED stage means to be ready to show your executive presence. Yes, nerves will hit you and you in that moment have to tap into your emotional wisdom to pass through them. The TED Talks format gave me the opportunity to up my game in the art of public speaking. It was the perfect scenario to stretch my comfort zone and that meant I had to be flexible, adaptable and versatile in my passion for public speaking.
So, it came to me as a surprise and more of a shock that a number of people who saw and listened to my TEDx Talk recording said to me on the lines of “Rohit you are stupid. Who does a talk on compassion? You lost a great opportunity to showcase your business and your services. No one cares about compassion. It is about making money and you messed up.” That was a polite version of some of the conversations people had with me about my talk.
In addition, certain professional speakers/ trainers/ coaches said things such as:
“Your talk was from the brain to the arse. There was no point of your talk”
“What crap is this compassion you spoke of? Your talk made no sense at all”
“You think people care about compassion? Well, you are in cuckoo land. You need to come back to this dirty world’s reality.”
“You need to learn how to speak. I know someone who will teach you, he costs x, yes it’s a high price. Stop having a mind of scarcity and invest in speaking like a professional”
As a Global Professional Speaker with 24+ years of experience, engaging 51+ nationalities and covering 21+ countries I have inspired a countless number of people to success. Through my talks, people develop an executive presence that leads to their own unique formula of success mastery. Thus advancing in their careers, businesses and lives. And one of the key elements of executive presence is to evolve in your public speaking delivery.
I agree with the Andrew Bryant, one of my mentors, who describes a TEDx Talk being “Like a Pro-tennis player, playing a championship squash match. Now I’m not a pro-tennis player but I imagine that the fitness, hand-eye co-ordination and timing would help a such a player in a game of squash. But the confined space, rapid returns, and the need to flick the wrist would feel awkward.”
March 31, 2018 a dream comes true. I have the honour, pleasure and joy to finally speak on a TED stage. The story does not start on that day. It actually began on June 9, 2012. A day I never knew would bring amazing abundance into my life. I run my first ever Feel the Fear …and Do It Anyway® workshop in Dubai. A charming, beautiful and fragile persona is one of the participants. For her, that day was a transformational one as to date she still showers me with gratitude for being her guide.
Years pass by and December 14, 2017, the amazing lady connects with me and requests me to apply for a TEDx Talk. I am ecstatic and apply, the submission of the talk I title as “The Miracle of Compassion”. On my birthday February 2, 2018, at 16:03 (Dubai time) I receive a TEDx acceptance letter.
Yes, I am over the moon and struck with joy. I inform my loved ones and a few dear friends of mine the wonderful news. To be a part of TED world is truly an amazing feeling because for me this a platform of emotional wisdom that touches many peoples brain, heart and mind. It breaks down the barriers between people and instead builds bridges for human development, sustainability, respect and wisdom.
TED and TEDx tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” To help speakers have a sense of whether an idea is worth spreading or not, they give them guidelines to help develop a great talk. The intention is to provide the speaker with a practical set of standards that can ensure that every audience member can trust the ideas they’re hearing. In this way, they preserve the integrity and value of the TED and TEDx brands throughout the world. The four simple guidelines being:
Talks are a showcase for speakers presenting well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes. TED Curator Chris Anderson says there are four things you need to be aware to develop a TED talk, these being:
In other words, it is all about the listener, a talk that everyone could connect to in one way or the other. It is about entering into the listeners’ mind and their world. So, taking all of this and reviewing a number TED Talks I was able to develop my TEDx Talk on “The Miracle of Compassion”.
As with all my talks for me, the focus for TEDx Talk was to add value to the listeners. The listeners could be anywhere in the world and they would take that moment to look at compassion with a greater insight.
When given feedback such it was my stupidity to do a talk about compassion, that my talk made no sense and that my talk was from the arse it got me wondering. And that was did these people know
How unaware are they of their own self-sabotaging mental state?
What is the purpose of TED and TEDx Talks?
How would it be for them to have a sense of self-compassion?
Words are extremely powerful which can lead to creating, developing and growing a relationship. On the other hand, words can be destructive and can easily sabotage and kill a relationship.
As a speaker, the ideas we share through our words with the audience have the ability to inspire them to great heights or damage them to the core. TED and TEDx Talks realise this and focus on the simple yet powerful notion of “ideas worth spreading”, give people a reason to care.
EXECUTIVE PRESENCE LIES & MYTHS
“A bicycle and Ferrari will run at the same pace at 20 kmph, it’s not about the car it’s about the driver.” – Mulk Raj Sakhuja a man of immense Executive Presence
My upbringing is a simple one and I am extremely grateful to my parents for that. In a family that consisted of nine people, it was not easy to show your presence. Being the youngest I did get attention but that was for being the cutest of all.
When you have eight levels of approval within your family (a family that is conservative and traditional) to do something it takes up a lot of energy. Energy in terms of influencing and persuading each family member to agree with what you want to do. And it never helps you being the youngest (the ninth family member).
In my younger years, I struggled with influencing and persuading my family members and that had an impact on how I interacted with people outside the family. I have been given the label of an introvert and then there are those who say I am out and out extrovert. Yes, it is somewhat confusing. The fact is that in school, university and through my life I did struggle. This had a negative impact on my career and personal life. And to be honest sometimes to date that struggle does surface.
The first person to ever make me aware of this so-called “Executive Presence” was my father in law. My father in law had a perspective about life that was poles apart from many. He went through some traumatic situations. Such as the Partition of India in 1947 that accompanied the creation of another country, know as Pakistan. To cross the border into India, to be pushed forcefully into your panic zone, to never see your father again (no one till date knows what happened to his father while crossing over to India in 1947). To top it given a refugee status in your own country with many more painful situations must have been tough on him.
My father in law taught me the essence of executive presence. He had learnt it through the ups and downs of his life. Having a fancy phrase like “Executive Presence” was not in his dictionary. All he knew was each individual needs to have a sense of “that presence”, what he called “JIGRA”. And in his books that meant:
“JIGRA” is an Indian word that means kind-hearted, a symbol of love and affection. It goes beyond that; it actually refers to being of Braveheart. And brave heart means to have that inner courage/ strength, to be in spirit to pass through the adversities of life with enthusiasm. Such a state makes others perceive you as being without fear, fearless. It is all about grit; having courage and resolve, a strength of character.
That was my father law, a man of JIGRA, a man of immense executive presence. The man with the “magic wand” who would find the practical solution to the problem that one was facing. And his three children radiate of that JIGRA. From his teachings, observation of others and my experience it is evident there are numerous lies and myths about executive presence.
The six lies and myths that stand out the most are as follows:
1. It Is Only For Seniors – Unfortunately, across the globe, many have a delusion and say that executive presence is for seniors, executives or leaders. The truth, it is a strength that is needed at all levels (cleaner to the CEO). A strength that could allow anyone to advance in his or her career, business and life. In fact, from a young age, we need to teach our children to lead themselves in any given situation. Such an example is my colleague from my mid-20s. Ken Eder stood out in four simple (but very profound) things about executive presence. Both of us are from different backgrounds, experiences and cultures. From the moment we met there was mutual respect, rapport and trust between both of us. The four things that stood out about his executive presence was listening with attention, critical thinking by integrating the brain, heart and mind, then there was speaking with confidence and finally, it was about amplifying one’s emotional intelligence. It does not matter if you labelled yourself as an introvert or an extrovert. Both labels have the ability to ooze executive presence. Yes, it is required for seniors, executives or leaders but it is a strength that is needed at all levels. Children, teenagers, women, men, parents, everyone requires executive presence.
2. Always Be Vocal and Loud – Expressing your opinions and feelings is definitely a strength for someone who has executive presence. That is not at all same as being always vocal and loud about your opinions and feelings. The difference is that a person with executive presence expresses him or herself with assertiveness and has great foresight about the situation or person before uttering a word. They interact in a manner that builds bridges rather than walls. In 1992 I met an amazing example of a person who has such a persona. I call him my best buddy. Alpesh Karena is the silent type but when he speaks you know truth, volume and wisdom are in his words. It is not just talk. Many times in university he had been the mediator for me when I use to explode like a volcano, he would intervene and save the day. His “less is more” innate approach did the magic; he had the respect of all the students and factuality. The simple philosophy he goes by is that silence is a source of great strength.
3. It Is All About Gravitas – I love the word gravitas; it immediately reminds me of the word gravity. In other words, executive presence is all about strength. This is an absurd notion. Having gravitas (a quality that shows natural authority) is certainly important. Levitas (the quality that can lighten the mood) is equally important, the warmth of the person. And then there is decisiveness (having that higher emotional intelligence to stay calm in tough situations). In the other words, when you connect with others do you have it, the X-factor? Are you demanding (domineering/ tyrant with an ego) or commanding (worthy of respect/ person of integrity)? Are people willing to stop and listen when you speak (not out of fear or the title you hold)? My mother in law is a perfect example of have that balance of gravitas and levitas. Now retired but till date, her presence is felt as soon as she enters the room. She has an elegant appearance and has this wonderful ability to make people feel at ease even under the most adverse conditions. She is not a loud lady but she is certainly vocal when required. She epitomises the aura of calmness, playfulness and wisdom.
4. Outside Matters Most – Your executive presence begins from the inside out. There is a great focus about it is the way you communicate with others and your appearance but that is partially true. There are three elements to be aware which I call IKO. These being:
In other words, style impresses but without substance style is worthless.
5. Be Emotionless – Sadly, this is something that is being taught by many managers and leaders to the up and coming future leaders and managers. In fact, form the conversations I have had with many (this includes the generation who have been labelled millennial) they mention that their parents and teachers told them never to show your emotions. That showing your emotions makes one weak. This is one of those pathetic conditionings that to date is being ingrained from one generation to the next. The likes of Nelson Mandala and Dr Martin Luther King Jr are strong testimonials of how through their emotions they led and inspired a whole nation. Till date, they inspire the whole world. They let their compassion take over and left a legacy for human development, suitability, respect and wisdom. They had the ability to tap into managing their emotions, especially under highly stressful and life-threatening circumstances.
6. Don’t come to me with problems, come with solutions – One of my line manager’s uses to say this phrase all the time. Initially, it made me cringe, with time passing by the statement made me angry but now it just makes me laugh. A management and leadership mantra that is condescending and it makes team members feel inadequate about their abilities. One of the toughest traits to work upon in executive presence is being decisive and incisive (intelligently analytical and clear-thinking). Firstly, yes it means to have the ability to get things done through thoughtful thinking. Secondly, it also means assisting the people you may be leading or influencing in developing their sense of making decisions. That means to be their mentor, coach or guide in resolving issues or challenges that they find tough or difficult to resolve (yes, they could be simple for you but though for them). A parent, guardian or caretaker of a child holds a child’s hand when the child is learning to walk. Then they slowly let go of their hand so that the child could attempt to walk on their own. Still, they are around to encourage the child and with time the child learns to be independent. If your aim is to show a credible and memorable executive presence then you have to show them how it done and not leave them in a stressful situation. Get the “magic wand” out and be ready to serve.
JIGRA, that executive presence is not something that magically appears out of thin air. Some people are aware of it from a young age as they are amongst the company of people who condition them in such a way.
For many such is not the case and like me stumble upon it. I was fortunate enough to be in the company of my father in law to just get a glimpse of it for a couple of years before he departed this world. On the other hand, I am still fortunate enough to see the legacy of his JIGRA being carried through his three children.
Remember ever teacher was once a student and they were a disaster, to begin with. A strong presence requires clarity in:
Having JIGRA will 100% elevate your success and at the same time, it will make others feel your presence even when you are not around them.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
FAILURE TO SUCCESS MASTERY
“…it’s more important to praise the people for the nine times they fail, than for the one time they succeed.” –Severin Schwan, Roche CEO
Inspiration can come from many or just a few and sometimes through just one person, thing or incident. There are some people out there who have mastered the art of life just life and then many of us our there find struggling with our feeling, thoughts, and actions.
Those who have mastered the art of life teach me again and again why it is important to be in a state of ‘focus’; it is the only way to succeed when failure is staring right in your face. It is easy to say things like “turn your failures into success”. The reality, however, is different. If someone screams at you over a mistake, you are most likely going to sulk, (even if the sulking is internalized). You will not be thinking of how you can be channeling failure into success.
This is where being in the state of “focus” helps. Global consultancy firm Ideo says, “fail often, to succeed sooner.” But to succeed sooner you must manage the art of staying in focus. According to my three friends Paul, Ray, and Doc you could follow three ancient principles to be able to focus better.
1. Shoshin – A Japanese word meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. In other words, it means no matter how much experience you gain in life never let your judgment, pride and ego blind you. Listen to everyone empathically and remember even a foolish person can teach you many things.
2. The Two Wolves – A Cherokee Indian grandfather narrates a story to his grandson. He vividly explains there are two wolves inside us. Both are always at war with each other. One wolf’s character is of kindness, bravery, and love. The other’s character is of greed, hate, and fear. With great curiosity, the grandson looks up at his grandfather and asks, “Grandfather, which one wins?” The grandfather replies with a smile, “the one you feed”. In simple words, it means wherever you focus your feelings and thoughts that is what your life will return back to you.
3. Ikigai – Ikiagi is a Japanese concept that roughly means “reason for being” or “thing that you live for” or “the reason for which you get up in the morning.” Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an Ikiagi. Its essence is that happiness in life is more than money, luxuries or being in the limelight. Ikiagi simply says wants are never-ending. Stop asking yourself “What do I want?” Start asking yourself “What is important to me?” Ikagi allows you to improve your health, wealth and most importantly gives you your purpose in life.
Once you imbibe these fundamental principles and make it your focus, you will automatically change failure into success. How? Well, success and failure are relative, just like truth. What is true for you may not be so for another person.
Remember, your failure could be someone’s success just like your success could be someone’s failure. Embrace uncertainty with a smile, because you are in learning…even if when you become a master chef. Stand-up, move and let your wounds heal through compassion. Just be #YOU (#Youthful #Outstanding #Unique).