Monthly Archives: October 2014

Attachment Is Suffering

  • Attachment

Languages possess a very limited ability to describe experiential wisdom. It is like trying to solve a three dimensional problem with 2-D equations. There is not going to be one perfect equation, but thousands of them dealing with each feature manifested in two dimensions.

One experience which I am attempting to describe here is related to putting a specific set of expectations upon others. The mind segues into introspection and generates the logical part of your advice. Things like how unbiased you are and how much goodwill you have for another person justify why your advice is good. What I am realizing is that if this advice is heeded, something else will come up which will cause you to expect something else. So, the apparent frustration that my advice is not heeded as being such a good one, does not come from advice. But comes from an attachment to a person or thing or even a concept.

Alignment

  • Facade

As a fast growing company, we have to walk a thin rope when making hiring decisions. There is a pressure to grow the team as fast as possible, but at the same time you need employees who align with the company’s goals.

The importance of alignment is something I have learned in a very hard way. The reason being I used to think of the world as my reflection. And this means that if given an opportunity, anybody can do an outstanding job. Well, I could not be farther from the truth.

There are different ways to look at alignment. One can be what motivates a potential job candidate. Is it quality of work, work environment, flexibility or money? Now, the answer to this would be a combination. Still, money motivates everyone. But if money is the only thing that motivates an employee, it’s a dangerous sign.

Money has to be combined with some type of work satisfaction. In fact, money does not play any active role in work once basic needs are fulfilled. This is the reason most folks who run after money are broke. Money is a result which comes after adding value to the workplace.

Some people refer to right traits as work ethics but I hesitate to use this word as it’s already abused a lot and everyone uses “work ethics” to suit their convenience.

The question arises: How do you evaluate these traits in potential employees? The interview process is too short and it’s easy to put on a facade. Reference check works to an extent, but serve very little useful purpose. This is the reason companies rely so heavily on candidates who come through internal or personal references.

Summarizing, while a properly aligned employee can be valuable beyond imagination, a misaligned one can be as dangerous as a mercenary.

Recipe vs The Food

I am into personality development to some extent, and have been to a few seminars. I do not go to them frequently as I believe in applying the lessons learned before learning new ones. Sometimes this would mean months and sometimes even years in between seminars.

I was always surprised at the number of people showing up for these events. Very soon, I realized that most of them were seminar junkies. Seminar junkies are people who keep attending one seminar after another without applying any knowledge gained.

It is like someone who fell in love with just the recipe of making the dish itself. They would never try to make an actual dish, but would love to hear the recipe again and again. There can be various excuses for not trying to cook according to a recipe, however. The obvious one is fear of failure. What if it turns out to be bad? Another one is fear of success. What if it turns out to be good? A third excuse can be pure laziness. Last but not the least, listening to a recipe and dreaming about the dish make people feel good.

What people do in personality development seminars in America, they do with Godman and their seminars in India.

This logic can be extended to anything in life: exercise, sales, academics–you name it. In our school there used to be a lot of emphasis on making a “dincharya,” i.e., a daily routine or timetable. I remember it would always create a good feeling to make it. Wake up at five a.m., do pooja, study for an hour, get ready and then go to school. Next, come home, do homework, play for one hour, some pooja again, study again, sleep till eight p.m., etc. Throw in meal periods, listening to parents and touching their feet, etc. all to garnish the recipe. It was always a good feeling to make this timetable.

What was wrong with this? For there is nothing wrong in planning, and the problem is somewhere else. For the problem is pleasure now, at the cost of pain later. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. But the approach should be completely opposite: you take pain now for gain later. It’s delayed gratification which brings value. Not instant gratification.