How To Kill A Legacy

Most if not all of us tend to think about the legacy that we will leave behind some day. For some it is confined to their family. For some it is related to their profession. For some it is an initiative they began. For some it is the difference they make in a person’s life. And for some it is about mass change and impact. In one way or the other all of us think about how we want to be remembered someday. And for those who have not thought about it perhaps this post might ignite that thought process.

But is a legacy supposed to be a complicate planned process? Or is it determined by our everyday conduct? Every choice, every word, every action leaves a mark somewhere and that ultimately is what becomes our legacy. While the title of this post was written for a dramatic effect (there’s my confession), can a legacy truly be killed? Or does it turn from a ‘good’ legacy to a ‘bad’ one? As always there may not be a right or wrong answer but rather a matter of perspective. However, when I was thinking of writing this post I had a few points in mind that I have seen can lead to the apparent death of a legacy.

A legacy is more about immersion rather than superiority. One does not simply gain respect from those around them by virtue of their financial position, their age, their experience or thought process. Respect has to be earned by immersing oneself together with those around us – be it as a leader or as a follower. People need to understand and believe in one’s vision and feel a part of it before they can adopt it as well.

A legacy is more about empowerment rather than control. All our decisions and actions must spark growth in those around us. It is not about giving instructions and getting the tasks done and milestones accomplished. It is about individual growth and the ownership of those decisions. It is that kind of capacity building and empowerment that will leave a mark for times to come.

A legacy is more about creating partners rather than workers or followers. As the famous saying goes – if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go together with others (#paraphrase). The point being that long term visions can seldom be achieved by one individual. While that person can be the initiator of the thought process real accomplishment will heavily rely on a good team.

A legacy is more about providing a vision rather than resources. While the resources you can or do provide can make you feel essential one must remember that resources can come from various avenues. A good vision will attract resources often from unexpected sources. A good vision will drive the team to become resourceful and productive rather than dependent.

A legacy is more about impact than it is about quantity. We live today in a world of data and statistics. A time of democracy where numbers are determinants of success or failure. But when it comes to real impact do the numbers matter? Do large numbers necessarily mean greater impact? One must ensure that their vision promotes great impact be it even for one individual and believe in the ‘butterfly effect’ of that impact.

As always the choice of what we leave behind lies with us. At times it may be difficult to critically determine the consequences of our own choices and actions. But a good glance within and the authentic feedback from those around us will often show a sign. Perhaps it is those signs that we must look out for and not be afraid to accept the changes that we may need to make. Hanging on to something in the guise of a legacy can often undo the good that we may have done in the process. Let’s try our best to not be the murderers of our own legacies.

#LookWithin #SeekFeedback #LeaveALegacy #UseYourPotential

The Seed Analogy

Before I discuss the topic of today’s post (the discussion will probably not be too long anyways) I would like to present hardship and a note of sorts. A challenge I have been facing in writing the blog is the realization that because there are various thought processes that I am very passionate about (and quite vocal about as well) it often becomes very easy for those thoughts to become prominent when I write a blog post. I try to avoid that as much as possible because I intend for the posts to not be repetitive however the probability of that happening still exists and I would like the followers (if I still have any remaining) to bear with that. It’s the down side of having very strong opinions. Imagine what people I usually spend time with go through – same stories over and over again. And for more imaginative fun imagine how I will be when I grow old. The combination of being very fond of talking and this repetitiveness will be deadly.

One of my previous posts (Lessons All Around Us) introduced my keenness towards deriving lessons of life from the things within us and around us. I tend to do that a lot and have found it to be a very useful tool as far as clarity is concerned. Without making this post religious I would state that the experience of finding answers to many of our questions around us and within us can be quite spiritual. A connection to something beyond us. Perhaps that is exactly why concepts such as meditation and contemplation are given heavy importance in various schools of thought and belief.

When I look at many of the problems that exist around us and within us, for me it is never as simple as the manifestation of the problem. My curiosity pushes me to delve deeper seeking the real cause of that problem – the seed. I believe the scientific or more methodical representation of this process is called ‘Root Cause Analysis’ and those who like things to be more technical can always look at that however being the simple person that I am (or like to think that I am) I tend to prefer the simplicity of the concept of a seed (even though I have never been a fan of botany, and never will be).

Every action of ours is a seed. Every intention is a seed. Every step we take is a seed. And the purity of that intention, step, action will greatly determine the outcome or the fruits. For me this simplistic process has made me cautious about everything that I do. Not in the paranoid and negative way but in a way that forces me to think multiple times before doing any action. Especially those that I believe will have long term impact on my own life and to the lives of those around me. This thought process especially makes me weary of leadership because that is a more active way of planting seeds. Every action of yours becomes more visible and more prone to inspiring those around you.

Of course together with the initial seed there is also the nurturing, the care, the nutrition of that seed. Just planting a good seed is never enough. Its growth needs to be promoted, assisted, guided. However no matter how good the aftercare, if the initial seed that is planted is rotten, damaged there is often no recovery and no fruits derived from that.

So with this post I urge all of us to develop this visualization. When planning your life, when choosing a career and/or a life partner, when bringing up your children, constantly think of the seeds you are planting and be ready to receive whatever fruits your own seeds will bear.

#UseYourPotential #PlantTheRightSeeds

 

The Bitter Pill Part Two

In my last blog post I gave the ‘bitter pill’ to myself but I feel that the topic of ‘truth’ definitely needs further discussion. Why is it that the ‘concept’ of truth is slowly fading? I recently saw (and shared) a post on Facebook that was along the lines of ‘the most difficult language in the world today is that of ‘truth’. Is this true?

Look around you and you will see the signs all over. We teach our children not to lie (based on religious and/or ‘theoretical’ beliefs) but then exhibit lying in front of them all the time. Those who speak the truth are questioned, belittled, frowned upon and slowly alienated from society. We associate important concepts such as politics and leadership to lying very casually almost as if that is how things are supposed to be. We consider lying a small vice (if considered a vice at all).

Perhaps what I find more amusing are the various justifications that I have heard to promote screening of the truth (I will call it that because those people supporting this certainly believe that what they are doing is not lying). Some of those justifications are:

  1. A particular group of people (demarcated by age, experience etc.) is not ready for the truth or cannot comprehend it.
  2. A particular group of people (demarcated by age, experience etc.) needs to be protected from the truth or the harsh realities associated with it.
  3. Hiding the truth is associated to a greater good.
  4. It is not yet time to say the truth.
  5. And probably my favorite is the concept of ‘white lying’ or the half, indirect truth.

Maybe there are scenarios where these are applicable. But where do we draw the line? At what point do we realize that instead of being one off scenarios where we may be able to justify lying this has become a way of life? Isn’t the practice of truth a major part of every religious/moral belief? As always … So many questions.

We are very quick to judge those who realize are lying to us. We complain and rally against Governments and systems that we determine have been hiding or manipulating the truth. But what about our own microcosms? Are we sending out to the universe what we expect to get back from it?

The path of truth may be difficult, lonely, lead to constant conflict with those around you but it is definitely one that gives you a sense of peace. A feeling of doing the right thing. After all most good things do not come easy. Let us prepare ourselves to hear the truth. Let us promote saying of the truth. And some day we may live again in a world where hope and truth prevails and where this pill is not bitter any more.

#CheckYourself #PromoteTheTruth #UseYourPotential

The Bitter Pill

It’s that time of the year again (special dedication to a friend haha). The time when I realize that there are some resolutions made at the end of last year that I did not live up to for various reasons (or maybe excuses?). However I think what I did with my blog was a bit of an extreme. From deciding that I would make sure to write at least one posts every two weeks to not writing one for over seven months I have truly broken a personal record of procrastination and negligence.

It is also the time of the year when I thank all those who have been inquiring about my blog over this long period of silence (believe it or not they exist!) and apologize to them for not responding well to their loyalty. I was not out of content. I was not too busy. I was just plain old negligent and lazy – and that is the bitter pill that I have to swallow.

What brought me back however is the reminder that I had started this blog as an avenue to express myself about certain things/situations/scenarios etc. that warrant strong expressions from my side (whether good or bad, happy or sad). There is a lot that has been happening within me, in my immediate surroundings and around the world in general lately that has pushed me to return back to this form of expression. Hopefully this will not be a one off thing and I will be able to maintain this momentum.

While I have been away I hope that we have all in our own individual capacities tried to utilize our potential to the maximum. The world needs that now perhaps more than ever. However more on that once the content starts flowing again. Feels good to be back. Let’s do this!

#UseYourPotential

 

 

The Best

Today I wrote one of the longest Facebook status posts I have ever written. And now a blog post. All these things to say on the ‘New Year’s Eve’. And why not? Just the way it is said that people on the verge of end of life see their entire lives flash in their minds similarly today as we are at the end of this year it is only natural for the entire year to flash in our minds as well (okay I am not sure if that concept is authentic and sorry for the grim comparison but had to make a point). So go ahead and delve in the thoughts of the past year.

The reason for this post being titled ‘the best’ is because I wish to highlight two things about the year 2015. One is that it seems to genuinely have been the best year of my life (though I should probably confess that I feel that way almost every year – but that’s a good thing right?!). And secondly because I want to highlight what was perhaps the best thing to happen to me this year which consequently made the year the best (too much best-ness in the paragraph).

That best thing that I would like to highlight is my selection and participation in the Brightest Young Minds Summit held in South Africa. The people who know me closely have probably noted my continuous recounting of the experiences (and they are probably tired of them already) and my changed behavior and perspective post the summit. Despite of that I have no idea why it took me this long to write a post about the experience. Maybe it was meant to be for the end of the year? (at the time I never thought of it that way).

I have always been very cautious about calling any one particular event in our lives ‘life-changing’. Maybe I had to experience it to believe in the concept. And I did experience it. I am still cautious when I am describing the experiences there to others but I cannot help but say it. I am not sure if I will be able to do complete justice to the experience in words but I will highlight a few of the aspects from the experience. You can perhaps call them lessons learned.

  1. Never underestimate yourself and never be shy of pursuing opportunities. (I almost did not apply when I read the concept of the summit but something pushed me to do it anyways).
  2. While grades and achievements on paper are usually used to judge the capabilities of individuals the real task is in looking beyond those. Finding that spark in individuals that is sometimes failed by our systems.
  3. Capability and humility are not mutually exclusive.
  4. The power of shared knowledge and information cannot be truly comprehended. Bringing together passionate people in one room can create magic.
  5. It is also possible to bring together these same passionate people despite having differences in opinions without causing any friction or unhealthy disagreements. What is needed is a common aim and understanding.
  6. It is very easy to judge individuals based on our own experiences and perceptions but we may have no idea about the value they are adding to the lives of others around them.
  7. In today’s Age of Abundance the world is moving at a pace of exponential growth and in order to keep up certain changes need to be made as soon as possible. We may not ‘all the time in the world’ to change anymore.
  8. As much as we are comfortable in our own niches, the world is a much bigger place. A greater vision & implementation of the vision can allow you to make much more a difference.
  9. Despite the strides that the world is making in terms of development, individuals will always have cultural biases. The idea is once again is to figure out a way that enhances progress without affecting culture profoundly. Also communication is key in this area.
  10. And lastly (but probably the best aspect of the experience), it is completely possible to meet new people and spend just a limited amount of days with them but develop bonds that feel like they have always been there. Family is not a matter of proximity.

If almost six months after the summit I can still sit today and come up with these ten lessons without having any notes or prior thoughts it becomes easy to imagine the impact that this event must have had on me. Life has never been the same after the summit and it opened a network of amazing people and a window into opportunities that cannot be described.

As the year ends today I move to the next year 2016 with much enthusiasm, hope and vigor knowing that it truly is possible for life to change by single events. Just keep an eye out for such experiences and have the ability to learn from them.

I hope that we all find our own experiences that open our minds and leave us changed for the better.

Happy New Years Eve!

#UseYourPotential #FindYourExperience #BYM2015

 

2015 in review

Thank you WordPress.com for the 2015 review. Time to share it with the real heroes (the readers obviously).

Thank you for reading and following guys. I promise to post more in the year 2016 (more to myself than to you guys).

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 880 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Remember

As we move from the end of 2015 to the beginning of 2016 all of us will have wishes for the new year. Today’s post is mostly dedicated to the global mindset where I would like us all to think as one unit. Just like every other year, this one too had its achievements and downsides – personal and global. On one hand where we had the Sustainable Development Goals and the COP21 on the other we have Ebola Outbreak and the continuous wars in various places.

If asked what I wish for this world we call home for the next year, mine would simply be for us to ‘remember’ (below is the reason why).

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’. – Edmund Burke.

This has probably been one of the most (if not the most) profound quote for me as I have grown up. There are probably various versions of it out there but the meaning is simple. We are responsible for everything wrong that is happening. When I was thinking about this over the past few days I realized that sometimes ‘the good men don’t do anything’ simply because they don’t remember.

We are well aware of the atrocities happening around the world thanks to the growth of technology and social media. Sometimes individuals in other countries find out about a particular tragedy even before the people living in the affected country. But what do we do with this level of information?

It seems to me that it we have selective memory. It is often very difficult to forget tragedies/calamities that affect us directly. However, when it comes to what is happening elsewhere in the world we are quick to forget. Yes once again thanks to social media people are able to make a lot of noise much more these days then they would have been able to in the past. But does that really lead to action? Does that really make a difference?

Consider all the wars happening for example. We all know about them. Majority of us condemn them. Innocent lives are lost every single day (no matter who is right). We grieve them, we feel angry about them but do we actually do anything about them in a sustained manner? Do we form alliances based on common goals or do we focus on small differences and make even more enemies? Why do we need pictures of young kids suffering? Why do we need the next tragedy to happen to bring our focus back?

I have a theory. An experiment of sorts. Imagine if every single person on the planet who is truly touched by these various atrocities be it wars, climate change, terrorism etc. made a pact with themselves to do something about it every single day. It can be one tweet, one Facebook post, one conversation with someone else. If we all made a promise to ourselves to not forget. To join forces. To work together. Do we not see the value and the power in that?

The conspiracy theorists (those amazingly imaginative individuals) will tell you that there are forces at play. Distracting us. Making us forget. Often dividing our attention. As always I ask them – what is your counter-move? What are you doing? Shouting conspiracy? Creating doubt? How about we do something about it for a change?

With this post I urge all of us to become ‘reminders’ (not the annoying alarm kind please). Pick your cause for the next year and devote a few minutes every single day for it. Remind others continuously of what needs to be done. We can even have groups of reminders for different causes. Groups of people from all over the world working together for a single cause. Consider this my own #ProjectRemember or #ProjectReminder! (This could really become a thing eyy?)

However, just like you don’t like water thrown over you to wake you up from your deep slumber, remember that there are ways of reminding. Not through negativity. Not through shock. Not through aggression. Remind others as you would like to be reminded.

Its ironic that my last post was about letting go and today’s post is about remembering but that in essence is the art of remembering. I hope that we can master this art with an understanding of what needs to be remembered and what not. Three days might just be enough for that.

#UseYourPotential #Remember&RemindOthers #ProjectRemember #Project Reminder