Humans and souls


Right through my professional life, while I have worked with people similar to my age and experience, I have learnt the most from those who are lot younger. Have met some of the sharpest brains. And it has been my privilege to hone their thinking. Be their mentor. But at times (and the occasions have been plenty), the stuff they say and think, is very thought provoking. Yesterday, my young colleague told me how she believes in this rather profound quote – “too many humans and not enough souls”.

Made me think. It is perhaps an indictment of what we have become.

In the past when we said “be human”, it was in the context of being different from animals. Human was about empathy and understanding of other fellow human beings.

So yes, today we are 7 billion strong as a human race. Driven by culture, society, aspiration for all things material, running after every single desire. Killing in the name of race and religion. Doing anything possible to get ahead. It doesn’t matter who we hurt in the process. How many dreams we kill to get to our dream.

We now have a human form but it is just a physical embodiment.

We do not have a soul. We do not have depth in our thinking and understanding. We do not look at a deeper connect with people. We count the number of people who follow us in social media space. We do not even interact with even ten percent of our followers.

Soul is what defines us and yet we have lost it somewhere in our drive to get ahead.

Any person who is not materialistic, does not have ambition (the way world defines it), believes in building deeper relationships that go beyond the shallow, is considered weak, an abnormality in this world.

Of course the digital world is in a way the biggest culprit. It gives a sense of being connected but that is never the case.

Today, we lack emotions, we lack empathy, we lack understanding.

Soul mates is just something nice to say to one person till we find another person to say the same thing.

There just aren’t enough souls anymore. Only humans pretending to be humans.

Stumbling through life


We all like to believe that life is about stability. Life is about moving at a comfortable pace.

But do we ever get that? Do we ever lead a stable life?

Look around you. Look at yourself. Are you leading a stable life? Or are you in a big rush to get somewhere, whether as a physical destination or as a life goal.

We work ourselves to the ground in order to achieve the mythical stability. We put pressure on ourselves. We put pressure on people around us. We never quite get that stability.

Stability for most is rooted in money. Steady job. Steady pay check. Steady life partner. So we slog. At the job and at maintaining relationships. In this day and age, neither are stable. There are always undercurrents that keep us insecure.

We may feel we are stable but the truth is that we are stumbling through life. Towards what constitutes as stable.

Think about it. How much money would you need till you consider enough is enough. Now I am going to slow down. Relationships too. If things get stable, they become predictable and boring. But hey, isn’t that what you wanted? Stable relationship. So don’t crib now by saying that the spark has gone.

Maybe if we were to reconcile ourselves to the fact that there is no such thing as stability, we just might find it?

Why is it that we seek mundanity when life is so much more? Why should the next day be no different than today? Why shouldn’t every day be different.

Was working on something the other day. What if like the start button in many of the cars and bikes today, life also had a start button and we pressed a reset every morning over the previous day? During the discussion we were having, one of the people mentioned this movie “Fifty First Dates”. Haven’t watched the movie but the concept sounds interesting. Of course in the movie the female lead has a memory problem. But what if we were to reset every day. What will happen?

Now am not saying this in an absolute sense where it happens. But in our heads. In our minds we reset every day. Will our lives be any different? Will we live our life? Or will we prefer our life to pass us by in the name of stability.

Get going


No one is gonna help you.

The ones who do, will always have a motive.

Stop whining. Stop blaming people and circumstances for what you can’t get. Did you give your best? Or rather did you exceeds even your best expectations when going all out to get somewhere?

Stop looking for a Godfather in professional world. You be the Godfather.

Stop looking for an emotional anchor in your personal life. Everyone is looking at you to be an emotional anchor.

Stop saying I will do from tomorrow.

Stop saying the year I wanted to do so many things has already come and I haven’t.

It’s just three days into 2018. There are still 362 days left to achieve what you want (is this a leap year??).

Just get off your butt and get going! Let this be the year!

How far will you go


Utterly random.

How far will you go to get what you want?

What will you do if all your efforts are not getting you what you want?

How much will you give up to get the one thing you want?

How much will you compromise on your principles to get what you want?

How many toes will you step on, people you will hurt to achieve what you want?

Will you cheat, will you lie, will you bribe, will you let go of your morality, will you kill yourself inside every minute… just so you get that one thing.

Once you get what you wanted, will it make you happy, will you cherish it, will it be worth everything you had to do and give up.

 

The Big Variable


When we embark on a plan, we strategise for everything. We take everything into account. Every possible factor that can impact the plan and our lives.

However, there is one variable we do not account for. The one variable we do not know anything about. The one variable that can make us a success, make us happy OR it can lead to a complete disaster.

The variable is linked to us being humans. Humans who have emotions. More often than not, our decisions are driven by emotions. We all like to be called rational beings but it is far removed from truth. Gut feel. Instinct. Like. Dislike. Fear. Exciting. Emotions come in various forms which make us who we are. Make us choose or not choose.

Imagine a scenario. A VC has five proposals in front of him. Every proposal is well thought out. The ideas are excellent. Every proposal almost on par when it comes to a sound business proposition. But he can only fund one start up. How does he choose? It boils down to personalities. People he will feel comfortable giving money to. His judgement of a person. His instinct. Now most will say the plan must have been better and therefore the funding. That isn’t the truth.

When we are hiring somebody, while qualification and experience is fine, we are focused on our interaction with the person. Likeable personality comes into play.

Same goes for relationships. We like a person. We hate a person. We love a person. It is all emotion.

Our love for brands is also in the same category. Yes we do rationalise purchasing a particular brand but it ultimately is about how the brand makes us feel.

We can never account for this variable. We have no way of knowing how the person will react. What are his motivations. What are his barriers. Did he get up from the right side of the bed when he was taking a decision. Is he under some kind of intense stress. Is there something happening in his life that might impact his decision. Maybe he doesn’t like people in beard. Maybe he is short and doesn’t want tall people around him. You never know. And you are left wondering what went wrong. Similarly, there can be pleasant surprises too.

The point is that your success or failure is not about whether you planned right or not. It is not about whether you were good or bad. It is a function of somebody out there making a decision based on his emotion. How he feels about you. Yes being good at what you do matters but only up to a point. After that, emotions come into play.

And the truth is, it all happens in first two minutes. The first two minutes usually decide what is going to be the outcome. So look for the signs. You will know.

 

Songs


Ok Ok so I had said I will not post for a while but this came to my mind and I just had to post.

Songs are such an integral part of our lives. Usually they fill in a void. When you are doing nothing. When you are driving. Or even when you want to silence the world around you.

In my profession, jingle always played an important role. It became the audio identifier for a piece of communication. Sadly though, now a jingle is just a piece of cacophony. the soul has gone missing.

Similarly, the soul had gone missing from songs for past couple of decade or so (my personal view).

Of late though, it seems to be back. There seems to be a focus on lyrics rather than music created through electronic crap. Over the last 6 months I have heard the songs that teens of today are listening to (having teens in the house is an advantage). While I will not mention songs (avoid getting judged), there definitely is a trend towards putting more into every song than trying to ensure that it gets sold and heard.

Through time immemorial, songs have always associated with the mood we are in. Or is it the other way round? Mood dictating the playlist. There are happy moments, melancholic moments, party, being with friends, road trip. We have playlists for occasions.

Songs and emotions, they go hand in hand. You hear someone listening to a particular song and you can probably figure out the mood of a person. Except if the song is special to that person… something only he/she identifies with.

We all have such songs in our playlist. They remind you of a person, of an occasion with that person, a special moment that was truly yours. Songs that make you yearn for the person. Or a song that you hear and you just want to share. More than photographs, I think songs are what make our memories.

Sometimes the same song can make you feel elated or melancholic. It is all a function of what point you are in a relationship.

For me, songs have always been about nostalgia for a long time. I had stopped listening to new crap. It used to be all about rock (I had written about this in a post called ‘Sunday Evening’). But I have dabbled with some of the new music and I like it (much to the consternation of my daughter. She thinks my generation shouldn’t be listening to these songs!)

Generation. Songs and bands have always identified a generation or a decade. They are a window into the environment that existed in that decade. One can actually travel back in time by just listening to songs from the past decade.

The funny thing about this post is that there was a thought in my head when I started with the post but it totally went missing from my head.

So how about this. Reply  with title of one song that you think is truly you. Symbolises you. Resonates with your current mindset. Anything.

For people on LinkedIn who actually reached this point in the post, it will be a break from all the drivel that you been going through by way of posts 🙂