Who Are You?
So, the story goes that an old woman was very upset about the new way of life that the Prophet Muhammad was propagating that whenever he would pass her house, she would run up the stairs to throw garbage on him from her balcony. And, all he would do was shake his dress and walk on to the Mosque to pray. Morning and evening, he would pass her house and get greeted by garbage. He never changed his route. All he did was shake off the garbage from himself and move on. One day, no garbage fell on him. Overflowing with love and in deep concern, he walked into her house to check if she was well. So, to be a Muslim means to be pure love for all beings, irrespective of what others do to them.
Rama and Bharata are having an argument just outside a forest. What are they arguing about? Rama says the kingdom belongs to his brother, Bharata; and Bharata says the kingdom belongs to Rama and wants to go to the jungle for 14 years in place of Rama. But, Rama wants to support his father to be Integrity, to honour his Word and goes for the 14 years vanvaas / exile instead of laying claim to the throne. So, to be a Hindu means to be love, reverence and integrity.
Young Nanak's father sends him to the fields to shoo away the birds and prevent them from eating their crop. Even at such a young age, Guru Nanak is overflowing with love and instead of shooing away the birds welcomes them into his farm. The legend has it that that year, their farm had the maximum produce. So, to be a Sikh means to be love and generosity.
Jesus Christ has been brutally nailed to a cross. And, inspite of that pain, all he could think and say about his tormentors is - Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. So, to be a Christian means to be love for all beings, inspite of the pain caused by others.
There were many Buddhas before Gautam, during his time and after him but they didn’t spend their time teaching others what they had learnt. But, Gautam, the Buddha spent his entire life, from age 35 when he attained enlightenment till he left his earthly body at 80 years, teaching people the meditation process that he used for attaining enlightenment, the process that India had lost and he had re-discovered, the meditation process of self-transformation through self-observation.
Gautam, The Buddha, is breathing his last under a tree and the crowd is milling all around him to be with him. One person pushes everybody aside and asks Gautam to teach him the meditation technique because he didn’t trust his disciples to teach him correctly. Even, on his deathbed, Buddha taught what he had discovered with so much love, without a care about the discomfort that his own physical body was in. So, to be a Buddhist, means to be love and to give away all the knowledge one has for the benefit of others.
So, if we are a true Muslim or a true Hindu or a true Sikh or a true Christian or a true Buddhist or are true to whatever other religion we belong to; we are humans destined to be love. We may choose to be Love this Lifetime or may take many Lifetimes to embrace the real essence of who we are. Everything that is happening in our Life - the best, the good, the not-so-good, the bad, the ugly - is pushing us in the direction of being our highest self, our highest idol who we revere and pray to. Praying is not about asking for what we want, praying is asking for the strength to be like the God that we pray to. We are made in the likeness of God and God is Love.
Being on the journey of transformation from our Evolutionary Fears to being Transcendent Love is the purpose of our Life. And, it is in living this purpose through the work we do, the businesses we run, the relationships that we belong to that we find our way and come home to ourselves.
May we all connect with our Light within and experience the homecoming.
Inspiration: Shri S N Goenka
After hating cooking all of my life, 7 years ago, as a young mother, came face to face with my commitment to nourish and nurture my children to health and fitness through the food they eat. My commitment turned out to be stronger than my dislike of anything to do with the kitchen and I signed-up for an Ayurvedic Cooking Course (Health through Food) with Art of Living to learn what to do in the kitchen besides telling the cook what to make.
My commitment held me for 7 long years, which is the time it took me to travel from dislike to disinterest to curiosity to deep interest and engagement in nutrition and its implementation through cooking the food we eat. The journey has taken me through Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Western scientific research.
The more I study, the more I am moving from deep interest towards loving the science of food not only for fulfilling on the primary reason of getting started on this journey but also for self-preservation and for supporting my clients. After all, my clients can only lead their business to deeply fulfilling success and impact when they are at their optimum level of health and fitness.
Couple of interesting observations before I move forward towards the reason I started this article:
1. Love is the inspiration but it is commitment that gets you to take action inspite of the resistance to stepping out of your comfort zone.
2. Results only get created in the magical space just outside your comfort zone.
3. There is no overnight success. You can create any results you can dream of as long as you are willing to make a long-term commitment to creating those results. I have a lifetime commitment to the well-being of my kids, a lifetime commitment to impact the world through coaching and a lifetime commitment to play the game of mastery in all that I do. What are you committed to?
4. Kids are the biggest personal development and growth program you can invest in. I have grown, evolved, learnt so much more as a 13-year old parent.
5. Though, if I hadn’t invested massively in my own growth and development with numerous master coaches, I wouldn’t have known that being a parent is the opportunity that God gives us to grow our own self - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
The real reason I started to write this article was to make a summary of the key ideas from the book I read recently: How Not to Die (prematurely) - Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. I strongly recommend reading this book to take your health and fitness in your own hands. Doctors and modern medical science may help you control and manage the symptoms of your body but healing yourself to perfect health and well-being is something only you can do.
The book covers the food that we should eat and the food that we should avoid to prevent and / or reverse:
i. Heart Disease
ii. Lung Diseases
iii. Brain Diseases
iv. Digestive Cancers
vii. High Blood Pressure
viii. Liver Diseases
ix. Blood Cancers
x. Kidney Disease
xi. Breast Cancer
xii. Suicidal Depression
xiii. Prostate Cancer
xiv. Parkinson’s Disease
Dr Greger also lists the 12 things to eat daily for optimum health, fitness and well-being. The list is an eye-opener and helps you to take your and your family’s health in your control.
Here are few excerpts from the book to get you interested enough to start your own journey towards greater productivity, performance, effectiveness, creativity, innovation and mastery because the pre-requisite for all this is your perfect health and fitness. Reminding you once more that disease is a choice we make and is not the default outcome of going around the sun for more number of years.
1. Now, however, we know that as soon as we stop eating an artery-clogging diet, our bodies can start healing themselves, in many cases opening up arteries without drugs or surgery.
2. There may be no such thing as dying from old age. … Until recently, advanced age had been considered to be a disease itself, but people don’t die as a consequence of maturing. They die from disease, …
3. Back in 1903, Thomas Edison predicted that the “doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of diseases.
4. The pandemic of chronic disease has been ascribed in part to the near-universal shift toward a diet dominated by animal-sourced and processed foods - in other words, more meat, dairy, eggs, oils, fizzy drinks, sugar and refined grains.
5. To see what effect an increase in meat consumption might have on disease rates, researchers studied lapsed vegetarians. People who once ate vegetarian diets but then started to eat meat at least once a week experienced a 146 percent increase in odds of heart disease, a 152 percent increase in stroke, a 166 percent increase in diabetes and a 231 percent increase in odds for weight gain. During the 12 years after the transition from vegetarian to omnivore, meat-eating was associated with a 3.6 year decrease in life expectancy.
6. Even vegetarians can suffer high rates of chronic disease if they eat a lot of processed foods. Take India, for example. This country’s rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and stroke have increased far faster than might have been expected given its relatively small increase in per capita meat consumption. This has been blamed on the decreasing “whole plant food content of their diet”, including a shift from brown rice to white rice and the substitution of other refined carbohydrates, packages snacks and fast-food products for India’s traditional staples of lentils, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In general, the dividing line between health-promoting and disease-promoting foods may be less plant- versus animal-sourced foods and more whole plant foods versus most everything else.
7. … it wasn’t the weight loss and it wasn’t the exercise that reversed cell aging - it was the food.
8. It turns out a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat or reverse every single one of our 15 leading causes of death.
A heart-healthy diet is a brain-healthy diet is a lung healthy diet. The same diet that helps prevent cancer just so happens to be the same diet that may help prevent type 2 diabetes and every other cause of death on the top 15 list.
Unlike drugs - which only target specific functions, can have dangerous side effects, and may only treat the symptoms of disease - a healthy diet can benefit all organ systems at once, has good side effects, and may treat the underlying cause of illness.
The one unifying diet found to best prevent and treat many of these chronic diseases is a whole-food plant-based diet, defined as an eating pattern that encourages the consumption of unrefined plant foods and discourages meats, dairy products, eggs and processed foods.
Treating the cause is not only safer and cheaper but it can work better. So why don’t more of my medical colleagues do it? Not only were they not trained how, doctors don’t get paid for it. No one profits from lifestyle medicine (other than the patient!), so it’s not a major part of medical training or practise. That’s how the current system works. The medical system is set-up to financially reward prescribing pills and procedures, not produce.
9. The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.
10. Three hours after eating 50 grams of broccoli sprouts, the enzyme that cancers use to help silence our defenses is suppressed in your bloodstream to an extent equal to or greater than the chemotherapy agent specifically designed for that purpose, without toxic side effects.
11. In the Gene Expression Modulation by Intervention with Nutrition and Lifestyle (GEMINAL) study, Dr Ornish and colleagues took biopsies from men with prostate cancer before and after 3 months of intensive lifestyle changes that included a whole-food, plant based diet. Without any chemotherapy or radiation, beneficial changes in gene expression for 500 different genes were noted.
Within just a few months, the expression of disease-preventing genes were boosted, and oncogenes that promote breast and prostate cancer were suppressed.
Whatever genes we may have inherited from our parents, what we eat can affect how these genes affect our health. The power is mainly in our hands and on our plates.
12. Such lifestyle medicine pioneers as Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esseltyn Jr. took patients with advanced heart disease and put them on the kind of plant-based diet followed by Asian and African populations who didn’t suffer from heart disease.
… Their patients' heart disease started to reverse. These patients were getting better. As soon as they stopped eating an artery-clogging diet, their bodies were able to start dissolving away some of the plaque that had built up. Arteries opened up without drugs or surgery, even in some cases of patients with severe triple-vessel heart disease.
This suggests their bodies wanted to heal all along but were just never given the chance.
Let me share with you what has been called the “best kept secret in medicine”. Given the right conditions, the body heals itself.
… But what if you kept whacking it in the same place 3 times a day - say, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner? It would never heal.
13. Dr Ornish reported a 91% reduction in angina attacks within just a few weeks in patients placed on a plant-based diet both “with” or “without” exercise.
14. Plant-based diets are the nutritional equivalent of quitting smoking.
15. Research suggests a few extra daily servings of fruits and vegetables can reduce both the number of cases of asthma during childhood and the number of asthma attacks among people with the disease.
16. Foods of animal origin have been associated with increased asthma risk. A study of more than 100,000 adults in India found that those who consumed meat daily, or even occasionally, were significantly more likely to suffer from asthma, than those who excluded meat and eggs from their diets altogether. Eggs (along with fizzy drinks) have also been associated with asthma attacks in children, along with respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath and exercise-induced coughing.
Removing eggs and dairy from the diet has been shown to improve asthmatic children’s lung function in as few as 8 weeks.
17. Researchers out of Australia tried removing fruits and vegetables from asthma patients’ diets to see what would happen. Within two weeks, asthma symptoms grew significantly worse.
… Researchers repeated the experiment, but this time increased fruit and vegetable consumption to 7 servings a day. This simple act of adding a few more fruits and vegetables to their daily diet ended up successfully cutting the study subjects’ exacerbation rate in half. That’s the power of eating healthfully.
18. Supplements don’t appear to work. Studies have repeatedly shown that antioxidant supplements have no beneficial effects on respiratory or allergic diseases, underscoring the importance eating whole foods rather than trying to take isolated components or extracts in pill form.
19. … the key is starting early. High cholesterol and high blood pressure may begin hurting your brain as early as your twenties. By your sixties and seventies, when the damage can become apparent, it may already be too late.
20. … regardless of the carcinogens that could be lurking in the environment, your greatest exposure may be through your diet.
21. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is about 8 times less than that of the United States and about 20% of its population lives below the poverty line, yet cancer rates in India are much lower than in the United States. Women in the United States may have 10 times more colorectal cancer than women in India, 17 times more lung cancer, 9 times more endometrial cancer and melanoma, 12 times more breast cancer. Men in the United States appear to have 11 times more colorectal cancer than men in India, 23 times more prostate cancer, 14 times more melanoma, 9 times more kidney cancer and 7 times more lung and bladder cancer.
Why such a discrepancy? The regular use of the spice turmeric in Indian cooking has been proposed as one possible explanation.
… The low cancer rate in India may be due in part to the spices they use, but it may also stem from the types of foods they are putting the spices on. India is one of the world’s largest producers of fruits and vegetables, and only about 7% of the adult population eats meat on a daily basis. What most of the population does eat every day are dark green, leafy vegetables and legumes such as beans, split peas, chickpeas and lentils, which are packed with another class of cancer-fighting compounds called phytates.
… High phytate intake has been associated with less heart disease, less diabetes and fewer kidney stones.
22. Humans evolved eating huge amounts of fibre. … Because plants don’t tend to run as fast as animals, the bulk of our diet used to be made up of a lot of bulk. … Our bodies were designed to expect an ever-flowing fibre stream, so it dumps such unwanted waste products as excess cholesterol and estrogen into the intestines, assuming they will be swept away.
But if you aren’t constantly filling your bowels with plant foods, the only natural source of fibre, unwanted waste products can get reabsorbed and undermine your body’s attempts at detoxifying itself.
23. Interestingly, the immune boost provided by the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli not only protects us against the pathogens found in food but also against pollutants in the environment.
24. … there’s already something that can boost your immune system for free and by so much that you can achieve a 25-30 percent reduction in sick days.
… What is it?
25. Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Burden of Disease Study involved nearly 500 researchers from more than 300 institutions in 50 countries and examined nearly 100,000 data sources.
The results allow us to answer such questions as “How many lives could we save if people around the world cut back on fizzy drinks?” The best answer! 299,521. So soft drinks and their empty calories don’t just fail to promote health - they actually seem to promote death.
But apparently soda isn’t nearly as deadly as bacon, ham and hot dogs. Processed meat is blamed for the deaths of more than 800,000 people every year. Worldwide, that’s four times more people than those who die from illicit drug use.
The study also noted which foods, if added to the diet, might save lives. Eating more whole grains could potentially save 1.7 million lives a year. More vegetables? 1.3 million lives. How about nuts and seeds? 2.5 million lives.
Worldwide, if humanity ate more fruit, we might save 4.9 million lives. That’s nearly 5 million lives hanging in the balance and their salvation isn’t medication or a new vaccine - it may be just more fruit.
26. The two most prominent dietary risks for death and disability in the world may be not eating enough fruit and eating too much salt. Nearly 5 million people appear to die every year as a result of not eating enough fruit, while eating too much salt may kill up to 4 million.
… Humans are genetically programmed to eat ten times less sodium (salt) than we do.
27. Higher consumption of vegetables may cut the odds of developing depression by as much as 62 percent. A review in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience concluded that, in general, eating lots of fruits and veggies may present “a non-invasive, natural, and inexpensive therapeutic means to support a healthy brain.”
Trusting the excerpts from the book interested you enough to take a conscious look at what you eat and pick up the book to figure out how to eat healthfully so that you immensely enjoy your life and contribute much more through your work on account of delightful levels of health, fitness and well-being.
Here’s me wishing you a deeply fulfilling joyous journey of discovery towards greater health, productivity, performance, innovativeness and creativity.
Why Must You Deepen Yourself in Mastery Consciousness to Lead your Business to Market Leadership?
Let’s begin by defining Mastery. I love the way Robert Greene describes Mastery in his book ‘Mastery’:
“… we can identify three distinct phases or levels. The first is the Apprenticeship; the second is the Creative-Active; the third, Mastery.
In the first phase, we stand on the outside of our field, learning as much as we can of the basic elements and rules. We only have a partial picture of the field and so our powers are limited.
In the second phase, through much practise and immersion, we see into the inside of the machinery, how things connect with each other, and thus gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. With this comes a new power - the ability to experiment and creatively play with the elements involved.
In the third phase (Mastery), our degree of knowledge, experience and focus is so deep that we can now see the whole picture with complete clarity. We have access to the heart of life - to human nature and natural phenomena. That is why the artwork of Masters touches us to the core; the artist has captured something of the essence of reality. That is why the brilliant scientist can uncover a new law of physics, and the inventor or entrepreneur can hit upon something no one else has imagined.”
For an entrepreneur to run a successful profitable business, (s)he has to hit upon something no one else has imagined. To get to that stage, the entrepreneur has to necessarily focus on being a master of his / her craft, his / her domain.
Let’s now define Consciousness. As per the dictionary, Consciousness is the thoughts and feelings of an individual; awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings etc.
Therefore, Mastery Consciousness is the physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual awareness of Mastery, a deep burning desire to be a Master of one’s craft / domain that one is passionate about and walking the path to become one, irrespective of barriers outside or inside. In fact, the definite march towards Mastery gets greater fuel, greater the barriers.
How do you implement this in your business?
Based on my experience and study of the masters, the journey to being a Master of your Craft has five stages:
1. Amateur: This is the stage of Passive Learning, when you learn on your own through reading works of masters in your field, training yourself through material available in the public domain.
2. Professional: This is the stage of Active Learning, when you implement whatever you are learning to make a difference to your chosen target community.
3. Expert: You become an Expert by learning through Apprenticeship, when you learn directly from an existing Master of your Craft.
4. Mentor: You become a mentor when you coach others to become Experts in your domain.
5. Master: You finally become a Master when you coach other coaches to coach others to become Experts in your domain. This is when you go inside your craft and become it.
There are 2 other journeys an entrepreneur must necessarily undertake in parallel to the journey of Craft Mastery because all the 3 journeys are inter-linked. You cannot travel on one journey without undertaking the other two journeys.
The three journeys are:
1. Craft Mastery - From Amateur to Master.
2. Business Excellence - From a Business Idea linked to one’s Purpose of Life to a Self-Running, Self-Sustaining, Repeatable, Scalable, Profitable Business making a dent in the Universe of its Customer Community.
3. Leadership Depth - From Unconditional Love, Acceptance and Reverence of oneself to having others in your space experiencing Unconditional Love, Acceptance and Reverence for themselves and for each other.
Here’s an article for a deeper dive into these three journeys -
How to Lead Your Organization from Good to Great
The question that we are really exploring right now is - Why Must You Deepen Yourself in Mastery Consciousness to Lead your Business to Market Leadership?
With the preamble as above, we are now in a position to understand why?
1. For market leadership, you have to hit upon something no one else has imagined. You need Mastery of your craft / domain for that.
2. Without physical, emotional, mental and spiritual awareness of self and one’s surroundings, there can be no Leadership Depth, no inner wisdom without which Mastery is not available.
3. Without your Business being a vehicle for you to live your Purpose of Life, there will be no drive, no joyous passion, no burning desire to walk the path to Mastery.
Wishing you the intense burning desire to discover your purpose this lifetime and to live that through your business, through the work that you do to come home to yourself.
Without Integrity, Nothing Works; Not Even Your Business. Why and What to do About It?
What is Integrity? The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. Integrity is the state of being whole and complete, to be in perfect condition. It is an inner experience of being whole, complete and perfect; with nowhere to go and nothing to prove; with nothing to change or fix to experience wholeness, completeness and perfection in who you are. Only from this state of Being, can creativity, innovation, performance, productivity and effectiveness arise. How can a business survive without all of these?
The access to an experience of being whole and complete is to value and honour oneself. Valuing and honouring myself means to value and honour what I say to myself and to others. Integrity, therefore, is honouring myself by honouring my word to myself and to others.
What is my word? There are 5 words that define me:
1. When I say, I promise X: This is my word at the bottom of the ‘promise’ / ‘word’ hierarchy.
2. What I say: I say, I will come. I didn’t say, I promise I’ll come. Even then, it is my word, my promise to go wherever I said I will go.
3. My intentions and dreams: Our intentions and dreams are our promises to ourselves to transform our wants and burning desires into reality.
4. My commitments: Our commitments are our promises too. The values that we are committed to, the relationships that we are committed to, personal growth that we are committed to, whatever it is we are committed to is then also our promise, our word to ourself and to others.
5. Expectations that people have of me: People in our life have expectations of us. Those become our promises too unless we have a straight conversation with others and let them know that you are aware of the expectation but are choosing to release yourself from it. Unless a conversation like this has happened, we are bound by others’ expectations of us. They expect from us, they hold that as our word to them. The truth is we are aware of the expectations but may not have the courage to have an obviously difficult conversation and choose to push this under the carpet instead of rock the boat. The impact of pushing under the carpet is that we anyway won’t do what is expected of us because we don’t want to and yet the other continues to expect of us feeling hurt at our not honouring the expectation. This throws the relationship in negative spiral to a certain death of the relationship in the near future. You may still be staying together, and yet the relationship is dead emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
How can we honour our word to ourself and others?
Honouring my word is to keep my word; doing what I said I will do, at the time I said I will do, the way I said I will do. If I missed to keep my word, then Integrity would be to restore my word to regain my experience of being whole, complete and perfect.
Restoring your word means to acknowledge your broken word and the impact of breaking your word to whoever the promise was made (either to self or to another), take responsibility of the impact and make a new promise.
Though, why really bother? I came 2 minutes late to a meeting; or made a customer delivery 5 minutes late; or I said to a colleague “I will be with you in 5 minutes” and didn’t even see my watch to know when the 5 minutes started; or I plan to wake up at 7:00 am daily and hit the snooze button every time to snuggle in for another 2 minutes. Surely all these things are insignificant.
Unfortunately, not. Why are such seemingly insignificant things so important? It is because our dreams and our intentions are our promises to ourselves, our word to ourselves. If we don’t value 100% of our own word moment by moment, the four bodies of our Being (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) assume that our word is of no value to us, we are not really committed to creating what we say and will not throw their full weight behind our dreams and intentions.
With no inner power (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support from our own self) to fulfil on our intentions and dreams, we struggle through life wanting so much but not experiencing fulfilment at being able to create all that we want to. Unfulfilled dreams and intentions rot us from inside, killing us softly with their unsung song.
If you want inner personal power to create a magnificent Life, if you want to fulfil all your intentions and realize all your impossible unimaginable dreams that scare you because they seem so big, then value and honour every Word that you are at the source of.
Keeping your word means doing what you said, doing it the way you meant it, at the time you said it. Lot of factors play to not make this possible always. Instead of just brushing something you missed under the carpet, Integrity would be to honour your word by restoring your broken word to restore your power to create.
Restoring one’s word is a 5-step process:
1. Acknowledge your broken word. A word is broken when either you didn’t do , or didn’t do it the way you meant to do it, or didn’t do it by the time you said you would.
You acknowledge your broken word to yourself if you had made a promise to yourself or you acknowledge your broken word to whoever you had made an explicit or an implicit promise to. For example - I had promised to finish this report by 5-Feb and I missed to submit it. I acknowledge my broken word.
2. The 2nd step is to share the impact of the broken word on yourself and on others. To continue with the same example - I had promised to finish this report by 5-Feb and I missed to submit it. I acknowledge my broken word.The impact on me is that I am feeling guilty and have been avoiding you. The impact on you is that you felt let down and got delayed in honouring your commitments. The impact is also that you lost trust on me.
3. The 3rd step is to take responsibility for the impact: Here’s how you do it - I had promised to finish this report by 5-Feb and I missed to submit it. I acknowledge my broken word.The impact on me is that I am feeling guilty and have been avoiding you. The impact on you is that you felt let down and got delayed in honouring your commitments. The impact is also that you lost trust on me. I take responsibility of this impact.
4. The 4th step is to make a new promise: Continuing with the same example - My new promise is to finish the report by today end of day.
5. The 5th step is to share your structure of success that will support you to fulfil on your new promise: In the above example - My structure of success would be to re-prioritize and re-schedule everything else on my calendar today so that I can fully focus on the report.
To re-cap, Integrity is honouring and valuing yourself. Valuing and honouring yourself requires you to honour your word because you are the words you say to yourself and the words you say to others. Therefore, Integrity is honouring your word which is to keep your word - doing what you said you will do, at the time you said you will do it, the way you said you will do it. If you missed to keep your word, then Integrity requires you to restore your word to be in honour of your word.
Integrity can either be 0% or 100%. Let me prove it mathematically. We are born with 100% integrity, with an experience of being whole, complete and perfect. Then something happens and we break our word and push it under the carpet. Our Integrity falls below 100%. Our integrity now, for example, is at 90%. Something happens and we are faced with the choice to honour our word or not. Our probability of honouring our word is only 90% of 90% which is 81%. Next time we are faced with a choice to honour our word or not to honour our word, our probability of making the choice to honour is now only 81% of 81% which is 66%. The next time, our integrity will reduce to 61% of 61% which is 37%, next time it will be 14%, then it will be 2%, finally it will fall to 0%.
Therefore, keep track of promises you make, carefully observe what you say, take committed actions to fulfil your intentions and realise your dreams, honour your commitments and review the expectations people in your life have from you to ensure Integrity. Build the courage to have the difficult conversations to free yourself from the promise implicit in others’ expectations from you or have the strength to become bigger than who you are in this moment and honour others’ expectations from you.
Remember Integrity is a Gear 4 value. Without the workouts on the other Gears to cycle up from Gear 0 to Gear 1 to Gear 2 to Gear 3, you will not have enough strength to be Integrity. Refer to the below 2 articles to understand this journey to come home to yourself.
1. How to use Gratitude as a Leadership Tool for Business Growth?
2. How Reverence for all of Life Supports you to Lead your Business from Good to Great?
May you have the wisdom to be self-aware, courage to face your blind-spots and commitment to go beyond to connect with your Highest Self. In your personal journey from good to great, you will find the wisdom, the courage and the commitment to lead your business from good to great.
Inspiration: The Curriculum of Living from Landmark Worldwide
How Reverence for all of Life Supports you to Lead your Business from Good to Great?
Have you ever noticed that a senior leader is usually kinder and more respectful than people down below in the corporate ladder? I had a billing issue with our internet service provider. The call-centre representative was rude and point-blank refused to consider my request saying it is just not possible. I told her in that case I would request for disconnection. She told me - “Sure. I will connect you to our Disconnection Department.” That is inspite of the fact that I have been with this service provider for 14 years now.
After a few minutes of waiting, she connected me to her supervisor. The tone and language of the supervisor is remarkably different - gentle and soft instead of brusque and loud. She has me soothed in no time, accepted my request in the first breath of the call and re-engaged me as a customer. After 14 years, going somewhere else was anyway a pain. I was only too happy to continue now that all my requests were accepted.
This is my experience everywhere. Higher in the leadership hierarchy I go, there’s greater ease in communication, lesser stress, greater listening, lesser rush and a sense of respect flowing in both directions.
Here’s a trick question: What comes first - reverence or growth in the organization? Always reverence. You can train yourself to be respectful but that’ll only take you so far. If you are aiming for the top seat and aiming to sit there for a long time, you would necessarily need to train yourself to be Reverence for yourself, all Beings in your space and for Life itself.
This is because Respect is at the level of behaviour while Reverence is at the level of the Being. When some attribute is at the level of behaviour, it’s not deep enough and you may shift your behaviour based on where or with whom you are. Reverence means Deep Respect. It has trickled to the core of who you are - not only behaviourally / physically / verbally but also intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
If you reflect, you will find that Leadership Growth is nothing but evolution of the Leader on his / her journey to be the greatest version of themselves. As they walk on the inside to be the greatest version of themselves, they inspire followership and mass movement towards the future they want to create. That is when magic happens in organizations, when employees stop working for money and work for the joy of building cathedrals. Only then a business stops struggling to be good and heaves upto the zone of greatness.
How does one melt into Reverence? It is a step by step process involving all the 4 bodies of your Being - physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual.
I love the analogy of a car to describe Leadership Evolution. You shift from neutral to Gear 1 to Gear 2 to Gear 3 to Gear 4 to Gear 5.
Reverence comes in Gear 3 of Leadership Evolution. Gear 2 is when you soak yourself in Gratitude. Without Gratitude, Reverence is not available.
Gear 1 is when you take responsibility for all that happens in your life - the good, the bad, the ugly - without making yourself or others wrong.
Gear 1 is when you can see what you believe as a view from a point and recognise that it is just as valid as other views from all other points. Then you find yourself without a reason to argue, debate or feel righteous. You are at peace, knowing you have simply chosen a belief because you have chosen it and that doesn't make you more right than others.
Gear 1 is when there is nothing to complain about because you know you are responsible for all that happens in your space. Though you neither make yourself wrong, nor others nor the situation.
Gear 1 is to be able to see yourself as the source of your upsets and not people or circumstances.
Gear 1 is the ability to make the choice to be happy, irrespective of what others do or don’t do, irrespective of what Life throws up at you.
Only after this shift is Gratitude available to you as the most powerful creative force for you to create everything that you want to create in this Lifetime. Yes, you can create whatever you want in this Lifetime. Just that you have to keep becoming bigger than yourself, other people and Life itself; moment by moment.
Welcome to your Hero’s journey.
Fads worry me because people pick them up more for their current flavour rather than the in-depth understanding to implement them to move their lives irrevocably to the next level. But the real problem is not so much that. The real problem is that the fads don’t shift us from the inside because their implementation is on the surface, only engaging the intellectual body. As a result, a very powerful habit that has the potential to uplift our life comes and goes; leaving us a little cynical about its value, lost to us forever.
Gratitude also seems to have become a fad. I do hope it doesn’t remain one; so that the power of this leadership habit can be experienced in its full-blown intensity as the source of business growth. Gratitude is the most powerful creative force in the world. I have known it to heal cancer in the body, heal relationships, create health and fitness, financial freedom, business growth.
What is Gratitude? It is being in the state of deep thankfulness. The most important word in the last sentence is BEING, as in the Human Being. The Being of the human being actually has four bodies - physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Therefore, to really bring on the power of gratitude in your life, you have to be engaged at all the four levels, all the four bodies of your Being experiencing deep thankfulness.
I recently observed from a distance the concept of Gratitude being implemented in an organization. I applaud the organization for this massive new thinking initiative for their employees. Though, unfortunately, only the intellectual mind seemed to have got engaged as I could see from the use of timers for regular gratitude moments and mastermind style group updates. I wonder if the BEING shifted for the people participating in this initiative. Did they feel different? Did they create different outcomes in their lives, personally and professionally? Did they experience being suffused by Divine Love and Intelligence. Till it is not this deep, Gratitude doesn’t work. It is not about thinking Gratitude, it is about feeling Gratitude viscerally beyond the level of the mind. Though, intellectually understanding Gratitude is the beginning of the journey.
My one-time teacher, Brandon Bays, used Gratitude to shift her body at a cellular level to heal and melt her basket-ball size tumour in her stomach that had her look like a fully-pregnant woman. She calls that process “The Journey”. I did a one-year program with her to understand and learn to deliver it to my clients. I have had my clients clear up emotional blocks from childhood to finally access Gratitude viscerally to heal themselves, heal their relationships and grow their businesses.
Gratitude is like a Gear 2 process. Without moving from neutral to Gear 1, shifting habits across all the 4 bodies of the Being, one cannot step into the zone of Gratitude. Let's call that Gear 2. Then, Zone of Genius would be Gear 3.
Here’s a true story for you to understand the steps to accessing Gratitude.
If you chant the magic mantra “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”, nothing much may shift because the mantra actually captures the 4-step inner transformational journey that is required for the kind of magic that Dr Hew Len was able to create through what he called ‘Ho’oponopono’ and that Brandon Bays was able to create through ‘The Journey’ process. It is the same 4-step shift that a prayer or a spiritual practice can induce if it is intense and from the depths of one’s heart. I heard of a Sikh lady who healed her breast cancer by simply chanting ‘Wahe Guru’ with childlike trust and fate. It is the same 4-step inner process.
Here are the 4-steps:
1. The 1st step is to unconditionally love and accept one’s own self, however one is and however one is not; relating to oneself as whole, complete and perfect. (I love you)
2. The 2nd step is to take responsibility for all that happens in one’s space - the good, the bad, the ugly. (I am sorry)
3. The 3rd step is to forgive oneself for causing the mess in one’s own life. (Please forgive me)
I call the above 3 steps part of Gear 1 leadership transformation.
4. Now, one is ready for experiencing Gratitude viscerally in the body and emotionally. (Thank you)
This is what I call as Gear 2 of the leadership transformation journey.
And, wait there are 3 more Gears to step up to. Though, as of now, we will content ourselves with understanding Gear 3, which is the 5th step below.
5. Therefore, the 5th step is falling into childlike trust and faith in the Universe, which is really experiencing Gratitude spiritually. Without experiencing Gratitude emotionally, this step-up is not available.
The important thing to remember is that all the 5 steps are available as an outcome of dropping our limiting physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual habits and taking on Growth Habits. Habits are like building blocks of who we are and what we can create. To shift what you can create in your life, you have to shift who you are. And, to shift who you are, you have to shift what your habits are across all the 4 bodies of your Being.
Wishing you the joy of this deeply fulfilling journey of growing yourself and your business.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.