EXISTENCE IS A FACT, LIVING IS AN ART

Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

qualities of good leadership

In Knowledge digest on 04/04/2008 at 10:51

Qualities of Good Leadership – Do you have it in you?


The first major aspect of good leadership is letting go of control. Are you in control when you’re sleeping or when you’re dreaming? No! Are you in control of any other function in your body? Your heart is pumping all by itself. Your liver functions by itself. The food you stuff in the stomach gets digested all by itself. Do you have any control over them? Are you in control of the Sun and Moon moving around the globe or even the globe rotating on itself? Are you in control of the thoughts that come into your head? So, when you realize you really do not have any control over all major things that are happening in you life, you’ll stand up and laugh. “Oh, what am I thinking, am I in control of something?” Then you will realize that the idea that you are in control is an illusion. And then you relax. And that relaxed state is called surrender.

What is surrender? A state of mind, where you are absolutely at home, totally relaxed — with no fear, anxiety, burden or problem. That state is called surrender. Surrender is our very nature; you don’t have to do it. When you are in your natural state of childlike innocence, you are already in a state of surrender. When you cannot surrender, then you make effort, and effort makes you surrender. So when you say, “I cannot relax”, I will say, “Ok, hold your fists tight and tight and tight.” Then, when I ask you to make it tighter and you cannot do that, what do you do? Being tired, you just drop. This is coming to the other end with effort! For a leader, it is also important to be in the present moment.

So, what are the qualities of good leadership? How can you be a dynamic, confident and enthusiastic leader? The first quality of leadership is to set an example. A leader doesn’t just order things; he does it so that others can do it. Second aspect is that a leader takes good care of those whom he is leading. Third aspect is that he doesn’t create followers. A good leader creates leaders. And then chain action happens. A leader should delegate responsibility.

The fourth quality is that a leader does not depend on authority. He just does a thing, whether authority is invested or not. It comes by itself. The fifth aspect of leadership is that he does not worry about position. The respect that you gain through virtue is very different from the respect you gain through the position. The respect you get through a position is short-lived and temporary. But the respect that you gain just because of your smile, your attitude, your virtues are there with you all the time. You may be a chairman of this committee, a president of that committee, or you are barrister here or governor of that state — these are all momentary, temporary. They come and they go. And the respect you get because of this position is not genuine, it is not from the heart, it is not true. But the respect you gain because you are a nice person, is genuine, it lasts long. It is spontaneous.

The sixth quality is that a leader is alert and when challenges come, he is not disturbed. A good leader is one who does not drop things when challenges appear. The seventh quality of a good leader is one who does not care for comfort, but who stretches himself beyond the comfort zone. Anything creative, dynamic and great can happen only when you stretch beyond your comfort zone where we are often struck. We think we cannot do something: just make an effort and put one step ahead, and you will find that that you are expanding your comfort zone. Creativity transcends your comfort zone. Or, when you step out of the comfort zone, your creativity comes into play.

The eighth aspect is, a leader should not mix head and heart. If you mix head and heart, you are in a mess! When you have to work, you work with commitment and you live with your head. In life, in situations other than when you are working, listen to your heart.

The ninth quality of a good leader is that he should be multidimensional and see from the other’s point of view. Put yourself in other person’s shoes, look from the other person’s point of view. The tenth aspect is that the leader doesn’t depend on one-sided information. When you get some news from one side, don’t take any decision or conclusion till you hear from the other side also. Leader should be a good communicator.

The eleventh is that a leader should have a direct approach. Twelfth quality of a good leader is not to judge oneself. You have this tendency of judging yourself, “Am I good? I’m no good.” The self-judgment is an obstruction. Stop doing that. Don’t judge yourself. When you judge yourself, you are judging others also. Then you oscillate like a pendulum. If you feel you’re good, then you are saying that others are not so good. So when you find that others are good, and then you feel that you are no good, you blame yourself. Judgment is very similar to self-blame and blaming others. We have to get out of this vicious circle of self-judgment. That is also the state of surrender. When you have surrendered to the Divine that means that you no longer judge yourself. Self-judgment is not necessary. A child is so innocent, why? Because the child doesn’t judge itself.

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Message to Corporates

In Knowledge digest, Media digest on 20/03/2008 at 12:03

SriSri Message to Corporates

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You’re a lovely human being underneath the corporate coat:
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

New age guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has some very practical advice for the hurried and harried corporate.

He is the undoubted leader in stress management, time management and internal happiness. Art of Living, the foundation he started over 20 years ago, is today spread over more than 140 countries, teaching special breathing techniques, Yoga and meditation. With a schedule that reads like that of a corporate head honcho, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar still manages to remain calm, happy and healthy. CNBC-TV18 caught up with the new age guru to find out how he manages to hold onto his child-like smile despite travelling 25 days a month.

Q: What is the relevance of the Art of Living to the young corporate?

A: It helps them to cope up with the pressures of the day. It helps one mentally be happy and calm, peaceful. And physically, it makes them very strong and healthy.

Q: There are so many people who are followers of the Art of Living who are celebrities in their own right. How does this entire process actually happen?

A: That which is useful to people, they will take it. Like today mobile phones have become a common thing. Similarly a technology or an art, which brings some soothing benefit for an individual, they go for it.

Q: How does one adapt something to like the Sudharshan Kriya breathing technique or the Art of Living? Given we have hectic schedules, we rarely manage time for our families and friends.

A: It is just like personal hygiene. Whatever work one has, however busy one is, one takes time to brush their teeth. No body says that they have no time to brush teeth. In the same way if you do Kriya and a little bit of or Pranayam for 15-20 minutes, it brings so much alertness in you, it brings so much energy in you. So your time becomes a good time, it becomes quality time.

Q: Anything else that you would like to tell your corporate followers to keep in mind since they are battling very busy schedules, stress, deadlines, family pressures? What can you actually advice them?

A: Time-to-time get out of the steam and get into the team. Corporates should also take social responsibility, otherwise you become so greedy and when you become greedy, it kills the customer and it kills yourself too. So we need to bring up human values in life. This lack of spiritual values is causing violence and frustration or depression and suicidal tendency.

Q: What is your advise to these corporates who seem to be mindlessly following some mad rat race?

A: When the shoe pinches, then you know that you have to get out of it. So many people don’t even feel that pinch. They live life till they get sick and when they get sick then they start running around and try to find some alternative. So a healthy lifestyle needs to be adopted before you get sick. There is no end to greed and 24 hours it’s there for everybody, whether it is a peon in a bank or the Prime Minister of a country. Everyone complains that there is no time. When you complain that there is no time, you are simply underestimating your own capability. You can do so much more and you can always accommodate a little more time in your life and that willingness to stretch the time is what is creativity.

Q: Give one message to those corporates out there?

A: Underneath your corporate coat, you are a lovely human being. Don’t forget that. We should not forget human values in whatever role we play, whether as a corporate or as someone in politics or in industry or in business or in student life, underneath all the roles that we play, we are a beautiful human being.

QA with SriSri – Science, Meditation and Creativity

In Knowledge digest on 17/03/2008 at 07:21

Science, Meditation and Creativity

Q: You talked about our minds being fields that go beyond our bodies.  But in science, fields interact in different ways; they can interact constructively or destructively. Would you talk about how our minds affect each other?

Sri Sri: It does; you know, emotions are more powerful than thoughts.  That’s why you see in a group of children, if one child starts crying, every other child starts crying.  If one child gets mad, the other children too get that.  Haven’t we noticed this?  You know school teachers know really well, these experiences.  Similarly, supposedly in a room where a few people were arguing and fighting or angry at each other, and then they leave the room; when others just enter, for no reason, they start feeling those emotions –  restlessness, anger, distress.  So feel harmonious and let harmony spread also, catch us all.  But it appears that anger catches much faster.

 Q: This is sort of a paradox in my mind.  Science is very objective and systematic.  In a sense, it’s intentionally devoid of any subjectivity or any emotion.  But there can be a real joy.  See when scientists come up and talk about their work.  They really get excited in it and really enjoying – even in one sense it’s cut and dry and free of any subjectivity. So there seems to be a paradox, this great desire to do things objectively and systematically, but a great joy in doing so.  It seems to be a paradox in the mind that would attract the whole concept of science.

Sri Sri: Yes.  A human life is a paradox.  It’s a mixture of opposites.  Emotions refine our attention, our awareness.  There are certain emotions which can really define, that can take us very deep, and make our consciousness really sharp. Certainly other emotions, which we call negative can make us really thick and draw, insensitive.  You know when someone is very quiet, their mind is very sharp, and very much able to observe better, the same mind when it’s disturbed, when there is sadness, is unable to listen completely. 

So, different emotions have got different roles to play, in the awareness level of our system.  Now, definitely science is logic and understanding; emotions are a barrier there.  But for intuition and creativity, you need another set of emotions, refined emotions, which triggers those aspects in it.  So I don’t see they are contrary to each other; though they are complementary, they are opposite in nature. Yet they are complementary to each other. 

I would also like to say about the Indian astrology, one of the astronomies, one of the most very highly developed, but most ignored subject, the Vedic astrology.  It was so many years ago, they discovered that Jupiter has twelve moons, thousands of years ago without any telescope or without any instrument.  So there was perhaps some intuitive level of understanding – such exact calculations of how much it takes for Saturn to circle the Sun, all those things.  It’s amazing.  One thing is that we need more research in it.  One more aspect is to say perhaps, there is always an amount of saying, this is so.  Not saying this is like this is for all times.

Q:  Mechanical people use a form of meditation called flow, particularly for writing software in which you are so in with the task, that you are dissociated from time and body, to a reasonable extent.  The problem with flow is you get the enormous creativity, and you get the enormous volume, but it disassociates from quality.  Do you know of anyone working on meditating creativity and quality as a relationship?

 Sri Sri: I said it depends on the mind; see when mind is engaged in some activity, it gets tired.  So any type of concentration or contemplation, or any activity in the mind that can be a drain to the system, so meditation I would say, is that which doesn’t drain you, but just gives you deep rest that we don’t get from any other activities, like seeing, listening, smelling, tasting and all these sensory activities.  Almost like sleep, but not exactly sleep.

 Q:  At the end of flow, you tend to come out of it and apparently if you do it well you drop in that state for maybe ten seconds, you are then aware it’s two in the morning and haven’t eaten in fourteen hours.  So you may get ten seconds of meditation out of fourteen hours of flow.

 Sri Sri.  That’s fine too.  In ten seconds, in a few seconds of meditation you get quite a bit of energy.

Q: You really get an intense impression of being present, it’s very striking.

 Sri Sri: Right.. right.. right… You know there are many types of meditations. Sciences of yoga, a 100, 120 types of mediations are there.  I usually base it on the breath.  With the breath you are able to silence the mind much quicker, and you can do it anytime anywhere, people from many religious backgrounds have no objection, because breath has no religion.  No nationality.

Q:  I first want to say thank you for being here.  On the subject of creativity, do you expect a practitioner of your method to, after some time or under institutional auspices, be evaluated to see whether or not the practice is truly be quantitatively shown to enhance creativity?

 Sri Sri: Yes. There are certain experiments, that are being done and some already done about the health aspects of Sudarshan Kriya; about how it reduces the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol in the system, how it’s helped in the reduction of the stress hormones all these things, on blood pressure effect.  But on creativity, experiment is still going on, and what we have found in children is amazing.  The youth who never had any talents to write poems, start writing poems, they start public speaking; and those very timid and scared in front of ten people, are able to speak to the entire class room and whole groups.  Such confidence levels have increased in many, many people.  And creativity in a sense, they come up with creative ideas in both schools and colleges; they have noticed it.  But we have not done any study on scientists or any research links so far.

 Q:  How long should one meditate daily?  Is there maybe too much meditation sometimes?

Sri Sri:  You know our mechanism is like a system, in which after a while you automatically come out.  Like sleep, you can’t sleep for fifteen hours a day. You sleep six hours, and at the end, when you have had enough rest you wake up.  Similarly, there is a biological clock in us that brings us out, so you shouldn’t force yourself to go into mediation.  So I would recommend twenty minutes, twenty-five minutes a day, should be good enough.  You can do it two, three times, but no more than twice, short bits.  You are doing twenty minutes, twice, thrice – it will do you good.