Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Handle Performance Pressure - HBR Article

The Big Test: How to Handle Performance Pressure

Source: Harvard Business Review

Five Lights

Man has five kinds of lights

The wise man, whom we have called "the Venerable Sage," came one day to the court of King Janaka, ruler of a portion of India. In those early days, people had no lanterns or artificial lights. They used to keep open fires nearby most of the time. The King had a desire to ask this sage some questions about the source of light, but it happened, on that day, that the Sage did not feel inclined to talk. Still, somehow, Janaka got his permission to begin a conversation.
"Revered Sir," the king asked, "What lights a man's way in this world? What is the real source of light?"
"Why, that is easy, O King," the Venerable Sage replied, "the sun lights a man, of course. For, with the sun alone as light, a person sits, goes out, does the day's work, and returns."
"True, Sir! But when the sun has set, what lights one's way in this world?"
"Why, then, O King, the moon is one's light. For, by moonlight, one can sit, or go out, do one's work, and return."
"That is true, O Sage," agreed Janaka. "But," he added, "when the moon also has set, what then?"
"Then fire is one's light, O King. For, by the light of fire, one sits, or goes out, does one's work, and returns."
Again Janaka agreed. "That is true, Sir, but when the sun and moon have set, and the fire has gone out, then what lights one's way in the world?"
"O King," answered the sage, "at that time, voice alone is one's light. By the sound of voices, one can sit, or go out, do one's work, and return. For, when it is so dark that one cannot even see one's hand in front, one can still hear sounds, and move toward them."
"That, too, is true, Sir. But when the sun and moon have set, and the fire has gone out, and all sound has stopped, what then lights one's way in the world?"
"Then the Self, alone, is one's light, Your Majesty. For then one must sit, or go out, do one's work, and return, all with the help of the Self alone."
Janaka happened to know quite a lot about the Self already, but he urged the Venerable Sage to explain more about it. He hoped he could add further to his own spiritual knowledge, so he continued to question the Venerable Sage.
"Which is the Self?" Janaka asked.
"The Self, Your Majesty, is the Knowing One, here among our various parts -- the Inner Light within the heart. It is He who sees this world of our waking state. It is He who sees the world of dream. And, in the dreamless sleep, when we think that we are not seeing, the Self is there, seeing.
"There can never be an end to the seeing of the Seer. He is eternal. In deep sleep, you seem to know nothing, but in truth, the Self goes on knowing, for can there ever be an end to the knowing of the Knower? No. He exists forever.
"In the space within your heart lies this One Controller of All, the Master of All. It cannot be destroyed. It does not attach Itself to anything. It is not bound, does not suffer, is not injured. Good and evil do not affect It.
"When a person clearly sees this Self inside as God, the Lord of the past and the future, then he has nothing to fear. This is the undying, fearless Brahman. Fearless, indeed, is Brahman, and he who knows this becomes the fearless Brahman."

Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Work is Worship

The highest man cannot work, for there is no binding element, no attachment, no ignorance in him. A ship is said to have passed over a mountain of magnet ore, and all the bolts and bars were drawn out, and it went to pieces. It is in ignorance that struggle remains, because we are all really atheists. Real theists cannot work. We are atheists more or less. We do not see God or believe in Him. He is G-O-D to us, and nothing more. 

There are moments when we think He is near, but then we fall down again. When you see Him, who struggles for whom? Help the Lord! There is a proverb in our language, "Shall we teach the Architect of the universe how to build?" So those are the highest of mankind who do not work. The next time you see these silly phrases about the world and how we must all help God and do this or that for Him, remember this. Do not think such thoughts; they are too selfish. All the work you do is subjective, is done for your own benefit. God has not fallen into a ditch for you and me to help Him out by building a hospital or something of that sort. He allows you to work. He allows you to exercise your muscles in this great gymnasium, not in order to help Him but that you may help yourself. Do you think even an ant will die for want of your help? Most arrant blasphemy! The world does not need you at all. 

The world goes on you are like a drop in the ocean. A leaf does not move, the wind does not blow without Him. Blessed are we that we are given the privilege of working for Him, not of helping Him. Cut out this word "help" from your mind. You cannot help; it is blaspheming. You are here yourself at His pleasure. Do you mean to say, you help Him? You worship. When you give a morsel of food to the dog, you worship the dog as God. God is in that dog. He is the dog. He is all and in all. We are allowed to worship Him. Stand in that reverent attitude to the whole universe, and then will come perfect non-attachment. This should be your duty. This is the proper attitude of work. This is the secret taught by Karma-Yoga.- Swami Vivekananda from Jnana Jyoti

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not Alone in the Dark

Looking at What We Don’t Want to See

The things we don't want to look at in ourselves are the very things we need to look at.

It is one of life's great paradoxes that the things we don't want to look at in ourselves are the very things we need to look at in order to know ourselves better and to become more fully who we are. The feelings that make us want to run away are buried treasure full of energy and inspiration if we are willing to look. These feelings come in many forms, from strange images or snippets of information to recurring dreams and feelings that rise up seemingly without a reason. Whatever shape they come in, and no matter how scary they seem, these messengers bring the information we need in order to grow.

When we are tired of pushing something down, or trying to run away from it, a good first step is to write down what we think we are avoiding. Often this turns out to be only the surface of the issue or a symbol of something else. Expressing ourselves fully on paper is a safe way to begin exploring the murky territory of the unconscious. The coolness of the intellect can give us the distance we need to read what we have written and feel less afraid of it. It helps if we remember that no matter how dark or negative our thoughts or feelings may be, these are energies shared by all humanity. We are not alone in the dark, and all the gurus and teachers we admire had to go through their own unprocessed emotional territory in order to come out the other side brighter and wiser. This can give us the courage we need to open the treasure chest of what we have been avoiding.

Within the parts of ourselves that we don't want to look at, there are emotions that need to be felt. Unfelt emotions are stuck energy, and when we leave emotions unprocessed, we deprive ourselves of access to that energy. When we feel strong enough, we can begin the process of feeling those emotions, on our own or with guidance from a spiritual counselor. It is through this work that the buried treasure of energy and inspiration will pour forth from our hearts, giving us the courage to look at all the parts of ourselves with insight and compassion. - Daily OM

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hatred and Jealousy:

 Once upon a time a man preyed to god for days at end. God was really happy with his devotion and dedication, and came to see him. The god granted him a wish, but there was a catch. What ever he will ask for, his neighbor is going to get the double of it. The man thought to himself that it does not matter what his neighbor gets, at least he can get whatever he always desired for.  
But in few days the blessing became a nightmare for him. He asked for a palace for himself to live in, his neighbor got two. He asked for a billion dollars, his neighbor got two. He asked for a beautiful woman for him, his neighbor got two. Now you can understand his dilemma. He lost his sleep even. He was bothered about what his neighbor was getting. Obviously he was jealous of what his neighbor was getting. Gradually he stopped even asking for himself too. What is the fun of asking for the things that his neighbor is going to get the double of it? Than one day he met his friend who was a lawyer by profession. Seeing his friend in distress the lawyer gave his piece of advice to him. This guy was really happy now. He again went back to the god and said I want to loose one eye of mine. The neighbor became blind. Now seeing this he asked god for two wells in his courtyard. The neighbor got four wells in his courtyard. Now it was only a matter of time that the neighbor would fell into the well and die, d it so happened. The neighbor fell in one of the wells and died.  
This story implies on all of us. Hatred and jealousy are negative emotions, and we all in one way or the other suffer from it. It acts as termite on our emotional level and eats away all the positive emotions in us. These emotions keep thought level busy. 
On the other hand there are emotions of compassion and kindness. The most powerful people in our history are remembered for their emotions of kindness and compassion. Mother Teresa is one such example. 
Shakespeare understood the power of these destructive emotions very well. He explained in his own explicable way the destructive power of these negative emotions in all his novels and stories. Jealousy and hatred played a vital role in all his novels. 
If you really want to become successful in life you must indulge in finding out the way to be emotionally stable, and the rest will follow. 
Conclusion: Emotion is the fountainhead of success. – Soul and Peace

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Five More Minutes

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground.
“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.
“He’s a fine looking boy” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.”
Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?”
Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”
The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”
Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”
The man smiled and said, “OK.”
“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.
The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa.
She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch her play.”
Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities?
Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today! - Inspirational Stories.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do Not Hurt Yourself

One night a snake while it was looking for food, entered a carpenter’s workshop.

The carpenter, who was a rather untidy man, had left several of his tools lying on the floor. One of them was a saw.

As the snake went round and round the shop, he climbed over the saw, which gave him a little cut.

At once, thinking that the saw was attacking him, he turned around and bit it so hard that his mouth started to bleed.

This made him very angry. He attacked again and again until the saw was covered with blood and seemed to be dead.

Dying from his own wounds, the snake decided to give one last hard bite then turned away. The next morning the carpenter was surprised to find a dead snake on his doorstep.

Lesson to Learn: Sometimes in trying to hurt others, we only hurt ourselves

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Setting a Limit to Sit with Emotions

When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it.

Our emotions color our lives with varying palettes. Sometimes we feel a strong emotion in reaction to something that has happened, but emotions also visit us seemingly out of the blue, flooding us unexpectedly with joy or grief or melancholy. Like the weather, they come and go, influencing our mental state with their particular vibration. Sometimes a difficult emotion hangs around longer than we would like, and we begin to wonder when it will release its hold on us. This is often true of grief stemming from loss, for example, or lingering anger over a past event.

Usually, if we allow ourselves to feel our emotions fully when they come up, they recede naturally, giving way to another and another. When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it. Emotions like despair and rage are powerful, and it is natural to want to hold them at bay. Certainly, we don’t want to let them take us over so that we say or do things we later regret. When we are facing this kind of situation, it can be helpful to ask the spirit, “How long do I need to sit with these emotions, how long do I need to feel these emotions before they can pass?” If you ask sincerely and wait, an answer will come. Setting a time limit on your engagement with that difficult emotion may be just the technique you need to face it fully.

When you have a sense of how much time you need to spend, set a timer. Sit down and make yourself available to the emotion that has been nagging you. All you have to do is feel it. Avoid getting attached to it or rejecting it. Simply let it ebb and flow within you. Emotions are by their nature cyclical, so you can trust that just as one reaches its apex it will pass. Each time you sit with its presence without either repressing or acting out, you will find that that difficult emotion was the catalyst for much needed emotional healing.- Daily OM

Monday, October 11, 2010


Living the Ideal
Kindness expands the light within us and reaches out to touch the light in others as well. This can change the world.

Kindness is an ideal that is easily accessible to all of us. We all know that a small kindness can make our journeys lighter and more enjoyable. Even bringing an instance of kindness to mind can put a smile on your face days or weeks later or perhaps even inspire you to share kindness with another. Though it may seem simple to the point of insignificance, many cultures throughout the world and history have recognized kindness as a powerful virtue. It may be the simplest way to experience and share all the grandest ideals of humanity. We can make the choice to act from the best place within ourselves at any time, while simultaneously recognizing the highest potential in another with the smallest of acts, nourishing the seed of hope in each soul we encounter.

In a way, kindness acts as the oil that makes the engine of our world move more smoothly and with less friction. We can still get where we are going but the ride is more pleasant, and those around us can share in the ideal world that we help to create. We are all fortunate that kindness is limitless in its supply and available to everyone. When we act in ways that confirm our ideals, we make the ideal our reality. Then, instead of affirming the experience of struggle and competition, we can shift our experience to the reality of ease and pleasurable camaraderie with the fellow citizens of the world.

Whether giving way to someone in traffic or letting someone go ahead of us in line, donating money or sharing our homes in a crisis, we actively create a universe of kindness and giving with every choice we make. The smallest gesture can bring a smile to light the shadow of an unpleasant situation or remove tension from a difficult task, but it’s effects can echo and extend far beyond the moment. We can be sure that we will receive a kindness in return, but giving is its own reward. Kindness expands the light within us and reaches out to touch the light in others as well, giving us all a glimpse of the glow that has the power to enlighten our world. - Daily OM