Friday, 24 April 2015

3 reasons why mishaps are inevitable, 3 recommendations for coming out of darkness and 3 ways to turn a crisis into an opportunity

I always thought till sometime back - mishaps and really bad things would happen around me and NEVER to me. You also would have thought so. Till the first misfortune struck. And then other misfortunes followed. In spite of that if you are standing today with smile on your lips you are fortunate - not because you have come out of your mishap - but because reality touched you the first time when the first mishap struck you. Without going through hard reality, how could you have become a man?

3 reasons why mishaps in life are inevitable


Reason 1. Your life system has Financial, Relational, Health and Want components. All your near and dear ones have their own life system components. Failure in any component of any of these life systems might be a mishap to you. A fridge, a computer, an organization or  relation - anything in nature or built by humans has its own life cycle. Your life span being usually much longer than its components, failures in  any one of the components is a near certainty.

Reason 2. Chaos or disorder in the universe including man-made world always increase. Failures also increase making individual mishaps of any kind more and more probable with passing time. As you live longer, chances of major failures increase to a near certainty. Your life is not beyond larger laws.

Reason 3. Human society becoming ultra competitive with reducing resources per person, system stress and failures increase continually.
It is no surprise that a mishap will happen to me or you. We are no special persons protected from all evils (if we look at a mishap as an evil).
Truth: I may fall - it is natural, but it is important that I stand up after a fall.

3 ways to come out of darkness


Way 1. Take account: When you get your breath back, do a clear accounting of assets you still have: are you still breathing? Can you think reasonably even if you may feel numb in mind now? Then you are fortunate. Know now that it is a miracle for a human to be alive with innumerable unseen unknown forces constantly working against it.
Do not rue the loss - count and value what are left. Just as no loss can be replaced, all losses (except loss of mind and life) can be recovered from, as Nature abhors vacuum - it is a larger law. It will fill up IN TIME the vacuum left in you because of your loss. Trust nature. Learn to trust. Maybe for the first time in your life.
Scars will remain, they will never go. But have you ever closely seen the scars on a deeply lined face of a very old man? Those scars make his smile the more beautiful and rich. Without scars you have not lived.

Way 2. Review: Then you stand up, shake your mental limbs and reevaluate the new world you are left with. What will be the goal of your life in this new world? How can you best utilize the assets you are left with? Perforce you may be doing this for the first time in your life. Human life potentially is incredibly rich. Most of the time we never appreciate it. This is the opportunity to appreciate.
Choose your path. Now you are more experienced. Immerse yourself into creative activities with focused energy. Now you know failures may come anytime. Life does not move a level straight path always. Be glad that you have been given a second chance.

Way 3. Look around. You will now be able to see the plight of other living humans. You will be able to feel the pains. Know for sure this is a great gift. Probably now you will be able to work for others. In time, even if it is not now, you will know the true joy of living - loving and living for others - not for yourself alone.

3 surefire techniques to turn a mishap into a great opportunity


Technique 1. Analyze the reasons for the failure. Identify the causes internal and external. Strengthen the weaknesses. Be sure that if you accept your weakness it can always be strengthened. If the reasons are external, take preventive measures. You will come out to be a much stronger person. Unless a child falls it never learns to walk. Unless you fail you can never learn what success really is. All learning comes through mistakes. Unless you make mistakes how could you have learned?

Technique 2. Be a teacher. Now you can be. Share your learning with others. Gains will be manifold.

Technique 3. Focus your attention on the adverse elements in this new situation. These are most valuable. Explore with new thinking, how you can utilize these apparently adverse elements for creating new positive pathways. It has never failed to surprise me that in every adverse situation, the adverse elements could be used for creating a new and  highly positive path.

Believe that every mishap can be turned into a great opportunity.

A simple story

My client, a 22 year old stripling, went through a deep tragedy losing two and half months of study time just before her final exams. When she could start her preparation she thought she would just be able to give a tolerably good show as the exam was rumored to be postponed by two weeks. Three days later she called me, totally distraught, "Exam dates are final - not postponed."

It was a hard struggle alright - only one month was left. Nevertheless, she didn't fall down - kept on standing her feet.

That was direct front line fight - we all go through such travails in life. No mystery there - we need to muster all our resources and battle on.

As the exam ended, she visibly came out of a long tunnel, and basked in sunlight again.

Being experienced, I warned her, not once,"You can't take a break more than a week. Next stage admission tests are only one and half month away. Remember, that is your target. You have crossed only one hurdle." She went on enjoying her days. No effect.

Then the law of hidden opportunities popped up in my mind, just by chance.

I approached her now with more confidence, "Look at the two weeks pre-exam apparent loss as a gift to be used now for admission tests. Your peers may not think that way and waste this valuable time." Her eyes opened wide with comprehension.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

What is the biggest delusion in human life?

What is it? Do you know?

Before that we should be clear about what delusion means.

A delusion is a belief which is not true in reality.

Usually delusions are of negative kind. Some examples:

  • You believe that you are not good looking. This is quite a common belief held by large number of humans, specially of female kind of young age. Reason is:   
    "in most countries, even in this modern literate age, young girls are evaluated and chosen by young boys and men by their looks rather than their intelligence and inherent worth."
    It is a negative delusion and curable most of the time. By this delusion resulting loss belongs directly to you.
  • You believe that you are weak in maths. Though you are pursuing technical or science subjects, still you cannot get over this strong fear in maths. This is a negative delusion and generally root cause in this fear originates early in childhood and persists throughout life. Of course this is curable. By this delusion you stand to lose in many ways.
    Both the first and second delusions are called by the names of fear, inferiority complex and so on. Technically we classify these as delusions. Reason:
    we firmly believe, your delusions are based not on sound and reliable reasoning, truths and principles. In reality truth is different – it is positive – for you.
    Look around, analyse. You will find ample evidence of what we say. Nevertheless, in time we will show you enough reasons for you to start believing. Firm belief opposite to your delusions takes time to grow.
  • You believe that whatever you think or say is always the right thing and others are wrong. With trivial reasoning, and easy experimentation, this can be proved false any time. This delusion though not only undermines the believer it may also affect a very large number of people adversely. Other names of this delusion are superiority complex, egotism and so on. Wealth, material success, and intellectual success amongst others, are the root causes of this type of delusion. Why do I call this as delusion? Because:
    any living thing is inferior to any other living thing in many ways. Secondly, superiority is only temporary, any living thing will die, Thirdly, practically all points of views are subjective and practically all statements have counter-statements. Fourthly, the superiority, if not translated into anything positive and lasting, is valueless.
    Can this be cured? We believe, by clear reasoning and effective practices, this can be cured for the good of all.
We know now what delusion is. All these examples unfortunately are of negative kind. Can you think of any positive delusion? What are the delusions that are good to have?
  • A celebrity cricketer when walked to the crease to start batting, you could see a corner of his hanky peeking through his right pocket. That was his belief. He considered that action to bring good luck and success to him. Why do we call this a delusion? By no conceivable reason you can say with any amount of certainty that merely by hanging a corner of his hanky from his right pocket he would definitely score a lot of runs.
    Should we laugh at him? Never ever make that mistake. This type of delusion each one of us has in some way or the other. These do not harm the person or others but definitely increases the confidence of the believer. This is a positive delusion. Commonly these are called as idiosyncrasies – a tough word undoubtedly.
  • My niece told me the other day, “Suprio Sir is a great teacher.” I assumed that by this she meant him to be a great man and surely a model for her. He may be a good teacher to my niece, but in private life, in his mind and in other spheres of his life he may not be as great as my niece thought. By believing in the greatness of the man though, my niece could create a model valuable for her growth – a positive delusion.
    Most of our beliefs or perceptions about good, bad or great about things and people are biased and technically are delusions. Still these help in most cases where these are of positive kind.
Now the main question: what is the biggest delusion in human life?
Think over. Think through. Then only start reading this monologue again.
 A few decades back I lived away from my family for a few years in a faraway place, alone. Coming home on a short leave, one fine morning as I just stepped out of the compound of my building the idea struck me like lightning – ohh, why didn’t I think it before!

Every human, every life form cannot think, if it can think, and can never accept that it will die. That one day it will cease to be from this beautiful earth with total certainty.
This is the biggest delusion in human life.
Take away this delusion, world as we know will stop.
Elated I asked the question to my near ones, my close friends. To my surprise some of them straightway went to the right answer. One of them though pointed out, “In Mahabharata, Yudhisthira, the wise one, was asked the same question and he gave the same answer.
At first I was a bit deflated.
Now I know, 7.5 billion humans on this earth form a single entity with single consciousness, but everyone goes through life perceiving and discovering the great truths by himself or herself. A great truth however many times you hear, you won’t own up – it will not be yours. It will be yours only when you perceive it yourself. This the way learning happens, personal growth happens. 
This one by far is the biggest and strongest delusion of positive kind inhuman life.
Back to track we ask, “What is the use of this oblique, convoluted and apparently fruitless discussion? Like all mortals I try to justify.
Our recommendation as decision analysts:

  • Identify all delusion you have – don’t leave anything. This process itself will unfold yourself to you greatly.
  • Classify the delusions in two classes: positive and negative.
  • Apply your reason and all other techniques that you know or don’t know (if you don’t know, learn) to vanquish, erase, and get over the negative delusions.
  • Be sure of a great wealth of knowledge and progress forward. That will be the outcome for certain.
You may ask me, “Do you do it yourself?”
At the least I am honest. I answer, “No dear, not fully. I am a mere mortal. My will is not as strong as yours. But I try. I don’t give up. I wish you success.”

Friday, 14 February 2014

Roles of Sharing mechanism in real life problem solving

Modes of Sharing

To share a resource amongst many sharers, all must take care of the resource and follow basic rules of sharing for continued and healthy sharing
Sharing mechanism violation

Thinking of sharing is not enough—we need to understand the mechanism of sharing. That potentially would enable the problem owner in sharing domain to tune the mechanism for reaching powerful solutions.

How do we share?

Business domain sharing

This mode with its various versions is the most prevalent mode of sharing in all walks of life today. This is true for both the work and personal lives.
Both the global telecommunication network sharing of type A and the city mobile BTS infra resource sharing of type B, fall in this category. The guiding motive in these two scenarios is sharing and maximizing profit with clear-cut guidelines of sharing. Going to the next level of the sharing mechanism though, we find distinct differences between these two types of sharing scenarios.

Global sharing mechanism

In type A, a Telco network carries speech or data originated in another Telco, that is, share its own network resources for success of a unit of service, even though the traffic originating Telco is its competitor in the marketplace. What would have happened if this sharing were not done? Simply speaking, in that case, a voice call from network A to a network B of another Telco could not have taken place at all.
When many networks in a service domain are connected together globally, the domain market expands to its largest size and correspondingly business potential gets maximized. The sharing transactions are carried out strictly according to detailed guidelines, laws and methods agreed to by all players in the domain. Primary driving motive here remains to be maximizing market size and profits. These frameworks if properly formed, administered and maintained can potentially be highly beneficial to the end users instead of mainly to the service providers.
Global sharing also is used in many other domains of business such as: financial, airlines, supply chains, geographically disparate markets and so on. Together all these sharing results in what we fondly call Globalization.
These sharing mechanisms work only because no single player in any domain can cater to the whole market alone.

Local sharing mechanism

In type B sharing scenario where a number of mobile operators share rooms, roof space, equipment power and air-conditioning for their co-located BTSs, they do not share what they own. Rather the shared resources are owned by an agency operating in altogether a different market functional area.
Similarly, airlines share airport facilities administered by airport authorities or I and my fellow passengers share the public transport. For infra sharing, service is not a public service—it is Business to Business privately agreed and back-end service whereas for airport facility sharing all the actors—the airline staff of different airlines and the passengers operate simultaneously most of the time.
In all the above sharing models, gains are supposed to be maximized for all.
B2B sharing scenarios are governed strictly according to well-defined framework based on all-agreed guidelines satisfying all the business houses in the domain. In contrast, in B2B2C scenarios of public service such as roadways, airlines, transport, sewage, drinking water, power supply etc., sharing happens largely between customers or end-users. Complexity of rule formation and governance benefitting the service providers and the end-users simultaneously together is generally of a high order.
These problems are basically multi-objective multi-criteria decision making problems of high complexity and can be better dealt with by scientific MCDM methods.
In any public service, though end-user satisfaction should be the higher priority goal, many constraints usually might pose barriers towards achieving the desired goal.

Sharing sometimes creates loss

Till now from whatever we have discussed, it may seem that sharing is always gainful. But naturally it is not so. Assume that you had a car breakdown and had no other option but to travel to your destination by public transport. You are not used to such travel and suffer mental and physical discomfort. That is the loss of sharing public transport. It is limited to only people who are not used to that kind of sharing, and thus in totality gains are positive. This situation arises specially in those domains where service facility is limited and facility takers are more in number.

Situation is different when demand for service low

In countries where demand for public service is low, the situation is totally different. For example, in the city of Atlanta parking space in the downtown area is nearly impossible to get. The city has an internal railway system and most office goers find it convenient to park their cars in the rail station nearest to their homes and avail the not very crowded rail service to their offices.
What exactly does happen in this case? The large parking requirement of the downtown area is broken up or segmented (the first inventive principle of TRIZ is in action here) and then distributed over all the railway stations of the city. This is the view from City Planners’ angle.
From another perspective, the parking requirement of downtown shares the parking space of all the rail stations in the city and the office goers share the public rail transport for part of their office route.

Competitive markets

In competitive markets where does sharing come in? Yes, you know it already—customers for a market are shared albeit unwillingly (there is willing sharing and naturally the other side of the coin, that is, unwilling sharing) between the various competitors. Though a market is a battleground, the fighters are still forced to share the same market or segment of customers and try to win over as many customers as quickly as possible (simplistically speaking).

Stock markets

And stock markets? A stock market is based on shareholders owning a portion of share of the competing businesses and frantically trying in turn to make quick bucks from the invention of a stock market. Shareholding and stock market operations both are governed by detailed rule framework but in reality, the system is so very complex that no formula or problem solving mechanisms can be applied in this highly exciting game playing domain.
Positivity in totality cannot be controlled or guaranteed here as a rule. 

Sharing of natural resources

Though we humans do not own the earth, we assume that we own everything natural and use and exploit the earth resources in such way to generate all material wealth that are perceived as wealth.
Ideally, it is a vast resource sharing domain where all living beings are to share the natural resources of the still beautiful earth following sharing laws of nature, to coexist in a balanced ecosystem.
In reality we humans have turned out to be the most highly active agents in intensely violating the basic sharing principles in this common environment.
Any share mechanism must have clearly defined share principles so that the benefits of share are maximized and shared resource is sustained. This is possible only if the delicately balanced ecosystem (in all domains, including business domains) is sustained. The ecosystem concept can be applied to human created domains also (by using domain mapping concepts). Sharing communication networks or sharing natural resources are no different. In case of sharing communication networks, the sharing principles, guidelines and laws are drawn out in fine details, but in case of sharing natural resources, vagueness of standards, laws and applied principles reign supreme.
What are the reasons behind this suicidal tendency? Can you say?
We perceive the basic reasons to be:
a.     Forced ownership for material wealth generation: as natural resources can’t be owned and material wealth can’t be created out of thin air yet.
b.    In case of forced ownership of any resource, use and exploitation happens without care and responsibility towards sustenance of the resources.
c.     Normal tendency is to assume tomorrow would be the same as today. In other words general tendency is to take short term views.
d.    Most importantly, the true nature and implication of global sharing were not clear in recent past. Now even when it has become partly clear, it goes against human nature of doing best for oneself—not for others. Furthermore, now the situation is so immensely entangled in a web of unimaginable complexity that apparently none can make any dent in the problem.
Mark here that we are approaching the problem from the standpoint of understanding various aspects of the powerful sharing principle only. The advantage of approaching any problem from the angle of understanding the anatomy of basic principles involved in the problem domain is, it becomes possible to arrive at innovative solutions by tuning the principle characteristics, in this case characteristics of the sharing principle, only. By this approach, problem complexity can be reduced greatly.
Following is the concept structure of sharing principle:

Higher level abstract concept of sharing is independent of the more details of sharing mechanism at the next level of sharing applications
Concept structure of principle of sharing

An example of problem solving by tuning the mechanism of sharing principle

Story 1.

Long back while doing post graduation, I had to shift to a hostel accommodation as my father got relocated on transfer. Though I got a confirmed seat in a good hostel, it was not available immediately. I was told I would get it after a month. Where to stay for this period was my problem.
I used to spend my evenings with one of my close friends who stayed in a single room in another hostel near the University. One evening sitting in his room I mentioned the problem and my friend casually said, “Not a problem. Stay with me.” I looked around the small room—there was no space at all for accommodating another cot and the existing cot is so narrow that only one person can just use it.
Now my problem was transformed to: “how to share the narrow cot.”
We did well without any fuss. We slept lying on the cot on our sides and facing away from each other using the smallest body print on the cot. We had quite a good control. There never was any movement of any of us and never any problem.
Even today when we remember the scene, we smile together and fondly say, “We slept like logs.”

Read my other blogs on Innovative idea generation and its basic principles and Get smart, get innovative usingTRIZ