I am a resident of the state of Tamil Nadu in India and one of the favorite Tamil program that comes on a channel called Vijay TV ( Vijay means Winner in Tamil) is Jodi Number one or loosely translated as the Best Dancing couple . There is so much of hype and hoopla for this program and is one of the most watched programs in Tamil Nadu. Only couples who are a part of the entertainment industry are allowed to dance and from almost hundred couples one couple is chosen as the Jodi Number one or the best dancing couple. The best dancing couple leaves a trail of ninety nine losers, just one winner among hundred couples and among probably a million couples in Tamil Nadu.
A Sardarji at 12-00 noon goes to a book shop (amazing) and hunts for some books. He looks around economics, finance, marketing and finally goes through self improvement. He wonders does he really need self improvement as the Sardarji works as a taxi driver and there is nothing he can improve on his driving, it is the government who should improve the roads. Nevertheless he picks up the book “Born to Win “. It is listed as the bestseller and has sold over ten million copies. He calls the book seller and asks “So this book has sold over ten million copies “.The shop keeper says “Yes Sir” . So you are saying all the ten million are born to win “. The shop keeper wonders what to say, he cleverly says “everyone is born to win but only few do ultimately “. The Sardarji asks “Any reason why” and says “ You are all cheats, of the ten million I am sure not more than ten can win and it would leave a trail of over nine million losers “. So I guess, for a Sardarji, nothing really goes wrong at 12-00 noon.
In 1988 when I was a college going lad, the major event then was the Seoul Olympics. Almost everyone was excited about Seoul Olympics though no one expected India then (and probably now) to win any medals. Nevertheless the topic of discussion was who would win the hundred meter dash , would it be Ben Johnson or Carl Lewis , both were favorites and both had broken world records. Finally when the dash happened everyone was glued to the TV and Ben Johnson finished the race in 9.79 seconds a new world record and Lewis finished second, fractionally behind Johnson. But the story did not end there Johnson was tested positive in a dope test and the gold medal finally went to Carl Lewis and Johnson was banned for fifteen years. An interesting story which shows that winning really matters either by hook or crook but one winner leaves a trail of over thousands of losers.
So a winner leaves a series of losers, for every winner we create tens and thousands of losers. If an alien were to visit us would he not find unreasonable that the whole humanity is bent on winning and there are only few who would ultimately end up winning. I can go on with many examples citing this phenomenon and still the argument remains the same, we cerate more losers than winners. Right from our childhood days we are told you should be the number one. My mother used to tell me that I should get 1st Rank in my class , our parents tell us be the best in whatever you do whether it is sports or music or dancing or whatever , we are passionate or I should say obsessed with winning and unfortunately only a few win. When we grow up and go for jobs the same obsession for winning continues. The whole world seems to be engaged in a wild rat race and believe me even rats don’t race so much. I still remember the final day of the serial Jodi Number one on Vijay Television , the best dancing couple were given a cheque of rupees one crore ( Rs 10 Million) and the second was given just rupees hundred thousand and the third and fourth were just forgotten. So is this passion or obsession for winning natural and normal, to understand this one needs to understand an interesting mathematical distribution called Normal Distribution.
I don’t know why it is called normal distribution and believe me you don’t need wild mathematics to understand this distribution; you only need to be normal. Unfortunately or fortunately everything in humanity follows this famous distribution called normal distribution, but if you ask me does every society or everything in universe follows normal distribution, my answer will be a clear No, but humanity or human endeavors follows normal distribution. But first let us stop being a rat (unfeasible I guess), become normal and understand this normal distribution.
My friend came rushing to me one day and said he now understands what to do to succeed. He said he had just finished Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”. I smiled and could not help asking “good or bad habits-what did Stephen Covey convey”. So do ethics matter or is it that just wining is important. I know many would say “ethics does not matter” so long you win either by hook or crook it is ok and going by current happenings in the world I tend to agree ,but nevertheless in this essay we look at why and what good habits are necessary for winning
I am also reminded of an interesting event which my friend (Still No girl friend-any suggestions??) has termed it as “Sad Claps”. I still remember 1994 when after almost twenty five years an Indian won the coveted Miss Universe. Sushmita Sen was awarded the Miss Universe in 1994 and made India proud. I still remember her standing in the grand stage with crown on her head waving and smiling. The next day all the news papers were full of images of her winning the title. But I also remember so many other beautiful girls from different countries who competed in the grand finale and could not make it, but they were all clapping when Sushmita was crowned, sad claps I guess or maybe because they were told that no matter whether you win or lose you need to clap. One miss universe creates so many missed miss universes.
So the theme is same whether it is missed miss universes or best dancing couple or best athlete or best actor a strange phenomenon called as Winner’s Curse seems to be always in operation. It creates a winner with ample followers but leaves many aghast. Everyone is hell bent on winning but only few win. But as I said earlier this is natural and is the way nature wants and can be explained by what is called Normal Distribution (without using wild mathematics). But is this phenomenon right, does every society in the universe follow it, has it been in practice throughout human history, should it be changed are interesting areas of enquiry. Before going ahead and understanding the rather simple normal distribution, I thought I would take you through some interesting quotes on winning and probably give you an idea on what some great people thought on the subject of winning.
“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.” - Zig Ziglar quotes (Motivational Speaker and Author
“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.”
Denis Waitley quotes (Motivational Speaker)
“Winning is not a sometime thing, it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Vince Lombardi quotes (Football Coach)
“A quitter never wins and a winner never quits” Napoleon Hill quotes (Author)
“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” Arthur Ashe quotes (Social Activist and Tennis Player)
“Winning isn't everything...it's the only thing.” Vincent van Gogh quotes (Painter)
Winning according to Eastern Philosophy
“The work of man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence”. Bhagvad Gita Quotes
“One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within and one whose aim is inward is a perfect mystic. He is liberated in the supreme and ultimately he attains the supreme”- Bhagvad Gita Quotes
Some more quotes on Winning
“It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up” Vince Lombardi (Foot Ball Coach)
“My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out” Ronald Reagan ( American President)
“Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss”. Doug Williams (Football coach)
So the theme is same, winning according to western thoughts is like do or die situation, it requires enormous efforts, dedication, hard work and so on . It has an external focus which would mean winning is like getting good marks in school, winning a basket ball match or winning a music competition and so long it is external it leaves a trail of losers as only few can win. However winning according to eastern thoughts (Though only few practice it in east) has an internal focus. It involves quiet reflection and meditation. Once the mind becomes calm and serene then one need not put efforts for winning, it is effortless. When western thoughts speak of infinite efforts eastern thoughts speak of zero efforts. It is not that in East (At least in the past or in the golden era) winning did not get an external focus but only after one has one has won internally. So once one attains zero mind then everything is easy, effortless. Music is easy, sports is easy, getting good marks in exams are easy, everything is easy. Eastern thoughts believe that everyone is born to win and once the mind becomes calm anything can be achieved.
So to briefly summarize, winners seem to leave a trial of losers, the phenomenon of winners curse always seems to be in operation. Winning according to western thoughts requires enormous efforts, while eastern philosophy believes in calming the mind first and then wining with zero efforts. Now let’s look into Normal distribution and try to make sense of this Winner’s Curse.
As far as human attributes and capabilities are concerned everything follows normal distribution. Normal distribution means only a small percentage ( less than 1% ) are extraordinary , on the other hand less than 1% are unordinary or below ordinary and majority (99%) are just normal . I will give some examples to illustrate this
Let’s take a sample of one thousand male adults and measure the height. You would find that 99%of sample is within say 4.5 Feet to 5.5 feet and only few (less than one percentage) are over six feet and less than one percent are below four feet. If you were to represent this sample data as a normal distribution, it would look something like a bell shaped curve as represented below .The majority of the sample would lie in the bell shaped curve and only less than 1% would lie in the tail end of the curve. I have marked on the diagram that both under-ordinary and extraordinary is rare
Let me take another example. Let’s measure male adult time for a sexual orgasm. Again you would find that 99% of adult human males have orgasm within say 2 to 4 minutes of sex and only a small proportion say less than one percentage have orgasm after say more than 5 minutes of sex and less than 1% have orgasm within 2 minutes of sex ( premature ejaculation)]. So male adult time for sexual orgasm also follows the normal distribution.
Let’s take another example, measuring human ability to sing. If I were to measure the ability to sing in human adult population, then here again only few ( less than1%) can sing with passion. 99% can sing but only in their bathrooms and less than 1% cannot sing at all. The ability to sing follows the beautiful bell shaped distribution.
So every human ability (singing, dancing, running and so on) and attribute (height, weight etc) follows normal Distribution and most of us are just normal. I told my friend about Normal Distribution and he was asking what am I trying to say. I told him most of us are just normal, we go to office, we marry, we have some fun ,we are reasonably good in some things and there is nothing extraordinary . But it is those (less than 1%) of the extraordinary people who really shape everything in this world. Nature doesn’t like or does not create too many winners.
Concept of Average
In the earlier examples we say that a majority 99% are within the normal range for any human attribute or endeavor. But Normal Curve also talks of an interesting concept called average. You can draw line right in the center of the curve and that gives you an average so those who are in the left of the curve are below average and those in right of the curve are above average and as already explained those in the tail end of the curve are either extraordinary or sub or below ordinary
So in our earlier example of measuring heights of a male adult population .The average height is say5 feet so any one above 5 feet is above average and anyone below 5 feet is below average and someone say is eight feet then he is in tail end of the curve and so is someone who is say three feet. See the diagram below for a clearer picture
Let’s take the example of orgasm in male adults. If the average time of sexual orgasm is say 2.5 minutes then anyone who orgasms in less than 2.5 minutes is below average and while someone who orgasms in more than 2.5 minute is above average . So if you are having orgasms by say six minutes you are extraordinary and if you are having orgasms in say one minute then you are below ordinary. See the diagram below for a clearer picture
Riding the Normal Curve- But the obvious fact is that everyone wants to be extraordinary, everyone wants to you know “Do something in life” “ Be great in something” and sadly nature does not allow it ,it allows only a few winners who are as shown in the examples in the tail end of normal curve . So is there a solution for this issue , can anyone ride the normal curve by which I mean move from ordinary to extraordinary or say move from below average to great . I think one has to win nature for this, how is the question.
Simple Solution – Increase the number of winners (Nobody would agree)- One of the rat races that happens in India is the CAT or common admission test for Management Education. It is similar to GMAT or other Management Aptitude Tests that happen all over the world. Interestingly the race has been “Bell the CAT” or “Tame the CAT” but how many rats can bell the CAT. To give you some statistics more than 1 million rats took the CAT this year for just around 5000 seats in good management colleges and less than thousand seats in the premier Institutes. Almost in India everyone dreams to do an MBA from top tier institutes but a few succeed ( In fact it is less than the 1% threshold on the tail end of the Normal Curve –Know what I mean)
My friend told me “Why can’t they just increase the number of seats in IIM Ahmadabad (One of the premier Management School in India) to say 25000 from the current 700 odd seats. It seems logical right; more seats would mean more money and more money would mean more facilities. Every company in India is on an expansion mode, they are acquiring companies abroad, there is growth all over so what’s the problem in increasing seats. You want growth -so grow the number of seats in these top tier institutes.
I know no body would agree to this it is like saying let’s create ten Miss Universes or say lets create ten gold medals in Olympics for a single event or say lets give both Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson the Gold Medal since Lewis was only fractionally behind . We are averse on creating more winners. I known an ardent supporter of IIM Ahmadabad would say creating 25000 seats would dilute the brand and the institute would lose its respect. So increasing the number of winners doesn’t seem to be a solution. We want only one best dancing couple, we want only one Gold Medal for an Olympic event. In fact the normal curve allows for 1% to win but we as humans want only one to win , we want only one winner among thousands or millions of participants for any event. I don’t know whether to agree with this or not, my friend told me “Are we going wrong somewhere”, I don’t know what to say.
I told my friend that before going to next solution let me just pour my heart out a bit . Right from our childhood we are pushed to win. We quote our marks and ranks with pride. I stood first in my class, I scored 99% in mathematics, 95% or 85% in mathematics seems to be like dirty numbers, it doesn’t get the respect it deserves. So a parent whose son or daughter scores 95% is likely to say “Look at that boy or girl, she has scored 99% you are far behind them”. Are we creating self respecting and confident generation by subjecting them to this horse race? Everyone wants to top the class .In schools the teachers push the students to the maximum, home work, surprise tests, assignments .The same thing happens in college and so it happens in a work place. Tough targets, long working hours , intense peer competition, desire for quick promotion – the same pressure to win ,to be the best , to settle for nothing but the best . When a new kid is born , the parents play act ,it is the same story , same script is written again the settings are different now we have internet , we have better facilities but the pressure to be the best continues. It is like rewinding the tape again and playing it again. Even grandfathers take pride in pushing a child “You know my little granddaughter is so good in mathematics, she is a born to go to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) “. My friend said it right I guess “ We are really going wrong somewhere” ,we are just creating clones . We are creating a society which aims at a high analytic and mathematical skill ( You can call it High IQ) and poor when it comes of thinking out of normal , poor on creativity , poor on risk taking and in this process the simple joys of childhood is just lost. I don’t know how it is in other countries but this is how it is in India. Osho used to say “Every child deserves respect for what it is” a real mis-statement for the current Indian thinking. What I am saying simply is if your son or daughter is among the say 85% or say 90% range,then the pushing that you do at home or the pushing the teachers do will only result in creating a diffident , weak individual incapable of doing anything and remember only the best can score 99% so according to the principle of winners curse, the generation next will be weak and will be capable of only partial mathematical programming . We don’t want to many mathematic professors, we need artists , we need business men, we need painters , we need musicians, we need writers . So if everyone is pushed to get 99% in mathematics I can safely say “We are really going wrong somewhere”. I can really go on with this rambling and the point it is everyone knows all this, they know it is wrong to push the child but only few realize (I really mean realize) that only a few can really win and by pushing your child you cannot make him/her ride the normal curve.
My friend listened to all my rambling with patience and couldn’t help asking “So you were poor in mathematics –is it “? I told him “No, No, In fact I was very good, but I think I spent too much time solving mathematical theorems and missed out in learning so many other useful things about life”
My friend said “ Let’s summarize and change gears now - .You have said, only few can win, every human endeavor or attribute in the society follows the normal distribution , pushing to attain specific skills like mathematics only creates weak individuals who unnecessarily worry that they are not up to the mark - Fine so far “ So what next ?
Both I and my friend began to wonder how was life in the so called Golden Era that happened in India say a million years back. Did the same principles apply? Did every human attribute or endeavor follow normal distribution? Were students in the so called Gurukul ( Ashram) pushed to do something that they did not like, was there so much of competition , so much of pressure to excel , did everyone try to ride the Normal curve like we are doing now . My friend said “ You know if God Ganesha were to be shown this normal distribution , you know what he would say , he would say it is crazy and abnormal and does not apply to us” . According to me the focus for winning was there at that time also but one had to work internally to realize it . Every one spent time in meditation doing tapasya (especially the asuras) and everyone one was good or even genius in one field or other. Various arts and sciences came easily to those who were able to still their mind. So the entire focus was different, one first worked towards attaining zero mind and then tried attaining competence in various arts and sciences and learning them was almost effortless. So clearly the principles of Normal Distribtuion did not apply as say 95% of the population was really good in something and very few of them were below normal or below average. It was not if evil was not there but it is said even Asuras were very competent in Arts almost as good as the good guys. So broadly speaking life was easy, effortless, and free. It seems we got rapidly degenerated after that , the good principles of Golden Era and its scriptures just became a matter of hobby or special interest in today’s world. We are never able to appreciate that good old days were far better despite limited capacity in science .My friend objected to this and said “Science was different then ,it was more of a mantra science where mantras were used for various purposes and there seems to be enough evidence that these people had developed very advanced anti gravity flying machines” . I smiled and said “Who would believe this”. I can go on and on with what happened in Golden Era, but one thing is clear, success then meant attaining zero mind and not working fifteen hours a day to develop a stupid software. My friend interrupted me and said “I think human attributes like height, weight should have followed normal distribution” . I smiled and said “You don’t seem to understand my friend –those guys could increase or decrease their height on their will and pleasure – so nothing really nothing was on the principles of normal distribution- everyone- almost everyone was a genius”
We are saying a very interesting thing now, we are saying if you follow the principles or rules that were followed in the golden era and make efforts to look yourself internally and look for “Internal Success” then you can easily ride the normal curve, you can move from below average to genius. So the whole focus of success should be internal rather than external. We all know that the universe is infinite so is the human capabilities. We have infinite potential inside each one of us, only thing it remains unexplored and untapped. Remember what the Sardarji asked in the beginning of the essay “You mean to say all are born to win” Unfortunately the book seller denied it. In fact everyone is born to win but only few do it ultimately and leave a trail of aghast and exhausted losers.
We have covered reasonable ground so far. We began by saying that a phenomenon of Winners Curse is in operation and every human endeavor or attribute follows normal distribution, which allows for few extraordinary people. We then looked at the Golden Era and said the distribution was not normal then and everyone has infinite capabilities and everyone is born to win. We said we need to change focus from external to internal and instead of putting herculean efforts we need to make everything effortless. So the obvious question is” how “
I and my friend drafted a twelve point recipe which should give some insights into to the question of “How”. We went through a number of self improvement books but ultimately thought we would develop our own recipe to attain success. “How right we are” is a million dollar question, we are just pouring our thoughts out.
1. Open your Heart Chakra First - My friend told me the world runs on the principle of 3D’s “ Desire, Desire, Desire”. I smiled and said I think the focus should change to another 3D’s “ Donate, Donate, Donate “nobody would agree though. Everyone is unfortunately selfish. We are capable of thinking only about ourselves or maybe about our near and dear ones . We are just not bothered about the have not’s. There seems to be no end to human desires and in this wild race for self fulfillment we forget the less fortunate. My friend said “You know the easiest chakra to open is the heart chakra – all you need is to donate some part of your earnings” and once the heart chakra is open the universal energy starts flowing through you- the first step towards self realization. If you open the first page of any Economics book the first statement would be “ There is no end to human wants but the resources to fulfill these wants are limited “ There seems to be no end to 3D’s ,nothing seems to satisfy anyone . The popular saying is it is difficult to make the first million ,but why is there a need to make yet another and yet another million and even if you do so why not give the first million away. We have to appreciate that everything is interconnected so if you help some have not’s ,you are just fulfilling the need of your another part or another self. Now a days the fashion is to donate with the expectation that I get something back . There is a popular Hindi saying “ Donate one rupee and God’s will give you million rupees” .Here again the 3D’s are in operation ,here people donate but with an intention of getting something in return . Opening your heart chakra would mean donating without any strings attached, donating unconditionally. Mother Theresa said it beautifully “I try to give to the poor people love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn't touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God”. Unfortunately the principle of Winner’s Curse seems to be in operation here also we just have one Mother Theresa among billions of people. We are really unfortunately selfish.
2. Every Ability is Infinite- The other day I was watching an interesting program on TV. There was this young lad who was demonstrating immense physical strength. He was just around sixteen-seventeen year old and he placed his hands on his hips and to each of his clasped hand there was a motorcyclist. I mean he was holding two motorcyclists with his tender arms. Slowly both the motorcyclist started racing pulling the young lads tender hands but he held on , they were really racing and another man would have lost his hands ,but one could see the immense concentration on this lads face he was holding two racing motorcyclist coolly, comfortably and effortlessly. My father watched this as said “ Zen I guess” .Yes it is Zen but how many of us understand Zen. The first principle of Zen is everything is infinite and waiting to be tapped. Hanuman lifted a mountain in Ramayana , How , using the same principles of Zen. The strength does not lie in the hands it lies in the mind. There is an infinite universe inside each of us waiting to be explored. Remember how God Ganesha said when he saw the current normal distribution – he said it does not apply to us – because everyone (then) is extremely capable in some or other art- the focus was internal. We are blessed with so much more than we understand or realize, just that these abilities are hidden and needs to be brought out. Tap the infinite fountain the lies within.
3. There is no End to Learning- A young disciple approached the Zen master and told the master that he wants to realize self. The Zen master asked him to practice Janana Yoga or path of knowledge, so asked him to read as much as he can. So the disciple read and read and finally attained the complete knowledge or what is called Atma Gyan in Hindi. He happily burnt all the books, since he had attained self realization and went to the master happily and told him that he has learned everything now there is nothing more to learn so he has burnt all books. The Zen master got very angry and threw a book at him and said “Learning never ends”. My friend told me and interesting phenomenon, call it disjointed flow of information. Take any fields say Physics, Chemistry or Music or Computers, there is so much of research going on for newer things and everyone seems to work parallel, someone in say Russia works on a different concept or logic and someone in America works on the same thing using different concept, though there is communication but it is limited so say a physicist in say America needs to learn what is researched in Russia, so learning never ends. There is so much to learn apart from what is our profession or what we are good at. One way to attain self realization is to simply read and slowly one progresses towards complete knowledge ,but even then learning should not stop.
4. Turn the focus to Internal – Meditate- My friend asked me one day ‘’Does your Om thing really work?” I couldn’t help smiling and said it is like stock market investment “The Om thing works but over long period of time – you should not look at short term benefits”. There are so many kinds of meditation, enough research has been done on it and now it is universally accepted that there are proven benefits. Just check out the web site of Mahesh Yogi or Osho, you can see the amount of research that has gone behind proving the benefits of Meditation. The point is that “Om thing “really works”. It calms your mind , it opens up your chakras and slowly allows you to ride the normal curve and you can move from being below ordinary to extraordinary. My friend asked me “ Ok I sit everyday and do Om , what should I expect , what would be the indication that I have progressed towards your Zero Mind thing” . I said our brain is cluttered with thoughts, every second we are thinking of one thing or another . When you do the “ Om thing” you are narrowing your thought to single mantra or single image. Slowly all other thoughts will subside and you will be left with only one thought that is “Om”. My friend interrupted “ So when you are left with one thought that is Om , you are self realized , Is it ?. I said No , self realization would mean that the thought of Om also disappears and you are left with nothing , there is no thought in the mind , the mind is what is called in Zen “ Empty – absolutely Empty” . Now when you reach such a state of mind and are able to maintain such a state of mind for longer periods of time, you get connected to the universal love and you are completely realized. My friend said “Looks like tall order – how long will it take” . It is impossible to answer the question how long it will take, or how fast anyone can do it. Because the goal is nothingness and it all depends on the individual on how quickly he/she understands nothingness. Once you reach the state of nothingness then the benefits are infinite (I don’t have to say it again)
5. A Guru is very important – There is no point in reinventing the wheel. For learning anything including the complete knowledge or Atma Gyan, It is essential to have a mentor or a guru , who has already gone through and is well experienced and can hand hold the disciple for some time or say lead the disciple towards his/her goal ,whatever the goal may be . In today’s organizational culture the concept of mentor is very prominent. Seniors are expected to play an important role in shaping up the juniors. In fact there are healthy human resource practices now where the boss and the subordinate sit together and discuss the strength and weakness and do any course correction. In good old days in India there were Ashrams or Gurukul where the Guru would impart knowledge and give personal attention to the disciples. We have schools and colleges doing the same function but the charm of a Gurukul and the personal interaction has (according to me) deteriorated. The Hindu scriptures talk a lot about the Guru and his responsibilities and how a disciple should completely surrender to the Guru , there are separate sections in the scriptures which talks about the unconditional devotion towards the Guru. On a different note I think everyone would agree that wherever you go a God Father is essential, without a God Father nobody can make any progress in any field. Coming back to the point, anyone interested in self realization should spend ample time in selecting the guru and the school of thought that the Guru is planning to teach. One has to be cautious and understand that self realization business is a money spinner (Someone called it a $ 10 trillion industry) and you will find a number of hoaxes, charlatans and frauds so one has to be really careful in selecting a Guru.
6. Working Hard is boring – Effortlessness is the key- India is a Cricket loving country. Cricket is played and watched with great passion; almost everyone is glued to cricket. One of India’s great batsmen is Sachin Tendulkar. It is a delight to watch him bat. He does not put too much efforts into his batting strokes ,just leans on the ball , a gentle firm push through his heavy bat , finds the right gap and the ball glides to a four . Everything is done so effortlessly and no wonder he has made India win so many matches. So to score runs in Cricket you don’t have to be a muscle man and hit the ball with all the power you have, the game is totally different. As someone said “Winners don’t do different things they do things differently “. My friend told me his boss in office expects him to work fifteen hours a day everyday and even if there Is no work. I told him it is high time he lifted his middle finger and showed it to the boss and high time he said No. I told him the mantra now is say No when you disagree. My friend told me “ You know in these software companies if you say No , they will say Go- So can’t help it, have to work fifteen hours “. Leaving aside the problems and issues faced in the Indian software companies and Indian outsourcing outfits (Call Centers), the idea we are trying to convey is once you reach zero mind or a theta state of mind everything is effortless, you can sing effortlessly, you can dance effortlessly. You don’t have to do what is called hard work, everything is fun, and everything is entertainment. I remember in one TV interview one Indian CEO was asked “How does he manage to grow his company so much “- He said “You know work is entertainment for me and there is no end to entertainment, so even if I put long working hours it is like you know watching two good movies one after another,every working moment is fun for me “. When you start meditation initially it would be difficult and it needs efforts to subside thoughts, you are like a young bird learning to fly, but with practice you will reach the state of nothingness and after that even meditation becomes effortless and your talent become endless. When great musicians like say A.R.Rehman or Illayaraja or Michael Jackson compose music, they do it naturally ,effortlessly , contrary to popular opinion they need not break their heads for it , it happens naturally and easily . So while the popular opinion is to work hard, put all possible efforts, be assiduous the idea we are trying to convey is that the eastern philosophy is to work towards zero efforts , make everything casual and do everything in an easy and relaxed way. Did I hear someone saying “Tantra” even that means slow slow – you know what?
7. Faith in Supreme or Universal Consciousness is important- It is important to believe that there is a superior force that guides everyone’s life. Nature plans everyone’s life and acts like a loving angel who helps one in every situation. Though it is said that we are born with certain karmic influences and these karmic influences chart the course of our life, nevertheless the ultimate purpose of anyone’s birth is to get gelled with nature and connect to the universal consciousness. Nature gives us sufficient liberty to chart our own path and like a mentor who helps his subordinates, nature helps us in our endeavor to attain success. There is a universal, omnipresent, omnipotent love field and nothing escapes its attention, everything is noticed and accounted for. The universal love field is God and if you can connect to it, you can accomplish anything effortlessly. Humanity has seen so many who have done it, so it is not something new or out of the blue. My friend told me he really went through a number of near death experience and one common thing that was reported was that just before death one really feels jelling or connecting to the universal love. You experience so much of love that you would rather be dead than alive. We have so many religions because different people at different points of time were able to partially or fully connect to this love field and then created their own followers and created different religions. But the supreme is one and all powerful. Many of us are atheists and believe that we drive our life and everything is under our control, but if these people look back they would realize that, how at different points of time, they have experienced the hidden ways of supreme which they have discounted as good luck. Nature loves challenging these atheists and loves showing them the way towards God. My friend told me – “You know it is good to deny God or Supreme – It is a good beginning towards exploring what is God and finally finding God”. I don’t know whether to agree or not with him, but personally feel that if you leave everything to the supreme and do your work or allotted task with dedication without expecting anything then the supreme will take care of every other thing.
8. Do not respect boundaries- The process of discovery and invention is iterative in nature, nothing is absolutely correct and cannot be questioned. Those who have attained prominence have questioned the existing thought existing understanding. We should not respect a particular theory or a person so much that we do not question or criticize the principles and theories he/she professes. The popular example from science is that Newton’s principles were the bible of science for a long time till Einstein came in and questioned his theories and developed his famous theory of relativity and now time has come to question that also. Nature offers infinite mysteries and there never will be an end to human curiosity and understanding and there will be no end to creativity and innovation. But unfortunately nature does not reveal itself so easily and allows a number of iterations before the truth can be discovered and there are infinite truths so it is questionable that whether humans can really unravel everything and completely understand all secrets. We all put boundaries to our abilities and capabilities , we are really clear on what we can do and what we cannot do, but unfortunately we don’t realize that we can do everything ,just you have to do this self-realization trick. My friend works as a consultant in a software company and he says he clearly defines and tells his boss as to what he is expected to do and if something is outside it, he clearly says it is beyond his domain. I am not questioning the requirement of role clarity in our jobs, it is just that we have defined clear boundaries on what we can and what we cannot do and we respect our role models so much that we fail to question him/her. The question on how to break these boundaries, how to think, beyond is popularly called lateral thinking or out of box thinking. It is beyond the scope of this work to give a complete understanding of lateral thinking ,but I would definitely advice reading some good books especially by Edward De Bono and others and appreciate that even creativity can be developed by a step by step process and really does not require high conventional intelligence. You just need to get into a habit of thinking wild and also appreciate other’s wild thoughts and both of it can be developed within a reasonable frame of time. The mantra is simple “Break the rules first and question the boundaries”.
9. Positive Imaging would help- My friend told me one day ‘You are so good in singing, why don’t you participate in some singing competition” . I immediately hesitated and said “ You know I rather abruptly and suddenly started singing , they ask all kinds of questions in these competition like who is your guru, what is this raga (rhythm), how long you have been singing – I don’t have answers to these questions – I can just sing ,in fact sing anything, there are no boundaries to my singing “ .My friend said “ Then Sing” . I again hesitated and said “ I am not sure if I will win or not “ . My friend then suggested why don’t you cut a CD and meet some music directors. I again started hesitating. My friend asked me “ You say all your chakras are open – so will you die someday ?” I immediately and strongly said “No,I will never die – I have seen death- there have been so many attempts to my life – people have tried throwing bombs at me , tried cutting me with knife ,tried shooting me – I don’t think I will every die- My brain is as calm as dead” My friend smiled and asked me another question” Will you ever leave your smoking habit” . I again hesitated and said “ I will try my best “ . Finally my friend like a Judge pronouncing a verdict said ” you know you will never die, you have little chances of leaving your smoking and I really don’t know how your music tamasha (drama) will end, I hope you find a good guru in Music ,who can guide you, otherwise you will remain an indoor singer”. I asked him how he says this with certainty. He smiled and said “You know whatever you believe and whatever instructions you give to your subconscious brain happens, that is a wonder of human birth, you strongly believe you won’t die –then you will never die – you don’t have confidence in participating in music competition –so you will (unless God wills) remain a indoor singer-the idea is simple whatever you believe strongly or 100%; happens”.
There is infinite potential in everyone’s subconscious brain and whatever instructions one gives to it happens. So before going for an interview – you imagine that you are already employed and develop a positive image then you will clear the interview with ease. Unfortunately our life’s script is written in our early years and if your parents have brought you up positively with enough love and affection then you will develop a positive imaging and approach everything positively .My friend interrupted and said “ Even if one has tasted too many failures ,still he/she can win by consciously practicing positive imaging” . So before going for any challenge, if one can develop an image of winning, then one can win with ease. Positive Imaging really helps.
10. Celebrate Sex- Sex is definite door to Supernatural- My friend asked me with curiosity “Can you really do this Tantra thing, what needs to be done to do this Tantra”. I told him contrary to popular thinking, controlling orgasm requires (apart from strengthening the PC muscle) controlling the mind. We have said whatever instruction you give to subconscious works so if you think subconsciously that you can hold your orgasm then you can really do it. I assured my friend that sex can be a real door to supernatural. It is only during sex the mind becomes still, so if you can really do long sex then your partner has good chances of attaining zero mind. There are a number of techniques to strengthen the PC muscle and one has to draw inwards to control the mind. I told my friend that I am working on a detailed book on Tantra, he can read that book and understand and appreciate Tantra. My friend asked “What about Kama sutra- what does that convey” . I told my friend Kamasutra was written by Vatsalya, who observed the different ways animals had sex and the came up with sixty four positions. Though some of these positions would require gymnastic skills, but each position is like yoga and good for certain organ in the body for instance some position may be good for heart some for lever and so on. I told my friend both Tantra and Kamasutra requires efforts and research to understand and I am trying my best to gather information and understand both these ancient arts. My friend told me “ You know many of the Gurus so far have all written against sex , the popular thought so far has been to control or subside sexual impulses, sex is still a hush –hush thing, only after Osho spoke about the powers of sex , slowly everyone is realizing that one needs to celebrate sex”. I couldn’t help agreeing with my friend, the whole Tantra thing is shrouded with so much of controversy and has always been kept very secret. I think it is time to reap the benefits of both these ancient arts and progress towards self actualization.
11. Guts and Risk Taking is very Important- My friend immediately said “You are wrong example and person to talk about this”. He asked me rather sarcastically “Where do you see yourself in that stupid triangle that you drew in the beginning of the essay, are you a winner or a crying loser”. I did not know what to say” A winner waiting to be recognized “I guess. I tried defending myself and said “ You know I developed self realization rather suddenly and accidentally, I never expected that by feeding some hungry ants and doing some Transcendental meditation, I would attain a zero mind- In fact I did not understand for the first few weeks what has changed but realized that something important has happened to me” . “I clearly decided that I would need time (A clear five years) to explore what has happened, understand the scriptures, understand the linkage between science and religion and so on, I need time, Only three years have gone by now so another two years to go, I cannot face everyone without developing suitable confidence and understanding”. My friend said “Then after that you will take risk and pursue what is close to your heart?” I smiled and said “Definitely”. Leaving aside my problems what we are trying to say is that one has to take risk for achieving success and one has to do what is close to the heart. Guts is very important as it is said there a genius in fearlessness. Positive imaging helps in developing fearlessness. I can quote innumerable examples like Bill Gates leaving Harvard to pursue his software dreams, Amitabh Bachhan leaving his cushy job to pursue acting. Everyone who has succeeded in life has had to take risks. Only when they took the risks, opportunities knocked their doors. My friend calls me “Gutless “but slowly I am forgetting my rather hoary past and beginning to appreciate the importance of risk. If you can take the plunge and follow your heart, nature would lead you towards your goal.
12. Think Big- The last mantra or recipe for success is the ability to think Big. It is normal for us to pursue whatever goals we set so if we set small goals then our pursuit also becomes small and meaningless. Very few people have the ability and confidence to think big and those who have have influenced the world in a big way. My friend asked sarcastically “Do you think big”. I said with confidence that “Yes I do think big”. I think my purpose of living would be to dig out the knowledge of India’s Golden Era and present it to the world. I want to create or help creating many more self realized people, create new technology, in fact I can even say create a new way of thinking , so that’s thinking big I guess. My friend smiled and said “ You just need to develop some guts and find a good Guru who will help you to do all that” One needs to dream to achieve something in life ,one needs to think beyond conventional ways of thinking and one needs to set lofty ambition and targets . So the mantra is to think big and work towards your lofty goal and remember it is important to work inwards for you to realize any lofty ambition you might have.
To summarize we started this essay pointing out various examples about the phenomenon of winners curse. This curse creates one winner and leaves many aghast. We said as far as present day humans are concerned everything follows normal distribution and gives opportunity to only few (less than 1%) to win and become great and majority of us are just normal. We tried going back to the Golden Era and we believe strongly that then the distribution of human endeavors or attributes was not normal and every one used to work internally and was genius in one thing or other. We tried giving you some good recipe that you can follow if you desire to win. So we strongly recommend you to start working internally, find a good Guru and realize the immense potential that is hidden inside you.
We leave you with some thoughts from Bhagvad Gita and we have drawn another triangle indicating how we expect the future to be.
“The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice”
“ The power of God is with you at all times; through the activities of mind, senses, breathing, and emotions; and is constantly doing all the work using you as a mere instrument.”
”Little by little, through patience and repeated effort, the mind will become stilled in the Self”
“One can become whatever one wants to be if one constantly contemplates on the object of desire with faith”
“Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace”