Posts Tagged ‘stories’

A simple strategy for a good life

by Vijay Peduru on September 3, 2010

There have been lots of books written about changing behaviors like avoiding procrastination, having good relationships, eating less food but in almost all cases, these won’t work. These won’t work because the behaviors are like stems in a tree, if you cut down a stem, they will come back again after some time. Instead we have to attack the root. We humans behave differently and see the world differently by the stories we deeply believe in.  In other words, if you examine the story (root) and change it, the behaviors shifts effortlessly.

Here are a few examples

Parent-children Relationship Stories

If a parent believes the story “that kids cannot be trusted fully and will never listen to us”. Right from a young age, when the parent says something and the kids don’t listen, they shout and make sure the kids listen to them.  When the kids go to school, there will always be clashes. These clashes will continue through out the parent’s entire life till the parent moves on to the next world.

What if the parent looks at his story and says… Let me change it. Let me believe that “Kids can be trusted, if I am trustworthy to them”.  Now the scene shifts and s/he will always be open with them and s/he will make sure that the kids can trust him always with anything, now the whole 50-60 years of the parent’s life will be very rewarding.  I have personally seen examples of both kinds of parents and I am sure you have seen too. The only simple difference is both strongly believed in a story.

Entrepreneur Stories

Richard Branson and Warren buffett believed the story that “life and business should be fun” and so, they choose a profession which they loved. Steve Jobs deeply believes in Zen philosophy which shows up in all of apple’s products (simplicity).

Our life is completely governed by the stories we deeply believe. Most of the times we never know that these stories dictate our life i.e. they are hidden to us like a blind spot while driving.

So, how do we recognize our stories, whenever we are frustrated or things don’t go the way we want, we can stop and say, this is not working the way I want “because”. Whatever comes after the “because” is the story we choose to believe.

We can choose to believe in a different story.

Why just TGIF? Why not TGIM?

by Himanshu Jhamb on July 20, 2009

tgimEver wonder why you feel all peppy and refreshed to ‘live and let go’ on Friday evenings and tired and weary on Sunday nights?

How come you never see a facebook status that says “Oh god! Not a Friday again!” or why we don’t have an acronym or a food chain called TGIM?

Here’s a hint: Its got something to do with your thoughts about your immediate future. We, as humans, do not live in our past (though our thinking is surely shaped by our past), neither do we live in the present (which we ought to!); instead, we live in our immediate future… and that’s what shapes our thoughts and feelings.

I’d like to share a story of my childhood, to put things in perspective. I grew up in India and consider myself very fortunate to have lived with my grandparents through my childhood. At that time (this is about 3 decades ago), there used to be many electricity cuts during the hot Delhi summer nights (read 90+ degrees Fahrenheit) and we used to come outside on the front yard with folding beds (something like folding chairs – only, they are beds, instead) hoping for some refreshing breeze. My grandmother, seeing the suffering me and my younger sister were going through, invented a game which she claimed would bring the breeze! Here’s how:

In her own words:

If you keep on naming cities in India that end with the name “pur” – like Jaipur and Udaipur, and keep going, you’ll feel the breeze blow.

I bet you’re thinking: How could this work? Well… it did! Or it least we felt it did! So, what really happened? My grandmother somehow knew that our suffering would be taken care of if we are engaged in a story that helps us think that we can create a better immediate future (the breeze blowing), for us.

Now, apply this to whatever it is you do for a living… you might be an entrepreneur, a business owner or an employee… ask yourself, what story are you in about the future possibilities you see for yourself? Do you see how you can get that ‘cool breeze’ to blow or do you just see it as a mundane task and wait for TGIF!

If you answer this questions honestly, you just might invent 6 more acronyms other than TGIF… or at least take action to move towards creating them!