Hesitation, Repetition and Irritation

Disclaimer # 1: I am Indian and not only am I a victim of these behaviors but also I did propagate them to some extent.

Disclaimer # 2: I am generalizing based up on my personal experience, not all Indians behave like this. I don’t have statistics – but I do have a test case if you wanna try out – ME.

In all these months we have been here me and Sang have discussed this topic in very much detail. Sang also wanted to blog about it, but I haven’t seen it on her blog and also very recently I encountered this behavior system in much more detail level so I thought I would explain this.

Indians usually have one very dominant behavior pattern. To see the whole picture is not easy, because this behavior comes out in bits and pieces. After a very keen observation of what’s going on – we were able to conclude some things. Out of these the most dominant behavior patterns are – Hesitation, Repetition and Irritation. Let me explain:

Hesitation: It’s a very common trait among most Indians. They are usually hesitant to do or to say anything. For example imagine a fun activity going on with a bunch of people in there – It would be rare to find a Indian man walk into a strange place with no friends along his side and ask confidently to a stranger coming along “What’s going on here?”. Instead you would come cross, a very slow and sad attempt to know what is going on. By the time he walks in, he already made 50% assumption of what is going on. Well his version of 50%. Then there would be pause and then it would start like “Umm..Aaaaah…What is going on here?”.

It usually starts with hesitation. So we have it depicted here.

Hesitation

I believe it’s because we feel very threatened to any alien situation. I mean anyone can feel like that, but the tendency of an Indian to feel threatened is more. This comes out of the feeling that we might hold that we don’t know about the situation ahead. Ignorance. I also believe that those 100+ years British ruled us, they have colonised our thinking and made us to get scared of any alien/different situation. We need directions(More on this, in a later post)

So, the hesitation usually sprouts from ignorance. So we got it covered here.

Hesitation <– Ignorance

Now, if there is any other person, what I mean by that is a middle aged Caucasian man – it would be easy for him to admit the ignorance and move on to knowledge and participation. But not for an Indian. I believe that this Ignorance comes out of something called – Confusion. We really don’t know what to believe. Should we go with our tradition, should we go with Western one? Should we mix it up? People make fun of American born Indians by calling them – ABCD: American Born Confused Desi. But in reality, we, who are born here, are as much confused as the American born. We have Levi’s, Snickers, Cereal, Oatmeal too. Big deal. It’s as much culturally shocking here as it is in America. What more? We didn’t want to offend any God, so we have God in many forms and shapes – adding more to the confusion of an Indian born confused. So, anyhow before I digress I want to capture this.

The Ignorance sprouts out of Confusion. So we have it down here.

hesi_ign_con2.jpg

But do you think that out of all this hesitation, Ignorance, Confusion we are ready to admit it and act on it? He he. No way. I have already blogged about how the toughest thing for an Indian is to admit that he/she is wrong. So, we defend our Ignorance – call it Modern Spirituality. We defend our Confusion – call it unity in diversity. We defend our hesitation – call it humbleness. And why? All because we have egos bigger than our real selves. We walk around with Egos larger than life.

So, let’s capture it too. Ego stops us from seeing the faults with in us.

ego2.jpg

Repetition: Imagine you are an alien. Just landed on Earth. If I take you to a remotest place in India and leave it there for you to figure it out. After 5 days you would start to think that Indians must be born deaf. Or you must come to believe that we are wicked dumb. Bear with me. This is a very hard trait to observe, especially when you are doing it. Indians have a habit of repeating what they say. For example, if they are asking someone to “Turn Left”, this is how it would go.

“TurnLeft TurnLeft TurnLeft TurnLeft TurnLeft TurnLeft TurnLeft TurnLeft”

Each Turn Left command getting closer and closer to the earlier one. Believe me this happens for real – in all frigging situations. In fact we are so used to it that it’s very hard to detect it. Next time when you are talking to an Indian try observing this.

I have a theory as to why we repeat stuff. I think partly it’s the confusion in us which just wants to confirm one thing to someone many times. It’s based on fear. We usually go through a lot in 1 day here. So our natural thinking is based on fear and we act it out. Also dousing this with “Hesitation” we get more agitated and repeat stuff. For example: In our earlier case where a Indian guy walks in to a strange situation and he is hesitating to ask what’s going on, and if it were to be an Indian there – he would just go:

“What do you want? What do you want? What do you want? What do you want?”

People use “Repetition” as a tactic to counter “Hesitation”. So, let’s get that in there.

ego_rep2.jpg

Irritation: This is usually the outcome of the first two traits. I don’t know why but most of the time Indians are Irritated. Or at least in places like, train reservations, banks, post offices, traffic, buses, taxis etc. I believe that the Irritation comes from by looking down on people who are ignorant. When I go into a bank it’s assumed that I am supposed to know everything in there. People who work there get irritated with a slight question. Add to this, the hesitation on my behalf to ask the question and coupled it with the repetition from the guy – gets born Irritation. People are irritated with small things and for no good reason. So, let’s capture this.

superego2.jpg

I also have one last idea about this triumvirate. It comes from the 3 most popular Gods of India

Repetition == Lord Brahma – who is the creator of this world

Lord Brahma

Hesitation == Lord Vishnu who is the maintainer of this world

Lord Vishnu

Irritation == Lord Shiva, who gets pissed of this hesitation and repetition and opens up his 3rd eye to destroy this world!

Lord Shiva

That’s all folks.

Serendipity

I am believing more and more that there are more and more synchronous coincidences happening in my life. Every time it happens it kinda amuses me and leaves me with such a good feeling in my stomach. I become more and more thankful to Universe for the way it showers it’s love on me.

I believe we attract into our lives what we focus on. What we hold the images in our minds, think and ponder on we manifest. I have seen 2 such events recently in my life.

1. I was browsing for good spiritual music in a music store in Hyderabad. I came across a CD called “Turiya Nada“. As I read the details on the CD, I instantly liked it and I bought it. I love the music. Its’s composed by Sages who are in high meditation state and the whole music is composed based on perfect alignment of stars, planets etc. Whatever may be the case, the music is amazing.

Turiya Nada

Before I tell you more about the CD, I need to tell you about Wayne Dyer. Long time back I was listening to one of his audio books and he talks about how music affects our body muscles. There is a very popular experiment associated with it, as to how rock, metal or any music with high pitches and noise level makes our muscles weak. Any music which is soft and peaceful actually makes our muscles stronger. This has been calibrated medically. So in that book Wayne Dyer constantly talks about another guy called David Hawkins. David Hawkins found a method to calibrate the body muscles and it’s strengths. So using his calibration it was proved that music affects our bodies physically.

So I got inspired and I bought a book by David Hawkins called Power Vs. Force – which is all about these calibrations and very detailed explanation of how Power comes from with in and Force is external etc.

Power vs. Force

Now I bought this CD and I was listening to it and enjoying the music. I actually didn’t checkout the booklet which came with it and I kinda forgot about it for a while. One day when I was commuting, I happen to play with the CD box and started reading about the music and how it affects our states. There it was:

A testament to its potential, Turiya Nada scored between 1000-1250 on Dr David Hawkins’ consciousness calibration scale, which computes one’s consciousness level through applied kinesiology methods!

Dang. I bought the CD which calibrated highest through the methodologies  described in a book which I read last year. I didn’t even knew about it when I bought the CD! This may sound normal, but it does affect me at a very deep level. It touches me deep and tells me how I am the creator of my own reality.

2. Couple of days back, I realized that there are too many books I want to read and I am not tracking it properly. I tried Amazon’s wish list but didn’t work the way I want it to. I checked out Shelfari which is ok but too much flash and the site has a horrible interface. It spams me a lot and bugs the hell out of me. So I decided to do a page on my blog on my own.

On this page I list out all the books I want to read and I have been asking my friends to recommend me any book which they think I should read. I put it on there.

I am a big fan of the simple dollar and couple of days back I happen to see a review of a book – called “Happier” – on that site which I decided that I will put it on my future reading list. So I did. Today as I was sharing some of my audio books with my friends, one of my friend at work – MVK – said he too has some audio books he can share. I was intrigued to see what he has. Lo and behold, he has the book “Happier” with him. Dang Gina. What a random way to find a book in audio format which I wanted to read from some other website. When I saw that audio book, I actually shuddered inside. I was shocked. The pure coincidence is kinda scary sometimes.

Happier

Now I was mentioning about this book to Sangita and she said I should make this book reading into a Manifestation Exercise. So, I have decided that I will keep making my future reading list, but I won’t buy any of those books. I would want to attract these books into my life through Law of Attraction. I want to try it out and want to keep track of how those books fall into my lap from no where.

I am really excited about this new experiment as I have seen and experienced in my life how I can manifest things and its kinda giving me goose bumps right now.

The Lure of Low Hanging Fruit

I have been experimenting in the past couple of weeks and also have been observing my day to day activities both at work and home. I realized that in default mode of life, I am always going for “Low hanging fruit” of either work or other day to day activities. I usually end up making a list of things to do on any given day and then try to knock them off from my list. As day passes, I try to clean up as many as I can. But behind all this, there was more to it. I watched to my horror how I would nicely avoid the most difficult and tough activities and finish up the easy tasks. This has bought some quite new insights into my psyche.

I used to think that it’s ok to clear off the small things first. That it is ok to get the low hanging fruit first. I thought that this would build in me enough confidence as I would go on with my bigger tasks of the day. I was a big fan of “baby steps”. What the hell was I thinking? So, basically what happened over a period of time (I am sure this has happened over quite a number of years) is that I got addicted to the act of clearing the low hanging fruit a lot. I was lured into taking up the job of perennial fruit picker! To my astonishment this is such an automatic action for me, I never stopped to think about it.

Now once I realized this, I started to prioritize stuff. But my mind is such a slave of my senses that everything I come across looks high priority to me. I made a huge list of priorities. Then I decided that I would go and make categories out of it. I realized that those categories can also have context and devices attached to it. Oh my my. Did you see what I have started again? I have become the fruit picker again – only this time it’s all about bettering the priority system I was trying to create.

Then I took my clue bat and whacked myself. I realized that this has been solved long time back by a great logician called “Occam”. His principle which is very famously called “Occam’s Razor” states:

All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the bestOccam’s Razor

So, now I sat down with my pen and paper, made a list of all the priority things I want to complete and cut it off after 3. Yes after 3. I made a promise to myself that if I can finish the top 3 priority things on my list then I am happy for the day. You won’t believe me that this did not go well me my old fruit picking self. After a lot of practice and self control I am working on only top 3 things at work and top 3 things at home. You would think that this has filled up my day with a lot of time. Wrong. I actually have a lot of difficulty in finishing all the top 3 important things in a day decently.

You see all these top 3 things have quite a high bar to cross. These are, sometimes, the toughest choices I have to make in a day or toughest meetings I have to do or mind wrenching work, inconvenient truths about me. I have come across couple of observations about these though.

  1. We are often encouraged in the name of “Efficiency” to adopt a life style of “fruit picker”. Followed over a period of time we turn into a professional low hanging fruit picker where we are continuously self gratifying by doing the things that matter a little to us. To over come this we have to look at “Effectiveness” instead of Efficiency. This focus would be very hard to do as it has become our habit to empathise with the mediocre me.
  2. The low hanging fruit habit develops because we lower our gratification level and there by also lower the achievement level. So, as we continue to do this, our view of ourselves and the world also goes down. We stop to have stellar thoughts. Creative ideas would be once a year thing.
  3. This creates the stupid competition of all the fruit pickers. There are a lot of low hanging fruit pickers around you. So what do you expect? There is a tremendous competition to get all the low valued tasks. And believe me that we usually get lost in this race and forget ourselves. That’s why the saying, “Theres’ always more room at the top“(sic) makes sense.
  4. This is employed very cleverly by modern technology. I have been working in Web technologies from past 9 years. Believe me when I say, we actually use the term “the customer is dumb, he doesn’t know anything” in our meetings and use it as a ruse to dumb down the application. We bring the bar so low that it’s easier for people to become addicted to low priority activities. Want proof?
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter (this one actually has the fruit lying on the floor)
    3. Boo yah.
  5. I also believe that our thinking of prioritizing and then saving the important and hard items to the end comes from our thinking which is heavily influenced by Hollywood. We save the best for the end. We wait for the climax and the anti-climax. We coin terms like “good ending“, “Save the best for the last“. We have custom grown a whole culture based up on thinking where the best thing in the dinner is a dessert!
  6. We should also remember that we cannot apply this top 3 priority methodology to everything else we do. This works very well in a high performance work job. This would work well in a well organized event. This may not work very well in some very important things of your life. Try doing the top 3 things in the beginning next time you have sex.
  7. Now that I think of it, I am pretty sure that the Forbidden Fruit was a low hanging one. Adam started it all!

So, from what I learned in these past couple of weeks – all I could say is, if you are stuck with information overload and are confused about GTD, prioritizing and “remember the milk”. Just close your eyes, trust yourself more than anything or anyone else and then get the top 3 important things from your point of view done. See how by the end of day your courage level kicks up. You might actually start to enjoy it.

Tipping point of Consciousness

I know this for sure, anyone who loves doing something very passionately is at some level addicted to it. I have experienced it personally. I think every human being has enough potential in him/her to achieve ‘God/Conscious/Suchness/Sacredness’. How we choose to do it is very different and what we choose to call it also different. After thinking a lot about it, I have realized that reaching this Conscious state also has a tipping point.

Every one picks their own path as to how to reach it. But in my experience it has usually been following one standard path. When I say picking up your own path, it could be anything – any skill which you already have or in the process of acquiring. The most famous path in reaching Consciousness is ‘Meditation’, but if you think about it – meditation would enable you into getting into the feeling of Consciousness and this is the same state you might achieve doing any other activity very deeply. Let me explain with an example.

I am going to talk about the skill I am aware of – Programming. There are some people who program for the sake of programming and the very joy they derieve out of it. I am one of those. I love to write good programs and sometimes when I am programming, I reach a stage where my awareness peaks and I write some very beautiful code. Later when I look at it, I get really surprised that it’s me who typed those lines. So what exactly happens? I think when I hit the tipping point of Consciousness I suddenly transcend my tool, path – programming in this case and I reach that awareness level where I inherently know what to type without any memory, effort etc.

I am not just making this up. This is the single most feeling I always struggle for every time I program. This is the single most feeling I want to feel again and again and I am so addicted to feel this again that I look for new ways of learning new computer languages and try to reach that tipping point.

If you pause for a moment and ponder on it, I am sure everyone will remember an instance where they had this kind of feeling. A swimmer may reach a stage in swimming that he no longer follows any swimming technique but becomes one with the water. A painter would reach a point where he is no longer thinking about his painting, but has merged with the painting and what his hand might be doing is just detail. A teacher, reader, cyclist, nature lover, speaker, skier, hiker and the most popular one ‘Yogi’ – all these people are seeking this unique feeling again and again in their respective methods.

There are couple of things to note here though:

1. Not all of them may call it Consciousness and not many of them will be aware that they are seeking that feeling again and again. Some may call it ‘Flow’ state. Some may call it deep concentration.

2. Like I said, people follow their own respective path for this feeling. So, if you think about it – the very idea of path is to transcend the path. The very idea of programming is to end programming, the very idea of art is to end the art. I am not drunk to say those words, neither am I confused – the nature of Consciousness is hidden in paradoxes and it’s hard to explain verbally. So think about it a little deep and you will understand. Even Zen has an idea called ‘artless art’ – meaning where in Japan, art(calligraphy) is used by many Zen masters, not because it looks cool but they are actually mastering the art of tipping to the other side using art form. To reach the ‘artless art’.

3. We have always heard about reports on how we use only 10% of our minds. Did you ever wonder what happens if one uses 20%? 40%? 90%? 100%? I think I have a theory here. I think when you use 100% of your mind, that’s when you transcend mind. That’s when you tip from mind into Consciousness. Then it becomes clear to the person that the whole idea of having and using a mind is actually to end it. Considering that Consciousness is something we are all after in some form or the other.

Tipping point of Consciousness

4. Given these things, I think it’s not easy to reach that tipping point. Like in the diagram, once you start any activity (like painting, meditation, programming etc) you will have to go through ‘Low Point’. This is where the Nature tests you whether you actually love the activity you started (Check The Monk who sold his Ferrari for more on this) But once you cross this hurdle, as time passes and as you practice more and more you are bound to hit a tipping point. Once you taste it, you are never coming back. You will go through more effort again and again to get that feeling.

In my case so far I have been able experience something profound in programming and meditation.

Power – less – ness

Today there was no power at home in the morning. As I went to work early to take care of lot of work which has piled up – I realized that there is no power there too. Because of some heavy rains there has been some major power cuts in lot of Hyderabad areas. This pretty much screwed up a lot of things for me as I was planning on to do a lot of things today. This brings out a important lesson which I keep forgetting:

“Always take risk into consideration when planning for project/work/day” 

Norah Jones

Today I feel very nostalgic. May be because I re-installed OS on my computer and I spent a lot of time looking at all the backup photos, files, music etc – some going back like 10 years. It’s a time where I feel like I want to listen to Norah Jones. Her song humming in my heart. So many memories tied up. I love Norah Jones music, it’s so soothing on my soul. Here is something that does not escape my mind…

I’ve Got To See You Again

Lines on your face don’t bother me
Down in my chair when you dance over me
I can’t help myself
I’ve got to see you again

Late in the night when I’m all alone
And I look at the clock and I know you’re not home
I can’t help myself
I’ve got to see you again
I could almost go there
Just to watch you be seen
I could almost go there
Just to live in a dream

But no I won’t go for any of those things
To not touch your skin is not why I sing
I can’t help myself
I’ve got to see you again

I could almost go there
Just to watch you be seen
I could almost go there
Just to live in a dream

No I won’t go to share you with them
But oh even though I know where
you’ve been
I can’t help myself
I’ve got to see you again