“რა გვჭირს ჩვენ ბრეგვაძეებს ასეთი უსაშველო…”

ერთხელ ერთმა კეთილმა ლექტორმა ასე, კეთილ-დიპლომატიური სახით მკითხა, ანდრო როგორ გგონია აღმოსავლეთ ევროპაში ხალხი რატომაა უფრო სოციალური, იმიტომ რომ კომუნიზმის გავლენა იყოო არა? საგანს, რომლის ლექციაზეც ვიჯექი ერქვა cross cultural management და მახსოვს მაშინ საუბარი იყო გერმანულ კომპანიაზე რომელიც ტელევიზორებს აწარმოებდა პოლონეთში და ერთობ დიდ გაჭირვებაში იყო ჩავარდნილი კულტურული გაუგებრობების გამო. მოკლედ გაგიჟებულმა გერმანელებმა პოლონელებს მოტივაციის „კრუჩოკი“ ვერ მოსდეს იყო ერთი დავიდარაბა რით ვაიძულოთ ეს პოლონელები რო იმუშაონ როგორც გერმანელები მუშაობენო.

მაშინ მეც ასევე კეთილ-დიპლომატიურად დავთანხმდი, კი მასე იქნებოდა თქვა, თუმცა გულში მაინც ქართულმა აზრმა გამკრა – „რა გესმით თქვენ ლექსის თქვა“. მერე ჩავეძიე ჩემ თავს და დავფიქრდი, ისე ეს სოციალიზმი, გერმანული იდეაა და უბრალოდ აღმოსავლეთში მოიკიდა კარგად ფეხი იმიტომ ხალხი იყო სოციალური, თუ ძალად რო გაგვასოციალურეს 70 წელი მაგიტომაც ვართ ას სოციალურ/კოლექტივისტები თქო. (ჰო მართლა, ყველაზე მაგარი ის იყო რო ერთი ჩინელი დგება და ინდივიდუალიზმი რა არისო? ინგლისურ ჩინურ ლექსიკონში ვნახე და ეგოიზმს ნიშნავსო და…)

დავინტერესდი და რაც მეტი ფიქრი დავიწყე იმაზე თუ როგორი იყო ხალხი 19-ე საუკუნემდე გინდა საქართველოში და გინდა რუსეთში, მივხვდი რომ ჩვენ ყოველთვის გვქონდა სოციუმის სულ სხვანაირი განცდა ვიდრე ეს იყო დასავლეთში. ილია ჭავჭავის აზრებიდან მახსოვს რამხელა მნიშვნელობას აძლევდა ილია კომლს, როგორც საზოგადოებრივი მოწყობის უმცირეს ერთეულს. (ლინკს თუ მივაგენი ჩავსვავ მის ფრაზებსაც). მოკლედ, მეზობლობაც სხვა იყო, გასაჭირში გვერდით დგომაც, ჭირის და ლხინის გაზიარებაც და საერთოდ მგონია რომ თუ კი რამე გენიალური შექმნილა ან ქართულ ლიტერატურაში ან კინოში ან მუსიკაში, ყველა ამ ქმნილებას წითელი ხაზივით გაყვება ის რასაც მე გლეხურად ვეძახი „სხვის განცდას შიგნიდან“. გაიხსენეთ „მიმინო“, რეზო გაბრიაძის „ჩვენი გაზაფხულის შემოდგომა“ (youtube-ზე ლინკი ვნახე და „კოჯრის ტყის სიზმრებს ვდებ“), „ნატვრის ხე“, ვაჟა-ფშაველა… (რომელი ერთი ვქვა?)

თუნდაც რუსული ფილმები აიღეთ, ელდარ რიაზანოვის ნებისმიერი ნებისმიერი ფილმი. ამას წინათ ტელევიზორში თვალი მოვკარი ძველ კეთილ ამერიკულ ფილმს Working Girl. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096463/) და გამახსენდა „სამსახურეობრივი რომანი“. განსხვავება მხოლოდ იმაშია რომ ამერიკულ ვარიანტში ქალი ხდება დირექტორი და რუსულ ვარიანტში დირექტორი ხდება ქალი:-)

მერე წავიკითხე რომ ის რასაც მე (როგორც ზემოთ აღვნიშნე, გლეხურად) „სხვის განცდას, შიგნიდან“ ვეძახდი, რუდოლფ შტაინერი, არაგლეხურად, ეძახდა „სინდისის კულტურას“, და ამბობდა რომ ეს ისეთი რამაა ამის ეპოქა ჯერ არ დამდგარა და აღმოსავლეთ ევროპა და დასავლეთ აზია ამ კულტურას მთელის რუდუნებით ჭედავსო. ჰმ! დაფიქრდება კაცი, აბა რა იქნება.

კიდე, ერთი ძალიან ძალიან კარგი კაცი მასწავლიდა ქართულ სიმღერებს ბავშობაში. კოტე მშვიდობაძე (ღმერთმა გაანათლოს). ასე გვეუბნებოდა „შენ ხარ ვენახს 15 წუთში გასწავლი მარა 15 წელი ვერ იმღერებო”. საგალობელის სიმღერისას მთელი ვიტამინი იმაშია რომ სადაც არ უნდა იდგე გუნდში ყველა სხვა დანარჩენი მომღერლის ხმა უნდა გესმოდეს ერთად და ცალ-ცალკე და ყველაზე საშინელს რასაც გააკეთებ არის ის რო დაიწყო ეს “ვიპენდრიოჟული”  “გამატარეთ, ჩემი ხმა უფრო ხმამაღლა უნდა ისმოდესო”.

იტყვით ეგ საგალობელია თორე ინდივიდუალურობა გურულ სიმღერაში ნახეო. მართალია. ისე კარგად ნამღერი გურული სიმღერა ისაა როცა დეიწყება და იტყვი, ჰე მითხარი მეორეო მერე სემაც იტყვისას თავისას, ყველა თავის ხაზში იმპროვიზირებს მაგრამ სულ ერთმანეთის განცდაა და მოსმენა და მცდელობა რომ ამ თითოეულის თავისუფლებით ის ზედა ერთიანობა და ჰარმონია არ დაიკარგოს.

გურულმა სიმღერამ რაც მასწავლა არის ქართული მენეჯმენტის ერთი პატარა ფორმულა, რაც მე რომ მკითხოთ მაგრად მუშაობს: მაღალ და დიდ იდეაში, მიზანში და ცენტრალურ ფასეულობაში უნდა დაითანხმო ხალხი და ქვემოთ, ტაქტიკაში უნდა მისცე თავისუფლება.

როგორ არ გამახსენდეს ამ ყველაფერზე დევდატ პატანაიკის დიდებული გამოსვლა ტედზე. კორპორატიულ მიზნებამდე ფასეულობების და რწმენის თანხვედრაში ხედავს ეგ კაცი ინდური მენეჯმენტის ალფას და ომეგას და საკითხს ასე სვავს რომ გლობალიზაცია კარზე დაგვადგა და ამას ცნობიერად თუ არ დავხვდით წაგვლეკავს ეს Harvard approach და Vision-Mission-Goals და ეს თითიდან გამოწოვილი promised land-ებიო.

ცნობიერად ვინ ვინ და იაპონელები დახვდნენ გლობალიზაციას. ის რაც ჰენრი ფორდისთვის იყო „მასობრივი განადგურების იარაღი“ (ვგულისხმობ Economy of Scale-ს, ანუ იმას რომ ერთს რომ აწარმოებ 100 დოლარი გიჯდება თითო, მაგრამ 100000 თუ აწარმოებ მაშინ 1 დოლარი დაგიჯდება თითო), ვერ გამოდგებოდა ერთი ციცქნა იაპონიისთვის რომელსაც თავში 2 ატომური ბომბი გაარტყეს და მიწასთან გაასწორეს. ხოდა რისი იაპონელები იყვნენ რომ რამე თავისებური არ გამოეგონათ? 70-იან წლებში შეძლეს ის რასა ერქვა Made in Japan და მათი მთავარი იდეოლოგი, დემინგი ამბობდა რომ თუ ვიცი რომ რამე დამზადებულია ამერიკაში, მაშინ როგორც წესი ეს იქნება დაბალი ხარისხისო, იმიტომ რომ არ შეიძლება რომ ასეთმა ინდივიდუალისტურმა ხალხმა ხარისხს ისეთი გული დაუდონ რომ სრულყოფამდე მიიყვანონო. ამერიკული ტიპის კორპორაციების ბოლო არის creative accounting და საბოლოოდ ბანკროტი ან მუდმივად ილუზორული იმედების გაყიდვაო.

ტოიოტას მართვის 14 პრინციპი რომ ნახოთ მიხვდებით რომ 180 გრადუსით ეწინააღმდეგება Sloan school of management-ს, ანუ MIT/Harvard იდეოლოგიას, თუმცა თქვენი არ ვიცი მაგრამ მე რომ ამ პრინციპებს ვკითხულობ რაღაც ბუნებივად და ახლობლურად მეჩვენება.

საბოლოოდ ის მინდა ვთვქა რომ რა წიგნებითაც მე მისწავლია და ახლაც ვასწავლი სხვებს,  არის ერთი მიმდინარეობა, და ამ მიმდინარეობისგან რისგანაც უამრავი გვაქ სასწავლი. თუმცა არის მეორე მიმდინაორებაც, საპირისპირო კუთხიდან დანახული და ისიც კარგად უნდა ვისწავლოთ და გავაცნობიეროთ. და ეს ორივე იმიტომ უნდა ვაკეთოთ რომ პირველ რიგში მივხვდეთ თუ ვინ ვართ და მერე მივხვდეთ თუ როგორ უნდა ვმართოთ ჩვენივე საზოგადოება, კომპანიები, და ვითანაარსებოთ და ვიმუშაოთ სხვებთან ერთად ისე რომ თითოეული ადამიან ბედნიერი იყოს, კომპანიაც, ქვეყანაც და ბუნებაც სინდისიც და მთელი კოსმოსიც.

რას ფიქრობთ? როდის ყოფილხართ ყველაზე კარგ სამუშაო გარემოში? როდის გიმუშავიათ ისე რომ არც დაღლილხართ და ღამეც გიფიქრიათ ვა… აი გათენდეს იქ რაღაც კიდე სხვანაირად უნდა ვცადო ერთიო? როდის გისწავლიათ ყველაზე დიდი სიხარულით და როდის მოუყვანიხართ სხვის ხელობას აღტაცებაში.

და საერთოდ, უნდა ვიფიქროთ ყოველივე ამაზე თუ ეს ცხოვრება ერთი დიდი Copy/Paste-ია და მეტი არაფერი?

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How to actually be creative (TEDTalk version)

 

Have you ever ask yourself: How to actually be Creative? I guess one needs to be already creative to answer that question:)

I do believe that creativity can be developed. Fully agree with Sir Ken Robinson, that creativity is often a very hidden skill and that our educational systems has tremendous influence on its detection and development. I was so much inspired by his “Bring on the learning revolution” that I decided to revolutionize a bit my small environment. I teach MBA Classes, and I decided to infect my students with creativity – a scary word for well structured business mindset:-)

For example, I said them – “why don’t you guys bring me not one presentation for your case study, but two. I need two considerably different answers. And I don’t care which one is right or wrong, all I care about – is your ability to define those standpoints, bring deep arguments and defend them”.

Fortunately, some students got excited with this idea, but there also were others, who said to me “oh, I am not creative at all, so, may I do as I usually do”. Well, it was OK for me to allow the “usual way”, but I faced an intriguing problem: they did not believe in their own abilities, while for me it is an unquestionable truth that everyone of us is somehow creative. I also believe that every single day we makes something creative, no matter how big or small it is. It is a matter of noticing and working on it. It requires practicing just like any other talent. But how to pass this belief? And how to explain, how to actually be creative? I was not ready for it.

I started Googling around, and the best I could find was the TED.com and some great quotations from some great minds. But, I needed to gain their trust by giving real  examples from life and the only way to do so was to understand the whole process of creativity by myself and then build a certain framework with some practical hints.

So, I rewind the moments which I call the “Ahaa moments”, and started a very slow playback in order to distinguish every small bits of it. After few days I understood one fundamental thing: that there is no “Creativity” with a simplistic understanding of this word. I honesty did not create anything, and all my “Ahaa” ideas seemed to be ready before me. It was not like putting the building blocks. It was more like listening, catching and accepting.

It is like… Imagine here is the line, and before that, it is the World of known things. After that line – it’s World of ideas. So, I have been asking around questions to myself: why not I … What if I… But may be this way…

Such questions bring me to the edge, on the shore, right to that line. And then, all I do: is to stay still, slow down and “listen to myself”. I found one small secret: when you ask the question, the worst thing to do is either to walk away, or to answer it by yourself.

To my mind, great ideas are not made by thinking only. Actually, they are felt after thinking fails to invent something by itself. I believe that job of thinking is to ask great questions, and the job of feeling is to catch the “aha” answers.

Another small secret that I noticed, was that, If I bring the irrelevant things together, and I let them just be together, no matter how different they might seem, after a while I could detect a connection, a link, a sort of harmony existing somewhere in higher dimensions.

Here is a simple example: when I was a student, I had to go to the Army. Thank God I did not go there. In my times it was the Soviet Army. Not much fun! So, somebody told my Mother, that if I could play a wind instrument, then my Army life could become easier: instead of marching, just trumpeting.

So, I tried to blow flute and trumpet. Damn! that was so terribly difficult. The learning curve seemed never bending. But I have tried! I was not lazy! No, actually, finally I become lazy, because after feeling the sound of trumpet fairly well,  I said – why don’t I sing that sound. Singing was easier for me, I used to sing from my childhood in the choir. And I started doing this mouth trumpet. Just like this…

Or, another example of connecting even bigger polarities. Music and IT. I tried to play guitar as well. Again, another horrible sight. My fingers were bleeding. No way – I said! Actually, whole problem was this left hand. And this hand does nothing! Only mechanical things, like holding a note or a chord. Well, right hand makes the music: emotions, tempo, dynamics. So, I said, why don’t a computer could replace my left hand, leaving me to control the music with just shaking. So, why don’t I make an iPhone app of a guitar so that a song is loaded in the phone, and all I do, with my right hand, is to shake it?

I have ended up with this. A-LIVE Guitar. And that’s how you play it: (Play “Happy birthday with A-LIVE Guitar“). It can do some more complicated Stuff as well (Play “Besame Mucho”).

One more small secret: ones you have your “Ahaa” ideas, use them as the building blocks. In this case, guitar plus trumpet could be connected easily like this (Play and mouth trumpet “My Way”).

All these tiny secrets made me to believe in certain things:

  • I believe that creativity is achievable
  • I believe that noticing tiny details are the roots of creativity.
  • I believe that we need both thinking and feeling.
  • I believe that: if I see different, I have a chance to see myself.

There are a lot more that can be said, but I just have this timer ticking here..

So, to roll up my talk, I need to emphasize few things, which I do believe are worth to be spread:

  • It matters that we understand and demystify process of creativity;
  • It matters that we talk about it, share it;
  • It matters that we expose our subjective perceptions without hesitation;
  • It matters that we search for higher links to the things, which are dissimilar to us;
  • It matters that we inspire others and make them believe that they can create;

It all matters!

And it’s fairly easy to do so, especially when it starts with just listening.

…and thank you for listening!

 

 

Posted in Business, Music, Other, Philosophy & Spirituality, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

MBA in the mirror

Recently, I was discussing with my friends the famous talk of Ken Robinson on the TED talks regarding revolution in education and what we take as granted. I suddenly recalled that I had a whole inner fight with myself when I was studying my MBA back in 2000. Nearly all of the frameworks that I was learning was somehow one sided and linear for me. I even thought that many messages would be close to my common senses if I could turn them upside down. Am I the only one who thinks so? I decided to write about these “mirrored” frameworks, which are so much more straightforward for me, and ask you to express your standpoint.

Let’s take some basic frameworks from different fields of management, Finance, Marketing, Operations Management, and HR and try to look them as if we haven’t heard anything about management theory.

FINANCE:

NPV: Probably the most shocking idea for me:-) Basically it means that money today is not the same as money tomorrow. So, time has a value, and if you invest your money in a business (let’s say bank deposit) you’d gain some interest. Every other investment opportunity you’d consider comparing that bank deposit, and thus assess project profitability.

Of course the statement above it trivial, mathematically correct and naively perfect. In fact time is not only a value, but it becomes a constraint if you assess everything around using NPV. You are indirectly pressed to invest, and invest in a short term deals and not in long term great deeds. I believe that NPV philosophy indirectly makes people a bit shorter minded (have seen such “educated” managers, hypnotized with NPV).

You may say, “but it’s because the people are short minded, nothing wrong with NPV itself”. Of course it is right. NPV is a formula which is mathematically correct. All I am saying is that NPV is measurable and people use it with show off face and while all the unmeasurable things remains out of any formula – NPV turns into hypnosis.

Here is a mirrored statement of this, which I believe is in fact, how all the great leaders and companies think: “Time makes things mature. You won’t be able to run far if you always run fast. Slow down; concentrate on process, quality, long term vision rather than the results, economy of scale or short term benefits”. You risk loosing the very basic strategic value by being tempted with quick and easy money. NPV is a trap for lames. It includes no strategy, no risk factors and hypnotizes you to be short term oriented”.

I had an interesting case with one of my student who declared one day to me that he wants to quit the MBA. I said why? You are doing great! And he replied – no, it’s not because of the scores or disability, it’s because I am changing, and changing in bad direction. So I asked more in details, what exactly was unacceptable for him, and he said: “even the idea of NPV, I can learn and pass the exam, but if I really accept it, I need to reject all my values that I am carrying from childhood”.

MARKETING:

Marketing and black magic are the same things as per their definition and this definition is: “make others to want, what you want them to want”.

In today’s World sales only, is not a big issue. You need sustainable sales! You need customer relationship management. You need your clients to be your followers and you to stay as Guru. Very few thinks that for this, you have to put a value. Marketing has no understanding what is a value or quality. And it starts from business schools. Students choose marketing when they understand that they can not learn operation’s management, statistics, finance, quality and anything scientific, which simply requires skills a bit more than to hold a calculator. In other words their personal belief is “High Price for Low Value”.

So, what it is – selling more without providing more values? Here is my favorite example of modern marketing. In France, back in 2000, we used to go to McDonald’s for a break. It was a good solution for us, students, cheap and energy sufficient enough. And the deal for students was just paradise: additional big Mac, and you could return the check next time, then you could get extra ice cream. So, I spoke out and said – It’s like a paradise. And my German friend said, “Andrew, you are really from Georgia, you can not understand that marketing trick here”. I said, hmmmmm… which trick? Actually, yea, what does McDonalds’ gain from that free big Mac they give me? And the answer was so eye opening for me, that I said, Yea, I am really from Georgia:-) So, the answer was that McDonalds wanted my stomach to get used to two big Macs. You know one is kind of always slightly less than your appetite. And they give it for free for some time, and after that you will demand double Big Mac may be for all of your life. What they did, is to communicate directly to your stomach, and to your brain, cause the stomach was the decision maker there.

…and do not tell me that the same is not applied to the soap opera movies, music, and even politics.

So, here is my mirrored MBA Marketing message for you: Modern social media will destroy such trick, and if you want to survive, follow the trend and be social, never lie, be completely transparent, never scale your service, treat customers as humans, as friends. Understand them inside out. Today every good and service became commodity. You can copy almost anything except experiencing a human factor. And that is the greatest attractor and can become a great strategic weapon through positioning yourself in niche markets. Re-write every standard business process and make it human centric and you will be overwhelmed by attention and then just monetize that. For more of this point please listen this presentation of Garry Vaynerchuk.

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT:

I want to focus on two statements here. One is economy of scale and another is measure to control.

When humanity understood the idea of the economy of scale – the Earth started circulating faster. Humanity achieved magnificent goals by boosting economies, and it was not a smooth transition. It pressed everybody to change the inner values and to adopt this idea.

Yes, you need to change your inner values to adopt to the economy of scale, in as much as market economy. If your values were humanism, openness, depth, spirituality, sensitivity, tolerance and etc – big chance that your new label would be – Looser! I am from Georgia and I’ve seen enough “hungry intellectuals”, who still struggle with their inner beliefs, and more than enough gangsters, who later became successful businessmen, and who did that transition just in one day, cause they were facing no believe transition, it was just a common sense for them.

So, my point is that economy of scale mentality, naturally leads to producing more, less quality, short term orientation, less human and/or deep understanding of the essence of the problems. No need to understand things from inside. If you have problem – just change the source. No matter if that’s an equipment or an employee. No need to grow people around. Just only get them, buy them, recruit them. Company is not a please for learning. One must be already educated, and so on…

And now, ask yourself how productive you are in the company you work? How much do you love the job you do on a scale from 0 to 100. I found that many people carry inside different values and believes then the company, which they are in, carries. We may spend more time in our companies then at home, and such work may become like being in a marriage with somebody you hate.

I use to ask my friends, what would be the ideal condition to work for you, and how much would you work in such “ideal” conditions. Nearly always the answer is: ideal condition is when I do what I love, when I see the results and it is appreciated, and when I feel that I do a part of the great thing. As of how much they would work – can be 24 hours, because, as they said “when you rest you still think of something you love”.

Now, another issue: if you can not measure, you can not manage. Ones, Edward Deming answered, if you can measure – it’s too late!

Most of the managerial issues are nearly immeasurable. Like the happiness and passion of employees, desire to create new things, out-compete competitors. Even education is not measured. Mistakes learned are not measured. And even if you measure standard deviation of the errors and its threshold, it’s irrelevant to problem solving, because you measure results, but still the real cause is not identified and not measured.

The principle of quality management is to control in the beginning of the system, not in the end. And the system starts from people. And if you are clever enough you would understand that even people are results of their beliefs, and that is where you have to get in order to hold guarantees for your quality. You need to enter in the souls of your customers, employees, stakeholders and bring the medicine and the Sun light there. Ones you do that, then you’d make the leaning of the processes and you’d feel so much feedback from your employees that there will be no need to measure your revenues – it will be just countless.

HR:

Another thing that drove me crazy was idea of “corporate culture”. It was kind of fashion to mention it frequently. I asked my teachers: what is the rationale behind, and the answer was – “it is easier to adjust everybody’s culture to an artificial, third party culture, rather to make people to understand each other from inside”. And I said – I am not that stupid! I was born to understand any culture in the World. It makes me rich, open minded, more human, tolerant and a World citizen. Why should I worship the plastic, artificial values, invented by my boss?

Do you think that any conflict in this universe was ever resolved with that strategy? May be postponed, but never solved. And if a model is not good enough for me, how can it be good for my family, or country? Do you really believe that conflicts in family can be solved by artificially accepting standpoint which neither side feels natural with it? Do you think countries can live together only due to whatever ideology? For how long?

STRATEGY:

And the biggest lie of MBA frameworks is in Strategy. The framework simply says: “if you failed to plan, you plan to fail”. My answer would be closer to the Georgian proverb – “Man was planning and God was laughing”.

Good example about how the great leaders really think about is Steve Jobs speech at Stanford Graduation. For long run strategy – do not plan, just create the dots, put yourself in details, learn, try, do. Idea is in “Connecting dots”, and one day you will connect all dots, no matter how diverse or useless they seemed before.

My mirrored statement would sound as follows: whatever you do in your life, should be a vehicle to reach the perfection, Truth, God, whatever you name. You need create your “element“, your small World which you will make every day better and better, where you grow along with your creation. If your goal does not include your inner development it will be ruined sooner or later. Your corporate goal should be a part of your personal Goal. Not the goals of your Ego, but your Higher, True Self, which lies inside you and sleeps until you re-discover it and allow it to express itself, which will become as true Myself.

Finding “God inside me”, and becoming that perfection is the ultimate goal of existence. No matter how you call it, no matter what your beliefs are – we all want to be better, not only to have more, but also to be better, and instead of “maximization of shareholders Equity, or profit”, declare one day that your goal is to become truly better – and you will out compete all the copy/paste business models around. The only managerial problem remains is to change the DNA of others around you.

But here is the trick with that: In Heaven, even though the angels are most sensitive that no lower being can enter in Heaven, has no doors. Spiritually blind beings can see no thing around and thus can not steal anything. Same applies to business. If your business is your yoga, your self-improvement vehicle, your mantra, your pray, your inner World with its ups and downs – just be open and sleep well, cause even if they your products, nobody can copy the business model. The blinds will look, but see no thing in it.

Invest in your higher self and make it as a part of the business model. That is my mirrored Strategy which I strongly encourage you to follow.

As of the MBA frameworks – know it, examine it, test it, feel to which direction it changes you and the whole society, how it sculpts the “tyranny of common sense”, and then consciously decide to use it or not! MBA is good for those who is in love with their Ego, but for Heaven – it’s just outdated!

Posted in Business, Philosophy & Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

In front of unknown

I catch myself on a sort of mental speculation! Just wondering if that happens to you too? So, hoping that my story will resonate with your soul, I’ve decided to share my experiences so publicly.

So, what is that mysterious mental speculation I am talking about? Every time I was standing in front of something unknown, being it an object, a fact or event, instead of confessing that I do not know or understand it, I used to immediately grab whatever tag out of my sack of known things, and label my unknown object, even before thinking or feeling it. I used to do it in such a rough manner, as if I was ashamed to take some time for thinking, as if somebody was watching me and counting seconds, and judging  me for how fast I would cook my verdict and give a definition to this unknown.

I clearly understood that I was doing something wrong, and naturally, a simple question has been raised to my mind – “what if I do not label or define the things around me, or at least for some time?” I felt somehow, that my definitions were my obstacles to truly understand the essence of things from inside. So, I decided to make a small experiment. I took a minute or two observing those things before defining them. I actually started observing not so much those objects, but observing myself, in the process of observing those unknown things.

Saying honestly, those minutes of inner silence were very hard to sustain. Well at least it was hard for me. It felt like staying still, without breathing, watching a meter and proudly resisting each second.

Strange thing is that when I stopped generating my perceptions, I felt that these objects started revealing themselves more. It is like listening good music carefully and catching more sounds and phrases in it. You keep yourself from naming it. You just let those objects to tell about themselves. Make sure you let them to tell enough, so that you could gather as much colors of that feeling, as it is enough to build up the true image of the source of these feelings.

It is sensible only through listening, not through thinking. You see, when we think, we talk in out thought, and usually when we talk we do not feel in that very moment. We somehow know what we should say, and we just say it. Thinking takes your ready thoughts and tries to match them to the feelings and if it succeeds – you would name that feeling the thought that you are holding. But that is exactly what is wrong! You should not cover alive feelings with your instantly found but dead thoughts. Listen without interruption. Just be kind, and you will definitely experience your perceptions becoming more sensitive and rich. Slowly you will give a birth to the new senses that would otherwise pass by, unless you would allow them to flourish inside you.

It may take a week or two, but I promise if you sincerely try this – you will notice the change. It really works.

Sad thing is that the moment I decide to recall these feelings, analyze them or just think about them, those feelings just stop streaming. I used to observe those feelings always in past tense, never in present or in real time. What I could not achieve is doing feelings and thinking in the same time. Though, somehow I know that it’s going to be something really extraordinary.

Usually, a very opposite happens – we stop feeling and boost thinking, and we break it into parts, compare to what we already know, define it, label it, frame it and kill it. Yes, kill, because after all, we have no live connection any more. We even feel no need in that connection. We start believing that thinking is a source and slowly start neglecting the real source of inspiration and creativity. We become more and more senseless, and if something happens and we understand it we would immediately start covering this disability with even more ridiculous slogan – “do not show emotions, otherwise they would think that you are weak”. I want to ask those people a simple question back: “Do you really think that you need to be weak to be sensitive? If so, could you please be weak say 30 minutes every day, when you are alone? It is an important procedure for maintenance of your sensual antennas!”

I used to make such comparison to better explain it: think about a properly played music which raises no emotions and emotionally played music, but played with many mistakes.

I used to perform on stage some jazz, and when it comes to the improvisation there is definitely a need of real-time feeling, as much as real-time thinking. If you only feel, you may hear great music in your ears, you can devote yourself to this music, penetrate yourself with a certain chord and play around nicely, but then next chord is coming and you are not ready to make a bridging phrase. So, you have to be awake, but if you are awake and think about next chord, how can you devote yourself to the previous chord?

It was clear that too much thinking was causing loss of sensitivity and rigidness of my phrases. Even other musicians were like this. It was so obvious for me that those musicians who tend to be feeling oriented, preferred to play more simplistic harmonies so that they could burn themselves in emotions better. On the other hand those whose strong side was thinking, they had found tricky patterns and they preferred complicated harmonies, to demonstrate their achievements better.

One thing I know from music that I needed both. I needed to be prepared mentally well. That meant to know many good phrases which is mainly achieved by listening of great musicians. Even copying them is a good learning tool. And ones your sack of known things becomes big enough, keep it open, start playing and you will instinctively use it in the moments that you would not even expect. But, actually while improvising, dive into the feelings, as if you do not have that sack. Each phrase had to be re-experienced before pronouncing. This real-time experience is a must. Nobody needs music which is experienced yesterday. Demonstrate real-time feeling, allow others to be connected to that source too, and you will attract others with such a great magnetism that you will be pleasantly surprised. It really creates an irresistible attraction.

Some people start cognition process from feeling. Some people start it from thinking. No, it would be more correct to say: sometimes we start from feeling and sometimes from thinking. But, no matter which way we take, the end is one, and it is to get harmonized with the opposite side. Understanding is nothing more than harmonizing feeling and thinking. And inspiration is joy of that harmony, which naturally leads to creativity. So, that’s how much we lose by neglecting feelings.

Morale:

  • Stop shouting your thought. Nobody needs your quick definitions. Stand silent in front of new experiences and allow it to tell its story, invite it, grow and allow it to flourish in your soul. Wait as much as it is necessary for the fruits to become sweet.
  • Perfection includes both feeling and thinking. Do not worry where you start from. Anyways, you will have to adapt yourself to the other standpoint.
  • When you see different, you have a chance to see yourself.
  • It is a miracle that we have an ability to understand new things. Thus you truly are more than what your sack of known things contains.
  • Observing feelings is not a sin and it is not diminishing the feelings. Just the opposite, amplifies them.
  • Creativity, inspiration and motivation, all have the root in feelings, not in thinking. So, do not neglect it, manage it!
Posted in Philosophy & Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments