Friday, July 3, 2015

The “Independence Day” Thinking: What are the Challenges Facing You and Human Society

Let's celebrate the Human Mind Progress in this "Independence Day"! The tech gadget advance compared to mind progress, is really a micro vs. macro human progress.

It is another Independence Day, the time to contemplate the spirit of America - Freedom, Equality, and Pursuit of Happiness. Are they just oxymoron for you, or they have the true meaning worth pursuing, as an individual, a community, or human society as a whole? What are the challenges that we face, are most important for you to achieve your dream, or are crucial to making collective human progress?

Balance: The biggest challenge that we face as a society is that we, as a society (throughout the ages) have had, and still have trouble finding a balance between the new, the old, and how to embrace the opinion of others and change oneself from within. Also, avoid the pitfall of “extreme thinking” or group thinking. The younger generations seem to have a better grasp on this issue than the older generations. This ingrained need to resist change is reflected in our resistance to accepting what is different cognitively, culturally, and philosophically. And how to set the principles to find common ground, but appreciate, not just criticize the world of difference. It’s the balance of “INSIDE and OUTSIDE”; a good discipline of looking both externally and internally will crystalize what is important for us as well as what our challenges are.

Priority: To the surprise of individuals as well as organizational leaders, the answer is not only to prioritize our daily must do’s but also, focusing on not doing what does not add true value. These are called DND’s (Do Not Do’s), and they represent our habitual activities, outdated practices, policies, and procedures which take a big chunk of our time but don’t add any true value to our cause. The question is not that we should spend our time adequately to meet our challenges, but, it is: Where do we find that time to focus on our most important challenges to make a positive and meaningful difference in ours and in other’s lives. Until and unless we focus on this, our sincere intentions of devoting our time to the right priorities and challenges will not change into positive outcomes.

Self-Reflection: Each individual will have a view about “what and who we value” and regarded as important is where we invest our time and align our actions with. Our individual strength comes from the ability to govern ourselves first before we exercise our influence on others! The INSIDE is very significant for every person that has a desire to lead others! Also from an individual's perspective, in this highly dynamic and competitive world, we are highly focused externally to pursue what makes us more satisfied. Hardly we make any effort to look inwardly to discover what truly gives us happiness and then focus on those too. It’s about first discovering “Who you are,” and competing to become “Who you want to be.”

Creativity: As a people, we have come a long way in a very short period of time, and it is in part due to the few who think outside the box, progressively. Unfortunately, the majority of people still think in terms of what has been “proven” to work in the past. Throughout history, the younger generation has always been the proponents of change. Maybe we need to take a closer look at the reasons why that is. Where do the greatest ideas come from? The most important "P" is people, our greatest asset. So, we pursue our ideas with passion and perseverance. We can also add performance which enhances the power in empowerment. Absolutely, we should share ideas, challenges, and more importantly, solutions by working more collaboratively.

Positivity: In old saying, the gist of which was “Thanks to my struggles, through which I stumbled into my strengths”. This is a positive perspective on the word challenge and the opportunities it brings to become better and better in personal and professional life. Secondly, one of the biggest challenges is to realize that most individuals and organizations are ignorant about what they are naturally capable of doing, and then transforming their mindset of dependency to self-sufficiency. If we are fine or perceive that we are fine with the status quo, why change? If change is an opportunity for new success, it has to come from somewhere. In order for something new, old has to go and this will only happen top-down with speed and chance of success. It takes passion, perseverance, and power. Passion comes first. The enthusiasm within the passion drives the perseverance. The result is a positive power. That's where we get empowerment.

Empathy: Digital is the age of empathy. Leaders that truly understand change and know how to lead people to transition through complex digital transformations are critical! Caution against human failings is in order. Everyone wants to be persuasive when advocating for their position. One needs to speak the language of the audience in order to reach them. As the world moves into a hyper-connected and interdependent digital relationship age, empathy is the single defining quality that will distinguish great leaders from the rest, to go deeper, not louder; first understand, then be understood; first, listen, then make a conversation; first envision, then communicate; first observe, then perceive; first learn to absorb knowledge, then capture insight, and gain wisdom.

Resilience: Either as an individual, organization or nation, we all have suffering time; trial and suffering expose one’s character for who you really are. Many people say that trial and suffering builds character. It does not build character as much as it exposes one's character for who you really are. That is why if a person is able to change their victim mentality to one of a survivor's mentality, or even thriver’s mindset, then and ONLY then can challenges be overcome, strength be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. People have different characters (perception + personality). Some are more resilient, they face the difficulty, and stand again, with survival's mentality; others live with a victim mentality. They are unable to accept it mentally, though would still survive. Few might face difficulties, bounce back with resilience, and transform it into a rock-solid character.

The world has become hyperconnected than ever. The oceans, mountains, and deserts can no longer separate us, now the talented people all over the world can effortlessly co-create and co-solve the problems, but also argue and compete with each other for almost everything. The challenge continues with making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and organizations alike, and make the world a more advanced (not just more advanced technology gadgets, but the more progressive mindset and culture) and peaceful society. In return, it gives oneself more happiness and increased self-confidence. Let’s just make the Spirit of Independence Day a digital motto to cure the scars in our hearts and break the walls in our mind, let it flow, grow, and alive, encircling the world!


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