HAPPINESS

What makes us happy?

The other day I purchased a comfort chair for my reading corner , I was very excited and waited for the chair to be delivered .

It’s been a few days now that I have the chair , it’s good to have but the excitement of having it has now gone.

This happens every time , a packet from Amazon arrives and I am happy and excited to open it.

But within a few days the excitement is forgotten.

We do feel that when we get things we will be happy, but when we get those things there is momentary happiness and then we shift to the next thing.

We do feel if we reach somewhere we will be happy, when we are in school it is college , when it is college it is the dream job in the dream company , when we have the dream job it is the promotion.

It always seems to be the next thing or the next place that will make us happy.

It seems happiness is an outside job. Some thing has to happen, or we have to get something, then we can be happy.

But what if we don’t get that thing or what if we don’t reach where we wanted to go?

We would be unhappy?

Also with this approach to life the person who has the most would be the most happiest , is it so ? Do we see that in life.

Scratch beneath the surface those that seem to have everything may not be as happy as you think.

Social media pictures are certainly not the depiction of reality.

We put out the best pictures, and then we use filters to make our pictures look good.

We take the glamour of stars as real and we start chasing dreams to be like them , we create idols and we worship them , we become fans.

The heroes we worship are fragile because life is fragile.

Advertising lures us with things and the way it does so is by telling us , we are not ok. What we have is not enough.

We then chase excitement in things. We want to feel ok , we want to be like the stars , we want others to see us , appreciate us , maybe put us on a pedestal.

We want to be in the spotlight, or we feel so , everyone is watching us .

No one is , everyone is selfish, focused on self.

Ask those on a pedestal how afraid they are.

We feel excited chasing things. Have you experienced the excitement of getting something new ?

During the pandemic when non essentials were out of reach we did feel restless .

Yet we survived on the essentials , we found our pleasure in other things , like spending more time with family.

I have come to the realisation that we are constantly in chase , always feeling a gap.

It is almost like being on a treadmill that does not have a stop button, but also does not take us anywhere.

We keep running but we are at the same place , yet we keep running all our lives and then one day we drop dead.

Yet we keep chasing, the chase seems to be exciting, till it lasts.

Till the time we are and we are chasing there seems to be excitement, we hope this thing if we get it we will be finally happy.

We get it , we get there , there is momentary happiness then again the gap then again the chase.

Happiness I have come to realise is not out there, somewhere in the future.

It has got nothing to do with the outside.

Happiness is an inside job and it is certainly not in the destination.

It is not the destination, but the journey that matter.

It is not the things we own , but the moments we live that matter.

It is not what we get but what we give in the world that matters .

It is not what the world thinks but what we feel that matters .

Happiness I have noticed when I have gratitude for what I have.

When I drop the chase I start living. When I don’t seek spotlight I am most alive as me.

There is no happiness out there it is just there where we are.

THERE IS UNCERTAINTY

What happens outside of us we have no control over that , life changes in a moment just like that.

There was no warning, it had never happened, the world shut down , everything stopped.

A sudden death in the family , major illness , financial loss , job loss , anything can happen any moment.

We seek our lives to be comfortable, pain free , certain and in control.

But life is not in our control, outside circumstances are not in our control.

Resistance to what is does not help . What is has already occurred, now fight as much , cry as much , resist as much the situation has already occurred.

There is no choice to change what is happening outside. None.

There is choice to change what is happening inside , that is the only choice we have.

Life has dealt a difficult card , there is turbulence within , you cannot run away.

Can you find meaning in your pain , it has showed up in your life for a reason.

Can you convert your pain into a purpose ? Can you learn from it .

The scientist did what was never done before in one year we have a vaccine to fight the pandemic.

The world has a deeper opportunity to course correct on the damage we have cause our planet and the balance of life on our world.

Individuals have an opportunity to learn from what happened and pick up the lessons that will make them stronger to face challenges in the future.

Businesses have a lesson to rethink purpose and the way of life and work.

Everything happens for a reason are you ready to learn ?

THINGS THAT NO LONGER IMPRESS ME

  1. Name brand of clothing

As long as it is comfortable and fits well I don’t care.

  1. The price of the car

My current car the Honda City is over eight years old and it serves me well , does the work of transportation when I need.

  1. Square footage of home

A smaller home is easier to maintain, I am not impressed with bigger homes.

Our current home that is around 1000 sq ft with a space for my WFH that is sufficient.

  1. Amount of money in the bank account

Nothing wrong with money , it is exchange for Value you bring to the world, it lets you live life on your own terms .

But beyond a point it only matters if you can help others or what good you can do in the community with what you earn.

The lockdowns have demonstrated how little we need to live.

  1. Gadgets we use

I do buy gadgets but as long as they serve my work beyond that I am not interested In buying the latest shiny object that is out there.

  1. Social media likes

People put out pictures of their vacations or food they eat , tell their best stories.

But I know they are only part of the story not the whole story.

I was not always like this , I have changed over time .

I understood that what truly matters is health , family , friends and freedom.

We deeply yearn for ‘Freedom’ to live life on our own terms but we start imitating the culture.

It is not a restricted lifestyle rather it is focusing on what truly matters in life.

I am sure the pandemic has been a wake up call for us to reflect on what is truly important.

Do you agree ?

P.S- ( Need to yet work on the nutrition bit )

ALL CREATION HAPPENS OUT OF ABUNDANCE MINDSET

Look at any creator and you will see an abundance mindset . Creation never happens out of scarcity mindset.

Yet what we learn from our childhood is largely driven by fear and scarcity. Only a few kids in a class rank top in a defined curriculum so we are taught to compete . What is missed is that each child is different, each has a unique gift . We try to box the definition of success , only a few can succeed and most are doomed to live an average life is what we are told and what we also see.

Competition : if the resources are limited or only a few can reach the top then competition is a natural behaviour that is driven into children . We are constantly reminded that only the fittest survive and that it is a dog eat dog world out there. This implies that most have to either fail or live an average life and only a few can succeed. Every magazine puts the pictures of the top 50 most successful people in the field , what happens to the rest ?

Money : As we grow it is then instilled that the one who has the most money is the most successful so we get driven by greed and desire to accumulate more . Our bank balance starts defining who we are . The race moves from scoring high marks in school to who earns the most or has the most.

Yet ask anyone who has a big bank balance and they will tell you beyond a point having more money does not add to life. A bigger house beyond a point does not add to happiness.

Risk : The schooling system teaches us to avoid taking risks as failure is looked down upon . Safety of the crowd is what is hammered in every child.

“Don’t take risk , don’t be different” is a lesson we learn. At each step the majority learns to operate from scarcity, that there is not enough. Our definition of success. Itself pushes us into a scarcity mindset.

While you look at any creator the key quality is abundance mindset. What if you were to turn the game and ask different set of questions.

Q1. If there was no problem with money what would you love to do ?

Q2. What is your unique gift ? what makes you most alive ?

Q3. What is the value you can add to the world?

Q4. Who can benefit from the value you can add ?

Q5. How would you live if there was no limitation to what you could create ?

A creator mindset operates from abundance, is willing to take risks , The future of work is more individuals living their passion. The pandemic has made this even more possible as work from anywhere is now mainstream.

The keyword is ‘Value Exchange’ . There is enough in our world for everyone, we need to drop our definitions of success. Abundance mindset is what we need, knowing that we will be taken care as long as we add Value in our world.

POWER OF INTEGRITY EXPERIMENTS – FUTURE OF WORK AND LIFE

Social Flutur will be the first experiment of creating a new way of working.

  1. Based on collaboration.
  2. Each individual bringing their best selves to work , contributing.
  3. Each individual experiencing collective abundance.
  4. A team based on ‘Trust’.

Do watch and follow this blog where I will keep sharing on a unique experiment on the way we work and live. I call this journey ‘Integrity Experiments’

What is the purpose of life ? Why do we work ? these are two questions that we all ask at some point in our life. There are goals I have chased in life and once I get past them I yet feel a sense of emptiness.

Integrity experiments is a journey to find truths around life and work . It is also an idea to build a new kind of an organisation for the connected age.

I begin with the following assumptions as i have experienced them.

  1. We all want ‘pleasure’ and want to avoid ‘pain’ , yet pain is unavoidable , suffering though is avoidable.
  2. ‘Culture’ is external to us and not our ‘Truth’, we become our ‘Culture’.
  3. We are all born with a unique gift , I call it ‘Our Truth’ our life purpose is to ‘Express our Truth’.
  4. Work is an expression of our ‘Truth’ but mostly it has got clouded with ‘Cultural’ truth.
  5. Our ‘Truth’ is connected to the Universal Truth , we are ‘One.’
  6. When we do not express our ‘Truth’ we ‘hurt’ and this can be felt in our lives in different ways.

Somehow the ‘Culture’ that is outside of us has got us hooked to chase what is not ‘Our Truth’ . What are the signs of not being in our ‘Truth’ ?

  1. We experience there is Scarcity in our world. We chase , we gather , we accumulate and yet feel it is not enough . There is never enough.
  2. We compete , success is seen as being ahead of the rest.
  3. We want to be seen and acknowledged by others , our existence is based on what others think of us.
  4. We move away from our ‘authenticity’ and put on a ‘mask’ that is very heavy.
  5. Work is ‘survival’ to pay the bills.
  6. Our life is about ‘Self’ , greed , accumulating , disconnected with the rest and our world.
  7. Culture creates Us vs Them.
  8. Our ‘Culture’ becomes who we are.

What is ‘Culture’ ?

All that is external to us that influences our behaviour can loosely be defines as culture.

The Integrity Experiments will revolve around ‘Living my Truth’, ‘Our Truth’.

  1. At Work – Building a collaborative organisation , each individual bringing their best self and operating from abundance in collaboration and ‘Trust’.
  2. In relationships – Express ‘My Truth’ in relationships and also be open to many expressions of ‘Truth’.
  3. Planet – See the oneness of all that exists on our planet , be a change to heal the world.
  4. Health – Get closer to the ‘Truth’ about healthy way of living and being. The mind/ body is a medium through which we express in our world.
  5. Spirituality – Connect to the stillness within be open to experiencing beyond the known.

and to begin with the experiment at work we pivot Social Flutur a Brand and Digital Strategy company to a collaborative space for those who wish to express their creative communication self , those that have a calling to build ‘Purpose’ driven organisations and ‘Brands’.

Social Flutur will be the first experiment of creating a new way of working.

  1. Based on collaboration.
  2. Each individual bringing their best selves to work , contributing.
  3. Each individual experiencing collective abundance.
  4. A team based on ‘Trust’.

Do watch and follow this blog where I will keep sharing on a unique experiment on the way we work and live. I call this journey ‘Integrity Experiments’

IS YOUR BUSINESS ALIGNED ? LESSONS I LEARNT ON MY ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY.

When I started on my entrepreneurial journey I wanted to pick up any kind of clients , the focus was growing the business.

Over time I realised that this was sapping my energy and the clients either left or I had to let them go.

This was a waste of my time and energy. And here are a few lessons I picked up.

1. Scarcity Vs Abundance. It is the scarcity thinking that got me to pick up any and every client that came my way . What if there was no business was the biggest worry.

I soon realised this did not help. I would end up picking wrong clients or work .

This is also true for a job , picking up any job to pay the bills soon backfires as you hate working everyday.

Focusing on Abundance helps . There is truly enough in the world for your need. You need to trust the process of the universe.

This needs patience but it works. Define the kind of clients you want to work with it will save you a lot of wasted time and energy.

2. Greed finally hurts . You accumulate more , you get on a treadmill that never stops.

Focusing on having more drives you to pick up more work not necessarily what you love to do.

If you wish to live life on your own terms focus on what is truly important, cut the crap , de clutter life , drop the extras.

When you drop greed for more in life the pressure to go after any client or job also drops away.

3. Don’t look at others . This is one of the biggest problems, we constantly look at others and compare.

When your neighbour has a bigger car it becomes a problem. So we keep accumulating things so we can show off . We want to look better.

We chase business to compete and it makes us feel good . We always feel that the spotlight is on us while the reality is no one is bothered .

Everyone is focused on their life story not yours. So stop looking at others . Follow your path , it is different.

4. Cut the debt . A very practical advice , if you have debt you have to pay the bills . To pay the bills you will pick up anything that comes your way.

You get caged and stuck to a rat race as bills need to be paid. The bigger house and car is not worth it if it puts handcuffs to your dreams.

Cut your debt if you wish to live an intentional life and choose your work.

I went to zero debt before I began my entrepreneurial journey.

5. Listen to your heart . If it does not feel ok your heart will tell you . You will feel it in your body.

If you feel the dread of waking up , going to work or dealing with a client know that something is missing .

Check for alignment . You have to feel the joy of creating. If you find a client is always picky and is running you down , does not respect you , it is not worth it.

Not being aligned to your calling hurts you in ways more than one ways . Don’t postpone, get out , drop such a client or job , it’s going to be detrimental to inner peace .

6. Don’t pick up clients who don’t have money to pay . I have had such clients who want the work to be done but don’t have the capacity to pay .

They would promise to pay once their business picks up. I would pick them up anyways hoping when they when they do well they would pay .

This was a mistake they would soon drop out or drain me without any joy or value for what I put in as effort.

Bless such clients, to go on their someone they can afford. Don’t compromise it never works.

If the clients you work with don’t see value , it’s not worth it to hold on , bless them and let them go immediately. Either way they will go, it’s better you let them go.

If you don’t value yourself, no one else will.

7. Don’t pick up any business that does not align with your values even if it pays well . When your heart is not there in what you are giving out in the world , don’t do it.

There is karma and it will come back to bite you some day. Any business that is not aligned to your values where you feel people are getting cheated or the vulnerable are exploited, stay way.

Ask the question ‘why’ do you wish to become an entrepreneur and what is the ‘value’ you are adding to the world.

Find those clients that align with your ‘why’ and drop the rest . Trust the universe to take care . Focus on adding ‘value’ with your unique ‘gifts’.

Alignment brings joy to life there is no other way to live.

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED

We were all hopeful that vaccines would help us end the pandemic. Till we saw what happened in India.

The second wave has been devastating, people have died gasping for air.

Hospitals are full, the medical infrastructure has collapsed.

The subconscious impact of not being able to get a hospital bed and oxygen despite of having money and connections is going to remain.

What we also know that there will be mutations that will bypass the existing vaccines. So the third wave is inevitable.

No one is confident of how long would this last the earlier hope that this will soon fade away seems distant.

Most doctors and scientists now say that the pandemic is here with us for a long haul . How long no one knows . At least till large population of the world is vaccinated.

Unless we get lucky and the virus just vanished away on its own.

How will this change us ? How will this change the way we live ? Do business?

Health is going to be a focus area for all, one needs to be healthy to survive was never more true than now.

Vaccines can protect us till a point as seen there would be mutations and waves.

Staying healthy is urgent, building self immunity is urgent .

The stress of working from home being confined in regular periods being uncertain about health and the future would increase stress.

Depression and anxiety are bound to go up.

This is what I see ;

1. There would be a focus by individuals on preventive healthcare.

2. Tele medicine would be a way to connect with doctors and most people would be comfortable.

3. Wellness would be in high demand as individuals will seek support for mind and body health.

4. Immunity is going to be a key word.

5. As WFH takes root homes would be equipped with gyms.

There would be a COVID fatigue as countries open up people would indulge , travel , party.

As waves come they would be followed by lockdowns and again people would sit at home.

Flexi working would be the way.

Humans are social animals they seek social company , people are going to need people to talk to , be with , express their inner feelings.

World will come together or will drift away as borders get protected from waves of virus.

Third world and poor countries and communities will be impacted the most.

All these changes will impact every business and profession and person on our planet.

Some businesses will die some will reinvent.

Marketing will change , will become less sales and more humane , more caring and less greed, more focused on the inside than external world.

Spiritually and faith will find place in an uncertain world it will get strengthened.

We are at crossroads like never before, it can bring out the best and the worst from us as humanity.

I hope we choose to reflect on our priorities , what truly matters and heal the world.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IN 8 STEPS

Whether you are a founder of a business or you are in a job or a freelancer you are a person brand.

You can choose to be a part of the crowd and become a commodity brand.

Being a commodity will make you replaceable with something or someone cheaper.

Being a Commodity is a survival game.

You can choose to be a brand that stands out from the crowd and is valued.

As a person brand you can command a premium.

You need to take these 7 steps to build your person brand.

1. Have a Brand Purpose

Ask the question ‘why’ do I exist ? This is the most important question you will ever ask .

Take a tombstone test “How would you want people to remember you”.

2. Define your Brand values.

What is your true north ? that will not change with time . This is the core of your character.

3. Be Authentic

Be true to yourself , don’t look for approval. Have a point of view and stand for your point of view.

4. Be Different

As a brand you are unique , find your gift, find your niche , focus , stand out from the crowd , do your thing, take risks . Choose a path less travelled , one that gives you joy.

5. Make a Brand Promise

What is your brand promise ? What is the value you add to your clients.

Clearly articulate your brand promise.

And declare your brand promise to the world. Once you put it out there you become accountable.

Clients like those that take accountability.

6. Live your Brand promise

Word of mouth is the best brand marketing.

When’d your clients spread your word your value grows .

And every one you work with is your client .

7. Be ready to be Vulnerable

A personal brand is vulnerable, you cannot win all the time , that is being fake . Be ready to be and share your vulnerability.

7. Be your own Brand Storyteller

If you don’t tell your brand story no one else will .

Every touch point is an opportunity to tell your brand story .

Your network is your net worth.

The social media offers you an opportunity to build your personal brand.

I help my clients build their personal brand in the digital world through personal coaching and workshops.

In case you are interested do visit my website http://www.sanjaymudnaney.com

WHY DO WE TELL STORIES?

There is mystery about life and death , that is how we become storytellers.

That we will just vanish one day without a trace seems inexplicable.

From where do we come and where do we go are questions asked since the beginning of time.

There are no answers , it all seems meaningless, after all nothing matters, and to make sense of our existence we tell stories.

In our stories we create religion , we create God.

Nation is a collective story , there are no real boundaries.

Stories make us more secure in an insecure existence.

We create our villains and we create our heroes.

We create the story of what is good and what is bad.

We create stories of success and failures.

We create stories of bravery and valour and of cowardice and treachery

We are ready to live and die for our stories .

We connect with our stories .

Our fears ,our pains , our suffering, our desires our dreams are similar.

They are universal truths.

Below the layers , we are the same , our stories are similar.

We tell stories because that is what we are – Storytellers.

HOW BEING VULNERABLE CAN MAKE A BRAND MORE POWERFUL

A brand is like a living person.

It needs to be authentic to build trust.

No person can constantly be winning.

There will be days of struggle , days of failure.

There are moments of truth.

“Always good” is based on untruth.

Trust cannot be built on “Untruth”.

Can a brand be authentic and own up failure, say sorry ?.

Can a Organisational or Person brand share vulnerable moments ?

It’s difficult to be vulnerable. But it builds trust.

I experienced these both at Mastek where I headed Corporate Communications.

Mastek was the first company in the IT industry to give a profit warning ahead of quarterly results.

There was no precedent.

Obvious repercussions were bad press , investor calls .

Yet it emerged more powerful as a transparent and ethical brand.

The next story is of vulnerability.

Ashank Desai the Co Founder had an difficult early childhood.

There was his story of poverty and struggles.

Ashank has shared his story and lessons to inspire youngsters.

This has made him a strong person brand.

Being Vulnerable is strength.

Real heroes are authentic, they also fall.

Yet they get up and fight back.

Make your brand story more powerful.

Tell a authentic story. Be vulnerable.