Are you diving deep?

This blog was featured on the Active Garage website on Sunday, September 24, 2009

“Not necessarily what you saw is true; not necessarily what you heard is true. Only when you think and dive deeper you will know the truth”. This statement is the essence of one of the songs I had enjoyed during my childhood days and it lingers in my memory even today.

This is applicable and useful in several aspects of our day-to-day life. Sit back, think and answer the following questions:

  • Have you judged and evaluated people based on their first appearances and later found that it was an opportunity lost because of your misjudgment?
  • Have you formed opinions about people based on what you had heard about them from someone and later when you came in contact with them, you realized that the opinion you had earlier formed was totally off the mark?
  • Have you experienced that, in the spur of the moment, you said something and later ended up kicking yourself for having done so?

It is normal if you have experienced any of these. It might be useful to dive a little deeper to find out how your results are in different areas of your work/life:

If you are achieving great results – then it means, your ability to dive deeper into matters that are important to you is strong.
If you are suffering/struggling/helpless/feeling lonely – then, it might be a good idea to watch your ego meter
If you have no clue what this is all about – then it might mean that you are a strong believer of ‘ignorance is bliss’ or perhaps you’re just ignorant that you are ignorant!
It doesn’t matter where you are now. What matters is that you dive deeper with every matter that matters to you. Let me illustrate this with a story

A lady in a faded grey dress and her husband, dressed in a home-spun suit walked in timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn’t even deserve to be in Harvard.

“We want to see the President Eliot” the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day” the secretary snapped.

“We’ll wait” the lady replied.

For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president..

“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave” she said to him. The President Eliot, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him “We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”

The president wasn’t touched….He was shocked. “Madam “he said, gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly” We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, and then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.”

For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own?”

Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name: -Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

Most of the time we judge people by their outer appearances, which can be misleading. And in this impression, we tend to mistreat people by thinking they can do nothing for us and lose out on potential good friends, employees or customers.

If only we can remember to dive in a little deeper; we stand to cross the elusive chasm of our own shallow opinions and make it to the other side where we can experience a whole beautiful world of life filled with success and happiness.

Naveen Lakkur is co-founder & Director at Compassites. Naveen has a track record of 5 successful IT start-up initiatives in his professional career. He is an expert in building IT start-ups and has demonstrated his proficiency in innovating, validating and converting ideas into working business models. He has participated in 30+ successful ideations. He has also gained experience from large enterprises such as Wipro and Digital and has donned several roles. “Converting Creative Concepts into Commerce with Compassion” is a one line intro of Naveen.

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