Thought of the Week – 15th August 2022 (3)

Unhappiness is to the mind as sickness is to the body. It is a state of disharmony and imbalance. It is a signal that something is amiss and requires attention. However, in the absence of any understanding as to the real cause of unhappiness, our culture can only offer consolations and distractions.

We all feel that health is the natural state of the body. Why do we not feel that happiness is the natural state of the mind?

Rupert Spira

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Book of the Month – August 2022 : The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger


“Jonah Berger is one of those rare thinkers who blends research-based insights with immensely practical guidance. I am grateful to be one of the many who have learned from this master teacher.”—Jim Collins, author Good to Great, coauthor Built to Last

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of ContagiousInvisible Influence, and The Catalyst. He’s a world-renowned expert on social influence, word of mouth, and why products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and has published over 50 papers in top-tier academic journals. He has consulted for a range of Fortune 500 companies, keynoted hundreds of events, and popular accounts of his work often appear in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas.”
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Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way?

This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?”

The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs.

This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst. 

( Recommended by Ashok M)

Human ego…..

Sufi Story – The Begging Bowl

A king was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar,

“What do you want?”

The beggar laughed and said,

“You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!”

The king was offended. He said,

“Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me.”

And the beggar said, “ Okay if you insist but on one condition..so think twice before you promise anything.”

The emperor had seen many beggars – but beggars with conditions?

And this beggar was really strange, a very powerful man. He was a Sufi Mystic. He had charm, a charisma, his personality had an aura. Even the king felt a little jealous. And conditions?

The emperor said, ” What do you mean ? What is your condition?”

The beggar said, “It is a very simple one. You see this begging bowl?

I accept only if you can fill my begging bowl absolutely.”

It was a small begging bowl. The king said, “Of course. What do you think I am? I cannot fill this dirty small begging bowl ?”

The beggar said, “It is better to tell you before, because later you can get into trouble. If you think you can fill, then come start filling.”

The king called his vizier and told him to fill to fill it with precious stones, with diamonds, rubies and emralds. Let this beggar know with whom he is talking. But then comes the difficulty. The bowl was filled, but the king was surprised- as the stones fell into it, it would disappear. It was filled many times and each time it was again empty.

Now he was in a great rage, but told the vizier, “Even if the whole kingdom goes, if my all treasuries are emptied, let them be- but I cannot allow this beggar to defeat me.”

And all the treasures, it is said, disappeared. By and by the king became a beggar. It took months. And the beggar was there, king was there and the whole capital was there and everybody was wondering what was going to happen, what would happen in the end.

Everything was simply disappearing. Finally the king had to fall at the feet of the beggar and he said, ” Forgive me, but before you leave just tell me one thing. What is the secret of this begging bowl? All has disappeared in it “

The beggar started laughing. He said, “It is made of human ego, everything disappears in it, nothing ever fulfils it.”

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