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Gold fish in the Bowl!



gold fish,blog,attention,ignorance,environment
Monday, December 28, 2009

Rajit Nair


Many of my blog followers wroteto me saying that I should include other topics and issues apart from the corporate or work life setting. Well! I would prefer to continue with the work- life related issues but I promise I will try to touch or link other aspects of life in the backdrop of work-life or how it may influence one’s work and domestic existence.

Further, I may not be able to write articles on issues in which I don’t have in-depth knowledge because of the following reason and I am sure my highly intellectual readers would agree. Of course, I may have my own opinions and views on issues happening on or off the corporate world. This is because of the knowledge gained from media or books butmay lack an in-depth knowledge to deliver a speech or post an article.I always believed that half-knowledge will not take you anywhere as it is very much close to ignorance. However, the irony is that only very few would admit their ignorance.

Recently, I attended acollege function and the students requested me to deliver a ‘gyan’ on the Copenhagen Summit on Environment. I humbly declined the request stating the same reasons mentioned above. What I told the attendees is that I may be able to deliver a ‘chocolate coated’ speech on the requested topic based on my information and readings and swindle the listeners, but I am not going to do that because I would prefer to speak on my own domain.Importantly, I don’t want to loose an opportunity to enlighten aspiring job seekers on the fierce corporate world outside the campus gates.

Thinking about another blogtopic draws my attention towards the bowl in the corner of my living room. The bowl is having a gold fish, my son’s only live ‘toy’. To maintain an aquarium in any format or size is a real headache, added responsibility and time consuming, as our little shiny, golden or rather orange colored swimmers demand too much attention like change of water every other day, aerator, constant maintenance of water temperature and the like.

Similar to the goldfish, we are also susceptible to the conditions around us both in our domestic and work life. There should be visible or invisible requirements or facilities in both cases to provide regular grooming or de-cluttering as required to lead a ‘clean’ life or to excel at work. If we do only bad deeds or bull s**t too much, the ‘water’ in which we are ‘swimming’ will get polluted and soon we would perish by consuming the toxicsemitted by our own deeds or work. This is nature’s own way ofde-cluttering!

Science needs to be moreadvanced to measure and record the level of satisfaction or feelings of Gold fish inside a bowl. Whether s/he is happy with constraints like being in a bowl, feed timings dictated by the ‘caretaker’ and the stress during the change of water needs research. I am sure the gold fish is not happy as s/he is confined his/her freedom inside a glass castle.

Well! The debate is whether thefish is sad or happy or arrogant or ignorant. In all the cases, the state of mind in which the fish is in is purely depending on factors around and within the bowl. To be a gold fish or not is your choice.

Being a pet gold fish provides lots of luxuries at the disposal of others time and effort. But one small mistake or delay to change the water or switch on the aerator would be detrimental. You should agree that being a shark also has its own merits and demerits.


In work life, you need tocreate your own niche rather depending on others to create you with opportunities for growth. You need to keep your eyes and ears open to grab such opportunities as in the real world nobody would be able to guide 100% where you need to head for success. As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, a mentor would help, but you need to follow your heart. During the initial years of your career, I think it would be better to be a ‘gold fish’ as you may need time to acclimatize and choose the best career path for you. During the initial phase of your career, you may need mentors, sponsors and tons of luck. At any giventime, you need to sharpen your thinking skills and strive to enrich your knowledge base and always try to think out of the ‘bowl’.

Whether you opt to be a goldfish or a shark, you need to cultivate and then safeguard values in your personal or corporate life. More importantly is to have a‘beautiful mind’, with the right mix of creativity, imagination and empathy. The highly acclaimed work of Edward deBono, ‘Howto have a Beautiful Mind’would guide how to create a beautiful mind. The techniques mentioned ‘doesn’t need a high IQ, or reams of knowledge, or a great personality’.

To be ambitious and creativedoesn’t mean that you should opt for shortcuts. Some people opt for the shortcuts to script success and like a mushroom in the Indian monsoon, will pop up into limelight and perish within a short cycle. Achievements from shortcuts are short-lived, is what history proclaims.

Success always has the sideeffect called arrogance. Arrogance would kill your humility and shuts the openness of your mind to learn more. “Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride,anger, harshness, and ignorance; these are the marks of those who are born with demonic qualities, O Arjuna”said Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita.

I recall the entrance of the guru’s abode. The entrance is designed in such a way that there is ascend and a descend, so the devotee entering need to ascend a bit and then descend to the inside of ashram withhumbleness or openness to accept enlightenment. After darshan, and hearing the Guru’s discourses on life or spirituality, the devotee or follower returns by ascending and then descending to the materialistic world with the same humbleness or openness with which he would be able to practice daily life. This is life, where we would be faced with ups and downs and those who realize this fact would emerge as the final winner!

Please keep visiting http://stateoftheartconsulting.blogspot.com/  (every week) for more onthe series “Fearless or Shameless”.



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