Comfort and Compromise

The first thing we are exposed to as a child is 'comfort' in the womb of the mother.  After birth, we are pampered with necessities along with luxuries and thus either intuitively or consciously 'comfort' is a necessity for all of us. How can we make any decision without considering 'comfort'? Comfort isn't a bad word if used wisely. How do we use it to decide on the compromises we are compelled in to?

AR Rahman, the musician, said in an interview that he waited for weeks to get the right tune for the song Vande Matram. Similarly world over, such eureka moments occur quite often in the lives of the creative. However in the lives of practical people, decisions are not made waiting for the pick of the best but are made by compromising to a choice of the optimal.  In the lives of the ordinary, decisions may seldom be taken at the right time and thus decisions are made only at the most comfortable or utmost urgent times.

So the best don't compromise, while the ordinary are hesitant to compromise and thus they make their decisions only when they are comfortable with the choices. How much ever sermons are given of how not to stay in comfort zones, unless pushed most like to stay put. Marketers and politicians have progressed by exploiting this womb based need of Humans.

However in a fast changing world, stagnancy is detrimental for the future. Decisions about people and process would mean considerations of varied priorities and multiple constraints. There is also the time constraint, for decisions have to be timely for them to have the right meaning.

An optimal choice made after due considerations of the comfort levels of all involved both in short term and long term will be devoid of any negative side effects. There is a limit for discomfort that can be endured for which the expected pay off is increase in future comfort. Similarly there is a limit for the comforts one can enjoy at present. If decisions are made only on economic considerations ignoring people and process considerations, then there is a possibility for negative side effects and that is why it is prudent to consider the comfort quotient also while making decisions. Man power planning, employee engagement and goal setting will have to consider this aspect to the fullest for a harmonious environment and team building. This is a time when people do not want to do or be in uncomfortable situation even if it is a luxurious proposition. So a matrix involving short term and long term returns and comfort deviance is necessary to be customized for effective decision making.

Think when you make a decision. It is better to stand still if any decision now would make the future uncomfortable. Any decision which can increase the comfort now would also need to be assessed by its returns for a distant future for what gives comfort now should not have negative effect and cause future discomfort.

So make a matrix with comfort ability on the Y axis and Benefits on the X axis with the quadrants indicating short term, long term and increasing the quadrants based on the considerations and complexity of the decision to be made.

If you can afford, try to be comfortable while making a decision. If you can't afford, try to make it affordable.





Before we as beings visit this world, we are all exposed to comfort in our Mother’s womb. The birth of a baby is really amazing to learn. At the end of month three, the baby gets its face and moves and is provided with all nourishment and essentials required for growth comfortably. Yet the child prepares to leave the comfort zone and actively prepares by alternate resting and activeness by month nine. Whatever be the economic status of its parents almost all children are further pampered to hilt during the early stages of its open life.


So before money, riches, love or any other need the first exposure is comfort for all human lives. As it grows, a child learns and is taught many things, but one thing it surely expresses and learns on its own is how to get the comfort it feels it requires. It cries, creates a scene or uses what ever expression possible to get what it wants. Yet no child feels contended. It moves from one level of comfort to next and is constantly curious and eager to grow and show.  There isn’t much difference in all this, from a child born in slums or in the riches nor whether born in this side of the world or any other part of the world.


Change and the keen urge for change has always been fanned and propelled by the only need of the child and that is increase or its perception of an increase in comfort. But when it grows the society tells the being that the comfort is a bad word for it instigates stagnation and one needs to constantly move out of comfort zone if one needs to change or grow. Isn’t this really queer?


What we do in reality is also quite different from what is preached. We make most of our decisions based on our comfort satisfaction. We mingle or live only with people with whom we feel comfortable or adjust to find comfort in the environment we chose to live. We buy only those things with which we are comfortable with and this can of course be subjective, differing from person to person and also from time to time for the same person. We use only those things we are comfortable with or learn to be comfortable with it before using it. Quality, time, money are all very important considerations along with some other for any decision making but eventually what is very important is the consideration of comfort.  We do not necessarily pick the best quality even if we can afford but it always zeros in on with what we will be comfortable with. So comfort, intuitively, unconsciously or very consciously is an important factor in all our decision making and in all our responses to various stimuli. We need to desire first, if we need to change. Won’t we understand this better if we see life through the prism of comfort?


If we see the life of those who by the norms of the society are termed successful, they have desired first to become. So what is the difference between the ordinary and the extra ordinary? We all desire but those who make it happen are those who constantly seek for greater or more comforts and train themselves to comfortably wade between zones of comfort and discomfort with a sole aim of increasing the scope and meaning of their comfort.  It is a natural tendency of all humans to establish and maintain a status quo if it suits well and if one feels really very cosy and comfort in that state. But long reigns of comfort either intuitively, physically or really causes discomfort and urges to find new definitions and zones of comfort. This is what propels growth of an individual or society.


In the end of last year I visited the hills of Tirumala, a Temple town atop a hillock in south India to pray and while climbing by foot faced discomfort largely due to obesity and also because of a strenuous exercise after a long break (Plus the age = 50) .  Of course I made it to the top but this made me think and so I vowed to reduce weight or recoup my body and walk again the next month. But somehow I forgot about this and it was a wrong telephonic call (someone said he phoned the wrong number) from Tirupathi on February 28th which reminded me again of my oath.


I decided that I will make amends by walking thrice in March which would mean once for the month of Jan. Feb and March as vowed.  By this time I had not reduced weight but perhaps increased by a few grams. Yet the faith and need to fulfill an oath to a higher power propelled me to comfortably wade in to the task with no other consideration of comfort or discomfort. I walked thrice within two and a half days covering nearly 7000 to 8000 steps, uphill. (23 kilometers) The last time I walked just once but felt cramps and struggled to reach. But this time though well equipped with knee caps, pain killers and sprays never felt the need for them.


The journey and the solitude made me realize a lot of how the theory of possibility is more about how to make what is impossible as possibility and not to brand or define the zones of possibility. What is practical today was impossible yesterday. More about this in the near future…

The Consultant and The Coach

Let me start with some disclaimers. I am not god (what a revelation) and hence imperfect. I am not a god man and so not any enlightened

How would I know?

Let me start with some disclaimers. I am not god (what a revelation) and hence imperfect. I am not a god man and so not any enlightened soul nor in the know-how of scriptures and neither is someone speaking to my mind often. So how do I know and why do I still assert 'indulge with me and I can change your world'

The universe has more of gas (or Plasma) than any solid or liquid and it is natural you would suspect gas anywhere or everywhere unless the 'matter' is in front of you, visibly and physically solid or at least a liquid. So what do I have to show as matter in me?

My paths so far haven’t been the ‘perfect’ ones nor are they any showcases for success as is perceived by the world today. Many a times, I have faltered that too very badly and hence may not be in a position to really boast about learning’s from a position of strength and supreme power. So how do I say indulge with me and I can change your world? 

I have had many failures in the past and have faced many hardships both due to them and otherwise. So here too I cannot showcase a career of successful steps, well chartered and well behaved. So how do I know and how do I say what I say?

I do not have any perfect body to showcase and nor any charismatic looks, you know the typical one’s which make people stop and look for good.  I am just with a

mediocre, the man next door looks, fat and round thanks to genes and more exercising of minds than body.  So what do I have to tell you or show you and why should you care to stop and listen?

I am an avid listener and cherish attending many meetings, seminars, conferences, chat rooms and webinars. In all these places I have met very successful people who are also capable of articulating and inspiring people by example, also propose theories and have a track record of consultations and performance. I have met academicians who present papers after papers and have a long history of data to showcase as their accomplishments. So obviously compared to them I am a clear nobody and so how do I know? How do I still say I have something to offer?

Whenever I meet people or in any environment, I observe, feel, try to understand and also contemplate. In the process I may have been seen as more an introvert and hence here too I can’t boast of great connections!  So why should you care to listen?

As you see here, my language isn’t either prose or poetry and surely not with those flamboyant hifi words to showcase expertise and command over it. I am a man of simple words and so how do I say I have something to offer?

So is it self-realization? Is it tenacity, intense feeling, clarity of thought process, tempering of mind, inquisitiveness, adamant exercise of mind, logical or critical thinking? What is it that makes me assert I have something to offer?  I am a self trained and a well trained em-path for sure but is this the reason or is it all of above?

Think for a minute, if after all this someone is saying he has something to offer, why not try it out, especially when it costs less?

I normally let you find your own answers. That is a good reason for you to call 9789052532 now.

The Stress Busters

Stress interviews are actually a sadistic exercise which exhibits a ridiculing or mental torturing of candidate in front of so many especially when it is a stage event. The actual said purpose is to test and measure the candidate’s ability to face and respond to stressful situations, which is very essential for a good manager.

Stressful situations in reality come uncalled for and at moments least expected and hence perhaps one flaw in the format is the missing of that element of surprise. How would you unsettle a mind which has come prepared to face attempts to unsettle?

  Even the best minds wilt when pressure and hence it isn’t that we look for some god who would be ice to all stress. What makes one succumb- surprise? Insult?  Anger? Unpreparedness?  Ego? Or is it a combination of this? It isn’t very difficult to unsettle someone, but to gauge his reaction to it isn’t too simple! One should understand that here is a prepared person in front of you knowing well that you are going to be mean.  In fact it is this which makes me argue that most of the hr interviews of today lack the purpose it is meant for but actually tests one’s preparedness for it. So many hr folks make a business by preparing candidates for likely questions and best answers and most of them hear it very often as everyone now has access to these.

How do people perform after their very good performance in stress interview or the opposite will be an interesting study to prove or disprove this practice. Especially since it is now used as the most deciding factor in choosing who is a potential good

manager among budding managers! Stress interviews are many times harsh for unfortunately they bring out the best results proportionate to the harshness! One needs to see the adrenaline gushing to witness the capacity to hold on or failure to do so. Provocation hence need to be there and intense. When sit in front of a crowd then the insult and anger multiplies too. The ego may take precedence and the purpose may take back seat which might result in some ugly conversations. There are instances we hear where candidates performed well in interviews and were offered jobs but they refused to accept the offer because they did not want to work for such rude people!  But then what is a stress interview where a judge is more worried about his reputation and hence becomes goodie goodie!

Research proves increase in blood pressure levels as a direct consequence of stress interview. Now how the body responds after a BP increase becomes visible while the interview is in process. The most important excuse given for such an interview is that the workplace demands an ability to handle stress of all kinds. The workplace is full of tensions, egos and turmoil and one need to maintain composure and solve problems. Hence managers are required to be emotionally stable and in control.

Stress is not equal for all human beings and what can cause stress for one may be enjoyable for the other. For example a roller coaster ride will bring the sweat out in some while others may enjoy it as a ride.  An ugly looking person may infuriate some while others may look at him with empathy and understanding. When a person insults, obviously ego will prompt retaliation, while actually measured and timely response has always been more effective.

“If someone insults u, don't get angry. Try to understand, he/she needs help not u! Just perform ur duty.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Stress is very personal and what is the best reaction is also subjective to an extent, since it would depend on the environment and situations.But

there is no doubt that stress in society is increasing and most agree that it needs to be dealt with in proper manner for a successful management of any event or people. For example a TV anchor will be bombarded by news continuously with various distractions, pressures and pulls. They also have to face criticisms and even abuses and hence one needs extreme good quality of mind to cope and perform better than the rivals. What would be the best way to cope with stress or shine in a stress interview? A smile and unsettling the motivated questioner! Simply agree to what they say and keep smiling. Crack a joke and make them laugh. Get the audience to play alongside you. Unsettling the questioner needs to be done without him/her realizing it for if one them they are bound to come back heavily on you. As one rightly said, it isn’t necessary to defeat someone but what is actually necessary is to win them, by heart and composure. The game has to be played as it is supposed to be.
You can’t let someone stress me out, how dare he insult me, to hell with this contest, for me, my reputation is important-when someone’s mindset is one of the above he may choose to retort leading to verbal wrestling or a fest war. Many loose direction this way. But for the audience those who face these if they are in charge and offensive, seem to be brave and adorable. One need to carefully play on this in such a way that it works for the outcome and at the same time does not offend the investigators beyond a point of no control. y loose direction this way. But for the audience those who face these who are in charge and offensive seem to be brave and adorable. One need to carefully play on this in such a way that it works for the outcome and at the same time does not offend the investigators beyond a point of no control.

When a candidate appears for an interview, the outcome may be his priority and hence he may suffer what is in the process. For yet another the

outcome may not be so important and could retaliate.  But if anyone who understands the purpose of the interview and also realizes that the people who are conducting it are doing to check how much one can control and react well and is not really mean otherwise, would easily cope with the situation and would treat the whole episode as a game and come on the top.

As humans we need stress to be motivated to grow. Stress is good and helps in growth. But one also needs to know how to keep everything within limits. One need not control anger but know how and when to vent it out. Those are the lessons on stress. Brave, cool and taking criticisms at your stride will help one bust any kind of stress.

1. Free stress test - Brainwave meditation 

2. How to deal with stress interviews

The following is a video of an interview with famous anchor barkha dutt. Look how her power dressing helps her get confidence to face a stress interview with elan

YouTube Video