“Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit.” Swami Vivekananda.
We all consider ourselves as religious by visiting temples, doing all kinds of rituals under the pretext of religion, worshipping the non-Gods considering them as Gods, making pilgrimages all around the world, going on so-called religious tours on select days, visiting temples and worshipping with worldly expectations, worshipping false gurus, and many many such things. All our religious practices are thoughtless and most of the time loaded with worldly expectations.
But alas, nothing of these qualifies as true religious acts if these acts and pilgrimages do not help us achieve what is stated by Swami Vivekananda.
Narsinh Mehta a renowned Gujarati poet (who had written the famous Bhajan – Vaishnav Jan to… favourite one of Gandhiji) had in one of his Bhajans stated,” Without knowing the spirit (Soul) all religious activities and rituals are worthless.”
Jainism defines knowing the spirit (Soul) as spirit (Soul) as Samyak Darshan. According to Jain scripture, all religious activities towards the liberation of a soul starts when one realises spirit as spirit. Without the self-realisation, all so-called religious activities can be anything but won’t help in the liberation of the soul.
Believing the self as Soul and not the body is the basic truth, but unfortunately, we do not realise that till our human life ends. What can be more disgusting than not knowing the real self as Spirit/Soul/Atma?
To quote Swamiji again, “Have you realised that you are spirit? When you say, ‘I do,’ what is meant by that— this lump of flesh, called the body or the spirit, the infinite, ever blessed, effulgent, immortal? You may be the greatest philosopher, but as long as you have the idea that you are the body, you are no better than the little worm crawling under your foot! No excuse for you! So much the worse for you that you know all the philosophies and at the same time think you are the body.”
According to Jain scriptures, believing the self as a body and not the Spirit i.e. the soul is the Mithyatva of the highest level. Mithyatva is the cause of the continuation of cycles of life and death of a soul. Mithyatva is defined as false beliefs. The Jain scholar Hemchandracharya defined Mithyatva as “belief in false divinities, false gurus, and false scriptures.”
This is not about Jainism and the concept of Jainism. Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit and the other quote of Swamiji above are quotes of Swamiji taken from his article on Bhagavad Gita.
However, how many of us whether Jains or Hindu believer of Bhagavad Gita knows this fundamental about the religion?
We all are obsessed with rituals and pilgrimage ignorant of what is expected out of it to make it worth. What is the end result we have to achieve to make our so-called religious efforts actually religious? No clue.
As rightly stated by Swamiji, there are no difference between us human being and the little worm crawling under our feet if we think the self as a body because at the level of Mithyatva we both share the same belief about ourselves.
This is the reality of so-called religious people as I am ignoring people who don’t think about religion or about the true self. They just waste their human lives running after sensual pleasures, and without giving a thought about the self.
We are action oriented people so we indulge in all kinds of actions even as our religious practices but we don’t realise for pursuing the real religion, the right realisation must precede right actions. We never realise the basic truth and therefore even our actions are not right.
We humans have become highly knowledgeable with the advancement of science. We know about the atom theory, we know about byte and we now also know about a gene but isn’t not knowing the self is the highest ignorance we suffer from?
The Bread is Moving. The book is free for a limited period.
Praise for the book:
“Customer Experience to Counter VUCA and Disruptive Times:
Retail is changing at a Fast Pace. Consumers are changing faster, thanks to Disruptive Technology and Multiple Screens. And yes, the On Line disruption is Impacting Operating Models of all businesses. How should businesses counter the VUCA situation all around ??
There is No Magic Formulae, Nor any Rocket Science to combat these challenges.
The Author Passionately brings to us , his proposition about Customer Experience (CX).
If Retail is Theatre that consumers need to enjoy- Designing and Delivering CX is the Key.
He explains in detail, with lots of Live Examples, what CX means and how Organisation, whether Retail or Non Retail should go about Defining to Designing and Delivering CX on the ground..
His analysis of various companies reveals that, Customer Centricity is at the heart of Successful Companies. I am sure that, each one of you would have encountered many WOW moments and many more Horrible let downs by Airlines, Telecom and other Companies.
Customer Centric Companies are obsessed with Customers Delight right from their Vision, Mission to their Product , Service & CX. The author proposes that every organisation should have a Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCXO ) to delight the customer.
The book is written in a simple to read and ready to execute format. I am sure, you will enjoy reading this book. And without wasting any time, you will start designing your organisations CX….”
“This book is very apt and timely for Indian market. Especially for hospitals, customer experience is critical and the book tells almost A to Z of it.”
I have read a lot of management books, however this book stands apart especially for Indian businessmen. I am impressed with how simply Sunil Gandhi has explained one of the most important aspects of Customer Experience (CX). Citing Indian examples he drives home the point very clearly and I am sure readers will be able to embark on a CX improvement journey right way.
By Manoj Papisetty on 28 September 2015
In this book, he collates some of the most useful ways to look at new age businesses and lists down neat, powerful processes with workable frameworks for any business. I am particularly excited about this book in India because of the new startup era we are seeing in the country. It will certainly help the new age startups grow quick, efficient and sustainable.
By Anish Desai on 5 December 2015
Customer Experience Champion Sunil Gandhi, yet again takes the readers of his books through some amazing insights in delivering the value of your product/service. It’s a must read for all who believe customer is at the core of the business and the key to turning around business is by focusing on the value chain and the customer. A thorough joy ride!!!!
By Surendra Arora on 2 October 2015
You must have read many such books written on US companies or situations, I admire Sunil for giving a Indian perspective to it. Interesting read for all corporate executives and business person.
By Amazon Customer on 28 September 2015
An excellent and very pertinent viewpoint that has been explained very logically and persistently.
By Gopinath Narayanan – Published on Amazon.com on 8th June 2016
A must read for anyone in the customer experience role. This is a well researched book, with several examples and case studies. Very contemporary, and includes the impact of social media.
In fact it is not free, it comes with two conditions
Welcome to download , its free till 23rd July 2016
This post is an overview of my books.
This is a fiction about entrepreneur’s aggression to expand rapidly to please PE investors and creating wealth through an IPO. & how one incident changed everything. Read how he becomes employee happiness-centric from mere profit and market share-centric.
The book has earned praise from Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo Rooms, Ninad Karpe of Aptech, Richa Anirudh of Zindagi Live TV Programme and Dr. Anupam Sibal of Apollo Hospital
A reader’s review on Amazon:
The book is primer for Indian entrepreneurs on the subject of customer experience (CX) and service design. What, why and how of CX.
The book is praised by Govind Shrikhande of Shoppers Stop and Joy Chakraborty of Hinduja Hospital.
One of the readers recently tweeted.
The book is a fiction. A story of a woman’s journey who discovers self is not a body but a soul and road she takes once ignorance about the self evaporates and the deep desire for enlightenment emerges.
This book has received praise from Dr. Jagdish Sheth, Professor at Emory University – USA, Christopher Chapel of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA Vallabh Bhansali of Enam, Padmabhushan Mallika Sarabhai, CA Bhavana Doshi of KPMG & CA Pradeep Shah to name a few.
“For today’s brake-less and largely aim-less people, Sunilbhai has created a ‘sugar coated’ fast pill. Fiction that presents the highest wisdom in a practical and applied manner. Hope a lot of readers take its benefit.”
– Vallabh Bhanshali , Co-Founder & Chairman , ENAM Group
“Beautiful……. very touching……… lucidly written story … A must read for all… young and not so young, initiated and non-initiated…… “
– CA Bhavana Doshi, Senior Advisor, KPMG
There are some good readers’ reviews on Amazon. This book an English translation of my Gujarati book Titled ‘The Shortest Journey’.
Wow ! & Weird:
This is a collection my choicest blog post over last 6 six years. Infact this is available free on my blog on registration. Welcome to register and download this ebook.
The book is praised by CA Ashwin Parekh, Ex – E & Y, Anand Rathi, Bijou Kurian of Reliance Retail and Rajnikant Patel, Ex – MD & CEO of BSE and ICE.
Coming up next:
Dangerous Debt – What every entrepreneur must know.
This is at the manuscript stage and I am inviting beta readers.
Wish you a happy READING experience with these books.
Today, Saturday, so my blog is about personal matters.
“Communication starts and prevents wars nowadays.” French political consultant, Jacques Seguela
Ajit Pawar, ex-Minister in Govt of Maharashtra, in his recent meeting with party workers, advised them to speak cautiously as he accepted that he has lost everything because of his bad communication.
During the recent Mathura incidence, the way MP of Mathura, Hema Malini responded initially to a journalist was just short of pathetic.
UPA minister and prominent lawyer Kapil Sibal accepted that UPA had failed to communicate its achievements.
The communication between, otherwise prolific communicator, another UPA minister Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi on Twitter had cost the Minister his ministership.
We now see the difference between the communications styles of our present verses the ex-prime ministers. Communication can win elections and can make you the world leaders. Many world leaders lack clear communication skills and therefore, those who can do it better will immediately attract attention. Some of the Indians think our PM talks too much. For them, knowing the role of a leader is important;
“Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.”
— Gilbert Amelio, President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp.
Bad communication is not the monopoly of mere politicians, Dr. James Merlino in his book ‘Service Fanatics’ writes:
“Effective physician communication is a critical component of patient experience…. Most physicians believe they are excellent at patient communication, but the data suggest otherwise. Like a new medical treatment or surgical skills, effective communication skills can be taught, require practice and matter of proficiency.”
We can see that degrees or status don’t guarantee better communication skills. This is applicable to every profession.
What to talk, how to talk and how much to talk is an (important) art, a skill which everyone must master as what we do the whole life is communication.
We know the cases of broken marriages around us due to lack of communication and broken children/parents’ relationship due to inadequate communication. This is beautifully worded by George Bernard Shaw:
”The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Many times HOW matters more than the WHAT. WHAT demonstrates your thinking and IQ and HOW demonstrates your attitude and temperament and even deficiency.
I can’t resist writing what Mark Twain had said about WHAT:
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Mark Twain.
Tim Ferris is a well-known author and podcaster. He in his own podcast he answered a question asked by one of his listeners. The question was what would he major in if he goes to the school again?
His answer was: Obsession and communication
Recently, many boards’ results are announced. Hope students while selecting the degrees they wish to pursue focus also on communication skills before they complete the graduation. They will soon realise in real life communication skills precede every other skill.
“There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When I was watching the sunset at the Juhu beach, few others were watching the closed hotel Tulip star from the opposite side, few were watching the sea at Versova and a few others were watching the sea at Bandra side. Everyone had a different angle and the view they were getting from their angel were their view and their reality.
We will see the reality from the place we are standing. We will make an opinion from the place we stand or places you had stood/known before.
I know about all the other three angles on the beach as I am aware about it. I had experienced these angles before and therefore when someone says he is seeing Versova I would not disagree and insist that I am seeing sun so seeing Versova from Juhu is not a reality.
Our present position coupled with our past experience – it could be our real experience or others’ experiences we have known or learned from or the knowledge we have acquired through the books enable us to make an opinion about anything. Everyone will vary in this. People’s angle, experiences, and learning will vary and so is everyone different in their thinking and action.
Colour palette has a great lesson to offer.
All the colours and their sheds are different but all are a reality, no colour is fake or wrong. Everyone, though is different, can be classified as per the angle they are standing at. For example, everyone in BJP is different, but they all can be classified as shades of orange as their broader angle is the same saffron. Likewise, people who we gel well, though, are different, but can be classified together as on many counts our angles are the same.
The middle class will have the same points of view as most of them are standing at the similar angle or closer to each other. This applies to every group of people. We Indian are very diverse and different, but we are closer to each other than we are closer to the Japanese or Russians. Women collectively will have a diverse angle from men as they view the world from their own angle not a physical standpoint but social or experience angle.
The point is if we wish to change the person having a very different point of view, we have to first understand his point of view and make him understand our point of view. This way we will have a common point of view, this can avoid disputes and quarrels. This is what political parties do when they announce a common minimum program of alliance partners.
We cannot always agree with extreme points of views and cannot come with a common view every time, but that is fine, but knowing the angle of the other person/team or country will help us how to deal with him/them. But the exchange of angle and point of view’s angle can dilute the bitterness and diminish the gravity of differences.
“When you really listen to another person from their point of view and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.” Stephen Covey
This angular lesson can be put to use in our personal life to offer superior human experience to others as well as for busbies for better employee and customer experiences.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford
Keep colour palette in your mind to navigate the life without much discord and with peace.
The NPA is a fraction of the problem for Indian banks. They will employ a team of lawyers and / or sell NPA to ARCs to get rid of such accounts. They will get capital from the Govt.
But for entrepreneurs having an NPA, it is the mega problem for them. Their other good accounts will get affected; no one will lend them, they will be at a risk of selling of property mortgaged to the bank. It’s a very stressful situation. Mostly most small NPAs are not willful but ignorant NPAs.
Most entrepreneurs are financially illiterate. They can do good business, but can’t read financial statements. They can’t understand the implication of debt, cash and cash flow.
First draft my next ebook Dangerous DEBT – What every entrepreneur must know himself is ready. I am looking for a few beta readers who can give me feedback about the book.
Please express your interest by dropping your email ID in response to this post to receive a soft copy of the manuscript.
I spent my day today with Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin.
Yes, it was more than three hours of lessons from these people.
If you want to invest your weekend in a more meaningful way, just click on the links below and hear them out.
Know the difference between a painter and an artist, daily blogging, education in the future and a lot more. He is the author of 18 bestselling books and yes he has not used snooze button since 1977.
Seth Godin at 30 days of Genius Interview (Time 1.02 hour)
In the next, more than two hours of podcast, Tim Ferriss speaks with Mike Rowe.
They spoke about;
Click on the link below and listen
“Just because you love something doesn’t mean you can’t suck at it.” – Mike Rowe (Time : 2.21 hours)
Jewellers in India were on strike for nearly six weeks. They are asking the Govt. Of India to remove 1% Excise Duty levied in the budget this year.
Today in the Parliament Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant recommended the Govt. to consider their requests and remove the duty. He went on to say that Jewellers do not mind 1 or 2% levy but they do not want this by an additional Govt. department. They have a bad experience about this department.
This is what indicates what Govts. must do to enhance the citizen experience. This is a lesson in customer experience.
What is true for jewellers is true for every customer. Customers do not mind paying extra money if they are offered a better experience or if they can avoid and do not have to undergo a bad experience.
The customer experience is so important that one of the 4 conditions Jeff Bezos have laid to enter any new business is;
…and that we have the capabilities needed to bring strong customer-facing differentiation to the marketplace.
Customer facing differentiation is about better customer experience.
Now if companies find there is a gap in the space of customer facing differentiation, they will invest in that business and therefore, competition will increase. This competition will be fought on the basis of this differentiation. Bad customer experience creating companies will find new entrants and therefore severe competition. They will experience quick erosion of the market share because the customer will quickly notice the difference in experience and they will get attracted to a better experience.
New entrants will not only get the quick market share but also command a premium because of a better experience. We have seen the success of multiplex theatres. People are paying a premium for online grocers and convenient charges to bookmyshow.com. Our jewellers are also indicating the same by foregoing the business to avoid negative experiences of one more Govt. department.
Jewellers strike is a loud and clear message to the Govt. about where they need to focus, to win hearts and minds of the people. This should trigger Govt’s better Citizen Experience drive. The UK Govt. had long back involved language experts to make the Govt. Citizen Communication/Drafting of Laws simple and easy to understand. Netherland Govt. involved service design agency to improve passport and visa services experience of the immigrants and citizen. Govts. everywhere is focussing all its energy on better citizen experience. Indian Govt’s ease of doing business and single window schemes are nothing but better citizen experience initiatives.
The Govt. is all about citizen service. Govt. must apply service design tools and principles to work on better citizen experience. Govt. should take up the projects for citizen experience on priority where it can have a maximum and far-reaching impact.
Imagine all Govt. – Citizen interactions are the incidences of happy citizen experiences.
2019 (Next General Election) is far, but this Govt or for that matter any Govt that gets re-elected that happens only on the basis of Govt’s citizen experience improving track record or hope of improving citizen experience. Achchhe Din propagated by the Prime Minister is all about better Citizen Experience. Earlier the Govt understand this the better it is not only for them but also for the citizen of India.
Jewellers are ready to pay, but why do they not want an involvement of an additional Govt. department and for that can close the business for so many days is not only food for thought for all the Govts. and bureaucrats but also for CXOs.
Our PM, Narendra Modi is known for converting problems into opportunities, this strike is another problem waiting to be converted into an opportunity. This will also help him in his mission (Our dream) of Achchhe Din.
More on Citizen and customer experience – The Bread is Moving.
“Young players play with a great deal of fairness and sportsmanship. Once they learn how important the game is to adults, they will learn how to cheat.” – Dr. Ron Quinn, Professor of Sports Ethics at Xavier University.
Cheat to win is the mindset we adults have developed and that is spoiling our children too. The recent study on fraud conducted by E & Y indicates about 70% of the Indian executives would indulge in unethical business practices to achieve the targets.
Parents’ expectations are the biggest CRISIS in our society. Be it winning in sports or getting top ranks in schools or studying the course of interest of parents and even marrying the partner of their choice. Fulfilling parents’ dreams make children do unethical things and study the subjects of their least interest. Parental pressure and expectations are the biggest stress for the children.
Parents’ are indulging in unethical practices in their workplace too not only to please their bosses but also to earn their bonuses. This Win by any Means behaviour they master at workplaces, they pass it onto to their children.
We have mastered the art of becoming parents, but when it comes to parenting there is no formal training or classes or coaching. Therefore, we do it in an untrained manner. Most of us fall into the following category: Over parenting, bad parenting, careless parenting and show parenting.
I believe that my role as a coach is not to prepare my players for success in today’s game, but success in all their games, throughout the game of life. – John O’Sullivan, Founder & CEO, Changing the game project.
Isn’t it also the role of every parent too?
To correct the workplace unethical conduct we badly need The Fifth idiot in business. This can have a positive cascading impact, virtuous cycle. Ethics at workplace will bring back ethics at home and ethic in parenting.
Existential Distress is the term I learnt from the podcast titled ‘The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live’ by Tim Ferris with BJ Miller.
The meaning of these two words is: Existential distress at the end of life has been defined as hopelessness, a burden to others, loss of a sense of dignity, desire for death or loss of the will to live and threats to self-identity.
Existential Loneliness has entered the literature and “is understood as an intolerable emptiness, sadness, and longing, that results from the awareness of one’s fundamental separateness as a human being.”
However BJ Miller, who is an expert on Death and has witnessed about 1000 deaths, in the Podcast defines the term as;
When a terminal stage cancer patient thinks that he has lost an opportunity to live a meaningful life, he feels this – Existential Distress.
A life is almost gone and one can’t do anything about it. A life which could have been lived differently, meaningfully, beautifully, enjoying the small things, without grudges, for own happiness is now on the verge of collapse. These feelings make the patient suffer from Existential Distress.
Unless we see our death in front of us, these feelings never occur and we keep indulging n irrelevant, unimportant and self-boasting things. The point is: Is it only at the time of death, we should feel Existential Distress? That is the time when we can’t do anything about it except repenting. & therefore, should we not become aware of our daily life NOW? A question – How meaninglessly we are living our life? should not occur to us?
The whole objective of our life, what we have made out is to run after the money till we die. The money, which we will keep here at the time of death for someone else to splurge, waste or fight for. But unless we are terminally ill, we don’t realise that we are also going to die – if not in the near future than certainly in the foreseeable future.
Those of us who are not terminally ill should also wait till the time we are near death to feel Existential Distress? Or when we have a chance and time to make our life meaningful, we must become aware and act to make it meaningful?
Whether we are terminally ill or no, if the death is certain than whether we suffer from Existential Distress or enjoy Existential Satisfaction, our action should start much before our proximity to death. It is not necessary that only people with terminal illness suffer from Existential Distress, everyone can suffer from this state of mind if the life is not lived meaningfully.
The opportunity to do something meaningful, something which we loved to do, the opportunity to be helpful, the opportunity to forgive someone, the opportunity to pursue our dreams and hobbies will be LOST sooner than we realise. & we may not be terminally ill, but terminally aged.
Thinking about OWN death is the greatest moment of awakening about the life.
We all know about Opportunity Cost, in financial terminology; however, we are blatantly ignorant about Opportunity Cost when it comes to our own life choices. Terminally ills can have lessons for each of us on HOW to live a life.