And you want to succeed …

m 4c1d7a637bd26d67e4b17b2c532c333bA recent survey of the YOUth showed that each one of them wanted to be successful; and yet the survey also found that by the age of 65 only 5% of them would be successful! Isn’t it a shame? Did you wonder why is this disparity? Is it in the genes? Family heirloom? Education? None of the above – NOTA.

The opposite of courage, in our present society is NOT cowardice, but conformity. Everyone seems to be doing, what others are doing. The parents, seem to be telling their children, XII – Engineering (preferably IIT), get a job and life will be good. Really? This equation fails to ask the one MOST important question, does the child want to do engineering? Is he suited for engineering?

The KEY to success is setting yourself a GOAL!!! People who have goals know where they are going. It helps you see where you want to go – a route chart, to YOUr destination. YOU choose that. The right question therefore to ask is, Have I set myself any goal? Well, the equation is pretty simple; No goal – no destination – no guidance.

So the question you’d ask me is: Why do people with goals succeed? Remember, We become what we think about. Through the ages, seers, sage, philosophers, savants have all propounded various routes to salvation, Its only on one theme they all had complete and unanimous agreement: If you want to succeed – set yourself a goal. “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it” – Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Roman Emperor. or “A man is what he thinks about all day long” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Fact is, a man can alter his life, by altering his thoughts.

If you want to be rich, you’ll be rich. If you want to be learned, you’ll be learned. If you want to be good, you’ll be good. Only you must and really wish these things and exclusively want them. It should not be cluttered or wished along with some other minor wishes. Even the Bible (Mark Ch 9, v 23) says; “Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes”. Belief is something which we lack. If you think in negative terms, you’ll get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you’ll get positive results. This is a Law of nature, just like the other laws of physics. To put it in two words: Believe and Succeed.

The Bard had to say this in Measure for Measure, “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt”.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make” – George Bernard Shaw.

Brain Homer

It all boils down to; we become what we think about. If you think about nothing, you’ll become nothing. So, how does it work?

Let me paint a situation. Suppose you have a good fertile land and as a farmer you have a choice to plant what you choose. Understand, the land doesn’t care. It is upto the farmer to make a choice. The land will return what you plant. The farmer has a choice: plant corn seeds, or poppy (poison). With water and due care the land will produce in abundance. But remember the land will return what you sow. As you sow, so shall you reap!

The human mind is much more fertile and more powerful. It doesn’t care what you plant. Success or Failure. A concrete worthwhile goal or confusion/nothing.

Decide what you want. Plan your goal. Plant a seed of success. Work towards the goal. It only will, but no way it cannot. Lead a life of success  and like the laws of nature see yourself succeed.

 

 

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What saved my life? It can save your’s too!

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The above photograph is telling of what ensures the men in uniform, under life threatening situations, perform day after day in extreme treacherous conditions, facing bullets, undergoing tremendous hardships of terrain and work conditions and survive!

You’ll acquiesce that it is not one factor that leads to success and necessarily a combination of factors that lead to the success of a team. Individual achievements aside, it is the team that has to perform. So what makes us tick? What are the factors that lead to success? And most importantly, can any of these help me survive in the world outside the uniform?

Let me begin with the one most glaring fact of the photograph above. You see a ‘buddy pair’ operating in unison looking after each other. The system of buddy pairs is an age old system prevalent in the Army and has been responsible for saving many a lives and ensuring success.

Wikipedia describes it as, “The buddy system is a procedure in which two people, the “buddies”, operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. As per Merriam-Webster, the first known use of the phrase “buddy system” goes as far back as 1942. Webster goes on to define the buddy system as “an arrangement in which two individuals are paired (as for mutual safety in a hazardous situation).” The buddy system is basically working together in pairs in a large group or alone. Both the individuals have to do the job. The job could be to ensure that the work is finished safely or the skill/learning is transferred effectively from one individual to the other.

How does it work in field? How does it deliver result under such conditions? What are the factors which ensure success? Can I adopt it here to protect myself?

The buddies cover each other’s back. They look at their area of responsibility, the first buddy looks from 9’0 to 12’0 clock direction (ninety degrees) and the other buddy looks after from 12’0 clock to 3’0 clock direction. Thus the pair cannot be surprised by any lurking danger/ enemy. Thus the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts“. The buddies feed off each other’s strength, they know each other intimately (they are paired checking out their compatibility/ village/ affinity), and operate together. They revel in each other’s success and cover for each other’s shortcomings, if any. They train together and work in unison like a well oiled machine. Well, you get the idea!!!

I always recommend adoption of the buddy system in your day to day life too! It is the best tool to ensure Women Safety and fight Child Sexual Abuse. Move around, operate and work in pairs. Now, take your mind back to all the incidents of say, child abuse in the schools. The predator would find a secluded place (toilet/ gymnasium/ parking lot) and molest the innocent victim. If only the teacher/ parent/ guardian followed the age old practice of a buddy system. Take your mind to the school at 11 a.m when all the classes are on and all the teachers are in the classrooms. Megha wants to visit the toilet. Alone she is a potential victim. Now, when Megha has to visit the toilet, the teacher must send her buddy Neha along. The two are formidable. The predator is deterred. Should he still think of executing his nefarious plans, Neha can scream, alternatively, Neha can run and seek help. And the possibilities are manifolds. The drastic drop in such activities in schools where I’ve propounded the buddy system has shown very positive results. This could be applied for the car pool, the sports field and you think of any situation, it always works!!

As Megha grows up, this could also be implemented in the work place, party scene – or any other situation. One could have different sets of partners in crime but the buddy system always works.

Now you know, what saved my life. After 25 years in the uniform, I can confidently say and credit my survival to my buddy. This blog is to eulogize my buddy, but for him the days in the uniform would surely would’ve have been numbered.

 

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The recent incidents of atrocities against Women has further strengthened my resolve to take this fight into enemy territory. Let us all, consciously, do something, initiate steps, and positively support the Battle to make our planet a safer place to live for our women folk. She is someone’s mother, wife, sister, daughter and therefore, it’s our bounden duty to take care of them.

I was defending the frontiers of our country for nearly 25 years! Now, in this new avataar as a trainer, I urge you all to come together to fight this scourge and make this country a lovable place for them. A land where women are worshiped.

The uniform has taught me: “Offence is the best form of Defence” and how do we translate this to take care of myself. Addressing issues like sexual assault, date rape, violent relationships, sexual harassment of women at workplace (including the Vishaka Guidelines), acid attacks and what is the role of men! This is capped by Situation Control measures.

I’m conducting another session on ‘Women Safety’ tomorrow wherein I bring my lessons from the uniform, my UAC (unarmed combat) training to use. I impart basic techniques to come out as winner from situations, which you shouldn’t have been in the first place. How do you control the situation? How do you retain initiative? The SITCON (situation control) measures will empower you to take control.  How do I engage a bunch of goons? How do I tackle the road side romeo? The potential purse snatcher? Or the perpetrators of heinous crimes.

ICCR, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata – 700 071.

Saturday: 3.30 – 6.30 p.m.

 

https://colsengupta.com/2016/06/10/1076/

A Day in the life of a Soldier

Combat times ..

Chinar Tree

Capt Vikramjit motioned frantically “Lt Atre ko bulao”. He was lying flat on his belly. He crawled into the small clearing in the thicket of trees, and peered through the binoculars.
Two bearded men constantly looked out of the second floor window of a wood-and-stone bungalow, as if waiting for something. They were armed with modern assault rifles and hand grenades. One of them turned and beckoned somebody from the back. Together, the three men heaved the sack out the window. It hit the ground with a sickening thud.
“Shit” Vik muttered through the clenched teeth. Lt Atre tapped him on the shoulder. Immediately, he began adjusting the younger man’s bullet-proof vest.

“We have spotted six civilians inside till now, three men and three teenagers. Till now, I’ve counted four terrorists, but there could be more …” Vik trailed, as he fished out a spare pistol and attached it to the holder fastened to Atre’s belt.
Finally, Vik stood before Atre – both men looked into each other’s eye.

“One we bomb the house and achieve 100% fatality. Two we go in and indulge them in combat; we get a chance to rescue the civilians. What do you think?”. He asked his junior officer and buddy since Academy days.
Atre turned to the six men watching the exchange between the two officers. “Bhai log, kya bolte ho? Saab, aap batao?” He asked his Subedar (JCO), a burly gentleman with half an ear blown away.

“Jayenge saab”, the Subedar replied without missing a beat. Vik stared at each man in the dark-green huddle they made, under the massive Chinar tree. Calmly, he briefed his men about the plan of action and positioning, and checked each man’s bullet proof, helmet and ammunition.

The men closed their eyes and remembered their Gods. The men took their initial positions as Vik had ordered. He jerked his arm at them, and the men disappeared into the forest to circle the bungalow. Vik remained standing at the spot where the eight me had been a minute ago. He had decided to lead, attacking the north wing of the building where he had spotted the maximum activity. He looked up at the sky, for it had begun to snow.

They say when a person is faced with a life-and-death situation, all dormant senses of the body are set in motion, strengthening periphery vision, body reflexes and slowing time. Vik felt the sweat collecting between his shoulder blades. His heart rate had slowed. He could feel every single frozen breath entering his nostrils, leading to his nostrils, leading to his lungs and the ensuing blood that rushed through his heart. He swung his weapon to the front, and it dangled over his chest. He clutched a pistol in his hand. He frowned at the clear garden patch ahead of him. and prepared to run across the longest six point five meters patch that he had ever run.

He runs along with his buddy, in a zig zag pattern and the flash of a muzzle firing at him catches him as he bounds against the wall of the building. Distracting the terrorists enough for the party under Atre to enter from the rear.  Vik peers from the window to see Atre flagging him in. He jumps inside and together they start clearing one room at a time.
Heavy gun fight ensues. It lasts for nearly an hour .. and then a lull and quiet. The four terrorists lay sprawled on the floor, a minor injury to one of the civilians and a gun shot wound to Vik.

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Another day in the posts in J&K …

Was Vik doing ‘just a job’ .. the anxiety of walking into a room full of Board of Directors is the same as walking into a clear patch of grass exposing yourself to a spray of bullets. If you were asked to be Vik even once in your lifetime, how much would you like to be paid? Our apathy and lack of emotion/ understanding is shameful. The culture of comparing valour, compassion and sacrifice to a few thousand bucks is ridiculous. So involved in our lives, that nothing affects us. Imagine if every young man starts thinking like that .. and then you have the Mr. Bhagats questioning their valour? Ridiculous right?

This is a true story of Capt Vikramjit Singh and Lt Atre.