On happiness and regret
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
5d ago
To chase happiness — whether through excess wealth, status achievements or spiritual attainment — is to live in regret. Constantly having our eye on some future prize produces the psychological feeling of missed opportunity and scarcity. The feeling that we need to run faster to get somewhere quicker — so that whatever we do is never enough. The whole idea of finding happiness only lays the ground for deferring happiness. Pouring water into a broken pot So, even when these external achievements are reached, they bring only a fleeting moment of satisfaction. For, a mind that’s constantly look ..read more
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Becoming a parody of yourself
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
1M ago
When you have a good run of something or feel you’ve done your ‘best’ work, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to copy yourself. This is the trap of trying to re-produce past success and it’s the quick path to becoming a parody of yourself. You only create pressure and mental tension that stops you from performing to the high level you are capable of.  Mental pressure   Mental pressure that gets in the way of performance usually comes from being distracted by something other than the process. Often, society’s arbitrary benchmarks of success make us strive for achievements th ..read more
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10 good books I read in 2023
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
2M ago
10 good books I read in 2023. In no particular order: 1) The New Leviathans (2023) — John Gray Political philosopher, Gray’s latest book is a sobering meditation on the precarious future of the liberal project, along with an exploration of those illiberal Leviathans growing across the world. Gray uncovers the eternal folly of the human animal in its many modern guises. I preordered this months in advance and wasn’t disappointed! 2) The Peter Principle (1969) — Laurence Peter & Raymond Hull A timeless classic that explores the roots of management incompetence. It somehow manages to be a w ..read more
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On the vagueness of desire
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
6M ago
The modern human is obsessed with achievement. Yet, how clear are we about what that is? The desire to ‘achieve’ — unlike the desire for food when hungry — often lacks specificity. Defaulting to some vague idea of more, ‘achieving’ is usually a confused, backdoor way of chasing a certain kind of validation. Relentless achieving can easily become a way of life — often tense and discontented — based on the implicit mantra “I achieve, therefore I am.” I achieve therefore I am The trouble with achievement is that unlike hunger, it may never be satiated. To see how, we must enquire into the ..read more
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The authenticity trap
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
8M ago
I recently saw someone wearing a T-shirt with the words “just be yourself” sprawled across the front. Well intentioned I suppose, but it was missing the crucial point. Because to just be yourself, you must first really know yourself. For, how can you really be something if you aren’t really clear about what it is? Authenticity, a bit like ‘happiness’, is something that everyone wants, but few find. What’s more, authenticity, happiness and self-confidence — like beauty, goodness and truth — are flowers from the same tree. And that tree is none other than the tree of self-knowledge. The fallac ..read more
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The company as a village
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
11M ago
An organisation is not a family and cannot aspire to that ideal. Outside of rare cases (e.g. in the military, certain family businesses), it’s unrealistic to expect the same levels of sacrifice and devotion that you find in a family in the modern workplace. But, perhaps we can re-imagine the company as a village? The company as a village We simply cannot have the bond of a family in a setting that relies so heavily on contractual relationships and financial incentives. Corporate leaders who peddle the ‘company as family’ ideal are very likely fools, bullsh*tters, or worse, manipulative. Are ..read more
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Chasing the remarkable
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
11M ago
We are obsessed with the ‘remarkable’ —the special and the extraordinary — which we so desperately crave. Yet, there really is nothing more unremarkable than chasing the remarkable — than unconsciously and unquestioningly chasing some idea of ‘special’ that everyone else is also chasing. Usually, this only amounts to running after various arbitrary, socially accepted status achievements in the hope of finding fulfilment. Is there anything special in this frantic, cookie cutter conformism? Isn’t it actually the most unremarkable thing one can do?  Rebels aren’t remarkable either  Fe ..read more
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On having no goals
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
1y ago
The modern human is obsessed with pursuing all manner of life goals — happiness, success, achievement, or whatever else. Goal-orientated living has become so commonplace that even the idea of having no goals seems unthinkable. To look ahead and plan is of course very natural to the human animal. After all, we have immense mental capacities as a species and we make great use of these. Why wouldn’t we? So, the problem is not planning and looking to the future per se, but the inconsistent way in which we do so. Are life goals different to other goals? Strictly speaking, the word ‘goal’ may be u ..read more
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On creative intelligence
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
1y ago
“I am not creative” is something that I often hear people in non-artistic fields say. Yet, our species is inherently creative — to be human is to be creative. What’s more, we cannot put limits on creativity either. An unquantifiable intelligence, seemingly arising out of nothing — creativity is limitless. And, it is perhaps a quality that all life expresses in some form. The key then lies in understanding exactly how we block our inherent creative potential.  Conditioning  Statements like “I am not creative” point to the sad reality that creativity is generally beaten out of us. If ..read more
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10 good books I read in 2022
Executive and Life Coaching London
by Harsha
1y ago
As the year draws to an end, I thought I would share a selection of 10 good books I read in 2022. In no particular order: 1. The farther reaches of human nature — Abraham Maslow In this 1971 classic, Maslow draws on his experiences interacting with so-called ‘self-actualising people’ to ask what makes them different — he explores how they embody a ‘way-of-being’ that is expressed in living with a deep sense of purpose and connection to their values.  2. The true believer — Eric Hoffer “The True Believer” explores the collective psychology of mass movements — whether religious, nationali ..read more
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