Listen. Observe. Think. Act.

All living creatures are driven by desires. To attain their object of desire one often must work with other beings who, in turn, are driven by their own desires. And because desires are often complex objectives stemming from the minds that are often unsteady, disturbed, and, therefore, fearful – conflict of desires is most commonly occurring situations.

Every kind of conflicts in this world – armed as well as unarmed – are principally the conflicts of desires. Understand a person’s desire and you may as well know the person. Know the person and you may have him or her as a partner or a pawn.

Understand a person’s desire and you may as well know the person. Know the person and you may have him or her as a partner or a pawn.

Now, the crucial question that you may be wondering is “how does one understand a person?” After all, no person is an open book and they often hide behind a horde of lies, deceits, and/or distractions.

Great many western minds have tried to answer this question even faintly without any success. Even modern psychology can barely provide a definitive answer. And being unable to answer this question adds to a whole lot of setbacks and failures.

Vedic Rishis and Rishikas, particularly Bharadwaja, Parashara, Manu, Pishuna, Shukracharya until Kautilya, who played pivotal role in the making of Arthashastra and Artha Sutras that form the foundations of Rajaneeti and Kootaneeti, offer most useful perspectives on this subject matter.

They all believed that people were naturally incapable of secrets and that most deceptions, even the most well-planned ones, have certain obvious giveaway signs. They also held the belief that most conspiracies succeed simply because those who fall prey to them simply never take the time to listen, observe and think before acting; they simply react. That most do not even care to understand the very concept of Listening, Observing and Understanding.

So, what exactly do these three words mean in practice? What is Listening and how is one supposed to listen? What implies Observing, and what constitutes observation? And what is Thinking and how should one define Thoughts?

Vedic Sanskrit word for Listening is “Shravan,” interestingly, it also implies Observation. Rishis always emphasized the fact that true listening is impossible without “Observation.” That is true because it is not nearly as much as what was said, but how it was said that makes the difference. This includes the tone of voice as well as the body language of the person followed by subsequent actions in sync with the past observation about the person. The entire process is impossible without the memory. And the memory must also be free from lust, anger, greed, infatuation, ego, and envy. A memory with these six detrimental qualities is a memory that is biased. And anything with bias is simply unreliable.

People often love or hate a person with little or no thought. Hence the nature of memories that they have about a person are often shaped by their love or hatred. It is, therefore, of no avail to make decisions and act on such memories. As the saying goes, “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” If what you have heard and observe is tainted by such biases that hearing and observation is bound to be detrimental.

Absolute objectivity during listening, reading and observation plays a pivotal role in making of wise thoughts that make effective decisions leading unto just actions possible.

Such objectivity is possible only through an objective mind. The mind is never objective if it cannot hear criticism about those you love or appreciation about those you hate. Fairness in thought can happen when you can listen, observe, and think without being obsessively judgmental. For an obsessive judgmental mind is a cluttered mind yielding unwise observation leading to misconstrue actions leading to failures.

When people fail, they are hurt. This hurt causes further disturbance in the mind leading to chaos, worsening the situation.  To seek quick relief, such minds seek those who can yield them the words of sympathies or quick fix solutions; including, but not limited to, soothsayers, fortune tellers, kowtows, as well as rituals.

Success is also possible without a steady and calm mind. But without a calm mind, even remarkable successes yield only pain. Only a calm mind is capable of listening, observing, and thinking wisely. Such mind is wise, by default. And only calm and peaceful minds are capable of relishing sensible, practical, and more importantly lasting success.

Hence, before anything else calm your mind and only once you have calmed your mind would you be able to listen, observe and think objectively before acting on anything. Also, never stop listening, observing, and Thinking. Everything you want to know about people is revealed by their tone, words, and behavior. If you are losing in life – it is most certainly because are either failing to LISTEN, OBSERVE and/or THINK.

Never stop Listening, Observing & Thinking. Everything you want to know about people is revealed by their tone, words, & behavior. If you are losing in life – it’s most certainly because are either failing to LISTEN, OBSERVE and/or THINK Therefore you are only reacting instead of acting.

Author

  • Udupi Mahesh Prabhu is a seasoned media, management & political consultant. He is a Founder and Chairman of Vedic Management Center and Vivaswaan. A fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, London (UK) and member of the International Federation of Journalists(USA), he also holds a Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. For more info visit www.indiamahesh.com

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A unique Vedic Management Centre Initiative specially devised to rekindle the lost art and science of Vedic leadership for management, politics, and diplomacy.
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