Thoughful Decision Making:


I had the good fortune of visiting, the then West Germany and several other nearby countries of Europe, during the year 1975. During this period on one of the week ends, I along with my friends visited one ice skating rink. There were many persons including young children, practising and performing pleasant and even hazardous acts, to the entertainment of the persons present. I got excited and motivated to participate in this sport. I was very eager, since during my 2 years stay at Shimla, I had learnt this game on an ice skating rink, along with several of my friends. We had also participated in a fancy dress competition on this rink. This was a good experience. With this in mind, I almost decided to arrange the kit and take part in Ice skating, since I got a chance to do so after a long time. Then suddenly I remembered the words of my father that before taking any final decision, just consider the matter once more. On this reconsideration, I realized that I was in a foreign country participating in a programme and if some accident/incident/untoward happening happened and I had a fall in the rink, things will be too bad. So I controlled my desires & emotions and enjoyed the performance of other experts playing at that time and did not get upset due to my decision of not participating in this event. This participation might have given me good feelings, but good that better sense prevailed and I did not participate in this event and thereafter, completed my stay in Germany satisfactorily. We can learn from this episode that we should not jump to conclusions, take well thought out decisions, considering relevant factors, with a cool mind.





Basically a leader should have the ability to impress, influence and
mould his subordinates, followers and others concerned to accept,
follow and implement his thoughts, ideas and proposals. In my
opinion, that situation is best, when we can motivate a person to work
willingly on his own. However, a leader can use different types of methods
including using coercion or giving of various lucrative offers, for obtaining results. But, a good leadership should properly arrange to select, train initially & periodically, ascertain and allocate suitable areas of working, provide reasonable package, perks and motivation, be honest, transparent, balanced and fair in all dealings of salary raise, bonus, training, promotions, posting and managing and make the persons feel that the organization is theirs,
more than that of the leader. This culture is likely to lead to fast and certain success of the organization. Though for obtaining results, for leadership, there are several other factors also, some of which may be in our hands and some beyond. At least we must do our best in the areas where we can.


Performance in an Organization


A company runs on profit, which comes from achievement of required performance of all its employees. Overall performance is result of individual work and team work. Being a chain, a weak link anywhere, weakens the whole chain and thus reduces the overall performance. The employee may be appearing to be engaged in his work, but in reality his contribution may not be adequate enough. There may also be some problem(s) in achieving the expected results. Therefore, we should judge employees on the basis of a realistic overall performance appraisal and not on the basis of an incomplete picture, so that the employees will not get unnecessarily penalized. First of all selection procedure should be such that likely underperformers do not get a chance to join the company. Once they are taken in, it is our responsibility to oversee that they perform by training, proper communications, team work, providing resources, leadership, guidance and motivation etc. He must then perform. If he does not perform he should be given 2 chances. Then he should be asked the reasons for poor or non-performance in a proper advisory atmosphere to open up and share his problems. If the organization can help in any way, it should come forward to help him, so that, both will get benefitted. This help should be based on judging his overall traits by a committee of 3 persons. In my opinion, firing the employee is not a solution. We will lose a trained hand. Getting another person and training him will take time and what is the guarantee that he will do better or even equal to the earlier person. But if the person is found to be sabotaging at any time he must be fired straightaway without any mercy.

परिवार के लिए पहली प्राथमिकता


मैं तकनीकी उत्पादन प्रबंधन के क्षेत्र में सेवारत था। मैं पूरे जोश के साथ काम करने की इच्छा के साथ, पूरी तरह से जुड़ा हुआ और मेरे काम के लिए समर्पित था। अतीत में भी काम करने की अपनी अवधि के दौरान स्थिति ऐसी ही थी। मेरा परिवार इस अवधि में मेरे साथ था। हालांकि मैं काम में व्यस्त था, फिर भी पूरी तरह से परिवार देखा। फिर, एक समय आया   सेवानिवृत्ति की तिथि से 2 1/2 साल पहले, जब मैं उस जगह से स्थानांतरित किया जा रहा था। उस समय मेरी पत्नी भी बीमार थी और लंबे समय तक चिकित्सा/उपचार की जरूरत थी। नए कार्यस्थल में  उसके लिए आवश्यक मेडिकल सुविधाएं  उपलब्ध नहीं थी। यह मेरे लिए एक मुश्किल स्थिति थी। एक तरफ परिवार था और दूसरे तरफ मेरे हित के काम, प्रदर्शन, प्रगति और तरक्की की संभावनाएं।  निर्णय लेना बहुत मुश्किल था। दो दिन लग गए । इस बात पर गहरी सोच से लाभ और नुकसान का आकलन किया और अपने परिवार के लिए पहली प्राथमिकता देने का फैसला किया। इस प्रकार उस समय अपने काम के जीवन से स्वैच्छिक सेवानिवृत्ति लेने का फैसला किया। इतने सालों बाद, मुझे लगता है कि निर्णय बिल्कुल सही था। जीवन में, परिवार पहले आता है और हमेशा पहले आना चाहिए ।


                                                                                        विजय कुमार शर्मा, जयपुर



     Our health depends a lot on what we eat & drink, besides several other factors like the ventilation in houses & offices and the quality of air we breathe, amount of sunlight, effect of AC, radiation and quality of water, side effects of medicines and stress in life etc. In effect, everything we put in our body esp. the stomach, affects our health. Stomach is not a dustbin, & therefore we should not put anything & everything into our stomach, both from the point of view of quality & quantity. Diet should be carefully chosen & controlled. While we derive taste, pleasure, energy & health from the food, it also poisons our system. Ayurveda system of medicine is based on the surmise that, diseases are mostly due to inadequate functioning of the stomach, caused due to accumulation of toxic substances in the stomach & if these are removed, diseases are likely to be cured.  Therefore, when our health deteriorates, the line of treatment is from the stomach, mainly by getting rid of its undesirable substances & poisons. In the “Nature cure” system of curing the diseases, one of the tools is “fasting” (short one or a long one). It does not materially affect our normal working, since even small quantity of food is sufficient to keep an individual healthy. So in a way, fasting is a good method to clean our overloaded & food-poisoned system, by allowing the accumulated waste to go out of the system, without any fresh input for some time. Generally for this purpose, fasting for 12 to 72 hours or even more is advised, during which light warm water should be taken. Even as a normal routine, a person should skip food once in a week, once in a month & three times in a year, taking light warm water & fruits during these days.

Fasting should be done with positive attitude, & normal activities including exercises should continue even during fasting. It does not weaken the body by itself, but the fear & anxiety that fasting will weaken the body due to starvation, is likely to affect our system. Many have fasted for long periods from 40 to 90 days even. As a system, curative fasts usually go beyond three days. However, these must be done under the supervision of a trained practitioner, who should first of all remove all the doubts & apprehensions beforehand. Fasting also needs advance preparation, esp. in a diseased condition. One should only take fruit & vegetable diet, low in starch & protein and rich in positive alkaline mineral elements, so as to purify the system sufficiently & then only fasting should be commenced. The fasts could be classified into four types (a) Regular fast with no food, but only sufficient water to quench the thirst (b) Dry fast with no food & no water, which is a powerful method. (c) Seven day fast, with no weakening effect (d) Longer duration fast, with fasting from one to seven or more weeks, as per individual cases.

During fasting, use of fruit juices, which are rich in mineral salts, is necessary for neutralizing & eliminating purposes. These are also rich in vitamins and have antiseptic & toxic qualities. These must not be taken in pure or large quantities, but in diluted condition e.g. juice of one orange mixed in two glasses of water, at room or natural temperature. During fasting, one may face some reactions e.g. excessive gas formation, increase or decrease in temperature, which is not of a serious nature, accumulation of saliva in the mouth and vomiting and offensive odour of perspiration etc. But all these are no cause of any worry. Also any fast must be broken in the right manner. A fast of longer duration requires more care & precaution in breaking. The body organs being inactive for some time have to be trained to return to normal activity gradually. Generally the fast is broken on the first day, by some mild fruit juice e.g. orange, lemon or lime etc., with the quantity being limited to juice of say one orange at a time. This undiluted fruit juice should be gradually increased, followed by fruit diet, then raw vegetables & salads, and later on, the regular vegetarian diet. There is another aspect associated with fasting viz. achieving discipline within ourselves.  It involves nurturing positive feelings in our minds, to have the attributes of an ideal human being, so that we do not listen, speak, hear or even think ill about any other person. Some call it the process of self-purification. It makes positive impact on our life, as it fosters clear thinking by sobering of our minds, develops self-restraint & patience, and develops tenacity when faced with adverse situations in life, develops moral strength and checks undesirable tendencies. After the fasting period is over, normally we emerge as a better human being.













All of us are interested & curious to know, what is in store for us in future. We have wild guesses, imagination of scientific fiction writers, inferences by the scientists based on hard facts & the synthesis of the two extremes by the social scientists. As such, these inferences must be taken with some caution. Accordingly this team of three bloggers decided to consider the contents of the book “The  NEXT TWO HUNDRED YEARS” by Herman Kahn, William Brown & Leon Martel, published by Hudson Institute USA in 1977 & hold discussions on this topic with this book as reference. No one knows what is going to happen in the next few hours. Then having a peek into the telescopic 200 years hence, is bold & ambitious. But the thinkers have considered four basic scenarios. A: Belief that the population growing at the geometrical rate will sooner than later, outpace the arithmetically progressing means of subsistence & the human race, is doomed to starve out. B: Belief in the unavoidable doom, but with a marginal modification to, sooner or later. C. Belief of optimism hoping that somehow (but not clear as to how) the doom will not materialize & the humanity will be spared from withering away into the oblivion. D. Belief that neither man-made folly nor nature’s wrath will impede the onward march of progress & prosperity. Besides these, there are people who are either ignorant of this impending malaise of the future or those who care for today only & do not want to bother about tomorrow.

The authors have visualized a scenario for the world for the next 200 years, which puts the crucial issues of population growth, economic development, energy, raw materials, food & environment in a new perspective, with likelihood of solutions. These topics are the focus of attention for Governments, academic institutions, private corporations, media & concerned citizens all over the world. The authors do not agree with those who raise false or non-existent issues & often pose as being basically insoluble real problems, for which it is believed that straight forward & practical solutions may be found in most cases. The authors begin on the central theme “Turning points in the growth of population & product”, with the perspective of population rapidly accelerating from the beginning of the industrial revolution (1750), where exponential rates, would double it in about 35 years, it is likely to lead to disaster. But considering the rate of growth of population from 1776 to 2176 (400 years), under three alternative projections, known as Hudson Low, Hudson Medium & Hudson High, it is observed that the “rate of growth of world population,” has taken a monkey-leap to 2 to 2.2 % in 60 years (1950-2010), & it is expected to again slump down to 1 to 1.4 %. Quoting Ronald Freeman & Bernard Berelson from  Scientific American, Sept. 1974, the authors point out that over the perspective of 16,000 years (8000 BC to 8000 AD), this high growth of population just crossing over 2 % , is  mere blip, over this 400 year period (1776-2176), on the otherwise uniformly low of 0.1 % over every 1,000 years blocks. Thus the ever-rising exponential population growth has been leveled to the low & steady level of 0.1 %. The year 1976 had been the peak point of this population surge, exceeding 2 %.  We may reach the low rate of population growth of 1 %, which by 2176 may level off to the permanent low of 0.1 % or even lower.

The authors mention two of the many possibilities about this problem. One feasible development is the construction of ocean-based facilities, especially very large partially sub-merged, floating industry-oriented complexes and another is the possibility of migration to outer space. Today the scientists consider that colonization in space is a technical feasibility with economic viability. However as of now, there is still plenty of room in almost all countries of this world, for everybody to have suburban lifestyle with land available for recreation, agriculture, industry & other purposes. Regarding the economic scenario, the front liners like USA had a slow path to economic prosperity. The authors state that the developing nations of today will cover the same ground on the path to economic prosperity, much faster, due to the following ten forces:   A: Availability of Capital, Markets & Technology (CMT)- The developed countries provide all the three to the developing nations today, at much faster rate than, at what rate these were available to them. Thus the developing countries are in an advantageous position to catch up with the developed ones.  B: Export of Labour- A pressing problem of the future decades will be the enormous labour shortage, particularly in jobs at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. This will co-exist with even larger surplus in the developing worlds. The illegal & undesirable immigration should be systematized to resolve the problems of the developed & the developing nations, combined with some kind of training, but retaining its temporary migrant character intact so as to avoid the far-reaching socio-economic frictions, in both the worlds. C; Import of Export-oriented industry-Several European & American entrepreneurs, have found it advantageous to move their labour-intensive industrial units, to one or the other developing countries, rather than utilize the “Guest workers”, who are cheaper to hire in their own country & also avoid the social frictions in developed societies. It would be advantageous to both & will accelerate the process of rapid development. This should be carefully carried through with intelligence, insight & flexibility to prevent, either excessive dislocation or dependence on either side. There should be protection of certain indigenous strategic industries & hedging against activities perceived hostile by the host. There should also be protection against instability & excessive influence. D: Tourism-In many of the countries, tourism is doubling every two/three years. The authors assert that tourism will be one of the largest industries in the world. E: Technology Transfer-Today many kinds of industrial & scientific technologies are easily transferable e.g. the Computer Technology has proliferated very rapidly the world over & is becoming cheaper year by year. F: Availability of useful examples, institutions of learning & individualized expertise at our door steps-   The international markets are flooded with “How –to-do-it-yourself”, kind of kits, of any degree of sophistication. Many advanced countries are following open-door policy for their institutions of higher technological learning. Moreover, this facility has become diversified & meets any individualized taste, temperament & time-schedule. G: Importation of pollution & menial jobs-Shifting of polluting & annoying activities to the developing regions amounts to exploitation. But it is true among countries as well as within them, that the poor & the untrained have always done dirtier & less pleasant work. Looked differently, these very activities provide the deprived & the under-privileged, opportunity to improve their lot. However in fairness to the poor, they should not be provided risky & unhealthy jobs. H: Import Substitution-In the initial stages, the developing countries have to import technical know-how, machinery & at times the processed raw material. But in due course, these countries should go in for systematic Import Substitution, as their competitive capability enhances. I: Existence of high order of external stability- Billions of dollars being spent on Defence, should be progressively saved, by continuous improvement of external security & stability in internal & international areas, for many developing countries. But some subversion, corruption & interference by developed countries in the developing ones may still perpetuate cold war. J: Foreign aid: It had earlier played a catalytic role in sparking off development in dormant under-developed countries. But if continued for long or put in wrong directions, foreign aid may also prove to be counter-productive & self-defeating in its professed aims.

The authors argue that by the end of 21 st century, almost all societies should have GNP per capita, greater than $2,000 & enjoy some form of post-industrial culture, but each should find its own way. At the end of the 21 st century, the  basic minimum per capita GNP may be a few thousand dollars, but the maximum may be well over the current level by 10 to 20 times. The arithmetical differences as opposed to ratios in per capita GNP will generally increase for the next 100 years or so.

Energy is the most important input today. The real cost of energy has generally dropped over time. Future well being of mankind is intimately linked with adequate supply of energy at reasonable price. The estimates of world projections for various parameters indicate that at the current rate of consumption, the potential resources of the world, may last for next 500 years. So there is no immediate danger of running short of the resources, even with the conventional sources. But our search for eternal sources for energy & their economic use is continuing. The conventional sources are the Fossil fuels. The main non-conventional source is Fission power from nuclear Uranium ore, which has problems of possible accidental wide-spread environmental pollution, incident loss of life & permanent disability, due to radioactive contamination. However, production of Fission Power would be cost-effective & cost would still go down with improvements in the current reactors or the extraction of Uranium from sea water or shale oil. Say by 2050, the transition to the eternal sources like Solar, Geothermal, Fission & Fusion reactors should be complete.

Solar Energy: This is available in many forms. Only some of the solar forms were considered & discussed here. Even the growth of plants & trees which are used as fuel is due to Sun. A: Wind Power (caused by changing temperatures in turn caused by movement of Sun, relative to Earth) -This should become feasible & viable with technology for generation & storage of electricity. B: Bio-Conversion energy- This is obtained by converting organic matter especially wastes, to fuels or electric power. The products will be subjected to one of the three processes (i) Direct burning (ii) pyrolisis-conversion of organic material to oil & gas through heating in oxygen-free atmosphere or (iii) Hydrogenation- i.e. chemical reduction through heat & pressure, which converts most of the organic material into oil and/or gas. C: Heating & Cooling of buildings by direct radiation from Sun. This has been the ancient process & still may prove to be economically viable. D: Photo-voltaic Power- It directly converts solar energy into electricity at an efficiency factor of 0.2 of the direct incoming radiation. Sophisticated designs may enable to use the remaining 80 % of it, for heating/cooling or for generating solar thermal power. It may well meet the world demand for energy at comparable prices. E: Ocean thermal power: Within about 1,000 miles of the equator, the upper layers of the ocean are about 35 degrees F warmer than the deeper waters. This temperature difference, in principle, permits floating generators to operate continuously. This method offers an inexhaustible potential for electric power. F: Solar thermal power: Solar radiation is converted into heat, by receiving it over a blackened surface, though there are problems of intermittent nature of sunshine. Efficient methods are essential for the installation & maintenance of solar collectors over very large areas, with suitable ways to heat & transport hot water or steam from the collectors, to the central power plants. Relatively cheap energy storage systems, large enough to keep power plants operating, when sunshine is not available are required. With these problems overcome, this alone would be able to meet most of our future power needs. G:  Geo-thermal energy – The heat contained within the earth could also be tapped. Geo-thermal reservoirs are classified as vapour-dominated (dry steam), liquid dominated (Hot springs), Hot-dry-rock & Magma (the molten rock beneath the earth’s crust) itself. This alone may be sufficient to meet the world energy demand in the next 200 years. H: Overcoming of technical difficulties- The most important is the generation of temperature of a minimum of 100 million degrees. One pound of DT (Deuterium-Tritium) mixture releases about the same amount of energy as three pounds of U-235, which is the energy equivalent of about 10,000 tons of coal. The principal advantage of fusion over fission reactors are smaller radioactive hazards, no threat of explosion & smaller temptation of theft or sabotage. (I) Energy system of the next two hundred years: (i) Hydrogen & its solid compounds are likely to be prominent. As a gas, it can be stored above the ground. The solid compounds can be used as convenient means of carrying the fuel & for safe storage. (ii) With Flywheels, the kinetic energy of rotation is converted to alternating electric power (iii) Batteries & fuel cells are other promising & convenient sources of storing & carrying energy.

Summarizing the discussions, it was observed that technological break-through will solve the various problems of our future needs. Changes are foreseen as discussed above. The change over from the conventional to the non-conventional sources will become smooth. Life will become comfortable.


This blog has been presented and posted by Vijai K Sharma (in short Vijai), after being jointly compiled, as a result of discussions and deliberations between Abha (former Deputy Director of a voluntary organization in Mumbai), Vijai (former Additional G.M. in a large industrial organization) and Prakash (former Ford Foundation Fellow and Smith-Mundt/Fulbright Scholar and former Professor of Econometrics in several Universities including California University, Berkeley).











               Whether at work, at home or elsewhere, both men & women are affected by stress & the difference may be of degree only. An international authority has defined stress as non-specific response of the body to any demand. Though its occurrence is normal, stress may be pleasant (called Eustress) or unpleasant (called Distress), & the agent causing it is called stressor. Even though stress is known for its negative effects on the body (physiological stress) & mind (psychological or mental or emotional stress), researchers have observed that some amount of stress is necessary for everyone, for efficient functioning & it has negative effects, only when, it crosses some threshold value. We should learn about stress causing factors, identify the dominant factors & learn to control & cope with the stress.

            Discussing Physiological stress, in all mammals, including human beings, Hypothalamus at the  base of the brain, becomes activated under stress, which stimulates pituitary glands to release hormones, which in turn, activate adrenal glands above kidneys to produce other hormones, which have wide ranging effects on body mechanism—some activities of body are increased, while others are decreased. Muscles might ache. Pain may result from slow mobilization of lactic acid. Liver may discharge sugar into the blood to provide muscles with excess amount of energy. It might also release excess amount of Cholesterol. Skin may become pale & sweat may increase, to cool down the overheated body system. Pupils may dilate. Salivary glands may stop secretion, producing dryness in mouth. Rate of breathing & heart beat may increase; both resulting in increased B.P. Kidneys may work less efficiently. Digestion may be impaired. Defecation & urination may be prevented. Alternatively, diarrhea & uncontrolled urination may occur. Immune system may get impaired, making one susceptible to disease(s) or allergy. If continued for long, stress may manifest in secondary symptoms like loss of sleep, headache, B. P., hyperactivity, excessive smoking & drinking, diminished interest in life & its enjoyments. Among the  mental(psychological/emotional) symptoms of stress, are obsessions & phobias, loss of self-confidence & self-esteem, feeling of guilt, fear-of-future, diminished concentration, requiring to rush to another  job before the one on hand is finished, constantly irritable, isolated, angry, bothering too much about trivialities, crying or feeling like crying too often, vagrant mind, inability to concentrate on any job for long.

         Out of the three mental/emotional causes of stress, the first one hypochondria is an abnormal anxiety, about or interest in one’s state of health. The hypochondriac has a sense of insecurity & he suffers from illness phobia. The next one is depression. Every one of us, sometime or the other may be depressed. But, it becomes a problem, when it gets out of proportion. It is considered normal to be deeply grieved on the death of the loved one, but in course of time one reconciles & should. It may be caused by external factors (called Exogenous depression), or it may seem to come from within the body (called Endogenous depression). The last one consists of phobias, obsessions & ruminations. A phobia is irrational fear, accepted by the sufferer as such, of an object or situation. Agoraphobia is fear of going out in the open. Obsessions are also the result of fear. A person with abnormal fear of dirt may be very complicated in his/her procedure, to maintain cleanliness. Ruminations involve anxiety-provoking thoughts without any action.

           Any change that affects the set pattern of life is likely to causes stress. Advanced technology has made life fast, with better quality & greater accuracy, along with pressure of population & resultant over-crowding-congestion & wider range of choices at all levels of living. More decisions have to be made every day by all of us, with higher degree of responsibility & accountability, better quality of communication & understanding etc. Mass transit due to political upheaval or daily routine commuting to work by road/railways/subs; do have their deleterious impact on tranquility of life. In the Jet-age, the higher-ups & executives have to cope with several time-zones & the body & mind both have to adapt to these frequent changes.

          Stress is however, necessary to stimulate each one of us. Without stress & the resulting challenge, one is apt to become dull & indifferent & may even lose the will to live the life to the fullest. But damaging stress occurs, when challenges become impossible to cope with. In this context, stress acts as a protective mechanism of the body. But, if continued for too long, it changes from fight mechanism, to fear & flight mechanism. Under prolonged stress, one may develop potentially harmful changes in behaviour, which in the ultimate; undermine both physical & mental health. Threshold, the cut-off point, when stress turns from Eustress to Distress, is rather subtle and as such difficult to recognize on one’s own, unless one is watchful & careful constantly. But this itself, if practised too far, may lead to stress. However, stress thresholds may vary from person to person & for the same person, from situation to situation. One may be bothered by one’s boss, to the extent where one suffers continuously. Sometimes people say, under stress from their relationships, about getting ulcer or pain in the neck, which sometimes actually does happen. Chronic exposure to stressful situations over long periods may cause serious diseases like heart accidents & mental breakdowns etc., thus shortening the span of life. Aging is nothing but, the sum total of the scars left by the stress of life. These scars can be chemical or mental & cause irreparable damage to the personality as a whole.

              Dr. H. Holmes, Professor Psychiatry, at the University of Washington, USA had devised a scale assigning point values to changes, good or bad, that often affect us all. A danger point reaches when enough changes occur during one year to add up to 300. In one of his studies, it was found that 80% of those who exceeded 300 became seriously depressed or suffered serious illnesses. Various common life changes have been given Holmes point values such as Death of spouse-100, Divorce-73, Marital Separation-65, Jail term or Death of close family member-63, Personal injury/Illness-53, Marriage-50, Fired from job-47, Marital Reconciliation or Retirement-45, Change in health of family member-44, Pregnancy-40, Sex difficulty-39, Change in financial set up-38, Death of close friend-37, Change in work load-36, Arguments with spouse-35, Mortgage or loan foreclosure-30, Change in work responsibility or child leaving home or trouble with in laws-29, Personal achievement-28, Wife beginning/stopping work or beginning/ending school-26, Revision of personal habits-24, Trouble with boss-23, Change in residence or school-20, Vacation-13, Minor violation of law-11.

             For managing stress, we should do, what we like to do & at our own rate. For many persons manner of living, manner of behaving in various situations, deciding whether to take over parental business or go in for service etc. may be matters causing stress. If we really want to be a musician, singer or a painter, then we should just be & set our own code of life. Hard work never kills anybody. In fact it is our attitude or approach towards work, which makes it hard or otherwise. We should learn to take interest in our work & regard it as our own. In course of time, we will begin to love our work. We should work to live & not live to work. For normal functioning, man needs work, as much as he needs air, food, sleep or social contacts. We should find the kind of work that suits us best. Unfortunately, work is seen as something that wears us down & this actually produces stress. Work wears us down through frustration or failure, resulting in stress that leaves some irreparable chemical scars (we may think of them as insoluble precipitates of living matter). The successful men are said to have worked hard throughout their life, but in fact they never worked but lived a life of leisure.

             One important strategy to cope up with stress is relaxation. For effectiveness, we should try to learn relaxation when we are fresh & alert & not when we are feeling tired. We should select a solitary & quiet place with presence of no other persons. We should not rush the clock of body rhythm. If we are not succeeding initially, we should  give up for a while, loosen any tight clothing, take off shoes, sit or lie as comfortably as possible, close the eyes, uncross the legs, rest our hands flat with palms upturned. Alternately, we should tense & relax each part of the body & take slow deep breath as we go along. The second strategy is reassessing, reorganizing & modifying our life style. For this purpose, we should first assess our own life style & identify works which we would like to do, use free time as per our liking & satisfaction, be in close contact with real friends but not with people who make us stressed, consider the requirement of sacrifices for doing as per our liking, do works which should be done by us or are liked by us, be happy with the job being done, live with right partner, like ourselves and our appearance, consider suitability of city life or country life, make life neither too busy nor less busy, observe the past best relations/activities, consider our dreams which can become reality.

               We should organize our life style by establishing priorities of all activities/tasks at home & in office, deciding the order of doing things & checking whether we have time or we need help of others, eliminating inessential activities &/or those that can be postponed, seeking other’s help without hesitation for complex or difficult works, refusing unreasonable demands & living our own self, evaluating self imposed demands also as to whether they are necessary/desirable, making a list of all the friends to whom we could turn now or when under stress. Since physical fitness is a must for becoming stress-free, wholesome & balanced diet at regular intervals is important, along with suitable exercise & adequate rest. Certain foods associated with stress should be avoided such as Caffeine (in Coffee & in many soft drinks) which causes nervousness & palpitation. Salt has been linked with high BP, Sugar with Heart diseases, smoking with tension, irritability, sleeplessness & cancer. Alcohol depletes Vitamins of group B, which are essential for reducing stress. Certain nutrients like Vitamin B, Minerals like Calcium (natural sedative), Magnesium (Nature’s tranquilizer) & Potassium (healthy heart) are expected to reduce stress. An element of Vitamin B, pantothenic acid, is especially important in preventing stress & strengthening immunity system. Calcium deficiency may cause fatigue, nervousness & tension. It is available in dairy products, eggs, almonds, soya beans etc. Magnesium deficiency leads to excitability, irritability, apprehension & emotional disorders. It is also necessary for absorption of both Calcium & Potassium. Potassium deficiencies are associated with breathlessness fatigue, insomnia & low B.P. Potassium is found in many vegetables, seeds, dates. Yoghurt is rich in Vitamin-A, D & B-Complex. It relieves insomnia, migraine & cramps. Rest & Recreation are also necessary, for healthy body & mind. Holidays & leisure should be planned regularly & enjoyed, away from the normal place of work. An executive should delegate duties to his colleagues & avoid the temptation of being the Superman. Retirement should also be planned well in time.

             We ourselves are the best judge to examine & identify the factors which are causing stress to us & the methods to effectively cope with the specific type(s) of stress, take action(s) where necessary & manage the stress in our life. This will result in controlling the effects of these factors, reducing their negative effects & thus leading to improvement in our effectiveness.


This blog has been presented and posted by Vijai K Sharma (in short Vijai), after being jointly compiled, as a result of discussions and deliberations between Abha (former Deputy Director of a voluntary organization in Mumbai), Vijai (former Additional G.M. in a large industrial organization) and Prakash (former Ford Foundation Fellow and Smith-Mundt/Fulbright Scholar and former Professor of Econometrics in several Universities including California University, Berkeley).