Love alone can save the world
DAAJI introduces DR. ICHAK ADIZES to the audience at the international Heartfulness Center at Kanha Shanti Vanam: “It’s such a pleasure this morning to have Dr. Adizes amongst us. I would call him a guru of management. He has many tricks, which are not spoken, not written, but which he delivers based on his personal experience and personal intuition. However complex any protocol may be, he will dissect it and simplify it for any organization – a university, an industry, a government, a spiritual institution, or a family. His principles are mind-blowing. His Adizes Methodology is very worthwhile if you are in the field of management, if you’re a game changer.
“So we’ll have a taste today. I always want to listen to him because he has very refined ideas when he speaks. If you watch his words, his style and his attitude, you will learn a lot. Welcome Dr. Adizes.”
Namaste and greetings to you all. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you some experiences, thoughts and insights that I’ve been developing over 50 years of working with companies, prime ministers, and generally with people.
What is it all about? It’s about change. This is nothing new. Change has been going on forever, from the Big Bang (maybe even before that) and it will go on forever. So what?
Whenever there is change there are problems. Why problems? Because, what is change? Something new. And then when you’re confronted with something new, you have to decide what to do about it. It’s like coming to an intersection in a foreign country – something new – and now you have to decide, “Do I go left? Do I go right? Do I go back? What do I do?”
Some people cannot make a decision. They say, “I don’t know what to do.” Uncertainty. “I don’t have enough information. I’m not going to decide.” But you just decided. What did you decide? To stay where you are. And maybe that’s the worst decision you can take. Why? Because even if you are on the right road, even if you’re comfortable, “Everything is good, I’m on the right road,” if you don’t move, a truck may come from behind and run you over. Why?
You’re not changing. You say, “I’m fine, I’m not going to decide. I’m not going to go left, I’m not going to go right, I’m going to stay where I am.”
But the world is continuously changing. The world is not stopping. The world is not saying, “Since you’re not changing, nobody will change. We’ll all wait until you change.” That’s not going to happen.
We need to change, because there is change. But there is a problem now. Something new is happening that did not happen in the past: Change is accelerating; the world is going faster and faster and faster. With new technologies there are tremendous changes: in medicine, in technology, social changes, political changes.
As change is accelerating, what is accelerating? Problems! If our grandparents were poor but relatively happy, we in the modern world have a better standard of living but a lower quality of life. Why? Too many problems, too much stress, too many decisions to make, and people are falling apart. It’s called stress.
The biggest disease of the modern world is depression. Too many people don’t know what to do. The world is changing too fast and they don’t know what to do. So I asked myself the questions: What to do? How do you handle change?
We need to change,
because there is change.
But there is a problem now.
Something new is happening
that did not happen in the past:
Change is accelerating;
the world is going faster and
faster and faster.
Well, you need to do two things. First you have to decide what to do. You have to decide, but decisions are not enough. Many of us decide. Many of us, especially me, decide to go on a diet; so I decided to go on a diet. Or I decided to go for meditation. Decision is not enough; you have to implement the decision. And success is not really in the decision. Success is in the implementation. Do you implement your decisions?
But now there is a difficulty. What is that difficulty? In life, making a good decision, especially in change, and always making the right decision, does not happen. Will you never make a mistake? Good luck. If you know the Old Testament, even God makes mistakes. He was very upset with the world because people were not righteous. So He brought the flood; for 40 days it was raining. God killed everybody to teach us a lesson to be righteous. And then God said, “I made a mistake. I cannot make people righteous.” Do you hear? God admits he is helpless with us; the God that created everything. The most powerful thing is helpless with people, and cannot make us righteous.
Also God is forgetful. He says, “Next time we start the rain,” so as to remember not to make the same mistake again, “I’ll bring the rainbow to remind me to stop.” Look how human God is. He admits He’s helpless. He admits He’s forgetful. So who are we to be more than God, never to make a mistake?
So the first thing is humility. We are not perfect; nobody is perfect. So if nobody is perfect, does it mean that the whole world will be badly managed? Will we always make mistakes? No. What we need is a complementary team to work together. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, but together we can be perfect. Where I’m weak, you’re strong. And where you’re weak, I’m strong.
What we need is a complementary
team to work together.
I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect,
but together we can be perfect.
Where I’m weak, you’re strong.
And where you’re weak, I’m strong.
Like this wedding I just observed now, if you look at it, all marriages are a complementary team. We always say, “My spouse is different.” Why did you marry somebody who is different? To complement you. Together as a family we’re better than we are alone. That’s why, at least in Western society, when you introduce your spouse you say, “May I introduce you to my better half?” Why is she your better half? Because she is better in those areas where you’re weak. And she will say, “No, he is my better half.” Together we are better off. Not only in a marriage, also in a company. If any one of you is in business, you want to have a complementary team. You want to have a team that works together.
Look at this hand. Do you see my hand? If you go to any church they have sculptures like this [gestures with his fingers], the thumb is touching a different finger. You may not realize it, but it is symbolic. You go to any church and you will see the saints standing with their hand like this. This symbol is called the hamsa. Women wear it as jewelry, and put it on the door at the entrance of their house. You know what it’s telling you? Be different – different fingers together. Be different together.
Some religions and political ideologies say: Be together, be the same. Don’t dare to be different! When the fingers on my hand are all the same [he scrunches them all to the same height], this hand is paralyzed. Those ideologies paralyze us. Nothing grows in a desert where there is sameness. Everything grows in a jungle – it’s called ecology. Differences together. It’s nice, but it is not reality. Because of change, over time these fingers open up. Why? We’re different. The fingers open up. Unity breaks down. Because we’re different there is going to be conflict. We think differently; we’re different. And what happens in marriages? What happens in companies? What happens in countries? They start falling apart over time.
Conflict happens in decision – making. Because we’re different, we’re going to have conflict when making decisions. You want this, I want that. You think this way, I think that way. You want fast, I want slow. You want everything, I want little. Welcome to the real world! Conflict.
Another source of conflict is on the implementation side. Why? Because in order to implement something, you need the cooperation of other people. You’re not in a vacuum. You need the cooperation of your neighbors, you need the cooperation of the people of your company, you need the cooperation of your children. You need cooperation!
In order for people to cooperate, there must be common interest: “We’re together, we’ve common interest.” Well, guess what? There is no common interest – don’t hold your breath – it changes. Even in a marriage, we started together and things happen, so there is no common interest. Even I have no common interest: I have a conflict in my head right here between my brain and mouth, six centimeters from each other. My brain tells me, “Don’t eat that cake! 30 seconds on your lips, but a lifetime on your hips. Don’t eat that cake.” And my taste buds say, “Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat …” So I have a conflict right here [pointing to his head]. Life is conflict. You want to sleep and there is work to do. You want to go on vacation, but … Conflict!
In order for people to cooperate,
there must be common interest:
“We’re together, we’ve common interest.”
Well, guess what?
There is no common interest
– don’t hold your breath –
Now hear me well: The more change, the more problems, the more conflict. The world is falling apart. Yes, the world is falling apart because of the rate of change. There is more crime than ever before, more divorces than ever before, more diseases than ever before. We have diseases today that we never knew about before. What to do? It’s a serious question. We are falling apart. There is a high rate of change. It is destructive. Conflict can be destructive, but it doesn’t have to be. I ask myself the question: Why did Yugoslavia, a country that does not exist anymore, fall apart? Why did the Soviet Union fall apart? And look at Switzerland – they should fall apart – French, Italians and Germans together in one country should be a disaster. That country should have fallen apart, but it has not.
I look at one marriage and they have conflict, but at the end of it they love each other even more, not because of the conflict, in spite of the conflict. Wow! And in another marriage they’re ready for divorce. What is the difference? Why is the first marriage like Switzerland, and the second like Yugoslavia? Here is the difference. Let’s start from the beginning: Why does change create problems? Because everything in this world is a system. You as a human being are a system. And a system by definition has sub-systems. And the sub-systems have sub-sub-sub- sub-sub-sub-sub-systems. You’re a subsystem of your marriage, your marriage is sub-system of the community, the community of the country, the country of the globe. A company has subsystems – marketing, sales, production, finance, human resources.
When there is change, the subsystems do not change together. Some change faster than others. For example, your heart may be 80 years old and your kidney is already dying. This is my case: I lost my kidney. It changes faster. If you drink too much, your liver will go faster. They don’t change together.
In a company, marketing changes fast, production changes slower, and finance and accounting take forever. The most difficult is to change people. Because of that, the system develops cracks, gaps. It’s called disintegration. Things fall apart. Change causes things to fall apart. As we get older we fall apart. An old car is falling apart.
If this disintegration is the cause of all the problems, what is the solution? Integration. Now the question is: How to integrate? Why was Yugoslavia disintegrated, and Switzerland, in spite of having all the ingredients to be disintegrated, integrated? What’s the difference?
To cut a long story short I’ll give you the bottom line. We’re different; you think differently than I do. How will we not fall apart? When we respect each other. And what does it mean, respect? I respect your differences; you don’t have to be like me.
You’re Italian, fine. I’m French, fine. You don’t have to be like me. You’re a Muslim, fine. I’m a Christian, fine. You’re a Hindu, fine. We don’t have to be the same; I respect your difference. Why? Because I learn from your difference. You don’t learn from people that are like you. They’re boring, there’s nothing to learn. You learn from people who disagree with you.
Now you ask, “Why do you disagree with me? What can I learn from you?” So what makes conflict on the decision side positive? What causes integration? Mutual respect. I accept your difference because I can learn from you, and you accept my difference because you can learn from me.
“What’s the future of the world?”
The world needs love.
And what is integration?
Integration through the heart.
Something bigger than us.
And what is Yoga?
The word “Yoga” is integration, unity.
And on the other side, where there is a conflict of interest, how do we make it positive? When we have a conflict of interest, what you want I don’t want, and what I want you don’t want. Now what do we do? There is an expression in most languages that says: Life is give and take. A good marriage is give and take. You have a conflict of interest in a business deal, but the relationship is more important to you: “Do it your way. It’s not a big deal. Next time we’ll do it my way.” It doesn’t always have to be my way; it doesn’t always have to be your way. Give and take.
Once I was lecturing in a particular country and an executive came up to me and said, “Dr. Adizes, here we don’t say ‘give and take’. We say ‘take and give’.”
Oops, I got it.
When you give, eventually it will come back. You trust. When you say, “First I will take, and then see what I want to give,” there is no trust.
So what makes a conflict of interest positive? When there is mutual trust. Do we trust each other? Can you integrate when there is mutual trust and respect? It is not good enough.
Now we come to Heartfulness. That’s why I love this organization with all my heart. I learned a lot from Chariji and I thank him. What is the utmost, absolute integration? Love. Love is not give and take. You just give.
You don’t take your children to play somewhere and feed them because they’re going to give it back to you. You do it because you love them. In the giving is the taking. In the giving is the taking. You enjoy them when they’re laughing and happy, and that’s your happiness. You’re not waiting for something later on, it’s continuous. When you love you don’t think. You don’t do accounting, there is no cross-value relationship. “How much am I giving? Am I getting it back? Will you return it back to me?” There is none of that. Love is absolute. And love solves all problems.
So what’s the solution to the world falling apart? Love. That’s why all of you Heartfulness Trainers have a big job – to save the world from falling apart. To save marriages, to save companies. And I believe India has a role in the world. Somebody has to be the beacon. Somebody has to spread the message to a world that’s falling apart. India has that role. Unfortunately, India is falling apart too. I come from the West where everybody is saying, “What’s the future of the world?” The world needs love. And what is integration? Integration through the heart. Something bigger than us. And what is Yoga? The word “Yoga” is integration, unity. India has that message for the world. So the trick is not to stop change. The trick is to make change constructive. And that we can do with love. Thank you very much.
Talk given by DR. ICHAK ADIZES
December 31, 2019
December 31, 2019
December 31, 2019