“Life and death are illusions. We are in a constant state of transformation.”
–Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexican Film Director, Winner of Five Academy Awards for his Feature Films
Transformation: Perhaps the only additional fact of life other than death and taxes has us all in its grip, no matter what! Whether we agree with this fact or not, there is a lot more wisdom out there for all of us to gain from and make our lives a little more enjoyable. Living through transformation may not be enough by itself, let us experience it, and reap its best possible rewards.
Considering the logic behind the above statement, will it be fair for us to expect the role of external forces on all our plans, acts, and/or decisions that we may never be able to control? I believe it could both be positive and negative at the same time; positive because our life is deeply related to multiple external forces that we sometimes like to address as ‘chance.’ At the same time, I say ‘no’ because human imagination has the power to achieve the unachievable. If not, we should still be living in the Stone Age.
Without going into the history of this Universe, we can retrace our own steps to an ongoing transformation in a systematic fashion. I like to address these steps as:
- Reform and
I am sure the discerning readers can add a lot more to my brief summation. However, the fact remains the same. Any transformation in our own behavior must begin from ‘information’ that our mental faculties process in a certain way. Those with a positive bent of mind look at the merits of that information and visualize various possibilities while the negative minds discard it outright.
Those that see the positive run with it to achieve their desired goals while the negative bent of mind coaxes others to stay confined within their own little cocoons. No matter how hard they may deny the impact of transformation both on and around them, the facts manifest themselves in their deteriorating situation.
Once the merits are established, we get into the process of giving a concrete shape to the benefits so visualized. The actual act of ‘performance’ is born as a result. Before we can lay claim to success in our attempt/s, we must revisit the entire act and make sure there are no loose ends or missteps left unchecked. Reforming process gives us the satisfaction that we are on the right track. It also helps us consolidate our position in the event of a sudden downward trend.
Soon the all-clear signal is received we experience transformation underway.
Who can deny the fact that only the information put into actual practice can generate the desired results? No amount of information gathering can bring in positive transformation, no matter how hard we might try. The process determines the outcome. Yes, of course, the external factors are also in a state of constant transformation all the time. So long as our actions are in tune with those forces, we can expect a smooth ride, if you will. Soon we try to go against the tide, the going gets tough, and the parameters of risk-aversion change.
I am not implying here that we cannot, or even should not make every possible effort to put a check on negativity. It is a well-known fact that ‘the dead fish always flow with the tide.’ However, our ‘perform’ and ‘reform’ processes demand higher levels of scrutiny in the successful pursuit of our goals.
Napoleon Hill, perhaps the best-known American self-help author of the 20th Century, summarized the same process in the following words:
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”
Whatever we can imagine must turn into ‘information.’ Only then, we shall begin to share the same with others for a possible team-building initiative. Converted into bites, each participant can pick his/her own piece of the puzzle as per individual levels of expertise.
To help cement this thought further, we might find concurrence in the following quote from a modern-day celebrity named Jillian Michaels. She is an American personal trainer, entrepreneur, author, and television personality from Los Angeles, California. Michaels is famous for her appearances on NBC, particularly ‘The Biggest Loser.’ Her take:
“Transformation in real life is extraordinarily incremental, and that’s all I’m going to say.”
When it comes to business, we cannot but help heeding the advice of Ginni Rometty, the first-ever woman Chairman, President, and C.E.O. of IBM:
“The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.”
Klaus Martin Schwab, the German engineer, and economist, best known as the founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum has this to say about transformation:
“New technologies and approaches are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds in ways that will fundamentally transform humankind. The extent to which that transformation is positive will depend on how we navigate the risks and opportunities that arise along the way.”