Empowerment through Understanding and Awareness

Some years back, I came across a book, Who Stole My Energy‘, by ‘Ariana Trinity‘, in which the author states that Understanding and Awareness are two basic tools to get through this life. In June 2010, when I went through a Faculty Development Programme, conducted by the then Uttar Pradesh Technical University‘s Value Education Cell at IIT Kanpur, this very perspective got re-emphasized. 

‘Right Understanding’ is vital for realizing the core of our own-selves and for enriching our relationships, in both family and society as well as with the nature around us, for fulfilling our  physical needs. We need the right understanding for fulfillment of  our basic aspirations of perpetual happiness, prosperity and also for attainment of goals and objectives, that we decide to pursue.

Further, clarity about the role right understanding plays in our lives, dawned on me when I got an opportunity to teach the subject of ‘Human Values and Professional Ethics’ to engineering students. I realized that we act either from assumption or from understanding. When we act on the basis of assumption, the chance of being either right or wrong is fifty percent. If our assumption is correct, then things turn out to be OK, but if false, then we end up in difficulties. On the other hand, when we act from right understanding, the chance of our being right becomes cent percent. What it means is that, we need to always understand the problem rightly and then respond to it. No matter how good the solution to a wrongly understood problem is, it will always lead to a wrong result. Surprisingly, most of the time, a majority of us are not even aware that we are acting from our assumptions. We often hear people say,   “Oh! I am feeling lucky today” when things go right but when things go wrong people have a tendency to blame it on the destiny saying, “Meri to kismat hi kharab hai or my luck has run out.”

In my experience, life is all about learning and growing. Life ensures our growth, by offering each one of us, many situations, with ample scope for learning. No situation by itself, is either good or bad; it is  only, we who tend to term it as Good or Bad, depending upon our limited understanding. Each situation, is actually offering us a hidden opportunity, for our growth and development. How we unravel the situation and respond to it, is determined by our current level of understanding. So, the more  in-depth the understanding of the situation, the better will be our response. The level of understanding is directly related to our level of awareness.  If we give out our very best to each and every situation, with right understanding and awareness, then life becomes a fulfilling experience, in which irrespective of the result, we always emerge as a winner.

I shall sum up my thoughts with the words of ‘Stephen R. Covey‘, who states in his famous bookThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“Between (every) stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.” 

So, if we choose to respond to each and every stimulus that this life offers, with the right understanding and awareness, then we can lead a high quality of life in terms of happiness and peace of mind.

Lastly; this post being the first attempt to share my views, I would like to dedicate it to all those people who joined me in my journey on this planet, enriched me and made a difference in my life.


34 thoughts on “Empowerment through Understanding and Awareness

  1. Excellent thoughts, Ashok. If our assumptions are wrong, or if we are prejudiced, no matter how hard and how sincerely we work, the results would be unsatisfactory.

  2. respected sir,
    I really liked what u had to say about assumptions, as after reading your blog i realised that how deeply our life depends on this word.
    Your choice of using the famous statement by Macoy as your conclusion could not have done any more justice than it has already done.
    Will b looking forward to reading more of your blogs.
    Regards Siddharth second yr.

  3. You have rightly said that assumptions can lead to wrong results. ASSUME can be made to stand for U are making ASS out of ME. It is therefore essential to see if the assumptions are right. Another name for assumptions is paradigm and when we see the other side, we oftem say “Oh, I had a paradigm shift”. You have brought out the concepts very clearly. Congratulations

  4. Congratulations Prof. Dua for sharing your thoughts through your blog… The topic you have delved on is very important to each one of us individually as well as collectively considering the situation at workplaces, in families and in society… I would like to take the subject further by raising a few questions… How do we find if we have ‘Right Understanding’… What yardstick do we use to understand the rightness or wrongness of our understanding – specially before we act on our understanding… Generally the outcome of our actions do tell us if our understanding was right or wrong… but at times it is too late and we do not have any means or time to take corrective actions and even if we do have, they may too costly in terms of damage already caused… I would look forward to your views…

    • Sir,
      I must say that you have raised very pertinent questions. My reply to these questions is as given below:
      Right understanding occurs within us. So, we need to explore within ourselves. Self-exploration leads us to self-awareness. Self-awareness is the key to realization which in turn helps us to develop right understanding. For this, we need to observe our thoughts and become aware of our thoughts. Then, we need to analyze our thoughts and arrive at a decision based on our analysis. However, before we decide to act, we need to check if the decision arrived at is:
      ***Naturally acceptable to us.
      ***In accordance with what we are and what we stand for, that is, our values and principles.
      ***Not based on our pre-conditioning but is based on the lessons learnt from the pre-conditioning.
      ***Not based on sensations received through our five sense organs.
      ***Going to make us feel happy and create all round happiness.
      If the response to the above is in the affirmative, then we have the right understanding and a decision made out of this understanding will always be right.
      I do hope that this answers the questions raised by you…Best regards.

      • Sir… Thank you so much for so vividly throwing light on my doubt… I understand that the key to realizing RIGHT and WRONG is our honest and sincere effort to analyze our inner response to the situation and not reaction to the situation as quoted by you in your original blog post (reference to Victor Frankl’s research in Steven Covey’s book). Your reply has indeed clarified my doubt… Thanks once again sir… I look forward to continued posts by you in your blog…

  5. Sir, this action is a great leap forward. The message conveyed is not only precious but also loud & clear.
    There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters, over which I have complete control, will decide my quality of Life. Hope to read more on this Blog.

  6. Impressed sir. Never knew the other side of your talent. I know that you are very serious man in life but your thoughts are really creative and of a serious thinker that can make a difference in life for better !

  7. Sir, you’ve successfully justified the title “Empowerment through Understanding and Awareness” in your very first blog. “Right Understanding” is, indeed, a vital element to achieve our goals, to conquer our fears and every other obstacle to which we are constrained.
    I presume your blog is going to make me a happy ‘billionaire’ 🙂

  8. Sir, It was good reading. Perfect analysis by you. But challenge lies in ‘understanding’ and that depends on one’s ‘capability’, which varies from person to person. If one is trying to improve upon understanding, one is trying to enhance his capability which will automatically results in success, as you rightly said. Shekhar

  9. I echo Nisha’s words. and i most revel in the last line in your blog.Thanks for dedicating it to all of us who joined your journey in life.You have changed our lives too..by being a live example of discipine and modesty.

  10. Dear Sir,

    First of all I would like to thank you for sharing these beautiful words with us. I hope through the medium of blogging you will empower the present generation and ignite some healthy thoughts in their mind.

    The topic ‘Empowerment through Understanding and Awareness’ explains the life’s biggest challenge, of taking right decision through responding positively to a situation, in simple words. It is true that a hindrance in path of life is an opportunity in disguise to jump higher in life. If you succeed then it is good, if you fail then it a step to success in future endeavors.

    As you wrote that situations are not good or bad, we term it good or bad and that is all relative. Relatively good and relatively bad.

    One again I would like to say Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Sir.

  11. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads.
    I’m hoping to give a contribution & help different customers like its helped me.
    Great job.

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