Introduction The five most important and "Never-Ever-Give-Up" principles of life are punctuality, honesty and integrity, dependability, owning mistakes and always seeing the larger/bigger picture. Each of these are eternal principles that stand the test of time. They are relevant today and they will be relevant four hundred years from now. These are the exact principles that will make us stand apart from the very ordinary.
Punctuality Imagine this situation. You are to move out of the house in your car at 8 a.m. Your wife had requested the domestic servant to be home at 6 AM in the morning. She comes half an hour late. The milkman is supposed to come at 6.30AM. He comes at 6.45 AM and your early morning coffee is delayed. Since it is a Sunday, the newspaper guy also comes only at 7.15 AM. You are very angry and upset that punctuality is something that none had followed on that day. Finally, you start at 9 AM and proceed to the temple, some fifty kilometers away. Though your darshan was good, your day was not. You did feel upset at the turn of events.
On the next day, your car breaks down and you are 40 minutes late to office. Your boss barks at you, as he is already late for an important meeting. The boss is not in a position to even listen to you. Now recollect your feelings on the previous day. Punctuality is important to all of us. No excuses are ever allowed. If the car had broken down, you would have done well to park it in some corner and tell the mechanic to attend to it. You could have taken an Ola car and proceeded to the office.
Punctuality brings along with it huge discipline. It does create positive feelings and it does make everyone happy at all times. Punctuality also has tremendous spin-off in terms of the goodwill that we automatically create in the minds of others. We would be viewed as "no-nonsense" people at all times.
Smart office goers have already started taking the metro to reach their offices much faster. Car travel is tedious during peak hours. The metro trains have no traffic problem and are so fast. The travel cost is very cheap when compared to the car. It is also far easier to travel by metro and reach office in a far better mood than even travel by car, where our tempers are tested by and through the indiscipline that we see among the auto drivers in particular.
Once punctuality becomes a habit, we can easily stick to it. It is very important in terms of our analyzing how to develop it as a habit. More so, in terms of reaching offices on time, keeping up with the time of appointments, cutting down waste of time in talking over the cell phone and the like.
Honesty and Integrity The friendly neighborhood "Kirana" guy, who helps us to buy all our essential commodities near our house is often a person with terrific honesty and integrity. For, he knows that if he bungles on quality and delivery, he will not only one customer but hundreds. In fact, he survives only through word of mouth. We also find several other individuals in every walk of life.
Even establishments follow a great deal of honesty and integrity. The famous Annapoorna and Gowrishankar group of restaurants in Coimbatore city was founded with one principle: "our profits do not come off the curse and heartburn of our customers". To this day, the concept of value for money is so largely a part of their way of doing business.
Kamal Hassan the actor has never ever accepted even a pie in cash. He always accepts only cheques. Everything is in black and white. Ditto for another actor called Ajith Kumar. Since these two heroes follow such standards of honesty and integrity, they are able to influence others in the industry to fall in line.
Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajaji, Kamaraj, Sardar Vallabh Patel, Morarji Desai. These names are mentioned in the press even today. Ravi Mathai, the first director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, that is reputed as one of the best institutes for the MBA program in the whole of Asia, was a person with the utmost honesty and integrity. Verghese Kurian of Amul fame, who built the NDDB into one of the finest institutions in the country, was also a person on integrity and honesty. Larsen &T oubro is an organization well known for honesty and integrity. The TVS group is known for only cash dealings. The suppliers know that even for Rs.10, they will get only cheques from this group of organizations. The honesty and integrity with which the funds of hundreds of thousands of senior citizens are handled, has already brought in deposits worth Rs. 2300 crores, in a company called Sundaram Finance.
When we are honest, hundreds follow us. Our children always follow us. We know for sure that there will be several people who will remember us and quote us in their conversations with other people.
Dependability Those who are dependable are those who are always welcomed by society. The music genius A.R. Rahman is such a dependable person that hundreds of producers of both Tamil and Telugu movies line up for his dates well in advance. Similarly, Virat Kohli has now matured into a fine Captain who can be relied upon for continued success.
Those who are dependable are always liked by a huge number of people. They are always in demand and get across to people in all situations. They are honest and self-motivated too. This principle not only makes the person disciplined but also motivates others to fall in line. There are several people, for instance who all out of the way and make marriages all fun. They run around in circles and get things organized in a very firm and systematic manner. They are very resourceful and know intimate details about the local suppliers of various items that can be purchased at short notice.
We do often find that such dependable people go to any length to do service to society too. Someone in their families would have been a big role model. They would be ever ready to work it out in terms of hard work needed in any situation. Their somewhat selfless nature makes them " the man to go to" or "woman to go to" for all family functions. Once we develop dependability, much of every thing else will fall in place.
Owning mistakes How many of us own our mistakes and readily apologise? In fact, once we do so, the person at the other end positively responds and makes our life that much easier too. We tend to warm our way into their hearts.
Such people have leadership qualities in them. Bosses who own the mistakes of subordinates and then take corrective action are literally liked by most subordinates. They are often respected a great deal in society. Such a principle calls for guts and a larger purpose in life. Selfishness has no place in society. It is ridiculous for people to imagine a situation where subordinates are always blamed by bosses. Even suppliers who know of such bosses, do not respect them and would try to get things done through other power centers.
We must take things forward in our houses or in our offices by and through this highly moralistic principle of owning up our mistakes. When we are the bosses, a mistake made by any subordinate is ours as well. The buck stops only with us and we should recognize this at any point in time.
Always seeing the larger/bigger picture This principle is one that is increasingly becoming important in today 's times. We have too many situations where our understanding should go far beyond what is seen as the scope of the present problem or issue.
Let us take this burning issue of the command over written and spoken English. It is the only universal language. The Chinese have already embraced it far better than us. The Japanese have lost out in the battle for more competitiveness to the Chinese, only because the society as a whole has understood the value of English. Our own Hindi and other language politicians educate their own sons and daughters in the best of English medium schools and at institutions like Oxford. They then talk rubbish about the undue importance that should be given to a particular language. It is high time that we understand English in the wider context of global competitiveness. Let us not be taken away by the most stupid arguments that sort of urge us to not learn English at all. In fact, each of us and our children should master it so well and progress ahead in life.
Similarly, the need to conserve water, our natural resources, preserve our cultural values and so on should be viewed in much wider contexts. Always seeing the bigger picture is one principle that we need to improve upon every single day of our life.
Conclusion The need for a very principled life is even more needed in today s times, than ever before. We do not have any choice. Every single modern organization will look for such principles in any number of people at any moment of life. Let us learn from each success story of organizations or individuals and then go to the next level in terms of effectiveness and happiness.