STIMS Institute offers its vision of 21st Century Manufacturing.

CEO Dialogue 2I

In a recent CEO Forum organized by MGTL, Dr. K. (Subbu) Subramanian, President STIMS Institute Inc., offered his vision of the 21st Century Manufacturing and outlined the need for requisite work force skills to meet the emerging needs. This forum was held at Pune, India on Nov. 21, 2014. For a complete presentation, please see: Manufacturing in the 21st Century

Few excerpts:

  • “Manufacturing” is a collection of (a) physical processes enabled by a host of (b) information processes and aided by a collection of (c) pick and place and transfer processes, which at the moment are a combination of physical events and information events.
  • Core capability for any manufacturing:  repetitive use of physical processes, to achieve or USE the “Product” at the required quantity, place and time to meet the end user needs.
  • Manufacturers have two options: (a) Steady improvement in the processes already deployed; The result is a constant reduction in the explicit knowledge and skill required with respect to the Physical Processes used. Over time, they have become the black boxes surrounded by a myriad of service processes, which are generic and practiced in all companies and industries. (b) Introduction of a stream of new solutions resulting in New Products, New Processes and New Applications/ USE. These new solutions are the result of intense knowledge of the physical processes unique to the manufacturing company.
  • Breakthrough – step change – solutions will be expected as a routine output of manufacturing professionals of the future. But, in order to sustain such improvements the process has to be managed as a whole – as a system. Constant tweaking or small changes in the system which disturbs the equilibrium of the process cannot be tolerated, if maximum impact is the desired outcome. This will require manufacturing professionals who are simultaneously good at process science as well as process economics, with expertise to integrate knowledge from all available sources.
  • We find two parallel chains operating across all manufacturing companies (i.e.) Supply Chain which deals with the information processes that interconnect the various tiers of manufacturers and Functional Value Chain, where the physical processes and their exploitation play a silent but foundational role across the manufacturers.
  •  Since the products are enables by processes and the USE is also a process in a manner of speaking, we are left with “Process and its knowledge and the capability to manipulate any process” may be the primary core capability or skill set of future manufacturing professionals! The role of human labor and their employment in large numbers is not a critical need in this description of manufacturing. It is important for policy makers to make note of this subtle but significant point.
  • Work force skills required for 21st century manufacturing:

Manufacturing Processes

Traditional Sources of Knowledge

New Knowledge Required

 Traditional Worker Skills

 New Worker Skills Required

   Physical Processes Engineers and shop floor workers with technical training, trade skills and academic education. ·  Process Science·  Diagnostics·  Data and   Analysis·  Sector specific know-how Engineers with years of experience located close to the shop floor operations ·       System Thinkers and Solution Providers Reliant on Process Science·       Reliant on sensors, signals and their use.
 Information Processes Collection of tasks that evolved through the years ·       IT·       Data Base·       Big data·       Analytics White Collar Workers with standard plug and play IT solutions ·       System Thinkers·       Solution Providers·       Customized IT solutions
  Pick and Place / Transfer Processes Industrial work force through many years of training and hands on experience. ·       CNC, Robotics and AGV·       Drones ·       Blue collar workers·       Standard work and tasks·       Physical effort and de-skilled operations. ·       System Thinkers·       Solution Providers·       Comfortable in virtual control environment

Learn to swim against the tide of Binary Economy

It is an undeniable axiom of globalization: anyone in any job or profession has to be better than anyone else who can do the same job from a pool of workers across the globe. Conversely, those who can do a job in a similar manner to others around the globe will be rewarded for their effort at the lowest value at which the work can be procured from anyone else across the globe! Every worker will fall into one of these two extremes. Anyone in the middle will be ultimately swept to the low-labor-cost pool.
While there will be a natural tendency to be swept into the lower-wage pool, it will require a special effort to swim against the current to be associated with the limited few in the high-wage, high-reward pool. Swim against the stream and reach a high place (of New Solutions with identifiable impact) or be swept away into the global pool of low-cost resources (needed for Replication Solutions) is the true paradigm of globalization. There is little or no opportunity for treading water in this paradigm. This constant struggle to swim upstream and against the current is what is perceived as the volatility and uncertainty in the workplace. Suggestions such as higher education, higher SAT scores, and more grit and perseverance are all means to the same end. But as we have detailed in our book – see the links below – all of these have to be formatted toward identification, development, and exploitation of New Solutions using Transformational Skills as the means to this end.

Do you know your “core” capability?

Are you the owner of a small or medium sized manufacturing company? Are you the head of a profit center or a Business Unit that is part of a company group? If you are, it is very likely that you are one of the business leaders, trying to find ways to keep your business above water. Some of you may be concerned about growing your bottom line and in rare occasions seeking ways to further grow your business. But, no matter what your needs are, it is certain that you are facing the stiff winds of global competition, cost pressures, challenges from outsourced operations and above all a sense of uncertainty about the future.

We believe that such pessimism and the sense of gloom and doom about manufacturing industries and their future is not warranted. It is true that there are stiff head winds and it is also true that the waters are turbulent. But, you are not up the creek, with out a paddle!

Have you ever sat back and asked yourself, “How did we (your business unit) get here?” No, I do not mean, how you got into a situation of stiff competition and low profit margins and high costs. These are all obvious and readily known to every one. But, have you figured out how your business or operation grew from its beginnings to where it is today? It did not happen by chance or by some luck or through magic! It happened because you and your people along with your suppliers and your customers contributed their share of knowledge and know-how that resulted in the products you manufacture, the processes you use to make them and also the applications know-how through which your customers use your products. The “Products. Processes and Applications knowhow” are your core capabilities. These core capabilities are embedded in the knowledge of many people connected with your company – through your employees, suppliers and customers and their customers.

You might say “It is indeed true that we did not grow out of thin air. We built our company, brick by brick though our products, manufacturing process capabilities and our know-how to help our customers use our products better. Then, whatever happened to my business or operation, over the years? Why are we struggling today with low profitability and shrinking margins and low to no growth?” One can ask such valid questions and wallow in misery or merely be nostalgic about the good old days for ever. Instead, you can muster the passion to dig deeper.

Your product is not any widget you put in your shipping box. It is not merely something you identify by a product number or a bar code. Product is something of value to some one (the user), who is willing to pay you (the manufacturer) something of value to you. Can you describe your “Product” using the above definition? Is there any one in your sales, product design/development, manufacturing/production, tech-support or general management who can describe your product in terms of the value to your customer and the expected value for you in return? Do you know who they are? Do they all have the same understanding of the user value and manufacture’s value or are they speaking over each other in different languages? Your journey for the future can start right here and now, by developing a common definition of your “Product” and developing a core team across the business functions that speaks the same language about your product.

How well do you know your Processes to manufacture your products? They are not “black box” that nobody knows anything about, after Joe Smith retires from the company! All processes in your manufacturing floor have well defined Inputs, which are converted into Outputs. All processes are “Input/Transformation/Output” system. No, we are not talking about Ph.D language. In the past years, few who knew about the process could tweak them and keep them going, while others were simply pairs of hands to help them out. We can not do that any more. All processes can be diagnosed (using proper sensors and IT tools for measurement), repaired, improved and in some cases changed dramatically. But, you can not do any of the above, if you think that the processes in your shop floor are merely “black box” put in place by some one who left the company years ago! Your journey for the future can start right here and now, by developing a common definition of the key “Processes” in your manufacturing floor and developing a system view of these processes across all the business functions that support such processes. You would not like to see any medical professional with out a stethoscope and a thermometer. Then, why would you not want all your manufacturing process professionals have similar capability to measure and diagnose and cure the problem with respect to your processes and their health?

How well do you know your customer’s processes (Application) and how you can add value in their processes through your products? If software is the enabler of all the growth and success in the IT industry, you can make your AT (Applications Technology) as the enabler for your growth and success in the manufacturing industry. AT helps you to build alliances with your suppliers and customers towards building solutions of shared benefits. If you have treated your process as a black box, it is likely that your customers have done the same with their processes. It is about time, you helped them to do a “health check up” on their processes, while they use your product. After all, strong and healthy customer process is essential for your long term strength and success.

Product, Process and Applications know-how are your core capabilities, which got you where you are today! They are the bench strength of your team. You can do more or less with them enabled by all the plug and play IT capabilities. But, you can not build a manufacturing industry with out the brick and mortar (i.e) Product, Process and Applications Technology. Have you taken the time to cultivate them? If not, may be it is time for you and the key personnel in your team to go through the “Core Capability Boot Camp”?

It is just not AI; The glamor of “Technology” needs to be managed for the larger common good for all!

In their new book, “Power and Progress,” Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson ask whether the benefits of AI will be shared widely or feed inequality.  

Following are a few brief excerpts from this book review and our comments:

“We’re suggesting we can get back onto that path of shared prosperity, harness technology for everybody, and get productivity gains,” Johnson says. “We had all that in the postwar period. We can get it back, but not with the current form of our machine intelligence obsession. That, we think, is undermining prosperity in the U.S. and around the world.”

The authors are to be commended for calling attention to a critical problem (i.e.) Shared Prosperity Vs. gains for a few from AI. This notion of shared prosperity has been abrogated ever since the introduction of “Digital Technology (DT)” which began in the late 70s. DT and its many versions of Information Technology (IT) has been the driving force enabling automation of all human work for Information processing. Its impact can be seen through outsourcing and offshoring, using low cost labor thanks to “Supply Chain” solutions. This IT driven “Globalization” lifted many boats for the poor in low labor cost countries, while depleting the waters – financial resources – on which the boats of most of the middle class were floating, in the developed nations including USA and W. Europe. This phenomena  and unabated glamor for DT applications to gain productivity and cost benefits regardless of the economic consequences for the large majority of workers is articulated in our book published in 2000.  The suggested pathway for a limited few who can survive and succeed in this economic tsunami of “Globalization” is also suggested in this book. It is in the self-interest of professional workers to think and behave as “System integrators” and  “Solution workers” and not as “Task workers” confined to their limited knowledge or specialty area. This requires an integrated use of Science, Engineering and Management as three creative tools and NOT as three independent and isolated silos.

To alter this trajectory, Acemoglu and Johnson advocate for an extensive menu of policy responses, including data ownership for internet users (an idea of technologist Jaron Lanier); tax reform that rewards employment more than automation; government support for a diversity of high-tech research directions; repealing Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms from regulation or legal action based on the content they host; and a digital advertising tax (aimed to limit the profitability of algorithm-driven misinformation).

“Tax reform” to generate more revenue from the “Technology” driven productivity gains and quick riches they generate is a different and parallel path from “increase in employment” to enhance the job opportunities and the education and skill development required for that. They are like good nutrition and physical fitness for a human Vs. actions required to improve the heart condition and brain functions. The heart and brain specialists are different from the nutrition and physical fitness specialists. Tax reform for new revenue sources and skill development for new labor skills depend on each other. Tax reform is needed to generate revenue needed for implementation of new labor skill development programs. Tax reform to gain more revenue from Technology driven new income requires a public will to tax the rich, the beneficiaries of unbridled use of ”Tech. Sector advancements”. Creating new labor skills requires investments in education as well as a requirement to use locally available labor pool as much as possible, much similar to “Make in America, buy in America” policy being pushed by the Biden administration. Also, no amount of Government policies and programs can address the skill needs of the worker pool unless people themselves are willing to learn and change their skills. We address this need as System Thinking and Transformational Skills and their details in the book published in 2013. 

“Debates on new technology ought to center not just on the brilliance of new products and algorithms but on whether they are working for the people or against the people,” they write.

Above is a laudable observation, but an utopian wish unless the policy makers and public at large are truly reflective and address the larger needs of the people. This is the essence of Emotional Intelligence (i.e.) thinking on behalf of others as the starting point (which in the end would also benefit the self).

Today “Technology driven new products and algorithms” are conceived and implemented in a way that meets the immediate needs – low hanging fruits – to gain productivity and the lower cost to replace human labor irrespective of the impact on employment or how it affects people at large. The spread of fake news, disinformation, isolation and mental health issues caused by social media are all seen as problems for “somebody else to solve” and not the probl;em of the tech, companies that generate the products, implement and distribute them. Any chemical Co. or car manufactuer can not get away with such wide spread harm to the public as much as that are caused by tech, sector companies! This requires higher levels of emotional intelligence driven by Spirituality in Practice as a second nature to all. Teaching such basics in Philosophy from the middle school onwards may be overdue? This is the core of our third book published this year (2023). 

“We need these discussions,” Johnson says. “There’s nothing inherent in technology. It’s within our control. Even if you think we can’t say no to new technology, you can channel it, and get better outcomes from it, if you talk about it.” This is a good beginning. I am glad the authors talk about it. Let us hope enough would listen and follow. Yes, there are tangible solutions, but it will require a holistic and integrated approach. I wonder how many from the Computer Science Dept. would read the above or discuss with the faculty in the humanities and traditional engineering Departments to arrive at and articulate collaborative solutions? All such collaboration would need System Thinking, Transformational Skills and enhanced Emotional Intelligence. These are needs to be met across the board and such discussion may need to start from our institutions of higher learning?

Spirituality in Practice (SiP) — Putting to the test

Recently I read the following excerpt in a NYT column titled “The Thrill of the Office Crush” by Roxane Gay 
I was honored to speak at an event in a professional capacity. …………. but I completely bombed. I spoke way too fast and stumbled over words. I kept seeing weird looks on the audience’s faces, which made it worse…………
I redeemed myself on the panel — I spoke clearly and the audience responded well to my commentary.
I am mortified and am not sure if I should say something to my peers or the woman who invited me, who I fear is in trouble with the head of her organization who was in attendance. Should I apologize? Say something to my fellow panelists when I see them again? And I know this is not a therapy column but any advice on getting over a professional embarrassment? I feel like a complete failure.
You can read the advice from Roxane in her column. Here we will explore this “experience” from the perspective of “Connector-Science” elaborated in our book: Spirituality In Practice 

If the panelist were to distance from the event and experience – as I am able to as an unattached reader –  the above message can be decomposed into several components, each having their own context and the connectors:

ActivityDominant Connector
Recollecting what happened: Participation as a panelist which started badly (“bombed”) got better with time (spoke clearly and the audience responded well to my commentary) KNOWLEDGE Comprehensive self reflection of both the good and bad with equal consideration? 
Dwelling on the past (I am mortified) BIASEmotional attachment to the possible outcome.Is this a self-imposed constraint?To reflect and engage in corrective action is objective and “Professional”. But, feeling “mortified” occurs when our knowledge of the professional opportunity given and the ability to course correct in the middle of a panel session are overlooked thanks to our desire (needs and wants) to look good all the time.
Dwelling on the future (I feel like a complete failure).Professional embarrassment!IgnoranceConclusion and emotional burden, lacking objectivity or professionalism.Is this also a self-imposed constraint? There will always be success and failure, like the crest and depth of a wave. But, they are part of life. To judge the bottom of the wave as the “permanent” – total failure – would be ignorance on one’s part?

While all of the above are coexisting,  the prevailing “mood” or “experience” is a reflection of the dominant connector in each case.
Present activity: Should I say something?
The panelist (or the reader) could fill the table below through some Self-reflection.
Person (s) involvedSelf, Peers, the inviter, her boss, future audience, …..?
Means / ToolsHow? “Explanation”? “Thank you”? “Apology”? Expression of genuine self-reflection”?
CircumstancesUnder what situations?
Laws of NatureCommunication Skills

This process – Science of Connectors – is the same irrespective of activity in any aspect of life!

But, there is a second and more important phase to the SiP. In the above we have attempted to analyze the various parts of the experience of this professional. Now, for a moment think about it: This professional is concerned about “I” and all that related to him/her! On the other hand, this professional is not thinking of all that enabled him to be in the panel, participate and contribute such as “Why was the panel session organized, what was the impact of the overall event for the audience? what were the take-aways for the organizers? benefits for the fellow panelists? …………” If this professional can look at the event in such a larger context, his/her “Objectivity” is further enhanced. Such thinking and reflection on the “Stake holder benefits”, may also lead to opportunities to engage with the inviter, her boss, fellow panelists, …. Through such engagement this panelist may learn even more details of his/her own participation and any follow up needed. In other words such open minded engagement and follow up may also ends up with some benefits to the self. This is generally identified as “Emotional Intelligence”, one of the transformational skills needed for the 21st Century professionals. 

Third and final observation:
One can see underlying the entire spectrum – the panel discussion, panelist’s role as a speaker, follow up action as needed, ……- is the common need for being open minded and communication skills.
Both of these are aspects of nature. The more any professional reflects on these abstract enablers, the better they will be able to handle the emotional questions as well as genuine follow up with all stakeholders!.

Three good books!

If life is a journey, its story gets told through periodic collection of thoughts that summarize the journey. In turn they become books published for use by others as well as a compendium of knowledge for posterity!

My life journey as a professional and in many respects as an individual, family member and part of the society at large have evolved in parallel tracks. Now, reflecting back on the three books published over the years, they seem to provide a continuum of this journey, even though they were not contemplated like that at the time of their publication.

        In the year 2010, I wrote my first book focussed on the need for every professional to be a solution provider – system oriented – with simultaneous emphasis on Science, Engg. and Mgt. They are three pathways for creative thinking, not three isolated silos.
In the year 2013, little over a decade after the first book, I co-authored my second book, where we laid out that developing any solution is not enough. We outlined a BINARY ECONOMY defining opportunity for new solution providers and large number of low wage/reward earners through “Replicators of Known solutions” and a collapsing middle. This has been true for individuals, projects, companies and products since the early 2000s. We see this Binary Economy showing up its impact now, even in the higly glorified IT sector, the growth engine for U.S. economy in the 21st Century. You have to be entrepreneurial and committed to finding the right need and making it into a relevant solution and making it useful to many (i.e.) End to End Innovation, which requires certain Transformational Skills (TS) that are outlined in this book. The last of these TS is Emotional Intelligence (EI).

        In 2023, the current book published is for a holistic life that strengthens our EI through Spirituality in Practice (SiP). As the third pillar of life, SiP strengthens our Physical wellbeing as well as our Emotional wellbeing. In the age of Social media that are isolating people into species of depression, SiP is needed to find our humanity as an integral part of who we are – part of nature and not independent and different from nature! SiP is exactly that. The notion of “ego” (i.e.) being subjective arises when we think “I” is different from nature. We become more spiritual when we see “I” merely as an outcome of our Knowledge, Bias and Ignorance and their relative proportions. This objective outlook is further enhanced when we come to terms with the reality that whether we are subjective or objective are all mere evidences of laws on nature at work in infinite ways known and unknown to us. Hence you, me or anyone or anything is merely an evidence and a witness to the Laws of Nature. We are Spiritual always. Even the person who thinks he/she is not spiritual is able to think, thanks to the Laws of Nature, the driver (i.e) the spirit!

Above are not abstract thoughts for the theoretical or intellectual minded! We explore the laws of nature in anything, we call that “Science”. When we apply that knowledge we call it “Enginering”. Being prudent with our time and resources and focus on relevant questions to use our scientific knowledge and engineering prowess for the larger common good is management. All these efforts become productive and rewarding when our efforts are channelled through certain Transformational Skills embedded in Spirituality in Practice as a way of life. Imagine a society that operates with the above guidelines. Perhaps that is what we need to alleviate our current emotional or mental health crisis as well as challenges we face in politics, AI revolution, and conflicts across nations, religions, race and gender bias.

Now, we need a few good messengers to carry the above messages for their own good as well as for the good of those around us. How far this will spread, through whom and when – all are good questions for each of us to ponder upon as individuals for our own self-interest and collectively across all of us for our collective wellbeing and progress.

How Strong is the U.S. Economy? It depends on your understanding of what “Success” means!

How Strong is the Economy? The answer depends on how you measure success.
This is an essay as a follow up to the recent cover story titled “Riding high: The lessons from America’s astonishing economic record.” in the Economist magazine.

The Economy is not measured only by GDP or the glittering electric cars driven in either coasts. It is driven by the wellbeing of a society using the resources of nature for a better livng. Having promoted “Global Economy” for the past four decades, now there is glorification of national economies. This by itself is a failure of the analysis. It is is this revulsion to “national” preservation that left the global population exposed to the global Covid pandemic! Imagine a world constrained to local economic activiies within their national borders of the early 20th century. There would have been so little global travel and avoidance of such rapid spreading of the disease. This single evidence alone suggests the flaw in analyzing and extolling individual nations and their economic success in isolatetion.

Following is a passage from the famous play “Merchant of Venice” by Shekespeare. “Although Bassanio has arrived back in Venice and offers to repay Antonio’s debt twice over, Shylock demands nothing less than his full legal rights.  The Duke is stalling for time when a young lawyer, “Balthasar” (Portia in disguise), arrives with Nerissa (also disguised) acting as her clerk.  When their appeals to Shylock’s mercy fail, Antonio’s fate seems sealed and Shylock prepares to make the fatal incision.  Suddenly, however, Balthasar/Portia stops him, pointing out that although he is entitled to a pound of flesh he may not shed a drop of blood while obtaining it.   Stunned by the use of the legal technicality, Shylock agrees to take the money after all.  But the judgment is not complete:  Balthasar/Portia also informs him that, as an alien attempting to take the life of a Venetian, he faces the death penalty”

Measuring economic success in terms of GDP is like Shylock seeking his wealth in gold! Economic success – a measure of economic wellbeing – does not come only in terms of share holder benefits (i.e.) GDP. Like the “drop of blood”, economic success also comes from the economic wellbeing of the citizens of the nation and indeed that of the global population in this “global economy”. Glorifying GDP alone as a measure of success is a disservice. Anyone promoting such wrng narrative such as the Economist and NYT should be held accountable and demanded for conversion of their views, for larger common good?

The NYT essay does point out these broader measures of the “Economy”: “When you look at broad measures of well-being, the U.S. stops looking so good. We have the lowest life expectancy of any high-income country, a relatively recent development. Americans have uniquely poor access to health insurance and paid parental leave. Surveys show that Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

We have repeatedly described the evolving “Binary Economy” since the late 1970s.

Any nation that fails to address this “Collapsing middle”, a natural outcome of the BINARY ECONOMY can never claim to be an economic success, no matter how high the GDP. This is not a Republican or Democratic point of view. It is not a liberal or conservative point of view either. It is solely based on three measures of good living for any human being.
The first is the rapidly falling GDP for the “middle class” and their being driven to poverty. Need evidence? Just stand outside the sprawling soup kitchens! You will see people in a stream of shiny looking cars drive by to pick up free food donated at these soup kitchens in the heartland of American Economy (i.e.) Silicon Valley in CA.
Second measure of economic wellbeing is the social wellbeing! Being shot at – leading to death – simply because one stepped into a wrong door in the neighborhood may be due a reflection of racial fear as much as a built up anger for loosing economic standards (GDP) and their way of life.
Third and finally, in the Shakepeare’s story, Shylock was not just greedy. He lacked an Emotional intellegence, a genuine desire to care for the nedy, being the neighbor’s keeper. Any society or economy that does not promote that – which one can identify as “Spirituality in Practice” – can never claim to be a success, no matter how high the national GDP!

Spirituality in Practice to promote Emotional Intelliegence (EI).

Spirituality in Practice
is the third and most recent book in a series of three books published. They cover my professional and personal life journey and lessons learned over a span of three decades. In this post we follow the evolution of thought connecting these three books. We hope all professionals will find time to procure these books and gain the benefit of the real life knowledege shared through them.

“System” for almost anyone implies an organized approach to look at, handle, understand, frame or model anything. I think everyone would agree on that. Beyond that there could be many divergences on the use of the word “System”. I use this word – system – in the phrase “System Approach” to define and address any professional assignment, problem or project from all three points of view (i.e.) Science, Engineering and Management in an intergtated manner and not as isolated silos —– My first book, published in the year 2000!

“System Thinking” is used to define a mental framework, a holistic way, that seeks to use the above System Approach and related Transformational Skills to achieve measurable impact – to be entrepreneurial in any assignment, job or career. This is the second half of the Second Book published in 2013. As soon as I use the term “Entrepreneurial” most people would think of entrepreneurs (i.e.) new business creators! I have to explain painstakingly that  “Entrepreneurial” outlook, attitude and work ethic is different from just a new business creating entrepreneur or investor. There may be one or few entrepreurs in a Start up Co., but everyone in any Co. has to be entrepreneurial to succeed in the “Binary Economy”! We describe the Binary Economy and the need to be entrepreneurial in the first half of my second book. The seventh and final Transformational Skill described in this book is “Emotional Intelligence”.

Our third book is Spirituality in Practice In the world dominated by IT, DT, Social Media and AI, forces are everywhere that polarize us as individuals and self-selection into isolated narrow groups. This also incraeses political, racial and religious bias, insecurity, and general unease. No amount of what we have, seems to meet and satisfy our needs in our quest and longing for that which we want and do not have. It is in this context that all of us need to rely on our “Emotional Intelligence (EI)” now more than ever. Our third book on Spirituality in Practice is very much dedicated to EI, how to build and foster its use. //

We are alone if we choose to be, but we are also seamlessly part of everything since that is the way it is. This is the True knowledge, to see ourselves as part of the eternal and ever-present universe. The goal is to feel good through self-compassion but also work towards peace and harmony of all, limitlessly. We are subjective when we see ourselves as isolated individuals. We become increasingly objective when we are under self-control (in our physical/material world), with non-attachment (in our emotions), and liberated in our thoughts from all that bind and isolate us as “I” or individuals. We gain tthis rue knowledge when we realize that all that is cognitive and all their enablers (laws of nature) are like two sides of a coin, like the waves on the surface and the deep ocean below – coexisting, inseparable, and enabling the other.
Even if a few among the readers learn to look at life in its larger context, an integral part of the universe at large, rather than being shackled by the constraints as isolated individuals or belonging to a small family, narrow social, religious, or political groups, my gratitude to you for that transformation and the joy it will bring forth for all around you.