Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Hindu Prayer

I learned a Hindu prayer today

"In the human life,
Let there be light where there is dark,
Let there be truth where there is untruth
and let there be nectar where there is death"

I also heard a new tradition at the start of a project (or starting anything new). A project sponsor I was talking to said he "Goes to the temple and cracks some coconuts." This is a Hindu tradition. When starting something new, to pray for luck, you go to the temple and offer a coconut by cracking it at the temple. I don't think that technique made it to the PMBOK Guide.

1 comment:

Nadeem said...

Hi Bob. Enjoying your commentary from India. 'hope your trip is going well. Looking forward to touching base with you when you return.

Re: Your comment about the Hindu tradition of breaking coconut at the start of any new project: "I don't think that technique made it to the PMBOK Guide."

While not negating the intended toungue-in-cheek here, let me propose another look at this. Not at the gesture but, macroscopically, at what it stands for.

You are about to write on a blank slate. It is a new effort. There may be history, but that's all goodwill. Nothing has transpired on the new front. Of course you haven't succeeded, but, more importantly, you haven't failed yet!

I think it's this little pause, to reflect on this moment in time, that is seriously missing from our fast-paced world. We go from project to project, proud of our ability to multitask, as if it's as simple as devouring a big mac and french fries. Stumbles, successesm failures are all treated in the same way - with a shrug - before we move on to wage the next battle.

To fetch an example from the real world: those who quit smoking don't do so because of a casual thought. They do it because of this "pause" - when they have reflected, looked within, and determined unequivocally, that it's something they want to do.

Shouldn't the desire to succeed be given the same determination?

If so, and if PMBOK is dedicated to the success of the undertaking, then "breaking the coconut" should be counted as a step!!!

P.S. Sorry if I went too philosophical!. As I shared in an email to you ... just came back from a speaking engagement at UMKC, and the wave hasn't passed as yet!