Surrender – The greatest act of bravery

ImageIt is ironical that humans are such control freaks from the fears they hold within themselves. The paradox here is the inherent nature of fear that knows one cannot control and yet the living being tries to exercise control. This unintelligent struggle by the humans wastes the energy of the living; in the process robbing the joy of being present or living in the moment.

This is manifest in our lives, be it in our families, societies, organizations or as a nation and global universe collectively. There has never been a better time than now to overcome this with the simple understanding of the term “Surrender”. Often understood from the perspective of weakness, it is to the contrary the most potent act of courage or bravery. It emerges from a deep understanding of being prepared to face the consequences of one’s own actions. This is indeed the greatest challenge of humanity today, more than ever. We have to be ready to change the nature of our lives – from a consuming to a contributing individual, organization and society.

Consider this. The very nature of the human system is that it can do whatever it chooses to do. We can swim on water and yet many people drown. The fundamental difference between those who swim and those who drown is a very simple truth; they do not fight the water. They become its nature or become one with it or simply surrender to it. A surfer will not fear the tallest of the waves in an ocean. Surfers have this deep understanding of not fighting with the water but to calmly let the principles of nature carry them. That in essence is surrender; an action that emerges from a deep understanding of the water, it nature and principles and the method and practice to surrender to it and enjoy its course.

Globally there is a grudging acknowledgement of the need for Innovation and Transformation in societies and organizations. Yet, this is not happening at the rate and pace of success demanded by nature. The reason is human resistance; one that is born out of fear of losing control of what one is holding on to currently. And yet, it that which one is holding on to currently, that needs to transform desperately. Societies and Organizations need to acknowledge this. Leader must be brave to lead from the front and demonstrate this understanding.

Fear is a complex weakness of humans that arises out of “Comparison” and “Competition”. Both these terms are anti-innovation. One cannot compare (benchmark) and compete (do better than what someone else does) when Innovating; where Innovation arises from not what the context and drivers are for someone else, but one’s own self and the organization. Shaping the context is just like the act of being able to surf and enjoy the wave rather than fight and drown in it. Fear is born out of Ignorance and Intelligence from intellect. It is time to drive action from Intellect rather than from Fear.  

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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4 Responses to Surrender – The greatest act of bravery

  1. Sudhendu says:

    I liked the article but some thoughts confused me.
    A vigorous reader like you not only knew the names of plenty of good books but also consumed the contents of those books. A librarian might know much more number of books and authors in any subject without knowing the content of those books. To me librarians are surfer who floats on the wave without direction but readers are swimmer who goes along the flow of water with direction. Librarian can only consume but reader can contribute.
    When imagination gets direction it may result in innovation but innovation comes out of inherent courage of conviction. Innovators are contributor but they hate the word “surrender”.
    Can you please clear my confusion in the context of your article?

    • Subbu Iyer says:

      Dear Sudhendu

      Assuming that the librarian does not read the books he looks after is a very dangerous thought. But you are right; it is more important to know the content of the books rather than just collect or keep books. This is where you need to understand the term “Surrender” which I have alluded to in my blog. A surrender that is based on fully taking accountability for one’s action (both good and bad) and having the ability to face the consequences of one’s action is surrender. Such an action can only emerge from Wisdom and Knowledge; not just by merely pretending to know. Therefore, all surrender must be from a position of strength and not weakness. That is why it is the most courageous act. Imagination is very important but it must be grounded; it cannot be based on projections, either of the past or the future. Practitioners of Innovation must recognize and realize that Innovation is about departure from “the present into the future”. The trouble with most people talking about innovation is that, they consider it some kind of an esoteric science for the future while it is about converting the practical realities of the present. Every second and minute and hour and day and week and month and year we “live” should contribute to the future; where living represents innovative action – imagination put to action rooted in the present. Look at nature for inspiration; whether you like it or not, the sun and the moon appear on time day in and day out and the mango tree sheds leaves in winter and starts growing flowers in autumn and produces mango in summer. It does not stop in growing or cross breeding in the process, constantly evolving into a better producer until it dies.

      • chaitanyabd says:

        In that it would mean also that “Surrender” itself, and the implication of its use in a given context “evolves” – not just with time but also the mindset the individual is *currently* in. Am I right?

        A completely different angle from the conventional application of the term.

  2. Sudhendu says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

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