This is what Lord Ganesh is trying to tell us. But few are really listening…

Lord Ganesh is not only a God about religion. Its more a symbol of communicating certain values.

But within all the song, dance and color – the core of Lord Ganesha’s message is sometimes forgotten.

We probably need to relearn a lot of Lord Ganesha’s values.

Traditionally, at the beginning of a new venture, a journey, or a new year, the chant Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha is used to clear the path ahead of potential difficulties. This chant invokes Ganesh, the well known deity and ‘Lord of Remover of Obstacles’.

Listen to it: Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

But why would Lord Ganesha be the remover of all obstacles? Here’s how he does it:

His large ears: Show that he listens to those who ask for help from him, with the largeness of them representing his ability to listen to many people.

The large ears of Lord Ganesha, tell us to hear and listen to all – but sieve all messages through logic!

In todays world of infinite information, real news and fake news – this is a critical skill. Listening is a critical aspect of good communication.

Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, and increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work.

Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin.

Listening is Not the Same as Hearing

Hearing refers to the sounds that enter your ears. It is a physical process that, provided you do not have any hearing problems, happens automatically.

Listening, however, requires more than that: it requires focus and concentrated effort, both mental and sometimes physical as well.

Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand these messages.

Listening is not a passive process. In fact, the listener can, and should, be at least as engaged in the process as the speaker. The phrase ‘active listening’ is used to describe this process of being fully involved.

“Listen Right”

Says Lord Ganesha

His large head: Symbolises his intelligence and thinking ability – as the patron saint of letter writing, it helps to have a big brain!

Lord Ganesh is symbolized with an exceptionally large head. Was that ancient scientific knowledge?

Decades of evidence shows that people with bigger brains do tend to perform better at tasks related to intelligence.

As the researchers say, “This moderate structure-function relationship can be observed for the whole brain, its lobar volumes, and even within specific brain areas predominantly located in parieto-frontal regions.”

Or in non researcher-speak, the bigger your brain, the more neurons you probably have… so the more “computational power” you have to solve problems and reason logically.

So yes: On average, people with bigger heads tend to be more intelligent. (Great news for lollipop people.)

Still, size alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Research also shows that intelligence is not a function of how hard the brain works… but of how efficiently it works. (That premise is known as the neural efficiency hypothesis of intelligence.)

Greater intelligence is based on relatively efficient, not relatively high, information processing. Larger brains have low neuron density and low neuron orientation dispersion. That means larger brains do have more neurons, but more importantly, they have fewer connections between those neurons and therefore process information more efficiently.

But with that Lord Ganesh is also the patron saint of letter writing.

Lord Ganesh as the symbol of writing

Lord Ganesh is also seen as the symbol of writing.

Is there a connection there, that we haven’t seen? Writers are generally seen as more intelligent. Symbolizing a larger head. Writing, be it on paper, blogs or social media – or communication in general could make an organisation more intelligent – or with a larger head.

Most great leaders – be it Mahatma Gandhi, Lenin or Marx – are known by their ability to communicate.

Listen to what Lord Ganesha is telling you: Write more, Communicate more!

55346613 – communication word cloud, business concept

His small mouth: Indicates that he listens more and talks less

Lord Ganesha says: Talk less, or at least after listening a lot!

Think Before You Speak

So obvious, yet so underused. Under the impulse of “taking the stage,” of speaking before the other one could make his moves, we often open our mouth without really knowing what we’re going to say. Sometimes we improvise and it may turn out right.  But most of the time, we’re just shouting randomly about a topic, without any quality contribution to the conversation. The result: no one really listen to us.

Take a deep breathe before you respond, no matter how “urgent” the answer may look. Think for a while. Keep in mind the thought that you really have has many options, not just one. Ponder and your answer will not only be well thought out but people will be more apt to listen.

Listen Before Jumping To Conclusions

Again, the “need for speed” of our current world often forces us to simplify our interactions, to the point where they become useless. Based on just a few words, or a few sentences, we often create a perspective on some thing or some person, which may simply be inaccurate because we didn’t take the time to actually listen.

Limit Yourself To What’s Important

The infamous “information overload” created by the internet revolution is not about the quantity of the information available out there. But merely about the relevance of that information. Every time you update your Facebook timeline, or you publish a blog post, or you simply open your mouth to say something, you’re adding up to this fog. Have you ever tried to contemplate if what you’re going to say is really that important? Sometimes, silence really IS golden..

Get To Know Others Better

And that means doing things together, not only talking about things together. Getting up from the couch and do a short team jog, watching the sunset together, silently, playing a game, or having a meal. All these are actions that, apart from the main benefit of enjoying life, have also a secondary, very important outcome: they help you understand other people better.

Create A Better Reality

When you speak less, you do more. It’s obvious. Your focus switches from talking to doing. While talking and expressing your feelings is important, ‘doing’ is equally important. If you could refrain yourself from talking for 5 minutes a day, in a month you will have gained 30 days x 5 minutes = 150 minutes, 2 and a half hours for yourself. What would you do with this time?

Whatever you want, of course. You can go to the gym, cook for your spouse, craft something in the garage, coach someone, help a neighbor, you name it. As long as your goal is to make the world a better place, doing will always beat speaking.

Lord Ganesh, is right again!

Talk less! Do More!

His one broken tusk: Represents retaining the good but throwing away the bad that we do not need.

Marie Kondo agrees with Lord Ganesha!

Throw away what you do not need. In the house. In the office. In communication.

Clutter is the enemy of clarity. A few minutes spent de-cluttering our environment pays off in increased mental acuity. Most meditation practices favor twenty minutes of committed time. I have found twenty minutes of cleanup an effective form of meditation. As we toss out our papers and discard those which are extraneous, we begin to have clarity about our life’s priorities. Straightening the piles of excess paperwork leads us to clarity about what really matters. A messy desk—or sock drawer– equals a messy mind, and of course, the opposite is equally true.

Decluttering and “tidying” powerhouse Marie Kondo speaks of keeping only those items which “spark joy” in our homes, and discarding the rest. While this may perhaps sound radical at first, the minimalist idea of not only taking stock of everything we own— but keeping only those items that serve us– is very powerful indeed. Her belief that, by handling each item we own, we will know whether to keep it or let it go on its way, has provoked many, many practitioners of her methods to remove many, many bags of items from their homes— leaving only what “sparks joy” behind. It is a concrete, active way of honoring our possessions and respecting ourselves and our choices. When we clear our space, we clear room for new ideas. We make room for insight. We literally clear our minds.

Declutter!

Says Lord Ganesha

His small eyes: Are for concentrating and one-pointed focus.

Focus, focus, focus: Lord Ganesha tells you!

Arjuna’s Arrow is a story from Hindu mythology about the greatest archer of all time. The tale’s true title is Arjuna of Mahabharata, and this epic tells the story of an archer who, when he focussed on a target, would always hit his mark.

Arjuna had razor sharp focus, and his teacher, Drona Archarya, was the greatest teacher who ever lived. Drona had many students, but Arjuna was the one who excelled the most in archery. According to the tale, one of Drona’s other students criticized Drona for favoritism, and Drona responded by challenging all of the students to take part in an archery contest. He asked them all to try to hit the eye of a wooden bird.

man with bow and arrow in sunset

His first student tried, called Yudhistar, tried the shot, and said that he could see the sun, the clouds, and the trees when he aimed at the bird. He missed the shot. The second student, Ashwathama, tried the shot and could see the bird, the branch on which the bird sat, the mango near the bird, the leaves, and other surroundings. He also failed the shot.

Arjuna was the last to try the shot. When asked what he could see, he replied that he saw the eye of the bird. He did not see the tree, the branch, or even the bird. He saw nothing but the eye and hit his target. The moral of the story surrounds Arjuna’s focus and how it made him great.

Using Arjuna’s Focus in Your Life

Being focused and entering a “flow state” can greatly improve productivity, but it is not always easy to achieve that level of focus. Research shows that setting clear goals and being able to achieve a high level of focus helps with both the enjoyment of a task and with the performance of that task.

Stay focussed!

Says Lord Ganesha

When Atharva Marcom manages clients, one of the first questions it asks and monitors is the AIM of the communications exercise.

His large stomach: Shows that he is able to consume and digest all the good and bad in life

Lord Ganesha, knows how to take the Good with the Bad.
Take the good with the bad!

Life is a series of ups and downs. You will have good days and bad. You really have only two choices, to really live and experience life to the fullest “You must take the good with the bad.”

So don’t just bring the Lord home, worship Him and then immerse him.

Make sure, this Ganesh Chaturthi, you understand the real meaning of his message. He has been trying to communicate to us for centuries!

Atharva Marcom, India’s best Public Relations firm – always strives for better and clearer communication – that makes an impact!

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