Aek Life- One Chance to Live: A perspective by Ankur Shiv Bhandari

I think I heard while watching a TV series once, that the day we are born, the day we come into this world, the countdown starts of us leaving this world one day. This is the ultimate truth for everyone, it is just that the duration of our time here is different for every individual whether it is days, weeks, months, years, decades or maybe a century for some. Unless someone has a secret stash of Elixir hidden somewhere or until the fountain of youth is truly discovered, this is the reality of life. I would not call it a hard, rough or crude reality as is heard sometimes as whether it is hard and rough or smooth and enjoyable is to a great measure dependent on each one of us.

The undeniable fact is that this particular innings that we have is “One” or “Aek” composed of moments that might be of joy, sorrow, exhilaration, depression, wonder, surprise, enlightenment or just pure fun. An effort to live each of those moments fully is “Aek Life- One Chance to Live.”

I would like to think that I try to live my life with this principle of “Aek Life”. Yes, I cannot control everything and yes, I have many moments of despair, frustration and sometimes complete annoyance but as life has taken me on its rollercoaster , I have come to realise that it is not what happens to you that defines you or how you capture that as a moment of your life, rather it is how you respond to it that can largely result in the type of feeling you retain or the memory you capture. In my recent readings, I came across this Stoic’s prayer which I think helps me greatly and I try my best to incorporate it into my daily life. It goes like this: “ Dear God- Give me the Serenity to understand the things I cannot change, Give me the Courage to change the things I can and Give me the Wisdom to know the difference”

Through this medium of “Aek Life”, I will try to share my own experiences and thoughts on trying to live this “One” life as fully as we can, in spite of and with everything that this journey brings. Where possible and relevant, I will try to get others to join me in the conversation. I would welcome thoughts from all of you on your experiences and perspectives as well.

Life is not always what we want it to be, or let me rephrase, Life is not always how we think we want it to be. There are many mysteries which life reveals only at the right time and it might be that if you don’t get what you desire might be the best thing that happens to you. We will try to form perspectives on some of these mysteries as we go on this journey and try to augment every moment we have in this “ Aek life- One chance to Live”

Thank you

Why did Penny drop?

What a few weeks of UK politics it has been. Looking at it with my Lens on Intent, it was interesting to see different perspectives and thought might be a good idea to share. I am not going to comment on what was right, what could have been better or on the suitability of various candidates etc. I am purely going to focus on my view of how I saw intent formation amongst different stakeholders since Boris went, to Liz Truss’s ascent, descent and finally the coronation of Rishi Sunak including decisions of Boris and a perspective on Why did Penny drop?

If you have not already read about my thoughts on How intent is formed or have watched my TEDx talk on the subject, let me refresh your memory. I believe the development and the strength of the Intent of any individual is dependent on the interaction between “Belief “ and “Relevance”. The stronger, the belief and relevance in a particular situation, the stronger the Intent which then is directly proportional to the action that is taken or not taken. I call this “ THE BRIA Model”

Let us start with a few months ago when Boris resigned. Do you think he wanted to go? I don’t think so. So what happened that made him give that resignation speech? Yes yes, I hear you that he had no choice, his support was diminished etc. etc. but coming to the cold end of it, what really led to that decision? Let us put my thinking of BRIA into practice, Beliefs, Relevance, Intent, Action.

Did Boris believe in himself and that he was doing a good job for the country, “ Getting the Big things right” Yes, of course, he did. Until the avalanche of resignations, did he feel his actions were relevant to the positive future of the party and the country? I think he did. My reference point is his performance at the Liaison committee on the 6th of July where I personally think he batted various questions and barbs reasonably well and the strength of his intent and the resulting action i.e responses to various questions even until then was reasonably robust. It is when the downpour of resignations started that his feeling of relevance to his party maybe started getting weakened a bit. So although his belief was still strong, the diminishing relevance weakened the intent to stay on and hence we saw the action of resignation.

Coming to Liz Truss, I think it is a slightly different story. Here, even if the belief in the actions that were being taken was strong, I think there could have been more work done on communications on making those actions feel more relevant to colleagues, and stakeholders both within Government and in wider markets and the general public. Even if some of the policies were strong, their potentially feeble relevance in the current circumstances could have weakened the intent of the markets and other stakeholders to support them.

Now coming to the Coronation @ Diwali of our new prime minister Rishi Sunak and the events leading up to it. I believe the relevance of Rishi potentially strengthened over the past few days due to multiple factors such as: 

  1. The risks he warned of upon taking a particular economic path seemed to have come true
  2. He had the practical experience of having run finances during the pandemic and finances is where a huge focus is required at the moment
  3. He seemed to have the backing of a big chunk of the Conservative Parliamentary party which is potentially extremely important for the unity of the party and the actions that need to be taken especially at this moment.

In this situation, even if some might doubt the belief people had in Rishi, his relevance was potentially too strong in the current circumstances that led to the formation of intent amongst many MPs of supporting him and the resulting actions of endorsement.

With Penny, I noted that her tweet of withdrawal came at almost the last minute possible at 13:58. What does that tell you? There was a very strong belief amongst her supporters until the last minute. One can absolutely understand that as she is an extremely strong candidate with very strong credentials, It is just that her relevance at this moment in time was potentially not as strong as Rishi and hence the intent to support Penny at this particular time amongst MPS was maybe not as strong and Penny had to drop. 

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts in a personal capacity and do not represent thoughts of any particular group or committee.

Episode 1 - Introduction to Intentonomics

Episode 1 – Introduction to Intentonomics

Hello Everyone, I am Ankur Shiv Bhandari. Welcome to the first episode of Intentonomics. What is this Intentonomics and who am I to talk about this? Let us take it one by one.

Let me start by asking a question? Can you think of a situation where you needed someone to do something and although you felt that action would definitely be done to your surprise it was not. It could be a customer of yours about to sign a deal or make a purchase, it could be an employee of your organisation you might be managing, it might be your child, your friend, your parent, politicians….could be anyone.. Now let us flip the situation where whatever you thought needed to be done was actually done.

What do you think led to that particular action being done or not done? It was the strength of The Intent of that individual. In either of those situations you might have felt a Pain can also be called loss or Gain.This Gain or Pain was driven by The Power of Intent and an understanding of that is Intentonomics.

Can you control this Power of Intent that has an impact on the outcome of an action and hence on Gain or Pain? Yes, of course you can!

This is where a part of me comes in. In my recent TEDx talk I had talked about the drivers of Intent and how a good understanding of those drivers can potentially help convert Intent into Action. In my reflections on this Intentonomics platform, I will further try to bring these concepts to life. But who am I? Who is Ankur Shiv Bhandari and why should you listen to this?

I started my career as a door to door salesman. My corporate career since of more than 2 decades has encompassed work in more than 50 countries as both an employee of organisations such as ICI, Procter & Gamble, Accenture, WPP and a consultant to many others such as Unilever, Castrol, Coca-Cola, Glaxo Smithkline, Boots, Philips, Panasonic etc. etc. I also wear other hats such as in Local Government where in Bracknell Forest Berkshire, I have been elected as the first ever Mayor of Indian Origin, first ever person of colour and also the youngest Mayor in History. I am also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors, a Freemason and an Academic. I also run various businesses around the world mainly in the field of Shopper Marketing and Capability development.  So hopefully, it is fair to say that I have looked at life from close quarters and from multiple angles.

In all my experiences, I have been curious to understand factors behind decisions and indecisions which in some cases have led to monetary Gains or pains for organisations running into millions even billions, for individuals have led to bundles of joys or heartaches which although non-monetary are key contributors to an someone’s sense of fulfilment. This led me to study this concept in detail until I discovered the most important lever behind Action which is Intent. A further study of Intent gave rise to the BRIA model which I believe demystifies the drivers of Intent and ultimately Action.

My reflections will try to bring in real-life examples to hopefully showcase The Power of Intent in driving Gain or Pain.

I welcome you to join me on this Intentonomics Journey and hopefully we can discover more Gains, alleviate certain pains but above all explore thoughts and learn something together

Thank you