How to Succeed with People

Learning interpersonal skills

This is a write up of the talk given by Prashant Shah ( on several occasions and before many groups in both India and USA


Most of our life is an interdependent reality. We have to work with people, live with people and deal with people. Further, we often share responsibility with others, but we don’t have the authority to direct them. We can work well by ourselves, but when we have to get things done through others we experience many difficulties. Hence, the common saying is: “The people problems are the worst!

Human relationships can be either enjoyed or suffered; they can be either encouraging or frustrating. What we get will always depend on how we conduct ourselves! To succeed with people, first we have to understand the psychology of the ‘other person’. Next, we have to see things from the other person’s point of view and understand what motivates their behaviour. Only thereafter we can know what we need to do to get the right response from the other person.

The skill in dealing with people can be learnt and it will be very valuable for everyone in society — for a businessman, a professional, a colleague, a housewife, and a member of any group in society. And this skill will become increasingly important as we climb up to the higher positions in our social system. The business tycoon, J. D. Rockefeller, once said: “I will pay more for that ability (to succeed with people) than for any other ability under the sun.”

Why do we neglect learning interpersonal skills?

In college we are educated to think rationally. We are trained to direct our efforts towards personal efficiency, towards learning scientific techniques, and towards earning money. But in the process our emotional nature remains uneducated. Hence, we do not easily understand the ‘psychological side’ of human nature. For this reason in modern society people’s inner life gets easily messed up. They just don’t know how to be happy by themselves or by relating with people.

Why is this subject not taught in our colleges?

There are some things that we really appreciate only after things have gone wrong in our life; after we have made a mess in our relationships. People feel the need to invest in the emotional side of life only after they have stumbled a few times. The common saying is: “Wisdom arises only after our hair has already turned a little grey with experience!”

Further, there is not much in the form of newer ideas to learn here. The bigger task is to implement these ideas in your life. To succeed in human relationships it does not matter how much you know; what matters is how well you implement what you know. Hence, it is not a matter of learning the technique. Professional psychologists will not necessarily do better than you!

What is the KEY to success here?

It is to become genuinely concerned about other people’s feelings; to change how you regard them; and to change your assumptions about other people. Without this basic change you can only make some small cosmetic changes in your relationships.

It is admitted that it is always difficult to change yourself. The normal human tendency is to want the other person to do all the changing! A course participant once said: “I’ll give you a 1000 dollars if you teach this course to my mother-in-law.” I could only smile, but in my mind I said: “You are paying me too much for that, but it’s a very small price for changing your relationship with your mother in law; and it may also not work out because she will want you to do all the changing.” To succeed with others the only price you have to pay is to change yourself. However, when you succeed here, I assure you that you’ll never be alone in your life or be lonely wherever you go!

This talk is based on some of the ideas that were originally developed in Dale Carnegie’s classic: “How to win friends and influence people”. Other topics that are discussed in our larger workshop are:

  • The art of negotiation
  • Man and woman relationships
  • The win-win option
  • The stages in maturity
  • Teamwork

To know more click here


Spiritual Yoga

This is a write up of the talk given by Prashant Shah ( in London on 14 April 2013, at the Discovery Day Program by Solar Events.

Prashant’s talk in London

Yoga has been introduced in the western world as a technique for reducing our stress and improving our health. However, the traditional purpose of Yoga is to develop our spiritual life. Here we explore this ‘spiritual side’ of Yoga. First we explain the nature of the inner life and the spiritual quest; and then we show how spiritual yoga can help you in accomplishing the spiritual goal.

The Inner Life

We are born on earth with a mind that directs our attention outward towards things. Hence, we do not see the inner life and we seek our satisfaction from the outside — through the ‘things’ of the outer world. Thus, we chase comforts, pleasures and possessions in the outer world.

We pursue these things thinking that by having them we shall get the deeper satisfaction that we really want. However, when we achieve something, we do get some superficial satisfaction, which lasts for a short time. However, soon thereafter we again become dissatisfied and start to chase something else. In this way the chase goes on and on. It does not strike us that we are looking for our satisfaction in the wrong places!

Yoga considers our mind and body as instruments through which we function on earth. They are like our possessions – our house or car. Hence, by satisfying the desires in the mind and body, we can only get some superficial and temporary satisfaction. If we want deeper and lasting satisfaction, then we have to also satisfy something that is truly deeper and lasting! That something deeper or lasting is the soul or spirit.

When we satisfy our spiritual being, spiritual qualities begin to arise in our inner life. And as we organise these qualities in our nature, we develop spiritually. Let us tray and understand this development in terms of the two levels of our consciousness.

The two levels of consciousness

Throughout our life on earth two levels of consciousness (the ordinary and the higher level) are reflected in our mind. The ordinary level reflects the desires in our mind and body; and the higher level reflects the impulses got from our soul and the over-soul or God.

When we function at the ORDINARY level, we are attached to our mind and body. Then we experience ourselves as a ‘mental-self’, which is simply a self in the mind. This mental-self causes us to live mainly to satisfy the desires in our mind and body. So, we keep on looking for comforts, pleasures, possessions and recognition in the outer world: We want to own a posh house; we want to eat tasty food; and we measure our success by how well we stack up against others.

In society we experience the ordinary level as our ‘GROUP IDENTITY’. When we serve this group identity, we move beyond the boundaries of our personal selfishness and try to include the feeling of others in our group. In this way we identify with our family members, with our work associates, with the followers of our religion, and with the people of our community. The group identity enlarges our concern, and that causes us to think that we are serving the higher consciousness. That can happen sometimes, but more often the group identity merely replaces our personal selfishness. And sometimes the group identity can make us behave in ways that are more degrading than mere selfishness (as in terrorism).

What happens when we can function at the HIGHER level? It awakens our ‘sense of unity’ and the ‘voice of our conscience’. The experience of UNITY makes us feel that as human beings we are like children of the same father. Thus, we feel kindness towards others; we cannot be cruel or insensitive towards them; and we cannot solve our problems by making them someone else’s problems. Even the idea of competition makes us uncomfortable. So we try to replace it with feelings of cooperation and coexistence.

The voice of our CONSCIENCE is the silent voice from the heart. It enables us to recognise the right and the wrong in all matters concerning life; it causes us to refine the values and motives that guide our thoughts and actions in the world. When we try to follow this voice, a truth-sense develops within us.

The process of spiritual growth

Both the ordinary and the higher levels of our consciousness are always reflected in our mind. However, initially we mainly function at the ordinary level. That is, we serve the mental-self. And the mental-self in turn keeps us preoccupied with physical activity and egoistic pursuits.

Our spiritual being also has its presence inside our mind through the higher level of consciousness. However, we give so little attention to it that in most of us it has become something vague, hesitant or far removed. As a result we do not feel united; our ‘truth sense’ is weak; and we do not perceive any deeper purpose to our life.

The practice of Yoga seeks to REVERSE this situation. And it does that by changing our ‘point of view’! Instead of looking upon everything from the ordinary level, and giving an ordinary meaning to higher things, Yoga makes us look upon everything from the higher level. It changes the ‘level’ of our perception. It changes ‘from where’ we see or ‘what depth’ we see from.

Gradually we begin to see everything as a part of a much LARGER PICTURE: We can situate everything correctly or find the proper place for each thing; we can look deeper into the happenings in our life and in the world; and we can recognise the true motives behind the actions of people and the world movements. The result is that we are not easily deceived by outer appearances.

The method of Spiritual Yoga

The term Yoga is a common noun that means joining or union. In the beginning our mind is joined with the ordinary consciousness. In Spiritual Yoga we change this. We begin to detach it from the ordinary level and attach it to the higher level. And as we do that, spiritual qualities get organised in our mind.

The KEY idea of Spiritual Yoga is that wisdom and the higher values of life arise naturally in our mind when we are responsive to the higher consciousness. Thus, wisdom is not the result of developing our ordinary consciousness, as in modern education! It is the result of disciplining the mind and making it responsive to the higher consciousness. Then, instead of being led by the desires and tendencies of our mind and body, we shall be guided by the wisdom of our spiritual being.

The idea of unity in Yoga is similar to the ‘oneness’ that develops between a horse and its rider. However, the oneness has to be such that the will of the rider prevails! When the rider wants to go somewhere, the horse should also want to take him there. The horse should not protest or assert its independence and wander away.

The technique

We begin the practice spiritual yoga by learning to concentrate. What does that do? It brings together all the scattered forces of our attention under a higher will. It is like bringing the different chieftains under a ‘central leadership’. Gradually all the forces inside the mind are made to acknowledge the presence of the higher will and adjust themselves accordingly. When that happens, we can concentrate on our tasks without distraction; we can change our mental habits; and we can remake our values on the basis of a higher principle.

In Yoga we practice concentration by giving the mind something to hold on to, like a mantra. Then, in our task is to simply try to confine our attention to the mantra. The natural tendency of the mind is to drift onto other thoughts, particularly to thoughts of pending matters and personal concerns. So, our attention will stray onto other thoughts. However, when we find that our attention has strayed, we must continue the practice by simply returning it to our chosen theme, the mantra. The act of persistently returning our attention to the chosen theme makes all the difference: Gradually all the forces inside our mind will accept the leadership of the higher consciousness and adjust themselves to it.

Is Spiritual Yoga theistic or atheistic?

Let us consider these two different points of view. The atheistic view regards God as an imaginary concept or a belief. On the other hand the theistic view uses the ‘God idea’ to perceive the spiritual presence that exists behind all things and happenings. In the theistic view we learn to relate with the spiritual presence and try to make it a reality in our life.

It should be evident that Spiritual Yoga is a theistic pursuit. Here a personal (self-made) God is used to bring about a deliberate shift in consciousness – from the ordinary level to the higher level. When the higher consciousness gets organised in the mind, we become intuitive and begin to live at a higher level. It totally changes how we regard ourselves and the outer world. Then, instead of perceiving ourselves as a personality that has arisen out of a mind and body, we begin to see ourselves as a spiritual being that is temporarily functioning on earth through the instruments of a mind and body. Thus, it opens up the truly mystical dimension of our life.

The author is a spiritual guide for aspirants of Mantra Yoga. To know more, read the author’s book: Solving the Problems of Life’; click here: And for the book ‘The Art of Awakening the Soul’ the URL is

Good Health without Medicines

A simple solution to your health problems

Summary of a talk by Prashant Shah ( on 1 August 2015; organised by Carmen Ambert in Puerto Rico; and on 1 July 2017, organised by Yoga Parivar of Nilamber Bellissimo at Vadodara



  • The Message
  • The medical science is focused on relieving symptoms
  • What is so wrong with just relieving symptoms?
  • The three big mistakes
  • Understanding the disease in terms of toxaemia
  • How to detoxify the body
  • Reduce the existing toxaemia
  • Avoid generating toxins
  • Some good eating habits
  • If natural healing is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The Message

Today we are ingrained to believe that our health depends on doctors, medicines, and the health care industry; whereas the truth is that our health really depends on our lifestyle, diet, emotions and constitution. When we understand this simple truth, we can learn to restore and maintain our health by our own efforts and, except in extreme cases, we will not need to consult doctors.

The medical science is focused on relieving symptoms

The Medicine Show (A Consumer Union of U.S. Publication) says: “The public has grown accustomed to thinking that a doctor’s job in curing diseases is to find the cause and remove it. However, the truth is that a greater part of the physician’s efforts goes towards relieving symptoms with very little knowledge of their causes; and today’s most prevalent illnesses, many of which are chronic illnesses, are merely treated symptomatically.”

The approach in modern medicine is to classify a collection of symptoms as a disease syndrome, and then to treat this syndrome with powerful drugs. This method is very useful in treating life-threatening disorders and stubborn infections. However, most of our everyday illnesses are merely FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS such as: Respiratory disorders like the common cold and cough; skin disorders like rashes that itch, dandruff and foul odour; pains like headache, stiff-joints and back pains; and digestive disorders like irritable bowels, constipation and flatulence. And for such ailments the modern medical science has no effective remedy. They only try to manage or relieve the symptoms and provide some temporary relief.

What is so wrong with just relieving symptoms?

When you habitually treat the symptoms of common functional disorders with drugs, you merely modify the symptoms without removing the causes. And when the underlying causes continue, the disease develops further and becomes chronic. It gives rise to annoying symptoms like the headache, stuffy nose, acidity, gas trouble, rheumatic pain, skin rash, respiratory allergy (like asthma, wheezing), blood pressure, etc. Such chronic disorders are less intense in their effects, but they harass more since they last for a long time and recur periodically.

And for such chronic conditions there are ‘no outright cures’ – there are only medications that temporarily manage or relieve the symptoms. Hence, you are never healed; you are merely put on medication, which has to be continued for the rest of your life! Hence, hypertension is not healed; it is treated with BP pills that have to be taken for a lifetime. Asthma is not healed; inhalers become your constant companions Osteoarthritis is not healed; the ultimate remedy is sought in knee replacement. Allergies are not healed; you become increasingly dependent on medication. The list is endless.

However in the early stages a disease is always just a functional disorder. If you choose to suppress the symptoms at this stage, you bypass the healing that should happen at this stage and allow the disease to become internalised. Then it develops further and becomes chronic; and ultimately it becomes degenerative wherein the structures of the organs like the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, etc. begin to break down. Then you need surgical intervention.

The three big mistakes

  • The symptoms are considered as the disease, whereas the symptoms are only the EFFECTS of a diseased state.
  • The causes of a disease are sought in external agents like germs and bacteria, whereas the true cause is due to TOXAEMIA – a ‘diseased state’ that arises due to the accumulation of toxins in the body at the cellular level.
  • When the treatment focuses on merely relieving symptoms, the CAUSE CONTINUES. Then the ailments become chronic or newer disorders continue to arise. Hence, the patient is never really healed.

Understanding the disease in terms of toxaemia

In natural healing the primary disease factor in the body is called TOXAEMIA. It is experienced as irritation, pain, restlessness, indigestion, or sluggishness. The deeper causes of the toxaemia usually lie inside the person – in their lifestyle, diet, emotions and constitution. Let us perceive how this diseased state arises.

Whenever there is some disturbance or excess in our life, the vital force gets depleted. Then it becomes insufficient. Then our digestion, assimilation and elimination also become weak and our system becomes sluggish. That is, our digestion is incomplete; our assimilation is poor; and all this stuff has to be decomposed so that it can be thrown out. The ultimate effect is that there is a gradual build up of toxins or waste products in the body at the cellular level. And once the ‘toxin level’ is higher than the body can tolerate, the body’s resistance to the external agents of disease like the allergens, germs, bacteria, etc is lost. Then the body becomes SUSCEPTIBLE to illness.

How to detoxify the body

  • Reduce the ‘toxin level’ in the body. Once the toxin level is lowered, the vital force will be able to perform the function of healing naturally.
  • Correct your lifestyle, eating habits, etc. so that toxins are not allowed to accumulate in the body.

Reduce the existing toxaemia

Nature cure uses many methods such as fasting, water cure, baths, packs, elimination diets, etc. Here we consider the method of ELIMINATION DIET, which is to eat only fruits for breakfast.

This diet has two considerations:
a) You give the body a long period of rest from digestion on a daily basis. Then the body will use the extra vitality that becomes available to eliminate the toxins.
b) Next, you eat fruits that have good cleansing properties for breakfast. They assist in eliminating the toxins.

The correct way of eating fruits:
Fruits detoxify your body, but the detoxifying effect is best when you eat them on an empty stomach and not when you take them after meals. When you mix other food with fruits, the mixture stays for a long time in the stomach and ferments (turns to acid). Then you experience acidity or gas.

Avoid generating toxins

TooMuchFoodRule-1: Eat less, and take only easy-to-digest food. When you eat less food, you do not waste your energy on processing the excess food. When you can digest all the food you eat, you become more energetic and produce fewer toxins.

Rule-2: When food remains undigested in the body, it ferments. And that increases the toxin level in the body. Hence, value food items according to your ability to digest and assimilate them, and not according to their nutrient content! Simply avoid eating food that is hard to digest or has toxic additives.

In specific:

  • Avoid fried food, soybean preparations, sweets, chocolates, refined flour preparations and food containing preservatives.
  • Avoid consuming food that is highly processed, highly sweetened or salted; or foods that carry health claims (don’t encourage deceivers). Food is processed to increase its shelf life (not your life) and the processing makes it more indigestible in your body.
  • Further, some foods are processed to make them tasty (deep-fried or addicting ingredients are added). It increases their consumption. However, that is better for the seller’s business and not for your body.
  • Avoid consuming ‘concentrated’ food-stuff. Don’t be deceived by the label of extra nutrient value. They will be harder to digest. Instead, eat the food with lower nutritional value that comes with a lot of roughage and fibre. The fibre and roughage make it easier for the body to digest and assimilate the food, and the waste products that are generated will also be easier to eliminate.
  • Avoid consuming diet supplements and micronutrients unless you have a specific deficiency. Otherwise by taking them you serve the interests of the pharmaceutical companies, and not your interest. If you have a specific deficiency, take the supplement (preferably from a natural source) only until the deficiency is overcome. Do not continue to consume it thereafter. Otherwise it creates DEPENDENCIES and generates imbalance in the body.

Some good eating habits

  • The main purpose of eating is to feed the body. Hence, do not combine other purposes, like parties and thrill with the act of eating.
  • While eating, try to become conscious of what you eat, and how much you eat. When you maintain this discipline, the natural instinct of the body will awaken and allow you to sense the quality of the food you eat.
  • Eat only two main meals in the day. Establish your meal time and adhere to it. Avoid eating between meals. If you eat at odd times, you will not be hungry at the meal time! Further, if you don’t get the hunger sensation at meal time, don’t eat.
  • Drinking water: You need about 9 glasses of water a day. Try to drink ‘fresh stream’ or mountain water; and avoid drinking tap water or recycled water. Further, drinking water is not the same thing as drinking beverages.
  • The time factor: The morning time is naturally suited to the function of elimination. Hence, at this time avoid eating food, and drink of lot of water. The digestion is strongest around mid-day. Hence, lunch should be your main meal. Take rest after eating a big meal. The digestive fire becomes weak on overcast days and in the rainy season. Hence, eat less on such days and in the corresponding season.

If natural healing is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?

Natural healing not been popularised because the modern medical business is not interested in finding a solution from which there is no money to be made.

Further, some people understand the message of natural healing, but still they do not pursue it because they lack the will power that is necessary to change their lifestyle, diet and emotional habits. So they come for advice, but they are actually looking for a quick fix. These people don’t want to accept the responsibility for their health. So, they prefer to take the pill and settle for some temporary relief.

These ideas are developed further in the author’s book: ‘Healing without Drugs’; click here:

Also read our book: ‘How to Restore your Health Naturally – a time-tested way to heal yourself by simply changing your lifestyle and eating habits. The URL is

To know more about holistic healing, click here:

However, if you are still interested in using the pill option, consider doing it on a holistic basis. To know more, click here:

Management by EKS

A growth strategy for business and profession

The summary of a talk by Prashant Shah ( for the Manager’s Wonderland session at L&T Knowledge City, Vadodara held on 8th of April, 2016eks (4)


EKS is a ‘holistic approach’ to managing your affairs in an ‘open system’. It shows you how to conduct yourself so that you can have extraordinary growth and remain always wanted. The principles of EKS are simple to understand. However, to be able to apply them consistently and effectively, you may have to also make some changes in your business strategy.

EKS was originally devised by Wolfgang Mewes of Frankfurt. It is a concerted (simultaneous) application of the energy laws, cybernetic control and a benevolent strategy. In this introduction we explain these terms individually and then we put them together to show you the power of the concerted effort.

The Energy Laws

The energy laws are commonly known to define the growth processes in nature. But it was left to Mewes to show how these energy laws also determine the behaviour in human systems. EKS says: “When you act according to energy laws, the greater system or the environment encourages you and you have growth. When you act against these laws, you meet with diminishing results and the environment tries to shut you down.” The general idea is that you should not to try harder to win against the energy laws; instead you should aim to better utilise the energy laws.

Applications of energy laws in social systems:

Concentration: Find what you really like to do and can do better than others; develop your speciality on that and become attractive.

Gap Behaviour: Develop into the gap between others; offer what is missing and don’t try to do what everybody is doing.

Develop into the Depth: Find the best solution for your target group and don’t try to merely improve the existing methods.

Bottleneck Orientation: The energy in systems gets obstructed at bottlenecks. Hence, direct all your effort to overcome the bottleneck in your target system. Here you make maximum impact with minimum energy.

Become Settled: Aim to do a constant task for a clearly defined target group that you are suited to serve.


It is a method of controlling (steering) a system through feedback. Your body, your family, your business, your company, your trade, your market, your philosophy, etc. are all systems. They a network of forces that are interconnected, continuously interacting, self-adjusting and work as a whole. Hence, once you have set your goal, you can use feedback to make the system ‘goal oriented’.

Some examples of control through feedback: You can regulate the temperature in air conditioning with a thermostat; you can regulate the price in the market by adjusting the factors of supply and demand; and you can regulate the water-level in a flush tank by using a floating ball mechanism. In all such cases the output or result is used to regulate the next action or input.

What is the real advantage of cybernetic control?

If you analyse all the different parts of a system and try to control them individually, the task becomes very cumbersome, complex and laborious. Instead, you accept the complexity of the system and try with the ‘whole system properties’, you can control the system through feedback. The control will be much simpler and more effective. The nature of systems is such that they are always self-adjusting and self-organizing. Hence, their behaviour can be effectively controlled through cybernetics.

In EKS you begin by turning your information systems (sensors) outward, to sense the needs of the target group. Then you use feedback to make your actions more goal-oriented. When you set it up like that, you won’t waste your energy in blindly pursuing irrelevant knowledge or opportunities; you will know what is really important and how to make the relevant knowledge and information gravitate towards you automatically. Then you will be able to recognise your true options and you know what you have to do to get them to work for you.


The need:

Your strategy (or business philosophy) decides how you command your forces and means to achieve your objectives. It decides what you choose; what you trade-off in a give and take exchange; and how you try to find your fit (suitability) into the larger system or environment. All these things are decided by your strategy.

In today’s world, everything is changing rapidly and there is competition everywhere. There is too much information demanding your urgent attention, and you cannot have the time to deal with it. Under these conditions if you don’t have a strategy that differentiates you from the other players, you become a common person with no special appeal to anyone. Then you become a mediocre person who can be easily replaced; your life becomes a continuous struggle; and you land up in situations where everyone is trying to arrive at the same place.

However, if you have a clear strategy, you have to don’t wander around aimlessly or try to find something from here and there; and you won’t keep on reacting to other people’s moves. Your strategy will show you the right things to do in every situation; and when you are in difficulty, it will show you how to turn things around to generate your competitive advantage.

Some people think their strategy is to simply provide the highest-quality product at the lowest cost, and keep on improving their product endlessly. That is ‘operational effectiveness’ and not strategy. It is good for every business, but it is not something you choose!

The EKS strategy:

EKS uses an extroverted strategy. It says that your value in a system is not determined by how you evaluate your product or yourself. It is determined by the value other people attach to you. Thus, the importance you get is not personal. It arises indirectly from the value or benefit you bring to your ‘target group’ – the receivers of your work.

Your individual efficiency or ability may be great. But to be utilised by the larger system, you must be relevant to the larger system, and contribute to its needs. And to do that you have to give up your individual selfishness and instead identify with the goals and aims of the greater system. Hence, EKS says: “Your strategy should be to bring the greatest value to your target group. Satisfy their needs better; and correspondingly your own attractiveness, turnover, profit and security will improve automatically.”

STRATEGY (for individuals)

  1. a) First, do your ‘own thing’. Build your core strengths on what you really like to do; and do it better than others.
  2. b) Next, match your distinctive capabilities with the opportunities that exist or are arising in your environment.
  3. c) Then, integrate your special knowledge with the actual problem situation of a concrete target group so that you don’t become irrelevant.

Prashant Shah does counselling with EKS for professionals and owners of small business. For more information click here:

Feedback received: It was a privilege for us to have you deliver a talk session on ‘EKS’. It provided new insights on growth and success. The participants gained many useful insights. Everyone present highly appreciated the valuable inputs provided by you. Once again thank you for your efforts! Vittasta Kaachru, L&T Power,