Albert Einstein, a great man:
Ability to visualize enables you to deserve support from ‘Nature’
In class XIth, there was one chapter on “Life of a Great man”. It was about Einstein. English teacher Mr. A.P. Calton was a man of elaboration. While teaching the chapter he emphatically elaborated the life of Einstein. His narration was so lucid and powerful that I placed myself in Einstein’s position and dreamt about my future life as if I were Einstein. Such role-playing continued throughout my adolescent years. Even, when my wife used to nag me I was in the habit of remembering Mrs. Einstein described by Mr. Calton, my teacher.
During viva for Ph. D., my expert asked me, “Now you have become Dr. V.K. Gupta. What will you do after Ph.D.?” “What can we do? You give a laboratory to a scientist he will work because he needs the only laboratory. But I need laboratory as well as support from people on whom I am going to administer psychometric tests. How can I get support from people when they feel they are beyond evaluation?” I was frustrated with the kind of support I got while approaching people. My expert Loomba Saheb told, “Research is conducted in mind and it is verified in the laboratory.”
Believe me! His words provided a guideline for future. Sometimes you meet a person for a while and your life gets transformed. You live together with somebody for years and you are not influenced a bit. Former is impacted. Loomba Saheb transformed my life by his single sentence.
I feel I have used my self only after that interaction. Otherwise, I could not have passed even class Xth. Our examination system does not encourage creativity. Most of the inventions and discoveries belong to those who didn’t go to college or school even but made efforts in a personal capacity. In service, one can become expert. By virtue of his position, he can reject or approve lifetime achievements of creative people. Believe me! He cannot create anything on his own. Subordination means you are not to your self. This restricts your capacity to create.
I wanted to pursue my project. I knew my limitations. Money was the only constraint. In teaching the salaries was not regular. Therefore, I joined ONGC. Col. Wahi, then Chairman could see my capabilities as a psychologist.
I was good in the interpretation of the data collected through ‘The 16 PF and MAT’. He knew, ‘I was a ‘backward gifted’ who could perform only specified jobs excellently’. During his tenure, he used me and gave me the opportunities which brought out best from me.
I was competent enough in identifying the executives who were potential achievers. He never argued but trusted completely and put the officer in a position where from the officer started delivering the results. Sometimes, he promoted the person. Sometimes he rotated the person. He acknowledged my competence on public plate forms, “Behind my success, there are two persons. Dr. Gupta tells me who the person who can deliver results is. Dr. (Mrs.) Ramachandran (later, superannuated as Chairperson, HOCL) monitors the performance of that person on my behalf.”
After his superannuation, my vulnerable side came under the scrutiny of changed management. Otherwise, I was very popular mentor among ONGCians. Whosoever, was keen on the summer training of his ward, especially in HR, he would be approaching me. Every year I was taking up one specific aspect of HR – the policy of ONGC and used to assign various topics to various groups.
For example, one year I took all the projects relating to ‘transfer policy’. I wanted to see, “whether our transfer policy does really motivate the executives?” KDMIPE is one of the premier R&D institutes which accommodate a maximum number of scientists under one roof. One year I assigned all the projects to my summer training students to see, “What kind of scientists are there? Do they possess the competence to contribute to the discovery of Oil? What improvements do they need for excelling on their jobs?”
Virtually for 17 years in ONGC after 1989, I only put one challenge before me, “When Einstein could work in physics without laboratory and library, which earned Nobel Prize to him. Why can’t I pursue my project without the support of management?”
Ronald W. Clark in ‘Einstein – The Life and Times’ writes, “Thus from 1902 until 1905, Einstein worked on his own, an outsider of outsiders, scientifically provincial and having few links with the main body of contemporary physics. This isolation accounts for his broad view of specific scientific problems – he ignored the detailed arguments of others because he was unaware of them. It also shows a courage beyond the call of scientific duty, submission to inner compulsions which was to drive him on throughout life and for which he was willing to sacrifice everything.”
Now I feel it was blissful in disguise. Had the management used my specialization I would have spoiled my self. I might have learned to please my bosses. Shri S.C. Bansal, one of my controlling officers, used to compose pornographic poetry. Continuously for three years, each morning he had been calling me in his chamber and used to seek my advice on the poems he composed last night. During the general meeting he used to tell others, “Gupta should be called sexologist, not psychologist because he doesn’t practice psychology but guides me how and what to write in sex-based poems.”
I don’t have words to express my source of inspiration but it was the mental image of Einstein that gave me the courage to continue. In fact, his working during the days of struggle was a great source of inspiration for me. Secondly, he is the only scientist who demonstrated without resources you can achieve what you want. Visualization, he demonstrated, could help him to establish himself as the theoretical physicist.
Imagination is probably the only quality that differentiates between success and failure. Imagination if not controlled by reality, then it may lead to insanity. Delusions and hallucinations are another forms of imagination. Visualization is better than imagination. We visualize our imagination through the eyes of our mind. I realized, “Similar to the efforts, put by Professor Einstein, are required when we work for getting support from nature”.