Category Archives: Life and Learning
It indeed was a stressful straight three weeks - stressful because I had multiple priorities and I was so indecisive on what is number one priority over the multiple priorities.
My thoughts were clouded with the everlasting urge to excel in all priorities, various situations around the priorities, consequences of prioritising one thing over the other, what other people consider as my priorities, etc, etc. I literally was tempted to give in to my confused state – it may be an easier choice to hide from the situation, from the people, crib about the situation and pour my frustrations over that cup of ginger tea to the close confidante.
I did do that - half hour non stop criticism over the people and the situation. Though nothing changed the people or the situation, I felt good at the end of the crib session then…….but later in the evening, I started feeling even more stressed that I never solved the stress, and kept my focus on people’s behavior and current situation than on objective actions to face the situation.
And that is when I realized I got to do two things - decide what i want ; and then be objective to focus on what i want. It probably was the clarity after going through this which helped me face the situation and come out of it….
I know it is a continuous journey for me and this cycle is worth remembering…and drew the chart for my own success tips -
- Clarity on what we want
- Objectivity to focus on what we want
When we have the clarity on what we want, we know what choices we need to make. When we are making the choices with clarity, we understand what are the consequences of the choices. Analyzing the consequences brings in more clarity to the choice made or relooking at what we want. Once we get the clarity, then we need the objective focus on what we want - focus which does not get distracted by the people and environment. Success is always sweet in the journey of life………
Related Article: Life and Learning Series
While we were discussing about leadership and qualities that make a leader, RK mentioned about a note which he sent to his team as a New Year message. When he shared the outline of what was in that message, I was very interested as it had many common points with the life model I was consolidating for myself. Subsequently, when he shared that note with me, I found it to be very close to the life model I put together….
As I started to share my life learning in this blog as part of Life and Learning series, http://ireach.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/life-and-learning-series-lls/, I felt it is good to share his note also in this blog. While RK gave his consent to share his note here, I still look forward for the day where he will share his knowledge to the society at large.I have edited this note so that the focus is maintained on the critical life learnings…
Here is my view of our performance in 2010, what to expect in 2011 and some thoughts for the New Year.
It is a long note. I usually don’t write such long notes but I felt it was necessary as I see huge potential for the group and exciting opportunities for the people to grow.!
Please take time to read this completely and feel free to share it with your teams.
<<SPECIFIC CONTENT CLIPPED>>
<<SPECIFIC CONTENT CLIPPED>>
We MUST be deliberate in every action we take on a daily basis. We must never allow ourselves to be on ‘Autopilot’. There is no such thing as ‘Constant’. We should make efforts to improve all the time or risk ‘disintegration’.
At the core will be ‘Happy and Active’ teams.
Make 2011 the Best Year Ever…
Finally, I would like to pass on the tidbits of wisdom I have gathered over the years that have served me well.
Attitude and Behavior:
- You must be purposeful with everything you do.
- Success in any area is about 80% behavior and 20% knowledge. You know what to do (how to be healthy, how to fix project issues….). Problem lies with the person in the mirror you are looking at.
- It is the daily discipline (like exercise every day) that determines your success. It is a constant struggle.
- Do the things you must do whether you like it or not.
- Stop blaming others. Take full responsibility for results you are getting.
- Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said ‘ No one ever makes right decision, you make a decision and then do everything to make it RIGHT’. So, don’t waste too much time contemplating.
- Develop fanatical level of Integrity. Tom Stanley who wrote ‘The Millionaire Mind’ found that #1 correlating factor among 1st Generation Millionaires was ‘Integrity’. There is no short cut to success.
- READ thought provoking books and biographies. You can’t be a leader if you are not a reader.
- Be direct; speak your mind; make the point; but don’t argue to prove you are right. Choose Happiness over being Right.
- NEVER Worry. As Earl Nightingale said worry brings fear and fear is crippling.
- Putting in the effort is important. But in the end, only thing that matters is RESULT
- ACTION – No amount of advice will help if you don’t take action. Don’t wait for perfect time to get started. Do it NOW.
Goal Setting and Getting:
- Statistics show that less than 5% of the world’s population has written & measurable goals. Of this 5%, only half of them really achieve those goals. Strive to be part of this small elite group.
- Having clear goals (big or small) increases your sense of purpose tremendously.
- DON’T try to do too many things – you will be overwhelmed and will quit. Prioritize your goals and focus on a few important ones.
- Break down the goals into daily/weekly activities.
- Get Started. Remember what the famous Lau-Tzu said – ‘Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’.
- DAILY Action is critical. Take stock of the progress every week. If you are lagging behind, don’t worry but it is critical that you make progress (however small it is).
- Just remember – If you don’t have good health, other areas just don’t matter.
- We all know what to do to be healthy – Exercise everyday; Drink plenty of water; eat loads of raw veggies and some nuts; cut down on fat; cut down on 3 white poisons (rice, salt, sugar).
- Don’t wait for a health disaster to strike you before acting. It may be too late. Wake up and take charge of your health while you still have time to set it right.
- Do MORE than what you are paid to do. Consider it an investment for the future.
- If you don’t have enough to do, look for opportunities to make yourself useful and create value. Don’t wait for your manager to tell you that you are a liability.
- Do the best you can; expect the best from your team; don’t tolerate incompetence.
- Your team is smarter than you think. Give them an opportunity to prove; don’t get in the way.
- Thinking is the highest paid job in any industry. Take time to think before action. But Thinking without Action is ‘Day Dream’ and Action without Thinking is ‘Nightmare’.
- Foster leadership;
- There is no such thing as ‘Job Security’. But you can establish ‘Employment Security’ if you are best at what you do.!
- Study your industry well; Know the new trends, don’t hesitate to implement new ideas
- Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
- What is happiness? According to Harvard Professor and author of ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ Dan Gilbert, there is a very good chance you don’t know the answer or you will get it wrong.
- Everyone wants to be happy. But very few know how to. Take time to study happiness.
- Study shows that happy and positive people are lot more productive and innovative.
- Some companies are now looking to hire optimistic/happy people more than specific skills.
- Managing money is a learned technique. Be purposeful with your money.
- We all know what to do – Spend less than you make; Get out of debt; Set aside some money for rainy day.
- Financial Independence should be of very high priority. Build a financial wall around your family.
- Financial success comes to those who plan long term (10-20 years).
- Hire a good financial advisor and invest wisely.
- This is one area people tend to take for granted. Don’t let it be the case with you.
Make A Difference:
- Ken Behring who once owned Seattle Seahawks described it the best – ‘Purpose of our life is to serve each other with the expression of who we truly are’. Sense of fulfillment comes when you know that you are making a positive difference in this world. Don’t wait to become a millionaire to start this process.
- Tithing is a very old concept and dates back to the Old Testament. While it is up to the individuals how he/she wants to contribute, donating up to 10% of income is not uncommon. But again, you should consider contributing what you feel comfortable.
- Money is not the only way to contribute. Key is to quickly find 1-2 ways in which you can make a difference and get on with it.
- I know it is easy to get excited and overwhelmed at the same time reading this kind of note. Key is to take time to think what you want in each of the above areas and pick few things and act quickly. If you don’t act, you will lose interest.
- Finally, remember Einstein’s famous quote on definition of Insanity – ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. If you want different result, something must change and it starts with changing yourself!
When you are parenting a teenager and also when you are handling a critical team at work with senior people and also when you are handling your aged parents and also when you are running your household..……………you know you are old… …..hey, wait!!! I am beyond establishing that I am growing old…..I am trying to establish that we also pass through many experiences in life over these growing years!!!
Every day, when I go through the daily chores at work and at home – I learn …..And it struck me that it may be a good idea to consolidate and put them together. While it will help to save my grey cells (when you get old, your grey cells lose capacity?), I also felt it may be a good thing to share with others so that they can pick one or two which suits them.
Motivated by the lack of simple and easy to follow guidelines, I am creating this series for all those who are starting to look for some simple directions in life. I will share information about my experience. We all know that life has its complexities and this is my bit to make it easy……….
It all started since last two years (probably coincides with my blogging effort?!!) – I introspect a lot ….
The first simple question is - WHAT DO I WANT IN LIFE?
While the question is too simple, take few minutes and think and write down the answer…..it may even seem simple initially to answer this question (unless you are like me, who gets different answers with each new day!) …… slowly, check if
HOW MUCH OF MY DAILY TIME GOES IN THE EFFORT TO GET WHAT I WANT IN LIFE
This will make us go back to the first question again and you may feel tempted to change the answer to the first question (see, I have reasons on why I change my answer to question #1).
It is actually good to go through multiple iterations of this, as long as the multiple iterations take you much closer to the real answer to the question of WHAT DO I WANT IN LIFE.
I feel I have done multiple iterations and I feel I have figured out something on the answer to WHAT DO I WANT IN LIFE. At a gross level, I find my life completely revolves around 5 key factors
- SELF - Focus on my self - inclusive of my physical, mental and spiritual well being
- FAMILY, Friends and Life - A lot of my life goes around family and friends and that becomes the second key factor in my life
- CAREER - Yes, there had been a time where I only thought of career…I even used career as an escape to face real life - and now, life has taught me the criticality of balancing the critical factors in life - I still view career as a critical part of my life
- PERSONAL INTERESTS - May sound out of sync - you may wonder on how personal interests (read it as leisure activities, hobbies) become key factor of life…crazy!!! I strongly believe that the time I spent on my personal interests makes me complete - It was a refreshing surprise to me on how much a trek or a music class or blogging helps me ……and indeed, it is a critical factor
- SOCIETY@LARGE - these have been more of thoughts and less of action, but I know for sure this is a critical factor in my life - I am slowly starting on few contributions in this space and I will make it.
When I looked at all my FABULOUS FIVE factors of my life, I knew that there is something more which needs to be put in to take care of the fabulous five and that ofcourse is the FINANCIAL WALL - the wall around the five key factors will help me keep my five critical factors intact.
Given that I am more of a visual person, here is my life model
Please note that this is a current version and there are very high possibilities that this may go through iterations in the coming days.
Going forward, I will share my life’s learning against each of these five critical factors and link it back here….Happy reading and learning!
E + I + R = O
EVENT is what happens
INTERPRETATION is how our mind perceives the event
RESPONSE is how we react to the event based on the interpretation
OUTCOME is the combination of the event and our interpretation and our response!
this is the new improved version of the formula from RK!!………seems to be getting better