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Time Management


While I hardly stand any preaching off late, this slide share was concise and cool! I am pretty much in sync with most of the tips and felt it is just cool to replicate it as is! Great job by E.Garbugli!

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WORDS


It is been almost couple of years since I started being conscious of the power of words we use in our communication   –    this specific article  “Small words make a Difference” very nicely brings out the  impact  –  Remember  “BUT”,  “TRY”,  “HOPE TO, WANT TO”,  “SHOULD”, “CAN’T”  are best words to avoid using …..

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Knowledge and Practice


It had been a long-standing challenge –   practising the knowledge.  It is an established documented fact (come on, I documented in this blog here….) that the outcome of any event depends on the response to that event.  I am yet to put that knowledge to use 100%.

I had two such events in the last 24 hours….making me introspect on how long it is going to take to get ourselves practice what we know….

The first incident made me realize the need to strongly emphasize in my communications on how much I value my ideals. While I have my ideals, I also believe that it is an individual’s prerogative of having their own ideals (rights and wrongs) which will vary with every individual. Oxymoron belief!

In this context, it becomes very important to react to someone’s thoughts in the right way – communicating the intent is extremely critical –   needs excellent clarity of thoughts and the choice of right words.   “my ideals are different. while what you say/do are different from mine, I appreciate it is your prerogative to do/what you think as long as it is beyond my boundary”.

The second incident made me realize that in the fit of the moment, you lose your knowledge and just react to a situation in a wrong way – your anxiety kills your knowledge and just after that few minutes you kick yourself for reacting to a situation without applying your knowledge …… phew!

In both the incidents, a particular value or reaction of an individual is not in alignment with my thoughts/values. While I can still look at the big picture and appreciate how much value each individual carry, I am still a long way in ensuring my confident reaction to the specific incidents.

This challenge is really dodging me…..knowledge and practice!!

My cup of morning tea – for the mind!


Like how we feed our body with food for physiological wellbeing, I strongly believe our mind and psyche needs constant food for psychological wellbeing  –  After a very tiring and long week at work, while the two movies (Love Happens, True Lies)  helped me relax, these two videos below made me ready to face another challenging week at work  –  it is just a total of 10 minutes to watch these two videos below and I know those concepts already –  but then, my psychological wellbeing needed these intakes again (like the cup of tea every morning!!)

ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD IS CREATED TWICE

FACING NEGATIVE PEOPLE

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Congratulations


Anitha’s short story got the first prize in Unisun Reliance Timeout writing competition 2011  –   I was very happy happy !!……Can’t stop posting this……….check her interesting blogposts  here.   One more women who multitasks, manages work and family and still keeps her passion for life, and continues to strive for the best  keeping her feet firm on the ground!!   🙂 🙂

Congratulations, Anitha!!!  God bless!!

One Minute Mother – Spencer Johnson


  • Author – Spencer Johnson
  • Category – Self Help
  • My rating – 3 on 5

Yes!  It is a self-help book on parenting!

For me, parenting is a mixture of science and art   –   and you never end being a parent irrespective of whatever age your kids are!!  This short book from Spencer Johnson (author of many “one minute” series) reinforces that there are still few facts out there about parenting which can be put to use effectively in day-to-day parenting.

The book is designed to be a short story where an young mother-to-be goes in search of the secrets about good parenting.   She meets with an elderly woman who is the “one minute mother” and her daughters to collect the wisdom of being an effective mother.    The basics of human psychology are established when the author says “Children who like themselves like to behave themselves”.   This is followed by the sharing of the three communication secrets which helps to be a “one-minute-mother”.

  1. One minute goals  (Goal is a dream with deadline)
  2. One minute praising   (Catch them doing something right)
  3. One minute reprimand (Feedback is the breakfast of champions)

As a parent, it makes lot of sense to develop the sense of responsibility in our children and help them reach their full potential.   It takes lot of effort and  will to persevere through the challenging situations in parenting and keep our sanity.  Johnson highlights the importance of being in balance when he writes “The best way for a mother to keep her sanity is to keep her sense of humor”.   Can’t agree more here  🙂

While the following tips hold good for any interpersonal relationships and mentoring, Johnson highlights and fits them rightfully into the parenting tips

  1. Teach children to like themselves and to like to behave themselves.  Enjoy yourselves in that process
  2. Set goals and praise and reprimand bad behavior ( tell them they are good, their behaviour was bad)
  3. Speak simple truth and express feelings clearly
  4. Hug your children and laugh often and show them you love them
  5. Encourage children to do as you do (be a living example)
  6. Pay attention to many little things that make life more enjoyable
  7. It is more important to start right away the right things than is to wait until we think we can do it right
  8. We become what we think about
  9. All things are ready if our minds be so
  10. Anxiety is fear of unknown and fear immobilizes people

The crux of the book remains in the fact that good parenting is ensuring that your children become independent and do right things by themselves.   “When the children are caught doing something right, they want to do something right again (one minute praising). It makes them feel good about themselves. And children who like themselves like to behave themselves. So, instead of behaving for their parents, they do it for themselves”

Given it is a short book  (100 pages +) and written like a story, it is worth spending some time to read through it – helps young parents and also the veteran parents (to revise the facts!!). 

LLS – More on life!


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,  https://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.

2010 Performance:

<<SPECIFIC CONTENT CLIPPED>>

Welcome 2011…

<<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).

Health:

  • 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.

Career:

  • 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.

Happiness:

  • 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.

Finance:

  • 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.

Relationships:

  • 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.

Closing Remarks:

  • 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!

Life and Learning Series – LLS


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

  1. SELF –   Focus on my self  –  inclusive of my physical, mental and spiritual well being
  2. FAMILY, Friends and Life –  A lot of my life goes around family and friends and that becomes the second key factor in my life
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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!

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