CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT – Are you serious?

Up to 70 odd percent of people make new year’s resolutions to improve their lives. Some of the most common goals for people are fitness, diet and nutrition, quitting the smoking habit, and finances. A vast majority of people claim they are doing well with these resolutions – but how successful are you?

Even after a month, about 80 percent of people still say they are on track. Very few people can confidently say they succeeded in changing. It may be difficult, but it can be done. You need to know what to do and the right methods.

Changing people’s behavior is probably one of the most difficult and complex tasks that organizational leaders face the world over. Think about yourself. When was the last time you tried to change a behavior? What was it that you were wanting to change? Was it a big change or a simple one? Now be honest – were you successful?

Change management

If changing one’s own behavior is so difficult, imagine how challenging it will be to help change others’ behaviors. If you believe that it can be done, then you must look at the limitations of the tools and techniques you are using to bring about the change. Are they good enough?

The problem most organizational leaders encounter is despite providing the best resources and environment and spending big bucks on training people, they seldom change. It is just so frustrating. The question one needs to ask is whether you are willing to invest in the follow-through.

Any change requires consistent follow-up and support and cannot be achieved with a one-time pill of training or a shot of reward and recognition. If it has to be a sustainable change then you need someone who can effectively help support the follow-through efforts. A coach can play this role effectively.

A Rafael Nadal or a Roger Federer or for that matter Novak Djokovic would not have turned into great players and legends of the game without the support and guidance of a coach.

Imagine if they had just attended one or two programs on how to serve, volley, return, or rally – would they have become who they are today? probably yes, but that would have been lucky and you wouldn’t want to leave your life and business on lady luck, do you?

From my observation and conversation that I had with people who want to go the fitness route as to what stops them from hiring a personal coach, most are evasive in their answers or give excuses like they are expensive; they have not yet found a great coach, time does not permit and that remains endless.

Have you ever thought, that maybe it could be the FEAR that you would actually CHANGE?
Or you would be forced to?

If you are serious about change?
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How To Develop A Motivated Mindset?

From time to time, each of us will find ourselves in a rut of boredom and disinterest. We seem to lose our zest for life and feel tired, irritable, and unmotivated. We want to hide under the covers rather than face the day. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by work, sad about the pain and suffering in the world, or just bored with the routine of your daily life.

Motivation

You are not alone.

We all go through periods like this at some point. The good news is that we can do something about it. Here are some tips to help break out of the rut and feel excited about life again:

  1. Take a “Time Out” – Prolonged stress can wear us down and zap any enthusiasm we once had. Before doing anything else, take a few minutes to breathe and just BE. Empty your mind of all stress and worry. This takes practice, but don’t give up! As thoughts come into your mind, gently push them back out and continue to keep your mind empty and calm. Take slow, deep breaths and let all of your muscles relax. Sit quietly and recharge your batteries. Try to do this daily, or even twice daily (morning and night). We need quiet time as much as we need anything else in life. Give yourself the gift of inner peace.
  1. Get Inspired – Read something motivational, inspirational, or uplifting. Look at some beautiful nature photos, or read something humorous. Consciously move your thoughts to a more positive place. Focusing on nothing but work and our daily tasks in life can leave us feeling pretty uninspired. It’s easy to turn it around if we want to. We just have to seek out things that will lift our spirits and our moods. Make it a point to laugh, be happy, joyful, and lighthearted each day. Don’t wait for inspiration to come knocking on your door, go out and find it, or create it. Conjure up some funny or touching memories. Write them in a journal so you can go back and read them when you’re feeling down.
  1. Get Excited – Think about the things you have planned for the day, and rekindle the enthusiasm you once felt for them. When we first begin a new project or start a new job, we are excited about the possibilities and eager to get moving! Over time, we can lose that enthusiasm for a variety of reasons. Travel back in time for a moment, and think about what got you so excited at the beginning. What made your heartbeat a little faster? Recapture that feeling and hang onto it! Even if your tasks aren’t anything to be really excited about, at least think of some positive benefits to doing them. For example, list the ways they will benefit your children, your spouse, yourself, your job, or your home. Identify the payoff, and focus on that. Even mundane tasks have some benefits. Sometimes it’s just a matter of switching our mindset to see the positive side.
  1. Baby Steps – Sometimes the hardest part is actually getting started. A project seems so monstrous that we cringe at the thought of all that time and energy we’ll have to expend. Instead of overwhelming yourself, start small. Set a timer for 15 minutes and just start working on it. Allow yourself to stop after 15 minutes if you really want to. But most often, once we actually start working on something, we won’t want to stop. Don’t focus on the big picture, look at the smaller details and take them on one at a time. Any large task seems manageable once we break it down into smaller steps.
  1. Care of the Body – Sometimes our feelings of fatigue are caused by physical deficiencies, not mental. Be sure you are getting enough rest, eating food that nourishes your body, drinking enough water, getting enough exercise, etc. Especially when we’re very busy, we tend to grab the quickest, easiest meals, which aren’t always the best choice for our bodies. Eating a lot of highly processed foods and sugar is like putting watered-down gasoline into our cars. In order for our cars to run smoothly, we need to maintain them properly, and so it is with our bodies also. Remember, the body is the vehicle for the mind and soul!

Finally, remember to reward yourself from time to time, and be gentle with yourself! There will always be things that “need” to be done. But some of us take on way more than we can handle, and our lives turn into a pit of drudgery because of it. Try to eliminate the things that truly don’t bring you joy, or at least minimize the time you spend on them.

Do what you can, and let the rest go. Or ask for help. Don’t feel you have to do everything yourself.

Remember that motivation, just like happiness, is something we CHOOSE.
We may need to give ourselves a little push at the beginning, but once we get into the right mindset, it’s simple to stay there if we choose to.

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10 Tips for Effective Time Management

Have you ever thought to yourself that there aren’t enough hours in the day, or felt overwhelmed at the tasks facing you? If you have, this article can help you!

  1. Clarify your goals and strategy

 Be very clear about your aims and ambitions, both short and long-term. Write them down. Once you know what you really want to achieve (and why) it’s easier to make decisions about what needs doing and to plan accordingly.

  1. Focus on your top priorities

You’ll be more productive and profitable if you identify and focus on the areas most important to your business. Work on the fundamentals first. The Latin word ‘fundamentum’ means foundation – so take action, build strong foundations and the rest should follow.

  1. Schedule time

Literally write an appointment in your work planner (you do have one of those, don’t you?) to set aside a realistic block of time for your priority actions. This reduces anxiety over not having enough time and keeps you focused.

  1. Say no!

Consider Jim Rohn’s suggestion. “Learn how to say no. Don’t let your mouth overload your back.” Always check your schedule before committing to anything new. Don’t allow others to divert you from your objectives.

  1. Create supportive systems

This includes systems for filing, management information, and communication.

  1. Take a reality check

Will your current activity have a positive outcome, or are you doing it to avoid something else? Ask yourself – will doing this take me towards my goal? As Peter F Drucker observed, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

  1. Delegate!

It’s tempting to do something yourself when you think you can do it faster and better. But consider the long term – delegation now will save time in the future, and if done appropriately can motivate your staff, boost their confidence and help them develop their skills.

  1. Repeat your success

Remember the last time you went away on holiday, and how you got so much done in those few days before you left? What strategies and techniques did you employ that made you so effective and focused? Can you repeat them? Alternatively, imagine you are going away tomorrow and work through today accordingly.

  1. Balance your life

Formally schedule personal activities too, so you make time for family, friends, your health, and fun because having a balanced life reduces stress and increases energy levels. Time management is really about life management!

  1. End the day

At the end of the working day, tidy your desk, make notes about what needs doing tomorrow and prioritize those tasks. You’ll worry less that evening and be prepared and focused the next morning

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Burn your boats to take the island

One of the keys to reaching your goals is to eliminate any escape routes. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more compelling than going back.

Goal achievement

When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable. When Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, one of his first orders to his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.

Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to keep in mind that although Cortez had his men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the food and supplies. Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and create the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking undue risks.

Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but it isn’t necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but don’t be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay.

Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don’t have resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk.

Close off the escape routes and make sure that you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the tools, supplies, and resources you need to achieve your goals. You can’t eliminate risk, but you can plan for it.

Don’t just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward.

Are you are struggling to reach your GOALS and want someone who could
BURN THE BOAT behind you?

Reading books and watching motivational videos alone won’t help.

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5 reasons indecision kills your growth

Have you ever had an idea that truly excited you, but you waited to act on it, only to find that when you did eventually take action it wasn’t all it seemed cracked up to be?

Or worse, you never acted on it at all because you never got around to it?

Throughout your life, how many inspired and worthy ideas ended up in the trash heap of discarded possibility?

How many of those ideas would you really liked to have acted upon?

What stopped you from taking action the moment you felt the excitement of possibility and that tingling sensation through your body?

For most of us, we fail to act on an idea for one of three following reasons:

  1. The timing is “not so convenient,” so we postpone by telling ourselves we will do it later.
  2. We believe we don’t have enough resources.
  3. We want to test waters. We want to be sure of the feasibility, before we do anything about acting on the idea.

Often, people want certainty that the idea will work, and they seem to bind themselves with rules and ideas about what and how anything needs to happen in order for anything to be successful.

We believe we may suffer a loss or think ‘what if’ we end up in failure often leading to a paralysis and failing to execute the idea at all. But at what cost?

When it comes to executing an idea, it’s sometimes worth doing it than not doing it at all. Even if it’s done poorly.

Now if you are high on conscientiousness and are a perfectionist by nature, you may rubbish this idea. You may even cringe. “If anything is worth doing then it better be done well” is the idealism so many of us were brought up with or conditioned to. If you cannot to things properly it’s better to not do it at all.

Imagine, how many things in our life don’t get done at all because of our concern for perfection wins over the practice of “just doing it?”

5 reasons that make you indecisive!

  1. Overanalyzing: Paralysis by analysis though cliched is very real. Overthinking is the bane of potential high achievers. Overanalyzing and overthinking leads is the death-knell for ideas, opportunities and in many cases, even relationships.
  1. Self-doubt: Will I be able to do it well? Will I do it perfectly? Do I really have the ability? Am I dreaming? are some of the questions we ask in self-doubt.  Remember, when you wait for conditions to be right before you act, there is always a reason not to act.
  2. Self-criticism: When you lead life with the belief that anything that is done has to be not just done well, you have to get it right the first time, then you tend to focus more why anything you do is not good enough. What is success? Who defines what constitutes success? Most of the time it is you and you are your own worst critic.  It is a vicious cycle which leads to high level of stress, frustration and depression.
  3. Procrastination: Have you ever felt like you could have done somethings much earlier than today, maybe even a year back? As someone said wisely, “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” While postponing certain decisions can sometimes be productive, often it is more destructive when it turns into a habit. Imagine, how many times in your life have you said “I will see later,” and that “later” eventually ended up being never.
  4. Indecisiveness: Indecision creeps up on you slowly and silently, killing your self-confidence, focus and creativity. Often those who are indecisive end up with anxiety, lack of concentration, and limited growth. A decision taken is far more worth than not taking it at all.  At least you know if your idea works, learn lessons and move forward.  Indecisiveness kills progression and effects your mental wellness as well.

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7 TELL-TALE SIGNS THAT SHOW YOU ARE TURNING INTO AN ONLINE NARCISSIST!

While social media has connected the world and made it boundaryless, virtually to say, it has had its fair share of toxicity that it has introduced into the world. 

That it has completely taken over the mind-space of its users and has turned them into demonstrating narcissistic behaviors online is scary, to say the least.  It has the ability to take control of your life so much so that it has turned most people into narcissists without them even realize that they have become one.

It is sparing no one, leaders, families, young and old alike.  All are afflicted with this toxic behavior of narcissism.  There is a pattern that says it all.  If you observe the way people present themselves and interact on social media will provide you with tell-tale signs of how deep this malaise has set in.  A final nail in the coffin on this bitter reality is that the very same people are also talking about narcissism and narcissistic behaviors as they self-indulge.

Let’s look at 7 tell-tale signs that you are slowly or already turned yourself into an online narcissist. 

Here is how you can measure? 👇👇👇

  1. Hypocrisy – If you find yourself starting to talk or present yourself like a politician during an electoral campaign, then you are surely showing signs.  For example, how a politician says he/she cares so much about his/her people and the nation at large.  Do you truly believe?  Same is the case with so many who project themselves as the most ideal people in this world.  Only those who are close to them know they truly are.  I am sure you would have come across posts from your friends, colleagues, managers and others, proclaiming that they believe in somethings only for you to cringe at their hypocrisy.

  2. Playing the victim – narcissists are known to play the victim card wonderfully well to appeal to the compassion and sympathy of others.  They portray themselves as innocent victims of other misdeeds and post vague, sympathy soliciting posts when they are upset with someone or do not get the attention which they strongly desire to have.

  3. Hollow words of praise – if you find yourselves liking and commenting on posts without really meaning it; that is exactly what a person with narcissistic tendencies does.  For example, when you like a post and comment “This is absolutely fantastic share” and don’t follow it up by your action of engaging a little further as to why you found it to be a great post, then….”  Aren’t you hurting the prospects of the person by liking or commenting without meaning it? By doing so aren’t you depriving the person of some real feedback?  Are you not pushing the person into a world of self-deception or delusion?

  4. Self-promotion and bragging – Alarm bells should ring when you start seeing people proclaiming that they have crossed 1M followers and all you find them doing online is copying and pasting various quotes picked up online.  Blatant plagiarism.  Authentic people do not need to self-proclaim or hard-sell their popularity.  These are signs of deceitful behaviour which entrap the audience in their web.

  5. Being empty cans – narcissists are the biggest empty cans of all.  They make a lot of noise about things and lead their lives wearing their phony halos all the while betraying, deceiving, using and abusing people and shifting the blame away from themselves on to others.

  6. Double standards – online narcissists are those who propagate theories which they themselves do not follow or seen to be doing exactly the opposite.  One such example is about all those who propagate to others about how “Money is not everything in life and people need to spend time looking inwards”.  These are the very people who will be basking in all the luxuries – in your face.  I saw many social media posts of celebrities, so-called leaders who were talking about how people should remain safe and wear masks and keep social distancing, only to find the very next moment they are flouting all what they were propounding a while ago.

  7. Abusive, defensive or violent behaviour – They become extremely defensive, abusive or violent in their social media interactions when you do not agree or provide them with a contrarian view.  As with all narcissists, they also have a strong fan following who literally ‘FAN’ their toxic behaviour by defending them on social media and other platforms.  All this while the narcissist would just make the initial statement and then sit back and enjoy the fun.

There could be many more, but it is important for us to understand that the toxicity of narcissistic behavior is known not just when you learn or hear about a violent outcome, it comes in subtle forms.

You might have been already afflicted by it.

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STORIES THAT CHANGE LIFE – The Lost Key

Hello and welcome back to another episode of #thecriticaldialogue with your favourite Mullah Naseeruddin.

Late one night as a man was walking back home, he saw Mullah Naseeruddin, down on all fours, frantically searching for something under the streetlight. 

“What have you lost, Mullah?  What is so important that you have to search for it at this hour? 

“I am searching for the key to my treasure chest,” replied the Mullah, with a sense of despair.

“May I help you in your search” asked the passer-by.  “Maybe we can find your key sooner”.

“Thank you, my friend, so caring and kind of you to have offered to help, at this hour,” said the Mullah.

The passer-by joined Mullah in his search. 

It was over an hour now and there was no luck as they did not find the key.

The man finally asked the Mullah “Tell me, can you try and recollect where was the last time you kept the key?”

Naseeruddin pointed towards the darkness and said “Over there, in my house.  I remember to have lost the key inside my house…”

Exasperated and angry the passer-by shouted at Mullah Naseeruddin, “You fool, then why the hell are you searching for the key out here in the street? You should go back and search inside”.

“My friend I am searching under the streetlight as there is more visibility out here than inside my house” replied the Mullah, quite nonchalantly. 

As you see while the story is hilarious, there is so much depth and meaning if you care to reflect.

Most of us are constantly looking for the key to happiness, the key to bliss, the key to freedom, the key to inner peace and tranquillity, the key to love, and the key to God which we seem to have lost.

We are frantically searching for it by attaching ourselves to different concepts, fads, cults and immersing ourselves in different theories just because they are popular and are in the light, out there in the open.

In fact, the right place to look for the key is the place where you have actually lost it, even if there is less light there and it is the only place where you can possibly find it and that is deep within yourself.

What I like about my favourite Mullah Naseeruddin stories is that superficially most of them may be used purely as humor, but inherent in these stories are hidden gems, the depths of which may be understood by anyone who is willing to dive deep and go beyond the obvious.

They can help bring your conscience a little closer to self-realization.

I hope you enjoyed this one.  Please do not forget to like, comment or share.

You could help someone find their lost key.

Mullah Naseeruddin – Tryst With ‘Truth’

On a bright sunny day Mullah Naseeruddin and his King were out on a stroll around the city.

It was customary for the King to go out with the Mullah in disguise, just so that he could find out about the happenings in the kingdom and the well-being of his subjects.

Mullah Naseeruddin And His Tryst With "Truth" THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

They saw some people gathered under a tree, having an animated discussion.  On going closer to find out, they witnessed that there were two people, each claiming to be telling the truth and alleging that the other was a liar.  From their discussion it was difficult to tell who was telling the truth.

As they were walking back to the palace, the Mullah opined “O my beloved King, you see, no matter how many laws, rules and regulations you make, you cannot make people better; they must practice certain things, to get attuned or in touch with what I call ‘inner truth’.  This form of truth resembles what is apparent ever so slightly”.

The King did not agree to the Mullah.  “I can make people observe and practice truthfulness.  I will show you how laws can be used to make my subjects speak the truth always” he proclaimed.

The next day the King wanted to show the Mullah how that could be done.  He set up gallows right at the entrance of the city, which was the only way people could get into the city.  Near the gate he stationed his guards and their captain to implement his idea.

“Anyone who wishes to enter the city, will have to answer a question; and only those who were found to be telling the truth will be allowed to enter.  Those who lie will be put to the gallows, right here at the entrance” proclaimed the King.

The following day, when the gates were opened, it was Mullah Naseeruddin who was the first to step forward.

“Where are you going?” asked the guard.  “I am on my way to be hanged” answered the Mullah ever so calmly.

“We don’t believe you” said the guard.

“Very well, if you think I have told a lie, please hang me!”

“No way we are going to hang you, cause if we do, then we would have made what you said come true!” said the guard and let the Mullah pass.

“You see, now you know what ‘Truth’ is – YOUR truth!” said the Mullah as he entered the city with his King standing in admiration of the Mullah and feeling glad that he has such a wise man as his counsel.

The truth is ever so hard for people to comprehend.

Truth often isn’t apparent. Truth can be very hard to arrive at. There are a lot of people who hide all kinds of truth and some are so good at it that they let very little escape from behind their shield.

What’s your truth?

For you to Reflect

Do you relate to this story?

How often have you found yourself trying hard to defend the ‘truth’?

Why was it so difficult?

LOOKS LIKE THE WHOLE OF HUMANITY IS SUFFERING FROM ALZHEIMERS🤦‍♂️

That we need to label different days to celebrate and make us aware the environment and people around us beats me. So much so that the no. of such days are increasing at an alarming rate.

And when I see the millions of posts by people on social media detailing their celebration of such days, it concerns me as deeply.

Mothers day
Father’s day
Brothers day
Sisters day
Parents day
Grand parents day
Children’s day
Valentines day
Women’s day
Men’s day
Environment day
Mental health day
Self awareness day

and to top it all “Celebrate Life Day”

When I see so many people sitting around and talk about self-awareness, it looks like the whole world is suffering from alzheimers.

No wonder the business of making people “Self-aware” is a multi-billion” dollar industry.

Today I am celebrating “World Concern Day” 🙃

So which day are you celebrating today?

Don’t forget to leave a #comment, unless you are celebrating “World Forgetfulness Day” or “World Utter Disregard Day”

#socialmedia #people #mentalhealth #inspiration

Do not focus on ‘Change’!

Any attempt to change from your current state is dependent on the ‘decisions’ you make, and infact starts with a decision.  That’s probably the reason why you are told, in order for you to change, you first need to ‘decide’ that you really need to change.

You do not change your life in a minute, but the decisions you make can change your life in a second.”

Sree Kumar

I was discussing with Dr. Abraham Gerard Meyer about the MindfulChoice™ Model which he so advocates in making informed decisions and he explained this concept beautifully by correlating change and decision making with the act of driving a vehicle.

I realized that when we drive, we are always presented with choices aka decisions to make – whether to turn right or left, stop or proceed, swerve or bash-on regardless.  He went on to tell me that if we carefully examine, all our decisions are binary and we need to become aware of that first before doing anything.  He went on to add that we must move away from focusing on the ‘Why?’ and start looking at being in the present – the ‘What?’.  There is no point in wallowing in the past, thought past experiences do influence our knowledge in making decisions, they do not help greatly.  In fact if we keep focusing on the ‘why?’ of decisions, we become paralyzed for action.

Imagine, you are stuck in a traffic jam, and you are in the ‘Why?’ mode of thinking and feeling.  ‘Why does it have to be today?’; ‘Why is it happening to me?’, ‘Why don’t the authorities do something about traffic conditions?’ – ‘Why?’ Why? Why? 

Do you see, how it takes you into a negative spiral of thoughts and emotions?  Does it in anyway change your condition?  Probably yes! But for the worse, isn’t it?

Instead, if you move your attention towards the ‘what?’, it will help you remain in the present, analyze the situation you are in currently and make informed choices to either ease the pain or maneuver through the traffic.  I personally have not seen people when faced with an emergency situation while driving, asking the question ‘why’? Instead they unconsciously are focusing on the ‘what’? and take a decision in the moment.  It does not matter whether the decision worked out right or wrong eventually, however, it does move you forward to the next step.  Either way you know whether it worked in your favor or not. 

Let’s say you start asking – What’s happening now? What do I do now? What options do I have now? What?, What?, What?….  You will find that you will be able to act and change your direction effectively to reach your destination.

If we can start to bring the lessons from our driving experiences into our decision making process, it will go a long way in helping us change for the better – affirmative towards change.

It starts with you learning to make MindfulChoice™ – this Dr. Gerard says, is different from the Mindfulness talk we hear all around us.  The MindfulChoice™ Model is all about being in the present, focusing on the ‘what?’ and on changing behavior.

Remember, it always is a ‘Decision’ which ‘Changes’ the course of your life!

Here is an interesting video on the ‘MindfulChoice Model’