Month: May 2017

Looking at the good side of every situation

Looking at the good side of every situation

“If a man has ten good qualities and one bad quality, look at the ten and forget the one. If a man has one good quality and ten bad qualities, look at the one and forget the ten.”

I studied in a Baha’i school, and the above quote has shaped how I lead my life. The example that was given to support this quote was intriguing and helped me remember this quote till today.

A guru and his disciples happen to notice a dead dog while they were walking towards their ashram. The corpse of the dog was stinking, and all the disciples were irked and closed their noses to avoid the foul smell. The guru, however, had a smile on his face and went closer to the corpse. He sat close to the dog and gazed at it for a few minutes and continued walking to the ashram. His disciples followed the guru and did not utter a word till they reached the ashram. They were surprised at what the guru did.

The disciples with a little hesitance but gathered the courage to ask the guru of why he went near the corpse. Why did he gaze at the dog for a while, as the smell was awful?

The guru knew this question was coming his way. He paused till everyone gathered and settled around him. His reply was rather a simple one with a deep understanding of how the world works. He told his disciples about the most amazing white teeth the dead dog had. He was in awe of them, and that was the reason he went near to the dog.He further told them that his focus was only on the beautiful white teeth, that he ignored the foul smell, the awful view of the rest of the body.

The guru’s point was simple; we are often in situations where we first notice the negative stuff. Various news channels broadcast the negative story and create a biased view. Out mind is so conditioned to believe the first sight of negativity easily. Of course, many can see the good side of everything but there far more people who do not see the right.

Can we flip the thought process of identifying the negativity first?

Yes, we can!

How?

Instead of creating an opinion on the information we have at hand we wait for more details. It’s like a puzzle piece, we don’t have to make the decision based on the few pieces of information we have but rather wait till we have 80% of the pieces to make the decision. We all can agree that when we have at least 80% of the puzzle pieces, we can nearly make out what the picture in the puzzle is.

I believe this thought process can create a lot less confusion and help many not just view the world in a biased manner.

Let me know what you think? 

[Book 14/52] Managing Time by HBR

[Book 14/52] Managing Time by HBR

I have always been a master procrastinator. The reasons I procrastinated are:

  1. I don’t want to do it
  2. I am not good at doing it
  3. I find it too laborious

Managing Time me deconstruct my procrastinator mind and helped understand what I need to when I stuck in the reasons mentioned above.

It was suggested in this book, that I keep track of my time based on various categories for two weeks. Using this data, I could organise and create targets of where I want to spend my time most. I cut short my lunch times, which is by choice. I also planned for a 20-minute nap post lunch which kept me productive for the rest of the day.

I realised that just by tracking time I could be more focused at work and stay away from distractions. The moment I was distracted I felt guilty of noting down a wasted time. During the waiting period, I used to focus on some training material, and that wait could squeeze in learning during the work days.

Being a perfectionist, I always loose interest in something that I plan and things don’t turn out the way I planned. When this happened, which was always, I used to get demotivated. The managing time book made me understand that it’s ok to deviate from what you planned to do. The idea is to keep improving the system. Only when you stick to tracking your time efficiently, will you be able to set goals for tasks.

If you are a person, who if often tired of making a decision on what tasks to do when – this book is for you. You can read this book under 20 minutes but its essential you track your time religiously for three weeks to reap the maximum benefits of this book.

Save some time and go home early!

You can find this book on Goodreads here.

 

[Book 13/52] Managing Up by HBR

[Book 13/52] Managing Up by HBR

Navigating negotiations and handling disagreements has always been a difficult task for me. I guess its more to do with my personality type which has a lot of empathy.

Post reading Managing Up I realised that there are simpler ways to handle negotiations and express disagreements.

It all boils down to knowing your Boss and his priorities. Knowing you organisational goals while speaking to your Boss can always take discussions in a proper direction. Setting your expectations and having a detailed understanding of what you must deliver, helps you align with your Boss.

Managing Up gives you tips which can be used to communicate disagreements effectively. Also, making the conversations more “we” centric than “you” centric changes the way we communicate.

I liked the last chapter which is about monitoring the relationships. It has ten questions which can be used to review the state of your relationship with you Boss. It helps you take immediate corrective actions.

It also gives a scenario on what should you do if you are dealing with a toxic Boss.

You can read this book within 20 minutes.

Find this book on Goodreads here.

One bad habit you must stop immediately!

One bad habit you must stop immediately!

We all have many bad habits. Some of them we don’t even realise are impacting us drastically.

What is this habit?

When you get up in the morning, the first thing many of us often do is to check all the notifications. What we don’t realise is that we are checking a list of items we missed yesterday.

So what?

When we keep this habit for long, it keeps us always in a hurry and keeps us away from thinking clearly on what we can accomplish to be productive.

Eight months back checking the mobile was the first thing I did. First of all, I lost my peace of mind when I got up. Then I used to quickly reply to the unfinished conversation on Facebook, WhatsApp, emails and various other forms of social media. All the unnecessary notifications triggered a thought process which sucked out all my energy. I thought of what I could have replied, how should I accomplish the task. How could I say No to a request? The list goes on.

I was totally imbalanced the first thing I got up in the morning. I used to crave for a nice cup of coffee to begin my day. My amount of will power I had reserved for the day was cut out by a significant percentage. I was left with little willpower to tackle the whole day. I was unproductive during the working days and felt I deserved my weekends to relax and enjoy.

I had kept my weekends for working on my personal projects and my YouTube Channel. All the relaxing stressed me out and made me feel terrible that I could not work for myself.

How I realised I need to stop this bad habit?

I became aware of this stupid habit after reading a few chapters of Robin Sharma’s book The Monk who sold his Ferrari. He spoke about morning rituals and gave the metaphor of garden creeps and how they clouded our judgement. I acted immediately on this and was determined to stop this habit. For many, this may not be as easy at it sounds. We fall back to our old habits as soon as we get a chance. We must ask ourselves one question before even we try and stop a sneaky habit.

Why?

I asked myself this question time and again till I got an answer.

The answer?

I wanted to make time for my personal projects. Working for myself gave me an immense sense of accomplishment and happiness.  It fueled me to take up other challenges in life. And how can give this satisfaction I get from doing the things I like.

I have my Why, now how do I stop this habit?

I started keeping my phone away from where I slept and kept it on silent mode. That way I could never get a chance to check my phone the first thing in the morning. It was hard to resist as I ended up checking the phone unknowingly. I behaved like a zombie walking towards my phone. One week later, I stopped being a zombie and stopped checking my phone. No more cravings. I continued for ten weeks without checking my phone first thing in the morning. I also started using an actual alarm instead of using my phone.

I also uninstalled Facebook and other apps that just threw yet another notification I did not need in my life. I started calling my friends instead of WhatApping them. During urgency I used SMS.

Could I sustain this habit eight months later?

Absolutely. Now I don’t have the need to check my phone. I limited my usage of social media drastically. I have over 7000 unread WhatsApp messages. Since I do not have Facebook App on my mobile, I cut down all the time I used to spend scrolling endlessly. I have also stopped drinking coffee.

The Results

  1. I had more time in hand
  2. I created better morning rituals
  3. I have time for exercising
  4. I get more things in a day than I used to
  5. Less stress
  6. I can plan my weekdays and weekends better
  7. More present to the conversation I having with a person in front of me

There are more benefits of stopping this habit. You will realise this when you stop doing this yourself.

I invite you to stop this habit immediately. Let me know how it helped you. 🙂


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