10 Ways to Boost Your Personality for Living a Prosperous & Happy Life

Personality comprises understanding self, fixing one’s goals, physical and mental health and various other facets of the person as seen by himself/herself and as seen by others. Indeed, understanding personality is not easy. But it is extremely important. It is important for your success. More importantly it helps you to achieve happiness.

1.Understanding Self

Our first step should be that we sit down and contemplate about life’s significance in case we haven’t done so. It’s a kind of vision statement with which one must clarify to himself/herself what they want to do. The act of contemplation on significance your life will always help you to adopt and maintain a proper prospective.

2. Specifying Your Goals
By and large everyone has wishes. But these are not specific desires. Wishes become desire only when you specify your goals. Wishes do not allow you to focus and take actions needed for achievements. These wishes often times remain wishes. Further, unrealized wishes erode self-esteem. It is imperative, therefore, to write down clearly each of your goals in respect of various aspects of life. Goals would state the time frame.These should also clarify how you plan to achieve. Its only when you make a practical plan that you can pursue your goals effectively.
3. Physical and Mental Health
First on the list of your goals should be good health. One can achieve physically good health by taking care of food, exercise and sleep. Human body is made to last for about 100 years. So we need to use all the faculties with discretion. We must not over use, under-use, but strike a good balance and keep on becoming more effective. Mental health is even more important. It refers to your thoughts, your behavior and your attitude towards others. It also refers to your attitude towards life.

4. Application of Mind
Application of mind enables you to analyze any situation. It enables you to review your performance even in challenges. In fact, human sufferings impart great life’s lessons. One should be willing to learn these lessons. Knowledge acquired through reading books, attending training programs and interacting others play an important role. One should never be judgmental. However it’s necessary to apply mind and to form opinions about anything that concerns us. This process helps us to become more decisive to pursue our goals.

5. Courage & Kindness

I remember the story of the movie ‘Cinderella’. It’s a movie made about 50 years ago. Yet I find it fresh and captivating. An oft repeated children fairy tale enthralls everyone, the little children as well as the senior citizens. Cinderella’s inherent kindness with courage to withstand adversity brought for her fortunes.
Kindness indeed is a virtue which however small in action never goes waste. It enhances self-esteem, but more importantly, kindness brings happiness. In our morning walkers’ club, often the subject of how to improve the morals in the society is discussed. Though India is known for its tolerance & kindness, yet today it is felt that citizens show scant respect for others.

Everyone complains about the conduct of our people. Undoubtedly with the uncanny behavior no one has anything to gain but a lot to lose.
Courage is another aspect of personality which helps you to have a positive attitude. Someone wrote, ‘life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’. How true! A person who lacks courage can hardly live life. They just exist, like other living beings. Life comprises a series of events. Some are to our liking. Others are not so good and certain others very disturbing. The Bhagvad Gita teaches us that all such events good or bad have to be borne by each individual with a calm mind. If you have courage, you may face these without fear. But if you lack courage there could be some horrifying experiences even though the events remain the same.

One may belong to any religion, they usually pray before any dire encounter. Prayer has a certain power. In fact courage is not the absence of fear. Human beings when faced with an unexpected untoward situation are bound to face fear. When you decide to embark upon a challenging situation, you are fully aware of the danger involved. You may be struck with fear but you still go ahead. It only means that you have conquered that fear. Courage is not absence of fear. Courage is nothing but conquering the fear.

Great success can be achieved by someone who adds perseverance to courage and kindness. When you do that even the most difficult tasks can be completed with ease. In fact lives of all great men clearly illustrate that they had courage, were always kind, and they allpersevered.

6. Good Communication Skills are Critical
We all communicate verbally right from the time we are able to speak. In fact babies start communicating immediately after birth. As we grow the social considerations keep on shaping our communication skills. Besides, the influence of people around, parents, teachers, friends and others we meet also create an impact. We can develop and maintain good communication skills only with regular review of our ability regarding communications

7. Effective Speaking:
First of all it is necessary to have strong content. Content is the king. Effective communications take this into account more than any other aspect of life. Content means domain knowledge. You can’t fool people with shallow thoughts. Much less you can impress them. Lot of hard work goes into acquiring knowledge. The biggest problem is seen when you have worthwhile knowledge but you can’t use into your advantage due to lack of effective speech. Your expression remains impaired. People would barely know that you are a storehouse of useful information.
Then what should you do? Become a good speaker. Practice the art and science of speaking clearly, confidently and convincingly.
How do you speak clearly? You must understand that speech in the result of decision to communicate. First thinking clarifies the idea you want to project to the listener or a group of listeners. Then brain sends a signal to the lungs and some breath is released. Breath strikes the vocal cord to produce sound. But the words are created by the speech organs. So in order to speak clearly, think clearly. Cultivate habit of deep breathing. It enables to have sufficient breath to support strength of your voice. This will also enable you to speak longer sentence without breathing in between. The flow of speech will enable ideas to flow smoothly.

8. Active listening:

Communication does not mean only effective speaking. In fact, it is the beginning point.

But even more important is active listening. Active listening will bring about the results that you are looking for. You communicate with someone or a group of listeners with an objective. How can you influence others? You can do so by listening to them actively and with your speech. How do you find whether you are a good listener or not? I give below a checklist which is self- expletory.
Checklist:

i) Don’t think of what you are going to say next when another person is speaking. Just focus on understanding and assimilating what he/she has to say.

ii) You must listen with an open mind. Don’t try to relate with your own experience, similar experience. When someone is relating a story in support of his argument, your tendency to evaluate should be given a pause. Never be judgmental, as they say.

iii) When you are listening, try to recreate mentally what the other person is saying objectively.

iv) Try to see things from the speaker’s point of view. Empathize and be compassionate while listening.

v) Try to uncover the intent of the speaker. All speakers may not be terse. Their verbosity may require a little extra effort on your part to understand the intent. Make this extra effort.

vi) Think what results you can produce through listening rather than speaking. If you want to influence people, you will be amazed to observe how listening comes in handy and helpful.

vii) Listen a minute longer than it is comfortable. That extra minute will give you extra input. In any case, you are having a dialogue for understanding the other’s point of view.

viii) Last but not the least; you must remember that your words of advice will be seen as unwanted noise. Never give an advice unless asked for. If you are not convinced and the solution demands that you must express your views, do that and say we agree to disagree!

9. Poise:

The Dictionary meaning of Poise is composure or self-possession or equilibrium.
Thus a poised person is self-assured and carries himself/herself gracefully and with dignity. For human beings the difficulty arises due to our emotions. If anything is not happening as per the expectation, the individual is likely to react in a way which is often irrational. It’s difficult to maintain poise. But with continuous practice, you can surely achieve. However, the benefits are immense. A poised person is able to deal with all kinds of people calmly and elegantly.

How to maintain poise? Psychologists after research have come to certain conclusions, which I would like to reproduce below:
The biggest enemy of poise is anger. Everyone would agree that anger is not beneficial to the individual under any circumstances. A person gets angry due to uncomfortable situations due to uncomfortable situations or due to his/her own inadequacies to meet the situations. One may also get angry if someone insults or speaks in a manner which is unworthy. But with practice one can meet all challenges. They can remain cool in all circumstances but this will happen with consistent efforts and self-awareness.

You should laugh with others even if joke is on you. Any sarcastic remarks can easily be laughed away. Apply mind to come out with the solution. This will happen if you take things in their stride.
Life is mixture of highs and lows. Good things are followed by challenges just like night falls after day the life does not offer a regular cycle like night and day. But both difficulties and happy moments are a part of everybody’s’ life. We need to be appreciated. Keep your spirit up even when things go wrong.

Ego is another enemy of poise. Unfortunately this malady is wide spread. It is found in most well-to-do people. Realizing that ego does not serve any purpose we should throw it out from our life.

10.Happiness:
In the dictionary, there is no proper definition for happiness. One has to find out his own definition which works for him/her. In simple words, it is a constant and continuous feeling of joy and contentment. It should not be momentary. Pleasures are momentary.
Whatever a person does, they ultimately do to find happiness. It is not a destination, but can be found in the journey of life. It is one’s choice to be happy. Whether one has everything or not, it is completely his choice to make himself happy with what he has. It is not a possession to be prized, but the quality of thoughts and state of mind. It is a sort of action. When one is wise, he makes others happy.
Some of the authors and other wise people say that today, the biggest problem in the world is that we are more interested in making others believe that we are happy than actually trying to be happy by the same resources.
It is just a belief that money and success can buy happiness. But on their own, these are deficient. Your decision to be happy plays the top role. Money, success, your decision, etc. are just few of the constituents of happiness, which are to be placed on their proper positions.
Happiness can’t be bought, but just created, felt, expressed or experienced. If it could have been bought, all would have paid a price for it. The best method to create happiness is to do the things which you love. It contributes a lot. And if that is not possible, then love the things which you

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6 Crucial Aspects of Thoughts & Communications

Your personality, conduct, activities and results depend on your thoughts and communications. Thoughts are important but communication is critical. Thought is a process of using your mind to consider something. Thought can also be a product of that process which may be known as idea. Such a thought or an idea is conscious deliberation but we get many thoughts without our conscious effort. Thus, we may be thinking of certain things at most inopportune times. For example during our prayer, if we are not able to concentrate, certain unhappy, weird or even obscene thoughts may just crop in. At times, it is difficult to control thoughts. It requires constant efforts on the part of our consciousness to meditate on certain topics. When we are totally involved in the process only then unnecessary unrelated thoughts can be kept at bay.

1. Positive Thoughts
We must have only positive thoughts. These positive thoughts will encourage us to take action on the decisions that we make. Wandering thoughts are a waste. Haphazard thinking on a subject or a problem will not lead us anywhere. So the important point is that we must have an objective before starting to meditate on any subject. Solutions to problems can be found or worked out only after deep thinking, focusing or meditating on the subject.
How to secure positive thoughts? Positive environment will surely help breed positive thoughts. When you see only good things, listen and read good material, it will help generating positive thoughts. Thus, we should expose ourselves to decent and encouraging media. It’s also good to have role model/models that would influence our thoughts. Since thoughts also depends on our interaction with others, so good progressive people as our contacts will be helpful.
2. Our Wishes and Desires
Our wishes and desires also influence our thoughts. Therefore it is best to fix goals: short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals. After crystallizing the goals it’s necessary to devise action points and to act on these. At the same time, reviewing them regularly is necessary. Such a course of action will surely carve out the course of our thoughts. Since we can always school our desires or wishes which should be positive we will be able to generate positive thoughts.

3. Goals, Thoughts and Action
Once we have fixed our goals and our action points, if we keep on thinking about these, we will be encourage to take action. When we action our plan it gives satisfaction. This in turn enhances our self esteem and believe in ourselves. On the one side we moved towards achievement of our goals, on the other we are creating an environment for nurturing positive thoughts

It may also be worth to think of our major achievements of the past. We may have had identify the pillars of our success but recollecting this is also helpful. At the same time lessons that we have learnt from our failures during the past should also not be ignored.
On an average an individual has around 50000 thoughts during 24 hours. The above process will control our thoughts during the period that we are awake. However thought process continuous during our sleep. These cause various dreams good or bad. Our day to day positive thoughts and believe in ourselves is bound to have positive impact on our thoughts during the sleeping hours.

Productivity of an organization is a collaborative effort of all the stack holders where:
There are no misunderstandings….managers communicate clearly the tasks to be performed by the employees….
Good listening skills empower the staff to correctly perceive and work in tandem… gathering the relevant data and presenting to the higher ups for policy decisions….
All above and many more productivity relating activities depend on communications. Therefore, good communication skills form the nucleus of a progressive organization. Clear effective communications at all level are necessary for an organization to prosper. The wastages are cutout and both the employees and customers find their satisfaction using this highly effective tool. Let’s look at the following:

4. Good Communication avoid Misunderstanding: Misunderstandings created by poor communications can be very expensive to the organization. The resulting confusion can cause heavy losses. Unclear instructions often make the juniors confused and afraid to clarify. The result is disastrous.

5. Good Communications Provide Direction: The team efforts have to be aligned with the company’s vision and goals. It’s only when all concerned contribute to the goals that both top line and bottom line rise. This is not possible without effective communication.


6. Good Communications Breed Healthy Culture: every organization carves out a culture of its own. When the staff members coming from different backgrounds effectively communicate with each other, corporate culture becomes healthy. Therefore good training in communications is critical towards promoting a healthy corporate culture.

Focused Articulate Communication Encourages Accountability .It’s only when an organization practices effective communications skills that the staff are empowered to keep one another accountable. Effective communication provides such instruction as enables each employee to know exactly what is expected of him/her. In the process a good level of accountability with one another is maintained. This in turn increases productivity.
In the competitive environment of today, business houses have to harness their resources to maintain an edge in the market place. This is possible only if at every level clear, lucid communications are practiced.
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Hare and The Tortoise – New and Improved!

The Hare and The Tortoise
Long ago when I was young and in school, I read a story, of the Hare and the Tortoise. They ran a race.

We all know that the Hare rightly thought that the he was fast. But he was wrong in thinking that he could take his victory for granted. He fell asleep during the race. The Tortoise overtook him and won.

Later on, the Management Gurus made some additions to the story.
Having lost the race, the Hare does some contemplation. He is unhappy that in spite of the fact that he is a fast runner, because of his casual behavior he lost the race. Now he decided that true to his speed, he must win the race and gain back the lost self-esteem.
So he went to the Tortoise. He said “Lets have another race”. The Tortoise agreed. And they had another race. This time the Hare, did not take it casually. He did not sleep on the way and won the race by a handsome margin.
The Tortoise was sad. At the same time he felt that since his speed is slow, it was just natural that the Hare won the race. But he decided that he must find a way to win back his lost glory. He applied his mind and thought of a plan. After clarifying the plan in mind he went to the Hare and invited him for another race.


The Hare readily agreed. He knew that he would never commit the mistake done in the first race. But then the Tortoise said that this time I will decide the route. The Hare agreed. The route was planned in such a fashion that there were two-three ponds on the way.  When the race began, the Tortoise slowly ran on the land but easily swam through the ponds. On the other hand, the hare had to run around the ponds and lost a lot of time for covering the distance. The result was that the Tortoise won the race this time. He was happy that with his clever plan he could win the race from the Hare who was obviously faster and smarter than him. He credited himself that it was the victory of his wisdom.
The Hare was very upset for some time. But then he thought, why not make friends with the Tortoise. He had some qualities and abilities, while the Tortoise had some others. If pooled together both could become a great force. So he went to the Tortoise, and suggested to him that they would one again follow the same route; but that occasion they would not race each other. He said, “We will try to cover the distance, in the shortest possible time”. The Tortoise thought for some time, brooded over, and asked the Hare to explain what he intended to do.

The Hare said I am smart and fast. You are slow, but wise. Let us pool our speed and wisdom. Let us try to cover the distance in the shortest possible time.  So they ran again – this time together.  At first the Hare carried Tortoise on his back, but when they came to the pond, it was the Tortoise who swam across, carrying the Hare on his back. In this manner they were actually make it to the finishing line, much sooner than before.

The moral of this story is that if we work together, we win together!
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How to be an Effective Leader:

In the competitive environment of today, it is essential for all Leaders (even if you lead one person) to be passionate and highly motivated. Leadership by hierarchy is no longer valid.
How to be an effective Leader? How to develop Leadership Qualities? What is the first step?
The first and foremost quality leaders must have is a passion for whatever they do? Doing anything half-heartedly does not work today. A passion for becoming an excellent public speaker could be the first step. A public speaker is like a performer, a stage actor – they eagerly desire to perform. Passion enables them to perform. They enjoy what they do, and their passion to do the same more and more wholeheartedly increases. Initial difficulties are eradicated and they become successful in their mission.
Furthermore, if a leader is passionate about a job, followers are likely to follow suit. Business becomes easier. Passion also helps to maintain enthusiasm which in turn is contagious. That should therefore be the foremost quality of an effective leader. Being a store house of energy. In fact, most of the time that people are away, they are at work. So if during the work you are enjoying and happy, life becomes very interesting and significant. One starts loving life. That is what Leaders do.

“Stay hungry; Stay foolish!” were the words of Steve Jobs which was the essence of his famous speech at the Stanford University. Hunger for knowledge can never be satiated. The more you learn, the more you desire to learn. Knowledge is endless. A good Leader’s hunger for knowledge should also be endless. That is what made Steve Jobs a most revered Leader in technology and business. Quest for knowledge makes you realize that you never know enough. Besides, this also helps in keeping your ego at bay. And growth comes as a by-product of your efforts to learn and to thwart ego.

The next important quality a Leader must have is discipline. If you are passionate and if you are hungry you will probably go on the right road of your destination. But the road is never smooth. It may have many hurdles which you have to overcome. Discipline teaches you to do something that needs to be done at a particular time. Sometimes you may like to do it, and sometimes you may not like to do it. But discipline motivates you to finish your task in both situations. As a Leader it is critical to have 100% commitment for your mission.
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Golden Rules to Build Your Confidence

Lack of Confidence
First of fall we need to understand the reason for lack of confidence. Lack of confidence is due to a fear of one kind or another (mostly unfounded). As an American wrote, “my life was full of misfortunes which never happened”.


Of course, one need not be reckless. Yet, harboring fear never helps. We need to think rationally and pen down what makes us afraid and why. This process helps remove some of the fear and begins the path of building confidence.

A famous Management Guru one said that there are four ‘C’s which form the foundation of an individual’s growth and a Company’s progress. These four virtues are – Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Consistency. The most important of these happen to be Confidence. If absence of confidence the other virtues will simply disappear.
It is said that “they conquer who believe they can”. Self-belief is thus the second important factor in building up confidence. Confidence emerging out of self-belief is necessary for any significant achievement. New opportunities always carry some incidence of chance. For taking any initiative you must be prepared to take calculated risk. In fact not taking any risk is the biggest risk of life.


Further, Confidence enables you to trust yourself. And if you don’t trust yourself, nobody else will. No one will feel secure in placing any responsibility on you. That will be the dead end. There is no further growth.
Lost Opportunities
Often we do not see opportunities because we are not interested. On the face of it, lack of desire acts as a strong handicap in our progress and growth. But, Confidence trains our mind to desire what the situation demands. It makes us alert enough to recognize and seize emerging opportunities. With desire created by confidence we look ahead, strive hard and succeed

Confidence breeds courage 
For taking risk of any kind one needs to have courage. If we have confidence; we will be able to rise up to the demands of the situation. So we must go ahead and take calculated risk. Courage enables us to move ahead! Yet, if there is no confidence it will be very difficult to harness courage.

Smile
Most people lack self-confidence. You can help them! Smile. Your smile will reassure them. You will be doing a great job helping them to gain confidence. This is particularly true when somebody is meeting a new group of people. We must also remember that the more we are helping others to gain confidence, the more we enhance our own self-confidence! We help ourselves too!!!
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What is most Important for Success- Knowledge, Power or Wealth?

At our learning centre, we recently held a discussion on- “What is important for success- knowledge, power or wealth?”

Importance of Power


The participants in the discussions were entrepreneurs, corporate executives, bankers and others. Different views were presented by the speakers. Some considered knowledge as most important factor. They enumerated examples of successful people who had risen from being unknown to highly rated successful individual by consistently acquiring knowledge and gainfully using it. Knowledge in such cases did not necessarily mean any university degree or such other qualification. Knowledge, here, denotes application of mind of the practical knowledge received through any medium and using the same for earning name, fame and wealth. Steve Jobs is one such example. Our own Dhirubhai Ambani is another. Even Warren Buffet’s story is no different. It is rags to riches. While academic Knowledge has also helped lots of people to become successful and famous.

Importance of Power


The role of power in success, too, cannot be undermined. Politicians achieve power and then use the same to achieve greater power. This is how power helps them to be successful. In the present scenario, a powerful politician can introduce his/her son or daughter to become a nominated leader and in the process achieve success in politics. Many politicians, today, are following this model of leadership succession. Likewise, a powerful bureaucrat can use his power to help his friend relative to achieve success.

Importance of Wealth


Wealth can buy knowledge and power. So, one may say that if you have money, you can achieve any goal by hiring people, facilities to create any large project and achieve success.  But without Knowledge achieved through experience it is very difficult to see the success of a large project. Political leaders can no doubt introduce their wards in leadership succession through the power they wield, but unless they   ensure that the latter gain sufficient experience, the entrant may not be successful.  Knowledge acquired through experience alone will bring success to them. Here too, Knowledge gained with experience becomes important. Power alone will not work.
So, the fact of the matter is that knowledge learnt through studies or gained through experience is indeed very important in any field.
But, it needs to be remembered that the meaning of success has to be defined by each and every individual in his/her own terms.
How should one do that? That will be a subject of another post.

Thank you. for Reading ?

How to realize your Ultimate Dream? Happiness!

Happiness is your own individual decision

Total freedom to your pursuit of Happiness

Age no bar for Pursuit of Happiness

Everyone in his/her life pursues various objectives and goals with the ultimate objective of achieving happiness. ‘Pursuit of the happiness’, these words initially used by US president Jeffereson Devis. Subsequently they were made popular by Martin Luther king in his famous speech ‘I have a dream’. No doubt, everyone has a right to pursue happiness in whichever way the person likes. However, very often we are so much involved in daily routine that we are carried away by the string of events. In the process, we lose focus on what we are trying to achieve. It will be a good exercise for each one of us to reflect on  these words and work out and define what is how you plan to pursue your happiness.
Firstly, we must understand that happiness is not just momentary pleasures of life. I do not say that pleasures of life should not be there. But that these should be only a part of our larger plan, which should addresses some or all of the related features of happiness. The following aspects are of immense importance in an individual’s life.
Your attitude to life. One must have a positive attitude. Life is full of ups and downs. There could be challenges, successes and failures. Positive attitude means just to accept these as a part of life. You become a witness or an observer of what is going.  At the same time, use your discretion to take decisions. It’s only then that we understand that we can remain composed and maintain our poise in turbulent times. In fact, it is necessary to maintain our poise even in the happiest time. None of the two situations last forever. Like every night is followed by the day. Every day is followed by night. But in life it may not be in the same order and the durations may also vastly differ.

Importance persistent efforts towards achieving your Goals for Happiness: In order that you pursue happiness, you must define your goals: in all of the following aspects. When we are working towards achievement of our Goals, we feel satisfaction for the efforts made. Besides, persistent efforts are bound to produce desired results. This process of efforts, and achieving encouraging results of our Goals make us happy, Continue doing this and be happy. Happiness is a journey not a destination.

  1. Health goals. Good mental and physical health is extremely important if you want to lead a happy life. Doing what is necessary to keep good health is everyone’s duty. Regular exercise, following proper food routine and maintaining positive attitude can ensure that you are moving towards your health goals from day to day. Yet, it is a continuous process to pursue throughout the life.
  2. Career/ financial goals. If you are successful in your career it expected that you will also do your financial and remain comfortable but you have to fine tune of your objectives and follow the plan as devised.
  3. Your family is undoubtedly equally important and should feature in your pursuit of happiness, according to our own Indian tradition. The importance of finance and family are critical in your pursuit.
  4. Then comes  your social goals. What do you want to contribute to the society and what you actually do, determines how successful you are in following social goals. Here again,  you need to define and then follow your plan of action. The amount of success you achieve in your social goals will add up in your happiness. It will also determine how the society perceives and respects you. In other words, it means your reputation is reflected by what and how you contribute to the society.
  5. For leading a fuller, complete life you must pursue some hobbies. At least one. It could be music. It could be painting .It could be some sport. It could also be travelling, writing etc. But the important thing is that you have atlaest one hobby on which you able to spend some time. It must not only for name sake.
  6. Last but not the least your spiritual goals are also important. We all know that no one has to stay here forever. Sooner or later we must depart. We don’t know where. This uncertainty needs your spiritual pursuit. Whichever religion you may follow, you must define your spiritual goals. These will eventually define how you are remembered after your departure.

In the end I would like to say that understanding life is so important that its significance must never be undermined. Ups and downs are inextricably intertwined in our day to day life. Acceptance scores our expectations is something we must all remember in our pursuit for happiness.

 
Thank you for your reading.

4 Faces of Persistence

Persistence is perhaps the most important reason of anyone’s success in life. The 4 faces of persistence that I have chosen to discuss are:

  1. What is persistence? Its definition.
  2. The road blocks or the difficulties faced for persistence.
  3. How to develop persistence if it is not the part of your personality?
  4. Last but not the least, how does persistence help you to achieve your goals? This discussion will contain examples of the leaders who are the shining stars in this respect. Let us deal with each of this 4 faces in detail.

Face 1: How do we recognize the ability to persevere in anyone’s personality? What have the leaders and thinkers in the past stated about persistence? The review will enable us not only to understand but also to assimilate the virtues of persistence. Following are the famous quotes of great leaders and thinkers from different fields

  1. Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never, never give up!”
  2. Buddha: “A jug fills drop by drop”
  3. Samuel Johnson: “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance”
  4. Napoleon Hill: “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop”
  5. Albert Einstein: “It is not that I’m so smart, it is just that I stay with problems longer”
  6. Ralph Waldo Emerson: “By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little, you gain the great.
  7. Unknown: “It is when things get tough and you don’t quit that success comes”
  8. Unknown: “The darkest hour is just before the dawn”

In fact your persistence in following your project measures your faith in yourself.
Face 2: The moot question is persistence if understood to be so important for progress; then why it is missing in almost 90% of the educated working class. It is difficult to find one common answer for all those who lack perseverance. A study of the human behavior assigns the following reasons why perseverance is missing in most of the people.
i) Accepting life as it comes. The habit of living life in a certain way which does not require to stretch out of your comfort zone does not allow one to think beyond.
ii) Sometimes, the problem starts during our formal education. The education system does not emphasize the important of simplicity in dissemination of the knowledge. Complex instruction affects the student’s ability to understand and assimilate. As a result there is a tendency of the mind to go somewhere else. Important of persistence does not come in to the picture.
iii) Lack of patience, inability to take risk and inadequate courage also act as deterrents.

  1. iv) Goals of life should be specified and written down by each individual. Our goals inspire us to persevere in order to achieve them. When there are no goals there is no inspiration.

Face 3: How to develop persistence
i We must specify our goals and they should be written down. The goals can be according to your priorities. The subject of our goals can be: health goals, career and financial goals, and family goals etc. You may add any other goal as per your liking. But, these should be time bound. These will inspire you to persist in your efforts for achieving these.
ii) Meditation is very useful. It enables you to review that you are moving forward in the right direction. When you meditate on any subject, the mind will keep on wandering and providing inputs on the subjects. This means that in the back of your mind you will keep on thinking about your goals. Meditation is not related to any particular faith. You may sit down and meditate on your breath or any other object. But make background thoughts hover around your goals.
iii) A detailed plan of action in pursuance of your daily tasks as well as weekly will be very helpful.
iv) And, above all the most important action that you can take, to bring persistence in your personality is to love your job. When you enjoy your work you are encouraged to continue doing what needs to be done.
Face 4: The benefits of persistence. These are immense. Progress in any project that you may undertake will become easier than you may imagine. Big difficult projects will not frighten you. You will gladly undertake these knowing fully well that these will require your consistent hard work. Your commitment to your mission becomes impeccable. The lives of great leaders of the world tell us innumerable success stories of those who failed many times before achieving success. Some of the well known examples are: Abraham Lincoln who failed repeatedly before becoming successful, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and our own Mahatma Gandhi. You may find any number of examples that you may like when you go through the pages of world history.

                                                         
Thanks for reading.
 

How to achieve Leadership Excellence?



What is leadership excellence? What are the important features? How is it supposed to be pursued? These are the questions that we will consider. There are 6 steps, which I think, that a leader needs to take in order to pursue excellence. These are:
The leader’s attitude is very important. Self awareness too is very significant. But more importantly, proper implementation of any idea in great detail is critical. Other 3 important aspects  are- accepting responsibility, realizing that pursuing  excellence is your own choice and determination, and finally the leader must be  must ensure that the team members are in a position to live up to the leader’s expectations. Having said that, let us now deal with each of these 6 steps one by one.
Step 1. Any idea or plan must be executed/implemented with great precision. In fact the quality of implementation of an idea is even more important than the idea itself. Leading management Gurus advocate that ‘A’ quality implementation of     ‘B’ quality plan is more productive then ‘B’ quality implementation of ‘A’ quality plan. When we look through the finer details of any task, we are able to follow its original objectives. But it doesn’t happen if we overlook the details. Excellence is a continuous process. It is not just an event. It is not just an accident. But it is your choice which you follow step by step, always. This becomes easier if you love every moment of your life and therefore if you love everything that your do from moment to moment.
Step 2. Your attitude is extremely important. Excellence is not just a skill like those skills you require for doing anything correctly and nicely. Excellence is your attitude to do every job with at most care and while enjoy at the same time. Precision and enjoyment may appear to be incompatible but they are not. There is no doubt  that you have to follow this practice of using eye for detail and getting satisfaction for following the finer details at the same time.
Step 3. The good news is that there is no preparation required to pursue excellence for the leader. It depends entirely on their choice- decision and determination to follow the decision. One may decide just now that henceforth from the next moment onwards he/she will do everything while pursuing excellence. Sometimes there may be time constraints and other such difficulties. But the pursuit of excellence teaches  you make best use of the available resources. Some people talk of discipline. Excellence is not discipline. It does not ensure quality of work which can be classified in the required category. Discipline is defined as that you must do something at a time when it needs to be done even when you don’t like to do. In a way it cages you while the ‘excellence’ knows no such restrictions. It emerges from the application of your mind and the joy that your draw out of doing something that you like to do.

Step 4. The 4th important step that leader must take is to accept responsibility for excellence in a group life. The leader does not teach his follower to achieve perfection. Perfection is unattainable. But when you chase perfection you catch up with excellence. The leader ensures that his/her followers understand it very well. Such leaders have the ability to motivate the followers to such an extent that the commitment of the followers becomes as strong as that of their leader. This is particularly true in respect of the political leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King is one such example. But for him Barak Obama would not have become the President of USA.
Step 5. Self awareness is something that the leader must practice. It trains him/her to observe their actions from moment to moment. They develop the ability to change their action as per the requirement of changed circumstances. Their decision making process does not suffer a jolt even if most unexpected event take place. In our sacred book, ‘The Bhagwat Gita’ such a person is known as ‘Stith Pragya Purush’. It depicts not only the alertness of the mind but also the coordination between the mind and the reaction which lead to necessary speech and or action.
Step 6. Last but not the least the leader has to be realistic. They can pursue excellence only if their expectations are reasonable. Any unachievable task if set before the team is bound to de-motivate them.  This does not mean that the team member can take things easy. Life is such that for achieving any significant result you have to stretch yourself. It’s the leaders job that he practices not only himself but also ensures that the team member follow suit.
When the leader undertakes their journey as per the steps enumerated above, it is then that the leadership excellence is pursued.




Thanks for reading.

11 Attributes successful people should never have !

It is necessary to identify the negativity in your attitude. What is negative attitude? Negative attitude is when you start focusing on the problems that you might face during your efforts to achieve your goals. It is the lack of hope that things will happen to help you out in your mission. It is the feeling that people will not help you because on earlier occasions you met with rejections. Negative attitude is the lack of your conviction that you can overcome the hurdles that you might face during your journey. In a sense, negative attitude is also a lack of belief in you. Some more symptoms of negative attitude are enumerated below:

1.Laziness: When you think you don’t have the energy to get up and do the work. Sometimes you don’t even think and realize that laziness is simply whiling away the time. It is not even procrastination which will be described separately.

2.Low self esteem: It is an extremely harmful attribute in your personality. You start thinking that you are good for nothing. You accept the situations in which you are because your self esteem is so low that you think you can do nothing better.

3.Low productivity: Work has a strange tendency of expanding as per the time available. Even worse is when no time is allotted for the completion of a task. This gives you a feeling of solving certain important problems whereas in fact you are just being satisfied in remaining busy. This approach will never allow you to increase your productivity. For doing more in a given time, you have to stretch yourself. Therefore is it necessary that you allot specific time duration for a task. In the beginning, the allocation may seem difficult, but once you form a habit it will become much easier. Difficult or easy, it is necessary.

2.Low self esteem: It is an extremely harmful attribute in your personality. You start thinking that you are good for nothing. You accept the situations in which you are because your self esteem is so low that you think you can do nothing better.

4.Lack of initiative: For any significant progress, initiative is necessary. What is initiative? Initiative is your first step for going ahead with a task. When it is something new, you have to creatively think and courageously take the first step, even if there is some risk. No risk is the biggest risk in life. Any significant initiative cannot be taken to move forward without accepting this reality. So don’t be afraid to take initiative.

5.Not listening to understand: In the course of conversations, sometimes we tend to focus so much on what we have to say, that we stop listening to the other person. This is particularly so when the speaker has said something for which we have a ready argument to negate what he has said. Unfortunately, such a habit does not allow us to listen and assimilate what the speaker says after that. Evidently it leads to miscommunication and problems. The solution is first understand and then be understood.6.

6.Faking: We feel envious of some people who are more successful in the material sense than we think that they deserve. Such a feeling leads us to a myth that it is their style which makes them successful and we try to imitate their conduct. This is a extremely bad situation. We lose belief in ourselves, and how can we expect that others will believe us.

7.Not trying to express: When we have certain ideas, but either we do not want to express, or we are afraid to express, is also indicative of our negative attitude. It is necessary to develop an ability to express without hesitation. The fear of rejection which takes away your ability to act is one of the serious handicaps.

8.Not learning lessons from mistakes: There is no one who does not commit mistakes. Whenever we undertake something new, mistakes may happen. This is normal. However, repeating the same mistake again and again, is neither normal, nor should be acceptable. Thus we must learn lessons from our past mistakes and use these lessons to direct our future efforts.


9.Ego: Ego happens to be another aspect of personality which does not allow us to grow. Ego comes in the way of our approaching people to help us. It makes us believe that it is below our dignity to seek help. A success Guru had said that there are eleven principles of achieving success. And what are these eleven principles? These are, ask, ask, ask….(eleven times).

10.Jealousy: Jealousy is a negative emotion which keeps sapping our creative energies. We gain nothing in the process. It makes us feel as victims of fate or poor destiny. Jealousy may even take away our sound sleep. The worst part is that sometimes it cannot be contained, it goes on swelling. Jealousy must be thwarted out of the personality.

11.Avoiding hard work: There is only one way to success, and that is the hard way. If we habitually seek short cuts it will be very difficult for us to work hard. What is working hard? When you are fully devoted to completing the job and you forget even your surroundings, you continue to work even when you are tired because you want to complete. That aspect of work may be termed as hard work. Initially it may be very difficult, but then one can form a habit. For any significant progress, hard work is necessary.