“People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they don’t find them, they make them!” These words of George Bearnard Shaw are more relevant today than ever before. In the continuous changing society, it is imperative to rely on knowledge, process and technology – all three to keep pace with the change. Leaders must keep in mind the following aspects for effectively ensuring and properly implementing change in the organisations they lead. These are:
1. Innovation: The leader should have the the ability to innovate. This requires imagination, knowledge and perspective, and a thorough understanding of the organisation he leads.
2. Personal Involvement: It is necessary for the leader to be personally involved for the efficacy of the strategy to bring about change. He can not carry out the same by proxy.
3. The Leader should know what needs to be done in general, though not in detail. This should be true at every stage of change management.
4. The Leader must be able to deal with ambiguity and be willing to take the required risks. Not taking any risks is the biggest risk.
5. Above all, the leader must understand and correctly assess how much the organisation can change and at what speed. Satish Kakri, Director – Nimble Foundation
Persistence is perhaps the most important reason of anyone’s success in life. The 4 elements of Persistence including its definition and explanation 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 elements in detail.
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.
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.
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.
3: How to develop persistence 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. Keep on thinking about these goals at least once everyday. 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 to believe that you have achieved these goals.
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.
Loved breeds happiness. And when you make others happy, you are loved. There is a close bond between love and happiness. How does listening help you in being loved and being happy? This is the subject of our discussion in this essay. The feeling that you are being loved brings you satisfaction. It enhances your self esteem and results in happiness. When others care for you, you feel important and when they listen to you, you feel significant and elated which adds to your happiness. Same is true when you listen to them. They feel comfortable and enjoy your company.
Let’s deal with the subject by considering the following 3 questions: What is good listening? How does it help you to being loved? How does it help you to be happy?
Question 1. What is good listening?
i)It requires you to put your agenda aside and totally devote to understanding and assimilating what is being said. You don’t listen to give a reply, but you just listen to understand. The moment you become keen to give a reply, your mind will start analyzing the speech from your own perspective. It will hinder your ‘objective’ understanding. ii) Your attention need to be fully in the present. There should be no thoughts about the past nor should you think about future.
iii) You need also to understand the body language of the speaker. And, this would include eye contact, posture, facial expression etc. iv) Listening needs to be non-judgmental. You must not allow your likes and dislikes or personal prejudice to affect the meaning the speakers wants to project. v) To be listened is so important for the people that many a times they will like to be understood rather than just granted the request what they requested. vi) Active listening calls for you to listen about 80% of the time without interruption balance 20% of the time you may ask questions which clarify what they say. This is indeed an attribute of good listening. vii) You also need to make it known to the speaker that you are attentively listening. Thus, your nods with your head and words like ‘Yes’hmm ‘I see, I agree go long way to make be you an adept active listener.
viii) You will indeed enjoy your choice of active listening with the results that you will derive from the activity.
Question 2. How does active listening help you to being loved?
Now we can consider how listening actively makes others happy and make you in turn happy. They not only respect you but they love you if you actively listen to what they say. The speaker feels that he/she are important when you carefully listen to them. They are reassured that you care for them. In turn they will care for you. The speaker thinks that they have some worthy ideas that is being expressed. And if you don’t listen to them with due attention, they will feel let down. But if on the other hand you not only listen but also make it known that you have listened, the speaker will feel elated and happy and so will you be. Respect is always mutual, you have to earn respect. You have to make others happy to receive positive vibes making you happy in return.
Besides, better listening rids you of any bitter discussion. You understand that these are futile. Avoiding arguing, you also avoid bitterness which often is the result of trying to win an agreement. Active listening empowers you to hold your opinion without any offence. Because of your listening skills you are in a position to offer you opinion in a relevant manner. When your conversation with everyone becomes more meaningful, both of you enjoy it. Undoubtedly it brings happiness. Exchange of ideas in such a situation brings about a lot of learning on both sides. Continuous learning raises your self –esteem which in turn makes you satisfied with yourself and be contented. In fact, even between the spouses the problem starts with one not listening to other. One feels ignored and the problem starts. Left unattended, it grows into unmanageable differences. If we are unhappy at home or at the work, place life is messed up. Children too turn rebellious because they feel that parents don’t try to understand them. In the fast changing world today maintaining good relations is more challenging than ever. Yet good relationship is emanating from better understanding which forms the foundation of respect and love. So if you want to be loved by others listen to them and make them feel that they are loved. If you want to gain happiness distribute the same among others who will gladly reciprocate.
Question 3. How does Good Listening help you to be Happy?
Every living being has physiological needs and safety needs. Living being must have food to live and is keen to care for life. That part is survival story. No happiness is involved. But, after survival needs are fulfilled, psychological needs come to the fore for human beings. As social entities, humans want to have a feeling of belonging. It’s an experience that they belong to a community, a family or a group gives them a feeling of satisfaction. If they are alone and uncared their psychological craving of togetherness disturbs them.
Often, we find that we become sad due to some small reason. It could be anything which happened not as we had visualized. It could be erroneous behavior of somebody we relied on and things like that. But sadness never helps us. It further aggravates the problem. We lose time. We lose energy too. When we are sad, we do not feel like doing something which will be self satisfying. In fact we would not like to work on any project where application of mind and some physical efforts are required. So what should we do? In any case we should try to conquer the malady and come out of it. But how can we do that? I am giving below some such actions which have proved to be very useful if you suffer from the state of sadness.
Practice mindfulness Mindfulness is focusing on the present. When we are sad and when we know that sadness is not going to help we should encourage ourselves to do something creative. No doubt mindfulness is difficult. But with practice it can become a matter of habit. It will have multiple advantages. You become a better manager of time. You will understand that sadness is sheer wastage of time which can be better utilized by doing something which you love. Time is better utilized in doing something creative.
2. Learn to forgive others and also yourself. Oftentimes, it is observed that primary reason of becoming sad is our observation that we have not lived up to the demand of the situation and/or occasion. We have not carried out our duty the way it should have been done. Thus we tend to become sad because of our own mistakes. At such times, you need to realize that it is not abnormal. People at all levels make mistakes. Try to think if you have met anybody who doesn’t make mistakes; you will find none. Thus, there is no reason to be upset with you. Forgive yourself and move on. Sadness can also occur when we are betrayed by some of colleague, family member, social associate etc. But in reality people are always more concerned with their own interest. Therefore it is not something uncommon when there is a clash of interest they will not bother about our expectation from them even if they had promised to do. But, as you must forgive yourself, you need to forgive them as well. This will surely bring peace.
Start doing some exercise. Exercise takes away your attention away from the current sadness. You start to focus on doing something which requires energy as well as application of mind. Survey reveals that this type of distraction is very valuable to conquer sadness. You don’t have to run a marathon. You can simply go for a walk but in a lively place. If you are a member of a club and it is within your reach then go to the club and enjoy the company of your friends or even other people who are not very close to you. It will change your mood. The change in atmosphere will also help.
Ward of negative self talk It has been observed that when you are sad you start thinking of the past when you were in similar state. This has, unfortunately, a snowballing effect. You must remind yourself that you have to deliberately come out of undesirable state. It is your interest not to remain in that state. It will definitely require your initiative determination and action. Not easy! But with practice it becomes achievable.
Use distraction If there is something that you have been postponing, think of that and start working on the same. Let it a kind of useful distraction. You can even start playing with your pet if you have one. You may read a book that you have been wanting to read. Do anything that will take you away from the current state. But somehow you have to try your best to change. Or just go out and do something, some work of yours which is either pending or which can resolved with some effort.
Shift to a well lighted, lively place It is been observed that if you tend to stay in a place which is not well lighted you remain sad. If you are sitting in your own room and you find it boring, because you have not brought about any change, its better to find some lively well lighted place. Go there in any which way particularly when you’re not in a happy mood.
Listen to live music If you’re fond of music then try to pick up some nice happy songs which you have been enjoying in the past. It will renew your happy memories. Music is a wonderful tool for changing your mood and making you at peace with yourself. If at all music does not interest you, which is very unlikely, then you can start working on any of your favorite hobby. Spend some time on it so that you don’t keep on brooding over things which have brought about state of sadness.
First, you must write down your goals in clear specific language. Then start with not only visualising but also seeing your goals as clearly as you have written down. For example, if your goal is to go to Italy and visit Venice, activate your imagination and see that you are in a boat in Venice. Likewise, if you want to buy a specific expensive car say BMW, you should imagine or see yourself riding the BMW.
You have to figure out that the sense of believing that you have already achieved the goal is to start looking at it.
Next, you need to understand the obstacles. If all things were very easy then nobody would need to create goals, write goals or work hard to achieve them. Things are not easy and they will never be easy. Once you see yourself achieving your specific goal, then you sit down and work out what are the kind of obstacles you might face. There will definitely be some obstacles, which you can visualize. And one more important thing to remember is that as you move forward towards achieving your goal, some unexpected obstacle will also come which you will have to conquer. It is only your determination, your decision and your perseverance that you will some way or the other help achieve the goal that you have already imagined.
Create a mental picture that the obstacles are coming and you are conquering all the obstacles. Imagine that there is an athlete who is running an obstacle race, while he is running fast; he is also crossing the obstacles. Likewise, now that you know what kind of obstacles will come, you imagine crossing those obstacles, picture yourself conquering those obstacles and still carrying on with your mission.
Many doubts can arise in your mind. It is normal. However, clear all the doubts, clear your mind of all doubts which often come, which are quite natural. You say to yourself, nothing doing, no such doubts will stop me from achieving my goal. I have a clear picture of achieving my goal, I am determined and I have created a mental picture of conquering my obstacles. Therefore, there is no doubt that I can do it. The goal itself is a challenge. And all the obstacles that you face while pursuing the goal, will also be kind of smaller challenges. Embrace the challenge. It is an opportunity which will definitely enhance your courage, which will give you more will power to pursue and to be successful. Stay on track. Keep up on the track following the same thing, which you have defined and seeing yourself achieving it. There should be no diversion. Staying on track will definitely make it easier for you to overcome the obstacles and reach your goal. Eventually show the world you can do it. As I say, SUCCESS stands for, S – See your goal U – Understand the obstacles C – Create positive mental pictures C – Clear your mind of self-doubts E – Embrace the challenges S – Stay on track S – Show the world you can do it. When the goal is a big project, define it and write it down. Then have a very strong desire for it. That is the kind of motivation, which is necessary to follow the steps that I have already mentioned.
Believe in yourself; that you can do it and then you will do it.
If it is an arduous task and a big project, split it up. Split it into smaller goals and then give a time line to those smaller goals. You must review these every day. You have to review what you have done. You have to check if you have come up to your expectations or not. This step is extremely important. Schedule it, add a timeline to all smaller goals and then do it. Thanks for reading.
Bad Habits Nearly everyone has a bad habit that they should break. Some people have less than others and some people’s bad habits are more grating than those of others. Bad habits like excessive drinking, smoking, biting the fingernails, etc., starts slowly and gradually. They jeopardize your health — both physically and mentally thereby wasting your time and energy. Bad habits are hard to give up, they are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out off. However, you can achieve anything with the right amount of willpower and a realistic plan of action. With persistence and right mind-sets, it’s possible to break your bad habits.
Here are some ideas for breaking your bad habits
1. Change one thing at a time It is most important that you don’t try to break all your bad habits, at once. You’re not a superhuman and trying to quit all your bad habits at the same time is probably going to be hard to achieve. Instead, prioritize and choose the habit that you need to change most urgently and then focus on that accordingly.
2.Prepare for weak moments A positive mindset is significant but if you’re not prepared for those weak moments this can be a biggest mistake. Try to remove temptations as that can help you prepare for those weak moments. For instance, clear the cupboards of junk food, keep some distance from friends who encourage you to smoke/ drink and avoid stressful situations.
3.Set regular reminders Bad habits are often so deeply ingrained in us that sometimes they can catch us unexpectedly. To help prevent those accidental slip-ups, try setting yourself regular reminders to resist those bag habits.
4.Reward your success The key to breaking bad habits is to make the process as rewarding and enjoyable, as possible. If you are facing difficulty focusing on the long-term benefits of breaking bad habits, then arrange small rewards for yourself as you go along to help keep you motivated.
5.Remind yourself why you’re breaking those habits In order to successfully break a bad habit, you have to be sure of your reason for breaking those habits. Find a solid reason for breaking your habit that really means something to you – such as improving your health, relationship or appearance – and keep your goal in sight. This will help you to carry on and stay strong in moments of weakness.
10 habits you must quit to be happy When you quit doing the bad things, you make more room for the things that make you happy. Aristotle, a great philosopher once said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit”.
The 10 habits which one must quit are:
Procrastination is the worst and most common habit that one must abandon. It doesn’t allow you to grow. It doesn’t allow you to perform your duty on time.
2. Respect yourself never underestimate your potential. You often criticise ourselves to the extent which is undesirable and totally uncalled for. If you respect ourselves then only others will respect us.
3. Oftentimes when we are not able to do our duty on time or somehow the work is done improperly & the results are unsatisfactory; even when this happens due to our fault we try to blame others. In this manner, we think that we have escaped responsibility but actually we loose because we don’t improve.
4. There are certain people or certain situations which are difficult to handle. We like to control. But these are uncontrollable. We should never try to change them instead we should try to rise above.
5. Unless you are asked to give your opinion you should never do that. The habit of criticising others or even advising others when advice is not called for is something which we must give up.
6. Change is inevitable. Everything which is earthly must change. It is necessary for us to adapt ourselves to the changed circumstances. If we resist change or if we try to avoid change that is the biggest mistake which we should never make.
7. Everyone has to face challenges. Difficulties are part of life. Instead of facing if you try to run away from them, that would not lead us anywhere. We shouldn’t do that.
8. Often we try to keep others. We try to show of which we are not. We feel shy of showing ourselves in our true nature. This indicates only low self-esteem and should always be avoided.
9. Living in the present moment is recommended by all. Yet it is seen that people keep on thinking about the past or they keep on worrying about the future. In the process they lose the opportunity to use the best time which is the present time. This habit should be given up.
10. The habit of complaining, the habit of thinking that fate has not done justice are again such habits which weaken us. These don’t allow us to exploit our full attention. These don’t allow us to use the most valuable resource that we all humans have which is TIME. It’s an unproductive bad habit. Give it up.