Have you Earned Your Laptop?

coffee-area-group-624x467Coffee machine conversations at work have a reputation of eating into productive time, not in my case, simply because I am surrounded by some very talented and experienced colleagues; their stories, thoughts and ideas are something which I look forward to.

Recently I happened to take a quick coffee break with my immensely talented and assiduous colleague who also happens to be a mom of two handsome boys. She wanted to share a recent experience from home, and as always, I was all ears.

Her elder son, who is 12 years old wanted a PC /Laptop. He thought he deserved one, and why not… don’t all boys his age need one, especially for a lot of googling, researching, gaming, social media etc.  He thought it would be easy, all he needed to do was ask his parents for a laptop and he would get it the very next day.

laptop-animatedMy colleague and her husband could very well afford the latest and the best laptop for their son, but they decided to teach him a valuable lesson, they decided to make him   ‘Earn his Laptop’. But the question was how. After a lot of brainstorming, the parents finally decided to relate it to their son’s interest in Robotics.If he wanted a laptop then he would have to work on a Robotics project . They expected him to create a project report, work on the specifications, explain its workings, identify the need of a 6GB RAM, 15 inches screen, 500GB Hard disk mean machine to create another.

That he did with complete dedication, endeavour and every bit of detailing even to the point of clearly justifying the use of a laptop for his project. It helped him think of how to use his laptop for something bigger, beyond gaming and social media….The result? He Earned his laptop, and his parents’ admiration too.

I heard the story, I looked at my watch, break done without coffee but with some great learning. I began to wonder, “Have “I” earned my laptop?”

Do you remember your first jeans bought with your first salary, the first gift you bought for your family, how proud you felt, your hard earned money. It was not about the money it was about how hard you  worked to earn it, it was more about the satisfaction.

The experience shared by my colleague, helped me look back and introspect:trust

When I expected people to trust me, was it preceded by worthwhile actions and words which helped me “Earn their Trust” or did I think of it is as just a “basic value I am entitled to” without even raising an arm.

When I expected people to respect me, was it after leading the way, displaying the art of respecting everyone and “Earning their Respect” or was it something I believed came stapled with the offer letter stating my designation.Respect.jpg

When I thought that I had the Right to give advice, to give feedback, to instruct, did I ever think that a “A Right may not be Right unless I have earned that Right.” 

Some very basic questions which return some very insightful answers.

What we earn comes as an achievement and what we expect comes as a grant. What we earn through our efforts, focus, commitments always leaves a sweet aftertaste. What we earn we cherish, not just for a few moments, but for a long, long time.

everything-is-worth-more-when-you-have-to-earn-it-quote-1

This helped me realise, “What I deserve” makes me think what others should do for me, while “What I can earn” makes me think what I should do for myself”.

I think I have earned a Coffee Break now! What have you Earned today?

Be Good..Stay Happy!

 

The cup- Hold it right!

So you trust someone more, over someone else. So you choose to discuss a personal issue with someone more than an other. So you choose one person over another to run your business, your finances, your life..! Have you ever wondered why you would do that!coffee mug.jpg

The answer lies in the way they hold their cup. Hold a cup? Confused..? Well let me try and explain it in the next 2-3 minutes.

Your eyes see and it also speaks; how you look at someone, more or less decides the way they would respond to you or open up to you. It is a curtain raiser, a doorway to numerous possibilities. You could be liked, disliked, loved, trusted all with just the look.

A handshake says more about you than would your personality test score, not because the scores are unreliable, but because a handshake takes just a fraction of the time taken to take the test and tells you instantly  whether you are confident, trust worthy, or maybe just not interested. Your eyes and the handshake clubbed together, you can’t hide much.

Same goes for the way you talk; talk fast, you convey something, talk slow and meaningfully, you convey something completely different. As they have always said “it’s how you say it more than what you say”. Passion, conviction, love all stirred to give the words the perfect taste.

It is always about how you instill confidence in others, by your look, your touch and by the way you weave your words, the music that you create with the right tone, so essentially, by the way you hold the cup

Have you noticed that whenever you are handed a cup of tea or coffee by someone, they would not let go  until they are absolutely sure you have held on to the cup well.. Why? Because the way you hold the cup would let them know that you are in control now, and that you can be trusted with it; even after they let go the cup’s still safe. If the cup is held loosely or with limited attention, it could fall and could break, not just the cup but the trust too.

Hold the cup tight, like you mean it…look, share, care, love, like you mean it, and it will show in the way others respond, others behave and trust you, to believe that the cup is safe and that you can be trustedClose-up of young woman holding mug of coffee

All it takes is a look, something well said,

It will tell you right there you have been read!

Read you will be, not just by what you say,

but by the things you do in a pleasant way!

You will know it well, with all things bright,

that you have built the trust by holding the cup right!

Be good, Stay happy!

IT’s a GOAL!

How important is that GOAL! Well, to a person who enjoys success, I think it is very important.To someone who feels success will come at the Right time, a GOAL may just be something he/she would leave for a Messi to worry about.

goalHow easy is it to spot a Goal, let alone achieve it? Not easy, I would say.

How difficult is it to spot a Goal, let alone achieve it? Not difficult, I would say.

The difficult part is to realise that you need a goal in life, no matter how big or small.

How can one realise it? Just look around, you will see N number of people who have tasted success just because of the goals they set, and worked on it, till they achieved it.

How can one tell by just looking around? Not easy, again; take courage, walk up to any successful person from your locality, your previous workplace, your community, ask them, they will be more than happy to tell you how setting the right goals and living by it has helped them, immensely.

Note: A successful person need not be someone who has earned a lot of money, travels first class or who shops a lot; Someone with peace and calm written all over her face, Someone with a Happy Outlook, Someone who enjoys community service may feel equally successful in life. So when you look around please do not discriminate.

If looking around for inspiration and talking to the achievers does not prompt you to set a goal, take some time off, look within, ask yourself; Am I  happy, satisfied with the way things are going on in my life, at work etc.? If the answer is YES…Fabulous..Inspire others.

If the answer is NO.. then ask yourself another question, “Do I have a solid goal, and am I working towards achieving it?” If the answer is NO again, then you get the hint, right away… You need to think of a Goal, a good one,set it right, and start your work on it.

What if the answer is, YES I have set a goal, am working sincerely to achieve it, I am working real hard but nothing’s working right. Good question, a powerful one, that too. Whenever Messi tries to score a goal, the opponents don’t just lie down on the filed doing nothing thinking that Messi has put in so much efforts off the field and he works so hard sincerely, why not just let him score. Just wondering would Messi enjoy such a score and would he even celebrate such a goal. No fun. So why should it be any different for you! Obstacles are bound to be a part of the work, overcoming them makes the success even more beautiful, that’s when you celebrate, So Don’t stop, Play On!

Sit back and think where you want to be, what you want to do, how you want to feel 3-4-5 years from now, think about it, you will know what Goal you want to set for yourself. Break it down into smaller achievable ones for the short term.  Not going to talk about SMART goals here, I am sure you know it, now’s the time to put it to use.

Once you set the goal, work on it, full throttle. It will give you a purpose when you wake up in the morning, you will start enjoying your work, you will focus better on your small tasks to reach the Big Goal, you will start enjoying the journey.

Each day in some proportion do some good for yourself and keep meeting your smaller goals, every month, every week, every day, Add all the small gains and you are that much closer to the Big One. There will be big obstacles,chances are slim that there will be none, Overcoming it makes the celebration Bigger and Better.

So, pull up your socks. Goal:Set It-Get It. Be Good, Stay Happy!

417707_136805043162141_1757700114_n

 

 

Lead on!

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”- Peter Drucker

“Who is a Leader?”Leadership-pic

Leader is someone who makes an impact on people around him/her. People learn from him/her, people want to emulate his/her characteristics.

Being a Leader doesn’t mean that you have to work for a million dollar company or should hold the highest designation in an organisation, but it has to do more with your attitude as an individual, more of how you are able to inspire.

Some simple things Leaders do, knowingly or unknowingly……..

  1. Leaders speak about people when they are not around the same way they would when they are present. It is true that Leaders do not have time for gossip!
  2. Leaders give credit to people every time whenever they deserve it. They do not hesitate.
  3. They never quit, whatever problem comes up, they try to find a solution. If there is a problem, then there surely is a solution.
  4. Leaders know the names of the people who work with them (mind you I said work with them and not for them, because that is another quality of a leader, they consider associates and subordinates as partners and not as people of a lower rank). They care for their partner achievers
  5. They do not want to know what could not be done…they only want to know what can be done and done better. Also if something cannot be done or is not feasible then a leader would ask for sufficient reasons. In simple words, they will not back off unless they believe the result is not worth the effort.
  6. They keep a healthy work and personal life balance. They set time aside to cater to the needs of an important aspect of their lives, their family. Great leaders do not ignore their family’s needs.
  7. Leaders don’t behave like they own the world… They are not arrogant, but they are definitely proud of their achievements. Being arrogant is certainly is not the same as being proud!50-motivational-leadership-quotes-6-638

Leadership is not just a quality, it’s a way of life. Leaders don’t have to try hard to influence people, their attitude and commitment do that for them.

Leaders, without being crowned a leader keep influencing everyone around them and continue making a difference in people’s lives.

You are a Leader, go ahead and be a great one!! Be good, Stay happy!

 

 

From the place you Like to the place you will Love!

So attached you become to the place you live in!1000x772xCopenhagan-Denmark.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qykRH9ZFcU

First comes the thought of finding a good place to stay, then comes the part where you try and adapt to the new surroundings, new people, the climate, the environment and finally after spending a few years in that place you become one with it. It may be a small town, a bustling city, or a business district the place which you found difficult to settle in, the irony is that a few years later it becomes the place you will find most difficult to get out of.

You have sweet memories, a great deal of attachment, with its breeze, the walkingview, the markets, the places of worship, the streets, the chats and all the beautiful experiences. How you become entwined with the place that once was a strange land! It becomes part of your joys, sorrows, struggles, your success, your step ups and all that was nice. indoor-market-1

But do you know, Can you say, how long you will stay there, live your life, weave memories? I guess the answer would be NO. You don’t know now, not later, where life may take you, which part of the world you may have to stay in the next phase of your life.

Isn’t it better then, not to be too attached to where you are now. Will it not be easier to change, your surrounding, your daily routines then….. Possibly…..but as every difficult thing, it’s easier said than done. To assume you will always be put in one corner of the world itself is a wrong theory to pen down. You should consider yourself to be on a journey, where some last a few months,  while the others a few years. By doing this you would know that no matter how much you like the place you may have to move, explore, settle some place else, for some time that is and then move on.

Yes.. as you become older, you tend to hold on to things, habits, friends, places you like… but as you would know it’s all about the routine, the more you train your mind to do something, the more it will stick with you as you age. Train your mind  when you can, to be open to change, no matter at what age you may have to do that.  Instill in yourself the idea of seeing the new, enjoying the different, being one with the changes, I am sure every person is strong enough to view the world in a different way as time passes. walking_3247417b

Difficult as it may sound, easier it will get as you stay aware of the fact that sometimes where you want to be in this whole wide world may not be an easy decision to take. Be comfortable in the place you live in, fall in love with it, but not so much that moving away becomes difficult because it’s not always the place you live in, but the way you live your life in that place makes the difference. Be good. Stay Happy!

‘Work’ it Out-Part 2

downloadContinuing the workplace performance improvement tips…

Workplace efficiency is a factor of consistent adherence to certain simple activities. There are many which do not make an appearance in most of the to do lists, however these simple things add to the efficiency quotient and in turn improves productivity and overall work satisfaction.

Visualize

Before every meeting with the client or your boss, or any important discussion, in order to be satisfied with your performance try this; Visualize many hours before the meeting how you would want to perform at the meeting, your style, your energy, your questions, your responses, all of them. Visualise point by point, everything in your mind. The meeting may not go exactly as you imagine, but you will be surprised at how much you are in control just because you created a movie in your mind  before the main event.

Read it

Famous-Quotes-about-Getting-in-the-Habit-of-Reading-Books-–-The-real-purpose-of-books-is-to-trap-the-mind-into-doing-its-own-thinking.-Christopher-Morley-Read-a-Good-BookKeeping the cup half full is always the good mantra. Half with what you already know and the remaining half for the vast quantum of information, knowledge, thoughts and ideas that are at your ready disposal. Read life stories of great leaders, ideas shared by the extraordinary, self-development books and anything that makes you a better person, professionally and personally. If you haven’t started yet, start small, but start now. It will go a long way.

Disconnect

Efficiency in office depends to a large extent on lack of distraction and focus, however, of late distractions have taken the form of constant beeps from the smartphones. Though you may need to check your mails and instant messaging services for work related communication, you may not need to keep checking social media updates. A good idea would be to log out of each site after you are through browsing for the time. The thought of logging in again with the user id and password itself will deter you from checking the updates every now and then. You will stay focused on the job in hand and also enjoy more time for innovation and improvement.

Make it clear

Most of the reworking is a result of unclear communication the first time. Every time you meet your team, speak in clear terms about the expectations and verify understanding. Clear conversations saves you time and efforts in terms of rework and re-explanations. The same goes with the conversation you have with your seniors and at board meets. No one likes to listen to long explanations and under-prepared statements and the higher ups always rate you basis clarity. If it’s clear then you are in.

salesuccessThese are just some of the ideas bound to bring in some amount of improvement to the great work you are already doing. But as they say, it’s always better to keep moving than stay put. I am sure you will definitely benefit by more than one of the above ideas and you will experience far better work satisfaction as a result of better productivity.

Be Good, Stay Happy!

For what’s inside

stressfreeWe all face challenges in our lives and whenever we do, the first organ to feel the heat is the brain, needless to say, it passes on the stress to the other organs; but then it is mildly easy to put your stress to rest, mildly because it is not so simple, simply because we have trained our minds to hardly give any importance to the simple things that can have a profound effect on our health and our state of mind. Challenges come and go, but then we need to be able to retain our space.

Sharing with you a few of the ideas I know have helped many regain a sense of calm and comfort.

  1. Look for a good listener

Talking to someone about what’s in your mind helps you feel good, but the key is to choose the right person to talk to, because here you do not need advice or theories, you just need someone who listens and does a good job at that. Whenever you have things that are taking up too much of brain space and causing much stress just talking to someone will help you feel relaxed. Most often you end up finding solutions to the problems yourself, the bottom line being, a good listener makes you feel light-hearted.

2. A smiling start to the day

smileSleep may elude you, sometimes you may feel miserable when you wake up, but no matter how you feel, as soon as you are up, smile and get up confidently. This is perhaps the best thing you can do to face the
challenges of the day and also to counter the misery you are carrying in your mind. This simple gesture of
smiling and waking up takes you away from all the distress for the moment and reminds you that there are many things in your life to smile about.

3. Do something for others

Not so that YOU feel good, but do something so that someone else feels good and in the process YOU too feel ‘Great’. An act of service is the best way to forget about your own worries and realise that even in the midst of your problem you can bring some comfort to someone else. There will always be someone who can benefit from your help, find that person and lend a helping hand.

4. Concentrate

Out of your busy schedule you will always be able to spare about ten to fifteen minutes where you just sit, close your eyes and concentrate on nothing but your breathing. Imagine how the oxygen is reaching your lungs and getting transported to every single cell of your body, from head to toe. You will not need any hints, you will realise that you are feeling good the first time itself and when you keep doing it everyday the effects will be profound. (tip-when you can’t sleep at night , try concentrating on your breathing, you will slowly fade in to deep sleep).

5. Sound of music

lose musicUnderstanding musical notes may not be for all, but enjoying the symphony is definitely for all. Keep ready a playlist you can listen to whenever you feel blue. Alternately there are millions of beautiful soothing music to be selected from the internet categorised according to the intended effects, for relaxation, for sleep, to study, to focus. Listening to some beautiful relaxing music will give your mind and heart a perfect reason to feel positive about everything. Moreover make it a habit to enjoy the melodies for atleast fifteen minutes a day and you will feel much happier and relaxed.

Follow the above with the intention of gaining something positive am sure that’s what you will get. Follow it and feel good. Be Good, Stay Happy!

‘Work’ it out! Part 1

great-work-quote1

The little things that can have a big impact on your performance at work…

6 simple ways to improve productivity and boost confidence.

Be on time

Being on time is not something you should reserve only for the day of the interview or an all-important management meet, it is a habit you should cultivate as a rule rather than an option. It creates discipline in your attitude and gives you a psychological high as a result of being different (The majority just desire reaching on time, but only a few actually do). It gives you the time to make a list of the all-important tasks before you dive into the challenges of the day.

Stop complaining

Be it about your salary, your delayed promotion, the demanding clients or the always disappearing printing papers. Complaining not only saps you of your positive energy but also creates a negative perception about your attitude towards work and life in general. Every time you feel like complaining ask yourself, “Is it going to solve the issue?” If the answer is no, think of a creative approach which involves NO COMPLAINING.

Break for exercise

This doesn’t mean that you have to spread your exercise mat on the floor or head to the company gym every 30 minutes. Every 1-2 hrs close your eyes and let it relax for a few seconds. Every 3-4 hours practice a quick stretch of the hands, neck and legs or just take a quick walk. You will be amazed at how good you feel and how much more effective you can be with this simple routine.

Go green

If you are addicted to your daily dose of tea or coffee which you assume helps you concentrate better, try going green instead. Green tea may not be as interesting a drink as your daily cuppa, but definitely takes the cake in terms of benefits. It improves brain function due to caffeine (contains less caffeine than coffee but enough for the benefits). Regular consumption helps in regulating blood pressure, a boon to tackle work place pressures. It also has a relaxing effect in drinkers due to naturally present amino acid Theanine. It has many more benefits for the health conscious, for now let’s stick to the workplace benefits.

Take it up

Once in a while if you do not see any new challenging assignments coming your way walk up to your boss and ask for one. One-It will be a welcome change from your monotonous assignments. Two-Your managers will have an improved perception of your abilities. Three- It will help you analyse your own strengths, and raise your level of confidence possibly lowered due to lack of variation in your assignments.

Share it

No matter what position you hold in the company, there will always be somethings you do better than the others and there always will be some opportunity to share it with others. If you do, do not hesitate to share your skills, knowledge and idea. You will be talked about for your positive attitude and at the same time you will enjoy the support and cooperation of your colleagues and seniors which can help you with your own progress as well. Both ways it is win-win situation for you.

employee-quotes-8Try it, am sure it will work for you!

The Right Time!

The other day, just out of curiosity, I happened to check a dummy portfolio I had created a few years back as part of a finance assignment in college.  We were supposed to invest an amount of rupees ten lakh for maximum returns.

It wasn’t surprising that after a good six to seven years the rupees ten lakh invested in stocks, gold and mutual fund was now rupees fourteen lakh, a phenomenal forty percent appreciation.  Even though it was not real money it felt good to know that good returns is not a myth if we invest sensibly, at the right time.

Evaluating, isn’t almost everything in our life related to this simple fact; right decision at the right time! The right school, the right college, the right attitude, the right advice, the right career choice, the right friends, the right decision, all at the right time.

time-to-study-11876059The idea is to do well, and for most it would mean studying hard, getting good grades, getting into the best of colleges and grabbing that all so exciting Offer Letter. A successful IIM and Harvard graduate will definitely vouch for the importance of a well-earned degree at the right time from the right institution. But the idea is also to listen to your heart, be passionate about your dream and have an idea that can make all the difference and am sure there would be enough Harvard and IIM dropouts who would vouch for letting go and chasing the dream, all at the right time.

Love-heartsFalling in love at the right time is beautiful, and making sure that the love is real at all times makes it even more beautiful. Along with it the simple act of saying ‘I love you’, ‘Thank You’, ‘Sorry’ at the right time is what keeps the relationship relevant. These simple words have extraordinary power to bring meaning and substance to any relationship.

Many help others financially and otherwise, share with others their most important resource, TIME. But do the recipients receive it at a time when it matters. No one likes to catch the bus an hour later than it’s expected. It matters if we can be of service to others whenever we can and most importantly, at the appropriate time.

We often sing this beautiful hymn in church, “In HIS time, In HIS time, HE makes all things beautiful, in HIS time………… Time for joy and Time for pain, Time for Losing, Time for Gain, Every purpose under heaven has a Time”. Such a beautiful message. A time for everything and everything in its time.

do-the-rightA right decision, a right deed, a right word all at the right time has no alternative. Let us share, love, laugh, fulfill our dreams, be good and stay happy, it may just be the right time!

Great JOB done!

Watched the movie JOBS.. not that I hadn’t read enough about the man already. His stories are a part of every Inspirational talk and for good reason that is. It isn’t for nothing that Steve Jobs is the most talked about innovator.steve-jobs-young

It’s not always about your talents, your knowledge, what you can do and how good you do your job, sometimes it is something even more. You have talent, good. You are a technical genius, too good. You can build something great, wonderful. But do you know how to make it different from the one that is already available? Or, whether people really want it, and want it real bad? Or are they willing to wait for your remarkable creation? To be able to imagine something and to tell clearly what is in your mind is an art and it comes from that thing called, ‘Passion’. Do you have the passion, the drive, the conviction? Are you willing to spend sleepless nights and dare the hot afternoons to reach to what you think is not just revolutionary but, just plain…. Simple.

The passion running through every artery of the body differentiates the banal from the extraordinary. You may not be called a great boss, a great associate, someone who cares for others, but definitely will be called ruthless, imaginative, a dictator, not necessarily in that order. This means only one thing, you will not relent, you will not go for something which is one level below and will not be concerned with status quo. It has to transcend the boundless limits we place on ourselves.inspire

The drive makes us do crazy things, work crazy hours, dominate and above all be THE BOSS. But what would this lead to? Well, if this crazy behavior is because of some genuine passion and an outcome of an uncompromising dream, it can only result in something beautiful, a path breaking invention.

But, Idea, will, passion, a strong mind, a great desire, all may prove insufficient if we do not know who to talk to about the dream. We need people to help create,we need people to support the dream, we need the wherewithal to explore, to experiment and we cannot go all out alone with this. We have to understand this fact, and make the right choices, not always but just about always and choosing someone who is right for the job is more of plan than a gamble. To create something out of creative sparks from the neurotransmitters is only possible if you can think loudly, clearly and make sure that everyone involved has heard you.

No one can be right all the time, but then for it to be right, we should be able to believe it is right. Others may have suggestions, interpretations, reactions but a clear idea will be above it all. After all the dreamer is the rightful owner of the dream.dreambig

All this from just a movie? Maybe… It’s inspirational…!

Let’s not stop dreaming, let’s not stop innovating, let’s not stop building a great team, and more importantly, let’s not stop doing the things we love; And if we are doing it, let’s just do it well! Be Good, Stay Happy!