10 Keys to make your life a Masterpiece

I have identified 10 keys if followed consistently can surely help us achieve lasting success and fulfillment on our own terms. It is a process and you never reach there but you can enjoy the journey. Here are the 10 Keys to make your life a masterpiece.
Define your mission - Without a mission it is very difficult to be excited about life. A few years back I defined my mission as "My mission is to maximise my potential and help others maximise theirs." This has driven me to read, learn, write and share whatever I have learned. It has also helped me feel excited nearly every single day which is the biggest gift from having a mission. Stephen Covey mentioned this way back in 1989 with his habit "Begin with the End in Mind" and I think that is still valid today as it was then. Figure what you really want your life to stand for and you will automatically be excited about life. This requires some soul searching and serious introspection. Taking the time to define your m…

7 Ways to move Forward in your life

We all get knocked down in life no matter how much we try to avoid it. If we are trying to be at our best it is inevitable that we will face setbacks. One of the best resources I found on failure is the book “Failing Forward” by John C. Maxwell. He gives a formula for proceeding further once you get back up by expanding the word forward. Here it is with my take on each. Finalize your goal – You will not be surprised with this one. How can you hit a target you cannot see? Once you fall down if you immediately look to the future with optimism you won’t stay down for too long. One of the best ways to shape your future is through challenging goals in all areas of your life. Of course don’t spread your hands in all directions have a singular focus.   Order your plans – By failing to plan you are planning to fail. You should be flexible of course but at the same you need to have a roadmap to achieve your goals. Take the time to create a blue print for your life and you will feel great. Risk F…

11 Traits of Highly Successful People

Successful people have a few common characteristics that make them great. Not every successful person can be a master of all these but awareness of them can help in increasing these qualities in ourselves. Following are the 11 common traits exhibited by successful people that I have observed across various fields including sports, business, and arts. Self-Discipline I put this at the top of the list simply because without self-discipline nothing is possible. Self-discipline is a quality that can be developed by having a clear idea on what we want and then ensuring the desire to succeed is greater than the consequences of not doing it. If we want to exercise 5 times a week then we can imagine the enormous benefits of exercise and visualize that while trying to keep the end goal in mind. If we want to achieve all the things we want then self-discipline is the best place to start and we have 100% control on this. It is resolving to do what we have set out to accomplish in both our person…

Life is a Marathon not a Sprint

Life is truly a marathon it is not a sprint. As Angela Duckworth says “Grit is passion and perseverance towards long term goals.” I found this to be true because if you have a long term vision for your life you will be able to meet short term setbacks with the appropriate level of poise. So the first step to view life as a marathon is to clearly define a vision for your life. Here I have expanded each letter of the word marathon.
Mastery - When you have a long term view of life you will understand that mastery is the key to a fulfilled life. The key to mastery is to identify the area you need to master. You cannot spread your energy in too many directions. Focus is the key. So decide exactly the area where you have to focus and improve only in that area. It doesn’t matter if you don’t play the piano well because that is not a key result area for you.
Action – When something goes wrong it is the action you take to make it better that is the key to keep your emotions in check. The only …

9 Leadership Lessons from George C. Marshall

The Leader’s Bookshelf is a great resource on leadership. There is one chapter on the book “Soldier Statesman Peacemaker: Leadership Lessons from George C. Marshall.” Here are the 9 principles of leadership which are timeless.
Do the right thing - This is the principle of integrity. George Marshall stood for the highest of values. In our lives this can be applied by clearly defining our mission statement, clearly defining the values we want to stand by and keeping our promises.
Master the situation – This is the principle of action. As a leader action is everything. Another key quality a leader needs is flexibility which is the ability to be nimble under the onslaught of change. Assess the situation and take appropriate action.
Serve the greater good – This is the principle of selflessness. Servant leadership is the best form of leadership. You have to find a mighty cause that serves a larger purpose than just profit. Business when it is combined with altruism is great for the world.

60 min Exercise Payoff

We have been told so many times that exercise is good for us. Most of us start exercising to lose weight. I believe it is better not to exercise to lose weight but actually make it a lifestyle change. I have been exercising consistently for quite a few years and recently I have increased my effort to 45-60 min. I like to exercise first thing in the morning. Of course not everyone is a morning person and you can make time during lunch or in the evening. The key is to start and stick to a program that works uniquely for you.
I have expanded each letter of the word exercise to indicate the payoff you get when you do a 60 min workout. Yes even 20 min exercise is fine but to get the full benefit I believe we should do it thrice or four times a week for 60 min. Of course you should check with your doctor for starting any new exercise program that will work for you. Here is the payoff for getting into a consistent exercise program.
Enthusiasm – I have found that whenever I start the day with…

The Path to Success in the 21st Century

Deliberate practice is a term that has become common place now in the lexicon of success. I found these six books to be illuminating and insightful. In combination they cover the waterfront of peak performance. Here are the six books that can give you the complete view on peak performance.
Talent is overrated by Geoff Colvin – This is the best book I have read on the subject. Why don’t people lead teams like Jack Welch or play golf like Tiger Woods? The real reason for success is deliberate practice. It is absolutely hard work and what does it take to sustain the passion. First you have to know what you want because unless you really know it you will not be able to sustain the passion for the long haul. You also need to believe you can put in the effort to get the results you wanted. Here is my review of the book. Talent is overrated
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle - It is deep practice that is the key. Myelin is the key nerve fiber that gets enhanced with deep practice. Some consider …