Posts

Showing posts from June, 2015

My Happiness Project - 7 Keys to Happiness

I think everyone has one common goal in life and that is to be happy. It has also been well established that you can’t really pursue happiness but rather it is the result of concerted action towards your closely cherished dreams.  Aristotle said "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence." What are the keys to happiness? Happiness has been defined as the progressive realization of a worthy goal which means if you have a predetermined outcome you are working towards then that journey enhances your happiness.  The other key principle to be happy is to not be attached to the outcome yes we should set challenging goals but if the outcome is something different we should be detached and practice acceptance. Another thing I have learnt is not to label things as either bad or good. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we don’t understand why it happened. Only when we attain some distance from the actual event we understand …

5 Keys to Deliberate Practice

Image
I love the book Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. It really demystifies talent and articulates what separates the great performers from others. The book starts with the question where does great performance come from. The author successfully argues that innate talent is not the reason for exceptional performance providing examples of Mozart and Tiger Woods. The key take away is that every exceptional performer had put in 10000 hours of deliberate practice before being called a genius. Mozart’s first work regarded as a master piece was his Piano Concerto No.9 composed when he was twenty one. By then Mozart had put in more than eighteen years of extreme expert training. This does not take away the genius aspect but only goes to prove that what we think is innate talent is actually the results of years of arduous hard work.  The book goes into depth on what deliberate practice is. It involves selecting a particular activity and going to lengths to practice on your areas of weakness o…

Every day is the best day of your life

We have all heard the line “Live every day as if it is your last.” While I appreciate the exuberance of this statement somehow it doesn’t resonate with me because if it is my last day it would put a downer on my spirit. What I have come up with is a statement that works for me and it is“Every day is the best day of your life. Give it your best shot.” This statement has worked well for me as it tells me that today is going to be my best day and if I want to have a best day I have to give it my best shot. What this does is it shows me that I have the opportunity to make my day great. This also tells me that there are no bad days so even if something goes wrong I can take it in the right way. I also like the Begin with end in mind philosophy proposed by Stephen Covey where you write your own eulogy and then match your actions to your written statement. That is surely a nice way to give meaning to life and get excited about life. The best way to achieve this is through a personal mission…

Become Remarkable

Linchpin is a powerful call to everyone to bring their best talents to the table. Seth Godin says every one of us born into genius. If a genius is someone who has found something which others are struggling with then you have been one at some point in life. No one is a genius all the time. Einstein had trouble finding his house when he walked home from work every day. His plea is what we want are indispensable human beings. We need original thinkers, provocateurs, and people who care. Every organization needs a linchpin, the one person who can bring it together and make a difference.  Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection or a new way of getting things done. In the factory era the goal was to have the highest PERL (Percentage of Easily replaced Laborers). If you can easily replace most of your workers then you can pay them less. The less they make the more money you make. If you build a business that is filled with rules and procedures then you w…

Life Lessons from Nelson Mandela

Image
Nelson Mandela is an inspirational figure and we can all learn a lot from his life. The most intriguing thing about Mandela is his ability to forgive everyone despite being in prison for 27 long years. He has shown the world what compassion truly means and has set an example in forgiveness. I am especially impressed by the optimism of Nelson Mandela even when he was in prison and didn't even know whether he will ever see the freedom he desired. This is in his words when he was in prison"I always knew that one day I would feel once again the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man." I like the book Mandela’s way by Richard Stengel who was the editor of Time Magazine. He did nearly 70 hours of interviews with him and worked with him closely for three years to produce this nicely crafted book. Here are the lessons I liked which can serve as a guide for our lives. Courage is not the absence of fear: Mandela sees courage as the way we choose to be. He said cour…

10 tips to develop Rock Solid Resilience

I recently read an interesting article in Time magazine by Mandy Oaklander on resilience which was very detailed and informative explaining the science behind developing resilience. She writes that scientists use techniques like functional magnetic resonance imaging to look beyond their own observations of people and into the parts of their brains that govern emotion. The article also briefly listed the top tips from experts on the subject. Here are the 10 tips from experts in the field for developing resilience with my take on each. 1. Develop a core set of beliefs that nothing can shake:The key to achieve this is to first have a personal mission statement for your life. Once you have that in place you can then determine the values around which your life will revolve. Values could be kindness, integrity, honesty, courage. So even if something goes wrong you can go back to your mission and core set of values so that you see any setbacks as temporary. 2. Try to find meaning in whatever …

The Champion Mindset

Image
Roger Federer lost to compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of this year’s French open. That is not the surprising part because we all know that clay is his least favorite surface but it is the way he looked forward to the future despite the defeat that intrigued me. He said "I'm already thinking what I'm going to do over the next few days, because Wimbledon is going to be a big goal for the season.” I believe that is the Champion Mindset. Let’s face it all of us will lose or encounter failure but what separates the champions from the rest is the way they ultimately respond to the negative event. If like Federer we keep looking to the future with possibilities, then we can overcome any failure and this is the key to develop the mindset of a champion. On the topic of mindset it was interesting to read what was written in the Power of Habit(a wonderful book) by Charles Duhigg. He wrote about Bob Bowman who was the coach of Michael Phelps. Bob mentioned that he didn…