15 pearls of wisdom

Below are 15 pearls of wisdom which would add content in your life and make you feel you have lived it to the fullest.

  1. Each one of you is a wonderful gift of God, both to your family and to all the world. Remember it always, especially when the cold winds of doubt and discouragement fall upon your life.
  2. Be not afraid of anyone or of anything when it comes to living your life most fully. Pursue your hopes and your dreams no matter how difficult or “different” they may seem to others. Far too many people don’t do what they want or should do because of what they imagine others may think or say. Avoid those pessimists who listen to your dreams then say, “Yeah, but what if . . .” The heck with “what if. . .” Do it! The worst thing in life is to look back and say: “I would have; I could have; I should have.” Take risks, make mistakes.
  3. Everyone in the world is just an ordinary person. Some people may wear fancy hats or have big titles or (temporarily) have power and want you to think they are above the rest. Don’t believe them. They have the same doubts, fears, and hopes; they eat, drink, sleep, and fart like everyone else. Question authority always but be wise and careful about the way you do it.
  4. Make a Life List of all those things you want to do: travel to places; learn a skill; master a language; meet someone special. Make it long and do some things from it every year. Don’t say “I’ll do it tomorrow” (or next month or next year). That is the surest way to fail to do something. There is no tomorrow, and there is no “right” time to begin something except now.
  5. Be kind and go out of your way to help people — especially the weak, the fearful, and children. Everyone is carrying a special sorrow, and they need our compassion.
  6. Read books, as many as you can. They are a wonderful source of delight, wisdom, and inspiration. They need no batteries or connections, and they can go anywhere.
  7. Be truthful.
  8. Travel: always but especially when you are young. Don’t wait until you have “enough” money or until everything is “just right.” That never happens. Get your passport today.
  9. Pick your job or profession because you love to do it. Sure, there will be some things hard about it, but a job must be a joy. Beware of taking a job for money alone — it will cripple your soul.
  10. Don’t yell. It never works, and it hurts both yourself and others. Every time I have yelled, I have failed.
  11. Always keep promises to children. Don’t say “we’ll see” when you mean “no.” Children expect the truth; give it to them with love and kindness.
  12. Never tell anyone you love them when you don’t.
  13. Live in harmony with Nature: go into the outdoors, woods, mountains, sea, and desert. It’s important for your soul.
  14. Hug people you love. Tell them how much they mean to you now; don’t wait until it’s too late.
  15. Be grateful. There is an Irish saying: “This is a day in our lives, and it will not come again.” Live every day with this in mind.

Learn from others mistakes

A clever man learns from his own mistakes whereas a wise man learns from others mistakes. You would never have enough time to commit those mistakes on your own and then learn from them, and you have finite time only in this world, isn’t it? We all make mistakes, but the fewer you make, better it is.

Well, that means every time someone screws up around you, something which is messed-up, you should have a job to do. You should know about what went wrong and what could have been done to avoid that. And obviously, you should not be cross-examining people, rather doing it in a subtle way.

But then how to do it subtly? There is an easy way. When a colleague gets into such situations and you want to find out what went wrong without being spotted,  one of the best ways is to offer them your help to put things right. You would learn more in the process. After all it is not a competition and you will be benefitting from it just as they are going to be benefitted. Once you’ve found what went wrong, you can introspect and analyze why it happened and make a mental note of it.

Over time, you would find observing and learning from other’s mistakes is going to pay you off much more than having an attitude “It can never happen with me”.

11 Things the Military Teaches You About Leadership

I found this article to be very informative and having a lot of things that we can take away from it in our personal and professional lives.

Does military experience translate to leadership and business savvy? A glance at today’s most successful corporations would suggest that it does. Many of the biggest names in the business world – Verizon’s Lowell McAdam, FedEx CEO Frederick Smith, former General Motors CEO Daniel Akerson – have military backgrounds.

In 2005, a comprehensive study of S&P 500 CEOs by Korn/Ferry International found that more than 8% of top execs were ex-military officers, which is nearly triple the 3% of U.S. men who serve as officers. What does the military teach that helps these ex-officers climb to the top of major corporations? We combed through interviews with many of them to find out the biggest lessons about life, business, and leadership they learned from the service:

1.       Always look sharp.  Years out of service, FedEx CEO Frederick Smith still keeps up the tidy appearance he learned in the Marines. “Even in a blue pin-striped suit, I still make sure that the right-hand edge of my belt buckle lines up with my shirt front and trouser fly,” he’s said. “I shine my own shoes, and I feel uncomfortable if they aren’t polished.”

2.       Take good care of your people.  Former General Motors chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson says military service taught him to lead by example and “to take good care of your people.

3.       Assemble diverse teams to get a range of perspectives. Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, a former captain in the U.S. Army, says military training taught him the value of working with diverse teams. “I quickly discovered no one had a lock on the right answers,” he told DiversityInc.

4.       Invest in relationships for the long term. The relationships formed in the military are “lifelong” and “serve you well in a business career,” says Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who served in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps.

5.       Be willing to listen to everyone. Michael Morris, the former CEO of American Electric Power, has said that the military developed his “willingness to listen and formulate an opinion that incorporates as many people’s ideas as possible.”

6.       Stay calm under pressure.Morris also likes to compare a CEO to a pilot in bad weather -; it’s up to him to keep his cool through a storm so his passengers (or shareholders and employees) stay calm. “The last thing you want is to appear to be rattled,” he says.

7.       Act decisively even with limited information. David Morken, CEO of Internet and phone services company Bandwidth, learned to “operate in the fog and to execute and decisively engage when you don’t have access to a complete data set” from his time in the Marine Corps.

8.       Carefully plan out the logistics. Robert Myers, CEO of Casey’s General Store, says his time in the Army made him a perfect choice later to run the company. The company’s founder figured no one was more qualified to head up a distribution chain than a former military logistics officer, CSPnet.com reports.

9.       Lead with integrity. “Veterans have special abilities and common traits, including discipline, maturity, adaptability, and dedication,” John Luke Jr., CEO of MeadWestvaco and a former Air Force pilot, has said. “They operate with integrity and high ethical standards in all that they do.”

10.   Be, know, and do everything you ask of those below you. “When I was attending the Drill Sergeant Academy, I was taught to always ‘Be, Know, Do,’ when dealing with subordinates,” former U.S. Army Drill Sergeant and Argo Marketing Group CEO Jason Levesque tells Business Insider. “Be the expert; know the job; do the difficult [tasks]. Your subordinates will follow you and, best of all, try to emulate you.”

11.   Give 100% of your effort. Robert McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, explains that his time in the infantry convinced him to always commit to something 100%. “If you’re going to be in the Army, go into the infantry,” he says. “If you’re going to be in marketing, work for P&G. You don’t do things halfway.”

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

 

Importance of feedbacks

All the while we keep trying for being a better human being. But for us, we are always perfect. Aren’t we? So to make sure we improve ourselves, we need to look at us from other’s eyes, from their perspective. That’s where feedbacks are important. You don’t eat all your cooked food all alone (well, not always), and you always want to know from others if the dishes were lip smacking. In the same way you should know how you come-out as a person in front of the people whom you work and interact with daily.

Now that importance of feedbacks is understood, let’s see what makes you keep getting good feedback. Every feedback given to you from someone might not be relevant or correct. But there is a possibility that one odd feedback can really make an impact. So you should always welcome a feedback, good or bad. One of my managers, Bharat Mabbu, made me learn this art in a unique way. With every feedback coming-in, say (loudly and with a smile) “Thank you, can I have one more?”. It is tough guys, but practice it and you’d see that it will be a way of life for you after some time.

Let any and all feedback come-in, people have different perspectives, different perceptions about you. Some may be genuinely interested in helping you improve, where as some might be just venting out at you at an opportune time. But it is your prerogative to only filter-in feedback which you think should be taken, which should not be against your beliefs, and which does not change you as an innate person that you are. But while doing this filtering, make sure that you accept the feedback with an open and unbiased mind and then do your due diligence. For example if you are very passionate, emotional and energetic kinds, and the feedback is that you get too much personal with your assignments, or are too fast or always in a hurry to do so many things, maybe you do not want to change these behaviors because that’s what constitute you, that’s what you are. These precisely could be reasons why you had a lot of positive feedback coming in as well. So in such cases, all that is needed is perception management. You still do all such things, but mellow-down the way it gets presented. Never let it show-up.

Coming to the quality of feedback. The feedback given to you should be SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable (Realistic)
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound.

If the feedback passed to you is not up-to the mark on this criteria, you have all the rights to politely ask the giver to mould their feedback according to this criteria. Remember, you need to be polite and convincing enough to make sure that it does not give a sense to the giver that you are contending their feedback. After-all you really want the SMART feedback, right? What about the feedbacks which were not right according to you, or were never SMART and if you are followed-up on those – In such cases, tell them that you had been actively working on the feedback. You only need to manage your perception in those cases.

Always remember – The day you stop getting feedbacks, it should worry you because either you are a perfect person who needs no improvement (which is as true as the fact that the world is flat), or that people stopped caring about you (which you should dread).

Amazing power of words

Do not under-estimate the power of words. You already know the power of positive thoughts, and how it is capable of transforming your lives. But how to make sure that you keep generating good thoughts and only attract positive energy?

An easy way is, always try to say good and positive things. When you start your day, learn to say ‘its a beautiful day.’, and see how your day unfolds. When you meet someone in the morning, greet them with a smile and say ‘Good morning’ or ‘have a nice day’. Observe how people respond back to you with niceties or a smile. Always believe in the fact that any problem, whatsoever big that may be, could be solved, and better solved when you are calm and positive about it. When you would have a  positive view of situations all the time and you keep reminding yourself, your mind starts believing in it, and then you would see that the entire world would conspire to make it happen.

Since you would always attract like-minded people, there is every possibility that only positive people will be drawn to your inner circle, giving you positive vibes all the time. This makes your life all the more easy.

Your words have the potential to win people over or break relationships. You can solve toughest of the situations if you choose your words carefully. This is one strong reason should always be mindful of what you speak. People have lasting memory, and you definitely want to be known as a polite, humble and thoughtful person, right? So choose your words wisely and you would now be more constructive, happier and cheerful you ever had been.

Empower your life with positive energy

Life is not always easy. Solutions to problems are not always handed to us on a silver platter. But it is also true that everything in life was created in pairs. The good comes with the bad, success does not come without failure nor does sunshine come without rain. The good news is that this life is ours and we can overcome the pitfalls in our lives. We have been created with inherent survival instincts to empower us with a positive attitude to overcome these challenges. Such is the power of positive thinking, and below are some ways to nurture it:

Believe in yourselfDevelop a positive attitude about yourself. Positive energy stems from all that is good from within yourself and that you surround yourself with. This is the start of the way forward. Empower yourself with what is positive and good about your existence and focus your positive energy on being your number one fan. Learn to appreciate yourself. Find out the purpose of your life. Everyone was born with special qualities. Learning not to crumble in the midst of difficulties is of the essence. Believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too.

Smile a lot and find a reason to be happyThere is a lot in life that we take for granted. We focus our energy so much on acquiring material wealth in our quest for happiness, that we forget the very basic things that can make us happy; the sun, a smile, the sound of the early birds… Find time to escape to the country side, where the environment is not polluted with the constant buzzing of phones or the noise of car engines. Close your eyes and allow yourself to soak in the peace and the quiet of your surroundings. Let the little insignificant things such as the chirping of the birds, the blue sky or the endless lush green grass remind you of how great it is to be alive. Happiness comes from within. If you are able to tap into the positive reason for your existence, you will lead a happy life in spite of the challenges you are faced with.

Fear not. Human beings create fear. Life is shrouded in a lot of mystery and the unknown. Fear is a result of our insecurities and our own human weakness. Fear eats into our minds and erodes our sense of reasoning and our ability to conquer. Fear makes us defensive. It conceals our real self and causes us to retaliate when people point out our weakness. It makes us want to take control and destroy. A typical example being the person who bullies. Bullies prey on people because they are wrapped in their own fear of failure and negative energy.

To conquer your fear and replace it with positive energy, you need to come face to face with your fear and confront it. Ask yourself why and what your reasons for being afraid are. Go to the root cause of this fear and address it. If you are overwhelmed by the enormity of your fear, ask a family member, friend or professional to support you. If you believe in God, pray about your fears and ask him to give you the strength to overcome the fear. Others choose to meditate over issues that affect them.

Write down a list of things that don’t make you happy. Writing down what doesn’t make us happy is a great step towards facing, addressing and acknowledging your challenges. Don’t be in denial. Are your challenges emotional, physical or mental? If your challenges require professional help, speak to someone who can advise you. Make use of advice columns if you don’t particularly fancy a face to face approach. Talk to a family member or a close friend about what you are going through. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved.

Make use of positive words in your speech. Focus on the use of positive language in your life. Phrases such as I can, Yes I am able, I have the strength, I believe in myself, I can do it, anything is possible…all these are healthy positive phrases which feed healthy thoughts into our minds and translate into achievable goals.

Enhance your physical and mental well-being. Engage in physical activities that will bring you physical satisfaction. Enroll in a gym, go for walks when the weather is favorable, go swimming, hiking, camping. Embrace the outdoor life. When you focus some of your mental energy on achieving physical wellness you tend to feel good about yourself and feel more able to embrace the challenges life has to offer.

Do something nice for someone. A smile weighs more than a thousand words. Find time to visit an ageing neighbor. You don’t have to do much. Just sitting in their company and watching their favorite day time TV with them whilst sipping a cup of tea can be more than they could ask for and feel them with such deep appreciation of your selflessness. This positive feeling of appreciation creates in you a feeling of self-worth and inner joy.

Do something which can leave a positive lasting impression on you, knowing that you have been able to touch someone’s life positively.

Surround yourself with positive people Friends and family are such an important factor of our existence. We feed off the love of each other. The blood ties of a family should never be underestimated. They are strong and give us comfort in times of our struggles. People who emanate positive energy will encourage you and support you. They will praise you and not judge you, they will spur you on and not condemn you. They will offer emotional support when you are at the lowest ebb in your life. They are like a blanket of warmth which keeps you warm when the weather is too cold to handle.

Take care of Self Most important of all is to take care of yourself no matter what. Embrace the world and the good things it has to offer. Don’t run away from your problems because you can overcome them no matter what. Some problems take time to be resolved depending on their gravity, others are easily dealt with. The most important thing to remember is that obstacles are like pot holes in a road. We fall into them but we can always get out of them, by moving on. Life is not as complex as we make it seem. Life is simple if we avoid entangling ourselves in more than we can take on. One step at a time.

Life is wonderful you know. We are well and truly blessed in more ways than we may ever know.

 

Love can transform your life, no exceptions.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. According to him you could transform and turn around your life, if you follow the below seven simple steps. I totally agree to the approach and found it so relevant that I decided to share it with you all. Below are those:

1. Whenever you become aware of negative thoughts and emotions arising, rather than ignoring them, or setting them aside for later, identify, acknowledge, and honor them.

2. Become very clear on what the specific upset is, by identifying the exact thoughts that are bothering you. Are they self-judging, bad memories, or anxiety about future events? Any thought that causes dis-ease in you, regardless of past, present or future is applicable.

3. Next, identify the specific emotions that arise in you as a result of said thoughts. What do they feel like? Is there tightening in your chest? Is your stomach turning or is there a throbbing sensation in your head? Again, any emotion that causes dis-ease is applicable.

4. Once you’ve clearly identified the thought(s) and emotion(s), close your eyes and explore the imagery they subsequently create in your mind (once you’re familiar with the practice, you won’t always need to close your eyes—i.e., if you’re driving, or in public you can still do this.) Do the thoughts and emotions create colors, shapes, figures? Are they abstract or clear? The important thing is to let your thoughts and emotions create the imagery while you simply become aware of what they are.

5. Breathe. We’re at the half way mark and I’d like to offer you a sincere congratulations on completing the first half! Our natural tendency is to suppress these uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, often telling ourselves that we’ll deal with them later—but honestly, does later ever come? So even just by taking the time to become conscious of, and identify these unpleasant thoughts and emotions is a huge step! Let’s not stop there however, because here’s where the really good stuff starts to happen.

6. This step is where everything begins to change! Once you have the mental images of what your thoughts and emotions look like (and even if there’s no image at all, this practice still works), picture yourself holding the image (or lack thereof) in the same way a mother holds a newborn baby. Picture the image of your painful thought and emotion wrapped in a warm blanket, being held with very loving care closely to your heart, your chest, as you extend it very sincere compassion from your heart center. (You can also use the imagery of wrapping the thought/emotion in a warm blanket and placing it in a baby carriage, and rocking the carriage back and forth.)

7. Next, mentally (or verbally) say to the image that you know it’s there and you promise to care for and hold it with compassion until it’s ready to go. Do your best to say these words from a very sincere place in your heart.

Through bringing our attention to the image of our painful thoughts and emotions, and tending to it with an open heart, we’re doing the most natural thing we can—expressing love. Instead of ostracizing our uncomfortable thoughts and emotions and their unpleasant effects, we show them pure, complete and inclusive love. It’s a love they’ve never known before, and a love many of us have never known before either.

The thoughts and emotions will often subside very quickly. Sometimes, however, they aren’t ready to go so fast, and that’s fine. When we initially told them we’d be with them as long as they needed us, we were sincere in that intention. So if/when the thoughts and emotions call us on it, we honor our words and hold them dearly in our heart for as long as it takes.

So that’s the practice. It truly is that simple and it will have amazing results for you in your life. This practice can be used on everyday minor things all the way to heavier memories of our most difficult life experiences. It’s all relevant, it’s all grist for the mill and it can all be healed.

It’s all Love, it’s all One, so let it shine!

Know when to keep your opinions to yourself

It is very easy to have opinions, and at times we keep giving it freely. But what we don’t know is when to keep them to yourself and when to express them. The reason for this is, we think that our opinion:

  • counts for something important
  • has an audience which wants to listen
  • is important and will make a difference
  • will make everyone look up-to us as clever/intelligent/effective

All of the above are wrong reasons for you to express your opinion. The right reason for giving an opinion is – when you are asked to opine. If you are not asked, then shut-up.

Your opinion should be dragged out of you. What you have to say should be important and should be listened to properly. You should not be squandering your opinion for nothing. You do:

  • have an opinion ready when you are asked for
  • learn to express that clearly, precisely, accurately and with data points if possible

It is also very important to make your opinion seem less like an opinion and more like an accepted fact. Don’t say ‘I think we should’, instead say ‘We should’. Don’t say ‘In my opinion, we should’, instead say ‘We should’. So avoid:

  • I think
  • I feel
  • In my opinion

Be a Cobra

A cobra has a lot of power, venom and energy. But we rarely see a cobra strike so often. Cobras use all that power and energy when it is:

  • appropriate
  • meaningful
  • beneficial
  • important

They only strike when they are in danger, or hungry. Rest of the times you wouldn’t know they were there. Similarly, there is no point in using all your energy and power when it is not necessary.

A cobra’s key times and events are fairly simple to identify. But yours are much difficult. Nevertheless, you also need to identify key times and event to strike to make it big. For example, you might have to wait until its the big report going straight to the MD’s office,  or starting the right conversation in a meeting when the key people are present. This does not mean that you delay your deliverables, but invest right amount of energy every time to make sure you give it all when it is the key time for you to deliver. Because if you get it right then, it’s remembered and if it goes wrong, its you who is forgotten.

Identify these key times and shine at them. Be a cobra.

Manage your energy

We all know of time management, and I am sure we are keeping it up. What gets less promoted is the need to manage your energy. Your energy is one of the most essential resources and it does not look after itself. When you come to work daily, you need to bring in plenty of energy and you need to make sure that energy is there whenever it is required. To make sure what we are talking about here, there are several kind of energies that we are talking about.

Physical energy: Make sure you are fit and healthy and don’t wear yourself, when you have work the next day (weekends nights are fun and let them be that way). Just as we make sure the kids go to bed on time when they have school next day, make sure that you also don’t stay up late, overeat, get drunk or wear yourself out. This would reduce your potential at work.

Mental Energy: What time of the day works best for you? What helps your concentration – Full stomach or just right? What makes you creativity go out of bounds – a workplace abuzz with activity or a serene, quiet one? Although we don’t have a control on most of these but you can make sure that you map the tasks based on your preference and the suitable environment when you are at your best.

Emotional Energy: If things are going bad in your personal life, you need to find ways to bolster your emotional mood before you get to your work, so that your work is not affected. You need to find constructive ways to conserve and attract positive emotional energy.

Spiritual Energy: Finally your spiritual side needs room to stretch in order to feel energized.  Depending on what kind of person you are, you might find solace doing some social work, meditation or simply pursuing something that you really love doing. Something doing which fills you up with energy and you look forward to the next day at work.

Take control of your energies, and they would work for you.

A better person today…

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