Being motivated and productive

Posted on

We all know that there are some people, managers and leaders who are much more effective and productive than others. Charles Duhigg in his book, Smarter Faster Better, affirms that a handful of key insights can explain why these people are more motivated and successful than others.

A prerequisite to motivation is believing you are in control of your actions and surroundings. Motivation becomes easier when you transform a chore into a choice. Doing so gives you a sense of control. When you feel in control you tend to work harder and push yourself more. A sense of control gives you more confidence to practice making choices and decisions. Learning to see your choices as affirmations of your core values and goals turns your motivation automatically into a habit.

To create a productive environment, what matters is having a voice and social sensitivity. Teammates have to be socially sensitive to one another’s emotions and needs, and ensure everyone feels heard. As a leader, you need to draw the brilliance out of everyone but making them feel heard, respected and valued.

Most email, text, tweet, social update, and app notification cuts your focus and kills your productivity and progress. So you must take control of your attention and time. Build mental models that put you firmly in control by choosing smart goals and strategies. In addition, you need to feel that your work or project is important and personally meaningful.

Personally, I keep motivated and productive by setting smart goals and developing good productive habits. While I have several projects on the go, I know and focus on my priorities. Achieving my goals and completing my projects reinforce and fuel my motivation and productivity.

Please share how you are keeping yourself motivated and productive, we can all learn for it.Smater.Faster.Better.

The power of mentoring

Posted on

Mentoring

Mentoring is having the advice and guidance given to you by a much more experienced and successful person. First, your mentor must listen to you and understand your issues and challenges. Then he or she should be able to ask you pertinent questions to clarify your concerns. By answering these questions, you may come out with some potential solutions on your own. Your mentor may then point you towards the right direction or option.  As a result, you can become much more effective sand successful in your personal and professional life. It should be a two way relationship. The final decision is always yours to make. At least that is what my mentor did for me.

I was lucky to have numerous wise mentors throughout my life. I am going to talk about two of them and how they helped me. Sylvia Fraser was a mentor assigned to me when I joined Orleans Raconteurs Toastmaster club. I did not choose her, but luckily she was the best mentor for me at the time. Not only was she was a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), but she was very focused and professional. Right from the start, she got me involved in the learning program by helping me with my first speech. She made time for me. I would practise and rehearse it at her house.  She held my hands for my first ten speeches. Today I am conducting workshops and seminars internationally because Sylvia Fraser mentored me well.

One of my previous bosses, Denise Boudrias, is also a great mentor of mine. When I worked with her, I liked her management and leadership style. It was aligned with my own values. I had a tremendous respect for her and enjoyed working in her team. When I moved on, I asked her to be my mentor. She accepted with pleasure. She followed my professional growth and development, giving advice and guidance when I sought it. Today after we have both retired, I still consider her as my life mentor. We still meet for brunch every two to three months.

I have been blessed to have numerous great mentors. Some came by chance, and some I chose and asked for their advice and guidance. Many potential mentors who I asked for assistance refused for their personal reasons. Unless you are very lucky, if you don’t ask you will definitely not have a mentor. In turn, I have mentored numerous people worldwide who have benefitted from my advice and guidance. I always ask all my mentees to pay it forward. I believe that’s the ripple effect is the real power of mentoring.

So do you have mentors in your life? How can you improve your mentoring relationships for better outcomes?

Living a charmed life

Posted on Updated on

i-live-a-charmed-life

Most people want to live a life filled with an abundance of success, happiness and love. However, only a few people are actually living a charmed life. So how can you live your dream life?

You need to develop an abundance mindset. Start counting your blessings every day.  You have an abundance of blessings like your family, friends, relationships, health, job, food, shelter, compassion, love, common sense, etc. So be grateful for what you already have.

I always start and end my day with a thanksgiving prayer or thought. In addition, I send loving thoughts to the Universe. This simple habit has made a huge difference in my life.

Develop a positive mental attitude. Nurture your self-esteem. Focus on your priorities. Set and achieve smart goals in all aspects of your life. Choose your friends wisely. Develop healthy relationships. Live within your means. Save at least ten percent of your income on a regular basis. Invest your money wisely. Put in the extra effort.

Personally, living a charmed life means having an abundance of blessings, love, health, good relationships, discretionary time and money. As it happens, I have them all at this moment, although I know it is only temporary. So I am very grateful for them, and I don’t take them for granted.

What does your charmed life look like?  Are you living your charmed life? If not, what are doing to pursue your dream life?

What makes you come fully alive? 

Posted on

fully-alive-2

What really makes us come fully alive? Is it success, fame, power, money, accomplishment, passion, bliss, happiness, joy, fulfillment, adventure, being in the moment, conquering your fears, taking risk, challenge, struggle, hardship, danger, or something else? I guess the answer to this existential question is very personal and would be different for most of us.

For some people, it is when they feel intense emotion of joy and pleasure, being in awe of the happening. Opening a present, winning a game, going on vacation, giving or witnessing birth, speaking or performing in front of an audience, obtaining a promotion and living an adventure would be good examples when your mind and heart race in excitement. For others, it could be the sensation of being in love and of enjoying sexual interactions with your partner. It could be simply dining with their family and friends. Some live more abundantly when they are exercising or playing their favourite sport. Some feel fully alive only when they are enjoying fast and exciting rides or extreme sports.

For you, it could be enjoying a vacation in an exotic place. It could be hiking in a natural environment. It could be simply when you are with your loved ones. It could be when you are being mindful and living in the present through awareness and gratitude. It could be when you are meditating or on a spiritual quest. It could be getting out of your comfort zone and taking some calculated risks. It could be even overcoming a big challenge and struggle after a period of hardship.

For most of us including me, it is a combination and permutation of all the above and some other moments of rapture. For me personally, I need to strive to become my best every day, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone, facing my fear and taking some risks. Whatever they may be for you, you need to reflect on what makes you fully alive, and try to incorporate more of them in your life.

So what really makes you come fully alive? Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

What makes you come fully alive?

Posted on Updated on

ID-100114150

What really makes us come fully alive? Is it success, fame, power, money, accomplishment, passion, bliss, happiness, joy, fulfillment, adventure, being in the moment, conquering your fears, taking risk, challenge, struggle, hardship, danger, or something else? I guess the answer to this existential question is very personal and would be different for most of us.

For some people, it is when they feel intense emotion of joy and pleasure, being in awe of the happening. Opening a present, winning a game, going on vacation, giving or witnessing birth, speaking or performing in front of an audience, obtaining a promotion and living an adventure would be good examples when your mind and heart race in excitement. For others, it could be the sensation of being in love and of enjoying sexual interactions with your partner. It could be simply dining with their family and friends. Some live more abundantly when they are exercising or playing their favourite sport. Some feel fully alive only when they are enjoying fast and exciting rides or extreme sports.

For you, it could be enjoying a vacation in an exotic place. It could be hiking in a natural environment. It could be simply when you are with your loved ones. It could be when you are being mindful and living in the present through awareness and gratitude. It could be when you are meditating or on a spiritual quest. It could be getting out of your comfort zone and taking some calculated risks. It could be even overcoming a big challenge and struggle after a period of hardship.

For most of us including me, it is a combination and permutation of all the above and some other moments of rapture. For me personally, I need to strive to become my best every day, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone, facing my fear and taking some risks. Whatever they may be for you, you need to reflect on what makes you fully alive, and try to incorporate more of them in your life.

So what really makes you come fully alive? Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

Build your financial security

Posted on Updated on

financial-security

There is no better feeling than financial security. When you know that you have enough money to take care of your financial needs for the rest of your life, you have peace of mind and, more importantly, you have much more options.

So why are there not more people who are actually financially independent? The majority of people have trouble making ends meet and are living from paycheck to paycheck.

It is not that difficult to build your financial security through saving with discipline and investing your saving wisely. Virtually anybody can become financially independent by using the following well-tested principles:

  1. Live within your financial means.

This means that you can’t spend more than you are earning. You can’t rent a big house for $2,400.00 per month when you earn $3,000.00 per month. You need money to buy groceries, pay for your utilities, and travel to your work. Rather, rent a more modest apartment for $1,200.00 per month.

  1. Pay yourself first.

Develop the habit and have the discipline to pay yourself first. Before you pay your bills, save at least 10% of your paycheck regularly. If you can afford it, try to save more. Of course, this depends on your earning capacity and personal circumstances.

  1. Make your money work hard for you.

Invest your saving in a mutual fund or in an investment like real estate that would make your money grow more than the inflation rate.  If you need to, get professional advice from a reliable financial advisor. It’s paramount that you educate yourself about wise investments.

These three steps are proven and guaranteed pathways to financial security and independence. Of course, there are many other worthwhile financial strategies you can use to increase your wealth. However, having the strict discipline to use these three simple principles on a regular basis is not easy, but will definitely grow your financial assets significantly over time. The secret is time leveraging and the compounding effect, so start as early as possible to realize your financial freedom.

What principles and strategies are you using to build your financial security? Your views and comments would be appreciated.

Mental Wellbeing and Fitness

Posted on

Meditation

Most of us exercise our physical body on a regular basis either by walking, jogging, swimming or going to the gymnasium. Some exercises are more relaxing, and others are more strenuous. Similarly, our mind needs mental exercise to maintain its wellbeing and fitness.

You can divide at your mental exercise and fitness regime as follows:

1.      Mental massage and relaxation

2.      Mental exercise and fitness

3.      Mental growth and creativity

Mental massage and relaxation

Mental massage and relaxation focuses on thoughts that bring you serenity, contentment, and possibly joy. These consist of thoughts of gratitude and love. In this category, you can also include affirmations, prayers and meditations. You reinforce and nurture your inner peace when you pray and meditate regularly. Prayers and meditation slow down time, gives you a break from the stress of life, and allows clearer thinking and finding constructive solutions.

For mental relaxation, you can visualize your dream life. This visualization exercise helps you manifest the life your truly desire. Read a good book. Play a musical instrument. Sing a song.

Mental exercise and fitness

Mental exercise and fitness will be a bit more rigorous. Mental activities like setting your smart goals and developing detailed strategies for your personal and professional growth and development. Identify and focus on your main priorities. You can also keep brain active with crosswords puzzles and quizzes.

You may want to identify the most urgent and important goal that you can pursue that would have the most beneficial effects for you at this present time.

Mental growth and creativity

Mental growth and creativity include any activity that stimulates your growth, creativity and innovation. These mind activities tend to stretch your mental capacities and may involve learning new things.

Learning new language will fall in this category. Similarly, learning to play a musical instrument will demand much mental effort and concentration. Creative mental activities include drawing a new painting, writing a book or a song, and developing a new business. Look for opportunities to grow on a personal or professional level by being open to new ideas, concepts and processes. Take some risks by accepting new challenges.

How do you maintain your mental wellbeing and fitness? Your comments and inputs would be much appreciated.