Serving others and providing value

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We all want to live a purposeful and fulfilled life. However most of us are not sharing our gifts, skills and passion with the world. We are merely trying to survive by earning our living in an average job. We had high school education, and maybe graduated from college or university. Then we look for a job with a decent salary.
There must be a better way of living your dreamed life. Actually there is. Do the work you love based on your passion and your purpose in life. First you must know what is your passion and purpose. Ask yourself some meaningful and revealing questions. What are your current skills, talents and assets? What deeply inspires and fascinates you? What would you do if you had no limitation in time, health and money? What impact you want to have on your community and the world?

Robin Sharma says that your success and lifestyle depends on your helpfulness. Once you have a good understanding of your gifts, passion and purpose, you are ready to serve others and add value to their lives. Whatever your field of endeavour, ensure that you master the topic and subject matter. Become an expert in that field by continuously sharping your skills. Only then you can really provide added value to others.

By understanding your clients’ challenges and problems better, you can serve them better, provide value and actually help them. The more you serve and provide value to others whether it is your family, friends, clients or company, the more successful you will become. It is as simple as that.

What are your gifts and expertise? How are you sharing your skills and providing added value?
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The culture of grit

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll people are born winners.  Yes, you won your sperm race. The real question is whether you can develop your tremendous potential by hard work, discipline and grit. In the end, those are the people who will be most successful.

In her best-selling book, “Grit”, Angela Duckworth defines it as a combination of passion and perseverance. The author found that high achievers in any field of endeavor have one thing in common: grit. So what is grit? Ms. Duckworth says: “Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time.”

The consistency of effort and practice over a long period time is the main ingredient for success. What counts in the long run is the perseverance, even more than passion and natural talent. There is no shortcuts to excellence and real expertise, it takes purpose, practice and perseverance, hence a lot of time.

High performers make deliberate practice into an enjoyable habit. If you want to be successful, you need to embrace challenge and hard work rather than fear or hate it.  Following through obstacles and challenges in life teaches you powerful and transferable skills and develops your resilience.

To be gritty, is first of all to show up. To be gritty is to hold fast to your purpose, vison and passion. To be gritty to hold fast to a specific and meaningful goal. To be gritty is to persevere in face of adversity, days after weeks after years.

Whether you realize it or not, the culture you identified with shapes every aspect of your life. So develop a habit and culture of grit. Choose friends who are gritty and follow gritty leaders. If there are none around you, create your own gritty culture. It is the culture of grit that truly helps you achieve your potential and success in life.

How gritty are you? What are you doing to improve your grit?

Being motivated and productive

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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

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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

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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? 

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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?

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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.