Secrets behind why happy-go-lucky people are usually healthy!

Being Happy-go-lucky! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

By happy-go-lucky people, I don’t mean those, who are thick skin, carefree, care-the-less or who appear to keep themselves aloof from pain but not from pleasure! I am referring to those people, who keep themselves happy and able to manage their stress well!

I am sure that you know some happy-go-lucky people. To understand what they do and what works for them, let us first look at following examples:

  1. Doctors rarely fall prey to diseases they treat!
    Practicing doctors rarely fail to attend to their duties. They usually do not pick-up infections from the patients they treat. Popular belief is that by getting exposed to infections repetitively, they become immune and that they take precautionary measures like washing their hands after checking their patients etc. But, many doctors are not known to take such precautionary measures. Then, there are several social workers, whose pursuit is to meet patients, spend time with them and boost their morals. Even these noble workers hardly get impacted by illness of patients!
    There seems to be no scientific explanation how frequent exposure to infections enhances your immunity! But, one thing is strikingly similar among doctors and social workers – they don’t get disturbed and distracted from diseases; for them, it is just a routine!
  2. Why doctors’ evergreen advice in every illness “Be happy; you would be o.k.”?
    You must have noticed this! Doctors do try to create optimism and hopes in their patients!! I have witnessed many, who have faith in their doctors, recover much faster than those, who doubt them. Why?
    It is certain that optimism and hopefulness help your health!
  3. Military people invariably enjoy and sustain sound health!
    Fitness exercises and hard work definitely help maintain good health. But, there are lot of civilians, who are health freaks but don’t seem to benefit as much as military people do. What is worth noting is that military people are healthy; but not necessarily happy!
    There is one stark difference military personnel have as opposed to civilians – they are much focused and don’t allow themselves to get distracted in normal course!
  4. Saintly people are seldom sick!
    They are calm, less complicated and have minimum conflicts of thoughts! Their wants or needs are very little. The net result is a stress free life and that seems to be key to their good health.
  5. During exciting time, excellent health endures like that of bride and bridegroom at time of their wedding!
    When you are truly excited or having a hearty laugh, your body releases such hormones, which make your immune system stronger. At such time, you suddenly find yourself very focused and free from worries!

Now, signs that happy-go-lucky people emit

Compare the above examples with the clear signs, happy-go-lucky people reflect:

  1. They are free from stress or manage their stress well.
  2. They don’t overtly get disturbed by distractions.
  3. They are optimistic and hence dislike company of pessimists.
  4. They strike good balance between work and life.
  5. They are not perfectionists.
  6. They are able to minimize struggle with self.
  7. They take on the life as it comes.
  8. They avoid being furious or frustrated.
  9. They don’t allow dust of doubt and rust of past to set-in!
  10. They never nag and always enjoy what they eat!!

So, we can safely conclude that happy-go-lucky persons are unique combination of unique qualities of medical practitioners, military men to saints and stimulated ones! We often confuse with superficially happy-go-lucky ones, who are complacent, care free or careless, casual or enjoying being in comfort zones! Such people have misplaced happiness.

It is noteworthy that happy people are invariably healthy; but healthy people are not necessarily happy and therefore, eventually they lose good health!

How to be happy-go-lucky!

  1. Gainfully engaged mind brings wellness; whereas idle mind triggers illness!
    As a matter of fact, mind can never remain idle. Typically, when we say idle mind, we mean no physical activity; but our mind is actually busy with conflicting thoughts. A gainfully engaged mind would automatically drive you to do productive work!
  2. Cut down unproductive thoughts and tasks.
    At least half of what we think and do is wasteful. Please look at earlier article on “Want to free-up your time by 50%? Follow just 5 tips fiercely!” Very significant to know here is if you do something wasteful, it is bound to bring associated worries.
  3. Acceptance of “what it is” and feeling gratitude for “what you have” are two great mantras to keep you away from disappointments and dejection.
  4. Welcome problems but work for solutions.
    You may find it difficult to welcome problems; but points 1 and 3 above would act as great enablers.
  5. Whatever happens has both positive and negative built-in. If you tag along with positive, you would be terrific; otherwise it can be terrible!
  6. It may be very surprising but true that full focus and faith in what you pursue is key to “full-of-fun life”!

Being happy-go-lucky surely boosts your immune system and more importantly not allow you to become unhealthy!

So, if you are not happy-go-lucky by destiny or DNA, you can definitely be so by design!!!

First 10 minutes determine tenor and trend of the outcome of what you do!

Few beautiful minutes in morning make your day beautiful! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Sometimes if you wake up in the morning, feel calm and confident about yourself for first 10 minutes, then you can be rest assured that your day would be peaceful and productive! However, if you feel instead angry or anxious, you are likely to face a disappointing day!!

Likewise, 10 minutes after you reach your office or you start a meeting with your supervisor or sub-ordinates is the time, which would matter most to you. The way you think and function during this period would set the tone of the result of your activity.

One of my relatives is not a morning person and is, therefore, generally on the edge once she wakes up. This is true of many non-morning persons. If she is not allowed to settle down by her own after getting up for a period ranging from 10 to 20 minutes, she would unsettle you for rest of the day, apart from she getting upset!

During my tenure with a German multi-national company from 1978 to 1997, at one stage I got a new boss, who was very toxic. He was known for not giving-in to grievances of any employee, even when same were genuine. My peers were highly terrorized with him. Then, I decided to deal with him differently. Whenever I had a meeting with him, I would drop my notion that he is toxic and say to myself that there must be something good in him, since he had been promoted as head of a business unit. During the initial few minutes, I would not allow myself to get ruffled, even if he was rude and sarcastic. After about 10 minutes of conversation, I used to observe that he would tone down and then I could discuss and get his consent for what he would otherwise differ with others! I also tried intentionally to go sometimes with perception that he is really difficult and 100% of such attempts had put me into difficulty!

What happens during first 10 minutes?

  1. It shows whether you are ruling over your mind or you are reeling under your mind.
    If you are ruling over your mind, then you would be self-controlled, focused, have presence of mind and sense of good judgment. If your mind is ruling you, you would be negative, emotional, groping in the past and prone to mistakes.
  2. Your mind is virgin at that time in relation to what you are setting out to do. So, your tendencies or traits, which unfold now, put their firm imprints on what you would do thereafter. 
  3. Your preconceived notions surface during this period.
    For example, if you are conducting a meeting, it would show do you want to impose your ideas or evolve the same through participants; do you want to listen to participants or you want them to listen to you.
  4. It reflects your frame of mind – are you patient and peaceful or you are anxious and perturbed; are you contemplative or cluttered with conflicting ideas.
  5. It demonstrates your energy and enthusiasm level. That determines would you be active or passive, proactive or reactive.
  6. Persons with whom you are interacting consolidate their impressions about you during this period.

What can you do in first 10 minutes to drive the outcome your way!

  1. Form a simple habit – after getting up in the morning, settle yourself and focus on a single thought, whatever it be. However, please note that you are bound to get a 2nd thought about awareness of time passing out. This is necessary; otherwise you can’t come out of the said single thought!
    It is very interesting to know that a single thought can never be about anything bad or wrong! If you think something bad or wrong, you are bound to get many more than a single thought!! Try and notice it. Further, more than 90% of people on this planet don’t spend even 10 minutes at a stretch per day with focus on a single thought. If that was the case, ambience of our planet would have been very different!
  2. Do not imagine or visualize the outcome in advance! This is extremely important. If you keep thinking about the outcome, it would get disturbed and distorted vis-à-vis your expectations.
    However, you need to have one belief – whatever is the outcome, it would be right!
  3. Drop all preconceived ideas or notions, before you start an activity.
  4. Do not be doubtful or paranoid about thing/s, you want to engage with.
  5. Drop biases or bitterness from past or present against people you are interacting.
  6. You have a very easy yet effective tool to impact the events and eventual outcome – focus on what you have to do and just observe unfolding events; but never judge same!
  7. Let problems or issues not overwhelm or overtake you. Accept what those are; do not waste time in brooding or narrating those. Instead, seek to solve those.
    Remember sincere attitude to solve automatically brings the solutions. 
  8. Regardless of how important or insignificant situation you are facing, remain calm and in control of self.

Above 8 points do drive the outcome in your favor! If you cannot exercise any of these, it is better to take a break from what you are doing, reset your mind for above 8 points and restart.

So, you now have a magnificent mantra for success in every endeavor you make!

Want to free-up your time by 50%? Follow just 5 tips fiercely!

Where the hell time is? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

“I have no time to relax!”, “Work is too taxing!!”, “I wish I had time for what I always wanted to do most!!!” and lot more things to lament for lack of time.

This is usual chore of current time. People, who work responsibly, get more responsibilities making it harder for them to get spare time. However those, who do not have responsibilities, also don’t have time!

Then, we are saddled with lopsided notions in corporate life to conserve time – multi-tasking improves productivity; dynamism means doing work faster; it is good to load employees so much that they have no time to digress!

Computerization and IT advancements have provided terrific means to save time in every field; yet all of us seem to be running short on time. Consistent with Parkinson’s Law, we have stretched ourselves to utilize time freed up by new tools and techniques for doing what we should, as also what we should not! Despite all modern means to rejig the way we do our work, we have not rejigged the most powerful tool we possess – our mind!

Here are 5 tips, which can shake your life, simplify your engagement and save you 50% or more time:

  1. Don’t struggle with self!
    This is a vicious virus, which eats most into your energy and time.
    When you don’t get what you want, rather than targeting causes and their effects or your efforts, you target yourself. You feel dejected and disappointed, and blame yourself. It derails your focus and damages your confidence.
    “Struggle with self” is essentially “Conflict of your thoughts”, more than 80% of which comes from your ego, envy and biases! If you would dilute or drop these 3 parameters, not only that you would stop struggling with self, you would also rediscover your energy, efficiency and speed. It would make your time far more purposeful and peaceful! It would also encourage you to trust others and delegate part of your responsibilities.
  2. Accept what it is
    We often waste lot of time by not accepting what has happened or what has become a reality. By not coming to terms with what is real, we simply get stuck, engage ourselves to challenge, argue and hence, find it hard to move forward.
    It is foolhardy to react against, remorse and recount a reality. There are several side effects of non-acceptance of “what it is” – we develop habit of guessing, grumping and gossiping. We would spend lot of time just to narrate, explain or defend things.
    Only when we accept what it is, we promptly move forward, be able to select a right response and seek a solution, if required. It saves us from frustration and fighting for what is frivolous!
  3. Don’t spend too much time on your spouse and dear ones
    Surprised at this advice? Please notice “too much…”!
    Your spouse and dear ones deserve your quality time. Quantity and quality do not go hand in hand! Real relationship requires balance between quality and quantity!
    However irony is that when you like someone, you start to give more time than desired. When you come closer than a respectable distance, your relationship develops cracks and consequently, it comes on rocks. Time spent that far goes for a toss and it would cost you a bomb of time to salvage!
    Your loved ones merit freedom, space and time! If you give that, you not only save your relationship but also time!
  4. Don’t get addicted to anything!
    You cannot imagine how your addiction to anything takes toll on your time!
    Addiction to what bad is bad; but, addiction to what is good is also bad. When you get addicted to work, you lose balance of life; when you get addicted to successes, you start to grapple with setbacks; if you become addicted to helping people, you are bound to hurt self. I am amazed to see how people confuse obsession as passion or inspiration, misunderstand addiction to work as dedication and misinterpret blind faith as facts of life! Remember, addiction brings compulsion!!
    If you start doing things as a matter of choice and not as compulsion, do what you should and not what you have to, it would rejuvenate your approach, energy and enthusiasm. You would be far more efficient and effective!
  5. Allow things to go wrong!
    It is not possible that you can control everything. What has to go wrong would go wrong in any case! Be aware that control freaks spend or smoke much more time than who are control-free!
    If you know something is going wrong but is beyond your control, then let it go wrong. I have seen people often breaking their head, without applying their head first. Where you believe your intervention or efforts would help things from going bad, make maximum of 3 attempts sincerely. If it improves, fine; otherwise let it fail.
    Do you know, sometimes things going wrong is a necessity? Look at many leaders, neighbors or peers. When they come at loggerheads, no wise counsel gets into their heads, except of a crisis! But, before such a crisis crops up, colossal amount of time and money is wasted!!
    So, it is good to go down at times, to get a better grip on you do.

Then, you can use some cherries on top of above tips – put in place things that prick you most without losing time, avoid arguments and give good time and thoughts to plan your work.

Why not try above tips, which I can assure you would work better than any modern time management tool and give you enormous freedom and free time?

It’s the purpose “beyond you” that alone can make your life par excellence!

A Purpose brings Par Excellence! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

If you believe that your profession, pursuit or passion by itself matters most for your career or personal life, then you are most probably mistaken! What really matters is the purpose, for which you are doing it!!

I have come across several employees in the organizations I have served, who after few years’ of experience, want to quit and pursue full time MBA degree course. When I used to enquire why they want to do that, when they are developing well in their current profile, some would reply that they see MBA degree as a vehicle for their personal growth and others wanted to do it because their college mates have done it. If I now look at those MBA degree holders, more than 95% of them have not grown better than ones, who opted to stay put; rather, some of them are lagging behind their peers. Only less than 5% grew well; but was it because of MBA degree or competence and qualities they are already possessed? One thing, I have found strikingly similar with said 95% employees – they did not have a clear purpose or vision!

In corporate, private or public lives, what is missing is the coaching and correct emphasis on how to set the purpose or vision of your life and then align everything to that. Choosing a profession or passion without purpose is like a journey without destination. You are then destined to come on crossroads, where you would face confusion or crisis.

So, a clear purpose for your pursuit is of paramount importance; at the same time, you also need to understand its larger implications.

Understand larger impact of what you do!

Whether you chose to do something or not, you are bound to create a larger impact, which you seldom imagine. Remember, you are not alone in world; you exist, because of existence of others and everything around you. You influence what is around you and what is surrounding you influences you. Look at some real life examples below:

  1. Your happiness and health make your friends happy, when they see you! Your foes may become unhappy; but then, that is also an influence you have triggered!
  2. If you smile when you see a stranger, may be that it would cheer her up or at least it would strike good impression on her!
  3. If you render help to a needy happily, you are part of that section in society who likes to help others. May be tomorrow, you would need help and this way, there would be many hands willing to help you!
  4. If you become an engineer, doctor or any other professional, you are increasing potential of your community and country to improve!
  5. If you are able to help your company to reduce cost or increase earning, however small, you are contributing to boost GDP of your country and government’s ability to upgrade public life!

Whatever big or small, private or public work you do, you are serving a purpose, much larger than you normally imagine. If you become conscious of the same, it would enhance your self-confidence; make you feel more important; you would feel more responsible and accountable; it would energize you; change and charge you up. One thing is absolutely certain that it bring significant paradigm shift and you would start to see life in a new light!

So, what is behind such dramatic change? Erstwhile, you were seeing things up to you; but now through same things, you are looking beyond you!

Why purpose of your pursuit should be “beyond you”!

Most of us consider it fair to set our purpose “up to us”. Fair enough; but then we do face the following:

  • By setting limit up to us, we limit the height we can scale.
    It takes us through cycles of good and bad times. It is more probable that duration of difficult phases would be longer than decent ones!
  • It encourages us to become egotist and emotional.
  • It would not allow us to beat our biases.
  • We would tend to be self-serving and encounter more conflicts.

On other hand, some in the name of benevolence, sacrifice or service, dedicate their lives only for others! God men, fundamentalists or like, whose purpose is only to impact others, fall in this category. It looks very holy; but look at how hollow and harmful is that:

  • They believe they have reached end of their beliefs; there is no need to change or improve!
  • They are not accountable for their acts; what they do is sacrosanct and above any sin!
  • They promote blind faith and followings.
  • Their real life is a closely guarded secret!

So, there is fatal flaw in making your purpose purely for others!

Only when you make your purpose “beyond you” or “beyond I”, it includes you as well as others. It makes a magical difference! 

How to a set purpose “Beyond you”

  1. Evaluate and understand larger implications of whatever you do, as mentioned above. Go as far as you can to see these implications. If need be, take help of your mentor or discuss it with your well-wisher/s.
  2. Select a goal, as per your dream, desire or competence.
  3. Imagine and investigate larger impact and implication of this goal on you and those around you. As examples – if you are an engineer, you are able to develop X no. or Y % of your team members, so that they become capable of heading a business unit or whole organization. Now, if such could be impact of your goal, then you would be the first to become capable to perform the said function and most likely get an opportunity to do so! If you are an artist, your work could create awe in at least 51% of people, who would witness it. It would mean that your work has to be par excellence to bring that kind of effect!!
  4. Then, chose that larger impact or effect as the purpose of your life or career.

It is that purpose “beyond you”, which becomes your vision and that vision is what makes you visionary. It is bound to bring par excellence in various facets of your life!

How to beat age to acquire maturity and tenacity!

Matured by age or virtue? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Young people, however dashing and dreamy they may be, are saddled with one limitation – lack of maturity and at times tenacity, which time alone can teach in normal case. At younger age, you have energy, motivation, drive, initiative and fresher mind. However, paradox is that when you have energy, you lack experience and when you gain experience, you lack energy!

Experience comes when you go through various phases of life, face a variety of situations and encounter real life examples. It is invaluable in learning lessons, making you sober and seasoned and teaching you tenacity, especially to face and manage the contradictions and crisis with candor and calm.

Take instance of Satya Nadella, 47 year old current CEO of Microsoft. Recently, he triggered a major controversy in a conference at Phoenix, Arizona by stating that women should trust “karma”, instead of asking for pay raises. I am sure that Mr. Nadella was not unaware of sensitivities around discrimination in pay packages of female and male employees in USA and elsewhere! Then, what prompted him to make such unsavory remark? How come earlier CEOs of same organization – Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, who is known for his flamboyant personality, never got into such controversy? Has that something to do with maturity, which comes of age? May be that this episode has given a good ground to Mr. Nadella to be more matured in public communication!

I must mention here that age or experience is not a guarantee for maturity or tenacity. Several experienced leaders or celebrities around the world have been seen to put their foot in mouth. What really matters is the quality of experience and its application. Yes statistically, younger ones take more beating by getting involved in controversial or catastrophic decisions, expressions or behaviors, as compared to their senior peers.

Bright and blind spots of young age!

Substantial research findings are documented below, with bright spots on left and blind spots on right side at young age. Please bear in mind that some individuals may be different; but overall scenario at corporate or community level for young executives or leaders is as follows:

  1. Plenty of prompt actions; but paucity of prudential thoughts
  2. Good salesmanship; but grim entrepreneurship
  3. Active as a boss; but passive as a leader
  4. High ambitions; but with heavy emotions
  5. Lot of energy; but also lot of ego
  6. Broad on short term outlook; but narrow on long term objectives
  7. Great at communication; but poor in content and conviction
  8. Loud talks; but little to walk
  9. Significant breadth of information; but shallow depth of knowledge/wisdom

Above are few salient blind spots, which can be attributed to lack or absence of maturity and tenacity. These fade away with age or experience for who have bent of mind to observe, learn and imbibe.

What does age or experience actually bring!

Now, this is an important revelation:

On an average, beyond age of 26 years which includes 4 to 5 years of professional experience, future age or experience does not bring any additional knowledge or wisdom. What it brings is wealth of information!

What really happens beyond around 26 years of age is that it consolidates your knowledge, refines and structures your ideas, firms up your conviction, removes self-doubts, validates or rectifies your notions or perceptions through examples, incidences and images!! There are vague thoughts or theories in your conscious or sub-conscious mind from earlier time; these either get vindicated or vanish, as you pass through time!!! All of these teach you how to respond to a given situation. One may learn a right response and others may capture a wrong one; but when many of them face heat of wrong response, they revise their earlier perception or practice.”

This process is what precisely world has come to call as experience. The resultant qualities are called as maturity and tenacity. I can vouch for the above by recounting what last 40 years have given me!

Now, how to beat age or time!

If you have understood that you have hidden treasure – knowledge and wisdom, then it is not difficult to defeat age and time. Few people are able to do it at an early age; we call them genius, intellectual, talented or extra-ordinary. Some don’t do it despite age; we term them weak, dumb, immature and so forth.

Here are the keys to beat time and unlock talent, hidden in you:

  1. Develop focus and consciousness.
  2. Don’t judge; just observe!
  3. No action on 1st reaction.
    Pause and chose your response only after contemplation.
  4. Dismantle your preconceived notions.
  5. Drop your ego and biases.
    That would make you open and flexible.
  6. Develop attitude for gratitude.
    It would make you humble.
  7. Choose company of persistent and consistent people or a coach.

I am sure, you don’t want to create a mess or face music, despite your mastery on several subjects and skills. Only way to avoid that is to be matured and tenacious and you have now seven keys to acquire the same, breaking free from barriers of time and age!