Tag Archives: Comfort Zone

Wish to make 2016 awe-inspiring? Make reverse resolutions!

Momentous moments to usher in a new era! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

When “what we are going through” approaches the end, we feel relieved and look forward to the turning point! Suddenly, we feel nostalgic, euphoric with burning desires and renewed hopes!! We like to bundle up the past and begin a new journey in the New Year. Casually or seriously, we resolve to do something that we could not do earlier.

It has become a ritual to make new or renewed resolution/s on New Year. With that comes a challenge – what we are able or like to do, we would have started doing it earlier; hence, our resolution/s invariably come for what we were unable to do, hoping that we would be able to do it this time, even though we don’t bring any change to make it happen!

Therefore, history repeats – we fail to make our resolutions real again, since nothing usually changes except for our excitement over digits of year increasing by 1! 

So, why not look at 2016 through a different lens?

What you have not been able to do in past, you would not be able to do it in present, unless you change your approach and increase will-power. But then, it is not easy for everyone. However, what you have been doing, it is conceivable that you can resolve not to do it! This is what I call “Reverse resolution/s”.

Think over – can you move forward, unless you control or crush what takes you backward? Can you hope to become dynamic, without dropping what makes you dull or docile? So, secret of life is in scrapping the showstoppers for show to start and succeed!

How about considering reverse resolution/s for one or more of the following:

  1. I shall not live in the past!
    This resolution can be the most significant and rewarding.
    Our past comprises of knowledge and emotions. When we say living in the past, it essentially means living by past emotions, which is a single source of all of our banes, limitations or weaknesses! Contrary to popular beliefs, past emotions always bring pains, although we perceive these give pleasure!
    Get rid of your past emotions; it would rekindle and revolutionize your life!
  2. I shall not give up what I choose to do!
    Choose consciously what you want to do; but once you decide, giving up is a worst idea, unless it turns out to be a wrong choice. Your determination to not to give up opens numerous doors of new opportunities.
  3. I shall not expect others to be what I can’t be!
    When above is not done, conflict unleashes for supervisors and subordinates, politicians and public, friends in relationship or spouses in marriage!!
  4. I shall not live in doubts!
    Living in doubts is like living in dark cell; leading a double standard life!! When you entertain doubts, you can never be genuine and truthful. You can never qualify to be a leader!
  5. I shall never neglect my health and happiness!
    Maintaining good health and happiness is primary duty of all; but most consider it secondary, which is a shame!!
  6. I shall not live in my comfort zones!
    Humans have natural tendency to build and live in comfort zones, which actually make them laggards and impede progress.
  7. I shall not move with crowd!
    If you want to make a difference and come in lime light, you must do things differently than what the crowd does.
  8. I shall not put down anyone nor please everyone!
    We have strange liking for 2 extremes e.g. either we want to put down or please others! We can create a much better work place or a world to live, if we give space and respect to everyone. None other than we are the chief beneficiary from same!!
  9. I shall not allow my ego and biases to overwhelm me!
    Most people feel high on their ego and biases; whereas these actually create lows for their character and charisma!!
  10. I shall not pass on the buck for my troubles to others but own up!
    If you take responsibility for what you are and what you face, you would become supremely confident and courageous to attain new heights!

So, how about adopting some of above to make 2016 a game changer for you?

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Thinking for others’ good actually does much good to you; vice versa if it is bad!

Thinking well beyond self! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

When you wish well for your near and dear or pray for someone’s recovery from poor state of health, you always imagine or wish that it reaches that person, however remote she or he may be!

Lot of research has been conducted whether wishing or praying for someone’s wellbeing helps her/him or not. Praying for something good to happen or someone’s good health is practiced in one form or another in all races and religions in the world. Remote prayer is classically known as Intercessory Prayer (IP).

In 2006, Harvard professor Herbert Bensen had conducted systematic study of therapeutic effect of IP on more than 1,800 people; but no conclusive proof could be found. Work done by other researchers – Dr. Charles Bethea, Richard Dawkins, Jeffery Dusek etc. did not bring out consistent effect of IP or existence of any divine intervention consequent to IP. Such research over last several decades has been done in several permutations and combinations:

  1. Prayers (or good wishes) by strangers remotely
  2. Prayers by strangers locally
  3. Prayers by known people remotely
  4. Prayers by known people locally

Above 4 combinations gets multiplied by 8 times, considering that people praying had belief or no belief in prayers, prayer was offered with or without knowledge of concerned person, concerned person had belief in prayers or not and prayer was offered in anticipation of an event or post event. That brings a total of 32 types of prayers and there can possibly be more! 

In many societies, there are rituals for inviting divine powers to bestow good things like peace, prosperity or rains, in case of famine.

What is striking in all of above examples is that the biggest beneficiary is stranger, who holds strong belief that her/his (sincere) prayers or wishes do work and next is that recipient of good wishes, who feels good or grateful to the people, who prayed for her/him, regardless whether she or he is benefited or not!

Do thoughts travel from one to another point or person?

There is no scientific evidence yet; it remains a conjecture! Also, far cry is whether divine intervenes upon invitation through holy words or chanting!!

Yes; your thoughts or prayers affect you directly and that is what all studies prove! If the recipient’s sensory system is triggered by your expressions (on account of your thoughts or prayers), then resultant thoughts in mind of the recipient would impact him. Key is the kind of thought that gets developed in the mind of recipient. In exactly same situation, it is quite common that different recipients develop different thoughts. It is for this reason that above mentioned research on IP has shown varying results!

Why your good thoughts for others bring you more glorious results!

No doubt, you must think good about self. However, you run one risk, when you focus only on yourself – it can expand your ego, while enhancing your confidence; it may drive you into comfort zone, while compromising your efforts to excel!

On other hand, there are umpteen number of upsides in thinking good for others, regardless what they are:

  1. It is impossible to think good about others sincerely, without first feeling good about self. 
  2. When you think good for others, you go beyond self! This is a real trigger for many good things to come to you!!
    A manager, who thinks good for his/her customers and employees, would automatically be greatly benefited.
  3. You become humble and honest.
  4. You become open minded and optimistic.
  5. You are compelled to drop your ego and biases!
  6. Your vision broadens and wisdom deepens!
  7. It gives birth to empathy and you start to reap rich dividend from same.
  8. It instantly increases your competence to manage conflicts and allow you to deal with good and bad with same candor!
    If you have a difficult boss and go to meet him with decent feelings for him accepting what he is, you would have no difficult to deal with him. Even if he throws toxicity at you, you would automatically refrain yourself to get engaged with or escalate it. This can only help change behavior of boss towards you.
  9. Seeds of a true leadership is sown, when you rise above self and think about others and their good!

So far so good; look at the opposite side!

It is seldom that we think bad about ourselves; but we are ever ready to think bad about others out of envy, rivalry, bias, anger or fear! But, we rarely realize or analyze, if thinking good for others can bring us so much good as above, then thinking bad for others can also multiply into too much bad for us!

Above is what you can watch or I can vouch that it is rampant in our daily rigmarole!

It is impossible that our bad behavior, in any form, can ever bring us success or glory. Some people claim that they get pleasure; but that is sadistic and shameful! It is not possible to have good time with bad mind! 

If you are negative inside, you can never create positive outside (for others) or get positive results. Likewise, if you are genuinely positive inside, it is not possible that you can ever create negativity for others.

Very often, I hear people saying “To survive in this cruel world, you can’t be kind; look at that crook – how destiny is kind to him!” This is nothing but our illusion. Most probably, we don’t know real sufferings of the crook.

So, if you want great life, be genuinely good to others. Life would be without luster, if you flick between good and bad (which most do) or without light, if you stick to bad!

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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!!!

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How good is to serve same employer life time?

In comfort zone? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Those, who serve an employer for long time, hesitate to ask this question to self or others! And those, who keep hopping from one to another employer, obviously don’t want to ask this question. Irony is that all of us want to be under the illusion of belief that what we are doing is good!!

There are several large multinational or iconic organizations, to name a few – General Electric, Siemens, IBM and Exxon Mobil, which most employees enter after their education and exit only on retirement. They cannot imagine their life outside of such organizations.

How good is getting addicted to what you consider as good?

Blessings of serving an employer for long term or life time!

  1. You get fully accustomed to company culture and values.
  2. You gain formidable expertise in the way company operates.
  3. Higher job security.
  4. You gain trust and respect of company management.
  5. Company considers you as dependable and loyal.

Banes of sticking to one employer!

  1. You get too much used to what you have been doing and hence, would be averse to changes.
    This would put you into comfort zone and its consequent perils.
  2. If you are dynamic and diligent, you would be hungry for changes, which same organization may not be able to offer at least in the time frame, you may aspire or desire.
    This would bring you into conflict with your seniors and you would lose congenial work environment.
  3. Often, you would lose opportunities to those, who are equally or even less good performers but more likely to quit the organization. Management of companies always prefer to retain them, ironical though! At that time, you would feel hurt that you are being taken as granted and your loyalty is of little value!
  4. If your career path, if worked out by company, does not foresee eventual promotion to one of top executive positions, you definitely run the risk of being sidelined in due course.
  5. You would be prone to get drawn in company politics.
  6. You would tend to be conservative and risk averse.
  7. Time would make you aloof from outside corporate world and market dynamics.
  8. Your overall personality development would take a severe beating.
  9. At a later stage of employment, your intimate knowledge of how company operates would be treated more as liability than asset by your management!
  10. Over time, you would create more adversaries than admirers!

What can make one employer tick!

If the organization you serve is large in size, transnational, has multiple vertical businesses and your management is progressive in developing employees, rewarding for their loyalty through opportunities and job rotation, then sticking to one and same employer could click.

You have to be careful in evaluating above factors. There is lot of lip service in the name of career opportunities and job rotation. If you are too good in certain function/s, your reward could be that you stay put there!

Ideal course for an employee!

Don’t stick around at one place for too long. You are bound to lose respect and race!

Life is all about Change! Change brings you colossal possibilities. 

Set your goals where you want to be in a defined time frame and make sure that every step that you take is an incremental movement in direction of your goal/s. Focus on being smart and savvy, persistent and passionate.Then, any employer can turn out to be the best for you and you should give your best to employer. Demand duties commensurate with your competence and deliver results. If everything works well, continue to deliver but not more than about 10 years and then seek change to a new employer; but leave current one with grace and on a good note. Gain experience with 2 to 4 employers.

Now is the time to introspect. Be rational and not emotional in giving merit rating to employers you have served. Communicate with no.1 rated employer and see the possibility of joining him back or otherwise his competitor no.1!

If you do the above, your stake and stock would see multifold rise!

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Sure signs, if long term health of organization you serve is not sound!

When Organization is in sound health! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Is not it a sound idea to check time to time how sound is the long term health of the organization, you are serving or managing? If yes, top management as well as employees could do well to make following reality checks and then seek a change or solution:

  1. Top rated performers leave organization earlier than 10 years for better prospects or serve it for more than 10 years in same unit or hierarchy.
    If an organization can’t offer challenging and attractive roles to its top performers and can’t retain them for at least 10 years, either its management lacks sparks or policies are not solid!
    But the problem could be much more serious, if top performers continue to serve in the same unit or hierarchy beyond 10 years! Either top performers are not truly top ones and it is a faulty appraisal system or they were top rated in earlier years and have got into comfort zones or become lax in recent years!! If someone is a strong performer, it is unlikely that he/she would not seek a change within or outside of the company.
    Every organization’s dynamics demand that role of their high performers remain dynamic!
  2. Under-performers have not improved in max. of 5 years.
    If such employees do not better their performance within 5 years, then company is heavily short of leaders and strong human resource manager. It also shows lackadaisical practices of the organization to accept under-performers (with no sign of change) and less effective bosses or supervisors, who are unable to inspire improvements!
  3. In good times, organization is growing only vertically.
    In boom time of sales or profit or both, if a company confines its growth in same business segment or product range and does not carve out forays into adjacent areas or horizontal growth, it spells faulty business strategy. It is bound to become vulnerable and top heavy in the ensuing years, only to get toppled!
  4. In bad times, company does not or has constraints to invest in inorganic growth.
    A well-managed company has to have contrarian or opportunistic approach. Be bold when going is bad! Grow when time is grim!!
    In a bad economy, bargain buys are possible. If companies do not convert challenges into opportunities, it signifies lack of foresight by management or weak financial muscles even after having had good times.
  5. Management cadre does not visit customers, who don’t have currently new projects or business proposals.
    Most company executives chase fruit of business, when it is ripe, rather than investing time and efforts to sow seeds of business, when ground is fertile and customer would plan to plough his profit. Such companies miss competitive advantage and lose firm feet to walk away with business.
  6. CEO or head of unit is not among first few to come to work in morning.
    Top bosses are trend setters for their employees. If they do not practice what they preach, employees are unlikely to take them seriously.
    So, organizations, where bosses do not lead by examples, do become laggards!
  7. Human Resource Manager (HR) believes in penalizing rather than promoting employee values.
    In many companies, what HR advocates, it does not administer, especially when it comes to empathy, addressing grievances or development of weaker performers.
    It is important for HR to act like a promoter of compliances, rather than administrator of rules and regulations. Its primary focus should be to develop employees, rather than making efforts to retain. Will it not serve as a terrific tonic for company’s health?
  8. More than 10% of employees on an average work for 2 hours beyond normal work hours on any day.
    Does not it imply that company rewards extra work hours more than smart work? It is also an indicator of skewed work-life balance of employees.
  9. More than 5% of supervisors perennially evoke their position or lung power to get things done rather than encouraging employees to be passionate in discharging their duties.
    Practically speaking, even 5% supervisors in this category can make company’s water muddy; but it is hoped that they can be mentored to change their style.
  10. More than 20% of employees do not wear natural smiles on their faces!
    Natural smile reflects satisfaction level among employees and enviable environments of company!!
  11. Management has no bent of mind to ensure that company premises and utilities are kept up-to-date.
  12. Ex-employees do not feel enthusiastic to pay visit to company; nor management shows any care or concern about them.

Good news is that above indicators are fully reversible. It is imperative for management and employees to comprehend these in time and have courage to make corrections! This would then raise company’s credibility and make it a happy and healthy family like!!

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