Tag Archives: Efficiency

How our beliefs & habits get built and why we need to break some!

Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Our beliefs build our character and habits shape our personality! Are our beliefs or habits gifts from destiny/divinity or products from our genes or DNA? Many tend to believe that it is; but that is not true. Our genes or DNA may influence some tendencies e.g. not recognizing impending dangers like legendary car racer – Michael Schumacher, being fearful or sensitive to changes. Most beliefs and habits get built unconsciously through our life time; though some form through our conscious efforts.

One of my former colleagues was very messy and disorganized; albeit very creative. His supervisor arranged couple of training programs to change him; but that would not have much impact. Subsequently, he got an opportunity to go to Germany on deputation for 2 year assignment. When he returned back, he had dramatically changed in his habits. He would keep his office highly organized and pay attention to every details. He became very conscious of what he would do; though this change came at the expense of his creativity!

On changing beliefs, there are several real stories on how life of famous or ordinary people saw a dramatic difference in their beliefs like believer of violence to become non-violent or honest ones becoming dishonest when faced with difficulties.

Above substantiates the fact that habits are what you harbor and beliefs are what you build! And when you build, you also acquire capability to break!!

How habits and beliefs are formed

Seed of habit or belief is an idea, which comes in your mind as a sequel to your observation. If this idea comes repetitively in your mind through seeing, reading, listening or thinking, it gets rooted in your mind.

Those ideas or thoughts, which result into physical activities on a repetitive basis becomes your habits. These physical activities do mean that your body sensory and nervous systems would work in sync with such thoughts. Thoughts, which remain mental but repetitive, become your beliefs. Beliefs would drive or impact your behavior and other ideas.

Why habits?

If you go back to early phase of evolution of human race or any other living being, habits were formed only for 2 basic reasons – Health and Safety. But, you consciously or unconsciously form many more habits, which have no relation with your health and safety e.g. getting angry when something does not get done, putting hands in pockets of trouser while talking to someone, lying down on sofa while watching TV and so on. Why do you need these habits? You never raise questions.

Observe carefully – habits, which have nothing to do to secure good health and safety, are either harmful or hurt your efficiency! These would kill your focus or health itself like smoking or taste for junk food!!

Why beliefs?

Original idea behind beliefs getting formed or developed is always that it gives you happiness or in layman’s term – peace of mind or comfort level. It is only later that belief which was meant to give happiness, takes shape of faith, fundamentalism or fanaticism!

All beliefs, which are not linked to your happiness, are actually banes! Belief of a boss that by empowering his employees, he would lose power is bunk. It is not aimed at happiness; it is meant to boost his ego, since he wants employees to gravitate towards him by becoming center of power. People seldom notice amount of beliefs that they hold, which are farcical, including so called corporate virtue – being paranoid!

Also, every belief has an ugly side – loss of openness and flexibility.

Challenge your habits and beliefs

If you find that your decency and dexterity do not deliver results, your honesty hurts, your sincerity sticks or you are trailing behind your peers despite terrific work, it certainly requires you to challenge and change your some of the habits and beliefs!

It is extremely relevant that –

  1. Your habits must be only those which would endure your health and safety.
  2. Your beliefs should only what would bring you happiness and do not hurt others.

Believe that it is only you who have built your habits and beliefs. What gets built also gets broken. Do not believe any psychiatrist, psychologist or physician, if they say or write to the contrary. You may need to overcome resistance that your mind can create. People have no clue how wrong habits hurt and beliefs belie what otherwise belong to you!

It is now high time that you take stock of and audit your habits and beliefs, list all those, which do not meet above 2 criteria and make an action plan to discard those gradually and with conviction.

You can’t imagine how you would rejuvenate and redeem yourself by realigning or
relinquishing irrelevant habits and beliefs!

Read More

Our Comfort Zones not only create Inertia; but also inhibit Efficiency & Growth!

Psychologically and biologically, we are always tempted to create comfort zones at work as well as in personal life and our natural tendency is then to live in those! Our comfort zones are actually the cause of our inertia, inefficiency and inadequate growth.

When individuals, management included, in companies start creating comfort zones, the result is unwieldy systems, structure and processes, rendering them uncompetitive. That is when companies have to go for costly ways of restructuring, reorganization or reinventing themselves!

Why we fall prey to inertia created by comfort zones

  1. We like path of least resistance.
  2. We talk of challenges; but hesitate to walk the same.
  3. We have implied liking for gap between our desires and drive.
  4. We relish things on a platter; that’s what comfort levels can provide.
  5. We are mostly risk averse and hence like to wander on roads most traveled.
  6. We carry false notion for developing expertise by only doing repetitive activities over a long period of time, which is devoid of challenges and instead develops comforts.
  7. We like Change; but don’t like to change ourselves!

What we crave and create, we own and don’t want to abandon i.e. comfort zones; this is what invites “inertia in our thoughts and actions”.

How inefficiency and stagnancy creep in

Comfort zones are big barriers to achieving higher efficiency and growth.

  1. Comfort levels are invariably coupled with complacency. So, people like to perform same function or work same way, they are used to do. They do not seek or even see areas to improve.
  2. Every activity or function has 2 parts – (a) what needs to be performed on a repeat basis and (b) what can be changed and done differently.
    Part (a) has possibility to execute faster through use of tools, methods and/or experience. But, if one is in comfort zone, he/she would be averse to apply the same, as mentioned under point 1 above.
    What is far more damaging is reluctance, which comfort zones create against implementation of part (b)! It is this part, which brings new ideas, innovation and usher in real change.
    When part (b) remains dormant, it drowns companies or individuals into gross inefficiency and ineffective growth and development!
  3. Rut of routine and repetition make leaders to lose their luster!
  4. Comfort zones are like cancer, which would only spread, unless cut away.
  5. Comfort zones are the cause of illusion that direction is right and drive is smooth.
  6. Companies and cadres lose momentum and rhythm; therefore, they are no longer vibrant and agile.
  7. Being devoid of Change and Innovations, all stakeholders would go downhill and degenerate.

When we are aware of consequences, why we still crave for comfort zones!

There are two main causes:

a. We constantly live in fear of known or unknown. It is because of this that we humans have become habituated to save our skin, seek safe routes and create secured environments!
Above succumbs most of us to tested and tried things. We start to relish things, which are routine and repetitive! That is how we develop inherent inertia and invariably resistance to Change!

b. This is strange; but true! It is easy for us to be complicated; but difficult to be simple. Therefore, we tend to complicate matters, methods or means, rather than simplify the same!

This is rampant across the globe. Such complexities make us to spend more time and energy in doing our things, test our patience and create fatigue. Feeling of comfort comes in when we gain experience by doing or executing these over number of times or we discover some steps to do these faster (which is actually not a simplification; but using familiarity for faster actions).

Comfort zones are nothing but emotions of ease in execution, which arise from past experience; but these are not necessarily efficient and are barriers to new Ideas and Innovations!

How to kill or come out of comfort zones

  • Contrary to your belief, comfort zones provide only temporary relief. It is the constant drive for Change, which provides continuous thrill. So, you have a clear and only one choice – cut out comfort zones!
  • Comfort zones would eventually kill or throttle your career.
  • These can enhance your experience; but not efficiency.
  • Preference for little constraint over comfort would always pay you.
  • Shed away your emotions for comfort; just capture experience or knowledge, which past instances have created. Your inertia would vanish, if you truly do that!
  • Very important to know is that it is easy to complicate matters; but difficult to make those simple.
  • Simplification brings elegance and efficiency.
  • When we reinvent, we actually convert complicated things into simple ones; not other way around.
  • Put stress on simple thoughts and approach, actions and executions. That would bring you out of your comfort zones and make you:
    • Agile
    • Vibrant
    • Innovative
    • Courageous to traverse on roads less traveled and discover how your dreams become realities!
Read More