Tag Archives: Gratitude

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 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! 

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Aspire to be a Role Model? Go harder on Soft Skills and softer on Hard Skills!

MBA, Engineering, Medical or any other discipline degrees and technical part of experience can make you a model; but not role model! These give you hard skills and knowledge in a given field, enable you to enter an organization or profession; but take you further only to a limited level!! What really helps you is what makes you to deliver or demonstrate your knowledge and experience i.e. Soft Skills. Everyone picks up soft skills from childhood to adulthood in informal and formal way by undergoing specific training and development. However, irony is that very few notice that it is soft skills, which create wonders in terms of results and effects.

What stand between model and role model are soft skills!

You would find that every management guru talks about focus, grit, ownership, change management, decision making, passion, no giving-up and so on. What is this all about?

Why 2 persons with same qualification and equal experience are so different!

2 bosses, 2 teachers, 2 preachers or 2 leaders, though identical in qualifications and expertise, look or fare very different – one is dynamic and other is docile, one is impressive and other is ineffective, one is loved and other is hated, one is authoritative but other is autocratic!

Such variance is purely attributable to their soft skills!!

Harvard Business School, USA normally rolls out masterpieces; but I have seen some of its past students being very mediocre! Difference comes from their soft skills. Yet, the School stands out compared to many other business schools, as it not only develops subject knowledge; but has built in features of developing soft skills (I am not sure, how much the School knows about it!).

Going harder on hard skills hurts!

No doubt, you do need hard skills. These are essential and create and consolidate your knowledge in a given field. But, if you keep focusing too much on your hard skills, you would start to lose out in real world. You would run eminent risk of becoming:

  • Aloof
  • Inflexible
  • Unrealistic
  • Unfriendly
  • Narrowly focused

Therefore, most of toppers in colleges or holders of many degrees do not top in their career or personal lives.

Why you hang around hard skills

Whole world hangs around hard skills for one simple reason. These are objective and related to real objects or activities that can be measured. This develops a mindset that I cannot survive without these, though it is only partly true. On the other hand, soft skills are subjective and you tend to believe that one can do without these.

Hard skills have clear definition, whereas soft skills have vague definitions and subject to lot of interpretations. This is another reason, why many tend to keep away from soft skills.

However, rule of nature is clear –

Degree of “your progress and responsibilities” is inversely proportional to “use of hard skills” and directly proportional to “soft skills”!

Someone may argue that would being harder on both types of skills not yield even better results. Not really; actually it would deteriorate and that’s what above rule also shows!

So, you can only move up, if you reduce your focus on hard skills and put more force behind soft skills.

Soft skill is software of your life!

You can easily draw a parallel with computers or smart hand held/lap devices. Hard skill is like hardware of these devices, which cannot function without software i.e. soft skills. If soft skills of these devises are improved, devices become beautiful and very appealing. This is what Steve Jobs did for i-products of Apple!

So, you have your life, which has your physical body and all what you can count – your degrees, age, experience, money and belongings. But, these are no more than hardware of a computer. Software of your life is actually soft skills in form of your qualities and character, which when combined with the said hardware create real value and worth for your life!

Mother seed for soft skills

There are 2 key skills, which together form the seed of harvesting and harnessing other soft skills:

  • Sincerity
  • Focus

It is important that Sincerity and Focus be treated like 2 sides of same coin i.e. should go hand in hand; otherwise real impact would be lost!

If people around the world generally fail to fructify soft skills and go in circles or back and forth, it is because they do not first develop these 2 key skills simultaneously. Having other soft skills with none or part of these 2 skills is like having no or poor operating system (OS) in your computer or smart phone!

Only when you are sincere and focused at the same time, former would give birth to solid ownership, honesty, empathy, enthusiasm, gratitude, patience and so on. Latter part of this combination would develop strong passion, dedication, innovation, attention to details, courage, confidence, sharp memory etc.

So, hard skills constructs only a model in you; but going harder on soft skills catapults you to Role Model. And the mother seed of all skills is “your Sincerity to the core + Focus on contents like 2 sides of same coin!”

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