Excuses: Why do we make them… and aren’t we better than that?

As a coach, the primary purpose of my work is to help my clients reach their goals (no matter what they are). Actually, honestly, that is my ONLY goal. I have to help every individual who comes to me: First, to get clear about what do they truly want; second, analyze the most authentic ways, by which they can achieve their goals. Third, then help them take action to actually do the work. The latter is the toughest part but that’s what gets them the results.

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Recently, while interacting with a potential client of mine, I realized that she was resisting everything in her life and making excuses to show why things aren’t working in any sphere. She was rapidly gaining weight, was unable to keep herself happy, didn’t want to go to work and kept blaming others, would always come late for any events and always have an excuse ready for any kind of situation. She started getting perceived as someone negative, ingenuine and dishonest too. She was becoming a holistic package of excuses. She was making excuses, thinking that she would be liked by someone else. She also felt that she will easily get by, without putting any effort into her work, personal life and even relationships. She couldn’t come to terms that her excuses weren’t taking her anywhere and were making her quite pessimistic. Eventually, making her feel that she wasn’t “good enough”.

We’ve all been in the above situation some time or another, have we not? We know that these excuses are nothing else but forms of resistance to change from our lizard brain. We somewhat start getting solace in our negatives. It is as though we don’t want to take owership. So we make an excuse for not being able to keep up with a diet because we might be sick; or not going to the gym, or an excuse for not completing a project you’d committed to; or an excuse for canceling a meetup; or just being late; or an excuse for not reaching your targets… you get the gist, right?

 

Excuses are largely a way of telling Continue reading “Excuses: Why do we make them… and aren’t we better than that?”

Actions that you can take NOW, to be your happiest self.

Throughout my late teens and early twenties, I felt like I was my saddest self. I often felt depressed, didn’t enjoy life, didn’t know how to have fun or even live in the moment. I was conflicted between the past and the future. It was as though being sad and unhappy was a better way to live. Sometimes, I would whine and complain… I felt moody, easily irritated, felt like crying often. I was neither fun, nor did I know the IDEA of fun. I felt like I didn’t have the permission to have a good time. I was anxious and not so productive, too. To add to it, my multi-aspirational and over-ambitious attitude didn’t really help. In fact, I was almost always overwhelmed, irritated and moody. Most of my reactions came from an emotional baggage of the past, however, it soon dawned upon me that if I didn’t take action now, I’d never change my situations.

A few years back, I took it upon myself to make a few conscious choices, to retrain my brain. It was years of baggage that I had to get rid of but I had to start somewhere, immediately. External factors play a huge role in shaping us. However, we can’t control the situations around us but only our own emotions.

I overcome every obstacle with a smile on my face

What I can take charge of, right now, is my own situations. The smaller steps that I take today, can help me shape more positive environment. You know, they say,  Continue reading “Actions that you can take NOW, to be your happiest self.”

The art of committing to the present moment.

The struggle is real! We’re either living in the past or the future. What happens NOW? It has been my personal journey to consciously choose to live every moment to the best of my ability. Trust me, it has not been easy for me. I’ve always been overly ambitious, multi-aspirational (while being good at all of them) and driven. But, I can say that this trait, even though seemed like a boon, was actually a bane. It constantly made me worry about my future, I never enjoyed the present moment and would more often ponder over my past mistakes. It isn’t the ideal life, right? As Steven Pressfield calls it, this behavior is just resistance showing up. It is a way to procrastinate the things that I wanted to do.

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As mentioned in the last blog of mine, the impermanence of life hit me hard when my mother in law passed away. In that month, when I was in mourning, I still had professional (coaching and ID clients) and academic commitments (my ongoing doctorate). I didn’t feel like doing anything. I felt drained and literally had no energy or capacity to work. But I had no option! When things have to be done, they get done! The energy then comes from within, even if it means I need to stay up till 4 in the morning. It took me a while to understand that all I can do is live in the moment and churn out the things, one at a time.

So, when one of my clients asked me that how do I commit to tasks, stay true all that I do… still eat clean, still deliver the work and academic projects, stay calm in tough situations and genuinely commit to people… I knew I had to write this post!

One thing is for sure, it all seems tough until Continue reading “The art of committing to the present moment.”

Over a month down since ATD 2017: let’s check-in?

I have two questions for you: After conferences, how do you bring back the energy, connections, and projects to life? Do you follow through? At some point, we’ve all been through the “not following-through” formula. We have all met brilliant folks, gathered great insights but then when it comes to ACTION, what happens? It’s all gone to the drain.

Everyone talks about pre-conferences, and then post-conference experiences, and insights (almost immediately after they’ve attended one). Of course, it is for obvious reasons: the knowledge is fresh in people’s minds, we recall faces and people better, and we aim to market ourselves well, to literally put ourselves out there, right? But no onw talks about what do we do with all the knowledge and contacts. How do we effectively channelize information? Indeed, ATD ICE, May 2017 was a blast for me! It was a mix of fun learning, engagement, meeting friends, making friends (

Indeed, ATD-ICE May, 2017, was a blast for me! It was a mix of fun learning, engagement, meeting friends, making friends (I wouldn’t want to use the term “networking” 😉) and of course doing business.  This year, instead of writing ‘what I did each day,’ I decided to FOLLOW THROUGH, the new concepts I’d learned, check-in with people I met, complete the projects I received.

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I was planning to write a post almost immediately after the conference, however, things didn’t quite turn out the way I’d imagined. I came back to the sad and disheartening news of my mother-in-law’s demise. I immediately rushed to Mumbai. I was heartbroken, I dearly loved her like my own mom. The impermanence of life hit me hard. It took me a while to get back to work. However, while I was at it, I decided that this year, instead of writing ‘what I did each day,‘ I am going check-in if I FOLLOWED THROUGH.

What I mean by the above is Continue reading “Over a month down since ATD 2017: let’s check-in?”

Working more effectively: How do “millennials” respond to hierarchies and why.

It’s that time of the year when I am headed to the ATD international conference and exposition in Atlanta. Yayie… time to meet all the awesome training, learning and development folks, from around the globe. It’s a lot of fun. I am quite excited for it. ATD calls people like me “young professionals” and I fall under the category of millennials. I love that word.

Having a positive attitude is rewardingNo matter what the size of our companies today, more and more millennials are joining it. In the immediate future, millennials will occupy more be in every aspect of work, micro, small, medium or large. This has been my informal focus area of study, for a while now.

This article is important for all of us because no matter which sphere of life we’re in.. we will be interacting with millennials… So, it is important Continue reading “Working more effectively: How do “millennials” respond to hierarchies and why.”

Simple techniques: How journaling helps my productivity and focus.

Recently, I was asked a question by a “potential client” of mine, “what do I do to keep myself on track with my schedule and maintain my focus.” I know she was struggling with time management and productivity (her version of it). She felt that she could approach me with her concern. I know her, so I do know that what she has been doing it great. I wanted to let her know and specify that I try really hard to stay on track. In the sense that staying on track and being productive hasn’t come easily to me.  The first thing that I politely told her was that it is not always that I can stay focused. I have my weak moments too, but yeah, 90% of the times, I’ve trained my brain to stay focused on my set goals. The one thing that really helps me juggle all my tasks and stay focused is, journaling. Let me tell you how.

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Journaling helps us rewire or retrain our brain in multiple ways, and there is a lot of research to prove that now. I’ll share my juggling story with you: When I was in the second year of college (undergrad program) studying mass media, I applied for part-time work and thankfully got two opportunities in journalism. I was staying in the hostel and wanted to make some extra buck.It has been quite a few years since then that I’ve been juggling education, work, and personal life. I continued this pattern even in my post-graduate course. I took it upon myself to make money on the side and do the course, no matter how demanding it was. It almost became a pattern that I would sleep late, get up early and just roll. To think of it now, I really don’t know how I did it all. I had extremely limited social life, for sure. However, I was focused on my goal. I moved on to a full-time and then got married as well. Nevertheless, I didn’t leave myself at that now, did I. I went ahead to pursue my master’s degree while I was working full time, and now I am doing my doctorate in human performance improvement and alongside I even got myself certified in nutrition, all this while I am running a business, taking of myself and my family. Crazy, right? But this is what keeps me going. I love to juggle.

It has been quite a few years since then that I’ve been juggling education, work, and personal life. I continued this pattern even in my post-graduate course. I took it upon myself to make money on the side and do the course, no matter how demanding it was. It almost became a pattern that Continue reading “Simple techniques: How journaling helps my productivity and focus.”

Keep the eye on the prize: How to never lose focus at work or in life.

I am what a lot of people would commonly call, “jack of all trades.” But the term I coined and prefer is, multi-aspirational. Honestly, when it comes to being passionate about work, hobbies, and professions, there are several multi-aspirational or should we say, multi-passionate folks like us, in all walks of life. Largely, most successful entrepreneurs and geniuses of the world have been multi-aspirational. They’ve loved doing not just one thing but dirtying their hands with multiple things. The best example is that of this kind has been my favorite, Leonardo Da Vinci. He is referred to as the polymath, someone who has knowledge for multiple areas of life.

Making connections

Leon B. Alberti a multi-aspirational guy, but largely referred to as a famous  Italian architect, once said, “a human can do all things if (s)he wills“. And I completely agree. However, it is the thought of disruption that scares us. We are capable of doing many things and maybe many of them even better. There is no harm in pursuing multiple aspirations, however, Continue reading “Keep the eye on the prize: How to never lose focus at work or in life.”

Break through the clutter: Be your most genuine self, at work, and in life.

Hey! Are you questioning yourself already: “What? Now, am I not being genuine?” If you’re asking yourselves that, then I am glad. We need to do that self check-in often in our relationships, whether personal or professional, to see if something doesn’t feel right. Are we alienating our true nature to present ourselves as something or someone that we aren’t? Whether it is through our self-expression via clothes or conversations or what we decide to share or like or post on social media? Yes, we’ve all been there, however, the point is, to NOT get stuck in that unauthentic zone, indefinitely, right? Yeah, because, when we really aren’t our true selves, not only is it mentally exhausting, but it also makes us less likable, kills our creativity, damages our communications skills, and makes less productive too.

We’ve all had a fair share of inauthentic behaviors. We’ve been there, however, the point is, to NOT get stuck in that unauthentic zone, indefinitely, right? Because, when we really aren’t our true selves, not only is it mentally exhausting, but it also makes us less likable, kills our creativity, damages our communications skills, and makes less productive too. Not to mention, when we try to act, what we truly really aren’t people can feel it. And we know how that feels, right?

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I’ve been doing a bit of research in this context, lately and found through my literature that 90% of people try to act as someone else: perhaps acting as though they know it all and don’t need any further education; or perhaps they are so over productive when they are actually not; or act as though they are in a space where they are far ahead or way up the ladder, when it actually may not be the case. These unauthentic self-expressions occur in various walks of life and because of multiple social and psychological baggages.

Imagine this situation at work Continue reading “Break through the clutter: Be your most genuine self, at work, and in life.”

Build your support system without being a PITA.

Men and women are wired differently and by know it! We not only admit it but also understand how to work our ways around it. Men and women form connections differently, whether at work or in social life. While men have a more “Oh! Bro!” kinds approach, women [let me put this: largely] have, “Oh! No” kinda approach. The nexus of men is more supportive with each other, whether or not they can truly provide any helps, when needed. Whereas, the nexus of women, either rarely exists (especially at the workplace), or is a PITA (pain in the ass) in social settings.

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Well, thankfully, I do have a strong nexus of women, consisting of supportive family members, close friends and even colleagues who are always there, either to lend a shoulder or an ear or simply just be there. Building a support system is crucial to one’s success, whether at work or in life. I am not an expert on this topic though but I am definitely a keen observer and have been a researcher. I had to write about this. You’ll read why. When a client of mine approached me with a critical question, I knew I had to write about it.

This lady wanted to improve her performance through coaching in communications skills. She felt that she needed to hone her personal and professional negotiation to ensure that she was “heard,” that she was understood, ” so that she stood out with her leadership & domain skills. She felt that she was unsupported in a male dominated environment. She also felt that her female colleagues were either too consumed to competitive to climb the ladder or were extremely “negative (or should I use the B-word) to other women.”

Building and staying connected to Continue reading “Build your support system without being a PITA.”

Ladies: Lead like a girl. Just as your heart desires!

Just because my headline calls out to the ladies, it doesn’t mean this isn’t a good read for the men. 🙂 In fact, men, you play a huge role in our lives, whether as a spouse, a friend or a colleague may be. It is not only important to be there, say encouraging your women to be their best possible versions, just as how women have been doing for many years. It is all about creating a balance of good emotions, attitude and positive outcomes.

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In our day to day lives, women tend to direct, lead and drive results at home, largely. They are the ones taking care of the family, multi-tasking (listening to kids while cooking or watching TV while completing household chores), running errands, and in some cases, all this happens while they are managing work. However, I wouldn’t deny, there are some who we’d be wondering, ‘if they do anything besides breathing out carbon dioxide.’ Don’t take me wrong, I am not judging! Rather, I’d say, ‘good for them. Maybe they know what they’re doing! It’s a good life.’  They have my respects… but personally, I would still prefer it another way. And BOTH ARE OK!

It is true and there is tons of research out there, which suggests that no matter how much or how little a woman does, we are constantly Continue reading “Ladies: Lead like a girl. Just as your heart desires!”