Are you Original?

– less than 3 min

In my last week post ‘Imagination’, I mentioned about creativity with the following “Creativity lies within the imagination. When you pay attention to your imagination, your creativity sparks.”  And, in the post ‘The nerd’s guide to evolve’, I have mentioned that if you want to be a leader, you need to think like a leader and I wrote about joining communities. Now that we are talking about creativity, a question arises how does creative people think? How can they come up with so many ideas just out of spark?

Creativity has a close connection to the question ‘Are you original?’ and I ask this question after  listening to a thought provoking speech by Organizational Psychologists, Adam Grant. He calls the thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world as ‘Originals’.

So, Are you original?…..

Adam Grant answers to the question how creative people come up with great ideas? with additional bonus answer listing 3 unexpected habits of the creative people. He says that “Originals are nonconformists, people who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They are people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people you want to bet on. And they look nothing like I expected.”

First, he talks about procrastination. People who procrastinate their task end up goofing up and on the other side, people who are in race to get things done sooner does it with frenzy of anxiety that leaves with no original ideas. People who are neither of them are the originals, does that mean originals have bad work habits? Grant explains more about procrastination with the results from his experiments and points out that procrastinating is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it can be a virtue for creativity.

Second, he talks about doubts. If you have self-doubts it leads to paralyzing your thoughts, while if you doubt your ideas, the ideas will evolve. 

Third, he talks about fear. Creative people will have lot of bad ideas and they make mistakes. They are afraid of failing however they proceed and they are more afraid of failing to try. How true!

It’s so clear that all these sets them apart from the rest. The three habits that are mentioned by Grant are so reasonable and when you think about it, you can’t disagree. They are real and well! he has conducted lot of research and experiments before talking about it.

If you ask me, I would say that I can’t agree more! I was so glad that I listened to his speech and learned about how creative people think? And how they stand out in the crowd?

Here is the link to his TED Talk, it’s very much worth listening to. Not to forget, he has a good sense humor which you will notice in his talk.

Enjoy the TED Talk and Have a great week!

Thank you for reading! See you next Tuesday!
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Photo Credit: Original

Are you being busy?

-Less than 4 min read

Since my Masters graduation my life has been busy. During my school days, I always wanted to be busy by doing lot of things in a day, but all I did was studying, studying and studying. It was monotonous but that was what I could do during that time. It so happened that right after the week I was done with my exams, I had so many things on my plate to do. My sister was working on opening up a small business. I was completely indulged in helping my sister with that. Since I have technology background, I was also able to do things that could help her with website, designing, Inventory system and related computer works. Not just that, we also had to labor like moving, arranging, organizing and so on. I was doing may be very little when compared to what my sister was doing for the business set up. Starting a business is not at all easy and my most sincere salute to all the small business owners out there. While this was going, I also had to find a job. Fortunately I found a job within weeks after the exams. I work my full time day job and then go home to do sister’s business related work. I am happy that I am busy except that I had to cut down some hours from the favorite part of my life, sleeping which is sad :-p

Amidst all these I also manage to find time to read, workout, meditate and do prayer. Ahh! It is supposed to make me proud right? Nope, not at all; Also, I am not saying all this to boast about me.  May be I am busy, May be I am doing many things in life now which is exactly what I wished for, however at the end of the day when I question how efficient and productive my day was, my answer would be not satisfactory. Because I deliver very little in a day compared to what I wanted. There should be some output either pass or fail, in my case it was mostly work in progress which means it’s not a productive day. There is something missing right? I was so glad I realized it sooner and started working on it. I started looking out for techniques so that I stay focused and at the same time it is effective as well as efficient.

Again I do not want to spend more time on just looking for ways to improve but not applying them in life to see the result. That would be sadly stupid thing to do. I came across this technique of visualization. Athletes use this technique for game preparation and results are significant that it improved their focus and they performed better.

This is working for me since I started trying. I visualize how I am going to perform each day and go through my ‘To-do” list to make sure I visualize them as well.  This way I can let my brain know on what to pay attention and what to ignore. So far it is helping me and I am really doing better and happy with the results. If I come across more working techniques, I will sure share with you all.

Thank You for reading! See you on next Tuesday. Have a great week!
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No Sleepwalking! ‘3 min read’

Today, I almost gave up on writing my post for this week. It’s been hectic, tough and tiring week and I thought ‘it’s okay I can skip just one week and it’s no harm. Well that’s true, it is no harm if I miss this week. I have loads of reasons to support that it’s okay. Then I remembered my posts on saying those words, ‘it’s okay’ and the post about Hugh Herr. I thought about it again and told myself that being in death bed or in hospital ill can be the reasons that allow me to skip writing my post. ( That’s a tough one to keep up :-P)

Now that I opened up the fresh page and started writing, I feel better, much better! This is all I need to remember next time when I am trying to skip my work for junk reasons.  In life we get in such situations or even tempted to be distracted that stops us from accomplishing what we are supposed to do. We make choices and decisions, and no doubt our lives are filled with mostly by them. We either make conscious or unconscious choice or decisions in life. Sleepwalking our choices are more easy. We sometimes take a long time to make a decision or just in a blink second. No matter what, we make choices all the time. If you observe you would be surprised how many sleepwalking choices, you have made without yourself and consciously present at that moment. I have read in an article that almost 90% or more than 90% we are sleepwalking our daily choices in life. Our subconscious mind makes decision that are based on your memory, repeated thinking patterns or the information you have in your mind. May be tomorrow at the end of the day you may ponder and figure out how many choices you made were conscious. It will surprise you that you will not remember some and those are unconscious choices that you are fully not aware. Making unconscious decision will leave you in darkness and you would not know the consequences, more like giving up your control, ending up in blaming others for those consequences. They say most crimes are planned unconsciously as they not think about the consequences. That’s why we should take good effort in making conscious decisions in life than sleepwalking. It may be small or matter of life or death, making those decisions consciously is important. Tomorrow if you are able to notice the difference then you are taking that first step in living a conscious life. If you are fully aware of those choices you make, then you will understand that you have gained control in your life and those choices turns out to be right ones.

Having said this, I would like to mention that no one is perfect and not everyone is making all the decisions consciously. Sometimes even right choices may not benefit you. However, knowing that you did the right thing will make your day better. Of course, you should be proud of it.

Today I made conscious choice to stay up and write my post that I am committed to every week and I feel awesome! (I am yawning as well! Lol!)

Thank you for reading! Have a great week friends. See you next Tuesday!
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Photo Credit: Flickr

It’s Okay! – ‘4 min read’

One of my friend let her 3-year-old kid to sit in the front seat because the kid was pleasing her so much and she couldn’t say no to that cute face instead she said, it’s okay, and allowed her kid to sit in the front seat. Can you guess what happened next?

Well, it was not worst but she ended up with traffic ticket (worth double demerit points) and warning from the cop. For real, this cop seems to be nice. But, I thank God that they are safe.

This post is about two words “It’s Okay!”

It is easy to get frustrated and lose interest in our goals and end up saying ‘it’s okay’ to move on. Most of the times, those 2 words, ‘It’s okay’ seems to be the reason for everything that collapses life. When you say it’s okay, everything gets compromised. We all know our mind works in the form of input and output. For every input, you get output. You send in signal for it to respond like a computer programming code.

To your mind, ‘It’s okay’ is a code to stop paying attention now, cool down and relax. When you have not achieved your goal, it can’t be okay. You can’t say it’s okay. That means you are convincing yourself, it doesn’t matter if you don’t do it. If that’s the mind set you have, then there is long way before you could check out any item from your to-do list.

If you have observed keen, you would have realized that procrastination is also caused by the same ‘it’s okay’ mind set. Most of your tasks are postponed by this reason. A simple example, hitting snooze multiple times before we wake up, is because we say it’s okay; convincing ourselves to think it’s okay to sleep for another 5 minutes.

Even in relationships or in marriage, this mind set creates conflicts between couples. Woman thinks it’s okay he can wait for some more time and takes as much as time to groom herself. Man thinks it’s okay not to answer her call now thinking it can wait. When the time pass by they take each other for granted by saying it’s okay and end up in a fight that could have been avoided.

Not to spare, there are instances that even friends became enemies because of the same mind set. A friend thinks it’s okay she is just a friend I don’t need to inform her where I am, although you know she is waiting to hear from you. Another friend thinks it’s okay he is just a friend I can use his car anytime but doesn’t fill the gas even once.

Here is another one, most seen and usual happening under the shield of it’s okay at workplace. Taking stationery items like pen or notepad or markers thinking it’s okay just 1 pen or notepad doesn’t bankrupt the company. But this compromises your ethical behavior at work and you never know how and when it pays off, and trust me it will look bad.

Like such there are much common behaviors like driving above the max speed limit, littering on the neighborhood park and so on. We tend to indulge in such behaviors thinking it’s okay no one is watching. These are just examples, may be even silly ones, but when we think through it we understand how easy it is to compromise the efforts you put until that moment and compromises the reputation you had created so far by uttering it’s okay.

So my friends, let’s try to be responsible and take actions on personal development and from now let it not be okay when it’s not.

There are times in life when those 2 words are necessary, use them when in need and for real.

I would like to list some it’s okays : –

  • Life is an adventure and it’s okay to be nervous;
  • It’s okay to ask for help;
  • It’s okay if someone disagrees with you;
  • It’s okay to be different;

“It’s okay to FAIL but it’s not okay to GIVE UP”

“It’s okay to follow your heart but take your brain with you”

I think those quotes are appropriate for this post and I do not know who wrote it.

Do you think it’s time that you should give up on your goal?  I would say just stick with it and try even harder.

Thank you for reading & Have a great week friends! See you next Tuesday!
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Photo Credit: it’s okay

Give Up!

– less than 3 min read.

There are many reasons behind a person to give up on something. We may give up on a relationship, education, assets, materials, like such there are things in life that belongs to us that we give up, sometimes life itself. Those reasons are out of necessity or by order or out of chastisement and they may or may not be acceptable but failure must never be a reason to give up your fight. When we sleep peacefully at our bed, there are many who are wandering in the street with no place to sit. They don’t give up their life and their life still moves on. It is extremely difficult for us to imagine what kind of fight they are put up with.

There was a boy who at the age of 8 had scaled the face of 11,627-foot (3,544 m) Mount Temple in the Canadian Rockies. At the age of 17, he became one of the best American climbers. In the year 1982, this climber and his fellow climber were caught in a disastrous winter ascent in a very difficult ice route on Mount Washington, they both became perplexed ending up descending into Great Gulf. They had to pass three cold nights at -29ž C. Both the climbers suffered severe frostbites before they were rescued. I’m talking about the prodigy rock climber, Hugh Herr and his fellow climber Jeff Blatzer. Due to the frostbites they suffered, Herr’s both legs were amputated below his knees and Jeff’s lower left leg, right foot toes and right hand fingers were amputated. Herr underwent many surgeries and rehabilitation. Do you know what he did after that? he started climbing again exactly what his doctor told him was unthinkable. He designed his own prosthesis and created prosthetic feet to make him climb again. He was able to work on the advanced leg prosthesis while he was postdoctoral fellow in biomedical devices at MIT. He is the first person who climbed at more advanced levels with such bigger amputation and being able-bodied person.

NewsImage_Hugh-Herr

Can you imagine yourself doing this? For most of us going back to the same classroom where we were humiliated is difficult. He did not GIVE UP except his legs. He did not lose his legs by some accident, he lost them during his climbing journey, the very same sport that he got back after losing his legs. He was able to achieve even better. Using his prosthetic legs, he was able to adjust the height which makes him to get to the heights that were out of reach before.

Ask yourself one question before giving up your fight. WHY? and remember Hugh Herr.
It’s only you who could fight for your dreams, your aspirations, your goals and whatever you want. If you give up, it becomes nothing.

Thank you so much for reading & Have a wonderful week my friends! See you next Tuesday!
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Photo Credits: MIT'S Hugh Herr
Featured Image source: CNN

 

A Firefighter! ‘4 min read’

There was a fighter named Mark who works at a fire company as a volunteer fighter and also works at a different company for paid job. As you all know that firefighters should arrive at the scene as early as possible or may not be possible, but they got to get early at the scene. This firefighter, Mark, was an assistant captain and he had a forerunner in that voluntary position who gets to do things first on the assignments. There was a fire accident at a house reported and the fire company arrived at the scene putting off the fire. The first volunteer approached the captain for orders and Mark got their 5 seconds later which means that the first volunteer gets inside the house before Mark.  The captain was having a serious conversation with the house owner who was standing outside in pajamas and barefoot in the midnight watching her house burning in flames and she cries “oh! my dear dog”. The captain commands the first volunteer to save the dog from the fire, Mark missed his chance of saving the dog because he was 5 seconds late but he is next for captain’s command. The captain calls Mark and asks him to get inside the house and bring a pair of shoes for the house owner. While they both walked past the fire where the other fighters were pretty much done putting off the fire, they both brought the treasures (the dog and pair of shoes). Everyone was happy and praising the first volunteer for saving a life. With disappointment of not getting a chance to save that dog but to bring shoes, he handed it over to the house owner.

After a week, the house owner writes a letter to the department thanking the team for the effort they put in saving her home. The house owner was so kind that she mentioned above all others that someone even got her pair of shoes from the burning house.

Here is the lesson Mark comment on this situation. He has seen act of kindness at many levels and this is one of the example he had seen in his experience and he says everything matters including those pair of shoes.

What a strike it is!! Everything matters!  And it’s very true! Whether its saving a dog or shoes, it all matters.

We always want a chance to do something that we think or have our own definition for what matters and what doesn’t, right? Mark was a volunteer who was waiting for a chance to be the savior and he thought saving shoes is not an act of a savior. But…. for someone it matters.

We often tell people that once I make $100,000 I will be able to help homeless. Once I start earning I would be able to help who is in need. We always wait to make that millions to help someone. The fact is…. you don’t have to wait to make that millions to make a difference in someone’s life. If you have something to give, don’t wait but give it now. There are many ways to help the needy, it’s not only the money that can help.

You can serve people at old age homes or you can be a mentor by sharing your knowledge or you can teach at voluntary education centers or you can help clean your neighborhood park, there are many such ways to make a difference as an individual. Remember, not to wait!

“A simple act of kindness can matter millions to someone” – VE

 

Have a great week friends! See you all next tuesday!
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Photo Credit :pixabay

Respect Through Wrong Lens! ‘2 min read’

Here comes my next post with another short story.

This story is about a treasurer who worked at a highly renowned place as a President. On his retirement he became a coach/speaker presenting motivational speeches sharing his experiences at various centers and conferences. One day he was invited for a speech at a hotel where he had been to many times for conference while he was President.

This day while he was at the back stage, he asked for coffee and the hotel assistant pointed him to the pantry where coffee was available on a vending machine. He went there and got coffee in a Togo cup. It made him to think about the days when he used to come to this hotel as a President of treasury department to present speech at the conferences, when he asks for coffee he would be assisted immediately by the hotel supervisor with coffee on a porcelain cup. Now he is holding the coffee in a Togo cup. He noticed the difference of respect that comes in 2 types of coffee cups, Porcelain and Togo.

What he experienced happens everywhere. Title comes with certain respect and you can never ask for equality of treatment.

We always long for growing up the ladder desiring to become CEO, CFO, President or anything that seemed prestigious to us. We always thought how cool it is to feel the respect that came with different titles we earn in our life.

The world certainly has a way taking shapes on our lives and we end up looking at success and happiness using wrong lens.

We cannot avoid those respect that comes with your title. But you can certainly avoid allowing it to define you. We are at a place for a reason and we are where we are. Believing that we have ability to make an impact those around you makes a difference. Be bold and believe what you believe in and live the life completely.

We may have a title at work but defining who you are is at your hands. Never allow the world to define you. If you ask me, I have a title named ‘daughter’ living my life with the joy of responsibilities mixed with sacrifices and achievements.

So, My friends! I am eager to hear from you, What is your title? And What does it define you?

See you next Tuesday!

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Photo Credit: Entrepreneur Article

Think different yet positive! ‘3 min read’

I want to share an amazing inspirational story I listened to recently from a motivational speaker, Darren Hardy.

The story goes like this, a business owner was sitting in a park devastated and worried about the loss he was incurring in his business and did not know where else to go for money to get things going in his business. At that time, an old man came, sat next to him. The Old man asked him, “why are you worried son?”, the business owner told him about his immediate need for money and how his business is going down with loss. The old man says I can help you and hands him a check, saying meet me here on this day after a year to repay me. The old man left the place quickly. The business owner took the check and read the amount of $500,000 signed by John. D. Rockefeller. That’s right, John. D. Rockefeller was the world’s wealthiest man. In shock and extremely joyful, the business owner thought all his money problems had disappeared in an instant. He became optimistic and enthusiastic. He took the check and placed in a safe without making it as cash but keeping it as back up. He started working on the business deals and worked hard for alternatives. Apparently he was able to make to profit with alternative business deals and able to stop the loss that was sinking his business. He still had that half a million dollar check as back up. Days went by and after a year, the business owner returned to the park where he met John. D. Rockefeller with the check. The old man came to the park on the same day however was unmindful of this business owner. The business owner was approaching him to return the check and express his gratitude, suddenly a nurse came running and stopped the business owner. She said He is always escaping rest home and he has been going around telling people that he is John. D. Rockefeller. Nurse apologized that business owner and said that hope he did not bother him. The business owner was stunned and dumfounded that all year long he has been working hard making alternatives dealing his business and made profit with convincing thought that he had a backup of half a million dollars in safe. Suddenly he realized that this money was not real however turned his life around. It was his new found self confidence that gave him the power of achieving anything in his life.

There are 2 morals behind this inspiring story. One is his confidence. His confidence was the reason he was able to experience this massive transformation in his life.

The other moral is that not everyone would use that check in the way this business owner had used it. In fact, he did not use it at all. If it was me, I would have gone to the bank immediately to encash it. I might have ended up in more disappointment and more devastation. That’s why I urge you all my friends to think differently yet positively. That distant vision of being positive of no matter what comes plus commitment and dedication could make anything possible in our life.

I have another inspiring story to share with you all and will be published in my next post. See you next Tuesday.

Have a fantabulous week my friends!

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POKÉMON GO! ‘3 min read’

I call my mind as dreamland and I am the ruler in it. It’s same with all. You are the ruler of your own mind. If you are losing control of your mind, then it’s a catastrophe!

This got me thinking more. What happens when you give your mind in control of artificial intelligence? It is like you don’t bother about your mind but allow it to run by the algorithm. If that happens, then, ‘We’re royally ruined’. While I ruminate about this, I noticed that my news feed was overloaded with the latest fever of POKÉMON GO and it was a mere coincidence.

POKÉMON GO is a smartphone game app. This game uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect your time and location in the game and make Pokémon appear on your phone screen which means around you so that you can go and catch them. Well Pokémon is not a new game, it’s a comeback from the 1990’s hit with new feature and the name Pokémon Go. The idea of this game is to “make you” move around in the real time. It’s a brilliant idea to make people move around and get them addicted to this game. One of the news article read the title as ‘Pokémon Go did what Fitbit failed to do so’ (Cited: Chicago Tribune)

Did you notice the quoted bold words?

It makes you move around physically. Amidst the realization of this smart & vivid game, it’s scary to me to think that a game is taking control. I even read newsfeed talking about how this sudden fever is affecting people including reports of injuries to people. No wonder if we even get warnings of “Don’t Pokémon Go and drive”.  There are incidents been reported such as a man fell into the pitch playing this game left him with fracture taking 5-6 weeks’ recovery. The best part is that he had to lie to the doctor that he was walking his dog. Another one is that a teen was lead to dead body as she did not notice where she was walking while playing this game.

I found one of the tweets from USMC.

pokemon tweet

Pokémon Go is a tiny example to what happens when you lose your control. Getting addicted to this game and walking without your knowledge is a form of losing control of your mind. Playing this game could be fun. But you got to stay alert so that you are not lead to unknown places. Staying alert of yourself is more important than staying alert in the game. Play the game at your convenience and be responsible. Even I play this game but only for “fun” and I don’t go to central park nor take a fall for this.

There are always one or the other inventions that we get addicted to causing us life injuries, my simple suggestion is that do not lose your control under any circumstances. Be the ruler of your mind and technology.

 “When we lose control over our minds through hatred, selfishness, jealousy and anger, we lose our sense of judgement” – Dalai Lama

Looks like we need to update this quote as

“When we lose control over our minds through hatred, selfishness, jealousy, anger AND TECHNOLOGY, we lose our sense of judgement”

Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

See you next Tuesday!
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Fast & Faster! ‘2 min read’

Yesterday I watched a conversation between my sister and her daughter. My sister was suggesting my niece to spend 2 hours a day for studies which my niece agreed and she quickly started planning her 2 hours’ schedule with the homework my sister assigned to her. The homework was learning math, cursive writing, and reading. She said that “Mom if I do these work quickly I would be able to finish them within an hour and I don’t need 2 hours, but if I do these nicely then I would need 2 hours”

And ironically we had a discussion in my MBA class last week about intrinsic motivation and we talked about an experiment conducted by Harvard economist, Roland Fryer on the school students and the experiment was to pay students if they perform well and there were other tests too.  His experiment did face criticism including death threats, however he did conduct the experiment in 4 cities. The results were surprising, because not all the students performed well despite this offer. In this discussion I supported that intrinsic motivation like being self-determined yields long term benefit and effect of extrinsic motivation such as monetary rewards last for only short while.  I also said that if a student studies with an eager to learn from the book then that becomes intrinsic motivation and that motivation will help him to take much effort to understand the material better. If the same student does the studying for the sake of receiving cash rewards, he would finish his studying sooner without having the need to understand the material by taking efforts but to quickly receive the reward. The experiment was all about motivating students. Not everyone supports this experiment because money is not enough and it never is. However, for kids, it may be part of the solution. In the end, we want kids to be self-motivated not by such rewards right?

In this digital world like ours, most things are trivialized and their values are confused. We want everything to be done quickly and at speed. We need faster internet speed, we need laptop that boots up quickly, we need faster transportation to reach destinations sooner. There are more and more innovations towards making things faster.  The things that humankind do not fully comprehend their value are easily trampled underfoot and discarded with calm indifference.

My thoughts are that doing things quicker may be required but how do we do it efficiently after all we are not machines or robots right? I believe…. that we need to develop grit and it is very important. Perseverance and passion for long term goals are as important while getting things done quickly. I believe observing more value from what we learn will help us in future.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how you survive in this fast world?

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed – Mahatma Gandhi

Photo Credit: Adsoftheworld

See you next Tuesday!
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