Wednesday, 14 March 2018

When Life Hits An Impasse !

When our life is brought to a screeching halt and we are thrown in a tizzy, all we wonder is "What now?" . What had so far been a smooth cruise now appears to be a tricky and bumpy ride. Looking further ahead, we see our life engulfed in a cloud of confusion and chaos. This is when the reality hits us that our life has hit an impasse !

The "cul-de-sac" that stares at us in our face and leave us completely blank is in fact a manifestation of our ill-conceived goals and ill-directed actions. Now, when all our goals seem out of sight no clarity of direction, the only way forward is to do course correction.

Hitting a dead-end in life is not the end of the road for us. A little bit of self-probing and self-reflection could help us get our life back on track again. This is the right time to dig deep and identify what's holding us back.

The following could help us explore the root cause:
  • Do i feel motivated (at this moment) to pursue the goal ?
  • Am i pursuing my existing goals of my own free will ?
  • Do i feel overwhelmed/ underwhelmed with my goal(s) ?
  • Do i need to rework on my goals - maybe establish a different goal altogether or rework on the existing one ?
  • Do i need to establish few mini-goals that will help me be motivated ?
  • Are my action items in place ?
  • Have i set my priorities right ?
  • Have i built the necessary discipline in my daily routine for the tasks that needs to be executed? 
  • Have i built a closure (timeline/ deadline) for the tasks identified by me? 
  • Have i identified all the available options ?
  • Do i have a mechanism in place for feedback ?

Pondering over the above questions could help us pin point where exactly the problem lies - whether in our goals, action items or time. Once the root cause is identified then its not difficult to do the necessary course correction and go beyond the impasse !

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Brace Yourself For CHANGE !

The mere thought or mention of the word CHANGE instils in us a feeling of discomfort, if not anything more. Remember the times when CHANGE caught us unaware and landed us in a "No- Man's Land" where all we did was to rue the moment when we resisted the first step towards a better
future and life. The many missed opportunities and chances stand as a testimony to our reluctance or inability to change.

We grow up hearing that "Change is inevitable" but still we do not brace ourselves for it. The sooner we realise that the only thing constant is Change and there's no escape from it, the better equipped we will be to welcome the Change when it arrives in our life!

Bracing ourselves for any sort of Change is all about implementing the following "4W Model" where each "W" deals with an essential aspect of Change.

Let's understand what each "W" stands for

  • WHY - To embrace any new situation, scenario or circumstance, we first need to be convinced about it. This "W" is all about establishing and becoming aware of the need to change. This awareness then sets the right context for us to take future actions which are well aligned. We become ready to adapt to change the moment we realise its benefits in terms of our growth and evolution.  
  • WHAT - After establishing "Why", this "W (What)" is about getting specific in terms of what transformation or transition needs to happen to bring about the desired best/ better state in us. Being specific helps in gaining better clarity and the details help us identify clear and precise steps for initiating and achieving the change. Identifying whether a change in skill, knowledge or attitude is required help us complete the "What" component of change.
  • WHERE -Closely linked to "What", this "W (Where)" is about identifying the area(s) of our life where Change needs to be brought in. A case in point is our constant struggle to achieve work-life balance. Our quest for holistic wellness depends a lot on our ability to select the area (Home, Office, Health, Relationships, Spirituality, etc.)  that needs to be prioritised for action.  One of the key reason for Work-Life imbalance is our failure to pinpoint the area (Home, Office, Health, Relationships, Spiritual, etc.) that needs to be prioritised and focused upon. Once the "Where" is identified, then taking specific actions become easier and smoother.
  • WHEN -To ensure that we do not "miss the bus"  to a better life, it's important to put a timeframe to our actions towards adapting the change. Defining a time limit based on appropriate parameters help ensure that we not only stay relevant but are also ready to move to the next stage of change, as and when it arrives. As with everything else, a closure is essential to let the change happen seamlessly.
   So, embrace Change without any Fear and Success will always be Near! 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Activate the GPS of your Life now !


In this world where we constantly strive to reach somewhere all the time, can we imagine using our smartphones with the GPS (Global Positioning System) turned off ? Wouldn't that put us out of balance, out of focus and leave us in a state of commotion ?

The VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world that we live in expects us to be always connected with everything around us so that we are in sync with the changing world, if we need to keep pace with the things. Our digital existence and ultra reliance on technology is made possible because of GPS acting as our guidance system and helping us to reach where we intend to. And if the GPS turned on, there is very little possibility of us losing our way or failing to reach our desired destination.

But how about our life ? Do we always reach where we intend to ? Do we always find our way when we get lost ? The fact is that, life always presents us with moments that may make us feel overwhelmed, lost, confused or completely clueless about ourselves. A cloud of obscurity engulfs our goals and destination and we just wander through life aimlessly, without a definite purpose. It is during these moments only that we need to take stock of things and not let life pass by us with just a whimper.

Wouldn't it help immensely to have a GPS for Life that could start from where we are and then guide us to where we intend to go ! Further, what should this particular GPS (of our Life) comprise of to help us move beyond the crossroads that we find ourselves staring at many a times in our life. The expectation from this GPS is simple - to lead us into light where we have a clarity of purpose, direction and action. A timely activation of this GPS could then provide the control back in our hands. So, building a GPS that acts as a guidance system for our life need to possess the following three key elements

  • G for GOALS - Moving ahead in life is all about gaining clarity of destination and direction and well established goals play a pivotal role in brining this clarity. Goals aligned with our passion breeds purpose in our existence and builds in us the needed inspiration and motivation to achieve our goals.
  • P for PROBLEMS - Anticipating problems that we may encounter on path to our goals helps us adopt a proactive approach. It prompts us to do a self-analysis in terms of the resources we currently possess and also those we may require in future to be able to solve the problems that may act as barriers enroute our goals. These resources refer to the appropriate skills and competencies relevant to the context.
  • S for SOLUTIONS - This component is all about displaying a positive and progressive mindset. When the going is tough or when we feel overwhelmed with the goal/ situation, all we need to do is to keep going. Focusing on solutions will keep us motivated to take small steps which will take us closer to our goals. 

So, wherever you find yourself at this point in time, just activate the GPS (Goals-Problems-Solutions) of life and reach where you always yearned to !

Saturday, 10 February 2018

The "Success Equation"

When we think of Success, the most common questions that crop up in our mind are

What does Success look like ?

Does Success come easy ?

How do we achieve and sustain success ?

The answers to the above questions lie nowhere else but in our approach - whether we pursue success as "madness" or  put a "method" to this "madness". The  moment we have a system/ method, success becomes a habit.  

Engaged in the mindless pursuit of "more", we always tend to live life in the fastlane, with no idea
about whether we are headed in the right direction or not. We completely lose sight of the real determinants of success and meander through life, thereby widening the gap between achievement and accomplishment. Ignoring the basic tenets we take shortcuts to succeed and sooner or later find ourselves at crossroads, all beaten, confused, tired and exhausted. This is exactly when we wish there was a system to success. A deep self-reflection and we can arrive at a "Success Equation", an equation which boasts of some very basic elements which if implemented sincerely could put us on course to success in all our endeavours.

The system/ method to life-long success is captured well by the following equation

To be able to make this equation a part of our daily routine, let's understand each element of the equation
  • Aspiration: This element is all about understanding our desires - what we want and where we want to see ourself in life. The ideal or the desired state is what describes this element. Our aspirations get manifested in the form of our dreams which leads to set goals for our life. This builds in us the intent to aim for something in life. If the aspirations align with our purpose and passion, then success will never ditch us.
  • Inspiration: This element is about identifying the trigger in our life - the ideal(s) which we want to emulate and be like. It's like the ignition that sets the fire within us. Inspiration is what we need to make a start on our journey to success. This is what gets our adrenalin to rush and gives us the first push towards our dreams and desires.
  • Motivation: This element is the perceived reward that keeps our interest alive in pursuance of our aspirations and goals. If inspiration is what gets us started then motivation is what keeps us moving. The motivation gets manifested in the form of mini targets or small success that we envisage or experience along the way. The motivation is what gives us traction and keeps pushing us continuously in the direction of our aspirations. 
  • Action: Perhaps the most important element without which the other three elements seem irrelevant. This element corresponds to the effort we put in to bring to fruition our intent. If the other three elements are all about Planning then this is all about Execution. This element builds in the requisite discipline to enable us to turn dreams into reality. 
So, let's look no further for the recipe of success because the Success Equation has all the relevant ingredients to make it happen for us !

Thursday, 28 December 2017

What's on Your Canvas for 2018?

Another year (2017) going by and another one(2018) knocking at our doors. The deja vu is all so familiar and again it's time for another set of resolutions.The same ritual of setting goals and then striving to actualize it will continue unless something done differently. The onset of new year also brings about a resurgence of ambitions and expectations that matter to us and our lives.

In the midst of all this, the million dollar questions that crosses our mind so many times are
  • Can we make this year any better?
  • Can we make this year count more in our life? 
  • Can we manage more luck, success, happiness and prosperity in the new year?
Standing still between the past (2017) and future (2018) and aiming to make our lives more worthwhile, our quest to make our impending "present" the best begins. Our search for answers and  solutions continues. A quick reflect back on our Canvas for last year could help give us an insight into the missing pieces. Those missed out or incomplete caricatures, landscapes, sketches and the missing colors speak a lot about what we need to do better this time around. A simple solution by way of mending the missing elements in the canvas will not only render the canvas complete but also  add great meaning to our life in 2018 and beyond.

Make the Canvas (of our life) ready for 2018 is just about
  • Identifying the pieces that are missing in our life in terms of our mission, vision, goals, or action items. Incorporating these pieces will not only complete the picture but make it holistic too.
  • Bringing to conclusion all those incomplete tasks that stand on the verge of losing relevance and importance if not catered to Now. Those goals and resolutions which just need an action plan and that first step to make it happen.
  • Adding more zing to those half-hearted tasks which are as good as any incomplete because of the lack of proper pursuance. Adding passion and purpose in our efforts will liven us and make our life an experience to cherish.     
Let's paint our best life on the canvas and splash it with all the beautiful colors of positivity and optimism to welcome more success, happiness and abundance forever in our lives. 

So, get going and create you masterpiece Now !

Monday, 18 December 2017

Have You Found Yourself Yet ?

It's so easy to lose ourself in the rigmarole of living life in the fast lane. Riding high and fast on the superhighways of information and communication we eventually find ourselves at crossroads. It's only when we get confronted with anxiety, confusion, exhaustion and stress we realize that we stand stranded in this maze of uncertainty and chaos. Every alley in this maze appears a mystery and whatever alley we take leads to hinterland, a place bereft of the ambitions and dreams that we wanted for our lives. We find ourselves participating in this mad rat-race where everyone is trying to outdo others and reaching for goals they never really set out for themselves. 

Sitting in the "nowhere land" and pursuing and engaged in meaningless misdirected pursuits, we appear clueless about our goals and dreams. Lost amidst the inner and outer cacophony, 
we ask ourselves ""How do I Find Myself Now ?" 

This act of asking ourself the above question triggers the process of "finding ourself" facilitated through more self-interrogation and introspection. This leads us to the realization that to find our true self, we firstly need to address the  root system of our lives, i.e. the building blocks that hold the key to our life-long success. These building blocks build shape our personality by providing direction to us and helping us identify a meaningful reason for our existence and survival. These building blocks stand same for all of us and all we need to do it to provide them our context 

So, before we find ourself lost in life, let's try to build clarity in life by strengthening the following key building blocks of our life:
  • Passion : This determines our orientation in life in terms of what excites us most, what makes us enthusiastic, what our hearts beat for. The passion is our preferred choice in life. Identifying the passion sets the tone for living a satisfying and happy life. Asking ourself the question "What thing/ task gives me immersed and gives me immense joy and happiness while performing it?"
  • Purpose : This refers to the sole reason for our existence and gives a clarity about where would we like to contribute. The purpose ensures we are making a difference in the way we envisaged for our life. The best way to determine Purpose is to ask ourself the following question - "What am i living for ?"
  • Mission : This is the most critical of the building blocks as it is the core around which our lives revolve. Mission refers to the guiding principles that we define for living our life. At any point in our life, we adhere to these principles while taking any action or decision. Mission is like the "nucleus" of our life. It's worthwhile to spend a good amount of time in defining the right "mission" for ourself. Our "Personal Mission Statement" acts like a compass in our life and keeps us on track always. Asking ourself "What set of statements/ principles would act as my reference point and guide me at every stage of my life ?" will help us define our personal mission better.
  • Goal(s) : These act as milestones in our life and act as key motivation to grow, evolve and achieve more in life. They give shape to our dreams and desires. The following few considerations would help the goals be more effective
    • Goals should align with our passion and purpose
    • Goals should be specific and shouldn't be too easy or too difficult. If it is too easy then it won't provide us with challenge enough and if it is too difficult, then we may get overwhelmed by it.
    • The focus should be on goal-setting and goal-getting both because without taking any action, goals may just remain unfulfilled dreams.
 Remember the below mantra 
Building such a robust life so that we never get lost in life is all about getting the above four building blocks right 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A Successful Journey Needs A Destination !

To establish the right context, it makes sense to start with few important questions :
  • Is it important to know where you are headed, be it about any journey we undertake?
  • Is it crucial to begin the day with clarity about the tasks to be accomplished that day?
  • Is it important to live our life with a clearly defined set of expectations?
For sure, the answer will be a resounding "YES" though we do not always comply with it. A simple case in point is the way we live our life, more as a ritual rather than a mission; also those times when we mindlessly go through life's chores without any thinking about why we are doing them ?

And if asked why we are doing them, the immediate reaction is- "So what ?, how does it matter how i traverse the path as long as i am going somewhere?"

Little do we realise that this "somewhere" itself is the biggest problem. Quoting Lewis Carroll - "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". This illustrates that "somewhere" may not turn out to be our "desired land". If all we want from ourselves is to be in a state of "motion" then it will only lead to "commotion". 

Why is Destination important ?

The most important reason that we need a destination is because our dreams is at stake. Every journey in our life is an unfulfilled dream till we reach where we desire to. Imagine the plight of those who embark on an expedition to Himalayas or Antartica or any other place without identifying where they need to stop ! 

At a personal level, think about the times when we step out of our home, we know exactly where we need to head. Likewise, every other journey that we embark upon needs a finish point too. Every Start needs a Stop and unless destination is identified it's only going to result in an abrupt stop. We can't expect ourselves to be "moving" without any movement, forward, backward or sideways. 

Don't we all yearn for few important things in life ? Don't we all yearn for a life well-lived ? Don't we all engage in a quest for success and happiness in life ? Then why not define what we seek and make the road easier to travel for ourselves!  

Summing up the need for identifying Destination - It gives direction and meaning to our lives. It also makes us more efficient and productive.

How to identify/ define Destination in Life ? 

If Destination is so critical for out life then it becomes imperative to identify it. Few ways we could do so is
  • Imbibe the habit of putting a closure to every task that we undertake 
  • Give the destination the shape of a well-defined goal
  • Link the established goals with relevant areas of our life
  • Visualize the dream state we want to achieve to enable us establish the appropriate destination
  • Be clear about the distinction between an intermediate goal and the main goal
  • Don't get overwhelmed with the journey itself as it needs to end at some point       

So, the choice is ours - whether we want to live an incomplete life laden with unfulfilled dreams and desires or we want a meaningful life laden with accomplishments and happiness!