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Thursday, 26 March 2020

RESET Life for a Better RESTART !

At times, what we perceive as "CRISIS" turns out to be a "blessing in disguise". When times get as bad as they could and everything around us appears bleak, we can still find the silver lining if we turn attention inwards. Remember, challenging and tough times like these are an opportunity to build resilience, a quality that stands us in good stead in turbulent times like these. When crisis push us to adopt "self-isolation" as a way of life, then instead of panic, fear and hopeless, it makes sense to reset ourselves and work on creating a better version of ourselves.  

Few key areas that facilitate the RESET process are as below: 
  • Fears - Ever experienced "self-limiting" thoughts holding you back from taking action and moving ahead ? If yes, then chances are that there are some unfounded fears/ phobias that's acting as a deterrent to your growth. Ask yourself  "What's that BIG Fear that holds me back from achieving my dreams and accomplishing my goals ?" Once you get a clarity, start addressing those fears. Either work on turning around these self-limiting thoughts into enabling and empowering ones or connect with a coach, counsellor or therapist for help. Utilise this downtime to work on self and come out stronger than before. 
  • Relationships - If you are the types who always cribbed about not finding time to spend with family and/ or friends, then this is the time to work on those important relationships, whether on consolidating the existing ones or mending the broken ones. Find time to sit and make a list of important relationships in your life, gauge where they stand currently and where you like to see them, identify what you can do to improve them. At times, improving relationship is all about saying Sorry or Thank You. So, go ahead and take that first step which could be as simple as making that call to the person.      
  • Wellness - No one can deny the importance of (holistic) wellness in coping with crisis like this when life comes to a standstill (literally). An individual who is holistically well does not get (easily) swayed by the events around, especially the sad and the negative ones and also possess  better resilience to deal with the uncertainty around. Emotional Wellness is an essential element of Holistic Wellness and holds importance as it prepares us to adequately filter out the negatively influences that come our way through people and media (print, electronic or online) and most importantly it helps us to express ourselves appropriately, whether for voicing our opinion or using social media in a cathartic way. Writing a journal or starting a blog could help in improving in mental health, if done properly. 
  • Goals -Spend this time to seek clarity about life that you always wanted to have. The time is right to pay attention to the goals that you have been postponing for long. In case, you have been wanting to establish goals for life (personal and professional), then this is the right time to do so. And in case, if you have your top 3-5 goals already identified, then this is the time to put some serious thought in creating Action Plan for them. Incorporating contingency like the present crisis would lend more robustness to the Action Plan. Remember, we may not be able to take on-ground action in the present circumstances (forced by the crisis/ turbulence) but at least we would have a ready-to-be-executed plan when we hit the ground running again.
  • Growth - Being "self-isolated" and staying at home provides us with another great opportunity of upgrading our skills and competencies. A self-analysis, at this time, can provide us with good insights into areas that need development and the best part is that all this is so achievable because of the interconnected world that we live in. With plenty of online platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, MIT Open Courseware, it's just about selecting the one that meet our needs. Most of the courses offered are not only free and self-paced but also provides the option to seek a certificate for the course (at a cost though) to showcase. I don't think personal/ professional upgradation could get any easier than this.    
  • Lifestyle/ Way of Living - Perhaps the biggest learning/ lesson that any big crisis teaches us is not to take life for granted. Somewhere along the way, in our busyness, we tend to get casual and careless about things that ought to get our attention, whether it's about the way we live or the people in our lives. One of the important lessons that we need to learn fast is that life is made better not by acquiring plenty but by learning to live with "essential" and "minimum".   
When time calls for a new you, surprise life with a "better you" !  

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Staying Positive in Chaotic Times !


When times turn turbulent, it doesn't take much and too long for negativity to creep in our lives. The chaos that ensues as a result of crisis makes it difficult for us to see possibilities and solutions around us (and within). Everything seems unpredictable/ uncertain and we tend to fall trap to gloom and despair. Amidst all these challenges and the feeling of hopelessness, positivity appears as the only saviour to see us through these difficult times. Positivity holds the potential to create possibilities where none exist and the sooner we imbibe positivity in our daily actions, the faster we equip ourselves to handle adversities that may mar our progress in life.

Here are my 5 Tips to build Positivity, especially when it matter most to us 
  • Stay Connected with Friends and Family - To cope effectively with any crisis, there cannot be a better morale boosting support system than our family and friends. Having them around to talk to and share with, helps us deal effectively with the range of negative emotions and feelings that get manifested in us. A simple call or text/ message could be a good start point to reaching out to them. Staying connected is a good way to express our care for the other person. Remember to look beyond your virtual/ social network. 
  • Work towards Holistic Wellness - Any crisis takes its toll on us, in every possible way, be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Focusing on and achieving holistic wellness keeps us in balance and in better shape to cope with the adversities. As the famous saying goes that "Tough times don't last but Tough People do" and that's precisely what we need to follow by paying attention to our overall well-being and there are very simple steps to achieve that . Few of those are 
    • PHYSICAL - Exercising, Yoga, Running or Walking ; Drinking plenty of water and eating healthy diet/ food, especially immunity boosting food and fruits
    • MENTAL - Engaging in Positive Thinking; Practicing Meditation or Mindfulness that can help make the body calm and mind peaceful, which is so much required in these type of situations. 
    • EMOTIONAL - Reaching out to support professional/ group and expressing fears, concerns, feelings which may turn out to be harmful if not addressed and expressed  appropriately. 
  • Exercise Restraint on Social Media - The Social Media has a huge impact on our lives and influences our perceptions, mindset and judgement. With consistent poking, it is but natural for us to get swayed by what we encounter/ come across on various online platforms and a lot of that stuff happens to be dark and negative. During chaos and crisis, it becomes important to exercise some restraint what we post and share on Social Media and equally important is what we read online.These sensitive times call for everyone to be an ambassador of Positivity on Social Media and spread hope and optimism instead of fear and panic.
  • Balance the ME - We all tend to become a bit selfish and self-focused when crisis happen. Our every action is about placing our own needs first and most of the time it is at the cost of others. We need to realise that our existence is dependent on the existence of our fellow being and if an apocalypse happens (exaggeration to the extreme :) ), we all will perish. The point to remember here is to maintain that essential balance between self-interest and the greater interest of everybody (who can get impacted). The need of the hour is to understand the interconnected nature of our existence and act responsibly. We need to maintain the balance between ME and WE and wherever needed, let's shrink our ME to make way for the WE. 
  • Get "Real" about Life - The sooner we come to terms with life, the sooner we develop acceptance for the vagaries of life. We can't always be in control of things around us and at times, the best way to deal with the adversities in life is to stay calm, be patient, do the needful and let the storm past

Monday, 17 February 2020

When "MORE" Makes Life Better !

 
Doesn't it sound ironical to talk about "more" as a means of bettering our lives especially when so many of us seem obsessed with incorporating "less" in our lives for the purpose. Whether it's implementing the concept/ philosophy of de-cluttering, minimalism or essentialism, the quest to "live with less" never seems to end. Many of us are always on a spree to do away with our possessions in a bid to "live better and more meaningfully" through surviving with bare, minimum life essentials.

To many of us, talking about "more" as a means of achieving a better life (in many ways) may sound contrary to the above and we may start to wonder about the possibility of it ! The catch here is the context we put for "MORE" - as long as we perceive "more" in terms of "extra" or "add-on", we may always be in astonishment, but the moment we change the frame of reference to "incorporating the essential" in our life, "More" starts to make better sense and things become much clear. Here, in this post i share about five such ways when "more" brings fulfillment and success and makes our lives much better vis-a-vis "less". Let's look at them 



Living more REAL and Less Digital 

The amount of life we live in the virtual world is so much more than in actual. The social media, social networks has permeated our lives so much that it has blurred the distinction between real and fake. We always seem to be living our "alter ego" in the digital world and have almost forgotten what it is to live our "real" self. The time calls for being more real than digital to remain the "homo sapiens", the species that we, humans, belong to. The biggest danger of living "digital" is the eroding away of basic elements like emotions, feelings and rationality that sets us apart from the rest of the species. Living more REAL will not only help rekindle the lost spirit of brotherhood, but also prevent the pretense of superiority or parity which is not required and help us be more respectful of others' identity and needs. The moment we drift away from the "real" is when we start to see a dip in our esteem, efficacy and confidence. So, let's not compromise on living a fulfilling life and start live Real.     

  
Living more in PRESENT than in Future

We live in a fast paced competitive world and majority of the time we are focused on securing our future. We go all out to accumulate as much as we can, thinking that this will make our lives better in future (a myth, though !). We do not give sufficient importance to the existing moments and let go of all the beauty and pleasures contained in the current moments by allowing the life go by us. All this happens, primarily, because we tend to view life in limited dimensions (like wealth and professional growth) and so keep working towards improving these specific dimensions of our life at the cost of the rest of the dimensions like self, family, health, etc. This ultimately leads to a state of imbalance and our hopes of a better life in future get quashed in no time. When we start giving importance to the present, we, not only, start noticing and feeling the little pleasures of life but also start living life lot better. So, let's live in the Present and bring balance in our life.   


Saying more NO and less Yes

However positive and affirming "Yes" may sound but making it a philosophy of life leads to lot of dissatisfaction in life. We need to realise that every "Yes" eats into our resources of time, effort, attention, money, etc. For reasons obvious and not-so obvious, we may say yes to things, people and situations but that doesn't guarantee success always and later we may regret saying yes to so much. If we can remember that everything is not worth our time, attention and effort then we can start saying NO more comfortably. The best thing about saying NO is that we take a positive and progressive step towards a better life by avoiding taking too much, which most of the times is beyond our capacity and interest. So, let's get judicious in our choices/ decisions and say NO when doing so make our lives clutter-free and better.     


Doing more MONO and less Multi

When "Survival of the Fittest" becomes the sole mantra to live by and busyness takes preference over productivity; when being competitive is not good enough and one starts to outdo others by way of becoming better, smarter and/ or faster than multi-tasking seems to become the norm. Engaging ourselves in plenty, much more than we can handle, gives the feeling of doing more. We try to ape the supercomputer which has in-built capability for parallel processing, but forget that as humans, we possess only single processing capability. For us to focus on multiple tasks together is impossible and how much we may say we are multi-tasking, it's actually mono-tasking that we still do. The reason being, that at any point, humans can just focus on a single thing. The biggest advantage of mono-tasking is that we can focus well and pay undivided attention to the task at hand. On the other hand, in multi-tasking, not only we become more unproductive as a result of many unfinished tasks, but we also tend to spend more time shifting among the multiple tasks and taking longer to restart on the previous tasks (proven by research). So, let's make our lives better by doing things one at a time.  

(Related Article: BUSYNESS - The Utopian Paradox )


Connecting more INTERNALLY and less Externally

With all the attractions and distractions contained in the world around us, it's easy to get swayed by what strike our senses and fall prey to the "pull factor" syndrome, where we just get led by things. This results in ending up operate our lives with an "outside-in" approach, where the control of our life gets passed onto things external and we lose grip on our life. This tendency of going along with the flow of  VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) environment is not conducive to our growth and development and can be addressed by altering the orientation of our approach to life by making it an "inside-out" approach. During these times, when we are struggling to be authentic and credible, connecting more within gives us access to that inner wisdom that equips us with powers of creativity and intuition, that helps us stand tall during times of adversity. So, if we keep visiting our inner guide, we will end up discovering our best ally.  

(Related Article : Playing Buddha At Work)

Here's ending with a wonderful quote that nicely sums up the entire post 

"Aspire not to have more, but to be more" 
                                                - Oscar Romero

Note : the images in the above post have been sourced from the internet

Monday, 3 February 2020

Announcing Blog Series on Emotional Wellness


Many a times, when we talk about Holistic Wellness, there's a component that's not paid much attention to because of its subtlety. This component is the foundation of a healthy life, which goes much beyond the visible component of Physical wellness. This "ignored" component is of Emotional Wellness.

Haven't we all, at some point or the other struggled in our personal and/ or professional lives, because of an inability to express ourselves or express ourselves appropriately ? This inability may have its roots in some ingrained fear/ phobia or lack of acceptance/ acknowledgement about the need to express ourselves. The repercussions of this "inability" is so serious that it could render us confused and messed up in our lives, where we may struggle with relationships, both with self and others, and end up being a failure in life.

When i was growing up, we were never taught about the importance of Emotions in our life, neither at home not at school. I don't blame it on either because that's how our society has dealt with the most delicate but the most important element of our personality i.e. Emotions. It was only when i experienced situations and scenarios in life, where i felt at total loss in expressing myself that i realised the importance of Emotional Wellness. I learned it the hard way repressed or inappropriately  expressed emotions are equally dangerous and both need to be addressed. But here i am now, much more now aware about what it takes for reaching Emotional Wellness and all set to share about the topic in my upcoming blog series on "Emotional Wellness".

The learnings and knowledge i have gathered through my personal experiences (both directly or vicariously) , i bring to the readers in an easy-to-digest posts. I would cover the following in my posts on the topic
  • Basics of Emotions & Feelings
  • Fundamentals of Emotional Wellness
  • Importance and Impact of Emotional Wellness on various areas of our life
  • Key Models/ Theories on Emotions/ Emotional Wellness/ Emotional Intelligence
  • Strategies, Techniques and Methods to achieve Emotional Wellness
So, gear up to join me on this exciting journey of becoming Emotionally Healthy and living a well-balanced life :) ! 

I am writing this series as part of the #CauseAChatter campaign hosted by Blogchatter

For all the passionate bloggers - Here's an opportunity to bring PURPOSE to your blogging and create the impact you always wanted to create. So, don't think twice and register for this #CauseAChatter campaign at https://www.theblogchatter.com/blogging-with-a-purpose/

Friday, 31 January 2020

Thumb Rules of Productivity


I sometimes wonder why is PRODUCTIVITY still an enigma even when there's so much available on the subject in terms of research, tools and techniques ?

Maybe this post would provide both, a better insight on the above and a solution !


In many of my previous posts, I have covered a whole plethora of tools and techniques on Productivity (See Related Article: ) but still many clients reach out to me, totally confused about how to move ahead with these tools. I don't blame them because just about anyone is bound to feel overwhelmed confronting the wide range of tools and all that these clients need is a simple and easy way to get started somehow, somewhere but in a structured manner. My single piece of advice/ suggestion to them is to identify few "thumb rules" and get started. These "thumb rules" act as simple reminders to ensure that we are on the right path that lead towards productivity. Gone are the days when the only thumb rule for  WORK used to be "As much output as the input". This thumb rule doesn't hold good anymore in these times when we , on daily basis, face the challenge of maintaining focus on things that matter most to us. There's a need to look for "Thumb Rules" that are aligned to the changing times i.e. the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. I share below few such "Thumb Rules" of Productivity that will make it easy for anyone to become judicious about investing effort and focus on the right things in life so that life remains under as much control as possible. 


First Things First 

The most important thing about life is that it is holistic in nature, which means its a cumulation of multiple aspects like Personal, Spiritual, Work, Family, etc. When our life goes out of balance, it's only by putting our focus on the right aspect/ area that we can bring it back to balance. If Family is out of balance, focusing on Work would not compensate for that. Unless we put our effort on the right element, we would not get the desired result and a certain hollowness or a sense of incompleteness will still exist in our lives inspite of putting our best effort. So, we need to look for that clue or indication suggesting what is causing the turmoil, chaos or confusion in our lives and then put it on top of our priority list. We need to always keep in mind that Productivity happens only when our Life is in balance. The WHEEL OF LIFE is a wonderful tool to identify which area/ aspect of our life needs immediate attention and once we know that then it's just a matter of choosing the right actions. 


Let me share a wonderful quote by Henry David Thoreau which will put things in the right context here. The quote is as below :

"It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about ?"

Let's decide where we plan to invest our effort but also be cautious about identifying that "where" !

So, whenever we feel lost about the BIG picture in life, let First Things First be our guide in getting the BIG picture right.


Most Important Thing 


Talking about the situation when we are presented with the task of selecting from similar tasks, how do we do it ? This may not be easy because when all the identified tasks are similar in nature and have more or less similar impact, the confusion is bound to get louder. The best way to deal with such a scenario is to resort to the concept of "Keystone".  The Most Important Thing would be the one which triggers the other positive impacts too. (Related Article : Habits Build Happy Life ). When confronted with the choice of making impactful change in pour lives, we tend to pick up the a habit which triggers other good habits, likewise, from among the available important tasks/ things, we should opt for the one which triggers the rest. An example could be when we set ourselves the task of say Living Healthy. There are so many of us who set this as a resolution almost every year because we never get going on that due to our inability to identify the "Most Important Thing" from the options available. Few options available to us for the same could be - Joining a Gym, Start Exercising, Adopt Healthy Diet, Do Yoga, Wake Up Early. A good look at the options would reveal that it's not difficult to pick up the "Most Important Thing", which in my case would be "Wake Up Early".  I see waking up early taking more of most of the other identified tasks. Likewise, in a work situation, picking up the "most important thing" is about selecting the task that will play catalyst or that will trigger a sort of domino effect.  


Big Thing 


Many a times, even when we have identified the "Keystone" task, we still hesitate to go ahead with it just because its time consuming or slightly complex. We need to remember that avoiding this "Big Thing" , which we know is the most crucial one for us, will keep disturbing us and adversely impact our productivity. However hard we we try to make up for avoiding this "Big Thing" by way of selecting much simpler and less time consuming tasks, we would not be able to avoid the  loss that we may accrue because of this avoidance. Citing the an interesting concept to drive home the point - In the West, nothing is much worse than eating a frog in the breakfast (as first thing in the morning) and if we do that everything else we eat during the day tastes much better. Drawing  a parallel of this concept to our lives, we can say that doing the most difficult task (but the most essential one) first paves the way for us to be more productive because achieving smaller wins becomes much easier. Doing "Big Thing" first in no way connotes finishing it first, it just connotes starting it first and in time. A complex and a time consuming task may spread over multiple hours/ days and all we need to do then is to start it in time and work out some strategy to finish it in time. There are plenty of strategies that could help us achieve that and few ones could be read at - Beating The Productivity Paradox  


One Thing at a Time


We live with the "Busyness" paradox (Related Article: Busyness - The Utopian Paradox ) where pretence seems to rule over actual action and an outcome of the same is the myth of multi-tasking where engaging ourselves in multiple tasks is perceived to be more productive. A little self check would reveal that multi-tasking is lot more time consuming and less effective than mono-tasking because it consumes far more effort and resource in shuffling among the tasks, getting to refocus ourselves and to refresh our memory about the task. Research has also shown that at any given point of time , we have the ability to address/ deal with a single thought only. So, rather that getting enticed/ lured by the prospect of multi-tasking for better productivity, sticking to one task at a time would yield best results and this in no way suggest to leave aside the other important tasks. Through proper priortising and scheduling (Related Article: Beating The Productivity Paradox ), we can manage to be more effective and productive by addressing One Thing at a time.  


Suggested Reading
  • First Things First by Stephen Covey
  • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy  
  • The One Thing by Gary Keller

Let's get our "Thumb Rules" in place and hop on the bandwagon of Productivity !

N.B. : The images used in this post has been sourced from the internet

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

"ABSOLUTE" is the way to LIVE !


Living a complete and satisfying life is everybody's dream but not many of us manage to achieve it. At times, many of us just meander through life and mistake it as "going with the flow", whereas in reality it's a dilly-dally approach that we seem to adopt to suit our convenience. But this convenience in no way an assurance of a comfortable life. A comfortable life is not about living/ operating in our "comfort zone" but about taking risks, trying new things so that we align with the unpredictable nature of the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world we live in. One approach to identify what ails us in preventing us from living a good life, is to map our life on a YES-NO continuum and identify where we spend maximum of our life. We may be surprised to note that a big part of our life operates along the continuum but never touches the end points of YES and NO. Living like this may be fine as long as we feel okay being mediocre, confused and stressed in our lives. The cacophony inside our head may never let us realise that decisiveness is the key that open doors of opportunities for us and we need to take action to bring clarity in life.

Believe it or not, taking action to build the much needed clarity in our life, is as simple as deciding what we want and don't want in our life. Here, in this post, I share about a strategy that aids us in this process of bringing clarity in life. This strategy is both effective and very simple to implement. The strategy is "Absolutely YES -NO List" and is based on the context of "YES-NO" continuum mentioned in the previous paragraph. I read about this strategy for the first time, in the book Life Makeovers by Cheryl Richardson, where she mentions about creating an "Absolutely" Yes list. There are quite a few variants of this "Yes-No" list proposed by many other life coaches. I provide here my own variant with an aim to simplify the strategy further.

When we talk about goals and resolutions, we make use of techniques like prioritisation and scheduling to make the process of achievement smoother for us. But any technique is useful only when we have the right list of items identified. This is where the "Absolutely Yes-No List" strategy comes to our aid by suggesting making of two different list of tasks/ things -  1. YES List, jotting down everything that you want for/ in your life, and 2. NO List, jotting down everything you do not want in life. The objective of the list is to come up with 5-7 key items that need to be acted upon immediately, whether to be added in our schedule (YES list) or to be removed from our schedule (NO list). This may sound simple but it involves a series of steps to make the strategy work in our favour. Let's look at the seven steps that will help you achieve your desired goals 
  • Identify Core Values - First and foremost, we need to identify our values/ core values. These can be thought of as guiding principles of our life. Once we have our core values defined/ identified, a framework is established for operating our life. Identifying all the possible operating values that we can think of and then boiling down to top 5-7 would be helpful. Below is the my list of top 5 operating values (the circled ones). I started off by identifying all the possible values i related to and then boiled down to top 5. There are plenty of downloadable list of core values available on the internet and those could be used to do this exercise 

  • List all the daily tasks undertaken - There's always plenty that keeps us busy all through the day. Somewhere, Busyness has overshadowed Business (Related Article : BUSYNESS - The Utopian Paradox) . Listing down everything in front of us brings it all in our line of view. We just need to list down everything that consumes our resources of time, effort, energy, etc. For example, my list of daily tasks include exercising, writing, commuting, reading, family chores, meetings, social media time, etc. ( Related Article : BRAIN DUMP - Declogging a Cluttered Mind )
  • List the resources available - We always operate within some constraints and therefore knowing the resources available to us in terms of time, knowledge, skills, etc. helps. We need to be aware of the effective time that gets available to us to focus on and do what we want to and this may easily be calculated by taking in consideration the commute time, sleep hours, important chores, etc. It may happen that from the 24 hours that gets available to us every day, only 9-10 hours turn out to be the effective available time. So, getting to know how much we can invest helps us to become more judicious about investment of resources at our disposal.  
  • Identify the current Focus Areas of Life - Life is a composite entity and therefore we should  always perceive it so and look at it in terms of multiple areas like Family, Work, Health, Friends, Finance, Personal Growth, etc. But remember that not every area needs the same level of importance all the time. Different periods of time require us to focus on different areas, based on what's creating imbalance in our lives at that point in time. A good way to select the right focus areas is use the WHEEL OF LIFE tool. (Related Article : WHEEL OF LIFE - Creating a Balanced Life)   
  • Establish relevant and appropriate Goals - Once we identify the Focus Areas, we can establish appropriate goals pertinent to that area. This is where we need to refer back to our core operating values to pick up the relevant goals. Few of my own goals are 
    • Get Fitter - Growth
    • Upgrade my Coaching Certification - Vision and Growth
    • Be more disciplined in Blogging - Being the Best
    • Read 100 books this year - Personal Development
    • Write 2 self-help books this year - Vision
    • Establish a Life Coaching Forum/ Helpline - Making a Difference
I have mapped each of my identified goals to my operating core values
  • Create Action Plan for the Goals - Achieving every goals requires a set of actions. In this step, we list down all those steps that we need to execute to move closer to our goals. Related to some of my above mentioned goals, few action steps could be
    • Get Fitter - Run/ Exercise, Eat Healthy
    • Be more disciplined in Blogging - Join Bloggers Community, Create a Blogging Plan, Attach with a Blog Buddy
    • Read 100 Books - Join reading challenge (Goodreads), Join Readers Group, Join Book Club
  • Match Action Plan with the Daily Task List and Resource Availability to arrive at the final Absolutely Yes and Absolutely No List. It should look something like this ( see the image below ) 

Live ABSOLUTELY to Live COMPLETELY !

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Investments That Never Fail Us In LIfe !


Undoubtedly Money is the most prioritised resource for most of us and special care is taken while investing it. It does not require much thinking to decide where to invest money. The most obvious strategy being to invest where it gives the maximum returns. We try our best to invest our money in the right place and at the right so as to get the best returns on it.

Now, let me shift the context to the most crucial aspect of our existence i.e. our LIFE. How many times have we given a thought to the investments that will maximise the returns on our life and enable us to live a more fulfilling life ? I am sure most of us have not even thought about it ever. We just seem to be crawling along and satisfied with whatever comes our way.

In the wake of the decreasing human attention span (which is about 8 seconds), "minimum attention, maximum retention" seems to be the only mantra that most of us swear by and live by in today's time. We live with the principle of extracting the maximum output from the input but this principle aids our growth and development only when we have a clarity about the "inputs". Apart from money, what are those other "essential resources" that impact our life considerably in terms of success and growth ?  It's not easy to identify the other "resources" from the plethora that we confront every day but here, in this post, i cover 4 such resources that abide by the basic principle of "minimising-maximising" of the times. These 4 resources could prove to be a good investment if handled with care and caution (wisely). Let's discuss these four crucial investments that can turn around our lives for good.
  • EMOTIONS : Emotions are the bedrock of a complete/ whole personality. Whether it's about ensuring a holistic personality, creating balance in life, excelling at work or building strong relationships, emotions play a crucial role. Investing emotions wisely can help us prevent spiralling downwards in life during crucial events and situations. Imagine getting into a regrettable relationship and wasting crucial years/ period of your life without any gain/ growth/ stability whatsover. Emotions work on the concept of "attachment or bond(ing)". The more attached we feel towards something (person, product, situation, etc.), the more emotions we invest into the thing. An emotionally disturbed person can never take rational decisions and also becomes very tentative in approach towards life. This leads to drop in confidence and esteem which directly impacts the personality of the individual. So, be wary of where you invest your emotions. 
  • ENERGY : If momentum is what maintains consistency towards success in our life, then energy is what builds up that momentum. Most of the times, its that surge, that burst of energy that spurs us for unabated action when faced with the likelihood of giving up in life. If we can manage to direct/ redirect our energy at the right moment towards the right task, then we can be assured of accomplishing our goals in a timely manner. So, when it comes to investing your energy, be careful about expending it on the right areas/ tasks/ activity and at the appropriate moment so that it yields the best results. Never let go of any opportunity for the lack of desired energy that may be needed to complete the task. While running the sprint, its the final burst of energy that decides the winner between/ among the sprinters running neck to neck. There have been so many instances in the sprint world when the winner was decided on the basis of fraction of second. The runner who put in that required energy in time came out triumph. So, be like the sprinter and be ready for the "burst" when the need arises. 
  • FOCUS : One of the big paradox that we are living today is that of FOCUS. The more we lose it, the more we demand it. Surrounded and bombarded with umpteen distraction, we just can't seem to pay sufficient attention to the things that demand it. With constant dwindling of human attention span, the resource of "Focus" had become more crucial in our lives and gradually moving towards becoming a "rare commodity". The market boasts of many tools and practices (based on the concept of Mindfulness is one such example) aimed at improving focus and attention span. Few examples of the same are Mindfulness, Pomodoro  and TimeBoxing The best strategy to derive the maximum return from FOCUS lies in "monotasking" instead of multi-tasking and paying our full attention to the task till its completion.
  • TIME : Everything in our life, whether work, relationship or self-growth consumes a part of our time. But being a perishable resource, we can only give a portion of our time to each of the item and if we get the time allocation wrong, it takes us many steps backward in life and leave us with many unfulfilled tasks and things. The "limited (in quantity)" nature of Time makes it imperative that we make the optimum use of time available to us and the best way to do so is to imbibe the practice of Prioritisation in our approach to work and life. We will always have plenty of things seeking our attention but the moment we gain clarity about the sequence to invest our time is when we extract the best from our investment in time. Few techniques that can help us in this regard are Pareto Principle, Eisenhower Matrix    

Remember, success and happiness in our life will always accrue from making the right investments  !