Are You Driving Your Days Or Are The Days Driving You?

I

t was a colleague (Minal’s) last day at work last week. The Project Manager, Gemma, put together a fun “online” farewell meeting. It was meant to be a little break from work for all the team, fun and of course wishing the best to our outgoing colleague.

To make it fun, Gemma had come prepared with the idea of playing Pictionary. It was really fun and although I thought I had played almost every possible online game since the Pandemic hit last year, but I hadn’t played online Pictionary.

It was a simple format. The person who would be given a word would share their MS Paint and draw on it while everyone else guessed. The one who guessed the exact word first would win. Each person would be given two minutes to draw and get others to guess the word.

There was of course some playful cheating as well – most of us just couldn’t keep our mouths shuts and kept giving verbal hints.

Best Games Kids Can Play on Zoom Virtually with Friends | MommyPoppins - Things to do with Kids

The word I got was “zombie”. I was somehow able to draw something and give some hints to get someone to guess the word. All well there, but the kind of person I am, I would think and analyze quite a bit – why did this word come to me, is there a sign from up above. 

Was this because I’m, off late, living my life like a zombie?

I do see my self floating around aimlessly sometimes. I’d jump from one task to another without finishing the previous one off. I’d feel unaccomplished at the end of the day, unsure whether I achieved anything worthwhile. I’d have strong feeling of FOMO through the day. I’d keep switching between personal and professional commitments being anxious about whether I was doing justice to both.

Have you also ever felt that way? 

If you have, then I’d like to tell you that the one thing that can surely help you is journaling.

And while there are endless formats, apps and diaries that you can pick, but the one that works best for me is a One Pager Template.

I have used this to do things which I thought were impossible for a person like me. Seriously. And I am reminded of this template every time I feel I’m going slightly off track.

Pin on Suicide/Please don't til you read Riverboat of truth/Greg Calise and Wes Penre papers

I have curated this template through my years of experience, training and reading scores of books on personal development.

This time around, I converted this into a MS WORD format to make it handy reference for myself and my friends. All you have to do it take a print of this. It is already in A4 print ready format.

It is so simple that you may not believe how powerful it could be. However, don’t ever underestimate the power of simplicity.

Here’s it for you. One Pager Template – Mohit Sawhney

Fill it in the morning (during your Holy Hour) and keep it in your pocket through the day. Pen things on it as you pass through the day, and just before you close the day.

Few days down the line, you may be surprised at your achievements. You will see your zombi-ness shift to intentionality, and most of all, you will see yourself contented and happy. That’s when you can come back here and drop me a “thank you” message.

Until then, enjoy driving your days.


References:

  1. The connection, contribution and vitality heads come from Jonathan Fields, “Good Life Project” book.
    • Your Vitality Bucket is about optimizing your state of mind and body. Things such as attending theatre, playing soccer, going to a place of worship or exercising are some examples.
    • Your Connection Bucket is about cultivating deep and meaningful relationships. Calling up a dear one, listening closely to what they’re saying, being empathetic with your customers are some examples.
    • And, your Contribution Bucket is about the way you contribute to the world. A good life happens when all three are full. Writing a blog others would find useful, doing a task, teaching students at your alma mater are some examples.
  2. If you’re confused why Challenges are clubbed with opportunities, well that’s because opportunities come disguised as challenges. The great people ask, WTOH, or “What’s the opportunity here?”, and then gradually the opportunity unfolds. Robin Sharma says – “a problem is only a problem when viewed as a problem.” Start looking at your challenges as opportunities and see how it changes your life.

If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.

 

What Good Are Your Generic Management Skill?

D

ad is unwell. He was discharged from hospital just last Thursday after 9 nights 10 days at the hospital.

As he has extreme weakness and breathing issues, we are having to set up the ground floor room to make it more convenient for him during this difficult time. We otherwise are at the 1st floor but there isn’t an elevator in our old ancestral house.

There were two people who were here to help us today in this mission-  both well know- one for electric connections, Sanju, and Ram for general help for moving things around and arranging / overseeing resources.

Where as the electrician, Sanju, has a specific skill, Ram does not have any specific skill – his skills are more generic: Arranging or leveraging available resources, managing the resources etc.

Ram could quickly arrange a rickshaw at a reasonable price, get the traction on the seemingly mammoth task of moving the fridge from a distant location to where it was needed. He also offered a helping little hand to the electrician to pass the drill machine for example, to the rickshaw puller to move the fridge around.

He also provided some experiential advise across all these broad range of areas. While both are valued individuals, but if I were forced to choose one among the two, I would go for the general manager.

The reason is simple – The general manager can help arrange an electrician in no time, where as the other way round is unlikely.

I gave 320 bucks to the electrician and two old wallets I don’t use. He was happy with that and quickly moved on to the next gig elsewhere.

I gave my old suit (the one I wore at my wedding) to Ram, the general manager, three nice shirts I don’t wear any more, and offered him a job once he returns from his village. He’s visiting his village for a wedding where he could look the smartest wearing this suit. He was immensely happy, and so was I.

A lot of us are into generic project management or operations.  Some of us feel miserable with the fact that we don’t have a specific skill. Well, don’t.

You might be undermining your unique ability of management.

Management: simply means “manage men tactfully”

Well, don’t get me wrong or think that I’m sexist. That’s just an easy way to remember what “management” means. In fact, it’s not just managing people, its about leveraging and managing all resources.

As the resources are always scarce, if you have this ability and are constantly honing it, there is no way you will be redundant, irrelevant or out of a job. In fact, you’re better placed than many of those who are skilled in depth in a specific area.

Few other points to ponder:

  • Hard skills are relatively easier to replace but soft skills are not.
  • Soft skills are more human, where as hard skills can be automated.
  • Soft skills can make you stand apart from competitors.
  • Soft skills are harder to find or even identify but once confirmed, the employer wouldn’t let you go.
Skills approach
You will need more and more of Human (generic/ soft) skills as you rise the management ladder.

Now say cheese and get back to doing what you do best. Until next time, this is Mohit signing off.

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Be smart with your time, it’s limited!

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Movie I watched-

The examinations fever is on these days, and more than the children, it’s the parents who seem anxious. The dialogues commonly heard in households these days are, “He doesn’t sit down to study!”, “ She is distracted and doesn’t focus.” and so on. 

My wife went on the extent of saying that, “He doesn’t give me his 100%”, which is when we got into an argument when I asked her why was she making it her problem, when it should be the child’s.

Amidst all this chaos, I saw this movie called Rough Book, on Tata Sky’s Mumbai Film Festival channel. This movie is about the turnaround story of a mediocre class of XIIth graders. The change happens when a new teacher, Santoshi, joins the school. She ignites in them a spark to learn, which changes their attitude, She focuses less on marks and more on getting the fundamentals right, even if it means going back to the syllabus of class X and XI. She is empathetic and seeks to understand the students first before expecting them to change. 

Our entire family including my six year old daughter and eleven year old son, watched it together from beginning till end. 

Quote I’m pondering-

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. – William Penn

The news I heard-

As I was getting ready on Sunday, I overheard the TV news, “…Massive fire breaks out in Delhi… 35 people feared dead…Many being rushed to hospitals for treatment…”

My heart went out for the people who had died on the wee hours of the morning, while they were still asleep. It also was a reminder that life is very temporary. “Now” is all we really have, and yet many of us waste time complaining, gossiping or mindless activities. Time is a non-renewable resource and before it’s too late, we must use it judiciously – making memories with the people we love and doing the work that we enjoy. 

The poem I loved-

This poem, “Otherwise” by Jane Kenyon brings the message home poignantly:

I got out of bed

on two strong legs.

It might have been

otherwise. I ate

cereal, sweet

milk, ripe, flawless

peach. It might

have been otherwise.

I took the dog uphill

to the birch wood.

All morning I did

the work I love.

At noon I lay down

with my mate. It might

have been otherwise.

We ate dinner together

at a table with silver

candlesticks. It might

have been otherwise.

I slept in a bed

in a room with paintings

on the walls, and

planned another day

just like this day.

But one day, I know,

it will be otherwise.

The concept I’m applying-

If I recall Eisenhower’s 2 x 2 time management matrix, I’ve been noticing myself drifting towards the Urgent and Important box and thus getting busier than ever! Got to get my other boxes right especially the Important, Not Urgent one, which indeed requires some Planning. Use this matrix to understand which quadrant are you spending most of your time in and act now to use your time smartly. I’m also on it. 

                      


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


                                                                                                                                    

4 Steps to Make You A Better Decision Maker

Long back, we as a family took the membership of the British Council Library. 

Since then, we visit at least once every two months. My children associate Library with me-time, reading and chaat. 

Yes, chaat, the very famous roadside Indian snack!

There is a famous chaat wala right outside the library who we don’t miss ever on the way back. 

Truth be told, more than the library, it is the chaat wala that we crave for!  It has become a ritual for us. 

This Saturday, I was ordering Chaat, as my family was waiting. Sohana, my six year old daughter noticed a man standing nearby smoking a cigarette.

There is a panwadi right opposite the Chaat wala. Panwadi, the betel seller who sells cigarettes as well. 

Sohana asked me a simple question: Everyone knows smoking is injurious to health, it even causes cancer, but still people decide to smoke. Why’s that Papa?

Why do people decide to smoke when it’s not good for their own selves. 

Good question, I said. 

She continued to look at me. The look on her face told me she was looking for an answer better than that. 

So, I added, Yes, they shouldn’t! 

But why do they decide to smoke?, she reiterated.

I couldn’t think anything better, and said, perhaps because they’re fools. 

She said, He doesn’t look like one though Papa!

I looked at this smoker who I noticed was a well built man with decent looks.

Ok, pass!, I said, giving her a clap at her hand with mine, as if she had asked me a new riddle she had learnt at school to which I didn’t know the answer. 

She was not impressed. And to be honest, neither was I! 

Okay, I said and walked straight to this guy, and asked, “Hi, my daughter and I’m doing a little survey. Would you like to participate?

He gave me a nod. 

I repeated Sohana’s question, “Why did you decide to smoke when it’s not good for your own self?
He looked at me puzzled, then smiled and whispered in my ear, “To be honest, I started smoking because my Dad told me I should not smoke!

I smiled and told that to Sohana later. She also laughed. But perhaps there was some truth in his statement. 

We are mostly given instructions about life – Do this, Don’t do that. That’s it. 

But has anyone ever taught you how to make decisions in your life? 

Think of your own life. Haven’t you made decisions to prove something to someone or even to your own self?

Why? 

Well, because you don’t know any better. We still make decisions, and since morning, you would have made at least a 100 decisions. 

But unfortunately, we are doing so without having any process around it. And then, we complain that things are not going right for us -bad grades, career crisis, divorces and so on. 

Well, the root cause is the lack of an understanding of decision making process. 
And that’s exactly what I am here to fill today with this DISC.

Be Deliberate. Decide to decide! Otherwise, someone else will decide for you. 

Remember the Ideal.me: Who I really want to be? Then ask, “Will this decision take me few steps closer to the ideal.me or few steps away from it?

Someone once told me the definition of Hell:

[bctt tweet=”Hell is when on your last day in this world, the person you have become meets the person you could have become!” username=”mohitsawhney”]

Next, start making Small decisions today. They will help you can make BIG decisions tomorrow!

  • What to wear today for work?
  • What will I do this weekend?
  • Will I say Yes, No or May be to the 1000 proposals my friends will be coming up with? 

“Everything you’re doing right now is preparing you for a time that is yet to come.” – Jeff Goins. 

Compare Short term v/s long term gains

Well, that solves the why people smoke puzzle. They smoke for getting instant pleasure, that is short term happiness even though in the long term, it will destroy them. 

And why only smoking, there are many other examples like abusing, bullying, cheating and drinking. They all give you a kick in the short term, but in the long term they will destroy you. Next time you feel the urge, use this table and then make a decision: 

Who do you really want to become? Your Ideal.me.

Well, there’s no guarantee of success, but you can always improve your odds.

And becoming a better decision maker using this DISC will give you the best chance possible.                                                                                                                                                                               


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


                                                                                                                                    

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are You Just Busy Being Busy?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Quote I’m pondering —

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!”

― Stephen Covey

This happens to be my all time favourite quote. But like everyone else, life comes in the way for me too sometimes, and that’s when I have to bring this quote back and ponder over it.

Doing so helps separate the wheat from the chaff and connects me back to what really matters for me in life.

In today’s world full of distractions, this is one quote I would put on a gigantic billboard for everyone to read.

What I’m grateful for –

This is the link to the Weekly Design System, a tool which leadership speaker and coach, Robin Sharma shared several years ago. I have been using this since over 5 years. It lets you create such a massive focus and continuity into your life and builds a momentum for you.

Robin always mentions that we should make systems that work for us and this is an example of that. It works even when I feel low. That’s how powerful it is!

 Try it out and it may just change your life.

Something I read that was eye-opening—

According to storybrand.com, a survey of 72 CEOs of successful companies that were doing $50 million and up in revenue revealed the key characteristic to their success, and it’s surprising.

Can you guess what that was?

..

That characteristic is self-awareness, which is defined as “the capacity to monitor and self-regulate one’s internal world.

So, do make time to understanding yourself for we can only understand others if we first understand ourselves.

What I do when things get tough-

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”  – Robin Sharma

So, what I have understood is that when you start anything new (for example, starting an online platform, writing a broadcast, a new job), make sure you write down the reasons why you are doing it.

And I mean it! Write your why down in pen and paper.

Things are going to get tough and messy and you will want to give up. That’s when this why will come to your rescue. Why you started in the first place.

It will give you the motivation to keep going and get past the tumultuous ride.

So often, we get so focused on the urgent and the today’s to do’s that we lose sight of the motivation that was the reason why we started.

I’m sharing more quotes that usual today, but this one is really the one to remember:

You lose your way when you lose your why.

What I learnt from Corporate Core Values

Every organisation has what they call their core values, yours too right?

But what about your personal (family) core values?

I am proposing for you to create your Family Core Values. It addresses the HOW of whatever you do.

As for myself, yes, it took me some convincing for my family to come on-board this idea. After that, we had a few family meetings to agree on what we value in our family.

Here’s our list:

  1. Respect at all times
  2. Integrity even when times are tough
  3. Courage over Comfort
  4. Honour ourselves to honour others

Our easy way to remember is the acronym RICH. So, we are a RICH family, finally!

What about you, anything holding you back?

Take some time off and create your Family Values. And then, live them.                                       


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


                                                                                                                                    

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Is “Work” Taking Your Life Away?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What’s I’m pondering: 

According to Fast Company, Barack Obama, when he was the President, always wore the same thing – a blue or black suit. This was part of his secret to getting so much done.

He wanted to leave his mind saved from Decision Fatigue, which happens when you use your mind for trivial decisions such as what to eat, wear, buy… This let him focus effectively when the time came for more important decisions to be made.

Some of you may find this idea extreme, but the point is that we must do something to pare down decisions as decision making during the day add up and cause us fatigue.

So, whether or not our offices are oval, we need to find ways to reduce getting fatigued making unnecessary decisions during the day.

As Obama says:

“You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

Read here for more of Obama’s productivity secrets.

What I figured–

“My boss is unnecessarily complaining about my work. It’s painful!”

“My boss asks me to do the things exactly as he wants. Why can’t he understand that I’m not him?”

“I am sitting idle since last 2 weeks since I have joined the team. I feel so unwanted!”

These are some real life dialogues from my interaction with people just last week. Most people in the corporate world are unhappy with their work life. And since work life is a large part of your overall life, they’re unhappy in their life in general too!

Lot of them don’t even realise that something is going seriously wrong with them, until they have developed serious anxiety issues, stress or even depression.

So, here is a system to know your Happiness Score, based on the 5 keys to being joyful at work (French: joie de travailler).

Rate yourself on a scale of one to five on each of the following happiness keys :

  1. Freedom– If your boss wants you to do something “exactly like he wants!“, it doesn’t look like a place where you are getting enough creative freedom. Moreover, you don’t know what’s in his mind. The only way I can create something exactly like someone else wants is when I am him, which is usually not the case!

Reviews and feedback is alright, and is required for improving the deliverable further, but there is a thin line of difference between constructive feedback and forcing someone to become someone they are not! This thin line is quite significant to determine your happiness score.

  1. Connectedness–Being connected to people in the team and outside too openly is important to your being.

If your boss or team culture discourages talking to people from other teams, there is a problem.

You should be able to talk to everyone without any fear, openly. You should be able to bring up the ‘elephants in the room’, without mincing words.

Are you able to discuss matters of significance with your team? Connectedness is a human need and plays a key role in our happiness levels.

  1. Interesting Work– “Just do it because I say so!“,says your boss.  Well, that’s not what makes the work meaningful.

I want to know the reason why we’re doing it, what value I am adding to whom in the process. The bigger picture of the impact my work creates to a larger cause to the society, community or industry is what determines whether the work will be interesting to me or not.

  1. Being of use– “I am on the team for two weeks without anyone asking me to do anything!“. This is commonplace at work, and it creates havoc in the minds of people who are sitting idle.

We humans enjoy being useful. We may not believe it but it is true. If you’re sitting doing nothing, it’s not at all a good news. It is a serious cause for concern. Take some action if that’s the case or even quit such a job. Believe me, you’d be better off.

  1. Well Balanced Life– “I come back so late that I don’t see my children during weekdays!” Well, is that worth it? I don’t think so.

Listening to some light music, yoga or exercise, morning prayer with family, reading something different, attending to family functions and conferences, pursuing hobbies, spending time with family, making memories.. those things ought to be part of our life too.

Well, now that you have rated yourself on 1-5 on each of the above parameters, add up your individual scores and determine your Overall Happiness Score. If your score is between:

  • 5 – 12: Situation is alarming and you need to take some steps today. It could be as drastic as moving out of the project, organisation or even that career.
  • 13-18: It’s concerning but you can possible do something to increase the score. Look at the areas where you are really low and see what can be done to address those areas.
  • 19-25: Congratulations! You’re doing well. Your life is under control. All you have to do is manage your scores.

If you’re wondering, “What about Money? Fame? Parties? .. Don’t they bring happiness?”

Well, most of these would bring instant but temporary happiness, which often leads to long term distress. Of course we need money to sustain ourselves, but beyond a certain point, money won’t add to one’s happiness. For lasting joy, one must focus on things beyond these material things.

What I’m watching—

It was Thursday and a rather stressful day at work, but I dared to shoo away the stress and watch this comedy play on the way back home.

Bawarchi Diaries” at Akshara Theater.

It was of course a tough call to attend because the office pressures always have a tendency to dominate our lives and keep us away from things we know will relax us and bring our focus back.

I’m so glad I attended. In fact, I figured that if you’re just heads down into work, you are losing out on the varied perspectives which off-track experiences like watching a play can bring.

Particularly, this one was an out and out comedy, about a cooking maid, Rajkumari, who goes to different apartments and encounters some quirky residents in each one of them. From a modern day father-son duo obsessed  with Mahabharat, to a man who speaks only in songs and advertisements, each apartment has crazy residents who drive Rajkumari mad.

If you missed it, don’t sulk. It’s happening again on 28th Sept (Saturday) at Akshara Theater. Tickets are available at venue. (Akshara Theater Phone: 011 2336 1075). Live it up!

(Lucky to have clicked the poster with one of the artists from the same play, Harshit Pahwa)

Quote I’m pondering —

In the classroom, the teacher had asked the little 5 year old John Lennon, “What do you want to be when you grow up?

His reply, “Happy!

Teacher said, “You didn’t understand my question, John.”

to which John said, “You don’t understand life, Teacher!”

What I’m re-reading–

Sometimes we feel so consumed with work and end up missing the little pleasures of life. Reading my own article from a couple years back was a pleasant reminder of that.

The question to ask ourselves is: Are we paying attention and looking for opportunities to change a simple, run of the mill kind of day into one that becomes a lifetime memory?

 Look for windows of opportunities that could change a usual day into a lifetime memory. If you look carefully, you will find them.                                                                                                                                                                                         


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


                                                                                                                                    

[5-Bullet Tuesday] What Do You Do Besides Work?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading –

Reading a few lines from an unknown book can sometimes have such a profound impact on your life. I am reading “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller.

In one instance, he quotes Shakespeare when he said, “A man with a toothache cannot be in love.

The attention demanded by a toothache stops a person from noticing anything else.

Similarly, we often get extremely caught up in our work life. It becomes so stressing and this pain overshadows the health, vitality and success we have in other areas of life. We stop meeting our friends, eat without thinking, watch TV incessantly and snap at our children when asked an innocent question.

We start doing exact opposite of what we should be doing. And it only makes things worse.

These lines from Dan, had a subtle overnight effect on me. So, this week was about doing what I always loved doing. Read on to see how I made this week count!

What Movie I watched —

If you haven’t yet seen Mission Mangal, you are really missing something.

In a world where most people are not happy about their work, thankfully there are people who are so madly in love with what they do.

But like everyone else, even they get de-motivated at times. And when we’re down on motivation, what works best is to connect with the WHY.  

That’s what Vidya Balan did in the movie when she celebrated the Scientist in each team member. It connected them with why they had become a scientist.

This tied them to a common thread and was the turning point for the success of the Mangalyaan project.

Other takeaway was how work-life integration is a much better approach compared to work-life balance. They constantly use learning from home at office and learning from office at home. Compartmentalisation doesn’t work.

They also show our very own Indian jugaad in a positive light.

There is a sense of iss-ness in it, a sense of being happy about who we are, at peace despite our financial status, our beliefs and our way of being.

We did make Mangalyaan happen in first attempt at a wafer-thin budget. We used everything Indian to make it happen.

The direction is flawless and the movie keeps going, without letting you a blink. Go watch the movie with your family, and feel proud of being an Indian.

What 500 rupee or less purchase I’m proud of –

I ran 10K organized by Coach Ravinder this Sunday.

What helps in such runs and even the daily exercise or walk sessions is this arm band for mobile. Just Rs 110 at Amazon, and a purchase you will never regret.

Besides keeping the phone safe, it’s a detriment for checking the phone every time the phone buzzes for a message or any notification. Go for it.

Quote I’m pondering —

“What are you doing?” shouted his mother on seeing him sitting alone doing nothing.

“I’m thinking,” he shouted back.

“You’re thinking?”, she asked

“Yes, Mom, I’m thinking,” he said fiercely. “Have you ever tried thinking?”

  • Walter Isaacson 

That boy was Bill Gates when he was in sixth grade. This quote is from “In Search of the Real Bill Gates”

Question for you: How much time do you spend sitting with yourself doing nothing?

What I learnt –

We are working on a hilarious play for our Toastmasters Club Special Anniversary event. Coincidently, it emerged that a play had to be planned for our Office too, at a two days notice. Idea was to showcase what we do as a team in a comedy act.

Now, I’m no pro at plays but I was able to apply a few things I had learnt from our club play preparation. The office play went extremely well and we received accolades for that.

My learning was that everything is related to everything else. Keep learning whenever an opportunity comes. You never know where it will connect.                                            


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


                                                                                                                                    

Your Guide To Actually Becoming Rich, Quick!

A

s I stepped out for a morning walk, I heard some shouts from the neighbour’s house. It was a heated argument between my neighbour and his beloved wife. 

The husband screamed, “Yes, I called you that, because you have made life so difficult for me!” The wife was quick to retaliate sobbingly, “You will never understand what all I have to put up with. Thankless creature!

Well, before you jump to conclusions, answer this:

When was the last time you had a quarrel with someone dear to you?

If it happened in the last few weeks, then perhaps you are not any better than my neighbour.

To be honest, neither was I.. until some time back.

Reality is that, when we’re under pressure, we all tend to become such nasty human beings who we otherwise abhor.

We say things we don’t mean. Curse our loved ones and regret later. Apologising later doesn’t help as the harm is usually already done. It’s hard and sometimes impossible to bring back the trust and bond we held earlier.

It’s only during these stressful times or crisis situations that our value system is actually tested. And unfortunately, that’s where we mostly fail.

Why does it happen?

That’s because even though we talk about family values all the time, rarely can we put a finger on it. Even fewer chances that we have it written down, in black and white. The idea itself might sound ridiculous to you.

No wonder then, that we miss the point, act weak or chicken out during the times we need to recall our values the most! After all, when all is going well, there is nothing at stake – we can easily remain respectful, honest and fearless. It is the difficult times which truly tests our character and value system which is built over time.

Not having our “values” on top of mind lets our natural instincts to take over when push comes to shove.

You may agree with me by now that it is important to clearly define family values. The next question is how to do so?

How about taking a cue from the Corporate Core Values. Every organisation’s HR does it’s best in displaying them, replaying them, and celebrating them. It’s done so that people make the decisions in line with the Organisation’s values when the time comes.

I do remember the core values for my employer. It’s likely you remember your’s too! It’s thanks to the several measures that are taken so that employees don’t forget these.

Isn’t it, then, a shameful irony, that although we remember our work values, we don’t even have any personal (family) core values.

Don’t get me wrong. Not for a second am I suggesting to take your work any less seriously. All I am saying is that a disproportionate weight-age is given to our personal lives and relationships which is generally equally, if not more, important to us.

I am proposing for you to create your Family Core Values. It addresses the HOW of whatever you do.

It took me some convincing at home for my family to come on-board with this idea. After that, we had a few family meetings to agree on what we value in our family. Here’s our list:

  1. Courage over Comfort
  2. Respect at all times
  3. Honour ourselves to honour others
  4. Integrity even when times are tough

Next morning, I put these on my blackboard and began thinking how to make this an easy recall. Before long, I realised that the initials in a certain order make the acronym RICH!

R

– Respect at all times

I

– Integrity even when times are tough

C

– Courage over Comfort

H

– Honour ourselves to honour others

That’s how we become a RICH family overnight. 

I woke the children to tell them that we won a lottery.. we are now rich! Their little eyes opened with a ‘pop’. When I told them the acronym, they were exhilarated that our little family exercise had made us RICH overnight.

My five year old daughter suggested that we create a poster where we show our family values “RICH” inside a Heart shape and stick it in the play room. That would constantly remind us that we hold these values close to our hearts.

Well, that’s us. This was one of the best steps we have taken in this direction. Of course, we need to keep having displays, replays and celebrate our Family Core Values to reinforce it.

What about you, what is holding you back?

Take some time off and agree on your Family Values. Display them. Practice them. Celebrate them.

Don’t leave it to chance. This will make you RICH! Really really RICH! With something money can’t buy, and with something no one can ever take away. 

[5-Bullet Tuesday]: Are You Going All Out?

Hi All!

Here is your weekly dose of “5Bullet Friday,” a list of what I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading —

Bounce Forward by Sam Cawthorn. I was introduced to Sam just last week. He was one of the keynote speakers at Oration 2019 Conference at Kolkata last week. I was very impressed with his turnaround story.

Me, Sam, and my children: Tanav and Sohana

He is a 6 foot 3 inches Australian who met with an accident that nearly killed him in 2006. He lost his right arm in the accident and injured his right leg so badly that most of it is now synthetically rebuilt. However, this accident made him reassess his priorities in life and change the game for him completely. He eventually bounced forward rather than just bouncing back into the older version of life.  He thinks there is something fundamentally wrong in the idea of bouncing back when you are in crisis. Little wonder then that he owns the first 14 pages on Google when you search “Bounce Forward“.

He has written 7 books including 2 International Best Sellers and is now an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker and coach.

What I’m watching —

I was in Kolkata last week. It has such an old world charm attached to it: The yellow Ambassador taxis, the tram, hand pulled rickshaws and the ferry ride to Howrah bridge. One can’t be left untouched by the simplicity and the beauty of the place.

Now that we’re back, I am watching the yesteryear’s Malgudi Days episodes

Deepti, my wife, having Kullad Tea (Tea in traditional handle-less clay cup)

which is yet another recollection of the times gone by. My kids also love watching this over three decades old TV show.

One thing that remains the same through of the changing times is human emotions. It is these emotions which connect us and traverses time. No matter what the latest technology brings and how our day to day lives differ, these feelings and emotions would still bind us together.

Resource I’m excited to explore —

This week, I had some time to consider the resources that I already have available that I am not utilizing fully. For example, I am already a member of PMI International (Project Manager’s Community) which is offering a free of cost Meet and Greet Conference to members. I registered for the same for the first time and am looking forward to attending on 22-June.

I am also attending the Family Day event at British Council on next weekend. Again, something that comes for free for members which we already are.

Also, I am excited to test myself as a potential Area Director for Toastmasters International. Having spent 5 years with TM, I think it is the right time for me to contribute and grow further as a leader at a broader level.

So, which are the resources you already have that you aren’t fully leveraging?

Perhaps, it’s time for you to go all out – to utilize your existing resources fully to help you become the person you always wanted to be!

Quote I’m pondering —

It takes 99 Nos to get a Yes. – unknown

This implies that we should be happy when we are rejected. For every No, is taking us one step closed to a Yes!

And, as always, please give me feedback. Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Let me know!

Have a wonderful week, all!

Mohit