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Life is lived through your perspective, your perspective of life. Perspective for an artist or an architect is how the object looks in relation to other objects around. Likewise, ‘Perspective of Life’ is relative to what we see around and what we have to deal with in our normal day to day life.
- Never Undermine Perspective. It is said that never underestimate the power of perspective. It can change everything. Your attitude depends on your perspective of life. You may believe that there are too many ups and downs or you may view the same as the process of growth.
- Your Perspective Guides you about the relative importance of things. Thus, your priorities will depend on your perspective. One must keep in mind that in the environment of constant change, one may has to revisit one’s perspective often.
- Time is a resource which has been equally distributed to all human beings. The moment you realize the importance of time it will reflect on your perspective and accordingly you start dealing with people and situations differently.
- An interesting example of perspective may be attributed to the people who are very short. They have always to look up. At the same time the person who is proud and vain will tend to look down on others. So the person who is grounded will see the reality much better and will succeed in building up good relationship with the people at work place in society and at home. The proud will not.
- ‘We cannot change the cards we are dealt, but how we play our cards is in our hand’. Thus the life may be looked as a game of cards in which our ability and our choice to choose the right path are both very important. Many a times if you are too much concerned about something, your worry about the same may lead you to wrong decisions.
- Never try to give any explanations to people who do not want to understand you. People only hear what they want to hear and the best examples that you may give to such people is only waste of your time. Therefore don’t do that.
- An important point to maintain your right perspective is that you should never compare yourself with any other person. Comparison is odious and should always be shunned.
- It’s necessary not to worry because worry does not solve any problems of tomorrow, but it surely takes away your peace, today. Actually, solving problems is the significance of life. So, it’s necessary to re-training your mind to process life as it is. Problems are perceived because you find that things are not happening the way you want them to happen. Peace cannot be forced to stay with you but it can be achieved by proper understanding and with proper perspective.
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In life it is necessary to have some beliefs. That does not mean that you need to follow any dogma or belief forced on you. You can pick your own beliefs with discretion. First, let us understand what is self-belief. What are the qualities that it inherits? Self belief is an invaluable virtue which brings great possibilities in your life. Its indications are that you:
i) Stop making any excuses for any reason what-so-ever.
ii) Do not indulge in any negative thought.
iii) Stop thinking that difficulties surround you alone. You do not jump to conclusion and take hasty actions. You express your fears to others without any hesitation, because you keep in mind that everyone has some fears.
iv) You stop procrastinating because that is indicative of your lack of confidence.
v) Stop pursing perfection. Perfection is never achieved. It only stops you from moving ahead.
Once you develop self belief and you observe that you conform to all what has been said above, you will find the following eight advantages coming to you smoothly and seamlessly.
- Self-belief enables you to hold strong conviction. All things do not happen the way you have planned or the way you expect. But strong conviction will help you to move ahead without fear of failure.
- Self belief also helps you develop optimistic attitude which is necessary today in the wake of fast changing world. Life is becoming extremely competitive. Any opportunity missed once may never come back again. But if you have a negative attitude you will not be able to catch the fleeting possibilities.
- Your self-belief also makes you more reliable to others. Thus you tend to build up better relations with others. Your credibility is not question. Since people can trust you they vie for good relations with you. Needless to say that for any significant project you need help from others.
- Self-belief also helps you to be focused and self motivated. You no longer take life as it comes. You don’t depend on unknown sources to bring you luck. You carve your own destiny. Self motivation helps you to maintain enthusiasm and interest in life.
- Your risk taking ability improves if you start relying on yourself. It is said that there are no gains if there are no risks. Your conviction helps you to take calculated risks in meeting the challenges of life. The tendency to avoid and escape facing challenging situation reduces substantially. You start realizing that difficulties form a necessary part of life.
- Further, self-belief enables you to give and receive constructive criticism with an open mind. In the current scenario exchange of ideas and views are extremely important. The autocratic leader is not acceptable any more. So if you want to progress you have to collaborate with others from your own organization or outside outfits.
- Self-belief helps you to be more assertive. You start caring for yourself more than pleasing others. Someone said that he doesn’t know any formula of how to succeed. The sure short formula for success has never been discovered. But there is a firm unbeatable formula for failure and that is trying to please everyone. Your self-belief will not allow you to embark on the journey of securing approvals where these are not mandatory.
- Last but not the least, you start working on improving your self respect. You realize that if you do not respect yourself, others will follow suit. When you’re in need to raise self esteem, you become more effective and you become more productive. Now, you start managing your time very effectively as any improper or inadequate use of your time will hurt your self-esteem.
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Loved breeds happiness. And when you make others happy, you are loved. There is a close bond between love and happiness. How does listening help you in being loved and being happy? This is the subject of our discussion in this essay. The feeling that you are being loved brings you satisfaction. It enhances your self esteem and results in happiness. When others care for you, you feel important and when they listen to you, you feel significant and elated which adds to your happiness. Same is true when you listen to them.
Let’s deal with the subject by considering the following 3 questions:
What is good listening?
How does it help you to being loved?
How does it help you to be happy?
Question 1. What is good listening?
i)It requires you to put your agenda aside and totally devote to understanding and assimilating what is being said. You don’t listen to give a reply, but you just listen to understand. The moment you become keen to give a reply, your mind will start analyzing the speech from your own perspective. It will hinder your ‘objective’ understanding.
ii) Your attention should be fully in the present. There should be no thoughts about the past nor should you think about future.
iii) You need also to understand the body language of the speaker. And, this would include eye contact, posture, facial expression etc.
iv) Listening needs to be non-judgmental. You must not allow your likes and dislikes or personal prejudice to affect the meaning the speakers wants to project.
v) To be listened is so important for the people that many a times they will like to be heard rather than just granted the request what they requested.
vi) Active listening calls for you to listen about 80% of the time without interruption balance 20% of the time you may ask questions. This will indeed be an attribute of good listening.
vii) You need to make it known to the speaker that you are attentively listening. Thus, your nods with your head and words like ‘Yes’hmm ‘I see, I agree go long way to make be you an adept active listener.
viii) You will indeed enjoy your choice of active listening with the results that you will derive from the activity.
Question 2. How does active listening help you to being loved?
Now we can consider how listening actively makes others happy and make you in turn happy. They not only respect you but they love you if you actively listen to what they say.
The speaker feels that he/she are important when you carefully listen to them. They are reassured that you care for them. In turn they will care for you. The speaker thinks that they have some worthy ideas that is being expressed. And if you don’t listen to them with due attention, they will feel let down. But if on the other hand you not only listen but make it known that you have listened, the speaker will feel elated and happy and so will you be. Respect is always mutual, you have to earn respect. You have to make others happy to receive positive vibes making you happy in return.
Besides, better listening rids you of any bitter discussion. You understand that these are futile. Avoiding arguing, you also avoid bitterness which often is the result of trying to win an agreement. Active listening empowers you to hold your opinion without any offence. Because of your listening skills you are in a position to offer you opinion in a relevant manner. When your conversation with everyone becomes more meaningful, both of you enjoy it. Undoubtedly it brings happiness. Exchange of ideas in such a situation brings about a lot of learning on both sides. Continuous learning raises your self –esteem which in turn makes you satisfied with yourself and be contented.
In fact, even between the spouses the problem starts with one not listening to other. One feels ignored and the problem starts. Left unattended, it grows into unmanageable differences. If we are unhappy at home or at the work, place life is messed up. Children too turn rebellious because they feel that parents don’t try to understand them. In the fast changing world today maintaining good relations is more challenging than ever. Yet good relationship is emanating from better understanding which forms the foundation of respect and love.
So if you want to be loved by others listen to them and make them feel that they are loved. If you want to gain happiness distribute the same among others who will gladly reciprocate.
Question 3. How does Good Listening help you to be Happy?
Every living being has physiological needs and safety needs. Living being must have food to live and is keen to care for life. That part is survival story. No happiness is involved. But, after survival needs are fulfilled, psychological needs come to the fore for human beings.
As social entities, humans want to have a feeling of belonging. It’s an experience that they belong to a community, a family or a group gives them a feeling of satisfaction. If they are alone and uncared their psychological craving of togetherness disturbs them.
Good listening helps you to have cordial relations with your family and friends. When you listen to them they come closer to you, they experience that you are giving them importance. By listening you reassure them of their significance. Inwardly they feel obliged to you as you are fulfilling their psychological need of heart to heart communication.
As we discussed earlier ability to express your ideas give a great satisfaction. However, you approve of your ability only if the listeners pay attention, understand and when possible and needed, take action. Likewise when you are actively listening, the speaker feels comfortable and satisfied with his skill of expression. In turn the process fosters better relation and love for each other. This is particularly important among the family members and close friends. Besides, when you speak, you say what you already know. No doubt it satisfies your need for expression, but you don’t learn anything new. But listening gives you the opportunity to learn what you don’t know. Learning gives a great satisfaction and enhances your self esteem. When your self esteem is high you wish to do greater things. Self-esteem enables you to venture on the new turf, start new project. Maslow’s theory of happiness is recognized as the last word in respect of this great wishful emotion-happiness.
“There is a clear distinction between love and respect or esteem. The ability to feel self-esteem springs from being embraced by families and communities”. Further, you become more creative which again contributes to your confidence.
Good listening also helps you to mitigate your personal ego. Because when you are full of ego, you tend to behave as if you know all and therefore you shun listening, much less active listening.
Actualization makes you really happy. And what is actualization? Maslow defines actualization as “what a man can be, he must be. This need may be referred to the desire for self-fulfillment. So discovery of self, understanding the capabilities and then doing what it takes to actualize yourself will grant the best results. But this cannot take place unless you are a good listener. Further, survey reveals that you tend to perceive situations, people and their reality more accurately if you are good listeners.
With all the advantages described above there remains no doubt that listening and its resultant process will make you one, who understands the world and the people better. This understanding will make you happier, more than your expectations.
Thanks for reading.
The change world has witnessed in 20th century is for more predominant than in 5 centuries earlier. But 21st century is generating a far more visible variance. With the change happening so fast, every organization has to keep pace surviving. Till the last century any enterprise would be satisfied by a certain percentage of incremental growth every year in production, sales or profits. That was a linear growth. But in the current century entrepreneurs are hungry for exponential growth. So the game of the business has undergone a drastic change. Accordingly the enterprise owners have changed their HR policy and motivation techniques.
Motivation has always been recognized as essential driver for management. In order to ensure that the workforce move ahead as a team and contribute to the organization’s objectives. The business leaders recognized and carried out the certain procedures for enhancing productivity and keep to the staff motivated. These were positive initiatives which can be summarized as under:
i) First on the list is that the employees must have the feeling that the management recognizes that they are significant part of the organization. They contribute productively to the company’s mission.
ii) A person who is made to feel important applies his/her mind while performing any task. Further, application of mind results in the person enjoying the work which in turn motivates.
iii) Listening to the juniors promotes real participative conversation. The manger is able to understand their team. They know what to communicate and how to communicate to move the wheel of progress.
iv) A policy of systematic engagement encourages staff to take help of seniors at the time when it is needed. The efficiency increases and so also the satisfaction of the staff members.
v) In traditionally managed family organization the owners would make their children to start from the bottom. If it is an engineering organization, working at the shop floor would be the first step for induction in the enterprise, and then gradually upwards. This helped workers to have a positive attitude towards the organization.
vi) An experienced senior was given the responsibility of mentoring. The mentor would ensure that the newcomer is exposed to each department. Doing the work is the best way to understand how to perform it. This would be considered as personalized training. All newcomers would be exposed to it irrespective of who they are.
vii) Positive feedback helped to keep anyone motivated. But appropriate criticism when necessary formed a part of training. This too ensured that person did not lose direction.
viii) Proper compensation and reasonable periodic enhancement too were taken care of. If a person is not able to meet family expenses, there would be some kind of pressure which dissociates and breaks the bond.
ix) All organizations need to outsource some of their activities. In times gone by the owners would allow the senior managers to start such small ancillary units and use the services or products. It would provide additional income. This also served to strengthen the bonds.
In the competitive business environment today, organizations which are hungry for growth have to adopt aggressive policies. Performance, sales and the bottom line are the chief parameters for appraisals. Generally, the CEO is engaged with clear understanding of producing some specific results. His/her compensation is fixed as per the promised results. So, it becomes their duty to live up to the promise. Fat compensation command fat results. Here, starts the story of Greed and Fear. For many organizations these two tools work as the chief motivators.
Fear and Greed
Fear and greed are two primal emotions which have been used as strong motivators for people to act. Normally insurance business relies on fear, stock market on greed. But today every CEO tends to use these.
The CEO who is hired the by the management using the above two tools, he/she uses the same for their subordinates. How else they would achieve some deadly targets? Due to fierce competition in the industry CEO and all have to slog and work like automatons 24×7. The good packages become just enough to meet the growing needs of the upscale lifestyle fear of losing the job becomes rampant. The situation has its heavy toll on the working people. Meeting impossible deadlines become deadly and people suffer. The story doesn’t end here. It only begins.
Most people engaged in the enterprise work under constant pressure and become stressed. Whenever genuine results are possible, it happens, but where the situation looks impossible, window dressing is employed. Manipulative reports and figures resembling mirage are displayed. An illusion of reality is created, which may last for a short time or at times even for a longer duration. But how long can illusory, self satisfying techniques last? The best known example of deceptive reporting is the story of subprime loan sanctioned in USA due to which some of the biggest banks fell.
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Everyone is endowed with one talent or another. It’s important for us to discover the hidden talent. In fact the main purpose of education should be to identify the talent of an individual. However in our education system the students at school rarely identify what they have to do in life. Except for a few of them who become clear about what they have to do after the school well in time. In such happy cases, some of them are helped by their parents and some close relatives and a few of them by the teachers.
If the inherent talent is recognized and the child is encouraged to pursue a career in line with the inherent talent, he/she is bound to do very well in life. When you pick up a career where you enjoy your job, you are likely to excel in the profession.
Cicero, the great philosopher had said 2000 years ago:
“Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability”
It is true even today. Success of persons like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates confirm the veracity of the statement. Whatever you are by nature keep it; your line of talent lies in what the nature has intended you to be.
It is often said that you cannot come out of mediocrity if you are or have to pursue a career which is not to your liking. There is one school of thought that says “if you so desire you can start liking anything that you may be doing”. I don’t entirely deny the truth of the statement. But it is easier said than done. It may be possible, in rare cases, only with consistent efforts and training under a mentor. So, do what you can to discover your talent sooner than later, and leverage it.
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Persistence is perhaps the most important reason of anyone’s success in life. The 4 faces of persistence that I have chosen to discuss are:
- What is persistence? Its definition.
- The road blocks or the difficulties faced for persistence.
- How to develop persistence if it is not the part of your personality?
- Last but not the least, how does persistence help you to achieve your goals? This discussion will contain examples of the leaders who are the shining stars in this respect. Let us deal with each of this 4 faces in detail.
Face 1: How do we recognize the ability to persevere in anyone’s personality? What have the leaders and thinkers in the past stated about persistence? The review will enable us not only to understand but also to assimilate the virtues of persistence. Following are the famous quotes of great leaders and thinkers from different fields
- Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never, never give up!”
- Buddha: “A jug fills drop by drop”
- Samuel Johnson: “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance”
- Napoleon Hill: “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop”
- Albert Einstein: “It is not that I’m so smart, it is just that I stay with problems longer”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: “By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little, you gain the great.
- Unknown: “It is when things get tough and you don’t quit that success comes”
- Unknown: “The darkest hour is just before the dawn”
In fact your persistence in following your project measures your faith in yourself.
Face 2: The moot question is persistence if understood to be so important for progress; then why it is missing in almost 90% of the educated working class. It is difficult to find one common answer for all those who lack perseverance. A study of the human behavior assigns the following reasons why perseverance is missing in most of the people.
i) Accepting life as it comes. The habit of living life in a certain way which does not require to stretch out of your comfort zone does not allow one to think beyond.
ii) Sometimes, the problem starts during our formal education. The education system does not emphasize the important of simplicity in dissemination of the knowledge. Complex instruction affects the student’s ability to understand and assimilate. As a result there is a tendency of the mind to go somewhere else. Important of persistence does not come in to the picture.
iii) Lack of patience, inability to take risk and inadequate courage also act as deterrents.
- iv) Goals of life should be specified and written down by each individual. Our goals inspire us to persevere in order to achieve them. When there are no goals there is no inspiration.
Face 3: How to develop persistence
i We must specify our goals and they should be written down. The goals can be according to your priorities. The subject of our goals can be: health goals, career and financial goals, and family goals etc. You may add any other goal as per your liking. But, these should be time bound. These will inspire you to persist in your efforts for achieving these.
ii) Meditation is very useful. It enables you to review that you are moving forward in the right direction. When you meditate on any subject, the mind will keep on wandering and providing inputs on the subjects. This means that in the back of your mind you will keep on thinking about your goals. Meditation is not related to any particular faith. You may sit down and meditate on your breath or any other object. But make background thoughts hover around your goals.
iii) A detailed plan of action in pursuance of your daily tasks as well as weekly will be very helpful.
iv) And, above all the most important action that you can take, to bring persistence in your personality is to love your job. When you enjoy your work you are encouraged to continue doing what needs to be done.
Face 4: The benefits of persistence. These are immense. Progress in any project that you may undertake will become easier than you may imagine. Big difficult projects will not frighten you. You will gladly undertake these knowing fully well that these will require your consistent hard work. Your commitment to your mission becomes impeccable. The lives of great leaders of the world tell us innumerable success stories of those who failed many times before achieving success. Some of the well known examples are: Abraham Lincoln who failed repeatedly before becoming successful, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and our own Mahatma Gandhi. You may find any number of examples that you may like when you go through the pages of world history.
Thanks for reading.