Poems for Peak Personality!
Thought words and deeds
of a focused man
as per plan
others are managed
Define your goals
Far and near
All your impediments
your focus will clear
Should you dare to resolve?
Turbulent task or evolve
Plan to meet enemy strong
Fight a battle that may prolong
Develop strong will
With best of skill
It’s your determination
That denotes dedication
Which alone culminates
Bringing success ultimate
This article on Self awareness is the second part of the series which takes you on specific aspects of self development. For those who have missed the first part you can read it here.
Self awareness is a relatively unknown facet of self development. Even though hardly talked about is importance can hardly be overemphasized. So what exactly is self-awareness?
Self awareness is a sharp realization of one’s own personality – it is a collective understanding of one’s strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, motivations and emotions. Self awareness is very important for anyone who wishes to be in better control of his life and relationships.
Self awareness has certain overt manifestations.
Eye for detail:
A self aware person has an eye for detail. This signifies that such an individual always focuses on his priorities and does not miss out on anything important by getting distracted by what is not.
Consciousness about every moment:
Time is money. A moment lost is lost forever. A self aware person is always conscious about his time and invariably knows how to make the best use of it. High productivity and efficiency are key attributes of a person of a time conscious person.
Active, Alive and Alert:
Self awareness enables a person to be alive to any emerging situation and ensures that he is active and alert in his response. This really indicates that such a person never suffers from procrastination which is the bane of life, and which has literally destroyed many personalities.
Learning through self observation:
Among other things, self awareness also inculcates in the individual the conscious habit of self observation. A person is able to observe himself in terms of what is good in him and what is not. He also tries to assimilate the good of others again by observing what to emulate.
Being honest with self:
It is often said – one can never run away from one’s own self. Being self-aware also implies that a person is honest with his own self. This requires a person to objectively analyze on the areas of weaknesses, and focus on covering his development needs.
Three Step process for developing self awareness:
Step #1: Being aware of emotions:
Often we tend to take decisions solely using our mind – what is commonly known as rational thoughts. However, being aware of our inner feelings – our instinct which is what our inner conscience tells us to do is equally important. With awareness of our gut feelings, we can start taking better decisions and take the first step to self awareness.
Step # 2: Track your feelings:
A self aware person is able to track his feelings both positive and negative. This can be best achieved by jotting down on a daily basis these feelings and then analyzing the trend. Monitoring the feelings is a way by which a self aware person is able to define his purpose in life, and is able to enhance positive feelings and channelize his thoughts into positive action.
Step # 3: Expand the practice beyond tracking the feelings:
Once a self aware person gets used to tracking his feelings, the next step is to track the energy level. This enables him to identify the period(s) of the day when he are most energized, focused, and is able to produce highest quality work. Tracking the energy also provides insights into what motivates and what drains the energy.
Ways to Develop Self-awareness:
Certain positive activities that can be undertaken on a daily basis for developing self awareness are:
Look at yourself objectively:
This signifies that a person starts accepting himself for all his strengths and weaknesses.
Keep a Journal:
Maintaining a journal helps you record your day to day experiences and enables you to better understand your difficulties and
Goals / Plans / Priorities:
Start recording the goals, plans and priorities. Goals are the broad overall objectives to be achieved in life over a short/medium/long term. Plans represent the route map towards the achievement of the goals. Priorities signify the areas of focus when plans are put into implementation.
Daily Self Reflection:
A process of daily self reflection ensures that an individual is never trapped in a rut. Self reflection is a key technique for generating self awareness and involves the following:
Try out new experiences:The saying goes that you do the same things, the result remains the same. Trying out new experiences involves exploring new ideas, experimenting new techniques and find out new and innovate ways to solving the problem.
Discover physical limits:A person only becomes aware of his true physical limits when he tests them. Pushing the limits enhances the physical capacity and also enables a person to do more
Self motivate:Daily self reflection on how a person can keep himself self-motivated at all times. Self motivation is the power that enables a person to keep going.
The process of meditation can help become self aware and focus clearing the clutter of unnecessary thoughts. Meditation helps an individual develop a unique focus that helps an individual in covering all the areas mentioned above.
Feedback from friends:
Seeking out feedback from true friends involves getting their honest opinions about areas of improvement and weaknesses that need to be developed upon.
Feedback at the work place:
Professional feedback can be sought from colleagues at work. This helps a person reach out and network and enables him to learn from the experience of others.
To sum up self awareness is not an eventual objective by itself. It is continuing process that enables a person to live a truly meaningful and fulfilled life. The process of discovering the true meaning of the term in all its facets is a truly rewarding process. The pointers mentioned above are only the starting points for you. All the best!
Pages from my forthcoming book, ‘PowerPacked Personality’ for Your FREE reading!
Here are some more pages continued from where we left…..
Last week we had talked about the first step to realize your dream is to write down your specific goals. When you become very clear about your goal which will help you to realize your dreams, you have to work out a plan of action for realizing each of your specific goals. Here are some further pages which I hope you will need to understand and make suitable efforts. We have to always remember that anything significant cannot be achieved without consistent hard work. Perseverance is the key to climbing up. Leader of success is steep and difficult, but the rewards merit all.
Implementing your goals
- Why do you set your goals? Let’s consider this basic question. The simple answer is that you are not happy with your present status and you want to improve. Now let’s consider who is responsible for your present status? Your circumstances, influence of your parents, teachers, friends, relatives, neighbor and all those who have been interacting with you. They have influenced you mind which in turn has influenced your actions and behavior. Over the years you have formed some habits. Triggered by your habits, you continue to do the same things over and over again. Your relationships with others remain the same. Nothing changes. Therefore you don’t own what you want; you don’t garner respect from others. Life is drudgery. Nothing to look forward to. You accept that this reality and you have to live with it. And then, you write down your goals. These could be about health, career, finance, family, hobby and even spirituality.
- Once we understand that you background and habits have brought you to a situation which you are not happy with, you need to do whatever it takes to change these influences and most importantly change your habits. You may not be able to change company of everyone around you, but you can choose to divide your time according to your choice.
Implement Goals Quotes:
- People will always have an opinion, but you have to live life the way you want to. It’s very easy to tell others what to do, but difficult to implement it on yourself.
- Set some goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the hell out of them. Clap for your damn self.
- Success is steady progress toward one’s personal goals. (Jim Rohn)
- You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
- When a planner speaks of implementing goals rationally, he implies that it is possible to demonstrate logically and experimentally the relationship between the proposed means and the ends they are intended to further. (Alan A. Altshuler)
- In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. (Jack Welch Winning)
To be connected with earlier chapter.
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:
- Stop making any excuses for any reason what-so-ever.
- Do not indulge in any negative thought.
- 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.
- You stop procrastinating because that is indicative of your lack of confidence.
- Stop pursing perfection. Perfection is never achieved. It only stops you from moving ahead.
Once you develop self belief and you observe that you confirm 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.
Personal Productivity and its review constitute are essential ingriedients in the implementation and achievement of personal goals. But what is personal productivity? Does it mean how we manage our time? The answer is yes and no. Yes, time is an important aspect of personal productivity. Rather, it could be so provided your activities are aligned with your goals. And yet it is a lot more. Does it mean one’s achievement towards realization of personal goals? Not just that! Personal goals may change. Personal vision may change. And if one may say so personal mission statement if one ever cares to establish that – that also may change.
When we talk of mission statement or vision or an organization, that hardly ever changes. But when we are talking of an individual, the factors that affect a person’s likes and dislikes, desires, drastically change with changing circumstances, or even without these.
The most important factor for a person’s success is his/her personal productivity. As we growwe realize that it is not just money, not just health, not just family, or your social status, hobbies etc., that bring you happiness, but it is a combination of all these in varying proportions. So what we need to do is to align all our activities to achieve whatever we want in the aforesaid different fields.
Therefore a daily review of what you do becomes very important. In the highly competitive world we have today, the targets that the organizations set for you are hard ones. These sap your energy and rob you of the power and ability to think what you must do. You only start following sometimes even unachievable targets. In the process, you totally destroy you concept of personal productivity.
Hence, what is really needed is to have the right balance and proper perspective towards life. It is only such a healthy attitude that strikes a right balance between family and friends, home and work, health and money that will lead to a truly happy and successful life.
Pages from my forthcoming book, ‘PowerPacked Personality’ for Your FREE reading!
In your life, you alone are responsible for your success and status in society. So if you want to realize your dream, the first thing you have to is to describe it vividly. It should be so clear that you can see it closing your eyes. This is like defining where you want to go. Obviously, if you don’t know your destination, how will you reach there. That brings us to the most critical question in life which is that of Goals.
What are Goals?
Anything that we do in life, we spend our precious time and money must bring about desired results. But often it does not happen. Why? Do we always try to figure out the reasons? If not, then why not? Because our goals are not clear. Because our desire to achieve the results is not so strong.
So what should we do? Sit back and think that everything will be alright? Or, that our luck is bad? No!
We must clearly define what we want to achieve. Write these clearly on our diary/journal. Make it known to the friends, family members, peers wherever it is necessary. Particularly to our well wishers. When we make our goals known to others, we become more committed.
Then, we should create a strong desire within us to achieve our goals. We need to contemplate on these as often as possible. Further, we need to plan how to achieve our goals. Work out the plan and write it down. Spend some time, contribute something, however small, daily towards achievement of what you want to do in life. It is worth it. And, you will be surprised to find how effective this process is for achieving what you want.
Goals should be short-term, medium-term, and long-term. In other words, what you want to achieve in the current year, next five years, ten years, twenty years, etc. Never think about obscurity of the future and changing times. Instead think that I have the ‘right’ and possibility of modifying my goals as per the needs of the changing times.
Furthermore, you need to work about a practical plan to achieve each of your goals. This should be backed up with action, your genuine effort to follow the plan. Life will be a lot more meaningful when the goals are well-defined and the plan to achieve these is followed.
Types of Personal Goals:
Setting your goals defines significance of your life. Your self-esteem will go up surely if you passionately try to follow your goals. There are 7 different types of goals which need to be defined. It is not about money or career only. Below are the 7 different types of goals which may be clearly defined and written. These are:
- Health Goals: Health is of prime importance, indeed. Yet many times it has been found that even common principles of maintaining good health are ignored. As per our scriptures a human is made to live about 100 years. When we look after our health properly we may live close to that age or even overstep it. But if we are not careful, life may shorten to any extent. If you love your life and want to live longer, set your health goals. Also prepare and follow the plan to lead a healthy life.
- Career Goals: Career goals are undoubtedly extremely important. Any educated individual would like to progress in the career he/she is pursuing. But often it is only a wish. The best thing to do is to write down specifically what you want to achieve. This may mean – define the position and also define the timeline.
- Financial Goals: Though finance and career are closely connected, yet it is necessary to specify separately your financial goals. Again, these should be time bound according to your needs, your family requirements and your social obligations. If necessary, consult a financial adviser and then carve out your own plan.
- Family Goals: We all want to lead a happy family life- within our own nuclear family, extended family and relatives. Even today there are examples of joint families living together happily. Maintaining good relations require you to be proficient in interpersonal skills. It’s necessary to use discretion in speech even with your spouse, children, parents etc. Not only the words but the way how you speak is important. When you have set your goals you have greater chances to keep on improving in this direction.
- Social Goals: Everyone would like to be a respected member of the society. Whether it is neighborhood or a club, or an association, you would like to build up your reputation. This can be achieved with necessary efforts provided you have stated your specific goals.
- Hobby Goals: It is recommended that everyone must pursue at least one hobby. It’s investing in an activity for your own self. Music, theater, dance, painting is example of common hobbies. But it could also be collecting stamps, artifacts, antiques etc. Just as per your fancy, follow a hobby.
- Spiritual Goals: Last but not the least; we should define the spiritual goals. We all know that we don’t have to live on this earth forever. During stay here often we may think about how we like to be remembered. Think about how we should face the eternal force of which know very little. That is why people follow their own religion, which should be a united force. Religion helps to maintain our peace of mind. So we must note down our specific spiritual goals.
All the above goals are meaningless unless we write these down, make a plan to pursue each goal and execute that plan. The goals may be reviewed and modified as per the requirements of changing times.
Just imagine a football playground without goals. How can anyone play the match in the absence of goals on both sides? Unless there is a target what can you shoot at? Unless the teacher explains what kind of questions he is likely to face in the examination, how can the student prepare? Likewise, it’s not possible to achieve anything worthwhile without specifying your personal goals. If you gave the archer a target and challenged him to hit the bull’s eye, the challenge motivates the shooter and makes him/her to do their best. You have to give anyone something to aim at, something to challenge his skills. Further, there must be defined parameters to measure the progress. That motivates a person, creates an interest which can sustain action and hard work.
That’s what a goal does to a person’s life, it motivates the person to achieve something worthwhile, something he or she desires. That brings about a big change in the attitude. Every one is endowed with a precious gift of life, it’s our duty to make best use of it. You were given a life and you’ve been told ever since to, “live it.‘
Everybody in this world has a different set of circumstances, different set of skills, and a different set of opportunities through which they can interact with the world and find their unique sense of fulfillment. You’re mission in life should be to figure out what your unique, “sets” are and how you can take action to best capitalize on them that gives all of your effort purpose and meaning. Goals are the guiding light that get you there.
Take your time reading through the quotes below and the notes/remarks that follow. Think about these and reflect to work out what are your objectives. The exercise will help you specify what your goals should be as per your needs and desire. Since goals must be written as clearly as possible, it will also help you to make these articulate in your mind so that you can put it on paper clearly. Unless the goals are written in detail, these remain your wishes which have little meaning. Timeline is also critical in purposeful goal setting.
- “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” ~ Zig Ziglar
- “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~ Jim Rohn
- “It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.” ~ Stephen Kellogg
- “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” ~ Jim Rohn
- “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” ~ Orison Swett Marden
- “The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~ Michelangelo
- “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” ~ J.C. Penney
- “Intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.” ~ Andy Andrews
- “I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.” ~ Og Mandino
- “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” ~ Pablo Picasso
- “If you raise your standards but don’t really believe you can meet them, you’ve already sabotaged yourself. You won’t even try; you’ll be lacking the sense of certainty that allows you to tap the deepest capacity that’s within you… Our beliefs are like unquestioned commands, telling us how things are, what’s possible and impossible and what we can and can not do. They shape every action, every thought and every feeling that we experience. As a result, changing our belief systems is central to making any real and lasting change in our lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins
- “My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose – somehow we always win out.” ~ Ronald Reagan
Now it should be easy to specifically write down your goals. Take following steps:
Step One: Write down in clear terms what do you want to do.
Step Two: Think many times to be sure of what you are thinking at the moment is really what you want.
Step Three: Write down in specific terms what you have decided after thinking it over.
Step Four: Check if your Goal are SMART where S stands for specific, M stands for measureable, A stands for achievable, R stands for ready, and T stands for time bound.
In the following chapter you will understand how to make a plan to achieve your goals and the steps you need to take to implement the plan. At times, you may face some hurdles. What action you must take then is also explained.
To be continued…
The Bhagavad Gita is the ultimate book of knowledge and is duly recognized as such throughout the world. Its wisdom transcends the limits of time and space. I publish daily one message from the book which can be related to our daily life titled: Thought4TheDay
These are widely read and highly appreciated by my connections on LinkedIn, friends on Facebook and followers on twitter totally about 27000 people. As recommended by some friends, I am posting the same here. You may ask questions and/or post your comments which be appreciated. Hope you will find the initiative very rewarding.
Thought4TheDay (Dec. 19, 2017)
from…THE RIG VEDA
God Makes the Rivers to Flow
“God makes the rivers to flow. They tire not,
nor do they cease from flowing.
May the river of my life flow into the sea of love,
that is the Lord.
May I overcome all the impediments in my course.
May the thread of my song be not cut before my life
merges in the sea of love.
Guard me against all dangers, O Lord.
Accept me graciously, O King of kings.
Release me from my sorrows, which hold me as ropes
hold a calf. I cannot even open my eyes without
the power of your love.
Guard us against the grief that haunts the life of the
selfish. Lead us from darkness into light.”
A beautiful invocation flowered with the simile of a river flowing. Life flows thus too. When we know where to go as our goals well defined, it strengthens our resolve to do what we need to do to realize aim of our life. Worldly progress but without attachment is no where denied; neither in the Rig Veda, nor in The Bhagavad Gita!
Thought4TheDay (Dec. 18, 2017)
Cross the River Bravely
Cross the river bravely; conquer all your passions.
Go beyond the world of fragments and know the
deathless ground of life.
Cross the river bravely; conquer all your passions.
Go beyond your likes and dislikes and all fetters
will fall away.
Who is a true Brahmin? That one I call a Brahmin
who has neither likes nor dislikes and is free from
the chains of fear.
Who is a true Brahmin? That one call a Brahmin
who has trained the mind to be still and reached the
supreme goal of life.
Bravery gives you courage to face turbulence of life squarely. Desires and emotions weaken the mind and need to be kept under control. This in no way means renouncing life. It doesn’t even mean that you should not have and pursue your goals. Keeping control over your emotions will only help in your ability to achieve your goals.
Please share this post with your friends for greater awareness, should you like it. Thanks.
If there is one thing that is equally distributed by the Lord Almighty, that is Time. And it is the most important of all resources. Proper use of time makes the people very successful and vice-versa. With the fast development of technology, executives are expected to be far more productive. It is possible. But it calls for more efficient use of your time.
In fact, over the years our attitude towards time has changed. Today, each one of us has become aware of cost of time.
One can effectively use time if the goals are written down. The specific goals make it mandatory to write down a plan of action. And when you have worked out your plan to achieve your goals in respect of important aspects of life, there is hardly any time which you can afford to lose.
I would like to mention here that some habits need to be changed to be more time productive. These are:
- Procrastination is the most potent culprit which destroys some of your most precious time. It is only important tasks that you want to carry out as a priority. But if the task is challenging, many a time you tend to postpone it. In the process, you lose time but more importantly the burden or guilt of not attending to important work makes you time inefficient. So having a habit of procrastination even in the smallest measure is not permissible.
- Time has the habit of expanding to work to the time allotted. Even if you are able to do a job in two hours, but you have four hours available, the work will expand to fill all four hours. So what is the remedy? Allot lesser time to the task. You may have to stretch yourself a bit. Do it. But, save time.
- Another villain which steals away your time is indecision. Whenever you are not able to decide between two or more options, you lose time. You must learn to be more decisive. Normally decisions are not taken because of risks associated with the decision. We must remember that not taking any risk is the biggest risk of our life.
- Verbosity in our speech is another time-wasting demon. We need to be terse in our communication. It just requires better focus and a determination of not using more words than are necessary.
- If we follow the system of diving our tasks into four quadrants as propounded by Steven Covey of “Seven Habit of Successful People”, we can surely save time which is often wasted.
There are some suggestions to use our time more productively. These are:
- Keep a Time Log for 2-3 days. Understand the normal, routine use of your time. Now study the same to find out where you can save time. The exercise will not go waste. In process the credit balance of your time current account will increase.
- If you want to become really time efficient follow the rule of 60 : 25 : 15.You must try to complete your routine (daily tasks) in 15% of the available time. Besides, 25% time should be spent on ongoing projects. Finally, spend 60% of your time on developments, innovations, and new projects.
- Make a to-do every day morning and try to complete the jobs which must be done on that day. In this list, you must keep in mind the priorities. In fact proper prioritizing your tasks enables you to use your time very productively.
Working out priorities:
You must analyze your tasks. Then place them in three distinct categories:
- Tasks which are important as urgent. These cannot be carried forward.
- Tasks which are important but not urgent. For example, looking after your health and going for a walk daily is important but not urgent.
- Tasks which are neither urgent nor important. These should always receive the least importance.
While making your to-do list you must be realistic. Don’t pack too many things in a day which cannot be completed. If is unnecessary to create a burden for yourself. This will decrease your efficiency.
Thanks for reading.