“Each one of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits “. -Fulton J. Sheen
You could be really good in your work and yet marvel at the ease with which your Boss sums up the day with a flourish. But when have you ever been just what you loved in the first place? You are merely defined by your roles. Your desire to be more than a performer and be a McCoy in ‘fit all’ roles is a moot point of social absurdity in your everyday life.
So!…ever wondered what allows him to achieve so much with so little efforts?
Like the top of the tree, it is our personality that people see first. Of course image, skill, and techniques carry their influence, but the real source of lasting effectiveness lies in strong character, the roots.
These timeless insights hold the key to most of our personal and professional life issues and could well change the way you may be interpreting success.
Everything begins with an end in sight
Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?” …“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to” said the Cat... “I don’t much care where…” said Alice…“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
–From Alice in Wonderland
Living by the design of things is the first step to a private victory. A clear vision of what you want and for what purpose, decides what is and what is not important for you in the day. Once this becomes visible you can create a personal mission and live by it for improved outcomes.
Always remember that mental creation always precedes physical creation. Once you begin to visualize the outcome in every area of life before you act, your blueprint to success starts taking shape. Your vision becomes your guide for day to day decisions.
When this happens, it’s time to reshape your future. But just don’t let others do it for you or even circumstances decide for you. What more turn a blind eye to the wisdom of others. Consider it only as a temporary restraint , no more.
Be responsible for your choices for you chose wisely
“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” -Viktor Frankl
For the third time this week, your company is rumored to be undertaking restructuring, for Covid crises have hit its anchors hard. You feel threatened and might even believe it to be true. You are aware that the finance department is searching for ways to latch on the expenses and save on company’s dwindling resources.
Lately you have suffered a bout of anxiety and have started feeling the scrutiny of the management. Recent failures stem from obvious reasons but the management has so conveniently begun to blame you and hold you squarely for dips in performance. Every day in Office you could feel your Boss staring at you across the floor with utter disdain in his eyes boring down your neck. You are damn sure that your impunity is short lived.
You believe that you have contributed significantly over the past seven years but you are not certain that the management is even aware of your value addition to the company. You and your team had worked so hard to develop good relations both in- house and with businesses but seems like everybody is turning a blind eye to your sweat. Your department is slated to be downsized and you may be fired.
The first thought that will cross your mind is, what has conspired against me? Am I merely a victim of circumstances? or have I not made my choice wisely?
It’s not unnatural to defy the habit of choice. Most of us do not allow ourselves the freedom to choose between choices and rather resign to turn of events and circumstances.
So what could you do to un-ruffle the wet feathers? I would say you hit the pause, mull over it and then react proactively. Think of what all lies all beyond your present. Start choosing between the options if you think you cannot salvage anything from this unworthy situation. Focus on what lies ahead than stay fixed with your present misadventure. Whatever you do, just be compelling in your choices and actions.
In any case your dependence on this job is no more than a ‘private victory’ bereft of any synergy with your capabilities. Shed your loneliness and learn to expand your circle of influence. Be more aware of yourself and become a transition person. Your ‘interdependence’ shall change hands with ‘independence ‘in no time and creativity shall take hold of your life for good.
One thumb rule that you should never let go is learn to be yourself and focus on things you can influence. Only then you can expand your knowledge, experience, trustworthiness and above all your circle of influence.
First things always come First
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”. – Johann Goethe.
This rule defies all logic, for you may be required to multitask and deliver altogether, but remember, it is the compass that must always come before the clock because where you are headed is more important than how fast you are getting there. So always live North of the line and remember what is urgent need not always be important. Needless interruptions, unnecessary reports, meetings, phone calls, mails may be urgent but not important. Crisis, pressing problems, deadline driven projects, meetings reports override all other priorities and come first above all. Likewise issues like preparation, planning, recreation, relationship building is important but not urgent. Trust me, effectiveness stems from your integrity once you begin to act on your priorities.
Fall for the habit of mutual benefit : Its intoxicating to think win-win
“What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other “. – George Eliot
Effective long term relationships thrive only on mutual respect and benefits. Foster them. Strike rich relationships . Work on the belief that there is plenty out there and more to spare. Once you have struck a balance between courage and consideration, your win-win systems have already been built with faster solutions to problems. Workaround for a solution that works good for both rather than look for success expending and excluding others.
Believe me, these win-win frameworks work great when you are clear and vocal in your expectations, eager to delegate responsibilities and ready to work with conflicting priorities.
Learn to understand to be understood
“Listen or your tongue will make you deaf” – Unknown
Most of us do not spare necessary time and effort to properly diagnose the symptoms and rush to prescribe solutions. We assume that we have understood the issue well and hasten with a quick advice. This usually falls flat for we communicate from our own frame of reference. This is nothing unusual for we all are blessed naturally with this gift of communicating. We advise, probe, interpret and evaluate based on our own experiences and motives. We communicate merely our likes and dislikes. So what happens is that we feel we do not understand and likewise the other person doesn’t feel understood. This contemptuous disregard for each other’s ideas, priorities, intent and an overwhelming urge to prevail upon, will fail you to ‘hit the brief’ every time you turn vocal .
The key to this mutual miscommunication lies within you only. Give a patient hearing to what others have to say and you will find that you are more likely to get the results you want than ever.
Solutions to complex problems have their roots in clarity on real issue. And what more once you learn to listen you can always teach to learn.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
“The enemy of the best is the good”. -Voltaire
People are often overwhelmed by the difference of opinion, perspective and the background of the issue. Rummaging through umpteen courses of actions is merely confusing and often let you down.
One way to swim out of this cesspool of uncertainty is to identify the common purpose, look around you, search and learn the differences. Once you have done so, rewire your mindset. Celebrate these differences rather than tolerate or even accept them and you could well be rewarding yourself with the third alternative “Our Way”. Once you get rid of first two choices-‘my way’, ‘your way’; you are more likely to end up with an idea that is better than what you started with.
And when would you know that you have created a third alternative? You will get to know this; when you have a change of heart, see things differently and begin to find a new way together. For once, fall in for the habit of creative cooperation and see amazing things begin to happen.
Use a benchmark to check your effectiveness
“To keep the lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it”- Mother Teresa.
Focusing only on getting the golden eggs has always been a lot more ineffective than nurturing the goose that lays them.
While we learn to renew ourselves regularly we often encounter mental obstacles such as feeling too busy, lack of enough self discipline to stick to our commitments. These are harassing moments and need you to be strong. Even your petty chores like ‘mind over mattress’ (getting up in time), eating healthy or sticking to reading regimen even when you are busy will sharpen the habit of renewal.
In turn you will have an insight of your effectiveness from your point of view as well as from the viewpoint of those around you. Better still set up a benchmark to see if your capacity has improved, relationships have bettered and there is continuous improvement in your productivity. As you explore you will become more aware of your level of effectiveness.
Once you recognize how you want to see yourself and how others see you, things will turn easier and your ‘Private victory’ will morph into a ‘Public victory’. Things once familiar and dull will for once start looking amazing and may even reveal the real McCoy in you.