Sep 20, 2013

Be the main artist in the movie about you.

I read yesterday on Twitter that "Most people in the world will not be the hero in a movie made of their life". There was a positive and negative way to look at the same sentence. Either it says 'your life was led in a very self-less manner and you care more about others than yourself' or that 'you did not control your own destiny and others took over and played central themes in your life'.

Both interpretations are worthy of internalizing in many ways. Yes - one should definitely lead a life where you care about others selflessly. This is most noble of human deeds. However, you should do it with conscious personal choice and with determination instead of being in a situation where there was no option. Your personal choice of selfless service is also worthy a movie. Which is where I tend to take the second explanation as a more appropriate one where you choose to live life in your own terms, take deterministic action, even it it means making significant sacrifices voluntarily. You lead a life that others can emulate and you are the hero and central theme. You have a story.

In my upcoming book 'Rules of the Game', I talk about creating a central story about your career and your life. It should be led with purpose and passion, everything a hero would do in a movie. You need to go out with bang - where the world celebrates what you have done to the world - not just to yourself. 

Sep 16, 2013

Smile - It changes the game

Coming to work everyday and seeing grumpy people, moaning people, annoyed people is such a let down. I wish people could smile more. 

Smile, no matter what is happening around you. Smile when you pass or greet a colleague, smile when you meet a vendor. Smile when you meet the boss and smile when you cross the pantry boy or janitor. They have done nothing to deserve your grumpiness. 

There are many uses of the smile. It conveys the warmth you have for that person, and a genuine friendly smile lightens up the day for someone. Be genuine as many times as possible. However, you can also smile to mask your fears and feelings that are deep inside in case you don't like the person or the situation is getting you down and you are not being able to smile. You are not predictable to the opposition in the room. 

Physiologically it has been proven that smiling and acting laughing releases hormones that are beneficial for our overall well-being. Robert Zajonc is just one of many psychologists whose scientific research explains the fact that smiling and putting on a happy face (even a fake happy face) leads to physiological changes in the brain which causes the release of hormones and neurotransmitters. 

Life is too short so spread your warmth and enjoy the journey. You cannot change the past, you cannot predict the future. Be in the present and in that moment, you have an option - to be happy and spread happiness or just miss the great moment to have an impact. I hope you choose the former, every moment of your life.

Image: Courtesy Akshay Kumar's BBM profile picture from yesterday while I was writing this article. Great timing.

Sep 13, 2013

Enjoying Your Work

I am restarting regular posting on my blog after a long stretch as I was primarily writing my upcoming Book on Career Management. Hopefully the next weeks will make up for the gap.

One thing that came to my mind this morning was the number of people who were not enjoying their job and constantly complaining about something or the other. It could be bad bosses, low salary, inhuman working conditions, lack of career growth and the list goes on. The more they talk about how bad it is the more time they spend not fixing the problem - atleast the ones that can be fixed. If there is no enjoyment in your work, then you should not be doing it - not the way you were doing it. I see so many people who outdo each other moaning how bad it is for them. Stop.

This is a state of mind. You need to wake up and snap yourself out of the depressive negative cycle and declare that you are going to have fun. You have to let other know that you are going to have fun. You have to make work a game and your career a game. There is no shame admitting that you are having fun. This positive energy that you will bring to your team and to the organization is going to pay off. You will take pride in what you do. If the company is not putting up credible challenges, you should invent your own challenges. Your life and your career are in your hands and not your company's. This brings more fun. If the deadlines are real and lot depends on it, then focus and ensure that the deadline takes precedence over any other goal that you have set.

Having fun does not mean partying, does not mean not being serious about work, does not mean not achieving deadlines. It means enjoying the day to day tasks like hiring, firing, conducting had and painful meetings, testing the teams resolve and your own resolve and setting challenging goals for the team. Fun is where you are doing the right things and the consequences of going wrong are controlled and managed. Fun is when you wake up in the morning everyday and decide what goal are you going to achieve today.

Do not be a victim in your own world. Bring in the fun in your daily life.