Have your daily life themes planned for 2013?


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You wake up early, probably get some exercise, freshen up & get ready, have a quick bite and grab your coffee on the way out to work. Then, at the office, you spend an entire 8-10 hours tackling what you came for, work. Somewhere in between, you grab a bite for lunch and if you’re lucky, get a coffee during a break. You leave and on the way back, review the day’s proceedings in your head or perhaps, brood over that nasty meeting you endured that noon or mull over how to tackle that timeline problem or resource issue, take your pick. You make it home in the evening, acknowledge your family with a faint smile and go over to freshen up and change. Next, you grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, park yourself in the couch and hit the TV remote. Your spouse wants to share their day and your kids cozy up to you and want to play with you or need you to help with their homework, but you hardly have the energy or the willingness to spend time away from relaxing. You may force yourself, once in a while to engage with the kids or the family in activities. Or you want to get down to completing the work at hand, personal or work related, that has been lagging behind.

Bored yet? Hey, this is the regular life of an average adult. Don’t you see yourself somewhere in there? Well, its regular, its average & it can be boring. That’s where you come in. How do you go about adding the zest into it? There’s not much you can do about how regular life is structured but you can slowly but surely make amends to its nature by consciously making changes. Resolve to change your day to day life for the better in 2013, conscious change for the better. What changes, you may ask?

Think and make a list. Then, follow through with the execution of that list. For example; spend time with your family & kids, get them involved in your life and you involve in theirs. This strengthens the bond between you and cultivates positivity in mutual involvement. Instead of spending time with the TV, play a game of chess or scrabble with the kids. If there is an activity you are inclined toward, perhaps there is something that the family can contribute to. Delegate to them, no matter how small and complete together. Togetherness is key here.

You don’t want to sacrifice your TV time? Find a time that works for all and watch a favorite show together. Make it a habit to have dinner around the table as a family and discuss the day or any topics of choice together. Communication is key here.

Have a hobby and encourage everyone in the family to have one. Pursue hobby time together. Variety is key here.

Just the way you plan your career and work toward it, plan your daily life and work it. Trust me, it’s as important, if not more as your career, for a healthy home life ensures you have a happy and successful life outside the home. Find the themes you want to pursue in your and the family’s daily life, set goals, milestones throughout the year; plan for togetherness, happiness & sharing; cheer for each other while building a great quality of life. Act consciously and track progress. You will be surprised at how much more time and variety you can find within the 24 hour day. Don’t let life fleet by at its own pace and will. Take Control. Well, what are you waiting for? Get started!

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What does success mean to you?


Yesterday, I called an old friend in India. His 6 year old son picked up the phone and we chatted for a few minutes. The kid was animated about an event at home from a few days ago and started relating it to me. His grandpa was felicitated by a group of people who came from different places. I asked him who they were and what did they felicitate him for. He replied that they were a group of 60, some seemed young and some older and they had come from different places in India. Some were from abroad too. They came together to honor his grandpa, their teacher from years ago. The little one was thrilled to see the happy crowd and a happier grandpa. My friend took the phone next, had an equally excited tone and talked about how thrilled everyone was to come together and honor his father! Sept. 5th was teacher’s day in India and these students of his dad from over the years, took the time to come over and meet his father and the family; reminisce about times they had spent together and thank him for shaping their lives. By the time, I let go of the line, I was excited too!

Isn’t it amazing? These erstwhile students made an effort to get together, meet and greet their teacher and show their gratitude. He must have been a wonderful teacher to have left such an indelible mark on these students that they came looking for him. I consider him a very successful teacher.

Success means many things to many people. What does it mean to you? Revenue, profits, bank balance, power, position, a luxurious lifestyle, large cars, bigger homes, etc.

When you really look at the core of any job done; there are two things that matter. At the point in time, do you enjoy what you do and are you giving it your best? Your ultimate goal might be to become a CEO and run your own company or more generically, is at the pinnacle of your career, but you may not be there yet. Right now, this moment, there is a job you do and you are responsible and accountable for it. Do you take that seriously? If you do, you ought to give it your best. Your best will translate into the best possible results on the job no matter how they are measured. With this affable demeanor, you will make associations that take note and these combined with the results you show pave the path to your dreams. Going back to the two things I mentioned, they are enjoying what you do so you can give it your best. That itself is true success! Everything else is an outcome.

The emoluments of a job and the perks that come along with it are outcomes, not success. Success lies in the relationships you make along the way, the lives that you impact and improve, the lessons you learn and impart, inspiration you provide and the respect you command. What one would consider as success in terms of material wealth or better lifestyle are all outcomes of the success you cherish.

Outcomes, as we discussed are natural results of a job well done. Is it a crime to aspire for outcomes? Not at all, but when you focus only on outcomes instead of enjoying what you do and giving it your best, the success measures get compromised and it all remains just that, aspiration and never a reality.

True success is in the relationships you build and maintain over time. There is an old saying that inspires us to count our blessings in the friends and supporters we have. Look for success in your friendships, camaraderie and in a job well done. Trust me, all else that shapes a happy and fulfilled life must and will follow through.

Whose side are you on?


“Whose side are you on?”

A question often heard by each one of us, at home when interacting with the family, at work when interacting with colleagues or at social events when interacting with friends.

 Really, “whose side are you on?”

Each of us plays several roles in our daily life. You are a parent, a sibling, a child, a spouse or partner, a colleague, an employee or business partner, a friend, an adversary, a competitor and much more. It’s important that we don each of these different hats as needed. It’s truly amazing how many roles we go through each day. And you thought you weren’t a good actor? Well, rest assured; you are a true to life actor!

In each of these acts, your loyalties differ and hence, your priorities. At home, your family takes precedence and all you do is for the family’s benefit and comfort. Even within a family; over time, different members share a premier part of you, be it your parents, siblings, spouse or children. At work, your time and action is governed by objectives of your organization’s success. On the social front, it’s the relationships you cherish with friends that are at the forefront.

There are times when each of these roles steps on the toes of another and that is when the question arises, “Whose side are you on?” When work keeps you busy and tied down beyond normal limits, neither the family nor friends are amused. Similarly, when you tend to spend more time with friends, the family isn’t happy either. And, if it’s the family taking up all the time, work and friends suffer. It’s a delicate balance that has to be kept up in order to hold onto a sane life.

You are out at work to provide for your family and yourself. When at work, you are representing the interests of whom/what you work for and it’s important that you believe in the same with your heart and soul to be effective at it. Your profession establishes your identity in the world since that is the yardstick the world has chosen to measure people by; what they do. The friends and relations you maintain are a true reflection of your core as a person. There are relationships that are a result of your work and the end result of those is just that, to propagate your work. Do not mistake them for what I am referring to here. The friends I am referring to are the ones whose company you truly enjoy, where you can be yourself and live within your own skin with no expectations on either side. Such relationships are an integral part of maintaining a balance in life. Today, in the world of online social media, you could have hundreds and thousands of “friends”, yet there is a close-knit group that you enjoy spending time with. That group helps you energize to focus on playing the other roles in your life.

Are you spending more time at work consistently? What is triggering this? Are you unable to catch up with your work? Is it now time to re-prioritize? Are you spending too much time out with friends and neglecting family commitments? Are you so engrossed with things occupying family that your work and friends are taking a hit? These are signs to watch out for since it means the balance in your life is tilting somewhere. Such tilt is bound to happen and in more cases than not, its important to have that happen. After all, each of these areas of your life is extremely important. But, it also means it needs to be addressed to set the balance right.

Simply put, work while at work, play while at play and cherish your family all through. That is the mantra of a happy, blessed and successful life!