Tag Archives: dig deep

Learning to unlearn

learn_bayt_medMore than ever in the history of mankind, the time is now to feed your hunger for learning – that is if you even have a hunger for learning. The overflowing information through the digital world has made it easy for all of us to accumulate as much knowledge on any subject of your choice as possible. Technology has truly revolutionized the art of learning.

Today I watch my 11-year-old son, downloading Photoshop, dream weaver, and much other software and sitting for hours and maneuvering his mind and imaginative senses to understand, comprehend and then put it into practice to come up with creative expressions. We as parents take pride in our children who display a larger than comprehensive talent, however, when it comes to us, so few of us are ready to take advantage of the same technology that is equally available to us. Should you make the effort to unlearn so you can learn? Here are some statistics for you to give it a good thought:

  • Adult education experts estimate that up to 40% of what tertiary students are learning will be obsolete a decade henceforth when they are  working in jobs that have yet to be created.
  • The top 10 most in-demand jobs today didn’t even exist 10 years ago.
  • By 2020, there will be more people over 65 years old than under age 15 in the world’s developed countries.

We live in a changing world understates the speed of both the pace and the scope of ongoing change. To add to this the social changes in family structure, the globalization of talent, and continued innovation in technology. It is hard to imagine just what the world, and it’s increasingly mobile workforce will look like 20 years from now. Certainly, nothing like it looked twenty years ago!

For the three-plus billion people in the workforce, it’s not just about keeping up with the rate of change and the nature of the work we do, but how we do it and where. When anyone can work from anywhere, it changes the nature of work everywhere. Traditional boundaries disappear, and the global talent pool becomes more skilled and mobile, which presents a challenge for people in developed countries to adapt faster to stay competitive. Your ability to adapt to changing face and proactively make changes in your career is what will make a crucial difference to where you find yourself even just five years from now. To quote Mr.  Darwin: ”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

We are all born with an intense desire to learn, somewhere along the line many of us lose our passion for learning. The pressure to excel in school with its ever-pressing emphasis on test scores can rob the enjoyment from the process of learning. Whatever the reasons, once the basics are covered, many people tend to stick with what they know and avoid situations or challenges where they may mess up or be forced to learn something new, thus creating a safe, secure and comfortable (and confining) world for themselves. Most say they’re open to change, but actually do their best to avoid it. It’s time you wake up and smell the coffee.

Learning agility is the name of the game. Where the rules are changing fast, your ability to be agile in letting go of old rules and learning new ones is increasingly important. Learning agility is the key to unlocking your change proficiency and succeeding in an uncertain, unpredictable and constantly evolving environment, both personally and professionally. There are countless things you may have to unlearn in your job, business and career, even throughout  the next 12 months.

  • Unlearn the designs you use.
  • Unlearn the methodology you use.
  • Unlearn the technology you use.
  • Unlearn the way you approach your brand.
  • Unlearn the way you communicate your value.
  • Unlearn the way you deliver your value.
  • Unlearn the skills and knowledge needed to get to the next level.
  • Unlearn who your target market is, what they want and why.
  • Unlearn how to get the most from your employees.

Unlearning is about moving away from something—letting go—rather than acquiring. It’s like stripping old paint. It lays the foundation for the new layer of fresh learning to be acquired and to stick. However, like the painter who needs to prepare a surface, stripping the paint is 70% of the work while repainting is only 30%.

As the global economy evolves and market forces drive competition for jobs to new levels, it’s the people who have proactively worked to expand and diversify their skill sets that will be the best placed. The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote, ‘Everyone had to bring something extra; being average is no longer enough. Everyone is looking for employees who critical thinking and problem solving can do, just to get an interview. What they are really looking for is people who can invent, re-invent and re-engineer their jobs while doing them.’

People who find opportunities in a changing environment are those who are actively looking for them. The choice is simple: act or be acted upon. Since change is the only constant, you can truly rely upon, learning to navigate and adapt to it is not just important to your survival, it’s essential for you to thrive in the bigger game of life.

As futurist and philosopher Alvin Toffler once wrote: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Think about it – think rich, think different.

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Facing our fears

872922We are all afraid of something; some have fear of darkness, height, rejection, public speaking and the list are endless. Have you ever realized that when we were a child, we never thought about the consequences to our actions? That suggest that we did not know what fear was – we were not fearful of anything. If you look at a child, he is not afraid of jumping from anywhere, touching the hot plate, blowing the candles on his birthday and wishing for the stars or for that matter, taking a cloth and using it as a cape to be the super-power who is ready to conquer the world.

So where and how did we develop all these fears? We all come to this life with a positive view about the world. We were excited and imaginative, and we saw the entire universe as our playground. Then somewhere between college and middle-age, many of the us seem to lose that optimism for life. Possibly this stems from telling ourselves that we have to “grow up” and become more realistic. On the other hand, perhaps it’s caused by those doubts that creep into our heads, making us wonder if we are just not good enough to ever be that superhero. Or could it simply be the result of running ourselves ragged trying to meet the demands of those around us. Whatever the reason, we began creating barriers and limitations for ourselves that caused us to either try, fail, and give up; or even more prevalent, caused us to fail to try at all.

A great read about this topic is a book by Susan Jeffers in my early 20s about overcoming fear called “Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway.” The book helps explain that having fears isn’t something to be ashamed of, as everyone has fears. Rather, the book suggests that when we feel afraid, we should think through the possible outcome which is causing our greatest fear and then realize that even if that outcomes were to happen, we would find a way to work through it. Sure, having to work through a negative outcome may not be easy or fun, but we will, in fact, find a way to move beyond it. By going through the exercise of dealing in our minds with the worst-case scenario, it allows us to shift our thinking mentally, from “I can’t handle it” to “I will get through it.” This allows ourselves to move forward in spite of our fears.

I have a fear of water, as in swimming in the ocean or just dive into the deep water. It stems from an incident that happened at the Jumeriah beach in Dubai almost 16 years ago where I was saved by my husband from drowning. That time I did not know much swimming. Although, I can swim far better than that time, the fear that got imprinted on my brain still lingers whenever I am near ocean or deep water. This weekend I decided to get rid of that fear. I cannot say that I have fully conquered it, but I am better than when I started. I was at the beach this past weekend at the Pacific Ocean. The waves were really choppy and hug. The tides were huge and  the water was reaching the shores so much that they were covering the whole sand part. I had made up my mind and was not about to let my fear keep me away from enjoying the ocean. What I did was, I faced the ocean and spoke to it and kept saying inside my head – “come hit me, how hard can you hit.” I could just see that I was not afraid of the water and could let myself submerge without fear. I did not realize but my husband noticed that for the first time, I was enjoying in the Pacific Ocean like a child. We all have it in our mind – conquer it, do not let it get to you.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it” –Victor Hugo

C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  It doesn’t matter what stage you are in your life right now. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are. At any point in time, you can decide to change your life, to go after the things you really want. Would it be taking a risk? May be. Anytime we take a step into the unknown we are taking a risk. That’s why it’s called the unknown. So what if you don’t like the unknown once you get there? Then you will find a way to change it or to move past it. You will. And what if the unknown turns out to be more amazing than you could have ever imagined it to be? Well, there is only one way to find out, isn’t there.

So dig deep you guys – face the fears and do it any ways!!!!

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Connecting the dots with networking

As I sat to write my post for the blog, huge surges of thoughts are running through my mind. It is like a slide show going through my head, images after images and memories that have been created and cherished over period of time. Each moment, image, time spent is like a drawing carved on a stone which is here to stay, and the best part is each one is created with so much heart, love and heart. It is amazing how our life shapes up over a period of time. Never thought like a child that one day I will be able to create so many memories over so many places around the world. As I run my slide show in my head, I have the only word – which is gratitude. Every incident in life happens for a reason, there are no accidents. Each one is there for a purpose, either to make us stronger, to appreciate what we have, to learn from it or just simply cherish every bit of it. We always hear the hind side is 20/20 – indeed it is. If you ever take the time to look back at your life and the things that happened and if you were to connect the dots you will realize that each one of them had to happen for you to move to the next one. It is amazing how it all takes shape. To summarize one thing that is a common thread is creating lasting relationships.

I come from a very humble background where my father did his best to provide the best, and my mother stayed at home. Money ran out before the month and every day my parents worried how they will provide the best and fulfill their duties as good parents. They had to sacrifice a lot to provide us the best education, and I made sure that I never let them down. I was constantly resourceful, consistently figured out a way to get what I wanted. I guess I understood the power of networking at a very early stage of my life. I am a people person so creating lasting relationship with people was never a challenge. I believe that you got to be genuine, and that’s the only way to create lasting relationships. More than ever, now is the time to network and collaborate. Gone are the days where you need to know everything to be successful. Today’s mantra is collaboration and networking. Collaborate and work together and march forward.

We often consider “networking” as a taboo. What we fail to recognize is all great organizations are constantly collaborating. Even within the same industry, companies are networking and collaborating with each other because that’s the only way you can offer better product to the consumer. That’s just the reality, whether we like or not. If you are a new entrant to the business ownership world, you need to learn this art quickly if you already do not possess. This is one art that will take you a long way. Not only will your learning curve will be short, but you will meet some amazing people who will be there with open arms to help you and give you that initial break that every fresh entrepreneur is looking for. Above all, in order to grow your business, you will need to reach out to people and make meaningful connections. Hence, it is in your best interest that you learn this skill quickly. Soon there will come a time, when people seek you out to network and that will be your way to give back to the community.

A great book that can help you is called “Never eat alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. This book will help you understand that your network is your net worth. Imagine if you had a network like Facebook, would your business be successful? Shun the prejudices you have grown up with – adapt to the new business techniques and soar to success. As I said in my previous post, the only thing that is the truth is “change.” We all can make a change for a better future, so do not limit yourself. Open your mind for new ideas and thoughts and keep digging deep!

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Are you limiting yourself ?

self-love-woman-849x400We all have knowingly or unknowingly set a bar for ourselves that holds us back. It tells us how much is our limit, how far can we go, how big can we think and achieve. Some of us work diligently to raise that bar and some of us are not even aware that we have one. Get concious of your limits, work on increasing it through books and surrounding yourself with people who refuse to limit their capabilities.

As I continue my journey for my book and have the honor, pleasure and priviledge to meet with bold, beautiful, confident, fiery, limitless powerful women, I cannot help but notice that all of them have one major thing in common – they have never limited themselves. The road they were walking was not always easy and who says it will be, but these women did not let anything come in their way. Each one of them had every reason to throw in the towel, because it the going did get tough, but every time they faced a challenge, they became even stronger. I am really thankful that they did not because if they did, there won’t be a story today. They would have never reach where they are.

We all know that diamonds are girl’s best friend. Have you ever thought that in order for a diamond to be pretty and nice and be the most valuable ornate that every girl/woman aspires to have, the metal has to go through heat (thousands of degrees) and pressure (130,000 atmospheres) that can typically only be found about 90 to 100 miles below the surface of the Earth, deep within the mantle. So you see, all good things in life comes from some hard work and pressure. This is the law of nature. If that is so, then why worry when you go through trials and tribulations in your life on your journey to accomplish your dreams and goals.

The one thing that I have taken away from all the six interviews that I have done so far is that we are the architects of our own life. We are the only one who limits ourselves . We put barriers and limitations to the level of success we can achieve.

It’s about time we confront our limitations. Don’t settle for average or mediocrity. We are all made for greatness and we can have it just like many others. So dig deep within, bring out the dormant desires, the aspirations, and the dreams and work hard and get them. 



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