Tag Archives: onwards

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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Persistently Persistent

We have always heard this – slow and steady wins the race. From the story of the race between tortoise and hare and so many more examples given to us. I think it is time to defy that adage and tweak it a bit to achieve success. In my opinion, it is not slow and steady but fast and steady who wins the race. The world and technology are changing so rapidly, so are the learnings and ways of doing business. If you work at a slow and steady pace, you are never going to make it. You need to have a steady pace backed by consistent and persistent work ethic. As easy as it sounds, it is that much difficult to have the discipline to keep on keeping on.

If you are one of the people who believes you need no motivation to succeed, and you are self motivated, you are in for a big fall. Life happens to all of us, and we need to find resources that will keep you motivated so you can put in the consistent and persistent work. We have our highs, and we have our lows; we have things that get us distracted from the task in hand, or it could be just sheer laziness. Whatever the reason might be; we need a system in place much like the GPS we use for our cars to keep us on track.

Here are some ways I have been able to keep my fire up and come back with a bigger resolve every time life happened to me, or I slipped in my work ethic:

Association –you will need to surround yourself with people where you want to be. I hope you understand that these people are not going to come to you and invite you to hang out with them. You need to seek them out. Be it forms of seminars, online or at networking event; you need to find a way to get closer to them. As you get the opportunity to mingle with them, observe and learn. Watch how they talk, behave, what is their thought process, how they are handling situations? I have learned so much by just keeping an open mind, listening and taking notes.

Reading – This is in my opinion the biggest tool you can have in your hand and the most under rated. I am sure you spend enough money on yourself to look good, smell good and not to forget to eat well too. How about the three-pound brain that can give you all the things you are looking for in your life. How much do you spend on that? Do you realize there is not much difference between a ditch digger and a successful entrepreneur from the neck down? It is another story if we consider neck up. So feed that brain with good books and information. I can list out a ton of books but one book that you must have in your collection is Think and Grow Rich by Napole0n Hill

Faith – I know some of you are probably already raising your eyebrows on this sub head, but you need to be spiritually aligned to a higher power. I am not here to preach you or sermon you, but you need to have an unshakable faith. The faith in yourself will only come when you have faith in a higher power and know that universe is aligning itself to make things happen for you. Higher faith results in higher emotional stability which is critical element in achieving success. A great book that has really helped me is Magic by Rhonda Byrne

Disciplined Work Ethic – haven gotten the ability to watch successful people from close proximity, I can tell you that they are disciplined in every area of their lives. You need to be disciplined about your health, your habits, your work ethic, your spends, etc. as everything is interlinked. Without a proper road map, you cannot succeed. You need to be disciplined to work your plan EVERYDAY, I mean everyday without fail. Happiness is in the process of accomplishing and not the final accomplishment. When you are disciplined and follow your plan, there is no way you will not be succeeding and motivated.

Self Talk – Pay attention to what you talk to yourself. Get the book What to say when you talk to yourself by Shad Hemlstetter. It is a book that will teach you the power of self-talk. It has personally helped me a lot in staying upbeat and motivated.

Persistency can definitely be developed; we need to find people who show great persistency and spend time with them; we need to understand what it is that drives them to keep going. From my personal experience, I know that some of my own persistence comes from having experienced success through not giving in, so clearly persistence and success are a self-feeding cycle. The more we persist, the more we will be successful and the more belief we will have in persistence. So we only need to start the circle, we can either do this through our own innate determination or stubbornness, or we can work alongside someone who has it and learn it from them.

One way or another, in order to be successful we need to develop persistence.

LEAF-CUTTER ANT with leaf Atta sp. Amazonian Rainforest, Loreto, Peru
LEAF-CUTTER ANT with leaf Atta sp. Amazonian Rainforest, Loreto, Peru
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Do you have a reference point?

 

4156-4b6ab1d7077d5b3ecf879bf63a69ec6fAs the month is drawing to a close, my heart is sinking. I wish time would go by slowly, and August  would never end. The reason being, our daughter is heading off to University on the first week of September. She will now have to live on her own and far away from us. I know she is probably so excited about her new journey and the chance to be away from home. We as parents, especially a “mom” cannot stop worrying about our children.

The more I think of it, the more my heart sinks and dollops of tears swell up in my eyes. I am fighting very hard to not get emotional as I am penning down my thoughts even now. It is just too many memories, too much time spent together and the amazing bond we share. I cannot imagine my house without my girl – she, and I are like long lost friends to whom I can open up my heart and talk without being ever judged. So you see, it is one of the hardest things I am fighting with. As I spent few days getting emotional and crying my heart out, I saw a post from one of my friends who lives in India on Facebook. The post was about her daughter who studies in USA wishing her well for the upcoming year.

Suddenly, I felt so small. Here I was, living in Costa Rica and getting all emotional about my daughter going back to Canada for her studies, which is a few hour’s flight, and on the other hand, I see a person who is miles apart putting up a brave front. I reached out to her and expressed myself and thanked her for giving me strength. Her response to my message just blew me apart. Suddenly, my reference point changed.  Up until now, I was only thinking of my friends who live in Canada, and their kids were going to Universities in Canada. Hence, to me my challenge seemed way bigger. In other words, my reference point was so small. As soon as my reference point shifted, I could handle my situation way better.

Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, we all have reference points.  These points dictate what we do in our life and who we become.  We have reference points for every area of our existence.  They are what we look up to and what guides us.  These reference points play a very critical role in shaping our path or towards fulfilling our own destiny. Our mind is so much more capable than what we think. The only difference between a successful person and who is not is the way they think and act.

The key to increasing your performance, in whatever area it might be, is to alter your reference points.  You want better grades in school?  Don’t study for a C+ or a B, study for an A.  You want to be in better shape?  Work out to have the best body, not just enough to get by.  You see; most people simply want to “get by.”  This is why they struggle along that line.  For example, people that make an insane amount of money have a vastly different reference point than people just getting by when it comes to money.  Success is all about having greater reference points.  There is a big difference between someone who just wants a job to make some money and someone who wants to be rich.  The point of reference is what can help you unravel this enigma.

If you want to be successful and want to create massive changes within your life, you have to change what is acceptable to you.  Increase the threshold to a level where you will experience enormous improvements.  Alter what is considered OK for you and aim higher.  People that lose weight or stop smoking dramatically are people that have drastically changed their reference points.  No longer is it acceptable for them to be out of shape and in poor health.  They now have a point of reference that challenges them to be that much better.  It is via changing what you are comfortable with and what is acceptable to you that you will achieve significant milestones within your existence.

Change your reference, change your life!

 

 

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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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Embracing change

Embracing Change

 

Change the word we all are weary about – we all have to go through it whether we like it or not.  Change puts us in uncomfortable surroundings and none of us like to be in. What we need to realise that whether it is for good or bad, change is the only constant in life. More than often when we look back we realize that it all worked out good. The funny thing is we know all this and yet we always fight the “change”. It is just not comfortable to embrace change without flinching.

I am a big believer of the power of universe – I truly believe that if you send your desires and expectations with utmost belief, strong work ethic to achieve it and positivity, the universe has to grant it to you. I would definitely say that the books “Secret” and “Magic” by Rhonda Byrne has really helped me redefine my thoughts and the way I look at things and in the bargain shape my life. If you are going through a phase of life where nothing make sense and you feel that anything you do is not resulting into progress, take the time to read the two books and let it help you change you. Keep an open mind when you read it and do the suggested exercise with faith and see the magic happen in your life. About 6 months back, I was down and under beaten by life and its challenges. It felt like the harder I worked to make our life better the faster I was regressing. It came to a point where I wondered whether it will ever get better and started questioning my capabilities. It would not be wrong to say that I was heading for depression and my self confidence was rock bottom. Mind you I was a team leader of a multi-level company and have over 200 people in my team who looked up to me for hope. I felt as if I was living two lives – one I would put up as a game face and another one when I was by myself. It was really getting tough as I am a genuine person inside and out and here I was trying to give hope to people with no hope for myself. Thankfully I had a few close friends who always stood by me and understood me and always believed in me. This is when I came across the book “Magic” and I must say I held on to that book and it has really transformed my life.

As I write this post, I am sitting in Costa Rica as we had to relocate from Toronto because of my husband’s job. It is indeed a big change in our life. Never thought we would be living in Central America, always dreamt of being in North America. We have been living in Toronto for almost 13 years and suddenly to uproot everything and move to an unknown country, different language, different culture and just about everything. So what do you do – sit and whine about it or say let’s explore. It’s all in your attitude. You can either think that you are one of the few chosen one who gets to see another part of the world, learn another language (Spanish) or keep complaining. The choice is totally yours. We have decided to make this move, a way to start an amazing life. Do our kids have to make changes – of course but they will react the way, they see their parents react about the change. We chose to believe that with the new change will come new and better beginnings. We truly believe that this is the second wind that we were looking for; it will catapult growth and prosperity in every area of our life. Sure it is not going to be a cake walk but it cannot be that difficult too, it’s the way you look at things.

Let the change, change you, embrace it with open arms because in order for things to get better, it has to go through a change. Remember a caterpillar cannot transform into a beautiful butterfly until it allows it to become a cocoon and stay there until it is the right time. If the caterpillar fights that change it can never be as beautiful and free flying around. We all have hidden powers that we need to bring it out – we need to let it go and let universe work to change us.

Face it, embrace it, accept it!!

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Entrepreunership Tips

Entrepreneurship is great for so many reasons. From having more flexible work hours to being your own boss and everything in between, it’s no wonder more and more people are starting their own businesses, especially women. Because women are so good at multi-tasking, this trend is on its rise and going to stay. So more power to you women out there who are running your own business.

Having said that, it does comes with its own set of things to manage. Especially for a women entrepreneur who is constantly trying to strike that perfect balance between the business and family responsibilities. He are some tips to empower you to make sure your business run successfully:

  1. Get social through social media – An extremely powerful tool when used effectively. If you are a small business owner, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are tools you need to know and use effectively. There’s no doubt that social media presence is important to a business’s marketing strategy. And if you’re not familiar with social media, you take online courses to understand how to use such platforms to build up your business. A great place to learn is www.lynda.com
  2. Use your networks – Being a small business owner is stressful, so use your network to form a reliable support system. By joining industry groups, you can have access to valuable information and experiences of others. Almost all the time, people are there to help you and at times lead you to your first client. Don’t have the free time to network in person? Try turning to online communities instead. Here is one such community if you are in the salon business http://www.summitsaloncommunity.com/
  3. Learn to delegate –If you are an amazing at managing your house all by yourself, delegation can be a really tough one for you. However, you have to come to terms with the fact that in order for you to have a successful business, you need to delegate. As a small business owner it is important to be flexible to the demands of your work and it is equally important to learn how to create flexibility in work to have the balance. You can hire trustworthy people, and initially could be temporary or part time help to manage your business with a balance. It always helps to make your team bear responsibility of important

    projects as it creates a sense of belonging.
  4. Let your home life inspire you – Regardless of whether you own a business, most of you already hold the title of CEO in your home. Managing multiple demands of household, children, spouse, social obligations, and schedules is almost like running a business. All you need to do is to transfer those skills and passion into your business and manage it run smoothly.
  5. Never stop searching –No big business is built on using your existing network and resources — you always have to stay on the prowl for new business leads. Meeting new people and reaching out to different groups and forums should be a constant strategy to build new leads.
  6. Invest in tools – Make sure you invest in tools that make your business run smoothly. Create systems in place, as the business grows, there are no challenges of scalability. There are tools that will make sure that you start your business on the right foot from the beginning especially when it comes to accounting, time trackers (if you have part-time workers), payroll etc. Make the tools your slave and let them work for you.

 

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How clear is your vision?

 

I know what you are thinking – has she now changed over to Ophthalmology?  Just because you have a set of great working eyes through which you can see clearly, does not mean that you have a clear vision. Even bible says that a man without a vision shall perish – my goal is to not get spiritual here. However if Bible thinks every man needs to have a vision, imagine what would what successful principle book would say?

Nothing big can be achieved without a vision. Every significant thing that has been created or achieved was first conceived by someone in their minds. They saw it happening in the eyes of their mind and then worked hard to make it a reality. It is so unfortunate to see so many people who just go through life one day at a time without any dreams, aspirations or a desire to do anything significant. Statistics shows that only 20% of people in the world have

Here is a story of an amazing visionary. Phillip Petit is a French high-wire artist who gained fame in 1974 for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. At an early age, the boy discovered magic and juggling. He loved to climb, and at 16, he took his first steps on a tightrope wire. Petit learned everything by himself, during a period when he was also expelled from five different schools. In his teens, Petit learned about the World Trade Center construction project in New York City. He read about the project that proposed building of the twin towers while waiting in a dentist’s office, and spent years planning to walk a high wire between the two buildings. Before he went to New York, however, Petit took on several other amazing tightrope challenges. In 1971, he traveled between the towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on a wire. Two years later, he crossed the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. In each instance, he had the help of friends in pulling off these impressive stunts.

In late 1973, Petit traveled to New York City. He spent months studying the World Trade Center’s twin towers. To visit the site, Petit assumed a number of disguises, including being a reporter and a construction worker. He took photographs and made measurements. With help of friends, Petit started hiding his equipment in the towers in early August. He and accomplices then tucked themselves away in the buildings on August 6, 1973, to prepare for the big event. In the morning of August 7, Petit stepped onto the tightrope, which was suspended between the two towers. A crowd of thousands soon gathered to watch the man on the wire more than 1,300 feet above them. For 45 minutes, Petit practically danced on the thin metal line.

It took Philip 6 years of planning and practicing to master that walk. The most important thing is Phillip conceived the idea by just looking at the picture of World Trade Center, it was not even built. That is what is called an absolute clear vision. In order for anyone to achieve anything significant, it is imperative to have a clear vision. When the vision is clear, you will be able to put the work behind it to make it come to fruition. The path will not always be easy but if our vision is crystal clear and we know for sure what we are after, nothing can stop us. No set back will be big enough to keep you away from achieving our vision or goal.

It’s about time that you create a clear vision for yourself. If you are not able to do it, ask for help, get mentoring or guidance from a person who has the fruit on the tree and not your family or neighbor. Clear your cobwebs, carve a vision for yourself, and then all you got to do is to dig deeper within you. Keep digging deep and keep enjoying the journey!

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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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