Blog Archive

Story: The Turtles Picnic



A family of tortoise went on a picnic. They packed food and set out to a place they had selected… behind the hills. When they reached the spot, they unpacked their picnic basket. They realized they had forgotten to bring salt. Food without salt is tasteless.They had a conference to decide who should go back and get salt. After a lot of discussion, the youngest tortoise was chosen, as he was faster than the others.The youngest objected on the ground that before he could come back the others might eat the snacks. But they assured him they would wait for him to come back with salt. 

Six months passed, but the youngest tortoise did not turn up. So the rest of the family decided to open the basket and eat the snacks. When they opened the snack basket, the little tortoise jumped out of the bushes and screamed,"Look, I knew you would not wait till I came back. For six months I have been hiding in these bushes to make sure you would not eat without me. Now my suspicion has been confirmed, and I am not going to get the salt."

Some of us are exactly like our suspicious tortoise: we waste our own time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. Instead of doing the right thing ourselves, we wait for others to act in ways we expect them to. We waste our time waiting for others to live according to our expectations 

5 Golden Rules of Goal Setting


© iStockphoto/SchulteProductions


Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years' time?

Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment?

Do you know what you want to have achieved by the end of today?

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction.

Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life's direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. Think about it: Having a million dollars in the bank is only proof of success if one of your goals is to amass riches. If your goal is to practice acts of charity, then keeping the money for yourself is suddenly contrary to how you would define success.

To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can't simply say, "I want" and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between there are some very well defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.

Here are our five golden rules of goal setting:

The Five Golden Rules


1. Set Goals that Motivate You

When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.

Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an "I must do this" attitude. When you don't have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive "I can't do anything or be successful at anything" frame of mind.

Tip:

To make sure your goal is motivating, write down why it's valuable and important to you. Ask yourself, "If I were to share my goal with others, what would I tell them to convince them it was a worthwhile goal?" You can use this motivating value statement to help you if you start to doubt yourself or lose confidence in your ability to actually make the goal happen.

2. Set SMART Goals

You have probably heard of "SMART goals" already. But do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable.
  • Relevant.
  • Time Bound.

Set Specific Goals

Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.

Set Measurable Goals

Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is simply defined as "To reduce expenses" how will you know when you have been successful? In one month's time if you have a 1 percent reduction or in two years' time when you have a 10 percent reduction? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.

Set Attainable Goals

Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.

However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn't have to work hard for can be anticlimactic at best, and can also make you fear setting future goals that carry a risk of non-achievement. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to "raise the bar" and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.

Set Relevant Goals

Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you'll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you'll fritter your time – and your life – away.

Set Time-Bound Goals

You goals must have a deadline. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker.


3. Set Goals in Writing

The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year," not "I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year." The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.

Tip 1:

Frame your goal statement positively. If you want to improve your retention rates say, "I will hold on to all existing employees for the next quarter" rather than "I will reduce employee turnover." The first one is motivating; the second one still has a get-out clause "allowing" you to succeed even if some employees leave.

Tip 2:

If you use a To-Do List  , make yourself a To-Do List template that has your goals at the top of it. If you use an Action Program  , then your goals should be at the top of your Project Catalog.

Post your goals in visible places to remind yourself every day of what it is you intend to do. Put them on your walls, desk, computer monitor, bathroom mirror or refrigerator as a constant reminder.

4. Make an Action Plan

This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term. Read our article on Action Plans   for more on how to do this.

5. Stick With It!

Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.

Key Points

Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced. By following the Five Golden Rules of Goal Setting you can set goals with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing you achieved what you set out to do.

So, what will you decide to accomplish today?

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools

Story: Small Nice acts pay off

A man was working in a bicycle shop.

A cycle had come for repair and after repairing the  man cleaned up the bicycle and it looked like a new one.
All Other workers were making fun of  him for doing redundant work.
Next day when owner came for the bicycle, he was very happy and offered the mechanic a job.

Good and extra work never goes useless.


Health: Too Many Hours at Work Might Harm Heart

 
A new study has found that office workers in England significantly increased their chances of having a heart attack by working more hours than their peers.

The study, conducted by researchers at University College London, found that employees who regularly worked 11-hour days or longer were 67% more likely to develop heart disease than those who worked seven- or eight-hour days.

One U.S. expert said many factors could account for the rise in risk among those tied too long to the office.

"Those working long hours may have less time for exercise, healthy eating and physicians visits," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, associate chief of cardiology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "They may be exposed to more stress, get less sleep and engage in other behaviors which contribute to cardiovascular risk."

The study, published in the Tuesday issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed a low-risk population of almost 7,100 British civil servants from 1991 until 2004, screening out those with signs of heart disease.

About 70% of the workers were men, and most (91%) were white. Roughly 2.7% developed coronary heart disease by the end of the study, the researchers found.

Participants reported how many hours they spent on the job, including work they took home with them. More than half (54%) put in between seven and eight hours a day, while 21% worked a nine-hour day, and 15% spent 10 hours on the job daily, the study found. Slightly more than 10% labored 11 hours or more.

Besides bumping up the risk for heart disease by 67% compared to people working an eight-hour day, working 11-plus hours a day also put some people into a whole other risk category, the team found.

"Adding working hours to the Framingham risk score improved identification of persons who later developed heart disease," explained study co-author Mika Kivimaki. The Framingham risk score, aimed at gauging heart disease risk, is developed from data that includes age, sex, blood pressure level, cholesterol levels, and whether or not a patient smokes, said Kivimaki, a professor of social epidemiology at University College London.

Still, Kivimaki stressed that her team could not confirm a direct cause-and-effect relationship between putting in lots of overtime and getting heart disease.

Looking at "lifestyle factors," such as time spent working, is an increasing part of heart disease research, noted Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"Incorporating long working hours into the (Framingham) model resulted in reclassifying low-risk patients about 4.7% of the time," said Steinbaum, who is also director of Women and Heart Disease at the hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute.

"This is important because patients in a higher-risk category would be treated more aggressively for prevention of coronary heart disease," she said.

Longer working hours are becoming more common in developed countries, the study authors noted, and that could possibly increase workers' odds for coronary heart disease. They added that prior research in Europe and Japan has shown similar links between long work hours and heart attacks, and Kivimaki said "the new information may improve decisions regarding lifestyle interventions and medication for heart disease."

While no changes should be made to patient care at this time, Kivimaki said that if findings were supported by further research, adding questions about working hours to physical exams would be "simple and cost-free."

The kind of work performed can also be important, said Steinbaum. Other research has shown that workers who have little decision-making power or sense of control over their work have a higher risk of getting heart disease, she said.

But this study is just the beginning of the story, said Steinbaum.

Considering new risk factors that are "adding stress to peoples' lives may be well worth contemplating," she said. In that sense, the study is "not the end of the conversation, it's the beginning of one."

 
Source: YourLife



Being Proactive

By Junaid Tahir
In simple words, Proactive Approach is to plan and align things in advance by foreseeing future risks, problems or challenges.
Having said that, there are three kind of people on earth. Category-1 is those who strategize things as they have the visualization to portray the future. So they organize things in advance in order to avoid any possible set back. I call these people as'Organizers'. Category-2 is those people who have the reactive methodology to handle things. That means whenever a situation arises they react accordingly. I call these people as 'Reactors'. Although there can be good Reactors but the majority of them are bad Reactors since most of the situations do not give them the luxury of taking a U-Turn for going back to neutral to start again. Category-3 is Commoners. These people do not have control on their lives. They are the product of their circumstances. They automatically flow with the wind; no matter where the wind takes them to. Of course, the first category is the best one as they have a proactive approach to life. So coming back to the track to understand the concept of pro-activeness in more details. Here are some points:

1.     Proactiveness is the vision and ability to align the tasks well in advance to avoid mishaps.
2.    Proactiveness is to foresee the possible problems and work on the contingencies in parallel with the master plan. It is strongly recommended to execute your contingencies before they execute themselves at the required time, because you never know whether your contingency plan is going to be successful or not. Hence be sure about it by testing the contingency in advance specially when the risk factor is high.
3.    Proactive people have the analytical skills to understand any situation in detail so that they can see low level risks and plan accordingly. (You may want to review my article on analytical skills here.

Considering a Tree analogy, I would refer 'The Organizers' as 'The Roots', 'The Reactors' as 'The Branches' and 'The Commoners' as 'The leaves'. Always remember the fact that when the wind blows, its leaves which are impacted at first place. So its Leaf's responsibility to stick to the Tree if they need to live. For Tree, it does not matter if any of the leaf is broken due to strong wind (circumstances).  Which category you belong to? Please share your thoughts.


 

Junaid Tahir 
www.DailyTenMinutes.com

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Blogger Blog RSS Google Plus Page
Twitter Latest tweet: Giving the Right Advice: One of the kindergarten students asked his teen ager cousin to help him in writ... http://t.co/EGdvkXYMP0
Follow @DailyTenMinutes Reply Retweet 22:57 Oct-29

Story: The Mother, the daughter and the map :)


A Mother was reading a magazine and her cute little daughter every now and then distracted her.
To keep her busy, she tore one page on which was printed the map of the world.
She tore it into pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again.

She was sure her daughter would take a lot more time and probably whole of day to get it done.
But the little one came back within minutes with perfect map.

When she asked how she could do it so quickly, she said,
"Oh Mom, there is a man's face on the other side of the paper. I made the face perfect to get the map right." she ran outside to play leaving the mother surprised.

Moral : Perhaps there is always the other side to whatever you experience in this world.

This story indirectly teaches a lesson.That is:
Whenever we come across a challenge or a puzzling situation, Look at the other side...
&
Will be surprised to see an easy way to tackle the problem or an acute difficulty.


 

Junaid Tahir 
www.DailyTenMinutes.com

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Blogger Blog RSS Google Plus Page
Twitter Latest tweet: Giving the Right Advice: One of the kindergarten students asked his teen ager cousin to help him in writ... http://t.co/EGdvkXYMP0
Follow @DailyTenMinutes Reply Retweet 22:57 Oct-29

Giving the Right Advice


One of the kindergarten students asked his teen ager cousin to help him in writing essay on the subject "The Poor Family".
His cousin, son of a billionaire, wrote the essay like this:

            "Once upon a time, there was a poor family. Both husband and wife were very poor. They had two kids which were poor as well. All four servants were also poor. The 3 dogs of the house were also poor. The family didn't dine out for the last five days. One of the three  Mercedes was not serviced in last month. It was more than 6 months they didn't go out to another country for vacations. So in short they were very poor…"

The cousin made serious efforts in writing this essay but completely failed. His essay portrays the low level of comprehension about the subject he was asked to write about. Seems like he had never seen the real poor people in his life. Seems like he was never exposed to the financial crisis and complications of poor's lives in a practical way. So his mental paradigm to define the poorness was really terrible.

Let us transform this example on the adults to learn something:
1-      If you need advice on any subject, ask the wise. Ask the person with the relevant experience and knowledge. Professionally speaking, consultation to be done with the qualified professional having right expertise else there is a big chance for you to be misguided.
2-      Several times in your life, you are approached by your friends or colleagues for advice and you start speaking on the subject on the spot whether you have adequate knowledge about it or not. Don't do this by being explosive ! There is nothing wrong in confessing that you don't have good advice to give due to less or no knowledge on the subject . It is not obligatory for you to open your mouth on every single thing. Be vigilant in what you say because you might become the root cause for someone's failure. If time permits, investigate the subject, judge the situation, seek assistance from someone who is knowledgeable and trust worthy. 

Giving advice is a matter of honesty. Put yourself in their shoes, think wise and then provide constructive feedback or suggestions or criticism else you may lose your respect for life time !

Story: Everyone is unique



Once a teacher took his class to a park and asked them to observe the park for a short span of time but all of them should not move from their location. After 5 minutes teacher asked each student to share what he/she has noticed. One student mentioned that he felt cool breeze which made him fresh and energetic. All students were cheered up by listening to this comment as they also started feeling the same. Another student said that green leaves and colorful flowers are an indication of life, hope and prosperity. All students felt optimist about this comment. Another student said that the silence in the surroundings and the yellow color of some of the leaves made him sad, lonely and pessimist about life. To this comment, all other students started yelling at him about being negative. The teacher asked the student stop criticizing their fellow being and stay silent. Article written by Junaid.Tahir

The teacher then said to his students that each one of them was given the same kind of situation/circumstances however each student had different observation and feelings like being happy, sad, fresh, cheerful, pessimist, optimist etc however by logic no one was completely wrong.  The Teacher further elaborated that each one of us is a unique personality. The observations and feelings of each individual can be unique however we must not disgrace anyone about what he has observed or felt. Our fellow beings can be slightly wrong, fully wrong or cent percent right at different moments in life. The uniqueness of each individual is as a result of his/her thought process, comprehension levels, mood swings, brought up, judgment style, vision & knowledge of the world,analytical skills and so on. However, the wisdom is to respect the feeling and actions of each individual as much as possible. And in case we want to correct someone, we must adapt a polite and decent approach and advice to the person should not be given in public rather in private. This is to ensure that respect and dignity of the person is not compromised. 

Attention to Attitude

Our attitude impacts everything.  It sits at the heart of everything we do and will most likely become our reality.

However, it's not always easy to hold a positive attitude.  
And that's why we need to pay attention to cultivate our attitude each day, at each moment, and in each thought.

This is easier when there's a deep awareness that a positive attitude is really good for me, it's good for my wellbeing, 
my relationship with myself, others and the world around me


Junaid Tahir 
www.DailyTenMinutes.com

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Blogger Blog RSS Google Plus Page
Twitter Latest tweet: Story: Complaining with No Intention of Solution: One day Mr Nazir reached the post office and spoke v... http://t.co/Dlr8tPMKHr Follow @DailyTenMinutes Reply Retweet 12:08 Oct-26