Blog Archive

The 4 Arguments

The following is an overview of the meaning of each of The Four Agreements, based on the writings of don Miguel Ruiz.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Impeccable means "without sin" and a sin is something you do or believe that goes against yourself.  It means not speaking against yourself, to yourself or to others.  It means not rejecting yourself.  To be impeccable means to take responsibility for yourself, to not participate in "the blame game."

Regarding the word, the rules of "action-reaction" apply.  What you put out energetically will return to you.  Proper use of the word creates proper use of energy, putting out love and gratitude perpetuates the same in the universe.  The converse is also true. 

Impeccability starts at home.  Be impeccable with yourself and that will reflect in your life and your relationships with others.  This agreement can help change thousands of other agreements, especially ones that create fear instead of love.

Don't Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

We take things personally when we agree with what others have said.  If we didn't agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally.  If we did not care about what others think about us, their words or behavior could not affect us.

Even if someone yells at you, gossips about you, harms you or yours, it still is not about you!  Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their personal dream.

Our personal "Book of Law" and belief system makes us feel safe.  When people have beliefs that are different from our own, we get scared, defend ourselves, and impose our point of view on others.  If someone gets angry with us it is because our belief system is challenging their belief system and they get scared.  They need to defend their point of view.  Why become angry, create conflict, and expend energy arguing when you are aware of this?

Don't Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.  With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

When we make assumptions it is because we believe we know what others are thinking and feeling.  We believe we know their point of view, their dream.  We forget that our beliefs are just our point of view based on our belief system and personal experiences and have nothing to do with what others think and feel. 

We make the assumption that everybody judges us, abuses us, victimizes us, and blames us the way we do ourselves.  As a result we reject ourselves before others have the chance to reject us.  When we think this way, it becomes difficult to be ourselves in the world.

Take action and be clear to others about what you want or do not want; do not gossip and make assumptions about things others tell you.  Respect other points of view and avoid arguing just to be right.  Respect yourself and be honest with yourself.  Stop expecting the people around you to know what is in your head.

Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Doing your best means enjoying the action without expecting a reward.  The pleasure comes from doing what you like in life and having fun, not from how much you get paid.  Enjoy the path traveled and the destination will take care of itself.

Living in the moment and releasing the past helps us to do the best we can in the moment.  It allows us to be fully alive right now, enjoying what is present, not worrying about the past or the future.

Have patience with yourself.  Take action.  Practice forgiveness.  If you do your best always, transformation will happen as a matter of course


Professional - Story - Signing Off

Signing Off

Submitted by Anonymous
My Dad was the last of the craftsman - while other's added workers to take on bigger jobs, Dad remained a "business" unto himself, painting homes and hanging wallpaper to the best of his decades of experience.
Many times I would be invited to the garage where he would have me guess which paint swatch or cabinet finish was the original and which was the one he just created.
Other times, he'd take me to the site and show the final outcome of an extra tough wallpaper job. The excellent work didn't surprise me, but what he did before he smoothed on the last section, did - he signed and dated the wall.
"I always sign my work," he said and then added, "Can you sign the end of your day?"
I'll never forget the message or the man.
Source: Values
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Professional Performance of Don and Donna

Don, a senior vice president for sales at a global manufacturing company, wakes up late, scrambles to get showered and dressed, has an argument with his teenage daughter over breakfast, then gets stuck in traffic on the way to work and realizes he will be late for his first meeting.
Donna, a marketing executive, wakes at 6 for a quick spin on the exercise bike, takes a moment to stretch and relax, then quickly gets herself ready, dresses and feeds her two kids before walking them to the bus, then catches the train to the office.
Which executive will have a more productive day at work?
That depends on whether Don—who’s had the more difficult morning—is able to manage his state of mind. For 20 years, we’ve worked with leaders in more than 30 countries and across diverse industries to help them understand how state of mind (that is, their moment-to-moment experience of life as generated by their thinking and as expressed by their feelings) can affect their leadership, and to help them manage their respective states of mind, rather than being managed by them.
Two years ago our organization launched a long-term global research initiative to provide quantitative data on the topic. We selected 18 states of mind and surveyed leaders around the world on how often they experience each one, the impact of each on their effectiveness and performance, and what they do to manage their states of mind. To date, we have surveyed and interviewed over 740 leaders.
Below is a chart that lists the percentage of leaders who reported experiencing each of the 18 states of mind often or regularly:
Of the 18 states of mind in the chart, it came as no surprise that 94% of respondents reported that Calm, Happy and Energized (CHE) are the three that drive the greatest levels of effectiveness and performance. As Giglio Del Borgo, a country manager at Experian explains: “If you are energized, without being necessarily too excited about things or euphoric, that energy will transmit into the people working around you.”
The chart clearly shows that most leaders seem able to access CHE states on a regular basis. However, Frustrated, Anxious, Tired and Stressed (FATS) states of mind were also relatively common. And we found that certain factors such as age, gender, organizational level, organizational tenure, span of influence, and type/size of organization, are correlated with similar states of mind, with lower states more prevalent in certain categories of people—including the young, the male, those with less tenure, and those operating at lower organizational levels.
Most leaders reported that FATS states often yield benefits in the short term but are detrimental in the long term – especially to relationships. They also report that it is difficult to shift out of these states of mind when they are consistently present in the organizational culture or environment. Davida Fedeli, a former vice-president of human resources for Western Union Europe, told us: “There were times during the change integration process when I was constantly feeling frustrated because I was second-guessing stakeholder expectations. [But] at the end of the day, I was not getting the results I wanted by continuously staying in that state of mind.”
The leaders who responded to our survey also reported that it is much harder to shift from below the line states of mind to above the line states of mind. As Jim Daniell, COO of Oxfam America, noted, “When you’re stressed and frustrated it is much harder to see the state of mind you are in, and unless you have clear strategies to be aware of it when you are in it and then shift it, you more than likely will cause serious harm to yourself and your organization.”
So how do leaders shift from lower states of mind to higher states of mind and improve their effectiveness and performance? And how can they help other people in their organizations who tend to default to lower states of mind do the same? We’ve consolidated the best practices into four categories:

Thoughts and feelings. Acknowledge your emotions to reduce their intensity. Allow your thoughts to be transient. Visualize positive images to generate positive feelings. Refocus your attention on different stimuli. Journal to find clarity. And engage in meaningful conversations to foster understanding and optimism.
Physiology. Use deep breathing to reduce stress. Stretch to loosen muscles, stimulate blood flow and improve cognitive function. And take breaks to clear the mind, relax the prefrontal cortex and increase contentment.
External environment. Adjust lighting and block noise to generate calm. Listen to music to stimulate reflection. Eliminate clutter to reduce anxiety and improve focus. And spend time in nature to shift perspective.
Health and well-being.  Eat a well-balanced diet, stick to an exercise regimen and get adequate sleep to maintain your energy and balance.
Everything in the last category is a must-do. From the others, we recommend choosing the handful of practices that work best for you, then employing them together with consistency.
Don did just that. Realizing the state he was in, he took stock of his anxiety, engaged in deep breathing, visualized having a positive conversation with his daughter, and accepted that he would not change the traffic. He then began to explore how he would manage his lateness and his workload. His state of mind shifted and he felt clear for the first time that day.

Alexander Caillet is an organizational psychologist and international management consultant. He is on the faculty of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership and its Leadership Coaching program.

18 Ways to Make Your Parents Feel Great

The parents now a days are quite worred about the behavioral changes in thier childern due to several socio-economical reasons. The gap between parents and us, the youth, is increasing day by day due to which the family bonding is getting weaker and weaker. We, the youth, want liberty in every deed we do. We want our parents not to be disturb us in what-ever we do in what-so-ever manner. We have forgotten the amount of time our parnets have invested in for our brought up. We have forgotten the countless efforts and sacrifices by our parents throughtout our lives. 
Starting from our birth they have taken care of our food (22years * 365 days * 3 times = 24000 times!), our clothes (daily washing, ironing, new purchasing), our education (daily home works, uniform, school/tution fee), religious & moral teaching every day (THE REAL GREAT JOB), computer & toys purchasing and God knows how many other countless efforts they have put in to make us a complete human being to survive in this world. Indeed, all those efforts cannot be covered in this article but the overall emphesis is that its our moral and religious mandatory responsibility to take care of them now.
Below are some small acts of kindness which I request you to consider to show your affection with them and to take care of them:

  1. Give them enough money so that they don't have to ask you.
  2. Share funny and entertaining things with them to make them laugh or smile.
  3. Don't speak loudly. Speak slowly, nicely and softly.
  4. Do not walk in front of them in market or anywhere. They might walk slow being old; stay behind them. Give them respect.
  5. Ask for small tasks again and again. For example, "Abou Jee, do you need water? Should i bring tea for you? Are you hungry, baba" etc 
  6. Closely monitor thier health. visit doctor if required. Have them thorougly checked time to time.
  7. Take care of their medicines. Set reminders on your phone for their medicines and serve them on time.
  8. Take them to the mosque. Walk slowly. Follow their pace.
  9. Take them to the park for walk. If not possible daily, then take them on weekend.
  10. Do not call them by their name. Call them with respect.
  11. Open the door for them with respect
  12. Adapt yourself according to their schedule not vise versa.
  13. Do shopping for them (buy their clothes, shoes, small items like tooth paste).  Buy your mother a nice coffee cup. Take them to market and buy them according to their likings. Buy your parents some nice books; usually people love to read books in old age.
  14. When you come back to home, visit them first in their room.
  15. Respect thier social circle and let them enjoy with their friends.  Article written by Junaid.Tahir
  16. In case of conflict on any issue, try to follow them as much as possible. Remember, they have been sacrificing their money and time in raising you for years and years. Its time to pay back. They have been showing all the patience during your childhood. Its time for you to be patient.
  17. Keep them with you instead of sending them to old houses etc. This will be a big act of ignorance if you do.
  18. When starting the food, serve them first.
In the end, I would recommend making a check list of this email and and paste it on any wall in your room or kitchen and read it often to remember
Please do share if you are doing any other good thing in making your parents feel great :)
0058-mjunaidtahir-paradigmwisdom-160912-  18 Ways to Make Parents Feel Great

Some associated articles I recommend:

Story: Being Honest

Submitted by Anonymous
Last week I was doing my grocery shopping at a local store. I was in a hurry because I had to get to work. I had purchased a package of sports drink and, when checking out, put it on the bottom of the cart. In my haste, I did not put it in my car when I emptied the cart.
Later, I went back to the store and the cart was not there in the rack. One of the high school students that was retrieving carts came by and I asked if anyone had turned in the beverages. She said she did not notice but with a big smile said, "If you can wait, I will go in and check." A few minutes later, she came out with the beverages and said, "Here they are." I was very surprised someone had taken the time to turn them in. It may not have seemed like much and it was only a few dollars, but what a lift to know there are still honest, caring people out there.
Source; Values
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What's Your Excuse?

If you really want to do something you'll find a way. If you don't you'll find an excuse.

The more that you make excuses the more that you delay your own success. Many of us are too caught up in the daily pace of our lives that we tend to make excuses for why we can't pursue the life that we really desire so dearly.

Today is the day that you stop making excuses and go for the life that is waiting for you to seize it. We all have barriers in our way, but true champions never let themselves be defeated, much less be defeated before they even really start.

Remember, being perfect is something that none of us will ever be. Even those who seem to enjoy success still fail regularly, but the difference between winners and losers is that winners never ever stop trying. Claim your victories in life by continuing to try after every single time that you feel defeated, make no more excuses!

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6 People You Need in Your Life

Nothing  incredible is accomplished alone. You need others to help you, and you need to help others. With the right team, you can form a web of connections to make the seemingly impossible practically inevitable.

The Instigator:

Someone who pushes you, who makes you think. Who motivates you to get up and go, and try, and make things happen. You want to keep this person energized, and enthusiastic. This is the voice of inspiration.

The Cheerleader:

This person is a huge fan, a strong supporter, and a rabid evangelist for you and your work. Work to make this person rewarded, to keep them engaged. This is the voice of motivation.

The Doubter:

This is the devil's advocate, who asks the hard questions and sees problems before they arise. You need this person's perspective. They are looking out for you, and want you to be as safe as you are successful. This is the voice of reason.

The Taskmaster:

This is the loud and belligerent voice that demands you gets things done. This person is the steward of momentum, making sure deadlines are met and goals are reached. This is the voice of progress.

The Connector:

This person can help you find new avenues and new allies. This person breaks through roadblocks into finds ways to make magic happen. You need this person to reach people and places you can't. This is the voice of cooperation and community.

The Example:

This is your mentor, you hero, your North Star. This is the person who you seek to emulate. This is your guiding entity, someone whose presence acts as a constant reminder that you, too, can do amazing things. You want to make this person proud. This is the voice of true authority.
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