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Positive thinking!

Positive thinking!

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that anticipates happiness, success and favorable outcomes in every situation or action you do. The thoughts get registered in subconscious mind and it starts taking action to create favorable change.
A positive outlook can help to cope better with stressful situations and can change life for the better.

Why think positively?Some people find learning an enjoyable and exciting experience. The difference lies in attitude and approach towards life. mindset plays a huge role in every aspect of life.

Mind can control body for better or for worse. A positive mindset can make life happy and peaceful. The choice is yours!

Benefits of positive thinking1. Decreases stress.
2. Helps to cope better in stressful situations.
3. Strengthens immune system and reduces the risk of certain diseases
4. Improves self-esteem and confidence.
5. Brings inner peace, happiness and a sense of well-being.
6. Motivates to accomplish your goals.
7. Helps have greater inner strength and energy.
8. Helps live longer.

Ways to develop positive thinkingOne cannot change thoughts and attitude overnight. Positive thinking takes practice. Persistence would make mind to think positively and ignore negative thoughts.

Listen to inner voiceListening to inner voice or instincts is one of the most common ways to develop positive thinking. Whenever any negative thoughts enter your mind, try to replace it with a constructive one. Practice this regularly and will soon be able to master your mind.

Learn self hypnosisSelf hypnosis calms your mind and relaxes your body it gives you inner strength, peace of mind, relaxation and a sense of bliss, which will help you to think positively.

Always see the brighter side of lifeTry to believe that everything happens for a reason and embrace the concept that something good will come out of every situation. Always look on the bright side of life and it will work wonders for you.

Learn to communicate effectivelySay the things you feel. Not saying the things you feel, can give a sense of frustration, anxiety and anger, thus giving way to negative thoughts. Hence, communication is an important aspect of positive thinking.

Believe in yourselfBelieve in yourself and your capabilities to become more confident. Make a positive commitment to yourself and to the people around you. Praise yourself and be enthusiastic.

Tips to positive thinking• Be optimistic and expect favorable outcomes in every situation.
• Cultivate the habit of reading inspiring books.
• Find reasons to smile more often.
• Try to use positive words, while thinking and talking.
• Engage yourself in enjoyable recreational activities.
• Interact with people who have a positive outlook in life.

Finally, Positive thinking needs consistent effort as creating a new habit. On the other hand, negative thoughts can rip your focus from your goal. There is no greater joy than living a healthy and positive life. So take charge of your mind and think positive. It is very easy to develop positive thinking attitude. Remember, you are what you think.

The World YOU want to create

What is the kind of world YOU want to create? What are YOUR hopes, dreams and fears?
I personally have much more respect for someone who speaks for themselves, than those who constantly take the easy way out of passing along someone else’s stand on issues. Even when I completely disagree with someone, I can understand and respect their concerns, dreams and position when they show me part of who they are inside in expressing their point of view.

Stop and think before you automatically forward e-mails. Think about what you are creating and do so consciously and doing your best to agree or disagree constructively and respectfully. Our words create the climate and actions of our world. We are all responsible for what we put into the relationship space of our common humanity.

Weed Out Your Negative Habits and Let Your Life Blossom

Weed Out Your Negative Habits and Let Your Life Blossom
We all do things that can be annoying or that others find troublesome. Sometimes, we even have a habit that’s irritating to us (even though we’re the ones doing it), but we find ourselves doing it over and over anyway.

Isn’t it time to take action to banish those annoying habits?

Put these steps into play to discard your negative habits:

1. Identify the issue. In order to get rid of a weed, first you have to notice it. Negative habits are the same. If you take a moment to recognize these undesirable ways, you’ve taken the first step toward doing something about them.

2. Increase self-awareness. Now that you’ve identified the weed, notice how it’s choking out the cucumbers and tomatoes you’re trying to grow. Negative habits result in negative consequences.
  • For example, when you interrupt your partner (the bad habit), their feelings get hurt or they get angry (the negative consequence).
  • When you eat donuts for breakfast (the bad habit), you’ll gain weight or end up with high cholesterol (the negative consequence).

3. Make a conscious decision. If you want to expel a negative habit, make the choice to stop. Rather than saying, “I’ll try to stop interrupting my partner,” say, “I won’t interrupt my partner.”

4. Build in a safety net. Come up with a plan to use when you slip back into your bad habit. This plan should help you get back on track. For example, say to yourself, “If I accidentally interrupt my partner, I’ll stop talking and apologize for it immediately.”
  • Since most of us find apologizing less than enjoyable, you’ll learn that your safety net is meant to help you curb the habit.

5. Use diversion. Some habits can be combated by diverting our attention.
  • For example, when your co-worker arrives with a box of donuts, you could go to your office, close the door, and begin checking your email. Or you could go to talk to your supervisor about a project you’re working on.
  • Find a positive action to distract you while you’re avoiding the donuts. Not only will you avoid the donuts, but you’ll accomplish something positive as well!

6. Replace old habits with new ones. Plan in advance to do a specific action each time you find yourself doing the old habit. Replacement gives you the opportunity to implement a positive habit rather than the negative one you’re trying to avoid.
  • For example, rather than interrupting your spouse, you could gaze into their eyes and listen to every word. Instead of eating a donut, you could eat a delicious yogurt with fresh fruit.

7. Expect relapses, but cease the old behavior swiftly. Especially at the beginning, you’ll tend to backslide into your negative habit. Stop the behavior the moment you notice it and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can rid yourself of that habit.
Weed out those negative habits and live in a “garden” that’s positive, healthy, and happy. Your life is filled with plenty of positive actions. Avoid letting those few negative ones take your life in an unfavorable direction.

The post Weed Out Your Negative Habits and Let Your Life Blossom appeared first on My Self Improvement Daily.

I Can or I Can't

Your feelings are the way in which our subconscious mind really communicates with you. If your thoughts make you feel not so good about yourself, those thoughts need to be re-wired.

Once you have identified a few thought patterns that are no longer serving you, instead of getting caught up with them, change them. There is always a way to change these thoughts into ones that uplift and make you feel good.

For example,

"I can't do this because….."

Change it to:

"I am going to use my strengths and focus on what I can do rather than what I can't do."

When you focus on what you can't do, you begin to amplify the feelings of "can't", instead focus on what you can do, and those too will begin to multiply. Even if you don't necessarily believe that you can do something whole heartedly, the more you say it to yourself, the more it will begin to shape your reality.

12 Surprising Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

Why should you consider learning a second language? What will it really do for you? Here are 12 surprising benefits.

12 Surprising Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

Why should you learn a second language?

There are several obvious reasons. It's fun and it allows you to communicate with people from other countries. If you're going to travel abroad, you probably need at least basic language skills.

But there are a number of other surprisingly powerful benefits from learning a second language. Most people are unaware of these benefits.

If you need yet another reason to study a second language, pay attention. You're about to discover 12 surprising benefits of studying a second language.

BENEFIT #1: It Forces You To Think Deeply

Learning a second language forces you to think in new ways. You're forced to grapple with grammar rules, word meaning, prefixes, suffixes, and a host of other new challenges. This sustained thinking develops your ability to think deeply, express concepts in new ways, and solve problems from new angles. Learning a second language teaches to you to think in ways you've never traditionally done.

BENEFIT #2: Your Ability To Switch Between Tasks Is Increased

Switching between tasks can be hugely challenging if you're not used to it. It requires disengaging from one activity, switching to a new mindset, and then fully engaging in a different activity.

When you learn a second language, you become much more proficient at switching between tasks and the toll on your productivity is significantly minimized.

BENEFIT #3: Your Brain Becomes More Resistant To Dementia and Alzheimer's

Believe it or not, learning a second language can significantly delay the onset of brain diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. This has been proven in several multilingual studies.

Alzheimer's is one of the leading killers in the United States and is a terrible disease. It is, essentially, a slow death. Being able to delay the onset of Alzheimer's for even a year is significant, but for 4.5 years is an enormous benefit.

BENEFIT #4: Memory Is Significantly Improved

Memory is, in many ways, like a muscle. It is strengthened by working out. One unfortunate downside of the internet is that it has significantly weakened our memories. We can simply search for whatever we want with zero need to remember anything.

Learning a second language forces you to work your memory on a regular basis. It forces you to think hard about things and to store things in your short term and long term memory.

The Journal Of Experimental Psychology reported that bilingual children consistently outperform monolingual children in tasks requiring working memory.

If you find your memory slipping, making the effort to learn a second language can be a huge step in the right direction.

BENEFIT #6: Intelligence Is Increased

This sounds like infomercial hype, but there is legitimate scientific researching backing this benefit. It turns out that learning a second language has been shown to raise overall intelligence levels and reading levels.

This has broad implications. If you just want to be generally smarter (and who doesn't?), you should consider learning a new language. And, if you or your child struggles with reading, adopting a second language can be a powerful boost.

No, learning a second language won't turn you into a genius, but it can up your overall intelligence levels.

BENEFIT #7: Decision Making Skills Are Improved

One of the biggest hindrances to making good decisions is biases. Our biases cloud our judgment and can lead us to choose poorly when presented with a multitude of options.

Learning a second language has been shown to reduce our "heuristic biases", which is one of the key factors in decision making. In other words, when we are presented with a series of choices, we are less reliant on our inherent (and often faulty) biases. Instead, we are able to choose based more on logic than gut feelings.

Heuristics are the series of simple rules we use to evaluate decisions. These consist of mental shortcuts that focus on a single issue of a complex problem and ignore other factors. For example, when asked if more English words begin with "K" or have "K" as the third letter, we instinctively choose the first option because it's easy to think of words that begin with "K". In reality, there are three times as many words with "K" as the third letter, demonstrating that our heuristics are helpful but often misleading.

Learning a second language forces you to think more carefully through problems, which in turn reduces your vulnerability to your instinctive, heuristic biases.

If you regularly find yourself making poor choices, learning a second language could be a lifesaver.

BENEFIT #8: Your Primary Language Skills Are Improved

One of the side benefits of learning a second language is that your primary language skills are also improved. Studying a second language forces you to think through things like vocabulary, conjugation, conversation, idioms, and a host of other things that we rarely think about when speaking our primary language.

Often, a person learning a second language becomes much more attuned to the nuances of the first language. They pick up on subtle things they never would have seen before and often develop a deeper understanding of the language.

While this may not be high on your language priority list, it certainly is a significant benefit.

BENEFIT #9: Increased Skill In Other Subject Matters

Interestingly, studying languages seems to increase other academic abilities such as mathematics. Studies have shown that individuals with a second language tend to perform better on standardized testing like the SAT.

If you want to improve your mathematical ability, one surprising way to do it may be by learning a second language.

BENEFIT #10: Deeper Understanding Of Other Cultures

We often fail to realize how much our language influences our view of the world and other people. Immersing yourself in a foreign language opens new vistas and viewpoints. It allows you to understand other perspectives and embrace views other than your own.

Additionally, when you spend months learning about another culture, it's difficult to be prejudiced against that culture. Suffice to say, one way to increase compassion and inclusiveness in the world would be to have everyone study a second language.

BENEFIT #11: Increased Career Options

We are increasingly living in a multicultural world. Companies open offices overseas, and remote jobs with foreign companies are being created. The need for bilingual individuals is greater than ever.

Learning a second language can, in many ways, double the number of career options available to you. You literally expand your job pool by multiple countries. Additionally, learning a second language can allow you to climb the career ladder faster. Positions within your company that were previously unavailable suddenly are within reach.

BENEFIT #12: Better Concentration Skills

Learning a second language has been shown to significantly improve a person's ability to concentrate, particularly in environments with many stimuli (think school, dorm, etc.). The reason for this may surprise you. When speaking, bilinguals are constantly juggling two languages in their heads. The primary language is activated and the secondary language must be suppressed.

In other words, knowing two languages increases a person's ability to concentrate on one thing and ignore irrelevant information.

If you struggle with concentration, consider learning a second language!


Learning a second language is beneficial on so many levels. It increases your intelligence, improves your understanding of the world, and opens up new career options for you. It improves your cognitive skills and helps you be more sympathetic to other cultures.

Frankly, this is one of those subjects that has very little downside and tremendous upside. In addition to the benefit of learning a second language, you become a much more rounded person.

Do you see the power of a second language? Now's the time to get started learning one.

This article originally appeared here at and has been reproduced with permission.

Story: Thinking of a Man and His Wife

A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing:

**Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time.

**The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favorite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.

**The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.

**And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in bed at hospital with the cast on for several days. The destruction of car was another loss.

At the end he wrote: Alas! It was such bad year!!

When the writer's wife entered the room, she found he husband looking sad lost in his thoughts. From behind his back she read what was written on the paper. She left the room silently and came back with another paper and placed it on side of her husband's writing.

When the writer saw this paper, he found this written on it:

**Last year I finally got rid of my gall bladder due to which I had spent years in pain.

**I turned 60 with sound health and got retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write something better with more focus and peace.

**The same year my father, at the age of 95, without depending on anyone or without any critical condition met his Creator.

**The same year, God blessed my son with a new life. My car was destroyed but my son stayed alive without getting any disability.

At the end she wrote:

This year was an immense blessing of God and it passed well!!

Moral : In daily lives we must see that it ‘s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.

40 Self-Care Ideas for a Healthy Mind and Body

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

life sometimes can be exhausting.
We try to be nice to everyone around us, taking care of their needs but often forget about ours.
You stay late in the office, offering an helping hand to your colleagues, but you seem to forget you need a rest too. Every time, you let your family decide where to go for a holiday, but you seem to forget there is a place you have been longing for.
But no one will realize your need when you don't speak up. You will gradually find that no one, not even yourself, is taking care of your needs as you are so busy taking care of others.
One day, you will eventually feel exhausted.
So, sometimes, you need to learn to care about yourself.

Loving Others is Important, But Don't Forget to Love Yourself

Self-care is a concept about maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself, in other words, self-love.

Sometimes we try to meet the needs of everyone around us but forget about ours. But what self-care means is to be conscious about our own needs, both physical and mental. Eating well, exercising regularly, meditating, journaling. These are all self-care actions.

Self-care is so important in improving our well-beings and the quality of life. During the process, we do whatever is good to our body, to satisfy our needs and desires. This helps us avoid fatigue, stress, anxiety, and worry. To put it simply, self-care makes us feel satisfied and happy.

The ultimate goals of self-care is to maintain a good physical and mental health. With this, we will be more able to help and support others and therefore we will have more healthy relationships with others. Self-care also teaches us to give ourselves a break off from the tiring work. This might also help us to attain a work-life balance.
Here we have some ideas to help you practice self-care. Start right now!

10 Self-care Ideas for the Body
  1. Take a few deep breaths. Get yourself oxygenated. Breath into your abdomen and breath out the air from your stomach and chest.
  2. Go for a walk under sunshine. Especially when it's cold. The warmth from the glowing sun often makes people feel better.
  3. Run for a few minutes. Let yourself sweat. It's the easiest way to exercise.
  4. Take a quick nap. 10 to 20 minutes will do. Make up your sleep debt.
  5. Have a good laugh. Watch a comedy or have a nice chat with great friend.
  6. Look at the green and the blue. Grassland. Ocean. They do good to our eyes and clam our body.
  7. Wake up at 6. Enjoy the morning breeze and the slow pace.
  8. Make a small change to your diet. Drink an extra glass of water, or have a vegetarian meal. Do a body detox.
  9. Do a massage. Incorporate essential oils for your massage. Remove your tiredness and let your skin breathe.
  10. Be still for a few minute. Let your body rest. Stay still. Breathe slow. Move slow.

10 Self-care Ideas for the Mind

  1. Take another route to work. Breaking your routine in small ways makes your ordinary day special.
  2. Wander in the city. Discover the other side of the city. Look for its beauty you have never noticed.
  3. Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode. Disconnect from the technology. Bring yourself back to basics.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone. Do something you have never done before. Like talking to a stranger.
  5. Keep an journal. Write down your thoughts and whatever you find interesting. Record your day with words.
  6. Have a self-date. Spend some time doing something you really like. Watch a movie, visit a museum, or enjoy the nature.
  7. Dine alone. Eat whatever you would like to eat. Forget about the calories for a moment. Enjoy the environment.
  8. Buy something new for the house. Refresh your home. Make it bright and new.
  9. Go cloud-watching. Relax and watch the sky. Perhaps with a bottle of fresh fruit juice.
  10. Do a mini-declutter. Recycle something from your house that you barely use.

10 Self-care Ideas for Work-life Balance

  1. Take a random day off. Have a day off without any planning or purpose. Just to be off from work.
  2. Plan for a weekend holiday. Go for a short trip. Escape from the routine.
  3. Get to work early. Avoid the rush hour. This also means you might be able to leave work early.
  4. Leave work early. Enjoy some free time when the sun is still there.
  5. Eat lunch away from your office. Take a little break. Breathe some fresh air.
  6. Have a small chat. Talk about something other than work. This makes your time at work less dull.
  7. Turn off work-related email notification. Make off-hour really off-hour.
  8. Wear your favorite outfit to work. Boost your happiness by a smart and refreshing appearance.
  9. Have some healthy snacks. Supply energy to your body.
  10. Speak to the elders and take advice. Relieve your stress with this approach, science proves this.

10 Self-care Ideas for Healthy Relationships

  1. Speak out your thoughts. Don't be afraid to say what you really think. No one will understand you unless you speak out.
  2. Tell others your expectations. People might fail you. But it's fine to let them know so that both of you can adjust.
  3. Say NO sometimes. If saying yes makes you feel bad.
  4. Honor your emotions. Admit them and never try to hide them. They are gifts.
  5. Minimize people-pleasing. Unless that's what you really want to do. You have no responsibility to please anyone.
  6. Free from restrictions imposed by others. Take them as advice instead of commands. You're the only one who is in control of your body and mind.
  7. Be open to new things. Don't be afraid that changes will make you into a different person. Perhaps they lead to a better you.
  8. Share your past. No matter it's wonderful or awful. It's your past which makes you who you are today.
  9. Be patient to others and yourself. Everything takes time. It takes time to quit a habit or to change something. Don't rush.
  10. Leave some room for yourself. No matter what kind of relationship you are in, the most important one is the relationship with yourself. Work on it.

Today's Inspiration: Attitude of Gratitude,

Image result for Develop an attitude of gratitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude,
and give thanks for everything that happens to you,
knowing that every step forward is a step toward
achieving something bigger and
better than your current situation.”

Health: What is obesity and how to overcome


What is obesity?
Obesity is defined as a condition of excess bodyweight and fat. The size and number of fat cells increase in obese people. A person is said to be obese when the body weight is 20% or more above ideal body weight, which can be calculated by comparing his height and sex.

What are the causes?
Dietary and life style practices are directly related to obesity. The most important cause is the imbalance between the energy intake and output. Energy is obtained from the food one eats and is required to carry out the daily activities, and the body functions, which are going on even when one is sleeping. The extra energy which is not used by the body is stored as fat. Eating more than one need causes obesity because the excess energy supplied to the body gets converted into fat. On the expenditure side, if a person is physically less active then less energy is utilised and more is converted to fat.

Home, work and school are barriers to opportunities for active lifestyle. Children of obese parents are 10 times likely to be obese than those of non-obese parents. This is mostly environmental since the children and parents share the same dietary habits. Genes influence how the body burns calories or stores fat. In some rare cases, hormonal imbalance, such as overactivity of the adrenal glands or underactivity of the thyroid gland, can also cause obesity. Injury or inflammation of the hypothalamus can interfere with the appetite centre and thereby cause obesity.

What are the symptoms?
The signs of obesity include body fat and weight more than the ideal body weight.

What are the risks of obesity?
Obesity is a serious condition as it increases the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, joint pains, high blood pressure and some types of cancers such as colon, breast and uterine cancers. Obese people are also more prone to diseases and problems such as stroke, gall bladder disease, breathing problems (sleep apnoea syndrome), low back pain, swelling of the feet and ankles, imbalances and accidents. Obese people have a low self-esteem and they avoid company, which makes them insular and insecure.

How is it diagnosed?
Obesity is determined by measuring body weight and fat. There are different ways of calculating body fat. Body mass index (BMI) is one of the best methods used to measure body fat. BMI is calculated as the ratio of the weight in Kg and height in square metre. Guidelines define overweight as a BMI between 25 and 29.9 kg/square meter and obesity as a BMI greater than 30. The doctor may also suggest blood test for sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. In case insufficient thyroid functioning (hypothyroidism) is suspected, the doctor will ask for a thyroid stimulating hormone test.
What is the treatment?The simplest and the most basic principle is to reduce food intake, especially the fat content, and increasing physical activity.

Increasing physical activity alone is not an easy way to lose weight unless one combines it with a reduction of fat intake. Physical activity includes walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics or any other household activity such as cleaning, washing, climbing stairs etc. The sense of well-being and weight loss motivates an individual to make changes in his or her diet as well. The best way of keeping a good control on ones dietary intake is to keep a daily diary, and writing down whatever one eats as one eats. Avoid high oil content in the curries and do not use butter on chappatis, which may be tasty without the fat. The doctor or health care provider evaluates the daily diet and plans a diet providing calories enough to maintain the weight below the ideal body weight.

Increase your physical; activity and reduce the intake of food. Your initial goal of weight loss therapy should be to reduce the bodyweight by 10% from baseline. With success, further weight loss can be attempted. Weight loss should be 1-2 kg for 6 months. Reducing dietary fat alone without reducing calories is not sufficient for weight loss. Reducing dietary fat along with dietary carbohydrates can help reduce calories. Weight maintenance program should be priory after 6 months.

In order to maintain one's weight, calories consumed should be equal to calories used. Energy balance is like a scale. When calories consumed are more than calories used, it results in weight gain. Let physical activity tip the scale in your favour. You can perform aerobic exercises 30 minutes a day thrice week. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Certain medicines are also available for weight reduction. There are two main types of weight reducing drugs: one class decreases appetite while the other prevents dietary fat from being absorbed by the body. These drugs should be taken only with doctor"s advice, as there are a lot of side effects related with their use. Surgery to cure obesity should be undertaken as the last resort for people who are very obese, have tried all the other options available and have medical problems. The main surgical option is to have your stomach banded or stapled so that it cannot accommodate more food. Why not eat less voluntarily?
Few tips to bring about weight loss as well as ensuring good health:Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products like wheat.
Increase the consumption of complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, millet (jowar) and barley (bajra), Restrict refined products such as flour (maida) and its products such as bread, noodles, macaronis and pastas in regular diet Restrict fat and cholesterol rich foods. Only non-vegetarian foods (like eggs and dairy products) are good sources of cholesterol, however saturated fatty acids present in butter, ghee, vanaspati and coconut get metabolised to cholesterol in our body, Reduce the amount of sugars consumed, Consume raw fruits and vegetables in form of salads and raitas in every meal.These provide adequate vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fibre is essential as it aids in digestion, has an effective role in managing obesity and cardiovascular problems

Limit salt intake
Have small portions of food at a time
Do not skip meals
Have regular meal timings
Do not eat while cooking and watching television
Drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses) in a day
Exercise regularly. Do brisk walking at least for 20-40 minutes in a day
The best exercises that are sustainable and safe to loose weight are
aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises usually involve vigorous exercises sustained over a period of several minutes and their effect is to increase the efficiency of the lungs, heart and blood circulation, which are collectively known as the aerobic system. Short and sharp bursts of activity which rely on the body"s reserves of oxygen do not produce a similar improvement. Exercises should increase strength and mobility and also aid relaxation. You can choose walking, swimming,bicycling as per your fitness level and increase gradually. You should plan on 20-minute sessions at least 3 times per week. Gradual changes in eating habits will help encourage a permanent lifestyle change. A slow weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week, until the desirable body weight is reached, is best.
Follow the above mentioned tips to lead a healthy and a happy life.

Self Manage - Roles, Relationships, Responsibilites and Resources


There is a huge hole in the heart of all our educations. It is where the skills and abilities of self-management should be. No one teaches us how to manage our thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviour, so we find it hard to manage the four Rs – relationships, roles, responsibilities and resources.
So let’s get started. Consciously choose the quality of your thoughts today – accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and clean up the waste. Everything, which means everything in your life, begins with your thoughts.

Setting Goals And Becoming Productive

2011 article in the Academy of Management Review business journal stated that stretch goals "serve as jolting events that disrupt complacency and promote new ways of thinking." They can elevate aspirations in teams, organizations and individuals, and spark energy. They encourage innovation, playfulness, experimentation or broad learning. Thus, a stretch goal can enhance creativity and innovation, and make us remarkably productive. However, it can also prove counterproductive. A stretch goal can cause panic and convince people that it is too big to achieve. It can crush morale and push people on the back foot before the task begins. So how can this challenge be addressed? According to psychologists, there is an alternate path, one that is more concrete and specific: setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

SMART is an acronym commonly attributed to Peter Drucker. It is one of the longest-lasting, popular goal-setting frameworks. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, they should be: S – Specific – The more specificity in a goal, the clearer it is. "WH" questions are a good place to start. M – Measurable – Can your goal be measured? What gets measured gets done. A – Achievable – Is the goal achievable or a pipe dream? R – Relevant – Is each task connected to the end goal you have in mind? T – Time Bound – Set a deadline for yourself to achieve the goal. Let's consider, for instance, that you want to earn more money in the next few years. For this goal, the S.M.A.R.T. technique could look like this:
  1. Specific: How much money do you want to earn? How many years do you want to earn it in?
  2. Measurable: How will you measure progress? And, if you deviate, what specific steps will you take to course correct?
  3. Achievable: Which steps will you follow to achieve this goal?
  4. Relevant: Will the steps you follow contribute to achieving your final goal of earning more money?
  5. Time bound: Set a deadline for yourself to complete each step. 
To-do lists and concrete action plans are examples of SMART goals. They're great when optimized. Unfortunately, S.M.A.R.T. goals can also pull us away from the bigger picture. The gratification felt when we finish more tasks can make us place more emphasis on quantity. Because it makes us feel good, we jot down easy items on to-do lists, and then cross them out quickly. We add more tasks which can be completed in five minutes. In the process, we sideline the genuinely important ones which demand time and attention. We would prefer answering thirteen short emails than carefully drafting an effective template to reach out to people we want to connect with. But that's the wrong way to create to-do lists, according to Carleton University psychologist Timothy Pychyl. These lists are used for mood repair instead of becoming productive.

What is Productivity?

In modern mythos, productivity is believed to be "working more or sweating harder". Overtime, multi-tasking, doing more each day, being available 24/7 – these are yardsticks of productivity. Batman, the ever-present superhero cum businessman, always fighting crime and saving cats stuck on trees, is the epitome of productivity. But Batman exists in just one place – imagination. Okay, comics and movies too. But we don't live in imagination and comics. We live in the real world, where resources are limited. It sucks, but it's true. Productivity is not about spending longer hours at your desk or making bigger sacrifices. That's just being busy. According to New York Times journalist and author Charles Duhigg, productivity is "the name we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect and time as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort…… It's about getting things done without sacrificing everything we care about along the way."
"The way we choose to see ourselves and frame daily decisions; the stories we tell ourselves and the easy goals we ignore; the creative cultures we establish as leaders: These things separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive." – Charles Duhigg

How You Can Set Goals and Achieve Them

An effective way to improve your productivity and quality of accomplishments is to combine stretch goals and S.M.A.R.T. goals. People who master the ability to break goals down into concrete plans are better equipped to achieve stretch goals. Begin practicing S.M.A.R.T. goals. You might lose sight of the bigger picture for some time. That's okay. Trust me, you have time if you know how to use it. Once you feel comfortable with setting concrete action plans – could take 6 months, a year, or even two – step back. Set a stretch goal. It doesn't have to make others think you are crazy. But it must be audacious enough to make you go beyond existing means. Stretch goals make you smarter. They force you to expand your perspective, and contextually apply what you know. They force you to innovate, to combine seemingly unconnected concepts and develop something novel. The SMART technique helps you steady yourself and start walking before you run. Your ability to achieve stretch goals is larger when you implement the SMART technique. This has a positive cascading effect on every aspect of your life - professional and personal. Which goal setting techniques work for you? Do leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. ---------- P.S. Do connect with on Twitter. I love having discussions on such topics.​ 

Praying for Others

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When   you pray for Others,
God listen to you and blesses them, and
When you are safe and happy,
Remember that someone has prayed for you