The Familiar Fight

After every meal at my little place, I find myself fighting a familiar foe – unwashed dishes.

‘Wash them now’ – whispers one voice in my head.

‘You can always wash them tomorrow.’ – cajoles another. ‘Why bother?’

Why bother indeed?

‘Would you want to wake up tomorrow morning and find a whole horde of vessels to clean?’

Valid point – I think to myself as the voices being to get louder and more foreceful

And eventually end up cleaning those dishes anyway. And you know what, it does actually feel very good getting ready for the next meal without having to worry about dishes to be clean. It may not be most ‘efficient’ (technically, having them all pile up and then cleaning them all at once would be..) but in the long run, it can give us a discipline that would serve us well in work and life.
It is a bit like planning tomorrow’s work today. It doesn’t make a HUGE difference tomorrow but when you add the effect of doing so over a sustained period of time, it can make all the difference to the world.

Another such example is doing the hard work to park our cars such that taking them out the next morning requires no thought!

Little things. Always a big difference. And this is a note to myself to always remember to make the tough choice of putting in that effort when I would much rather relax after a heavy meal.. because, as weird as it may sound, I will be better for it.

Note: Of course, those who have lived with dishwashers their whole life wouldn’t even be able to relate to this ‘ode to grunt work’. Sorry folks, time to get your hands dirty, literally..

Belief, Hunger and Cheer

Often, the goal is to be ‘liked’ at a workplace.
Another way to look at it would be to aspire to be ‘respected’.
You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend. But, you can still have a reputation for delivering top class results.
Of course you have to be great at your job. And of course, you have to put in the hours if/when necessary.
That is just the basic though. In my humble opinion, almost every decent executive/professor/manager has those characteristics.
The differentiator (in my humble opinion) lies somewhere in their ability to consistently demonstrate ‘Belief, hunger and cheer’
Isn’t that what stories of inspirational leadership revolve around? People who never gave up on their dream, people who never let age kill their hunger and people who refused to ‘bow down’ and get depressed by failure.
It is easy after all not to believe/become cynical with time, to be ‘content’ and not move out of our comfort zone and lose the ability to laugh, loud and long..
Belief, Hunger and Cheer – also known as ‘attitude’

As I opened up my email excitedly this morning..

(Being a few 1000 miles away from my family, closest friends, I wake up all excited in the morning to check my personal email in the hope of finding a nice long, detailed filled note..)
..and began reading an email from a close friend, I realized the power of sharing your life with somebody else. Especially when it is not because you ‘have’ to but because you ‘choose’ to.
This friend evidently made quite an effort to type that email as it had all sorts of funny poetic verses. Through those few paragraphs, I could sense joy, anxiety, smiles and frowns. For a moment, my mind was transported back to the olden days where one might have had to wait for days for a letter from a loved one.
It is all so easy now, isn’t it? We can now hear from friends and family through a little touch screen handheld device from the comfort of our bed! So easy that we take it for granted and probably do less of it than we probably should.
It’s a simple question, really. Whose life have you touched today? The easiest place to start is with close friends and family. A simple note is guaranteed to brighten up their day.. So, go ahead. Do it.
We live to be touched by all those around us after all..

Is it really important?

Are we asking ourselves this question often enough in a day?
Or are getting sucked into the tons of petty issues that always seem ready to engulf us?

A simple question, really..

that tends to put everything in perspective.

On 5 Dollars or 500 Dollars

David Schwartz illustrates the ‘magic of thinking big‘ with a simple example –

Imagine Bob, the sales person at a gift shop. A customer walks in and says ‘I am looking for something quick for less than 5 dollars. Can you please help me?’
Now, Bob’s gift shop is doing very well for itself and Bob is visibly disinterested at the thought of having to spend time on a customer who will likely only earn the shop $5.

Let us flip it around for a minute now.
What if Bob
– views the customer as a potential $500 customer?
– views this meeting as an opportunity to demonstrate amazing customer service so the customer returns with more business?

Wouldn’t Bob’s attitude to the customer be very different? In a nutshell, that encapsulates the power of thinking big at work, and in our lives. Every little thing we do has great potential!

I find this very helpful when we think of side projects we receive at work. While one way to think about them would be to just get something optimal out to the boss to keep him/her happy or look at them as potential opportunities to build our own ‘brand’.
Here’s to viewing opportunities for their full potential this week!