Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated? #FridayReflections

Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated? #FridayReflections

Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated? That’s a question I’ve often asked myself. I’m quite a fan of punctuality. However, I see a lot of people are not and they seem to get away with being late. They make it their norm, and most people seem to accept it.

Here’s an unsent letter I wrote to an ex-colleague whose disrespect for punctuality caused me endless tension.

Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated?

Dear Lateefa

You were late again today…nothing new about it, except that this time it really made me mad. This is the about the tenth time that I’ve had make excuses to a client on your behalf. Needless, to say he didn’t buy my excuses…and that made me look and feel stupid. But then you came in to his office, all charm and laughter and immediately he forgot that you had been late and gave us the contract anyway. Another reason for you to say ‘Punctuality is over rated’, right? Easy for you to say, when you’ve got stupid old me around to make excuses on your behalf. What if I had got delayed too? But then it’s not likely to happen, so we’ll never know, will we? 

I’m not likely to be late because I take the trouble to get all the preliminary work/printouts done the night before, get up on time,  factor in the bad traffic in Mumbai and leave well in time to reach the clients’ office at least 10 minutes before the appointed time. I don’t know how you do it – but you always have a problem with your printer, your alarm (do you even use one?) doesn’t go off, your tyre gets punctured, you get caught in a couple of traffic jams and you are at least ten minutes late for a meeting – on your good days.

You tell me that it’s not a sign of disrespect to me or the clients. I disagree. It is a sign of arrogance to think our time is not as important as your life. Let me point you in the direction of a book by Andrea Perry Isn’t It About Time: How to Stop Putting Things Off And Get On With Your Life (perhaps I’ll get you a copy as a Christmas present to me!). Allow me to quote: 

“I don’t really agree with the idea that late people don’t mean to be rude,” says Perry. “Clearly when one person is habitually late, they are regarding themselves more than those they are keeping waiting. They wouldn’t be ten minutes late for President Obama. So be aware of who you are late for, and why.” You get it?

To my mind, punctuality is a sign that you have self-respect, that you love your job and that you have respect for others. The only thing that is overrated is your supposed charm…It’s wearing thin, buddy. So the next time you’re late, will be the last time we’ll work together. Hope you get this – on time!

Your always-5-minutes-ahead-of-time colleague

#FridayReflections

It’s Friday today and although Sanchie Vee and I had decided to take a break from #FridayReflections through April, I decided to it slightly differently. I’m putting up a linky – and asking you to write on any of the older prompts that you may have liked and missed. I’ll have the same linky up all month through, just on fresh posts. Also, I’m asking for a link back to my blog in your post to prevent people who are writing ‘off prompt’ from adding their links.

If you want to know more about #FridayReflections and find prompts to write on, I’ve created a page with the ‘rules’ and the prompts. So go ahead and have a ball. Remember, to link up here so we can all enjoy your writing.

This post is in response to the prompt from 2 September 2016 -Are you someone who is always on time, running late or early? Does it even matter?


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How Our Story Ends | Phiona Mutesi  #MondayMusings

How Our Story Ends | Phiona Mutesi #MondayMusings

What are the stories we tell about ourselves? What are the stories we believe about ourselves. Does the past and its ‘bad experiences’  continue to hold us? Do we give bad circumstances the chance to hold us down? As I muse about this today, I’d like to introduce you to Phiona Mutesi – a girl who rewrote her own story.

Phiona Mutesi – The Queen of Katwe

How Our Story Ends

To be African is to be an underdog in the world. To be Ugandan is to be an underdog in Africa. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda. To be an underdog in Katwe. – Robert Katende, a missionary in Katwe who mentored chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi

This young girl re-wrote the story of an African, Ugandan, girl from Katwe. She didn’t allow the story to end in the usual way. She checkmated fate.

What about our stories……

When we are beholden to a narrative that defeats us, (whatever disparages or belittles or shames), we are afraid. And when we live afraid, the script shackles us. We live defensive and angry. So we don’t recognize that we have power inside to say how the story moves forward. – Terry Hershey

The idea of our stories is something I want to continue to look at in the weeks and months ahead. Stay tuned.

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Life Goes On And The Lessons Continue #FridayReflections

Life Goes On And The Lessons Continue #FridayReflections


Life goes on and the lessons continue. Oh yes, they do. Some lessons are so tough that we struggle to get them. The good news (although, believe me, it doesn’t always feel like good news) keep getting repeated until we finally get them.

Life Goes On And The Lessons Continue

Reading this quote from the Dalai Lama, got me thinking about the one big life lesson I learned. It took me several years and a lot of heartache, but I think I’ve got it. Yes, tomorrow will be better because today I learned…

Everyone has friends; we all have friends. Friends easy love, easy forgive. But we have our sacred friends. Sacred friends very, very difficult. Chinese government, my sacred friend. Not Chinese people, Chinese government. Chinese people don’t do this; this is Chinese government that does this. The Chinese government is my sacred friend because without the Chinese government doing what they’ve done, I would never have had to evolve my heart to be bigger than the pain they bring.” – Dalai Lama

So here’s a small exercise we can do when dealing with toxic people.

  1. Rename these people as ‘sacred friends’.
  2. Realize that these ‘sacred friends’ are actually helping us to get stronger and make our hearts bigger.
  3. List all the positive qualities these ‘sacred friends’ help us to discover about ourselves.

For me, these are just a couple of ways in which my ‘sacred friends’ have helped me

a. Develop an attitude of gratitude. I realized that if I was grateful for every experience and saw all the pain (despite my ranting and raving at first) as fodder for my growth, I’d be a better person.

b. Trust my intuition and act on it. In the words of Maya Angelou ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.’ I’ve often had some vibes that told me not to trust a certain person. Her actions confirmed this. Yet, I continued to keep her in my circle and trust her, only to be let down again. This ‘sacred friend’ has taught me a lot of about following my intuition.

There’s a lot more I’ve learned about myself and life from my ‘sacred friends’ and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

What’s the life lesson you’ve learned recently?

#FridayReflections

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Everyday Gyaan

Last week, our featured writer was Vanessa for her letter to Anne {of the Green Gables fame}. You can be our featured writer too. All you need to do is write on one of the prompts and link up below. Remember to read other posts and share the love. Don’t forget to come back on Monday and vote for your favorite post!

Prompts for 3 March 2017

1. Write about the best thing that happened to you this week.
2. What’s the one thing you wish others understood about you.
3. Tomorrow will be better because today I learned…
4. “Imagination is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
5. Picture prompt (http://everydaygyaan.com)

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Start With Why  #martinlutherking #MondayMusings

Start With Why #martinlutherking #MondayMusings

About a month ago a shared a video of Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, ‘How great leaders inspire action’ based on his book, Start With Why. Watching it, I realized that this was going to be one of those life changing resources for me.

I have yet to read the book, but this video made so much sense. It got me thinking about the ‘why’ of many things I’m doing. I know it’s going to help me make better choices going forward.

If you haven’t watched this video yet, I’d urge you to do so now.

 

Today on Martin Luther King Day, I’m happy to share Simon Sinek’s talk about Dr King’s ‘why’.

In the summer of 1963, 250,000 people showed up on the Mall of Washington, DC. to hear Dr. King speak. They sent out no invitations and there was no website to check the date. How do you do that? Well, Dr. King wasn’t the only man in America who was a great orator. He wasn’t the only man in America who suffered in pre civil rights America. In fact some of his ideas were bad but he had a gift. He didn’t go around telling people what needed to change in America. He went around and told people what he believed. “I believe, I believe, I believe,” he told people. And people who believed what he believed took his cause and made it their own and they told people. And some of those people created structures to get the word out to even more people. And lo and behold, 250,000 people showed up on the right day, at the right time to hear him speak. How many of them showed up for him? Zero. They showed up for themselves. It’s what they believed about America that got them to travel in a bus for eight hours to stand in the sun in Washington in the middle of August. It’s what they believed. And it wasn’t about black versus white. Twenty five percent of the audience was white.

Dr. King believed that there were two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by man and not until all the laws that are made by man are consistent with the laws that are made by a higher authority will we live in a just world. It just so happens that the Civil Rights Movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We follow him not for him, but for ourselves. And by the way, he gave the I Have a Dream speech not the I Have a Plan speech.

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7 Simple Ways to Design Your Day

7 Simple Ways to Design Your Day

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘design’? If you’re like most people, you probably think of clothes, homes or websites. Most of us wouldn’t associate design with time, although it is indeed possible to be able to design your day!

The dictionary defines the word ‘design’ as to ‘decide upon the look and functioning of (a building, garment, or other object), by making a detailed drawing of it.’ Going by this, designing a day would involve thinking about how you’d like your day to look like. This would include what you achieve over the course of a day, how you feel as your day progresses, and the special moments and memories you create in those 24 hours.

Designing your day is a little different from creating a to-do list. It’s more than just ticking items off; it’s about visualizing a perfect day. If this still sounds confusing, we can help! Here are 7 simple ways to help you design your day.

7 Simple Ways to Design your Day

#1 Think positive thoughts as soon as you wake up.

Studies show that the thoughts you wake up with set the tone for the rest of the day, so take care of them! It’s a good idea to have a mantra, affirmation, prayer, word of the year or just a pretty picture in a place that’s visible as soon as you wake up. This way your thoughts will be directed in the right direction before your to-do list comes rushing into your head

#2 Hydrate yourself.

Get rid of that parched feeling with a nice drink. Lemon water, warm honey water, green tea – all great options, as long as you try to stay away from caffeine! As you sip, feel the liquid flowing through your body, moisturizing and nourishing every part. Think about how lucky you are to have this day, a day full of possibilities and hope

#3 Sit down with your planner.

It’s finally time to look at that to do list! Sit down in your balcony, garden or porch and look at the various tasks on your list. Focus on getting the big rocks or the important activities in first. Once that’s done, you can fill in the smaller rocks in the gaps.

Here’s a sample of planners from Day Designer  I’m looking at getting for myself:

#4 Identify your Circadian rhythms.

Circadian rhythms are defined as ‘physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment’. We all have periods of time during the day when we work our best and when we’re the most distracted. When fitting your rocks within your day, do it according to your natural rhythms, keeping high priority tasks for high focus times and vice versa.

#5 Create time blocks.

When planning your tasks, setting very specific timelines can be very restrictive and takes the joy out of everything. So make it easier by setting aside larger blocks of time for an activity or a set of activities. This creates less stress and lets you actually get into the ‘flow’ of your tasks.

Get this: How To Design Your Day Free Daily Planner Template Download Printable by @DayDesigner

#6 Include time for recreation.

When you have a to-do list stacked with items like ‘Meeting with boss’, ‘Prepare for presentation’ or ‘Take mom to doctor’, it might feel odd to insert something like ‘read’ or ‘do crossword’. But finding time for recreation among work-related obligations is crucial to keep the brain at an optimum level. It also ensures that you don’t feel like a genie from a lamp, doing one task after the other.

#7 Fix an end time for everything.

Fixing a time to wake up and start work is pretty easy, when compared to settling on an end time. Decide on an end time for work, after which you spend time purely with family. Set another end time for the day in general, after which you spend time with yourself – journaling, reading or meditating.

As you design your day with the big picture in mind, you’ll find that you feel more in control of your life. Most of our anxiety stresses from not knowing, rather than not doing. When you design a day that’s in tune with your particular goals, your body rhythms and your family circumstances, you’ll see that things automatically seem to fall into place!

 

Image credit : Rock zen via Shutterstock

7 Ways To Find Joy at Work

7 Ways To Find Joy at Work

When you wake up in the morning for work, do you feel excited about it, or do you have to drag yourself out of the house? Many employees are not happy or satisfied with their jobs. They lack the enthusiasm to get their work done. But how do you find joy at work when you’ve been doing a routine for many years or if you’re new and you feel like you’re in the wrong place?

7 Ways To Find Joy at Work

#1 Find your purpose

People with no sense of purpose lose their enthusiasm easily. They don’t see the point of what they do or what they’re working for. If you’re an educator, you’re obviously raising the future. Your purpose must be to help form the minds of the future leaders, future healers, and future economists.

If you work in a restaurant, you’re helping feed people. Customers come to your place because they’re hungry or craving for something. Help satisfy their needs and longing. Make them happy by serving them with a smile.

If you work as a janitor or maintenance guy, the cleanliness and orderliness of the place lies in your hand.

When you realize that your purpose is more than just doing paper work, closing deals, or maintaining the place, that it’s helping change lives even in the smallest of ways, then you find joy at work.

#2 See the extraordinary in the ordinary

It may feel boring doing the same thing every day for five years straight or more. Find joy at work by seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. The people you work with maybe ordinary people you take for granted because of over-familiarity. See the ordinary in them. They are modern-day heroes like you, working for their family or making a difference in their own humble way.

Admire the new decor in the office. Gaze out of the window and marvel at the beauty of nature, the marvelous cloud formations, or the astonishing skyscrapers. Find the extraordinary in the ordinary and find joy at work.

#3 Pre-work conditioning

Before you even start on a task, condition your mind to be happy. Happy people are more likely to finish the job than those who are not. They also make a better job as they go beyond what is expected of them. Challenges at work may be inevitable, but staying optimistic is a choice. Complaining will not solve a problem. It’s all in the mind.

#4  Build rapport

You will be stuck with the people you work with every day. Build genuine friendships and avoid the drama. It would be a miserable life if there is conflict at work. Remember, 8 or more of your waking hours as an adult are spent at the workplace. Make it a happier time by building bridges instead of burning them.  Avoid the toxic people but try to work harmoniously with your colleagues.

#5 Join the fun

Most companies offer activities and events for employees to break the monotony of work. Join the fun. Be open to new ideas and remember to take things lightly from time to time. Don’t be a spoil sport. Don’t be the Grinch of Christmas.

#6 Grab opportunities

There may be internal job openings or a chance to get promoted. Grab opportunities as these are doors that lead to growth and learning.  New roles mean new challenges, more room for improvement, and greener pastures. Look for opportunities in which you can either showcase your skills, or improve your personality. Don’t get stuck to where you are at the moment to avoid getting burnt out.

#7 Say it

If you need more time to finish a task, say so. If you find something difficult, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If something is bothering you, speak up. Most problems start from an issue that grows through time because it’s not discussed in the open. There is nothing that can’t be solved as long as there is a clear communication of what needs to be solved in the first place. Be bold but tactful of sharing your thoughts and be open to suggestions as well.

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Doing repetitive tasks can make you bored, or worse, unenthused with your job. Most employers leave their job not because of the pay but because it makes them feel empty and like they are living a pointless life. You can turn things around by simply changing the way you look at your work. Find joy at work and find self-fulfillment in your life.

 

To Be A Wildflower #MondayMusings

To Be A Wildflower #MondayMusings

In the last few days, I’ve been thinking about many things and as always I have my sounding board (a.k.a. my husband, José) to talk things over with. Discussing how I haven’t been able to learn to drive, he said something that hit home. To paraphrase, I want to do things and take risks, but don’t go the whole hog or give it my all.

I realize that is absolutely true and it is a pattern. I have lots of ideas, creative ones at that, but don’t commit to them in a way that can see the idea completely true. I invest a lot of myself, and yet something holds me back from taking that final plunge.

Just as an example, a few months ago, I started a series called Write Your Heart Out. The first post in the series is one of my most popular posts on this blog. Yet, I gave up on the series. My weekly newsletter too is very sporadic. These are small examples.

Let’s not talk about my desire to exercise regularly. Or actually, let’s talk about it! I always give myself the excuse that I’m too tired to walk or I don’t have the stamina. But last week, on vacation, I put in a good 5 kms in one afternoon walking in the hot sun. So I have the ability, but lack the discipline?

I’m not sure what the reason for this is. It’s something I have to work on.

To Be A Wildflower

As I was pondering on José’s words, I began to think of wildflowers. My mind, I tell you!

But there’s a connection.

I love wildflowers.  They seem to grow in an aimless and haphazard fashion, but there’s a tenaciousness about them that is hard to ignore. I love how they find a way to blossom in nooks and crevices and in difficult condtions. They manage to combine freedom of expression with the ability to dare to blossom. Wildflowers dare greatly.

Wildflowers
I envy them.
They’re brave.
Seeds cast by the wind to land where they may, they stay and hold against most hot, most cold.
They persevere, roots shallow yet fierce and free.
They epitomize to me all that I sometimes yearn to be.
~Julie Andrews, Wildflowers

to-be-a-wildflower

Like Julie Andrews, I yearn to be like the wildflowers – free and brave.

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The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance

Today I’d like to share with you details about a booklet  by Jae Ellard, the founder of the Simple Intentions website, The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance.

The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has nothing to do with work. Really. It also doesn’t matter what words you use to describe it. The fact is, most people share a similar desire to create easy joy and meaningful engagement across the roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up life.

Our current habits and perceptions often get us stuck and prevent us from creating the life we desire. Get unstuck, learn the truths about work-life balance.

Category: Adult non-fiction, 102 pages
Genre: Self Help
Publisher: Simple Intentions
Content Rating: G

Meet the author:

After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems.

jae-ellard

In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program, which includes four group coaching workshops to generate reflection, awareness and action at the organizational and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness to thousands of employees at multinational corporations in more than 50 countries including China, Russia, India, Japan, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, and the United States.

Jae contributes to the Awareness at Work column for Mindful Magazine, the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching and is the author of seven books.

Connect with the author: Website   Twitter   Facebook

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