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How Taking Action can help you achieve an impactful life? 5 Powerful life skills from Christonanda

May 11, 2021
Taking action is one of the Keys to an Impactful Life


Beginners Guide to Taking Action

Have you ever stubbed your own toe? Recently, A student while in Class did exactly that. He moved his office chair over his own feet. Gosh! That was so painful. He immediately tried to ease the pain. 

Not working on our Personal Projects and dream should feel the same, Like stubbing our own toe. Taking action for some projects should be immediate and with intent. Just like my student was hurt, we too must feel the pain of not doing what we are meant to do.

The pain of our dreams not becoming a reality. Pain can force us to get to work. 

Most of us have awesome dreams, worthy goals and reasonable projects. Why don't we take action? What is stopping us?

The answer is quite obvious to each of us. We must sometimes stop and reflect. Then we may have the answers.

Achieving the important goals of Life

Jesus may save you or Buddha may help you achieve Nirvana. But If you want to achieve your dream projects. You need to start.

Lol, It is obvious, right! But sometimes the obvious, sound profound when others say it.

There are reasons why we may want to lose weight or get rich. Maybe it's some kind of insecurity.

But think about it, What if you achieve it. Okay, Your goal is unrealistic, But you can begin and learn about the realistic part of it.

Is achieving success a solution to Mental Peace and Happiness? Maybe or Maybe not. But your goals are a symptom of a need that you have or you sense other people have.

Uncovering it may be an interesting place to start. It can be a learning experience, you may have wrong ideas or it is possible you have just been toying with myths. 

Your project is not always just for your own satisfaction, it has a broader purpose. It changes the way we live. It satisfies a need or a want that adds value to somebodies life.

Our action can be a means to enhance not just our lives but also those around us.

To connect your Goal or project with something larger. Hooking it to a Vision and a purpose will help you chart uncertain territories and help you make key decisions.

The Process of achieving your Goal is a journey. Journeys are a series of paths, actions and choices we make.

Take action and dominate your life

I always thought sharing ideas with people was something to avoid. But now I realise that ideas are in plenty.

Executing the ideas and putting them into action is what matters. When we execute ideas, we make plans.

Some of these plans take us ahead and succeed, while others teach us lessons. the problem is that people rarely think of executing ideas.

On my own personal journey, it took me quite a while to start working on my idea of starting this blog.

After a lot of prodding and pushing from people I got to work. It's been an exciting journey. It has taught me a lot.

Let me ask you a question, What stops you from starting out? Are you looking for all the resources? Do you want to begin when situations are perfect? Is it reasonable to think like this?

These are questions we need to ponder upon. But think about it, Not working on a good idea is to kill it before it bears fruit. Nothing wrong or right about it, But only potentially missed opportunities.

Inaction is also a decision in itself. Think about good ideas, plan them and shoot them down when needed. May the best idea become a reality!

Essential Steps to taking Actions now

So Let me share some pointers to use for starting out. Just some common knowledge highlighted and shared.

I have been trying to implement some of these ideas into my daily schedule.

1) Start the day on the right note

Choose to get up on the right side of the bed. Take control of your day by choosing to take control of it. It's your day, it's a chapter in your life.

Why don't you plan it and deal with important things first? Get them out of your way. If you are able to complete at least 75% of the task on your list. I would say it's a great beginning.

2) You are responsible for your own actions

Blaming others may be right in certain circumstances, but in all situations, you are responsible for your actions.

Learn to take control of the choices you make whether by action or inaction. Inaction is also a choice.

Bringing clarity to the purpose behind your actions can come by tying it to some goal you want to achieve.

3) Starting out small

I have noticed it with a lot of people, they start out in a big way and when they face difficulties they just give up. I noticed the same in myself too.

Starting out small is not bad, you get to test out and sample your big project. You can begin by introducing new habits each week. It can be really transformative.

If you lapsed into an old routine, it's no problem ...Start a new habit and continue once more.

4) Inaction is an action

It's an act not to deal with situations. You may say, Chris, There are some things difficult to deal with. Yes, there are difficult problems, but there is nothing stopping you from trying out new and various solutions.

Give various ideas a Test drive, you could do them as a thought experiment or just dedicate a few hours to try something with potential life-changing power. 

5) Focus and focus some more

I think one of the reasons we fail with our New year's resolution is this one problem. We tend to live life like goldfishes

The next distraction gets us off our focus. Slacking sometimes is normal, but punishing yourself by giving up is not necessary. You deserve to achieve that goal.

Read this short blog on dealing with the Unplanned!

6) Being Accountable

This is one powerful idea I got from Napolean Hill's book, 'Think and Grow Rich'. He speaks of a Mastermind group.

I think the modern term would be accountability partners. It does not need to be a group of people. But it depends on the scale of your project.

Be accountable to your goals and future self along with your band of supporters.

7) Don't work when you are partying

I think this is an obvious one, but quite often overlooked. Maybe cause we are not absorbed into what we are doing.

We need to be committed to achieving what is right for us. So when we party, we party and when we play, we play.

8) Become a Problem Solver

Guess what is the one fact about Science and Social Studies that motivates me. The fact that as humans our strength lies in problem-solving.

We dealt with nature by mastering what we learnt from it. We dreamed of achieving happiness and personal contentment by working on goals and our dreams.

We are problem solvers and it is a fact. We can be a bad or good problem solvers, we are problem solvers nonetheless.

9) People's opinions matter and they don't

I will not lie to you and tell you that people's opinions won't affect you. It may, but the choice is yours. I don't see how it makes a difference.

You pay your taxes and deal with your own problems. Limiting people's bad influence in life is okay.

If we become people-pleasers, when do we don't please ourselves and we sacrifice our lives for someone else's opinions.  What are the payoffs and even if you think there are some payoffs maybe they only are in your own head?

Is it worth sacrificing your goals on the altar of someone's opinion?

10) Be Enthusiastic

Anything worth doing can be done with some enthusiasm. Half-hearted and sloppy work may give results sometimes.

But enthusiasm will take you through rough patches and phases when you have no support. Be your own Cheerleader and be enthused for the goals you want to achieve.

11) Make the process, Fun

Why shouldn't it be Fun? Just because the journey can be difficult. It does not mean it should not be fun.

Try adding some fun to the process. Read and Research ways to improve the process of achieving your goals.

Plan it out and schedule fun activities. So for example, if you are Dieting. How can you add activities or events that can add fun to the process of dieting? If you are blogging what are the fun elements in blogging.

You don't need to make it a task of martyrdom although it does involve some self-sacrifice. Don't kill all the fun from the process.

12) Celebrate your milestones

Expressing joy and exhilaration in achieving something is Human. Celebrating can border on chest-thumping which may be good but it may rob you of your power and will to continue on the journey.

It may fool you into thinking that you arrived and it may rob you of the enthusiasm to continue. You deserve to achieve your goals and not an illusion of it.

In Conclusion

I think we all deserve to achieve all the good and lovely dreams we have. Except for a few people who don't deserve their dreams to become a reality (Anti Social Elements).

As Humans, we all have dreams and goals we want to achieve. We plan and that is good, But adding some action to it can be explosive.

It may get your success or the much-needed feedback to improve. Claim your dreams and work on them.

I hope this blog was able to get you working on your goals. See you in the next post, Share and Comment on something about your dreams in the comment section.

Further Reading






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5 Powerful Books that can kickstart your next side successful hustle

April 15, 2021

 

Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash

Hey, It's been a fairly long time. Just took refuge in Goa, my ancestral home state. You may be thinking, Chris you are chilling and having a great time. 

Oh yes, but it's more about connecting with my newborn son, Caiden aka the fiery one. Little bustling bundle of joy, it's awesome being Dad. 

This current situation (a lot of us staying at home) has gotten me thinking about side hustles.

I would like to share some of the books to start out as a newly minted side hustler. 

I am not going to recommend super Management and Y-combinator startup stuff, but books that can actually start something you love and everyone can read.

Some reasons why starting a Side Hustle makes sense

So you want to escape the proverbial 9 to 5 or have passive income? This is not the blog to read. 

I believe starting a business part-time requires a ton of passion and effort.

It's about being independent but more importantly, I see it as solving problems that are important to you and others. 

Hustling the Canva way

Imagine Life before Canva or YouTube. Don't remember, Bad designs with illegible texts on graphics. That was life before Canva. Canva solved a major problem with Bad design. The best part it is available for Free. They have a paid version that I think is worth it.

Next is YouTube, When Satellite TV touched our neighbourhood there was such a buzz around it. There were households with Doordarshan and those who had the new Cable TV networks. 

What fascinated me was the logo design and the programming of these TV channels. I just loved the whole idea. But then becoming a content creator is so difficult and requires such a huge budget. 

YouTube just solved that one for you. Completely free to start a channel and reach out to millions of users worldwide. No license fees, no distribution costs. 

You could just design a logo on Canva and even edit your video and upload it on YouTube. It's that simple,

Yes, you can create videos on Canva. They have a powerful and simple video creation tool. For more powerful tools than Canva, we have Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve, Shotcut etc. But I love Canva because I can show my 5th Grade Students to make beautiful looking videos on it.

Problem Solving is hustling

Can you see how life-changing Problem Solving can be? 

Your side hustle has the power to actually change things around you. 

There are many more benefits like it provides employment to people, it gives you independence and the supplementary income.

Five Books to get you started on your Next Side Hustle


Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship by M.J. DeMarco 

Very refreshing read for New Entrepreneurs

This is a must-read book by MJ De Marco, a self-made millionaire. 

He offers no BS tips but only how to start a business and change your mindset. 

He does not offer any shortcut formulas but common sense ideas and a framework to get started.

This Framework deals with deep-seated myths and false beliefs around work and success.

He also has a forum to discuss ideas to build a successful business. He is a huge proponent of the fast lane, which most of us think is dangerous. Read the book to know more...

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Learn how to build a side hustle with your Passion

This book actually features people who have made it big with small but powerful ideas. I had the opportunity to meet of one the person mentioned in the book. 

I met this person much before he was mentioned in the book. Though I must say that person (who I won't name) was weird to meet (He would just not speak) with but was very talented and deserves all the respect.

The book offers a workable and practical framework to convert existing talent to help people and make an income. It also shows you practical ideas to scale the business to something big.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferris

A classic book on Life Design

This is a powerful book by Tim Ferris, I found the concept behind the book really powerful. Tim offers really practical and quick hacks to starting a business and building a lifestyle that you would envy.

Tim offers a whole range of recommended tools with workable plans that you could use to actually start a side hustle. He takes you through a few ideas and plans that could actually work and be useful to start with.

He shows you how to build a lifestyle around your side hustle. He also enlightens you about the negatives and how to deal with them.

Overall it will provide you with a good idea to get started with your side hustle in a very practical manner.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

One of the first books I read on Entrepreneurship

This is another power-packed book. I am sure you may have heard a lot of people recommend this book. 

This book will share ideas that will challenge some of your ideas around Employment, Life and business. 

This book is quick to read and some of the ideas are practical and useful.

He shares ideas he learnt from his Rich Dad (His mentor) who taught him well-treasured lessons about the realities of life and work.

He shares some key insights and direction to help you build a successful career and business.


The Startup Owner's Manual Strategy Guide by Steve Blank

Business Model Canvas beautiful technique to design your next business

This is a killer book. You could read this book and use the ideas to understand your current business or work. 

It focuses on Entrepreneurship and practical ways to become a successful Entrepreneur. 

You could start by Taking a Free course before actually Reading the book. Check it here.

Well, This is my shortlist. Of course, there are many I left out. I will mention them at some point.

The key thing about these five books is that they present side hustling as a practical way to explore your talent and more importantly a realistic and personal take on life.


In Conclusion

I believe it's when we seek to make a difference and not just an extra buck that we succeed. It can be difficult without the right knowledge and support.

These 5 books can be a starting point to plan well and begin with the right tools and mindset. Please share your favourite books on Entrepreneurship.

If you have read these books, Share what you think about them in the comments section. 

Note: Some of the links used in this article are Affiliate Links

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Reasons why your time is an important resource

May 05, 2020

Time is one of our most precious resources

Staying at home has got more busier than ever. Housework can be so tedious, can't imagine how our domestic helps manage all this and then go back home to their families. 

They are like angels, A lot of times we fail to appreciate the simple things that life can bless us with.

Today I am going to share ideas and thoughts on one of such resources. This Resource is the most valuable. People think it is in abundance and they trade it like there is a lot of it. 

That resource is time. Only if all knew the amount of time we have allotted to us, life would be very different.

Time and Timing are really two powerful ideas. One is a resource and the other is a strategy. Time Management thus becomes important, But today I want to explore the 'Why'.

Exploring the 'Why' 

Our strategies would be incomplete if it is completely divorced from time.

 

I think wages for time and expertise is something most of us can relate to whether we are employed or employing others. 

A lot of our aspirations require time, For example if you want to lose your weight. It could take a lot of time. Starting a business completing or getting a degree also takes time.

Our concern with results requires us to make decisions in time. Thus our strategies in utilizing time is critical. Our strategies would be incomplete if it is completely divorced from time.

It would be lost to irrelevance. Time thus can said to be a very important resource. Often Leisure can get a bad name as it can be mistaken as an activity to misuse time. But Leisure in itself is harmless, it utilizes our spare time to bring a certain kind of refreshment and enjoyment to our lives. Like anything important and good it can also be misused.

But this is the way we master things by our hits and misses. So managing this important resource time becomes important. We can utilise it for earning a living, leisure or achieving a goal. But all of these ventures require fruitful utilization of our goals and this important resource called 'Time'.

Some ideas to consider

Prepared Mind
Prepared Mind with Useful actions

So we must not waste time they say, But how about wasting some of it to manage it more effectively. 

Like any thing that needs to be managed we must direct it a specific end or purpose.  We should able to detect when we are wasting it and when we are utilising it.

So Clarity in effective Time Management can start with knowing when we are wasting it and having some guidelines to effectively know when we are not using it properly. We could grade our tasks accordingly, in keeping our goals in mind.

Time management I believe besides being a system is an art that needs to be mastered.

Time makes your dreams* a reality


via GIPHY

I believe that when we use Time effectively we can help us lead a more fulfilling life. This is what I mean by Dreams i.e. Aspirations that take a form or reality in our lives.

Time utilised properly means doing tasks and paying attention to certain goals. Eventually they are achieved by going through a series of successes and failures. 

There is no magic here, but successful utilisation of a Powerful Resource. So in a sense Time is the only resource we must be thrifty about.

Time is Precious

I believe its a normal feeling to be reminiscing our childhood days. The fun we had in school. How simple life seemed when we were in school...But it would not be realistic to expect someone to turn back time.

This is how irreplaceable and precious time is. Instead of hoping and praying for the gift of bilocation, sensibly we can use Time Management. Doing one thing at a time properly and strategically to enjoy and achieve our goals successfully.

We must not think of Time Management as something we do alone, we hire and delegate others to help us achieve our goals. 

For example, If you want to a healthy diet. Consult a dietician and get a cook or recipe to have the necessary healthy meals required. Join a group of people who into weight loss and get the support required. 

Of course, This is just an example...But the thing is that Time Management doesn't need to be individualistic. 

Team up and be flexible. Being rigid in my experience has only made feel hopeless and eventually give up. Incorporating a bit of flexibility has helped a great deal.

Starting with Effective Time Management

I am sure there many good resources on Time Management, I plan to create a useful resource too (Would be available soon...Check this space soon!). But for now, I think we need to have good reasons for effectively implementing Time Management.

For starters, Time is a resource that we only have a limited quota of. For most of us we do not know how much. This is not that bad.

We must keep in mind that most of our goals and aspirations require time to achieve. Teaming up with people is an important aspect of being Effective Time Management.

Of course there are many other skills required. But I think focus on the right reasons are highly essential for effective Time Management.

One concrete way to start could be by Journaling your successes and failures to implement Time Management. 

Conclusion

So wrapping up, Reasons there are plenty, But focus on the important things can keep us grounded. I believe Time is too precious and each moment unique.

Right Thought and Effective Management always requires proper systems and structure, but focus on the reasons cannot be traded to be effective.

I would like to end this article with this powerful quote, 

Time is precious

I wish you the best of  health and fulfilling life. 

Please share and comment on this article with your valuable feedback.

Further Reading

Things not to do when things get difficult

Preparing a Gratitude Journal


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Staying at Home and ideas to kill boredom and make the best of your time

March 18, 2020

Life beyond Boredom

I don't mind living like a hermit for a long time. Just stuck at home. But for a lot of us it can be a challenge 😂. So how do we deal with this predicament as it can be boring and challenging for some of us.

Besides praying for the safety of our loved ones and ourselves included, this can be a great time to reflect on the things that can enhance our lives

I thought of some ideas to kill boredom and do something interesting.

Here are some ideas you could use:


Practicing Resourcefulness



  • Create a Blog
  • Learn video editing
  • Create your first Vlog
  • Watch some interesting TED talk videos
  • Write a business plan
  • Do some free courses online
  • Try some of the D.I.Y. recipes you see on Facebook
  • Pick up some culinary skills
  • Review videos on YouTube and post them
  • Share my articles & like my Facebook Page
  • Give positive feedback to people who made a difference in your life
  • Stay at home and meditate
  • Read books on Investments and Entrepreneurship
  • Play Indoor Games
  • Doodle and post them on Instagram
  • Clean your cupboards and tidy up your room
  • Do Binge watching (YouTube & Netflix)
  • Catch up on some conspiracy theories
  • Yoga
  • Listen to Music
  • Explore Reddit


To sum it up live the moment and Enjoy the Now. 

Update: Please be safe and practice social distancing. 

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A simple Plan and Powerful Personal Insights + Free Bonus Tip to fulfilling a New Year's resolution

January 16, 2020
Personal Insights and Steps to fulfilling your New Year's resolution



Planning and Doing it


Planning can be fun, but the implementation of it really sucks. I have had my share of difficulties planning and carrying them out. 

I think a lot of times rather than the process of planning the difficulty would lie for me in implementing the plan.

So one question would be how to plan...Like where to begin and what focus we need to keep. 

Today I shall deal with some of the questions related to planning and look at relevant areas to help us complete our resolutions and make this year a more fruitful year.


Getting confused solutions


So, before I begin let me tell you a story. Years back I was detected for high cholesterol. I got really worried about it. 

So I decided to reduce my weight. I started speaking to people about weight loss. 

But it soon dawned upon me that I was getting a lot of advice and most of it would contradict each other. This made me think how much of  what I learnt from people was right or even accurate. It was really difficult to discern right from wrong. 

I had to admit it to myself that I just did not know much about nutrition or weight loss. So I approached a professional. 

He planned my diet after doing to various tests. I followed it religiously. 


Losing & Gaining Weight...


The trigger for me to pursuing my New Year's resolution was a health issue I was trying to deal with. 

I needed a concrete solution and so the acceptance of my ignorance in dietetics and nutrition pushed me to getting professional advice.

Sometimes one of the reasons why we get discouraged and do not pursue our goals is lack of proper counsel and support.

You will not believe I lost a lot of weight and cholesterol too. In a months time results were very much visible. Within a year I had my health under control.

All these experiences really encouraged me. 


Some Personal Insights


This experience taught me a whole lot of things.

1. Accepting there is an issue:


Our goals are triggers (quite often) from the things we want to change or improve. So understanding the real issue can be quite a motivator

Just wanting an outcome can motivate one to a certain extent, but also understanding the underlying problem can be of real good help.

It can motivate us to deal with the issue with the right pace and focus.


2. Jack of all trades and mastering none:


Just having the realization that cursory knowledge is not enough can be a humbling experience. 

It can help one to see the importance of getting a mentor or an expert to deal with the problem. Self-help does not mean you have to do it alone.

Joining a community or getting in touch with a professional can be really useful.


3. Sticking to the plan:


I have realised looking back at some of the difficulties I faced while trying to get healthy, 
There was a whole lot of them and religiously being focused and not given up matters.

When you achieve your set goal, It feels really great and it can be life changing.

It builds in you a new confidence and energy. 

Following the plan to fulfill your Goals is worthwhile, so prepare a good plan and stick with it.


Free Bonus Tip


Modifying your plans and Changing course:


Sometimes it becomes necessary to adapt and change. This could be due to new information or feedback. 

Modifying plans should not be seen as abandoning your resolution nor as taking a tangent. It can be seen as a course correction.

Just like how a Rocket course corrects to reach a particular destination, we can do the same.

I believe it should be expected and one should be prepared for the same.

So before I let you go, let me end with this thought.


Insightful Quote on Goals

Don't make your goals just a wish

So don't just make wishes and build hope, Plan and implement it. 

Don't just plan and implement it, learn new ideas and get constant feedback. 

Don't pursue it alone get a mentor or guide, and also if possible join a community. 

But whatever you do believe in yourself and confidently move ahead.


Steps To Building a Simple Plan


 I would summarise my experience into the following Steps for Planning


Step 1:  Be clear about the Need you tackling

Uncover the Need that needs to be dealt with. Try concretizing it a few points or ideas that can be chunked together.


Step 2:  Understand how your Goals relates with the Need

Goals are like journeys that fulfill needs. So be clear and write it down.

Step 3:  Build a plan

Write down strategies and tactics you would be using in achieving those goals.

Step 4:  Consult your Mentor about your plans

Having relevant support and positive criticism can help. Please do not confuse criticism with people who are toxic or discourage you. Stay away from people who discourage you.

Step 5:  Be flexible and adaptable

The very nature of planning assumes changes and so we must include that as a part of our plan. 

We must be clear about the course we must take in case we encounter something very different from that we expected.

Step 6:  Get feedback and change course

While implementing our plans, we must constantly and a regular intervals seek feedback. 

This could be done by keeping targets or setting up a metrics to measure the effectiveness of the plan.


In Summary

A New Year is an opportunity to bring new hopes and aspirations to reality. Let us use to help ourselves and others too.

Please share this article and also your valuable feedback.

Please do join our Free FB community by clicking here

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Cool and Easy Techniques to hack your Self-brand by using simple Branding Techniques in life and work

December 08, 2019

Concretising abstract realities


As Humans, we try to understand information or things happening around us by using symbols or models. Primitive man would personify nature and give nature personal qualities. Thunder would be some kind of god and so on. As time passed, we began to mature and started modeling things and ideas. 

Definitions are very basic to understanding a concept. So with Personal branding, I shall attempt to do something similar. I won't be defining it myself, but I shall use the help of professionals.


Why Personality Development is not Personal Branding?


Personal Branding has been the interest of a lot of researchers. This is not confined to only Management or Marketing as one might imagine. It has also been the interest of a lot of academicians and Life Coaches too. 

A common error is confusing it with personality development. A good amount of Self-help books or we may say books related to Life skills can help us in this department. In my mind, the difference lies in the focus one takes. Personality development focuses on developing the man in the mirror or we may say the inner man, on the other hand, Personal Branding is concerned with marketing you. 

It is concerned with bringing out your strong points and USP and marketing it effectively. Studies on celebrities, professionals, and employees, in general, have brought clarity and better understanding in this area.

I would use both Personality development and Personal branding. I believe these are very important life skills for any Professional. So Let us define Personal Branding.


Defining Personal Branding


Personal Branding is applying marketing and branding concepts to an individual.
I believe this simple definition captures the essence of what is Personal Branding. 


Personal Branding...a vital pillar of any professional

One might ask, Why does one need Personal Branding? It is not important, etc. etc. Let me tell you why this concept is important to you, but also your career. 


I think it is important because it brings out the best in you and portrays effectively by setting you apart from the rest.

A Management researcher Mark Morgan calls it a vital pillar of any professional.


Steps to Personal Branding


With the growth of Social media and other avenues of Communication, There are different ways in which the individual communicates about himself and the work that he or she does. So having a tool to help strategize the way we are perceived and related can be really helpful and can be used as powerful leverage for growth personally and professionally.


Important note on Personal Branding


So how does one start, What are the steps to building an Effective Personal brand? Before I enlist these steps. Let me tell you that this field has evolved and shall evolve in the future. So I shall be noting strategies that are broad but can be applied with some wit and thinking effectively to different situations.


7 Steps to Personal Branding

  • Step 1: Understanding yourself

This is the first step towards branding, it is getting a better understanding of oneself. This would mean taking a self-audit and trying to dig deeper within to get a clear understanding of our nature or personality. You could do this, keeping in mind how you view yourself and how others see you. This is the first step towards your goal of Personal Branding.

  • Step 2: Evaluate the brand that you are

Unconsciously we all are creating a reputation or an image of ourselves in the mind of people. So eventually we are branding ourselves. So whether people understand you or misunderstand you. It is important to understand how they perceive you.

A simple step to begin the process would be doing a bit of research. You could start by asking your closing friends about your strengths and weaknesses. You could then evaluate them with your own responses to similar questions. This could be a good beginning to understanding how people perceive you as a brand.

  • Step 3: Develop a Brand mantra

Every successful company or personality has a short phrase or mantra that encapsulates the essence of its brand. 

You could start by trying to understand how you differ from other people in the industry (that you are employed in) or if you are a student, you could compare the points that differentiate you from other students.

You could also look at points of similarity between you and the rest. This will help you build a list of points of differentiation and similarity with others. Now put it all together and build a short phrase or around it. This is your Brand Mantra. Some might even call it the essence of the brand.

  • Step 4: Offline Branding

Now that you have a branding mantra, Let us move to the next step. 

In our daily lives, we interact with a lot of people. We communicate and speak to a lot of topics every day, maybe with words, the things we do, our gestures or maybe just the way we appear. All this builds an image of us in the minds of people. 

So with offline branding, we shall use these same points to our advantage. Keeping in mind our Branding mantra we shall coordinate ourselves accordingly. So this could be the design of our visiting cards, our appearance or even the way we greet people every day. We shall do these activities intentionally and thoughtfully. These will help you build a strong and effective reputation with the people you know and meet every day.

  • Step 5: Branding yourself online

Even if we do not realize it, our activities online and our digital life can play an important role in the process of personal branding. These could be the messages we forward on Social media or the comments we pass online. It all matters in the process of Personal Branding.

Our Digital Lives Play an important role 


So a Social media audit can be done online of all the social media platforms we use. After evaluating your interactions online, you could create a concrete strategy to help yourself in the process of brand building. Your image online and offline should synergize for it to be effective.

  • Step 6: Communicate the message of your brand

Now after you have created an online and offline branding strategy you need to implement it. I am not saying your execution will be perfect, but if you don't start it there will be no benefit. Another important thing is that Personal Branding is not about faking an image that is not you. The easiest and smartest way is to be yourself.

  • Step 7: Recieve Feedback

I believe feedback is highly essential to improve and perform better. So try getting regular feedback from people. This could be done by evaluating how things have improved for you after personal branding or even by asking people who are close to you. This feedback can then be used by you to improve your offline and online branding strategies.


Putting it all together

Branding has been used successfully by Celebrities, Politicians and influencers alike to build a brand out of themselves. Time for you to leverage your best and build a personal brand. 

This, of course, takes some effort but it is worth it and it has a lot of benefits. People begin to have a better impression of you, they could begin to trust you more or even perceive you thorough as a professional. 

Personal Branding is all about enhancing your strengths and communicating them effectively. It is not about creating a fake image or reputation of yourself.


Kind words on Personal Branding

Gary Vaynerchuck has some important ideas for helping you create a personal brand. He stresses the important understanding that whether one is a small or big brand, it is a brand. Another important aspect is to understand that a lot of times besides looking at your brochure or reading your resume, People just check you out online.

 Lastly, I think Gary stresses the difference between understanding the concept and applying it.


Check out the video below:



Some important Ideas by Gary Vaynerchuck

  • People read Google before reading your Resume.
  • Hello! Everybody is selling
  • It's the only thing you have
  • Even a small brand is important
  • It's okay to be yourself
  • Don't be stupid about the whole process
  • Application of the concept has its nuances

Summary

So here it is some ideas and techniques to actually use to create a Personal Brand. One might ask, Why do I want to create one. There are many reasons. Please share your reason in the comments section. We shall look into the benefits of Personal Branding in some other article in much more detail.

Ciao! Take care...

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Is Positive thinking always helpful? 5 Pitfalls you never knew to having a positive attitude

July 17, 2019
5 Pitfalls of positive thinking
What are the limitations of Positive thinking? Learn the Pros and Cons


Just be a bit more positive and things will change for you. You will achieve the stars and the moon in the sky. That's what it can be made to be by some people. Well, for some it is a better approach to approaching issues. I am talking about Positivity and Positive thinking. But one thing I learned from years of studying and learning, a lot of ideas have its limitations. In this article, I shall be exploring these negatives of Positivity,i.e. Positive Thinking. One of the best books I was asked to read was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. (I think for a lot of us thinking negative was like normal.) I must confess it has helped me. I was recommended by a friend's mother. The book has a lot of good ideas on how to be more positive.

But here are some ideas I believe could be limitations to Positive thinking.

List of Negatives of Positive Thinking

Ignoring the obvious

I think positive thinking can be really good, it is solution-oriented. It believes in seeing opportunities where others tend to see lack or no options. But there are limitations, one must not supplant rational thinking for make-belief (it mostly doesn't help) and can be harmful to oneself and others. So putting on a critical hat on should help us be more realistic and show us the inherent risk. I know it exposes us to a kind of uncertainty and ambiguity, but that thread of uncertainty called risk is present in any decision we make. So if positive thinking sees the cup half full, it won't magically produce the other half.

Ignoring risk can be quite risky most of the times. Calculated risks can prevent unwanted situations. I would recommend a great book to help you think clearly by Rolf Dobelli. The book is called The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli. This book introduces powerful concepts in a beautiful manner. Very Interesting and helpful book. So, Clear thinking and being open to ideas must accompany positivity.

Magical Thinking

Positive thinking should not be used as some kind of force or energy. It would be wrong to think that just being positive can change the course of things. I don't think most proponents claim that positive thinking changes reality. So pretending it attracts things etc., that it would be inherently wrong, at least a practical and rational level.

Our thinking must be tempered with either evidence or experience, If not both. Please check this article on Psychology today that explores Magical Thinking in more depth, click here. Magical thinking can push towards bad choices and couple with Positive thinking, it could result in self-deception.

Self Deception

Self-deception is another negative of being overly positive. Rather than a negative its mostly stretching positive thinking beyond the purpose, it was intended for. Positive thinking has really helped me and benefitted me a lot, So using it for the right purpose is very important.

Self-deception may be beneficial, but there are surely disadvantages. That is important to be aware of, it could result in ignoring important issues and can also result in self-harm ( in case there are any health issues involved). So care and temperance are vitally important. For more reading on this topic do check this book on deception for an in-depth view, Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception by Daniel Goleman. For more reading, check this article on Self Deception.

A wrong view of Reality

I think the most important thing is not having the right evaluation of reality. Some episodes in our lives can be really difficult and coping may be important. But it is important to live up to the right view of things. (that's my personal take...I know it can be painful) Critical thinking can really help.

Check this tutorial on critical thinking by Tutorialspoint, click here. Here is the wiki on Critical thinking, click here. I believe that a lack of critical thinking can create a lot of problems and thinking errors. I am not saying that all of us should go and become philosophers, but just learning a bit more can be interesting and fun. 

Some side effects you must consider...

Bad Thinking Habits:

It's my personal opinion that bad habit leads to bad consequences. Right thinking is an essential component of better living. So also over positivity, It should be tempered with critical thinking and some amount of realistic thinking too. All this is quite a mental exercise, but that's a good way to a better life.

Pointers to help on Practice Effective positivity:

Some quick pointers to Practice Effective positivity. Firstly eliminate magical thinking and false expectations. Secondly, understand that thinking is a choice and you are in control of your thoughts. It would be wrong to just be lead. Lastly, Be positive but do not mistake it for a silver bullet.

Conclusion

Positive thinking is a great approach to enhancing ourselves and our lives. Like many good ideas, it can be misused and should not be. Healthy rationalism and critical thinking can help us make better decisions.

I hope you liked this article. Please comment and share it, thank you.

Further Reading:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/creativity-and-personal-mastery/201004/why-positive-thinking-is-bad-you

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/O-zone/the-negatives-of-positive-thinking/

https://greatist.com/happiness/positive-thinking-negative-benefits

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

https://greatist.com/happiness/positive-thinking-negative-benefits

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7 Highly Effective Strategies to a Superb Presentation...Bring out the Motivator in you

May 28, 2019

Prepare yourself with these 7 Strategies to a Highly Effective Presentation


Speeches and Presentations


In India, we have just had a General Election and we have chosen the leader to guide us into the future. One very striking quality of Narendra Modiji, our Prime Minister-elect is that he is a very good orator and politician. He has a well-seasoned personality and captivating side to him, his presentation and thoughts are put forth quite clearly and succinctly.

I believe that a good presentation depends on various factors. They all combine to bring the message to the audience. Of course like anything else, practice and proper feedback will help you master it. That's the thing about skills regular practice and good feedback helps you succeed.

My Personal Experience and Boring Speeches

As an educator, I have been more into teaching young adults and presenting to people from the industry. It was quite an opportunity to deliver training at a School to students of Grade 4. I just used less lingo and adapted the topic to their needs. My delivery was quite similar to what I have been used to. I got good feedback and experience. Let me be clear, I am a good speaker but not the best. I strive every day to be better. Here are 7 highly effective strategies that I have noticed good Speakers use. One thing amazing about good Speeches they not only inform you but also have the ability to move you to action.

So Let me start with some of these powerful but simple ideas.

Use Pointers not paragraphs:

The first pointer for a good presentation is to use pointers and not paragraphs to explain your ideas. So a proper arrangement and planning are required. One should start with a goal and points that you would want an audience to understand. Please keep in mind the aim is not to Impress people but to share an idea or help people understand a concept (whatever it may be).

Every Presentation does not have to be on Powerpoint, it can also be explained using a whiteboard. So don't get fixated on using only one medium. If you're using a whiteboard mention the topic that you are presenting and then enlist the points while you are explaining them. The points must be legible and should be read clearly to the audience.

Tell a captivating story

I have also been through many very boring lectures and talks like anyone else. And to be honest I have delivered some boring ones too...Lol. It feels horrible. But I can tell you that a good story can get a lot of peoples attention and can get many points across. I don't think it is a coincidence that people like Buddha or Jesus used stories that explain complex ideas. So find a story that brings out the issue you are trying to explain.

If you are using a real-life example, try respecting people's privacy. You could change some information that could reveal a person's identity. Getting a person's consent would be essential and the right thing to do. So a good story would really make your presentation more interesting and more human as well.

Ask a good question

One thing I learn from life, and this is not just regarding presentations. Asking a good question is an art and a thought-provoking one can shed a light on a lot of points and also force the audience to think about the points you are bringing forth. So when asking question trying keeping it open-ended unless you want an immediate response like a show of hands etc. You could use questioning at the beginning of the presentation as well. It could help you in engaging the audience and also drive your point across to them.

Use an eye-catching statistic or  ear-grabbing headline

This one is a very common practice that is highly effective but must be used with caution. Some times there are chances that you have misunderstood the statistic. So thoroughly research the issue before firing one of those stats. If you are using a Newspaper Headline see that it is not a satire piece or fake news. By now you might have realized that good Speakers do a lot of hard work and it is not a walk in the park. I think it is quite a responsibility. But yes to my experience Statistic or Headlines can be quite an attention grabber.


Use an Inspiring quote

Inspiring quotes are very often inspiring and not just me people love hearing them too. But they shouldn't be cliched unless it is like an emergency. Maybe one could use it in a certain kind of circumstances. Quotes can be used in presentations and due credit should be given to the person you are quoting. Don't make someone else's words as your own, it would be plagiarism. Quotes can also be used to build a more interactive presentation where you could also ask questions to the audience and get their views. It would also get feedback to understand if the audience is understanding the points you want to get across to them.

Photos speak a thousand words

While giving presentations it is important to understand that all of the audience are not auditory learners and there are also visual learners. Actually, most of us have been primed to learn visually. So using relevant images would be really helpful. There are a lot of good resources online that are either paid and free photos. It is important to see that the photo used is relevant to the topic you want to discuss and that it supports the idea your presenting. Well, Do you think the image I used at the beginning of the article is relevant, do let me know in the comment section.

Use a prop or visual aid

People consume a lot of content these days. So adding a bit of theatre won't kill. You add some props to make your presentation interesting. You could use a simple chart you have prepared to a Print ad etc. You could prepare these props before you deliver the presentation.

People love a short video

Videos are used so often to convey ideas. You could you use one too. There is a lot of Video stock available online or also content on Youtube that can be used during your presentation. If a picture speaks a thousand videos, videos can do much more. So use them only when they are relevant and they can help you take your presentation to another level altogether.

Bonus one:

End Well and Practice:

I think this point is self-explanatory. But yes a good conclusion is what the audience is going to take home with them. You must reinforce the ideas you put forth at the beginning of the presentation with a summary of the proposed solutions.

Lastly, I believe, Like one of my Theatre mentors used to say, It is not about impression but expressing your ideas well. Practice, Practice and get good feedback is very important to a Superb Presentation. These are some powerful ideas. Please do share your experiences in the comment section with presentations. And also answer the question I mentioned in the article. Thanks

Ciao!


References:

Presentation Tips

Planning a Presentation

Effective Presentations

Giving a Killer Presentation


Credits: Article Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay
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