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5 Important Ideas that bleed strength to your New Year's Commitments

January 04, 2021

 

Tired of New Year's Resolution...Try Commitments


Before We Begin I would like to wish you a Blessed and Prosperous New Year. May joy, peace and good health embrace you and be with you.

You see over the years after many trials I decided commitments are more better than Resolutions. 

Resolutions are very neatly packaged and tightly fitted Goals that seem like a reasonable approach. But for me it was something that did not encourage forget motivate me.





It just reminded me of what I lacked, It was not positive. I have a tendency to be critical which is not bad. But taken to an extreme it can be a discouraging experience.

So this year I decided to adopt Commitments. These are areas of my life that need attention. 

These are like mini projects that can improve this journey called life and enhance it.

Check this list of Interesting Books for your interest, Click Here!

Realization and Key anchors

I realized that succeeding required anchors to help me move ahead. These anchors will keep me grounded to my goals and help me build concrete plans to be successful.

I listed the areas I want to succeed this year. The areas that need attention

The next thing I did was to divide these areas to separate projects.

Each project is related to the other one. For example, If you decided to get a promotion in your current job. You also wanted to reduce your weight. Though these may be separate projects. They have a relations to each other.

Lastly do not keep a huge list. [full-width]

Now do not try to solve these problems like they are resolutions. Do not jump on them and just strike them of your list.

These are areas you have kept as commitments. So if you want to lose some weight. Don't just diet and get it over with. Try changing your lifestyle and let that get you healthy.

Similarly with other goals.

Save your self from Courses that are short of a Scam, Read here

In Conclusion


This 5 Ideas are simple that would help you build 2021 as a fulfilling and blessed year.

There are a lot of things we cannot change but there are some that we can build and shape to help us have a better tomorrow.

Would love to leave you with this simple thought, Remember your goals, they are commitments and not just resolutions.

Further Reading








Resolutions are meant to be broken, but commitments can be kept. We don't need to be perfect along the way. But we can...

Posted by Chris Educator on Monday, 4 January 2021

3 Things to Remember when the unplanned becomes your plan

December 21, 2020

 

Life Happens, but we can have plans


As an Educator, especially a Management educator I always heard students whine about the fact that they had to learn theory. 

It was like isn't practicality the only thing necessary in a business. It was an obvious thing to them. But the way I saw it was quite different. 

In business and in life every challenge thrown at us seem fresh and each problem may not even be similar to the previous one. How does one deal with that? 

In some cases even what we have learnt and experienced may fall short. Is there some kind of formula or method to get these kind of issues dealt with. I would there could be ways to approach unplanned 'plans'. 

We all know that things change, so we prepare for dynamic situations. As an Educator, I believe this is exactly where theoretical knowledge can be relevant. 

Check this post I wrote on dealing with uncertainty.

It helps us stay abreast with we know, and new issues or situations don't need to be tragic(I don't intend to diminish anyone's experience). It could be learning experiences where have tools to approach new problems.

They could be situations where we learn about new approaches or create our own approach. Let us relate it with a situation. Let's say your are new to Digital Marketing, and you found out it was a powerful tool to help you build your business.

You could hire someone or may be learn it yourself. Now just because you did a course in Digital Marketing would it mean that you would be taught about every situation or case that you would face, Not at all. 

You would expect the course to have sufficient information of the body of knowledge in the field. This would give you the required tools and information to learn and build up good experience in the field.

Interesting ideas to motivate yourself

So the first point I would like to put forth is the idea that you are equipped with resources to help you understand the problem. 

These resources could be in the form of information, people and even groups of people. We don't need to approach situations like we are unequipped and we are helpless. It would wrong thinking, because we already have what we need to deal with the situation.

It is not a requirement that we should be able to solve every problem or matter in our lives or business without help. As obvious as this may seem, we don't remind ourselves about it.

'You are equipped with resources to deal with your problems."

The other day I had forwarded this particular post from Justin Bieber's FB page. I found it really interesting.

The post was that we are more than our professions or actions. This what I understood from it. A friend of mine was really confused. He couldn't wrapping his head around the fact that we don't need to identify ourselves with our professions.

I think sometimes we can narrow our identities or stories we tell ourselves about 'Who we are' to a limited set of propositions.

I believe we are created unique and special with a God given purpose. Before giving others the right to recognize our contributions to making the world a better place, we reflect and appreciate the good in ourselves.

I think this is where journaling or self reflection can be really valuable. Appreciating yourself can be useful. 

I think this can be a really powerful concept, one in which we don't what we do for the love of it and with the best we can.

"You are more than your profession, appreciate yourself."


This is the last and obvious point, But I need to reiterate it. We hear it over and over again.
But it is something people misjudge and don't expect. They say they do (and they are ready for it great). 

I am talking about 'Failure'. How does one define it? Does your definition change with your feelings and emotions. 

Does it really give a moment to learn and opportunity to try something new? Or is it a line we tell ourselves?

Quitting is not easy, But may be we need to understand our so called failures and learn. Maybe they could help us understand certain aspects of reality that may be we are missing.

"We need to take time to understand the moments we fail at something."


Plans are as important as the goals we make. Expecting things to go wrong should also be a part of our plans.

Adding a certain level of flexibility may be required to deal with new situations or new information.

This should not be discouraging. It can also be a moment where we learn something new. 

This can be a learning experience for yourself and others.

I hope this Blog finds you in the best of health. Wish you Happy Holidays ! 

May the new year bring us all a lot of love and good health.

Further Reading:

Blogging Sites that inspire me

Chris Educator's Guide to Awareness

Journaling beats Stress

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Incredible Power of Self Learning, 10 Steps to Become an Effective Self Learner

December 09, 2020

 

Powerful ideas to be an Effective Self Learner


Introduction

Change is a scary word and one loaded with surprises. We don't know about the twists and turns life can throw at us. But Change always remains our constant companion.

Recently I came across a person from a New religious movement or as some may call a 'Cult'. I was able to treat the person with respect and educate him whilst hearing him. It was a very interesting interaction.

I have been a self-learner for a very long time. It has helped me tremendously, not just professionally or with self-development but also with making good choices in Life.


What is Self Learning?

Self Learning is also called as 'Autodidactism

 

Self Learning is when a learner teaches him/her/zer self to learn a body of knowledge, without a Teacher, Master or an Institution.

It is also called as Autodidactism. Quite a heavy word to learn. I am sure most of may not realise but at some point, we all have been Autodidacts or as we may say Self Taught.

Isn't it really Awesome? To Learn by yourself, Just having your curiosity lead you and Trial & Error be a guide. Can it be heartbreaking, yes it can be.

I personally love studying world religions and different worldviews. It's just a hobby, exploring tough questions can be eye-opening and difficult but transformative at the same time. Sometimes one can misunderstand the information we are reading.

That is where online communities are kind of helpful, but not a good replacement for a Good Teacher.

Personally speaking, I love Self Learning with all the joy and pain that comes with it.


Power of the Internet (and some Consequences)

Internet is powerful for Learning


Over the years, there has been a lot of purposeful disinformation. This can be really dangerous. It can take us on a rabbit trail to a place we don't want to be.

I must say healthy scepticism and critical thinking can really be useful. So one place topic to begin learning or taking a course is on Critical thinking and logic.

Over the years, there has been a lot of purposeful disinformation.

The internet is a powerful tool, but the disinformation part of it besides the many avenues to time-wasting can be quite detrimental.

I would like to repeat the cliché, 'Don't believe everything you read on the internet'. But that is not to say that there are no good or great resources available online.

There are many. I have listed some of them on the Resources page on this website.

So what are some consequences we may face from learning the wrong information? Firstly, it will give us a wrong view on things and in some cases even lead us to bad decisions.


How to Start Self Learning?


So How does one begin teaching oneself? I would say it begins with passion. The next required is a healthy sense of enquiry.

Yes, there are many quick to learn guides and resources available online. Are they good? I would maybe or yes, it depends on the course or book and the topic.

But the way to decide could be by first doing a little bit of research into the topic you want to learn. Then maybe after reading a few articles or books getting deeper into the subject.

Note making is something that could really be useful. I have listed some keys pointers to help effectively Teach yourself.


10 Steps to Effective Learning

Create a Plan to Learn


  1. Scan the topic and related topics: Before you commit to learning something new, read a bit about it. Find related topics and get a basic understanding of the topic.
  2. Do a bit of enquiry: Enquiry is like a shorter version of research. It doesn't need to be professional, but it could be thorough. You could find material related to the subject and try to understand a bit more about it. You will be able to understand the gaps in your knowledge and skills you would need to learn the subject.
  3. Understand your motives before you commit: Remember time is a limited resource. Understand your motives behind learning the subject and how it is relevant to you.
  4. Take Action: Start learning, do what you planned. 
  5. Commit Time: It can get interesting initially and if you do not commit time, it could be a fad that fades away. Don't make it a fad, get serious, commit time to your new Learning project.
  6. Take Notes: I think this is one of the most important skills to learn as a learner. Recording and systematically learning a subject. Note making is a very important skill for any good learner.
  7. Revise your learnings: Take time to evaluate what you learned. Reflect on it and probably do a short project or maybe write an article on it. 
  8. Find a good group or online forum: It's priceless to join a community of like-minded individuals. It motivates you and gives a forum to discuss what you are learning. You could even share what you learned.
  9. Find a good mentor: Find someone who has mastered the subject you are learning. It is very helpful and it could help you get a deeper understanding of various aspects of the topic you are studying.
  10. Read articles or whitepapers published on the topic: Keep yourself updated on the latest research and case studies on the topic you are studying.

Conclusion

I would say learning is life and all of us at some point need to understand the gaps in our understanding. This is only possible if we evaluate ourselves and begin the process of learning.

Learning does not end at a course or with professional Education. It is an ongoing process, it is transformative to learn and share ideas with people

Share your ideas and this article with people if you found this post interesting.

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Ponder Point - The Cost of Being too Nice

September 26, 2019

The Cost of Being too Nice


Difficulties of Being Too Nice

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

I was just speaking to a Customer Service Executive the other day, the person was hardly audible.

I assume he was just shy or maybe not trying to shout on the microphone. But I wasn't able to hear him, He wasn't audible. I didn't want to shout him down and kill his confidence.

 I pursued the conversation. I was terminating their service and they wanted references. Now imagine, doing a referral call and not firmly asking the customer for referrals. It's a pretty awkward situation, I was able to empathize with him.

 A lot of time it is wrong ideas and our perception that hold us back from self-actualization.

So I decided to help him out. I got my headset plugged it into my mobile phone and spoke to him.

I encouraged him to get close to the microphone on his headset and request clearly. I didn't end up giving him referrals, but I helped him speak clearly. I spared myself the guilt of not helping a learner.

The 24/7 Educator

Teaching, Mentoring & Building People


As an Educator, We have to push ourselves to go beyond being nice and try exploring avenues to guide people. For me, everybody is in sales, and philosophy and in business. 

Not being nice, doesn't mean being ruthless. So when you philosophise it's okay to not be nice and share the truth of your message. But being ruthless is not the other option. 

We can learn to use our words and gestures carefully, we can choose to build people.

It's a different matter if you find people unworthy and ungrateful. 

Practice Gratefulness whenever necessary and without expectations.

In Short, Be Nice.

So let us look at some of the Negatives of being too Nice 

Check out this article on

How to write a Gratitude Journal?


Negatives of being too Nice 

Negatives of Being Too Nice: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

1. Less Valued:

It's right to be Nice and a lot of us have been brought up to be kind and thoughtful of others. But we have also been taught to speak our minds and stand for what is right. 

Conveniently ignoring the latter and only pursuing the former selectively is hypocritical. 

That's a problem, In the pursuit of Pleasing others we forget some of our values. 

Quite interesting, How we can be selective in being nice. We mostly overlook this aspect.

2. People won't be there for you:

Situational Outcast

Expecting everyone to be like you and share the same values is perceiving the world incorrectly. 

Of course, As humans, we do share a lot in common.

People have different values, worldviews, and ethical systems. Just being agreeable and too nice is overlooking a lot. It's okay to disagree and if people don't share your values, it's fine. 

Some people may not reciprocate the same goodness and this is where being very nice gets you into a lot of trouble. 

We start expecting others to be the same, and they may not think it important to help you (when you need them). 

So it is important to have relationships but they should be ones where we allow mutual benefit and self-growth to thrive. 

We should avoid toxic relationships, where we are just sponged on and taken advantage of.

3. Impossibility of pleasing everybody

Let's imagine the idea of pleasing everybody, It's so daunting. 

My Goodness think about it, you have to please everybody you know and imagine what a waste of time. (You would be surprised, just how many take you for granted or don't even acknowledge the goodness)

An additional negative aspect of this is that we don't leave open the opportunity for people to move ahead. 

It obligates them (Some may perceive) because we have more chips of goodness over them.

4. Lack of Assertiveness & its ill effects

A very important thing to realize is that maybe we are not that assertive. 

So it can be a great opportunity to realize that and practice assertiveness. We can also start building healthy friendships.

5. Wrong Perception of the World

Lastly, I believe it stems from a wrong perception of things especially the world around us. 

As we have seen, earlier people have different values and agenda, being nice to everybody may not be the best strategy. So we need something better and healthier. 

So the next question that comes to our minds is 'What to do next?'

But before we go ahead on being Truly nice. Let us consider some disadvantages, quickly.

Some Disadvantages of Being Too Nice

Disadvantages of Being Nice: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

1. Losing Social Capital

It's less beneficial as the individual does not take healthy advantage of his / her efforts of caring for others. Thus reducing his social capital.

2. Losing the Benefits of Being Assertive

Being Assertive has its benefits, For example, We have the benefit of refusing choices that we don't want to pursue. This helps in increasing our confidence and also indirectly building our public image.

3. Lowering your Personal Brand Value

People tend to perceive us badly, Personal Branding like branding is all about perception. Being overly Nice rather than genuine and assertive can hamper one's reputation and thus lower one's Brand Value.

4. Lacking the ability to provide genuine help

Lastly, It prevents healthy and genuine help. Thus making helping others only becomes a matter of gaining brownie points.

Let's See how to stop being Nice and Be Genuine

Being Genuine: Image by Caique Silva Fotografo from Pixabay 

Understanding your identity

Identity plays a key role in how we view ourselves and understand others. We need to look at ourselves and understand that the external me is not the person inside. 

We need to see and understand who we are and what we are doing. We need to understand our values and know ourselves better. 

This will give us a better ground to build self-confidence and take steps boldly, Confident in ourselves and our values.

Building your EQ

It is a very good thing that modern education in schools makes an effort to build a person's emotional life. 

We must not fool ourselves into thinking that it is only our knowledge or expertise that makes us who we are. I believe it is much more than that. 

We are much more than who we think we are. Our emotions and emotional life matter, so do that of the people around us.

But just pandering to people and trying to please everybody is tragic, strategically and personally. It completely lacks wisdom.

Cultivating Healthy Friendships

Healthy & Positive Friendships

In this day of Social Media, we think a longer friend list matters. I must tell it is far from being true. I am not saying don't connect with old acquaintances and good old friends.

 But I think it is wise to invest in a healthy support system of a limited number of friends and extended family members.

I believe rather than pleasing everybody, It is okay to piss some people off.

Joy of Assertiveness

I came across this idea of being assertive during my Graduate day. A friend of mine had shared with me a book on Assertiveness. Ever since then, I have been practicing it. It is very magical. 

As an Educator, It would be rather difficult to please than everybody (all the time). Imagine the joy of setting rules that can create a learning environment and a rapt audience in your classroom ( It's simply priceless). 

As an Educator, it is essential to set certain rules or a framework for discipline. Assertiveness helps in building a culture of learning in the classroom. It is also very effective in personal life too. 

Does it irritate some people,? You bet it does. But as I said it earlier, it joyfully fine. :)

Purpose of True Niceness

The purpose of being Truly Nice is to be genuine and build yourself while helping others. This I think is the basic purpose of being Genuinely nice.

Concluding Thoughts

As an Educator and a student of Self Growth, I believe it is wise to be genuine and assertive. It pays to invest in friends and family that understand and value you. Seeking popularity to replace genuine relationships can often be an empty pursuit.

Wish you Happy Learning and meet you in the next Blog Post. Ciao!

Further Reading

Personal Identity: A Quiz with an informative article on Personal Identity

Importance of Daily Efforts: A Quote on the importance of Daily Steps

What is Emotional Intelligence?



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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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