Archive for December, 2010
Georg L had sent this post to me a few months ago but we saved this for the new year! Here is wishing all the readers a fantastic 2011, may all your wishes come true. Georg’s blog will help you make the wishes and hopefully achieve them!
Over to Georg….
Coming home after a long day, dead tired, you drag yourself to the couch, and sigh … what did I actually do today? Question is, what did you set out to do today? Forget today… how many of us have set goals!
You may recall the story of Alice in Wonderland. Alice came to a fork in the road where the Cheshire Cat was sitting in a tree. She asked “What road do I take?” The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know”, Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?” Every day is full of decisions, small or big. From going either left or right, to planning the next career move. Without a clear goal … we will probably end up where we were going … nowhere!
Two boys are crossing a field. The first boy looks down to where he is walking, carefully putting one foot in front of the other, trying to walk a straight line. The other boy paces forward, with his eyes set on the other end of the field all the time. Who do you think walks the straightest line and reaches the other side fastest? We walk through life step by step. Do we know at all times where we are going, so we can set our eyes on it and give every step direction?
Leslie Householder in his book “The Jackrabbit Factor: Why You Can” argues that one must be able to visualize the success, and feel the success as though it is already achieved, before even beginning the journey. If the goal is in clear view, the actions needed to capture the prize will actually become instinctive. People are motivated by either fear or desire. What motivation will you get if the success you set out to achieve is so desirable, that it makes your heart pound when thinking of it! Will it give you enough energy to keep you focused and will it make you less receptive to distractions?
An important aspect of reaching the above state is NOT setting “I want to be happy goals”. You will forget yourself what happy is. Try this, instead of “I want to be healthier” set a goal to lose 2 cm off your waist line!
I have learned that a goal must be meaningful, specific and achievable. To make your big compelling goals achievable, you may want to break them down into smaller goals, so you can reach some success and satisfaction during the journey, and measure your progress. And please don’t forget, a goal is a dream with a date on it … set a date and make sure everybody knows about it.
My son Selwyn had set a goal to achieve the desirable rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America. For years he paddled through the rank achievements and merit badges, when it became time to do his Eagle project. He chose building a horse shelter for a horse rescue facility. Now he had to plan the project, raise the funds, get a team together and execute it. With his plan ready, for months he tried to get sponsors to fund the project, but it was not going well. And then … he made the best decision he could have made at that point. With barely 10% of the funds raised, he set the date for the project to start in two weeks. Panic! And focus! No more distractions. No more hesitation to walk into a store to ask for money. Just before the project start date he had all the funds together to pay for the project. See what miracles just setting a date brought about!
To achieve our goals, creating focus and drive to get the work done is most crucial! And guess what, most of the time it involves others. This is where the rubber hits the road … or doesn’t.
A few things that work are:
1. Set meaningful, specific and achievable goals, with a date on it.
2. Always think in terms of what benefits realization of the goal will have and communicate what’s in it for all involved. Create a burning desire!
3. Develop a plan to reach your goals, and communicate your expectations to all concerned. Here ,‘how’ is important. Saying I want to reduce 2 inches will not suffice. Saying that you want to stay off sweets makes that your spouse can ensure there are no chocolates in the fridge!
4. Communicate ready bite size; break reaching the big compelling goal into doable parts.
5. Measure and show progress on the way to achieving the main goal. Communicate and celebrate successes.
With the new year around the corner it is a great time to make your wish! And the above will hopefully help you achieve them. I am making mine and I promise I will work towards each one of them!
Here is to a fantastic 2011. Celebrate safely, don’t drink and drive!
It was a sight to see all the 6 -7 somethings hunched over their bey blades fighting it out with intensity unknown to adults. I kept flitting in and out, trying to ease my son’s entry to the group, looking over him until my wife pulled me aside saying “don’t kill him with your love, let him figure out how to manage it himself”! So true… that immediately reminded me of a friend with disability. She was half laughing narrating how people killed her with their love. They would stop by to assist her as she pushed her wheel chair, kept asking her to join the group and constantly infantalised her. For most of us – the ‘normal’ people, disability is an anomaly, a difference and we tend to assume that this difference is akin to sickness and helplessness. It is then human to have a childlike approach and love them like you love a baby. Just like a child cannot speak when he or she needs help, it is assumed that people on wheelchairs are dumb like kids and will not articulate when they need help! My friend would have rather preferred to roll along and do her own thing! She said the same thing “why are people killing me with their love – please leave me alone – I will ask for help if I want – I can speak!”
Isn’t that so true? in our eagerness to protect, to help or get things right we actually land up stifling people. The more I hover around…the more I facilitate – the more I am making my son dependant and not allowing him to learn how to manage his environment. Sure he will get hurt a bit, knocked around but isn’t that part of growing and picking valuable skills to manage his environment !
And for my friend with the disability she was probably better off without all the fussing. She just wanted to have a good time without being bothered. She was articulate and loud enough to ask for help if she wanted.
The same happens at work with overeager colleagues, managers and peers. The manager who insists on reviewing every presentation, sitting back late everytime…. The colleague who is so sugary sweet that you worry they will be diabetic
There are many versions of kill you with love. Some of us do it out of genuine concern, some of us do it because it makes us feel good, some of us overdo it to wash of our guilt for having ignored them- with a sense of Ah my good deed for the day is done!…But most of us do this out of ignorance. We really think we are doing the right actions but we are not! Remember the road to hell is paved with noble intentions.
Before you start chuffing and puffing and calling me a senseless fool asking people not to help others… Let me clarify we should all lend a helping hand, that is what makes us human. But do it with discretion and insure the receiver doesn’t feel patronized but helped! . For e.g. even a non-disabled person would struggle if he or she had too many bags while travelling, a person on a wheelchair would struggle even more and would need your help.
Go out and help people,but don’t smother them…causing them to suffocate due to overdose…It is a tough balance… we all get it right over time if we know when we are going overboard. For those of you feeling smothered – tell them what you want and what you don’t want. It is tough but who said life is fair!
Good luck and you can be nice to me by leaving your comments and I am ok if you kill me with your love