Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small Does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, As children do. We were born to make manifest The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.
I developed my keen interest in playing various board games such as Scrabble,Monopoly and Chess after watching the Akeelah and the Bee Movie.
Our deepest fear quote is originally from Marianne Williamson, I agree profoundly with the statement.
Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them. – John Wooden
We give ourselves various excuses/reasons and we talk ourselves out from achieving our greatness by saying things like : I am too young, I am too old, I am too skinny, I am too fat, I am too dark, I am too this I am too that.
General Douglas MacArthur once said,
“Youth is not entirely a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals.… You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
We all have it in us like the Marianne Williamson quote emphasized:
Your playing small Does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We all have greatness in us and it is ok to doubt ourselves once in a while but Doubting yourself continuously would lead to despair and loss of confidence to do whatever you have been put here to do. The key to unleashing your greatness is by acting on your goals and apirations, taking it a step at a time.
There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction. – John F. Kennedy
As John C. Maxwell emphasized in his Book,Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: “If you begin a task with certainties, you will probably end in doubts. But if you are willing to begin with doubts, you will likely end in certainties.”
Doubt is necessary not a bad thing, it is a sign that you are human. Letting your fear debilitate you would only lead to procrastination and inaction. As American Congregationalist clergyman Henry Ward Beecher asserted : “Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.”
American Author Zig Ziglar is credited with saying: “You don’t have to be great to start , but you have to start to be great.” That is so true as we repeatedly give ourselves the permission to be great, the more we would be able to unleash our greatness and potential.
And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.
Stop Doubting your Greatness!!! You’ve got this, you are closer than you think. All the best in your quest to get better, Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
Like Murphy observed, whatever would wrong will always go wrong. It is not that things would go wrong, the most important thing is that you do not go wrong with things. There is a lot of anxiety, hysteria, worry around the world with the COV-ID 19 pandemic but in times like this we all need to say the Serenity Prayer and live by it:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
It is normal in trying times like this to worry for the future but the thing about the future is that ??????
Here are some of the most inspirational quotes on anxiety and worry:
Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.– Robert Eliot
Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.– Mary Hemingway
Action is the antidote to worry – Do something about what you are worrying about.
If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.– E. Joseph Cossman
Most of them never happened.
Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere– Erma Bombeck
Focus on what you can control.
If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.– Dale Carnegie
This too shall Pass.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.― Corrie Ten Boom
It is draining, use that energy for something more productive.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. – Elbert Hubbard
Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.― Carl Jung
In the book, Atomic Habits by Author James Clear shares the step-by-step plan for building better habits, why tiny atomic changes can make a big difference in forming good and breaking bad habits. The book is rich with insights, examples, anecdotes and real life scenarios which is easy to connect with.
The book expands on the concepts earlier shared by Charles Duhigg, in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Atomic Habits are tiny changes with marginal gains, 1% improvement, tiny incremental changes which if sustained to for a long period of time leads to significant changes.
Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement. At first, these tiny routines seem insignificant, but soon they build on each other and fuel bigger wins that multiply to a degree that far outweighs the cost of their initial investment.
premise of the book is that small incremental changes lead to long term result.
Here are some the ways have been using the atomic habits to enhance my
Leaving my phone in another room for maximum productivity.
Here are my Favourite take aways from reading Atomic Habits:
The process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.
Cue : The cue triggers your brain to initiate a behavior. It is a bit of information that predicts a reward.
Craving: They are the motivational force behind every habit. Without some level of motivation or desire—without craving a change—we have no reason to act”
Response: The response is the actual habit you perform, which can take the form of a thought or an action. Whether a response occurs depends on how motivated you are and how much friction is associated with the behavior.
Reward: Rewards are the end goal of every habit. The cue is about noticing the reward. The craving is about wanting the reward. The response is about obtaining the reward. We chase rewards because they serve two purposes: (1) they satisfy us and (2) they teach us.
If a behavior is insufficient in any of the four stages, it will not become a habit.
Eliminate the cue and your habit will never start.
Reduce the craving and you won’t experience enough motivation to act.
Make the behavior difficult and you won’t be able to do it. And if the reward fails to satisfy your desire, then you’ll have no reason to do it again in the future.
Without the first three steps, a behavior will not occur. Without all four, a behavior will not be repeated.”
How to Create a Good Habit
The 1st law (Cue): Make it obvious.
The 2nd law (Craving): Make it attractive.
The 3rd law (Response): Make it easy.
The 4th law (Reward): Make it satisfying
How to Break a Bad Habit
Inversion of the 1st law (Cue): Make it invisible.
Inversion of the 2nd law (Craving): Make it unattractive.
Inversion of the 3rd law (Response): Make it difficult.
Inversion of the 4th law (Reward): Make it unsatisfying.
intention, which is a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act.
That is, how you intend to implement a particular habit.
When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.
I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
I will exercise for one hour at 5 p.m. in my local gym.
I will study Spanish for twenty minutes at 6 p.m. in my bedroom.
When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behavior to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.
Habit stacking is a special form of an implementation intention. Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit.
stacking formula is:
[CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].
After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout
The aggregation of marginal gains – 1% Improvement
Making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over the span of moments that make up a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be. Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.
can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven
times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse
each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a
small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.
1% BETTER EVERY DAY
1% worse every day for one year. 0.99365 = 00.03
1% better every day for one year. 1.01365 = 37.78
Valley of Disappointment
moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the
potential required to unleash a major change. This pattern shows up everywhere.
Cancer spends 80 percent of its life undetectable, then takes over the body in months.
Bamboo can barely be seen for the first five years as it builds extensive root systems underground before exploding ninety feet into the air within six weeks.”
habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold
and unlock a new level of performance. In the early and middle stages of any
quest, there is often a Valley of Disappointment.
You expect to make progress in a linear fashion and it’s frustrating how ineffective changes can seem during the first days, weeks, and even months. It doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes are delayed.
Goal Less Thinking
True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems.
Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement. We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem.
What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.
Building Identity Based Habits
Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
behavior change is identity change. You might start a habit because of
motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part
of your identity.
can convince themselves to visit the gym or eat healthy once or twice, but if
you don’t shift the belief behind the behavior, then it is hard to stick with
long-term changes. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of
who you are.
The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.
The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.
Your behaviours are usually a reflection of your identity. What you do is an indication of the type of person you believe that you are—either consciously or unconsciously..
New identities require new evidence. It is a simple two-step process:
Decide the type of person you want to be.
Prove it to yourself with small wins.
Forming or Breaking a bad habit can be very hard but putting the systems highlighted in the book such as Implementation Intention, Goal Less Thinking, Identity Based Habit, Habit Stacking etc can go a long way in helping you form or break a habit.
All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills
Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.
― Jim Rohn
Failure isn’t so bad if it doesn’t attack the heart.
Success is all right if it doesn’t go to the head.—GRANTLAND RICE
I learn more through my failures than my successes and preparing for an Information Technology Certification is one of the most exciting ways to fail forward. It is very exhilarating with its twists and turns, scenario based questions, certification and re-certification, study guides, online video tutorials (Linkedin Learning, Pluralsight, Udemy,), braindumps, online forums, blogs, official certification blog etc.
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. – Bill Gates
The list of materials and the time involved in preparing for these exams is like life itself, you put in your all but you are not promised anything. Failing an exam is like not figuring anything out the first time is very painful but you have to keep pushing and not take it personal.
There is no doubt in my mind that there are many ways to be a winner, but there is really only one way to be a loser and that is to fail and not look beyond the failure.—KYLE ROTE JR.”
What keeps me going is my WHY? Why am I writing the exams in the first place? Would it matter in the next 5 years? Maybe? Maybe Not?
Some exams you pass on the first try, others on the third try. What matters is the zeal to achieve your goal and not get discouraged because you failed an exam.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
CS0-001 | CompTIA CySA+ Certification | June 1st 2019
SY0-501 | CompTIA Security+ Certification | May 25th 2018
220-901 | CompTIA A+ Certification | March 4th 2017
220-902 | CompTIA A+ Certification | April 8th 2017
People are training for success when they should be training for failure. Failure is far more common than success; poverty is more prevalent than wealth; and disappointment more normal than arrival.—J.WALLACE HAMILTON
N10-006 | CompTIA Network+ Certification | July 1st 2017
CV0-002 | CompTIA Cloud+ Certification } January 19 2019
The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake.—NELSON BOSWELL
SPLK-1001 | Splunk Core Certified User | December 28th 2019
A failure is a man who blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience.—ELBERT HUBBARD”
SPLK-1001 | Splunk Core Certified User | July 20th 2019
SPLK-1001 | Splunk Core Certified User | August 3rd 2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
CLF-C01 | AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner | February 24th 2020
To succeed, you have to be open to problems. You have to be open to failure. And as you go up the ladder, you gain the right to get more problems.—DAVE ANDERSON
ISC2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner | September 7th 2019
I will be writing a couple of IT certification exams in the coming months and this post is my scorecard/failure card as there would be some more stumbling on my way to the zenith. The goal is to keep pushing no matter what and not give up.
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
I have been experimenting with a digital detox/minimalism for the past 6 years since 2013 but I became more deliberate with it since February 2018. I have not used the following Apps personally since February 2018 but I still manage some project related social media accounts
I am presently using only two apps sparingly and am always looking for aways to limit my use of these apps and it is a constant battle of will and discipline.
Linkedin – The only app that still has my attention Whatsapp – I try to install once to thrice a week and delete immediately after using it to make international calls/replies – it seems cheaper.
In my bid to lessen my use of Whatsapp, Linkedin and my Email Accounts. I have found the following Strategies/Tools/Apps to be helpful in getting my precious time back in the age of social media:
1. Delete the Apps from you Mobile Phone
One of the ways have been able to stick to my digital minimalist goal is to delete all social media/non-essential apps from my phone.
I only have the Apple Podcast App, Uber App and City Mapper on my Phone. I am not tempted to check social media apps and endlessly scroll through my phone. I only visit the apps on my laptop as I am more disciplined and can stop at will on my laptop.
2. Screen Time
With Screen Time, you can access real-time reports about how much time you spend on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and set limits for what you want to manage.
Screen Time lets you know how much time you and your kids spend on apps, websites, and more. This way, you can make more informed decisions about how you use your devices, and set limits.
How to turn on Screen Time on your Apple Gadgets
Go to Settings > Screen Time.
Tap Turn On Screen Time.
Select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device].
Cool Features of the Screen Time:
Downtime – Nap App Limits – Set daily limit for Apps Communication Limits – Control who your children can communicate with Always Allowed – Always use an App such as Navigation App Content & Privacy Restrictions
RescueTime is a productivity app that keeps track of the time you spend in different applications and websites. It helps knowledge workers understand their time and manage the constant distractions of the modern workplace so that they can do their most important work.
One of my favourite feature of the Rescue Time App is Focus Time – which also shows a very nice quote on time management, procrastination etc. Very cool Tool.
FocusTime is an intelligent distraction blocker that helps you take back control of your focus when you need it by automatically blocking distracting websites and muting other interruptions.
Quitter is a Mac app that automatically hides or quits apps after periods of inactivity, inspired by my Automatic Social Discipline method. It’s great for minimizing distraction from social apps like Twitter and Slack, news readers, or even your email app.
It can be very tempting to not be using social media Apps as much as you want to use it but when you come to think of it:
What are you really doing this for? Would this apps matter in the next 10 years? Remember MySpace, Hi5. 2go, Blackberry Messenger What are you really missing out on? Fear of Missing Out? Are you really missing out?
Re-ordering your priorities and knowing why you are here, makes a load of difference and finally, remembering you are going to DIE sooner than later helps with re-ordering our priorities. We all come to this realizations differently, especially our mortality (Some of us it takes losing a special friend, a cousin, a parent, a sibling while some of us it takes experiencing a life threatening illness).
When we re-order our priorities and get a different perspective to life and the purpose of our existence here, we begin to have a wider worldview, expanding our vision & Standards. The way we use our time begins to change and we would have less time to caring about Likes, Retweets and social validation amplified by this social media apps.
This apps are very great for a whole load of reasons such as :
Communication But of the 1,000+ friends you have on Facebook or numerous followers on Twitter. How many of your virtual friends can you recognize in person?
Connection But are we really connected to our virtual friends as we want to? Can you call them when the chips are down?
Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning. – John Henry Newman
The time i recover from using less social media and all other low-priority activities have been invested on other activities which I find more fulfilling such as :
The book explores the psychology of recovery and the challenges of regaining confidence and rediscovering joy. Option B shares Insights on facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.- Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl
Here are some of my favourite take-aways from reading Option B:
The 3 Ps of Recovery
We plant the seeds of resilience in the ways we process negative events. After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery:
(1) personalization—the belief that we are at
(2) pervasiveness—the belief that an
event will affect all areas of our life; and
(3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever”
“Hundreds of studies have shown that children and adults recover more quickly when they realize that hardships aren’t entirely their fault, don’t affect every aspect of their lives, and won’t follow them everywhere forever. Recognizing that negative events aren’t personal, pervasive, or permanent makes people less likely to get depressed and better able to cope”
“A day of joy is fifteen minutes. A day of pain is fifteen years,” he said. “No one pretends this is easy, but the job of life is to make those fifteen minutes into fifteen years and those fifteen years into fifteen minutes.” – Larry Brilliant said while he was consoling Sheryl on Daves’ Death
The Non-Question-Asking Friend,
Non-Question-Asking Friend, who never,
ever, ever asks you anything about your life.” Sometimes these friends are
self-absorbed. Sometimes they’re just uncomfortable having intimate
“When you’re faced with tragedy, you usually find that you’re no longer surrounded by people—you’re surrounded by platitudes. So what do we offer instead of ‘everything happens for a reason’?” asks writer Tim Lawrence. He suggests that “the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. To literally say the words: I acknowledge your pain. I’m here with you.”
The Platinum Rule
Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated. But when someone is suffering, instead of following the Golden Rule, we need to follow the :
Platinum Rule: treat others as they want to be treated. Take a cue from the person in distress and respond with understanding—or better yet, action.”
When we hear that someone we care about has lost a job, started chemo, or is going through a divorce, our first impulse is usually “I should reach out.” Then right after that impulse doubts often flood our mind.
“What if I say the wrong thing?” – Say it anyways “What if talking about it makes her feel self-conscious?” – Be there for them anyways “What if I’m overstepping?” – Let them tell you that.
“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends”
Once raised, these doubts are followed by excuses like “He has so many friends and we’re not that close.” Or “She must be so busy. I don’t want to bother her.” We put off calling or offering help until we feel guilty that we didn’t do it sooner…and then it feels too late.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller
Psychologist Kristin Neff describes self-compassion as offering the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to a friend. It allows us to respond to our own errors with concern and understanding rather than criticism and shame.
Self-compassion comes from recognizing that our imperfections are part of being human. Those who can tap into it recover from hardship faster.
Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that life can only be understood backward but it must be lived forward. Journaling helped me make sense of the past and rebuild my self-confidence to navigate the present and future,
“ Journaling helped me process my overwhelming feelings and my all-too-many regrets.”
“Let me fall if I must fall. The one I become will catch me.”
Finding greater meaning in life—a stronger sense of purpose rooted in a belief that one’s existence has significance. In Viktor Frankl’s words:
“In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”
does not always leave us appreciating the people in our lives. Trauma can make
us wary of others and have lasting negative effects on our ability to form
survivors of sexual abuse and assault report that their beliefs about the
goodness of others remain shattered and they have difficulty trusting people.
After losing a child, parents often have a harder time getting along with
relatives and neighbors.
After losing a spouse, it’s common for people to argue more with friends and feel insulted by them. But tragedy can also motivate people to develop new and deeper relationships.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca
Peace is joy at rest. Joy is peace on its feet.” ― Anne Lamott.
Taking Back Joy
A life chasing pleasure without meaning is an aimless existence. Yet a meaningful life without joy is a depressing one.
“Survivor guilt is a thief of joy—yet another secondary loss from death. When people lose a loved one, they are not just wracked with grief but also with remorse. It’s another personalization trap: “Why am I the one who is still alive?” Even after acute grief is gone, the guilt remains. “I didn’t spend enough time with him.”
“Part of every misery,” C. S. Lewis wrote, is “misery’s shadow…the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer.”
And death isn’t the only kind of loss that triggers guilt. When a company lays off employees, those who keep their jobs often struggle with survivor guilt. The thought process begins with “It should’ve been me.” This is followed by gratitude—“I’m glad it wasn’t me”—which is quickly washed away by shame: “I’m a bad person for feeling happy when my friends lost their jobs.”
Paying attention to moments of joy takes effort because we are wired to focus on the negatives more than the positives. Bad events tend to have a stronger effect on us than good events.
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.—ALBERT CAMUS
No matter what we are going through in life, it has not come to stay. This too shall pass, as Les Brown would say “until you handle it with grace, it will stay in your face.”
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
“A fractured team is just like a broken arm or leg; fixing it is always painful, and sometimes you have to rebreak it to make it heal correctly. And the rebreak hurts a lot more than the initial break, because you have to do it on purpose.”
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics, cohesion and team failure. The book details many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to “grow together”.
According to the book, organizations fail to achieve teamwork because they unknowingly fall prey to five natural but dangerous pitfalls, called the Five Dysfunctions:
Dysfunction 1: Absence of trust—unwilling to be vulnerable within the group
The first dysfunction is an absence of trust among team members. Essentially, this stems from their unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. Team members who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation for trust.
Dysfunction 2: Fear of conflict—seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate
This failure to build trust is damaging because it set the tone for the second dysfunction: fear of conflict. Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered and passionate debate of ideas. Instead, they resort to veiled discussions and guarded comments.
Dysfunction 3: Lack of commitment—feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organization
A lack of healthy conflict is a problem because it ensures the third dysfunction of a team: lack of commitment. Without having aired their opinions in the course of passionate and open debate, team members rarely, if ever, buy in and commit to decisions, though they may feign agreement during meetings.
Dysfunction 4: Avoidance of accountability—ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior which sets low standards
Because of this lack of real commitment and buy-in, team members develop an avoidance of accountability, the fourth dysfunction. Without committing to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven people often hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that seem counterproductive to the good of the team.
Dysfunction 5: Inattention to results—focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success
Failure to hold one another accountable creates an environment where the fifth dysfunction can thrive. Inattention to results occurs when team members put their individual needs (such as ego, career development, or recognition) or even the needs of their divisions above the collective goals of the team.
Here are the strategies recommended for dealing with the Five Dysfunctions of a team:
Dealing with Absence of Trust
Members of teams with an absence of trust . . .
• Conceal their weaknesses and mistakes from one another
• Hesitate to ask for help or provide constructive feedback
• Hesitate to offer help outside their own areas of responsibility
• Jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of others
without attempting to clarify them
• Fail to recognize and tap into one another’s skills and experiences
• Waste time and energy managing their behaviors for effect
• Hold grudges
• Dread meetings and find reasons to avoid spending time together
Members of trusting teams . . .
• Admit weaknesses and mistakes
• Ask for help
• Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility
• Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at a negative conclusion
• Take risks in offering feedback and assistance
• Appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experiences
• Focus time and energy on important issues, not politics
• Offer and accept apologies without hesitation
• Look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group
Strategies to Building a Trusting Team:
Personal Histories Exercise
In less than an hour, a team can take the first steps toward developing trust. This low risk exercise requires nothing more than going around the table during a meeting and having team members answer a short list of questions about themselves.
Questions need not be overly sensitive in nature and might include the following: number of siblings, hometown, unique challenges of childhood, favorite hobbies, first job, and worst job.
Simply by describing these relatively innocuous attributes or experiences, team members begin to relate to one another on a more personal basis, and see one another as human beings with life stories and interesting backgrounds.
Goal: This encourages greater empathy and understanding, and discourages unfair and inaccurate behavioral attributions.
Team Effectiveness Exercise
It requires team members to identify the single most important contribution that each of their peers makes to the team, as well as the one area that they must either improve upon or eliminate for the good of the team. All members then report their responses, focusing on one person at a time, usually beginning with the team leader.
Personality and Behavioral Preference Profiles
Profile team members’ behavioral preferences and personality styles. These help break down barriers by allowing people to better understand and empathize with one another.
Goal: The purpose of most of these tools is to provide practical and scientifically valid behavioral descriptions of various team members according to the diverse ways that they think, speak, and act.
Calls for peers to make specific judgments and provide one another with constructive criticism.
The Role of the Leader in Building Trust
The most important action that a leader must take to encourage the building of trust on a team is to demonstrate vulnerability first. This requires that a leader risk losing face in front of the team, so that subordinates will take the same risk themselves.
Dealing with Fear of Conflict:
Teams that fear conflict . . .
• Have boring meetings
• Create environments where back-channel politics and personal attacks thrive
• Ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success
• Fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members
• Waste time and energy with posturing and interpersonal risk management
Teams that engage in conflict . . .
• Have lively, interesting meetings
• Extract and exploit the ideas of all team members
• Solve real problems quickly
• Minimize politics
• Put critical topics on the table for discussion
Strategies for making conflict more common and productive.
Members of teams that tend to avoid conflict must occasionally assume the role of a “miner of conflict”— someone who extracts buried disagreements within the team and sheds the light of day on them. They must have the courage and confidence to call out sensitive issues and force team members to work through them.
In the process of mining for conflict, team members need to coach one another not to retreat from healthy debate. One simple but effective way to do this is to recognize when the people engaged in conflict are becoming uncomfortable with the level of discord, and then interrupt to remind them that what they are doing is necessary.
It allows team members to understand natural inclinations around conflict so they can make more strategic choices about which approaches are most appropriate in different situations.
The Role of a Leader in Encouraging productive Conflict
it is key that leaders demonstrate restraint when their people engage in conflict, and allow resolution to occur naturally, as messy as it can sometimes be. This can be a challenge because many leaders feel that they are somehow failing in their jobs by losing control of their teams during conflict.
Dealing with DYSFUNCTION 3: LACK OF COMMITMENT
The two greatest causes of the lack of commitment are the desire for consensus and the need for certainty.
A team that fails to commit . . .
• Creates ambiguity among the team about direction and priorities
• Watches windows of opportunity close due to excessive analysis and unnecessary delay
• Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure
• Revisits discussions and decisions again and again
• Encourages second-guessing among team members
A team that commits . . .
• Creates clarity around direction and priorities
• Aligns the entire team around common objectives
• Develops an ability to learn from mistakes
• Takes advantage of opportunities before competitors do
• Moves forward without hesitation
• Changes direction without hesitation or guilt
Strategies to encourage Commitment:
At the end of a staff meeting or off-site, a team should explicitly review the key decisions made during the meeting, and agree on what needs to be communicated to employees or other constituencies about those decisions.
What often happens during this exercise is that members of the team learn that they are not all on the same page about what has been agreed upon and that they need to clarify specific outcomes before putting them into action.
As simple as it seems, one of the best tools for ensuring commitment is the use of clear deadlines for when decisions will be made, and honoring those dates with discipline and rigidity. The worst enemy of a team that is susceptible to this dysfunction is ambiguity, and timing is one of the most critical factors that must be made clear.
Contingency and Worst-Case Scenario Analysis
A team that struggles with commitment can begin overcoming this tendency by briefly discussing contingency plans up front or, better yet, clarifying the worst-case scenario for a decision they are struggling to make. This usually allows them to reduce their fears by helping them realize that the costs of an incorrect decision are survivable, and far less damaging than they had imagined.
Low-Risk Exposure Therapy
Another relevant exercise for a commitment-phobic team is the demonstration of decisiveness in relatively low-risk situations. When teams force themselves to make decisions after substantial discussion but little analysis or research, they usually come to realize that the quality of the decision they made was better than they had expected.
The Role of the Leader in encouraging Commitment
More than any other member of the team, the leader must be comfortable with the prospect of making a decision that ultimately turns out to be wrong. And the leader must be constantly pushing the group for closure around issues, as well as adherence to schedules that the team has set.
DYSFUNCTION 4: AVOIDANCE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
A team that avoids accountability . . .
• Creates resentment among team members who have different standards of performance
• Encourages mediocrity
• Misses deadlines and key deliverables
• Places an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of discipline
A team that holds one another accountable . . .
• Ensures that poor performers feel pressure to improve
• Identifies potential problems quickly by questioning one another’s approaches without hesitation
• Establishes respect among team members who are held to the same high standards
• Avoids excessive bureaucracy around performance management and corrective action
Suggestions for Overcoming Dysfunction 4
Publication of Goals and Standards
A good way to make it easier for team members to hold one another accountable is to clarify publicly exactly what the team needs to achieve, who needs to deliver what, and how everyone must behave in order to succeed.
Simple and Regular Progress Reviews
A little structure goes a long way toward helping people take action that they might not otherwise be inclined to do.
Team members should regularly communicate with one another, either verbally or in written form, about how they feel their teammates are doing against stated objectives and standards.
By shifting rewards away from individual performance to team achievement, the team can create a culture of accountability. This occurs because a team is unlikely to stand by quietly and fail because a peer is not pulling his or her weight.
Role of the Leader in creating Accountability
Once a leader has created a culture of accountability on a team, however, he or she must be willing to serve as the ultimate arbiter of discipline when the team itself fails.
DYSFUNCTION 5: INATTENTION TO RESULTS
A team that is not focused on results . . .
• Stagnates/fails to grow
• Rarely defeats competitors
• Loses achievement-oriented employees
• Encourages team members to focus on their own careers and individual goals
• Is easily distracted
A team that focuses on collective results . . .
• Retains achievement-oriented employees
• Minimizes individualistic behavior
• Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely
• Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals/interests for the good of the team
• Avoids distractions
Strategies to enable a team focus on collective results
Public Declaration of Results
Teams that are willing to commit publicly to specific results are more likely to work with a passionate, even desperate desire to achieve those results. Teams that say, “We’ll do our best,” are subtly, if not purposefully, preparing themselves for failure.
An effective way to ensure that team members focus their attention on results is to tie their rewards, especially compensation, to the achievement of specific outcomes.
This approach is a little bit trick as it might lead to team members resulting in questionable actions to get the result – Check out :
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt
InUnfu*k Yourself, Bishop explains the concept of Getting out of your head with a series of seven assertions:
I am willing. I am wired to win. I got this. I embrace the uncertainty. I am not my thoughts; I am what I do. I am relentless. I expect nothing and accept everything.
Assertion One: I am Willing
Willingness is a state in which we can engage with life and see a situation from a new perspective. It starts with you and ends with you.
No one can make you
willing, and you cannot move forward until you really are willing to make the
next move. When you are finally willing, you can literally experience that
willingness, that innate freedom that courses through your veins and similarly
when you are not, the kind of primordial stuck-ness that halts, and presses
down on you like some invisible weight on your chest.
In short, are you
willing to stop living the life you have and start living the life you’re
after? It ALL begins with the emergence of willingness, that liquid, constantly
expanding and contracting state where life springs and cedes—and all of it is
within you at the flick of a linguistic switch.
It does not matter
what you’re facing in life, which obstacle you’re trying to overcome – if you
are willing to generate that state of willingness, that’s your doorway to
making the effort, taking the steps, dealing with the setbacks, and ultimately
creating the progress and change in your life that you’re seeking.
your unwillingness can be just as powerful as declaring willingness. Are you
willing to live with a body that’s unhealthy? No. Are you willing to continue
living paycheck to paycheck? No. Are you willing to put up with unworkable, unsustainable
ignites resolve and determination. It provides an access to taking a robust and
urgent approach to your situation. When you are unwilling it often represents a
line in the sand where you are no longer willing to go back the way. Only when
you’re unwilling to continue just simply existing, feeling unsatisfied and
unfulfilled, will you make the effort necessary to make a change.
Only when you’re
unwilling to put up with the bullshit any longer will you grab your shovel and
start digging. At times there is no greater motivation to change than the
unwillingness to do “this” any longer. Which one works for you in your life
currently? I am willing or I am unwilling? Can you see how being unwilling can
potentially be just as powerful as being willing?
Face your reality. Once you adopt the mindset of “I am unwilling”, you will no longer be filled with guilt, resentment or regret every time you see something you think you “want”. You’ll be in a place where you are connected to and in tune with your real life and, if you really want to pursue those things in the future, you’ll be able to locate yourself from that reality and plot your road to accomplish them.
Assertion Two: I am wired to win.
Your brain is wired
to win. It doesn’t just apply to your relationships. This dynamic is at play in
your career, your fitness, your finances and everything else you do. You are
hard wired to win.
winning because your brain is wired to. The trouble comes when what you really
want—on a subconscious level—and what you say you want are different, sometimes
The path you follow
through life is the one dictated by your deepest, most inconspicuous thoughts.
Your brain is constantly pushing you along that path, whether it’s the one you
would consciously choose to take or not.
Firstly, you have to
uncover and realize the ways in which you have limited yourself. The kind of,
“absolutes”, that you are currently unaware of. In short, the conclusions that
you have come to about yourself, others and life itself. Those conclusions are
the limit of your potential. It’s only when you have broken through those
conclusions and can experience a life outside of your current existence that
you start to understand the power of this phenomenon.
Right now, your mind
is unconquerable when it comes to proving that you’re not worthy of love, that
you’re lazy, or that you’ll always be out of shape or never have any money.
But if we change our
thinking a little, we can use our mind’s unconquerable nature to act on all the
positive goals and dreams we hold for ourselves. We are wired to win – we just
have to point ourselves in the right direction so we can win at something we
We are wired to win.
You are wired to win. Define your game, embrace the challenge and strive to
understand yourself in deeper and more meaningful ways. True understanding of
yourself and your personal constraints allows for ever-unfolding degrees of freedom
The more aware you become of your hard wiring, the more space and opportunity become available in those areas. Step out there. Trust yourself, give yourself fully to your vast capacity for victory. Set yourself the challenge of winning in new and exciting ways. Demand your greatness of yourself and repeat after me: “I am wired to win”.
Assertion Three: I got this
The thing is, the
negative experiences we have rarely stay contained to that one issue. They
spread. Like a toxic chemical, they seep into all aspects of our lives. If
you’re having financial trouble, you’ll either consciously or subconsciously
stress about it at dinner, which means you don’t enjoy our meal. You start
feeling on edge around family.
You feel resentful
toward your spouse and distant from your children. You’re annoyed when your dog
barks or when your neighbors make too much noise. Little things like traffic
and long lines begin prompting your frustration.
In this life, you’ll
sometimes have to do things you don’t want to, with people you don’t like, and
in places you don’t care for. People will leave your life as quickly and easily
as they come into it. You’ll lose money, things will break, and your dog will
die. But you’ll get through it all, the good and the bad, just like you did in
the past. You’ll stand there like the champion you are because they’re all just
yet another passing scene in the movie that is your life’s story.
Face your problems
as they come, one by one, give them the attention they need and move on.
Bundling them all together into a morass of confusion and letting them
overwhelm you just won’t help. It takes precision, patience and discipline of
thought. Work through each item pragmatically and with a solution in mind.
Remember, everything is solve-able, and if you can’t see a solution, it only
means you haven’t worked it out yet.
Often the reason you
can’t see the solution is because you’re too close to the problem. Zoom out a
little, zoom out a LOT and look at the big picture. This is a similar
phenomenon to what psychologists call “cognitive restructuring”—Shifting the
way in which your problems are presenting themselves in your life.
Our minds naturally
play tricks on us, twisting and distorting our thoughts in ways that are not
always rational. Even though we’d like to think we’re always logical, we’re
not. We’re at the mercy of cognitive biases, emotions and misconceptions and
most of it is completely unseen by us. Sometimes we’re too close, too involved
in it to even realize. It’s up to us to slow down, take a step back, and
understand what’s really going on
You can handle this.
It’s not going to kill you. Your life isn’t over. You’ve got plenty more left
in the tank. Plenty. “I got this” doesn’t mean you have the perfect solution.
It just means you have your hands on the wheel, you have a say in this just like
you’ve had a say all along. I mean come on, you live for this shit! It’s not
always pretty. It’s not always fun but you’ve got this.
We’re not just saying this to paper over the cracks or to make yourself feel a little better for a split second. Look at your track record; you’ve really got this! You’ll make it work, just like you always have. You had it then and you got it now. Get in touch with who you really are and say it. I got this. I got this. I got this
Assertion 4: I embrace the uncertainty.
Nothing is certain.
You could go to sleep tonight and never wake up. You could get in your car and
never make it to work. Certainty is a complete illusion. Voodoo. Some of you
might find this terrible to think about, but it’s true. No matter how hard we may
try, we can never predict exactly what life will bring. Our plans will falter
at some point eventually. By running from uncertainty in search of certainty,
we’re actually rejecting the one thing in life that is guaranteed in favor of
something that’s nothing more than a fantasy.
In reality, even many of the things we think of as
hard facts aren’t. They’re half-truths. They’re assumptions. They’re
misinterpretations. They’re guesses. They’re based on cognitive biases, faulty
information, or conditioning. Use science as an example. What we believed 5, 10
or 20 years ago has since been disproved. We have made radical leaps in
understanding and those leaps are continuing every day. What we know today will
one day be looked upon as archaic and outdated. Consider those same limits of
understanding are everywhere in your life. If we can’t even be certain about
what we “know” today, how can we know what will happen tomorrow?
The more we try to
stay comfortable today, the more uncomfortable we’ll be tomorrow. There really
is no destination, there is only exploring, exploring and exploring.
Do the things you
normally wouldn’t. Shake up that daily routine. Dare to dream, dare to risk and
startle your life into life. Start with simple things. Take a different route
to work. Instead of bringing your lunch or eating at the same few places, try somewhere
you’ve never been. Start a conversation with the waiter or cashier. Smile and
say hello to the people you pass on the street, or give them a friendly nod.
Talk to that girl or guy who caught your eye.
Instead of simply stretching our comfort zones, let’s blow the thing up completely. Try acting in a way you’d never think about acting. Doing something completely out of character would be a great start. Embrace that uncertainty and strike a blow for your future!
Assertion 5: I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
“You are not defined
by what’s inside your head. You are what you do. Your actions.”
You change your life
by doing, not by thinking about doing. In fact, when you become closely
associated with the actions you are taking, something magical starts to become
apparent. Thoughts without actions are just that, thoughts and your negative
thoughts about yourself, others or your circumstances will have no impact on
your success as long as you leave them where they lie.
Assertion 6: I am Relentless
The key to becoming
relentless is to focus on the problem in front of you. Give it your full
attention. Become someone who progresses even when all seems lost. The answer
is always out there; all you need to do is find it. Then you can move forward
to your next obstacle. And you give that obstacle your full attention until
it’s taken care of.
Then there’s the
next and the next and the next. By doing this, you never have to wonder where
you’re going. You’re not worried about how many miles you have left to walk.
You become someone who loves obstacles rather than avoids them because
obstacles are your keys to success and growth. You simply take one step at a
Relentless is the bodybuilder who goes to the gym for hours every day. Relentless is the prospective entrepreneur who has been ridiculed or rejected for their completely original idea but keeps pitching it anyway. Relentless is the overweight Mom who feels like she’s never going to get there. Relentless is the newly minted college graduate at the bottom of the corporate ladder barely making enough to pay her rent and yet staying at the office later than anyone else just to learn as much as she can. Relentless is you.
Assertion Seven: I expect nothing and accept everything
When you expect
nothing, you’re living in the moment. You’re not worrying about the future or
rejecting the past. You’re simply embracing your situation as it comes. When
you accept everything, that doesn’t mean you are ok with it or that you agree
with it, but simply that you are owning it and in charge of it. Remember you
can always change something when you can take ownership and responsibility for
it. Sometimes it’s the single most effective way of resolving your “stuff.” Own
Again, this doesn’t
mean you need to put up with shitty or abusive relationships. But the only
thing more unpredictable than one person is two unpredictable people. If you
are in one of those kinds of relationships, it’s time for you to invoke the
boat analogy. Stop rowing, the game has changed, shift your plan. Your
partners, friends, and family members all have their own desires, perceptions,
and feelings. While you’re thinking one thing, they’re more than likely
thinking something completely different. That thing that’s got you feeling
pissed may not have even registered on their radar. They could be completely
oblivious to what’s going on with you.
Don’t expect victory
or defeat. Plan for victory, learn from defeat. The expectation of people
loving you or respecting you or a pointless exercise too. Be free to love them
the way they are and be loved the way that they love you. Free yourself from
the burden and melodrama of expectation, let the chips fall where they may.
Love the life you have, not the one you expected to have.
Your job is to not get caught up in that crap, to stay out of the swamp of mediocrity and drama, to reach for your greatest self, your greatest potential and to challenge yourself to live that life every single day of it. Your life, your success, your happiness, really is in your own hands. The power to change, the power to let go, be adventurous and embrace your potential all lies within your reach. Remember, no one can save you, no one can shift you, all of that is your responsibility and what better time to embrace that change than now?
The Unfu*k Yourself Book is a no-nonsense straight to the point get your shit together, no one is coming to the rescue manual. All the Best Unfu*king Yourself. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.” – Martin Heidegger
Momento Mori is the symbolic/artistic reminder of the inevitability of Death. The thing is that we are all going to DIE at one point in our life. No matter how long you and I live, whether as long as Methuselah (969) or as short as Jesus Christ (33) or Tupac (25), Steve Jobs(56), the most important thing is the legacy we live behind.
In his very wonderful book Unf*ck Yourself, Gary Bishop shared this thought on dying:
Imagine that you’re
on your death bed. You hear the beep… beep… beep of the monitor nearby. Your
health is critical, and you’ve only got a few hours to live. You can feel your
heartbeat and energy slide.
As you lie there,
you start to look back on your life. You never made the change you wanted. You
stayed stuck in that same job, that same relationship, that same overweight
body until now, the day you die. You read books, but you never applied them.
You planned diets,
but you never followed them. You told yourself what you were going to do,
psyched yourself up a thousand times, but you never did it. You started dozens
if not hundreds of life changing escapades and then wilted.
As you lie there in
your hospital bed, loved ones cycling in and out over the course of the day,
what do you feel? Regret? Remorse? Sorrow? What would you give if you could go
back to this moment—the one in which you’re reading this book—and do things differently?
Here’s the thing:
future you is not going to regret a lack of achievement or the absence of any
one thing in your life. The only thing you will regret is not trying. Not
striving. Not pushing through when the going got tough. Not all mountaineers
make the summit, sometimes they turn back, re-tool, keep coming at it.
They’re just never satisfied with standing at the bottom, hanging out with all the other non-climbers and explaining their lack of ascent. No, they packed up their tent and moved forward, and they will pass from this world knowing they gave every ounce of their effort. That they played full out. They loved the climb.
You won’t regret not making a million dollars, you’ll regret never starting that business or quitting that lousy job.
You won’t regret not marrying a supermodel, you’ll regret staying in that dead-end relationship when you knew you could do better.
You won’t regret not looking like a bodybuilder, you’ll regret stopping at the drive thru every night on your way home and living a lie. And this will happen to you.
You will die. You will go through all of that on your own, in the quiet solitude of our own dwindling consciousness. Unless you take the action that’s needed to change, to build the life you want, the life you can be proud of.
Momento Mori: Be mindful of Death – You are going to be gone Sooner or Later. Keep striving, Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.