For years, I’ve been grappling with the question of how professionals in an increasingly noisy and frenetic world can ensure their expertise is recognized. In the course of researching for my book (yes, I'm writing a book), I have looked up to more than 50 top thought leaders across a variety of different fields to elicit best practices and commonalities. I found plenty of useful techniques, from cultivating a trusted wingman to help promote you to others, to identify commonalities with the people you’re seeking to influence so they’ll be more receptive to your message. As I came to realize, though, there are three foundational elements to getting your ideas understood and appreciated, elements that underlie everything else. These are social proof, which gives people a reason to listen to you; content creation, which allows them to evaluate the quality of your ideas; and your network, which allows your ideas to spread. Without at least two of these, though ideally, you have all three, it’s structurally almost impossible for your message to breakthrough. Understanding that dynamic can help talented professionals, who may be prone to focusing their energy on the techniques that come most easily to them, know where to apply their efforts in order to ensure their true value is recognized.
It's taken me 4 days to write this blog post. Mainly because I've been getting requests from people to "teach them how to write." Let me clear one thing - you already know how to write. You just don't believe it yet. Initially, I was going to draft some advice on copy-writing, but I thought I'll make a series of blog posts wherein I teach you how to take your writing out in public and help you to draft a great copy. Time and again people approach me with the same sentence - "I can't write." It's the resignation declaration of the self-defeated. It's wrong on so many levels. You won't write? You don't want to write? I'm willing to buy these statements. But "can't?" Sorry friend, you can. You've been writing your whole life. You write now. You write emails, greeting cards, shopping lists, meeting notes, etc. In your school years, you wrote every day. When you graduated you wrote a resume. But now, a blank screen transforms you into an anxious, insecure mess. You’ve said it a zillion times, but you’re not going to say it again because it’s a giant, steamy, stinky pile of crap.
It’s the perfect time of year to redefine “failure.” With all that is going on around us with global issues, losing jobs + family stress + a thousand things to manage + worrying about uncertain future effects + mental health + professional and personal growth; being in a constant state of anxiety and stress is the last thing we need right now. Everyone, you and me, is experiencing some sort of 'failure' in each ones' capacity and/or standards. We need to remember that we are trying our best and most importantly - we're in this together! You're not alone. The certain norms of failure need to be addressed and redefined with one thing in mind - it does get better. Have patience and practice gratitude. Embrace failure and count it as a stepping stone to a bright tomorrow because no phase is permanent. This too shall pass. But honestly, though, I'm over it. I'm tired of listening to everybody say they've failed or they can't see a better tomorrow so they'll just wait around for some fairy godmother to make things right. Why can't you do something right now to better your tomorrow? Obviously you aren't going to go research a vaccine to fight for this virus that's killing the world around, unless you're a scientist or medical professional, so leave that to the pros. What you can do is - to work on yourself and improve yourself so that when this is over, you'll have a better chance of making everything okay. Don't you see it? People were so used to the mundane, routine, monotonous, and machine-like regular scheduled life that they completely forgot how it would be otherwise. History is proof that we need to prepare for the worst and in such situations, know that there is only so much that we can do - focus, improve and grow ourselves individually so that when the negative is over, we all rise together. Every drop of water makes the ocean. And that is why we need to redefine our meaning of failure.
With the rise of online courses available, it's difficult and often times tempting to spend $$$ on your next purchase. Buying online has become so easy especially when it's just a click away. The idea for this blog-post came to me when I realized that due to quarantine, people around the world are stuck at home. And the notifications are just pouring in from online course generators in the name of 'personal growth.' Now, I'm not saying all of them are wrong, but it's better to not be bombarded with such messages; I've unsubscribed from many email lists for the same reason. With the number of online courses available, it’s hard to know which ones are worth buying. Perhaps the best financial move I've ever made in my life is to get that sense of impulse under control. That's not to say that occasional spontaneity is bad - it's not and it can be quite fun - but that routine impulsiveness with one's money leads directly to financial ruin. So, how did I get this sense of impulsiveness when it comes to money under control? For me, the most useful strategy was to mentally adopt a routine where I strongly question every single purchase that I make. If I'm considering spending money on something that isn't very clearly a need (like very basic food staples) or an already-considered routine buy (like the type of hand soap that I buy whenever we need a refill), I question it. Now the above method isn't unhealthy, but it won't apply to everyone. There needs to be a strategic way which can help you whilst making decisions. That's why, I'm here 😉 <3
Morning hacks (or routines) help set the tone for the entire day. Practiced daily, can set the tone for your daily habits and in the long run, prove to be advantageous for your overall health. Let's face it - quarantine life and lockdown has gotten us all slow and unproductive when it comes to work (or even moving our body for that matter) Feels like we are struggling more than ever to stay productive when it comes to managing everything on our own. I mean sure, it has its own perks: eating, lazing around and binge-watching our favorite shows non-stop without having being judged, but when the mind clicks into the 'task fatigue', a little mindfulness goes a long way. That's when morning hacks come into play. I strongly believe in meditation. Lots of it. And its time and again proven its beneficial for me. I’m not an idealist. I’m not saying everyone should start “Om-ing,” devoting themselves solely to self-compassion, and forgetting their to-do lists. But I am saying that compassion, and self-compassion, ought to more in the foreground as we talk about mindfulness — even in corporate mindfulness programs for that matter. There is no shame in wanting to be productive at work. But there is also no shame in being able to cut yourself some slack, to extend yourself some love during those times at work when things don’t feel so great. Whether you're having an 'off' week or simply want to up-level your performance, these easy morning hacks will help you stay focused and productive...