Questions to ask and answer for yourself

There is power in questions. The right questions. Questions which make you think, reflect, introspect. Questions which push you out of your comfort zone, which burst a few bubbles, which show you the real picture, which make you understand and realize many things.

Asking the right questions to yourself come sometimes be the best gift you give yourself. Simply because when you ask the right questions, your thoughts are channeled in the right direction.

As I look back at my own life, some questions have been eye-openers for me.. Some have changed my outlook to life.. And many have changed my life.

In this post I’m sharing some of those powerful questions with you in the hope that they compel you to introspect and internalize life’s many lessons.

1) Am I doing things that I love?

If you are doing things you love, then great. If not, then you probably would give one of the following reasons –Circumstances out of my control, Other Priorities, Unplanned / unexpected situations, Never ending Constraints, Commitments to be honored, Personal Limitations. Well, do remember that every human-being anywhere on this earth (either today or generations ago) had / has one / many of the above at one / many phases in life– So you are not alone. And yet, some people always find or make the time to do things that they love. Maybe you need to just squeeze in that little time to do things you love or make a vocation of the things you love. Doing things you love will almost always make you happy. Even if it is for 10 minutes a day. For some this joy comes in reading, for some in writing, for some in watching TV, for some in sleeping, for some in creating something worthwhile.. Whatever it is.. Discover.. Make time for it. and Do it! It makes a difference

2) Am I learning enough?

Learning is a very important dimension to personal growth and development. It does not matter what you are learning, from whom you are learning, how you are learning, how much you are learning – But what’s important is that you learn consciously and invest some time and effort regularly to learn new things. If in your own assessment you are not learning enough, then it’s important to identify what you want to learn and set aside time on a regular basis for learning. I honestly believe if you love yourself, you will make an attempt to learn something new regularly. Try it and see for yourself if you don’t believe me

3) Am I content with the current state of my overall health?

The fact is that your overall state of health and well-being will determine the quality of your life today and tomorrow. Hence, it is imperative that you take time to invest in your overall health and wellness. In reality, you know your state of personal health the best, and hence you would be the best judge. If you are not content, then it’s time to ask yourself what is it that you need to, want to do and should do to improve it?

4) Am I really happy with myself?

Another very profound question – But the answer to which can sometimes be a revelation to you. Simply because you try to make everyone around you happy; and end up unhappy with yourself. While it is great to make others happy, it is also important that you invest in your own happiness. So do mull over this and see if you need to change one / many aspects of your own life

5) Am I spending time with those who matter to me?

Again, time is one of your most valuable personal assets. So use it wisely, and ensure that you earmark some time periodically for those who matter to you – It can be your family, friends, staff, acquaintances, colleagues, soul-mates, etc. But sharing your life with those who matter strengthens relationships and does wonders to your happiness quotient

6) Am I living life to the best of my potential?

You are endowed with infinite potential – Some you are aware, some unexplored and some ignored. But if you ask yourself this question again and follow it with Why? Why Not? – You will get the answers. Not just a Yes No kind of answer, but more importantly answers which will enable you to live life to the best of your potential

7) Am I happy with the current state of my immediate living environment?

Your current living environment – be it at work or office or anywhere else affects your thoughts, your energies, your productivity and your creativity. So make sure it is clean, well-organized and the way you want it to be – to get the best out of yourself

8) Have I made peace with my past?

Many of us tend to hold on to our past; and how ever hard we try we are unable to let-go. And in life it’s important to let-go and make peace with your past – especially the negativity. Just accept it and release the baggage  (Easier said than done, but it is not impossible!). Of course, it is wise to take the lessons along. And then focus your energies on the present and future

9) Am I giving enough?

In life, you give some and you get some. Most of us tend to receive more than we give. In the long run, it’s important to give – To friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, an unknown face, a needy soul, someone less fortunate, another living being.

And what can you give? A smile, an advice, a thought, a good deed, an idea, a motivation, an inspiration, time, knowledge, support, a shoulder, a ear, a helping hand, a life lesson, wisdom..

10) Am I really experiencing life?

Are you really experiencing life – Love, Laughs, Romance, Tears, Cultures, People, Heart-breaks, Passions, Rainbows, Disappointments, Failure, Trials, Experiments, Cuisines, Technology,….. In the moment.. In this moment… And are you making the moment count? Because the more open you are, the more your experience, the more you enjoy and the more fulfilling life is…

Those are my questions for the day? What are your questions? And what are your answers? Leave a comment to let me know 

And just I was about to Publish this, I came across an excellent infographic titled “The Self-Reflection Manifesto” : 101 Questions to ask yourself. Truly powerful questions, right? Now read and answer for yourself

The Self-Reflection Manifesto

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


Originally published here

Lessons to any Blogger after 3 years of Blogging

2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, it was private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.

Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts [Average of 1 post / day] on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.

So after 3 years of blogging – Am I any wiser?

Well, I’m sharing some of the most important lessons of my blogging journey in this post.

(1) If you’re wondering why should blog. Here are the AEIOU reasons

  • Blogging increase your AWARENESS
  • Blogging enhances your own EXPRESSIONS
  • Blogging compels you to INTROSPECT
  • Blogging makes you OBSERVE
  • Blogging enables you to UNDERSTAND

For full details, refer my post on AEIOU reasons for you to blog

(2) Writing on a blog helps you learn and discover more about yourself – Let me just say, you re-discover yourself and re-connect with yourself in ways which you could never have imagined

(3) Regularly writing on your blog is a great way to express yourself, your thoughts, your creativity, your views, your perspective, your ideas, your opinions, your experiences – if nothing else, it does wonders for your overall state of well-being (emotional and intellectual)

(4) Blogging is a “creative process”. Take the time to understand the process. It is worthwhile in the long run

(5) Blogging helps you to create new relationships and there is beauty in blogging relationships

(6) Guest Blogging is a great way to challenge yourself and extend the reach of your writings. The learning’s and connections you make in the process is invaluable. Here’s a summary of what Guest Blogging taught me

(7) Blogging has the potential to open new doors and possibilities – More than you can dream, think or imagine. Here’s a post I wrote on “OK You Write a Blog – So what Next?”

(8) Regular Blogging helps build and enhance your own self-discipline. And self-discipline is a great virtue to build in today’s day and age.

(9) Starting a blog is easy, but continuing to blog for years is a challenge for many. One of the key reasons is because every blogger runs out of ideas to blog. And for this, it is important to read continuously, and to wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog and to Focus on Diversity on your blog ; constantly challenge yourself to do new things on your blog. Be creative and sky is the limit to how long you can blog! For e.g.: Do reviews, interviews, curate great content, share interesting quotes, etc.

(9) Blogging can help you share your thoughts and views through interviews and alternate mediums for a larger reach. Check one of my first interviews focused around Blogging

(10) Every blog has a Hype Cycle. Be aware of it and spend time in understand this hype cycle

(11) There are only 3 Types of Blogs which a reader will really remember. If you want to make a mark in the blogging world, ask yourself if you’re doing any of these?

  • Blogs from which YOU LEARN
  • Blogs which make YOU THINK
  • Blogs which TOUCH YOUR HEART

(12) Practice the 65:20:15 Mantra for every blog post.

  • 65% of your time should go towards Blog Content
  • 20% of your time should go towards Blog Marketing
  • 15% of your time should go towards Blog Reader Engagement (after the post is published)

(13) Having an Editorial Calendar helps any blogger to be regular and disciplined about blogging efforts

(14)  Blogging is a journey; Not a destination. Enjoy the journey

(15)  To Keep at Blogging, here’s what you need

  • New Life experiences
  • Passion for writing
  • Creativity
  • Self-Discipline
  • Self-Motivation

And all the above are vital in the journey of life as well. So why not consciously invest in these by starting your blogging journey today?

On that note, Happy Blogging! Give Blogging a chance today..

Who knows how it will change your life!

What is your ROTI?

Wondering what ROTI is? It is a term we coined during our MBA days, and one that I find increasingly useful and relevant to ask myself – especially to get answers from myself and to make decisions…

ROTI simply means Return on Time Invested

Time is the most precious asset which anyone has today. And time is “limited” in the physical sense (of course not in the metaphysical sense). And yet most of us are guilty of not making the best of the time that we’ve got..

However, it is important to use your time wisely and invest it wisely – at least for the things which matter to you.

And returns can be really anything which makes a difference in your life – happiness, peace of mind, health, wealth, relationships, balance, power, success, prosperity…

Given that it is almost the end of the year, it is especially useful to ask yourself the following questions:

What is your ROTI at work? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI at school? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI with exercise? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in relationships? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in how your spend your free time? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in watching endless hours of TV? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in spending time on FaceBook? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in spending time on Twitter? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in spending time in reading? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in spending hours on the phone? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in spending time on a hobby? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in giving free advice to everyone? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in all the communication you do? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in all the judgments your make? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI on the many plans you make so frequently? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

What is your ROTI in truly being “AWARE in the NOW”? Are you happy with this? Do you need to make any changes?

Should you always make things EASY for OTHERS?

A lot of people I know live with the primary objective of making things EASY for others.. They go through extra pain or difficulty just so that things are simpler better and easier for others.

Classic examples are parents doing home-work for children OR bubble-wrapping them in a world of comfort and luxury far away from the “real world”, wife doing everything possible at home (from timely food to polishing shoes, etc. etc.) to make life easy for the husband, husbands doing everything possible outside home so that life is easy for wife and the kids (from earning to grocery shopping, etc. etc.), over protective managers doing work for their teams just so that everyone succeeds, teachers giving answers to students before they even think or apply their minds,  etc etc etc.. There are a whole range of examples you can think of if you look at the world around you!

And what does easy really mean? Well! To most people EASY LIFE really translates to “GET WHAT YOU WANT with MINIMUM / NO EFFORT“. I mean who does not like to have it easy in life.. Most of us like things to be easy on all dimensions of life – be it at work, play, financially, good health, optimal weight, with friends, family, at home.. in society

Hmm.. Now! Is that possible at all always? Guess not! Unless you are born into royalty and the environment around you fosters such a way of life OR If you are with someone who loves you unconditionally (parents, siblings?, friends?, soul-mates) and will go the extra mile for a lifetime just for YOU!

If you are one of those lucky ones, Good for YOU! Just don’t take them for granted and make sure you say THANK YOU for your lucky stars!

But the point is that “Is it really good to make things EASY for OTHERS always?“.. I guess NOT! Simply because if you make things easy for others all the time, you are actually doing more harm than good in the long run..

You are actually not giving others an opportunity to try, to discover, to experiment, to appreciate the level of difficulty, to value what you do, to figure things out, to find answers, to succeed, to fail, to solve problems, to become more aware, to understand, to improve, to become stronger, to push themselves, to figure out what they are capable/incapable of.. But more importantly TO LEARN! TO THINK! and TO REALLY PREPARE for the REAL WORLD.. THE FUTURE!

So, do you always make things easy for others? OR Do you always have it easy in life? Time to think….

Are you clear about your PRIORITIES?

Let me start by asking you 3 simple questions:
1) What are your Top 3 PRIORITIES at WORK today?
2) What are your Top 3 PRIORITIES at WORK for this year?
3) What are your Top 3 PRIORITIES in your PERSONAL LIFE?
If you know these answers and are able to express them in a clear and concise fashion, then CONGRAJULATIONS! You have cleared the first and most important step on your ladder to success…

Over the past few years, I have observed and interacted very closely with several people on the personal and professional front. And today, many of them have been phenomenally successful in their own right!
As I mull over these success stories, one of the common characteristic that I have observed in all these individuals is a PHENOMENAL CLARITY on their PRIORITIES…

So what did they really get right?

Firstly, they had invested time to identify and discover their personal priorities – At work, as a part of their personal life and then based on these two they had a list of priorities for a day – usually written down for ready reference. And these priorities were really aimed at taking them closer to their specific goals and objectives

Secondly, they were able to translate these thoughts into very precise and concrete words. So while they were clear in their mind about their priorities, they were also able to articulate them in very simple words so that it was crystal clear and very specific!

Thirdly, they were able to easily rank their priorities in an ascending order at any given point of time

Fourthly, they were able to translate these priorities into tangible action on a day-to-day basis

Fifthly, before they started doing any new task, they’d usually pause for a minute to think and validate the relative priority of the task on their priority list. If it figured low on the list, they’d delay work on it, and focus their time and efforts on the ones higher up on the priority list

And lastly, they’d invest time on a regular basis to reflect and review on their priorities to identify if there are any changes to this priority list!

Pause and Reflect…
Have you figured out your TOP PRIORITIES for today?
Have you figured out your TOP PRIORITIES at work?
Have you figured out your TOP PRIORITIES for life?

8 Pearls of WISDOM from my MOTHER

On the occasion of Women’s Day, I wanted my MOTHER to write a post to articulate her views on any subject of her choice. After all, my mother is the reason that I am, and has played a pivotal role in what I have become today. After a lot of persistence, she finally agreed :). Since this was a Women’s Day special, I asked her for her advice to any Woman…

Here’s what she said:
1) HEALTH is WEALTH
As a woman, it’s important to take care of your own health to be able to do justice to all the roles you will play in life. Eat right, eat at the right time and eat for the right reasons – And instill this in your family – They may not like it in the short term, but over a period of time they will be grateful that you invested in their health with a little common-sense and discipline. Exercise periodically. Learn and Practice yoga and pranayama.

2) SILENCE is GOLDEN
As a woman, you need to be able to understand that SILENCE is GOLDEN. Several times, you get what you want by being silent and lose what you can gain by speaking. Of course, be judicious and wise on when you choose silence. More importantly, many women have a crying need to speak and express and be heard. Sometimes, it’s OK to not be heard.. Sometimes, it’s OK to keep your thoughts, views and emotions to yourself…

3) Be POSITIVE in LIFE
Life is a mixed bad – It comes with ups and downs, good and bad times, happiness and sorrow, success and failure. Try to stay positive – Think positive. Look at the positive things that you have in life and be grateful for them. Associate with positive people.

4) BELIEVE in YOURSELF
Always Always Always BELIEVE in YOURSELF. Don’t doubt your strengths, capabilities, choices or decisions – They all happen for a purpose and reason. And it’s usually all for the good

5) Do your BEST in LIFE
Whatever you do in life, do whole-heartedly and the best you can – whatever be the circumstance. Don’t expect anything in return (or rather keep your expectations low), but just focus on what you can do and leave the rest

6) Have FAITH in a GREATER POWER
There is an overarching force and power which guides the ways of the universe – Whatever you choose to call it – God or Guru or Soul. Have faith in this power and that there are some things in life which will be beyond your control, for which you won’t have answers… But just have faith that whatever happens is for the best

7) FINANCIAL SECURITY should be a PRIORITY
As a woman, you should plan and invest in your financial security. While earning is important, what is more important is to save, invest wisely and also spend time to understand personal finances. Women generally tend to ignore learning about personal finance – in spite of being educated or employed – Spend some time to understand personal finance.

8) Give – Do your BIT for a GOOD CAUSE
No matter how much or little you have, you can always give and share – Be it water, food, a shoulder, a ear, an idea, a thought, a deed,.. However small it may seem – It’s your karma; and most importantly, it made a difference to someone…

What are the words of wisdom your mother shared? Leave a comment to let me know

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Does your company have a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer)?

Does your company have a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer)?”…was the question which compelled me to wear my Thinking Hats

In my life, I’ve heard known and interacted with several CXO’s. The key one’s being CEO – Chief Executive Officer, CFO – Chief Finance Officer, CIO – Chief Information Officer, CTO – Chief Technology Officer, CIO – Chief Innovation Officer, CSO – Chief Strategy Officer, CBOO – Chief Business Operations Officer, CDO – Chief Delivery Officer, CKO – Chief Knowledge Officer, CEI – Chief Experience Officer, COO – Chief Operating Officer, CMO – Chief Marketing Officer , CPO – Chief People Officer, CLO – Chief Learning Officer …
But never really heard of a CHO – Chief Happiness Officer…

The thought continued to linger…The underlying questions on my mind were really:
Does any organization already have a CHO?
What should / would be his / her charter?
Do organizations need a CHO?

I did a little Googling. Interestingly, the following references caught my attention:
1) Ronald McDonald was given the position of Chief Happiness Officer in 2003. He was a goodwill ambassador and traveling the world to bring fun, happiness, and physical activity to people of all ages. For further reading, refer http://mcdepk.com/50/downloads/bio_ronald_mcdonald.pdf
2) Twitter mentions about a Chief Happiness Officer. For further details, refer http://profitablesocialmedia.comtwitters-cho-chief-happiness-officer/
3) Alexander Kjerulf, AKA The Chief Happiness Officer is one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. His TED Video on the Happiness at Work is a must-watch. For further details, refer http://video.tedxcopenhagen.dk/video/910935/alexander-kjerulf-happiness-at.
4) Ashok Soota’s latest venture is called The Happiest Minds. While it is an IT company, the Corporate Overview on their web-site states the objective of the company is “creating the happiest people and the happiest customers.” .“People are central to any services organization, but despite the “employees first” motto very few firms are built around the belief that happy people translate to happy customers.” For further details, refer http://www.happiestminds.com
It’s interesting to note that while Happiness is fundamentally a human emotion, here Happiness is linked to the Mind…
5) Jenn Lim is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness, a company that she and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) co-created in 2010 to inspire happiness in work, community and everyday life. For further details, refer http://www.deliveringhappiness.com/about-us/contact/jennlim/

I followed up my online research with some real-world discussions, reading and introspection.

In this blog, I will present two views on this subject
1) The Employee View
2) The Organization View

THE EMPLOYEE VIEW
I conducted an informal survey in my professional network on what is it that employees really want from their jobs / careers – and hence, from their organizations? As anticipated, the initial response was varied. The top responses were:
1. Money
2. Recognition
3. Growth
4. Power
5. Identity
6. Social Status
7. Success
8. Chance to solve problems
9. Opportunity to Contribute….

I probed a little deeper with a series of Why’s?

And the underlying answer was unanimously common – HAPPINESS

The only caveat – “What really made one Happy?” was unique and personal.

In reality, the DNA of every organization is its employees…And if Happiness is a core need of employees, then is it not relevant for organizations to have a dedicated focus on ensuring employees are Happy?

So, would the designation of Chief Happiness Officer then not just be relevant, but also important and critical?

THE ORGANIZATION VIEW
From time immemorial, organizations have realized that their existence, growth and success are directly linked to the quality, productivity and value created by their employees…

Of course, every organization pays employees for the services they render as a part of their professional roles and responsibilities. However, employees need, want and expect more from their employer. And hence organizations do invest, plan and engage with employees in many different ways – For e.g.: Trainings, Team Outings, Medical Benefits, Leave policies, Mentoring, Flexibility at work, Support in times of crisis and emergency, etc.

However organizations have also realized that “What really made one Happy?” was unique and personal for each of its employees. And hence there is limited that organizations can do to ensure that every employee is happy and possibly cannot make every employee happy all the time…

Since organizations do invest in many different ways to ensure employees are happy, would the formal designation of Chief Happiness Officer then not just be relevant, but also important and critical?

MY VIEW
• It is definitely worthwhile for organizations to have a dedicated focus on employee happiness. And hence the formal role of “Chief Happiness Officer” is the first positive step towards achieving this – For the organization, employees, customers and the brand image of the organization!!
• At the end of the day, every employee is REALLY his / her own “Chief Happiness Officer” simply because you have your own definition of happiness, you know best what really will make you happy and most importantly, you have the choice of which organization you want to be associated with – to stay happy!

In conclusion, the words of wisdom
You are the Chief Happiness Officer of your CAREER, of your LIFE!!!

The 12 New-Year-Worthy Questions to ask yourself at the start of 2012

It’s the start of 2012. It’s a new calendar year. It’s a new beginning. One which you should welcome with an open mind, positive energy, new passions, fresh dreams and new hopes…
The New Year is a great time to pause reflect and introspect on life’s many dimensions. And then decide what you would like to focus your energies on during 2012 – With the right intent, great enthusiasm, positive energy and in good spirit. In this blog, I have listed the 12 New-Year-Worthy questions that you should ask yourself and answer in all honesty again to yourself. If nothing else, the answers will show you the real picture and burst a few bubbles…

1) Am I doing things that I love?
If you are doing things you love, then great. If not, then you probably would give one of the following reasons –Circumstances out of my control, Other Priorities, Unplanned / unexpected situations, Never ending Constraints, Commitments to be honored, Personal Limitations. Well, do remember that every human-being anywhere on this earth (either today or generations ago) had / has one / many of the above at one / many phases in life– So you are not alone. And yet, some people always find or make the time to do things that they love. Maybe you need to just squeeze in that little time to do things you love or make a vocation of the things you love. Doing things you love will make you happy

2) Am I learning enough?
Learning is a very important dimension to personal growth and development. It does not matter what you are learning, from whom you are learning, how you are learning, how much you are learning – But what’s important is that you learn consciously and invest some time and effort regularly to learn new things. If in your own assessment you are not learning enough, then it’s important to identify what you want to learn in 2012 and set aside time on a regular basis for learning

3) Am I content with the current state of my overall health?
The fact is that your overall state of health and well-being will determine the quality of your life today and tomorrow. Hence, it is imperative that you take time to invest in your overall health and wellness. In reality, you know your state of personal health the best, and hence you would be the best judge. If you are not content, then it’s time to ask yourself what is it that you need to, want to do and should do to improve it?

4) Am I really happy with myself?
Another very profound question – But the answer to which can sometimes be a revelation to you. Simply because you try to make everyone around you happy; and end up unhappy with yourself. So do mull over this and see if you need to change one / many aspects of your own life

5) Am I spending time with those who matter to me?
Again, time is one of your most valuable personal assets. So use it wisely, and ensure that you earmark some time periodically for those who matter to you – It can be your family, friends, staff, acquaintances, colleagues, soul-mates, etc. But sharing your life with those who matter strengthens relationships and does wonders to your happiness quotient

6) Am I living life to the best of my potential?
You are endowed with infinite potential – Some you are aware, some unexplored and some ignored. But if you ask yourself this question again and follow it with Why? Why Not? – You will get the answers. Not just a Yes No kind of answer, but more importantly answers which will enable you to live life to the best of your potential

7) Am I content with my current state of personal finances?
Your current state of personal finances is a function of how much you have earned, how much you have saved, how wisely you invested and most importantly how much effort you took to understand and review your finances periodically. And your state of personal finance will determine the choices that you will make today, and in the future. So if this dimension of your life needs attention, give it the attention it deserves now

8) Am I happy with the current state of my immediate living environment?
Your current living environment – be it at work or office or anywhere else affects your thoughts, your energies, your productivity and your creativity. So make sure it is clean, well-organized and the way you want it to be – to get the best out of yourself

9) Have I made peace with my past?
Many of us tend to hold on to our past; and how ever hard we try we are unable to let-go. And in life it’s important to let-go and make peace with your past – especially the negativity. Just accept it and release the baggage. Of course, it is wise to take the lessons along. And then focus your energies on the present and future

10) Am I giving enough?
In life, you give some and you get some. Most of us tend to receive more than we give. In the long run, it’s important to give – To friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, an unknown face, a needy soul, someone less fortunate, another living being.
And what can you give? A smile, an advice, a thought, a good deed, an idea, a motivation, an inspiration, time, knowledge, support, a shoulder, a ear, a helping hand, a life lesson, wisdom..

11) Do I need to review the state of my online / offline data?
Over the years, most of us have gigabytes of data which we have accumulated – on hard disk, mails, social media profiles, etc. etc. And along the way, you have not spent enough time in maintaining them and hence today they are crying for maintenance. And you never get around to doing it – simply because it can wait, it’s boring and it takes time. Well! The reality is that it is only going to grow with time and before it gets completely unmanageable, you might as well begin with regular up-keep and maintenance. Hence, the New Year is a good time to critically review, clean and organize all your online and offline data – Simply by deleting unwanted content and organizing useful content better.

12) Am I really experiencing life?
Are you really experiencing life – Love, Laughs, Romance, Tears, Cultures, People, Heart-breaks, Passions, Rainbows, Disappointments, Failure, Trials, Experiments, Cuisines, Technology,…..
Because the more open you are, the more your experience, the more you enjoy and the more fulfilling life is…

And on that note, I hope 2012 brings your way good health, joys, happiness, new passions, gratifying relationships, loads of wealth, success, prosperity and dreams fulfilled.

Happy New Year 2012!!!

9 Specific Ways YOU can use Twitter…

Twitter is increasingly becoming one of the most popular Social Networking platforms. While there are many reasons for the explosive growth of Twitter across the globe; if I had to list down the top 5 reasons on why Twitter has gained in popularity, they are below:

1) The introduction of the Tweet of 140 characters
 a) You can tweet from the web or mobile
 b) The 3S Factor – It’s Short, Specific and Simple!!!

2) It gives you the option to choose who you would like to Follow based on your interest – It is your personal choice ONLY! Subsequently you can Follow / Unfollow at will

3)  Easy to use interface for typing a Tweet. Of course, it takes time to understand other features but just typing a Tweet is simple and can be done easily

4)  Option to choose the level of privacy – You can control who reads your tweets

5)  No limit to the number of followers for a Twitter handle – Everyone loves the concept of abundance, infinite and limitless

While many individuals use Twitter for many reasons, in this blog I have listed the 9 Most Specific Ways YOU can use Twitter – The list below has been compiled based on my observations of Twitter usage over the last 3 years, my own personal usage of Twitter and by surveying others in the world of Twitter.

1) A personal log of your activities, thoughts and emotions
Many of us like to have a personal log of our daily activities, events, achievements, thoughts and emotions. Twitter can help you do just that – Provided you are disciplined about tweeting. If this is your key focus, using your mobile would be the preferred input device for tweeting.

2) A log of all that you read
Many of us tend to be content consumers in our life. We read from many different sources and like to have a consolidated repository for our own future reference. Twitter can enable you to consolidate all that you read and believe is worthy of storing, consolidating and archiving

3) To Share
Many of us like to share all that we know, all that we read, all that we learn, all that we believe can be of value to someone at some point in time – Twitter helps you to share with a known and unknown face anywhere across the globe

4) To Connect with others
Inherent to the human nature is the need to connect, to bond. And many of us like to connect with like-minded people, connect to people we admire, connect with the wise, connect with the successful, connect with celebrities – Just to listen to their voices, to know them better, to get a slice of their life, to unravel their thoughts, to know what keeps them going, to hear their views, opinions and to get the latest news

5) To Learn
Twitter can be a great learning platform – on any subject. If you are clear about what you want to learn, the time horizon you have in mind and the time you are willing to invest – you can adopt different strategies on how you can accomplish this. But at a high level, this translates to identifying the Twitter handles that are considered knowledgeable in the specific area(s) under question, and then follow their tweets. Over a period of time, you would have learnt way beyond your own expectation and imagination

6) To Create a Personal Brand
Many of us like to have a personal brand of our own – It can be as a technology expert, a great chef, a spiritual guru, a great parent, a benevolent advisor, the encyclopedia for answers on one / many subjects. And Twitter helps you to create this brand – Provided you focus, think, plan and tweet accordingly.

7) To garner support for a specific cause
One of the most powerful usages of Twitter is to amass support for a specific cause – it could be to donate blood for a medical emergency or to gather votes for a reality contest or a larger global issue of policy, governance, etc. which you strongly believe in. And Twitter can be very effectively used for creating awareness to a large base of global audience in real-time

8) To get a dose of motivation, inspiration and humor
This was a bit of a surprise! But a lot of people said that the primary reason for them to use Twitter was to get a dose of motivation, inspiration and humor – It could be for a specific low time in your day, to a blue moment in life, or just that one tweet to kick-start your day on a positive note, or that daily health tip which will give you the fuel to stick to your diet and exercise regime…

9) Just Like That!
I hear this a lot. A lot of people use Twitter with no specific intent, no specific objective and no specific agenda. They use it because it exists, because everyone around them is using it, because they have time..

In reality, majority of us use Twitter for one / many of the objectives listed above. Your primary objective on Twitter Usage will determine the quality and quantity of your tweets, your behavior and tweeting patterns. However, in the long run (say 10, 20 or 30 years from now) you will end-up with a huge volume of your own tweets covering a range of topics and tweeted with different intents. While traversing this growing volume of tweets will become a challenge to individuals like you and me, it will also provide ample opportunities for businesses on tweet segmentation, grouping, consolidation and aggregation.

While it is the start of the New Year 2012, it is good to review and re-think your usage of Twitter & if you need to review your own personal tweeting strategy.

On that Note.. Happy New Year 2012! And Happy Tweeting!!!

Why X did not get a career promotion?

X was denied a promotion to a senior level in the corporate ladder for reasons unknown… X is confused, unhappy, de-motivated and depressed…

And the only questions plaguing X are:
WHY NOT?
WHY NOT NOW?
WHY NOT AFTER ALL THAT I DID FOR THE ORGANIZATION?

If one looks  objectively at any organizational procedure for a career promotion, then usually the qualifying criteria are
1) X has played / is playing the right role for a career promotion
2) X has performed and delivered as per the requirements of the role
3) X is ready (Yes! I know of individuals who eve refuse a promotion if they believe they are not ready)
4) X’s boss considers X is ready (And yes! If your boss does not think you are ready, there’s an abysmal chance that you will get promoted)
5) X performs as per expectations in the procedure as defined by the organization (if any) – Could be an evaluation, assessment, interview, etc.

Because in X’s personal assessment the answers to the above questions are as below:
1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Yes
4) Yes
5) Yes

And also, X has a great profile, a diverse work experience in the industry, made significant professional contributions and has a stellar educational background and qualifications. X has been a star performer in the organization, created an impact which the sphere of influence and also made meaningful contributions in multiple forums within and outside the organization… Also, X wanted this promotion real bad and had worked really hard to honor all professional commitments – And really went beyond the call of duty in many occasions…

Obviously the Math does not add-up?

 So what could have possibly gone wrong?

• Was X visible enough?
 o Within the organization [With peers, those above X in the organization hierarchy, those below X in the organization hierarchy] and specifically with people who wield the real power within an organization
 o Outside the organization [In industry forums, independent bodies, etc.]
• Was the evaluation criteria objective, well-defined, standardized and right?
• Was the right panel evaluating X’s performance?
• Was X really playing the right role?
• Did X have a strong personal brand? in one / many dimensions as relevant in the organization context
• Was X really part of the right team?
• Was X’s work valued enough by the team and organization?
• Was X a victim of office politics?
• Was X in the wrong organization?
• Was X a victim of organization re-structuring?
• Was it an organization budget issue?
• Was it discrimination of any kind?
• Was it the law of karma?
• Was it just bad luck?

 What’s your view? Leave a Comment..