Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I bet you will be lucky!

This is no Magical Luck school article to change your luck forever but this is what works for me.

We all dream a lot - some are lucky, some are not. But if you think it, want it, dream it, then it's real. You are what you feel. - Tim Rice

It is not the way our fortunes are but it is the way we build our fortunes that makes us lucky or unlucky. If you want to be lucky follow the below list and your bad luck will leave you forever( Hope for the best always).

Create short-term goals.
How can you aim without having a target? Setting a goal makes your target visible. It helps you focus. Short term goals act as building blocks. It can be as simple as learning a new recipe this weekend or whatever you feel you should accomplish today, tomorrow or at most this week. Your short-term goals are stepping stones to achieve your long-term goals. So every smaller goal achieved will bring you a step closer to your long-term goal.

Create long-term goals.
Long term goals are very important. You may not fix a proper date to it but you can have an approx timeline to measure your progress. Long term goals must have a timeline of a month, a year at max. Long goal tasks should be like “Moving into a management position”, “Learning a foreign language”, “Buying a car or a house” etc.

Refine your goals.

Are your goals crystal-clear?
Each of your goals should define in detail what you will achieve. You cannot have vague goals.

Are they realistic?
You can have a goal to be the first man to land on Mars but that may not be a realistic goal for you. You must have goals which make you work hard but they should be realistic.

Are they quantifiable?
Your goal should be measureable. Can somebody else assess whether you have achieved your goal? If no, then add a measureable unit to it.

What about the timeline?
Goal with no timeline do not motivate you & thus you will not work towards achieving it. Also, don’t have too rigid or too loose timelines, both won’t workout.

Are they meaningful?
You can have endless list of goals but not all are worthwhile. A goal worth committing is one which makes you feel good when accomplished or adds some value or makes you proud or/& happy.

Don’t Procrastinate.
Delaying deadlines and later trying hard to meet the ends leads to unnecessary hassles. We mostly procrastinate because we fear that we may do it wrong or we may not do it all. But you fail to realize that you have come to such conclusion without even giving the task a try. So don’t procrastinate and take action. Get away for anything that distracts you or anything that can hold you from completing a particular task & get it done.

"Do it now, because one day you'll either be saying I wish I had or I'm glad I did!" - Unknown

Work Hard.
As Thomas Edison said “There is no substitute for hard work”. It doesn’t happen that you will be great from day one in field of your choice or interest. It takes a lot of hard work to get up there; researchers have even coined a term called Ten Year rule. It even suggests that for many of the world class achievers it has taken 20-30 years of hard work before hitting their zenith.

Be a Learner.
Learning is a never ending process. You should be always open to new opportunities in your way & be ready to learn. It increases your knowledge & keeps you in sync with the current happenings.

Reward yourself.
Whenever you accomplish a goal (no matter how small or gigantic), you should celebrate the achievement. This motivates you & increases your hunger to achieve more. Leo on Zenhabits advises that while setting a goal we can list an appropriate award for the same. It will make you feel good of your accomplishment.

Our luck is in our hands and the steps we take in our life decide the outcome of our various actions. It is all about our outlook and how we see things around us.

"The more positive we are, the luckier we will be." - RP
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Work Smart not Hard!

You should have a plan to execute before diving straight into the job & wandering aimlessly with lot of wasted time. Asses the work at hand & then calculate the variables like ‘Effort required”, “Complexity”, “Priority” and the expected deadline. With proper plan you can tackle the work effectively with optimal resources.

Right tools + Nice tricks = “Smart worker”
You need to be armed & equipped with latest information, tools or technology to be best at your job. You can’t cut a wet log with a jagged saw; knowing the right tool for the work at hand is very important. Learning various handy shortcuts will save a great deal of pain. So try to spend sometime and pickup the various tricks of trade in your field. These may or may not make you the king but will surely save you from becoming a slave.
Imagine if there was no Ctrl+Z (Undo command)?

Get things arranged properly at your workplace. It maybe files, folders at the table or in your desktop. Similar things can be grouped together; assign distinct place for each group. Follow this approach & you can pick everything even with eyes closed.

Develop smart practices
Learn from your experience & reuse the best tricks you have developed. If there are few steps you need perform for every activity then devise a way to automate it so that a lot of manual work is saved. Talk to your peers they may help you or advise a better way to do it.

Learn to say NO
Know your limits. You must not do everything which comes your way. Do not get trapped in accepting a task which is not in your scope or with an unreasonable expectation. Communicate clearly to your peers or superiors about your discomfort with valid reasons. Make sure you are not saying “NO” to regular services you offer; it can be bad for your career health.

Finish with a BANG
Doing things quickly & then reworking on the same due to numerous of errors is not “Smart Working”. A job well done which exceeds the expectation will be a great reward for you. Make sure that before you deliver the task, it meets (if not exceeds) the expectation of requester. Check every detail & measure accuracy so that the requester never comes back with any issues. It is like putting your seal of trust & branding yourself.

I bet there are plenty of smart workers out here so lets hear some advice from you.
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Friday, February 27, 2009

9 practical reasons for you to start running.

Most of the people start running as a path to loose weight easily. However I started running to increase fitness & gain stamina. I getup around 5:45 & get in my tracks for run. It feels so relaxing under the morning sky & the smell of fresh air is soothing. People generally stay away from running because they think it is tiring & painful whereas running is a wonderful exercise with endless benefits.

I would try to list 9 benefits which will help you to get motivated.

Improved core stability.
According to Wikipedia “Core stability relates to the bodily region bounded by the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the lower back and the diaphragm and its ability to stabilize the body during movement.”. When you run your abdomen muscles kick-in & your back supports your movement. This makes your core stronger & enhances the stability.

Burn those calories.
Running is one of the best activities to burn a lot of calories in an easy way. The actual amount of calories burned depends on lot of factors like weight, miles run. It will help you to loose those extra pounds quickly and maintain a healthy body fat level.

Build a stronger lower body.
Do you that while running your calf lifts the heel about 15000 times per mile? This simple activity (i.e. running) works on every part of the body & helps building strong hamstrings, shins, tendons, thighs & hips. It increases the flexibility of the muscles which decreases muscle cramp & muscle tear.
Better Endurance.
Regular running improves endurance. It helps you maintain the quality of muscle force for a longer period. Running increases your strength, speed & stamina.

Improved metabolism.
You will have an improved digestion. Researches have shown that the body of a runner burns calories at higher rate for a longer period compared to a non-runner. It increases the resting metabolism rate.

Improved cardiovascular health.
Cardiovascular Disease is #1 killer & consumes several lives every day. Running forces heart to pump more blood which makes arteries expand-contract 3 times more than normal rate. This increases the elasticity of arteries. It helps in maintaining lower blood pressure levels & a healthy heart which will help you live longer to see your grandchildren.

Quick recovery from injuries.
The amount of training your body goes through while you run makes you less susceptible to injuries & also recover a lot faster if injured.

Reduce risk of Muscle atrophy.
Muscle atrophy is loss of muscle due to lack of use or disease. This increases with aging. Running helps you gain more muscle & maintain the muscle & bone density. A runner is at far less risk of losing muscles compared to a non-active person with a sedentary lifestyle.

Run for Fun.
Remember how we use to run when we were little kids. We use to turn the whole house upside down, that comes natural to us as kids. But as we grow we get into meaningless activities to make lemonade out of life’s limes & forget what fun is. Running is known to improve mood & make you feel happier. You would have already read about famous “Runner’s high” but that happens only in extreme running scenarios. But still personally running makes me high :) & it is great to run with a partner.

I hope you like this article. Feel free to share your stories & advice regarding running.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Things to do when bored!!!

Too bored to open eyes!

Are you bored? I'll not bore you more with a long list of 300 things to do when bored. Here is a simple list in top down approach to cheer you up & make you feel happy.

Search your phone.
  • Dial any unknown number. Talk to the person who answers the phone & try to engage him as long as you can. Keep a stopwatch and set a record for yourself to beat.
  • Think about someone whom you have not called for quite sometime. Dial them and catch up on the happenings.
  • Call a loved one and know about their well being.
Act crazy.
  • Dress as silly as you can and then look at the mirror and laugh at yourself. For even better results, go out in the public park for a walk. Maybe you would be the next trend setter.
  • Take photos of yourself making various funny faces. Take printouts of those photos & prepare a collage or use it as your desktop wallpaper.
  • Dress-up with all the clothes in your closet & try doing lunges (remember Joe in Friends)
Time to rock.
  • Put on some of your favorite funky tunes in your preferred media player & try singing along. Dancing with the tunes will be even better.
  • Rent some great comedy movies. Animated ones will be better. (I love animations.)
Reading is good.
  • Select a book that interests you. Make a habit to read few pages everyday & reward yourself when you complete a book. Try to read one book every month.
  • The World Wide Web is full of information and knowledgeable articles, so just go to your favorite website\blog or search your topic and read.

Hobby acts as an outlet of emotions for some, and a way to gain knowledge for others. It is an excellent tool to unearth your hidden talents. So pursue your hobby & you will be doing some productive task while killing boredom.

Take a nap:

Shut everything down and get to a comfy littler corner & cuddle up under your favorite blanket. It is like pressing a reset button of your machine. A quick nap packs invigorates you, so you are more active & fresh.

A Boring solution:

Ok you tried all of the above things. Take this boring challenge.
  • List 10 things which make you feel happy.
  • Pick any one activity out of this list and do it. I bet, you will be out of this slump.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. ~Mark Twain

Image by Hotdirt
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why should people execise?

Simply put the more you exercise regularly the more healthy and fit you will be. You may have enough excuses to not to exercise but let me tell you, the benefits of exercising regularly are endless. Here I have tried to compile top 5 reasons to motivate you.

Healthy Heart & Stronger body:

Exercise involves movement of all parts of the body and it makes you breath heavily & forces your heart to pump more blood and this results in stronger heart & lungs. It saves you from heart risks by reducing the LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) or simply said bad cholesterol & also lowers the chances of Type-2 Diabetes. Improved blood circulation keeps arteries healthy & free from blockage. Exercise strengthens your bones, ligaments & muscles fibers which will help you sail easily through aging.

Better Immune system:

Exercise improves oxygen intake of the body which is very importantly linked with immune system. Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg found that the deficiency of oxygen can develop cancer in cells & also lead to tumors. Researchers have consistently shown that slow movements (as in Yoga, Taichi) with focused deep breathing makes the immune system more active & strong.

Kill stress & feel good:

During workout & exercise routine body releases endomorphins, biochemical compunds produced by pituitary gland, which are natural pain-killers and are known as feel good chemicals. These feel good chemicals relax your brain and make you happy & livelier throughout the day.

Burn Fat - Stay fit:

Obesity is consuming lives of million people & is a staggering problem in health space. Sedentary lifestyle & junk food binging has compounded it. Regular exercise will keep your body fat in check and will help you live longer. It will make you look more attractive and also raise your confidence levels.

Exercise is fun:
  • Is following a regular exercise routine boring? Let’s make it FUN!!!
  • Choose exercises\activities which you enjoy.
  • Plug your IPod & listen to your favorite music while exercising.
  • Choose different exercises\activities each day. (Eg: vary exercise routines, go swimming or bike riding alternate days).
  • Get a exercise buddy to motivate you.
There are endless ways to exercise while having fun so no more excuse!

It is not necessary to do a strenuous workout; a brisk walk or a mild jog with your dog is also a great exercise. Small steps to health are important because always small initiation make big difference.

So I think we have enough reasons to start exercising and stay healthy. Let me know what reasons do you have to exercise?
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