Search

Bedoor Bluemoon

Everyday writing to expose the soul

Tag

motivation

School Life is Imaginary

Imaginary

We all know that dreams occur when we’re fast asleep.  So when we are expected to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for school, some of our dreams are still lingering in our heads.  We manage to pull the energy to get dressed and, in good days, style our hair in a bun other than a high ponytail and we’re off to go.
Life, as we know it, exists within the school premises.  Life, all of life, is what we see, what we learn, who we hang out with, and on weekends, who we go out with.  We spend at least eight hours a day with our fellow classmates (and thus our BFFs forever!) and never reconsider another way of life.
Why is that?
Because it is very rare that social circles are beyond our school life.  We get to meet children from other schools when we play against them in our Junior Varsity and Varsity teams but it usually never advances to friendships.  We are mostly lazy, sticking with our childhood friends because we forgot how to make new friends and thus end up with that girl who just so happened to be sitting next to us in grade one.
How convenient.
Or if our parents are social butterflies, we befriend their children who, surprise surprise, probably go to our school as well because it’s “the best school there is.”
Then we get into groups.  People who like sports hang around with each other, people who play music, people who are technologically advanced, people who are technologically illiterate, cool kids, bad kids, popular kids, it’s all the same across schools and countries.  So you hate certain people, and like certain people.  And that’s the way it goes until the big day.
Graduation day.
You’ve been preparing all your life for this moment (this is probably the most used sentence in graduation speeches, alongside “we’ve done it”), and you’ve looked forward towards wearing that graduation gown and walking down the aisle.  You’ve discussed it a million times with your friends and were so anxious that you didn’t realize the car crash afterwards.  (sadly, a group of girls who graduated with me had a car crash but fortunately we didn’t lose anyone.)
The car crash called life.
Your close friends met your parents and so it’s no surprise when they meet them again in the ceremony.  It’s the other kids who turn all weird.  All of a sudden, that mean boy has parents.  Huh.  He has parents who kinda look like him and who, surprisingly, are very proud of his achievements even though they’re not so impressive.  BAM… Life…
A close friend decides to ignore you and concentrate on her family.  BAM… Life…
A girl who totally ignored you for the past five years comes up and takes a picture with you.  BAM… Life…
A guy who had a crush on you decides to introduce you to his mother who looks at you knowingly. BAM… Life…
People who didn’t really deserve the high achievement reward gets it and you wonder if there’s any foul play related.  BAM… Life…
And you walk in a haze… everything you once knew is completely gone.  Everything you thought was life is imaginary… everyone who walked on the school grounds suddenly is connected to people… It’s like a mind map of who knows who and who knows what and what money is being transferred to pull strings…
Then you realize, your college application could have gone through if only you had the money to “donate” and get into the amazing college of your dreams.  BAM… Life…
Life as you know it does not end within the school premises, life is what your parents have been trying to shelter you from because it’s a cruel cruel world for kids like you…
So be prepared to swim with the sharks, little fish.

Decision Day

Pursue

A Re-post
6c5867c608dc74ddc42ec1550aad085e

He stood by his desk thinking of the decision he just made and finally followed through after being so reluctant for the past 15 years.  It took him 15 years to take this step and when he finally did, it didn’t feel the way it should.  He wasn’t happy, he was ecstatic.

He looked at the picture of his wife and two boys and wondered how they would take the news.  He didn’t know that today was the day.  He didn’t know that today he would set himself free to pursue his dreams.  He didn’t know that on his way to the water cooler he would deviate and pass by his boss’s office to inform him.

He stood by the glass door of the office knowing exactly what he wanted.  Everything was clear to him.  Everything he did up to this point in his life was clear in his head and he saw exactly where he needs to be next.  He wasn’t emotional and he didn’t have a plan.  Nothing specific happened to trigger the decision, it was just time.

Time.  Oh how much time he wasted doing something he didn’t enjoy.

He had enough.  He had enough with putting on his suit every morning and driving the same route.  He had enough of thinking “what if” and “when will I?’  It was enough procrastination.  He procrastinated his life for the past 15 years and it was time for it to end.

He always knew what he wanted to be and do at an early age.  His passion for the kitchen led him to come back from work everyday and cook, regardless of the workload he carried.  He only felt alive with the chef’s knife in his hand, cutting vegetables and stirring pots on the stove.  He had a calling yet ignored it for so long thinking that his pay was more important than his dream.  He planned to start a small restaurant when he retires but couldn’t go on one more day.  This was it.  This was the day he chose to change his life.  This was decision day.

He knocked on the door and waited for the answer.  He walked in and very calmly explained his decision.  The boss nodded, stood up, and gave him a hug.  The boss knew him too well.  He saw him in the company’s last barbecue dinner and how his eyes lit when he was grilling the burgers, how laid back and comfortable he looked in the apron. He knew he would be losing one of his best employees soon and he was right.

He walked back to his desk and saw he didn’t have many “personal belongings” to pack.  He took the photo frame, his keys, and mobile phone and started walking.  He was never one of the team, he was always a guest that never clicked in.  One step, two steps, three steps, he smiled.  Four steps, five steps, six steps, he turned and looked at the office, everyone was busy working on their computers or talking on their phones. He grinned. Seven steps, he started removing his tie thinking how cliche.  Eight steps, nine steps, 10 steps, he throws the tie in the bin and reaches the elevator.  He presses the down button and waits.

The elevator arrives, he walks in and turns.  This would be the last time he walks into a corporate building and he gladly presses “G”.  He knew that this was the best decision he ever made.

Break Outside your Comfort Zone

comfort zone

When you change nothing, nothing changes.  When life reaches a point where every day is like the day before, things get comfortable.  You know what is expected from you, what you expect from people, and what you will achieve that day.  But in the long run, your achievements will be minimal in relation to the number of days you lived.

So why wait for the change to happen when the factor that is needed is you.  You need to change to enforce change.  You need to do things differently to get higher results or, at least, something else.  Yes, we are all guilty of taking the back seat in our lives but we shouldn’t settle because there are many things out there that can be achieved.

Things you wanted to do before you turned 30 shouldn’t be a list thrown away.  Even though 15 year old you is only living in the past, you owe him/her some respect towards their desires; he/she is still a part of you.  When change happens, everything happens.

Your comfort zone is like your home.  You feel comfortable in it and you stop growing.  You stop learning, and you stop expanding your horizon.  The world is continuously changing and people who follow these trends and accept these changes are no longer prisoners of their fear.  Fear of change and fear of growth.

But how can you be the factor that induces this growth?  Takes you from one phase in life to another?  First, you need to accept the challenge and know your strengths and weaknesses.  You need to identify what you want done, face your biggest fear, your demons, head on.  You need to take one step outside your comfort zone.  Feel uncomfortable: it won’t kill you.

There are many cliche sayings such as “think outside the box” and “there is no box” and “be the change you want to see in the world,” but in my opinion, the best is “There is no spoon”.  Yes, there is no spoon because the boundaries and your fear is all in your head.  For example, let’s assume I am afraid to present in front of a big group.  It’s not an impossible task; many people are capable of doing it and yet my speech starts to slur and I feel like I’m having a nervous breakdown.  Now, this contains me in a little bit, taking away possibilities and choices, and reduces my skills by one skill.  Imagine that this goes on to include more skills: networking, socializing, report writing, too scared to watch movies that have to do with death, too scared to read books that have more than 300 pages.  These are all restrictions on ME.  I am actively putting myself in jail and making it smaller by these ridiculous constraints that nobody placed but myself.

So why do it?

Because it’s too scary?

Well, outside is where the magic happens.  Where possibilities are infinite and everything is within reach.  Stepping outside your comfort zone may be hard to start, but after a few steps and familiarizing yourself with your new surroundings, you have a new bigger comfort zone.  One that may have included one thing you consider “magic.”  And you take another step out, and you grow your comfort zone, thereby including more magic in your life.

Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean meeting new people, it could mean doing something different.  Skiing, skateboarding, traveling, meditating, taking a journey inwards, taking a journey outwards, reading a new genre, it doesn’t matter.  It only matters that you made the effort to change your days and understand that perception is everything.  You are the only one binding you with unnecessary limits in a place where there are no limits.

Think.  Step outside.  Grow.  Find your magic.  And remember, there is no spoon.

photo_movieMatrix-quoteSpoon

Know your Employees, Get Better Results

There are many ideas and theories regarding how to best motivate people in general and employees in specific.  Most managers remember the X, Y, and Z theories of management from back in college in addition to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which has been altered recently to add a new primitive and basic need: WIFI.  I have seen an image of the pyramid with ” battery” at the bottom but thought they were taking it a little too far.  To refresh your memory, Maslow stated that all people have the same needs which he then segregated to physiological, safety, esteem, and self actualization (as shown below).  It’s not a difficult concept but back in college, it was just a theory.

Maslow-hierarchy

When we finally got employed and for those of us who are fortunate to be deemed managers, we were given employees and told that we now have the role of motivating them.  So what we all did was go back to our textbooks and started researching “motivation.”

Through the process of trial and error, thinking that I was sometimes too lenient and sometimes too strict, and at other times thinking that I was not cut out for this job and introverts should stay away from life as it is, I came to realize that theories were put in place as tools to help us and as guidelines to set our course.  It has come to my attention that the employee I spend time talking and listening to is usually more motivated than another employee who I haven’t met with for a while.  Why is that?

Communication is key.  Knowing how the employee thinks and what he is looking for helps you, as a manager, identify what motivates him.  An employee who seems to look forward to going out in the weekends and spending time with friends would probably appreciate time off work or additional vacation days.  It doesn’t just rely on where that person is in his life, as in whether the employee is single or married, has kids, is thinking of retiring, and so forth, it also relies on the individual and his personal goals.

So let me give you a few pointers that could help:

1- When you have someone newly employed, talk to them.  Listen to their life story and try to understand what kind of person he/she is.  You will be surprised to know that most people lead a fairly similar life to you and usually have pretty clear goals.

2- Look at your employees, read their faces.  Employees are people who get affected by what goes on in their life.  They cannot just leave their problems at the door; it’s not possible, they are human.  Read their faces and find out what “happy” looks like and what “sad” or “disappointed” looks like.  You mostly need these two emotions to motivate.

3- Take cues from others.  When you hear that employee X is unhappy, he probably is unhappy.  Listen to people then try to find out if it’s true.

4- Listen to stories and try to make connections.  Many things happen around the office and when you hear that employee Y is a family man and loves his kids very much, consider that a point you can use to motivate him when needed.  So when employee Y does something good, maybe you can give him a gift voucher for a family dinner or offer to help with providing medical insurance for his pregnant wife to help with expenses:  something related to family.  More about this subject on my previous post Buying The Perfect Gift can be applied here.

5- Know your employees at a personal level without getting personal with them. This is very tricky because you don’t want to be mistaken as a friend but rather as a very nice boss.  A boss which they can talk to but who would not be invited over for birthday parties.  This is a very delicate balance where you need to be empathetic but not a pushover.  This could sometimes makes it hard to discipline but the key is to maintain their respect.

6- Do not over-complicate matters.  Some people just want and need money, others want time off, some want to be thanked in private, others want to be appreciated in public.  And of course, someone is out there to take over your job.  Your role is to know what the employee needs AT THAT TIME since needs constantly change.

Get to know your employees to be able to motivate them.  Everyone is different and people change over time.  Truly understand what makes them happy “tick” and what makes them sad “tock”  Talk to your employees: be their leader, be their coach.  Navigate them to succeed in their lives and you will get better results.

Decision Day

6c5867c608dc74ddc42ec1550aad085e

He stood by his desk thinking of the decision he just made and finally followed through after being so reluctant for the past 15 years.  It took him 15 years to take this step and when he finally did, it didn’t feel the way it should.  He wasn’t happy, he was ecstatic.

He looked at the picture of his wife and two boys and wondered how they would take the news.  He didn’t know that today was the day.  He didn’t know that today he would set himself free to pursue his dreams.  He didn’t know that on his way to the water cooler he would deviate and pass by his boss’s office to inform him.

He stood by the glass door of the office knowing exactly what he wanted.  Everything was clear to him.  Everything he did up to this point in his life was clear in his head and he saw exactly where he needs to be next.  He wasn’t emotional and he didn’t have a plan.  Nothing specific happened to trigger the decision, it was just time.

Time.  Oh how much time he wasted doing something he didn’t enjoy.

He had enough.  He had enough with putting on his suit every morning and driving the same route.  He had enough of thinking “what if” and “when will I?’  It was enough procrastination.  He procrastinated his life for the past 15 years and it was time for it to end.

He always knew what he wanted to be and do at an early age.  His passion for the kitchen led him to come back from work everyday and cook, regardless of the workload he carried.  He only felt alive with the chef’s knife in his hand, cutting vegetables and stirring pots on the stove.  He had a calling yet ignored it for so long thinking that his pay was more important than his dream.  He planned to start a small restaurant when he retires but couldn’t go on one more day.  This was it.  This was the day he chose to change his life.  This was decision day.

He knocked on the door and waited for the answer.  He walked in and very calmly explained his decision.  The boss nodded, stood up, and gave him a hug.  The boss knew him too well.  He saw him in the company’s last barbecue dinner and how his eyes lit when he was grilling the burgers, how laid back and comfortable he looked in the apron. He knew he would be losing one of his best employees soon and he was right.

He walked back to his desk and saw he didn’t have many “personal belongings” to pack.  He took the photo frame, his keys, and mobile phone and started walking.  He was never one of the team, he was always a guest that never clicked in.  One step, two steps, three steps, he smiled.  Four steps, five steps, six steps, he turned and looked at the office, everyone was busy working on their computers or talking on their phones. He grinned. Seven steps, he started removing his tie thinking how cliche.  Eight steps, nine steps, 10 steps, he throws the tie in the bin and reaches the elevator.  He presses the down button and waits.

The elevator arrives, he walks in and turns.  This would be the last time he walks into a corporate building and he gladly presses “G”.  He knew that this was the best decision he ever made.

New Year Resolutions should be SMART

smart-goals

Everyone has a boost in motivation when writing their New Year resolutions and, honestly, why not?  It’s a great time to start something since everyone else is doing it.  It’s usually the time when people are very optimistic about the 365 days coming up they feel that they can do anything, everything, the thing they never got around to, and thing they vowed will be done, and the thing they will probably stop doing in a few months.

Now why is that?

Well, beginnings are always hopeful.  The start of a new job, the start of a new relationship, the start of a new goal, and so on.  The problem is the start is usually where we make mistakes.

When setting goals, you should make sure that they should be SMART goals.  I’m sure many of you know the concept of SMART goals in work but, as a reminder, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  We apply SMART goals in our jobs and it honestly travels well into our lives.

Now let’s take the classic example of losing weight.  The usual resolution is “lose weight” or some more specific version such as “lose five kilos this year”.  Alright the second one is a bit better but the goal is so vague Future-You would look for (and find) the loop holes.  Future-You would say “well, I lost a kilo so I’m alright” NO!  You’re NOT alright,  you must be stronger than Future-You.  You must be SMARTer 😉

S- Lose five kilograms

M- measurable with a weighing scale

A- it is most probably attainable

R- yes it’s relevant as it has to do with your weight

T- by June 30, 2015.

(Motivation: one slice of chocolate cake- this addition would help keep your eye on the goal.  But internal motivators should be used for better results).

Aha.  Now you can apply the same method to your other goals.

Challenge yourself, set your goals and make sure to keep milestones that would keep your motivation up.  It helps when you can see the end that’s why 30 day challenges work well.  For writers who plan to write a book, milestones can be the chapters written or reviewed.  For photographers, milestones can be a certain number of pictures taken and shared or sold, and so on.

Identify the goal so you can keep it right in front of you.  Identify your goal and work towards it.  Identify your goal and reward yourself when you reach.  Pat yourself on the back and be proud.

Stop giving yourself excuses, start somewhere SMART.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑