We all wished for more time in our hands, more time with the family. Now that we have what we had wished for during the lock down, most seem to be struggling with it. This could be a great opportunity for us to do things that we had always wanted to do. I would like to list a few high quality ways to use our time:
Learn a new skill
Our home and internet gives us plenty of opportunities to learn a brand new skill – a new human language, a software language, Excel shortcuts, Udemy or Coursera courses on any skill that you always had your eyes on but never got around to it. A lockdown gives you the ability to put in atleast your otherwise commute hours to use in learning something.
Continue reading 7 things to do make the most of your time in Lockdown
In the post Get more out of your reading, I talked about using Pocket, a tool that helps you save web articles for later reading. Pocket also saves content for reading offline, so that you don’t have to remain connected to the Internet to read the saved articles. Perfect for reading during commutes.
Recently I shifted to a tool named Shiori for saving articles to read later. Cannot help noticing a significant difference between the two. What if there are more articles saved than the size of your screen? Pocket is an app designed with modern UI. It provides ‘infinite scroll’. Shiori has a good UI, but it looks very outdated, like an Android app from 2013. It also uses the outdated concept of ‘pagination’. This outdated concept is why I respect the app in the first place. Continue reading Breaking the spell of infinite scroll
“Dad, I got 98 out of 100 in Mathematics.”, says the bright child with results in his hand. The dad’s discouraging response is, “Why not centum?”
While thankfully not a precedent at my home or my wife Priya‘s, the community that we belong to, i.e. Brahmin community of Tamil Nadu in India, is notorious for its insistence on getting the perfect score in examinations, especially in a subject like maths or science where all the questions are objective and you could potentially score 100%.
While I definitely question the extremely high score standards set by the community, my problem starts with the system itself. A system which makes it possible to score a centum in examinations. If you already know the answers to every challenge in a test, what did you learn that day? Continue reading The myth of centum
Is instant gratification evil? Does working on long term goals need sacrifices such that you need to give up something fun today for a better future? Is working on long term goals a drudgery, which appears boring and monotonous?
The answer to all three questions is NO. You can build a good habit and make it fun and instantly gratifying. In fact, that is the ONLY way to keep up that habit long term. Let’s read on to learn more. Continue reading Rewarding yourself immediately: The ONE surefire way to keep your habits
Joy of Travel
If I got paid Re.1 for every time I heard people say ‘Travel is my passion’ I’d have been a millionaire..no wait..a billionaire may be. But most of them do not pursue their travel passion it due to lack of time, expenses, not having sufficient holidays, spouse not willing, friends ditched at the last minute, parents said no and several other excuses we generally find for not pursuing what we want to. But do we really need to travel to experience the joy of travel?
Why do we travel?
We travel to meet new people, experience new things, learn new skills, be exposed to a whole new world. But is it mandatory to travel to be able to do these things? Is it not possible to do this in the place we live?
Continue reading Experience the joy of travel without the travel
Have you heard of people come back from long trips and say ‘Travel changed us. We are now better people’. What does travel do to change you ? We had written about our learning from India360 earlier. But this time I want to give a very objective view on how travel can change you based on a renowned model of measuring personality traits Continue reading How India360 travel made us better?
We have received feedback, filtered through it and determined it is appropriate and given by someone competent with a good understanding. What next?
Take a deep breath
Critical feedback is hard to accept for anyone, not just you. It hurts to know that you are not perfect, the world is not love in with the way you are. And unlike many cliches, they are probably right and it is up to you to make changes in your life for the better. For all its obviousness, it is still not an easy thing to do. So if you are sitting in front of the one who has given the feedback, thank them and tell them you will seriously consider the feedback given to you.
Try not to feel enraged and get defensive. Don’t get apologetic without understanding thoroughly. Don’t try to pass on the blame or call it a misunderstanding by the other person. Just breathe and let the feedback sink in your head.
Continue reading How to work on feedback?
We often work hard to get noticed. Dress up well to get attention. But many times we are uncomfortable when finally the hard work pays off and attention is showered on us. We deny, deflect and feel uncomfortable with the attention and praise. It is surprising yet true, that compliment more than insults unnerve us and take us by surprise.
Lets look at what are the appropriate ways to take a compliment
Accept and say ‘thank you’
Often ‘Thankyou’ with a smile is the most sincere way to accept a compliment. You may elaborate on the thanks but never negate the acceptance.
Compliment: “That’s an excellent presentation. You really owned the crowd.”
Bad response: “Thanks. But i forgot a few points in between. I think I could have done a lot better.”
Good response: “Thank you.”
Better response: “Thank you. I am glad you liked it”
“Thank you. I really worked hard on it and am very happy to know I got through to the audience”
Continue reading How to take a compliment?
We saw how to give praise and Feedback the last few weeks. In the next couple of weeks, lets look at how to receive them and what to do with it. When and what to consider and what not to ?
We seek advice and feedback often when we are unsure of our future course of action. Sometimes people add relevant perspectives that we had never considered. They challenge the way we look at our world and bring clarity. Sometimes they leave us even more confused and are best ignored. But how do we know when to do what? Am I ignoring an advice because it makes me uncomfortable or if it is not relevant to me?
Continue reading Advice and Feedback – When to ignore?
Let’s say you have a dinner date night with your spouse this weekend. Will you pick the same restaurant where you have been before and enjoyed your meal or will you try something new? Your regular restaurant will surely guarantee a great experience. That’s why you often go there. But it takes away the feeling of serendipity. A feeling of discovering something somewhere which is better than any experience you have ever had. For that you should seek a restaurant you have never been to. What if you stumble upon something that becomes your new favourite? But contrarily, what if the experience there is so bad that it ruins your weekend?
You’ll never know the answer. You’ll never know if you are stuck in a rut, not willing to try something better. You’ll never know if a new trial will be a worthwhile experience. That is what we try to answer with the explore / exploit intention. Sometimes you have to EXPLORE new experiences, hoping that one of them becomes a new favourite. But more often, you have to exploit, using your existing knowledge to lock in a good experience.
Continue reading Explore and exploit: The intentions that determine our choices