Why You Have Everything To Lose Now?

WHY YOU HAVE EVERYTHING TO LOSE NOW-

A friend invited me for a quick coffee chat the other day. He was trying to get a bit of insight into how he can plan for his next move forward. He had just recently graduated from university. He was a confident, well groomed and dynamic young man, whom I was guessing, aspiring to be a speaker.

In the course of our conversation, he mentioned a phrase that got me intrigued. He said something along the lines of, “I’ve got nothing much to lose as I have a lot of time in my hands.” I stopped him in his tracks, and asked. “Do you really have nothing much to lose?”

The Illusion Of Time

You will agree with me, that when you once looked at life from the perspectives of a 20 year old, it was filled with rainbow colored mountains. You told yourself, that there is so much to explore, so many paths to journey on and so many mountains to climb. The vast amount of options in achieving success, seemed enthralling.

And while we were looking at all those options, we silently muttered to ourselves, “I will find the time to do all that.” Yet, years passed, and suddenly we find ourselves at the age of 30 and wondered why we have still not conquered even a single peak of those rainbow mountains.

What happened?

The elusive nature of time happened. It crept up on us and overtook us before we even realized it. The head start it gave us, was the grand vision of possible achievements.

So I gave my young friend a few pointers. Pointers that I learned, from my own abysmal experiences. And I am sure it resonates with you too.

Potential Is Bull

I grew up with a realization that I was filled with potential. People around me were always citing how talented I was. People told me that I had the talent to sing, draw, speak, lead and even do fly if I wanted to.

Of course, it dawned on me also that they were right. I did all the above with  a high degree of competency. In fact, one avenue in which I found myself to be absolutely competent in, was in the area of public speaking. I was so good that I knew that one day I will make a career out of it. And this realization came about at the age of 16.

20 years on, I am still not a speaker. What happened?

I rested on my potential. Cause I thought that my potential will roll me up the gradients in life.

Yet, physics have proven that the largest amount of potential is stored when a ball rests on top of a slope. But no amount of energy can be released if that ball does not start rolling down.

Thus this analogy proved decisively that I was like that ball, resting on top of the slope. Filled with vast amount of potential. Yet nothing happened, cause I did not bother moving.

Do Not Believe In Your Own Hype

“Quality sells itself. No hype needed.”
― Brandi L. Bates, Red Flags

If you thought that not working on your potential is bad, try believing your own hype. That is even worse. I’ve always wondered as to why people, who were less  talented  than me, were achieving things way much faster.

People were always telling me, how I was so much better than those they knew. And yet, these people whom I deemed less capable, were earning bucks for their various attempts at making it in life.

The conundrum then dawned on me that I was self absorbed in my delusional self hype. People were right. I was more capable. And that was the problem. Believing in my hype made me think that there will be a “perfect time” when my abilities will be showcased to the world. I was always  waiting for the “perfect moments”. It never arrived.

You Have Everything To Lose

It may seem ridiculous to tell this to a young guy. To make him feel alarmed at the prospects he might lose out on.

And I say this with the conviction that the landscapes of self promotion avenues have changed rapidly. These days, even a 7 year old with enough singing potential, can succeed, if he/she manages to get the needed leverage. Be it via social media or traditional media exposure. The little child has so much more time compared to you, yet he/she is banking on it now. Not tomorrow or next year.

I feel that if we are not working fast and hard enough these days, we have everything to lose. The 2 business capitals that may seem exclusive to us, time and potential, will become obsolete and useless, by the time we feel we ought to work on it.

So, take my word for it. You have so much to lose.

Start now.

 

 

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Who Are You To Judge?

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“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

When was the last time you felt a compelling need to judge someone? The innate desire to make a call on someone’s character just by the status he/she puts on their Facebook profile. Or perhaps, the intense want of connecting a picture on Instagram with the current state of someone’s life.

If you felt the need to do so recently or constantly, let me tell you one thing. Stop it.

The need to judge is seductive, isn’t it? It makes us feel credibly right, when we look at someone and be able to decipher immediately that there might be something wrong with that person. Morally, intellectually, financially,spiritually or just physically.

You see, I’ve always been intrigued by the notion that people can have absolute perspectives (aka judgments) about you . They are akin to those roadside gypsies with tarot cards and crystal balls. With a whiff of your smell or the look on your palms, they are able to tell you in definite terms, the opportunities and pitfalls that will meet you on your life’s paths. Same context but differing content happens when you upload pictures or statuses on your social media accounts.

Now you might be asking here, “So what’s the point?”

My point is this. Powerful people do not

  • Judge people
  • Make decisions based on judgement calls
  • Like to be judged

Judge people

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

You know what happens when you judge people? The quality of your communication and relationship deteriorates. Because you have a biased perception entrenched in your small mind, you begin to second guess people’s intentions. You start to assume and interpret people’s actions willfully.

Can you ever be influential if you start judging people way before they are able to be influenced? I guess not.

Thus the quick fix to this is simple. Don’t judge.

Make decisions based on judgement calls

“When we are judging everything, we are learning nothing.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Best lesson in salesmanship. Never assume. Cause it makes an ass out of you and me.

How many times have you gone through that phase of regretting a lost opportunity just because you made a judgment call way too early? When you passed up a great relationship opportunity, just because you saw a picture on Instagram and decided that the person has a partner? Or how about that crazy moment of deciding that the client is not right for you, just because he came in for the appointment dressed sloppily, and not realizing that he is in fact a badly dressed millionaire?

We tend to make wrong decisions when we have a premature judgement on people and situations.

If you have a judgment call, let it sink in for a while before deciding and shooting your mouth off. That is why powerful people are not impulsive. They decide quickly. But they think it over quicker. Don’t decide on judgmental impulses.

Like to be judged

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”
― David Brin

Powerful people don’t judge. So understandably, they don’t like to be at the end of someone else’s judgement. You will agree with me on this because, deep within, you are telling yourself things like, “Only God can judge me.”

It sounds cliched that everyone feels like these, yet everyone of us feel entitled to judge others. Irony of it all.

But truly it must be said that the only way we can rid ourselves off this eternal circle of judgment, is when we we consciously stop giving judgments.  Period.

Society wants you to be yourself. So just be.

Why Alexander Graham Bell Said Hello!

Halo!

A few days back, I made a call to a friend. Asked her out for a late supper. She must have been surprised by the call, judging from her “Hello?”. Hearing her voice was also somewhat of a chirpy surprise for me, considering that the call was perhaps the first in a long while. Reason being that we had always maintained our communication  via Whatsapp.

The thing that surprised me though was the quality of the conversation. While it was probably  the shortest conversation by a long shot, lasting slightly more than 3 minutes, it was memorable.

The thing about hearing someone’s voice at the end of the other line, is that you can listen in to a host of emotional responses. The tonality, pitch and volume of someone’s voice can indicate their level of excitement or despair, when speaking to you.

I guess this is the part about being authentic, that most people have almost forgotten.

People these days are more comfortable having conversations via text messages or social media. What this does is that it impedes the person’s natural conversational skills.

Have you ever asked yourself just why is it, that when you hear stories about a person’s last moments before death or disasters, they will always try to reach out to their loved one’s via a phone call?

It is crucial for you to understand, that while we are being bombarded with a host of social media applications for ease of communication, it should not take away the significance of a simple phone call.

If you are like most people, you probably have more than 10 personal or group conversations on your mobile devices. What it does is that these conversations tend to create a clutter of meaningless chatter. You have people discussing trivial matters over hours just because it is an easy conversation to partake in.

The key takeaway here is to understand the power of your voice. One important aspect of authenticity, is the ability to communicate your thoughts with your voice.If you want to add a dash of personal power, pick up your phone and make that call. You’ll get your points across faster.

 

 

5 Easy Steps Towards A More Confident You In 30 Days

5 CONFIDENCE HACKS

Your parents will never tell you this. Your teachers will never share this. Your friend will deny this. All of them will never ever say this. But I will.

Confidence is a contact sport.

You will never grow in confidence if you sit on your couch, scrolling through those Instagram and Tinder accounts. You will not build your charisma bank, just by listening to Anthony Robbin’s motivational audios. You are most likely not gonna make heads turn by keeping your mouth shut.

How do I know this? Cause I’ve been in that gutter of not being cool or confident before. And if you are pretty much in that gutter  now, am sure you can relate and feel the anguish of missing out on fun, enthralling and seductive social exchanges. You probably have those moments of going,”Damn, I should have just smiled back…”

Okay, I feel you. So lemme give you a quick run on how you can get up to speed on that confidence. In 30 days? You bet. Cause I did it.

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The Curious Case Of The Big Bad Wolf

Why Be Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf

Impressions.

Most people swear and live by them. In fact, that is the framework of our social media presence. You wear the nicest outfits, sport the widest smiles and jump  the highest in your Instagram posts. You say the wittiest, funniest and most inspirational things in your Facebook posts. In fact, you prime up the best things in your social media accounts, because it is meant to serve a purpose.

Make an impression. The more compelling the impression, the deeper the connection.

Which brings me to a thought. What if the Big Bad Wolf, in that fabled tale  of the Three Little Pigs, had a social media account? What do you think would he have posted? Him, playing with kittens? Or perhaps picking flowers?

We grew up with that simple story. About how three pigs, tried to thwart the hungry advances of a wolf. We noted in glee, as we celebrated the demise of the wolf, when he went down the chimney of the last pig’s house and got burned alive, after failing to blow his bricked house.

We were told that the big bad wolf, was always hungry, scheming and preying on weak, innocent and helpless victims like the pigs. That story got imprinted in our childhood memories. It was a subtle indication that the strong, powerful and hungry were always on the extreme side of evil.

Think about the evil witch in Snow White. Think about Ursula in the Little Mermaid. Heck, even Captain Cook is deemed evil.

So, do these stories truly define the characters? Why did we tag the traits, “bad” to a wolf? “Evil” to an old lady . Just because they decided to pursue an intent at whatever costs.

Being real and authentic is hard these days. Do you seriously expect to hear a story about a wolf munching down on  a plate of salads? Wolves are meat eaters. They eat sheep, pigs and maybe chicken. Why will we wanna even judge a primal need of a character as evil? Yet, we are so guilty of forming impressions on the superficial levels.

So think about it. Are we truly that keen on labeling people and forming impressions just by the look of things. There is always more to a person, that just the things he posts, says or does. If you have to form an impression , form one that is real. Regardless of criticisms or skepticism. If there is one piece of advise I can share, from the perspective of Mr Wolf, is this.

Just be you.

It’s okay if you are being judged for being yourself.

Cause the way I see it, people should not be afraid of people who are being themselves. People should be afraid of those who pretend to be someone else.

7 Awesome Powerful Traits I Learned From Deadpool

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Deadpool was a hit for me. After months of delirious anticipation, I finally caught it on the  screen with a mate. That was a great 108 minutes of diabolical humor.

We all know just how skewered Deadpool is, as a hero. It does not take away the fact, that he is a good guy. A powerful  good guy, in my opinion. If you are looking at boosting up your superhero traits or mojo this month, here are 7 awesome traits, you can pick up from the anti hero supremo.

Raw honesty is a gem

Let’s face it. Deadpool talks a lot. A hell lot, actually. In most interactions however, he is the real deal. He says things the way he meant it. He speaks his mind. Honesty intimidates your skeptics. If you ever want to appear original, be honest. Brutally honest. You may not be liked, but you will be remembered.

Humor rocks

Ever liked that well kept man with a frown? Or that chap who rarely breaks into a laughter? Or that bloke who cannot even name a “knock knock” joke? Me neither. Humor is one thing you need to have in abundance. Even if you are not humorous, the ability to see things on a lighter side will help. Deadpool is super brilliant. When Ajax was sure that Deadpool will lose his sense of humor, after rounds of torture, he quipped in response, “We’ll see.” Oh and did I tell you, humor can snag you a great partner?

Be a great friend to everyone

The opening scene, showed Deadpool helping a girl  be rid of her stalker. In a dark way, of course. The girl hugged him in appreciation, and exclaimed that he was, her hero. Deadpool just shrugged it off. We then noted how close he was, with his bartender friend. (His only one, perhaps). He then capped the night by saying that everyone’s drinks were on his tab. Everyone (in that bar) genuinely liked Deadpool. Make people like you. However you can.

Relate to people and empathize

That short, humorous conversations between Deadpool and his Indian cab driver was a  gem. Complaining about how he lost his love to a rival, the taxi driver obviously found a kindred soul in Deadpool. Deadpool’s honesty and charm, obviously allowed the cab driver to open himself up. Of course Deadpool had a word of advise. He always does. So when Deadpool insinuated to not allow the love of your life slip away, he is relating on a personal level.

See opportunity in every adversity

Imagine being tied down, beaten up and with no possible way of escaping. What would you have done? Give up? Apparently Deadpool looks for opportunity. In the scene when he was helplessly tied down, and Angel came close to him, we saw Deadpool banging his head onto Angel. It seemed pointless, until we realized that Deadpool, had actually snagged in his mouth, a matchstick. He was observant enough to see Angel keeping her matchsticks in between her chest (presumably). That moment of seizing the opportunity paved the way for his escape, when he burned the chamber down. Be observant. You never know  what lies in small details.

Knowing how to say “No” and mean it

We know how the X Men brigade are so keen on having Deadpool on their roster. It appeared as if Colossus, had tried to recruit Deadpool on numerous occasions, without much success. Deadpool was dead beat on not joining up, and he had refused it so many times. This courage and consistency in saying no, makes you a much valued asset to pursue. If you don’t feel like it, just say “No” like Deadpool. As he had demonstrated, you will not die from it.

Do things for a greater purpose

The premise of Deadpool’s origins was explained in this movie. He wanted to pursue a cure for his cancer, for the sake of his loved one. Of course, we know that did not work out that well. Yet, we know that the sufferings and torture he endured, was only because he wanted to survive his cancer , for his partner. He eventually developed into the anti hero he is. While his methods are questionable, his motive was definitely not. You can become a hero in your own rights, when you discover a greater purpose beyond your own.

 I didn’t ask to be super, and I’m no hero. But when you find out your worst enemy is after your best girl, the time has come to be a fucking superhero.

 

 

 

The 3 Attributes You Should Love About Authentic People

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Remember the guy or girl who seemed to say yes to everything? Yups, neither do I. These figures are probably forgettable in your life, for the fact that nothing interesting or engaging will be revolving around their own lives. They are the perennial followers. Always awaiting for the opportunity to suck up to somebody influential, or to just be part of  the pack.

Are you like that? If you are, stop being one. If you are not, stop someone from being one.

It’s hard to find authentic people these days. So what does an authentic person looks or acts like?

Speaks Their Mind

You want honest people on your team. The more brutally honest they are, the better. Keep a look out for people who genuinely care about you and your affairs, and will not shy away from telling you exactly what you need to know. Not what you want to hear. Authentic individuals speak their mind, in a way that is not overwhelmingly critical. They will share their thoughts, constructively, without the need to whitewash details. Authentic people express. They are not that bothered about wanting to impress.

Credibility Via Experience

The thing that you are trying to do, is what authentic people should have done. Why are authentic people important? Because they are the action takers. The walkers. Not the talkers. If they speak their mind, it is only because the know more than half the stuffs about what they are saying. Authentic people are people who have climbed that mountain, fell flat on their faces, stood up and climbed again. You want to get ahead fast in life? Leverage on authentic people. They are credible.

Opinions Of A Sheep Do Not Bother The Wolf

People crave for validations and feedback. That is why you have the “Like” button on Facebook. But here’s the problem. You tend to be trying too hard to be liked. Such that you will probably try to stay on the safe zone of things, most of the time. You will not want to criticize or give an opinion that is contrarian to the crowd. Cause you fear the opinions of the ‘sheep-les” will be less favorable for you. Fortunately, authentic people cannot be bothered with opinions of people that do not matter or add value to his/her cause. They are not contrarians without reasons. They have too much self belief and conviction in their own opinions. It gives authentic people the room to be emotionally detached to perspectives. Twenty sheep will never intimidate one hungry wolf.

 

 

 

Why Imagination Is The Key To Fulfillment

Your Imagination Is Your Preview Of Life's Coming Attractions

My daughter just came beside me a while ago, and in her hands was a small bowl filled with purple balls of Playdoh clay. As she gently placed the bowl on my desk, she looked at me with a gleam of excitement, she broke out into her favorite jingle…”Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…”

I gamely smiled back at her. Taking a pen off from my table, I placed it right into one of the balls. She nudged me and I understood immediately what she wanted me to do. Blowing softly at the pencil, she clapped happily, acknowledging the fact that I had just blown out a birthday cake candle.

Then she took the bowl of “cakes” and walked out. Satisfied and fulfilled, that her Dad had just recognized her “birthday cake”.

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My $30 Lesson On Authenticity

Authenticity

When I started out in my career as a financial planner, I was clueless about brand names or goods. To me, a pen was a pen. It did not matter to me if it was embossed with a Mont Blanc motif or the initial of a Parker. As long as it served its basic function, it was great enough.

Which brings me to a story. I bought a great looking brown belt when I was in Bangkok. This was when I was in my second year as a rookie planner. The buckle of the belt bore the initial H. I loved it, cause it was the letter of my name. It also struck a familiar chord with me as I was crazy on the movie Hitch (starring Will Smith). In that movie, I saw that he wore such a belt. Thus I was so elated when I got my hands on one. It cost me less than $30.

Wearing that belt, when I got back home and work, proved to be a revelation. Colleagues started looking at me, from waist down. Careless whispers were flying around, when I walked past. The office secretary seemed to treat me nicer. I started pondering if it was just the aura I was exuding, or was it the belt.

It became funnier when I encountered a stranger in the office elevator. He looked at me, and with a wry smile, commented, “Great belt! Must have costed a bomb”. I laughed heartily and said “Yeah balls. For $30!” He guffawed loudly. “You could have fooled me there mate,”he quipped.

I was intrigued. Why was everyone so “into” my belt. I did a quick Google the next day, and found to my amazement, that the belt I was wearing, was a replica of a brand name called Hermes. And it turned out that an original Hermes belt would have pushed my budget back to say, $300 – $400. “Wow…” I thought to myself.

An overwhelming sense of embarrassment came to me. Seemed that I was carrying a replica branded belt on my waist all the time. A blatant case of worldly ignorance.

Nevertheless, thinking back on that anecdote these days, makes me wonder, if I would have carried of a different personality, should I had known that I was wearing a replica.

The point is this. External enhancements may give people a different impression perception about you. You may be perceived differently, should you be wearing something that carries a great namesake.

Which gives rise to that old maxim, “Fake it till you make it”. To be honest, I do not really subscribe to this adage. Cause in my scenario for instance, I was definitely not faking the idea that I was wearing something expensive on me. The ignorance on my part, just kinda made it sounded more like , “Be it till people believe it”. In my mind, it was just another affordable belt on my waist. Which was true by the way.

So in summary, do understand that while expensive things may make you look “upgraded”, it still boils down to the level of confidence you have in carrying it off. You do not necessarily have to be crazy about authentic branded goods. Just work on being an authentic you.

3 Easy Ways To Cope With Your Busy Lifestyle

The busy man tries to find time.Time

You and I live very hectic lifestyles. We wake up too early in the morning, to prepare our kids and ourselves for school and work. Sometimes we forget to take that all important breakfast. We rush out of elevators , to dash across the pedestrian crossing to catch the bus that is filled to the brim. We walk hastily to  the train station, to stand in a line, just to board a train that is also filled with commuter. We reach our stop, tussle our way out just to walk among a sea of people, who like many, just want to reach office in time to clock in our punch cards.

Did we do all that, just to punch a card?

Facts can be stranger than fiction, and both you and I know that. The fact is, our lives are pretty much dictated by the need to meet something, that is usually not set by us. So how do you find time to relax?

1. Leave That Thing Behind

There have been times when I am bogged down by a huge pile of paperwork, and I keep telling myself that I will only reward myself with a refreshing break, only after I am completed. Wrong move. Cause I never will finish my paperwork, and as a result, I will definitely not find the time to relax. Nowadays, I just stand up and leave my desk as it is, and take the deserving break I need. Leave that “thing” alone on your desk. Be it a paperwork or an email to reply. It will not grow roots, trust me. Bottom line is, just don’t do it.

2. Switch That Mobile Applications Off

Your mobile phones are not smart. You are. Yet, most of the times, we allow that Whatsapp conversations to occupy and clutter our minds. We have to compartmentalize Instagram pictures, Tinder profiles, Facebook statuses, Twitter tweets and Whatsapp gossips.  And we whine loudly when we say that our minds are tired. Take a break, switch your mobile phones and tablets off and dump them in your bags. For an hour at least. No one will die.

3. Close Your Eyes & Silent Your Thoughts

The loudest chatter is always the one that happens in between your ears. You talk too much to yourself some times. If you think that closing eyes, should only happen when you try to sleep, then you are wrong. I have found that closing my eyes intentionally for a good few minutes, can sometimes do wonders. Keeping your mind’s idle chatter will need some work, but with enough practice, you will find it to be a fruitful exercise. Work with your breathing. I usually practice a very deep shallow breathing just to calm and relax myself down.

These three simple actions will  definitely slow down the pace for you, on a hectic day. It is easy, yet it is not that simple to practice as a habit. You need a conscientious awareness, to cultivate the practices into a habit.

It is far more rewarding than rushing through your lives, just to punch a card. 🙂

 

 

3 Essential Creeds For Survival When You Are Attacked By The Negative Zombies

Photo Courtesy of http://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/zombies-feature.jpg

Keeping The Negative Zombies Out Photo Courtesy of http://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/zombies-feature.jpg

The year  has just started. You had pinned your goals, nicely on your wall. You had prepared your schedules. You had also signed up for a gym membership. In short, you are prepared to make this year, awesome.

But a message came on your Whatsapp,

“Are you sure that gym membership will be fully utilized?“said a pal.

Another pal, gave a grinning emoticon on your Facebook status, when you mentioned that you are planning your week.

Another friend just laughed out loud when you said you had your goals written down.

Your awesome year just got deflated.

Goalless Zombies Are Everywhere

Ever heard about good energy being infectious? Well, so is bad and negative energy. And goalless zombies, will want to sink their teeth in you with those bad parasitic viruses. While you may want to  look at your world from the perspectives of being in Eden, be aware that energy sapping zombies are aplenty. Just like a bad week of The Walking Dead, these zombies sometimes come in the form of your closest friends, loved ones or perhaps your social weekend football mates. Of course, being the good guy or gal that you are, you probably do not have that much desire in you to just chop off their heads. You may run, but yeah, they’ll still try to lumber up to you.

Which begs the question. “What can I do then?”

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