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Why I Still Believe In Educational Communication

Build Value To Build Relationships

In an age where content creation means that you can equalize your relevance to the market place, being “pitchy” is a given. Most platforms, be it your traditional or the social media route, wants you to be beaten into submitting to the paid advertising pathway.

So how did a 3 decades old way of marketing or communicating your unique propositions, start becoming relevant again?

Or did we just manage to dumb ourselves out?

In the past, most sales communication centered around the manipulation or conviction of emotional triggers to elicit a response. Copywriting manuals did not just exist about 5 years back. It has always been around. Propagated and expounded by charismatic individuals. Back then, the medium of such messages came about via televisions.

These days, the same methods are applied, only this time around via well scripted paid online advertisements. Where people are coaxed subconsiously into submitting details or queries, thus pre qualifying them as leads/possible clients.

However, this method seems to always appear too slick and gimmicky for me. The premise has always been about a trade off, between…”Why not you sacrifice your time and details, in exchange for the secrets I can share with you?” And of course this premise works superbly well for consultants and salespeople.

On the flip side however, I am a big advocate of an educational communication model. Where I share over a period of time, educational contents for you to leverage on. After which I build an established trust in your mind as being credible and an authority of my subject matter. Then I invite you to share your resources in exchange for mine.

I know it sounds a tad idealistic and slow, but will you not want to buy or work with people who provides value first? Instead of asking for your time and resources first, to then demonstrate their propositions?

If you can provide tangible and intangible values, with your content and communication over a sustainable period of time, the key likelihood of me being a returning client and user is higher.

We have seen countless individuals who made it bigger in their personal pursuits by providing their resources and contents first, before asking nicely for a reciprocation.

Justin Bieber for example (I know it’s a poor example), dished out songs after songs, even from his younger days,to finally coming on tops in terms of following and influence. He provided value first, and educated his listeners on his styles and resources. People were hooked.

Educational communication is not new. But it has taken a backseat due to the nature of it being cultivating rather than an immediate profiting. In this unprecedented time, maybe you and I can do a little better by reliving its effectiveness and impact.

How To Overcome Your Anxiety During Public Speaking

It is not that far fetched for me to say this.

Even professional speakers feel the jitters when it comes to speaking in public. Yes, even if they have done it a gazillion times over the course of their professional lives. Cause no audience is ever the same.

So what does that make you? A non professional aspiring public speaker. Or even perhaps an aspiring content creator on YouTube. And perhaps a small business owner who is trying to create branding videos. Will you feel the same fear and get anxious all over?

The need to manage and overcome performance anxiety is real. Most public communicators go through a zone of fear and uncertainty, that zooms them into an unexplained state of irrationality.

So how do you manage a bit of that dreadful anxiety?

Here are some quick hacks I use for myself.

Minimize Your Preparations

This may seem contradictory to the norm of being competent. However, I have discovered over the course of my coaching engagements, that 7 out of 10 aspiring speakers fluffed as a result of being over prepared.

Yes. Over preparations.

Over preparations in most cases put a level of unnecessary stress on the speaker. The speaker will have that immense need of wanting to tick off all that preparations in his head. Leaving no room for errors can sometimes be the exact reason why people become more anxious than they should be.

Preparations should put you in a state of being able to navigate expertly and flexibly during the presentation. It should not be a straight jacket that paralyzes you.

Regulate Your Breathing

What has breathing got to do with managing your anxieties as a speaker?

Plenty.

There have been many times when my inability to control my breathing, led me to losing my voice and stage presence.

The anxieties you have as a public speaker or presenter can be the cause and effect of irregular breathing. A speaker who is anxious will not breathe properly. Likewise, when you do not breathe properly, anxiety will set in. Therefore it is important you take note of the following with regards to breathing in managing your anxities.

  • Be aware of your positional posture. A wide and relaxed posture aids in allowing more air to be breathed in and regulated.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly. Take intentional deep breaths before you speak.
  • Pause and regulate. Speaking fast is the surest way to lose your breathing patterns and create unnecessary stress. Relax
  • Breathe through your nose. It is amazing just how many people are not aware that breathing through the mouth is not just more taxing, it also does not help with anxiety management.
  • Relax. Relax. Relax. While it may seem easier said than done, it actually is quit manageable. Relaxation requires the practice of being able to quieten or shutting down your lizard brain. When you relax, your breathing becomes manageable.

progression not perfection

Most speakers believe in that unverified claim that competency lies in the perfect delivery of your speech. Where your voice does not crack, you are maintaining eye contact, your words come out fluently and everything is done in one perfect take.

Well, here’s the great news. You need not buy into that “perfect” bullshit.

Delivering a speech is not an Olympic sport. Meaning that there are no actual parameters by which you can be judged and marked with. The pressure and anxiety of “meeting some invisible benchmarks” can be crippling. What you need to do is to manage the controllable aspects of your delivery or presentation. Understand that most of the anxieties is actually happening inside your mind, rather than it being manifested in reality. So, if you can instead manage your priorities and expectations, you are more likely to succeed at managing your public speaking anxieties.

Some of the progressive expectations you can have for yourself include,

  • To speak freely with sincerity
  • To have a good networking session
  • To share your expertise with love
  • To teach a good knowledge

Public speaking anxiety is manageable and definitely not something that you have to suffer in silence with. Usually, all it takes is a bit of perspective framing coupled with practical techniques to help you out.

Why Nice Guys Finish Last and Finish Best?

When I was growing up, the phrase “Nice guys like you will always finish last,” kept cropping up like some bad karma. It is not hard to figure out at which phase of my life, this statement made its appearance. Yeaps, you got it right. The dating phase of my life. The phase where people looked at my pimpled face and the book I was holding, and was able to give me a dating diagnosis.

It did not help also that during that phase, I did not have barrels of confidence stocked up in my warehouse of self esteem. To me, being reclusive and protected from interactions, were the best ways to slide though my growing years.

So why would nice guys finish last? Or for that matter, nice girls too? I mean, that for every Forrest Gump, there was the equivalent Ugly Betty right? The perennial examples of chivalry and niceties. Yet always slacked into thinking that whatever they did were never good enough.

Growing up and trying to find a road map towards dating success was tough. It did not mean that I did not have girl friends. It just meant that those girls looked at me as a treasure chest for their whines and cries of dismays, when the bad boys cocked up their lives. Tears wet my shoulders every single time. As I lent both corners or my anatomy to the whirlpool of emotions. I was, as what they called me then, “My best guy friend.”

So question is, “Are nice guys really doomed?”

The answer is a convincing, “No.”

Having been at the end of that tormenting statement for eons, I realized that it is pretty much untrue.

By all accounts, nice guys can finish last, yet finish best.

Here’s 3 reasons why I know so.

Maturity Takes Time

Women for all the fickleness that they may display sometimes, are still pretty much grounded. They prefer stability over anything else. They may be entertained and whipped into delight, yet they still wanna have that assurance that they can come home and cozy up. And when they visualize that in their minds, they can only picture that with a man who is nice. Nice enough to prepare drinks. Nice enough to massage their weary feet. Nice enough to have a sensible and thoughtful conversation. In other words, the it may take a while for a woman to appreciate that, but trust me, they will. And that means, you will probably be the last person on their mind. Yet, you will win them over.

Being Nice Is A Necessity

Too much emphasis has been placed on the fact that being nice will place you on the path of being taken advantage of. While that may be true in some context, it is however an exception to the norm. People still value the traits of being gentlemanly, being thoughtful, being polite, being patient and being accommodating. While there are man/woman who will manipulate of twist circumstances to assure their leading positions, it usually does not last. Don’t think too much into it. That’s how the Universe works. Being nice may slow your progress or delay the intended gratifications. Yet, time and time again, history has shown that being nice brings you places. People generally will trust you. People will place competency over flamboyance. People will value your nice traits over flashy displays of ego. Being nice may make you arrive last. But you will arrive with assurance.

Happy Endings Are True

The movie “Little Nicky” starring Adam Sandler resonates strongly with this point. In this story, Lil’ Nicky was manipulated by his jealous and overbearing brothers into relinquishing his possible ascension as the favorite son of the Devil. Lil Nicky was just a nice and cuddly antithesis to the Devil himself. Yet at the end of the movie, due to his inexplicable nice nature, he was always triumphing over the evil deeds his brothers had planned out. He got support and assistance from everyone who connected with him.

The point I am making here is that, if you are a nice person, your chances of perhaps being successful is nearer to the 100% mark, compared to if you are not nice to even begin with. Nice people may be overlooked. Nice people may be disregarded. Nice people may be misrepresented. Yet nice people are also the ones who create the best outcomes for any situation.

Nice people play the long game. Yet they always will want to play a good and satisfactory game. So while they may walk out of the field last, they will also be the most happiest and contented.

Why Nochebo Effect Is Harmful For You?

We all know or have heard of the term, “The Placebo Effect”. In medicinal practice, the placebo effect is probably categorized as a pseudo science bereft of legitimacy and proof. Yet, for those who had willingly affected its usage into their practice, and saw its benefits, probably swears by it.

Placebo in Latin means, “I will please”. In essence, a placebo effect is a stimulus be it physical or non physical that is applied to a condition, with the desire of achieving outcomes. So for example, doctors used to give sugar syrup to patients, and yet saw medicinal effects taking place in their patients. Sometimes the results are on par or exceed that of a similar medicine that is available. Much of these were accounted to be on the assumed connection between a person’s mind and the information it received and interpreted. Most placebo based experiments are used in controlled environments, sometimes even as a neutral parameter between two other extreme testing conditions.

Continue reading “Why Nochebo Effect Is Harmful For You?”

How To Tell A Story Like A Bad Ass

Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

I conducted an online workshop yesterday evening on the topic of story telling. Specifically, I was aligning my message for those wanting to be a speaker. How to incorporate story telling techniques into your speech crafting and delivery.

There are a lot of workshops, programs and masterclasses these days, that dwell on story telling. Most of these focus on the importance of stories in any message. Story telling is definitely not new, but has been renewed to serve a more compelling reason.

I touched on the new era of Data Storytelling and Visual Storytelling, as some of the areas, speakers like yourself should read into. An example I gave was that in the past, most businesses had separate departments that seemed disjointed. The Marketing Department and the Statistics Department. The Marketing team were responsible for crafting out stories and narratives, for salespeople to go out and bring profits. These profits will then be translated into figures and statistics by the Statistics team. On the flip side, the Statistics team will then provide the Marketing team with proofs and evidences to highlight which segments within a business needed more branding, marketing and exposure.

However, these days, most business have warmed up to the idea that both departments need to be mashed up. Thus the term Data Storytelling. In essence, can you tell a story from my data? Or can you generate data from my story?

So question is, how can you excel at being a bad ass storyteller?

Am going to share with you only one insight in this post. For you to ponder and apply in your next narration. Ready?

All right. The idea that I want to expound here is this aspect called,

Be Specific!

Yes, be specific. Be meticulously detailed when you narrate and share your story. The more details you are able to shed light into a character or the message of your story, the more engaged your audience will be. Why is this so?

There is a science to this, which I found perfectly illustrated here in this article.

There is a reason why we vividly recall stories of our yesteryears, like Rapunzel, Snow White and the poisoned apple, Beauty and the Beast, The 3 Little Pigs and such. Most of the characters or stories had a visual or specific connotations attached to them. It could have just been a wolf for the little girl. Yet, we remember the story as the cunning wolf who dressed as the Grandmother of Little Red Riding Hood. It could have been just a pig. Yet, masterful storytellers used 3 little pigs that were hounded by the big, bad wolf. And Snow White had an evil stepmother who was also a witch that had a magic mirror. Amazing!

In short, your audience and listeners are dying to play your stories in their own imaginative minds like a movie reel. The chances of engagement are higher when you are able to craft and deliver a story that deep dives into very specific details.

So the next time, you are trying to craft out a story into your speech, remember that paying attention to the details, is more important than the delivery itself.

Remember Harry Porter? He was not just a boy wizard. He was the boy wizard that had a permanent scar on bis forehead, etched on by a maniacal bald wizard.

Why You Must Flick Your Own Switch

cold, smooth & tasty.

As a communication coach, one of the issues I face with my clients, is the lack of self confidence. While it may sound cliched, the fact is, not everyone has confidence issues when it comes to communication. Some just need clarity or direction. Most need organization. A few need delivery guidance.

In any case, the root problem of self confidence is usually due to the fear of judgement. The assumption that we will be judged for wanting to express. The assumption that we will be chastised for wanting to share. The assumption that we will be frowned upon for wanting to deliver a message.

Heck. The truth is, we are our hardest and harshest critics when it comes to wanting to express and communicate. We overthink, over rationalize and over sensationalize our ideas. As a result, we become fearful which leads to irrational sense of non confidence.

So how can we manage this sense of irrational freeze in thoughts and expressions?

I suggest, to begin your day by talking to the man in the mirror. Yes, to yourself.

Now, I can already hear that dumb chuckle of yours, You are already judging yourself by saying, “I am not gonna by stupid and talk to myself.” Who said that talking to the mirror, was a barometer of intelligence? Nobody did. Yet, you affirmed yourself with that overbearing judgement that, people who do this simple exercise is dumb.

Bear with me.

There is a news factory operating in your head every single day. Every single minute in fact. A PR and marketing agency that works non stop to feed your mind with information and details. Most of the news that come through the factory and agency are unfiltered. Who is the editor, you ask. Well it is you of course. And like any hardworking editor, sometimes you get tired, take a break, yet news is still being generated. And like most news agency, sometimes you have news coming in from external sources. Or what I will term as, people’s comments and views about you. Some can be validated, most cannot.

What is some of the news that you decided to publish about yourself as a manifested personality was a result of an unverified news, brought about by someone else. Someone probably mocked the way you spoke, or how unclear you were at pronouncing some words or how slow you read. And because of that, you told yourself, that they were right. Which led to the manifestation of a non confident you. When in fact, there was nothing absolutely wrong with how you spoke.

Flick Your Own Switch

Confidence should be a built in switch. A switch embedded so deeply that the only person who can flick it, should be you. Or the man in the mirror (you). You should not allow anyone for that matter to be able to come willfully and flick that switch on and off for you.

I always share with my clients that it took me years to build the internal wiring of my confidence switch. Understand the intricacies of that wiring, to know what can trigger a trip or what can blow it over. So that only I will know how to maintain of fix it should something happen. Like a confidence short circuit.

Install Your Confidence Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected. Wikipedia

Whenever my clients tell me that they are not confident, the first question I ask is, “Is that a feeling, a feedback or a thought?”

What is the difference, you ask.

If the non confidence is a feeling, then I will address the emotions that is tied to that state of mind. It might be fear, disappointment, sense of hopelessness or just unexplained emotions.

If the non confidence is a feedback, then I will address the intentions and purposes of that feedback. It might be a careless remark on someone’s part or just a criticism that has no basis.

If the non confidence is a thought, then I will address the rationale and processes that culminated into that thinking. It might be unfulfilled goals, poor coping and management systems.

These 3 questions should be your circuit breaking questions to halt your slide into total confidence breakdown. If you are able to isolate each question (wiring) in its proper place, you are well equipped to address you confidence issues all year round.

Why You Should Always Act On Your Self Interest

se lf

There is a difference between selfishness and being self interested. The former means that you are perhaps taking away, or withholding something back. Where else the latter means that you are aware of the resources available around you and work towards maximizing that.

Understanding self interest is the key to understanding motivation.

Self interest is knowing that you deserve happiness. Selfishness is robbing people of their happiness and inflicting pain, just to get that happiness.

You may have been stuck at some facets of your lives, because people told you that your wanting of being promoted, married, loved and happier were not in line with the norm. They probably told you that you were being a self indulgent jerk/bitch for expressing those desire. And because you somehow allowed those opinions to sink deep in your cognitive processes, you allowed compromises to happen.

You said things like,

“It’s okay, my time will come…”

“He/she deserves it more than me…”

“God is fair. My happiness will come soon…”

And then you breeze through life not fulfilling your absolute potential. All because someone insinuated that you are being selfish.

But here’s my take on why I believe that you must align your interests in serving your best self. Being self interested.

  • Everyone acts on their self interests. Even wanting somebody else to be happy is an exercise in acting on your self interest. Because you know that when you see someone is happier because of you, you feel happier too.
  • No one will want to admit selfishness. Everybody will paint themselves as a victim of circumstances when they are pushed to a corner. Selfishness is the other flip side of making choices.
  • Self interests are compelling. People will be moved an inspired if your intentions and actions are aligned with your self interests first, and at the same time appealing to their self interest too.

So how can you start being more self interested?

Do things differently…

  • Quit thinking that people share your beliefs and values system about reciprocity in relationships.
  • Decide that you are no longer gonna be people serving. Quit being at the end of people’s criticisms and judgments
  • Selfish people are selfish people. Stop expecting them to change.
  • Engage proactively so that you can own the outcomes. Avoiding engagements is not optimal.
  • See your self interests objectively and be rational about it.
  • Honor your emotions and self worth.
  • Assertiveness is a key social skill to learn and apply. If you cannot be assertive about what you want, you will never get what you want.
  • End relationships with lazy and selfish people. They are chronically dysfunctional. You will not be productive with baggage.
  • Develop strategies of engagement from selfish people if you are expecting personal attacks.
  • Be consistent and grounded to your beliefs and principles.

The 20 Most Important Questions You Must Ask Yourself This 2020

20 20
The Top 20 Questions You Might want To Ask Yourself

Resolutions. I hate making them since I turned 30 years old. I could not commit myself towards fulfilling or achieving them. And when I found myself failing at following through with those commitments I set out for myself, I became discouraged and disillusioned.

Since then, I found a far more superior and effective way of ensuring that my new years were more exciting and more expansive. I wanted my brand new year to be a sandbox concept. Where I explored each location with purpose and intent.

Here are 20 top questions you might wanna ask yourself this 2020, to keep you in the game of life.

  1. Why is my 2020 going to be different than my previous years?
  2. How will my 2020 shape out in the first quarter, second and so forth?
  3. Who are the people that I want to partner up more closely in 2020?
  4. Who are the people that I want to discard and absolve myself from this 2020?
  5. Which areas of my strengths will I work on in a more focused manner this 2020?
  6. Which areas of my weaknesses will I continue to be aware of but not to be distracted by this 2020?
  7. How much of my daily time will I allocate for myself?
  8. How much of my daily time will I allocate for my career/profession?
  9. How much of my daily time will I allocate for my family and loved ones?
  10. How much of my daily time will I allocate for God?
  11. What 3 big beneficiaries will I want to contribute to in my own ways this 2020?
  12. What are the 3 top life philosophies I will want to hold on to as my guiding light this 2020?
  13. Who are the 3 top mentors/coaches I will want to learn and learn from this 2020?
  14. What little sacrifices will I make this 2020 to make room for my successes?
  15. How will I reward myself after every success that I achieve this 2020?
  16. How much money will be significant enough for me to say that 2020 is a success?
  17. How many people will I help with my skills/services/products this 2020?
  18. What will make me feel fearless this 2020?
  19. How will I see myself on 31st December 2020?
  20. Do I believe in myself?

I hope that some of these questions will help you in formulating your dream board this 2020! Resolutions and goals can only be committed to, when you ask yourselves the right powerful questions.

Want to know why I believe questions are important?

You Can’t Handle The Truth…And Why Most People Are Still Asking Why

the truth

When Jack Nicholson uttered this cult favorite quote in the movie, “A Few Good Men”, it defined the moment of contentious morality for most people. And is it really true? That you and I, are not able to handle the truth? Though, there is this deep craving for us to be always wanting to know the absolute truth.

I’ve been in the people’s industry for the longest time. Am an avid observer of human relations builders. And there are two distinct characteristics profoundly defined within most of us. The keepers and the victims.

The keepers are those who prefer to keep the peace of friendships and relationships. The ones who compromise, accommodate and stretch themselves. The one who extends cordial courtesy and always on the constant back foot when it comes to needless moments of agitations. The keepers think best of others, often to the detriments of their own inner conflicts.

The victims are those who have opinions about everything. And these opinions are communicated from a place of unfounded entitlement. They rest on the pedestal of status quos and perceptive judgements. The victims are always placing idealism as the cornerstone of some dynamics. They float words like “honest, frank, brutal truths, loyalty and faithful” as reasons for justifications.

So how does Jack Nicholson’s line fit perfectly in this dynamics of extremes?

It’s when the Keepers decide to have a voice. When the Keepers decide to no longer stretch, accommodate or compromise. When the Keepers decide to be themselves. Cause that is when the Victims will cry foul and start using idealism to explain the changes and trying to rationalize the different shifts in responses. Victims will start asking that they be treated with decorum, with decorative words.

But can the Victims really stand to be told the truths about their characteristics? What if the truths that were not told,were the very reasons, marriages and friendships withstood its faults all this while? The untold truths were the ones that managed expectations? The untold truths that were not voiced out by the Keepers, cause they valued relationships over truths?

Not everyone has the stomach to understand the enormous impact when truths are told. Victims will crumble if they were told the truths about their shortcomings. Victims will wail if they were highlighted of their trivialities. Victims will run amok if they knew just how little they are contributing to some dynamics.

Truths are not necessarily some dystopian Eutopia in some relationships/dynamics/friendships. While we all may crave for it, not all have the length and depth of acceptance.

For me, I still prefer being a Keeper. And you should too.

7 Reasons Why Toastmasters Is Not For Everyone

why toastmasters is not for you

I am a Toastmasters member. In fact I have been one since 2005. And I’ve always encouraged anyone who had never attended a meeting before, to do so. At least once in their lifetime.

In the years that I had been involved actively, I had the pleasure of rising through the program in various capacities. As a speaker, evaluator, emcee, executive committee member, a club charter president, an area and division director and finally as a district public relations officer. So I am fortunate to have been immersive in my Toastmasters experience.

One of the major marketing points, the Toastmasters program tries to highlight subtly, is that it provides a safe environment for anyone to learn public speaking. It leverages on the key point of being a mutually supportive platform for members to be encouraged and develop their communication skills.

But is Toastmasters truly for everyone? 

Can any average Joes or sensible Sallys, really benefit from being in the Toastmasters program?

Perhaps not. And these are my 7 excusable reasons for believing so.

  • The program is not for those who are masters at procrastinating.

This is an actual fact. Being a Toastmasters member means that you will have to be prepared when it comes to delivering your speeches. Guests and members give their time to organize and attend a meeting to listen to you. However, if you are a serial procrastinator, believing that you can put off preparations for the speech at the eleventh hour…and even perhaps bailing out on the day itself, then you are doing a non favor for everyone. Procrastinators tend to be failures not just for the Toastmasters program. They generally fail in life too.

  •  The program is not for those who cannot receive feedback.

A major part of the program’s success lies in the component called evaluations. This is a key segment that differentiates it from a lot of other communication programs. An evaluation segment provides the speaker with a designated person to evaluate his speech and provide both written and oral feedback. Speaker will then be able to assess his strength and possible areas of improvement. If you are someone who is not naturally inclined to believe the opinions of others, or even consider their suggestions for improvements, then this program is definitely not for you.

  • The program is not for those who lack initiative.

Are you someone who needs to be hand held every time you need to go to the washroom? Do you crave to always be told on what to do, how to wake up or even perhaps, what food to eat? Then this program is definitely not for you. Toastmasters is a self paced development program. You learn at a pace which you are comfortable with. (not to be misled as procrastinating though). It is important therefore that since this experience has to be self directed, most of the benefits can only be reaped, if you take the initiative to be proactive. This is not a military styled program.

  • The program is not for self professed introverts’ lifetime members.

The Toastmasters program gathers people from all walks of life to attend a monthly meeting. You will be expected to walk into a room full of strangers, introduce yourself at least and perhaps speak 2 or 3 sentences. If luck has it that you are caught in a sea of people munching their food away,during a refreshment break, you will have to either be invisible or attempt at that thing called speak. Toastmasters members are not wall starers. If you secretly believe that you are an introvert for life, Toastmasters is not for you.

  • The program is not for pessimistic and gloomy folks.

Most Toastmasters clubs operate on the premise of being a happy place for people who want to learn. It functions on the creed of being mutually supportive. In most club settings, you will find club members always wanting to shake your hands, pat your backs, smile at you, offer words of encouragement, food whenever available and even prize ribbons if you do well in a speech. If you hate the thought of experiencing all that I’ve mentioned above, the Toastmasters program is not for you. You need a SOS hotline.

  • The program is not for people who want to network for capital business gains.

Try selling a Multi Level Marketing opportunity at a Toastmasters meet. Or try being over enthusiastic when asked about what you do for employment. Or try asking people to try the sachets of green based tea with 1001 health benefits that people can buy, only if they become your downline. Try doing all this and see if you have any sense of self worth to salvage at the end of the meeting. My guess is, they will perhaps share a BNI chapter meeting date with you, instead.

  • The program is not for accomplished speakers.

If you can speak competently, hold a crowd mesmerized for two hours, charming, eloquent, gets paid for emceeing and holds a Masters in Communication & Public Speaking, this program is not for you. In fact, you should actually be starting a similar program like this, and provide an alternative for the masses. If you feel that being a Toastmasters will provide you with a non paying audience every time you wanna speak, or just as an ego booster, please do yourself a favor. Don’t embarrass yourself.

So that’s it folks.

7 possible reasons as to why the Toastmasters may not suit you. Do not be taken in by the seductive nature of the program being conducive for everyone. It’s not. So before you are suckered into paying over $200 for an annual membership with any club, consider the points above.

I might have just saved you tonnes of money, years of your life…and more importantly, the struggles of being a better speaker in the future.

You are welcome.

 

How I Got More Influential By Understanding These 2 Principles

understanding the 2 pillars of influence

Most people I know, want the shortcuts to everything. If you are like most people, I am sure that you had scoured bookstores looking for quick fix it guides on how to be more persuasive. More influential. More powerful.

You might had also paid thousand of dollars to workshops trainers and speakers, teaching you how to  use the latest NLP technique, right copy writing techniques and how to perhaps play the “game” a bit better.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with all of the efforts above. In fact, it is great that you had attempted to source out all the possible knowledge and resources you can get when it comes to learning how to be more influential.

However, technique and methods alone will not work.

You need to understand the basic fundamentals as to why people will be persuaded or influenced.

Allow me to share.

I believe that there are essentially 2 basic pillars that need to be in place before an influential dynamic can happen. Is this a prerequisite? In my books, yes! So let’s get to the first pillar.

People must know that you can execute

Batman comes along and he says that he can clean up the streets of Gotham City. Yet, he comes along all scrawny, with a baseball bat and a skateboard. Do you honestly think that the Gothamites will even bat an eyelid? The fact is, his appearance indicated that he is not able to pull off anything grand. Thus, do you see the whole reason why Batman has to beef himself up, puts on some high tech gadgetry on and fly around menacingly. The whole theatrics, let people know that Batman can execute on his promise of cleaning up the streets. In this case even the super villains are persuaded and influenced by the idea that Batman can indeed inflict some heavy damages.

The same goes for you. Are people being made aware that you have the knowledge, skills, experience and ability to execute whatever you are trying to sell? Or are you just lip service? The premise of influence has a starting point. And the starting point will  be from an angle of awareness. People need to know either visually, verbally or mentally somehow, that you can indeed execute the promises you will be making. Once you have set that starting point, then the persuasion and influential processes can happen.

People must trust you

Trust is a treasured commodity these days. The over emphasis on how conviction and belief can be manipulated via advanced copy writing or NLP techniques discredit the raw nature of innate trust. It is sad that most people these days, think that they can go via the subconscious back doors of your mind, to flick on your trust switch somehow.

In the realm of real influence and persuasion however, trust is more instinctive. Primal and raw. That feeling of assurance in your guts. You can just sense it.

This second pillar of influence is important to be understood. Cause trust once earned or broken, can make or break and influence dynamics you had set. Aren’t you more inclined to be more influenced by your parents than your friends? Cause you trust them more, right? The reverse happens when you do not trust people anymore. The influence they have over you dissipates. It is just a natural reaction.

People are more easily persuaded and influenced by people they genuinely trust.

Thus you have to set yourself apart from all the other persuaders/influencers out there. Do not attempt at being gimmicky or take a backdoor when it comes to building trust.

Summary

A genuine influencer works at putting the above 2 pillars in place as his initial foundation. The first pillar establishes your capability, while the second pillar cements your credibility. Everyone loves being around influential players or personalities. Take your time in setting these 2 pillars firmly. You can build your pantheons of power after that.

Why We Should Aim High & Fall?

Flying To The Sun

I gave a short 7 minutes speech just 2 days ago. It was titled “Fly To The Sun”. The feedback I received after the speech was that it was inspirational.

What was my message?

I happened to chance on a You Tube video by my favorite online hero, Seth Godin. He spoke about his book titled, ‘The Icarus Deception”. He briefly explained that we had grew up with only half of the myth being imprinted on our minds. And that is that of Icarus falling to the seas, because he did not heed his father’s advise of not flying too high up and close to the sun, as this will melt the was on his crafted wings.

The fact of the matter is, there was another cautionary message, stipulated by his father. One that we somehow conveniently forget. And that is, not too fly too low to the seas, as the water can wet the wings and make it heavy. In other words, fly too low, and you might also fall into the seas.

I found this aspect of the story interesting. Yet, as Seth mentioned, it is usually omitted out.

Here’s my take.

How often have we had people tell us not too have too high an aspiration? Or not to have too lofty a goal? Or day dream too much? Were we not deemed and mocked as the ultimate idealists, when we aspire too fly a bit higher?

We were insinuated with the idea that it is far better to just be realistic. To just fly high enough stay in the game. The danger,as they highlighted, is that when you fly too high, you might just get your wings burned to ashes, and you will dive right into the seas.

Yet, the problem for most of us is that, we had set a barometer of realism  to be so low, we are actually navigating too near to the seas, to begin with. It is in my opinion, that more people are susceptible to fall into the seas, due to the fact that they are burdened with their heavy wings, due to the low altitude. When you fly too low, you are bound to wet your wings.

The challenge for most of us, is to understand that  these days, there is an imperative need to aspire to try and fly to the sun. Yes, you might burn your wings and fall to ground. But the glory of flying high, soaring and just cruising when you know the right altitude is far more rewarding than gliding comfortably a few inches above the waters.

You should understand that nothing magnificent was ever achieved by being realistic.

If Martin Luther King was being realistic, his “I Have A Dream” speech will not be echoed till now.

If JKK was being realistic, no man would have landed on the moon.

If Walt Disney was being realistic, Mickey Mouse would have just been a doodle on a piece of paper.

Idealism is not dead. And it should not be. Cause being idealistic is the first building block towards your monuments of achievements..

Flying to the sun?

Start crafting your wings tonight.

How To Get Rid Of The Inadequacy Syndrome?

How To Get Rid Of The Inadequacy Syndrome_

Have you ever been in a situation where the girl/boy of your dreams, the object of your affections or the purpose to your life, tells you that you are not the only one in his/her list of options. That you are perhaps in direct competition with a few other blokes/lasses in the quest for attention.

Didn’t you feel sucky about it?

Did it make you feel inadequate all of a sudden? And you wondered if what you ever did or plan to do will ever be enough.

You are not alone. I’ve been down that path. Many times.

But here’s the thing. You should never feel inadequate. And here is me telling you why, and how you can rid yourself of that nagging thought.

If People Place You As An Option, That Means You Are Not A Priority. Walk Away.

I know. This is not what you wanna hear. You will still wanna affirm the idea to me that there is still hope for you. That there is a silver lining in knowing that you are literally just another chat conversation in his/her Whatsapp screen. That somehow, one day, your persistence in just sticking around will pay dividends.

The truth is buddy, you are just wasting every limited time and resources you have on someone who probably does not deserve it. Get real.

Why will anybody wanna treat your unique and exclusive existence as just another number on the contact list? Aren’t you worth more than that?

Have the decency and guts  to walk away.  You will not regret it, I assure you.

Pursue A Wilder, Higher & Greater Purpose.

We are the sum of what we think about and do constantly. So the quickest way to get over the thought of inadequacy is to snap out of it and pursue something else. Or better still, someone else. Only because you know you can and you should.

Think about how wild and high you will feel, to know that you can be the sole receiver of attention. And you can only feel this way, if you allow yourself the privilege to give and receive attention.

Fill up your cranium with more purposeful activities and ideas. You will appreciate you.

Stroke The C Spot.

Repeat after me…

“I Am Contented!”

“I Am Complete!”

“I Am Comforted!”

Every single day. Every morning. Every night.

And before you know it, people will be flocking to you for attention.

Why Introversion Is Just A Name Tag

Creating an effective Student Council team dynamic

I attended a networking session for introverts once. And the majority of them there were happy and contented to lay claim to the fact that they are introverts. They wanted to embrace the notion that they are introverts. Yet, at the end of the day, all of them wished that they were as dynamic as extroverts at one point or another.

When I chatted with most of them, I discovered that the one issue they were probably trying to deal with, was not their introversion. I thought that it was their lack of conversational skills that proved to be their stumbling block. They were unable to sustain an interesting conversation.

And we wanna pin this lack of conversational skills to introversion?

It is in my personal opinion that we do not laud introversion as a hidden crutch, we can lean on when the circumstances need.

A : “Why are you not socializing?”

B : “Oh, I am an introvert.”

When instead it should be answered as,

“I  have no clue at all as to what to ask you…”

The majority of those that I’ve met over the years, and who lay claim to being introverts, are actually just ordinary people not wanting to hold conversations. It gets even yucky, when introverts try to “humblebrag” by responding to praises and the likes…

“Oh, it surprises me too that people like me, considering the fact that I am an introvert.”

Let’s not glorify introversion excessively. You and I know that all it takes, is just a bit of effort when it comes to interactions and communications.

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.

 

 

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.

Continue reading “5 Easy Steps Towards A More Confident You In 30 Days”

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”.

Continue reading “Why Imagination Is The Key To Fulfillment”

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?”

Continue reading “3 Essential Creeds For Survival When You Are Attacked By The Negative Zombies”