Friday, December 18, 2009

Sustaining the spirit

One response I got from some of the students and particpants of the 'Recognising Excellence Within' workshop or a lecture (and a very valid one I agree), is that one feels all charged up initially after the session or a talk but it is difficult to sustain it. It is an area I have been thinking about because it is important that you sustain it - in small ways. This is what I came up with.
Be your biggest fan, biggest supporter in this phase
The key to this entire proces is that you shift the focus completely on yourself. Stop worrying about what the others are thinking at what you do. What is the payoff if I do this FOR ME is the question? Not 'what will others think if I do this'? You must focus on adding value to yourself, creating your growth, making your own secrets, your formulas. And do that diligently, write it down, small changes, small achievements, small zones you have conquered, words you have learnt, new experiences, so you start feeling good inside. It's about you and your growth only, at this phase, so keep supporting yourself. No one else will despite their best intentions, believe me. (I will to the extent I can through these thoughts.)
You must be your biggest supporter, your biggest fan and you must believe that you will stick to the growth agenda whatever the cost.
Recognise excellence, the changes
This is very subtle, but very important and will make the most difference, so read carefully. I realised its power only recently. Keep looking for signs in your life where your growth is reflecting. Maybe you are in the company of quality people, maybe someone said something nice, maybe the nromally sullen watchman smiled at you or saluted you, some new opportunity was offered to you, you handled a situation differently and chose to grow instead of responding normally, your parents gave you a new responsibility, some new 'yes factor' - these small things are not coincicidences. They are signs that you are growing and that the world is recognising it.
Add 'Yes Factors'
Make a list of all the things that made you go 'Yes' in your life and pump your fist. And try and add one more each day. It's quite simple. The moment you do something out of your comfort zone you have grown a bit already. In that growth, if you again choose to challenge yourself and say 'alright' I did this, now let me do this in five minutes or in this method' and push for a small target, and you definitely go 'Yes'. It's so small and stupid and fun but its a 'Yes'. You have participated in life! (I will write about that later - I love the concept.)
Our 'Yes' factors are a factor of you vs you and the thrill of pushing yourself to achieve that small target.
What about my weaknesses
I know most of us are still plagued by the concept of what to do with our weaknesses. I say stick with the strengths because all you need is one strength to tide over everything. But if you are still worried about the weaknesses and want to lay them to rest, I would like you to look at weaknesses in different way. Weaknesses are not a problem or an impediment. They are always the other side of your strength i.e. they could be flipped over to become your biggest strength. Just examine your weaknesses and see how you can flip them over to become your biggest strength. It's incredible how many success stories are made that way. In fact as I write I am stuck by the realization at how many success stories have been built on accepting and turning weaknesses into strengths. As you examine your own with this mindset, you will realise that no weakness is one. At best a weakness is an unevolved, unpursued and unexplored strength. That is all.
A belief that an unfinished act or an unexplored thought was bad, could have been accepted by you when you were younger. Maybe someone said you are bad at maths, or you were a bad person or taht you will never be successful - and that could stop the growth of that strength immediately. But if you realise that it is only one unexplored act of yours, and one person's reaction to that which stopped it, you can go back and take it forward and not let those words stop you.
Write down a journal
A journal will help. Writing is the most personal way to evaluate yourself so write every day, if only for five minutes. Analyse your deeds, thoughts, observations. Make a progres chart on your scale of strengths. Check for added features, improvements, small ones specially.
Keep growing! Keep adding value to yourself! Keep increasing your self-worth!
On to the next level guys. That's where we belong.

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