Friday, March 10, 2017

Interactive Session With Students of VNR VJIET

While chatting with young Abhinay last week I told him to call up a few of his friends who were involved in the TEDx event and other such pursuits and get them together for a small session on high performance. He called them up and we met at Gap Miners last Sunday thanks to Ramaraju who kindly allowed us to use the space. Abhinay, Vineeth, Harish, Vijay, Meghana, Sloka, Vedavrath and Vandana and came by and we got started at 11 am.
Sloka, Abhinay, Harish, Me, Vandana, Ramaraju, Meghana, Ved and Vijay
(Vineeth gallantly took the picture)
I shared with them some of the concepts that I felt would help them. The idea was to make them feel secure (know what they know and know what they do not and accept that), take 100% responsibility for their lives and know the process of moving forward.

Fixed and Growth Mindset
Up first was obviously the Mindset - Fixed and Learning Mindset . The Mindset is the approach and gives us great freedom to learn and grow. Some highlights of the Fixed Mindset (not recommended) are - desire to look smart at any cost, to find the easy way out (because that's what smart people do), avoid challenges, give up easily, get defensive, see effort as fruitless, ignore useful negative feedback, feel threatened by others successes and plateau early and achieve less than full potential. The Learning or growth mindset (recommended) is one that looks like this - desire to learn, embrace challenges, persist in the face of setback, seek help to find ways to improve, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, find lessons and inspiration from others successes and reach even higher levels of achievement as a result and get closer to potential.
Meghana, Ved, Vineeth and Vijay

Secure Leaders - Know What They Know and What They Don't
We quickly moved onto the feeling secure aspect - knowing what we know and what we don't. This requires a quick evaluation of ourselves - our strengths and areas to improve. They helped each other along with the strengths. Once we got a list of our strengths and weaknesses we realised that all weaknesses are in many ways strengths in disguise. The way to use them is focus 80% on the strength and 20% on the weakness.
Me, Sloka and Vandana

Route to Learning and Expertise, Preparation
Then we examined the process of moving forward - the way of the expertise. The band existed between 20 hours (Josh Kaufman and 10000 hours (Eriks Andersson). The way forward was to aspire for expertise, invest in deliberate practice after evaluating oneself brutally. The process of preparation was discussed - pour performance exactly reflects our preparation. Preparation is always on three fronts - skill, physical (healthful eating habits and exercises) and mental (beliefs, values, rules, identity etc). The importance of mentors, coaches and how to use them was discussed.
Harish, Meghana, Ved, Vineeth and Vijay

SMART Goals, Enabling Goals and Aligned Goals
Then we quickly looked at goals - 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and 5 years. The way to set goals - SMART - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Bound was discussed with a couple of examples. The importance of picking goals that were in alignment with the long term ones and to pick goals that enable many of the other goals was discussed. For example - want to play Test cricket as a goal will require you to align yourself by putting hours in cricket practice and not into learning the guitar. Similarly playing cricket at a certain level could enable you good money, travel, friends, playing the game you love etc.

Process of Achieving Things
Then we looked at the process of achieving things. This we did by having each one of us share an experience where we achieved something we had set our minds upon. The process of deciding, of putting all our focus  and concentration on what we want, planning, taking action, belief and achievement was discussed from our own experience. Knowing that the same process works for all things big and small helps.

100% Responsibility and Freedom
The concept of responsibility and of 100% responsibility was discussed. 99% responsibility still gives you a 1% excuse on why things did not go the way you wanted them to. You will find a way if you remove all crutches. More importantly how 100% responsibility is actually 100% freedom was discussed. When we take 100% responsibility all options are open to us. We can choose within the bad to increase our performance the way we want.

In the end we ended with an appreciation exercise - the way to healthy leadership, adaptable mindsets and secure leaders. Overall a lot of stuff packed into a few hours. Abhinay shared a couple of stories in the end and we all split ways.

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