What’s in It for Me

A to Z of Success

There are many different steps and paths for how to be successful in life, work or whatever one aims to do but the best strategy that works best for an individual depends on one’s perception of success itself. Irrespective of how one dreams of their success, there are certain traits, quality and nature that will help in reaching the dream success. The below self explanatory A to Z list of these factors aims at inspiring learners towards success.

Created by Mridula Murthy
© Inspiring Learners

To conclude, defining success should be the first step on one’s journey towards achieving it. Success is personal, subjective and exceptionally achievable!

A clean surrounding; A clear mind

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For a clear and healthy mind it is important for your surroundings to be clean and hygienic. A number of research findings suggest that environmental cleanliness plays a key role in mental health and wellbeing. A clean environment not only means a hygienic environment without pollution but also indicates one’s own lifestyle.  An organized and tidy space at home and work would lead a mind a positive and growth mode even when one fails to achieve set goal leading to significant enhancement self-confidence when compared to an individual living in a cluttered environment.

People who have trouble with clutter often:

  1. Struggle with managing time and leave tasks incomplete 
  2. Have ‘starting troubles’ in case of challenging tasks and changes  
  3. Are easily distracted and lack focus and motivation
  4. Spend a lot of time doing things with others and demotivated to work individually
  5. Have tendencies of procrastination

Negative Impact of clutter and mess on the mind:

Research evidences prove that disorganized surroundings tend to impact human mind in an unhealthy way, making it challenging the mind to be organized and prioritize multiple tasks. This would lead an individual to low self-esteem and feeling of low sense of accomplishment.

  • Clutter leads to depression and fatigue: A lot of times we may have experienced feeling low and confused about certain feelings and thoughts. Research indicate that people who describe their homes and work spaces to be messy and disorganized have more tendency to be depressed and fatigued when compared to those who have been observed to be organized and neat with keeping/ arranging their belongings  
  • Clutter leads to confusion and lack of focus: No matter how clean and green the environment is around one’s house/ office if one fails to keep their surroundings (inside their home/work space) clean having clutter everywhere, the individual may not have a clear and focused mind. Clutter and mess create more anxiety, stress and confusion but by cleaning, organizing, and clearing the physical clutter, one will be able to take control of their environment both externally and internally and create a more relaxed surrounding that enables them to be better focused on issues and priorities at work and life.

Benefits of Cleaning and Decluttering on the mind: 

Research has found that cleaning and being organized have showed significant positive effects on mental wellbeing. For instance, it helps in attaining a sense of control over environment and engage oneself mentally in positive activities that can have a constructive effect on the mind. 

  • Cleaning Leads to better Physical Health: Research suggest that people exposed to cleaner houses and surroundings tend to be healthier than those with messy or cluttered environment. Clean and decluttered surroundings can lower the risks of asthma and allergies leading to a heathy lifestyle that follows a healthy state of mind. 
  • Gain Control on your inner environment: Mental health researchers have found that in times of high fatigues, trauma and stress, people tend to exhibit cleaning and organizing as a part of their natural coping instincts because it gives them a sense of control during a challenging time.
  • Better relationships (with self and others): Conflict often occurs when one can’t control one’s own environment causing confusion and disorganization in thoughts and feelings. Once the external surroundings are organized, it gives way for inner thoughts and feelings to be sorted, making the individual open to let go of negativity and forgive (self and others) reducing inter and intra personal conflicts.

Tips Cleaning and Decluttering: 

Mind-map Created by Mridula Murthy

There could be times when one may still find it hard to stay focused and motivated despite trying to tidy up and get organized. In those cases one may need to have other techniques and tools that can help in destressing and unwinding which could include seeking professional help.

Hoping that this write-up has been successful in lifting your mood to start with a small step toward organizing and cleaning your physical and inner environment!

Corona on Our Minds

Corona On Our Minds

First thing we read about in the morning these days or hear about from friends and family, is about the fast spreading viral disease; the COVID -19… be it in the form of news, memes or/and random health tips and remedies on social media. This is causing stress and anxiety in all of us in many ways, both personally and professionally.

This is a global situation and is the best time to see ourselves as citizens of the earth rather than our continents / countries / cities. There is STRESS calling out from every part of the world.  The multiple changes in lifestyle, due to the fast spreading disease, are creating huge confusion in most of us causing a sense of uncertainty in our minds about various things like our health, the health of our near and dear ones, our ability to cope and handle changes on personal and work front, fear of losing jobs, children’s schooling (online classes) and many more. These uncertainties are causing enormous anxiety in human arousing panic across the globe.

We have a lot of tips on how to stay physically healthy. On the other hand in this crisis it is equally important to take good care of our psychological / mental well-being. Coping with the anxieties related to the pandemics is crucial and challenging and could be an important aspect to focus on. A few ways that could help us cope are:

  1. Focus on things one can Control: The first thing we can control is our own health. We can evaluate our physical health, check for symptoms and take precautions as per parameters and norms set by WHO and country government; behave responsibly and stay at home and help stop spreading the virus; Control frequency of checking news related to COVID-19: Always remember, the size of news coverage need not be same as actual issue and always know to believe and follow reputable sources and not fall prey to rumors and fake news that causes panic.
  2. Keep the larger picture in mind: This is a global issue: we as individuals are not alone. We can together work ways and motivate one another to overcome and stop the spread. Instead of worrying about new online classes for kids or taking an online training session from work for the first time, let us feel motivated that we have an opportunity for learning new techniques of working, training and academics. It’s always a good thing to learn new methodologies and appreciate technological advancement. 🙂
  3. Focus on thought processes: Most of the places in the world have taken extreme actions of locking down the whole country. Be home, be safe. This means: no entertainment, no outdoors games, no shopping… here comes the need to focus on where our thoughts are flowing. Make sure your thought processes are positive. Keep your self and your mind busy always to avoid negative thoughts and low feeling, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. A few ways we could keep ourselves positive could be by: Reading positive stories; Revisiting our hobbies that didn’t get time during busy schedules; Watch positive- comedy movies; Talk to friends and family and spend time with people who live with us at home. This way we can be happy and keep others happy too.
  4. Don’t let fear influence decisions: Reading a lot of negative news can induce fear which results in decisions like panic shopping and over stalking of necessary products that might be useful for everyone. This way we might be depriving the needy from the precautionary products hence spreading the illness and global panic even more. God forbid but if we fall sick and are advised to quarantine ourselves, let’s take it as an opportunity to take rest and rejuvenate instead of letting our fear control our decision to escape isolation and run around. This way we will not only be straining ourselves but also be putting 1000s of fellow humans into trouble. Another decisions we need to be careful of making is travelling to our home country if we are abroad: Please remember, even if our loved ones are not with us, both us and them will be much safer being where we are than traveling and risking the chances of being affected. It’s always wiser to calmly and logically think and make decisions.
  5. Virtual Socializing: Social distancing… means being restricted from social activities and avoiding gatherings and parties. This can be really challenging, specially for those who love being around with people. The sudden restrictions can lead to feeling low and gloomy. Well, we can still party! A virtual party, by inviting cousins/ friends/ family for a drink/ hi-tea/ lunch on WhatsApp/ Skype group video call and talk, sing and even dance our hearts out together!!
  6. Spread positivity: Now that we get so much time indoors, there is a lot we can do on social media such as upload personal videos and photos Instagram / Facebook showing how you are spending quality time at home/ with families. Learn, execute and share creative DIY crafts;  or share information that spreads positivity and motivates people to take responsible participation in contributing towards fighting this battle. This way we would be modelling peaceful behavior and giving hope to the world about the positive sides of the situation.

With these few tips on coping with the current crises, we can also learn and take forward the positive changes in life styles during this crisis for a much happier future ahead. Let us hope and pray that we will soon win this battle with these tiny invisible creatures and wish speedy recovery for all those who are infected and affected by the virus.

Following Dreams Towards Success

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Dream is not what you see in sleep, dream is something that doesn’t let you sleep – Dr. Abdul Kalam

Dreams, ambitions, goals, aspiration, hope… they are the drive to keep us developing and evolving in life, both personally and professionally. One dreams big and makes that a meaning of life to achieve and live the dream life. Walt Disney quoted, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” As he rightly quoted, it does take a lot of courage for one to chase their dreams and to say, ‘Yes I can get there one fine day’. To get there however would not be a very easy route. There should be a mental map that we need to follow to reach our destination (our dream).

Some of the aspects that we could keep in mind to create our own route to our dreams could be:

  1. Knowing What one Wants: “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”, quotes Dr Abdul kalam. We need to first know what we want to be and where we want to reach. We need to Explore our strengths and talents and dream of contributing to our fields of interest through these assets.

  2. Believing in Dreams and Following Intuition: There could be times that we all dream big and see ourselves in the best form we aspire to be… such as maybe get a job in a dream company such as Microsoft or Google, or get into teaching in a renowned university or maybe lose a good amount of weight and then we might think, ‘okay can i really get there?’. This thought hinders us from working towards our dreams. It’s always the best option to be positive about ourselves and appreciative of what we have and how our possessions can help us reach our big dreams. We need to be passionate about our interest and work towards growing and developing in the field… Of course we should keep in mind how real our dream is, for instance one can not be positive about a dream of becoming ‘Superman’ or ‘Spider-man’ 😛

  3. Taking Help and Helping Others: There is a time in everyone’s life where we are new to the field that we aspire to one fine day shine in. We could be freshly out of college, or newly shifted to a place or even might want to consider change of career such as maybe theater/ acting, or singing/music and have no contacts or networks to start the first step towards our dreams. That’s when we need others’ help and guidance. We could reach out to people in our circles who are well established in the field of our dreams or make our own new circle and take their help in getting networks and recommendations to start our journey… Maybe we could do a course, get certifications, meet people in our own field and take their help to build future networks. The same way, we could be open to guiding others who are in need… this could be another way to expand our networks and learn through experience.
  4. Stepping Out of “My World”: Most of us have our own comfort zones and are happy and contented in it! Sometimes we are so ‘adjusted’ to our own worlds that we tend to forget there are so many more ‘worlds’ outside. Stepping out of our own worlds and exploring outside could help us realize we have so many opportunities to spread our talents and knowledge. Sometimes stepping out could also help us make new dreams and give hope to achieve more than we thought we could. Stepping out could mean even personal vacation, we go see new places, learn about new cultures. We could also travel to different places for seminars and conferences to learn about global trends and opportunities in the areas of our interests.
  5. Imagination is Powerful: As Azim Premji (Wipro), quoted, “Success is achieved twice. Once in the mind and the second time in the real world.“, the journey to reach our destination needs to start in our mind first… through imagination. Being open minded and imagining a dream state of life could help us achieve unique things. We need to be open minded to try out things. For instance, places such as UAE are known for many world records such as tallest building, fastest roller coaster, biggest frame shaped building and some unique architectures such as the coin building. They would not have been able to make all this happen without imagination and big vision. We need to learn from them that creativity and the drive to be unique and best is the key to achieving our dreams.
  6. Being open to Failure: One thing that most of us have not learnt in schools is to be open to failure. We have mostly been drilled to avoid failure. More marks we score the more we are rewarded and if we fail to achieve a ‘good score’ we would be disregarded. This way we grow up with the mindset that failure is a shameful thing and we would if we failed, we would lose respect. This causes mental blocks and hinders us from trying new things because of the fear of failure. We need to realize failing is okay and is a stepping stone for success. Edison’s quote, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”, suggests that he couldn’t have invented bulb if not for trying several ways to get there despite of failing many times. We could also achieve something as great if we are open and learn from failure and try different other ways to achieve our dreams.

This way one will be able to make dream into reality and simultaneously attract opportunities to live one’s dreams.

To conclude, let’s be inspired by another quote by Dr. Abdul Kalam that summarizes this article… “If four things are followed – having a great aim, acquiring knowledge, hard work, and perseverance – then anything can be achieved.”

 

 

Finding True Happiness

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Abraham Lincoln quoted “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” which throws light on the fact that happiness is a state of mind and one can be happy when he/she makes up their mind. There ware many ways one can find true happiness within themselves some of them are highlighted below:

First of all, one needs to be aware that the concept of happiness is subjective and differs from individual to individual. Once one is aware of  this, one can understand and be able to express what happiness means to them, and go ahead and achieve their happiness.

Although it’s subjective, there are certain common ways that can help one attain their happiness, irrespective of one’s subjective definition of happiness. One of such universals approaches to reach a happiness is to appreciate and find pleasure in the littlest and smallest things. This can be done when one does not have high expectations about self or others.

Another way to find a ‘short cut’ to reach one’s happiness is to make time for activities which help stay healthy and fit (physically, mentally/ emotionally and socially) … these could include activities of one’s own interest and that one enjoys such as sports, gym, creative hobbies, socializing activities with friends/ family etc.

Being surrounded by people/ things which make one happy is also a good way to attain an inner path to happiness. Although one’s surrounding does play a role on the way they feel and perceive things, one should make sure not to completely rely on others / external sources for their personal happiness. As mentioned earlier already, true happiness comes from within an individual.

It would be important to keep in mind that ‘it’s okay to be you’… One needs to learn and feel comfortable being oneself. One cannot be happy pretending to be someone else. A quote by Mahatma Gandhi stated “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”… This focuses on one being clear and open about their intentions and actions, (which can be done being oneself). This way, one need not suffer any kind of guilt or fear of being caught or exposed and are generally happy in nature.

Positive self-affirmations would also help pump in happiness in individuals. This would bring in optimistic approach without any stress in one who is aiming the perform his/her best (professionally and personally). This would lead one to be a generally happy person. Talking about giving one’s best performance, another positive approach to make it a happy and stress-free process is comparing one with oneself instead of others. Seeing growth and development within one’s own self will always bring inner happiness and satisfaction.

Openly expressing gratitude towards people and things that have helped and supported one to achieve would also add on to the general inner happiness of a person. This act would not only make one individual happy but also spread happiness and positivity which is another way to increase happiness within oneself.

It’s always necessary to accept changes in life. Of course some changes that occur in life would pull one’s mood down, however it should not stop one from being a happy person for a long time if one always hopes and expects the best and at the same time be prepared for the worse.

Quoting Dalai Lama XIV,  “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”… meaning, once one makes sure he/she does’t hurt oneself or others, through their actions, there will be more room to happiness and our world will be more beautiful to live!! Finally, it can be concluded keeping in mind Max Ehrmann’s  quote “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” 🙂