02Dec
By: suchitra M On: December 2, 2012 In: Career, Life, Managing Yourself, Productivity Comments: 22

Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude toward us ~ Earl Nightingale

Snooze or dismiss…? We wake up mechanically each morning and let the alarm clocks and our calendars govern and rule our lives without realizing the immense influence these things have come to have on us…. and not the vice-versa? In the early ages – we started by inventions and discoveries to make our lives easier and simpler, but now in this day and age, we have reached a precipice ….and it seems that these have instead controlled and engulfed us.  I remember an incident just last month when my son asked me if I could attend his Award Function at school for achieving a Straight ‘A’ report card, instead of having an elated instantaneous response, I heard myself saying “sure I’d love to… please can you tell me what date / day it is so I can confirm after checking my calls and appointments for the day”. The sheer possibility that I may not be able to join him in his celebration wiped out the look of joy from his eyes.

That moment was enough to jolt me out of my trance and carve out some guiding principles for Staying Ahead and Aware to prevent such a recurrence. Hope these resonate with you as well :

Staying Ahead and Aware Strategy #1 : Look towards the Future:

Dwelling in the past or crying over split milk has never paved the way for anyone. Only when we are ‘pushed to the wall’ at a point of no return, do our eyes finally open and we see paths that never seemed to have existed before and we are able to STOP mulling over ‘why’ and ‘what ifs’ of past happenings and take reins of ‘how’ and ‘who’ can hold our hand from this point in our life to keep on moving forward. Watching the movie ‘Zookeeper’ with my lil’ one, I was reminded anew of a profound life’s lesson: ‘We have to stop living in the past and look towards the future’. So simple and so right!

Staying Ahead and Aware Strategy #2 : Learn from around you:

Learn each day from your peers, your boss, your spouse or even your child. Yearning for learning…. can lead to earning and I don’t mean just $$$! Any person who feels “I know it all”,  has no craving or passion and hunger for more knowledge each day from every facet of life, is living with blinders in a fool’s paradise. So keep your eyes and ears open – watch, absorb and tread on …..smarter and wiser.

Staying Ahead and Aware Strategy #3 : See the Rainbow:

Though everyone around me warns me that Life is ‘Black ’and ‘White’ or at the most a pale shade of “Gray”, I suggest to them to not miss the exuberant hues associated with each day. While driving back from work, maybe your favorite song comes up on the Radio and lightens up your day. Unanticipated joys can add color to a seemingly boring day.

Staying Ahead and Aware Strategy #4 : S…mile..S:

The longest word in English dictionary – with a ‘Mile’ between the two “S” and the only curve that can set the hardest things Straight….  Even in the worst of days, simply your child’s smile can be just enough to forget the tussle with your boss earlier in the day. Or gifting your team member with one can motivate them to take on the toughest of challenges.  Easy, hassle free, inexpensive yet much underused tool.

Staying Ahead and Aware Strategy #5 Stop Nitpicking:

Instead of always finding faults and errors, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and enthusiasm of the person(s) completing assigned task(s). To ensure that criticism is accepted without resentment – make it a positive one, as that always – nurtures. A good leader feels pride watching their teams being successful – having triumphantly and safely led the team like the Pied Piper even in turbulent times of immense competition.

Don’t stop, don’t let anyone stop you. The ladder of your life, of your success or failure is in your hands. As they say… ‘thrill is in the chase’, so make your journey and that of those accompanying you on the path, a memorable one for Staying Ahead and Aware in the crowd and reach your destination with joy.

Today’s post is written by Toshina Sethi – a special friend and an amazing woman. This is her very first blog post and both of us would love your opinion, encouragement and thoughts. What strategies do you use to stay ahead? What insights have you recently gained in the middle of your busy life ? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? We would love to know!

Picture courtesy : http://www.flickr.com/photos/tweedledeedesigns/4932424821/