Thursday, May 30, 2013

With Power Comes Responsibilities

You know why I love to watch children play? Because, they only know innocence, happiness and fun. When I look at them and think how young they are, how innocent they are - they don’t know what is happening out there and they don’t even care. And that care-free mind-set I envy the most about them. They can do whatever they want without caring about submitting assignments, completing projects, getting a job, next-minute meetings, meeting deadlines, buying a house and paying bills, sabotaged relationships, health issues and everything else that is in this world.

Summer break has arrived with the completion of third year of my graduation (one more to go) and temperature here exceeds bearing level – 43 °C. Guess it’s time to head home now.

Before leaving, I was spending an evening sitting in my Hostel Veranda, watching small children of slum workers play. They had a poorly ragged, small baby carriage; riding it one by one. After 15 minutes of running, riding, playing and expending energy they eventually became thirsty. And fortunately, there was a gardener nearby watering the plants with a pipe. To no surprise, they ran to quench their thirst and the gardener helped them in having enough drinking water.

The minute children were finished drinking, the gardener didn't stop there. He had a little fun instead – he splashed water on the ground near their feet that got sprinkled back on them and then played with the kids with water. Who doesn't love playing with water in a scorching heat and that too when we are talking about children!

Undoubtedly, the kids enjoyed it too. They sure had fun. There were smiles on everybody’s faces – on the gardener, the three kids and mine. An ecstasy. :)

By now, you may ask why I am telling you this. For, I learnt something that day. What did I learn? I learned that when you have power of something, you can use it to help others beside your prime responsibilities that come with that power. It can be power of anything. Can be power of money, power of politics, power of authority, physical power, power to extend emotional strength, power to simplify someone’s life or power to quench someone’s thirst.

In this case the gardener had a power; power of access to water and his prime responsibility was to water the plants. But he also used it to help others (quench little ones’ thirst). At the same time he found a way to had fun, though for a very short period of time in this so big busy world. And I see no harm in it. :)

So, the next time you possess a power, doesn't matter which power, just a power of anything, even for a little time, use it to help others beside the prime responsibilities you have because of that power. And what’s magical about your powers without moments of enjoyment and fun! Add fun around with your powers if you can (there’s no harm in having a little fun). And with it, create moments of happiness that bring smiles on faces – no matter what the age is !  :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Well Done Is Better Than Well Read | Actions Matters The Most

I love reading what Chris sends to me over mail. He writes about productivity, motivation, success, being brave, willpower, habits, decision making, social media marketing, digital business and a lot more. He has a way of telling impactful stories full of insights and experiences. And whatever he says, you will always find it helpful in some way or the other.

One thing to notice in his mails/blog posts is that they are very personal. In one of his recent newsletters on “action” he wrote, “I have the supreme pleasure and delight of watching people learn. More accurately, I watch how people respond to learning. But what I’m most excited about when observing everyone is the difference between readers and do-ers.”

"Transformation Comes From Action"

“You and I can read all we want. We can “collect ideas” all we want. Until we give it a go, we won’t know how it “really” works.”

He gave it a try and did his first ever HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training) – “For instance, I’d read about it for a while, and it sounded ouchy. Do something really intensely for 30 seconds, for instance, and then rest 1 minute. Repeat for about 30 minutes. From all I read about it, I worried that I couldn’t do it.”

“When I gave it a shot, I learned rather quickly how it works. I can explain to you what I learned, but until you try it, you’ll have knowledge but not experience.”

In his experience, information is not enough. Information with references or extra resources helps more in comprehending the matter. Whereas, actionable information has the most impact on our thought process which asks to take action instead of just reading and thinking.

Well, it’s simple and makes sense. What if I read about something that I want to do; say, learn cooking and I don’t take any action on it? What if I don’t practice what I have read - go to the kitchen and make a food item or two? Only reading and thinking of cooking a great recipe won’t make me learn cooking in real.

To my experience as well, to understand things in a better way, we need to put our knowledge to work. And by taking action we have a deeper understanding of how things work. Eventually, if you really want to learn something, action becomes more important than just reading. You have to step out of your comfort zone and act, if you really want to achieve what you desire.

No doubt, reading teaches us a lot. It gives us the knowledge. But it doesn’t give you the insights of self-explored experimental learning process. It is only by doing that you will learn the real thing and gain valuable experience. For that, you got to not just read and think but also beat procrastination, clear distractions and start doing. Today.

So, when you are finished reading this post, go take action and do whatever you want to learn to do!

Chris Brogan is CEO and president of Human Business Works. Chris aims at helping professionals work better, do the work they want, and to be brave while building a strong, sustainable, relationship-minded business. He helps businesses grow and believes in delivering great value to his customers/clients. He is also a consultant and frequent keynote speaker. His clients include Google, Microsoft, Dell, Sony, Panasonic, GM, Coca-Cola, Pepsico and many more. Besides that, Chris is the New York Times bestselling author of The Impact Equation and Trust Agents. Read more about Chris here.