Does Your Emotional Agility Resonate with You?

I have often been asked, “Is it okay to wear your emotions on your sleeve?”

And, what do you think the answer is?

Some may say, “It shows your weakness if your emotions are visible for what they are!”; while others may say, “It shows the “true” you and that’s the only way to express yourself.”

Well, let me just say that there is no one right answer!

Different people have different perspectives on that. However, the easiest way to live and breathe free is to be who you really are. Simple!

If you have to pretend who you are not, it’s a burden to bear for you and, a bit unreal for those you interact with. Your true self is hidden and you have to be constantly cognizant of that. As a result, you never live out freely. You are only putting up an act, one mask at a time.

Our emotions are there for a reason, for us to express without any apprehensions! We feel elated when something goes right and feel frustrated or angry upon coming across an injustice being meted out. We may want to react and help correct the situation. Of course, we need to act based on our emotions and our moral compass but first, we need to learn to be in control of our emotions too. Understand the root of where your emotions lie. Where is that anger or happiness coming from and what is the constructive act it can support? Answering that question will allow for the rightful impact of your activity on your own behavior and those of others.

Any emotion should be okay to have; be it anger, confusion, sadness, worry, happiness, elation or any other. In order to be in control of such emotions and to do something useful with it, understand the “why” of your emotion first.

This is where the concept of Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient comes into play. Emotional Intelligence or EI is defined as our ability to monitor, not just our own emotions but, those of others around as well. It’s the ability to make an effort to understand them, differentiate between these emotions, and react to them appropriately based on our understanding. Emotional Quotient or EQ, on the other hand, although used interchangeably with Emotional Intelligence, is a testing measurement of such ability to understand and apply our emotions through our thinking and actions.

One of the most wonderful abilities us, humans are blessed with is our ability to think, communicate, and interpret. There is no issue in the world that cannot be resolved through dialog!

Emotional Intelligence helps us interact in an effective and efficient manner, but most importantly, it allows us the ability to navigate our own emotions better. Emotional Intelligence allows for the development of self-awareness, giving us the clarity we seek about ourselves and our interactions with the world around us. Next, it helps us read and understand others better, their body language; physical and mental cues so that we learn to interact effectively with them.

It provides us with the learned restraint that we need, to have mindful interactions. It teaches us to listen before we speak, to understand before we react, and finally, to think from the standpoint of not just ourselves but for others as well.

It teaches us the humility to hold a perspective but be open to change based on input received. We do not have to be rigid in our thinking but allow for new information to shape our perspectives.

All of this plays a big role, not just in our personal lives but in business too. Leaders are expected to be of high Emotional Intelligence. And, that’s more true now than ever! We live in an interwoven society and an interconnected world. We are dependent on each other to foster and flourish. And, showing you care for each other, beyond profit and beyond your own success goes a long way in building stronger bonds and allowing for all of us to benefit, grow, and flourish together. Currently, that is the biggest calling of our leaders around the world in every scenario.

Soft skills highlight the nuances of such care and respect for each other. How we speak, greet, and behave is vital to smooth interactions, and these are based highly on our Emotional Intelligence. They can make a stellar difference in your personality, your interactions as well as how people come to accept you. It’s the cornerstone for cooperation, coordination, and making progress, together.

Personal accountability is also high in those that have a high Emotional Quotient. It comes with the skill of self-awareness. Self-aware people reflect on well-rounded reasoning for their success and failures and do not just look to the outside to find who to blame. Self-awareness and personal accountability, together can foster cultures of cooperation, innovation, camaraderie, and as a result, growth.

The other lesson that Emotional Intelligence teaches us is to refrain from shortcuts and instant gratification. Perseverance is a huge aspect of this. It’s better to win big in due time than small, but early. To do well in business, you need to outperform the competition while also retaining your performance edge and quality. And, that comes with perseverance fueled by passion.

And, where there is a potent combination of Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient, intuition sharpens.

The million-dollar question is whether your emotions can fool you? Yes, they can!

There is a possibility that people may believe what they very much desire than the reality that is glaring down at them. And, the reason for that is what they try to use as answers to substantiate their own thinking instead of accepting reality for what it is. Emotional Intelligence, as we discussed is about identifying your own and others’ emotions to recognize their effects on actions and to use that information to guide behavior. The last aspect of this, the ability to use the information to guide behavior is different in various people and can mean the difference in recognizing and managing to reality versus going with your preconceived ideas despite the reality. Emotional Quotient, which is a measurement of EI, tends to lack here in terms of measuring applicability of EI, though it can evaluate the strength of your EI. What really matters is not what you know but, how you apply it.

Yes, Emotional Intelligence can do a lot of good. But, it can do an equal amount of bad, if exploited for negative results. After all, it’s an understanding of not just your own, but others’ emotions as well. Those that want to service their own selfish needs can be manipulative with it. It’s an ability that has practical applications and implications.

The development of Emotional Intelligence is a continuous process that only improves over time. In order to benefit from it, be humble, and be a life long learner. Continue to be inquisitive, observational, exploratory, and most important of all, synthesize what you learn and, get good at applying it for the greater good. You will not just be Emotionally Intelligent but get better over time!

NOTE — For insightful and actionable content, check out Plan B Success podcast on your fav listening platform or subscribe @

Break the Shackles You Never Knew You had On!

As a business owner, professional, or student, we always strive to make progress. We expect to do better than yesterday and the day before. Yet, from time to time, we find ourselves mired in the same mix of challenges and unable to break free, no matter the effort! Why do you think it’s that way? Is the effort just not enough or the resolve not that strong, you wonder!

This is where I would like to re-introduce you to the concept of unfamiliarity and the excitement plus adventure it can bring along while nudging you on the less trodden path of growth! You see, progress doesn’t come about by doing what you have repeatedly done, but by going off tangent, now and then and trying again.

Instead of repeatedly doing what didn’t work for you, why not seek new connections, new avenues and new means of growing your career or business?

There’s no harm in doing that, is there? What do you have to lose except that what you have been repeatedly trying is not working and the outcome will not be any different unless you change one of the inputs?

Seek out unlikely ways of doing things; perhaps rope your clients in, to advise on internal challenges! Though unlikely and may raise a few eyebrows, but guess what, a fresh pair of external eyes may spot something that you or your team doesn’t, no matter how much you scour familiar territory.

Each one of us tends to live in a bubble that we are comfortable in. Even when we have to step out of our self drawn boundaries, we seek out complementary contacts and known work terrain as we again, hate to leave our comfort zone. Familiarity is great, no doubt! It’s known to us, its safe and we feel at our best around what we know. As a result, we tend to ride on demonstrable success, knowledge and expertise.

But, it’s also here, in familiar terrain that we often get stuck and cannot move forward or make progress when we are at our best right here. And, the way we try to get unstuck is to reach out to known entities!

Especially, when we all know that often times, breakthrough ideas come from unchartered territories and unknown quantities!

There are people, places, and industries unknown to each of us. Who knows, they could lead you down the rabbit hole, only to find the wonderland!

All it takes is to step away from chartered paths and take an unknown alley for once! While you may fear the dragon breathing fire from the darkness, it may lead you down the path of your next adventure, your next growth story!

So, how do we dare to venture on less traversed paths, meet strangers and yet, seek out the light of inspiration? How do we break free from our shackles of familiarity? Well, here are a few tips for you!

  • The next time you are faced with a predicament you are trying to solve, don’t go to the experts you always rely on; instead, go to someone you may least likely reach out to. Don’t give in to your thinking of who fits the bill to help you. Let chance be in control. Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised at the perspective you get.
  • When you seek out conferences to network and learn from, don’t make it always about your domain. Attend and glean from the one you have nothing to do with and reflect on what you have learned, in line with its applicability in your domain. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends, totally distant & different from who you always knew.
  • When trying to tackle a challenge, seek out your answers where they are rarely sought. Don’t follow the sheep in the pasture!
  • Expand your network to include acquaintances and friends from other areas, professions, and cultures. It will keep you charged up, keep life interesting, and you, on the edge of learning.
  • If you are creative, go technical for a while and learn there. If a techie nerd, explore your creativity. Don’t make assumptions and challenge it, just go with the flow.
  • Do some self-introspection. Who are you? What is your story? What are you telling the world and what does your inner being tell you about who you are? You may be surprised at things you never noticed about yourself that need to come to the fore, for you to lead a full life!
  • Novelty and growth can mean the difference in adding life to your years vs. adding years to your life. Make the pursuit of new things a habit. That’s one way to sustain growth over a long period of time while retaining the sense of adventure.
  • Don’t be judgmental before you have been somewhere & heard something. Listen and act in ways where you leave judgment behind and focus on facts. Your prowess of listening and assessment will change for the better.
  • Don’t fear seeking help when you need it. We all tend to do better with external insights.

Our mind has no limitations. We are the ones who confine it with our pre-conceived notions and the limitations we impose. Set it free! Treat others fairly and expect to be treated as such. No compromises on that!

Love those around you and expect to be loved equally. Depend on yourself more than others. Don’t expect to be shielded from adversity and challenges. Be ready to tackle what’s thrown at you. Capitalize on your strengths. But, more importantly, find strength in your weaknesses by finding ways to fulfill them so you are balanced. Be cognizant of your experiences and help others with them, where you can. 

Don’t go looking for confidence outside, it’s within you! Find and greet it in everything you do! Don’t seek acceptance, demand it, and give it freely as well. Nurture a dream and follow it passionately. Make it happen and face reality. And, that reality is what you make of it!

NOTE – For insightful and actionable content, check out Plan B Success podcast on your fav podcasting platform or subscribe @

The Curse of Entitlement!

Have you ever wondered about the word “Entitlement” and all that it entails?

You work hard your entire life, earn, save and expect that your golden years will be stressfree & peaceful. With the pride to shape your career and life, you can never even dream of depending on anyone, let alone the government. That’s your sense of personal responsibility! 

And then, there are others who expect their governments and those around to help them. They believe its their right to expect such treatment, to be handed all that they want and deserve, on a silver platter. 

With each generation, we have seen this entitlement mindset growing while the world is going the other way. Mind you, I am not looking to get into an argument here about one generation or another that reflects this, as there are definitely those who do not have an entitlement mindset in every generation. Let’s just agree that there are also those who have such a mindset and believe that its their right to have everything handed to them. Part of it may have to do with their upbringing where they were given a guarded childhood with everything handed to them, without even trying. Their parents might have thought that they were being great to their kids but, actually they may have been hurting them.

When we look at generations past and some in the present, many of them actually prided in reaping rewards for the work they put in. Somewhere along the line, parents wanted to make life easier for their kids and there began the growing sense of urgency to provide the next generation with an easier life than what their parents experienced. Genuinely good intentioned, this decision actually led to subsequent generations growing weaker and expecting their lives to be made easier without effort.

Knowingly or unknowingly, the sense of entitlement got instilled in their children as they were raised to believe that they were special in their own minds. While the older generations prided in taking on any odd jobs to provide for their families, the next lot would rather not work than do odd jobs, as they saw such work as not meeting their expectations of themselves. Nothing wrong with that except that if you do have expectations about the kind of work you are entitled to, you need to put in the effort to deserve it. Where’s the pride in relying on anyone when you can rely on your own self to manage your own needs until you land what you believe you deserve? There’s no point looking externally to blame someone else or the circumstances you are in. You may see it as an avenue to vent, but it actually perpetuates your own frustration and drags you down. It’s better to seek answers internally and make a change in your own thinking and behavior if you’d like to see a change in results. Personal accountability is a great factor in all this, it helps you take responsibility and make a change in behavior and eventually, in results you experience.

An entitlement attitude not only destroys people who harbor it, but can bring down entire communities, and as a result, a nation. It lays the seed of corruption, greed and adopting selfish means to achieve desired end, where the sense of community and betterment totally dissipates. What you inherit or are given is a privilege. When you treat it as such, your sense of responsibility and accountability comes to the fore. In times like now, with unemployment rates at the highest since the Great Depression, this attitude of privilege is so much more precious. If you are holding a job or have a business that is running, consider yourself blessed for you have the privilege to work and provide for your family. This is all the more reason to put your best foot forward in everything you do, as a part of your profession or work. 

With the economy trying to find its footing amidst the current pandemic, many Americans and citizens around the world are losing jobs. Those of retirement age have found their 401Ks depleted. After working for years and feeding portions of their salary into these funds which promised to ensure their ability to comfortably retire at the chosen age, one would think that these people have as much right as any to be angry. However, the popular response of retirement aged Americans during such times of crisis, has not been anger at all. Instead, with an air of disappointment looming, the majority of retirement aged Americans have taken it upon themselves and their own personal responsibility to cope with this unfortunate series of events. Picking up part time jobs, or extending their work years before retirement has been necessary for many senior citizens, not just now but for past several years.

Our economic future depends on the standards of personal excellence. It is not impossible to achieve this, but it is required that it start to reform both the attitudes of those just entering the workforce and also, as a preventative measure, those who are still children, who will become the next group of young adults to enter the workforce in the coming decades. 

If we reform the way that the upcoming generation of workers view work versus reward, then our economy could be saved from the downfall that is already plaguing many once-strong economies of the world. It is integral to this process that parents, businesses, and governments work together to restructure the mentality of young people and breed a new generation. Its not about age here, its about the attitude we carry that personal responsibility alone will make each of us stronger individually and as one community, one country & one world!

Countering Adversity with Resilience!

Life goes on. Things move along, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. You look around and are happy that things are chugging along smoothly. Perhaps, not ecstatic, but generally happy. I mean, you have work, a home and a family to come back to, smiles to share and people to socialize with in your life and are generally comfortable. What could go wrong, right?

And then, one day. One day, either you are physically or mentally challenged or have to deal with financial issues. These proliferate into perhaps, emotional and social issues and now, your spirituality that you so much depended on and need to most rely on now, amidst challenges, also comes into question. Will it be your pillar to hold on to or not? All of these challenges can be the result of one thing gone wrong and a ripple effect takes place. Perhaps, the challenge is personal to you and your situation or there has been a larger cause at the community level, and you have to face the repercussions it brings along. 

So, how do you react? What do you do? Are you disappointed, angry, helpless and feel victimized? Do you cycle through these and several other emotions? Perhaps, it’s normal to do so. But, whatever your immediate reaction to adversities that stare you in the face, it’s very easy to allow them to engulf you in negativity. All you have to do is do nothing! Acceptance of these adversities while feeling helpless can drown you before you can even start to think!

The biggest challenge that lies in front of you is none of these, but yourself. The ability to see the opportunity and develop resilience to face these adversities; that’s the most difficult, yet the most needed aspect of you in these circumstances. Your survival is solely dependent on this aspect of your character; to see the light amidst the negativity you are surrounded with. 

Resilience is a magical word but hard to muster when surrounded with fear, uncertainty, anger, confusion and so much more. Yet, it’s the only rudder in the midst of the storm you are in. Human tendency is to find someone to blame for the issues faced. That does no good. Ignore that urge and accept the fact of where you truly are at the moment. 

Take charge of the moment and detach from the emotion of what you are experiencing to think and act rationally.

Seek out what you can control and what you cannot. Plan and work to improve on the ones you can control.

Stop getting pulled into worrying about what could be, and get specific about the cause of the issues and what you can do to contain it.

In the short term, don’t focus on the cause of the problem but instead, focus on how you can act to mitigate it and improve the situation. There will be a time for determining cause, lessons learned etc.

Ensure you understand the challenges thrown at you and how long they will last. As a result, what actions do you need to take to minimize impact? Focus on that.

How you approach the issues and act on the challenges is detrimental to how and when you come out of it. 

When adversity strikes, most of us go with our gut reaction. Our ingrained thoughts, habits and beliefs influenced by our experiences come to the fore as reactions. Many a time, they may hinder our rational thinking and the ability to act without emotion. It happens on either extremes, whether you have been through several challenging times or have experienced success phenomenally, throughout your life. Irrespective of which extreme you belong to, rational action takes a hit, blindsiding you with your experiential past in your actions. You may feel totally in control or absolutely helpless, when you may be neither, so long as you rationalize the situation and act.

It’s best to shift from being cause oriented and that aspect dictating your reflexes to active, response oriented thinking and strategy. This forms the basis of a change in mindset required to triumph over adversities. Be a visionary in your approach. Learn to be specific, visualize outcomes, and seek support in action needed. Replace negative emotions with creativity and resourcefulness. 

Building resilience is best done under duress; duress of challenges you experience for it brings out your character. Though blind to opportunities in such situations, they exist and are only visible to positive thinking and productive responses.

In order to grow the mindset and skillset needed to face adversities, not just when faced with them, it’s important to develop the right attitudes and skills all the time. Surround yourself with positive people so you are in that atmosphere all the time. Be structured with your thoughts, find value in solitude as well as positive company and most important, invest in your own growth and execute on it.

All of this helps shape us into who we are and who we will become. Confidence builds and we are able to see over the horizon in any situation, whether it goes our way or not. And finally, learning to deal with and address adversity is what creates resilience in us.

How Do I Get Through a Crisis?

The coronavirus pandemic is an event that will influence our behaviors for years and decades to come by. It’s fair to say that our times could be seen as pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus. We are in the midst of reinventing our relationships, habits, ways we work and interact, prioritize our needs, ambitions, and how we socialize. And, as we embark on a new way of living, it becomes important that we understand how to survive uncertain times. And, better yet, thrive past these uncertainties. 

In order to do that, what’s vital is an understanding of current times with a contextual view of our fears and what’s most important to us at any given point of time. The new normal, as most are calling it will be different, will need us to accustom to it, and to uphold its values. We are already seeing where survival has taken precedence over luxuries, more time with family and healthier relationships are altering the definition of personal freedom and “me” time and remote work flexibility is showing an uptick in productivity than warming a chair in office locations. 

There is a toll uncertainty demands, in the form of physical and mental stress. That’s a given. But, when you recognize it and come to terms with it, you can control it and come out more resilient and strong. 

Our world is changing dramatically as we speak, geo-politically, economically and otherwise. At the same time, there is a growing appreciation of life, relationships, the ability to work and make a living, respect for sciences and social connectivity, appreciation of the capabilities to socialize and exchange information, love and much more. 

Now, it’s about our ability to cope with the current happenings, rebound with a vengeance to make the most of our lives, our time on this planet. There is a new reality. Yes, but why not get busy putting our mark on it than to accept status quo!

For starters, don’t let a crisis cripple your resilience

Take stock of your current situation in contrast to current happenings. Recognize areas where you are strong and where you are weak as well. There is no time to worry or find excuses for your weak areas, be it skills, finance, savings, etc. Acknowledge the facts so you can spend your energy on constructive activities such as tackling how to get in control of your weak areas. Increase the adoption of productivity tools and measures so you can be more agile in your future approach.

Next, as you acknowledge the current situation, put your crisis management thinking forward

Identify what you need to have in hand and in your control to ensure continuity for yourself, your dependents, and your life as close to normalcy as it can be. Coordinate activities to make this possible for the near term and as far ahead as possible.

We are all dependent on the flow of income and that should be the focus. Perhaps, this is the time to ensure you have savings in the form of a nest egg you can rely on. But, it’s still important to ensure continuity of income so you do not want to tap into those savings yet. Budget your day to day life and monitor adherence closely. Be transparent with your family on needs and wants and what takes precedence over what during current times.

Be proactive with taking stock of your skill set

Now is an opportune time to review your skill set and what would be in demand in the new normal. Seek out sources you can tap into to gain new skills and also, exploit your current skill set to your advantage. Invest your resources and time in knowledge management and application so you benefit from them in the near to long term. This will improve your personal and professional resilience and allow for future sustenance and growth.

Reach out to your clients, friends and network

With anxiety running high across the board, it’s a great time to revitalize your connections. Reach out to show care and offer a helping hand where you can. It’s not about what you need but what you can offer others, no matter how little. There is no telling what connections help revitalize your own life at what point of time. Hence, give of yourself willingly and selflessly. Alleviate anxiety in those you come in contact with, communicate actively, frequently and positively. Show empathy and gratitude for the relationships you have. 

Beware of vulnerabilities and the ability of others to prey on them

Remind yourself and your family of this. Its in times like this that predators are out to prey on the weak and benefit. Being aware of your surroundings and alert to such practices will help you catch them before they do any damage. Any contributions you want to make to alleviate current crisis situations for anyone, make it a habit to check thoroughly before you part with your money, effort or other resources. Expect no less from others as well.

Review your assets, liabilities and a go-forward strategy

Take stock of your financial and social responsibilities. Make arrangements to safeguard your and your family’s interests no matter what. Review and revise plans frequently to keep up with the change in social-economic factors. Be comprehensive in your approach and ensure continuity of normal lives as far as possible.

Prioritize Positive thinking and encourage others to be positive

Hold family relationships the highest and encourage the same of others you interact with. In times of uncertainty, it’s far more important to do this in order to keep everyone on the same plane, being positive and knowing that there are others around to rely on in case of need. The human element in our lives and business is central to all that we do. And, should be treated as such at all times.

Consider the needs of your business and staff

Your work family is as important. Look into their needs in times of crisis and support them with as much normalcy as you can give them. Go above and beyond to support their financial and emotional needs in times of a crisis. Where you cannot continue financial support, make resources for easy transition available to them. 

Your business or profession will need more of you at times like this. Though tough, focus on work as well so that you can move away from spending too much time worrying about the crisis as it will hinder your productivity and agitate you. Being focused on your work will enable you to help those in need and also, bring out the positivity you need to manage the other areas in your life.

Finally, remain humble, pragmatic, and flexible. Be ready to change course as situations demand. But before that, make sure you have your alternate plans in place to act upon. Be open to listen, absorb, and respond to current realities. Be proactive and make tough choices when and where you need to. Be aware of the risks as they emerge, monitor the situation, and know that you will get through this crisis too. 

It’s not fear that kills, but the anticipation of it. 

It’s not hope that helps survive, but the conviction in it.

What is the Cost of Your Opportunity?

Have you ever wondered? What is the cost of your opportunity?

Your time is expensive, perhaps priceless to you, so you’d better use it the way you best know how.

Although, opportunity cost is best known in economic or business terms, it has a deeper meaning and application in our lives as well.

The most simple way of understanding opportunity cost is to understand what is the trade-off.  If you decide to do A to gain X, what are you not doing in B and losing out on Y. And yet, you are fine with that decision!

Every decision you take rides a trade-off horse. You must evaluate what are you giving up to gain what. If not this, what else could you be doing that offers you the best opportunity. When you invest in yourself or a business, the question is, if not here, where could you have invested this time or money to benefit. Further, if you have resources at hand, what could you do to capitalize on them in a given period of time?

An opportunity cost exists for not just your professional time, but your personal time as well. And for that matter, when we say cost, it’s not always about the economics of it, but also what you choose and love to do. If you decide to become a doctor just because you can earn more, when your true passion lies in let’s say, art, that’s not a true justification of opportunity cost, because you will spend a lifetime doing something you don’t really love, though you may make a good living off of it. In this scenario, you will go through life dwelling on what you could have been and done, provided you pursued your passion. Hence, your decisiveness can help drive your opportunities to be in line with your likes and passion.

Every choice has a consequence and you need to be aware of that when making decisions. It’s no one else, but you who has to live with those consequences. Our lives are sum totals of the decisions we took & continue to take, the choices we make. We must hence, evaluate options thoroughly before making a decision and once a decision is made, we need to ensure we are ready to face the consequences and never look back in regret. That is the mark of a sound mind.

Every action & inaction has a cost associated with it. Time never stands still and that’s the first of those costs. Your time is so expensive that you’d better use it the best way you possibly can. If you are sprawled in front of the television for hours and feel wasted, its time to get up and do with your time what makes you feel productive, lively, and good. Bring that one subtle change in your life and rest assured, you are on the right track. For instance, you are here hearing me now when you could be doing something else. You have made the choice to hear me out. Now that you have chosen to do so, the best you can make use of this opportunity is to apply what you have learned and as a result, make this time useful for you and the lesson valuable.

When you evaluate the opportunity cost of every decision you take, in monetary and non-monetary terms, decision making does become easier and life change patterns do emerge to happen with you based on your decisions. Every choice has a cost, the cost of what you are forgoing to choose this over that. Nothing in this world is free.

Our lives are all about priorities and values we strive to uphold. Choosing one thing over another means you have sacrificed what you gave up to stick with the chosen decision. When you have to make a choice, you need to evaluate alternatives in comparison. There is no way around it. The cost of passing up on the alternatives for what you have chosen is your opportunity cost. Make the most of your choice.

When you go to college and choose to graduate after spending 4 years of studying, the tuition you paid and the time you spent studying, all of them make up the costs of pursuing the opportunity. Yet, you do it because you believe that after graduation, you will be paid off by way of a better job and income. Instead of picking up a job for the last 4 years, you chose to study further and forego income for those 4 years because you believe you can make more in the long run post your graduation.

Decisions, big or small; all of them carry the hidden costs of the options you decline. Such evaluation of alternatives allows you to make a rational assessment of your choices before going with one.

In life, find your rudder, one thing that you understand well, and are good at. Once you have that, then every opportunity that you come across should be in evaluation of what you currently have and truly understand. Why, because that’s your opportunity cost of pursuing something else. This will make it easy for you to make decisions quickly and also, over time your expertise develops whether you continue to stick to what you know or venture out to try new things, one step at a time. You will eventually find that there are one or two things that you are better at than anything else. And that’s where you will find your success.

Evaluate life choices using this policy and you will understand what’s at stake better. When you define opportunity cost as the central parameter of the choices you make, you will understand what you can do with your time, money, and resources. And when this aspect becomes a part of your thought process, your decision-making process, you will not only make sound decisions but, will also understand the world in which we live, better. Opportunity costs shape your personal and professional life. It impacts all aspects of your life: time, money, career, home, family, lifestyle, etc. Hence, make wise choices and once a choice is made, don’t look back!

How To Make The Most of Your Time?

Time is a finite commodity we all have. Yet, we treat it as something infinite. Besides, we plan and act as such. However, you can make the most of it and extract the best from it if you possess, one specific skill. 

What do you think that is? 

No, it’s not time management or passion or anything effervescent. Its self-discipline! 

It’s telling yourself that you have is a limited amount of time and you need to make the most of it. That subliminal thought should allow you to take every step away from procrastination, from laziness and force you into the behavior you want to execute, in order to realize and achieve your goals, no matter how big & small. All the talk about efficiency, productivity, and laser-sharp focus is great but means nothing without self-discipline. In a busy world, we all feel pressed for time, and when the time decides to stall, such as now, with you at home, among your loved ones, what do you feel most pressed for? Remember, all that you do in your personal or professional life is not about adding hours to your day but about adding value to your time, your life.

First, pause a moment and evaluate your priorities.

What are your values, goals & expectations? Have you been spending your time with a focus on these? Many of us have wished for more time with our loved ones and now that you have it, what are you doing with it? Are you really spending time together or are each of you wrapped up with your respective smart devices?

Know what your real priorities are and commit to pursuing them.

Next, weave lighter stress-free moments in your day.

We tend to run every day throughout the week, as though we are on a marathon, in the hope of finding respite during weekends and vacations. Yet, the time to unwind is never enough. Find moments in your everyday plan to destress. Take a moment to laugh your heart out at a pure silly joke. Identify what helps you unwind and find a time during your day to do just that. Don’t cheat yourself for you are helping no one with burnout. 

Learn to relax, rejuvenate and be at your productive best.

Pay attention to your body, mind and soul.

No task is worth accomplishing if you do not find pleasure and fulfillment in it. And that, you will find when you develop a zest for life! Which, again is only possible when you cherish a healthy body & mind. Treat yourself to a healthy diet and use moderate exercise as a daily routine. Feed the body, mind, and soul with what is sought to nurture and grow. Read a book, spend time thinking through challenges and solutions, and find productive values you can pursue. Get enough sleep, rest and ensure you are ready to dive in completely, no matter what project you take up. 

Each of us is made different. While some tend to be the early birds, others are night owls. Align your strengths based on how you want to structure your days. Find your productive peaks and exploit them to your benefit. Be fierce with your time management and bring that self-discipline into it, so you have no moments worthlessly whiled away. Remember, I am not against time whiled away when it has a purpose.

Slow down, once in a while. Smell the roses, as they say. Now is your time to do so when the universe has conspired to put you at home! Use this time to reflect, foster mindfulness, and make decisions now, actionable decisions for a better tomorrow.

At the same time, give some of your time away. Give time to others who need it, be it family, friends or strangers. The impact your time and effort can have on others at a time like this, is immense. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can do for others.

Use your time now to reframe, reskill, unwind and go at things like you never did before, but with a strategy to succeed and be fulfilled in your quest to benefit yourself and those around you.

How Do I Deal With Uncertianty?

The world is in the midst of a pandemic. Will we survive it? Will I survive it?

Will I have a job in six months?

Will we have enough money?

Will I be able to take care of my family?

What will happen to my kids education?

Each one of us now, faces many of these common questions that we ask of ourselves again & again, seeking an answer though we know there is not a concrete one!

We have run through 4 weeks of straight unemployment running into millions of people losing their livelihood. With uncertainty looming around everywhere you look, it’s natural to be stressed and anxious.

The world is changing, as we know it and change is not easy to accommodate for many. Yet, change is continuous. And, when it comes to change, you may not always be able to control the outcome, but you can most definitely control your response to it. And, there lies the birth of resilience! The knowledge and ability to control your response to external factors contributing to change will provide you with the strength you need in these times. You will be able to garner strength, acumen, tools & techniques to manage through the difficult situations and thrive in the face of challenges.

Look through your past and I am sure you will find times when you were resilient in the face of challenges, in the face of adversity & yet, thrived.

20 years ago, I packed my bags and came to the US as a student, with a dream in my head and resolve in my heart, but no control over what lay in the future. Yet, I am here today, continuing to make my mark in life.

Questions I faced during that time include:

Will I complete my MBA with flying colors?

Will I land a good job?

Will I secure my visa, green card, citizenship, etc.?

Will I be able to build and nourish my American Dream?

Was the experience difficult and unsettling at times? Absolutely, but I would not trade it for the world! That giant leap into the unknown was well worth it!

Along the way, you learn a thing or two about uncertainty and how to tackle when faced with it. Today, I want to share a few of my lessons, lessons that came through experience.

First, Let Go & Accept!

Accept the fact that change is constant and we do not control the outcome but, only our response to it. Relax, be open minded about it and instead of fighting it, accept it and plan your response to it. Treat it as realistic, accept and tolerate it while responding to it with your benefit in mind, as the end goal.

Be the human you are by accepting your limitations, not feeling powerless or overwhelmed. Acknowledge your feelings, even the difficult ones. Be kind to yourself and those around you. This will give you the mental ability and space to plan, act and react.

Next, Believe in the Best but Prepare for the Worst!

Don’t dwell on all things that could go wrong and how they will go wrong. Doing this will force you to develop a skewed perception of the risks and consequences, much worse than they actually may be.

And what could that do? Hype up your anxiety and stress levels, thus setting you up for failure.

Be pragmatic about the happenings. Think through without being judgmental. Hope for the best but, prepare yourself to brace for the worst case scenario. Being realistic helps buffer the consequences of the situation and you will have to deal with something more manageable, as a result. Hope is not a strategy but is the foundation of one, thus allowing you to mentally toughen up, find clarity in your thoughts and helps with your ability to make sound decisions when needed. All of this allows you to be more successful in facing the challenge than you actually thought possible.

Third, Reflect on Your Past Challenges and Successes.

What are some of the challenges and uncertainties you faced in life? How did you cope and come out successful?

Although, your past may seem well planned from your current position, it was full of uncertainties at points in time, when you made decisions and did things, to bring you where you are today. Remember, you have the capacity to think, plan, act and come out successful. You have done it before and can do it again!

At the same time, reflect on the strengths you have that allowed you to succeed. Acknowledge the things you are grateful for. Such thoughts allow you to impede negativity and encourage positivity.

Fourth, Manage your Response to Situations.

Do not seek out a short cut to avoid pain. That is our reflex when faced with a challenge. Give it thought, think rationally, decide and then, act. Wait and watch is never a complete strategy. Always keep planning your next moves and act on them. When you let fear overwhelm you, it leads to bad decisions, inaction and finally, succumbing to negative consequences. Always remember that and use it to your advantage.

Learn to connect with others, perhaps a friend or a family member. Support others and welcome support that comes your way. This allows for exchange of ideas, fosters belongingness and relieves stress.

Finally, Envision Future Possibilities!

The future is yours to shape as you see fit. Connect with your deeper purpose for there lies your truth and meaning for your life.

Now is your chance to imagine it, plan for it and start acting to realize it. Use this time as an opportunity to refresh, restart and reach greater goals. Think of all the possibilities that lie in front of you, giving you the option to choose. Take one step at a time, but keep moving in the direction you want to be your tomorrow’s reality!

Where does the World’s “keeping in touch” Platform go from here?

Social Media has redefined how we connect, learn, interact, and foster our relationships. It has also blurred the boundaries between personal and professional aspects of our lives. It’s an advantage where small businesses can compete with the larger ones on the same level playing field. In this episode, I reflect on Facebook’s 2012 IPO, the questions that arose then and the later years, which showed that those queries were not in vain. I also review the current trends, what we should expect and what will ensure that the new social revolution actually continues to benefit us, as individuals and businesses!

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Did WeWork? Will WeWork?

In this episode, we discuss the case of WeWork – the erstwhile “most valuable” company, its history, the recent IPO debacle, what happened and what is needed to resurrect the company before it appeases any private or public investor appetite.

Recent news is that SoftBank is investing another $9.5B to gain control of WeWork at a valuation of not more than $8B. To revisit WeWork’s journey from a $47B valuation to near bankruptcy, all over the period of a few weeks, check out the link below… 

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