Thursday, 8 March 2018

A Different Woman's Day

Heavily pregnant woman. 

She waited at the bus stand hoping to see a slightly vacant bus. But it was the peak time and with no other option, she alighted the bus. As expected, there were no vacant seats. Suddenly she felt someone touch her exposed back above the blouse. She turned around angrily, feeling helpless. A  young man was looking at her . She felt her anger rise above her guts and just as she was about to retort, he said "Madam, here is my seat , please sit ..". The lady was stunned  ... her eyes suddenly felt moist ... 

This Woman's day, let us celebrate young men like him ...

She was a known name in that Red-light area,  expert in the tricks and traps needed to lure her customers. Today she has to entertain a loafer - must be the spoilt and pampered brat of a stinkingly rich father .
He is already drunk ...
"Where is the booze , eh ? "
"Do you really want more ...? "
"YES !! Bring it ... FAST ! "
She made a face .  She knew his type very well . They will drink till their neck and then vomit on the bed and... but did she really have any choice ? She  started loosening her sari...

"Listen, where is your home ? How did you land up here ? "
She was taken aback . 
"Wha -at do you mean?"
"To hell with the usual things. Come and sit beside me ... let us talk .. you know, I do not have any real friend with whom I can just talk ? Neat adda ?"

Seconds passed into minutes and the minutes passed into hours till the night melted into the red dawn of a new beginning.

This woman's day, let us celebrate spoilt brats like him ...

The married woman had been nursing her bed ridden mother-in-law for days . All the household work , looking after her kids, cooking , shopping, relatives and on top of that her perpetually sick mother-in-law. Though she wanted to tell about her exhaustion to her husband, she kept mum... if she says something, he will misunderstand her and become angry  !

The door bell rang. A middle aged woman stood at the door. 

"Yes ? Whom do you want ?
"You , Memsab ... I am coming from the Ayah centre "
"Ayah Centre ? " She was surprised.
"Sahib had called up our centre . Said his mother was sick . He must have forgotten to tell you .. Why don't you call him up and ask ? "

She called up her husband and after putting the phone down she felt how much people misunderstand each other ...

This woman's day, let us celebrate husbands like him ...

The mad young woman was begging for food. No one took pity at her. Her clothes were in tatters , most of her body was exposed. She pointed at her naked stomach to show that she was hungry. 

"... Come here ... "

She turned back and saw four boys in their later teens. 

A woman's instinct perhaps, she glared at them and spat.  They pulled her by her hands and took her into the  abandoned godown. 

She bit them as they handed over a packet to her. 

"Take it . It has a pair of clothes and food. And from today you can stay here, do not roam about on the street. If you need anything, you can go to that club at the end of the road and tell us ".

Did the woman become mad a second time ? 

This woman's day, let us celebrate teenagers like them ... 

The girl writes poems, her own way , her own thoughts. She had told him a couple of times, read out her poems , but she did not see any enthusiasm in his eyes. 

She does not tell him anymore , just writes for herself. One night, he calls her up. 

"How would you like if your poetry book was published ? "
"Are you mad ? Who will print a book containing my poems ? "
"Why ? Me ? "
"You ? Do you know the money involved ? "
"Yes. I  have found out ."
"What... You ... but ..."
"Does everything needs to be told in words ? Or you think that if I read all your poems you will know that I like the fact that you write so well ? "

The girl, the budding poet,  lost all her words... 

This woman's day, let us celebrate partners like him ...

From the day the doctors told her that she will never become a mother , her crying has not ceased.  It is her fault, the doctor had said.  Oh ! Why does she not die of shame ?

"Be ready at 8.30 am tomorrow "
"Again a new doctor's opinion ? What more will we learn? The problem lies in me .."

Next day, as their car pulled in front of Saint Mary Home and school, she was surprised. 

"We are getting down here ? "
"We have come to pick up our daughter . You always wanted a girl, right ? "

The lady started crying again ... this time the tears were of happiness.

This woman's day, let us celebrate fathers like him ...

This Woman's day , let us give respect to the men like these in our lives. 

Let us acknowledge, that because of such men, we can be women like what we are  ! 


 Translated from a Bengali Writeup on WA

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Teeny Weeny : Cinderella

Cinderella : Hi Prince ! Are you awake ?

Prince : Hi ! Yes , I am ! Wassup ?You looked beautiful tonight .....

C : As I ran away today, the glass slipper broke !

P :  Hell ! Now how will I find you ?

C :  😅 ! Did you really want to ?

P : 😝 ! Not really. But how did you guess ?

C : I saw you loosen the screw on the heel of the glass shoe ...
C : Hey ! Where are you ? I was just joking 😈. Actually I saw you kissing my step sister ...
C : It's true , right ? 😌. All the best Prince ! Be happy !

The emoticons did not reflect her tears.  Her guess about the shoe and the step sister was correct .

Cinderella died that night.

Cinderellas do not exist anymore ....


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Key and the Hammer

The Key and the Hammer  

A Key and a Hammer lay on a table side by side. The hammer looked dejected , morose and quizzical.  

"What is the matter , brother Hammer ? You look sad and puzzled ! " The  key asked the Hammer.

"I am wondering ... " 

"What ? "

"I am much bigger and stronger than you, I weigh much more and am costlier than you , but ... "

"But what , big brother ? "

"Why is it that you are able to do what I can never ever do ? ". The Hammer sounded puzzled , jealous and dejected.

The Key waited to hear him out.

 "You can OPEN a lock. I can break it, destroy it , but I can never open it ! Please tell me , do tell me your trick of the trade " The Hammer pleaded. 

The Key smiled.  "Brother, it is very simple .It is because I go inside the lock. I touch it's heart and soul. That is why, just a small nudge from me opens it up ... "

At work , home or play, whatever we do, if we can touch the inner recesses of the heart and touch a person's soul , it becomes easy to get them open up. It is a great method used by charismatic and transformational leaders.

The Marble slab and the idol

A big slab of white marble and a small marble idol were being transported in a train to a temple.  

"Ahh fate ... ! See what it has done to me and what it has made you ... ". the marble slab whispered in the idol's ears . 

"Fate ? How come ?" The idol asked . 

"Well, both of us were cut from the same rock, but you will be put up on a pedestal and I will be put on the floor infront of you. The devotees will come and trample on me but they will bow their head to you ... if this is not fate then waht is it ?"

The idol looked at the slab calmly and said "It is not fate , my friend... When you were cut, the pressure put cracks on you. That is why they had to make you a slab. I have been cut and after that I have gone through thousands of hammer strikes. Then I have been chiseled with sharp tools and only after that I have become the idol. It is called resilience, my friend, not Fate .... "

Leaders do not crack or buckle under pressure . They are self confident and calm . They have the resilience to face any situation. 

They inspire their followers.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

4 Surprising Truths

The following are four surprising truths which have been established and validated by research.    Hope you find this interesting !

1. We don't notice what's right in front of us

Think you know what's going on around you? Really ?

In 1998, researchers from Harvard and Kent State University targeted pedestrians on a college campus to determine how much people notice about their immediate environments. An actor came up to a pedestrian and asked for directions. While the pedestrian was giving the directions, two men carrying a large wooden door walked between the actor and the pedestrian, completely blocking their view of each other for several seconds. During that time, the actor was replaced by another actor, one of a different height and build, and with a different outfit, haircut and voice. 

Half of the participants didn't notice the substitution.

The experiment was one of the first to illustrate the phenomenon of "change blindness," which shows just how selective we are about what we take in from any given visual scene -- and it seems that we rely on memory and pattern-recognition significantly more than we might think.

2. Power Corrupts

In this study conducted in 2003,  two students were instructed to write the paper, while the other was told to evaluate the paper and determine how much each student would be paid. 

In the middle of their work, a researcher brought in a plate of five cookies. Although generally the last cookie was never eaten, the "boss" almost always ate the fourth cookie -- and ate it sloppily, mouth open.

"When researchers give people power in scientific experiments, they are more likely to physically touch others in potentially inappropriate ways, to flirt in more direct fashion, to make risky choices and gambles, to make first offers in negotiations, to speak their mind, and to eat cookies like the Cookie Monster, with crumbs all over their chins and chests," noted Dacher Keltner, one of the study leaders. 

3. The only thing one needs to be happy

The 75-year Harvard Grant study --one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies ever conducted -- followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 (now well into their 90s) for 75 years, regularly collecting data on various aspects of their lives. The universal conclusion? Love really is all that matters, at least when it comes to determining long-term happiness and life satisfaction.

The study concluded that there are two pillars of happiness: "One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away." 

4.  Delaying gratification can make you more successful

This study was done in Stanford University in the late 1960s . It tested preschool children's ability to resist the lure of instant gratification -- and it yielded some powerful insights about willpower and self-discipline. In the experiment, four-year-olds were put in a room by themselves with a marshmallow on a plate in front of them, and told that they could either eat the treat now, or if they waited until the researcher returned 15 minutes later, they could have two marshmallows.

While most of the children said they'd wait, they often struggled to resist and then gave in, eating the treat before the researcher returned. The children who did manage to hold off for the full 15 minutes generally used avoidance tactics, like turning away or covering their eyes. The implications of the children's behavior were significant: Those who were able to delay gratification were much less likely to be obese, or to have behavioural problems by the time they were teenagers, and were more successful later in life.

Monday, 22 January 2018

7 Best Tips for delivering an Outstanding Presentation

"Mam, I am so nervous ! I have prepared my presentation and worked hard on the tips given by you.  But still I am getting butterflies in my stomach... " .  

No, no,  don't be under the  illusion that this is a naive , young junior person.  The words were uttered by a 8 year  experienced manager, who had given several presentations in office. This time, the audience was different.  He was amongst a few others , assigned to present to the Board of Directors about his new idea for business incubation. 

I tried to calm him. "What is bothering you ? Try to be explicit ".

He thought for a minute and said "Two things - How can I get the Board to listen to me ? How can I keep their attention ? "

Whoever you are , all of us know that we feel flutters when we have to take the centre stage for presentation. And the manager had articulated quite explicitly . These are the key things which is needed for a successful presentation. Keeping the attention of the audience and getting them to listen to you. 

I had written about the importance of the Content.  You can read the post here : 7 Tips for Managing  Content of the PPT . 

In this post, I am going to talk about another very important aspect of a good presentation : " Connect ".  

  • Engagement vs. Attention : In schools of colleges , the teacher often says - Pay attention.  But in presentations, if cannot say so. In fact , I always prefer engagement over attention. My words should "engage" the audience. It should evoke curiosity.  It should build a rapport. A few ways to do this in the initial slides of the presentation:
    • Pose a question to the audience -  either to an individual or to the entire group
    • Ask the audience to imagine
    • Use startling facts

  • Voice Modulation : To some people it comes naturally and for others this needs lots of practice. Your voice should not be monotonic. Avoid extremes in pitch. Your voice is a very powerful instrument for connecting with the audience. They will laugh and cry with you if you can attain mastery of your voice. 

  • The Power of the Pause : I have seen many people just breeze through the slides, in a monotone without pauses. Even if the content of the presentation is very good, this will not create an impact. They fear that if they pause, the  audience will lose interest . Or they just want to get it over with.  The Pause is very powerful. If you can use a lag of 1 or 2 seconds before telling something which is crucial for the presentation, it will create a greater impact.

  • Eye Contact : If the audience is small, it is easy to keep eye contact with them . You just have to give a sweeping glance from left to right and then from right to left after a couple of slides.  In case you are on a podium, on the stage, with lights on you , then you should fix up a point in the air, just in the middle of the hall and deliver your presentation. 

  • Make it a conversation : If your presentation is not interactive, it is very difficult to connect and engage the audience. If appropriate, use humour. You have to look at the body language - a smile, a snigger, twitching of hands will give away the trouble makers, if any. There might be awkward questions from them . Just don't lose your temper.  You can thank them for their input and carry on or you can utilize their point to modify the direction of your talk. Do it calmly and intelligently. 

  • Storytelling : This is one of the most powerful tools to connect with the audience. Use powerful analogies, anecdotes and stories to make your presentation richer. This will get their attention and peak their interest. You should create an atmosphere where the people will feel the desire to take action.

  • Smile : I know it is not easy to smile when you are on the stage. But do it anyways. Smiling will loosen you up. Be free and fluid in your movements but avoid aimless movement. Watch out for mannerisms like tapping, swaying etc. 
All these are easier said than done. 

Practice is the key and that will take you towards perfection.  If you are nervous, rehearse in front of the mirror or in front of your friend or family and ask for feedback. 

Breathe deeply. Practice mentally. 

And remember ... a bit of fear is normal , as well as good for delivering a great presentation !

Cheers !

Friday, 12 January 2018

7 Best Ways to be Happy

We do not get everything in our life. 

Scene 1  : We aspire for something , we try hard and do whatever it takes to attain our goals but sometimes in spite of all our efforts , we fail.  We curse our fates, become depressed and unhappy. We mope around with long face , people try to console us , but we still are unhappy.

Scene 2 : Years pass by. And now when we look back at the incident and our failure, we thank our lucky stars that whatever happened was for the best !

I am sure all of us have gone through similar situations. But hang on ! There is a period between scene 1 and scene 2 where we keep on feeling miserable and unhappy and in that duration, we miss out on precious time ... the time which will never come back again !

So folks, here are some tips how we can try to be happy. But the catch is - we have to practice being happy. If we can follow these steps when we are feeling down and in the dumps, we will be able to enjoy our valuable and priceless gift - the present !

  • Think of the people who have bigger problems than you : Suppose you do not get the coveted promotion and you are really miserable. Think of the people who do not have a job ! If you are worried that your daughter has flunked in her maths exam , think of the parents who have specially abled children . Don't you think your problem just got smaller ? 

  • "This too shall pass "  : The famous writing on the wall.  Everything is temporary The sorrow that you feel now will pass and hang on ... if you ever feel that you are on cloud 9 , remember that that is also transient. 

  • Fake it till you feel it : Feelings follow actions. If you are  feeling low, deliberately act cheery, and you will find that you are  actually feeling happier. If you are  feeling angry at someone,  do something thoughtful for her and your feelings toward her soften. This strategy is uncannily effective.

  • Do not be too harsh to yourself : Sometimes , in the rush of things, we are too unkind to ourselves. We take ourselves too seriously, punish ourselves and start hating ourselves. Go slow !  Give yourself  a break.You are good. You are loved. You have had your wins. You have unique qualities and potential. Celebrate your small wins. Appreciate yourself. Love yourself.

  • Don't let time slip away : When people realise that their life is almost over and look back , they see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.  Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. The biggest wake-up call here is that these people didn’t mean for this to happen—one day blended into the next, and “someday” passed by, and a call to follow a specific dream went unanswered. Scary, isn't it ? So, do not procrastinate, do not let the seconds melt away. Pursue your dreams. Let failures come , you can just bend your way and walk on the green grass on the other route, not losing track of the bigger goal. 

  • Optimism, Hope and Gratitude : The power of positive thinking is boundless.  Regular practice of positive thinking gives us hope and optimism.  Gratitude for what we have , a word of praise or appreciation for your child or subordinate , helping others, doing a good deed a week will make you happy.  For me , working with orphanages and old age homes are therapeutic. All of us are very busy in the rat race with the fear of being left out. If we can proactively fit in some time for good deeds and service to others , we will automatically be practicing "active" gratitude.  And believe me , it will make you profoundly happy and your problems will appear really trivial. 

  • Invest in strong relationships : Relationships are our strengths. It is empowering and liberating.  Strong bonds make us what we are. They define us. They are our life blood.  Whatever may be the situation, if we have robust bonds, we are saved. If we have strong ties with our parents, we know that whatever may be the situation, they are there with us and that gives us immense strength to fight back. So, nurture your relationships - with your parents, friends , spouse, siblings . Stay in touch with them. Spend time with them. 

Life is beautiful and precious. Do not waste it !

Choose happiness ! 

Do newer things, enjoy the "Fun of failure" , turn adversity into advantage, enjoy the "pauses" that life presents and love yourself !

Cheers !

Sunday, 31 December 2017

1st January 2018

1st January 2018 ! 

There are always certain rituals about 1st January.  

The first one is the thought that always crosses my mind on the 1st day of the year is "Whew ! The last year just whizzed past  ... ! ' Time seems to fly and each year 365 days seems to shrink and become smaller and smaller.  Why so ? With all the automation and technology , we should have had more time in our hands. We should have been able to do the things that we want to do . But that seems an eutopia. Strange ...

The second ritual is all about setting goals and resolutions.  But again , by the time two to three weeks go by,  the goals and resolutions just dissolve and we are back to our old self. 

Th third ritual is about wishing our near and dear ones a happy and prosperous new year. Earlier , I used to send cards. Then it became phone calls. Then it was SMS . And now, it is just a whatsapp message , that too maybe some GIF forwarded by someone else ..

Having said all that, I don't think I have become that cynical so as to not have any resolutions this year.  But maybe , I want to change what I want an how I want . Here goes ...

  • I want to be Happy : I want to live in the moment. The present.  I want to enjoy the small things in life like meeting friends, taking  care of my health, wearing a new dress, reading a good novel, be with my family.
  • I want to save time : I will not waste time on things that do not add value to me.  I will not talk to people who spread negative energy in my life. I will ration my time for social media. I will not over react or over think about any stressful situations. 
  • I want to start over : This is one big risk which I want to take and foray into a new area in my career. It will be like starting over. I might face failure. But I think it will give me greater joy. 
  • I want to follow my passion : There are some things which I have been procrastinating for the last few years. This year I want to work towards it and accomplish my goal.  
  • I want to talk, meet and touch : Instead of the virtual world, I want to talk to my near and dear ones. I want to see or hear  their laughter and not any emoji. 

They say that instead of goals , make habits . And to make a habit, you have to do that act continuously for 30 consecutive days.  And the first day is today !

I wish all my readers a very happy new 2018 ! 

I am sure all of you have at least one resolution and I hope you will achieve it !

Cheers !

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Girl Child

Last week I was invited to give a talk in a Ladies club .  '

"Speak on anything, Ananya ", the Club President told me. "Anything which you think will make us think and feel motivated to do something good".

It was a strange request and frankly, I did not know what to talk about. The audience was a group of ladies from the higher strata of the society, most of them were home makers, in the age group of  35 - 50 years.  I was in a fix.  I did not want to give any sermon. I am used to speaking in professional forums - mostly about work related or behavioural  topics. My examples and anecdotes are all from real life experiences and this audience was totally new to me.  I was really in a fix.  I was also a bit apprehensive because I did not want to hurt the sentiments of the ladies in any way.  

After hearing my angst, my husband told me "Why don't you talk about the Girl Child ? It is a general topic and I know you are passionate about it .."

"It is a good topic, but is there anything new to talk about ? Everyday something or the other is splashed in the newspaper about this ..." I was not convinced, but I could not think of any other topic either. By that time my husband was busy with his work and did not have time to listen further to my woes.

Finally, I did prepare a few points on the plight of Girl child in India , but the twist was that I made it a bit personal.  In this blog post, I will share a few things which I talked about .. and yes ... it was a hit ! Will talk about that past at the end of this post. 

First , a few statistics. The CSR in India (Child Sex Ratio : no of girls per 1000 boys , in the age group of 0 -6 years) : 1991 : 945, 2001 : 927 ; 2011 : 918, current is approx <900 . Alarming , isn't it ?

And the problem does not only lie in the lower strata of the society . It has been found that the CSR is the lowest in the poshest locality in Delhi and other metropolitan cities. In Haryana, the situation is such that girls are being brought from other states for matrimony . 

The plight of the girl child is deplorable. 

The first challenge they face is survival ! Though pre-natal sex determination is a crime, but it is evident that this is happening.  The next challenge is early marriage . 45% girls are married before they turn 18 ! They die during childbirth and malnutrition during pregnancy.  The bigger the family, the less likely the girls will go to school.  "Why do they need to go to school ? They will anyways get married and do household work. So it is better that they learn the domestic work " is the plea.  

We , the uplifted lot know that if you educate a girl, you educate a family. But , are the females empowered enough to take decisions ? They are mainly forced into submission. 

I had a helper in my house, who had 3 daughters. He and his wife were always in a pall of gloom.  "What will I do ? I have to pay so much dowry to get them married ". He did not go to his village because his relatives and neighbours taunted his wife for bearing daughters ! I had counseled them a couple of times but maybe that was not enough. His eldest daughter was very intelligent  and I helped her with maths and English whenever she came to  me for help.  But, did I do enough ? I asked the audience ? No... I should have persisted... taken a step further ... taken genuine interest ... not a passing feeling. 

One day I was talking to my chauffeur. He has a daughter , 20 years old. She is a commerce graduate and doing internship in an accounting firm. She has some problem in her ovaries and will never be able to bear a child. Her parents are worried about getting her married . " I have talked to a family who are ready to get their son married to my daughter. But they are demanding Rs 25 lakhs dowry ... " . I was aghast.  "Does your daughter know ? Does she want to get married ? " I asked. "No Mam ! But what will the society say if she is not married ?

"But what will happen if they torture her and throw her out after marriage ? Marriage is not the end all for her ! She is working . Let her earn and support herself first. Then if she wants to get married to someone it is fine !" I had told him.  But ... was that enough ? No... not at all .. again  I should have taken a further step...I should have talked to his wife and daughter ... counseled then maybe a couple of times - to put across my thoughts. 

"So ladies ... can we do little bit more to contribute to the society ? First, we should all set example in our own home. I am sure we do not make any discrimination between our boy and girls. That should set examples to the people around us. Charity begins at home , you know. Second,  at any given chance, we should sensitize them - specially the women and the girls about their rights - right to education, freedom to take decision. We ourselves should be aware of the various laws and the Government schemes for women and sensitize them. If we keep our ears and eyes open and sense that the people need more help, we can at least get them connected to the various NGOs and women helpline in the city ! We should motivate and make them empowered by taking a little more interest... a little more participation ... a little more care ... "

The applause was resounding. To my satisfaction, it evoked quite a lot of discussion and I felt that some thought process has been ignited ... 

If I can even set a spark in their minds, I will think that my time has been worth spent.

If all of us strive to do something together, we will surely be a able to make some difference !

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Three Mistakes

To err is human. 

And I am a human being.  I have made many mistakes. Both at work and elsewhere.  After 24 + years of corporate experience, when I look back , I do not feel any regret , but I certainly feel that if I had a mentor or a guide , I could have dealt with certain situations in a much better manner. 

So I thought of penning down a few mistakes and the lessons that I have learnt from these experiences. This post is dedicated to all such professionals who struggle with office politics, deadlines and balancing work and home !

  • Never ever go into head on collision :  There have been many instances where I have felt wronged and hurt.  I have been accused of  things which I have not done or said . I have been blamed for missing deadlines when it was clear that the initial planning done to get the business was unrealistic. And many such scenarios.  Whatever be the case, we should not get into head-on collision with the boss or our colleagues. I had a tendency of writing retaliatory emails , escalating etc. but it never worked. The best way to deal with such situations is to cool down first. Then talk very very logically , with data points to explain yourself. Let the data talk.  I am not asking you to forget your hurt, but wait for the right time and the right situation when you can give it back . 

  • Never Give Up :  There were times when I felt frustrated , dejected and sorry for myself. In a few cases,  it was so bad that I gave up. I thought "enough is enough !" and I quit.  That was a mistake !  I have realized later that you can only change things if you are IN the system and not OUT of it.  And sometimes it is only you who lose because we all know that no one in indispensable.  You should think of quitting only in three situations. If you are not happy with the work , the company culture , the people and if you feel that there is no growth and learning for you.

  • Be Tactful and Make relationships : At any level, a very important thing is to be tactful.  Understand the situation, understand the people , understand the context an then make your move The main thing is that you have to get along well , as well as do the right things and get the right work done.  It is normal to be defensive or put blame on the other person . You should set yourself for success if you establish a common ground between you and your counterpart. 

As you go along in your professional life, remember to make relationships along the way. It helps in moving to greener pastures and it gives great joy to connect later in life.

I know the points sound theoritical but believe me, I have gone through these , made mistakes and have had setbacks. 

Hope you can learn from them !

Cheers !

Monday, 27 November 2017

8 Success Lessons - A must read !

I have collated a few Success Lessons from a few insanely successful people. 

For me these are not success lessons but mantra for living your life to the fullest . 

Hope you like them ...

1. It Starts with the Belief

Almost everyone who’s ever been successful decided at some point that they were just not destined for the average life. They had the belief that the world had something of a much higher power planned for them.
You have to belief that you too can achieve greatness and that you will be able to live your dreams out one day. The belief in something goes a long way when you’re putting all your effort into something.
It definitely makes the difference between whether you’re a success or a failure.

2. Go With Your Gut Instinct

Your gut instinct isn’t perhaps always the correct one.
Sometimes after re-thinking a situation, you have more time to think and make a better choice. Although, it’s said that your gut instinct on something is normally the right one, or at least the one you won’t have any regrets about.
Oprah Winfrey has said that she always trusted her gut instinct with any of the major changes in her life, including her  T V Show . It’s when you doubt your gut and being to start questioning it with others, that you often end up going against your gut and making the wrong choice.

In business it’s very important that you make the right decisions, and having a little faith in yourself and your gut might make the differences you need.

3. Money Should Not Be Your Priority

Success is much more likely to come your way if you’re in it for the right reasons, and money is not one of them.
The right reason should be because you love what you are doing, because in the end your ultimately happy with how your spending the time you have. Any money that comes from it is just a huge bonus.
To become wealthy is one of the reasons why most people start a business, and that’s still a valid reason to start one, but it shouldn’t be the only reason why you’re doing it.
The love and passion for something motivates people a lot more than money could. And so it’s easier to stick with something you love for long periods, than something you hate but that pays a lot.

4. Give Your Best Effort With Anything You Do

You’ve got to give it 100% with everything you do. Just slacking for a small period could set you back a long, long time.
Especially when we’re in a world that’s quite difficult to stand out in, that extra 10% effort you could put in, definitely gives you an advantage over those who are simply doing  it without quality or effort.

5. The Best Way to Learn is By Doing

You may have heard this quote in a different way but eventually it all comes down to the same conclusion: The best teacher is the experience you get from learning.
Branson accentuates on doing things by yourself because trying, failing and repeating is the quickest way to learn where you’re going wrong, and how issues can be fixed.
You can study as much as you like, but taking action is the only way you’re really going to learn.
6. Set Yourself Tough Challenges
When you go to the gym, you’re aiming to improve your body. To build strong biceps, a big chest and get those all important six pack abs.
You’ll see others already trying to do exactly that, and yet few have been able to attain their desired body shape.
The point being? You’re unable to compare yourself to other people. You just have to be clear about ‘Who you were yesterday and who you are today.’
Setting your own par gives you the privilege to accept dramatic change. Nothing in this world can give me more joy than setting an un-achievable goal and eventually reaching it successfully.

7.  Put Down Your Smartphone

Nowadays, you see millennials fooling themselves, wasting precious time in the myriad of social media networks.
And… if you’re not caught in the trap of this, you will definitely be caught in the cycle of email; See, Reply, & Repeat.
Branson stresses on telling business leaders and professionals that they should not be addicted to technology.
It’s more advisable to schedule a specific time during the day to reply to all emails and to go to meetings, rather than continuously engaging in this activity throughout the day. That’s a sure fire way to decrease your productivity.

 8. You’re Never too old to Succeed

Colonel Sanders was 75 years old before he finally sold Kentucky Fried Chicken for a cool $2 million. Which would be around about $15 million in the world of today. He remained as the spokesmen for the company after the sale.
But 75 years old… the majority of people, at least 95% give up way earlier in life. People stop thinking they can be successful even in their 30’s! And yet, the Colonel didn’t think this way, and ended up being the founder and face of a billion dollar brand.
Cheers !