Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

Read my post on Giving GTD a Try at my other blog more dedicated to personal development.

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My take on The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer posted on my Personal Development Blog. Hope this will be an interesting read for all those who are interested in personal development.

Today was my D-day. Had the PMP examination. This was a four hour marathon!

I am not going to disclose anything about the exam. I did sign on a paper that said that I am not going to disclose the questions to outside parties. But what I can say is that it was a very subjective exam. Meaning they had asked about what should be done in different situations. I felt that those answers could be very subjective as what each person would do will depend on a lot of environmental factors, organizational culture and the personal preferences and characteristics.

But what I found good about the exam was that it did not hinder me because I did not know the inputs, tools & techniques and the outputs by heart. I did read all of it, but could not remember all of them. I am not good at memorizing things. But where ever it made logical reasoning possible, i remembered the process. The exam was not that heavily dependant on these. They had asked for some of those, but i managed to answer them using logical reasoning and logical elimination.

Well, all of this would hold true if I do get pass the exam. As I said, since it was a very subjective set of questions, I guess it will depend on closely my thinking and PMI’s thinking aligns. Let’s wait and see.

Today is undoubtedly the happiest day of my life (I can think of one other day that I was as happy as today, that was our wedding day). Lushi gave birth to a baby girl this afternoon. She looked so tiny and was so damn cute! To me, she is the cutest baby I have seen. She is so tiny but looks absolutely cute!

As she was born one month pre-mature she was weighing less than the ideal weight. So she will have to spend a few days in an incubator. I am sure the good doctors at Ninewells Hospital will take care of our little angel. I am sure she will get the best medical attention there.

The experience of bringing a new life to this world is unexplainable. You are over the moon and beyond the stars. When you hear your baby cry for the first time is a moment that you will never forget. It made me go numb and I almost cried. I can’t believe that I am a father! I have been looking forward to this day with anticipation, but I never knew I was going to be this exited! Suddenly, the whole paradigm of my life has changed. My priorities have changed upside down and now everything will revolve around this tiny little angel!

Ever since the time our gynecologist told us that he is going to bring the baby out, I was on pins. I was so exited that I could not control myself! I was so impatient, I was counting the minutes to seeing the baby! And so was Lushi, she was both exited and nervous!

And the experience of being there when your wife is giving birth to your kid, it’s something every father has to experience. At Ninewells, fathers are allowed to be with their wives at the birth, be it a natural delivery or a C-section operation. As a father, it is the closest you will get to being with your wife and your kid. It allows you to be there and experience your child’s birth first hand. Wow!

Our baby is alive today because of the brilliance of two doctors, and I need to thank them. I don’t have enough words to thank you Dr. Rohana Haththotuwa, who was our gynecologist. You guided us through complications and made all the right decisions along the way. You were a savior! And you are the best in the field. And Dr. H.T. Wickremasinghe, with whom our baby will be starting her life. You have taken on the task of seeing our baby through her early years and we thank you for that! And finally a word about Ninewells, it is the best maternity hospital there is!

Finally the PMP (Project Management Exam) is going to be held in Colombo. The date has been fixed for 20th of November. To be able to sit for the exam you have to complete the registration by the 20th of October.

Filling up the registration form for the PMP exam is a project by itself. Since I posses an accredited educational qualification I have to show 4500 hours of project management work experience. This gets more complicated when you have to show a breakdown of time spent on each of the process groups; initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & control and closing.

My life was made a bit easier by the fact that the application form is available online and it can be filled and saved to continue later. Also, as you go along filling it, the application itself tells you how much more you need to cover in order to become eligible. This is the most interactive exam application form that I have filled. I have to admit, this is IT used in a practical manner.

I realized that I needed to run through my projects as I needed to first workout the time I have spent on each of the projects that I have managed earlier as well as to gather the time I have spent on each of the tasks so that I can work out the tie spent on each of the process group. Life was made simpler again by a spread sheet that was forwarded in the PMP study group email. This spreadsheet calculates the contact hours when you put in the dates. Good for me!

So now I have raked my brains and have come up with the projects that I have managed along with the time lines. A lot of my former colleagues helped me to find the dates lines of older projects. And having the old emails archived helped to a great deal too. The spreadsheet tells me that i have covered my 4500 contact hours. So now I am off to the online application form to put it all across to PMI.

Came across this interesting post which was trying to compare the difference between permanent and contract positions. Where.Deers.&.Antelopes.Play It is a post that has started a very diverse discussion from different view points. What triggered me to write this post was because I was also once a contractor and I faced a few issues by virtue of being a contractor, especially in the case where I needed to raise some capitol from banks.

In Sri Lanka, no bank will ever lend you any money if you are a contractor. They seem to have taken the notion that permanent jobs are forever and contract jobs are temporary. I guess what they have not realized is the fact that no job is permanent, whether it is contract or permanent.

When I took up that particular post, I had no hesitations on taking up a contractual position as I had confidence on my self. I was confident of being able to get a renewal at the end of the term. I always believed in giving back my worth to the company that work. If I feel I am not doing my worth, I get worried before anyone else does.

So for me it was not much of a differentiator. What I was more interested in was the challenge and the environment. I was more concerned about delivering what was expected out of me, because one thing that I cannot bear, is being a failure in my own eyes.

But in general I think the environment also has to adopt to be more flexible towards contractors, specially in Sri Lanka. If the banking system shuts down contractors from basic needs such as getting a housing loan, car loan etc, then that is going to force some people to seek permanent jobs. This will create an undue demand for permanent jobs as well as makes it harder for companies to fill short term man power usages through contracting.

A lot of contract staff in Sri Lanka tend to work for foreign companies. This practice is adopted by these foreign companies to stay more flexible because of old labour laws that are in place, which makes it almost impossible for a company to fire an employee, unless that person commits some serious crime. So in order to not to get locked into carrying un-necessary luggage they prefer to get people on contract.

If the government wants to promote foreign investment, they will have to work on bringing in legitimacy to the contract workers, by amending laws that would ensure that they are treated in the same level as the permanent employees. If this is done, I think eventually Sri Lanka will also have a talented pool of contractors who will be able to quickly move in to a job and fulfil the requirements. This will also enable the companies to be more agile as they will have flexible access to talent; proven and exposed talent. People who are exposed to new technologies and more diverse situations, thus providing solutions that are proven and tested, avoiding the invention of the wheel over and over again.

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I was listening to an audio book of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and one saying had a powerful impact on me. He said that the best way to get in control of yourself immediately is to make a promise and work towards keeping it. And the other is to set a goal and work towards achieving it. That put’s you in total control of your life immediately. The sense of control is immediate.

In order to set the goals that really makes sense in the long run, we must work on the first two values in the value chain that Covey describes, accepting the fact that we are resonsible for our lives (Be Proactive) and setting goals that are congruent with what we intend to achieve out of our lives (Begin with the end in mind). Once we work on internalizing these habits we will slowly get a good feeling of what we are and where we want to go. This will help us set our goals congruent with our personal mission.

But making promises and keeping them is something that we can start off immediately. Covey suggests two great promises that we can make. We need to think about one activity that will make a significant change in your personal life if done consistently and well. Similarly one activity that will have a significant impact on our professions. Then the promise is to attend to it.

If you are able to identify this one activity, and if you consistently do this activity, day in and day out, every day, once you are done with it or while doing it, you will feel a powerful sense of control over yourself. You will feel totally in control, you know what you do is going to make a difference in your personal or professional life and you know you are doing it to the best of your ability.

This is a concept that is very valid. We are conditioned to think in terms of accomplishments and we spend a lot of our time, locked in tasks that we absolutely are not enjoying. We do these tasks targeting a goal and we forget to live each day in the process.

I wrote on this topic a few weeks earlier as well, but at that point I was concentrating on finding enjoyment in everyday tasks. But another thought hit me. What if we populate our days with things that we enjoy doing? What if we do things that we like doing and set our goals in such a way, that they are achievable by doing tasks that we enjoy doing. Doing that will help us come up with goals that are more congruent with the tasks that we enjoy, and the goals itself will be more congruent with our inner self.

There are a few basic things that you need to set in order to have a good day everyday. If you are stuck in a job that you hate, or hate your boss or your co-workers, I don’t think you will be successful in having a good day. If that is the case, then may be you should look for a change. I know this personally because for a while I was in a job that I absolutely hated. It was such a relief to change that job and I found an immediate increase in my happiness levels and effectiveness. So find a job that would mean something for you. According to Stephan Covey a person looks to fulfil 4 aspects through their work, body/mind/mental/spiritual. Look for a job that fulfils all four aspects for you.

If you find this job, then that will solve a greater part of the equation for you. After finding this job, or converting your job to fulfil these aspects you need to look at ways to convert your tasks to enjoyable tasks. Some of the things like doing small tweaks to your environment, etc will help in some ways. You can find tips for these in Steve Pavlina’s article here. Here Steve actually speaks of ways in which you can get more enjoyable tasks done in a day. I guess you can take that as a guide and come up with a list of things that you may like to include in your day. A few things that I enjoy having each day is the time that I spend with my family, specially my wife. I enjoy the time I spend driving to and from work with her. This is our private time that we talk about a lot of things.

In the mornings we talk of what we intend to do in the day and the evening ride is spent talking about how the day went off. This time is very important as it is the time that we spend on strengthening our relationship, finding out what’s going on in each others work lives. This also frees up our evening for deeper level of communication!

In my view it is far more productive to enjoy the process rather than to focus  on the end result. If you are going to spend the majority of your time locked in things that you don’t enjoy for a few minutes of glory, you should really question the rationale behind your thinking. Your life is essentially the combination of all that time, not just a few moments of glory. So is it really worthwhile to sacrifice your life for a few moments of glory?

I came across this article by Steve Pavlina on creating a relaxing environment in your work space in order to achieve a higher level of productivity. I was able to immediately resonate with this article as it reminded me of how tensed up I was feeling in a somewhat cramped workspace sometime ago.

I remember on the first day in an earlier job I was given a desk which was painted a dull gray and it was pretty cramped in a cramped room. I could not figure it out in the beginning, but I was putting an effort to be happy and enthusiastic on that job from day one. That affected my performance and also my stay in that company was short-lived.

Pavlina suggests some creative ideas about personalizing your workspace. Although some of those ideas may be hard to apply in a corporate environment, specially if you are sharing an office room with other persons, some would be pretty easy to apply and would create a more personalized environment.

To me, the main reason for personalizing my desk is to make office enjoyable and engaging. I want my desk to reflect my personality. If you are in a new job you may not want to decorate your desk on day one. Instead, you may take some time to do it. But in any case, it is a good idea to either adapt the environment according to you or to adopt according to the environment.

Here is the article on Relaxifying your workspace.

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I have been having this image on my desktop because the moment I read it, it touched a very deep vein. And I realized that if this moment is not enjoyed we are never going to be happy, ever!
I remember a piece of advice that my father gave me long time back while I was back in school. He told me, that I should live my life in a way such that anytime you stop and look back, you should not have any regrets for things you have done and things you have not done. I never really understood the true meaning of this until I saw the above.

I was browsing Steve Pavlina’s blog after a long time today and here it was, a post where he talks about living the present moment, called The Power of Now. Well is it a synchrocity or not I don’t know, but it sure is a sign that is telling me that I should concentrate more on enjoying the present moment.

The way I see it enjoying the present moment has a lot to do with being contend with what you have. Either you are happy with what you are and have or you learn to be happy. My religious teaching tells me to find happiness with what is already there. And I never realized that it did not mean that we should not be ambitious, but rather it tells us to enjoy the present moment and not to leave living your life until your ambitions are achieved.

Reading Steve’s post opned my eyes a bit more. That is why I thought of sharing the news through this hoping it will help more people. When you hear the good news, you should share it!

This is a very useful resource for anyone who will be making presentations as part of their work or education courses.

whilst most of the tips can be attributed to common sense, it does give some points that you will not think of. It is a simple presentation in itself which is very easy to retain. I hate tips that run for pages. I think tips which are longer than a few short points defy the purpose. You are not reading the tips to remember a long list of tips. You are likely to pickup a few that will stick with you or appeal to you. In that sense this is a very good reading…

The Craig Web Experience: Presentation Tips

I got this story on an email today. If this is true, it is the power of conditioning. Something that we need to break free from. It is interesting to read, and even more interesting to think long and hard about…

As I was passing the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. "Well," he said, "when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free." I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn't, they were stuck right where they were.

"Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?"

This is a very interesting post on the Fast Company Blog.

Can you honestly answer this question? When was the last time you can remember you not thinking about your business? Work? Or whatever that we are pursuing?

I was personally thinking very hard to remember this moment. But honestly, I could not think of a moment that work, or projects that I am involved in, were not hovering over my mind. Even if I was involved in something else, things to be done, to be completed were on the back of my head and I was never really free from the tasks.

I am sure the companies that we work for will like it, but is this the life we really want. We are so engrossed on the results, we forget to enjoy the process or to take a proper break? I always had a policy of leaving work at office, but lately, the other projects that I am involved in were taking up my free time. SO I am left with no free time, and my sub-conscious mind always working!

Heck, I need to change this pattern, before this hunger totally consumes me! I have a very important phase in my life coming up and I want to be completely involved in that. So let me put the work and projects aside, and try to be fully involved in these activities. I want to take a break in my pursuits and enjoy the moment. As it is said, I wanna enjoy the ride, not just the destination. For all I know, I may never really ‘arrive’, as the destination keeps changing, as the world changes!

I found these ten principles in a mail that I received from a colleague. This was a publication by the Institute For Business, Technology & Ethics.

  1. Treat all employees as unique, valuable individuals – Never treat anyone as though (s)he is dispensable, without value or just a number.
  2. Support each employees freedom, growth and development – Never view anyone through stereo types and images, or as fixed and unchangeable.
  3. Communicate to employees by name with respect – Never use or impose demeaning, trivializing, or derogatory names on others.
  4. Model and encourage a balanced life of good work and rest – Do not adopt policies or make demands on employees that undermine balanced lives.
  5. Honor and respect employee families –  Never undervalue the significance of families and friends of employees.
  6. Protect employees' life, safety and health – Never harm or jeopardize the physical well being of anyone.
  7. Create a working environment free of sexual harassment – Do not allow communication or activity that is sexually inappropriate.
  8. Be fair and just in financial matters – Never tolerate unfair wages, prices or financial practices.
  9. Communicate honestly and truthfully –  Never mischaracterize people, products, services or facts.
  10. Cultivate a positive attitude towards others and thier accomplishments – Do not give in to envy or the temptation to take credit for the work of others.

I think these are very good practices for any business leader to follow. These practices will build trust and faith. The relationship between the leader and the employees will be one based on trust and this will naturally lead to better results. Because now that the leader will discover that his/her employees are motivated than ever.

As the saying goes, the relationship is worth more than any short-term result.

Workplace Conflict Resolution: People Management Tips: Managing Your Human Resources is a pretty good article on resolving conflicts at workplace. If you are a boss like, you are likely to faced at least one such situation where you would have had to step in to resolve conflicts between people in your team. I have had to do it and more recently my wife had to do it several times.

It lists three main points. While leaving you to go read the article for full details I will just list them here:

  • Do not avoid the conflict, hoping it will go away
  • Do not meet separately with people in conflict.
  • Do not believe, for even a moment, the only people who are affected by the conflict are the participants.

I think a very common mistake all of us do, when trying to resolve it is, we first meet the parties separately to get their side of the story. I think it deepens the conflict because, when you listen to them individually, it tends to polarize their stance more. It becomes self-fulfilling to them.

This article also lists steps you can take in resolving such conflicts.

A very interesting article; Aspiring Mangers: Do it Your Way on the British Computer Society (BCS) web site re-confirms the basic notion of intention-manifestation.
In this article, which is based on a speech given by David Taylor, author of the Naked Leader series of management books, it is said: “work out where you want to go or who you want to be, and then do it. He stressed that it is not necessary to know how to get where you want to be; it’s the ‘what you want to be’ that is important. Concentrating on the what means the how falls into place. It’s important to be persistent and active.”
He has also said, “Don’t spend all your time planning – take action. If something does not work in trying to reach your goal, try something else. Decide what you are going to do and close off every other possibility.” This is the same what Steve Pavlina says in proposing Intention-Manifestation. He uses another term for this which he calls ready-fire-aim approach.
It is good to knoe that knowingly or unknowingly, there are more than one proponent for this model.

For the past two weeks or so I had a few experiences of intention-manifestion. I was hoping to get a few meetings to materialize and I made a strong mental need to manifest these meetings. And usually within a few hours of making these intentions, I got calls from teh relevant parties confirming the meetings.

So before going into the meetings I was very positive. This positive thinking sort of hyped up my mood and mentality as well. But a funny thing happened just before I went into these meetings. I started to question myself if this was what I really wanted. I began to question my intentions. It was as if my intuition was questioning my motives. And to say the least, I think I sort of talked myslef out of the negotiations literally.

This past week I have experienced two powerful phenomena related to direction from intuition and intention-manifestation. I think my intuition is telling me to follow my dreams, which would be sort of put on hold, if I take up the opportunity arising out of these meetings.

So I guess I will follow my intuition and see where it is going to lead me.

I have always been a great fan of knowledge. Being a life-long student fascinates me! I have the knack for learning things, figuring things out and also to put two and two together. I have always wanted to know things; be it about the latest developments, news or politics. I just wanted to know. My curiosity always took the best of me. But I used to focus my attention on one subject for a while and once I figure it out, I tend to lose my interest or focus my attention on a new topic or a subject.

My introduction to the internet was a blessing. I have learned more on the web than I have learned from all other mediums combined. The ability to find information on any subject under the sun, in an instant, on demand, is a facility I wish I had while I was in school. The net is perfect for my learning pattern to learn about short topics, in resolving problems, in finding information on topics, where the knowledge can be absorbed fast.

When it comes to learning entirely new subjects in more detail, where the time investment required is significant and knowledge area is quite new to me, I tend to prefer the more traditional medium of printed books. Books have been and still are a big fascination for me. I was used to getting books as presents when I did well in an exam. My father, an avid reader, instilled the habit of learning from and loving books in us from a very early stage. Up to this date, both I and my brother are keen readers and book lovers. I still make it a habit to buy at least a new book every month. And I also delve into my personal library, where there are books that I inherited from my father, which I have not read so far. Once I pick up the basic foundation of a new knowledge area from books, I supplement, upgrade and enhance this knowledge from the web.

Another thing that I noticed while in the process of writing this post is how my learning pattern has evolved over time. When I was in junior school, till I was about 17, I was never a fan of self-learning. I was more of an absorber of knowledge when I was being taught. I tend to digest what I was taught, and went with this first digestion. I turned to books or self learning only when the first digestion was unclear or forgotten.

Gradually, this pattern changed towards self learning when I moved on to higher studies. Specially after high school, while in university, I picked up the habit of self learning. I was more comfortable to learn from books. I completed two professional diplomas mostly by self study. And in one of those exams, The British Computer Society Diploma examinations, I became the Best Worldwide Candidate. And this exam was done completely by studying on my own. That too was mostly just reading the recommended texts. This achievement instilled great confidence in me on my ability to learn on my own. And this confidence still serves me well to this day. Even when I go for training programs now, I tend concentrate on the books rather than the trainer. I am more confident in reading the book and understanding it rather than learning from the trainer.

Also, keeping abreast with the political and environmental changes is a great quest. What we term as general knowledge is being aware of what’s going around us. Knowing the happenings around us help us to better respond to changes, opportunities and threats.

One last thing. I have seen many people who are great in accumulating knowledge but are very poor in practical application. Knowledge is the tools that equip us in day to day life, in solving problems and finding solutions. Knowledge that is not applied is useless. To my eternal quest is to apply the knowledge that I have accumulated. One great way of applying it is by sharing it with others. Knowledge sharing allows innovative ways of applying the knowledge, simply because, different people apply it differently. As I have said in my personal mission statement, I look forward to share my knowledge freely and willingly!

There is a post with the above title in Steve Pavlina’s blog. This is a very interesting article. Also, this article re-iterates the points I have made based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Steve’s article is like a summary of these three habits: Be Proactive, Begin With the End In Mind, and First Things First.

Steve starts off by making the point that if we do not make a conscious decision on what we do with our lives, we will end up living a life that is handed over to us. This is exactly the same point that Covey makes to drive the importance of being proactive and to begin with the end in mind. Basically, Covey’s first two habits drive the points: I am the creator, and I write the script of my life.

In Steve’s post he says that as we grow in consciousness we will ask ourselves the question, “what the heck am I going to do with my life?”. In Covey’s literature, Covey encourages the reader to find the answer to this question by practicing the habit of beginning with the end in mind. If you have come to the stage of asking yourself this question, after reading Steve’s posts I suggest you pick up 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and read it thorough.

As a first step Steve suggests that we try to understand the reality as accurately as possible. This is very similar to Covey’s habit of being proactive. The idea that Steve presents is very similar to the idea presented by Covey on Principles, values and beliefs.

In his post Steve questions us whether we are passionate about our lives right now? This is a very important question that we must get right. I have seen too many people who living thier lives for a moment that is to come in the future. They have put away their passion, happiness and content to the future. They are sacrificing their present for an unseen future. It is essential that what ever that you are doing right now, you are passionate about it. Live each day and each moment passionately. Whatever your purpose in life, it has to make sense to your life, right NOW!

Then comes the question: does your purpose make sense in the long run. This is the very question Covey asks his readers at the start of begin with the end in mind chapter in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you think at the end of your life and think, where you want to be, what you would want to achieve and the purpose of life that would make sense to you, then at the actual end of your life, you would not regret a living your life, the way you did. It is essential that we evaluate each action we take, each response, with the end in mind. By doing so, your actions will be congruent with your values and principles. So at the end, you will look back at your life and get a feeling of “I did my best!”, and leaves you at peace with yourself.

So if you see yourself coming to an end, then it is better for you to get out of it as early as possible and change directions. If your current job is not heading towards the future that you want to have, then change it now. AS Steve says, if you are happy even if your life end this moments, if you don’t have any regrets of things that you should have done, then you are on the right track. If not, work on eliminating those disappointments as early as possible.

The third question that Steve poses is whether our purpose makes sense at different levels of consciousness. This is the rational behind Coveys suggestion to base our center of principles. Because, as we develop our consciousness, we may change our beliefs and our values. But the correct principles are changeless. So, if our purpose is based on principles, then as our conscience grow, our core will remain unchanged, because they were based on the correct principles from the beginning. Because our values and beliefs were based on a changeless, solid foundation. 

Finally Steve asks the question what happens to our purpose after our death? It is an interesting questions because very rarely that we think of existence of our purpose after our existence ceases. But if our purpose exceeds our physical existance, then we have given our purpose an immortal standing. If there are people who are willing to carry forward our purpose, after our death, and they are doing it through tier own convictions and free-will, then our purpose has exceeded human potential and has reached noble dimensions. If your legacy survives after your extinction, then your life has reached immortal dimensions.

Read this post. It is a very thought provoking post. And it will actually simulate your mind to seek the purpose of your life.

Okey, I have come up with a personal mission statement. If I keep this till I prefect this, I may never publish it. So I thought about just going ahead and putting it on here. So if I do make changes, I will add a new version. Anyway, I think publishing it is like officially adopting this as my creed! So, I am making a commitment to it.

Personal Mission Statement of Sampath Dassanayake:

  • I will be a light, not a judge.
  • Succeed at home first – I will love my family unconditionally and will be available.
  • Excel at work – I will give 100% to the job at hand, without worrying about the next promotion or the job.
  • Be proactive –  I will act before being acted upon. I will be my own creator.
  • I will create my own destinity (Begin with the end in mind)
  • I will organize my life around deepest priorities. (First things first)
  • I will seek a win/win solution at all times.
  • I will seek to understand and then be understood.
  • I will look for Synergy in life.
  • I will work on balanced renewal of physical, mental, spriritual and social dimentions of my life.
  • I will develop at least one onew proficiency a year.
  • I will not fear mistakes nor failures. But I shall never forget the lesson.
  • I will work towards becoming financially independent.
  • I will keep my expenses within my earnings. I shall not get into debt beyond my earning capacity.

I have also created another mission statement around the current roles that I play. Here it is:

Roles and Goals:

  • Individual – Myself is my greatest asset. I will seek balanced renewal of my spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and social dimentions of my life.
  • Husband – My wife is my companion and best friend. I will be honest and true to her and will love her unconditionally and will accept her for who she is.
  • Son – I will love and care for my parents to the best of my ability.
  • Brother -I will be there for him as a friend whenever he needs me.
  • Employee – I will give my best to the job at hand without worrying about the next job or promotion.
  • Entreprenuer – I will work towards achieving my entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Teacher – I wil share my knowledge freely and willingly.

 

One of my posts have recieved a comment from Steve Pavlina!!! I am a great fan of Steve’s Blog and I have written a few posts based on Steve’s posts. And today, Steve has left a comment on one of my posts. I decided to write this post as a response to Steve’s comment. I actually started off writing this as a comment, but in doing so, I realized that it will be better posting it as a new post.

Yes, I understood that the model of Intention-Manifestation was focusing on the intention part alone. I read Steve’s posts on Intention-Manifestation and I understood his basis. I actually, understand it better than at the time that I wrote this post.

To be honest, I have not been successful so far on this model of goal achievement. I think the main reason behind it is, i still have not been able to come to terms with the fact that I can manifest something, just by intending it. I think my mind is standing on my way. It is not conditioned to think that this is possible. The years of reasoning and scripts handed over to me have taught me otherwise and I am trying very hard to breakaway from those scripts.

But I do not think that this model is false either. Because, this model is very close to the philosophy of Buddhism. According to the teachings of Buddha, it the Mind that is the supreme element that rules everything else. All buddhist teachings are geared towards achieving control over mind. Meditation is all about controlling the mind. The supreme bliss of Nibbana is achieved, when one gains full control over the mind. So this model is true. But years and years of conditioning has taught me things like “No guts, no glory” or “No pain, no gain”.

I have been reading since I wrote this last post and I have become a bit more convinced. But I still have a long way to go. I still have to master the art of Intending. I think that is where I am failing. I am still nt getting the intention pasrt quite right. So, natuarally, the manifestation is not happenning. Witha  little bit of help from people like Steve, and from the reading that I have been dong lately I hope I can gain a little bit more control over my mind. And then, hopefully, I can also simplify my method of achieving goals!

Thanks Steve, for leaving a comment. The fact that you commented on a post of mine is enough o keep me motivated in continuing with this blog!

Ayubowan! 

Although, still not published here, I have a partially completed Personal Mission Statement, which is in the process of being refined. And one of the items in it, is to develop my skills continuously and to learn at least one new skill per year.

In keeping with this mission, I decided that I will get myself certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) of the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI is the worlds pioneering organization for project management professionals. It currently has over 200,000 members from over 125 countries. It is the awarding and administrating body for the PMP certification.

PMP is the project management industries most globally recognized and respected credential. It tells the world that the person has demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge and that he is competent as a project manager.

So I decided, that for this year, my professional development goal is to achieve this prestigious credential. And a pre-requisite for the exam is to complete 35 hours of project management education. That is where this training course comes in. It is at minimum a 40 hour training program. And the trainer, is the past chapter president and CEO of PMI’s Sri Lankan chapter.

So, starting from the 8th of this month, for 5 days, I look forward to a challenging and plesant learning experience. And with the help of this training program, hopefully, I will pass my PMI exam in my first attempt. More on that later…

In todays’ world, almost all the companies have a Mission and a Vision. According to management philosophy, a company should atleast have a Mission, if not a Vision and a Mission. According to its proponents, having a Mission will help the company to galvanize its people around its purpose. Celebrity management guru Jack Welch has dedicated a complete chapter of his best selling book Winning on creating missions and the process to use in developing the mission.

So, if a mission helps a company to reach its goals, then why not use the same concept in our personal lives. This is the principle advocated by personal effectiveness guru’s like Stephen Covey. This is the basic idea that he presents in one of his habits in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Continue Reading »

This post first appeared on my http://sampathd.blogspot.com blog on January 20, 2006.

 

Ayubowan!

It has been sometime since I read this chapter. To be honest now I am in the 4th chapter of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I got so caught up with reading, and other tasks, I intentionally skipped writing this article.

The basic idea presented in this chapter is about going through each day with an idea of where we want to be ultimately. But, for most of us, this idea about the ultimate destination is not clear.

How many of us go through life with a clear goal? How many of us have a clear vision? Do we spend each day doing things that move us closer to these objectives, or are we really moving away from them? Are we really clear about what we want from our lives? Or are we living lives that are being scripted by our upbringing, society and environment?

Continue Reading »

This post first appeared on my http://sampathd.blogspot.com blog on December 29, 2005.

 

While reading the habit 1 of Stephan Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one interesting fact that I noticed is that our language gives away our proactive and /or reactive nature in us. The language that we use naturally reflects whether we are acting proactively or reactively. So it is interesting to note the language that we use, be self-aware, to step aside from our own selves and to notice the language that we are using.

If we are being reactive, Covey suggests that we will be using language that usually absolves us from responsibility. Our language will suggest that we are the victim of the situation, environment or our conditioning, rather than the feeling of being in control.

We make so many generalized reactive statements that reflect the deep buried reactive nature and the conditioning that we have received over the years. These statements are so generalized, we tend to accept these as part of our nature or the way the world is. Consider statements like,
“There’s nothing I can do”
“They make me so mad”
“That’s the way I am”
“I don’t have the time”
“They do that to me”
“I have to do this”
“I can’t, that’s me”

Then there are reactive statements that that put us at the mercy of others, where we shun away from responsibility and blame everything on the other person or a particular factor.
“If only my wife was more understanding…”
“If only my boss was not a jerk…”
“If only my work didn’t take up all my time…”

Another way to identify the reactive language is to identify the have’s in our language. These have’s put away our happiness or our effectiveness to be based on the out come of some other incident, or an occurrence. This language puts the problem out there. It is in effect saying that we are being limited by something out there, something that we do not have at the moment. That is statements like:
“I’ll be relieved when I have my loans paid off”
“I’ll take a vacation when I reach my targets”
“If I had a degree”
“If I had a better job”
“I’ll start exercising after the workload eases”
“If only I had a more understanding wife”

Such language, as mentioned earlier absolves us from responsibility. The whole intention is to shift the responsibility away from us. But in the process, it radiates that we are not able to chose our response and that the situation or the other party or the environment is driving us. It emits the notion that we are helpless, victimized. We tend to blame factors external to us for all our problems and miseries. It puts the problem out in the circle of concern, away from the circle of influence. And we become to engross by this, this becomes internalized and we start to believe and act according to the victims’ mindset.

As the chapter on being proactive suggests, if you listen carefully for one full day, to your own language and to the language of those around you, we will better understand this.

So if this is the language of reactive mindset, then what is the language of proactive mind?
Covey suggests that proactive language, embraces responsibility and takes charge of the situation. Nothing is left to chance. If something is being done, it’s not because we are forced to it, but because we choose to do it. Remember, we are response-able, free to choose our response. So we are not victims, but we are the masters. And proactive language exuberates this.

Proactive language puts our actions within the circle of influence. It does not put the problem ‘out there’. It identifies the part of the problem that is ‘in here’. It will identify parts of the solution within direct control or indirect control areas. It will sound like this:
“Let’s look at what we can do”
“Let’s choose a different approach”
“I will do this”
“I am in control of my own feelings”
“I can do this”
“I choose”
“I will”

And proactive language will consist of the “be’s” instead of the “have’s”. It will focus on what we can be, or what we can do, rather than depending on the outcome of something else. Such as “I can be more loving”, “I will be more compassionate”, “I can be more understanding”, etc. When we focus on things within our control, things within our circle of influence, we are concentrating on being rather than having.

So, watch your language and identify your reactive and proactive moments. And then, you can work on converting the reactive moments to proactive moments through the advise given by Stephen covey in his best selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.