Be Yourself

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How many times do we read this? How many times to we hear “Be Yourself”? We may even have advised few people that they should be themselves and not pretend to live someone else’s life. But every now and then we may forget this message ourselves, especially when we are rushing through life and chasing “things” that may not necessarily add a long term value to us. Write this piece of advice for yourself, etch it in your mind and heart, put this as a background on your phone. Being yourself will make you happy, you will feel the freedom and feeling of liberation.

And yes, you can always keep on improving “Yourself”.

Value of Complain

Complaining might make you feel important, but that in itself does not add value to yourself or others.

So should we stop complaining? Yes, if we can but at the very least try to have a solution for a problem when you complain about something, someone or someplace. Complaining might be a birth right to most and a privilege to some. If you hold that privilege then make the most of it to bring about a positive change. Make your complains matter that will make a difference to someone.

Frugality

But Is Cheapness Good?
Is this obsession with saving dollars and cents really worth all the effort? The advocates of scrimping are unequivocal. Cheapness increases profitability, they say. It keeps companies slim. It puts cash in the bank for future growth. And it gives businesses an advantage over their spendthrift rivals.

 

Frugal

But if that’s bad news for would-be cheap artists on either coast, the final lesson from the cheap hunt is worse: If your company doesn’t work this way now, it probably never will. Older companies with ingrained bad habits will find it difficult, if not impossible, to slim down. Admire Fastenal if you will; not every business can emulate it.

So the advantage goes to the start-up. “It’s easier to do this up front than to try to dismantle an organization halfway through its maturity cycle,” says author Woolf. “When you ask an overweight man to run a four-minute mile, you’re asking an awful lot.”

The Cheapest CEO in America, Business Insurance Article | Inc.com.

Being frugal does not mean that you are being cheap. I always believe that a dollar saved is better in your pocket or account than the other party. There is no shame in negotiating if you can get a better deal, be it at street side shopping or at your workplace. Remember, if you don’t ask, you might not get it. At the worst you might get a big ‘NO’.

Being frugal is a mindset thing and it is easy to get into the mindset while you are comfortable with your circumstances. It certainly gets hard emotionally and psychologically  when you are forced to be frugal because of your circumstances. This is true even you are an individual, a small company or a big corporation.

How do you get started on being frugal? There is no one right or wrong answer and it will depend on you, what you want and where are in your life. Here are some points to get you thinking.

Ask

Ask Questions
ASK

Ask and you shall receive.
Ask the right questions.
All you can do is ask.
Noting wrong in asking.
Ask to clarify your assumptions.
Ask to make it crystal clear.
Reduce your confusions by asking your ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ now.
The list could go on. Important is to ‘ASK’ a question – to yourself, your team members, your community and this world. Very rarely will you get YOUR questions answered without ASKING. >>

Don’t be rude, talk in a common language

I recently watched a movie called “Water for Elephants”.

A circus owner buys an elephant and expects the elephant to behave and obey his order in and outside of the ring. The circus owner makes the elephant part of his show and orders her around. The elephant does not obey the orders, the owner pokes her harshly with bull horn before she runs out of the ring. The owner is angry and then beats her badly with the bull horn. She is badly wounded and in a lot of pain. This is when, accidentally the “Hero” of the show discovers that the elephant does not understand English but was previously trained in another language. From there on, the story was sorted out and kind of had a happy ending.

Getty Images - http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/515020333
Getty Images – http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/515020333

This reminded me of various situations that I have witnessed where people are not talking in the same language – i.e. common intentions, perspectives or common understanding that both parties would appreciate. From this point onwards, most situations go downhill, even if it was for a short while.

The key lesson – talk in a language that the other person/team would understand. See the world from her perspective first before putting down a proposal of mutual benefit. When selling a solution, see the problem from a customer’s angle and then propose a mutually beneficial solution. The sale will certainly become easier then before. Before blaming or punishing a child, put yourself in that child’s shoes and think why he/she did what was done. This could lead a different conversation all together. As a project manager try to wear the glasses that a developer wears to see the challenge/world through her eyes and why something is taking longer than it should. May be, this will allow you to come up with a better solution and improve your relationship with that developer too!

Open up your network – Don’t be scared

Open up your network to your friends and acquaintances. Sharing is caring. Don’t be scared about the fact that your friends will get better deal than you. This will mostly improve your credibility from both the parties you are connecting. You will get a chance to learn from this experience. If the connection allows someone to get a new job, solve someone’s burning problem or help someone to start a long desired project – you will receive a lot of blessings no matter how long it takes for them to arrive. The law that says “Give to get” applies here too.