Monthly Archives: Jun 2015

Social Media: Our Ugly “Mirror On The Wall”?

mirrorwall

In the childhood classic “Snow White”, the evil Queen asks:

“Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest of them all?”

And the looking glass loyally affirms her status as most beautiful in the land – until one day, it doesn’t.

The horrid mirror names her lovely, kind-hearted 16-year old step-daughter usurper to the throne… plunging the queen into chaos and heartbreak!

For many of us, social media is our own “mirror on the wall”.

We fire up our browsers, log on to Facebook or Twitter, WhatsApp or SnapChat, curious to see how our peers fared in the time since we last caught up.

  • Are they happier than us – or not?
  • Did they do cooler stuff than us – or not?
  • Have they been places more interesting – or not?

It’s become a new yardstick to measure our own worth… against an external standard.

Our social network.

We could use the amazing power of human community that’s literally at our fingertips to nurture and extend the “connectedness” which underlies every meaningful accomplishment of mankind (see this amazing presentation, ‘Miserable & Magical’).

Yet we are dragged, against our wills, to focus on contrasts between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

We could use social media as a “networking tool” to boost collaboration, cement unity and harness synergies.

Instead, we deploy it as a “comparison engine” that inevitably draws attention to where we lack or lag behind.

In “Smart, Successful, But Still Not Happy”, Dr.Raj Raghunathan talks of three tenets of happiness – mastery, belongingness and autonomy, and says:

“We attempt to fulfill mastery through seeking superiority over others, which leads us to engage in social comparisons – on talent, wealth, beauty, etc. Comparing oneself with others, findings show, is a recipe for misery.”

Social media makes this easy.

As easy as holding up a mirror!

Here’s the doc’s prescription.  “…there is another approach that doesn’t come in the way of happiness. This approach involves seeking mastery through the pursuit of passion.”

In a narcissistic selfie-driven culture, it seems a logical extension to use social media mirroring to evaluate one’s fame, esteem and influence. Unfortunately, that is also a step further down the path away from true happiness.

So the next time you feel tempted to ask:

“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who’s the fairest of them all”

Listen for the REAL answer, which is…

You are, my dear. And you don’t need any damn mirror to tell you that!

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Time Management Games

Time Management Games

 

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Time Management Tao

CONTINUE READING

When Do You Stop?

“It’s my son’s graduation this evening. But I’ve so many patients waiting!”

To see the chairman of a hospital, who healed thousands every year, so despondent and mired in angst over a self-created dilemma was heart-breaking.

For the next five minutes, I was at my persuasive best. I argued that he must stop putting patients always ahead of family. Before I finished, he came to a decision. He picked up the phone and spoke to his secretary.

“Tell everyone they’ll have to wait for a couple of hours.”

And then, he slipped out of hospital through a backdoor.

The next morning, he said: “Thank you for helping me decide to go last night. It was a special moment with my family. I won’t forget it for the rest of my life!”

A favorite blog post, written by my friend Derek Sivers, begins with this story:

Two friends were at a party held at the mansion of a billionaire. One said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!” The other said, “Yes, but I have something he’ll never have: ENOUGH.

So… When do we stop? Where do we draw the line?

Take money, for instance. At first, we set out to make some of it. And two things can happen. Either we fail – when we keep trying other ways, until we make it. Or we succeed – when we start thinking of ways to make MORE of it!

With food, it seems easier to know when to stop. After all, our stomachs impose a physical limit on how much can go into it. And even if revelers of Roman debauchery did vomit to free up space to return to the banquet, most of us remain sated… for a while.

But that’s temporary.

A couple of hours later, temptation returns. The craving grows stronger. And pretty soon, we’re back at it.

Getting some more!

It’s the same with other drives as well – sex, work, reading, coffee, drugs, or any other form of seduction.

The desire for more creeps up slowly, grows all-consuming, and drives behavior towards achieving it.

Over and over and over again.

No slowing down.

No pausing to think.

No stopping.

Just keep going!

A friend once told me he wanted to work until he had 10 million rupees in the bank. Another friend has 3 BILLION – and is as driven and excited about making more.

As college students, we’d enter a buffet hall at any conference, determined to at least sample every dish on the huge tables – never mind how stuffed we felt.

An acquaintance of mine remains rapaciously indulgent well into his sixties – his flagging sexual performance boosted by little blue pills!

So WHEN do you stop?

When it begins to damage your health?

Or destroys your relationships?

Or affects your balance?

I see people my age stuff themselves at a restaurant the way I used to as a teenager, and wonder if it isn’t just a heart attack waiting to happen!

I see dads (and now, increasingly, moms) put work or other stuff ahead of family, and wonder if they’ll see their relationships sour and strain to breaking point.

I see folks use the soporific of “Just one more time” to justify their intemperate behavior, and wonder if they’ll eventually con themselves into believing their own lies.  After all, practice makes perfect.

There’s a profound saying in Tamil which goes:

“Alavukku minjinaal amirdhamum nanju”
(When it exceeds a limit, even nectar becomes poison.)

churnocean[In mythology, the devas (Gods) and asuras (Demons) together churned the divine Ocean of Milk using Vasuki, the serpent king, to hold Mount Mandara as the churning pole. After a millenium of intense effort, they obtained amirtham, the nectar of eternal youth and everlasting life.]

Yes, even the magic potion of immortality can be toxic – when you overdose on it!

When do you stop?

When you have ‘enough’.

But… when do you have enough?

Ah, to know that is wisdom – and happiness!

CONTINUE READING

Why Time And Money Management Are Critical To Your Success

Time and money management are the two skills that can make or break your enterprise or business venture, not to mention having the potential to transform your life and future.

Even if you’ve been struggling to manage your time and get things done, you’ll benefit from some simple but effective changes in the way you plan and schedule your day. Here’s a very powerful time management technique.

Develop your own sense of urgency.

Don’t let your important work stay on the back-burner with the excuse, “I’ll just have to do it tomorrow.”

That’s probably what you say to yourself at the end of a busy, overcrowded and stressful day, when you notice something left undone on your to do list. Maybe that’s what you’ve been accustomed to doing. But change it today. Create a sense of urgency about things on your schedule.

As you gain management wisdom, you’ll realize that by putting it off until tomorrow, you’ll only end up crowding up your calendar for tomorrow – and putting off something important on that next list. It becomes a never-ending cycle of procrastination.

So unless circumstances absolutely prevent completing the task, you should try and do most of your scheduled tasks on time. And by setting time limits to get them done, you’ll create your own sense of urgency – even about mundane tasks that need to be finished.

Many time and money management courses and programs advice you to treat it like a little game. Bet yourself that you’ll do it in less time than you thought it would take. When you win, it feels good. More important, the task gets done!

Another important concept in time and money management is being able to take responsibility for wasting time (your own and others).

On discussion forums and social networks, there are some folks who complain about how the interactions suck up all their time, preventing them from completing any serious work. That never ceases to amaze me. These folks are probably completely ignorant of principles of time and money management.

After all, nobody forces you (or anyone else) to visit forums or Facebook, much less waste your precious time on them! You are the person making this choice.

Unless you own up to being responsible for your own time, you’ll never get around that serious hurdle to time wasting – blaming others for your poor time management.

If a meeting drags on longer than scheduled, it is your fault for staying in it. If you waste time on pointless discussions via email exchanges, you are to blame for keeping it going. If a co-worker drops by uninvited during your peak productivity hours – and chats away merrily, disturbing your concentration and keeping you from working – it’s still YOUR problem… because you put up with it.

By owning up to your own role in time and money management, you will be motivated to take better control of your schedule and avoid time wasting circumstances (or terminate them effectively). You’ll get many more useful tips to handle such situations effortlessly when you sign up for our free email newsletter, the “Time Taozine“.

For punchy, powerful time and money management advice, you may also find the Ming Vase Time Management series of ebooklets of some value. And by adopting the Tao style of managing time, you’ll transform your level of effectiveness when you learn how to

Time management tips | Time Management Tao Home

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How Time Management Sheets Help Evaluate Your Time

Time management sheets are very helpful tools that guide you to calculate the value of your time. Very few entrepreneurs know the value of their time. Those who do are almost always a success.

The reason is very simple. Successful people have learned how to measure what an hour of their time is worth. Knowing this, they are driven to maximize the value of their time and protect it against useless or ineffective activities.

It’s a vital time management skill to learn. If you know your time is worth $100, and you are faced with a task needing 1 hour to finish – you will have a meaningful scale to measure if you should do it yourself, or find someone else you can pay to do it for you. Time management sheets can be of great help in making this decision.

How to calculate your time value with the aid of time sheets?

First, determine how much you earned last year (or month). You may do this by totting up all your income from various sources by adding them to your time sheet and computing the total.

Then, record the time (number of hours) you worked to earn that money. You must make sure to include all the time involved in generating your income, which includes travel, preparation and research as well as the actual duration invested into your work.

On your time management sheets, you can then divide your total earning by the number of hours spent, that will give you your present dollar value per hour worked.

Then, on a separate column of your time management sheets, work out your desired or target income figure for the coming year and beyond. When you divide this figure by the number of hours you work, you’ll have an estimate of how much your time should be worth. This gives you a fair indication of whether to do things yourself within that time, or delegate it to others.

Using time management worksheets to calculate the value of your time has 2 big benefits.

  • 1. It allows you to plan outsourcing and delegating with a definite logical basis
  • 2. It reveals the importance of your time to yourself, so that you value it higher and guard it against waste and distractions.

Once you’ve tried using such time management aids to calculate these figures, you’ll be surprised at how hesitant you will be in the future to waste your time. It’s difficult once you have figured out the value of it, because you’ll view it as throwing dollar bills into the trash! It’s hard to waste an hour once you know it’s worth $100 or more.

Time management tools | Time Management Tao Home

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