Archive for October, 2014

Daily Routine of Happiness

October 26, 2014 2 comments

Some people hate Mondays.  The start of the week represents the resumption of the cycle of drudgery that ends on a Friday.  It’s the weekend where happiness is present.

Granted that the work week can be difficult, the harsh reality is that if this is your perspective, then it’s only two out of the seven days in a week where you are happy.  To be happy only two days in a week is just sad and wrong.

I think the key to make the work week an enjoyable one despite the issues, or at the very least a bearable one, is to find a reason to make you look forward to it.  That way, you’re not just waiting for the weekend to be happy – every day of the week is a reason to be happy.

As far as I’m concerned, here’s how I handle it:

  1. I see every moment of every day as a learning experience from the University of Life.  There seems to be always something new to learn and experience, if you keep your mind and heart open and respond to what life throws at you.  Living life each day and learning from it gives me material to reflect upon during the weekend.  I would not have a lot of ideas to think and write about if I didn’t take the time and effort to notice the insight hidden in every event that happens.  I look forward to every day because every day is a day to learn, and it’s in learning something new that I find happiness.
  2. Some days I have something special reserved for it.  Every Monday is my “status reporting and issue escalation day,” simply because this is when my weekly 1:1 with my boss is scheduled.  This is when I have the chance to escalate issues and ask for help to sustain me in the coming week.  On Tuesday evenings, I catch up with the latest technology news in Ars Technica; it’s this time when new stories come in.  On Thursday evenings, I do the same activity as Tuesday since my Wednesday evening gets filled up with night calls.  Friday is my movie night; on this day I watch the latest movie showing that interests me.  I occasionally interchange my Thursday and Friday evening activities, depending on my mood.  Sometimes I spend both days watching movies in the evening, or if nothing interests me then I use both days to catch up on my technology reading.  Every day I try to attend Mass unless I have a meeting over lunch.

The point is simply this: You don’t have to hate Mondays.  Find a reason to look forward to each day.  Do that and every day you’ll be happy, and will not need to wait for the weekend to be happy.  With the right daily routine, every day is a happy day.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Leadership: Executive Presence

October 25, 2014 3 comments

To be a leader it’s very important that you have “Executive Presence.”

The first time I heard of this was from one of my former Senior Managers.  As I have come to understand it in the years since I got this advice, having “Executive Presence” means having a sense of professional maturity in your career.  Ultimately such maturity as a leader, in how you handle yourself and the things that happen within and outside of your control, does matter because it breeds admiration and respect from those under you.  If you need to march into hell, then your people will follow you into the fire because they believe in you and in what you’re doing.

In further reflection since the years I first realized what it means to have “Executive Presence,” I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s more than just professional maturity, though such is still an important aspect in having such an aura in one’s personality.

To have “Executive Presence” means to be someone who is able to take command of a situation, make a decision based on the best available information that you have at your disposal, and execute on the plan you formulated to get things done and make things happen.  It means people look to you to provide direction or a perspective on what needs to happen.  You have the attitude of driving things forward and seeing things through until the task is done.

You have “Executive Presence” when you have a plan and you see to it that it gets done.  The ability to do strategic planning is critical.  This involves knowing exactly what you want to get and defining measures to say how near or far you are to your goals.  Planning alone is obviously not enough; execution of the plan is just as important.  Tracking the outcome against expectations as the plan is implemented is important to know your status and to make adjustments to the approach based on sometimes ever-changing circumstances; this is especially crucial in the many situations in life where you have no control.

You have “Executive Presence” when you set expectations properly, stick to your commitments and communicate appropriately.  When you say that you will deliver something in the form, quality, time and place agreed upon, you do it.  There are also no surprises; you raise issues and come up with a concrete action plan to resolve it and / or ask for help.  Ultimately you still take ownership in fixing any issues to closure, driving to get things done and make things happen.

As an effect of having “Executive Presence,” you are people’s “comfort zone” and “sense of security.”  They are confident that the right thing will happen because it is YOU who is on point to make it happen.  Of course, it should not come as a surprise that your reality is such that the work that comes your way only gets more challenging and insane, so expect that.  However it’s in such trials where growth in skill, experience, wisdom and character is best developed.  And the fact that you are the one getting such insane assignments only validates the trust that people have in you.

It truly is a great honor when your leadership and counsel are sought after.  You know you’re successful when you are the first person that comes to people’s minds to solve problems or get things done; when you’re asked for your opinion on certain matters and what you say carries a lot of weight and ultimately influences the final decision or the direction of an approach.

Seek to develop a sense of “Executive Presence” in your life, for the value of this characteristic goes beyond the workplace as it’s applicable to all facets of life.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

True Freedom Comes from a Sense of Security

October 25, 2014 3 comments

There’s more freedom to enjoy and be happy in life when there’s spiritual, physical, emotional and financial security.  Such security comes from having discipline and order in one’s life.

Granted that there are many unknowns in this world or things out of your control, where such can be the cause of so much insecurity.  However the one thing you still have control of is yourself and how you allow or not allow such external factors to affect you.  Respond to the events of life, not react to it.

Ironically, absolute freedom, which is doing anything you want and living a life free from the consequences of terrible decisions, is dangerous.  Living such a life leads down the thorny path of anarchy, of many broken hearts, and of many shattered dreams.  Ultimately this leads to fear and the reduction of our collective freedom.  In the end, a life free from consequences is a life without consequence.

A life lived with discipline and order is a life that is secure and peaceful; it’s a life that’s truly free.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Fear Should NOT Win

October 19, 2014 1 comment

We must not let fear win.  We must not allow that which scares us to paralyze us from taking action or from enjoying life.  The way to fight fear is to carry on with life; do not change your lifestyle to work around your fears.  Fight back fear by putting one’s faith, hope and trust in God.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

View of the World: Framing Your Perspective in Life

October 19, 2014 10 comments

How you experience life influences your perspective of the world.

Granted that we all go through good and bad times in our journey in life, let’s focus more on the positive side of things.  This is not to say that we should ignore the negative things that have happened, that are happening, and that will happen in the future; it’s important to acknowledge that such exists, for in its own way it helps us to grow and be better people.  However we only have one life to live and we owe it to ourselves to be happy.

Putting this another way, let’s still believe in the best that life has to offer.  To automatically assume the worst in everyone and everything is being cynical to the goodness that’s out there and being cruel to ourselves.

Besides, doesn’t it feel very tiring to be angry all the time?

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Worrying and Inaction

October 18, 2014 4 comments

Worrying about a concern worsens with inaction.  You can reduce the stress by doing something – anything – about it.  And whatever it is you need to do, do it NOW!  Delaying any action will only prolong the worry and stress; get things done so that you can move on.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Walk Away From Just Work

October 14, 2014 1 comment

At the end of the day, you are not your work.  It’s hard to dissociate one’s self from one’s job if you’ve put in a lot of yourself into it, however what you’re doing is still just work.  It’s easy to accept this when you don’t like what you’re doing; at the point of exasperation you can just let it go and walk away.  However it’s difficult to let go of something you love doing.  Remember that you are more than just your career, no matter how much you enjoy it.  And so no matter how much you love what you’re doing, when the time has come for it, learn to also walk away from something that ultimately is just work.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy