Lessons from the seven habits of highly effective people

The book released in 1987 since then its been one of the best sellers in Personal Development. The book helped transform people around the world in terms of their life and work.



All of us want to reach our destination and achieve our goals. As the title suggests why wouldn’t one want to learn the habits of effective people. Since we all want to achieve the goals one way to success would be to take note of habits that would help you through the journey.So putting more in terms of productivity and efficiency will help us reach there.



But hands down the book does end up teaching you a lot more than the seven habits. Called the treasure trove of productivity and the wisdom that helps you reach achievement if you still haven’t found the treasure box, its just right there waiting for you to open the chest.



There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.
– Stephen Covey



Covey’s belief is that the way we see the entire world is through our perception. SO if we want to bring about a change in any situation we would first need to bring in the change in us. And when we say the change in us it would also mean the change in the way we perceive things.



Long long ago the success foundation was laid on character ethic which would be courage , justice, patience, integrity, modesty. But as time passed around in 1920s success moved to personality ethic which included public image, behavior and attitude.


Now all people want is faster solutions and way up the ladder. The moment they see someone or team or an organization succeed they jump with questions on how to and gaining knowledge on the techniques. But these short term solutions will not address the underlying solution but will manage to help you achieve success in short time.




Covey writes,”The way we see the problem is the problem,” We as humans must undergo what is called the paradigm shifts to go deep and change the fundamentals rather than just go about on changing the behavior and attitude on the outside just to achieve.


Now that is where Covey comes up with the seven habits that can help you out.


Habits 1,2,3 help to move from dependence to independent.Self-mastery
Habits 4,5,6 help move from independence to interdependence that’s where you focus on teamwork, collaborating and communicating.
Habit 7 helps on continuous growth and improvement and embodies the other habits.


Habit 1 Be proactive


Our ability to examine the character and decide how to view the self in situations and control our effectiveness is what makes us stand apart from the other beings. So to be effective one needs to be proactive.


Reactive people believe world is happening to them. They feel victimized and lose control. They think the problem is out which rightly points out that their thought is the actual problem.


However on the other hand the proactive people understand they responsibility which drills down to how you would respond to the situation.



Challenge yourself to test the principle of proactivity by doing the following:
1. Start replacing reactive language with proactive language.
Reactive = “He makes me so mad.”
Proactive = “I control my own feelings.”
2. Convert reactive tasks into proactive ones.



HAbit 2
Begin with the end in mind



Picture your destination in mind.Use your imaginative power to visualize what you want to see yourself become and use the conscience to plan what values will guide you.



We find it easy to make ourselves busy. Let it be working hard to achieve promotion, high pay. We don’t pause to evaluate if this is what we really want that keeps us busy.



So habit 2 will make sure we start with the end in mind so that we know the steps we take are in the right path leading to the clear destination.


Habit 3 Put First Things First



Effective management means we put first things first. The discipline that helps you prioritize what is more important than what is more urgent is what matters. Habit three helps you to go after the goals set by habit two and execute them on order of priority and moment basis.



So in a disciplined manner to stay focused on the journey we need to have the willpower do something when you actually don’t want to. We need to act according to the values rather than giving in to desires.





“Think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.” -Stephen Covey



Habit 4 Think Win win


For effective interdependent relationship we must be sure to create win-win relationship which mutually benefit and satisfy the participants.


Covey explains that there are six paradigms of human interaction:
1. Win-Win: A situation where both people win wherein the solution and argument is beneficial and satisfactory.
2. Win-Lose: This is prone to use position,power and personality to get things done. Rather its  “If I win, you lose.”
3. Lose-Win:These people are quick to please and gain strength from popularity or acceptance something like “I lose, you win.”
4. Lose-Lose: This would be a combination of two people who are win -lose where they’re both ego invested, stubborn and end up losing. 
5. Win: These people get what they wish for and do not necessarily want the other to lose which would mean irrelevant to them.
6. Win-Win or No Deal: If you can’t reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, there is no deal.


The safe and best option is to create a win-win situation. In win-lose and lose-win one person gets what they want, but thats only for the moment and will definitely make an impact in the relationship moving forward.
As a backup it is important we use win-win or no deal. The no deal leaves your mind free cause you needn’t manipulate people or make changes in your agenda.





“To go for Win-Win, you not only have to be nice, you have to be courageous.” -Stephen Covey



Habit 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood


Much before offering advice or suggestions or to interact with the other person we must understand them in a deep manner and their perceptions through the way of empathic listening.
Seeking to understand and to be understood first requires learning to listen.
We all know the below split up suggested by communication experts.



10% of our communication is represented by our words
30% is represented by our sounds
60% is represented by our body language




The second part of Habit 5 is ” … then to be understood.” This is equally critical in achieving Win-Win solutions.


Habit 6. Synergize


We have an opportunity to create a synergy by not only understanding but also valuing the differences in the other perspective.Through being open and creative we would be able to uncover new possibilities by the synergy created.


The combination of the rest of the habits actually prepares you for habit 6.


There are 4 dimensions of nature that needs to be exercised and balanced on a regular basis.


PHYSICAL: Exercising the body to increase capacity to work and adapt. Eat well, exercise ,rest and relax. Focusing on this dimension helps develop muscles of being proactive.


SPIRITUAL: Reinforcing commitment to our value and to provide leadership to the life is the goal of spiritual dimension renewal. Meditation on a daily basis, immersing in music or literature, communicating with nature are ways to practice this renewal. This helps to practice habit 2 where we revise and commit ourselves to values on a continued basis so we begin with the end in mind.


Mental Dimension: Expanding mind is goal of renewing mental dimension.Reading a good book, recording the experiences in journal and watch programs which enrich mind and life.
This helps in practicing habit 3 to maximize the use of resource and time by effectively managing ourselves.


Social/Emotional Dimension:  Social or emotional dimension renewal is to have the goal of developing meaningful relationships. Deeply understanding people, making contributions which help in improving other lives, practice and maintain abundance mentality and help others find success helps renew this dimension.


Social and emotional dimension renewal helps to make us practice 4,5,6 and by recognizing existence of win-win solutions, understanding others and finding new alternatives through synergy.



Opening new possibilities and alternatives is possible through synergy.As a group you can collectively shunt the old scripts and write new ones.


For example, if you plant two plants close together, their roots will co-mingle and improve the quality of the soil, so that both plants will grow better than they would on their own.


Valuing the differences in terms of mental, psychological and emotional differences is the real essence of synergy.




Habit 7. Sharpen the Saw


Devoting time to renew ourselves physically, spiritually,mentally and socially will make us effective. Continuous renewal will increase the ability to practice habits on increase that is synergistic.


Taking the time for renewal and sharpening the saw is what habit 7 is focused on. It surrounds the other habits by making sure each of the one is possible by enhancing ourselves which is the greatest asset.




The real beauty of the 7 Habits is that improvement in one habit synergistically increases our ability to improve the rest.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Think and grow rich

A classic book that analyses the life of successful men . The secret to their success and these are men from all walks of life.

So if you’re looking to learn the secrets to wealth, this book is unquestionably the best choice.

The book was first published in 1937 and has sold over 70 million copies.

The first word in the title Think shows you that the main thing to focus on is the mindset.

The book gives in detail the thirteen steps to building wealth. These are the thirteen steps to riches.

““The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” – Napoleon Hill

Having a burning desire

The most critical word here to note is burning. A lukewarm or a normal temperature desire will not have an effect. As life goes on, notice what lights you up well enough that prepares you to commit accomplishing that no matter what.

A burning desire is the actually the one which ignites the beginning of your dream.

Organized plan and refining it

“A quitter never wins – and – a winner never quits.” – Napoleon Hill

When you dream of something which isn’t followed by a plan, it’s just a mere wish. It’s always good to think about the dream that gives you happy memories but keep in mind that getting to make it reality which actually putting up a plan will zero your chances.

A dream requires more than a desire. You need to take right actions. And to know the right times to take the right actions you need to have a recognised plan. The organized plan will become your roadmap to success.

Adapting and preparing for adversity

Problems crop up even with the best plans in hand. This is an inevitable part of human life but what you need to focus on is how to handle teh adversity.

The book highlights how all successful people handled adversity and the one important thing they all did. It is to see the good in every problem.

“Every adversity has within it the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.”

Finding the good in whatever situation it may be no matter how worse it is , was the one most successful people practiced. This is one crucial step for you to succeed.

Great team

You can never accumulate great wealth single handedly. You need the help of others. Just surround yourself with good people.

You as a person single handedly cannot assume and do everything on your own nor you are aware of all what you should be doing. You need a team to create your dream to reality.

Fear of criticism

As per Napoleon there are six fears which stop people attaining riches.

  • The fear of poverty
  • The fear of criticism
  • The fear of ill health
  • The fear of loss of love of someone
  • The fear of old age
  • The fear of death

The fear of criticism in the above is considered the most powerful and certainly one that affects us the most.

It makes you lose hope and feel dejected which is why most people feel very uncomfortable to receive it.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Lean In

If it’s one book that talks about women to work hard and claim their position, then Shery Sandberg’s Lean in is the one that you should be reaching out for.

It’s the one book that helped me shape my thoughts and think from the perspective of a woman. What the book constantly iterated was the you already have the skills that you need to achieve and don’t be afraid to reach for what you want.

Let me list down the takeaways.

The impostor syndrome and everyone has their dose

All the while there was at least one moment where the thought ‘ I can’t do it’ had cropped. But women in particular would have faced this a lot. You needn’t know everything right now to excel in your future roles. If you take an example a lot of many managers will not know the right answer to many questions. But all that you need to understand is that the empowerment you get when you learn from the situation and have a good team that helps you in giving an honest feedback.

Mentor

Finding a right mentor will definitely help you in reaching what you want a lot quicker. The reason is that they will be able to tell you in a straight forward manner what would work and what wouldn’t. So if you invest the time in sincerely finding out the right mentor you are sure to reap countless returns.

Finding goal and it’s path but not others

The best lesson from the book would actually be the part where it says don’t measure your success with other people’s ruler. There is no one fixed path that would right away take you towards success. And no person has the right to portray their opinion on how slow or how fast you take the steps in achieving success. The best way would be to put a map that portrays the next eighteen months of your life and few more years and from there discuss with your mentor for a doable plan that helps you out.

Define your limits at home – you can’t have it all

Do not fear to know your limits. Each one of us has a different set of priorities where the work can not always be the top. Together we should be supportive of ourselves and colleagues to find a work life balance.

The key to more success is owning success

We need to share each other’s success and help in promoting each other. Be comfortable in sharing personal successes. You are the best advocate of yourself so the next time don’t worry to share your success on social media. This is not shameful.

Sit at the table

Sit at the table would mean that you’d have to feel worthy of sitting with others on the table. The thought process that portrays you don’t deserve this, you aren’t good enough and your currently here because of others has to be terminated. Make sure to put value on yourself cause if you don’t believe that you are good enough who else will?

You don’t need to be loved by others

If you keep thinking what people would think of your job, family, decisions you can’t go farther from where you are.

If you take classic example of a male and female at work say Henry and Harkin. Both are respected but if there has to be a choice it will be Henry because he is more appealing and Harkin is selfish and not someone who should be hired.

Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. Our stereotype of men holds that they are providers, decisive, and driven. Our stereotype of women holds that we are caregivers, sensitive, and communal.

Women who want to achieve and are ambitious are often seen to be arrogant, not being team player and someone difficult to work with.

If you want to change things, you can’t please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren’t making enough progress.

Don’t leave before you leave

Don’t leave your job before you actually need to leave it. Don’t look for the entry with the exit in mind. So next time don’t hit the brakes. Take a deep breath and slow down. Only a challenging, and well rewarding job will begin to make that choice a fair contest.

Partner a real partner

If men and women in the house are working women do more of house work and childcare. But you can’t blame it on the men because both have their own things.

The belief that mothers are more committed to family than to work penalizes women because employers assume they won’t live up to expectations of

professional dedication. The reverse is true for men, who are expected to put their careers first. We judge men primarily by their professional success and send them a clear message that personal achievements are insufficient for them to be valued or feel fulfilled.

Women often reject help because they feel they can do it faster rather than let the partner try it out. Women need help and they need to accept.

Women must understand and agree to have their partner help and men must understand and help in supporting the woman’s career.

Work hard

Good job performance leads to good rewards. Most of us believe in this. This is called tiara syndrome wherein we wait for someone to appreciate our efforts. We needn’t wait for any miracle to happen.

We should take risks, challenges and not be ashamed to ask for promotion.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from the Secret

Published in 2006, translated into 44 languages worldwide and sold over 20 million copies, the Secret by Rhonda Byrne should definitely be one of the books that you should read before turning 30.

The book garners the secret to achieve what you want. The book lets you know in detail what you need to wish for or how in order to achieve it.

The premises of the law of attraction is what the book clearly outlays. It goes like,

Basically, the law of attraction tells us whatever we will believe, we will manifest. If we believe we are deserving of great love, then we will manifest it. If we believe we are going to be poor, we’re going to stay poor. If we believe we don’t deserve something, it’s not going to come to us. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

Makes it very simple to understand that what you think becomes the reality . So the thoughts you have deep down will have a direct impact on what you manifest

Let me quickly take you through the lessons from this book.

The law of attraction

“The law of attraction is the greatest and most infallible law upon which the entire system of creation depends.”

What you think and what you focus attracts things that you want in life just similar to how gravity pulls things down.

Thinking is the starting point

Emotions, actions, habits, career, beliefs, speech, values whatever we give out is based on what we think.

What you see around yourself today was someone else’s thought in the past that was brought to reality.

Now that understanding that the way you think will be the starting point, if there is a change that you want you know where to start making it.

The present circumstance is a result of your past thoughts so the future you want to see will depend on what your thoughts are today.

You attract what you focus on

Whatever you focus on is what you will attract.

Say if you focus on promotion and vacation you get it. On the other hand if you focus on what you don’t want, ( debts) you get that too.

Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.”

People predominantly focus on what they don’t want and without knowing since they focus a lot on it, they tend to attract it.

So if you want something, make it happen in your thoughts, think all the time about it and make sure you focus and also put in your energy into it.

Negative word attraction

The universe doesn’t understand negative words.

Say no, don’t, doesn’t and not. So when you put that in your thought your actually attracting it from the universe.

I don’t want to be poor= I want to be poor

I don’t want to fail = I want to fail

So make sure you think about only what you want. So instead of putting it as I don’t want to fail. Think of it as I will be successful or even better would be that I am successful.

Listen to your feelings

Paying close attention to feelings lets you understand your thoughts. This is what the Secret teaches you.

Let’s take an example of how we feel now?

Happy feeling= happy thoughts

Dejected feelings= dejected thoughts

Jealous feelings= jealous thoughts

The secret tells you to shift focus on what you want when you feel sad, angry or dejected. This will be the solution to your problem, shifting focus from what you don’t want to what you want.

The sooner you switch to positive focus, the more positive your thoughts will be and thereby will be attracting the same from universe.

Three step to success: ask, believe and receive

Ask : Whatever you desire or want to ask, make sure you go down to be specific.

Say instead of saying I want to be successful say I want to become successful in my new venture by two months.

And now if that doesn’t happen in two months you cannot exclaim this approach failed. Let’s look into step two.

Believe : you will attract only what you believe in.

Let’s consider the example from above where you mentioned you want to be successful in your new venture, but somewhere down inside you are still doubtful if you will make it, makes its clear that you don’t believe in what you want.

So first you need to believe that what you wish for is attainable. Only then the universe would be convinced.

So becoming successful in your new venture is something that you are doubtful of in two months, how can the universe be convinced? Sounds legit ?

Receive: So once you start believing pretend that you’ve attained it and start living with it.

This will tube you into the right frequency and also tune your energy completely to receive it.

So if you want to be a designer, keep telling yourself each that you’re a designer which will mould the behavior by creating your role and design with that mindset.

The behavior of having received it, will make you commit actions which help in achieving that goal.

Being grateful

“The power of gratitude stands above everything else. If you only do one thing with the knowledge of the Secret use gratitude until it becomes your way of life.”

The biggest secret is to be grateful for what you already have in life and to be thankful for what you want to receive in future.

This gives a good vibe and also a lot of positive thoughts. Being grateful helps in shifting focus from what you don’t have to what you have.

“Each morning before you get out of bed, make it a habit to feel the feelings of gratitude in advance for the great day ahead, as though it is done.”

I could continue to keep on writing about this book but I’d really love if you could grab a copy of this life changer and read the remaining secrets.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Bakez by Daizy.

Lessons from As a man thinketh

I’m still dumbstruck that books published long long ago still hold good when it comes to giving us life lessons. Published in a period where there was not much importance to trends and fads these books convey the lessons of leading life in a fulfilling manner.

As a man thinketh was published in 1902 by James Allen. Self-help books are usually deemed very long but on the contrary this book gives you the lessons in almost an hour.

Known as one of the self-help classics the books is centred predominantly on the theme that harnessing the power of thoughts helps you to master life. Did you know that James Allen was a pioneer in the self-help movement?

You become what you think

The person who you are now, us because of the thoughts that you previously had or having now. If you’d want to incorporate a change start changing the thoughts .

The hidden seeds of thoughts give rise to all actions of a person.

Good thoughts and results can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

Divine perfection is achieved with choosing and applying good thoughts. But on the other side, choosing and applying wrong thoughts can make him stoop below the level of beast.

If it is time to weed out bad thoughts it is today. Choose this day to not accept the negative thoughts and fight back. To take control of life, take control of your mind.

Mind is like a garden

The mind is a garden thay can be cultivated in a wise manner or if let loose can grow wild. It is upto you to sow the seeds of beautiful flowers, if not you will see useless weeds.

Think of you as the gardener who pulls out unnecessary weeds and chooses the right seed to sow, nurture and yield beautiful flowers. Choosing to showcase your mind with beautiful flowers or useless weeds depends upon your thoughts.

Life is beautiful when you make the right choices if not the mind is consumed by useless weeds.

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild.”

The beautiful thoughts can be a skill, or a life changing decision so start making the right choices.

Thoughts can not only mentally affect you, it can physically too

Your thoughts which include the how and what can influence not only your mental health but also the body physically.

Being healthy is not only about the body, it also includes the mind. So people who constantly fear of contracting diseases are often the ones who suffer.

The body is the mind’s servant so it choses to obey the signals it receives.

Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.

The way of thinking also affects the way people age. People in nineties are bright and always smiling but whereas the one’s in mid thirty to forties are still seen with inharmonious contours.

Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body, and lays it open to the, entrance of disease.

What you think can have an impact on your sleep cycle, heart rate and chronic illness. You can think your way to wrinkly skin. Whereas happy and cheerful thoughts can make you beam with youthfulness.

You being shaped doesn’t rely on your circumstances

Just because you’re from a different background or an environment that is unsupportive doesn’t mean that you cannot get what you want. The outer world of circumstances shapes your inner world of thoughts so your circumstances don’t stand the chance to decide what you cannot achieve.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they, therefore, remain bound

You are free to choose the way to respond to any circumstance. And do you know what’s the best way? To focus the area where you have control. You win life if you choose to focus on areas which have your control and ways to improvise.

Thoughts and actions go hand in hand

Most self-help preachers say that you can achieve if you believe in something. Known as the law of attraction.

However, James on the other hand says that the thoughts on your mind will only be the starting point. If the thoughts are not supported by right actions, you can never achieve what you wished for.

Stepping out, taking action and achieving what you want gets you to your dream. Just sitting and waiting for it to come to you will do no good.

Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.
Sign up

Click here to buy your copy of the book.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from the subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Most often you can compare the relationship with books to the relationship you have with people. Two parts of the relationship one of which is you and the other is outside you that is either the book or the people. The timing when you read is also important in the relationship with the book. It helps you understand what problems you are looking to solve, what is the perspective gained and what you yearn from the validation.

Mark Manson’s bright orange book and one of the best sellers ‘The subtle art of not giving a fu*k’ can never be missed from sight. Your neighbour or a co-traveller or a colleague at work are sure to have seen reading this book.

The title of the book sure did make a lot of heads turn and eyeballs rolling. I can confidently say that this is one of the best influential books till date and almost everyone who would have read the book will agree with me in unison.

The outcome of reading the book will help in making you understand a bit more about the way you process things and your priorities. It helps in confidently letting you draw a line between what is actually important and what is not.

People misplace values a lot more often and give importance to things that don’t hold much value and what happens is that they miss out on things that really matters to them. They live a life that is not very fulfilling.Have you realized this at any point of time in your life? Or if you feel you are doing this, you should definitely be picking this book up.

Not having the “best” is the secret to fulfilling life


People are made to believe that they live life king size or lead a good life when they have the nest in everything. This is the main reason or the factor that misleads people to run behind material happiness. The best job, the best property, find the right match as spouse, car and what not. Running behind these people fail to enjoy little things and don’t lead a fulfilling life.
These are superficial and make you believe that you’re leading a great life, but they can get you depressed during your journey of want.

Pick your battles wisely. Invest your energy where it matters.


“Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fck about what’s truly fck-worthy.”


You need to invest your time and energy on things which really matter to you. Those which bring you real happiness and play a part in you leading a meaningful life. You cannot go behind everything you see. When you learn to distinguish what really matters to you that is when you become matured.


Failure is a part of life. Failure is how you learn and grow.


“If you take an example of a toddler trying to learn to walk, he/she will fall down and hurt themself hundreds of times. But you should also realise that the kid at no one point will have a thought of agreeing to the fact that this isn’t my cup of it, since I’m not good at it.


You can’t ever really “find yourself” because who you are willing constantly change, and that’s a good thing.


Remaining humble in giving out opinions or judgements and willingness to accept the differences in people is being made to force upon you when you really don’t know who you are, Let it be that way. Let each day be a learning to discovering new things about you. This is make you strive to find more about you.


Suffering is essential to growth

“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change”.

Mark says that suffering is inevitable and knowing that it plays a major role in growth is actually better. Discomfort, suffering and pain will eventually lead you to grow.

Only when there is pain you will seek a change that will lead to growth.

Pain will inspire change because it brings discomfort, and when you feel uncomfortable, you’ll seek comfort, so, ultimately, you are seeking change.

Next time when you feel painful, don’t see it as a hindrance and stay away from it. Feel it, accept it and understand there is a reason that is valid for you to experience it. The more you get used to, the more comfortable and happy you will be for its presence.

Stop searching for happiness and understand that it is already there

People are always on the quest for happiness. It is right there sitting in front of you and can be seen through your eyes, instead we look all around for it failing to realize its existence.

Embrace happiness that is present and start enjoying life leaving the quest to search for something that is not visible to you.

You are individually responsible for all your life events, be it whatever circumstances.

You don’t always have the control on what happens to you, but you do have on how to interpret and how to react or respond. It doesn’t matter if you life it or no you play a major role in what happens within you and to you.



Accepting responsibility for your own problems will be first step to solve them.


You exercise more power in life when you take up more responsibility or accept. The choices you make in the present results in responsibilities. Real learning and improvement in life happens only when we take take up being responsible for our problems.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Atomic habits

As per Wikipedia, a habit is a routine behavior that is repeated on a regular basis. It also tends to happen subconsciously.

Habits are actions we do on a daily basis. In a nutshell our entire life is the total addition of all the habits we have.

Our success, happiness, being in shape it all dives down to our habits. So what we repeatedly do actually becomes the person we are, the personality we portray and the things we believe in.

Atomic habits is one book that made me introspect my habits or what I do on a daily basis. A deeper analysis of what I do on a daily basis made me think if it has to be continued or this can be stopped.

Here are my takeaways from this wonderful book.

Recognizing habits

A deeper introspection of the habits that we do on a daily basis will reveal what we are. Almost our entire day is a complete timetable of our habits. We don’t think of this because we do this autonomously. Revisiting the habits and classifying them into good, bad and something in between will help you decide if you should continue doing it. When you don’t do this you continue doing things on a routine which you actually shouldn’t.

Habit cycle

Did you know that habits have a cycle? Yes something like a life cycle we say for a material or a living thing. What we do on a routine basis in terms of behavior is a habit. But when you break it down you get to know the elements.

  • Cue
  • Craving
  • Response
  • Reward

This is the habit loop. A simple exercise would be to sit down and break your habit and put them in the above loop. Understand what is the cue that made you start this habit, what is the craving that the cue gives you, what is the response you give to the craving and what reward you get after the response from you.

Good and bad habits

Managing your habits by identifying them as good or bad is one of the most important steps. There is a process to create a good habit and the inversion of which helps to break a bad habit. The book gives a working framework of how this can be done in a simplified way.

Laws of behavior change by James Clear hells you foster good habits and transform bad habits to good.

  • Make it obvious.
  • Make it attractive.
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

Following this law makes your introspection very easy. For a good habit make sure your response is in a rewarding way. In the same way to break a bad habit do the inverse.

  • Make it invisible.
  • Make it unattractive.
  • Make it difficult.
  • Make it unsatisfying.

Doesn’t all this make so much sense? Making your bad habit unattractive and difficult should make sure you stop doing it.

Starting small

You need not make a dramatic shift to make a change. As the book suggests, taking a small step as much as 1%, makes an effective progress. Starting on small and Incrementing the effort on a day to day basis can help in achieving the goal. So if you do 1% better each day for over a year, you’d be 37 times better when the period completes. Don’t you agree that’s quite a remarkable improvement. Since we are the result of our habits, if we keep them small, we get what we repeat and in the long run ne much better at it. .

Not missing twice

If we miss it once in a while that should count to be fine but never to miss twice. Realising that you missed goal or didn’t do something that was set up as a good habit, do it better when you do it at next time. .

I want it and it means now

We all love rewards and especially when we get it in no time. Most people don’t like to wait for long term rewards. So choose habits that help you feel instantly happy. We need to go on a diet for a longer period to reap the reward but a tiny chocolate instantly uplifts you. So get a cookbook that helps making tasty healthy choices. Save money you kept for alcohol in case you want to quit into the vacation funding.

Triggering

The brain is lazy and absolutely loves to do what makes it more comfortable. So it is upto us to make it use the strategy for the good habits.

Say we want to learn a language or an instrument keep the book or the instrument at a place where it’s easily reachable, than putting it away from your view. Best place would be to put besides the remote or phone.

Carrot stick approach

As already mentioned we love getting rewarded. The brain reacts favourably when we await a reward. The brain releases dopamine when we do something that gives a pleasant feeling. So in expecting this the brain triggers the action. So think of the reward next time you include a new good habit.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Bakez by Daizy.

Lessons from how to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer who was also the developer for several courses on self-improvement skills and interpersonal skills. He was the author of “ How to win friends and influence people” one of the best selling self-help books till date.

Over a 100 years Dale Carnegie has been helping about 9 million + graduates and helping them out to lead business, career and life through his courses. Though the book, “ How to win friends and influence people” was published in 1936 the principles mentioned hold good and are still deemed the best in improving the self. And the reason being that Dale did not put them out based on trends or fad and they still serve to be the building blocks of social intelligence.
Though the language and references( Abraham Lincoln) that the book contains might seem to be dated, the book was of great help during the Great Depression and one of the books picked up by Warren Buffet.

The book is based on principles that help makes one a successful person in all aspects of life. Becoming a financial success requires 15% of professional knowledge and 85% of the ability to express the ideas, to be a leader and to arouse enthusiasm among others.

The book definitely shows you the sure shot way to not only attain success but also build and establish a career.

Let me take you through the lessons from the book .

Praise others’ achievements

We need to be genuine when we praise people. It has to be lavish is what he exactly says, but at the same time be true. He puts it as,

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement,” We all crave to be recognized and appreciated. We also would do almost anything to get that. At the same time, it shouldn’t be something that was said to flatter and be put out showing insincerity.

Be empathetic

“The only way on how to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it”. He also explains by quoting Henry Ford,“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Looking at a situation from an other person’s perspective sure does help in most situations to frame our actions.

Avoid criticizing, condemning, or complaining.


“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do,” Carnegie writes. “But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Being a leader, one should acknowledge the subordinate who doesn’t meet expectations or a competitor whose approach is inferior compared to them. But thus should be done in a way which would acknowledge what is working and encourages improvement

Acknowledging own mistakes

When being a best leader, one should not lionize themselves, to make it appear that they are not flawless.

“Admitting one’s own mistakes — even when one hasn’t corrected them — can help convince somebody to change his behavior,” Carnegie wrote. How true is this? Have you tried this out?

Acknowledging when a mistake is made and admitting to have committed it, is a great step and requires a lot of courage to do so.

Respect others’ dignity

When a leader demotes and employee or lets the employee go away, he/she needs to recognize the person with dignity and not use the opportunity to humiliate them. To be practical, the leader has to remain on good terms with the person who didn’t work out, because there is a future possibility that they might have to cross paths or even have the chance to work together again.

Know the value of charm

Steel magnate Charles Schwab claimed his smile was worth a million bucks — literally. For a man like him, the charm he holds and his capability to make people like him was one of the factors he remained successful. His smile was definitely captivating. So the charm is one of the factors that makes you and the people around you cheerful.

Encourage people to talk about themselves

People tend to relax in tense situations when they talk about things they know and which includes themselves. And when you listen to someone when they speak that would be the greatest compliment you could offer them.

Know when to use suggestions instead of direct orders

Leaders instead of barking orders to employees who instead lead them with suggestions tend to see more success. A classic example would be Owen D. Young , an Industrialist. Helping employees do things by themselves instead of directing them with orders helps them learn from their mistakes.

Be friendly, no matter how angry the other person may be


We are humans and we tend to handle aggression with aggression but instead if the high road is taken by maintaining composure when you make efforts to try and persuade the other person by appreciating their perspective, the result sure is surprising when you know what you just accomplished.

With you being cool and collected the other person sure would be embarrassed themselves.

Reach common ground as soon as possible

Stressing out the opinion or emphasizing things you agree and keep doing it which would put out the message that both of you want or strive for the same ending bu the only difference being in the method that is being implemented and not the purpose.
Carnegie says,”Begin by emphasizing — and keep on emphasizing — the things on which you agree,”

Get others to think your conclusion is their own.


Most persuasive people are the ones who would understand the power of suggestion over demands . This helps to win situations and emphasizes the fact that you cannot force a person to believe something.

He also says that when planting a seed and it blossoms , curb the urge to take credit for it.

Don’t try “winning” an argument

You achieve nothing when you tear apart an argument with another person. Carnegie cites by quoting an old saying, “A man convinced against his will/Is of the same opinion still.” When we need to persuade someone, make sure to avoid argument in the first place.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Tuesdays with Morrie



I was really not a fan of non-fiction and especially self-help. Gone are the days where people browsed online to improvise their life skills, self-esteem and then came the era of youtube videos. We had a lot of self-help experts pitching in and making videos to help people learn from home.



But however the joy of learning to mould yourself from reading a book. The life lessons that the book imparts on you is sure to leave a lasting impact. Though we do see a lot of things in daily life some memories of events or facts from the books we read linger fresh in our minds no matter the time that passes.



One such book that was gifted to me and really made me think of life in a while new perspective is Mitch Albom’s “ Tuesdays with Morrie”.


The Author’s favourite teacher Morries Schwartz is in his death bed counting his days as he suffers from a chronic disease. The Author meets up with Morrie every Tuesday and the book gives you the events or life lessons that Morrie imparts to Mitch.


People’s perception of their life and the life around them changes when they come to know that they are dying. It is a sequential turn that they take in their journey of life that makes them realize what is important and what is not.



Morrie from his death bed helps Mitch unfold answers to a lot of complex life problems. His slow demise makes Mitch give a deep thought and understands how to deal with life and the complex situations it puts us in.


As Morrie says to Mitch,

 “Study me in my slow and patient demise. Watch what happens to me. Learn with me..” 

But Mitch puts it this way,



“Morrie would walk that final bridge between life and death, and narrate the trip.”



Here are my takeaways and the lessons that I learnt from the book.



1. Questions for self-reflection. Because living a life that is fulfilling deserves answers to these questions.


Have you found someone to share your heart with?
Are you giving to your community?
Are you at peace with yourself?
Are you trying to be as human as you can be?

We may or may not have come across these questions but if we do have the answers we know we’re on the right path.


2.“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.”


Morrie explains how the culture is flawed and how should we create one if we do not fit into what exists currently.


3.“Life is a series of pulls back & forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.” 

The above quote explains how Morrie puts the topic of tension of opposites. The confusion of age that brings in what is expected of us to what we actually want. The quote clearly makes you think that we humans suffer consequences of our self-created problems. We put ourselves into complicated situations.



4.“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’ve been chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning in your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Preserving humanity is the greatest cause to which we must devote ourselves when we need happiness and satisfaction.



5.“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and how to let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love. We think, if we let it in, we’ll become too weak.  But, a wise man named Lenin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

The universe exists and survives on love. The very basis of humanity is love and so,
the most important lesson that we learn is how to give out love and how to let it inside?

6.
“Why are we embarrassed by silence? What comfort do we find in all the noise?”  We quite often avoid or are embarrassed by silence failing to realize that silence, solitude and loneliness are the gift to mankind.


7.
“Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back”

In a nutshell trust and faith should come from within. If we want others to have trust in us, we should also have the same in them. This will not make you feel envious.

8.

Everyone knows they are going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”
Living is fear of death will never be the answer, when we fail to accept that death is a part of our life and is inevitable. Learning to take time of things that matter and living life to the fullest is the key that will help you in accepting the fact.

Morrie suggests doing what Buddhists do, which is: “Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?’”

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Self-discovery through Jasmine builds on shifting sands

Fiction and self-help are two of my favourite genres of books. I really don’t know the time ticking when I settle down in my reading corner with books in any one of these genres.

What I look for in self-help books is strategies, lessons, case studies which tell you what to and what not to do.

When I came to know that this book has both self-help and fiction entwined I knew I definitely had to pick it up.

What I could also relate is that the book is set in modern period and so is something everyone of us millenials could resonate to.

It takes a lot of time for us to understand ourselves in a better way. The process of understanding oneself, about what we can and what we cannot, how we can and when we can is called self-discovery. Not everyone of us do this at the same time. Time plays an important role in making us realise this. This book embarks you on Jasmine’s journey of self-discovery.



The picturesque views of Himalayas while describing the journey to Kedarnath, would make you embark on a virtual journey. The pure relationship between the author and his spiritual teacher , their conversations mentioned provide a lot of learning.

Jasmine who was about to land into a professional career eventually landed into the world of modelling. So how does she handle it ? Does she succeed or fail ?

She had her parts of failures, jealousies, competition, wrong ways and finally rose above all of it. The author has a lot of learnings from life which he’s penned out beautifully through the story of Jasmine.

Everyone of us has a dream, a goal or an aim. We pursue our actions towards them . Did you know that the universe also has a major role in making our dreams come true?

A motivational book that helps you to stay focused and have a positive approach to rise above hurdles and accomplish the dream. The connection to the universe and it’s integral part in making our dreams come true also is a lesson to be learnt.

I love the writing style of the author which he serves to keep it lucid and brief. Overall a good guide for self-motivation and self-discovery.

The QR code scanning of certain chapters, through e-micro-learning is a completely different experience which is suggest all book lovers and people who are digital fan boys must check out.

Following our passion by overcoming hurdles should definitely be made a mandatory life skill to be possessed.

About the author

Sanjay is an entrepreneur and an ex-banker, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and a Chartered Accountant. During his successful career, Sanjay has been integrating the essence of a parallel spiritual journey with his material pursuits. He has now set out to share the ways and means of seamlessly traversing through the material and spiritual world. Thereby, enriching each journey.

Click on the book cover below to purchase this motivational guide .