Choose Optimism Over Despair

As we begin this year, let’s decide to choose optimism over despair as that is how we will move forward – be it in our work or private lives.

If you, your team or family is facing uncertainty, it is totally understandable if that uncertainty is producing fear, feeling of helplessness and anxiety. It might be easy to despair and join the negative chorus and blame other for everything that is going wrong around us but that hardly is a solution!

Being optimistic in such times can help reduce the negative effects of stress and can assist with the recovery from stress.

Some practical things that you could try are:

– Choose positive language over the negative one

– Avoid criticism 

– Celebrate wins (no matter small they are) 

– Practice self-compassion

– Help others (be it a team member or your community)

– Don’t ignore your feelings but talk them over 

About freedom

From article

Many things should be matters of individual choice. The government has no business dictating your cultural tastes, your faith or what you decide to do with other consenting adults.

But refusing to wear a face covering during a pandemic, or insisting on mingling indoors with large groups, isn’t like following the church of your choice. It’s more like dumping raw sewage into a reservoir that supplies other people’s drinking water.

Your short term freedom should not come at the cost of someone’s life.

Social Dilemma

This past weekend I watched Social Dilemma (on Netflix). I highly recommend it if you haven’t watched it yet.

Although I am not going to give up my social accounts anytime soon, here are my key takeaways and re-affirmations of my thoughts:

1. Use social platforms as tools that allow you to attain your objectives not the other way
2. Be purposeful on what you want to achieve while visiting a platform otherwise one post/video will link to other one and you will have spend hours without achieving something. This will have a negative impact on your brain in the short and the long term
3. Monitor your time spent on social platforms. The platforms exist for a purpose but we need to remember our purpose for using them
4. The algorithm is designed for maintaining your attention and your addiction
5. Every click and every mouse movement is recorded. Watch out!
6. Turn off/minimise notifications. Reduce digital distractions
7. Regularly check on the app/website permissions you provide on your mobiles, tablets and computers
8. Create ‘me’ time for yourself every day
9. Spend more time reading and writing than just consuming media
10. Consciously follow and learn from people you don’t agree with.

Trailer of The Social Dilemma documentary

What were your takeaways?

What is your act?

In every relationship and engagement we have, we have a role to play – an act. Having clarity to one’s act is important. It allows for one to focus on task at hand. When your act is of a listener, then focus on the act. If your act is to be a super-hero, be one. Don’t shy away from being the super-hero. Think and act like one.

Are the online reviews playing you?

Time and time again, I hear from friends that they bought a ‘thing’, selected a book, went to a place, went for a movie or have spent their hard-earned money and invested their time based on the online reviews. Many times they come disappointed.

Photo Credit – NY Times

In this day and age where we want quick answers and quick gratification, we want something and we want it now. This is even easier with the Internet. But before we take the plunge, some of us want to confirm if their decision is the right one and they go and check the reviews. They do that on Amazon, IMDB, shopping sites, financial products, builders, buying perfumes, restaurants, food items, buying cars, boats, checking online people references etc. Essentially we get reviews for nearly everything. Again, the connectivity comes handy and people are just one search and few clicks away before they can dive into reviews of their desired products or services.

Although this mechanism to make informed decision is great but has a big (but an easy) flaw! The reviews can be faked and relying on those reviews can cost someone tens to thousands or a lifetime of savings and agony. You will survive if you buy a book based on fake reviews or waste 3 hours of your life based on fake reviews but imagine investing thousands or millions based on star rating given by an rating company?

Fake Review on IMDB

When was the last time you identified some fake reviews?

So if it is too true to be true, check again! Just don’t blindly follow the star rating but open the bonnet to check further details! Fake reviews most times are easy to spot. Assess the risk of you making decisions based on the ratings. Don’t let the online reviews/ratings play you, dig deeper.

Who is (or should be) taking accountability for the fake (or inaccurate) reviews? In some countries there are laws which forces business/platforms to take ownership of checking on false reviews but who is checking on Businesses if they are following through? You won’t pick a life parter just based on online reviews then why not extend the same due diligence on some other things in your life!

Don’t rush through that book

Reading is a type of meditation. Don’t rush through the process.

Tejas Patel
Trust the Process

As a book reader, I often ask people as to what they are reading and sometimes the conversation becomes about what people have read and how long it took them. As times I sense that some people take pride in how quickly they are reading the book (or skipping through it)!

Read to learn, to understand and to connect the dots. The more you read (and understand), the better you will get at connecting the dots between different point of views, topics and your own experiences.

There are hardly any medals if you finish the book early unless you are taking part in the speed reading competition. So relax, let the words sink in, let your mind decide if you agree or disagree with what the author is saying and formulate your own perspective.