I came across a phrase called Summum Bonum in my readings this week and not knowing what it meant, I searched. It is a latin word meaning “the highest good, especially as the ultimate goal according to which values and priorities are established in an ethical system.”
What is your summum bonum? While I dig deeper into this, I am happy with Marcus Aurelius quote:
“Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying…or busy with other assignments.”
Question everything that you read or hear. Challenge newer thoughts or hypothesis until one intellectually agrees to it. Reader’ principle aim should be to think about what he or she has just read and how it fits into their thought models.
Blindly accepting someone else’s thought process does little good in short or long run.
Yesterday on the train I heard a female complaining about how annoying her mom was. Hear her complaining so much was annoying in itself, go figure!
Sure most of us would have found our own mom annoying even if it was for a moment – oh well, can you believe my mom cares too much about me and worries about me!
But then where would we be without our moms? You are here because of her. She’s the creator.
This weekend – spare a moment to think about her. Call her. Even better – spend some time with her if you can. Tell her in your own style that you are grateful for what she has done for you. Listen to her talking. Do this while you and she can. If you have children, thank the mother of your children and be grateful. If you are a mom yourself, be grateful for the privilege.
If you want to take it one more step – think of at least 5 things you admire about your mother and share it with your loved ones.
Heaven is a beautiful place, peaceful and full of life. The general criteria for going to heaven is that souls that do good deeds in their life get a chance to visit heaven.
Guess what, you don’t have to wait to die in the physical form to experience it. Heaven can be experienced right here, right now no matter where you are. Do and act so that you experience heaven on this planet before you get promoted to the “promised” land.Try creating your own heaven – starting within you and then your surroundings.
I think ‘simplifying’ things is an art that needs to be mastered over time. Some people are naturally good at it while others have to put in deliberate practice to hone the skill (same as storytelling).
When we assess deal with things be it a personal matter or work related, we are using various faculties of our brain including emotions. Depending on our analysis, we may tag the matter as ‘complex’. It can be overwhelming when one has to decide on a matter perceived as complex. At this time analysis paralysis might kick in for few of us.
Some may find themselves stuck and are unable to make decisions. They find themselves tangled in the web of ‘complexity’ as they think of all the possible things that can go wrong, all the dependencies, all linkages ( both which can be controlled and are uncontrolled), possible reactions (mostly worst) from people impacted and how the whole thing will be a reflection on them.
Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying that we should not do a detailed assessment of the matter before making a decision, but we need to ensure that we don’t overcomplicate matters in our own heads. We need to be able to decipher the complexity, identify matters that we can control and the direction in which we want to steer. We need to be able to articulate ‘complex’ in simple terms.
I like to use a simple framework of focus and simplify.
This short TED video explains some ways in which we can simplify complexity.
My top 5 go to things when dealing with ‘complexity’ are:
Am I asking the right question/s?
Write down the problem statement/Write down the desired results
Draw – It does not have to be pretty but enough so that you can explain it to someone else
Involve the right people – be it to get a perspective or in decision making
Data does not equal insights and lot of data does not automatically become lots of insight. Recently I have met few people who are obsessed with the amount of data they have but don’t have a clear purpose of what they will be doing with the data.
Even before you start mining the data, ask yourself a simple question “am I measuring the right things?”
Working crazy hours and ‘hustling’ does not necessarily make you more productive. It certainly makes you busy (or look busy)but not productive. As a network engineer, I used to spend days on fiddling with the software settings, playing with the firewall software but that was not necessarily productive. I was learning stuff in the process but that was certainly not the best return on the time spent.
Reading tens and hundreds of articles on productivity or entrepreneurship will not produce the results you want. For that, you will actually have to do work that matters and that will make a difference. You will need to produce.
I believe that everyone has their own definition of what they call as ‘being productive’. Whatever your definition – ensure that you are producing things that matter to you and that is taking you towards your goals or objectives in life.
I recently came across Mark Manson’s article on “How to Be More Productive by Working Less“. It is a great short article that I would recommend people to read. It might just add an insight or two about productivity. It might assist you in managing your time better or assist you in managing your team environment better.
Here’s my summary:
Productivity is a deeply personal thing
Apart from some physical factory work and some office tasks, hardly any work is linear in function. It means that more time spent doing work does not necessarily mean that more is accomplished
Overworking can produce diminishing returns or negative returns
Identify leverage and deleverage points. What activity from your list can you pursue providing the best value for your time and efforts?
Take strategic time-offs. This will help to recharge your brain without loosing focus.