(Work) Simple Office Stretches

Credit : Exercise for Life

(Career) Our Careers and its impact on our children

quality time is real!

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Research suggest that children’s emotional health was better when parents believed that family should come first, regardless of the amount of time the parents spent working.

Research also suggest that children would be better off when parents cared about work as a source of challenge, creativity, and enjoyment, regardless of the amount time spent. However, most of the time, our job are nothing to be enjoyable about.

And, not surprisingly, children would also be better off when parents were able to be physically available to them.

Children were more likely to show behavioral issues if their fathers were overly involved psychologically in their careers. And a father’s cognitive interference of work on family and relaxation time , that is the father’s psychological availability or presence, which is noticeably absent when he is on his mobile devices was also linked to children having emotional and behavioral problems.

On the other hand, to the extent that a father was performing well in and feeling satisfied with his job, his children were likely to demonstrate relatively few behavior problems, again, independent of how long he was working.

For mothers, on the other hand, having authority and discretion at work was associated with mentally healthier children. Further, mothers spending time on themselves and not so much on housework, was associated with positive outcomes for children.

It’s not just a matter of mothers being at home versus at work, it’s what they do when they’re at home with their non-work time. If mothers were not with their children so they could take care of themselves, there was no ill effect on their children. 

So, if we care about how our careers are affecting our children’s mental health, we can and should focus on the value we place on our careers and experiment with creative ways to be available, physically and psychologically, to our children, though not necessarily in more hours with them.

Quality time is real.


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Are you working during lunch?

Ditch your working lunch:

Munching on your lunch while at the computer could lead to mindless grazing, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who ate their midday meals while playing a computer game ended up eating more cookies 30 minutes later than those who hadn’t been gaming. So carve out 20 minutes a day (we know, you’ve got a million things to do, but … ), and eat in your conference room (or outdoors!). Your whittled waistline with thank you


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Be Bold and Ready to Take Risks

ever become too comfortable in your job – If you feel that you’re in an easy rut, strive to find and take on new challenges. Remember this basic truth: “The status quo is your enemy.”

– Take the risk or lose the chance –

In order for us to build a satisfying, successful career and move ahead in life, we must create promising opportunities for ourselves.

This however would requires developing impressive expertise and cultivating meaningful relationships and a huge continuous effort from us. And we must be bold and ready to take risks. 

So, lets set out to accomplish these steps:

  1. Develop a career plan – Adapt it as needed. Have an A plan, a B plan and a Z plan.  I have a plan, do you? And if my plan A doesn’t work, I still have plan B to plan Z.
  2. Never become too comfortable in your job – If you feel that you’re in an easy rut, strive to find and take on new challenges. Remember this basic truth: “The status quo is our enemy and complacency is never bliss.”
  3. When it comes to your work, think big – Don’t see your job as just a job. Elevate your thinking. Make your job your mission.
  4. Work with full intention – Make a conscious degree of focus one of your defining personal characteristics. Operate so that your opportunities bump up against your interests and skills.
  5. You’re not perfect – Don’t try to be flawless. Messing up occasionally is human and acceptable. But learning from your mistakes is one of the most effective paths to growing professionally.
  6. Build new skills in “sprints” – To master new skills, engage in intense, distraction-free work-study sessions or sprints. Schedule regular breaks for temporary decompression.
  7. Seek challenges – It’s the “hard stuff,” not the “easy stuff” that challenges you and enables you to build new capabilities and skills.  
  8. Seek constructive feedback – Honest, perceptive insights fuel our growth.
  9. Build the right habits – You are more likely to excel when you make your positive behaviors automatic or habitual. Solidify one good, new habit every month. Classic conditioning is a great tool for changing your habits. It calls for being consistent in practicing new behaviors. 
  10. Maintain a journal – Maintaining a journal gives you an opportunity to reflect daily on your life and to learn from your actions and behaviors. I used my blog as my journal, easy to update, and easy to access. And I also have a hard cover journal which I loved. Your preference is yours, but the essence is, you need one, you need a journal.
  11. Seek help from people you trust – You don’t have to do everything alone.  There’s a saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”
  12. Promote diversity – Diversity promotes cross-pollination of new ideas. It encourages original thinking and breeds creativity.
  13. Give your team members a chance to shine – As a leader, you don’t always have to shine, but you should make sure that the other members of your team shine. Build on their skills and ideas. Give team members credit for their accomplishments.
  14. Don’t let fear of failure paralyze you –  Always default to action.
  15. Make small bets, but make them – Be cautious when you begin new initiatives. Small bets make more sense than big one. The more bets you make, the better chance you have that one will hit. 
  16. You can’t avoid uncertainty – Uncertainty is a basic condition of life.  Regard uncertainty as a possibility, not a problem.
  17. Persist – To come out on top, persist regardless of obstacles.
  18. Be your own entrepreneur – Think of your career as a start-up and of yourself as the entrepreneur planning and managing this start-up.
  19. Become the “best-connected person” – When it comes to networking, strive to be the best-connected person, not the “most-connected person.” Possessing a fat address book with many names means nothing if the people listed aren’t real allies who will collaborate and help you when necessary.
  20. Learn to build new skills – The best possible skill is the ability to develop new skills.  
  21. Believe that you can  improve – If you don’t believe that you can move beyond your current abilities, you won’t. Avoid self-defeating, self-fulfilling doubts.
  22. Practice – You can’t master any skill without extensive practice. Leverage the “power of ritual” to manage your practice sessions. Practice at the same time each day so practicing becomes habitual.
  23. Rest – You can’t practice, learn or work if you don’t get enough rest. Sleep at least eight hours a night and nap for 20 to 30 minutes during the day.
  24. Do the jobs you delegate – Monsieur Pitard, the top chef of the Hotel Majestic in Paris,  cooked one dish a week himself instead of delegating it his staff. Do some of the work you assign to others to keep your skills fresh. 
  25. Always ask – You can learn a lot from other people and advance your career in the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to build your knowledge.   
  26. Build social contracts – Management expert Peter Block developed the concept of social contracting. That’s when you agree up front with your partners or collaborators on how you and they will work together. Get them to answer these questions: “What do you want?” “Where might you need help?” “When you had a really good working relationship in the past, what happened?” “When things go wrong – as they inevitably will – how shall we manage that?”

“Start any new project or endeavor by saying to yourself, ‘I may not get the hang of this right away. I’m going to make mistakes, and that’s okay’.”

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I am Ambitious,and if you are too, you should read this

I am ambitious, and if you are too, think of yourself as a “free radical,” someone who wants and expects to manage his or her own career. As a free radical, we’re resilient. We have genuine power. We’re flexible and we tend to rely completely on yourself.

On top of that , we tend to dislike old boy networks, bureaucracy and fusty business practices. And we do our best to work around archaic, confining strictures. 

We believe in transparency because privacy makes us suspicious. Meritocracy matters. We expect a lot from ourselves and also from your current employer, just as we did from our past employers and just as you will from our future employers.

And, yes, having multiple employers is likely. In today’s world of work, the average person will have 11 different jobs over the course of a career.  

“People who love what they do are much better at it. They’re more successful, are constantly adding new skills and continue to drive themselves forward.”

As a free radical, we’re in the process of re-defining what work means today. We want to have a positive impact on the world and on those around us. We’re always ready to move on to another firm if we can no longer develop your skills or make significant contributions.

We’re a fan of open-source technology and online resources such as Quora, Wikipedia, APIs and Internet communities. Whenever we can, you contribute to these online resources or by blogging away our thoughts. For us, networking means sharing.  And sharing means caring, not only to those whom we can benefit from, but also be of benefit to those who we don’t even know, and to raise awareness to issues we consider significant.

“We expect to do more of what we love, automating the more laborious and monotonous parts of our work.”

And most importantly, to be ourselves without fear of being judged and ridiculed. Because redefining our work is important since we do spent most of our lifespan working. Therefore, we might as well work on something that we love. Although, at times, it is easier to actually fall in love with our current work.

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The ‘Motivation Dilemma”

Managers face a motivation dilemma. Their organizations insiste that they to motivate their subordinate to work hard to meet the corporate goals. Unfortunately, since no one can motivate another person which is an impossible task to do.

That’s the dilemma.

Executives and managers who want to understand motivation should and must understand the “appraisal process”.

Employees appraise things according to what important to them and their priorities might differ from that of their managers and corporate leaders.

So, the factors which motivate employees may not align with what we want them to be motivated toward accomplishing. The goals that drive their motivation may not be akin to the objectives which we want to encourage.

“It is a mistake to think that people are not motivated. They are simply longing for the needs they cannot name.”

For example,

In 2002, the Boston Red Sox wanted to lure Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane to come work for them. And they offered him then what would have been the largest GM salary in baseball. They were shocked when he turned it down. But Beane appraised the offer against what mattered to him – “his family and the love of baseball.”

“The real story of motivating is that people are learners who long to grow, enjoy their work, be productive, make positive contributions and build lasting relationships.”

And in case of Beane, he never cared about money, so the Red Sox’s huge salary offer meant little to him. They couldn’t motivate him because he was already motivated, but in different way than the Red Sox wanted.

This is always the proble when we try to motivate people. They already are motivated but sometimes in ways we may not like.

However, we want our employees’ individual motivations to align with our organization’s goal. But now we understand that trying to leverage “motivational forces” to compel people to do as we want won’t work.

So, how can we align their goals and the company’s goals?

“It is time to stop beating our people with carrots-and-sticks and embrace different, more effective leadership strategies.”

First, understand that our employees are learners, they want to do well, they want to make solid contributions and they want their organization’s executives to think well of them. They also want to have “autonomy, relatedness and competence ” or ARC, which is the essential psychological needs.

“Rewards may help people initiate new and healthy behaviors, but they fail miserably in helping people maintain their progress or sustain results.”

Instead of offering contests or prizes, encourage your employees by enabling them to gain autonomy. That’s the secret to motivation.

Offer independence and relate to them as human beings. Help them to grow professionally and personally. Don’t worry about what they can do for you, but rather worry about what you can do for them.

In that environment, your employees will become more motivated to perform better.

When you offer autonomy, related to them and encourage their competence, and they will respond.

That’s simple human nature.

7 Cruel Truths That Will Make Us Stronger

Here some bitter pills we had to take at times.

  1. No one is too busy to not answer you. It’s just that, you are not a ‘priority’ to them.
  2. Each person puts his own interests above all others. Yes, even me. And I think I’m quite a nice guy. Honestly.
  3. You can’t please everyone. Therefore, learn to be a master of our own emotion. Don’t put others in the driver seat for our emotional well-being.
  4. Entitlement, well, that’s is something that I just hate. We really need to take accountability and responsibility for our life and try. Most people just dream, but rarely one actually tried to change things.
  5. Excuse for things we supposed to do but didn’t is easy. Why? Because we’ll always find an excuse.
  6. Walk the talk. We are characterised by our actions rather than our thoughts. We it worries me that nowadays we have a lot ‘thought leaders’ rather than someone whom actually done what they’ve been talking about.
  7. Remember, no one will come and save us from our own life. I believe that Allah (God) never gives us something we cannot handle. And most of these ‘test’ are for us to grow and developed better competencies.