Keep It Simple!

Keep it simple and short! It is not a very easy thing to do. Especially when we all are busy, running around through the day, through the week and through the year. Before we realise years go by and one fine day we end up wondering - Where are we?

The original thought of this KISS is for the speakers, especially the over zealous, over enthusiastic and over powering people who never stop. Fortunately for us, Toastmasters, there are time limits. But my context for keeping it simple is different. I am talking about keeping our lives simple and not complicate them any more than necessary.

One example of a complicated life - A kid gets up at 5 am, goes on a morning exercise program with his father. Gets back, gets ready and gets on the school bus. Then begins the grinding day, class after entertaining, educating class. More homework to take home, more pressure to perform well in school. Come home, what does he face? An anxious mother curious to know about the day, enquiring about the brighter things that happened to him at school.

Then, after he or she explains dutifully, at times hiding some details or adding some stories, it is back to studies. On till 10pm/11pm/12mn? God knows how the young students these days are surviving the pressure cooker like situation. Atleast the pressure cooker can take its pressure off, students can't, till they finish their exams. I can understand if this happens at higher levels - 10+ level, but at 5th/6th standard? I have seen parents who make their children go through hell, almost, in making them study against their will. Can we put an end to that? If I advocate that I will be labelled variously as a revolutionary, insensible, impractical man.

A few Suggestions:

1. Let the child study as per his or her rhythm. Some kids like to read in the morning / some in the evening. Some focus totally, people say, smoke comes out of such children's rooms when they are studying. It gets hot. Other children, play it cool, rarely appear to study, but they are those who grasp very quickly. They read once, and they get the subject right away.

2. Build self confidence in them, acknowledge their small victories. When they score even marginally better than their earlier exam, praise them in lavishly public. Especially in front of their teachers. Reinforce the confidence by pointing out their positive aspects, however insignificant they might appear to you.

For example, when a child answers the questions promptly, or if he or she writes in a very clear handwriting, or gives precise answers. Pick up these small points. Add them up and in no time you will find that the child's overall performance in school, in sports and social behaviour improves dramatically. You will find that a child who is shy, introvert and generally hesitant, can turn into a positive, outgoing person through this active feedback from the parents.

3. Discuss their study plans, education and career with open mind. Don't read your own autobiography. I wanted to be a doctor, so you should become one. or I am doctor/engineer so you should follow me. That is surefire way to disaster. Each child is unique and deserves to be treated so. Give them the chance to find their own unique strengths, aptitude and they will surely reach great heights. With some patience this can be done.

Second - at office:

a. Don't let getting off the wrong side of the bed ruin your day. Don't let upset morning breakfast argument at home / a driver cutting across you, a traffic jam or an irate client upset your general mood. Carry you weather with you always. Most important "Pause" before you react. There is a pause button on the tape recorder/cd player, apply the pause button on your speech. A 10 second pause before you speak in response to someone's words - especially harsh words, words that hurt, can mean a world of difference between a spoilt relationship and a flowering, flourishing one of mutual respect and happiness.

b. When in argument, don't go back into history. Don't dig up last year's mistake, work not done a month back, or last week's issue. Stick to the problem now in focus. If you think things are getting out of hand - walk out of the meeting - politely excusing yourself, shake hands and say you will come back in a better mood. That should help.

c. Plan your work and work your plan: Plans are important, not just the 5 year plans of the government. Have your own long term / short term plans. Suppose you go to a railway station counter and say I want a ticket - Give me a ticket, the person at the counter will ask, where to and you simply say "Iwant a ticket!" Louder this time, but are you going anywhere unless you decide "Where"?

Many people don't do the exercise of planning their life- end up complicating lives, go where ever a sudden opportunity takes them, round and round in circles, may be going up a corporate ladder, but the ladder could be leaning against a wrong wall!

So Plan your work and work your plan & Using "Pause" in reacting to life's events could help everyone lead a better life.

Author's Bio: 

A management graduate with 20 years of corporate experience leading teams to success. Currently giving one to one coaching to people who want to improve their performance, reach their professional and/or personal goals in life. Personality Profiling tools like Thomas profiling, MBTI, Handwriting Analysis and NLP ( a strategic tool to reframe one's own thinking) are used to help individuals succeed.