It will be a lie if I say I have never been an example of distracted parenting. Last night while my 5 year old came to me with her puppy dog eye for another gummy bear, I knew in my head she needed sleep, but I ignored it for a few minutes as I had been distracted watching my favorite TV show.Yes we all has little or more wondered about Distracted parenting and it’s woes.This term distracted parenting gets most of the parents off guard. What is it? Why is it so guilt evoking! A few researches have been made on it and results are quite coherent.
Parents are distracted
Dr. Jenny Radesky co writer of the policy of American Academy of Pediatrics and a developmental behavioral pediatrician at University of Michigan says- “I think the term distracted is so loaded” she said parenting young kids is extremely exhausting for adult brain, so it is only normal for parents to seek relief by talking or texting to a friend or engaging in any other remote activity with an adult.
She acknowledges the fact that In early years of parenting ,parents seem to attend call or text or be engaged in screen time in presence of their children because parents become prone to destructibility. Luvs survey was conducted by Wakefield research on 500 American mom in 2006
Those years moves in slow motion, as parenting becomes an old job much before children grows old.
Percentage of distracted parent
American Academy of Pediatrics studied 55 caregivers and their children
in fast-food restaurants, over Boston. Result clearly suggested 44 parents used devices during meal.16 used devices without any break.Children were not happy with the situation and fought for their caregivers attention.So as a result some of them were returned with harsh word.
Distracted parenting has long-term impact
Translational Psychiatry scientists showed distracted parenting can actually hamper your child’s sense on enjoying pleasure.
Dr. Tallie Baram, (professor of pediatrics & anatomy-neurobiology at University of California) and her colleagues placed some rats and their mother in cages where nesting and breeding material was insufficient and another such group was placed at a cage with sufficient condition.
As a result those mothers with insufficient environment kept on running and finding ways to provide sufficient surrounding. They gave babies equal time as the other group but their concentration was interrupted.
When the newborns grew older the group with interrupted attention from mother showed less interest in taking sugar or playing with other rats (a perimeter to measure their sense of pleasure and proxy of emotional development)
So it was proven very practically among rats that distracted parenting some how effected their sense of enjoying pleasure and emotional development in long run.
Barram says-It is not what amount of time or attention a parent gives a child it is more about a pattern. If there is a routine than a child knows when food to eat, when mom will read a story, when to go out for a game, or what is the time to sleep.
Occasional disruption during a chat with mom, during eating the meal or some other activity by a cell phone ringing or other device engagement can leave the child perplexed of what to expect next. Such disruption makes a long term hollow and make him unable to sense pleasure accordingly in later years.Studies shows such poor development pattern can cause anxiety and depression in later years too.
Sources of destruction
In a Magazine’s annual State of the Kid Survey of 6- to 12-year olds. Question was asked on –
Was their parent distracted when they tried talking to them?
Response is showed in the graph
How to be not destructed
In this device dominated age where we live to excel in multitasking, it is fairly unreasonable to ask parent to ditch their devices at home. It may not be feasible in most cases. But what is feasible is being concerned to not loose attention when children are expecting attention.
Device free Zone-
Make your kids room or dinner table a device free zone.You will not enter their with a mind set to lent your mind somewhere else while your kid is with you.
Device free time is vital to get away distracted parenting and it’s woes-
Almost like device free time. Studies shows some times are more important for bonding than other. Like bed time, meal time, driving time (for safety as well).
SO if those time we could let the cell phone put on voice mail than surely some consistency can be introduced in our life pattern where our kids look for example.
Did you ever get irritated to open the door to your spouse or relative only to find them talking or texting in cell? I have and study shows these reunion time when you meet someone after a while are very important for bonding.
It is only more applicable for parent –kid bonding. So after their school or your office when you first meet them take the opportunity to talk to them and know about their day, keeping the cell phone on silent mode.
Our parents had been destructed too, Tv or any other screen time can also cause Distracted parenting and it’s woes however science shows interactive devices causes more destruction. So let us face the paradox of this speedy life and embrace the parenthood with as much concentration as we can.
I grew up watching my super active granny sleeping really less. She slept after everyone, and woke up before all. She had very sensitive sleep schedule. Whenever someone was up at night for a visit to toilet or for a glass of water, light in her room would lit. I remember that one day she told me with a victory smile in her face that-she chose less sleep over more because she is an active person and does not want to get too fat and lazy by sleeping.This age old concept of less sleep =less weight gains is now no longer in trend.National sleep foundation says- less sleep=more weight gain
How much sleep is standard
National Sleep Foundation has recommended this pattern of sleep for different ages-
Duration of sleep required every day
The organization also claims that other than weight gain less sleep causes over eating, less physical fitness and reduced physical activity.
Less sleep=More eating for adults and kids
A study designed to prove acute or partial sleep deprivation increases plasma concentrations of ghrelin( a hunger hormone ) and decreases of leptin (a hormone promoting the feeling of feeling full) reveals that less sleep actually contributes to more weight gain. The study description and results are as follows-
12 men age- 22 ± 3 y and body mass index (in kg/m2): 22.30 ± 1.83, completed a 2 condition crossover study.1st night some slept 8 hour some slept 4 hour. They were given same breakfast menu, a free buffet for lunch, free menu in dinner. Their physical activity was recorded by actimeter. This machine recorded their hunger, pleasantness and desire of food, sleepiness etc. resut was-]
8-h sleep session vs 4-h sleep session
± 617 kcal (ie, 22%) more for 4-h sleep session, equivalent to a big mac burger.
For 4-h sleep session
P < 0.001 before breakfast
P < 0.05 before dinner
1215 to 2015 higher for 8-h sleep session
Pleasantness from eating and desire of food
These experimental results when rechecked by long-term energy balance measurements, suggest that sleep restriction is a factor promoting obesity in long term. An article published in International Journal of Obesity, shows that children aging 16 month-old who slept for less than 10 hours every day consumed 105kcal more per day on average than children who slept for more than 13 hours.
Less Sleep=Poor choices of food
Did you ever go for a sleep over at a friend’s place? Have you or your friends stored and ate junk food for the night? Did you eat more after dinner than in dinner, during the sleepover? I guess you have nodded in affirmation for all the queries. It is simply rational that when we are awake for a longer time we get hungry and eat more; especially we eat more junk food. But scientists went for a more systematic approach and proved the fact.
Sleep deprivation affects insulin levels and other key hormones of our body as proved from many studies. This imbalance disrupt body weight regulation. Dr. Abi Fisher of the Health Behavior Research Center at University College of London, says -it is proved that sleep deprivation causes both adult and children to eat more. As parent watch over the diet of children, they cannot eat much unhealthy food under supervision however scenario may change as soon as they turn out to be grownups.
Through studies scientists found that adenosine a messenger that plays important role in many physiological processes exists more than requirement in the brain of a sleep deprived person. Apart from many malfunction like mood swing, stress this purinergic messenger is also believed to play a role in disregarding the bad effect of food choices and opt for them.As a result, Less sleep=more weight gain.
This is why mostly sleep deprived people (who also tends to show more hunger) rely on any food they find available. They opt for tasty foods like chocolate, desserts, and potato chips which also happen to be carrying more calories.
Many will argue with the fact that less sleep increases metabolism.Actually metabolism slows down when you are sleep deprived. The relation between sleep and weight gain is U shaped too little or too much sleep where causes metabolism to slow down,a balanced level causes metabolism to get faster.
Scientists found that partial sleep deprivers eat on an average 600 more calories than those who has no sleep deprivation. So let us not fancy the idea of depriving ourselves of sleep for the sake of reducing weight, because surely it is true the other way round.
Entrepreneurs are behind every small and big corporations of today. Whether it is a home based business or a public company all starts usually from the idea of a single person or a small team. However not all ideas of entrepreneurship bloom into success. A CB Insights survey revealed 9 out of 10 entrepreneurship fails. After a tragic suicide of an entrepreneur of a company named ECOMOM, CB Insights gave a research on Strategies to avoid failure as an Entrepreneur based on the postmortems of the failed entrepreneurship.
First Strategies to avoid failure as an Entrepreneur is-Know how to manage
The prevalent problem entrepreneurs face is that though they have passion for the cause mostly they lack the management skills to run a business smoothly. Most of the causes of failure are associated to this point like-not being able to asses market need, pricing, get outcompeted, lack business model, poor marketing, not using network.
Single owner leads to more vulnerability
Steve Hogan, Owner of Tech-Rx once said possibility of failure in a single handed running business is more. A co owner can help to get through the problems like-ran out of investor, wrong team, not using advisor. As a different perspective comes into picture, he can help you to see if you are trying to sell a product not having a market demand or can tell you some hard truth which you may not be able to see by yourself. However it have some destruction if you are wrong at choosing a partner. A sluggish partner can be a reason to fail to proving the points-Not right team, disharmony in team ,legal challenges, lack passion from co owner.
Have a filthy rich and genuine investor
Cash in bank is definitely a big support to make any radical decision or change of plans. Also you need to be adept in managing shorter receivables and payable. The short term asset and liability combination will give you an edge against foregoing opportunity cost of reserving cash in bank. We can see cash flow problem is a 2nd largest problem. In case you are not that rich to pump money to the business try finding a investor who will invest for you. ‘An idea is worth million dollars’ all one need is to attract the right kind of investor.
Don’t let that happen to you. Admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about business, starting with these 15 tips guaranteed to help keep you and your company out of hot water. Some are straightforward, others are counter intuitive, but they’re all true. And some day they’ll save your butt.
Know all about intellectual property
Many of us have a vague idea about copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent etc. However these are the heart of a business. It is crucial to protect all intellectual property and knowing legal actions to be taken against the criminal who tries to compromise your IP.
Be humane but don’t try to be saint
It is really difficult to juggle a business and always maintain a good rapport with the stakeholders.
Sometimes you may need to be nice; however times will come when you will need to be blunt and composed. Learning to navigate through situations with logic and profit perspective is more important in most of the time. A set of basic business ethics will help you to identify the situation of when to be polite and when not.
Be efficient in writing effective agreements
You cannot be an expert in writing agreement or knowing what to look for ,in an agreement when you read it. However you can hire an expert and learn from him, you can Google or you can take suggestions.
It was the confusing terms of Zuckerberg in 2003 that his partner Eduardo Saverin failed to understand and landed him from 30% stakes to diluted stakes of less than 10% which he managed to improve to 5% later on after suing Facebook. So beware about this most wanted skill of an entrepreneur.
Business cannot be part time
If you are a student who wants to start a business besides study or an employee who want a venture to earn some extra money, keep this in mind that to establish the business you will need to be involved; involvement of time, money, interest and effort. All these involvement means only one thing- business needs all your attention. You cannot expect to be a success without giving your full time on it.
This runs the risk of burning out, lacking passion etc when your focus is diluted.
Know all about your finances
You have to talk and make forecast while you are with the investors or external auditors or with yourself. You have to be super smart when it comes to the figures of your-estimation, asset, liability, sale, profit, loss, cashflow, capital requirement, tax rate, interest and so on.
Major decisions are to be made based on these figures. So If you are not comfortable with figure, shrug the discomfort off ;learn inside out about your finance.
“There is false humility and genuine humility and between them, there is a desire of the practitioner to become humble. “ Even the most achieved owners do value humility as an important trait. It helps one to grow more and be reasonable. Humbleness is a great trait for leaders.
Figure 1 top-Mike Jeffries, From left bottom-Joe Cassano, Jeffery Skilling-example of pride and fall
CEO of Enron Jeff Skilling, CEO of Enron Joe Cassano a leader in American International Group (AIG) and Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries are three extreme example of overconfidence and failure. Despite their very good reputation of success traits their ego, overconfidence and self obsession were deemed to be the reason behind the failures of the organizations and of themselves.
Do not hire or fire hastily
Hiring hastily is not a good idea; in some cases firing too fast may not be a good idea too. In case of hiring, it involves a lot of cost. The total process of hiring, training and keeping the employee it all may go in vain if the choice in first place was a wrong one.
In case of firing if you have a problem (other than felony or something totally not worthy to compromise for) with the employee gives it some time to rest. Diagnose if the problem is him or something else. Usually in 90% cases employee faces difficulty to perform because of management issues. Before taking such a decision look inside the problem. Sometimes best answers are achieved by looking into mirror.
Every strategy in life has some consequences. Entrepreneurs are historically deemed as the strategists so no article can teach you Strategies to avoid failure as an Entrepreneur. Books and literature can only give you perspective and aid you to make your own way of accomplishments. After all there is no harm in learning from mistakes of others…right?
Fortunately scholarly articles on conflict management are not in scarcity over internet. Today if you are having a conflict with your colleague or spouse or anyone in of your acquaintance you can rush toward Google and find out some interesting fact about it. However too much material can make you feel lost sometimes,so I am trying to keep it simple, discuss about 5 different perspective of conflict resolution that works in different contexts.
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument shows that-In general someone’s personality type will determine his conflict management style in major aspects-
Assertiveness and cooperativeness are two important dimension in this 5 conflict management styles
High in Cooperation, Low in Assertiveness
Such situation arise cooperation of someone goes beyond his self objective and achievements. Such situation a conflict will be resolved at one person’s favor and other person’s sacrifice.
This may work only if those who get his demand fulfilled are an expert or know something important for both parties betterment.
If it is a trial matter for you and your objective is to maintain a good rapport with the other party than this strategy will be beneficial.
Low in Assertiveness, Low in Cooperation
When someone choose to resolve the issue by simply ignoring the other person’s interest or problem than such scenario occur. You are being only concerned about your aim and ignoring other party’s objective.
This will not work in long-term because mutual help is required for both of your success. So if he feel neglected he may revolt in future and total function may shut down.
When it is about a situation where other party is too emotionally charged and if he needs space, time to sooth than avoiding can work just fine.
When you see chance of winning by adjusting is close to zero or if you have to pay really high price in negotiation. In such cases you can choose this style but it works only for a short time so you may need to think of an alternative before it fails.
High in Cooperation, High in Assertiveness
A true win win situation. Both parties agree on matters that leads to there goal achievement. A scenario every conflict resolution may seek for, however this is not easy to achieve and require innovative solution.
This may need to redefine the challenges looking for creative idea from multiple individuals. Such solution may need costly or time consuming infrastructural setup. I may need meeting with board directors or authoritative personnel as well if the matter is of that high involvement. Most importantly it works when both party really trust each other and respect each other’s objective
High in Assertiveness, low in Cooperation
This is Opposite of Accommodating. This is the “win-lose” situation. Where you know what other party seeks but instead of helping you will ignore his priority, not help him, and treat him as a contender. You are threatened by other party’s success and leave no stone unturned to win. You may even do the things that will cost him because you only want your success.
This works when you are aware that your intentions are right. You need a quick solution, when negotiation or becoming accommodating will cost you your own goal.
This will definitely tarnish your relation with the other party.
Medium in Assertiveness, Medium in Cooperation
This is the “lose-lose” scenario where no party reaches destination both settle for something less.
It is the easy way out when both could aim for collaboration. Useful if your goal is less important than your relation with the other party. If both of your goals are equally meaningful and important to both of you than this is a solution but from such understanding collaborating is best alternative.
The kind of person you are the fight or defense mechanism you use for sustaining does have a lot to do with your conflict management style. So becoming a winner in conflict management you need to be aware of self. If your style works for you than great, if not than it is time to look for alternative.
One can try scenario based approaches; trial and error basis for different scenarios. Conflict is inevitable so if one can embrace it as an opportunity to turn it in someone’s favor or to end the conflict into a better destination than it is rather an achievement.Some more approach of conflict management is shown in the video
Did you ever have an issue with the ICT colleague who seldom cooperate you with a software installation or a technical issue resolve?Did you wonder what is the science behind conflict?
Are you clueless why the mother of your child’s friend quite often gives you the look “Do I know you” despite the fact that both of your children studies together for quite a long time.
Have your spouse complained about how much she has to sacrifice for you, as you do not understand her priorities?
I guess this example will go on and on and in most cases we will be on same page. These simple examples of conflicts can sometimes drag into bigger points. Human need to be belonged and valued makes it necessary for us to know why we may not get along with some and how to deal with the conflicts that hinders our goals and relationships.
The science behind Conflict
Two people aiming for a shared goal generally have same priority and understand what is best for each other. Vice versa may arise if two person aims for different goals or have a conflicting goal (mutually exclusive option).Than conflicts may arise.
Some people are friendly others not, some are egoistic while some are liberal, some are conservative some are modern, some are jolly while some are very sentimental and difficult to handle. Different personalities may feel attracted but like minded people generally get along well. Difference in personality traits causes most of the conflict.
Conflict due to scarcity in resource is a very common thing. Suppose you need a gas line for your home but only one person in your neighborhood will get the connection as there is scarcity. A conflict between neighbors will be inevitable.
Different family and educational backgrounds,
experiences, financial situation, IQ and training can lead to different perception for individual under the same context of reality. Such variation in perception also causes difference in judgment and results conflict.
Colliding of principles and interests:
Conflict arise between a bank’s credit and marketing department quite often. It happens because of both parties interests are conflicting. Though both want company to profit Credit wants it through maintain a good credit rated portfolio and marketing wants to have a bigger portfolio irrespective of the quality of credit.
Such conflicts are manageable if a neutral party can pacify and lighten why each are so different in judgments.
Power and status differences:
Powerful people behave differently than those with less power; sometime a negotiator can say all the rational and positive thing still other party may remain unconvinced. This occur when status of two individual is very different and a sense of competition or insecurity exist. Powerless people quite often loath the powerful.
Skepticism or disgust may exist between them this lead to not understanding the logic and behaving irrationally. Vice versa also happen.Those with certain hold of power become cripple to understand the point of view of the weaker. Such differences lead to obvious conflict in all aspect of society especially in organizations.
Conflict has some advantages
Science says it is obvious to have conflict. Before resisting the idea that conflict exist let us look at the brighter side. All conflicts are not bad
Conflict shows that problems exist
Discussion of conflicting views help to lead towards better solutions.
If conflict is recognized and steps are taken to resolve it than it saves time energy and long-term bitterness
Many times conflict may occur by challenging an old assumptions, such initiative can lead to changes in obsolete beliefs and processes.
Creative idea and solutions are promoted at conflict resolution.
Sometimes a conflict gives the opportunity to know about the other person’s priority.
Through conflict resolution apparently builds up self esteem.
Conflict resolution helps mutual understanding and self improvement.
This is why how a person deals with conflict limits or allows to a great extent to his personal and professional success.So next time you have a conflict do not rush into blame game and be skeptic about the science behind conflict.This may help you to resolve the conflict as well.
Every romantic relationship is generally full with dream and hope. No matter how long it sustained whether the other one was dedicated in it or not when a break up happen we feel heartbroken. It is not uncommon to be unable to retrieve from it even after a year.So here is 7 ways to go through breakups that will reduce your struggle and save you time to move on.
Beside the missing part breakup brings lot of helpless feelings. A survey on 5,705 people in nearly 100 countries about their breakups and grief afterwards revealed some interesting facts
Though women generally initiate a break up they also suffer more severely than men. Most dominant pain of suffering are-anxity, depression, insomnia or lack of sleep, weight change etc. Especially those who are dumped take a long time to self discover and gain trust in a relationship.
Accept the reality and grieve out
Sheri Meyers a marriage therapist told in Huffington post –the first thing in breakup has to be the anticipation of the part of the process when one feel-terrified about the future, one sense the abandonment feeling. She says it is important to acknowledge the pain and loss to be able to be-Me from Us.
Write-A very easy way to let your feeling out is-Writing it down.
It is a healthy way to vent on some one. As long as we do not let it out we keep dreaming or talking or thinking about it in the mind.
Keep it clean-Clean up your room and office space as much as possible of the things that remind you of him/her.
This will help you, not to intensify the pain anymore in every occasion they are suppose to trigger you of a memory.
Give away-There was a time people suggested go shop as a part of breakup recovery process.
However surveys say you feel better about yourself when you give away or donate something. So as a grieving process you can try this new mechanism.
Cry or talk-Despite the limited evidence that ‘Crying help you feel better’ by researchers, it is still an effective mechanism to cope with grief for many people. Specially for those who used to receive attention in childhood after a cry.
who feel better after a cry or after talking to a therapist or trusted one about your pain than you should not resist it. Give it a try.
Have a concept of who you are what you need
A study in 2012 found that people with “poor self-concept” had a harder time moving forward after a breakup. Those who know what are their expectation, limitation, self worth to a good extent have a better mechanism to deal with the loss.
They have strong sense of what they are and what they deserve. Somehow these self conscious people usually have a better reflex.
Researcher also found that those who reflected upon their relationship usually get over it quickly.So when you are feeling quite at a loss after a failed relationship, do not lose your feeling of self worth, which is very common in most cases.
Stop blaming yourself or stop finding whose fault lead to this, day after day .Concentrate on what makes you happy and try to go for it.
Be thankful for the good things
This technique is quite magical. When only disrespect, loss, pain, failure and negative feelings are fueling up in your mind if you try exercising thankfulness it will offer you some comfort. However easy to say but difficult to act, it is quite difficult for anyone to look beyond the loss and immediate pain from the breakup and recognize the great things once achieved and was happy for.
Challenge is -to be able to go past the cloud of negativity and rediscover the great things one already has with gratitude. Even studies suggest gratitude let one feel more positive.
Do things you like
At a gloomy stage of life we often neglect the power of going out with friends or having dinner outside home. The mind is always busy in grieving or thinking back and forth about the failed relationship, that it often forgets the events that used to refresh mind.
In such cases forcibly take a break from breakup pain, call a person you like to hang out with, go out with friends, family or colleague for a meal, on a road trip, to a movie theater or to the places you loved to go.
Whether it is a fight, a troubled relationship or a break up; when mind suffers body also suffers.
Give body a boost. Do exercise regularly and do not ignore the power of a spa day. It will relax you, make you feel special and help you to rejuvenate
No matter how serious the relation was, it is never worth more than your future. In most cases break up leaves us at zero ground and everything seems difficult to build again. However break up is not worth an excuse to be depressed or indulging you in an unhealthy lifestyle, so let us embrace a healthy mechanism to cope with the change. These 7 ways to go through breakups are easy to follow and make sense when you really follow it.After all life is too short to waste for holding onto a failed relationship,isn’t it?
Self improvement is a thoughtfully planned process of one to outperform his former self. Every successful leader has gone through this process to go beyond his limitations. People with volubility like William Faulkner defines it much better than me-“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
In this chaotic life that we chose for ourselves, we often pick not to concentrate on our prospects to outshine our performances, or add a new skill, be a better human, take more care of our body and mind. We are mostly under the impression that we need to thrive by struggles. We seldom look at things from the perspective that we can enrich our potential in many ways and can live rather than just sustain.
Make a list
There is no certainty that the opportunity we dream of or the people we want get close to will come in our way. We have least control on external factors. However we certainly know our limitation and interests. We know if visiting a museum makes our day or reading a book makes us feel the time well spent. Most of us have a list of unfulfilled dreams.
Some points of it include learning new things or trying different stroke of life.
Now we can make a new list where we can add some realistic or subtract some unrealistic wishes. Then start doing each of them one by one. No matter how small and useless it may seem it will add an invaluable experience to our selves. This in turn will contribute to our self improvement process.
Those without an existing list can take the road of self development by mish mashing- suggestions, networking, training, discussions, taking on new roles/challenges, experiencing new situation, visiting new countries and everything that help one’s mind to grow.
Again self development can be a process to become more adept in current job, accomplishing a higher professional degree, learning to resolve conflict, being more able to effectively communicate, being more able to perform family duty or taking better care of oneself too.
But just because something is good does not mean that it is for you. So in this journey of self improvement we must keep focus on our interest all the time.
Reading is a powerful way to enrich our mind. A Gallup Poll found that -high-income people read an average of nineteen books per year.
Though any kind of reading is encouraged for enriching one’s mind; recently an interesting revelation has been made by Tom Corley, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” about the differences in reading habit of poor and rich people.
So it seems like rich and successful (in economic terms) people takes reading more seriously and aim for self improvement while choose what they want to read. Initially to grow the habit of reading, reading for pleasure is also a good start. Most avid readers never get short of the interest of reading just for entertainment.
The 19th century president of Harvard University, Charles William Eliot, said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
The age old proverb of ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise’ is still in fashion. At least one will admit it if he sees the list of CEOs who wakes up early.
Generel Motor CEO Mary Barrra reaches office at 6 am (even before becoming the CEO).
Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3.45 every day, coping up with three time zones of east coasters, he checks emails, workout and start working much ahead of office hour. As work is what he enjoys most.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wakes up at 3:30 a.m. to match and work with the European market. One of his colleague said that “Sergio invented an eighth day, and we work it.”
Pepsico CEO-Indira Nooyi wakes at 4 and reaches office at 7
GE CEO Jeff Immelt wakes up at 5.30 for a cardio workout and claims working 100 hours a week for last 24 years.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong wakes at 5.15 to read email,tinkle with AOL products.
The list can be pretty long all evidencing one thing-
Even the super powerful CEOs, most efficient leaders and successful people find daytime to be not sufficient to accommodate all the things they need to do. So waking up early gives them some extra hour to think, work or exercise.
Raise the bar
Isn’t that that the whole concept of self improvement? We try to raise the bar and constantly pass it with success. One with experience of video games is familiar with this concept. At every level game becomes more difficult. So with practice the avid gamer keep winning.
Life is nothing different. With time we have more responsibilities more things to concentrate on; still we cannot ignore the core things we do for living or sustaining. If we try becoming better in our skills than complexity of being a multitasker will redeem, because we will be leveling ourselves up before the next level even comes. As a writer I try to write better, read more to level up my writing skills. As a parent I try to be updated and more conscious with the changing need of my kids to level up my parenting skills. Whatever is someone’s skill, he should keep trying to it level up constantly.
Learn a new skill
Learning is a gift to human being. With time it is true our brain’s capacity to learn defies ;before it is too late we should try to learn more. It can be learning-a new life skill like swimming, a new recipe, a new style statement or a new language whatever interests someone. My last learning was how to fix a DVD drive without an expert. Life hacks are great starters, gradually one can move to learn more and if time allows it is not a crazy thing to enroll into a course for the sake of learning.
In her interview with Oprah our one the favorite first lady Michele Obama told us-She wakes up at 4 because she works out before her kids get up. Without working out she feels depressed.
Even in a place like White house a confident first lady can feel depressed without working out, it does pretty much sums up the power of exercise. We need it for feeling good for ,keeping us upbeat and last but not least for a better and healthier body.
Blind spot identify and work on it
Someone comes home from work and finds out a pipe in the washroom has burst and the house is loaded with water, freaks out and starts shouting rather than calling for help.
It happens. Some situation, people or objects makes us blind and we behave irrationally because we do not know how to react rightly.
Problem is as we get blind facing it, we hardly know or acknowledge it as a problem. So firstly we need to find it out what bothers us so much ;then find a ways to deal with it. For me it may be by parent’s fights, which I find very uneasy to deal with. It can be anything big or small the fact is we need to be equipped to deal with it so that before it takes charge of us we can take control of it.
Quit a bad habit
There is not much to talk about it. If it was easy to quit a bad habit like going bed late or eating junk food than there would not be so many books on self resolution and all. Despite how difficult it is for self improvement successful people has overcome their bad habits.
Some useful strategies-
Start with small things, like quit biting your nails.
Than point out other hideous habits that your family or friends always complain about.
Do it in step by step process. With each omission on bad habit you will only become stronger and more confident on quitting the next one.
Use reverse bad habit technique while trying to quit it.For every bad habit to quit first identify why you were indulged into it on the first place, like mindless eating. Research shows most bad habits are form of our way to deal with stress. So it is important to know mindfully that you are stressed so that you can do something healthy to relieve from it –like exercise and do something more to make a substitute habit. For example to avoid mindless eating you can choose to drink a lot of water and clean your pantry from all the junk food. Pour it with veggie and fruits than eat only when you feel hungry.
We cannot always avoid negative people. They are so many ,and avoiding someone means you are weak and scared. So I would rather say be deaf to them. And be silent when any negative thing comes at your mouth.
I solemnly believe in the proverb-
“More we talk negatively less creative we become”
So avoid negativity in you and avoid any negative thoughts that may hold you back from moving forward.
Minimize time in social network and TV
These are the means of entertainment. This is very much required for unwinding. However we often choose TV or social networks as a mean to avoid the reality or to be simply busy. Sometime we neglect our family time while watching a not so interesting match, sometime we postpone our nap time just because an interesting video in on YouTube. Example will only make this article longer, but truth is we all know how we kill our valuable time with these media time. To be really efficient and self improved one need to consciously check on this time killing gadgets.
We can set a time, like a an hour or so for this purpose. Choose the time to be in move like while we are on a bus or in a transport where the time is lost anyway. Thus we can be present in the virtual life when our need to play any significant role in real life in minimal.
Spend time with people important in your life
Many of us are aware of the last words of Steve Jobs, He wished to spend more time with his family, and He wished his children knew him better. He even made sure that a biographer can make his life more visible to his children because in his lifetime he could not do it as much as wanted it in his deathbed.
It is important to work and plan for future but all we do is mostly for our happiness, which is never obtainable if our near one are not happy with us. So In the quest of ‘Becoming more’ a big dedication of time should be entitled to our family or dear ones.
Commit to development goal
This list of becoming more self developed or self improvement tips can go many more pages, but truth is I wanted to keep it simple and attainable.
Without believing that “I can” one cannot follow any plan. So start right now and be focused, be committed to whatever plan you have made for yourself. Only dedication can make the most out of anyone.
We are almost out of the post recession trauma, losing jobs and tight job market is no longer our scariest nightmare. Still there many millenials and late boomers feel like company is not valuing them. Or feel the need to do more for attaining the skills to be more successful in job, for the sake of a better career growth or promotion.
For them I have news- latest talent shortage survey result says other than a real shortage of technical know how one of the top 5 biggest problem employers face is- not finding enough employee with the soft skill they seek.
Report says- lack of professionalism as 5%, Lack of flexibility as 3%, Lack of enthusiasm/motivation/learning mindset to be 2% as 9th,10th and 11th top reasons of employers to not find the right person.
Almost same reasons are responsible for employees to not able to achieve their deserve success in a job. Skills that many of us never considered to be important enough can cause big difference on how employer views an employee’s performance.
To be able to be more successful in job you may never have considered the importance of showing up. When we graduate or write resume or think about self improvement tips-we seldom think about not loving the work enough to show up every day.
But this happens to lot of people. Absenteeism is a habit of missing work, seldom for no good reason. Timeware’s absenteeism, productivity and bottom line study of 2015 shows various causes behind people being absent from work. Though sickness is the main reason; other reasons all together makes a larger percentage.
Many of these reasons has less to do with ‘work or problem’ and more to do with ‘balance and managing personal life’. An employer can have a range of ‘Solutions’ to address absenteeism, however if you are a promotion seeking employee than you do not want to be in the list which employers term as ‘Problems’.
Giving more and doing better can always help you to get noticed and be in good book. If you have the compatibility to perform better than what is expected from you than use it. Exceeding expectation surely helps in climbing stairs of career. If you think you cannot give more, than learn to give more. Be more agile, be more cooperative in team works, learn about your product/client more intensely, take interest in other segments of the firm.
Find your weakness like-it can be poor negotiation skill, lack of confidence on presentation or of lack of technical skill. It can be anything. Find it and find a solution to address the problem. You can join a course; take meditation to relieve stress or whatever the solution you can find proper to fulfill your deficiency to perform more.
Being negative has never helped anyone in getting a better result. So if you have a problem be positive think constructively how to overcome it. Complaining about work, boss is surely an annoying sign plus it effect adversely to your ability to perform so do not be that annoying colleague, be in charge of your problems.
Make yourself indispensable
This is not easy. None is indispensable, but when you work for a company for a long time, do things as they are required to do or find solution in a way other cannot find you actually become a useful part of a firm.
If you can own the attitude that your work is one of the loves of your life, the actions I mentioned above are easier to demonstrate.Most of the time it is passion for work that led us to marvelous performance and make us worthy to the corporation.
An important notation to ‘Be more successful in job’-not getting involved into unnecessary power struggle
It is more of an ethics and easiest to maintain. Why call a meeting at a time you know is inconvenient for many of the team mates to attend, if you have another option? Why ask for an advantage you know is too much for the boss to accept? Why get into a conversation that does not involve you or your team and get hot headed arguing? Avoid such controversial move.
Try being The Smart and Nice one ,do not stick nose to everything comes in way, it may lead to bigger issues than you can assume.
Career growth is surely depended on many other things like power plays of master minds, company policy, and financial condition of the company. However the qualities mentioned above will help you to own you career anywhere. So if you are not getting result even trying these traits no need to worry know that the problem is not in you.
How to be smart is a question even the smartest guy seeks an answer for. No matter how intelligent people believe one is, there is no harm in being a little bit more. Fortunately unlike height, smartness or intelligence does not stop growing with age.Those who watched the movie “Age of Adaline” must have wonder how she can be so smart. The logical explanation is, our brain is designed in such a way that with experience and situation handling we can really become smarter day by day. However if we do something more than just to observe and learn, this capacity will be magnified. It will not take a lot of energy or money just a few tricks can help.
1. Make learning a conscious business
We have the richest source of information that is- Internet which we do not always use meticulously. If you start counting how many times you unlocked your phone to check a mail or a notification, than to how many times you opted for a reading material; then you will agree with me. We do not use internet smartly. Be smart about how long you spend online. Choose qualitative material that somehow contributes to nourishment to your mind.
Read as much as you can it may be a novel, a historical story or a review of a play. Reading will help you to grow more, learn more if nothing else; will add value by teaching you how to use new phrases or enrich vocabulary.
2. To be smart -Be friend with people smarter than you
Your smarter friend will solve a problem in a way you could not think of. He will raise a question that you will find interesting but did not come into your mind earlier. Smart friends help you with the work and the ways you find a solution. They give better advice and give you a healthy competition. I know the effect because I was always blessed to be friend with people smarter than me.
We cannot always be friend with the people we want, but if we have smarter friends or smarter colleagues; it is wise for us to hang with them more. Research shows a person’s IQ is close to 5 people he hangs out with. So accept the fact that there are smarter people than you and try to hang around them more.
3. Promote Creativity
Paper pasting, finger painting or craft making activities has been incorporated in early education to foster creativity. Creativity helps people to be more agile and help them to find unconventional solution.
Try being creative when searching for a solution. It will give jolt to your brain and help you to not only find a better solution but also to reinvent your smarter self.
Visiting places is something gets your brain a long term memory. You may have spent hours watching same views in discovery but when you are actually present at a new place you observe it in details. You really get to learn about people, culture, food, tradition altogether you experience something huge and it is stored in the cells of your brain that stores long-term memory.
Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist of University of Pittsburgh says “When you expose your brain to an environment that’s novel and complex or new and difficult, the brain literally reacts,” he described new and challenging condition helps the brain to grow dendrites, it literally grows the brain’s capacity.
When you visit any new restaurant or take a new route this help brainstorming. Mind cannot go to auto pilot mode on the contrary it seeks for all your attention to function properly. Brainstorming begins and it helps you to step one step forward to the journey of becoming smarter you.
5. Challenge Yourself
Stretching helps our body to get into shape, if brain is given a difficult task to complete it initiates the brains storming, which is a healthy exercise for brain. Brainstorming or giving your brain a challenge is not giving yourself a word puzzle or something you already know but practicing again. It means learning something new.
Historically those who have been intellectually engaged shows better brain activities even at older age .To prove what affects a brain most to stay active and enhance it’s power Denise Park, psychologist and head of UTD’s Center for Vital Longevity, and her colleagues conducted a study.
Sample size -259
Age- 60 and 90
Per week activity- 15 hour per week
Result-Active learning challenges show most development in human brain. It helps to reduce the adverse affect of aging on our brain.
Role playing is a great idea especially for those in struggling to be creative. When you put yourself in others shoe you re evaluate their conduct and action. It helps you to rethink and help you to enter into different perspectives.
It has a very good effect on child rearing. Asking a child to put himself in your shoe will help him to exercise more empathy. It has significant influence in enhancing emotional intelligence.
7.Food and Exercise
When you portrait you smarter self do you see him to be a bit more active and healthier than you are now? Well I believe I do.
Science says-Active people have more brain power than inactive people. So being physically more active will literally affect you becoming more intelligent. In case your scope of physical activity is dire, you can choose to do more exercise this will also do the job.
Food has immediate and long term effect on the soundness and efficiency of our body and brain. If your diet is not balanced you can consider adding a multivitamin ,an omega-3 fatty acid and mineral complex supplement to fill the gaps of some of the essentials. Also you should never starve because while you are starving your brain’s capacity to work reduces.
Some Foods that help brain active and reduces risk of disease are described here.
Blueberries– improving or delaying short term memory loss
Broccoli-A great source of vitamin K. Vitamin K enhances cognitive function and pick up brainpower.
Oily Fish- Essential fatty acids (EFAs) like- effective omega-3 fats is found as plenty in oily fish as EPA and DHA.
Wholegrain– Wholegrain containing low-GI, It release glucose slowly in bloodstream. It keeps one mentally alert and energetic for long time.
Tomatoes-Rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant protect against found in development of dementia specially Alzheimer.
Pumpkin seeds-Rich source of Zinc. Zinc enhances memory and thinking skills.
If you already have a healthy diet plan with all nutrient that fulfills your dietary needs than nothing else is required ;but if you feel there is a room for introducing healthier diet, becoming more active and adding some more minutes of physical exercise into your regime, than do not hesitate to start it now.
8.Work in group and talk with more people
Group works are part of corporate culture nowadays. Research shows groups create better results so no question of playing solo. In a group as you come in touch with many people with different perspective a single problem is approached in many different ways. Also you may find people hard to negotiate with. These multi dimensional personality and interactions enrich your experience on how to handle difficult situations.
Talking to group members can go beyond work related issues. Knowing each person with different story and struggle of life can inspire you and help you feel more blessed for the way things have turned out for you. The whole process helps you to be a smarter person.
Becoming smarter is not that difficult. It requires some very essential practices of life lacks. It involves stretching of brain and body. It also needs more conscious effort to enrich you aesthetically and intellectually. All of the effort in the end of the day will only add more value to you and raise higher confidence.
Did you ever find being a supportive adult child is quite a hard task to master?Did your parents ever reacted because they felt you do not care enough for them? Though you have done almost everything to show concern still, did you felt an increasing distance is brewing with your parents as they are aging? Such communication gap often makes room for Conflict and grudges between adult children and aged parents .A clear dissatisfaction brews between expectation and reality. Who is at fault should never be the issue. It would rather be how to resolve the conflict with aged parents.
A study of The Cerontological Society of America , in 1999 shows
6 types of conflicts exist between aged parents and adult child.
(1) Conflict due to communication and interaction style
(2) Difference in habits and lifestyle choices
(3) Difference in values regarding child-rearing practices
(4) Different point of view in regard of -politics, religion, and ideology
(5) Conflict due to work habits and orientations
(6) Changes in household standards or maintenance over generation.
29% parents 23% children refused to agree that they had any issue with each other. They stated having a harmonious relationship instead.
Conflict with aged parents type 1: Communication and Interaction Style
When there is conflict in way of expressing feeling for each other within a family network it can be termed as conflict of communication and interaction Style. In the study this conflict was categorized in three subtypes
Style of communication
Children say parents may lose the rational behavior pattern over years. Many external factors can also be liable as many adult children complain parent fails to rationally communicate feelings. Some complained about being abandoned or feeling of deprivation.
Parents complained about -not being contacted; not being included in the family of their adult children.
Communication being overly critical
Critical treatment from parents’ side was another common issue. Many children felt their parents seldom appreciate, being very negative, less being content with children’s behavior.
Regarding actual content of the communication
This was the major sector of complain for both side. It covered-lack of truthfulness, verbal abuse, less effort to make relation with extended family members, lack of effort from children to meet parents. Also disagreement because of divorce on remarriage of parents was reported frequently. Such structural disruption makes more room for dissatisfaction and discontent.
Conflict Type 2: Habits and Lifestyle Choices
Second largest category of responses indicating conflict is- differences in personal habits and lifestyle. It reflects a sure generation gap as this field comprise of the differences in choices of how both choose to live, make major life decisions.
In the study,most parents 38% said they disagreed with the way children choose to live, have relation within or outside marriage, health habits, eating habits, drinking habit, lesbian issue, screen time habits, spending habits etc.
Adult children sometime fear about the financial dependency parents may face in old age due to their lack of saving habit or excessive spending habit ,they also complained about parents self pitying, alcoholism or negligence about own physical and mental health.
Conflict Type 3: Child-rearing practices and Values
How parents choose to rear children in past and how children choose to rear their children now is a big issue of conflict with aged parents.Aged parents disagree on the level of freedom in general being given to grand children. They disagree on various issues ranging from health habits to sex life freedom given to grand children.
Adult children reported grudge regarding parents rearing style, unequal behavior forbeared from childhood.
They also reported complain on aged parents over bearing them in parenting grandchildren. Complain regarding inequality among sibling’s children were also reported. Some adult children reduce interaction with aged parents in order to reduce such dominance, creating more conflicts in other fields.
Conflict Type 4: Religion, Politics, and Ideology
In this field both parents and children made serious allegation.Some adult Children complain of their parents being racist, not frank, egoistic , confused, not careful about making political remark knowing children believe otherwise.
While many parents seemed afraid of adult child violating basic religious values, not performing religious action as to parent’s expectation-taking a debt, abortion, visiting church, doing annual service all kind of value related practices have been mentioned at least once if not more. In general not being in line with the values they were once brought up with. Difference in sector of moral value also includes.
Conflict Type 5: Work Habitsand Orientation
In this field parents complains ranges from –children being workaholic to not working at all. Parents having a view of work environment of earlier generation failed to match with adult children’s reality. Such incoherence created dissatisfaction.
Children with different line (creative/unconventional) of ambition complained their parent’s lack of understanding of their spirit.
Conflict Type 6: Household Standards or Maintenance
Conflict with aged parents raise in this category-when adult children never leaves parent house, come back after a broken relationship, and come for a long vacation. Here complain exists in lack or nonexistent sharing of chores, rearing of grandchildren by passing to grandparents, poor culinary skill of adult children, diminishing capacity of aged parent to perform chores. All these created differences in multiple cases.
Resolving the conflict
No two people can live happily ever after, even not a parent and child. Difference are bound to exist .How two party empathy with each can make a big difference in the prevailing conflicting situation.
One extreme way is to cease relation or communication. This in long run is devastating for both. 5 easy ways to address Conflict with aged parents, from my experience and research are here-
Identify the problem-
I am daddy’s girl, always more open to my father. My mother though more sensitive and emotional; was never in line with my thought style. With passing years, I was sharing more detail with my father and less with mother, without realizing it created dissatisfaction. Her attitude towards me became more indifferent over time and a time came, I could sense there was a big wall around her.Well I am still trying to get that wall down but glad that finally I could identify her grudge.
My observation is,Parents can not keep their grudge for unless you keep doing same thing on and on. So it is not very difficult to find out what is the route of conflict.Once you analyze your err of relationship you may easily find a way out. Chances exist there is no big issue, in such case no need to over analyze.
Find a way, kick away the ego-
Ego exists most, in case of our relationship with the dearest ones. If you are at the adult child end you have to let go of it and show concern. History suggests parents are more tolerant when dealing with a conflict with adult child. So you can make the first step if they are not making it. Even if you know that they are wrong you can choose to be right. You can choose to be more sensible and communicate your view.
If it’s a problem like difference in opinion in raising your child you can give insight in your favor, also you can hear their logic and determine if it works. If flexibility is not the solution, things can get better by offering them something of their interest. Plan a vacation together, offer tickets to their favorite talk show or anything of their interest. Sometime diversion can be good way channel out the stress. Also if the understanding is strong, some major difference will not distress the relation.
Be silent when words may harm more
I am a great fan of Everybody loves Raymond.I loved the way Raymond cared about everyone’s feeling and failed to be blunt.Well his inability have not always lead to success in resolving conflict,however researchers believe times come when words do more harm than silence. When things get out of hand and situation heats up; your best choice remain in being silent .No matter how hurt you may feel you can choose to not hurt them. This will help you from being labeled as negative and intolerant. Later on they may realize and open up more about their reasons behind impatience. With parent it is not a sprint it is more of a marathon so save the words for another less heated up conversation.
Give them the power
Parents have always been in charge. With age when they grow dependent on you they may not be able take the situation easily. Bossing your way may cause them feel more aged or disabled than they really are.
Give them as much power as you can. Of course your convenience is important, do as much as you can without making a big trouble for yourself .Like -If they are picky at gift receiver, in case of buying a gift for them take them with you to choose. When visiting a restaurant choose according to their choice. When planning a visit try to suit with their routine.
Be a part of their health care regime
At this age you have to know about your parent’s health situation, if any other sibling is not actively doing it. So make time to visit the health care provider of your parents. Learn about the unfamiliar cognitive disfunctionalities. Check if they are taking medication properly at least over phone. It is very likely that physical hurdle that they go through make them more irritable and less tolerant.
Of all the relationship parent child relation is the most sacred one. Because of this symbol of pure love we often feel hesitant to express our problems with the parent or vice versa. However in order to keep this love unscathed we need to know more about such conflicts and learn to show more empathy and tolerance.