Shyam Ramanathan is a Global Delivery Director and has been working in the IT world for over 21 years, where he has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience in program management, requirements analysis, requirements review, use case modelling, project planning, test design, test execution, and establishing global delivery teams across geographies and building Center of Excellence leading global teams to success. Shyam is an Experienced Leader in global delivery and successfully executed many large engagements. Shyam’s clients include Fortune 500 companies. His responsibilities range from Business development, Project management, Program management, QA management, Relationship management, Engagement management and partner strategies to technical oversight and delivering creative solutions. He has also a PMP, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Associate in General Insurance and Associate in Commercial Underwriting certifications. He has run 5 half marathons and one 25k run. He is an avid blogger and loves reading business books. His mission is to maximise his potential and help others maximise theirs. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from University of Madras in India.
My mission is to Maximise my potential and help others Maximise theirs. Yes, I have listened to the Steve jobs commencement address more than 10 times, but I still don’t want to die (of course I am going to but that’s not the point). My point is to live your life to the fullest. See your life as a gift as it is indeed. Look at all the trouble all around the world, look at all the problems around us with violence and terrorism, what has happened to the world. Do we want a world where only a few are happy and only a few are joyous.
Did anyone tell you money is not important? Well, I am here to say money is very important. Most of the people who say money is not important probably have too much. We need money to enjoy life, care for others, and provide us peace of mind. It is only love of money that kills.
I am here to say that you have to look at your life differently. Answer these questions to get started
Are you happy when you get up in the morning?
Do you feel you have been given a gift of life?
Are you grateful to have good health, good family, and happy children?
Do you feel you are going to make a difference today?
Do you want to live your life or let it pass?
These are the five questions I ask myself daily because if we are not happy with the person we are then how can we make a mark in the world. I firmly believe that the first step towards happiness is to get excited about our lives. Your life is a gift and you can make a difference. You just don’t need a billion dollars to make it happen.
When was the last time any of us took time to really feel good about being alive and appreciate all the wonderful things we have in our lives? If we want our children to fly then I think we owe it to ourselves to fly and we can’t be mute spectators. There are countless critics out there but the following passage from Theodore Roosevelt should inspire us every day
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
So be in the game, don’t ever leave the game of life, as you are in it for the long haul. Take some chances, feel alive again, whether we believe in reincarnations or not we can safely say that none of us know if we will ever get a second chance so make this life count. There are many people who are waiting for us to show our talents. No one will ever know our talents unless we exhibit it.
There has been a lot of movement against self-esteem. I think this is not true as arrogance is the problem not self-esteem. Having a high healthy self-esteem is a requirement for a wonderful life. Unless you feel good about yourself how can others feel good about you? Take an inventory of all your good qualities, take time to assess your unique strengths (don’t expect others to do this for you), maintain a log of every accomplishment in your life (read it daily this works), and never compare yourself with others. You are only competing against the person you once were. As the wise proverb says, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Remember you are unique in this world and all of us will have worries (As a wise person said, “The only people who don’t have worries are the dead.” The starting point of riches is to be thankful for the life we have been bestowed with and then make a decision to create an impact. There are more tools than ever for everyone to show their talents. All you need is to find your vehicle and once you get onboard go full blast living your life to the fullest.
Define your Success
We all have reservoirs of potential to be unleashed and to recognize our unlimited potential is the first step towards getting the best out of ourselves. Talent is a strange word that we use to describe only the uber successful like multimillionaires, sports superstars, and other public figures but we all have talent that can be unleashed.
Talent is not something most of us are born with, it is something we develop through thorough soul searching, self-analysis, practice, and deep learning. It is a cinch but worth repeating find out what ignites your passion. Passion ignites reservoirs of talent that is hidden within our vast reservoirs. The main obstacles in our path are our self-doubt and lack of patience.
Let’s face it once we embark on a journey, we get a little overwhelmed with the effort that is required to get to our summit. There are no guarantees in life and the journey is going to be hard, but we have to realize it is worth the effort. We have to really deeply think what we are in it for. Yes, money is a reason, fame is a reason, a sense of accomplishment is a reason but once we get deep within ourselves and realize that there is something more important our juices start flowing.
Finding our purpose/meaning/mission in life is our great task. Once we find what we are here for our lives become more exciting, engaging, and we are full of energy, enthusiasm, passion and have an unlimited zest for our lives. Just writing about this makes me feel more excited. Today is a great day to live the life we have always imagined. It has been well established that once we act like the person, we want to become we will eventually become the type of person we always wanted to be deep inside.
There is no right way to live a life. As long as we live within the laws, we are free to choose what we do with our lives in the finite time we have. What might mean success for one person may not be the same for another. We are quick to jump to conclusions and claim some people are successful while others are not. I believe only the particular individual can decide if they are successful according to their definition or not.
It is not for us to decide if someone is successful or not. The only choice we have is to determine if we are successful against the standards and definition, we set for ourselves. If we attain success against the definition, we set for ourselves then we are a success period. We owe it to ourselves to define what success will be for us.
There is abundance in this world, and we have enormous choices. As we exercise choices that enhance our lives we eventually go forward, and we will reach our Everest. Continuously pursuing our summits is the true joy in life and the journey is more exciting than the reward itself!!
Never ending journey of success and goals
The first step to understand about success is that it is not a destination but a wonderful journey that never ends. The best definition of success I have come across is by Earl Nightingale “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal/goal.” It is the process that’s actually exciting. Most of the times once we reach goals like getting the promotion or losing the weight, we can’t keep the momentum going though it is the process that actually keeps us energized. Once we achieve our goals, we feel good for that moment but in order to keep that feeling ongoing we need to keep setting new goals. The important thing to remember is that goal setting is a lifelong activity, and it does energize our lives. People talk a lot about dreams but there has to be a distinction between outrageous dreams and dreams that ignite. I can have a dream to be the greatest tennis player that ever lived but that dream is surely not going to be realized and it is very much outrageous. I think when we speak about dreams the first step, we should clarify is whether it is aligned with our abilities and has a timeline associated with it. Running a marathon could be a worthwhile dream for me and something within my capability though it would require tons of training and will be a BIG stretch for me.
Jim Collins coined the term BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) in his blockbuster book “Built to Last” 20 years back and he said a lot of the visionary companies set BHAG’s that energized the organization. I think goals for personal life can do the same for us energizing our lives and increase passion. The starting point of the success journey is to craft a personal mission statement and back that up with a powerful vision supported by purposeful action. The best example of a BHAG is the audacious vision set by John F. Kennedy when he said, “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” He made that statement on May 25th, 1961, and it was still a valid BHAG even after his untimely death. It is over 50 years old, but the beauty lies in its simplicity and clarity. BHAG’s cannot be vague. This just goes to show the power of a BHAG. It doesn’t matter what the BHAG is but that you have a BHAG.
There is also a lot of merit in having a personal mission statement. My personal mission statement is to Maximise my potential and help others Maximise theirs. The action I take towards this mission is to read continuously on leadership, management, business and then share insights on what I have learned. This gets me excited to read books that are tough and that I may not read normally. Another thing that is important to set is have a core set of values that you can live by. Values could be dedication, integrity, honesty, passion. Again, writing down a personal mission statement and clarifying our values will surely add purpose to our lives.
It is important to remember that goals are not resolutions. Once a new year starts most people start setting resolutions like I am going to stop eating sugar, I am going to lose weight, etc. Personally, I don’t set resolutions as I feel having goals with a burning desire is more effective. Research has proven that most people break their resolutions within a month of setting it. This is because we keep mentioning the things, we won’t do rather than the benefits it would provide. A better resolution could be “I want to be super fit so that I can be at my best all day long and feel energized throughout ultimately leading to a longer life full of energy, contribution and happiness.” As you can see this is a much more energizing message and probably can help us be on track more than resolutions. Finally with respect to maintaining our proper weight it is useful to remember that there is no quick fix. It is only daily action performed consistently over a long period of time that will produce desirable results. We have to be in it for the long haul.
Finally, goals have to be in writing. As it is mentioned often “Goals not written down are merely wishes. A wish is a goal without any energy.” As Harvey Mackay says, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Setting short term goals in bursts of 90 days really sets our life on track. Backing that up with long term goals like 5 years from now and 10 years from now will set us on the path towards the journey of success with the purpose and vision required to keep us spirited throughout. I have read that all top achievers write their goals down, read/review their goals on a daily/weekly basis so that it is always in the front and center of their lives. There are two theories on sharing goals. One says that keep your goals confidential and another says sharing them will put the necessary pressure to complete them. I think financial goals, personal goals related to family should be confidential but if you have goals like “I want to exercise 5 times a week” it may be best to make that public in which case it puts more onus on you to follow through. The example of Thomas Edison is often sighted where he would call a press conference to talk about his new invention/innovative breakthroughs long before it was ready and then go to work to make that a reality. This puts pressure on him to deliver and he did deliver BIG TIME indeed.
We can feel satisfied once we reach our goals but the only way, we can truly stay happy/excited is to keep setting more goals that stretch us and the process of setting goals and proceeding on the journey of success provides the real meaning to life. Finally, we will encounter problems along the way on our journey. The way to overcome that is to go back to our mission, vision, and values. Another trick I came across recently is to ask the 10/10/10 question which was mentioned in the book Decisive by Dan Heath and Chip Heath. Will this matter 10 minutes from now, Will this matter 10 months from now, Will this matter 10 years from now? This really clarifies what is truly important to us. Think BIG, burn your boats, Set BHAG’S, take action, and go forward confidently in the direction of your dreams. I wish you a fun filled, happy, exciting goal-oriented success journey that never ends.
Disclaimer: This content is taken from the author’s book, ‘Maximise Potential’.