All posts by Pankaj Chanana

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What is a HABIT?

The easy definition would be something that you do daily without being forced or pushed. For e.g. as simple as brushing your teeth. But do you remember how tough it was when you were a small kid and learning to develop this habit, am sure that is not even a matter of thinking today.

Another good and simple example of a HABIT is cycling. Remember when you started cycling/biking the first day! That feeling of imbalance, falling off or getting hit with no hand-eye coordination and then slowly and steadily you become the cyclist in your neighborhood doing all kinds of stunts.

There are many such examples that happen in our daily lives where the beginning looked as difficult as climbing the Everest may be, but as you start taking those steps forward, it becomes simpler and later a maybe even a “cake-walk” to perform those.

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Why I am talking about HABIT? Because as we grow older and get into our daily chores, we forget to adapt to new habits or develop new changes or even attempt to do something new, simply because we feel that we do not have the time, there’s always too much work in the plate, professional or personal. Whenever you think of doing something new, you always push it to a later date convincing ourselves that we will do it when we have the time for it.

My friend where is that time?…the fact of the matter is NOW is the time.

Remember, everyone has 24hrs in a day and utilizing the same, some became people like the Tendulkars, the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates to name a few, and many are still searching for that time to begin.

Here I present the new definition of H.A.B.I.T – “[H]aving [A]bility [B]uild [I]ntense [T]ricks” – obviously this is not mine, taken up from the internet, but it very well fits our bill here.

What does it take to build a habit? Answer is “decision” and then taking “action” in the form of small steps daily at the same time every day for the next 21 days (an idea introduced by Dr. Maxwell Maltz ), but I will suggest, if you can do that for 1-Day and then repeat the same for the next 30 days, trust me you will be rolling. But the trick is it has to be continuous, if you break for 1-Day then the cycle has to begin again from Day 1 🙂 that is why its Intense Tricks ;).

So, go out and pick up that Guitar which is hanging in your bedroom and staring at you or start reading that new Tech Area or Buzz Word on which you always wanted to get your hands on and just do it for 1-Day and then repeat the same cycle for next 30-Days.

The exception is, there are still no guarantees of success. It all depends from person to person and on his or her burning desire to make something work. But it is much better than not having tried at all, isn’t it? Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. It was his persistence and practice that enabled him to cross what had otherwise seemed like a barrier meant to stay forever until then.

Do put your comments, if you really got into a habit 🙂

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions. 

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Confused Face

Musings : Relevance of Asking Questions & Sharing Ideas

Few incidents in the recent past brought back memories of my days in school. Although the narration is a personal one, I am sure many readers would identify themselves
or their friends with it. I was, as a matter of fact, quite a naughty kid and reasonable in studies :).

I would, in particular, be quite terrified on the days we had a question-and-answer session with the teachers. I would put in my best efforts by finding a seat in advance and do my best in concealing myself behind a friend with a more generous built. It would thus reduce the chances of my getting noticed and being at the receiving end of questions.

I would do the same thing if I had doubts on certain topics or sections in a passage..I was always shy and afraid of asking questions. I would be concerned about what my teachers, my classmates, and my friends would think if I asked a worthless one. I stuck to this habit through my days at high school, thus risking to perpetuate my stupidity.

However, as years went by, I felt my outlook beginning to change, not sure how and why; could well be due to the maturity and experience that age brings along, generally so to say.

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The turning point was in a class on Data Structures, taken by one of the better-known professors in our institute. He was explaining Binary Trees that day. Having explained, he said in an emphatic voice “Am I Clear?

And guess what, the school kid who was always shy to ask questions in early days.. stood up and said. “I didn’t get it”… The lecturer asked

” Is there anybody else?”. And to my surprise, the most intelligent person in our batch stood up as well!

So the professor went ahead and explained the concepts again. I did not hold back this time either and got up and said, “I still didn’t get it, sir”. I could not help it. The act seemed out of nature to me, but I was finding a strange degree of comfort doing it. On the third instance though, the professor remarked, “If you understood it’s good, and if not then it’s “excellent” ;).” Perhaps he got irritated.

Later in the day, the professor called me to his cabin and explained the concept again. To my surprise, he claimed that he was on purpose not explaining things the way he should have in order to check how attentive we were in the class. And that he was not surprised that I failed to understand him every time; indicating that I was the one paying attention.

The incident was a special one for me.  I had managed to overcome my fears and also realized the importance of asking questions. The fact that one should not hesitate to ask. If done with the right intention, one need not get bogged down thinking whether the question will be looked upon as silly or irrelevant. Questions can in fact sometimes lead to throwing up of bright ideas, which might bring about significant happenings, including recognition to the seeker.

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In my professional career so far, I have seen many instances where people hold themselves back from asking questions, only to repent later. Or for that matter hesitate to share their thoughts/ideas. The fear of embarrassment of being judged unfavorably by peers or seniors tends to act as a deterrent. But what they don’t realize is that by not asking questions and letting their doubts persist, they rely on assumptions to act. And in the event of these assumptions going wrong, they set themselves up for disaster. Besides, they also lose out on opportunities to address matters better. Smart questions can lead to better solutions and recognition. Sitting back and allowing questions to die in one’s mind or waiting for others every time to ask is asking too less of oneself.

To all of those who are shy, hesitant or worried about what others may think of their questions, I hope my learnings help you get over your inhibitions. If you happen to work in the field of technology, you are at an advantage already. For the frantic pace of change almost entitles you to ask/share. So every time you feel an itch,approach your peers first, reach out to others in your organization, and if you sense a need to go beyond, connect to the world at large. We have enough tools and channels at our disposal today to facilitate that. Be fearless and ask as many questions as you can think off or share your thoughts/ideas. Just remember if you will not ask/share, then someone else will and you will be left wondering later ” Oh Shoot!  I thought of the same as well“.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions. 

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