Last week in Sri Lanka we celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New Year (Avurudu Celebrations). Let me wish all of you a brilliant, fun filled, peaceful and prosperous Avurudu – surrounded by family and friends as we look forward to a brighter future for us all and for our nation.
I know generally we make resolutions on January 1st – but maybe it would be a good opportunity now as well – to make a new beginning and take stock of what has been happening in the year for us so far.
May I suggest that as one quarter of 2018 has already passed – we pause for a moment and consider what we wanted to start doing in 2018, the changes we wanted to make, and are they on track. If not – why not? Are these truly important? – if so, let’s make a special effort to get them started. If they are not important any more or have reduced in their importance – lets then re-evaluate and remove them from the things we want to do. Sounds simple – and it actually is. But doing this can make all the difference.
In my case – some of the things I wanted to start doing consistently like my daily ‘gratefulness exercise and affirmations’ has been going really well and I have started to see many benefits and things happening in my life for the better. Some others like trying to read a book a week – although it started with a bang – didn’t go quite as I wanted. I need to make a conscious effort to make this happen (if you would like to know more about these and how to do these things easily and practically – please do drop me an e-mail)
OK so, with apologies for possibly sounding ‘preachy’ … here are some suggestions to other things we may want to consider from this point on …. Mostly centred on respect.
Respect for all
Can I make a suggestion that each of us consciously tries to increase the respect and tolerance that we have for each other. Something that my wife constantly tells me – and which is yet to descend into my subconscious, is that – ‘I shouldn’t expect others to do things the way I want – and then get upset when it doesn’t happen this way’. True I know. And I also know – that when I can make this shift total – I would be much happier, less stressed and more relaxed. So still working on this. Especially with regard to my immediate family and children. Is this something you can work on too?
Respect for each other on the road
If we can do this – each of us just starting by changing ourselves – giving way to other motorists, smiling at others as we drive, being patient, giving others the benefit of the doubt (for example when someone comes speeding on the wrong side of the road towards us – giving him the benefit of the doubt – perhaps there is a medical emergency), being disciplined, not abruptly changing lanes, not overtaking on the left, etc., perhaps over time we could make driving less stressful and a more enjoyable experience. As the politicians don’t seem to be interested in bringing rules and enforcing discipline on the roads – perhaps we could change things by example.
Respect at work – by increasing punctuality
Punctuality seems to be also something that we in general observe in the breach. Just to quote an example of an organization I know, if a meeting is scheduled to start at 9.00 am with 10 participants – by 9.00 am there are two present, by 9.15 am there are now 6, and by 9.25 pm 8. The meeting starts at 9.25 am without the last two participants who come in by 9.30 am. By 9.45 am 4 of the participants need to leave to attend another meeting and so the meeting comes to an end, with the only decision being reached as to when to meet again! I hope you see the irony of this and the total lack of productivity and absolute waste of time of everyone. But this is more often the norm isn’t it?
The lack of punctuality – also means the absolute lack of respect for everyone else who would be affected or in this case will be present at the meeting. Needless to say – if everyone was punctual – the objectives of the meeting could have been met and negated the need to meet again! More productive, less time, less cost, less effort, less stress? Of course!
The leader has to lead in punctuality amongst everything else
I was carrying out some training programs for two manufacturing entities which were part of the same conglomerate. The training program was supposed to start by 9am and for both the CEO of the plant and the senior management were also participants. In factory A – the program commenced only at 9.30 am due to the CEO being late.
In factory B – everyone including the CEO was present and ready to start by 8.55 am.
It was a case of ‘lead by example and others will follow’. Can we as leaders follow the example of factory B in the interests of our people!
Finally for any of these to be done by us – it comes down to making the choice. If we don’t want to – we will be able to come up with any number of reasons or indeed excuses as to why it cannot be done, why it is of no use, why it will never work, why others will never change, why it is a waste of time, etc.
If we want to – we can come up with an equal number of reasons why it should be done, why people will change, why it is worth the effort, etc.
Let’s take responsibility for our choices. After all – it is our life, and we can decide how we want to lead it. Let’s just make the right choice and make ourselves and people around us – Happy!
Wishing you all the very best for the New Year!