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Society DictatesBesides, when there are so many options, then it becomes difficult for anyone to decide for themselves what success means. Frequently, people let society tell them what success is. And that might work for some. But others want to make that decision on their own. [caption id="attachment_5207" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "If a man is not to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to him, what is he to do, or what is he good for?" - Joseph Lister[/caption] The challenge with letting someone else decide on 'your' definition of success is that you significantly decrease the chances that you will end up with a definition of success that works for you. I don't know many people that would go out to eat and let a stranger order for them in a restaurant. The odds dictate that you will end up eating what they like. And in all likelihood, you won’t end up with a meal that suits your tastes. I know that was an extreme example, but it is because of this that understanding the exact nature of success becomes critical for happiness and fulfilment.
Eat The Dinner You ChooseIf you never develop the ability and skill to make your own decision, then you run the risk of ending up eating someone else’s dinner. And doing it repeatedly. If we are to eat the dinner, we need to see the items available on the menu. Then we can choose what best suits us. When you read to the end, you will know the main choices that are on the menu of success. And another advantage is that most, if not all, of these menu items, can be ordered a’ la carte. [caption id="attachment_5208" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Most people don't like change. They revolt against it unless they can clearly see the advantage it brings. For that reason, when good leaders prepare to take action or make changes, they take people through a process to get them ready for it." - John C. Maxwell[/caption] What that means is you can select only the items that you want. The advantage is that the definition of success that you choose can be as individualistic as you are.
The MenuLet's start by casting our eyes over the main categories on this menu. Then we can get a good idea of how to successfully tailor our own order for success. Many people have a definition of success centred on objects. Applying this definition, to be a successful person you must have a number of material possessions. All of these will demonstrate to the world the measure of that person’s success. And it has to be on show! Every one of us knows the types of objects at issue here. If we are honest with one another, then all of us, to one extent or another, feel the influence of this definition of success. [caption id="attachment_5209" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "The great advantage about telling the truth is that nobody ever believes it." - Dorothy L. Sayers[/caption] What we are talking about are fashionable clothes, expensive electronic devices, large houses, and multiple vehicles. Because of their collective price tag, these material trappings tell the whole wide world that their owner his rich enough to be able to purchase them.
Material SuccessThese material trappings may provide comfort to the owner, but they also show the world know his or her social status. And that is just as important as the comfort they provide. We call this definition “material success.” Don't let me confuse the matter, I see nothing wrong with seeking and gaining material success. It is a blessing to live in a wonderful world that is chock full of some very amazing items. For example, I am lost without my phone. And I will confess to feeling more confident when I have a nice watch on my wrist. I am hopeful that each of us will be blessed to be able to have the chance to sample some of these material treats. We have talked about money as a measure of success, but it is also a measure of security. My Mum told me many times, "Money is the root of all evil." Thanks Mum, but aside form that, it can provide for the necessities of life. Not just for you but also for those you love and who depend upon you.
Potent Motivating ForceSo it is easy to see why material success becomes an obvious choice for many. The pull of all that luxury, as well as the financial security, is a potent motivating force to work hard and progress. And this pull can become so strong that it blinds people those to other options that might be available. The challenge is that these additional options are necessary for your complete success. Without these other options, material success can become a hollow and empty trap that, ironically, in time does not feel the least bit successful or gratifying.
Spiritual SuccessA second category on the menu of success is spiritual. It is easy to think of spiritual success as the exact opposite of material success. With material success, we rely on external and material objects. With spiritual success, we concentrate on internal development. This in turn often leads to rejecting the majority of material possessions. Most people would commonly define spiritual success as a “religious” pursuit. And yes, spirituality is closely defined with organised religions, religious behaviour does not entirely define the entire category of human spirituality. [caption id="attachment_5211" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "The human brain had a vast memory storage. It made us curious and very creative. Those were the characteristics that gave us an advantage - curiosity, creativity and memory. And that brain did something very special. It invented an idea called the future." - David Suzuki[/caption] It is logical and probable that our first definition of success was materialistic. After all, we developed in a harsh and competitive world.
Hyper-CompetitiveThink back to when our distant ancestors eked out their existence. In this world, resources were limited because so many others species were competing for the same resources. At first inspection, this might seem cruel. Looking more deeply, we can see it was nature’s way of providing a check and balance system. Designed to guard against the uncontrolled growth of one species at the expense of the others. Nature did not have an individuals survival as its goal. For nature, variety was the goal. In this hyper-competitive world, the individuals who can most successfully stockpile a surplus of resources survived. Human beings, as rational hunter-gatherers, became adept at not only identifying potential food sources but efficiently exploiting those resources. We moved beyond mere hunting and gathering into pastoralism and agriculture when we developed this ability to find, exploit and preserve. [caption id="attachment_5212" align="aligncenter" width="400"] “It is easier for one to take risks and to chase his dreams with a mindset that he has nothing to lose. In this lies the immense passion, the great advantage of avoiding a materialistic, pleasure-filled way of life.” - Criss Jami[/caption] We moved eventually into higher social technologies. And with this transition, we became even better competitors in the process.
Nature's Definition Of SuccessAs this happened, we brought nature’s definition of success with us. The economies we created began to reflect the fact that the preferred goal was abundance. Hence logically, individual success was predicated upon how much resources that individual possessed. And so, the concept of material success was created. In this world, a wealthy individual was not only physically better prepared to survive, but they were also perceived by others as being more worthy of survival than someone who was less fortunate. We then began to interpret material possessions or the lack thereof as indicators of moral standing.
ScarcityScarcity existed in the natural world just as it existed in the economic systems we created. And this was the problem. [caption id="attachment_5213" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "In life, try your best to do the right thing. Have fun while you're alive. Take advantage of every asset you have. Don't take anything for granted." - Justin Chon[/caption] In the natural world, no moral judgment is made against an individual who has less. However, the penalty for having less in the wilds of the natural world was not surviving. And we carried a similar theme in human communities. The penalty for having less was social segregation. If you had less, you would be segregated into a social class (the have-nots) that was deemed lower and less desirable than those who had more (the haves).
Moral JudgementVery quickly people realised that this moral judgement had profound effects outside of mere individual survival. So they focused intently on material possessions and money as the way to happiness and fulfilment. And so began the rush for individual material survival. As a consequence of individual material survival, some human values fell by the wayside. The human values that defined survival in the wild were ignored or became less critical. [caption id="attachment_5216" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "I am in no mood to be deceived any longer by the crafty devil and false character whose greatest pleasure is to take advantage of everyone." - Camille Claudel[/caption] And these are positive traits such as cooperation, gratefulness, sharing, and social responsibility. These became liabilities in the new world brought about by modern human economics. The new world of individual competition.
ReligionHuman religions reacted to this new world. They focused on what became known as spiritual values to the same degree as economics focused on material values. In many religions, possessions and material goods became a negative attribute and even a taboo. Material goods and possessions were seen as a symbol of how spiritually undeveloped an individual was. And the only way an individual could obtain spiritual success was to reject material culture completely. As humans we derive protection and natural comfort from possessions. So this benefit was lost. And the human inclination to gather possessions and material good was ignored. [caption id="attachment_5217" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "People confuse goodness with weakness. It is weak people, not good people (goodness demands strength), who are taken advantage of." - Dennis Prager[/caption] The coldness and austerity of spiritual success became the equivalent of the arrogance and pomposity of material success.
Common GroundWith no common ground between the two approaches, if a person was looking to achieve success they had to adopt an either/or approach. Your choice was to choose material success, and with that reject any element of spirituality in the process. Or spiritual success and with that choice reject the protection and comfort that material possessions bring. It is obvious that this is not a workable solution. And it is still a situation that persists to the present day. Even today, people continue to be confused in choosing between material and spiritual success. And the divide that causes this confusion continues is perpetuated by modern consumer economics and modern religion. And the sad consequence is that many of us fail at achieving true success because we are forced to adopt a definition of success that is not to our tastes. We let someone else peruse the menu and order success for us.
A SolutionBefore you despair, there is a solution to this dilemma. [caption id="attachment_5219" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Sometimes in life, you're not always given a second chance, but if you do, take advantage of it, and go out with a bang!" - Aquaria[/caption] Very rarely are important issues entirely black and white. And as important to individual fulfilment as success is, it too is not entirely black and white. The difficult choice between material success and spiritual success is largely a result of circumstances and tradition. And this choice is a false one.
Liberated SuccessA third choice exists. And this choice is actually no choice at all. The third option is “liberated success”. As the name implies, liberated success serves to free the individual from the tyranny of choice between material and spiritual success. The advantage to liberated success is the empowerment or even re-empowerment of the person with the capability to choose the elements of success that make the most sense to them. [caption id="attachment_5221" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Successful people jump at opportunity and take advantage of it." - Sir Mix-a-Lot[/caption] This means they pick and choose from the expansive menu of both material and spiritual success to form their own individual hybrid definition of success that can provide them with true happiness.
The AdvantageBeing truly yourself in regards to your definition of success is a liberty. And this provides the advantage that you do not need to be trapped in a lifestyle that promises to be fulfilling yet only delivers misery and unhappiness. This liberty also means that the person who is happy is more likely to share that happiness with others. When you take advantage of how you define success and apply a combination of the best elements of material and spiritual success, then you are able to bring about the best of all possible worlds for yourself and everyone involved. If you liked this then subscribe and I will notify you when Recipe For Success becomes available.
Superager Tip 1Superager Tip 1 “Superagers” share something interesting in common. They keep moving forward. Even when things get tough. They are not only tough mentally but physically tough as well. This from Lisa Feldman Barrett, who is a Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston. “Superagers” use the unpleasant feelings associated with effort and strain as a signal to keep going. While others us the same unpleasant feelings as a warning to stop and rest. “Superagers” get comfortable with being uncomfortable. During tough times, they keep going, and going, and going. All the time staying hopeful, motivated, productive. And this applies to workouts too. Superagers push through the discomfort and pain to maintain their strength and physical endurance and strength. Which neatly brings us to...
Superager Tip 2Superager Tip 2 This from Dr Joseph Firth at the NICM Health Research Institute. “When taking multiple factors into accounts – such as age, gender, body weight and education – our study confirms that people who are stronger do indeed tend to have better functioning brains.” The better your muscular strength, the better your brain health. He goes on to say, “We can see there is a clear connection between muscular strength and brain health.” Yes, aerobic exercise is good for you but, if you want to keep your mind and body in shape, you should weight train too. It hardly comes as a surprise that muscle strength improves our cognitive ability.
Your Superager Quote AssignmentIf you are ready to join the League of Superagers, I have an assignment for you. Be sure to work out regularly. And combine aerobics with strength building. And when you face your next emotional challenge, recognise that each forward step that you take helps you to get through that difficult time. And each forward step also adds more time to your life! After all, you are performing the actions of a super-powered “Superager.” You are using those unpleasant feelings as a signal and fuel to keep going, to keep persevering rather than as a signal to stop and rest.
#1 | Few people know how to be old. - François de la Rochefoucauld
#2 | Knowing how to age and not being afraid of aging is very healthy. – Evelyn Lauder #3 | Aging gracefully means being flexible, being open, allowing change, enjoying change and loving yourself. – Wendy Whelan
#4 | The brutal reality about aging is that it has only an accelerator pedal. We have yet to discover whether a brake exists for people. – Dan Buettner
#5 | Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn’t want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer. – William Holden
#6 | There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. – Sophia Loren
#7 | With age, I am able to appreciate the beauty in small things more than when I was younger perhaps because I pay attention more. I feel myself becoming a part of everything." —Jane Fonda
#8 | Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi
#9 | People worry so much about aging, but you look younger if you don’t worry about it. – Jeanne Moreau
#10 | As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
#11-20 | Superager lifestyle quotes
#11 | Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be. - Robert Browning
#12 | There’s no such thing as aging, but maturing and knowledge. It’s beautiful, I call that beauty. – Celine Dion
#13 | There are people out there who are older who are cool. I want that. – Billy Corgan
#14 | Courage is when you dare to be yourself, in whatever ways you want to be – to not be afraid, to just do it. – Loung Ung
#15 | You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. – Eleanor Roosevelt
#16 | As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, DO IT. - Margaret Deland
#17 | It took me a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent. – Madeleine Albright
#18 | You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred. —Woody Allen
#19 | Look what you’ve already come through! Don’t deny it. Say I’m stronger than I thought I was. – Maya Angelou
#20 | I have chosen to be happy, it’s good for my health – Voltaire
#21-30 | Superager quotes only a few people know
#21 | The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. – Madeleine L’Engle
#22 | When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. - Mark Twain
#23 | I don't do alcohol anymore - I get the same effect just standing up fast. - Author Unknown
#24 | Old age comes at a bad time. - San Banducci
#25 | The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles. - RalphWaldo Emerson
#26 | Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. - Jennifer Yane
#27 | Aging gracefully means being flexible, being open, allowing change, enjoying change and loving yourself. – Wendy Whelan
#28 | I am getting to an age when I can only enjoy the last sport left. It is called hunting for your spectacles. - Edward Grey
#29 | Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. - Dan Bennett
#30 | Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs. - Charles Dickens
#31-40 | Superager quotes to reduce stress
#31 | The time to begin most things is ten years ago. - Mignon McLaughlin
#32 | Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. - Anonymous
#33 | To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. - Bernard Baruch
#34 | Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. - Victor Hugo
#35 | By the time we've made it, we've had it. - Malcolm Forbes
#36 | Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life. - Herbert Asquith
#37 | For the first half of your life, people tell you what you should do; for the second half, they tell you what you should have done. - Richard Needham
#38 | If you can slow the biological process of aging, even a minor slowdown in the rate at which we age yields improvements in virtually every condition of frailty and disability and mortality that we see at later ages. – S. Jay Olshansky
#39 | The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland
#40 | How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young - or slender. - William James
#41-50 | Superager quotes to make you feel good
#41 | And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows! - Audrey Hepburn
#42 | Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. ~ Jim Fiebig
#43 | If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you grow old. ~ Ed Howe
#44 | Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. ~ Tom Wilson
#45 | You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. ~ George Burns
#46 | We thought we were running away from the grown-ups, and now we're the grown-ups. ~ Margaret Atwood
#47 | Age does not protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age. ~ Jeanne Moreau
#48 | None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. ~ Henry Thoreau
#49 | Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. - Betty Friedan
#50 | The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. ~ Helen Hayes
#51-60 | Superager quotes from wise people
#51 | I know for sure that by owning who and what you are, you can step into the fullness of life. —Oprah Winfrey
#52 | Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese. ~ Billie Burke
#53 | It takes a long time to become young. ~ Pablo Picasso
#54 | Youth is a disease from which we all recover. ~ Dorothy Fulheim
#55 | Age holds absolutely no fear for me. There is so much enjoyment ahead. —Penélope Cruz
#56 | We don’t grow older, we grow riper. ~Pablo Picasso
#57 | How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ~ Satchel Paige
#58 | The great thing about getting older is that you become more mellow. Things aren’t as black and white, and you become much more tolerant. You can see the good in things much more easily rather than getting enraged as you used to do when you were young. ~Maeve Binchy
#59 | I love living. I love that I’m alive to love my age. There are many people who went to bed just as I did yesterday evening and didn’t wake this morning. I love and feel very blessed that I did. ~Maya Angelou
#60 | I have absolutely no objection to growing older. I am a stroke survivor so I am extremely grateful to be aging – I have nothing but gratitude for the passing years. I am aging – lucky, lucky me! ~ Sharon Stone
#61-70 | Fun Superager quotes
#61 | The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been. ~ Madeleine L' Engle
#62 | Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born. ~Albert Einstein
#63 | Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears. ~John Lennon
#64 | Getting old is a fascination thing. The older you get, the older you want to get. ~Keith Richards
#65 | Relish love in our old age! Aged love is like aged wine; it becomes more satisfying, more refreshing, more valuable, more appreciated and more intoxicating. ~Leo Buscaglia
#66 | You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. ~ George Burns
#67 | Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. - Betty Friedan
#68 | I’m baffled that anyone might not think women get more beautiful as they get older. Confidence comes with age, and looking beautiful comes from the confidence someone has in themselves. - Kate Winslet
#69 | When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day. - Marty Buccella
#70 | If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life. - Margaret Mead
#71-80 | Famous Superager quotes
#71 | Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. – Henry Ford
#72 | Getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better! - Ingrid Bergman
#73 | I’ve always said that I will never let an old person into my body. That is, I don’t believe in ‘thinking’ old. Don’t program yourself to break down as you age with thoughts that decline is inevitable. -Wayne Dyer
#74 | The trouble is, when a number—your age—becomes your identity, you’ve given away your power to choose your future. - Richard J. Leider
#75 | Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. - Franz Kafka
#76 | I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it. - Frances Lear
#77 | You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing. - George Bernard Shaw
#78 | Oh, the worst of all tragedies is not to die young, but to live until I am seventy-five and yet not ever truly to have lived. - Martin Luther King Jr.
#79 | Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older. -Louise Hay
#80 | Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind. - Jackie Joyner-Kersee
#81-90 | Superager quotes to live by
#81 | In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln
#82 | Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. - Mark Twain
#83 | One of the reasons people get old—lose their aliveness—is that they get weighed down by all of their stuff. - Richard Leider
#84 | For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned, it is the season of the harvest. -Hasidic saying
#85 | There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. – Sophia Loren
#86 | Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. – Eleanor Rosevelt.
#87 | Those who love deeply never grow old, they age, but they never die young. – Ben Franklin
#88 | Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be. – Eleanor Rosevelt
#89 | Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been. – Mark Twain
#90 | Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age, and dreams are forever. – Walt Disney
#91-101 | Remember these Superager quotes
#91 | Everything we’ve been taught about health, weight loss and aging is wrong. – Jorge Cruise
#92 | You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C. S. Lewis
#93 | The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. - Frank Lloyd Wright
#94 | My face carries all my memories. Why would I erase them? - Diane Von Furstenberg
#95 | Don’t try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won’t live long enough to find out about, but I’m still curious about them. - Betty White
#96 | We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing. - George Bernard Shaw
#97 | Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. - Samuel Ullman
#98 | Only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life. Every year should be teaching us all something valuable. Whether you get the lesson is really up to you. - Oprah Winfrey
#99 | You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred. ~ Allen
#100 | In fact, looking back, it seems to me that I was clueless until I was about 50-years-old." —Nora Ephron
#101 | Age is not how old you are, but how many years of fun you've had. - Matt Maldre
- Related to these 101 Superager Quotes
Turn Every Situation Into A Win-WinYou are going to deal with adverse situations at work. It’s a fact of life. People will try to pass work off to you that they should be doing themselves. Or they will rope you into the wrong side of office politics. The worst way to handle this is to blow up and get angry. This puts you on the defensive, and it’s difficult to think rationally when this happens. It also can lead the way into saying something that you’ll regret later. A better approach is to find ways to make the situation a win-win for everyone involved. This may not always be easy, or even possible, but if you can make it happen, it will diffuse the situation and create more harmony in the work environment. And greater harmony improves team dynamics.
A Matter Of PerspectiveThe first step in looking for ways to make it a win-win is to try and see the situation from the perspective of your adversary. Perhaps he or she is experiencing some problems at home, and it’s affected his or her judgement at work. You have to try to find out without appearing to pry. [caption id="attachment_5403" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "We have already done so much that people call dynamics. Look at the bumblebee being unaware of scientific truths, goes ahead and flies anyway. If it is possible, we will do it here." - Tom Hopkins[/caption] This could be as simple as asking if the person has something they want to talk about. Even just showing that you are willing to do this can go a long way to diffuse the situation. You could proceed to offer to take on some of the person’s workload if that is what they are struggling with.
An UnderstandingJust make it clear that you will only do this for a short period of time, with the understanding that they need to take up the duties after such a time. If the situation is work-related, try to work with the person to find a solution that will help them solve it. This will take some time out of your day but having the person return to a good place is going to make this extra time worth it. Of course, there are going to be people that no matter how much effort you put in to try and help, are going to be adversarial towards you. If they continue to do so in a manner that is not within their right, you will need to figure out whether you want to escalate the situation with your line manager. [caption id="attachment_5404" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion." - Mia Hamm[/caption] This should be the last course of action but may be necessary. You will likely find that most people will be receptive when they see that you both come out as winners.
Working Well In A Virtual EnvironmentThere’s no doubt more people are working from home today than ever before. The internet has helped make that happen. Some work for themselves and others have made arrangements to work at home either full or part-time. This can present some challenges in working well with people that are in the office full time. The first challenge is virtual workers are going to be the envy of their office counterparts, and that could lead to some jealousy. You can see the negative effect this could have on team dynamics.
Onsite WorkersManagers will need to handle this situation delicately. Some jobs require the worker to be onsite. For instance, a computer operations person may need to swap out drives, or backup tapes, etc. [caption id="attachment_5419" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "I think if I wasn't a musician, I would be a high-school band director or orchestra director. I like working with large groups of musicians and bringing out the dynamics and accomplishing something as a team." - Rivers Cuomo[/caption] Organisations should have some kind of provision that gives onsite workers incentive for not being able to work at home. Another challenge for the virtual worker is that they need to be extremely focused to make sure they are actually getting work done. They almost should go above and beyond what is expected of them to make sure that management maintains the trust that they are actually getting the work done. The minute it is shown this not to be the case, it will be very difficult for employees ever to gain back that trust.
DistractionsSome people are easily distracted. So they will need to set up an environment like an office that is specifically for the purpose of working at home. These employees should close the door and make it known to their family that the situation should be treated exactly the same as if the employees were physically going into the office. The occasional interruption is acceptable, just as it would be if the spouse called the office. But they should be kept at a minimum.
Bad HabitsVirtual employees should also remove any kind of stimuli such as televisions, etc. as these can distract them from their work. It is very easy to get into bad habits and hours go by with no work getting completed. This is the quickest way to have this privilege of working from home revoked. [caption id="attachment_5407" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." - Steve Jobs[/caption] Virtual employees should always make themselves available whenever they are contacted by team members or management. They should answer the phone right away, or get back to whoever called as soon as possible. Consistent lags in communication are going to reflect poorly on the virtual worker and should be a situation that is avoided or at least, minimised.
Working With DiversityIt should come as no surprise that we are all different. And the global economy has brought together diverse cultures interspersed into the workplace. Sometimes, this can result in the form of culture shock. Many companies offer training on how to manage diversity. The training sets up guidelines and rules on how to behave in the workplace and what is and is not expected when certain conditions arise. The training is usually mandatory, and human resource departments are often looked upon to monitor violations of the guidelines. Sometimes, they may require employees to retake the training to reinforce the concepts.
Feeling AlienatedEmployees may feel alienated when a group of people start speaking a foreign language. In the UK, it used to be considered rude for people to speak in different languages when there are people present that didn’t speak that language. Today, it’s not so simple. [caption id="attachment_5408" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Living through the intersections of cultural diversity has given me an intimate understanding of the dynamics of living between the dimensions of East and West, traditional and modern, and political and spiritual." - Deeyah Khan[/caption] People from different countries usually speak their native tongues better than second languages so while working they can get more accomplished by doing so. One way to help in this area is to ask to speak in a common language when the conversation turns casual and only speak in the native language when conducting business.
Everyone ParticipatesThis way everyone can participate in casual conversations. Even something as simple as foods that people of different cultures eat can cause people to feel uneasy. It may not smell right to those unfamiliar with them, or it could be a type of food that they would never imagine eating. Luckily, issues of food are usually much lighter than other issues and are often a great way to break the ice. Religion can be another tricky situation since beliefs are something that people hold for much of their lives.
Overcome DifferencesEven with training, it can be difficult for some people to accept religions outside of their own fully. Many people tend to overcome these differences after working together for a while. For others, it may take more time, if at all. It’s not just cultural issues that may come up, it can be issues across gender lines and sexual orientation. [caption id="attachment_5409" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." - Vince Lombardi[/caption] The workplace is a much different place than it was decades ago. Behaviours and viewpoints that were acceptable in the past are no longer accepted. Sexual preferences and sensitivity to people that are transgendered are all situations that make diversity even that much more complicated. What people tend to find out after working with these diversities, is that people are not that much different overall. In fact, if we search for common ground, we can establish new workplace friendships and bonds that can last a lifetime as well as learn something new in the process.
That’s Not My Job – But Maybe It Should BeHave you or your coworkers been asked to do something and the response is “that’s not my job?” It’s understandable as people tend to be overly busy at work these days. This is especially true when management makes staff cuts and expects the existing team members to do more. It may be in your best interest to make those requests a part of your job. We are in one of the most competitive job environments that we have ever been in. This means that jobs are hard to come by and people to fill spots are plentiful.
More ResponsibilityBy taking on more responsibilities, you show management that you are capable of handling extra responsibility. And this reduces the chances of being part of any staff reductions. In fact, when cuts happen, managers know you will be there to take up the slack. But taking on more responsibilities has other subtle benefits. You may learn new skills that you probably would not have done had you turned away the work. Also, you will set up an environment of goodwill towards your coworkers by helping take some of their workloads. [caption id="attachment_5410" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better." - Tony Dungy[/caption] As long as this is approached in a way that doesn’t look like you’re kissing up to management, coworkers will welcome the gesture. And this will improve team dynamics.
PromotionOne of the best ways to set yourself up for a promotion is to start doing the higher level job before you are even given the position. This shows management that you are capable of performing that position. You will likely need to learn some new skills when doing this. But your manager may be able to help you out with that. You also may reduce any animosity felt towards you getting the promotion. Because fellow coworkers will already see that you are performing the duties of the job. It will seem like a natural progression.
A Word Of CautionOne word of caution is not to take on more than you can handle. There are only so many hours in a workday. And you don’t want to run yourself ragged that you won’t be able to perform any of your tasks. And there has to be a point where you will have to limit any new requests that you receive for more work. There are many benefits to taking on more work if you can handle the extra workload. You will elevate your status among your peers. And you will show management that you are capable of bigger aspirations.
Look Within Before Passing on BlameTeamwork is a tricky concept. The ideal situation for a team is for everyone to get along and work together. But personalities are different and are bound to clash. When things go wrong, some team members will automatically blame other members when in fact, they are the ones that made the error. And this has a detrimental effect on team dynamics. [caption id="attachment_5411" align="aligncenter" width="400"] "Teamwork requires some sacrifice up front; people who work as a team have to put the collective needs of the group ahead of their individual interests." - Patrick Lencioni[/caption] The key to avoiding this situation is to make absolutely sure that the steps you took did not lead to the problem, whatever that problem may be. Double check facts. Or if you are on a programming team, recheck your code, to make sure that your work is not the cause. Once you make the mistake of blaming someone else and it is later revealed that you are to blame, this is a very difficult situation to save face.
MistrustIt also creates mistrust with the entire team, and possibly even the manager. It’s best to avoid this situation altogether completely. If you are sure that you are not to blame and you know who is, it’s essential for the team members to approach the person tactfully. And avoid any appearance of ganging up on him or her. Otherwise, the team member may feel vulnerable, and that will likely put him or her on the defence. This is merely a waste of time and can be avoided. If it’s a serious error, it may be wise for the team to escalate the situation for the manager to handle it. Although the ideal situation is for the team to take charge. You may find that some members will continually pass on blame. Even when it’s been shown time and again that they are the responsible party.
Be PreparedIf you find a member that does this to you, the best course of action is not to get defensive yourself. Simply show them, nicely, that what you did was not the cause. You don’t even have to mention that you know they are the cause at that moment. Discuss it with the team again. Then try to find a way to show this person that they are the cause. If all else fails, then it becomes a management issue. There will never be a perfect team environment. And you will almost certainly have team members who are sloppy and make constant mistakes. This can create a challenge for the team. But by remaining calm and focused on solving whatever the problem is, the team can move forward with the project. Team dynamics will look different in each team depending on the industry. This set of pitfalls is helpful for understanding the DNA of a successful team. If you want to learn more about team dynamics and building successful teams then leave a comment.
A mentor appearsHe was a seasoned businessman with a long list of successes and a short list of failures and over 40 years as an entrepreneur. And he took me under his wing and mentored me. Amongst the lessons, he taught me that opportunity is all around us. Unfortunately, most of us let opportunity slip-by every day.
- [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="399"] “Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.” - Emily Dickinson[/caption]
Associate with winners
Turn desperation into inspiration
- [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="399"] “Turn your obstacles into opportunities and your problems into possibilities." - Roy T. Bennett[/caption]
I am lucky
- [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="401"] “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” - Abraham Lincoln[/caption]
Recognise the attractiveness bias
- You make an effort to always present yourself as clean and well-dressed.
- And you make a conscious decision not to exclude people based on their attractiveness.
Opportunities in empowered relationships
- [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"] “I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.” - Oprah Winfrey[/caption]
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