Strive or Surrender in 2017?

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On my mind always has been the question “how much should we strive and how much should we surrender?” The world is filled with free-flowing advice on how to “never, never, never give up!” or how to “let the storm rage on and let it go, let it go!”

Yet the wisdom and ability to choose and then draw a line between the two extremes has never been an easy one. Faith, beliefs, values, culture, habits and personal desires always get in the way. In fact, the biggest struggle is not what to never give up or what to let go but the struggle to find that wisdom, courage and ability to make and act out our choice.

Strive or Surrender?

The simple rule of thumb that I follow is that I give my choice-making efforts maximum intellectual, emotional and social impact thought and then I act upon that choice. You might say, “Hey that really is no different from what everyone does, how is your strategy any different?”  My strategy is different because I put in the measure immediately after the first few action steps I take.  If the action steps stir up any toxicity, negativity, fear, doubt or guilt right after then I withdraw and take up plan B. I carry no shame in saying I was wrong. I carry no shame in giving credence to the opinion of others when it is better and will bring better, holistic results. I listen in and tune in to my emotions acutely and “let go of ego and authorship of the initial idea.” What I never, never, never give up on is the wisdom and ability of making another choice, as soon as possible, after the lack of success of any and all previous ones.

I believe in living out the moment to the best of my ability and that of staying in motion for the immediate future.

At the end of this 2016, I intend to exercise this personal competency of mine less for material, measurable goals and more for the not so easily measurable ones like kindness, compassion and big-picture achievements for and towards others.  My belief is that my world changes as I do. When I warm up, it warms up. When I soften towards it, it softens back at me and when I treat it with love then it pours back love onto me. The struggle between striving and surrendering ceases to take any credence.

 

Raju Mandhyan

Speaker, Coach & Learning Facilitator

www.mandhyan.com              A World of Clear, Creative & Conscientious Leaders! 

http://twitter.com/RajuMandhyan

http://www.youtube.com/user/RajuMandhyan

www.expatinsights.com                  External Views of Internal Successes!

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

“You Never Really Forget What You See!”

IAF Philippines

January 28th from  3:30PM to 7:00PM

Inspire Learning Hub, Alveoland Building,

28th Street corner Lane O, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

 

Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/you-never-really-forget-what-you-see-iaf-learning-session-no8-tickets-18817224826

 

Facebook Group:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/1456410221316887

Designing a Talk

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Designing a Talk

Designing a Talk

No matter how much I know about the subject or how long I have been in the field…

Designing a talk, a facilitation or an intensive workshop is always much more Demanding than Delivering it.

You’ve got to know what your learners need,
You’ve got to know what they might want.
You’ve got to know what the managers/organizers want.
You’ve got to know almost everything about the subject.
You’ve got to know what the learners might know about the subject.
You’ve got to know what other consultants might have shared.
You’ve got to know a lot about parallel fields and subjects.

Then you’ve got to plan, sequence the flow of principles and practices in a novel way.

You’ve got to put in the heavy stuff. You’ve got to place in the applications and the relevancy.You need to consider inclusivity, interaction and the memorability of the program.

At the end of it you’ve got to Deliver a dish that is as filling as steak, light as a salad and yet be finger-licking fun to participate in.

And remember, thunder and lightning will strike you down if you make do as if you’ve worked hard for it and fish for compliments.

 

My upcoming public workshops:http://www.informa-mea.com/hrsummit

Advanced Selling Skills in Vietnam: http://www.hospitalmanagementasia.com/cacnhadienthuyet?page=5

Appreciative Leadership in Vietnam: http://www.vmi.edu.vn/news/pid/49/search/page/1/id/4544

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

Corporate Storytelling in Dubai:http://www.hrsummitexpo.com/

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from the TV Show, ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

A Story: The Wrong House

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Everyone loves a good story but I have a penchant for stories. I look out for them like an addict yearns for a shot in the arm. And, when I do get that shot, life for a while becomes livable, love-giving.

On a flight from Bangkok to Manila, I happened to land a seat next to an old friend, Louie, and we began to catch up on each other with stories. Some we’d heard but, nevertheless, they were still good ones and then he hit me with a whopper of a story.

More than a decade ago, at a workshop on Appreciative Inquiry,  Loiue was sitting next to a repatriate from Saudi Arabia called Elmer. Part of the workshop proceeding require that participants ask each other questions that’ll bring up good memories, memories of success and memories of having had a change of heart.

“Can you share me a story or two about having lived and worked in Saudi Arabia?” asks Louie of Elmer. Elmer In Prayer

“At first it was tough. I hated every aspect of the Saudi culture. I hated the authorities. I hated the fact that they had so much wealth and power over all those that came to seek a living in Saudi Arabia. Most of all, I hated the fact that there were no churches in the vicinity for a Catholic like me to drop by and pray. Nevertheless, I continued working and suffering, hoping that one day I’d save up enough money to go home and look after my adolescent daughter and wife in the Philippines. You see I loved them both to death, and believed that they both brought meaning and purpose to my life,” shared Elmer.

“And?” urged on Louie.

“Life wasn’t easy. The work was demanding and I really wasn’t saving up much, as a construction worker in Saudi Arabia. Three years went by and I began to grow homesick when one day my wife calls up and claimed our daughter, Precious, was seriously ill and had to be brought to the hospital. Panic-stricken and helpless, I stayed by the phone for the next few days. Three days into the hospital, I get a call claiming that Precious needed to undergo immediate surgery or we would lose her. My heart screamed out in pain and I had no idea what to do, where to go? I had, then, not enough money to send to my wife and I had no one to run to. I had no place to borrow from in Saudi Arabia,” cried Elmer.

“Where’d you go?” asked Louie.

“I was desperate. I called a few, Filipino co-workers but we were all in the same boat – helpless and money-less. It was before sunrise on a Friday in Saudi Arabia and I couldn’t even approach my bosses at work. My heart still screaming, I stepped out onto the streets of Riyadh hoping to beg, borrow or let a miracle happen. My Christian heart yearned for an altar to kneel before and send out my plea into the skies but then again, this was Saudi Arabia, and I couldn’t find a church. A few blocks away from my place of stay I reached a mosque from within which, I could hear prayers being recited. Sozzled with pain and anguish, I walked in and in a corner fell upon my knees and let my head drop in prayer. I wanted my daughter to live. I wanted her to be there when I went home.”

“Gosh,” muttered Louie and placed his arm across Elmer’s shoulders, “what happened?”

“I didn’t know but an Imam had walked up to me and was standing in front of me, demanding to know if I were a Muslim. No, I replied, I am not, “replied Elmer.

“Then, in that case, I am sorry, but you will have to step out and take your prayers and plea somewhere else,” announced the Imam.

His face wet with tears, Elmer stumbled up and with shoulders drooping, and he began to walk out with the Imam right on his tracks. He was angry at himself for having walked into a wrong house. When outside, the Imam stopped him and asked what exactly was his problem. Elmer’s heart burst and he poured out his pain, sobbingly, to the Imam. With hardly a shift in his attitude, the Imam had Elmer follow him to his bank’s automated teller and punched out the amount of money that Elmer thought would get his Precious out of danger. “Pay me back when and if you can. If not then consider it as a response to your plea,” smiled the Imam and walked away.

My friend Louie, too, wiped away the tears from his own face and asked, “So, did you ever get to see that Imam again.”

“No, I haven’t” claimed Elmer, “but there is not a single day in my life that I do not think of him. Every time I enter a church here in the Philippines, I see his stoic, bearded face in the crowds and my heart smiles. I must confess that I do not want to go back to Saudi Arabia at my age now but the amazing thing is that in me there is no dislike or contempt people of a different belief. This, this way, I feel happy and big inside of me.”

“I tell you, brother, no story has touched and changed me the way that Elmer’s story did,” said Louie to me, as our plane skidded on the runway in the Philippines. Louie’s miracle question to Elmer had changed him and continues transforming people who hear of it.

Me? I got my story shot-in-the-arm and still have my head in clouds since that day.

Raju Mandhyan

 

My upcoming public workshops:

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

 

My books also available on Amazon: http://goo.gl/OZSMj8

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

 

The Future is a Blank Sheet

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The Future is a Blank Sheet

The Future is a Blank Sheet

You can change your lives!  Trust me, it is entirely possible to cast off the past and retell your story from this day forward.  All of nature and the universe is an act of creation; an act of storytelling.

The poet Nasadiya Sukta once said:

“Whence all creation had its origin,

he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,

he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,

he knows—or maybe even he does not know”

The present and future are unknowns, each a blank sheet of paper on which to become creative.  It is important to accept and embrace the possibility within the present.  We can lay the groundwork for the future, we can enjoy a moment, or we can learn something new that will improve our mind.  It is possible to set aside disempowering stories and move forward into new ones.

Part of my mission is to help people set their minds free to explore new paths and areas of power and potential.  We work with future leaders to develop a story of success and happiness.  There are no limits to the imagination, and if there are no limits to the imagination then there are no limits to your potential.  For every challenge, there are multiple paths to explore and conquer.  For every problem, there are multiple solutions.  People can create a mindset of creativity, energy, and exploration.

You have the power to change your stories, and in doing so you also have the power to change your lives. Yes!

go light one

The other day while waiting for my daughter at a gas station in Makati, a woman approached me and offered ‘chicharon’ and ‘otaaps.’ I shook my head and smiled a “no.” “The ‘otaaps,” she said, “go well with coffee, Sir!” I smiled and shook my head again.

Pit Bulls & Entrepreneurs (2010)

The difference between Pit Bulls and Entrepreneurs is that, sometimes, Pit Bulls can give up.

And, as she walked away the simplicity in her approach and the clarity of her voice made me take a second glance. She seemed to be in her early 50s. She was holding a few packs of snacks in her hand while a bag hung at her side. She was dressed in black pants and a fuchsia-colored, long-sleeved top. Her hair was dark with strands of white and it was cut shoulder length. She was dark-skinned, looked thin and work-weary. All in all, I surmised, she could be mother who was probably a former, office-worker. Her English was crisp and not accentuated or diluted.”The otaaps go well with coffee, Sir!” She’d said in perfect English.

I was tempted to call her and buy some, but then I hate ‘chicharons’ with a passion and apologies to the Lapid Family of the Philippines. I like ‘otaaps’ but I’d just seen some videos of myself speaking, and my silhouette had a bulge around the middle. Otaaps are made of flour, sugar, margarine and more sugar. No way!

Then I wondered why is it that I wanted to buy when in the first place I’d turned her away? I realized that I’d just become curious as to why and how had a mother-looking, seemingly well-educated woman in her fifties had to peddle snacks so late in the evening. Then I thought I won’t buy but just call her back and have a chat with her. That too, did not seem like a good idea on a less-lightened corner of the gas station where I’d parked and was leaning against it waiting for my daughter. I let the moment pause and felt a breeze of sadness brush my face.

So, the whole incident is still alive in my mind a week later. The questions on my mind are: What kind of a world have we built? What kind of an economy do we live in? Why is that we haven’t evolved enough as a civilization where a woman in her fifties still has to struggle to survive? How many others are out there who haven’t been able to stay up in the ups and downs of life’s shenanigans?

The air of sadness still circles me. I know this doesn’t happen in the Philippines but may be happening in thousands of cities across the world. Perhaps someday the world will grow into such a place where lives don’t get wasted such. I am not claiming that she, the ‘otaap’ and ‘chicharon’ vendor, might be unhappy or dissatisfied with her life. I am just floating way up in the air and making an observation.Go Light One

A quote that rings through my mind as I type this is “When you see no light at the end of a dark tunnel, go light one.” I must confess that I barely do anything about the struggles of society and life besides making noise. I do know there are thousands and millions of individual and organization who do good and constructive things bit by bit and day by day. My hats off to all that you do such things and serve the world. Someday, I’ll join you or if you know of an opportunity or need a hand give me a buzz. The least I will do is hold the candle while you light it.

*Otaap: Fluffy, crunchy, sugar-coated cookie.

*Chicharon: Pork insides, dried and fried like chips.

 

Raju Mandhyan                                  

Keynote Speaker, Coach & Learning Facilitator

www.mandhyan.com, Communications & Leadership Training

the HeART of Story : History of Storytelling

Eons ago, when man discovered fire, he also discovered the wonder of telling stories around that fire. After a hard day’s hunt, he would gather his tribe and begin to converse and tell great stories. He told stories about the source of life, about the sun, about the moon and the stars.  He also told stories about the time and place where the sun was born and how the moon romanced it.  He told stories about how the moon pursued the sun and died every month to be reborn to love the sun all over again. He told stories about how every individual had a star of his own up in the teal and midnight-blue skies.

Connect, Engage and Influence your World Creatively!

Day after day, night upon night, from one season to another, man told stories –tales about love, courage, adventure, conquest, and wars. Around the fire, he told stories of ferocious Spartan warriors and heroes that battled one-eyed giants. He told stories about birds that could fly into the sun, burst into cinder, and then rise again from the ashes to fly right back into the sun.

Over the ages, stories of tradition, honor, and great courage ruled the air around the fires. There were stories told about great escapes, bold robberies, and giant shipwrecks. Discoveries were reported about new worlds, new wealth, and new people. Narrated with rhyme, repetition, and rhythm, all these stories were etched on the walls of the caves where our ancestors lived and into the hearts and minds of all mankind.  Shadows and echoes from the flickering fires left unforgettable legends visualized and represented on the walls of our current homes.  Today, many of these stories have become a large part of belief systems, of our culture and our tradition.

Storytelling Today

The ancient art of storytelling has turned into a science riding on the wave of television and technology as a laughing, talking, singing universe. This universe now surrounds us twenty-four hours a day and also reaches us through books, song, dance, stage-plays, movies, television, computers, and phones. It does not let go even when we are 10 kilometers up in the air and zooming across the skies at over 500 kilometers per hour.ccc

Stories grab us in news reports, magazine shows, commercials, documentaries, television serials, musicals, and films of epic proportions. Stories reach us through multiple media in formats like short episodes, interactive applications, gaming applications, etc.

The ancient, traditional face-to-face, oral storytelling has also morphed with the integration of poetry, improvisation, mime, and other forms. Seasoned, professional storytellers can keep us awe‑struck and engaged in their verbal and non-verbal gymnastics for hours on end.  Seasoned storytellers, thus, can influence and positively transform our worlds.

Leader as a Storyteller

 

 

 

 

 

Check out my book,the HeART of STORY, organizational and leadership storytelling…on Amazon

 

 

Be Not Afraid!

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I must confess that it’s been months since anyone has placed me in the interviewees’ hot seat. Also, during talks, training or other presentations I shy away from talking about myself and, usually, beg that my introduction, if any, be shortened. Then, last week, this request for a written interview from India comes about and I casually and candidly responded to it. After responding, I posted the link on my social media channels and gave it little thought until a dear friend commented and said, “Awesome interview!”

That made me go back look at the questions and my answers to those questions. It wasn’t until I reached the end of the interview did I realize that it was the last few words of my responses that earned me that “Awesome interview, ” compliment. I realize that the reader recognized the fact that while I was responding to the interview and, besides, by habit wanting to inspire others I was also indulging in positive, self talk. Today, again,  I confess I was indulging in self talk because like most every person on earth, I too am. sometimes, at an unconscious level afraid of things, of life and of taking action.

Yes, my statement at the end is more for myself than it was and is for others. Yet, I hope it resonates with you. Be Not Afraid!

Here’s the whole interview: Raju Mandhyan – International Coach & Learning Facilitator from Manila, Philippines

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this Business/ Entrepreneurship?

Well, I have had three careers – engineering, export marketing and what I now like to call “education.”In the late 90s, after the Asian crisis, I was hungering to do something other than just “business.” I went back to study and discovered that I had an ability to clarify ideas, enter-train and inspire people. I began to do that in social and business circles when the British Council in Manila invited me to come to do, for them, what I was doing for fun, for myself. and wrote me a check for it. At about the same time I attended a conference where Deepak Chopra, Mark Victor Hansen and Ron Kaufman were presenting. From the stage, Ron Kaufman, singled me out and told me that I should be, on stage, doing what he was doing. I did and here I am.

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Well I speak, train and coach in the areas of communications skills, business and leadership innovation.

But, here’s my first “but”, more than that I work with individuals and organizations in un-cluttering their minds, getting clarity and going after what they truly want in their lives and businesses.

My first book, the HeART of Public Speaking though caters to skill-building in making business presentations but also motivates people into creating true value. My second, the HeART of Humor, again, caters to being funny in conversations but, in reality, inspires to be kind, compassionate and forgiving to self and others. My third book, Pit Bulls & Entrepreneurs, which is a lot of fun to read tells stories of entrepreneurial successes but drives the reader into being gritty, gumption filled and practice tenacity.

Books by Raju Mandhyan – 
http://www.amazon.com/Raju-Mandhyan/e/B00J193X5A/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

Moving from one profession to another was a challenge. It was like jumping off a cliff and enjoying the rush. It was like creating and living another life while still being Raju Mandhyan. Now, if I don’t have challenges, I go looking for some. You know what they say; challenges are the proof of life.

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

Yes, there are moments when you feel like hanging up your guns, taking off your boots and rotting in front of the television watching Sponge Bob and Square Pants. During these times, I discovered that there is no giving up. There is one truth to this life and that is that the universe is constantly expanding and growing and we must, because we’ve been gifted with intelligence, get off that couch and grow.

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

Obviously, I did not experiment with surrender or resignation, I got more creative and kept plugging on.

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

Vision and strategy and goals are western concepts. I am inspired by what Professor Ram Charan believes and practices. Just keep on doing what you like to do. In what you like to do lies the purpose of your life.

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

Be not afraid!

Almost like the story in this video for SIYLI

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajumandhyan

Q9. Facebook profile URL link https://www.facebook.com/raju.mandhyan

Q10 Twitter profile URL link https://twitter.com/RajuMandhyan

Q11. Personal blog URL link http://www.www.mandhyan.com

Q12. Company website & Company blog URL linkhttp://www.www.mandhyan.com/insights/ , http://www.expatinsights.com/