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Mastering Happiness

Back in 2008, months into the financial crisis, I used to walk around with my head hung low and heave cold sighs over the fact that I had been foolish enough to let my life’s savings disappear. It was as if I were walking around with a large, dark, gloomy, turban of doom.

“Now that it is all done and you cannot undo it, why don’t you just DECIDE to let it all go and DO happy instead of waiting for miracles to happen?” said my son to me.

His words crashed unto me the way a fresh, new wave splashes when you think the all-around stink and staleness will sink and suck you in.

Not ‘BE’ happy but ‘DO’ happy. That did not just get me thinking but it had me getting up and going to go grab a fistful of my own sky.

There are three basic reasons that push people down the unhappiness ravines:

One, we fail at securing safety, survival, belonging, recognition and fulfillment needs in reality. In essence, we slide down Maslow’s pyramid of needs at life.

Two, we consistently and constantly berate ourselves at why we may have failed. Thus, we keep regretting past actions and convert our present day  into living hell. We do not let go.

Three, we constantly try to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ of our lives even though we may be way up on Maslow’s pyramid of needs. We keep comparing, envying and wanting.

Now I agree, 2020 has been one large, unhappy year for the whole world. We, as a civilization slid down the happiness scale head first. The reasons were real. They were acts of nature.

Inspired by the neurosciences and neuropsychology, and my personal practices may I suggest five easy steps for you to not just pursue but master and sustain personal levels of happiness.

  1. Accept Changing Realities. Not just that change is a constant outside but also inside of you. Your world and you are in a constant state of flux and what is true today may not stay true tomorrow.
  2. Focus on What Works. In most circumstances, in the most broken-down systems, there will always be a speck of life, hope, and possibility. Focus on that little good and start weaving your life from that edge.
  3. Relive Positives of Life. Make a cognitive, willful effort to remember and rejuvenate positive and happy incidents from the past way more than delving on failures and sorrow.
  4. Think, Therefore You Are. If you trust that, to achieve happiness and ‘do’ happy is in your hands then it has an autotelic effort on your mind and your personal productivity.
  5. Physiology drives Psychology and Vice Versa. When sad do physically fulfilling things. Most people, when anxious by default take a walk. When physically stressed rest your mind. Meditate.

Practicing, immersing and making this five-step process a living mantra for yourself will build your happiness muscles. You will stop expecting to ‘be’ happy someday or ‘have’ things happen in life that will boost your happiness quotient. Practicing these five steps meticulously will help you not pursue but master happiness for life. You will habitually focus on DOing things right and productive and happiness generating.

Sometimes it makes me wonder, ‘what if “our fathers.” per Lincoln would have written, “preservation of life, liberty, and the mastery of happiness,” instead of ‘pursuit of happiness’ back in in 1776 when they drafted the American constitution?’

Think about it.

 

 

Watch the video on Mastering Happiness here

Download the powerpoint on Happiness and Engagement here

Attend a free conference on Happiness on 12/26/2020 using this link:

Facilitation and Midwifery

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Ever since I took a deeper dive into the art and science of process facilitation, I have not been able to shake off the apparent similarity between a facilitator and a mid-wife. Yes, that is correct; it is a hard image to erase once it gets etched onto your mind.

A year or two ago, the image increased resolution and clarity when Certified Professional Facilitator Theresa Ratnam Thong of Malaysia said; “Sometimes my clients just call me and ask me to just be present during their proceedings. They just like for me to be around.” “Like a holy ghost,” she added laughingly.

A mid-wife does not carry any intention of becoming a parent to a child that she helps bring forth into the world. She was not there when the desire to conceive came about. She will not be there once the child develops into an adult and into a productive citizen of the world. She begins to turn up, support, counsel, observe, listen, guide, energize, nudge, advice after conception, and all the way until the newborn catches a glimpse of a new sunrise. She walks away from this creation with a little token of gratitude from the parents and a lot of satisfaction from having helped bring forth a new life. The intention, the outcome, the short and long-term benefits of this new creation belong to the family.

The knowledge, skills, and behaviors required of a proficient and professional midwife are not far apart from that of a process facilitator. They need to acquire and maintain updated knowledge in the field. They need to own and operate many soft techniques and tools that contain and care for the process and the outcome. They need to plan, prepare, and collaborate deeply and trustingly with the parents.

The three essential things that both these angels of change and co-creation need to consistently do are:

One, become really and truly good at what they do. Day in, day out all the immersion into acquiring new knowledge, building skills and minding behavior needs to have one singular focus and that is to serve the needs of the client, the customer, the need for creative construction.

Two, stay flexible and fluid to the dynamics of change. Keeping the client-desired outcomes in mind the facilitator must live and thrive in the moment of what constantly emerges. Fuel the emergence gently when it is virtuous and empower the client to stretch and own the change when it is not.

Three, strive to stay invisible in the present and become redundant in the long-term. No better glory in driving change when the change recipients come and claim that they did it on their own and they can continue to evolve and grow on their own.

The service quality and mindset of this mid-wife in rural Pakistan are worthy of applaud and emulation. The way to let others shape their own tomorrow is to be there when they need you and become invisible way before, much before they begin to lean upon you.

Essentially, between facilitation and midwifery, go be holy and be a ghost too until a new vision and a new life takes form.

 

Raju Mandhyan

 

Tenacity through Tough Times

These are tough times.

Tenacity through Tough Times!

 
These are scary and very unusual times.
 
Neither I nor every elderly person I know or knew have experienced anything like this.
 
Yes, there was scurvy, leprosy, polio, WW1, WW2, Holocaust, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, SARS, HIV and even 9/11. They were all scary, lethal and very damaging.
 
Yet none of them was as invisible, as undetectable and with a potential to shroud and sicken in such large numbers over such vast distances, and at such a rapid speed.
 
It has brought the whole world to its knees, it has even slowed down time.
 
Yet, a part of me is telling me that even though our knees may have buckled, even though our hearts have been grabbed by a chilly, macabre hand our spirits still burn.
 
On the streets of Philippines where I live, where people love being close to each other, support and and care for each were for some days taken by surprise and shock.
 
It was against their very nature to keep away, to not support and not care. In the last two days small gestures and conversations of care, compassion and courage have begun to emerge.
 
Yesterday, I heard a young leader claim that she’d stand behind and support her small team of four, who still had to physically report for work.
 
Half the consultants and coaches I personally know have moved half their value creating work online for their clients at no cost.
 
Many doctors and health workers have swore to stay on and work in the hospitals until this battle is over.
 
This morning, a Sunday, a few homes across my place I heard church services being conducted. To me that is a sign. A big one. A sign that says we will all, across the world, break through and climb over to a shinier and a brighter day, to shinier and a brighter world.
Yes, it will be a totally brand new world from here on and it is bound to be a lot more creative, courageous and compassionate.
 
Raju Mandhyan
On April, I am inviting you to an online chat on “Tenacity through Tough Times,” please click to learn more and sign up. The first 25 seats are complimentary.

I hate brocolli!

I hate brocolli! I hate the sight of it. I hate it’s name. “Brocolli?” What is that? It sounds like some tropical disease. Like, “He’s got brocolli between his toes. She’s got brocolli in her armpits.  But then again, we do know its good for us. Its green and healthy for our insides and for our cancer fighting cells. And, some claim, it adds and multiplies brain cells.

Similarly, in my work-life there are things that I know that there are things we must do which will be good for us. Like learning to and keeping proper accounts. Learning to and keeping proper records and files of projects and programs. And, for professionals and small business owners like me, learning to build an active website and sustaining, nurturing it over time.

I hate brocolli!

I hate brocolli!

I knew this. I was told this, many a times, years ago by colleagues and friends in the industry and yet I kept thinking _assigning this to a professional or a professional team would be the smart thing to do. And, boy was I ever wrong! Nearly every other year, I’d look for to outsource this work and they’d come back and pick my brain, have me do the thinking, the brainstorming and making the website work for me and my business. ” At first I was doling out money in spades and getting aesthetically impressive returns. Then I tightened my fist and began to get function but no charm and no ease. All through, in the back of my head, I kept thinking…”I wish I was computer savvy. I wish I understood the internet as well as they do. I wish I were Generation X or Y or Z. I wish I weren’t a late-bloomimg baby boomer baby! Grrr!

Website building, maintenance and the world of internet marketing loomed over me like a huge clump of rotting brocolli.

Yet, a small voice kept telling me, “Go ahead, take a bite and start chewing. Go ahead, roll up and your sleeves, tie a nappy around your neck and dig in!

So, two week ago, I rolled up my sleeves, put a nappy around my neck, put on my reading glasses, plugged in the earphones and hauled my lap top closer to me and began clicking, punching, rewinding, undoing, doing, highlighting, reading, taking a power nap in between, and clicking, punching, rewinding, undoing, doing, highlighting, reading, listening until it began to make sense, until it began to take shape.

What you are browsing through right now is a still a rough draft, a skeleton of what is yet to come and grow. In essence, not only am I learning to eat my brocolli but I am also learning to plant, grow and make it flourish organically. That’s the way to go when it comes to learning and succeeding at something you consider hard and something that you figure you can set aside and a let divine intervention resolve it for you. No sirree! It doesn’t happen that way.

Can this same principle be applied for accounting, book-keeping and or maintaining records. Yes!
Nothing is more empowering and liberating than tackling any and all kinds of huge, ugly brocolli clouds that loom over you and slow you down. Hate that brocolli? Eat it first! It’s good for your soul;)

Inner Sun

An Unbalanced Life.

Most everyone is focused on living a balanced life. What exactly is a balanced life? Twenty fours divided equally between work, play, family, personal needs and service to the world? Or, is it stress at work, peace at home?