Six Rules To Avoid Saying Something You’ll Regret

Did I speak up too early?

I sat gloomily in the hall, fidgeting restlessly with my facilitator pen pointer as we all wait for the first person to speak. The local HR Director look up with a glance across the room, shifted uncomfortably in his chair, then look at the visiting Board of Directors from the company Group Headquarter in Europe. 

Do any of you have anything to say?“. Erik, the Group Executive CEO asked again in a mild voice, obviously trying to hide his growing agitation. No one moved. Pin drop silence that couldn’t even pick a few hesitant and dashing glances across the room. 

“What will you want me to talk about? What question will you want to ask me?“. Erik continued, his voice now beginning to betray his growing frustration and impatience.

Feeling it was my responsibility as session facilitator to ‘manage’ the situation, not knowing it was my own inability to endure the silence, I stood up. I gestured to be given the microphone. I then began to speak. “Erik, thanks for the opportunity …”

Each time I look back at the session, I cannot but question myself, ‘why in the world did I speak up when others kept mute, did I speak up too early?’

Between espouse corporate steers and common sense

Back then, the reason was clear to me, business leaders had repeatedly said, feel free to speak up.

  1. I felt I had the licence and leaders encouragement to speak up.
  2. I believe I was doing it for the good of the business and the team.
  3. And I wanted to encourage others to speak up so we can have robust conversation to help generate the right inputs and engagement.

“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” 
― Winston S. Churchill

But why did others withheld using the same freedom to speak? It is usually believed and gossiped that employees get their ‘fingers burnt’ when they speak up, especially where their superiors are present. And even if superiors are not present, the fear that a colleague could give them away, even for saying what is right. But why should anyone be bullied or harassed for speaking after being encouraged to do so.

The Guardian online newspaper investigated and reported on the prevalence of bullying at work for a lot of different reasons. It stated that it’s a silent epidemic that is subtle, political and one that leaves employees unsure of where they stand, either to follow management’s espouse policy of speaking up, or use common sense and follow the in-use but unwritten management responses.

During the session I reported earlier, I may have spoken up too early or I may just have demonstrated the right level of confidence. I did not get any feedback, good or bad. But, I did not also feel it put any wind to my sail. I however learnt some good lessons from that event which I will chronicle later. But first, let me share the Four Simple Rules To Avoid Saying Something You’ll Regret that was written by Judith Humphrey (founder of The Humphrey Group) for the FastCompany and additional summarized two. One as shared by Susan Cain in an interview with Harvard Business review, and a second by Fran Hauser (author of The Myth of the Nice Girl) as shared on Oprah.

Speaking spontaneously encourages candor, but sometimes it’s at the expense of tact.

  1. Speak well of your company
  2. Show respect for your Boss
  3. Speak well of your colleagues
  4. Show Self-respect
  5. Show gratitude not weakness; replace, “I’m sorry,” with, “Thank you.” (summary from Fran, overcoming women’s more obvious weakness)
  6. Speak, its already better baked than an extrovert’s pie, stop the thought over processing (summary from Susan, overcoming an introvert’s inertia)

Finally, when you realize you have made a mistake in what you said, how you said it or when you said it, own up; make amends and do the right thing. Your error may even be that you did not speak up as much as you should! It’s a life of balance. Just as Pope Francis said in the handling of sexual abuse scandal in Chile, “I have made grave mistakes in the assessment and my perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information.”

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Looking back, I am happy I stepped out and said what I said during the meeting I referred to at the start of this write up, which I facilitated. And that is without concern on the outcome and its impact on my career. However, remember that saying something you’ll regret can have more disastrous impact on lives and careers, either of your self or others.

If you need more speaking quotes, check out the following.

Photograph Credit: BlendImages/Alamy through TheGuardian (Guardian News and Media Limited)

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Akinspire-Are Good Leaders, Investors?

Are good leaders just great investors like the ten most legendary investors who ever lived who invest in stocks and businesses; or are they first, investors in people?

The names that comes up includes, Warren Buffett, Julian Robertson, Thomas Rowe Price, Jr, James D. Slater, George Soros, Michael Steinhardt, John Templeton, … and Akin Adeleye.

To read more, go to;

Akinspire – Reviews

News: Who are The 10 Most Legendary Investors Who Ever Lived?

How One Deadly Shot Against Procrastination Made a BIG Difference

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Procrastination is often a symptom of perfectionism. Because perfectionists fear being unable to complete a task perfectly, they put it off as long as possible. This stems from the fear that not meeting the goal means that there is something bad, wrong or unworthy inside of them.

Quote by Denise Jacobs

Whaoh! Sixteen (16) days gone already. My last post was published sixteen days ago? It sure is a lot of work to write each post. But I flow so naturally and unstoppable once I start writing. Though I know it can be tasking, but am always unfettered and unruffled by the hard work involved. So, why did I stop for this long?

Not that I did not have a daily urge to write or at least a topic to write on. I have actually started a post and left it as a draft. But I could not just spare the time to write because I was not in the mood. I also seem to have a silent fear that I will not be able to deliver the kind of quality write up that I want without distractions from my other life pursuits.

But this gave me a sense of loss. Loss of productivity, loss of connection with my online friends and co-bloggers. And a loss of traction to the speed and momentum I was building up.

Wait a minute, sense of loss? Did I write that? 16 days of FAILING to write or 16 days of SUCCEEDING only in procrastination? Even in this, my cup is half full not half empty. This makes me to remember, I have Succeeded in Zero out of 3 Happiness and Confidence Test.

I will speak and write about succeeding and not failing. A failure is someone who has given up, who has not started, or taken a step. I only had a break. A failure will be the car maker stopping work in 1914, simply because he/she could get a futuristic glimpse of the fast cars of 2018. A failure can be likened to a snail that refuse to starts its journey simply because it sees ahead, a tortoise, then a turtle, then a cheetah.

Therefore today, I choose to direct just one deadly shot against procrastination. Just write! And guess what, I choose to write about that one thing that is holding me back, procrastination. I faced the elephant in the room.

I realize that I procrastinated on this very important journey because I allow it to drop in my order of priority. I allowed myself to be bugged down by the same old “other people’s very urgent and important businesses”, and things that are in my comfort zone, rather than push my limit in this one area of flow and joy. This seemingly unimportant and not so urgent area of my life, but where I want to start making the biggest changes and achieve the highest growth.

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I understand your personal frustration as you too sit in the hall way of procrastination.

But you too can get up, dust off the lethargy, arm yourself with your clearly identified life goals, game changer ideas or pursuit and just go for it! Get on board that stimulating train or activity again. That one jolly train that was taking you on your journey of purpose and accomplishment.

So, what are you going to do, differently?

My one deadly shot against procrastination, was; just start, just do it.

To further assist your understanding and expand this beyond my usual simplistic solutions, I decided to search for additional guides. Let me start with a summary from two Forbes write ups;  10 Scientifically Proven Tips for Beating Procrastination and Why Being A Perfectionist Can Hold You Back

1. Pick your poison – this is about focus and choosing/ prioritizing on ONE thing.

2. Start today – taking immediate action.

3. Five Minute Miracle – taking a small doable chunk, or identified small action.

4. Do a Power Hour – put away all distractions and work in concentrated chunks of time.

5. Kill it With Kindness – forgive yourself for past procrastination.

6. Have a Procrastination Power Song – get a song that really gets you energized.

7. Get under the hood – understand exactly why you’ve been procrastinating a specific task.

8. Let It Go – decide if this item need to be dropped off the ‘to do list’.

9. Make a bet – have an accountability buddy and have a bet with the person.

10. Make it fun – create a reward for yourself if the procrastinated task is completed.

Finally, I have done it again. I have gone a long way writing another blog I can be proud of simply because I took the first steps.

Prior to now, I had finished some other “pressing” priorities. Yesterday, I had a very lively and stimulating conversation with a colleague about my blog. This spurred me into action and made me refocus to do just this ONE thing that I have procrastinated doing for so long. I had the conversation yesterday, failed again (did not succeed) to start yesterday even though it was on my ‘to do list’ for several days. But I took action today. At least, today is closer to immediately, more than tomorrow or never. I just wanted to kick start it. But I went more than 75% with the first shot. I did not just do a five minute miracle slot, I used a two hours online meeting to multitask.

Surely, according to the research referred to in the Forbes write up,

“… once you start something, you’re much more likely to finish it”…

This is a psychological phenomenon called, the Zeigarnik effect. With two hours spent now, I had moved from a five minute miracle to doing a power one hour. I have also forgiven myself (maybe not totally), for procrastinating this long. I also overcame the lethargy of not wanting to fail. My accountability buddy sent me a reminder email this morning, funny, just remembering. Did all these seemingly unconnected actions actually contributed to me writing this post today? Maybe.

What are you currently procrastinating doing? What will you do now, immediately, to make a difference? What can you advice to help someone stop procrastinating? Are you been daunted by procrastination triggers?

Chris Bailey’s Harvard Business Review write up on 5 Research-Based Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination listed Pychyl’s seven triggers that make a task seem more averse. They are, if the task is, boring, frustrating, difficult, ambiguous, unstructured, not intrinsically rewarding, or lacking in personal meaning.

SPARE ONE HOUR – For Additional Knowledge From Multiple Videos

I started with my ONE shot, 5 miracle minutes, 2 hours of multitasking doing this post, and ended up spending additional hours to learn more.

I realized from Robin Sharma (How I Beat Procrastination) 2WW, that my walking exercises over the weekend could also have aided my “readiness” to write today.

Rafeal Eliassen sounded so persuasive in Killing Procrastination – COMPLETELY Eliminate Putting Things Off, FOREVER. He talked about how most of us do to tap into our potential and talent. This is the same damning verdict I got yesterday when I finally made a so long procrastinated call to someone. Again, perhaps another unknown and seemingly unrelated shot that may have helped me to write this post.

Mel Robbins TEDxSF How to stop screwing yourself over came late, but made me realize that I stopped screwing myself when I pushed my ONE first shot and started to just write. I actually talked and opened up to a friend over the weekend. This is someone who had always harassed me that I don’t talk freely.  Someone I can call a close stranger. I said I was not FINE! That I needed to do things differently. This is the same person who helped me get back to my exercise routine, just been an exercise buddy.

Mel Robbins piece in Retrain your Mind, and The Secret to Self-Motivation is also fantastic. The question, “why is it so hard to do the little things that will change my life”, struck a deep cord down my heart. The importance of the DECISIONS or INDECISIONS I make, daily, the 5 seconds rule, etc also corroborate the other advise from other writers or “coach”. Then comes again that powerful fact of, JUST DO IT NOW!

DON’T wait for TOMORROW before you ACT.

Infact, don’t wait for the 6th second after now.

Within 5 seconds from now, DO SOMETHING POSITIVE to move your life, task or project FORWARD.

Beat the procrastination triggers off this game.

PLEASE, don’t throw away tomorrow.

(By the way, that’s the title of a great book by Robert H. Schuller, you need to get one and read.)

Or, if we neglect today, can tomorrow be better?

I started in the morning with a first shot.

I have done several reviews and rewriting all day, actually dropping everything else.

It’s evening and am beginning to get a bit frustrated that I have not been able to finish the post. I feel like just publishing it as is. But I can’t. It’s not yet good enough. Is it my perfectionist self at play again? Now it will want me to procrastinate on publishing this for you to read. Why should there be so many obstacles and barriers towards a good cause? At every new turn, after one other victory, why is perfectionism and procrastination there, standing in the way of my tomorrow?

Starting is just the beginning. There should be no delusion that there is always a lot of hard work involve in delivering our goal.

See you tomorrow, with your yesterday’s goals achieved, as you fiercely progress towards your life purpose and as you brighten up the world around you with the smile of someone who has had fulfilling today.

Photocredits: Smallstarter Africa, Pinterest, motivationalreads

 

Succeeded in Zero out of 3 Happiness and Confidence Test!

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This initially started in my head as failing in zero out of three test. But thank goodness, something from my previous learnings refused to allow a “failure” connotation to stick. Cup half full than half empty!

Without going into the technicalities of the academia which has various school of thought on how to measure happiness [Oxford Happiness Inventory (Argyle and Hill), Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky & Lepper), Satisfaction with Life Scale (Deiner, Emmons, Larsen and Griffin), Panas Scale (Watson, Clark, Tellegen), etc], let’s just use the three simple questions below that focus on the areas that impacts my well being now. Perhaps, yours too.

 

So I suggest you also check how you will perform on the three test questions below.  It’s a measure of your level of confidence or happiness, at this very moment. Give each question a maximum score of 30 points.

The 3 Happiness and Confidence Test

  1. How happy or confident are you now, considering the current balance(s) in your bank account(s), compared to your immediate and short term financial needs and future wealth aspirations?
  2. How prepared are you now to manage your personal affairs without your current job, and how confident are you now in easily securing another employment, assuming you get news now of an imminent loss of your paid employment due to redundancy?
  3. How happy are you now with your level of success and how confident are you now, that you will still be a success in life, no matter how you privately define success?

What will you consider a good score out of 100? Can it be 65/100 or 65%? What is your total score? Add 10 to your total score for having the confidence to assess yourself.

Look out online for other test that may be more sophisticated and can possibly generate a report for you.

Check on the 101 Happiness Quotes collated by Henrik Edberg and the 20 Confidence Quotes by Goalcast.

Finally, do you think it’s worth it assessing our level of happiness or confidence? Have you tried to identify the key issues that makes you feel less happy or confident? What actions have you identified that you will work on within defined timeline, to improve on your current level of happiness or confidence, and in those specific areas of your life you have identified need improvement?

Am happy you came around. Am confident you will drop a comment in the box below. Why wouldn’t you? Especially when your comment can make someone happy.

”I love making you laugh because for those few seconds, I made you happy and seeing you happy, it makes me happy too”

3 Steps to maximizing your brainbox?

Why should the “grey matter” inside the skull be called a brain and the whole system not called a thinking box? And why not call the long fluffy end of a female hair, a mop stick end. You got it? Ok. So, why can’t the teeth and mouth joint structure be called speaker, chair called floor brush, toes called floor rake and breakfast called dinner?

0C0C7FE2-8DDB-4BA3-A07B-FABD6BE8485FWhen I shared with a 14 year old who is learning the rudiments of coding how a blog or website can be created from a WordPress theme template rather than from the scratch, I got what I did not bargained for. I was questioned why anything on the internet should be believed. She wondered if a “toddler professor” or an “acclaimed academia”, “subject matter expert” or anyone that simple want to expresss his/herself can’t also just pick up some ideas and share on the web. This can be picked up by someone else, and used as from an “authoritative source”.

Before I started this post, I asked WordPress support team to assist with a theme customization that I had struggled with for a while. And bingo, within minutes, I got some tips, applied it myself, and I got the result I had struggled to get on my own. So, there are tested hands who know their onions and should be listened to.

My co blogger who is battling with PKD go regularly to see medical professionals who are helping her with her health challenge. I read HBR, Forbes and other magazines to enhance my knowledge since the articles seems to make some sense. And just yesterday at a meeting, the coordinator said some words and some others also said theirs, … and am suppose to believe they will all come to pass? They call it prayers!

The last time I checked, there is still no border wall separating America from Mexico, but it may come tomorrow. During the last American election campaign, that seemed like a given, just waiting to happen, a day after inauguration.

060809A9-BBDD-4991-A763-054553BEB402And if a total stranger or familiar acquaintance just yell at you now and call you stupid, big piggy fat-liar, a slob, disgusting animal, a beautiful or ugly piece of ass, a failure, or a wasteful spender who will not amount to anything; am sure your emotions will hit the roof. Yet, what authority has this abusive stranger or acquaintance? Who submit “power” to this person by a “supportive emotional response” and thereby validate the negative venom flushed out?

Emotions don’t ask for a degree, experience or reference to believe or react so passionately to junks – spoken, acted, or written!

I hope you are not at a loss now as to which “professional” you should believe or doubt. I know you don’t easily believe one, that’s YOU! You possible rarely even trust YOU enough to speak, act or write down who YOU truly are. Including who YOU are now compared to who YOU used to be, and who YOU will be soon in-spite of all the nay sayers, self doubt, obstacles, current realities and negativities that surround YOU.

421901AA-C5BD-4447-A2F9-5BECCFB63454The ability to create is in the mouth, the mind, the head or “thinking-action-box”. You’ve got all these as an individual, great, frail or small. Privatelyme and you, we need to take more control of our life, our actions, reactions, responses and behavior. Each of us is immensely qualified to. If YOU are gone today to the great beyond, no matter the best of wealth or medical expertise, no one can be you again. At best a close clone, an imitation or a recasting of your past or possible future by an actor. Definitely, not the reality that could have been, with you in control.

Switch on to maximum pitch

So, what 3 steps are you to follow to maximize your brainbox especially when it comes to maximize your life? In this issue, I will give the top headlines and expand on them in subsequent issues;

1. Control your environment

2. Know your planned destination

3. Follow the law of Jordan to Galilee to a Life sea

Next time your brain wants you to freeze, run or stay your ground and fight as is normal for a particular situation; pull the nerve trigger, stop all motion. You are the “toddler professor” in-charge here. You are determining the right next step. You are the one writing, telling, yelling, ACTING OUT the post and story of your life for a better and greater future, and clicking “publish”.

 

 

Elon Musk Puzzle

Catching Co2, dropping Oxygen – while in Pursuit of life or emptiness.

If I can, I will live. If to live is the rarest thing in the world, if most people just go about all to exist, then if I can, I will help someone else too, to live. I want to live and go beyond mere making a living. As Winston Churchill wrote, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

Is all life efforts for (tweet) attention, post mortem praise, life time gifting or to be big bucks champion? As guru with the answer, if Elon Musk is to regenerate himself, whose body should he take, Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Donald Trump?

How many inventions can be monetized here?

Seemingly nothing new added to creation, but it waits patiently for man to catch up with its attention grabbing acts, great inventions and discoveries and exceeding wealth..

I crave exceeding wealth and comfort, and snooze my nose at Olusosun’s rubbish dump and Ojuelegba’s park confusion and falling articulated vehicles. If Italy’s sectionally collapsed Genoa bridge had given out as much “molten lava” like Italy’s Mount Vesuvius did in A.D. 79 eruption that buried two cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sororities and fraternities would have been curated to extol mans ingenuity since just like millions still live near Mount Vesuvius.

I am young. I need help to breath. Am suffocating, catching Co2 and dropping oxygen. I need guidance to purpose and meaning beyond the pursuit of deserted life and emptiness.

All aquired , and then given away. What folly in pursuit, in sweats, weariness, hurts and endless pursuits. The richest does not gubernare a city. The peace man, world arbiter cannot stop a war. Who rampaged, who pillaged, who cried for mercy, who ate their words?

I am young. I need help to breath. Am suffocating, catching Co2 and dropping oxygen. I am just me, little I think. But it doesn’t matter. Nero, Napoleon, Augustus, Alexander… bigger mightier I think. But gone, enough left behind as memory in my history – books, monuments and artifacts.

If I can breath and refuse to suffocate, if I won’t get guidance and life giving value based mentorship from the biggest “players” of finite now, I will still not forget that I am still one of a kind. I encourage you too therefore, noble and lowly, “… never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person (for a positively good change)” – R. Buckminster Fuller

Aretha Franklin -Unspoken Conflicts, Unusual Victories.

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Greatest Soul Artist of all Time

According to The Guardian newspaper, Franklin’s fraught personal life was instinctively understood by the select few she allowed into her circle, particularly the female soul singers with whom she bonded.

”There was always an unspoken understanding between us”, the paper report Etta James to have later confessed, “… we’d be drawn to men, the wrong men, who weren’t in love with us, but we’re in love with who we were”.

To each and everyone of us, are the two components of personalities. Have you found yours? Are you relinquishing one for the other or are you maximizing the power of the two?

Soon, the two or multiple different you, young, adorable, charmingly different you,  will both or all grow old, and lose the energy, spark, vitality and vigor of your youth or your yesterday.

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Undisputed Queen of Soul

As if asking you, now I have handed the baton over, what are you going to do with your life, even if just what remains of it?

Most, if not all of us, carry this multiple personalities, which are not limited to the fully known, partially known and the unknown. Even The Washington Post (TWP) had to put an editor’s note to their write up on Aretha, an update to remove what they called “speculative analysis of Franklin’s life story”.  At death, she can’t refute any story. And I wonder why you and I bother spending so much resources refuting our yesterday instead of just writing tomorrrow with an irrefutable golden ink. TWP went on to report that Aretha’s life wasn’t always as victorious as her records sounded. Now, that is the Privatelyme that am talking about. The me and you that is just us and private and classically different from the one that is public.

From an early age, TWP reported that Aretha’s life was marred with difficulties – the sorts of crushing trials and tributions many people never work their way out from under. That the Queen of Soul’s ascent to the throne was not always an easy one. And I thought my way up the little stairway corridor from my current job level to the next was hard enough for me to give up on life. What a weak punch am throwing back at life’s challenges! When Aretha’s home was also reported to be unstable, left by her mum at age 6, lost her mum to the cold hands of death at 10, and she herself giving birth to her first child at 12 years of age, her second by a different father at 15 and a third child, still to a different father at 19 in a tempestuous marriage that lasted just 8 years!

It’s debateable if her turbulent personal life fuel her music and the passion with which she delivered it.  But she lived till 76, crowned No 1 in Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, sold more than 75 million records, won 18 Grammy Awards out of 44 nominations, performed at the inaugural events of three US presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s.

Her song “Respect” has been part of the soundtracks in 29 films, an unofficial anthem for the civil rights movement and the women’s movement.

Born March 25, 1942 and died August 16, 2018.

Music made Aretha come alive, and what she gave, the world accepted, capturing the essence in Howard Thurman’s word that, we all shouldn’t “… ask what the world needs. (But we should) Ask what makes you (and I) come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”. Eleanor Roosevelt also spoke to Aretha. He told her in this quote, “you gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say, ‘I have lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along’. You must do the thing you think you cannot do”.