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August 2009

Your legacy

-Karthik Gurumurthy

By God's grace, my wife and I are blessed with a baby boy last Sunday. I have a fantastic family and am grateful to the almighty for all the blessings.

Got thinking this morning while I was blogging. It hit me like a bucket of COLD water. When my son is reflecting on my life after I pass what will they think of me, my life, goals, accomplishments, how I chose to treat people?

So I wrote a list of the qualities that I would love him to say when asked… “What was your dad like?”

Even if you don’t have children you can benefit from the exercise. Picture you have lived a full life and your future children are sitting around having a coffee with the media guy. The question is “Tell me about your dad/mom, how did they live? What did they teach you?”

Take the time to write this list and more clearer you can write, more the chance of accomplishing it.

Here is something else to think about when you finish the list. What if it all ended tomorrow? What would they say now? Don’t wait to create the life that you want to live! Don’t wait to treat people with kindness, love and respect! Don’t wait to care about a cause bigger then yourself. Don’t wait to get up and see the sunrise, play in a puddle or work harder at something you love! Don’t wait for tomorrow or the best time to start!!

Pursue your passion

by Karthik Gurumurthy

How do you pursue your goals? All of us are passionate about something which are very close to our heart.The question is how do you tap into that kind of passionate pursuit in life? Consider the following:

1. Follow your passions and discover your true purpose in life. There is no way you will fully throw your heart into something if it doesn't align with a core passion. The more meaningful something is to you, the more your heart comes alive. Are you doing something you are passionate about? Can you really get your heart into it? If so, dig deeper into it. If not, let your heart lead you to your passions and talents.

2. Decide to give your personal best. Most people have a habit of giving a good effort or even a great effort, but not necessarily their personal best effort. For example, reach up as high as you can straight into the air while you read this post. Go one is looking...reach up as high as you can. Okay. Are your arms up? Keep them in the air... Now, at the end of this sentence, I want you to do something...raise them a little higher!

Could you do it? I bet you could. So how was it that after you raised your arms as high as you could into the air, you were still able to lift them a little higher? I guess originally they really weren't as high as you could. So many of us live life that way. We think we are doing the very best we can until we are put to the test and suddenly we realize that we can do more. Decide to create a new habit that your best effort truly means giving your personal best.

3. Live by your heart, not your head. Your heart may say, "Go!" but your head says, "No!" Your head is quick to remind you of why you shouldn't do something. It will share past failures with you. It will speak limitations to you. It will rationalize any and all perspectives to keep you from proceeding. However, follow your heart.

Your heart is who you are. Intuitively, you know that. For example, take your finger and point at yourself. Again, go ahead no one is looking. (Besides, if they were looking, they already watched you raise your arms into the air.) So, point at yourself. Now look at your figure. Where is it pointing? It is pointing at your heart, isn't it? It's most likely not pointing at your head.

4. Accept the pain of the process. Anything worth achieving is worth struggling for. Accept the fact that there will be struggles, pain and strong desires to back down in your pursuit. Don't do it. Don't give in or give up. Keep moving.

One of my favorite words comes from NFL football player Tracey Eaton who played for the Atlanta Falcons. Once when interviewed, he was asked how he accomplished despite being injured all over the place. His response was simple yet profound: "Whatever happens I just attempt to keep my legs moving. As long as my legs are pumping then I can still move forward."

Similarly, when I participated in the OC Marathon, one of the people who ran with me said, "Whatever you do during the race just keep moving forward. Even if it is slow, you will be surprised how the miles will add up."

Discomfort will arrive in your quest for accomplishment. However, the key is not to back down when that pain arrives but rather embrace it and push through it! Remember, "The pain of the process is temporary, but the thrill of the victory is forever."

5. Listen to a mentor who sees more in you than even you can. We are all "shortsighted" when it comes to seeing our own potential. Find someone who can guide you that sees who you can become rather than just who you are currently. Since we tend to live up to or down to the expectations others have of us, this step is essential. When you can see you through the eyes of a mentor, the person you see will enlarge. Feed on their vision and limit the value of your own sight.

Make your life one that inspires others. Put a blindfold over your eyes and mind and seek to live life at it's best by tapping into the passion of your heart.

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Last week, Afram talked very nicely about the importance of preparation. He was sharing what he got out of the book "Encore Effect". He mentioned that the first principle of the encore performer is preparation. If there is a breakfast of champions,  preparation is definitely on the menu.

Most think of preparation at work, but what about your personal life? Truth is transferable. Principles don’t change with time, culture or context but with application. If you are meeting somebody, try to know little bit about them that way you can have an intelligent conversation.

Preparation doesn’t only increase effectiveness, it increases enjoyment too.

Power of written goals

Today's reading was mainly about the power of written goals.

 It was recommended to write on a card what it is you would like to accomplish the next day. Rank them in order of importance and work on it until you get it done. Then you start the next day evening.

With regards to your goals, write down on your card specifically what it is you want. Make sure it's a single goal and clearly defined. You needn't show it to anyone, but carry it with you so that you can look at it several times a day. Think about it in a cheerful, relaxed, positive way each morning when you get up, and immediately you have something to work for — something to get out of bed for, something to live for.

Look at it every chance you get during the day and just before going to bed at night. As you look at it, remember that you must become what you think about, and since you're thinking about your goal, you realize that soon it will be yours. In fact, it's really yours the moment you write it down and begin to think about it. The more you look at what you need to do, your work ethic aligns with dominant thought process.

Asking for help is also important So many of us lead our lives like we drive cars. Sometimes it’s smooth and then sometimes we find ourselves spinning in a deep mud. We are in a car (living a life), we are going somewhere (we have a destination in the distant future), we are pressing down the gas (moving forward slowly), spinning and spitting up dirt (making mistakes whilst moving in some direction). Eventually without persistence and dedication we give up, call a tow truck to pull us out (turn to quitting, sleeping, depression or plain anger). If we are lucky a car will stop and people will help push you out (friends, family, mentors).

Why is it that some people never seem to get stuck in the “mud”? Why do some people drive 10 times more then we do and yet never seem to use their CAA/AAA card?

Simple, they have more clarity. They have a clear and precise destination in mind. They have taken methodical steps to achieve their goals one at a time. Each time they get a little stuck they pull out their journal and reflect on the path they started from, the achievements that got them to where they are now. They look at the goal (end destination) and see if a course correction is needed. They ask the tough questions. They realize that to succeed in any part of life the more time you take to plan (journal, ask questions, adjust the course, become problem solvers rather then life blamers), the better the journey will be. What are the steps you take each day/week/month/year to take responsibility for your life?

If the answer is none, you may want to reconsider the next thing you do or step you take. It can start now. Get more clarity.

Get a journal, write the date and this statement… “At the end of my life I want to have accomplished these ten things…”

Write the list, if more then ten, great! If less then ten keep asking yourself for more. This could be the first step in a beautiful adventure.

I am really noticing a difference in focus/ results by doing the to-do list everyday before I go to bed. To-do list and power of written goals goes hand-in-hand.

 Start now and Just do it!