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Puneeth’s blog

Boundaries with technology.

Personal boundaries are a must in an infinite virtual world where our attention is constantly up for auction.

We immerse in the rabbit hole of links, get teased by cliffhangers and succumb to the death scroll.

We do everything except to ship the work that matters to those we get to serve.

Design, test and commit to standard operating procedures for your technology because it brings purpose, priority and path to your real life.

Finding and refining practices.

Practices are refined by time.

Examining the overachievers of yore, your elders, and your past to uncover clues, nuances and consequences of practices that worked and were finely tuned is worthwhile.

Clone them with pig-headed discipline and determination.

Stand Chilly

Pausing while speaking to an audience is daunting. Some avoid it by sprinting through their speech, pausing for a quick breath, many blank out in the pause, feel awkward and fidget with their notes, and a few avoid speaking altogether fearing their inability to overcome a pause.

Though pausing purposefully is a generous act because it allows your audience to catch up with you, feel your messages’ and react.

A worthwhile phrase I’ve improvised from Sue Sally is “stand chilly”.

Standing hints pausing physically, no gestures, fidgeting, swaying. Just remaining still, being present, witnessing your audience.

I resonate with chilly because it’s cooler than cool, It’s icy, it’s frigid. But it’s active too. It’s much more comfortable to stand chilly than to coolly pause.

As communicators, we need to stand chilly at times. To gather our thoughts, to let our audience to catch up, to let the emotion hang in the air and even to take their breath away!

Acknowledge your audience.

Breathe easily.

Stand chilly.

On being a Professional

Beyond the stereotypes of one who charges for something, pursues what one is qualified for from 9-5 or is well-groomed, formally dressed and is carrying a leather bag. What does it mean to be a professional?

I am moved by this quote:

“When we turn pro, everything becomes simple. Our aim centres on the ordering of our days in such a way that we overcome the fears that have paralyzed us in the past. We now structure our hours not to flee from fear, but to confront it and overcome it. We plan our activities in order to accomplish an aim. And we bring our will to bear so that we stick to this resolution. This changes our days completely. It changes what time we get up and it changes what time we go to bed. It changes what we do and what we don’t do. It changes the activities we engage in and with what attitude we engage in them. It changes what we read and what we eat. It changes the shape of our bodies. When we were amateurs, our life was about drama, about denial, and about distraction. Our days were simultaneously full to the bursting point and achingly, heartbreakingly empty. But we are not amateurs anymore. We are different, and everyone in our lives sees it.

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield

At the heart of it, it’s a courageous decision to let go of amateur habits and build professional habits. Here are 16 of them summarized by Samuel Thomas Davies.

  1. The professional is patient
  2. The professional seeks order
  3. The professional demystifies
  4. The professional acts in the face of fear
  5. The professional accepts no excuses
  6. The professional plays it as it lays
  7. The professional is prepared
  8. The professional does not show off
  9. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
  10. The professional does not hesitate to ask for help
  11. The professional does not take failure or success personally
  12. The professional does not identify with his or her instrument
  13. The professional endures adversity
  14. The professional self-validates
  15. The professional reinvents herself
  16. The professional is recognized by other professionals

I hope you will chose to commit to being a professional. Can’t wait to see what you make happen.

How to make highlights that work for you.

We forget the highlights we so excitedly make in the books we read.

In school, we were taught to highlight important things. Aspects we could revise the night before our tests, commit to short term memory, duplicate on the paper and forget.

The anxious student part of me still highlights in an attempt to etch the sentence in my memory. Yet a few days later I fail to recall a single highlight!

So, I complete reading a book and I revisit the highlights to distil principles, ideas, insights, and actionable.

The former are moved to my notes and all actionable to my calendar.

It has made my reading meaningful, fun and profitable.

10,000% is easier.

There’s a point where the enthusiasm of a practice fades, improvement stagnates, results get predictable. The path of least resistance is to abandon our commitment and revert to our old ways for just a day or only this time.

Weirdly, 98% consistency is harder to maintain. You are better of being 100% consistent 100% of the time. (hence, 10,000%)

When you find yourself in a dip rebuild the momentum by repeating the training videos, finding an accountability partner or bribing yourself to get through it.

10,000% is easier than 98%. Stay the course.

The Truth About Our Verbal Heritage.

It’s a shame that our mother tongue’s influence on our spoken English makes us uncomfortable. And so, we pound our vocal folds to British English pronunciations, neutralize our accents and try to sound sophisticated.

But it seems forced and fails to resonate with our audiences.

Instead, we are better off amplifying our mother tongues’ influence on our English accent because it reflects our roots, culture and our verbal heritage.

In Bangalore, It’s not a bus, it’s busu, It’s not a car, Its caru and it’s not little, its little little.

A short pencil is better than a long memory.

When an idea strikes us, a long-pending task beckons our attention or we notice something that needs to be improved. At that moment, It’s convenient to push the thought aside for later.

It’s worthwhile to pause for another moment to consider the next step to push it forward and note both down.

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