No One Cares About Your Plans

I have a complete post about my targets for 2015 written and saved in the draft. Just now I realized, how stupid it is.

Who gives a damn about what I plan to do? No one. No one cares about the plans, plans are just plans.

I have a lot of plans and lots of ideas, but the truth is, as my girlfriend says “No one pays for ideas.” And no one cares about plans. People care about what was done, what was accomplished.

So I’ll leave that post in the drafts for now and I’ll publish it by the end of the year, to see what I’ve actually accomplished.

I know, people say (I think there’s research on that as well) that public commitment could make me perform better. This actually is a form of public commitment. I commit to give you the showdown by the end of the year and to compare the “what I wanted to achieve” vs “what I’ve actually accomplished”. That will be something that people could care about.

Bottom line: Don’t listen to people talking about their plans, ask them about what they’ve already done.

The Spark In The Eyes Makes The Difference

Last weekend we were running an innovation workshop for the guys from AIESEC Slovakia. As a part of it we had a short presentation from a Jozef Porhincak from Challengest project.

What mostly inspired me about his talk was not the content. Though the idea and success of the project are really interesting. What caught my attention was the spark of enthusiasm and full commitment that he displayed.

It’s great to see people fully devoted to the idea they believe in. And it makes me think “what does make me feel this way”? What is the thing that would light the spark in my eyes?

Do you have something that lights your spark? If yes, what do you do about it?

Acting vs being

Have you ever wanted to be different than you are? For me it happens. Mostly when I’m disappointed with what I have / haven’t done.

In fact, I think when we wish for being different, what we really mean is that we would want to have acted differently. When we wish to be more “outgoing”, what we mean is “I wish I would have gone out and spoke to those people.”

We are the sum of our habits. And habits are formed by actions.

So if you want to BE different, just ACT differently.

Snap! Every Moment Counts In Life

We live in the age of amazing speed. Everyday, every hour, every minute, every second amazing number of new ideas are born.

Snap! The opportunity is lost. Snap! Another one appears. Snap!

Our personal and business success depends on our quick reaction. I used to work for Alcatel-Lucent, whose motto is “At the Speed of Ideas”. But only now working in B2B sales I understand what it really means to be in quick. You can lose an opportunity faster than you think. You need to ack quickly and decisively.

Snap!

The time between “snaps” gets shorter and shorter and we need to learn and act quicker and quicker. We don’t have the time to gather all the information we need. We even don’t have the capacity for that, for the amount of data is enormous. We need to do more decisions in shorter time with limited information.

It’s more costly to hesitate than to risk and fail.

I’m naturally not the most decisive and quick to act. But I have to learn this. It’s a skill just like any other.

I’ve had one business idea in my drawer for almost 2 years. Now a friend of mine came up with a connected idea and within couple of weeks he’s starting to build a prototype of first product. Makes me wonder, where I would be, if I had started acting earlier…

What about you? Are you quick enough to succeed? Do you hear that snapping sound? Does it announce your success or failure to act?

SNAP!

Extremes Can Guide Your Focus

Nothing is black or white. There is a lot of grey area available. Despite that, sometimes it makes sense to think black or white.

Many times I tend to turn into thinking that it’s “more-less okay” or “partially done” or stuff like that.

Black or white, yes or no, done or not done are ultimate statements, but they help to keep my thinking real. Even if I’m working on something that takes time and I “celebrate” little successes on the way, I still turn back to simple question: “Yes or no?”

Going “extreme” in evaluating situation might not be always good, but many times it helps to keep your head straight and focused. Whether in personal or business topics, it can be great guidance.

Simplest Way To Get Some Help

… and it will be given. Or at least it might be.

One thing constantly upsets me: so few people ask for what they want, even when they have the unlimited options available.

When I was still active with AIESEC, we already had a large group of alumni (ex-AIESECers), who were just one phone-call away. Despite that we used to “reinvent the wheel”, because we didn’t ask for help.

Nowadays, when I have the chance to help some of the young guys through my experience, I see that still happening. There’s so few of people who will just pick-up the phone and ask for help or advise (whether from me or from others).

Most of the times if you state your request honestly, you will be treated with respect. You don’t even need to be offering anything in return (though it’s great if you find some benefits for the other side).

In most of the cases, people are keen on helping. Some actually long to be given the chance to contribute to others. Some like to be asked, because it gives them the feeling of appreciation. Some might say no. But many will say “yes”.

Worst case you end up where you have started. Best case, you will get what you want. Everything it takes is to step forward. Without asking, you’ll get a “No” for sure.

So go ahead and ask. It might be given.

Create a NOT-TO-DO List As Well

I already wrote about setting good boundaries. Now I want to share some DO-NOT-DOs, which help me to contribute my best. Maybe you can find some of them helpful:

  • don’t criticise without an alternative,
  • don’t judge before fully understanding,
  • don’t assume you know best,
  • don’t hesitate,
  • don’t underestimate people,
  • don’t argue, use arguments,
  • don’t hurt intentionally,
  • don’t postpone an apology,
  • don’t regret,
  • don’t lie (to others and yourself),
  • don’t repeat mistakes,
  • don’t quit.

Do you have your DO-NOT-DOs? Share some of them 😉

PS: for those interested, here’s a great post by Ivana Sendecka on Why Having “NOT To-Do List” Can Save You (Time).

Achievements Should Be Celebrated

I finished my first half-marathon today. I’m proud and happy.

Strange, how unnatural it feels to write about achievement. Most of the time I write about overcoming obstacles. Very little I celebrate the victories here.

Today it’s time to do so.

I started running couple of months ago. Actually it was in May 2012 when I got back to Slovakia. First run was 1.88 km. I almost fainted after it. I did my first 10 km run in July 2012. It took me total of 11 months to get to finish half-marathon.

When I signed up for Bratislava marathon, I set a goal to finish it (and if all goes well, get there in 2h 30min). I finished in 2:08:15, which I didn’t even dream of.

What I also loved about the experience is that I enjoyed it. Yes, there were couple of moments when I thought I will lay down and cry. But most of the time, I was having fun, jumping, changing pace, trying longer and shorter stride. It was real fun!

There are 4 things that helped me to get at the end of my first half-marathon:

  • clear goal
  • enjoying the way
  • not stopping
  • support from friends

If you want to achieve something, set a goal, make sure to find joy in the process, don’t stop and find friends to support you. Than just go and do it. Enjoy your achievement.

This Helps Me In Tough Times

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in life. There are times when you are in a sh*t storm of everything going wrong.

When I’m in that state, there is couple of thoughts that help me get over it:

In couple of days it will be over, no matter what.

People think that in stress time is an enemy, but actually, it’s a friend for me. Because time flies no matter what. And that means that in some specific time, this particular “issue” will be over, one way or another.

You will learn from this experience.

Every experience has a potential for learning. Even the worst one. So go ahead and take what it has to offer.

Bad emotions are also emotions – the spice of life.

Without emotion we would be just robots. So enjoy the fact that you have some. Be it even anger, sadness, worry or whatever “bad feelings”, those are also important.

Come on, don’t be a whining little girl.

When nothing else works, I just start making fun of myself. That usually kicks my spirit up.

In the end, it is true what Charles R. Swindoll said:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

What about you? What do you tell to yourself, when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows around?

Revisiting your roots

It’s always good to revisit the places which made you. Just now I’m sitting in Banska Bystrica, the town where I spent 3 years of my life studying.

It felt really special driving towards the town. It’s the place where I started discovering my personality and my dreams. It’s where I met my first love. It’s where I started my journey of an “adult” and I formed my most important attitudes.

That’s why it’s special for me.

What can you get from revisiting the special places of your past:

  • refreshing the old emotions
  • remembering past ambitions
  • remembering great moments
  • rediscovering your thoughts

Most important:

I get the chance to look at my present self through eyes of my past self and see whether I am becoming who I wanted to become.

The most important opinion is our own opinion of us. Revisiting our past gives us the chance to think: “Am I happy with who I have become? Would the myself of the past approve of me today?”

When was the last time you revisited your roots? How was it?