Posts Tagged ‘dirty dozen’

Dirty Dozen #12 – Shortcut

by Rajesh Setty on October 26, 2009

dirty-dozen-shortcutThe earlier posts in this series are as follows:

  1. Dirty Dozen #1 – Luck
  2. Dirty Dozen #2 – Status Quo
  3. Dirty Dozen #3 – Complacency
  4. Dirty Dozen #4 – Mediocrity
  5. Dirty Dozen #5 – Indifference
  6. Dirty Dozen #6 – Impatience
  7. Dirty Dozen #7 – Common Sense
  8. Dirty Dozen #8 – Failure
  9. Dirty Dozen #9 – Expert
  10. Dirty Dozen #10 – Free Ride
  11. Dirty Dozen #11 – Shortcoming

Dictionary definition of Shortcut:
A shorter alternative route.

If there is an ultimate example of an irony, it’ll be called a “Shortcut.”

I have never seen a shortcut saving time or money in the long run. In fact, I think all shortcuts will take more time, energy and money in some way or the other.

The very reason you take a shortcut – to save something, you will lose more of it in the long run by taking a shortcut eliminating all the “perceived” advantages of the shortcut.

Let us actually make this more practical. You spend a significant amount of your life on your craft – you can call it job or profession or whatever you want to call it – I am referring to something that will give you money as a compensation.

Now, Do you want to get a premium for your work or will you settle for commodity wages?

It’s a rhetorical question. Of course you want to get a premium.

This is where the discussion about shortcuts gets interesting.

Shortcuts, by design, won’t give you a premium. They can’t. Let me explain. If anything is easy, there will be a LOT of people who will go after it – meaning an oversupply in the marketplace. When something is available in plenty, it can’t command a premium.

In summary, you can have it easy and get commoditized or you can take the long route and command a premium – the choice is yours.

Forget about taking shortcuts in life. They are too costly in the long run.

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #11 – Shortcoming

by Rajesh Setty on October 23, 2009

dirty-dozen-shortcoming

The earlier posts in this series are as follows:

  1. Dirty Dozen #1 – Luck
  2. Dirty Dozen #2 – Status Quo
  3. Dirty Dozen #3 – Complacency
  4. Dirty Dozen #4 – Mediocrity
  5. Dirty Dozen #5 – Indifference
  6. Dirty Dozen #6 – Impatience
  7. Dirty Dozen #7 – Common Sense
  8. Dirty Dozen #8 – Failure
  9. Dirty Dozen #9 – Expert
  10. Dirty Dozen #10 – Free Ride

Dictionary definition:
A fault or failure to meet a certain standard, typically in a person’s character, a plan or a system.

Understanding shortcomings are important. But simply keep on focusing on your shortcomings and using these shortcomings, as excuses for not performing will be disastrous. You create accomplishments “in spite” of shortcomings.

Everyone has strengths and everyone has shortcomings. Winners operate most of the time in their area of strengths and losers raise their “shortcomings” flag to explain why they lost.

Think about it – very simply, focusing just on shortcomings will take away your focus on your strengths. You get optimum results by focusing on your strengths and compensating on your weaknesses (where applicable.)

If you have a shortcoming and that skill is a REQUIRED element in your recipe for success, try to see if you can partner with someone else to compensate for that shortcoming. If you cannot partner, check if you can pay and get that help. If you cannot find a partner and cannot compensate to get that right help to take care of it, then try re-visiting your goal.

In summary, winners don’t win because they don’t have any shortcomings. They do. They win despite having these shortcomings.

You know you are a winner so go ahead and start focusing on your strengths and in parallel work on getting help in the areas where you have shortcomings.

All the best!

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #10 – Free Ride

by Rajesh Setty on October 22, 2009

dirty-dozen-freeride

The earlier posts in this series are as follows:

  1. Dirty Dozen #1 – Luck
  2. Dirty Dozen #2 – Status Quo
  3. Dirty Dozen #3 – Complacency
  4. Dirty Dozen #4 – Mediocrity
  5. Dirty Dozen #5 – Indifference
  6. Dirty Dozen #6 – Impatience
  7. Dirty Dozen #7 – Common Sense
  8. Dirty Dozen #8 – Failure
  9. Dirty Dozen #9 – Expert

Dictionary definition:
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People love a deal. Look at the number of “SALE” signs in any store that you pass by. There is some sale going on – all the time

Sometimes it’s an “Opening Sale” and sometimes it’s a “Closing Sale.” It can be a “Re-opening Sale” or a “Close-out sale”

On Fathers’ day, it’s a “Fathers Day Sale” and on Mothers’ Day, it’s a “Mothers Day Sale”

On 4th of July, it’s an “Independence Day Sale.”

There is some sale going on all the time.

You can come up with your own concoction for a kind of sale.

As you get used to getting a bargain, you can try and extend that to get a free ride every now and then. After some time it can become a habit – looking for a free ride everywhere.

If you think about it, free ride does not “add up” as someone has to pay that cost somewhere. Yes, someone may be sponsoring and covering the costs to gain your attention. Whatever be the mechanics and the reasons behind someone offering you something for free, the point to note here is that YOU are getting used to having a free ride.

When you want something for nothing, the equation doesn’t add up.

Free-rides are too good to be true and anything that is too good to be true is just that. It is not real.

Rather than looking for free rides, start looking to pay a premium for things that are valuable. You will see a lot more opportunities there.

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #9 – Expert

by Rajesh Setty on October 21, 2009

Dictionary definition:
A person who has comprehensive or authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.

You would have heard someone say that “I am an expert” on one or more topics. You might have also said that you are an expert on one more topics. While it is good to be an expert on something, you might have some problems if you start believing it as if it’s 100% truth. The risk is that you stop all your investments to grow and learn on the same topic where you claimed your expertise.

In reality, the more you know about any topic, the more you realize that you don’t know much about it. In fact as noted author and Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer puts it nicely, “You need to be reasonably competent on a topic to know your level of incompetence on that topic.

Besides if you remember the “strengths theory,” you should really focus on strengthening your strengths rather than trying to fix your weaknesses.

Think about why you gained the so-called expertise on a particular topic. It is because you spent a lot of time working on that topic. You worked for a long time on that topic because you liked that topic. You liked the topic because that topic matched your interests.

See, there is already an incentive to be a “lifelong student” on the topic of your expertise. Go ahead and use that and strive to be the best in the area of your expertise.

Really, when you love what you are doing, it does not seem like work. Continuing to build on your area of expertise is just that – doing what you really love to do.

All the very best!

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #8 – Failure

by Rajesh Setty on October 20, 2009

dirty-dozen-failureThe earlier posts in this series are as follows:

  1. Dirty Dozen #1 – Luck
  2. Dirty Dozen #2 – Status Quo
  3. Dirty Dozen #3 – Complacency
  4. Dirty Dozen #4 – Mediocrity
  5. Dirty Dozen #5 – Indifference
  6. Dirty Dozen #6 – Impatience
  7. Dirty Dozen #7 – Common Sense

Today’s word is “Failure.”

Dictionary definition:
Lack of success

Whatever you do, in that, you either succeed or you…. LEARN.

One again, you might have noticed it above – the keyword is NOT fail but Learn!!

Think about it. However smart you are – it’s hard to get 100% of your decisions right.

If you agree, the next question – “What percentage of your decisions can you expect to get it right?”

Just to keep things simple, let us say you get 50% of your decisions right. This means that the other 50% of your decisions will be wrong. That is pure statistics. So every time you end up in a situation in the other 50% (the wrong category) you end up putting the “failure” label and lose time worrying about it giving you less time to capitalize on the “right” decisions and grow. You are creating a huge opportunity cost for yourself.

As the old saying goes, “It is not about falling down but bouncing back every time you fall down that matters.”

Since you can’t be immune to failure, you might always learn from it. If you don’t you lose twice – once from the failure and once from not being able to learn the lesson that failure is trying to teach you.

Whether you accept it or not, failure is an integral part of the game of life. You can’t change it. However, if you do accept it, you have a new source of power as you can bounce back quicker from your failures. This will instantly provide you with some “extra time” focus and further increase the chances of success in the near future.

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #7 – Common Sense

by Rajesh Setty on October 19, 2009

dirty-dozen-common-senseThe last word we covered was Impatience and today we will look at word #7 – Common Sense

Dictionary definition:
Good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.

No, I don’t have a problem with the dictionary definition of common sense. However, I cringe every time someone talks about something “uncommon” and says that it is “common sense.” The real “common sense” is table stakes and everybody is ought to have it. Nobody gets brownie points for that. What we need to aim for is “uncommon sense” that will set us apart in the marketplace.

Remember that common sense is relative. What is common sense for you may be rocket science for someone else.

Think about it.

Do you put your hand on fire? No, it’s common sense. When you were a baby it was not common sense.

Do you try to walk out the window in the balcony? No, it’s common sense. When you were a baby it was not common sense.

Do you wash your hands before eating food? Yes, because it’s common sense. When you were a kid you would wonder why we need all these restrictions.

You learn a lot of things as you grow based on who you are interacting with and what you are reading and learning.  When things become obvious and go into your background memory, it becomes common sense.

The point is that common sense is an entry ticket. You don’t want to aim to have common sense. It should be a given.

Then, what should you focus on getting?

Uncommon sense.

Uncommon sense is what will make you see the same things that others are seeing but have better and more powerful interpretations. You can see the same situation, read the same things, listen to the same ideas but make more out of them than others.

“Uncommon sense” is scarce and if it was not, it would not be uncommon.

Go for the Uncommon Sense and Thrive!

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #6 – Impatience

by Rajesh Setty on October 16, 2009

dirty-dozen-impatienceThis is part of the “Dirty Dozen” series. In Part #5, we covered the word “Indifference.” Today we will cover the word “Impatience.”

Dictionary definition:
Restlessly eager

It is probably because of the speed of life, we have started equating “long term” to “slow.” Long term and slow are two entirely different things. Most things in nature happen over a long term ( examples: baby takes nine months to be born, a tree takes  a few years to bear fruit etc.) but that’s not slow. It’s just that some things take time.

When you read about someone’s accomplishment, typically details are missing – especially the details about all the effort that went in leading to this accomplishment. Movies and books make it look simple and say, “If they can do it, you can too.”

This leads to impatience. You want that accomplishment yesterday. In other words, you want the prize without paying the price. That just does not make sense.

I call this the fascination with Newton’s Third Law applied to the wrong place. Newton’s third law states that action and reaction are equal and opposite. That works great in your daily life. Simple things like you throw a ball at the wall and it will come back to you. You push someone and they will push you back – may be.

However, things will start getting messy when you start applying this to the wrong places. For example, building a personal brand may lead to a promotion. The action is building the personal brand and the reaction from the marketplace is the promotion. What is missing in the equation is the time lag. Action and reaction are equal and opposite but with a time lag. Forget the “time lag” part and you can get all confused.

In real life, you need to make investments in the right places first and also have the patience to wait for the results. You can, of course get lucky sometimes but that’s an exception – not the rule.

In summary – patience rules!!

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #5 – Indifference

by Rajesh Setty on October 15, 2009

dirty-dozen-indifferenceThis is part of the “Dirty Dozen” series. In Part #4, we covered the word “Mediocrity.” Today we will cover the word “Indifference.”

Dictionary definition:
Lack of interest, concern or sympathy

Indifference manifests itself in many ways – almost everyone of these manifestations will affect you in a negative fashion.

For example, indifference may appear as an inability to take a stand on an important topic. If that topic is of significance to you, not taking a stand is actually taking a stand to NOT take a stand. Sitting on the sidelines may just postpone the consequences for a short while but you can’t escape from the consequences permanently.

Indifference may also manifest itself as a lack of intensity. Intensity is one of the attributes that makes stars superstars. Lack of intensity will delay your journey towards your goals unnecessarily.

Most people who are indifferent don’t know that they are indifferent. It is almost like they are indifferent to the indifference that they demonstrate. This is the reason why you need to surround yourself with smart and caring people who can bring this forth to you for your own benefit.

On the other hand, if you know you are indifferent to something that is important to you, take some time and get some help to find out why you are indifferent. If you know that you are indifferent to something important, you also know that it is hurting you NOW and it will hurt you LATER. You owe it to yourself to start doing something about it TODAY!

You can listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #4 – Mediocrity

by Rajesh Setty on October 14, 2009

dirty-dozen-mediocrityThis is part of the “Dirty Dozen” series. Part 3 covered the word “Complacency” and today we will look at the word “Mediocrity.”

Dictionary definition:
The quality or state of being mediocre

If you think about it, mediocrity has no set standards. When someone sets a higher standard in the marketplace for something, the rest of the people who are operating at a standard lower than this “higher standard” will be operating in mediocrity.

Plasma screen TVs made the earlier generation TVs mediocre

iPhone made the earlier cool phones mediocre

Kindle made the Sony reader mediocre

Nintendo Wii made a whole line of video games mediocre

You don’t typically choose to operate in mediocrity. You just end up there if you don’t strive to operate in setting higher standards in the marketplace.

The funny thing is that many people operating in mediocrity are doing so because they don’t want to “walk the extra mile.” However, just because there is an oversupply of people operating in this zone, there is a dog fight going on in this zone. In fact, traffic is smoother in the “extra mile” as there are less people in that zone.

Mediocrity is a silent killer be it in personal life or professional life.

Your life is a gift and it calls for a celebration. Living in mediocrity is simply not the way to celebrate it.

You can also listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

Dirty Dozen #3 – Complacency

by Rajesh Setty on October 13, 2009

dirty-dozen-complacencyThis is part 3 of the “Dirty Dozen” series. In Part 2, we covered the word Status Quo. Today, we will look at the word “Complacency.”

Dictionary definition:
The feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction of oneself or one’s achievements.

Complacency in simple terms is  “resting on your laurels.“

Everyone knows that “past history is not an indicator of future success” but most people want to behave as if that’s not true.

Typically complacency steps in after a reasonably significant accomplishment. It is a way of telling to yourself that you now know “how it works” and you can “make it happen.” It might also indicate a sign of overconfidence

As they say, you are only as good as your last achievement, be it a deal (if you are a salesperson,) a company (if you are an entrepreneur) and a book (if you are an author.) As long as you are living, there is no finality in anything you do. It is the journey that counts.

Unfortunately, complacency takes the journey for granted. Complacency makes you think that since something has worked for you in the past, the same thing will work for you in the future. Complacency makes you think that the world owes success to you for your past efforts. Complacency makes you think you might have made it already and there is nothing more to learn. The extreme outcome of Complacency is Arrogance and that will finally make you fall.

OK, if complacency is something you should eliminate, what should you replace it with?

My answer: Hunger.

“Hunger” is important to make progress. Hunger is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Complacency is almost the opposite of hunger. If “hunger” is on one end of the spectrum, complacency is on the other end of the spectrum.

Go ahead and replace complacency with hunger and watch miracles happen.

You can also listen to the audio here:

Note:

Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker