Hustler's Mantra: Adopt an experimental Mindset

Jeroline
By Jeroline
October 19, 2020
4 min Read
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Hustler's Mantra: Adopt an experimental Mindset

“The very basis of creative work is irreverence. The very basis of creative work is bold experimentation. There has never been a creator of lasting importance who has not also been an innovator”– Eric Temple Bell

Most of us are afraid to make decisions as we dread that making a wrong choice can result in failure. This thought often holds us back from reaching our full potential as we are fear stepping out of our comfort zones. Experimental mindset is all about making life an experiment. This means looking at problems as opportunities to explore using a rational process to control decisions and choices. This will help us cope with challenges and uncertainty both at work and life.

We face different kind of uncertainties at work every day. When we are trying to create a new product feature or a new customer experience or something related to R&D there is always risk involved. There’s no way to tell what would work and what would not work. All we have to do is consistently experiment. Constant experimentation is the only way to identify what will actually produce the result that we desire. The best way to learn things is just by diving in and giving it a try.

I would like to share a fascinating story here that I originally heard in a podcast. A Microsoft employee who was working on their search engine Bing had an idea about changing the way the headline of an advertisement appeared on the search engine. His idea was that by moving some of the subtext to the headline will make the headline look longer and that could possibly make an impact on the user engagement. This employee went to his manager with his idea but the manager wasn’t quite sure if this change would lead to any impact on user engagement. The manager was very skeptical about the idea and was delaying to give approval for six whole months. One fine day the engineer got impatient and just decided to go ahead with it and launched the new idea. You know what happened? This small change increased their revenue by 12 percent.

What do you think made the difference here? Well, the difference is the ability of the engineer to take a leap of courage and launch the experiment and then find out if his idea would work or not. If the engineer had never launched the experiment, they would have never known that a small change could lead to a massive impact on revenue.

If we look at some of the compositions from Beethoven and Bach, even though they were eminent creators they really had very little ability to predict whether their next output would be a smashing success or total failure. If we look at top experiment driven companies like Amazon they run thousands of experiments every year but their success rate is less than 50%. So not all experiments will result in success, most of them will result in failures.

And failures are necessary. Failures are part of the innovation process. It’s high time that we stop associating the word failure with something negative. When you run an experiment you might fail the first time but then it will help you refine your experiment again and again and again. During the whole process you get to build on your ideas and there is a lot of learning going on each time you fail. We will learn the most from what doesn’t go well.

Every experiment teaches us something new, and every new lesson we learn increases our capability to accomplish great things. Experimentation is essential in living a satisfying, productive and fulfilling life. The more we experiment, the more we learn, and the more we will achieve so don’t fear to experiment with things in life. I would like to conclude with quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not be timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”

Jeroline
Jeroline

Jeroline is a HR generalist at pCloudy. She is actively involved in planning, developing, and implementing all the HR functions. She is someone who loves to read a little too much and has an affinity to learn new languages.

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Hustler's Mantra: Live with personal accountability

Jeroline
By Jeroline
August 24, 2020
4 min Read
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Hustler's Mantra: Live with personal accountability

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Success comes to those who take responsibility for their actions. How much of your success, do you think is up to you – your choices, your beliefs, your actions, and your behavior versus external factors?

More often we blame the other people in our life like our parents, friends, colleagues, boss, government, society, God and even our heredity for our conditions. It’s so easy for us to let off the hook and blame someone or something else for our failure or negligence. This kind of thinking is not useful and downright dangerous. If we blame our problems and failures –be it big or small, personal or professional on any other person or circumstances beyond our control or just bad luck then we are doomed to fail!

In order to be what we want to be, the most important thing that we must do is to take personal accountability. Personal accountability is accepting that we are fully accountable for our actions and being willing to be answerable to the consequences of our choices, decisions and actions. It’s a belief, mindset and an expression of integrity that we are consistent in our thoughts, words and actions. Some of us might exhibit it more than others but it is something that everyone can get better at as it is a foundation to be successful and prerequisite for a happy and thriving life.

Practicing accountability is a choice; it would be the most powerful choice that we can ever make. Choosing accountability would empower us to overcome obstacles, beat challenges and succeed in everything we do. Never forget that everything is about – Our choice. Sometimes, situations can be overwhelming but getting up after being knocked down is again a Choice that we make.

I would like to mention an event here that I came across in the book “The wisdom of Oz”. In 1989, Adam Walsh, the six-year-old son of John and Reve Walsh, was kidnapped and shortly thereafter found dead. Yet even in the wake of such a brutal act, the couple managed to take accountability for what happened and took action to help others. Since then they worked to create support systems, develop preventative measures and improve legislation for cases of missing children. Here the couple could’ve just grieved the loss of their son and blamed the police and government for not creating a safe environment for citizens from criminals instead they held themselves accountable and worked tirelessly to battle criminal behavior. How we react to events like these are always our choice. We can point fingers, ignore and deny responsibility or we can look at a problem constructively and try to solve it.

As Sanjeev Himachali rightly said: “You are the reason of your own good-luck and bad-luck; success and failure; happiness and pain. Your choices are responsible for your present. Don’t blame someone else for your sufferings or failures.”

Moreover, to be personally accountable for a situation or problem, we have to take ownership over our actions. We should develop the ability to embrace the good, bad and the ugly that results from our actions. Always focus on what we can do and what we can control rather than thinking about the things that we can’t control. Owning our actions includes seeing how we have contributed to the current issue that we want to change. Instead of blaming others and making excuses we have to think of ways to make amends when things go wrong. Nothing great will happen until we do something.

Making mistakes is never fun but don’t think of them as failures, rather think of them as teachable moments that will make us better and more successful in the future. Resist the urge to plant the blame on external factors and instead use what we have learnt from the mistakes to explore new options in the future. After all, Something bad happens; something good results!

Jeroline
Jeroline

Jeroline is a HR generalist at pCloudy. She is actively involved in planning, developing, and implementing all the HR functions. She is someone who loves to read a little too much and has an affinity to learn new languages.

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Hustler's Mantra: Build Resilience

Jeroline
By Jeroline
August 17, 2020
4 min Read
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Hustler's Mantra: Build Resilience

“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo- far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance”- Jodi Picoult

We all face some unexpected situations in our life. Some are heartening and uplifting while some are devastating but we all would like to live a life where we do not fail at anything or go through any distressing moments. We feel that an ideal life is one where everything we turn our hand to was successful.However, a life that contains only success doesn’t exist in reality so we should really learn how to cope up with life’s surprises.

Resilience helps us bounce back from adversity and misfortune that life throws at us. It can be thought of as emotional fitness. If we are resilient we would be able to cope better with life’s ups and downs. People who are highly resilient are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly and thrive in an environment where change is constant. Building resilience is something that we all should aim to be better at as the benefits for us will be profound and long-lasting.

Time and time again, we will discover in life that it’s not what happens to us that matters, but how we react to it matters the most. In life we will come across a lot of obstacles, it doesn’t matter what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them and how well we keep our composure makes all the difference. Sure, obstacles are scary, uncomfortable and stressful that sometimes makes you stop from going on. However, if we learn to embrace the impediment that’s before us, accept it, prepare to challenge it and take action despite the present set back, we can find the way that we didn’t know that existed.

The first step in building resilience is taking responsibility for who we are and for our life as well. Responsibility here means accept the consequences of your actions, be it good or bad. We should be willing to take responsibility for our progress and outcome. Navy SEAL, David Goggins says that “when you look in the mirror, that’s the one person, you can’t lie to.” We have a tendency to run away from the truth. When things are not working, it’s easy to blame this or that and quit but in order to emerge stronger, we need to accept our faults.

When life gets tough, we need to count on our strengths. At times of suffering we forget who we really are, we forget that we are capable of doing great things. In a race in the Mont Blanc, Navy SEAL David Goggins body
shut down after he ran 70 miles and he still had 30 miles to run. During this point, he was in a horrible state, feet broken, ankles taped, shin splints, stress fractures and feet covered with blood. But he kept on going by remembering his strengths. He told himself “You went three hell weeks and finished two. One of the hells weeks, a guy died, it was so bad.”

He says that whenever we feel down, we need to go down in the cookie jar and remember who we are. The cookie jar he visualizes contains no sweets. In his cookie jar there are failures and victories of his life. During critical moments, he calms down, takes a deep breath, finds his lucidity and opens this jar where he finds all difficulties he has faced and overcome in the past, all his victories and successes and all the failures from which he has risen. This helps him gain perspective and reminds him of what he is capable of. We all should visualize a cookie jar like this, to realize that we aren’t the weak person that our mind has been telling us, we are the person who has survived tough times in the past! We are our achievements!

Furthermore, we need to develop the mindset that we live to learn. Every obstacle we face and every single thing that breaks us helps us advance in our life. What stands in our way becomes the way. Our aim in life should not be to avoid struggles and changes but to confront them and learn from them.Don’t ever expect a time in our life when we will be free from change, free from struggle, free from worry so we should push ourselves to grow, get better, to dive deeper and to become our best self.

Elbert Hubbard once said “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”Learn to persist in the face of struggle for the cultivation of your best self!

Jeroline
Jeroline

Jeroline is a HR generalist at pCloudy. She is actively involved in planning, developing, and implementing all the HR functions. She is someone who loves to read a little too much and has an affinity to learn new languages.

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Hustler's Mantra: Confront your blind spots

Jeroline
By Jeroline
August 4, 2020
5 min Read
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Hustler's Mantra: Confront your blind spots

“The greatest deception that men suffer is from their own opinions” – Leonardo Da Vinci

On our path to success, we are likely to face a lot of challenges thrown at us by the outer world. But it isn’t just the outer world that tries to halt our journey, sometimes we might also hold ourselves back without being aware that we are doing so.

Most often we think that we are lot more aware about our self than we actually are. One important thing that stands in the way of our self – awareness is our blind spots. Blind spots are things about ourselves that are clearly seen by others but unknown to us because we are stuck inside our own thoughts and beliefs. For example, At work, Your boss believes that you have the skills to lead an important project and hands it over to you. However, instead of taking up that opportunity you express your concern and fear that you may not be equipped to handle it and do not take it up. You self-sabotage. Another example would be, while giving presentations your clarity of speech might not be good and your team would point this out to you but you won’t accept it and fully register it as truth because in your head you think your speech has high clarity.

Sometimes people turn out to be terrible at judging their own intelligence and creativity, because they want to think of themselves as smart and creative, and tend to be overconfident. It is really important to be aware of our blind spots because it’s essential for our personal growth. Identifying our blind spots and understanding them deepens our self – awareness. Blind spots aren’t necessarily negative traits or weakness; it’s just that when you are oblivious of something, you don’t know there are certain areas in you that require improvement and it’s limiting you from reaching your full potential. When you uncover your blind spots and actively work on them, you become more conscious of your strengths and areas for development and the boundaries within which you are operating within.

Let’s look about the steps to gain clarity around our blind spots, which will open the door for growth, learning, and performance improvement.

  • Accept Feedbacks and opinions from others: Always keep these words of Adam Grant in mind “Any time a trait is easy for other people to see or hard for us to admit, we can’t trust our own judgment of it”. Whenever your friends or colleagues give you a feedback, do not ignore it. People who are around us are better judges of our personality so always be open to get feedbacks.
    Let’s try asking blind spot feedback from one person a day for a week at least. Just ask them “Is there anything about me that I don’t seem to see but is obvious to you?” You’ll probably just want to ask only people whom you are close with but don’t stop there, ask people with whom you are not so close also because they are the best mirrors we can find.
  • Try to observe yourself from an outside view: If you are somebody who gives presentations often try videotaping or audio taping your speech to review your behavior from the outside view. This way you’ll be more aware of the areas that you have to improve and you’ll also be more willing to correct it. I feel this is something that we should all be in the habit of doing because this is one thing that will help us understand what our colleagues / mentors / others have been telling us to improve.
  • Keep your critics close and flatterers far: We always think that we need mentors and colleagues, who encourage us, motivate us, cheerlead us and support us even when we get criticized to advance in our career. Even at workplace we tend to lean on with such kind of people. Although, this support network is kind of important at a workplace, we also need a challenge network, people who tell you you’re not there yet, Who push you because they really care about helping you get better.
    As humans we are more drawn to social praise and are more likely to fall victim to flattery but it’s wise to keep people who criticize you and challenge you around. If somebody gives you a harsh feedback don’t push them away and don’t ignore their feedback, it will destroy your opportunity to learn. We all have to embrace that challenge network to reach our potential.

Identifying blind spots and resolving them is an exercise that needs humility as we have to put our ego aside, and don the mantle of a true learner who is seeking the ‘truth’ and just like how growth is a lifelong journey, the process of identifying blind spots never ends. With every blind spot that we find and confront, there is always a next blind spot to uncover but what’s more important is to work on improving every second, every moment, as we move forward in our life’s journey.

Jeroline
Jeroline

Jeroline is a HR generalist at pCloudy. She is actively involved in planning, developing, and implementing all the HR functions. She is someone who loves to read a little too much and has an affinity to learn new languages.

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