Page 1

All It Takes Is A Minute By Anand Kumar Padmanaban

Copyright Š 2013 by Anand Kumar Padmanaban

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Ordering Information: Special discounts are available on quantity purchases. For details, contact the author at the address below. Anand Kumar Padmanaban SQ2, Arjuna Marg, IISC Campus Bangalore, Karnataka-560012, India Email: Price: Rs.175/Printed in India


 Dedications ............................ 5 Introduction ........................... 6 Review ................................ 12 Chapter 1 ............................. 14 &'$&*0' !"',,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,25 Chapter 2 ............................. 17 '%%'"# "&(&,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,28 Chapter 3 ............................. 26 !% % "&%*,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,37 Chapter 4 ............................. 31  "$%"$'%%,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,42 Chapter 5 ............................. 37 '%%)*% "(%! !&"!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,48 Chapter 6 ............................. 41 $!&%,$&,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,52 Chapter 7 ............................. 46 "%&(!! %""+"! %&&$,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,57 Chapter 8 ............................. 53 " "!!%" "!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,64 Chapter 9 ............................. 57 " '!&+-$&"!*,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,68 Chapter 10 ............................ 60 3$%+ ! "'&"$ ',,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,71 Chapter 11 ............................ 69


! %"%&(!$*+ "&$' ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,7: Chapter 12 ............................ 76  "&!"$! "&"!.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,87 Chapter 13 ............................ 78 #$!&/&,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,89 Chapter 14 ............................ 81 "  %$,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,92 Chapter 15 ............................ 86  !"% &*,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,97


DEDICATIONS This book is dedicated to my parents and to my family who have always taught me to do what’s right even though doing the right thing would not lead to a personally favorable solution. I also wanted to thank my friends who helped in review of the book.

- Anand Kumar Padmanaban


INTRODUCTION Let a man learn thoroughly whatever he may learn, and let his conduct be worthy of his learning. -Verse 391, Thirukkural Let me start by clearing the air by stating that I am no expert, nor a wizened individual, I am somebody who is very much like you. The only probable difference is that over the course of time I have worked with incredible people all across the globe who have shared their knowledge and wisdom with me which I have penned into this book. Constant learning and success often go hand in hand and reflecting on what success means I am repeatedly reminded that winning and being successful is very subjective and it means different things to different people. For some, success conjures up the image of having better living standards than others and coming in first place.


For others, it means obtaining promotions or getting salary hikes at a fast pace. For still others, success may mean enjoying life in a grand scale or perhaps for a few being able to drop out and live a simple, unencumbered life. Putting myriad interpretations aside, as we live our lives, we all want to feel like a winner and to feel that we are successful. However, in this game called life, no one can really be termed successful and a winner; all we can do is play it and play it well. To me, winning is playing it right — playing it in such a way that your life is peaceful, comfortable, happy, enjoyable, positive, rewarding, and fun. If those elements of life appeal to you, this book should help you get some needed perspective and if you’re already in that state, this book should help you stay there and deal with what life throws at you with little effort. 7

When playing the game of life to compete and win and be successful, you must first know the rules of the game. After knowing those rules, the next step in winning and being successful and it involves developing the right approach and way to move forward. That means embracing the right mental framework. It entails figuring out how to use the rules to your advantage. Following the rules does not involve taking shortcuts or doing things which may harm others. Instead, the winning strategy involves positioning yourself to win by focusing on self. In fact, in my definition of winning, adopting the strategy and mindset to compete with you first and foremost is an essential and critical step. Wanting to be better, knowing you and demonstrating self-control is the first winning mindset Of course, besides knowing the rules and having a mindset to win, you still have to get out there and execute and many of us falter. From what I have seen in terms of executing or 8

implementing, people typically fall into three categories: (1) those who cannot be moved irrespective of what may come up, (2) those who can be moved, and (3) those who do indeed move and do things. I sincerely hope this book will help you make the right moves. Its objective is to help you move in the right direction by giving you simple steps to take every day that will place you in a successful position. These steps will enable you to quickly prepare yourself every day for moving forward and will help you get others to want to work harder for you as well. A fort holds itself and defies the attacks of encircling foes. -Verse 748, Thirukkural Changing your life begins with changing your mind set and all you need is 1 minute a day to get Started — just 1 minute a day—to read a page and then follow through with the suggestions given.


The rules, guidelines and action-plans presented in this book, if adhered to, are guaranteed to change your life and make you a winner and help you be successful. I always have been fascinated with the Thirukkural, a non-religious text in Tamil written about 2000 years ago, which delves into nearly every aspect of ethics and moral philosophy. It still is a great reservoir of everyday living values and I decided to use couplets from the Thirukkural in every chapter to highlight the objective of the chapter. For ease of follow up, I have created a one-minute pointer list at the end of each chapter, which will help the reader implement success principles. The translations have been adapted from the books “Thirukkural with English couplets” translated by Yogi Sudhananda Bharathi and “Thirukkural English translation and commentary” by Rev Dr.GU Pope, Rev WH Drew, Rev John Lazarus and Mr. FW Ellis. My philosophy in writing this book has 10

always been about being learned in the true sense. Most people think it’s hard to reach the pinnacle of success or it is written in their fate but that’s not true. The one biggest secret is that anybody can be successful if they are diligent and focused. 


The Author

REVIEW My Dear Kumar: I have gone through “ All It Takes Is A Minute” your first book before going to print, concise and practical suggestions, easy approach with dedication, careful analysis of the problems one faces; confidence, self-esteem and hope for success etc. – these are clearly and competently analyzed and detailed in this book. Quotations from Thirukkural besides other books, one minute pointers at the end of the chapter on various topics add richness and variety to the book. A useful guide to students, scholars, professionals and others for use in daily life. Despite heavy professional work you have taken to writing, you have brought out an eminently readable book. I am happy to see that you have followed my legacy of writing which as a poet and author; I have been doing for decades.


May you continue writing more books drawing from your rich and variegated experience. Hearty congratulations and best wishes.

Dr. A. Padmanaban I.A.S.(Rtd.) Fmr. Governor, Mizoram State, Former Member UPSC & Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu


CHAPTER 1 Maturity – The Buddha In You Ponder well its value, and secure the friendship of men of virtue and of mature knowledge. -Verse 441, Thirukkural

Maturity means possessing the ability to reason Maturity – what a word! It immediately brings up images of being staid, boring and rigid, Yes? It is not true. In the realm of the world of successful people, maturity has nothing to do with age, education, or even experiences in life. It is also a known fact that maturity has nothing to do with being staid, or plain. That’s because the elements of maturity involve reason; and the ability to reason takes time to develop.


The happiest times in our lives are times when we are thinking the most motivating, intelligent, and productive thoughts. Therefore, really get understand motivating reason and

as we grow in years, we happier, as long as we can how to live a productive, life with a degree of intelligence behind it.

ONE MINUTE POINTERS ON INCULCATING MATURITY  The ability to do a job without supervision and without constantly being reminded.  The ability to carry money in your pocket without having to spend it on something.  The ability to carry an injustice without feeling the need for revenge.  The ability to anticipate—to see down the road. To see the forest for the trees  The ability to be discreet, to be


tactful.  The ability to think about the repercussions and consequences of your actions or inactions.  The ability to take blame when warranted.  The ability to learn from experience.


CHAPTER 2 Successful People Motivate Self Why do those who cannot live with praise, grieve those who despise them, instead of grieving themselves for their own inability?. -Verse 237, Thirukkural

High dose of motivation and spirit is evident in successful people Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal, that which gives purpose and direction to behavior when you want to be successful and it has to be internal motivation. Even if it was possible to find someone else who could be in charge of your motivation, that would not be very useful since you are dependent externally for doing something.


It would only allow you to develop into relinquishing control of yourself; it would also not be good to build inner confidence which is needed to feel worthy.

Internal Motivation is a key trait to be successful Many of us wait for external support or motivation but the best way is to grab the bull by the horns, take charge, and start rebuilding ourselves, NOW...immediately. Always realize that eventually everything is up to you and the onus rests squarely on you and nobody else is responsible and accountable for you, except you. Successful people realize that everyone gets worn down from time to time and things are not fair sometimes but that’s the way it works. Being able to pull yourself back up, being able to reboot yourself, being able to energize yourself, helps you develop an important trait that nobody can help develop. It’s called your


motivational spirit. ONE MINUTE POINTERS ON DEVELOPING MOTIVATION  As soon as you wake up, spend half an hour in quiet solitude without thinking much, just listening to the sound of silence  Listen to music as you’re getting ready for work in the morning  Start collecting motivational sayings or quotes that are meaningful to you. Showcase them around your home. I rely on the serenity prayer to help me get through the day, its perfect and helps bring perspective clearly.  When you walk around, make a conscious effort to be active and move briskly with your head held high and your shoulders pushed back, remember to walk as if your back is made of hard board and cannot bend.


Smile a lot  Deliver a genuine compliment to someone every day. The act of complimenting has a reciprocal benefit. It makes the complimentgetter as well as the complimentgiver feel good.  Successful people know that life is a game of reflections, whereby their beliefs and behaviors—their thoughts and their actions— eventually reflect back to them with amazing impact. Therefore, successful people know the incredible significance of the words they speak to themselves, about themselves.

Do fun things to de-stress and keep yourself positive  Action is what counts in life; it all starts with your thoughts. So, monitor those thoughts, as they will dictate your actions. Then 20

watch your actions, because they turn into your habits. Of course you must examine your habits, because they work together to determine your character, and your character—without question— eventually determines your life line and fate as they call it.  Always be in the process of learning something new. It doesn’t matter if it’s something unimportant or something fanciful, just make it a point to keep learning and doing something new.

Do the tough things first  Smile as you wake up and start your day. You really can make a choice to be happy as you start the day. Then, as you take your first look into a mirror, smile again and enjoy it.  Start getting into the habit of dealing with the most stressful things as early as possible each day. In other words, get it over 21

with so you can feel a sense of accomplishment and move on and get to the easier things later so that your mind is calm and clear before you end the day.

Surround yourself with good intentioned people  Work really hard at staying away from negative conversations like gossiping, bad-mouthing or complaining. I do know it’s hard to do and for some of us, it’s the way we stay connected and become popular but believe me when I say this, by avoiding negativity , you will become much more focused and chilled out.  Glisten with enthusiasm. Make sure you show genuine interest in anything that you do, look at it as a learning opportunity.


Write down Your Goals and Plan ways to reach your goals  Birds of same feather flock together. Successful people always connect with someone who is supportive, positive, and successful and typically stay away from negative people.  Examine the negative forces in your life and do everything in your power to eliminate them. For example, make a conscientious effort to avoid dwelling on and perpetuating bad news, hanging around with chronically negative people, associating with consistently angry co-workers.

Avoid negativity  Change your “if” language to “when” language. It’s not, if I get through this, then my life will be great. It’s when I get through this, my life will be great. 23

 Check your goals and understand that if one goal area of your life is lagging or faltering, you can concentrate, for now, on getting closer to achieving success in another goal area. Remember if all your about is your work, you can’t be good at your work. So, recheck your goals in becoming a holistic person. Look at money, spirituality, mental faculty development, physical fitness, social circle and having fun.  Cultivate a hobby or start reading or writing or doing something which will get you off the work aspect which so dominates all our lives.  Successful people work on SMART goals and objectives; they look for simple, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals and objectives and work on them with focus.

Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely Goals


 It’s an extreme waste of time to wait for your ship to come in if you have neglected to send one out to begin with. Sending out your ship begins with setting those personal and professional goals.


CHAPTER 3 Taking Risk Is Not Risky No Fool Equals the fool who learns knows, teaches but spurns selfcontrol. -Verse 834, Thirukkural Belief is a very powerful thing. Do you realize that your beliefs activate your responses? Your beliefs control what you do. Your beliefs determine how you act and how you react. Your beliefs govern the path you take, the choices you make, and how you look at life. Your beliefs control your destiny.

Beliefs define action and reaction The really frightening thing about our belief system is that, unfortunately, they do not distinguish between fact and fantasy, between truth and lies, or between reality and imagination.


Your beliefs are critical. Your beliefs are the key that unlocks the winning or losing door, no matter what challenges you face. Since your beliefs rule your life, it is almost horrifying to realize that so many beliefs, particularly those about our abilities, have been formulated by others.

Challenge Assumptions, make your rules and empower yourself However, let us go back to those untruths that are more personal in nature—those untruths that can affect you deeply for the rest of your life; those untruths that can influence what you think of yourself, your aspirations, your plans, your expectations, your hopes, and your dreams.

Surround yourself with positivity Successful people make certain that what they have come to believe,


especially about themselves, is selfcreated, positive, encouraging, and non-restrictive. Successful people challenge assumptions and often make up their own rules. Successful people empower themselves. To start getting rid of any faulty and restrictive beliefs that might be holding you back, do what successful people do ONE MINUTE POINTERS FOR POSITIVE SELF BELIEF  First, recognize the fact that you may have been made to believe things about your own capabilities that can be untrue. Understand that those beliefs may be keeping you from getting where you want to go.

Expect things to go well  Make a conscious effort to fight any negative explanatory habits that you may be harboring.  Successful people give themselves


credit for things that go well, and in fact expect things to go well. Successful people think that good is the norm and bad is the exception.  Negative people tend to think in reverse. They think that if something good happens to them, it was a fluke. But if something bad happens, it was inevitable—it was the way things go, it is the story of their life.  Fight the clichÊs and go for it. Realize that many parents, wellmeaning relatives, and business associates, perhaps to protect you against life’s disappointments, may have planted a seed in your mind that made you think that you were not bright enough, savvy enough or astute enough to venture out.  Successful people go for it. They take calculated risks.  Evaluate the people you spend time with, because friends tend to share the same beliefs.


 Are your friend’s successful people or negatively focused people?  Start a new trend: Believe in yourself. Remember, belief turns into behavior.


CHAPTER 4 Time Works For Success As moves the world, so move the wise in tune with changing times and ways. -Verse 426, Thirukkural

Where there is an up, there is always a down Some say these are the good times; some say these are the bad times. Some say these are the right times; some say these are the wrong times. Successful people understand that good times, bad times, right times, wrong times are incorrect assumptions and that this is the only time they get, and they make the best use of current time. Successful people know that these are the good old days; these are the days of their lives. It seems that technology has not 31

really given us more time; instead it has just allowed us to do more each day with our time.

Work smart In fact, many people today are so pressed for time that they are caught up in a vortex. They spin from thing to thing, staying in constant motion and trying to do as much as possible in a single day. Actually, I have discovered that one of the most significant distinctions between successful people and losers has little to do with the actual amount of work they do, but with the actual amount of smart work they ONE-MINUTE POINTERS FOR TIME MANAGEMENT  Successful people commit to making time for what they want to do and what they most enjoy doing.


Be productive in terms of time spent  Successful people know that balance gives you perspective and is critical for long-lasting success. They enjoy the moment of NOW and live in the present moment.

Make time work for you  Successful people actually schedule downtime to simply chill out — alone. Setting some time aside every day for you can prove to be a powerful tonic in today’s frenzied world.  They also believe in the phrase “health is wealth” and make sure that they are healthy first since they believe a healthy body makes a healthy mind.  Successful people tackle small problems before they grow into bigger ones and nip the problem in


the bud; they also know that the longer a problem exists without being addressed the more expensive and time consuming it will be to fix.  Successful people are aware that considering problems (Positive) and worrying (Negative) about them are two different things and procrastination is an absolutely worthless thing to do.  Successful people try to live better and better and try to find satisfaction in their daily lives rather than constantly waiting for that something great to happen.

Plan well, act fast  Most successful people have a goal to have as much pleasure every day as possible.  Successful people know how to fight procrastination. Do remember that procrastination has many different causes: monotony, fear,


perfectionism, boredom, unclear goals, and so on.  Successful people are flexible enough with their time so that they can act quickly when a good idea comes to mind.  Successful people know that they should make hay when the sun shines. To make sure the idea gets realized; they discuss it with someone or make notes.  Successful people do not get bogged down and organize well.

Focus and Prioritize on every aspect of what you do  Successful people know the specifics of their job and don’t waste precious time duplicating other people’s work.  Successful people give themselves thinking time that’s separate from their working time.  Successful people stay focused. 35

Though successful people know how to be flexible, they also understand the importance of focus. That delicate balance needs practice and must be developed.  Successful people try to act on every item the first time they see it, hear it, or read it.

Be morally correct  Successful people do not create busy work to avoid doing what needs to be done.  Successful people help others prioritize so they can work better themselves  Successful people are not stingy with their time when it counts— and it counts in important relationships.  Successful people ground themselves with solid principles and have a strong moral compass.


CHAPTER 5 Success Always Loves Being In Action Friendship brings gain, but action pure does every good thing we desire. -Verse 651, Thirukkural

We need to tap into the strength of people around us Living in an interdependent world, we always need others not just because we’re social animals by nature, but also because we rarely can do everything that needs to be done alone. Yes, we need others to help us make things happen, we need others to work with us and for us. We need others to help execute our ideas, to encourage our projects, to support our endeavors, and to do the tasks we need them to do. Therefore, in the work arena or on the 37

home front, knowing how to help move others along, knowing how to fan that motivational flame within others, knowing how to get others to do as you want them to do, is a vital part of winning. Fear as an inspirational tool is not entirely worthless. In fact, it may indeed work initially. However, it has proven to work only for a short time. Fear, used to incite better performance, has four downfalls:

Fear is not inspiring Firstly, Fear is external — it comes from outside while true motivation, as I noted earlier, must come from within; Secondly, It is negative; thirdly, those working under its threat soon become numb to it, rendering it ineffective; and Finally, criticism and punishment may work to eliminate specific unwanted behavior but sometimes employees reactions to it are erratic and unpredictable.


In other words, though fear may prevent unacceptable behaviors in one arena, it usually encourages and justifies an equally unacceptable, or even worse, behavior in another area.

Put High Value on ethics and integrity

Successful people don’t fool themselves into thinking that such rewards will ensure or inspire peak performance. Sure, those extras will most likely enhance a company’s recruitment efforts, and that benefit can’t be dismissed. However, successful people know that those prizes will not guarantee employees who will work with conscientiousness, self-discipline, initiative, loyalty, dependability, energy, and enthusiasm.

Praise Often and provide feedback


ONE-MINUTE POINTERS ON TEAMING FOR SUCCESS  Successful people praise frequently. Reprimands tend to be specific and praise tends to be general and in public.  Successful people make sure that others are taken care of and consider themselves successful when others are too.  Successful people are direct when communicating and treat all fairly.  Successful people provide all with an opportunity for self enhancement.  Successful people are high on integrity and walk the talk all the time and stay successful with the help of others.

Be Fair and Honest


CHAPTER 6 Urgent Vs. Critical Money and means, time, place and deed decide these five and then proceed. -Verse 675, Thirukkural Did you know that there is a positive correlation between people who quit and poor starters?

Time management = Priority + Planning + Avoiding procrastination In other words, those who tend to abandon a project or give up on it easily usually were not those who were anxious or eager to begin the job in the first place. If you also analyze people who are poor starters you will see that they represent the classic case of not managing their time properly. 41

Develop a Sense of Urgency There are the 3 P’s in time management, first P – Priority, second P – Planning and 3rd P – Procrastination. You will find that people who are quitters or poor starters fail miserably when it comes to planning, prioritizing and often procrastinate a lot. Currently, we live in a fast and impatient world. The future overlaps with and the old cliché about right place at the right changed: today, you have right place ahead of the

the present being in the time has been to be in the right time.

Having a sense of urgency helps you use your time to the fullest extent, and in an earlier chapter I discussed how important that is. Yes, in life, time is the one constraining factor. Conversely, having a sense of urgency can enable you to have a fuller, richer life since you start valuing


time and make sure you spend the right time doing the right things — quite simply you will be able to accomplish and experience more. A sense of urgency also accelerates one’s state of “readiness.” ONE MINUTE POINTERS ON MANAGING TIME  Plan a start date and ensure you start the work you want done by the planned start date.  If there is a conflict in terms of what needs to be done, prioritize and see what objective is more important to you.  Be prompt and do everything 100%.

If you have the time to work on the task, do it NOW  Make sure that you plan for obstacles along the way. Smart people know that obstacles are part of everything we do.  Understand that working on what has 43

to be done is not nearly as tiring and exhausting as thinking about what has to be done.  Don’t focus on all you have to do to bring the project to completion, or to reach your goal. Instead, get into the habit of breaking that first step down.  Remember you can’t “do” a goal; you can only do the behaviors that will lead to that goal. Ask yourself, what is one behavior I can do now that would get me closer to my goal?  Not knowing where to start is a main cause for procrastination.  Break the project or work down into a list of baby steps that you can approach one at a time. When you get started on the job, begin by doing something where the results of your efforts can clearly and easily be seen.  If the task is organizing your email, first start by cleaning off the spam and junk mail rather than 44

immersing yourself into all the emails you received.  If it can be done in less than five minutes, do it now. When postponed, the little details of life bog us down and overwhelm us.  When we put the little things off, they seem to build in magnitude and importance. Do not turn minor tasks into major ones by avoiding them.  Use your energy according to your personal productivity times during the day.  Realize that your lack of urgency can come from sheer laziness.  Understand that when we are trying to avoid something we often welcome and even seek out interruption. So, if you’re trying to stir up some urgency in your life, tell your family, friends, and co-workers not to interrupt you for a designated period of time.  Every night make a to-do list for the next day


CHAPTER 7 Positive Thinking Is Good, Doing Is Better In doing work don't break and shirk, The world will quit who quits his work. -Verse 612, Thirukkural A positive mental attitude is typically an important aspect of successful people.

CAN is more important than CAN’T It is known that people who are more affable, more constructive in approach, more tuned towards looking at positive signs, and more optimistic are also more likely to be able to grasp, to be offered, and to capitalize on opportunities than people who are negative, destructive or condescending in nature. We have all grown up either listening 46

to stories or have read ourselves stories that demonstrate how important a positive mental attitude and aptitude is. Tales from the Ramayana and Mahabharata also abound with the same themes as do stories from the Panchatantra.

Have a balanced approach towards success Successful people know that a positive mental attitude alone is not enough to make any significant change in your life. Successful people know that having a positive mental attitude is just the beginning. It alone will never turn your life around, change your current situation, or make your wishes come true. You can live life with a better outlook and successful people know that a positive mental attitude needs


good implementation plans as well.

Live in Reality and always have specific goals Successful people do not set themselves up to suffer from unrealistic expectations. They know that expectations can be altered, helping them to find fulfillment rather than frustration and dejection in life. They also have this wonderful ability to be agile and to flow with the water as well. I have always wondered how so many people who are top leaders and managers in their profession are still are not able to appropriately manage their lives. They have a positive mental attitude about their potential advancement in their company, but it is not at odds with the reality at the workplace. They have convinced themselves that 48

they are great at what they do.

Humility is essential for a leader and a successful person They often don’t look outside and see reality. Hence, even successful people need to accept the fact that instead of trying to revive an old dream, they should continue to invest their effort into building a better, brighter, and a newer dream.

Confidence, Motivation and Self Worth are essential traits Successful people understand that confidence, motivation and self-worth, are essential, but one must make certain that it reflects reality. They typically take advice of friends and well-wishers who provide objective feedback to them when things are on a downslide as well. Successful people also know that it is


critical to show respect for others and treat others as human beings and it is essential to be civilized.

Always Know The Difference Between Arrogance and Confidence In the current situation around the world, there is a huge misrepresentation that being successful means being arrogant or brash or loud but that is really faraway from the truth. Successful people are always in the know that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Often people with a positive attitude take it one step too far and instead of having that can-do mentality, they develop a “can-do-anything-and devil may care� mentality. So learn to strike a balance between confidence and arrogance. They start letting their ego rule and that is a sure sign of decay. They 50

also know that they need to keep learning and improving since everybody has to learn and improve as no one is a master of everything. Successful people understand that humility is a critical trait to be successful. Loss of humility often leads to a loss of understanding perspective and that leads to losing your feet and successful people know that. It is absolutely essential to be grounded all the time and to sustain success in our life. Remember that a positive mental attitude is a great and necessary foundation; however, it must be accompanied by hard work, a sense of perspective rooted in reality, high levels of empathy to others and a positive, motivated action to drive and be successful.


ONE-MINUTE POINTERS ON POSITIVE THINKING  Being confident, having self-worth and being motivated is essential  Humility is a critical trait, especially if you want to be a true leader  Positive thinking is immensely helpful to move forward and face life’s challenges

Respect, Courtesy, Humility are hallmarks of a successful person


CHAPTER 8 Make Common Sense Common No merit can be held so high as theirs, who sense and deny self. -Verse 21, Thirukkural Do you agree with the statement common sense is usually not commonplace?

Make common sense common in your life Successful people realize the importance of exercising common sense, and work at making common sense common practice. Successful people understand how performing the obvious, how engaging in the elementary, and how paying attention to the seemingly mundane can give them an enormous edge in life today. Successful people stand out from others by doing the ordinary in an 53

extraordinary way. Both in the personal and professional arena, the little common-sense things have a big effect on our lives. Yes, it is the obvious that’s so often overlooked in favor of the more complex and more pressing issues. But, doing the little common-sense things well can make the biggest attentiongetting difference.

Smile. It increases your face value Successful people know how often the obvious is overlooked. They know that the mark of an exceptional person is the ability to pay attention to both the big picture as well as the details. They also stand out from the crowd, and in many cases actually disarm others when they stand during introductions as a sign of respect, are courteous and say please, thank you, and you are welcome.


Laugh and welcome Humor They look at others in the eye when they speak, look for ways to demonstrate acts of basic kindness, hold doors for others, display a unique finesse and tact and demonstrate a lot of empathy with every person they meet.

Pay attention to the details Most successful people have the ability to approach strangers and make them quick acquaintances even when the situation may be somewhat awkward. Successful people are prompt in returning phone calls and correspondence. Successful people know that an easy way to separate themselves from others, to gain the attention of employers and customers, is simply to be prompt in this manner. Successful people like humor. They like to laugh


and project a happy persona. ONE MINUTE POINTERS FOR SUCCESS  Smart People feel more empowered and act more invigorated.  Smart people experience and project a greater sense of hope and pay better attention to minute details.  Smart People consider themselves more capable and put things in better perspective.  Smart people work more like a team and make everyone perform better.  Smart and successful people observe, study, and copy other successful people and their approach to success.

Watch and Learn From Observing Other Successful People


CHAPTER 9 Communicate, Bi-Directionally Who know the art of speech shall suit, Their chosen words to time in fact. -Verse 712, Thirukkural

Communicate well – verbally and non verbally In an increasingly interdependent world, successful people know the important role that communication can play in fostering, maintaining, strengthening or destroying a relationship. The fact of the matter is, if you can talk to one another easily, you most likely have a good relationship with that person, and if you can’t communicate easily, you don’t. This is just the way it is.


Understand other people’s communication preferences Successful people know that the preferences people have in terms of who they choose to deal with, who they want to associate with, and who they seem to gravitate toward, are heavily influenced by the perceived similarity or differences in the communication style and process used by that other person communicating with you. Understanding communication styles is critical for success nowadays.

Understand that others may have a different point of view Successful people understand how important those concepts are and how positive communication can powerfully affect relationships. ONE MINUTE POINTERS ON COMMUNICATION  One of the greatest obstacles in communication is the illusion that


it transpired the way you intended it.  You cannot over communicate.  Words have power, but other elements of speech have power as well, Tone, Pace, Pitch, Projection, Pauses and Physical posture w.r.t body language are critical aspects of communication.  The greater the need to communicate, the more challenging it becomes, hence it is better to talk in a simple manner and get to the point.  Make sure that you are a positive speaker and that you are not inadvertently sending out negative messages or vibrations


your wording to be more optimistic and positive.


CHAPTER 10 The 2 Ears, One Mouth Formula Wealth of wealth’s is listening's wealth,It is the best of wealth on earth. -Verse 411, Thirukkural

Listening is hard because we have not been formally taught to listen God has given two ears and one mouth, probably because he wanted us to listen more and speak less.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes all the time Listening to another person is a sign of respect and courtesy for a fellow human being and that core idea needs to be imprinted in your mind.


Listen with heart and soul Listening is fundamentally different from hearing and typically good listeners are hard to find, and demonstrating or developing that rare listening ability can be a huge asset in personal and career aspects.

Highly successful people are almost always great listeners Being a good listener can reap many rewards, and successful people know that once a relationship has been formed, demonstrating those important listening skills will not only keep it going but also keep it strong and solid.

Listen, it’s very different from hearing In fact, successful people know that listening is the single most important


thing they can do in any relationship they have.

Active listening is an important habit to learn Listeners are hard to find but most people will agree that people who talk other people’s ears off are everywhere and in plentiful in the world today. Perhaps, the complexity of living makes it easier for people to develop speaking skills than listening skills. Conceivably it’s also because “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” philosophy which has become prevalent today. People today seem to have a lot to say and they want to be heard. Unfortunately, most don’t understand that being heard does not necessarily mean they are actually being listened to. Remember, we hear with our ears, but we listen with our minds. Real listening, listening with the


purpose of gaining insight and understanding, listening with the purpose of showing concern and interest, is called active listening as opposed to passive listening. Passive listening, however, does occur when perhaps we listen to background music or a radio talk show more for the company value rather than for the message.

Have an open mind when listening

Typically we fail to listen because we are already working up our responses to what is being said. These include aspects like – working out a response even before the other person has stopped talking, completing the speaker’s sentence for them, trying to hear with a filter on when you are constantly reading for a hidden message, it could also be a case where you believe the person has nothing important to say and you ignore what is being said or it could be about already concluding the 63

message of what the other person is saying since it sounds so much like what you have heard or experienced before. ONE MINUTE POINTERS ON IMPROVING LISTENING SKILLS  Remember that listening really means hearing others.  It does not count if, after the first few sentences, you start giving advice or adding your own personal opinion or feedback.  Do not assume that when someone wants you to listen, they also want your solutions and feedback.  Often what people need when they engage you in conversation is an interested and concerned ear. They’re not necessarily looking for a problem solver.  Listening is actually a motivator. When others realize that you are truly attentive and interested in what is on their mind, they often feel compelled to follow through


with their verbalized intentions.  Listening is a time saver. Yes, if you engage in active listening, you’ll save a great deal of time. Though repetition may in fact be the mother of learning, getting that message the first time it’s sent out puts you ahead of the game.  Though many people, especially after years of schooling, have become quite adept at faking the listening process, most people today can tell whether your interest in listening to them is genuine or not.  It’s been said that if you listen more than you speak, you will usually be perceived as more intelligent than you really are.  Always let others finish their sentences. Interrupters do more to demonstrate their lack of patience than their understanding and interest.  Fight the urge to make assumptions. 65

You may miss a great deal of important information by prematurely jumping to conclusions.  From time to time, take notes as others talk.  Pauses, as I mentioned earlier, can be used for punctuation and drama. There’s a space between stimulus and response. Let it stay there. In fact, often when listening to others, you will note that a very important point is made—either just prior to or right after that pause was taken.  Make eye contact. This isn’t as easy as you think. On the other hand, beware of course, of getting into a staring mode. Glance at your notes occasionally, and when looking at the speaker, instead of looking directly into both eyes, look at one eye, then the other. It keeps the effect of eye contact going without the potential feeling of intimidation, discomfort, or threat.  Offer nonverbal encouragement 66

through an interested facial expression and appropriate head nodding.  Physically lean in toward the speaker. Unfortunately, most people tend to lean away or lean back when another is speaking. The distance you put between yourself and another unconsciously says a lot about your interest level.  Refrain from clicking your pen, drumming with your fingers, or fidgeting when others are speaking. Not only do these acts show impatience, but they also serve as a distraction to the speaker as well as to you, the listener.  When the time is right, always take a moment to summarize what’s been covered. This promotes clarity as well as progress.  Listen for the emotion being expressed while the words are being said.  From time to time, without interrupting, repeat something that 67

the speaker said. This is a quick way to demonstrate your listening ability and interest.  Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions when appropriate.


CHAPTER 11 Change Is Positive Energy, Not Trauma Who adapts not, outsteps measure and brags himself-his fall is sure. -Verse 474, Thirukkural

Understand and manage change Successful people know that change is going to happen with them or without them. They know that change is here to stay, that it’s the only constant phenomenon in the universe. Successful people know that change is inevitable. Successful people also know that if you can’t get out of a changed situation, you had would better plunge into it remembering that change is one of those things no one can escape from. Change is ubiquitous and ever Omni present. 69

In any event, successful people know that a company, an organization, an industry, or an individual’s ability to recognize change and then to react quickly and appropriately to that change is the key to staying on top.

Recognize the type of change and manage it They also know, however, that it’s much, much easier to get on top than it is to stay there. Staying on top requires not only seeing change and responding to change; it involves embracing change, keenly adopting change, and eagerly assimilating it. There are typically four basic types of changes that we encounter in our lives: Firstly, Changes that we anticipate and want to occur. Examples of this are accepting a new job offer, making a new friend, visiting your native place etc.


Adopt and Adapt to Manage Secondly, Changes that we anticipate will happen but don’t particularly want to occur. Examples of this are completing college and parting with friends, restructuring at the workplace, going to hospital for check-up etc. Thirdly, changes we don’t anticipate will happen but would like to occur. Examples of this are getting a sudden promotion, getting tickets to the cricket match etc. Lastly, changes we don’t anticipate will happen and don’t want to occur. Examples of this are a sudden death of a relative or friend, finding that the flat you have booked has suddenly become more expensive etc. ONE MINUTE POINTERS FOR MANAGING CHANGE  Realize that people tend to support what they had a hand in creating. Therefore, those who


you want to change must be made to feel they want to change  Make certain that those who must change are not kept in the dark. Gather people as a group so everyone is hearing the same thing at the same time. This is critical, in that mutual understanding of what that change entails, quells rumors and uneasiness.  Always begin by giving the bigchange picture first. People digest and learn information best when it is presented from the broad to the specific.  The first step of communicating change is the “what” aspect of change.  Second step is the “why”. Explain why this decision to change has been made.  Third step is to explain the “how”. Explain how this change will benefit the company, and if possible how the change will 72

benefit people individually.  Before you progress to the “when” you expect the changes to start occurring, take the time to demonstrate your awareness of your team’s feelings.  If warranted, discuss what new training will take place to prepare the team for the change. Be specific here, as it will calm many anxieties down the anxiety that many are suffocating with.  Since change does not just happen overnight, talk about how the change will progress. It is important to tie in the present with the future. Use connected words and sentences such as, “Here is where we are now, today, and this is where we want to be by such-and-such a date.” Again, a timetable is critical in giving people transition-target dates.  Then proceed by asking for the team’s suggestions and ideas relative to how they feel the change could be best executed. 73

This step again serves to bring the team into the picture and help them to feel involved.  Phony participation will only make the change more difficult to implement. The team’s interest and enthusiasm will grow as they are encouraged to express their ideas. A change in behavior begins with a change in one’s mind. This step starts that process.  Point out areas that will not be affected by the change. For many, this creates a psychological comfort zone.  Reflect openness and honesty.  With respect to personal changes, always know in your heart that you can’t change another person. If it necessitates a change, you can change to the situation or a person, instead of trying to change another.


 With respect to changing a group or a community know and abide by the rule “you be the change that you want to see in the world�.


CHAPTER 12 Emoting or Being Emotional? No frightful evil shocks the wise, Who guard themselves against surprise. -Verse 429, Thirukkural Employees who have a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) have an elevated degree of emotional intelligence: They have brain power, are better team players, are more productive, enhance the work environment, bring a sense of responsibility, stability, and commitment to the workplace and reduce costly turnover with their high Social Quotient or SQ. ONE MINUTE POINTERS FOR EQ MANAGEMENT  Express feelings clearly and directly  Don’t be afraid to express feelings and not dominated by negative emotions  Read non-verbal communication. 76

 Balance feelings with reason, logic, and reality.  Act out of desire, not because of duty, guilt, force or obligation.  Be emotionally resilient.  Be interested in other people's feelings.


CHAPTER 13 The Spring Effect / Affect Is there anything difficult for him to do, who acts, with (the right) instruments at the right time?. -Verse 483, Thirukkural As in everything else, downturns in economy happen. High and low cycles are part of the cycle of life, be it your personal or career life. And yes, from time to time bad things do indeed happen to good people.

Bad things happen to good people, we need to deal with it Successful people know how to get over them if they downturns do happen. They know how to override obstacles and they know how to minimize their downtime by being flexible and adaptable to what is presented to them.


Sometimes a downturn is not always a sign of bad times. In fact, downturn means below normal output. Of course, when that downturn happens with no specific cause, we get concerned, self-doubt creeps in, frustration and anxiety becomes our friend and introspection often enters the picture and this gets you into a bigger funk. Successful people typically look at down situations with an analytical and logical mind, they also know that to control their own destiny they must be able to get out of that slump, whatever the cause, on their own and as quickly as possible.

When you are in a hole, stop digging and work your way up

Firstly, recognize the source of the slump and then take steps to get back to where you want to be as quickly as possible and on your own.


ONE MINUTE POINTERS FOR FACING TOUGH SITUATIONS  Examine the situation in a rational and logical way and also understand how you feel about it.  Talk about your slump with your close and trusted friends.  Use the extra time you now have to get organized  Experiment and try some new innovative approaches  Jump-start your attitude.  Check out your goals in all areas of your life.  Count your blessings.


CHAPTER 14 Who Said Life Is Fair Feel not frustrated saying it is hard. -Verse 611, Thirukkural Typically, successful people recognize the opportunity that the world offers and know that they can have nearly anything they want if they are willing to work hard at it and pay the price for it.

Work within the context of opportunities presented and maximize life Interestingly enough, many people however, don’t even know what it is that they want. There are too many “ifs,” “ands” and “buts” in their equation and they will talk about a missed opportunity and indicate that if only this did not happen, I would have got it done etc. etc. But, the fact is, that knowing what you want is critical.


Know what you really want If you don’t know what you want and where you want to be, you’re missing out on the opportunity that living presents itself to you. For some people, it may take a lifetime to realize that life is not fair. For others, they may never learn that life is unfair. Successful people, however, seem to understand that message early on in life and work within that context and maximize the opportunities that life presents itself. When they have an opportunity, they seize the opportunity and make sure that they have extracted the maximum out of the opportunity.

Respect every opportunity Successful people also know that any opportunity which comes their way has to be respected, analyzed and acted 82

upon. With the hectic pace of life in evidence nowadays, you cannot reach a certain level of business success and ride with that for a while and enjoy the fruits of success. Today, you are only as good as what you are doing right now! In today’s world, you cannot build a reputation based on future intentions and you cannot maintain a reputation based on past performance.

Keep moving forward Marshall Goldsmith in his book “what got you here won’t get you there” says that you can be great at what you do today and not be able to compete at the next level by tomorrow. Successful people always keep moving forward. They accept the fact that the running around does not end and they don’t indulge in self-pity or wail and grumble about it at all.


There is a wrong notion that successful people are just plain lucky. Many think that successful people are those who happen to be in the right place at the right time. Many others think that successful people were fortunate enough to simply have the right connections. That may be true to some extent, but most of the successful people work and make it happen, and they do that by honing these two critical traits: Commitment and Discipline.

Be focused and disciplined Discipline is about harnessing the mind-set and exercising the selfcontrol necessary to turn a thought process or an action into habit. It involves creating a behavioral routine or defining process frameworks and implementing a regimen. Discipline is mechanical in nature while commitment is about having the 84

burn, the desire, the motivation, and the passion to relentlessly pursue, to keep at it, to prevail. These two traits will help turnover difficult situations into winnable situations. ONE-MINUTE POINTERS MANAGING WHEN THINGS DON’T FALL IN PLACE  Move on and do what needs to be done, don’t blame anything on fate.  Take responsibility for your life  Always look for the brighter side, even in bleak situations.  Luck is nothing but being prepared  Cultivate discipline; it helps to handle tough times better.


CHAPTER 15 Take In A Big Dose Of Reality Self-rule leads to realms of gods, Indulgence leads to gloomy hades. -Verse 121, Thirukkural Successful people typically have a code of rules they live and work by. They know what rules make sense and needs to stay on and what rules needs to go. They also know what rules apply today and what rules don’t; and no matter what others seem to do, they move on with clarity in terms of thought and purpose. GOLDEN RULE 1: You are what you think. Thinking positive thoughts leads the way to a positive life. The ability to think enabling thoughts, calming thoughts and positive thoughts are critical and the way we think and react to situations


and opportunities will ultimately determine how successful we are. GOLDEN RULE 2: Attitude determines altitude and typically winning starts with a positive attitude. Attitude is extremely critical to becoming successful since a positive frame of mind; an indomitable spirit will lead to winning and being successful. Happiness in life is based on how you respond to life’s challenges. Successful people know that life is full of ups and downs and we always need to be happy and resilient and ready to face challenges in a positive way. GOLDEN RULE 3: Be self-reliant, being dependent on others for your success or for a successful outcome is being fool hardy Standing on your own legs and being sufficiently able to manage self is a key trait of successful people. They do not depend on others for their


success and firmly believe that success can only be obtained by being reliant on self. GOLDEN RULE 4: What got you here is not going to get you where you want to go Successful people don’t rest in on their present accomplishments, They clearly understand that change is the only constant and work towards upgrading their skills and capabilities as they know that the future is a new game and they need to have the right tools to play the success game in the future. GOLDEN RULE 5: Keep working out new ways to better yourself and the work you do Kaizen or continuous improvement is one of the buzz words of successful people. They believe that there is so much to learn and so much to do and are never complacent. GOLDEN RULE 6: Birds of similar feather do indeed tend to flock together.


Successful people believe that a person can be judged by the company they keep and they truly believe that to be successful you need to be in the company of positive minded successful people. GOLDEN RULE 7: Destiny always favors the prepared individual Successful people believe that being lucky is all about being prepared. They believe in the maxim that success is all about preparation. Focused hard work will always get you long term reward, this follows the law of nature people intrinsically believe in the karmic law and believe that hard work will always get you rewards, this is akin to planting seeds and waiting for the food crop to grow and be harvested. Whatever you do, you cannot harvest the crop until it is time to do so. GOLDEN RULE 8: Be honest and ethical, even when no one is watching you Successful people most often have an internal moral compass which dictates


every aspect of their lives. They are honest and ethical, even when nobody is looking or watching over them, since they believe that they have to uphold their principles for themselves, not because somebody else is watching. GOLDEN RULE 9: Self Esteem is seldom misunderstood Successful people seldom misunderstand the importance of self-esteem and always ensure that their self-esteem is always high. They also realize that the world presents challenges and bottlenecks and it is important for them to have a high opinion of themselves and their capabilities. GOLDEN RULE 10: Count your blessings every day Sounds corny?, it’s true that we don’t look at what we have and always aspire for what we don’t have. Successful people always count their blessings. This leads to a clearer mind and that helps in developing razor sharp focus on what they are currently pursuing.


Open your eyes, do what successful people do, see what successful people see, and take advantage of all you’ve got going for you. We live in a time of great opportunities. Don’t miss it. Focus, dedication and sustained commitment will deliver success to you, irrespective of what you are doing currently.



All it takes is a minute  

A self help book for the student, a professional or just somebody wanting to understand a perspective on what is being successful. All it...

All it takes is a minute  

A self help book for the student, a professional or just somebody wanting to understand a perspective on what is being successful. All it...