Happy & Purposeful

Reading the newspaper is like reading a horror story these days if you live in India.  The news swamped with stories of inflation, corruption, doom & gloom about the economy, organ theft, unethical sporting practices…oh the list goes on and on, doesn’t it?  And sometimes it is overwhelming.  What does this mean for me?  I am a reasonably educated, middle-class professional woman and I am not sure that I will be safe, financially sound or even healthy living in India in the near future.  So what are my options?  Do I have any?  It is very possible to feel helpless, overwhelmed and even play victim.  Or then you can play the quintessential Indian cynic and just be indifferent and pray like crazy that “all the bad stuff will go away by the grace of God”…

Often, people say to me: OK you tell me, what is the answer?  What can I do?  And this is a question that I often ask myself too.  So here is the answer that I created for myself, my life – and I gave it a grand name 🙂   Here is a Leadership Manifesto for you – it is my deepest wish that it will inspire you to action too and the collective effect of our individual action will make a significant difference!  So here goes..

1.  Use positive and purposeful language – Really check where you are participating in criticism, cynicism, putting someone or something down.  Remember the 3 rules:  is it true?  is it kind?  is it necessary?

2.  Use your spare time to invest in yourself – We are surely in the middle of a recession and work is slow.  For entrepreneurs and consultants, it might have even come to a grinding halt.  Use this time to upgrade your skills.  Enroll in courses or attend workshops that enhance your professional & personal resume as well as build your confidence.

3.  Seek value in financially hard times – This the time to really look at your business and personal expenses from a long-term value perspective.  You can negotiate contracts, get really good deals on products and services and lock into long-term savings.  Be careful that you do not panic and cut cost – the key is creating value.  This is also the time to trim superfluous expenses – look at where you are being wasteful, learn how you can lead a more economically, ecologically and environmentally sustainable life.

And finally:

4.  Engage in public or civic life – My neighbor who is a 65 year old woman has volunteered to oversee garbage separation in our housing complex.  This means that she spends two hours each morning with the garbage collection team – she has actually ended up highlighting many cleanliness issues that were being ignored.  WOW!!!  So simple and so purposeful.  And she has made a difference.  Chose one thing – one small thing – that you can do that will help make your community, your city and India cleaner, less corrupt, healthier or just plain happier!