Sabina became the first ever Bangladeshi women football player to play for a foreign club as she went to play for Police Club, Maldives in the tournament which began on March 14 and will end on April 17, with 14 teams fighting for the title.
Read the full article here: http://www.thedailystar.net/top-news/bangladeshi-girl-scores-16-goals-match-73314
In a world where women are still fighting for equality, being a woman in a developing country is difficult. It’s difficult to get the same opportunities for education, for health care, for living standards, career choices and we are a long way off from being treated equally under the law.
Yet, as I see over and over again, there are an amazing number of my fellow country women who are creating history. They follow non-traditional paths and become trail blazers. They are my heroes. I love that they have the courage to follow their dreams and chose unconventional careers, cracking open that glass ceiling.
A series of my blog posts will now be dedicated to honouring these women, their courage, their leadership and above all the strength of their femininity.
Generally speaking I am not very good with sitting through long presentations, certainly not one that is 126 slides long. But this was riveting. Why?
Simply because it is so precise, therefore effective and efficient.
Yes it is 126 slides long but the lessons contained is such that you could probably read at least 10 Management books, go through a couple of extensive management trainings with special emphasis on strategic thinking and still fail to grasp or condense all the points that are so precisely formulated here.
Netflix has obviously spent quite a bit of time and effort in putting together this ‘bible’ for their organization. In fact this could very well be a road map that can be adapted and adopted for MOST organizations.
A snapshot of the Seven Aspects of Netflix Culture & their corresponding bullet points are:
1. Values are what they value – Judgement, communication, impact, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty, selflessness.
2. High Performance
3. Freedom & Responsibility
4. Context, not Control
5. Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled
6. Pay Top of Market
7. Promotions & Development
Psychology defines compartmentalization as a defense mechanism, or a coping strategy, which doesn’t impart a very good connotation. Put simply, it’s how our minds deal with conflicting internal standpoints simultaneously.
Compartmentalizing is something that doesn’t usually come easily to people. You can see this in the way people will bring problems from home to work, let that affect their performance and vice versa. For some not so strange reason, I seem to have the opposite problem. My life is compartmentalized in so many segments that I find it difficult to allow them to mesh together. Maybe that’s also the reason I challenged myself last year to allow a disintegration in the boundaries, to mesh in all the different parts and build a new collage of the different parts.
Compartmentalizing is good, as long as you can handle it. To compartmentalize is to shove something in a box in your mind. It isolates the issue, allowing you breathing space, to get back to it with a cool head, a certain sense of detachment if you will, that allows you to approach it in a new way. In my own experience, this detachment has allowed me more flexibility and find more solutions, it’s probably the reason that I can come up with a Plan A, B, C and D to most any situation.
Compartmentalization however doesn’t work if you are trying to run away from issue, to avoid dealing with them. You do not get to shove things in a box in your mind and pretend like you have forgotten them. The issues don’t leave, resolve and in the back of your mind, you know that they exist. In extreme cases, this denial can lead to disassociate disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The reason I do it is automatic but it’s a skill like every other that we acquire. Being able to compartmentalise can help you to achieve more, be more effective and efficient. It allows me to do a 40 hour week, my two volunteer work, one full time evening masters. There is no end to how much more you can handle. Anyone can train themselves to be anything, us humans have unlimited potential, if we focus on expanding our potential.
This is not a new phenomena infact a vast majority of us do practice it daily. For example, you might go home, see your kid smile at you and completely forget the stress you carried over from work.It’s what people talk about when they say that they want more work-life balance. It’s what allows multi-taskers to be effective. Leaders to stay on top of all the varied things that go on under them in an organization, team or league. It is our unconcious mind protecting us automatically from being overwhelmed.
If you would like to use the process of compartmentalization in a concscious and effective way, then I suggest the following steps:
1. To effectively compartmentalize, isolate the issue. Don’t confuse one thing with another. Be very clear on what you are isolating.
2. Once the issue/problem/riddle is isolated, focus on it. Really focus on it. Place that issue on the table in front of you like a rubics cube and look at it from all angles. BUT do this only for short periods of time.
3. Once you have analysed a problem, you can then start working on a solution. A little bit at a time.
4. Once the problems been handled, close the compartment. The problem existed, you handled it. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t file it away somewhere in the back of your mind in order to return to it over and over again. You have already given it your full attention. You have already solved the issue at hand to your best possible ability. Now close it and be done with it.
5. Learn to say “no”. Get comfortable saying “no”. Prioritize your time and your attention. While there are unlimited supplies of problems, both at home and at work, you as a human however only have a limited supply of energy and time to devote to them. So learn to get comfortable saying “no” to things that have no business in your life. And once you have said no, move on. These do not have to be filed or compartmentalized in order to be handled at a later time. It’s like cleaning your PC when it gets virus infected. You purge and reboot 🙂
I met Frankie today. A very interesting Austrian woman who happens to be here for a little more than a week on jury duty for an International Film Festival that is taking place here in Dhaka. We went for a long walk around Old Dhaka today and had some rather interesting discussion. Frankie and I have been born world apart, in the same year, in completely different societies. Our upbringing and lives have been in that sense rather different too. Yet we connected on so many different levels and had such animated conversations that none of us wanted it to end. At one point during our conversation though, she said something that made me stop and ask her to repeat herself again, just so that I really understood what she was saying.
Here’s what she said: “You are full of convictions and yet at the same time you are also brimming with contentment”.
I kid you not, I did a double take when she said it. I was sure that I heard it wrong, which is why I asked her to repeat herself again.
My convictions that she was referring to was about my views on religion, life, goals, my child and what I want and don’t want for him & me etc. My contentment apparently stems from the fact that I can very easily declare that I love my life. That its easy to see that the work I do is something that I love very deeply.
This is not a gloating post.
Tomorrow will mark the 2nd year anniversary of the day I almost ended my life. I was in a deep dark tunnel that had no end, stuck in a life I felt powerless to change. Simply put – I hated my life and could not find the answer to the question, “why should I take another breath? or live for another day”. I didn’t have an answer. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I planned for posterity (that would be the type-A personality in me). I planned my will, bequeathed what I own to the people I care for as carefully as I planned out exactly how I was going to end it.
I will tell you what saved me that day – these quotes from the Bible and the Quran and my best friend.
Frankie asked me this today and I had to think for a moment before I answered – am I religious? I think not, I think I am spiritual. I believe in something greather than us, a grand designer, creator of the cosmos if you will. I do believe in humanity.
I have been incredibly fortunate or lucky to see quite a few miracles in my life. At the same time I have also seen the worst face of human beings. It’s like the highs are real Himalaya kind of high, while the lows have been the pits of hell. That in itself would be enough to either rattle someone to their very core, or get them diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Turns out I don’t have that. Trust me, I did analyze myself and get a second opinion. (yes I am talking about mental health issues here, if you are not comfortable, this is not the blog for you). What I do have is incurable, inexplicable – optimism and faith.
When I had forsaken the religion that was being shoved down my throat, I decided to find out for myself what religion meant. I went everywhere I could think of – churches, temples, gurudwara, synagogue. I read up on philosophy, debated religion with people who were open minded enough and knowledgeable enough to have an intelligent discussion. Let me tell you this – the ten commandments hold true no matter what religion you follow, or which God you worship. The name may change but the devotion felt is the same and at very core of it lies humanity. This gave birth to my conviction on religion – to each his own, his own action, karma, life and choices.
So back to two years ago, I was stuck in a dead end life that was not what I wanted or needed but couldn’t figure out how to get out of. See the trick there? I couldn’t see the how, the silver lining, the end of the tunnel. That’s were faith, optimism and my best friend kicked my ass in. I had to let go of the need to control the how and shift my attention to the why.
Ok, so I was not happy – why? what do I need to change about my life to be happy? What can I no longer tolerate in my life? What do I actively want to manifest in my life? What would change my life to the point where I do not feel the need to question the why of my life.
The more I have let go of the ‘how’ and concentrated on the ‘why’, the more I have achieved and the happier I have been.
It’s really been as simple and as difficult as that.
When my motivation to undertake something is not at the core of my being, my passion, my time is wasted. When it is, my time is invested. A simple example – people have told me for years that I should do my Masters. I couldn’t see the reason as to ‘why’ I should do it. The reasons that people usually gave to the ‘why’ was not for me. I don’t need that certificate or the salary bump that may come from it. Both of these reasons are arbitrary and while they may be true for most people, I already made more money than most people my age and I have worked my ass off to get where I am, so that didn’t really apply to me. However, last year, when I got bitten by the bug to know more, when development aid ignited my passion, I finally conceded that I do now want to do a Masters on Development Studies.
The problem with my life, as with most women and men’s, was that I was living a life that is prescribed by someone else – our family, society, expectations. The invisible iron chains that bind us down into making choices that has nothing to do with our individuality. It doesn’t stop to take note of the machines that we become, the dreams that we kill, or the aspirations that we suffocate to death. It takes no note of the zombies we become, like actors on a stage, in a play that they do not desire to be part of but cannot leave either.
This journey of becoming an individual is not an easy one. Neither is it for the faint hearted. If you crave love, attentions, affection and confirmations, then this is not the road for you to take. You will not get accolades for your efforts. Neither will you be cheered on your journey. The road to transformation is a long and lonely road – because no one else will see the destination that you are trying to reach. When you reach your destination, you might be the only one at the mountain top. Others might congratulate you for scaling another peak, for another success. But it will be your own blood and sweat that you will shed on this lonely journey.
Then again, in your travels, you might find a kindered spirit in someone else. Recognize yourself in someone else. You might even stop in your path to lend a helping hand. If you are suffering from depression, if you can’t see the end of the tunnel – the psalm 23.4, really helps. It will remind you that you are not alone. And when you get tired of fighting for what you believe in, your dreams, your goals – the Surah Al-Kafiroon, really helps. It will shore your belief that just because others can’t see things from the same perspective as you, it does not invalidate your dreams. You have every right to be YOU, while they have a right to be themselves.
Contentment? Yes please, I will take a double helping of that 🙂
Ever more people today have the means to live,
but no meaning to live for.
~Viktor E. Frankl~
A few years ago, on the eve of my 30th birthday, I realized that this was a milestone that I had not expected to reach. I honestly did not in my wildest dreams even think that I was going to live to be 30. Am I ill? nope. Do I have a life threatening condition? nope. What I had was a life that I didn’t particularly like living. What came after that was a realization that my life is not going to change unless I change.
The life I had was two separate entities, one that I lived inside my head and the other that I lived externally. I controlled the external one because the internal entity was running amok in me. I was so focused on all the problems of everyone else and firefighting simply because I was afraid to stop and solve the real fire that was going on inside.
The hardest and the best thing in life has been to be brutally honest with myself. Takes time, practice (A LOT of it) and an infinite amount of patience. Once I got to that point, where I can look at myself, at the thoughts running in my head, the actions manifesting in my life and no longer felt the need to hide from any of it … that’s when I truly came into being. My anger at my own perceived helplessness diminished and instead I found my true voice, me.
I started making conscious choices, I questioned myself constantly and I questioned the long-held believes of everyone else around me. Who was I? and what do people expect from me? Why? Do they have my own best interest in their heart? or are they manifesting their fears? trying to control things in ways that are not good for me. These were some of the questions that I asked myself (I highly recommend others to do the same).
All these questioning, some of which was VERY interesting, led me to make choices that make ME interesting. I don’t have all the answers, sometimes all I get are very intriguing questions but life is not about answers or control, it’s about living free. I lived and I grew as a person, just not the kind that everyone expected.
I gave myself a gift when I turned 30. I sponsored a child’s education with Jaago (http://jaago.com.bd/), I discovered the joy in giving unselfishly without any hope of return and I was hooked. My pledged to myself this year to sponsor more children with another organization – Streetwise (http://www.streetwise.com.bd/). I am hooked on the joy of giving, of changing lives, one person at a time.
This year the interns at my office asked me what I would like as a birthday gift, I requested that they sponsor a child with Jaago. So instead of a material gift (valued temporarily), a gift that will change a life (value infinite) and the girls did just that. Judith and Anne surprised me with a decked up office when I got there in the morning but they had me crying when I unwrapped my gift. I was so happy that I couldn’t stop bawling my eyes out 🙂
I posted this on my FB page for the blog on a status update, but I think it holds relevance here too.
My fear for most of you is that you will never be rich enough to realize that wealth doesn’t hold what you are seeking.
~Matt Chandler, The Village Church, Flower Mound, TX~
More people than ever before spend their lives earning money in order to do the things they want to, sometime in the future. Only to realize that time has passed, they haven’t done anything much other than accrue bank loans and mortgages on things that don’t really bring them any pleasure. In an all connected world, more people feel lonely and disengaged from those around them. If we stop and ask ourselves why… maybe … just maybe, we’ll change our lives and put more value on the things that really mean something to us before it is too late, before we have lost them, before our time has passed and we no longer have the energy to enjoy them.
As human beings, I believe that we have infinite potential for good and greatness in us. But we have to try, we have to constantly strive and we have to be aware of the fact that it is each moment’s conscious and unconscious choices that make up our entire lives. None of us exist alone, we affect others with our thoughts, our actions, our energies. And if we each make the effort to add, to give, just that little bit extra, whether it’s at home or at work or with our friends, together we can make a big difference.
Read this quote today:
Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
~George Washington Carver~
I am not familiar with Mr. Carver or his work, so I did what the Web 2.0 generation does – I ran a google search on his name. Turns out Mr. Carver was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864.
The first thought that ran through my head was, if I was born in that century, under those circumstances, would I have gone on to achieve even a quarter of all that he had achieved? Chances are that I would have given a lot of “valid” excuses for the quality of my life and eventually maybe even convinced myself that I did have a good life despite everything.
Every great person has risen against the back drop of great adversity. Their trials gave them the impetus, the drive to succeed, to prove wrong all the naysayers around them. I am thinking of personalities like Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Helen Keller, Robert Kiwosaki, Thomas Edison etc. They stood at the pinnacle of their respective areas but they hadn’t just jumped there, they built their success, little by little, over decades. All of them also share something in common – even when everyone else around them said otherwise – they did not falter in their belief in themselves or their dreams.
That is of course not to say that they have never had a moment of doubt, I am sure they have had them. But they did not let that doubt stop them from going after what they want with everything they have got. Had they stopped to make excuses would they be where they are now?
Which leads me to the next questions – do you know what you want? do you believe in your own dreams? are you giving your dream, your life, everything that you have got to give? or are you making excuses?
Get off the train of self-doubt and letting others deplete your sense of self-worth or confidence. Answer these questions to yourself and then Go for it! and go for it BIG!
I have had some amazing bosses in my life and this one goes right to them. Thank you! Thank you for mentoring me and helping me to grow both in my personal and professional life. Thank you for pushing me to get better, do better, learn more. Thank you for setting higher standards each time and having faith that I will live up to that.
Here are my specific heroes for this occasion:
Gilbert Lee – taught me to appreciate Korean cuisine and see past cultural differences in the way people treat & affect each other.
Karl Munshi – always everything had to be delivered yesterday. You have taught me to stay on my toes and think on my feet. You also taught me to put my emotions aside and think logically. Forever a friend and a well-wisher, it is amazing how well our bond has lasted through the last decade and more.
Shamim ul Huq – taught me how to be a better person and the how-to of “team leadership”. Always respected, your lessons in integrity and thoughtfulness are timeless.
Tim Parkin – you have taught me to bite off more than I can chew and then learn fast how to fill in big shoes. Thank you for teaching me that “the ball stops here”, in invaluable lesson on taking responsibility.
Stefan Priefelt – how to cut through the crap and get to the heart of the matter as fast as possible.
If you want to read more on how your boss influences your life… read on below:
MountainWings A MountainWings Moment
#1253 Wings Over The Mountains of Life
Today is National Boss Day – Whoopie!!!
We were discussing life-changing statements.
You know, the type of statement that hits home so hard that it
changes your thinking, forever steering you on a different path.
Some movies have that quality, some sermons, some people, some
moments, and even some MountainWings. They literally drill
their way into your spirit. You enter one person and exit
another, forever influenced and changed by the encounter.
My mother and I were having dinner with a lawyer.
It was not business but a friendly dinner with the lawyer, his
wife, and two of their children.
He told a personal story about a life-changing statement and its
effect that I feel will change the life course of at least one
person that reads MountainWings.
This lawyer is the kind of man about whom I would say,
“I want my son to turn out like him.”
He is the kind of man that if I were forced to choose another
father I would say, “I would like a father like this man.”
I have a great respect for this lawyer. He is the reason that I
have never used a lawyer joke on MountainWings though lawyer
jokes seem to be the most common kind on the net. His character
is one of the best that I have seen among men, and each time I
read a lawyer joke, I could never imagine him as that lawyer.
As I heard Attorney Bill Merritt speak, I knew that at least one
MountainWings reader would be affected by what he said,
possibly for life.
Maybe it’s you.
Attorney Merritt began to tell the tale:
I had a professor in business school that, like a marine drill
sergeant, constantly drilled one thing into us. I didn’t think
it was that significant at the time but the drilling was so
constant that when I graduated I automatically followed his
advice (or drilling, whichever you want to call it).
It’s amazing what repetition will do.
We were all eager students, ready to conquer the world,
ambitious, motivated, smart, loaded with dreams, and impatient
to make our mark in the world.
The instructor’s constant repetition was, “When you leave this
school and look for a job, don’t choose your job based on the
salary. Don’t choose your job based on the city. Don’t choose
your job based on the benefits or the prestige of the company.
Choose your first job on one criterion and one criterion only.
Choose it based on the character of your boss.”
I thought that was a strange thing.
Not only strange but also difficult to determine.
I trusted my instructor and his voice wouldn’t leave my head,
so his advice ultimately guided my job search.
I ended up out in the middle of nowhere working for a diesel
engine manufacturing company in the Midwest, Cummins Engine.
My boss was the CEO, Henry Schacht.
I didn’t realize it until years after I started my own law firm
that how I handled my business was exactly the way Schacht
I related to my secretary, to the other partners, to the
paralegals, even to the clean-up crew, in the exact way that
Henry Schacht did. We called his quotes and ways, Shockisms.
I remember most vividly a meeting held by Schacht.
The CEO’s of some major Fortune 500 companies were there.
Most had flown in on private jets.
You’ve read about those types of jets. Multi-million dollar
chariots with private bathrooms, couches, bars, large screen
TV’s, stereos, bedrooms, telephones, gourmet meals, you name it
and they have it.
Most have never seen the inside of such luxury jets much less
flown in them. These were the air cars these men flew in on.
There were eight or nine of some of the most powerful men in
America around that table. Henry Schacht sat at the head.
I was awed and somewhat humbled being in the presence of such
power, success, and wealth. These companies were blue chip all
the way and here I was in the midst of them.
In the middle of the meeting, Schacht suddenly looked at his
watch and said, “it’s 4 o’clock, it’s time for my son’s soccer
game,” and he got up, excused himself, and left.
I saw the jaws drop of every CEO at that table.
I could hear them thinking-
“The nerve of this man to leave such an important meeting
because his son has a soccer game. Doesn’t he realize how many
thousands of dollars per hour it costs just for my plane to fly
me here? Doesn’t he know how much my time is worth? All for a
Henry Schacht never missed a game that his son played.
Henry Schacht had his priorities in order.
I now understand the wisdom of my instructor. What seemed so
silly at the time, as I look back at it, makes so much sense.
My first boss influenced me to a degree that I would have never
thought possible. I act so much like him, that I now see why
the instructor insisted that we choose our first full-time job
based on the character of the boss.
That was Attorney Bill Merritt’s story.
We were at his house because he wanted his children to meet my
mother. My mother wanted his children to meet me. The point is
we were there because Attorney Merritt wanted his children to
meet someone that he felt would add positive influence in their
His children are doing great. Of the two present at the dinner,
one had just graduated from Princeton and the other is a
sophomore at Princeton, majoring in aerospace engineering.
Both had a peace and maturity of spirit that far exceeded youth
of their age and most older adults.
Do you know what it felt like?
It felt like the children of a father that hadn’t missed any
soccer games, no matter what the cost.
The first boss’s influence went beyond the boardroom.
For the student or person that has yet to enter their first
career full-time job, this MountainWings may be for you.
It’s not something that you are generally taught, especially
with the tight job market.
Maybe you don’t need to think of leaving school and getting the
first job that you can.
Maybe you need to think of school as making you really ready to
learn and be shaped, like soft putty.
Maybe your first boss is the main sculpturer.
Be careful whom you allow to shape you.
Henry Schacht is now Chairman of Lucent Technologies.
I am willing to bet that he still has his priorities in order.
I am willing to bet that he still knows the true cost of a
missed game and that it is too high of a price to pay.
~A MountainWings Original~
Thank you for inviting MountainWings in your mailbox.
See you tomorrow.
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