Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter, where I share what impactful leadership looks like to show your own power. I also share the most insightful lessons and stories I encountered in the last two weeks. You can also read this issue online.
He wanted to speed up. He didn’t realise slowing down was the key.
When Raghu started the 1 year Extraordinary Leader Exponential Results program 3 months ago, he wanted to speed up his life.
He told me that he didn’t want to waste a second. If he was not busy, he wasn’t being productive.
When we started coaching, he told me how proud he was of his work ethic, and how “there was no gain without pain.”
When we inquired further, he realised all such statements (in italics above) were coming from his ultra-competitive father and culture where being the number one and squeezing out the most from each second of life was the secret to success.
When we reflected, he realised that all such idioms and proverbs are well-intentioned and meant to inspire people.
However, when we reflected on his life, he also saw the other side of it. These idioms also implied that if you slowed down to relax and enjoy, you are wasting your time and will not get what you want in life.
And that is a life of constant worry, anxiety, and stress. And Raghu’s life was a continuous story of anxiety, stress, busyness, and unable to stop and spend time with his two kids, wife, and ageing parents – people he himself says matter the most.
Suddenly, the old axioms and proverbs didn’t seem as helpful as they appeared. Yet they blind us to see life one way (which has nothing to do with the way things really are).
If you believe that working hard and doing more is the solution to every problem, then you will eventually end up burned out, stressed, and with other related health issues. We often don’t question such beliefs as they have been in use for a long time, and everyone around us also agrees with them.
But, what if, the opposite is true as well?
What if we need to slow down to speed up?
What if we need to relax, rest, and enjoy life to increase our productivity?
Feels counterintuitive (because the hold of the old sayings is too strong on the mind), but as Raghu realised, if you give it a try, magical results become possible.
This has been possible for Raghu in the last 3 months
- Every time his mind goes to the thought, “This is hard.”, he immediately replaces it with, “What if it isn’t? What if it is easy?” and then takes action from there. In every instance, he has been able to find a simple solution or way forward in a complicated situation.
- He is truly embracing “slow down to speed up” and breaking the illusionary link between being busy and being productive. As a result, he decided to start each day with a 30-min deep conversation with his wife, spend two hours daily with his children after work, and every weekend with his ageing parents. His happiness has never been better, and his body is thanking him for the rest and laughter.
- To his surprise, his productivity at work has increased (despite spending less time). He is able to listen better and be present in conversations, and his intuition is super active these days. When he is in meetings or having difficult conversations, he remembers to take a pause and is surprised by how much wisdom his intuition already has. He has achieved a significant breakthrough for his company last month as a result of one such idea.
- Again, to his surprise, his teams (he is a CTO) are super-engaged, producing high-quality work, and most importantly, are laughing and having fun at work. People have remarked on his leadership presence and composure, which are two things he never got positive feedback on before.
As Raghu reflects now, “I thought the answer to everything was doing more to fill the gap. I never thought the answer was slowing down and letting go of what was unnecessary!”
What if the same is true for you?
What are some such idioms and proverbs that are running your life subconsciously?
What if the opposite was true? What could be possible for you?
Try it out in your life for the next week, and see what happens. Reply back with any insights or surprises. I read and respond to every reply.
PS – I have two spots left for my 1-year program for tech leaders and 1 spot for entrepreneurs. The next opportunity will open up in 2023. Reach out before the end of Sep if you want to take up one of these and create your best year ever.
Fascinating Articles & Stories
‘Habit Stacking’ to Make a New Routine or Ritual Stick
Mornings complete with journaling, meditating, and yoga before breakfast might as well be aspirational, reserved for only the most methodical among us…right?
Well, not if you consider the basic premise of habit stacking, which says that you only need to find one thing you regularly do by default in order to build an entire tower of routine practices.
This is based on the work of BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits, and James Clear, author of Atomic Habits.
From an article on Well + Good
Getting Things Done in one image
Without saying much, please find the image below or here.
From an article on RadReads
New Inspiring Episodes on the Choosing Leadership Podcast
Below are the latest episodes where I have interviewed these amazing leaders. Listen to their story and for an example of what leadership can be.
Leadership Journeys  – Anshul Kamath – “The privilege of a lifetime is to discover who you truly are”
Leadership Journeys  – Laimonas Noreika – “If you want to outshine in this world, be yourself”
Leadership Journeys  – Henny Hoekstra- “Life is too short to make decisions that you don’t want”
That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or if you are new and want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,
P.S. – When you are ready, below are 3 ways I can help you drastically increase your impact, well-being, satisfaction, and joy as a leader.
- Work with me 1-on-1 on a regular basis to Deploy Yourself in every aspect of life. There is only 1 spot left for 2022, and registrations for working with me in 2023 are already open.
- Join me in Amsterdam for 2-4 days of pure presence in the Deploy Yourself Leadership Retreat. I will help you step away from your regular life by taking a retreat into presence and meditation. We will connect with WHAT IS, and use the medium of photography to help you see what you need to see. This can be magical, and available only on request.
- Let me train, coach, and mentor your entire leadership team (or managers at one org level) in a customised program designed to help your organisation reach where you envision it to be in the next 3 years and beyond. Only 1 spot left for 2022, and I only plan to support 3 organisations next year.