The Five Ls
Yesterday, Raj discussed participation and differentiation. He explained that team loyalty and individual goals are not mutally exclusive. He pointed out that to be a strong team member, a person needs to be self-aware and to participate as an individual as well as a team player.
Today, Raj talks about how a professional looks inward to start with a solid foundation of personal skills. In his book, Beyond Code: Learn to Distinguish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps! Raj calls that the Inner Game.
Raj, in Beyond Code, you talk about the Inner Game — Learn, Laugh, Look, Leave a lasting Impression, Love — how might you mentor someone who takes life too seriously, who has too much negative “self talk” getting in the way?
In the “Inner Game” section of the book, I cover some topics or areas where a professional can focus and improve with limited external dependencies. There are five of them. Most of them are related to the person’s attitude and philosophy towards life, career and ambition.
Here is the basic premise of each of the five chapters:
Learn: Learning does not stop when you finish school. In fact, the real learning begins when you step into work. Why? The simple reason is that schools can never catch up with what is happening in real-life. By the time a curriculum for a topic is developed, life has moved on. I don’t undermine formal education but relying on it for long-term success can be dangerous. Now, the question is what to learn? Obviously things that are not taught in school.
Here are a few examples:
a) building long-term relationships
b) learning how to learn and
c) learning to adapt to new conditions and situations
Laugh: Who would you like to spend some time with – a) one who takes him seriously or b) one who has the ability to laugh at himself or herself? The answer is pretty obvious. The ability to laugh at yourself and your mistakes is key to leading a stress-free life.
Look: When you just do what is asked of you, you are just getting by. If you want to get ahead, you have to look beyond what is required and requested of you. They say you have to walk the extra mile because there is less traffic there 🙂
Leave a lasting impression: Can you tell me the names of all your teachers from your kindergarten? Probably not. Well, you can name some of them – those are the ones that left a lasting impression on you – may be good, may be bad but they did leave a lasting impression on you. The same case applies in your case too. If I talk to the key people in each of the companies that you worked before – would they remember you? Did you leave a lasting impression there? If yes – what kind: good or bad? Leaving a lasting impression does not happen by accident. It takes effort.
Love: Whether you love you job or not, you will find evidence to support your decision. Because – there is enough stuff happening at work that can sway you one way or the other. It is up to you to decide. I think by “loving” your job, you can get a lot out of your job than not “loving” it.
Now, coming to negative “self talk” – I have not heard anyone getting any benefit from having negative self talk yet. Everyone of us are smart enough to know that it doesn’t help. So why do some people continue to have negative self-talk even after they know that it won’t help them? Simply because if they stop that, they have to take action and actually DO something. Negative self-talk is an easy and irresponsible way to screwing up your life. Think about it – it doesn’t cost much to have negative self-talk. You just keep going through the same stupid things over and over again for a long-time. How difficult is that?
Liz, I really don’t have much to say to those people who have too much negative self-talk. It is their choice. All they have to do is to see if this is helping them in anyway in their life. If not, they have a choice to change. If they still continue, GOD save them. They have to remember that they don’t get a second chance to live their life. You get to play your part only once. You can either make your life a masterpiece or screw it up.
To get to know Raj better visit his blog, Life Beyond Code, and come back on Monday to read about The Outer Game. You can find Raj’s book, Beyond Code: Learn to Distinguish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps! in the sidebar.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Interview 11.1: Rajesh Setty — Raj’s Story
Interview 11.2: Raj Setty –The Need to Participate and Differentiate
Interview 11.4: Raj Setty –The Outer Game
about-the-book-how-it-got-published/”>Interview 11.5: Raj Setty — About the Book: How It Happened