This one is different – it’s not about Sales Effectiveness or Productivity Enhancement, my regular subjects.
Instead, here are some happy thoughts regarding the amazing invention that changed the way we communicate, learn, work and have fun! Sometimes it even makes us forget that there is a world outside – we are immersed, or sucked into, its heady vortex of excitement and action.
But first let me thank and applaud the brains that created the Internet, and the Worldwide Web, without which I would not be able to present this article or stay in touch with you all!
I still remember the first time I played Scrabbles with two other friends, Rakesh and Santhosh – “No big deal!” you would say, “we play that game at home on all weekends”. Agreed! But on that day I was at Muscat, the capital of Sultanate of Oman, and my friends were at their respective homes in Trivandrum. Have you done that?
Santhosh is an expert and a diehard enthusiast; so he rags me nonstop for wasting time – I need much more time to create each new word. It goes without saying that I lost all the games. But it was so much fun because while we played news was exchanged, jokes cracked and each word was discussed, all in the chat window provided alongside the Scrabble Board. How cool is that?
There are 1000s of other Action and Skill games you can play with friends located across the globe. Seated in a Cyber Cafe at Mumbai, become a Commando and shoot your enemy, who is in Los Angeles, or race with a pal who is in Johannesburg! The games don’t have to be with just your friends either; choose any enthusiast, who happens to be online at that time. It’s like going to the local football or tennis club and deciding to partner with whoever is present there then.
But the internet permits you to become a member of all the clubs at the same time, you can play Chess in one window and Bridge or Poker in another – and you have not even left the confines of your home or office. Wait a minute! Who is stopping you from doing it while relaxing in a park or from a moving train? Today Smart Devices and GSM Modems can put you on the World Wide Web from just about anywhere. But please don’t get distracted by such fun things while driving; you can get transported from the Virtual World to another world in no time and I am not sure whether they have connectivity there! Why take the risk?
Kids, teenagers, adults or aged, just about anyone can pick the game or interest of their choice and indulge in the action – they can discuss and debate it, also share information, pictures and videos. You are in charge on the Internet!
Shiv, my friend based in Kuala Lumpur has created a website for fun and games – he recently ran a Prediction Contest for the last round of matches played in the English Premier League – with 7 out of 8 answers correct I got a runner-up Prize. There were participants from a dozen countries taking part in this exciting activity. He would not have been able to conduct such a fun contest on a global scale without the power of the internet. You can be seated on a poolside deck-chair at a resort in Hawaii while logging into the website to make your entry.
With the advent of Facebook fun went stratospheric – other than making friends and sharing photographs you can create groups based on your interest and share information and graphic data on a whole host of subjects: cookery, travel, reading, birding, hiking or biking, airplanes, nature, wildlife, stamp collection, the list is endless.
If you are a Fashionista you can share designs, run a design contest, give fashion tips, organize a fashion show, present interviews with leading designers, exhibit photo albums or videos of fashion shows and models … it’s up to you to decide the scope of the activities and content on the page or group you create.
If you love books there are millions of eBooks to choose from – read them, then share them, discuss and debate them. I am running out of words!
A gazillion movies and videos to download or stream – there’s one on just about any subject on the planet – and tomorrow you could be the script-writer, actor, director, editor or music composer. You are the creator, performer and entertainer!
You can chat with a family member or friend from the top of Mount Everest or write a blog post while boating down the Amazon River; you can upload videos of the Blue Whale you touched while on a pleasure cruise or a photo with Tom Cruise, whom you spotted at Hard Rock Café.
You can tell the world where you are, who you are with, what you are wearing, why you are happy and how you are going to spend your vacation – wear your attitude everywhere, all the time!
The Internet has changed lives, brought back long-lost friends, provided us unlimited access to action, excitement and fun … and we can’t get enough of it!
This blog has been going strong and steady for the last 45 days.
Today I have no story to file on Sales … but let me share some more information on my hobby which I have spoken about in the past; in turn this can spark a thought or an idea to do something interesting in your own spare time.
To be ready for hectic action you experience each week your mind has to be cleared and detoxified during the weekend – and the solution for that is do something relaxing and enjoyable.
I have told you that Birding is my hobby … reading is another! What’s your? Here are a few ideas:
- Start a collection! (Stamps, Coins, Flags, Sports Jerseys , Paintings)
- Learn to play an instrument. (If you are skilled already do set aside time to practice)
- Listen to a motivational lecture. (There are so many available for free on YouTube)
- Learn / practice yoga!
- Sing / Dance / Act
Such pursuits help to take your mind of work for a while, gives you new knowledge or skill, keeps you productively engaged and helps you to meet other interesting and like-minded people. The networks in your brain make new connections and your brain becomes more alert and energised.
Hobbies help you in many ways:
- They promote your networking skills; you seek people with similar interest
- You become more gregarious and communicative
- You get more opportunities to work in teams
- You are able to share your knowledge and help others learn
- You can practice leadership skills.
All these attributes are useful at work; and you are able to hone these in a non-combative and fun environment.
It’s a break from work, but a whole new learning …. Go for it!
It’s tough to write an article at the end of a long day. Was up at 4:15 a.m. and out in the marshlands off Trichur by Sunrise, to spend 6 hours in the field for a Bird Census; returned to the base-camp to submit reports and then traveled 4 hours to get back home. Phew!
It was tiring, but fun, and extremely energizing!
Why am I saying all this in a Sales Blog?
It’s on account of a response to my Post on Jan 3rd, which spoke about the importance of Effort – I had ended that one with this line:
“Do! Do! Do! … Do you read me?” (Unquote)
The message being – No matter how good our plan, without proper Execution nothing will ever be achieved!
It had evoked this response from a friend-I have removed a section, but retained the essence:
I do:) Loud and clear:) I don’t agree with you completely though….a lot, but not fully. It’s great to have focus, effort and all that but what about the simple pleasures you might be missing out on? A frivolous conversation with a friend? A slow drink watching the sunset? A lazy hour reading Asterix? A mad game with your child? These are equally important experiences that make you a well rounded person…..think about it J!
This called for remedial action – the feedback was from a good buddy! I didn’t wish to get on her “AVOID-LIKE-THE-PLAGUE” list.
This was my reply:
Can’t agree with you more, Raji. But first of all THANK YOU for reading … regularly.
I only meant EFFORT during the WORKING HOURS! I do believe that we all need to have a life beyond work. But many of us end up wasting a lot of hours in the office under the guise of work. I love doing a lot of stuff other than work and I recommend such practices to everyone during my training programs – but in the spare time. Is that acceptable?
My hobbies include Reading and voluntary work in Nature & Wildlife Protection Programs. Today I had gone for a Bird-life survey. Here is a view of the wetlands my group visited (A team member photographing an interesting bird species we had seen):
There are many other hobbies and activities we can pursue in our spare time. It makes us complete human beings, enriches our lives and makes us more interesting. Don’t you all agree?
To return to my argument on Effort, it’s easy to believe, and to make others believe, that we are hard pressed for time and doing more than what’s expected off us.
People end up being “at work” for 12 or 15 hours – but if one were to analyse what they are doing at the office it will tell a different story. Today Social Media is a huge distraction – and there are the traditional filler items.
- Time spent in office “planning” the day’s work
- Meetings that go on forever / Unscheduled meetings
- Number of visits and calls made to the office during the day for various reasons
- Coffee breaks / duration of lunch break
- Time spent on the Net / Social media
- Time spent reading/forwarding jokes/videos/unofficial stuff
- Time spent on chit-chat with the “guys”
- Personal work done during office hours
These and a few other time-killers make us extremely “busy” people!
Don’t panic. I don’t wish to see Cyborg-like employees at work. We need to know where to draw the line; and I am strongly pro True Recreation, such as Reading, Sports/Exercise, Social Service, Networking, Fine Arts and so on.
My hobby is birding and that activity got my undivided attention today; tomorrow when I start a new week at work I plan to give 100%!