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7 mantras to succeed at work
Indrani Roy Mitra |
February 08, 2006
When I was first introduced to Azim Jamal, I almost mistook him for a corporate head honcho -- he was wearing a formal, three-piece business suit and a salt and pepper beard.
However, that impression didn't last; his first statement reflected the philosopher in him: "Life is like a basketball game. You need to get your act together, gather your mental and physical strength and have a sole aim -- basketing the ball."
With an infectious smile, he adds, "Nothing succeeds like success, you see, and living is all about winning."
With this attitude, Jamal, author of bestsellers like The Power Of Giving (No 4 on Amazon.com), 7 Steps To Lasting Happiness, Corporate Sufi and The One-Minute Sufi is able to don many hats: author, entrepreneur, humanitarian, sportsman and family man.
The word impossible has no room in his dictionary; challenges don't faze him.
He has useful suggestions for those of you who are striving to climb the ladder of success:
i. Do you have a vision?
According to Jamal, dreams pave the way for success. You must have a clear idea of you ambitions/ goals in life.
"Unless you have a portrait of your life five years hence in your mind, you can never lend it the proper direction," says Jamal. "Keep asking yourself what you want to achieve in life, write it down and set a goal for yourself."
ii. One task at a time
"The youth of today are a restless lot. They have a fickle mind that is persistently trying to be at 10 different places at the same time. As a result, one fails to deliver one's best even once," says Jamal.
You need to set your mind to one task at a time. Here too, Jamal brings in the analogy of a basketball match. "While you are playing a game, you should see nothing but the basket."
iii. Prioritising, a must
"Half the time, we lose a winning battle just because we can't prioritise our tasks," he says. Jamal believes you can taste success if you are able to draw up an effective 'to do' list.
He says it is absolutely necessary to eliminate the frivolous and the unimportant from the tasks you have listed for the day. "There is no point wasting your time over a non-issue. You can put it on the backburner and procrastinate."
iv. Involve your team
If creativity sustains an artist, effective delegation sustains a corporate person.
"To scale heights, it is necessary to distribute work among one's team members. A successful corporate personality never does everything himself or herself. He is essentially backed by a group of equally capable and efficient people," says Jamal.
v. Precision is key
"Once you have decided what needs to be done and how to do it, the onus rests on you to execute your task with precision," he says.
In this modern world where excellence is the order of the day, mediocrity has no place and no one knows it better than Jamal. "Being lackadaisical never helps. You must put in your best all the time, 365 days of the year," he says.
vi. Look coporate, feel like a Sufi
Success, to Jamal, is something you feel. "It is a relative term," he says.
"Success, for some, stands for money; others find themselves much satisfied with fame. The best way to go about life is to look like a corporate person and feel like a Sufi. The moment you strike a balance between the two, failure can never touch you," he says.
vii. Cleanse your mind for 15 minutes a day
This, according to Jamal, is the most important part of his prescription. "As you start your day, set aside some time for yourself. This is the time when you should introspect, take a deep breath and meditate."
Jamal feels it is essential for modern individuals to free the mind of the 60,000-odd thoughts that cross it every day.
"Let your mind be a clean slate, a tabula rasa, for at least 15 minutes a day. It will help you to slow down, destress and unwind," says Jamal. The key to success lies in "going slow.
"It may seem rather strange," he says, "but if psychologists are to be believed, calculative sluggishness can actually run speed out." This means that, if you plan your progress carefully, you can afford to be slow."