What is Positivity

(by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum)

Viewing from the point of leadership, administration and decision-making, after reading many books and meeting a few specialists on the topic, I have concluded that everyone defines positivity based on their first-hand experience I have gained through my work and I feel that it might be the most relevant interpretation of the term regards to administration and leadership.

Positivity, simply put, has to do with a person’s perspective on matters. It is the pair of glasses through which a person views the world and its challenges, the future, the people around him or her and, indeed, life in general. If the glasses are dark, you will see the challenges as overbearing, the future as inauspicious and the people around you as suspect. You will see the world as full of disasters, catastrophes and evil.

With a positive outlook, you will see challenges as opportunities, the future full of success and people packed with potential, abilities, talent and goodness. You will see the world as full of achievement and happiness, a place that is rapidly advancing and developing. This positive outlook gives us energy for work, achievement, activity, self-confidence and enthusiasm; it generates inner happiness. We call this “positive energy”.

Allow me to illustrate the meaning of positivity with a conversation I had with some friends. We were in the desert as the temperature started to rise. I pointed to the landscape and asked them: “What do you see?”

They found the question strange and some started to reply: “a barren of desert”, “no water or plants”, “sand atop sand”, dunes after dunes”. The best answer was, “It is the land of our fathers, and forefathers, the soil of the motherland that we love and protect”. Then they asked me, how I view it.

I said to them: “I have two different perspectives, one as a poet and the other as a leader. As a poet, it is a source of inspiration, a place to reflect and a space to think and contemplate.

“Positivity is the pair of glasses through which a person views the world.”

His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai

(from book Reflections on Happiness and Positivity)

Little technological miracle – MUSE 2

Guys, for a start, I am not in any way connected to the product, neither the company behind it. Nor am I a reseller. I just want to share some good experience with you.

As I stated in my another article I have never been a big fan of meditation. I tried it several times, I googled its positives, I knew it is the best and most efficient way to calm down mind, soul and my whole life.

But I just was not patient enough and every time I tried, I failed.

Then I have read about MUSE. The source of information was quite trustworthy to me, so I checked it online. What I have found convinced me to give it a try, although the device was not just cheap (something over 200 EUR / USD).

You can find more information on producer’s website here.

At first, I thought it is just some fancy gadget with very good marketing.

Big mistake.

Since I started to use, I love it.

And trust, me, you do not please me easily, in any way, I am quite demanding person πŸ˜‰

So, what does MUSE 2 do?

Basically, it comes with iPhone application (called Muse πŸ™‚ ) and it helps you to meditate.

The device itself measures your movement, heart rate, breathing, but most importantly, your brain waves (simply said). Muse is sending data to the app.

In app, you choose your session and start to listen to guided meditation.

The point is – the device and the app communicate instantly and when Muse register that your mind is being distracted, the weather and music you hear from the application, becomes more intense and louder, so you have immediate feedback.

In other words, It is like to be hooked on EEG (electroencephalogram machine), with a meditation guru as a guide sitting next to you, both helping you to feel calm and relaxed.

The app has of course a lot of options and sessions, so you can find the right one, suiting you the best. And it is made in funny, but not intrusive way to keep you coming back to use it and to get used to meditation.

I have been trying this personally for a month, and I can only recommend Muse for everyone who wants to (start) meditate and is failing or does not know how or where to start.

I have to say honestly that this is the only way I know so far, which taught me how to meditate. Thumbs up, guys.

Motivation vs Discipline

Motivation

is a starter and a sprint runner.

It helps you to start new things.

To bring new ideas to life.

To invent something new.

DISCIPLINE

is your mentor and a marathon man.

It keeps you moving.

It supervises your goals.

It keeps track of deadlines .

It turns your dreams to goals and goals to results.

If you keep both of these perks and nurture them as your best allies, you will be

UNSTOPPABLE.

Week according to Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner)

Mark Cuban fits a lot into each day: He stars on “Shark Tank,” owns the Dallas Mavericks and is a father of three. Plus, he finds time to read “four to five hours a day,” he tells CNBC Make It and he works out for at least an hour.

The self-made billionaire is productive from the moment he wakes up at 6:30 a.m. The first thing he does is check email from his bed and tackle any high-priority items. The rest of Cuban’s morning includes catching up on the news, working out β€” he prefers pick-up basketball β€” and drinking a cup of decaf coffee.

“Every morning, I’m rising, I’m grinding, I’m learning,” Cuban tells fellow “Shark Tank” star Daymond John.

To see if I could boost my own productivity levels, I tried replicating Cuban’s morning routine for a week in New York City.

Here’s what happens:

*Monday

My alarms sounds at 6:30 a.m., about 15 minutes later than it normally goes off. Sleeping in, even if it’s just a quarter of an hour, seems to make a difference. I feel more alert and well rested than I normally do on a Monday.

I don’t receive work emails on my phone like Cuban does, so I grab my laptop that I laid out beside my bed the night before.

Thirty minutes of email later and I’m at inbox zero. I’m feeling pretty good about the direction my morning is headed β€” until I go to make coffee, that is. I only have regular beans in my apartment, naturally, and have to run out to the deli around the corner to grab a cup of decaf. I forget my keys, lock myself out and by the time I’m back in my kitchen, it’s nearly 8 a.m.

I do a quick gym workout, break a sweat, shower and hustle to work. I’m running behind, but since I already cleared my inbox and made mental notes of what tasks I need to prioritize, I’m able to dive into work projects immediately.

I spend just 15 minutes combing through my inbox this morning to allow more time for working out and any other snafus that may arise. There are minimal distractions at 6:30 in the morning, and I’m able to get to inbox zero for the second day in a row.

I decide not to buy an entire bag of decaf beans for the remaining four days of the challenge and, after a 30 minute jog outside, head back to my neighborhood deli. Buying a cup of coffee sans caffeine seems like a questionable way to spend my money, but it’s only $1.25.

Cuban eats the same thing for breakfast every morning: a package of eight oatmeal cookies from a company called Alyssa’s that he invested in on “Shark Tank.” I do the same. While a bit redundant, the breakfast is efficient and filling.

Wednesday

It wouldn’t be a week of living like the Dallas Mavericks’ owner without some basketball. After sorting through email, I meet a friend at an outdoor court near my apartment. We don’t have a crew to play a pick-up game with, but I get a good enough workout just by running down all of my errant jump shots.

Trading in my typical morning jog or gym workout for a game that I grew up playing is an energizing start to the day. I don’t even mind ordering a decaf coffee afterwards.

Getting to and from basketball eats into my morning, so I pack my breakfast cookies to-go and use my 30-minute commute to catch up on the news.

While I’ve been arriving at the office around the same time I usually do, I’m getting more done first thing in the morning, thanks to the time I’ve spent going through emails before I even get to work. And I normally read the news in the office β€” doing so beforehand means one less thing to check off before hunkering down and cranking out work.

Thursday

Cuban sleeps in his gym clothes, which is what I’ve been doing, too. It’s comfortable, saves time and is one less decision to make in the morning. Knowing exactly what I’m going to eat for breakfast also pares down the number of decisions I have to make at the start of the day.

Up until today, I haven’t missed my morning caffeine β€” maintaining the routine of drinking a cup, even though it is decaf, is a nice distraction β€” but I cave at lunch time and buy a black coffee to help me power through the afternoon.

“Every morning, I’m rising, I’m grinding, I’m learning.”
-Mark Cuban

Friday

I don’t have to go into work today β€” it’s Good Friday β€” but I assume Cuban is just as active and productive on holidays and maintain his routine. I get through each of his morning activities β€” email, the news, a cardio workout and breakfast β€” but at a more leisurely pace.

After a week of living like the tech billionaire, I can see how he gets so much done. Here’s what I liked about the routine:

I was much more efficient in the morning. By sleeping in my gym clothes and having my breakfast ready to go, I spent less time worrying about what to wear and what to eat. It seems like a small shift, but it’s a way of avoiding a phenomenon known as decision fatigue, which describes the way choices become harder and harder as a day goes on and your finite store of energy gets depleted.

Cuban isn’t the only successful individual who finds ways to eliminate decisions and free up mental space in the morning: Mark Zuckerberg, John Paul DeJoria and Barack Obama routinely wear the same thing to do just that.

“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.

“You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

“You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself.”
– Barack Obama

Sorting through email and catching up on the news also helped me figure out what I needed to prioritize each morning. And experts say that there’s value to attacking your most important items right away. As author Brian Tracy, who has studied time management for more than 30 years, writes in his book “Eat That Frog!”: “The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning.”

Exercising right away was an energizing start to the day. I try to work out in the mornings, but I don’t always get around to it. This week, I had to make time for it for the sake of the challenge. I felt healthier throughout the day and less stressed at the end of the day, since I didn’t have to rush home to squeeze in a jog or gym time.

Plus, science shows that exercise can help you out professionally by improving memory and mental sharpness, reducing stress and even promoting creativity.

For these reasons, I’m sold on Cuban’s morning routine β€” minus the decaf, that is.

Source: CNBC

Importance of Feedback

It is a common knowledge that the only way how to improve and get better is to measure the results in the process.

How Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

Let’s add another related quote from Elon Musk:

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.

Source: Lakhiani, Vishen. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind (p. 91).