Tag Archives: Positive Lifestyle

How the helmet wooed my heart…  sorry my head!  and a bit on Life coaching…

When I started with bikes, I never liked the inconvenience of wearing a helmet.  First of all, it messed up my hairstyle and made my head look like that I have been glued with my hair; maybe a fashion statement today, but not so in that age….  Second, it covered my mouth and people who smiled at me didn’t know that I was also smiling back at them.  I don’t know even today whether that helmets saved my head from being hurt but surely cost me a few friends and thereby did hurt my heart…

But on long journeys, I preferred even then to wear helmets.  You will not ask me why if you are familiar with driving in Indian roads, even via youtube videos.  If I was to travel more than 10 miles without a helmet, and if I was to meet somebody, that somebody was very unlikely to recognise me because of me wearing a suit, sorry, soot over my face..  I was fortunate that I never had any major accidents with the bike except when I hit a dog which was trying to chase me, changed its mind to get ahead of me, and block my bike with its torso…  That was the only time in my life I managed to do a semi-somersault with the bike which I was on, changed roles and was on me within a few seconds.

Well, though I hated helmets and deemed it an inconvenient necessity, my attitude towards helmets changed one afternoon while  I was travelling with my friend in a car. I was witness to an accident where a bike which was hardly travelling at 10 miles per hour at a speed breaker on a highway (speed breakers sometimes could be spelt as life breakers the way they were implemented at that time) got hit by a jeep.  Both the bike travellers didn’t have helmets and the pillion passenger fell down at the impact of the hit.  His head was sliced open at the back and ‘gruesome’ would be an understatement to describe that sight…  He was unconscious yet breathing and I don’t know what happened to him after that.  But, that was the defining moment where it was impressed on my heart indelibly, how important a helmet was to a biker….

And, now you might be thinking!  What is all this have to do with Life coaching?

Life coaching is more like a helmet or better, since it saves not only your head but has the power to enhance exponentially the quality of your lives be it in the area of body, mind, soul, career, finances, relationships etc.  The benefits are mostly overlooked probably because of ignorance, neglect or the uncomfortable or rather depressing acknowledgement of things you always know but seldom do.   One might think why he has to pay for something, which he already knew, though in his heart he would agree that he didn’t do those things he knew…  

Many a times, the organizers or attendees don’t know the importance of life coaching or rather life transformation (which I would like to call them) seminars.  They are clueless on what to expect or they expect an overnight change.  They expect it to be a magic pill of sorts for an immediate and long lasting transformation of all aspects of their life without any conscious effort from their part.  Well, it does have an immediate impact and depending more on the attendee; his expectation, receptivity, decisions and follow through, the effects could increase and multiply and impact all areas on one’s life and even last for generations…  

Since they themselves don’t know the value, they try to get such courses cheap, a seemingly smart move.  We all think (we are) smart when we do some of the most stupidest things.  We all do, have done it and will do it again…  They think about it as an expense rather than an investment.  They would have no second thoughts when it comes to solving a heart problem.  They would go for the best medical support they could afford or even beyond their means.  Life transformation classes are meant to provide long lasting solutions which would avoid lot of heart and head aches for oneself and the ones who they are in contact with…  Just as one won’t neglect seeking the best medical support for life support or enhancement, one should never neglect or devalue such courses in academic institutions or organisations or even social units and should always try to invest in the best and on a continuous basis…  It is better not to spend on cheap alternatives because that would be worse than having nothing at all.  

I was recently having a discussion with another coach and he was saying how during the economic recession, in the west, the Companies who never neglected people training or rather invested more in that area were the ones who thrived (not survived) the tough times and the ones who tried to save on such investments on maximizing the utilization of human potential ended up closing down their business.  It is true for a business, it is true for a student, a family, a professional…  When you invest in yourself, you gain; when you neglect, you risk harm to yourself and others who care about you…  

And, please don’t wait until tragedy happens to learn what is best for you.  Remember, it is no benefit to anyone to learn the advantage of wearing a helmet after one has lost his head….  And once the head is gone, there is nothing you could learn really and the helmet then is of no use…  Don’t wait until it is too late…

For Life Coaching Videos in Malayalam and English by Manu Stephen please visit here

About the Author: ManuManu Varghese Stephen is the CEO of Trade Integre Ltd, UK.  He can be reached at steve@tradeintegre.co.uk, linkedin profile at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevetgl

Trade Integre Ltd are turn-around experts (of course towards the best!).  They have a history of turning the worst case scenarios to best case testimonies for individuals as well as corporate. They love to work with people to help them achieve their full potential, be it a graduate student get a dream job in the Big 4 OR a Company with absolutely no history or experience with their new service launch to become the leader among their competitors in less than 6 months. “Their success and then ours”, is the passion that drives us…  

Major direct and indirect accounts they have worked with / working with include Saudi Aramco (the world’s largest Oil Company),  Woodfarm High (Scotland, UK top Senior School), Saudi Ministry of Interior, Motorola, Kuwait National Petroleum Co, SAIC (US Fortune MNC), Atos Origin, Cisco, Saudi Telecom Co, Philip Morris etc.

In brief, though they do have multiple lines of business, they like to term themselves as solution providers for their clients be in the area of products, services (Headhunting / Specialized recruitment) and enhancing the quality and empowerment of their personal, professional and social life.  They have decades of experience in solving impossible situations for individuals or organizations be it in the area of sales maximization, academic and extra academic performance maximization, bringing about massive improvement in lifestyles, physical and emotional energy levels for best performance etc.  They have experience offering direct and indirect consultancy to varied industries be it the World’s largest Oil Co or UK’s top Senior Schools; professionals who worked with, or went on to work with, world’s leading Companies after just a few hours of life transforming sessions formally or informally..

Dear Parent, Life Skills dosen’t mean just Leadership skills

Most of my friends told me that they enrolled kids for Life Skills class at the behest of the school teacher. And the rest of them asked me astonishingly, ‘Life Skills! What’s that”.  None of us knows what Life Skills training actually means.

Life Skills are the skills we require to deal with the challenges we face every day in school, office, family, society, etc. There is no specific list of life skills. Depending on your age, work, environment, you require certain life skills to survive and succeed. Any skill that makes us better equipped to effectively carry out our work can be called as Life Skills.

After talking to many parents and Life Skills experts, I find that there is lack of awareness, and confusion, about what to expect from Life Skills Classes. When we send the children for Life Skills classes we expect there will a complete metamorphosis and our kid evolves to become a smart Leader; a leader, who always comes first and outsmarts everyone around them.

We want the kid to be an all-rounder both are academic and co-curricular. We rate the kid and compare them with other bright students to find out what else is required to perfect our kid’s future. We involve the kid in different activities to make them perfect -music, dance, song, sport, abacus, cookery, personality development classes.

In the recently released movie ‘Martian’, an astronaut was accidentally left behind in mars. He grows potatoes, to survive, using the skills he acquired during his training as a Botanist. He survives and comes back to earth.  We cannot train our kids to grow potatoes in space, at least we can equip them to expect the unexpected in life.

We learn many of the problem solving and thinking life skills from our family like computer operation, cooking, tying a shoelace, etc. As kids grow up they require various skills to survive in the schools, university, family, office, etc. They have to sharpen their study skills, negotiation skills, presentation skills, time management skills, organising skills, conflict resolution skills, problem-solving skills, etc. These and many other life skills are acquired through life skills training.

Why are life skills important?

The changing global economic scenario and advancement in technology has greatly impacted the education system, workplace environment and lifestyle.  The modern-day students need to acquire new skills to equip themselves to deal with the stress and pressure. They need to be flexible and learn to work under pressure as they will have to do many different and new kinds of jobs in their lifetime. Life skills are not only beneficial to the individual but also the workplace and the community.

How the community gains?

Today’s world has become a single entity.  Life skills help to communicate as easily with the international counterparts as they do with their native friends. They gain the skills to respect and adjust with diverse cultures and develop negotiation skills.

How the individual gains?

As an individual, they learn to take responsibilities. They also gain out of the box thinking and problem-solving skills. They shed the inhibition to speak and learn to work as a team.

Career Gains

Employers not only look for academic excellence but also other skills like people and time management skills. The employers search for candidates who can understand the business environment and adapt to different roles.

Most parents are dissatisfied with the outcome of Life skills training. There is certainly a communication gap between the life skills training classes and the expectation of the parents. Only an expert can provide an answer.

Once a parent told about her ward like this: “My son was very bright from childhood and scored 100 percentile in every subject. He was good at elocution and essay writing. But in college, he performed badly. He blamed me saying I destroyed his childhood by not allowing him to play with other kids”.

Bringing up kids is not an easy job anymore. Our experiments on kids can cost them their career. It is always advisable to consult an expert. If you have any queries or doubts regarding life skills please write to ancy@lifestyletodaynews.com. A seasoned life skills trainer, who gives training in renowned universities in the U.K. will provide the answers.

Lessons I learnt from my psychologist Uncle

On the world mental health day, I would like to dedicate this post to a Psychologist, about whom I know more than I know about mental diseases and mental patients.

The Doctor is my uncle, my grand uncle’s son, whom I address as ‘Appachan’. But their information does not suffice to write an autobiography as I meet him only during some family functions or while paying a flying visit to his home. I know more about his father (my grandfather’s brother) who died a few months before I was born.

Appachan, the only child of his parents, left home at the at age of 18 to carve a niche for himself. Hence, Grand Uncle whom my father and siblings call as ‘Papa-Appachan’, now only had his younger brothers kids to shower his love and nurturing.

As a result of the nurturing by a creative, talented personality and a good actor, my father and his siblings quote papa-appachan’s jokes and sayings in every conversation.

His jokes and saying shaped their thinking even in their grown-up days. I grew up listening to Papa-appachan jokes and in my grown-up days, I find those jokes useful to resolve everyday problems.

Coming back to the Psychologist Son, Appachan, a well-known person in Kerala as a Counsellor, Actor and Author. He is the most famous person in our family, so every relative likes to use his popularity to earn a higher standing in the social circuit.

There is one person in our family who introduces himself as “myself, cousin of Dr…………..”. Family relations are like that. No wonder the proverb goes ‘Blood is stronger than water’.

Since my fathers and mother have many siblings, when I used to go to Kerala for vacations in childhood, I only had time to catch up with my immediate cousins. So I never knew about the second and third generation cousins.

During my teens, one-day papa spread newspaper page with pictures of all the contestants for the assembly election and asked me to spot a familiar face. I couldn’t. Then he pointed at Appachan’s picture and said that he was his cousin. Appachan earned celebrity status in Kerala answering complicated Pyscological questions, a topic that was taboo in those days.

Though Appachan donned many hats, he remained true to his calling. In movies he acted as Psychologist; he wrote columns in magazines, as a psychologist, answering queries of readers; at the same time continued with his calling as a Psychologist.

Malayalees above 35+ know him as a famous Psychologist, Columnist, Cartoonist, Humorist, Author, Political aspirant, Actor, etc. It is very simple to describe his physical appearance – with his tall figure and goatee beard he resembles the former Prime Minister of India, I. K. Gujral.

The story goes that once  I K Gujral as Prime Minister was visiting Trivandrum and people were waiting. When appachan entered the hall, the audience mistook him for the Prime Minister.

He was much ahead of his time. A self-learned man, as a youngster he applied on himself many of the tips that we learn today during leadership trainings. Appachan says that in his younger days, he wrote in a diary, ‘Dr. P M Mathew, Famous Psychologist’ and left the book in the ancestral home. After five decades he discovered the diary in his ancestral home and the words were shining bright in the diary.

He is a wonderful writer, he was one of the first to write about psychological and marital issues in Kerala. He says as a novice when he met an editor of a famous magazine, the editor asked him to write an instant essay. When the editor saw the essay, he marvelled at Appachan’s talent and said: “Mathew’s where from did you get this amazing talent”.

Using his amazing writing skills, and psychological expertise he answered the complicated queries of the reader in simple words. He became a household name for providing answers to complicated relationship issues, at a time when discussing such issues were a taboo. A story goes that he had to stop giving a speech because the talks were too explicit for the audience. Nowadays speaking about complicated mental issues and human relationships is no more a taboo nor considered explicit.

Even after growing in stature – fame and money, relatives and friends find him easy to approach. But they need to follow some unwritten rules and etiquette while visiting him at his home.

Appachan will be always busy with consultation on the upper floor of his house, so when we call on him, we wait for him in the living room talking with aunty and the maid. He will come down, share a few pleasantries and return to his consultation room after offering to have lunch with us in case we are ready to wait for him. Or, if we wish to leave we can do so.

He is down to earth and lives is a simple house. A normal two-storied home cum counselling centre which also serves as space to unleash his creativity. When we visited Appachan’s house for the first time after our marriage, my husband told me that being a celebrity he expected appachan will be staying in a palatial bungalow.

Before meeting Appachan for thefirst time, I heard a lot about the washbasin in his house with the tap shaped like an Elephant Trunk. So on my first visit to his house, I waited to see two things- a celebrity uncle and his famous washbasin.

He is not taken aback by false propaganda, thus proves a review about him in a consumer forum. When you google his name, one of the first results that show is “Dr…………….The worst psychologist”. More than the review, the responses made to the post by other customers are more convincing.

One person commented “Dr …….. is a good person and lives a simple life. Where others would have made money, his life is still very simple. You can check it out for yourself, visit his home.”

Now he is 80+ and age has taken a toll on his health. he is weak but his mental power is still as vigorous as a few decades back. He continues his work through counselling sections; and by setting an example through his simple lifestyle.

Importance of personality development for teachers

The managements are emphasising on the quality behaviour and focusing personality development for teachers as they are the link of trust between parents and the school.  Parents communicate with teachers to judge their children’s activities and progress in school. The personality of a teacher just doesn’t play a crucial role on students in enhancing their growth and development but it builds confidence among the parents.

personality development for teachers

Personality doesn’t mean just the characteristics and appearance of a person which grows and develops as age proceeds instead it needs constant self-direction towards sincerity, personal integrity, sociability, courtesy, morality, wisdom etc. These characteristics should be a part of one’s teacher life. They are the necessary ingredients of a successful teacher.

Dr W. H. Burnham said, “everyone knows what personality is, but no one can define it.” Has he said rightly, understanding and developing a personality is quite tough and everyone has their own statement to define? One can improve their personality by admitting that our personality can and could be changed which is not inherited. At the current scenario personality trait of a person dealing with the public is given lesser importance both by our society and educational system.

With competing edge in the educational field branding of an educational institution is in hands teacher for maintaining parental and children relationship. Speaking in general, teachers act as a brand ambassador of a particular school.

Here are four success mantras for Personality Development of teachers:

  • Communication Skills: Being a teacher communication and presentation skills are critical in teaching and as well to commute with the parents from different class and field who are concerned in particular of their ward. A teacher has to understand the parent’s needs and then communicate with them at a horizontal platform. It needs to be effectively satisfactory and meaningful. It should neither be confusing or incomplete nor suppressive.
  • Trustworthiness: As said earlier teacher and parental relationship with effective communication provide guidance towards a child’s growth and development on a timely basis. The teacher enhances the faith and trustworthiness of the parents towards the institution/school.
  • Morales: Teachers are a vital part of the education system, and their level of morale has a direct influence on student achievement and learning. Parents trust the teacher and their promise. So, the teacher needs to adopt a mutual helping attitude with them to meet their expectations in bringing up their child. A teacher needs to be active, optimistic, convincing and committed. With these traits, one can win the faith of parent’s and create a joyful working atmosphere at the institution.
  • Motivation: Mainly, appropriate and planned teaching behaviour is the key to motivate students and every teacher has to keep motivating their pupil to succeed in academics and in life. A teacher in his professional can’t depend on other external sources to support and stand by him. He needs to be self-motivated.

About the Author:  
vinay kumarVinay Kumar. C is an Environmental Researcher at NRCLPI – The National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India. He is a multi-skilled professional having an excellent track record of managing complex functional projects in various environments.  

 DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.