Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

6 Tips to Motivate Yourself

I am such a sucker for questions. So how could I resist when Mahindra Experience (@MahindraExp) tweeted to my handle, “@manishmo Can you share some tips that will motivate one to work harder and help them reach their goals?”

Here are 6 tips to motivate yourself to work towards your goals:
  1. Write your goals and make them visible to you all the time (e.g. pin them on your soft board).
  2. Break down your goals into smaller goals with timelines.
  3. Celebrate small successes in your journey to reach your goals.
  4. Share your goals with someone you trust. Enroll them to work with you on your goals.
  5. Assign time in your daily routine to work on your goals.
  6. Keep some time aside to reflect on your journey to your goals. Evaluate your progress and plan as required.

What are your tips to stay self-motivated?

Cool Augmented Reality Apps

Came across this video blog by Matt Gonzalez in which he talks about augmented reality apps. I tried three of these apps and found two of them quite cool.

Word Lens Translator app is a translation app that is really useful while traveling. You can just point to the words and viola, you get the translated version. Here's a sample of what I tried.

Augment is a little harder to master but once you do, it seems quite cool. You can select objects and place them on real time camera pictures to see how they might look at the place. Quite useful say when selecting some furniture or appliance and seeing how it will look at your home. How do you think this table lamp would look on my bedside table?

Layar is the third app I tried. Point the camera to a Layar-enabled magazine and it bring alive the magazine. You could potentially point to products in the magazine and buy them instantly online. I didn't find this very useful since I couldn't really find any Layar enabled magazine around me. The newspapers these days are beginning to come print QR Codes that you could point to and go directly to a website that might show you the video. Boring, in my view. If I wanted to watch a video, I wouldn't be reading the newspaper or the magazine. I think the really cool futuristic gadget would be the newspapers shown in Harry Potter movies, the ones where the video is viewed on the newspaper itself. Now that would be really cool gadget to have.

Watch the full video here:

Seven Survival Skills in Today’s World

I recently came across International Finance Corporation’s (IFC). It’s “6th International Private Education Conference, Rethinking Education, Shaping the Future, brought together thought leaders and investors in education from around the globe. On April 1-2, 2014 in San Francisco, USA, the delegates discussed how innovation and technology in education delivery and results measurement are giving us new tools for broadening access to quality education for millions of students around the world.”

Their YouTube channel provides you with access to videos of their conference.

The keynote address to the conference was by Tony Wagner. Tony Wagner “currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility.”

In this video, Tony makes some very pertinent points. Knowledge today has become commodity, available on every Internet connected device. It is no longer a scarce commodity available only with teachers. Because it was a scarce commodity in the past, it was considered that the more knowledge one had, the more value one had in the market place. Today one doesn’t need a teacher to acquire knowledge. And so how can one add value to the market place?

Knowledge is one leg of the stool, which is easy to acquire. The other two legs are Skill and Will. Skill is about asking the questions, how to acquire new knowledge, how to solve new problems. Will is the motivation to use the knowledge and skill.

In his research with companies on what are they looking for in new hires, Tony discovered that the set of core competencies required are very similar, not just to get a job, but to be a continuous learner and be an active and informed citizen. The seven survival skills in today’s world are:

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Critical Thinking is all about knowing how to ask really good questions, how to ask the right questions, not necessarily get the right answers.
  2. Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence: Teams are no longer led by supervisors. They are led by peers through influence.
  3. Agility and Adaptability: Schools are in complete contrast with this requirement of the world today with their unchanging environment and syllabus.
  4. Initiative and Entrepreneurial-ship: Companies are not looking for employees who set 4-5 goals and meet all of them. They are looking at employees who set 10 stretch goals and succeeds 7-8 out of them.
  5. Effective Oral and Written Communication: The kids can’t write today because they don’t know how to think. They are also not writing with voice, which is putting their passion and perspective in the conversation to be more persuasive.
  6. Accessing and Analyzing Information: We need to teach the students to be able to search the Internet for information.
  7. Curiosity and Imagination



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.