Expectations vs reality

autumn-1655915_1920October has officially set in and I assume that things are rolling.

People are getting busy with work and studies, preparing for midterms, applying for jobs, and setting time aside for personal endeavours.

As such, we often have many decisions – or trade-offs – to make in our lives which ultimately carve the way for our future.  How do we balance this?

I distinctly remember attending a conference three years ago in which a speaker broke it down to us quite bluntly: there are 24 hours in a day, about 8 – 10 hours are spent doing work (or studying), 3 hours are spent in eating, 2 hours are spent for personal hygiene/grooming, another 3 hours are gone in leisure, and the remaining 6-8 are spent in sleeping.

What time do we have to spare?  “Well, who needs sleep, anyway?” he so eloquently put it.
With that said, how can we expect our stroke of genius to come through?

We all like to think that we’re superhuman, can multi-task and finish our responsibilities on time – which can quite possibly be true.

However, it is at the expense of our own peace of mind.  This, of course, leads to procrastination and cognitive dissonance, the state in which behaviours do not align with thinking leading to emotional stress.

Managing all our activities is a daily task and lifelong requirement wherein the clichéd “work-life” balance comes into play.

And let me tell you – it only gets harder upon graduation.

How is it, then, that we can effectively set and attain reasonable goals within our tight time frames?

A recent TED Talk from Reggie Rivers, former running back of the Broncos, suggests that we focus more on our behaviours rather than our end goals, as actions are something within our control.

Another article – one I read during my MGT480 Internship course – suggested that we work towards goal alignment in order to become more focused towards our targets.

That is, we must take some time off, write down what it is we wish to accomplish within one month, one year, five years, and ten years…how we will modify our present behaviour to facilitate stated goals, what challenges might we face and how to overcome them.

The important thing to remember is that we set goals that we feel strongly about and truly want to achieve; the reason being, self-motivation and empowerment.

It is much easier to work on something we want to do, rather than something we feel we ‘should’ do for the simple reason of personal interest.  Coupled with time management and periodic reflection, these are the key pillars in setting and achieving reasonable goals.

Now the next question: how do we choose which tasks and activities to pursue when we have a plethora of options and avenues?  Which endeavours are worthwhile?

To answer these questions, I would like to turn you to an actual expert: Dr. Scott Geller, Director of the Center for Applied Behaviour Systems in the Dept. of Psychology at Virginia Tech University, as he cleverly puts it, ‘How do we become success-seekers rather than failure-avoiders?

This video showcases his brief, yet thoroughly valuable speech on the psychology of self-motivation, and I highly recommend you to give it a watch!

**Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Happy Halloween!! **

Aditi Shah,
B.Com. 2017

*Aditi will be writing and updating The First 365 series for 2017 – 18. These posts will focus on her experiences in the workplace after graduation. 

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