Posts Tagged ‘humour’

Inner self talk is critical to success in life.

December 2, 2015

Finding your voice.

Past voices….

As usual, Toastmasters never ceases to inspire….

Using a style of writing that I’ve used before, and tying in to my ending, I will tell you where I am headed with this piece of writing….to My goals (please use this as a work-through (or ‘workshop’) to achieve whatever happen to be YOUR goals! This is meant to INSPIRE YOU! LOL). I want to share how important self-talk can be to success in life….

I promise to get you there reasonably quickly via past voices (negative ones of course) that my Toastmaster mentor Dawna (short form To-rmentor? No, I digress)…I will keep her last name private, but she does exist and has inspired many) was able to work through…given her near-death experience. Yes, near-death. Don’t wait for life to take you there before you take life where you want to go!

Come, now let us work through this together. Dawna’s Toastmaster workshop (Jan 2015) took us through a time long ago in her life, which still resonated slightly in her mind. We could see that she still had a little bit more work to do (as far as positive self-talk was concerned).

Years back, it was the teacher’s voice (Miller) that spoke to her and compared her negatively to her sister, older to her, and better at many things. This left her in a wake of comparisons made by other teachers who invariably knew her sister and made negative inferences too….

Lesson: ignore the negative voices in life (the ones that don’t fit in with a healthy self-image of yourself). For your benefit, and to personalize this story a bit more, here is an excerpt from the handout that Dawna provided us, so you get the point…idea is to work through your negative voices, so put this piece into practice, will ya! Do this by answering italicized questions….or absorbing the presented information to improve your thinking. Here are the excerpts (italicized):

My Mr. Miller is….

‘Certainly not as good as your sister are you?’  (This had a huge impact on Dawna’s life…  She gave up – she quit! Lesson: don’t listen to negative voices, DON’T QUIT! EV-ER! This is when you go Lalalalala in your head! As a child, or as an adult. Don’t listen! LOL.

In retrospect, what should Dawna (read ‘this could be any one of us, but we will use Dawna as our guinea-pig test person as per her workshop) have done differently? (Folks, this is where you are supposed to THINK and come up with some positive solutions – for the rusty, just substitute any positive affirmation)

‘It’s a product of what I did!  It’s my best work ever!’  Remember, whatever you have created (at school, work, or play), is PERSONAL expression and it is NOT – NOT to be compared with others….even (or especially) when you are a teacher (read mentor, parent, older respected sibling et al).

My nurse Amanda is…I should explain; nurse Amanda was the one who Dawna first heard say ‘we didn’t think you would survive!’ when Dawna ended up in the hospital due to serious stress related conditions. The italicized portion below will explain how she internalized this statement. (Backdrop: Shakespeare – remember, ‘nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so!’)

Dawna: through self-induced stress…. She was barely conscious.  Stressed.  Exhausted. She spent three weeks in a hospital!  Nurse Amanda: ‘Dawna, we didn’t think you would survive!’

So…Dawna felt she was not supposed to be here! (Yes – she meant on earth)… She stopped having fun.  It was a ‘Wow’ experience – in a very negative way!

My Jennifer is…again, this bears explanation…in Dawna’s workshop, Jennifer was a good buddy and best friend who helped her realize the positives in life; she offered Dawna heart-felt and sincere encouragement and helped her heal from her negative thinking and cloudy past.

My cheer-leading team: Who is yours? For example, one of mine is: Shelley U., David L., and Isabelle H.  They are my encouragers and I probably owe them a debt of gratitude. Not probably, I do. Thank the people that believe and encourage you….



‘ Nothing is good or bad… thinking makes it so….’

Now, as per Dawna’s workshop….we are going back and reliving those moments in life, (we all have them) using a NEW perspective and the introspective that Dawna provided us:

My future voices…

If I could go back to Mr. Miller I would….  Have the wisdom I now have, with conviction….

I now choose to tell myself….  ‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my nurse Amanda I would….

Use more positive affirmations, and change the (negative) messages in my head. I’d meditate, be more healthy, associate with positive people, stay healthy, and have more purpose in life.  Live a renewed life as a second chance….for living in greater abundance!

I now choose to tell myself….my affirmations….

‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my Jennifer I would

Thank her!

Realize ‘they’ (the negative ones) don’t know me….  hence they Gotta be wrong.

Watch serials Buddha and Suits. (I love them!)

My leadership voice…

I need to tell Trish P that she is quick and decisive.

I need to tell Kalida….thank you!

I need to tell Agee….hey! Thanks for being you!


Inner self talk is crucial to success in life.

BIG take-away from this workshop: How to turn negative talk into something positive.

PEOPLE, your self-talk is really important! It can ultimately be damaging or life-enhancing. At least be a good ‘Buddhist’ and ‘take the middle road’ and don’t be too hard on yourselves. (Talk out your negatives out loud to see if they sound ‘right’ or completely off the wall!)

In sum, Donna was shy and timid….  Her sister was an athletic and an academic star.  Jen was a best friend and star athlete.  Donna was part of a big family of children who were special from top to bottom yet Donna felt stuck in the middle, forgotten and unimportant.  Birth order can be determinative of how you feel – if you let it! Donna felt like someone stuck in the middle.

To overcome her difficulties though, she changed her mind set and the way she talked to herself….

Here’s one final positive thought for us to all take away…. to be more mindful of, and kinder and gentler with ourselves… what Donna learned from a positive role model, mentor and good friend….

Her friends said that though she was not the end pieces in her large family of siblings…she was the peanut butter…. the jam that made the whole sandwich sweet! (Aww!’ So sweet! No pun intended.)

So be good to yourself, and everyone else will too! We can be our own worst enemies, or our own best friends. It just takes a mental adjustment! You know….

Inner Self-talk can be critical to success in life!

Nilesh Shreedhar.


Arfath Saleem’s “To be a Legend.”

August 23, 2015

Speech giver: Arfath Saleem.

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
2. To Offer inspiration to people.
3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
4. To Effect positive changes in the world.
This speech was done by Arfath Saleem and it is called “To be a legend.” during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Here it is as best as I can recall….

Arfath Saleem’s “To be a legend.”

Just three words…That’s all it takes….
Arfath fell in love 15 years ago with his math teacher. He had a gambling problem…at a tender age and became the school’s so-called ‘favourite’ student. Well, not exactly….

They kept him back since he was too busy gambling, not studying. His mother became very concerned and she introduced him to a student tutor named Samantha. Samantha said: “I’ll help you…” From that day those three words changed his life. Samantha devoted 15 hours per week to help him study. She made him feel smart! Result: he aced all is subjects!
In the process she had changed who he was…he said, she was his jackpot and quickly realized she was the type of person having the stuff legends were made of…Samantha became his hero.
Some time later Aunt Jenny came to him with the same problem – her son was having difficulties in school. ….Arfath, all grown up, now himself tutored school subjects. He ran to her and spoke the same three words that Samantha had spoken to him many years back…the same three words that changed his life…I’ll help you, he said. He met her son for only 15 minutes every week and with that he was able to score 93 on his math paper.
Ms. Samantha had become legendary enabling Arfath to be a conduit to help others. Like Dr. Ralph Smedley who first offered help to those who had difficulties standing up and giving speeches creating Toastmasters in the process.
Isn’t that in fact, what legends do? You just need three words to be a legend, not a special degree….I’ll help you!

Nilesh Shreedhar.

The Netgiving Concept.

May 19, 2014




Do you value relationships or would you prefer to just be at work and not care?

Do you want to be amongst the best and the brightest?

Then embrace the concept of Netgiving

Humility…Authenticity…Curiosity…Empathy…Vulnerability…Generosity…Confidentiality….This can be easily formed into the acronym GAVE HCC, which is a memory aid for our minds, which thrive on information packets such as this.

You can view the interactions at work as a series of transactions, or see them as opportunities to serve one another towards a larger purpose. This type of behaviour results in a definite Return on Investment – having a Net effect on better relationships and on the bottom line.

According to Tommy Spaulding – speaker, New York Times bestselling author, executive coach, entrepreneur, and leadership consultant, we should all engage in Netgiving at work.

What comprises Netgiving?

Briefly, the attributes are stated above, but let’s get into more detail….

Authenticity means really caring for your colleagues because if you don’t, they’ll know it! It may be time to reflect on whether you demonstrate that you really care about your coworkers to see if this or any of the other areas about to be discussed need to be looked at for possible amendments.

Empathy is the ability to understand others, including colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. This shows that you care and creates trust, it means overlooking the short-term view in preference of the longer-term one, realizing that such thinking places more value on the person’s capacity to move the organization forward.

Vulnerability. It is ok to be strong yet have weaknesses, just like others. It is ok to own up to being strong, competent, yet capable of error; and someone who is able to admit errors is more likely to create a culture in which others are likely to own up and admit to their mistakes too! Mistakes which can and then should be rectified.

Confidentiality. Sensitive information, it goes with out saying, must be guarded very carefully, especially if one is to allow a culture of vulnerability. Guard secrets with tremendous surety.

Curiosity. Don’t stop asking questions and learning new things as part of the important circle of Netgiving. Curiosity keeps the wheel turning forward towards betterment or kaizen.

Generosity. Give time, money and talent to the environment around you and to each other. As a leader find ways for others  in your community to give generously too.

Humility. Be proud of your team successes, yet share that success with the individuals who made it possible! Honour one another.

Humour. Keeping a smile on your face, laughing once in a while and enjoying each other’s company as we work humanizes the environment and makes it easier to get through rough patches if they should come about.

Gratitude. A sense of thankfulness for the work, clients, and the environment itself should be inculcated in the workplace; this contrasts to attitudes of entitlement and taking things for granted – cancerous to an organization.

Mr. Spaulding’s conclusions also derive from being CEO of one of the world’s top organizations and give credibility to the fact that Netgiving tips result in more harmonious environments capable of generating greater profitability too. In short, it pays to be kind!

– Nilesh Shreedhar.

Excerpts of “Developing the ROI of Netgiving were reviewed with permission from Tommy Spaulding, author of  ”Not Just Who You Know: Transform your Life (and Your Organization).”

For more information:


Shreedhar on Huschilt’s Value of Humour Workshop

April 21, 2012

Event: Human Resources Professional Convention.

Date: 01 February 2012.

Location: Metro Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Speaker: Paul Huschilt.

Topic: Humour in work and life.

Paul Huschilt’s Value of Humour Workshop

At the HRPA (Human Resources Professional Association) Annual Conference in February 2012, I was fortunate to be able to attend a seminar by another Canadian leadership/ human resources/ professional entrepreneur/ management guru by the name of Paul Huschilt.

As soon as I entered the workshop I knew I was in for a treat as I have always loved comedians and strongly believe in the value of humour in the workplace and in life in general. (To the point that I’ve actually started a humour book which is in a perpetual state of incompletion, sorry, I should be more positive, rather, it is a work in progress). LOL.

Paul entertained us with his poor man’s PowerPoint presentation which required a set up of two stands with flipcharts for both sides of the room. (This instilled the point of what ridiculous lengths Paul was willing to go to entertain us, but more importantly to remind us ‘not to take life so seriously.’ We all probably realize that we will live a lot longer if we inject a bit of humour in our lives, and Paul made this very clear as he yes, galloped across, umm, ‘to meet his time constraints’ from one flipchart for attendees on one side of the room, to another flipchart, for those on the other side of the room. It was hilarious! In his own quirky yet sweet fashion, (Paul possesses a unique voice, much like that of a comedian), he made the point of just how important humour really was in the grand scheme of things (work, life, leisure).

During his workshop he demonstrated the utility of staying upbeat and humorous in helping us to combat excess stress. As one of his takeaways he encouraged us to complete his “Totally Unscientific Stress Test,’ (TUST) which guided us to recall ‘I am exhibiting the following symptoms of Stress,’ providing a point tally for the amount of stressful situations we placed ourselves in (lack of exercise, not enough sleep and so on) daily. As he successfully demonstrated throughout his workshop he reinforced by his TUST which concluded with a worksheet of possible list of do’s and don’ts and solutions for stress such as: ‘watch TV, meditate, walk.’ He concluded this Stress Test with the following: ‘(This)…totally unscientific test….is meant as a self-exploratory exercise….designed to help you identify the following: what stresses you, what stress looks like for you, and things you can do about it.’ Don’t fool yourself; this was a very practical exercise and a wonderful tool that he provided us with as extra value from his workshop!

Even though you didn’t attend the workshop,  you may wish to try to reflect on the various stressful situations you find yourself in during your busy lives and then take some positive action by reducing that stress by injecting some laughter or some other fun activity!

In sum, Paul’s humorous workshop was not only educational, but inspirational and an important reminder that he who laughs last, lives longest; or as Mary Pettibone Poole put it: “He who laughs, lasts!”

Here are tips from Paul’s ‘7 Humour Habits Handbook” along with some benefits of laughing….

Take time to:

Relax Simplify your Life Smile

and Laugh MoreGalileo* PrincipleDo Something Nice for someoneReward YourselfDare to be You!

Some Benefits: breathing becomes deeper, body temperature rises, making you warmer; pulse and blood pressure drop. (For complete list, see below).[1]

*He recommends taking an embarrassing moment and writing something funny about it thereby helping you to acknowledge that ‘you’ are not the centre of the universe!

To keep my own work/ life/ leisure balance in synch, and so that I can inject a little bit of humour into my own life (I love watching comedy on the Comedy Channel) I want to keep this posting reasonably short, but not without first mentioning the excellent takeaways that I got from this workshop. These gifts will be longstanding and a constant reminder that there is a silly (I mean that as the highest form of compliment to Paul) person out there who is willing to go the extra mile just to prove the point about the value of humour. Here they are: because of Paul, I now have a humour calendar at my workplace. It is not only humourous, but puts important facts about humour in place right on my work desk, where I realize how few things are worth putting your energy into i.e., not anger, frustration or discouragement, but rather positivity, wit, humour and general good-spiritedness.

I am glad I attended this humorous workshop as attending such a workshop every once in a while helps to put things back into perspective…..You will see at the end of this article a reference to a Harvard study which supports Paul’s claims. You may wish to have a look at it.

Here’s to our good health, or, as Paul says, “don’t forget to give yourself a hug!”

– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.; or Google: Neil Shreedhar.

For more information: (Tales, Talks, Training, Inc.) (Harvard study entitled: Positive Feelings May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health).

[1] According to Paul’s ‘7 Humour Habits Handbook,’ other benefits include: 1.Muscles contract and then relax 2. Oxygen levels rise, boosting cardiovascular, immunity and energy levels while reducing tension 3. Activates T-lymphocytes and white blood cells that help destroy invading microorganisms. 4. Increases production of immunity-boosting gamma interferon and speeds up production of new immune cells.

5. Lowers levels of stress hormone cortisol which can weaken immune system 6. Releases endorphins – body’s natural pain killer (chemically related to morphine and heroin) 7. It is aerobic and gives diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs and possibly even liver a workout….LAUGHING ten minutes is like rowing 100 times.

Daily? humour from the workplace.

March 28, 2012

Who – me?…and computers….Just who or what is the problem here?! 

One of our computer systems was down, so I asked a colleague (call her Gracie) ….”Are you having difficulties as well?” She replied…”No, it’s just you! “I laughed, getting the joke; she added softly, “you’re probably just working too hard.” I added, “I’m probably working it (the computer) too hard.” (We both giggled).

Daily? humour from the workplace

March 14, 2012

Just who or what is the problem here!

 One of our computer systems was down, so I asked a colleague (call her Gracie) ….”Are you having difficulties as well?” She replied…”No, it’s just you! “I laughed, getting the joke; she added softly, “you’re probably just working too hard.” I added, “I’m probably working it (the computer program involved) too hard.” (We both giggled).

Daily? Humour from the workplace….

March 13, 2012

Eating meat vs. not eating meat….

By way of background, my friend eats meat and I’m a vegetarian…. My friend came up to me, after we had a discussion at work about going out for lunch the following week….Friend: I tried this place (restaurant)…and there was a cockroach walking across the table! Neil: (Out of the blue).…and you eat meat? Friend joked right back with: “Ya, but I like them a little more well done!” (I thought to myself: In another country that would be a delicacy, and here you are complainin’! I invite you to widen your spectrum of food choices….LOL).

%d bloggers like this: