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4 Ways to Pump UP Your Creativity

By: Kathy Shalhoub for nabbesh.com blog

There’s no arguing about it, whether it’s in arts or sciences some people are exceptionally creative and shine above the rest of us. But does that mean we aren’t or can’t be creative?

While it’s still not clear in what proportions of genetic, social, economic and luck ingredients the creative soup is made of, scientists have picked out some key elements that have been proven to boost creativity.

  1. Keep an open mind:

    When I say an open mind, I mean one that is guided by the least amount of rules, inhibited by the least amount of restrictions, and confined by the least mental constraints. If you’re looking for a creative solution to a problem, try to suspend your knowledge and experience momentarily and look at your problem from the perspective of a novice, you just might surprise yourself.

  2. Thought Control:

    This is the second critical stage of creative thought when you have all your new and interesting and crazy ideas on the table and you’re not sure which ones will work. This is the phase where you want all systems on and ready to go. Now you need to put what you know in practice for the evaluation process.

  3. Mental push-ups:

    We’ve all heard it, creativity is like a muscle, and the more it works the stronger it gets. Before you need to get creative, try some of these useful mental pushups:

    • Think of 6 alternative ways to use common objects in a few minutes.
    • Describe objects in unusual ways that are not relating to their function.
    • Perform common tasks in the wrong order.
    • Deliberately let your mind wander to completely unrelated things.
  4. Keep your distance:

    Funnily enough, thinking about the physical place of a problem can help or stop you from solving it! Imagining a problem or a challenge far away from you in space (put your problems in Australia!) or in time (send them to the year 2098) can actually promote innovation and problem solving.

Being creative is great, but psychologist Evangelia Chrysikou of the University of Kansas affirms that no matter how creative and innovative your thoughts are, the most important factor inhibiting success, the one that stops you the most from capitalizing on your creative potential is the fear of risk, “People tend toward safe routes, yet safety is not conducive to radical new solutions.”

It’s been said: The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail. –Edwin Land, co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation

These tips have been inspired by Evangelia Chrysikou’s ‘Your Creative Brain at work” article in the July/August edition of Scientific American Brain. Love that magazine!

nabbesh.com; Empowering people to do what they love, from anywhere.

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

True Management is Self Management

By: Kathy Shalhoub

Managers. Everyone wants to be one, right? Especially in the Middle East. But what does a manager really mean? How come some people are great at managing themselves, people and events around them while others are just OK or fail dismally?

It’s because either by accident or by design, the successful ones have the key qualities that really make a manager. There are roughly eight main capabilities that need to exist in you to make you a truly respected and effective manager.

  1. Decisiveness/ self-confidence:

    Not just knowing what your gut says to you, but having the confidence to act on it without hesitation, can be learned through experiences, through success and failure, through people believing in you and through you believing in yourself. Jack Welch said that self-confident people will take initiative, while insecure people won’t.

  2. Motivation:

    My 9-year-old niece was telling me that in her school when they have races, it doesn’t matter who wins because everybody gets a medal. While that approach may avoid any hard feelings among the class, it doesn’t equip these children, who later become adults, with the necessary tools they need in life. It takes away the satisfaction of a win, or the drive to do better after a loss. You must have a competitive spirit if you want to win in a business environment or if you want to improve yourself. Being cool is good but if you are someone who wants to succeed, you need that passion to win.

  3. Influence:

    Influence works when it’s about others and not about you! Meaning that if you are in a position of power, helping others to grow, to succeed, and to move to the next level will only push you to the next level as well.  Because you now have a loyal team who believes that you have their best interest at heart, they will back you fully. Having that emotional commitment from the people around you is what gives them the motivation to follow your lead. Emotion is what moves people before all else.

  4. Adaptability: 

    In a crisis, losing it is what will serve you least. Being flexible and adapting to what is thrown at you, is what will serve you the most. If you can deal with ambiguity and can forge a path forward when things are unclear, you are a leader. Adapt your thoughts, your approach, your style, stretch your capacity, expand your comfort zone to a greater dimension… if you can’t do it your way, do it their way.

  5. Conscientiousness: 

    Knowing what your values are is extremely important; they are your lighthouse in the storm and will guide you when you are lost. What are your non-negotiable principles? Be guided by them and live by them every moment of the day, with every decision you make. Maintain high personal standards and lead those around you to them as well.

  6. Empathy: 

    It’s about sensing what the people around you feel and how they may react to different situations. Knowing this allows you to adjust your words and actions according to context, people and situations. What people feel is a signal that gives you feedback on how you are operating. Connecting with people and generating rapport is a fundamental aspect of maintaining balance between supporting people and getting the results you want.

  7. Resilience: 

    People who haven’t been protected, who have had to deal with failure and defeat and have learned to come back fighting are resilient. How you build resilience determines how far you go. Think about how many losses Olympic athletes have had to sustain in order to win gold?

  8. Self-awareness 

    Is seeing yourself as other see you. Understanding why people react to you the way they do allows you to adjustment your words and deeds in order to get the response you want. For example, if you realize that when you don’t share enough information with person X they become suspicious and anxious, you adjust the level of information you share with them allaying their fears and putting them at ease. This changes your relationship with person X into a more positive one.

Being intelligent about how we manage our emotions changes our relationships with other people and consequently our ability to realize our goals and aspirations.

Ultimately successful management is about successfully managing your self!

References: The concepts in this article are related to the Emotions and Behaviors at Work Profile developed by Brentfield Consultancy, UK and supported by ‘What Makes a Leader?’, an interview by Daniel Goleman with Jack and Suzy Welch. 

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

What’s In Your Blind Spot?

By: Kathy Shalhoub

Have you ever wondered why some people are cut out for management and some aren’t? The answer is simple: those people are usually better managers. Why? Because they have an important essential quality that most good managers have: self-awareness.

Whether you’re managing your self or others, self-awareness translates into having a good relationship with your self first and foremost.

My mom, a business management consultant was giving a seminar about emotional intelligence and the role it plays in your success to a huge group of businesspeople. Her first question to them was: How many of you would benefit from having a better relationship with the people around you?

A few hands went up.

Then she asked: How many of you would benefit from having a better relationship with your selves?

ALL hands went up.

We all want to have better relationships and funnily enough, our relationships with other people are only as good as the relationship we have with our selves. We judge other people and we respond to them in a way that is directly related to how we feel about ourselves.

So how do we develop a better relationship with our selves?

There’s this cool little model called The Johari Window Model that I think is a pretty descent tool for increasing self-awareness, for personal and group development and for understanding relationships. The model is based on 4 windows that grow or shrink depending on who you are relating to and the quality of that relationship.

The four windows of the Johari Model are:

  1. The open self (Arena): This is the part of your self that you know about and are comfortable with, and that others know about and are comfortable with.
  2. The blind self (Blind Spot): This is the area where all the things others know about you but you don’t know or ignore about your self exist. This is your blind spot.
  3. The hidden self (Façade): This area is where you put everything that you know about yourself but no one else knows about you. Feelings, information, fears, secrets, hidden agendas, etc… all go here.
  4. The unknown self (Unknown): This area contains information, feelings, abilities, behaviors, and attitudes that neither you nor anyone else know about.
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    For today, I’m just going to focus on the ‘blind self’. To know what’s in your blind spot, you need to ask others for feedback. And by thinking about the feedback that you consistently get from people around you and opening yourself to the possibility that what they are saying may be true, you are increasing your self-awareness.

    To increase your self-awareness, you must open yourself to criticism, not by taking it as a simple truth but by looking for patterns that recur and translating them into something meaningful to you. For example, I used to hear the critique ‘You’re too argumentative” ALL the time but I never agreed with it. “No I’m not! I’m just trying to get the facts straight.” But over time and age, I started to realize that if everyone thought I was too argumentative, then, ahem, perhaps I was?

    The language we use in our self-talk is critical in how we take this feedback. Feedback is neutral and we can translate it into positive or negative meanings so it’s important that we consciously replace the words we use so that they feel constructive and not destructive. Instead of telling myself to stop arguing, I tell myself to listen more.

    Second, you must understand the subtle difference between a reaction and a response. A reaction is simply that: an instinct taking over. A response is infinitely more emotionally intelligent, because you are taking a split second to make a decision: do I argue my point or do I try to be a better listener? Aha, now I have become aware of my behavior and can take a moment to change it, I have become self-aware!

    Figuring out what’s in our blind spot is truly how we develop a better relationship with the person we call ‘me’.

    Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

Are You A Success?

By: Kathy Shalhoub

When you aim for success, what is it that you imagine in your mind? Money in the bank, fame, recognition, winning first prize, a parade of suitors?

What exactly does success mean and does achieving it lead to a sense of satisfaction? So many people out there have no idea exactly what that ‘success’ is that they’re trying so hard to find!

When it comes to success, so many of us pick a description or a goal – based on what we see and hear and think is good – and we race towards that destination thinking that if only we could get there our lives will be transformed and when we get there, we suddenly feel empty, unsure where to go next, what to do, or why exactly we went down this road in the first place.

When it comes to success, there are the two extremes, on the one hand there are those who aim single-mindedly for an objective, and on the other hand, you have the people who are completely afraid of success.

And in the middle, you have all those people who have no idea what they’re looking for, or have found a form of success that is addictive, a success that everybody envies them for but them. Think Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson,… the list is endless. What were they looking for? Any why was the success they had just not good enough?

The problem with many of the measures of success that we use for ourselves is that they are fragile, they can break.

Made a bad investment and lost your money? Popularity is going down? A criticism to your looks, sports accomplishments, achievements? Those are all potentially broken successes.

Achieving personal fulfillment and satisfaction is perhaps the ultimate success because nothing can shake it. Is it any wonder then that self-actualization is the highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Is it a surprise that in Anthony Robbins’ human needs psychology, the two basic needs of the human spirit are growth and contribution?

Realizing your potential (who you were meant to be), developing your self and making a contribution to the world in a way that is meaningful to you is what will ultimately bring you fulfillment, and it is that sense of fulfillment that ultimately brings you the unshakable feeling of success that will carry you confidently and optimistically through life.

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

Risks: Take ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

By: Kathy Shalhoub

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If I tell you to give tight-rope walking a shot, and show you a tight rope strung up 30 cm off the ground, I’m sure most of you would at least try it.

But if I put that rope on top of a high-rise and then ask, most people would think I’m insane and tell me to go to hell. Why? Because whenever we’re about to try something new, we weigh the risks, we see what we have to lose, and based on the cost (in this case, our lives!) we say ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’.

Now that’s great when you’re trying to not die. But if that’s the case, then why don’t we do the same when we’re looking to live the best life we can have?

It’s because the quality of our lives is inversely proportional to the degree of certainty and control we need in it!

This is a very profound statement so I want you to really take a second and think about it, ok? Let me explain.

I spoke of the self concept in another post but will go over it again here. People’s self concept is made up of three parts:

  • Self ideal: What we aspire to be
  • Self image: Who we think we are
  • Self esteem: How we feel about our self-image, so basically how much we actually like ourselves, believe in ourselves and feel we are worthy

Now when our self-esteem is aligned with our self-image, we’re pretty much in our comfort zone, and that’s ok. So in my case, my self-image was that of someone who was not creative enough to be a writer, and I accepted that as fact, so I went off and majored in something very technical.

Now my self-ideal of course was to become a writer, but I had already completed 10 years of university, and did not really believe that I was capable of pursuing my ambitions at all. So I just went ahead and did my technical ‘thang’.

Then a friend came along one day and she was totally convinced that I was creative. With a few words of encouragement, (it took more than a few words and more than a day!) my self image changed forever and was no longer aligned with my self esteem. Now I thought I could be creative, and what was I doing in science anyway?

Alas, that threw me completely out of my comfort zone and caused a lot of FEAR in my life. There I was chugging along as a scientist, believing that this was all I was capable of in life, when all of a sudden, I had a little view of other possibilities! The possibility that I could actually surpass my expectation of myself and achieve my ambition in life.

Being someone who does take risks, I decided that exploring the hidden potential inside of me was something worth doing. And as a result of letting go of the certainty I had in my life (e.g. being a leader in my field, having a stable job, etc..), I jumped into writing. And two amazing things happened:

  1. The quality of my life went up by about 1000 times.
  2. I am on my way to becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be but never believed was possible.

So what’s the moral of the story here? The moral is this:
Most people live within boundaries that they set for themselves. We don’t push ourselves to take risks or to step out of our comfort zone. So by choosing what we consider a safe problem and by giving ourselves explanations that are acceptable by society and within the rules that have been imposed on us we actually never address the real issue that prevents us from crossing the barrier of fear and realizing that that barrier was totally imaginary.

Many of us die without ever singing the song we were meant to sing, our dreams never see the light of day, and that small piece of ‘magic’ that we were meant to contribute to the universal puzzle dies with us.

We all have hidden potential, but having the courage to explore what we are capable of (and what we are not capable of) directly impacts the quality of the life we are living.

So you know those risks that make you step out of your comfort zone? Take them.

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

The Terrible Truth about Pessimism

By: Kathy Shalhoub

We’ve all met the person who always seems to have bad luck, failed projects and a pessimistic view on life. Why does that happen to some people and not to others?

It’s because they’ve learned how to be helpless.

It’s weird but these people actually need failure or bad luck to feel good about themselves because then, all that is happening is not their fault. They can blame circumstances for their situation and they do not need to take responsibility for their own future.

Martin Seligman, a PhD in psychology and the leading expert on learned helplessness has determined the primary causes of it: pessimism!

Do you know what the defining characteristics of the pessimist are? Take two people who sustain the exact same hardships of life. The pessimist will tend to believe bad events will last a long time, that these events will undermine everything they do and that they are all their own fault. The optimist on the other hand, believes that defeat is only a temporary setback, that the reason for this setback is a one-time thing confined to this one case, and that circumstances, bad luck, or other people have brought it about.

The thing with optimists is that they are unfazed by defeat, they simply see it as a challenge and try harder next time. Pessimists on the other hand, give up more easily and are more often depressed. Yikes!

Now being a pessimist wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t have such far reaching effects on our lives. Just imagine that the way we think about our lives and the things over which we have control can completely shape our future!

If we believe we do not control our lives then we will sit back and be helpless. And when we overestimate our helplessness, other forces will take control and shape our future. And this applies to every aspect of our lives, our careers, our leisure activities, our health, our weight, our children’s future, our chances for success,…

Regardless of what category you put yourself into, what’s crucial is what you think when you fail. Do you beat yourself up about it, or do you brush it off and move on? Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience setbacks that life deals all of us is the central skill of optimism. And guess what? Optimists have been proven to have a higher success track record.

Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter. The way pessimists explain failure to themselves spreads helplessness while the optimists’ way stops helplessness.

Ask yourself, what is your reaction in the face of a setback or a failure? Is it all your fault? Does it stop you in your tracks for months on end? Do you quit and move on to something else? Do you simply assume it’s a one time thing and try again? The way you explain events to yourself determines how helpless you become!

Getting back up in the face of defeat is called resilience. And the great news, is that resilience is not a trait that we are born with, it is something that is acquired. Which means that most of us can become resilient, optimistic, and increase our chances of happiness and success if we teach ourselves to believe that:

  1. Defeat is only a temporary setback
  2. The reason for this setback is a one-time thing confined to this one case, and
  3. Circumstances, bad luck, or other people have brought it about.

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

Finding Time

By: Tori Leckie

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We’ve all been guilty at times of complaining about being too pressed for time. Between work, rest and play, traffic jams on Sheikh Zayed Road and bottomless coffee at Costa, days fly by and we run out of hours. But I, for one, am becoming increasingly aware that everything I want to find time for gets a slot in my schedule.  I always find time to travel the world and run races, I always find time to embark on terrific adventures in all four corners, I always find time for my daily yoga fix and I always find time for the people I cherish.

It all comes down to priorities. Maximizing YOUR time is about focusing on the things that are important to YOU. Time is the most important non-renewable resource that each of us has so to not spend it wisely is to do our lives an injustice.

So today’s post … 12 top tips to maximize the hours in your day.

  1. Identify how you spend your time

    Identify any areas where time is being wasted. What counts is not the amount of time that you put in overall, but the amount of time that you spend working on worthwhile tasks.

  2. Set goals

    By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you will know exactly where to concentrate your efforts. Working towards set goals is also a great motivator.

  3. Keep a ‘to do’ list

    Ticking off jobs as you do them gives you a real sense of satisfaction and spurs you on to complete the rest — plus you’ll spend less time thinking about what you need to do.

  4. Prioritise

    Sort out your priorities and deal with the important things first … otherwise there’s too great a temptation to do the things that you want to do rather than the things that you need to do.

  5. Do it right first time

    Take the time to do things correctly or to the best of your ability first time round. The fewer mistakes you make, the less time you’ll waste going back and having to do it all over again.

  6. Stop procrastinating

    Procrastinating is especially easy if you’re surrounded by lots of distractions so try controlling your environment by removing most of those distractions.

  7. Get organised

    Being disorganized only wastes time. Declutter your living and working environment and put things that you don’t need well out of the way — or better still, get rid of them!

  8. Delegate

    Hand over any tasks that someone else can do — particularly if they can do them faster or just as well as you. This can be applied both at work and at home.

  9. Multi-task

    It is possible to get the most out of the time available by multi-tasking … just beware of overload and focus instead of combining your tasks well. I, for example, will listen to the audio books on my list whilst I am running.

  10. Learn to say ‘no’

    Learning to say ‘no’ can be one of the best things you can do to free up time. If asked to do something, ask yourself ‘Is this my responsibility?’ or ‘Am I the best person for the job?’ If the answer is ‘no’, then say no!

  11. Keep concentrating

    If you really need to get on with something, lock yourself away and switch off your phone until you’ve completed a particular task. The world will not end if you do not reply instantly to BB messages or FB invitations!

  12. Look after yourself

    Take time out to look after yourself. Nobody can be on the go all the time and by maintaining a healthy balance in your life, you can respond to problems and tasks in the best way possible.

Finally, bear in mind that you have exactly the same hours in the day as were given to Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.

Perhaps Jim Rohn said it best when he said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

I suggest opting for the former!

Have a great week.

Tori

Blogger’s Bio: Tori Leckie is a writer, a runner, a blogger and an adidas athlete. She travels alot, plays hard, works a little and makes every day a grand adventure. Heard of Tim Ferriss’s much acclaimed book, the 4-Hour Work Week?  Well, Tori is a living, breathing Dubai-based example of this.  She’s designed her own life to make every day a gift and is now helping the nabbesh community do same. Visit her blog (www.fitchicksandfastwomen.com), ‘like’ her on Facebook (Fit chicks & fast women) and enjoy her winning words!

The Saboteurs of Success

By: Kathy Shalhoub

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There’s a theory going around these days that most of the world’s problems can be traced back to low self-esteem and most of people’s problems arise from low self-esteem as well, whether they know it or not. So I wanted to investigate the idea of self-esteem a little bit because being successful at anything we do, hinges of having a certain measure of self-esteem, right?

Self-esteem is basically our overall appraisal of our own self worth and it allows people to be convinced that they deserve happiness! It helps us face life with more confidence and optimism, and therefore makes it easier for us to achieve our goals.

Self-esteem is related to three things: our values, our beliefs and our rules.

Values are such deep-seated beliefs that we accept them unconditionally and see them as reality. They guide what we see as right or wrong. We rarely question our own values because in our eyes they are the truth. Honesty, hard work, beauty, failure is bad, or the ends justify the means are all examples of values. Values are extremely hard to change.

Beliefs are the conscious and rational justifications associated with values. If youth is the value, the associated belief is that being young is being strong, loved, attractive, healthy, accepted, accessible, etc… These can be changed but you have to work hard at it.

Rules are things that we have learned along the way and are the easiest to change. They are how we play the game.

To raise our self-esteem we either need to change our beliefs or change our rules because unless these three factors (beliefs, values and self esteem) are aligned, we will never get the things we long for.

Say we value success or achievement and our belief is that having a good title at work is a great indicator of success, but our rule is never to blow our own trumpet (or that self promotion is vain and self serving). What happens is that we don’t get that promotion we were hoping for or that job that we really wanted. This has the negative effect of lowering our self-esteem. We will end up always asking ourselves the same question: How come I never get the opportunities that other people get?!

So what do we do? Well we either have to change our rule (It’s ok to blow your trumpet sometimes!) or change our beliefs (you don’t need to be CEO/Director/Manager to say you are successful or have achieved something!).

Figuring out what your beliefs, values and rules are is not always easy, but starting with a question that you always ask yourself about life is a good start. From there try to work backwards and see what you come up with. Factors that sabotage your self-esteem are also sabotaging your opportunities for success, whatever the measure of success is for you!

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

What Bosses Want

By: Kathy Shalhoub

I spoke to the General Manager of a medium-sized company today who regularly hires freelancers for various projects as needed. I was curious to know what are the key attributes that bosses look for in hiring freelancers.

It was no big surprise that in addition to them being qualified, the top three attributes on Jack’s list were reliability, thoroughness and punctuality.

He explained that when companies hire freelancers, they usually do so because they have a rush job that their regular employees just don’t have time to do. They look for someone who is reliable because they need to be sure that the job will be done in time and to the specifications given.

Because the companies pay a premium to freelancers over existing employees and there is a real sense of urgency for the project to be completed, there is no time for too much discussion and they expect the work to be completed on time.

“We need to know that they can deliver,” Jack told me, “so strong references are a must.”

Jack continued to explain that he often looks at the portfolio of work to be more at ease not only with their qualifications, but to be sure of their actual output.

Communication skills, both the spoken and the listening, have to be impeccable. “With your own employees you have the luxury of time and availability to make sure that your message is understood, but with freelancers, you have the one or two meetings to make it clear what it is you need. “

Jack’s final words were about his fears of freelancers. “I worry about freelancers when they start making excuses for not delivering or when they ask for information too late for them to complete the project on time.”

So reliability, thoroughness, punctuality, communication skills, planning skills and a good portfolio is all you need to gain Jack’s trust!

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

Hear the music

By: Tori Leckie

Hello!

A few weeks ago, I listened to an interview on Dubai Eye with Loulou Khazen Baz, the queen behind the scene at nabbesh. ‘Brilliant,’ I thought, ‘what a genius concept.’ And so I wrote to her and told her so.  Fast-forward a few emails and here I am contributing to the nabbesh blog and hopefully adding to the already wonderful and thought-provoking content from Kathy Shalhoub.

Loulou asked me what my theme would be and the answer seemed to fall off my tongue.  ‘LIFE at play’ I said.  Finding that balance between work and play, pursuing and even identifying your passions, developing your career around what you love and an injection of daily fun and adventure won’t only make you a happier, more rounded individual, but will directly (and positively) impact your performance at work. It’s an approach I try to embrace day in, day out but one that many others struggle with.

I guess it all boils down to facing each and every day with passion and gusto.  It’s about identifying where your priorities lie and how you want to spend your days, your weeks, your months, your years.

For this first post, I’m taking the unusual approach (you’ll soon learn that I defy convention at all costs) of borrowing the words of someone else, those of child psychologist David L Weatherford.

You see, the words in this poem sum up what ‘LIFE at play’ is all about and when you read it, I hope you’ll find it in you to make small changes where change is necessary. Be bold and remember always that the only rules are those we set on ourselves!

SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

Have a great week.

Tori

Blogger’s Bio: Tori Leckie is a writer, a runner, a blogger and an adidas athlete. She travels alot, plays hard, works a little and makes every day a grand adventure. Heard of Tim Ferriss’s much acclaimed book, the 4-Hour Work Week?  Well, Tori is a living, breathing Dubai-based example of this.  She’s designed her own life to make every day a gift and is now helping the nabbesh community do same. Visit her blog, ‘like’ her page on Facebook and enjoy her winning words!