When I first became a manager, I felt a little lost and unprepared as I entered my office on the first day. A few weeks prior, I had been a lower-level employee in a small business. Suddenly, I found myself managing a team of eight individuals in a large corporate office. Although I had experience working with peers within an office environment, the movement from peer to manager brought many unforeseen difficulties.I quickly learned that managers have to learn to take a certain level of criticism from employees, typically pertaining to my own decisions and as well the company’s choices. These complaints were simply part of the job. Many of my employees felt the need to vent and disagree about managements’ decisions, yet they often failed to take the initiative to address the concerns themselves. They were content critiquing upper-level administrators but failed to provide any proactive solutions for addressing their criticism. As a manager, I had to realize that this type of behavior was common and my willingness to work longer hours and address tough problems is what positioned my job apart from the average employee. It was not an employee’s job to solve the tough problems; it was mine as member of the company’s leadership.Although it was easy to address that a problem existed, it became clear to me that solving the problem through critical thinking was a more challenging and crucial aspect of my job as a manager. When a staffing problem arose or a project had a setback, it was my job to make sure the situation was resolved. This meant often engaging in reflective thought and deep, critical thinking-skills every manager must possess. I realized that it was not enough to merely employ the easiest option; instead, I had to think about the advantages, risks and unforeseen possibilities when addressing the situation.I also realized that managers prioritize their responsibilities to ensure they can provide enough time to critically address a problem. Knowing when to delegate menial administrative tasks to ensure time to address more important issues was key to my development as a manager. If a setback arose that demanded my immediate attention, I had no qualms putting aside my current task to tackle the more significant problem. My role as a manager required me to designate what responsibilities were critical to the mission of the business-a task I was not asked to complete as an employee.During the first week at my new position, I sent out more emails than I would have in a whole month at my prior job. Communication between staff, clients and customers became a central component of my work as a manager. I quickly reduced the number of emails I sent weekly by synthesizing information into larger messages. However, communicating effectively meant much more than simply being efficient and responsive to emails. I had to invest in my employees to ensure they were not only motivated but also developing as a professional. Weekly meetings with my employees became a time where I could challenge my staff to improve, provide motivation and ensure any inter-office conflict was resolved. Moreover, I soon found out that managers were the “face” of any business. Clients often wanted to hear from me and expected that I communicate in a professional manner. Being able to efficiently answer client questions and concerns while establishing a sales relationship was a vital aspect of my position as a manager.More important than communication, critical thinking or attitude, I realized managers must display an unmatched work ethic in the office place. I had to ensure tasks were being completed-no matter the difficulty of the assignment. Yet, I soon realized that trying to fit every item into an eight-hour workday would prove to be quite difficult. As a manager more was demanded of me, and I had to prioritize my time to ensure everything was complete. Time management became one of the most vital aspects of my job. I had to ensure I set aside time for certain responsibilities, developed a system to keep track of assignments and delegated tasks to my employees based on their skillsets. Suddenly, an extra fifteen minutes in a day made a significant difference in my work output.My transition from an employee to a manager helped me realize that the mindset and expectations of a manager are far different than an employee. Managers have to stay positive, motivate employees, communicate effectively with clients, and manage time in a way employees simply do not. The effectiveness of a department rests on the shoulders of management, and, ultimately they are the ones that have to answer for results.Luckily, the transition is not as daunting as it appears. Most companies provide an ample amount of time for a new manager to adapt and form the necessary mindset for the position. Yet, there remains a significant learning curve involved in moving to a management position and a constant drive to become better is crucial to success. I certainly did not enter into my first manager position with a fully formed skillset; rather, I developed those skills through experience. Comprehending the difference between my role as an employee and manager was crucial to my development, and I only obtained that understanding through a series of both successes and failures.
India has always been thanks to the stories of the colonialists, the movie makers and the snakes of Disney, that exotic land far removed from the rest of the world where sages in saffron could walk the waves and live for thousands years. All the stories, myths and mythologies that have made the rounds of the European and American minds for centuries at last seem to bear fruits for the good. With a pretty much continual boom in the tourism industry, India has now learned to sell its tradition and heritage for hefty bucks. A luxury tour to India has come to mean for most millionaires around the world, a rejuvenating glance into the healing qualities of the age old Indian sciences of life.Add to the growing awareness among Indian entrepreneurs to sell their tradition, the international awareness among people to learn to love and take care of their bodies; and the headiest cocktail you get out of them is a spa and ayurveda luxury tour to India. While some of the hotel chains in India specialize in spa treatments, like the Taj Group, there are also, spa pockets in the country’s tourism map which stand out primarily as spa destinations. Kerala on the southern tip of India is particularly known for its spa resorts. In fact ayurveda is such a tourist fad there, that temporary shacks line the beaches in places like Kovalam and Varkala claiming to offer ayurvedic beauty treatments.They would offer herbal face packs and pedicures in one fourth the price of the resorts and one can never really cross check the authenticity of their claims. However, the well known spas offer expert opinions and are known to suggest the best of therapies and treatments for their prized clients. To add to this, are the yoga classes. Though far removed from ayurveda, yoga is another branch of India tradition that continues to fascinate the west and has become an important aspect of any luxury tour to India. Though it is true that one cannot possibly expect to learn so much as a minuscule part of this huge discipline; yet most people that go for those short yoga packages say they have been greatly relieved by the exercise and that it has been quite beneficial to their body and soul.The same things as Kerala are also offered in the glorious heights of the Himalayas on the banks of the nascent Ganges in Rishikesh. The herbs that are used in the study of ayurveda are available in plenty on the slopes of the Himalayas and the traditions of yoga flourished at the hands of the sages and who were known for their prowess in yoga. Rishikesh like Kerala has huge foreign tourist footfall and the Ananda in Rishikesh is an internationally famous spa. Luxury tour to India is now for the most part a story of toning up tired bodies and minds to the subtle humming of the age old hymns of an exotic land.
A simple explanation of Mind-Body Psychology is how the mind affects the body. There is much more to this quickly developing field. A better descriptive name would be Mind-Body-Spirit Psychology, with mind incorporating both the thinking and emotional aspects of the individual. The interrelationship between the mind and the body have always been hiding in front of us. Now researchers are focusing on this connection and discovering the power each person has within them to affect his or her body simply by controlling thoughts, emotions and becoming spiritually aware.Doctors used to, and I’m sure many still do, say something is “all in your head” when they can’t find a physical reason for a pain. The term used is “psychosomatic.” What is happening in your mind is affecting your body.Now it is commonly accepted that stress can have a negative and destructive effect upon the physical part of yourself. For instance, high blood pressure is frequently stress related. I remember my dad, a pediatrician, saying that his blood pressure fell 10 points when he retired. One common stress related physical problem is muscle pain which is the direct results of tensing the muscles when stressed.Fear has a specific effect upon the body. Blood pressure rises, digestion stops, sex drive disappears and the immune system weakens. This has all been demonstrated by scientific research. When you feel fear the body believes it’s in danger and must do something fast to save itself. The result is shutting down all unnecessary systems of the body (digestion, sex and immune) to give it more energy to concentrate on surviving the now.The problem is that today’s current danger is not a saber tooth tiger that will soon be gone. It is longer lasting fears. This keeps the fight or flight mechanism continually triggered.This is why managing the emotions and thoughts to calm the body is so important. Fear can lead to run away thoughts. For instance, you hear a rumor there are going to be lay-offs. You become afraid you’ll be one to lose your job. You immediately form images of being out on the street with no place to go and nothing to eat. Your physical self, believing your fears for the future are a present danger, responds with the stress reactions mentioned above.When you learn to stay in the present with brief visits to the future to make plans, you keep your mind from over-reacting and moving you into stress. It’s crucial to keep yourself from thinking of every possible negative thing that could happen if you lose your job. It’s positive to develop a long-term plan for a financial disaster by regularly putting money in a rainy day fund.Research has also demonstrated that calming the mind through meditation has a direct positive effect upon the body. If you manage your thoughts, which prevents your emotions from running away from you, and have a spiritual practice, your physical self responds by being healthier.