Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Funny New Year Greetings

Sometimes, sarcasm has a better impact than sage advice. Enjoy these funny greetings for the new year. May be you will find them more usable than conventional words of wisdom!

May all your weight loss aspirations be fulfilled in the New Year!

May god motivate you to indulge less in office gossips this year!

I wish you can evade your boss successfully while using instant messengers at workplace this year!

I wish you scare off everyone in your wonderful Halloween attire in the New Year!

I wish you end up fighting less with your partner over TV remote this New Year!

I wish you can maintain your resolution to quit smoking a few days more this new year!

I wish you finally learn how to use your Smartphone properly this New Year.

May god inspire you to finally enroll in that anger management course in New Year!

I wish you find a perfume this year that is less awe-inspiring than chocolate flavored EDT!

I pray sincerely no sequel is released in your favorite vampire romance this year!

I wish you end up without a funny face in group photos this year.

I wish Snoopy, your poodle, does not chew telephone chords or your favorite skirt this year!

I wish your dog becomes intelligent to wash muddy legs before running on carpets this year.

I wish the god spares you from telemarketing calls when trying to finish work in Friday evenings!

I wish the Hollywood actor you drool over does not get hooked by some starlet this year!

I wish your neighbor does not ask you to babysit his tantrum throwing daughter in weekends!

I genuinely wish your aunt does not gift you a florescent purple colored dress this year.

I wish your efforts at trimming your goatee at home turns out better this year!

I wish you do not end up ransacking the house for your specs wearing it on head this year.

I sincerely wish you make fewer resolutions to give up drinking this year!

I wish you can resist temptation to gorge on burgers during snack breaks this year.

I wish you do not rush to kitchen in middle of a call to realize the cake is burnt this year!

I wish there is less snowfall or queue when you wait for Black Friday Deals this year.

I sincerely wish you overcome your fear of cockroaches this new year.

I wish you finally implement the plan to use stairs instead of elevators at malls and markets!

I wish your favorite celebrity or model comes up with an easier to follow diet this New Year.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How Free Are You?

You may be intrigued by the title. After all, we are all free, aren't we. Yes, we are. But do we feel free? Don't we often find that we are not free to do what we want to. Sometimes we feel relieved and say, "At last, I am free of this burden."

So, the reality is that though we are all considered free, we sometimes put our own curbs on our freedom. Sometimes, we do it willingly. We bear with inconveniences and discomforts for the sake of our near and dear ones, for the sake of achieving our future goals and for the sake of causes dear to us. But these kinds of self imposed restrictions do not make us unhappy. they may, on the other hand, make us unhappy.

But there are other times when we curse ourselves for not being free to do something that we want. I am not referring to your getting stuck in your office. This is your responsibility and if you feel that you are not free to go for a movie because you are stuck in work, you have to get your priorities right. I am referring to the situations in which you are free to do what you like but you don't feel free to act. For example, if you are bored to death listening to someone and if you are unable to walk out either by speaking out your mind or by giving an excuse, it's a case of your not being free.

We all may have several situations in which we don't feel free. The main thing that is holding us back and preventing us from acting free is FEAR. It could be the fear of executing the action right or the consequences of acting in a particular way.

Fear and Freedom can't stay together. So decide, whether you are going to lose your freedom by allowing your fear to prevail or allow your freedom fly high by killing the fears that are holding your freedom.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

You can't be everything to everyone!

I recently read a humorous piece about how a man could keep his wife happy. It said a husband only needed to be a friend, a companion, a lover, a chef, an electrician, a carpenter and 50 other things. Well, it made the job of keeping a wife copy sound an impossible task. But, when I read this, I wondered whether we are not trying to do this to many people in our life.

If you are a boss, you just can't be a boss. You have to be a friend, a guide, a companion, a sympathetic listener, a confidant, an understanding person, a helpful person, a kind person and so on. This is what many of us think. We also try to play diverse roles in order to keep the other person happy so that he or she will do the things expected of him or her.

It is a noble ideal to be everything to everyone but it's an ideal all the same. In reality, we can't be everything to everyone. We have to play our roles. A policeman can't be a friend to the person he is interrogating. A boss can be a friend but only within limits and only during certain times.

Life will be much simpler and rewarding if we realize that our behavior is circumscribed by our roles and if we don't keep ourselves within the limits, we will go out of the sphere of our operation. We could neither reach our goals nor keep others happy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Are You Ready To Jump?

You might have heard the story of a frog that is put in a vessel of water. Initially, the frog feels comfortable with the environment. Now, the vessel is kept on an oven So, the water begins to become warmer. the from may not perceive the change in the temperature of the water for a while. It will continue to be comfortable and complacent about where it is.
After a while, as the temperature increases, the frog starts feeling the heat. But it feels that it can adjust itself to slight changes in the temperature of the surroundings.
After sometime, the heat becomes more intense and unbearable. The frog knows that something is wrong but instead of jumping out, it keeps trying to adjust itself. Then a stage comes that the frog realizes that it should have jumped out long time back. It makes frantic efforts to jump out but by this time, it has become too weak to jump out. The frag dies after intense suffering cursing itself all along for having not acted earlier.
What killed the frog?
'The boiling water' appears to be the obvious answer 
But the what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.
We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to confront  and or quit.
There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action.
If we allow people to exploit us physically, mentally, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so. If we expect things to change for the better on their own, we may be in for a disappointment.
We have to decide when to jump.

Let us jump while we still have the strength..

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gaining from others

I am from India. I find that a majority of people who read my posts are from other countries. So, I have to be a little elaborate when I refer to anything related to Indian culture, history or mythology. Indian readers may bear with me for giving the details which may be considered common knowledge in India.

In the epic Ramayana (one of the two great epics of India), there is a character called Vaali. He had a special power. He would acquire half the strength of anyone who confronted him. So, he remained invincible. That's why  even the great Raamaa had to kill him by hiding behind a tree and remaining unseen.(This version is not supported by the original epic written by Valmiki but has somehow gained the acceptance of people at large.)

We can all be like Vaali. We can gain from others. We can acquire their strengths, skills and good qualities. All you need to do is to create a belief in your mind that you would get the particular trait that you find admirable in the other person. Practice doing this and you will be surprised how simple and how effective the whole process is.

There is only one prerequisite.You should learn to look for the good things in every person you come across. that's difficult, isn't it? After all, we are used to look at the negative traits in everyone. We do it for two reasons. We want to delude ourselves that we are better than the other person or at least the other person is worse than us in some ways. Knowing the negative side of the other person can also be a weapon we may use if necessary!

But if you learn to look for good things in others that we can acquire, you will find a revolutionary change in your relationship with others. The more you like the other person  the more the other person will like you and the more people you like, the more will be the number of people who like you.

So, begin to become Vaali starting from now! Look at the person who is near you and see what you like about that person. If you are alone, go out and look for someone! Good luck!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure?

Fear of failure is a reality. We often don't try things because of the fear that we could fail. You can pretend that you are not afraid of failure but you have real reasons for not doing what you need to do in order to succeed. But pretending to be not afraid will not make your fear go away. Nor will it prod you to act. So, the very first thing to do to overcome the fear of failure is to accept that you have, in fact, have this fear which is holding you back.

Once you accept you have the fear, you can think of ways of overcoming it. There are broadly two ways of overcoming the fear of failure. One is to make your desire to succeed weigh more than the fear of failure. But how to do this? You can make the desire to succeed stronger by creating a strong motivation. This can be done by dwelling on the good things that success will bring you. I know that this is easier said than done. But motivation  itself is being a vast subject with innumerable approaches, I can't elaborate on the ways by which you can motivate yourself in this post. You will, perhaps, see powerful tips on motivation in other posts.

The second way to overcome the fear of failure is using a bigger fear. If the fear of the consequences of not doing the thing  is greater than the fear of doing a thing, then you will do it! If you are afraid of swimming, you may be standing on the edge of a swimming pool for hours together, not venturing to dive into water. But if your swimming coach threatens to bash your back with a club if you stand there for more than 30 seconds, then you will jump into the water well ina dvance of the deadline, won't you?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The one you can't dislike

After reading my last post, some of you might be wondering whether I am being practical. We can dislike an act but we shouldn't  dislike the person. How is this possible?

I can give several examples for this. What do we do when we don't know who did the thing that hurt us. Let's say someone has thrown some garbage in front of your gate? What will you do? You will get it removed quickly, won't you? But if you see someone dropping the garbage at your doorstep, you will first vent your anger on that person before thinking of getting rid of the garbage, won't you? I am not suggesting that you should allow a miscreant to get away with the mischief. I am only pointing out that you can focus only on the act, if you choose to. (In this case, you had no other option, of course!)

So, please remember that it's in your powers to not dislike a person causing you a problem. even when you are confronting the person, you should only point out how his action has affected you rather than launching a personal attack on that person.

Let me point out a situation to you. There is a person who keeps making mistakes but you still love that person. Do you know who this person is? It is YOU! If you keep making mistakes but still love you, you can also refrain from disliking a person for making mistakes!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why do we dislike people?

We dislike some people some times and some people all times. Why do we dislike anyone? Because he or she has done something wrong. It may be a mistake or a deliberate wrongdoing. If the person is close to us,  the feeling of dislike will not last long. .If the person is not close to us, the feeling of dislike may last long.

Why does this happen?

This happens because we mistake the person for the action. (So, we also make a mistake in the process!) If an action hurts you, inconveniences you or makes you disgusted, you may be justified in disliking that action. Let's say you are hit by a vehicle when you're walking on the road. You're hurt. You have a reason to dislike what has happened. What you should dislike is the negligence of the person driving the car. But we dislike the person. This is wrong and irrational because you dislike a person based on just one thing he or she does. There may be several other things that the person does that you may like.

So, learn to differentiate between an act and the person. Only actions cause you inconvenience or trouble not persons.

It is difficult to cultivate this attitude but you can keep trying. You will find that after a while, you become more objective in judging events and people.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Be only the Best

Do you want to be the best at all places and in all situations? Who doesn't? But how many of us know how to be the best? Without knowing what we should do to become the best, we often lament 'I tried my best' when we find that being the best turns out to be a mirage every time.

But being the best doesn't have to be difficult. It may appear that to become the best, you have to compete with others. Competition is a game that anyone can play and you can't expect to be the winner always. There is a better way to be the best. It is a way less traveled and you will not have many people competing with you. Many times, you may be the only person traversing this path!

Do you know the story of Maverick. People in a village decided to brand their cattle with their initials or other identity tags. Everyone was breaking his head as to how to make his cattle distinct and stand out from the crowd so that they can quickly and easily identify it - everyone except Maverick! When all the branded animals were paraded for display, Maverick's cattle stood out. When everybody's animals were branded, Maverick's were not branded. This made them stand out from others. Maverick became the best by choosing to do nothing when everyone was frantically doing things to showcase their animals with a distinct brand.

By doing things differently, Maverick has also contributed a new word 'maverick' to the English language. As you may know, maverick refers to a person who does things in an unconventional, creative way.

Here are some suggestions for being different and becoming the best.

The first to say sorry is the bravest.
The first to forgive is the strongest.
The first to forget is the happiest.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I once saw this quote in a training institute.
Teach your tongue to say 'I don't know. Then you will learn.  - Confucious

How profound this statement is!

Wisdom comes from ignorance. we are not born wise, except for the genetic instincts. Whatever we know today is a result of our realizing our ignorance and making an effort to learn. if you start with an attitude, 'I know,' then you will learn nothing. You will live and die an ignoramus. It is only by accepting that we don't know something, we will have a chance to learn.

So is the case with all our deficiencies. Don't worry about your deficiencies. The moment you are aware that you lack something is the starting point in your journey to acquire that. So, not having something is not a drawback but an advantage. The realization that you don't have something is a great motivating force. On the other hand denying the truth and deceiving yourself by cultivating a false sense of possession will ensure that you won't develop.

There is a saying: Wisdom comes from experience and experience results from our foolishness. So, you have to be foolish first before you could become wise!

I am strong because I have been weak.
I am fearless because I have been afraid.
I am wise because I have been foolish.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Either Results or Excuses

In my first post made on my birthday, 16th Sep, 2013, I wrote:

"I am committing myself to post one message of motivation to this blog everyday as long as I live. So, if you don't find my message on a particular day, you are entitled to presume me dead. But I am also entitled to surface after a day or two with an apology and an explanation for the missing posts! But I think it (my missing a post) will not happen. This is a test to me."

But it has happened!

People who have been reading my blog regularly (how presumptuous of me to think that there are people who read my blog posts regularly!) would have noticed my absence for about 2 weeks. Some of them (you) might have presumed that something had happened to me. But I am alive. Alive and kicking and back to my ways!

I can explain why I didn't make any post for about three weeks but I think you may not be interested in it. I will just say that I had no access to the net because of my moving to a new house. but then, this is only an excuse and not a reason. If it demanded that for me to be alive, I should make a post everyday, would I have allowed this problem to deter me? Or, if someone had been paying me for my posts, would I have missed even one post? the answer is obvious.

This makes me understand the meaning of this dictum even more profoundly:

You can have either results or excuses!

So, decide what you are going to have.

P.S. I will be covering the posts for the days I have missed. Blogger.com facilitates antedating and postdating? So after about 2 weeks, you will find that there are no missing dates. But i have the satisfaction of disclosing my lapse and how I am making it up!

Friday, November 15, 2013

If you feel you have lost...

We all face difficult times in our lives. Our plans go astray. We are presented with a fait accompli that we find unacceptable.

There is one thing you can do during these times. You can learn something new from this experience, the learning that's going to help you in future. If you can do this, it means you have progressed, overcoming the setback that was thrust on you.

Don’t feel like you’ve lostWhen plans and dreams fall short of your hopes.Anytime you learn something newAbout Yourself or about Life,You have progressed.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happiness Quotes

Do you know?
Someone somewhere is happy with less than what you have!

Do you realize?
Happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

Do you agree?
Nothing is worth if you are not happy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Powerful Way To Change Your Life in 24 Hours

You have heard it before, haven't you - people promising you result within 24 hours. Sometimes, it happens that you will get the result in 24 hours alright but you have to count only one minute per day. So, you will get results in 24 x 60 = 1440 days. Sometimes you have to stretch it still further counting only one second per day!

But the change I am promising will come to you tomorrow, exactly 24 hours from the time you start implementing my simple advice. This is not my advice really but an advice that I came across, tried and found useful. Your task is very simple.

For 24 hours, refrain from complaining. Complaining does not mean complaining about others . It is an all encompassing word meaning complaining about anything in life. You should not even complain in your mind like feeling, 'Oh, it is so hot,' 'it is so boring,' 'it is so irritating' etc. If you can do it for one full day from the time you get up in the morning till you get up the next morning from sleep (I am not saying 'till you go to sleep' because, you may wake up in the middle and complain about the mosquitoes, the weather, the discomfort of your bed etc.), then you will find that your life starts changing.

This is guaranteed. You can't complain that this doesn't work!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What If you don't read this....

'What if...?' can be a powerful approach to creativity. By asking questions on hypothetical situations, the human race has progressed so well.

The question 'what if man can fly as a bird does?' led to the invention of the aeroplane.

By raising hypothetical possibilities, we can transform our lives.

'What if I can earn an additional $5000 per month' is a question that will stimulate your thinking by taking you to the next question 'how?' However, the 'how' should be a probing question, not a skeptical tag.

Keep generating 'what if...' questions everyday on various aspects of your life. Start with simple things. For example, ask, 'what if I can get up at 5 am?' If you are used to getting up only at 7 am, this question opens up the possibility of giving you two more hours everyday. If you can find some productive ways of using these two additional hours, you can see a transformation in your life.

I myself got u early today and used the extra hours generated to write this post.

Once you see success by applying the 'what if..' tag to simple things, you can extend your probe into more exciting and more challenging tasks.

What if this approach is going to bring you the level of success you had never dreamed possible?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Do you feel a relationship is imperfect?

The human tendency is to ail for perfection in everything. When it comes to relationships, people are particularly concerned that it should be perfect. But in reality, relationships are not perfect. They are fraught with problems. Disturbances and turbulence occur more frequently than we expect. Often they occur for no reason at all. We sometimes wonder whether we should live in an imperfect relationship.

Unfortunately, perfect relationship doesn't exist. Imperfection arises from the fact that no two human beings are alike. Yet we can have a strong relationship in spite of imperfections. Imperfections may arise from differences in perceptions, priorities, views etc. Instead of looking at these imperfections as threats to a harmonious relationship, we should understand them as natural differences that normally occur in any healthy relationship. We should focus on resolving the differences through a process of dialogue that will require some adjustments from either side.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Why we should not look into the faults of other people?

The easiest thing anyone can do is to find fault with others. Do you know why? We are so familiar with them, having been associated with such faults sometime or other. If you think I am wrong, just have this checked. When you learn any skill, you commit quite a few mistakes while learning. Later when someone else is committing the same mistakes, you can recognize them. You can't recognize a mistake unless you are exposed to it first.

Sometimes we also learn about mistakes by seeing others committing them. But the mistakes we have committed are more readily recognized.

Even after you have become perfect in a skill or activity, you may commit mistakes. It is not uncommon for a person with a long experience in driving a car to commit a mistake that only a novice can be expected to commit.

Faults include mistakes in doing things as well as defects in one's personality, perception, understanding etc. If we realize that we have several faults, we will not waste our energy in looking into the faults of others.

"I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won't presume to probe into the faults of others."    - Mahatma Gandhi

If this is what Mahatma Gandhi, a person with very few faults says, people like me handicapped with multiple faults should be much more wary of looking into the faults of others.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

You have a Choice

A man has fallen into a river. He is drowning and crying for help. You extend your hand standing at a safe place in the river. You can use your strength and pull him back to safety. But what if he pulls you into the river? It will be a tragedy, of course.

But such a tragedy happens in our lives quite often. Someone is upset. He loses his temper and vents his anger on you. He is in deep waters and you are on a safe place. Logically, you should pull him to the zone of safety in which you are standing. But what do you do? You step into his zone of danger by losing your temper and hitting back at him.

When we are in confrontation with others, we do not  take the time to reflect whether it is necessary. Aping other person'e behavior is not a powerful way of dealing with that person. It's weak response since you surrender your independent thinking and choose to adopt the other person's way. Confrontation may sometimes be unavoidable and may even be necessary. But there are times when other courses of action are available to us. Please remember that we have the freedom of choice. Don't surrender this freedom by choosing to respond to others in their own way.

Don't let people pull you into their STORM, pull them into your PEACE."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Are you concerned about your looks?

Many people are concerned about their looks. Perhaps this is an understatement! Almost everyone wants to look handsome.

If you are born with what is generally considered a beautiful appearance, you should be happy. But will you be? Probably not. You are likely to focus on improving your appearance still better. I have good looks alright. But I should be the best looking too!

If you feel that you are not good looking, you will naturally make efforts to make you look better.

So either way, people are spending a lot of time, money, energy and other resources in trying to look better. In most of the cases, they end up frustrated because what thy aim for turns out to be a mirage because they don't even have a clear idea about how their looks should be!

You are beautiful. Don't worry about what other
people say because the two most important people 
recognize your beauty. You and God. So love yourself 
for the way you are because that is the way you are
supposed to be. Stop spending so much time on your 
outward beauty, that's not the part that counts in the end.
Focus on your inner beauty. That's what makes one truly beautiful. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do you get the love you need?

You are loved
when you are born.
You will be loved
when you die.
In between
You have to manage...!

Introspect and find out how well you have been managing!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Are You Human?

May be you feel outraged by this question. "Of course I am. What a stupid question?"
 you may retort. 
Pray read this question carefully. I didn't ask you "Are you a human being?" I asked you "Are you human?"

There is a lot of difference
being a 'human being'
and being 'human.'
Very few people understand the difference.

I hope you are one. If you are still not clear of the differences just think of the people you know and ponder how many of them you will consider human.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Know who loves you

The One who loves you
will never leave you
even if there are
100 reasons to give up
he will find
one reason to hold on

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Food as Medicine

Eat your food
as your medicines.
you have to
eat medicines
as your food

There is a concept in the southernmost part of India, Tamilnadu 
"uNavE marundhu. marundhE uNavu."
This translates into English as "Food is medicine and medicine is food."

What the cryptic message conveys is that if you pay attention to what you eat keeping your health in mind, you will eat only what is good for your body. The food you choose  to eat will ensure that you don't get health problems and you can obviate the need for taking medicine to cure some malady.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Educating children

Don't educate your children
to be rich.
Educate them
to be Happy.
So when they grow up
they will know
the value of things
not the price

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Key to Overcoming the Fear of Failure

In the last post, we discussed how failure creates a system of repeating itself by using the fear of failure and making it stronger for every successive attempt. Obviously, fear works because we allow it to enter our mind and then occupy the whole mind. How do we prevent this?

Just by shifting your focus. When you fail once and make a second attempt, your mind will dwell on the past. Make it focus on the future. Deliberately think of the results your success will bring you. Visualize all the great things that you will experience once you succeed in what you are attempting to do.

This may not be easy but is definitely practicable. There is no way you can push the fear out. All you can do is to infuse your mind with pleasant feelings about the results success will bring. he fear of failure will keep coming but keep ignoring it and force yourself to dwell on the positive thoughts. After some time, you will find this method working. Fear will lose its vigor and enthusiasm will have its presence. By practicing this kind of thinking repeatedly, you can free yourself from the effects of fear created by past failures.

It is like switching on a fan to drive out the foul smell from a stuffed room. The result will come. It may take some time but you will find this working very well.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where Do You Go From Failure?

If you fail once, you expect to succeed the second time. If you fail the second time too, then you will try for the third time. You may try the 4th time, 5th time etc. But what will be your state of mind at every successive attempt? If you are like most people, you will find your level of enthusiasm falling at every successive attempt. This is only natural but not healthy and definitely not helpful.

What makes your enthusiasm fade with every successive attempt is the memory of the past failures, which generates the fear about a repeat experience. When you set out to do a thing with this state of mind, the chances of your failing increase. One more failure will only reinforce your fear of failure and with every successive attempt, your chance of success dwindles.

But it should be the other way about, shouldn't be. After all, the more experience you have, the better should be your ability and skill. In fact, your ability and skill would have definitely improved with every successive attempt. But this improvement is overshadowed and overpowered by the fear that has grown even stronger than your skill and ability have.

So how do you overcome this? Check out my next post!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fear makes you lose

Do you like to be a winner in the game of life? Of course, you do. But do you know how your fears keep you away from achieving your goals?

Let us take someone who is afraid of darkness. What will he do? He will avoid darkness and will always keep himself surrounded by life. So, what does he lose? He may feel that he is safe keeping himself in a surrounding of life. But he cannot know what light can do.

If you are in a dark room and switch on a torch light, won't you see a magic? The spectre of the beam of light piercing through darkness and revealing things is a delight to watch. But the man who keeps himself away from darkness can never experience this delight.

Those who fear darkness have no idea what the light can do!
If you have the fear of flying, you will miss the joy of flying in an aircraft. There are poor people who can't afford to board a flight. They are to be pitied. But the people to be even more pitied are the wealthy people who have the resources to travel by air to any place in the world any number of times but won't because their fear of flying keeps them grounded permanently!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Drive your fears away!

Everyone has some fears.  Some manage to not show their fears. They will clearly avoid what they fear thinking that others will not find out the real reason for avoiding the things thy fear. Fear is a common feeling. We have all felt insecure at least a few times during the time of our growth. A child will feel insecure if it can't find its mother for a while after it has realized that it has been taken care of by its mother. So, the seeds of fear have been sown in our minds even during our childhood and the seeds have sprouted and grown into plants and trees.

The only way to come out of our fears is to get ourselves rid of them. And, how do we do this? Just by doing the things we fear. If someone is afraid of swimming, his coach will just push him into the water. After the initial shock, the person will realize that being in water is not such a dreadful thing to do. He may not overcome the fear immediately but after a few trials, he will overcome his fear of swimming and emerge confident. the same thing can be said about riding a bicycle or a car.

So, do the thing you fear to do and the fear will become weak. Do it a few times and the fear will go away never to come back. You have nothing to lose but your fears!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Do You Feel Bad About Wasting Your Time?

Almost all of us waste time. (The word almost is my concession to the ideal people!). And it is only natural that we feel bad about wasting our time. Though we know that gloating over time wasted will only result in wasting more time, we can't help doing it. So, it is not abnormal or unhealthy to feel bad about your having wasted some of your time.

But you should learn to differentiate between the time you have wasted and the time you have spent enjoying yourself. Enjoying yourself through recreation, entertainment or even idle chat can be really good for you. Such diversions will rejuvenate you and help you work with m,ore enthusiasm and energy and hence efficiency.

Even if you had a lot of important thing to do but took some time off to amuse yourself, it is not wasting time. Understand the difference between planned and deliberate ways of spending time doing apparently trivial and unproductive things and allowing time to slip away through your fingers due to laziness, inaction, reluctance and half-hearted efforts.

"Time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted!'

Sunday, October 27, 2013

How Life Teaches Lessons to Us

How often do we hear people talk about learning a lesson or teaching a lesson? Sometimes, when we go through a bitter experience we say, 'I've learnt a lesson,' or 'this is a lesson to me.' What we mean is that we have realized that we will have to change our behavior if a similar experience were to occur in future. At that time, we will act differently, respond differently or do things differently so that we get better results. At least, we don't like to taste the bitterness again.

On some other occasions, we say, 'I will teach him a lesson.' This is often said in anger, resentment or frustration. We feel that the other person has not been fair to us or has not behaved appropriately with us. We want him  (her) to mend his (her) ways. Since we don't expect the other person to correct himself (herself) on his (her) own, we want to play the role of a teacher - not the role of a conventional teacher! We want the other person to experience some pain that will motivate him (her) to change his (her) ways.

Whether we learn a lesson or make another person learn a lesson, there is a process involved. What is that process? We go through some experience and based on the results we get, we learn something. We realize we have to change the way we think, speak or act. In a conventional educational system like the one we have in the schools, we are taught a lesson and then we are asked to write a test.

But life works differently, almost in the opposite way. It first makes us take a test (go through an experience) and then makes us learn something from it.

Life is a different kind of teacher. It first puts us to test and then makes us learn the lesson.

Observe yourself closely. Observe your thoughts, feelings and actions. Think why we do certain things in  certain ways. At the end of the day, recall the lessons you have learnt today.

This process will not only help you identify the specific lessons you learn from your experiences but will also make you put the lessons into practice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Do Problems Get Solved By Themselves?

How should we deal with problems?

There are typically three ways in which people respond to problems.

Run Away
Do Nothing

Confronting a problem means facing it boldly and doing something to overcome it. This obviously is the most effective way to deal with a problem. But what if your efforts are not successful and you are unable to overcome the problem. Then you just have to accept the result. You will have to suffer the consequences created by the problem. But you will have the satisfaction of doing your best to overcome it. You will also have learnt some lessons which you will be able to use the next time you face a similar situation.

Running away from a problem may appear to be the most convenient option. Most of the people will like to choose this. But there are two difficulties. You may not be able to run away. You find your job to be tough and want to quit but you may not be able to do it because you need the job to make a living and you know that getting another job will be difficult. The second difficulty is that running away from a problem may not keep you away from it always. You may have to face the same problem, probably in a more difficult form sooner or later. People procrastinate to avoid doing things only to find that they have to do what they have been avoiding all along and to realize that doing it earlier would have been much easier.

Doing nothing is a corollary of the first two options. Sometimes, the only way you can deal with a problem is to do nothing about it. Put it in the back burner. This option is similar to the first one in that doing nothing is also a way of confronting it! what will you do if someone points a gun at you? Dodging it will be foolish. Overpowering the adversary a la a film hero will be stupid. The only option is to do nothing and hope that the gunman doesn't fire the gun!

This option is different from the second option in that you are not avoiding or running away from the problem but you are just being realistic. The important thing is that you should know that you are not acting because you have a reason not because it is a convenient to not do anything!.

Sometimes, when you do nothing about a problem, the problem gets solved miraculously.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Towards or Away?

If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it is moving you away from your goals.                -  Brian Tracy
Do you agree with the above statement? You may not. You may say that not moving towards your goal may just mean that you are not moving at all. You need not necessarily be moving away from the goal.

But it does not happen that way. Either you are moving in one direction or in some other direction. In real life, you may not be standing where you are. In another post I have referred to a concept that you need to keep moving if you want to remain where you are. So, if you are not moving forward, you are most probably moving backwards. At least in a relative sense.

Let me elaborate. Have you not met some people after a gap of time and found that they have moved up much higher economically, socially or in some other way? Have you not been surprised by this, even while wondering why you have not been able to move up. This means that you have moved down relatively.

I am not suggesting that you should compare yourself with others. This will be a futile, endless and more importantly, a depressing exercise. I just gave an example to show that if you have not moved up when everything around you has moved up, you have, in fact, gone down. This can happen not only in terms of financial or social status but also in terms of your status as an individual. 

For example, if you are a professional but fail to keep updated on the new developments in your field, you will become less valuable as a professional, even if you manage to advance financially and socially. However,  if you don’t have a goal of getting updated on the developments in your field, it’s fine.

But if you have a goal and if you are not progressing towards it, you are allowing yourself to be pulled down, without your even being aware of it! Bear this in mind. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beware of the company you keep

There is an old  saying "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you what kind of a person you are." This may sound old fashioned in today’s context but there is no gainsaying the fact that there’s a grain of truth in this dictum We are affected by the company we keep, directly or indirectly, sometimes in unexpected ways.

The vine that has grown old on an old tree falls with the ruin of that tree and through that bad companionship must perish with it. 
  - Leonardo da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

Leonardo da Vinci’s quote may appear applicable only if we are dependent on others. But remote connections can also cause us problems. There are numerable examples of people close to political leaders or businessmen enjoying the benefits of their intimacy for a period but getting into trouble with law enforcing agencies or tax authorities when the politicians or business people get into some problem.

The idea is not to suggest that we should be choosy in selecting our acquaintances. This may not be possible. But we should be aware  of the possible consequences of our acquaintances and be prepared, at least mentally to face problems when the going gets tough for our acquaintances. We should also learn to keep appropriate distances from different people.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dealing with Self Doubt

Whenever you set to do something (big or small), do you sometimes hear a voice from within you doubting the correctness of your action? If your answer is no, it means either you are not being truthful or you have some psychological abnormality. If your answer is yes, then you are in good company, sharing the experience of all normal, thinking human beings including geniuses and people with an extraordinary sense of determination. The reality is that there is (was) not a single person on earth who has (had) not experienced doubt when pursuing a particular course. In fact, language has even glorified this trait by coining the phrase ‘healthy skepticism!’ to refer to self-doubt (as also to doubts about ideas coming from outside)

As thinking creatures, human beings have embodied within us a little critic whose only job is to be skeptical about every thought that strikes the mind either from within or from without. People who either ignore this little genie or put him (her) to sleep often act gullible and end up losing something precious. So, next time when you hear your little genius interrupting your thought process with an ‘I object’ response, like a lawyer putting up a dramatic performance in a court, don’t be put out or get irritated. . 

It is in your powers to convert your self doubt into a conversation you will have with a well wishing friend of yours about something you seek to do. While your friend will point to the weaknesses, pitfalls and the risks in the path being chosen by you, you will come out with answers clarifying your friend’s doubts. In the end, either you will have convinced your friend or will have changed your mind, seeing the reason behind your friend’s arguments.

The best way to deal with your self doubt is to take note of it, examine it and convince yourself about the rightness of what you plan to do.Give a minute to examine the doubt. Consider what the basis of the objection is. If it is  habitual cynicism, dismiss it. If it has some substance, examine it on its merits. If you are not able to find the right answers to the questions raised by the Doubting Thomas in you, then the wise thing is to change your decision. 

If you can train yourself doing this, you will find self doubt not a hindrance but a valuable tool in decision making. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Freebies Galore!

Everything that's really worthwhile in life comes to us free - Our Minds, Our Souls, Our Bodies, Our Hopes, Our Dreams, Our Intelligence, Our Love of Family, Friends and Country. All of these priceless possessions are Free   - Earl Nightingale

Do you agree with the quote given above?

I don't.

I think the list is too short. Everyday, from morning to night we get several freebies like a smile from a stranger, a compliment that lifted your spirits up, a whiff of fresh air that made you feel instantly refreshed, an unexpected  help from an unexpected source, a problem that resolved itself and so on.

Take some time to recall the freebies you received today and feel good about them. Thank God, if you are a believer. If you are not, just relish the gifts you received.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Things to do


Today, I would like to share with you a simple poem by Mary Anne.

     Walk to the edge.
     Listen hard. 

     Play with abandon.
     Practice wellness.
     Continue to learn.
     Choose with no regret.
     Appreciate your friends.
     Lead or follow a leader.
     Do what you love.

Just check how many of these you are doing on a regular basis, or often, or at least now and then? Obviously, the more of these things you do, the more productive, the more successful and the happier will you be.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Power of Habits

Our life is molded by our habits. If you think that this is a sweeping statement, do a small exercise. At the end of a normal day, write down the things you did, from the morning to the evening. You will be surprised to discover that a vast majority of your actions have resulted from habits. Habits influence the way we think, speak, act, smile, cry, respond, react, show our emotions, plan, succeed, fail, innovate and so on. Some of the terms like succeed, fail and innovative might have surprised you. It's a fact that we achieve success by doing things in a particular way and we also fail by doing things in a certain way. Even creativity follows a habit. Have you not heard some famous writers and artists proclaiming (rather proudly!) that they get ideas when they have a shower, when they walk on a particular path or sit down at a particular place at a particular time!

Habits can be good or bad depending on what habits we have. And the good news is we can choose our habits. First, identify the undesirable habits you have. By undesirable habits I don't mean just smoking or drinking which can ruin your physical and mental health. I am also referring to the way we act in a particular situation, the way we spend our time, the way we do our work etc. By curtailing wasteful habits like watching TV, playing video games, chatting over the mobile phone or through the internet etc, we can save a considerable amount of time which we can use in a fruitful way. By consciously overcoming tendencies like procrastinating, doing things in a hurry etc, we can improve our efficiency and effectiveness.

Identifying negative habits and taking steps to free ourselves from them and developing powerful habits should be an ongoing exercise. Habits die hard. So, it takes time both to cultivate a good habit and to get rid of a bad habit. On the other hand, bad habits get entrenched in our lives very easily without our even realizing the fact. The more sustained we are in making habits work for us, the simpler will become the process as time goes by.

So, start the effort today.
1) Identify one bad habit and resolve to come out of it within a time frame.
2) Identify one powerful habit you could develop and start working for it.

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
                                                                - Aristotle

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why We Should Aim High?

Among the people who are not successful in life, there are two categories. Those who aim high but for some reason fail to achieve their goals and those who deliberately choose not to try to improve their lives..

The first category of people fail for various reasons but they keep constantly experimenting and may taste success, sometime in future.

But the second category is vulnerable to serious risks. These people don't do enough. They are complacent. They feel, "This will do. Why should I exert myself too much?" When we adopt this attitude, we fail to aim high, we don't feel the need to improve our life and we don't mind living a mediocre life.

Some people mistake this attitude to be contentment. They even take pride in their concept of simple living. This attitude can be psychologically traced to a lack of self confidence or a fear of failure. 'It's better not to try than to try and fail' can be the the underlying principle that guides them unconsciously.

The risk involved in this attitude is that we may end up with a life much worse than what we had bargained for. The lower you set your goals, still lower will be your achievement. It's an irony of life that people who set goals at high levels are more likely to achieve them than those who set goals at lower levels. You may say, "But i have not set any goal at all!" But not setting any goal amounts to accepting your present state as a goal and there is a danger of your falling to lower levels.

Thee is a saying, "We have to keep moving if we want to remain where we are." Yes, if you don't move, you will find yourself pushed backward since the world keeps moving forward.

So, aim high. You have nothing to lose. You will get what you aimed for or slightly less than that or at the worst you will be able to retain your level. Not aiming for better things in life carries the risk of pushing you down.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The TEE Principle

I came across an interesting quote that set me thinking.

Live life according to the TEE principle - Truth, Empathy and Energy. (The author of this quote is likely to be a great fan of Golf!)

The first principle is understandable. The Truth principle has been repeatedly emphasized on us. There is no need to elaborate. Yes, we should be always truth full. The moment we hear this, a doubt will arise immediately - Is this possible. I would suggest that we just accept this principle rather than raising a doubt even while considering it. We will see the possibility aspect as we move on. There are many things that we want to do but the possibility factor comes in the way, sometimes. If we start doubting the possibility of anything, we can do nothing. So, let us accept this and make a resolve to live by the principle of Truth. You will find that once you resolve to follow a principle, you will get the strength and other resources at the time of living by it. Like Mahatma Gandhi, we can also experiment with the Truth!

The second principle of Empathy is something to be cherished throughout your life. Empathy means understanding - understanding  the feelings and experiences of the other person. It means putting yourself into the other person's position and examine how you will feel and what you will think and do. Your ability to empathize will become stronger the more you empathize. Whenever you get angry with another or upset by another person'e behavior, empathize for a moment before reacting. if a doctor can prescribe a tonic for strengthening relationships or a medicine to cure relationship problems, it will be 'Empathy.'

How does Energy come in here? Energy refers to the support from our internal system. Observe what your energy levels are when you are different things. If you enjoy doing something, you will have a lot of energy. If you are unenthusiastic about doing something, your energy level will be low. The energy level you experience will have nothing to do with the food you have taken or your health, except in extreme cases. If you don't have an energy for doing something, just reflect. Perhaps, you shouldn't be doing it at all!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Making a Difference

"The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money...or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most."
                                                                                 -   Charles Shulz

Perhaps this quote needs no explanation. But I want to share how I perceive the message given here. I think there is a two-fold message here. One is about finding out the people who fulfill this definition. All you need to do is to make a list of people

- who have helped you at different times
- who have been kind to you.
- who have cared for you.
- who have empathized with you
- who have been a source of comfort and solace to you in times of need
- who have been willing to give you a hearing when you wanted to pour out your feelings.
- who have felt genuinely happy about your successes
- who have accepted you for what you are.

The other side of this is obviously the question whether and to what extent you have fitted in the lives of other people  on the above considerations.

This simple analysis will help you remember the people who have cared for you. You will also remember your own obligation to care for the people you interact with. You can also be caring towards a stranger whom you may meet just once in your life that too only for a few moments and can make a difference to their feelings, if not to their lives..

The list of pe

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Connect with Others? A Sure-fire Way!

One of the problems many of us face in life is the difficulty of connecting with others. This problem can arise in a wide range of relationships from parents-children relationships to supplier-customer relationships.When we find that a gulf is separating us from the other person we want to reach out to can be very frustrating, especially in a close relationship.

Parents find it difficult to connect with children as children, with parents. Spouses are unable to connect with each other in spite of being so closely together. Other relationships like the ones between a  boss and subordinate, a salesperson and a prospect etc have this in-built challenge.

I came across a quotation from Blair Warren, considered to be one of the masters of persuasion. He says:

 “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”

I think Warren has given a workable solution to the problem of getting connected. Encouraging one's dreams and allaying one's fears are, no doubt, positively desirable things to do.

But you may look askance to the other two ideas - justifying other's failures and confirming their suspicions. Well, these two actions do not appear desirable. But we can easily see how some people do these to win over others. People with ulterior motives will have no qualms about resorting to these.

But people like and you who want relationships to be supportive and mutually empowering should understand these actions to mean showing empathy or sympathy. Justifying someone's failures should be by way of understanding their problems and sympathizing with them rather than blaming them for their failures. If we dismiss people's suspicions using rational arguments, they may not be convinced. We should show an inclination to agree with their suspicions but should gradually and subtly change their perceptions, since harboring suspicions will not do them any good.