Saturday, December 24, 2011

Make way for the best this Christmas

The good is shattered for the best: Joseph is the hero of our Christmas story.
He is engaged to a very pious girl, Mary from Nazareth. So it’s a perfect match. Marriages are made in heaven they say and Joseph and Mary seemed to be a couple carved out by God’s own fingers. Things seem to be alright till this time. Joseph like every young man is dreaming about his future married life, his honeymoon, his new family to be. He hopes and prays when the bad news comes in. Mary is pregnant and the father of the baby is unknown person! A bolt from the blue! Dreams shatter and crumble. O God! This is not right. After being a righteous man his whole life this not a reward Joseph expects, how can God be so unfair! Why bad things happen to good people? There’s no answer to that. Sometimes life seems to be very unfair, while the people who suck off the wealth of others and hoard it for themselves enjoy life, the good people seem to be suffering. That’s what creates atheist isn’t it. Isn’t God responsible for this if ever he exists? Well the answer comes in the form of the messenger angel; Joseph troubled with the thoughts of his shattered dreams and thinking of privately divorcing Mary, rests. Sleeps sometimes seem to do good when you are boggled down by prevailing tensions. The angel in his dreams tells the answer to why bad things happen to good people. The good is shattered so God’s best plan for Joseph’s life maybe unfolded in his life. Here’s the answer for all your troubles and unfair situation you are facing at this moment. The good can sometimes be an enemy of the best. Many people settle for what seems good, they do all to get it and remain mediocre. A teacher wanted to show his student the graves of all the famous people in the world. He took him to a graveyard and showed him some tombs. The inscription on the tombs revealed names that were common and unheard of. The surprised student questioned the teacher that these are the tomb of common people where are the famous people. The teacher replied all the common people had God-given potential to rise above their situations in life to be the best and famous. But they never did! They settled for the good instead for the best. Joseph and Mary’s good future marriage dreams seemed to have been shattered for the moment so that God’s best plan for them and the entire world could be realized through their lives. We remember Joseph and Mary whenever we remember Christ. Moreover when we celebrate Christmas, this wouldn’t have been possible if they had not allowed for the God’s best to be revealed through their lives and settled for what seemed good. Joseph obeys the word of the Lord sent through his angel and accepts Mary as his wife and then the consequent journey to Bethlehem where Jesus is born in a manger. Joseph’ life and Mary’s too is exemplary for all of to imitate. We have to forgo the good for God’s best in our lives. Let’s pray’ ‘Lord disturb our lives; shatter the good in us so your best plan may be seen through our lives.’ Amen.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The ordinary birth of the extraordinary Child- Christmas Christmas is popular all over the world commemorating the events of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells that God had a concern for the lost humanity. Humanity had lost the Divine touch. God wanted them to realize that they could be connected again to the Divine in them and that’s why the Divine had to become human to point out the Truth. The birth of Jesus was in difficult circumstances. Jesus’ father and mother, Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem when suddenly the birth pangs came about. There was no place for them to give birth to the child so they found an ordinary cattle-shed where Jesus was born. If Jesus was God sent Son then why the ordinary and difficult birth? Was not God concerned about his Son’s birth? Couldn’t he have provided him a more comfortable place to be born? The answer lies in the fact that God wanted people to discover the extraordinary in ordinary birth of Christ. When we go about in life thinking about how we are ordinary beings, not very important, God wants us to find the extraordinary in us. That extra in the ordinary is the Divine. The message of Christmas is this we may be living in pretty ordinary circumstances but Divinity is within us, we got to realize it, reach it and then stretch ourselves for God given vision for our lives. May this Christmas be a time for that re-discovery. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Second Alternative

The Second Alternative
Two brothers grew under an abusive, alcoholic father. Their father had been in and out of prison many times. When the children grew one of the brothers became like his father. ‘Like father, like son’. He was in and out of jail many times; he was abusive and alcoholic too. Whenever asked about his condition, he would say, “My father was like me, I grew under him what else do you expect?” His brother though took another path, he became a gentleman, working in a big company, and he was never abusive or alcoholic. When asked about his successful life his answer was no different, “My father was abusive, alcoholic, I grew under him, so I became what I am today what else do you expect.” Friends, in life at every turn we encounter situations, good and bad and the turn-out of our lives depends on what path we choose, React or Respond! Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.” These words are carved in our memories for eternity by the great poet Robert Frost.
What is Reacting? Reacting is a negative word. It doesn’t distinguish me as a human being from animals. Animals can react not respond. If you beat a dog with a stick it response is limited to two actions: fleeing or making you flee! In the olden times people reacted because till then that was the best option and awareness they possessed so many of our religious books are filled with examples of God allowing reaction. Hark! God is not unjust, but he worked through human beings and their understanding of him. So we have many of the scriptures of the olden times filled with pictures that could be summed up, “Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.” In simple language you harm me, I return you with the same limited response, I too harm you.
What is Response? Gandhi was thrown out of a train compartment which was only meant for the ‘white people’. He responded not by reacting but responding with a freedom movement in India which were based on principles of Truth and Non-violence. Jesus said, “If somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other.” Strange! But it shows that we as human beings are different from animals. We are given the God given ability to respond to a situation instead of reacting. Response is positive. It’s choosing the second alternative! We have many examples in history of them, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Buddha etc.
Conclusion: Choose your alternative from the given: It’s a lousy day vs. It’s a great day, Frown vs. Smile, Dwelling on curses vs. Blessings, Busybody vs. Busy-bee at work place, Treating client, customers and business partners as trash vs. Kings and Queens, Giving self to short term pleasures vs. Being patient for long term benefits, fear vs. faith. I hope we all graduate to choose the second alternative, to respond!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to write a Preface for a book

Introduction: In English there’s a clichĂ©d saying, “The first impression is the last impression” and this rings true when we talk about writing a Preface for a book. As the name itself suggests, Pre-face (First look or impression) is a vital thing that one cannot ignore because it goes on to tell the readers whether the book is a worthy read or not. An analogy that I can think of is of the bait that you throw for the fish. If the bait (Preface) is attractive, the reader is hooked on to the book and goes ahead and buys it (Good readers do read the preface before buying). The other readers who have bought the book taking in consideration other factors also feel whetted in their appetite to go ahead and read the book (According to a survey less than 20% people continue reading after the initial two chapters). So, what are some of the elements that would fulfill these requirements of making your Preface work for you and the book? While writing a Preface a writer should address the following questions:

How was the concept of the book born? Address this issue in the beginning, how did you think of writing the book. Let the readers know your inner passion and inspiration in writing the book. This part could be bit of autobiographical. You could tell the background or the context and circumstances in which you thought of writing this book. Here your aim is to make the readers empathize with you and identify your genuineness in writing the book. The bottom line is, ‘Why did you write this book?’ tell this frankly to your readers, let it be a heart to hear talk but don’t forget the word limit (the preface should not become a chapter of the book).

For whom is the book written? Who are the readers you are addressing? Are you addressing a specific type of readers (business people, engineering students, political class, intellectuals etc.) or are you addressing the general readers. Let the reader know that whether it is book written for them? Different sectors have different needs and issues to be addressed. Many people read a book as an answer to some issues they are encountering in their lives. So in reading the Preface it should be crystal clear to them and reinforce their belief that the reading of the book will address their specific issues.

What are the benefits of reading the book? In Literature there is a famous debate whether Art is for Art’s sake or Art is for Life’s sake. I am one of the readers who would like to bridge the gap and say that Art for Art’s sake and Art for Life’s sake are the two sides of the same coin. A good book should fulfill both the functions; there should be no dualism about it. Some books of course are written completely for entertainment purpose and some only for the utilitarian. So mention your purpose too in the Preface. Is the book beneficial for the readers? How is it beneficial? Will it just entertain them so that they can relax and enjoy their leisure time or is it addressing some serious issue about life?

Conclusion: Let’s conclude by saying a good Preface should impress and express and while expressing impress the readers to know that book in their hands in worth their time and money. Sohan.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Are we busy monkeying around?

Introduction: You may have heard how they catch monkeys here in India. A small cage is kept with door just open to slip your hand in. The cage contains some groundnuts. A monkey approaches the cage and slips its hand in and holds the groundnuts in its fist. But the fisted hand cannot come out as there is no enough space for that. The monkey has to forgo the nuts and let his hand slip out of the cage. Surprisingly, the monkey keeps on holding the nuts in its fist, and gets trapped and is caught. Friends, our mind many times behaves like the monkey. We go on holding to things that are not beneficial for our growth and get trapped. We function with such limited minds. Let us remember, ‘the mind is a wonderful servant, but a cruel master.’ So what are the steps to master our minds? Let’s explore some.

1. Focus on the now: Our minds are like the monkey in the above story. We are hooked to our past and we go on worrying for our future. This leads to all ills in personal, social, professional lives of an individual. The answer to this is to focus on the present. Santosh Sharma in ‘Next What’s In’ tells us to keep our minds in the present; he calls this as the Present Moment Awareness. He further states that if we do so, we will be connected to the Universal Intelligence and be able to make wiser, nobler, healthier and richer decisions. When an opportunity comes before us, our minds go on and retrieve our past records, if we have failed somewhere in the past, the mind would make us believe that we will again repeat the same result. Now our decisions are polluted and made with this impact of the past which bears heavily on our future. What we need to do is to focus on the opportunity. We can learn from our past mistakes but we don’t let our past spoil our future. The best way to make our future better is to be aware of the present moment, keep our minds in the ‘here’ and ‘now’.

2. Practice Deep breathing: We usually are born with natural ability to breathe deep from our stomachs (Observe a small baby breathing). But as we grow we learn wrong habits, now we tend to breathe superficially from our chest up. This not only gives way to health related problems, but it also impacts our voice quality and it makes our minds run wild with imaginations. Deep breathing will connect us to God and his wisdom. Deep breathing will oxygenate our body cells fully leading to healthier and richer lives. If we discipline ourselves to deep breathing every day, we will be in better position to lead our minds and not be led. Count 1 to 4 as you inhale, stop now till the count of 4 and do the same as you exhale. You can even do this exercise as you walk alone. Count 4 steps as you inhale, hold for 4 steps and exhale for the next 4. If your mind runs wild, don’t struggle; gently lead it back to the breath. Now you will learn the benefits of deep breathing, it will help you to focus on the present. The present moment is bliss!

3. We are not our minds: From the moment we are awake in the morning till we go off to sleep at night our minds are active (even when we are sleeping). As mentioned above, our minds will lead us either to the past or to the future. Over time we inculcate this habit and we are enslaved. We start believing that whatever the movie our mind is playing is our real world. This further gives way to feeling in our bodies, then it leads to actions and outcome. We believe we are our mind and body. The truth is neither. We are Consciousness. We are a part of the Consciousness and as we arrive in this world, we take some form of body and mind but this is temporary. We will merge with Consciousness after our death. Our minds and body are limited, negative, sick and depleting day after day. But Consciousness was, is and always will be. It remains unlimited, positive, healthy and ever invigorating. If we realize this then we will not allow our minds to run our course, but we will run our lives wisely being aware of the fact that we are Consciousness and so is everyone around us.

Conclusion: Let’s master our minds and bodies then we will have better individuals, families, societies, nations and world. The change outside is always reciprocal to the change within. As we go within ourselves, we will connect to the Consciousness and we will master ourselves and be able to achieve great feats. Edmund Hillary, the first man with Norgay Tensing to climb Mt. Everest was asked, about his great conquest. He replied, 'It’s not about conquering mountains but conquering ourselves.’ Friends, before we embark to conquer the world the million dollar question is: Have we conquered our minds? Or are we letting our minds monkey around?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The philosophy of Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara

Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara: The Philosophy of Life

Once in a time comes a movie that teaches us the basic essentials of Life well lived and Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara a film by Zoya Akhtar does just that. The film has a great cast well carried out performances by Hritik, Katrina, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar and Kalki. The film is shot in a foreign and scenic location: Spain. The story is great and the icing on cake is the poems by Javed Akhtar well recited by Farhan. But the important thing as I said lies in its philosophy that if one misses to notice then that person could be described as having eyes, but not seeing, having ears but not listening and having a mind but not understanding
So what’s the philosophy of Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara? These are some of the points we an glean from it.

1. What you are putting off maybe the most important thing for you: The 3 friends have been putting off their pact of going on a bachelor’s party for quite some time. Especially the character or Arjun played by Hritik portrays this. He is busy Stock Broker, his priority is to hoard as much wealth as he can and then (After 40) he can think of the holidays. But somehow he is persuaded to join reluctantly and finds New Birth in his trip. He learns important lessons of life from his beau and instructor Laila, Seize the day! Who knows whether we are going to live up to 40 years? All the daring activities change that the trio perform touches their heart deeply and changes them as human beings. If it was not for the trip, they would have missed it. The journey itself is the reward my friends because that is what makes you a better person, reaching your goal is the outcome of you becoming a better person, step out and do the thing you are avoiding.

2. Be the master of your money not its salve: Money does make the mare go. I believe it. But then that doesn’t mean money is the end of everything. Hritik playing Arjun is obsessed with earning money as a Stock Broker, he is a workaholic, even on a holiday trip he cannot enjoy. Money is driving his life and he is controlled by its lure. The modern globalized can do that to us if we are not careful. The money is good, it is necessary to earn good money but it is bad to let it run our lives. We should master it. We should know the boundaries. Some things in life cannot be bought by money. As a doctor said, “I have never met a person in my life that regretted not having spent more time in the office on his death bed.” When we are on our death bed, love, relations, the values we lived for count more than anything else. So while you earn money, take time out for things that you enjoy.

3. Give space to your spouse: Kalki embodies the character who is possessive of her fiancĂ©, Abhay Deol. She cannot tolerate his friendship with the opposite sex, Katrina. She comes on his Bachelor’s party and spoils his fun. She lives by the philosophy that your spouse is your property. Many of us have been guilty of doing just this with our spouses. Marriage is a wonderful relation that we should all enjoy but it doesn’t give us the authority to possess the other person. Our spouses have their own dreams and life, let them live it. We need to release many things so that we may know the real joy of really calling ours.

4. Follow your dreams even beyond your fears: Our comfort zones are the most dangerous places for our lives. All the 3 friends take on an adventure sport during the trip that makes them stretch out of their comfort zone. Hritik is afraid of swimming, the deep sea diving shows him the difference between ephemeral happiness and real joy. Farhan is afraid of heights (just as he is afraid to face his father who has abandoned his mother), the sky diving helps him to conquer his fears and find a new life. Both Abhay and Hritik do not agree on the dangerous sport bull chase but participating in it gives them the courage to face their problems of relations in life. Friends, if we leave our comfort zones it is difficult in the beginning, but by the end of it we find a whole new exiting world that’s much better. So don’t let fears hold you back, let go and let God. Many times we sacrifice our dreams because of the fear of stretching out of our comfort zones.

Conclusion: The climax of the movie gets better, during the bull chase. Abhay decides to release himself from the torment of possessive relation. The poem at the end is my favorite. ‘If you are pursuing your dreams indeed then you are truly living or merely existing.’ Hats off to a great movie! I am watching it one more time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lessons from a Rose

Lessons from a Rose

Introduction: Which flower is considered to be the king of all flowers in the nature? Well, even a kindergarten student would be able to tell the answer- Rose. One of the writers said that Rose is considered to be the king of flower not because of its beauty (for there are many more other beautiful flowers than rose) but because of its ability to spread happiness around despite the fact that it stands on the thorns. Friends, this flower that has caught the imagination of numerous poets, writers, artists can help us to glean valuable lessons from its life. Here are some of them:

1. Life’s not fair: If someone has the right to say, “Life’s not fair” than that right goes to the Rose flower. It stands on thorns all of its life. It is born on thorns, it buds, blossoms and withers on thorns. People may complain that, “Life’s unfair” when they encounter some problems in their lives but look at the rose, it is surrounded by problems all of its life. But the lesson we should learn from it is this, “Life’s not fair but don’t forget to blossom.”

2. Life’s momentary: That’s the second lesson we learn from the rose flower. The average life span of a rose flower is some few hours only. It is very short lived. But though the life span of rose is momentary it leaves a mark on our life that is eternal. The beauty it shares, the joy and fragrance it gives linger in our memories long after it withers away. Shouldn’t our lives reflect some of it ennobling qualities?

3. Life’s not about complaining but spreading joy: The rose is a courageous flower. It stands on the thorn and gives joy, it does not complain like us mortals. We go on in life complaining, whining, cursing God and all. But the rose is proactive flower, it takes responsibility, it chooses to respond nobly. It chooses to spread a smile, joy and beauty. Does that teach us something about life? You bet!

4. Life is all about giving ourselves fully: The rose is a perennial flower. It blossoms in every season. It gives its 110% in every season. Come rain, sun or winter it doesn’t forget to blossom. Moreover, we give roses to each other on different occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, special moments etc. It is a perfect symbol of giving. It is a flower that gives. The law of the Universe, “What you give out is what comes back to you”, is perfectly characterized in the Rose flower. The flower is the king and most popular flower because it gives itself fully without inhibitions. When we give out love, hard work, dedication we reap success, joy and fulfillment. So next time you see a rose, it is teaching you the blessedness that lies in giving ourselves fully.

Conclusion: Friends, rose speaks not words, yet tells us so many valuable things that we ought to consider and follow in our lives. Rose is the king of all flowers and till it continues to blossom despite the thorns and till it continues to be a symbol of generosity and love, it will rule the kingdom of flowers, it will always be crowned and a crowning glory to behold and to learn from.

May you have rosy days ahead.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Faith Vs. Fear

Faith vs. Fear

Introduction Two opposing forces are always at work in our lives whether we are conscious of them or not. One of the forces is positive and called, faith. When you believe that events are ultimately going to turn for your benefit and good in the long run, the force that’s exerting a force on your life is called – Faith. But when you believe that events are not going to turn in to your favor or your life will be a mess at the end of it, you are under the clutches of the force called - Fear. The outcome depends on our choice what do we believe and give attention to. Let’s look at them.

Faith: When you learn to look hopefully beyond the perception of your five senses and believe that the end would be better than the beginning you are in other words keeping faith. As the Victorian Era poet, Robert Browning said, “Grow old with me; For the best is yet to be.” The Bible, gives definition of the term faith, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen.” To put in simple terms, ‘Faith is touching the intangible; seeing the invisible, hearing the unheard, smelling the un- smelt and tasting the un- tasted.’ We should remember that what we experience with our five senses is just a fact, not the truth. By that I mean, it is just the present situation that we see, but it is subject to change. “Change is the only constant in the Universe.” So the facts are subject to change. Let me illustrate, at present your situation may be tough one to say. You may be in financial debt, or you may be out of a job or you may have failed at a business venture. But this situation is subject to change in coming days. It won’t remain the same, you may strike a deal and clear all of your debts and be well-off, you may get a better job in all respects or you may try a new venture and succeed at it. The further outcome could be better or worse and that is where Faith and Fear come into picture. So it is very important that we look beyond the facts to the truth and we look at it with eyes of Faith and not Fear for what you see in the eyes of your mind, you will one day see it with your physical eyes too.

Fear: Faith inverted is Fear. Fear is also looking beyond the fact that your five senses present to you. But it is looking with dismay, hopelessness and expectancy of failure. Fear will attract your future but it won’t be desirable. Many of us go out in the world expecting worse things every day. We fear that we will lose our jobs due to recession, or we will fail in the business venture, our relations won’t work, somebody will take disadvantage of us etc. We then imagine strange things with our minds. We see the picture, hear the sounds, smell the aroma, but our imagination is bringing to our notice all that is bleak and dark. What you expect is what you get or as Jesus said, “According to your faith be it done unto you.” So, if you have your faith inverted (Fear), you will get accordingly.

Conclusion: Now there’s a time period between you keeping faith in something or fearing something and thing to manifest. This gap is what gives us second chance to change our outlook so that we can change the outcome. So if you don’t want to be in debt or you don’t want to lose the job or you don’t want to relation to break, you got work yourself from fear to faith. You got change how you look with your mind’s eyes. It’s like changing the channel of the T.V. if you don’t want see a certain program, you switch on to something else. If you don’t want your fears to come true, you switch on to faith.

There’s a story of a Chinese farmer, He lived in small house with a small family. One day a horse came near their courtyard. According to the law of the land, the horse now belonged to them. So the farmer’s son was delighted and over excited. He exclaimed to his father, “Look father, we’ve got a new horse!” The father calmly replied, “We don’t know what will come next.” After some days the horse ran away to the dismay of the son. He sorrowfully exclaimed and cried, “Oh! I’ve lost my dear horse. The father calmly replied, “We don’t know what will happen next.”After two days the horse returned with four more horses! The son jumped with joy and exclaimed, Wow! We are rich. The father calmly replied, “We don’t know what will happen next.” After some days when the son was enjoying his ride on one of the horses, he fell down and broke his leg. He lamented, “Oh father! I am so unlucky I’ve broken my leg in this young age. When people at my age are active and running, I have to be on the bed.” The father calmly replied, “We don’t know what will happen next.” After some days the king of the land went for a war, he ordered that all the young men of the country should be recruited in the royal army. When the soldiers came to this farmer’s village and his house, they found his son to be invalid for the war. So they did not recruit him and his life was spared.

The moral of the story is that things that you see at present are just facts and can change. Nothing is permanent. But you can influence the outcome by trusting the good, keeping the faith.

Keep the faith

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why India Won the 2011 Cricket World Cup?

Introduction: My heart beats with pride as I type these words that recapture one of the sweetest moments in the history of Indian sports: 2nd Cricket World Cup Victory! The victory has come after a long time, a span of 28 years after the one won by Kapil Dev’s Devils in 1983. While we all watched and enjoyed as a nation our tigers conquer the world cricketing stage, we would be wiser if we can catch up the winning spirit of our cricketing heroes and learn some lessons of success from the team effort that has brought the World Cup home.

Self Belief: One of the qualities that stood out among the Indian players was their self belief. It was their self belief that they were playing to win the World Cup for their country and for their cricketing hero, Sachin Tendulkar that gave them advantage over the rest of the teams. When they went on the ground they went there not only to win the particular match but to win the World Cup. You could see the self belief in the manner the Indian player walked, head high and square shoulders. You may be a student pursuing a particular course, a business entrepreneur venturing into the market, a writer writing a book; it is your self belief that would decide the outcome. Friends, “According to your self-belief it is done unto you.”

Planning: The Indian captain speaking on the strategy post victory said that they had been planning from the last one and half year for the World Cup Tournament. They had planned that how they would reserve their best force for the important matches. They decided to play players on rotational basis for this reason so that despite the hectic cricketing schedule they could preserve the player’s strength and fitness level when they wanted it the most. That’s called planning. Friends, it is the same with professional, student or business life. If you fail to plan you are planning your failure. You have a goal to reach, to complete the course successfully, to capture the market, to get the promotion but do you have plan how to reach there?

Team effort: Was the Indian Team the best of the teams that participated in the World Cup? Were they perfect in all the departments? No, far from it, there were some glaring weaknesses like the bowling and fielding. But what happened? India won, because of the team effort. The batsmen complemented for the weakness of the bowlers in many matches and when the batsmen failed bowlers like Zaheer, Ashwin, Munaf and others rose to the occasion to deliver. So we see that it was team effort. You alone may not amount to much but when you combine what you have with your team it becomes enough to do the job. That is true in every field of life. At the work place when all are doing their part the outcome is the organization would rise higher in no time and the result is the benefit of all. Friends, build a team of people who understand you, encourage you and complement for your weakness. Build a team of people who understand your aspirations and dreams, who talk and motivate you to take action.

Ability to handle pressures: This Indian team displayed remarkable ability to handle pressure. In the last match, when the key batsmen Sachin and Sehwag went out cheaply, the middle order did not crumble under pressure. Dhoni, Gambhir, Kohli kept their cool and used the pressure to bring out the best out from them. It happened in many matches, in some matches where the score was less the bowlers like Zaheer kept their cool and brought out their best. Friends, in life there are people who break under pressure and others who break records under pressure. Which side do we belong to, decides our success or failure.

Putting in the extra effort: “Winners give their cent percent and then some more.” If you saw 38 years old Sachin diving on the boundary line to save runs for the team, if you saw Yuvraj battling and sweating out in the middle to take India home, if you saw the disciplined line and length that Zaheer maintained as he bowled you were seeing Indian players giving their extra effort in every department of the game. There are three types of people in this world, people who wonder what happened, they are wonderers. The next type of people are people who watch what happened, they are watcher. Then the third type are the people who make things happen, they are the Doers. There are many who dream of being successful, rich, healthy and happy but few who are willing to pay the price for it and give in the extra effort. Friends, the Indian team was a team who despite of their glaring weaknesses were ready to give it their all when the occasion arose. What about you and me? Are we ready to put in the extra 110% percent at our studies, work, business and play?

Conclusion: Friends, there could be more lessons to glean from the game and lives of our World Champions. I have listed a few to remind us that success is not a matter of luck; it is a matter of efforts. As we revel in the victory of our Indian Team let us not forget the above lessons that the team has left behind for every one of us to glean and learn from. May we all win in the game of Life!

Joy be all yours

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do you have these good habits?

Introduction: “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” said John Dryden. He was very apt. Our habits (what we repeatedly do every moment of our lives) go on to build our destinies. So if you want to be a successful, happy, healthy and wealthy person you simply need to change some of your habits and you will be a brand new person. Check out some of the below listed habits, try to inculcate them and you will be more than glad to receive what life has to offer to you.

Habit of being proactive: Be a man or woman of action. Don’t wait for things to happen, make things happen. Choose your response; don’t react to the pressures of circumstances. Rule over your circumstances by choosing your response wisely. If you find yourself not loving your job, quit it and do what you love. If you need to approach that customer, take the bold step. Make that phone call you’ve been dreading to make. Run, play and exercise your body, don’t wait for the doctor to tell you that. Create your opportunities as you go by.

Habit of smile: Smile and the world smiles back at you. Don’t forget to wear the world’s best cosmetic, your smile. It comes free of cost without much effort (psychologists tell us that it takes just 7 muscles to smile and more than 43 to frown). Smile makes your personality more attractive. People would love to be around you. You will attract more clients, customer and business partners with a smile than a serious, graveyard face.

Habit of reading: Read every day to increase your knowledge. Many people stop education after they graduate and get a job. But education is a continuous process. Learn more about your art. Read inspirational books, articles and biographies of successful people. Invest in books and develop your own library, you will never regret this habit in your life.

Habit of using positive words: Words have power to make or break. Watch your words, what do you say to yourself and people around you? Are your words speaking of gloom, doom, and failure? Or are your words speaking of health, happiness, prosperity and success? Do you discourage or encourage people with the words you use? Do you uplift yourself and others or put down? Our words come back either to haunt us or heal us. So have the habit of using words that bless.

Habit of saving: Tiny droplets of water go on to make a vast ocean. Inculcate the habit of saving small amount of money from your paycheck every month. It may seem to be trifle in the beginning but will go on to make a great rippling effect in the long run. Invest your savings in systematic investment plan, gold, silver, or land. What we save today will save us in the future!

Habit of fitness: Imagine that you have all the money in the world but you cannot lift yourself from your bed. What’s the use of possessing all, at the cost of our health? Good health is primary to enjoying your world. So hit the treading mill, jog, walk and swim. Take a yoga course, do what you are comfortable with. Fitness also involves eating the right kind of food. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat. Know that moderation is the key when it comes to eating. Always stop four morsels prior to filled stomach. Drink plenty of water. Give up alcohol, smoking and other abusing substances.

Habit of making friends out of strangers: Today’s friends were strangers once. The world out there is to help, if your attitude is right. Don’t step out thinking that the world and the people are out to get you. Step out with love and you will receive love. Make friends out of strangers, don’t cower when you meet a new person who knows that the person may be apt business partner, friend, client, mediator or life partner. Business skills are all about people skills. The way you handle people would go on a long way to make a success or failure out of your profession and business.

Conclusion: Friends, psychologists tell us that it requires approximately 3 weeks to form a new habit. Remember your habits bad or good are creating your future. If you want your future to be better, you need to have better habits. Make the above mentioned habits part of your life and you will realize your dreams. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle.

Joy be all yours.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making good use of your time

Making good use of your time

Introduction: Are you striving to manage your time? Do you always get the things done at the last hour? Do you procrastinate? Do you feel stressed out often and overwhelmed with the work load that you have to cope up with? Well, then this article is just for you. My goal in this article is simple to make you aware of the concept of actual time management and to hand you some tips that can go a long way in helping you to manage your time.

Are we managing time? Time Management, though the word has come to stay with us is a misnomer. What is time? Time is a unit of measuring the movement of the sun across the sky. So can you manage time? No, for sure. But we can manage ourselves so that we make good and productive use of time. So the first point is that time management is nothing than managing ourselves against time. When you manage and use time to your effect, you become productive, happy, healthy and lead a fulfilled life.

Procrastination plague: Many of us are plagued by the disease of procrastination. We tend to think that we have all the time in the world to do a certain important task and we can always do it next time. Procrastination could be overcome by simply telling yourself that some day today or tomorrow there’s no escaping from what you are bound to do so why not do it now so you could be free later. Also procrastination could be overcome if we break a bigger task in smaller units. We decide to do some part of the work today and then give ourselves a pat on the back and go for the next tomorrow. Doing a difficult or bigger task in such a manner would make us feel less stressed about the work and we would be happy to do it. Reward yourself after you have completed each days task this will help you to associate the heavy task with something pleasurable and give you motivation to go for it.
Travel your own road: By this I mean you should know your passion, your strengths and formulate your own goals. Don’t travel another person’s path, it may not be meant for you. If you have not formulated your own goals you will waste time and energy in doing something that you are not meant for and again this will keep you from managing time effectively. So what’s your goal? Are your daily activities defining your goal, taking you towards your goal or away from them?

Waiting is killing? No more: Waiting is killing they say, no more! When you are waiting for your business partner to arrive in the hotel lobby or you are on the platform for your train to arrive yet, or in the doctor’s OPD in line what do you do? You wait looking at your watch and getting upset about the person or the train to arrive. Instead carry a book with you, read it or you could take out your notebook and type the important letter you had to type. The secret is to use your waiting time constructively. We don’t realize how much of waiting time put together could amount to in our lives. One could do lot of jobs in those waiting hours so that at the end of the day you don’t have reason to complain that 24 hrs weren’t enough for you.

Schedule your time: Organizers, time-tables, diaries, palm tops play an important role in scheduling one’s time. Plan your day ahead. Rather as Stephen Covey suggests, it’s best to plan weekly. Know roughly what you are going to do throughout your whole week, jot it down. The magic or writing you week or day ahead is that it keeps you in control of your time and day. If you are not sure what you are going to do at a certain time of the day, then somebody else may use your time and make you dance to their tunes. When you write down something, it also shows your seriousness about the matter, so always write down your goals and what you plan to do on a particular day and time. When you write, you are concretizing your abstract plans. Plans, ideas are abstract they need the physical world to manifest and writing them down is the first step to see your goals being materialized.

Be Proactive: Losers wait for their destiny to unfold; winners design and create their destiny. Being Proactive will go a long way in helping you to manage time. Being proactive means choosing action over being passive and being acted upon by circumstance, people and surroundings. But being proactive also means choosing your response, what action you would take. You are the master of your destiny. You don’t wait for fortune to come in your life. You make your own fortune. You don’t get dejected when your ship doesn’t arrive on the shore you swim out in the sea to reach out for your ship. It means taking responsibility for our actions. When my boss gives me an assignment, I don’t wait till he furnishes me memo. I go doing about the task from the word go. I don’t wait for the divorce to be filed; I become a proactive father and husband and spend quality time with them. I don’t wait for the doctor to sound the red herring; I start exercising and eating quality food. I don’t wait for winning a lottery, I work hard, put my dreams into action and create my wealth, happiness and life.

Friends, time cannot be managed but we can surely manage ourselves and use our time to be more productive, happy, healthy and fulfilled. Let me end by stating the famous quote: “This time like all other times is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” Emerson.

Joy be all yours.