Monday, 26 August 2013

The inertia of rest!!

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
                                                                                                                      ~Jim Ryun

Newton’s first law of motion is so apt in the real life. For non-science people, inertia is the characteristic of matter where a body in rest stays in rest and a body in motion stays in motion until an unbalanced force is applied upon it. I think this law applies very well to habits and in general, actions of human beings as well.

I had stopped writing for my blog while writing an article for the Singapore Business Review (found here) and more than a month after that it took all my will power to write this post. Which also gave me some time to think – what changed? I am still writing my thoughts every day, I still feel the flow when I am writing so why am I not writing on my blog? The answer was a series of excuses – while writing for SBR, I told myself that my sole focus should be the article to give my best to it. After finishing the article, for some reason I was convinced that I needed a break. And once I had taken the break, I just couldn’t find a post inspiring enough to compensate for my absence for a month plus. I have been away from my blog for a while, I had to have an out of the world post to restart. I am still unable to find that out of the world topic and decided that I will just write.

I think this applies to all of our habits. On hind sight, I came up with a few pointers as to how not to lose the good habits we spent so much time and energy in developing:
  • If possible, we should not stop the habit altogether. May be reduce the level or intensity of it but stopping it all over makes it very hard. For my example above, I could have written half a post every week or may be a small post rather than the usual big one.
  • If for some reason we have to stop the habit, it is alright to start small again – it doesn’t have to be out of the world or even at the same level as where you left earlier.

With this post, I acknowledge that I failed to write regularly and at the same time start my habit again.

Leia Mais…

Monday, 1 July 2013

College students: Who are you??

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond and to know one’s self”
                                                                                          ~ Benjamin Franklin

My sister starts her college life today. We are all very happy for her to get a place in one of the best law schools of the country and hope that she does extremely well in her course. Though more than doing extremely well in her course, I asked her to do well in being a good human being and really take the time out to find who she is.

During school we have minimal responsibilities and also minimal freedom making it very difficult for us to define who we really are. Most of the times, we are an extension of someone who had the privilege of being born before us – we are someone’s child, someone’s sibling, someone’s grandchild. Working life gives us total freedom but also a lot more responsibilities which may bog us down and make us forget what really matters to us. College life provides the right balance of freedom and responsibility to really find out things which make us tick, things which resonate with us, things that put us off. Try out new things and see which hat fits ‘YOU’ the best – with a special emphasis on You here as you don’t want peer pressure to make you biased towards certain things. Take out the time to do some volunteer work to find how you can contribute to the society, do some part time to understand the value of money, take part in extra-curricular activities and most importantly build great relationships - relationships that will lay the foundations of your network and impact your college life to a great extent. Read a lot and experiment a lot. Challenge the status quo and learn to fail at convincing people otherwise.

Go there and rule the world or at least lay the foundation of creating your own world!!

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lessons from my Dad!!

With the Father’s day last Sunday and my dad’s birthday this coming weekend, I thought of writing about important life lessons I have learnt from my dad. Unlike my mom, my dad has never told me what to do, I have always learnt from the way he behaves and deals with situations. The following lessons have been the ones that have resonated with me the most and I try my best to apply them to my life as well.

1.  Always give and help – I have seen him being cheated by people on this trait more than once and there have been times when this habit of his has got the family into troubles but now I can see the benefits of it all. People love him, trust him and are ready to help him in whichever way they can. Even I have reaped the benefits of the goodwill that he and my mom have earned. And I know that he just gave and help without even expecting these benefits – he did it for the contentment of helping.

2.  Be happy – He has faced some major setbacks in life which more often than not break the spirit or in the least cause a lot of worry. But my dad has always been very cool headed in dealing with those. He never worries no matter what, which ticks my mom a lot of times but gives people around him a sense of assurance that things can be handled

3. Integrity – If my parents had waivered, we could be millionaires by now but to them integrity is more important than money. And somewhere I know that because of their karma, a lot of things have come easily to us – things which are much more important – values, good education, a united family with lots of love and goodwill.

4.  Connections – My dad has this exceptional ability of making connections with everyone everywhere. He is mindful of people around him and easily finds common ground with anyone from the driver to the managing director. Something I still need to learn.

There is this saying my dad has which is the point from where he makes all his decisions:
“Insaan sirf do hi cheez kamaata hai – rishtay aur bacche. Baaki sab toh aata jaata rehta hai”

Translated - A person earns only two things – relationships and love of children. Rest everything comes and goes.

Leia Mais…

Monday, 10 June 2013

How to cope with the great loss!!

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.”
               ~Henry David Thoreau

Death of a loved one is a harrowing and heart rending experience - it shakes all your beliefs, de-stablises you to the core and makes you question the point of anything and everything. Getting out of the vicious cycle of doubt and sorrow is extremely difficult. I am writing this post in the hope of moving people out of the cycle and this is in no way an expert advice. Definitely, a few pointers will change depending on the closeness you had with the one who left us behind.

1. "The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost: Holding back your grief is not going to help. It is perfectly fine to breakdown and feel sorrow, the worst of it - to remember the soul and relive past. It is ok to cry your heart out and even to question life. But it is ok only for sometime - a week, fortnight or even a month. But then you need to tell yourself - Enough! Enough of grieving, take charge of life and remember the person in a way that makes you smile - they would want that too. And this is the beauty of our mind too, the moment we put our foot down, it adheres to us and creates thoughts the way we want to think.

2. Detachment: Consider this (even for just a day) - the world is a drama and this life is like one season of the drama and our next life would be the next season. In the next season, we all have to come back again to settle our karma accounts with each other however for now we need to play our role very well regardless of which actor has left the show till next season. Look at the life events and yourself from the eyes of the audience and then think if you are playing your part well. This exercise gives a lot of objectivity and can be the focus for your meditation. It also gives you the hope of meeting the other person in the next life.

3. Be Happy: Be happy even when it takes immense effort in the beginning. Your loved one would hate to see you so sad and hate themselves further for being the cause of it. You need to be strong for them and for yourselves.

4. Get busy: Try to get back into routine and take baby steps in life. Moving on will seem impossible but then we all have a purpose in life and the fact that we are still alive means that we still need to fulfill our purpose. Find that purpose and take small steps towards it.

5. Do not engage in self-pity: Be mature, be strong and take life in control. Even in the face of the great loss, there are a lot of loved ones who are still alive and need you - lets not ignore them. I believe that whenever God gives us trying times, he also gives us the strength to overcome these circumstances - find your inner strength

6. Help others: Volunteer and help other people. Helping others is the best way to keep yourself happy and content. It makes you feel worthwhile and gives you the strength to move on

Remember, end of life does not mean end of love and love is a positive feeling which gives you strength - don't let it be your weakness.

What ways do you adopt to cope up with such a loss?

Leia Mais…

Monday, 3 June 2013

The ultimate connection!!

With the world getting smaller and smaller and our increasing advancement in connecting with other people, are we forgetting the ultimate connection - the connection with ourself? With so much noise, physical and virtual, are we forgetting to listen to the most important sound - the sound of our voice? With everything moving so fast around us, it is at times really important to slow down to pay attention to ourselves.

There are 4 aspects to everyone's life - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We need to hone and develop all these aspects of ourselves. Unfortunately, the way our education system and lifestyles are, most of us do not pay attention to our spiritual development which always takes a back seat. By spiritual, I do not mean religious - they can overlap a few times but spirituality and religion can also be very different at other times depending upon interpretation. Then how do we establish this connection with ourselves.

It is necessary to slow down and give ourselves some time which is only for ourselves and no one is allowed to come in between - family, spouse, children - absolutely no one. To give ourselves the time and effort to focus inwards. It does not need to be an elaborate process - the key is to be conscious of every moment. Just some examples of what all can be done to develop spirituality:

  • Meditation
  • Creating something - painting, cooking, blog post
  • Nurturing something - gardening
  • Listening to music
  • Pursuing a hobby
  • Breathing exercises of yoga
  • Going for a long drive
  • Appreciating nature
Again for emphasis - "be conscious of every moment" and anything can be a spiritual experience.

As they say, "To love others, one has to love oneself", I think similarly it is very important to connect with oneself to be able to connect with others. And with practice, we can be 'spiritual' all the time without a conscious effort just how we are able to tap on our physical, mental and emotional reserves throughout the day.

To develop this aspect of myself further, I am doing a course on meditation this week. Will write about my experience after finishing the course.

Leia Mais…

Monday, 27 May 2013

Class of 2013: Tips from a recently graduated adult!!

It being the season of commencement speeches, I was thinking of what I will tell the graduating students if I were to give them a commencement speech. Now, I am not a world renowned personality yet but what I have to offer is the freshness of it all in my mind - of many a times in the past 3 years when I said to myself  "I wish someone had told this to me earlier" And here I am, sharing my two cents for what its worth.

Class of 2013, as you step into the realm of unlimited opportunities to be whatever you want to be, consider the following tips. You can totally choose to ridicule these tips or choose to try them on and see what they do - the choice is yours

#1. Choice is yours - This is my number 1 tip. We build our destiny through a series of choices that we make every second and hence we need to be mature enough to bear the consequences of these choices. The days of blaming things on someone else or your circumstances are long gone. Now is the time to make those choices, sometimes even wrong ones and then man up to bear the consequences.

#2. Define what's important to you - With a lot of uncertainties surrounding us and an insatiable desire to prove ourself to probably ourselves more than anyone else, it is very easy to forget the very core of our existence - things that are important to us and that feed our soul. Take that time to build your spirituality even if it is just by listening to the music that connects you to the world.

#3. Your job is just that - When we start working, it is easy to get carried away and letting work overpower our lives. I am all for putting in those extra hours especially at the start but do not forget your well-being and relationships. Trust me, I have been there and when you are sick it is usually your loved ones who leave everything behind and spend sleepless nights in the hospital with you.

#4. Network - I am not suggesting selfish networking with the big shots to get glamorous jobs in their companies, or at least not only that. Get yourself out there, speak to people, understand whats going on in their lives and if possible, help people without asking for anything in return. Apart from adding into your good karma account, helping someone without asking for anything in return pays off in ways we can never understand. Just be careful that you are not being invasive or irritating - that can have almost the opposite effects. Volunteer to help people who have been abandoned and spread your love - it will make you feel happy and help in #2

#5. Follow your degree - Contradicting what most people will tell you about following your passion, I would suggest you to follow your degree, at least for a couple of years before closing that chapter forever. I did the former and though I am not complaining, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a computer engineer. Having spent a lot of money and 4 years of my life, I owed it to my degree. Universities often fail to depict what the real world is like and can put us off our subject forever. All I am asking is to give it a fair chance in the real world - you may never get that chance again. However, you can always pursue your passion and even go for higher studies for it. 

In the end, Class of 2013, I want you to remember that being a good human being is much more important than being a successful one. So, whatever you do, just be a good human being and success will follow.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Interview Tip: Interview your prospective company

Job Interview - the one thing that can get you a great job or land you into another episode of misery. A lot of times candidates are nervous about impressing their prospective employers - should I ask them questions? What kind of people are they looking for? Shall I tell them the truth about my preferences? Will they hire me?

Honestly, I feel that the pressure should be on the employer to impress you. Why? Because you should be much more stringent in choosing your prospective employer than the other way round. Suppose a job is a total mismatch to your skills - who has greater repercussions? Of course, the individual. For a company, it is very easy to put someone under the label of desired attrition and move on to the next available candidate. Don't get me wrong, companies do suffer especially if its a senior level role. But the implications on an individual's career and life are far greater than that of the company. Hence, the individual should be much more careful about choosing their employer than the other way round. A job is not a favour done to you - it is a partnership where you and your employer work together to achieve great results and take care of each other in the process.

Having this attitude also lifts off a great deal of nervousness and stress because now the rein is in your hand. Ask them as many questions as you want. After all, every job builds your career and if it is the wrong job, it can definitely take you off track. So do your research and prepare questions. Whenever you are invited for an interview, take it as a chance to interview the employee of your prospective company - you are the boss of your life and you can't afford to engage in the wrong partnerships.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Learnings from my first job!!

So after 2 years and 7 months I quit my first job. First job like every other first in life is definitely very special - it is your introduction to living life on your own, learning the important corporate lessons, making the big mistakes and growing up. I wanted to write down my biggest take aways from this job so that I can continue to apply them in my roles moving forward:

1. Collaboration and not competition brings out the best in people - I think to a great extent my previous company is good at driving the collaborative culture in people (yes, there are always some people and incidents which upset this belief but by large it is prevalent in the whole organization). Being a sales environment and still being able to maintain the team culture is something I value in the organization. Where competition might bring out the best in a few individuals, collaboration tends to bring out the best in the team as a whole. Competition also tends to make the environment much more political and saps out the energy which could have been used in more productive tasks.

2. External factors should not impact your performance - To me this is the single most important learning from my first job. Maintaining the stability of the mind and focus at all times no matter what goes on in the organization or in the individual's life for that matter should not affect performance. It is definitely difficult to achieve and I see so many people around me struggling with this however, I believe that if one can master this art, one can be a consistently good performer.

With these couple of learnings, I am all ready and excited to start my next job in a couple of months' time. Also, looking forward to the break and all the time with family & friends. 

Leia Mais…

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Success Mantras!!

I have observed through the past 2 years of working experience (I understand that it might not appear to be very credible if one hasn't experienced the nature of my job) and the advice of successful people, I have realized that you need just 2 things to be successful in your career - whether it is a full time, part time job or self employment. The 1st criteria contains 2 aspects and having one of them will suffice. And the 2nd one is the most essential part which a lot of people including myself find difficult to live by.

1. Intelligence/ Diligence: From observation, most of the people fall into a category of either intelligent or diligent. Intelligent people are lazy. They know they are good and will fare well. Hence, they become complacent when things get comfortable. They try to find shorter and easier ways to get work done. The side effect is that they stop just before they were about to make breakthroughs. I fall in this category though I am now constantly pushing myself to not give into intellectual complacency.
Then there are people who are not the smartest but will put in all they have to get the task done. They become masters of their profession through diligence and all the hardwork. I thoroughly admire these people. And I believe that in the end, "Diligence beats Intelligence"
If you have both, then you have the potential of making it super big.

2. Tenacity: I would rank this as the most important quality if you want to be successful and also the quality which very few people have. By tenacity, I mean the ability to handle stress for a long time and sticking at it. A lot of people look for comfort the moment they come head on with stress. I see so many people leaving their jobs as they find it too stressful, and most of the times at the juncture when just a little push can reap them big rewards. So next time when you are thinking of leaving your job, do think if staying on for a little while longer can give you all that for which you have worked so hard and so long for.
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was Facebook or Google. There will be times when things won't make sense and you may feel like quitting, but just stick with your guns and success will be yours

Leia Mais…

Saturday, 3 March 2012

In the Name of Lent!!

I came across the idea behind LENT just recently when one of my colleagues declared that she has given up meat for Lent. It really fascinated me and I decided that I will join her even though I am not a Christian. So I have given up Cheese in the name of Lent!! So, 40 days without any cheese and I am happy that I have been successful for the past 10 days.

People who know me would know how much I love cheese. Being a vegetarian anyway leaves me with very less choices. So, cheese forms a big part of my diet. And I think even if I was a non vegetarian, I would still be big on cheese. What attracted me to Lent was the idea of honing my will power and seeing that I am not dependent on anything - even if it is Cheese.

The past 10 days have been interesting - I tried new things. My set food items in my favourite restaurants had to change, so much so that I ended up having a pizza without cheese today.. My maternal aunt always said that we should never become so dependent on anything that we feel we cannot live without it. I think that was my love for cheese. But lent really made me break that perception! What are you giving up for Lent?

Leia Mais…