The most powerful species on earth!

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A few days back, my 8 year old son asked me about the most powerful creature on earth and when I replied ‘human beings’, he disagreed and starting pouring his newly acquired knowledge about ‘Dung beetle’ from the recent episodes of Wild Kratts he watched. He said that this Beetle can pull more than 1000 times its own weight. But as per my knowledge, beetles are one of the smallest creatures on our planet. So, sure enough, I wasn’t convinced. This disappointed him badly.

Later that day, while serving him dinner and catching up with my running younger son  for every bite to feed him, I suddenly realized the power of a mother. That day, I slept with the thoughts of how a mother totally forgets her own health, well-being, happiness and her own dreams the day she becomes a mom and then, her life totally revolves around her kids. Right from the moment she wakes up, all the way up to the time she hits the hay at night and even at midnights, when she gets up to see if the baby is snuggled in the blanket or not, she is constantly on duty to nurture these tiny human beings and look after their every little and big needs. Not to mention, when the child is ill, the mother forgets about her own sleep and makes sure her little one is resting well, feeding him medicines on time, cooking a number of different things, just to make him eat at least something. She doesn’t feel like taking a bite when she knows her child has not eaten anything. What a species you have created Lord!

I have also seen some instances of how a mother’s prayer for her child is always answered. When a child is suffering from an ailment, no matter how chronic it may be, a mother’s prayer has so much power at that time. She has the ability to fight with God, and she is ready to do whatever it takes to recover her baby from the illness. She is the only one who will every say, “May God take my life to elongate yours!” What a selfless and unconditional love. Unconditional, because she is not doing any of this for her own interests, she doesn’t expect anything in return. All she wants is her child to smile always and be blessed.

Some new moms choose to completely abandon their flourishing careers to stay with their baby full time. A mother isn’t paid for her duties as a mom, she has no sick leaves or holidays. She is on her toes 24/7, always ready to care for and look after them, irrespective of how her own health is. Her own pains take a backseat when she is with her children. She might not even get any acknowledgement of all this from anyone, not even her children when they grow up. But this doesn’t deter her spirit of loving her little ones. Now isn’t that so powerful? What else on this planet can have more power than a mother.

The next day, I told my son that he is right, any creature that can carry so much more than their weight  is certainly the most powerful. He was very happy to see his mom finally agreeing to what he claimed yesterday. I smiled and continued in my mind “and mothers carry the heaviest weights of pains, expectations, fears, unfulfilled dreams and so much more but with a smile on their beautiful faces”.

 

 

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And here comes the new year…

I just got a forwarded message on WhatsApp saying

“Don’t be too excited about this new year stuff. Only the calendar has changed. The spouse, job and targets remain the same.”

Although it seems funny at once, but it has a deep meaning hidden beneath the humor. Every year, with the midnight stroke on New year eve, the whole world goes crazy with celebrations, fireworks, parties and so much more. Everyone makes new year resolutions and makes promises to themselves for changing their habits, and working harder on their dreams but all this enthusiasm and determination wears down by the end of first two weeks. So, in short, nothing changes except for the calendar year.

However, there is one more thing that we can change to actually beautify the coming year and all the years to follow,  and that is – ATTITUDE. Our attitude towards life and towards everything around us, is what determines the quality of our life. Shifting our focus from negativities around us to the little positive elements hidden inside them, can make a huge difference. A person with positive attitude views every problem as an opportunity, he has the power to turn every adversity to prosperity. Even if you cannot find any positivity in a situation, at least you can sit down and ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change the situation. If yes, then stop cribbing and starting doing. If no, then even if you cry over it endlessly, nothing is going to change. Sometimes, we just need to let go. And sometimes, we just need to give it time, because time heals almost everything.

Now, going back to the forwarded message, New year won’t change your job, or your spouse or your in-laws. But if this year, you change your attitude towards them and overall towards life, you might just witness a magical twist in your relationships, in your profession and in every aspect of your life. Just be a little kinder, a little compassionate, more tolerant and a little more positive and you will have a blessed and actually happy new year!

 

The two wolves!

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Let me begin with a short story which you might have already read or heard. A grandfather tells his grandson “We all have two wolves inside us battling with each other. One wolf is angry, jealous, full of hatred and corrupt. The other one is joyous, loving, caring, selfless and compassionate. ” The grandson asks, “So which wolf wins the battle?”. “The one you feed!”, replies the grandfather.

Isn’t it so true? We all have both the good and bad wolves inside us. There are times when even the kindest person would have got angry, and even a worst of worst man also can be loving and kind. There is good and bad in each one of us. Sometimes, we go out of our way to help someone in need and at other times, we are so rude and angry with our own family members. Now, the question is – if we have the angel and devil both inside us, which one of our behavior supersedes the other? The answer is pretty simple, the one we pay more attention to!

Our mind is constantly getting fed with information from outside world. Think of it like a black box – you feed some input and you get some output. Let us not focus on what processes inside the black box. But what is 100 percent true is that the output is directly proportional to input. In this media dominating world, no doubt, we are constantly being fed with all the negative news and information about the world. So, what can we expect from the quality of our thoughts, aren’t they bound to be negative and full of fear and anger? Now, if we invest our time in reading motivational books and articles or listening to such videos/podcasts, isn’t is going to impact our thoughts in a positive way. It sure will!

Both the wolves are hungry, both need to be fed. It is totally our choice whom we want to feed more and give life to. And that is truly going to shape our life in turn!

The ‘Why’ power

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“Where there is a will, there is a way”

Haven’t we all heard this phrase while growing up? I have read and listened to so many stories emphasizing on how ‘will power’ can lead you to success. And I agree that it is a ‘must’ ingredient for any success recipe. However, it is much recent that I heard about the concept of ‘WHY’ power and it undoubtedly, blew my mind away!

Will power means the determination to do something. Whenever we envision a goal, it is our ‘will power’ that gets us started. But, what takes us till the end of accomplishment of that goal is the ‘why’ power. ‘Why’ is what keeps you going through the journey. So it certainly is important to understand what exactly it is!

Let us take an example of two persons A and B who want to quit smoking. Both know it is not good for their health. But B has another reason to stop smoking. He has a baby at home who is at risk of asthma because of passive smoking. He knows if he doesn’t stop, he might endanger his own child’s life. So, whom do you think is actually going to quit smoking permanently. Whose WHY is stronger than the other? B, correct?

Most of the people know WHAT they want to do in life and it is quite easy to figure out HOW they can do it but if they do not know WHY they are doing it, they are bound to fail sooner or later. HOWs are just the steps but WHY is the purpose. It is only if one has a strong enough WHY, will they do their best and be the number one in their field. One must know his purpose, only then can he be life time committed to what he is doing.

There are two most important days in everyone’s life – one, the day they were born and the second, the day they know WHY!

 

The two enemies of happiness

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Who in this world doesn’t want happiness? All our life, we try to chase happiness. We try to look for it in our relationships, qualifications, possessions etc. and despite of having all these things, our search for happiness doesn’t seem to cease. Today, we are going to look into two biggest enemies of happiness and trust me, if you work on these two culprits, happiness will love to stay with you 🙂

  1. Expectations:- We have expectations from our spouses, our bosses, our in laws, our children, our neighbors, and almost everybody around us. We even expect the traffic on roads to be our way, we expect to get green lights on the way to office, we want the weather to be congenial to our needs. Isn’t it so impractical to expect the world to dance to our tunes. So, it is pretty obvious that we are bound to get upset whenever and wherever we set our expectations from others. Now, I know, its not easy ‘not to expect’ anything from anyone. But once we understand the relationship between expectations and setbacks from them, we can at least try to lower them, and just let the things and people be the way they are. Try ‘Accepting’ instead of ‘Expecting’.
  2.  Comparisons:- Most of us are unhappy because we think we have lower incomes, worse relationships, smaller cars, more problems COMPARED to our peers. Specially in this age of social media, it is too hard to not get influenced by the posts and pictures of your friends and acquaintances who seem to have all the happiness of the world. But remember, the only place where there is no tension and no problem at all is in the graves.  And I am sure you don’t want to be there, just to experience a problem free life (or death?)! So, you need to understand everybody has a different life, different capabilities and different journeys. And everybody is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. So, there is no point in comparing our lives to others. We all are blessed in some ways, and we all have our share of problems. So, enjoy your blessings happily and face your problems bravely.

I hope now you know which two culprits in your life are trying to kill happiness. You better stop reading and go arrest those demons before they attack your ‘happiness’ again! Good luck!

Consistency is the key

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Does this ever happen to you that you start something new so energetically  like meditation or blogging or exercising and within a few days, the motivation drops drastically and you feel like you are not getting the results? Does that mean you are doing something wrong, or doing it the wrong way?

No, nothing is wrong except for our impatience. We have forgotten that ‘slow and steady wins the race’ even in this fast paced world. Anything and everything in our life needs a constant and consistent effort before the results emerge out.

Imagine a person who starts going to gym to lose weight. He goes and exercises daily and looks after his diet too but after 7-10 days, the weighing scale is still being cruel in showing no progress. There are high chances he will quit soon and go back to his previous lifestyle. In fact, more than 80% of the people would do the same. But those 20% who don’t lose hope and stay consistent in their efforts, will one day, surely see the positive outcome.

It is like going to the dentist twice a year and expecting the teeth to stay healthy and germ-free. But the daily 2 minutes of brushing the teeth every single day of the year, is what plays a bigger role in the shine of those white pearls. And it is these ‘2 minutes’ of our daily life that actually make the difference! Similarly, for any new regime that we start, the everyday little effort, the everyday monotonous routine, and the everyday dedication that we show and put in, is what brings the fruitful end-result.

It is a well known theory that to develop a new habit, one must perform it consistently for at least 21 days, and only then it becomes a natural way of one’s life. So clearly, consistency breeds the mastery. If we talk about the Olympian legends, be it an athlete, or a soccer player, or a swimming champion, we just see the tip of the iceberg. We just see the ten minutes of their final race and we applaud at their success. What lies beneath this visible achievement, is the thousands of hours they dedicated to their practice, the daily devotion to their fields of interest, the everyday little effort to get one step closer to success.

So, in short, there is no short cut to success. There are no elevators. You have to take the stairs, one step at a time, everyday!

 

 

Which seed have you sown today?

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Seeds are the foundation of any plant. It is the type and quality of seed that determines what plant will grow from it. If you want to have a rose in your backyard, you won’t sow a cactus seed. What if you don’t know, what seed you are holding in your hand and you just throw it in the soil, and you do it again some other day, and keep doing it unconsciously for some time. One day, it may be in some weeks, or months or even years, you will see a little lawn of plants in front of you. And then you say to yourself, “this is not what I want”. But do you have a choice now?

Now replace the word ‘seed’ with ‘thought’ and replace ‘plant’ with ‘future’ and read the above paragraph again! Yes, I mean it.

Surprised? But isn’t it so true? Each day, each moment, we are writing our future, totally unaware and unconscious of it. Each thought we are creating, will one day, manifest itself into reality. This reality becomes our future. And once it does become future, do we have a choice to change it even if we are totally unhappy with it? Definitely No.

Of course, there is a time gap between when the seed was sown and when the actual plant budded out of it. Same is the case with our thoughts. But once we become aware of the power of our thoughts, we must start keeping a check on what we think, how we think. No wonder, we see people around us who talk negative most of the times, and then actually face a lot of unwanted circumstances. It is the result of all the seeds that they have sown all along the way.

Now, there is a very strong connection between the information we get and the thoughts we create. So, if your mind constantly creates worries, tensions and ‘what if’ kind of thoughts, you need to check what information are you  feeding to your mind, what kind of people you are surrounded with. Once the inflow is positive and pure, the outflow will automatically correct itself. And soon it will start reflecting in your actions and thus your destiny!

In conclusion, our thoughts truly shape our life. We become what we think. The quality of the seeds we are sowing today will determine what crop we will reap tomorrow. So choose your seeds wisely and remember : “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers OR you can grow weeds. ”

 

Well begun is half done!

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Every soul on this earth has dreams and ambitions that they are passionate about. Each one of us has some creativity, some talent inside us but due to some reason, we just don’t acknowledge it. Or even if we do, we are too lazy to work on it and polish it. Sometimes, we are just too scared to deviate from the ‘normal’ way of living, worrying ‘what others might think of us’, ‘what if we fail’.

I was sailing in the same boat a year back when I started blogging. I had given in to my corporate job, my family and my home. Even after realizing how much happiness I get in ‘writing’, I tended to overlook my passion. It was only during my maternity leave, I could actually squeeze out some time to start writing a little bit. Of course it was tough with the little one around. But I felt productive at the end of the day. I am still a new blogger but I am glad that I have at least started the race; race with nobody else but my own self, with who I was yesterday.

To begin is always the hardest step of any journey. But once you begin, you have won half the battle already. As famous motivational author Robin Sharma says, “Every change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous in the end“. We must at least give ourselves a chance to start and not just quit before trying. As only with the commencement of any task, we will come to know how good we are at it.

Another important thing to remember while beginning anything, is the first thought you create. You must start anything with a positive spirit, with hope and with a passion to give your best. Don’t let the clouds of self doubt surround you, don’t let the dust of negativity settle on your thoughts. Just believe in yourself and start the new journey, not the one that the world wants from you, but the one your heart wants you to!

Remember, You can and you should and if you are brave enough to start, you will!

 

The power of ‘daily routine’

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Lately, I have been watching a lot of videos on ‘self-discipline’ and ‘the power of daily habits’ and I was amazed by how our daily routine shapes our future. After my second kid, I left my job and since then, there has been no routine, no fixed times to sleep and wake up, no discipline at all. And I always have my toddler as an excuse for that. But it is high time now, I must take charge of my life, I must start bringing discipline in my daily habits.

So, I thought why not gather down all the points and make a plan to improve things. After brainstorming for days, and going through sources on internet, I could come up with the following five habits to begin with. Sharing them with you so that I can have a company to keep me motivated. So lets get started!

  1. Win the morning, Win the day : – Now it may sound obvious that waking up at a fixed time every day (preferably before sunrise) is beneficial but despite of knowing its importance, how many of us actually implement it in our daily lives? The famous brain expert and mental coach Jim Kwik stresses on the importance of the first and last hours of our day, how we need to keep technology to the minimum in these hours, and rather work on our inner self. He says “Don’t touch your phones for an hour after you wake up”. And same goes for the bedtime. As these are the hours you can actually program your subconscious mind and get fruitful results if you know how to!
  2.  Eating right :- In this era of obesity and weight issues, people go on diets of all kind and then lose some weight only to gain it back in no time. Eating out at restaurants, depending heavily on coffees/teas, having fast foods every other day etc. are all leading us to an unhealthy lifestyle. With little efforts and pre-preparations, we can have home cooked meals, eat more greens, eat simple and local food and avoid junk to a great extent. I know we have a cool excuse of ‘busy life’ but as they say, either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The choice is ours!
  3. Positive self-talk :-  I don’t remember the name of the public speaker, but I came across the concept of ‘No whining Wednesdays’ from her in a YouTube video. It means, every Wednesday, you will prohibit yourself from any kind of complaining, whining, bitching like ‘why did you’, ‘when will I’, ‘why always me’, ‘I can’t’, ‘How could you’ etc. etc. It is quite challenging because when you start observing how many times a day you whine, you will be astonished at how much negative energy you create all day long! And it is not just one day, we are continuously creating negative thoughts and words without even being aware of it. So make it a rule, to watch your thoughts, words and actions and turn them into a positive sentence or affirmation if there is even a slight trace of negativity in them. I cannot emphasize enough on the value of ‘positive self-talk’ and ‘positive affirmations’ and how people all over the world have significantly changed their lives through them.
  4.  Minimalism :- Yeah, this one sounds strange but I have started realizing its impact on our minds and lives. The more clutter you have surrounded yourself with, the more clutter it adds in your mind, and the more stress in your life. We can start making slight changes in our lifestyle by keeping only things which we need and give us happiness, rather than things which we think will bring us value after a year or so. I have started this by keeping my wardrobe simple and with outfits that I feel comfortable in. I have stopped buying things out of impulse and just because they are in trend. Another aspect of minimalism is to delete all the unused apps on your phones and cleaning your email inbox regularly. Basically, clearing space in your phones, laptops, house, and minds too.
  5.  Reading and writing :- ‘Good readers become good leaders!’, ‘Books are man’s best friend!’, and this one is my favorite – ‘You are today who you will be in five years except for the people you meet and the books that you read!’. Books open your mind, expand your knowledge, and strengthen you as nothing else can. So, reading good books everyday (even if it is just one page a day) is a habit everyone must adopt without any delay. Now, just like reading, Writing is powerful too. Make a habit of writing each day, write your goals, write your affirmations, write your to-do tasks, write your dreams. Each word you write has a vibration of its own and it does make a difference!

Now, these are just the few daily practices that I picked for myself as of now. There are a lot more that we all need in our lives like – exercising daily, writing our gratitude lists, spending time with nature, stopping procrastination etc. But before starting with any of these, we must be clear with how big impact our habits  have on our life, they literally shape us. Only when we acknowledge and understand their power, we will be able to make them a permanent part of our life. These small daily habits lead to long term growth. We’ll never be able to change our life until we change something that we do daily. After all, the secret of our success is hidden in our daily routine!

 

 

 

You are the author of your ‘Life book’

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Let me ask you a question. Do you remember anything from your past life? Or any idea about how your next life is going to be? No, right? But, you know you have one life right now in your hands. And let me tell you this ‘one life’ is ENOUGH if you live it right.

I have often heard people saying, and I admit I said it too a few times that Life is hard, Life is challenging, Life is so busy, Life sucks etc. But isn’t it still better than death? Life is hard, but will we value it if it was too easy? Life might be a challenge but we have all the tools and strengths to face this challenge. Life is busy but it also means we are being productive.

We need to change our perception and shift our focus from negative to positive. Everybody faces ups and downs in their lives. Even those whom we call successful today like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Robbins and many more have all gone through different colors of life, some good some bad. But their hard work, their positive outlook and their zeal to live the life of their dreams, have brought them where they are.

We all have big dreams and ambitions. Its time to bring them into reality. Turn your dreams to realistic goals, set timelines, work hard day and night in the direction of your goals, stay positive, stay focused. Shape your life, make it beautiful. It is your property, it is your responsibility.

Don’t worry if there were some bad chapters in your book of life. You are still holding the pen. You still have the power to write and change the story. You still can make sure it has a happy ending.

Make your book worth reading 🙂