It’s all about you!

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Life is unpredictable. You might be leading a charmed life at the moment but you never know when life starts throwing curveballs your way. And when that happens, how you respond back is what defines you. It is not the life, but it is YOU!

First and foremost, you must know the difference between RESPONSE and REACTION. Where ‘reaction’ on one hand, is the emotional trigger that automatically occurs once you face a situation, the ‘response’ is a much sorted out, thoughtful action which is totally in your control. Imagine a situation, where a high intensity earthquake hits an area and there is a lot of damage to houses, properties and lives of people. Do you think every single person affected by that calamity, is going to react in a same way? Definitely not! Even if you pick one family from that scene, do you feel every member of that one family is going to be affected the same way and to the same extent, keeping in mind they all shared the same amount of loss? Again, NO! So, it is always advisable to respond and not react! Your emotions should be under your control and not with the outside world. The situation shouldn’t trigger your action/reaction, YOU should!

Yes, there are highs and lows in everyone’s life. There are good memories and there are bad moments too. But that is the beauty of LIFE! How do you expect to enjoy the accomplishments, if you have never experienced how failures taste? How do you value happiness and contentment, if you have never went through sorrowful times? These ups and downs are what make our life valuable and worth living.

There can be unexpected blows, in your business, in your relationships and in any aspect of your life. But it is YOU who has to take charge of yourself, pull yourself together, stand up once again and be ready to face life one more time. You just cannot afford to sit and mourn over your loss for the rest of your life. Don’t let a single incident, or a situation or even a single person dictate how you are going to live. This is your life, your journey! Learn from everything and everyone that comes your way, no matter how good or bad. Keep garnering different experiences of your life and keep moving!

Life can be a roller coaster ride but so it is for everyone else on this planet too. So why complain? Why compare? Why blame it on destiny, why pity your circumstances? Don’t live a life passively, only to look behind before dying, and repenting on your attitude. Take responsibility of where you are, and then decide how you can reach where you want to be. Because, it’s not your life that is stopping you, it’s YOU!

 

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5 daily rituals for success

robin sharma

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This blog is inspired by Robin Sharma who is a renowned author and one of the world’s top leadership experts. Let’s look into what daily habits or rituals one must inculcate in his life to become successful.

  1. Rising Early everydayNow, I am sure this didn’t come as a surprise to you as we all are well aware of the benefits of rising early in the morning. According to Robin, 5 am is the best time to wake up to start a great day. However, for all the late risers, this might be a little overwhelming. No worries, you can start by waking up an hour early than your usual time and gradually take it close to 5 am in few weeks. Waking up early literally elongates your day and you feel like you have enough time for everything. Make sure the first things you do after waking up in the morning be more of productive and creative nature and do them cheerfully as your morning is going to define how the rest of the day will unfold.
  2. Scheduling and time blockingPlanning your day ahead of time, not only saves your time and energy, it also keeps you motivated to work and get those things on your to-do list done asap. You can schedule and do strategic time blocking for every task you want to accomplish. This can be done on daily basis like a night before, or can be done weekly too, for instance, every Sunday. This way, you save yourself from being undecisive each day. You just grab your checklist, work on things one by one, keep them ticking off from the list as and when they are done. Don’t worry, if not all the tasks have been done. At least, you would do much more than when there is no schedule and no pre-planning done.
  3. Over delivery: This ritual took me some time to understand. But now I agree, that if one wants to succeed in his field, he must strive for excellence and perfection, he must grow better than his competition, he must over deliver to his customers. Only then, he will become the master of his game and be successful in his profession. Focus on what your customers want, work on how you can be of value to others, do your service passionately and your work will surely shine and attract more people to you. This reminds me of a quote: “Always do your best, no matter the size of your audience!”
  4.  Learn everydayThere should not be any age bar on learning. Each one of us should keep learning till our end years. Learn like a student. Take your time each day to learn something new, to hone your skills and that is the only way, you can grow. Robin emphasizes on ’60 minute student ritual’ that everyone who wants to step up their game, must spend at least 60 minutes each day on learning. This can be achieved through reading books, joining classes, or learning online. Each little effort in this regard is going to count in the long run!
  5. Private reflection : Last but not the least, the ritual of private reflection is a must ingredient for your ‘success recipe’. Taking out time for yourself, sitting in silence and reflecting on your current life, and your visions for future is so important for each one of us who wants to grow and evolve in life. This ritual connects you to your inner self and polishes it to make you a better version of yourself. So, make sure to give yourself the much needed ‘reflection’ time. Your soul needs it everyday!

So, these are the rituals we all can start working on to get the best of our life, to do the best things, not just for ourselves but for the world as a whole!

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!

 

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!