Posted in Life Gyan

The “Special” Ordinary People

Yes, that is a weird sounding title but let me explain in a jiffy…
Try answering the below questions…
1. Name the 5 Wealthiest People in the world
2. Name the Last 5 winners of Ms. Universe
3. Name the Last 10 People Who the Nobel prize

How Did You Do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headlines of yesterday.
Even though these people must be the best in their fields. Applause dies, awards are tarnished and achievements are forgotten!!

Here’s another quiz…Let’s see how this one goes:

1. Name 5 Teachers Who Added to Your Journey Through School
2. Name 5 Friends Who Helped You Thru Difficult Times
3. Name 5 People Who Taught You Something Worthwhile
4. Name 5 People Who Make You Feel Special
5. Name 5 People who You Enjoy Spending Time with


The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with most awards…Life is full of ordinary people who have made the world a better place for you!

Cherish them!
Hold them tight! And Thank them for making a difference in your life.
Perhaps sometimes its “special” to be ordinary!

Posted in Life Gyan

Don’t Fall into the Trap…

Few reminders – 

  • Don’t  compare yourself with others.  
    Do not let it become the source of your misery. Someone else will always have a better pay, swankier car, bigger house and so on an so forth. 
  • Don’t let your material possessions become your identity.  
    Sometimes we attach too much importance to the car we drive, the house we own, where we go for holidays etc. We start equating material possessions with success. Often we start identifying our own value based on the quality and quantity of our material possessions and take great pleasure in flaunting them. And pretty soon this becomes a spiral – it feeds our ego and pushes us to acquire more and more material possessions. Owning and flaunting your wealth or pricey possessions may give you a temporary high but it isn’t sustainable and eventually results in the downfall of the person.
  • Be self aware when your decisions are driven by greed. 
    Chances are that your common sense has left you and greed has overcome your thinking. You may overlook most of the risks in pursuit of that shiny object feeding your greed. You may get lucky once or twice but remember there are no shortcuts to success. Yes luck may play a role in your success but most of it is your hard work and perseverance. 
  • Understand that money is important but is it not everything. 
    There are things that money can’t buy such as your health, the strength of your character, the bonding and love of your family, true friends. That is why is has always been said – 

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; 
when health is lost, something is lost; 
when character is lost, all is lost.

Nurture hope and positivity. 
Be grateful for what you have in life. 
The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for. 

Posted in Life Gyan

Ideas to Add to Your Bucket List

Here are a few more (read my previous post on Bucket List here) experiences to add to your bucket list. Pick the ones that excite you –

1.    Float in the Dead Sea
2.     Sky Diving
3.     Bungee Jumping
4.     Visit the Nalanda University
5.     Whitewater Rafting
6.     Visit the Ram Setu
7.     See the floating stones in Rameshwaram
8.     Take a yatch ride in Dubai Creek
9.     Walk on the Great Wall of China
10.   Visit the Taj Mahal
11.   Click the iconic pic in Maladives
12.   Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
13.   Take the Maid of the Mist ride at Niagara Falls
14.   Watch the change of Guard @ Indo-Pak border
15.   Try pushing the Krishna’s butter ball at Mahabalipuram
16.   Walk thru the clouds at Cherrapunji
17.   Smell the tulips in Kashmir
18.   Snorkelling
19.   Watch Coral Reefs
20.   Walk the Strip, Las Vegas
21.   Visit the Kumbh Mela
22.   Trek to the Manasarovar
23.   Watch the Kanchenjunga turn golden at Sunrise
24.   Experience the luxury of a Cruise
25.   Travel in a Limosine
26.   Drive a Ferrari
27.   Desert Safari
28.   Visit the Chilka Lake

Do you have any other interesting ones to share?

Posted in Life Gyan

Shapeless Rotis

Not only does India need more of such mother-in-laws who are more accepting of their daughter-in-laws and more understanding but also they need to remember their journey and ensure that the new bride does not go through the same struggles that she had to.

A mother writes a heartfelt letter to her son, on why he should  laugh at his wife’s shapeless rotis. And in the process shares some valuable lessons and insights for all couples and in-laws.

Dear Son,
Hope this letter finds you in the best of spirits and health.

You might be surprised to find an email from your mom. Something told me to write to you; that you need to hear from me today.

It was indeed one of the best evenings that your father and I spent when you visited us with your new wife yesterday. Rest assured, we liked her immensely. I could see that both of you are very much in love and that makes me happy. May your love grow every moment!

Now let me get to the reason for writing this letter. I don’t know whether you remember, but during dinner, you cracked a joke about the shapeless rotis that Lavanya makes. We all laughed and your father laughed the loudest. There were tears of laughter in your father’s eyes and there were tears in your wife’s eyes too. I can assure you that her tears were not of mirth; they were tears of mortification, of shame brought about by the innocuous joke that you cracked.

I guess that joke was the reason why we heard raised voices coming from your room yesterday night and the reason why Lavanya appeared puffy eyed in the morning. Maybe she cried all night.

Son, I want to tell you something. I love shapeless rotis. They bring back many fond memories. They remind me of the shapeless rotis made by my father on certain Saturday mornings when my mother had extra duty at her office. They often lacked salt, were hard like rock and were shaped like various continents. But his love for us compensated for all that it lacked.

Shapeless rotis also bring memories of those days when your father turned into my cook. It was during those early days of pregnancy while I was carrying you. I couldn’t bear the smell of spices or rice or anything cooking. Your father would churn out shapeless rotis and experimental curries, which tasted quite good because he wanted to provide home cooked food for his wife and unborn child. His care and affection made those rotis priceless.

Do you remember how you used to insist on helping me while I prepared rotis when you were around four years old? You would play with the dough and create various shapes that you wanted to be cooked and served to all. I can tell you, those were the tastiest rotis that I ever ate.

Words can create a world full of love. Yet, a thoughtless word is enough to destroy that world.

Lavanya and you are equally qualified; you both earn equally well too. You have both spent an equal number of years educating yourself to be the professionals that you are. But you expect Lavanya to become the perfect cook and home-maker from the moment you married her! How unreasonable is that?

Rahul, no new wife wants to be ridiculed in front of her in-laws. Trust me, I can tell you that. Been there, done that. She craves to be loved by them and she expects her husband’s support in her effort at endearing herself to them.

Teething troubles in marriages are often capable of draining out the love you have for each other. Be there for her while she adapts herself to your world. A small token of appreciation and open support is all that she will need.

You are my beloved son and I know you have learned to see the brighter side of things. Value love more than any other thing because son, perfectly round rotis are often machine made. They lack the most essential ingredient; Love.

Wishing you a world of love,
Yours loving mother

Posted in Life Gyan

10 Fresh Ideas To Add To Your Bucket List

Here are some really fresh ideas to add zing to your bucket list and give it a meaningful twist – 

(1) Travel Solo – It is always fun to travel in a group either with family or friends. But if you want to spend time with yourself and connect with your inner self then travel solo. Travel activates our senses and creates a feeling of freshness away from the mundane and the routine of day-to-day life. Travelling alone can be a very enriching experience.

(2) Have a terrace garden – and use it to cultivate essential herbs and veggies for your own kitchen. It is a daily joy to watch the plants grow and you will experience a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction when you use the produce of your own kitchen garden.

(3) Live in another country at least for an year – If you get an opportunity to relocate and stay in another country welcome it with open arms and live there for at least one full year. it is a great experience as you get to experience their culture, all the seasons of the year and take part in all the festivals of that land. It surely will expand your horizons and help you become a better person.

(4) Give back to the society – Giving only money to the charities is not what I mean. When your contribute some of your personal time and effort, and sometimes a little sweat, back to the society you will realise that it is such a humbling experience. And your heart will be filled with gratitude for the abundance in your own life. 

(5) Start a Bullet Journal – Bullet journal is a shorter version of the classic journalling. In that way you get to jot down the key aspects of your life and observations with our spending too much time. Additionally it also helps you express your creativity in the form of doodles. You can search the internet for the many many ideas available and choose what suits your style.

(6) Learn a new skill – it could be a life skill like swimming or learning to give primary first-aid or CPR or it could be something you are passionate about like playing a guitar. It will boost your confidence and above all add a feather in your cap.

(7) Achieve your ideal weight – make health your priority and sign up for a fitness regime to look your best. This one thing will have multiple benefits in various aspects of your life.

(8) Run a marathon – It is a great milestone to achieve and it also helps you become a fitter version of yourself. 

(9) Connect with past teachers and mentors who have had an impact on your life and thank them. Very few people actually reach out to the teachers and thank them once they have moved out of school/college even though the teachers leave a lifelong impact. Take time to Thank them.

(10) Give a heartfelt surprise to someone – We all have one or two such longings in our heart but due to various constraints we keep postponing them to the next time. You may not realise that life slips away like sand from our hand. Don’t postpone the joy. 

Posted in Life Gyan

Is This How You Deal With Emotional Stress?

At times we get overwhelmed by our own emotions. Sometimes it could be sheer frustration at other times it could be grief. It can be betrayal or even separation from a loved one. Emotional turmoil can mean different things for different people both in type and intensity. One of the most common reasons for emotional turmoil is the mismatch between expectations and reality. This could be in the form of a bad appraisal, betrayal of a friend, separation from a loved one, heated altercation with spouse or not being able to keep up with the daily grind when there is too much on your plate. 

Whatever the reason might be, the important thing to understand is how you respond to adverse situations in your life. Observe what you do when you find yourself in one such situation and feel completely helpless? 

Do you sulk and sulk till you get over it. Do you brood over it over a cup of coffee or over a smoke break. Do you just pull the blanket over your head and hit the bed to cut out the continuous chatter in your brain  Or do you throw temper tantrums. 

Some people weep and need to be left alone till they get over it. Some look for solace in a friend’s company. While some others subconsciously binge on chocolates and junk food. Some even go shopping to divert their mind. 

Different people have different ways of dealing with emotional stress. At a very broad level – it is either FIGHT or FLIGHT. 

Some things heal with time, some are bundled and pushed into a corner of your mind as you get busy with the things at hand till someone pulls the skeletons out of the closet once again. And in most cases you learn to live with the pain. 

What if I tell you a that there is a way which will help you deal with your emotional stress in a better way. What If you could channelize your emotions in a positive way. It may also help you heal over a period of time. For the healing to happen we need to learn to manage our emotions.  

If you want to learn about a healthier way to deal with your emotional stress watch this space for updates.

Posted in Life Gyan

10 Daily Habits of Exceptionally Happy People

If you get decent value from making to-do lists, you’ll get huge returns
— in productivity, in improved relationships, and in your personal well-being — from adding these items to your not to-do list: Every day, make these commitments to yourself. I promise your day – and your life – will go a little better.

“I will not blame other people – for anything.”

Employees make mistakes. Vendors don’t deliver on time. Potential customers never sign. You blame them for your problems.But you are also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training, build in enough of a buffer, or asked for too much too soon. Take responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others – then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time. And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

“I will not check my phone while I’m talking to someone.”

You’ve looked away. You’ve done the, “Wait, let me answer this text…” thing. Maybe you didn’t even say, “Wait.” You just stopped talking, stopped paying attention, and did it. Want to be that person everyone loves because they make you feel, when they’re talking to you, like you’re the most important person in the world? Stop checking your phone. Other people will feel better about you – and you’ll feel better about yourself.

“I will not multitask during a meeting.”

The easiest way to be the smartest person in the room is to be the person who pays the most attention to the room. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn, both about the topic of the meeting and about the people in the meeting if you stop multitasking and start paying close attention. You’ll flush out and understand hidden agendas, you’ll spot opportunities to build bridges, and you’ll find ways to make yourself indispensable to the people who matter.

“I will not interrupt.”

Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.” Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say. They’ll love you for it — and you’ll love how that makes you feel.

“I will not waste time on people who make no difference in my life.”

Trust me: The inhabitants of planet TMZ are doing fine without you. But your family, your friends, your employees – all the people that really matter to you – are not. Give them your time and attention. They’re the ones who deserve it.

“I will not be distracted by multiple notifications.”

You don’t need to know the instant you get an email or text or tweet or like. If something is important enough for you to do, it’s important enough for you to do without interruptions. Focus totally on what you’re doing. Then, on a schedule you set — instead of a schedule you let everyone else set — play prairie dog and pop your head up to see what’s happening. Focusing on what you are doing is a lot more important than focusing on other people might be doing.

“I will not whine.”

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better. If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now. Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

“I will not let the past control my future.”

Mistakes are valuable. Learn from them. Then let them go. Easier said than done? It all depends on your perspective. When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know – especially about yourself. When something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding. The past is just training. The past should definitely inform but in no way define you – unless you let it.

“I will not wait until I’m convinced I will succeed.”

You can never feel sure you will succeed at something new, but you can always feel sure you are committed to giving something your best. And you can always feel sure you will try again if you fail. Stop waiting. You have a lot less to lose than you think, and everything to gain.

“I will not talk behind another person’s back.”

If only because being the focus of gossip sucks. (And so do the people who gossip.) If you’ve talked to more than one person about something Joe is doing, wouldn’t everyone be better off if you stepped up and actually talked to Joe about it? And if it’s “not your place” to talk to Joe, it’s probably not your place to talk about Joe. Spend your time on productive conversations. You’ll get a lot more done – and you’ll gain a lot more respect.

“I will not say yes when I really mean no.”

Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying no, go as badly as you expect. Most people will understand, and if they don’t, should you care too much about what they think? When you say no, at least you’ll only feel bad for a few moments. When you say yes to something you really don’t want to do you might feel bad for a long time — or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn’t want to do in the first place.

“I will not be afraid.”

We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, what we can’t change, what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us. So it’s easier to hesitate… and think a little longer, do more research, or explore more alternatives. Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by. And so do our dreams.

Whatever you’ve been planning or imagining or dreaming of, get started today. Put your fears aside. Do something. Do anything. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever. Today is the most precious asset you own — and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.

Posted in Life Gyan

There is Always, Always, Always Something To Be Thankful For…

A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing: **Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time.
**The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favourite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.
**The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.
**And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in bed at hospital with the cast on for several days. The destruction of car was another loss.

At the end he wrote: Alas! It was such bad year!!

When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking sad, lost in his thoughts. From behind his back she read what was written on the paper. She left the room silently and came back with another paper and placed it on the side of her husband’s writing.

When the writer saw the paper, he found this written on it:
**Last year, I finally got rid of my gall bladder for which I had spent years in pain.
**I turned 60 with sound health and got retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write something better with more focus and peace.
**The same year my father, at the age of 95, without depending on anyone or without any critical condition, met his Creator.
**The same year, my son was blessed with a new life. My car was destroyed but my son stayed alive without getting any disability.

At the end she wrote:
This year was an immense blessing and it passed well!

See! The same incidents but different viewpoints. If we ponder with this viewpoint that what could have happened was more detrimental, we would truly become thankful.

Moral: In our daily lives, we must see that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!

Posted in Life Gyan

How to Take Control of Your Fast Paced Life

The days are long but the year seems to pass very fast. You may be slogging thru the day but when you look back the year seems to have gone by rather quickly. With every passing year we feel that the pace of life is getting faster and faster. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed. However consider this, if this gives you any solace, today is the slowest day of the rest of your life. Which means that there are crazier times ahead and the rate of change is only going to head north. So it is better we learn to deal with it rather than play catch-up.

The biggest reason behind always feeling busy and not having time for anything is our desire to stay “connected” always, on multiple channels mobile, WhatsApp, Twitter, email and various other social media platforms. A few years ago you had to wait for weeks before you got a response to your handwritten letter sent to parents or friends or even for any official communication. For urgent stuff only people used Telegram. Even when phones arrived, only a few had it and again it was used for important communication only. For all other stuff one had to use hand written communication. 

As communication channels multiplied and became faster and cheaper, things that took weeks now take a few seconds or even less. Also all communication whether urgent or trivial happens at the same pace via the same channels. So you have to look at all the hundreds of messages, whether you like it or not, before you can get to the message that you are looking for.

Also every event, small or big, happening across the world is being reported without filters. In the name of having choice you have to decide which news or information is relevant and important for you. The various channels keep pushing you all that they have.  If you really want to get a handle on your time and quality of life here are a few things to consider – 

  • It is OK to not read or respond to all the social media posts shared by your friends or family members. Value your own time and use it wisely.
  • Mute all message notifications on your mobile except any critical ones. This will help you reduce the distraction throughout the day and as a side benefit also improve the battery life of your mobile.
  • The real life is happening NOW all around you not on your mobile screen. Take a break from technology every once in a while. Learn to keep the mobile aside when interacting with people. If it is very important excuse yourself from the conversation but do not multitask. 
  • Resist the urge to post every trivial update about yourself on social media unless you are a celebrity or a public figure. 

With our current levels of addiction, this is surely not an easy ask but if you really want to reclaim your life, you have to control the amount, quality and pace of information you assimilate and consciously use your energy towards your life’s objectives. In other words, we need to go back to the basics –

  • Practice mindfulness 
  • Spend some time alone
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Nurture your relationships
  • Spend time on pursuing your hobbies