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
Posted in Life Gyan

Assume Positive Intent

Once a person was traveling across the countryside in his car and unfortunately somewhere on the outskirts of a village his car get a flat Tyre. When he gets down to replace the tyre he realizes that he forgot the jack in his own garage. He gets very upset at his own stupidity and kicks the flat tyre in disappointment. He looks around for help but there is no one to be seen. He looks around once more pondering at the alternatives when he notices a car parked in the courtyard of one of the houses in the distance across the fields. He chuckled at the sight of the car and decides to ask the owner of the car, probably a farmer, if he could borrow his jack. 

So he starts walking towards the farmer’s house. While walking he starts to mentally prepare his narration that he would tell the farmer which would convince him to lend the jack in the easiest and quickest possible manner. He thinks if I say this the farmer may respond like this and then this is what I am going to tell him. If he offers me tea/coffee I am going to say this and so on. During his mental dialogues he also thinks what if the farmer makes an excuse and refuses to lend the jack. Then he prepares his reasons to convince the farmer but what if the farmer does not relent – he tries harder but what if the farmer does not trust strangers. 

The dialogues in his head continue to get more and more intense as he keeps walking towards the farmer’s house. By the time he knocks on the farmer’s door he is completely agitated and enraged with the arguments going on in his head. And the moment the farmer opens the door the person is so angry that he punches the farmer…

This story may not be very different from what we too face in our day to day lives. Wherever the favorable outcome of a situation is extremely important to us, our emotions get attached to the outcome.  Doubt, anxiety and negative thoughts then start creeping into our mind. And the mental conversations begins. As these situations play out in our head, we start looking suspiciously at all the other characters in the play as if everyone has just one motto – how to jeopardize the outcome we desire so badly. Just like the person with the flat tyre in the story, we start mixing our mental conversations with the real world interactions and start “punching” (read behaving rudely, sulking, stop responding, deliberately avoid helping, using sarcastic language) the various characters who are none other than our family members, friends and colleagues. 

To prevent ourselves from getting trapped into such behaviors and to make our own lives and that of others around us blissful, here is a simple, powerful and very effective concept. All you need to do is to repeat this phrase to yourself whenever you are faced with doubt, anxiety or negative thoughts about a person or a situation and your faith starts to falter.


The beauty of this simple thought is that it applies equally well to all situations whether you are at home, at work or with friends. Whenever you are tempted to think negatively of a situation or the person causing it – pause a moment and remember the phrase “Assume Positive Intent“. These three simple words will direct your mind to look at the same situation by assuming positive intentions of the people involved. Rather than looking at the negative reasons for someone’s behavior you start to think of positive intentions behind people’s behavior. By doing this you are willing to give the benefit of doubt to your friends or family, even if it is for that moment. 

The moment you change your point of view, everything related to it changes, including how you respond to it. It takes the stress out of the entire event and preserves the health of your relationship as you start visualizing people having positive intentions towards you. By adopting a positive view, you not only make your life stress free but also start influencing the others around you with your positive attitude. 

Once you start practicing this in your day to day interactions, you will be tempted to take a print out of these three words and stick it to your desk. These simple words, if practiced consistently can take the heartburn out of so many situations and save many relationships from going stale. 

Posted in Life Gyan

14 Nuggets of Wisdom for Those Over 40

Forty (40) is a strange number when referred in context to age. While for some “Life begins at forty” whereas for some forty is a psychological milestone, a alarm bell of sorts to get your act together, a reminder of our mortality and probably for the most of us, a realization that we are at the halfway mark on the journey called life. 

Sharing some nuggets of wisdom that may help if you are over 40 –

  1. After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children, my friends, now I have started loving myself.
  2. I just realised that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.
  3. I now stopped bargaining with vegetables and fruits vendors.  After all, a few rupees more is not going to burn a hole in my pocket but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.
  4. I pay the taxi driver without waiting for the change. The extra money might bring a smile on his face. After all he is toiling much harder for a living than me
  5. I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already narrated that story many times. After all, the story makes them walk down the memory lane and relieve the past.
  6. I’ve learnt not to correct people even when I know they are wrong.  After all, the onus of making everyone perfect is not on me.  Peace is more precious than perfection.
  7. I give compliments freely and generously. After all it’s a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me.
  8. I’ve learnt not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt.  After all, personality speaks louder than appearances.  
  9. I walk away from people who don’t value me. After all, they might not know my worth, but I do.
  10. I remain cool when someone plays dirty politics to outrun me in the rat race.  After all, I am not a rat and neither am I in any race.
  11. I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. After all, it’s my emotions that make me human.
  12. I have learnt that its better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. After all, my ego will keep me aloof whereas with relationships I will never be alone.
  13. I’ve learnt to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.
  14. I am doing what makes me happy.  After all, I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to me…..