[5-Bullet Tuesday] Change Your Brain in Seconds!

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading —

It’s pretty evident that your brain can impact your body language. For example, if you’re irritated, chances are that you would frown or yell.

But did you know, the other way round is true too – your body language can instantly change your brain? Haven’t you seen movies (especially Bollywood ones) where after an immoral act or sin, the protagonist takes a long shower? Well, that makes them significantly less guilty instantly.

Well, I’m sure you are not too much into sins, so here are a few other ideas for you:

If you’re dieting: Eat with your non-dominant hand. It prevents mindless eating. Image result for Change Your Brain in Seconds tense up

Want to boost your willpower: Tense up. Next time, you need to avoid that cigarette or sweet, make a fist, and contract your bicep, press your thumb and finger together, or simply grip a pen in your hand.

Increase your confidence: Power pose. Place your feet flat on the floor, push your shoulders back and chest forward, and hold out your hands in front of you. Works especially well for public speakers. (In the picture, you see Allen Pease, the Body language expert in a power pose.)

This book called “Rip it up” by Richard Wiseman is all about the simple idea that changes everything.

What I’m watching —

Leave the politics aside and watch Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 by Prime Minister Modi. He answers children’s questions with simplicity and warmth. Some of the takeaways for me were having a Tech Free room at home, use a hack that works for you to bust your stress in the examination hall. This is what cricketers and table tennis players also use before starting the game. Basically, do something familiar which gets you comfortable when you get the exam paper. It could be something as simple as spinning your pencil around.

For the parent’s his message is: Pursue, do not pressure your children. 

Purchase I’m enjoying—

Hey Siri, switch on the light.

Hey Siri, switch on Christmas lights.

Hey Siri, switch off the lights.

Well, this week, I took a small step toward a smart home. I bought this Philips Smart Wi-Fi Bulb which I’m completely loving. I don’t have to get out of bed to switch the light on or off. The entire color panel is available for you. There are settings for Romance, Party, Christmas, and on goes the list.

It comes with a 10 year warrantee Works with Android, Alexa and Apple. Go for it. It’s INR 799 and worth every paisa.

What I’ve learnt —

Sohana, my seven year old daughter recently won her first ever prize at a Speech contest. She was second runner’s up and this win was really special for her as it was her first taste of success. There are four elements to a great speech – Head: something that gets the audience thinking, Heart: something which connects with the audience emotionally, Hand: A call to action for the audience, Humor: something that makes the audience smile. Here’s Sohana’s speech, which I believe has all these four elements. No wonder then that she won.

Quote I’m pondering —

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson

This implies that each one of us has what it takes to be extraordinary. All we need to do is try a little harder.

Well, that’s all for this Tuesday, see you next week… and since it’s time to hit the bed, Hey Siri… switch on the night light! 🙂

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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Ask So You’ll Know

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Quote I’m pondering —

Behind every problem, there’s a person you need to connect with.

Behind every possible solution, there is a person you need to connect with.

Behind every business, there is a group of people you need to connect with. 

― unknown

Acronym I loved—

You won’t ever find a solution until you get out and meet the people. But aren’t we all just too shy to ask sometimes? When you’re shy next time, that’s when this acronym would come in handy. I bet you didn’t know ASK was an acronym, did you? It says: Ask So you’ll Know. When you’re afraid, shy or unsure, think of that feeling as a nudge to ASK… Ask So you’ll Know! 

App I’m loving — 

This is that dream app I’ve always wanted. If you’re preparing for an exam or teaching your children, this is the app you need. It’s called Study Blue. We’ve all used and know the power of flash cards in learning something new, right? This app lets you do just that, and more. It lets you create your own set of online flash cards to memorise any topic or term. You can even add pictures and then test your memory and focus only on areas you’re weak at, by using the list as a quiz too. 

Not only that, it also lets you use the lists that others have created (crowd-sourcing at its best). You can even gamify learning by sharing your flash cards among friends and trying to beat one another’s scores.

Here are the AppStore and Android links.

What I’m reading – 

I’m reading The Self-Aware Parent by Cathy Adams. Cathy is the lady who runs the Zen Parenting podcast along with her husband. My wife and I’m hooked to this show, the tagline of which says, the best predictor of a child’s well-being is a parent’s self understanding. It’s a thin book with 19 lessons for growing with your children. 

I have just read one chapter so far, which was about helping your children deal with grief. It’s titled ‘A letter about grief: taking children to a wake or funeral’. And I’m glad I did. Death is always a hard topic to discuss. I’ve grown up where talking about death (just like sex) was a taboo topic and therefore I ended up forming my own notions. I followed the advise in the book recently when my wife’s grandmother passed away this week. It helped us and our children process their emotions better. We now know that it’s okay to cry and that we have the tools to take care of ourselves. Here is an extract from the book:

Unfortunately, all families have to deal with a loss at some point. If it is a death, a diagnosis, or a job loss, parents are often unsure how to talk to their children about grief and emotions. Honour this challenging time by feeling it and processing it so you can truly move towards clarity. ASK for help when you need it – people around you will search for ways to show you how much they care. 

Movie I loved watching — 

It may have been the most predictable story line and some slapstick comedy, but this was one movie that gave me the opportunity to tell my 6 year old daughter and 11 year old son about ‘how a baby is made’, what a test tube baby is and basically all the good stuff. The stuff I’ve been wanting to tell them but couldn’t find good enough reason or even words to share. Not until we sat in the car to head to the theatre. I elucidated what I thought they needed to know based on their curiosity and ages.

Some people are not letting their children watch Good Newwz, they’re even calling it an adults only movie. In my view, this is a movie you should rather watch with your kids. Take the responsibility. If you won’t tell them, who do you think will?                               

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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Here’s How You Can Contribute to Environment!

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Where I’m looking forward to going –

It’s said that as we grow older, time passes by faster. I think there is some truth in that statement. There are quite a few things that we’ve made as annual family rituals, and visiting the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) is one such ritual. Another one is satiating the palate at the Palate Fest at Nehru Park, Delhi. They’re circling back sooner, I feel. Anyway, I’m not complaining and coming back to the World Book Fair, it’s on at Pragati Maidan from 4th – 12th Jan. What intrigued me this year was the theme, which is “Gandhi, The Writer’s Writer“.

With some thinking + googling (these two happen so often together now a days that I feel there is a need for a word for it… how about thoogling? – the act of simultaneously thinking and googling, verb (-: ), I figured that The Writer’s Writer means how the writings of Gandhi have inspired many other writers to pick and write about his works, all over the world! Gandhi was more than a writer – he was an editor, a publisher, a journalist, a printer and a mass communicator par excellence. Before time runs out, which is anyway going faster with every passing minute, I have scheduled a visit to the book fair on my calendar.

What I’m looking forward to reading –

Do you know that Bill Gates shares his list of favourite books every year end? Here’s the link to Gates recommendations from books he read in 2019. I’m picking the following two books from Gates favourites from last two years, and adding to my list of books to read in 2020.:

“Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life,” by Diane Tavenner

Here are Bill Gates’ notes about this book: Diane shares the story of how she designed a new kind of charter school with a simple but very ambitious goal: ‘We wanted to teach kids not just what they needed to get into college, but what they needed to live a good life.’

“Educated: A Memoir,” by Tara Westover

This is what Bill Gates’ has to say about this one: Tara’s process of self-discovery is beautifully captured in Educated. It’s the kind of book that I think everyone will enjoy, no matter what genre you usually pick up.

Here’s how I read the newspaper –

How do you read the newspaper? Does it even matter? Does this also require a specific process? Well, I’ve hated reading the newspaper all my childhood and college. But then one day a friend suggested a specific way of reading the newspaper. He said, “Read the newspaper to find that ‘one news’ which is the most interesting, most insightful and most invigorating!” I didn’t have anything to lose, so I gave it a try. After all, I was already losing out in group discussions and general knowledge tests! This unusual process of finding that ‘one news’ nudged me to skim through other news articles as well even if it was to disqualify them. I started enjoying the process and improved my general awareness in a natural way. If you or your children don’t read the newspaper, it may be worth sharing this technique with them.

One news I loved reading –

So, in recent times, that ‘one news‘ article that I loved reading was this one – Paying with plastic for a clean Delhi. Municipal corporations are doing their bit to save the environment, and we must avail these options. There are places where you can buy regular food and beverages by returning single use plastic. It is like bartering with ‘trash’. These places are called the Garbage Cafes. There are also these Bartan Bhandaars, which let you to borrow (for free), steel crockery to be used during community meals usually done for religious purposes. Here is a picture of one such Bartan Bhandaar.

Quote I’m pondering –

Intelligence is just a tool. Love is the point. – James Bach from Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar

This quote reminds me that intelligence is overrated. Qualities such as love, affection, enthusiasm, loyalty, respect and service are far more important than intelligence and these are all available to all of us equally. And none of these have anything to do with intelligence.

PS: If you like this broadcast, you may enjoy exploring more from me. You can connect with me at www.mohitsawhney.com.

If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.