[5-Bullet Tuesday] Make Time For Your Mental Wellbeing!

Hi All,

Wish you all a very happy and healthy Mental Health Week. And here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Templates I loved using –

If you have to do something more than once, have a template for it.

Meetings, that’s something we all have to do every day. And yet, we usually don’t have a template for it. Most of us stress and struggle preparing for meetings and secretly hope godly interference to save us. Right? Well, if your situation is something similar, these two templates will surely come in handy to you.

These templates (courtesy: Michael Hyatt) are super effective in planning for meeting and getting the recommendation across to the manager for approval. Use these and see how much more in control you will feel.
Recommendation Briefing Form
Effective Meeting Blueprint

What am I excited about—

A few weeks back, I had mentioned a silver lining for everyone including myself who is delaying starting their Podcast (Podcrastination). Well, while I am still getting there, but my son, Tanav has taken the plunge already. Yes, he started his own Podcast! And it’s really nice (okay, I may be biased but check it out and find out for yourself) – It’s called Reality versus Expectations and he interviews people from varying job profiles and finds out if the general perception of a job meets the reality. Check it out: Reality versus Expectations.

What I learnt about Mental Health–
it was refreshing to attend the Jay Shetty talk organized by Macquarie office to mark the World Mental Health Day (10th October). Quite an insightful session and more than that, the way he speaks is magnetic. I heard his entire keynote of 30 minutes and another 30 minutes of the Q&A session that followed. He is on the top running On Purpose podcast

  • The growth equation: Pain + Reflection = Progress
  • Remember to make TIME for these things every single day (TIME is the acronym for : Thankfulness, Inspiration, Meditation, Exercise and a bonus S for timely and adequate Sleep.
  • Gratitude must be expressed, specific and personalized!
  • Be curious not creepy. 
  • In this time of pandemic and lockdown, make your own commute.

Questions I loved–
Jay Shetty also suggests building deep connections by asking good questions. Here are some of them which he says he often asks his guests in his On Purpose podcast:

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
  • If you had to make a rule that everyone had to follow for 30 days, what would it be?
  • What’s something you used to value but don’t value any more?

These he says are far better than the usual, How was your weekend, or what are you plans for coming weekend, questions.

Poetry I loved –
Attending the 100th milestone meeting of Bright Beginning Toastmasters Club was a feast. They had invited professional Hindi poets. Well, I could gather only some part of it given it’s depth and my limited understanding of pure Hindi. But, what I understood has left a strong desire to know more (isn’t that what a masterpiece often does?). Particularly noted re-listening to Karvan Guzar Gaya – an inspiring poem by Gopaldas ‘Neeraj’ about missed opportunities.  

Coincidently, I also documented my own little Hindi homage poem this week, which was a tribute to Ashok Mamu, whom we lost in May amidst the second wave of the pandemic. It was his birthday this Friday and the family marked the occasion as Celebration of Life.

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Celebration Of Life

Today is Ashok Mamu’s birthday. We lost him this May amidst the scathing wave of COVID-19.

Today, the family celebrates his life. On his birthday.

Ashok Mamu was a constant in my life. Since I gained consciousness. He was there. I feel so even though we hardly spoke with each other. An inexplicable bond. Vibes. He was someone who was always there. Really there. The kind of presence that gives one the comfort one needs. Like the peace of mind to know someone’s there. To take care. Like you have nothing to worry about. This poem is a homage to the divine soul, Ashok Mamu. Happy Birthday.

**अशोक मामू : श्रद्धांजलि *
*******ॐ शांति******

कोई ऐसा मौका न था जब आप नहीं थे,
जब जिसको जहाँ ज़रूरत थी आप वही थे
आपके बिना जीना तो आता ही नहीं,
भगवान से ये सवाल है इसमें क्या है सही?

सय्यम, विश्वास, स्पष्टता,संस्कार,
हसमुख, अनुशासनी व उदार।
एक शब्द में कहुँ तो आपसे सीखा है-
सही माईने में प्यार।

नियति (my sweet little sis) ने मुझे एकअच्छी बात बताई है – की लोग तब तक ज़िंदा रहते हैं, जब तक उनको हम अपनी यादों में अपनी बातों में और अपने कामो में जीवित रखें|

एक बार ज़िन्दगी ने बड़ी शान से,
पुछा सवाल मृत्यु से –
ऐसा क्यों के सब मुझे करते प्यार,
और तेरा तिरस्कार ?
तो मृत्यु ने मुस्कुरा कर जवाब दिया:
क्युकी तुम एक मीठा झूठ हो प्यारा,
और में एक कड़वा सच तुम्हारा।

तो मृत्यु जीवन का अंत नहीं शुरुआत है,
आपके बिना जीना सीखने की बात है,
आपकी यादों, सिद्धांतों, दिखाया हुआ मार्ग, सिखाये हुए नियमों का साथ है,
भले ही ये लग रही अँधेरी रात है-
पर ये भी एक नयी परभात है।

******ॐ शांति******

[5-Bullet Tuesday] You Can Communicate With Impact!

Hi All,

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

Event I attended–
Communicate with Impact, a virtual session organized at Macquarie office. At Macquarie, we follow leadership expert Peter Fuda and apply his teachings. Here’s some food for thought from the Mr. Peter Fuda:PeterFuda_quote_photo_3

The D&I definition I loved—
Corporates are giving a lot of attention to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) these days, but it can be complex to understand. This simple definition clarified it for me:

Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work. ~ Andres Tapia

Quote I’m pondering —
I recently delivered my Toastmaster’s speech where my evaluator used this quote. It was such a nice mischievous way to define a good speech.  

“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt – long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Poem I loved reading—
This goes out to those who are avoiding risk, playing it safe, being too cautious. Well, expounding it makes me imagine myself in the frame. Erghhh.. Okay, anyway, it’s a good way to remind ourselves to L.I.V.E.

There was a very cautious man

Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he passed away one day,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never really died.
(Anonymous poem)

―  John C. Maxwell, From Developing the Leader Within You

What I learnt about communication–
When communicating, here are some principles which we often forget. It was a pleasant refresher for me from the Communicate with Impact session I attended last week:

  1. Don’t sell, create the gap!
  2. Speak to the heart, not just to the head!
  3. Speak less, say more!
  4. Context before Content!
  5. Give the punchline early
  6. Use a metaphor
  7. Define what’s up for grabs and what not (Negotiables versus non-negotiables)
  8. Once an agreement has been reached, close the conversation.
  9. Demonstration always works better than Description
  10. They may tolerate your conclusions but people will commit to their own conclusions.

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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Will You Ever Be 100% Comfortable On Stage?

Hi All,

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

The question I loved –
I attended OST Toastmaster’s club meeting today and totally loved it. One interesting question that popped up was, “When does one completely overcome the fear of public speaking?“.

I responded that we could learn the techniques and increase our stage time to gradually become comfortable on the stage. That said, I don’t think one could ever 100% overcome the fear of speaking. Even the best speakers feel nervousness before getting on the stage.  Leadership expert Michael Hyatt, who I have been following from over a decade, uses these EXACT affirmations before getting on stage which he says, helps him overcomes his nervousness:

I am not here by accident. God sent me. To these people. At exactly this time.
That’s because He has a purpose; therefore, I have a purpose in being here.
Through God, I can do all things. He has given me every resource I need to succeed.
I have the energy, the passion, and the message to make a huge impact—now and for eternity.
What I have to share today is vitally important. It matters. To them and to their loved ones.
Those that hear it will be changed forever. Years from now, they will look back on today and say, “It started here.”
By God’s grace, I am prepared. I am strong. I am energetic. I am outstanding. My heart is wide open. I will connect and make a difference!

(Source: MichaelHyatt.com)

Blog I loved reading—
This article from my all time favorite speaker and leader, Michael Hyatt helps in overcoming the fear of public speaking. In essence, the BIG idea is to shift the focus away from yourself and move it to your audience – What are their needs? How do they feel? How can I best serve them?

What speech I’m proud of –There are some speeches that you thoroughly enjoy. I believe these are the ones where you’re able to effectively share a message close to your heart. This certainly is one such speech for me, it’s titled, “Isn’t that man enough?”

Book I loved reading again –
Many years ago, I read this book called Fred Factor, which I still fondly remember. The story of Fred, a mail carrier who passionately loved his job and who genuinely cared about the people he serves.
Well, it’s very rare that we come across such Freds in our life. Today, though the reason I was reminded of that story was because I met a Fred, our trusted leader without a title, Ram Bhaiya, who helped us achieve something elusive. After a long days work, when I asked him what his secret was. He said, whatever I do, I do it with full interest. Things work out when done with interest. Here’s to the Fred in you. 

Quote I’m pondering —
Today’s quote comes from MLK Junior and is dedicated to Freds and Rams of the world, who are doing whatever they’re doing like Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music. What would take for me to qualify that criteria? And you?



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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Podcastinating? Here’s How You Overcome It.

Hi All,

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

Challenge I’m taking –
I’m not sure about you, but I have podcastinated long enough – yes, it’s been my dream to have a Podcast but just not able to start it. But this challenge is perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel. You have to publish three podcasts of a minimum of two minutes duration each by 1st October, and the one with most unique listens will feature on Hindustan Times. I’m on it, and you should be too? Read here to know more fellow podcasters.

What Am I looking forward to –
I have recently joined the 48 Days Eagles community. It’s from one of my favorite authors/ podcasters Dan Miller and takes you towards doing the work you love, in 48 days. You could have a taste of it by listening to the 48 Days Podcast.

Image result for 48 Days Eagles. Size: 121 x 160. Source: store.48days.com

What I’m loving listening –
And as always, the law of attraction is working and so I’m seeing, hearing and feeling eagles all over the place :).
In attending the Toastmasters District Executive Committee meeting today, the Region 13 advisor, DTM Suganthi Periasamy and District Director, DTM Ranjit Acharya talked about leadership lessons from Eagles and their new born eaglets. Here is a beautiful poem that they shared about Eagles and Eaglets:

What Movie I watched —
Any movie that can keep your almost teenage son and eight year old daughter hooked is what qualifies as a good movie. Bell Bottom movie satisfies that criteria. Our growing children have so many competing options these days after all and this was one movie after a long time we managed to watch as a family.

See the source image

So, I’d recommend it as a decent movie for family viewing. The downside though is the poor audio quality – too loud music and too low voice for Prime Video viewers.

Quote I’m pondering —


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] An Unusual Way To Find the Perfect Path

Hi All,

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

What I’m reading –

Sapiens – A brief history of humankind. Completely loving reading this book since I picked it from the British Council Library last week (Yes, library has opened, and I am going to the park too- following COVID protocols, of course but what a delight to have some normalcy back!) The book’s got such amazing insights that you just can’t leave it once you start reading. Unlike any other history book I imagine. 

The poem I loved—

When the times are hard, remember that it’s preparation of something beautiful, like the April showers bring the May flowers.. Listen in to this poem for hope and faith during tough times.. 


Quote I’m pondering —

Kiss s…l…o…w…l…y,
Laugh InSaNeLy,
Live TRULY and 
Forgive quickly! 
– Paulo Coelho

Story I loved reading—

Patrick Murray tells the story of his mentor – Joel Weldon is a great mentor and teacher of mine. His advice is always so simple and clear and is delivered with real impact. And that’s because when he teaches you something, you believe, you really believe…

This makes a lot of sense. Yes, I can do this!

Perhaps you’ve had a teacher or mentor like that yourself over the years.

Even if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll get an insight from this story Joel shares.

When Joel first arrived as a student at Farmingdale Ag & Tech school in 1960 to commence a 2-year building construction course, the new tech building had just been finished.

And the one thing Joel noticed on the very first day of going to that completed building was there were no sidewalks.

Now this was a large area where the campus was, with lots of grass separating all of the different buildings. A beautiful campus.

They had dorms and a cafeteria, a student union building and general education buildings where English classes were held. But they were all separate buildings.

There were beautiful grass fields. But around the tech building, no sidewalks!

That’s because Mr Romanelli (Joel’s concrete instructor) had worked with the architects and engineers on the new tech building and helped convince them not to put in sidewalks for one year.

And at first the architects said why wouldn’t we put in sidewalks?

Well, we want to listen to the students, Mr Romanelli said.

So a year later in 1961 the paths were determined. And all that the architects and engineers had to do was look at the grass fields surrounding the tech building and follow the paths the students had made.

The shortest, most direct way to the dorms, to the cafeteria, to the student union building, to the other buildings on campus. And once they saw the footpaths trodden in the grass, they had the PERFECT PATH.

Then they poured the concrete sidewalks and the side benefit of all of that was they had beautiful green grass on campus. Nobody walked across the grass because the paths were made where the students wanted to walk.

It’s the same when our children are learning something new. Wouldn’t it be great if they built their own perfect path? As parents, all we need to do is watch where they are trodden on the grass. What do they enjoy doing? And then, facilitate them in achieving the paths they defined on their own.

Can you imagine how much of a difference this would make?

[Story Credit: Patrick Murray]                                            

My aha moment this week —

In Denmark, there are libraries where you can borrow a person instead of a book to listen to their life story for 30 minutes. The goal is to fight against prejudice. Every person has a title – ′′ unemployed “, ′′ refugee “, ′′ bipolar “, etc. – but listening to their story makes you realize how not to ′′ judge a book by its cover “. This innovative and brilliant project is active in more than 50 countries. It’s called ′′ The Human Library “.

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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Your choice: Heaven or Hell.

Hi All,

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

Story I loved

A man dies and goes to the gate of Heaven and Hell. Since the man had been good all his life, God gives him an option to choose where he’d like to go. The man requests God to allow him to see both Heaven and Hell, before confirming. God gladly concedes to that request.

So, he first enters the gate of Hell. He is surprised to see there us a big dining table and people sitting around it in their chairs. He notices some of the world’s best delicacies being served on the table. Every one is being offered their favorite dishes. People have also been given forks and knives which they are supposed to use to eat. However, he notices there is one problem – People are hungry but not eating. He sees that the reason for that is that the forks and knives are giant sized, almost the size of a sword. Therefore, no one is able to use them to eat. And so they are dying of hunger even though the food is right in front of them.

The man then goes inside Heaven. He sees the exact same arrangement there too – the same huge dining table, the delicious looking food and the oversized forks and knives. However, he notices one difference – People are eating. People on one side of the table were feeding the ones on the other side. No one was left unfed.

Help others.
Feed them.
It is the same world.
Make it Heaven and not Hell.
You will be satisfied and you’ll be fed too.

Quotes I’m pondering —

Gandhi’s Top 10 quotes to help us live in bliss:

  1. Change Yourself
  2. You are in control
  3. Forgive and let go!
  4. Take care of This Moment
  5. Without action, you aren’t going anywhere
  6. Persist.
  7. Everyone is HUMAN
  8. See the good in people and help them
  9. Grow and Evolve
  10. Be Congruent. Be Authentic. Be Your True Self.

What I learnt –

I learnt the importance of meditation by this short anecdote.

Lord Buddha was once asked, “What have you gained by meditation?

He replied, “Nothing.

Then, after a little pause, he added, “But let me tell you what I have lost – Anger, Anxiety, Insecurity, Fears, Depression…

A page from my old diary–

Enjoy every moment of every day. Learn from Dogs:

  1. When a loved one comes home, run to greet them.
  2. Never pass up an opportunity to go for a joyride.
  3. Experience fresh air and wind in your face to be be pure ecstasy
  4. Stretch before rising
  5. Run, romp and play daily.
  6. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  7. Avoid biting when a little growl would do.
  8. On cool days, like on your back on the grass.
  9. Drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  10. Dance when you’re happy and wag your entire body.
  11. Be loyal.
  12. Delight in simple joy of a long walk.
  13. Don’t pretend.
  14. Dig until you find, if what you want is buried.
  15. Sit close, be silent, and nuzzle, when someone is having a bad day.

What I’m looking forward to —

There are two authors who I have read almost all books of – John Maxwell and Robin Sharma. So, I couldn’t resist myself from pre-ordering Robin Sharma’s upcoming book The Every Day Hero Manifesto. I have had a love-hate relationship with Robin Sharma’s writings but I just can’t ignore him.

Expecting some new and practical ideas from the book rather than the old goody goody stuff. Would love to share and hear your views on Robin Sharma books.                      

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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Be Careful of Your Thoughts!

Hi, How are you feeling? Yeah, tune in and verbalize it.

If you’ve read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, it says that thoughts are things and  that where attention goes, energy flows.

How you’re feeling can make or mar your day, your life and even your destiny. Therefore, we all should do ourselves a favor and consciously work towards keeping our mind in a happy and focused state.

Well, and that’s regardless of the circumstances of course.

This weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, are things I’m enjoying or pondering to keep me in a positive frame of mind.

The simple message from my old diary–

Be careful of your thoughts, for they become your words.
Be careful of your words, for they become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for they become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for they become your character.
Be careful of your character, for it becomes your destiny.

(-Source unknown)

A Soul’s Prayer that served food for my wailing soul

Am I close enough to YOU?
Have I spent everything I love?
Have I let go of the strings?
Have I given up on my fears?
Am I close enough to YOU?
Have I given up all biases and prejudices?
Have I seen YOU in a wailing kid?
Have I seen YOU in an invalid?
Have I lent a shoulder to the trembling hand?
Have I wiped a tear and made someone smile?
Am I close enough to YOU?
Have I learnt to listen?
Have I inspired a Dream?
Have I seen a clear stream of reason?
Have I set myself free?
May be some day, I dissolve in YOU.
May be some day, there is no I, only YOU!

-a humble disciple

What motivated me to act now

One day, you will wake up and there won’t t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.

-Manuscript found in ACCRA by Paulo Coelho

Quote I’m pondering —

Some people are so poor: All they have is money!

What I learnt –

All the above may look like gyan. After all, all said and done, how do we make it happen? Well, this good old Robin Sharma quote tells a lot about the secret to making it all happen using Discipline as the tool:

Cost of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.

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What My 8-Year Old Taught Me About Delegation

You always wanted to start a handmade jewelry business, but have no idea about how to manage the finances?
You dream to start a Podcast but have no clue how the technology works?
You’re overworked but your employees and partners are chilling? 

Does that sound familiar?

Dear friends, we all have our boundaries but is there a way we can realize our dreams despite our limitations? Is it possible?

Until a month back, I was reeling under pressure of personal and professional demands, when someone reminded me what Batman famously said:

“All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine.”

Can I ignore my limits too? Can I become limitless. Achieve BIG things. And if so how?

Well, I learnt that the answer lies in learning the Art of Delegation. 

Delegation is the process of assigning and entrusting work to another person.

As I delved deeper into understanding Delegating, I thought of those closest to me, my family members and realized that I had all varieties present at home:

  • Those who keep defaulting but never delegate:

Tanav, have you done your homework 
No, Papa
Do you need help?
No Papa
Would you be able to submit it?
IDK, Papa

That’s my dear twelve year old son, Tanav and perhaps me too! These people have work, don’t know how to do it, and yet they keep defaulting and consider it a crime to ask for help. That, even when others would be happy to extend their helping hand

  • Those who would work themselves to death but won’t delegate:

My candle burns at both the ends, it won’t last the night; But Oh my God and hey my friends, it gives a wonderful light.

They’re overworked, and yet keep taking on more responsibilities eventually burning themselves out. – That’s my better half, Deepti, sincere to the core, always asking to give her more.

  • Those who are perfecting the art of delegation:

Papa, I need to read the morning news at school assembly tomorrow, can you please help me prepare for it?
Brother, can you please help me find my laptop charger?
Mom, I need your help for my art work.

That’s my darling eight year old daughter, Sohana. They delegate and look relaxed and in control. They are able to find time to enjoy, complete their responsibilities and are able to make an impact.

There was a thing or two I could learn about the process of Delegation from my limitless daughter, Sohana.

Here’s what I found I was missing out on:

Where as I would foolishly think that I could do it faster myself, Sohana knows that it would be much quicker if it was delegated

Where as I feel they won’t be able to do it as well as I will. Sohana trusts.

While I consider it a waste of time to clarify and articulate, Sohana is clear and articulates what’s needed and by when. 

When the why is clear, the how appears 

I worried that the person I’ll delegate to will get all the credit. Where as Sohana only focuses on the outcome.

Where as I wasn’t thinking about ‘What is in it for them?’ , she considers that top priority. If I’m helping her with her speech, she knows it gives me utmost satisfaction as I dream of her becoming a great orator. If it’s her brother helping her find her charger, he will in turn get to use her comfy office chair for his class. 

She sets timelines upfront. Papa, I need you to decide the news to be read by 4 PM.

She empathically gives Praise, Feedback and Elevates 

People don’t do what we expect. They do what we inspect with respect.

Sohana’s example shows us that we don’t have to do everything ourselves. And yet, we can achieve anything we set our eyes on.

According to John C. Maxwell, author of Developing the Leaders Around You, “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. But if you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”

I would leave you with the following questions:

  • Are you delegating enough to achieve your dreams?
  • What stops you from delegating?
  • What are some of the things you’ll do now to overcome it?

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.