[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are You A Loser?.. Good!

Hi All,

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

Movie I watched—

We’ll drink together when you get through IIT. Here’s the bottle.” tells the Dad to his son who is already under performance stress and pressure.

The son has written the test well and is very hopeful he will crack it. But his examination roll no. is entered to see the online results, all the screen gives back is, “Better luck next time!”

In case you haven’t guessed which movie that scene is from, that’s from the movie, Chhichhore.

Biggest lesson for me from the movie was that we, as parents, just tell our kids what we will do if they get an A+ or get through an entrance test. It could be a big gift, a dream holiday, PS3 or like in the movie, a session of drinking together for the first time!

However, how often do we simply forget to add what will happen in case the kid doesn’t get a good grade, or gets rejected or fails?

The boy in the movie, Raghav, thinks he is a LOSER. He is unable to cope with this failure and jumps off from the building.

Acronym I loved –

So, the movie Chhichhore left an impression on me long after it ended.

Call it selective attention that after watching the movie, as I was browsing my LinkedIn feed, I saw a friend, Sanjana’s post that triggered a little mindset shift in me about losing and LOSERS.

Here it is for you:

Beside this image, she had added: I am a loser and that’s okay!

I completely agree.  

After all, Successful people are not those who never fail. They are those who do fail but get up stronger every time they fall.

A Paper trick I learnt –

We all know how the habit of daily journaling can makes as ultra-successful. But then, not always can you carry a bulky journal around where ever you go – office, for example, or when you’re travelling!

This video teaches a quick and simple way to make a tiny journal or mini book out of a single slice of A4 sized paper.

This little video came in handy for me on my journey from Jaipur to Delhi by train. I used the IRCTC food menu paper (it has one side blank) to create a mini diary which I used for my weekly goal setting exercise. 

It can be used as an affirmations card, or simply as a fun activity with kids. Check it out here when you have 7 minutes 23 seconds.

Question I loved –

What according to you is the single most important quality that makes successful people successful?

Whenever I ask that question to my audience, I get a plethora of answers ranging from empathy, relationships, learning mindset, resilience and so on.

The answer usually surprises the audience.

According to a survey of top CEOs companies, the single most important trait that makes successful people successful is self-awareness. Self-awareness is “the capacity to monitor and self-regulate one’s internal world.

Now, in a world where we are constantly rushing, panicking and reacting, that’s certainly some food for thought.

Quote I’m pondering —

Hard choices, easy life.

Easy choices, hard life”

 – Jerzy Gregorek

Take a minute to soak that in.

Hard choices are forcing you to act: Take risk. Sacrifice television for studying.

Hard choices are learning how to do something rather than just waiting for someone else to do it for you.

So will you go to the gym today (hard choice) or press snooze for some more sleep (easy choice)? 


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Do You Know the Devil’s DEADLIEST weapon?

Hi All,

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

 One Box Any House With Children Must Have—

A “What Should I Do?” Box.

We keep chits inside this box with an idea on each chit.

Kids often get bored and come back with the perennial “What Should I Do?” question. A question which no parent has ever been able to answer to their kid’s satisfaction!

That’s when this mystery box comes to our rescue.

The rule is that every time anyone asks that question, they have to draw a random chit out of the “What Should I Do?” box, and then follow whatever is written on it. It could be, “Read The Wimpy Kid”, “Draw Your Favourite Person’s Sketch”, or “Write on.. If I were a stray animal”.  

Anything creative basically.

During other times, kids are welcome to add new chits with novel ideas. Try to minimize chits like “Play on the phone” or “Watch TV” otherwise it defeats the purpose.

And to be honest, why just children, even I sometimes get a chit out and that gives my confused soul some creative direction.

 

Story I loved hearing –

Devil puts all his weapons for sale. It is a spectacular display on glass cases on a table:

  • A gleaming dagger, labelled JEALOUSY.
  • A sledgehammer, with its label ANGER
  • Bows labelled GREED and WANT
  • Arrows tipped in poison labelled LUST and ENVY

At a little distance is another of the tools from the Devil’s armoury. However, it is not as impressive as the rest of the weapons. It was a wedge of wood.

A visitor was checking out all these tools on display. He noticed that the price of this rather ordinary looking piece of wood was more than the combined price of all the other tools the Devil had!

He got very curious and asked the Devil why was that the case?

The Devil replied, “This one is my favourite. I can always rely on it and it works when all other weapons fail. Above all, unlike others, it doesn’t even look like a weapon, so my victims easily succumb to it.

The visitor looked closely at this tool once again; it had a label under it, that read: DISCOURAGEMENT.

 

A poem I wrote –

If you’re still not convinced about the “What Should I Do?” box, let me tell you that this poem, one of my creative geniuses (well, well, well!), evolved from a little chit from the same box!

Title of the poem: What If I Die Undone?

I spent a lot of time wondering what my real purpose of existence was. Then, a little incident changed my perspective – I accepted myself and my life the way it was.. and found happiness in it!

******************************

 What If I Die Undone?

I believe we’re here for a reason,

but I’m scared each day of every season,

for clock is ticking fast, the baby we held is now our teenage son! 

what if I can’t find it (the reason)

and die undone?

 

I am a writer, no a manager, crap… a painter, husband, papa and son,

all combined into one

but from all of the above, the sole reason for my existence can be none!

what if I can’t find it (the reason)

and die undone?

 

I seek God for an answer

… isn’t seeking God itself the reason?

I meditate: read Gita, Quran, Guru Granth and Bible

I was so close to the answer

but didn’t realize when it took me away from my dear ones

 

I was, after all, praying and reading from winter to fall

paying little attention to anything else

until my little two year old doll 

was hurt on her face.. so badly, hit with a ball

that’s when I realized

 

I needed to come back to life, …my life.

and play the roles, all of them, even if I master none!

I am a writer, a manager, a painter, husband, papa and son

and if I do justice to each of these one

There is no way I will die undone

 

I still believe we’re here for a reason,

and I’m living each day of every season,

playing all my roles well and having fun!

Alas! I found it,

I will not die undone!

******************************

What book I’ve been reading this year–

If there is one book I’d like to recommend which can go for the entire year round for you, it will have to be “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and Art of Living” by Ryan Holiday.  

It has a page for every calendar day which gradually increases your stoical quotient.

In case you don’t know, a stoic, by definition, is a person who can endure pain or hardship without complaining. Marcus Aurelius and Seneca for example.

 

Quote I’m pondering —

The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said this.

Amor – Love; Fati – Fate

Amor Fati is a mindset shift where you not on accept your reality but embrace it. Treating each and every moment – no matter how challenging – as something to be loved, not avoided.

I read this quote in The Daily Stoic itself. It suggested that our obstacles, adversities and fears will become the very fuel for our growth if we imbibe the mindset of Amor Fati.             

 

 


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Calm is Your Friend

Hi All,

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

What I’m watching —

I chanced upon a video on YouTube and fell in love with the channel. It’s called Tell A Tale, and here is the video that really got me hooked. Since watching this one, I have seen many more of their videos.

Watch it for short, real and emotional stories coming straight from the horse’s mouth. 

What I’m reading –

I’m re-reading Stephen MR Covey’s Speed of Trust and found this quote pretty powerful:

Think about it, and read this book if you haven’t.

What am I looking forward to –

Ta Da. It is that time of the year when we should be planning our goals for the next year, 2020.

I have ordered my diary for 2020. It’s called Unnati I-CAN-I-WILL Success Planner, and I would highly recommend for you to check it out here. I have been using success planner from since 2013 and love it.

It helps me set my yearly goals and break them into monthly/ weekly/ daily ones. I have taken some time to learn that one can’t bank just on the one time new year resolutions.   

What I have learnt –

When making a decision under pressure or emotionally charged situation, think twice. These situations of high emotional arousal (feeling excited, anxious, or upset) are called Hot situations.

Hot situations increase the chance of engaging in risk-taking and sensation-seeking behaviours, with little self-control or consideration of the possible consequences of the actions.

Calm is your friend. So, next time, if you feel like you may be in a Hot situation, take a cold shower or as our elders have told us, have a glass of cold water. Basically, relax and get yourself in a cooler situation before you make a call.

Quote I’m pondering —

“Culture eats Strategy for breakfast!” – Peter Drucker

I heard this at an office training session and figured that it highlights how often we underestimate the power of culture.

If your plans are not working out despite your best efforts, you may want to see how you are doing on building an effective work culture. Because it may be that your best plans or strategies are being savoured by the culture over breakfast!       


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Hold Fast To Your Dreams

Hi All,

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

What I’m reading –

I am reading Against the Wind the recently released memoir of her life by Mrs Rajni Kumar.

Mrs Kumar, now 96, is the lady who’s been an inspiration for me for many many years. She started the Springdales school, a school with enviable reputation, which has now expanded to a total of four branches including one in Dubai!

Ah, great it is to believe the dream,

As we stand in youth by the starry stream.

But a greater thing is to fight life through,

And say at the end, the dream is true!

(Mrs Kumar ends her book with this quote by American poet Edwin Markham.)

Well, I was not a Springdalian myself but my fascination for the school was such that I’d sometimes even lie telling acquaintances that I was from Springdales instead of my own school which was the adjacent Salwan School. Not that I had anything against my own school, but then I used to spend a lot of time playing with Springdalians and had a natural affinity towards everything Springdalian!

I guess I never really outgrew my fascination (or was it obsession?) and when time came for me to get married, I would dream of getting married to a Springdalian.

That elusive dream of mine, after all, did become a reality and today I’m married to a Springdalian (who I love for many more reasons than just that!) and both my children study at Springdales! Thanks to the point based selection system in Delhi for School admissions, which gives due consideration to the School alumni.

That’s a bit of my own memoir there and in case you didn’t know, here’s the difference between a memoir and an autobiography:

By the way, did you notice, Mrs Kumar’s quote fits so well in my own journey too!

What Movie I watched —

Imagine if you unexpectedly find a bag full of crores of rupees one fine day. What would it do to your principles and values that you have been carrying over the years? 

No one’s watching. Would you pick the bag or leave it and carry on with your life as before? 

If you choose to pick it, what would it do to you, and your relationships with your family?

Chappar Phaad Ke“, is the movie that is a tell tale of all that, with realistic performances by Vinay Pathak and others. Although it is a bit slow, but it’s pretty thrilling and keeps you hooked till the end. All in all, a good, one time, family watch. 

Every time after she’s heard a story or watched a movie, I ask my six year old daughter, Sohana, what the moral of the story was. And, no matter what the story, her answer is always the same, “लालच बुरी बला है” (Greed is bad!).

This time, however, she was right!

Memories I’m Making –

It was John Maxwell who brainwashed me (well, in a good way, of course!) into believing that I can create great memories with my loved ones.   

This Diwali, we as a family agreed to get one family picture clicked that we’ll

forever be proud of. In a world where smartphones click a gazillion pictures a day, we decided to get just one that spoke volumes of our chemistry. 

Everyone put their best foot forward and a day which would have, otherwise, filled itself watching videos of Sis and Bro, exchanging Whatsapp messages, or playing Brawl Stars mindlessly, found itself a purpose. We all nicely dressed and posed well for this picture. 

A picture that will indeed make memories come fresh timelessly. 

If there is one thing I have to tell you, it would be – Don’t wait for memories to happen, get up to create them yourself. 

Because, you and only you can! Read this article to find out how. 

Happy Diwali! 

Quote I’m pondering—

Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

– Langston Hughes

What I ‘m impressed with–

Festivity is in the air. What if crackers are banned in Delhi, creativity is set ablaze all around. Have you seen chocolates in the shape of rockets, anaars, chakkari and sutli bombs? You name it. 

Risking coining a new term here, cracko-lates. Now would that make me famous?

 


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] You Can Make Them Laugh!

Hi All,

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

Most inspiring resignation I’ve ever read –

Need I say anything more?

My micro learning’s this week –

  • Most powerful word in sales: You! If you’re thinking of the title of your blog post, or your book title, consider including a You.

Example: You can win, by Shiv Khera which continues to sell (at traffic lights) after having already sold over 3.8 million copies in 21 languages!

In fact, almost all my blog posts, including this one, have You in them.

  • Most powerful number when giving a speech: 3. It has worked since times immemorial and continues to be that magic number. Go with three examples to explain a concept, three steps to a process and three key points from a presentation.

Not 2, definitely not 4, just 3.  

  • Quick way to make an audience laugh: Superiority and Surprise. Make them feel superior (which the presenter can do at their own cost by self deprecating) and add novelty by starting with a usual path but then taking an unexpected turn in your speech.
  • One quality of a good communicator: Say the most in least possible words!

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in less than six words. It turned out to be a heartrending mini-classic. Here’s the full story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Youtube video I loved to watch –

I am growing more and more fond of Brene’ Brown. She is a PhD researcher and writer on subjects like shame, vulnerability and empathy.

Here’s an interview of her which I have just finished watching. This is about her quest for true belonging. I was so inspired with her research that I wrote and gave a speech on it at the Humorous Speech Contest at our club this Sunday.

Here’s my script, and yours truly won the second prize! (cheesy line, I know J)

 Quote I’m pondering —

What am I looking forward to –

The best free resource I know for improving your public speaking skills is Craig Valentine’s 52 tips. He is the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking and if you subscribe, you get a tip each week.

His claim is that one year from now; you would be 3 times the speaker you are today!

I agree. After all, I can feel the difference in myself after having done it once a few years back, and now looking forward to subscribing over again. Would it be another 3 times? I hope.               


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My Longing To Belonging


Roses are red, violets are blue

A face like you, belongs in the zoo.

But don’t you worry, I’ll be there with you.

Not in a cage, but laughing at you.


Do you know how you looked when you were a baby?

You probably don’t remember yourself, but I’m sure your elders have told you.

It was the 29th July 1990. It was a glorious day, just like today.

My Grandma and I were sitting in our veradah watching the slight drizzle outside. We often sat here and I used to excitedly listen to her stories of the times gone by.

But that particular day Grandma sitting on the white cane chair said something that changed my life for ever.

“I remember the day when you were born. I was in the kitchen making tea when the phone rang. It was a call from the hospital and the news of you arriving.”, she said.

I smiled and gestured for her to continue.

“Yeah, it was raining so heavily I was wondering if I should go by the car or take a boat to the hospital.”

“I reached the hospital, and before I saw your face, as our rich family traditions have it, I gave your mother an envelope full of money. Her work was done. And why not, after four granddaughters, I had a grandson.!

Then, I asked the nurse to hand you to me. I held you in my arms for the first time and then I looked at you.

I still remember, you looked like a perfect ugly duckling!!!”

And she laughed like there was no tomorrow. In fact there wasn’t. For me. Because it might have been her weird sense of humor but that moment was one when I felt as if I didn’t belong to my own family. 

But then, I consoled myself: After all, it doesn’t matter what people think you look like. What matters is what you think you look like!

Well.., every day from that day onward, I would look at myself in the mirror and all I saw was an ugly duckling!

That’s how I became an ugly duckling wholeheartedly. Now, my dear fellow beautiful ducklings, do you know what this ugly duckling wanted?

All this ugly duckling ever wanted was to belong. 

And thus started my longing for belonging. I wanted to belong. To anyone. To anything.

In school, I did well. With great difficulty, I managed to make friends. We were three of us – Rahul, Mohit and Nitin.

Do you want to know the kind of bond we shared? Yes?

Rahul used to hate me. Nitin hated Rahul. I hated both of them!

The entire school life.

A little price to pay for belonging.

In college, I did even better. You see, the girls with the beauty and the brawn didn’t think I even existed. But I still made many girlfriends. Do you want to know how?

Well, I would fall head over heels for anyone who would care to smile at me.

After all, I wanted to belong. To anyone.

A little price to pay for belonging.

But none of those relationships ever lasted. Because all those girls were completely useless. After all, how could anyone with any grey matter ever fall in love with an ugly duckling?

Even here, haven’t you noticed me trying to please you? I pleased people all the way to become the President of the Toastmasters Club of West Delhi.

A little price to pay for belonging.

There is nothing wrong with trying to belong. Don’t we all want to be a part of something greater than ourselves?

But we often try to fit in to belong rather than, stand out to belong.

There is just one thing I have learnt from a lifetime of quack quacks.

Click To Tweet

Not by trying to be like them, but by being your authentic self.

Yes, It’s a little scary standing out here, but the view is breathtaking.

Well, I’m still trying to belong. Do you think I belong to you, the Toastmasters?

Yes? 

Okay, then I guess the ugly duckling was right.

I met it in the mirror this morning, it said:


Yes, roses are red Yes, violets are blue

Be you be true

Whether in the zoo Or in Honolulu

They have nothing else to do,

Those who laugh at you!


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Where Do You Belong?

Hi All,

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

What I’m reading –

I am reading “Braving the Wilderness” by Brené Brown.

The author talks about how we all have an innate desire to belong.

From the time we gain consciousness, we are constantly seeking comfort in being a part of something – a cool gang of friends, a social club, family and so on.  

While there is nothing wrong with that but often times we end up going to any extent to be considered a part of a group! We even sacrifice who we truly are, for the want of fitting in.

The choice we always have is one between fitting in and standing out. Yes, the price is high, as the author quotes, but the reward is great – Freedom!

(Brené quotes Maya Angelou, her inspiration.)

 

Concept I’m excited to implement –

Ever wondered why your brother never gets it despite your endless efforts to explain an idea that’s in his best interest?

Selling is all about solving a customer’s problem. And it’s the same whether you’re selling products or ideas.     

But we have to be careful about who we are offering the solution to. People are at different level of awareness and if you want to sell a product or an idea to someone, it’s key to know what level they’re at.

Ray Edwards from Platform University has developed a framework he calls the OPEN Buyer Awareness Scale, that can come in handy to understand what level the person you’re selling you is at:

  • Oblivious– People at this level have no idea the problem exists and are completely uninterested in the solution.
  • Pondering–At this level, people are aware of the problem but not worried although they may think about solving it.
  • Engaged–This is the level where people are fully aware of the problem and actively seeking a solution for it.
  • Need–This is where people are desperate for an immediate solution. They may go to the extent of trying a dozen solutions at once.

Best use of your time is selling to people who are Engaged and the ones in Need will find you as well.

Otherwise, you might be wasting your time.

 

Challenge I’m undertaking –

Seemingly simple but in reality it is pretty tough. But once again, the rewards are great. I call it the Writober challenge. I will write 750 words every day for the entire month of October.

The tool, and this is my favourite, I will use to nudge me into doing this is called 750words.com. I do have a paid membership ($5 a month) but if you’re wanting to explore, they offer a one month free membership.

No credit card required.

All you need is an email address. Worth giving it a try if you’re on a journey to become a writer.

 

Quote I’m pondering —

“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters.”— Epictetus

Now that’s something I can do!

 

What am I looking forward to –

Laughter is the best medicine. Well, we’ve all heard that quote. But what are we doing about making some giggles happen. Well, it doesn’t just happen on its own.

You have to create it, make room for it, or at the very least seek for it.

Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contests happens every year this time and are one place you can go and experience it, for free. Well, almost.

It’s happening at our Club this Sunday, 20th October. Come and be our guest! Wanna know more? Check this out.

                                   


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Why Do People Smoke?

Hi All,

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

What I’m watching —

It’s the season of festivity and I’m no different when it comes to making the most of it.

Last Friday, my family and my sister’s went to see the Ramleela at Punjabi Bagh Club. This was a condensed version of Ramleela which is called Sampoorna Ramleela and completes in just four hours. 

Everyone loved it from the youngest to the oldest among us, their age difference being over 70 years. It was an amazing fusion of the latest technology and the customary style. The costumes and the music added to the overall aura of fun and excitement. 

 There is a takeaway for diverse set of people as each verse and poem includes a significant life lesson. 

 What puzzle I’ve solved–

As we were standing eating Chaat (famous Indian roadside snack) at the famous Chaatwala at Connaught Place, Sohana, my six year old daughter asked me a simple question:

Everyone knows smoking is injurious to health, it even causes cancer, but still people decide to smoke. Why’s that, Papa?

Why do people decide to smoke when it’s not good for their own self?

She was looking at the man at the Panwadi (betel seller) next to the Chaatwala smoking a cigarette.

Good question, I said.

She continued to look at me. The look on her face told me she was looking for an answer better than that.

So, I added, Yes, they shouldn’t!

But why do they decide to smoke? She reiterated.

I couldn’t think anything better, and said, Perhaps because they’re fools.

She said, He doesn’t look like one though Papa!

I looked at this smoker who I noticed was a well built man with decent looks.

Ok, pass!, I said, giving her a hand a clap, as if she had asked me a new riddle she had learnt at school to which I didn’t know the answer.

She was not impressed. And to be honest, neither was I!

Okay, I said and walked straight to this guy, and asked, Sir, my daughter and I’m doing a little survey. Would you like to participate?

He was a bit puzzled but gave me a nod.

I repeated Sohana’s question, Why did you decide to smoke when it’s not good for your own self?

He was initially surprised, then took another puff and whispered in my ear, To be honest, I started smoking because my Dad told me not to!

I smiled and told that to Sohana. She also laughed. But perhaps there was some truth in his statement.

We are mostly given instructions about life – Do this, Don’t do that. That’s it.

But has anyone ever taught you how to make decisions in your life? How to decide what to and what not to do?

Think of your own life: Haven’t you made decisions to prove something to someone or even to your own self?

Why?

Because you don’t know any better. You still make decisions, without having any process around it. And then, we complain that things are not going right for us -bad grades, career crisis, divorces and so on. 

Well, the root cause is the lack of an understanding of decision making process.

With that puzzle solved, you may want to know how to fill this gap, isn’t it? For that, read the next section.

Youtube video I’m in love with—

This video tells a short hilarious story to make a point. I will let you watch it and won’t play a spoiler but this will surely teach you a thing or two about how to improve your decision making skills, quickly.

Watch it when you have 6 minutes: 46 seconds to spare. It will be worth it.

New iPhone feature I discovered–

We went to this new restaurant last evening at East Patel Nagar, Delhi. It’s called Pinjore. It had such an amazing decor, good food, and fantastic service.

Everything that you can think of was simply great. They serve non vegetarian food and don’t serve alcohol.

We were nine of us and the bill was Rs. 3690.82 including taxes. That comes to around Rs 400 per person.

Not bad at all for the great time we had there!

So, when we were about to be done, the Bollywood songs that were playing changed to a Punjabi number. The mood was already set and the Punjabi music was the kinds that would make you want to get up and shake a leg.

Anyway, I wanted to know the Singer and Song so I could play that later in my car. However, I couldn’t catch the lyrics and asked my 11 year old son, Tanav, to ask the waiter or the restaurant staff.

In return, Tanav asked me for my phone. Then, he long pressed the round button on my iPhone to invoke Siri.

Siri appeared like the genie in a bottle.

Siri: What can I help you with?

Tanav, “Which song is this?”

Siri, “Listening…”

And then the magic happened, with the following screen appearing..

I tried this with several others songs, and have to admit that it has an impeccable accuracy.

I asked Tanav if this feature was available on Android as well. He humbly nodded.

Definition I’m pondering

Someone told me his definition of Hell:

Hell is your last day in this world, when the person you have become meets the person you could have become!                                            


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4 Steps to Make You A Better Decision Maker

Long back, we as a family took the membership of the British Council Library. 

Since then, we visit at least once every two months. My children associate Library with me-time, reading and chaat. 

Yes, chaat, the very famous roadside Indian snack!

There is a famous chaat wala right outside the library who we don’t miss ever on the way back. 

Truth be told, more than the library, it is the chaat wala that we crave for!  It has become a ritual for us. 

This Saturday, I was ordering Chaat, as my family was waiting. Sohana, my six year old daughter noticed a man standing nearby smoking a cigarette.

There is a panwadi right opposite the Chaat wala. Panwadi, the betel seller who sells cigarettes as well. 

Sohana asked me a simple question: Everyone knows smoking is injurious to health, it even causes cancer, but still people decide to smoke. Why’s that Papa?

Why do people decide to smoke when it’s not good for their own selves. 

Good question, I said. 

She continued to look at me. The look on her face told me she was looking for an answer better than that. 

So, I added, Yes, they shouldn’t! 

But why do they decide to smoke?, she reiterated.

I couldn’t think anything better, and said, perhaps because they’re fools. 

She said, He doesn’t look like one though Papa!

I looked at this smoker who I noticed was a well built man with decent looks.

Ok, pass!, I said, giving her a clap at her hand with mine, as if she had asked me a new riddle she had learnt at school to which I didn’t know the answer. 

She was not impressed. And to be honest, neither was I! 

Okay, I said and walked straight to this guy, and asked, “Hi, my daughter and I’m doing a little survey. Would you like to participate?

He gave me a nod. 

I repeated Sohana’s question, “Why did you decide to smoke when it’s not good for your own self?
He looked at me puzzled, then smiled and whispered in my ear, “To be honest, I started smoking because my Dad told me I should not smoke!

I smiled and told that to Sohana later. She also laughed. But perhaps there was some truth in his statement. 

We are mostly given instructions about life – Do this, Don’t do that. That’s it. 

But has anyone ever taught you how to make decisions in your life? 

Think of your own life. Haven’t you made decisions to prove something to someone or even to your own self?

Why? 

Well, because you don’t know any better. We still make decisions, and since morning, you would have made at least a 100 decisions. 

But unfortunately, we are doing so without having any process around it. And then, we complain that things are not going right for us -bad grades, career crisis, divorces and so on. 

Well, the root cause is the lack of an understanding of decision making process. 
And that’s exactly what I am here to fill today with this DISC.

Be Deliberate. Decide to decide! Otherwise, someone else will decide for you. 

Remember the Ideal.me: Who I really want to be? Then ask, “Will this decision take me few steps closer to the ideal.me or few steps away from it?

Someone once told me the definition of Hell:

Hell is when on your last day in this world, the person you have become meets the person you could have become! Click To Tweet

Next, start making Small decisions today. They will help you can make BIG decisions tomorrow!

  • What to wear today for work?
  • What will I do this weekend?
  • Will I say Yes, No or May be to the 1000 proposals my friends will be coming up with? 

“Everything you’re doing right now is preparing you for a time that is yet to come.” – Jeff Goins. 

Compare Short term v/s long term gains

Well, that solves the why people smoke puzzle. They smoke for getting instant pleasure, that is short term happiness even though in the long term, it will destroy them. 

And why only smoking, there are many other examples like abusing, bullying, cheating and drinking. They all give you a kick in the short term, but in the long term they will destroy you. Next time you feel the urge, use this table and then make a decision: 

Who do you really want to become? Your Ideal.me.

Well, there’s no guarantee of success, but you can always improve your odds.

And becoming a better decision maker using this DISC will give you the best chance possible.                                                                                                                                                                               


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.