[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!                                            


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.


                                                                                                                                    

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.


                                                                                                                                    

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are You Just Busy Being Busy?

Hi All,

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

Quote I’m pondering —

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!”

― Stephen Covey

This happens to be my all time favourite quote. But like everyone else, life comes in the way for me too sometimes, and that’s when I have to bring this quote back and ponder over it.

Doing so helps separate the wheat from the chaff and connects me back to what really matters for me in life.

In today’s world full of distractions, this is one quote I would put on a gigantic billboard for everyone to read.

What I’m grateful for –

This is the link to the Weekly Design System, a tool which leadership speaker and coach, Robin Sharma shared several years ago. I have been using this since over 5 years. It lets you create such a massive focus and continuity into your life and builds a momentum for you.

Robin always mentions that we should make systems that work for us and this is an example of that. It works even when I feel low. That’s how powerful it is!

 Try it out and it may just change your life.

Something I read that was eye-opening—

According to storybrand.com, a survey of 72 CEOs of successful companies that were doing $50 million and up in revenue revealed the key characteristic to their success, and it’s surprising.

Can you guess what that was?

..

That characteristic is self-awareness, which is defined as “the capacity to monitor and self-regulate one’s internal world.

So, do make time to understanding yourself for we can only understand others if we first understand ourselves.

What I do when things get tough-

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”  – Robin Sharma

So, what I have understood is that when you start anything new (for example, starting an online platform, writing a broadcast, a new job), make sure you write down the reasons why you are doing it.

And I mean it! Write your why down in pen and paper.

Things are going to get tough and messy and you will want to give up. That’s when this why will come to your rescue. Why you started in the first place.

It will give you the motivation to keep going and get past the tumultuous ride.

So often, we get so focused on the urgent and the today’s to do’s that we lose sight of the motivation that was the reason why we started.

I’m sharing more quotes that usual today, but this one is really the one to remember:

You lose your way when you lose your why.

What I learnt from Corporate Core Values

Every organisation has what they call their core values, yours too right?

But what about your personal (family) core values?

I am proposing for you to create your Family Core Values. It addresses the HOW of whatever you do.

As for myself, yes, it took me some convincing for my family to come on-board this idea. After that, we had a few family meetings to agree on what we value in our family.

Here’s our list:

  1. Respect at all times
  2. Integrity even when times are tough
  3. Courage over Comfort
  4. Honour ourselves to honour others

Our easy way to remember is the acronym RICH. So, we are a RICH family, finally!

What about you, anything holding you back?

Take some time off and create your Family Values. And then, live them.                                       


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.


                                                                                                                                    

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are Things Better Than You Think?

Hi All,

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

Quote I’m pondering —

 “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.

When I went to school, teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’.

Teacher told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told her she didn’t understand life!”

― John Lennon

John Lennon got it right very early in his life. We want happiness above everything else we want in life – that luxury car, a dream bungalow, family trip to Hawai’i, or even an appreciation note.

Yet, the irony is that I have to write a broadcast to remind myself and you about that!

What I’ve understood about Happiness–

Jonathan Fields, in the Good Life Project, says that in order to make a happy fulfilled day, we need three buckets to be filled.

These three buckets are that of – Connection, Contribution and Vitality.  

However, these three buckets have little holes at the bottom, which means the buckets have to be filled every single day. And a near empty bucket drags the levels of other buckets down with it.

If you’re not too sure if today turned out to be a fulfilling day, then take some actions to fill these three buckets tomorrow.

For me, I will connect over tea with a colleague (Connection), deliver that presentation in a world class way (Contribution), and spend half an hour in nature (Vitality)

What I’m reading—

Before we get to that, let’s play a bit of Kaun Banega Crorepati (well without the crores, of course):

Take this short quiz to test your knowledge about the world today. Use a paper and pen down your answers:

  1. How many people in the world have access to electricity?
    • A. 20 percent
    • B. 50 percent
    • C. 80 percent
  2. How many of the world’s 1-year-old children today have been vaccinated against some disease?
    • A. 20 percent
    • B. 50 percent
    • C. 80 percent
  3. In the last 20 years, the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has:
    • A. Doubled
    • B. Halved
    • C. Stayed the same

Well, the book I’m reading is called Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling.

 These questions above are from this book.

Correct answers (to be read upside down): ᗺ.Ɛ Ͻ.ᄅ Ͻ.Ɩ

If you were somewhat wrong or even if you were mostly wrong, don’t fret! Most well read people including top professionals from various industries get this wrong.

The author makes his point that the world is indeed much better place than we think. Interesting read with many well researched facts.

So, just in case you were thinking that everything is worsening by the day – climate change, world population, terrorism et al., let me tell you that things are better than you think.

And it will be even better, if you smile.

New Term I’ve Learnt—

You have surely heard about absenteeism, but that’s not as big a problem in today’s anxious world. The real problem in today’s world is presenteeism.

Presenteeism is when you show up at work (or even college) for the sake of it, just so that your boss, teacher or colleagues notice it.

It is the practice of being present at one’s place of work especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one’s job.

When you step out for work tomorrow, ask yourself the two key things you will achieve. And then work towards those, without worrying about whether anyone is noticing you or not.

That will reduce your integrity gap and keeps the anxiety levels in control.

What I’m watching—

I rented the movie “Wonder” from YouTube to watch it again this weekend. It was such a delight to watch it with the entire family. Everyone loved it from beginning till end.

It is based on the book by the same title and tells the story of 10 year old Auggie who was born with a rare medical facial deformity.  He has been home-schooled but as he approaches fifth grade, his parents decide to enrol him to school for the first time.

There are many lessons about relationships and happiness in the movie. And the biggest precept for me was …

                                           


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are You Living With Strangers?

 

Hi All,

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

Podcast I’m listening to –

For most of us, the only benchmark we have for family life and relationships is nothing more than our family. After all, we hardly spend any time at anyone else’s place.

So, whether it was good, bad or ugly, we can’t even tell with nothing to compare it against. When we grow up, we generally use the same bar to bring up our children and deal with family members.

That’s how life was for me in my growing up years. Like most parents, my parents were doing what they could do given the circumstances.

However, I often had this question, “Is there a better way..?

My question was answered as I moved to stay at a relative’s place briefly when I relocated for work. There way was so different. Children would hug and kiss the elders in the morning; everyone would get together in the evening and talk about their successes of the day.

They encouraged each-other. There was no use of criticism and sarcasm. 

It felt nice. It felt like family.

Thankfully, these days there is enough opportunity to learn from others.

My favourite parenting podcast is one from Catchy and Todd, and it’s called Zen Parenting Radio. I listen on iPhone but I’m sure they’re on Android and you could listen directly from their site too.

They are young parents of three daughters and cover varied topicscandidly.

Well’ one doesn’t have to stay at someone’s place any more to know it there is an alternative way. Just tune in and it’s a free entry into the expert’s house.

Things I know to be true –

Well, that, “Things I know to be true”, is the title of a play I watched recently that completely changed my perspective about family and relationships. This play is about Price Family of four grown-up siblings and their parents all of who grew up together.

As life turns out, they all realize that even though this family was physically close, they hardly knew each other!

One of their sons confesses that he is transgender, which makes the parents feel devastated. They just can’t come to terms with this reality.

Similarly, certain secrets about the other siblings and the parents come as a shock for the rest of the family. It appears as if they didn’t even know their folks who they always said they loved so much.

The mother passes away in a car crash. She didn’t get a chance to reconcile the differences which had arisen due to the many turn of events.

There are quite a few lessons to learn from this very musical, very hilarious and very poignant play.

I watched it on Digital Theatre+. Well, yeah, not all good things in the life are free, so I have taken subscription.

Here’s a trailer for you.

 What I’m watching–

I recently saw the video of Otto Frank, the famous Anne Frank’s father.

One of the things he says in this video quite touched me. He says that, “Anne and I were very close and used to talk about everything under the sun. However, when I read her diaries, I discovered a very different Anne than the one I knew as my daughter. I didn’t ever know this side of her which was so serious and had such deep thoughts and feelings.

Otto Frank claims in the same video that most people don’t really know their children.

Question for us is: How well do we know our kids?

What I’m doing—

While I’m fine if my kids keep a few secrets from me, but I don’t really want to be like Anne’s dad.

One of the things I have been doing for years, that’s worked for me, is what I call family interviews. I have it on my calendar to do these interviews monthly.

Doing these interviews helps me discover something new from my children. And it makes memories. Above all, it is fun! You may want to give it a try.

Here’s one interview I did with my son, Tanav who is now eleven. At the time of this interview, he was four years old. (See it when you have 2 mins: 44 secs.)

Quote I’m pondering —

“I believe no man was ever scolded out of his sins.”— William Cowper

That’s for spouses and parents who think that scolding and shouting is the way out of the everyday problems. It may be the easiest, but certainly the least effective way to bring about lasting change.

If, for example, you scolded your spouse for drinking or smoking excessively, what you’re teaching them is to continue to do it while just being cautious not to let you know.

One must connect emotionally to bring about sustainable behaviour change and develop stronger relationships.

            


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.


                                                                                                                                    

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Is “Work” Taking Your Life Away?

Hi All,

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

What’s I’m pondering: 

According to Fast Company, Barack Obama, when he was the President, always wore the same thing – a blue or black suit. This was part of his secret to getting so much done.

He wanted to leave his mind saved from Decision Fatigue, which happens when you use your mind for trivial decisions such as what to eat, wear, buy… This let him focus effectively when the time came for more important decisions to be made.

Some of you may find this idea extreme, but the point is that we must do something to pare down decisions as decision making during the day add up and cause us fatigue.

So, whether or not our offices are oval, we need to find ways to reduce getting fatigued making unnecessary decisions during the day.

As Obama says:

“You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

Read here for more of Obama’s productivity secrets.

What I figured–

“My boss is unnecessarily complaining about my work. It’s painful!”

“My boss asks me to do the things exactly as he wants. Why can’t he understand that I’m not him?”

“I am sitting idle since last 2 weeks since I have joined the team. I feel so unwanted!”

These are some real life dialogues from my interaction with people just last week. Most people in the corporate world are unhappy with their work life. And since work life is a large part of your overall life, they’re unhappy in their life in general too!

Lot of them don’t even realise that something is going seriously wrong with them, until they have developed serious anxiety issues, stress or even depression.

So, here is a system to know your Happiness Score, based on the 5 keys to being joyful at work (French: joie de travailler).

Rate yourself on a scale of one to five on each of the following happiness keys :

  1. Freedom– If your boss wants you to do something “exactly like he wants!“, it doesn’t look like a place where you are getting enough creative freedom. Moreover, you don’t know what’s in his mind. The only way I can create something exactly like someone else wants is when I am him, which is usually not the case!

Reviews and feedback is alright, and is required for improving the deliverable further, but there is a thin line of difference between constructive feedback and forcing someone to become someone they are not! This thin line is quite significant to determine your happiness score.

  1. Connectedness–Being connected to people in the team and outside too openly is important to your being.

If your boss or team culture discourages talking to people from other teams, there is a problem.

You should be able to talk to everyone without any fear, openly. You should be able to bring up the ‘elephants in the room’, without mincing words.

Are you able to discuss matters of significance with your team? Connectedness is a human need and plays a key role in our happiness levels.

  1. Interesting Work– “Just do it because I say so!“,says your boss.  Well, that’s not what makes the work meaningful.

I want to know the reason why we’re doing it, what value I am adding to whom in the process. The bigger picture of the impact my work creates to a larger cause to the society, community or industry is what determines whether the work will be interesting to me or not.

  1. Being of use– “I am on the team for two weeks without anyone asking me to do anything!“. This is commonplace at work, and it creates havoc in the minds of people who are sitting idle.

We humans enjoy being useful. We may not believe it but it is true. If you’re sitting doing nothing, it’s not at all a good news. It is a serious cause for concern. Take some action if that’s the case or even quit such a job. Believe me, you’d be better off.

  1. Well Balanced Life– “I come back so late that I don’t see my children during weekdays!” Well, is that worth it? I don’t think so.

Listening to some light music, yoga or exercise, morning prayer with family, reading something different, attending to family functions and conferences, pursuing hobbies, spending time with family, making memories.. those things ought to be part of our life too.

Well, now that you have rated yourself on 1-5 on each of the above parameters, add up your individual scores and determine your Overall Happiness Score. If your score is between:

  • 5 – 12: Situation is alarming and you need to take some steps today. It could be as drastic as moving out of the project, organisation or even that career.
  • 13-18: It’s concerning but you can possible do something to increase the score. Look at the areas where you are really low and see what can be done to address those areas.
  • 19-25: Congratulations! You’re doing well. Your life is under control. All you have to do is manage your scores.

If you’re wondering, “What about Money? Fame? Parties? .. Don’t they bring happiness?”

Well, most of these would bring instant but temporary happiness, which often leads to long term distress. Of course we need money to sustain ourselves, but beyond a certain point, money won’t add to one’s happiness. For lasting joy, one must focus on things beyond these material things.

What I’m watching—

It was Thursday and a rather stressful day at work, but I dared to shoo away the stress and watch this comedy play on the way back home.

Bawarchi Diaries” at Akshara Theater.

It was of course a tough call to attend because the office pressures always have a tendency to dominate our lives and keep us away from things we know will relax us and bring our focus back.

I’m so glad I attended. In fact, I figured that if you’re just heads down into work, you are losing out on the varied perspectives which off-track experiences like watching a play can bring.

Particularly, this one was an out and out comedy, about a cooking maid, Rajkumari, who goes to different apartments and encounters some quirky residents in each one of them. From a modern day father-son duo obsessed  with Mahabharat, to a man who speaks only in songs and advertisements, each apartment has crazy residents who drive Rajkumari mad.

If you missed it, don’t sulk. It’s happening again on 28th Sept (Saturday) at Akshara Theater. Tickets are available at venue. (Akshara Theater Phone: 011 2336 1075). Live it up!

(Lucky to have clicked the poster with one of the artists from the same play, Harshit Pahwa)

Quote I’m pondering —

In the classroom, the teacher had asked the little 5 year old John Lennon, “What do you want to be when you grow up?

His reply, “Happy!

Teacher said, “You didn’t understand my question, John.”

to which John said, “You don’t understand life, Teacher!”

What I’m re-reading–

Sometimes we feel so consumed with work and end up missing the little pleasures of life. Reading my own article from a couple years back was a pleasant reminder of that.

The question to ask ourselves is: Are we paying attention and looking for opportunities to change a simple, run of the mill kind of day into one that becomes a lifetime memory?

 Look for windows of opportunities that could change a usual day into a lifetime memory. If you look carefully, you will find them.                                                                                                                                                                                         


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] What Do You Do Besides Work?

Hi All,

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

What I’m reading –

Reading a few lines from an unknown book can sometimes have such a profound impact on your life. I am reading “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller.

In one instance, he quotes Shakespeare when he said, “A man with a toothache cannot be in love.

The attention demanded by a toothache stops a person from noticing anything else.

Similarly, we often get extremely caught up in our work life. It becomes so stressing and this pain overshadows the health, vitality and success we have in other areas of life. We stop meeting our friends, eat without thinking, watch TV incessantly and snap at our children when asked an innocent question.

We start doing exact opposite of what we should be doing. And it only makes things worse.

These lines from Dan, had a subtle overnight effect on me. So, this week was about doing what I always loved doing. Read on to see how I made this week count!

What Movie I watched —

If you haven’t yet seen Mission Mangal, you are really missing something.

In a world where most people are not happy about their work, thankfully there are people who are so madly in love with what they do.

But like everyone else, even they get de-motivated at times. And when we’re down on motivation, what works best is to connect with the WHY.  

That’s what Vidya Balan did in the movie when she celebrated the Scientist in each team member. It connected them with why they had become a scientist.

This tied them to a common thread and was the turning point for the success of the Mangalyaan project.

Other takeaway was how work-life integration is a much better approach compared to work-life balance. They constantly use learning from home at office and learning from office at home. Compartmentalisation doesn’t work.

They also show our very own Indian jugaad in a positive light.

There is a sense of iss-ness in it, a sense of being happy about who we are, at peace despite our financial status, our beliefs and our way of being.

We did make Mangalyaan happen in first attempt at a wafer-thin budget. We used everything Indian to make it happen.

The direction is flawless and the movie keeps going, without letting you a blink. Go watch the movie with your family, and feel proud of being an Indian.

What 500 rupee or less purchase I’m proud of –

I ran 10K organized by Coach Ravinder this Sunday.

What helps in such runs and even the daily exercise or walk sessions is this arm band for mobile. Just Rs 110 at Amazon, and a purchase you will never regret.

Besides keeping the phone safe, it’s a detriment for checking the phone every time the phone buzzes for a message or any notification. Go for it.

Quote I’m pondering —

“What are you doing?” shouted his mother on seeing him sitting alone doing nothing.

“I’m thinking,” he shouted back.

“You’re thinking?”, she asked

“Yes, Mom, I’m thinking,” he said fiercely. “Have you ever tried thinking?”

  • Walter Isaacson 

That boy was Bill Gates when he was in sixth grade. This quote is from “In Search of the Real Bill Gates”

Question for you: How much time do you spend sitting with yourself doing nothing?

What I learnt –

We are working on a hilarious play for our Toastmasters Club Special Anniversary event. Coincidently, it emerged that a play had to be planned for our Office too, at a two days notice. Idea was to showcase what we do as a team in a comedy act.

Now, I’m no pro at plays but I was able to apply a few things I had learnt from our club play preparation. The office play went extremely well and we received accolades for that.

My learning was that everything is related to everything else. Keep learning whenever an opportunity comes. You never know where it will connect.                                            


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] This Is How You Grow!

Hi All,

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

Quote I’m pondering —

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”- Muhammed Ali

Video I loved watching —

TEDxSpit Video of Eisha Chopra. In case you’re wondering who’s Eisha Chopra, she was the supporting actress in the movie,“Neerja”.

In this talk, Eisha talks about her first lesson in Feminism from her Dad!She was an eight year old then.

This speech struck a chord with me and I recalled that time in school when my own Dad was temporarily out of work. One day, ourEnglish teacher, Mrs. Ohri, asked children to stand up one by one and share what their dad’s and mom’s did.

Perhaps, she wanted to give a nudge to the children to start conversing in English.

Most children told their Dad’s profession and that their mom was a “housewife”. That’s how it was back then in 80s.  Men worked and women mostly stayed home.

When my turn came, I stood up and said something that got the entire class and the teacher laughing.

In my broken English I had said, “My mother is a teacher and my dad is a housewife!

Everyone laughed and I was the butt of jokes for weeks after the incident.

Looking back, I realise there were many jokes I had cracked:

  • The obvious one: that I had used housewife for a man!
  • That: how can a man ‘not work’?
  • … even though his wife ‘worked’!

There was no respectable term for a man who wasn’t working, even though there were plenty for a woman who wasn’t working – home maker, house wife or just the lady of the house!

Feminism is not about woman versus man,it’s about woman equals man!

Trick I learnt to GROW—

Shuttl. Cult. DropBox. What comes to your mind when you think of these companies?

Well, chances are that you got a link from your friend to subscribe to these apps. They told you the benefits and how they’re loving it. Then, you subscribed.

No wonder then that these little known organisations until recently are so popular today having grown exponentially in no time.

The marketing technique they used is called the Viral Loop.

For example, Dropbox users who love extra cloud storage (at zero cost), are prompted to “Get More Space” by inviting their friends to use Dropbox as well.

This has worked incredibly well, creating an army of customers working tirelessly to grow these companies; an army that grows in size as each wave of new referrals sign up.

And while it gives these companies greater returns, it also saves them of the massive advertising costs.

Now before you share a referral for Cult Fit, ask yourself this question: in whatever I’m doing, can I consider creating a viral loop?

What I learnt –

Top 3 recommendations for standing out in the corporate crowd:

  1. Spikiness – being a jack of all and a master of “some” trades
  2. Your Network – how strong is your circle
  3. Consulting skills – your inter-personal skills

Behavioural nudges I’m trying –

Don’t ever say “Have a good day!” to your  dear ones.

That’s because this statement is moving you away from being a driver of your day to a victim of hope.

Instead change it with, “Make it a good day!”

See how this changes their “day” in a few days.

As for yourself, never say, “I have to do this.”. Instead, say, “I get to do this.”

Need I tell you the reason?


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.


 

Your Guide To Actually Becoming Rich, Quick!

A

s I stepped out for a morning walk, I heard some shouts from the neighbour’s house. It was a heated argument between my neighbour and his beloved wife. 

The husband screamed, “Yes, I called you that, because you have made life so difficult for me!” The wife was quick to retaliate sobbingly, “You will never understand what all I have to put up with. Thankless creature!

Well, before you jump to conclusions, answer this:

When was the last time you had a quarrel with someone dear to you?

If it happened in the last few weeks, then perhaps you are not any better than my neighbour.

To be honest, neither was I.. until some time back.

Reality is that, when we’re under pressure, we all tend to become such nasty human beings who we otherwise abhor.

We say things we don’t mean. Curse our loved ones and regret later. Apologising later doesn’t help as the harm is usually already done. It’s hard and sometimes impossible to bring back the trust and bond we held earlier.

It’s only during these stressful times or crisis situations that our value system is actually tested. And unfortunately, that’s where we mostly fail.

Why does it happen?

That’s because even though we talk about family values all the time, rarely can we put a finger on it. Even fewer chances that we have it written down, in black and white. The idea itself might sound ridiculous to you.

No wonder then, that we miss the point, act weak or chicken out during the times we need to recall our values the most! After all, when all is going well, there is nothing at stake – we can easily remain respectful, honest and fearless. It is the difficult times which truly tests our character and value system which is built over time.

Not having our “values” on top of mind lets our natural instincts to take over when push comes to shove.

You may agree with me by now that it is important to clearly define family values. The next question is how to do so?

How about taking a cue from the Corporate Core Values. Every organisation’s HR does it’s best in displaying them, replaying them, and celebrating them. It’s done so that people make the decisions in line with the Organisation’s values when the time comes.

I do remember the core values for my employer. It’s likely you remember your’s too! It’s thanks to the several measures that are taken so that employees don’t forget these.

Isn’t it, then, a shameful irony, that although we remember our work values, we don’t even have any personal (family) core values.

Don’t get me wrong. Not for a second am I suggesting to take your work any less seriously. All I am saying is that a disproportionate weight-age is given to our personal lives and relationships which is generally equally, if not more, important to us.

I am proposing for you to create your Family Core Values. It addresses the HOW of whatever you do.

It took me some convincing at home for my family to come on-board with this idea. After that, we had a few family meetings to agree on what we value in our family. Here’s our list:

  1. Courage over Comfort
  2. Respect at all times
  3. Honour ourselves to honour others
  4. Integrity even when times are tough

Next morning, I put these on my blackboard and began thinking how to make this an easy recall. Before long, I realised that the initials in a certain order make the acronym RICH!

R

– Respect at all times

I

– Integrity even when times are tough

C

– Courage over Comfort

H

– Honour ourselves to honour others

That’s how we become a RICH family overnight. 

I woke the children to tell them that we won a lottery.. we are now rich! Their little eyes opened with a ‘pop’. When I told them the acronym, they were exhilarated that our little family exercise had made us RICH overnight.

My five year old daughter suggested that we create a poster where we show our family values “RICH” inside a Heart shape and stick it in the play room. That would constantly remind us that we hold these values close to our hearts.

Well, that’s us. This was one of the best steps we have taken in this direction. Of course, we need to keep having displays, replays and celebrate our Family Core Values to reinforce it.

What about you, what is holding you back?

Take some time off and agree on your Family Values. Display them. Practice them. Celebrate them.

Don’t leave it to chance. This will make you RICH! Really really RICH! With something money can’t buy, and with something no one can ever take away.