Monday, September 30, 2013

Step Into Your Uncomfortable Zone

           [Image credit:]

Learning a new task is not a problem. Figuring out how it works is not a problem. The reason you're a nervous wreck is thinking what you will ACTUALLY do. And also because you've never done it before. Therefore, stop thinking and start doing.

Remember this: You can't experience running until you actually run. Put all your preparations to test.

We live today expecting it to be like the day before. The routine keeps you sane. But it also makes you sloppy. It prohibits growth. It stagnates. You only grow when you step into the unknown realm. Into the unexperienced zone. In the uncomfortable zone. That is the zone of growth.

Now is not the time to think. Now is the time to act. Pull all your energy and focus it on achieving your goals. Strive as hard as you can. Always. Be dedicated. Concentrate. Push the boundaries.

Keep moving. Have the momentum. Have the will. Be strong. Know that you can face the unknown. That's what you've been doing all through. You've tackled problems head on all through. You've faced a new life each day. You've never run away from challenges.

Slay your inner demons one after the other. And get back control. Your mind is always questioning your ability. Believe in your inner self. It knows. Each time you faced a new problem, you came up winning. You adapted. You adjusted. You just plunged in and took control. That's tackling challenges.

Now you find yourself amidst this new field. Which you wanted to master all along. You never got a chance earlier, except now. Think about how much you can grow in it. Think about a new field you'll be able to learn and master. There's no better time to start contributing to a new field. Expand your horizon. Push the uncomfortable zone into the comfortable.

Don't hesitate. Hesitation is for the confused souls. Hesitation makes you inactive. Hesitation doesn't let you spread your wings. Hesitation makes you secondguess your ability to excel. Hesitation stops you short of realizing your potential. Believe. Focus on your objective. Channel your energies. Be enthusiastic. Stop wasting your time on mundane stuff. Stop surfing when you should be working. Make a routine to be creative. Think different. You have learnt enough about the field to go into war. You're prepared.

Start. Now. That's where the magic begins. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How Do You Manage Yourself?

To-do lists, notebooks, reminders, calendars, diary, the Pomodoro technique - which one do you use? Actually it really does not matter which you use.

These are only methods/ tools/ techniques to help you get things done, to help you manage time better, to help you manage yourself better. They help you augment the way you do things.

Don't get stuck within them. They are merely the means to achieve the end.

Focus on achieving the result. That is more important. Experiment with techniques to see which benefits you the most. Follow whichever method/ tool/ technique suits you. Then move on on to the next task.

The most important thing is to have the will to do things. Rest will follow. Once you have the will, you will align all else to achieve the goal.

Have the will to organise things.
Have the will to complete things.
Have the will to experiment.
Have the will to become better.
Have the will to arrive, not just travel.
Have the will to resolve, not crib.
Have the will to take matter in own hands, not pass the buck.
Have the will to chart the uncharted territory, than sticking to the everyday route.

Have the Will. Achieve. Move Ahead. Become Better.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 2-Hour Manifesto

[This blog entry is a note to myself. It is a note to push myself harder. In the right direction. Consistently. It's an effort to become better. Would love to hear your comments on how you have adopted ways to become better.]
  • Challenge yourself to complete any task within 2 hours. 
  • Grasp new concept within 2 hours. 
  • Don't keep anything pending over 2 hours
Stop questioning your ability to complete something valuable in 2-hours. Know that you can do it. Push yourself to achieve it. Believe in yourself. It's a matter of just doing it consistently. Do it now, than later. Practice achieving it. Do it for 21 days. Make it a habit. 

When you're stuck with something, just think about it creatively. Give yourself a deadline. Stop debating with yourself. Just pick up the option you arrive at and run with it. Finish it in the best of your ability. Don't do shoddy work.

Reinvent your thoughts. Be creative. Think on your feet. Act on the run. Be emotionally compelled to achieve something in 2 hours. Feel a sense of joy and fulfillment upon completing your 2-hour challenge. Make a note of progress. Of achievements. Of points to improve.

Kill inertia. Break the pattern of distraction. Wire your mind to achieve something valuable within 2 hours. Know that you will achieve it. Monitor. Learn. Improve. Achieve. Grow. Don't be wary of trying. Try with full involvement, full emotions. Be compelled to achieve.

When in your 2-hour challenge, keep everything else aside. Remember anything that is keeping you from achieving your challenge is a distraction. Including phone calls, social media, newspaper, books, friends, TV, drifting thoughts, your past, your concerns, your worries, that new thought you felt like exploring further.

When you are feeling down, break the pattern. Do something to overcome it. Pile it with abundant, joyful thoughts. Take on the next challenge. Achieve it. Move on to the next. Learn.

Always replenish the massive energy store in you. Let the energy be replenished every time you WANT to. Feel energetic. Know that there's immense energy stored in you. Just unleash it. Be buzzing with energy. Let others feel it. Do it for yourself.

Take on the next 2-hour challenge. Achieve it. Move to the next. Feel the joy of achievement. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What You Can Learn From Cheetah

Be a Cheetah who spots its target and then uses all of its energy, aggression, sincerity in catching its prey. Don't be a Tortoise who slowly moves inch by inch towards its goal. It has the sincerity and energy too. But not aggression. By its nature, it is not aggressive.


Be a Cheetah, career-wise. Your prey is your career. Prepare well. Adapt. Spot the opportunity. Feel the fierceness within. Be aware of your capability. Draw all your energy. Focus on your goal. Then go for it. Full steam.

Don't just cherish the process. Savor the achievement. Be after achieving it. Stop only after you've achieved it. Feel the adrenaline rush through your veins when you go after it.

Do you think a Cheetah will bloat over how well it prepares, how well it camouflages itself, how well it spots it prey, how well it runs? Of course not. They are the basic necessities. Without them it cannot succeed. But it stops only after it has nabbed its prey.

Set ambitious targets. Keep your prey in sight. Adapt to it. Don't lose your focus even for a millisecond. Don't try half-heartedly. If you do, you'll starve.

What are you gonna do? Sit still or go after it?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

5 Quick Fixes to Regain Your Focus

Feeling distracted? Want to get rid of that annoying feeling when you are simply unable to concentrate at work?

There's something in your mind that you're unable to resolve or come to terms with. You have that nagging feeling that something's not right today, but not sure what to do with it.

You spend time tweeting, randomly browsing the web or reading some article in a desperate hope to get out of this "Not-in-my-elements" mode.

But nothing's working out. You are just wasting more time. Your inability to eliminate the root cause(s) drags you further down the pit. You have lost focus, you morale is low, you begin losing confidence and you start feeling down.

Here are 5 things to try at this very instant to get back in action. I found them pretty helpful in my experience.
  1. Change your posture. Sit erect. RIGHT NOW. You'll be amazed at the speed at which it can positively affect you.
  2. Meditate for 5 mins. Keep your eyes closed. Focus.
  3. Make a to-do list for today. Prioritize its sequence. Work on it one by one. Just work on closing them.
  4. Jot down what's on your mind "AS-IS" in a diary or a notepad. Don't bother about the sequence. Just write. Unload yourself. Be specific about what is distracting you. Give yourself a time frame to complete this session, say 15 mins. Stop writing after this time.
  5. Take a quick walk. Jog, if you can. Clench your fingers tightly and suddenly release them. Do something to get the adrenaline rushing in your body.
I am quite hopeful that you'll clear your head and be all pumped up at the end of this power session.

Do share your personal experiences and also some quick-fix remedies you try for getting back in action. Let's have a conversation about it in the comments below.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Child Beggars Mushrooming at Pune's University Circle

Before watching Slumdog Millionaire, I had disregarded the very notion of mafia-controlled beggars crowding popular places in large cities. But the stark reality portrayed left an indelible mark on me. It stayed somewhere in my subconscious for a long long time, before I got its first-hand experience some days back.

En-route home I travel through this huge traffic junction called 'University Circle', called so due to its proximity to the Pune University offices and colleges.

It was a regular day. I was returning home that evening when I noticed a few child beggars loitering around the signal, dangerously close to the transiting vehicles. As soon as the signal turned red, these kids (ranging 5-13 yrs) ran amidst the idling cars and started cleaning their windshields and rear windows, while others tried selling toys to urban parents sitting comfortably in their AC cars.


Photo credit:

The beggars were so oblivious to the signal turning green that some passengers had to carefully move the kids to the footpath. The older child beggars started screaming at the little ones, directing them to the footpath.

Many more days passed after this incident. What I saw yesterday, alarmed me even more.

The beggars had grown in numbers. In just about 20 days. Now I could count at least a dozen beggars manning different outposts at the University Signal. In another 20 days, will it triple in number?

Two questions came to my mind -

1. How were they proliferating so fast?

2. Why aren't the local authorities controlling the situation?

I feel the situation is grave. Most of the newer lot of beggars I noticed are children, from 6 months to 13 years. The 13-yr old girl beggars were seen nestling the 6-month olds while begging. Every time the signal turned red, these kids would hurl themselves onto the incoming vehicles - much to the consternation of the drivers.

The irony is that begging is flourishing despite being a crime in India. It is an unanswered question as to how these beggars confidently loiter even in the presence of traffic authorities.

I know this is a vast topic to write about and there are many aspects to voice my concerns for. As a part of the larger Indian community, I am seeking answers and looking for ways to curb begging as a means to fuel bigger mafias and gangs. As much as I don't want to believe what is portrayed in the movies, I know that there is some element of truth in them

I am trying to play a wee bit part: I avoid giving cash to beggars (children and adult alike). By not giving them cash, I hope to dissuade at least one beggar from begging. But who am I kidding? There also needs to be heavy-duty rehabilitation programs run by civic bodies and NGOs at the state and the national level.

What do you feel when you encounter a beggar? Empathy, Sadness, Anger, Hopelessness, Helplessness or Indifference? Empathy is often the last feeling we experience, Indifference being the first.

What do you think are some ways to curb begging in India? What role should the government actively play? How to de-link beggars from mafias? How to give a new and enjoyable life to these child beggars?

Too many questions. Fewer answers. But I am hopeful.

Friday, January 04, 2013

A Different Perspective: The Lighthouse and The Torch

The Lighthouse and The Torch: Both are sources of light, both guide you to your destinations, but to me, both offer different perspectives on how we approach work and life.

What started as a philosophical quest for me, became something of practical value. It was one of those "Aha Moments" in the process of self-discovery.

Here's a gist of they mean to me:

Light House
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 The Lighthouse symbolizes a destination/ goal you want to reach. You see the guiding light of your goal/ destination and know where you need to go.

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The Torch symbolizes taking matter in your hands and doing something about it, yourself.

The question that follows is - Which one is more important? Is one of them a better approach than other?

The answer manifests - Both are required.

Why so?
When you have set a goal, it shines all through to tell you where you should be going. But to go there, you have to take matter in your own hands and actually take the first step.

Think of Light house as a Goal/ Objective (Big or Small, Long-term or Short-term) in your life/ career like -
1. I want to watch a movie, or
2. I want to own a car, or
3. I want to reduce my weight, or
4. I want to do well in my exam

Think of The Torch as actual Actions you take to achieve your goals -
1. Finding brokers, finding new properties, visiting the site, negotating and signing the agreement.
2. Selecting a dealer, visiting it, test driving, negotiating, handing over the cheque, driving car back home
3. Baselining your current weight, start running, swimming, etc, doing it regularly, monitoring your weight, re-aligning your efforts
4. Defining what score you expect, Studying regularly, Forming a habit, giving mock-up tests, checking mock-up score vis-a-vis your objective, re-aligning your efforts, etc

To achieve something, you need both the Objective (The Light House) and the Action (The Torch).

Another "Aha-Moment" as I type this. Sometimes you can't plan things through. You only know where to go. (The Light House) In such cases, just take Torch with you and start exploring. If you hit a wall - explore another way, then correct your path. If you make a mistake, correct.

Steadily, you'll find yourself reaching The Light house, using The Torch. :)

What do you think of these? Would like to hear your thoughts/ views. Thanks