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Surrender to what is……

“The more you try to control something, the more it controls you. Free yourself and let things take their natural course.”

We keep hearing that we need to continuously keep reinventing our self and that takes it’s course by being mindful of our existence however I don’t think making changes (daily, hourly, but the minute) to improve yourself would be the same as reinventing – it’s adjusting or improving. In my opinion reinventing is a major overhaul that seems unnecessary on a frequent basis. Mindfulness helps me improve on what works well and allows me to reflect on what may not work well, then choose to adjust either my perception or my reaction. Instead of using “we must reinvent ourselves daily!”, I would change the slogan to “Take time to REDISCOVER yourself daily!

Let’s now dig in a bit further.

What does Mindfulness really mean? Is it about being aware and if yes how does it help?

Life experiences to start with, definitely guide us in the direction of mindfulness by the influence of our environment comprising of family, friends, colleagues and various forms of people we come across in our lives. Once we go in that direction: we stay with, explore it even more and at the same time become curious or anxious about it while experiencing it with whatever changes it brings to us and that’s when the magic begins.

What mindfulness does is; that it transforms us very slowly but surely. Each one of us is uqiue in some way or the other and there are things we like about ourselves and some that we don’t. The more aware we become about ourselves (i.e. we start becoming mindful of our existence) the more clear answers we start getting for curiosity around WHO ARE WE? WHAT ARE WE DOING? WHAT IS THE BIGGER PICTURE FOR WHAT WE ARE DOING? WHY ARE WE DOING WHAT WE ARE DOING and eventually HOW WE BEHAVE WHILE WE DO WHAT WE’RE DOING. All of these are aspects that often lose their meaning in our fast paced lives.

In my case too, I have noticed that my hardwired behavior patterns still show up as I go about my day – facing different situations and interacting with different individuals. But (and that’s an important but) I notice that I am aware of those patterns and reactions a lot more, and I recover from them a lot faster and better. I am able to do what is necessary, be it making amends or apologizing or just gently making peace and resolving to handle a difficult situation or person differently the next time.

As Marcus Aurelius said – “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.”

By being aware we start living better by appreciating the present & not drooling too much into the past and that for me is the biggest outcome of being mindful about your existence. With the ever so increasing pace of our lives it is getting that increasingly difficult to find time for OURSELVES and being MINDFUL helps you to identify that time for yourself in a very simplistic and beautiful way. How does all this help? Well it helps us understand ourselves at a more deeper level when start realizing who we really are and that gives us a sense of fulfillment and joy. Still wondering HOW? Well the more insights your start getting about yourself, you start understand yourself a lot better leading to outcomes that seem unreal to you. This then further steers us in the direction of our purpose (THE BIGGER PICTURE OF LIFE) and aligns our daily acts with what WE ACTUALLY WANT TO BE and what we WANT TO DO. However there’s a catch to this, we’re responsible to a lot of our actions however a host of other actions are something that we DO NOT own. See below:

ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL and that’s the beauty of mindfulness as each one of us have varied perception about MINDFULNESS. We draw meaning out of it which suits us well and takes us towards the real purpose in our lives.

Being MINDFUL is nothing but a journey and I am aware that I am on this path and continuously evolving where my awareness helps me to see that part of me that justifies my behavior or reaction towards a situation or an incident. I know I am work in progress and I enjoy that fact. I know I am better attuned to my inner voice and appreciate the fact that it is slowly reasoning with the other voices in slowly but gently. Mindfulness helps me practice consistently non-reactive awareness. I strive for more clarity and to be more aware of myself and my environment.

I would end by saying that something inside of us knows what is right for us, and we have to humbly learn to track its voice and align its wisdom with our outer choices. If we’re able to do this, we’re on course to being Mindful.

Bhai ek video bana de…..

As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your LIFE wakes up and everything has a meaning.We do not need magic to transform our world, we carry all the power we need ourselves WITHIN. We all have the power to imagine better. The responsibilities lies with us. What we achieve inwardly will change our outer reality. As they say right that nothing is true until tested with adversity. All these thoughts have occupied my mind ever since I saw this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx9v_J34Fyo that Ravi from our team Innovation shared about Arunima Sinha’s story from helplessness while lying somewhere between Lucknow and Delhi on railway tracks with an amputated leg and broken bones of the other to scaling the top of the world – THE Mt. EVEREST.

Arunima’s story is a great example of limitless opportunities amidst serious adversities, perseverance and resilience at their supreme best. After having lost one leg and struggling to find her feet with the other and then go on to even THINK of scaling THE Mt. EVEREST speaks volumes of a GUTSY persona and a highly resilient mind. It is at these times when you must be prepared to be misunderstood if your dreams and aspirations supersedes that of others around you. If you are working on a BIG VISION you are going to be called crazy but ONLY until you end up right which she eventually did.

If you are willing to do the work, you can achieve more than you ever imagined.

Maynard Webb

Her story is a classic case where you work on & for yourself to control your destiny. Her courage, immense self-belief, the ability to just keep going even when her Sherpa had almost given up on her and in turn inspiring the Sherpa to also keep moving towards the goal are all awe-inspiring. If this doesn’t move you, if this doesn’t make you reflect on what your true potential is, nothing ever will.

It’s OK to be handicapped BUT in the mind. If that’s (MIND) being dealt well with and with a lot of positivity then the possibilities have no bounds. Remote is in our mind. Control the controllable. It is the belief and conviction with SELF that Arunima had, which was an absolute STAND OUT for me. She was not only wedded with the efforts but also attached to the results because she had a point to prove to the world that nothing is impossible, specially to the ones who put down others based on gender and background. The sheer obsession with the results was so evident and that to me extremely inspirational. Doesn’t matter how old or young you are , you can achieve whatever you want, if you set your mind to it. If we are obsessed with something and truly pursue our passion with everything that we have, we ought to succeed. NOTHING BEATS HARD WORK.

“Bhai ek video bhi bana de” – when she said to her Sherpa, this line also showed the importance of humor and enjoying the moment that is so crucial when in anything that we pursue.

To me the biggest learning from watching this video is that when you have outrageous goals to meet, it is your obsession, stubbornness (that dogged determination), passion and absolute madness that will get you there.

Self doubts kill more dreams, than fear failure ever will. The way your mind thinks, is how your body behaves. So the next time, when a dream or goal seems beyond you, take a step back, reflect again on the video or this written piece and make amends to those thoughts in your mind.

As is a tale, so is LIFE. Not how LONG but how GOOD it is.

My Daily Cup of joy

anxietyIt started off with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty on how the upcoming 3 weeks of lock down would turn out to be. Never in my wildest dreams did I see it coming, that there would come a day where stepping out of the house would also need a permission and become such a challenge.

In the last 21 days of lock down, I have ventured out of home only thrice and all the times it was to buy a few essentials. The joy of going out each of the three times was unparalleled. Did you hear that? The joy of going out of home, gave me happiness!! How many of us have been thankful for this particular aspect of our lives? I can bet – never.
What have we done to the world in the past few decades? Did we ever think on how we took everything for granted? The air that we breathe, the surroundings around us and what not, and look where did we end up.

glued to TVIt was the 4th day of the lock down when finally the feeling of being locked in home had started to sink in slowly. It was on that day when WE (my daughter [Mugdha], wife [Snigdha] and I) finished our lunch, my wife was completing some chores in the kitchen and Mugdha & I were watching TV. Mugdha was watching and I was just gazing at the screen, when suddenly I looked at Mugdha with eyes glued to the TV so much that her eyes were forgetting to blink quite often. That is when looking at her, it struck me that how badly our generation in the last few decades has failed this current generation of children who for no fault of theirs are stuck inside homes when it was time for them to go out and play with other kids, enjoying the abundance of nature, express themselves and JUST BE KIDS. It really hurt me to the core and I felt sorry

On one of the days, I was in my room working on something when my half open wardrobe caught my eye. What that made me realize was that if working from home is the new normal, then do I really need these many clothes, do I really need these many pair of shoes, do I really need the car which hasn’t moved an inch,do we really need maids and cooks as helping hands? do I really need so much and still have the want to have even more? This led me to think that life can be enjoyed even with minimal of things surrounded with your loved ones, because at the end of the day, they are the only ones who matter – family, kids and your friends.

introspectionWhile this whole phase of lock down has made me to introspect a lot, think a lot on all our wrong doings towards mother nature, it also has brought about some welcome changes in life which maybe all of us had forgotten to enjoy otherwise. A proper team work at home is at display all the time, where each member of the house be it adults or kids have shared responsibilities something the maids used to take care of and while they did, we all were just silos inside the same home incommunicado. If one does cleaning & mopping, the other does the dishes, if one does the cooking the other does the laundry and the little one runs around here and there trying to help in what ever capacity she can. When was the last time did we see such a team work at home?Did we just relive the 20 years ago lifestyle? At workplace we have seen it all (team work i.e.), but at home ??- may be we need to really think hard and if you can think of any such examples of teamwork, appreciate yourself for that. Suddenly from always cribbing that 24 hours is never enough to 24 hours being an absolute luxury, we have so much time to do a whole lot of things which were lost somewhere in the constant rat race of life, where everyone had been running, but why were they running and where, no one knew – I certainly did not. Now these 24 hours in a day allow me to meditate, exercise, have 3 meals with family (more importantly minus the gadgets i.e. TV and mobile phones, which wasn’t the case earlier) talking to each other, even the luxury of a power nap in the afternoon after a sumptuous home made food , investing time in my passion – singing and recording songs daily, to becoming a kid with my kid playing hopscotch, all possible board games, even bowling at home and still have all the time to do the the usual office work and also walking the extra mile to upgrade myself learning new skills. This lock down period has given us all a chance to slow down, love and appreciate our lives more than we ever did and have the gratitude to thank the almighty for whatever we have. When was the last time did we have time to do all this, even if we really wanted to?

mother natureIn its own silent yet powerful way, mother nature reclaimed her rightful place and showed us that no matter who we are, we’re still so small in front of her. We were so gracefully shown our place. To all of this we had no answer and we had no other option but to surrender!
Let’s come out of this episode of our lives with a lot of lessons learnt and be thankful for everything that nature has given us and not destroy it. If we do not learn lessons from this, will we ever will?

All this introspection, thoughtfulness, mindfulness and making sure that I create a positive environment around me wouldn’t have been a reality had I not been a part of a beautiful tribe called #TILT. This word TILT is uttered so many times at home that one day my daughter walked up to me asking the literal meaning of the word TILT. With subtle yet highly effective changes in our lifestyle yielding great results in terms of happiness, supreme positivism and bonding (thanks to TILT), and the keen eye that kids have; that one day while busy creating something with her Lego blocks, Mugdha abruptly said – PAPA you have TILTed the right away and again went about her LEGO business. That just left an endearing smile on my face for the rest of the day.

This is my DAILY CUP OF JOY, what’s yours?

D.I.A.L.O.G.U.E.S

Communication and networking go hand in hand. Few people are excellent in communication they are born with it while few make a conscious effort to improve on it. Communication triggers ideas, new insights, interests, passions, and perspectives when one shares ‘D.I.A.L.O.G.U.E.S’ with others. After all isn’t it just about rich dialogues we have with people that magnifies our impact,influence and hence our network?

It is said that dialogues with people can create long lasting impressions and associations. What is that, one needs to keep in mind when networking? Nothing but D-I-A-L-O-G-U-E-S. Let us look at each letter in this powerful term and observe how we can make our communication effective while networking.

The letter ‘D’-‘Do not criticize’. Recently my daughter who understands what music is from a very early age, joined a music school. She started with lots of enthusiasm however soon the interest started to fade away and there used to be weeks where she would not even open her music book. That’s where I started criticizing here for her lack of interest and putting no efforts what so ever, failing to understand that it was more to do with language handicap during the class. For one of the music school events she was the ONLY ONE to be excluded for not showing any kind of interest. That was the time when I was reading this book “How to win friends and influence people – By Dale Carnegie”. Heart-Broken by the fact that she was excluded from the group, normally a very chirpy child the whole drive from the school to home was a deafening silence. Who was to blame for it? Of course it was I. That’s when I thought to put the first principle of book to practice. I immediately STOPPED CRITICIZING her and made an honest effort towards my choice of words when speaking to her in order to encourage her. This went on for a couple of days. Result? In less than 2 days she learnt a good 6 paragraph KANNADA bhajan (kannada not being our first language) , forcibly took me to school and requested her teacher to listen to her once and then have a final say. He music teacher’s expression at the end said it all. No wonder what MAGIC not criticizing can do!! The key here is that one needs to go deep and understand the perspective of the people, hand hold and develop trust than criticize.

The letter ‘I’-‘genuinely interested’, if you have carefully examined hundred people you met in your life journey, it means that you have read hundred different books! Every person you know is a book; world is full of walking books; some are boring, some are marvelous, some are weak, some are powerful, but they are all useful because they carry different experiences of different paths’. Showing genuine interest develops camaraderie and that’s the essence of every relationship we are a party to.

The letter ‘A’‘Authentic appreciation’; Margaret Cousins says ‘appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary’. True to the saying we need to understand that there is a thin line between honesty and flattery and kind words are cherished forever. We usually have our team’s video conference once a week and one of the meeting was led by Manjula. That was one remarkable meeting and our best till date where everyone was in splits right until the end. There was so much connection among us all. The kind of feedback Manjula got post the meeting was a great validation on how an ‘honest appreciation’ should be as it came right from the heart. No one had to make an effort to write a few lines about the meeting in admiration of Manjula. Isn’t it true that when the appreciation is honest, different sets of people might put it across in different way however they concur to the same opinion & emotion? Precisely what happened during the meet and after it.

The letter ‘L’-‘listen carefully’; ‘if you listen carefully enough to anything, it will talk to you’. Listening is a significant trait; remembering names is the sweetest reciprocation. In fact a person is judged by his or her listening abilities.  Not only that people get acknowledged as amazing conversationalists NOT for their speaking skills but purely based on how well they listen. So next time you want to make an impression on a person, JUST LISTEN with both your eyes and ears. Something worth putting to practice.

The letter ‘O’-‘Opinions’; Jazz Jennings opines that ‘if people are going to judge me without fully understanding the content of my character, then their opinion just isn’t worth it’. As the saying infers it is important to respect others opinion, constructively respond, and adopt ‘agree to disagree’ notion for effective networking.

The letter ‘G’-‘gratitude’; during one of the recent PEP TALK sessions I was amazed at what Darshan does at home. He and his family have something what is called a GRATITUDE JAR which they fill with messages of gratitude every single day. Their idea of doing this is to read it ONLY on the New Year ’s Eve and see for themselves what all they were grateful for in the year gone by. Isn’t that a cool idea to reflect upon the past year together a family spending quality time for each other? An act of continuous gratitude with people who we are most thankful for, what an idea! Darshan definitely left a lasting impression on all of us present in that session for lifetime.

The letter ‘U’-‘understand people’; to effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others’. Consequently one should recognize that perspectives can change but sincerity of intention should remain while understanding people and the U factor enhances long term human relationships. This is one trait that comes with investing a lot of time in others, understand their dreams, stress levels and values and all this can be done by asking open ended questions. Like Kavitha says it is extremely important that the opening of a conversation creates an impact and arouses an interest in the other person to even continue with the conversation. Isn’t it true that we are able to start a conversation however find it increasingly difficult to sustain it? This is where we get to learn so much from the likes of John & Kavitha. They just master this art of striking meaningful conversations, turning them to deeper connections and in the end getting to understand people in a far more efficient way than most of us do.

The letter ‘E’-‘encourage people’; a wise person always uses encouragement as a tool to uplift people, make them feel important and inspire them to achieve their goals. Small steps lead to bigger results and for a matter of fact the size of encouragement is not measurable. Even a small bit of encouragement has done wonders to lots of people in the past and would continue doing so.

Finally the letter ‘S’- ‘smile’; Dale Carnegie’s quiet remarks ‘actions speak louder than words and a smile says “I like you, you make me happy. I am glad to see you” indeed enriches the simple act of smile. An unknowing act of smiling can change the way people look at you and it can positively bring a genuine hope in someone’s hard day…

Babu Moshai, yeh duniya ek rang manch hai, aur hum sab iss rang manch ki kathputliyaan, kiski dor kab khinch jaaye koi nahi keh sakta…

Movie : Anand

DIALOGUES such as these are etched to our minds forever so let’s have some DIALOGUES that leave such last impressions and build a network for life.

S.M.I.L.E.

With the kind of busy lives we’re living in where all of us are running after “something” but sometimes while running we tend to forget that “something”. Amidst all this there is one garment that we have forgotten to wear even subconsciously and that is our S.M.I.L.E.

Have you ever sat down and thought the reasons of such trends, probably the below would explain it:

Our minds are wrapped around something more important than what’s happening around us. It could also stem from the fact that there are also some eternally sad sort of people who are rarely seen smiling. The reason for their pain may elude and but their smile definitely does. Probably a sort of social pressure that people would want to avoid where sometimes you are bound to smile and laugh and some of these have had enough of this fake smile and laughter.

No matter what your reason is there’s none better view than a S.M.I.L.E on a face. What is your excuse NOT to S.M.I.I.L.E?

If actions speak louder than words a  S.M.I.L.E  says – “I like you”, “You make me happy”, “I am glad to see you”. The  S.M.I.L.E  obviously cannot be a mechanical and forced grin as people are intelligent enough to identify that it is insincere.

Want to know more about a genuine smile?

Just look at a dog who is so happy to see you return home or for that matter a kid who smiles at everyone he/she comes across. People who smile more tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively and raise happier children. Effect of a smile is so powerful that it is noticed even when not seen since your smile comes through in your voice (try recollecting the numerous calls we get offering credit cards or loans and only a few stand out. Why? because they must have been smiling while making you the offer).

When you start doing it initially people might be bewildered or even shocked but make it a practice and do not fear being misunderstood. Probably most them would be the ones who you would never see again in life. So does it really matter? Smile and greet everyone you come across daily in your life. It does nothing but elevates the mood around you and of people who otherwise may be in a low state of mind.

S.MI.L.E. not only carries a lot power it also has a lot of psychological benefits

Science has actually shown that smiling (even if you’re in a bad mood) has the power to boost your mood because it sends signals to your brain that tell it you’re actually happy. In one study, researchers discovered that when subjects were asked to bite down on a pencil (simulating a smile-like face), they reported more positive feelings than subjects that were asked to purse their lips around the pencil (more of a frown-like face). Further than just mood-boosting, smiling can also reduce stress by releasing chemicals called endorphins, which lower stress levels and bring about a sense of mild euphoria. A smile is one of these cues that is then perceived by others as easygoing, personable, and attractive. Sometimes it doesn’t take an outfit or a new hairdo to look good, but just takes a smile.

What could we do going forward if you don’t already?


1. When you look into the mirror next time and find a glum face say it to yourself I am going to smile and I am going to start doing it right now
2. If you don’t feel like smiling *force yourself to smile …may be whistle/hum/sing a tune to yourself and see the difference for yourself 3. Smiling also keeps your healthy

I have seen it for myself ever since I have brought about this change of smiling at most people I come across. It has helped me to remain just as calm and relaxed but I feel the sensation of being at peace and feeling good all the time. Every morning I wake up with a smile that I extend for at least a minute or two. It is has become a high-performance “hack” that I practice as a daily super-habit. The air in the home is slowly transforming to be more welcoming than ever before and I am surprised at how a simple act of S.M.I.L.E. could bring about such changes in your abode. What else I could ask for. Isn’t it rightly said that to have great life, the life at home has to be at peace and if a S.M.I.L.E. can bring about the objective I’d rather smile all day and always

Caution
Smiling at home when having an argument with wife could lead to severe unwanted consequences. Make sure you have arrangements of meal elsewhere.So only try that at your own risk

SUN and the SHINE!!!

As the clock struck 6:00 AM I was awake and raring to go. Why? It was our first face-to-face meeting with my team. To me no matter how long or how much one talks over phone, the connect it always incomplete. To me it’s only when one meets others in person that is when the initial connect gets established via. the words chosen while speaking and the associated body language. So here was a great opportunity to KNOW your team. With the sun slowing sneaking through the clouds, it was a perfect evening with intermittent intervals of sunshine and a calm breeze. Driving that morning was such a soothing experience (thanks to no traffic early on a sunday morning). After almost a 40 minutes drive there I was at our meeting venue – “The Century Club” in the middle of cubbon park.

I was the first to reach there basking under the SUN and was elated. Elated! Well ask anyone or most of us (with Vitamin D deficiency) and you’d know the importance of direct sunshine given the lifestyles we have where there is hardly any exposure to the sun. Soon Lijo walked in with that endearing smile that he always wears while greeting anyone and soon after John, Archie and Nagmani accompanied us. It is the start of a conversation that is the most awkward when you don’t know a person or people around, however this was just a breeze. We straightaway eased out with each other and got talking. There was laughter in under a minute of our conversation , a good reflection of the team’s health. Certainly a couple of ZOOM calls and chats over our whatsapp group played a key role to ease the nerves and get us all comfortable talking to each other. Soon we had majority of the team and we kick started our meeting.

John touched upon the basic protocols that were expected out of the team to follow and also laid the foundation where TEAM’s goal were expected to be MUCH HIGHER than our individual goals and everyone agreed. ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE is what he explained us about and why it is one of the key traits for anyone to be happy and the discussion around it with affirmations towards the understanding was a collective one.

Next, we started off an EXPERIENCE sharing session and the learning around it. Given the time we had at our disposal it was agreed that only the first 5 would share their and the rest would do that in our next face-to-face meeting. We started off with Suja who spoke about how she overcame the hesitancy she had with her direct report by way of first understanding who the person is and what his expectations are. It was for her clear thoughts that she was able to deal with that hesitancy she had initially and shared a great camaraderie thereafter. Nagmani spoke about the importance preparation that saw her scale heights in the workplace and eventually resulting in TRUST-RELATIONSHIP with her peers. Nanditha then struck a chord with SEEKING INFORMATION from the person and about the person to establish the connect. She laid emphasis that all times one needs to be all ears that helps gaining as much relevant information possible thereby fostering honest relationships at your organization. Manjula then shared an incident where she caught everyone’s eye by not demeaning anyone in her team rather pointing out the strengths of each and every individual and what value they added to the overall objective. By doing so she not only won the trust of her team but also demonstrated her leadership skills. It was now over to Lijo to share his experience and he did so by laying importance on making the people around him comfortable and winning the trust of the team. The learning shared by all 5 of us left a lasting impression with a lot of thoughts to ponder upon. I would put them across as this:

“Peace is too simple for us. We thrive on life’s poetic chaos and lay our everything on the line time and time again – gathering the beautiful battle scars of life as we fall, flourish and persist. You won’t recognize us tomorrow, for we have a voracious appetite to live, learn and grow, for we are remarkable and we shall not settle for anything less than a beautiful life”

We then headed for the breakfast we were so looking forward to and what a sumptuous meal it was.

What is our TILT mission? It is to make India #1 and we cannot achieve that unless we do something about or contributes towards one of principle pillars of the country. Yes you thought it right, our Education system. Nagmani and Archie put across thought provoking ideas to do something for the education system of our country and withing no time almost the entire team joined hands to contribute.

We were nearing the end of a fantastic morning discussion we had when John stressed on the use of I LOVE YOU words with our loved ones specially our spouse and kids as the best of everything comes first from our family. I am sure that using these words would help us experience the change and develop deeper emotions yielding into greater results and something to explore about!!

With that we BID good byes with an understood agreement of bonding with each other even more and communicating with each other at a more deeper level.

Carrom: It’s teachings & memories

Boy, this brings back so many memories! When I was a kid, we used to play a lot of carrom. In summer holidays, me, papa, my brother, my cousins – we would all fish out the old carrom-board in our living room where we gently emptied the small bag of coins on top of the polished wood surface of the board, and spend hours huddled around it, playing game after game until our fingers starting aching. The rules were like; black pieces worth 10 points each, the white ones worth 20 points each and the red coin (THE QUEEN) worth 50 points. That’s it. You could go for any piece you wanted. The queen would need a cover, of course. At the end of the game, we would just total the points to see who won. Yes! our rules for the game were a little different yet were very SIMPLE, but that CARROM board helped us gel so well together and this BOARD still has the same MAGIC. It’s a time when you are totally engrossed in it that you forget everything around you even your MOBILE PHONES. You’re so into the game, doing everything it takes to win the game for yourself or as a team, you’re also aware of the opponents next steps and hence a result of it you’re tightly bonded to each other. How often do we see that kind of a bond these days!

On a losing spree, my younger brother would get frustrated & would fling the striker across the room with a miserable look on his face when in the next moment papa used to start laughing and encourage him saying “Come on now…Don’t be so sad. I am sure you will win this time” rearranging all the pieces back at the center of the board only for his losing spree to be that more extended. This hurt him more every time he used to lose to me making him wear an even more poorly look on his face.  

Perhaps carrom board teaches you to live in the present, while reminiscing upon the past. What amazing days they were.

Practice reduces your imperfections

I must tell you that CARROM is back in my life once again as a means to JOY. Very recently we had our clients visiting us from Netherlands. Intrigued by what they eventually called it – “A 2D wooden pool table” they wanted to give it a go. I was still at my desk when I heard the noise of the coins colliding with the wooden boundaries of the board. I walked in confidently banking on my past laurels to play a game and show how good I was at it without any practice for months. I started floundering and soon my first game nothing less than a blunder. So, what did that tell me? It told me that no matter how good you are or have been at anything, you always need practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect; it just reduces your imperfections!!

Do it again. Play it again. Read it again. Write it again. Sketch it again. Run it again. Try it again. Because again is practice, and practice is improvement, and improvement only leads to reducing your imperfections.

It is a game where in the middle of which different pieces of black and white with one red piece are arranged in a manner.

The game begins & strikes start coming from different directions smashing the orientation of the pieces placed in the middle of the carrom board to break their pattern, to destroy them, to disorientate them. Similarly, you start growing to encounter problems coming from different angles to hit you, to break you, to make you hopeless. The game goes further, and the strikers start hitting the pieces to let them sink in the pot in the four corners of the board. Now the game starts getting interesting where your eyes get stuck on that piece which is different from every other piece on the board, the RED piece – THE QUEEN. You look forward to pot the most valuable piece that increases your chance to win. This is very similar to our life where we often set red and shiny goals. You’ll think they are important. Because everyone says so. Or because they seem to be worth more points. But mostly, because they’re red and shiny. You’ll spend immense amounts of time and energy chasing after them forgetting the value of the less worth goals (as they may seem) yet very important ones in life.

While playing carrom some strikes are meant to adjust the coins, so that on next strike you gain that coin. This is one of the life lessons: Every strike counts in life. Sometimes you are getting what you want in life in one short and sometimes you are just lining the ducks.

Your first strike can make a lot of difference. As it will decide which all coins would be open. Same is with things in life, first impression is important and can impact the game a lot. Here we have 4 holes for the coins, we need to choose the one that best suits the situation and improvise as needed. In life we’ll have multiple ways to achieve our goals, we need to choose the one that best suits the situation and be ready to improvise as needed.

When we go for queen we need to plan a lot about the cover coin beforehand. Similarly, in life if we need to achieve something big, we need to plan carefully on the pre and post requisites. Or else we might achieve the goal but might not be useful.

In between the game or at the end you’ll realize about the fouls you make & the chances you wasted upon. Similarly, in life those fouls are the mistakes you’ve made and those chances which you wasted upon are the opportunities you missed.

The key is – Just keep playing, at last everything will get settled, less chaotic and peaceful. You’ll get to know that as you’ll move ahead you’ll face problems and you’ll realize that they are just temporary and will fade away if you kept playing without losing the enthusiasm. CARROM was just an example here, anything that helps you get together and spend quality time forgetting the daily dance of life, DON’T WAIT for it to happen, MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Facts over Snacks

A few weeks of planning finally culminated into our get together. The KAIZENS eventually met in person and wow what energy was on display with so much to share. Before I get to that, let me describe how I got to ” Infinitea – Indiranagar” (where we had decided to meet), a place 4.7 km away from my work place which would have taken 30 min at most during peak traffic time, it took me 1.5 hours to reach. It’s rightly said that preoccupied minds does funny things to you and it did. With something brewing up over a call that I was taking, I put on the maps and kept following it without realizing that I was headed elsewhere. By the time the call got over, i was somewhere in the middle of the city and when you talk about Bangalore’s peak time traffic that is the last thing you want to do. Well I had to make it to the meeting so I headed back to the venue (this time with focus on where I was headed to) and after 1.5 hour of an excruciatingly tiring drive I WAS THERE. When I look back at it now, it reaffirms the fact that multi-tasking actually isn’t that great an idea, we need to focus on one thing, give it all and then move to the next thing.

So what’s the news?? with everybody looking at the superstar of our group, the youngest but someone who has started achieving great heights already in her otherwise a very short career so far. The kind of deals that Rachita has already cracked and tall speakers that she has already go on board for her organization is a reflection of her personality and the grit with which she has started embracing responsibilities. Speaks volumes of her courage and the impact she has had on her organization so far.

While everyone was chirping with their share of experiences, I noticed the BLOGSPERT of our group silently observing with keen ears which he always does during any form of communication. Vinod had recently changed his job and the way he summarized his learnings not only from this group but our bigger group TILT is a clear reflection of how organized his thoughts are which he puts to display so effectively. If you want to know more you could read his blog site – https://rightimpacttochangehearts.com/

We soon turned towards the leader of our group Ashwini who mustered all the courage to quit her job and become an entrepreneur and the belief started paying off. I am sure we agree that nothing gives you more joy than to be working not for anyone else but YOURSELF. That enthusiasm was clearly evident on Ashwini’s face and the dialogue too. To be start earning something in a single day that otherwise would have taken her a few months was remarkable to begin with and with the details she started sharing after that, I was simply awestruck with that. May she be blessed with all the power she needs to be a successful entrepreneur ! Food for thought : How many of us would have to leave a highly successful job where you know the security of a pay is certain and become an entrepreneur ? Kudos to Ashwini for that and may her brand “IConstruct” become one of the most visible and sought after brands in the construction business.

What I loved most about Peter was that how easy was for him to disagree to something that most of us in the group would jump to agree upon and then with sheer ease make his point so meaningful. I loved the way he said, that yes we do take up certain things in life for a change to break the monotony of the race called LIFE, but it’s not necessary that we start loving that thing. He gave us an example of his tryst with learning Violin where one who doesn’t know how to play it, the sound of it seems so boring and that’s why you don’t love it however the key to mastering the art is perseverance and discipline which at times seems so difficult in our otherwise fast moving lives.

Tejas and Varun were the most silent in the group maybe because they were catching up on what they had missed in the past but were all ears at all times with pitching in their views about anything that we discussed that evening. In the middle of that Vinod asked the group – How many of us make our beds the first thing after we get up? While he was referring to the video by William McRaven (US Navy Admiral) I had another video with the same message https://www.facebook.com/lewishowes/videos/349536645593514/UzpfSTY2Njg4NjU1NDoxMDE1NTk1MzA3MzQyNjU1NQ/ . Tejas to this took us back to his time when he convalescing form his illness and all he could see was chaos, but from thereon how he bounced back defines his strength and was one of first ones to raise his hands to the question posed by Vinod just like most of us did. I am sure there is a reason why instilling ORDER is so important in ones life, it’s about accomplishing something in your day right at the start of your day. It is rightly said in the video that a MESSY BED leads to a MESSY LIFE. While I agree to this, a lot would disagree to this but that’s ok.

The work chaos took me back to the time when I started learning AWS and the preparation towards taking up the certification exam. During all that while I was an example of a CHAOTIC MIND where I just kept learning something new on the move and had given my mind no space to rest. However it all paid dividends in the end and the entire phase of that chaotic mind was WORTHWHILE in the end.

With something very importing brewing up to take my career to the NEXT LEVEL, the jasmine tea sips were coming to an end and so was the evening. I loved the overall interaction and we all look forward to a few more such interaction before the KAIZENS comes to a SUNSET.

The evening came to an end with the realization from each one of us on what all we achieved and what we could have done better, well as they LIFE IS ALL ABOUT CONTINUOUS LEARNING and one thing we’re sure as a group that we’re heading in the RIGHT DIRECTION. The TIK TOK queen then took center stage to take a few pictures of a memorable meet and also made sure to promote her TIK TOK videos. If you want to learn more and follow her, please do so by following rachi.93 on Instagram. We finally said goodbye with the promise of making this last month of KAIZENS a truly enriching one.

The choice of words & thoughts!!

If something has to happen, it will happen

There was no urgent need for me to travel 35km to work on that day for the traffic chaos and also for the work schedule, but something in me told me to travel. A few hours later I get a message from Venkat (a leader of stature in our TILT tribe) asking me if we could catch up, after all it had been long time since we had met. Something about this message felt just right. The last one month or so had been a toil and at the same time a character building one, after all there is nothing like a bad experience right? (Of course I say this after my talk with Venkat, else I would have stopped with only the first half of this sentence!!).

Not going into the details of what all happened, all of it affected me quite severely and I was just bogged down with this with every passing day. Maybe during this period I just kept building walls around me instead of bridges to connect to others. Maybe someone was waiting to break one of the walls and reach out to me and that’s when Venkat (who told me later during our conversation) who in spite of having no plans to visit Manyata ended up coming there and we eventually met. Isn’t it true that certain things are just destined to happen? When you want something bad enough, the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. The universe did conspire and sent me Venkat as a messenger to clear my thoughts when I needed it the most.

Throughout the conversation what I learnt was that the choice of words we make defines the outcome we get and the surroundings around us. The universe doesn’t give you what you ask ONLY for with your thoughts but also it gives you what you demand through your actions. Words do have consequences and all the ill & unfit choice of words work wonderfully to obstruct the understanding of our own self.

How many times have we heard statements like these:

“Choose your words wisely”

“Whether you think you or you think you can’t, you’re right”

“Words can inspire & words can destroy, so choose yours wisely”

However, these are mere words until we start believing in them and earnestly start putting efforts to imbibe them in our thoughts always. Soon after Venkat shared a few real-life examples which took me back to similar instances in my past, similar kind of a discussion with a very dear friend and fellow TILTians the WISE CHOICE OF WORDS started making a lot of sense to me. The choice of words is paramount when things like these happen with you, they’re kind of a reality check on where words what you speak, and relaying thoughts can take you to.

STOP and take a Pause!!!

We keep running after more money, more accolades, more materialistic belongings, more success & the list could go on and amidst this constant race we forget that simple things are also the most extraordinary things. We just need to be wise enough to see them and value them. In the constant race that we’re all parties to, failing or falling down is inevitable however staying down is a choice. The real meaning of success would be going from one failure to another without any loss of enthusiasm because then success too becomes inevitable going by the law of attraction.

WHAT NEXT?

While writing what I wrote, I still might have used a lot of negative statements, BUT this has STOPPED NOW. No matter what happened in the past turbulent, sorry ‘path Breaking’and ‘mind Expanding’ month, it only built my CHARACTER and I am grateful for it. TIME IS A GREAT TEACHER and will continue to be so, what is important is, what we learn from it which reiterates the importance of choice of thoughts and words. TODAY HAS BEEN A GREAT DAY and I AM GRATEFUL for all it has given me.

Preoccupied!

Was a usual Thursday afternoon when I pick up my daughter from school unlike other days when she comes home by bus. Reason – Pick her up from school and take her to her Music classes. One day of the week when she has that twinkle in her eyes telling everyone that today my dad would come to pick me. Simple joys but they make so much impact on you; doesn’t it?

So here we have a hall full of PARENTS waiting, yet the hall is SILENT! All of them staring down the glowing screens, fingers of some flying furiously across the touch screen yearning for communication inside a device while some were simply scrolling aimlessly (I could be wrong here, but that’s the impression I could make) totally oblivious to the surroundings.

Here I was LONELY because everyone around me were there into their devices drowned in the plethora of entertainment options. Seems that these mobile devices are so hardwired to our brains and without them we might start malfunctioning. Questions started crossing my mind. Are these people shy or timid, or are these people rude and don’t care what real world communication is all about or are they just zoning out? I was confused!!

Mobile phones are great – no question about it, they have potential too when it comes to communication but slowly I have started to get a feeling that they are overly abused. They are a great hand when it comes to emergency situations and also for gathering information, yet often at times they are not used for these purposes. Are they? 

Unfortunately, society has progressed far enough into the digital age where there is no turning back. Just like any kind of addiction they would have severe withdrawal symptoms if a situation arises when there’s no device in the vicinity. Such communication takes a severe toll on the our verbal communication skills and even non-verbal communication such as eye-contact, hand gestures and overall behavior.

My attempt here was to just scratch the surface of some of the detriments that mobile phones are causing to the society while they also do offer amazing benefits.

My whole concern is it’s easy to say things when you don’t look (the other person) in the eye. Today’s mobile phone phone is a pervasive tool. It plays such a big role in any person’s life these days that it has moved from becoming a mere ‘Technological object‘ to a key ‘Social object‘.

Are we happy giving a similar tomorrow to our kids, who do nothing but follow what we do? Food for thought!!!

What do you think?