Let it be….

Have u ever tried getting the coal ready for a¬†grill? (Yes its the most relevant question ūüôā )

Steps are:

1. Make a pile of coal in the grill.

2. Light 3-4 ignite bars placed in different areas in the pile.

3. Wait for ignite bars to burn and let coal catch fire to turn red evenly.

And you are ready to grill.

Even though the process is simple but it’s not easy and almost 90% of the time it fails. Either coal will not burn or we need to use more ignite bars etc.

And guess which step is most difficult? Step 3. Yes, waiting for 20 minutes without doing anything is impossible. We will either try and shift the coal or move ignite bars or try to give more air etc.
Offcourse with practice, we learn that leaving the coal with igniting bars without doing anything is the best way to burn it quickly and evenly.

So why can’t we just let it be? Why do we always complicate things instead of taking the simplest path “Occam’s Razor – simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones”

There are numerous like this when we overdo things and make it much more complex than it is.¬†Why can’t we just “Let it be”. Is it because our life is no longer simple anymore and hence we don’t believe in simple things in life. If things are complicated we like it, we like the thrill and excitement of it!

Whereas more we think we are getting better at life and take steps to make it simple, the more it gets complex and hence our thought process always things about complexities.

But some times, some things in life works best when “Letting it be” and works in our best interests. So let’s try “Let it be” and hope for the bests!

Dreams change baby…

Your dreams or life aspirations, is it same as when u were a kid? I am sure it would have changed now.

There is a dialogue in “Zindagi Milegi Na Dubara” movie – “Dreams change baby”. If you look back in your life your dream and life aspirations change almost every 5 years.

When I was a kid, I wanted to become a fighter pilot, went to Sainik School (Military School) to fulfill it. But by the time reached Class 10th, it got changed drastically I no longer wanted a strict disciplined life and went for IIT (IT-BHU) and did engineering.

While in college, all we wanted was a decent paycheck in MNC, or go for a Master’s degree to get a better job in the US. And thought once we have a good paying job we will live happily ever after.

But again expectations increased once we achieved it. If you realize dreams or expectations changes based on where we have reached and our peers. This is true for all including the richest to the poorest.

So is it good or bad? I think it’s good we are always trying to improve ourselves but this comes with a lot of dissatisfaction, stress, and pressure to keep satisfying ourselves.

In a true sense these are not dreams, don’t you think our dreams should be much bigger than any of these materialistic things. Or dreams are a set of accomplishment bond together?

Let me know your thoughts on this, in comments.

 

Learn to play a musical instrument

With so many distractions these days, why should we even consider learning a musical instrument? Would it not be just another distraction.

Don’t worry I will not get into another lecture.

But let me share my personal experience. I was more of a dabbler in guitar. Then one day my wife and my elder son insistent on buying a new guitar for me. I decided to give it try and started practicing 5-10 minutes of guitar every day. Slowly I started to play better and now it has become a habit.

Here are some of the things which I observed:

It gives a sense of calm – When u play music it gives a sense of calmness and you forget everything, trying to play a song or hum it with your instrument. However frustrated you are, it always calms you down.

Instead of listening become active thru playing РWhen u become an active player, u feel part of the song within you and makes you more creative in other areas. Also gives a sense of accomplishment.

Social gatherings are much more enjoyable & relaxing РOnce in a while in a social gathering, playing guitar leads to much better bonding and elating experience to enjoy together. It gives a happy, lasting and socially exciting gathering.

Lesser distractions – As you become more immersed in playing music, other distractions don’t excite you that much like Social Media, TV etc. This can be really good for kids who have so many things to distract these days.

Learning to play music is more intrinsic than external ¬†– In studies or sports, there are external forces to be driven, be it financially or making a career etc but learning music or playing instrument, once u cross a level, automatically drives you by the flow of it. In that sense its an art, you become more and more involved as you enjoy more and more…

Its very simple to pick up if you are consistent – Keep it simple, just start playing. Keep¬†the instrument in your sight, don’t keep it hidden or in a closet. And give it 5 minutes a day, practice daily without fail and you will learn.

Go ahead pick up your favorite musical instrument and try it out, be consistent for 3 months and you will start seeing the positive impacts. Please do let me know how it goes…

 

No Pain No Gain…

 

In life, we all must choose two pains: the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.

The Pain of Discipline: Pain we take when we are working hard and trying to accomplish our expectations either in terms of monetary or health or betterment of our life. All of our day to day struggles to rise ourselves comes under this.

The Pain of Regret: Pain of jealousy or regret of not achieving things which we want to, either in terms of money, health, life expectations and more. This accounts for most of our sadness which we feel while comparing ourselves with others.

We have to take one or the other pain, if we do not take the first one, we will automatically start feeling the pain of regret. Of course, we can always go for no pain but then we become a monk, who does not care for anything and have no ties to the real world.

So what kind of pain you would like to take?

Sending your kids to boarding school?

As a parent listening to other parents sending kids to boarding school for better studies brings memories when I went to boarding school in Class 5th. My son is same age now around 11 years.
So should we be sending him to boarding school? Here are some of the discussion points to ponder:
 
Positives:
 
Discipline: One of the early things you learn is to be discipline and focus. There is a routine which should be followed and gives the child a set of good habits. 
 
Mental Toughness: Being in hostel implies you become mentally tough as you have to learn things hard way with peers, seniors, and teachers who are not as forgiving as parents. The maturity makes you more open to difficulties in life later on and how to handle it.
 
Career Path: Some of the boarding schools is already giving you career path, so if you are an early protege of military or any other field etc, it’s the¬†best way to get into that path.
 
Independent РAbility to make own decisions: As parents, we overthink for our child and hence push them to a path which they do not understand. Being in hostel allows the child to make their own decisions. Not to say parents cannot enforce this even in a hostel but still, the child is more independent in deciding things.
 
Negatives:
 
Child’s innocence or love: Children have an innocent way of looking towards¬†life, but this is lost in a hostel with its strict and disciplined life. The gleeful way of getting excited about smaller things in life slowly dies away.
 
Traumatize for life: Some of the things in a hostel, a brawl with the peer or consistent bully from seniors etc in tender age leads to lifetime trauma which is difficult to tackle once it leaves a lasting impression. One of my friend’s child – 14 years old girl was sent to the hostel for 2 years and she got into depression, leaving parents in dismay why they have sent her.
 
Peer/Competition kills creativity: With constant competition with peers in hostel, it kills a child’s creative outlook towards life. It gives them a monotonous view and everything becomes a way to please others. We see this being done at the parents level in schools today, imagine how a child will be in a constant competitive environment.
 
Life seems very tough for everything: At very early age child seems to take life as a very difficult pill, yes there is a lot of debate around how life is tough etc. But do we really need to give this lesson to our child now? Maybe for them, it might not be tough if they figure out what they like and explore more in life.
 
Overall my vote is against sending my child to boarding school. I see more negatives than the positives. What about you?

Nap to increase productivity..

 
Working hard is the most important ingredient for success? Pick up any self-help book and it comes with many examples where working hard is the key to success. 
But what about working smartly? Now you roll your eyes “Sure, lets work smart not hard”. Before bouncing off the page, let’s reflect in our last 2-3 days time interval where we were at our best in productivity.¬†At least¬†once in a day (Or given interval) we are at our mind mojo, at our best and performing like a smooth oiled engine.
 
So how can we repeat this mojo? Will this not be doubling, tripling our performance and hence working smart.
 
Enter Naps or Sleep lightly or briefly, especially during the day. It’s like dividing your day into 2-3 days by taking sleep breaks. Winston Churchill used to do this. Most of our leaders & artists use this as a tool to be at their bests.
 
Yes, it sounds weird, to take a sudden Nap and think of it as wasting time but the returns are tremendous. Imagine after every Nap you have your mojo and getting a shot of productivity boosts.
 
So next time if you feel sleepy in office or meeting go ahead and take a power nap to give boosts to your productivity.
 
Let me know if you tried this in comments below.
 

Perfectionism holds us back from self-improvement and courage.

Perfectionist

Right from childhood, we seek to shield ourselves from vulnerable feelings like disappointment, hurt and diminishment. By building a wall out of our behaviors, emotions, and thoughts, we protect ourselves from the big bad world. But to live and lead with courage, as we already know, we must let ourselves be vulnerable. This means letting down our walls and recognizing protective thoughts and behaviors for the defense mechanisms they really are.

One of the most pervasive types of self-protection is perfectionism. To get success in any field, we must rid ourselves of perfectionism. To do so, let’s start by busting some of the myths around this damaging phenomenon.

Perhaps the most damaging myth of all is that perfectionism is about self-improvement and striving for excellence. But in fact, perfectionism is really about attempting to win approval. Most perfectionists are raised in environments that praise their exceptional performance, for example in athletics or school. As a result, perfectionists develop a damaging belief system that follows them into their adult lives, anchoring their whole sense of self in accomplishments and brilliant execution.

This locks perfectionists into an exhausting behavioral pattern of pleasing people, perfecting efforts, performing for others and proving themselves. People with a healthy drive for success, on the other hand, are much more self-focused and inspired by asking themselves how they can improve. It‚Äôs a stark contrast with perfectionists, who ask ‚Äėwhat might others think of me?‚Äô

Significantly, leaders who armor themselves with perfectionism often assume that this way of thinking will bring them success. They couldn’t be more wrong because there is a much darker side to perfectionism, going way beyond the need to please.

Disturbingly, research shows that perfectionism is associated with addiction, depression, and anxiety. Furthermore, perfectionists are more likely to miss opportunities and experience mental paralysis that keeps them from fully engaging in life. Why? Because their fears of being criticized or not meeting the expectations of others keep them from entering the messy arena of life, where healthy competition and striving for true greatness occur.

So take off the armor of perfectionism and jump into the fray of life. You might make mistakes in the process, but you’ll gain something valuable in exchange: the courage to succeed.