Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

Friday, March 21, 2014

How safe is your heart and mind from emotions?

petronus, harry potter, happiness, life

Harry Potter: what does a patronus look like?
Professor Lupin: each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it.
Harry: And how do you conjure it?
Professor Lupin: With an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory.

Yes, this is the conversation which took place between Harry Potter and his mentor Professor Lupin, when he was teaching Harry to conjure a patronus to protect himself. The process of conjuring as explained by the professor has its origin in the birth of this blog post.

The recent past has been pretty heavy on the heart; my heart, to be precise. Nothing unusual, as that is the manner in which life unfolds before us. There is not a single moment of solace, not a single moment of quiet and not a single moment of stability. Life is just like the waves rocking a boat in the open sea, ride it or sink in it.

In all these trials and tribulations, I happened to chance upon Harry Potter's quest to ace the patronus conjuring process. Upon reflection, I found out that there are many similarities between Harry's and our condition in actual life. Just like a patronus needs a single, very strong happy memory to be conjured, similarly, in our lives as well, we require many happy thoughts to keep moving forward.

Ok but how do I generate such happy thoughts and memories, you may ask.

Well, it all boils down to doing things which you actually and truly love doing, meeting the people you love meeting and going to places where you love to go. It isn't that hard. Follow the heart and see where your heartbeats start to increase, there you shall find happiness.

That's fine but not everyone gets to do what they truly love in their lives, you may point out.

It is quite true that we have to make several concessions in life but therein lies the essence of this post. The key to happiness in life is doing things which you love and that brings us to the focal point.
At some point or the other, in our lives, we have to start doing things which we truly like to do. Even a single powerful happy memory is enough to annihilate all forms of despair and sadness in one's life.

So, in a nutshell, it is true that one needs to be practical in their lives and not always go doing things which one loves doing. However, does that mean that you eliminate from your life, such opportunities to gain happiness?

A thought by John Lennon rightly sums up this post.

Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.

When was the last time you conjured up your personal Petronus?

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Warning: Don't ignore these 7 ways to live and not simply exist

live life, life

Talking about life and living, Pope Paul VI had the following thoughts to share:

"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying, Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows."

Before we move on with the topic, I owe an apology to all my regular readers for going off on a hibernation and powering up after a gap. You, the reader, have been regular in your readings, your feedback, your comments and your brickbats as well. I, on the other hand haven't been as regular as you. All I can say is that sometimes an off is needed to contemplate over things surrounding our lives, sometimes an individual needs to pause and take in the view in front of them. This is what I would call 'stock-taking' of the situation at hand. My sincere apologies for being amiss from your lives, I hope I don't present such a situation again in the near future.

Having said that, the reason behind this post is pretty simple. Just take a short pause/break from whatever work you are doing and ask yourself, "Have I lived my life or am I just existing?"
Everywhere I look around, starting with my own life to the lives of those of my near and dear ones, this question becomes more and more apparent. Most of us are usually working, sitting behind a desk waiting for the month to end and the salary to get credited. Then we go on a shopping spree and finish off all that income and by the middle of the month, we are back to the same wait for the month to end.
Of course, there are quite a few of us who are born managers and one way or another, those few find the time to get work done and live their life to the fullest as well.

This post is dedicated to all those people out there who are still trying to live their lives and take control of it, rather than letting their lives control them. Read the following seven ways of doing just that:

  1. Learn to let go

    Life is a complex dish made up of many different flavors. Sometimes it's spicy, sometimes bitter, sometimes bland while sometimes full of sweetness. Learn let go of the bitter, sour parts because keeping them encased in your memory will only make the pain even more difficult to subside. If you don't let go of your previous bad experiences and emotions, how would you take on the incoming future bad experiences. Life has been designed by the Supreme power in such a manner that happiness and sadness comes to everyone of us at different points of our life. So, there is no point in holding on to that one emotion for eternity, just let it go.

    Today's Thought Learn to let go [tweet this].

  2. Explore and know yourself inside out

    Life is all about knowing what you, as an individual, desire and want. Your strengths, your weakness, your talents and your skills, all will be revealed to you if can just pause to introspect deep inside you. For some of you, this would be a simple task but for many of you, this would be task around which your entire life revolves around. Even if it takes that long, you owe it to yourself to find out the true reason of your existence and the value you can add to the human society. So, keep exploring and don't settle.

    Today's Thought Explore and know yourself inside out [tweet this]

  3. After knowing yourself, then be yourself

    One of the problem which arises is that we tend to imitate other people, other views and opinions just to give our inner soul some satisfaction. However, you are actually painting a wrong picture in front of others and more importantly, in front of yourself. Once you have fully explored your inner self and know yourself inside out, only then can you be yourself.

    Today's Thought After knowing yourself then be yourself [tweet this]

  4. Don't be too harsh on yourself

    Life is like a long winding road which gets over pretty quickly. Both you and I are still humans and therefore we are always subject to mistakes and errors. Take such situations in your stride, don't criticise yourself severely for such mistakes. Always keep in mind that bad days will give you experiences and valuable lessons of life. Learn from them and give yourself some love as well. 

    Today's Thought Dont be too harsh on yourself [tweet this]

  5. Enjoy the little joys of life

    A major breakthrough in your lifetime is quite a rare occasion. So, you're entitled to the euphoria and ecstasy of being in such a situation. However, that doesn't mean that you should stop celebrating the small joys of everyday life. Remember, how as a child we would be at cloud number nine because the teacher tugged at our cheeks and said 'good boy/girl' or the time when we beat our dads at racing. Yes, life is about all these small moments which bring us joy and a smile to our face. Treasure them and enjoy them to the fullest while they last.

    Today's Thought Enjoy the little joys of life [tweet this]

  6. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

    Ever ventured out alone in a new city? or went to the market to bargain for stuff? or travelled alone on a train? or finished that task which you had always made you feel uncomfortable? or got rid of that fear of heights/spiders/ghosts? From childhood to youth, we are brought up in a cocooned environment created by our parents. Naturally, they want to protect us, however, if you stick around in the cocoon for too long, that same safety net will become an impedance in your growth and progress. 

    Take a look in the habitat around you. Look at how the birds teach their young ones by pushing them off the edge in the hope that they will learn to spread their wings and fly. Or the animals who teach their young ones to go around hunting in search of food.

    You, I or anybody else for that manner, cannot really grasp the limits and boundaries of our thoughts, talents and strengths till we don't put them to the test. The only way to test it is to consciously move outside your comfort zone. This is the singular most important trait which all of us should imbibe in ourselves to attain a life worth smiling about. 

    Today's Thought Life begins at the end of your comfort zone [tweet this]

  7. Choose your relationships wisely

    Usually we tend to get fooled by what we see in the movies or read about in books. However, our relationships are pretty different than that. A relationship, especially that of a life partner, calls for enormous amounts of patience for each other and being able to express love for another even after 30 or 40 years of being together. Such relationships are not only meant for the good and happy times but also for the troublesome periods full of despair and obstacles. 

    Choose the relationship wisely, don't get into a relation just because you're lonely. Sometimes, the wait for a great relationship reaps great rewards and eternal happiness in the long run.

    Today's Thought Choose your relationships wisely [tweet this]

This list of 7 things was by no means an exhaustive list. I'm sure all of you have even more experiences and thoughts to share. Go ahead, express your views and opinions in the comments section below. 

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Friday, March 22, 2013



Vivian Leigh once said that,

"Life is too short to work so hard."   [Tweet This Thought].

In keeping with these periods of time available to us in short supply, I present to you something short to inspire you, 50 words to be precise.

Six years. Finally, Zack's startup was showing some promise. Zack was tired - no salary or vacation for months and usually no weekends. "You could easily have made a lot of money elsewhere." his friend remarked. Zack smiled, "But the chance to leave your footprints somewhere - before anyone else, is priceless."

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By Jay Singh

Monday, March 18, 2013

How To Take Charge Of Your Complicated Life ? F?@K KNOWS

FUK noze, fuck, urban dictionary

You will read, but not understand.
You will understand, but not do.
You will do, but not understand what you did.
Does it make a difference?

Truth be told, I never had a good impression about this book when I first saw it. In fact, upon its arrival at my home, the book had to kept under the covers and only read when there was solitude, partly because of the eye-catching color and fonts on the cover page. In many Indian households, the F word is still held as a taboo by the families. I myself was criticized by my mother for reading such books which "play around with the minds of the youth and spoil them."

However, as soon as I started reading the first page of the book and continued into the book, my fears & apprehensions started to get dispelled. I realized what a gem of a book this is and that the Author, Shailendra Singh actually spoke some sense. Actually, he spoke my mind and talked about all those notions and ideas which have been present in my mind for the past 1-2 years now.

Before we move into the review of this book, I wish to warn the readers and offer my own disclaimer as well.
Read this book at your own risk. It is FULL of abuses, euphemisms, dirty language, detailed description of erotic stories and love making. Reader discretion is advised
Having said that, let me make a point very clear and I know that the author will agree with me. This is definitely not about the abuses. It does not teach you how to abuse people. My personal request to all the readers of this book is to capture the essence of this book and not be distracted by all the abusive language. If you succeed in doing that, then this book is a gem and one meant for collection purposes. 

Now, with the disclaimer out of the way, let's get into the book review. 

The Specifications

Title - F?@K Knows
Author - Shailendra Singh
Place - New Delhi
Publisher - Rupa Publications
Pages - 248
Price - Rs. 195/-
ISBN - 978-81-291-2388-6

The Externals

The cover has been designed by Nicole Sottung. One look at the cover tells the reader, that this book has been made keeping the youth in mind. The cover uses generous doses of bright, vibrant colors such as yellow, red and black fonts. These bright shades might be attributed to the brighter outlook towards life and career, which the book speaks about in its various chapters.

The spray can effect on the fonts both in the title of the book as well as in the author's name, in a way reaches out to the rebellious nature of today's young generation. The cover also includes small icons depicting a cricket bat, ice cream cone and most notably, a bottle of liquor. More on the significance of these icons later on in this review.

The Author

The Author is Shailendra Singh, most notably known as the Co-founder of Percept Media and also the concept owner of the Sunburn Festival
In the year 1987, 20-year old Shailendra left his career as a professional cricketer in English County and stumbled into the world of advertising, to join his elder brother Harindra as a partner in a 3-year old advertising business, Percept Advertising. 
In 1994, he setup Percept D'mark (PDM). In a short span of time PDM became India's leading Experiential and Sports Marketing Agency.
Read more about this man in his profile page.

The Internals

The author dedicates his first published work to the Universe. The presence of a table of contents reveals that the book has been divided into chapters and headings but no numbering of these chapters. In this way, the author has come up with some really cool and wacky names for the different chapters. 
The author gets into Author mode from the disclaimer page itself and the readers gets a peek into his witty and humorous side.

It is in the 'How to Read this book' section, that my hunches about the cover picture turn out to be true. The author gives detailed suggestions on various methods and places where you could read this book and that too, enjoyably. The Author tops up his suggestions with the names of his favorite brand of Liquor. These suggestions explains the reason behind the Liquor bottle occupying the central spot on the front cover. 

Basically, the book is a collection of the Author's experiences which he has collected through these years of existence. That's the reason why, he warns the audience in the Preface section that he does not have the answers to all the questions which plague the youth of today. 

Reactions and Experiences

The book is a wonderful delight to read and the amount of lessons to be learnt from this book is enormous. The author makes use of short to very short sentences and easy to understand vocabulary, which underscore the importance of the message which he's trying to send across and the impact he wishes to generate. 
Throughout the book, he urges the readers to read the instructions and then keep the book down to actually perform the exercises or activity which he speaks about.
The main objective of the author is to get his message across and inspire the youth to do things which they like doing, which their heart tells them to do. 

Consider this thought on detachment,

"They say the key to enlightenment is detachment. Detaching oneself from desire and from the mind. Dissociating from mind-generated thoughts. Stop identifying with them, because they are not you. They are not your true essence. Your true essence has to become the watcher of those thoughts."

On being a loser, the author says,

"If a kid doesn't aspire to be something that society deems 'incredible', then they are already made to feel like a loser."

On the thought of leaving behind,

"I guess I realized that, at the end of the day, I wanted my work to create more than profits. When the time for me to leave this world came, I wanted to leave behind more than balance sheets, bank accounts and receipts."

On the thought of having options in life,

"In life, you get messages from up there, out there. You get signs to tell you there are doors and options open to you. But then, the call is yours. If you notice, you usually have two options in all circumstances, and you generally tend to pick the one that you are most comfortable with. Hardly anyone takes the path that is challenging and unknown. But the option is there."

On the difference between being Rich and being Wealthy,

"In a way, I believe that it is the money that you have earned, that makes you 'rich'. It is the money that you spend that makes you 'wealthy'. Wealthy is the state of the mind that you get from using your riches for your enjoyment."

The Hits

The book is full of personal experiences of the author which taught him a lot about life and now he passes on those treasures of learning to the youth of this age. I personally learnt a lot of new things from this book. Let me give you an example. 
TIL (Today I Learned) that there are more neurons located in a 9-meter section of the gut (Enteric Nervous System) than are found in the spinal cord or the brain, combined. In fact, the Gut is usually referred to as the 'Second Brain' of our body. 
It's actually true and  you can read up about this at the following links:

How the Gut's 'second brain' influences mood and well being

Enteric Nervous System

The Misses

Well, apart from the usual typos and the high frequency of abusive words and obscene language, the book is a wonderful read. People who find such language offensive might find it difficult to go through the book. In fact, the author himself suggests that the reader read through the book one chapter at a time, as the messages it contains might take some time to sink in. So, he urges the readers to think it through. 

The Final Verdict

As a wrap-up to this review, all I can say is that- go for this book. There are many points at which you would feel inspired while reading this book and this should lift the spirits of many of you out there who're battling it out in their lives. This book will teach you how to follow your heart and your gut instincts-no matter what happens.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Dion Boucicault once said that,

"Men talk of killing time while time quietly kills them."
[Tweet this Thought].

He did have a point when he said this but more than that he had enormous amount of foresight. 
Why do I say foresight, you may ask? 

That's simply because this single quote/thought holds true regardless of our race, nationality and is valid across various time periods. Time is an essential commodity in a human's life, however, the majority of us fail to efficiently utilize the time which we have on our hands.

In keeping with the chaotic and busy lives of all of my readers out there, I'm presenting a short story to you.
Ok, so how short is this story?
50 words to be precise and it is my first attempt at writing a fictional piece in exactly 50 words, nothing more, nothing less. That's my contribution to the byte-sized information gobbling internet user of today's time.

Here it goes, then. 

Anthony was completely lost. He was thwarted. His problem was straightforward. He couldn't figure out his exact location. Naturally, he was clueless regarding the direction or the distance to his destination. After struggling for a while, he realized what the actual problem was - he was carrying the wrong map!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

20 Quotes To Get You Charged Up In The Morning


  1. "Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life." - Buddha [Tweet This Thought].
  2. "Life is like riding a bicycle, you don't fall off unless you plan to stop peddling." - Claude Pepper  [Tweet This Thought].
  3. "All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it." - Samuel Butler  [Tweet This Thought].
  4. "If you haven't fought for your life for something you want, you don't know what's life all about." - Robert Stone  [Tweet This Thought].
  5. "A life is black, whiten it as you will." - E. H. Chapin   [Tweet This Thought].
  6. "Life is measured by the rapidity of change, the succession of influences that modify the being." - George Eliot   [Tweet This Thought].
  7. "Life is hard, after all it kills you!" - Katharine Hepburn   [Tweet This Thought].
  8. "Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit." - Henry Adams   [Tweet This Thought].
  9. "One word frees us of all the weight & pain of life: that word is Love." - Sophocles   [Tweet This Thought].
  10. "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill   [Tweet This Thought].
  11. "My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers." - Tom Stoppard   [Tweet This Thought].
  12. "I wish I had known earlier that you have all the time you'll need right up to the day you die." - William Wiley   [Tweet This Thought].
  13. "No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first and is waiting for it" - Terry Pratchett   [Tweet This Thought].
  14. "It only takes one person to change your life - You." - Ruth Casey   [Tweet This Thought].
  15. "The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor." - Chinese Proverb   [Tweet This Thought].
  16. "If you don't care for your body, where are you going to live?" - Unknown   [Tweet This Thought].
  17. "There are no limitations to the human mind except those we acknowledge." - Napoleon Hill   [Tweet This Thought].
  18. "Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you're usually right." - Henry Ford   [Tweet This Thought].
  19. "By working faithfully 8 hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work 12 hours a day" - Robert Frost   [Tweet This Thought].
  20. "There are 2 ways to make the leap of faith-either you're self motivated or someone pushes you to jump" - Jay Singh   [Tweet This Thought].

The last quote is a bonus addition to the list, fresh out of the confines of my mind. 

Which quote did you like? Which quotes are your personal favorites? Which quote would you add to this list? 
Share this with your loved ones, because you may or may not know about these quotes but someone else could read it and get inspired.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

3 Ways To Stop Constraints From Becoming Obstacles


Referring to the subject of constraints, Ronald Reagan once said that,

"There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect."

Yes, constraints are a way of life and no matter how hard we try, they always keep cropping up in the most unlikeliest of ways. Look around you, there are so many people in your lives who are creating constraints for you every single day.

Your boss demands superior performance from you and for that you have to listen to loads of bantering and suffer the wrath of the boss's temperamental side. You're constrained from taking any action.
Your clients want top notch delivery and they are literally breathing down your neck; you're constrained.
Your spouse feels you do not pay any attention to them and they stop talking to you; you're constrained here again.
Your kids, your family and basically the entire environment and society in which you live in is a continuous source of constraints.

So, what do you do? How do you deal with it? In this post, we shall see 3 ways in which you can change your outlook towards these constraints and try to use them to your advantage instead of simply ruing their presence in your life.

  1. Constraints results in adjacency which results in innovation

    Let's suppose you live in a huge mansion with 20 bedrooms, hundreds of square feet of space and with only 3 members of the family living in that house. Just imagine, the number of times these members would be interacting with one another. Compare that to another scenario where the same family is inhabiting a household of just a few hundred square feet, let's say 500 square feet. The amount of interactions instantly shoot up, the members are literally bumping into one another throughout the day. There is a constant struggle for space and who gets to do what. Sometimes, it even leads to tension but it also leads to problem solving and finding the best possible solution to the problems.

    This is what has been and is still happening in the best business corporations the world over. They're embracing the open office space culture wherein all employees including the bosses sit in open bays rather than cabins. The employees are allowed more break times, leisure time for frivolous activies to improve the chances of interactions and thereby resulting in some form of innovation.

    Today's Advice Constraints leads to proximity which leads to innovation [tweet this].

  2. Constraints can help you in getting quick assessments

    While working with limited resources, the clients or the key stake holders would be keeping a close watch on you. This constant vigil actually results in increased efficiency in the output. When we keep restricting our timelines, our resources and our circle of influence, it results in getting more amount of work done and ultimately leads to a professional finish to the task. This aspect is expertly utilized by the manager of the biggest sporting clubs around the world. 

    Today's Advice Constraints get you quick Feedback [tweet this].

  3. Constraints can aid in the creation process

    Although we hate a constrained life and would love to luxuriate in all things easy and attainable, constraints are actually the doorway to creating something which is magical, mind-boggling and utterly creative, all at the same time.

    The best example for this is the novel Gadsby which has been authored by Ernest Vincent Wright. The book is a story which has over 50,000 words but written without the letter 'e'. Imagine writing even 100 words without the letter 'e'. 

    We've all heard the famous adage,

    "Think out-of-the-box"

    But we must remember that it is only when we constrict ourselves to the box, that we're actually able to think of ways of getting outside the box. 

    Today's Advice Constraints can aid in the process of Creation [tweet this].

How do you deal with the constraints and restrictions in your life? What other methods do you use to overcome these hurdles? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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