Positive Potion

Today, while I was sitting in the office, looking outside the window. I started going back to revisit my 2019. I could almost feel that the year had been quite a roller coaster ride for me. It was a different feeling.

While I was digging deep into the moments and memories, a friend came and we started talking about life and other things (in general). I asked her, how the year has been for her. She said that it was tumultuous. She added, that the year brought in lot of lessons and some good unplanned opportunities.

While she was telling me more about it. She said, “if something happens according to how you planned, it’s good and if it doesn’t happen the way you planned it, then it is even better.”

She left and the day progressed. I went back again looking for meaning in my 2019. Only then did I realise that she opened something for me. A whole new way to look at my 2019. Almost everything changed, even my feelings.

I felt at ease. Things that hurt me suddenly felt like lessons learnt differently. And now all I can think of Steve Jobs when he said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

Look at your 2019 differently over this last weekend!

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Three Timeless Skills

Some skills usually tend to run out off trend but then there are some which stays and on some you keep building upon.

I find a TEDx talk, The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman really insightful where he shares the power to develop a skill in mere 20 hours. I highly recommend all of you to give it a shot.

It begins with small steps and through making deliberate attempts. You see, a lot of famous personalities such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah did not gain success in just one day but through their consistency. You can watch the documentary – Inside Bill’s brain, understand how his routine looks like.

All of the personalities who went u in the ladder today achieved it because of what they know and what they have learnt. They dedicate themselves more of their time on learning most valuable skills.

Here are some skills for you-

  • Learning
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  1. Learning
    Most of us do not recognise learning as a skill, but the fact is that it is the most valuable skill. Learning is one of our most important processes involved in our functioning on a daily basis.
    Learning equips you to grow in manifolds, whether it is about learning to play an instrument/ vehicle or anything.
    Learning will increase your motivation, make you more adaptable, relatable and help you to do your job better. You can make use of resources such as Learning to Learn on Coursera, or through techniques such as 30-Second Habit or a book – How We Learn.
  2. Writing
    Writing is a great way to express our deepest emotions. It opens our flood gates of expression and acts as a powerful method of communication.
    Write publicly, it gives you a chance to write better get feedback from others and improve constantly.
    You may create blogs and publish it on WordPress or other other blogs.
    You need not write lengthy ones but spend 30-40 minutes on it. It will help you to arrange your thoughts better, gain clarity on who you are and what you want.
  3. Speaking
    Most of us are often hesitant to speak for ourselves because of shyness or less confidence. Once you open yourself up ad put yourself out there, you will feel better with every attempt. Stop taking criticism too seriously. Picture yourself as a personality whose speeches or talk you love.
    Seek opportunities to speak publicly. You can begin with people with you are comfortable with. Talk about something you are passionate about. kick off the nervousness slowly. Loosen your grip there. You may attend Toastmasters events, or talk at your workplace.

“Find your way, become a learner again.”

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Talking about grief

When was the last time you grieved?

Taking time to remember, because it was longer than you expected. I empathise with you on this knowing the fact that it is not easy.

You tend to hold on strong so much and for so long that you forget that it still lives within your core.

The fear of death percolates beneath the surface and often haunts you. And denial is how you cope with it.

Death is a visitor in the course of lives. Some of it is visible in physicality, such as death of a dear one, pregnancy loss or a animal. While, the other stays invisible but hurts equally, such as loss of a relationship or friendship.

Let me make you look at the other side, the good reasons you should confront death.

It is helpful for you to explore into the course and meaning of one’s own life, given the fact that the life and death are interdependent. Then why to possibly ignore it?

It helps you to learn to live well and learn to die well equally.

Gives you a scope to know your own emotions and thoughts about death.

Makes you look at everyday from a different lens. This reminds me of Steve Jobs quote – “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll be right. Every morning I looked in the mirror and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I do today? ”

And lastly, gives you a chance to rivet your attention upon ‘being’ itself. It is a powerful experience.

Once you delve into those realms of existence; you have a good chance to come back to the stream of life and live it.

Here is one of my favourite read – Tolstoy’s story “The Death of Ivan Ilyich.”

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Stuck with the negatives?

You must be knowing that the more you repeat, the better it gets in your system and remember it for a long duration. Similarly, when you focus on the negative aspect or a thought for too long, you are rehearsing it into your system.

Studies have shown, that when you focus on the negatives for long, even when you are shown the positive aspects. You tend to feel low because you have focused on the negatives for too long.

For instance – when you get a job, you are likely to feel happy and return back to your normal state. But, if you get rejected, you are likely to feel low for a prolonged period of time and even if you happen to get a job after that rejection, the level of happiness is likely to be a little less.

Now what happens here…

Look at the two frames – the gain frame and the loss frame, using the example of a glass half full and half empty. The half full glass i.e. the gain frame is likely to make us feel happy and satisfied. While on the contrary, half empty glass i.e. loss frame is likely to make you feel gloomy and low.

Now what to do about it, rehearse on the good parts which would boost you and prevent you from drowning in the pool of miseries. What about a switch from thinking about it one way to thinking about it the other way?

It is pretty easy to tilt towards the negatives because it is so rehearsed in your system. For instance – if you get criticized by a co-worker, you will focus on it all your day and make your day clouded by those thoughts – Am I not god enough? He/she are the worst people… or the world sucks.

Try beginning that shift of you day to – what are the other things happened today? What are the things that made you feel grateful for? How can you make your evening better?

The matter is about shifting your rehearsal pattern. Focusing on the things beyond a negative pattern.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” –Aldous Huxley

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Ask Yourself These Questions Every Month.

Looking to this day, the last month of 2019 has begun. And there is nothing more effective than asking oneself effective questions. Sitting and planning about the upcoming month sometimes help, if not always.

Every month is like a new beginning and almost feels like a tabula-rasa. There is a lot you can achieve by just setting some small goals and habits for oneself, just like your own monthly bucket list.

Here are some questions from my list which can help you to uncover and reflect on how you would like your last month of the year to be.

How would I like to feel during this month?
Simple question can help you to bring in a great check on your feelings and help you uncover how you want to feel. It will help you to prioritise on the things or aspects of your life and of course on the parts that will get you closer to how you would like to feel.

Where would I like to be by the end of this month?
It does not have to be revolving around achievements always. You can of other aspects such as your personal growth, a business idea you have been working upon, the actions you would like to take for your life or just a small get away to give yourself a break.

What would make this month accomplishing for me?
It really depends on what makes you feel more satisfied in life. It is important that you do not involve in self doubt but instead look at the things you would like to accomplish for yourself, even if is learning how to drive, or a musical instrument. Anything that makes you feel happy and satisfied in life.

What advice I would like to give myself for this month?
Many of us actively involve in giving others advice. Why give ourselves a backseat then? This is a new practice I started this year and believe me it helps me. All of us have a good share of experiences and on the days we feel low, words help. My last month advice to myself was – “I will give myself a chance to rise today.” Find what helps you.

What is my budget for this month?
Give yourself a set plan and manage in that amount. At the end of the day, we should all save for the days when we just want a break for ourselves. And as grown ups we should sustain independently. I usually take out a monthly expenditure and deposit the rest of my savings.

I hope this helps you in some way. Go, give it a try!

After all, change in itself is process driven.

Cultivating Punctuality

Before beginning to work on punctuality, it is essential that you understand what is making you late. Watch yourself and your routine carefully to identify what really is making you late. DeLonzor author of Never Be Late Again says – many late people — including herself — are likely to have an aversion to leaving the house. To combat this she uses a mantra of sorts: “When I catch myself doing this, I’ll snap or clap and say ‘This can wait.”

This article is not here to make you feel bad about your lateness or to say lateness makes you the worst of all. It is just to help you to work it out, if this is one.

Firstly, If you want to begin with identifying, have a look at DeLonzor who identifies four types of persistently late people

  1. The Crisis Maker
  2. The Defier
  3. The Dreamer
  4. The Perfectionist

I am refraining to crowd this article with too much information so you can go ahead find your type.

Secondly, your motivation is with you. Find. Find Find. because it helps when you have a reason to be on time, it can be anything. I can give you an example here – Reach to work early and head home early to spend time with yourself, your family, or your pet.

Thirdly, begin with declutter. The thing is we unnecessarily clutter our lives with all things, thoughts and what not. Take an example of your cupboard, how easy it gets when you keep things in place, you find them early.

And, lastly, take responsibility. Know what makes you late, it can even be spending too much time in front of the cupboard every morning just to finalise what you’d want to wear today. Take notice of where you are investing too much time where it is not even required. Decide it the night before or wake up early.

End note – You are too amazing to put a blame on yourself for being late. Cultivate an attitude of punctuality, even if it is 10 minutes in prior.

How To Save Your Energy

Most often when the day ends, we tend to regret for not utilising our time efficiently.

Photo by Dhivakaran S on Pexels.com

Breakdowns happen on the rarest of times on the strangest of things. Its true that we tend to slip off the grid. It makes us feel that everything is futile. Ennui befalls everyone. But what we push away is our own hidden resources that can help us to overcome.

I have been there so many times, and I know that smile on your face is enough of an evidence for me to know that you have been there, or are there too.

I remember getting frustrated on small and futile topics at work. For instance – wifi not working, coffee machine going out of work, burning my toast and what not. Well! not to miss a fellow colleague being mean, and creating a fuss in my head for hours. Frustration can never be enough, enough to summarize in one line. It needs a chips of potato chips and an hour long conversation.

I must say that our wonderful brains have the capacity to catastrophize an ant size problem to a supersize elephant. But instead of encircling the problem, we encircle the entire world around. It just needs a glass full of water turning down the thirst and bringing calm.

Or just opening the window and letting go of things that are not serving away in the air.

Moving further, don’t fixate on the downward spiral or a problem which you can not control. You don’t want to mop your own puke, so puke in the right place and flush it off.

Venting is not a problem, but make it a healthy venting.

Take time vent to someone with whom you feel connected. And once you share, move ahead of the frustration,

Engage in something creative, a hobby or learn something new.

Well! nothing beats preparing a meal that takes you away to another world.

End Note – Nonetheless your day is yours, those 86,400 seconds are for you. Invest in your growth and your happiness.