Friday, 26 October 2012

Bullet Points Presentation For Everyday Life.

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old. This is something we should all read at least once a week !!!!! 
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.” 
 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 
 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 
 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Change the way you think. 
 4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch. 
 5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 
 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 
 7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. 
 8. Release your children when they become adults, it’s their life now 
 9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque. 
 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 
 11. Make peace with your past so it won't destroy the present. 
 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. 
 13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 
 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. 
 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. 
 16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind. 
 17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 
 18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 
 19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 
 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. 
 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy clothes. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 
 22. Just because you believe you are right, doesn't mean you are. Keep an open mind. 
 23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. 
24. Keep your brain working. 
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 
 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?' 
 27. Always choose life. 
 28. Forgive everyone everything. 
 29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 
 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time. 
 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 
 32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 
 33. Believe in miracles. 
 34. Your job is to love your children, not choose who they should love. 
 35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 
 36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young. 
 37. Your children get only one childhood. 
 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 
 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 
 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. 
 41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 
 42. The best is yet to come... 
 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 
 44. Yield.. 
 45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift." 
Wishing you the best everyday 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Creative Visualization and Reverse Engineering.

That’s a big headline.

Shakti Gawain has written some beautiful books and one of them is “Creative Visualization”. It is one of my all time favourite and if I do not have new book to read before sleep, I would read this book, few pages at least, before falling asleep.

I believe that mind is the most powerful asset we have and we can control the mind and create happiness or unhappiness. I think it is possible to train the mind to visualize good things happening in life and make those things actually happen. The obstacles on the way are our sub-conscious doubt. Therefore, even while practising creative visualization, we sometimes do not really believe in the power of the mind and fail to achieve what we have set out to achieve. Kind of self defeating cycle.

For many years now I have made a combo of creative visualization and meditation. And I use this combo method to reverse engineer my body. But before I go any further, few lines about meditation is in order.

At a basic level, meditation is simple. Just control the mind and make it focus on certain things. Stop the monkey from jumping around. But problem faced by most of us while doing meditation is, we find it is extremely difficult to concentrate on something which we cannot visualize. Practitioners of meditation tells us, concentrate on your breathing. Yes, that’s how it should be done. But can you visualize breathing? So after sometime the mind starts to wander off.

In devising the combo of creative visualization and meditation, I started with something which we know intimately and always love it. That is our body.

The process then becomes simple enough. Lie down in a peaceful place, without too much noise.
Close your eyes and start visualizing your body as if you are seeing yourself in a mirror. We all look at ourselves in the mirror, spend countless hours praising ourselves. Only, this time, see yourself in your mind.
Start with your toe.
And say in your mind: My toes are relaxed, my toes are relaxed, my toes are relaxed. All the time, visualizing the toes.

Move on to heels, say in your mind my heels are relaxed few time while visualizing.

And the process continues till you have visualized all parts of your body relaxing them, giving them strength.

Visualize your whole body as relaxed, covered with light and chant in your mind “I am happy, I am relaxed, I am peaceful”.

Before I started doing this, my blood pressure used to be 150/100. After a year or so, it is 80/60. The health care professionals like nurses get alarmed when they take my blood pressure. So I can guarantee you that this system works.

After all, there is no powerful medicine to heal your body than your mind.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Can I Stop Frowning?

Frowning: verb: Furrow one's brow in an expression indicating disapproval, displeasure, or concentration.

Do you frown? I am sure you do. Most of us do.  But how often we do it? It seems to me that we are going around the whole day frowning.

Yesterday, I went to supermarket to do groceries. While I was parking my small car in the parking lot, I saw a big BMW 5X SUV coming and parking next to me. And the driver was a lady in her middle age, nicely dressed.

While I am picking up the shopping basket from the entrance, I saw the lady walking in, with a visible frown in the face. I was wondering why she is frowning. What is that she does not like there. She was driving a very nice car, walking in an up-scale nice super market, and she has not yet encountered anyone in the store yet. Then I looked around and saw five other shoppers and each one of them had a frown of various shapes and sizes on their face.

After coming back home, I checked my face in the mirror. Yes, I also have those deep marks on forehead which comes from years of frowning. And I realized that all these years, I have inflicted the headache on myself.

You see, when we frown, we are contracting the muscles of the forehead. The blood supply is getting contracted and reduced. Done throughout the day, 100s of times in 24 hours, it will lead to headache and tension.  It invariably does.

It is not that when we have tension we frown. We frown because as we grow up, we become more irritated and combative. We forget to have fun with the little things in life. Have you seen a small kid frowning all the time? I have not. Do you see the teenager frowning? S/he is busy enjoying life, where is the time to frown? So when do we start this negative personal habit? I have no idea.

My suggestion to reduce tension and headache would be to reverse engineer the body and mind. I am teaching myself not to frown under any circumstances and tell myself “I am relaxed, I am happy” in my mind whenever I catch myself frowning. I think it will help me reducing those nagging headaches or tightness on the back of the neck.

Will you please try it for few weeks and tell me if there is any difference? 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Create Success Out Of Failure- Part 2

In the last part we discussed three points. But success is not a power point presentation. Nor can there be exact bullet point steps for everyone to follow. There are no seven step programs which will miraculously turn everyone a successful person in life.

What is success? As with everything in life, the meaning of success is very personal to each one of us. While we tend of measure success by the amount of money we have or material possession we hold on to, it is not the correct yardstick to measure success. Many times financial success is result of dumb luck. Just ask Trump.

I think Success should be measured by how happy or peaceful we are. And each one of us will measure our own success in different ways.  Success should be measured by what all we have achieved in life other than making money. Money is important and without sufficient money we cannot survive. But it is not the sole purpose of existence. Do you have a loving spouse? If he or she loves you, you are successful in giving and getting love. Do you have well balanced kids who are respectful? Then you are successful. Have you given a helping hand to someone lately, have you made some one smile today? Yes? Then you are successful.
Success is not a milestone to be reached once in lifetime. Success is a measure of self achievement to be reached every day, every moment. And only we can say whether we are successful or not. Not the society.

Last time we read that acceptance of failure is a step towards being successful. The journey to success starts with giving up all negative emotions and is basically an internal makeover. Acceptance is a big part of that makeover. Some of the other things which come to my mind as important are:

·         Surround yourself with positive people and cut lose the losers. Losers are those who are always complaining about something or other and cannot stand to see others successful.

·         Work consciously on analysing yourself and making you a better person. Let go as much of negative emotions as you can. If you are a positive, vibrant person, you give out an aura which attracts others and propel you to success.

·         Do not fear failure and rejection. These are just part of learning and if you can remain positive through the failures and rejections, nothing will be able to stop your progress.

This one life of limited number of years needs to be made as pleasurable and enjoyable as possible. Only we can make is vibrant and then we are successful.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Be Like A Duck.

The other day my wife was upset with something that happened in her office and was feeling very insulted.
This is a very common situation in life. We feel insulted in many ways and forms. Sometimes, person closest to us says or does something which is insulting. Teenage kids insult their parents in many ways. Students insult teachers. Colleagues insult other colleagues.  Where does it begin and where does it end.

When I look back, I had insulted many others and had been insulted myself so many times. If I could, today I would behave differently and would take back those hurts that I had caused to others. But what about the insults others had given me?  How can I undo all those hurts in my own mind?

It dawned on to me that nobody can actually insult me. It is me who is taking the insult. If I could think that the other person is ignorant, most likely suffering from low self esteems him/her self, it would have been easier not to get affected. And there is the key.

There was a famous sage in Bengal, India, called Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa. He once said, we have to be like the duck living in the water. While the duck is living in the water, the water is not touching it. Give the duck milk mixed with water, it will only drink the milk and leave the water in the bowl. If only we could filter out the good out of the bad in life just like the duck. That is the learning exercise of this life. To learn the good and discard the bad.

Most of the time we carry all negative emotions in our mind. Let me share a story of two Buddhist Monks in Thailand. As you know, Monks are not supposed to touch women. Now this senior monk and his disciple monk were going around from village to village begging for rice. That is a part of monk life where they live on the charity which allows them to remove ego. While going from one village to another, they came across a young girl, dressed in her finery , possibly going to attend a function to another village. But she was waiting hesitantly as the road was full of mud. The senior monk asked her why she was waiting there and on being told that she could not cross the muddy road as it will spoil her dress, the monk picked her up, carried her up across the muddy road and placed her on dry land on the other side. There the two monks took her leave and went their own way for begging to another village.

After quite a while, the young monk asked his guru, master, we are not supposed to touch any woman, then why did you carry her? The old monk replied, my son, I have put her down long time back, why are you still carrying her?

This goes to show, we carry all the weights in our mind. And insults are no exceptions. We take the insults nobody can give it to us. If we can train our mind to be like a duck, it will not get wet even in water. Then we will be free.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Only Love is Real.

This post is more for me. Every morning I get up and even before the Tea is ready, I start scanning the overnight action in futures. Every day before going to sleep I am having a last minute look at what is happening in the markets. The day of course goes monitoring it. And yet, I am not a day trader and nowadays I take as little trade as possible, looking out only for the best, long term trades. So I am asking myself, am I losing perspective of life?  There must be more to life than chasing after money. In keeping with that thought, let me share this nice story:

A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."
"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.
"No", she replied. "He's out."
"Then we cannot come in", they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.
"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"
The woman went out and invited the men in
"We do not go into a House together," they replied.
"Why is that?" she asked.
One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"
His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"
Their daughter was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"
"Let us heed our daughter's advice," said the husband to his wife.
"Go out and invite Love to be our guest."
The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."
Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"
The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

-Where there is pain, I wish you peace and mercy.
-Where there is self-doubting, I wish you a renewed confidence in your ability to work through it.
-Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, I wish you understanding, patience, and renewed strength.
-Where there is fear, I wish you love, and courage.

 Of course this story never happened but it is just to remind you and that success and wealth follows from a balanced mind which is peaceful and full of love.

Have a wonderful day folks. May life fills you with happiness, whatever your happiness may be.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Patience - The Fundamental Factor Behind Success.

I started my writing career (if you can call it as such). (it is like calling a puddle of water in your backyard as a lake) with a finance blog, writing about taking opportunities and avoiding risks. One word which come up very often is "patience". The success and failure in the world of finance and investment depends on it. Yet when you see the CME pit, where brokers shout about or the investment bankers moving from one deal to another, "patience" is the last word in your mind.

I have a very nice story from Lord Buddha to demonstrate what is patience.

Beautiful Thought by Lord Buddha:

Once Buddha was travelling with a few of his followers. While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one of his disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from the lake."

The disciple walked up to the lake. At that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid. The disciple thought, "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?"

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink."

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake. 

The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.

This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said," See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own ── and you have clear water.

Your mind is like that too ! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless."

Having 'Peace of Mind' is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process and all it needs is patience! 

When  the mind is disturbed how we can take the correct decision about investment or trading. Calm down, let things be, don't chase the beta and peace and happiness will follow.

Have patience. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Before You Start Meditation.

I am not sure how many of you did try the experiment I suggested yesterday. To see where the mind goes and if you can watch it floating around from one thought to another. Well, that is the 1st step of realizing that we and our mind are not the same thing. We are different from our mind.

But if we are not the mind, then who are we?  This is my belief and I have no way of proving it that we are eternal souls which are born for the purpose of learning. This life, this world is our classroom and we are supposed to learn from everything that life throws at us. At the end of the day, if we can avoid bitterness, jealousy or other negative emotions, we have fulfilled the mission of life. If we are filled with joy, mind is calm and can handle disappointments without getting emotionally distraught, we have passed the life’s exam.

Bhagavad Gita, the holy book written in Sanskrit says about our soul:

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire
SYNONYMS; jayate--takes birth; mriyate--never dies; va--either;kadacit--at any time (past, present or future); na--never; ayam--this;bhutva--came into being; bhavita--will come to be; va--or; na--not;bhuyah--or has coming to be; ajah--unborn; nityah--eternal; sasvatah--permanent; ayam--this; puranah--the oldest; na--never; hanyate--is killed; hanyamane--being killed; sarire--by the body.
*          For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.

The same thing is taught in every religion in different forms.

I read a fascinating book about immortality of soul. It is called “ Many Lives, Many Masters” written by Dr. Brian Weiss. M.D. You can possibly find the book in your local library. Reading it will open a new door in the mind.

That’s all is needed sometimes. Open a door in the dark room. When God said, “let there be light”, s/he did not mean sun light, s/he most likely meant light on the soul.

Therefore, before you start meditation, realize who you are and what the purpose of this journey is.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Control Your Most Valuable Asset.

It may sound irrational or funny. But what is the most important asset we have? Do we have any control over that asset at all? But I am running ahead of myself.

When we are born, we are given few things by God.  (nature, if you do not believe in  God) We get this beautiful body and we are born with a thinking intelligent mind. Every animal is born with a mind, whether you care to acknowledge or not. Only, in the case of human, the mind is able to think rationally and intelligently more than any other animal.

Question is can we differentiate between ourselves and our body and mind? I think I can explain it with an example. Think that this body is like a car. The mind is the driver/chauffeur and we are the passengers in this journey of life. You are thinking what non sense.

OK , lets do an experiment. Sit quietly somewhere, without TV or music or any other distraction. Keep a pen and paper handy. Close the eyes and let your mind wander around. Don’t consciously think of anything but watch if you can where your thoughts are going.  After a minute or so, which seems like infinity, open eyes and try to write down how many thoughts came in your mind in those 60 seconds. Where all your mind has been in those few seconds! I can guarantee you, you will be surprised. You did not ask the mind to go there or think that and yet it did. This is the 1st step to realize that we and our mind are separate.  It is like a monkey gone berserk. In other words, we have given the control of the car and our journey to a monkey.

If we can control this driver, train this driver, we can have better control of the journey of our life.

We can teach the mind to think positively, not to be jealous or bitter and above all, not to jump around. That is why folks used to meditate. They still do.

Everything we do in life starts as a thought. That is the most powerful thing that drives us. It’s the mind which creates the thoughts and therefore it is the most powerful element/ asset we are born with. Not money, not car not any other physical possession. If we can control our thought process, we can create happiness even in the most difficult situations. If we can control the mind, we can ignore pain. Believe me, it is possible.

It  is not my intention to convert you into a believer. All I want you to think that there are possibilities which we may not have thought about. That we do not know what powerful assets we have and we are richer than we think.

Just think about that.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Create Success Out of Failure. Part 1

Part 1

Most of us have faced failures at some point of life. And we have found that overcome that failure and move on in life so damn difficult. If you have ever faced that kind of situation, you are not alone. We blame it on luck and refuse to dust ourselves off the ground and stand up again. Be it a failed relationship, not getting the right job, not achieving success in business or whatever. But it need not be so.

It does not matter how many times you get knocked down to the ground, what matters, how quickly you get up.

I have gone through this process in life myself and if I may, I would like to share a few thoughts with you as how we can create success out of our failures.

·         Define what we really want to achieve. More often than not, we are thinking too many things and the mind is running in different direction. Sit down in a quiet corner or talk a long walk in park and just ask yourself, what is really important to you. If God was to come down before you, and grant you one last wish with your life, career, relationship, what is it that you would want absolutely. No, want is not the right word, what is that you absolutely need, which will make you happy for the rest of your life. It cannot be 100 other things. It has to be this one and only one thing. See if you can write it down in one sentence.

·         Ask yourself, what you have done to achieve that one absolute thing which will make you happy. Analyze yourself objectively if you can. I know it is easier said than done. But at least make an honest attempt. Are you able to criticize yourself? Do you realize that what you have done so far may not be enough to achieve that goal? Is there any scope for self improvement? Be it getting more education and qualification, exercising more and eating proper diet or anger management. Are you jealous of others? Are you able to love unconditionally? An honest self assessment is almost always the 1st step of changing your life.

·         Accept failures. Honestly. Don’t blame yourself or others for the failure. If you were passed over for a promotion in the office, there could be many reasons. Reason # 1, there are others better qualified than you or Reason # 2, someone played dirty. Reason # n, the boss does not like your perfume or some other silly things. But hey, it is not the end of the world. Don’t blame yourself or someone else. Just accept the fact that it did not happen. Blaming yourself or others for the failures in your life is a negative emotion and is counterproductive. After all , we have one life and we need one happy life. We need a better life, not a bitter life. Accepting failures as it is helps us not to be bitter in life.

(To be continued)