Soulfully Simple…

Very often its our belief in ourselves, in people around us and the Universe that enables us to on. And I have found that stories have their own way uplifting us, giving us food for thought and bringing a smile to our face. 🙂

By now most of my readers would have understood that I love stories…and I learn from them, get inspired from them. I also love poetry/poems. And like we have unsung heroes, I have read some amazing poetry by “unsung poets”. Here I share with you some of them which have touched me.

Now is the Time

Now is the time to shine;
To make the dream become alive;
To show the world what we can do,
And prove what they thought,
But never knew
Now is the time
In our hearts and in our minds
To all we’ve ever dreamed to do.
And when the time has come,
And when our Journeys’ through
We’ll leave a legacy behind.
Now is the time to earn our place
Among the great ones of the past,
For life is too short, and time much too fast.
Now is the time
To prove to ourselves,
That it was well worth out while
To get up when we fell.
Now is the time to shine,
To make the Dream become alive.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

The Will To Win

If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and
your sleep for it

If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry
and cheap for it

If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,

If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it, Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,

If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,

If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!

 

Reading Stories Can Create Success Stories For You…

My parents were completely convinced that anyone with a reading habit was likely to succeed more in life.   So they encouraged the younger generation to read. They argued that whether you went on to be a lawyer, an architect, a business leader, a store owner, or a stay-at-home mom, having a grounding in good literature and a basic understanding of the sweep of human history and culture would provide the best foundation for any future learning – and for being able to interact well with other human beings. There was never a shortage of reading material at home…right from newspapers, magazines, comics, fiction and non fiction. Even though I was an economics major in college, I read pretty obsessively, mostly fiction and history, from a very early age and – in principle – I agreed with them.

However, one eternal battle at home was should one read more of fiction or non fiction. And what actually helps make you a better human being. I am sure all my readers have gone through this in their growing years. The thrill of reading a novel under the blanket with a torch :), or hiding a story book behind a text book…these are childhood capers most of us have indulged in. I could never resist a good novel when I could lay my hands on one.

My earliest recollection was reading the entire series of Famous Five from Enid Blyton and losing myself in the adventures of all the five lucky kids :). The first novel which had a huge impact on me, made me think & introspect, was Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. I read it when I was in high school & the impact was such that, I went & declared to my parents that I would join the New York Mafia soon 🙂 :). 

But…coming back to is fiction better or non fiction? Where should I focus when I read?

Just the other day I read a wonderful article in the HBR blog by Anne Kreamer, The Business Case for Reading Novels, talking about some fascinating research that supports my contention. She cites studies that show reading fiction actually increases people’s emotional intelligence: their accurate awareness of themselves and others, and their ability to create positive relationships with others based on managing their own reactions.

 

The research Anne cites resolves my chicken-and-egg quandary. It seems that reading fiction improves your sensitivity to and appreciation of complex human situations. It provides a richer ‘toolkit’ of understanding from which to pull when making decisions and building relationships.  And as our business or work lives get more complex, faster-paced, less hierarchical and more dependent upon our ability to build support with those around us – that kind of toolkit becomes ever more critical to our success.

So if you’re feeling self-indulgent as you sit out on your porch of a weekend with Game of Thrones or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Lady Chatterly’s Lover in hand – reassure yourself that you may be improving your chances of business success just as much or more than if you were reading the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s wishing each one of you a fruitful day ahead!!!Image

Success…Mantra Or Recipe

I am writing after a while…all this while my mind has been pondering about the word “success”. Yesterday I spent time with a self made millionaire, who was asked by someone “What is the mantra for your success?”. The same question has been asked by thousands & thousands of people world over to a Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Mukesh Ambani, Akio Morita, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Jackson, Shakira, George Clooney, Amitabh Bachchan and others.

When I talk about success so passionately, a lot of my friends have told me that success means different things to different people. Sure I agree…my understanding is irrespective of what success means to you and in whatever field you achieve it, the recipe to achieve that success will be the same. Wouldn’t it?

That brings me back to the question…do successful people really have a recipe or a mantra that brings the success? Yes!!!  Yes, they do have a mantra or recipe. For me achieving success is like cooking a superb dish. The end result may be a simple dish, but the ingredients need to be in the right proportion. So what are the ingredients I am talking about? Let’s get to the kitchen of life…

To your pan of Passion, using the ladle of Positive Attitude, add the following ingredients. Mind you the ingredients are very BASIC 🙂

Belief – In order for you to achieve anything in your life – you have to first believe. You need to believe in yourself that you can achieve it. You must have faith in your goals and your path to that success. Once your mind is convinced that you can do it, nothing is impossible. Belief is the ‘mind and heart’ & ‘think and feel’ part of the recipe.

Action – Nothing moves until you do something. You belief alone is not enough…you need to act on that belief. However, if my passion is high, then my belief will move me to act. When you act upon what you believe, there is focus. And there is energy. That energy propels you to greater heights.

Skills – My passion, belief and action will come to nothing if I do not upgrade my skills required for my work. Skills are those tools that will help me move closer inch by inch, foot by foot everyday towards my goal post. In a fiercely competitive world, if I don’t increase my knowledge and hone my skills, what am I attracting? Not success for sure!

IntegrityIntegrity of thought & deed. Integrity to yourself and others working with you. Without this there is no credibility I can build for myself. Integrity will also tell that there are no short cuts to success. I have to find my path and walk on on it. Sometimes it will be smooth, mostly it is uphill. It is during those uphill walks, that my integrity will enable & empower me.

Consistency – The little waterfall did not change the shape of the rock because of it’s force, but by its consistent contact with the rock. Look at any successful person around you. What has worked for them is the consistency of action in their field. It could be a carpenter carving a beautiful chair or a musician creating music or playing an instrument. Relentless pursuit is what brings us closer to success.

Once this BASIC recipe starts simmering in your pan of Passion, then you need to add the right seasoning of Determination, Discipline & Dedication. Mix it up in a way that suits your life’s purpose and then you automatically have a purposeful life!!!

Here’s wishing you all a delicious day ahead 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

And It’s A Goal…

The moment I talk about goals, I get two kinds of responses: “why do I need goals…let me just take life as it comes along” and the second, “sure, goals are important…but you know what…”. 

Both have the same end result. No goals. However I am not writing about why we need to have goals…most people do have goals. It is achieving them that is a challenge.

Emotionally connected.

When I have set goals and failed to achieve them…very often I have realized that the emotional connect to my goal was missing. So, the first lesson I learnt was that goal setting is not a feel good factor. We don’t set goals and forget about them. We set goals because they really matter to us. We do want to achieve them. If your reason for setting your goal is not sincere, your motivation and enthusiasm can wane drastically as you progress on your goal path. Setting personal goals is just that – personal, and if you do not have deep-rooted reason for your goal, your chances of succeeding are reduced dramatically.

Dream big with goal posts.

The old saying – shoot for the moon, if you miss you’ll still be in the stars. We all had big dreams when we were kids. What happened to most of us as we grew up? Precisely that…we grew up! Universally we are conditioned that as we grow up in life, our life has to be practical, logical, realistic etc etc. And the dream of being an astronaut, flying a hot air balloon, becoming a businessman, umpiring a tennis match, everything flies out of the window. My submission to all such people…man is the only living being on earth who can dream! So dream big…have smaller goal posts to achieve those dreams. The smaller goals posts will tell you whether you are on track or not.

If Edison hadn’t dreamed, I would not have been writing this blog 🙂 

Write & Review.

Writing down your goals creates the roadmap to your success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to review your goals frequently. Remember, the more focused you are on your goals the more likely you are to accomplish them.

Sometimes we realize we have to revise a goal as circumstances and other goals change, much like I did with being an entrepreneur. If you need to change a goal do not consider it a failure, consider it a victory as you had the insight to realize something was different.

Reward Yourself.

It is a good idea to give yourself small regular rewards for taking incremental steps towards achieving your goals. This is in addition to rewarding yourself in a bigger way when you reach your ultimate goal. For example, I treat myself to a spa once in a while for taking action on my high priority goal every day of the week.

Be sure the reward is something that really motivates you to take action. Plan in advance what the reward will be, that way you will motivate yourself. 

Willpower

I’ve saved the best for the last.  Willpower. Once you realize you only have so much will power everything becomes clearer. So stop beating yourself up about not being able to change.  The thing is that we only have so much will power in our mind and body to make changes. Will power runs out like a muscle that becomes tired.  It’s extremely  important to ask yourself the following questions.

During the 24 hours I have each day, what do I truly, truly, truly wish to focus on? If you find yourself eating too much junk, watching too much television or shopping needlessly you have run out of will power.

What can I do to get more will power ?  Usually your goal , keeping that goal in mind and  making sure you live according to your core personal values should be enough….right? Yes…that and make a pledge to either yourself or someone else.  You pledge money, something valuable or your self respect.

Stay tuned to yourself and your goals…:)