Saakshi Nagpal

Archive for the category “Success”

I am alive

Hie,

How is 2013 going so far?

Presently, anything that I am crossing by is ‘new’ for me. With frequently changing cities apart from weather differences, I am occupied with cleaning, packing, moving, unpacking and then starting again with cleaning process these. Checking out my old notes on my first computer, I got a treasure, hidden in this old computer hard disk from nearly a decade.

My dad gifted me a computer , the one with big and bulky  white screen covered behind a screen guard, big CPU which required a decent cooling system in the room keyboard  with big keys

The Neil Diamond Collection

The Neil Diamond Collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

producing music every time you touch them (ouch !! touch-me-not beauties) on my birthday. I was in my primary school and thus my play time was for limited hours every evening. Those days I recall my motto was to listen new songs, improve my verbal English, learn using computer and speed up typing.  I came up with the solution, to play English songs on computer, open a notepad and start typing as the song play.

Here are the lyrics from a beautiful song written by Neil Diamond perfect for a fresh start of a brand new year dedicate to a great life , enjoy !!

I am alive

I am alive

Take a walk

You can hardly breathe the air

Look around

It’s a hard life everywhere

People talk

But they never really care

On the street

There is a feeling of despair

But everyday

There is a brand new baby on

Everyday

There is a sun to keep you warm

Its alright, I am alive

Take of your life

What its got to give

I am alive

Everybody

Look here

I am alive

I am alive

So , what are you waiting for gear up your energies, raise your chin , smile a bit , wear  bring-it-on attitude and chant ‘I am alive’

Be happy , Stay Blessed

Happy 2013

Saakshi

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Awesomeness Personified

Hie,

How to be awesome in whatever you do?

If you think for a while that my next blog is going to be just a manual on How to be awesome, you are probably wrong. I am no trainer/teacher/coach to instruct you in few easy steps that how to be awesome!
I believe we all are awesomeness personified and just need to search the hidden persona of ours. There are always two different faces of a coin. If nature has beautiful snow covered peaks, it also has disruptive volcanoes. The point is where you are looking. One individual can’t be good at all things. If anyhow the person tries to be, there would be few weak points.

I like reading and occasionally write on my blog , but unfortunately from past few months life (ok, I am exaggerating ; my mood or emotions or outlook whatever you name it) has taken a 360 degree turn. All for bad. No, I am not cribbing or showing my irritation here on a public forum nor I am doing this in my real life but somewhere unconsciously its effecting me badly , I appear pale and lost most of the times . Happiness and smile are long lost entities and that’s one of the reasons of blogging ‘so rarely’.

I am going to work, finishing all my daily tasks, attending trainings (May – Aug my calendars are decorated with all sort of trainings. September will see me an improvised super human being 🙂  ). I am getting good rankings, appreciations, rewards, challenging projects. Strangely, I am socializing more, reading more books, I am losing my appetite and am an insomniac now. A strange demoralized phase in which I am in, is unfolding all my hidden weakness and finally adding it to my stress level.

Tony Robbins (an American Self help author and motivational speaker) says “In life you need either inspiration or desperation”. I choose inspiration. Inspiration from my own strengths.
So listing my strengths …
I am creative, confident, open minded, have a good patience level, ambitious, good at analyzing and organizing things. I am committed to my commitments. I am a quick learner. I can write well. I can push people to pursue their goals.bla bla bla ..
So, as the list goes on for my strengths similarly I have few ( !! 🙂  !! ?? 🙂 ) weaknesses also .

Whatever they may be as I have said earlier , I am following Tony’s advice. Choosing inspiration over desperation . Inspiration from my strengths and disguising myself for a while that there exists no weakness that can potentially pull me down from being an awesome soul.

You may have completely different opinions on this subject matter and I respect that but according to me, it would be a painful experience when you are suddenly confronted with some bitter moment(s) of your life . A moment where the only word that could define it is “Crap”. A “double crap” when it’s exposed to everyone. Grr !! Public humiliation. You may either chose one way where you can escape from by just saying “this is the way I am” or falling in a guilt pit 😦 . My conscious chooses the first one that is not claiming your weakness as a badge of your identity. This is like putting your best foot forward, accepting yourself with the weakness and getting a inspiration to keep rising higher.

If you can’t overcome weakness, then why not shine your strengths more.

Doubts ???

Stay awesome , be awesomeness personified.
Saakshi

Being Confident – My learning from Toastmasters.

Hie ,

How are summers going ?? 🙂 🙂

Last week , I completed my Competent Communicator along with  Competent Leader certification from Toastmaster manuals. Happy me 🙂 , I am just 9 month old with this programme .

Below is my project 10 from Competent Communicator manual : Inspire your audience.

My dear fellow toastmasters, I still remember my first speech. Those who have given their Icebreaker will be experiencing a sweet smile on their face and those who are still planning to give will experience goosebumps. Mine was a bit different. I thought I was dead sitting on the chair waiting for my turn. Fortunately or unfortunately mine was the first. I gave my first speech at Area Level Humorous speech competition representing our club at Adobe systems  

Before the competition, when I was bothering myself with the questions like ‘Can I do it?’ ‘ What I will do if I go blank?’ ‘Do I have the confidence, that I can make it?’ Our Mr President come to me , and ask to volunteer for Vice President  Public Relations role.

I was like uhh !! you can’t do this to me. I am the kind of person, who can work till late will never crib but interacting with entire organization and always being upfront to create a buzz ., this is just not me. I am the person who needs to be dragged to parties and then needs  some solitude to regenuate. I am not a social butterfly.  Now I am grateful , for the confidence Mr President has shown in me. 

From that day till today, the club meetings are like  weekly lessons. Thank you for all your support and guidance through the journey of learning till date. I can feel the brand new me J within me.

Lets think again, aren’t those questions scary ? Most of us , including myself try avoiding such questions b’coz deep down we have some or the other kind of fear of unknown. It can be driving, swimming, singing, dancing, public speaking or socializing.

I fear of social gatherings, no please don’t take me as an introvert or something it’s an area where I just don’t feel comfortable.. Comfortable of mass?? NO may be lack of confidence to communicate with the strangers at a personal level. I am well read , well travelled ,  enough to carry on any conversation except stock exchange and cricket !! But still … ahh !! I just can’t do that. I literally get cold feet.  Being socially inactive, my motivation was at a decline.

Finally I took charge of myself, coz , I was sick of this feeling, it was always a herculean task to approach someone and say “ hello , whats up , how u doing ? “ .  One fine day, there was a circular in my mailbox asking nominations for membership of an internationally recognized public speaking and leadership club. I at once nominated, without giving second thought or even looking at the cost. I nominated myself. I never had stage fear. In fact  I was the head girl of my school, a regular figure on stage not only b’coz  my mom can see me and hear me performing but b’coz I love the feeling of being here on the podium and addressing people. I can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but I go insanely awkward in groups and specially when I have to initiate any conversation, so I joined the club to exploit myself. Exploit b’coz in my heart I was confident that I can do it. As they say ‘no pain no gain’ my moto was ‘ if it doesn’t torture, then it doesn’t matter’.

The fact that here in Toastmasters, there is no one to judge you  or score you , here we all learn in a mutually supportive, positive learning and non threatening  environment. This means fewer chances of embarrassment and also a good opportunity to interact and socialize. Now the fear of public humiliation did the trick. Result, I am here , regained the lost self esteem projecting the much desired confidence .

This was my part of story. But one question has the power to either make it or break it – Do you believe you have confidence?

They say change is the only constant thing in life. I believe Change is other definition of life. With my year long journey with Toastmasters, now I accept that change is the only truth of life. To accept the eternal truth, one needs to have confidence and confidence in plenty. The confidence should be like a solid, which even when challenged will never backed down. The confidence should be your armor against all odds.

So, from where will we get this confidence? And when we find it , will this confidence remain with us ?

It’s a myth that confidence is a state of mind which is built by a constant thinking. The fact is confidence is within you, it’s in your heart; it’s in your belief.  Confidence creates a positive vibe around us and spreads too.  Don’t tell me you don’t try certain dance steps from Dance India Dance at home , don’t tell me you stop yourself singing in bathroom, don’t tell me  you  don’t try your hands at your favorite cuisine at home. No matter how absurd you may have performed it gives you a certain sense of happiness and satisfaction. A feeling of being ‘too good’.    

So, clearly you have the desire, take a step forward show confidence in yourself and just do it. Who knows the world around you may feel proud of you.

You love to dance, dance with your friends, feel the spotlight on you. You love to sing, then why in confines of your bathroom, don’t you think that echo ruins the melody? Call your buddies for Sunday brunch, have fun , someone may like the food and ask for tips!! Try it out

Find confidence in whatever you love to do to overcome the fears you always desire. It may not be easy because in reality, the world behaves in such a way that makes a vicious cycle revolving 360-degree without any clue. You may have fought with your fears and gave a shot but in the end, found yourself back to same place.  It must be very hard.

Most importantly, it is your confidence that tells your true worth no matter where you are and what you might be doing. Confidence is a treasure which boosts our  morale and helps in keeping us focused towards our dream despite of all odds.

And if you are thinking how to retain this confidence (I know it’s fragile) ,then have a TEAR in your eye.

Try , Enact, Analyse , Reform.

As I have been practicing this via Toastmasters, though I will be completing CC this afternoon , I don’t want to stop now. For me the fun and learning has just begun! so having said that I am confident that  I have inspired you enough to come forward and present your icebreaker , what you all need is just the CONFIDENCE and let it oozes out from your pores.

Let me know your take on this.

Keep Talking,

Saakshi

Life is what you make of it

Coffee bean on transparent background. Better ...

Coffee bean on transparent background. Better resolution version is to come. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hie,

Got the following story in a mail, feel like sharing with you all. Indeed a big life lesson from a small simple incident.

Here it goes ….

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!

 

Keep the spirits high,

Saakshi

What do you expect from life ?

Hie,

How are you doing today ?

Fit and Fine !!

Do you breathe heavy after climbing 5-6 flight of stairs?

When did last time you took Medical help to keep yourself active and agile?

Stats say India’s life expectancy is 65.77 years for males and 67.95 years for females . Women live more than 2 years 🙂  probably to take into account the additional time they need to spend in bathroom in front of mirror :).

Life expectancy – We all understand the term to mean the average life span of a group of people. But I’m here to talk about a bigger idea ….

Ladies and Gentlemen – what you expect from your life.

A decent 5 BHK flat , actually several in few exotic locations, Samsung Galaxy S III, Audi in the car park, unlimited Spa and Sauna coupons, a beautiful relationship to bank upon , a calm and serene family environment. A grossly upper paid white color job, where your hours will be so much, where your responsibilities will be so much.

That is what is expected of you.  And if you successfully manage to live up to it, it will be an awful waste. Trust me.

They say aim high, dream higher, the outcome will be unparalleled to those average people who don’t even put efforts to plan.

I say, Close your eyes , ask few questions to yourself :

Who are these average people?  – Your Parents ?  Friends ? Spouse ? Neighbors ? Colleagues ?  in – laws ? Cousins ? Siblings ?  ………

What are your aims and dreams? and most important

Who is deciding them for you? – Raise your hands if you and only you are expecting such things from life, without the pressure from ‘average people’.

The eye opener.

How many times you have been concerned about your pulse rate not inches on your waist? Every day you see chunks of human beings running to and fro at a breakneck speed trying to overtake each other as fast as they can, so that they can ‘afford’ their lives a way better than ‘average people’.

“Her husband wants her to join gym, coz she is not size zero as  Kareena Kapoor .”

“We started together, and are at same designation , how come he owns such a high end car”

“They are flying to Kathmandu for summer break, I won’t settle for less than Singapore. ”

“Hey kid, you have to score more than Rohan in Class XII result.”

Ain’t you guys  tired of all this ? I am sure; no one wants to live life according to boundaries set by so called ‘average people’. Then, why don’t we make our own goals, create our own expectancies. Burn our midnight petrol and achieve them.

Life is like an  artist’s canvas. Feel free to create your masterpiece; section by section in the simplest way you know, use as many colors as you can , it will come out to be neat and beautiful.

* Terms and Conditions Applied – Life has no eraser and size of the canvas is not known.

Just paint your dreams as if your life will be over today. At this point of time (I believe majority of the audience is above 20 yrs) you all have grown as tall as you can be, you look probably the best that you would be ever looking, you are physically the fittest you could be in your entire life .

This is as good as it gets, it is all downhill from here. Who knows?

You have got everything you need for life. Then why want set of expectations form some average people ??

I will leave this podium, you all will get busy in your work, tomorrow when you will wake, and the cycle will be the same , I request you to please give a thought again –   What did YOU expect from life ?

PS : My toastmasters speech today 🙂 and very well received.

Regards,

Saakshi

Titanic : 3 lessons for a Business Analyst

Some make it big.

Some make it legendary.

Some make it an epic failure.

Titanic , the tragic ship becomes the inspiration of many books, movies , remake In 3Ds. Titanic (the movie) was the first english movie I saw chupke-chupke on cable TV, its charm has totally mesmerized me. The sinking scenes made me cry. Being a kid (I would be in 6th standard) I learned how to act at the time of crisis, how to keep updating our decisions sensing the need of the hour and how to keep your cool. (Of course , how to stand on the deck of ship *wink *wink )

I managed to watch Titanic 3D three times since it’s release and thought the learning can be extended to any domain.

Here are the 3 learning’s as a Business Analyst (BA) from Titanic.

1.    Oh yeah , I know it all 🙂  

The mighty and glorious Titanic was believed to be ‘unsinkable’. For that reason, it did not carry the required number of lifeboats. This was one of the biggest causes of loss of life on the ship. The belief that the ship was unsinkable ultimately led to disaster.

Lesson for BA : Your experience and knowledge (read as assumptions) are so powerful that they directly affect how you think, learn and work. When you believe something to be correct, you act in accordance with that knowledge (assumption). Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to make us go through hell to get it. Identify, challenge, figure out loop holes and move beyond any assumptions that could ultimately spell disaster for you.

2.      Overconfidence is Catastrophic

Overestimating the capability of the Titanic led the captain to make several perilous decisions. One such decision was to abandon the safety drill of lifeboat practice in lieu of a recording a faster sailing time to New York. Another such decision was to increase the speed of the ship, even though a neighboring ship had turned off their engines believing that the waters were treacherous.

Lesson for BA : Invest good amount of brain and time on effort estimation. Follow work break down structure and project plan religiously. Make the team be on same page and try to maintain a journal titled – lessons learned. Keep reviewing the status and the problems faced. No project can succeed without management support. The best sort of management support is the kind in which management doesn’t find out about the project until it’s a success.

3.    Address Limitations

The creators of the Titanic feared nothing. They had built a ship that could overcome the major weaknesses in ship design that caused so many ships to sink in the past. But the ‘mathematical certainty’ did happen 😦

Lesson for BABeing able to design workarounds we can do magic !! We can push our limits and deliver a better, more flexible, robust software product and please the customer, but still there is always a scope of ‘out of scope’ features pouring in. Be specific and clear about these, and address them well in time. Save your well toned neck 🙂  No matter how much you say it to be a demand problem, it’s a technical limitation, accept it. There is always a room for beta version or next phase of release

 

Source : This article is highly influenced by the original one at http://www.greatmindsinspire.com/5_Life_Long_Lessons_that_we_can_Learn_from_the_Titanic/Default.850.html

Hope you all agree with me. Have some more learning / suggestions, please drop in 🙂

Saakshi

Customer Delight

Our organization’s Quality Policy which is displayed on our workstations right in front of our eyes says ,

We aim to be preferred global service provider for IT related services, by consistently delighting the customer and setting industry best practices.”

Yesterday was like any other day until I read our Quality Policy again. The word ‘customer delight’ caught my attention. And the immediate reaction was – when did anybody ever get up in the morning and think “Cool! A new day for upsetting customers”. Apart from the Devil himself, No body.

Hey  dreary warriors of service industry ,

 Like most of the companies our organization also uses the NPS – Net Promoter Score as the customer loyalty metric. I am working on 6 projects and yesterday for the month of March I received emails announcing that I had scored the perfect 10 in 4 of them, One customer gave me 8 (which was not too bad) but what me really mad was that I got a blank entry in one. I can understand that he was having a busy day , but so much so that he missed my NPS entry :

Customers awarding me 10 must be delighted. Customers giving me 8 must be satisfied and the blank entry, I would say they are not loyal.

Let us learn some dictionary meanings  

Satisfaction – the contentment one feels when one has fulfilled a desire, need, or expectation. 

 Delight is, to take great pleasure when your expectations are exceeded. 

 Loyalty is having the feelings of allegiance. 

These three simple words have a slightly different meaning, but all have a significant impact on the attitudes and behaviors of customers. Clearly, satisfaction is the minimal requirements to play – to truly develop a loyal or at least a return customer, one must go beyond satisfaction to delight.

When I was a little girl, I used to get upset whenever I had any fights with any of my friends. I would show tantrums and skip dinner. It was my dad who took me out for walks for soothing and yet wise words. Being an obedient daughter I used to listen to him carefully and absorb all that. In return he always delighted me with a candy bar. I never had expected that. Same is with our customers. Customer expectations are typically not very high. Give them 2G they are happy unless and until they know about 3G. Our job is to surprise them with what they were not even expecting. Now the question that arises is – how do we do that?

The NPS scores , the perfect 10s, respectable 8 and a blank entry  made me think about this golden rule , (on second thoughts, looking at the gold prices today) let me call it a Platinum rule.

 DAD 🙂  yes inspired from my DAD , my hero.

DAD stands for Discover Act and Delight.

Discover – Whenever you want to delight your customers you will have to first discover their expectations or needs. Only then will you be able to fulfill them or exceed them. Now how will you sense your customer’s expectations; clearly it is not an easy task. You should always strive to cultivate your dynamic sensors that will help you discover them clearly. Pay attention to your clients’, they give you various hints via mails, on phone calls.

If somehow it doesn’t work, then it is the time to change the shoes , be the customer of your own business. This will help you identify where your business is falling short on creating customer delight.

Do you serve your customers with an A* attitude? Or do you service them like YOU are doing them a favor?

Discover yourself.

Act – you got the customer’s expectations. It is time to act on it, not just to fulfill it but to exceed it. Service industry is a competitive world. You need customers to return with business. What you will do then? Give them options, that way it’s easy for customer to decide want they want and what they don’t rather than leaving them wandering.  Think what else you can provide them!

Promptness is a virtue.

Delight – Inform customers of your intent to evoke customer delight.  Asking help actually strengthens the bond, it does not weaken it. Make this message a part of your campaign from the very beginning. And when you achieve it make sure it is acknowledged. Customers may not know what exactly they want but they have a pretty good idea of what they like and dislike when confronted with it. 

 Take advantage of that.  You might learn something.

My dear warriors of the service industry, a bit of engagement, a bit of loyalty, a bit of consumer delight is all that we want.

To conclude let me quote a Poster which we see in our office everyday

It says

Customers are too good to lose, let’s make them (^ MORE THAN) happy.

 

 

PS : This is my toastmasters 7 th project , which I also delieverd in International Speech contest and won second position.

 

Regards,

Saakshi

7 steps towards a happier you

Ever wonder few good habits can make you walk the aisle of happiness?

I am a wanderer, restless, person who is in continuous search of finding the other, the better, the happier side of me. I promised myself that this year (2012), I will take care of myself at the highest priority. This is my bit ……

Follow these 7 steps to lead a happy, satisfied life.

 7 Steps to a happier you

Step 1 : Sleep .

We have our jobs to do , we have our social life to manage and we also have our family to give some time to. I always try but fail to do all that stuff in 16 hours a day; if I save 8 hours of sleep. So when I am scrambling to meet all these demands, it’s too casual of me to cut down my savings and spend them on never ending to-do lists.

Whatever, you do. Whenever you manage to do. Please DO sleep on time and for at least – 8 hours. I am no doctor who can explain you the benefits/power of sleep or be able to aware you about sleeping disorders; but can request you to think twice on your sleeping habits. Even minimal sleep loss takes a toll on your mood, energy, efficiency, conscious and ability to handle stress.

How frequently you charge your smart phones?

Step 2 : Punctuality

My work is my elixir and punctuality is one of its parameter. Try to be organized and be on time. The more you give respect to time the more you will be stress free. And while working in a service industry, you can imagine the demons of deadlines and meetings.

My mom always tell me since my childhood , to do things on time otherwise I will forget (short term memory loss 🙂 ), don’t have any clue what’s the source but I still follow this. Organize your work and prioritize it, believe me you won’t forgot those small notes , files ,no missing attachments in e-mails , and interestingly not even your lunch.

Remember, Intime , when time is currency.

Step 3 : Music

Let me clarify to all those, who don’t skip any chance to scold me when I listen loud music with earphones on (oh by the way they are always on , even now!) I know it may lead to health issues. Music helps me to focus, and freshen up, inspires me and sometimes it’s the only thing that gives me a company when I am alone. Music is Sanity.

So let me rephrase – Music is the secret of my energy.

Step 4: Walk

I love it and those who know me can swear on my stamina. Walk few steps for your life. They will give you the time you always wanted for yourself. Even doctors say walk 10,000 steps a day are actually steps to a healthier life. For my lazy days, I take bus no 11 to get back to my place.

A walk to , remember !!

Step 5: Show gratitude

Thank you”. You may have no idea what these two words can do to someone , your kind words of appreciation can make their day , give them a new hope , make them smile.

 Recall the vedio of “Kuch to hua hai” from Kal Ho Na Ho.

Thank you all for being with me till here , I am left with only 2 steps now 🙂

Step 6 : Strangers

Gone are the days when they say, don’t interact with strangers. We have twitter now. A simple # (Shift + 3, simple isn’t) can connect you to the ‘strangers’ with similar concerns. Be honest, don’t you like when someone from other part of the world retweet (RT) yours or reach you with a solution? Similar with facebook likes and shares.

Try coming out of this virtual world and interact strangers in real. Helping someone with the route, crossing the road or to park the car will surely bring a smile on their face as well as yours.

Some sort of my inner gratification.

Step 7: Peace

Have you ever thought of spending few minutes with yourself? Peace is something we all long for. I am NOT advocating listening music, or reading a book or watching a television, by peace I mean do nothing and relax silently.

For me late nights are wonderfully tranquil.  No phone calls, no interruptions. I like the feeling of knowing that nobody is trying to reach me at that hour.

Inner peace will bring the positive vibe to keep you happy as long as you wish !

Stay Happy,

Saakshi

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The Quest of the Sparrows

English: Book cover for the book The Quest of ...

Image via Wikipedia

It was some 5 hour journey during the day today with un-limited questions fighting in my mind and few medical reports and co-incidentally bank statement; which gives mirror image of my present state. I am frustrated and annoyed with myself. I am doing a bit for myself and lives a happy serene life , but at times (this comes at a frequency of 6 months) feel unstable and very string vibes of something missing.

Just trying to distract myself , I bought a book to read while traveling. Never knew reading just 20 pages will calm me down .

Thought I should share some excerpts with you. It could have been a  sin , if I choose to keep it with myself.

Book – The Quest of the Sparrows

Authors – Kartik Sharma & Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma

We live in times when media is the king. It’s only interested in financial figure, records and achievements. Spirituality isn’t an object of desire, or even in the headlines; still, you are here. I bow to your spirit, which believes in what no one has seen and marches to a destination that appears to be even harder to achieve than the biggest material goal.

Most human beings search for eternal happiness. Yet, why is it elusive? Most people fail to achieve it by following idealism, spiritualism, capitalism, materialism, socialism or other-isms. Why do they meet disillusionment?

Why does a sparrow, which knows no “-isms”, live without the worries which accompany human beings? What is it we manage throughout our complex lives? Merely survival. Hey, something is wrong – because the bird does the same, effortlessly. So what’s the big difference between us and the helpless sparrow? Don’t you think we’re missing something? What is it?

Forget the sparrow for a moment. Think of all the people in this world. They go to their workplaces in the morning and then return in the evening, like swinging pendulums. But does a pendulum swing aimlessly away and towards the centre? Or does it personify something more , like time? That depends on what you associate with life? Is it aimless or does it have a higher purpose? Like pendulum, it swings between two states – birth and death. What gives it meaning? Can anyone answer ?

The divine . One answer , could be . But that’s a lofty ideal for us beginners. Think of something more practical. Look around you; is everything the same as it was a century ago? What has happened in all these years?

Evolution. Probably ,another answer. Yes . Between birth and death is evolving. That’s the higher meaning of our lives. But what do most people do ? They achieve, lose, feel happy or sad, celebrate and mourn. They merely move to and fro like a ball of a pendulum, with hardly any peace. Even among believers, everyone is religious but very few are truly spiritual. Is it all linked or unrelated? Think over it. Find the connection, and I think we will be able to solve the riddle of life.

Stay Blessed,

Saakshi

The pursuit of sadness

Have you ever experienced such a feeling that by each passing moment it feels like something is terribly missing? Something isn’t right. Have you ever faced this miserable –sinful feeling that everyone around you is in a situation just because of you.

I am in such a phase for the past few days. I know I am committing a crime. It’s only my musing power that has gone beyond its acceptable limit and is the culprit of my pitiful condition.  I prefer to remain silent, full of self guilt, confused, in a state of emptiness, hopelessness.. ..Simply sad (you can imagine any bollywood movie scene) losing my beautiful life’s battle to my worries and fear. It’s so easy to fall into feelings of despair.

 Why am I like this…One day I am so cheerful and happy like a sunshine, the other day sad, crying, despair  ? (cut short chinta mani)

Sadness and happiness are two relative words (oh come on everybody knows this, what’s new?) .We , homosapiens!  Always try to protect ourselves from sadness, run away from the things that have the potential to hit back at us, make us feel as if we are powerless to change these circumstances.  It’s an irony; we worry and fear for things that make us happy. We remain in doubt whether they will happen. Why don’t we simply make them happen? 

It’s our time, It’s our life, we can do what we like, for the price of a smile, why do we cry?

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

I love drama. I am in love with life and have full of emotions. I am a genius of sadness, can immerse myself deeply into it, can separate numerous strands. I am a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum. I am sad; at times I am like this.

Am I sad? Am I in pain? Yes I am. I should be rather grateful, I feel alive . Else , its just work all day, moving from one task to the other . I should be happy, I am alive as a human not a machine. I got a reason to celebrate myself and take a break.

Life is a perfect balance. (Thee has designed it like this way, and how come He can go wrong!) There are two beams which depict two phases of our life in a cyclic way. At a given point of time, only one is heavier.

As per my observations (I haven’t lived even half of average life boosted by experts) One beam is for feelings of joy, confidence, strong self esteem and feeling on cloud 9. Another beam is for despair, a lack of finding meaning/answer/purpose of life. Sometimes walking back home I realize how miraculous is the feeling of being alive and blessed with what a wonderful gift –Life , the most undefined , unwritten , unpredicted and  unknown. There are days when the same path let me wonder about the disasters in an instant ! Money, health, relationships, friends everything (surprisingly, they all go off track together) act like a black hole; pulling me to their indefinite depth and making me lost to nowhere.

In midst of such circumstances we curse God, ‘where is HE  while all this is happening to me? ‘ How many of us have actually got the answer ? The same beautiful, precious Life seems to be a brutal struggle.

There is one more characteristic of Life – it’s uncertain. We often tend to forget this. It’s our mistake not His.

Sometimes we do not achieve what we set out to do, or something we have had or achieved is taken from us. When the world about us changes, particularly if it is sudden or dramatic, we must adapt to everything. The world is then not what we thought. We are not what we thought we were.. The old picture has been taken away, the old world we knew  that gave us comfort is gone, there is no choice but to form a new world, a new picture of how we think things are.

 

Stay Happy , keep smilling 🙂

Saakshi

PS :  “Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”
Brian Jacques, Taggerung

 

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