Saakshi Nagpal

Archive for the category “Success”

I See

My Toastmasters Speech – Project 2

I See

Seen people with spectacles? –

Fancy frames thick / thin lenses.

Well, there are so many like this in this room, even I am wearing my secondary eyes. You must be thinking simply how silly the question was!

Never mind, we all know an optician makes these spectacles, based on test results either done by himself or a qualified eye doctor, in medical terms an optometrist. The idea is to make the person wearing these see with clarity, taking away any lack of appropriate focussedness.

Ladies and gentlemen, greetings for the day, I hope, I wish you all, be in best of your health (coz somehow I am not) , in best of your spirits and on the top having best of your vision.

My question to you is, do we need just clarity of vision?  I consulted my doctor 6 months back and got my numbers corrected. But will these pair of glasses ensure that I will see things correctly, if my mind is filled with prejudice and close mindedness. Will I be able to keep up with the pace with so many intellectual people around, even if I choose to keep a narrow outlook?

The answer is an obvious- NO. This restrictedness of not one’s eye sight but one’s vision distorts ones perception and brings in a refractive error.  

We are all the prisoners of our own perceptions. I have a short story about the results of being locked up behind the bars of worry, doubt and fear or better to say a chained mind of its own perception.

I walked around the counter at Mc Donald’s to get a straw for my drink and found a woman frantically mopping up her spilled coffee. She was using the flimsy tissue paper that was used for wrapping burger so the mopping up process wasn’t working well. I reached for the napkins and started helping her. She looked up in surprise that I had found the napkins saying that she had looked for them but didn’t see them. Her comment was “I couldn’t see.”

She was right. She couldn’t see Why not? Because of her present state of mind, she might have panicked or been in a hurry, and this blocked her vision. She was not able to see the napkins that were kept in plain sight. It was a state of mind of “worry, rush, and fear.”
In the prison of our own perceptions, we can’t see for what we are looking, fear motivates our actions. Each of us has our own personal prison created out of all that we have been taught and accepted about the worldview. Perception does rule!

For example if someone inquires what time it is. My hands rush to my mobile phone. I don’t care that I am wearing a nice watch.

Let’s have another example how many time have you searched for your glasses and found it at place least expected, your head.

 Or what do you think is the reason behind biased political views and favoritism. Many times our upbringing, our thought patterns rule our decision making and views. We behave as if we are not able to see. As a matter of fact, we do not, if our mind is blocked with obstacles.  Many a times, the uniqueness of the system in which we are caught, forces us to see erroneously. Our unsymmetrical upbringing, different backgrounds, may prohibit us from seeing clearly. In the struggle between reality and perception, most of the times, it is the latter that emerges paramount.

Folks,  “Our Perception magnifies things that we believe in”

 Let’s all break out of prison now!

I am a Business Analyst my job is to first ask questions, get the answers and then start working on them.

I have one more question to you. Look at the below picture.

These are two horizontal lines.

Horizontal lines

Horizontal lines

Which one is longer?

Many of you may find the above one longer. But, you will be surprised to know that, both are equivalent in length.

My perception says, the first denotes the open mind when you are able to see broad horizons and the second, a closed, restricted, narrow mind. So in the end, I am repeating myself, Perception Rules!

Lastly I would get a smile, when someone from the audience says, “I see”, as an acknowledgement of my speech. It’s a relief that we all share same perception J

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Something gone wrong !

Hi folks,

How are you?

I hope you must be in the best of spirits of your health and also on the road that leads to LIFE.

You must be wondering about the title of this weblog. Chill. Relax. Nothing has gone wrong (presently) in my life. It was just a thought across my mind while attending a team meeting today. (Boss, I am sorry nothing sort of this was on agenda and definitely I was attentive,it is just a random thought.)

Earlier I imagined what life would be, if it is well documented. That weblog was all about planning. Here, I am talking about execution of the planning discussed previously and the fate of decisions that were taken.

I am a Business Analyst and belong to IT sector; I tend to see LIFE as a long term engagement project. For me success of project LIFE depends upon the decisions made while it is on planning and development phase.

Before I go further into Root cause Analysis of why something goes wrong, I have few questions for you.

Q1 :How do you make decisions?

a) Are you influenced by peers?

b) According to your experience?

c) Blindly follow your gut?

OR

d) As per your comfort level?

It depends from person to person  and sheer luck, following  any one of the above can either rocket you on cloud 9 or corner you with a bottle of wine and a jaw dropped expression saying ‘something has gone wrong.’

Q2 : How sure are you with your decision ? Do you regret?

When I was a kid I was always running away from water (you guessed right 🙂 , I somehow managed to skip bathing every second day) my father  used to pick me up on his shoulders and without warning threw me in a big bucket. I was shocked at first but then laughed out at the trick he’d played.

He taught me a lesson, ‘whenever you want to achievesomething, plunge straight in.’

Traveling through all those growing years, I had quickly (yes, I regret 😦  ) forgotten this lesson . I am only …oh, how old I am!! Hmmm…. were you expecting that I will disclose my age…leave it. I had already nurtured many enthusiasms (starting something on my own , enrolling to MBA classes , going for walks every day , learning dance , studying Spanish and French ,blabla , blue  blue ) which I had abandoned as quickly as I had taken them up.

I am not afraid of difficulties rather I always stand upfront to face challenges. I was scaredof forcing myself to choose one particular path and missing out on others. I am afraid of committing to myself. I always wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none.

Every project by default has a fate – failure, unless and until you firmly decide to be on one path and drag it to success. There are no optimal solutions pre-written or tree structures made to crack the mystery of success.  Similarly, Life is complicated. One has to follow certain paths and abandon others at times, only to prove that they were not the right ones, but it wasn’t as bad as choosing a path and then spending the rest of life wondering something had gone wrong.

Probably , it is the law of life (I m pretty young to say ‘fact of life’) that not everyone could escape the dark night even if someone has never made a decision , even if someone lacks courage to change anything because in itself it was a decision!! (Proud to be an Analyst)

Well, my dad also says, ‘the time when it goes wrong it’s actually teaching you something.’

Are you still worrying that something has gone wrong?

Cheat sheet for you:

Nothing in the world is completely wrong, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

2011 Year End To-Do List

I am an optimist who always has a list ready for ‘what all needs to be done’ in short ‘To DO list’. Like everyone I too had made few  new year resolutions some 11 months back , when we were about to welcome 2011.

Honestly, I don’t even remember now, what resolutions I made, except few.

Listing my To- Do Items before 2011 ends in a no particular order.

  1. I want to learn driving. It would be tough task for me owing to Noida traffic ethics. But this is the time I should learn; I am saving money to buy a car for myself, from a long time now. The more I postpone my driving classes, more I will be far from my beast!! ( I will name my first car THE Beast ).
  2. Post one random piece of writing weekly on my blog. I have so many things to share , and I do scribble them , but somehow feel either they are too controversial or shocking for my friends , as it doesn’t come from the person they know (well , I don’t agree with them 🙂 ).
  3. Give a more professional look to my blog. Need to focus and spent some dedicated time for learning WordPress. My excuse ready – time crunch.
  4. Get rid of my stinking mood swings. Woman and Mood swings! Do I need to explain it? Even women get irritated, God save men.
  5. Practice/Learn Photoshop .  Halloween has gone , but my camera doesn’t think so , still portraying me one of them. Dearest photoshop , I need your help and magic of airbrushing.
  6. Get myself enrolled in MBA classes. Oh , I am still confused what to choose  – International Business or Entrepreneurship .
  7. Reduce 3 – 5 kgs and those extra inches of flab. Oh yes , yes I agree women and weight loss tamasha (women and weight loss drama) !! I am no exception 😉
  8. Control my typo errors . When Google and Microsoft Office suite have such a wonderful spell check tool , why don’t I use them ? Enough of embarrassment.
  9. Money Money . Need to touch the desired goal I made at the year starting, in my saving account , I am just short of 4 month savings . ahhh 😦
  10. Wish to finish 3 Toastmasters CC Projects. Already completed project 1 , wish to complete 2-3 more projects.

I don’t want to put any more down so as not to overwhelm myself, so I chose the most important ones that i would ‘like’ to get finished before 2011 ends. If not. Backup Plan :2012 is waiting.

We do Multitasking !

Multitasking

Image Courtesy : Think stock

I feel proud to carry out multitasking well and do it often on daily basis. It may seem to be a useful skill but believe me it’s dangerous at times.

Few weeks ago I had to cancel a critical business meeting due to non availability of the meeting room. I notified and apologized via email.

There was a major mistake – the subject line. It should be ‘cancelling our today’s meeting’ but it was ‘cencalling today’s meeting’. Though it was a typo error and later I defend myself that spell check doesn’t work on subject line.

The fact is, that it happened due to multitasking, executing many tasks at the same time surprisingly most of the receivers didn’t notice that, probably due to their multitasking.  🙂

I consider multitasking  a disease , an addiction that promises to get mostt of your time and leads fruitful results.

How  many of you practice more than it is required?

How many of you wish, not to do so?

And , How many of you  have faced it’s consequences? I am sure you have missed attachments in your mail or missed a stakeholder’s name by not marking him in  cc . Even giving a long pause while on client call , coz you were either chatting on IM or planning a tea break after the call .

I asked above questions in my last team meeting , I was happy , I was not the only one . Phew!!!

Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we’re getting more done. In reality we are reducing our productivity by 40% . We don’t actually multitask. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves not productively, and losing time in the process.

You might think you’re different, that you’ve done it so much you’ve become good at it. Practice makes a man perfect  and all that.

But you’d be wrong. In contrast to almost everything else in your life, the more you multitask, the worse you are at it. Practice, in this case, works against you.

I decided to  experiment, a shorter one. I had back to back meetings few days back, starting from noon till evening. Earlier I would have been under stress, recalling all the artifacts and managing lunch in b/w .But this time I just tried to focus. I put my ‘soul mate’ on silent mode,.

FYI , I call my mobile phone my soul mate 🙂 🙂 , coz it sticks with me every time. And by silent mode I mean – the light only mode. Surprisingly I got hold of so many things.

  1. Stress level dropped. When you reassure to finish one thing before going to next you feel liberated.
  2. You gain tremendous patience, for things that were useful and enjoyable. You listen to the presenter with no rush. When you are brainstorming about a difficult problem, you stick to it, so nothing else competes for your attention and you will be able to concentrate on the one thing you were doing.
  3. You loose all patience for things you feel were not a good use of your time. A meandering pointless conversation was excruciating. Texting through SMS seems rude between meetings.
  4. There is no downside. I had to attend all the meetings in 6 hrs and that includes my lunch time. I may have finished them doing multitasking, while attending a meeting and making a list to discuss in next, may be sending a note to my client. But then I wouldn’t have focused on the ongoing meeting. As I was experimenting  with myself , I analyzed that I completed everything in same time and enjoyed  supper though not lunch delightfully as there was nothing else to engage my mind and attention 🙂

 PS :

Sometimes, it is simply impossible to resist a little multitasking, but it must be done.

 But if you wanna improve time management in this multitasking world. Here are 10 important tips by Penelope Trunk.

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/12/10/10-tips-for-time-management-in-a-multitasking-world/

Would love to know about your experiences ? Please drop a note.

Fear – A stopage before victory

English: Title of motivation and emotion

Image via Wikipedia

We dream of becoming heroes.

We dream to hear large audience’s applause and cheering our names.

We dream to be a star.

We dream of victory.

And, in reality …….

We have sleepless nights.

We hopelessly get anxious over defeat.

We perspire and we are nervous.

And this is when …..

We Fear.

FEAR is an acronym in the English language for “False Evidence Appearing Real

I too have dreams (a lot of them) and subsequently few fears. What stops me from getting over them and achieve what I want to – is, a sense that people around me might disapprove “what I aim to be”, worst the sense of being embarrassed in front of all.

I fear of public speaking (on a broader spectrum, socializing). And at times think myself as an introvert (which certainly I am not). I stick to my belief that underestimating my potential would be the worst I can do to myself, so, I start digging my mind to find the roots of my hesitation (as I feel I was much active and participated regularly in my school days).I was happy to observe that am bit less of a social person now but duly content with myself. However this ‘solitude’ at times haunts. (Yes! I confess.)

So on my mission to revamp, I am in no mood of entertaining myself with a silly excuse ‘not going to do, because of fear of failure’, which by matter of fact is true and it’s a human tendency. (I v/s myself – on this fight am always on).

Fear is a habit like self pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. I wish to dump all this junk out of my sacred mind and soul with two simple resolves – I can and I will.

So here I am with a RED – GREEN – YELLOW plan; traffic lights with a twist. (A big round of applause, it’s designed by – “ME”!!). Here goes the plan …

•           RED: – Stop and say HI J(in person, online forums, or on an IM). Idea is to de-sensitize myself at social situations only in a motivating way. Building courage and expanding my comfort, being genuine at the same time.

•           GREEN: – GO! Take THE action. Being motivated is just not enough. Absorbing the positive energy and taking action to bring the change is vital. There are so many wonderful ways to act and am sure they would be bringing gains along with them. Simply take a piece of paper (or open a new word documentJ) and pen down whatever crosses my mind. Motivation is important else it can be hard to get going and knowing actually what needs to be done to bring the change.

•           YELLOW: – Next to motivation and action is FOCUS. Focus on the amazing work to be inspired more and maintain the spark (I usually call it as the ‘charm’).

I know failure will haunt back, at least to someone with a fragile mind set as mine. After all I define fear as a block on one’s mentality and confidence. So here I am with my disguise skills. I plan to disguise my mind by looking at the other side of coin. If I fail, there would be some lesson; it would automatically create room for improvement. Just need to catch it. No one is going to kill me if I fail, it won’t be the end of the world, I will still be alive, very much alive to move on with full energy and inspiration, determined to fight back again. I would not be at square one again. I have achieved something. Earlier I was hesitating to start and now I actually have started!!

I am open to hear what failure needs to tell me because I impatiently want to taste success.

This inspiration comes to me from my niece. She got a beautiful bicycle as her birthday present and also has fear of riding it. But after one or two bruises, she was ready to invite me for a lift and can even bet for a race. If this sweet little kid can do it, then why can’t a grown up mature woman like me can’t do?

I have learnt that an addiction to positivity can lessen the fear in my mind of what might happen in a new, unfamiliar situation or how someone might respond to what I am saying. A negative view of the world can create fear and hold me back.

And if ever I lose motivation, inspiration and focus (cut short, my charm) I will come back to this page, read my own words and be my own motivation. I hope it will work; I can’t let myself down 😉

Friends, wish me luck. I need it ‘coz darr ke aage jeet hai  🙂

Persistence Pays

I am often termed as being aggressive when it comes to my firm holding of belief, no matter how hard they try to convince me with their solution. I persist of being myself, simply rejecting anything which could hit me hard.

It’s rightly said ‘persistence pays’. ALWAYS.

I would not accept any statement just because majority of people believe in ‘such’ protocol. I will do what I wanted to (bluntly saying, beating my own drum). Results will come to me, eventually owing to my repeating and persistent efforts.

Hey wait, I just said “results will come to me”. The results can be anything positive or negative. It depends upon aim, purpose and the way I fight. If the combo sets right, I am the winner, hurray J(I have been the drum in melody). However if the combo has even the slightest of variation from what we call as “right” then it’s a tai tai phish(I have beaten the drum in an awful manner).

Considering me as a strong will powered human like a rock. There are two scenarios.

Scenario 1: A rock under ironsmith’s hammer.

Pretty obvious, I am fighting the wrong way and preparing myself well for a blast. On the other hand the tool placed on me will become sharper. Repeated hammering would produce a fracture in me (the rock) and me broken eventually.

Scenario 2: A rock at dhobi ghat.

Have you ever been to a dhobi ghat? Have you ever experienced to touch the washing stone? To much of your amuse it is smooth like a marble or glass, though absorbing the continuous friction from repeated hits of wet clothes. I (the rock) would have been outshining myself to the glory. Quite possible if the fight prolongs I may become granite one day 😉

Ironsmith’s hammer did not say the rock was to strong nor did the wet clothes. They continued to do what they wanted to. Hammer persistence fuelled with the right combo resulting in breaking the rock. On the other hand, the rock sticking itself to ground holding firm aim to be there, smoothen up, irrespective of the harshness of wet clothes.

So, yes, it is right persistence do pay but the bottom line is ‘the way you spend it’.

This is what I have learnt. Please excuse me of listing weird comparisons. The only thing I am left with is it to find “measures for the right combo”. Need help!!!!

 

 

PS: My aggressiveness have earned me a title ‘angry bird’ addressed with a broad smile just to cut down the effect J

Make yourself a better life it’s just a choice away

I choose to dress like the way I do. I said no to coffee because I wanted to. I waited and search
for long to buy the watch that I believe, defines me. I choose whether or not I should look after
my health. I decided to start my career after Engineering and put my post graduation studies a
hold. I made the choice.

Life is all about the choices we made. Every single thing in our life is a result of choice we have
made. Some may find this fact distasteful as they complain about their lives, hate their jobs, and
wish things were different without even realizing they were only responsible for that. Looking
for answers and digging their self if at any moment they realize this and decide to take action
they expect an overwhelming response from themselves. The efforts by mistake are lightly
considered showing impatience, as the benefits of this transformation and the transformation
(much needed) itself is ‘moment – to – moment’.

So to embark this transformation in the journey of our life, we start browsing for self
improvement and motivational articles or books, hoping for the enlightment to happen.

I have seen so many people around me practicing so , and I always wonder –  is this
transformation an easy, quick and painless job? Is this the skill which one needs to learn only
once in a life time? If yes , then why can’t I be one of them . Observing them closely , here is
what I see.

Spending few days on this exercise they realize life is not simple (back to dissatisfaction again ).
For them, they did their best, but for no gain, living the same ordinary, mundane, stressful life.
And they finally come to the conclusion that very few people are blessed with such moments
where self realization and enlightment happens as a flash of light. And then they keep on waiting
to come across a big enough catalyst to wake up!

Does this ‘big enough catalyst’ approach them? Do they finally wake up ? (Thinking for the
answer , it will always be no 🙂 . If any doubt , look for an honest answer from urself first).

Until the time they will wake up ,open their eyes and mind, they will never experience the kind
of insight (the force we all are looking for) that will change the life. For any ordinary man,
life is routine with the same challenges, worries, ups and downs. With this rigid belief in their
subconscious mind they would never become desperate enough to go beyond the fog they have
created by their obsession with worldly affairs (over the years accountable to half of their lives ,
sigh !!).

So when we (here including myself , as I am also a wannabe ) wish to change this routine
which we are used to, we have to have to take the action, the real action, every single day or
actually, every single moment. There may come a point of restlessness or mild dissatisfaction ,
but it happens , the transformation we are expecting is still away , keep moving on should be the
motto. Now , when , where and what action to take is sadly again our choice!!

The point that I’m trying to make (eventually learned) is that self empowering transformation
is a moment-to-moment thing. If we really want a new serene and improved life then must
learn that, it is derived from the small changes that we make moment to moment. This involves
commitment, vigilance and the perseverance to pick ourselves up and start over each and every
time that we fall.

Understanding one basic thing about life that it is always changing and transformative and can
be more and more amazing by the result of small changes , we bring to it. Small, simple may be
insignificant changes which we make can dismantle the texture of our mundane life.

Make yourself a better life it’s just a choice away 🙂

PS : Do it wisely.

The CLASS and the mass – Be yourself

There is a huge difference between a Class and the mass just maintain it.’ This is my favorite quote which I use every now and then and truly follow it. Often we come across people just trying to be someone else, following the masses yet wish to hit fame and be unique.

Everyone wishes to by stylish, classy, and unique and tries everything to please others. The focus is either on their appearance, body language, or the thought processes. Irony is, to be so , they try to imitate others who are socially more popular.

A monster called ‘need of acceptance’ nearly kills the masses that expose their vulnerability just to get approvals. This need of acceptance makes them handover their personal power instead of harnessing it to make them stronger. Being afraid to expose their true selves, priority is shifted on the performance of outer presentation not the quality of their inner self. At the end the efforts put in may turn out to be very attractive but the output is not real and most important can’t be carried out always.

Very few dare to speak their mind. Individuality is always respected and adored but seldom implemented.

Saying our inner voice is displaying our unique style.

What’s wrong with that?

After all, the pain and efforts we took are just to establish us as unique!!!

Why to camouflage our own style with what the masses do, why do we spend our precious time worrying and copying others? Can’t it be very simple like this 3 step process?

Step 1 : Uncover our fear.

Step 2 : Read and understand our inner self.

Step 3: Present it as it is 

 I do understand there could be hesitation and no clarity of thoughts, but, tell me who could be the better person to read our souls than ourselves. The toughest thing to do is to understand what our mind says, there could be million errands running across. One needs to be precise and clear what effects oneself. The whole exercise is to find the passion within forgetting the outer side . One has to be enthusiastic for being an individual and have to be ruthlessly honest to self.

 Be yourself.

This has been said number of times by our grandparents, school teachers ….. . I am repeating the same, coz its gold. Believe yourself and be the class.

 ‘You were born as a unique being. If you try to be someone, the disguise will set awkwardly on you like an ill fitting dress. Everyone (The mass) will remember the dress more than they remember you.’

Tomato Story

I got this article in my mail and just thought I would share it just because the inspiration that emitted is imitable.

A Jobless man applied for the position of ‘office boy’ at Microsoft. The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test. ‘You are employed’ he said.  Give me your e-mail address and I’ll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start. The man replied ‘But I don’t have a computer, neither an email’. ‘I’m sorry’, said the HR manager. If you don’t have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn’t exist, cannot have the job.’The man left with no hope at all. He didn’t know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60.The man realized that he can survive by this way, and started to go every day earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled every day. Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles.

5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US …
He started to plan his family’s future, and decided to have a life insurance.

He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded the broker asked him his email. The man replied, ‘I don’t have an email.’ The broker answered curiously, ‘You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an e mail?!!’ The man thought for a while and replied, ‘Yes, I’d be an office boy at Microsoft!’

This story teaches us 3 lessons:
1. Internet is not the solution to life. If you don’t have Internet, and work hard, you can be successful.
2. Success doesn’t come to those who have all the resources or are simply lucky.

3. Think out of the box. If you act like a crowd most probably you will be the crowd.

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