Belief;the first step to success?

Recently, I started reading a new genre of books- Self help and motivation.One common thing that I found between all these books were the fact that they insisted you on believing in you before anything else. This was mentioned so many times across every book that I started to question it. Can belief really move mountains? Or we just repeat it because it is quoted?

One thing I know for sure that if my life depended on moving a mountain, I would certainly have to believe that I could do it before I try. The belief lies not in the fact that the mountain will move somehow, but in the fact that my mind will surely find a way around the problem.You cannot wish away the mountain but you can believe in yourself to face it. If you are not convinced that you can do a job, how do you expect it to be done? Our mind is a magical thing. Let it work for you rather than against you. We all deal with failures, uncertainty and indecisiveness. Some of us believe that we can win through this and so we do. Others fail at the first step itself. You don’t need to know the full path to have strong sense of belief. When you drive a car on a foggy road, you don’t see the full road yet you keep driving. You only need to see the path that is illuminated by the headlights.Once you reach its end, you find more of the path unraveled and you continue onward. The same is with the mind. Self belief gives you a certain clarity of the road on which you will be treading.

Believing in yourself makes you stronger to greet the challenges that lie ahead, for if you are not enthusiastic you have already failed even before trying. I was recently a part of a team that trekked the Himalayas. The weather on summit day was pretty rough.The air was thin,the climb substantially steep and the temperature excruciatingly cold. Being a beginner I was ready to quit. Then, I saw the team gearing up. All talking excitedly about the view they would relish after reaching the top. They weren’t showing signs of pain or disbelief. It was supposed to be cold for them too but they weren’t wavering. I realized that each of them believed more in themselves rather than the factors beyond their control. This made me realize, we can either let our mind work for us or let it work against us.

I don’t know what it takes to be a billionaire or a entrepreneur but one thing I know for sure is that if i was ever to make it to that one day, I have to convince myself that I can do it. You don’t doubt whether you can walk or talk or sleep, Why let that doubt creep in when it comes to your dreams? Stop selling yourself short. You only become as good as you convince yourself to be.

 

College taught me everything!

58081564_thumbnail-1080x675.jpgFor those of you hoping to land upon a secretive name of a place that would learn you everything you’ve always wanted to, there’s no such place! Perhaps conveying sarcasm over text is not my forte. Before you start labeling me as the ‘rebel’ and start bashing me allow me a brief explanation.

OK, entering the last year I did at least learn a few things. I learnt how to stretch a two day project for a month, I learnt how to function high on coffee to complete a whole semester’s worth of work in a night. I learned how to live with kids my own age and quite frankly I do best living alone. For the most part, when I reflect on the years I spent, I realize it was a colossal waste of time. I remember nothing of what I crammed up during exams and tests. What I remember though are experiences and not study stuff.

Now, of course it is important to get that piece of paper that says that you graduated. Telling the world that you were among the elite, the ones to pass the system(Congratulations). I’ve come to realize that no one cares where you went unless its the Ivy league. I see people studying computers and then getting a bank job. I mean seriously? People who are too busy to socialize just because they have academic pressure!

I never did learn to advocate truth. Never did I learn to back myself up when the world was against me.I did not learn to stand up against a friend for his well being. I did not get to know how to make others happy. I did not get to know how to make me happy. It is because we often want answers to be handed to us. We look for these answers but in reality they can only be known by experiencing and not by studying about them. Things like reason and logic can be learnt. There is no place that will teach you Empathy, Maturity, Kindness, Loyalty etc. We often try to understand the bigger picture and in process leave out important things such as these.

My attitude may seem lackadaisical but I am genuinely concerned about learning the real essence of life. Looking back, I realize I am not my grades. I am the unique composition of what I learnt through the “school of life”. I’ll always consider it a better educator than college.

 

 

 

Is it too late to change?

never-too-late-to-change.jpg

Yet another year is drawing to an end. Its almost time for the ‘New year, new me’ posts to be popping up. It is an accepted paradigm that we are to set new year resolutions.But do we actually live up to those resolutions? Do we ever look back and reflect as to how far we have come down the road?Do we check if we lived up to our previous years resolutions? Sadly the answer to most of the cases is no. Whatever be our goals, we need to keep improving ourselves.It is better to try changing and fail inthe process rather than being the same old self. After all, being stagnant is as good as being dead.

Life is an incessant journey and the only way to keep up with it is through constant change and upgradation of ourselves. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. We fear change because we are genetically programmed to seek out comfort and the realm of the known. Changing is hard and unpredictable. The fear of unknown is what limits us,keeps us telling that the thing is not worth pursuing.If you give in to the fear of the unknown you will never be able to fully unlock your potential. More than failure, it is the fear of failure that scares us.

There will never come the perfect day in your life. You’ll always be too busy or too exhausted to learn something new. Stop waiting for the perfect moment to occur. There is no such thing. You have to go out and get ready to learn what you want. As often said, you are never to old to try something for the first time. It is your inner critic that you have to overcome. Once you are ready to step out of your comfort zone then the magic will happen. Remember life changing goals take monumental efforts and commitment from your side. Months even years will pass before you notice some visible change. In the process you’ll want to give up a hundred times but each time you’ll have to pick yourself up. You have to magnify the voice in your head that says you can do it!

Changing yourself will not be easy but it will be worth every second suffering for. No one can put limits on you except yourself. The only person to conquer is yourself. You think people change just because they desire it. It is not. You have to want to change yourself more than anything. You have to dedicate every fiber of your being for that cause. If at the age of 66 the Indian prime minister – Narendra Modi can show up and put in 18 hours of work daily, what is your excuse?

If you are tired ofbeing stuck in the same place, new year resolution is the easiest way to get you to focus. Greet the new year with a cheerful and improved attitude and take on little goals. Over the time cultivate a habit and then move onto working towards bigger goals. You’ll be surprised to find that all it take to change is having an optimistic outlook towards it. Never settle.

“You’re never as stuck as you think you are.”

 

 

Why you should be reading more often.

big_thumb_e4a21754cc0d4b0ee446f41df2b2ed9d.jpg“Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”

When was the last time that you sat down in the company of a good book and spent the evening reading it? Most of us usually get around to watching television or surfing the Internet but are always busy to read a book. Usually, the only time we spare for reading is when we travel but nowadays phones have replaced books from our hands.

If your daily source of reading involves only tweets or facebook posts, you are missing out a lot. There is no better friend than a good book. A good reading habit should be cultivated right from the moment you learn to read. Chances are that you even tried taking it up as a hobby and got bored soon. It is the lack of your own imagination that failed to entertain you rather than the book. There is no systematic way to fall in love with books. It just happens. You just have to keep reading till you find a book that influences you more than anything else and once you find that book, your appetite for books will just snowball.

Books are uniquely portable magic. I have never met an avid reader who was content of reading. There is always craving for more. Reading has several benefits besides being fun and stimulating. The biggest advantage, I believe, is being able to experience situations which would rather be impossible in your life. The stronger your imagination, the better you immerse yourself into the books. Reading a book is like having a glimpse at your own mind ,getting entertained by being held captive by your own imagination. There is a certain sense of freedom in reading. Stepping away from the screens every once a while and immersing yourself into books may very well lead to your soul finding tranquility.

I often see people struggling with conversations. They want to be a part of it but are excluded just by the sheer lack of their vocabulary. Reading is one of the easiest way to improve your grammar and vocabulary. You would be engaging actively in conversations before you know it. You would be able to convey your ideas more fluently and clearly. After you read you will realize that there is so much more to the world than you think. Every book that you read is a lesson learned and every unread book is a lesson yet to come. If you dedicate some time  out of your busy schedule to reading , you will realize that it provides you with a detox from the ever rushing lifestyle. It will make you appreciate the finer things in life.

There is no limit to the amount of books available these days. Practically, you will never run out of things to read. There are millions of books varying in genres which could fill your appetite and the best part about it is that books are easily accessible wherever you may be. Cultivating the habit of regular reading may be challenging in the beginning but is worth every second spent.

“There is more treasure in books than all the pirates loot on treasure island”

 

The bond of friendship

Often the most precious prizes of life are disguised as something very elementary. Things that we perceive trivial may very well be the things that keep us happy. Sharing an inseparable bond of friendship with a person is one of the fundamental joy of life. We all share that bond with a special someone. That one person occupies a special place in our heart . A bond that makes us realize that we need a pal to stand by our side, a pal that completes us.

Yes, we have hundreds of friends all of them different from the previous one. We share our life’s journey with them. However, there is that special someone we know that will hold our hand through the entire journey. We know that whatever happens they will be there for us. A true friend is a blessing. We share a bond more stronger than anything in the universe. It is impossible to fathom the value of a true friend in our life. They act various roles throughout our  time together. Sometimes acting as a big brother or a sister and at times filling the role of a guide and a companion.

A true friendship helps you to pour your heart out to that person. You know that whatever be the odds, that person will always hold your back. You are most comfortable when you are around them. You  most do not have to pretend to be anyone because they accept you for who you are. When you are feeling down, you can count on them to cheer you up. Even everyday activities turn to special memories when you are with them. No geographical separation is large enough to shake the foundations of a true friendship.

I have to use this opportunity to thank that one person in my life who is very dear to me(I know you will recognize that this is meant for you when you read it).To a pair as flashy as Batman and Robin,as inseparable as Han and chewie,more compatible than Joey and Chandler and as crazy as Butch and Sundance.

Don’t drop tears

don’t have fear

I know the pain you can’t bear

that is why I am always near.

Every time you fall

I will be there to catch you

I will jump any all to save you and hold you.

I ask you to hold my hand

hold them so tight

and don’t feel sad

because I am going to take you

to the light.

When you look back in time and reflect, you will realize that the memories you make along the way are far more valuable than the material things of the world. If you are thinking about someone as this this goes on, take out the time to say a simple ‘thank you’ to your very special person.

 

 

A strong work ethic

“Let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Work ethic states that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward. But it is far too incomprehensible to be summed up in just a sentence. Every person is a product of his work ethic however successful he may be. A strong work ethic is a trait shared by the elite, the prominent and the affluent. “The more you sweat in practice,the less you bleed in combat” as famously quoted by Richard Marcinko  aptly sums up what is it to have a dedicated outlook towards your work.

When you look at champions, regardless of their field of expertise you will observe that they share the same ideology about practice. They firmly believe in working hard, and I mean literally body breaking, mind bending hard work. They may not be the smartest or the most gifted but they work harder than every contender combined. Building a strong work ethic is like sculpting  your character.

A strong work ethic is displayed in the little moments when no one is watching and you are in charge. It is choosing the right thing after you are tired and the voices in your head offer you an easy way out. Having it means displaying that early riser,hustler mentality. Each day.Every day. To be able to build a strong work ethic you have to really love what you do. You have to love the challenge and the grind. Now you can go on a full blast. There will always an easy way out and the moment you are give into that temptation everything is lost. Everyday is a conflict between what is easy and what is right.

The only way to build a strong work ethic is by immense practice. It is something that will take years to build. Once you practice it then success becomes second nature, more like habit. As said, change is messy in the beginning but glorious in the end. The first days are the days when it is the hardest. Each of us gets 24 hours a day and how we use it usually defines who we are. Time is one commodity that you cannot afford to waste. It is going to be hard to follow a strict routine but if yours goals are big then they will demand tremendous and sincere efforts from your side. You have to find out activities that you waste time on. Identifying them helps you in mapping how you could utilize that time for better purposes. You should surround yourself with people who work harder than you. Never settle. If you are satisfied with what you have you will never be able to achieve what is great.

Just as we need to bathe daily,we need to be reminded of our goals daily. There may be days when we feel down or are about to quit. It is usually during these situations that our persistence is tested. If you can work around your weakness and through your setbacks with relentless hard work then you will successfully enter the top 1% club.

“You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic”.

Night owls or Early birds?

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin, famously

“Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin …” – Mark Twain

To be successful you have to be following in the footsteps of the ones you look up to . However what happens when you find contradictory  advice’s given to you. People often like to display their lifestyle as the correct one and try to explain its benefits to you. The question that has been around for ages is sure to come up when we discuss routines of the successful people. Early mornings or late nights?  Maybe even the yogis in the Himalayas wouldn’t have a definitive answer for this.

Though our cultures praise the early risers, they are definitely aware of the benefits of being a night person.  Majority of students  are as they say night owls. Being a student myself I too preferred working late nights over early mornings.  When there’s a deadline to be met there is nothing better than pulling off  an all nighter. Working late often results in having higher productivity. There are no distractions to bother you  and the environment is quite calm and quiet. Everyone is in their beds and there is absolutely no one to disturb you. People who can stay up till early mornings tend to socialize more. They have added benefits of going out to late night events or business meets which otherwise would not have happened during the day time. On an average they tend to sleep less and thus be able to put in more hours of work and naturally more hours leads to a higher productivity. They have flexible sleep patterns and can work efficiently even with minimal rest. Completing the tasks rapidly and creatively comes to them naturally.

On the other hand early risers are thought of as more logical and cognitive. They greet the day before it has even begun. This jump start is what they take advantage of. Long before everyone is out of the bed,they tend to complete the most difficult tasks. I personally follow this ideology of completing the most challenging task of the day as soon as it starts. This way you can be sure that the day will only get better from here on. Starting the day with a workout followed by a strong breakfast and then work may very well give your day the stability it needs. They are not in a rush and often get to enjoy the morning activities with leisure. No one like to hurriedly gulp down breakfast and reach the workplace late. When chasing personal goals its best to take out time for yourself  early in the mornings ensuring that your well rested brain is out there for you when you need it the most. Before the sun rises they complete more than what most people do by evening.

However it doesn’t really matter whether you are a night owl or an early riser. There’s no reason to switch to the other if one option works out for you. Its about harnessing your natural energy  and making the day as productive as possible.