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”.

Saving up for your business

Every person working a 9 to 5 or otherwise,has at some point in life thought about owning a business. It is not worth working  long hours every week just to see your boss get all the credit. Being your own boss is a dream everybody has. However, even the most thought out business models are troubled when encountered with the question of financing. Unless you have deep pockets, the start of business is a tough situation. And the point is,you start a business to build some financial strength but need money to start a business.Its a loop and you need to figure a way to enter it successfully. You need to have money to make more money.

Soon to be starting my first business, I discovered some ways, from our daily lives,that will help you in saving up for the business that you are aiming to build. Apparently all of them are present right before us, staring at our faces but we need to recognize them.

  1. Savings- Definitely,this has got to be the most cliched one . Whether you are a student or a person working a job,you need to set aside some part of your pocket money/income for your business. Saving an extra 10% may not result in large sums of money but will definitely add up in the future.
  2. Coffee- This is one of the most overlooked expense ever. Period. That morning trip through the Starbucks may cost you more than you think. If you are and avid drinker, that everyday cup of 8$ sums up to a staggering amount of 240$. I’m not saying, go all out and stop it. Even by reducing its frequency to alternative days you save about a hundred bucks. A lot for your startup.
  3. Transport- If you own a car,try carpooling. If that’s not possible resolve to use public transport almost twice a week. We all know how expensive taxis can be. Public transport often provides the users with schemes and discounts for monthly passes. Keep an eye out for them. You could very well ride your convertible but until the point that your business is earning you profits,you need every cent to invest.
  4. Partner- No business is ever started solo. You need different people with varied expertise to help set up your business. Find a trustworthy business partner. By having a partner you ensure that the costs to be encountered will be split by you. Instead of having to save for your business alone, you have someone else too.
  5. Cable- I still fail to understand why people pay for both cable and Internet at the same time. Its high time to realize that you could stream live tv on your phone. Checkout services like that available in your country. By signing off the cable you can add a couple of extra bucks to your savings.
  6. Food- This is essential.There can be no cuts here( Yes,I’d spend as much as required on food). However avoid going to unnecessary gourmet restaurants. You do not get enough value in return of what you pay. It is of course very romantic to take your girlfriend for a meal in five star restaurant but if you are really serious about setting up that business you will have to postpone that for a while.
  7. No cash no payment- Avoid using your card for every little payment. Make a rule when shopping that if you don’t have enough cash then you’re not buying it. Having a card makes us swipe it anytime we wish. We forget that we have to pay for all of that later and that really hurts your budget.
  8. Track your expenses- Always track your expenses. See where most of your money is spent.Is that really necessary? Asking a few right questions to yourself will make a difference.

All these methods require extra effort on your part. I’m not saying that this will magically give you loads of money but over a longer period you will see the difference. You could prefer temporary comfort by spending on useless things but that will only set you back. I’m not implying that you avoid dentist’s appointments or cancel your gym subscription to save money. Spend where required,avoid where possible. Ask yourself what is that you desire more, temporary comforts or your business running at full potential and you will find other ways to help your cause too.

 

 

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.

How lonely are we really?

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when we sit down, far away from the world and its people, lost in the thoughts of how truly connected are we to the society. In this moment of self reflection we are often haunted by the thoughts that we are distant from all the people that we supposedly know and are in dire need of companionship. The feeling of invariably being with someone is what is craved by our mind. Yet in truth a high degree of loneliness is an inescapable part of being a sensitive and intelligent human.

It is highly unlikely that we find someone who is exactly on the same page of the soul as us. This is because every individual on earth is a product of different circumstances, lifestyle, beliefs and morals. We often wish of other people to understand us but are let down when they fail to fully comprehend us. The problem is sure to get worse the more thoughtful and perceptive we are. There will simply be less people like us around. It is believed that working together is the solution to many of the problems, that two heads are better than one. But the truth is every successful pursuit came from an idea of an individual.

When you embrace the fact that in the long journey of life you have to do the travelling and that the people around you are just like road signs meant to guide you but not walk for you, then you can begin harnessing your solace as strength. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that we were never meant to socialize. Prefer others company, but value yours more. We shouldn’t be frightened or discouraged by the lack of company. While we may not have in our immediate surroundings people like us, but others separated across space and time might exist. This realization helps us in connecting with them in a far better way than what we have experienced before.

Once we accept it we can get creative.  You could find yourself in the words of a poem written by a poet decades ago or the lyrics of a singer who described your blues even before you were born. When you begin to enjoy your own company, you start having deepened conversations you have with yourself. This in true sense cultivates intimacy. You could write, create music, blogs knowing that someone somewhere is going to be on the same page of thought on that topic.

Knowing that inner voice inside your head is the most important thing that you could do. Use this to think clearly about what you want to achieve in life. Done perfectly this is really helpful in getting you back to focus on things that really matter. Conclusively ,it is extremely necessary for everyone spend that time everyday when you need to answer only to yourself.

Things to try when stuck at the airport.

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We’ve all been there. Stuck waiting for a flight that’s probably gonna make it to the airport ages later.You can only browse the Internet for so long  before you are bored out of your brains.I distinctly remember my trip from Singapore to India. I was at the Changi  International airport and after all the preliminary checks I found out that my flight was delayed by 5 hours. It was the middle of the night,my phone did not have enough juice to make it through the night and I was stuck wondering what to do. I always fear sleeping at the airport as I am a sound sleeper and would definitely wake up decades later wondering what happened to my flight. It was then,that I decided to look around and come up with activities which would help me cut through the night. After that delay and a few more(Yes ,I tend to get quite unlucky when I’m travelling) I found out ways to keep me preoccupied at the airport .Some of them are quite funny and be careful not to get into trouble..!

  1. Ride the transport in the terminal, but while sitting backwards.
  2. Try to enter into an ‘exit only’ gate.See what happens next.
  3. Find a mini theater if your airport has one.
  4. Get a map of the airport to and make it a point to check out all the attractions.
  5. Ask different people where they are off to.
  6. Play hide and seek or catch the thief with little kids in the waiting area.
  7. Check out the bookstore.Maybe for an hour if you love to read.
  8. Try collecting stray carts and put them in their positions. See how much change you can collect in an hour.
  9. Race someone on the walkway.
  10. Volunteer to help the airport staff. See how they respond.
  11. If there’s a football match being telecast , cheer every time a goal chance happens. Act like a sensitive,die hard fan of the game.
  12. Make friends with strangers, talk about your life and theirs.People love to talk.
  13. See the planes land and take off through a rooftop garden if any.
  14. Ask the restaurants if they have special plane food.
  15. Observe different types of people.
  16. Checkout the airport gym.
  17. Stand at arrivals and see people uniting with their families.
  18. Try window shopping.
  19. Stand with a map and guide people who are lost.
  20. Halfway through the escalator act as if you forgot something,then walk it backwards.
  21. Try to check in last. Although this has disadvantages but if your timing is right you could ask for an upgrade and get it for free if you’re lucky.
  22. Visit the executive lounge. Chances are that you might find your favorite celebrity hanging around.
  23. Get your devices all charged up.You may need them on the plane if there’s no TV.
  24. Thank the airport staff. Among all the rude people they encounter ,It may mean a lot to them Their smiles will make your day.
  25. Lastly, never ever sleep or get drunk while waiting for your flight. We all know the bad consequences that follow.

Be sure to try some of them the next time you are stuck at an airport.Happy traveling!

Fitness: The true meaning.

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Right from our childhood we are used to seeing statues with Herculean physique,bodies carved to perfection every muscle being where it needs to be, not one inch more not one inch less. Is that all there is to being called fit ? Is the gym a one stop solution to being fit?

Arguably, fitness is often described as one being the “Right size” or being able to lift heavy or run longer or sometimes even being more active than most of the average people. Being fit however, is a state of art. It involves being healthy as much in the mind as it is in the body. You could be unfit and not even know about it.

Fitness being intangible is hard to measure to the dot and thus we display it in a variety of areas like sports, work and is  measured by factors like fatigue or body
weight. Before defining what being fit is we can clearly rule out what being unfit is. If your daily routine causes you pain or in some sense a feeling of tiredness,which may or may not have involved physical work  then you need to amp up your physique. Feeling unnecessarily lazy and often angry and irritated are also signs of being unfit. As a whole fitness is a state of the body and mind which makes keeps you active and comfortable throughout the day.This being said if you are obese or plain lazy then you are clearly unfit.

So it would seem natural to point out to the fact that the people going to the gym are fit. Maybe not. Gyms are only meant for you to take care of your physical body. Imagine humans at the start of civilization and imagine yourself. Would you be able to chase your prey for hours,going off days without food or running away from a wild animal about to make  a meal out of you.(That’s a highly unlikely case now a days). This is the true sense of being  physically and I cannot emphasize enough by  saying that it is purely  carnal. So it is true that if you were to ‘hit the gym’ ,you would eventually be fit physically. The next step is to ensure that you have enough sleep. Sleeping almost 6 to 7 hours a day is a must. You need to ensure that your body is well rested so you can face any type of situation more comfortably.

You could play a sport you like and stay in shape ensuring that you are physically fit. The only advantage with gyms is that you train every muscle group in a routine thereby ensuring that all of them grow. But if you know more than one sport keep switching being them,go out for a morning  jog or try yoga. Eventually it more or less amounts to the same thing.

The last two factors to being fit include a proper diet and peace of mind. You can never achieve true limits of your body if the food you eat does not match the requirements of your body. The mind is also a factor when it comes to being fit. A healthy mind is free from anxiety,worries,depression etc. Combining all these factors is what makes being truly fit.

Thus,being  fit has different definitions for everyone but same underlying principle and that is to be in the best state of your mind and body. How we achieve that is just a matter of personal choice.