Do we do what makes us happy every day?

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How many scoops of ice cream do you have?
One, two, don’t count..
“I will have the strawberry, with vanilla and blueberry pls with chocolate syrup on top in a belgian waffle, topped with nuts and while you are at it, can you add…”

Do we take action which makes us happy every day?
“Yes, of course, I do” you will say

Is it happiness we seek or excitement?

If I say to you, you will get all the happiness in the world,
provided you do, just this one thing,

But it’s going to very boring, booorrring
and it may have some discomfort

Would you still do it?
“Well, uhh, why should happiness be boring, I want the exciting one”

Continue reading “Do we do what makes us happy every day?”

there is nothing to be feared

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Eyes bleary from the late night,
hot green tea in hand,
fluffy slippers going flip flop,
you pick up the newspaper.

“Ouch, ouch” as the back pain rears its head,
calling your attention and
the few drops of hot tea on your ankles

You read the headline of the newspaper and suddenly,
your eyes are wide open in shock as
fear cascades like a giant blue ocean wave
crashing all over your quivering tiny body

Another day, another morning,
fear has washed ashore your shore

It could be a newspaper or
it could be a Netflix series or
a stray conversation with a friend
who starts with “you know what happened…”

Fear is like a violent stranger who
we invite every day in our lives, willingly, knowingly
for it to run amok in our humdrum lives
every day

There is nothing to be feared, only to be understood

Marie Curie
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What is the torture you can endure?

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“Why should I endure any torture?
I want to be happy all the time”
Let’s try again:
what discomfort are you ready to endure,
in service of what you truly,
desperately want?

“Does it have to be this way?”


Whatever action we take, needs us to get out of our comfort zone,
would you agree?

Inertia or status quo is the biggest obstacle we have to cross

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how to be more creative?

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Do you wait for inspiration?

The magical act like a soft breeze, caressing your mind with a deft touch or words softly spoken in your ears, creating an avalanche of ideas, making you race for the chisel or the pen, furiously expressing the creative force bursting through you

How romantic!

Let’s keep waiting while the greats in arts, music or science keep toiling away every day, as they inch closer to their masterpiece

Wait, aren’t the highly creative people led by the muse and wait for its soft whisper?

“I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes at nine every morning.”

William Faulkner

He started writing every day 9am no matter what the condition

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He who knows the Why of his existence

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“I can’t bear this pain.
This is too much.
I don’t know a way out of this.
I am stuck if only I knew
HOW to get out of this situation”

If you are clear of the Why,
the purpose behind your action
you will always find your way

He who knows the Why of his existence, can bear any of the How

Victor Frankl (also attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche)

Think about the last time,
when you were crystal clear
about why you were doing, what you were doing

It could be a fitness routine or a project or a sports routine
or you were learning a dance or a language

You always found your way around, your motivation
You were even convinced that the discomfort was necessary and temporary

And now, recollect a time when you kept asking yourself
“Why am I even doing this?”
you literally had to drag yourself to do it,
there was no motivation
Every minute seemed like an hour
and you gave up so many times

When you are driven by a purpose, by your dharma
you don’t need any motivation
you don’t need any direction

You make your own way

Dharma need not be complicated

Right now, your dharma could be to clean up your room
your Dharma could be to call your dear one
your Dharma could be to be tie up the loose ends on various projects
your Dharma could be to tidy up your life

Once we are clear of the ‘Why’
‘How’ does not stop us

Every obstacle, every adversity
spurs us on, eggs us on
brings out the best in us

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What action will you take which
you have committed to yourself?

what to do when i don’t feel like doing anything

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“I don’t feel like getting up right now”
Press the snooze button

“I don’t feel like doing any exercises”
Press the snooze button on body

“I don’t feel like going out with my friends or partner even though I commited
Press snooze button on relationships

“I don’t feel like saving right now, I want to buy this new shiny toy”
Press the snooze button on financial health

“I don’t feel like have an intentional life”
Press the snooze button on Life

If we let feelings decide our present,
we are mortgaging our future
at a very high interest

We have to build the right
Values – identity – dharma pyramid
to design an intentional life

What to do when I am in grip of these feelings?

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Its not possible to be detached and still achieve Goals

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“What is this detachment nonsense?
How can achieve anything without thinking about goals and results?
If I just ‘be in the present’ I will just laze around and
become direction less, right?

Wrong !

Larry Gelwix, the high school rugby coach, has 419 wins and 10 losses in his 26 year career with 20 national championships

His mantra:
We always WIN

“There he said it, Win, its always about results isnt it?


WIN is short for What’s Important Now

Continue reading “Its not possible to be detached and still achieve Goals”

Planning fallacy and what it means

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When is the presentation? Friday.
No problem, I will start on Thursday night,
it will take me only 1 hr to do it.
Come Friday morning and
you are still typing away for past 8 hours

When is the meeting? Monday 12 pm.
No worries.
I will read the material 15 mins before, I can quickly read.
Turns out the deck is 150 pages and
you have only 15 mins.

When is the exam? 6 months later. No issues.
I will start one week before and
will do all-nighters and crack the exam.
Come exam morning, you open the question paper and
your mind goes blank with 3 days of no sleep

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel prize for his behavioral studies,
calls this the Planning Fallacy

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Should I make changes at the start or at the end?

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You wake up hurriedly from the bed,
after hitting the snooze button 10 times
somehow gobble something and rush out of the door,
bag and clothes flying in all directions.

Rush hour traffic, millions of to-dos in the head,
maybe phone calls from morning.

“sorry , I am late, traffic”
best start for an early morning meeting
which leads to another to another

Maybe some time, in between to snack
while typing furiously on phone or computer

Late night hours for that important meeting coming up or
deadline to finish work/report/(fill in the blanks)

Staying late in office to beat the traffic and nibbling on the side

Come back home, dead tired

Watch the latest season on netflix till 1am
“I am unwinding” you say to yourself

“Can’t sleep, damn why can’t I sleep”
toss around in bed

next day morning alarm rings
Repeat cycle

This is what we call life and then we wait for
weekends to play and unwind

Continue reading “Should I make changes at the start or at the end?”

How to work hard and Play hard?

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Work hard, Play hard.
Work when you have to work, play when you have to play.
Don’t mix them up.
Wrong !

The more we compartmentalize our life,
divide life into neat, precise slots
the more we will break down

Life is messy, it’s full of surprises
its meant to be lived fully
experienced fully

Not divided into boxes and squares

Play means doing an activity for itself
the activity itself is the reward

There are no carrots for the horses to eat
there is no high or fix waiting at the deadline

Continue reading “How to work hard and Play hard?”