Apr 30, 2013

  • Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.
  • Somewhere in your makeup there lies sleeping, the seed of achievement which if aroused and put into action, would carry you to heights, such as you may never have hoped to attain.
(Source: TOI)

Apr 28, 2013

Your thought is creative. Thought fused with feeling becomes a subjective faith or belief, and according to your belief it is done unto you. (MATT, 9:29)
(Joseph Murphy)

Apr 27, 2013

"The celebrated chemist Friedrich Von Stradonitz of Germany of the nineteenth century was completely puzzled because of his inability to solve a complex problem related to the structure of hydrocarbon called benzene. He was exhausted, tired and a frustrated and decided to utilise the power of the subconscious mind. In his sleep, he saw the image of a snake biting its own tail and turning around like a pin wheel. When he awoke next day, he got the long-sought answer, the circular arrangement of atoms, which is known as the benzene ring."
Very few of us are aware of it enough to use the power of subconscious mind. Except perhaps for a few eminent scientists, lawyers, doctors or businessmen. Many creative scientists have used the power of the subconscious mind to find solutions to complexities associated with their discoveries.
Your subsconcious mind does not need your advice to say what is to be done to overcome barriers, when there is a blockade in your daily life. It is continously alert. Positive in- positive out. It is entirely up to you, how you use its power.

(Source : The Times of India- By B D Basu)

Apr 23, 2013

Fable

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”
The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”
After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be ... and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water... Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”
What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having 'peace of mind' is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.

(http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/stories.html#Story51)

Apr 20, 2013

Present Moment

Present moment living, getting in touch with your "now", is at the heart of effective living. There really is no other moment you can live. ( Wayne Dyer)

Apr 19, 2013

His simpler life



By Shrabonti Bagchi
March 30, 2013

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Mukund Mohan decided to make his life simpler in 2001, he started by getting rid of the television. In fact, his four children - an 11-year-old daughter, seven-year-old twin girls and nine-year-old son - have practically grown up without a television in the house. The next year, Mukund, as he likes to be called, stopped wearing suits. In the following two years, he gave up wearing formal shirts and shoes. "I just took that whole process of deciding what to wear out of my morning routine. Life became much simpler when I owned a few T-shirts, pants and one pair of chappals, " says Mukund, who works as the CEO-in-residence at the Microsoft Accelerator in Bangalore (the Accelerator is a startup-mentoring programme run by Microsoft).
In 2008, when Mukund and his family moved from the US to Bangalore, he had already sold two Silicon Valley startups in the Internet and enterprise software markets, besides having worked in companies like Hewlett Packard, Ariba, Inc and CiscoSystems. In Bangalore, he founded and sold BuzzGain, a social media tracking service, to Meltwater in January 2010. By any standards, Mukund was a wealthy man.

But the move to India only "accelerated" the process of living simply with few possessions and fewer needs. In the US, Mukund was driving an Audi and a BMW;after moving to India, he bought a Maruti Alto. Even that is used sparingly and Mukund prefers to travel on the city bus. "It is possible to do things this way in India. In the US, it's tougher to walk down somewhere in the neighbourhood or use public transport as a family, " he says.
Mukund takes the bus every day from his house in north Bangalore to his office at the heart of the city - a distance of about 20 km. He laughs when you ask him why. "I like riding on the bus. I like watching people, talking to them. You can read on a bus. " While the small car they own is used to ferry the kids around at times, the family often takes bus rides together as well. "Waiting for the bus teaches you patience. Walking to catch a bus - not to mention running after it - is great exercise, " he adds. 
Achieving a simple lifestyle has become something of a mantra for him. He likes the challenges and the discipline it imposes on him and his children. For years now, he has been having only one of three things for breakfast - oatmeal, bread or idlis (and the bread could go soon).
The time saved in thinking of what to eat, planning the meal and shopping for it can be put to better use, he feels. "Almost 90 per cent of the time, dinner for us is daal and chapati. The kids may want pizza once in a while, and that's okay, " he says. "If you think about it, almost everything is an acquired need. Except for things like water, what do we really need? Basic food, basic living... it makes things so much less complicated, " he says. The area of Bangalore where he lives sees frequent power cuts. When that happens in Mukund's house, it's candlelight time. "We did have an inverter, but it stopped working a few years ago and we never replaced it. Now when the power goes, we just light candles. It's really not that tough, you know. And the kids actually enjoy it. They even do their homework by candlelight, " he says.

When Mukund sold his last company two years ago, initially he didn't really want to do anything by way of earning a living (he was even featured in a TOICrest story on early retirees). He didn't really need to work, and he wanted to spend time with his father, play with the kids and generally lead a retired life. But a few months later, he got involved with some start-ups he was advising and ended up heading the Accelerator, Microsoft's start-up incubator for its Azure cloud platform.
"To be honest, we are very well-todo, " says Mukund. "I draw a salary, and my wife takes care of our investments, for which we use fairly simple mechanisms. We have two money managers - one here and one in the US. Practically speaking, we don't need the money, " he says. The family doesn't spend more than 15-20 per cent of its income - and most of that goes into the children's education. They do live in a biggish fourbedroom villa, but there are six people to accommodate, and plus, "it would be too much trouble to move somewhere, says Mukund, "This is simpler. "
What was the easiest thing to scale back on when you downsized? Easiest thing to scale back on was food, especially chocolates. I used to love dark chocolate, but it wasn't tough to give it up What was the toughest/what did you miss the most? My gadgets. Now I have a rule. If my kids get a new toy, they have to give away something they already have. That way, not more than 20 toys are at home. I loved my gadgets, especially new cell phones. I would buy a new gadget each month What kept you from slipping back into the old lifestyle? Discipline and my kids since I have to be a role model for them. They keep me honest and ensure that I don't slip back into old habits

Why we can't get no satisfaction

In an interview with TOI-Crest, the author of books such as 'All The Money In The World: What The Happiest People Know About Getting And Spending' and '168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think', discusses the importance of money and time.

You say time is the ultimate luxury. Why?
Time is the ultimate luxury because while you can (at least theoretically) earn more money, no one can make more time. All the money in the world will not buy you a second more. Because we all have the same amount of time, exercising control over how you spend your time is the ultimate show of power - it amounts to making the most of a scarce resource. It follows from this that those with lots of time, like unemployed people, should be the richest, but clearly that is not the case, both literally and metaphorically
Unemployed people have a lot of free time, but they don't necessarily have pure control over it. After all, there are often money worries, which limit how much you can do with that time. You often wind up scrambling to do things to pay bills and that doesn't feel particularly powerful. When I talk about time as the ultimate luxury, it's that you know your time is very valuable - and yet you choose to spend it on things that the world doesn't necessarily reward. Like reading the paper while there are various calls and meetings going on, because that's what you want to do.

You've written a series of books on making the most of one's life. How important are money and material possessions in leading a fulfilling life?
I tend to think money matters for living a full life because money is a tool. Like any tool, it enables you to do things more efficiently and effectively. If you have grand goals, having more money will enable you to have a better shot at achieving them. Material goods are somewhat of a different matter. Money can be converted into material goods, but many things we think will make us happy don't necessarily do so. Furniture, for instance. You're better off buying cheap furniture and spending your money on travel and getting together with friends.
Do you think most people today have the wrong priorities? Where are they going wrong?
I don't necessarily think people have the wrong priorities. I think they just aren't using their money to effectively achieve their priorities. We want happiness, but we overspend on housing, which makes us cash poor, so we can't do the things that really are fun, which tend to be experiences. Humans are social creatures, and we have evolved to be somewhat obsessed about where we land in the hierarchy. We are always tempted to spend more on "positional goods" - that is, those items like houses, cars, and jewellery, which are easily compared. No one knows if your picnic was better than someone else's potluck dinner, so we have no temptation to overspend on such things. And yet those experiences are more correlated with happiness.
What is the single biggest change people should incorporate in their lives to make their existence more satisfying? 
To make life more satisfying, I advocate figuring out what matters most to you, and then spending as much time and money as possible on those things. Being in the right job - one that brings you great joy - is a good start. Then you're spending many of your waking hours doing something rewarding, and earning money doing it. That will certainly bring a lot of satisfaction.

(Source :-Amardeep Banerjee)

Apr 12, 2013

Goethe

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. The moment one definitely commits oneself, all sorts of things begin to happen that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the committed decision, raising in one's favor all manner of incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. " -- Goethe

Apr 8, 2013

Nice Quotes

a) The Tiny Seed knew that in order to Grow it needed to be dropped in Dirt, covered in Darkness, and struggle to reach the Light.
b) Let go or be dragged - Zen proverb
c) No one is Busy in this world. It's all about priorities.
d) Inner Peace Begins the Moment You choose Not to Allow Another Person or Event To control Your Emotions.
e) If It's still in your mind, it is worth taking the Risk..( Paulo Coelho)   (Source :- Internet)

Apr 3, 2013

Reaction/Response

Worth d read..


"At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of d cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but .. .it landed on another lady in d group. Now, it was the turn of d other lady in d group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, d cockroach next fell upon the waiter. D waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed d behavior of d cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of d restaurant. Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, d antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was d cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was d waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies. I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it's my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It's not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. More than the problem, it's my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life. Lessons learnt from the story: I understood, I should not react in life. I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry."

(source : Internet)

Apr 1, 2013

Meet the Minimalist

Source :- Lightness of being; Amardeep Banerjee
http://www.timescrest.com/society/lightness-of-being-10032

It was an accident that changed Rohan Narse's life. Narse was a high-profile investment banker who ran his own company in London, helping British and American clients invest in India. With an engineering degree from IIT-Banaras Hindu University and an MBA from IIMBangalore, he had worked with reputed companies such as Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Tata and came with a formidable CV. He was married with a son and daughter, loved splurging on suits and watches, drove a BMW and led what seemed like the perfect life.
But the high-stress job was silently taking a toll on his health and relationships. "In investment banking, your clients are CEOs, CFOs and big investment managers. You have to be logical, methodical and precise. The transactions are of significant value, so you can't leave anything to chance. It's all a mental game, " says the 47-year-old.
In June 2009, he was driving back home late one night when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car. "There was a big sound and I realised I had crashed into the concrete barrier of the M-25, London's high-speed Ring Road, " Narse says. "The air was cool and there was a smell of gunpowder from the nitrogen charge. Just after the accident, I felt a sense of extreme stillness. "
That was the turning point. The accident sent Narse on an existential quest. "I realised that there was no time to postpone things. What if I had died that day? What if I had been paralysed ?" He had dabbled in meditation and spirituality earlier, but now took it up in earnest. He began travelling to various countries to interact with different spiritual gurus, meeting, among other people, a tantra teacher from Greece and a zen teacher from Okinawa in Japan. It was finally a spiritually inclined mathematics professor in Varanasi who pointed him in the right direction. "I was trying out different stuff in those days, like tantra and sungazing. He told me that if I carried on like this, I would either go blind or mad. " The professor explained that it was through mindfulness, or awareness of the present moment, that one could lead a meaningful life.
Today, Narse has wound up his investment management venture and holds workshops on mindfulness for corporate organisations. In many ways, his story is typical of a self-made man who rose from the dumps, achieved great worldly success and then realised the futility of it all. Born in Belgaum, he grew up in a chawl in Mumbai's Chembur. He did not live in poverty - his father was an accountant with Burmah Shell and his mother a BEST employee - but it was far from a comfortable existence. "We lived in a 180 square-foot house with a room, a kitchen and a bathroom. There was a common balcony. It was exactly like what you see in the movies, " he says. He had a tough childhood. "My parents were very nice people but there was no chemistry between them. " He was sexually abused as a child by a maid, something he seems to have come to terms with. He has written about this in his book, In Search Of Silence, in which he talks about his life-changing experience.
Under these circumstances, education seemed to be the only route to a better life. He studied hard, got admission into what is now IIT-BHU and graduated as a mechanical engineer. He worked for a few years with Hindustan Motors and a multinational engineering firm, Sandvik Asia, before enrolling for an MBA at IIM-Bangalore. He then worked for a Tata firm and KPMG. In 1999, he was sent to London by KPMG.
In 2000, Narse joined Goldman Sachs as an investment banker. He worked hard, was paid extremely well, and went on three holidays a year with his family - in summer, winter and spring. He fancied suits and says he had 35-40 of them. He loved to buy costly watches and sent his children to expensive private schools. A director at the firm, he was deputed to New York for a year and the company flew him down to London every weekend so that he could be with his family.
It looked good from the outside, but the work left him exhausted. "The company took care of its employees - there was a gym, a 24-hour canteen and a taxi service if one worked late into the night - but that also meant that the lives of workers were centred around the company. The job looked good to those who were not from the industry, but the truth was that a director at an investment banking firm was not an exceptional designation. There were about 2, 000 directors in the company. I was not a partner and had no chance of being one. But to an outsider, it looked very glamorous because investment bankers got fourfive times the salary that people at a similar level got in other sectors. " 
He drank a lot, slept all through the weekends and fell ill quite often. A frustrated Narse left Goldman Sachs in 2005 to start his own investment management firm, Indian Ocean Ventures. "There was a lot of pressure here too, but of a different kind. There was no pressure of competition but immense pressure to perform and produce results.
These were the normal pressures of an entrepreneur. But I liked the fact that I was independent and could take decisions on my own, " he says.
Narse shut down his company in 2010, a year after the accident. He has since scaled down his lifestyle considerably. He earns anything between one-fourth to one-eighth of the amount of money he earned earlier, but says he leads a more fulfilling life. He now owns just two suits and two jackets, down from the earlier 35-40. He has a second-hand Mercedes car but says he prefers using public transport, his children go to public schools instead of posh private schools, and his diet has changed considerably. "I used to eat a lot of fast food earlier, but now I include a lot of fresh food in my diet, " he says. 
A part of this downsizing was also his decision to give up cricket. Narse was a talented batsman who was part of the Mumbai Under-19 probables during his early years. When he began living in England, he became a part of the third division Surrey league, playing against well-known cricketers like Sairaj Bahutule, Nilesh Kulkarni and Tatenda Taibu. He was a left-handed, middle order batsmen who was promoted to the opening slot. "Being an opener was like being an investment banker, " Narse jokes. "You had to dominate or be dominated. You had to deal with the swinging ball. " Then, one day, he just gave up the game. "Cricket wasn't me, it was a story given to me by my father, " he says.
How has the family taken to the new lifestyle? Narse says that his wife has always supported him. He says he hasn't compromised on the standard of living for the family: he lives in a gated community which ensures that his family is secure. Of course, his children don't go to expensive schools anymore but perhaps that is made for by the fact that he now spends quality time with them.
As for him, the downshift hasn't been difficult. "I was clear about why I was doing this, " he says. "I was earlier leading an empty, meaningless, unidirectional life but I now lead a more authentic life. The conversations I have with people are honest, a handshake is a genuine handshake. I think I have made more friends in the past three years than in the previous 30. " 
Q1. What was the easiest thing to scale back on when you downsized?
The frequency of holidays. It really did not matter because life felt good regardless

Q2.What was the toughest/what did you miss the most?
Nothing really. Sometimes I miss the wider interaction that I used to have with professionals across the globe and the cultural experiences that followed. That was a beautiful immersion

Q3.What kept you from slipping back into the old lifestyle?
I was happy and healthy 24/7. That was enough of a feeling to remain true to what I loved



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