Posted in My World View, Random thots.., Time Machine

Idea #1: Start your day like a Rock Star!


What do you do the moment you get up from bed in the morning, and start your smartphone/laptop?

Read emails.. Check Facebook and Twitter updates.. Shoot off prompt replies to the queries of your Boss.. Make a mad dash to get ready for your office?

Well, that’s what I had been doing all this while. And I expect many of you would be doing too..

But then, do you realize that by doing all this, you lose your chance to:

  • Harness your most creative moments of the day to work on that dream personal project
  • Tap in that great idea that flit through your head just before you fell asleep last night
  • Tell yourself how this day would be a step ahead for your Goals

When you start your day with someone else’s agenda, you give away control of your life to others. You let them lead the day for you. You become a reactive automaton.

So that’s the theme of Idea#1 – Begin each day on your own terms, like a Rock star!

Yeah, it is hard – not allowing yourself to get swept with the tide… taking initiative at the beginning of every single day. But it is also very important (and critical), because if you want to build something truly awesome and dramatic, it is not going to be built in a day. You need to spend some time visualizing that great thing that will be the purpose of your life.

Yes, I agree that work related e-mail is important. But then, wouldn’t it be great if every morning you could take 15 minutes to brush it aside and figure out how this day will fit in the grand scheme of things! The point is – that urgent e-mail can wait till you get to work. But the awesome project you have been working on will never be urgent for anyone else – except you.

And is this 15 minute “Me” time critical?.  Absolutely! Because, life (and this world) is moving ahead very fast, and because proactive, not reactive work is the key to great things..

And also because –  “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” !

Posted in My World View, Random thots.., Time Machine

About Life, Universe and Everything!!


When I was 10 years old, I had so many questions about the Universe, Life and all things..

At that age, you are conditioned by virtuous notions of good and the bad which colour your imagination. For me too, there was this conception of good, which would offer you a place in Heaven; and bad which will push you to Hell. And the confusing cases who would stand in a long queue on Judgement Day. That idea was so vivid in my mind, I even wrote a 100 line poem on Life and the Afterlife in a momentary bout of epiphany!

Then, there was this growing up phase, when I was trying hard to make sense of my life. Finding a decent career, getting a respectable position in society, earning money became a priority. I forgot the importance of Life, Universe and everything..

After a long time now, the questions are coming back to me. When I am in a place where I no longer have a lengthy list of to-do things for my career; I need some intellectual fuel to burn my thoughts.

And the time seems perfectly right. Standing on the far edge of your twenties is a good age, not too early and not too late. You can look forward and backwards with the same clarity. You can think both in terms of years and decades, and you perfectly realize the value of your time. At this point in my life, I am beginning to think again about the puzzles that haunted me twenty years ago.

What about all the doctrines which have been fed to us? We have been asked to adopt ideologies without questioning them. So, if the status quo is to be believed, the quality of not questioning and blind belief is the most admirable quality in a man.

Then why does man question everything? Why have the greatest inventions and discoveries  arrived out of this questioning nature of our minds? Why do we encourage thinking and innovation? Having a certain form of thinking in one part of your life, and a different kind of thinking in the other is quite paradoxical.

I think we are getting back to the debate between creationists and evolutionists, the conservatives, non- conformists and the stuck-in-betweens!

Maybe this topic can be explored a bit more.. Life, universe and the Afterlife.. Heaven and Hell, and my place in this so-called society….

Interestingly, there are no answers. Only more Questions!!..

Posted in My World View, Random thots.., Time Machine

Resolutions 2012!


I was flipping through my Rambling journal (yes, I have one where I scribble about the humdrum of my plebian life!), and stumbled upon this post. It was written in these New Year holidays, and had somehow got lost in the abundanceof babble.

So, I guessed I might as well post it. Everybody posts New Year resolutions in January. But the good thing about posting it in Feb is that you have one less month to follow them! 😛

OK. Here are a bunch of things that I have to do his year, and the list goes like this:

Focus, focus, focus: I have always been like this. So many ideas buzzing in my head, like tiny arrows flying around – until they crash into each other and I am left with a heap of scrap!. And what is the reason?

I need to FOCUS!

I have realized the importance of this from my husband (he is a perfectionist in whatever he does). So, while he is at some task, it’s like he has been teleported to a parallel universe. So, no matter how much you coax, cajole, push or prod him –it’s like you have simply ceased to exist!. And after his work is finished, he will casually reappear and ask – “Were you saying something?”. That would infuriate me so much – I wanted to box his ears! (Don’t be so shocked, every wife wants to do that! 😛 )

The point is; that made me wonder – “Why can’t I work like that?”..  For one, I have so many other things ringing in my head. And all my energy is dissipated in trying to scare these thousand unnecessary problems away. And the pitiful truth is – they don’t even get sorted!. In the sense, even if you focus on these imps, there is no guarantee that you have solved these small recurring problems once and for all.

Hence, it is best to prioritize, realize what has value and what does not.. And then focus on the things that have value and move on. Follow the Pareto principle in your life. 80% of the shit in your life is because of 20% of things. So cut the crap, remove the chaff..Focus!.

Complete what you have started: I start on a lot of things, but end up finishing very few of them. And Dude, that is a very big problem! You have GOT TO finish off the things you’ve started..

For one, nothing has value until it is complete.

Two, you begin to lose faith in new ideas if you haven’t done very well with your old ones. That makes you begin to underestimate your potential (which is really BAD!).

Three, the feel good factor generated from finished projects is like an exhilarating drug. It gives you precious confidence and will spur a lot of new ideas too!.

I am not saying that you should run after all the things that you have started. What I am saying is that all your tasks should have a rational completion; even marking an incomplete task as an abandoned project is a logical end. Otherwise the work desk in your head is perpetually cluttered with unfinished projects and you feel dissatisfied all the time – for no real reason!

Set deadlines for yourself: Remember the time when you used to function perfectly like clockwork if there were certain deadlines for you to keep up to; maybe because you had an exam to write of a quiz to give? And notice how your productivity peaked during the last few moments of exam preparation?

Well, now that we don’t have many exams to give in life, yet it is useful to try and harness that last minute power rush by pushing yourself to work in time boxed compartments. That way, you would be doing all the things you want to do, and also ensure that other things are not neglected. I feel this is particularly useful for creative work because there is no empirical method to measure whether you have been successful in what you are doing. Also, you can carry on and on with a certain piece of work to give it the shot of perfection – but never be satisfied with it!  So, setting deadlines will help.

Don’t procrastinate: Well, this one is the biggest bug of all. Procrastinating.. Thinking.. Thinking.. And in the end doing nothing!. What is the cause of this scourge?

The number one cause would be laziness, which can then be turned into excuses like waiting for the perfect time or idea to stroll by. But mostly, it is me stuck in a mindset that I whatever I have with me right now is just not good enough. So I go round and round in a merciless loop. Low confidence leads to procrastination leading to lower productivity which lowers my confidence even more. God, I have problems!!!!

Well, what is the solution? I am reminded of a motivational SMS sent by a great friend – “You can’t cross the sea by merely staring into the water“!

So go ahead and write that prize fetching paper on “Why the Euro zone economic crisis is caused by the melting of Polar ice caps?” or crank up that Artificial Intelligence based e-commerce startup you had always been thinking about.

Stop brooding and start working; because Telepathic and telekinetic devices haven’t been invented as yet!:P

Positive thinking: Okay, let me make it clear here. When I say positive thinking, I do not mean daydreaming. I know the idea of dreaming to success is quite enticing, but unfortunately, wishful dreams rarely turn into reality. They keep floating like some intangible beautiful cumulonimbus clouds, making you gaze at them with a sense of wonder ( until you get a tight slap in the face from an irritatingly righteous fellow called Common sense, and a rude kick in the butt from that merciless guy called Reality X-( )..

Now coming to the point on why positive thinking is critical.

Because, you will always be equal or lesser of all the things that you thought and believed you were capable of. It is very rare that someone who thinks she is capable of very less actually went ahead and achieved a lot more. That is simply not possible. Whatever you achieve will always be a subset of what you think you can. So think huge, humungous, gargantuan, brobdingnagian.. Because your future ( and life ) depends on it!

So here is my list of self improvement resolutions for this year. Hope my rambling soliloquies have been useful to you.

Au Revoir for now, and cya soon!

Posted in Random thots.., Time Machine

Friday Night!!


I am in the bus, on my way home from office. The road is choc-a-bloc with traffic, but that doesn’t bother me.  I am in a good mood. :).. It is Friday night and I am wondering how I would spend the next 60 hours of my life!.

Restaurants and night clubs are turning on their party lights. The long work week is over, and a 2 day carnival is going to begin. There is a “Happy Weekend” feeling  hanging in the air. Shopping malls have begun throwing in their discount deals. Dominos and Pizza hut are all racing to give you pizzas free, neck to neck with each other…

The weekend is finally here; a time boxed escape button from that infinitely running dreary program called work!.

A thousand heads stuck in the traffic along with me are thinking the same – How is this weekend going to be?

Well….

Maybe you will spend time with your loved ones, relishing the moments of well deserved relaxation after a hard week’s work..

Or wallow in the joy of watching your kid while she scribbles on the walls with the new crayon set you bought her ..

Take that midnight cycling adventure on Saturday night that your gang is so excited about..

Or manage to finish “Catch 22” after struggling to read it in stolen moments throughout the weekdays..

Get that stylish red cardigan you fell in love with, displayed on the window of a shop on your way to office

Perhaps watch the much talked about Sherlock Holmes movie in your favorite multiplex.

Maybe experiment how to cook the “Chicken in Cream Sauce” pasta that you watched on Master Chef Australia on Wednesday night.

Hit the gym in all vengeance after giving it up for like the 100th time..

Or rush out to get your last minute investments done just in time for tax returns..

Get that long awaited short fringe haircut to give you the stunning “Girl with the dragon tattoo” look..

Or just simply laze around in the comfort of your cozy nest…

Friday night is a time for thinking about infinite possibilities!.

What are yours??

Posted in Random thots.., Time Machine

College Days!





It’s 2 am in the morning and I don’t know why, I cannot sleep. And the weirdest thing is that I am thinking of my N.I.T Rourkela days.

I mean, they were not exactly the most prolific days of my life. When I look back then I can’t even relate the person I am now with the person I was in those days. So vulnerable, so naive, so foolish..

And yet, what a time it was!

A time when we were such half baked humans, easily cowed down with imagined demons,so easily shaken.. Always wanting to fit in with the crowd, so dependent on others for acceptance. They could have been the most useful and productive years of my life, but sadly never turned that way. There were so many self invented constraints, so many worries, so much of self doubt.

And it was a time that just flew!.. Like those years had been some fleeting magical numbers which rapidly vanished from my life’s timeline.

Was it all one big illusion in the grand scheme of things?.. One apparition, one mirage.. One excuse to make all the gullible mistakes in life.. One moment to fall in love, and pay forever for that momentary folly! :P..One time to be the stupidest person on earth and get away with it.. One time to dream the most impossible dreams without the faintest touch with reality.. One time of infinite thick headed optimism which told me that life would be heaven if you have got enough money to spend in your wallet and enough movies to watch in your hard drive. It was a time of happy illusions, where small ups made you so ecstatic and small downs so miserable. A time when my definition of career path was just some job that mints me more and more moolah . A time when money was scarce, but bliss from small accomplishments was huge.. we were so absurdly happy!.

Ok.. I’m rambling now.

The point is, what a time it was! And will a time like that ever come back?.

Posted in Random thots.., Time Machine

In Retrospection


I never thought it would be so difficult to pen down my own life’s story. Well, how tough can it be to write just about yourself? After all, aren’t we always thinking about this – what we wanted to become, what we are now, and where we want to be! These questions constantly rule our lives, and tracing the trajectory of my career path to write down this blog, I couldn’t help feeling bewildered to discover the unknown pivots and cogs that have unknowingly shaped my life’s destiny!.

When I wrote my first poem in class 5, I wanted to become a writer. Fascinated by the marvels of the universe unfolding in a science class, I dreamt of becoming a scientist. Touched by poverty and destitution during a visit to the slums, I vowed to become a social worker. Admiring the snaps taken with my first camera, I thought I would make an extraordinary photographer.. With every mood and situation, my perspective kept changing, and by the time I really had to choose my career, I ended up being thoroughly confused.

Most career choices are made by what our parents want us to be. And, as conventions and societal expectations go, my parents wished that I should take up either of the most prestigious and secure jobs that planet Earth can offer – they wanted me to be a Doctor or an Engineer! A dutiful daughter and righteous student, I became a First class Honors graduated Electrical Engineer.

My first job offer from Wipro technologies seemed to be the photo finish to an adventurous journey called Engineering. These four years, we slogged day and night, endured the most bromidic classes, and scraped through the most tedious exams, blissfully unaware that we would never use what we had learnt there anywhere else again!.. Perhaps the three most important things that I carried forward from my Engineering days were – an ability to learn abstruse stuff, the brand name “NIT, Rourkela”, and a relationship that resulted in marriage.

“Jobs are not meant to satisfy us.” … I discovered that too soon after I joined Wipro Technologies. The Wipro Project Readiness Program for freshers began with excruciating trainings and formidable exams. However, when deployments to project locations happened two months later, the training seemed grossly “over adequate” – it was like crushing a groundnut with a hammer! My stint at Wipro was a fertile learning ground, exposing many vistas and avenues for exploration. I learnt that perfection and attention to detail are major determinants for success, and being at the right place at the right time helps. Hard work, dedication and intelligence is not enough, you also need social skills to sell yourself. Another truism that I acquired was – “Learning is as important as living”. Life is worth living as long as you keep acquiring knowledge. I decided that sometime in my life, I needed to do an MBA.

We live in a generation where we fiercely chase our own dreams. There is an underlying restlessness as we relentlessly pursue our lives, aims, ambitions, hopes and desires. We are always wanting things, and either struggle to get them, or move on to newer desires after we achieve the older ones. We are constantly dissatisfied with what we have, and forever hungry to do more. Perhaps, it was an influence of this generation that made me change my aspect about life. Till then, I was a silent observer, going with the flow of what others expected out of me, and what was the societal norm. I had a secure job and a settled lifestyle, yet I felt that there was something missing. My job as a “Design and development software engineer” paid me well, but it lacked the challenge and constant learning that I craved for. Out from this secure and protected existence, I realized I needed to take the driver’s seat and steer my career in a new direction.

When I look back and analyze my career decisions, I have moved in unrelated career paths. Yet, I am satisfied because I have been able to explore and seek whatever I wanted. If you are just beginning your career, and dont have much to lose in your explorations, then there is nothing wrong in experimentation. You may not be able to realize what works, but at least you can be sure about what will not work for you!

In fact, I believe that there is no thing as “one career” that can satisfy you forever. It is not like a marriage which is made in heaven, and a sacrosanct agreement which cannot be broken. I feel that a career is an extension of you, and should be something that you are passionate about, and would want to do at that point. And it can keep changing with time, because our dreams and desires keep constantly changing with who we are.

A job should not be an obligatory responsibility or a mere means for subsistence. It should be something that you look forward to doing, and make some meaningful contribution in your life. If you wake up every morning dreading the hours you need to spend in office, then it is time to change direction. We always seek for satisfaction, but perhaps, satisfaction is not the end, but the just the means to keep a meaningful existence. Quoting the words of George Bernard Shaw:

“As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.”

Posted in Random thots.., Time Machine

Transitions ..


SandClock 

Have you ever felt the irrevocability of time, and how it steals away chunks of your life conspiring with this fickle fellow called “Change”?

Have you ever sensed you life in a state of flux, as you cling on to precious moments, wanting to prolong them as they steadily and gradually flee away?

Have you been daunted, yet thrilled with the prospect of changes – trapped in a rush of excitement smothered by a twinge of despair?

Have you ever looked back and traced your life as a maze of decision trees, and you yourself a result of all that you deemed, dreamt and desired?

Have you ever noticed how you create your own universe, and how it rearranges itself responding to your hopes, needs and aspirations?

Have you ever observed fuzzy lines blurring as you forge decisions, and something declaring in your mind – “The die is cast”! ?

Have you ever lived through the questions and agonies that transitions bring, and survived them to blossom in a new tomorrow?

Have you??