Saturday, 3 February 2018

A parable - Beyond comfort zone lies your true potential

Dear Reader,

I got this parable from a friend and found it very interesting, therefore sharing with you:

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a Wise man and his disciple. One day during their travels, they saw a hut in the distance. As they approached it, they realized that it was occupied, despite its extremely poor appearance.

In that desolate place where there were no crops and no trees, a man lived with his wife, three young children and a thin, tired cow. Since they were hungry and thirsty, the wise man and his disciple stopped for a few hours and were well received.  At one point, the wise man asked:

“This is a very poor place, far away from anything. How do you survive?”

“You see that cow? That’s what keeps us going,” said the head of the family. “She gives us milk, some of it we drink and some we turn into cheese. When there is extra, we go into the city and exchange the milk and cheese for other types of food. That’s how we survive.”

The wise man thanked them for their hospitality and left. When he reached the first bend in the road, he said to his disciple:

“Go back, get the cow, take her to the cliff in front of us, and push her off.”

The disciple could not believe what he was hearing.

“I cannot do that, master! How can you be so ungrateful? The cow is all they have. If I throw it off the cliff, they will have no way of surviving. Without the cow, they will all die!”

The wise man, an elderly man, took a deep breath and repeated the order: “Go ahead. Push the cow off the cliff.”

Though outraged at what he was being asked to do, the disciple had to obey his master. He returned to the hut and quietly led the animal to the edge of the cliff and pushed. The cow fell down the cliff and died.

As the years passed by, remorse for what he had done never left the disciple. One spring day, the guilt became too much to bear and he left the wise man and returned to that little shack. He wanted to find out what had happened to that family, to help them out, apologize, or somehow make amends. Upon rounding a turn in the road, he could not believe what his eyes were showing him. In place of the poor shack, there was a beautiful house with trees all around, a swimming pool, several cars in the garage, a satellite dish, and more. Three good-looking teenagers and their parents were celebrating their first million dollars.

The heart of the disciple froze. What could have happened to the family? Without a doubt, they must have been starving to death and forced to sell their land and leave. At that moment, the disciple thought they must all be begging on the street corners of some city. He approached the house and asked a man that was passing by, about the whereabouts of the family that had lived there several years before.

“You are looking at it,” said the man, pointing to the people gathered around the barbecue. Unable to believe what he was hearing, the disciple walked through the gate and took a few steps closer to the pool where he recognized the man from several years before, only now he was strong and confident, the woman was happy, and the children were now good looking teenagers. He was dumbfounded, and went over to the man and asked:

“What happened? I was here with my teacher a few years ago and this was a miserable place. There was nothing. What did you do to improve your lives in such a short time?”

The man looked at the disciple, and replied with a smile:

“We had a cow that kept us alive. She was all we had. But one day she fell down the cliff and died. To survive, we had to start doing other things, develop skills we didn’t even know we had. And so, because we were forced to come up with new ways of doing things, we are now much better off than before.”

The question to ask ourselves is: What is that ‘Cow’ in my life that I need to ‘push off the cliff’? If you feel any gap between your reality & your true potential, there would be some ‘Cow’ for sure.

May this parable help you in letting go your comfort zone and unfurling your true potential.

Warm regards


Monday, 1 January 2018

Taking fear of rejection head-on in 2018

Dear Reader,

As we begin this new year, I invite you to ask a question on this New Year with yourself and others?  

What do you intend to discard at the end of 2017? Some habit or attitude you may have been dragging along for many years.

In my case, I am discarding hypocrisy, especially with people close to me, my tendency to please everyone even against my own wishes (in my actions as well as words). I will be my authentic self all the time, everywhere. I am also leaving behind petty thinking and will think BIG 2018 onwards.

What would be your answer?

This idea got sparked by a TED talk by Jia Jiang: “What I learned from 100 days of rejection

 Most of my life I have lived seeking approval, being nice to everyone and mainly being afraid of rejection. I got rejected many times in my life since childhood e.g. not being included in a game by friends, not being selected to represent my house for a competition, rejected by the first company that came for summer placement in my college, rejected by the first 5 companies I interviewed for a job at final placement, not being given the promotion I coveted etc. etc.

The list is quite long. Each rejection came with huge pain. So, fear of failure, rejection & being left alone went together. The only way I found to cover it was by saying things that people want to hear, agreeing with them even when I did not really agree. It did not help much.

Hypocrite is a strong word. And in our mind, it mostly applies to others who don’t walk their talk or who don’t talk their mind. I did find a hypocrite lurking inside. When I reviewed my own instances of hypocrisy, fear of rejection was strongly present every time.

This ted talk is a great help. Some of the lines that resonated with me are:

  • We have two personalities inside us: one who wants to make a difference and another who has a fear of rejection.
  • How to take fear of rejection head on: Instead of anticipating rejection and running away at the first glimpse of rejection, stay; stay engaged and ask WHY!!
  • Rejection does not define who you are. Your reaction to the rejection defines you!!

Jia Jiang had an extreme fear of rejection and he decided to apply rejection therapy. Over 100 days he asked random people questions that he was sure they would refuse, thus collecting 100 rejections. He created a video blog of all these experiences.

His 3rd attempt transformed his life, where he made a crazy request to Jackie at Krispy Kreme to make Olympic symbol donuts for him. This video went viral with 5.6 million views till date.

Worth watching. I am confident you would be moved by the way Jackie responded. I was.

This 100 days rejection exercise, transformed Jia Jiang forever. It even helped him fulfil his life long dream.

May these videos inspire you to take any fear of rejection head-on this year. May you find courage to begin what you have been avoiding thus far, but matters to you.

Warm regards


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Prosperity and Jealousy - the envious connection

Wishing you sustained prosperity on this festival of Diwali.

I recently read a book “Power of your subconscious mind” by Dr. Joseph Murphy. This book has many real-life stories about how people transformed their lives by changing their beliefs.

The fundamental thought in the book is that your conscious thoughts play less than 1% role in your reality. We are gifted with a subconscious system. Ever wondered how we keep breathing, heart keeps pumping, a cut clots quickly, without any conscious thought or action on our part. That is our subconscious mind running our body system.

Dr Murphy says that everyone’s subconscious mind is connected to an infinite intelligence (The FORCE – as the STAR WARS fans would say). The subconscious mind makes your deeply held beliefs true by attracting people and situations. The conscious mind codes the subconscious mind through its internal dialogue: our every fleeting thought is coded !!

If you ever wondered why the flow of wealth in your life is not in line with your potential, your internal dialogue may be responsible and you can change it !   

What struck a chord with me about this book is what makes the wealth fly away is ENVY.

Many of us are envious of people who are doing better than us. We rationalize and conserve our self-worth by our internal dialogue. We find some points where we are superior to these people (e.g. I have more time for my hobbies and family. I am healthier. I have work-life balance). Sometimes we question the means used to accomplish the wealth (Must have done some shady deals or manipulation. Being honest doesn’t pay. You have to kiss up your way to success. These methods my conscience doesn’t allow).

These internal dialogues of envy deplete our energy (short term loss) as well as code scarcity in our subconscious and block the wealth coming our way (long term loss).

The solution suggested? Rejoice in the wealth and success of others. That is the only choice we have if we wish to be prosperous in line with our potential. That way our subconscious will include wealth and bring it to reality as well.

How to rejoice? By thinking “May this person continue his success and do better in life”. This may appear difficult in the beginning but it is worth the effort. The affirmation (in the image) “I am attracting wealth & prosperity in unlimited abundance” will work well with this thought. However, any envy will nullify this affirmation!!

This Diwali, may you rejoice in the wealth and success of others and thus, wealth and success you truly deserve, come your way!!

Friday, 15 September 2017

A surprisingly simple routine to increase joy in your life

A friend forwarded an article recently. Here are the excerpts that resonated with me a lot:

Who is the happiest man in the world?

If you Google it, the name "Matthieu Ricard" pops up.

Matthieu Ricard, 69, is a Tibetan Buddhist monk originally from France who has been called "the world's happiest man."…

…To Ricard, the answer comes down to altruism. The reason is because thinking about yourself, and how to make things better for yourself all the time, is exhausting, stressful, and ultimately leads to unhappiness.

"It's not the moral ground," Ricard explained. "It's simply that me, me, me all day long is very stuffy. And it's quite miserable, because you instrumentalize the whole world as a threat, or as a potential sort of interest [to yourself]." 

If you want to be happy, Ricard says you should strive to be "benevolent," which will not only make you feel better, but it will also make others like you better. (That's not to say you should let other people take advantage of you, Ricard warns, but you should generally strive to be kind within reason)…

Ok, so how does one train their mind to be happier?
Just spend 15 continuous minutes a day thinking happy thoughts, Ricard says

Typically when we experience feelings of happiness and love, it's fleeting and then something else happens, and we move on to the next thought. But Ricard says instead, concentrate on not letting your mind get distracted and keep focused on the positive emotions for the next stretch of time. And if you do that training every day, even just two weeks later you can feel positive mental results. And if you practice that for 50 years like Ricard has, you can become a happiness pro too.

I found this advice very practical. Just attempt it. If 15 minutes appear long, start with 5 minutes. Do it with a timer. You can even experiment it with your team, partner, family or another person. You will be surprised how amazing each one feels at the end of it.

This can be built into a habit. Being your work day with just 5 minutes of continuous happy thoughts. And see the magic unfold.