Lessons Learned from MS. Dhoni

pic1 300x237 Lessons Learned from MS. Dhoni

Lessons Learned from MS. Dhoni

Corporates run innumerable leadership and team management programs, but I am not sure the source from which MS Dhoni draws his lessons on Team Management! I wonder, whether BCCI sends him to those ‘Leadership Programs’ or asks him to read Harvard Business Review or articles by Guy Kawasaki. Or is it just his innate understanding of human nature that makes him one of the best leaders around.

After winning the ICC World Cup 2015 quarter-finals match against Bangladesh, he said in an interview.

‘…Seeing it (success of the bowlers) is one thing, believing it is something that’s more important because once you believe in something like that you keep working on it, the subconscious keeps working, and the good thing is it becomes part of the system…’

I marvel at the wisdom he shows whenever we hear him. Whatever be his source of wisdom, I think every manager/ leader should take a leaf out of his experience and steer their team to become top performers.

I am not going to discuss about the cricket technicalities here, but the behavioral aspects of team management, which MSD displays on or off the field. These are purely my views as seen, heard and perceived through the body language of the Indian cricket players, throughout the ICC World Cup 2015 and could be applied to any walk of life.

Onto the lessons learned from our very own Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni…

  • Performance of the team is a leader’s responsibility – Take the flak for bad performance and let individuals take the appreciation for their contribution. This is the first hallmark of a great leader and MSD has always taken the blame on himself if the team doesn’t do well, resulting in a more confident team in the next match.
  • Handling pressure/ stress – A leader should never pass the pressure from the external sources to his team, in fact he/ she should absorb the pressure. This particular aspect had been evident in all the matches. You would never see MSD scowling, shaking his head or waving his hands on any bowler or fielder. Whenever they make a mistake, his body language conveys a kind of reassurance that team members put in that extra effort the next time.
  • Show confidence in the team members no matter what – This is an important aspect for bringing out the best from the team. Throughout the pool matches MSD had never stated anything adverse for any player, which could pull the morale down. He might be giving individual feedback to each one of them, but never in front of media or public.
  • Play to the strengths – During the ICC world cup press conferences, I heard all the players state that they knew what role they are playing and what their responsibilities are. That was apparent in all the matches that have been played, if one player faltered other stepped up to perform, making the wins a team effort.

Quoting MSD again, “The search for all-rounder has been there for last five years and we are still in search of one. So I decided whatever I don’t have, I won’t crib and what I have, I will make do with it.”

  • Involve the team – In the field, MSD keeps encouraging the bowlers, by taking their opinions on setting the field and by giving feedback on the batsman at the crease. The fielders are encouraged for each and every extra run saved.

The reason I felt worth mentioning these lessons because I have been observing these traits in him for so many years, so early in his life; the traits which others take a while to master and some are never able to imbibe these key qualities essential to be a great leader.

I wish MSD all the best for all his endeavors, hope he wins all matches for India and keeps breaking record after record. One thing though I would like to tell him is to smile more often, I just love his smile! icon smile Lessons Learned from MS. Dhoni

About Ruchi Singh

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Ruchi Singh

Ruchi Singh writes in English and is a voracious reader. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and is a freelance Quality Consultant. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.

Connect with Ruchi here –

Lessons Learned from my Second Business Venture

pic11 300x180 Lessons Learned from my Second Business Venture

Lessons Learned

It is always tough to quit your first business and that too when you have built it from scratch to make it a successful business venture (that too after been recognized as a respectable brand in a particular industry)

And the worst part is getting into a second venture is getting a psychological block about having to start from the scratch..

Yeah I mean bootstrapping..

Well I am going talk about the lessons I learned when I decided to get into a new business..

After struggling for two years I made my first venture, a sports management venture into a successful and respectable venture in the sports industry, and the company was the first and a stand-alone sports events company in chennai..and after four successful years, I launched a non-profit trust mainly focusing on organizing marathons and thereby raising funds for  important social issues..I created the chennai’s first and exclusive women’s marathon titled Chennai Pink Run, an event to raise awareness on breast cancer..

But due to lots of personal reasons, I had to quit the events business and was left with no choice but to choose a new business model or getting into a job.

But the entrepreneurial bug is hard to shake off so I was back in business…

Then when I decided to get back into PR and digital marketing consulting, I faced several psychological blocks..

  1. I wasn’t able to accept the reality that again I have to bootstrap
  2. I was having doubt if I really have the energy to start a new business from scratch again..
  3. I was thinking a lot on the future of my new business

Thanks to my parents and friends who constantly supported me emotionally and helped me bring back my passion of being an entrepreneur. That made me get into this new business with full enthusiasm.

The lessons I learned:

  1. Don’t dwell on your past, even though it was glorious and successful..past is to be buried.
  2. Don’t think a lot about future..future is unpredictable
  3. Live your present..focus on the current business scenario, you can always create the future…(It is irony that I had to learn this the hard way, as I followed the same guidelines listed above in my past business, but sub-consciously)
  4. Be passionate about what you do…I still retain my wall hanging from my previous office which says “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. To be tough you have to be passionate about what you do.
  5. Humans are neither a renewable nor a non-renewable energy source. It’s all about our mind and it is up to us to bring back the old energy.

I hope these lessons can be applied for anything in life, be it business, relationships etc.

 

——–

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Rajalingam Manickavasan

Rajalingam Manickavasan is a PR and digital marketing consultant and founder – toss brandcom, a digital marketing and PR agency based in Chennai..

He blogs @ www.Rajalingam.in and he’s on FB @ www.facebook.com/theRajalingam and tweets @ www.twitter.com/theRajalingam

Lessons Learned from 2014

pic1 300x180 Lessons Learned from 2014

Lessons Learned from 2014

Another year has flown by and I look back with pride. 2014 was the year that defined my space. It showed me the difference I could make with my uniqueness. What a difference a year can make. 365 days of awesomeness

I was always afraid, scared and never moved out of my comfort zone. People’s perception continued to haunt me. I became a slave to the boundaries that I had drawn for myself. Will I ever be free? The questions continued.

It was time to re-discover and re-define myself. Writing was my gateway to the outside world. Ever since I started writing I have never been afraid to bare it all. I have heard people quote “Sex sells”.   The past one year has taught me that honesty sells too. The more I opened up I realized that I wasn’t alone. Every crowd has that one person who wants to break free. For the very first time I felt good about being different.

Every person has that one unique skill that defines their personality. It lies dormant within us. The sooner you identify your dormant skill the greater your chance of success. Always remember. “The Answer lies within”. Dig deeper to lay your hands on the treasure”.

It’s been three years since I started writing. For almost two years I wrote without an audience. It haunted me every single day. What am I going to do? How will I make sure my words have the desired impact? It was then that I realized that making my dream a reality wouldn’t be possible if I travel alone. I needed a lift from someone who could show me the way. I prefer to call them helping hand that would ease the burden of my long journey.

It is very important to surround ourselves with like minded individuals who will give you the much needed push to accomplish your goals. Along the way be prepared to reach out to people who might need your hand to reach their destination. You can never do it all by yourself.

Never yearn for the spotlight. Many a lives have been ruined in search of fleeting moments of fame. Fame is like a drug. It clouds your mind and leaves you in a haze and before you realize the whole purpose is lost. Work on your goals instead and the spotlight will fall on you when you least expect it and your whole life might just turn out to be an extended Christmas vacation.

Salesh Dipak Fernando

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I am Salesh… People call me differently abled..  I consider myself special. I feel privileged to be able to things which others cannot. This blog is just a way of expressing myself and connecting with you people.

Connect with Salesh here –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dipakfernando?fref=ts
Blog – http://saleshdipak.wordpress.com/

Lessons Learned in 2014

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Lessons Learned from 2014

Each year brings in new hopes, opportunities, new friends, relationships and with that many new lessons. I will cherish 2014 always, as it transformed me completely. It gave me a new direction and I found my purpose. Here are few lessons that this wonderful year taught me.

Powerful Beliefs- Your beliefs have the tremendous power to break you or to make you. This is most profound thing that this year has taught me. When you believe in yourself and in your strengths with full conviction, you are able to achieve much more that what you ever thought. Growing up, people around us instil many beliefs on us, but as a responsible adult, we need to check them. If something is limiting us, then it is time to shed those beliefs and embrace new empowering ones.

Dream- All innovations were once a dream, so dream and believe in your dreams. When you believe in them, you get powers to make them a reality. It may take time, but your dreams will come true, gradually.

Love yourself- One of the best feelings in life is to fall in love with yourself, just the way you are. When that happens, your life transforms magically and everyday your life becomes even more beautiful.

Spend Quality Time- The best gift that you can give anyone is your time. When you spend time with your friends, family, children or pet, they feel more loved and connected with you and you make memories for a lifetime. You also need to make time for yourself, to introspect and to find answers to your challenges. Listening to music, going for a walk, cooking, writing, playing a sport or reading are some of the ways you can connect to yourself.

Learn to let go- It is much easier said than done, but when we let go, we give more power and freedom to ourselves. Holding on to grudges takes away our peace. Instead, forgive the other person and bring peace. Try doing it once and see how life transforms, easily.

Express your love- The Peshawar incident is enough for us to realise that life is too short and unpredictable. Don’t wait for the right moment to express your love. Every moment is precious, so go ahead and hug your family, call your friends and say ‘I love you’ to your children.

Friends will go- No matter how much you try to hold on….your best friends may leave you. It could be for a new job opportunity or a career shift, marriage or studies or there could be no reason at all. It will hurt you and you may feel that your world will collapse. However, this is the same time when you should go and meet new people, make new friends, travel to new places, work with the underprivileged and take up some new hobbies. This is time you can rediscover yourself.

You can make a difference in other’s life in your own little way. Your mere presence could give courage to some. Your words can give hope and heal some. You can inspire others. You are a miracle and you can spread magic wherever you go.

Be grateful- Life may not be perfect, yet there are so many things to be grateful about. Maintain a gratitude journal and write at least one thing you are grateful for everyday. Gratitude adds more beauty to your life.

People make resolutions every year only to break them. I recommend that tonight before you go to sleep, make a wishlist instead of resolutions. Set a very powerful intention as you write each wish and then watch how each day takes your even closer to your dreams. Have a lovely day today and keep enjoying every single moment.

Let the New Year bring even more abundance in your life and may it give even more confidence, good health, support, environment, skills and determination to pursue your dreams! Happy New Year!

Gayatri Aptekar

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Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons Learned in 2014

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Lessons Learned in 2014

Life is one long learning experience and we do keep learning stuff on a daily basis. A major lesson I learned this year is about self-publishing. As I have mentioned in many interviews, I had been trying to publish my books for more than a decade. Finally Indireads agreed to publish my book and Double Jeopardy was born. I wrote Double Jeopardy especially for Indireads as a short novella which is the format they were keen to publish.

But I had already written a few complete novels and a couple of incomplete ones too. I felt quite sad that I couldn’t find a publisher for these. But I never gave up as I strongly believe in prayers and also have the tenacity of a bull terrier.

Rubina Ramesh of The Book Club fame mentioned to me about Rasana Atreya who had self-published her work. Rasana has written a blog on how to go about self-publishing which takes one through a step-by-step process that’s too easy to follow. I got a cover made and my book edited and The Malhotra Bride was self-published under my banner Flaming Sun. I also got a logo created for Flaming Sun during this process. The book was launched on Amazon in February 2014.

Marketing kind of fell into place with The Book Club’s backing and social media. I have to thank all the bloggers who came together to review my book and put up posts on their blogs. It was a humbling experience, especially as my first self-published book is a roaring success. In less than 11 months, I have to mention that I have sold 750+ copies of TMB.

I never looked back after that as I got more of my books self-published this year. Meghna was released in June 2014 and has sold 250+ copies and The Runaway Bridegroom was launched in September 2014 selling 150+ copies so far.

I also released a Box Set of all the above three books titled Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India and launched it in November 2014. While the response is not fantastic, it’s selling too.

The next book to be launched is my collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made In Heaven. This book should be out on December 20, 2014.

Self-publishing comes with its own set of pros and cons. You are on your own when it comes to marketing. Indie authors do have a tougher time compared to others. I have to thank The Book Club for the marketing support I get and I would cite this group of bloggers the primary reason for my success.

The author is responsible for getting the cover done and finding the right kind of editor. I must say I have been lucky in both cases. Even when the book comes back from the editor, I am very particular in checking my book thoroughly for discrepancies and errors.

Formatting and uploading on Amazon is quite simple if you have an eye for detail. I have seen a number of books looking messy even with the simplest of tools. But if one is in the writing industry for the long run, then one can’t be careful enough.

I must say that 2014 has been a special journey exploring the world of self-publishing and turning successful.

About Sundari Venkatraman

 Lessons Learned in 2014

Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.

Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.

When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. Today, Sundari is the best selling romance author in India and abroad. Her novels – Double Jeopardy, Malhotra Bride, Meghna and Runaway Bridegroom are selling like hot cakes in Amazon.

Connect with Sundari here -

Skype: sundarivenkatraman
FB page: Flaming Sun
Amazon Author Page: Sundari Venkatraman

 

Lessons Learned from Childbirth – Part 2

photo1 300x187 Lessons Learned from Childbirth – Part 2

Lessons Learned from Childbirth

“I could not get my fill of looking. There should be a song for women to sing at this moment or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name that moment.”  Anita DiamantThe Red Tent

Oh! Yes! It was a golden period that lasted for precisely 24 hours for me. I couldn’t get enough of her too. I kept craning my neck to take a glimpse at her. This baby that I created, this pink being with such chubby cheeks that led us to name her ‘Ching Chang Choo’ because she looked Chinese. She lay sleeping for the better part of the day and the night even as relatives, friends, and nurses poured in and out of the room to look at the ‘pink baby’.

Proud and tired, I lay down answering calls and kept saying, “Oh! She is very quiet. She sleeps the whole day. She is the most peaceful baby I have ever seen.”

That’s the first lesson to learn. Never take (these tiny Chinese-looking peaceful) babies for granted.

Hungry, tired or angry (can’t still figure out) she arose not unlike a Chinese dragon and showed the world that she too had a voice. Man! What a voice that was! With her pink face screwed up she turned red and violet with a span of five minutes after she started her kutchery in the dead of the night.

I tried to feed but didn’t have an idea whether she was getting anything out. My mother tried to imitate Bombay Jayashree’s Kanne kanmani song, which would have had me in splits, if I had not been so tired. When the song didn’t work, we tried to feed again when I learned yet another lesson.

I found this quote in Goodreads and completely agree with it – “Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, one of the most beautiful things that exist in nature.”

Breastfeeding is indeed beautiful thing but only after the first month 

(However, what no one tells you even in those Lamaze classes is how painful breastfeeding really is at least for the first month. )

The ‘pink peaceful baby’ now was anything but peaceful and was fiercely attacking my breasts. After about four hours of feeding and groaning (that would ‘me’) I was ready to kill myself for shooting my mouth off. What possessed me to say that she was the ‘most peaceful’ baby of all things?

Thankfully, the brisk professional nurses from the Neo Natal section rescued us and took that ‘bundle of screams’ away.

As days progressed, the peaceful Chinese baby issued different degrees of wails, screams, complaints and baby rhetoric. At the height of her colic episodes, we would play passing the parcel – mom to sister, sister to great grandmother, grandmother to me and then it would continue until the wee hours of the morning. If by some chance the ‘pink baby’ stops crying while in someone’s hand, they had the honour of keeping her for the next one hour, while I gleefully tucked in for at least ten minutes sleep!

And this continued for the next three months, like a never-ending mega episode of a mega serial. It took about five more months for me to get at least an hour’s sleep in the night and yet another year for a bare-minimum of two hours of sleep.

Despite the lack of sleep, the constant depression, and almost permanent sore nipples childbirth was really a fulfilling journey.

 

If you have missed read the first part of this blog you can click here

 

Lessons Learned from Mahakavi Bharathi

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Lessons Learned from Bharathi

A few years ago I saw Kamal’s movie, Mahanathi where in the climax scene Kamal says the following lines –

தேடிச் சோறு நிதந் தின்று
பல சின்னஞ் சிறு கதைகள் பேசி
மனம் வாடி துன்பம் மிக உழன்று
பிறர் வாட பல செயல்கள் செய்து
நரை கூடி கிழப் பருவம் எய்தி
கொடும் கூற்றுக்கிரையென பின் மாயும்
பல வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே
நான்வீழ்வேன் என்றே நினைத்தாயோ?

நின்னை சில வரங்கள் கேட்பேன்
அவை நேரே இன்றெனக்கு தருவாய் 
என்றன் முன்னைத் தீயவினை பயன்கள்
இன்னும் மூளாதழிந்திடுதல் வேண்டும் 
இனி என்னைப் புதிய உயிராக்கி 
எனக்கேதும் கவலையறச் செய்து 
மதிதன்னை மிக தெளிவு செய்து 
என்றும் சந்தோஷம் கொண்டிருக்க செய்வாய்! 
என்றும் சந்தோஷம் கொண்டிருக்க செய்வாய்!

People whose only goal is to search (scavenging) for their next meal ,
those who are engaged in constant small talk about worthless things
as a result their minds have wilted and in constant mental despair and agony,
those who committed deeds with the motive of hurting many,
those who are growing old , evident with the greying hair (without achieving anything else),
and then would succumb to the cruel fate of death in the end,
Like these risible people,
Did you think that I will fall prey to these follies?

Oh Almighty! I ask you for certain boons,
grant them to me directly right away!
Let all the mistakes (sins) of my past,
be pardoned right away (Please help me get rid of them and they should not haunt me henceforth),
From now on let me begin afresh as a new soul,
no worries should haunt me,
make my intellect clear and sharp,
make me eternally happy,
make me eternally happy.

(Translation courtesy – tamilthathuvarasigan.wordpress.com)

These lines were so powerful that ever since I heard them, I have used them as a touchstone to revive myself whenever I feel down or sad.

One of the powerful lessons that I learnt from Mahakavi was –

Don’t waste your life. Don’t die like a normal man .. be the change ..

About Raja King

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Raja King

Raja is a B.Tech IT graduate from Madurai who is currently working as a business analyst in Coimbatore. He is interested in history, literature and art. He loves to write and dabble in political writing and analysis.

Lessons Learned from Fatigue

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Lessons Learned from Fatigue

The body rarely ever lies.

It communicates to us varied information about ourselves and if we are ready to listen and decipher we stand to gain immensely.

Something is not right

Fatigue is of course always a warning that something is not quite right and one that we usually do not heed till it’s too late and whatever the issue, it gets magnified many times and we are pushed to knock at the Doctor’s door. If we delve into the cause there could be one or there could be many and the sooner we decide to dig deep into the root, the better. As with anything, pretending it’s something that will go away is just not a wise choice.

Rest

The first signal that fatigue could be giving us is quite logical and simple, that we need to rest more, or at a better time. Maybe our body is asking us to go to bed earlier. Maybe we are so hung up on an addiction that keeps us awake for longer hours that we do not heed the natural call of the body when it tells us to drop everything and rest. This could be anything right from reading, finishing up work, social media or any other form of entertainment.

Allergy

Interesting that as the world progresses at a frenetic pace towards more material advancement and technology the number of allergies are on the rise. Tiredness for no reason could be a sign of something not sitting well with body, the prime accused here being gluten and dairy.

I have recently found that I feel much more energetic after having given up milk. Yogurt/curds suits me fortunately and is great for gut health so that’s my saving grace since I can’t imagine giving up dairy altogether hailing from a culture where it is used extensively in cooking and sweets.

There are many people who are allergic to the above two but are either unaware or too lethargic to give it much thought.

Imbalance

The lack of balance in the stream of thoughts that we call the mind can cause lack of ease, an inability to choose healthy thoughts over unhealthy, negative ones, allowing the mind to buzz with greater thought energy than is necessary to maintain our peace- all of it can lead to tiredness.

An imbalance between how much we need and how much we want, between what we want to achieve and what we can, all of it can lead to fatigue.

Energy-drain

There could be an emotional energy drain in one’s life which one is unaware of. This could be a person, a group of people, a material object or a situation.

One of the above could be draining you of energy, either by being a negative influence in your life or by being so needy that you end up giving them a lot more energy in many ways than you can afford to. Result- you are drained.

Finally, awareness and the wish to live a complete life replete with health is the key to figuring out the why and wherefore of fatigue and finding out ways of getting rid of it.

 

About Sunila Vig

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Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.The most recent is the story Vishkanya, which features in the anthology, Sins of the Past, available on Amazon. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

Lessons Learned from Being an Indian

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Lessons Learned from Being an Indian

Headlines and statistics shape our moods and views. Some of us think that India has a bright future as we have the greatest number of youth below 25. This means more energy, more manpower, and more ideas, we say. But then, a dissenting voice points out that we also have a huge number of poor whose lives have changed little in the sixty years since the birth of our nation.

An economist says that the Indian tiger will never catch up with the Chinese dragon. But a political leader asserts that China can never match us, as we celebrate people power through democracy. Who do we believe then? Should we be proud to be Indian, or admit that we have not seen much progress?

The debate continues and our mood oscillates as per reports of the latest calamity or success, the fall of the stock market or the rise of the rupee. But ultimately, most of us admit that we have been fortunate to have been born Indian, for there is much we have learned from being part of this huge melting pot:

Respect for diversity

We fight noisily and endlessly over resources and languages, leaders and borders. But we know in our hearts that we are united by this great nation, whatever our religion, language, caste or creed. And we are secretly delighted that we continue to function and forge ahead, carrying our millions with us.

Enterprise

We may not have trillions in cash reserves or governments that are models of efficiency, but we tackle challenges by being flexible, inventive and indefatigable. When a linear approach will not work, we try out options and thrive because we remain alert and aware.

Passion

Nothing can match the heat, the fervour, and the joy of life that our people exhibit ― in politics or business, sports or movies, melas or festivals. There is a zest to succeed, to create, to make our vote count. Our systems may fail us, but our passion carries us past obstacles. This focus is inevitably followed by success. As our sports icon Sachin said, when he took guard, everything else in the world receded to the background: “Then it is just the bowler, his hand and the ball coming at you. Nothing else.”

People

India is one of the few countries where bonds of family and community still prevail. Our attachment to our roots, our values and our culture remains strong. Ours is the land of thinkers and sages, seers and prophets. Spirituality gives us the equilibrium to face disaster and move on regardless. We believe, we hope, we struggle onwards. And when we hear our national anthem, we surge to our feet as one, our hearts uplifted and our minds inspired by the idea of this great nation that is India.

Jai Hind!

About Usha Narayanan

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Usha Narayanan

Usha Narayanan is a writer from the colourful world of advertising and media. Her first novel, ‘The Madras Mangler’, (http://goo.gl/lRMHgr) is chock-a-block with chills and thrills and has received several favourable reviews. Her next two novels, a romcom and an action-packed fantasy, have been picked up by leading publishers for publication in 2015.

Connect with Usha here -

Website: http://www.ushanarayanan.com/

Email: author@ushanarayanan.com

Facebook: Usha Narayanan

FB page: Usha Narayanan – Author

Twitter: @writerusha 

Lessons Learned from My Daughter

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Lessons Learned from my Daughter

It’s been a wonderful seven and a half years of parenting, with its share of ups and downs and occasional outbursts. There are no perfect or correct methods to follow when it comes to parenting. As parents I believe that we need to be highly flexible in our approach. Each day awaits a new learning and a new surprise.

They say that, ‘The child is the father of the man’ and I completely agree to this. In the past seven plus years my daughter, Samu has taught me some very important life lessons. This ‘Children’s Day’, I would like to share them with you all.

One Activity at a time:

This is one of the most important lessons Samu has taught me. Reading, playing, dancing or watching TV, she is completely engrossed in that one particular activity. Her full focus on one activity at a time leaves her refreshed and even more energetic for the next activity.

As adults, we are so fascinated by multi-tasking, which I guess drains us out by the end of the day. I started following her footsteps. Now whenever I am cooking or doing household chores or writing, I completely concentrate and give my 100% to the task in hand. This ensures that, I enjoy the tasks and also helps me to give my best.

Forgive:

I do shout at my daughter, I am guilty for having spanked her, but that doesn’t stop her from cuddling and kissing me. Unlike adults, children don’t know to hold grudges; they have a pure heart, which knows to forgive people. This is what makes them even more special.

As adults our ego stops us from forgiving others. What if we too could cultivate the habit of forgiveness, how much peace, will our soul get…isn’t it?

Try new things:

She keeps on trying new ways to comb her hair, to write, to play, to keep her toys and her clothes. This is something which amuses me a lot. Today she might have kept her toys in lower shelf, tomorrow, it will be in another. I asked her once, “Samu why do you keep shifting your toys?” “Mumma toys ko bore ho jaata hai, same place na, so I shift”, she replied.

At times, you really need to shift your focus and try out something different, or do things differently. Maybe you will get different results.

Ask questions:

When we sit to study, she has a list of endless questions and till the time, she is not completely satisfied with the answers, she will keep bombarding me with her questions. When I ask her to do something, again there is a nonstop Q&A session.

Every time, I am confused, I do the same. I ask myself questions, and I get the answers to all my challenges, always.

Not comfortable, just leave:

When I take Samu to birthday parties or functions, she will only play with children she is comfortable with. The moment she senses, someone is behaving badly or is being unfair, she will move away from that person. How simple it is for her, however, we adults, try to please everyone and at the end remain stressed out.

Be happy for small things:

There are times, when Samu is happy just like that, no particular reason. A balloon, some colour pencils, her favourite cartoon, tiny droplets of rain, the sun shine, the flowers…they all make her smile.

There are so many things to be happy and grateful about. Good health, a secure job, friends, food to eat and the list is endless. Find happiness in the small things, big things will follow!

What are some of the things your child has taught you, I am curious to hear them. Do share them with me, here.

About Gayatri

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Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book