Category Archives: Self Improvement

Time Management

While I hardly stand any preaching off late, this slide share was concise and cool! I am pretty much in sync with most of the tips and felt it is just cool to replicate it as is! Great job by E.Garbugli!

UBUNTU – “I am because we are”

(If your search engine directed you here for  a search of Ubuntu operating system, it is still worth to read this small piece of Ubuntu philosophy!)

A very inspiring piece of information which was shared by one of the senior citizens in our condominium!

An anthropologist proposed a game to children of an African tribe.

The game goes like this  –  He puts a basket of apple near a tree and told the children that who ever reaches the finish line first in the running race will get the entire basket of apples.  When he told them to start running, they all took each others hands and ran together and then sat enjoying the apples together.

Obviously, the curious anthropologist asked “why did you do this? if one of you had ran first, that person could have enjoyed all the apples by himself”.  The children answered as a matter of fact ” Ubuntu, How can one of us be happy when all the others are sad?”.

Ubuntu  –  is the philosophy of African tribes  which can be summed up as I AM BECAUSE WE ARE!!

A very awe inspiring simple philosophy  –  triggers a very interesting debate about BEING HAPPY Vs BEING COMPETITIVE!!!

It always intrigues me to know that how philosophical the African tribes are and how great their sentiments are!

Related links:  Invictus   || The Help  ||  The Blind side

Success Tips

It indeed was a  stressful straight three weeks  –  stressful because I had multiple priorities  and I was so indecisive on what is number one priority over the multiple priorities.

My thoughts were clouded with the everlasting urge to excel in all priorities, various situations around the priorities, consequences of prioritising one thing over the other,  what other people consider as my priorities, etc, etc.  I literally was tempted to give in to my confused state – it may be an easier choice to hide from the situation, from the people, crib about the situation and  pour my frustrations over that cup of ginger tea to the close confidante.

I did do that –  half hour non stop criticism over the people and the situation.   Though nothing changed the people or the situation, I felt good at the end of the crib session then…….but later in the evening, I started feeling even more stressed that I never solved the stress, and kept my focus on people’s behavior and current situation than on objective actions to face the situation.

And that is when I realized I got to do two things  –  decide what i want ; and then be objective to focus on what i want.  It probably was the clarity after going through this which helped me face the situation and come out of it….

I know it is a continuous journey for me and this cycle is worth remembering…and drew the chart for my own success tips –


  1. Clarity on what we want
  2. Objectivity to focus on what we want

When we have the clarity on what we want, we know what choices we need to make.  When we are making the choices with clarity, we understand what are the consequences of the choices.  Analyzing the consequences brings in more clarity to the choice made or relooking at what we want.  Once we get the clarity, then we need the objective focus  on what we want  –   focus which does not get distracted by the people and environment.  Success is always sweet in the journey of life………

Related Article:  Life and Learning Series



It is been almost couple of years since I started being conscious of the power of words we use in our communication   –    this specific article  “Small words make a Difference” very nicely brings out the  impact  –  Remember  “BUT”,  “TRY”,  “HOPE TO, WANT TO”,  “SHOULD”, “CAN’T”  are best words to avoid using …..

You may also like :   Inspirational

My cup of morning tea – for the mind!

Like how we feed our body with food for physiological wellbeing, I strongly believe our mind and psyche needs constant food for psychological wellbeing  –  After a very tiring and long week at work, while the two movies (Love Happens, True Lies)  helped me relax, these two videos below made me ready to face another challenging week at work  –  it is just a total of 10 minutes to watch these two videos below and I know those concepts already –  but then, my psychological wellbeing needed these intakes again (like the cup of tea every morning!!)



You may also like:  Interview with God || Being Happy || E+I+R=O

What did you learn in 2011?

It was a long day! The day was packed with meetings and all the eight of us were tired when we sat around  the dinner table …Most of us were just waiting to finish dinner and hit the bed…I always feel when you are expended mentally (brain storming sessions for such long durations do tire you!), you also feel exhausted physically!  The group was quiet and was awaiting the food …..then, suddenly one of the folks said  “till the food arrives….let us share what is one big learning for each of us in 2011”

I was amazed  by what I heard from each one in that group  –   am sure that the tough IT scenario does teach life to us….   though every learning shared sounded very philosophical, each one of us had an experience (which we shared) in 2011 which made us learn …….

Here are the learnings…….

  1. Health is the most critical factor
  2. Nothing matters in the big picture –  what is so critical today may not be even remembered later
  3. there is nothing like right or wrong
  4. Whatever happens, keep the focus and do what your are suppose to do  – things will fall in place (karma yoga!)
  5. Give freedom to your family  and team members –  you will be amazed at the creativity which comes out because of freedom of thought
  6. It is good to do this 100% perfect, but it is better to get them done!
  7. You should take both good and bad with the same state of mind
  8. Life is not a zero sum game  – it is a non-zero sum game (win-win)

What was your learning in 2011?

You may also like    CONFLICTS   ||   LEARNINGS     ||  BEING HAPPY

LLS – Self – Health – Rice Bran Oil

Rice Bran Oil was a chance discovery for me.  One of my neighbours was mentioning about rice bran oil. She was using this as her fatheRice Bran Oilr-in-law’s doctor prescribed this oil for him.  I wanted to try this and I liked the oil  (okay, actually……..I did not find any difference between this oil and the previous oil I was using!  🙂  ).  It is almost two years now and I have been using only rice bran oil as the cooking oil for the entire family.   While I could not find any difference in the taste of the food cooked using rice bran oil, it gives me great satisfaction that I am using a healthy oil.

Rice bran oil is rich in vitamin E and has antioxidants and helps in cholesterol control.   In south of India, we get multiple brands of rice bran oil in most of the retail shops.  I use Akshath rice bran oil which is available in retails like Nilgris, Spencers, Reliance and Food world.

Also, the cost of rice bran oil is comparatively very less than the regular sunflower oil.   TRY IT!!!

This is part of the Self of LLS series  –

Interview with God – short videos I liked

There have been days where a simple  quote OR a short film(video)from wilderness had helped me made my day. I keep  getting these forwarded links from my acquaintances at different times. Very many times,  i had felt a need to remember them – given the fact that my brain is too smart
and does not waste any memory cells to remember what can be stored elsewhere, i decided to put them here and share it with others…….

These are the videos which in  some way or the other had made my day, made me feel better, made me stay  focused…..! I sure want to view them again and again (without taxing my  memory cells!)


I keep seeing this short video again  and again ….it reinforces the fact that “WE CAN” and the  unmeasurable POWER OF LOVE.


Can’t be said better! A good one to  share with the next generation! 🙂

LLS – Self – Health – Green Tea

I first heard about green tea 11 years back  –   my initial understanding was that green tea is an antioxidant which will help prevent cancer!

It took me another 9 years to appreciate the overall benefits of it and start drinking green tea!

You can read on this here

Probably, it is an acquired taste, but it helps to have hot green tea after a heavy meal….. It gives a very light feeling after you sip the large cup of hot green tea!   It goes with my belief that anything good for the mind is good for the physical health  🙂

The easiest way to have green tea is to get one of those branded tea bags  –  Tetley, Lipton are available across the globe.   All you need is a glass of hot water and you just dip the tea bag and wait for a minute and half  –  the water turns into the light yellow clear liquid and you remove the tea bag and you are ready for your sip of green tea.

Tip  –  Keep a box of tea bags at your work desk…If you have hot water dispenser at work, you have ready-made tea in two minutes!! this duration is excluding the water cooler gossip while you collect water !!!  🙂 🙂

Hot green tea!

Note that you MUST NOT add milk to green tea.

If you are a person with sweet tooth, try adding honey into the green tea or a dash of lemon into it!!

Go green(tea!!)

This is part of the Self of LLS series  –

LLS – More on life!

While we were discussing about leadership and qualities that make a leader, RK mentioned about a note which he sent to his team as a New Year message. When he shared the outline of what was in that message, I was very interested as it had many common points with the life model I was consolidating for myself.  Subsequently, when he shared that note with me, I found it to be very close to the life model I put together….

As I started to share my life learning in this blog as part of Life and Learning series,, I felt it is good to share his note also in this blog.  While RK gave his consent to share his note here, I still look forward for the day where he will share his knowledge to the society at large.I have edited this note so that the focus is maintained on the critical life learnings…

Here is my view of our performance in 2010, what to expect in 2011 and some thoughts for the New Year.

It is a long note. I usually don’t write such long notes but I felt it was necessary as I see huge potential for the group and exciting opportunities for the people to grow.!

Please take time to read this completely and feel free to share it with your teams.

2010 Performance:


Welcome 2011…


We MUST be deliberate in every action we take on a daily basis. We must never allow ourselves to be on ‘Autopilot’. There is no such thing as ‘Constant’. We should make efforts to improve all the time or risk ‘disintegration’.

At the core will be ‘Happy and Active’ teams.

Make 2011 the Best Year Ever…

Finally, I would like to pass on the tidbits of wisdom I have gathered over the years that have served me well.

Attitude and Behavior:

  • You must be purposeful with everything you do.
  • Success in any area is about 80% behavior and 20% knowledge. You know what to do (how to be healthy, how to fix project issues….). Problem lies with the person in the mirror you are looking at.
  • It is the daily discipline (like exercise every day) that determines your success. It is a constant struggle.
  • Do the things you must do whether you like it or not.
  • Stop blaming others. Take full responsibility for results you are getting.
  • Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said ‘ No one ever makes right decision, you make a decision and then do everything to make it RIGHT’. So, don’t waste too much time contemplating.
  • Develop fanatical level of Integrity. Tom Stanley who wrote ‘The Millionaire Mind’ found that #1 correlating factor among 1st Generation Millionaires was ‘Integrity’. There is no short cut to success.
  • READ thought provoking books and biographies. You can’t be a leader if you are not a reader.
  • Be direct; speak your mind; make the point; but don’t argue to prove you are right. Choose Happiness over being Right.
  • NEVER Worry. As Earl Nightingale said worry brings fear and fear is crippling.
  • Putting in the effort is important. But in the end, only thing that matters is RESULT
  • ACTION – No amount of advice will help if you don’t take action. Don’t wait for perfect time to get started. Do it NOW.

Goal Setting and Getting:

  • Statistics show that less than 5% of the world’s population has written & measurable goals. Of this 5%, only half of them really achieve those goals. Strive to be part of this small elite group.
  • Having clear goals (big or small) increases your sense of purpose tremendously.
  • DON’T try to do too many things – you will be overwhelmed and will quit. Prioritize your goals and focus on a few important ones.
  • Break down the goals into daily/weekly activities.
  • Get Started. Remember what the famous Lau-Tzu said – ‘Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’.
  • DAILY Action is critical. Take stock of the progress every week. If you are lagging behind, don’t worry but it is critical that you make progress (however small it is).


  • Just remember – If you don’t have good health, other areas just don’t matter.
  • We all know what to do to be healthy – Exercise everyday; Drink plenty of water; eat loads of raw veggies and some nuts; cut down on fat; cut down on 3 white poisons (rice, salt, sugar).
  • Don’t wait for a health disaster to strike you before acting. It may be too late. Wake up and take charge of your health while you still have time to set it right.


  • Do MORE than what you are paid to do. Consider it an investment for the future.
  • If you don’t have enough to do, look for opportunities to make yourself useful and create value. Don’t wait for your manager to tell you that you are a liability.
  • Do the best you can; expect the best from your team; don’t tolerate incompetence.
  • Your team is smarter than you think. Give them an opportunity to prove; don’t get in the way.
  • Thinking is the highest paid job in any industry. Take time to think before action. But Thinking without Action is ‘Day Dream’ and Action without Thinking is ‘Nightmare’.
  • Foster leadership;
  • There is no such thing as ‘Job Security’. But you can establish ‘Employment Security’ if you are best at what you do.!
  • Study your industry well; Know the new trends, don’t hesitate to implement new ideas
  • Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.


  • What is happiness? According to Harvard Professor and author of ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ Dan Gilbert, there is a very good chance you don’t know the answer or you will get it wrong.
  • Everyone wants to be happy. But very few know how to. Take time to study happiness.
  • Study shows that happy and positive people are lot more productive and innovative.
  • Some companies are now looking to hire optimistic/happy people more than specific skills.


  • Managing money is a learned technique. Be purposeful with your money.
  • We all know what to do – Spend less than you make; Get out of debt; Set aside some money for rainy day.
  • Financial Independence should be of very high priority. Build a financial wall around your family.
  • Financial success comes to those who plan long term (10-20 years).
  • Hire a good financial advisor and invest wisely.


  • This is one area people tend to take for granted. Don’t let it be the case with you.

Make A Difference:

  • Ken Behring who once owned Seattle Seahawks described it the best – ‘Purpose of our life is to serve each other with the expression of who we truly are’.   Sense of fulfillment comes when you know that you are making a positive difference in this world. Don’t wait to become a millionaire to start this process.
  • Tithing is a very old concept and dates back to the Old Testament. While it is up to the individuals how he/she wants to contribute, donating up to 10% of income is not uncommon. But again, you should consider contributing what you feel comfortable.
  • Money is not the only way to contribute. Key is to quickly find 1-2 ways in which you can make a difference and get on with it.

Closing Remarks:

  • I know it is easy to get excited and overwhelmed at the same time reading this kind of note. Key is to take time to think what you want in each of the above areas and pick few things and act quickly. If you don’t act, you will lose interest.
  • Finally, remember Einstein’s famous quote on definition of Insanity – ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. If you want different result, something must change and it starts with changing yourself!
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