Got to have a Goal to score a Goal…..

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Just dreaming and imagining is not enough to be a  winner, you will only win if you decide to win, if winning is your ultimate goal. Most go wrong in selection of the aim, the goal. I have come across many young players for whom representing their state or the country is the ultimate aim. But is that enough? You got to play to win, the ultimate aim being to win for the country/ team. 

Failing is not a problem, the main problem is in setting the aim low and achieving it. The best will only come out if the competition is tough, if the benchmark set is high. There are students who do so well in the school, always standing in the top few in the class but fail miserably as they enter the competitive world. The fault is not with the, the fault lies with the school, in the environment in which they studied, which did not encourage competition or did not generate competition, leading to complacency. Same is true for players who always stand first at the district and state level because of lack of competition and fail on the bigger stage as the competition gets tough. 

Another common flaw in goal setting is that most of us aim to stay just ahead of others, to stay ahead of the available competition. Whenever, a stronger challenge comes from outside the prevalent environment we find it difficult to match. The aim in life should be to do our best and not just rest at doing better than others. As a student the aim should be to get the maximum marks which are on offer and not just to perform better than other students. Moment you change the narrative, start competing with yourself, there is no undue stress, you will stop bothering about outside competition. “It’s like shooting, there is no one between you and the target, no obstructions or diversions, the result you achieve is the combined outcome of your practice and mental robustness”. 

Another problem is that some of us set the aim so high that we may end up spending our complete life in trying to achieve it and still fail to reach the destination. Aim high, but divide your goals into short, medium and long term and systematically work to achieve them. Celebrate every achievement, live every moment of life. 

A majority of us actually have no or very low aim, just try to fit into whatever is available. We refuse to leave our comfort zones, take risks. If you don’t try you will not know whether you can achieve it or not. “Why try to fit in when you have the ability to stand out, give it a try, don’t give up so easily”. 

“Just selection of aim is not enough, the difficult part is maintaining the aim till it is achieved, most waver enroute”

My day used to start with the News paper …. 

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I picked up the habit of reading Newspapers very young. Way back, during the school days, Newspaper was the first thing I rushed for immediately on reaching back home from school. Those days my favourite used to be the last page because it carried all the sports news and thereafter if I had time and inclination, the first page got a cursory glance just to see the headlines which normally did not make much sense to me. 

I thank my father and the school for inculcating in me the habit of daily Newspaper reading. We were supposed to write five main NEWS of the day in a notebook which was checked every Monday in the school. To escape punishment, one had to read the Newspaper daily to write those five headlines. That habit has continued till date and I am really thankful to my parents and the school for that. The only changes from the school days are that now I start the day with a Newspaper and it’s not just the last page but the entire Newspaper is read through in details. More focused attention is given to the first page and the Editorial and guest columns. 

The Newspapers have changed so much with the passage of time. Earlier the Newspapers were dedicated to delivery/ carriage of News with advertisements limited to earmarked pages/ spaces. However, at present the Newspapers carry more advertisements than the News. In fact, some of the News Dailies carry full front-page advertisements now, with News following from page 2 onwards. Money matters, is very evident with the priority being given to the advertisements. The other major difference now is that the headlines are drafted with the sole aim of creating sensation. As one reads the complete News one can make out these are generally based on allegations, inferences being drawn from hearsay and not on concrete evidence. Investigative journalism has been taken over by sensationalism. Earlier Newspapers also used to carry a feel-good factor, the News were worded accordingly, and there was something for everyone, all age groups. Now most part of News portion is occupied by corruption, murders, accidents, thefts, rapes, political mud-slinging etc. There are more papers than the actual News. “Newspapers cannot be defined by the second word—paper.  They’ve got to be defined by the first word—news.”  Arthur Sulzberg, Jr. 

I failed miserably in inculcating this habit of reading Newspaper in my children. I did try but failed. They are right to an extent that what’s the need to read when you can hear it with the click of a button. With so many News channels on air and the News readers shouting at the top of their voices to catch the attention of the viewer there should logically nothing be left for reading. But, how far that’s from truth is only known once you read the same News in a Newspaper. Reading still makes sense and matters more than just listening. The details which are carried by the print media can never be carried by the electronic media, most of whom actually create more drama. When you read a Newspaper you evaluate/ analyse and make your own decisions about the events. There is no underlining tone or an opinionated attitude in the newspaper. When you aren’t interested in a topic, you don’t have to wait until the anchor or a guest speaker finishes speaking, you just turn the page and move on. 

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book” 
― 
Groucho Marx

Advertisement…..Spreading Awareness or Manipulating Opinion???

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Advertisements have proliferated our lives in a big way. Be it the daily Newspapers, the TV or the roadsides, all are flooded with advertisement campaigns, each company trying to do outdo the others. Huge budget is being spent by the business houses on advertisements with the sole aim of changing opinions. 

Life was so cool when there was no TV, no advertisement blitz to endure and the Newspapers actually carried NEWS with specific areas earmarked for the advertisements. Today, more than half of the Newspaper is occupied by advertisements or classifieds as some prefer to call them. In fact, the first thing which stares in your face as you open the morning Daily is a full-page advertisement of some brand. One got to literally search for NEWS in the maze of advertisements. 

We now live, not in a real but virtual world. Advertisement bring in hope and more often than not are the cause of despair when the aspirations are not met. With most of us too busy with our routine life and profession, having no time to go out, explore the markets and try things out physically our life is literally getting dependent on social media to such an extent that our habits, tastes, clothes, modes of entertainment, choices of schools, colleges get decided by advertisements. 

Manufacturers, business houses are in a sort of rat race to catch the attention of the customer. One product is launched and within no time the same company launches another advertisement claiming to launch an improved version of the previous product. Advertisements are not just restricted to glorifying the products but also softly aim at degrading the competitor. Which product is better, this decision, the companies should leave it to the wisdom of the consumer, they should only supply information. 

The main aim of the advertisements is to play with the psyche, to hit the mind of the target audience. They come out with catchy taglines like that of Raymond (The famous Indian dress material manufacturer) – The complete man (I have been a big fan of Raymond ever since) or Maggie Noodles- Mamma I am hungry (Every mom desperately wait to hear these magic words from their child). Mothers very well understand that Maggie Noodles cannot provide the nutrients required for the growth of the child but then they can’t let their child go hungry. Then the child is also armed by the information provided through the advertisement – every Maggie Noodle packet carries the nutrients equivalent to two pieces of home baked bread which is the normal diet of a child, and the argument ends in favour of the child. I, for one, never bothered about the nutrient content, I ate Maggie Noodles because I enjoyed the taste. Cosmetics have taken the advertisement war to an altogether different level with their claims of anti-ageing creams and turning the colour of skin from dark to fair in no time. 

Some advertisement campaigns do indulge in sexism and racism, manipulation and deceit, either inadvertently or intentionally. Women have to be part of most campaigns whether they use the product or not. 

Yes, advertisement do a whole lot of good to the society by not just spreading awareness of social causes and government schemes but also by making people, at large, aware of the options available and helping them compare before reaching a decision. However, one has to be careful and not believe everything being conveyed through advertisements on the face value. Various Regulating authorities set up by the government have to work proactively to ensure that the companies do not take the consumer for a ride by misleading advertisements. The onus should be on the companies including the advertisement agencies to ensure that there is no manipulation and stringent action be taken against defaulters. 

“Finally, it’s on the consumer to decide what he wants, to allow his opinion/ decision get manipulated by misleading advertisements or to be smart enough to read between the lines”

Live your life your way…..Live your dreams….Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think….

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A few days back, I met an old acquaintance of mine after a long time. He was a sports enthusiast and during the course of our conversation he mentioned about an experience when his raft had overturned while negotiating a dangerous rapid in a mountain river and all occupants were thrown into the turbulent water. While others managed to get safety, he was carried away by the strong currents to some distance before he could get hold of a rock protruding in the middle of the river and hung on to it for nearly 30 minutes before he could be rescued. 

When asked what was going through his mind for those 30 minutes that he hung on the rock for life, and he thought death was staring in his face, he said the first response was a desperate appeal to God to come to his aid and save him, but as he spent more time hanging on to the rock the past 30 years of his life flashed through his mind. His dreams, what all he had thought to accomplish/ do in life, condition of his ailing wife who required his support, his kids, the under- construction house, everything went through his mind. He had so many unaccomplished tasks/ dreams which he had been delaying for one reason or the other. He prayed to God to save him as he was just 30 and had so much left to do in life. After his safe return from that journey his complete focus in life was on completing the tasks he had set for himself, achieving his dreams. He had seen death from close quarters and realised the worth of life and more importantly he had realised the true meaning of ‘Living’ life, living dreams. 

Hearing his story, I was reminded of a song sung by Doris Day (written by Carl Sigman/ Herbert Magidson) way back in 1950. 

Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.

You work and work for years and years
You’re always on the go
Never take a minute off
To busy makin’ dough
Someday, you say, you’ll have your fun
When you’re a millionaire
Imagine all the fun you’ll have
In your old rockin’ chair

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
(Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think)

Your heart of hearts, your dream of dreams
Your ravishing brunettes
Has left you now and she’s become
Somebody else’s pet (pity isn’t it)
Lay down that gun, don’t try my friend
To reach the great beyond
You’ll have more fun by reaching
For a red-head or a blonde

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
(Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think)

There’s another thing I want to tell you too.

You love somebody very much
You’d like to set the date
But money doesn’t grow on trees
So you decide to wait (Foolish Fellow)
You’re so afraid that you will bite off
More than you can chew
Don’t be afraid, you won’t have teeth
When you reach ninety-two.

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think…
 

Each and every word of this song is so relevant even today and I think will remain relevant forever. This is exactly what life is all about, we keep delaying things constantly changing our goal posts as long as the going is smooth, when suddenly an accident throws life out of gear and we are left regretting what all we have left unfinished. We carry the worries of our securing our future too far and miss out on living and enjoying the present. Why should it take a negative event to make us consider doing something good? Why should we wait for a dark moment to happen in life to show us the light? Life is so unpredictable, earlier we realise it is the better. Make your list, set your priorities and work to achieve your goals/ live your dreams. 

Life is all about choices we make. Whatever we do/ achieve is the result of the choices we make. Do not keep waiting for the right moment to start/ do something. Every moment is right, just have the will to make it your own. One doesn’t have to throw caution to winds but certain amount of risk has to be taken to achieve something new. “Do not plunge blindly, but when the only escape route is the river in spate, just jump into it, there are high chances of you reaching the bank”. 

Identify your purpose in life and follow it with passion. Time doesn’t wait for anyone/ anything. 

“Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think…”

 

Do not take life for granted…..

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We always take things for granted. As a child we get used to things being provisioned by parents, at times even before we demand it. Most of us have grown in the protective environment with everything being taken care by parents. As we grow up we take our life partners our jobs for granted. We get used to a way of life, both personal and professional, and take it for granted that life will always go on same way. 

This is truer for the married ladies who become overtly dependent on their husbands for all their need specially, financial. In Indian subcontinent, most married ladies prefer to be home makers and hardly take interest in the financial management, even the husbands falter and fail to educate the ladies in this aspect. The ladies are not aware of the investments, loans repayment, bank nominations, insurances, property related documents. These are all managed by the husbands. Most of us fail to make and register a ‘WILL’. God forbid, if life takes an unfortunate turn and the husband suddenly passes away the entire family suffers for no fault of theirs. Pain of loss of a husband/ son/ parent can be further compounded if the financial/ insurance / property documents have not been managed well. 

The common mistakes which normally most people do are failure to open joint bank accounts or earmarking a nominee authorised to operate the account in the event of death of the main account holder. 

The wife/ parents are not aware of the loans taken. Most of us do the mistake of not insuring the home loans, as it increases the value of monthly instalments. If the loan is insured then in the unfortunate event of passing away of the payee the insurance company repays the entire balance amount and the family doesn’t suffer. 

The property is registered only in the name of one person and with his passing away the legal hassles of taking over the property starts for the wife/ family. It’s better to have a joint registration of the property to avoid any legal hassles or have a registered ‘WILL” nominating the person to whom the property will pass on. 

There is hardly anyone who prepares and registers a proper ‘WILL”. WILL is not talked about or discussed in the Indian families as it relates to death and division of property. Wisdom lies in preparing a detailed WILL and registering it. This will save the survivors from legal hassles and financial loss. 

Common things like Digital locker/ Internet banking passwords are lot known to the survivors and does take a prolonged exercise to hold of the new passwords and bank account operating rights. Prudence is in maintaining a physical record of all passwords and user names in a diary, not just on the laptop. 

All financial documents should be kept safely and the spouse/ parents should be aware of it. If possible, make two copies and keep at two different places just to cater for accidents. Record to be kept securely online also and in digital locker. 

Home makers should be educationally/ professionally qualified to take on the mantle of the ‘Bread winner’ when the need arises. Ability to drive a vehicle is a must. 

What I have discussed above is the worst which one can go through in life. People go wrong even in basics, just don’t plan or visualise the future before taking a plunge. You will see numerous cases of newly wed couples trying to settle down in life as early as possible. They get themselves overburdened with loans in the quest to acquire luxuries of life and a sweet home. Banks happily disburse loans based on the present income of the couple. Caution is thrown to the winds while taking loans and people fail to visualise the scenario that will happen if for some reason the job is terminated. No job is guaranteed in private sector. This has happened in many families with jobs getting terminated at short notices, business failing and then they have no way of re-payment of big loans they had taken and lose out on whatever they had acquired. More importantly they end up losing peace of mind. Patience, planning, visualisation, bit of caution is must in life; nothing happens overnight. 

“Life takes unexpected turns, enjoy it as long as you can but be always prepared to face any unfortunate eventuality. Strengthen your shoulders when you have the time, you won’t have to look for outside support even in the worst contingency”

 

 

 

What is your net worth???

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I felt a bit of irritation in my left eye last Saturday and attributed it to maybe a dust particle, however, by Sunday morning the irritation had turned into a real pain and the complete eye had turned red. 

A visit to the doctor revealed swelling in the tissue which required a treatment for about a week to recover fully, during which the vision also remained a bit blurred. 

This is how life goes on, so unpredictable, you are fit and healthy one day and within next 24 hours you may be diagnosed with the worst of the disease or meet with an unfortunate accident. As long as you are fit and healthy you can achieve anything, you are worth your weight in Gold, as it is said. You can do whatever you want, work 24 X 7 and earn as much as you want. You may feel that the entire world is at your feet or eating out of your hands. But, God forbid, the day you are diagnosed with any serious disease or meet with a serious accident, the whole world comes crashing down. You feel helpless, all your wealth is worth nothing if you can’t be cured. 

It’s health which matters most and also neglected the most. In the pursuit of our dreams and most of the time in sheer quest of making money we neglect health, no physical workouts, improper diet plan. By the time you realise it may be too late. Whatever aim you have in life, remember it can be seldom achieved without the support of good health. Take care of the health, not just physical but mental health too. Take regular breaks to unwind and rejuvenate. Jog, walk, join a gymnasium or swim, do whatever you can, it will matter in the long run. 

“Your true net worth cannot be measured by your wealth or property, it is actually reflected by your health. If you are not healthy, money doesn’t matter, if you are healthy no one can stop you from achieving whatever you have set your mind on”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killing softly with the words……

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Killing softly and slowly with our words is what many of us actually do daily without even realising it. Most affected are the people around us, relations, office colleagues (specially subordinates).

We cause hurt by our arrogance, rude behaviour, derogatory language, causing humiliation and what not. It’s not about killing physically, but killing emotionally, breaking the confidence, hurting self- respect, subduing initiative.

“I will tell you what to do/ how to do” and “I know better” or “I am more experienced” syndrome is so prevalent in our lives and we just refuse to give it up, knowing fully well that this the main reason affecting growth, both personal and professional. At home the elders (generally the father) and in the offices the seniors are the ‘killers’. Being elder/ senior doesn’t necessarily mean we know better/ are more experienced. “Experience is more related to the situation one has been through in life and how he/ she responded to it, it has got less to do with the number of years one has spent on earth or in the same office”.

Being elder/ senior doesn’t give anyone a right to hurt/ humiliate. Most of the time the arrogant behaviour is the result of our own insecurities. We refuse to accept our weaknesses, make no efforts to improve and hide behind the veil of arrogance and our seniority.

Arrogant behaviour of senior, regular humiliation, more than teaching actually pushes the junior/ child away. As an elder the aim should always be to empower the younger by sharing your acquired wisdom guiding him through, facilitating him find solutions. The root cause of the problem lies in the fact that most of us refuse to grow out of the boot of being a ‘father/mother’ or a senior. Instead try being and elder, friend and guide. Moment the relationship paradigm changes you will find a definitive change in the environment. You will not be a killer anymore, rather you will be ‘adding’.

 

“Soft skills and not soft kills are what makes the person and organisation grow, improve your skills”