Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Teen Coaching : A safe space for Tweens and Teens
Teen : Ma’am I don’t think I know how to succeed?
Coach: If you did know, what would the answer be.
Teen: I think….I am not able to do this because ……
Coach : Ok, If ‘X’ wasn’t an issue would you be able to achieve that?

And thus a starts a new journey of self reflection, of thinking, of self-awareness, leading to ļ¬nding their own solutions to the challenges they face, improved self-esteem, focus, learning to make better decisions in all areas of life by discovering how to love themselves and becoming empowered with self-confidence.
As a student, you’ve got academics, grades, sports, extracurriculars, friends and family, all of that and much more, needing so much of energy and attention. There is literally something to do during every waking moment of the day. And the foremost concern is the anxiety due to parental expectations!
Continual struggles and stress over grades, lack of direction and follow through in and out of the classroom environment can be very exhausting for adolescents. Navigating these waters can be emotionally challenging for teens. How do you handle it all? This seems to be a nagging thought capturing the young mind!
Coaching helps them not only handle it but master it. With their coach,teens share their triumphs, explore their struggles, seek answers, and develop tools to create a life of confidence, success and happiness.
Teenagers have always resonated with the coaches because of their openness and compassion which helps them see that they have all of the answers they need inside them along with parental and teacher collaboration and much more.
We as coaches work to unleash the potential in every child !
My strategies :
- Listen to what they have to say.
- Make them feel loved & know they are capable of thinking, deciding.
- Help them create measurable and achievable weekly academic and personal life goals.
- Track the "commitment" plan.
- Increase test preparation including study skills( specially for kids with Learning Disabilities)
- Conduct weekly communication with all teachers and follow-up discussion with parent.
and much more !
Parents, teachers , coaches lets join hands- empower the youth to help them be successful globally !

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Demonstrate good communication skills. Be consistent and send clear messages. Listen respectfully to youngster's ideas and answer their questions ~ Empower the youth!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Just a gentle Reminder...we are training future leaders not just raising kids!

During one of my coaching sessions with a parent from Delhi, the anxiety of the parent came up about how the child is going to get up and get going with a big group of kids going for a camp.

I was reminded of the moment when  I went to drop my daughter to UK and accompanied her (against her wishes) for her first day in the University and as I stood watching her walk towards the group of youngsters, I had a similar thought, “ how is she going to make herself comfortable , she doesn’t know anyone?”  But soon I saw her shaking hands with few and walking away happily and with confidence.

I walked away too, and just musing on the thought that this is the kind of leadership that makes a difference in one’s life. It’s leadership from where you are and it all begin at home.

It was an unnecessary thought in my mind. Why did that thought cross my mind? I had done my best as a parent and had inculcated all qualities of a leader in her!   
It all begins at home.  The little things that we teach our kids have the greatest impact on the future. Few important things to help you give a pat on your shoulder as a parent:-

Parents are role models, we have to set examples of the kind of human being that we wish to groom our kids into.  We often talk about our experiences but it’s more important to talk about their experiences and help them see in the most constructive way.  Guide them to look further out and learn to see the long term effect of the decisions that they take.

We often churn out rules, which are definitely important but principles will last a life time. It takes effort as one needs to live by them to integrate into a person’s life.  

We often say that our kids aren’t responsible enough. Help them to value contribution over consumption. They would soon learn to be responsible once you let them take up few.

Another most important message to be conveyed is that connecting with others matter a lot and the best way to do that is experience by reaching out to people, by looking into their eyes. Giving full attention to what’s around is what makes the other person feel you are present in the moment.

You got to live by the principles that you learn in life. Here I am reminded of what   Aristotle wrote of the “magnanimous man” . He is referring to a person who lives by a higher or more rigorous code than the average person, but not in a vain way. You need to live by the codes you have learnt.

It takes a lot to be a parent! We are training future leaders not just raising kids, leaders who have to lead their own life and others too! It’s an investment that we make today and reap tomorrow.
Make the right Investement !

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Art of Public Speaking

Getting on to the stage is so fearful for some but not so much for an experienced public speaker. If you have been on stage you know and understand the basics and you are pretty comfortable standing in front of an audience. If you are a good speaker already, what is it that makes you a memorable speaker? What is it that help you leave a powerful impact on the minds of the attendees?

Being memorable means making your talking points stick with the attendees longer. And if you speak what meets the needs of the audience your focus of your thoughts will automatically reach them. And, it surely does offer you a chance for your own growth in your career and personal accolades.

I have always been on stage since childhood so the fear of the stage is never there but over the years I have realized that Public Speaking is not really a matter of conformity to certain standards, it's not a matter of imitating a particular speaker, it's not a matter of externals but it's simply public utterance in conformity of what's within you. You should be, think and feel things that you are speaking and worthy of. Unless there be something of value within, no tricks of training can ever make you more than a perfected machine to deliver other person's goods. So here Self-development is one of the keys.

To stay in the memory of the audience you need to rule your thoughts, your feelings, and all your powers so that your words give a perfect unhampered expression of the inner you of what you really are. That's what makes you stand apart.And most importantly it's the mindfulness, the warm heart and the dominant will which are paramount; for unless you put your soul into what you speak and unless it's all within you and your values, it would never be powerful !

Once you have experienced being on stage, it's no longer daunting to stand in front of the crowd so now the focus should be to be more impressive. The most important here is being personable. Do not memorize your speech and recite the rehearsed jokes and pauses, instead, be in the moment. Find a way to connect to people, maybe by talking about the coffee culture of that place or something about the latest trends.

You got to portray yourself as a genuine, real, trustworthy compassionate person, with your eyes conveying each emotion that you ferry towards them. Genuine authenticity creates connection and connection creates relation.Highlighting and admitting your own weaknesses helps audience relate to you and put you in the same playing field as them. Humour is another feature that has always been a wonderful way to make an instant connection with others, and adding humour into a public speech will keep your audience intrigued, entertained and energetic.

To be unique and stand out among other speakers you may innovate and wear a pink shirt every time and people might start calling you a "pink shirt guy" but they would certainly remember you or may be starting your talk in the same manner always. You will surely win their hearts!

Last but not the least is the change in the voice-pitch. Do it the way you can but you got to follow the rule consciously, unconsciously, or subconsciously.You need to remember that every thought demands a voice variation otherwise there is monotony that will set in and being monotonous is definitely boring. We can go back to nature and listen for a moment to the birds that sing, like the nightingale or the lark and notice the range of notes they use. Just take a moment to think which of these feathered tribes's songs are most pleasing one with little variation or the one with more !

Trying these tips and practicing them would surely propel your public speaking forward, and bring in more opportunities to give a business presentation, or be a keynote speaker or just advance your public speaking skills.

Happy powerful speaking !


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hey, are you ready to leave?

Moving on ......
I am amazed indeed at the incredible strength and determination of the women who gather the courage to leave what no longer serves them. It could be anyone, a friend, a colleague, a partner, sister or any near and dear one or even a job. 

Wonder why we take so long to move on! Why don't we see our infinite potential and courage to find our own happiness?
Be it a job, a relationship, a place that is unfulfilling needs to be let go!

Believe me it's  priceless. If you have questioned your own situation and wonder if it’s time to leave, consider the reasons.....its story time .....
Why She Stayed.... It's her story but it could be yours too! 

She was happy where she was, a heaven like place, where there was infinite, unconditional love—the love they shared was deep and powerful—she was desperate to rekindle it as it energised her. She just thought back as she lay on her couch ..those beautiful moments....

It all felt so wonderful and joyous as they were exploring new things together and she was learning so much about herself. Each one enriching the life of the other. 

She smiled as she  remembered the fun they used to have and how fulfilled she was. He was everything she thought she wanted. Her friends and family used to comment on how happy she was, as if they were envious of the joy she radiated. They longed for it too, or so she thought so.

 Then things started to change, and the feelings began to dissipate, she wondered where she went wrong.  She was intuitive and it told her always...things are dying between you both ...but she trusted him and his love more than her intuition. So she kept trying...trying her best to bring back the spark. She was hopeful that it would come back that strong again. But life seemed to slip out of her hands like sand particles. She feared the loss.

She was upset with herself, that she was somehow to be blamed. She felt that staying showed her commitment and she was worried that she may leave too soon and live to regret it.
She waited for things to get better. She stayed optimistic that things would change.

She questioned many times if she should leave. That was the first sign that she should. But instead, she looked for signs that she should stay on.  And sometimes when she looked hard enough, she found them...found the reasons to stay on. She thought it wasn't terrible and there was surely a lot of good left. She had many ways to rationalize why she shouldn't go away.
She was scared about what she was giving up, and worried about what she may lose if she left. She stayed on. 
But she didn’t consider the consequences of her holding on. The uncertainty, the high's and sudden dips made her vulnerable and she faulted many a times... Behaved the way she would never. 
Then one fine day it happened. The moment came...the moment she feared the most. They parted, he conveyed it in such a straight and simple way. She was shaken if heavens had fallen on her. She knew it for sometime, but dreaded it and there it was right there! 

She was defeated, sad, hurt. She realized that it was no longer serving her. It was making her sad, hurt and frustrated. She cried her soul out for days. She waited ...may be he would come back. 

She was a blessed one, the universe hugged her in its arms and showered love as always, the Angels healed her and life started to unfold around her and happiness began to pursue her once more. She didn’t need to reach for it with outstretched arms like she thought.
Happiness found her.

She still holds onto the happy memories, but she re-affirmed that as always she deserved to be unconditionally happy. She decided that her life was worth pure bliss and that she didn’t need to rationalize her choices any longer.

She is back to her glowing, joyful persona that permeates energy around all those she touches. Her purpose of life re- instated once again. 

That was her and you may have related to her somewhere.
For all of the amazing women of the world, may you find the strength and the courage to live the life of joy you are worthy of and finally take that breath of fresh air. Go on re-invent yourself ... And rewrite your story! 
Be amazing as ever! 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Parent : Are you a teacher, a Coach or a rule maker ?

How many times do each of us parents feel the need to explain our reasoning to our children? Almost every time we feel we need to make this attempt to get them understand. Is it that you do this because you want them to understand or are you seeking out for their approval or acceptance? And the result is that we land up over-explaining. But does this really fulfill our purpose? Aren't you over-negotiating? 

This does a lot of damage in the rule setting that we are trying to do. If we fall to this habit of over-explaining it's very likely that kids would want to challenge our authority, decision or your rule. We need to be cautious here to understand that all we are doing here is training them not to accept rules. A simple example here would be when you tell your child " No,you can't do that now," and the child keeps nagging for the same and finally you give in and let him do you have just watered and nurtured the behaviour of not listening to you and he affirms to himself that he can have his way!

So what does one do? Setting limits anything from the "TV and Internet timings," to establishing a curfew, to sleeping on time can be experienced as being told a "No." Some kids get angry and demand an explanation, the act out begins and could turn out to be a yelling match and we land up negating our own authority and there goes another step towards a back talk habit by our kid. 

During parent coaching, I happen to come across parents telling me, "my teen won't take a "no" for an answer." Actually here," if you are giving in, it's kind of a reward for that kind of behaviour, then you "no" doesn't really mean a "no." It's more of,"keep trying."

So what we, as parents need to do is establish authority very early in life by setting boundaries and having a structure. In case of an argument the best thing you can do is to say, " No, I am not having discussion on this," and walk away and never respond to any back talk. Just walk away and if you turn around he will have the power to do that always. Kids do need a bit of explanation but not beyond a point.

The best time to explain rules is when there is a smooth sailing. It can help coach them.The time to explain concepts to your child is when things are going smoothly. So when things are good, sit down and say to your child, “When I tell you "no," "no" it is.  

We need to play the three vital roles as a parent, that of a teacher, a coach and a limit setter. 

Sometimes parents find it hard to set limits as they prefer being friends with kids. I understand that but we really need to a bit of thinking into this. Does our teenager need a friend or a parent to say, "no you can't stay out later than this time." We need to be friendly with kids and that's what we call " positive regard." We need to have that look of , "I like you," and that comforting tone to say, "I understand you," so that a message goes that we care. You got to start early.

We, as parents need to come up with a game plan, with a sound parenting basics. It needs to have a great planning about what you want to do, how you want to teach the to react in a certain situation and most importantly how do you respond to them. 
Happy parenting!! You are doing a good job!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Hug & Heal : Bacho R Bhachao ( Be safe & Save)

Hug & Heal : Bacho R Bhachao ( Be safe & Save)

Hug & Heal ko sab payee mananiye  sadasye le mero dheroi naman r satkar.  
Hazoor le jo kaam gardecha tesko sarahna garne ko lage mero paas m koi shabd chaaina. Yo dukhad samay ma jo hazoor haruley emotional r padarth ko sahayata apno bhai bandhu ko lage  niswarth sewa gareko ch tesko lage prabhu le hazoor le dheroi ashriwaad dinch.  ( I hope my Gorkhali is good enough )

“My heart goes out  for the people in Nepal maybe because my family has been closely associated with the Gorkhas,” and sitting here all I can do is pray and wish well for them. Here is my small way to express my gratitude to those who are doing their best to help.

Kindness is not an act its a lifestyle they say and I think this is so true for the “Hug & Heal”community working to help people in distress in Nepal.My friend Indra Grg and his team have been spreading love & hugs along with the basic relief material to more than 100 families in the remote ares walking miles to reach them.
The need is tremendous. There is great physical, emotional and spiritual need. Two major earthquakes shook Nepal and  devastated the country, killing so many people and rendering so many homeless. 

There is a saying :“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” How many hugs do you think the people of Nepal require?

Hugging therapy is definitely a powerful way of healing. Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love and love others.
Compassion, a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken with misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering is what makes you reach out to help those who need you.

In Buddhist practices sadness, sorrow, and pity are referred to as the near enemies of compassion. Being compassionate involves understanding the suffering of another without feeling sorrow or pity.

The  most important for care takers is not be saddened on seeing the misery. When caretakers have emotional reaction of sadness or sorrow they nourish no one. A compassionate person brings the nourishment of love and acceptance to the situation that is starving for those emotions until someone can feed themselves.

Sometimes the best action you can take to help relieve emotional suffering of another is being present with your attention on the person and say nothing. Just be a good listener, just hold hands, it might say it all. Rather than saying, "everything will be okay”.It is best to avoid false reassurance. And even if it is, that is not how the person is feeling at that moment.

In an emergency the chemistry of people's bodies can change dramatically. The so-called "flight or fight" response to a threat is the sudden release of the hormone adrenaline into the bloodstream. Oxygen to the brain and muscles is increased, to gear the body to cope with something exceptional.

This bodily state is very handy for fighting or fleeing. But it can leave a person very jumpy, tearful, angry, confused and irritable. In this state, people find it difficult to concentrate, even to understand what is going on. They might find it impossible to follow a train of thought, or to carry out an agreed plan. They might want to get away, or be very insistent on some drastic action. So the best you can really do at this hour is hug & heal . Give all the love you can and try and supply them with the basics.

For these reasons, creating a sense of safety and an atmosphere of calm is the best and most important thing to aim for. Thats what the “Hug & Heal” team is doing lets support them from where ever we are ! Bravo ! Keep up the spirit !

Jai Maha Kali, Aayo Gorkhali ! 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

INSIGHT : "You got to start where you are if you want to expand to where you are going."~ John Maxwell

"To get insight in a situation, you have to get inside of the situation. You can’t have insight if you are removed, if you are distracted, if you pull away. You got to get close to the issue, the question. Insight is a response of reflection. In fact, reflection turns experience into insight. Leaders have insight because they’ve gone inside the circle, the relationships, the journey, they've been there , they’ve touched it, felt it, experienced it themselves. They are not far removed from it. The insight that they have is because they have been inside the situation and it allows them to lead with far sight and vision. You got to start where you are if you want to expand to where you are going" - John Maxwell

An insight as its core, is a thought you've never had before. It's a fresh thought. It stye power of acute observation. It comes from what you deduce, perceive from that observation. If visionary leaders look on the horizon and take a peek of the future, then insightful leaders look beyond to capture the violet ray, or see underneath the surface; if visionary leaders are able to zoom in the future as if it were closer; then insightful leaders are capable to pull past, present and future together to get a greater view.

Leadership is influence. Insightful leaders can make deep influence, as their unique observation & clear discernment can touch the heart, not only shape the mindset.  They are able to pull the world together with the insight that they possess.
Leaders have insight and we sometimes, refer this as vision. While leaders must have vision, they need more than that. They need wisdom and discernment.  Leaders essentially grapple with something larger than what others are willing to grapple with, which is what makes them leaders.

The three "I"s  leaders possess : They are inspired . The second component is integrity, which is a key element in building trust, without which you are never ever going to be a leader. Integrity is about coherence between what you say, do and think .They must have insight into situations, into problems and possible solutions.

Create a deep insight and be a leader ~ to lead yourself and others.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Do you have big enough a why ?

Once you are clear about  your “WHAT”, its important to know your “WHY” . Why you
want it. Do you think your why is as clear?

We all have dreams and they soon get converted into goals and the first thought that strikesis how do I do it? We immediately tend to be too focussed on the “how”of it . “How do Iachieve this goal”? As a consequence we miss the all important why. If you have animportant goal, it surely needs a big why. With the awareness comes the determination andresolve to overcome the challenges that we encounter in the journey. The more stronger thewhy we substantially increase our chances for success. 

The WHY is about providing you with clarity that allows passion to manifest and in turn becomes your inspiration – the inspiration to improve all aspects of your own life, inspire those around you and make the world a better place.

The WHY movement that you start is very fundamental and very crucial. If one can operate from that place of, “this is really me”, and if we can give in  our 100% every day for ourselves, for our families, and for our jobs, that’s what can  really change the world.

Just think over. How's YOUR why? 

Just in case you are not making the progress you think you should be making in achieving your goals, maybe you haven't inspired yourself with enough reasons why you want them. Maybe you are not clear about what is motivating you to achieve what you want to achieve.

Weak passion = little determination & zeal

As Jim Rohn says, "When the why gets stronger, the how gets easier.”

What do you think you could do today to increase your motivation and determination to achieve the goals you've set? 

Make a good list of why you want each important goal. Review this list often and see yourself focussing not only on what you want , but “WHY” you want it.

It works… its takes you a step closure to success !

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Radio talk : Re-ignite the spark in your relationship after child birth

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Do You Connect while you communicate ?

“People like people who like them. When others know you care, they’ll listen.” ~ John Maxwell

Do you really connect or you just talk ? Thats one question you need to ask yourself if you feel you are not able to influence. Connecting with people helps you relate to them. Its not just a talk its about putting in that extra effort, demonstrating that you are genuinely interested and to convey its more about the other person and not you. Get over yourself. Compliment, look for ways to add value. Let people know that you are happy and excited to be with them. Make them feel and know they matter and they add value to you too.
When people take action, they do so for their reasons, not yours.  Connecting begins when the other person feels valued.  Listen to them. Find out what they value. Share your values that are similar to theirs. Build your relationship on common values. 
Be charismatic, be the one who instantly make people feel important, feel special, feel better about themselves—be the kind of people everyone wants to be around...and wants to be.
Here are few tips:
1. Listen way more than talk: Ask questions, maintain eye contact, smile and respond non-verbally too.That's all it takes to show the other person they're important. Listening shows you care. A person who cares will listen to you, because your opinions matter to them. Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice, because when you offer advice in most cases you make the conversation about you, not them.
2.You can’t give what you don't have : If you want to be a people’s person and if you want people to identify with you, it's better to talk about your failures rather than successes. Be humble. Admit your mistakes. Be the cautionary tale. And laugh at yourself. People won't laugh at you. People will laugh laugh with you. They’ll love you better for it and would want to be around you a lot more.
3. Look for the common ground: Know your audience. This requires understanding others. Its important for finding common ground to let others in on what you believe and feel. We need to be there where they are and see from their point of view. Travel to their world mentally. See their perspective before asking them to see from your perspective. Use your stories once you know theirs.
4. Connect Beyond words Your body language says it all. Every words , every message that you convey has to have a bit of you, your emotion, your feeling. You need to connect visually, emotionally along with verbally to leave an impact.
When you speak to an audience, expand your expressive self, smile, walk with a sense of purpose. Keep your body language open. Speak out of your experience, relate your stories. People will remember how you made them feel. Convey your own confidence in them.
Have the energy of a giver. Speak with love, grace, gratitude, compassion, and passion. That is how you will reach their hearts.The larger the crowd, the more energy you must provide in the form of passion and love and believing in people.
5. Keep it simple : The aim is to bring clarity and not make it complex. People want to know the bottom line. Repeat what you want to convey. Say less and say it simply. Ask yourself, “Have I understood and related to the audience?” “Did I make a difference?” “Have you help them create a plan for themselves,?”
6. Live what you Communicate: Be what you convey. Let credibility be your currency. You must become the kind of person you would like to like and be with. Be enthusiastic as people respond it enthusiasm. Let people feel your passion which is a powerful tool to reach out . And passion comes from believing what you say, believing that it helped you change and believing that it will help others too. Encourage them to take action, that one step in the next 24 hrs that will start the change in them and get the ball rolling.
7. Shine the spotlight on others: No one receives enough praise. No one. tell people what they did well. Not only will people appreciate your praise, they'll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they're doing.
We all want to associate with happy, enthusiastic, fulfilled people. The words you choose can help other people feel better about themselves--and make you feel better about yourself, too!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

"Am I a Bad Parent?" How to Let Go of this Parenting Guilt

Many of us “parents” feel that we might be responsible for the bad behaviour of our kids,“the out of control situation” and feel guilty. It’s the worst feeling in the world.” Hold on, here’s the truth, you’re not supposed to know everything about being a parent—it’s a skill you have to learn, just like anything else. While there’s no one “right way” to parent, there are more effective ways to handle your child’s behaviour.

While coaching, having worked with some of the toughest, out of control adolescents imaginable, I really understand where people are coming from when they feel like a “bad parent”. The first step here is to understand that these feelings don't help anyone; they wont help you or your child. So lets get over that first. The question is not who’s fault it is, the question is, what can you do differently to to help you child change his behaviour.So give yourself a break from blame and guilt, and focus instead on what you can do to change the situation.

Old Habits Die Hard, When You Catch Yourself Taking on The Blame:
What should you do when you’re able to actually catch yourself in the moment feeling guilty or taking on blame for your child? 
First of all, congratulate yourself for the awareness, for being aware of what’s happening. The first real step toward change on your part is that awareness of what you’re doing. Any time you can catch yourself and count to five, you’re probably going to do something different than your first impulse. If you can, take a moment and write down the facts. Ask yourself the following questions:
1 What’s the situation? What actually happened?
2 What’s my first inclination based on those findings?
3 What could I do to be more effective?
Repeatedly  trying this out would give you a clarity of what are the situations and what are your reactions to it and once the realisation sets in change will follow.

“I feel so alone.” Is that the feeling you get often?
Often parents of defiant or acting-out kids become withdrawn and get this feeling of being alone. While staying away might protect parents and families from further outside shame and blame, but it does nothing to improve the internal feelings the parents have about their own blame and their own failure. 

In other words, this isolation really magnifies their feelings of failure. Instead reach out, as it helps to reduce the blame and failure that you might feel. One gets a better perspective and the realisation that you are not the only one, there are others out there who have a similar problem. Remember none of us knew how to parent when we had our children; we all learn as we go. 

Feeling blamed and feeling guilty prevents us from taking action; it keeps us stuck and feeling defeated. We keep getting into the endless loop of blame and shame and blurs our thoughts to focus on behavioural change. Blame and guilt creates a lot of wasted energy and feelings. The challenge here is to get beyond these emotions. 

Blame and guilt produce a lot of wasted energy and wasted feelings—the challenge is to get beyond these emotions. Your guilt usually has nothing to do with what’s going on with your child: his behaviour can very possibly be beyond your control. Instead of feeling guilty, what you need to do is to move forward and change what you’re doing.

The bottom line is that instead of feeling guilty or blaming yourself, what you need to do is move forward and change what you’re doing now. You may really need some additional help,Hire a coach who could help you empower yourself, to implement change. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Missing Out …

“Count your blessings and your problems….If your problems outnumber your blessings, Count Again…. Chances are the things that you take for granted were not added up…”
Every single day as I traveled to work, I noticed this man on the pavement. Days turned into months; months into a year.. winter, summer came by and then the rains, this man was seen there at the same location, as if nothing ever changed. It often got me thinking deeply about life and its ways and what it offers to each one of us. One day I finally stopped the car and sat with him on the pavement and got talking to him.This meeting lingered in my mind for long and today I am keying in to share my thoughts. 

We are  so often bombarded with motivation messages that admonish us: “Think Big”, “Dream big”, “Climb the ladder "...And do all this NOW
Does everyone reach that pinnacle of his or her life? Not everybody is meant to make it “big.” Not everybody has the ability to do multitasking all day long. Not everybody wants to have “a crazy, busy day”. Not everybody wants to devote their energy to dig the gold. We like to do a lot of things that have nothing to do with making it big or being on top. And that’s a good thing. Obviously, we can’t all be at the top. If this article is resonating with you, it’s time to make a shift in how you allocate your attention. Begin with enjoying the little things in life. This man sitting at the road side was a reminder to pause and enjoy the little things in life. He has no home but has a simple mat and a sheet to sleep on which he shares with two stray dogs that always wag their tails as he feeds them with whatever he eats and also offer them a cosy bed. 
 If we look around we can see how some people with so little in hand can adorn a million dollar smile as this old woman who sits whole day selling little things. Her smile captured my heart ! We can only bring real light to the lives of such people by including them in our plans for progress and prosperity. The fact that we can be comfortable shopping, spending, or earning huge salaries while so many families in our country make out a living on Rs. 20/- a day is the most disturbing thought. 

Try and  highlight the achievements of such people, whom we come in contact with each day. Write about them and their noble qualities in community journals and groups. The resulting tributes from the community can be collated and  handed over to the relevant person along with a certificate of appreciation from the community. This will go a long way to upgrade the market value of the underprivileged.They would thus gently, seamlessly get woven into the mainstream of our 'privileged' society.

I can't imagine only one person can do so, that too in today's milieu. So lets join hands and and let this not be a “a single day affair”, rather make a point to continue the habit through out the year. Let this be an ongoing thing!

Most of the time we tend to think of life nothing more than the passage of days, weeks, years and decades. But, in essence, life is made up of moments. so take a breather and think as you reflect on your day, what moments stand out for you? Is it the stress of trying to do it all? Is it the stuff that didn’t get done? Is it the disappointment in yourself for what you forgot to do or failed to do, or a gloomy feeling about how far you are from the top? If so, then people, it's time for you to pause, to make a shift. Each day, pay attention to at least one or two moments that worked out well for you.
 Don’t just shrug your shoulders and conclude that “it was just another day. Nothing worked out for me.” Even a bad experience has a valuable moment wrapped up inside, if only you‘re willing to dig deeper to discover it. 
The constant barrage to “DO more,” “GET more,” and “BE more” negates what you have done, what you have and who you are. In this competitive world of ours, often remind yourselves of what you have accomplished. And we always need to remind ourselves to be our best friend. 
Open up to experience these little moments of joy that life has to offer! When we practice greeting the world with awareness we begin to tune into things, little things, happening all around us. And we wonder….how many other miracles like this one are unfolding under our noses while we’re just too busy, too self-absorbed, too unaware too unaware to experience the niceties of life!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Humility in Leadership goes a long way..Lets Grow Humble leaders !

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less” -C. S. Lewis 

Aren’t leaders difficult to be around if they always have to be the perfect man around. Leadership is often thought or even taught that it requires a person to be very pushy, aggressive and  must stand out amongst any possible competition. If one can strip away the Mr know all attitude , pretension, and superiority, one can surely show the human side. The pursuit of perfection in fact can get in the way of developing the appropriate blend of humility and passion. But for too long, the dominant archetype of leadership have centred upon being a passionate leader—decisive, powerful, driven, self-assured, fearless, ruthless, risk-taking, and so on. What makes humility such an interesting and challenging topic in leadership is its seeming dichotomy with many of the more traditional “strong leader” characteristics stated above.

For leaders to develop to their full potential, there is a need to integrate humility with the more traditional leadership characteristics like charisma, drive, professional will, courage, and determination. It is precisely the co-existence of these two seemingly opposite characteristics that leaders must strive to achieve in order to develop their full potential for long-term leadership effectiveness.

Are you alarmed by the humility deficit in many leaders?  Are you in awe of the truly humble leaders who deflect the credit to others. I believe it requires humility to truly be a great leader. 

So Is humility teachable?  
Apparently yes. 
Truly humble leaders don’t try to impress us with titles, credentials, or accomplishments.  They pull out the best in their team. As Max Brown put it “Humility isn’t timidity or weakness.  It is confidence, wisdom and grace combine with an acknowledgement that we are all imperfect.”

Route to Humility:
1. Build Faith: We need leaders who are confident enough to not need to talk about it rather show the confidence to believe in their team.
2. Encourage the Art of Great of questioning: Teach the power to pause & think.  Asking  questions like “What does your team think about this idea?” “Who did you involve in this decision?”

3.Let them step out of their Comfort Zone:  Give them a project in an area they know nothing about.  This experience could be really humbling. Put them in arenas where they must rely on their team or peers to be successful. 

4. Empower them to manage their blind spots: Hire a coach for them. Encourage your team to surface and work through their own conflicts & constrains. 

5. Model it for them

6. Add Humour to Work:If you can laugh at yourself it tends to minimize status distinctions between you and the employees.It has an equalising affect and makes a leader look just like everyone else. It is humanising and puts others at ease. It fosters an upbeat atmosphere that encourages interaction, brainstorming, and creative thinking. All that leads to greater productivity.

You could be a leader in corporate sector or heading a school or an entrepreneur, everywhere you need to be a leader who is approachable, who has a broader vision of the term leadership and lets others be leaders too. 

Its a win-win situation for a leader who leads with empathy, compassion, passion, humility & has the confidence to inculcate the leadership at
each level and create leaders ! 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Are Long Distance Relationship Tough? …life becomes no more than the song “Hey there Delilah !”

Are you in a relationship and your partner has to move to another city or country .Or, you fell in love with someone not in the same city as you are in. Welcome to the world of missing, and a lot of missing!
 Here are so many reasons why LDRs are mostly cringed upon.

The Incessant Missing
There is no cure to this -_- You’ll always miss your partner no matter how much time you guys spend on Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp.

Time Zones Are Hard to handle
Say hello to being sleep deprived all the time! If your partner is in another time zone, both of you have to make adjustments to sleep patterns to talk to each other and stay in touch.

You are in love with your Gadgets
Pretty much. You’re either texting on your laptop, your phone, or you are on your web camera, your internet connection becomes your lifeline.

Dates Don’t Happen
Unless you’re the kind that is okay with having virtual dates – watching the same movie on respective laptops and sharing comments via texting, or being on phone while the movie runs. Even if you try and plan your sweet meets …they never seem to work out.

Feeling Alone at get-togethers
Because you are hundreds of miles away. Even if you go with your friends, sight of one couple holding hands is enough to trigger the waterworks. Every song being played reminds you of the love that flows.

The Wait kills
For them to come online, to see the screenshot you sent, to see the one-liner that you texted. The wait is on...

Trust issues Arise
Your relationship becomes a pot of fights, resentments and more if you guys have trust issues. Every new like on a new selfie triggers the Sherlock Holmes in you. Just because you are unable to meet may cause trust issues. 

Loneliness at Times of Need

Sometimes all you need is a hug, but no, you are unable to get one . Skype doesn’t let them touch you. You’ve to hug yourself to sleep, which is pretty sad if you are in a relationship. You got to do with virtual hugs ! 
Happy Valentine's Day to all ! 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Thought Loops....

Sometimes there is a story teller within us who keeps repeating the same old story. It seems like an old vinyl record that gets stuck and repeats the same thoughts over and over and we are in constant fear of something that we don't want in our lives.
We all go through this at time or the other. We lie awake night after night thinking of losing our someone special, or worrying about our children, our health or the finances & future. Instead of blocking these thoughts we keep bringing our focus on these thoughts and they engulf our peace & wellness.

The most troubling aspect of thought loops is the non-recognition of the happenings... our entry into the loop. The challenge being that these loops are embellished with strong emotions. Do the emotions trigger the loops, or the loops trigger the emotions? Are there any specific techniques to halt this endless repetitive cycle.
Halt. Think. Reflect.
Let go of fear today. Stop these thoughts.

Recognize the story that you’re telling yourself about each scenario. You stories are limiting beliefs that you create, repeat and live out day after day.

Stories like…

“I just can’t do that.”

“It will never work out for me."

“The cards are certainly stacked against me.”

“There’s not enough time.”

“I’m too young.”

“I’m too old.”

“I’m not smart enough.”

“It’s too late.”

“There's nothing for me.”

“Nobody loves me.”

These fear-based beliefs are false. They cause you to suffer.

Take a choice.

It's an empowering choice that will set you free.

Learn to recognize the storyteller in your head.  Are you willing? Willing to change the storyteller or do you want to be addicted to the old stories and the same drama of self-destruction?

When you change your story, you change your life. The beauty of your story is that you are the author. Give yourself permission to rewrite it.
Be the leader of your life !

Tell yourself the story that inspires you!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The tale of a Soldier's Wife : JAI HIND KI SENA 

I started my life as an infantry spouse way back in 1986. I was a young girl with a sparkle in my eyes and an enthusiasm of an adventurous life. Life seemed beautiful, to say the least. I looked forward to happy matrimony and togetherness. My husband was a commando instructor and I was a proud bride to see him creating more commandos.

The initial year passed by.. learning to cook and running the  house with a meagre salary. With little money in hand we still had friends coming over every few days for dinner. It was so much fun with same age group around and still remember the bike rides to Goa from Belgaum.

But an Infantry wife’s life is never so smooth …the tough days of Srilanka, Assam were frightful and I would wait for the postman to give me news of his well being.Those were the days when the postman had the power to cheer or sadden you up. He seemed to be the most sought after guy & the shrewd fellow knew it. The memories of Umroi Cantt are still so fresh in my mind when all the ladies got together in the 2IC’s house to get the phone call that would tell us ..ALL IS WELL! Our communication was dependent upon factors beyond our control, and even when it did happen, it was sometimes stale news. I can still feel the excitement and the disappointment each day brought us. 

It is amazing how the ladies kept each other’s morale high though each one was trying her best to keep the tears away. Life in the 'paltan' was full of fun because we had a wonderful crowd. Life was always so unpredictable. I still remember it was my anniversary and I had been preparing whole day for the party as  I was looking forward for everyone to come over in the evening. It was in the evening at 6 that I came to know the Unit was moving out. I recall the tears that wouldn't stop flowing. Poor hubby didn't know how to handle them. With time I learnt how to bravely face these sudden disappearing acts that my hubby did.

Today, after 28 years of married life, when I look back, I see the distance I have travelled. The best thing that ever happened to me was marrying an infantry officer and I am proud of him and our Paltan, 1/11GR which proudly carries the honour to be called Bravest of the Brave with officers like Major Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC & 2nd Lt Puneet Nath Dutt, Ashok Chakra. Frequent separations, challenges of single-handedly parenting and the learnings of life blossomed me from a simple girl to an efficient army wife.

Over the years, I have grown exponentially and a lot of credit goes to our infantry way of life. Moving from place to place, adjusting in all kinds of accommodations, managing school admissions, not being able to reach the near and dear ones when required etc made me strong. The comradeship of an infantry Battalion , the feeling of being in a home away from home, the strong bonds between the ladies, and of course, the growth that comes from a life lived to the fullest, can't be described in words, can only be felt.

Kids are the biggest beneficiaries of this nomadic life that we lead.  Moving from place to place, they learn the important skill of being able to adjust under all circumstances. Going to ten schools in twelve years makes them learn how to prove themselves time and again, not only to their teachers but also to themselves. Through the journey they make new friends and pick up the various cultures of India. And thats the reason we faujis have no one particular religion. We belong to India.

Working for Asha School came along the way and like a true army wife gave my 100% and was honoured with Army Commander's Commendation Card. An honour which is rarely conferred upon an army wife.

Today I am almost 52 but haven't lost the sparkle in my eyes, the energy in my walk and the zest to live a life with compassion, love & a never die spirit. Remembering the Martyrs on this Republic day, I am going for the flag hoisting with a plastered foot to be with the families of jawans. Thats the undying spirit of an Infantry wife. 
Thank you, Infantry.


Article in the news paper