Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections, Work

Stop..Observe..Shift..Move

Ever felt the awe on wondering how one had reached the end. Sometimes it’s so hard to grasp that one has finally checked off that “to-do” in our own list. Such were the feelings on nearing the finish of the present project. While the start and the journey through were something not to be experienced again by choice, the lessons learnt have not just changed the mind but moulded the perspective for the years ahead. The initial phase of the project was something akin to the experience of Edison and his light bulb; too many glitches and hang-ups on how to start off. In the end we had to break it down to many minor components and then tackle it down. Through all this was team-work, improvisation and plenty of re-dos. But the point was to stick on to it.

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

Many of us have gone through similar phases in some part of our lives. They were those days when one couldn’t earmark them as progressive days. But the reality was those were the rest days to regroup, re-focus and re-centre ourselves once again. Those gap days gave the energy to strive on. The change of thinking lay in not rushing off to mark each day as a failure or success, but to look at the bigger objective and target. Sometimes in our haste to reach tot he top, we forget that without the rest for the soul, the body nor the mind can’t move ahead.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

To regroup, sometimes we need to go back and re-trace our steps. Few may be wrong; but admitting them mayn’t be an easy task. For those moments let the feeling of “I’m always right” take a backseat. Being human, we all are prone to err. So it doesn’t really matter that one went wrong, rectification if feasible, is what makes a whole lot of difference. As long as one keeps the will strong, time would be an ally to the self. Take a moment, a deep breath and chin up. As always, be true to the self and move ahead. Eventually we’ll all reach there.

The Mountain

If the mountain seems too big today
then climb a hill instead;
If morning brings you sadness
it’s okay to stay in bed.
If the day ahead feels heavy and your plans feel like a curse,
There’s no shame in rearranging,
don’t make yourself feel worse.
If a shower stings like needles
and a bath feels like you’ll drown;
If you haven’t washed your hair for days,
don’t throw away your crown!
A day is not a lifetime.
A rest is not defeat.
Don’t think of it as failure,
Just a quiet, kind retreat.
It’s okay to take a moment
From an anxious, fractured mind.
The world will not stop turning
While you get realigned!
The mountain will still be there
When you want to try again
You can climb it in your own time,
Just love yourself till then!

Laura Ding-Edwards

Posted in Daily, Random Thoughts, Work

Need to Disconnect

While on the commute back home, after a necessary day of work from office, the traffic lights that go “red” are a welcome break. For that short break is the time for a quick look at the small screen and then switch the focus back on the road. Among the first few steps on stepping across the front door, is to ditch the phone along with the office folders on top of the shelf. This recent habit has paid dividends as far as getting the youngsters over their incessant and constant hungering for their time on the handheld screens of the present “mobile phones”.

Ironically the invention of the mobile phones was primarily to place a call when in motion, or simply put, the ease of access to a voice when on the move. Over the years, the technical point has developed to the ease of access to any information when on the move and not just as pones but as notepads and laptops as well. Though sometimes too much of activity and information can fry the grey cells. More of less, screen devices especially phones have become the “go=to” especially when bored.

“In his phone, Chase had found a place easier to exist in than inside his own skin. That was tragic, because inside the itchiness of our own skin is where we discover who we are. When we are bored, we ask ourselves: What do I want to do with myself?” Glennon Doyle, Untamed

No where in the books of development (at least not that I have read of), is it deemed necessary to keep children or anyone of us mentally occupied twenty-four seven. Sometimes it would be simply good to lie down and smell the grass in the garden. Or to close our eyes and drift to the quiet sounds of nature. Being still is what lets our imaginations grow and inner peace come out from within to the surface. Phones aren’t meant to keep us being busy, but to be connected to the others as and when needed. Regulating the time as per as requirement, is needed, especially as it sets the pattern for the young ones.

With the amount of online schooling, these screen-free moments are needed to bond with each other and to just find ourselves as well as to reconnect with those around us. Having being a part of both the eras, the generation with and without these “walking screens”, both are needed in optimal doses. Technology is ideal to be used in proportion. It was never meant to be antidote for the itchiness within. On the other hand, it is the “itchiness” that helps one to delve within and find their own path of self-discovery and creativity. The temporary respite for the itchiness, as offered by technology, is just that, temporary. Learning to address the restlessness with creativity is what makes us tick in the long run. So once in a while, it feels really good to switch off for a couple of hours each day. Oh the rest and respite of just being with ourselves, is worth it all.

Posted in Personal Musings, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World, Work

Stance on the Slant

Many of us or may a few, may have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by an unexpected turn of events. More than the “happy” feelings, there may have been the “feelings of doubt and uncertainty” that reigned high. It’s only in the aftermath, that one realizes that, it was those unexpected turns that brought out the best in us. Or it was the unexpected, that became our saving grace.

“You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side-bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. and if you don’t play you can’t win.” Judith McNaught

In retrospect, it all comes down to the attitude that we hold within us. The choice lies in either embracing the new, but a strong sense of grit, hope and faith, along with the willingness to take each day as it comes. As we do, one does get the blessing and a chance, to experience some of the best aspects and colours of life.

The point is to embrace these uncertain, unplanned turns and make them into some of the best outcomes. For all this and more, one needs to come out of the sidelines and wade in deep with all the senses in tune and intact. Then the journey will provide new insight into the perceived notions of the old. If so, then the surprise and brightness of the whole new vista awaits each of us.

“A group of prestigious university graduates came to visit their old professor. During the visit the conversation turned to work: graduates were complaining about countless difficulties and problems of life. After offering coffee to his guests, the professor went to the kitchen and came back with a coffee pot and a tray, filled with many different cups: porcelain, glass, plastic and crystalline. Some cups were simple, other ones – expensive.

When the graduates picked out the cups, the professor said:”Notice, how all the beautiful cups were picked out, and the simple and cheap ones were left. And although it seems normal for you – wanting only the best things for yourself, but that is the source of your problems and stress. You need to understand, that the cup doesn’t make the coffee better. Most of the time it’s only more expensive, but sometimes it is hiding what we are drinking. Actually, all that you wanted was only coffee, not the cup. But you consciously picked the best cups, and later watched what kind of cups others got.

And now think: life – is coffee, and job, money, position, society – are the cups. They are only instruments for maintenance and upkeep of life. The type of cup we have, doesn’t determine the quality of our life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cups, we forget to enjoy the taste of coffee. The happiest people are not those who have the best things, but those who enjoy life and get the most of it with what they have.”

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Work

Hazy, but in Form

The usual say, is that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Sadly no one ever mentions, how to get the going part. In short, where or how does the inspiration for the going strike. For now, the skies offer some comfort.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” Nido Qubein

Have you ever seen the shape of clouds ? They flit, they float, they reshape and they transform. The new game was a chance discovery by the kids. From heart shaped to fluffy shaped pillow like, or the wisps that looks like boots, the skies offer a break from the mundane and the lag of the present. The beauty of the endless forms of white scattered across the dusky or bright to dim skies, show one of the endless possibilities of the world.

“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.” Muhammad Ali

While nature has it’s own furies and wrath, the clouds in the skies offer a semblance of comfort in the tough moments. Each time one falls, look to the skies and the answer shall come to the self later. As for the cloudy and rainy days, the skies after may hold the rainbow in the vastness of own.

 

Still I Rise
BY MAYA ANGELOU
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994)

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World, Work

Simple, but Vital

While listening to the car radio the other day, the various anecdotes told and the different conversations provided plenty of food for thought. Interestingly the point that struck out sorely, is just to be silent enough to listen. For many of us, our entire work may be all about listening. From complaints to hearsay, to grievances to information, interaction always involves all these things. Yet what makes those simple interactions stay embedded in mind is the way one chooses to listen.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway

They are always different ways to lend a ear, but when lent with the entire mind and wholeheartedly gives a lease of fresh air to the speaker. Too many babble just results in an unfruitful rucks. when one learns to truly listen, the entity of empathy, genuine feeling of humaneness and a thread of trust or even hope, is brought out into the interaction. Those simple things do matter, for they are needed to make our life meaningful. As always, being silent to listen and help out if feasible, is indeed golden.

 

Vanilla Ice Cream that puzzled General motors’!!!!

An Interesting Story : Never underestimate your Clients’ Complaint, no matter how funny it might seem! This is a real story that happened between the customer of General Motors and its Customer-Care Executive. Please read on.

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:
‘This is the second time I have written to you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we’ve eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem.

You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds “What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?” The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway.

The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start. The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas uses, time to drive back and forth etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now, the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Eureka !!! Time was now the problem – not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer: “vapor lock”.

It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution, with cool thinking. Don’t just say it is ” IMPOSSIBLE” without putting a sincere effort. What really matters is your attitude and your perception.
Moral of the Story: “Try to Fix the Bug instead of making it as a known issue.”

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

Over-Turn

Whether it be work from home or not, breaks are always a must. Which is why there is always time for a “break”. There is something special about holding that warm cup. More than just a routine, it brings out a fresh perspective with each sip. Be it coffee or tea, herbal, green or black, with or without milk, each cup has something in it.

“There are mornings when everything brims with promise, even my empty cup.” Ted Kooser

Like the cups that hold within it, so do we people, hold something within each of us. Different situations may have different hues and flavours, but we do put something in it. Interestingly whatever these cups hold in them, do spill out. That cup can bring out a smile, or push one into sorrows. When a cup spills over, what is in it is what comes out. Knowing that, let’s try to put something worth, so that even though the cup may tip over, it brings a smile on the faces around us.

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee?
“Well because someone bumped into me, of course!”
*Wrong answer.*
You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.
Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.
*Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.*
Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.
*So we have to ask ourselves”what’s in my cup?”*
When life gets tough, what spills over?
Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?
Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?
You choose!
Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation for ourselves; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.
Source: Internet

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Stories Around the World, Work

Trace those Bytes

The ten minute coffee break during the morning office hours serves as an interesting session for not just coffee alone, but an interesting exchange of words or ideas, catching up with colleagues on non-office talk and intercepting snippets of information. Considering the latter, those bits of news may hold a ten-percent truth or just pure nonsense. Which is why, for any piece of information; print is the best. As far as the verbal pass-it-on goes, always consider the true source.

“The only thing more frustrating than slanderers is those foolish enough to listen to them.” Criss Jami

The thought to always trace the source of any news is important. As early as Aesop’s fables tell us, one’s character is defined by the daily lives they lead. Pole do change, the bad habits get thrown away for developing better ones but the essence of one stays almost the same or better if considering a positive change. Like if one knows that a colleague has the tendency to hype up things, take those details said at a lesser face value. Just like a wolf won’t eat any oats, know that the horse won’t eat red meat either. So for any source of news, look for the face and facts lest the one gets trapped in the mire of lies, confusion and errors. Knowing this and doing so, will help maintain their sanity especially when the news rendered is weird and disturbing. With this, office or even social life will definitely be handle-able during tired, dull or dreary days.

A tricky old wolf once entered a farm,
And seeing oats growing, he put on his charm,
So, calmly pretending that he meant no harm,
He spoke to a horse in his stall.
Sir Horse, I do hope you are comfortably fed,
But in case you are hungry and famished instead,
There are oats by the ton in one field, he said,
And I ate none so you’d have all.

Now the horse knew quite well that the wolf hated oats
And cared nothing for horses — or cattle or goats,
And in fact was well known for attacking their throats,
So he couldn’t resist ridicule:

Sir Wolf, he said, Don’t think me over-suspicious
Were I to suspect there was something malicious
In your lying claim you find oats delicious.
BEGONE! Do you think me a fool?

Aseop’s fable: (The Wolf Fails to Deceive the Horse)
MORAL: Before you believe anything, consider the source