STOP and be Happy, Peaceful & Useful

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I’m surprised & thrilled to see my mother-in-law sincerely following all the guidelines recommended by her doctor in the last 15 days so perfectly after the recent cataract surgery(due to chronic diabetes).

She is very particular on the timings of the eye drops (approx 5 times a day) to be administered.

She is very meticulous in not watching TV(strict instruction from the doctor) and thereby missing all her favourite serials/soaps & game shows. She hasn’t watched even a minute for the last 15 days. No crying, No worrying, No violence fed into her mind for the past 15 days through the idiot box. Her body, mind, emotions & life energies are perfectly stable that you can see her happiness flowing all over the place.

Do you know, that if you stop watching TV, you can become happy?

Many will not agree onto this point. Everyone is craving for the TV serials and the game shows. Why?

The mind is so conditioned and glued to the TV right from our early childhood(maybe from 3 months onwards) and the rich visuals and emotions grabs all our attention. Just do a rough math here, watching 30 minutes a day for the past 10 years means approximately 4562 hours of TV watching. If you observe this phenomenon keenly, many of your belief systems you are unconsciously holding had been conditioned by this box which is continuously streaming visuals that gets deeply embedded into your sub-conscious mind.

Naturally, mind is a negative instrument designed to take care of our survival. That’s why, it becomes very easy for us to get hooked to negative information, opinions, emotions etc. You have to use your will-power to exercise your choice of positivism & optimism. A balanced mind will not blame media, because negativity sells, they are in business.

I haven’t watched TV for almost an year now. I’m happy, peaceful & useful to others. Apart from being happy, there are numerous other benefits of not watching TV. By the way, I haven’t recharged my DTH cable service for more than a year and saved lots of money too.

Some benefits of not watching TV are:

1. More relaxed, calm & peaceful living
2. Better clarity in thinking
3. More energy levels
4. Become more emotionally stable
5. More time to spend with your children
6. Become more aware of yourself & others
7. Connect with real people & maybe develop business/relationships
8. Lots of time to read ( 30 minutes of reading, you would have completed more that 200 books in your core area in 10 year, which puts you in a position of mastery over others)
9. Time to explore outdoors & nature
10. Do some active exercise & become fit and healthy
11. Spend quality time with your partner and know each other better
12. Give time to help others(charity, religious or social activities)
13. Last but not the least, saves lots of money

and many many more benefits.

Every human being knows that daily walking, little bit exercise, eating healthy food is important and good for health. But they do not practice it unless they are inflicted upon a huge pain like an heart-attack, life threating trauma or a situation etc. It should pain them physically, mentally or emotionally. Then they are forced to change by nature.

Knowing this principle, smart people have always learned to lower their threshold of the pain themselves and change. Otherwise ,they know, life will force them to change.
What do you want to choose? Your own intelligent way or a life threatening way like my mother-in-law.

Choice is yours! STOP watching TV & be happy, peaceful & useful.

Now, are you ready to take Action!

Always take baby steps. Start with just one day. Maybe, today or tomorrow. If you were successful, give yourself a small self-appreciation(anything which you like). Then experiment with yourself on Day 2. If you fail in this experiment, it is OK. There are no failure, only feedback or results. Start the experiment next day. Just that simple!

Practicing Stillness – Antidote for Stress

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Many think stillness is regarded as lazy, as being stuck in inaction, as a negative.

Actually, It’s not. It’s an action, and a powerful one.

What’s more, it can change your day, and in doing so change your life.

You’re in the middle of a high tension day, completely surrounded by work and meetings and emails and interruptions, or hassled by kids and phone calls and domestic errands and chores.

You pause. Stay still for a minute, and breathe. You close your eyes, and find a stillness within yourself. This stillness spreads to the rest of your body, and to your mind. It calms you, centers you, focuses you on what you’re doing right now, not on all you have to do and all that has happened.

The stillness becomes a powerful transformative action.

Stillness can be a powerful answer to the noise of others. It can be a way to push back against the buzz of the world, to take control. It can remind you of what’s important.

How to Practice
Stillness, surprisingly, doesn’t come naturally to many people. So practice.

1. Start your day in stillness. Whether it’s sitting with a cup of coffee as the world awakes, or sitting on a pillow and focusing on your breath, stillness is a powerful way to start your day. It sets the tone for things to come. Even 5-10 minutes is great.

2. Take regular stillness breaks. Every hour, set an alarm on your computer or phone to go off. Think of it as a bell that rings, reminding you to be still for a minute. During this minute, focus first on your breathing, to bring yourself into the present. Let the worries of the world around you melt away — all that is left is your breath. And then let your focus expand beyond your breath to your other senses, one at a time.

3. When chaos roars, pause. In the middle of a crisis or a noisy day, stop. Be still. Take a deep breath, and focus on that breath coming in, and going out. When the breath flows in mentally say “S0” & when the breath flows out, mentally say “Ham”. Practice this technique for the next 7 breaths and find your inner stillness and then let your next action come from that stillness. Focus on that next action only.

Let stillness become your most powerful action. It could change your life.

What Happy People do

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What Happy People do!

1) Set SMARTER goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic time bound, enjoyable & record) and review them on a regular basis (i.e. daily)
 
2) Eat well and exercise regularly – Maintain same time
 
3) Ensure they get enough sleep and rest
 
4) Meditate often and enjoy “wakefulness”
 
5) Think optimistically
 
6) Build positive relationships
 
7) Are likeable and nice
 
8) Find ways to utilise their strengths every single day
 
9) Set themselves challenges
 
10)Vary their routines
 
11) Practice appreciation and gratitude
 
12) Have fun!
 
Pursuit of Happiness: True research
 
In Getting Rich Your Own Way, Srully Blotnick points to a study in which 1,500 young people were divided into two groups. Group A consisted of people who were embarking on a career for the money. Group B consisted of people who chose their career because that’s what they loved to do. The number of people in Group A outnumbered the people in Group B by a margin of 5-1. Researchers followed these two groups for 20 years. At the end of 20 years, 101 of 1,500 participants were millionaires. However, the amazing thing is that all but one of the millionaires came from Group B. Only 1 out of 1,250 people from Group A became wealthy, even though all of them made money pursuing their primary career objective. Yet 100 of the 250 from Group B became wealthy by simply pursuing what made them happy.

How to create a new Habit – Step by Step Plan

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  1. Come up with a plan. Take 1 week to analyze your behaviors, pick a trigger, plan out how you’ll overcome your obstacles, pick the time of day you’ll implement habit, plan who your support network will be, and decide what your motivations are. 
  2. Pick only ONE small, positive habit — just 5 minutes to start with. You will expand it later, but start as small as possible. This is extremely important. If you can do the first week without missing a day, you can increase it to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes the third week, etc.
  3. Mentally Rehearse your positive habit – Mind cannot be controlled. It has to be tricked. You have to mentally rehearse the new habit once you get up in the morning. If possible, more the mental rehearsal, more is the success.
  4. Do the habit immediately after the next 4-6 weeks. Build in reminders. Try never to skip it. The more consistent you are, the stronger the habit.
  5. Build in positive feedback . Focus on enjoyment, make it a game, create competition, do it with a partner or group if possible. 
  6. Report daily to a social group (blog, Twitter, Facebook, email, or friends at work), use them for support when things get difficult. When you feel like not doing the habit, have one or more people you can call on for help.
  7. Test, Adjust, Iterate Immediately . When you start a habit change, you are testing an approach, and it is very possible it will fail … this is good information, and you should use it to adjust your approach, and retry as soon as possible.

2012 Activities with my Kids – 85 ways to have fun with your kids for FREE/Cheap

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I thought it would be useful to list some ways to have fun with your kids without spending a lot of money. These are some activities which i had personally participated/played/worked out with my two daughters( 10 yrs and 6 yrs)

  1. Write stories together.
  2. Play soccer/football.
  3. Paint or draw together.
  4. Create a fort in your living room out of blankets or cardboard boxes.
  5. Go on a hike or trek
  6. Have a dinner picnic at a park or beach or even your terrace.
  7. Play board games.
  8. Get up early, cut vegetables & pack breakfast
  9. Go to a museum.
  10. Go to a playground.
  11. Play hide-and-seek.
  12. Have a pillow fight.
  13. Ride bikes/cycles
  14. Build sandcastles in the beach
  15. Rent/buy a cartoon dvd and watch together.
  16. Tell stories.
  17. Have a scavenger hunt.
  18. Make puzzles/sudoku for each other to solve.
  19. Play card games.
  20. Garden together.
  21. Make sandwiches together.
  22. Go to the zoo.
  23. Go to the library.
  24. Create/Help in working on a blog together.
  25. Create a scrapbook.
  26. Make a movie using a digital camera and computer.
  27. Learn to play music.
  28. Fingerpaint/Palm painting
  29. Make play dough from scratch.
  30. Make lemonade, relax and enjoy.
  31. Go to a pool.
  32. Go to a public place, people watch, and make up imaginary stories about people.
  33. Visit family.
  34. Write letters to family.
  35. Paint or decorate a room.
  36. Make milkshakes.
  37. Create a treasure hunt for them (leaving clues around the house).
  38. Decorate/Embroidery work for a pair of jeans.
  39. Do a science experiment.
  40. Play games online.
  41. Teach them to play chess.
  42. Learn magic tricks.
  43. Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member.
  44. Fly kites.
  45. Volunteer.
  46. Donate stuff to charity.
  47. Compete for a running race together
  48. Play music and dance crazy.
  49. Write and produce a play (to perform before other family members).
  50. Have a water gun fight.
  51. Have a sword-fight (sword made of cardboard).
  52. Explore your garden and look for insects.
  53. Explore your street and collect rocks & pebbles
  54. Go for a walk and explore the neighborhood.
  55. Go jogging/walking together.
  56. Take pictures of nature.
  57. Make up funny questions about each other.
  58. Clean the house together
  59. Do shadow puppets.
  60. Make a comic book/booklet(my daughter love to do this)
  61. Play in the rain.(don’t complain to me on the cold later)
  62. Blow bubbles.
  63. Take turns saying tongue twisters.
  64. Sing songs.
  65. Tell ghost stories in the dark with a flashlight.
  66. Build stuff with Legos/building blocks
  67. Play computer games together.
  68. Build paper rockets and play with them
  69. Bake a cake and cut them for birthdays/special occasion/no occasion
  70. Arm-wrestle, or have a tickle fight.
  71. Learn and tell each other jokes.
  72. Walk barefoot in the grass and pick flowers.
  73. Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest.
  74. Prank call their grandparents, using disguised, humorous voices.
  75. Send a mail and ask them to reply back to you.
  76. Help them to create a story in power-point.
  77. Play Jenga blocks.
  78. Create stories together with each contributing only one line at a time.
  79. Chanting/Bhajans together.
  80. Take them to your office event/programs.
  81. Help/Contribute for school project work.
  82. Make Goal Charts together.
  83. Go for a ride in bike.
  84. Go to parlour & Eat Ice-cream together.
  85. Go to the roof-top terrace and talk about sky, stars & moon.

30 Challenges for 30 Days

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Are you ready for a 30 day challenge with me.

We all know that it takes about 30 days to form a habit. The starting phase is the hardest, especially if you want to change an old habit into a new one. This is why giving yourself a challenge for a minimum of 30 days is a great way to improve all facets of your life. Determination and Cultivation is the key to change old habits and yes, it is a gift and a choice. So, take a moment to think ‘Who do I want to be in 5 years?’ What kind of habits would you like to have? You better start now if you want your new habits to influence your lifestyle and consequently your life!

Now pick one or more challenges and stick with them! Keep a log, challenge your friends and stay inspired! Be cautioned, picking too many challenges at the same time can easily result in a failure of all of them.

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1)  Write a “I Like this about you” note/text/email each day for someone (colleagues, family members or friends)

2)  Talk to one stranger each day 

3)  Take one picture each day 

4)  Re-evaluate one long-held belief each day

5)  Take a 30 minute walk each day 

6)  Take a moment each day to practice gratitude, compassion and self-love

7) Try a new recipe each day 

8)  Refrain from any addictive substance, coffee, cigarette or alcohol for 30 days in a row! 

9) Write a 30,000 word novel/non-fiction in 30 days (1000 words a day )

10) Get up 30 minutes early each day

11) Watch an inspiring documentary each day (YouTube)

12)  Read one chapter each day from a self-development book

13) Study a topic you’d like to master each day 

14) Walk/Drive/Run a new route to work/home each day 

15) Plan your next day tonight itself and prioritize your list

16) Media-fast for 30 days (No TV or newspaper)

17) Pick one bad habit you already have and ditch it for 30 days 

18) Practice breathing exercise for ten minutes each day 

19) Take a cold shower each day

20) Exhibit one random act of kindness each day

21) Practice a random skill everyday 

22) Take the stairs every chance you get 

23) Don’t assume or judge for an entire day

24) Keep a journal 

25) Don’t lie for 30 days 

26) Clean any one portion of your house/garage each day 

27) Do something that scares you every day

28) Don’t complain for an entire day

29) Meditate each day 

30) Practice Silence for 1 hour each day