Seth Godin (Google Seth’s Blog) once did this in one of his talks:
He asked the audience to raise their right hands. People followed. Then he asked them to raised their hands higher. Surprisingly, almost everyone could raise their hands slightly higher.
The act was now obvious. Everyone hesitates.
Some of us just hesitate more than others. In praising, in giving, in debating, in arguing, in taking, and even in loving. We have always been told to contain ourselves and not give away everything. That’s our conditioning.
This also applies to generosity. There’s a beautiful story about hesitating in giving.
“A prince wants to be known as generous, so the god Krishna decides to put him to the test: He creates two mountains of gold and tells the prince to give it all away in 24 hours. The prince begins to do so, parceling it out to people he thinks need it. But as the day ends he’s hardly made a dent in the mountains. So Krishna calls another prince and tells him he has just five minutes to give away the gold. This prince sees two people walking along, goes right over to them, and gives each a mountain. Just like that, the job is done.
The moral is unsettling, but simple: Don’t impose limits on your generosity.”
I am a big fan of Casey Neistat (YouTube in case you don’t know him). He said, in an interview:
“You realize that you will never be the best-looking person in the room. You’ll never be the smartest person in the room. You’ll never be the most educated, the most well-versed. You can never compete on those levels. But what you can always compete on, the true egalitarian aspect to success is hard work. You can always work harder than the next guy.”
Some people may appear that they were born with a specific talent. Or they might happen to be born with certain privileges. It is not their fault. But, in case you have nothing of that sort, you can still have the full ability to try harder. And harder. And harder.
The Only Problem with Rajma Chawal is that we cannot have it every day. We cannot have the best every day. Life is like that. Sometimes, all we can get our hands on is the dreaded Lauki (Bottle Gourd), but we still need to carry on.
Mark Twain said,
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
It is another thing that David Blaine took it literally without any pain but Twain is actually making sense here. Maybe when you start a week, all charged up and ready to rumble and then Monday hits you and throws you off the tracks. Then the first thought which comes in mind is that if the start of the week is bad, the week is going to get worse. But days don’t have a memory of their own. Remember, you had New Year Resolutions for 2020 too! We have to move on.
You might have had your day, week, or even your year at one particular time but then there will be another day that is not yours. But carry on as another day is right around the corner. There will be another Rajma Chawal Day soon.
P.S.: When is the Government bringing a bill to make Rajma Chawal India’s National Dish? It will pass with my voice vote for sure. *burp*
I have taken over as the President of my organization’s Toastmasters Club. Again. Below is my presidential address of acceptance. You may read it for some motivation. Enjoy!
Recently, I happened to watch a movie called “The Founder”. It was about a businessman called Ray Kroc, who was the chairman of the McDonald’s corporation. Although the movie is called ‘The Founder’ as Ray Kroc liked himself to be called as ‘The Founder’ of the restaurant chain McDonald’s, he was not the actual founder. He used to be Milk-shake maker salesman. He used to sell these machines door to door with mediocre success. By chance when he saw the 1st McDonald’s restaurant, he was amazed. He was super-impressed with the efficiency of the place, he had an epiphany. He quickly developed an idea. What he did was to show and convince the actual founders of McDonald’s, 2 brothers named Richard and Maurice McDonald, that what they could be. He worked diligently hard on the franchise model and made McDonald’s a household name throughout the world. He wasn’t the original founder, but he adopted the brand and made it so successful.
There was one very important line in that movie which Ray Kroc often used to say to himself, and I quote:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing’s more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius won’t. Unrecognized genius is practically a cliche. Education won’t. Why the world is full of educated fools.
Persistence and determination alone are all powerful.”
I strongly believe in the concept of Persistence being the only difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. The never say die, winners never quit, quitters never win attitude, is the only way to be successful.
Coming back to our club, Toastmasters wasn’t founded by us. Neither this Club was founded by us. At least most of us sitting here. But in Trailblazers Toastmasters Club, we found an opportunity. When we joined the club we found this an opportunity to not only to become better communicators and better leaders but also, an opportunity to make difference in each other’s lives. Of course, there were and there will be numerous ups and downs. But together, we will persist and overcome all the challenges.
Now, please note, this is very important and might sound harsh. While I certainly do accept the responsibility and I will try my best to fulfill this position. I have to say this:
In our club, there lies a lot of potential. Each and every member present here has a lot of hidden talent. But most members suffer from a problem which can be summed by just one word: Hesitation. We hesitate. We need some push. Some external stimuli. Some catalyst. Some trigger.
It might sound totally weird but instead, what I am telling you is to assume that you have no President and no officers. Still, since you are paying money to Toastmasters, you have to run the club yourself. You have to volunteer for roles, you have to fill in for back-out, you have to spend time in helping others by being the timer, the ah-counter, and you have to represent your club everywhere else. We are totally open to all the new ideas. We encourage you to come up on the stage and bring out whatever talents you have. Just remember, the Trailblazers Toastmasters Club, should be a Trailblazer where members have full freedom to do whatever want to achieve their goals.
You, yourself, have to keep the club running. All Officers have an equally important job as yours and they have the same 24 hours as you have. We all know ours is a corporate club. We have to make the best of what we have in our hands.
Can we do it? Can we do it? Can we do it?
Having said that I would like to say that the set of officers we have had in the past term tried their best and they were indeed successful in achieving a lot. I would like to thank and congratulate the past term of officers, who did a fabulous job and took the club to greater heights.
<I thanked all the officers here>
Last but not least, fellow Trailblazers, a leader is nothing but a contributor with a fancy title. I would like to thank you all for trusting me, once again. I can summarise my way of contribution by stating just 3 things:
Doing > Planning > Sitting idle and let things happen to you.
I am pretty sure, all of you will help me and each other and will work towards our common goals. There is a lot of potential in all of us. It might not always be in speaking, but in so many other aspects. Look at the things, you do best and use that to be the best.
Remember, if you keep at it, you will do it. Persistence is the only way to succeed. All the best to all of you! Thank you!
Tools of Titans is basically the book format of some of his podcasts, The Time Ferris Show in which he interviewed some popular figures and divided them into 3 categories:
For example, in Healthy section, you will find Triple H, in Wealthy section, you will find Peter Thiel, and in Wise section, you will find Malcolm Gladwell.
To be honest, and also very clearly described in the foreword and beginning of the book, this is not a usual self-help book. This is rather a collection of interviews which needn’t be read from First Page to Last Page like a normal book. One is free to select an individual and read their discussion with Tim Ferris. After/during these interviews, Tim puts his own take on the answers given by the people who are very successful in their respective fields. The question ranges from how does one define success, to what were their best shopped item which costed 100$ or less.
Now, the book is plethora of tips and tricks which the mentioned people have used as their rituals and habits which make them the people they are. If you like a certain celebrity like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can directly jump to his interview and read about his journey from Alps to being the Governor of california while earning millions of dollars even before he became famous. You can read how Casey Neistat‘s day looked like when he began his Daily Vlogging. You can read about how James Altucher dealt with multiple failures before he became successful.
Some of the people in the books were pretty well knowns. However, some I got to know only while reading them as most of them are popular in US only (I am not living under a rock but not everyone can know about everyone, right? Ask Maria Sharapova) and then there were some voila moments when I read and realized ‘Oh, so this was the person who did that!’.
After reading this, apart from many tips received, the 2 tips which stand out the most are:
Meditate, as much as you can, whenever you can, in whichever way you can.
Journal, something, somehow, as much as you can, whenever you can, in whichever way you can.
These mean that most of the famous celebrities who have made something of their own in their lives live by one rule, Discipline.
Very recently, Tim has come up with another book, which is kind of sequel to this book called as Tribe of Mentors. For now, if you are interested in knowing about the tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers, check out the below link.
In a country like India, where even getting basic amenities is a struggle, there are only 2 things a Soldier, who defends us 24/7, needs.
Just 2 things. Optimism and Motivation.
They need to have that optimism, that whatever their job requires them to do, they should do that with best of their abilities. Their optimism helps them to do the job to fulfill some cause. The cause being safety and well-being of fellow citizens. They are hopeful that when they accomplish their jobs, someone somewhere would feel safer. Someone somewhere would have a place to stay. Someone somewhere would have something to eat. They are hopeful that their effort won’t go in vain. They are hopeful that even if their individual effort isn’t recognized, their leader, their team, their battalion or their country would get something better. Nobody wants to go to war. Nobody signs up with Army to kill someone else in order to win a war. They sign up to defend. But if someone has decided to get signed up, they’re hopeful that their in-charges would attempt their best to avoid confrontation directly or indirectly with another soldier who is hopeful for someone else, just like they are.
Another thing they need is motivation. They don’t get best treatment when it comes to place to stay, climate to work under, infrastructure to work with and even the equipment to work on. So they survive with just motivation. They are able to do what they are supposed to do, just because they have got a motivation. Their fellow soldiers motivate them. Their leader has motivated them. Their families have motivated them. Their country has motivated them*.
There was a news recently of Indian army’s attempt to strike strategically some areas in the Kashmir which is under Pakistan’s occupation. Their sole motive was to destroy the camps which harbor people who keep sending infiltrators and terrorists to the Indian sides and kill innocents. Army claimed that they achieved their mission successfully and in a way, took revenge of the Uri attacks and also send a signal to the terrorists that enough is enough.
How they did it, when they did it and did they do it actually, is immaterial and for everyone’s safety, should be, and is classified. If you don’t believe in it, your wish. You want to dance and celebrate it, your wish.
Now suppose you don’t believe it, which is fine, but if you question the integrity of the system again and again, what is the message are you sending to the world? That you don’t trust your army? Sure you can hate the government and their policies. But by raising doubts about the very statement which CANNOT be made public because it is a question of severe intelligence compromise, don’t you think you should take a step back? Don’t you think that by discussing the same thing over and over again, on news, on tv, you are not shaking the 2 very beliefs the soldier needs to be able to do their job properly? Don’t you think that more you do this, more the soldier would be forced to think that whatever they do, gets no appreciation, neither monetary, nor financially, so why should they do it honestly in the first place? You can say whatever you want, but isn’t this a basic fundamental duty to not meddle with lives of others, specially those who need soldiers and armies when basically every neighborhood country is at logger heads with us?
Don’t stoop so low, just to satisfy your own ego that you take away the only 2 things a soldier needs to be a soldier: Optimism and Motivation.
Sine wave, would be apt to describe the day I had today. With only 1 cycle though. It was a day one should be blogging about because if we are looking for a reason to blog in this attention span absent world, this must be one of the reasons.
It started off badly with huge traffic on the way to office which could make anyone’s mood downbeat and morale absent. I somehow reached office in 1.5 hours battling a gruelling volume of cars, bikes, buses and truck on the road which usually takes me 25–30 minutes.
Anyways, today was a big day for me, as I had to give my Speech 3 of the Competent Communication manual of the Toastmasters Club. Since I joined the Toastmasters Club, I felt like I had found my calling. I am a terrible public speaker and speaker in general (as on the date of the writing of this blog). I want to and I HAVE TO get better at it. There have been so many things in the past which I gave up. This one I don’t want to give up on. I don’t fear the stage. I just mess up on it. Just that when I reach the stage and come down from it, I always end up feeling that I should have done this and I should have done that. And I could have been far far better than what I eventually ended up with. To top that, I speak very fast naturally. And this in turn makes other feel that I am nervous (which I do get but who doesn’t) and that I am skipping words. Which is mostly true. So the feedback I have received till now in my previous speeches is to slow down.
So in order to get inspired and learn the tips and tricks of the game, I started watching YouTube videos of other clubs. And I have visited a community club nearby to see how they do that. And believe me, I have been ODing over YouTube lately. One speaker I would like to mention is Dr. Rajdeep Manwani. I watched couple of his videos and was amazed to see the brilliance and on the feet thinking of his while delivering any speech, even if it was impromptu. And the sense of humor was spellbinding for me. No wonder, he won so many awards in the District Championships. So in last few days, I ended up binging his youtube videos (mostly from Bangalore Toastmasters Club weekly meetings). I watched all his videos and rewatched them as they were not only entertaining, but highly inspiring. I wished if I could meet him someday, I would go gaga over him.
So in today’s speech, I bombed. I spoke so fast, that I forgot many things from my speech. I had to use 3 slides of MS PowerPoint and mid-way during the speech, the projector wire got disconnected which made me forget even more. This speech I had practiced at least 15–20 times. It had become etched on my memory but due to the nervousness and fast delivery, I screwed. This made me touch the trough of the sine wave of the day. I felt really bad, with myself. But, since I have decided not to give up, I am going to attempt the same speech again next week. But still I kept feeling bad till the time I reached home.
I reached home by 5 PM. And I had 2 chocolates, to celebrate my messed up day, as goes the tradition. I was checking Facebook and saw that today Bangalore Toastmasters Club and Beechi Club had linkers meet. And they had a speaker from Singapore, Hitesh Ramchandani and speeches from Dr. Rajdeep Manwani and their own club members.
Meeting was scheduled from 6.30 PM at Catholic Club, Bangalore which is 8.5 KM from my place. I was low. Normally, thanks to my never say no to procrastination attitude, I would have given it a pass. But, I registered for the event and eventually went to attend the meeting.
There, I had the privilege to hear Dr. Rajdeep Manwani live. And it was his CC10 (Which he was attempting 2nd time, after completing everything Toastmasters could offer). And it was brilliant and overwhelmingly inspiring. I am a person who is the last person to ever listen or read anything remotely inspiring. So when I am saying it was, believe me. To top that, Hitesh Ramchandani (motivational speaker who is suffering from Cerebral Palsy) gave such a superb speech that those who haven’t heard, are probably unlucky. I mean, his and Rajdeep’s speech were like eye openers for everyone who takes life for granted and give up easily. Like me.
Their speeches were so so brilliant, that I kept on grinning and laughing during their speeches and hoping that I won’t cry because that would be very very awkward. I got so much inspired that if you touch me now, I might give sparks and generate electricity. After that, I met Dr. Rajdeep and shook his hands. And that made me really really happy. Some people have no idea, what their actions inspire others to do and bring change in their lives.
I hope, I would make use of the inspiration and give my next speech in a much better way, that everyone would enjoy watching and listening to it. Sigh.