Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Discover Your Operating Zone ?


Remember playing a juggler? The times when “busyness” becomes second nature to us and we assume we can manage multiple things together. This “fool’s paradise” is very short-lived and brings us the realization that “Work More- Achieve More” mantra is misleading and applying it only results in “Worked Many – Achieved None”. The ramification of this “juggling act” that we perform at times, impacts our overall productivity and our efficiency takes a hit.


During these times of utter distraction, achieving “flow” i.e. , state of being fully immersed in the task,  does seem quite daunting. The mere realization that “we are most productive when we work in our most resourceful state” could help us establish the context based on the right premise and makes this task achievable. The first step towards achieving this improbable but not impossible task of “flow” is to understand our “Operating Zone”. 



The "Creative Zone" is the most resourceful state and should be the "desired state" for anyone wanting to be more productive in life.  This zone puts us in a "flow" mode and we tend to generate lots of ideas and innovation.

The "Neutral Zone" is the transitionary stage where the realisation to move out of the status quo happens and mental preparation for the Creative zone happens.

The "Comfort Zone" is where no "need" occurs other than to be where we are.

 So, to move ahead and build forward momentum, it's essential to identify our "operating zone" and then take appropriate action for our growth. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

RAS - The Genie Inside Us !


Is there a way to turn all our dreams into reality?

Possibly yes, but only when we
  • get hold of a magic wand and "ABRACADABRA" our way to success
                                             OR
  • call to our service Aladdin's Genie

The possibility of us finding a magic wand or Alladin’s lamp is next to impossible but lo, there exist a genie inside each one of us which when invoked has the power to transform all our dreams into reality and put us on path to goal accomplishment.        

This genie is very much an integral part of our physical self, our identity and is known as RAS (Reticular Activating System). Remember the coincidences that appear in our life and leave us in wonderment when what we seek appears all around us (whether it’s a new car we have been longing for or  a new holiday destination we have been exploring or anything else that is being sought by us). For a moment, it appears as if some supernatural power is at play but in real all that’s happening around us is a manifestation of the genie called RAS. Rather than rubbing of the lamp, this genie (RAS) just needs to be fed with our goals, things we intend to achieve in life.

RAS (Reticular Activating System) is a network of neurons located in the brain stem. It connects with other parts of the brain and to the spinal cord. In addition to being responsible for sleep, wakefulness and breathing, RAS is also responsible for many other functions like eating, elimination of boy waste and bringing things to our attention. Every moment, our brain is  bombarded with million of bits of information but only few thousand gets processed by it and what should get processed is determined by RAS.   

RAS  acts as a point of confluence where all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, value and external influences meet. Based on what is fed by us in our conscious mind (in the form of goals), RAS filters the incoming sensory inputs (except smell which goes directly into brain’s emotional area) and sends to the subconscious mind only the information that aligns with our goals and focus. This is how coincidences occur with us as our subconscious start seeking in the environment what we have established as intent in our conscious mind.

So, to invoke the genie inside us so that it fulfills all our dreams, all we need to do is to establish goals effectively by writing them down. It’s only when the genie(RAS) sees the real intent in our goals that it starts weaving it’s magic in our life ! 

Monday, 14 August 2017

BUSYNESS - The Utopian Paradox


The Utopian Paradise of Productivity and Efficiency that we dream of in 21st Century is infact a Paradox built on the pretext of “Busyness”. The phenomenon of Busyness emanates from our desire and quest for “more”, at times even more than what we can manage or handle. The self-imposed demand to be the best and be “ahead of the pack” is further compounded by the plethora of information, knowledge and digital technologies that surround us.

We, the super species of 21st Century are smitten with the concept of “more” and bitten by the bug of “busyness”. We love to be always “busy” and wants lots on our plate, most of the times more than we can possibly manage or handle. Productivity and Efficiency provide the foundation for this Utopian world we dream about but if “multi-tasking” becomes the order of the day and being into “too many” becomes the success indicator, a status of achievement then there’s still a long way to go for us.

Being in the midst of information overload, clutter, unfinished tasks  gives us a false feeling of having achieved something but in reality there’s hardly any accomplishment. In the “shroud of pretence” that we create , productivity and efficiency gets overshadowed by our deep ingrained habit of pretence or showing off. This sets in a false belief of accomplishment where nothing much exist. All this is a sure shot way to leave us anxious, depressed and restless and that is detrimental to our overall wellbeing.

“Busyness” may seem overwhelming but few small steps could definitely help us move out from this trap and create the Utopia. Some of the steps are mentioned below:
  • Replace multi-tasking with single-tasking and focus on “one thing at a time”. This would enable us to put all our energy and undivided attention on the task at hand which will give us better results. 
  • Understand limitations of our brain, in terms of how much information it can process. This would help us understand our “stretch limits”.  
  • Limit our “digital engagement”
  • Create regular “mindful periods” in daily routine to reflect on our tasks and priorities

It’s time we realize that busyness is not helping us get  better at anything in our life. The action is plenty but accomplishment is nil or little. So, let’s evaluate whether we are affected by the “busyness” bug and do whatever it takes to become more productive in life!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Are You Living A "Subset of Life"?

If accomplishing Money, Fame and Power defines our success in life then why is it so that many of us still feel a certain hollowness/ vacuum inside us; a hollowness that prods us to reflect on self and
then ask many probing questions such as

" Is my life turning into a blob?"

"Why am i not satisfied with my life?"

"Why do i feel a body-mind-soul disconnect?"

"Why do i still desire more of what i already have (money, power)"?

"Why does internal happiness still elude me?"

"What is missing in my life?"

We may think we are treading a path and moving towards a destination but it's actually a directionless pursuit leading to a land of obsession and desire. All this self brooding converge towards a serious food for thought which is

"Am I living a subset of life?"

"Why don't all my accomplishments in life (money, fame and power) provide me with real joy, peace or satisfaction and merely add up (cumulatively) to only become a subset of my life?"

source:http://www.spyculture.com/tom-secker-ripple-effect/
The answer is revealing and requires a discerning insight into our approach towards life. The fact is
that we are focusing on high-end subsistence, thereby diluting the actual aim of our existence which is to live with purpose. That purpose gets clear to us the moment we check the ripple effect that our individual life generates. If the ripple effect is missing, the purpose is missing and it's only a self-centered life we are living by catering to our own needs.

The real joy and satisfaction in our life appears when the ripple effect generated by our actions positively impacts others and bring joy in their lives too. The moment the realization dawns on us that there is a life beyond our "personal self", that is when we start giving a purpose and meaning to our life and our existence. The transition from "ME" to "WE" is when the transformation occurs in us.

We don't really need a long checklist to identify whether we are living a "subset of life". The following pointers would act as a good reference
  • Do we have a bigger Purpose identified for our life beyond the high-end subsistence?
  • Whether all our actions and goals align with out purpose and mission
  • At night, when we retire for the day, do we sleep with satisfaction with a feeling that we spent our day well and contributed our best for a larger cause than just fulfilling our own desires and needs
  • At dawn, when we wake up, do we feel a surge of energy and excitement to live the day     
Let's make our existence count and move beyond mere subsistence. Let's create a Super Life by bringing Purpose and Mission in our existence !

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The 4 Cardinal "Cs" of Life !

A successful life is built upon layers of goals achieved by us. If we aim to accomplish all our goals in life then we need to ensure forward momentum in life. Every step we take should be progressive, thereby ensuring our growth. Challenges and Opportunities would never cease to crop up in our journey to success so we need to be well prepared to confront these challenges, address them appropriately and take advantage of these opportunities. One of the simple, easy and effective way to sustain our forward momentum in and progress in life is to harness the power of 4 Cs. The 4 Cs are simple elements which when adopted and mastered would not only put us in better control of our life but also propel us towards achieving greater heights in life. All that stands between us and success is a better understanding of these 4 Cs and their application in our lives. 

Let's explore these 4 essential building blocks of better life

The 4 Cs are - Choice, Change, Consequences and Correction. They are well connected and act as feeder to each other. Their convergence point is a point of guaranteed unlimited success. Let's understand what each of the 4 C stand for: 
  • Choice - When opportunity strikes, it's time to decide and choose. The power of choice is always within our control and our choice decides whether we move closer to our goal or away from it. What we choose is what we become.
  • Change - The process of change is always uncomfortable initially but the mere resolve to be ready for change/ transformation is the deciding factor. Our willingness or unwillingness to change (after weighing all pros and cons) determines whether stay put in our comfort zone and be a mediocre achiever or we move into our creative zone and live our best possible life
  • Consequences - Every choice that we make in our life has a flip side to it. Being wary of the unfavorable conditions and having a plan to deal with them put us in better control of those situations and our life.
  • Correction - Every step/ action towards our goal may highlight certain gaps that need to be plugged in to continue our forward movement. Our ability to gain insight into what holds us back and then doing the needful to mend it is what ensures our steady progress towards success.  
In a nutshell, the 4Cs mantra is 

"Choose to Change, anticipate the Consequences, be prepared to do the necessary Correction and then Carry on Creating an awesome life"

Monday, 26 June 2017

When Questions Become the Answers!

The Art of Self-Questioning 

Questioning has always been a powerful tool for humans to delve deep into our personality and gain insight and understanding of human behavior and growth. Socrates, the great philosopher used the power of questioning to great effect and demonstrated how effective questioning could yield the desirable results aligned well with our defined objectives.  “Socratic Questioning” is still used as a powerful technique for building critical thinking.

Life is a continuous pursuance of our dreams and desires with no in-built checks or auto-correction in place. To keep progressing in life, it’s essential that we regularly stop, step back, reflect, correct and then again move forward with better clarity and renewed energy.  There can’t be any better way for doing this than “Self-Questioning”.  When we perfect the art of “self-questioning”, our questions become the answers to whatever holds us back. Let’s dive a little into what makes the process of “self-questioning” more effective and useful

Why is Self-Questioning important?

Growth, Progression and Achievement are 3 cornerstone of a successful life. Questioning helps identify the strengths and barriers and the act of questioning to self creates alignment with our Purpose, Goals and Actions. From thereon, the self-questioning process helps us reflect, review, make necessary correction and restart.


Self-Questioning is the most important form of self-talk that we do. It establishes a connect with our inner self to bring out the powers and resources lying latent in us.

Framing Questions

When Question itself becomes the Answer, then it becomes crucial to develop a robust framework that generates the appropriate questions that we should be asking yourself. When indulging in self-questioning, we should frame questions starting with the following:
  •          Where do I stand now? (Status quo)
  •          What do I want to achieve in life? (Purpose and Goals)
  •          Why do I want to achieve the above Purpose and Goals? (Rationale)
  •          How do I plan to achieve your goals? (Strategy)
  •          (By) When do I want to achieve them? (Deadline)

To sum it up, a robust framework of self-questioning is built by seamlessly integrating self-coaching principles in the entire process!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

When Emotions play Dominoes


There are times in our life that we can recollect when we slumped from bad to worse or rose from good to better/ best. Those times and incidents not only leave us surprised/ shocked but also in wonderment of why and how it happened to us. What could have triggered such a drastic change in an instant, taking us from a point of control/ manageability to a point where things just seem to be sliding away from our grip. The culprit here is none other than our EMOTIONS, the element of our personality that’s most talked about but least understood. Many a times Emotions get tricky and play dominoes in our life if not checked and managed in time. Emotions, per se, are neither good or bad and it’s only our interpretation in the context and our reaction thereafter that lets the emotions loose and starts the dominoes effect.


As we move into a sphere of interaction with self or surroundings (environment and people), one of the basic emotions gets activated inside us. This basic emotion assumes proportion based on the intensity of our thoughts and interaction. This intensity sets the dominoes effect in motion and impact us in 2 major ways

  1.  our activated emotions take a leap from a mild form to a more extreme one, which is not only stronger but very overwhelming too. Once it assumes the stronger format then it becomes extremely difficult to manage the emotions  
  2. affects us at all levels – mental, physical and spiritual. The dominoes may trigger at one level but then encapsulates the other also. 
Irrespective of the nature of emotion (positive or negative, based on our perception), there’s always a danger of dominoes effect happening. Whatever is the nature, the dominoes effect will put us in a highly energised state and this will be very difficult to tame or to harness. More damage is done when the emotion is negative as it severely makes a dent at our subconscious level hitting at our esteem and confidence.

To halt this roller coaster ride of emotions and stop the dominoes effect of emotions, all that is required is to 
  • Accept that emotions exist and are an integral part of our personality. Nothing could re-iterate this fact more clearly than the existence of “Emotional Brain” in us 
  • Understand the damage the emotions could inflict on us
  • Learn to identify emotions in our self as they occur. Move from a thinking state to feeling state in situations
  • Learn to manage the emotions right when they occur by positive and productive actions/ behaviour

So, let’s get the ball rolling and stop the emotions juggernaut !