Friday, September 30, 2011


It is ironic that the classic usage of the three R’s that formed the basis of schooling only had the first R being used correctly when we referred to Reading, wRiting and aRithmectic. The other two R’s shot into prominence because of the phonetics, which again was ironic considering that the English language is not based on phonetics. Despite this anomaly, the critical role that is played by knowing how to WRITE can best be understood when we realize that it is a Way to Record Important Thoughts & Emotions. History is testimony to that since we are aware of what happened centuries ago, mainly because we had paintings and writings from those eras to fall back on. A major part of the credit must go to those who took pains to write and record happenings and events of those times.

Today we have so many writing and recording options that we are truly blessed, for we can with relative ease, write on what we fancy.  Yet for the vast majority of people, writing is a taxing chore that is best avoided. There are others who would have loved to write but perceive themselves too inadequate to the task. There is also a motley lot who believe that they have the ability to write and plunge headlong into frenzied writing churning out reams of material but then are aghast that they don’t seem to get sufficient readership.  Having regularly written this blog and  for over a year and a half, let me take the liberty of sharing a few tips to all those who would like to explore their writing talent and share their thoughts, emotions and storytelling skills.

Here are the 4 essentials to any form of writing.

Have a clear objective for writing. It is important that we visualize the audience who we are addressing for only then can we get some clarity as to what we want to write about, work on how we can convey what we want to share and ensure that our writing reaches the audience we target.  Many people write randomly and then feel frustrated that they run into writers block, don’t get sustained reader attention and worse still is that sinking feeling that no one knows that I write.

Develop your own style. The writing style is not merely limited to the content, the manner of presentation or the techniques used to keep reader interest alive. Style also refers to the choice of medium, the frequency of writing, the dynamics of reaching out to newer audiences and making your writing stand out and be noticed. Also pay attention to your own strengths in visualizing and transcribing for one can be a poet at heart, a story teller by inclination, an essayist by skill sets or a philosopher by nature. Each offers an opportunity to explore one’s writing abilities and we can attempt it all and then freeze on what suits our natural style best.

Have self belief. The problem for many beginners who attempt to write is that they give up too quickly. Writing is both a skill and an art. Unless one is exceptionally talented, it takes time to be noticed, needs discipline to prolific, takes courage of conviction to keep going when recognition takes time and one has to be creative and strategic to reach out to the right audience. Not all of us are blessed with all these qualities but those who have self belief will persist with patience and optimism.

Improve the play with words. All writing in any form is ultimately a play of words. There is no substitute for a rich vocabulary, a vivid imagination, a structure and syntax when put in print and a flow that is appealing and engaging. Experiment, experience, explore are the three E’s that will aid one in playing around with language and the fine nuances of it. If required, don’t hesitate to get feedback from people who can be objective, experienced and encouraging.

Hopefully, you will be able to grasp the subtle nuances of the points I have elucidated above and be able to appreciate how to WRITE well. If I have achieved what I set out to do, you too will find a Way to Record Important Thoughts & Emotions that are yearning to be put in print.

Action Points:
  1. Can you recollect 3 of the best articles and 3 of the best poems that you read/ studied in your language text books in school? Can you outline the reasons for still being able to recollect those articles/ poems? 
  2. Attempt to solve Crosswords, play a game called “Pictionary’ and / or   ‘Scrabble’. Also find out other innovative ways to improve your vocabulary.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011


While democracy has many faults, most of them relating to the difficulty of effective and impartial implementation, the one tool that upholds it, is the VOTE that each one in a democracy is entitled too. With this one tool those in power can be swept aside and a new set of people brought into power. By not utilizing this one tool, we can end up suffering the ill effects of a stale democracy for as they say ‘Bad governments are elected by good people who did not vote’. The important lesson for each one of us is that, even as individuals we have the power of one with which we can Voice Opinion Through Elections.

When viewed from a personal perspective a vote is not necessarily your opinion expressed via the ballot. As independent thinkers with the power to visualize, discern, decide and articulate, we are expected to participate in all matters that affect our daily living and express ourselves. Such an expression of our personal preferences, views, sharing of suggestions, even changing our stance based on better understanding are part of the process of us voicing our opinion and an indication of our vote. Thus the whole exercise is a participative process in which each of us has to take an active interest and preferably be proactive participants rather than articulate critics. You have opportunities to exercise your opinion and your vote in your local housing society meetings, the meetings of social service clubs of which you may be a member, write letters to the editors of the local newspapers to share your thoughts on social and civic matters.

The one issue that troubles most people exercising their vote is their inability to reconcile the yawning gap between what might be ideal and what could possibly not in our personal interest. It is possible that to tide over a crisis some rather harsh measures would possibly have to be taken but as an individual it is possible that the measures affect you the most. Increasing taxes is often the best example of such a happening. Similarly we may have to choose between someone who is very efficient and a go getter but has loose morals and / or is vindictive and ruthless and another who is clean as a whistle, a good listener, a man of his word but alas cannot get his way and despite his best intentions only has excuses to offer. This is where the personal judgment has to be exercised with caution and deliberation. It is important then to VOTE with awareness rather than endorsing an opinion that seems convenient under the circumstances.

Whatever the circumstances, be aware that a VOTE is your right and more importantly your duty. When the majority doesn’t vote, the minority gets their way and the majority merely has to play along till the next opportunity comes. To avoid such a situation be an active participant in the process, study the issues well, try to keep personal biases away, consciously give your VOTE and Voice Opinion Through Elections.

Action Points:
  1. The next time you go to vote, ask if you are voting in a particular way because you know the issues well or merely because you have been asked to cast your vote by a friend, a well wisher or a person whom you cannot disregard.
  2. Almost every issue has 2 or more sides to it. Do you pay particular attention to the views of those who do not agree with your views? Do you also appreciate those opposing views that have merit but do not fit into the overall scheme of things that you support? E.g. Inducting women into the infantry regiments of the armed forces.
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Monday, September 19, 2011


Right from our childhood we are taught, disciplined and coaxed into ensuring that we SHARE whatever we have with those who do not have. It is equally true that many of us didn’t really appreciate this lesson for in our view what was ours was ours to enjoy and the idea of parting even with a small bit of it was neither appealing nor fair. Yet if we paused for a moment and asked ourselves how we would feel if we didn’t have something and the person having it did not share it with us, we would realize how hurt, and dismayed we would be. If we pondered over how we would describe the other person who did not share, we would be sure to ascribe words like selfish, stone hearted and wicked to describe them. On the other hand when we recollect memories of times we shared what we had and of those times when we were fortunate to share things that other had we suddenly recall the joy, happiness and thrill that we experienced simply because we could See How All Receive Everything when we SHARE.

It is equally exhilarating to realize the truth in the saying that ‘we double our joys that we share and half our sorrows that we share’. Perhaps as children we didn’t fully realize the implications of it because a piece of cake when shared simply reduced our own portion of pleasure and our sorrows would be eased only if someone else who wronged us was punished. However with maturity and experience, we realized that we wanted a positive, happy and cordial environment around us, the best way was to share our joys and sorrows. Our tradition of celebrating occasions be a it a religious festival, a wedding, the birth of little one or even doing well in exams or buying something substantial like a car or a house simply reinforce this fact. Similarly, the condolence meetings on the death of a loved one, our visit to the sick and the elderly and messages of sympathy and encouragement manifest as part of the process of sharing sorrows.

Real sharing must be spontaneous and genuine. It must not be done ritualistically or due to compulsion. When we congratulate someone and heartily share in their joy, the connect that we make with the people around would transcend and morph into pure ecstasy. Similarly when we reach out to another in pain, empathize with them and do all within our powers to lessen their pain, we hope to lighten their burden by absorbing a part of their sorrows and sufferings by our mere presence and support. When we SHARE in the joys and the pain, we multiply the former when everyone receives a part of the joy being spread and divide the latter by collectively joining hands to lighten the others burden. Ultimately we See How All Receive Everything when we are willing to SHARE.

Action Points:
  1. What is the most prized possession that you would find hard to share ? What are your fears about sharing it? Do you remember something that you desperately wanted but the person possessing it did not share it with you? Would you share anything with the person who never shared his/ her possession with you?
  2. How and What would you SHARE to ensure the following
  • Spread joy around
  • Liven up a dull party
  • Proactively be involved in fund raising for a charity
  • To keep yourself enthused and motivated
  • Make new contacts and relationships

Power Act - from is focused on -
Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.
You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational blog

Monday, September 12, 2011


Each of us is fortunate to experience a variety of thoughts every moment, some happy, a few sad, sometimes positive, occasionally negative but what really matters is how those thoughts influence your actions and in turn your life. Our response to our thoughts and the consequences thereafter impact how we shape our life and our future. Our ATTITUDE largely mirrors the response we are prone to take and is therefore seen as A Thought That Immediately Turns Useful in Directing Effort. When ones thoughts are predominantly about failure, the chances of failure are very high, simply because the thought triggers a response largely designed to fail. On the other hand if success and positivity take center stage in our thoughts, then our actions and responses are focused on succeeding and we then enjoy the fruits of success.

There is emphasis on having a Positive Attitude because our thoughts are then directed towards all possibilities that will ensure we overcome any obstacle that impedes chances of success or happiness. In sports, many an upset victory by the underdog reflects the practical aspects of a positive attitude. There is also much truth about the effects of a Positive Attitude in the lines of H.W. Longfellow, in his poem The Ladder of Saint Augustine when he writes:


The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

Unless those who toiled had a positive attitude, they would not have expended their energies in the fond hope of achieving success.

It is imperative that one train the mind to have the right attitude. This is made possible by associating with those who display the right attitude, preferably those who are always happy, confident, exuberant, extrovert and not too emotional. Obviously this means that we need to be cautious when interacting with those who are compulsive critics, those who are often sarcastic, those who avoid responsibility and those who keep whining about life in general. Equally important is our self perception about ourselves. Appreciate the strengths one is blessed with; work on overcoming our shortcomings, begin to be more proactive and decisive, exercise more self control and restrain be it on our own temper or bad habits and be grateful for all the blessings that one has been showered with.

Does this mean a Negative Attitude is completely undesirable? At times a negative attitude is a reflection of the harsh reality as is evident to the person experiencing it. It then acts as a self preservation mechanism and our actions are then directed with such an end in mind. Retreating in war when the odds are completely stacked against us can be viewed as a negative attitude but then tactically and strategically it may make better sense to preserve numbers for a better offensive latter. In boxing, ‘throwing in the towel’ is an honorable way to allow the loser to escape unnecessary punishment and hurt because of false bravado or foolhardiness. A negative attitude must be the exception rather than the norm for it to have value and appreciation.

To improve one’s attitude it is essential that we inculcate the following:
  • Seek out positives in anything and everything that happens.
  • Learn to be pragmatic without turning to be a defeatist.
  • Reign in emotions so that decisions are not biased, impulsive or made out of compulsion.
  • Be creative, innovative and unconventional in order to harness your thoughts to see possibilities in apparently hopeless and irreconcilable matters.
  • Remember that ATTITUDE is not about Daring but Living, not about Avoiding but Attempting and definitely not about Winning or Losing but Trying whole heartedly.
  • Finally never forget that ATTITUDE  is all about utilizing  A Thought That Immediately Turns Useful in Directing Effort.
Action Points:

How will you react in the following situations?
  • You have not studied throughout the year. Suddenly one month before the exam you attempt to cram and burn the midnight oil to study. By the time the exam day arrives you are not at all confident about appearing for the exam. You then ________________________
  • You are traveling in a long distance train.  At around midnight you hear a commotion and wake up to see a couple of ruffians harassing a lady commuter who is screaming for help. You would then____________________
  • You go to a friend’s newly opened restaurant for a meal. He is delighted to see you and warmly welcomes you and instructs his staff to give you the best treatment. Unfortunately in their enthusiasm to serve you the waiter spills some hot soup over you. To compound the misery the specialty of the day turns out to be a very poor dish. On the way out your friend eagerly inquires with you about the food and service. How will you respond to him? ____________________________

Find something Positive in the following situation:
  1. Despite studying hard and doing well in the exam, when the results come you are declared failed.
  2. You have won the lottery for a million rupees but you have misplaced the ticket and cannot find it before the deadline for submission.
  3. Your overseas vacation with the family is all well planned but unfortunately the day before leaving a family member who is also part of the trip takes seriously ill and is admitted to ICU and you are forced to cancel the trip incurring heavy losses on the tickets and hotel booking that are not refunded.
  4. You have won a contest in which you are to have a dinner with your favorite actor/ sportsperson. You eagerly go for the vent all excited and upbeat but are rudely shocked to know that the personality has had an emergency and cannot attend the event.
Power Act - from is focused on -
Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.
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