Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The most common act of any doctor is to study the pulse of a patient. The pulse offers a fair indicator to the doctor of the general health of the person concerned and is thus an invaluable tool to begin diagnosis of the real illness. In case of life and death situations too the pulse offers the immediate evidence of the state of the patient.  The PULSE therefore Provides Ultimate Life Sustaining Evidence both for the average person as well as the specialist doctor.

The pulse is an intangible yet omnipresent evidence of the physical life that we are blessed with. What makes it special is that it is also a good gauge of not just the physical health but also the moods and mental attributes of a person. Notice how are pulse races when we are anxious and how deep breathing when angry or upset can act as an antidote and immediately the pulse slows down and resumes the even pace when we are calm. A similar reaction could be triggered when watching a horror movie or a suspense movie or an action thriller. Conversely a light hearted comedy or a romantic movie could still make the pulse race but in a more subdued manner. The pulse of the movie as measured by you subconsciously could synchronize ones pulse to the emotion that is triggered.

On the larger canvas of life, gauging the pulse of the people is a common euphemism that plays a critical role for those who depend heavily on using this understanding to influence people’s perceptions and choices. Most political rhetoric is often centered around the understanding of the pulse of the people. The advertising world and the marketing domain are past masters in leveraging their pitch based on their analysis of the pulse of the people. Political upheavals are a good example of how ignoring the pulse of the people or not having a finger on the pulse of the state of affairs brings about catastrophic consequences. For those who ignore the pulse of the people it would be painfully evident that life does not sustain if one ignores the ground realities.

While our pulse rate can be influenced by illness or trauma which could require medication, the stress and travails of life too have a major bearing on our pulse rate. One needs to introspect and understand both the personal metabolism as well as those personal triggers that can send us into panic or rage or anxiety or exasperation which have a negative impact on the pulse rate which shoots up due to stress. However a quickened pulse rate is not always negative. In times of danger the pulse rate is a trigger to take evasive action. Have you noticed the flight or fight instinct that is triggered when you come face to face with a wild animal or a growling dog or a spitting cat? The PULSE thus Provides Ultimate Life Sustaining Evidence be it by being proactive or by being reactive. provided we gauge the pulse right.

Action Points:
  1. Observe people around you and judge for your self if they are relaxed, calm, anxious or stressed. Thereafter if you can, try to feel the pulse of these people and take the count for a minute. 70- 90 pulse beats per minute is considered the norm for an average adult. Do you think your initial assessment was right? Get someone to check your pulse too.
  2. Feedback is good source of getting to know the pulse of the people around you regarding their perceptions about you.  Pay attention to both the positive comments and particularly to the negative comments to find out your strengths and weakness. If some negative comments are bang on even if they are resented by you, work on improving. E.g. if you are constantly told that you need to improve your body language because you slouch most of the time then this painful realization should be taken seriously and efforts must be made to stand more erect.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011


An oft ignored human expression of emotion is the element of TOUCH. Be it shaking hands with someone or giving someone a hug or a pat on the back or merely holding hands, the varied emotions that come through touch are under rated because very few have realized that TOUCH is The Original Universal Connection to Heart. Ever consciously noticed how in a spontaneous gesture of affection we ruffle the hair of a kid or kiss a chubby little baby? Imagine the feeling of joy and warmth that envelops us when we extend that touch and an overwhelming emotion gets triggered in our heart.

In everyday life the most commonly used touch between adults is a handshake. It is not just a greeting but an expression of equality, acceptance, welcome and respect. In formal settings or when initial contact is made the handshake may be very ritualistic but when a camaraderie is built up and the relationship is more friendly, the handshake gets transformed into an expression of genuine warmth and delight. The handshake has and equally important role ironically in very tragic circumstances particularly at funerals when the condolences are offered to the bereaved. Baden Powell the founder of Scouts movement gave the handshake a touch with a twist. He introduced the concept of scouts shaking hand with the left hand based on his initial contact with an Indian leader in the wild west. (Check the net to find out more about this). It may also be interpreted that this gesture is special too since the heart is closer to the left hand and a left handed shake hand was both symbolic of the seriousness of intent and an appropriate gesture.

Hugs and kisses are not too far behind as methods demonstrating the power of touch. Hugs accentuate the whole body touch to convey the warmth and the closeness that exists between the parties involved. The meeting of long lost friends, family members or close relatives is a time when the hug becomes the silent but powerful communicator of the emotions. Ironically again, the hug also conveys the deepest emotion of sorrow and empathy that one conveys to someone in pain. Children in particular relish a hug for it also ensconces the security that they desperately seek at that vulnerable age. A kiss is a more overt expression of love whether it be between parents and children, between lovers or newlyweds. A kiss is in many ways is the ultimate expression of love and affection expressed as a touch.

Then there are other favored expressions of touch like walking hand in hand, ruffling the hair and fondling which are common place in daily life. The danger of inappropriate touch is a cause for concern though. What is important however, is the recognition of the reality that TOUCH as a sensation and expression of emotion plays a crucial role in the shaping our life and the lives of others we come in contact with for ultimately it is The Original Universal Connection to Heart.

Action Points:
  1. If you have a domesticated pet or if you can observe a domesticated pet and its owner, pay attention to how the pet seeks the affection of its master and attempts to get its masters touch. Dogs in particular overtly seek the touch of its owners. Imagine how much a human being craves for the power of touch.
  2.  Next time you shake hands with a stranger/ a friend/ a long lost cousin pay attention to the intensity, duration, style and firmness of the handshake. Do you see a correlation between the handshakes and the intimacy you share with the other party?
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Sunday, November 6, 2011


We experience real COURAGE when we Challenge Ourselves Utilize Resources And Get Empowered and this results in the triumph of our self belief over our inhibitions. Of course it is easier said than done partly because any form of courage requires us to overcome our fears but what impedes us most is our lack of self belief that by taking a courageous stand we can have some major bearing on the issues on hand. Another aspect that dampens our courage is our reluctance to commit ourselves and stay the course once we delve into it. Despite these obvious limitations we tend to display courage more often than we give credit to ourselves.

Broadly there are two types of courage we display – physical courage and moral courage. The former is more limited by our inability to confront the possibility of physical pain. The later thought is tougher because it involves making very conscious and possibly riskier choices with more damaging long term consequences. To understand this paradox we need to realize that we could have gone through both types of challenges to our courage when in school. Most times we wouldn’t mind taking on a bully or squaring up to a rough tackling opponent during the football matches but would be terrified of owning up to  the teacher when caught for some aberration like homework not being done or copying in an exam.

How does one become courageous? The answer lies partly in our upbringing, partly on our mental makeup but largely on our sense of fair play and justice. If one is brought up with a lot of freedom and acceptance and also encouraged to be daring without being a stupid risk taker chances are that one would be more forthcoming and decisive in ones thoughts and actions. Past experiences and a bit of genetics have an important bearing on our mental makeup, but it is possible that an independent thinking person will change for the better with time and determination. However it is the sense of fair play and justice that will ultimately have a major influence on the kind of courage we display. Maintaining balance is critical to display courage in the right measure. Being foolhardy and displaying stupid bravado is not courage and that is an important thought to be borne in mind.

So why is that we lack courage? At times we do experience the sharp pain of hurt, rejection, lack of understanding and loneliness when we embark on a courageous path. Often we find ourselves in a hopeless minority when we stand up for our principles or beliefs. The pain of isolation, the fleeting thought that maybe we are wrong, the overwhelming pressures brought on us by well meaning but perhaps misplaced views of the majority and the strain of furrowing a lonely path frighten us and we succumb to our inhibitions. Then there are threats to our limb an life which are too formidable to be ignored and too treacherous to be treated casually and the net result is that we give up our original courageous path.

Does this make us cowards? If we were to list out the times we have displayed our courage it would make for poor reading and the inference could be that we are cowards. The fault though is that we prune our list and do not list the daily acts of courage we display be it in simply being polite to a boorish person, standing up for our rights when palmed off with fault goods or being over charged, taking up for someone denied justice or simply exhibiting good sense when everyone is going berserk. These acts may not add up to much on the larger scale of courage as displayed by soldiers on the battle field or someone willing to face harassment and possibly being jailed for their own personal convictions. The real measure though is in displaying COURAGE continuously, consistently and courageously for then we Challenge Ourselves Utilize Resources And Get Empowered

Action Points:
  1. Outline 3 situations in which you would have a very very tough time displaying personal courage. Also examine the possible reasons why you think you would not be able to exhibit your courage. 
  2. Can you recollect 3 events / occasions in which you displayed personal courage. What was the feeling you experienced before, during and after the even happened?
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