Miles to go before I sleep

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2011 by amotings

Still have to teach my son a lot. Show him the beauty in this world. And of course, there is punk rock.

Cliffton’s Strength Finder

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4, 2011 by amotings

I got the book, Strengths Finder 2.0, and I took the Cliffton’s Strength Finder test. And my top five strengths turned out to be:

– Connectedness

– Intellection

– Empathy

– Maximizer

– Developer

As I read the book, I hope to understand how my strengths can help others benefit. For now, the satisfaction is that it is not a surprise where my strengths lie.

I do wonder sometimes, if I do not get to exercise other skills, because I keep focussing on one skill.

Myers-Briggs personality type – INFP is my profile

Posted in people on July 18, 2011 by amotings

I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and for the second time in a span of seven years, and  my personality type is of INFP.  If you are unfamiliar with it, it stands for Introvert-iNtuitive-Feeling-Perceiving. While it is not advisable to label anyone based on the test, I must admit, I am not surprised by my type.

The one thing which I must bring forth is that there is nothing right or wrong about any personality. I got a feedback from my colleagues  in the workshop for Myers-Briggs, that a person with a higher “Feeling” point, will not be able to take “right” decision. The assumption is that, it requires a more “Thinking” personality type, who uses facts to decide.

In coming to my own defense, it is impossible to be a good manager, if you do not feel and think about taking decisions. It is impossible to not feel what you are doing, it is just that we suppress it. 

We know – for example, someone not performing well needs to be given an honest feedback. But, it need not be a regressive communication, but it can be a conversation that will be inspiring moment of truth for the other. Now, how can one do it, unless you feel for the other.

 I believe it is the calling at work which drives you to go beyond what anyone else would do. It is not the personality type which matters how well you do. And yes, one’s emotions are not a prized trophy to flaunt at the workplace – but what one feels about a situation does make a difference in breaking barriers, building behavior and ensuring trust.

Do not let one’s sadness impact loved ones.

Posted in Letters to my son on July 4, 2011 by amotings

While sadness does engulf us all, often it is something we can do nothing about. The best approach then is to let it pass. Even better is to talk it over with a friend and reduce the grief. Instead of struggling with it, I find it fine to be quiet with it. But, I cannot make myself happy with happy thoughts. I do find that I can get over it, by imaging a meaning and purpose and look at opportunity beyond it – a kind of quiet struggle and resolve to get over it.

But while I am at this process, what happens to our loved ones ? Doesn’t your family bear with your pain. Do they deserve it ? No.

Sometimes if my wife reasons with me of the futility of my mood, I get to realize the larger damage done. When you have your spouse and child looking up to you and waiting to be loved, it is unfair on them and quite selfish of ourself to engage in our own moods.

I have found, time and again, that while it is easy to bring your worries home or try and expect a change in some relationship, all the while it is impacted someone else.

Instead, how would it be, if we resolve and make sure that we do not impact anyone who comes in touch with us, with our sadness. How do we live like that ?

 By finding quiet meditation time regularly, and then being able to stay in touch with your innerself at all times. That way, even the sadness, does not percolate deep into you. You are conscious of your purpose at all times and in control of what you are projecting out. And your authentic self is seen – no one gets touched with your sadness because you are at peace. You are living a purpose at all times.

My son is in his best years of his life. An eight year old wants to play, laugh, experience and do things he has never done before. I do not want him to miss the joy by being a father who is more concerned about his worries. Meditation helps, silence helps, talking it over with one’s wife/spouse helps to get over the moods quickly. Let us not let the moments of life slip by us.

To my son – Going through the grind

Posted in Letters to my son with tags , , on February 5, 2011 by amotings

Dear Arvind

Today, I would like to talk to you about the inevitability of difficulties coming in your life and what in my view is the best attitude when faced with it.

Say, you are trying hard to get something(promotion, college admission, hike, money, girl’s love, respect, admiration or anything else that means a lot to you) and it does not seem to be coming to you. You might be feeling worse, that what you desire most seems to be coming to someone else. And you wonder if you are worth it or not.

Dear son – Firstly, I am sad to see any sadness come to your beautiful life. You are so blessed and perfect in who you are that, to me, none of what you get or do not get, makes any difference to me. I will still love you.  

Send love and blessings even to strangers

The grief of not getting something can consume you. You might feel like you are losing interest in everything. There will seem days that everything will seem hopeless. You will get angry at others, curse your life, us parents, and curse anyone who is innocent around you.

The negativity might seem to be theme of your life as nothing seem to be going alright to believe that there is something good around you too.

Arvind, here is where there are three stages to go through to turn around your life.

First stage: Relaxing your mind, your body. Medidate and watching your thoughts as an observer outside of you. Bringing silence and being comfortable in silence. Being in nature.

Second stage: Appreciating the smallest beauties in your life. Blessing every stranger or known person for nothing. Giving something to someone every day in silence anonymously.  Being in nature and observing the calmness in every blade of grass or life around you. Observe any negative thought or deed. This is where, being thankful and grateful replaces all negative thoughts with time.  

Third stage: Letting it go. Focus on the bits and pieces you have in front you. Pick them up and act on them with love. If there is any action that you feel good about, and it will not hurt others, then only do it. Or else, wait for a better moment to arrive. Shift your focus to something else. Look at the mirror and smile. Talk to a loved one or a friend, help him or show care for him or her. Help a stranger.

And when you are doing all three stages for a few weeks or months, that is when you will begin to observe goodness happening to you. Your desire, which you had let go, gets transformed to something even greater. Your perspective of what you did not get changes, as you will get something even more deserving.

Have the faith, that God has something great in store for you. You are entitled to greatness and goodness in your life. You are not ordinary. This is a blessed life and this difficult time is only to sharpen your soul. Come what hardship may come, but I am about to receive some greater fruits after this. Let it come and I will bear them. I can bear them, and the universe will owe me for what I beared. Even if the universe does not owe me, I will continue to be good. Any unhappiness, is my cleansing of my bad deeds. Good that I am going through them, let them come. I will not fight it, but surrender to God. Let me accept whatever he has to give me. My prayer and faith will not deter. This universe is mine and I belong to this universe. My heart has no ill-will.

And lo ! When you least expect it, you will suddenly see much happiness come to you and your desires coming true. It came because you had the faith, as Tagore said, “Faith is the song of the dawn bird, before the dawn”….(before the dawn). You need to have faith in goodness that will come to you and that you have God taking care of you, when you are the saddest and having a difficult time.

You “are” a beautiful person. You “are” a wonderful person. You “are” good as you are and need to change nothing in you.

Your loving father,

Appa

Photo courtesy: Meanest Indian

Giving your gift to the world

Posted in inspiration on January 16, 2011 by amotings

Each of us has in us, something to give. But here is the question. When you transact in your world, how many times did you think that you are giving a gift to someone ?

Kite-flying
Ready to fly

What is your gift to the world ? A gift is an act where you give out of love and respect to the other, without expecting anything in return. It can be a touch over the shoulder, letting a car pass by before you or thanking someone for their help. The best gift is an act which the other does not even realize has come as a gift from you. Be the silent mover and giver and stay away from the emotions in you. Just do and shut-up – never talk about it, even when your ego wants to write a memoir of your petty or selfless deed.

The only reason for unhappiness is when we start giving our own life too much importance. Instead look for something to give. Do not think of the act of giving, but just give. Watch your thoughts  – do they make you feel good, are you doing it out of a sense of superiority, or are you just blessing the other in the act of giving ?

Once we perceive what it is like to give unreciprocated, anonymous gifts to people whom we are in contact with, it will start bringing fulfillment is all areas of our life – work, home, relationships. The attitude which we carry will begin to change.

Seth Godin, in his amazing book Linchpin, talks about this idea of giving gifts but in a different context – how to be indispensable at work ? Seth considers indispensable people as artists at work – who do not look at every day as a job to be done for the money earned. Instead, he says, artists are those people at work who refuse to do lousy work and be a cog in the wheel. They will be in relentless in their pursuit till they give a gift. It has nothing to do with income or job security. Artists at work are trying a way to change you and they want to give that as a gift.

 Seth has taken the spiritual reasoning of a fulfilled life of giving yourself to others to a different level. He has made us connect our work with a purpose – giving a gift to someone, which changes the other for the better. True, it might make us indispensable, but that is not the intention of an artist. His intention is to help make the other better.  

So, today onwards, instead of mulling over career and  focus on improving oneself, let me identify ways in which my actions will lead to larger change amongst the people in my life. Already, I have set my goals which reflect the opportunities which inspires the people to opt for change and bring about a change in me. My every transaction with people is a reminder of my work in giving them a gift. Share what I know, inspire other to achieve more than they think they can. Be there for my loved ones, listen. Support the lost one or the scared one to break out of their shell. Let me give my time in this life as a “gift” to others.

Photo Courtesy: Meanest Indian

Family Outing to Dakshina Kannada district

Posted in Travel on January 9, 2011 by amotings

During the December holidays, we went for a trip to south coastal Karnataka. We visited Mangalore, Udipi, Karkala and Moodbidri. This was a trip which we drove across from Bangalore.

I feel that this part of Karnataka is much less densly populated. The people were helpful, the place was much clean. Some of the roads went via mountaneous regions and the drive was beautiful.

Beautiful scenic drive greeted us along the way

Most tourist spots we visited did not have many visitors. The beaches close to Mangalore were clean and we got to watch the sunset in its beauty.

A few thoughts during this trip.

  • If you want authentic South-Indian food, this is the place. (Better not opt for North-Indian cuisine).
  • People are very clean and have a good sense of hygiene.
  • Less densly populated, also saw that people were simpler and friendly.
  • A haven for educational enthusiasts, with so many colleges for various disciplines around this place.
  • There are many religious places of interests for all religions. From Jain temples to churches to Hindu temples.
  • Do not miss the ice-creams which Mangalore is famous for – we went to Pabbas on M.G. Road.
Sunset from Ullal Beach

Sunset from Ullal Beach, Mangalore

It is a perfect place to find a small house and live after retirement. The expenses will be much lesser than it is in the metro cities. The church and even the temples we visited was a memorable experience.

There are so many beautiful spots in our country which can be developed as a tourist destination. At every few kilometers there are historic treasures over thousand years old.

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