6 things that made 2014 the best year of my life

Looking back at the year gone by, I really feel it was the most amazing year; and there are a few key things that changed to make it happen. Here they are!

1. Take on projects/responsibilities that scare you

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I started off the year by taking on the role of president at my Toastmasters club and ended the year – leaving the country for a month to work on costumes for a movie. Through the year my schedule was constantly full of responsibilities and commitments. There were times when I dreaded them and times that I loved having to check my schedule, but at the end of the year all I can say was:

… Because now I know that I am stronger, more talented and more things are in my reach than I ever imagined. 

… Because confidence comes from hitting targets, reaching new goals and learning how to deal with unfamiliar situations with ease. 

2. Travel. Travel. Travel.

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In January I set off on a road trip to Gujrat with my family and will end the year with a short trip to Mumbai. With an international trip in between, hitting the beaches atleast 4 times this year and plenty of travel with friends for pleasure and travel with work – I feel like the little wanderer in me is satisfied with the places seen, the people met and the memories that are etched in my mind forever.

A few things that I will remember forever are:

a) In Malaysia I went to a Muay Thai competition, sitting amongst locals [who didn’t speak english] and learnt that I was sitting with one of the boxers’ family. They taught me a lot about the game, and now I had a home team to cheer for! I even learnt some Malay.

b) The most beautiful sunrise – that changed the walls of the (half cave?) hill we were standing at from a beige to yellow, orange, red, pink and even shades of purple!

… Because travel leaves you enriched, refreshed, and a better person.

… Because travel teaches you how to deal with different kinds of people 

… Because travel leaves you with more stories to tell, and makes you a better conversationalist. 

3. Give. A lot. Of time, affection, gifts.

Spending time with those you love and giving them your undivided time, affection and thoughtful gifts will make your year filled with moments of happiness and images of smiles that you will never forget.

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… Because there’s nothing more important than healthy, love-filled relationships

… Because happiness is the happiness of those you love

4. Do things you’ve never done before

Whether it is something like signing up for a marathon coaching class, learning to surf, organising a vacation or giving someone who is not really your type a chance – doing things you have never done before will help you explore more about who you are. It also will put a smile on your face when you realise that your year is filled with little memories!

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… Because new is always fun. 

5. Make new friends. Lots. All kinds. From different walks of life.

Now this one seems a little difficult – because before this year – I had no way to meet new people. I had the same job, went to the same gym, hung out with the same friends, lived in the same neighbourhood, went to the same toastmasters club. But this year – taking on new roles like president at toastmasters, joining a tennis class, signing up for the accelerator program and taking on a movie project introduced a whole lot of fresh blood.

Doing new things and taking on new roles will open up the flood gates!

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… Because new people bring in new ideas, new stories and much learning. 

6. Be yourself. Speak the truth. Stand up for what you believe in.

Once you start treating yourself the way you want to be treated, and set your standards by speaking the truth and standing up for the things you believe in – all the right things will come into your life.

Sometimes telling the truth is scary. Sometimes standing up for something means you’ll be all alone in a crowd. But, at the end of the day – you will be so much prouder of yourself and respect will be given.

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… Because there’s nothing cooler than being yourself

So here are some .. new year’s resolutions that I had put together for the year of 2014. Planning to make another amazing list for the year of 2015!

Are there any resolutions that changed your life? Any that I should try for 2015? Would love to hear from you!

Happy December!

I no longer have patience

I love Meryl Streep, and I think she puts across this thought beautifully. 

So many times I myself and people around me tend to put up with so much that just leaves them unhappy, confused and tired. 

When I gave up being tolerant to things that made me feel less than my extraordinary self – my life changed for the better. The people I chose to keep in my life were the ones that made me feel special. 

Meryl Streep explains it beautifully! 

Cudos!

What do you think? Have you decided not to tolerate anything recently? Has it helped make your life better?

Ioadicaeu's Blog

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“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with…

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Single Hellos

Single Hellos

This word, hello, followed by a quick question has earned me many friends in the recent past.

The thing that stands between me and this word – is the fear of more than one kinds, specifially of being rejected, of running into creeps, of “what will he/she think?”.

I have learned a few things, maybe you would like to know:

1. Every single person I said hello to has said hi back to me.
2. Yes, I have met some creeps – but they are easy to filter out. =D
3. What will they think? Well, apparently nothing bad – because so many cool friends have come from it!

So – take that leap of faith and go strike up that conversation with that interesting person you see. You never know just who you might have missed.

Happy holidays, and let me know if it works for you!

Things that make me smile

When I see things like this, it not only makes me smile but also makes me feel like I want to be a better person.

I think we all have opportunities to be nicer and make people’s days. We can extend a helping hand, incorporate someone who may be feeling left out, or help an old person with their groceries. These little opportunities are right in front of us but we miss them because we are too busy worrying about the future, involved in our own lives or just being ignorant to our environment.

Just a reminder: acts of kindness don’t need to be big, pre-planned or expensive. A million things can put smiles on faces. Let’s go do it!

My journey to becoming a morning person

Becoming a morning person was never a dream, a wish or even a thing on my to do list till recently – when I realized just what I was missing out on [happiness, productivity, the sun-rise, success, etc].

Its been a month or so since I have been up before 6.30 – without an alarm. Having a morning playlist that energizes me and gets me going was really useful in my journey.

Here are a few tracks that are vedic mantras or chants for the early morning. They are supposed to bring positive energy and calm the mind. They have worked beautifully for me!

1. Sri Venkateshwara Suprabatam

I have early memories of waking up to this song when I was a kid. On the days this song would play, our house would feel cleaner, happier and more energetic.

2. This one is beautiful too

3.  This is a remix of the first one, except with music!

4. This one is supposed to be really powerful, and even believed to be a healing prayer. Listening/saying it 108 times in the morning is supposed to have immense benefits.

Hope you enjoy it!

The Happiness Secret

The Happiness Secret

Well, while I was in my slump – I was busy looking for the secret of happiness and success and these are the two things that showed up consistently:

1. Daily Meditation:

Oprah Winfrey to Deepak Chopra to some of the biggest shot CEOs of today’s times- they all meditate every day.

This I completely agree with. Daily meditation just clears your energy and deletes negative energy from your space.

You can find more inspiration from this article on the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/05/business-meditation-executives-meditate_n_3528731.html

2. Wake up at or before 6 AM

Being a self-proclaimed night owl who can count the number of times I have seen the sunrise on my finger tips – this was not good news for me.

But I decided to give it a shot – and this is what I learned.

1. If you set your biological clock to wake up early – waking up isn’t so bad.

2. Waking up early without an alarm is the coolest thing ever.

3. You need a reason to wake up.

This is the most important of all. I woke up plenty of times in the past two weeks somewhere around 6 AM. I had nothing to do – so I went back to sleep.

4. You get so much more time.

Ya, I hear you – every morning person alive has said this to you already – but I want to share an experience with you.

I normally get out of bed by around 9 AM and one morning work started at 7; so I was up by 5.

After being up for 4 hours, the girl next to me took out a little box – and I automatically said “Lunch?”

She gave me the weirdest look I’ve ever seen – and said … “No – its 9, breakfast.”

WOW. I just had 4 hours of time BEFORE breakfast. Normally 4 hours after I wake up is lunch time. And these early hours in the morning are really productive.

Hope it helps!

Where happiness and inspiration hide

Where happiness and inspiration hide

The past two weeks have been weird weeks for me. I say weird – because they were pretty normal; except this lovely happiness and inspiration I wake up to had suddenly disappeared.

It was like waking up on the wrong side of the bed – everyday.

When I wake up, I normally feel – excited to take on the day. I’m looking forward to meeting my clients, getting some work done, learning something new, hitting the gym… that list goes on.

And just imagine that one morning: BOOM. Everything you love and are excited about – isn’t so interesting anymore.

The idea of getting work done feels like an albatross around your neck, and all those beautiful inspirational quotes and ideas fail to motivate you like they do every morning.

I waited patiently for a day, two days and then I remembered: If inspiration does not come to you, go after it with a club.

So – by the end of the first week, there I was, club in hand; dead in the middle of the pursuit of happiness and inspiration. With no idea where to look for these elusive things that are supposed to “live inside us”, the same question kept coming to my head.

“If happiness and inspiration are supposed to be inside me, and they have DISAPPEARED – is there ANY chance that I can get them back once they’re gone?”

I tried everything I could think of. I read blogs. Went through a million quotes. Looked up inspirational music. Looked up pictures with quotes written on them. And even some of my favorite quotes that I had downloaded to post here [but never got around to] didn’t give me the push I wanted.

Finally the answer came to me – in the two most unlikely places.

1. The Kitchen

[No, not junk food. Health food would be a better bet.]

Now – this place may differ for you. The kitchen for me was unexplored territory. I had never made a full and complete meal by myself – the idea of cooking a meal that I love got me out of bed with a big smile on my face.

So – if you are looking for a little refresher, and some inspiration or happiness; I suggest venturing into unexplored territory. Do something you’ve never done before. It’s really refreshing and helps your body reset and the things you normally love will start looking exciting again.

2. In the classroom

I am not a student, and I haven’t been for a long long time. But I recently signed up for a really interesting study-at-home short term course on http://www.coursera.org.

Learning something new, attempting to solve new problems [though assignments], wanting to learn and explore new concepts has put me back up on my toes.

I think I always knew this – that learning new things and going on an adventure [even if it was just to the kitchen] kept me young. What I didn’t know, was that it kept me happy and inspired.

Looking back at the past two weeks, I feel that lyrics of the song ‘Happiness’ by The Fray make so much sense to me: “Gone for now feels a lot like gone for good.”

If you are in the pursuit of happiness – just remember that there are two places where happiness and inspiration hide – amidst those millions of things in your unexplored territory, and outside your comfort zone.

Keep calm and keep trying new things, things that you never thought you’d do, or things that scare you [in a good way]. I’m sure that something will spark that love for life that you have temporarily forgotten.