Smart Phones, Dumb people

It so often happens that my battery is dead, or my internet isn’t connecting; and suddenly I get this feeling of being all alone. No one to reach out to, so few I can call to just catch up and even fewer to randomly meet. For these moments when your Facebook and Twitter aren’t buzzing with updates, I stop to think: is social media making me antisocial?

I think back to the time when social media didn’t exist and how life used to be. I used to be surrounded by friends, and used to make a lot more memories. Here are some of the most conflicting thoughts swimming around in my head:

1. I love: being able to share updates of my life with my friends.

The problem with this is, that facebook has been accused time and again of deciding who it shows your information to. Eventually your updates may only be going out to people you don’t want. A better option is to talk to your friends over the phone, meet them in person, or if distance is a problem, then skype.

2. I love: Knowing what’s up in other people’s lives:

If you want to know for gossip or news update then fine. But, if you really want to share someone’s joys and be there for people when the going gets tough, social media isn’t going to work out.

I love the video and it really made me think.

CHALLENGE:

I’ve challenged myself to keep up to these things till the end of the month:

1. To be fully present when I am with people. Tuck away my phone and put it on silent.

2. To call/meet/skype my loved ones instead of texting them.

3. If I hear something exciting about what’s happened to a friend on social media; instead of commenting, I’ll message or call.

Do you want to take the challenge with me? I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Life is a beautiful sport

I have been a great believer of constantly throwing myself out of my comfort zone and living on the edge.

Even in love, the same principles apply. No one will know how you feel about them unless you tell them. The people you love will never believe you if you don’t show them.

For this valentine’s day special, I found this video that is an absolute inspiration.

I know that I have felt like this man more than once, and I also know that taking the plunge was absolutely worth it.

Its better to know the reality of things than to be caught in a place where you neither know where things are going or how the other person feels.

From my end, here are a few things you can do to make your day an eventful one. [ Please note, this is not just for valentine’s day, any other day works perfectly too.]

1. If you have someone special around you that has no idea about how you feel, maybe its time to take the big leap and TELL HIM/HER. Any way, what’s the worst that can happen? You will at least know where you stand. If things are moving forward, then great. If not, then you can move on.

2. If you are in a happy relationship – then celebrate and make your love feel special. They probably do a lot for you on a daily basis, taking a day to show them that you appreciate it goes a long way.

3. If you are in a relationship that needs work – then make a plan to make things better. Figure out what’s not going the way you want it to, and what you can do to change it. You’ll be better off knowing the problem and having an open discussion than keeping it inside where it will eventually blow up and be much worse.

4. If you are in an unhappy relationship, then maybe you need to take some time to think about what you really want. Being in a position where your significant other doesn’t treat you well can have a long term psychological impact, and can eventually lead to low self esteem.

5. If you are single – then don’t give up on the idea of finding your love! Work on understanding yourself – your strengths, weaknesses and talents, so that when you come across your love – you can charm the socks off him or her! Also, be friendly, be open and be on the look out.

I know all of these things require courage beyond what a normal person should have, but hey, what’s life without a little danger??

Happy Valentines day! Hope your day is an eventful one!

The single phrase that could be sabotaging your relationships

The single phrase that could be sabotaging your relationships

It rolls off your tongue like an easy american ‘r’. But, this one sentence may be sabotaging your relationships.

So, what is it? I don’t know.

No, seriously. It’s “I don’t know.”

Its one of the most common most responses when someone asks you for information. It takes no effort, no time and no energy to let every question posed to you to slide by with a simple – “I don’t know.”

This easy phrase could be the reason behind people being unhelpful towards you or steering clear of you when they need help.

So, maybe we can re-think our approach.

When someone asks you a question – HIT PAUSE. Before you let out the dreaded 3 letter phrase – think for a moment about why they are asking you. Obviously – they are looking for a little help to get to their ultimate goal.

If you do not know the answer, and its ok not to – you can still help in some ways. [If they knew where to get the information, they probably wouldn’t be wasting their time asking you.]

Let’s take an example.

You are at your office – and your colleague comes to you if you know where the boss is.

Option 1: You can say: I don’t know.

Your colleague’s pursuit of information has stopped dead in its tracks. They have hit a dead end, and will have to look somewhere else for the information they are looking for – with no help from you.

Option 2: You can say: I’m not sure, but I saw him two hours ago leaving the office with xyz. Maybe she would have a better idea.

See, here – you still may not have the information – but at least you helped in some way. The person who came to you will be grateful that you took a moment of your time to help in some way.

Option 2 requires you to pause and more importantly to think. But going with option 2 can really change your relationships. People will not only come to you more often, but will be more helpful when you go to them.

Here are some phrases that can help you drop the dreaded phrase:

1. I’m not sure but …. [fill in the information that could be helpful]
2. Hang on a second, I can find out for you.
3. I think xyz would know the answer to your question.
4. Why don’t you try looking [here] for the answer.

Try it out, and let me know if you put more smiles on faces with your new approach!

The Right Friends

right friends frienship

 

From the beginning of time, my parents and teachers would always talk about “having the right friends.” Over the years, magazines, blogs and quotes kept popping up – “show me your friends and I will show you who you are,” or “you become most like the people you spend most of your time with.”

Until recently – friends were just … friends. Some  very similar and some very different in every way – attitudes, lifestyles and where we wanted to go in life. But until recently – I had no idea how much having the right or wrong friends can change your life.

Looking back at my life – there have been plenty of friends who have come and gone; but there are a few that have changed the way I live completely.

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by the most amazing people: enthusiastic, go-getters, achievers, and people who in all honesty – live like they are accounting for every second that life has handed to them – and their spirited way of looking at things has changed my life.

My life used to be about – staying up late and waking up – whenever – and I could have counted on my fingertips the number of times I had seen the sun-rise …. exactly 5. Procrastination was my middle name. And let’s face the facts – I was living the lazy kind of life.

Slowly – over time – as I started to learn what was important to me- my attitudes changed. As I made adjustments to be healthier, happier, more hard working, to be more creative, to be more enthusiastic – the right people came into my life.

Friends – that wake me up at 5 AM. Friends that I see at the gym at 6 AM. Friends that wake up at 6.30 on a Sunday morning to go for a run. Friends that are always doing new, exciting things. Friends that are always learning.

I feel so indebted to them – because of one simple reason:

The things in life that are most worth it are never easy to get. Its easier to be inactive and watch TV than make an effort to hit the gym. Its easier to grab a McDonalds burger than it is to make your own salad for dinner. Its easier to do nothing than make a commitment and follow through. Its easier to hit snooze than wake up at 5 AM. So, when you are trying to do the things that are best for you, and not just the easiest – its easy to fall off the band wagon.

If you have the right friends, and the right attitudes around you – it’ll be so much easier to get back on track in case you get a little lost.

I look around me and I see the most amazing people in my closest circle. I would love to show them off – and I am so proud of each and every one of them.

You people so make my day, my week, my year and my life worth it!

You know who you are and -thank you for everything- and a whole lotta love!

The Family

The Family

I need to explain something here. In India, children, no matter how old – 20, 25, 30, 40 – live with their parents if they live in the same city. Its perfectly normal and has been this way for years. Moving out and living in the same city is incomprehensible to most people. My family is quite the same.

Its a lovely thing, you really begin to understand your family and the relationships can become really strong …. sometimes.

I come from a family where drinking, going out partying or even to a club is virtually taboo.

I, on the other hand- am a social butterfly – for all things that have to do with people, music, food, dance – you name it. If there is a party happening, its difficult for me to resist.

So like any family, with such opposite points of view we would often have our tiffs. My parents though have been really forward coming and very trusting – and over the last few years they have given me more freedom than I could ever have dreamed of.

Having said that, I would never have imagined that me, my brother and my parents would have a friends circle that all of us fit into – effortlessly.

The story begins at our local toastmasters club, where we all joined to perfect the art of public speaking. But what we really learned was something entirely different. [We learned public speaking too.]

We learned that we have a lot more in common than we thought. We found a group of friends from different walks of life – some still in college, many working, some a few years older than me, some my parent’s age and some the age of my grandparents.

But when we get together outside the club – the feeling of warmth, love and friendship overwhelms me every time.

Now, I can proudly say – I went out with my friends on Saturday night. And my parents were right next to me. We all had the best time. They are probably going to out a place like this for the first time in their lives – and through our newly found group – they get to be young, wild and carefree again.

When was the last time you went out and had so much fun with your family? Do something with your family that all of you will enjoy. There is something magical about it.

Have a great day!

spend time not money

Spend Time, not money

A while ago, and it got me thinking about time. Time is the most valuable asset we have. We have so much and so little all at once.

I decided to make a conscious effort to spend a little bit more time with the people that matter to me the most – even if it is just to ask them how their day was, or if they need a little help. And the results have been phenomenal.

Yesterday, I spent a little time with a friend – I picked her up – we drove to the gym together. Normally I would have switched on the radio, but I turned it off. We had a great conversation. At the gym, I helped her out with a few exercises. And the smile on her face just said it all – and now, I found myself a gym buddy.

I came home after a long day and asked my mom if she wanted help with dinner. She asked me to put the tomatos away and add a little pepper to the soup. It wasn’t much – but it gave me the opportunity to ask her about her day- and she was really excited to talk about a performance she attended.

It may not seem like a lot, but one conversation like this a day and everyone in my life started to feel so much more special and less taken for granted.

I expected people to know they meant a lot to me – now that I try to show them – I can feel the difference. They have brighter smiles when they see me, there is more joy and happiness in the way they speak to me, and those little accomplishments – have started to become a part of the conversation!

I’m sure this is one of the keys to love, joy and happiness.