Nothing is impossible

possibleMany years ago, I started writing as a way to take my mind off stress or anything else that disturbed me. On days when I am saddest or annoyed or worried the most, I end up writing one of my best blog posts. However, these days I barely have time to take a moment and reflect on my day and write something useful. It’s not that I am the happiest person around town now but I think I have learned to deal with things that I don’t have much control over in a better way now.

I am currently reading a book about Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Psychology and study of human behavior is something that I am always interested in. I love reading about it and discovering little things that we don’t normally observe or understand about human behavior. A crucial part of Social Intelligence is based on the premise that genes don’t decide our destiny. A huge chunk of our behavior has nothing to do with our genetic composition, instead it all depends on how we are nurtured. Starting from how a mother handles a child cry and calls for attention to how different people interact with a child throughout the years. It is astounding how the first couple years can play a crucial role in how a person behaves for the rest of their life.

As I read the book, I also tried to connect my behavioral qualities to how my childhood was. For instance, making fun of a child when they make mistakes, can make them believe that they are no longer suitable for that role all their life. Instead encouraging them to learn from mistakes and move forward can make them stronger.

We can’t go back and change our past but good news is that we can modify our behavior by understanding our shortcomings. Since this is not genetically driven, everything can be modified once we understand what we are missing. In my case, I was a shy kid all my life, I still am. But one thing that I dreaded the most was public speaking. Never in my wildest dream did I imagine speaking in front of public. But now, public speaking doesn’t scare me at all. A small part of my work involves me going out and giving technical talks, sometimes even to a global audience. But with enough preparation, I am no longer anxious about the thought of speaking in public. I am happy to do it and I do it well.

I guess, what I am trying to convey is that do not limit what you are capable of just because you were told you can’t do it or because you think you can’t do it. Nothing is impossible as long as you want it to happen.

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Traveling comes with its challenges

petI love traveling, every part of it – the packing, planning, making reservations, the actual journey and most important the experience of exploring different places. I always wanted a job that required me to travel. I had a friend who traveled a lot for work and she hated it. I on the other hand envied it and longed for a job that would allow me to do it. Unfortunately, the field that I work on doesn’t necessarily require me to travel often but somewhere along the line I got lucky.

There is this cheesy line from a Bollywood movie which roughly translates to – “If you want something real bad, the universe will work to make sure you achieve it”. In my case, this was somewhat true. I applied for a job and landed something totally different that I didn’t really apply for. At that time, I didn’t really think much about it and thought of it as a good opportunity to do something different and who knew this job would make me travel the world.

I travel a lot now both domestic and international for work and pleasure and I enjoy every bit of it except one thing. I adopted a sweet little beagle couple of years back and back then I didn’t really travel much. Unfortunately frequent travels also means boarding my pooch frequently. And I don’t really know if she hastes it or loves it, if she misses me or doesn’t really care but every time I drop her off at the boarding place, I feel like a piece of my heart is being ripped apart.

I’ve lived with pets all my childhood life but this is the first one that I have adopted and cared for solely and hence the pain of leaving her is brutal. I wish there was a way to make this easy, I wish she knew I will come back for her, II just hope she doesn’t miss me and is happy when I am away.

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Listen to your stomach

coffeeI got the idea for this blog post while sitting on the airport waiting to board my flight. I managed to find a hipsterish coffee shop with decent coffee, some great sandwiches and good wifi. It’s 7.30 am and my flight doesn’t start for another 2hrs and god knows when I’ll get food next, if at all palatable. So, I grabbed a latte and an avocado sandwich and started to write.

Breakfast is one of my most important meals; science aside I do look forward to having a good breakfast and won’t miss it for anything, mainly because I tend to do an early dinner which means by 7am I am pretty hungry.

I have written a book about how to lose weight and stay fit and one of the important things about losing weight is knowing when to stop. Losing weight shouldn’t be hard, you shouldn’t have to starve or give up on your favorite food but the essence is to not get carried away by the wonderful taste of your food and keep gobbling.

Depending on where you live food portions can vary, sometimes a meal for one can easily feed four. Just because you paid for it, doesn’t mean you need to eat it; at least not in one sitting.

You are what you eat and believe it or not bad food habits come back to haunt you. Even if you had a super great metabolism in your early life, things start to go south as you grow old. It’s always better cut down a little while you are young instead of having to cut down everything while you are old.

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My 2018 reading list

booksReading everyday is on the top my list of things to continue doing this year and something that I consciously take time to do even if it for just 10-15 minutes. I feel that reading opens up a whole new level of wisdom for me, something that I can’t explain in words. And because I have very little time, I make sure that whatever I read adds value to me. I don’t read fiction at all, unless someone recommends a good fiction novel occasionally.

I shared my reading list for 2017 and even though I didn’t stick to the list last year, I thought I’ll link it here for those looking for a reading list.

Here’s what I did ended up reading last year-
1. A Dogs Purpose
2. A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
3. Getting Even
4. Writing with Style – John R. Trimble
5. Quiet
6. Audacity of Hope
7. Class – Paul Fussell
8. The Daily Stoic – Highly recommend reading this one
9. Courage and Confidence – Norman Vincent Peale
10. It’s all the small stuff
11. The things you can see when you slow down (half)

Here’s my list for 2018, again I might change as I proceed-
1. The things you can see when you slow down
2. Show your work – Austin Kleon
3. Mindset – The new psychology of Success
4. Dying a memoir – Picked this up from Obama’s reading list.
5. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ -Daniel Goleman
6. Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment

Happy Reading!!


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My bucket list for 2018

celebration-3042641__340I love writing these end of the year/ new year blog post because it gets me to reflect on the past year and amend plans as needed.

I accomplished most of the things that I had hoped for this year, such as learning Spanish, reading 10+ books, traveling and overall I am doing well at work as well. And on top of that, I managed to not fall sick this winter(read here to know more).

My wish list for 2018 would be to stay healthy, eat healthy, spend more time working out, write 1 blog per week and of course continue reading and traveling more.

Here’s to a wonderful new year ahead. Happy New Year 2018 everyone!

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Chamomile tea benefits

tee-1740871__340It’s three months since summer ended and although we still have a little over two months to go before spring arrives, I think it is safe to say that I have found my superfood to fight my cold away.

For those who don’t know me, here’s a brief recap of my childhood and my encounter with cold. All my childhood up until l was 18, I have suffered from cold almost every month and each occurrence lasting up to 3 weeks and this goes on forever.

Between 18 to 25, I lived in a hot tropical place which helped me not catch cold and after that I moved to US and the stint continued every winter although not as much as I had during my teenage years.

Early this year, some time during May when I was feeling scratchy throat I took some chamomile tea and it immediately helped soothe my throat. I continued this whenever I felt a little sick going forward until Oct 1st; that is when I decided to take it regularly to see if that prevents me from getting cold. I use 1 teabag and refill water 2/3cups throughout the day sometimes even more.

To my surprise, this has been the longest stretch in my life since I have not had cold, that on top of several air travel that I did this fall including two trips to Canada in December.

Now, I don’t travel anywhere without carrying my chamomile teabags along. I plan to continue this until May and again start next fall.

Chamomile tea has antibacterial effects that helps to prevent and treat colds.

As with anything, it is important not to overdo it which is why I only take 1 teabag a day and keep refilling water to it.

Hope this helps for those who have been battling cold all their life like me.

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It’s never too late

candlelightI lost one of my dear friends few weeks ago to a road accident. The last time I met him was couple months before the accident when I attended his wedding party; and the picture of him dancing during the reception still remains on my mind. I couldn’t process that information back then, I still can’t.

A few days after he passed away, while searching for something on my cell phone, I came across the last text that I exchanged with my friend. It was on the eve of his wedding, he had invited me to a party the night before to meet his family and friends. I was running late and asked him if it’s too late to make it to the party. He replied saying – “It’s never too late”.

My dear friend left me with those beautiful words that I will remember forever. He was a cheerful friend who is always there for you. I didn’t have to tell him that I am upset or need his help. He was one of those who will be by your side no matter what, he was the friend I would hide behind in crowded parties. No matter what is going on in his life, he is always there spreading love and happiness to those around him.

I dearly miss him. I keep looking at his Facebook page hoping that he would reply to all the dear messages that his friends have left on his wall after he passed away. I contemplated writing this post for the past 4-6 weeks and then I remembered, it’s never too late.

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