The Price of Success

When I spoke to a group of 180 first-years in their college, almost all raised their hands when I asked them if they wanted to be successful. Almost all had a twinkle in their eyes when they thought about where they would be in 50 years. Almost all wanted to make it. But, when I told them that by the time they would turn 65 only 2 out of them would be successful, and 110 of them would be broke and dependent on others, their faces fell in shock. I honestly wasn’t trying to be a kill-joy. I wasn’t trying to be morbid. I was just trying to give them a reality-check which I myself had when I read these statistics. More importantly, I wanted to give them a push to ensure that this did not happen.

There is a price to be paid to gain anything and success is no different. But, the price we often imagine for success is quite far from the truth sometimes and it’s time we get a reality-check to remind us what we need to do, where we need to go and where we will end up if we don’t get it right. Today, this is your reality check. You are welcome!

Last week I posted a video on YouTube which was all about conquering our mind in order to succeed and the amount of power our mind has just baffles me constantly, especially because we do not give it enough credit. Everything begins with the mind and it shouldn’t be surprising then that the price to be paid for success involves our minds too.

So, based on my reading of Earl Nightingale’s book ‘The Strangest Secret‘, here is what I learnt about the price we need to pay for success.

Success is not just achieving that goal you had in your mind but the ‘progressive realization of that worthy ideal’. Basically, just the fact that you are moving towards your goal means you are successful. So, that should make most of us successful, right? Nope, not really.

Based on surveys reported in the book, 19 out of 20 people have no idea what they are working towards. They have no idea why they get up and go to work every single day. They have no idea why they are working where they are working. They have no idea what they want. They have nothing to move towards. Therefore, 19 out of 20 people are not successful. 95% of our population is not successful! How sad is that?

But, the good news is, there is a way to change that and it all begins in the….you know the answer to this one…yes, the MIND!

So, the price of success is:-

  1. Thinking

We need to understand that we are literally what we think about. If you think angry, unproductive, impure, narrow, boring thoughts, you will be angry, unproductive, impure, narrow and boring. There is no ignoring this fact. So, in order to control our lives, we need to control our thoughts. That is the price of success.

  1. Imagining

We need to let our mind soar to whatever it can imagine without imposing limitations on it. That is the only way to break barriers, think outside the box, shatter the glass ceiling and achieve whatever other success clichés you can think of right now. We need to rise above all the narrow-minded ways to achieve success that we imagine and all the other pettiness that keeps us engulfed in rottenness and think beyond. That is the price of success.

  1. Being Courageous

We need to force ourselves to think positively and passionately about where we want to go and who we want to be, regardless of what success to others looks like. If you live, behave, act and think exactly like the others around you then you will be part of the 19 people out of the 20. You will be part of that crowd who doesn’t necessarily know where they are going. So, we need to break away and forge our own path passionately, promptly, decisively and courageously. That is the price of success.

  1. Acting

We need to act in accordance with our thoughts, imagination and courage and give ourselves up to our passions and new found goals with a dedication and commitment that is rare but definitely worth it. You can choose to be lukewarm in your lives journey but your life will be lukewarm too. So, live like you have never lived before, act as though it was impossible to fail and push yourself beyond your limits. That is the price of success.

The price of success begins in the mind. Those who find a way to control their mind, find their way to success as well. Hoping to see you all there!

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Do 2018 right: How to plan your year

Welcome to 2018, friends! As you ride the high of the new year, many will tell you that despite the numbers on the calendar changing, nothing else changes. Situations, people, life remains the same. But, one thing can change and one thing should change and that is you. So, let me help you plan your year 2018 so that it is the best one yet. Let’s get to it. 

The first thing to do is set goals for the different areas of your life depending on what you want to achieve by the end of this year. It totally depends on how you envision 2018.  

Envisioning 2018 is step no. 3 of my ‘Do 2018 right’ YouTube video, if you haven’t watched that already. 

Based on your vision, you can plan the different areas of your life and give more weight or priority to one or the other. 

A glimpse at my Vision Book for 2018

Area no. 1: Health 

Your health goals should focus on how you want to feel right through 2018. If you want to feel healthy, fit, strong and energetic, plan your goals around that. Start small but don’t stop there. If you are living a sedentary life, just start moving. If you already are active, be more active, get stronger, faster, better. Do something every single day for your health so that you feel more energetic and ready to take on the world.  

Area no. 2: Soul 

Your soul goals should focus on making sure you are centered at all times. Whatever it is that ensures the wellness of your soul, do that. Spend time in the quiet, read books that inspire and sustain, pray, take the time to be grateful and just feed your soul. Set goals that will take your soul to another level where you can do more and be more than you have ever been before because internally you are all set. 

Area no. 3: Career 

What do you want to achieve in your career in 2018? That should, obviously, determine your goals but also remember to think higher, bigger and broader. If you want to scale levels in your organization or become an expert in your field, set goals that develop you not only in technical aspects but also as a person. Up your communication, your problem-solving, your execution, your people skills, your influencing, your passion and just about anything that makes not only your skills indispensable but makes you indispensable as well.  

Area no. 4: Development  

Make 2018 the year with the steepest learning curve yet. Look at the areas of your life which need development and set your learning goals accordingly. If it helps, set weekly or monthly goals that will keep you on track and remind you that learning is for a lifetime. It is also a good idea to mirror those who have gone before you successfully to raise the bar for what you set out to achieve. Like a sponge, absorb all the good that can be found around you. Take in books, articles, videos, podcasts, online courses, professional courses and everything else that will help you grow and devour them as if your life depends on it. 

Area no. 5: Social 

Your social goals should include your family, your friends and all the things you want to achieve as a social being. Is it ensuring more time with the people you love? Is it hosting them in your new home? Is it doing things that make them feel more loved? Is it keeping in touch regularly? Whatever it is that you want to see your 2018 like in relation to others, ensure that those goals are made and met and do not get lost amongst your other priorities.  

Another glimpse at Vision Book 2018.

Area no. 6: Community 

Don’t focus so much on yourself this year that you forget about others outside your family. Our world is made up of all of us and looking outward from ourselves this year is a goal in itself. But, why not make it more about others? Look around you and take note of what you would want different and see if you can change it. Want a cleaner city? Join or organize a cleanliness drive. Bothered by the child beggars on the streets? Volunteer at an NGO that tries to educate them. Frustrated by the politics of politics? Join hands with a local politician you believe in. Move outside the four walls of your home and you will find a way to contribute. Set goals that matter and create a better 2018 for everyone. 

Look at these 6 areas of your life and work on them for 2018. All these goals not only help you but help others too and that’s the whole point of #doing2018right.

Let’s  do this together!

 

 

A Reminder to Carry On

Things might be tough now. You might be feeling tired, weary, frustrated or just plain lost in life, wondering is this it? Is this what I have to spend the rest of my life doing? Is this what the rest of my life is going to be? If this is you, please read on.

I can tell you many things today. I can give you small pieces of advice to get through the day and depths of wisdom I’ve received to change your perspective on your situation completely. But, this poem below, that I came across recently, says enough and more about carrying on, moving forward, and pushing through.

Pay special attention to the last stanza.

It’s easy to fight when everything’s right,
And you’re mad with the thrill and the glory;
It’s easy to cheer when victory’s near,
And wallow in fields that are gory.
It’s a different song when everything’s wrong,
When you’re feeling infernally mortal;
When it’s ten against one, and hope there is none,
Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:

Carry on! Carry on!
There isn’t much punch in your blow.
You’re glaring and staring and hitting out blind;
You’re muddy and bloody, but never you mind.
Carry on! Carry on!
You haven’t the ghost of a show.
It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath,
Carry on, my son! Carry on!

And so in the strife of the battle of life
It’s easy to fight when you’re winning;
It’s easy to slave, and starve and be brave,
When the dawn of success is beginning.
But the man who can meet despair and defeat
With a cheer, there’s the man of God’s choosing;
The man who can fight to Heaven’s own height
Is the man who can fight when he’s losing.

Carry on! Carry on!
Things never were looming so black.
But show that you haven’t a cowardly streak,
And though you’re unlucky you never are weak.
Carry on! Carry on!
Brace up for another attack.
It’s looking like hell, but — you never can tell:
Carry on, old man! Carry on!

There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,
And some who in brutishness wallow;
There are others, I know, who in piety go
Because of a Heaven to follow.
But to labour with zest, and to give of your best,
For the sweetness and joy of the giving;
To help folks along with a hand and a song;
Why, there’s the real sunshine of living.

Carry on! Carry on!
Fight the good fight and true;
Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;
There’s big work to do, and that’s why you are here.
Carry on! Carry on!
Let the world be the better for you;
And at last when you die, let this be your cry:
Carry on, my soul! Carry on!

-Robert W. Service
I hope that this filled you with a new zest for life, encouraging you to carry on, no matter what.
There’s big work to do, my friends. Carry on!!
For more encouragement, motivation and inspiration subscribe to my YouTube Channel here.

Creating your normal

You are what you surround yourself with. Whatever your environment is, becomes your normal. The music you listen to, the books you read, the nature of the people around you, their behaviour, their way of speaking all becomes your normal and that becomes your life.

Some are privileged with good environments, supportive people around, intellectual conversations and that becomes their normal. But, some of us are not so privileged and then we can either choose to let our surroundings, our background dictate who we are or we can choose to create the environment of our liking., one that would nurture, inspire and satisfy constantly.

I am not a fan of external dictators in whatever shape or form they come in and I do not therefore believe that what I see around me is all get. I know that a lot of what I surround myself with is a choice. I also know that some things are out of my reach and cannot be chosen and I do not live with the distant hope that they will come true.  But, I know that around me, in my situation, wherever I am, I do have choices and I do have good choices to choose from.

I can intentionally choose the kind of music I listen to, the words I let enter my ears or the chatter that I choose to listen to while watching television shows. I can choose the kinds of books I read, because there are many out there with varying benefits. I can choose to tailor my Facebook newsfeed or my Instagram account and choose to be flooded by positivity and daily inspiration by following those who share my mindset.

So surround yourself with good. There is darkness out there, but there is light too and choose as much as the light as you can and create your new normal. It is something that you do have control over, even if you think you don’t.

Thoughts while driving: Why must we be so selfish?

The selfishness of the human race is on full display when you drive through the streets of a town or a city. It is in these moments of waiting in traffic or cruising slowly through the streets or stopped at a traffic light when you notice the small instances of human insensitivity and selfishness that explain why the lack of consideration for people has become a major threat to the foundation of our generally hospitable and warm society.

On the street I see pedestrians not moving to give other pedestrians way, taking over the entire footpath in groups of 3 or more. On the street I see drivers driving bang in the middles of 2 lanes because they might have to go either way in a couple of minutes. On the street I see vehicles stuck in a deadlock around the roundabout just because no one thought of letting the other car pass through. On the street I see cars and bikes stopped right in the middle of the road to disembark its passengers and I have even seen pedestrians in the middle of the road, not caring about their lives or the lives of others who have to swerve to avoid them.

I see impatience and insensitivity all around and I know, without a doubt, that none of these people would even think for a second that they were selfish.

Selfishness is only believed to be in its extreme forms such as when a mother neglects a child for her beauty treatments, or a husband puts work drinks before his wife. It is then no surprise that with this thinking these subtle forms of selfishness and insensitivity have slowly crept into our lives and have become the new normal.

You might even question me, for a second, and ask me how driving the way you drive or walking the way you walk has to do with selfishness becoming a part of your entire life and character. We are in a hurry, you might say, and we need to get somewhere and sometimes things happen. I understand that completely, as I myself often find myself being late. But, I am sorry to say that you are remiss in thinking that what happens on the street stays on the street. After all, the street is not Vegas.

Slowly and eventually the character we display with strangers on the road becomes the character we display with our near and dear ones and then it becomes our character. Lack of sensitivity thus becomes ingrained in our lives and the lines between sense and nonsense becomes so indistinguishable that we find people hacking each other up for selfish reasons.

So, the next time you find yourself cutting lanes, or jumping red lights or doing anything even off the road that is mildly insensitive to those around, stop! Stop right there and think about the people. Think about that tired businessman, that sick auto driver and that scared child in the back seat. Think about the new salesperson you are shouting at, the timid school teacher that you are questioning, that weary mother whose line you are cutting.

Think about the people. People matter. Treat them with respect, care for them, and look out for them. Make this world a better, safer and warmer place to live in.  Think about the people!

How rebels without a cause are taking over our world

When I see the hastag  #rebelswithoutacause on my social media platforms I wince internally because even though said in jest, I see this very thing around me-people rebelling without a cause. There are people debating passionately, arguing violently and judging others all based on trivial things that do not really matter. That so much of energy is being put into causes that are not even significant is not only reflecting the pitiable nature of our society but reflects the lack of apparent humanness in people,  hence this outcome.

Isn’t it enough that our country, our beautiful country of India, ranks low in just about any kind of survey that the world takes relating to the economy, quality of life, education, corruption, and the environment, that we need to further poison it and bring it to its knees.

India is ranked 141 out of 163 countries in the ranking of peaceful nations in the world according to the Global Peace Index 2017, ranked 122 out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017, ranked  136 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index 2017,and ranked 131 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index.

At this point I do not even need to specify the myriad of frankly useless things my fellow countrymen are fighting about, to the point where the value of another person’s life is considered negligible in comparison to their protests and ‘causes’ they are protesting. Where the common man is struggling under the burden of all the effects of the game that politics and its selfish relatives are playing, the powerful, the greedy, the violent, the angry are seemingly thriving and unfortunately, torching the world we live in.

This time around, there are no external entities dominating us, exploiting us and reducing us to nothing, it is our very own brethren and these rebels without a cause are suffocating us to a point where we can either give in and give up or fight for those saving breaths of air.

I say, we fight!

We have enough causes to fight for, why then are we letting the flimsy ‘causes’ to take up our time, energy and our lives. Why can’t we become rebels with a cause? What more will it take for us to say, ‘that’s enough’? How much longer are we going to allow this to go on? How much is too much?

I leave these questions with you today because you and only you can make a choice today. A choice to fight rather than just sit and take it.  A choice to be active rather than passive. A choice to raise your voice rather than remain silent. But remember,silence is also an action.

More on this in my next video coming up on Sunday, the 18th. Subscribe here.

Travelling on the road less travelled

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 

I took the one less travelled by, 

And that has made all the difference.”

I could not have said it any better than Robert Frost. He has described my life in such beautiful and apt words. The schools I attended, the college I was accepted into, the places I’ve lived in, the people I have met, the friends I have made, the opportunities I have gotten, the choices that I have made and the problems I have faced, are all on the road less travelled.

The road less travelled has been my companion regardless of what others have said, what society expected of me or even what I might have thought my life would turn out to be. The road less travelled has challenged me, moulded me, and changed me into the person I am today and I am sure that it will continue to do so till the day I die.

It has, however, not been an easy road, for obvious reasons. Obstacles have been a daily part of the journey but the worst of all has been the explaining I have had to do for the choices I have made. There have been people who have been supportive and there have been many others who have not. Some have silently been disappointed in me. Others have voiced their displeasure more openly. And I have had to explain. Again and again.

Over the years, however, I have developed a thick skin, a way to squelch the constant desire to justify my actions, and I have found an inner peace that is now my constant companion on the road. I have learnt not to use other’s reactions as my compass. I have learnt to trust myself, my values, my beliefs and my conscience. I have learnt and I am still learning that who I want myself to be is a much more trustworthy indicator than who others want me to be.

The road less travelled is fraught with thorny brambles, overgrown bushes and lesser visibility than any other road I’ve ever been on. It is strange and slightly scary most of the time. I cannot even see a few months ahead. But, I still keep moving, past all the darkness, hoping to find the light, past all the noise of the onlookers who with good intentions are still unfortunately trying to pull me down to a place of doubt.

In the beginning of my journey I felt alone, left out and frankly weird for being the only traveller on that path but over time I have come to savour, even enjoy the lonely moments, and make the most of them. I now cherish the fact that I am the only person on that path and it makes me walk fast, run often and work more harder to blaze the trail.

The road less travelled has given me great moments, happy memories, and so many life lessons than I could possibly have asked for. It has been a friend, a mentor, a therapist, a teacher and everything in between and I am thankful that I chose to stay on the road that looked a little or maybe even a lot different from the others because it has meant a lifetime of unique experiences.

Today, as I look back at my life, I realize that I love being on the road less travelled and  I would not exchange it for any other and I hope that if you are on this road that looks way different from the road that others are on, stick it out, it is worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

What I learnt this month: May 2017 | Courage

Be courageous, it can make a world of difference. This is one of the biggest lessons that I learnt this month and it is something that is worth sharing to encourage, uplift and motivate you to get up, get out there and go for it, whatever the ‘it’ is in your life.

What made this past month really satisfying personally was the fact that I faced one of my fears of being in front of the camera and started my YouTube channel. The statement, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear”, has been ingrained in my mind since I watched Princess Diaries as a young girl. But, its meaning became as real as it possibly could this last month when the benefit of starting a channel was more important than my fear of it.

I knew that to get my message across to a larger audience and more effectively, I would need the medium of video and this understanding was much much much more important than my fear and so, here I am, living and writing about courage.

I think, unfortunately, many of us are protected and contained in our own bubble of life and are unaware or ignorant of the outside world and its effects on our lives and the lives of others in society. Looking at the state of our outside world right now, I believe, it is high time that we get outside of our lives, our family, our circle and start looking at what we are doing or not doing and how it affects the outside world. It is time to gather up our courage and finally do something.

It is all well and good to be courageous for oneself but being courageous for our fellow humans and our society is more noble and relevant in our current context and whether small or big, this is something that we really need to be thinking about.

There are so many things today that are more important than our fear – the rights of a human to life, the rights of a person to live without unnecessary harassment, the rights of the media to report the truth , the rights of a woman to travel alone without fear, the rights of a child to be protected and not exploited. If these events, issues and situations do not generate even a sense of anger within us, we are anything but courageous. We are cowards.

Being courageous can mean talking about these atrocities on social media. Being courageous can mean educating a child to protect himself. Being courageous can mean changing the discussion in your living room. Being courageous can mean generating dialogue and discussion to find a solution. Being courageous can mean doing anything and everything to counter the negative forces that are swirling all around us.

I do not know what being courageous means to you today. But, I hope that you remind yourself of this one sentence over and over again until something  clicks and you finally get it.

“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

 

P.S.I think I have more to share on this topic and will be doing a video on it soon. So, subscribe here if you want watch it.

 

 

UPDATE: New YouTube Channel

Hi Guys. Just wanted to give a quick update. I have started a YouTube Channel as an extension of my blog. In addition to my blog posts, I will also be creating content on my channel. Though the content might be sometimes linked to my blog posts and at other times completely separate, the thrust of my channel is going to be the same. It will be all about life and the lessons I learn from it.

I am going to be putting in a lot of effort and love in providing you with good content on a weekly basis. So, please subscribe to my channel  so that it is easier to be notified about new videos.  Thanks for supporting me.

-Rhoda

The benefits of writing letters to my future self

There are many who write letters to their past selves sharing with all those who read it what they would have hoped to know at that stage in their lives. They write about the fears they might have had that are inconsequential now, the burdens that were not theirs to carry, the warnings that could have saved them from regret and all the love and the words of wisdom that they hoped that someone had shared with them and what they now want to share with others. These letters are helpful for anyone to see how far they have come and others to benefit from their wisdom, especially if it catches them at the right time.

I, however, write letters to my future self.

Though I love the learning that comes with looking at the past and I do that often through the reading of my countless diaries and regular introspection, I try very hard to also ensure that mistakes and miscalculations of a different sort do not take place in the future and that my future is laced with triumph and celebration rather than regret and misery.

Therefore, my letters to my future self that I write and even open from time to time have taken on various roles that have helped me along the way.

The Protector:

The protector letter provides me with clarity when I find myself in situations that I have been through before. I know that often in the heat of the moment, it is harder to have a clear head about your weaknesses and which road to take, but these letters written in moments of awareness protect me from regret. I have check-lists to tick off against people and situations, I have clear warnings against patterned behaviour and all I would want someone to advise me in that moment or situation.

The Therapist:

In some instances, I have predicted the ebb and flow of my emotions and have written letters to counteract them. The ‘for when you are sad’ letter, the ‘for when you are just done’ letter, the ‘for when you are hurting’ letter all fulfill the purpose of a therapist as they tell me that this too shall pass. Sometimes they also tell me exactly what I need to do to get out of that funk and lo and behold my non-talking inanimate piece of paper makes more sense of my life than anyone else.

The Motivator:

There are many turning points in life in which I want to be reminded to move forward thinking about a specific life goal or vision that I have for my life. These turning points are both the known ones of age or other usual life milestones such as graduation, the first job or marriage or the unknown ones which I can anticipate such as the time I feel I have achieved something or the time I feel I am on top of the world. At times like these, the motivator letter tells me there is more to come, more to do and more to live for. It motivates me to keep moving without getting complacent.

The Reality-Check:

The Reality-Check letter is especially for those times of triumph and glory in my life when I need to be reminded that everything I have is a gift that can be taken away at any moment. It corrects me against pride, greed and even jealousy especially when I clearly anticipate and know what might go wrong in certain situations. These letters are often hard and firm but are the most loving letters I could write to myself to bring me back to reality.

There are many roles even other than these that my letters take, often overlapping with each other but these roles are the ones I cherish and am thankful for the most. In a bid to ensure that my life is as smooth as it could possibly be, putting thought into and writing these letters is my contribution and I will continue to do so as I open some letters and seal some.