7 Things My Dogs Beats Me In

Don’t compromise, ever! – She will never eat food that she doesn’t like even when the food is lying around in the bowl whole day and she has not eaten anything.

Don’t eat if not hungry – She won’t eat food when she is not hungry how ever much you plead or force.

Play like a dog – She always loves to play, in the middle of the night or early in the morning or middle of the day. No questions asked.

Always be cheerful (ABC) – She is happy and cheerful, never a dull moment with her around.

Always greet visitors – She is always the first one to welcome guests into the house and she greets them by playing with them for a minute or two.

Never eat while driving – When we are on a long drive, she never eats any food during the travel. She likes the “less luggage more comfort” policy.

Never get mad – Whatever you do to her, she will never get mad, it’s impossible to make her mad. I’ve had a couple of dogs before and man they get mad when you touch their food bowl, however, this girl is super cool!

Every man has his day, my turn is next. Meanwhile, I might as well enjoy some good music.


			
				
			
			

Does Everything Happen For Our Own Good?

“He washed his hands and feet, and just as he reached for his boot, an eagle snatched it away! The boot turned upside down as it lifted, and a poisonous snake dropped out. The eagle circled and brought the boot back, saying, “My helpless reverence for you made this necessary…Mohammad thanked the eagle and said, “What I thought was rudeness was really love. You took away my grief, and I was grieved! Learn from this eagle story that when misfortune comes, you must quickly praise. Others may be saying, Oh no, but you will be opening out like a rose losing itself petal by petal….The feeling of joy when sudden disappointment comes, that is Sufism…Don’t grieve for what doesn’t come. Some things that don’t happen keep disasters from happening.” –Rumi

Philosopher and poet Rumi reminds us that everything happens for ones own good. Because when **it hits the fan, it’s hard to believe that anything good can come out of that, **it is not supposed to hit the fan, isn’t it? How does one come to that understanding that everything happens for good?

That understanding comes from faith that there is something better at play than the **it we see and that faith comes from good experiences and good experiences come from a lot of bad experiences i.e. **it hitting the fan.

Inspiration (PE) To Action (KE)

“Inspiration = Potential Energy (PE) = m. g. h
Action = Kinetic Energy (KE) = 1/2 . m . v(squared)

It’s easy to get inspired. Open Youtube and you can watch a million inspirational videos, average video is about 15 minutes. If you watch all million videos it would take about 28.5 years of your life. Funny thing is you will still be where you are, no progress. In fact, you will be worse off now because sitting on your ass for that long only could mean bad health, depression and death.

A different approach could be, go get the inspiration from wherever, youtube, a book, gym, running, music or a friend. Get pumped and don’t stop there, it’s pointless if you do, you might have as well sat on your ass eating Cheetos. Go turn that potential energy into kinetic energy, that’s the only reason to ever get inspired. Period. Remember energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can only be transformed. I had to say that, the only thing I remember from that physics class in grade school 🙂

How do you take action, move (velocity), keep going. Do your thing, this is the best time. If you don’t know what your thing is, I doubt it but let’s say you don’t, then do something. Like writing a blog, calling that friend you haven’t called in ages or whatever, don’t let the potential energy dissipate away in frivolous activities.

KE is all about velocity and mass (f/a). Velocity, as I see it, is speed with a sense of direction, keep going with a sense purpose and reach your destination.

Subhashita 3 – Mother And Motherland

Api Svarnamayi Lanka Na Me Lakshmana Rochate/
Janani Janmabhumischa Svargadapi Gariyasi//

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

O Lakshmana! I wouldn’t like this city of Lanka, though it is full of gold, because the mother and the birthplace are always greater than even the heavens.

This is a very famous saying of sage Valmiki, after the battle, Lakshmana liked the city of Lanka which was abundant in riches and full of golden structures. Sri Rama advised Lakshmana like this –

O Lakshamana! I consider the mother and the birthplace are greater than the heavens. Indeed nothing can occupy the place of a mother or birthplace, they are matchless.

in Life | 123 Words

Subhashita 2 – Tomorrow’s Work Today

“Svah Karyam Adya Kurvita”

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

The work to be attended tomorrow, should be done today itself. Generally the human mind postpones important activities indefinitely. Chanakya the author of Arthasastra advises like this –

Don’t postpone anything. Do attend the work planned for tomorrow, today itself.

This type of strategy is more necessary for rulers. They should announce the program for tomorrow and do it in advance today itself, so that there may be no chance for their enemies to spoil it.

in Life | 101 Words

Subhashita 1 – Who Is A Friend?

“Dadati pratigrnhati guhyam akhyati prcchati /
Bhunkte bhojayate caiva shdvdham mitralakshanam //”

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

He is a real friend who gives to others first and then takes anything from others, first reveals personal secrets to others and then enquires about their personal things and lastly accepts food from others and happily offers it to others as well. This is the definition of a real friend.

Lessons From People No Smarter Than You

Listen to the audio of this blog.

“Don’t take ‘no’ when your gut tells you ‘yes'”

James Patterson

“Whatever drives us, we all derive happiness from finding purpose. We find joy in thinking, doing and discovering – in improving people’s lives and catalyzing positive change in the world.”

Robert Smith

“I should have done this a long time ago”

Lou Gerstner

“Truly great artists, they always get better”

Jeff Koons

“I read. I listen. I try to surround myself with smart people of all ages and backgrounds. Wednesday nights me and my wife host college students for dinner to share their world-views and work, they inspire me with their potential and passion to change the world.”

John Doerr

“Be a voice that is respected and abreast of developments”

Ratan Tata

“By the end of the day, I’ve learned something that shows how dumb I was yesterday”

Bernard Marcus

“I believe in telling like it is and not worrying about it”

Vinod Khosla

“I believe in work and being connected to the world we live in”

Miuccia Prada

The Art of Breaking Things Down To Bite-Sized Chunks

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”

Listen to the audio of this blog.

Let’s say you want to be a Designer, if you are just starting out on that path, that goal is very daunting, it seems out of reach, how can we make it tangible, bite-sized and easily chewable?

It is a regular experience, we have a big pizza in front of us, we want to eat it but we don’t take the whole pizza and shove it into the mouth. We cut it down into 6 or 8 slices, not only it becomes easier to hold and bite into a slice but also lets others take a slice of their own. Furthermore, we don’t try and shove the entire slice of pizza into our mouth, we take smaller bites and enjoy it. Similarly, we can and should break down a hard problem into smaller slices and further into bite-sized chunks to understand and solve better and have fun doing it.

source: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-pizza/

Second part of the quote above “but not simpler” is important. One can go down the path of chunking problems into smaller pieces but after a certain point there are diminishing returns. We should know when to stop, just as we adjust how much of a slice of pizza we need to bite off so that it can fit in the mouth and it’s easy to chew. We could slice the pizza into 100 slices instead of 6 or 8, is that necessary? In most cases, not only it’s unnecessary, it’s counterproductive.

In my experience, breaking down the hard problem into 6 chunks or 6 questions and repeating that to 4 – 6 levels deep is usually enough to get to that bite-sized chunks that can be tackled easily. Not only small problems are easier to solve, they also give us ammo, motivation from completing a task is the best motivation there is. That power propels us to finish even more smaller problems and before we know it, we have eaten the whole pizza and now it’s time to burn those calories, put on your shoes, let’s go for a 6 mile run!

I understand the pizza analogy only goes so far, I already know to eat a pizza, all pizza slices are more or less the same. What if I don’t know what to eat? What if I don’t know that I need to eat? What if I chose the second slice and not the fifth slice, things could be completely different in a real life situation!

Lessons From My Life’s Darkest Teacher

“Be grateful and happy that beautiful people chose to be in your life. Be happy that it happened, not sad that it’s over.”

I was listening to Cheryl Strayed podcast (author of Wild) on The Tim Ferris Show and at the end she challenged all listeners to write down who their darkest teacher was, life events, people whoever it might be. Here is my attempt.

Was my darkest teacher my Mom’s death? My Dad’s death? My lost teenage years? My failed ventures? they were all significant and some of them life altering but which ones taught me the most about how to live a good life?

I don’t know if it was the darkest teacher but losing my Mom and then my Dad has definitely set me on a different path than I’d have taken otherwise. I am very certain about that, I was a different person before losing them. I became reticent, much less interested in external achievements and rewards, others opinion of me didn’t matter, diminished faith in the external world and I struggle with these everyday.

Why did mom suffer physical pain for 4 years? Why did she die so young? What happened to all the goodness she brought to people around her? What would it be like if she is still around now? What would she say to her grandchildren? Why did dad have to die so young? What more could he have accomplished if he was still around? What happened to all the good things he brought into this world? Many questions and no clear answers, I don’t know if I will ever find them but the inquiry and struggle continues. Even if I find answers to some of these questions, are they worth anything now? Can they remove the pain, the darkness and the feeling of sadness I have experienced in the past and continue to experience to this day? Can the answers bring back what was once lost?

Am I supposed to simply wail in this abyss of darkness, is there a point in trying to look for light? Is this darkness what I am meant to experience? Is this all a random probability? or is there a rhyme and reason to all of this?

Through all this I learned a few things

Be kind and loving to everyone you come in touch with, no matter the situation, who it is, what it is, where it is, be kind and loving in your thought, word and action.

Be steadfast in your faith even if the outcomes are not as you expected and keep doing the work, keep living the life according to your conscience, not according to what the world expects, not what your friends or relatives expect but what you expect of yourself.

Listen to others going through the troubles, don’t advise, just listen and offer a shoulder if they want to lean on.

Be grateful and happy that beautiful people chose to be in your life. Be happy that it happened, not sad that it’s over.

Last but not the least, live up to their values, remember them in your daily life and cherish those wonderful memories.