10 posts categorized "Family"

Print worthy!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I browse through many articles and posts  on a daily basis. If I find something truly outstanding  I print them, irrespective of how many pages are involved. 

Yes, sure;  you can save it and access it later. Personally for me converting the ideas into a document I can hold, highlight and saving it separately is compelling. It means I really find that post worthwhile  and the value I get from re-reading it is priceless.

When was the last time you read something so great that you feel the urge to print it?

Not all our written communications need to be “have to  print” quality, but if nothing we write  urges our readers to print it, we’re not  definitely up to the mark. That is one way of checking if we are articulating it correctly so that the readers feel compelled to print them. Print worthy is a good goal we all can strive for.


Lessons from the mess

-Karthik Gurumurthy

There are times when you feel like everything is going your way. It is a great feeling when you have it. Today is not that kind of a day. Actually, it is the opposite. I don't have to elaborate but there seems to be lot of friction in many areas of life at this point of time and I am seeing what I can do to emerge without losing myself.


About twenty years back, my aunt whom we fondly used to refer as Dhammu Athai had gifted me lot of attitude posters/anecdotes which has helped me big time at different points.She used to work for Crompton Greaves and everyime I used to drop by at her office, she used to hand me these anecdotes which played a huge role in my life. The one I caught hold of was about Life reminders. I photocopied it and kept it in my portfolio binder .  It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.  And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

I have to be reminded that happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.  Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles.  Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost.  Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

Here are a few reminders that is helping me motivate myself and I am sure it will benefit all of you as well:

1.  Pain is part of growing.

Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward.  And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to.  When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose.  Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.  Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing.  Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there.  Good things take time.  Stay patient and stay positive.  Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you.  When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

2.  Everything in life is temporary.

Every time it rains, it stops raining.  Every time you get hurt, you heal.  After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever.  It won’t.  Nothing lasts forever.

So if things are good right now, enjoy it.  It won’t last forever.  If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either.  Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh.  Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile.  Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending.  You get a second chance, every second.  You just have to take it and make the best of it.

3.  Worrying and complaining changes nothing.

Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.  It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.  It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it.  If you believe in something, keep trying.  Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future.  Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter.  Take action instead.  Let what you’ve learned improve how you live.  Make a change and never look back.

And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

4.  Your scars are symbols of your strength.

Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with.  A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed.  It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward.  A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of.  Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage.  Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear.  You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them.  You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

I heard somewhere, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars.  See your scars as a sign of “YES!  I MADE IT!  I survived and I have my scars to prove it!  And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

5.  Every little struggle is a step forward.

In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it.  So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way.  Otherwise, there’s no point in starting.  This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion.  It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end.  It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills.  It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar.  It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers.  It could mean lots of time alone in solitude.  Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible.  It gives you the space you need.  Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds.  And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine.  You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path.  And it’s worth it.  So if you’re going to try, go all the way.  There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be alive!
 
6.  Other people’s negativity is not your problem.

Be positive when negativity surrounds you.  Smile when others try to bring you down.  It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus.  When other people treat you poorly, keep being you.  Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are.  You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.

Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough.  Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future.  People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it.  So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think.  If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it.  Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

All jokes aside, your life only comes around once.  This is IT.  So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.


7.  What’s meant to be will eventually, BE.

True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead.  There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them.  You can’t force things to happen.  You can only drive yourself crazy trying.  At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.

In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience.  It’s a long-term journey.  You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way.  Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds.  You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.  


8.  The best thing you can do is to keep going.

Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again.  Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.  Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher.  Find the strength to laugh every day.  Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful.  Find it in your heart to make others smile too.  Don’t stress over things you can’t change.  Live simply.  Love generously.  Speak truthfully.  Work diligently.  And even if you fall short, keep going.  Keep growing.

Get up every day and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

    Think positively.
    Eat healthy.
    Exercise today.
    Worry less.
    Work hard.
    Laugh often.
    Sleep well.

It is all upto you/me to make the attitude adjustment and make it happen.


Remembering Appa

- Karthik Gurumurthy

It has been two years since you left us. When I say, left us, I mean your mighty physical presence. I know you are always with and within us in guiding us. We all definitely miss your physical presence. The best way to honor you is to follow what you have taught us and set a good example making each day count. Success is after all, how many people are better off because you lived. It would have been wonderful if you had stayed longer . All of us come with an invisible shelf life. We just have to make the best use of the cards we are dealt with and make each day count towards something great. Thank you Appa for being there with us all the time and guiding us through all the issues. We miss you big time Guruji. We love you Appa-:)


Leadership Nuggets from Books Part 3

-Karthik Gurumurthy

This is again one classic favorite of mine and Shobana's. The book I am referring to is, "See you at the Top" by Late Zig Ziglar. This was written in 1975 and has sold over two million copies all over the world.

The book has a traditional view of success that may have few people laughing, but let's remember that this former cookware salesman had been around a long time and a top motivational speaker longer than many of us have been alive. He passed away November of last year which was a huge loss.

All this said, See You at the Top is still a magnet for those who simply want the best for their family, to be successful at work, and to feel that they are free to chart their own course in life. It is filled with stories, analogies and jokes which helps in reinforcing the principles. You may not agree with all his political views, but the points he makes about seeking your best are difficult to rebut. I have gifted this to lot of my friends and family and all of them who read it thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ziglar's recipe for life at the top involves the three dimensions: the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. You are the sum total of your habits and influences, he says, so if you ignore one area, you will be "a phony"

Zig Ziglar's mantra if I have to sum it up in one line: "You can have everything in life if you will just help others to get what they want."

Ziglar is a self-confessed sentimentalist about America and the free enterprise system. He notes that the countries where people are "provided for" have the highest suicide rates, because if contribution and work are not seen as necessary, people feel they have no value. Providing service creates a healthy self-image, which is not the same as an inflated ego.

Goals

You are "born to win" but must commit your goals to give them force.  People do not "wander around and find themselves in Mt. Everest". Ziglar says: if you are not planning to get anywhere in particular, you will not get anywhere in particular. Have plans that stir your soul and be specific about them, but work toward them gradually as "confidence is the handmaiden of success".

You are what you take in

Whatever goes into your mind- television programs, conversations, pornography- will come manifested as action or words. Most people live under the illusion that they are in control of their mental life, when their physical circumstances suggest otherwise. Knowing that you are the sum total of what goes into your mind is scary. Once you realize it, however, you have the rare opportunity to remake your life.

As Benjamin Franklin knew, personal development is a daily thing. Read good biographies of successful people and use your time in the car listening to empowering talks.

Marriage

Success has more to do with your marital relationship than anyone else, but what is the key ingredient to make that a happy relationship? Loyalty..Without knowing that you have loyalty, you won't have the energy or support for making a mark in the world. See you at the Top is perhaps at its best on the subject of honoring and loving your partner, and Ziglar is an unapologetic romantic when it comes to his wife, whom he married over 50 years ago.

Attitude

To keep life fresh you must avoid "hardening of attitudes". The right attitude is all-important, because in life the distance between winning and losing is often infinitesimal, and the right attitude allows you to cope with all the seconds and thirds you seem to have to go through before winning. Desire and persistence mark you out from the rest.

Habits

In changing bad habits, you don't "pay the price," you enjoy the benefits. Ziglar got into jogging in a big way to reduce his 41-inch waistline, but found it tough getting out of bed in the morning. While good habits are hard to acquire, they become easy to live with; in contrast, bad habits come slowly and easily but are hard to live with.

The best guide to your conduct is the people you spend your time with. If you want to stop smoking, quit drinking, and start getting up early, you will not achieve it by spending your nights in bards, however good your will-power. Habits are only the surface of your whole attitude to life.

Final comments

It is the sort of book you need if you life is truly and deeply in a mess and you need some black-and-white solutions for dragging yourself up. I feel, it is a must-read for everyone.


1008th Post (Remembering Dad)

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I have been writing blogs from 2005 and this is my 1008th posting. I have an average of 25-30 visitors everyday. I thank you all the visitors for your ongoing support and kind words of encouragement. I don't write as much as I used to do. Today being Father's day, I want to dedicate it to my dad. (Below: Dad with S. Venkataraghavan)

AppaVenkat-1

It's natural for many to reflect today on what their dads mean to them.  I'm no different.  But I spend a lot of days thinking about the lessons I learned, how I've applied them and more importantly, how they have created who I am.

Dad

Dad left us last year and there is not a day that goes by without thinking about him. Everyday is Father's day. This is what I wrote last year about him.  It is difficult to find a proper way to express all that my father has meant to me and to offer a fitting tribute to him which might be profitable to share with others.  I would like to share the lessons learned by watching my dad.

  • No matter what I did in life, Dad was my biggest supporter. He was the guy driving me to play Cricket and telling me how wonderful I was. He was the guy telling his friends in front of me – how wonderful I was. I wasn’t always wonderful. But I sure felt like it. It turns out there is a strong correlation between encouraging your children and a feeling of self worth. I always valued myself and felt like I was special. Much of this came from my dad.
  • My father taught me that you appreciate the things you have much more when you earn them.
  • Dad taught me life is full of gray areas. Don’t be too quick to judge and don’t make assumptions! I have never seen my dad gossip about anybody. 
  • I learned loyalty by watching dad. He was fiercely loyal to his work place (State Bank of India), Cricket Team, Natakapriya and friends. 
  • When I left to US, he mentioned that "your profession or title didn’t matter. How you held yourself and treated others would be how you would be judged by others".
  • Most people talk about how to serve elders and parents. Much of what I learned from him I learned from observation. Through his  live example he showed us how to take care of them with compassion and devotion. We didn't read that in a book. We saw him in action. Everyday he would serve his mother (my Grandmother) with unconditional love and kindness. 
  • There is not a day that would  go by without him mentioning his gratitude to God for providing the best parents, family and friends. I have learned from him how to be thankful everyday for what we have.
  • He would always say, "With determination and dedication, you can almost accomplish anything and everything".
  • His favorite quote was, "Truth need not be remembered". If you are speaking the truth you don't have to have good memory.

Dad3

I am glad I was blessed to have him as my Dad and a part of my life for 38 years. I look forward to the day I can see him -- standing by the Almighty and welcoming me home once again.

Dad2


I miss you Dad....

-Karthik Gurumurthy

It has been exactly a year since you physically left us. There has not been a single day which goes by without thinking about you. You have had a tremendous impact in our lives. Thanks for being the shining and guiding light who is making sure that we are doing the thing right and doing the right thing all the time. The only way to show our respect and honor you is by living the way you have taught us.

DSC03139

You are my hero, my protector, my teacher. You are my father and I love you dearly. I miss you here on Earth, but, I know that one day we will be together again on a new journey. You helped me through this life, from the time I was born till the day you left us 1 year back.  You are still guiding me and thanks for having a hedge of protection around the family.This is a message from me to you, Father.


The older I get, Dad, the more I realize just how much you gave me. You gave me the realization that my spiritual growth is of the utmost importance. You taught me that to grow spiritually I must listen to the voice of my soul -- to sometimes enter into the silence to do so.

From you I learned that all people are the same in God's eyes and that love is the greatest of all things.

Thank you, Dad, for being the loving father and grandfather (for Ashwin) you were, for all you have given me, for being there for me -- I love you with all my heart and soul.


Most critical but commonly missed element to succeed

  -Karthik Gurumurthy

This is one of the areas I had to work more than any others but the payoff was worth it.  I still haven't reached where I wanted to be, but I am getting there.  This is one of the common areas which lot of us fall short.

 

Accountability

 

Accountability means being responsible for our actions—to somebody for something.  However, I am not writing about how to hold other people accountable. It’s about us holding ourself accountable.

When we take 100 % responsibility for holding ourself accountable, our performance will shine, our relationships will flourish, our market value will multiply, people’s respect for uswill soar, we will be a great example for everyone to follow, and personally  on top of that, our self-esteem will grow.

How is it that in all these areas of our life we can see such a great improvement?  Because when we hold ourself accountable to doing the things we know we should do, we will distinguish yourself from the crowd.

I am convinced if we want to advance our life personally or professionally, we must hold ourself accountable for our actions, responsibilities, and goals.  Think about it. Why should it be someone else’s responsibility to make sure we are doing the things that we know we should to be doing?

The mindset I adopted more than 3 years ago is this: it is up to me and no one else to make sure I am doing what I know I should be doing. When someone has to hold me accountable, because I failed to do what I should have done, I have a serious conversation with myself. My belief is that no one should have to hold me accountable for my actions, responsibilities and goals. While I appreciate others helping me get better, I am the one that must hold myself to a high standard.


There are three areas in which we must hold yourself accountable:

1.    Our actions and choices.  What actions and choices I am talking about?

  •  How we communicate with others.
  • How we spend our time. If God wants to see what we have done in the last 24 hours and based on how we spent it, if he is going to grant another 24 hours, will we pass the test? Think about it.
  • Our behavior and manners
  • The consideration and respect we show others
  •  Our eating habits and exercising routine (I am working on this!!)
  • Our attitude and thoughts
  • The way we respond to challenges


2.    Our responsibilities—This would include these types of things:

  •  Returning calls, emails, and texts in a timely manner
  • Being on time for business and personal appointments
  • Keeping our home, car, and workplace clean
  •  Spending less than we earn
  • Doing the things we agreed to do when we agreed to do them
  • Executing our job description to the best of our ability
  • Writing things down on a “To Do” list so we don’t forget


3.    Our goals—This would include our:

  •     Fitness and health targets
  •     Financial goals
  •     Family objectives
  •     Career ambitions
  •     Personal goals
  •     Marital enhancement
  •     Any other goals we have set for ourself


Make no mistake about it. We cannot achieve any worthwhile goal, if we don’t hold ourself accountable. The reason is simple. It’s our life!  We are witnessing enough examples in day-to-day life how lack of accountability kills relationships. Eg. Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzeneggar...

Holding ourself accountable is nothing more than following through with OUR commitments and responsibilities.  It’s doing what YOU know YOU should do, when YOU should it. Last week I had a chance to listen to Entrepreneur Sugeet Ajmani who said " the bigger gap than Grand Canyon is the gap between knowing and doing."

Irrespective of where we are in our life, let today be the day that we can make the commitment to ourself that we will NEVER again require anyone else to hold us accountable.  After being associated with my wife Shobana, I have started keeping a prioritized “To Do” list which really help focus on holding myself accountable to working through my tasks in a prioritized sequence. Just like any good habit, it is difficult to get started but once you make it a habit, it is worth it. I strongly recommend it.

One life to live..Take charge and live large!


Remembering Kalyani Athai

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am extremely blessed with a wonderful family whom I cherish. Who I am is shaped up predominantly as a result of interactions with the family and friends. One of the people whom I admire, adore is Kalyani Athai (KA). Athai in my language means Aunt. Kalyani Athai is my dad's older sister. KA lived in Nagpur right from the time she got married. As a matter of fact, she was the one who named me as  ' Karthik'. On Feb 18, KA went to be with God. Since I was born and raised in Chennai, my interaction with her was very limited.

In the limited opportunity I had to interact with her, I found her simply amazing GO- Giver. She was very soft-spoken and kind. I have been to Nagpur couple of times during the summer vacation. It was lot of fun and she always used to make different kinds of delicious food and she always went the extra mile to make you feel special. When my uncle and aunt visit, I always wanted to spend more time with them. She makes one of the best Chhole I have ever tasted ('Chhole means Garbanzo beans'). She used to narrate lot of stories about all the pranks my dad did when he was little. I have never seen her gossip or put other people down. It is amazing how much you learn by watching older people behave and interact. She was perfect example of practicing unconditional love, loving every person she comes in contact with and being amazingly kind. The last time I saw her was during my wedding. Last few years she was suffering from Alzheimers before she went to the Lord.

It is sad when we lose one of our close family member, it is a life that was given & yet taken away. What we must always remember is the worth of the life given and by remembering everything that this lady contributed to our world means she has only fallen asleep. She won’t die as in real terms but will live on in the hearts and minds of those she left behind. We definitely miss her physical presence but she did leave a legacy. Legacy of being kind, caring and being a Go- Giver. And as we bid farewell another life, we can pray and hope one day we will all be together again. We can practice what she stood for and that is the best way to honor her to treat everyone with respect, unconditional love and kindness. Thanks Athai for who you are and what you represented. You will be missed for sure.

 


Greatest things

Karthik Gurumurthy

  • What is greatest puzzle? Life
  • What is greatest mystery? Death
  • What is the best work? The work that you will be doing in the future
  • What is the best day? Today
  • Most ridiculous asset? Pride
  • Most important asset to have? Common sense
  • Most expensive indulgence? Hate
  •  Most disagreeable person? Complainer
  • Who is the best teacher? The one who makes you want to learn
  • Who is the greatest deceiver? The one who deceives himself.
  • Who is most bankrupt? The soul who has lost enthusiasm
  • What is the easiest, cheapest stupidest thing to do?  Finding fault in others.
  • What is the greatest comfort? The knowledge that you have done your work  well.
  • What is the meanest feeling? Being envious of another's success.
  • What is the Greatest thing in the world? Love - for family, friends and the country.

What I want my kids to learn

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What are the things you didn’t learn in school that have proven most value to you in life?

I’ve asked myself that question. I’ve learned much over the years and but am most interested in those things that have provided the greatest benefit; those things that have improved the quality of my life.

Currently we do not have kids, but I know once  we have them, these are the same lessons I want my kids to learn. While they could learn them on their own, I feel responsible for guiding them in these lessons. What follows is a short list (in no way exhaustive or in any particular order) of those life lessons I believe will most benefit them.

Being able to talk to anyone.

The ability to engage a stranger in conversation is not only an important life skill but the gateway to rewarding relationships.

The power of a simple daily plan.

Know at the outset of each day the two or three important things you desire to accomplish.

The rewards of work.

Many divorce the monetary compensation of work from the discipline and reward it instills. Work should be more than transactional. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a job well done regardless of the pay or lack thereof.

The undependability of luck.

Life isn’t a lottery ticket. You can’t depend on happenstance and fortune to make your way. The only luck you can count on is the luck you make with your wit and hard work.

The value of lots of experiences.

Those who try little limit themselves severely. The more things you attempt, the more quickly you learn what you really value.

The ability to extract lessons from whatever happens.

No teacher will follow you through life to tell you what you should have learned from what happened. Reflection about what can be learned from anything that happens is the key to lifelong learning.

The willingness to confront facts and take responsibility.

You only get full credit when you take responsibility. Facing harsh facts is never easy by always essential. The question always reduces to “What can I do to positively affect this situation?”

How to handle money.

Money provides means but it doesn’t provide skills. While earning money is something almost everyone learns, learning how to handle it is too often neglected. The ability to save, manage and invest money is necessary for the accumulation and effective use of money earned.

How to be bigger than circumstances or the limitations of others.

Petty people are never an adequate excuse to be petty. The noble are those who can maintain composure and act with dignity regardless of their situation.

Resilience.

That is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and defeats, and to do so as quickly as possible. The ability to get back on your feet when you’ve been knocked down by life is crucial.

These are all lesson taught directly in word and indirectly in deed. The latter is most powerful.