13 posts categorized "Humor"

Interesting perspective of life from a someone who is 100 years young

-Karthik Gurumurthy

  • Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  • When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  • Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  • Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
  • Pay off your credit cards every month.
  • You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  • Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  • It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  • Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  • When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  • Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  • It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  • Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  • If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  • Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  • Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  • Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  • Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  • It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  • When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  • Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy clothes. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  • Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
  • Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple or blue or green.
  • The most important organ is the brain.
  • No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  • Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
  • Always choose life.
  • Forgive everyone everything.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business.
  • Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  • However good or bad a situation is it will change.
  • Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  • Believe in miracles.
  • God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  • Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  • Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
  • Your children get only one childhood.
  • All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  • Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  • If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  • The best is yet to come...
  • No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  • Yield.
  • Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Dealing with unexpected changes

-Karthik Gurumurthy

When I was in high school and college, I spent hours and hours learning, and trying to understand Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Currently I live close to Los Angeles and from time-time we get some tremors which shake us up. Heisenberg principle is nothing to do with what I am going through..but uncertainty/tremor is the one I am talking about. I am currently dealing with lot of uncertainties/tremors. How do we deal with unexpected changes in life?

We all need to know how to handle these unexpected changes. Even when you think you’ve curled into a cozy cocoon of predictability, anything could change in a heartbeat.

The only constant in life is that it will involve change; and try as you may to control the future, sometimes all you can do is trust that whatever happens, you can adapt and make the best of it.

Since I am straddling familiarity and the unknown, waiting to form some type of expectations for my future, I’ve been thinking a lot about dealing with uncertainty well. Though I’ve written before about embracing an uncertain future, I have a few thoughts as I am going through this:

Replace expectations with actionable plans.

When you form expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can’t control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you’ll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll create a vision that’s hard to live up to.

Instead of expecting the future to give you something specific, focus on what you’ll do to create what you want to experience.

What is in my hands is what I plan—, find balance, and live the life I want.

Prepare for different possibilities.

The most difficult part of uncertainty, at least for me, is the inability to plan and feel in control. But I can plan for the possibilities. If Plan A doesn't work, having a Plan B..If not Plan C..There are 26 possibilities in total for all of us.

Become a feeling observer.

It isn’t the uncertainty that bothers me; it’s my tendency to get lost in my feelings about it.

The second I start indulging fear, I get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. “It might not work out” leads to “How will I achieve my goal?” Before you know it, I’ve somehow traveled all the way to “What if I become this homeless person in the street?

Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration. The point is that speculation leads to feelings, which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps me to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling—in that case, fear—and the reminding myself: I can’t possibly predict the future, but I can help create it by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.

Get confident about your coping and adapting skills. This isn’t the same as “expect the worst.” It’s more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come.

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” I could take the opportunity to downsize my stuff. I could deal, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.

Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively.

If you’re dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body, even if it’s not at the forefront of your thoughts in this exact moment. Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate, and every organ in your body.

Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, ideally meditation, even if just five to ten minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.

Focus on what you can control.

Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. What is in my control is, what I can do today to take care of the issues for today.


Practice mindfulness.

When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.

While meditation is the best way to become more mindful, it isn’t the only approach. Sometimes it helps me to take an inventory of what’s good in today.

If ever you think you’ve created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that’s an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever.

The uncertainty can keep you up at night, obsessing over ways to protect yourself from anything that might go wrong. Or it can motivate you to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

What’s coming tomorrow might not be easy—or it might fulfill you in ways you didn’t know to imagine. What’s certain is that it will come and when it gets here, you’ll respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.

Today I’m focusing on my possibilities, not my fear, and suddenly I feel much better.


Thought process: Laughter- The best medicine

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Scientist Lee Berk brought laughers into his laboratory at Loma Linda University in California. Half of the subjects watched a video of a stand-up comedian while the other half, or control group sat quietly in another room. Blood samples were drawn every 10 minutes from both groups. The control group showed no physiological change. The subjects who watched the video showed decreased levels of cortisol, a hormone that suppresses the immune system, and "significant increases in various measures  of the immune function." This means laughing activates:

  • T cells that battle infection.
  • B cells that produce disease-fighting protein.
  • Natural killer cells that attack tumors and microbes.
  • Immunoglobulin- antibodies that patrol the respiratory tract.
  • Gamma-interferon that is key immune system messenger.

Berk concluded that "laughter creates its own unique physiological state with changes in the immune system opposite to those caused by stress." He summed up the benefits of laughter this way: "Blessed are those who laugh, for they shall last." Dr. Stanley Tan and Dr. Berk have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, increases muscle flexion, and triggers a flood of beta endorphins- natural morphine -like compounds.

Dr. Derks and his colleagues mapped the brain activity of subjects while they listened to jokes.Having discovered that the entire outer layer of the brain is involved when people laugh, they believe it could boost the immune system.

The bottom line to all this research is that laughter increases disease-fighting cells and proteins in the blood and increases our immunity to infections. Even common sense tells us that no one can be anxious and tense while laughing. It is important that we develop the ability to find humor in life.


Perception, Reality and Authenticity in Communication

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Ever get the feeling that people-even people who know you (or should know you) very well-just don't "get" you?

Ever get the feeling that the relationships in your life-some of them anyway- are a little  out of sync with your ideals and what you really want?

Ever get the feeling that there's a troubling disconnect- maybe only minor, maybe profound- between your personal life and your professional life?

In every case described above, a gap seems to exist between the " real you" and the you other people see and interact with.

Your personal brand is a perception held in others minds, and it has evolved through their interactions with you. Through repeated contacts between you and another person, his or her perception of you sharpens and your brand in that person's mind become clearer.

In other words, people are constantly observing who you are, what you do and how you do it. Having a brand is not the point: more important is the question, How strong is your personal brand? The strength of your personal brand grows or weakens depending upon the consistent impact (positive or negative) you are making on other individuals.

It doesn't involve changing your personality- you can be an introvert or extrovert. And it is definitely not about trying to be something you are not.

 We should strive to work on having a strong personal brand. A personal brand is a perception or emotion maintained by somebody other than you that describes your outstanding qualities and influences that person's relationship with you.

A Strong personal brand does not result from a contrived image, colorful clothing, snappy slogan, or from having put on an artificial veneer to disguise the true nature of what's within: A strong personal brand describes a person who chooses to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and who builds trusting, valued relationships. A weak personal brand describes a person whose attributes and perceived qualities lack clarity, and more importantly, someone who is not perceived to extend him- or himself to make a difference for other people.

The difference between one personal brand and another is that the person with a strong brand utilizes his or her special qualities to make a difference in the lives of others. Using one's values and distinctive qualities to make a difference for others is the core ethos of strong, thriving personal brands. Since the ability to build trusting relationships is a key component of professional and personal success, people with strong personal brands are able to achieve more what they want by being more of who they are.

An important competency of building and growing a strong personal brand is to harness the power of perceptions. If others' perceptions define our personal brand, we need to be purposeful about managing the perceptions we leave with them. Let us be clear that how people perceive us has a significant impact on how they relate to, and react to, us. And in some case, their perceptions may impact whether they will even take the time to meet with us. So to leverage our personal brand and make the most of our relationships, we must improve our competency of managing the perceptions we create.

Even with our best intentions of managing others' perceptions of us, it is not easy. Commonly we view ourselves one way while others have a very different perception of us. Do you know of someone who takes pride at being a hard worker- while other people perceive him or her as a lazy person. Who is right? How does that difference in perception impact their relationship? In the end, the perspective others have of us will clearly bias how they perceive and relate to us.

There are many reasons why a difference exists between how one perceives oneself and how one is perceived by others. We each have a unique set of lenses through which we view others, so to speak. Each person's lenses are colored by life's experiences, attitudes  at the time, and how the person feels about him-or herself at a particular moment. The result is that a person's actions or words may be interpreted differently by various other people ir at different times. Building a dependable strong brand requires a level of wisdom and flexibility to ensure that one's actions and words consistently reinforce the way one wants to be perceived.

Why should anyone work so hard to manage the perception others have of them?

It is all about the gap in communication. The size of the gap between the way you want to be perceived and the way you are perceived by another person will have a big impact on the general tenor and productivity of the relationship. A narrower gap supports a productive and enjoyable relationship. Conversely a wider gap results in a relationship that will require more effort to accomplish things, and interacting may not be as much fun.


Leadership Nuggets from Books Part 6

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Today I am going to talk about a book called "Take Time for your Life: A Seven-Step Program for creating the life you want" written by Cheryl Richardson. Cheryl Richardson was originally a tax consultant where she found out that her clients needed advice and support on making decisions on the non financial aspects of their lives. Eventually she stopped doing people's tax returns and gave workshops on the "secrets of success". This is different from the other books I have read in this topic. She focusses more on life instead of simply career or personal goals. Outward achievement is all well and good, but if it is not balanced by what she calls "extreme self-care" you will burn out and be no use to anyone.

Slowing down to success

The best part of Take Time for Your Life is its vignettes of people with whom Richardson has worked.Most of her clients seem to live fast-paced lives and dream of more time for themselves, more fun and more authenticity in their existence. They feel that it is time to step off the merry go-round and take stock.

Richardson identifies the seven common obstacles that these people seem to face in living their best lives:

  1. They generally have difficulty putting themselves first.
  2. Their schedule does not reflect their priorities
  3. They feel drained by certain people of things.
  4. They feel trapped for monetary reasons.
  5. They are living on adrenalin
  6. They don't have a supportive community in their life.
  7. Their spiritual well-being comes last.

You may feel that to get ahead or simply maintain your current success you have to work very long hours, sacrificing everything. This is a myth, and Richardson shows how altering even small things about your daily existence can make a big difference. She mentions one woman, for instance, who tried leaving work by 5:30 pm each day and found, to her surprise, that her work did not fall apart;  she achieved the same amount through greater focus and delegating.

Yet Richardson's book is less concerned with time management than it is with self management. She does not suggest abandoning your responsibilities, merely that you need to devote much more consideration to the renewal of your energies. In his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", Stephen Covey calls this "sharpening the saw." Without frequent sharpening you become blunt in a productivity sense and lose the ability to connect with the people you love and influence those you work with.

Tipping the scales in your favor

One of the main ways to regain balance is to create what Richardson calls an "Absolute Yes" list, a ranking of what you feel are the most important aspects of your life. One client of Richardson's, Joan. put at the top of her list daily time to herself to read, meditate or exercise. Second was time spent with her husband each evening. Next came quality with her children, then study to complete her degree, time with friends, and finally household chores. She had to reorganize her life to fit these priorities, but the result included much better moods and greater harmony. Note that the elements in her life did not change, just the order of priorities.

The gift of Take Time for your Life, through its hundreds of ideas for self-care, is the feeling that you do not have to be hurried along by circumstances. You can regain control of your life simply by making more conscious decisions. The seven obstacles to a balanced life mentioned above are the springboard for Richardson's strategies to "win back" our life. The following gives a taste:

  • Regular "downtime" is important for your sanity. At first you may feel very edgy in doing "nothing" but as Richardson put it, "We all need a holiday from thinking too much."
  • Pay people to do services you normally do. Though it costs money, "sharing the wealth" allows you to care for yourself and think at a higher level, both of which can bring you greater success.
  • Go through old stuff and papers and throw much of it out. This makes way for what your really want to come into your life.
  • Don't fret over spending a little less time working. The world has a way of rewarding those who are focused and make better use of their time.
  • Identify the drains on your life; that is, the people, places and situations that tax your mental and physical energy. Eliminating or lessening their impact is the beginning of successful living and abundance.
  • Stop running on caffeine or adrenalin. "Fuel your body with premium fuel and it will provide you with the strength and stamina to live well." Caring for your body is essential to living a high-quality life.
  • Consciously engineer more "amazing moments" into your life: bring back the soul.
  • Tell people when you are grateful for what they have done.
  • Write a journal.
  • Notice your dreams.
  • Follow your intuition.
  • Have the courage to seek your highest purpose instead of simply looking for another job.

Taking time for financial health

As you would expect from a former financial consultant, Richardson includes a useful chapter on "Financial health". She manages to bridge practical financial skills witha  more spiritual attitude to money. Her thesis is that once you decide to take more responsibility for your finances (paying bills on time, paying off your debts, keeping an account of spending), money stops being a source of frustration and beings to flow more freely into your life. You have to get more serious about money before it gets serious about you.

She identifies all the attitudes you may have to money that prevent you from attracting more of it, and disabuses the ready of such ideas as  " I am a creative person, I shouldn't have to worry about financial stuff." A person can be both spiritually and financially rich, Richardson says. She includes a list of books at the end of the chapter that can help you appreciate this, covering the practical and spiritual aspects of wealth, including authors such as Catherine Ponder, Thomas Stanley and Robert Kiyosaki.

Final comments

With her emphasis on spiritual well-being Richardson may not seem too practical for some readers, but her definition of "spiritual" is fairly loose. It simply means the sense of calm that comes to you when you are willing to stop and contemplate. Though uncomfortable at first, the practice reconnects you to what is important and therefore puts your life on more solid ground.

You need to appreciate the truth that success should not be "at all costs," that you don't want to achieve something if it leaves behind a trail of poor health, ignored spouses and children, and the hollowness of never having any time for yourself.

With its checklists, wealth of ideas, and warm friendly style, Take Time for your Life, is as close as you will get to a personal coaching relationship in a book. Sometimes you need a person outside your regular circle of friends, family, and co-workers if you are to see your true worth. While therapy will focus on your problems, a good life coach will work with you on your possibilities. The element of success are already there- you simply need to  identify them and bring them to the fore.

 


What career should I pursue ?- Part II

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I consider myself very fortunate to interact with successful people from different areas because of my Dad. He had friends in the banking , Sports and the Movie industry. This gave me copious opportunities of observing and interacting with different personalities who were extremely successful in their arena.

One of the people I have had chance to observe from very young age was S.Ve. Shekher whom I used to refer him fondly to as Shekher mama (SM). My dad and him know each other for over 30 years and were instrumental in starting the drama troupe called Natakapriya. Now SM is popular and well known because of producing the best entertaining comedy plays, as well as an actor for several decades and his active involvement in politics. 

When you are around him, you will see his presence of mind and comic timing working in sync and there will always be people surrounding him with echoes of laughter. My dad used to tell me stories about how hard SM worked to earn this success when he was a nobody. I  distinctly remember him visiting us after the play in a scooter which had a registration plate TMX 552. Those were the days my dad and SM always had long chats outside our place. At that point of time, he was not recognized popular or a star. What my dad shared was, he always had an amazing work ethic and him being successful was  just the matter of time. It was clear that whatever else he may have thought about himself, he knew he was successful. And what did that mean? If he had plays that failed, he would still do the next play with the mindset that it will win heart and succeed -because he saw himself that way.

Of course- We'd expect as much: He's successful, renowned and wealthy artist. But it's important to factor in the one thing that changes the whole equation. People who knew him like my dad in the early days- before he was famous or successful- have reported that he had the same confidence when he was just starting out.

So what does this imply?

I used to think the prerequisite to having confidence is the knowledge. But it is not necessarily true. To be confident, you have to to act confident.

You have to "walk the talk" before the world responds. To put it another way, the most effective people are not only talented and persevering. They add one another essential ingredient. They have mastered the art of adjusting their inner frames in ways that allows them to succeed, in ways that allow them to be effective. 

"Success or failure is determined in your own mind"- Paramahansa Yogananda.


Courage

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Courage is the inner fortitude that allows you to overcome inner barriers and to step up t0 take a chance, even when it seems impossible. The most successful people I know embody that kind of bravery that makes others remark " I can't believe you did that".

An Italian proverb says "He who does nothing does not fail." Courage means you will try something even if you are not certain of the outcome, that you will take a stand when others are running for cover, that you'll risk failure to get where you want to go. Perfect example of someone who did the opposite is Captain Coward.

Courage isn't bravado or taking stupid risks. It is simply deciding to live in a mind-set of possibility instead of fear. It is manifested in everyday actions.