Category Archives: HEALTH

Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others


 

Pursuit of Happiness

 

Happiness! To each one of us, it is derived from something different. But it also the source of our happiness changes with time and as we move on to different stages in our lives. These kids of happiness are just momentary happiness and will pass away as they come by in our lives. Then there are those perceived sources of happiness that we develop in our lives. These are those that perhaps looses it value soon after one has attained it. Often such sources could be a car, a house, or even money. People often mistakenly set these sources as their goals in lives. But they soon realize once they have achieved these perceived sources of happiness that they do not last and these are just another momentary happiness.

 

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. ~James Openheim

 

Many of us live a life in a never ending pursuit of true happiness without realizing what it truly is. For example; If money brings true happiness are all the rich people truly happy? Apparently not, they too go through several marriages, heart breaks, health issues, guilt, regrets, and surprisingly they suffer from loneliness.

 

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. ~Margaret Young

 

There are several studies conducted by leading Universities and Interest Groups to identify what this true happiness is and how it affects people and their lives. In our time and age we see the list of billionaires growing rapidly every year around the world. While you see the dot come billionaires choosing to live a relative modest lives (in comparison to their billions) and continue to work harder and stay ahead in their game, you will find the several common folk who have achieved relative successes in their respective lives still continue to restlessly set newer and higher goals to attain in order to live a life where they feel content and happy.

Of the several sources one seeks happiness from; studies have identified these few key definitive things in life that truly makes people happy.

 

Probably no greater honor can come to any man than the respect of his colleagues.  ~ Cary Grant

Respect and admiration: This source of happiness is one of the major ones that truly makes people happy.  Hence you see successful and rich people like Silicon Valley Billionaires, Actors, Scientists, Authors, Politicians continuously strive to reinvent themselves and stay atop of their chosen field of expertise. The true happiness is derived from the respect and adulations they garner from their peers, work groups, family and friends alike. One needs to strive to become and remain an inspiration for others by their behavior, character, work, actions and deeds always. These key aspects will help one realize their effects on people and often induce the need to become better and enjoy the happiness they derive from the love and admiration they get.

 

Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.  ~ Stephen R. Covey

 

Socioeconomic Security: This is primarily achieved by being financially stable and developing secure relationships. Several successful people often fall apart and spiral downwards because they do not manage their finances well and/or develop strong and secure group of close friends or relatives who will be there for them in times of need. Although money is one of the major sources for stability and economic security, it is not necessary for one to be a millionaire to achieve this. As long as one manages a lifestyle where all relative needs and wants are being fulfilled from time to time, and investing in a relatively comfortable saving or securely growing prospect they derive a sense of comfort and security which gives them happiness and peace. But once this is achieved a social security takes precedence in their lives. Social security is important for ones emotional well being and happiness. Thus it is important for any individual to develop a small group of friends or relatives or both, and garner a relationship that is dependable and beyond material or formal constrains. These are relationships that will remain the same and you can count on in times of need or help.

 

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. ~George Bernard Shaw

 

Purposeful Living: A key to living a life of happiness is achievement. This is when you spent time and your effort to achieve something that you had set for and saw purpose in. What is this purpose? For those who search for the meaning of life, the realization eventually comes as a shock that they themselves will have to develop the meaning. It is in the individuals own ability and choice to develop a purpose in life and give it meaning in terms of it eventual objective. Thus is become imperative to develop sensible and meaningful purposes in one’s life. A purpose that is meaningful to self, that is valuable to others, that eventually generates a positive outcome that if beneficial to self and others. It is also important to choose a purpose that is morally right and respectable which will make your efforts worthy and will coincide with the first point discussed above – Respect and admiration.

 

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

Clear conscience: A clear conscience and mind that is free of any major guilt empowers the mind with a sense of self esteem and confidence which is another major source of true happiness. A mind cluttered with guilt, mischief, lies and deceit remains in a constant state of stress and confusion. It is inevitable for one to live a life free of guilt, but it is certainly possible to undo a lot of things we regret in life. We can forgive, apologize, avoid repeating our mistakes, be generous if giving, be charitable, and make serious efforts to constantly be self critical in an effort to self improve and become better. In one study when several people who are believed to be successful were asked what they hoped and wished for after they had achieved all their goals and success in life; the majority of them said they wanted to be forgiving and more charitable in their lives. Holding long time grudges and hurtful feelings towards others is one of the most common habits of many people. This only develops a constant level of discomfort, a sense of guilt and regret in our lives. Many try to overcome this feeling by denial, or refusal to do anything about it due to their ego or pride. But few take the step to make that call and apologize or forgive someone and move ahead in life. Often we pamper our egos and pride at the cost of our own happiness and clear conscience.

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama: “What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.”

 

Achieving true and lasting happiness lies in your own hands, actions, and choices in life. It is how you set out to achieve it and differentiate it between the momentary happiness and lasting ones. And once this true happiness is achieved, you will find yourself to be at peace, and tranquility and armed with the confidence and desire to live a greater life that is destined to achieve greater things in life.

Buddha: “Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.

 


You Pass through life but once. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny


 

 

A few months ago I had a near death experience where my heart failed to produce its electrical pulses and a Pacemaker had to be put in to keep it going. Soon after the few fatal episodes of fainting due to the oxygen not being sent to my brains as my heart failed to beat, I found myself at the ER with a temporary pacemaker placed through one of the arteries through my neck.

In the next few days that followed I was going through a series of test before a permanent pacemaker was eventually going to be implanted. While I lie at the Cardiac ward awaiting the day to come and go soon, I was overwhelmed with thoughts and memories about my life, and the realization of how short life can be. Invariably I did question the creator and why I was chosen to be the 1 in a million to have this problem. I am rebuilding my life again and doing all the right things in life to build upon a new found courage and wisdom where I began to make serious efforts to become a better and positive person. I couldn’t get the “why me?” out of my mind regardless the fact that I fully well was aware that it could have been worse and this was nothing compared to the millions of kids and innocent people who are suffering with much more severe and fatal conditions for no fault of theirs.

The night before the surgery, I took a walk around my ward to relax a bit and ease the anxiety a little. While I was observing the people, the tirelessly serving and caring nurses and watching the pictures that were put up on the walls in the corridor, I was stopped by a couple of the posters that caught my attention that were hanging on the wall by an exit door.

One read this:

Watch you thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Needless to say this did have a profound effect on me and my way of thinking about life. Especially after experiencing firsthand how short life can be and things can happen so suddenly and turn your whole life around or end it.

We are often very careless of our own behaviour and the effect it has on the people we interact with. We about life as though we have all the time we can to say and do things without thinking of the effects and consequences that they make have on ourselves and others. As we proceed towards our final destiny we seldom stop to think about ourselves or analyze our actions, deeds and behaviours. We hurt others, become greedy, do and say things without paying any attention to its meanings and how it is perceived by others, do not care about others, and choose to live life as though we have nothing to do with others and this world and we can only care less about them. Yet we rely on others for their compassion, help, assistance, friendships, love, guidance, support, kindness, wisdom, courtesy etc. We expect the world to be fair to us, nature to be kind, resources to be endlessly flowing, weather to be mild, systems to be fair, politics to inconsequential on our individual lives, etc. One day comes along when we will have our kids and younger generations look up to us for our wisdom, guidance, support, assistance, kindness, compassion, empathy and help just as the world we share today does from us as well.  And yet we seldom pay attention to our character. We continue to expect everything and at times demand all that we desire regardless of the fact we are worthy of them or have earned the right to have them.

But if we truly watch out thoughts, pay attention to our words, be mindful of our actions and carefully control our habits, we can certainly build ourselves a fine rewarding character that will pave our success and destiny. For when we are nothing more than just a tomb stone, the world we leave behind shall only remember and love us for our character, and the deeds we have left behind.

The next poster hanging on the opposite wall was a famous quote by William Penn:

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.  ~William Penn

Now I try to live with more care with a realization that every action of mine is very important for myself and perhaps more important to others and becoming better myself I can influence others to do te same. Because one thing I now know very well is that I do not want to be at the doorstep of my death again with any regrets or guilt, but rather with pleasant memories, loved ones and amongst those I know I have managed touch thier lives positvely. Death, is only a few steps away from us and much closer to us than we can every realize, but today we have life, so lets do all the good we can today!


To live in tune with our Conscience


I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. Leonardo da Vinci

The strange thing about us human beings is that we often spend a lot of time and energy searching for ideas, and answers which often are found within ourselves. Many blame the world and everything they can and some often find their answers within. One of the most important answer we often seem to seek is: if we are doing the right thing? Or is what we are doing good for us? And as many accomplished and successful people have pointed out based on their own experiences: “listen to your inner voice or gut feeling”. Somehow this inner voice seems to know all the right answers and helps guide you often to the right things in life. And when we do something wrong it begins to eat us up from inside with guilt. But this inner voice is only heard if one pays attention and takes the effort to query or listen to it. And it only works if you take the necessary positive actions to do the right thing. This magical phenomenon that all of us have been gifted with is almost like a divine compass called Conscience. This is also often referred to as the inner God, or the God within us. Like all the greatest gifts that we have, Conscience is also another intangible and immeasurable possession like love, feelings, thinking etc.

Conscience is often found as a feeling of remorse when a human being commits actions that go against his or her moral values and beliefs. Conscience is like an aptitude, intuition or judgment of our thoughts and behaviours that distinguishes right from wrong. And us humans are asked to invoke this conscience universally through all religious belief systems and by means of any basic intellectual norms.

The word “conscience” is derived from the Latin word conscientia, meaning “privity of knowledge” or “with-knowledge”. The English word implies internal awareness of a moral standard in the mind concerning the quality of one’s motives, as well as a consciousness of our own actions. Conscience may be defined as the practical reason employed when applying moral convictions to a situation The many philosophers, or saints often ask to invoke our conscience to develop it, as they themselves do through daily contemplation or meditation combined with selfless service to others. Such developed state of conscience helps create a strong sense of intuitive insight or revelation to many. This helps a person to use their intellect towards positive and humane causes, pursue further knowledge, be self critical with the focus of self improvement and on a general level apply fair justice in his or her life.

The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience. Mohandas Gandhi

Yet we, the most developed and gifted species choose to live by killing our own conscience. Our pride, ego, anger and prejudice help us do things against our very own conscience until it is too late. The sad fact is that while one does things that go against their own moral values or beliefs, the conscience keep telling them that it is wrong. Once we do things against our conscience and fail, our conscience begins to hurt us with the feeling of severe guilt. But instead of taking the necessary positive steps to undo the damage many still continue to stifle this inner voice with rage and anger or drown it in intoxication. We the intelligent, civilized and knowledgeable species choose such.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

It is plain common sense that many of our personal and worlds’ ills are result of actions in rage and blind fury. The things we say to hurt others, the things we do to hurt others and ourselves, the greed we posses, the prejudice we hold, the disrespect we show are some of the things we do often against our conscience. The violent killings, the communal riots, steeling, damaging things, wars, or theft are all things that people do against their basic human moral values and beliefs. The greatest crimes against humanity are often over the deliberate killing of our own conscience. The person who commits the atrocity and the person who witnesses it and chooses to close their door on the facts and reality are both guilty of killing their own conscience.

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it. Albert Einstein

But this gift of conscience is a wonderful thing. It is the conscience that makes the individual set out to accomplish great feats and do the impossible, it makes people charitable, invokes the wealthy to become philanthropists, invokes love, compassion, and righteousness. It makes us become better people, do greater things in life, and helps us succeed.

All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses. Friedrich Nietzsche

Development of Conscience:

Most people live with a self conceived idea and parameters of morality. It may be okay to lie a little but not to deceive or they may be comfortable to speak just to the advantages of doing something but choose to hide the negatives. But in general terms there is limit to who they choose to do and what they do not based on their moral values and comfort. These limits they choose change though time based on their individual experiences, social pressures and norms, or communal rituals and belief systems. But the conscience within eventually brings about a sense of balance as an individual evolves. But until such time the turmoil one can endure often affects their success and happiness in life.

When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society. Pope John Paul II

So, how can one develop sound and balanced approach towards nurturing their conscience and morality to live a happy, content, and successful and guilt free life?

There are several theories based on studies of set groups. But it takes some honest self criticism and the will to self develop to come up with some key objectives:

1) One needs to see the need to self develop and the need to adhere to balanced and just moral values and conduct. This in turn helps develop their inner conscience on sound principles which will allow them to do what is right and make them feel bad when they go against it.

2) Fair judgement on balanced opinions and values. This can be practiced by not immediately reacting to any given situation. Exercising calm and some thinking can always help take a positive approach towards issues at hand. This becomes crucial to control haste and anger where patience and understanding would be more valuable.

3) Respect and Equality for one and all. This would avoid people holding prejudice and tame ones ego. People who do not practice this often continue to live a life of arrogance, and self indulgence at the cost of other people’s happiness, self respect and peace. But they also live a life of continuous fight against their inner guilt and general level of discontent about everything in life.

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. Carl Jung

Life is too short to waste time over petty behaviours and toiling in guilt. Many of our ills and unhappiness are out of our own choices and actions in life which are often against out very one divine gift called conscience. By awakening and living in tune with our own conscience we can build better lives for ourselves, make more progress, co exist happily with one and other, live happier and become successful based on moral and clear thinking without the fear of guilt.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. George Washington


The difficult art of choosing right from wrong


The right choice is often a difficult path

Amongst all the wonders we are blessed with, one of the most powerful things that we have got is the power of “free will” or Choice. Specifically the choices we can make in life on a day to day basis between good and bad and how we wish to be or become as evolving human beings. I must also say that I am aware that choices are at times limited to people based on the circumstances they live in, but I am talking about the choices that still many have in lives in an effort to have a better living and happier and meaningful lives regardless of their circumstances.

It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. – Jean Nidetch

Choice: a mental process which helps us to judge and analyze from multiple options and selecting one of them based on preference. Choosing from these multiple options usually results in a consequence or a need for action that would eventually derive at a desired consequence.  In any given day as human beings we are subject to making several choices that affect our living. They may be from the simplest forms to complex in nature. The consequences of these choices or decision to choose one from another may affect our lifestyle, religious affiliation, political position, finances, attitude towards others, reaction to situations, and health.

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. – George Eliot

Our life essentially is nothing but a collective result of the choices we have made along the way. There choices were made at several moments in life, based on several experiences and circumstances, but nevertheless these were our choices and we face and live the consequences of these very choices. We may choose to blame the circumstances, but nevertheless the choice was ours and we are solely responsible for those choices and the eventual outcome. We each have the power and freedom to choose right from wrong. Often we end up choosing easy from hard and sadly the hard ends up being the right one to choose. The righteous and just thing to do often involves hardships, disagreement from common folk, against certain odds, and at times contrary to common thinking. But it is in such choices that great accomplishments lie. Greatness has never been served on a silver platter, but it has only been earned by the choices made against all odds with the will, determination and perseverance. But it begins with the choice. And the power to choose is in your very power.

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”- Denis Waitley (1933-…, motivational speaker and author of The Psychology of Winning)

Before I was sent to England for schooling, my oldest brother sat me down and gave me a few valuable tips on what to expect and how to cope in a boarding school, new country, and above all how to uphold my dignity and self-respect. He always had a profound way to deliver his advice which would stick like a note with a board pin into my brain. His advises, as I can recall, always puts butterflies in my stomach and makes me smile as he would start off in all seriousness and end up with a hilarious one-liner and a smile. He told me about how friendships should be an equal relationship, how to take pride of who I am and uphold our decency, how to learn from my mistakes etc.  Among a barrage of things he threw at me that day over lunch he mentioned to me that there will be every vice, temptation, and choices of right and wrong thrown at me in my life as I go on. But, what makes one into a fine man or a failure, are the choices he makes and actions he takes once his choice has been made.

A personal expereince on chosing to do what is right :

I was 17 then and I remember it was a Wednesday. Quiz day in Physics every Wednesday, first lesson in the morning. I wasn’t prepared, totally clueless and dumb as a needle on the subject that week. Perhaps my heart was too tangled in my dreams of falling in love with the amazingly new cute girl who helps out at our daily lunch hall. Anyways, as soon as our teacher came in, he passed out our question paper and told us that he will be very disappointed with anyone who will get less than 90% in this weekly quiz as it was one of his easier ones. Translated it means as follows: “It’s a tough paper, as it has just one question which clearly involves a lot of calculations. Should you get less than 90% he will put in a good word in our principal’s ear about our performance.” Having distributed the question paper and made his statement, he gave us 45 minutes to finish and he walked out of the class room.

The moment he walked out. There was the usual yet typical mumbling, cursing and looking at each others face for a few moments. Then one of us boldly walked up to the door stuck his neck out to see if our teacher wasn’t close by, and shut it back firmly and walked back to his desk. Quickly, almost everyone flipped out their text books and began to answer the equation precisely and fast. I looked around in amazement as I saw my buddies scribble away in a frenzy like they were writing their wish lists for toys and girls. I too had my text book with me, but I was thinking if I should or shouldn’t follow suit. And just then I remembered my power of choice and should my poor choice get the best of me, how will I let down my dearest brother’s aspiration about me. So, I sat there and stuck to my choice and decision to do the right thing and not cheat. My closest buddy glanced at me and asked me what was wrong? He quickly offered his text book to me to follow suit. I politely refused. He called me an idiot and nodded his head in disgust and disbelief. I sat through for 45 minutes and tried working out some other equation I knew as practice on a piece of paper. The teacher came back and collected everyone papers and took off again.

Next morning I was at the center meeting hall in school where all students gather to grab their mug of coffee or tea before the classes begin. I knew I was going to be embarrassed and humiliated in my Physics class just before our first break. So I was being quiet and already being embarrassed of my upcoming doom. And before I realized, as all bad things do, the hour was upon my head. I dragged my foot from one class to another and planning out how I will react and how will other classmates react at the meeting hall soon after the class and spread the news about the scores to everyone in school. Particularly, how my score will be announced by our ever so sarcastic teacher in his classic British humor with a snide remark that will make everyone laugh.

After all of us sat down and there was this impatient silence for a bit for the scores, our teacher called out my name first. I stood up with my chin stuck to my chest. He said I was the only student who passed the quiz and the rest failed. He further went on to say that if anyone disagreed with his scoring they were free to talk to the principal about it. For a moment I took it as his first sarcastic jab. I waited for a few more seconds for the next. But no one else reacted, and he asked me to sit down and continued with that day’s lesson. No one questioned his scores due to their guilt and I sat there feeling silly but yet still unsure of his decision. At the end of the class, he walked up to me as I was leaving the door, and said, he was extremely proud of my decision not to cheat and offered to tutor me after class if I needed any help in his subject as he was pleased to have a student with such honesty and integrity in his class.

During the break at the main meeting hall, my class mates walked up to me and shook my hand and said they had a lot of respect for me and my decision. They also went on to share this news with their other school mates. I was approached by other fellow school mates who heard about this and shook my hands and expressed their appreciation. And I was amazed to see how a simple choice to do the right thing could have such an amazing impact. I couldn’t help but think of what I had expected of my choice earlier that morning and what it had turned out to be. It was an experience that I still am very proud off till date. And it was an experience that thought me and reaffirmed what my brother had told me about choice. “What makes one into a fine man or a failure, are the choices he makes and actions he takes once that choice is made”.

Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable. – Peter F. Drucker

We are always faced with such choices in our lives. We are always given these options and choices to choose from in almost every aspect of our life. But we need to have the wisdom, integrity, and the will to make the right choices for ourselves. The life we live is designed to challenge you to make the right choices in life. And each of your day to day choices result in a continuous change and the resulting consequences that shape your life. One must always remember that one can change his or her life by simply making the right choices in life. It’s entirely up to you. You can get rid of old habits, change unwanted situations, make better lifestyle choices, choose a better diet, choose better food, better friends, better reactions to situations and problems, and give yourself the wisdom and courage to achieve great things in your life by making good, educated and right choices in life.

“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise” – Stephen R. Covey (1932-…, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

In today’s world, many of us are also spoilt with choices. We do not know what is good for us and what is not. Young high school kids have trouble picking a profession, university or a carrier. Young graduates have trouble picking jobs, or company to work for, others have to choose their life partners, financial options, cars, life style, cell phones, televisions, computers, and even a simple cup of coffee is from a list of options and variations. There were times where I can walk into a Café and ask for a cup of coffee. I would get a cup of coffee, a jar of sugar and a pot of milk. Today in the name of quality service, brand and marketing gimmicks for an extra $4 whether you like it or not, you are forced to pick from Columbian, American, Costa Rican, host of other gourmet beans, ground, coarse, fine, Grande, Venti, Tall, milk, 2% milk, cream, black, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, sweetener, and still end up with just a coffee to kick-start your morning. But often these wonderful choices for many are bigger problems than convenience or luxury.

“Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation.” – James Allen (1864-1912, author of As a Man Thinketh)

Often individuals who make deliberate poor choices in life often seek the easy way out continue to take poor decisions that end them up assimilating a string of bad experiences, and resulting consequences due to their poor state of living. They will rather choose to get a fat loan or more than affordable car whether they have the means to fill the gas to run it or not. Some choose to spend their parents earnings on their cell phone bills and but never on a clean pair of jeans or clothes. They will choose to take advice and rest on the opinion of some half baked, semi-educated, councilor or a “friend” who will encourage dropping off from school and taking a hike across the country or to another country, smoke weed and have fun or get into a get rich quick dot.com business or buying their share of the pyramid scheme they themselves got suckered into. But they will hardly choose the advice of their selfless, hard-working, sacrificing and extremely caring parents and well-wishers who will often be willing to support their ambition with the best quality of education, universities, and help along the way by paying off their tuition fees as opposed to bank loans, get them a vehicle, give them a house to stay, etc.  I once was told that a person will invariably choose the best and eventually become very successful in life, if he or she is given only the best option as the only and last option to choose from. I guess is has become even more essential to educate todays’ youths on the realities of life and the consequences of human choices. Especially to help them from chasing unrealistic dreams such as the numerous pyramid or other get rich quick schemes with very little efforts. They need to be educated of the resulting proven consequences of better choices and to indulge in creative thinking and strategic planning and development of ideas for the real world that will help them succeed.

Educated and quality choices about self, others, life, and character will only result in success, happier life and great achievement!


Solving your problems


 

“Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution.” ~Stanley Arnold

Problems! Dont we all have them? Relationship problem, financial problem, technical problem, political problem, etc. The list could possibly never end.  We face problems from the day we begin to breathe. Even the most basic aspects of life begins as a problem. Unable to talk, walk, express moods, communicate, eat, were all once problems. But we didn’t see these as problems. Even in our infant stages of life without adult thinking abilities, we are naturally wired to resolve them. We try, and try again until we over come these “problems”. Perhaps it is our most basic instincts and nature to see each of these problems as challenges and approach them relentlessly as opportunities to grow. Many of us as kids often take the same approach towards over coming many of our challenges too.  We will stay up all night, fight sleep and often skip meals to repeat all the stages till we overcome all the stages until we beat it and finish that video game. And once beat that game what do we do? We go get the next tougher game to beat. 

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

This wonderful attitude and behaviour pattern surprisingly fades as we grow older. We lose the vigor and the attitude we take towards solving the problems we face. Certainly, the problems do become a bit more complex in life. But sadly our attitude and approach becomes lot weaker. We learn to take on more stress, worry more, procrastinate, escape from problems or find excuses. But what would life be like if we didn’t do these and continues to approach every problem in our adult life as opportunities to solve them? We would invent or develop “solutions”! Solutions to enable people to carry over 10,000 songs in a tiny chip, solutions to fly over 200 people on a 710,000 lbs of aircraft across the atlantic, solutions to over come our common or complex problems in life. The key is how we approach these “problems” in life.  

“Cubixrule” is a term I came up with for the process I use to solve many things that I consider a problem. It is rather an unconventional way to approach a problem where I learned to see them as an opportunity to find or develop a solution rather than worry about it endlessly and let it consume my life and health.

The term “Cubixrule” itself was inspired from Rubik’s Cube, which I was introduced to by my older brother when I was about 11 years old. It was the hottest things in the world then. Everyone was talking about the complexities of this puzzle and were racing to figure out a solution. After several weeks I had developed a solution on my own. Ever since I learned to solve it by myself by developing a few short series of algorithms, I began to apply the belief that if I could solve such a complex puzzle, I must be able to solve many other problems as well.

Many years later, my older brother once again got me another puzzle. This time it was another puzzle developed by the same inventor Rubik again. This one was called Rubik’s clock. Along with this puzzle, my brother gave me a copy of a Time magazine in which there was a small article about this new puzzle and how the inventor himself was seeking a physical solution still. The computer suggested a few million possible solutions to this puzzle, but an actual physical solution was not developed yet. Unlike the cube this puzzle was a disc with nice clock faces on either side. The objective was to turn the four dials on the side of this puzzle and get all the nine clock hands to the 12’0 clock position on both sides.  

Three and a half days later, I had solved the puzzle and had developed a 17 step solution to solve the puzzle in less than 30 seconds. Once again I applied the “Cubixrule”. By this time, I had formed a definition for this word in my mind. It was a few positive fact based statements to define the thought process to solve a given problem.

 Cubixrule – is a thought process where it is believed that:  “Every problem has a solution. It is only a problem until a solution is developed by someone. Therefore, every problem is nothing more than an undeveloped solution. And the challenge to be the first one to develop the solution is an opportunity to lead the world to a new higher level”

 I have since often reverted to “Cubixrule” when ever I have been pushed against the wall by a problem or stressful issue in life. My mind begins to think of various possible solutions that I can possibly come up with in a short period of time. And strangely after mulling over this phase for some time, I often stumble upon the “Eureka” moment often in the middle of the night or in my dream. This eureka moment is when I come up with a solution that was earlier considered to be unthinkable, unimaginable, impossible, or often simply plain stupid. And it arrives with a sense of confidence, and vigor that never dies until I have tried it and made it work.

“Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

But “Cubixrule” has its challenges too. Because it involves a level of unconventional thought process, sense of immense confidence in self and determination to come up with a solution that was undeveloped ever before, it may be considered to be stupid by the world around us. Historically, when someone spends their time on doing something that is popularly considered to be as impossible, it has always been considered to be a waste, an effort in vain, and often stupid. And the challenge is not to give in to this pressure. Never!  There may be several trials, errors and failures in Cubixrule. But being persistent, logical, analytical, and realistic is a must if you are determined to succeed. It is also important to always see every failure as a lesson to learn from and build on its teachings. Always remind yourself that the problem on hand is just an undeveloped solution.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ~Albert Einstein

It is true when they say that: “Only the ordinary people do the most extraordinary of things”. Every scientist, politician, visionary, inventor, discoverer, musician who gave our world many wonderful things and knowledge were once considered to be ordinary. Each and every one of them faced their hardships, critics, ridicule, depression, stress and obstacles and overcame them by their own respective versions of “Cubixrule”. They each did the extraordinary. The saw the undeveloped solution and set to develop one themselves and eventually proved their world wrong.  If one digs a little deeper into any of the major inventions, processes, solutions that we enjoy today and how they were developed, we will soon learn that each one of them faced and over came their problems by seeking out the respective solutions.

How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively. – Norman Vincent Peale

Likewise, we are all such ordinary people who can certainly do extraordinary things. Many of us many not realize that we have been doing many such things since our childhood. If we were people who fear failure or what people will say or think we would have never learned to walk as a child, we would have never learned to speak, learn, express our feelings, study, face the world, have relationships, grow up and succeed. But we did and continue to do such things all the time. We each faced our share of respective challenges and over came them after a few falls, failures, trials and errors. Some hurdles in life may be small and some very tough, but nevertheless, we  use our internal positive will and energy to over come them. We can move further to solve many such problems in our lives and accomplish many extraordinary things. All we got to do is to see each problem we face with our version of “CUBIXRULE” based on our objectives, will, and the desire to solve it. Be it a financial problem, a relationship, a work related, mechanical, or any problem that life throws our way, the attitude, will, and the determined approach we apply will eventually help solve it. The art is to look at the “problem” as an “opportunity” or a challenge to use all our skills, experience and intelligence to find a solution and solve it!

So, what is your problem?


Progressive People, Regressive Religions


I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is. ~ Albert Camus

 

An interesting fact prevails in all of these various religions that were established at different times based on different messages from different Prophet’s in different cultures. The surprising fact lies in the “similarities” in these “religious” systems. The message and the moral basic core principles are identical. When one investigates further, we can see that there are many similar rituals practiced by the followers of all these various faith systems including monotheistic and polytheistic ones. For example, the similarity of two faiths and belief systems which is widely considered to be opposing in fundamental concept, Islam and Hinduism have quite a few similar rituals: one being monotheistic and against idol worshiping, while the other a polytheistic, with an idol for each of their gods and their respective attributes. They both have holy water, both have the practice of circling around their place of worship (Muslims around Kaaba, and Hindus around their temple), both cut their hair after pilgrimage, both fast, both offer sacrifices, both bow to their Gods. Further, they have the same beliefs in good and bad, love, peace, and respect. Yet it is believed by their respective followers as an opposing religion surprisingly.

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.  ~George Bernard Shaw

 

People have progressively evolved into more intelligent beings but religions havent. Hence, as man becomes more intelligent, the religions and several rituals and illogical practices are losing value and significance rapidly. As people evolved and developed into more intelligent beings, so did their ability to comprehend, learn, communicate and better understand life. In our current advanced age and time we still have trouble communicating and understanding our own language, nuances, behavior and most importantly controlling the integrity of a message, which only proves that this communication skill is still in a state of evolution and will continue to be so. Thus, many people who try to learn the doctrines and writings of this man-made religion happen to question aspects of it which doesn’t appear to be logical or make sense. Many such doctrines are questioned on a few selective messages therein which clearly doesn’t appear to be part of those with divinity. Particularly, messages that defy or contradict equal respect for both genders, tolerance and respect for all religions, serving humanity regardless of race, color or creed, be forgiving, how to be modest, and rights of all human beings to be equal. Such differences between what the Prophet’s preached which is considered to be divine and what the religion proclaims has caused many to explore these religious beliefs further. The result of such questions which are often considered as blasphemy in nature by the stubborn and illogical religious heads of these religions has provided very few logical answers that are convincing. Clearly, man has evolved much further than expected by those who formed these religions a few thousand years ago. It is quite disappointing to still watch a small portion of the more educated and advanced people of today often blindly follow a specific fundamental set of religious beliefs and practices that often defies any logic, divinity or are in line with the original messages by their own Prophets. Although we witness each generation evolving into more intelligent begins than the last, many of us still trust and follow the wisdom of people who lived several generations past. This is where people began to shift their faith from God of mankind to religion. Perhaps in a way a shift from humanity to community.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
However, no matter the religion or the respective deity or symbol, all of them preach very similar aspects of life, morals and values and often indulge in similar practices and rituals. What makes them different are the rules, laws of conduct, social norms, symbols of identity, attire, social behavior and systems of control that were developed by people who soon took control of the followers of the prophets under the banner of religion. This need and desire to control and exercise power over the respective communities or followers, gave birth to the evils that human beings fester till date. Ego, pride, arrogance, and vainglory are some of the key characteristics of these appointed spiritual or religious leaders of these faith systems today. Surprisingly, these are the same characteristics of Satan under which he refused to obey God and bow to his creation – man. Under these very influences these leaders often abuse their power and try to manipulate their people to achieve their personal goals and egoistic aspirations. They often are very wise and recruit people who are accustomed to obeying commands blindly due to fear of persecution from the powerful. But the true shock is when educated people armed with some basic rational thinking also choose to blindly follow such leaders and actively participate or support in their egocentric and political aspirations under the pretext of religion.
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama
Before one speaks of his or her religion, it pays a lot to get educated a little about the true and unbiased history, inception, growth and evolution of thier faith system. History has proved time and over again, that all of the popular religions or faith systems of today had begun with peaceful intentions. Each of these religions were spread with humble intentions but each had a handful of leaders who used violent force unfortunately due to their individual choice, limited wisdom, ego, and the lack of any other system available to them but religion as a viable political system to manage people and install familiar culture that is easier to manage. Each of these “religions” went through a phase of power struggle soon after their inception and the demise of their  Prophet. In the immediate years to follow, each had their share of religious leaders trying to use and manipulate the then political leaders and kings to their advantage, each have good followers and bad ones, all of these religions had leaders who were good and bad as well, every religion has their share of positive social and scientific contribution by people from their faiths. Some had great builders and ambitious plans to expand their cultural richness, some were conquerors of different strategic lands and some tried to spread their culture, beliefs and religious practices by force. But regardless of the religions or practices, all have the same fundamentals of good values and morals and each have their own set of social rules and norms that drive and influence behaviours based on moral living, love, tolerance, peace, justice and faith in the creator.
A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society. ~ Joseph Ratzinger
I oppose religion based charities. I believe if a religion preaches to serve humanity, then the charity work should be without the need to convert their faiths. Not in this age and time. The people of faith, especially who are seen or hold the position as leaders or experts should not speak words of hate, anger, rage and incite such concepts in people. If anything, these are the people who should be preaching tolerance, love, peace and instill hope, faith, and inspire morality. But all that we see is many such people doing exactly the opposite and tragically people following them like cattle. People of good faith should rather strive to inspire others by their character, demeanor, deeds, love, respect for others as opposed to their attire, communal strength, and rituals.  And above all, should evolve with time. The need for progressive evolution has become more essential now more than ever. Past mistakes of others and poor past leaderships should be left in the past and we need to see ourselves as the new builders of society.
That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  ~ Albert Einstein
If we can primarily be human beings and begin to behave like one that could alone ignite a flame of enlightenment. Do not choose to be blinded by your faith systems, and live in the assumption that your faith is the only path to heaven. If this is true, the creator would not have sent several prophets. Followers of the wrong faiths could be wiped off this planet if the creator chooses, followers of other faiths will not be prosperous and happy, followers of other faiths will not have their prayers answered and people who follow wrong faith systems will not be able to procreate and give birth to pure innocent souls. Thank the creator for life, for making us human, giving us the ability to think, creating us and this world with all its endless resources, our ability to learn and appreciate, love, be loved, procreate, help others, and appreciate his or her divine powers being exercised on us and creation every day. Do not be blinded and instead choose to thank for a man-made religion, rituals, age-old beliefs and fables, or mundane stories of proof less miracles. Learn, read, explore and understand. Do not blindly follow like a cattle but use your own ability to seek, read, learn, think, understand for yourself. Be sensible enough to differentiate between the man who speaks the words of compassion and love from the scriptures from the man who speaks of hate, intollerance and prejudice in the name of religion. If we refuse injustice towards one and all regardless of their cast, creed or color we can bring change. If we can lead by example of character rather than a display of costumes and rituals we can creat a positive influence. If we can be charitable to all humans regardless of their religion, color or culture we will bring peace. With such a balanced approach and the will to coexists by mutual respect and understanding and by removing ego and pride from the equation, mankind can and will eventually develop a much more peaceful and resourceful living. They can leave behind a life of love, and peace for their loved ones to enjoy, thrive in and sustain for the other following generations to come. But we must remember to eliminate the dreaded characteristic of the evil: “ego and pride” especially associated to our faiths and our belief systems as it has no place in there. We need to realize that if we feel the need to keep our faiths, then we need to keep the faith in God of mankind as opposed to the man-made religion, religious leaders, religious systems, rituals and beliefs. Learn and seek yourself for the truth and answers using your logic and intelligence and you shall find it. If God does exisit then it is only in your heart where he or she lives and in your conscience where the truth resides.
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. ~ Khalil Gibran

Your excessive FAT will kill you just when you want to live longer


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You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be. – David Viscott

If you look good you feel good. It appears that people who feel good usually tend to set a higher goal to achieve and move ahead. They exude a level of positive energy that helps them catapult themselves to achieving greater things in life. And one of the things that helps a person feel this good is being healthy. It is perhaps one of the single most important aspect that contributes to a great living and positive life.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization, 1948

This is yet another universally well-known fact that we usually pay very little heed to, and continue to indulge in habits and behaviours almost deliberately that makes us unhealthy. And one of the most common and notoriously famous is our body over weight. I am one who is guilty of this as well. Yes, I am fat and I do not wish to be unrealistically sensitive and deliberately oblivious about the obvious lard I carry around my belly. But unlike many, I choose not to blame the habits, diet, or the activities, or my life style but I instead put it squarely on my choice.

When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no “I’ll start tomorrow.”  Tomorrow is disease.  ~Terri Guillemets

I once saw a famously handsome actor on a talk show after his movie was released where he portrayed a character as a rather chubby person. He was back to his slim handsome self on the show. So the talk show host asked him how he managed to put on that much weight and reduce it so fast. His answer was rather simple but I found it to be quiet profound in a way. He said: “Its simple, you eat a lot of calories and don’t work out or choose a lifestyle that doesn’t burn your calories to put on weight, or eat lesser calories and work out to burn your excess calories, simple!”.

In my daily life I used to live like a slob mostly. My mornings through the coffee drive through is like a stealthy spy trying to avoid the peering and harsh list of fat doughnuts, muffins and sandwiches screaming at me to pick them up. My stop at the gas station is another bloody battle from those gleaming shiny bars of chocolates strategically sitting by the counter waiting to catch my eye, and those horrible bag of chips sitting all puffed up and pretty wearing the pictures of the contents within to tease me. And Oh! Don’t mention the array of stout cans and bottles of drinks standing tall in line like marching soldiers looking at me through their well stocked glass door refrigerators! Ah! What a battle it is daily! And the horrible Clerk at the till: “Would like to pick up two bars of these Chocolates and get a gazillion points for putting on those extra pounds sir?” Please??? Batting her fake eyelashes!

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye diet. – William Gilmore Beymer

Anyways, the time had come! I could barely see my manhood standing straight! I officially had a belly! A Paunch! A disgusting mass of fat belted around my waist. And that was it! I am not going to be another slob and make excuses anymore. I had to do something about it! So my first few attempts were to ask a few friends, then a few guys at work, and try a list of endless diets. The friends agree and say they too will join you, but they wont, people at work will give you pointers that are the usual run of the mill, others who have some sort of structure offer to train you and write up a training program for you, and the diets work great for a while and you eventually give up as usual. You can go for a cleanse, inject B12 shots, eat cabbage soup, balance your intake of calories with the new fad diet, cut carbohydrates and kill yourself with protein, and the list goes on. You  water the first week, the second week your craving for sugar and carbohydrates start making you mad, and by 3rd week you don’t need an excuse to give it all up because by now you have already lost a few pounds. Now you put it all back in just 4 days.

So, I decided to go to a gym and pay for a personal trainer who will perhaps give me some intelligent and educated advice and put me on some kind of a plan. After floundering through a list of great deals offered by the numerous gyms, I chose one were I will not have to find myself amidst a crowd of steroid junkies or people who look like models for a Fitness magazine where I will have to squirm and cringe with shame. I also looked for someone who had some credentials. Like who has got some certificate in weight training, and has schooled in body fitness programs etc.

I had my first meeting with him. He started talking about what you eat; tell me about your life style, what are your life goals, what motivates you etc. I bluntly told him look buddy. Don’t patronize me and waste my time here. I have done it all, the diets, the dramas, and the excuses. I have done the research and picked you for your reputation and credentials. So let us cut the pep talk and get to the program. Build me a program based on my body that I will not give up due to excessive fatigue, and I can gradually increase the intensity that will help me get back to shape. I have made up my mind and chosen to make myself healthy and feel good. There was nothing that could stop me.

Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality. – Ralph Marston

He first made me stand on a scale. It was a funny scale with a digital monitor and rabbit ears that I had to hold on to for about 2 minutes. It spat out a printout at my lard covered body. It is called a Body Composition Analyzer. It did a simple math that is available on several websites (just search for body mass calculator) and listed my body mass index and details. It said how much I am over weight, how much fat I have in my body. Where are the fat concentrations on my body, what my ideal weight is, and how many calories I will need to burn per day in a six-week program or a 10 week program to get to my ideal weight? So I had to loose 1200 calories per day for a 4 week program to get back to my ideal weight and statistics. It will bring me back to shape, increase my stamina, increase my energy and hopefully enhance my libido.

Next the fat burning program. He gave me a 1 hour program and worked with me for the hour to show me what to do. 10 min on the elliptical trainer, 15 squats, 15 pulls on a rowing machine, 15 chest stretched with a 15 lbs weight, 15 times lie down and lift both your legs to about 30 degrees for my abdomen, 15 times lift 10 lbs weights from waist to shoulder with arms stretched, 15 times pick a 8 lbs ball from my left toe to right shoulder and vice versa for the opposite side. I was sweating like a roast pig in a smelter. Phew! He told me that was approximately a 600 – 700 calorie burn out. The rest I had to reduce with my calorie intake. Simple! If I do these 5 days a week for 4 weeks he says I will be back in shape.

I got back home. Went on the net to see how I can reduce calories. The research told me roughly 3500 calories equates to 1 lbs of body fat. You should not cut down more than 1000 calories per day from your daily current diet. So my quick calculation said cut my cola and soft drink intake (that’s 280 calories) opt for a 0 calorie drink, cut French fries (270 calories), cut down hamburgers (300-500 calories), chocolates (1 bar about 500 calories). So I need to make simple educated choices on what I eat and I can easily cut down over a 1000 calories per day and I needed to just cut down another 600 calories only with my work out. How simple is that?

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Then I went on to learn a few simple common tricks:

  • 8 glass of cold water helps not only wash out the toxins but keeps you hydrated which makes you feel energetic and revived, it also helps make you feel full.
  • Eat frequent small healthy snacks between meals especially. A fist full of almonds, celery sticks, baby carrots, and a fiber bar etc. It stops you from over eating during regular meals and keeps you feeling full.
  • Eat slowly. Wait a few seconds before you fill your mouth again between bites. Your stomach needs a few seconds to get the food and tell your brain it is full.
  • Eat water melons, cantaloupes or an Apple at night at least 2 hours before you sleep. Have a low-calorie dinner basically.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of what you like. This only increases your cravings. Eat and indulge a little. But control your portions. You do not need to devour all that is on the plate. Eat what you feel like eating but control the portion or quantity.
  • Eat light for dinner. Or at least balance your intake. If you pigged out for lunch balance it for dinner and vice versa.
  • Don’t look for a closer parking spot at the grocery run or work. Park at the end and walk. It may be just a short distance but it helps your metabolism. You can walk for hours shopping at the mall so why can’t you just walk a short distance to and from your car? Take the stairs not the elevator for at least a few flights.
  • And don’t make excuses. Not tomorrow, not starting Monday, not after this weekend. Wake up. take a decision, and begin now! Do it now do it for yourself and don’t do it because people tell you.
  • Be healthy, and you will look very nice, feel positive and look at life differently. You will attract the opposite sex more frequently, agree or not it will help boost your morale and confidence. You will begin to think better, sleep like a baby, wake up fresh in the morning, work smarter etc. Make a positive choice and firstly make that choice about your health, appearance and habits.
  • Try carrying a bag weighing just 5 lbs for a day in your hand. Or just tie it to your waist for a day. You will soon realize how it will feel if you will lose that excess 5 lbs from your body. What many do not realize is how depressed they are when they are over weight. The realization comes soon when you begin looking weight. You sure feel much more positive and happier.
  • You do not need to starve, drink or eat other clinically developed chemicals, get on a program where a stranger has to charge you to make you do the things you knew in the first place, cook special meals for yourself, or get you a secret potion. Just simply use your common sense and eat right and burn more.
  • Remember – eat fewer calories and try to burn some daily. It is not a big secret or rocket science or you don’t need a fitness guru or a Doctor to tell you this. Yes, if you have any ailments or health complications Doctors are just like God sent. But for simple weight loss? Use your common sense and not your excuses!

Love food, eat well, remember that you only live once, so enjoy life, eat all the things you like, use simple common sense to be healthy!

From the bitterness of disease man learns the sweetness of health.  ~Catalan Proverb

The problem with people is that everyone knows when they need to lose weight but never do it. Like a smoker knows the dangers of smoking but still chooses to smoke. While the overweight individual looks at a smoker and thinks in their mind how stupid they are for not doing anything about it, the smoker thinks the same about the overweight individual. Not doing what is right and needed, and choosing to continue doing what is wrong is nothing but stupidity. One can choose to blame the world, the weather, people, and the dog next door. No matter how you spice it, dice it or slice it an “excuse” and it is nothing but just that – an “Excuse”.  And there is absolutely no one who can help you but yourself. It isn’t the next Fad diet, the old proven diet, the quick loss diet or the cleanse. It is you, your will and desire to look good, feel good and be happier! A diet program may be a good start for some, but the will to keep it going is all about you and your desire to get healthy and feel great.

The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. – Benjamin Mays

So, get off the couch, stop opening the refrigerator door to see the contents there in for the 100th time in the day and do anything you can to burn just a few calories to begin with. Just take one such simple first step, then another a few days later and begin your journey to a better and healthier you. Try and experience a healthy you for a change. No, losing weight is not a cure to your life problems. But it sure helps you take a fresh new look at the same problems with a positive attitude and to act upon a solution to resolve them. It is simply amazing when you feel the sudden surge of energy and positivity than the lethargy and guilt! The saddest fact about living life as a ticking time bomb is it explodes just when you want to live longer.

More die in the United States of too much food than too little. _ John Kenneth Galbraith


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