Looking back 2010: I've learnt…

As 2010 comes to an end, I look back and reflect on the year that’s gone by. There’s been so much joy, a few sorrows…so much hard work…a lot of partying…and so many things that I have learnt.

The top 10 things I’ve learnt….

  1. To laugh out loud – Life’s too short to be constantly worried. Take every opportunity to catch life by the horns and L-I-V-E!
  2. To stay calm – Shit happens, but how we deal with it is what matters most.
  3. To prioritize – Family and friends and health come first. Work’s important, but it isn’t the be all and end all of life.
  4. To constantly adapt – The only constant in life is change. We can’t stay in our comfort zone forever. To live fully (see point 1), we have to break out of our comfort zone…sure it’s hard at first, but like Nike says, Just do it!
  5. To make time for me – My day for myself is Saturday – I have the weekends off, but the husband has only Sundays off. Instead of moaning and groaning about it, I use that one day to have fun…go out with girlfriends or even alone (see the next point), clean up the house (if I feel like it), do some bloggy work…
  6. To be comfortable in my own skin – Next time you’re out in the market or mall, really notice people around you — they are almost always with their families or friends. Even the movies would have you believe that one is a lonely number. But you know what, it isn’t! It takes great confidence and oodles of self love to be out there in the crowd alone, doing your own thing, even *gasp!* eating at a restaurant alone. This may be an Indian thing, but it’s one of the most important lessons I learnt this year.
  7. To try and try again – If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have started working out again. I’ve lost count of the number of crash diets I’ve gone on, of how many times I joined the gym and gave up. But this year, I was determined I would do it, and stick to it. And I’ve succeeded. The weight hasn’t come off as fast as I had hoped, and there are days when I stumble, but I get up and get back on!
  8. To draw the line, work-wise – Sure work’s important – it’s what helps us put food on the table and clothes on our back. But if work overtakes the rest of your life what purpose is it serving? If you have no time for family, for friends, to enjoy your hard earned money, is it really worth it? There’s only that much stress I can take over work, beyond a point, I refuse to compromise on my personal time.
  9. To speak out –  The husband’s not a mind reader. Unless I tell him what’s bothering me, he ain’t gonna know. So instead of stewing or going silent, I realized it’s best to let it rip from time to time. Keeps him on his best behavior too 😉
  10. To take a break – I used to take time off from work only if I was sick or traveling. But there are days when you just want to laze around, and I realized that if  I just took the day off, I went to work the next day feeling like a million bucks!

Life is always teaching us lessons, either by experience or by sharing. I’ve shared what I’ve learnt this year, won’t you share your lessons with me in the comments section?

Linking up with Jade:
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Mindfulness

Carve out some time to hear this session on mindfulness that Jon Kabat-Zinn led at Google. It is very, very relevant given the fast-paced lives we lead. As we run from one task to another, to cross each item off our to-do list, we need to find some rest and relaxation, some stillness, each day – no matter how much or how little time we have in any given day.

“Meditation is an act of love…an act of sanity…just to stop for a fraction of a second and drop…into being…” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Hope you liked this session.

(Click to read older Spiritual Sunday posts)

What motivates you?

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Image via Wikipedia

Ever wonder what motivates us to give our best at work? I know a lot of you will say “Money!” but that just might not be true.

Surprised? I was too.

Research has shown that the carrot and stick approach to performance enhancement works only when the job is a mechanical job. The minute it is a cognitive job, higher rewards = worse performance. Surprising, isn’t it?

To a certain extent, money is a motivator – If you don’t pay people enough, they won’t be motivated to work. But if you pay them enough that they don’t think about money, they are better able to focus on work.

So, what then, are our drivers?

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

Want to know more? Check out this really cool video that discusses just this.

So, what motivates you?

Love is…strong

Love is...not without its complicationsRelationships can be messy and complicated. There may even be times when we wonder what possessed us to get married in the first place. So when a friend recently asked me what makes my marriage tick, I had to think long and hard about the answer.

I’ve been married 8 years and knew the darling husband for 3 years before we tied the knot — that makes it 11 years with the same man. Wow!

If I said it was an easy journey, I’d be lying. If I said I was blissful every single day, I’d be lying. But I do know that I am truly blessed that we found one another. There are times when I can still get weak-kneed just looking at him…times when I marvel at the universe that brought us together…and yes, even times when I wonder how insane I was to have gotten married! But those are fleeting moments, generally brought on when I am really angry or frustrated with the husband — and those moments happen in every marriage.

So, what makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive when I wake up next to him every day?

The fact that, no matter how many fights we have, the core of our relationship —our bond — has grown stronger over the years. We can fight and argue and storm out of the house on each other, but at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, the love is very much alive and growing.

What is it that makes your relationship tick?

Meditation music: Relaxation music

How has the week treated you so far? My week has been really hectic — a lot of high-pressure deadlines that I had to meet at work, driving through some absolutely crazy traffic, long nights and early mornings.

With all the craziness, I really needed to find some peace during the weekend, and was fortunate to stumble upon some beautifully relaxing music.  I hope this piece is able to soothe your frazzled nerves as well as it did mine!

Hope you liked this music.

(Click to read older Spiritual Sunday posts)

Buddha's Wheel of Life

Traditional Tibetan picture or Thanka showing ...

Wheel of Life. Image via Wikipedia

The Buddha Wheel of Life is one of the most well-known subjects for thangka paintings. The reason is simple – this is supposedly the only drawing that Buddha ever made. The Wheel of Life describes the six stages of life, and Buddhists believe that they spend their life migrating amongst these realms.

Want to learn more? Then check out this link, which explains each of these realms beautifully!

Hope you enjoy this! See you with more spiritual thoughts next Sunday!

(Click to read older Spiritual Sunday posts)

Al Pacino's Inspirational Football Speech

Inspiration is all around us — in books, movies, stories that we hear from friends or read in the papers.

I was watching Any Given Sunday recently, and Al Pacino’s half-time speech to his football team in that movie made me break out in goose bumps. I leave you with the snippet that sent “shockwaves” through my system, followed by a clip of the speech itself. Hope you enjoy it!

You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small… On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.

See you with more spiritual thoughts next Sunday!

(Click to read older Spiritual Sunday posts)