Success Soul Unleashing Secret Recipe of Success Sun, 17 Jan 2016 00:03:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Draw Your Future Sat, 16 Jan 2016 23:31:35 +0000 draw
How often your mind dwells  on problems more so than possibilities?

What we focus on expands..

Think about it. Your brain is the most complex organ ever created. It has ability to scan through millions of images and pieces of information constantly.

It filters out 99% of that information using an amazing algorithm that understands the picture you want to visualize.

It may sound paradoxical but constant focus and visualization involving your life problems tend to bring more of the same. On the other hand, if you think of possibilities that exist more so than problems — or hurdles that are along the way– possibilities turn into reality.

I have experienced that time and again in my own life.

You have power to choose problems or possibilities.

Have you experienced inner war between your active negative self-talk that has stopped you from taking action?

May be that you wanted to change your profession from an artist to a programmer but your inner narrator threw million reasons to make you think otherwise. I am sure we can all relate to this in our lives.

Left brain is logical but often it is the one stopping you from achieving your dreams. Right brain is creative. It thrives on drawing the future you want to have.

Draw the future you want to live and act every singly day to make it a reality.


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Timeless Wisdom: Quotes that Can Change Your Life Wed, 30 Dec 2015 03:51:31 +0000 timeless wisdomI just published my first Kindle book. Amazon has not only revolutionized our online buying experience but also entire publishing industry. You don’t need a publisher to write a book anymore.

That said, mini books are becoming popular as you can read books in small bites and improve your knowledge constantly.

Timeless wisdom from legends of the past still exists in their inspirational quotes. I cherish that wisdom and try to understand how these quotes can help us live a simple, purpose driven life.

Warren Buffett is known as Oracle of Omaha for a reason. He has amassed wealth that we can only dream of. Yet, he lives a simple life. He teaches us that happiness is a byproduct of work that you enjoy doing.

If I have to think of a role model to prove the fallacy of IQ when it comes to human achievement, Forrest Gump leads the pack. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor, became the world ping-pong champion, got President Nixon impeached, built a national shrimping empire — made a fortune with his investment in Apple Computers, and, last but not least, taught Elvis how to dance!

Wisdom from inspirational quotes fills your mind with positivity and positive mind is essential for your happiness and success.

We think of our health daily as healthy life is essential for our survival and growth; yet we seldom think how critical role our mind plays for our health and success.

A recent research paper published online in September 2013 in a journal of the American Heart Association shows that even for people dealing with heart disease — the number one killer of adults in this country — a positive outlook means living longer and stronger, or as we say, living younger.

My humble effort in this book is to offer inspiration and advice drawn from the greatest minds, all with an eye towards what you and I can learn so we can make our own success story.

This book is not to preach you my way of thinking or lecture you on how to improve your life; it is about timeless wisdom that can help you fight worst adversities in your life; it is about the best advice you can get from the smartest minds.

We create our own reality and we have greatest gift as a human-being to choose our actions. Our actions define our destiny. I read these inspirational quotes to help me create a reality between my two ears so that I can choose wisely. I hope that you will too!

You can download book for free until December 31st so enjoy your holidays with soup of inspiration from great minds!

P.S. Please write a review if you like the book! I appreciate the favor.

Free Amazon Kindle book download link

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My Thoughts on Personal Growth Sun, 30 Jun 2013 16:04:22 +0000

Have you felt nostalgic whenever you looked at an old album buried somewhere in your closet? Have you relived those moments of happiness when you went back in the past to rejuvenate those happy moments with your siblings or your best friend in the high school? We all have.

Blogging has been somewhat of an integral part of my life ever since I launched this blog. And, obviously, I have special feelings for this blog and those friends that I made friendship with in the first thrilling nine months of blogging back in 2008.

A woman from South Africa wrote me shortly after I stopped writing in late 2008. She told me that I made a difference in her life and requested to rethink about my decision not to write. My decision to stop writing was due to the fact that I had lots of traffic on the blog, but I had not found a way to monetize it. That email reminded me that life is larger than making money. I felt humble as I never imagined that my writing can have such a profound impact.

I now write regularly on Street Smart Finance, but I believe that personal finance is not about finance at all. It’s not about money, it’s about not allowing your personal finance to influence your pathway to happiness; it’s about how you choose to live a simple, happy life. That’s the purpose I strive to achieve every day.  That’s the purpose worth living for.

I have decided to recollect articles that I have written for various well-known blogs to create an album of my thoughts, if you will. My goal going forward is to focus on every aspect of my life that provides inner, simple and lasting happiness.

1.  Mahatma Gandhi’s 5 Teachings To Bring About World Peace on Zen Habits

“If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, acted and inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have you ever dreamed about a joyful world with peace and prosperity for all Mankind – a world in which we respect and love each other despite the differences in our culture, religion and way of life?

2. 5 Ways to Bury a Great Idea  on Pick The Brain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

We are all born with the gift of discernment; a talent to visualize what is obscure. Why then do we see people with incredible talent fail in achieving what their mind is capable of? The smartest amongst us who fail to throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor baffle me. They’re the intellect without persona to explore, dream, and discover possibly the greatest idea that amused their mind.

3. 14 Simple Ways to Super Charge Your Brain on Dumb Little Man

Have you ever felt exasperated when you bumped into someone at the store but absolutely couldn’t remember their name? Sure, it happens to all of us.
Despite being the strongest computer on the planet, our brains do lapse. It’s hard to blame them really. As humans, we spend much of or existence stuffing our brains with stuff. Some stuff is worthless, some of it’s meaningful, some of it, well, it’s just stuff and there is an endless amount of it.

4. 5 Signs of a Stress Ridden Mind  on The Change Blog

“No man is free who is not master of himself”- Epictetus, Greek Philosopher

There is a plethora of stress in our lives these days. Divorce, layoffs, threats of terrorism – these are just a few of the many things that can leave our mind, body and soul feeling anxious.

Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be essential form of our emotional state for balanced growth in our life. A conscious form of stress motivates us, prepares us for things we have to face, and sometimes give us energy to take action when we need to. However, excessive stress can hinder our ability to set goals, focus on what we want to achieve and to live in harmony with our family.

5. 3 Ways to Identify and Master the Bug of Creative Procrastination  on The Change Blog

Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday – Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) American speaker and motivational writer.

Procrastination is a term that needs no introduction. I’ve lived much of my life battling this bug, and I have come to believe that it grows from a fear of action.

Creative procrastination is a trick our mind plays to defer things we should do now until the future with an abstract goal to banish our desire.

6. 4 Reasons Why Blogging is a Noble Passion on

I initially began the blog with a 20% desire to help others, and 80% to cynically make the kind of money the A-list bloggers are making. – Urban

I began blogging four months ago with the intention to share my success in life with others and, of course, to earn residual income from the content creation. As I reflect on this short journey, I realize that blogging is more of a noble passion than merely a tool to earn income. I’ve been in business for a while but I’ve never had a passion that kindled my heart as intensely until I began blogging. Being an engineer by education and hotelier as an entrepreneur, I have a passion for people and for enhancing human values that make life a memorable voyage.

photo by: James-Blackburn

My Optimal Life Design Sat, 22 Jun 2013 18:04:53 +0000

As I get older, I have profound appreciation for life and the choices it offers. I can choose to be the happiest person on this earth or the saddest victim around. It’s all up to me to choose thoughts and choose what matters most for my happiness.

Many of our worries are byproduct of thoughts that we harbor and power our mind has to zoom in on these thoughts to magnify them. That’s both good and bad as wrong thoughts can lead you to the abyss of despair and good thoughts can take heights you’ve never witnessed before.

Having said that, I still think that my life is nothing more than my desire to choose. It’s that simple.

It’s my desire to choose what I want, who I want around, and how I want to project myself in front of others.

Success has many facets and like good and bad cholesterol, my desire to accumulate success just in the form of materialistic view point and not focusing on my success to weigh in what matters most to live an optimal life can lead me to the same abyss of despair that I find so many who can’t find way to pull themselves out of this deep dark valley.

A path to minimalism

This may astound you but most of our worries lie around fake phobias that we have developed for the physical world that surrounds us. We worry about making house payment, or making car payment, or losing a job we hate. These are subtly interrelated cousins who feed each other to feed our myopic view of the world.

We think of our problems as a permanent state of being. As these worry cousins take chances to stab any seeds of happiness that we try to sow in our lives.

Most worries are just that. They are nothing but state of mind we create between our two ears. And the good news is that we can choose to find freedom from the slavery of these worry cousins.

For me, a slowly and well thought transition to minimalism is the surefire way to an optimal life design I want.

As I get older, I want to become mindful of what I own, what I eat, what I think and whom I surround with. I no more relish of my excitement for a big win in any facet of my life nor I regret not having all of those things that world considers yardstick of success.

I will strive every awake moment to find happiness and only happiness that comes from within. For that, I won’t need many things that are not part of my optimal life design.

  • I don’t need approval from others in the way I live my life. Approval seeking is not part of my optimal life design and never will be.
  • I don’t need any debt. I don’t want debt to influence my thoughts and squash the bug that I have to live life to the fullest.
  • I don’t need TV and other forms of entertainment as they espouse consumerism.
  • I don’t need any form of possessions that serves no purpose to enhance my inner happiness.

I don’t want these things so that I can maximize my choices to live a happy life.

  • I want to seek more of life-energy to do things I love to do.
  • I want to read more and write more.
  • I want to make difference in this world in whichever capacity I can as life has been generous to me.
  • I want to measure every aspect of my life with lenses of minimalism so that I can measure my success not just in terms of material wealth but more in terms of  inner happiness.

Have you thought about your optimal life design yet?


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Price of Freedom Sun, 30 Dec 2012 22:13:29 +0000

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written on March 29th, 2008. I am inspired to re-publish it after reading an inspirational article on Financial Samurai to honor our heroes.

Last week, a friend of mine, Susan Rogers, sent me a video clip that, upon watching brought tears from my eyes. I, for once, realized how to view life in its noble perspective. In the midst of thoughts surrounding goals that are the self full filling, I had lost my focus to ponder on those who allowed me to have life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Those tears were for neglecting to care for giants among us, for those who sacrificed all they had for others, for those who fought for the old glory, for those with their silent act of patriotism and deep sense of service for the country, for those souls of inspirations that allowed me to have the life that I love, dreams that I dream and freedom that I cherish.

Those giants were at the front line to defeat Nazis to liberate Europe and Asia from the dark clouds of tyranny. America had its 400,000 brave souls sacrificed their lives in the most historic moments in our life time. Those who survived lived in anonymity, never bragged about their larger than life feats. They quietly blended with other Americans, raised their family. They lived with utmost dignity and with love for their country, and what it stands for: Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

But we are at the brink of loosing them all. 1500 WWII veterans are dying daily and before we know, they will go with an astonishing act of sacrifice and selfless endeavor in the history of humanity. Before it’s too late, I for once from my heart wanted to salute these giants and say –

“Thank you for all that you have done for all of us, We can never repay this debt of noble, selfless service that we have received from you.”

They are WWII veterans…

We idolize movie stars when we fall in love with their movies, We spend hours talking about Monday night football, We adore and get influenced by politicians selling dreams and hopes to win our votes. When will we take time to show our compassion, our deep gratitude, our true respect to those without whom all actors, sportsmen and politicians had slim chance to pursue their self centered lives.

I guess in one sense you can say we are an endangered species. But unlike the spotted owl or the whooping crane, there is no legislation that can be enacted to save us. We are rapidly disappearing off the radar screen, and soon all that will be left is what we have written, what we have recorded, and some old, fading photographs. Our voices will be forever silent, and the untold “first-hand accounts” of our experiences will remain untold.

We are the boys of World War II. We are dying off at the rate of 1,500 a day — that’s 45,000 a month. That number will steadily increase until the unyielding laws of mathematics give us an increasing rate of deaths, but a decreasing number of deaths — the remaining pool will have become too small.

But in our lifetimes, we made a difference. We had the good fortune to live during a time when honor, patriotism, and character were important. We stepped up to defend freedom, and put our lives on the line for the “cause.” It was a moment in history that may never occur again. – Quentin Aanenson

Before You Go

The elderly parking lot attendant wasn’t in a good mood!

Neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock, a Delray Beach, Fla. , eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker and musician, was bone tired after appearing at an event.

He pulled up in his car, and the parking attendant began to speak. “I took two bullets for this country and look what I’m doing,” he said bitterly.

At first, Bierstock didn’t know what to say to the World War II veteran. But he rolled down his window and told the man, “Really, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.”

Then the old soldier began to cry.

“That really got to me,” Bierstock says.

Cut to today.

Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach – a member of Bierstock’s band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band – have written a song inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot. The mournful “Before You Go” does more than salute t hose who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.

When 56 brave men signed declaration of independence, a nation was born. A nation that, with its open arm, offered lasting hope for the mankind. These 56 brave men also sacrificed all they had – their wealth, family and dreams. Our men in uniform have shown similar act of sacrifice over and over again.

Have we forgotten ? Yes, we have. We’ve forgotten that giants are not the one on silver screen, not the one who make pompous speeches at the podium. They are the ones who silently served the cause of the peace, cause of humanity. They are in oblivion.

So, today, When you get angry if your meal did not arrive on time or when you curse someone on your way to the ball game for driving slow – take a moment to introspect and seek gratitude to have freedom to choose what you eat, freedom to have fun at the ball park. You’ll realize how small we’ve become inside as we’ve grown outside in the pursuit of egoist, momentary pleasures.

Let’s collectively pay our heart felt tribute to these unsung, noble souls before they go. We owe them gratitude for our liberty and our way of life.

The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation. – George Washington

photo by: CRishel

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How to Develop Laser Sharp Focus Sat, 15 Dec 2012 20:58:08 +0000 That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. — Steve Jobs

Everything in your life is influenced by the rule of 80/20.

Enter the world of hacks and anti-hacks alike — with due respect to the arguments from either side of the fence — I’ve stumbled upon an axiom that can help you not only to de-clutter your thoughts, but also to develop laser sharp focus for what matters most in your life.

We focus 80% of our time on 20% of meager matters in our lives that — if happens — will only have 5% influence on our happiness and success.

Have you heard someone say, “I’d love to do that but ____”? We all have. It’s a sign of a mind cluttered with tasks that are least important to our end goal — our happiness.

The simplest path to happiness is to put your thoughts into proper perspective. We tend to focus on things that scare us most. In reality, those things are least important for our happiness and success. Think about it!

Time is infinitely more precious than money, and there is nothing common between them. You cannot accumulate time, you cannot borrow time; you can never tell how much time you have left in the Bank of Life. Time is Life…
– Israel Davidson

On Worries

We worry about things that are not in our control. By focusing on worries that may never see daylight, we tend to exhaust our time, energy and obviously focus on what lies ahead. Years ago, I flew from Atlanta to San Francisco.

I noticed a woman sitting beside me with a pale face. Shortly after the take off, the captain announced that weather may get rough, and there is a chance of turbulence in our way. All of a sudden, this quiet woman started screaming. I was bemused since I’d never been through such a horrible situation before. I tried to ask her what has happened to her. She kept screaming harder.

After a long and frightening ordeal, crew members found out that she was simply worried about the plane crashing as a result of the word turbulence being mentioned by the captain.

She was worried about — if any –20 percent chance of a bad weather causing remote 5 percent chance of a turbulence. As you can imagine, it never happened.

On Business

Your business or job can pose challenges that are meager yet — if you zoom in on them — they can take all the wind out of your brain.

Several years ago, I had to replace the roof at one of my hotels. For about a week, I battled in my mind over whether I should go with 30 years architectural shingles or 50 years architectural shingles. What if I own this hotel after 30 years ? Wouldn’t it be wise to go for the 50 years shingles ?

Looking back, now I realize how fool I was to even fret over a subject that has 20 percent or less chance of me owning this hotel after 30 years. Even if that happens, there is less than 5 percent chance of the same roof to survive on that hotel after 30 years.

I sold that hotel in less than a year after replacing the roof. I suppose you get the cue. I’d lost focus and precious time as well.

On goals

While focusing on goals, it is important to visualize and write them on the paper. If you do not visualize the expected outcome and deadline, you may squabble over actions that are meager at best in terms of achieving your goal.

For example, years ago, during the dot-com boom, I developed an auction site with sleepless nights and days of programming. I, along with two other friends, was excited to have a piece of history that eBay was destined to reign. However, during the development, I started spending excessive time on the look and feel of the site than on marketing the site.

Soon, we lost focus as a team over look and feel that had — at best — 20 percent chance of providing any competitive advantage and even if so, the same look and feel would have 5 percent or less influence on the fate of our business model.

Needless to say, our auction site never hosted any auctions ever.

On Clutter

It’s essential to get organized to cleanse our surroundings and our mind to gain sharp focus. I’ve had bad habit to harbor thoughts of “I may need it in the future,” or “Keep this magazine for the cool article that I may read in the future”. This vice habit was largely responsible for the clutter that I used to surround with.

After a while, I knew that if I have not taken time in past few weeks to glance over these magazines or that newspaper article, they have 20 percent or less chance to get my attention ever and even if that happens, that information may have less than 5 percent intrinsic value to make my life better.

I now use 60 day rule to either donate or throw away things that I don’t use. This has saved time that is infinitely more precious than going through daunting task of keeping clutter that needs my attention every time I gather courage to get organized.

For tribal man space was the uncontrollable mystery. For technological man it is time that occupies the same role.
Marshall Mcluhan (1911-1980) Canadian communications theorist and educator.

Readers: Are you doing anything to de-clutter your thoughts to deposit more time in the Bank of your Life for your happiness?

Photo by: toolstop

9 Tips to Live Your Dream Life Now Sun, 21 Oct 2012 00:58:11 +0000

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Have you banished the dream of living life on your terms because of the  fear of failure? Have you allowed dreaded “If I …” to interject a question mark on claiming your ultimate freedom? If so, you’re not alone!

We have heard many “If I …”  while talking to someone.

1.  If I have million dollars in the bank, I will quit my job and retire.

2. If I can make extra $10K, I will tour the world.

3. If I win the lottery, I will build a school in my home town.

My life story is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. When I embarked upon my dream to own my business, I was nervous. I had not given enough focus to all of my “If I..” to feel confident that I can deal with unknowns. Nonetheless, I made the plunge.

Our lives are dominated by strings of events, that revolve all around us, as a consequence to anything we do —  be it quiting your job for another, starting your first business or just walking down the street. Every kind of activity or action that we undertake, no matter how small, has an effect on us and on the people around us.

Once you throw off the bowlines and sail on your own, you will be the captain of your destiny. Until now, someone made decisions for you. Now, you will make decisions for yourself.

Every action, has an equal and opposite  reaction .This unfortunately brings with it a lot of pressure — for most individuals — when faced with a more or less important decision. Fear of  failure cloud their judgments, and they soon begin to become indecisive.

Decisions make you powerful, active, focused, and ready to face your day. Indecision makes you procrastinate, lose initiative, gumption, and get up and go. So, in truth, making a good decision isn’t necessarily conditioned by outside variables —  like having plenty of money in your bank account; other people or events and so on — but rather by your ability to make bold decisions.

There aren’t set of  “If I..”  you can check mark to make bold decisions — after all it’s just a conviction you harbor between your two ears.

Fate of your dream largely depends on your ability to make bold decisions now!

I’ve used these timeless techniques to make plunge from a wage earner into a dream earner. These techniques will help you overpass the hump of uncertainty and help you live your dream life now.

1. Embrace unknowns.

No training or preparation will ensure outcome precisely. Understand and acknowledge that there will be bumps on the road when you start living life on your terms. Living life on your terms gives your strength to deal with unknowns that are sure to pose challenges along the way.  I didn’t know all aspects of the business when I decided to start my own business. I dealt with fair share of my challenges, and I made plethora of mistakes along the way.  Regardless, I won’t do any other way if I have chance to do it all over again.

2. Think fast.

When faced with a decision, do it fast. Don’t think too much about what might happen after you undertake the respective action. What’s done is done.  You have to do some information gathering to make decisions. But your gut instinct and street smart approach will let you make bold decisions quickly. The more you do it, the faster you’ll become and the more decisive you’ll become.

3. Believe in yourself.

Keep telling and believe in yourself as a decisive individual and the outcome you desire. Don’t denigrate yourself for being indecisive.

4. Squash the bug of procrastination.

Some decisions, no matter how much you think them over, can’t seem to reach a favorable end. The longer you think about them, the more problems and obstacles you’ll find in your path. This is where you have to turn to your natural instincts, to guide you through. Let your gut speak out.

5. Get out of the box.

Forget about your preconceptions and fixed ideas about anything in particular. Clarity is extremely important for taking a bold decision, so keeping an open mind is a great way to put things into perspective to make the best decision.

6. Don’t be afraid.

Earlier in the article I mentioned that the biggest cause for indecisiveness is fear of the failure. While having reserves, before taking an important decision, is very natural you shouldn’t let them overwhelm you. Don’t be afraid to make a decision and learn to embrace failure as much as success.

7. Visualize the outcome.

Look at yourself from the outside and picture you as a decisive person. How would I act then? Also when faced with a decision, visualize yourself in the completion process and then in the aftermath. Then start asking yourself, like you’ve already taken the decision and completed the task: was it worth my time? did the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? and so on.

8. It’s okay to screw up.

Sometimes life takes us into directions we’d wish we never went. A thought of going back in time and taking the road on the left, always crosses our minds, but what’s done is done and you should keep it that way; such things in life are inevitable, so the first thing you should do when it happens, is not to feel bad about it. Just look at it as a life experience, as a step up in your progression towards a complete life. There’s no such thing as a good or bad decision.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third president of the United States

9. Act Now.

Don’t sit on your butt all day, thinking how to act. Be proactive, take the initiative and act without fear of the outcome. Any decision is better than none at all. When I made that dreaded decision to quit the job and embark out on my own, I had not planned every possible “If I…”  that I was about to face. I’d trained my mind to be aware of these challenges, and I was prepared to deal with them with best of my ability. I had decided that time to pursue my dream is now or never.

I’m glad that I decided to throw off the bowline and took control of my lifeboat to sail away from the safe harbor. I knew that there would be obstacles along the way. But I also knew that no planning or learning could ever overcome these challenges that were destined to arrive. I decided to embrace the challenges as happily as the successes, and to take action and to never look back. It’s a decision I haven’t regretted since.

Will you ever retire if you are doing what you love to do? Think about it. We harbor thoughts of retirement more to visualize having freedom. If you learn to live life on your terms now then retirement may never entice you. Do you agree?

How soon not now, becomes never – Martin Luther (1483-1546) German priest and scholar

Photo Courtesy: Amira Photography

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How to Achieve Lasting Happiness Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:15:51 +0000

Writing is another powerful way to sharpen the mental saw. Keeping a journal of our thoughts, experiences, insights, and learning  promotes mental clarity, exactness, and context.  — Stephen R. Covey  

My mind is a powerful engine that runs my life. I’m sure that’s the case with you as well. Ironically, I’m more conscious about what I eat and wear than those thoughts that fuel my mind.

When we put our net worth on a paper, we never include our biggest asset — our mind!

Think that for a second. Isn’t that an astounding revelation? I spend more time pondering over the food that I eat and even the water that I drink than to safeguard the quality of thoughts that run my life.

It’s always a struggle to develop consciousness towards intangibles in our lives — anger, frustration, self-pity, low self-esteem are the forms of impure thoughts that influence the quality of life without my awareness. Manifesting internal awareness is the key to your happiness.

A view of reality

Our world savors the outer reflection — a beautiful body, a muscular body, a beautiful house, a beautiful car. This approach leads our thinking to form opinion by an outer reality of our lives more so than an inner reality. We are judged by our possessions more so than how magnanimous our hearts are, how compassionate our thoughts are, how benevolence our actions are.

To find yourself, think for yourself.
– Socrates (BC 469-BC 399) Greek philosopher of Athens

An outer reality vs Inner reality

As I pondered in a moment of silence, I stumbled upon the truth for the mental clarity and boundless happiness. If I develop awareness of two distinct realities — an outer and inner reality — I can subvert fake, momentary desire of selfish and egotist pleasures. An outer reality is what exists outside and around me. An outer reality subvert my inner reactions by molding thoughts that incessantly flow though my mind like an ocean surf pounding the beach front. These thoughts form opinion about everything that I do during the day. For instance, when someone drives recklessly, I tend to get exasperated quickly with rushing thoughts of anger. These thoughts spur actions that often hurt me, from within, yet I feel helpless and act upon those thoughts of impurity.

An inner reality is a form of pure thoughts that arise from my own controllable actions by practicing meditation and yoga. An inner reality is akin to a warm room with boundless tranquility unaware of the harsh outer reality — inclement weather that exists outside.

I practice mediation and yoga everyday to create inner reality that is pleasant and entirely in my control. We allow our thoughts to be blended by impurity that comes from the outer reality. A reckless driver subvert my otherwise tranquil thoughts with impurity of anger and exasperation. Those who live life of boundless mental clarity and happiness know how to keep an outer reality from influencing their inner thoughts. With this, I’ve learned not to focus on actions that I cannot control.

I cannot control actions of a reckless driver, but I can choose how I react by controlling my inner reality. This is the first step to the path of mental clarity.

Outer goals vs inner goals

I tend to spend about an hour every week to plan my actions for the week with specific goals that I’d like to achieve. Over the time, I’ve found that sometimes it becomes rather difficult to keep perspective of what truly I wanted to achieve. More importantly, I’ve felt emptiness even after achieving certain goals.

I’ve stumbled upon another shiny truth in the quest to solve this mystery. I’m almost always focused on the outer goals — what I wanted to achieve in a physical form. I’m not focused at all on the inner goals — how I can achieve a spiritual balance from within. For the last few months, when I plan my week, I also plan time to develop my spiritual being.

Achieving physical goals or outer goals without achieving spiritual goals or inner goals is akin to focusing on physical fitness without the quality of food we eat. Often, we juxtapose our outer goals and inner goals to subvert thoughts that are necessary to achieve these goals.

Additional tips for the mental clarity and happiness

1. Use power of mantras daily.

Mantra means a hack for the mind. ‘Man’ means mind in Sanskrit. Mantras are being used in the Eastern culture for thousands of years to train mind to form a habit. I use mantras for mental clarity. For instance, I frequently use, “Think well, eat well” mantra to remind myself the importance of choosing the right thoughts and food for my mental and physical clarity. “One thing in, two things out” is a mantra I use anytime I shop something and bring a new item to home. for example, If I buy one new shirt, I’ll donate two old shirts.

2. Engage in small acts of compassion.

Compassion has power to unleash positivity by performing positive actions to help others. I always try to make an effort to help someone everyday to unleash power of positivity to influx my mind. Act of compassion acts as an agent of clarity and boundless happiness.

3. Learn not to expect an outcome.

This is rather difficult and somewhat esoteric. How can we not expect an outcome for which we work hard for? It’s human nature to expect favorable result from any meaningful effort. However, if I can act without expecting result, I can detach emotions that arise from the outcome that is not in alignment with my perception. The theory of karma simply teaches to act with compassion and leave the outcome to the fate with no emotions attached. Try this exercise with small tasks that you engage in. Once you master the concept, you can apply that to bigger things that you do in life. This doesn’t imply that we put lackluster effort behind our action for the fact that an outcome is irrelevant. It’s exactly opposite. It enables us to put best of our thoughts and actions knowing that an outcome will not jeopardize the clarity of our thoughts.

Associate reverently, as much as you can, with your loftiest thoughts.
-Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, poet and philosopher.

How do you achieve mental clarity? Have you stumbled upon different ways to purify thoughts for a better and balanced life?

Photo by: ConnectIrmeli

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7 Habits to Live More with Less Sat, 13 Oct 2012 04:21:38 +0000

Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.
-Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) Chinese philosopher.

Simple life is a pathway to happiness. It’s as simple as a rainbow of seven colors. In the modern world full of gizmos, simplicity is an extinct virtue.

Simplicity is a subtle, profound way of life leading to the nurturing of your inner happiness. That makes me believe that sources of external happiness veil our capacity to nurture inner happiness.

Simplicity is a way to manage our time to deposit more inner pleasure in our Bank of Life.

Habits and addictions are two sources of external happiness that keep our focus on excess leading to more habits and addictions. As I grow older, I’m mindful of my life; I am dwelling deep into time; I am trading for the pleasure of mine that takes away eternal, inner pleasure of time with my wife, my children, my spiritual being and the community that I live in.

Excess in eating, spending, working, ego, thinking, pleasures and — of course — doing everything to please others is a sure way to wreck your life speeding on the highway of more stuff for happiness; I am not against materialism, I am against excess that leads to the wreckage.

These  7 habits are essential to set limits, and to create inner awareness to live happy, content life with less.

Less eating:

Overeating has many dreary consequences including high fat, high sugar food, sedatory life and emotional clutter leading to depression. With my new-found mantra, I’ve been devoting my focus on the diet. My mantra for the day becomes, “Better and balanced diet to invest time to deposit more inner pleasure in Bank of my Life.” This allows me to be mindful about what I eat. Being a vegetarian, it allows me to focus my attention to eat vegan food rich in fiber and protein. I feel excess in energy — and certainly relaxed — as a result.

Less spending:

If you pay attention to your closet, you can see excess manifested through your spending habit. We’ve all had time in our life when we refused and abhor to open that bill, charged every credit card in our wallet to the limit to buy things that we wanted. I’ve lived in the third world country, and I know that it takes lot less to deposit more inner happiness in my Bank of Life. If I am mindful for a day to buy only what I need and not what I want, I’m feeling calmness and peace that comes from within.

Less working:

I’ve always struggled with this habit. It’s manifested my life to a degree that I’ve become addicted to setting goals and seeking external pleasure by setting higher goals to spend more time working for those goals. I’m mindful for a day to turn off the laptop and head back home no matter what happens. I’ve now realized that life moves on. It has allowed me to develop inner consciousness about the goals and their relevance to my new mantra of life.

Less Ego:

An ego is an excess form of time spent on self-centric thoughts. I’m not against having an ego. Without an ego, we can not instill burning desire to achieve what we conceive. It’s excess that takes time away from my purpose to invest time for the inner happiness. With excess in ego comes the root of an evil; It kills the veins of morality leading to horrible act of self-indulgence. If I’m mindful about keeping my ego in the closet when I leave home, I’m nurturing the mind of magnanimity.

Less Obsessive thinking:

We’ve all been victim of this viral state of mind. We choose our thoughts and focus our attention to those thoughts. It’s that very decision we make to choose and obsess with thoughts of events that went wrong on the day, lack of forgiveness for the mistakes we’ve made on the day that leads us to misery and despair. With new mantra, I’m mindful about the thoughts I choose and thoughts I harbor. By allowing mind to relax with yoga and meditation, I’ve learned to focus on thoughts of content and not on the contempt.

Less Pleasures:

External pleasures always imbibe our inner pleasure. I do not drink or smoke, but I’ve habit of drinking a can of diet coke a day. I’m more mindful on a day to avoid these chemically altered drinks to invest my time to deposit more inner pleasures in my Life Bank. I’m feeling more energy and higher state of awakening due to seeking pleasure from within.

Less People Pleasing:

Keeping up with Joneses is the norm in the modern day society. It’s both sad and disdainful to live life just to seek approval of others. If I know myself well and accept myself deeply, I don’t need approval of others. People pleasing is a form of external happiness that’s as fake as a mirage. Pleasing my inner self allows me to invest time to deposit eternal happiness in my Bank of Life. It also allows me to eliminate the emotional clutter I’ve deposited in the form of rejection by others who indeed have no interest in investing time to deposit more inner happiness in my life. I’m mindful for a day to do what pleases my inner self and care less for what others opined about my decision to do so.

Photo by: Sandy*s

7 Techniques for Effective Public Speaking from Johnny Carson Mon, 08 Oct 2012 04:55:15 +0000

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. — Jerry Seinfeld

Do you believe that fear of public speaking ranks higher than the fear of death? Indeed it does according to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld. We all have self-imposed taboos in our lives. We avoid many things in life without exploring the thrill of it because of the phobic sense of failure that only exists in our mind. We relish the beauty of a mountain but dread the thought of climbing that same mountain;we gaze in awe at the gliders and feel the sheer joy of surfing the sky but we never give it a try.

Have you ever pondered that this act of self-imposed limitation has imprisoned you not to  dream and to succeed beyond your wildest imagination? Have you ever felt the pressure of self focused thoughts prohibiting you from picking up a microphone in a public gathering to crack few jokes? We all have.

The simple fact is that our financial success largely relies on our skill to articulate our ideas either at work or in the business. Knowledge is vital for success but knowledge about how to sell knowledge is even of greater importance in any endeavor.

What if you were to know that the “King of Comedy”, the man who defined and ruled the late night talk show with his art of public speaking, Johnny Carson, was frightened every night for thirty years before going on stage only to keep millions of viewers in America watching the ‘Late Night’ show before going to bed?

How to Master the Art of Public Speaking

Public speaking is an art  it can be learned. Johnny Carson had mastered this craft with his passion, the practice of writing jokes, and his willingness to learn every facet of public engagement with hard work behind the curtain that was seldom ever mentioned in the tabloids.

I’ve had a phobic sense of shyness since early on in my life. At every public gathering, I focused on myself intensely. This obsessive self-focus created an imaginary stonewall for my natural expressions. I often lacked the words when asked to speak and became speechless at times in front of even a small group of people. I found myself confirming self-imposed stereotypes of my inept skill at public speaking, and would be scared when an opportunity came along to speak at another event. Soon I realized this fact and learned the skills to speak anywhere without a speck of fear in my mind.

You can also squash the bug of fear and self-imposed restrictions if you believe that the art of public speaking is something you can conquer and master with your audacity to connect with the audience and to speak from your heart about the subject with facts and humor. After all, Johnny Carson has become an American legend by just doing that.

Technique # 1. Connect with your audience quickly.


“Married men live longer than single men. But married men are a lot more willing to die.” — Johnny Carson

Have you felt exasperated while patiently waiting for your laptop to connect to your wireless network? Have you felt the knock out punch of sadness when you realized that you are out of luck while trying to surf the internet? These things happen in a matter of minutes. Public speaking is no different when it comes to the time that you have to connect with and surf the minds of the listeners in front of you.


If you wobble in the first few minutes, you haven’t yet lost the battle but if you don’t do anything about it, you surely will. Johnny Carson worked tirelessly on his monologues that often encompassed the heartbeats of America. He connected with 20 millions viewers worldwide with the magic of his words. He championed the art of the monologue to the degree that during the monologue of 19 December 1973, he said — “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper! There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” Astonishingly, the very next morning, his 20 million viewers attempted to buy all the toilet paper that existed in the market only to find Johnny Carson later apologizing for his joke. Practice every speech with a breath-taking yet factual opening statement. You are on your way to dominate the minds in front of you if you open the speech with what matters most to them. Johnny always focused on the interviewees and his audience.

Technique # 2. Remember that you are an entertainer.


“I can’t say I ever wanted to become an entertainer. I already was one, sort of – around the house, at school, doing my magic tricks, throwing my voice and doing Popeye impersonations. People thought I was funny; so I kind of took entertaining for granted… It was inevitable that I’d start giving little performances.” — Johnny Carson

When you are out there at the podium, it’s overwhelming to focus on that thousands of faces are staring at you and every gesture you are making. You are not alone in feeling the pinch. The greats like Johnny felt the same way speaking in front of his 20 million viewers. How did he overcome the dread? — With his genuine sense of humor and knowing the fact that he was an entertainer for all of those who wanted to learn the news of the day with fun. It’s his deftness to blend sensational news with a touch of fun that left millions spellbound for every bit of a Johnny Carson show. Always remember that you are an entertainer even if you are talking about the next release of Windows Vista in front of none other than Bill Gates. Add a spice of humor into your facts and you’ll make an instant recipe for public domination. Some call it charisma but it’s nothing more than a ticket to own the minds that are craving for some fun along the way.

Technique # 3. Be hilarious by poking fun at yourself.


“If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.” — Johnny Carson

All of us have met personal failures at various stages in our lives. We eagerly share those moments with close friends as we feel a close bond with them about our feelings and emotional ties. Johnny Carson used this simple axiom of life to create an instant emotional bond with millions of his viewers by cracking jokes about his marital problems. He had three failed marriages. He used the blips in his personal life to his advantage by sharing that he was among us. He faced the same challenges in his life as any other American who otherwise considered him immune from the fate of an average Joe. He not only made millions of people laugh at seemingly sour moments but also established an instant rapport with them by winning their credibility. His audience felt a simmer of honesty in every joke he cracked about his own marital problems. Use the difficulties you’ve faced to your advantage by sharing it with your audience with a burst of laughter. You’ll be amazed at the power of clarity that ensues.

If anyone was the butt of Carson’s humor, it was Carson himself. — David Edelstein on Johnny Carson

Technique # 4. What’s in it for your audience?


“Democracy is buying a big house you can’t afford with money you don’t have to impress people you wish were dead.” — Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson’s legendary success to win the hearts of millions of viewers who viewed him with the zeal of a cult lies in his innate desire to know and bring to the spotlight the core issues of an average American. He never had a dearth of money but he never lost sight of the message of simplicity and common sense that he considered important for his audience. He constantly worked on and mastered the art of enabling his audience to relate to him and the message he was relaying to them with the touch of humor. He treated his audience with utmost respect and transparency. Never lose focus of the fact that you have to enable your audience to relate to you and to the core of your speech. Try to interject relevant life experiences that you have dealt with before to show a sense of transparency with your audience. One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to become astory-teller like Johnny Carson who had deftness to blend natural wit with his ability to perceive humor in everyday situations.

Technique # 5. Change your perception.


“Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: Are your ready?” — Johnny Carson

One of the best ways to master the art of public speaking is to change our perception of audiences — from our natural tendency to seeing them as our critics as opposed to our friends  — who have genuine interest  in our success as a speaker. After all, if the gathered audience has bestowed you with generosity of their time to listen to you, why would they want you to fail at the podium? Johnny Carson was an aloof person while not in front of the camera. His persona on the show was quite opposite to how he lived his life when the lights went off. Nonetheless, he was the “King of Comedy” for the very reason that he knew that an average viewer wanted to have a hearty laugh before calling an end to their day. He acknowledged that his viewers were happy to hand him the tough job of entertainment and silently they were rooting for him at every joke he cracked. It’s no different for you when it comes to public speaking. Most listeners are glad that you have taken the hard job of entertaining the audience and, contrary to your self-imposed belief.


Technique # 6. Have a blast.


“And so it has come to this. I am one of the lucky people in the world. I found something that I always wanted to do and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.” — Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson knew well that one cannot rule the hearts of millions and make them laugh every night unless he immersed the best of his talent and had a blast. Johnny Carson had over 20 million viewers twenty-five years ago not just for being the best at making these viewers chuckle but also for enjoying every moment of his own late night show. If you don’t enjoy your speech, if you are not investing in your own words, no one else will either. You can have wealth of wisdom yet fail miserably at the podium for being too pedantic and boring. Your audience yearns for the imperfect words of passion more than the flawless speech of a robot. Take the focus off of yourself. Let your identity vanish when you are at the podium. If you remember to speak just to have a good time, you’ll flourish as a speaker. It is natural to feel the burden of self-focus that exists when you pick up the microphone but remember that no one cares much about a single speech for too long. Instead of focusing on the dread that makes your lips quiver, focus on those eagerly waiting to receive a genuine joke from you. Your intensive focus on receiving applause and respect from an audience should serve should be replaced by your focus on  giving value to your audience with a genuine sense of sparkling wit and fun.


Technique # 7. Practice, Practice, Practice.


“My success just evolved from working hard at the business at hand each day.” — Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson worked tirelessly to craft a perfect stage presence. He edited his own jokes. He practiced his opening monologue. He relentlessly worked on his golf swing, his timing, delivery, and gestures. All of the hard work made him the “King of Comedy”. If you prepare your speech thoroughly by researching what your audience likes, by researching the local facts most relevant to your audience, you will feel confident at the podium. Remember, Johnny Carson made a plethora of errors but only he knew the content. You have a natural advantage. You are in control of what you say. If you miss a few words or a few facts, your audience is unaware of that. Join your local toastmaster club. Master the art of public speaking by finding your own style, gestures and a method that allows you to remember the key parts of your speech.

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. –Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. humorist, writer, and lecturer.

As opposed to a prevailing myth, mastery in public speaking is not confined to an élite few. By learning from the likes of Johnny Carson, you can transform your numb silence into confident, fluent public speaking. Are you ready?

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