Monday, 28 April 2014

Don't believe everything you think.

There are many ways our thinking can get off course and lead us to the wrong conclusion.

You could have been wrong about a person’s motives or intent.
You could have been mistaken about the root cause of the problem.
Your personal bias or perspective could have clouded or coloured your thinking.
You may have been overly optimistic or pessimistic.
You could have oversimplified or exaggerated the issues in your own mind.

Whatever you do or think, always remember that, we’re not always right.

Sunday, 27 April 2014


Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on the things we are passionate about, the things we love.

Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

- Marc Chernoff

It's Okay.

It's okay to dress appropriately.
It's okay to look stylish and elegant.
It is really okay to break the new rules of what is "cool or uncool".
It is okay not to fit in with the crowd, to stand out.
It is okay to be true to yourself and to follow your heart.
Above all, it's okay to have good manners and do good works for other people quietly without fanfare.

This is not some anachronistic, out dated way of thinking but rather an understanding and sincerity of purpose that transcends time and trends. You don't need millions in the bank to achieve these ideals, neither do you need to be in any privileged position.

You only need to know that it's okay.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Being Kind.

Yesterday, I took a while to talk to the ever smiling man who works as a receptionist in the tower where I work. His name is Vlad, and he has a cute 8 months old son. He told me how energetic his little boy is and even showed me a picture. He told me about his Easter holidays and how he really loves spending time with his family.

Nothing special there, you might think. But then, when he told me "Thank you" as I was about to leave, it made me think.
It made me think how seemingly ordinary gestures matter. It made me think how easy it really is to be kind to people, to let people know that they matter.
This will not be the first time I stopped to chat briefly with Vlad and others in his position or similar. But, my action took on an entirely different meaning when I began to reflect on it.

Some weeks ago, I had ran into the president and founder of the big conglomerate where I work. I had no idea who he was at the point of this chance encounter. But, as I always do with everyone, I turned, flashed him a warm smile and he stopped, said hello, asked in what department I work.   He then "apologised" for the fact that I couldn't take the same lift as him, because, he was going straight down to his car park (the privileges of owning one of the biggest business landmarks in the entire nation of Spain and being a one time minister in the country). Then he shook my hand and said it was a pleasure to meet me.
Seeing the floor on the lift where "his" car park was and a look at the intimidating, well muscled man besides him (who happens to be his bodyguard) got me curious. A few minutes later and with the help of goggle, I knew whose hands I had just shaken.
I was pleasantly surprised and I honestly felt more than honoured, not to mention that for the following days, I told everyone who cared to listen about the incident.

Being kind, nice, cheerful to people comes naturally to me and I never really think about the impact or lack of it that this might have.
But, after these encounters, my resolve has been strengthened, and I will always make a conscious effort to be even kinder, nicer, more cheerful, more pleasant.
I will always lend a helping hand, a listening ear and with a warm and soothing smile.
I will always stop for a chat, for a hug or a handshake.
I am not looking to be liked or popular. I just hope that these small gestures will somehow manage to brighten someone's day.
It doesn't matter how big I become, I will always value people. I will always be humane and I will always be kind to the people whose paths I cross.


"Just before I left home, three weeks after my 16th birthday, my Mum called me into a private meeting with her and while looking me directly in the eyes, she told me she was allowing me go, only because she trusted me completely and firmly believed that I would hold on to all I had learned, never forgetting my identity and the values which she had so lovingly tried to instill in me. Then she held me tightly, and for a short while, I thought I heard her sobbing, but when I turned to face her, she had on the most gentle smile on her face.
Upon reflection, I learnt the power of trust, as well as the sense of responsibility it brings to the person being given the precious gift.  A gift that spelled freedom and at the same a tremendous responsibility  to prove yourself worthy and to live up to that trust!"

I never thought about how difficult it must have been for Mum to let me go. To chose to trust me. I never stopped to ask what propelled her to take that decision.
Years later, I'm now learning the price of trusting another, and the risk involved. I am feeling the knot in my heart as I wholeheartedly offer the same gift to the people in my life.

That moment and that single generous act of faith was one experience that has continued to influence my decisions and my life.
I have to add that years after that conversation, on the eve of my 23rd birthday and 6 months before she passed away, my mum held my hands and told me that she was proud of me. This time, I saw her tears, but they appeared to be tears of joy.

Over 20 years have passed since that night, but still whenever I find myself celebrating success or hurting from disappointment or challenging decisions, I still see her face, I still hear her voice, and it still feels awesome that she trusted me then!"

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Me that I know...

Believing in yourself could be an uphill task sometimes. The world and its system will no doubt make it difficult. You will be knocked from all directions. People will call you all sorts of names; arrogant, proud, pompous, self-serving, self-centred and all whatnots. 
But, self affirmation and faith in your self will be the best gifts you can ever give to yourself. 
Loving and celebrating yourself is a responsibility you might not want to leave only to others. Their charitable hearts might be too busy to see the things that you feel they should see. And, if care is not taken, you might go through life without anybody ever realising what a priceless treasure you are.
So, take charge! Celebrate yourself! Shout it from the mountain top that you are all these things and more. 
You will be doing yourself and the entire world a favour!!
The following are words that I use to describe myself. And this is who I am.
Join me and make them your mantra!
A wise woman once told me that if you say it long enough, they will become a part of you. 
And as a man who I have a lot of respect for, always says, "Keep saying it! Don't stop talking it!

"I know who I am and I've got a pretty good idea where I'm coming from and where I'm headed to.
My life can only get better and it will.
I am very well blessed with wonderful friends and the best family anyone can ask for.

I am affectionate, amicable, adventurous and ambitious.
I am beautiful, brave, bright and broad-minded.
I am calm, charming, clever, compassionate, creative and courageous.
I am courteous and considerate.
I am decisive, determined, dynamic and diligent.
I am emotional, energetic, enthusiastic, extroverted, exuberant and easy going.
I am fair-minded, faithful, fearless, frank, friendly and funny.
I am gentle, good and gregarious
I am hard-working, helpful, honest and  humorous.
I am imaginative, impartial, independent, intelligent, intuitive, inventive,
I am loving, loyal, modest and nice.
I am optimistic, passionate, patient, polite, persistent, powerful, practical and pro-active.
I am quick-witted, rational, reliable, reserved, resourceful and romantic

I am self-confident, self-disciplined, sensible, sensitive, sincere, sociable, straightforward, sympathetic and strong-willed.
I am thoughtful and tough
I am unassuming and understanding.
I am versatile, warmhearted, willing and witty...

I am all of these and many more.
Some of these, I was born with,
Others, I have learnt along the journey...

I am me. And me is a complete package.
Not perfect, but, then, I don't need to be.
I am all of these and many more.