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March 2020

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One of my favourite quote from a movie is from “Akeelah and the Bee:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I developed my keen interest in playing various board games such as Scrabble,Monopoly and Chess after watching the Akeelah and the Bee Movie.

Our deepest fear quote is originally from Marianne Williamson, I agree profoundly with the statement.

Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.  – John Wooden   

We give ourselves various excuses/reasons and we talk ourselves out from achieving our greatness by saying things like : I am too young, I am too old, I am too skinny, I am too fat, I am too dark, I am too this I am too that.

Like Murphy observed, whatever would wrong will always go wrong. It is not that things would go wrong, the most important thing is that you do not go wrong with things. There is a lot of anxiety, hysteria, worry around the world with the COV-ID 19 pandemic but in times like this we all need to say the Serenity Prayer and live by it:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

It is normal in trying times like this to worry for the future but the thing about the future is that ??????

Here are some of the most inspirational quotes on anxiety and worry:

Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.– Robert Eliot

Don’t sweat the small stuff, It’s all small stuff.

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.– Mary Hemingway

Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.― Carl Jung

In the book, Atomic Habits by Author James Clear shares the step-by-step plan for building better habits, why tiny atomic changes can make a big difference in forming good and breaking bad habits. The book is rich with insights, examples, anecdotes and real life scenarios which is easy to connect with.

The book expands on the concepts earlier shared by Charles Duhigg, in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Atomic Habits are tiny changes with marginal gains, 1% improvement, tiny incremental changes which if sustained to for a long period of time leads to significant changes.

Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement. At first, these tiny routines seem insignificant, but soon they build on each other and fuel bigger wins that multiply to a degree that far outweighs the cost of their initial investment.

The basic premise of the book is that small incremental changes lead to long term result. Here are some the ways have been using the atomic habits to enhance my productivity:

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. 

Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills

Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.

― Jim Rohn

Failure isn’t so bad if it doesn’t attack the heart.

Success is all right if it doesn’t go to the head.—GRANTLAND RICE

I learn more through my failures than my successes and preparing for an Information Technology Certification is one of the most exciting ways to fail forward. It is very exhilarating with its twists and turns, scenario based questions, certification and re-certification, study guides, online video tutorials (Linkedin Learning, Pluralsight, Udemy,), braindumps, online forums, blogs, official certification blog etc.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. – Bill Gates

I would be experimenting with listening to 50 audiobooks by December 31st, 2020. Audiobooks and podcasts are my favorite learning strategies in my quest to get better daily.

Strategy

  • Buy one Audiobook every month which comes with my monthly subscription on Audible.com
  • Borrow Audiobooks from the Public Library
  • Re-Listen to more audiobooks in my compilation as I have come to realize that with repeated listens I get the concepts better.

Listening Times –

  • First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.
  • While in commute and in the Gym.

I have been experimenting with a digital detox/minimalism for the past 6 years since 2013 but I became more deliberate with it since February 2018. I have not used the following Apps personally since February 2018 but I still manage some project related social media accounts

Twitter – Deactivated
Facebook- Deactivated
Instagram- Deactivated

I am presently using only two apps sparingly and am always looking for aways to limit my use of these apps and it is a constant battle of will and discipline.

Linkedin – The only app that still has my attention
Whatsapp – I try to install once to thrice a week and delete immediately after using it to make international calls/replies – it seems cheaper.

“Loss, grief, and disappointment are profoundly personal. We all have unique circumstances and reactions to them.”

Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

Losing my mum is by far the toughest thing have had to Endure thus far and in healing/grieving, so many lessons have been learnt in the process.

The Book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant made me teary a lot while reading it as I could totally relate with most of the stories, anecdotes, pain and experiences she shared on losing her husband Dave Goldberg.

The book explores the psychology of recovery and the challenges of regaining confidence and rediscovering joy. Option B shares Insights on facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.- Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl

“A fractured team is just like a broken arm or leg; fixing it is always painful, and sometimes you have to rebreak it to make it heal correctly. And the rebreak hurts a lot more than the initial break, because you have to do it on purpose.”

Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics, cohesion and team failure. The book details many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to “grow together”.

According to the book, organizations fail to achieve teamwork because they unknowingly fall prey to five natural but dangerous pitfalls, called the Five Dysfunctions:

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt

Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

In Unfu*k Yourself, Bishop explains the concept of Getting out of your head with a series of seven assertions:

I am willing.
I am wired to win.
I got this.
I embrace the uncertainty.
I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
I am relentless.
I expect nothing and accept everything.

Assertion One: I am Willing

Willingness is a state in which we can engage with life and see a situation from a new perspective. It starts with you and ends with you.

“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.” – Martin Heidegger

Momento Mori is the symbolic/artistic reminder of the inevitability of Death. The thing is that we are all going to DIE at one point in our life. No matter how long you and I live, whether as long as Methuselah (969) or as short as Jesus Christ (33) or Tupac (25), Steve Jobs(56), the most important thing is the legacy we live behind.

In his very wonderful book Unf*ck Yourself, Gary Bishop shared this thought on dying:

Imagine that you’re on your death bed. You hear the beep… beep… beep of the monitor nearby. Your health is critical, and you’ve only got a few hours to live. You can feel your heartbeat and energy slide.