Flash The Fish – And The Search for The Big Ocean

There lived a fish so wonderful in the ocean that the tales of its beauty has reached far far lands. Her name was Flash. It was vibrantly colored with a tail called the “half moon“. All the other fish were envious of Flash for its long finned tail and brilliant colors. Its “D” shaped tail with sharp and crisp edges form almost a 180 degree angle. Flash also had the proud heritage of belonging to a rare family of fish who could breathe directly from air (apart from water).

But Flash had a worry. She was worried about and constantly looking for this thing called the “ocean“. She had heard about it and how beautiful and vast it was, but she couldn’t find it. She wandered all around the water, looking beneath the rocks and beyond the danger area where predator fishes reside, but to no avail. Her life was perfect in so many ways, but yet the meaning of ocean eluded her, and that spoiled her days.

Flash The Fish and the Search for the Great Ocean

Flash The Fish and the Search for the Great Ocean

She looked worried and anxious at all times due to this never ending search, and it started to impact her beauty too.

Word came one day to Flash that there was a wise teacher who knew the secrets behind the elusive ocean that she had been looking for. Without wasting a second, Flash waded through the currents, had to cross some very narrow ridges between under-water rocks to finally reach the place where the teacher was. She had heard that this teacher understood the meaning of the “great ocean”.

Flash finally asked, “Teacher, what is the great ocean? Where can I find it? Please tell me the secret, please. I have looked all around but couldn’t find it.”

And the teacher simply laughed. His laughter had a sense of calmness that only someone wise can display. It seemed like a song in perfect melody. But he just laughed.

— End of Story —

Why do you think the teacher simply laughed? What was the secret? Did he knew about the vast ocean?

Perhaps it was because the fish was in the ocean and yet looking for it. Separate the fish from the water, and there is no possibility of life. The ocean was its life. But Flash just didn’t realize it, and wasted all its beauty and other unique traits in this mindless search for the elusive ocean.

When was the last time you wondered about the meaning of life? Or do you recall how many days have you sat and thought about the secret of life, and made plans about how to ‘crack’ it? How you have sought different ways to find this “answer”?

(Laughter) (Laughter)

जो ज़िन्दगी को जीना सीख ले – Jo Zindagi Ko Jeena Seekh Le

जो दिल की धड़कन पहचान ले
वोह गालो में लाली नहीं ढूँढता
जो ज़िन्दगी को जीना सीख ले
वोह उसमे अपने पसंदीदा रंग नहीं ढूँढता

 

“Life has three aspects: Paradox, Humor, and Change.  - Paradox: Life is a mystery; don't waste time figuring it out.  - Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure  - Change: Know that nothing stays the same.”   ― Peaceful Warrior

Life is a mystery; don’t waste time figuring it out.
― Peaceful Warrior

जो खुदा की दिखाई राह पे चल पड़े
वोह मस्जिद और मंदिर नहीं ढूँढता
जो ज़िन्दगी को जीना सीख ले
वोह हर गली अल्लाह राम नहीं ढूँढता

 

जो अपने काम में दिल लगाने सीख ले
वोह दिन के बाद शाम नहीं ढूँढता
जो जिंदगी को जीना सीख ले
वोह शराब में अपना जाम नहीं ढूँढ़ता

 

जो मुश्किलों में खड़ा रहना सीख ले
वोह दूसरो में अपना सहारा नहीं ढूँढता
जो ज़िन्दगी को जीना सीख ले
वोह हर समुन्दर का किनारा नहीं ढूँढता

 

जो मंजिल मंजिल मुसकाना सीख ले
वोह हँसने के लिए चुटकुले नहीं ढूँढता
जो ज़िन्दगी को जीना सीख ले
वोह दूसरो में अपनी पहचान नहीं ढूँढता

 

जो मौसम का आनंद लेना सीख ले
वोह बारिश में छाता नहीं ढूँढता
जो ज़िन्दगी को जीना सीख ले
वोह रात में सूरज दिन में चाँद नहीं ढूँढता

 

जो जीवन की शायरी पहचान ले
वोह हर लम्हे में उसका अर्थ नहीं ढूँढता
जो ज़िन्दगी का जीना सीख ले
वोह हर कविता के लिए शब्द नहीं ढूँढता

Why we should break the Safety Wall around us (to be Happy)

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. “ goes a popular quote by Seneca. We all have build ‘safety walls‘ around us that are strengthened over time and most of the times, we are not even conscious of their existence. They determine what we can and cannot do, what we try and what we don’t, almost all our actions are determined by these safety walls.

But rather than being safety walls, they are more of a trap where we are stuck in a state of supposed comfort and our each decision is determined by these walls. They make us believe that outside of these walls life will be tough and uncomfortable. There might be unforeseen dangers. So unknowingly, and only in assumption of some ‘danger‘ we don’t risk going over these walls.

From my experiences, I have found myself in similar situations many times. No matter how many fake assurances I gave to myself that I was doing good, the fact is when you are in your comfort zone, you are still while life is zipping by. When the world is moving ahead and you are still, you are in fact on a decline (which you can’t see). If we stay in this zone, over time, our excitement and energy levels start to come down, we would feel more and more lazy and tired each day, our eating habits (and with it, our belly too) will go out of shape pretty soon. It might look like life is going on FINE, but in reality we all know that we are not moving ahead while our limited time on this planet is passing by.

Be Vulnerable

The first step towards breaking the aforementioned safety walls around you is to become aware of the fact that you are trapped in your habits. These habits and patterns are running your life, rather than you driving it. Once you are aware of this trap, you can take steps towards breaking these so called safety walls and explore the ‘real’ world outside. Outside of these walls, what I have found is that there are opportunities rather than dangers, there is excitement rather than boredom and relief rather than frustrations. If you have to really live (rather than just exist), go outside and be vulnerable. Be vulnerable to your fears, anxiety and become comfortable with them. Only them you will get a feeling which is truly liberating and peaceful.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. - Randy Pausch

Have Faith

When you step out of your comfort zone, there will always be a little uncertainty and fear. But assume that these are more of an illusion created by your brain rather than real, and move on ahead. Have faith in life and face your fears in small steps. It will do two things, one is that you will realize that your fears were more perceived than real, and two, you will expand your comfort zone. Which means you will be comfortable in situations you weren’t before.

Dream Big

In our safety zone, we all tend to believe that we have something to loose if we step out and try something new. But take a moment and think, what do we have to lose? We all have our limited time on this planet, and nobody knows when ours is ending. Life is a gift given to all of us, and when we stay in our safety walls, we are just waiting for it to get over rather than truly enjoying whatever it has to offer. So do something, almost anything, which you like and the way you want to do and see what happens. When you let go of whatever is holding you back, you will experience what real life and being alive is about. So dream big, and go for them, step by step. If you win, you WIN, if you loose, remember that you didn’t had anything to loose anyways.

Stay Young, Die Young

I have always felt that age has nothing to do with being twenty and sixty. I can show you many 80 year olds more energetic and active than many 20 year olds. When you step out of your comfort zones, you experience being alive and that is what being young is. I want to stay young all my life and die a young man, irrespective of my age. We should all strive to live our lives waiting for Mondays rather than Fridays, waiting for mornings rather than evenings, and waiting for beginnings instead of endings.

Each day is a gift, and we should thank life for it everyday we wake up. Life is giving us this gift daily, and we must strive to make the most out of these gifts before it runs out. There is not a second to be wasted, not a moment to be spent without being alive. Because we never know when life will stop giving us this gift!!

Life Lessons from Sachin Tendulkar

Most players come as rookies, show their talents and skills, have their ups and downs and after performing consistently well over many years they are termed as legends by the critics and the media. But the case of Sachin Tendulkar is unique. Right from the first time he burst on the cricketing scene as a 16 year old, everybody knew this boy was special and there was something legendary about him. And the way he has been performing over the last 22 years, he has left all those expectations behind and rose tall among legends themselves. As a cricketer, and as a person, there are many life lessons to be learned from Sachin Tendulkar, and I am listing five of them below –

1. Humility

He has the most runs in both forms of the game, the most centuries in both tests and ODIs, the maximum man of the match awards, the highest ODI score and numerous other records to his name. He is called GOD in India. He has been called the world’s best batsman continuously over the last 15 years, and Sir Donald Bradman saw himself in his batting. Perhaps there is no one else in world cricket today who can take all this praise with the grace and humility that he embodies. Carrying the expectations of a billion people, and constantly improving the benchmarks he sets for himself has been his hallmark. When asked about being termed a GOD, he humbly says, “I don’t think it is possible for anyone to become GOD

Still the same smile and enthusiasm

Still the same smile and enthusiasm

2. Always a Student

Despite having all the records to his name, and after consistently performing well for the last 20+ years, he is still a student of the game. He believes that there is always room for improvement. He says he is always keen to improve his game and wants to focus on the next game rather than celebrating his records and achievements. The same holds true for life too, as we must strive to be its students always and take whatever lessons and learnings life has to offer daily.

3. Continuous Hard Work

He is one man in the team who many would argue doesn’t need to practice. But still he is the one who always works very hard before every series and match. He is always punctual in team practice sessions and makes sure to practice more before an important series. His asking leg spinners to bowl in the rough outside leg stump to prepare for Shane Warne before the 2001 series is well known. He has never sat on his laurels but always look to work hard on his technique and fitness, and that is the reason he is still one of the fittest players at 38 years of age.

Enjoy life like he enjoys cricket

Enjoy life like he enjoys cricket

4. Never ending hunger of the game

“I am happy with my performance, but not satisfied”, he has said many times. This after having almost all batting records to his name. His hunger for the game is something which makes his game worth watching. He still has the same smile as he had as a 16 year kid when he plays the game. He still considers every game important and the joy on his face after winning a match or scoring a century tells of his never ending hunger. The hunger to keep scoring runs, to keep his fans happy, and to prolong the misery of the opposition bowlers. If we all live our lives with the same hunger, would there be anything not possible.

5. Discipline

His greatest talent is not to pick up a ball early or hit it through the gaps, but to do it consistently for over 20 years, and constantly improving the standards which he himself has set for the world. His discipline in the nets is well known, where he sometimes bats even after the younger players wind up. Tendulkar shows that talent without discipline is useless. His preparation before every game, and his decision making at crucial times as a batsman is for all to see and marvel at. And when everybody else calls him a perfectionist at many shots, he is continuously improving at them for the last two decades with enormous hard work and discipline.

5 Ways My Writing Has Helped Me, and Why You Should Try It?

Ever since I have started writing on this blog (from Jan 2010), it has helped me in more ways than I could have imagined at that time. After struggling to write regularly in the whole of 2010, I have now actually started to enjoy my writing. It helps me to draw out my thoughts and clear up my mind. That itself makes me feel better many times. I think writing is a wonderful way of keeping your mind uncluttered, attaining clarity of thought and managing your emotions. Below are some ways writing has helped me and why should anybody try it —

You have to be specific, do more research

When you are talking, there are a lot of ideas and stats which come to your mind and you just say it. You don’t have to make sure that the information is correct or credible, and nobody is going to hold you accountable if you are wrong. But while writing, you make sure twice that what you are about to write is correct. You ask a few people, do some research about the topic, read some articles or books but make sure that you get your facts right before writing. This helps to clear the clutter in your mind of the unnecessary stuff and confusion regarding a lot of areas. It also clears up our mind to focus on newer and important areas which we would not have focussed on otherwise.

Try your hand at writing too

Try your hand at writing too

A good reference for the future

Writing my thoughts and experiences down has helped me provide a good reference point for the future. Sumit4all.com is one of the sites I myself read very regularly whenever I am free or bored or confused. And it has helped me get my act together in more ways than one. Recalling some old memories from my posts is one of the best way to remember how wonderful life is. Many a times, the poems and articles I have written has helped me clear my confusion and get me focussed on the task at hand.

Finding your voice

Writing for me is a way to find my self-expression. There are many thoughts in my mind which are left unexpressed because of the lack of opportunity or the lack of proper audience for it. But writing my thoughts down for the whole world to see and discuss has helped me express how I feel. Many times we keep our feelings inside us, specifically feelings of sadness, hurt and anger. And over time, these feelings can build up as stress and have negative effects on our daily lives. Writing is a powerful vehicle for expressing our feelings which we sometimes loose sight of and to get our focus back on what is really important.

P.S. – You can keep your writing private too, there is no gneed to put up everything for public view 🙂

Speak more effectively

Writing has improved my speaking skills too, as my sphere of knowledge has expanded due to the research and time spent in writing. I have gone to the depth of many issues which I would not have gone had I not written about that particular subject. I also tend to speak more slowly and give facts to support the point I am making. I also know that many times I might be wrong, and prefer to go back and check for facts rather than push my words down another person’s throat. I think it is a result of the fact that I know many times I am wrong. This has happened because the research before writing has proved many of my initial thoughts wrong. How I organize my speech has also seen a marked difference, taking its cue from how I have been structuring my articles.

Thinking and imagination

As I said earlier, writing helps to clear one’s mind. It also forces you to confront what you think and feel about different situations in life. Writing also distills your ideas and generates a lot of new and better ones too. Writing makes us see different point of views about an argument, hence presenting a broader picture about the situation. In my experience, writing improves your imagination, and when you think better, you will write better the next time. Doing either improves the other in a way.

Obviously, not everything I write is great or even worth reading. There are days when nothing seems to come out right, days when I don’t even feel like writing anything, but many times, words just keep coming if I try to write regularly. It feels real good at the point when you have some momentum in writing and the words just start to flow. I think the hardest part with writing, as with everything else, is just getting started. So persevere with yourself for the first 10-15 minutes of your writing an article, and more often than not, words will start flowing after that.. Keep Trying.. Keep Writing… If not already, Start Now..

Update – Read my article on 10 easy steps to start writing