Life is a Voyage…

This is of my favorite quotes of all time. In fact. I’ve made it a mantra of mine and I advise the people who attend my “Be the Hero” events to do the same. In life, we have no control over where we were born, the way we look, our family, the place we grew up, etc. But we have absolute control over our choices and ability to use these things to have a successful life. Just because you were “born this way” (apologies to Lady Gaga) doesn’t mean that you are forever fated to remain in those same circumstances. In a meeting with the legend Brain Tracy last week, I learned that 87% of all billionaires in the world today came from poor or low middle class families. Life isn’t always about the cards you’ve been dealt. It’s how you play with them that counts. A person doesn’t have to be a victim of their circumstances. You can use your unique situation to your advantage. Don’t know how? Write me today and I’ll help you do it! Happy Sunday!

Life is a Voyage.jpg

Advertisements

“Reflecting on 2016” part 4: My Goals for 2017

(Note: For the past few days, I’ve been reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017. Thank you for joining my thoughts and meditations. This is the final instalment. Hope you enjoy it!)

Number 4 copy.jpg

 

Today is the final instalment of my reflecting on the year gone by and the year to come. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the journey with me so far and I pray that it has been a blessing to your life in some way. The things I’ve shared have been deep lessons that are very personal to me and it has taken a bit of courage to share them, as I generally tend to be a private person. But, as someone told me years ago when I was first starting out in my blogging, people want to see the real you. Everyone can relate to real stories of struggles, joys, and triumphs. And so I hope my time with you has helped you to not only know me better, but that it has encouraged you in some way.

Today, I am going to be tackling the final point of this series: my goals for 2017. This should be a fun one! Once again, this is in no particular order. Here I go:

 

– I want to take time to go through life slowly. I want to enjoy each and every minute of every day. I don’t want to be rushing down the street so fast that I can’t admire the sunset. I don’t want to be focusing so much on what I am going to say that I miss the beauty of listening to the person who I am communicating with. I don’t want to be so eager to reach somewhere that I miss the journey along the way. I don’t want to eat too quickly that I don’t savor the scent and the taste of the dish. I don’t want a day to go by where I don’t go slow at some point and just enjoy the simple joys of being alive.

– I want to be more grateful for each and every thing in my life–good or bad. I want to be able to go through life with a smile on my face and a praise on my lips. Sure, life plain sucks at times but it is also beautiful. I want to celebrate that.

– I want to show more love and care to the people around me. I want each person that interact with to feel genuine interest and care from me. I want every interaction that I have to have meaning and to leave someone feeling better. This, of course, will only happen if I am going slow enough to value these interactions and if I am living a life of positivity and gratefulness. It all ties in together.

– I also want to focus on my health this year. It’s been something I’ve let slide over the past few years and I can’t afford to let it slide any further. This year, I am going to focus on making myself better.

– I also want to get one of my books published this year. It’s been a goal for a few years now, but this year I will do my utmost to make it a reality.

– My final goal for 2017 is to not be afraid to step out and challenge myself to claim opportunities when they arise. I will be writing more about this in the next few weeks–please do join me for that–but I want to begin by setting the premise for a year of stepping out. I have always been a cautious person (more about this in my next blog post). I’ve let countless opportunities go by me because I deliberated them for too long. This year, I want to have the courage to chase things that I’ve been afraid to chase before. I want to look back at the end of 2017 with satisfaction and not with regret. Regret comes from knowing that we could have done something but we didn’t, or could have done something differently. This year, I want to my best to avoid that by taking chances as they come. As Celine Dion once said, “What do you say to taking chances?” This year, I want my response to be: “Amen and bring it on!”

 

Happy New Year to you all!!!

 

“Reflecting on 2016” part 3: My Top Lessons Learned

(Note: For the next few days, I’ll be reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017. You are welcome to join my thoughts and meditations. Have fun getting to know the “real me.”)

Number 3 copy.jpg

 

Today I continue my reflecting on the year gone by. Today I want to talk about my lessons. Yesterday, I spoke about my disappointments. It was those disappointments that taught me the crucial lessons that I am going to share with you below. Often, we feel that it’s a bad thing to have disappointments now and then. But they are perfect springboards for lessons that can define our lives and help us on the road to success. So here are my lessons. Once again, these are in no particular order.

– I learned that sometimes things don’t always work out the way we planned. Sometimes, despite our best intentions and our meticulous planning, there are things outside of our control that come in the way of our plans. That’s just the way that life is. Although it’s frustrating, it helps to accept that some things are not going to pan out the way you thought. That doesn’t mean that you give up on them or “let them go” because they were “not meant to be.” Rather, it just means finding another way to go at them again. But I don’t have to feel bad because plans changed and things fell through. These obstacles are a part of life. Time to figure out how to overcome them.

– I’ve also learned that I need to be more realistic with my time and my planning. I tend to give myself less time in a particular endeavour than is necessary. Some things just take time to work out and I have to be prepared for that. A quote that I read last year that has become kind of like a mantra for me is this: “We overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in 10 years.” Maybe I didn’t get through that project this year. That doesn’t mean that I won’t see the results down the line. Don’t give up on something just because it takes time to see the result.

– I’ve also learned that I need to savor life along the way. I’ve learnt that life goes by too fast. I met my one-year-old niece last year in January and she was crawling and cooing about. I met her again in October and she was running around and talking up a storm. Amazing how much she’d changed in a short period of time! It’s more noticeable with babies, but each of us go through similar changes each year. Think about it. Your family has changed in January 2016. The environment has changed. Society has changed. The world has changed. Your friends have changed. YOU have changed. Your job may have changed. The things you did for fun this year are probably not going to be repeated again. Question is, did you stop to savor those changes along the way? That was my question to myself this New Year’s Eve. Did I enjoy each moment of the vacation with my family, or was I busy checking my phone because of important work waiting for me at home? Did I stop to hang out with my brother when he wanted to watch a movie and chill or was I busy trying to complete a rough draft of a training module. Did I stop to listen to the parrots chattering in the mango tree outside my house or did I close the window because it disturbed my conference call? Our family vacation was the first one together after nine years. Who knows when we’ll meet next? My brother has now moved to Spain to pursue a career in sports. Who knows when we’ll get the chance to hang out again? The mango tree outside our house was struck by lightening and collapsed during a storm. Now there are no more chattering parrots. It’s about time I learn not to be too busy making a life that I have no time to live.

– I’ve also learned the power of gratitude and of being grateful for everything that life sends my way. I may not have a perfect life, but I am blessed! That is good enough for me.

– I’ve also learned that everything I’ve “learned” this year I have spoken about or written about before or coached someone into. That in itself is a lesson for me. Sometimes, we need to stop and see whether we are “practising what we preach” and “living our sermons.” Knowing something, agreeing with something, and even teaching something isn’t a substitute for LIVING something. As a man that I’ve admired all my life once told me “Before you can pour out, you have to pour in.” I’ve got to take my own medicine once in a while and learn to live the things that I promote. Then my words become more than book knowledge, because I am living it through my own experiences.

– I’ve also learned that it is never too late to start again. And that is my goal for 2017…which I am going to talk about tomorrow! See you there!

 

“Reflecting on 2016” part 2 = My Biggest Disappointments

“Reflecting on 2016” part 2: Biggest Disappointments:

Number 2 copy.jpg

(Note: For the next few days, I’ll be reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017. You are welcome to join my thoughts and meditations. Have fun getting to know the “real me.”)

I had a few reservations about posting this section, because I am not someone who likes to focus too much on the negative. I tend to look for the positive in each thing that I come across, so I was hesitant to post something that had a negative focus. But life has its ups and downs and the way that one generally learns from life is through the “downs.” So in order for me to clearly define and express my lessons for 2017, I need to outline the disappointments of 2016 that lead me to learn them. Once again, these are in no particular order.

– One big disappointment for me was that a few of my speaking tours failed to materialise. At the beginning of the year, I had engagements in South America and the UK. At the end of the year, both had failed to materialise. I had turned down other offers because I was focusing on those and ended up missing out. In other words, I had kept all my eggs in one basket and that basket fell off my bicycle.

– Another disappointment for me was that I didn’t complete the writing of my book. I was hoping to have it done in time for a Jan 2017 release, but I didn’t allocate enough time and focus to it as I needed. I underestimated the time needed and overestimated what I could accomplish in that time.

– Another disappointment for me was that I failed to give enough focus to my health through the year. I put a lot of effort into my projects and my seminars and my talks and my events, but I often let my health get crowded out of my schedule. While I was accumulating experience and success, I was also accumulating kilos and health issues. I now am ahead in my career life, but also behind on my health life and it’s already costing me. In the words of a teacher that I admire so much, “This I ought to have done while not leaving the other undone.”

– Another disappointment–and I think that this was my biggest disappointment of the year–was the fact that I went through it so fast. My mind tends to work in boxes. I can define my year by projects and events. I know in Jan this thing happens, in Feb these two things happen, in March is this event, etc. My problem last year was that I went from project to project, from event to event, from month to month. All my focus was consumed by the current project and when it was done, my focus was immediately taken up by the next one. While the work was important, I realised that during that time I forgot to live. I had forgotten to enjoy life. I had forgotten to take time with my family. I had forgotten to be present at each moment. I took a sort of pride in being busy, not realising what I was losing in my busyness.

That’s the summary of my disappointments in 2016. Join me soon to hear about my lessons that I learnt that I’m going to apply to 2017.

 

Reflecting on 2016, Part 1 = Best Memories

(Note: For the next few days, I’ll be reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017. You are welcome to join my thoughts and meditations.)

Number 1 copy.jpg

Reflecting on 2016 part 1: Best Moments:

2016 definitely had some amazing moments. It was a different kind of year for me, and yet it was also filled with many moments that made it wonderful. I’m going to list them (in no particular order).

– My family had a reunion this year for the first time in nine years. We’ve met up in stages along the way, but this was the first time in nine years that our entire family was together–that’s two parents, nine siblings, two in-laws, and two grandkids. It really was an awesome time.

– I performed my first wedding this year. I’ve been a wedding planner for many of my friends, but in Jan 2016 I was given the opportunity to officiate the wedding of two dear friends of mine. One more item off the bucket list!

– Speaking of bucket lists, my dad and I were able to cross another item off it in December when we traced my father’s ancestral roots back to the ancient village of Thirumur where my dad’s family lineage went back over 2000 years.

– I did a speaking tour of Nepal for the first time. I’ve always wanted to visit that country but never had the opportunity to until November of 2016. I spent one of the best weeks of my year in that beautiful country surrounded by amazing people.

– I was able to spend 30 days on a road trip across the country to deliver Christmas gifts to 1250 elderly people in nine different cities. It was a trip filled with adventures–including a drive through a cyclone. It was also a trip filled with amazing, heartwarming memories. Definitely one of the highlights of my year.

– My brother Peter got admission into a sports academy in Spain to pursue his life-long dream of being a professional basketball player. At the same time, my brother Kiran got a sports scholarship to play basketball for one of the best high schools in the country.

– Launched the “Be Your Own Hero” events that I hope will change the lives of many across the world in the coming years.