Exciting is Risky, safe is Boring and Dull

 

 

Trophy wives are high maintenance and are always on the look out for new good Samaritans. Beautiful and carefree girlfriends are very attractive, but rarely safe long term life partners. That is why people choose ‘free thinking’ and smart girl or boy friends and live-in companions, but relatively conservative partners for marriage.

Single Malts, Good Wines, To-die- for Italian Food and Sinfully loaded Belgian Chocolates are all no-no for good health-unless of course consumed in moderation, as Doctors are fond of reminding us (Alas! the advice is invariably ignored). An apple a day and consumption of high fiber diet, with vegetables and fruits of all colors to give the necessary balanced nutrition are good for health is well known, but are boring.

Why do actors like Shah Rukh Khan, who can afford to buy a 20 million Pound apartment in Park Lane, London are able to starve themselves and exercise to have hungry, lean looks and the ordinary mortals gorge on fried foot loaded with bad cholesterol which are sure harbingers of health hazards?

For the actor excitement comes from the public adulation and money, for which he deprives himself while for the ordinary mortals the only excitement, comes from grease dripping and cheese loaded food.

For Safe foods you have to shift to Pumpkin, Zucchini, Tofu (you can not get safer than this!) and go for oil free cooking-the organic and health foods served at stylish restaurants are the latest fad and cost a bomb. Biryani with brown rice and no oil!

Black (as sin) Coffee is the brew you crave for, but the safer option is green tea and even better is weak herbal milky tea, which is medicinal in taste.

Haute Couture is not high on comfort but prêt-e-porter looks too plebian. Walk master Italian shoes and Jimmy Choo heels are not meant for safe walking. Latest Diesel low waists Jeans are with-it and the laser destructed, full of hole brands are hep but uncomfortable (you do not feel the fabric on your butt and get air channels streaming in to your body from elsewhere!)

A Ferragamo clutch bag is meant to hold the lace handkerchief and credit card only.  In your boring boxy looking bag you can even carry one change of clothing!

Montverde, the great Swiss car maker never factored in boot space and you can not fit in comfortably wearing a bulky top coat-exciting for driving at high speed, to get that rush of aderline, but definitely not made for comfort.

Adventure sports are great for that heady feeling and table tennis is boring. Safety however is a different matter. Speed thrills, but kills is the old adage.

There are no Old-Bold-Pilots; there are either Old Pilots or Bold Pilots.

 

New age cell phone loaded with features is lovely, though difficult to navigate and because of the blue tooth can be hacked.

SIP (Systematic Investment Route) is recommended for safe investments, while trying to ‘catch the stocks at the bottom’ and pitching in with a huge pile of money to make that killing on the stock market can take your breath away-and sometimes your life also.

Excitement or Safety, TOUGH choice to make?

The writer is an equal-options analyst and does not profess to offer an opinion; it is your call, dear reader.

Have a great life- both ways.

 

ARUN VEDHERA

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Roadmap for positive Thinking-Part-I

 

 

Every human being is unique and different. Our thought process and personality evolves based on hereditary factors, our own experiences, circumstances and a host of other factors.

 

While we can be in different parts of the world, belong to different religions, genders, age groups, social strata etc., yet we all have the Power to Think.

 

  • It is possible for all of us to look at the brighter side of things, i.e. to see the ‘Glass Half Full rather than Half Empty’
  •  

Let us understand a very simple fact that Positive Thinking leads to Positive Action, an Optimistic State of Mind and a Sense of Well Being.

While some of us are either born optimists or turn out to be so, others tend to be pessimists, nay Sayers, doomsday anticipators, chief critics of every person and event, satirical and Negative Thinkers. We are not happy in this state, but are not able to change it.

 

What needs to be done? Some fundamental action points are as under:

 

1. ACCEPTANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OURSELVES

 

  • Let us dispassionately examine ourselves to understand our own mental make-up, aspirations, strengths, weaknesses etc.
  • Why do we think negatively, if at all?
  • Do we feel that others have a better deal than us or are more fortunate?
  • Are they more blessed or handsome?
  • Are they rich or children of rich parents? And so on.
  • What are our unfulfilled needs?
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This list can be really long but finally we must ask, ARE THEY GENERALLY HAPPY, FULL OF LIFE AND UPBEAT?

 

 Also in comparison in which state do we usually find ourselves.

 

POSITIVE PEOPLE do not necessarily have any of the above things more than us, but they have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE and see THINGS DIFFERENTLY, i.e. opportunity (brightness) in every situation.

 

  • So if we are Positive Thinkers and generally optimistic, we have to maintain this trait by not allowing negative thoughts into our brain’s sacred memory space. Resentments clog our hard disk.
  • If we however find us to be generally pessimistic and critical, we need to acknowledge this without any worry and to start the journey towards training ourselves to Think Positively.

 

2. PRAYER AND FAITH HAVE IMMENSE POWER

 

Let us not go into the debate of believers and non-believers, also of rituals and dogmas.

 

  • Let us pray to a HIGHER POWER OR GOD, as we understand him/her.
  • This relationship is very personal and individual-essentially meant for a one-to-one sharing.
  • There is never any problem between human beings and GOD, as we understand him/her, only the middlemen create the same.
  • God is benevolent and always charitable.
  • In the most trying circumstances Prayer uplifts us and it seems that the LORD is holding our hand.
  • HAVE FAITH. The big decisions of life like the choice of ones life partner, career choices, and job changes though endlessly analyzed and reasoned out are ultimately a LEAP OF FAITH.
  • We have faith in mother’s milk and her kindness, which cannot be belied, but should never be questioned. Whenever we are in distress, her voice and touch sooths and heals. Why? Faith.
  • Ask any roadside vendor who barely makes two ends meet as how is he that day and the answer would invariably be –Thank God, I am fine or Thanks for your Blessings (in us also he sees God’s handiwork)
  • MOST OF ALL LET US HAVE FAITH IN OURSELVES AND OUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS (DIFFICULT? NO. HAVE FAITH AND SEE HOW EASY IT WILL BECOME)

 

3. INSPIRATIONS ARE POWERFUL-LET THEM WORK

  • Life of Mahatma Gandhi is a complete journey of inspirations. The great scientist Einstein remarked that in the coming centuries people will refuse to believe that the Mahatma was merely a man of flesh and blood who walked this earth!
  • Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison and still does not hold any rancor in his heart. He is a cheerful 90 years (young) today.
  • Abraham Lincoln lost every election from the municipal one upwards but kept contesting at the next higher level till becoming President of the United States. Now that is self-belief.
  • President Obama’s message of hope ‘YES WE CAN’ has become a buzzword of inspiration for all. The thinkers are already saying that ‘Obama is an IDEA whose time has come’.

 

CONCLUSION

 

We have started building a simple roadmap towards POSIVITISM

 

ARUN VEDHERA

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Relationships

 

Man does not live by bread alone. Our need for the expression of our thoughts and feelings is a universal emotion, irrespective of our Nationality, Religion, Caste or Tribe. We all crave the love and warmth of our fellow human beings and even our pets.

 

We take mother’s affection and father’s pride in our achievements as granted and reciprocate the same emotions for our own children. It has been well established that ‘well balanced two parent families’ are the single most important contributing factor in producing well-balanced and happy adults.

Acceptance by our peer groups and approval in the eyes of our friends is very important for our sense of belonging.

 

In the high-stress-fast-moving urban societies, the sacrosanct institution of marriage has been under increasing stress, with higher rates of separations (divorces), live-in relationships and single parent families. A recent study in the United States has determined that live-ins before engagement and marriage lead to a very high rate of divorce.

 

While the without commitment, walk-in, walk-out lifestyle and nuclear families appear to give us unlimited independence to enjoy our lives, the first and foremost consequence of this is erosion of all bonds, which are the basis of all our Relationships.

 

DINK (Double Income No Kids) partners in the Metros seem to be post-poning having children as they are too occupied with their careers and are then stressed out to have time for the children. Further, to unwind they need two expensive vacations every year and cannot therefore manage this lifestyle with kids in tow.

 

Two Income parents increasingly pamper their children with material gifts and gadgets to compensate for the lesser time they seem to have for the children. This obviously leads to arrogant and alienated children who can be very sweet while asking for the next ‘play station’ and will be soon vary of that as well, as of everything else. The parents want to give their children the most expensive education and all the physical comforts, particularly on the grounds that the children must have everything they lacked.

These sentiments are very good and understandable, but do not acknowledge the downside, i.e. that the children need to experience and live in the real world, full of normal hardships and comforts. They need to walk, travel in public transports, go out and play, buy clothes and gadgets one by one etc. They need physical time and proximity from their parents, which Swiss Chocolates and play stations cannot compensate for.

 

The question of living with the in-laws (or should we call them out-laws!) would be extremely distasteful to the daughter-in-law. Even the husband would find the middle class or older generation thinking of his parents to be very cloying and only to be tolerated out of duty. The NRIs remember their parents at the time of childbirth or for looking after young children.

Heaven forbid if the parents claim to have engagements of their own!

Parents and elders cannot understand all this and blame the present times, attitudes, technology etc.

 

Husband and wife talk of spending quality time and believe that expensive gifts on birthdays, anniversaries and New Year can cover the spectrum of feelings towards each other.

 

Well the simple fact is that ‘Relationships’ are based on the ‘Touch-Feel-See-Hear’ platform and have to be nurtured on a continuous basis.

Wonderful relationships are based on Affection, Love, Respect, Care and Appreciation.

 

They are sweet, bring joy in our hearts, song on our lips, smile on our faces and light up our lives with their glow.

 

They are not Gender, Age, Position or Status dominated, but factor-in all these plus a genuine fondness for the other human being.

 

What Kind of Relationships are we talking about?

 

  • First and foremost is our relationship with our Own Selves.

 

We have to understand, respect and love ‘Our Own Self’ before anything else. Our own self-esteem and inner harmony are critical for our physical, mental and spiritual health. We cannot present different persona to the outer world and to our inner self. Our Soul cannot be tricked or cheated to believe anything different than what we actually are. We have to therefore carefully analyze ourselves over a period of time to understand our own desires, motivations, priorities etc. and evaluate the same on the platform of reality with our own skill and competence sets and resources.

 

The motto ‘Know-Thyself’ has to be understood and well accepted by us in order to create a sound foundation for understanding ourselves and then proceed forward in life.

 

  • Second is our relationship with ‘God’ of our understanding.

 

Once we understand ourselves, it is easier to figure out the basis or rationale of our beliefs and develop faith in some force greater than ourselves, which balances and keeps the entire universe in harmony.

 

It is a very individual matter and it has been observed that people with belief in a ‘Higher Power’ have a very strong support system, which can sustain them through inevitable cycles of ups and downs in life.

 

Best is to treat this as a private spiritual relationship, devoid of all dogmas. We should not interfere in the belief or religion of others, while respecting all and minding our own lives.

 

The ‘Mantra of Karma’ leads towards positive thinking and action. Tolerance towards others and their beliefs is what this very noble relationship suggests for everyone’s well being and there is just no substitute to this.

 

We have to give space to others and only concentrate on evolving our own wonderful equation with our ‘Higher Power’

More than any other, this is a relationship based on faith and trust.

 

  • Third is our relationship with our family members, starting from our Parents, Spouse, Children and Siblings.

 

Family members provide us with a lifelong support group, which is very powerful. The positive power of this group has to be understood but cannot be taken for granted. We must also understand that rivalry is also strongest amongst this group, especially amongst siblings due to proximate comparisons.

 

While all the relationships demand reciprocity, parents- to- children are possibly the only equations that survive largely on one-way traffic, i.e. from the parents to the children. Whatever the parents do or feel for their offspring is their natural emotion, but they need to also appreciate that their own parents did for them whatever they are doing today for their children. Moreover they get more emotional gratification by ‘giving’ than ‘receiving’ in this particular equation.

 

If the children can appreciate this near selfless relationship of their parents with them and can reciprocate with affection and respect, it is indeed great.

 

Relationship between the husband and wife is possibly the most pious, intimate and wonderful out of all the permutations. It can make or mar the entire being of an individual and the family.

 

Best are the ones where both partners treat each other with respect and love as equals, compromise with least complaints, appreciate each other’s qualities and strong points, do not compare their partners with others, understand the subtle sub-texts of a lifelong partnership and learn to enjoy each other’s company. If they can evolve as friends, that is ideal. (Yes it is very much achievable; give it all you have and it will happen)

This, more than any other relationship cannot be taken as granted.

 

Sibling rivalry is a real issue as they tend to naturally compare themselves with each other and the lesser successful ones normally have an issue with the better-placed or more powerful ones. God forbid if some of them feel differentiated against by their parents. It has been observed that maximum cases of rift are because of business-property-wealth disputes.

 

There is no simple formula to avoid this, except to chart an independent course in professional lives, i.e. to keep the business separate from the emotional part and to acknowledge that each person has ones own destiny.

If neighbors can have different standards and achievement levels in life, why not own siblings?

 

Moreover the parents must clearly straighten the material wealth issues when the children are growing up-the more natural and normal this process is, lesser are the chances of any discord on this account.

 

It may also be noted that discords are much lesser amongst sisters, largely because of the gender traits and their distinctly separate lives after marriage.

 

Relationships between the mothers and daughters-in-law are the stuff of soap operas and are thought to be generally discord prone. The mothers normally do not want to lose hold on their sons and tend to treat the daughters-in-law with a different yardstick than their own daughters (so do the daughters-in-law as compared to their own mothers). Moreover the universal fact is that the boss or driver in any situation can be only one, while in this case both tend to dominate in their domain-i.e. the household. Unless one person leads and controls the kitchen or they run separate ones, it is very difficult to have harmony in this challenging relationship.

 

The lifestyle of the younger generation is bound to be different and should not be a basis of comparison by the elders. A conscious choice has to be made by all the players, i.e. whether they want to buy grief for themselves for rest of their lives or live in harmony with due adjustments.

It is as simple as that and there are no ifs and buts in this case.

 

  • Fourth is our relationship with the external world, i.e. with friends, employer/boss, employees/subordinates, neighbors and humanity at large.

 

It has been noticed that a friend can definitely turn into an enemy during our lifetime due to some discord, hurt (perceived or real) or ego clash while our enemies remain consistent. It means that we need to be very conscious of this fact and be grateful to have good friends.

 

Friendship means being there for each other when the other person requires our presence or support, but not to dominate, interfere or sermonize.

Each individual is unique and different. Friends do have some common traits or interests that bind them together but they are different individuals, with their own lives. Too much expectation and demands can lead to heartburns.

 

This relationship ought to be felt and enjoyed but should not be put to acid tests.

 

With our employers or boss we should be respectful, while understanding that this is a commercial and contractual relationship in which we shake hands to provide physical and intellectual inputs for the job, at an agreed ‘consideration’, which is largely financial .We should not become overly judgmental about the other person and have to appreciate that this relationship keeps our kitchen fire burning, which is no small matter.

We should however not become doormats and subservient and must manage to maintain our self-respect from the very beginning.

 

To maintain our importance, we should stay ahead of the learning curve and must log in quantitatively verifiable achievements, which can be translated in monetary terms.

 

With our employees and subordinates we need to be fair and firm, without any parochial bias. A successful leader or boss becomes successful, not only because of own qualities, work and intelligence alone, but also on the basis of the performance of his/her team. A considerate and compassionate leader gets the due cooperation and regard.

 

Whenever arrogance creeps in, one needs to remember that there is someone above us also. At the same time we need to understand that people appreciate a firm (even tough) boss, who can take decisions in difficult and trying situations, while retaining his/her cool. Leading from the front provides the best motivation for the troops and begets respect for the leader.

 

Another cardinal principle is ‘never betray or report against your reports’

 

‘Goal-Congruency’ is critical in both the relationships so that there is an alignment of interests.

 

We all spend more time at the work place than even with our families and must ensure that the relationships there are harmonious, based on mutual respect and bonhomie. This will surely lead to a quantum jump in our performance and satisfaction levels.

 

‘Behave with thy Neighbors as thy wishes them to behave with you’.

Good, friendly and well-meaning neighbors provide a strong support system. The relationship is important from an overall social and practical perspective.

 

Even with Strangers, friendly behavior will be reciprocated likewise. Moreover dealing with others in a fair and pleasant manner keeps our own mood uplifted and provides a general feeling of well-being

 

Power of Good and Satisfying Relationships is immense.

 

Even an immensely rich and successful individual who does not have a happy family life is bound to feel unfulfilled in life.

 

Good relationships provide continuous nourishment for our Soul and enhance our Happiness Quotient like nothing else can.

 

Wish you all a Happy, Joyous and Free Life.

 

ARUN VEDHERA

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Career Preparation and Planning – Part 1

Preparation and Planning will enable and empower you to take right decisions, without fear and shall remove the state of uncertainty .A well prepared student can understand the options and choices available and how to turn the odds in his/ her favor.

Well prepared is well armed to plan for and face the future.

  • This is an exciting phase in your life and do not be apprehensive about it.
  • All the great people and high achievers started somewhere. You are therefore not alone.
  • In today’s competitive world full of new options and opportunities, you have the power of choices.

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Middle Class Values

Indian Middle Class comprises of 140 million households, if we simplistically equate middle class with middle-income households. (Annual income between Rs 71,000 to Rs 3 lakhs )

Households with an annual income below Rs 71,000 are categorized as lower income ones, numbering 40 million.

Households with an annual income above Rs 3 lacs are categorized as the higher income ones, numbering 43 million. (Figures are approximates as per a recent survey)

Few facts are important: –

Ø The Middle income Group is much larger than the combined number of the other two income categories.

Ø As India has rapidly progressed since 1990, there has been an upward shift from the lower income to middle income and from middle income to higher income households (population)

Ø Since the ‘Middle Class’ is very large, within this classification also there are sub classifications as per the income levels.

This large populace gives India a unique identity and marketers a large consumer base. Despite India’s diverse culture most of the MIDDLE CLASS VALUES are common across the country.

Ø The Middle Class is cautious, careful and conservative.

Ø While there is good literacy level and increasing awareness of the New World without Boundaries and Globalization, middle class would still like to preserve what they have.

Ø The family seniors have worked for most of their lives holding on to their dear jobs and hence are very pro Government Service.

Ø Stability and surety of income is very important to them.

Ø They have gone through the gradual cycle of acquisition of consumer durables and assets and believe in the same principle.  (They worship on buying the first motorbike or small car and paint religious symbols on them!)

Ø They have learnt not to take good times for granted and would like to save and re-use.

Ø They use polythene covers on all new furniture items and the car seats, till the children force them to part with the same.

Ø They are great votaries of good education for their children but would still recommend Engineering and Medicines as the top professions.

Ø The younger population has started exploring new career options and a large percentage of urban youth are engaged in B.P.Os, Retail, Insurance and Telecom sectors. This has brought lot of disposable income in their hands and hence the ‘ Brand’ consciousness and the ‘Café’ culture.

Ø  Parents are very proud of their working children and do fuel their aspirations, but are at best Cautiously Optimistic of their grand plans. (They are somewhat vary, lest the good times do not last)

Ø The Power of Prayer is held to be sacrosanct. Rituals, Customs and Mores are important. Festivals and Marriages are great occasions for the family get together (All somewhat diminishing in the urban areas)

Ø Opinion of the neighbors and social groups is still very powerful.

Ø Mothers will always eat after feeding the children and the husband. They would insist on handing over home made food Tiffin to the four or five figure salary earning children, who obviously are more comfortable in being seen to with the times and by ordering a Pizza or Burger. (This does not however faze the doting mothers)

Ø A study published some time back in India Today stated that children still spend maximum time at home and are deeply influenced by their parent’s opinions (Though none of the two generations would readily agree to this!).

Ø  In a manner of speaking, parents are still their best friends!

Ø Marriages are made in heaven and are for life. Even the NRI children would mostly rely on their mother’s opinion for the best match (Though most of them will claim differently!)

Ø Home made remedies are used with greater faith than the allopathic medicines (Gargles for sore throat, Turmeric in milk for the hidden injury and Garlic for lowering B.P)

Ø While eating in a restaurant, they will order dishes that the family can share and think nothing of eating from each other’s plate.

CONCLUSION

Middle Class Values are shared Family Values, which are a great bonding factor. These are based on Pragmatism. They suggest Achievement and Consolidation rather than the Unsustainable Exponential Spiral. More Power to The Indian Middle Class.

ARUN VEDHERA

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Aha to be Young

It is great to be Young-specially in Today’s world full of options, opportunities and choices. Moreover the pace of change brings up newer challenges and opens new horizons continuously at a dizzying speed.
While the romance, thrills, carefree attitude, which are the right of the youth along with the great atmosphere of the colleges and universities, have always been there along with some glorious uncertainties of future; today there is a greater appreciation of the ‘Power of The Youth’ (We are a young Nation with over 50% population below 25 years of age)

Wordsworth wrote in the preface to the lyrical Ballads in 1798 ‘ Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive and to be young was very heaven’

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Unorthodox Roadmap for Success in life

Our personalities and behavior are governed by the genetic and the environmental factors.

While we can not choose the former, a lot can be done about the latter, i.e. to inculcate the traits and training required for success in life.

You would have wondered about very successful entrepreneurs who do not have top class formal educational background, admired the punctual, disciplined professionals who are cool under pressure and would have been either impressed with or laughed at the effectiveness of business school education.

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