PART – 1
Almost all of us are trying to make sense of the World around us. What is aggravating the situation is absence of coherence in our daily lives. While TV, Internet, Whatsapp, Twitter,Instagram,Tumblr,Snapchat are creating a situation of information overload.We have information available at our fingertips but at times are unable to process it to our advantage. To exacerbate this scenario we have poor eating habits,irregular sleep patterns, an urban culture of I – Me – Myself & lack of basic sensitivity to social issues. All of this combined is a ready recipe for disaster, like health issues & early burnout.
How can any normal ,sensible young man/woman, develop certain life uplifting skills & make the most out of his/her circumstances /station in life? We shall now be discussing these skills as under ( 6 : 12 : 18 ) :-
- Body ( 6)
- Mind ( 12)
- Nobility of the Soul (18)
- Cardiovascular Fitness
- Upper Body Strength
- Lower body strength
- Personal Grooming ( Including Dressing)
- Oral Hygiene
- Diet / Food Habits / Sleep
2. Self Study
3. Social Adaptability ( Manners & Etiquettes)
8. Mathematical Ability
9. Positive Attitude
10. Additional Language Skills
11. Abstract Thinking ( Imagination )
12. Time Management
Nobility of the Soul
- Sense of Humour
- Will Power
- Musical ability
- Spirit of Adventure
- Helping Attitude
- Charm & Grace
- Word of Honour
- Creative Ability
- Art /Culture/ Theatre/ Literature
- Care for the Elderly / Women /Children
- Your heart , approximately the size of your closed fist, is always working tirelessly (24 x 7), to supply blood to all of( approx one trillion cells in the body.
- A twenty minute Run / Jog as a daily routine to keep your heart healthy & lead an active Life.
- Between ages 15-35 extendable to 40, vigorous sports like Basketball,Football, Field Hockey, Handball,Squash etc ( if facilities avilable) Cycling, Climbing Hills, Trekking, Swimming,Volleyball,Badminton & Tennis are also in.
- Aim should be to increase the heart rate by 60% & induce sweating after an intense workout.
Upper Body Strength
- Exercising the upper body ( arms/chest /back /waist) not only defines the body, it also supports the back & the skeletal system.
- Upper body strength is required for completion of a wide variety of everyday chores.
- Push-ups,Chin-ups,Rope climbing, Planks, Circuit Training,Yoga ( surya namaskar) are all helpful.
- Good definition of upper body adds to the first impression of the Individual.
Lower Body Strength
- Lower body strength is required to avoid injuries & to define the muscles of the legs.
- Proportionate waist,hip,thigh size is essential to come across as a person with a healthy lifestyle.
- Brisk walking for atleast 5 kms a day,climbing stairs, weight training, gym , yoga,pilates,zumba ,squats all add to strengthening the lower body.
- Since the entire weight of the body & skeletal system is borne by the legs it is always a good idea to start early.
- In modern times with decreased attention spans,first impressions matter. What any body looks before starting a conversation is your appearance.
- A good haircut,trimmed whiskers, well ironed clothes & matching footwear can help in carrying the day.
- Trimming of nails & hygiene is important as paying less attention to these basics may be construed as neglect & uncaring attitude towards own self.
- Dressing for the occassion matters, formal / informal / casual / national etc.
- The most nelected part of personal grooming is many a times oral hygiene.
- Ever heard of Halitosis ( bad breath) can be because of a variety of reasons but imagine working in close confines with colleagues & the nuisance it will create.
- Brushing,Flossing, Scraping of tongue, Inter dental brushes, Mouth wash all can help in maintaining a good dental hygiene.
- A good smile is a reinforcement of confidence in oneself & well cared for oral hygiene.
Diet / Food Habits / Sleep
- We are what we eat, eating a healthy diet matters, eat a planned diet the whole week, you can cheat once a while on a week end.
- Food habits & dietary preferences are also culture specific, The Mediterranean diet consists of plenty of fruits & olive oil. CVD cases are minimal along the Mediterranean coast. In Israel fruit platter is offered before commencing a meal, breads come later. A longitudinal Harvard Business School study has found a direct correlation between food & intelligence. Many foods can help keep your brain healthy & boost IQ. Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as tea and coffee, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage. Others, such as nuts and seeds, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development.
- All of us work according to an in- built body clock called the circadian rhythm. This process automatically tells, our bodies when to sleep, rise & eat. These patterns once disturbed can lead to sleep deprivation & when accumulated over a period of time can lead to errors of judgment while doing tasks that require concentration like driving etc.
Adult human brain is about 2% of the persons body weight, but requires about 20% of the total oxygen supply to keep it functioning normally. We have about 86 billion neurons in our brain to process & transmit information. There are two hemispheres in the human brain, left & right. Left is for logic,analytical thinking,numbers,language skills whereas right is the creative side which includes expression,emotional intelligence, imagination,creativity etc. In each one of us either of the brain hemispheres is dominant.
- Basics matter,early education under the supervision of parents & school instructors is the basic grounding to lead a quality life.
- Teachers need to arouse curiousity in a child to explore & learn, as education is a life long process.
- Good schooling matters to an extent but in a limited context, what matters in life are job specific skills learnt after schooling & their constant upgradation.
- At the end of the day what matters is ability to communicate your ideas well & presentation skills ( includes how you come across, speaking, diction, expression, writing,coherence of thought process & so on)
- Consolidation of all learning is studying by self. Advanced learning is a lonely pursuit, no upgradation of knowledge is possible without self study.
- Prioritising what material to study helps. Timing is also important, as it all depends on your lifestyle. Younger people with a routine that sees them more active at night will find that studying at night comes more naturally to them. If you’re an adult (generally above 30) and re-entering study after a long time away, you’ll find that daytimes are far better suited as you are used to working or being active during the day.
- The important factor for everyone is making sure you are getting enough sleep. So whether you’re a morning person or a night-owl, there’s nothing stopping you from taking on study in your own time and at your own pace right now.
- Humans belong to a society, group, community,tribe. Like any structure which has to be sustaining over a period of time ,there have to be broad rules of functioning.
- Social norms are also culture specific, in Japan it is customary to use the suffix “san” after a name. It would be appropriate to say Mr Suzuki san. Even the legendary Japanese bowing to show respect is specific for certain people & occassions, like the 15 / 30 / 45 degree bow.
- Learning & practicing good manners & etiquettes will make you a more rounded person with less rough edges.
- Being alive & sensitive to prevelant social norms & adapting to these will make you more acceptable & wanted in the local milleu.
- Is an art which has to be mastered for better learning & retention.
- Mentally visualize the happenings as you read along, except for abstract subjects,equations & formulas.
- Read a page,stop for a while summarize the gist in your mind. For academic subjects, jot down the main points without looking at the text .
- Information while reading, is stored in chunks ( normally 07 words or digits) initially into short term memory ( STM) & then on to long term memory ( LTM) How meticulously information after reading is stored in the mind is akin to a neat well organized library. Better the referencing & storage, better the retrieval of information at a later date.
- You can only write well if you have a good vocabulary. There are approximately 171,476 words in the Oxford Dictionary. Remembering & being able to recall the meaning of even 45,000 – 50,000 words will give you a mastery over the language.
- There are certain tools available to be able to write well, Oxford Dictionary ( even available on line for reference) Reverse Dictionary ( gives specific words for general ideas) a Thesaurus ( multiple words having the same meaning ) a good grammar book by Wren & Martin.
- Don’t get disheartened when you get less marks or the rejection slip for your writing. Each one of us faces this as we grow up. For many a budding writers the ratio of the written word vs rejection slips is skewed in favour of rejections.
- Organize your writing first in your mind as to what you wish to convey. The written word is powerful. It magnifies the effect of the spoken word by ten times when it is put down in black & white.
- First & foremost there is a difference between hearing & listening. Listening is hearing with attention.
- While listening, pay attention to the phonetics,pronounciation,grammatical correctness as you assimilate the sounds of certain words for future use. This is the reason why good instructors & good schooling matter. Your accent & pronounciation is a dead give away about your educational background.
- Advanced listening skills will give you the ability to break down long winded talks / lectures to a few crunch points,the gist of the talk so to say, as you retain the essentials & discard the non essentials.
- A good listener is the most wanted person in a gathering because nearly everyone has a story to communicate.
- First & foremost get over stage fright,easier said than done!! never lose an opportunity to get up & speak.
- One step at a time, get up in class to answer questions, volunteer to get up on stage to prticipate in debates, declamations,quiz competetions,dramatics etc
- Prepare, preparation is the key to confidence. Record your voice & observe its pitch, cadence, flow, variations & intonation.
- Good presenations & public speaking require skills which have to be mastered over a period of time.
- Mathematics is the most abstract subject. It is also a subject that makes you methodical & systematic & happens to be the most widely used subject in the world. There is a bit of maths in everything & in all Careers/ Jobs.
- Mathematics makes our life orderly and prevents chaos. Certain qualities that are nurtured by mathematics are power of reasoning, creativity, abstract or spatial thinking, critical thinking, problem-solving ability and even effective communication skills.
- In Israel pregnant mother’s in the third trimester carry books to solve mathematical puzzles & quizzes with a firm research backing them that, listening to music & solving maths problems leads to the children being born with higher IQ.
- Also helps in deductive & inductive reasoning.
- A positive attitude helps you cope more easily with the daily ups & downs of life. It brings optimism into your life, and makes it easier to avoid worries and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it would bring constructive changes into your life, and make you happier, brighter and more successful.
- Positive mindset helps you to seek happiness, health and a happy ending regardless of the situation. Lots of successful people have recognized positivity as the key to success. Power of positivity may change your personal and professional life. Thus, in tough situations, people ask you to think positive.
- Positive thinking is a mental attitude in wich you expect good and favorable results. In other words, positive thinking is the process of creating thoughts that create and transform energy into reality.
- It is also the gateway to better health, fun filled life & laughter & attracting friends & good people around you.
Additional Language Skills
- Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.
- Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of maths, reading, and vocabulary.
- While dealing /negotiating, communicating nothing attracts more, than you speaking the language of your client. It exhibits courtesy & effort on your part.
- It also builds multi tasking skills & you stave off Alziemer & Dementia.
Abstract Thinking ( Imagination)
- Abstract thinking is the ability to think about objects, principles, and ideas that are not physically present. It is related to symbolic thinking, which uses the substitution of a symbol for an object or idea. A variety of everyday behaviors constitute abstract thinking.
- Abstract thinking is a level of thinking about things that is removed from the facts of the “here and now”, and from specific examples of the things or concepts being thought about. … Thus, for example, a concrete thinker can think about this particular dog; a more abstract thinker can think about dogs in general.
- Abstract ideas are concepts that need to be visualized, as they cannot be illustrated through concrete (real) examples. In a simple way, explaining the progression of logic in a (computer) program will be possible only if the reader can correctly visualize (imagine) it in his mind.
- Innovation & research is based on the power of abstract thinking,unless we develop this, cutting edge new & innovative technologies will elude us.
- What needs to be clearly understood is that time is a precious resource. It must never be aimlessly frittered away.
- Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high.
- Prioritizing is an effctive time management skill,decide between what is important or urgent. Every issue may not be both.
- Good time management allows you to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, which leads to more free time, which lets you take advantage of learning opportunities, lowers your stress, and helps you focus, which leads to more career success. Each benefit of time management improves another aspect of your life.
NOBILITY OF THE SOUL
- To be able to visualize & feel the pain or the situation of others is empathy.
- Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from their point of view, rather than from your own. You can imagine yourself in their place in order to understand what they are feeling or experiencing.
- Humans can understand & convey emotions, empathy is a refined human feeling that brings you close to what the other person is experiencing.
- Without empathy this world would be a very bitter & lonely place to exist.
Sense of Humour
- Laughter is infectious, the surest way to ease a tense situation is humour. The best in the category, is always self deprecating humour. Punches pulled on oneself.
- Twist of phrase, irony, tongue in cheek, wit, double -entendre are all variations of humour. Practicising & using humour is a fine art, it should never be put on or contrived.
- Humour will always win you more friends than the longest speech or verbose sermons.
- A daily dose of laughter & the ability to see the lighter side of Life will keep you destressed & full of enthusiasm to face the daily challenges of Life.
- To rise over the limit or restrictive aspect of a situation will always come in handy in pursuing Life & its many ups & downs. “Bad times don’t last, Good guys do“.
- A healthy philosophical take on life like “Even this shall Pass” can do wonders to your morale.
- Some situations warrant transcendence,unless you do it ,you are stuck in a rut & continue to reinforce failure or negative thoughts.
- Some people or situations drain your energy by their constant heckling / nagging getting over this by your ingenuity or inner strength is transcendence.
- Unwavering firmness of action,toughness,resoluteness in face of odds.
- It is a source you self create & a source you draw from. Sticking to a routine,ability to go it alone, fasting, giving up cravings , free salt & sugar days, can all add to strengthening your will power.
- When push comes to shove,in your tough times, your will power can carry you through adversity & make you emerge victorious.
- Willpower has been termed ‘the greatest human strength’, and rightly so, as it is the factor behind every single noteworthy human achievement down the centuries! With willpower, the impossible can be made possible, without this all important quality, everything you have worked for can be lost in an instant. By harnessing your willpower, and exercising self control and practical wisdom, you can work toward your personal and professional goals and truly enjoy the quality of life that you deserve.
- Someone rightly said that music is food for the soul. More Than Just Music. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas.
- Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.
- Students who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.
- Students who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SAT. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math for students in music appreciation courses.
- Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.
- Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or moral uprightness. It is a personal choice to hold one’s self to consistent standards
- In the external environment,people only deal with persons who are skillful & who they can trust,Integrity is a a personal ,consistent standard of upright ness which builds trust.
- The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character.
- An individual’s value system provides a framework within which the individual acts in ways which are consistent and expected. Integrity can be seen as the state or condition of having such a framework, and acting congruently within the given framework.
Spirit of Adventure
- Life is a journey, to be explored with a spirit of adventure.
- Look for newer & varied experiences to enrich yourself.
- An adventurous spirit isn’t about only travel. The same spirit of adventure can present itself in what you eat, what you wear, how you style your hair, how you romance your partner.
- It is also in trying new restaurants, making new friends, or doing anything that takes you out of your placid, humdrum, perhaps monotonous comfort zone.
- It is about bringing that spark back into Life.
- Degree of awareness and responsiveness to internal and external changes, challenges, or demands.
- It is response to the environment either physical or emotional.
- Unless you are sensitive,you can never enjoy the rich tapestry of emotions.
- Over sensitivity can cause harm, the right degree,controlled by your cognitive process can enrich your Life.
- We all are born into a religion, aim should be to expand our frontiers of spiritual experiences, this can happen by studying , absorbing & practising the good points of other faiths as well.
- Spiritual but not religious also known as spiritual but not affiliated is a popular phrase and initialism used to self-identify a life stance of spirituality that takes issue with organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth.
- Being a spiritual person is synonymous with being a person whose highest priority is to be loving to yourself and others. A spiritual person cares about people, animals and the planet. A spiritual person knows that we are all One, and consciously attempts to honor this Oneness. A spiritual person is a kind person.
- It is different from being a practioner of a religion, as sprituality is removed from dogma, rituals & the holy book.
Spiritualism is the notion, shared by a wide variety of systems of thought, that there is an immaterial reality that cannot be perceived by the senses.
- Unless you develop this , the fullness of Life’s experiences will pass you by.
- People you meet, interact , work with, have elephantine memories. It is a misnomer that everyone is selfish. Nobody forgets a favour or a good deed done unto them.
- With an attitude to help, you endear yourself even to strangers, Life comes full circle, you never know when & how your karma will play out.
- Never be calculative & seek instant results for being helpful,it is the word of mouth by others combined with winnable qualities of head & heart that will lead you to experiences that you never even imagined could be possible.
- Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed.
- Self-confidence is having confidence in one’s self. Arrogance or hubris in this comparison is having unmerited confidence – believing something or someone is capable or correct
- when they are not. Overconfidence or presumptuousness is excessive belief in someone (or something) succeeding, without any regard for failure.
- Confidentpeople inspire confidence in others: their audience, their peers, their bosses, their c
- ustomers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.
- Exhibition of lack of confidence by a leader in critical situations can lead to paralysis of action by his team /subordinates.
Charm & Grace
- A pronounced ability to attract others.
- It is that X factor that will increase your winnability potential. All other qualities being equal it will be charm & grace that will give you a head start over others.
- It is a package how you come across /present yourself. Wit & humour do matter, good dressing, manners, grooming, pitch of your voice while speaking, content, ability to connect all add up.
- Grace is ability to absorb disappointments & not make a public display of being wronged. Life is not always fair,there are times when the less talented pips you to the post for a promotion, be large hearted & magnanimous, clap for him,swallow set backs with a smile.
- “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Travelling can teach you more than any university course. You learn about the culture of the country you visit. If you talk to locals, you will likely learn about their thinking, habits, traditions and history as well.
- You will be able to observe how you react in completely new situations. You will test your language, orientational and social skills. You will not be the same person after returning home.
- During travelling you will meet people that are very different from you. If you travel enough, you will learn to accept and appreciate these differences. Traveling makes you more open and accepting.
- Some of my most cherished memories are from the times when I was travelling. If you travel, you can experience things that you could never experience at home. You may see beautiful places and landscapes that do not exist where you live. You may meet people that will change your life, and your thinking. You may try activities that you have never tried before.
Word of Honour
- There was a time when keeping your word held special significance. … Every time you give your word, you’re putting your honor on the line. You’re implying that others can place their trust in you because you value integrity and would never let them down.
- A Harvard Business Study indicates that all human transactions including mega business deals are based on two important factors, Skills & Trust. Skills can be developed by studies & training but trust is a reputation that preceedes you, constantly speaking sensibly, giving a committment & sticking to it, punctuality, professionalism all add to developing trust.
- A “word of honour” for a trustworthy person is like a blank signed cheque, no matter the circumstance it will always be honoured.
- A word of honour should never be given frivolously, it is always to be given in a well thought out ,premediated, planned manner.Since it is important, you will have to remember the date,time ,event & circumstances under which you offered it.
- Having the ability or power to create. It is characterized by originality of thought or inventiveness; having or showing imagination, a creative mind. It is also tending to stimulate the imagination or invention.
- To be really successful you cannot be “run of the mill”, it is this ability that will keep you enthused & going places.
- Creation is at the base of all existence & renewal. We are what we are, because of evolution,invention,learning & change.
- A creative mind is the engine which takes a living generation to unexplored frontiers of thought & inventions.
- Start small, but create someting new or unique !!
Art / Culture / Theatre / Literature
- Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Poetry, Dance, Performing, are the seven arts which you can indulge in to express yourself.
- Ability to appreciate or perform any art form, gives an added dimension to your overall personality as these from times immemorial have been part of human DNA.
- Culture plays an important role in the development of any nation. It represents a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices. Culture and creativity manifest themselves in almost all economic, social and other activities. A country as diverse as India is symbolized by the plurality of its culture.India has one of the world’s largest collections of songs, music, dance, theatre, folk traditions, performing arts, rites and rituals, paintings and writings that are known.
- The most non controversial subject in any gathering is to discuss literature & the authors /works that you like. It will never really offend anybody as these are personal choices & individual personality oriented tastes.
Care for the Elderly / Women / Children
- Old age is a sensitive phase; elderly people need care and comfort to lead a healthy life without worries and anxiety. Lack of awareness regarding the changing behavioral patterns in elderly people at home leads to abuse of them by their kin.
- Women & Children deserve special handling & respect as too much clamour for gender equality has skewed the debate. A woman needs to be treated as an equal in terms of opportunity & in the job space, but treated with care & utmost respect in social space.
- A nation is known by the care & respect shown to the three mentioned above, as all of them merit our undivided attention. They some way or the other, in some form as parents,wives,sisters,children,friends form a safety net & support group to help normalise our existence.
- Sensitivity in handling either or all of them will enhance your aura, make you more acceptable & add to your positivity & likeability.
- Someone rightly said ” character is nothing but habits long continued”.
- Character applies to the aggregate of moral qualities by which a person is judged apart from intelligence, competence, or special talents. strength of character applies to an aggregate of qualities that distinguish one as a person.
- Inculcate all the a/m skills & practice them to become a person with distinctive character traits.
- In truth, character is what a person is; reputation is what he is supposed to be. Character is in himself, reputation is in the minds of others. Character is injured by temptations, and by wrongdoing; reputation by slanders, and libels.
LIFE CAN ONLY BE UNDERSTOOD WHEN YOU LOOK BACK, BUT HAS TO BE LIVED LOOKING IN FRONT !!