Lessons from Cycling

I have been cycling for 2 months now and I must say it is one of the best habits that I have gotten myself into in many years. I have had my bike for more than 8 years, but I doubt that before now I had even ridden it for more than 8 hours. I started riding that old mountain bike first on a nearby multi-use paved trail, then on the road for short distances, then I pushed myself a little further and soon I realized I needed a road bike, so I went and bought myself a road bike. When came bike month, I had an extra bit of motivation to keep riding. I did the “Bike the Creek Event” in Brampton, organized my own event and overall cycling has had a manifold positive impact on my life.

There are some lessons that I have learned from Cycling.

If it is important to you, you will make it happen

If it is important to you, you will make it happen, if not, you will find excuses. I learned this lesson when I started to invite friends to bike with me. Of course, some had genuine reasons to not come. Some were too busy to come, some had not biked in many years, some didn’t own a bike and either didn’t want to spend the money to buy one or wanted to wait for the season to be over so that they could get it cheap at a clearance event and the list goes on. These are all valid reasons, yet I find these same people are not too busy to spend countless hours watching reruns of their favourite and not so favourite TV shows, cannot wait to make an expensive purchase of things which they probably don’t even need,..so on… and you get my point. I’m not judging them; my point is, if it is important to you you will make it happen.

priorityOn the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend, who didn’t have a bike, had not ridden one in more than a decade, has a bad knee, and yet somehow managed to come ride with me on a 40KM+ stretch with multiple hills with me. He asked me if I had a spare bike which I did, he went and bought himself a helmet, put a knee sleeve to protect his knee and showed up way earlier than his usual saturday morning wakeup time. Why? In his own words: being active is important to him.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to do something, but it is not something that you are actually doing, maybe it is just not that high in your priority list, and instead of beating yourself for not doing it, just figure out where your priorities lie and question whether they are justified?

If you do what you love, you’ll start loving what you do

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Source: http://www.yalovalifeisgood.com/

Let’s face it; not everything that we do, we actually like doing let alone love doing it. Most people don’t LOVE their job, most might like it, but there are very few who actually love what they do. That is the reason people need vacations and they call it a ‘retreat’. Just google the words “meaning of retreat” and see what you get.

There might be things that you love doing, but you may not have been doing them because you have other ‘important’ things do do. If you just shifted your priorities a little and allocated some time and effort to do the things that you love, that joy and feeling of accomplishment will translate into a stress buster and sip into other areas of your life, whether it be your work, your health, your relationships, your spiritual life and more. When you make time to do what you love, you’ll end up loving what you do – I speak from personal experience! ūüôā

If you push just a little more, you will go a lot further

If you push just a little more, you will go a lot further than your imagined. There have been times when my legs felt the burn, my back hurt, shoulders almost gave up, but in that moment I pushed a little more and then a little more and when I checked on my GPS, almost always I was greeted with an amazing and pleasant surprise. Sometimes I end up covering more distance than I had imagined and I usually get to something interesting.

Life is like that too. Most people give up and figuratively speaking get off their bikes or turn around and go back home to a place that’s comfortable at the sight of the slightest incline. Sometimes all it takes is a little push, a bit of hard work and we can accomplish things that you previously thought were impossible. You can apply this principle to sports and fitness,¬†education, business and finance or any other endeavour that you can imagine.

Go the extra mile – it’s worth it!

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done

I have seen and¬†discovered more things about Brampton and the surrounding area in the past 4 weeks than I have in the past 4 years. I try to take different routes every time I go for a ride and every single time I’m greeted with new discoveries.

20150701_173633
Graffiti art under a bridge on the Humber River Recreational Trail

For the Bike The Creek event, I took my bike with me on the Brampton Transit bus which I had never done before. I used the presto card for the first time and I was amazed at how much better the bus ride has become over the past 7 or 8 years.

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Ride and Bike, using the Presto card on the Brampton Transit for the first time en route to “Bike The Creek” Event.

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done –¬†If you think about it, isn’t this true for life in general. Why is it that you have never had the kind of house, car, income, relationship, body, spirituality that you truly desire? If you keep doing what you have always been doing, you will get what you have always gotten. A great definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over gain and expecting a different result.

If you don’t want to fall, you gotta keep moving

Just recently I taught a friend in their 20s how to ride a bicycle. Most people learn how to ride a bicycle early on in their life, but it’s never too late to learn anything new. I noticed that this person was afraid to fall and so was trying to move slowly. I told them the key is to keep moving, if you stop or slow down you will fall, you have to keep pedalling if you want to stay up.

keep-moving_2
Picture taken on Humber Station Road en route to Albion Hills. (Photoshoped motion blur)

Then it hit me! Isn’t that a great lesson in life? You have to keep moving, whatever happens in life, good or bad, you have to keep moving forward. If something bad happens to you whether it is a heart break, divorce, someone dumps you, someone betrays your trust, you are faced with financial difficulty, you are having health issues, you got fired from work, you end up in an embarrassing situations, or whatever the case maybe, you have to move on with your life sooner or later. If you stop and keep thinking about the bad things that happened, you’ll fall deeper into depression, negativity, anger and it’ll be harder to get back up again.

Likewise if something good happens in life, a promotion, graduation, you achieve your health goal, get married, fall in love whatever the case may be, you still have to keep moving to the next step. If you stop and spend all your time wanting to stay in that same moment, life will pass by and you won’t even realize and you will fall. Celebrating your victories is an important part of life, but wanting to stay in that moment forever is merely wishful thinking.

What is the opposite of movement? Stagnation. Stagnation is death. Think about it. How do you know if someone is dead. You identify it by them not moving, their pupils won’t move or react to light variations, their heart won’t move – no heart beat, their brains seizes to function, blood doesn’t flow through the body.

Life is movement.

The Art of Not Failing

Success is a very relative term. Everyone views success differently. The most acceptable measure of success is wealth. The wealthier you are the more success you are. However what success means to the individual is not necessarily dependent on the perception of their state to the outside world. A person who earns 10 million dollars in a year in personal income may be a success person ¬†for most people, but to that person, they may feel like a failure because their state does not conform to their rules of success. For someone else who earns minimum wage, works hard for a living, has no car and comes home to an empty apartment may not be “succesful” in the eyes of the general public, but to that person they may be successful because their rules of success are different – may be success for them is knowing that they are alive for another day.

Knowing that success is a very relative term and it is dependent on the person judging whether someone or even they themselves are successful or not.

But what about failure? Is failure a relative term too? Is it not true that there can be 2 people in the same situation where  there was some sort of failure or loss. One person may see that as failure, the other might see it as an opportunity or simply a setback. If that is true, would it not mean that success and failure are merely states dependent on your rules and perception. Ask yourself whether you are truly successful or  truly a failure.

Success may not be guaranteed, failure can also be not guaranteed. But there is a sure way to not fail. If you never want to fail, the surest way to do it is to never try.

Never Try, Never Fail

This is the motto of zombies. These zombies walk around around in fear or failing and in doing so never try new things, never follow their dreams or worse don’t have any dreams, have nothing that they are passionate about, or if they are they hide it, burry it deep within them so the urge to purse it never comes and thus making sure that they never try and consequently never fail.

But is not failing, really succeeding? If not losing, really winning? Is it even living? The inability to fail is also the inability to succeed. This is stagnation.

So if you want to master the art of not failing, you must master the art of not trying.

 

The Story of My Life

You are in line at the bank and when finally your turn comes to get served, you find that the bank teller does not greet you with a smile, does not answer your question properly and you generally find their attitude very rude. You decide that that person is just a rude person and then carry on with your day.

While on the way home you pass a person, your eyes lock and they smile, you smile back. Momentarily you feel joy, maybe you think of that person as being nice, or you feel better about yourself thinking, “I must be looking good today” and then you simply let the thought fade away as quickly and quietly as it arrived and continue on your journey home.

You are ¬†living in the story of your life experiencing events unfolding one moment at a time. Your path crosses with the paths of others. They make your life’s experience richer, give you love, joy, annoy you and sometimes even hurt you. You are experiencing intimately and with full attentiveness the story of your life. You live a complex, multidimensional life with emotions, situations, relationships with the people close to you and the relationship with your self. Every situation that you are in is unique, and sometimes people don’t understand you and sometimes they do. No matter what happens how it happens, only you will fully experience and understand the complexity of your life and¬†everyone that you have ever met, heard, saw, or experienced their existence in any form or manner¬†is merely an extra in the story of your life,… and so am I.

maxresdefaultWe all experience life in this way. In our experience we are at the centre of our Universe and everyone else is a distance star, a tiny specific woven into the fabric of our life. Other people that come into our life momentarily or for a longer duration from our telescopic perception live single dimensional and predictable lives, they have general personality traits Рthis person is a nice person, this one is mean or rude, this one is  a complete @$$ hole etc.. These extras in the story of your life serve a person, mostly a single purpose, and sometimes more than that, but they occupy a very tiny portion of your life.

But in fact these extras don’t live such simple lives. They live a rich complex life filled with emotions, ambitions, disappointments, love, hate, regrets, situations that make them grow, or constraint them. They do good things, they do bad things, sometimes they do things they can’t explain, and sometimes they do things that they can and do explain.

Every person that crosses your path may be an extra in your life, but know that you are also merely an extra in theirs.

The Car-free Life

A little over 6 months ago I was forced to let go of my car because I was involved in an accident and the car was a write off. Instead of getting a new car, I decided that I would not get a new car until I was certain I actually needed one. The car free life might not work for everyone, but it does work for a surprising number of people if they are willing to make some adjustments in their life.

In my case, it was a very easy decision to make and one that I do not regret at all. In fact my life probably has gotten better because of not having a car. But that can also be because my life is as such. I have deliberately designed my life in such a way that I do not have to commute to work, I choose my work hours, I choose whom to work with, what to work on and how much to work on it. Of course all that freedom can be the ultimate boon, but if not handled with care, it can also be a curse. After all with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case the power is total freedom. But what does all that have to do with living a car-free life?

Not having a car meant there were some constraints in my life. I could not travel when I wanted to, I could not be spontaneous with my travel plans, even grabbing a cup of coffee or breakfast became something that needed some planning. Of course there is also the status symbol to battle with, but thankfully I was not victimized by my mind in this respect because I almost always live by the saying

Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.

Challenging The Status Symbol

source: www.cartoonstock.com
source: www.cartoonstock.com

If nothing at all, it has been a great social experiment. For example, ¬†I was with a group of friends when the topic of cars came up and a particular car brand was mentioned(I can’t remember which car it was) but I casually said, “Nah, I don’t like that car”, to which my friend mockingly replied,

“That’s coz you can’t afford one” letting out a laugh and an insulting look on his face before realizing that his remarks may have come off as being insensitive, yet not enough to warrant a genuine apology. As I write this, I wonder how they would react if I drove my new Tesla S to their driveway. If there is any car that I actually want to own in the near future despite of my car free philosophy that I’m experimenting with, it as to be the Tesla S – you know because it’s an electric car and it’s good for the environment and all. ;-).

There are numerous other situations like these that tested my commitment to go car free for as long as I could. It has been 6 months now and things just keep getting better.

Increased Savings

Hand and money staircaseNot owning a car saves quite a bit of money and yes you might know this logically or mathematically but when you actually see how much you’re saving, it may just surprise you a little bit. You don’t have to pay for auto insurance and if you live in my city, you know that that can be a big deal! Cost of fuel and maintenance is another thing that is out of the list of bills. There will of course be times when you do need a car because public transportation might not cut it. In those situations you can take a taxi or rent a car, and even then, at least for me the savings are very visible. For that to work, I had to develop another skill.

More Organized, Better Time Management

TimeYou cannot keep hiring a taxi or renting a car every time you need to go somewhere. I scheduled my meetings in such a way that I could get away with renting one car for the day and getting all my work done on the same day. Out of necessity I had to get efficient at my work and get better at scheduling meetings. I was always accustomed to steering clients towards having phone or Skype meetings when possible, but with the added constraint of not owning a car, I became better at managing my time. Scheduling back to back meetings means you have to learn to squeeze your preparation time and doing it enough number of times means you can get very good at it.

Health Benefits

2014-04-25-Walking_JR_604When I owned a car, I would sometimes drive in the middle of the night around 3AM to Denny’s or McDonalds to have a big meal while working on some project. Things like these of course causes your health to deteriorate slowly over time if you do it frequently. But if you remove the flexibility of having a car, the temptation of driving to a fast food place is removed(at least partially).

I started walking as part of my exercise routine, I then increased my frequency of walking and the distance I travelled every time I went out of a walk. I can now confidently walk for an hour and ¬†I use walking to get things done. Things like going to the bank, getting stationary or getting groceries are now tasks that I feel are quite easy ¬†even without a car. Not only am I staying active, I’m also noticing a lot more of my surroundings than I would if I were to travel the same route by car. It’s an amazing experience every time.

241617539_1399307542Recently I took out my old bicycle from my garage. It had collected some dust and rust because of all the neglect of so many years. I cleaned it and applied some needed fixes and started cycling. Now sometimes instead of walking to my destination I cycle to it and it takes me half the time. Not only is cycling healthy, it is also a lot of fun. I was an avid cyclist when I was in high school but as time went by, I went from an avid cyclist to the guy who says “I had a bicycle once”. Cycling has brought back so much joy and fun that I had all forgotten about.

I also bought a Misfit Flash fitness tracker so that I can hit my daily activity goals. Please be sure to check out my thought on the Misfit Flash.

originalAll these are benefits to me, but living a car free life is not all a selfish act. I am helping the environment by doing my part in reducing greenhouse gas emission. Living a car-free life also means you’re doing your part in easing traffic congestion.

As you can see living a car free life is a win-win for all. This is my take on living a car free life.

If you liked this article and want to read more like these in the future, please leave a comment below and please share!

 

5 Ways You Can Capture Moments In Your Life

Have you ever felt that your life is moving too fast? Or perhaps you are at the other side of the spectrum where you feel that life is moving too slow. Have you had those moments in life that you wish to remember over and over again? Are there moments in life that you could have forgotten, but you didn’t because there was a picture that captured that moment, or perhaps you wrote something on a piece of paper, kept a receipt or a souvenir that takes you back in time to experience some memorable part of that your life.

We live in a world of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, Four Squares and much more that allows us to share every moment and every aspect of your lives, not to mention Twitter’s new app called¬†Periscope which allows you to¬†live-streaming video directly from your phone.

But I’m not going to be talking about sharing your moments. I want to give you some tools to help your record moments in life, you may of course chose to share them.

Phone Camera

Samsung Galaxy S6 review (20)-970-80Virtually every phone has a camera. Some of them take pictures better than some DSLR of yesteryears. You have your phone with you at all times so if something happens that you would want to remember just take your phone out and take a snap or take a video. We’re in such a photo snapping epidemic that Samsung has put a quick launch feature in their latest smart phone the Galaxy S6 – All you need to do is double press the home button and bam!

I know I really shouldn’t even be talking about all this since it is such a basic way of life now. But remember you don’t need record moments only for the purpose of sharing. When you start recording videos and photos to capture moments in life for yourself you will start to deviate from fluff and random acts of “importance” to moments that mean something to you, and sometimes only to you.

Action Camera

Gopro-Hero-3+-Compared-to-PalmThe action camera market has seen an astonishing boom mainly thanks to the GoPro brand. These camera’s(GoPro,¬†Sony’s Action Cam¬†and others) are small, light weight, most of them are waterproof and with a wide angle lens. You can mount these cameras on your chest, on your bike, hand, car, your head and the possibilities are endless. You might be thinking that this is just another camera. How is this different phone a phone camera? Phone cameras are mostly classed as point and shoot cameras where as action cameras are mostly POV(point of view cameras).

Evernote

186tgj38eph2cjpgEvernote is a tool designed for note taking and archiving. A¬†¬†“note” can be a piece of formatted text, full webpage or webpage excerpt, photograph, voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note.¬†You can organize those notes into sets of notes called notebooks and organize them in different categories called tags. Once a note is saved, it is synced to the Evernote cloud and from there it is synced to all other devices that have Evernote installed. There are other tools out there that let you record notes the way Evernote does, however Evernote’s ease of use and search functionality is something that is yet to be beaten.¬†

Voice Recorder

If you are one of those types that retain memory better with audio instead of visually or kinaesthetically then you can carry with you a voice recorder. I know that some of you may be wondering: “…but does my phone not have a voice recorder?” . Yes phones do have voice recorder apps, but none of them so far are as good as an actual portable voice recorder machines. Dedicated voice recorders are faster with better quality and you can easily play back your recorder voice.

Old School Notebook

7986400732_4d90b1c2d1_zSometimes all the high tech gizmos just does not quite cut it. Some may feel that all these gadgets lack the feeling of authenticity. If you are one of those, you can carry a small notebook and pen with you. The feeling of hand written notes sometimes says more than a picture which is believed to speak a 1000 words, especially now that hand written notes are simply considered archaic by most.

samsung-galaxy-note-4-9024If you are someone who cannot or don’t want to keep a physical notebook and want to avoid the use of paper, not to mention the finite number of pages a notebook has to offer, but at the same time want the joy of keeping hand written notes, then the Samsung Galaxy Note is for you. Note 4 is by far the bsst phone with a stylus. In fact as far as gadgets go the Galaxy Note is the best single device you will need to record almost every moment of your life. It has a camera, Evernote and a pen that is surprisingly accurate(on the Note 4 at the time of this writing) to jot down notes.

In spite of what I have said in this article, I leave you with something that left me in awe when I first heard it. There is a scene where Sean O-Connell who has been waiting patiently to capture a photograph of the illusive “ghost cat”, the snow leopard has a conversation with Walter MItty in a scene from the movie¬†The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty: When are you going to take it?
Sean O’Connell: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.
Walter Mitty: Stay in it?
Sean O’Connell: Yeah. Right there. Right here.

— The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Power to Shape the Future

Believe it or not you and I and everyone else has the power to shape the future. Not everyone is an inventor, a creator, the CEO of a leading tech firm, or the designer of the next big thing, but collectively we have the strength in numbers. We are consumers and with our purchasing power we can shape the future the way we want it to be. One person alone cannot shape the future, but collectively we can, by choosing what we buy, by voicing our opinions, by making sure our voices are heard.

Every time you purchase a product or service you are telling business what you want and what you do not want. Ultimately businesses will only create and maintain products and services that lead to a profit and to be fair that is the purpose of a business – to make profit. You might not have direct influence on how a business operates but you do have power to make businesses succumb to your will. Businesses need to make profit, profit comes from sales, sales come from consumers, you are a consumer, therefore businesses need you.

I’m not going to tell you what you should purchase and from whom, neither will I suggest how we should shape the future. That is not my job, at least that is not my job in this post. All I want to do is give you a chance to examine what you are purchasing, where the product or service is coming from, whether you agree or disagree with the product making process, whether or not the company’s operations, where the product is being made and by whom the product is being made and the product itself is in alignment with your own values and beliefs.

Every time you pay for a product or service, you are creating a demand for it. An increase in demand will inevitably lead to either an increase in price or an increase in supply. Ask yourself whether you would want the increase of this product in the market. Is the increase in supply good for the economy, the general public, your government and yourself.

There is certain class of consumers known as fanboys/fangirls who would purchase anything that a company makes just because they are loyal to that particular brand name without considering the possibility of other products or services at their disposal. I’m not telling or asking you to change this behaviour. All I am suggesting is to ask yourself this question:”Would it not be better to stay loyal to yourself, to your values, to your beliefs, to your vision of the future then to stay loyal to an identity that you have formed as the user of product X or the user of services Y”.

Does it really server anyone if you remain loyal to a brand and not the technology, the quality or the essence of that product or service? And if so who does it really serve?

Are there industries that you are part of simply by being a consumer creating demand by purchasing a product or services, but those industries do not conform with your own values? Are there products that you consume on a regular basis that cause more harm than good to you and others around you.

I urge you to examine the consequence of the act of purchasing.

Remember you have the power,…we have the power to shape our future. This idea is not a break through idea, it is a simple idea that we are all a part of on daily basis, but more often than not we tend to forget about it because we are living inside of it instead of looking into it.

 

Be Crazy, Be Stupid, Dare a Little, Live a Little More Than You Would By Being Sane

It has been a little over 6 months since I last updated my blog. I had a long list of things I wanted to write about, excited about the thoughts and ideas swirling in my head and then the unexpected happened. I got into a car accident … well no one really plans an accident, so yes I’m just stating the obvious unexpectedness, but it happened. I lost my car and with it my motivation to write. I was out of work for more than 2 months. I loved that car – there are many remarkable and fun memories and some living in the realm of unmentionables.

spring-fitnessBut that’s not really the point of this post. I had also stopped almost all forms of physical activity after my accident. Today was the first day I went out for a jog since then. I recently bought a Misfit Flash, a fitness tracker(more on that and other stuff in the next few posts). There is a jogging/cycling trail near my home. As I was climbing one of the hilly portions of the trail I saw 3 boys in their mid teens. I also saw a shopping cart roll down the hill and crash into the railings of a small bridge.

As I came closer I could see the looks on their faces, trying to gauge my response to what had just conspired anticipating perhaps some remark about the negative consequence of such actions. In my mind all I could think was “thankfully these kids are outside and not having a heated conversion on high scores on their XBox Game Card or something (to the gamers: yes, I know that one didn’t make complete sense – that’s exactly my point).

As I passed them, I yelled out,

” You should get in it and roll down the hill!”

From jackass-the-movie
From jackass-the-movie

The look on their faces was nothing less than priceless. There was a moment of confusion as they looked at me, then at each other, bewildered and amazed by the inception of an idea that a stranger had just sparked in their minds. Perhaps it was a moment of disbelief as they came to terms with the fact that an adult had just told them to do something that may get them into trouble and something that was potentially dangerous. The youngest and least tainted by the experiences of rules realized that this stranger, this adult was actually serious about the idea and the possible fun factor of this potentially hazardous idea spoke out electrified.

“YAH Guys! Let’s do it”

I didn’t get a chance to see what I had hoped to happen actually happen before I jogged past them. After I had jogged about 50 meters, I looked over my shoulder only to see the boys walking up the hill, the two older ones with their bicycles and the younger one with a skateboard in his hand.

I was disappointed!

At that moment, those kids decided not to be crazy, not to be stupid and not to dare, not to create a memory that they some day might have talked about or simply thought about.

They will never have that memory because they chose not to create it.

How many times have you let your saner head prevail? How many times have you taken the ‘right turn’ because a ‘map’ in your head told you that any other way might just be wrong?¬†How many times have you dared not to act foolishly in fear of embarrassing yourself in the eyes of your peers, or strangers that don’t even matter? I could ask many of these question and you would answer them in any number of ways possible.

At every turn in your life either a spark of adventure will live or a small part of your life will leave.

Be Crazy, Be Stupid, Dare a Little, Live a Little More Than You Would By Being Sane.

I leave you with the inspirational music to my dare seeking eyes and wisdom to my inquisitive soul.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

– Helen Keller

In Pursuit Of…

In-pursuit-of

If every action is performed in succession, then the consequence of those actions is inevitable. There is basically a formula to life. There is no mystery, it is simply mathematics. Action and result. Cause and effect.

This video is both funny and deep, if you really think about it. This is the conclusion to  the coyote and the road runner, the never ending chase. We have always been led to believe that the coyote is the bad guy and the road runner is the good guy who is smart, fast and funny.  But this video tells a different story. Yes, it is funny, but think about it again and you will see a different picture emerging behind the humour.

When the viewers who watch the cartoon think that the coyote is never going to catch the roadrunner, the coyote persists. Real dream chasers, the mad ones, the crazies, keep chasing their dream even when everyone around them begs them to stop and give up and pursue something else. When one thing does not work, they try something else, and then something else, they change their angle, their technique, beaten up, broken down they keep persevering. See they know a secret that most people don’t, or perhaps choose to ignore because of the pain it may cause.

If every action is performed in succession, then the consequence of those actions is inevitable. There is basically a formula to life. There is no mystery, it is simply mathematics. Action and result. Cause and effect.

If however, your actions do not get you your desired results, then it is not that you have failed, it is simply the result of your combined actions. Perhaps you have not performed an actions well or the timing was not right, perhaps there are some factors that you have not considered, maybe your approach is not optimal. Dream chasers, those mad ones know this and they change their approach, change their technique, change their angle, or whatever it takes to get them to where they want to be.

Eventually they do – they all do!

But we know that don’t know? We need only to look around us. But what happens after you get to where you wanted to be, what happens when you finally achieve ‘success’, what happens after you have made your dream into a reality?

Sometimes people keep chasing a dream and forget about everything else, their family, relationships, health, and instead they become obsessed about it, putting themselves on the line, risking everything and never giving up.

When they finally achieve their dream, they are sometimes left with a void and the question:

Is this all there is?

The chase is over, the task is complete, the chapter is closed, so now what? Sometimes people develop an identity crisis. The passion, the thrill of chasing their dreams leaves them hungry for more, but they don’t know what else there is to chase. Just like the coyote, they try different things, fall into a lousy state of mind, anger, depression, feelings of worthlessness. This happens a lot with very successful people. Even if people manage to maintain a healthy state of mind and do something else that brings meaning in their lives, they still miss the chase, they crave the process of converting raw power of their passions into their desired results.

We have seen many athletes, after achieving unimaginable level of success and retiring, return back to the game, or a businessman after retiring comes back, or a filmmaker keeps coming back because sometimes that is the only thing that brings meaning to their life.

But the question I ask is: Is it worth sacrificing everything you hold dear? Should you chase a dream at the expense of your health? Should you pursue success while sacrificing the love of your friends, family or your personal relationship?

I can’t speak for everyone, but perhaps they key is balance! But an even bigger solution is the answer to

WHY?

Why do you want what you want? The answer to that question is perhaps the starting point to brining balance. When you truly answer that question, either you will realize that it is not worth pursuing, or you will find that you can achieve the same ‘why’ by pursuing something else, something which you may not have to sacrifice the other things that are dear to you for, or you will realize that the WHY is what brings you joy and power in your life which you can directly inject into your work as fuel and move forward.

Take Stock

Another way to bring balance is taking stock of your accomplishments. Think about it! Many things that you now take for granted were once a dream, a goal, something that seemed so far fetched you couldn’t even comprehend what it would be like achieve it. Maybe it was graduating with a degree or a diploma, or owning your own car, getting a job, earning $X dollars in salary, owning a house, asking someone out, or getting married to someone that you love, travelling to a destination you always wanted to go to, starting a business, or getting that promotion. Just think about it?

Stay Thirsty…Keep pursuing…

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

The human spirit needs growth, no amount of success brings as much meaning and joy as growth does and in fact that might even be one of the laws of nature. Companies need to grow, to invent, invest, innovate, people need to grow financially. One dollar 10 years ago is not worth one dollar today, and today’s dollar will not be worth that much in the future. Likewise with your dreams and goals. If you are in pursuit of something, keep at it, if you don’t have something to chase, go find something. Mind you, your dreams don’t have to be materialistic, it can be to better a relationship, it can be spiritual, it can be a health goal. Whatever it is, go get it.

I end with this video. It is one of my favourite scenes, a tear jerker, a real inspirational moment.

Zindagi – Enigma: The Greatest Show on Earth

On Saturday, September 7th ,2013, I performed a mix of Hindi and English prose at Shri Kshatriya Mitra Mandal, Toronto's (SKMM Toronto) annual function at Rose Theatre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

Zindagi Enigma is philosophical examination of the life of an individual from the birth of his child going backwards in time, meeting his soul mate, starting work and experiencing uncertainties of his career, going to college while searching for him identity, conflicts with religious beliefs handed down to him, falling in love for the first time, growing up as child, and then finally his first breathe at birth and then it all begins – The Greatest Show on Earth.

Due to time constraints, the act was cut short. If I get a chance, I shall post record the full version some day, but for this, enjoy! ūüôā

For those who have asked me whether this is story is based on my life, the answer is no. This story and the characters in it are fictitious and any resemblance to any person, living or dead is purely coincidental.

 

The Power of Intro-Extro-verts

Just a few weeks ago someone commented that I was a bit shy. That came as a bit of a surprise to me as I do not consider myself as even a remotely shy person. After a bit of reflection I realized that at some point in my life that in fact may have been true from one perspective and even today to some this may hold true. I do not usually tend to speak unnecessarily. If I do not bother speaking up, it is mainly because the situation or topic at hand does not interest me or I do not have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation because it does not add any additional positive value.

Although I have a blog which may seem like an open expression of my personal thoughts, a twitter page which paints a picture of what goes in my mind and a Facebook account where it may seem that I share my intimate thoughts amongst my Facebook friends, it is only what one sees on the surface. I have learnt from experience that things are not always what they seem. I like to express myself freely when the time calls for it, but my biggest breakthroughs in thinking and understanding have come from seeking solace in solitude.

I like to deal with certain things like figuring personal and business solutions to problems I face on my own,. The bigger the problem the more silence it requires. But the fact is, this is not just true for me – this is true for everyone. Even the most extreme cases of extroverts need to at times find their inner voice in seclusion.

The key here is not to categorize oneself as either an introvert or an extrovert. There are different times that requires one to taken on introvert or an extrovert traits.

When making business deals, giving speeches in public, working in teams I have to take on an extrovert persona and during planning, projecting, writing or doing any kind of creative work I have to take on an introvert persona. The key is to realize one's natural state and then balancing it according to the situation that one is in.