Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Change is necessary

Learning never stops and sparkles life

One of the lessons I have learned about living a rejuvenated life comes from my father. He is turning 70 this year but every day for him continues to be an experiment. Every moment brings some excitement. And the reason why this is true is because he has the penchant to learn new things everyday. 

He writes a blog about the family: http://preetmohan.blogspot.com and whatever topic he is writing on, whether it is "removing the effect of the evil eye" or just plain "reading", he does a lot of research on the web and continues to learn. It makes his blogs very interesting and exciting. It also gives him fresh new material to talk about at the dinner table. Like, "Do you know what the highest minaret in India is?" was a question this week and we all got to learn how it was not Qutab minar. We also got to learn how tall Qutab minar was. 

Novelty in life makes it exciting. Innovation and learning brings this novelty. As long as we keep learning, every day remains new and exciting. We have something to share with our near and dear ones. We have reason to sing celebrations of wonder. We have the reason to have the sparkle of life in our eyes. Keep singing the song of learning. 

"My mind and body are newly colored everyday by the grace of oneness" - Guru Arjan (Sobha Mere laalan ki)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Remember that you are fortunate

An article by CNBC's Robert Frank

Forget investment returns, spending rates or divorce. What really keeps the rich up at night? The fear of ruining their kids with wealth.

A new survey by law firm Withers LLP and Scorpio Partnership asked 3,000 families around the world about their greatest fears regarding their wealth and family future. Among families worth $10 million or more, health was their biggest fear. But ranking second was, "My children will lack the drive and ambition to get ahead."

The spoiled kid issue ranked ahead of "my investments," "I or members of my family will overspend" and "marital breakdown."

"For parents, the main concern is that great wealth will scotch the individual ambition in their children," the study said. "Meanwhile, it is perhaps not surprising that children may feel somewhat inadequate in matching up to expectations when you consider the great heights of achievement their parents have scaled."

The study didn't provide any solutions and suggested that no matter what rich parents try to do, large wealth can strain the family.

"Several families had become estranged over the years," it said. "Some families said this was because they had given their children too much, and some said it was because they had given too little."

The results come after pop singer Sting said that he won't be leaving "much" of his $300 million fortune to his six kids.

"I told them there won't be much money left because we are spending it," he told the Mail on Sunday Event magazine. "I certainly don't want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work."

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sandy Weill and other members of the wealth ranks said they prefer to give their fortunes to philanthropy rather than creating multigenerational dynasties. They are still leaving substantial amounts of money to family members; but, as Buffett once said, he planned to give his kids "enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing."

The effects of wealth on children is likely to get even more attention with what a recent study called the greatest wealth transfer in history. A study from the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy projects that $36 trillion will pass down to heirs between 2007 and 2061.

So far, however, evidence of a huge cascade of inherited wealth has yet to materialize. Between 1989 and 2007, the share of households reporting a wealth transfer fell by 2.5 percentage points, according to a study by NYU economist Edward Wolff that looked at tax returns.

As one wealth creator in Asia said in the Withers study: "To bring a whole family along, you need clarity of purpose. You need to live your values, don't intellectualize them. You must correct power imbalances when they occur in the family. And, remember that money does not confer wisdom. You are lucky, not smart and your children must know that they are lucky, not smart."

—By CNBC's Robert Frank

No one is youer than you

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ask, and it shall be given you - St. Matthew

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

- the gospel according to saint matthew

Most of us have not tried knocking on the door that Jesus is talking about. We are content to spend all our time exploring the outside of the house. The lawn, the trees, the trellis and the porch swing receive all our attention, so that we never even get inside, never seek out the One who is waiting there. We turn our cottage into House Beautiful, paint it and repaint it, but never so much as knock on the door.

Not only are we not looking for anybody inside, we are convinced that no one is there. If there is a God, we think he is surely outside, as is everything else that catches our attention. Vaguely, fondly even, we may sometimes imagine as we go about our business that Someone is probably keeping an eye on us. But if we will open our ears, we can hear the murmurings from within, the faint stir and rustle of a presence deep inside of us, and a voice hauntingly beautiful. Once we hear that, we will pound on the door with all our might, so that we can enter and meet the One who has been waiting so long.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The importance of wisdom according to the Bible

Proverb 8 - The call of wisdom

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

 They are all plain to him thatunderstandeth, and right to them that findknowledge.

 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

 11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

 12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

 13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: Iam understanding; I have strength.

 15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

 17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

 18 Riches and honour are with me; yea,durable riches and righteousness.

 19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

 20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

 21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

 23 I was set up from everlasting, from thebeginning, or ever the earth was.

 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

 27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

 30 Then I was by him, as one brought upwith him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

 32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Success is not just about money and power - Arianna Huffington

An interview with Arianna Huffington where she talks about the definition of success per her new book Thrive

In Thrive, Huffington recounts the impetus for her own personal journey inward to find balance, inner peace and a new definition for success she calls, “the Third Metric.” In her new book, Huffington lays out a road map to a new and sane definition of success, based on her learning that “life is shaped from the inside out.” Thrive includes the latest science and research on wellbeing, the wisdom and wonder of poets and ancient philosophers and the healing benefits of the gift that keeps on giving, namely giving.


In your new book Thrive, you address the current definition of success, which is based on money and power. You’ve introduced the Third Metric, which focuses on caring for your inner being. 

The first two metrics of success do not create a fulfilling life, and that’s why we need the Third Metric, which consists of four pillars. Well-being and health is the first pillar, because it’s a foundation, and yet so often through burnout, exhaustion and sleep deprivation — we sacrifice our well-being on the altar of the first two metrics of success — money and power. The second pillar is wisdom. How do we connect with our inner wisdom, how do we connect with our intuition, so that we are not at the mercy of external circumstances all the time?

It’s what Eckhart Tolle talks about when he says let go of defining yourself by external metrics, and don’t be concerned how others define you. When we connect with our own inner wisdom it’s much easier to do that. And, the third metric is wonder—being able to acknowledge the beauty around us in every moment. Seeing the beauty in everything ordinary, and not to be so buried in multi-tasking that we miss the moment.

That’s really at the heart of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, when he says, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” That’s at the heart of wonder.


The fourth pillar is giving…
Giving, which completes the circle, because if we just lead a narcissistic existence, we can never be truly happy. In fact, there is new scientific evidence that I include in the book, which shows that our genes are wired for us to be giving, and when we are giving all the inflammatory markers that are the precursors of disease decrease. When our happiness is purely based on self-gratification, the inflammatory markers increase.


Being connected to yourself on a deeper level is really what Thrive is all about. What are your daily practices to infuse presence into your life to stay connected to your inner being?

It starts with something very simple, and this is getting enough sleep. After my wake-up call when I collapsed from exhaustion and burnout — I broke my cheekbone and got four stitches on my right eye — I went from four to five hours of sleep, to seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That was very important for me. Everybody needs a different amount of sleep, but getting the required amount of sleep is essential to our well-being and we now have science that proves it’s like a miracle drug.

The second thing is that I meditate every day. In the book, I have small tips, small daily practices, and at the end of the well-being section I recommend that people start with five minutes of meditation. Even the tiniest amount of time spent with ourselves can help us recognize that we are more than our daily activities, and help us acquaint ourselves with our essence.

The third thing is I try to do something physical: working out, walking now that the weather is getting better — I love having walking meetings, instead of sitting in my office having meetings. When I’m in LA I love to go hiking with my friends. Everyone who is in the better shape talks on the way up and the rest talk on the way down.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well - Tagore

An excerpt from Tagore's Gitanjali: 
I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold of this life. What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery like a bud in the forest at midnight? When in the morning I looked upon the light I felt in a moment that I was no stranger in this world, that the inscrutable without name and form had taken me in its arms in the form of my own mother. Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to me. And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well. The child cries out when from the right breast the mother takes it away to find in the very next moment its consolation in the left one.

Deepak Chopra on Success

Question to Deepak Chopra:
If one lives according to the Vedanta, believing that the entire world is an illusion how would the Wall-Street wizards and the "dotcom" millionaires thrive? How can they cope once they know that all their millions are an illusion? 

Once you know that it's an illusion and that you create the illusion, you can have a lot more fun. All these people who are trying to be successful, they measure their success in only one way--the acquisition of things that are not going to last very long anyway.
Material success is necessary because if you don't have it you'll be thinking about it all the time. But it is just one ingredient in his mantra for real success which includes the progressive expansion of happiness, the ability to have love and compassion, the capacity for innate joy and the ability to spread it to others. It also includes a sense of meaning and purpose in life, and the progressive realization of worthy goals--and that includes material acquisitions. If you make those the criteria for success, then you'll be very successful and you won't get hypertension and heart attacks--these are modern epidemics of disease caused by a very fragmented view of success.
There's only one kind of poverty and that's spiritual poverty. If you have spiritual poverty, then you'll be unsuccessful. You can be very rich, but if all you think about is money then you are very poor. Wealth and poverty are states of mind.