Momentum & Inertia: How to start things & get them done

In physics, we learn about a phenomenon called inertia. It means that a moving body continues to move at the same speed in the same direction or a stationary body continues to be stationary, unless someone does something to change that. Physicists have also framed a measurement system to measure the inertia of a body. This measurement is called the momentum. Putting a number to momentum is useful for letting us know just how much work must be done in order to make the body do something different than what it is doing now. However, for the purposes of English language, inertia and momentum are often used as opposites. The word inertia is used to describe a body not wanting to move and momentum describes a body not wanting to stop. The common ground for both is that they resist change.

How does this relate to human behaviour and getting things done? Turns out the human body and mind also show signs of inertia and momentum. The human body does not like sudden changes in movement and the human mind does not like sudden changes in behaviour. We can use these two facts to our advantage to start things off and get them done. I also later discuss when NOT to use the effects of momentum, since in certain cases momentum can build behaviour like addiction and inflexibility. Continue reading Momentum & Inertia: How to start things & get them done

Why I would rather be a Crow than a Lion?

Why I would rather not be a Lion?

I grew up in Chennai watching Tamil movies, where most Heroes compare themselves to Lion. Some of the absurd scenes include, Vijayakanth’s introduction where he suddenly turns into a lion and then back to him again,  RajiniKanth’s factually incorrect statement about lion’s hunting behavior and Suriya’s extremely emotional dialogue again about comparing himself to a lion on hunt.

The Lion and the Crow
The Lion and the Crow

For the uninitiated, Lion is one of the laziest creatures and spends most of its day sleeping. The hunting is done by the pride, which is a group of Lioness that is attached to the Lion. When caught in a difficult situation during the hunt, each one is left to fend for themselves. The prey is eaten by the lion, cubs and the lioness in that order. If you are unwilling to check out Nat Geo on this, may be you can check with Kamal Haasan in PKS 🙂

So ofcourse I don’t want to be either a Lion or a Lioness!!

Continue reading Why I would rather be a Crow than a Lion?

The silver lining behind every dark cloud

When I was in the third standard in school, we had a story about a wise man who tells his king that everything happens for the best. Then one day, the king accidentally cuts off a finger and much to his rage, hears the wisdom from the wise man yet again. The king has the wise man thrown into the dungeons. However, while out hunting, the king comes in close encounter with a lion, rolls over and plays dead. The lion smells the wound on the finger and thinks that the king is dead and moves on. The king is relieved to see his life spared, ponders over what the wise man said and sets him free.

This is just one of the several stories heard since our childhood, teaching us that we should always look for the positive side in any negative situation, take the necessary learnings and move on, thankful that we are living another day in this wonderful life. Continue reading The silver lining behind every dark cloud

Excusitis and how we sabotage ourselves ??!! [Short Story]

Sapna is the daughter of a well known business man and works in a top notch IT company. Her family is very modern and she faced no restrictions or compulsions aka emotional atyachars that most Indian kids face at their home.

Two months before her 10th Board exams she went on a month long trip to explore the history of ancient India with some history buffs. Her sister went to the farms in Switzerland to learn to make cheese and in general travels to obscure locations in exotic countries for no particular reason. Her family often vacations in exotic places inside and outside India.

Whats your Excuse?
Whats your Excuse?

Continue reading Excusitis and how we sabotage ourselves ??!! [Short Story]

Understanding your body’s auto-pilot

Picture some of the following actions: Walking in your neighbourhood, solving 10 + 10, talking in your mother tongue, counting 6 oranges. Now imagine the following scenarios: Walking through a crowded railway station or airport, solving e2 cot 27.9,  talking about science in a language that you cannot speak very well, counting 39 oranges. What difference did you notice between the two sets of situations?

If you pay close attention, you will notice that the amount of activity in the brain increases significantly during the activities in the second set. This is because those are situations that you are not used to being in on a regular basis. E.g. you may not even pay attention to your steps while walking through your neighbourhood, but while walking through the crowd of the railway station, you have to watch each step and be attentive. But if you are a regular commuter, even jostling through the crowd will become a habit. That exactly is the power of habits. Your mind runs in cruise mode when you perform activities as a habit and you will often find that it drifts into thoughts of its own while your body finishes the activity on its own accord. You can say that you are running on auto-pilot mode without thinking about it. Continue reading Understanding your body’s auto-pilot

The Joy of Acceptance

The Story of a little girl (me):

I am about 5’3”, may be a bit shorter. It is about the height of an average Indian Woman. But my family is no average. I am a dwarf among the giants. Women in our family including my mom are on an average of 5’5” and men around 5’10” .In both my family and my extended family among all the elders, siblings and cousins I’m the shortest. It was a source of great agony for me during my growing (or not growing enough years).

I can see I really fell short of my parents’ expectations in this front. We visited a number of doctors in various disciplines – Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani as well as the conventional English Medicine. Bought a number of miracle pills for height enhancement as well as exercise books. Most of this only made me feel more self-conscious of my vertical deficit and I abandoned them sooner or later.

Beauty in her own terms
Beauty in her own terms

Continue reading The Joy of Acceptance

Get more out of your reading

Let us go through an exercise. Consider all your reading sessions during your day. Factor in all that you read: blog posts, magazine & newspaper articles, social network posts, books, novels, just about everything. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfying do your consider your reading sessions? Do you come away from each reading session having learnt something new and looking at the world or your career in a different perspective? Are your reading sessions pleasurable and relaxing, making you want to read on and on? Or are they rather stressful, making you shake your head and ponder how terrible the world is? Continue reading Get more out of your reading

What does this make possible?

Today we are celebrating the ability in the disability. Paralympians not only stand for the celebration of human spirit but every Paralympic athlete is a tale of great courage and human potential unperturbed by great personal tragedy.

Life often throws at us difficult situations that are in our Circle of Concern, where there is little we can do to make the situation better. Neither can we ignore and move for it is a reality that is to be faced.

Inspiring Paraolympians
Inspiring Paralympians

I’m sure most of us have never and probably will never face anything as challenging as any of these athletes had faced and overcome. But we have our problems and they do seem big enough to disturb us.

So what do we do then? We can stand there..cry and whine..complaint about or we can ask.

‘What does this make possible?’

Continue reading What does this make possible?

The Extra in the Extra-Ordinary !!

What makes someone an Extra- Ordinary Athlete (Usain Bolt), an Extra-Ordinary Inventor (Edison), an Extra-Ordinary Doctor (Atul Gawande), Extra-Ordinary Actor (Kamal Haasan) or an Extra-Ordinary Minister (Sushma Swaraj) ? Is this the privilege of some professions and professionals or can any one be Extra-Ordinary in any work. Continue reading The Extra in the Extra-Ordinary !!

Power up with a rousing morning routine

Imagine the following scenario. You wake up in the morning with the alarm ringing in your ears. You know that you must leave for work in an hour or so. You brush quickly, take a bath and put together a quick breakfast, something minimal like a sandwich with jam and a quick cup of tea. The clock is ticking away and the rest of your morning is spent getting dressed as fast as you can and getting your office bag in order, while taking a few quick looks at your phone for new emails and updates. Finally you rush out of home hoping to catch your train / bus to work.

Now imagine that you wake up in the morning and spend a few moments to stretch and take a deep breath. You enjoy the view from your window and steadily start your next sequence of actions. You fix yourself a healthy breakfast rich in nutrients and have it slowly enjoying each flavour. You spend some lovely time with your loved ones. You take some time to work out, meditate and read a book. Then you get ready for the day. You transition from shut-eye sleep to complete wakefulness in small steps, fresh and ready to face the day. You become a healthier and better person day by day.

Which one of the above is you? Continue reading Power up with a rousing morning routine