#127 – 10 Best Moves That Changed My Life Forever


Here are the top 10 moves that I started adapting over the few years which changed my life for good.

  1. Never announce your moves before you make them. Keep it to yourself and journal it for your daily reference.
  2. Save for today.
  3. Plan for retirement in your early 25’s
  4. Decrease your dependency towards depreciating assets and plan your finances carefully.
  5. Always have emergency funds at your disposal. If you are wondering how much should I have in my emergency fund now, calculate it here.
  6. Distance yourself from people who no longer fuel your ambitions. Read how you can achieve it here.
  7. Take good care of your body by exercising daily. Your body will thank you later. These seven minute workouts are really going to help you begin the journey.
  8. Prioritize your life first. Declutter rest everything from your life. Don’t know where to start? Here are some simple and effective ways to begin with.
  9. Do not burn your opportunities for temporary indulgements in things which serve no purpose a year later. Always apply the 1-3-5 rule when in confusion.
  10. Start reading a book every day. It is always hard in the beginning but you will love reading once you start embracing it as your daily routine. ‘

What are the best moves in your life?

#122 – How I Survived 4 Years of Blogging


Everything comes with a price in life and everyone has a story to tell in this world. – Savi Sharma

Savi Sharma’s books keep on stressing the same thing over and over again. Today I met few friends of mine in the evening when they asked me “How do you manage to write so much”. I was like

“Writing has become like food for me”

When I write, I don’t really count how much should I fill on the given space. I write until I feel “This is it. Publish it”.

For me, writing has always been a kind of escape from distractions. When I start writing, it is just me and the pen + paper. On WordPress, it is just me and the editor. I do not drift between multiple tabs nor start browsing too many things when I am writing. The train of thoughts just flow and all I do is give them a voice.

Today one of my colleagues pointed out that even on Instagram I write mini blogs in the name of a caption. Well, that was a nice compliment. And this is not the first time people are telling me this one. A lot of people say “It’s so good to see you writing since 2013 (although I initially began in the year 2009 and then kept my blog idle till 2012), we cannot write because we don’t write like you”

Whenever I hear them talk like this, I feel like telling them, that

“Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books and some are confined to hearts.” – Savi Sharma, Everyone has a story

I don’t know how many of us deny this statement. But the fact remains unchanged that we all have stories within us. All we have to do is give them space and voice to see the daylight. Becoming a blogger was one of those many dreams I had in life. And here is how I became one.

It all started when I was in my first year of Bachelor’s Degree i.e in 2009 when accidentally I saw few Telugu bloggers writing serial blog posts which were going viral all over blogspot. The posts were hilarious. And the response they were getting was tremendous. I was very surprised to see how a writer sitting in a remote village can inspire hundreds of people with one post each week.

I too wanted to be a blogger and pen down each and every feeling inside me. But I didn’t know how. Accidentally I created one blog and then I forgot how to go and access it again. Blame it on my poor tech skills back then. With no internet connection at home, I sort of occasionally kept following those Telugu bloggers until there came a day when I really started one. Thanks to MNC life. Creativity often sprouts after frustration.

WordPress came to my rescue. There was no tension of what theme should I use, or what should I write. WordPress had this Daily Post blog where any novice could go and see how to start and what to do. Each day, the daily prompts section used to host a topic and all I had to do was just sit and think what to write. For days, I used to be blank, but then slowly I started writing one post a week. The initial posts were very terrible. It did not have proper theme or structure. But after a month or so, when I started following few reputed bloggers like Rarasaur I understood that blogging is not just writing what you feel. It is about giving love and care to your readers as well. It need not have any specific structure. You just had to be yourself.

This kind of gave me a new hope that in this big world, I can write what I feel and also discover that there are a hundred others who feel similarly like me. I did not hesitate to put up my first blog on Facebook and Twitter. Lot of them laughed at my writing, but I kept on writing anyway. I always cherish the quote of aerodynamics and bumble bee.

bumble bee quotes

Few people on WordPress told, I was good at writing and that sort gave a huge boost to my confidence and I kept on writing. In 2014, I sort of got into serious blogging, spending my time and energy on improving the theme and writing quality. I took feedbacks from people and started working diligently towards it.

There are no shortcuts to success.If you want to be a writer, then you have to write daily. As simple as that.

 

With each post, my writing improved. I made more mistakes, more people laughed. I learned new things. But most importantly I did not give up. I did not aim to be the kind of long-form writer I am today. All I wanted to do was to express my emotions to the outside world as clearly as possible. On the contrary, bloggers like Belle Jar inspired me to come out of my shell and be as vocal as possible turning me from a stumbling writer to a long-form writer. These bloggers gave me a new ray of hope that being too loud, too outspoken is okay in a digital space.

But just like any other blogger, I too lost my focus due to various reasons. My focus shifted to motorcycling and gave myself completely to Duke Machas. Thanks to my favorite blogger on Medium, Mr.Srinivas Rao, I once again came back to blogging. His blog post on “How Writing 1000 Words A Day Changed My Life?”

And as he says, everything starts with being very terrible at the beginning. But a consistent practice will elevate your skills and make you better. So, I urge all of you to start writing from today. Do not be afraid to put yourself out in the digital space. What can happen if at all you write something very funny? People might laugh. That’s it. Over a period of time, nobody gives a fuck to anyone. People get busier with their own shit that they seldom would have time to come and keep checking your blog.

So do not cage your emotions. Give voice to those unspoken words and blog it out. Whenever you get stuck, do leave a message here. I will always be there to help you out.

Stay hungry. Stay Foolish. Stay Humble.

Love,

ARK

#117 – Her Popularity Comes With A Price


The term impostor phenomenon is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women. Certain early family dynamics and later introjection of societal sex-role stereotyping appear to contribute significantly to the development of the impostor phenomenon. Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the imposter phenomenon persists in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample object evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief. Four factors, which contribute to the maintenance of impostor feelings over time, are explored. Therapeutic approaches found to be effective in helping women change the impostor self-concept are described.

reads the abstract of “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention” – a paper written by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes from Georgia State University.

I was always fascinated by the term Impostor since the day I read an article about how even some of the great role model figures like Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson and Kate Winslet suffer from this syndrome. Popularity for women always comes with a price. And sometimes it takes toll on her self image and the scars last for a lifetime if not treated with proper care.

Impostor Syndrome is one such behavior. In their paper Pauline and Suzanne have gone to the depths of how this behavior arises and is prevalent among women. It’s not that Impostor syndrome is associated with specific gender. It is found both in men and women but it lasts longer in women as compared to men. The main reason for this being the stereotyping of women in our society.

It sometimes starts right from within the family when parents start being indifferent to their kids. When parents label one of the siblings as “bright, intelligent, creative” and the other as “sensitive, fragile, calm” kids presume those attributes to be true and act accordingly. Usually when a girl is always compared to her brother and told that she is a girl, so she has to be sensitive, compassionate, kind, and she is not good enough to pick a fight with boys, instead of empowering her, parents unknowingly are pushing her into becoming one impostor.

Ask how? The girl who has been now labelled as weak and fragile will continue to fight against that mental image painted by her parents. Each day she tries to break the glass cieling and fast forward this nature for another 10 years, you would get a perfectly crafted imposter syndrome stricken woman. A woman who would always doubt her abilities and always thinks “Maybe I just got lucky that my entrepreneurial debut is making a six digit income” , “Maybe the jury was being very considerate in nominating my name for the best business woman of the year”.

Added to all this, I have seen a lot of workplaces where if a woman has achieved something a man could never achieve all they would do is “Why not… after all she has got a beautiful face, boobs and pussy… she can get things done”. I might sound very lewd and disgusting for some. But the reality doesn’t change. In 2011, the Institute of Leadership and Management surveyed managers about how confident they felt in their professions – and half of the female respondents reported self-doubt in their jobs, compared to less than a third of men. It’s not that these women were inefficient or not qualified enough to take up their roles. It’s the constant fear of falling into the dilemma of whether to accept that she is fit for the role or to dismiss the entire fact and say “Hey it was just by fluke”. Either ways, she is not going to have mental peace until she accepts that she is as good as any other person in that role.

People should always remember that feminine charms are not everything in this world. A woman can be pretty and yet be dumb. These kind of women often drop off in the middle of their career in pursuit of love – marriage and – baby carriage. Taking these kind of women as an example you cannot target every other woman walking on the road as “She has boobs and pussy so she get’s things done”.

There are hundreds and thousands of women who are paying price for being smart, for being successful, for being pretty + badass, for being intelligent + creative, for being gutsy + sensitive and most importantly just because she is a woman. . They suffer silently throughout their teens proving their abilities to their parents, relatives and society. Once they get into their work places, they suffer even more because the stakes are really high. And how many more people are they going to prove if they become CEO’s of MNC’s , CIO/CTO’s of large tech firms (which is largely filled with male workers) , professors of reputed universities. The self doubt increases until there comes a point when each significant achievement they accomplish seems like “Ok. Maybe I wasn’t worth it. What’s next to achieve so that I can justify I really deserve this”. The loop doesn’t end. It goes on and on until it takes a toll on their self esteem and damages a part of their personality forever.

Here are some tips from famous super achievers among women who are dealing with impostor syndrome on a regular basis:

Sheryl Sandberg:

“Every time I was called on in class, I was sure that I was about to embarrass myself. Every time I took a test, I was sure that it had gone badly. And every time I didn’t embarrass myself — or even excelled — I believed that I had fooled everyone yet again. One day soon, the jig would be up … This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name — the impostor syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the impostor syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it.” —Lean In, March 2013

Emma Watson

“It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird — sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.” —Rookie, May 2013

Natalie Portman

On being a Harvard student: “So I have to admit that today, even 12 years after graduation, I’m still insecure about my own worthiness. I have to remind myself today, You are here for a reason. Today, I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999 … I felt like there had been some mistake — that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company and that every time I opened my mouth I would have to prove I wasn’t just a dumb actress. … Sometimes your insecurities and your inexperience may lead you to embrace other people’s expectations, standards, or values, but you can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path — one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be, a path that is defined by its own particular set of reasons.” —Harvard Commencement 2015, May 2015

Kate Winslet

“What people really think of me is something I remain blissfully unaware of most of the time. I love acting and all I ever try to do is my best. But even now I always dread those emotional scenes. I’m there thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m rubbish and everyone is going to see it. They’ve cast the wrong person.’ But I have come to realize that those nerves are all part of the process for me.” —The Mirror, June 2013

So the next time you hate a woman for being bossy and super successful, please remember the journey and the mental fight that she must have fought in order to feel super confident about her own abilities. Her popularity comes with a huge price. Respect the journey and hard-work of each individual irrespective of a woman or man. Before you judge others make sure you are “picture perfect”.

Quote Courtesy: http://ow.ly/1Wku30fU0jL

#106 – Why Should You Have Real Biker Friends In Your Life?

KTM track day

This article is dedicated to my biker friends who have been there with me through thick and thin and have supported me to become the person I am today.

Writing a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started. Source: Together

As I read the word prompt, the only thing that came to my mind was this quote:

“There’s a reason why two people stay together. They give each other something nobody else can”

And what is it that we as a person can give to each other ?

It could be unflinching trust, mutual respect or it could be unconditional love or anything that nurtures the good in each other. And true togetherness comes only when both the people involved in a relationship respect each other equally. This applies to all walks of our lives.

Be it in an MNC with several teams working towards a common goal or be it two friends who want to start some new venture together. In my life, I have often seen this kind of togetherness only in the Motorcycle fraternity. Most of my biker friends share this togetherness within their biker brotherhood. They have each others back through thick and thin. They just don’t give up easily and most importantly, they have such genuine hearts that they don’t expect anything else from you other than your company.

They are truly friends for life. And trust me, some of the best relationships in my life have come from this family. Also some of the life’s valuable lessons have been taught to me only by these boys. Apart from the stunts and the abusive language that these men use,  I think any woman who has a  biker friend is the most safest woman on this planet. They might appear rude and scary from the outside but deep inside them lies a friend you might never want to lose.

biker quotes

Recently, I happened to stumble on an article written by most (in)famous moto bloggers Akhil Kalsh aka Riderzone. He wrote an amazing article in remembrance of his beloved biker friend who passed away few months back. When I wrote to him sharing a similar experience of mine, he promptly wrote back expressing his views on the same.

Another incident which happened in my life recently after my biker friend’s death was my encounter with RideWithRahul, a famous youtuber who came to my rescue by motivating me to get back up in my life. The shock of losing your best friend in a horrible motorcycle accident is very heart wrenching. Only real bikers can understand the pain of losing another mate.

What still surprises me from the above two incidents is that ,these two people are more or less like stars in the world of Indian Motorcycling Community. Yet, they have hearts to  respond back and be there with me when I was in deep shit. If you feel all these are just words and there is nothing special about having bikers as your friends, then probably its high time to get an entry to a Motorcycle Ride happening in your city and hang around with these folks. The togetherness that you experience with the biker bros are completely different than what you get to see elsewhere. Trust me you will feel the difference.

If you remembered any of your biker friend while reading this article, please share this article with them. Let them also know how much they are appreciated around the world.

Love,

ARK

Note: Header Photo Courtesy : DukeMachas

Daily Prompts #105 – Why Is Your Workplace Hurting You?

workplace quotes

Writing a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started. Source: Slog

I heard the word “slog” for the first time when I entered into this IT Industry. Many people would say that once you start working you will realize that there is nothing here except slogging endlessly and not getting paid for the slog.

It was during this time, I happened to read one of the best books that i have ever read in my life i.e. The Autobiography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. In the book, you can see lots of places where Steve Jobs stresses on the importance of loving the work that you do.

He once said “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. How many of us love the work we do right from the bottom of their heart? When was the last time you did something for the first time? The moment we discover the answer for these questions we would end the “slogging saga” of all our working lives.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

ARK