I want watermelon

This afternoon, my sister was sitting sad and lost.
When I asked her multiple times, she still didn’t respond.

My 3 yo nephew or her son, who was in her lap, I turned to him.

Told him, “Tell you Mom to smile.”

Do you know what he responded?

“I want watermelon!”

Wow. So cute. That is the level I want to get to in my life.

Here’s something I learnt from him:

  1. My sis told me that he was already nudging her to stop being so sad. He always says, “First, you smile.
  2. He was not attached to his Mom’s emotions. He loves her, wanted her to smile. But didn’t get upset when she did.
  3. He knew what he wanted 🙂
  4. Didn’t get unhappy when he didn’t get the watermelon.
  5. His love is not conditional when his Mom is smiling only. Love IS he.

So, my question to you is: Do you want watermelon?

Pre-weekend lessons of life

  1. Everyone is right. Even if we think otherwise.
  2. So are you. Even if you think otherwise.
  3. In case of an emotional outburst, spend time with a good book.
  4. You become whom you spend time with on Instagram. Choose that wisely 🙂
  5. The world is feeding you a template each day. What you do in your capacity to be a rebel defines who you are.

The best thing of 2021

I recently conducted an AMA on Instagram about the best thing that had happened to people in 2021 so far.

The responses were surprising.

While I had expected people to say things like got a new job, promotion, etc., most responses went with:

1. Started prioritising myself.

2. Taking care of what I want.

3. Took up yoga to for myself.

4. Moved to a new city.

5. Learnt to live on my own.

And so on and so forth.

Loved it! When people take care of themselves, they are able to take care of others more. Which isn’t true vice versa.

Looking forward to having more of them and seeing people get more powerful.

One of the best books I’ve ever read

“As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen This is one of the tiniest books I’ve ever read, containing just 56 pages, however, each time I pick it up, I get a new direction to my thought. Here’s sharing the 18 timeless lessons from the book:

  1. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts,
  2. The alteration in a man’s circumstances is in the exact ratio to his altered mental condition.
  3. The soul attracts what it secretly harbours, that which it loves, and also that which it fears.
  4. Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.
  5. Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.
  6. Men are anxious to improve their circumstance but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound.
  7. Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results, bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.
  8. A perfectly pure and enlightened being could not suffer.
  9. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallises into habit and habit solidifies into circumstance.
  10. Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.
  11. He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.
  12. Those who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self pities, all of which are an indication of weaknesses.
  13. As a man thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.
  14. Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought.
  15. Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.
  16. Into your hands will be placed the exact result of your thoughts.
  17. The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in storm.
  18. Self Control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.

The book is easy to read, and needs to be read over and over again. If you could do yourself and your life a favour, get one here, today, PLEASE!

And when you’ve read it, reach out to me to let me know which one line are you going to take with yourself as a reminder. I’d look forward 🙂

Creativity and infidelity

Creativity is a weird companion.

Exactly 24 hours back, I was bursting with ideas to write blogs on.

Right now, I don’t know what to write.

Seems like creativity has been infidel to me and left me. Except that isn’t. Because creativity is a process. If you show up, it always does.

If you are reading this blog post till here, you know that creativity has kept up. Because I kept my promise of writing this post.

Creativity is always loyal. If we are.

Organ donation and our levels as humans

There’s a country where citizens become organ donors by default on attaining a certain age. It’s a law. They can choose to opt out if they want to, however, they will be in the last priority for consideration as organ recipients.

However, this is not possible in developing countries where there are fights on basic things like bank accounts or food and shelter.

There is nothing wrong or right. It is just the culture that pushes people to think certain way. It’s the reason why desis act like firangs in the countries of firangs. The culture gets it done from them.

This pretty much explains why we do what we do, and why is it impossible to change people without their prior choice or change of culture.

Someone who grew up in corporate culture does not know the nuances of starting up at all. Perhaps an eighteen year old knows more.
Someone who grew up in an Omkara apartment in Worli Mumbai won’t ever understand the nitty-gritties of arranging the basic things in most households.
Someone who meditates at dawn daily won’t love the culture of drinking till sunrise in Goa. They just aren’t that.

People aren’t wrong. They are just different. Simply due to changes in the people we are surrounded by.

While we cannot control whom we are surrounded by unless we make some drastic changes, we can always change whom we are surrounded by online.

Since humans spend a lot of time online, we have the choice to think like the people of the country where becoming an organ donor is mandatory.

We always have a choice.

Weekend lessons

Some quick lessons I learnt this week:

  1. Change is the only law of life. Don’t go by what someone said a month or six months ago. If they are positive, they’ll encourage you evolving. If they aren’t, then you don’t need to bother 🙂
  2. You will be judged, even when you have your finest intentions. The best thing you could do is still have those finest intentions because that is who you are!
  3. Being the bigger person and not taking credit for that is superpower!
  4. Just because everyone else in the team is submitting work late, don’t lower your standards and be the latecomer. Always be a day in advance. Your brand is built by what you do every day.
  5. Everyone is trying their best. Just because their best doesn’t match with your standards of worst, they need support. Not internal trolling from you.
  6. Twitter is the best way to improvise on your writing.
  7. Spending less time on WhatsApp and Instagram is the secret sauce to eternal happiness.
  8. Evening walks in the sun are therapeutic.
  9. People want the best for you, trust them! If they don’t, trust yourself!
  10. People will behave kiddish. Most don’t want to see that. So smile at them for who they are. And move on.
  11. Most of the times what we are crying for is NOT even happening! The best way to solve problems is through communication.
  12. Learning is the licence to happiness.
  13. You matter!

To those who have failed in CA exams…

19th January 2015.
The day I became a Chartered Accountant.
I still vividly remember the day.

We had just returned to Kota (my hometown) after an overnight train trip from Mumbai, after attending a family function there for three days. So the winter was a harsh reality from the pleasant zero winter of Mumbai to being back to Kota. Because of this train journey, I had taken a shower quite late, around 10-11 am.

The moment I came out, I saw a miss call from a fellow article at the firm I did my articleship from.

Oops, my heart started pounding.

As I called him back, he picked up the call and asked: “Kya hua?”

“Result aa gaya?” was my surprised response, to which he said yes.

My mom had gone to take shower and I was virtually alone at home. So I opened up the laptop, connected it to the slow BSNL router we had and checked the result.

452 out of 800, result: PASS. (*Top 100 scorers in India then)

Wow!

The day I will never forget!

Throughout the day I did not feel cold at all despite returning from Mumbai back to shivering winters of Kota. It was in the evening that I finally realised I should be feeling cold 🙂

My mom came out of shower and started crying a lot. A lot. She basically missed my Nanaji for whom I was a source of pride and who had passed away eleven months back. The day was something me and my parents had been waiting for, for years!

But this is the success story. That I cleared CA Final (both groups together) in the first attempt that too with very good marks.

Here is the back story: I failed in IPCC twice. As on date, given the number of failures we get to face, this doesn’t seem huge.
Back then it was. Especially for a class topper like me since childhood, who ended up with this major jolt for the first time in my life.

You know what, my Mom cried then as well, for how could such a thing happen to me? (Yes now I know that I was responsible, but I just couldn’t convince her to see that part. Maybe I didn’t want to see that either!)

But I did clear the IPCC exam eventually. One group at a time.

That is the word you need to remember my fellow CA students: eventually.

The world isn’t going to be smooth even if you clear all three stages in the first attempt with AIR 1. It’s true that social media is not going to have your pictures when you fail.
It’s true that your neighbours will probably stare at you when you’ll leave home for coaching classes.
It’s perhaps true that a friend who was not expected to clear is a CA today and you aren’t!

All this is real pain.
And it hurts, especially if you worked hard.

But there is one more thing that is real: Your grit. Your persistence. Your belief in your capability that no matter what, you will end up with the prefix CA before your name eventually.

Feel sad as hard as you want to. Clean your nose with your sweater that your friend likes who is a CA now. Look at yourself in the mirror and just be, it’s okay!

But when you are done, don’t waste a minute pondering about what was and what could be. Just focus on what you are going to do next.

Winning in life is less about numbers and more about your attitude.

For example, I’m not a cunning person and because of that I sometimes get walked over (sometimes by my hashtag friends), and that feels very bad. But then I tell myself that my systems and ethics are powerful, so I needn’t be scared. NEVER ever has been a place in my life that because of not being cunning, rather being a simple human being, I hadn’t won eventually. Things always turn out to be in the favour of the person who works hard with the rights systems and the right mindsets.

And if you are worried about number of attempts, yes I did get a bonus of 1L INR extra back in 2015-16 because of being a first attempt passout. But today, 5-6 years down the line, almost everyone is earning in the same income range. Time is a great leveller and a wonderful thing to forget.

So keep up your spirits high my fellow CA students, it is only a matter of time that you will become a member of the reputed ICAI. Till then, focus on building systems and attitudes that eventually and undoubtedly lead to success, instead of letting things happen.

PS: In case you are wondering if I used some systems while preparing for CA Final exams after failing in IPCC twice, of course I did! I won’t blabber them here because the purpose of this blog is not to show you how, the purpose is to show you what. If you need help with systems and processes while preparing for CA exams, drop me a note at ngehija454@gmail.com and I’d be happy to help you out.

PPS: It will happen, eventually!