Who Are You? Just A Label or An Epic Book

if your life can be packaged you are boring

“Adventure means exposing yourself to the world out there.” — Naked Soul

Who Are You

Are you just a label or an epic story or a fun saga? Is your life “out-of-box” and is it evolving?

We make a life by what we give, experience, build and learn. Each year of our life is either a sentence or a paragraph. Or it can be a full chapter or even a book in itself.
We decide how our life is recorded in the eyes of the ancient stars of the faraway galaxies.

We decide which adventures we embark upon and which ones we finish.
Adventures do not mean walking on a high wire or sleeping on a bed of nails or eating fire.

Adventure means exposing yourself to the world out there – in its wildness, rawness – experiencing its unadulterated originality.

Adventure means getting in touch with your inner-self, knowing thyself.

Now, over to you.

Who are you? And, what are you going to do with your life? Please leave your thoughts and life missions in the comment below.

10 Years Business Plan and 1 Million Dollars A Year Income

the right way to do anything

Today, I am going to reveal my 10 years plan. As many of you (those who are regular on the Naked Soul blog) know we started this community to connect like minded individuals around the concept of “naked soul” in summer of 2014. This blog was launched in Oct 2014.

I published the Naked Soul, book I (a collection of erotic love poems) in January 2015. We started the Naked Soul Podcast in November 2015 and here we are today. It’s already April 2016.

2015 was a great year for me. But 2016 came with disappointments. My dad was diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer and I went to care for him full-time for almost 3 months. I stopped the podcast series, stopped blogging, stopped writing and did not get paid for almost 2 months.

I had to borrow huge amount of money from my relatives to pay for my father’s medical bills. It was brutal to say the least. Emotionally I was at my all-time low and the entire first three months of 2016 was just painful and exhausting.

After I returned back to my normal life (not sure if I am truly back to my normal state of being), I started to write and blog aggressively. I am re-starting the Naked Soul podcast and working on publishing my second book (a poetry book on a spiritual theme). Sign up for Naked Soul VIP letters to get notified when it comes out.

Okay, so coming back to main topic for today’s blog. I was assessing my standing, my expenses around running this blog, podcast among other things and my income statement today. I have to admit, things do not look over-the-top, but I do see a trend here and a viable options to create a million dollar a year company which adds probably over 100 folds in value in return to the naked soul community and society in general.

I started The Art of Travel project which we would be launching soon next month. We separated Health & Fitness and Travel from the Naked Soul and created separate YouTube channels, blogs, social media accounts, and so on. So, now, our vision and messaging is even more clear and focused.

Although, traveling to explore your inner self, staying healthy so you can be of service to others and living like a naked soul are all related. Yet, we decided it is better to separate the three so that we can serve each communities within our larger community better and effectively.

What I wanted to tell you though is you can do this too.

I am going to outline my plan and revenue streams. I have written about some of these income streams in my other blog posts so make sure to read them. I won’t be repeating anything in this blog post. Everything is new and fresh. We want to take a step forward.

To cross $100K in yearly income and to hit 7 figure income you first need to plan out your long term financial goals.
Following is my financial goal as a whole (which includes The Naked Soul, The Art of Travel, & Fit Couple Goals):
Year 1 2015 $500 (yes, I made only $500 in my first year)
Year 2 2016 $2500 (5X growth)
Year 3 2017 $20,000 (10X groth)
Year 4 2018 $60,000 (3X growth)
Year 5 2019 $120,000 (2X growth) (one person retires)
Year 6 2020 $250,000 (2X growth) (both person retires) 
Year 7 2021 $450,000 (1.8X growth)
Year 8 2022 $675,000 (1.5X growth)
Year 9 2023 $875,000 (1.3X growth)
Year 10 2024 $1,052,000 (1.2X growth)
What is X factor here?
The X denotes the times or multiplier. So for example, 5X growth means five fold growth or growing 5 times. Similarly, 1.5X means growing 150% or one and half times compared to the previous year.
Income sources
There are several ways you can bring in revenue. Some of these income sources bring in revenue for me today and some don’t. But as your community matures you can can be sure that all of these revenue sources will bring in some cash flow for the engine to keep running.
You need cash flow or else your engine will shut down. So, you have to plan this out from the early on.
(In no perticular order)
  • Blog ads
  • YouTube ads
  • Book sales
  • Podcast ads
  • Merchandise/Other Products
  • Speaking fee
  • Online Courses, Webinars, & Trainings
  • Private Consulting
  • Affiliate Income
  • Freelancing
  • Investment
  • Jobs/Gigs
There is a good chance that you are either a freelancer or a employee somewhere meaning you have a job (full time or part time). The first step is to bring in enough cash so you can safely exit and begin serving your community full time. To grow something into a self-sustainable business, you have to give your 100%.
And you can’t give your 100% if you work 8 am to 6 pm. Can you? Well, not really then read: learn how you can grow when working 8 to 6 is your only option. I was there. Been there, done that. 
My main objective is to replace my current private consulting income and begin engaging in full time entrepreneurship.
And, by year 10 (i.e. by year 2024), I want the enterprise to cross cross 7 figures in revenue. Well, revenue is not same as income, but that would be sufficient to grow these communities world-wide.  
Next, I will suggest you to draw the vision board for the next 2 years, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. I did that. This is a very important step. Don’t skip it. Spend a lot of time creating your vision board.
Next, like ours, your biggest challenge is going to be the first three years, 2016-2018. 
But, having said that, after you have created and spent time absorbing your vision boards, just FOCUS on hitting the 2016 goal for now. Just focus on Year 1. That’s it.
Our 2016 goal is to bring in $2000. You can set a different number. It can be $100 of passive income. Or it can be $10,000 of side income in year 1. Again, it doesn’t matter. You decide and then plan it out according to the formula that I have just shown you above.
So where are we in 2016?
So far in 2016, we have made, $490 (Naked Soul YouTube) + $20 (Art of Travel YouTube) + $20 (Fit Couple Goals YouTube) + $380 (print book sales) + $200 (kindle) + $170 (Naked Soul Blog)  = $1280
$ Made = $1290 (in 120 days)
Target by Dec 31, 2016 = $2500
$ to Hit Target = $1220 (246 days to go)

I am totally confident that we are going to hit our goal.

If you noticed, one trick is to set a realistic goal; a goal that you are likely to hit and one which is not easy either. This way you won’t feel disappointed if you fail because you won’t fail too far off (if you fail at all). The point is not to avoid failure but to really hit your target. 

And, if you succeed, your small success will act as a motivation for you. This will make you more likely to work harder for your next year goal.

Let me know if you any questions? I would be happy to answer anything you may want to ask me.

Take care for now and stay tuned for The Art of Travel. It is a beautiful, beautiful website with a lot of great essays, entertaining videos, inspiring pictures from around the world, travel tips & hacks and more.

May the Circle Complete: How To Deal with Negative Experiences


my only wish

I am feeling sad today. Actually terrible. I just learned that someone I trusted and admired actually turned out to be not so nice after all. A cunning businesswoman who pretends to be something different.

I feel hurt by her actions but I am also thankful to her. She is in a place of higher power and could have done more harm to me (if she wished). Maybe she is not a bad person. Anyways, she doesn’t owe me, anything. Nothing. She has been nice to me in the past and has also helped me. Perhaps, this was it. Perhaps, this is as much and as far as we go. For now.

It’s true that I am feeling hurt, betrayed and angry. But do I have the position to feel so? Am I justified? Maybe not. What about her help and kindness in the past.

So instead of sending her a nasty email that I typed, I sent her this in an email. It turned everything 180 degrees around. No, my loss was not reversed or compensated. But the feelings between us changed. The air around us became breathable and lighter. I don’t hate her, why should I? She is on her own path and her mistakes are her seeds of her own destiny. I wish her well for her future.

What about me? My heart? I feel better. I wish she benefits from me from the things that I am doing with my life. I do not have to like her to wish her well. I can simply wish her well. In all sincerity.

What should I do with my losses? Actually, nothing. That’s right. Nothing. First of all, what loss? I am posting this quote on Instagram, I am mentally sane, physically capable and hopeful for my future. Why should I worry or feel that I am at loss? I have people who love me, I have a great happy family and a good circle of funny and capable friends. What more do I need in life anyway!

I am happy that I saw the light. I am lucky. I am proud of myself for not sending that nasty email. Instead, I chose to send something positive, light-hearted and loving.

Thank Universe! This is an awesome day and I love my life.

12 Tips On How To Develop Self Confidence & Self Esteem

This is a common question and a good one. I am assuming the right question is “How do I develop myself in general?” Or, “How do I improve myself to be more successful in all areas of my life.?” Let me offer some perspectives on these questions as I answer them in this blog.

To grow in life, you need these 10 things and everything else will follow.

1. Good Habits: Build good habits. Build as many as you can. Good habits are going to benefit you in every aspect of your life for the rest of your life. You can learn a new skill or add an activity you like to your daily schedule. Habits are powerful and helps eliminate procrastination (which is critical for success in life). What are some good examples:

Making the Bed in Morning: This is small thing yet it creates peace, order and harmony in the otherwise chaotic life.
A Simple To-Do List (No Bigger Than a Postcard): This one simple habit is that one productivity hack that you have been looking for.
(If you are a early riser) Waking up a little early and watching the sunrise, or taking a 10 minute walk in the nature or outside in the fresh air. The morning hour has a powerful affect on the human brain.
A short (5 min) session of meditation and yoga or stretching.
2. Become a Master: Try to figure out what you are interested in and decide to become an expert in that. A world class expert, master of your field. How do you do this?

3. Start Small: Whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish, break it into smaller milestones and goals. If it is a business, break the ultimate goal into sub-goals and milestones such as number of clients, revenue, monthly volume, etc. If it is a degree program, break each semester into interesting milestones such as networking with one Influence in your field per semester, one foreign travel (or road trip) each year, etc.
4. Share Your Vision (But Selectively): A few trusted people in your circle should know about your mission. Once you have told others about your venture or goals, they will you ask you about how is it going? This will become a constant reminder for them and you would be bound to share frequent updates, your challenges and your small victories. Most importantly, you will feel accountable to succeed. This technique also comes in aid should you need external motivation and a little pressure to up your game.
5. Affirmations: Practice affirmation and talk positive to yourself. Do not tolerate negativity and negative people in your life. Share love but remember you do not owe anything to anyone but to yourself and no one owes you anything. Yet, practice compassion, empathy and altruism. Find a problem and make a purposeful intention to solve it.

Examples:

  • This is a new day. I can start a fresh, new journey today.
  • Today could be the last day of this earth. I promise to myself to appreciate everything that happens during the day.

 

6. Travel: When you are traveling, you are learning more than you can ever from a book or a school program. Traveling is the ultimate reading. You learn about adaptation, living in discomfort, empathy, new cultures and how other humans just like you live in a different place and culture. Travel is fun, a lot of fun. Learn a new language and you will enjoy traveling even more.

 

7. Read Great Books: Read a lot of books. Read whatever you can afford and get your hands on. Good or bad, all books are helpful. A good book will feed your soul. A good book will uplift your soul and will inspire you, teach you and tell you how you can become skilled and great yourself.

 

8. Promise Yourself that You’ll be Great: This is the Law of Self-fulfilling prophecy. It is true that what are you think is what you will attract in your life. This is not magic but science. By dwelling on a thought you are constantly focusing on it and searching for it. If it is negative and about despair, your brain will automatically give more importance to matters related to despair and hopelessness. Likewise, if you think of learning and education, your brain will automatically start spending brainpower (energy and focus) on things that you want to learn.

 

9. Look for the Big Picture: Life is short. Before you were born the Universe existed for 13 billion years and after you will be home the Universe will keep on going for equally long time. The fact that we are here for a short period of time makes us think of time in a unique way. Life is short. Try to make the best out of it.

Some practical advice:

There is no gain in fighting and arguing. In any adversity, look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself: will this thing still matter 5 years from now? 20 years from now? If the answer is “No”, don’t stress yourself.
10. Attitude of Gratitude: Whatever you have and whoever you are as a person, father, leader, daughter, employee, anyone who you think you are is the product of countless people and their miniature help and support to you. Sure you have done the hard work and the bulk of it but remember the phone you are using is built by someone in China, designed by Apple in California and uses chips and hardware made in Germany and Japan. We all are living well because hundreds of thousands of people are contributing to each other. There is plenty to be thankful for.

 

11. Uplifting Association: A lot of what we eat, do, watch and talk are highly dependent on who we hang out with. If you are into fitness but five of your closest friends (with whom you spend most of your time) are into pizza and unhealthy lifestyle, there is no way you can be lead a healthy and fit life. What should you do instead?

Associating yourself with positive people, you will pick up their (good) habits and start thinking positive, talking positive and living a more positive life.


12. Practice the Power of Spoken Words: The spoken words have tremendous power. Whatever comes out of your mouth shapes your thinking in a major way. What you speak (in front of others) creates an image of you. And by your image you shall be treated and judged. If you have set up an image of a no-nonsense, cool and happy guy or gal, your peers will start treating you in a cool, fun, positive way. Choose your words carefully. They literally carry the power of life and death.

Read more on some other aspects of self-development in my other blog posts:

When you work from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., how do you grow as a person?

What is the easiest way to live a healthy lifestyle?

How can meta-learning be taught? (Learn how to learn)

 

###

Is the Job Market Slow? Where are all the Jobs

I have been living happily for too long and my happiness is about to come to an end. I am looking for a new job. A good, contracting job, 40 hours/week, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.

But wait, why would I do that? Why do I need a job? Because my bills are getting bigger than my bank balance and I need to find a job to keep the cash flow positive. But wait, where are the jobs? I have been actively looking, searching, applying, emailing and calling but I don’t see “open jobs” or “now hiring” signs.

This must not be right! I thought so too. 

Or, maybe I am not looking for anything less than $100,000/year. Well, I may even take $80,000 deal. But first of all, it must exist. And, I am not talking about manufacturing jobs. I am talking about engineering jobs and IT jobs.

Is Job Market Slow

Where are all the jobs? The news, media and government statistics tell me that the unemployment rate is at 5%. Bullshit. The market is good and banks are looking to increase interest rates? Another BS.

Seriously? Do you see people around you increasing their expenditure? Do you see people buying a bigger house or renting an expensive apartment? Do you people around you in your neighborhood leasing fancy cars? I don’t.

I think, most people are thankful that they have a job or some sort of income. Those who don’t have a stable monthly income, ask them? What are they going through? What do they feel?

Is it the election? Is it automation, outsourcing, or just that most jobs are becoming either cheap or highly technical?

If you can program DeepMind or for some A.I projects, maybe you will have a job! But, if you are just an engineer (even a computer engineer), perhaps, you should learn new skills. Jobs are not increasing. Salaries are not increasing. Rent is. Expenses are.

What will I do? Well, I want to find out what others do in my situation? 

What about higher degrees and getting licenses and new certifications? More BS.

There is no proven correlation of getting a higher degree and receiving a $2000/month raise in salary, for example. Or, $1000. I am fine with $1000. But, the problem is it’s not even a guarantee that you will find a job, to begin with. 

What if you already have a job? There is no guarantee that your new degree or certification will land you a promotion or a raise. What is guaranteed is that next year your rent or overall expenses will be higher!

So what can I do? What am I doing? What is my point that I am trying to make here?

Artificial Intelligence

I think we are moving towards a high unemployment and under-employment society in the US. And, this a problem. This is going to be a big problem in the coming decades (or maybe years). 

As more and more jobs get absorbed by Artificial Intelligence programs and automation, more and more people will lose their jobs and their monthly, stable income. That is going to be a disaster.

Think about driverless cars for example. What would happen once, cars can drive itself. Think about the public bus drivers, train drivers, cab drivers, and so on? Think about the customer service jobs! What happens when more and more calls are programmed and routed to a computer? How many hundreds of thousands of people will become jobless? (If they haven’t already in banking, finance, government).

What can you do? 

You can do what I am doing. Become a freelancer. Start today. If you are reading this blog post on your laptop, start now. You have got a personal computer and internet. You are good to go.

Write down your skills and areas that interest you. Then look for opportunities on how you can market your skills or learn a new skill (for free, online).

If you are already working, think about a small side business or a second job. Think about Plan B. Even if your job is very stable and you see no sign of layoffs, think about raise? Are you guaranteed a raise by your employer? Maybe not? Do you think the cost of living is increasing every year? Do you think, it’s a good idea to at least earn more so that you can invest more and let the compound do the magic.

My solution for myself is: I want to earn more so that I can invest more. The more I invest, the more interest I am going to make on my capital and the more money I will have when I need it. The compounding will do the job for me. But, my job is to make my capital and monthly investment as large as I can. 

Yes, I know, I am not desperate for a job right now. But I can be. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year. Why should I wait for next year? Why not plan today for the next year.

Why not save more today. 

I am going to continue to apply for new jobs. Maybe I will find something that interests me. Maybe I will take this job and start working a new 9 to 5. I see no harm (because I do see, the coming gloom of unemployment and mass under-employment).

Instagram Tips: How To Succeed On Instagram

“Last spring, Forrester analyzed more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks.

 

Unfortunately those brands achieved less than a 0.1 percent engagement rate on six out of the seven platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram posts, however, generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 percent. That means the app delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Let’s look at a real life example of this difference.


This week, Red Bull posted a photo of Lindsey Vonn on both Facebook and Instagram. Currently, the brand’s 45 million Facebook fans had liked the photo just about 20,000 times, while its 2.2 million Instagram followers had liked the photo nearly 70,000 times.”

Instagram Tips

So what does this mean? Seven social platforms analyzed. It means, Vine, Periscope, and Snapchat included. Your effort should be more on Instagram than other social media. Instagram for writers or artists means:
1. Make good art consistently (which many of us love to do). Write, record audio, music, paint, draw, sing, dance, talk, whatever you do
2. Turn your art into poems, quotes, pictures, videos
3. Post them (in fact, post more frequently 4x/day)
4. Cut videos, audio, music into 15 sec or less frame & post as videos or slideshows
5. Engage with comments and other users
6. Reply to relevant DMs
7. DM other Instagram users and build a team/network of friends 
8. Collaborate and do S4S (shout for shout)
9. Unofficially advertise on Instagram through other big accounts
10. Officially advertise on Instagram through Facebook

Currently, many of us are not doing a lot of these steps in our Instagram marketing and outreach.
What do you think? Can you suggest some game plan on how someone can become more efficient in using Instagram without spending more time? Read my detailed post on Instagram:

How To Get From Zero to A Celebrity Status (Hacking Instagram Growth). 10 Tips On More Followers, Likes & Comments.

How To Succeed On Instagram

1. Post Regularly: Whether it is an old post or something small (and interesting), post regularly. You can think of recycling here.  If you have 500 posts on your Instagram, that means, you can recycle easily at the rate of 1 old post per day. That’s huge. It basically means, if you simply repost your old posts, you can literally continue to do so for one year at the rate of 1 post per day.

2. Theme: You can create a simple background theme for each of your writing we post. This strategy is widely adopted by most of the users with more than 30k followers.

3. Data & Science: Remember, according to one study done with 30 featured images on Instagram out of 8 million total, Curalate found:

  • Bright and high light generates 24% more likes than darker images.
  • Images with plenty of background white space generate 29% more likes than those with minimal space.
  • Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more likes than images that are predominantly red.
  • A single dominant color generates 17% more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
  • High levels of texture generate 79% more likes. (Think about this one!)

The point here is not to copy these strategies but to test it out for your content and your audience. Try and test different things. And then stick with the winning strategy.

Comment below! What do you think? What would you like me to cover next?

 

###

Simplify Life: Warren Buffett’s Wisdom In 5/25 List

How to simplify your priorities and focus on the right things. Well, today I have a solution for you. It’s not my original idea but it is Warren Buffett’s wisdom on goal setting.

“If it’s not the most important thing, avoid it…”

Warren Buffet uses a list of 25 things to prioritize what’s most important to you in life. First write down 25 long or short term goals (thigs that you would like to do or achieve). Then circle the 5 most important things. The other 20 thins you must never think about again or they will distract you from what’s most important to you. Focus on your top 5 and give it your all. That way, you will surely succeed in life.

The 5/25 exercise is really a great way to learn more about what you are truly passionate about. It doesn’t even have to be 5/25. It can be 5/20 or 5/50 or 5/5. You know what you like to do.

The point of the exercise is to list everything that you would like to do and/or interested in. Then circle the top 5 most interesting thing from your big list of “to-dos” or “things I want achieve and do”. Following is the list of everything that I would like to do and become.

**My big 24**

  1. Be a full time writer (write a NYT bestseller)
  2. Travel the world (atleast 100 countries, travel with friends, travel with family)
  3. Visit the North Pole and South Pole
  4. Do space travel (someday)
  5. Open a cancer hospital and research center (in my father’s name)
  6. Be a lifestyle and motivational coach
  7. Do speaking engagements
  8. Make money (Invest and grow my wealth)
  9. Live a happy family
  10. Spend time with my family and parents
  11. Become a serial entrepreneur and start successful businesses
  12. Seek and practice spirituality and become a teacher of life
  13. Make positive impact on this world (through my philosophies and ideas)
  14. Help the poor and those needing a helping hand
  15. Climb the seven summits
  16. Climb US’s 50 State Highpoints
  17. Raise good kids
  18. Speak on TED
  19. Make movies and documentaries
  20. Be able to do front and backflips
  21. Be world class in Martial Arts
  22. Have a ripped body
  23. Create fitness workout programs
  24. Live long and age slowly (be extremely fit and healthy)

Now, the top 5 for me from these 24 are:

  1. Live long and age slowly (be extremely fit and healthy)
  2. Travel the world (atleast 100 countries)
  3. Be a full time writer (write a NYT bestseller)
  4. Make positive impact on this world (through my philosophies and ideas)
  5. Make money (Invest and grow my wealth)

If you notice, this exercise is not only great to narrow down what you are truly passionate about but also a good way to find out the lead domino for your overall success.

For example, in the above example, making a positive impact on this world through my ideas really ties into becoming a full time writer and making writing my main craft.

Likewise, to live healthy and be fit, I have to make some workout programs. And if I share those programs, I am actually covering #23 and even #22 to some degree. (Now, for me, being world class in marital arts and be able to do flips and gymnastics is super cool but I can live without it if I have to make a choice. Also, not having 6 packs and a ripped body is also okay with me as long as I am free to my top 3 goals.)

Do you see? How this exercise forces you to narrow your focus and get clarity on your long-term vision.

What else? How can I make money if all I am doing is getting healthier and fit, traveling the world and writing all the time? The solution therefore is to monetize my writing, traveling adventures, and fitness routines. That’s the answer and the connecting link.

This is also the best way to maximize my personal happiness. If I can make money by being fit, writing and traveling, I would be the happiest person doing what I love and loving what I do.

Isn’t this exercise awesome! I love it. Not only is it a practical way to prioritize but also to find your focus. You may even see links. For examples, for me, focusing and achieving my top 5 goals also means crossing several other goals from the list.

#11 and #17 is tied to Writing, Travel, and Fitness

#3, #4, #15 and #16 is tied to Travel

#6, #7, and #12 is tied to Philosophy and Writing

#5, #9, and #14 is tied to Making Money

and so on.

It’s your turn now. I would love to see everyone’s lists. Do this exercise and find out the truths for yourself.

Comment your Top 5 life goals below.

How To Build A Successful YouTube Brand

Earlier this year, I deleted most of the irreverent videos from The Naked Soul YouTube as I want to take Naked Soul more towards the literary, self-help, and podcast domain.

Build A Successful YouTube Brand

This is what happened in the past 12 months and what I learned from it.

1. My Naked Soul subscriber count went up from 1200 to 1682. My watch time went up by 182,000 minutes monthly and 62,000 views monthly from 30,000 views/100,000 minutes in the past.

On the flip side, my earning went down from $100 monthly to $66 despite doubling my views. Why? Maybe AdWords is becoming competitive. This is bad news for every Youtuber, by the way.

2. By using custom thumbnails, I was able to grow my Fitness YouTube by 700% in just past 3 weeks. (See picture attached with my notes).

 

3. By uploading videos consistently, I was able to increase the view time for my Travel channel. (screenshot attached)

YouTube Video Marketing

1. When I did not use custom thumbnails, our total Fit Couple YouTube view was 50 for the first 3 months (Jan – Mar). After I created and upload custom thumbnails for each video, my views went up to 350 in just past 2-3 weeks. That is almost 700% growth.

2. Fit Couple Goals uses custom thumbnails on all of the videos. 12 subs and 350 views, 10 likes, no dislike, videos getting added to several dozen playlists — all good signs. Mainly because of catchy titles and thumbnail.

3. My Travel channel does not effectively uses the thumbnail technique (not yet) and therefore is suffering view counts and click-thru-rate (CTR) despite having more subscribers and total # of videos. 23 subscribers and only 400 views. Also notice, only 5 likes and less videos in playlists. Why? I guess, not having catchy title and video cover (i.e video thumbnail).

 

4. It takes time and creativity to write a good catchy video title, descriptive description, meta tags to maximize the video’s SEO and finally, a nice catchy thumbnail is the icing on the top. This is essential for YouTube success.

5. From my notes on the screenshot, you can see how adding a lot of new videos helped The Art of Travel to gain average watch time, total views, and total view time. So, that’s a good thing.

6. On the other hand, more interestingly, Fit Couple Goals did not add as many new videos but see the spike in total views after I uploaded custom thumbnails for each video. See the above screenshot for details.

Your YouTube Brand

What does this all mean? I have something interesting to share with you all (in my next post) but first I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions. What do you think is the future of YouTube videos vs. Facebook video? YouTube like revenue sharing with users or Facebook like total control over revenue from advertisements.

Facebook sells advertisements to its users and keeps 100% of the revenue. Due to low organic reach FB is no longer the first choice for entrepreneurs or new advertisers. On the other hand, YouTube has been sharing revenue with content creators and has finally turned a good profit.

Also, what about Vine and Instagram? Snapchat? Periscope? All of these platforms allows the users to broadcast and post videos of various length. Should you and your brand be on all of these platforms? My first response to this is “Yes!”

But is it that simple? Or is it even needed of you to be everywhere with your video content.

These and other questions similar to the ones I have pointed above is currently being brewed in my mind’s lab. Check out back in few weeks for part 2 of this interesting discussion. For now, bombard me with your comments! 

 

###

Upstart Review: Better Loans & How To Pay Your Debts Faster

I love to study money. I love maths. And, it is no surprise that I love economics. I am a lifelong student of personal and social psychology. Recently, I have been hearing a lot of peer-to-peer lending and how it is better than traditional borrowing from a bank or a credit union. Well, I was curious and I wanted to find out.

How To Pay Debts Faster

Things changed in our country after the 2008 global financial crash. Borrowing became harder and unemployment rate everywhere, in every industry was getting higher and higher. I was no different. I lost my job and was without any stable income from 2008-2009. Almost a year. 

I was living with one of my friends and selling stuff on craigslist and Amazon to pay my minimum credit card balances. Life was hard. 

When in college, some of my Verizon mobile payments were missed and I literally did not have any money to pay to them. I was sent to collection and it really hurt me. That collection record for just $430 cost me thousands of dollars in the higher interest rate for the past 7 years.

I also was late on few of my credit union loans when I was without a job in 2008-2009. Overall, life was hard and it continued to be so because of high-interest credit cards and more interests adding to my already high debts. The only solution is to:

1. Make more money,

2. Save money (spend less than what you earn and buy what you need and not what you want),

3. Refinance your debts (and existing loans) with lower interest. This is what Upstart does for you. Eben if you are 640 or so, you can get a loan for as low as 7.2% (as I did) as long as you have a stable job with a decent salary and a good education.

BTW, if you are currently in a large debt, read my post on “How I eliminated my $50,000 debt” in just 2 years. Not everything will apply to you as every debt situation is different but you can use some of the tricks that I used and my story may inspire you to take actions.

I hope in future more and more peer-to-peer lending startups will change the general Wall St. culture of “suck all the money you can out of students, poor and those who are already in debt.”

This is not an exaggeration or an attack. This is a fact. A fact that people are greedy by nature. Being human means being selfish, and self-serving. Does that mean we are all evil? No. Not at all. Let’s look at this. (And please feel free to recall your own life and memories of your past behaviors and actions. You will see the light and truths for yourself.)

If left to rule of nature and biology, then yes, we humans are just like animals. We prey on those animals who are weaker than us, including other humans. But, human animals have evolved new-cortex, a new area of the brain which gives rise to thinking, cognition and even consciousness. Humans have the full awareness of the “I am”. And this is what makes us empathetic and compassionate and even altruistic.

So, if we feed our soul and mind, with stories and values about kindness, silence, self-reliance, and contentment, then yes, we are the creature made in the image of God. But, if you have no such practice such as meditation, reflection, journaling, volunteering and martial arts, and so on… then yes, you are in danger and you are more likely to act out selfishly.

Money is a powerful thing. Let’s agree on this and get it out of the way. Now, if we all agree that “MONEY IS POWERFUL” then what do we need to do? Well, if you know electricity is powerful and touching a live wire will shock to your core instantly, you become careful around it. You became aware of it. But, interestingly, money is more than electricity. With the money, you get to buy whatever you want. With money, you get to skip the line and pass on others before you. With money, you get a leg up and sometimes an unfair advantage over others. So, yes, that’s why money is not only a powerful force but also very seductive.

Let’s also make it clear and get it out of the way before one of you start bashing around the argument that money is not evil, it is the people who are good or evil. No. I disagree.

Yes, I agree, that money is not evil. It is the love of money that is evil, and this love can germinate in anyone’s heart if left unguarded. So, it is not that people are good or evil. No, no one is born evil or good. In fact, we are all a mixture of some good and some bad. Notice that I did not say good and evil because evil is different. It takes time to transform bad into evil. People have shortcomings, I do. You do. We all do. We are all bad in some ways. But, it takes constant dwelling on the bad to become an evil person.

So, if you give in to money, you will start liking it more and more. More than your health. More than your romance. More than your family, and more than other human beings, nature and life in general. And, this is what happens in a culture which is dominated by Wall St.

All day long you talk about money. You shuffle money. You dream about money. And you think you won’t be susceptible to its seduction? C’mon. And, if the people in power are all under the spell of “make more money”, what are we as citizens going to get?

We get the lesson of work harder, save money, and pay your debts on time. Or, else, we will charge you even higher interest rates because you do not have money. Think about that. What a joke. Honestly, have you ever wondered, why the Supreme Court has never looked into it? Go figure that out!

Upstart Review

Coming back to my experience with Upstart. My thoughts here are not only to demonstrate that companies like Upstart is the dawn of a new era but also that as we move forward in our 21st century, it’s honestly time to revisit how we view our finances, economies, employment, education and more.

The loan application process was simple and efficient. The loan was easy to apply. Upstart is an institution that considered an individual’s potential earning power in the next few years and does not judge one by his current credit score, age, and past.

It is great for people finishing up professional training, recent graduates with a job offer and young adults making a decent salary. If you are older, it is still a better deal than taking a loan from a bank or credit union.

On Meditation: Why Meditate? Mindfulness Through Meditation

on meditation, what it does and what it means to me

“Mediation works. My meditation practice helps me to live more deeply.”

Meditation is a great way to improve many areas of your life and open channels to your subconscious brain so you can more quickly and easily imprint new habits and beliefs.

If you understand technology, you can view mediation as “disk-defragmentation”. Every time when you meditate, you are optimizing your brain and restoring and re-purposing mind. You are cleaning up space, you are cooling down your system and you are optimizing your hardware’s speed and performance.

“Logic works with the conscious mind, but often not with the subconscious.”

If you are not a technical person, think of meditation as a river. The water flows continuously carrying everything with it but not holding on. A river is always fresh. There is no stagnation in a river. If your heart and mind is like a true river there is no room for “fermentation of disease.”

Mindfulness Through Meditation

A leaf or a broken stick may fall in the water and it may flow with the river for a distance but often times they get washed away to the sides. A river is pure, silent and yet you can hear its purpose of direction. It knows where it is going. There is no stopping it and yet the river is ever peaceful and calm going with the path of least resistance and minding its own business.

Besides the physical and emotional benefits of meditation (such as lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, etc.), regularly quieting your mind is also a way of slowing down brain activity, which opens up the door to more easily influencing your subconscious mind.

“Meditation is the most powerful (and totally harmless) gateway drug to creativity.”

When you slow down your brain activity, what you’re really doing is quieting your conscious mind. Meditation is a great way to begin your subconscious mind reprogramming routine. Meditation is helpful if you want to build a new habit (or break an old one). Learn how to meditate powerfully explained in 9 simple steps (in under 15 minutes).

By clearing your conscious mind of all distraction and mundane thoughts through the meditation process you can intentionally focus on your positive affirmations and visualizations. Meditation is a great way to maximize the benefit of affirmations, prayers, and visualization.

“Meditation is a deep commune with the Divine. Meditation in itself is a Prayer.”

In meditation, you are opening your whole being to the Universe. Your ego starts to fade away losing its powerful grip on you. There is no more filtering, twisting, coloring of daily events. Through meditation, you can free yourself from thousand mundane worries that is nothing but the construct of your own imagination.

According to Srimad Bhagavad Gita, our mind is a like a strong horse, and our spirit is in command. But our spirit needs the cooperation of our ego. To lead a life of mindfulness we have to take control of this powerful horse (so we can have our mind serve us rather than drive us anywhere it wants.) With a clear mind, one can achieve many great things with our time here on this earth.

This is what meditation is to me.

Top Quora Writer Meetup & Being Purposeful in Life

For whatever reasons (unknown to me or anyone), in January, the Quora community decided to vote me as a Top Quora Writer 2016. They have invited me to come to a Top Writers meetup in Mountain View, California at Quora HQ in June.

Earlier, I was excited about this meetup and my California visit but now I am passing on the free food and socializing opportunity.

Being Purposeful in Life

I have realized one secret about “purpose in life” from this experience. When we are young and we want to achieve something, we often get sidetracked by our early trophies. Often, the journey is long and hard, and we give in to temptations of feel-good, to feel important.

I am not saying one should not enjoy small victories. What I am saying is one should not “focus” on the celebration of the achievement of small goals. “Focus” should be always on your primary vision.

For example, traveling from Boston to California just to feel good to get inside the Quora HQ is self-puffing and not really in line with my end goal. If it was local, I would love to attend. But me thinking about making this long journey indicates that earlier I was taking myself way too seriously.

To me, I was important. But to the world at large, I am just a small piece. I have my place and I have my mission. Without contributing much I cannot (and should not) expect life to give back to me.

If life is generous to you, celebrate it. It’s good, have fun, go with the natural flow of life. (But, spending valuable resource such as time and money to feel good about yourself and to receive what life is giving you is not always a wise step. In fact, it would be self-centered rather than altruistic or honest.)

Top Quora Writer

The title of Top Writer 2016 is cool but it is practically useless to me and my fellow citizens of this world. What I need to focus on is solving problems that only I can solve. Each of us has unique talents and life-experiences that is best suited for tackling some unique problem (personal or larger). We should celebrate our small achievements but should not lose track of our original vision.

I am not coming to California. I would rather answer few more questions on Quora in the meanwhile. And maybe write a new blog here on The Naked Soul Blog.

If you are on Quora, you can follow me here. If you have not heard of Quora, it’s basically an online question and answer website with a beautiful, user-friendly interface. Quora aggregates questions and answers on various topics. It’s a fun place to learn something new and interesting and to ask your questions.

Let me know what you think when it comes to finding and following one’s purpose and mission in life? What is yours? Comment below.

The Top 6 Challenges of Growing a Blog and Social Presence

As I come close to launching The Art of Travel (as one of the biggest travel & wanderlust brand in August of 2016), it is time to look back at The Naked Soul journey and figure out what have I learned and how am I going to apply these lessons to my travel venture.

Challenges of Growing a Blog

Here are the top 6 challenges that I faced while running The Naked Soul blog. These challenges are not unique to my situation. You can relate to them (irrespective of your domain) and can hopefully even learn from my mistakes.
 
1. Team: To succeed in any business, you need a great team.
Lesson: We built a team when I launched The Naked Soul and we were able to produce great results. But, due to the tight budget and marketing mistakes, I had to cut down on team and I went solo for almost rest half of 2015. I was still running the engine but the growth was slow. Time is the most precious commodity and we lack time the most. With a team, you can better manage the vast amount of tasks that needs to be done. (Team = Having More Time.)
 
2. Content: Content consistency is the most important factor for success.
Lesson: We know by now that producing daily content is the way to go. On the blog, on social media, everywhere. You need to create a schedule, publish it, build expectations and then stick to it.
For the blog, publish every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For YouTube, publish every weekend, for Podcast, record and publish atleast twice each week. On social medial, publish daily and even multiple times each day. You can’t cut corners here and expect growth in traffic.
 
3. Budget: Money can be helpful but it can also be harmful.
Lesson: When I was launching the book, I set aside $10,000 for marketing. If I had a smaller budget, we would have been more successful. Actually, having a big budget harmed me both financially and creatively. We spent money wherever we thought we should without any data to backup our wild expectations. I was thinking I can push the book up in sales ranking by heavily advertising. I was everywhere and a lot of people did notice the book. But they did not buy it. On pinterest alone, half a million ad impressions were made. The reason was I was a no-name, first time author with a tiny platform. I could have used the money to produce my second and third books. I could have used the money to create more quality content. I could have used the money to hire a VA for the entire year.
 
4. Design: From blogs to books, Good Design matters.
Lesson: Throughout 2014 and 2015, I constantly tweaked The Naked Soul blog. I was always making changes and never fully satisfied. Why? Because, I started with a poor concept and design. I created a book website and later tried to switch to an author website. It turned out to be a very expensive transition. I still have broken links on my website and there is a lot that we can do on the design aspect of it.
 
5. Technical Problems: Throughout 2015, I was constantly struggling with website downtown.
Lesson: It took me almost a year to make the switch from a bad hosting service to a good one. My website used to be down every month and sometimes for days. The response was terrible from the hosting company. And it was not that the hosting was cheaper, in-fact it was expensive. It was just a bad company and choice. I took too long to pull the plug. Why? Because, I was distracted and spending time on lesser important matters. Website uptime is a critical factor in building trust.
 
6. Generic to Specialized: The Naked Soul brand had a mix of everything.
Lesson: It took me almost 14 months to separate fitness from writing and travel from podcasting. The Naked Soul soup was a hot mess. It was catering to everyone and therefore no one was truly loyal to it. In 2016, we have three very different platforms and we are focusing on only two. Our Travel blog and our Writing blog. Since travel will require a lot of writing as well, the two lines of business somewhat overlap.
Fitness required more of videos and spending time in the gym which was not overlapping with travel and naked soul. With this transition, we can now upload all travel videos to Travel YouTube and Fitness videos to Fitness YouTube. Health and Fitness still matter to us and remains a priority but we won’t be spending a lot of time here from the business perspective. But we still have a lot of work to do on our new YouTube channels.

Summary: What Can You Do

This is a short list of what I am doing in 2016. You can make a similar plan based on your own personal or business goals.
1. Produce daily content (written, audio, video, images, etc). Divide the work and conquer. Each team member plays to your strengths. #TeamWork
– 3 Blog posts per week
– 2 Podcasts per week
– 2 YouTube Videos per week
– 2 to 4 social media post daily
 
2. Focus on good design on The Art of Travel blog from day one. Further improve the design on The Naked Soul blog.
  
3. Spend money where it really, really matters. If there is a creative way to solve a problem, as a rule, DO NOT SPEND money. Exercise creativity. Having money actually harms your long term survival in the game. Without money, you are forced to make smarter decisions.
  
4. Figure out ways to monetize the blogs and business to make it self-sustainable. The blog should be able to pay for itself.
  
5. Find and make use of college students as volunteers. (for Content creation)
  
6. Focus on building quality back links to both blogs. Grow blog traffic to 100,000 monthly.
  
7. Check both blogs and each social media platforms daily. No downtown and no broken links.
  
8. Finish and publish my next sets of books. Do not just leave it. Be aggressive about it.
  
9. Get each social platforms to 100K range using creative ways (and not with money power). Advertisements bought from money doesn’t last long.
  
10. Do team brainstorming on weekly basis. Exchange ideas and then execute them one at a time.
  
11. Let’s become the industry leader in my respective niches. Let’s narrow down our competitors and keep a close eye on them.
  
12. Fix the descriptions, tags and SEO on YouTube. Fix the cover pictures. Do a complete audit of each YouTube channels and video.
  
13. Do a complete audit of the Naked Soul blog. (Find and fix broken links, messed up texts, errors and typos, and anything that is not at par premium quality)
  
14. Apply all new tools and techniques learned from the QuickSprout blog. 
  
15. Get The Naked Soul book to have 100+ reviews on the Amazon. Simultaneously, plan on receiving 25+ reviews upon launch of on my second book.

Cancer In Family: Caring For A Family Member & What Does It Mean For You

Introduction

During these coming months, I’ll be publishing short chapters on Cancer and my experience of caring for a family member and what does it mean for you here on The Naked Soul blog. I am documenting my day to day experiences as my dad has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer (“squamous cell carcinoma”). I hope this is my first and last experience with anyone with cancer in my family.

Cancer, you really suck. Please leave my family alone.”

 

Chapter 1

The letter C immediately paints the picture of the letter D. Cancer. Death. It is not cancer or pain of chemotherapy that the patient and family member fears, it’s the inevitable, the ticking clock of time and life that frighten us the most. Cancer is a tough battle where you need a whole army. Currently, we are four people caring for my dad full-time. There are emergencies, there are good moments and there are really down times including depression, tears, anger, denial, misery, fear, pain and hope.

If there was a conclusive proof for the afterlife, death would not frighten us anymore. But, even with firm belief in having a good afterlife, cancer is feared more than death itself.

What would you do if you are suddenly told you have just one year? (And you are not even strong and healthy enough to leave the bed.) What would you do?

 

The Believe in the Science
All diseases are treatable and curable. All stages of diseases are treatable and curable. The first step towards having a universal healthcare is to believe that optimal health is achievable for everyone.

If a cancer has grown into a big tumor and has spread into nearby or far organs, it is still treatable.

Think about for a moment: what kills a person with cancer? How can we prevent it from happening. What do we need to do here? What is preventing us from taking and executing the necessary steps.

For example, if the problem is we cannot perform surgery for a tumor that is near to a major blood vessel. Is it due to the fact that we do not have surgical precision or if we rupture a major blood vessel, we do not know how to fix them? May be both and then some more.

Irrespective of the number and severity of the challenges my point is every difficult steps can be identified, listed, and discussed. What we need is finding new solutions and testing them.

Day 1
My father was feeling stomach pain. He had recently visited Gaya and was suspecting something is wrong. He was feeling feverish. He fell sick and the local doctor suspected my dad has Typhoid. After doing some examinations they prescribed him two weeks of typhoid medication.

 

Day 14

Dad was still having high fevers, low platelets counts and was extremely weak. He has lost a lot of weight (mostly muscles), his ribs were showing up, his thighs became slimmer, his back was hurting real bad.

Upon noticing that my dad’s condition is not getting better, my family decided to take him to another doctor.

On second opinion, we took dad to The Mission Specialty Hospital in Durgapur. They found severe Dengu infection and admitted my dad. 

The infection has spread to his liver, small and large intestine. Dad stayed in the Mission Hospital for next eight days and was also treated for stomach ulcers. His WBC counts were 21,000 and went up as high as 29,000. Things were not looking good.

But, he got better and was discharged. During this time, all kinds of tests were run and X-rays was done, CT scan was done and MRI was done. Nothing suspicious, nothing more than a bad infection that can be treated completely in no time.

Cancer In Family

The Long Diagnosis
Dad came home with his follow up appointments scheduled at Mission. He was still weak but able to eat and talk. His back pain was still persistent. His appetite was poor, having severe constipation, and his overall health was not improving even after the treatment and medicine given at Mission.

One night he got the high fever and his health and energy level plummeted to the extreme bottom. He was not doing well and we did not know “why?” No one knew.

This was tome to take home to an even bigger hospital. My brother, one of my uncle (dad’s younger brother) and one of my cousin immediately took dad to Kolkata. From Kolkata, my brother, uncle, and dad flew to Chennai. They were rushing to CMC Vellore. 

This is when I got serious and started to intuitively feel something is wrong with my dad’s diagnosis. I told Neha (my finance), I have bad feelings about Cancer and I don’t know why but from past 2-3 weeks I have been reading, researching and watching documentaries on Cancer.

It’s weird, I know, but I was having precognition about my dad’s real condition.

Chapter 2
Day 41 (January 29, 2016)
I arrived Banglore at 3:55 am on Friday morning. I took Vayu Vjra express bus to Majestic interstate bus terminal at 4 am and reached there at 5 am.. Once There i I took a second bus to the satellite station.

I took another bus to Vellore bus stand for Rs. 152. From there I took an Auto for Rs. 70. I was received by my cousin and he took me to the lodge where they were staying. The lodge provides the bare minimum. The hygiene was acceptable but with open questions.

I came to hospital to see Dad at 1 pm. We were expecting to meet the cancer specialist doctor at 2 pm. He was supposed to go over the stomach biopsy diagnostic results.

Day 42 (January 30, 2016)
I woke up at 5 in the morning and got fresh. I believe due to jet lag my sleep was ended early. I briefly talked with my brother and then left for the hospital.

It was still dark and I went on a walk on the main road looking for other lodging options, particularly looking for lodges with kitchen.

I was also looking for shops or medical stores where I could buy paper rolls, plates, and cups. After a brief walk, I entered CMC campus and took a brief inside tour to familiarize myself with various buildings and units such as the blood bank, OPD, Radiology, and Scan building, etc.

During this morning our I noticed women praying in the chapel and at an outdoor candlelit stone vigil.

I turned back and came to the W ward where my dad was. I gave Rs. 200 to the overnight caregiving lady (Aaya) and she asked for some morning tea allowance. So I gave her another 10 rupees.

Here the hospital only allowed the female companions or caregiver to stay overnight the patients. For male visitors and family members, the maximum allowance is 2 person at each time and from 6 am – 9 pm. The male family members can stay outside the ward, near elevators for the night if they chose so.

It’s clear to me by now that it would make sense to bring mom here. Or someone who can be dedicated to the task of healthy cooking.

But there was another problem with this arrangement. My mom has the bad knee problem so if we bring her here, we will have to first fix the basics.

The basics of caregiving are so backward and risky here. Everyone who is looking over a patient relative are themselves having a poor diet, poor lodging condition, poor personal hygiene and poor behavioral habits when caring for the patients. For example, not using the antibacterial hand soap before feeding a patient.

So I made this list of items that I thought we need to increase our safeguard against infections, other diseases and to protect ourselves and our dad.

Paper cups, plates, spoons, knives, Plastic Food Wrapper, Aluminum Foil, Straw, RO Water filter, Juicer, Napkins, Kitchen roll, Toilet roll, Shampoo, Skin moisturizer, Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, Writing pad, Vomit bag (lunch bags), plastic bags, face tissue, Wipe (wet) tissue.

Then we need to cook our own meals. Currently, we are buying food outside and feeding our dad and also eating ourselves. The food outside is street dhabas. It’s just hard to digest to see what I am seeing. I want to save my dad and I want to my family to be healthy. This was hard.

I knew I need to buy fresh fruits, make juices at home, start meal prepping, buy basic Cooking utensils and buy one smart Phone here with SIM card and iPad for entertainment.

Next, I need to find each of these items.

Chapter 3
Jan 30 continues

At 8 am the hospital did a routine blood test. Only one tube of blood (? ml) was taken. But it clicked my mind that with one tube of blood taken each day and with difficulty eating, he will no doubt have fatigue and low energy. He needs a good, nutritious diet every hour to make up for the lack of food and ongoing blood tests.

The chief oncologist came to visit my dad at 10:30 am. Afterwards, he met with me and my brother. The doctor started by saying, “it’s a stage IV cancer because it has spread to all over bones and into the lymph nodes.”

He continued, “there is no cure for this and gastrointestinal cancers are not the good kind of cancers because they do not respond well to chemo unlike some other forms of cancers such as breast or lungs.”

The doctor explained his plan which was to begin chemo on Monday every week. They wanted to do small chemo doses which have fewer side effects and the benefits are the same of large chemo dose.

We went over some of the questions we had and got some answers none of which was very good (what we were hoping for in terms of treatment and prognosis options).

1. What is the primary cancer? The primary cancer is stomach cancer. (Squamous cell carcinoma?)

2. How far has it spread? It has spread into bones (all over) and into lymph nodes. (How far into the lymph node?)

3. Which stage? Stage IV

4. What is the current prognosis? As the data shows.

5. Can you do stomach surgery? No, not now, not later. The cancer has spread to distant parts. The stomach cancer doesn’t respond very well to chemo. Surgery is not an option.

6. Can chemo be done along with radiation? Radiation is done to alleviate pain (it’s neither part of the treatment nor cure)

7. Can surgery be performed after chemo/radiation? No, due to the reasons mentioned above.

8. Is the cause bacteria or genetic mutation or environmental or food? We can’t say. This cancer could be caused by any number of reasons or a combination of reasons. The growth must be going on for years without any warning symptoms. That’s the nature of this disease. But it may not be genetic (caused by a particular hereditary genetic mutation) as in those cases cancer show up earlier in age.

For example in the 40s and 50s. But since your dad’s age is almost 60, it seems more like old age cancer.

9. If all treatments go well, what would be the new prognosis? As long as the chemo controls the cancer tumor growth. But eventually, the cancer growth will overtake chemo.

10. Has cancer spread into bone marrow? Yes.

11. How far into Bones? All over. Every bone has bone marrow and the cancer is showing everywhere in the bones.

Our time with the oncologist in the Infectious Diseases (Ward W – West) hallway left me with more questions than what I had before.

1. How much of stomach has the cancerous tumor? Do we know the source location? Or are there multiple source points in the stomach?

2. How far has cancer spread into lymph nodes?

3. Can a DNA testing be performed on his cancer cell and on his normal cells? (To compare and find out the exact mutations)

4. You mentioned earlier, the bone marrow looks sickle cell. Is it anemia alongside cancer? Is he having two separate issues? Why are the cells sickle shape? Could that be the reason he is feeling fatigued? What can we do?

5. Immunotherapy? Is that an option here?

6. Have you tested for H. Pylori bacteria?

(and many more to come)

I definitely need to do more research now. I also felt we need to take a second opinion. I had my gut telling me that CMC is not offering my father anything more than palliative care. And yes, we need that. I am all for my dad’s care and I want him to feel better. But that’s not all. And that’s not all, he doesn’t want that. He wants to live. He is fighting. He wants to care for my mom and he wants to be out of the hospital, healthy and functioning.

 

Chapter 4 (January 31, 2016)

My mom and younger uncle will reach here on Tuesday. She is also looking for a full-time cook to bring with her. It’s great news.

For next two days, we will be still buying food from outside. We will be taking precautions with what we are eating ourself or buying for dad.

Earlier today, two of my brothers went to look for a better, cleaner, bigger lodge with kitchen and phone network. We have been here without the internet at both the hospital and at the lodge.

We have found it to be very hard to not have internet because while you are in the hospital, you want to research something. There are always questions in your mind. And no one can give you the answers. The patients are too many and the doctors are far and few. Internet access is your only hope of catching up with the information overload and learning more about various treatment options and its success rate and/or side effects.

Meanwhile, Neha found out that blood group A is shown related with stomach cancer. My dad, my brother and I, all three of us have A+ blood group.

My friend Alam asked me to get a second opinion. His father was diagnosed with early-stage Colon cancer and was completely treated at Tata Memorial Hospital.

He said, “I talked to my father. He told to get the report (Particularly of the biopsy). Also, in addition to the reports of biopsy, ask them to give the slides too. Press for it or they won’t. Without the slides, the report of biopsy will not be accepted at other hospitals. So, be very adamant that you need the slides too.”

It is common that cancer is a team-based treatment. Based on the biopsy report and what kind of Cancer is present, there are experts and its decided by the panel of the doctors at any particular hospital.

The ward nurse confirmed that the new bed is ready. The attending doctors came to see Dad. I brought up the question of if there will be a mini refrigerator in the new room. They mentioned that there are few room options and rates vary so check with the ward nurse.

Dad heard the conversation and asked me how much is the room cost? I said, Rs. 3050/day for double occupancy, Rs. 5500/day for single and Rs. 10,000/day for corner single room with refrigerator, phone, and other amnesties.

Dad looked in unease. His face was clearly showing he was feeling worried.

“It’s very expensive. How will we afford?”

“It’s not much. We can afford.”

“But if you add up for a month, it’s a big amount.”

And immediately he started sobbing. My Phupha and I began to convince him that it’s not a lot of money and it is well within our financial hold. We can take care of it. You have to just focus on your treatment. Focus on eating, focus on getting well faster, focus on getting discharged soon.

By this time both of my brothers arrived and they saw dad crying. They asked what happened? I said papa is taking stress about money.

They chipped in and repeated the same words. The treatment is well within our capacity and we are all in it. Don’t worry. But my dad was still feeling the pain. I could understand his emotions.

His main concern which remained unvoiced and only came out as tears were all my life I worked hard to provide for my family and I am going to spend all of that money on my own treatment which I had patiently saved for my family. This is painful.

What can a man do? What must a man do? Will you leave your wife and partner for life behind, alone? Or, will you give up the will to live? It’s a bitter and painfully frustrating situation to be. I could feel dad’s heart. I felt his tears. And there was nothing I could do at the time but I knew exactly what to do when the opportunity arrives.

The head nurse came in and said the bed is ready. Pisa fed one banana to dad. The wheelchair was ready and an attendant was present to help transfer my dad.

We helped dad to get on the wheelchair and began to walk towards 713A. The 7th floor in the A Ward hosts all cancer patients. Dad got bed A in room 713.

The room had TV and AC. The bathroom was cleaner and bigger than the previous ward. In fact much cleaner.

The new room had another leukemia patient, a ten-year-old boy. The boy’s grandmother was with him.

He was admitted after he suddenly fell sick and doctors found out that his body is not making blood. The doctors in Patna city where he was admitted referred him to immediately go to Delhi or Mumbai. His family decided to bring him to CMC.

The boy despite his tender age explained his experience with chemotherapy. My brother showed my dad to look at the little kid who is full with energy and is talking with excitement.

My dad found his strength from looking at this kid.

The following hours passed slowly. In late afternoon all three brothers, we went out to look for apartments to rent for a couple of months.

We finally found a place with decent size room with attached kitchen and bathroom.

While waiting for the elevator my brother peeped a few times inside an open room. The group of people seemed to be from our hometown. They were curious too and they invited us inside.

We gladly accepted their invitation and asked if we can take a look. They said, sure take a walk around and answered of our questions. They offered us thekwa to eat and when we inquired told us that his dad has lower body paralysis and that’s why they are here.

In past few days that I have been here in Vellore I have seen and talked to so many sick people that my heart lives in my mouth now and my heart weeps its bitter tears inside my hurting mind.

At 9:30 pm we reached our lodge and 2016 star movies award was playing on TV. I was lying down on bed along with Pisa and my cousin. My brother was arranging his bed on the ground.

My cousin said, I want to ask one thing. Is that okay?

I said, “yeah, sure!”

He said, “I want to ask you why you did love marriage?”

I replied, “not marriage. We are engaged.”

He said, “yes, engagement and (and I mean) marrying later. So why did you do that? Our family did not expect this from you.”

He continued, “how much hurt it has caused to all family members. I am not saying love marriage is right or wrong but I think people who do love marriage are selfish!”

I said, hell no. You are married with two small daughters and you still talk and think about other younger girls and even about the doctors and nurses in the hospital.

I was thinking to myself, his mindset is sick. For him family matters big time yet his wife deserves very little of his respect. He doesn’t even love her. He is confusing his husband and fatherly duty with love. This is fucked up.

I continued, “that is because you have never known, felt or understood love. I thought inside my mind. Stop fucking judging. You are causing extremely emotional distress.”

I was feeling extremely hurt insure and thinking dad is dying. He is feeling depressed. He cries. He is in bad bad situation. And what is he taking about right now! I could not sleep for hours and kept thinking. How much I hate these kind of people. If my dad was not here and if he was not here to help, I would block this kind of people out of my life.

I am going through extremely turbulent roller coarser every hour. Every hour is some sort of emergency. And feeling you are not able to do anything, feeling you are dependent of people who talks bullshit about you, those who doesn’t  understand what care means. I am not able to do it. It’s hard to handle.

 

Chapter 5 (Feb 1, 2016)
I woke up at 6, an hour later than my usual wake up time. During early morning hours, I was still feeling hurt and dreaming about the words that my cousin had said last night. This combined with the feeling of what is going to happen to my dad was taking its toll. But I had to let it go and get up and get to work.

I got fresh and went to buy coconut water. I asked the price and then said give two coconut water to me. The guy did not understand me and gave me four. I gave him Rs. 150 for four of them at Rs. 30/coconut. He was supposed to return me Rs. 30. The other guy standing there asked the vendor to give me 30 but he refused. He was cutting 5th one to take my 150. I refused. He resisted and was persistent on giving me the 5 coconut for Rs. 150.

I was already frustrated with my experience with them. I ordered two and take gave me four. And now they were trying to forcefully sell me five. After some brief argument and with the help of another vendor I got Rs.30 back. I headed towards dad’s ward.

I reached his room at 6:30 am and he was sleeping. I asked the Aaya if he had any food or gone to bathroom. She said she gave water and took him to bathroom once last night. She said the other lady has been washing cloths in bathroom since last 45 min. She seemed frustrated and annoyed. I could understand, she was not able go do her job and she wanted to provide care.

I released her and gave her payments. After she left I asked my dad if would like to eat. I gave him one organic banana and ate one with him. Then I gave him the fresh coconut water that I had brought. He said, this coconut water tastes fresh. I said, yes, I just got them. Next time, we will try to but immediately before drinking. Storing coconut water takes away its taste of freshness.

After my dad settled down, I texted Neha and vented about my situation and feeling of inadequacy. She tried to comfort me with her best but there was just too much happening. The events were developing fast.

A physician attended came to our room and started asking questions on medicines and current situations. She was extremely unprofessional, impatient and a bitch. She was telling if we want to stay here or take my dad home. She was talking loudly in front dad and said, his stage is incurable and therefore after few rounds of chemo we should continue at a place near us.

The attending physician visited my father around 2 pm and a nurse brought all the new medicines as well as the chemo drug Taxol.

They had my dad sign a waiver and explained you are going to go under chemotherapy.

My brother gave bath to our dad and chased him in new cloths. All of us encouraged my dad that he has to eat now. The doctor also said him to eat until you vomit. If you feel like vomiting, still eat. If you vomit, no problem, we will take care of it. But your only job under chemo is to eat well. So just focus on eating. Eat, eat, eat whether you feel like eating or not.

Starting at 3:30 pm the nurses started to give him anti-allergy and other preparatory meds to him. Everything was now given intravenously through a site in his right hand.

At 4:10 his first chemo was administered. Since his pain medication was over the nurse had to give him shot of tramadol painkiller. My dad took his entire first chemo under sleep. We were closely monitoring him and the first session went by without any adverse effects. Perhaps, besides a little bit of itchy feeling that we observed when we woke him up briefly to check on him.

He was hit hard by two drugs causing his state and we let him sleep until almost 8 pm.

At 8 the hospital dinner arrived. We have requested for it for next few days until we found a place to take him and be able to cook.

We woke him up and he ate better than previous nights. We were very happy. He had some rice, beans, curd, and some vegetables. He took his meds after his meal and also has one cup of milk. All very good.

 

The Glitch in the System
At 8:30 pm my brother and I began to feel concerned when we found out that our Aaya has not arrived yet. The aayas are assigned between 7-8 pm only. It was getting late and there was no sign of her. I went to front desk where all nursing staffs sit and inquired about the situation. She first suspected that we have not requested an aaya for tonight. I said, yes, we did request. And my dad had his first chemo today and he cannot walk on his own so there is no way that there can’t be an attendant or someone to look over my dad during night time. Hell no.

I returned to our ward and asked my brother if he had truly filled the aaya request form. He confirmed that he did and so we both went to front desk. By this time the staff nurse has done some inquiry and digging and it was true that we have made a request and somehow the nurse who was supposed to deposit the form and make a request forgot or missed to do it. It was clearly on CMC.

The staff nurse called her supervisor if one of the make relatives can stay overnight in our case and the supervisor gave her a firm “no”. There was no way her supervisor would allow a male attendant to stay overnight and there was no way we were leaving dad alone for the night.

After some thinking, walking, and brainstorming, the staff nurse came to our ward and said, okay one of you can stay but please don’t tell anyone or I will be in trouble. We said, OK no problem, and we don’t want you or the nurse who missed to request for an aaya to get in any trouble. We just want to be here with our father.

 

The Dirty Village
I returned home around 9:30 pm and went out to eat with my cousin and pisa. I was feeling cold like symptoms. I was feeling little feverish, body pain and beck of my right knee was hurting. My temperature seemed a little higher, breath was coming out a little hotter, all flu like symptoms. I guess just eating outside for past 4 days put me down with cold.

Nevertheless I reluctantly ordered two chapatis and egg curry for dinner. Every time I had to eat outside I absolutely hated it. I was literally surrounded by thousands of of ill people and their relative all the time when I was out in the street or while eating at a dhaba. Eating outside meant inviting sickness home with open eyes. I began to mentally count when we will get a place where we we will be able to cook our own food.

 

The Evil of Having No Understanding
It was time to go home. Three of us got back and I quickly washed my hands, feet, and face and began to arrange my thin mattress on the floor while my cousin and Pisa took the bed where they were lying down and watching TV. I tried to sleep to my best and with all the lights and noise it was hard. Every night for the past four nights I hated the TV watching habits of my relatives.

But it was not all. This time both my cousin and Phupha asked me when is your wedding? I said there is no wedding. (Papa is fighting with gastric cancer). We have canceled and postponed everything for the indefinite time. So I don’t know. I will see.

Phupha asked I will find a girl for you. I must be invited in your wedding and I am not going to the U.S to attend your wedding.

My cousin intervened and asked our Phupha, “what if Salil will do wedding and reception in India.”

Phupha replied, “no, no, from my heart, I don’t want to attend your wedding if you are marrying this girl.”

He asked me is it okay if I find someone for you. An engineer girl,  a doctor girl, beautiful girl, whatever is your criteria.

I said, “NO, I can’t say yes to you.”

I was feeling extremely annoyed and angry by this time. I wanted to cut off the topic right there, so I turned to my side and parented to sleep.

But my cousin and phupha were still full of gas and there was still a lot of fuel to burn. Phupha continued that Dad has cryingly told him one day about his disappointment about my relationship and the choice of girl who I love and want to be with.

I knew perfectly well that he is taking bullshit and there was nothing I could say. I was brimming with anger. This is not the time to talk silly and this is not a good occasion to speak anything unkind or false about my dad.

I would have almost shouted and left the room and stayed somewhere else for the night and would have talked to my dad, brother and mom to let go of all these negative people. I wanted no negativity anywhere near us when we all are trying to fight cancer.

I was convinced at this point that none of these people have any clue about the gravity of the situation. Because no one has fucking taken the time to truly listen to the doctors or read the reports. They are happily watching TV where every second is critical in finding out about how we could seek a second opinion, where to take our dad, what kind of pain cancer patients feel and how long can this treatment last. What are the side effects? How can we minimize the side effects?

These and hundreds of other questions are screaming for an answer and we are all running with time. We have to run faster or we will be left behind in pain. 

But unfortunately, this was not the end of this night. My cousin and phupha continued to push, poke and spit bitter words for next 30 min while I kept lying sideways listening and staring on the empty wall.

They said:

“My dad has been hit by my actions.”

“He is broken because of his son’s action and pressure from society.”

“Break your engagement and allow us to find someone for you.”

“This kind of marriages will last 4-5 years maximum and when she will suck you, she will leave.”

“If you break up and marry according to our will, our family will walk with their chest up and chin high. You have hurt us all.”

“Your dad will jump up and sit up immediately if you would tell him that you will marry according to family choice and wishes.”

“You have brought down the family and we are not in support of your action. (Your marriage will not work.) we are trying to help you because we care for you and love you.”

“I have just said what is in my heart but now it is up to you to decide afar ever you want to do.”

“We are not happy about your decision and engagement. No one is. People are not saying but no one is happy.”

The fan was running in high speed and I continued to look sideways towards an empty wall, keeping quiet. All this time they both failed to notice that I have caught a cold.

They continued to watch TV and I remember staying annoyed for some time due to the TV volume but I managed to fall to sleep while the tube light was still on.

 

The Next Morning
I woke up suddenly in the morning. I checked my phone and it was 4 am. I went to the toilet and sat down and began writing this chapter.

As I am finished with yesterday’s event and it’s already 5 am now. I am going to get fresh and would head directly to the hospital where my brother is. I am thinking of sharing some of it with him but since he is under the tremendous amount of pressure himself, I am debating if I should or should not. Maybe I will not. Not right now. I am going to talk to Neha. I need her here.

(to be continued…)

9 Quotes On Love, Travel, Life, and More

In this blog, I am simply sharing some of the quotes from The Naked Soul. Read, think, ponder, enjoy and share with your friends.

Somethings can’t be bought, bribed or stolen. Either you find it or it finds you.

 

I was once small, now my soul is grand. I was once blind, now my eyes have seen it all. I was once lost, now I know many paths that lead to light. I was once unhappy, now I am busy saying “no” to many interesting things. All because one day I started to travel.

 

I love New York City. Walking down the Park Avenue I could not help but think about economy, globalization, wealth inequality, immigration, religious extremism, opportunities for middle class, healthcare for every human being, education for every human and all the issues that are shaping our global politics… This morning as I was wondering while looking down from my 17th floor from ROW…. yes, the issue is “everything is here but love is mussing”. Therefore peace is mussing, personal satisfaction is missing, selfless charity is missing. Will you help in changing it? Will you take the trouble of thinking hard?

 

Writing a little every day or atleast once a week journal what you did, how you felt, what you learned, what you want to change, etc. Anything. Writing is not just for writers. You would not say music is just for musician. No. Music is for everyone. So is writing. So is a journal. So is a small, little private diary. Write, because your life literally depends on it.

 

In this age when being an observer is associated with cool, it is good to remind ourselves that being a partaker is cooler.

 

Making all those around me turn into a voice of passion for life. A harmony, an orchestra, a symphony of love, hopes, and dreams. I am burning my candles hard and on both ends to make the path brighter for all those who seek healing and love. You belong here. Without any label, you don’t need one. Your existence is enough. You belong. We all belong. Be naked with your own truths. Hide nothing, speak for yourself and speak the truth. There is nothing on the other side of fear. You belong here. I love you and accept you just as you are.

 

The fish in the water that is thirsty is either not breathing or drinking. Think about it.

 

Today tell a stranger “hello” and smile. Help someone unknown to you. When you give, you feel most happy! Try it as an experiment and test it for yourself.

 

 

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club. Subscribe your email now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Sign up now and stay in the touch! What do you think about my poetry marketing approach? 

Which one is your favorite quote from December? If you want to add your interpretation or explanation to these quotes, please feel free to add in the comments below.

Metamorphosis, Transformation, and The Power of Positive Change

Why do we hate change but buy transformation? Why we hate building new habits but love new year resolutions?

The problem is in the hook (the promise, the proposed solution, the value add). Our mind translates these words differently. What do I mean by “our mind thinks of these words differently?”

Let’s take a look. This is going to be a philosophical post. And, I am going to offer some practical advise on positive habit building in the end. There is power in building and cultivating good habits. Using high-performance habits we can achieve significant goals which otherwise may seem elusive.

Good habits lie behind making positive changes. We are more likely to achieve worthwhile goals if we have taken the time to build good habits part of our everyday routine. And, all of this means: Change.

“A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.”

 

~ Erasmus 

 

Metamorphosis & Transformation 

What do you imagine or think when you hear the word “transformation”? “Transformation” or “breakthrough” is seen as something magical. We unconsciously believe some divine power or some external agent of change will take us from point A to point B.

We want to quit a bad habit and we secretly wish for a magical moment where we are suddenly transformed without pain. Transformation is metamorphosis to us. We unconsciously believe or secretly wish that a major change just happens in due time.

But that’s not correct. It is a faulty conditioning. And, we need to break free from this erroneous belief.

Metamorphosis of Narcissus by Dali. (According to Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. The gods immortalized him as a flower (as seen in the second image). This is one example of philosophical take on “instant transformation” through divine intervention.)
At an unconscious level — we humans (all of us) hate change (including positive change which leads to positive self-growth). What does the sound of word “change” makes you feel?
Truth be told, “change” means discomfort, resistance, sacrifice, giving up your present way of life. Since self-growth, breakthrough and transformation — they all means positive change, our brain thinks of these words as welcoming because they convey a sense of salvation from our difficult or stagnant situations.
But no transformation occurs without first building new habits and breaking the old ones. It is the “positive changes” that lead to massive self-growth and transformation. Change is good. We don’t have to fear it. Change is what makes metamorphosis work its wonder. 
The word “metamorphosis” derives from Greek which means “transformation. The word is made up of two parts: from “meta”, meaning “change” and “morphe”, meaning “form”. Change in form. Or, change in constitution.

In biology (and nature), metamorphosis is a process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation.

There is no metamorphosis without a change of habitat or habit. Notice the two key components required for the transformation: Habitat and Habit.

Habitat (The Environmental Change)

Positive association (family, friends, colleagues)

Positive books (inspirational and deep)

Positive movies and films (relevant and impactful)

Healthy eating (to empower the body and mind)

Fitness conscious lifestyle (to take charge of your body)

Habits (The Behavioral Change)

The attitude of gratitude

The attitude of perseverance

The attitude of daily-growth

The attitude of faith

The attitude of humility

Create something good

 “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

Power of Positive Change

Top 3 Tips on How to Build Good, Positive Habits

1. Macro and Micro Goals

Create “goals” that fit the vision and values of your true self. Where do you want to eventually go? That’s your vision. What steps you may have to take to reach there, that’s your macro-goal.

To achieve each macro-goal, what smaller goals you first much achieve, that’s your micro-goal. What do you need to do “every day” to achieve your micro-goal, that’s your daily “to-do-tasks”.

This should be your first step. Create a daily, to-do-list.

Read: My morning ritual and daily checklists for success and super-human productivity.

“The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.”

 

~ Feodor Dostoevsky

2. Plan for Behavioral Change

Start with positive visualization, affirmations and incorporating small mindfulness practice in your daily life. Spend some time each day to talk to yourself. Self-talk is essential for “reflection.”

You have to think what did you achieve today? Did you make any impact on the world today? Were your activities significant enough to turn your life towards a higher purpose or goal?

Ask and answer these questions when you ponder about what new habits you want to build.

“Where evil habits are once settled, they are more easily broken than mended.”

 

~ Marcus Fabius Quintilian

3. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

You want a new habit to form with minimal willpower on your part. But, a new habit creation takes a lot of willpower. Have you wondered why?

Let me tell you a secret today which will save you heartache and tons of wasted hours. When building a new habit, focus on one positive habit at a time. Do not focus on elimination yet.

You have 24 hours in a day and you already have a fixed lifestyle. Now, you are trying to add something new to your daily routine. How do you do that? Where will you find the time?  The key is, do the new habit the first thing in the morning or the first thing whenever you have “that free time (whenever that is)”. 

When it comes to habit formation early repetition is the key. You have to be consistent for a month or 3 months. Consistency is the key. And, as you gently settle into the new habit, you’ll find yourself automatically drop an old, unhelpful habit.

For example, you want to add “book reading” as a new positive habit in your lifestyle. Say currently, you are watching Game of Thrones or House of Card or some other popular TV show. So, my advice to you is: keep watching. Yes, keep watching the TV.

Listen. Read a book for 10 minutes before or after your TV show. The TV series will end in some time but your new book reading habit will stick and grow over time.

There are millions of great books out there and you’ll never run out of them. Once, you start including a new habit in your daily routine the key is to not force anything out of your life but to push good things into your daily living.

As the good thing grows in your life, the unproductive habits will automatically be pushed out of your day.

Stages of change

“An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.”

 

~ W. Somerset Maugham 

Top 7 Tips on How to Make New Habits Stick

1. Focus on Adding Not Subtracting

Behavior change is hard because we’re creatures of habit. To make a change in our behavior means we’re adding something and subtracting something. Habit formation is a two-way lane.

The mistake most people make is they focus on both lanes at the same time. For example, to lose weight, most people will start going to the gym and stop eating fries and ice-cream.

The problem is every task requires some degree of willpower (mental energy and decision making). If you try to resist ice-cream and at the same time, workout for 60 minutes sweating and feeling fatigued, you are bound to fail within a week.

My suggestion (which may sound counter-intuitive) is to focus on one. If you have time and you like the idea of going to the gym, go eat some ice-cream first and hit the gym.

Begin the journey. There is no hurry. Next, keep going to the gym. Focus on going to the gym routine. As you work harder on your body and realize how much effort it is to burn 1 pound of fat, your intrinsic desire to ice-cream and fries will automatically die or fade away.

This is a well-known fact to those who have been there but you won’t find the so-called experts talk about this. Why? Because most of these experts are not going to the gym. They are good at writing papers from their university lab.

Most of these “experts” have no clue how hard it is to control the desire to eat ice-cream (for dessert lovers) and how hard it is to run non-stop for 30 minutes.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

 

~ Benjamin Franklin

2. SMART

The resolution needs to be SMART.

Specific

Measurable

Actionable

Reward yourself for sticking to your habit

Track your progress

“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” — Anon

3. Ask Why?

Your “why” is the most important factor in making a new habit stick. You have to make sure that whatever it is that you are trying to do (eat more veggies, exercise daily for 30 minutes, write daily for 1 hour, etc) is something that YOU really want.

Thinking is not going to cut it. You have to “feel” your why. If there is a strong and genuine “why factor”, you won’t stop. You will try to get help from your community. And you should. You will do whatever it takes. And you should.

Don’t try to form a new habit just for the name or thrill of it. If there is a peer group available, join one. If there is no support group, create one. Even if you have just one more partner, you can keep each other accountable.

Having an accountability partner means, you are going to stick with it even if the going gets tough.

“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.” — Confucius

4. Write it Down and Know the Benefits

Write down your new habit and your plan on a piece of paper with a timeline on it. Writing makes your ideas more clear and focuses you on your end result. Next, write down all the benefits that you will reap after making the change.

Get books and research on how your new habit will benefit you and your lifestyle or your bank balance or your social status.

“Cultivate only the habits that you are willing should master you.”

 

~ Elbert Hubbard 

5. Allocate Time

Block out a regular time for your new habit in your schedule so that you can give your positive habit your undivided attention. I use a daily to-do list and keep it on my phone. I make sure I have check out every single item on my list before I go to bed.

“The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

 

~ Samuel Johnson

6. Reflect on Your Progress

Take time to reflect on how your new habit is serving you. Are you following through or failing? If you are not doing as good as you would like, ask yourself “why?” Adjust your goals and plan accordingly. If you are fairing well, don’t overestimate your capacity and increase your goals or expectation until the new habit has become part of your being.  You can do the reflection exercise when you do your creative visualization or daily affirmations.

 

7. Find Powerful Motivation Factor

To make new habit stick you have to exercise self-discipline, atleast in the beginning and until a new habit has fully formed. One way to strengthen your self-discipline and commitment to persevere is to create a Treasure Map or a Vision Board.

A vision board can be a simple collage or visual representation of what you want to achieve. It can be created as a secret treasure hunt map. Your map is your journey to significance and success. It outlines what you are going to have at the end of your adventurous journey.

The impact you are going to make on this world. The influence you are going to exercise while serving others. It is your mission written in pictures.

This last step is the most crucial because a vision board or treasure map will constantly remind you why your new positive habit is so important to you.

Looking at your board can be just what you need to feel motivated on days when your enthusiasm is fading and your mood low.

A pleasant life

 

Where To Start?

Perhaps, start here. In 1726, at age 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. In his autobiography, Franklin listed his 13 virtues as:

The Thirteen Virtues

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6. Effective and Efficiency: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

 

You can pick any one of these virtues and identify positive habits that you can build around them. Or, better yet, create your own list of virtues and positive habits and then start on the top of the list and move downwards one by one.

After all, there is no limit to self-growth and personal development. Only you decide where and when you stop growing.

My last words: Don’t stop growing.

After the transformation: a fully grown butterfly in all its glory.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Sign up now and stay in the touch! What do you think about my poetry marketing approach? 

What do you think about habit formation? Do you differentiate between transformation and change? Please leave your thoughts and input in the Comments below.

The Ultimate Guide On How To Market & Monetize A Poetry Collection

The Ultimate Guide for All Poets Looking to Promote Their Poetry CollectionI am a writer and a bestselling poet. However, writing is only part of my passion. The other part is creating an effective brand that adds value to the society. I make videos, engage in public speaking and offer one-on-one consultation. Building an author brand is more than just writing.

Today, I want to focus on how can you monetize your writing of poetry online? This is part 5 of an 8-part series on book promotion and marketing.


Older posts (2000+ words long and detailed)

Read part 1: How I Am Marketing My Self Published Poetry Book | Book Marketing and Promotion Plan for Poetry and Fiction

Read Part 2How I Am Going To Grow My Author’s Platform| How To Find Your First 1000 True Fans

Read Part 3: How to Make Money Online (eBooks, Blogs, Podcasts & YouTube) | A Business Model That Works

Read Part 4: Platform Building: Where & How to Spend Your Time & Energy? Promote Your Brand The Right Way


How To Market A Poetry Collection

Let’s begin, shall we?

I am going to outline what I’ve gone through to promote my debut full-length collection of poetry, “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems”, published by The Naked Soul Press. Professional and amateur poets can monetize their poetry both online and offline. And if writing is your bread and butter, you should. You have to.

Very few poets ever live off the proceeds from their work. Most poets, even the most widely published, hold other jobs (such as teaching, lecturing, speaking) to pay the bills. That said, it is still a great idea to market your poetry book.

Marketing your poetry can help give your poetry recognition and appreciation from the wider public. In addition, for most poets, any money earned from the sales of books is appreciated even if it doesn’t pay all the bills. It certainly helps.

I am going to outline 22 steps that I have used to effectively build a brand around The Naked Soul. These steps (when combined together) have helped me monetize my writing and grow my author platform exponentially.

Everything You Need to Know on How to Monetize and Promote Your Poetry

1. Create a high traffic blog

Your goal is to cast as wide a net as possible. Your blog is your brand’s first impression. Direct traffic from everywhere (Twitter, Quora, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to your blog.

On your blog, build a relationship with your reader by enegaing with them in the comments, asking questions, offering help and free eBooks that your readers wants and need.

Blogs are great for sharing your love of poetry, and they’re great for sharing your stories. I have even created a dedicated page on my website for my quotes and poems.

Guide your blog traffic to your book’s page on Amazon or sell directly from your website/blog.

 

2. Turn your poetry into eBooks, Books, Audio

Once you publish your work, immediately create an eBook. Or, if you have published your poetry collection as an eBook, turn it into Print as well. Once you have both eBook and Printed version of your book, start work on creating an audio book.

Before you begin though, test your audio (your own voice or someone you hire) on YouTube. 

You can do so much here. You can use royalty-free music to go in the background. You can use images and short video-clips. You can do one poem per video or several. Experiment and test what resonates with your audience.

But, at the end of it all — you must have your book in all formats possible: audio, print, eBook.

 

3. Submit Poems to Both Print & Online Magazines

You can start with simply googling the magazines that matches with your genre and style of writing. Send them your poetry. This is a challenging work but doing it correctly will get you published in a reputable source and that in turn will help you with your book (and author bio) as well.

Plus, this simply adds a lot of credibility ad instant trust to your name.

Online Poetry Magazines

Research and find all online poetry magazines in your genre and published your poems for fee or free. If it is a free magazine, make sure you are getting valuable links back to your blog and other social media sites. Sometimes, poetry magazines may want to interview you and if you get such opportunities, jump on it. All these press will later help you with your next book.

 

4. Use Social Media

Post poetry on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, everywhere possible. Your goal here again is to gain exposure. The goal of social media is not to sell your book. Selling occurs when you have earned the likeness and trust of your audience.

Social followings and signals affect trust and your author image. So, focus on building your brand the right way from day one.

For example, once you have a new book coming out, you can announce about your upcoming book to your social fans. Once your book is available, you can guide the traffic to Amazon or your website. Make connections to other poets and poetry lovers on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Goodreads, etc.

When you read a poem that touches you or a short piece that moves you, try to find that writer on social media and send a friend request. It is in your best interest to know what good poets are doing, when they’re getting published, and how they promote their work.

Social media has become a great vehicle for poets to express themselves and become discovered by poetry lovers. A serious poets should use social media to find people who like good poetry. This is where you begin your platform building journey.

 

5. Email Newsletter

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTION STEP in this entire list. Start a newsletter for your fans. Email is one of the most powerful tool for marketing. I have used email newsletters to announce book launch, announce when I am doing a free giveaway, and when I publish a new blog posts.

A great email list is your best shot on success as a new author. Your goal, above all else, should be to grow your email list. More people will buy your books from your email blasts than your posts on any social media platform.  

 

6. Start a Podcast

I host The Naked Soul Talk Show (an internet radio talk show podcast) where I interview published poets and others in the literary world and provided writing, publishing and promotional advice specific to my listeners. Podcast is also great in terms of marketing since it is a less crowded medium compared to blog and other social media.

I also post my podcasts on my YouTube to find new audience. If I have a video recording of my interviews, it is a value add on YouTube because on Podcast you only listen to the talk.  Podcasts also have the advantage of being monetized if you build a large enough audience. So, start a podcast. It is a must.

 

7. Poetry Readings and Slams

Poetry books will sell if you go out and do a lot of readings wherever anyone will listen. For example, you can do poetry readings at a local library or coffee shop. You can read your poetry on a street corner with a stack of books on your side. You can participate in a poetry slam. You can even organize your own poetry reading.

“The best way to market poetry is to do live readings. Absolutely the best way. Always has been. Likely always will be.” — John Kremer, Author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book

You might check with your local bookstore or coffeehouse to see if they host readings or other poetry programming. Next, visit the National Poetry Map on www.poets.org, click on “poetry near you” to find poetry readings, conferences & literary festivals.

Browse the event listings and plan on attending. You can not only network with other poets but also learn more about poetry readings, popular and emerging poets in your region, and other events where you can share and promote your poetry.

You can find poetry slams (a poetry slam is a competition where poets read or recite original work) at www.poetryslam.com. You can join for $20 for basic membership and get information on all kinds of poetry slams.

 

8. Perform Book Reviews

Offer book review services with link back to your website and/or amazon page. You’ll also build connection with other authors and poets who in return can later turn out to be your ally during your next book launch.

One extra tip: When you write reviews, add your book in your signature. For example, I always end my (books, movies, products) reviews with, Salil Jha, bestselling author of Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems.

 

9. Book Editing

Offer book-editing services to other writers and poets. In addition to the benefit described above in #8, editing will also give you the opportunity to hone your craft of writing. Plus, your name would come in front of new readers through book’s acknowledgment page.

 

10. Participate in Literary Festivals

Plan on participating in multi-author panel discussions (search meetups in your local area), literary festivals, and other similar events. This is often neglected but this simple outreach and outgoingness can prove incredibly value to your writing journey.

 

11. Organize and Host Events at Local Libraries

This one takes some planning, prior work and networking. Your goal here is to organize and host some type of annual (or quarterly) event at your local library. You can give it some catchy name such as Writer’sJourney, WritingLife, A Good Writer Tells, etc.

The purpose and set up of the event can be also flexible and you have the complete freedom to design the event. For example, you can invite a few of the published authors from your area and have them answer questions posed by aspiring authors on writing, finding agents, publishing, self-publishing and book promotion.

You can offer poetry publishing workshops for aspiring writers and poets. You can expand the workshop by including fiction-writing, memoir-writing, poetry-publishing and book-publishing workshops as well.

 

12. Mentorship and Teaching

Offer to mentor high school or college students interested in a writing career. You can also lead and organize a monthly writing group/workshop at your local library. Combine this strategy with #11 above.

 

13. Get Interviewed by Local Newspapers

In this age of Internet and TV, newspapers still play their role. For example, the books are rated and charted on The New York Times list. Being featured in a newspaper is still a prestige and credibility issue.

Your goal is to approach all local weekly newspaper and try to publish with them or interviewed by them. Approach them several times if you are unsuccessful the first time. Once interviewed, use that interview as a PR when approaching the next one. Usually, the first one is the hardest and then it gets easier.

 

14. Approach Local Bookstores

Give a copy of your book to all the local bookstores in your area. If they like your book, they may stock and sell it on a commission basis. A lot of people who still shop for books in physical stores (and do not know have an Amazon account or interest in online book shopping) will be able to discover your work and will learn your name. This is again a great way to gain free Press.

 

15. Local coffee shops, dentist, beauty/barber, etc.

Similar to above step (#14), talk to local coffee shops to offer up book signing event. Talk to other places you visit regularly and have good relationships with to keep few copies of your book. At the least, this is free advertisement and branding for your book.

 

16. Speaking Events

There are always some big events happening and the event organizers are always on the lookout for speakers. Mostly, these events are paid and so you get paid for speaking. Search and apply to be a speaker at such events. Beyond the big events, there are local gatherings of poets at libraries, coffee shops, bookstores, retirement homes, and other locales. If you can’t find one, you can organize one (similar to #11 above).

 

17. Online Video (YouTube, etc.)

Poetry can be a powerful transformative tool if properly used with music. Music captures far more heart than simply words. Rhythmic words when put together with good music creates an unbeatable duo. On simple yet effective way to promote your poetry is through the use of videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Vines, etc.

To begin, you can take one of favorite poems and set it to music and matching pictures (or simply words) in a short video and post it on various online video sites such as YouTube. Test it out, the results may surprise you.

I used few of my poems when I made book trailers for my book launch. Check it out:

 

Other examples:

Forgetfulness (an animated video) by Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate and one of America’s best-selling poets, reading his poem.

 

The Don’t Quit Poem has had more than 4 million views.

 

18. Online Poetry Communities

Share your poetry in free online poetry communities besides social media. Comment and build relationships with other poets (similar to other networking advice given above). The more exposure your gain, the more chances you’ll secure for your book’s success.

http://www.deepundergroundpoetry.com/ (Me on Deep Underground Poetry)

http://www.hellopoetry.com/ (Me on Hello Poetry)

http://www.poemhunter.com/ (Me on Poem Hunter)

http://www.poetfreak.com/

http://www.poetry.com/

http://www.allpoetry.com/

http://www.originalpoetry.com/

http://www.poemish.com/

 

19. Get Great Reviews for Your Book

If your budget allows, submit your book for Kirkus independent book review ($425). Here (as an example), you can read the excellent Kirkus review for my book. 

There are also a lot of journals that review poetry. Here is a short list of many such journals.

Great 5 stars average reviews is what separate a successful, bestselling book from the crowd. Good reviews (specially from the reputable sources) also help your marketing efforts. Customer reviews are important. More the better. Your aim should be to get atleast 10 positive reviews for your book before you begin aggressive promotion. Ask your family, friends, and fans to post reviews of your poetry book on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble.

 

20. Enter Poetry Contests

Enter as many poetry contests as you can afford and have time for. Many of the online poetry communities (mentioned above in #18) have poetry contests as well. Moreover, here is a short list of poetry contests that you should participate into. 

“Branding is a long-term endeavor that builds steam over time. All successful writers take many years and multiple books to create that overnight success moment. Writing career success is a process of connecting with one reader at a time.” – Salil Jha, Creator of The Naked Soul

 

21. Charity Dinner/Event

Organize a dinner party and read from your books and offer copies for sale with all profits being donated to the American Red Cross or any charity of your choice. This one is easy. You can experiment with just your family or friends or family and close friends at first. May be invite 20-50 people and plan group activities and games. Have dinner (you can use catering).

You can sell the event ticket for $20-$25 per person. As an up-sale, you can read from your book and have extra copies for sale. This is in a sense similar to hosting a book launch party.

 

22. Subway or Busy Market Corner

Like music students and street rappers, some poets have been known to do quite well going to the subway station or setting a booth at a busy market corner (with their books on display) with a stack of poetry books and reading their poetry out load to the bustling crowd until all their books have sold.

This is easier said than done. If you are not comfortable with reading your poetry in a busy public place, skip this step. No biggie. But, if you want to go all out — at least give this a shot, just for once. You will gain a lot of confidence.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Sign up now and stay in the touch!
What do you think about my poetry marketing approach? Please leave your thoughts and input in the Comments below.

How To Write A Book Every Year: The Secrets to Writing A Million Words

Power of Words

There are many writers who are renowned for the sheer volume of words that they have written in the course of their literary career.

Isaac Asimov, the science fiction writer, produced over 400 volumes of work and was commended for his work with prestigious awards. What did it take for him to write so much during his lifetime? Writer’s Digest magazine asked him for the secret to his prolific writing and he said, “I guess I’m prolific because I have a simple and straightforward style.”

One author, Sean Platt, author of an article, “How to Write an Article in Less than 20 Minutes” published eleven books in the course of nine months. That is basically writing, editing and publishing over one new book each month for almost a year.

How was he able to produce such a large body of work in less than a year? Platt states: “Get a timer and set it for five minutes. Think of a topic and write three prompts, these can be as short as a word or as long as a question. Start writing. Don’t stop until the timer goes off. Now read over what you wrote. Your writing is better than you thought it would be, right?

This won’t seem easy until it finally is but it will happen almost immediately. Again, don’t concern yourself with quality. You can always go back and edit though you won’t need to clean up nearly as much as you think.”  

 

Secrets to Writing A Million Words

To become such a productive writer, it is important that you take the time to learn skills that will improve your writing. You can read books and blogs about writing and attend writing classes. You will then be able to apply what you’ve learned to your writing.

A key component of good writing though is remembering to edit. Georges Simenon, the author of 500 books, described his approach to the craft of writing when he said, “I have always tried to write in a simple way using down-to-earth and not abstract words.”  

A strong and moving purpose: Paul writing his epistles.

The Purpose

You also have to understand your purpose for writing. Is it a love of storytelling that motivates you? Is it the way you wish to earn a living? Is your mission to establish a literary reputation and fame and fortune?

Alexandre Dumas, the author of 277 books, wrote: “Infatuated, half through conceit, half through love of my art, I achieve the impossible working as no one else ever works.”

A highly motivated writer will write every day. John Creasey, the author of 564 books, had a set word count for each day that he writes, and stated, “How many words a day do I write? Between six and seven thousand. And how many hours does that take? Three on a good day, as high as thirteen on a bad one.”

How To Write A Book Every Year

The Daily Word Count

It is indeed possible to become as prolific a writer as the aforementioned writers mentioned in this article. Setting a daily word count will help you to potentially produce a similar output as these authors.

For example, if your goal is to produce 100 books at 75,000 words per books over the span of 30 years, you would have to write 1,000 words a day for five days a week and for 50 weeks in a year. Seems doable, if you have the discipline.

Or, you can start humbly with smaller but a manageable goal. In other words, mathematically speaking:

Monday – Friday: Write 300 words each day

Saturday, Sunday: Write 750 words each day

Weekly total: 3000 words

Yearly total: 156,000 words = That’s roughly 1-2 books each year (after editing)

 

 

The Habit Of Reading

What makes a writer even more successful is setting aside time to read. On a personal note, I have been influenced by the books that I’ve read and my stories reflect those inspirations.

Henri Junttila, a freelance writer, had another example of this when he said, “For example, I help change makers build a thriving online business so when I’m reading sales copy and it moves me to buy, I backtrack. I go inside and look at what it was that moved me. Then I think about how I can use that in my writing and business.”

Another key to success is being confident in your ability to make an impact with your writing. Rachel Toor, an associate professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University, stated, “Perhaps it’s confidence, perhaps it’s Quixote-like delusion, but to be a prolific writer you have to believe that what you’re doing matters. If you second guess at every step, you’ll soon be going backward.”

A writer I know likes to say that over the years he has “trained” his family not to expect him to show up for certain things because they know his work comes first. You have to be willing to risk seeming narcissistic and arrogant even if you don’t like to think of yourself that way. The work takes priority.

 

The Next Step Is Yours To Take

I hope that the advice contributed by the numerous authors cited within this article will perhaps allow you to produce plenty of creative strings-of-words in your lifetime. It may be challenging at times to find the right words but remember that every great writer struggles with “writer’s block.”

I know I certainly do and what helps is thinking about the subject of your piece as you go about your day and then coming up with the ideas that will shape the direction of your writing.

You have to believe in yourself as a writer and know that with practice you can develop the habits of authors who have published a large body of work. What I’ve learned through my studies of the practices of these prolific authors is that it may indeed be possible to write a billion words in a lifetime or even less time particularly if you truly love to write.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you have a writing ritual, please tell me more about your practice. I am always on the lookout for awesome life-and-productivity hacks.

My Morning Ritual For Success & Super Human Productivity

We all want to be successful, live a good life, travel and experience this world our way. But, only a small percentage of people are able to achieve a level of success that truly matches our expectation and dreams. Why?

The answer lies not in work ethic or luck, education, internet access or hard work. Surprisingly, the answer lies in we do not know how to focus our energy. We do not know what we truly want from life and how to get it.

Morning Ritual For Success

Today, I am going to share my super-human productivity secrets with you all which has made me achieve both financial and platform and brand building success.

Do you believe that you can make it to the other end? You must, because, you can.

The first thing I recommend to everyone (and to all my students) is to write down what is their vision of their ideal self. What characters do they want to portray to the world?

This is the first step and is critical. You want to create a personality which is coherent.

For me, these are the 11 characters I strive to achieve in my ideal self. And these are the same character traits that I also want to project to the world. Therefore, I always seek to improve myself or check myself against these ideals.

Compassionate

Romantic

Fair

Honest

Accountable

Responsible

Highly energetic

Creative

Charismatic

Fearless

Fighter/Hustler

Next, the second thing to do is to create a morning ritual. The purpose of the morning ritual is two-fold. First, to prime and set yourself for success in the morning so that you can win the day easily. And, second, to allocate time for the most important task of the day.

Usually the most important task is the one that gets pushed to the next day and then to the next day. We procrastinate most when it comes to anything which is slightly uncomfortable and important. Sounds, counter intuitive, it is. Well, this is human nature. We always seek the easiest route to anything. My Morning Ritual

6 AM

1. Get fresh (5 min)

– wash face

– brush teeth

– drink water

 

6:05 AM

2. Daily growth (60 min)

– Meditation (12 min)

– Affirmation (8 min)

– Visualization (10 min)

– Writing (30 min)

 

7:05 AM

3. Eat breakfast (15 min)

– Drink protein shake

 

7:20 AM

4. The most important task (20 min)

 

7:40 AM

5. Get ready for work (20 min)

 

8 AM

6. Commute (+listen to audio books or a podcast) (60 min)

 

9 AM

7. Office (9-5)

You can create your own version. Again, as you can see above, the goal is to do what makes you most positive and energetic. And set some time aside for that one important task that is most critical and also slightly difficult. With all the fresh energy and focus that you have in the morning, it is easier to tackle a difficult task in the morning than at any other time during the day or evening.

Goal vs. tasks. Set the correct goals so that you can create and execute the right tasks.

How do I wake up early with excitement for the new day?

Great question. Here is a little known secret. Follow these 7 steps (these are time tested and it works for me and most people who try them.)

  1. I sleep with purpose and affirming for good dreams and sound sleep.
  2. I read my affirmations and definite purpose before sleeping (this can be done quiet, with eyes closed).
  3. I wake up and immediately turn on the lights.
  4. I think and capture the excitement from the previous night.
  5. I brush my teeth.
  6. I drink 1 glass of water.
  7. I partake in my morning ritual (as shown above).

Now comes the beast. How do I get done so much every single day. I manage various social platforms, I write, I run my business, work as a consultant full-time and exercise daily to stay fit and ripped. How?

The secret: daily checklists. (And, today, I am sharing those with you.)

I do my morning ritual and then go about my day (according to the needs of each day and make sure I am working on my checklist and checking each item off before 9 PM).

The Checklist for Success and Super-Productivity

Monday

1. Morning ritual

2. Make a new blog post

3. Twitter management (using Unfollowers)

4. Call/email a friend

5. Post on Naked Soul Instagram

6. Post on Fitness & Food Instagram

7. Read before bed (10 min minimum)

8. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

9. Exercise/Run (30 min minimum)

10. Dishwasher run

 

Tuesday

1. Morning ritual

2. Record a podcast (over Skype using Call recorder)

3. Manage Twitter (using Unfollowers)

4. Write a Quora answer or Quora blog

5. Call/email a friend

6. Post on NS Instagram

7. Post on FF Instagram

8. Read before bed (10 min minimum)

9. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

10. Exercise/Run (30 min minimum)

11. Dishwasher run

 

Wednesday

1. Morning ritual

2. Make a new blog post

3. Twitter management (using Unfollowers)

4. Call/email a friend

5. Post on Naked Soul Instagram

6. Post on Fitness & Food Instagram

7. Read before bed (10 min minimum)

8. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

9. Exercise/Run (30 min minimum)

10. Dishwasher run

 

Thursday

1. Morning ritual

2. Manage Twitter (using Unfollowers)

3. Write a Quora answer or Quora blog

4. Call/email a friend

5. Post on NS Instagram

6. Post on FF Instagram

7. Read before bed (10 min minimum)

8. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

9. Exercise/Run (30 min minimum)

10. Dishwasher run

 

Friday

1. Morning ritual

2. Edit and post a video on YouTube and Facebook

3. Twitter management (using Unfollowers)

4. Manage Tailwind (for Pinterest)

5. Call/email a friend

6. Post on Naked Soul Instagram

7. Post on Fitness & Food Instagram

8. Read before bed (10 min minimum)

9. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

10. Charge all cameras/batteries (for the weekend) and pack the backpack

11. Dishwasher run

 

Saturday

1. Morning ritual

2. Edit and post a video on YouTube and Facebook

3. Twitter management (using Unfollowers)

4. Manage AgoraPulse (for Facebook)

5. Call/email a friend

6. Post on Naked Soul Instagram

7. Post on Fitness & Food Instagram

8. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

9. Dishwasher run

10. Check all bank accounts

 

Sunday

1. Morning ritual

2. Manage Buffer for all social Platforms

3. Twitter management (using Unfollowers)

4. Record a podcast (over Skype using Call recorder)

5. Call home

6. Call/email a friend

7. Post on Naked Soul Instagram

8. Post on Fitness & Food Instagram

9. Mindfulness (do atleast two from below)

– Silence

– Prayer

– Meditation

– Affirmation

– Visualization

– Reflection

– Deep and Focused Breathing

10. Meal planning

11. Backup your blog

12. Check analytics and health for:

– Goodreads (tracking social activity)

– CreateSpace (tracking book sales numbers)

– KDP (Kindle digital)

– eLance/UpWork/Freelancers (managing contractors) 

– SiteGround (my WordPress hosting admin panel)

– Google AdSense

– Google AdWords

– Google Analytics

 

True hustle is when you are constantly striving to become great. Greater than who you were yesterday. A hustle to become more, better, complete, and whole. Are you hustling?

Hustle is life. You are breathing air into your lungs and your heart is pumping blood without any rest, ever. Take a moment, pause, think about it. Your body is literally hustling to just keep you alive. Hustling is not just about making money to meet your ends.

I keep all my checklists in my phone and as well as printed over my desk. To be completely honest, I do not hit 100% check mark on all days but I aim to cross each item on my checklist every day. However, if I have covered 80% or greater for a given day, I count it as a success.

Give it try and test it for yourself. Write to me about what works for you and what doesn’t. If you have questions or if your situation is different which doesn’t allow you enough free time, please feel free to leave a comment below. You may need to leave some of the less important items and focus on high output, higher priority tasks.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you already have a morning or evening ritual, tell us more about your practice. I am always on the lookout for awesome life-and-productivity hacks.

The Top 12 Books Of All Time | To Make You Wiser & More Complete

Read as many books as you can for self-growth.Friends, starting this month, I am going to make book recommendations every couple of months. In each issue, I will have 12 new books for you to choose from. Read all of them or read as many as you can but remember these top books are treaties on the collected wisdom of ages.

I promise to you, even if you read just one of the twelve, you’ll be a transformed person after you finish the book.

Your vocabulary, your language, your perception of the world will change and you will grow in every positive direction in your life.

Start today and let’s all commit to reading all of these great books every month.

Top 12 Books Of All Time

Why the number 12?

If you are wondering why 12 books each month and not 3 or 10 or 5? Well, here is my reasoning behind the number 12.

1. There are 12 months in a year and for those of us who are into self-development, it’s easy to commit to reading a book a month. But, what if you want to beat the 99% and be in the top 1% of people.

How about, read as much in a month what others read in full year. I know, reading 12 books is not possible for 99.999% of us but the assumption is all of you must have read some of these books so I have to recommend 12 so that there is something new for everyone each month.

2. I cannot justify dedicating a complete blog post on book recommendation each month with just 3 or 5 books in my post. Plus, there are so many great books out there. We may have read a lot but there is a lot that we still need to learn. Books are our best friends. Why not, keep a lot of them.

3. Not every month will have exactly 12 books. The point here is to read great works and not add volumes of books to our library. Some months may have only 10, some may have only 8 or 9. The number of books is not important, what is truly important is that you must find the time and MUST READ all of them, this month or the next.

 

My 2015 Book List

These are the 12 books I have selected for November 2015 reading list which every literate person on this earth MUST READ. Whether you think these books apply to your life’s situation or not, pick them up and read. You’ll find more than what you are looking for.

These books are beyond time, culture and language. I have added the links so that you can find them if you want to read them.

Some of them might be free while others can be purchased for cheap. They all are worth many times more than their costs.

 

1. The Book of Job, (from The Old Testament, Bible), Israel. (600-400 BC)

You can get a free copy of Bible from many places such as thrift stores, churches, library, etc. Go to the index and look for The Book of Job (in the Old Testament section). 

The book of Job is not only a story about human condition and survival but faith, self-belief, divine interventions, time and complexities of human life.

It is a great read. Once you finish it, you will feel your life is just perfect and things happen for a reason.

 

2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria

Things Fall Apart is a post-colonial novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe in 1958. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa. The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo leader and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia.

Okonkwo (the main protagonist) starts off as a great leader and wrestling champion but things start to go wrong for reasons beyond his controls. By the end, the Christianized and Westernized village has changed and things fall apart further for our protagonist.

 

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England

A classic romance read, set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of M.r and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood.

While handsome Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, rich and young Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.

 

4. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, United States

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads a peaceful and happy life.

 

5. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Ireland

Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. The satire can be linked to religious theme (for example, waiting for God who never shows up) or any other themes such as political, psychological, etc.

It is a fascinating read and enlightening as it delves deep into the four archetypal personalities of the soul are grouped in two pairs: the ego and the shadow, the persona and the soul’s image (animus or anima).

 

6. Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina

Fiction steeped in deep symbolism and social-economic-political commentaries.

 

7. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason, U.S.

If you want to make more money, be rich, save money, understand money and wealth and more in a narrative format — this is the BEST book on everything money. I read this book when I was broke and clinically depressed and had no hopes for life. This book gave me the insights that literally changed my life and condition 360 degrees. This book has been a life saver for me.

 

8. The Stranger by Albert Camus, France

This is an awesome read. The book is divided into two sections.

Part I
Meursault learns of his mother’s death. At her funeral, he expresses none of the expected emotions of grief. When asked if he wishes to view the body, he says no, and, instead, smokes and drinks coffee in front of the coffin. Rather than expressing his feelings, he only comments to the reader about the others at the funeral. He later encounters Marie, a former employee of his firm. The two become re-acquainted, go swimming, watch a comedy film and begin to have a sexual relationship, despite the fact that his mother’s funeral took place the day before. In the next few days, he helps his friend and neighbor, Raymond Sintès, take revenge on a Moorish girlfriend suspected of infidelity. For Raymond, Meursault agrees to write a letter to his girlfriend, with the sole purpose of inviting her over so that Raymond can have sex with her but spit in her face at the last minute as emotional revenge. Meursault sees no reason not to help him, and it pleases Raymond. He does not express concern that Raymond’s girlfriend is going to be emotionally hurt, as he believes Raymond’s story that she has been unfaithful, and he himself is both somewhat drunk and characteristically unfazed by any feelings of empathy. In general, he considers other people either interesting or annoying or feels nothing of them at all.

The letter works: the girlfriend returns, but the situation escalates when she slaps Raymond after he tries to kick her out, and Raymond beats her. Raymond is taken to court where Meursault testifies that she had been unfaithful, and Raymond is let off with a warning. After this, the girlfriend’s brother and several Arab friends begin trailing Raymond. Raymond invites Meursault and Marie to a friend’s beach house for the weekend, and when there, they encounter the spurned girlfriend’s brother and an Arab friend; these two confront Raymond and wound him with a knife during a fist fight. Later, walking back along the beach alone and now armed with a revolver he took from Raymond so that Raymond would not do anything rash, Meursault encounters the Arab. Meursault is now disoriented on the edge of heatstroke, and when the Arab flashes his knife at him, Meursault shoots. Despite killing the Arab man with the first gunshot, he shoots the corpse four more times after a brief pause. He does not divulge to the reader any specific reason for his crime or emotions he experiences at the time, if any, aside from the fact that he was bothered by the heat and bright sunlight.

Part II
Meursault is incarcerated and explains his arrest, time in prison, and upcoming trial. His general detachment makes living in prison very tolerable, especially after he gets used to the idea of not being able to go places whenever he wants to and no longer being able to satisfy his sexual desires with Marie. He passes the time sleeping, or mentally listing the objects he owned back in his apartment building. At the trial, Meursault’s quietness and passivity are seen as demonstrative of his seeming lack of remorse or guilt by the prosecuting attorney, and so the attorney concentrates more upon Meursault’s inability or unwillingness to cry at his mother’s funeral than on the actual murder. The attorney pushes Meursault to tell the truth but never comes through and later, on his own, Meursault explains to the reader that he simply was never really able to feel any remorse or personal emotions for any of his actions in life. The dramatic prosecutor theatrically denounces Meursault to the point that he claims Meursault must be a soulless monster, incapable of remorse and that he thus deserves to die for his crime. Although Meursault’s attorney defends him and later tells Meursault that he expects the sentence to be light, Meursault is alarmed when the judge informs him of the final decision: that he will be decapitated publicly.

In prison, while awaiting the execution of his death sentence by the guillotine, Meursault meets with a chaplain, but rejects his proffered opportunity of turning to God, explaining that God is a waste of his time. Although the chaplain persists in attempting to lead Meursault from his atheism (or, perhaps more precisely, his apatheism), Meursault finally accosts him in a rage, with a climactic outburst on his frustrations and the absurdity of the human condition and his personal anguish at the meaninglessness of his existence without respite. At the beginning of his outrage he mentions other people in anger, that they have no right to judge him for his actions or for who he is, and no one has the right to judge someone else. Meursault ultimately grasps the universe’s indifference towards humankind which allows him to come to terms with his execution.

 

9. Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov, Russia

Any story from Anton Checkov is a delightful must read. Well, this is a collection of his short stories. Enough said, you can’t miss any of the stories in this short book.

 

10. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “I’d rather have written Nostromo than any other novel.” Nostromo is often regarded as Conrad’s best novel. 

Nostromo is set in the South American country of Costaguana, and more specifically in that country’s Occidental Province and its port city of Sulaco. Costaguana has a long history of tyranny, revolution and warfare, but has recently experienced a period of stability under the dictator Ribiera. Nostromo is an Italian expatriate who has risen to his position through his bravery and daring exploits.

His exploits during the revolution do not bring Nostromo the fame he had hoped for, and he feels slighted and used. Feeling that he has risked his life for nothing, he is consumed by resentment, which leads to his corruption and ultimate destruction.

 

11. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy

The Divine Comedy is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri, finished in 1320 (after 12 years of writing). It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature.

On the surface, the poem describes Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents, allegorically, the soul’s journey towards God.

 

12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russia

Considered and acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in world literature, The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality.

It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia, with a plot which revolves around the subject of patricide.

Admirers of the novel include Albert Einstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut.

Sigmund Freud called it “the most magnificent novel ever written” and was fascinated with the book for its Oedipal themes.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you have already read some of these books, please tell us about what you think? Want to make book recommendations, please shoot me a message. I am always on the lookout for great books.

Platform Building: Where & How To Best Spend Your Time & Energy

How to effectively market and promote your blog, author platform, and your books or products.

Platform building is a long and difficult process. Where and how to best spend your time, energy, and money for the best possible outcome is a neverending quest for most of the independent artists, authors, and musicians.

In this blog, I will share my best tips and tools to make your strategy successful.

Platform Building

A. Idea Incubation & Content Creation

1. Write original content (books)

            – Reading

            – Researching

            – Writing

   Travel

            – Take pictures, make videos, learn

 

2. YouTube

            – Create content (video making)

   Blog

            – Create content (writing)

            – Create email list

   Podcast

            – Create content (talking & recording)

   Instagram

            – Create content for SM

            – Post content

 

B. Marketing and Promotion

Online Platforms

3. Social Media (Share content)

            – Facebook

            – Twitter

            – Quora

            – Pinterest

            – Periscope

            – Vine

            – Google+

            – etc.

4. Email Your List

5. Broadcast your podcast

 

Offline Platforms

6. Speaking Engagements

            – Paid

            – Free

7. Attend Industry & Networking Events

            – Tradeshows

            – Meetups

            – Events

8. Book tours and book signing

            – Locally

            – Extensive

Promote Your Brand The Right Way

Prioritize in terms of revenue generation or monetization capabilities.

1. Speaking engagement > income from speaking fee

2. Podcast (or Talk Show) > income from advertisement

3. Books > income from book sales

4. YouTube > income from advertisement

5. Blog > income from advertisement

6. Social Media > income from traffic volume, shoutouts, endorsements, & brand awareness

7. Products or White label Products > income from product sales

8. Affiliate programs > income from commission

9. Online courses > income from fee

 

 

###
Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of deep souls, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Do you need help in platform building? I provide online mentorship and one-on-one coaching. Or, if you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. 

Bad Idea: Drinking Lipton Tea on an Empty Stomach | Feeling Sick & Nauseated

Lipton Green Tea (this is the one I had this morning)

9 AM, Monday

Whenever I drink black or green tea on an empty stomach, I start to feel very sick within 30 minutes. I don’t know why!? Usually, I am a coffee person but for a change, I thought of having black/green tea this morning. I saw Lipton green tea, all natural, wow! I went and grabbed for it.

After a few sips, I was already feeling sick. I sipped a few more times and within an hour I was feeling nauseated and like vomiting. At first, I was not sure why I am feeling this way. Is this because I missed breakfast this morning? Or, is this because of this tea? Or, is this caffeine on an empty stomach?

feeling very sick after drinking tea

I thought to myself, I have had coffee many times on an empty stomach and I have never felt this way. My mind was busy chattering: It must not be the caffeine. So what is it? Could it be the tea? I am not allergic to tea or milk and I seem to have quite enjoyed the tea experience (especially Earl Grey) on several occasions, but then why today? What is wrong with me? Or, is this the Lipton tea?

I searched on google and found an old blog post confirming my fears. My search didn’t bring up many answers though but it did reveal that lots and lots of people experience this. So, it’s not the caffeine.

Here, we are talking about real tea, made from tea leaves, and not herbal teas which usually don’t contain tea leaves and are actually a blend of dried herbs, fruits, and flowers.

Many people confirmed what I was feeling and what I knew to be true. For example, people were saying, “I can drink coffee, Coke or an energy drink (on an empty stomach) and be fine. But there’s something about tea that makes me ill.”

“It’s not a specific type of tea either; it can be green tea, black tea, or a blend.”

feeling sick and like vomiting

 

11 AM

Now, it’s already close to lunchtime. Like many others before me, I thought, let me eat something. If I eat something, maybe I will not feel like vomiting. Maybe this all due to an empty stomach and a stupid bad tea which is not for me.

I ate a little but it did not help much. Actually, I was afraid that I may throw up. So I did not want to eat a lot.

Well, it’s been a couple hours since I drank half a cup of tea (yes, actually only a half cup). I threw the rest half, promising to myself I am not touching this tea ever again. I really liked some tea but now I’m afraid to drink it. I think…did I eat enough? Will I get sick? Is this a good tea?

My research also made me aware that people can feel this way (bad nausea and feeling like throwing up) even during the evening time. So hours and time doesn’t matter as much. The only common thing in all the case studies: empty stomach and green or black tea.

So, I did some more research. By now, I was sure that I am not alone. And, I must do something about it. This happened today and I am going to write about it and share it with everyone. I am sure others are searching like me.

So I did a little looking up on nausea, sneezing, and tea. I found a clue on this blog that made sense to me. I have pollen allergy. All allergies are caused by the excessive production of histamine.

According to the blogs mentioned above: what does nausea, sneezing, and tea have in common? Most sites stated that nausea and sneezing at the same time are caused by agitation of acid-reflux and gastritis and histamine.

 

What is acid reflux? 

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid comes up from the stomach into the esophagus. It is normally caused by alterations in the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus.

So it is not the acid-reflux. That leaves us with “histamine” as the only commonality. It regulates sneezing and acid production and is found heavily in green and black teas.

 

12:30 PM

Nausea and sick feeling finally subsided. It took 3 and half hours for me to come back to normal. Oh, what a day!

The poor, sick child!

Parting Thoughts

One person commented to put cream or milk in the tea. The cream helps keep you from becoming sick to your stomach.

Do not let the tea bag soak for extended time. Take it out after couple of minutes. This way you consume less caffeine as well.

Drink herbal tea instead of black tea on an empty stomach.

The problem is with the  Lipton tea and not you. Quit the Lipton tea and find something natural and better. Something that suits you. It will take some risk and experimentation. But. it is worth it.

Try taking baking soda in water. It brings back the PH of the stomach to a normal level. It also works for stomach burns.

Eat something (even if you are not feeling like). You’ll feel much better. No tea in the morning. Got it.

Drink yerba mate and other organic loose-leaf forms of tea instead of pre-packaged tea bags typically found in restaurants or hotels.

Stay safe, my friends! I need to rest now. I’ll see you folks tomorrow!

 

PS: According to Mayo Clinic, Nausea and vomiting may occur separately or together. There can be any number of causes for this but for our purposes here, these are some of the causes that is worthy of further investigation in connection to black tea and histamine.

Gastroparesis (muscles of the stomach wall don’t function properly)
Intestinal obstruction
Morning sickness
Anorexia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa
Cyclic vomiting syndrome
Depression
Dizziness
Food poisoning
Generalized anxiety disorder
Intestinal obstruction
Irritable bowel syndrome
Milk allergy (in infants and children)

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Have you every had this kind of nauseated feeling after drinking tea, coffee or energy drinks? If you know of better ways to cure or stop the nausea and feeling of vomiting, please share with us all. If you had a similar episode, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it.

100 Reasons Why I Love You | A Letter To My Sweetheart On Her 30th Birthday

I love you!

My Love, My Heart, Soul of My Soul,

As we grow old together on this earthly journey, I wanted to take this moment and write to you on your 30th birthday to tell you how much I love you and how much you mean to me. Without you, I am nothing. Your presence in my life is something that I can’t easily describe in words.

You mean everything to me. I love you the most. I love with all I am and with all I have. All of me, loves you and belongs to you.

The fact this letter is so long because there are millions of great things I can talk about you, this however shows I am the luckiest man in the world. I love you with all of my heart.

There are millions of wonderful reasons that I find absolutely lovely about you but I love you for no reasons.

I am blessed to have you in my life and glad to share your soul. I have never wondered about why I love you because it was in your presence where I found love.

For me, love and you, the two are same and one. I love you because you are love to me. I love you because you are the source of all love that is in my heart. Your presence is love to me. The feeling of togetherness we share whenever we meet, talk, make love or just being there for one another is something which I want to tell you today.

It is easy for me to describe hundreds of such feelings because there are millions of ways I feel good about life when I am with you. I will love you, forever.

Here is a short and uncomplete list of moments and things that I find absolutely precious about you. They melt my heart and make my go crazy about you.

 

Baby, I love you because you care for us and want the best for us. You give your all in our relationship and as a result we both grow together.

 

Baby, you are directly or indirectly the source of all of my creative inspirations. You make my heart, soul, and hands move with new ideas.

 

Baby, I love you because you listen to me and understand me like no other. This gift of understanding is the greatest gift of all.

 

Baby, I love you because you push me to think deeply about who I am, what I want and believe in myself.

 

Baby, I love you because you accept the fact that things will happen in their own time.

 

Baby, I love you because you balance my ultra-active personality. You are a relaxed person and yet you get so much done. Without you I will be lost.

 

Baby, I love you because you were faithful when there was no faith to be found.

 

Baby, I love you because you give me peace in the midst of struggles, hope in the midst of unknowns, and strength in the time of battles.

 

Baby, I love you because you never made me feel guilty for taking care of myself. In-fact you encourage me to bring out the best in me.

 

Baby, I love you because you taught me to realize everyone alive has the power to inspire meaningful change.

 

Baby, I love the way you hold me. I love when you say, “Baby, comfort me.” I will give away everything for just hearing that one line from you, one more time.

 

Baby, I love you because you are okay with knowing things would often get worse before they can get better.

 

Baby, I love you because you will stand behind something, no matter how hard the circumstance. You are bold, strong and courageous even amidst fear.

 

Baby, I love you because you always look on the bright side of moments which take us by surprise.

 

Baby, I love you because you make laughter an instant vacation. I love your jokes & I love when you laugh uncontrollably at times on my silly remarks.

 

Baby, you have a very good heart. You are kind and compassionate. With you, I am living my dream life. Life is one great Zen moment.

 

Baby, I love you because you are a happy person and you always try to make me happy.

 

Baby, I love your soft hands and your beautiful fingers.

 

Baby, I love you for your love of life.

 

Baby, I love you, I love you, I love you (infinite times) for all the food you cook for us and you never fail to amaze me by cooking something new every time.

 

Baby, I love you and I am forever thankful for the meal planning and preparation you do. Without you, I could not have lived a healthier lifestyle.

 

Baby, you calm me down. You comfort my heart and ease my soul.

 

Baby, I love you for seeing no matter what life gives us but you never miss to spread your beautiful smile.

 

Baby, I love the fact that I’ve met you during the craziest time of my life and you changed it all in a moment. You healed my broken heart.

 

Baby, you are a fabulous kisser. I love you and I am never fully over when kissing you. I love your pouty lips. Your lips are the best and most beautiful in this world.

 

Baby, you are insanely romantic.

 

Baby, you are a great poetess. I love your poetry and I love when you write little, sweet love poems to me. My life is a happy life because of your love.

 

Baby you are gorgeous, exotic, and beautiful. You have body like a top fitness model, you have a physique like a goddess, and you have a face prettier than miss worlds.

 

Baby, I love that you are athletic, adventurous & live life with great zest. I love that you beat me in running and you have such a great cardio endurance.

 

Baby, I love you because you love traveling as much as I do. Together, we are traveling the world. I love our lifestyle. I love you for this great gift of travel.

 

Baby, I love you because you take things and matter very gracefully even in the toughest scenarios.                         

 

Baby, I love how you always seek peace and harmony when we get into silly arguments.

 

Baby, you are my first true love and also my best friend.

 

Baby, you support me in and motivate me in many ways. I can’t even think where I would be without you.

 

Baby, I love how you make me feel special. Life is just beautiful.

 

Baby, I love you and you are someone I can always trust.

 

Baby, I will never forget how you take care of me when I get sick. You stay with me in health or sickness. You love me the same. I don’t know if you are a human or an angel.

 

Baby, I love how you give me surprise gifts and take me to shows, vacations and book great dining experiences. Because of you I have had so many amazing moments and memories.

 

Baby, I love you because you are goofy and funny. You love fooling with me. And you let me fool with you. You don’t mind my silly tricks & stupid teases.

 

Baby, I love you because you never miss to kiss me good-morning and good-night.

 

Baby, I love you because you do most of the house chores (and cooking) so that I can focus and work on my passion projects (writing, video editing, podcasting, etc).

 

Baby, because your love drives me crazy (in a good way) and makes me go wild. Sometimes I just want to cuddle with you all day in a little naughty way.

 

Baby, I love you because you know how to please me. (naughty things included)

 

Baby, I love you because you stop me from eating unhealthy foods loaded with sugar or bad fat.

 

Baby, because you have an amazing, sensual, sexy voice. I love hearing you talk.

 

Baby, I love your awesome hair. I just can’t stop myself from touching, playing and seeing & smelling it.

 

Baby, I love your craziness. Baby, you are crazy. I love you because you are such a crazy person in this boring world.

 

Baby, I love your eyes. You have the most beautiful eyes in this whole world.

 

Baby, I love your high cheek bones. You have such a beautiful face and you truly look like a global citizen with a face which transcends geography, race and any nature-created boundaries.

 

Baby, I love you and deeply admire your character because you love and respect your family and parents. You care for your sisters and family so much. I love that.

 

Baby, because I would die to marry you. I believe you would make the best Mom anyone could ever ask for or hope to have.

 

Baby, I love the way you walk.

 

Baby, I love you because you have such a soft voice. You talk so gently and meekly. I wish I had your voice and tone.

 

Baby, I love you for the fact that there is nobody else in the world like you and nobody will ever come close.

 

Baby, I love you because you taught me so many things and for all the amazing new experiences that I’ve shared for the first time with you and only you.

 

Baby, I love you and cherish you for your faithfulness and loyalty. You are the best and one of a kind.

 

Baby, I love you because you don’t mind holding my hand or showing me affection even in public.

 

Baby, I love you for sometimes giving up things you’ve wanted just for my feelings.

 

Baby, I love you for the way you kiss me and touch me everywhere.

 

Baby, I love you and can never truly thank you for the fact that you were willing to take a chance on me. You could have had anyone in this world but you choose me. I don’t know what to say. I feel incredibly lucky to have you.

 

Baby, I love to see how you still have good friends from when you were little. You are a great friend to have.

 

Baby, I love how cute you were when you were little. I absolutely love your house nickname: Malu, and (cute) Elephant.

 

Baby, I love you for all the heart-touching things you’ve written for me.

 

Baby, I love you for the way you’ve opened up your heart and life to me.

 

Baby, I love you because I learn new & amazing things about you everyday. You are such an interesting, deep thinker and soul.

 

Baby, I love the way you look at me that makes me melt inside.

 

Baby, I love you because you always say awesome things about me to other people.

 

Baby, I love you, because you bring so much new excitement into my life every day.

 

Baby, I love you because you never take life for granted. You work hard. You inspire me to become the best version of me. You inspire me to live life to the fullest.

 

Baby, we are both dreamers. (plus we both love to sleep lol)

 

Baby, I love you because you are without a doubt my true soul mate. We even have the same birthday and almost the same birth time. Something more than just a random coincidence, right?

 

Baby, I love you because you know how to not take life too seriously and live in the moment and yet not lose track of your life’s purpose or vision.

 

Baby, I love you for the fact that you are the first and only person I’ve ever loved and the first person who ever truly loved me back. I love you.

 

Baby, I love you because you forgave my past and accepted me fully, truly just as I was.

 

Baby, I love you for your incredible big heart.

 

Baby, I love you for how you used to scare me when you were stay-at-home (while job hunting) and I absolutely hated it but loved it at the same time.

 

Baby, I love you because we both seem to read each other’s mind. I also love how you sometimes finish my sentences as if you were thinking the same thought.

 

Baby, I love how we always still say or do the exact same thing at the same time. (We seem to have a soul connection from a prior life)

 

Baby, I love your extreme patience with me even when I push it to the limit.

 

Baby, because I am a big fan of your wit & wisdom.

 

Baby, I find you incredibly sexy and hot. No more comments on that. You know what I mean.

 

Baby, I love how you are always there for me through good times and bad no matter what.

 

Baby, I love you for the fact we were destined to be together.

 

Baby, I love your determination and conviction and how once you set your mind on something that nobody can change it. I admire your will-power, be it for food or fitness or anything.

 

Baby, I love how much you know about me now and now that you’ve seen it all (good, bad and ugly), you still love me anyway.

 

Baby, you accept me. My light and my shadow. Even though we have some differences, you never try to change me. I am me when I am with you.

 

Baby, I love every little single detail about you that makes you who you are and the fact that you are the best girlfriend in this whole world.

 

Baby, I love you because you found me and saved me. You actually did. I still don’t know how exactly it happened that we were right where we were meant to be at that exact time in our lives. I will be grateful for it forever. It was our destiny.

 

Baby, I love how your fantasies blend with mine. And your goals & desires blend with mine. Oh, life is just so much fun with you.

 

Baby, I love you because when we fight, it is never traumatic because we both know it will never be the end. I love how we never take any argument more than 24 hours.

 

Baby, I love you because you allow me to teach you things that I know you have little interest in. You are so cute.

 

Baby, I love the way you dance and move your body. You are a great dancer and I fall for you every time I see you dance or groove.

 

Baby, I love listening to you tell me stories about your childhood and I imagine how you were back then. I can visualize it all. I love you since your childhood days because now I have seen you from back then. You are the most attractive girl to me from the beginning.

 

Baby, I love how your kiss does crazy things to my insides. And when you touch me, I forget the rest of the world exists.

 

Baby, I love us and how we work as a team, the perfect balance. The yin and yang.

 

Baby, I love you for the deep (mystical) hallucinations I experienced when we first fell in love. It was an otherworldly extraordinary experience. I have never had such an experience before and I don’t think I will ever have that again. Me falling in love with you is was a mystical journey. I used to hear your voice everywhere. For me, you are the most powerful drug in this whole world.

 

Baby, I love you because now I feel like I’ve known you the whole of my life.

 

Baby, I love how quickly I turn you on and how easily you pleasure me.

 

Baby, I love when you tell me without any doubt that I am the only one in the world for you. I love you for that. Those words are so comforting to my heart.

 

And, baby I love you for the fact that how you forgive me so quickly for everything else that I say and do that hurts you. And you never mention it again. I love you the most.

 

Once again, Happy 30th Birthday!     ###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

How would you celebrate someone’s 30th birthday? If you have suggestions, feedback, and thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to honor your requests. (The first 3 commenters are always my favorite.)

James Patrick Kinney’s Poem “The Cold Within” | All Men Are Created Equal

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
In bleak and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood
Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs
The first man held his back
For of the faces round the fire
He noticed one was black.

The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes.
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight.
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death’s still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without
They died from the cold within.

 

Notes from me:

The idea of the American dream is rooted in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence which states that “all men are created equal” and that they have “certain inalienable rights” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

All men are created equal.

The poem, however, at its time was the criticism on racism in American culture. If your heart is cold, nothing from the world can make you warm.

 

###
Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

How do you interpret this poem? Have you read this before? If you would like to share some thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you would like me to expand this post, please let me know what would you like me to describe in greater details?

How To Make Money Online (eBooks, Blogs, Podcasts & YouTube) | A Business Model That Works

Today I want to share how I make money online. How I invest my time and where I invest my resources. I have made simple diagrams which will explain volumes. Let’s dig into it.

 

As you can see, I am spread all across the board. I am an independent consultant and I run my own business as a self-employed boss. I am also having few small-scale businesses where automation works for me.

The difference between Self-employed vs Business quadrant is primarily of automation and systems. For example, a small mom-and-pop shop is basically being self-employed. You have to ask yourself this question to identify a true business.

“If I do not work today, will my business make money?”

If the answer is NO!, then you are a Self-employed individual.

On the other hand, if you own a Chipotle franchise or a McDonald franchisee, you have a system and team of employees put in place to work on behalf of you. In this case, if you get sick, your business still runs and makes money for you.

How To Make Money Online

As you can see, I invest heavily in real-estate and that’s put me into the I (Investor) quadrant as well.

My goal is to completely ELIMINATE the “E” & “SE” quadrants and invest all my time, money, energy and brain into the “B” & “I” quadrants. In next 5 years? We’ll see.

But that’s my goal. My 5-year goal is to operate a > $5 Million USD business and grow my net-worth to > $1 Million USD. You can have your own goals and then work backward.

So, what am I doing about my financial and business goals? Well, the answer is continuing to do what I am already doing.

 

How can YOU do this too?

Yes, you or anyone can do it by putting in enough dedication and hard-work into the process I am about to describe. Just follow the steps as shown in the diagrams below.

 

 

The promotional tools are the tools where you “spend” time and/or money. These tools allow you to leverage the power of the Internet. When used properly and with creativity, they allow you to both build a brand name and do marketing for your products and services at a minimum cost of traditional marketing.

 

 

 

 

As I have said in my earlier posts on Blogging 4.0 that blogging alone or YouTubing alone or writing eBooks (or books) alone will not cut it anymore. There is simply too much competition out there. Plus, think about it and ask yourself: “What difference are you making in this world?”

You have to not only create true value for others but also differentiate yourself. One way to do so is to take advantage of Podcasting, YouTube, writing books and creating and offering products and services.

Then, you got to slowly-slowly remove yourself from the business process and automate everything. You want to be in a position where even if you can’t show up for work, you still generate cash flow.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

What do you say? If you have suggestions, feedback, and thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to honor your requests. If you would like me to expand this post, please let me know what would you like me to describe in greater details? (The first 3 commenters are always my favorite.)

The Naked Soul Talk Show | A Daily Podcast

The Naked Soul Talk Show: A Daily Podcast

Woohoo! Friends, creatives, seekers, and entrepreneurs! Here it is. Share all you can. Please spread the good news! Coming soon to iTunes/Radio. And NOW AVAILABLE on YouTube.

The Naked Soul Talk Show: Full Human Potential and Daily Growth

Welcome to The Naked Soul Talk Show with Salil Jha and Neha Rizal. Learn with us as we dig deeply into ways to initiate breakthroughs in our personal lives in relationships, health, and body- consciousness, discuss the law of success as it manifests in careers and finances, learn how to attain mastery of any skill, share rags to riches stories, and delve into what it means to have a purpose driven life and how to create one via lifestyle design (the 80-20 rule).

We have guests from all over the world from various ethnic, spiritual, educational, and cultural backgrounds. But all of them have one thing in common: the desire to be better than they were yesterday. Naked Soul is a transpersonal talk show.

Here, we will explore how to realize measurable self-growth and manifest success by turning our dreams into realistic goals and eventual realities. Build your own inner-GPS. Create a map for a success-lifestyle: plenty of time with family, and no bosses, no alarm clocks dictating your day, instead indulgence in creative pursuits and the enjoyment of a free life, passionately lived.

The Naked Soul is a place where we transform our “Daily Grind” stories into “Daily Win” stories. Our goal is to empower each listener so that they live their full human potential.

Are you ready to heal, grow and kick-start your soul-evolution and become world class?

The Naked Soul Podcast Ep. 01: Chris Jones on The Art & Business of Writing

The Naked Soul Podcast Ep. 02: Simone Salmon on Writing Books & Taking a Transformational Journey

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Do you listen or watch podcasts/talk shows? If yes, what are some of your favorite podcasts or talk shows? What kind of podcast would you like to listen to? If you have suggestions, feedback, and thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to honor your requests. (The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.)

Read Next

Meal Planning Simplified (5 Free Videos) | Health & Fitness

This week I wanted to show you a little bit of my home, what I eat, how I cook and my lifestyle. I have a few videos to show you today on meal planning and cooking clean breakfasts for optimal fitness.

Meal Planning Simplified

Meal Planning in its Simplest Form

 

Breakfast for Bulking & Bodybuilding (Clean Eating)

*You can substitute white potatoes with red potatoes. (I eat red 99% of the times, we made this video using potatoes that were available to us.)

 

Meal Planning for Fit Life (Chicken, Kale, Hummus, Celery)

 

Honey + Lime + Cinnamon Water for Weight Loss 

 

Healthy Breakfast for Fit Life | Bodybuilding Meal Planning Made Simple

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

What is your biggest fitness goal right now? Do you like these videos? If you want me to cover something in specific, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to cover them in my next video. Please share your pro-tips if something is working for you. It may help others. (The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.)

Creative Photoshoot: How to Give Facial Expressions

How do I improve my facial expressions? How to look good in pictures and photoshoot? If you are asking yourself these and similar questions, well, I have thought about them too.

It is all about camera angle, facial expressions and what you can do with your eyes.

Creative Photoshoot

First thing first. Realize and accept that “you are beautiful, complete, and enough the way you are!”

That is the key to being relaxed in front of the camera.

Below is an example video of a photo shoot session we did in just 30 minutes with little to no makeup.

The purpose of this video is to inspire you to look great, exotic and full of expressions in your pictures. This video is about mastering facial expressions.

Your Face Speaks A Thousand Words
Being expressive, using your face to maximum advantage, is a very useful tool in getting your message across. This skill also allows you to use fewer words, to show emotion and to send a message directly to your audience’s minds and hearts.

How to Give Facial Expressions

Practice Being Expressive
As a model, you must be aware of how to use your facial expressions and create ones that work for you. This is especially important if your audience is a long way from the stage. The further away from you, they are, the more expressive you can be!

If possible, look at a mirror when you are practicing or rehearsing your looks.

Try showing happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise and love.

Make Your Expression Your Message
Start including facial expressions that support your stories and reflect your emotions.

For example:

  • arching eyebrows – when you are surprised or questioning
  • frowning – when you are moody, disapproving or concerned.
  • grimacing – when you are fearful, in pain or anxious
  • smiling when you are happy, pleased with your situation or circumstance.

All facial expressions are related to emotions.

Emotions or Ideas that you can convey

  • Happy / content
  • Fun / playful
  • Scared / lost
  • Sad / broken-hearted
  • Serious / in thoughts
  • Lonely / bored
  • Fantasizing / day dreaming
  • Scheming / flirting

Tips on How to smile for Camera
Learning how to smile sounds ridiculous – surely everyone can do it? In fact, smiling ‘to order’ is a real skill, and one that professional models need to master.

To improve your smiling skills, position yourself in front of a mirror and practice the following steps.

  • Put your lips together without moving them. Look at your face in the mirror, concentrating on the eyes. At first, they’re lifeless. Now lift up the corners of your mouth and watch your eyes come alive.
  • To create a smile, say “MMM” without opening your mouth. No teeth should be showing. Don’t forget to turn the corners of your mouth up.
  • To create a broader smile, say “MMM” again with your mouth still closed and again, don’t forget to turn up the corners of the mouth.
  • This time say “ME”, whilst opening your mouth and showing your teeth but keeping it soft. Next say “ME” again, this time with a big smile showing all your teeth.
  • When you say “HEY,” you produce a very natural facial expression. Say “HEY” and hold it – you will notice your tongue is coming forward and your lips are apart. Now try it again, saying “HEY” with a smiling expression.
  • Create a gaunt look by saying the word “POOR”, keeping the lips very soft and sultry and holding for a few seconds.
  • To achieve an open and happy laugh try saying “HAA”, remembering to focus your gaze on someone or something to avoid a “lifeless” look.

Here are 3 other facial formulas for maximum expression during your next photoshoot.

1. Smiling Eyes
Every person you know has a different smile. In fact we all have more than one. Practice smiling with your eyes. First grin slightly, then narrow your eyes slightly  into a stare. This will allow you to project those good vibes.

2. Looking Up
You can’t share your feelings so you have to project them. One way to project is to turn your eyes to the skies as you contemplate.

3. Guffaw
Open up. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud “especially at yourself”. They’ll laugh with you.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

What did you like about this post? Do you find it challenging to give different poses? If you want me to cover something in specific, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to cover them in my next video. Also, please share your pro-tips if something is working for you. It may help others.

How Much Money Do I Make On YouTube? | How To Make $100,000 A Year

My last 30 days on YouTube = $51.65

Can you imagine how much money do these kids make with millions of views on their videos? A lot of them make over $10,000 each month. Some make over $30,000 a month.

The point is not to join the YouTube wagon but to create multiple funnels of income.

You may be a techie, or you may be creative.

You may have books in you. You may have CDs and music in you. You may have documentaries and films in you. These are all various funnels for income.

You have social media.

You can be a consultant.

You have a job.

You can become a teacher.

You can drive Uber part-time for a limited time to make some cash. You can do Airbnb and rent your rented house.

You can invest that cash (say $1000) in a Roth IRA or IRA and then start investing $200 or whichever amount you wish until retirement.

You can create your own investments with Vanguard IRA or start a simple savings account. You can invest in Stocks or Real Estate or both.

It always amazes me to find out how people complain about being poor when all they may need is Uber + Airbnb + few consulting gigs. You don’t even need an employer. You can be your own boss.

And, if you already have a decent paying job, what are you waiting for? You are in lucky 20%.

To make money, you got to first make money so that the money you make can later make money for you!

All you have to say is “I can do that, too.” Then do it.

Learn to use every talent you have to create income. That’s the right mindset. You can also create simple gigs on Fiverr and build revenue, create simple video webinars on Udemy and Skillshare.

If you have something to share that adds value, you have an opportunity. (As the popular saying goes, if you are good at something, you should probably charge for it.)

You just have to take one step each day.

365 days it is.

I want to see where I’ll be in 365 days from now! I am interested in measuring my own progress in 365 days from today.

Game on.

Do you accept this challenge? If yes, tweet to me or comment with hashtag #365Days.

Involve your friends and make it a fun challenge.

#365Days

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

What are you doing to make $100,000 in next 365 days? What other creative ways one can use to make some extra cash? Share your pro-tips if something is working for you. It may help others. (The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.)

What is the Easiest Way to Live a Very Healthy Lifestyle? Lifehacks & Pro-tips

A lot of you have been asking this question lately. What is the easiest way to live a healthy lifestyle? Physically, mentally, and emotionally. By easiest way, I mean with the least amount of effort and avoiding controversial methods, latest fads and diets.

Easiest Way to Live a Very Healthy Lifestyle

Let’s apply the 80/20 rule to the healthy lifestyle design.

What 20% of effort will bring the maximum, i.e 80% or more beneficial results to my overall well being?

A healthy lifestyle is one where there is a balance of challenges that pushes us to grow, relaxation and leisure.

Therefore, to achieve the optimal well being, we need to work on both our mental and physical fitness.

A. Mental Health (the 20%)
Generally speaking, mental health can be divided into three sub-categories:

  1. Emotional Health
  2. Intellectual Health
  3. Spiritual Health

1. Emotional Health


a. Start meditating
Be it 5 minutes or 15 minutes or 1 hour long, twice daily — it doesn’t matter. Start meditating so that it becomes part of your daily ritual.

The type of meditation also doesn’t matter as long as you are quieting your mind and inner chatter.

b. Exercise your idea muscles
Think what can you do for your career. What kind of businesses you can build. What kind of problems you can solve. Think and write down ideas that come to your mind.

Do not filter good ideas from bad ideas. Just focus on coming up with ideas.

 

2. Intellectual Health (Intelligence)
a. Play mental improvement games
Sudoku. Play chess. Solve puzzles.

b. Practice speed reading
Read a lot of books. When driving, listen to Audiobooks or Podcasts.

3. Spiritual Health
a. The Attitude Of Gratitude
Keep an optimistic perspective on life. Think of all the good things that are happening to you. Find a way to known how blessed you are.

b. Positivity
Keep a positive attitude. Think positive, talk positive and surround yourself with only positive friends.

B. Physical Health (the 20%)
1. Exercise
Workout. 30 minutes each day is the minimum. Ideally, you should do both the weights and cardio exercises.

Exercise helps the blood flow and regulation in the body. This means, exercising is also good for your brain.

2. Sleep
Sleep 8 hours. If you can manage 9 hours, get 9 hours. Sleep is directly related to your ability to come up with new creative ideas.

3. Food as Medicine

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” said Hippocrates. Eat well, eat healthy, fresh, local and organic if possible. Eat small portions and several times throughout your day. Once a month, take a full day complete fast except for water. 

Juice your vegetables and ingest your fruits as smoothies. If you eat well and take care in this important area of your life, you will reap hundred fold results in productivity, energy and vitality.

 

This is the 20% that I personally follow to stay in the zone and achieve peak performance and super-productivity.

Hope these tips help you as well.

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

What do you say? Tell me what YOU are doing to live a healthy lifestyle? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.

Amazon Bestselling Poetry Book – Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems

Hello, beautiful souls,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you and appreciate you for all the light that you shine in this world.

My first book “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems” has become the bestselling book in the Love Poems category. It’s also available on Kindle. Please download your copy on any device (with Kindle app).

Here is the link: The Erotic Love Poems: Salil Jha: 9780692265291: Amazon.com: Books

If you were thinking of gifting the book to your friends and loved one, today is your day!

I love you!

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once in a while. No junk, no BS. Only great stuff!

Sign up now and stay in touch!

Read Next

Does Age Really Matter? (When It Comes to Your Life’s Purpose)





A short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages. At the end of your reading, if you feel motivated to take actions and take charge of your life, please share this list with atleast 1 friend who you think needs to read this.

At 19 months, Helen Keller became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

At 1, Christian Friedrich Heinecken, the legendary child prodigy, had read the first five books of the Bible.

At 2, speed skater Bonnie Blair began skating. She would go on to win five Olympic gold medals.

At 3, Wolfgang Mozart taught himself to play the harpsichord.

At 4, Brazilian Formula One race car driver Ayrton Senna da Silva began driving.

At 5, Yo-Yo Ma, world-famous cellist, began playing “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” before bed each evening.

At 5, Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he started composing original music.

At 6, Willie Hoppe, the greatest billiards player in history, began to play pool. He had to stand on a box to reach the table. In his lifetime, Hoppe won 51 world titles. He was ranked number 1 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century.

At 6, Shirley Temple became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”

At 7, English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill had mastered Greek.

At 8, three-time Olympic gold medal runner Wilma Rudolph took her first step after suffering from polio as a child.

At 9, Daisy Ashford wrote her bestselling novel, “The Young Visiters.” It sold over 200,000 copies.

At 10, Vinay Bhat became the youngest chess master in the world.

At 11, pilot Victoria Van Meter became the youngest girl to fly across the United States.

At 12, Carl von Clausewitz, general and writer of “On War,” joined the Prussian army.

At 12, Anne Frank wrote the her famous “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

At 13, actress, director and producer Jodie Foster wrote and directed a short movie called The Hands of Time.

At 13, Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster.

At 14, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first athlete in Olympic history to achieve a perfect 10 seven times.

At 15, Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg dropped out of school to concentrate on tennis.

At 15, Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama. He assumed all responsibilities of being the leader of Tibetan people.

At 16, American sharpshooter Annie Oakley challenged and defeated the well-known marksman Frank Butler by hitting a dime in midair from 90 feet.

At 17, soccer legend Pele won the World Cup for Brazil and then passed out on the field. Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.

At 18, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel proved that it was impossible to solve the general equation of fifth degree by algebraic means.

At 19, Abner Doubleday devised the rules for baseball.

At 19, Elvis was a superstar.

At 20, Charles Lindbergh learned to fly.

At 20, John Lennon (and the Beatles) had their first concert in 1961.

At 21, Thomas Edison created his first invention, an electric vote recorder.

At 21, Geroge R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones sold his first science fiction short stories in 1970.

At 22, Olympic runner Herbert James Elliott, one of the greatest mile runners ever, retired undefeated.

At 22, Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.

At 23, English poet Jane Taylor wrote “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

At 23, Aryabhata authored of his famous treatises on mathematics and astronomy in 499 AD.

At 23, Beethoven was a piano virtuoso.

At 24, Ted Turner took over his father’s billboard advertising business. He later launched cable news network CNN.

At 24, Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

At 24, Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snapchat, a photo-messaging app, became one of the world’s youngest billionaires.

At 25, Janis Joplin made her first recording, “Cheap Thrills,” which grossed over $1 million within a few months.

At 25, Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile record.

At 26, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel in space.

At 26, Albert Einstein wrote the theory of relativity.

At 27, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. left his job at General Electric to become a full-time writer.

At 27, Lance E. Armstrong won the tour de France.

At 28, Jamaican reggae composer/performer Bob Marley recorded “I Shot the Sheriff.”

By 28, Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta”.

At 29, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first complete sentence by telephone.

By age 29, Alexander the Great had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world.

At 30, physicist Armand Fizeau measured the speed of light.

At 30, Elizabeth Holmes, became the richest self-made female billionaire. Holmes founded a blood-testing company, Theranos, in 2003.

At 30, Dustin Moskovitz became billionaire along with Mark Zuckerberg while working on early stages of Facebook. His current net worth is over 8 billion dollars.

At 30, J.K. Rowling finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter. She later became the first billionaire author ever.

At 30, Salil Jha published his debut poetry collection “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems.” In 2014 he started The Naked Soul Blog and Podcast. 

At 31, French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion deciphered the Rosetta stone.

At 31, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

At 32, Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world.

At 32, Oprah started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind.

At 33, Walter Nilsson rode across the United States on an 8-ft. unicycle.

At 33, Edmund Hillary became the first man to reach Mount Everest.

At 34, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

At 34, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the speech “I Have a Dream.”

At 35, Sir Frederick William Herschel, an English astronomer, invented the contact lens.

At 35, Marie Curie got nominated and won the Nobel Prize in Physics. She won another Nobel Prize in Chemistry at age 43.

At 36, Barthelemy Thimonnier developed the world’s first practical sewing machine.

At 37, Jersey Joe Walcott became the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

At 37, Vincent Van Gogh died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions.

At 38, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon.

At 39, Sharon Sites Adams became the first woman to sail alone across the Pacific Ocean.

At 40, Jo Pavey won the European 10,000m gold medal.

At 40, Mark Twain wrote the bestseller “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Later at age 49 he wrote his second most popular work “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

At 41, Rudyard Kipling became the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in literature.

At 41, Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.

At 42, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest regular NBA player.

At 42, Rosa Parks refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. This became the turning point in Civil rights movement in the America.

At 43, John F. Kennedy became the youngest president elected to office of the United States.

At 44, George Washington crossed the Delaware River and captured Trenton, NJ.

At 45, Andre Marie Ampere, a French physicist, discovered the rules relating magnetic fields and electric currents.

At 45, Henry Ford launched the Ford T model. This made him one of the greatest businessman in America.

At 46, Suzanne Collins wrote the bestselling “The Hunger Games”. The books were later made into Hollywood movies.

At 47, Kent Couch attached 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair and flew 193 miles.

At 47, Barack Obama became the first African American president in the US.

At 48, Umberto Eco, a professor of semiotics, wrote his first novel, “The Name of the Rose.”

At 49, Julia Child published her book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

At 50, P.L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass.

At 50, Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” came out. As we all know, this book changed the course of science forever.

At 51, Marquis de Sade, imprisoned for much of his life, wrote the novel “Justine.”

At 51, Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

At 52, Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world alone in a 53-foot boat normally manned by a crew of six.

At 52, Abraham Lincoln became president.

At 53, Walter Hunt, an inventor, patented the safety pin.

At 53, Ray Kroc bought the McDonalds Franchise and turned it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

At 54, Annie Jump Cannon became the first astronomer to classify the stars according to spectral type.

At 55, Pablo Picasso completed his masterpiece, “Guernica.”

At 54, Dr. Seuss wrote his most popular work “The Cat in the Hat”.

At 56, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China.

At 57, Frank Dobesh competed in his first 100-mile bicycle ride — exactly 10 years after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

At 57, Chesley Sullenberger III was successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived

At 58, Sony chairman Akio Morita introduced the Sony Walkman, an idea no one seemed to like at the time.

At 59, Satchel Paige became the oldest Major League baseball player.

At 60, playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw finished writing “Heartbreak House,” regarded by many as his masterpiece.

At 61, Charles Cagniard de la Tour, a French doctor, demonstrated that fermentation depends upon yeast cells.

At 61, Colonel Harland Sanders started the KFC Franchise. KFC would later become a multi-billion dollar multi-national enterprise.

At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, “Lord of the Rings.” J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out.

At 63, John Dryden undertook the enormous task of translating the entire works of Virgil into English verse.

At 64, Thomas Bowdler “bowdlerized” Shakespeare’s works, making them “family friendly.”

At 65, jazz musician Miles Davis defiantly performed his final live album, just weeks before he died.

At 66, Noah Webster completed his monumental “American Dictionary of the English Language.”

At 67, Simeon Poisson discovered the laws of probability after studying the likelihood of death from mule kicks in the French army.

At 68, the English experimentalist Sir William Crookes began investigating radioactivity and invented a device for detecting alpha particles.

At 69, Canadian Ed Whitlock of Milton, Ontario, Canada, became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under three hours (2:52:47).

At 69, Ginette Bedard, ran her first marathon. At 72 she beat the world record for her age group by finishing in 3:46. Since then she has been running a full marathon each year. She is 81 and just finished her 12th marathon.

At 70, Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

At 70, Jack Lalane performed a feat never seen before. He was handcuffed and shackled before he towed 70 rowboats.

At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.

At 71, Lord Palmerston became the oldest person to become PM. Born in 1784, he entered the House of Commons at the age of 23. For 20 years he was a junior minister in a Tory government before changing parties, becoming the most successful Whig Foreign Secretary and finally the Prime Minister in 1855.

At 72, Margaret Ringenberg flew around the world.

At 73, Larry King celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.

At 74, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps began an attempt to construct the Suez Canal.

At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the North Pole.

At 76, Arthur Miller unveiled a bold new play, “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan,” free of the world-weary tone of his previous works.

At 76, Nelson Mandela became President. Before becoming the President he was imprisoned for over 20 years. 

At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.

At 78, Chevalier de Lamarck proposed a new theory of the evolutionary process, claiming that acquired characteristics can be transmitted to offspring.

At 78, Anna Mary Robertson Moses began painting. She is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age. Her works have been shown and sold in the United States and abroad and have been marketed on greeting cards and other merchandise. Moses’ paintings are among the collections of many museums. One of her painting, The Sugaring Off was sold for US$1.2 million in 2006.

At 79, Asa Long became the oldest U.S. checkers champion.

At 80, Jessica Tandy became the oldest female Oscar winner.

At 81, Bill Painter became the oldest person to reach the 14,411-foot summit of Mt. Rainier.

At 82, William Ivy Baldwin became the oldest tightrope walker, crossing the South Boulder Canyon in Colorado on a 320-foot wire.

At 82, Christopher Plummer became the oldest male Oscar winner.

At 83, famed baby doctor Benjamin Spock championed for world peace.

At 84, W. Somerset Maugham wrote “Points of View.”

At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.

At 86, Katherine Pelton swam the 200-meter butterfly in 3 minutes, 1.14 seconds, beating the men’s world record for that age group by over 20 seconds.

At 87, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor.

At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

At 89, Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch became the oldest person to go to the North Pole.

At 90, Marc Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.

At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New England.

At 92, Paul Spangler finished his 14th marathon.

At 92, Gladys Burrill from Hawaii became the oldest woman to complete a marathon.

At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel and he was knighted the same year. Unfortunately he also died the same year.

At 94, comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his first performance there.

At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.

At 95, the late Lord Renton became the oldest person to pass a driving test in 2003.

At 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, “The Invisible Wall,” three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.

At 97, Martin Miller was still working fulltime as a lobbyist on behalf of benefits for seniors.

At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.

At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.

At 100, Bertha Wood, had her first book, “Fresh Air and Fun: The Story of a Blackpool Holiday Camp” was published on her 100th birthday. The book is based on her memoirs, which she began writing at the age of 90.

At 103, Albert Jean Amateau, Turkish rabbi and social activist helped found the American Society of Jewish Friends of Turkey and was named as its president.

At 108, Shivakumara Swami received Padma Bhushana in 2015, the highest award granted from the Government of India for social service and humanitarian work.

At 116, Susannah Mushatt Jones (born in 1899) is the world’s oldest living person. She has received tributes from the United States House of Representatives and from the Alabama House of Representatives “for a remarkable lifetime of exceptional achievement lived during three centuries.” She has lived during the 19th, 20th and 21st century.

At 122, Jeanne Calment from France became the verified oldest human being ever to live in 1997 (the year of her death).

 

###

Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Comment if you think I should add someone I have missed and is worthy of a note? Also, tell me what YOU are doing at your current age to actualize your dreams? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.

My Quotes from Goodreads | Quotable Quotes

Each time you refresh this page, you’ll see a new quote from me. Give it a try. Refresh the page and enjoy!

Please comment below your favorite quotes or ask me any questions!

Quotable quotes

 

“You are you. You are not a label. As an individual, you have a unique place in my heart and mind.” – Salil Jha
Like what you are reading – please support this blog by sharing with like-minded friends! 
Exit mobile version